Universalis, your very own breviary in pixels...

Saturday, 31 January 2015


A college with which I have a slight collection has a new president.
Okay, good, genuinely Catholic, good, lots of experience, good.

I did a quick search, just to see if, I dunno... we might know anyone in common? what his areas of expertise are? his strengths? if he might in any way impact, (sorry, Sib, noun as verb alert, do you hate me?) the small corner that is dear to me, in that institution of higher learning?

One of the first links that comes up is the kind of story that leaves me shaking my head.

Now let me say this - obviously, everything on the 'net, and I now unequivocally mean EVERYTHING, (thank you vatican.va for trying to keep on top of the ever-changing current official translation of every word that issues from the Pope's mouth, it must be pretty thankless,)  needs to be taken with a grain of salt. And the link is from a website that describes itself as "powerful conservative voices."
And I think right-wing biased "news" is even loopier than its left-wing counterpart.
And I know that you seldom get both sides of a story here in the Kingdom pf Polemica.

Now I am not by any stretch of the imagination a "conservative."
I have never registered as Republican, (I have sometimes in the past registered as a Democrat,) I am all in favor of Big Government, the bigger the better; I believe we as a nation should pay for universal healthcare, I think the government should provide not just a safety-net but a dang near impermeable one, maybe a safety hammock; I think global warming is real and that mankind is responsible for, (and it is to be hoped, in a position to reverse,) SOME of it; I'm glad relations with Cuba are thawing, pleased as punch; and on balance NPR is a good thing.
Enough to establish my bona fides as a NotConservative?

And I also know that selective quoting is a problem here in our little Kingdom.

But I think I've gleaned the actual facts from this story, and it boils down to, when a Republican student organization wanted to put on a patriotic display with 9/11 memorial overtones, the Student Life office, led then (2009,) by the afore-mentioned newly appointed college president, (2015,) okayed it, but then thought better of having done so.

3,000 little American flags was the plan..

Instead, he suggested, (at that point, I believe it was a suggestion, judging form which words in reported-by-conservative story have quotation marks adjacent to them, and more, which do not,) that they put on the display they were putting on as he would have put on the display were he putting on a display which he was not. (Nor was the school. This was an initiative ofsome students.)

He wanted them to include other flags. And frankly, I think he was right, the September 11 attacks were an attack on not just the US, but on western civilisation, heck, civilisation in general. And people of other nationalities died in them.

I suspect the young Republican group is correct that this was administration-driven not reaction to sensitivity expressed by other students, but there's no evidence one way or the other in the story, and it's quite possible she was unaware of resentment from people who were trying to keep a low profile and be inoffensive in the differentness. ( The line that her "Saudi Arabian peers were even sympathetic" may be telling. "Peers"? I mean, were I trying to make the point that I'm not homophobic, say, my wording would be "well, my gay friends don't think....", NOT "well, my gay peers don't think...." One is left with the thought, well of COURSE you don't have any Saudi FRIENDS.)

So, requests, suggestions, nothing mandatory.... until  the Student Life official provided her with a“list of the countries that will need to have flags as part of the 9/11 remembrance.”


See, that's where the problem lies.

Yes, I think we've all read enough, too much, over the past few years regarding imbalances of power making it awkward, difficult, if not impossible to "say no," that these were not take-'em-or-leave-'em suggestions from the vice president.

That's political correctness run amok, and yet more evidence of the growing absurdity of certain people's, organizations' and movements' describing themselves as "liberal."

Thursday, 29 January 2015

You Know How I Loves Me A Good Turn of Phrase

In the combox at Fr Z's, a genius names the Masked Chicken took down a Chicken Little who bemoaned, no joke, "the widespread damage caused by the current English text."
But then, a larger leghorn:
Widespread damage??...
Anyone who can read Latin will know just how badly the original ICEL translation of the Latin editio really was. It was like listening to a reading The Pride and the Prejudice by Huckleberry Finn.

