29 April 2009

Paper on the Imago Dei

Image, Likeness, and Trace
in St. Thomas Aquinas's Theological Anthropology

Within St. Thomas's treatise on human nature in the prima pars of the Summa Theologiæ (qq. 75-102), question 93 is dedicated to the "end or terminus of man's production," which St. Thomas explicitly relates to man's being "made to the image and likeness of God." In the course of the nine articles contained in this question, St. Thomas refers frequently to the various concepts of image (imago), likeness or similitude (similitudo), and trace or vestige (vestigium). Through the interplay of these three concepts St. Thomas sets forth a richly theological understanding of man as a creature who images God in his nature and who is ordained to perfect this image through grace unto glory.

Read on via the link on the sidebar.

Good Bye Betsy

I dropped Betsy off at the Vienna airport this morning, and by now she's probably in Dublin. Four weeks sure went by fast. We'll miss her, but I know she is excited to see all her friends and family back in the USA.

26 April 2009


The standard Sunday afternoon activity around here (when the weather is decent) is hiking. Our destination is usually to see the cows, and then from there we continue on to circle our little town of Gaming. This time, however, we were a little more ambitious and headed out to find Schleierfalls, which is a pretty long walk from downtown Gaming, and all slightly uphill on the way there. The falls are very impressive, and the water was very cold; despite which you can seeBetsy in the last picture having waded out to the big rock in the middle of the pool at the bottom.

25 April 2009

A sunny day in Vienna

Nearing the end of her stay here, we finally took Betsy into Vienna for the day. It was a perfect day - about 65 degress, clear blue sky, with some cool breezes to keep things from getting too hot. A few pictures for starters:

A view of Schloss Schoenbrunn from within the palace gardens.

Betsy in the Heldenplatz.

Two very sleepy children.

24 April 2009

Dinner with Aristotle

Signs that the end of the semester approacheth:

I think that's the Nicomachean Ethics over a pot of rice.

21 April 2009


I found a delightful paragraph of our Holy Father today while reading through some of his homilies from the past few years. We are rather fond of wine, and now we know why:

"The reading from the Prophet Isaiah and today's Gospel set before our eyes one of the great images of Sacred Scripture: the image of the vine. In Sacred Scripture, bread represents all that human beings need for their daily life. Water makes the earth fertile: it is the fundamental gift that makes life possible. Wine, on the other hand, expresses the excellence of creation and gives us the feast in which we go beyond the limits of our daily routine: Wine, the Psalm says, gladdens the heart. So it is that wine and with it the vine have also become images of the gift of love in which we can taste the savour of the Divine."

~ Homily of Pope Benedict XVI on the Opening Mass of the 11th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops (Sunday October 2, 2005).

20 April 2009

Happy Birthday, Aunt Betsy!

Katie managed to acquire some Kartausenbrau dunkel bier for Betsy's birthday dinner. She was kind enough to share some with the rest of us, and it was great with the spicy chicken wings. For dessert, Irish cream sundaes.

19 April 2009


We drove down to Mariazell this afternoon to take Betsy to see the Great Mother of Austria, our Lady of Mariazell. The basilica is quite beautiful - with an especially impressive organ - and the 850 year old statue of our Lady is royally robed and enthroned in splendor befitting her majesty.

It was a little on the cool side, but we still couldn't resist having some ice cream. Maria hesitated not at all in choosing her flavor: "I want blue!"

On our way there, we passed by the Erlaufsee and parked the car to get out (both to admire the view and to relieve the carsickness, it's quite a rolling drive). Our two kids with two of their Aunts: 

Fourth Anniversary

Four years ago today we saw the white smoke issue from the sistine chapel and we heard the bells of St. Peter's ringing joyfully to announce to the waiting Church the elevation of Joseph Ratzinger to the See of Peter. May we be blest with many more years under the happy rule of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI.

