For those of you who, after the last post, were eagerly awaiting on-the-minute updates about my trip to Spain, I have good news and bad news. The bad news—let’s get that out of the way first—is that I’m no longer in Spain: I returned home a little over a week ago. So, at this point, any news you hear about the time I spent there will be old news.

I will, however, be giving a full account of my stay over the next few days and weeks, which is the first bit of good news I can relate. The second I hinted at in the last paragraph with the words, “at this point.” If all goes according to plan, I may well be returning to Murcia within the next month or so in order to study and hopefully work at UCAM.

If this hope turns into a reality, I will, of course, post something to that effect on Thulcandra. For right now, though, you will have to content yourselves with what has already transpired.

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A Shift in Focus

I launched this blog last September with only the vaguest notion of what its contents would likely consist of. Yet, in the course of looking back on what I have written here over the past 10 months, I have made a rather horrifying discovery.

Thulcandra is, to a painfully obvious degree, the blog of a Catholic convert.

Frankly, I shouldn’t be surprised by this. Faith, for better or worse, is a topic for study as well as a way of life; and I have an unfortunate tendency to focus on the former at the expense of the latter. This is partly the result of fear and human weakness—it’s much easier for me to think about religion as a concept than to actually approach the Divine face-to-face—but I can also lay part of the blame on how my mind works (and has worked for as long as I can remember): thoughts tend to bounce around in there and drive me crazy until I make them concrete, either in a spoken conversation or on paper. Having been conceived a mere five months after I entered the Church, I would be slightly skeptical about the authenticity of Thulcandra‘s authorship if it hadn’t become a sand trap for my ongoing musings about Christianity.

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Of the many battles raging within the increasingly beleaguered Anglican Communion today, women’s ordination is perhaps the most conspicuous. In saying this I do not mean to imply that the question of whether women can be validly ordained as priests is the pivotal issue facing Anglicanism in the 21st century; its allowance is merely a symptom of a more general breakdown in agreement within the communion’s ranks about what is and isn’t orthodox Christianity. Nor am I asserting that the subject has garnered a more significant amount of media attention than have others. Even the Episcopal Church’s 2006 enthronement of Katherine Jefferts Schori as the first female Anglican bishop received far less coverage than its appointment of Gene Robinson to the same office in 2004.

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Today is the Feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, more commonly known as Corpus Christi, the day set aside by the Church in honor of the Eucharist. Traditionally, the celebration of Corpus Christi includes the Lauda Sion sequence, which I was fortunate enough to hear sung in Latin at Mass today. The words were written by St. Thomas Aquinas; what follows is an English rendition, compliments of Wikipedia.

Oh, and to actually hear the chant—compliments of Archive.org—simply follow this link. Gotta love the internet.

* * *

Sion, lift up thy voice and sing:
Praise thy Savior and thy King,
Praise with hymns thy shepherd true.

All thou canst, do thou endeavour:
Yet thy praise can equal never
Such as merits thy great King.

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Chance Meetings

Spring of 2006 marked the end of my four years at UC Berkeley. By early May I was in the process of finishing up my remaining requirements and bidding farewell to friends and familiar surroundings. I had spent most of my final semester working at a psych lab and ignoring my classwork in favor of foosball and Futurama reruns; life was sweet.

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From the English translation of Iota Unum: A Study of Changes in the Catholic Church in the XXth Century, published in Italy in 1985:

Cardinal Suenens [a Belgian prelate and an influential liberal at the Second Vatican Council] asserted in an interview that “most importantly, after the council there was a recognition of public opinion in the Church. This is something that is relatively new in the Church.”

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The Holy Trinity

Da pacem, Domine, in diebus nostris
Quia non est alius
Qui pugnet pro nobis
Nisi tu Deus noster.

* * *

Give peace, O Lord, in our time
Because there is no one else
Who will fight for us
If not You, our God.