Bravo, Masked Chicken!

And now, a word from an Irish lass, Miss O'Blivious....

For one who wastes spends as much time online as I sometimes do, with certain such specific interests as I have, I marvel at for how long and how often I miss some things.

St Peter's List has been chugging away there, chock-a-block with Catholicish goodness for four years or so, but it is only in looking for something about yesterday's saint that I stumbled upon it., (and SPL borders on Thomolatry, so it was a good catch.)

(Oh, and that's a joke, the good people of SPL are disciples not worshippers of the Angelic Doctor.)

I really like the manageable helpings of deep and dense they offer the shallow and dense reader, such as myself.
Oh, and the... coinage? neologism?... of "Catholicish"?

Reminds me of a question that's been niggling at me today, ever since the announcement of the new protocol for the imposition delivery of pallia.

Part of the reasoning for part of the change, as I understand it, is that sacraments are what "interrupt" the Mass, being fitted in after the homily but before the Liturgy of the Eucharist, (or before the General Intercessions, for those as does'em.) In fact, the Vatican News Agency saysso.

And it is hoped that this will keep it from being "thought of as a Sacramental rite."

But isn't that exactly where, say, the Imposition of Ashes, which is a sacramental and not a sacrament, is to take place?

But anyway, my question was, if "a sacrament", (n.), is described by "sacramental", (adj.) -- what adjective analogously describes "a sacramental" (n.)?

Sacramentalish? sacramentally? sacramentalesque? sacramentaliscious?

We're treading perilously close to lay and lie territory here....

Thimk Before You Write

(See what I did there?)

In bemoaning the use of "literally" when "virtually" is meant, Dictionary.com tells us that Those Interwebs are "literally full of critics" who will object.

Now, I suppose one could argue that literally the critics are in the Internet, filling it, if the critics are, uhm... virtual critics, (algorithms and smarty pants programs,) rather than people.

Is there room for one more? Someone is wrong on the internet, my objctions must be heard!!!!!!!

But please, tell me you don''t think the Internet is full.

I couldn't bear it if there weren't room for more brilliant thoughts that could be expressed in 140 characters or fewer! 
And cats! there must be cats! we must have cats!!!!!!!! (if only to eat the critics pictured above.)

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Cool... and Cold!

Snow Altars for Mass for Wyoming Catholic College freshmen undergoing... what?  a sort of leadership exercise cum survival training?

THE LITURGICAL YEAR, but the Very Rev. Dom Posper Gueranger

As someone who badly misses the old card catalogues of my remote youth, I may easily be known as someone frequently distracted, often off task, and occasionally oblivious to something important that is.... in another car on my train of thought, (a train most susceptible to accidental uncoupling....)

Did I know that Gueranger's great work was available online? (I think I downloaded a kindle edition once that proved was not very useful because of some quirk or other, and this format is more useful to me.)
I do put a bit more effort into talking about the liturgical year with my CCD charges than I recall anyone ever doing with me, because the idea of seasons, and the Both/And rhythms of Catholic life seem to strike a chord with several of them. (Well, who's not going to like the idea of feasting before the Lenten fast, especially when it means chocolate?)

I've only ever read bits and pieces of it, always thought i should, and now it would be for pure love of knowledge of the subject since i am not nor probably ever shall again be charged with parish music direction.
So should I stop wanting actual books?
 I'm trying to divest myself of music, articles, books, etc. that were very hard found and acquired, (in some case, thank you eBay, hard won,) just a few years ago, but now virtually blooming, to be had for the plucking.

That's too many silly metaphors trains and flowers, and I digress... anyway, if I ever wanted it, there it is -
Let me be wise, let me fill up that harmony!
Liturgical prayer would soon become powerless were the faithful not to take a real share in it, or at least not to associate themselves to it in heart. It can heal and save the world, but only on the condition that it be understood. Be wise, then, ye children of the Catholic Church, and obtain that largeness of heart which will make you pray the prayer of your mother. Come, and by your share in it fill up that harmony which is so sweet to the ear of God.

