Mother Teresa and the Dark Night

Ah, I knew Stephen couldn’t hold out on us forever. Last night he brought up the Mother Teresa story in his usual blend of insight and ignorance. Thank God he’s got Fr. James Martin, SJ, to set him straight.

Here’s a link to Fr. Martin’s book.

Now I need to go make my morning tea and get the dogs up. Enjoy the clip and I may be back later with some further reflections and commentary while we wait for the Emmys on Sunday.

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St. Stephen of Hungary

Today, August 16, is the feast of St. Stephen of Hungary, and our Stephen has a long-running association with this country. Just a year ago, he was courting votes from the Colbert Nation to have a bridge in Hungary named after him. Here’s the clip where he talks about St. Stephen in his salute to “the country that may name a bridge after me.”

And here’s the clip of then Hungarian ambassador to the US congratulating him on being the top vote-getter in the online poll, with another mention of the saint.

(A bit of trivia: the photo that I’ve been using at the top of the blog is actually taken from this segment. The jacket is Stephen’s Hungarian ceremonial dress. So appropriate somehow.)

185px-sztjobb.jpgI also found this photo of a relic of the saint, and it somehow seemed to resonate with Stephen’s broken wrist. If I were better with Photoshop, I would have added a Wrist Strong bracelet, which just may have been sacrilegious. Although the red and white lacing sort of gives that impression. 070706ststephen.jpgThis icon, from the Fark.com contest, I believe is the other Stephen, but I add it here for my buddy Deacon Greg, who has a further reflection on the feast.

Finally, let’s close our celebration of the saint’s feast with these words of advice he gave to his son, St. Emeric (Courtesy of the Catholic Forum):

My beloved son, delight of my heart, hope of your posterity, I pray, I command, that at every time and in everything, strengthened by your devotion to me, you may show favor not only to relations and kin, or to the most eminent, be they leaders or rich men or neighbors or fellow-countrymen, but also to foreigners and to all who come to you. By fulfilling your duty in this way you will reach the highest state of happiness. Be merciful to all who are suffering violence, keeping always in your heart the example of the Lord who said, “I desire mercy and not sacrifice.” Be patient with everyone, not only with the powerful, but also with the weak.

Finally be strong lest prosperity lift you up to much or adversity cast you down. Be humble in this life, that God may raise you up in the next. Be truly moderate and do not punish or condemn anyone immoderately. Be gentle so that you may never oppose justice. Be honorable so that you may never voluntarily bring disgrace upon anyone. Be chaste so that you may avoid all the foulness of lust like the pangs of death.

All these virtues I have noted above make up the royal crown, and without them no one is fit to rule here on earth or attain to the heavenly kingdom.

St. Stephen, pray for us.

Big Holiday Over the Weekend

Along with Fathers’ Day, Stephen celebrated the 800th anniversary of the conversion of St. Francis.Bonus: For a really intricate version of the chalice illusion, go here.

I couldn’t resist this snippet from the pope’s speech to youth. I kept thinking of Stephen’s shout out last week (“Hey, Carly Simon, thanks for writing that song about me!”):

The same biographical text tells us that Francis was quite vain. He liked to have sumptuous clothes tailored for him and sought to be original. (Comp 1, 2: FF 1396). In vanity, in the search for originality, there is something which touches us all directly. Today there is much talk about “taking care of one’s image” or “keeping up with appearances”. In order to have the slightest chance of success, we have to strike others with something new, original. In a certain way, this may be expressed in an innocent desire for acceptance. But all too often it is penetrated by a subtle pride, an excessive search for ourselves, egoism and the desire to outdo others. In real terms, a life which revolves around oneself is a death trap: we can only be ourselves if we open up to love, by loving God and others.

(hat tip to Amy’s Open Book. I always know I can find great coverage of the pope’s speeches over there.)

A couple other gems in last night’s episode, including the tip of the hat to the GOP candidates who don’t believe in evolution: “We’ve got science on the run. It’s time to press our advantage. So from now on , Senator Tancredo, you don’t believe in geology, either. Diamonds are just Jesus’ tears.”

