Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Civilization of Love: What Every Catholic Can Do to Transform the World

  • Author: Carl Anderson
  • Publisher: Publisher (2008)
  • Language: English
  • Pages: 226
  • ISBN-10: 0061645141
  • ISBN-13: 9780061645143
  • Format: PDF
Carl Anderson, Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus, surveys the exciting and history-changing ideas of Pope John Paul II in A Civilization of Love. By popularizing not only John Paul's vision but also that of his successor, Benedict XVI, Anderson hopes to inspire Christians to work toward creating a civilization of love. In such a civilization every person is a child of God. We are all intrinsically valuable. The battle today is between the culture of death (where people are judged by their social or economic value) and the culture of life. Anderson pushes aside religious differences in order to spread a message of hope to those who are weary of the constant turmoil of modern society. While he does specifically challenge Christians to take an active role in their faith, you do not have to be a Christian to participate in the movement toward a civilization of love.

By embracing the culture of life and standing with those most marginalized and deemed "useless" or a "burden" on modern society, Christians can change the tone and direction of our culture. Anderson demonstrates that regardless of our differences, we can come together on the centrality of loving and caring for others. He brings a message of inclusion and hope in the midst of a clash of civilizations and provides a road map for helping Christians understand their role in the world.

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Crossing the Threshold of Hope [Unabridged]

  • Author: Pope John Paul II
  • Narrator: Earl Hammond, William Bogert
  • Publisher: Publisher (1994)
  • Language: English
  • Pages: n/a
  • ISBN-10: 0679440860
  • ISBN-13: 9780679440864
  • Format: MP3
Sixteen years into his papacy, and on the eve of the millennium, Pope John Paul II brings to an accessible level the profoundest theological concerns of our lives. He goes to the heart of his personal beliefs and speaks with passion about the existence of God; about the dignity of man; about pain, suffering, and evil; about eternal life and the meaning of salvation; about hope; about the relationship of Christianity to other faits and that of Catholicism to other branches of the Christian faith.With the humility and generosity of spirit for which he is known, John Paul II speaks directly and forthrightly to all people. His message: Be not afraid!
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God's Choice: Pope Benedict XVI and the Future of the Catholic Church

  • Author: George Weigel
  • Publisher: Publisher (2005)
  • Language: English
  • Pages: 320
  • ISBN-10: 0061118524
  • ISBN-13: 9780061118524
  • Format: PDF
George Weigel's bestselling biography of Pope John Paul II, Witness to Hope, set the standard by which all portraits of the modern papacy are now measured. With God's Choice, he gives us an extraordinary chronicle of the rise of Pope Benedict XVI as well as an unflinching view of the Catholic Church at the dawn of a new era.

When John Paul II lapsed into illness for the last time, people flocked from all over the world to pray outside his apartment. He had become a father figure to millions in a world bereft of strong paternal examples, and those millions now felt orphaned. After more than twenty-six years of John Paul II's guidance, the Catholic Church is entering a new age, with its bedrock traditions intact but with pressing questions to address in a rapidly changing world. Beginning with the story of John Paul's final months, God's Choice offers a remarkable inside account of the conclave that produced Benedict XVI as the next pope, drawing on George Weigel's unrivaled access to this complex event.

Weigel also incisively surveys the current state of the Church around the world: its thriving populations in Africa, Latin America, and parts of the post-communist world; its collapse in western Europe; its continued struggles in Asia; and the vibrancy of many aspects of Catholic life in the United States, even as the Church in America struggles to overcome its recent experience of scandal.

Reflecting on John Paul II's greatness, drawing on firsthand interviews to paint an intimate portrait of the new Pope, and boldly assessing the Church's current condition, God's Choice is an invaluable book for anyone seeking to understand the Catholic future and the larger human future the Church will help to shape.

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Friday, November 12, 2010

L'Arpeggiata: Via Crucis (2010) [HD] / [SD]

Here I have an album I highly recommended purchasing. It is Via Crucis featuring Nuria Rial, Philippe Jaroussky and Christina Pluhar. I have provided a link to this product's Amazon page, as well as downloads of both MP3, and Lossless formats. Full description:

L'Arpeggiata, the French-based ensemble directed by Austrian-born harpist and lutenist Christina Pluhar, releases its second Virgin Classics album, following Teatro d'amore, a programme of Monteverdi which blended instruments and voices, score and improvisation in a kind of sublime Baroque jam session! Figaro magazine observed that "L'Arpeggiata invests Monteverdi with a dazzling array of vocal and instrumental colours. A touch of improvisation raises the singing to an incandescent level ... A unique distillation of explosive vitality," while the leading German news magazine Spiegel exclaimed: "Roll over, Monteverdi; it is a long time since classical music has held so many surprises or taken such a broad view."

