Václav

posted by Kaihsu Tai on January 2nd, 2019

A recent sermon on the carol Good King Wenceslas reminded me of this text of mine six years ago:

Quando dou comida aos pobres, chamam-me de santo. Quando pergunto por que eles são pobres, chamam-me de comunista.

When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why they are poor, they call me a communist.

Hélder Câmara

In the carol, King Wenceslas did everything right to be called a saint. The “poor” was “gathering winter fuel” on St Stephen’s. Who would collect the fuel otherwise? When else? – What other time? What’s wrong with collecting fuel? Even if it were wrong, the king’s response was not – “Let’s reorganize the system for energy in the neighbourhood around my palace” but to call his page. All right – a feast might be had by all on St Stephen’s if the entourage made it to yonder the poor’s.

But on the festival of St John the Evangelist, on the Day of the Holy Innocents, the King remains king, the page page, the poor still poor. Only that the King now sleeps sounder on the 27th of December and will not look out. He may then commission the carol writer later in the afternoon for his hagiography. The unnamed “poor man” does not stop collecting winter fuel – even come January.

(New Year’s Day 2013)

posted by Kaihsu Tai in Christmas, Hagiography, Heresy | on January 2nd, 2019 | Permanent Link to “Václav” | No Comments »

Credo

posted by Kaihsu Tai on December 14th, 2018

Credo – uskon siihen, että: Taivas ja Maa on täynnä Jumalan kirkkautta. Hänen luomakuntansa avautuu kuin sateenkaaren värit kirkkaasta valosta. Rauhan liiton merkki on monivärinen. – Mekin kaikki saamme osallistua Jumalan ikuiseen liittoon. Kun syömme yhdessä, leipä ja viini tulevat meille lihaksi ja vereksi. Näin osallistumme Kristuksen seurakuntaan. Hoosianna! – Pyhä Henki liikkuu meissä, kun puhumme ja ymmärrämme toistemme kieliä. Näin osallistumme taivaan valtakuntaan.

Credo – I believe: Heaven and Earth are full of the glory of God. God’s creation opens up like the colours of the rainbow coming out of the bright light. The sign of the covenant of peace is multicoloured. – We too can participate in the eternal covenant of God. When we eat together, the bread and the wine become for us flesh and blood. This is how we become part of the fellowship of Christ. Hosanna! – Holy Spirit moves within us when we speak in tongues … when we understand each other’s languages. This is how we get to the realm of heaven.

posted by Kaihsu Tai in Catechism, Finland, Heresy | on December 14th, 2018 | Permanent Link to “Credo” | No Comments »

[plate clatters] [sighs]

posted by Mike on August 28th, 2018

Five years ago I went to the mass celebrating the election of this pope feeling ill over the first round of allegations against him. This weekend I went to mass feeling ill over the latest ones. In between, I’d hoped that the church would change, if not radically, then at least in that it would prioritize justice and healing for its victims. In some places [PDF], maybe this has happened. In the top ranks, apparently not so much.

Some of my Catholic friends have reminded me that we should live in hope, that maybe something really good will come from this summer’s revelations. I’m not feeling that way. Every morning I wake up feeling as disoriented as Sheriff Ed Tom Bell. On bad mornings I feel as impotent, too.

Lenten gameplan, 2018

posted by Mike on February 14th, 2018

A: As Lent approaches, I am both grateful that Facebook remains the *perfect* thing to “give up,” as well as a bit concerned that what with recent Facebook timeline tweaks making it more boring, the time may soon come when giving up Facebook is as blah as giving up LinkedIn. Maybe we didn’t know how good we had it…

B: Resources. Do I want to waste either of our time pointing you to some good resources? If there’s one thing our cup overfloweth with in 2018, it is resources.

C: Elizabeth Bruenig at Harvard Feb 20: “Religion, Politics, and the Left.” The last time both Bruenigs spoke at Harvard it was not only a great lecture it drew a really fun crowd. Let’s rideshare to this Liz-only talk Worcester buds. (In her last talk she did say of the Catholic Worker movement, “While it was flourishing, it was pretty impressive.” We will overlook that.)

D: Discouraging pope news of the season. Part 1: “Despite denial, Pope Francis got Chilean abuse victim’s letter.” (But see also “Reactions after Pope Francis’s decision to send a top prosecutor to Chile.”) Part 2: “Vatican Sells Out Chinese Catacombers.” (But see also “Why the Vatican’s potential deal with China is a good thing” and John Allen’s “Explaining why the Vatican seems so eager for a deal with China.”)

posted by Mike in Items, Lent | on February 14th, 2018 | Permanent Link to “Lenten gameplan, 2018” | No Comments »

Sata vuotta sitten – one hundred years ago

posted by Kaihsu Tai on December 3rd, 2017

Pohjois-Haagan veljeshauta
My rough translation of a first-hand account of the Finnish Civil War, from a 1960 book. The citation and a link to the original text is at the end.