St. Corbinian and the Bear

I often find myself waiting for Stephen to address the fact that Pope Benedict has a bear on his coat of arms. So I went to the Google to get more info on the coat of arms. The saddled bear is the symbol for St. Corbinian, an 8th-century saint:

A legend states that while traveling to Rome, Saint Corbinian’s pack horse was killed by a bear. He commanded the bear to carry the load. Once he arrived, he released it from his service, and it returned to Bavaria. The implication is that “Christianity tamed and domesticated the ferocity of paganism and thus laid the foundations for a great civilization in the Duchy of Bavaria.”[1] At the same time, Corbinian’s bear, as God’s beast of burden, symbolizes the weight of office that Benedict now carries.

And in fact, according to Wikipedia, Stephen made a very subtle (okay, the original quote called it “facetious”) reference to it back in January:

After engaging in traditional sports trash-talk about football teams he disfavored, the character then broke into “treasure-talk” delivered in the same exaggerated and confrontational style, but meant to encourage the teams or players he prefers. Speaking of an upcoming New Orleans Saints game, Colbert’s character said, “Hey, Saints! You “saint” gonna lose! Drew Brees is gonna tame the Chicago Bears like St. Corbinian tamed an actual bear in the eighth century!”

Ah, the subtle obscurity of the reference! But of course DB at NoFactZone caught it.

Hearing Voices

I was hoping for Joan of Arc as an example, but I’ll settle for Moses. From Thursday’s show, the interview with Daniel Smith, author Muses, Madmen, and Prophets: Rethinking the History, Science, and Meaning of Auditory Hallucination. I really enjoy watching Stephen dial the intensity of his character up and down depending on the guest.

“Bigger than some of the minor saints”

How did I not see that coming? Stephen has the “definitive” coverage of the thwarted disturbance during the pope’s weekly audience. “Whenever anything happens to the pope, people ask me to interpret it. I’m kind of like the Pope’s pope.”

“As you all know, I’m huge in the Catholic community. I’m not saying I’m bigger than Jesus, but I think it’s fair to say I’m bigger than some of the minor saints.” The episode guide is up at NoFactZone with a link to St. Huber of Liege, patron saint of dog bites.

Loved the reference to the hybrid jeep: “The little wheel turns by faith and the big wheel turns by the grace of God.”

In the interview with Cullen Murphy, he had a wonderful misquote of Scripture: “Render unto Caesar what it Caesars and the private sector what is the private sector’s.”

Not much to say, except that it’s been a great week of shows. Stephen’s character continues to develop and deepen and not incidentally just gets funnier all the time. It will be interesting to see whether tonight’s show, with the pope, a smattering of Latin, and Roman military dress will spark another round of “Hey, Stephen Colbert is Catholic” from the blogosphere.

“Bigger than some of the minor saints”

How did I not see that coming? Stephen has the “definitive” coverage of the thwarted disturbance during the pope’s weekly audience. “Whenever anything happens to the pope, people ask me to interpret it. I’m kind of like the Pope’s pope.”

“As you all know, I’m huge in the Catholic community. I’m not saying I’m bigger than Jesus, but I think it’s fair to say I’m bigger than some of the minor saints.” The episode guide is up at NoFactZone with a link to St. Hubert of Liege, patron saint of dog bites.

Loved the reference to the hybrid jeep: “The little wheel turns by faith and the big wheel turns by the grace of God.”

In the interview with Cullen Murphy, he had a wonderful misquote of Scripture: “Render unto Caesar what it Caesars and the private sector what is the private sector’s.”

Not much to say, except that it’s been a great week of shows. Stephen’s character continues to develop and deepen and not incidentally just gets funnier all the time. It will be interesting to see whether tonight’s show, with the pope, a smattering of Latin, and Roman military dress will spark another round of “Hey, Stephen Colbert is Catholic” from the blogosphere.