Aliens in This World

An ordinary Catholic and a science fiction and fantasy fan.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Churches Burned in France's Riots

Via The Anchoress. I've "translated" and added links to Alex Corvus' list of Christian churches burned and Christian cemeteries desecrated in the riots by the "youths" earlier this month.

5th Night. 31 oct-01 novembre. Mon-Tues
- La Teste-de-Buch (33260 Gironde). Cemetery desecrated.

10th Night. 05-06 novembre. Sat-Sun
- Liévin (62800 Pas-de-Calais). Church. Incendiary device. Door.

11th Night. 06-07 novembre. Sun-Mon
- Lens (62300 Pas-de-Calais). St. Edouard Church. Incendiary device. Door.
- Sète (34200 Hérault). Church in l’Ile de Thau. 2 incendiary devices. Windows.

12th Night. 07-08 novembre. Mon-Tues
- Strasbourg (67000 Bas-Rhin). St. Benoît (St. Benedict) Church. Incendiary devices. [Le Figaro - 10 nov 2005.]

15th Night. 10-11 novembre Thurs-Fri
- Houdain (62150 Pas-De-Calais). Polish Chapel. Church ransacked. (see letter by Patrick Bednarek, president of Poland)
- Rance (Belgium). St. Aldegonde Church. Church vandalized.

16th Night. 11-12 novembre. Fri-Sat
- Vesoul ( 70000 Haute-Saône). Church. Door burnt.

17th Night. 12-13 novembre. Sat-Sun
- Brignoles (83170 Var). Church. Door burnt.

18th Night. 13-14 novembre.
- Nanteuil-lès-Meaux (77100 Seine et Marne). Cemetery desecrated.

19th Night. 14-15 novembre.
- Draveil (91210 Essone) 2 chapels burnt? in the evangelical church in des Bergeries.

20e Nuit 15-16 novembre. Mardi-Mercredi
- Romans-sur-Isère (26100 Drôme). St. Jean-d’Ars Church. Arson.

All links inside the quotes are my own; they aren't Mr. Corvus' responsibility. And I'm just linking to the pictures. (I don't read French, see, and I suspect that forum site may not be a nice one.) Also, this article says that it was the "presbytère" (rectory?) of l'Ile de Thau that got burned. Here's a statement from Chirac about the church burned in Romans-sur-Isère, which apparently got a big reaction. Here's a small picture. The evangelical church in Draveil is apparently a member of the Assemblies of God.

This site has a letter to the President of France about the whole thing, as well as various other comments abou the whole Muslim violence situation from Indonesia to France. Which is sorta interesting, given that it's apparently on the official site for the Arras diocese in France. If somebody reads French or Babelfish better than I, please translate!

Finally, somebody did burn a French mosque this week. I condemn this act too.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Confiteor Meme

Speculative Catholic has tagged me with a meme! So, since I won't remember in the morning if I don't fill it out now....

First of all, some folks may be wondering what a "Confiteor" is. That's the Latin word that starts the Penitential Rite at the beginning of Mass. You know, the bit where we say, "I confess to Almighty God, and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have sinned through my own fault...."

So the idea behind this meme is that we make some embarrassing but venial confessions. Hokily dokily. I can do that. No pressure....


I confess that I don't read my email very often. This is the real reason I got Google's Gmail -- so that I would have a giant hole in which to throw my email. One of the trials of my life is that I have to check my work email at least once a day. I used to love getting email. I'm really sorry that I find it such a trial now. But I really dread all the spam. I don't check my surface mailbox very often, either.

I confess that even though my apartment is full of books and music, I spend so much time on the computer that I rarely read or listen to CDs anymore. (This is one reason I started the audioblog.)

I confess that I skipped reading most classic non-poetry literature because it always sounded so boring. Boring covers, boring blurbs, boring forewords, no murders -- had to be boring. I only made exceptions for classics mentioned in science fiction, fantasies, or mysteries in a convincingly interesting manner. (This is another reason I started the audioblog.)

I confess that I would never have given opera a chance if it weren't for Irene Adler. But then I found out that executions, murder, and suicide are really fun to listen to!

I confess that I have a really hard time keeping in touch with people unless I see them all the time. This includes members of my own family as well as friends. The more I forget to call or write them, the more ashamed I am that I've forgotten, so the less I call or write them. But hardly anybody ever calls or writes me unless I do it first.

I confess that I am sick and tired of my elder brother and his wife quarreling with my parents, and that they all four should just suck it up and come to terms, or at least come to visit during the holidays. I hate seeing people cry when there's absolutely nothing I can do. They should at least cry at the people who can do something.

I confess that I put the "mess" in domesticity.

I confess that I'm enjoying reading this meme on other people's blogs way too much.

So I hereby tag... Joy, Steven Riddle, and Mixolydian Mode. No pressure. :)

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Eucharist Means Thanksgiving

I've been thinking a lot lately about one of St. Catherine of Siena's favorite phrases: "the table of the Cross". It's a phrase that neatly combines the aspects of the Eucharist as sacrifice and as meal". It is the Cross that is our altar and our table, and Jesus is the spotless lamb we offer to God and then eat.

Here's a passage from St. Catherine's letters:

"...reflect, dearest daughter, that this food is not taken upon earth, but on high, and therefore the Son of God chose to be lifted up upon the wood of the Most Holy Cross, in order that we might receive this food upon this table on high...This is a food which while we are pilgrims in this life, draws to itself the fragrance of true and sincere virtues, which are prepared by the fire of divine charity, and received upon the table of the cross...This is the food that makes the soul angelic, and therefore it is called the food of angels; and also because the soul, separated from the body, tastes God in His essential Being. He satisfies the soul in such wise that she longs for no other thing nor can desire aught but what may help her more perfectly to keep and increase this food, so that she holds in hate what is contrary to it."

The interesting thing about Catherine's table is that she keeps very strongly in mind that it does not have to be approached only in the Mass. She is a great one for spiritual communion, and likewise for offering up her own sufferings and frustrations. She is perpetually thankful for what Jesus suffered, and perpetually aware that she is a member, a body part, of the Body of Christ. But she always returns back again to the Eucharist of the Mass, and the table of the Cross where we eat the Body of Christ and drink His Precious Blood. That is where she believed a scholar got true knowledge -- by "feeding on the food of souls at the table of the holy Cross." And those who feed on Christ on the cross must suffer with Christ on the cross.

"...hungered for souls, on the table of the most holy Cross, in company with the humble and immaculate Lamb. I do not see, Father, that this sweet food can be eaten anywhere else. Why not? Because we cannot eat it truly without enduring much; it must be eaten with the teeth of true patience and the lips of holy desire, on the Cross of many tribulations, from whatsoever side they may come -- complaints, or the scandals in the world; and we must endure all things till death. Now is the time, dearest father, to show whether we are lovers of Christ crucified and rejoice in this food or not... there do you eat this food, bathed in the Blood of Christ crucified."

"Joy, joy in the Cross with me! So may the Cross be a bed where the soul may rest: a table where may be tasted heavenly food, the fruit of patience with quietness and assurance."

"Your Father fed His sons at the table of the Cross."

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!