Let us pray for our Pontiff Benedict

Quasi modo Sunday

Some pictures of Aunt Betsy and the kids:

18 April 2009


The Christological Foundation for the Veneration of Holy Icons

The two great periods of Iconoclasm (εικονοκλασμος, image-breaking) in the East run parallel to each other in many ways, and not the least in their respective defenders of the orthodox faith and practice. St. Nicephorus, the holy patriarch of Constantinople (806-829), followed the example of his worthy predecessor St. Germanus I (715-730) in standing firm against the Iconoclastic emperors; and St. Theodore (759-826), the abbot of the Studite monastery at Constantinople, continued the work of St. John of Damascus (676-749) by writing refutations of Iconoclasm corresponding to the Damascene’s defenses of icon worship. Each of these defenders of icon worship rests his argument firmly on the fact of the Incarnation; each stresses the same two important distinctions: between adoration and veneration, and between proper and relative worship.

The rest of the paper is available via the link on the sidebar.

16 April 2009

Solemn High Mass at the ITI

There was scheduled for tonight a lecture on the Roman Rite: Old and New, and the lecturer, a priest from Venice, was also going to offer the traditional Latin Mass for the ITI. Unfortunately, he had to cancel, but the administration was able to scramble about at the last minute for another priest who knows the Old Rite. One of the Servants of Jesus and Mary from Blindenmarkt accepted the invitation and came to offer the Mass for us (although there was no lecture following, which is really quite a shame).

Above: The entrance procession.
The Church did fill up, people here are just chronically late.

Above: Prayers at the foot of the altar.

Above: The offertory prayers.

Above: The reading of the Last Gospel.

15 April 2009

Pictures of Thomas

Daddy's teaching me to box.

12 April 2009

11 April 2009

Holy Saturday

Chuck, Al, and Ben seem determined to squeeze a semester's worth of activities into their two and a half days here in Gaming. So after making it out to the waterfall on Good Friday, we set off in the morning of Holy Saturday to find the cave where the monks used to hide from the invading Turks. Chuck had been there before, and had a general idea of where to find it, so we set out climbing straight up the mountainside. Turns out we found the top of the mountain before we found the cave. There was a nice view of Gaming from the top.

There was also plenty of snow left at the top of the mountain, so we buried our beers there to cool them down for us, and set off again in search of the cave, which was quite close by. We had only to move over a little bit and work our way down again for a short ways. The entry to the cave is a narrowing incline that one must slide down until it becomes so narrow as to force one to turn over on go stomach down, head first. Below, the narrowest point, from which one emerges into a large chamber.

Here are we all: Myself and Katie, Chuck and the Boys.

After Divine Liturgy in the evening, we came home and celebrated the Resurrection of Christ. Maria and Elizabeth with their chocolate bunnies:

10 April 2009

Good Friday

Chuck, Julia, and Elizabeth arrived this afternoon together with Al and Ben. When the Byzantine Good Friday services were finished, some of us went to see Schleierfalls just outside of Gaming. It was quite impressive, especially just now with all the snow melting from the mountaintops.

Before dinner, the Bloomfield men partook of the famed Wieselburger Stambrau.

And, to Grandpa:

09 April 2009

Maundy Thursday

Sing, my tongue, the Saviour's glory, * Of His Flesh the mystery sing; * Of His Blood all price exceeding, * Shed by our immortal King, * Destined for the world's redemption * From a noble womb to spring.

Of a pure and spotless Virgin, * Born for us on earth below, * He, as Man with man conversing, * Stayed the seeds of truth to sow. * Then He closed in solemn order * Wondrously His life of woe.

On the night of that last supper, * Seated with His chosen band, * He the paschal victim eating, * First fulfills the Law's command; * Then as food to all His brethren * Gives Himself with His own Hand.

Word made Flesh, the bread of nature * By His word to Flesh He turns; * Wine into His Blood He changes: * What though sense no change discerns, * Only be the heart in earnest, * Faith her lesson quickly learns.

Down in adoration falling, * Lo, the sacred Host we hail, * Lo, o'er ancient forms departing * Newer rites of grace prevail: * Faith for all defects supplying, * Where the feeble senses fail.

To the everlasting Father * And the Son Who reigns on high * With the Holy Ghost proceeding * Forth from each eternally, * Be salvation, honor, blessing, * Might and endless majesty. Amen.