What Does "Colored" Mean? she asked, incorrectly.

I ask this question as a pasty, slightly mottled, beige person.

Trying to read my email, I was confronted with headlines that Bandersnoot Comfyboats was "devastated" for accidentally saying something perceived as "racist," and having no ability whatsoever  to stay on task, (as we reproach six year olds,)  I of course followed the links.

In decrying the lack of opportunity for actors of ethnic and racial minorities, (or of oppressed majorities in some places, I suppose,) what he said was, "I think as far as colored actors go, it gets really difficult in the UK, and I think a lot of my friends have had more opportunities here [in the U.S.] than in the UK, and that's something that needs to change."
IIRC, when the movie film Gandhi came out a hundred years ago I was confused by the historical use of the world "colored" in, IIRC, South Africa.
I was told by someone that the term was used differently in different Anglophone countries, (and colonies,) and that a lot of times it simply meant "not like us," to tell the truth.

Irish and Italian immigrants to the US were "colored" at one time, weren't they?

I would have thought, it was obvious from the context that Bendyduck Slumbersnatch was expressing a position that is the furthest thing from racism. However, since the critic cited in the CNN report is based in London, (don't know here nationality,) and from her photo seems to be of an ethnic or racial minority, or of an oppressed majority in some places, she would be in a better position to know how offensive the word is or isn't.

On the other hand, notice the repeated use of the word "black" which I have certainly heard, um... white people reprimanded for uttering or writing in the US over the past decade or so, and been told IT was "offnsive" since "African-American" took its place as the Said Thing.
But of course, it's the only word that makes any sense to use in this context, since it's clearly not, or not mostly, about Americans.
On the other hand, the expression "African-American," is used, absurdly, when someone is being described of whose nationality we have no way of knowing, and that is just plain silly. I heard someone on the news once, in his PC zeal, (or perhaps in his terror of the PC police,) refer to someone as an "African American Frenchman."

And finally, I admit it is probably laziness on my part, but I have an aversion to extra letters and syllables being required by the suppression of a previously considered polite word or phase in favor of a more cumbersome one. And I don't know Bumbershoot Clamberbutch, but I think it not impossible that he wasn't referring to "black" people only, who are ill-done by the industry, but Pakistanis, and Maoris, and Guatemalans, and Lebanese, and Koreans, and Inuit and... well, you get the picture.

And a colorful one it is.

Monday, 26 January 2015

Definitions, "agnostic"

I always thought it was a sort of bet hedging, but no.
The true definition of "agnostic" is "having no garden gnomes". Not a lot of people know that.

A Permanent "Vacation From the Church"

The Non Catholic Rundown has an obituary for the late Richard McBrien. Oddly, I was just thinking about him last week, wondering, as I thought about how often I attend a Mass where I must damp down always too often smoldering anger at the disrespect and Solipsism with which liturgical ritual is treated, why he had not pooped up on my radar of late.
He had been very ill for a number of years and moved away from his power base.

Prayers going up for his soul; he was responsible for on of the most evil pieces of advice I had ever read in a Catholish periodical from someone entitled to wear a roman collar.

I boiled down to: your church makes you sad? stop going until someone there makes you happy.

Got that?
The woman poured out her frustrations, saying that the pastor had taken the parish back to a church that she knows nothing about...
In my reply, I wrote: “No, you are not simply to ‘get used to it’. Parishioners need to go elsewhere...
If there are no parishes or other worshipping communities in the vicinity where the pastoral leadership is healthy rather than driven by a narrow ideology, then one simply has to ‘take a vacation’ from the church until the skies finally clear and we are bathed in sunlight once again.” 

How perfect for members of the I'm-Spiritual-But-Not-Religious denomination.....

Actually, it's a kind of Donatism, isn't it? You'd think someone with a "knowledge of [the Church's] history" would know that.... unless he really didn't believe in the sacraments, as a source of supernatural grace.

