The Divine Lamp

The unfolding of thy words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple…Make thy face shine upon thy servant, and teach me thy statutes

Archive for September, 2007

I thought Schubert Invented Fake Ice Cream

Posted by Dim Bulb on September 21, 2007

I took a test to determine which classical composer I am most like, and it turns out I’m 60% Schubert. I’m not very familiar with his work. My favorite classical composers are Beethoven (his 9th Symphony, fourth movement is awesome); Handel (the overture to his MESSIAH is incredible; and Mozart (symphony 40, first movement; also, Allegretto Alla Turca); Tchaikovsky (Dance of the Toy Flutes).

You scored as Schubert, So, you’ve found something you like to do. You don’t want to do anything else. You do a good job, even if it kills you.

J.S. Bach
Hector Berlioz

Which classical composer are you?
created with

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For the Feast of St Matthew

Posted by Dim Bulb on September 21, 2007

Today is the feast day of St Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist. Since the new liturgical season is fast approaching, and since it will focus on the Gospel of Matthew, now would be a good time to better acquaint yourself with his work. Below are some links to online resources.
An Introduction to Matthew’s Gospel By Father Dom Henry Wansbrough, OSB (Presents a thoroughly modern view)

The Gospel of Matthew (From the Catholic Encyclopedia. Presents the traditional view)
A Commentary on the Gospel of St Matthew With Critical and Explanatory Notes.– Father Anthony Mass, S.J. (the text may take several seconds to appear)

Cantena Aurea– by St Thomas Aquinas. (This is a multi-volume commetary on the four Gospels 3 compiled by the saint from the writings of the fathers of the Church. Below I provide links to the 3 volumes on Matthew)

The Great Commentary of Cornelius A Lapide (This is a famous three volume work)

  • Volume 1 (Chapters 1-9)
  • Volume 2 (Chapters 10-21)
  • Volume 3 (Chapters 22-28. This volume also includes the Gospel of Mark)

The Passion According to Matthewby Father Donald Senior.

Homilies on Matthew– by St John Chrysostom

Selections from St Matthew’s Passion by Johannes Sebastian Bach. (For music lovers)

Posted by Dim Bulb.  Check out my other site for online books, articles, podcasts, ect.

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Posted by Dim Bulb on September 19, 2007

It was foretold that the struggle between humanity and the serpent, that is, between man and the forces of evil and death, would continue throughout history.  It was also foretold, however, that the “offspring” of the woman would one day triumph and crush the head of the serpent to death; it was foretold that the offspring of the woman- and in this offspring the woman and the mother herself- would be victorious and thus, through man, God would triumph.  The human being does not trust God.  Tempted by the serpent he harbors the suspicion that, in the end, God takes something away from his life, that God is a rival who curtails our freedom and that we will be fully human only when we have cast him aside; in brief, that only in this way can we acheive our freedom.  the human beings lives in the suspicion that God’s love creates a dependence and that he must rid himself of this dependency if he is to be fully himself.  Man does not want to receive his existence and the fulness of his life from God.  He himslef wants to obtain from the tree of knowledge the power to shape the world, to make himself a god, raising himself to God’s level, and to overcome death and darkness with his own efforts.  He does not want to rely on love that to him seems untrustworthy; he relies soley on his own knowledge since it confers power upon him.  Rather than love, he sets his sights on power, with which he desires to take his own life autonomously in hand.  And in doing so, he trusts in deceit rather than in truth and thereby sinks with his life into emptiness, into death. -Pope Benedict XVI Cappela Papale Homily

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Problems sleeping

Posted by Dim Bulb on September 10, 2007

Schroeder’s Greatest Hits used to help me get to sleep, but he’s not working now.  The soundtrack from ROBIN HOOD PRINCE OF THIEVES used to work also, but not any longer.  Reading A HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY by Fredrick Copleston doesn’t even work anymore!  I borrowed PRINCIPALS OF CATHOLIC THEOLOGY: BUILDING STONES FOR A FUNDAMENTAL THEOLOGY from the parish library, but I find it to interesting to put me to sleep.

Hey, Rob, umm, didn’t you write a book? :)

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Maybe it will become a tourist spot for teenage actresses and super-models

Posted by Dim Bulb on September 9, 2007

According to the Turkish Press, the ancient city of Laodicea is being excavated. The city was famous for its warm mineral springs. People flocked to it to bathe, thinking the water had healing properties. The water was not really fit for drinking, which may be behind the seers mention of the city in the book of Revelation: “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were cold or hot. cj(3,16); So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will vomit you out of my mouth. Mike Aquilina of THE WAY OF THE FATHERS writes: the biblical city of Laodicea, renowned for its lukewarmness (see Rev 3:14-22), is making a comeback. Its streets, now excavated, will be once again “open to the public with a ceremony some 1,300 years after being all but completely abandoned.”Let your imagination go wild. What kind of ceremony would you plan?” To which Kevin Edgecomb responds: “Hmm, how about a mass taste test of the local tepid, vomit-inducing mineral water? That’d be a sight for the press!”

