May I discuss my operation?

24 days to cast-off.  Both will be removed on 1/24.  I expect circulation to improve in feet and ankles, which have become a mite tender with ankle-to-thigh protection.  For my recently re-attached knee tendons, that is.

The staples were pulled last week, on 15th day of the 12/12 surgery.  That was nice.  Now it’s only the wrapping and taping under the casts, in each of which he sawed a roughly four by six inch opening, a window to the wound, replacing it after his look-see and staple-removal.  Neatly done, in my hospital-style bed in our living room with a not-bad view from 2nd floor of Oak Park Avenue’s tree tops.

My occurrence at the Green Line OP Ave. station (not at Owl Creek Bridge, as in the Ambrose Bierce story) happened in mid-afternoon 12/11, when I missed a step and the cement landing came up to meet my knees suddenly and harshly.

More later on all that.  I’m getting tired of standing at the PC.  (Can’t bend knees, you know.)  As for the injury itself, for scholarly articles go here and report back to this blog.  Or don’t bother.  I am sure to tell you more than you want to know about it before this account ends.

Fred’s closer

Fred Thompson’s closing argument prompted this from a National Review Online commentator:

While the other contenders are frantically saturating the Iowa airwaves with 30- and 60-second attack ads—Romney is guiltiest, if only because he’s richest—Thompson has sat himself down, looked into a camera, and spoken for a quarter of an hour, calmly and straightforwardly making his case. I myself find this impressive—in a way, moving. Thompson seems to have stepped out of the eighteenth century. He trusts voters to think.

If you have 17 minutes, have a look-and-listen.

Unhappy Episcopalians, married Romans

Andrew Greeley returned the other day to the married-priest issue, emphasizing priests’ rather than lay people’s happiness, as he has in the past.  We must ask, however, if it would it be better for lay people if the clerical caste were undermined by sowing husbands, wives, and children among the bachelor crops.    . . . .

What’s in the face look?

“When they changed the mass from Latin to Spanish, it was a blessing for me,” says a member of St. Odilo parish in Berwyn who is not happy with the restoration of the traditional Latin mass.  

“It meant a fuller participation in the mass between the God, the priest and the people. Why would we want to look at the back of his head?”

With all respect to the lady with her genuine concerns, why would we want to look at his face?

This is a very good Chi Trib piece today by Margaret Ramirez about Fr. Anthony Brankin, St. Odilo, and the newly revived Latin mass.

The American movement

Easing back into this, still standing with full-leg casts at the raised PC, I couldn’t resist this item about a latter-day John Henry Newman heading to Rome from the Episcopal Church.  He is Rev. Alvin F. Kimel Jr., rector of St. Mark’s Church, Pittsburgh, who gave the news to his 200 parishioners in a letter.

“In the name of an ideology of radical inclusivity, the Episcopal Church has moved significantly away from the apostolic and catholic faith of Jesus Christ,” his letter read.

“With the decision made by General Convention two summers ago to approve the ordination of noncelibate homosexuals and the blessing of same-sex unions, it has, in my judgment, become heretical,” he continued.

“I cannot in conscience represent the Episcopal Church to the world, nor can I in conscience summon sinners into its fellowship,” he stated.

He’s the 80th Episcopal priest to take the path to Rome since 1980, when Pope John Paul II gave the go-ahead for married Episcopal priests to become married Catholic priests.  He will have to find a bishop to sponsor him, do an 18–month training (decompression?) program, and acquire his personal papal OK.

In my opinion, Roman Catholics should be pleased but should greet the news with sobriety.  It’s first of all a personal story, as was Newman’s, but of course with ecclesiastical ramifications of the first water.  The tradition-oriented Episcopal priest comes with wife and (four, presumably grown) children to take up duties as a Catholic priest, thus fulfilling a liberal Catholic’s dream.

With sobriety, I say, because Episcopalians are in an unhappy time these days, with the waves of antinomianism lapping at their foundations.  Bloody Queen Bess she may have been, though Belloc tends to give her a pass as caught in a political bind not of her making, but many Episcopalian faithful are holding on for dear life to the church of their fathers.


Deny Christ or die:

CBN aired a report on the murdered Christians–two Turkish converts who left Islam and one German national–over the summer. Watch and remember what true religious martyrs look like:

Here’s a You Tube video.

In Iraq another story completely:

“I came here to show the unity of the Iraqi people,” said the black- turbaned imam, Jassim al-Jazairi. “We are happy with the cardinal. We are very proud of any person, whether Christian or Muslim, who raises the name of Iraq in the international arena.”

This after mass said by new Iraqi cardinal at which:

“We are of one family, everyone should work for the progress of this country,” he said during his sermon. “We pray today for the sake of each other and to forgive each other, as well to be directed to do good deeds. That is my demand for the Iraqis, moreover I urge the return home for displaced people and immigrants to their ancestral land.”

Speaking no evil

Cardinal Mahony of LA was attacked in front of church last summer but never told police and does not now intend to file a report:

Cardinal Mahoney told the police by telephone that he had been dressed in a sports shirt and slacks on an evening in July when a man walked toward him outside Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral downtown, asking in a threatening tone if he was the cardinal. Cardinal Mahony, 71, told the police that the man pushed him to the ground and kicked him before running away.

Only in October, at a priests’ meeting, did he announce it publicly, even though he had been

so badly beaten that he was hospitalized and it took him several weeks to recover.

I definitely question his reticence in the matter.  The law was broken, and he kept it to himself?

Swinburne, straight flush, Pound

NOT TIRED YET . . . Began day the other day in disappointing fashion, reading Hugh Kenner’s The Art of Poetry, where he gave Algernon Swinburne poem which I liked, “Ballad of Burdens,” in which one burden, about “long living,” says:

Thou shalt fear/ Waking, and sleeping mourn upon thy bed/ And say at night, “Would God the day were here”/ And say at dawn, “Would God the day were dead.”

On which Kenner: “Probably everyone should read enough of Swinburne to get tired of him.”

WHOOSH . . . Sunday 12/2 Sun-Times head caught my attention, for story about #3 Chi cop chasing guys who copped flush handles off urinals at Kennedy-King College: “Alleged copper thief flushed out by police brass.”

POUNDING AWAY . . . Ezra Pound accused fellow poet Lascelles Abercrombie, of “public stupidity” and challenged him. A. suggested as weapon their unsold books at 50 paces.

Pound thought Harriet Monroe’s Poetry Mag not careful enough about quality of what it printed, took to calling it “Harriet’s Home Gazette.” They had been friends, but this tore it.

However, as a sort of poetry doctor, Pound helped fellow writers, including Yeats and Eliot, improve their work. He was “the man you called on when you were having trouble with your lines,” says 11/23/17 Times Lit Supplement reviewer Stefan Collini.

He also helped bail out “habitual sponger” James Joyce.

Writing to his mother from England in 1909:  What’s not interesting and important enough to “be put into poetry” is “hardly worth saying” except as way to put bread on the table. So he turned out “an article a day for weeks” in 1917, compared himself to “a highly mechanized typing volcano.” Was never salaried, had no interest in literary journalism.