Archive for August, 2006

The Best Cigarette, by Billy Collins

The Best cigarette, by Billy Collins

There are many that I miss
having sent my last one out a car window
sparking along the road one night, years ago.

The heralded one, of course:
after sex, the two glowing tips
now the lights of a single ship;
at the end of a long dinner
with more wine to come
and a smoke ring coasting into the chandelier;
or on a white beach,
holding one with fingers still wet from a swim.

How bittersweet these punctuations
of flame and gesture;
but the best were on those mornings
when I would have a little something going
in the typewriter,
the sun bright in the windows,
maybe some Berlioz on in the background.
I would go into the kitchen for coffee
and on the way back to the page,
curled in its roller,
I would light one up and feel
its dry rush mix with the dark taste of coffee.

Then I would be my own locomotive,
trailing behind me as I returned to work
little puffs of smoke,
indicators of progress,
signs of industry and thought,
the signal that told the nineteenth century
it was moving forward.
That was the best cigarette,
when I would steam into the study
full of vaporous hope
and stand there,
the big headlamp of my face
pointed down at all the words in parallel lines.

(I read this on a bookmark which I bought at BooksActually last week. I’ll let you see it one day.)

Actually, i went to BooksActually..


Last, Saturday I woke up early to finish my praesidium’s annual report, then went down to Maris Stella for meeting. The new aspirant Christian was very kind.. he bought flowers for the altar even though he couldn’t make it for meeting. There were a bunch of yellow chrysanthemum flowers wrapped in the typical market paper stuck at the door. Very promising fellow.

I had lunch with Nicholas at Cedar Market, as we always do. But I was late for the gathering at Tanjong Pagar station. I was supposed to meet up with the Dead Poets Society people. I also met Jiamin for the first time. She was late also.

Yeah, BooksActually seems like a nice place. Very nice place to take arty fartsy girls to. =) But anyway, the DPS people were quite all right though I had to deal with DeadPoet’s cheeky grins now and then. Most of them were new faces. They seem to be all right. I shall get to know them better.

I attended evening Mass at SFX. Father Gerard, as usual, gave an excellent homily. I’m quite impressed with that parish. Their servers kneel before the Tabernacle for prayers before serving Mass. How edifying! That’s the way altar servers ought to be!

Went for Curia on Sunday. Managed to present our report. It was comparatively better than other groups. Attendance was horrible. Ah well, it’s exam season.

It was really a stressful week. Stupid project took so long to finish. It had so many stalls along the way I thought that it could never get done. Fortunately I managed to finish the last of the experiments and now I have to hand in my report on Sunday. Argh, during this attachment, I’ve never taken my work home until now. Hopefully it shouldn’t be much of a problem.

Went for the SWS Percussion Ensemble concert with Joshua and the Band people. It was in the evening. Argh!!! The girl that was supposed to come along was ill!!! I hope she gets well soon.

I liked the show, but Joshua was quite bored. I followed a few of them to supper afterwards. Joshua went back first. We went to ThaiExpress at City Hall. I came back at around 12 something at night.

You know you are getting old when…

1)Minesweeper is the best game in the world.

2)You resign to the fact that the bus doesn’t stop when you flag it, while the driver looks at you in the eye; and you don’t swear, but sigh softly.

3)Walking around town or in unknown housing estates aimlessly doesn’t bother you; in fact you enjoy it.

4)Your younger brother has more piercings, smoked more cigarettes than you. And probably got laid already.

5)You wish you learnt your dialect when you were a boy.

6)You start to dress like your father.

7)You can’t hear properly. (Come again?)

8)You despise the actions of your own generation and generations before you.

9)You refer to your Legion juniors as ‘My boys’ or ‘My kids’.

10) And not forgetting, you sigh wistfully when an old flame remembers your birthday.

19 years Lord, 19 years and counting Lord..

Why the Church does not admit women to Holy Orders

In latest events,

Women’s ‘ordinations’ in Pittsburgh invalid, lead to excommunication

What a scandal! Many people wonder, “What’s the big deal with ordaining women to Holy Orders?” But the Church recognises it as an issue to be taken seriously.

I’ve decided to write this, because I am sick and tired of hearing girls tell me that it is sexist what not… Yeah, they are Catholic. They probably had crappy catechism, but so did I. Anyway I’m not here to condemn, but to inform that….it begineth.

The Church has always taught that women cannot be admitted to Holy Orders, simply because the Church has no such power to ordain women. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states:

“1557: Only a baptized man (vir) validly receives sacred ordination.”66 The Lord Jesus chose men (viri) to form the college of the twelve apostles, and the apostles did the same when they chose collaborators to succeed them in their ministry.67 The college of bishops, with whom the priests are united in the priesthood, makes the college of the twelve an ever-present and ever-active reality until Christ’s return. The Church recognizes herself to be bound by this choice made by the Lord himself. For this reason the ordination of women is not possible.681

Why doesn’t the Church ordain women? Rather, we should ask, why can’t the Church ordain women?