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OK Girls, Come And Get Me

Posted by Dim Bulb on September 9, 2007

You Are a Sensitive Kisser

For you, kissing is a way to connect

And you need lot of care, attention, and privacy

It may take you a while to kiss someone…

But when you do, it’s total fireworks

See self-portrait here.

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If I Could Drive, This Would Be My Car

Posted by Dim Bulb on September 9, 2007

You Should Drive a BMW

Refined and classy, you want a car that looks rich… and goes fast!

Refined and classy, that’s me! Whenever I’m in a diner I always make it a point to make sure no one is watching before I wipe my mouth on my sleeve.

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Notes on Hosea 5:15-6:7

Posted by Dim Bulb on September 8, 2007

In a previous post I noted that God, not Assyria, was the real source of the punishment the kingdoms of Israel and Judah had experienced, and would continue to experience. The purpose of this punishment is made clear in the verse which opens the text we are looking at today.

Hosea 5:15.  In verse 14 God had compared himself to a lion in relation to both kingdoms (Israel and Judah). Here, in verse 15 he indicates that he is returning to his place, perhaps to be understood figuratively as his lair, or lion’s den. I noted that such a designation was ironic, since the might of the Assyrian empire was often symbolized by a lion. In reality, it is God who is behind the troubles Israel and Judah are facing, Assyria is merely his instrument of punishment. Even more ironic is the fact that elsewhere in the Bible, God is often referred to as the Shepherd of his People (e.g. Psalms 23:1-3; Ps 95:7; Ps 100:3; Micah 7:14), and, it was, of course, a shepherds duty to protect the flock from lions and other wild beasts (1 Sam 17:34; Acts 20:28-30). God, however, makes it clear that he will not protect his flock but will attack it through Assyria.

Thus God is not willing to intervene and save his people. Instead, like a sated lion he will return to his place (the temple). At this point the lion imagery begins to break down as the purpose of his lion like action (attacking the flock) becomes clear. God wants his people to admit to their guilt (asham). Asham is a Hebrew verb meaning to be guilty. The noun form of the word is often used in cultic contexts and refers to the guilt offering (see Lev 5:6-7). To seek God is a technical term for approaching him in the temple for purpose of worship. God has brought distress upon the people for the purpose of bringing them to repentance and right worship

Hosea 6:1-3 The people understand this fact, but, amazingly do not really act upon it! God, through his prophet tells us the prayer they will offer, and it is a beautiful prayer indeed; but it is worthless.

The people talk about returning to the Lord, realizing that he has torn and stricken them (like a lion), but that he will also heal and bandage them. In other words, they show they know the purpose of the punishment, and they (seemingly) show trust in God’s mercy, acknowledging that a return to the Lord will lead to a quick response on his part (two days; three). His responding to them, they say, is a sure as the dawn, and as refreshing and life giving as a spring rain.

Hosea 6:4-7 But God sees through all their fine words and sentiments. They are not truly repentant, and they are not trusting in God’s mercy. Rather, they are trusting in their own presumptions about God. They described God’s response as being as sure as the dawn, but they themselves are mere morning clouds which the rising of the sun burns off, for they have no substance to them. They described God’s response in terms of a refreshing and life-giving spring rain, but they are nothing more than a light dew, soon evaporated by the rising sun.

This lack of love (hesed: covenant love, fidelity) is why God has sent the people prophets with words and threats and promises of judgment.

Since they despised God’s gentler warnings and measures, He used severer.. He hewed them, He says, as men hew stones out of the quarry, and with hard blows and sharp instruments overcome the hardness of the stone which they have to work. Their piety and goodness were light and unsubstantial as a summer cloud; their stony hearts were hjarder than material stone. The stone takes the shape which man would give it; God hews these people* in vain; they* will not receive the image of God, for which and in which they were* framed.

