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rusmeister
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fist and Faith wrote:
Odd. It didn't require a credit card for me.

And you sure pick odd things to lecture about. Yeah, of course, that's how credit cards work. The interest is their salary. That's how they get paid for the service they provide. Fortunately, owning or using credit cards is not required.

It may seem odd to the person who takes the common practice today for granted - but people who remember how different it was in the 1960's and even 70s would see the stark contrast. Used to be that only people with good jobs got credit cards at all, and only people who paid off their debts kept them. The big change slapped me in the face when I went to college (after my military service) in '89. All of a sudden they were offering them to everyone, job notwithstanding and credit history irrelevant.

That's all OT, of course. And they do frequently require them for access to various services - like the one you offered me, even though they say "You credit card will not be charged" (we still want all of its details anyway).
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Still, that's how they work. You get to buy things despite not having money. And the interest is how you pay for that ability. It's pretty basic. Those who get in trouble do so because they were stupid. Some because they were desperate. (I'm among the former.) It's not the fault of the credit card companies, who did exactly what they said they would, and now expect the same from us.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 6:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

However, credit card companies used to only offer cards to people with stellar credit -- then found out they made more money from people with mediocre (not bad) credit. They want you to carry a balance, because that makes them more money.

So, as in so many things, the desperate and/or foolish are the ones who pay the most.

These days, if you have no balance, and you don't use the card, the company doesn't want your business, because you aren't generating any revenue for them.

dw
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

But it's still voluntary, neh? And we know what we're getting into. Those who thought they could pull a fast one should shut up. And those who knew they would get in too deep, but saw no other way to feed their kids, probably don't regret it the same way.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Back to this:
rusmeister wrote:
Fist and Faith wrote:
He was one of the two main characters in one of the best movies ever: Chariots of Fire.


A movie that I would very much like to see, if anyone has a link to a free viewing... (I am still unable to pay for stuff online)

Shoot! I see what you mean. Tried it here:
bobthemovieman.com/watch-11632-Chariots-of-Fire
And the credit card info is required for a free membership. Personally, I would do it, because I know someone who has, and it hasn't been a problem. But if you're not willing or able, I'm losing hope that you'll see it via streaming video.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Give me some time, and I'll post a few links to a streaming of the movie.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 2:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fist and Faith wrote:
Back to this:
rusmeister wrote:
Fist and Faith wrote:
He was one of the two main characters in one of the best movies ever: Chariots of Fire.


A movie that I would very much like to see, if anyone has a link to a free viewing... (I am still unable to pay for stuff online)

Shoot! I see what you mean. Tried it here:
bobthemovieman.com/watch-11632-Chariots-of-Fire
And the credit card info is required for a free membership. Personally, I would do it, because I know someone who has, and it hasn't been a problem. But if you're not willing or able, I'm losing hope that you'll see it via streaming video.

Another problem that raises its head is "This video is only available for viewing within the United States" blah blah blah...

Reminds me of Sesame Street's "The Count" saying "I told you it wouldn't be easy..."
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 3:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DukkhaWaynhim wrote:
However, credit card companies used to only offer cards to people with stellar credit -- then found out they made more money from people with mediocre (not bad) credit. They want you to carry a balance, because that makes them more money.

So, as in so many things, the desperate and/or foolish are the ones who pay the most.

These days, if you have no balance, and you don't use the card, the company doesn't want your business, because you aren't generating any revenue for them.

dw

Yes, that's pretty much what I'm saying. (Look we agree on something! Very Happy )
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"These are the days when the Christian is expected to praise every creed except his own." G.K. Chesterton
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 3:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, as I said, I can send you one. Assuming postage isn't crazy (sending books to South Africa is very reasonable), it's not any sort of problem. It's usually in the $5 bins at various stores.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 4:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fist and Faith wrote:
Well, as I said, I can send you one. Assuming postage isn't crazy (sending books to South Africa is very reasonable), it's not any sort of problem. It's usually in the $5 bins at various stores.


Looks like your best bet, I can find it on my usual links.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2021 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

+JMJ+

Good Friday: All you who pass this way, look and see [Opinion]

Quote:

A crucifix is seen at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles on Palm Sunday, March 28. (CNS/Victor Aleman, courtesy of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles)


Every Good Friday, at St. Matthew's Cathedral in Washington, one of the hymns we would sing during the veneration of the cross was the Taize chant: "All you who pass this way."

Like all Taize chants, it is haunting both in its plaintive simplicity and its beauty, always the most profound artistic combination. These are the words of the hymn:

Quote:
All you who pass this way, look and see,
Is any sorrow like the sorrow that afflicts me,
All you who pass this way, look and see,
Women of Jerusalem, do not weep for me,
But for yourselves and for your children.
All you who pass this way, look and see,
Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.
All you who pass this way, look and see,
My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
All you who pass this way, look and see.

Do we look? Do we see?

