Magnae Dei Matris

Magnae Dei Matris is another encyclical of Pope Leo XIII focusing on the Rosary this one is a bit more indepth than other which are basically asking/reminding people to pray the Rosary in October.

Magnae Dei Matris (Great Mother of God) begins like the other encyclicals on the Rosary saying that at a certain time “occasion arises to stimulate and intensify the love and veneration of the Christian people for Mary”. It then turn to our Heavenly Father, who was the first to love Mary and raised her above all creation naming her his mother. This is key concept of the Encyclical. We in turn must put all of our filial trust in her. Here is where we get the classic pray the Rosary since October is coming up soon, Pope Leo gives some reason why we need to turn to the Rosary in which he mentions public institutions that science and art where there is hardly a mention of God as well as “the consequent laxity and apathy in the practice of the Catholic religion”, this sounds like something that some super conservative would say knocking on the Cafeteria and Secular Christianity that has grown up in the US and Europe. Pope Leo insists that the remedy for this is praying the Rosary. As we pray through the events of Mary’s life we grow closer to Jesus. It goes on and reflects on the idea that Mary is the perfect model of living the Christian life. It continues talking about how constantly praying the Rosary serves piety and is a  source of comfort. Eventually the encyclical ends with Pope Leo once again asking (us) his brother bishops to pray the Rosary.

Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time

This week as we near the end of the Liturgical Year our readings are from Wisdom 11:22-12:2, Psalm 145, Paul’s second letter to the Thessalonians 1:11-2:2, and Luke’s Gospel 19:1-10.

The Gospel this week is the story of Zacchaeus that short tax collector who climbs a tree to see Jesus. Jesus calls to him and eats with Zacchaeus where Zacchaeus says that he’s done horrible things and will give back to the poor. This story is a story of all Christians. At times we are all to caught up in the things of this world, caring more for things than people, neglecting them just because we think of them as a sinner. However we are all sinners, we all want to be like Zacchaeus and have that moment in the tree. This story echoes what we hear in the Book of Wisdom where the Lord is said to “love all thing that are and loathe nothing that you have made; for what you hated, you would not have fashioned.” The Lord comes to us with love and ask us to do the same to all our neighbors, as the Great Commandment say “Love your neighbor as yourself”.

This is especially important to remember in the upcoming week in the United States as that Presidential Election is just days away and we should remember that we are not a nation of Blues and Reds but we are all different shades of Purple. Let us keep this in mind this week as we try to live by the key to living “Love your neighbor as yourself”. It is a simple idea but it is difficult for us to do let us all try to follow this commandment for the rest of the year.  We hear Jesus telling us to come down from the tree saying that he will be staying with us tonight are we ready.

The Apparition

Since Halloween is in a couple of days I’ve decided to share one of the great poem beside The Raven that are great during this time of year. This one is a poem by John Donne, the metaphysical poet best known for “Death be not proud” or Holy Sonnet X.

The Apparition

When by thy scorn, O murd’ress, I am dead
And that thou think’st thee free
From all solicitation from me,
Then shall my ghost come to thy bed,
And thee, feign’d vestal, in worse arms shall see;
Then thy sick taper will begin to wink,
And he, whose thou art then, being tir’d before,
Will, if thou stir, or pinch to wake him, think
Thou call’st for more,
And in false sleep will from thee shrink;
And then, poor aspen wretch, neglected thou
Bath’d in a cold quicksilver sweat wilt lie
A verier ghost than I.
What I will say, I will not tell thee now,
Lest that preserve thee; and since my love is spent,
I’had rather thou shouldst painfully repent,
Than by my threat’nings rest still innocent.

Black Mirror Series Three

Black Mirror is back and it is still a refreshing take on the coming future. Several of the episodes seem like they could happen sooner rather than later, notably Nosedive and Hated in the Nation. Both of these episodes focus on social media Nosedive is a story in which everyone is rated for everything they do and have a star rating, Hated in the Nation is a story about Twitter turning into a murderer. The other four episode are pretty great as well there is one about war and another about video games which are top notch. Many people are talking about the cleverness of the series. It is wonderful to see so many more people discovering the show and these six episodes only make the wait for the next season even longer. I tried to watch it slowly but that didn’t last long. However Black Mirror is one of those shows where you watch an episode and then come back later to watch another. There are about a dozen episodes and soon it will be time to watch them all again they are all on Netflix so prepare yourself.

