Daily Archives: June 2, 2011

Thomas Rosica–Biblical Reflection on the Feast of the Ascension of the Lord

Only in his physical separation from the historical scene can Jesus’ spiritual union with the entire world for all time be complete. Jesus left the world one day in order to be available to all people throughout all time. He had to dissolve bonds he had made with his friends, in order to be available for everybody. We move towards heaven to the extent that we approach Jesus.

The words of one of Blessed John Henry Newman’s parochial sermons inspire us on this great feast (PPS, vol. 6, no. 10): “Christ’s going to the Father is at once a source of sorrow, because it involves His absence; and of joy, because it involves His presence. And out of the doctrine of His resurrection and ascension, spring those Christian paradoxes, often spoken of in Scripture, that we are sorrowing, yet always rejoicing; as having nothing, yet possessing all things (II Cor 6:10).

“This, indeed, is our state at present; we have lost Christ and we have found Him; we see Him not, yet we discern Him. We embrace His feet, yet He says, ‘Touch Me not.’ How is this? it is thus: we have lost the sensible and conscious perception of Him; we cannot look on Him, hear Him, converse with Him, follow Him from place to place; but we enjoy the spiritual, immaterial, inward, mental, real sight and possession of Him; a possession more real and more present than that which the Apostles had in the days of His flesh, because it is spiritual, because it is invisible.”

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Ascension, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Other Churches, Roman Catholic, Theology

(WSJ) The Housing Illusion

The Obama Administration and Chairman Ben Bernanke’s Federal Reserve have bet on a recovery based on reflating asset prices with easy money, federal spending and temporary stimulus programs. Part of that bet was reflating the housing bubble.

The results are what we now see: higher stock prices for Americans lucky enough to own shares, but 2% growth and mediocre job creation, a housing recession stretching well into its fourth year, and soaring commodity prices that reduce real income growth.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Federal Reserve, Housing/Real Estate Market, The 2009 Obama Administration Housing Amelioration Plan, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The U.S. Government

A Video Story on NFL star Ray Lewis Helping a Young Crash survivor

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Children, Sports

(SMH) Religious leaders Down Under back carbon tax

Monks and rabbis have stood alongside Catholics and Anglicans in Canberra to show support for the federal government’s plan to tackle climate change.

Leaders from the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC) met Prime Minister Julia Gillard in support of the carbon tax today.

Anglican representative George Browning said the group wanted to assist politicians to create good legislation and the message to Ms Gillard was that the issue was a moral one.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces, Australia / NZ, Energy, Natural Resources, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology

(ACNS) 16 arrested as persecution of Anglicans in Zimbabwe continues

Sixteen church-goers have been arrested and priests have been turned out of their homes in Zimbabwe’s Diocese of Harare ”“ where the Anglican Church is facing persecution at the hands of an ex-communicated bishop.

The Rt Revd Chad Gandiya, Bishop of Harare, said the arrests were illegal and that those detained ”“ including a elderly woman ”“ were traumatised.

The diocese is now trying to arrange bail and has asked for prayers for those in prison and their families.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, - Anglican: Latest News, Africa, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Zimbabwe

Google says Chinese hackers broke into Gmail

Google Inc. is blaming computer hackers in China for a high-tech ruse that broke into the personal Gmail accounts of several hundred people, including senior U.S. government officials, military personnel and political activists.

The breach announced Wednesday marks the second time in 17 months that Google has publicly identified China as the home base for a scheme aimed at hijacking information stored on Google’s vast network of computers.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Asia, Blogging & the Internet, China, Corporations/Corporate Life, Defense, National Security, Military, Economy, Foreign Relations, Science & Technology

Steven Pearlstein–Has the U.S. Economy become less dynamic and entrepreneurial?

…[John] Haltiwanger has been trying to set things straight on the question of which firms are creating jobs, most recently in a paper with the catchy title, “Job Creation and Firm Dynamics in the U.S.”

Haltiwanger starts out by noting that in an economy with about 110 million private sector jobs, firms create and destroy 15 to 17 million jobs in a typical year. This churning goes on in all industries and all sizes of firms ”” it even goes on within the same firm ”” and what drives it is the the constant shifting of work from the least productive firms and factories and stores to the more productive.