08 April 2009

Tigers Win a Game!

Tigers 5, Blue Jays 1.
Zach Miner earned the win with 5.2 innings of one run ball. Miguel Cabrera (3 hits, 2 HRs, 4 RBI) and Brandon Inge (1 HR) powered the offense. The bullpen was steller (Seay, Perry, Rodney), yielding no hits, no walks, and no runs over 3.1 innings.

Spy Wednesday

Here are a few more pictures from our trip to Salzburg last weekend. First up is Maria in the Kienberg-Gaming station awaiting the 5:16 train. 

Next, the Festung Hohensalzburg, one of the most impressive castles in Europe. It was never taken by force in all its proud history.

Katie and Betsy atop the walls of the fortress, with the city of Salzburg spread out behind them.

And finally, baby Thomas quietly along for the ride in his stroller.

07 April 2009

Happy Birthday, Dad / Papou!

Zum Geburtstag, viel Glück!

Blue Jays 5, Tigers 4. Arrgggghh. Stupid bullpen squandered a dominant performance by Jackson. Inge is looking pretty good offensively, though: another HR and a double. His batting average is up to .375.

06 April 2009

Opening Day 2009

Tigers vs. Blue Jays at Toronto.
Game time: 7:15 PM Eastern Time (1:15 AM Central European Time).
Pitchers: Justin Verlander vs. Roy Halladay.
Go Tigers!

Final score: Blue Jays 12, Tigers 5.

What a disaster. Verlander got seriously roughed up: 8 earned runs on 8 hits (6 of which went for extra bases) in just 3 and 2/3 innings. That works out to an ERA of 19.64. Not exactly Cy Young type numbers. The Tigers are losing 9 to 1 after 4 innings, it's 2:45 in the morning, and I have six classes tomorrow... good night.

05 April 2009

Palm Sunday

Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord. O King of Israel: Hosanna in the highest!

Solemn High "Tridentine" Mass at the church of St. Sebastian in Salzburg. A truly magnificent ceremony.

04 April 2009


We caught the early train (05:16) out of Kienberg-Gaming, and arrived in Salzburg just before 10:00. Our first stop on the way into the city was at Mirabel Gardens where Uncle Vince Cow played in the dwarf park, and Betsy got her picture taken on the steps of Do-Re-Mi fame.

After bosna sausages for lunch we split up: Katie and Betsy went to explore the Hohensalzburg fortress while Lisa and I took the kids to check into the Hinterbruehl Guesthouse. When we met again a few hours later, we visited a few Churches (St. Peter's, the Franziskaner, the Cathedral) as well as St. Peter's cemetery and the cliff hermitage. It was quite a lovely day, warm enough in fact that ice cream cones were sounding pretty good.

03 April 2009

Happy Birthday, Mom / Grandma

Random Stuff

Yesterday was another gorgeous day outside, so we decided to take Betsy and Thomas to the cross for the first time.

Thomas had a doctor's appointment this morning: he's 6.5 kilos, a little less than 2 lbs. lighter than Maria was at one year (he's nine weeks). Also, we're pretty excited to be heading off to Salzburg in the morning, although not so excited to wake up at 4:30 to catch the early train out of here. We'll spend the night there, and be back Sunday afternoon.

02 April 2009

Requiescat in pace

O God, Who by Thine ineffable providence wast pleased to number Thy servant John Paul II amongst the sovereign pontiffs; grant, we beseech Thee, that he who reigned as the vicar of Thy Son on earth, may be joined in fellowship with Thy holy pontiffs for evermore. Through the same our Lord Jesus Christ...

Pope John Paul II
October 16, 1978 - April 2, 2005

01 April 2009

Betsy's Here!

Well, Aunt Betsy made it here safe and sound after her long travels. John and Maria were able to make it to the airport before she did, and were waiting for her when she arrived. I think that she is quite tired, and understandably so, but she had enough energy for holding her little nephew whom she is meeting for the first time, as well as for a couple of glasses of the Mountain King.