Thursday, August 25, 2011

A reply to a comment on a post of Fr. D. Longenecker

cc. to Fr. Dwight.

Dear Steve,

I'm writing here, because it turned into what I think is a "blog post", not a comment, and the good Father has (iirc) requested generally that we blog these things rather than stand in his sitting room to rant at the world. So, here we are.

Certainly the words of scripture with which the Blessed Sacrament is confected are taken from accounts of the Last Supper, (Gospel and Epistle); I think in some Missals there is a heading "Commemoration of the Last Supper" to name the relevant section of the Roman Canon. But that section of the Canon is not the Mass, it's not the end of the Mass, it's not the purpose of the Mass. Maybe it's the peak, the perfection... But the purpose of the Mass is to offer the One Sacrifice of Our Lord unto Our Lord Father, and to feed and strengthen first the Priest celebrant for his sacramental works, and then to feed the members of the Body of Χρ. with the Body of Χρ. It isn't belittling of the Commemoration to acknowledge the primacy of other ends; rather, it belittles the Mass to inflate the Commemoration!

It even belittles the meaning of the Last Supper. One may recall a letter of Paul, covering the subject of eating meat sacrificed to idols; it is helpful to note that this was the fate of most sacrificed meat: it would be eaten. And if any was to be eaten, the priest making the sacrifice would always have a share; so notes St. Thomas (ST III.82.iv.Respondeo). The very pious and special sort of sacrifice called a holocaust was an unusual and exceptional thing --- and difficult! You may recall that God commanded a holocaust of captive Amalek, which Saul tried to spoil. But Jesus' self-sacrifice is paterned on the ordinary sort, after the Pasch (but becomes a holocaust in the eating!); but we cannot eat anything in the accidents of human flesh, and the apostles could not have done so. Whenever by a miracle the accidents of human flesh are restored in consecration, that host has been reserved, and not consumed. The Body of our Lord given at the Last Supper is how the apostles first partook of the One Sacrifice. Hence, to exaggerate the supperness of the Last Supper --- meats and fruits unspecified, e.g. --- is to ignore that even the Last Supper was a participation in the Body of Our Lord.

That is all.

In Christ's charity,
the undersigned

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

With deepening gratitude

Dear Visitors,

Today we are prime! In four more years, I shall really have come of age; who knows if I'll still be 'blogging then? We cannot look too far ahead, afterall.

Have some cake!

who, of course, shall pray for you

Friday, August 19, 2011

Fragments, interruptions.

I don't usually like sharing unfinished things, but this--- I think I wanted to, in my laconic mood.

Shall I bring thee roses, roses white?
Oh! That my heart were pure as these were bright.
In thy sight, shall I bring thee roses red?
Oh! Give me the joy in which martyrs bled!

For the kind light of thy soul's windows,
How short of enough, to bring thee rose?

Shall I bring thee lilies and irises gold?
Oh! Spoke I fair as my heart would be bold ---
With Lilies of ochre and irises blue,
Could I tell all my hopes? Would you know I was true?

Solomon's envy, van Gogh to inspire
What can they avail to assuage my desire?

... There ought to be more, and I'll have to tighten up the meter (or maybe not!) but it occasioned this next long-lost, long-awaited little verse--- which is quite insufficient, given how long it took, I'm sure; which also fits the preceeding theme.

A Short Verse

The neighborhood children make dandelion bunches
With interspersed clovers and shamrocks assorted
For innocent sweethearts and mothers seraphic,
While running the fields where they ate picnic lunches.

Anyways. Now that we've got that out of the way... !

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Credit where due.

It seems to be working, again. Hooray!

Thanks, Gmail!

the gadfly

Monday, August 15, 2011

Harumph... please don't kill my accounts?

Dear Gmail Team,

I can't find your address, and you seem to have delegated the task of user support to supportive users, so... an open letter in the aether.

I don't know how or why you did it, but the physical keys ↑, ↓, Home, and End no longer produce any effect upon the gmail page, though mouse-fiddling the scrollbar does what it should. This is, as I'm sure you understand, annoying as an inaccessible mosquito bite. For reference purposes, I'm using a 6.0 Firefox browser within a linux-based X.Org environment -- not that those last two points should matter.

Please fix.

a user who tries to be knowledgeable

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Enough Muddling

Your Majesty,

--- and all ye younger majesties heir to the body, hearken and take note --- I don't often question your wisdom in matters of your own craft, but I weep to think whatever on earth can be holding your wrath in restraint at this moment.

Your civilian police are effectively on strike; your parliament and prime-minister are in revolt (and quite possibly have even lost their pragmatic get-re-elected sense), and an uncomfortably large segment of your subjects have gleefully lost all self-control. If the rain does not fall soon (rorate coeli desuper!) to quell these flames, it will be to your greater ignominy and imperial humiliation if you do not risk physical humiliation and lead your cavalry in containing the wanton burglary, theft, and destruction that are even now entertaining so many stupid and cruel urchins. They desperately needed their mother or grandmother to step in and give them a proper scolding! And since their natural mothers and grandmothers seem also to have quit, gradually we find the need devolves up to the head of the First Family --- the Royal family. That is, your majesty, you.

I see today the prime-minister has sought the counsel of a non-subject who says "thugs must be taught to fear the Police"; certainly that will be a necessary first step, but really, these thugs must be taught to love their neighbor. This means they must be taught that their neighbors are lovable; this they will not learn if you, their mother-in-figure, do not act to protect their neighbors from wild stupidity.

Humbly yours,
A colonial observer

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sanity is a wonderful thing, yes?

Dear Gil,

Such a wonderful thing, that I'll not think too much about it, just now (it's too good to contemplate closely, if you know what I mean?) but celebrate a particular instance of sane writing, in this case by the authoring of one Rob Schneiderman. It has, as is (alas!) all-too-necessary, a tone edging on polemical; but it reads nicely for all that and is just so delightfully chock-a-block with common sense.

The thing is presented as a PDF, by the American Mathematical Society here, called "Can One Hear The Sound of a Theorem". This is a play, at the very least, on famous old analysis papers, titled "Can One Hear the Shape of a ..." --- "Bell" and "Drum" have both appeared, but there may be others. (In case you're interested, the answer in the "Drum" case is "Yes, if..."; such answers are annoyingly frequent in analysis.)

I can't help but wonder if the mischievous Hoftsadter isn't indirectly resposible for some of the nonsense fried up in the present article, what with his Crab reading squiggles as beautiful music (or bad) that Achiles thought were arrithmetic theorems (or wrong ... or nonsense); they were prevented by tea-house etiquette from playing the Goldbach Conjecture to see what it sounded like. I thought old Douglas had clearly meant it as a joke, you know? But, anyway...

Won't you drop by for tea, some time?

some sort of chap

Monday, August 1, 2011

An opposite limit theorem

This is something that those who ought to know these things usually do know, and eventually figure out in any case. So if it isn't usually part of your work to know these things, don't fret; I really ought to have learned it much sooner!

Suppose $D$ is a category with a terminal object, say $z$, and let $F:D\to C$ be any functor. Then the natural transformation $F0 : F\to Fz$ is initial among the category of objects $x$ of $C$ with natural transformations $F\to x$.

That is all.