May 25, 2008
May 23, 2008
Give me the food or I conquer you. - Here's a food oddity that the London eatery chain, restaurant Shish, hopes will put it on the map.
They are advertising free meals to descendants of that famous consumer, Genghis Khan.
But first you have to prove your relation via a DNA test.
The unusual promotion is to mark the Mongolian government's decision to allow citizens to have surnames for the first time since they were banned by the communists in the 1920s.
Some 50,000 Mongolians now proudly claim direct descent from and bear the name of Genghis Khan.
That's a lot of meals. The restaurant teamed up with a DNA research company to do the tests required to find descendants. No mention of where they obtained Genghis Khan DNA to test against, however they might have gotten some of the DNA sampling from the Royal family:
It is estimated that 17 million people worldwide, including the British Royal Family, Iranian Royalty, and the family of Dracula, are direct descendents [sic] of Genghis Khan.
INTERESTING EDITORIAL ON GENGHIS KHAN'S ENGLIGHTENED ATTITUDE TOWARD FREEDOM OF RELIGION, NON-TORTURE, ETC.: http://www.firstuunashville.org/news/sermons/2004genghis.html
May 16, 2008
THEOLOGY OF THE BODY STUDY GROUP WITH FR. THOMAS LOYA
NOTES for pages 146--176 of "Man and Woman He Created Them: A Theology of the Body" by John Paul II text available from www.pauline.org
Fr. Loya can also be heard on the catholicradiointernational.com program: "Body of Truth"--answering today's issues/problems from a TOB perspective.
Fr. Loya's DVDs (with art demonstrations) are available from www.theologyofthebody.net
We are changing our format permanently, starting next month: Father's presentation first, discussion after. Remember, you can join us LIVE, every SECOND WEDNESDAY NIGHT OF THE MONTH: 6:30--8PM CST, 7:30--9PM EST: http://www.ustream.tv/chan
Discussion group: "TOB must be read with openness. If we start from a feminist perspective, postmodern perspective, etc., we are already defeated because we are biased, and not open."
"We can say TOB things without using religious language."
FR. LOYA: [Sr. Helena's superfluous comments in brackets.]
It helps to say "non-sectarian" rather than "secular," when we mean "not a particular religion."
Today, people don't accept what you say from authority, but from their own experience. People today want to "feel" it themselves. And that's OK!
JPII said we all have a body, we can't deny it. Let's start there. But REALLY experience it, totally.
If we thoroughly examine a coffee cup and decide it's for coffee and not a beer mug, we didn't say anything religious, but we all agreed on what it was really best for. It has a gift for us if we use it properly because of its physical make up. Things are talking to us all the time, telling us what they are and what their purpose is. Everything speaks a language. THIS is the new evangelization: to affirm everyone's experience. We are not telling people they're bad, but that they're good and their experience is true/real. [We want to help them unpack the deeper meaning of their experiences.]
RECAP: There is only ONE REALITY: all the arts and sciences are just an unfolding of this.
All heresies have a problem with the INCARNATION ["the Scandal of the Incarnation"—St. Irenaeus/von Balthasar]. The biggest spike in all these heresies and denials was in the 16th century. We are now in the "non-sacramental" age. We have been wearing non-sacramental glasses since we were born. [JPII was an optometrist.] John Paul II wants us to change our glasses. The Pharisees wanted to know "what are the rules?" Jesus said: "it's not about rules, it's about seeing properly." [Find all the Jesus quotes on seeing!]
participant: Could we say that Jesus came to approach us from a subjective POV when He came to earth?
A: Yes, but we don't forget about the objective—we get to the objective through the subjective.
When people want to "talk" about religion, then we need to "capture the words" and talk about the words, and also exhaust our experience of something.
"Secular feminism" comes from the Cartesian worldview of utilitarianism, power, function. (The Catholic worldview is about sacrament, symbol and sign.) So they are operating from a parallel worldview that will never converge with sacramental worldview.
Q online: Is it mostly Western cultures that espouse the Cartesian worldview? Do some cultures still hold the sacramental worldview?
A: Why do we love Rome and European cities? Because the people are laid back and hang out in piazzas doing nothing, "life-ing out." Round piazzas that foster community. American cities are built on a grid, designed for going places. Rome is built on a Catholic/sacramental worldview.
1 Peter: "We partake of the divine nature." HOW? Thru our BODIES!
"Going green" is the world's way of approaching the sacramental worldview. The Church should be leading the way in the green movement, also so that people don't go "overboard."
Q online: What is the non-sectarian language for sacramental worldview?
A: "Honesty," which everyone values, esp. young people.
Q online: How can we get used to "doing nothing"?
A: Being honest about our rhythm of life. The language of the body will tell you what it needs, and the body and mind also need leisure and contemplation.
We have to become mystics. Mysticism mean "what is most real," most concrete. Taking a long, loving look at the real. Recognizing things for what they truly are.
There is no "good use" for utilitarianism! It turns everything into an end with no value in itself.
When we were little and used to wonder and look at bugs, that was prayer. Someone taught us to put the Wow! together with God. Little kids say wow all day long. That's why Jesus said: if you don't become like little children, you won't enter heaven because heaven is wow.
Kids have nature deficit disorder today—so how can they wonder? They are being molested by videophilia, by screens!
