Continuing on my theme of depressing thoughts about the world from this morning, this article at The New Republic by Luke Mogelson reminds us that when the war in Afghanistan ends for the U.S. it does not mean the war in Afghanistan will be over for the Afghani people. The outlook is decidedly Augustinian.
Former US ambassador to the Holy See, Thomas Melady, penned the first of a series of blog posts running at the USCCB's blog on poverty. The blog series is to highlight "Poverty Awareness Month." You can read the Ambassador's blog post by clicking here.
If you want to feel depressed, think about the foreign policy challenges that face the nation in the next four years. Most of the debate in the coming weeks will be about the suitability of the three men selected by President Obama to lead his foreign policy team: Sen. John Kerry, former Sen. Chuck Hagel, and John Brennan. But, the deeper question is not how they will perform, but what options the US faces in the coming years no matter who is serving the President.
As mentioned, I spent the past five days surfing. Here is a video I found of the "Gloria" from Schubert's Deutsche Messe. We all know the Sanctus from that Mass, and it even found its way into the newest version of the Worship hymnal. A few years back, I discovered the Agnus Dei from that Mass and it is very beautiful too. But, this weekend, I came across the Gloria, sung at the Easter Vigil at St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna. Magnificent. Someone needs to translate this into the new English translation of the Missal and get it into our hymnals.
Over at Millennial, the blog by young Catholics but for all ages, Kate Gordon has a challenging essay about the way mental illness still occasions stigmas that we do not associate with other types of illness, and why as Catholics, we need to break down the barriers we erect around mental illness.
uI am sure that there are ways that former Sen. Chuck Hagel views the word differently from the way I do. I suspect I am a little more prone to support U.S. intervention than he is. I do not worry about his views on Israel - America is not going to abandon Israel and anyone who thinks we are is nuts. My worry is more that in a situation like the US faced in Bosnia, in which the United Nations was both feckless and destructive, finally being complicit, in the atrocities, Hagel might be reluctant to commit US troops and I was one of those begging for US troops.
For the past five days, I have been engaged in doggie rehab. Clementine is crate bound - she sees the surgeon for a follow-up today and hopefully will be able to enjoy the freedom of the house again after the doc signs off, although she will still be on restricted movement outside, no playing with her brothers for another two weeks. I set up the crate in a room I had not been using, brought down the futon and set it next to the crate, and arranged a makeshift desk to work in the same room, so that she is not ever feeling alone.
In 1929, Walter Lippmann published “A Preface to Morals.” I have forgotten to whom I loaned my copy, but there is one phrase from that work that I committed to memory the moment I read it. Lippmann wrote of the “acids of modernity” which eroded not only belief, but the disposition to believe. He went on, unsuccessfully, to ground a new basis for morals seeing as the older, more traditional sources of moral authority had fallen into disrepute, holding out the hope of “disinterestedness” as the basis of his moral vision.
The December unemployment report came out this morning, and the initial estimate is that the economy added 155,000 new jobs, which is good but not great.
Pope Benedict XVI's World day of Peace Message is gaining a lot of traction. Here is an essay from John Gehring at Faith in Public Life.