Which I hope was not true.

May the angels lead him into Paradise....

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Closed Captioning and New Words

Okay, first, I know closed captioning is only ever even vaguely correct.

Now, as Himself becomes ever more troubled by ambient noise; and as we both realize The Young Folk and The Ethnic Minorities and The Racial Minorities will always, in a patois of which we will never recognize the slang and idioms because by the time we elderly learn them they will be passe, (but thanks for "keeping it 100," Larry Wilmore,) be incomprehensible; and as road traffic, especially during "season",  increases and will always continue to increase such that that the probability of a diesel truck or a motorcycle going by at the exact moment that dialogue providing an important plot point in a movie is spoken; and  since we watch ever more English imports; and since sound mixing now prizes 'splosions and auto-tuned background music over repartee; and finally, as diction as practiced by (especially American) actors becomes ever sloppier -- we will pretty much ALWAYS have the captioning on if it is available.

(Okay, and Mindy Kaling talks wicked fast.)

But I have to know --

When did "alright" become a word?

Friday, 23 January 2015

"Any Aroused Group was a Good Group, and Therefore I Accepted an Invitation to Talk to the Women’s Branch of the Ku Klux Klan at Silver Lake, New Jersey”

Any "aroused" group was a good group..... terrific choice of words, Margaret.

Who knew the KKK had a women's auxiliary?
And who knew it had a branch in Silver Lake?

And who knew Margaret Sanger, the Mother of Planned Parenthood and the House Majority Whip had so much in common?

why would the KKK be so interested in Ms. Sanger? The reasons are obvious, a natural fit.
Sanger was a passionate racial-eugenicist with a crowning vision for what she openly called “race improvement.” The Planned Parenthood founder lamented America’s “race of degenerates.” The nation’s landscape needed to be purged of its “human weeds” and “the dead weight of human waste.” This included the “feeble-minded,” the “insane,” and the just plain “idiots.” Sanger shared the disparaging view of humanity held by another progressive icon, Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, who declared that “Three generations of imbeciles are enough.” Like Holmes, and, for that matter, like Adolf Hitler—who was an obviously more aggressive racial-eugenicist—Sanger hoped to finesse and refine the “gene pool.” She would do so not with gas chambers and concentration camps but with birth-control pills, eliminating human life before conception rather than after birth. Thus, her Planned Parenthood, which was originally called the American Birth Control League.
One of Sanger’s favorite slogans, so much so that it adorned the masthead of her Birth Control Review, was this: “Birth Control: To Create a Race of Thoroughbreds.”
In this Sangerian vision, blacks were singled out.
Progressives today dare not raise the alarming specter of Sanger’s “Negro Project,” or her correspondence with Dr. Clarence Gamble, one of her Negro Project collaborators. In a remarkable December 10, 1939 letter today held in the Sanger archives at Smith College (I have a photocopy), Sanger urged Gamble: “We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population.”

HRH Elizabeth Regina, a Stone-cold Bad@$$

While the Twitteratti of the UK are at a loss to understand why Westminster Abbey honouring the king of a country where Christianity is banned, Amanda Taub on Vox has a ripping good yarn to tell, courtesy of a then- newly appointed ambassador to Saudi Arabia, takinga meeting with Hew Majesty:
At the time, Abdullah was technically still the crown prince, though he'd been de facto ruler for several years. During their meeting, [the Queen] gleefully recounted the story of Abdullah's first visit to Balmoral....
After lunch, the Queen had asked her royal guest whether he would like a tour of the estate. Prompted by his foreign minister the urbane Prince Saud, an initially hesitant Abdullah had agreed. The royal Land Rovers were drawn up in front of the castle. As instructed, the Crown Prince climbed into the front seat of the front Land Rover, his interpreter in the seat behind.
To his surprise, the Queen climbed into the driving seat, turned the ignition and drove off. Women are not — yet — allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia, and Abdullah was not used to being driven by a woman, let alone a queen.
His nervousness only increased as the Queen, an Army driver in wartime, accelerated the Land Rover along the narrow Scottish estate roads, talking all the time. Through his interpreter, the Crown Prince implored the Queen to slow down and concentrate on the road ahead.
That's right: Queen Elizabeth basically spent an afternoon using her military-grade driving skills to haze the crown prince of Saudi Arabia.
Result: Elizabeth 1, Abdullah 0.
One wonders, did Westminster abbey fly their flag at half mast for Saddam Hussein?