Of all the Christian holidays, this is the day from which there is no uplifting message to be drawn. There are no ethical lessons to be drawn: Today is about something deeper, something more primordial in Christian spirituality than mere ethics. It is the artists, not the essayists or theoreticians, who come closest to expressing the abysmal horror of this day, reaching into the depths of our souls. Can anyone listen to the hymn above and not get choked up? Can we gaze upon a sculpted or painted Pietà and be unmoved?

All Christian worship points us beyond the horizon of human cognition, but it is Good Friday that most distinguishes the Christian faith from all others. Moses died an old man as did Muhammad and the Buddha and Confucius. The idea of a crucified God is, as St. Paul wrote to the Corinthians, "a stumbling block to the Jews and folly to the gentiles" (1 Corinthians 1:23). It turns everything upside down. The Mystery, the Absolute, are always beyond the horizon, but Good Friday brings the Mystery into that most granular and tactile of human events, death.

Before the crucified Christ, we fall silent. It is fitting that the celebrant enters the sanctuary today in silence. It is fitting that today there is no organ music, no manmade instruments, in our liturgy, only the human voice. It is fitting that today the red vestments evoke both martyrdom and the presence of the Holy Spirit who alone permits us to see through the eyes of faith that this horrific, painful, dreadful image of a man being executed in such a cruel manner has become, for us, the very form of the beautiful.

No theologian in our time did more to retrieve the theological significance of beauty than the great Swiss theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar. In reflecting on the mystery revealed by the crucified Christ, he observed that the Catholic Church's "most essential forces — prayer, suffering, faithful obedience, readiness (perhaps unexploited), humility — elude all statistical analysis." Our Catholic faith is not hostile to reason, but it is out of sync with the Cartesian "cogito" and all of its varied, modern children. There is nothing utilitarian, nor commonsensical, nor pragmatic, about the crucified Christ. The need for self-assertion in our own time, the dyspeptic clamor for affirmation, these sit ill with the self-emptying model the crucified paints for us today.

We Christians are not wrong to fight injustices where we find them, but we are wrong when we fail to realize that our efforts will always fall short, that hatred will never be entirely stamped out and our hopes will never be entirely fulfilled, that the eschaton is always beyond our reach. Why is it we must fight for justice, for dignity, for our dreams, generation after generation? The Gloria at Mass, which returned after so long an absence at last night's liturgy, tells us that the Savior's birth was greeted by the angels with the promise of peace on earth to men of goodwill, but we are still waiting all these years later. We find a foretaste of that peace not in our own efforts, but here, in the body and blood of Christ offered for us at Calvary and offered again and again at the altar.

The corpus on the crucifix is one of the distinctive aspects of our Catholic faith. I remember being 13 and starting to visit churches of other denominations. I was learning to play the organ and never tired of trying new instruments. I noticed that the Episcopal churches and the Lutheran churches and the Congregational churches, their crosses never had a corpus. They were bare. Tasteful. Less gruesome.

All you who pass this way, look and see. The grim and gruesome corpus demands our attention. Look and see. Say nothing. "This is the wood of the Cross, on which hung the Savior of the world. Come, let us worship."

[…]

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2022 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

+JMJ+

The message of Spy Wednesday: Love is never a transaction. [Opinion]

Quote:




“The Kiss of Judas” (between 1304 and 1306) by Giotto di Bondone. (Wikimedia)


A Reflection for Wednesday of Holy Week


=========================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================

“What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?” (Mt 26:15).

=========================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================


The Wednesday of Holy Week has an amusing name: Spy Wednesday, named after the Gospel story of Judas’s betrayal. The name is a bit dramatic. It reminds me of the TV show I have been watching recently, The Americans, about two Soviet spies doing dangerous intelligence work in the Reagan-era United States. Was Judas really some kind of conniving, covert mastermind?

I think not, and we do ourselves a disservice by over-dramatizing his character.

Judas is not irredeemably evil. Rather, he is a man who has neglected love in favor of a beneficial transaction. In this transactional mindset, everything has an exchange value. This of course is necessary in many ways. I pay eight dollars for a sandwich from the deli rather than expecting it for free. But we also carry this mentality over to our interpersonal relationships. I am kind, sympathetic and attentive only to those who act the same toward me.

In his Palm Sunday homily, Pope Francis warned us to be aware of this: “[Jesus] asks us to break out of the mindset that says: ‘I will love you if you love me; I will be your friend if you are my friend; I will help you if you help me.’” Everything is calculated, and nothing is gratuitous.

We must allow the passion of our beloved Jesus to shatter the illusion that love should only be given out in calculated doses.

A transactional mindset stifles the love of the Gospel, the love that Jesus has preached about and lived during his public ministry. It is a creative, spontaneous, self-giving love, attentive to the needs of others and open to the surprising invitations of the Holy Spirit. The next few days will be the final test of this love. Tomorrow, Jesus will get to his knees and tenderly wash the feet of the same disciples who will abandon him. On Friday, he will give himself up to die like a criminal. There’s no fair trade to be had, no last-minute deal to win himself a better fate.