L'Arpeggiata has made a speciality of exploring and exploiting the close links between Baroque repertoire and the traditional music of the Latin world and its characteristic forms such as the tarantella, the folia or the canario. In this new collection, Via Crucis, 'the way of the Cross', the focus is on the pervasive presence of religious feeling in Southern Europe. The Passion of Christ evokes the same fervour in composers such as Giovanni Felice Sances (1600-1679) or Tarquinio Merula (1594-1665) - both active in northern Italy -- as it does in the streets of Naples or the villages of Corsica. The two main works in the collection are Sance's extraordinary Stabat Mater and Merula's Hor ch'e tempo di dormire, in which the Virgin Mary lulls her baby to sleep while weeping for his future suffering and both enthrall the listener with a basso ostinato and hypnotic swaying rhythms.

Reviewing Teatro d'amore, L'Education musicale wrote that: "Ingeniously chosen vocal works are interspersed with important instrumental pieces, taking us on a supreme journey through Monteverdi. The communicative energy and the intense sculptural beauty of pieces like the final duet from L'incoronazione de Poppea or rich sequences of madrigals are transformed by an ensemble that is palpably composed of soloists. Most astonishing of all - and this is a significant discovery - is the modernity that lurks in this music ... A Venetian piece from 1664 makes one wonder whether it's a matter of Monteverdian style or jazz rhythms. ... The addition of two exceptional voices adds further appeal to this fusion of genres : Philippe Jaroussky, whose angelic timbre fills the lines blissfully and Nuria Rial, who brings a velvety tenderness. When they come together the mood reaches sensual heights. This is far more than a compilation ... it is music in its truest manifestation."


1.Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber: L'Annonciation
2.Anonyme: Ninna nanna alla Napoletana
3.Traditionnel/Merlandi/Guissani: Maria (sopra la Carpinese)
4.Tarquinio Merula: Hor ch'e tempo di dormine
5.Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber: L'Aria
6.Giovanni Legrenzi: Lumi, potete piangere
7.Traditionnel corse: Suda sangue
8.Benedetto Ferrari: Queste pungente spine
9.Luigi Rossi: Voglio morire
10.Traditionnel corse: Stabat mater
11.Giovanni Felice Sances: Stabat mater
12.Maurizio Cazzati: Passacaglia
13.Roccu Mambrini/Toni Casalonga: Lamentu di Ghjesu (sopra la Follia)
14.Tarquinio Merula: Ciaccona
15.Claudio Monteverdi: Laudate Dominum
16.Lorenzo Allegri: Canario
17.Anonyme: Ciaccona di Paradiso e dell'Inferno
18.Enzo Gragnaniello: 'Stu Criato

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Thursday, November 11, 2010


In Benedict: Trials of a Pope (BBC2), the Catholic journalist (and former Dominican friar) Mark Dowd, investigated the manifold troubles besetting pope Benedict XVI, by all accounts an enigmatic and often contradictory figure. A native of Bavaria, he was conscripted into the Hitler Youth as a child, spent time as a prisoner of war, and was a progressive thinker and a popular university lecturer, who went on to become the doctrinally conservative Cardinal Ratzinger, otherwise known as God's rottweiler.

Dowd makes clear that he was no fan of the idea of the hardline Ratzinger becoming pope five years ago, but he is scrupulously fair when it comes to unpicking complex issues. His central question is not whether the Catholic church is in crisis – it is – but whether it is fair to blame the pope personally.

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Monday, November 8, 2010

The Spiritual Franciscans: From Protest to Persecution in the Century After Saint Francis

  • Author: David Burr
  • Language: English
  • Pages: 444
  • ISBN-10: 0271021284
  • ISBN-13: 9780271021287
  • Format: PDF

When Saint Francis of Assisi died in 1226, he left behind an order already struggling to maintain its identity. As the Church called upon Franciscans to be bishops, professors, and inquisitors, their style of life began to change. Some in the order lamented this change and insisted on observing the strict poverty practiced by Francis himself. Others were more open to compromise. Over time, this division evolved into a genuine rift, as those who argued for strict poverty were marginalized within the order.