One Last, (or at least, so I hope....) to Tell Ya About the Rabbits, George...

A denizen of the combox over at First Things, (oh no!!!!! am I becoming a conservative??!??!?) brought up something that had not occurred to me before, about privacy (yes, ME, who inadvertently eavesdrops at confession!):
The Pope publicly condemned as "irresponsible" and a tempter of God an heroic woman who was having her eighth child by Caesarian. He specifically identified her as someone he had "rebuked" in a parish some months ago (i.e., not in the Philippines).
Worse, he publicly mocked her claim that she trusts in God, stating that God has provided NFP. He supplied enough identifiers to make it obvious to everyone who knows this woman that she was the object of the Pope's cheap shot. This is outrageous behavior for anyone speaking in public, much less a Pope who is portrayed as a tender and merciful pastor of souls (unlike his cold-hearted, law-bound, red-shoe-wearing predecessor).
How dare he? Furthermore, how does Francis know that the woman had not been observing periods of abstinence but that God has sent her another child nevertheless? Who is he to judge the woman's behavior and motives in public, during a press conference the whole world would hear? Saint Catherine of Siena was the 23rd of 25 children, born during the Plague that was decimating Rome. Was her mother "tempting God" and being "like a rabbit?"
I should add, the poster's name is vaguely familiar, in that, "I don't agree with that guy but I cant remember why" way.
But if you're right, you're right.
And I'm not going to do an Internet search because i don't want to know why I have, if i have, disagreed with him in the past.

How Proud the Members of His Denomination Must be

h/t to First Things.

Himself used to be a Methodist.
I know some very nice people who are Methodists.
So perhaps the title of the post is unkind, since it was meant sarcastically -- what I mean is, "how deeply ashamed people who belong to his denomination and pay his salary must be."

Nothing against sandwiches, I like'em too.
But it is clear from his apology expressions of regret for having been caught mocking the idea of working for the protection of innocent human life that, uhm.... yeah, he's pretty much okay with abortion.
But, Mr. Medford, I'll do my part to help it "make the rounds" - here's your "apology."

Here's what the UMC as a "nurturing community" says on the subject:
Our belief in the sanctity of unborn human life makes us reluctant to approve abortion.
But we are equally bound to respect the sacredness of the life and well-being of the mother and the unborn child.

Also note:
the Church's statements on social issues, such as abortion, represent the effort of the General Conference to speak to human issues in the contemporary world from a sound biblical and theological foundation. They are intended to be instructive and persuasive, but they are not church law and are not binding on members. Members will hold differing views on abortion. There is no requirement for members to agree with the Church’s view.
So, basically... whatever?

Very Important, MUST Read About Third Vatican Council

Father Hunwicke never fails to inform, and to engage, and to inspire:
For the second time in this pontificate, there have been rumours about a Vatican III.
Perhaps this would not be a disaster. Roberto de Mattei's magisterial book about Vatican II gives an account of the coup d'Etat, the tricks and dodges by which the Rhenish bishops and their associates took the Council over; of how disastrous it was that orthodox bishops were so slow in getting themselves organised. Perhaps today's orthodox bishops would benefit from the Lessons of History. History does not always repeat itself. Particularly if people have read it.
Go and read the rest of it there.
Oh, and just one more paragraph, his writing is peerless:
More than half a century after Vatican II, we are only just beginning to transform some of Circe's pigs back into men, and finding it hard, invidious, and contentious work. Would a Vatican III do anything to wipe the sweat from our brows? Or would it simply increase the burden?

