Journey of the Magi


The Journey of the Magi

T.S.Eliot 1927

“A cold coming we had of it,
Just the worst time of the year
For a journey, and such a long journey:
The ways deep and the weather sharp,
The very dead of winter.”
And the camels galled, sore-footed, refractory,
Lying down in the melting snow.
There were times we regretted
The summer palaces on slopes, the terraces,
And the silken girls bringing sherbet.
Then the camel men cursing and grumbling
And running away, and wanting their liquor and women,
And the night-fires gong out, and the lack of shelters,
And the cities hostile and the towns unfriendly
And the villages dirty, and charging high prices.:
A hard time we had of it.
At the end we preferred to travel all night,
Sleeping in snatches,
With the voices singing in our ears, saying
That this was all folly.

Then at dawn we came down to a temperate valley,
Wet, below the snow line, smelling of vegetation;
With a running stream and a water-mill beating the darkness,
And three trees on the low sky,
And an old white horse galloped away in the meadow.
Then we came to a tavern with vine-leaves over the lintel,
Six hands at an open door dicing for pieces of silver,
And feet kicking the empty wine-skins.
But there was no information, and so we continued
And arrived at evening, not a moment too soon
Finding the place; it was (you may say) satisfactory.

All this was a long time ago, I remember,
And I would do it again, but set down
This set down
This: were we lead all that way for
Birth or Death? There was a Birth, certainly,
We had evidence and no doubt. I have seen birth and death,
But had thought they were different; this Birth was
Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death.
We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,
But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,
With an alien people clutching their gods.
I should be glad of another death.

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Adoration of the Magi

Hieronymus Bosch

1495

 

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My very best wishes for Christmas 2010 and the New Year 2011.

Another Voice returns in early January.

John W. Greenleaf

 


What I want for Christmas and the New Year from Pope Benedict and our Bishops


Respectful and Credible Leadership

In the book Primal Leadership, Daniel Goleman describes six different styles of leadership. The most effective leaders can move among these styles, adopting the one that meets the needs of the moment.

Visionary. This style is most appropriate when an organization needs a new direction.

Its goal is to move people towards a new set of shared dreams. Visionary leaders articulate where a group is going, but not how it will get there – setting people free to innovate, experiment, take calculated risks.

Coaching. This one-on-one style focuses on developing individuals, showing them how to improve their performance, and helping to connect their goals to the goals of the organization.

Coaching works best, Mr. Goleman writes, “with employees who show initiative and want more professional development.” But it can backfire if it’s perceived as “micromanaging” an employee, and undermines his or her self-confidence.

Affiliative. This style emphasizes the importance of team work, and creates harmony in a group by connecting people to each other.

Mr. Goleman argues this approach is particularly valuable “when trying to heighten team harmony, increase morale, improve communication or repair broken trust in an organization.” But he warns against using it alone, since its emphasis on group praise can allow poor performance to go uncorrected. “Employees may perceive,” he writes, “that mediocrity is tolerated.”

Democratic. This style draws on people’s knowledge and skills, and creates a group commitment to the resulting goals.

It works best when the direction the organization should take is unclear, and the leader needs to tap the collective wisdom of the group. Mr. Goleman warns that this consensus-building approach can be disastrous in times of crisis, when urgent events demand quick decisions.

Pacesetting. In this style, the leader sets high standards for performance. He or she is “obsessive about doing things better and faster, and asks the same of everyone.”

But Mr. Goleman warns this style should be used sparingly, because it can undercut morale and make people feel as if they are failing. “Our data shows that, more often than not, pacesetting poisons the climate,” he writes.

Commanding. This is classic model of “military” style leadership – probably the most often used, but the least often effective. We see this in today”s church of course.

Because it rarely involves praise and frequently employs criticism, it undercuts morale and job satisfaction. Mr. Goleman argues it is only effective in a crisis, when an urgent turnaround is needed. Even the modern military has come to recognize its limited usefulness.