News Roundup

Netflix: A Trailer has been released for Gilmore Girls if you haven’t watched it what are you waiting for. There is still some time to catch up on the previous seasons before the release in November.

World Series: Typically to go along with the World Series we have a couple of articles about the Mayor or Governor and Senators wagering something against their counterpart in the other city.  This time around the Governors are betting pizza and beer from Chicago and mustard and beer from Cleveland. While the senators are just wagering some beer. However this isn’t the only bet Rabbis from Chicago and Cleveland have also placed a wager, and the losing Rabbi will travel to the winner and have a debate on the Jewish significance of baseball.

Inventions: This sounds like an interesting invention and hopefully it works and can lessen the impact of emissions on the atmosphere. Dutch scientist have created a giant vacuum that sucks out contaminants from the air creating fresher air. This seems like the way that the world will be moving towards if this invention is a success perhaps every one will own one and help offset the carbon emissions that we all make during the day, think of it as something like carbon offset. It could be a game changer

Marialis Cultus

Marialis Cultus is an Apostolic Exhortation from Pope Paul VI about Marian Devotion. Now this is a letter to all the Bishops of the World in a reflection of how Vatican II goes with Mary. This letter is divided into three sections the first looking the history of Marian Devotion focusing on the relationship between the liturgy and devotion to Mary, the second looks at ways to develop as well as renew Marian devotion for the future, the third section take a look at the Angelus and Rosary as methods of devotion that we should use. This is followed by a conclusion which basically says Mary deserves the devotions because she is the mother of graces and her unique role in redemption. As well as that devotion to the Blessed Virgin is an intrinsic element of Christian worship and devotion is paramount importance in living the life of the Gospel.

Part One:  In the first section Paul VI looks at the Roman Calendar and the Missal noting all the dates and mentions of Mary in the liturgy. He also looks that the Lectionary and the Liturgy of the Hours and how tied to Mary these are as well. Paul VI notes that if one studies the history of Christian worship, in fact, one notes that both in the East and in the West the highest and purest expressions of devotion to the Blessed Virgin have sprung from the liturgy or have been incorporated into it.” The second section looks at Mary’s role in the liturgy as a model for us all. Saying that this modeling of Mary has been one of the longest living traditions in the Church.

Part Two:  First noting that in Vatican II the exhortation came out to look at other forms of piety. Here we get into some hard stuff as Paul takes us into the Trinitarian, Christological and Ecclesial notes of the Virgin. These Marian forms of piety need to be “To Jesus through Mary” as we use her as our conduit to Jesus. This section is a bit heady to read. The second section doesn’t make it much easier as it takes the devotion of Mary and roots it in the Biblical, Liturgical, Ecumenical and Anthropological. These is not putting Mary in a box as across the world there are devotions to Mary in all different forms the Black Madonna, Our Lady of Akita, Our Lady of Zeitoun, Our Lady of Kazan, Our Lady of Walsingham. These are all around the world and Mary looks like the people in the area.

Part Three: This one begins by looking at the Angelus and says that we should be praying it more. Then it turns into a nice reflection on the Rosary. It explains a basic Rosary as it is a prayer rooted in the Gospel and consists of the Our Father, Hail Mary and Doxology. Pope Paul then pleads that the Rosary be taken up by Families and prayed together. As it is simple and everyone should know it.