A Little More About Why Humans Need Not "Be Like Rabbits"

The Pope was right -- we needn't be because we CAN'T be.
Our plumbing doesn't work the same way their does' does.

Did you know doe rabbits ovulate "on demand" as it were?

Or at least, so Those Interwebs seem to attest.
The actual way sciencey persons put it:
 Rabbits are induced ovulators
(I heard so this morning, so I thought I'd look in to whether it was just True Fax, the inventing of which is a hobby in which members of my family famously partake, or actual science. A vet friend also confirms, actual science.)
I think I read somewhere that the Holy Father was a chemist, so all this isn't exactly in his wheelhouse, but fair 'nuff.

Non-Catholic Rundown in Need of New Headline Writer

Why, why, why do the secular and non-Catholic press have trouble with this sort of thing?

Non Catholic Rundown has yet another story about a woman who wants to call herself a Catholic priest, (and they wish to indulge her in that desire,) in that Humpty-Dumpty way of pretending that words can mean whatever they want them to mean.

Firstly, I, as the new Managing Editor of NCR take issue with the headline that says this poor woman is "Kansas City's first woman priest" as she is either waaaay behind any number of Episcopalians in KC, (and how unecumencial, how cruel of the headline writer to insult our separated brethren and sistren in this way! remind me to fire him or her next time I go to work,) or, and this is my take on it, NOT A PRIEST AT ALL.

But even if she were a Catholic priest, would we want a shepherd so woefully ignorant of liturgical theology and the precepts of the Church?
Or, perhaps it is the WRITER who is woefully ignorant of liturgical theology and the precepts of the Church... (remind me to fire Dawn Cherie Araujo next time I go in to work.)
Walker says she plans to continue attending Mass at her parish church, St. James, though she will not be taking part in any liturgy.
"I'm not going to take Communion," she told NCR. "I won't in any way compromise the parish, but I attend to still be part of the community and go there for worship on Sunday."
Not taking part in the liturgy? Not taking part?
Have you no clear idea of what participation is?

One does not need to be prancing about to be taking part in the Liturgy.
One does not need to be in the sanctuary to be taking part in the Liturgy.
One does not need to be making any noise to be taking part in the Liturgy.

 (And I say that as a prancing, sanctuary-entering, noisemaker.)

And - hold on to your wigs and keys, Granny - one does not need to receive Communion to be taking part in the Liturgy.

(And I say that as an occasional Communion abstainer.)

Unless this poor lady pops a few sleeping pills and deliberately sleeps through the liturgy, or sticks her fingers in her ears for an hour muttering I can't HEAR you, la la la la! and closes her eyes and thinks of England.... she participates with her presence, her mindful presence.

Buying Cheap Stuff

Am I taking advantage of, actually supporting child labor, prison labor, slave labor when I buy inexpensive, no-name,almost certainly made in China technology online?

Any more so than if I had bought name brand technology at a big box store?

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

How'd Ya Miss THAT??!??

That's what Himself was asking, after I had mentioned the rabbit thing, but not told him, as was reported on the national news, that the Holy Father had mentioned considering giving someone "a kick where the sun doesn’t shine."

I'm wondering the same thing....

Seriously, how could anyone miss that?

Speaking of things I missed, (okay, the rabbit thing distracted me from some of the other gems, I suppose,) what do you take this to mean?
Let’s remember this: sinners yes, corrupted no, corrupted never. 
Has the theology of the "unforgivable sin" evolved in some way?
Some unrepented sins are okay, and others, (specifically, bribery, or institutional corruption,) not?

The Meaning of "Myth"

Speaking of martyrdom and myths, have you noticed that the meaning of the word "myth" has changed?

There's that Notre Dame professor, for instance, whose subject matter is actually martyrs in the early Church, (when the subject isn't, quit your fussing and pay for my birth control, which in her mind is a related topic.)