New Year’s Resolution: Let’s Work to Change Leadership Styles in Today’s Church

We have more than enough ecclesiastical Scrooges already……..


The Restoration of Papal Imperialism: Revisionist Church History and Tunnel Vision Theology


Pope Pius XI warned of the danger in the late 1930s as he saw authoritarian regimes growing in

Italy, Germany, and Spain.

Pius XI in his final public address in 1939, stressed:

The church, the mystical body of Christ has become a monstrosity.

The head is very large, but the body is shrunken. You young priests must rebuild the church and mobilize the lay people.”

 

1. Redefining Magisterium in Pope Benedict’s (revisionist history) reform of the reform

For years “The Ordinary Magisterium,” the teaching office of the Roman Catholic Church was composed of:
The magisterial role of the pope and bishops
The magisterial role of the theologians
The magisterial role of the sensus fidelium

Under Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI, the magisterial role of  theologians and the sensus fidelium have all but disappeared. Magisterium has been redefined as what the pope and his appointed bishops say

2. Tunnel Vision theology. The old gentleman should know better; but he doesn’t. His theology is not just outdated……It is wrong.

In his latest book, Pope Benedict XVI reaffirmed that the church has “no authority” to ordain women as priests and rejected the idea that the rule was formed only because the church originated in a patriarchal society.

The pope said that man did not produce the form of the church, and does not have the power to change it. Christ gave the form of the priesthood when he chose his male Apostles, he said in the book-interview, “Light of the World: The Pope, the Church and the Signs of the Times.”

“The church has ‘no authority’ to ordain women. The point is not that we are saying we don’t want to, but that we can’t,” he said. This requires obedience by Catholics today, he added.

Here the Pope is speaking historical and theological nonsense.

3. Canonization of papal theological ideology. Whenever people erect monuments to themselves, red flags go up immediately. Or they should!

Special announcement: Vatican-based foundation to promote study of pope’s theology

With the pope’s agreement and funding, the Joseph Ratzinger-Benedict XVI Vatican Foundation has been established to promote theological studies on his writings and to reward promising scholars.

Msgr. Giuseppe Antonio Scotti, president of the foundation, said it was established with just over $3.1 million from the pope. The money represents part of the royalties from the publication of his books; the rest of his royalty income goes to charity, Msgr. Scotti told reporters Nov. 26.

Cardinal Camillo Ruini, retired papal vicar of Rome and president of the new foundation’s scientific committee, said he hoped that someday the “Ratzinger Prizes” in sacred Scripture, patristics and fundamental theology “would be considered as something analogous to a Nobel Prize for theology.”

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Asking the critical question – rooted in Catholic history and tradition – is neither improper nor anti-Catholic.

Its is very responsible and loyal Catholic behavior.

Sometimes I wonder if Jesus of Nazareth will be replaced eventually with a Jesus of Rome.

Best regards in this Advent season — as we prepare to celebrate again the birth of JESUS OF NAZARETH!

John W Greenleaf

Episcopal Leadership Awards for Exceptional Service


This week I would like to congratulate two bishops from Minnesota for their outstanding ministry and witness to Christian values: John Quinn and John Nienstedt.

 

These two bishops have filed a legal motion to force a survivor
of clergy sexual abuse to pay $132,000 so that the bishops may recoup their
legal costs incurred fighting against his claims in court.

The bishops’ move sends a chilling and intimidating signal to other
sexual abuse survivors who may be considering coming forward after years of
suffering silently with their wounds.

“We know that intimidating tactics like these only serve to perpetuate a
culture of secrecy where truth is not welcome and justice is denied,” says
Jim FitzGerald, Executive Director of Call To Action. “While recouping
legal costs may be a tactic in corporate culture, this is no way for our moral
leaders to behave.”

You can send your own congtratulatory notes to these bishops at:

Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis
Most Reverend John C. Nienstedt

Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis
226 Summit Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55102-2197

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Diocese of Winona
Most Reverend John M. Quinn

Bishop of Winona
P.O. Box 588
Winona, MN 55987