“Just another guy with a blog.  No big whoop.”

April 2, 2010

Behold Him Whom They Have Pierced

Crucifixus etiam pro nobis sub Pontio Pilato, passus et sepultus est.


My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

Why art thou so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning.

O my God, I cry by day, but thou dost not answer; and by night, but find no rest. Yet thou art holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel. In thee our fathers trusted; they trusted, and thou didst deliver them.

To thee they cried, and were saved; in thee they trusted, and were not disappointed.

But I am a worm, and no man; scorned by men, and despised by the people.

All who see me mock at me, they make mouths at me, they wag their heads; “He committed his cause to the LORD; let him deliver him, let him rescue him, for he delights in him!”

Yet thou art he who took me from the womb; thou didst keep me safe upon my mother’s breasts.

Upon thee was I cast from my birth, and since my mother bore me thou hast been my God.

Be not far from me, for trouble is near and there is none to help.

Many bulls encompass me, strong bulls of Bashan surround me; they open wide their mouths at me, like a ravening and roaring lion.

I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax, it is melted within my breast; my strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue cleaves to my jaws; thou dost lay me in the dust of death.

Yea, dogs are round about me; a company of evildoers encircle me; they have pierced my hands and feet— I can count all my bones— they stare and gloat over me; they divide my garments among them, and for my raiment they cast lots.

But thou, O LORD, be not far off! O thou my help, hasten to my aid!

Deliver my soul from the sword, my life from the power of the dog!

Save me from the mouth of the lion, my afflicted soul from the horns of the wild oxen!

I will tell of thy name to my brethren; in the midst of the congregation I will praise thee: You who fear the LORD, praise him!

All you sons of Jacob, glorify him, and stand in awe of him, all you sons of Israel!

For he has not despised or abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; and he has not hid his face from him, but has heard, when he cried to him.

From thee comes my praise in the great congregation; my vows I will pay before those who fear him.

The afflicted shall eat and be satisfied; those who seek him shall praise the LORD!

May your hearts live forever!

All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the LORD; and all the families of the nations shall worship before him.

For dominion belongs to the LORD, and he rules over the nations.

Yea, to him shall all the proud of the earth bow down; before him shall bow all who go down to the dust, and he who cannot keep himself alive.

Posterity shall serve him; men shall tell of the Lord to the coming generation, and proclaim his deliverance to a people yet unborn, that he has wrought it.

Cardinal Arinze on how to discern alleged apparitions and "seers"

With all the voices clamoring for our acceptance of alleged apparitions these days, it's worthwhile listening to the advice given by this esteemed Cardinal on how to carefully and prudently evaluate the claims of the "seers."

On one hand, he reminds us that even canonized saints have been confused or mistaken in some detail or another of their recounting of events associated with authentic apparitions. On the other hand, His Eminence also warns that if an alleged apparition tells people to disobey the pope and the bishops, "it's not from heaven."

The term "Mormon" is back in vogue among Mormons

I have studied Mormon theology and history for nearly 25 years now (yes, I know that's an uncommon hobby for a Catholic), during which time I've seen a marked shift in the attitudes of many Mormons toward the moniker "Mormon."

While it was for many decades a generally accepted name for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (A.K.A. the Mormon Church), I recall meeting increasing resistance to the name from members of that Church. Many times I was gently admonished by them for calling them Mormons, rather than the preferred "Latter-day Saints" or, for short, "LDS."

Well, times they are a changin'. I was fascinated to read today about how the name "Mormon" is now back in vogue, mainly because the Mormon Church's study of search-engine data shows that, by far and away, more people search for "Mormon" than for any other variant.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports:

After a decadelong moratorium, Mormon is back. The name, that is. It will be on display everywhere this weekend as thousands gather for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' 180th Annual General Conference in Salt Lake City.

Where LDS leaders once were pushing members to call themselves Latter-day Saints, rather than Mormons, now the church-owned Deseret News has created the Mormon Times. "Mormon Messages" is on YouTube. The "Mormon Channel" is on the radio. And the faith's missionary Web site is mormon.org.

So what has changed for the nearly 14 million-member church? The Internet.

Last year, some 26.8. million people searched for the word "Mormon," 5.3 million hunted for "Mormons," and 1.3 million scouted for "Mormonism," noted Michael Otterson, managing director of LDS Public Affairs.

Although about 32 million searched for "LDS," church officials believe most of those were members. Few search for the official name.

"It's simply a reality that people think of Mormons, they don't think of Latter-day Saints," Otterson said Thursday. "Mormon is here to stay."

In fact, this weekend's two-day conference will be followed closely on blogs such as "Feminist Mormon Housewives," "Mormon Matters" and "Mormon Stories." (In the so-called bloggernacle, "Mormon" outpaces "LDS" in blog names by 3-to-1.)

Some wonder why the Utah-based church tried to jettison the nickname in the first place, especially after spending years and untold millions creating a "Mormon" brand. The tag line for its award-winning "Homefront" TV spots, for example, was, "Brought to you by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints -- the Mormons."

"Branding is a very difficult, lengthy and taxing process of attempting to influence the consumer mind at a basic level," said Kenneth Foster, a marketing research expert in Salt Lake City and a Mormon. "The church can't really back away from the use of the term Mormon, given the ingrained history of the term and resources the church used to establish it. A better strategy may be to embrace and revitalize it." . . . (continue reading)