“God, elsewhere also, likens the force and vehemence of his word to ‘a hammer which breaks the rock in pieces;’ ‘a sword which pierces even to the dividing of soul and spirit.’ He continually hammered, beat upon, disquieted them, and so vexed them (as they thought) even unto death, not allowing them to rest in their sins, not suffering them to enjoy themselves in them, but forcing them (as it were) to part with things which they loved as their lives and would as soon part with their souls as with them.” (E.B. Pusey, THE MINOR PROPHETS. public domain book. Italic texts marked with * represent amendments by me)

For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice- This statement, much abused, is not a repudiation of sacrifice iteself, but, rather, a repudiation of the belief that sacrifice can be done without being based upon covenant hesed (love, fidelity).

But at Adam they transgressed the covenant, there they dealt faithlessly with me- the Masoretic text reads “like Adam”. Some see this as a reference to Adam’s sin of eating the fruit in the garden, however, the words “there they dealt faithlessly with me”, suggests that “Adam” is to be understood as a place name, rather than as a person. Adam is a place name ( a city) associated with the crossing of the Jordan (Joshua 3:16). This crossing of the Jordan represented God’s fulfillment of his covenant promises. It also brought into force the covenant obligations the chosen people agreed to take upon themselves. Perhaps Hosea is not referring to one specific sin. Rather, he is implying that the people, from the very start of their existence in the promised land, were not faithful to these obligations.

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Notes On Hosea 5:8-14

Posted by Dim Bulb on September 4, 2007

I was very pressed for time today, so this entry was both brief and clumsy.  When I edit my various notes on the Bible I hope to redo this post considerably.

Read the text

The historical circumstances to which the text refers are obscure, giving rise to many theories and conjectures.

Vs 8 The horn is a reference to the shofar, a rams horn blown to announce a cultic assembly or as a warning that an enemy is approaching. Gibeah and Ramah were Judean frontier towns on the border between Israel and Judah. They were in very close proximity to Beth-aven (i.e. a pejorative term for Bethel, a cultic center in Israel). Some scholars speculate that at the time of Hosea, Gibeah and Ramah had been annexed to Israel and that this text is predicting an attack on Israel from Judah. The Judean army would have traveled up the Jerusalem road, attacking the cities in the order they are mentioned. There is little if any historical evidence for this. Perhaps we should not read to much into the order of the towns.

Sometime during the early 8th century Israel established an alliance with Assyria. During the reign of Pekah, it sought to break free of that alliance. Pekah formed an alliance with king Rezin of Aram to oppose Assyria and tried to get the Kingdom of Judah to join as well. When the king of Judah refused, Israel/Aram attacked, and Judah promptly appealed to Assyria for help. The result of all of this was that Aram was destroyed, Israel was devastated, forced to pay heavy tribute to Assyria, and forced to give up the region of Galilee to that kingdom as well. Judah was forced into a vassalage relation with Assyria, and forced to pay tribute. Verse 8 may be referring to this event. The call to the tribe of Benjamin (allied with Judah) to “look behind you” would then be a warning that the fate which befell Israel (forced vassalage, heavy tribute) would also befall Judah, which in fact happened.

Vs 9 Ephraim was the largest of the northern tribes and the term is often used to refer to the Northern Kingdom as a whole. such is the case here.

Vs 10 Judah is accused of moving a landmark (boundary-line); an act condemned by the law (Dt 19:14). This probably refers to the aftermath of its appeal to Assyria for help. This appeal led to a loss of part of the Holy Land (the Galilee region I mentioned earlier).

Vs 11 In spite of Judah’s actions, ultimately, Ephraim (Israel) has only itself to blame.

Vs 12 Due to the moral and religious corruption in the two kingdoms God is slowly bringing about their demise.

Vs 13 Most translations speak (correctly, I think) of Israel (Ephraim) going to Assyria, and Judah going to the great king. The translation I linked to speaks only of Ephraim. “The Great King” was a title given to the rulers of Assyria. Both kingdoms are being condemned for aligning themselves with this empire. Had Israel relied on God rather than on Assyria it never would have sought to end its pact with that empire. Had Judah relied on God in it’s troubles with Israel/Aram it never would have been forced into vassalage and tribute payment by Assyria.

Vs 14 Very ironic. The lion was a symbol of Assyrian might. As an instrument of Salvation it had failed both kingdom, turning instead into a ravager, like a lion. But in reality, Assyrian might has become an instrument in the hands of God to punish his people. He is the true lion attacking the kingdoms (see Amos 1:2; 3:12)

Posted by Dim Bulb.  Check out my other site.

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Three Close Seconds But Still No Cigar

Posted by Dim Bulb on September 4, 2007

Last month I entered a caption contest at ORTHOMETER. The first and only prize was a Mass for the winner’s intention. Three of my entries were listed as close seconds.

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