In this book, David Burr offers the first comprehensive history of the so-called Spiritual Franciscans, a protest movement within the Franciscan order. Burr shows that the movement existed more or less as a loyal opposition in the late thirteenth century, but by 1318 Pope John XXII and leaders of the order had combined to force it beyond the boundaries of legitimacy. At that point the loyal opposition turned into a heretical movement and recalcitrant friars were sent to the stake.

Although much has been written about individual Spiritual Franciscan leaders, there has been no general history of the movement since 1932. Few people are equipped to tackle the voluminous documentary record and digest the sheer mass of research generated by Franciscan scholars in the last century. Burr, one of the world's leading authorities on the Franciscans, has given us a book that will define the field for years to come.

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A History of the Popes: From Peter to the Present

  • Author: John W. O'Malley
  • Publisher: S~ & W~ (2010)
  • Language: English
  • Pages: 372
  • ISBN-10: 1580512275
  • ISBN-13: 9781580512275
  • Format: PDF

A History of the Popes tells the story of the oldest living institution in the Western world—the papacy. From its origins in Saint Peter, Jesus' chief disciple, through Pope Benedict XVI today, the popes have been key players in virtually all of the great dramas of the western world in the last two thousand years. Acclaimed church historian John W. O'Malley's engaging narrative examines the 265 individuals who have claimed to be Peter's successors. Rather than describe each pope one by one, the book focuses on the popes that shaped pivotal moments in both church and world history. The author does not shy away from controversies in the church, and includes legends like Pope Joan and a comprehensive list of popes and antipopes to help readers get a full picture of the papacy.

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Dominion of God: Christendom and Apocalypse in the Middle Ages

  • Author: Brett Edward Whalen
  • Publisher: H~ U~ P~ (2009)
  • Language: English
  • Pages: 342
  • ISBN-10: 0674036298
  • ISBN-13: 9780674036291
  • Format: PDF

Brett Whalen explores the compelling belief that Christendom would spread to every corner of the earth before the end of time. During the High Middle Ages—an era of crusade, mission, and European expansion—the Western followers of Rome imagined the future conversion of Jews, Muslims, pagans, and Eastern Christians into one fold of God’s people, assembled under the authority of the Roman Church.

Starting with the eleventh-century papal reform, Whalen shows how theological readings of history, prophecies, and apocalyptic scenarios enabled medieval churchmen to project the authority of Rome over the world. Looking to Byzantium, the Islamic world, and beyond, Western Christians claimed their special place in the divine plan for salvation, whether they were battling for Jerusalem or preaching to unbelievers. For those who knew how to read the signs, history pointed toward the triumph and spread of Roman Christianity.

Yet this dream of Christendom raised troublesome questions about the problem of sin within the body of the faithful. By the late thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, radical apocalyptic thinkers numbered among the papacy’s most outspoken critics, who associated present-day ecclesiastical institutions with the evil of Antichrist—a subversive reading of the future. For such critics, the conversion of the world would happen only after the purgation of the Roman Church and a time of suffering for the true followers of God. This engaging and beautifully written book offers an important window onto Western religious views in the past that continue to haunt modern times.

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Pope Innocent III (1160/61–1216): To Root Up and to Plant

  • Series: The Medieval Mediterranean
  • Author: John C. Moore
  • Language: English
  • Pages: 344
  • ISBN-10: 9004129251
  • ISBN-13: 9789004129252
  • Format: PDF

This book is a biography of Pope Innocent III. Avoiding the many scholarly controversies concerning the pope, it offers a concise and balanced portrait of the man and his pontificate. Its chronological organization—unusual in biographies of Innocent—enables the reader to see how the pope was usually dealing with many different subjects at the same time, and that the events in one aspect of his life could influence his views of other topics. This structure, together with the thorough documentation, can provide new insights even for scholars well-versed in his pontificate. Written in clear, jargon-free English, the book also gives the students and general reader a good sense of this pope and of the medieval papacy.

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A Sudden Terror: The Plot to Murder the Pope in Renaissance Rome

Author: Anthony F. D'Elia
Publisher: H~ U~y P~ (2009)
Language: English
Pages: 252
ISBN-10: 0674035550
ISBN-13: 9780674035553
Format: PDF

In 1468, on the final night of Carnival in Rome, Pope Paul II sat enthroned above the boisterous crowd, when a scuffle caught his eye. His guards had intercepted a mysterious stranger trying urgently to convey a warning—conspirators were lying in wait to slay the pontiff. Twenty humanist intellectuals were quickly arrested, tortured on the rack, and imprisoned in separate cells in the damp dungeon of Castel Sant’Angelo.