For many decades, the U.S. economy has been more effective at this process of “creative destruction” than almost any other country in the world. And what Haltiwanger and his collaborators have found over the years is that young firms ”” business startups and a small number of new firms that grow very quickly ”” have played an outsize role in that process. In job creation, it turns out, it is not size that matters but the age of the firm. Small businesses don’t create all the new jobs ”” young ones do.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market

Amazon deal gets South Carolina Approval: Job-generating tax-break plan on way to governor

South Carolina legislators gave final approval Wednesday to a deal bringing Amazon.com Inc. and its promise of 2,000 jobs to the state.

The House voted 90-14 to approve a compromise brokered last week in the Senate, sending the measure to Gov. Nikki Haley’s desk. ‘It’s a great day for South Carolina and the unemployed people of the state,’ Sen. Jake Knotts, R-West Columbia, said after the vote. ‘We welcome Amazon!’

Haley opposes the measure but has repeatedly said she won’t veto it. The Republican governor has called it bad policy that’s unfair to retailers that collect the tax. If not signed or vetoed, the bill would become law after five days. ‘Nothing has changed’ about her position, Haley spokesman Rob Godfrey said after the vote.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Politics in General, State Government, Taxes, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

The Archbishop of Canterbury opens an exhibition at Lambeth Palace Library

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has opened an exhibition at the Lambeth Palace Library celebrating the 400th anniversary of the publication of the King James Version of the Bible.

The centrepiece of the exhibition is a 1611 edition of the King James Version.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Archbishop of Canterbury, Books, England / UK, History, Religion & Culture

(USA Today) Historians find old cemeteries in grave condition

In forgotten cemeteries across the USA, almost unreadable headstones lie broken, toppled and overgrown by weeds, preservationists say.

Thousands of old and inactive cemeteries could face such fates because they rely on aging volunteers to mow the grass and keep vandals at bay.

“Unless someone knows it’s there and has the time and energy to devote to it, they’re vanishing every day,” said Brian Cannon, who conducts tours of historic graves at the Old New Castle Court House in New Castle, Del.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Death / Burial / Funerals, History, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

David Wilson on some recent Pittsburgh Episcopal Church History–A Group Called TOTTR

TOTTR as a group of clergy had been called together in the mid-1980s by William D. “Mike” Henning, then Associate Professor of Pastoral Ministry at Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry. Besides Mike the group was comprised of John H. Rodgers, Jr., Dean of Trinity School; Christopher Leighton, Rector of St. David’s, Peters Twp.; Mark Lawrence, Rector of St. Stephen’s McKeesport; Scott Quinn, Rector of Church of the Nativity, Crafton; and Jim Simons, Rector of St. Michael’s in the Valley Ligonier.

Callings to new ministries, over the years, changed the composition of the group. Original members John Rodgers, Scott Quinn and Jim Simons remained active when the group disbanded in September 2008. A major defining passage in the group’s history was the sad, untimely demise and death of Mike Henning due to stomach cancer in the late summer of 1994. In 1995 Jeff Mikita was elected to join TOTTR. The election of Jeff, newly ordained, was part of a strategy to disciple younger clergymen for future leadership roles in the Diocese.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History, Episcopal Church (TEC)

Food for Thought on the Ascension

…the church that knows Christ risen and ascended and takes up the challenge of confessing Christ coming to judge and to reign will not only be renewed in its sense of mission, but will also (of this I am confident) find there open before it new possibilities for an ecumenical understanding of its own sacraments and order, and for resolving differences related to its privileged participation in the present and future of Jesus. Moreover, it will not falsify or evade its special eucharistic participation in the past of Jesus, it will gladly exchange the heavy yoke of heroism for the lighter yoke of martyrdom. There is no better articulation of its faith in the Coming One than that.

–Douglas Farrow, “Confessing Christ Coming” in Nicene Christianity, ed. Christopher Seitz (Brazos Press, 2001), p. 148

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Ascension, Christology, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Eucharist, Missions, Sacramental Theology, Theology

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O Lord Jesus Christ, who after thy resurrection didst manifestly appear to thine apostles, and in their sight didst ascend into heaven to prepare a place for us: Grant that, being risen with thee, we may lift up our hearts continually to seek thee where thou art, and never cease to serve thee faithfully here on earth; until at last, when thou comest again, thou shalt receive us unto thyself; who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end.