Now for you raving Catholic girls who are about to say that the Church is being sexist, consider this:

The 12 apostles were made up of men. There were no women amongst them. All the people at the Last Supper were men. Even Blessed Virgin Mary was absent. (And no, Mary Magdalene was not there, so you gnostics and conspiracy theorists can go elsewhere.)

Are you accusing Jesus Christ of being a sexist? Don’t forget that he broke many social conventions of that time, regarding men interacting with women. If you read the Gospels, in one scene he talks to the Samaritan woman at the well, alone. In another seen he lets this sinful woman wipe his feet with her hair. What a scandal it would have been during that time! But it goes to show how revolutionary Christ was. But if He did not go as far as ordaining women as bishops, how dare we? Do we claim to be more revolutionary then He is?

Since this is the Tradition of the Church, which is started by Christ himself, we have no right to change it. The Church Fathers speak of this in great detail.2

Some of us think that women can make better priests than men. They probably have more sympathetic ears for Confession. But again we return to our question: why women cannot be priests.

The 2nd reason why we cannot ordain women is that the Priest is acting in the Head of Christ (In persona Christi capitis3). Christ is borrowing the body of the man to represent His sacrifice on the Cross. The Holy Mass is a representation of the sacrifice on Cavalry. This is the substance of the Sacrament. It’s like, you can’t baptise people with wine or coke, because water has always been used. Similarly, you can only use bread during the consecration, and not famous amos cookies or the sort. Sure, we hear stories of Masses being celebrated with biscuits, but these are not valid. There are even certain Protestant churches using Milo for Holy Communion (no names mentioned, ask me if you really want to know.) Then again Protestants don’t believe in the Mass, and neither do they have valid Masses. But that’s a story for another day..

In any case, I feel that the root of this issue stems from the blurring of gender roles in modern society. A man now does the housework; a woman now dies on the battlefield. ‘Gender equality’ has created a messed up society. It is actually a nice name for Feminism, which by the way is not in compliance with Catholic doctrine. Men are not better than Women, nor are Women better than men. They are complementary and play important roles. As a matter of fact, Sex (a person’s state, not the act of intercourse) is not merely confined to bodily structures, but also extends to the mind and the soul. It is obvious that a man thinks differently from a woman.

Some things can never change. A man cannot give birth, but a woman can. If not for women, where will we men be? As they say, the hand which rocks the cradle rocks the earth. Men were not made to give birth, God forbid that scientists enable that to happen. May God have mercy on me and my colleagues. Christ has intended many vocations for women, but not Holy Orders. Ordinatio Sacerdotalis states:

The presence and the role of women in the life and mission of the Church, although not linked to the ministerial priesthood, remain absolutely necessary and irreplaceable. As the Declaration Inter Insigniores points out, “the Church desires that Christian women should become fully aware of the greatness of their mission; today their role is of capital importance both for the renewal and humanization of society and for the rediscovery by believers of the true face of the Church”.4, 5

It is therefore obvious that women cannot be admitted to Holy Orders. Of course, you ladies are more than welcome to join the religious orders as nuns, or to take part in the other ministries of the Church. We need more of you girls.

I leave with you this excerpt from Raymond T. Gawronski, S.J:

“In this male world run wild, there is nothing but contempt for the truly feminine, and for the “gentle man.” In a well-ordered world, the feminine is loved and treasured as the only stance worthy of the creature before God: And the masculine is ordered to learn from the feminine how to receive from God, and how to die in order to nourish life. The Church must help men learn to do this, and the Church must insist on the dignity of the feminine, for the sake of those who so beautifully bear the dignity of femininity as a symbol for the world in their bodies.”6

Here are some references for you to educate yourself with. Remember, it is every Catholic’s duty to educate him/herself in the Faith.

1 Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 1577.

2 Women and the Priesthood

3Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 1548.

4 Apostolic Letter on Reserving Priestly Ordination to Men Alone (Ordinatio Sacerdotalis)

5 Declaration on the Admission of Women to the Ministerial Priesthood (Inter insigniores)

6 Why Was Christ A Male & Why Did He Ordain Only Men? Raymond T. Gawronski

Additional resources:

Women and the Priesthood,

Why Can’t Women Be Priests? Jason Evert

Priestesses in the Church, C.S Lewis

Joke of the Day

Why do slackers like to play Metal Gear?

Because they are Snake Eaters!

Now laugh, biatches!


Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us

Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us

Our Lady of Mount Carmel, pray for us

Stella Matutina, ora pro nobis

Our Lady of Perpetual Succor, pray for us

St Michael the Archangel, pray for us

St Jude, pray for us

St Benedict, pray for us

St Dominic, pray for us

St Anthony, pray for us