Anthony D’Elia offers a compelling, surprising story that reveals a Renaissance world that witnessed the rebirth of interest in the classics, a thriving homoerotic culture, the clash of Christian and pagan values, the contest between republicanism and a papal monarchy, and tensions separating Christian Europeans and Muslim Turks. Using newly discovered sources, he shows why the pope targeted the humanists, who were seen as dangerously pagan in their Epicurean morals and their Platonic beliefs about the soul and insurrectionist in their support of a more democratic Church. Their fascination with Sultan Mehmed II connected them to the Ottoman Turks, enemies of Christendom, and the love of the classical world tied them to recent rebellious attempts to replace papal rule with a republic harking back to the glorious days of Roman antiquity.

From the cosmetic-wearing, parrot-loving pontiff to the Turkish sultan, savage in war but obsessed with Italian culture, D’Elia brings to life a Renaissance world full of pageantry, mayhem, and conspiracy and offers a fresh interpretation of humanism as a dynamic communal movement.

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Friday, November 5, 2010

Thérèse: The Story of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux (2004)

Thérèse: The Story of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux (2004)

User Rating: 5.9/10   252 votes
Director: Leonardo Defilippis
Writers: Patti Defillipis (writer), Saint Therese of Lisieux (writer)
Genre: Biography | Drama
Tagline: Ordinary girl. Extraordinary soul.
Plot: The mesmerizing story of a young girl's romance with God. Her faith, trials, and sacrifices reveal a way of life based on love and simplicity. A contemplative film based on the true story of Saint Therese of Lisieux, the most popular saint of modern times.
Leonardo Defilippis ... Louis Martin
Maggie Rose Fleck ... Marie Martin
Susan Funk ... Sister Anne
Linda Hayden ... Pauline Martin
Sybil Johnson ... Sister Aimee
Judith Kaplan ... Mother Marie de Gonzague
Samantha Kramer ... Sister Augustine
Jen Nikolaisen ... Celine Martin
Mandy Rimer ... Leonie Martin
Mary Magda Schultz ... Sister Vincent
Brian Shields ... Pranzini
Melissa Sumpter ... Young Therese
Lindsay Younce ... Therese Martin

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Monday, November 1, 2010

(BBC) Vatican: The Hidden World (HD/SD - 2010)

To mark the Papal visit to the UK, a camera crew have spent a year filming a world that few have ever seen. With unprecedented access to the Vatican and the people who live and work there, this is a unique profile of the heart of the Catholic Church and the world's smallest Sovereign State.

Archivists reveal the Vatican's secrets, including the signed testimony of Galileo recorded by the Inquisition. A Cardinal journeys deep below St Peter's Basilica to inspect the site claimed to be tomb of the Saint himself, and curators share a private viewing of Michelangelo's extraordinary decoration of the Sistine Chapel.

An intriguing behind-the-scenes look at the workings of one of the world's most powerful and mysterious institutions.

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Toward a Catholic Theology of Nationality

Dorian Llywelyn, "Toward a Catholic Theology of Nationality"

Publisher: Lexington Books | 2010 | ISBN 0739140892 | PDF | 342 pages | 1.2 MB

Nationality continues to be an important part of how people identify themselves and others. _Who am I?_ is inseparable from the question _Who and what are we?_ Historically, many nations have made use of the Bible and Christian notions to understand themselves and to justify their political ambitions. Catholic theology, however, has never elaborated on a systematic treatment of nationality. Dorian Llywelyn forges a new approach, treating the nation as a form of culture. He addresses some key questions: How are the religious and national aspects of human identity connected? What does Catholic doctrine have to say about nationality and nationalism? Is there really such a thing as a Christian nation? Is Catholicism compatible with patriotism? Llywelyn's wide-ranging book introduces the reader to contemporary approaches to nationality, nationality, national identity, nationalism and patriotism. Drawing from the insights of sociology, history, and anthropology, he investigates the many ways in which nations and Christianity have intertwined and explores what scripture and twentieth-century papal teaching have to say on the matter. He pres an original, Catholic theology of national belonging, one which is based on the implications of the Incarnation. Examining popular devotions to the Virgin Mary as national patroness and drawing from the metaphysical acumen of the medieval thinker John Duns Scotus, Llywelyn argues for the theological value of nationality and proposes that global community and cultural and national diversity are mutually necessary values.

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