World Series 2016

This Tuesday begins a match up a half-century in the making as the Chicago Cubs will be playing in the Fall Classic for the first time since 1945 against the Cleveland Indians who hope to win for the first time since 1948. These are the two longest droughts in Major League Baseball (besides Washington which although hasn’t been since like ’33 didn’t have baseball for 30-something years) So by and large the Cubs are the Favorites and everyone is saying it is their year finally. Looking back over the year The Cubs went 15-5 against AL teams while Cleveland went 13-7 against NL teams yet just looking at this makes it rather difficult pick as they did not face each other at all this season in interleague play. The rematch will take place in 2018 at the earliest going by the existing scheduling rules when the same division face off between leagues.

The game is set and Tuesday can’t come soon enough for many fans. Either way this series goes it will be historic with an end to a historic World Series drought or the most improbable playoff upset since June when the record setting 73 win Golden State Warriors lost to the Cleveland Cavilers in seven games. Finally the and games will be broadcast on over the air network, FOX. I really hope that Chicago can win out this year.

Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

The week the reading come from Sirach 35:12-14, 16-18; Psalm 34; Paul’s second letter to Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18 and Luke’s gospel 18:9-14.

We have yet another parable this week it’s the pharisee and the tax collector, this is the one where the Pharisee and the Publican are at the Temple. The Pharisee goes up front and prays “Thank the Lord I’m so great, I fast and tithe unlike that tax collector over there, he’s so bad.” while the tax collector stays in the back and prays “O Lord have mercy on me a sinner.” Jesus then tells us that it is the Tax Collector went home justified. This echos the message from Sirach and in the Psalm The Lord hears the call of the poor for a prayer doesn’t rest until it reaches its goal. This is something difficult in society today as we are constantly bombarded with people and thing which want to put us on top, however we must remain humble in all that we do. We remember in Micah 6:8 we read the mission statement for all Christians “Live Justly, Love Tenderly, Walk Humbly with God“. Let us keep the idea of humility in our minds and hearts as the elections in the United States draw to a close.

Nintendo Switch

So this is less than a real post and more just an excuse to re-watch the launch video again. The next Nintendo system is going to be a hybrid system and some of the mockups were pretty close to thee tablet portion although no one got close to the base/dock. The system runs on cartridges and will join the home and portable market into one. As for more information about the system that wasn’t  revealed yet however this is just enough for right now. It whets the appetite for the March 2017 launch.

The Little Shop of Horrors (1960)

The Little Shop of Horrors is the B-movie that the musical Little Shop of Horrors is based. It is one of the first films Jack Nicholson was ever in as he was in several of Roger Corman’s other B-movie. According to Turner Classic Movies this film was made in the week between Christmas and New Year’s in 1959 and was filmed on the set of another movie, just redressed. Spoilers to follow.

The movie is set up completely different from the musical as in the film’s narrator is a police officer who worked on the missing person case. The other big difference in Seymour’s mother. In the film she is a hypochondriac and is missing from the stage musical.  The film begins in Gravis Mushnick’s flower shop with a bumbling Seymour and simple Audrey who work there. We meet three regulars the neighborhood funeral home owner? Mrs. Shiva who buys flowers daily, a guy who comes in and eats flowers for lunch daily and they get a call from the sadistic dentist who orders some flowers. Seymour messes up this order and Mushnick fires him but Seymour convinces Mushnick that if he can attract new customers by bringing in a new plant that Seymour has crossbred a butterwort and Venus flytrap, which Seymour calls Audrey Junior. We know where it goes from here Seymour accidentally gives it some blood and it perks up. Later on it starts talking and asking for more eventually this become people that Seymour feeds the plant with. The police come into the shop looking for any help in locating these missing people. Seymour is going to be honored by the Society of Silent Flower Observers of Southern California  when the plant finally blooms one evening and the faces of the missing people are in the buds and to everyone’s horror it was Seymour who runs out of the store and tries to escape the police. He eventually loses them and comes back to the shop where Seymour jumps in into the plant with a knife to kill it. That’s how the film ends. It is a different than the musical where everyone dies.

All in all it was an enjoyable film sure it won’t win any award being great but it was fun to watch especially at this time of the year when things turn toward the creepy and spooky. If you are a fan a Jack Nicholson this is something that needs to be seen at least once. TCM might play it again this month or you might have to wait till next year when the air it again.