Well, you know, as a professor, she must be very smart, so if she has decided to redefine "myth" to mean, well, yeah, true, but not as bad as you're making it out to be...." we should take heed, right?

Other instances of this new usage of "myth" are to discredit reports of protesters chanting “What do we want? Dead cops!”, since other reporting had erroneously claimed that protesters were chanting "kill a cop," when they were actually referring to murderous police as "kill-ER cops."

Similarly, if you disagree on the causes of climate change, or the degree to which blame for it can be laid at various doors, you can refer to the whole dang thing as a "myth."

St Agnes and Other Child Martyrs

As we celebrate the memorial of St Agnes of it is a fine thing to contemplate the bravery and zeal of which the young may be capable.
Our priest this morning talked about how very little is known with any certainty of some of the early Christian martyrs, and how there have been times when  sensible Catholic were tempted to dismiss not just the details, but their entire stories as myth. One supposed fact clearly mitigating against the truth of Agnes's cult was here extreme youth when she was executed.

After all, he mused, cocking an eyebrow ironically, who would kill a child over religion?

A child is photographed, waiting to be killed by militants. ISIS uses these images to terrorize others and to glorify their spree of terror.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Christ did NOT say, "So long, and thanks for all the fish!"

I hope no one thinks I'm being sacrilegious, but I was meditating on John 14:18, and it occurred to me how easy it would have been for the Lord to say that He'd done His part, now it was up to us.

And I thought about this coming Sunday's gospel, and how He called the fisherman, and the title of the fourth volume of Douglas Adams' trilogy popped into my head.

Because He could have, ya know. 

Just joined the other 2/3 that make up Great Clockmakers Ltd., waved goodby and said, you're on your own now, guys.

But He DIDN'T.

Last Sunday we mostly talked around and about what Psalm 139 says about God and why we're precious to Him, why abandonment is an option He leaves only to us, that He will NEVER  do that.

And in keeping with my plan of throwing a lot of stuff against the wall in CCD and hoping and praying that even a tiny portion of it sticks... I think some may have.

I hadn't planned on going into details in discussing the 9 Days for Life, I intended to make only positive statements for the present, and to that end i had edited the word "abortion" out of the hand-out, (in a couple weeks we would have gotten to it, I feel very strongly that it should not first be brought up in the context of chastity.)

Well, I missed one.
And as I thought, a number of students did not know what it meant, so I explained as gently as I could.
But one knew perfectly well, and was pretty sassy about it. In what I suspect was a parroting of something he had heard an older family member say, he asked how anyone else had the nerve to tell parents what they could or could not do with their child.
Well, that's an easy one -- the law says they can't beat you. Do you think that's "nerve," should that be a parent's prerogative?

But as the discussion went on to other matters, I had a thought, and told my little interlocutor, and by the way, children don't "belong" to parents, you're not theirs -- you're God's.

And his pal sitting next to him turned to him and oooh, BAM!

So I guess mine was a successful debate point.

Some breed like bunnies, some chatter like magpies...

While on the subject of animals....

In retrospect, as an aspiring PUT*, I have decided to be offended on my parents' behalf over the Holy Father's remarks in transit from the far east.

But you are not to think I am so degenerate as to be insulting the Holy Father.
European Magpie

(* Professional Umbrage Taker)

Hey, who are you calling an ox?

Live and learn...
The above refers neither to St Luke, nor St Thomas Aquinas, but to sizing of women's clothing, to which, I am sure you are aware, many of us are somewhat sensitive, (what with pretty normal sized women being implicitly referred to as large pieces of furniture by famous designers, and all....)

Well, who knew there was such a thing as 0X? (that is a zero followed by a capital ex.)

I suppose the zero part is meant to flatter the potential purchaser who is of the large-but-not-as-large-as-she-could-be sort, (such as myself,) "zero" has a nice ring to it, but the subliminal message surely mitigates against separating the customer from her money?