So long as we keep thinking in terms of transactions, we are not so different from Judas. “What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?” Thirty pieces of silver makes it a “fair” transaction but a tragic one.

We must reject this transactionality in our lives. We must allow the passion of our beloved Jesus to shatter the illusion that love should only be given out in calculated doses. We must say yes to the love that leads to the cross — and also to the beauty of resurrection.

[…]

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2022 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

+JMJ+

Holy Thursday is a Christian Passover, when we remember who we are [Opinion]

Quote:




"The Last Supper" mural painting by Leonardo da Vinci (RNS/Creative Commons/Wikipedia)


On Passover, the youngest Jewish person at the Seder table traditionally asks, "Why is this night different from any other night?" It's a question that every Christian child should ask on Holy Thursday, which comes midway through Holy Week's commemorations of Jesus' trial, death and resurrection.

An adult Christian might answer this question by saying that this is the night that we remember the Last Supper that Jesus had with his disciples before he died.

"So," the children might reply, "why was this meal so important? Why do we go to church to remember it?"

For the early Christians, the death and resurrection of Jesus were experienced and explained through the symbols, ceremonies and history of the Jewish Passover. After all, the first Christians were Jews. Christians cannot understand the Eucharist unless they understand the Jewish Passover.

When the Hebrew people were enslaved in Egypt, God freed them and made a covenant with them whereby he would be their God and they would be his people.

This liberation from slavery and the establishment of the covenant is remembered and renewed in the annual celebration of Passover in the Seder. At this meal, Jews remember their history as a people and retell the stories of their ancestors. Not only do they remember, they give thanks and praise to God for his actions on behalf of his people. Not only do they remember and give thanks, they also commit themselves once again to God's covenant with his people.

We Christians also have a meal where we remember, give thanks and praise to God and renew God's covenant with us. We call that meal the Eucharist.

It is a meal where we remember, where we tell stories from the past, most especially we tell stories about the life of Jesus and about the impact of his death and resurrection on the first Christians. We call these stories and remembrances the Gospels, which the early Christians added to the existing Jewish Scriptures.

We not only remember, we also give thanks and praise to God in the Eucharistic prayer, the great prayer of thanks and praise that begins after the presentation of the bread and the wine. At the beginning of this prayer, the presider says, "Let us give thanks to the Lord our God," and we answer, "It is right and just."

We not only remember and give thanks and praise, we also renew God's covenant with us. The bread we eat is the body of Christ, and the cup we drink is the new covenant in his blood, as St. Paul tells us. Every time we eat this bread and drink this cup, we proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes again. Through the Eucharist, we enter into the death and resurrection of Christ and renew his covenant.

On Holy Thursday, we especially remember the Last Supper that Jesus had with his disciples. At that last meal, although he knew that death was on the horizon, although he knew that Judas was to betray him, although he knew that the disciples would desert him, his concern was not for himself, but for his friends.



Pope Francis washes the feet of inmates on March 29, 2018, during his visit to the Regina Coeli detention center in Rome, where he celebrated the Missa in Coena Domini. Francis' visit to a prison on Holy Thursday to wash the feet of some inmates stresses in a pre-Easter ritual that a pope must serve society’s marginalized and give them hope. (AP/Vatican Media)


The covenant that he was establishing was a covenant of love. In this covenant, God first loves us and then asks for our love in return and asks that we love one another. Jesus not only taught this covenant of love, he lived it. In his love, we are able to see God's love for us. In his love, we are able to see how we should love one another.

In John's account of the Last Supper, which is read during the Holy Thursday liturgy, the teacher, the Messiah, the Son of God, washes the feet of his disciples. He takes on the role of a servant or slave. He does this not to embarrass the disciples, but to show them his love, just as he will continue to show his love as he journeys toward Calvary.

But what he does, he also does as an example. "If I washed your feet — I who am teacher and Lord — then you must wash each other's feet." He shows us how to live the covenant.

On Holy Thursday, we remember, we give thanks and praise, and we renew the covenant of love. The ceremony of the washing of feet symbolically expresses our willingness to imitate the loving service of Jesus, to imitate his willingness to forget his own fears and pain and to love and to forgive those who will desert him in his hour of need.

As we celebrate the Eucharist on Holy Thursday, we will give thanks and praise to God for sending Jesus, we will give thanks and praise for the last meal he had with his disciples, we will give thanks and praise to God for the Eucharist that Jesus gave us to do in remembrance of him.

In this Eucharist, we renew the covenant of love. We do this with confidence because God has loved us first and has promised his Spirit, the Spirit of love, who will empower us to live lives of love as we proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.

On Holy Thursday and at every Eucharist, we Christians, like our Jewish brothers and sisters at Passover, celebrate who we are.

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