Once upon a time there was a man who was alive.

Location: Hattiesburg, Mississippi, United States
St. Cuthbert and Disciples in a Boat


What Is This Word?

John’s view of the incarnation, of the Word becoming flesh, strikes at the very root of that liberal denial which characterised mainstream theology thirty years ago and whose long-term effects are with us still. I grew up hearing lectures and sermons which declared that the idea of God becoming human was a category mistake. No human being could actually be divine; Jesus must therefore have been simply a human being, albeit no doubt (the wonderful patronizing pat on the head of the headmaster to the little boy) a very brilliant one. Phew; that’s all right then; he points to God but he isn’t actually God. And a generation later, but growing straight out of that school of thought, I have had a clergyman writing to me this week to say that the church doesn’t know anything for certain, so what’s all the fuss about? Remove the enfleshed and speaking Word from the centre of your theology, and gradually the whole thing will unravel until all you’re left with is the theological equivalent of the grin on the Cheshire Cat, a relativism whose only moral principle is that there are no moral principles; no words of judgment because nothing is really wrong except saying that things are wrong, no words of mercy because, if you’re all right as you are, you don’t need mercy, merely ‘affirmation’.

Read the Whole Thing:

Bishop N.T. Wright's Christmas Sermon

Via Titusonenine


Human Law Cannot Punish or Forbid All Evil Deeds

As Augustine says, human law cannot punish or forbid all evil deeds, since, while aiming at doing away with all evils, it would do away with many good things, and woudl hinder the advance of the common good, which is necessary for human living. IN order, therefore, that no evil might remain unforbidden and unpunished, it was necessary for the divine law to supervene, whereby all sins are forbidden.

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Qestion 91, Article 4


Santa Claus Putting the Smackdown on Heresy

And we'll need new songs and TV specials ("Santa Claus Is Coming to Slap," "Deck the Apollinarian with Bats of Holly," "Frosty the Gnostic," "How the Arian Stole Christmas," "Rudolph the Red Knows Jesus").

Department store Santas should ask the children on their laps if they have been good, what they want for Christmas, and whether they understand the Two Natures of Christ. The Santas should also roam the shopping aisles, and if they hear any clerks wish their customers a mere "Happy Holiday," give them a slap.

Slappy Holiday



The following are a couple of poems of sorts I have written in the past few months, and for some reason I had the thought of sharing them with the world. I make no pretensions to poetic genius, and welcome all cold and ruthless critique of my word-smithing. But only if you are nice about it.


And all the trees of the field will clap their hands.
And all the fallen will stand upright again
When we all are gathered in.
And all the fragments thrown to the wind
Will be winnowed and set right again.

I am earthborn yet have been birthed
In the watery blood-washed womb.
Jesus grabbed my arm and turned my shoulder
And He stood me on my trembling feet
From the redwash clay whence I came.
For these many years under a faltering sun
Have I plowed in my father’s furrows
And broken through to heaven’s hold.
Drawing near to death He drew me back
My sight shorn down and gathered to a point.

My eyes are turned now to the eastern stage
Where rises the fire-flung colours of the breaking
Final evensong the herald of a dread epiphany.
I see the blood-wrung riders in the gathered dawn.
I see the spiraling choir frothing through the sky.
The sound of justice drawing near is broaching.
The air is heavy with the end:
Whirlwind loosed on the trembling earth
Whirlwind loosed in the hiding hearts.
I unafraid listen for the coming of that looming Day
When all the trees of the field will clap their hands.

Ode for the Southern Great Plains

Trees not lonely but pulsing orbs
In the breathing brown soil undersky
Unfound reeling horizion bounds
Unbeaten for scope and span
Heavens held up gainsay their weight
Roiling beyond the beckoning strand
Where meets the fleeing field and over
Gold flecked-through rolling robe
The holt-cloaked wending watervein
Intone some secret of earth and wold
All is bound under water air fire
What eye and mind cannot contain
The Holy Spirit over all alone
Filling the far-flung out rising
Upwards by distance lands

Untitled American

I am an untitled-American side street wanderer
I do not wish I had another wish left to spend.
My passport fell from my hand in a broken city
I waded in through the muddied waterroad.
Heaven is always above and somewhere within
And the road goes by the ten thousand things.

Oxen watering on the terrace wander down,
I am looking up at lonely stars through
The lost city haze and wondering whether
I could see you again on the dusty roadside
With the pomegranates and woven rice paddies
Our hiding place in the far flung out fields.

Over in me no mountain falls far enough
No valley winds its neck into the clouds
High enough to bower me in its womb
No strange tongue or rhyme will heave
Me through and under forgetting night

I am still thinking of you while I watch
The last bus leave for the purpled embassy.


Hand to the Plow

The new wave of arrests against underground priests is a failure, useless and childish. It only increases the number of sympathisers and vocations to the priesthood in the underground church. What is more, it pushes underground priests to seek greater co-operation with their counterparts in the official Church.

This, in short, is how Catholics see the latest arrests of underground priests in Hebei province: two priests on November 7; the Bishop of Zhengding Julius Jia Zhiguo (see photo) on November 9; six other priests on November 18.

All of them received the same treatment: “study sessions” consisting in endless hours of brainwashing to get them to join the Patriotic Association, the state-controlled organisation set up as a national Church separate from the Holy See.

The two priests arrested on November 7 were released but warned to “give up evangelising” and “go work on a farm”.

Still, hundreds of plain-clothed policemen have been sent out to monitor underground Catholic communities.

A priest from one of these communities told AsiaNews: “We shall not go back to till the soil. Times have changed and the way the government is treating the Church is childish. It only strengthens the faith and the enthusiasm of the faithful. It helps spread the Church’s influence more rapidly”.

Persecution strengthens underground Church in Hebei province