Tuesday, September 04, 2007

The only commentator on television...

... that I give a fig for. The inimitable Keith Olbermann speaks the truth. If only we had a chorus of such folks!

To this we can add these words from Dan Froomkin in his WaPo article "Kabuki at Camp Cupcake":
What Bush Saw

More than four years after declaring " Mission Accomplished" in Iraq, Bush still can't make an announced visit to the war-wracked country.

But his supposed "visit to Anbar Province" was in some ways even more cynical -- and accepted even more gullibly by the media -- than his June 2006 visit to Baghdad. There, at least, he actually set foot on Iraqi soil.

This time, Bush visited Al-Asad Air Base -- an enormous, heavily fortified American outpost for 10,000 troops that while technically in Anbar Province in fact has a 13-mile perimeter keeping Iraq -- and Iraqis -- at bay. Bush never left the confines of the base, known as " Camp Cupcake," for its relatively luxurious facilities, but nevertheless announced: "When you stand on the ground here in Anbar and hear from the people who live here, you can see what the future of Iraq can look like."

via Atrios

On a happier note, today is not only the feast of Paul Jones, bishop and peace activist, but the 903rd anniversary of the Translation of Saint Cuthbert, when his relics were moved into the shrine of the new Norman cathedral in Durham. Though the old shrine was pillaged under Henry VIII, Cuthbert still rests on that site.

Holy Cuthbert, pray for us.

--the BB

Monday, September 03, 2007

The Joy of Leftovers

Blessed are those whose friends send them home with leftovers!

All right, it might not be found among the macarisms of Jesus but that doesn't mean it isn't true.

I am blessed to have known a number of fabulous cooks in my life, chief among whom is my BFF. For this blessed reason I came home with a huge chunk of grilled lamb last Wednesday evening. Now if "eternity is two people and a ham" (as aforementioned BFF has said more than once), one person with a huge bunch of lamb runs a close second. I have been enjoying the lamb but it was time for something different. (Thin slices of cold lamb with fresh pilaf is heaven but not for too many days in a row).

I thus decreed today to be Lamb Curry Day. [It is also, in the Roman Calendar, the feast of Saint Gregory the Great, a favorite saint of my BFF. The icon I wrote of said saint for said BFF is at the top of this post.]
Clockwise from top left: leftover lamb, yellow onion and garlic, cherry pepper*, caraway seeds, powdered turmeric, cumin, cayenne, sliced cherry tomatoes*, and a stick of cinnamon in the center. To all this I added ground almonds to thicken it, sundried tomato paste, a little bit of chicken bouillon (yes, I cheat, a bouillon cube and water heated in the microwave), sea salt, and some heavy cream.
My wings will undoubtedly be ripped off for not going out into the yard for a sprig of fresh basil to garnish the plate, but there you have it. Lunch.

I am so glad I learned to cook. Thank you Jesus and Holy Mother Mary. And all those cooks over the years, domestic, professional, and institutional.

Happy Saint's Day, Snooks!
--the BB

Theology meme: the commitments of theology

I found this little game on Holy Vignettes (with the lovely motto: "I have faced my demons and now they clean my room"). You may see HV's answers here.

Finish these sentences. (And explain why you say what you do, if you like giving explanations!)

Theology exists to ________________.

If someone reads my theological writing and only remembers one thing afterwards, I want it to be ___________________.

No matter what topic we're dealing with, theologians must take into account ___________, because we ignore it at our peril.

Everybody finished? OK, pencils down.

Here's what I wrote (off the top of my head).

Theology exists to articulate our experience of the Divine.

If someone reads my theological writing and only remembers one thing afterwards, I want it to be that you and all creation are cherished by God.

No matter what topic we're dealing with, theologians must take into account the Holy Spirit, Whom we ignore at our peril.

I am not going into extended explanation here. For me our experience of God has priority and is primary theology. Our response, including worship and service, is secondary theology. Trying to understand these and articulate this understanding is tertiary and what we commonly call theology.

In Hindu terminology (ooh, he's getting heterodox now) I would be a bhakti yogi, following the path of devotion. My theology is a mystical theology of the heart, so it is no surprise that I emphasize the love of God.

Finally, when I first read about the centrality of the Holy Spirit in Eastern Orthodox thought and piety--way back in Baptist seminary days--I was instantly moved to say, Of course! I have been ruthlessly and delightedly pneumatological in my theology ever since. I quite agree with the Orthodox critique of Western Christianity for its minimizing of the Holy Spirit, though I do not fall within the charismatic camp. --the BB

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Lest we forget

Thanks to the Group News Blog. They comment as follows:
Don't Forget to Breathe

The above video shows the aftermath of graphic violence, blood, death. Mostly it shows war. And people who want us gone. Soldiers caught up in war. Except for the first shot, which makes a statement, after a bit it all blured together. Kind of the problem.

--the BB

Sunday morning worship

I know the feast of the Transfiguration (August 6) has come and gone but this is just to provide a visual focus while y'all soak up the glories of some Russian liturgical music. Thanks to David Charles Walker on whose blog (On the Beach) I came across the clip. And to Jonathan (aka madpriest at OCICBW) for pointing me to On the Beach.

Bask in God's presence.

--the BB