A mystic is a TRULY NORMAL NATURAL human being. Anything else, being out of touch with God, not seeing as God made things and sees, is UNNATURAL. [My friends from Africa say: "You say you are free and talk a lot about freedom in America, but you can't talk about God. We talk about Him all the time." Frankly, it's embarrassing. Let's put God back in our lives, not in a weird way, but with naturalness, with joy and love and thanksgiving!]
p. 151: "Original solitude"
online comment: no one to talk to!
p. 163: "Man becomes an image of God not so much in the moment of solitude as in the moment of communion." VERY IMPORTANT QUOTE
MYSTICAL is the greater reality. One God in three persons is mystical, not RATIONAL. You just live it. You can't figure it out.
Love and life are inseparable!!! (fruitfulness) That's being honest "with the words." You cannot obstruct life in love. You can try, but the potentiality is always there [life is persistent].
We have removed human sexuality from the heart of the Trinity in whose image, male and female, we are made, so we abuse it.
Like the Trinity, we don't lose our individual identity/distinctness, even in the "one flesh" union. Why don't we ever lose our interest in sex? Because it's "divine." The world knows that sex is great, but they don't know why. Maybe we can convert people by telling them what is realest to them IS great, but help them be really honest about it. [Convert the world thru sex!]
No one can say exactly what the Trinity is.
ONE analogy of the Trinity is the family. Father, Son, and then HS who IS the Love between the Father and Son (like husband, wife and child). It's not a perfect analogy. [It's not a numbers thing—that's math. It's community—communion. Also, a human family doesn't necessarily have just one child…]
Mystical marriage of God and His Creation—happened on the Cross.
Salvation history is the story of a Groom courting his Bride….
Reciprocity--initiating love is received and given back. The sun shining on the moon which sends the light back. Baseball: the pitcher throws the ball, the catcher receives it and sends it back. If no catcher, we'll have a one-pitch game.
Adam and Eve had a destiny that was incomplete, even before the Fall. They would have passed into the next life, body and soul intact, without death. They were happy with God in this life, but it wasn't the fullness that God had planned for them. (Theological speculation: Most believe that Jesus would have incarnated Himself even if we hadn't sinned.) How do we know we would have had this destiny of passing to the next life? Because it happened to the new Adam and Eve, Jesus and Mary.
The "first covenant" was an unspoken dependence on God, trust. [Jesus, I trust in you!]
All sin is an attempted "shortcut" to the real thing. Our desires are right, though.
online comment: America is a country of shortcuts!
We are attracted to travelling to European cities because we realize their way of life is more "human."
JPII: "Even if a husband looks at his own wife lustfully—he can commit adultery in his heart."
The feminists freaked out, and so did many Catholics, because they both misunderstood it (looking at it from their own perspective).
online comment: Catholics don't seem to understand Catholic stuff!
We don't know what lust is and don't know what love is, so we confuse them.
Lust=to "appropriate" another for my own self-gratification, treat someone as a thing. Lust is always wrong.
Desire=to appreciate the beauty, goodness of another, be attracted by it. So often men who are trying to do the right thing feel unnecessarily guilty. Involuntary arousal is not a sin—it's what you do with it.
Love=always goes out of self to the other, does what's good for the other.
JPII in his book "Love and Responsibility" says that the opposite of love is USE, to use someone.
Mankind's first words were poetry, the words of a priest, liturgical almost: "bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh"—an evocative prayer of praise.
Next assignment: read up to chapter 2
May 7, 2008
"The U.S. Senate voted to keep us out of the World Court. A wise decision I believe. Let Europe fight their own battles, and let them pay us what they owe us for the last war. There is a bill pending now to take the profit out of war by making munitions manufacturers sell their products to the government in war-time without profit. This is a good bill. War, to my mind, is wholesale murder, national insanity and proof that we are not yet civilized. Governments give it romance, color, with bands playing, uniforms, big humanitarian slogans (which are all baloney), and make us patriotic by propaganda. The real true experience of the people, however, results in suffering, death, destruction, licentiousness, a breaking down of the social order and setting us back in all our activities that takes lifetimes to rebuild if at all."
Twice, a better use for all the money, time, technology and energy spent on weapons was almost guiltily suggested in the film. They both involved babies: making baby hospitals and baby bottles. I'd like to say, um, why not, Mr. Stark? Why can't healthcare be "inevitable"? Lest I be accused of conversing with a Marvel Comics character Murphy Brown/Dan Quayle style, it's just so scary, knowing us Americans (and young Americans) are watching this. We Americans who are so good at blending reality and fantasy in reality, and oversimplifying what cannot be even simplified. No one makes the case for nonviolence in "Iron Man." It's just good violence against bad violence. As a 60's folk song asked: "When will they every learn?" I guess peace just doesn't sell.
A rather random, but not unAmerican, scene has "Iron Man" flying from Malibu to a little Afghan town to blow up some ammo and save a family. Then back to Malibu.
In "Iron Man" on the screen and on "Iron Man" behind the scenes, the U.S. military collaborates (stay for the credits). As I watched a civilian (Tony Stark) in Afghanistan, it reminded me, eerily, of Blackwater Security in Iraq and other less visible players who are "running the world."
The larger issues are never framed. What does the USA want? What does the Taliban want (and why are they being so cruel to the Afghan villagers?) What are we fighting for here? I guess we're just supposed to know from reality.
The parts I fear most men will like: the swaggering, the bimbos, the invincibility, the destruction, the explosions, the gadgets, the projectiles, the superhuman powers, war. The parts I liked: the hard rock, the moral discourse, the jokes, the fast car and the good acting.