–Frederick Macnutt

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Ascension, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Spirituality/Prayer

Morning Praise for the Feast of the Ascension

Blessed art thou, O Lord God Almighty, the Ancient of Days, who hast set thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord upon the glorious throne of thy kingdom, exalted far above all peoples, all places, all times, eternally; that he who hath worn our flesh, and borne our manhood into the holy of holies, should henceforth pour down heavenly gifts upon his brethren, and be both our righteous judge and most merciful intercessor; to whom with thee, O Father, and thee, O Holy Spirit, one God, be ascribed all might, majesty, dominion, and praise, now and for ever.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Ascension, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons

From the Morning Bible Readings

Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same nature, that through death he might destroy him who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong bondage. For surely it is not with angels that he is concerned but with the descendants of Abraham. Therefore he had to be made like his brethren in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make expiation for the sins of the people. For because he himself has suffered and been tempted, he is able to help those who are tempted.

–Hebrews 2:14-18

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Guardian) Nils Pratley–No more quick fixes for US economy in rehab

Avert your eyes for a moment from the weak UK economic data and look at what we’ve learned about the US in the last couple of days. House prices have fallen 4.2% since the start of the year, meaning the 33% tumble from the 2006 peak is greater than the 31% decline seen during the Great Depression. The manufacturing sector appears to have stalled, with the purchasing managers’ index at its lowest level this year. And private-sector jobs are being created at the slowest rate since last September. It looks ”“ just as the bears predicted ”“ as if the US economy is struggling to cope with the end of quantitative easing (QE).

Send for more stimulants then? That’s what happened last year ”“ QE2 was launched in response to similarly discouraging data. But QE3 looks unlikely. The world, and US politics, has moved on. Standard & Poor’s may have been guilty of alarmism in warning about the negative outlook for US debt but the rating agency has stirred the debate in Washington about the relative merits of spending cuts and tax increases. QE3 would sit uneasily with a political mood of belt-tightening. Sceptics in Congress would argue (with some justification) that the law of diminishing returns had already set in ”“ a $600bn (£365bn) programme over the past eight months produced annualised growth of only 1.8% in the first quarter.

The US…[ ] is short of tools.

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Posted in Uncategorized

Interesting Post on the Ordinariate in Canada–Father Bill Foote's visit to Toronto

Fr Bill Foote, appointed by Archbishop Collins to visit and mentor groups of Anglicans and Catholics who wish to enter the Ordinariate, visited the Toronto Group on 29 May. As Fr Foote put it, in guiding groups of Anglicans toward entering into the full communion of the Catholic Church, his job is to be “the horse’s mouth.” Here is what we heard from the horse’s mouth:

Anglicanorum Coetibus does not propose to establish a kind of uniate structure, where entire jurisdictions “unite” with Rome. Rather, the Apostolic Constitution provides a bridge or doorway, so that individuals and groups may journey together to enter into the Catholic Church, and find room within the Latin rite for former Anglicans, now Catholic, to preserve their liturgical, spiritual and pastoral traditions, a gift for the whole Church.

Fr Foote emphasized the necessity of personal choice and commitment. To enter into the full communion of the Catholic Church ”“ to become Catholics ”“ each person must make a profession of faith, to the effect that he or she believes everything that the Catholic Church believes and teaches. If an individual is already baptized, he or she will then be confirmed….

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Canada, Ecumenical Relations, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

(WSJ) Government May Lose $14 Billion on Auto Bailout

The White House said Wednesday that taxpayers could lose roughly $14 billion of the money spent on auto industry bailouts, despite the industry’s recent recovery.

The White House cites the potential losses in a report, “The Resurgence of the American Automotive Industry,” released ahead of President Barack Obama’s trip Friday to a Chrysler Group LLC facility in Toledo, Ohio.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Budget, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, House of Representatives, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Senate, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The National Deficit, The Possibility of a Bailout for the U.S. Auto Industry, The U.S. Government

Time Magazine Asks 10 Questions of Former Navy Seal Howard Wasdin

The operation was capture or kill. How do you know when to shoot?

It’s based on what the person is doing when we show up. In a capture mission, you’re putting yourself at more risk. You make that decision in a split second. Does he have a gun? Is he being compliant? The more you do it, the more adept you get at it.

So why did the team make the choice to kill Osama bin Laden?

The guys in the room made that decision. If you want to be in a position to make those types of decisions, go join the team. Otherwise, just say thank you.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Asia, Defense, National Security, Military, Health & Medicine, Iraq War, Pakistan, Psychology, Terrorism, War in Afghanistan