On the way to armed struggle

Dr J. A. Pärnänen had been the headmaster of the Workers’ Education Institute [in Tampere] since 1908. He made sure that the lecturers were not only academics with just master’s degrees or mere doctorates, but also professors from universities – occasionally also lawyers. As 1918 approached with all its tensions, he wanted a lawyer to come to explain to the youth about the new Acts on local elections, which were passed after much controversy. The job fell on the secretary of the city council, a young lawyer [the author himself]. Read the rest of this entry »

posted by Kaihsu Tai in Advent, Books, Finland, Hagiography, Weapons | on December 3rd, 2017 | Permanent Link to “Sata vuotta sitten – one hundred years ago” | Comments Off on Sata vuotta sitten – one hundred years ago

Jaana Hallamaa

posted by Kaihsu Tai on June 18th, 2017

Ei kukaan saa yksin mitään aikaan. Vain paha on yleensä nopeaa, ja silloin se vaikuttaa välittömään reagointiin, välittömään muutokseen. Hyvähän on yleensä hidasta, koska hyvä rakentaa jotakin perustaa. Hyvä on hyvää vain, jos se on toisen käytössä, jos se on sellaista, mitä toinen voi käyttää. Hyvä antaa asioita toisen käyttöön, jolloin sen toteutuminen on kiinni myös siitä, mitä se toinen tekee.

Jaana Hallamaa haastattelussa Etsijä-lehdessä 1/2017.

Loosely translated:

Nobody gets anything done just by themselves. Usually, only Evil goes quickly, and invites immediate responses – knee-jerk reactions. In contrast, the Good is often slow, because it builds something radical. The Good is only good, if it is such that the Other can use – at the service of someone else. The Good gives for someone else to use, and gets things done taking into account what the Other is doing.

Jaana Hallamaa in an interview in the journal Etsijä 1/2017.

I refer you also to the theory of the Good by Robert Merrihew Adams; and to Henri Nouwen who talked about the spectacular Death which goes “boom” (e.g. in The Road to Peace edited by John Dear).

posted by Kaihsu Tai in Catechism, Finland | on June 18th, 2017 | Permanent Link to “Jaana Hallamaa” | Comments Off on Jaana Hallamaa

First Sunday of Advent, 2016

posted by Mike on November 27th, 2016

For it is God who has made my heart faint, the Almighty who has terrified me. --Job 23:16

Most years I’m eager to plan for Advent or Lent, to bring my own creative energy to these ancient traditions.

This year, though, that doesn’t feel quite right. It seems a better course of action would be to talking these things through with a spiritual director instead of my usual planning by brainstorming in casual conversation or on social media, with a bit of prayer.

If you shared this insight with me I’d wonder if you were depressed or perhaps unusually busy, but for me, this year, I think this instinct comes from my religious practice being in an unusually good place, and wanting my seasonal devotions to have an integrity and depth that’s going to require a wisdom and perspective other than my own.

So this Advent, I’ll be preparing for Christmas by lighting candles and saying seasonal prayers, while keeping my eyes open for the right spiritual director, who’s sure to turn up sooner than I expect. That’s how these things tend to work out.

Ona Kiser:

I had a humorous conversation on this topic with a friend the other day, regarding giving up things for Lent or Advent. If we choose what to give up, that’s not a bad thing, but there is nearly always vanity in it. Maybe we choose something heroic, so that we feel good about how tough we are. Maybe we choose something too easy, because we don’t want to feel like a failure. Either way we are protecting our pride. On the other hand, if one asks ones confessor or director what to give up, one is assigned something that may or may not be pleasing. One may think it too hard, or too easy. Being given easy tasks or renunciations is very difficult for me, for instance, because I like people to think I’m tough and capable and good at things. I want the hard task to show off how I can do it.

wp-image-1147166230jpg.jpg

posted by Mike in Advent | on November 27th, 2016 | Permanent Link to “First Sunday of Advent, 2016” | No Comments »

Orthodox feast of Leo the Great

posted by Kaihsu Tai on February 19th, 2016

Thursday was the feast day of Leo I the Great, Pontifex Maximus, according to the Eastern Orthodox calendar. So let’s remember how he dealt with Attila. Then the next day, this quote was reported:

If and when the Vatican is attacked by ISIS, which as everyone knows is ISIS’s ultimate trophy, I can promise you that the pope would have only wished and prayed that Donald Trump would have been president because this would not have happened.

Sanders it is then.

Metroaseman pyhä – Sanctus in a metro station

posted by Kaihsu Tai on January 3rd, 2016

Pyhä, pyhä, pyhä Herra Sebaot! – Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus Dominus Deus Sabaoth.

Taivas ja maa on täynnä kirkkauttasi. – Pleni sunt caeli et terra gloria tua.

Hoosianna korkeuksissa! – Hosanna in excelsis.

Siunattu olkoon hän, joka tulee Herran nimessä. – Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini.

Hoosianna korkeuksissa! – Hosanna in excelsis.

posted by Kaihsu Tai in Finland, Prayer | on January 3rd, 2016 | Permanent Link to “Metroaseman pyhä – Sanctus in a metro station” | Comments Off on Metroaseman pyhä – Sanctus in a metro station

Selkorukous

posted by Kaihsu Tai on November 15th, 2015

Taivaan Isä, me rukoilemme sinun kirkkosi puolesta:
meidän Haagan seurakuntamme puolesta,
oman hiippakuntamme
ja piispamme Irja Askolan puolesta.
Read the rest of this entry »

posted by Kaihsu Tai in Finland, Prayer | on November 15th, 2015 | Permanent Link to “Selkorukous” | Comments Off on Selkorukous