Friday, October 28, 2011

Build for ever

Build for ever:
"Therefore, when we build, let us think that we build for ever."
John Ruskin (1849)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Aljibe del Palacio de las Veletas

Aljibe del Palacio de las Veletas:

Bajo el claustro del Palacio de Las Veletas en Cáceres, se encuentra el aljibe almohade. Se trata de una estancia de forma más o menos rectangular de aproximadamente 15m de largo por 10m de ancho, cuyo techo está sostenido por una estructura de 12 columnas y 16 arcos. Esta estructura no es homogénea, algunas columnas son de origen romano, y las cinco naves de la bóveda se componen de materiales heterogéneos. Los arcos son de herradura y las columnas cilíndricas, se rematan con un capitel rectangular retallado, debido a la reconstrucción del siglo XV.

por Fernando Cuenca Romero

por Fernando Cuenca Romero

El antiguo alcázar de Cáceres es reedificado en el siglo XV con el permiso de Los Reyes Católicos, por Diego Gómez de Torres, en el cual ya existía esta cisterna de agua construida aproximadamente en el siglo XII.

El aljibe se encontraba en una de las esquinas del atrio aprovechando una leve depresión del terreno de forma que excavando únicamente dos planos noreste y noroeste fuese posible acumular agua. El suelo presenta una ligera inclinación hacia el este para facilitar el vaciado. Se utilizaron morteros impermeables en el pavimento, y en el techo se realizaron pequeñas perforaciones para ventilación.

por Sarmale/O

por Sarmale/O

por TonioMora

por TonioMora

por piensaypienso

por piensaypienso

por Don Meliton

por Don Meliton

por juan aguere

por juan aguere

por Manuel Hernandez Ritore

por Manuel Hernandez Ritore

por Patirar

por Patirar

via wikimedia commons

via wikimedia commons

Monday, October 24, 2011

Moderna Buenos Aires / Edificio Kavanagh - Sanchez, Lagos y De La Torre - 1934/36

Moderna Buenos Aires / Edificio Kavanagh - Sanchez, Lagos y De La Torre - 1934/36: El Consejo Profesional de Arquitectura y Urbanismo, por iniciativa de su Comisión de Arquitectura, inició una campaña de difusión destinada a destacar la arquitectura construida en nuestro país, especialmente en nuestra Ciudad de Buenos Aires, entre los años 1930 y 1970... + info: Moderna Buenos Aires

na/blog publicará en los próximos días información de los edificios mencionados en Moderna Buenos Aires... Comenzamos con el Edificio Kavanagh, diseñado por Sanchez, Lagos y De La Torre, en 1934 e inaugurado en 1936...

Edificio Kavanagh - Plaza San Martín

Flickr, Grupo Edificio Kavanagh Buenos Aires

fuente > Biblioteca Facultad de Arquitectura, Planeamiento y Diseño - UNR

Sunday, October 23, 2011

More on the Assisi Day of Reflection and dialogue 2011

More on the Assisi Day of Reflection and dialogue 2011: Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson.jpg

The "Day of
reflection, dialogue and prayer for peace and justice in the world: Pilgrims of
Truth, Pilgrims of Peace," is to take place in Assisi on 27 October. The event needs our prayer and solidarity.

Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and
Peace had a press conference in which he said, "Following two and a half
decades of collaboration and joint witness among religions, it is time to
assess the results and to re-launch our commitment in the face of new

The Cardinal noted "the financial and economic crisis which is lasting longer than expected, the crisis in democratic and social institutions, food and environmental problems, biblical-scale migrations, indirect forms of neo-colonialism, the scourge of poverty and hunger, unchecked international terrorism, and greater inequality and religious discrimination Once more - and suffice to consider recent events in Egypt and other parts of the world - we must say 'no' to any exploitation of religion. Violence among religions is a scandal which distorts the true identity of religions, it obscures the face of God and distances us from the faith. The journey of religions towards justice and peace must be characterised by a joint search for truth. ... Therefore Benedict XVI wishes the 2011 initiative in Assisi ... to be seen as a pilgrimage; the which implies asceticism, purification, convergence towards a more exalted place, and taking on a community responsibility."

The search for truth "is a precondition for knowing one another better, for overcoming all forms of prejudice, and of syncretism which obscures identity." It likewise helps us "to collaborate for the common good" and facilitates our "coming together on the plane of natural reason." It is a prerequisite "for defeating fanaticism and fundamentalism, according to which peace comes about by imposing one's own convictions on others," and for overcoming "the Babel of languages and the laicism which seeks to remove from the human family the One Who is its Beginning and End."

Una sentencia por la Vida

Una sentencia por la Vida

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Chartreuse: The Famous Green Liquor and Saint Bruno

Chartreuse: The Famous Green Liquor and Saint Bruno:

Chartreuse is that famous French liqueur made by Carthusian Monks. The founder of the Carthusians was Saint Bruno, an amazingly dedicated man who sought Christ in all things.

In 1084, Saint Bruno and six of his companions, he presented themsleves to St Hugh of Châteauneuf, Bishop of Grenoble, who installed them in a deserted location called Chartreuse, not far from Grenoble. Here they built a monastery for their life of prayer, poverty, and study.

The monks began producing a spicy liquor (it contains 130 herbs!!!) of the same name "Chartreuse" in the 1700s.

It's fantastic greenish color also gave name to the color "Chartreuse."

Although I never met my paternal grandfather, I understand that he favored this liquor.

The origin of the liquor is interesting. Around 1605, a French marshal of King Henry IV, named François Hannibal d'Estrées, presented the Carthusian monks with a manuscript recipe for an "elixir of life." The French name "Elixir Végétal de la Grande Chartreuse" comes from this manuscript. The recipe includes 130 herbs suspended in an alcohol base fermented from grape. The monks brewed this potion as a medicine and reached its current version in 1737 under the oversight of Brother Jerome Maubec.

Here's a dutiful Carthusian monk performing his divinely inspired chemistry for the sake of the green elixer:

There is also yellow version which is flavored with saffron.

So celebrate Saint Bruno and the Carthusians and enjoy a cocktail with Chartreuse.

One of these days, I'd like to do a study and post on the religious origins of various wines, beers, and liquors.



PS: The Catholic influence of Chartreuse is also witnessed to in Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited.. Anthony and the Charles Ryder drink Chartreuse after dinner. Anthony muses that it's "Real G-g-green Chartreuse, made before the expulsion of the monks. There are five distinct tastes as it trickles over the tongue. It is like swallowing a sp-spectrum."

Five Hard Truths That Will Set You Free

Five Hard Truths That Will Set You Free: Some years ago I read an essay by the Franciscan Theologian Richard Rohr. I will say, (honestly) that I do not share a lot of agreement with Richard Rohr (no need to detail that here), but I found this particular essay compelling. I do not recall the exact title of that essay but in [...]

An Attack on Marriage

An Attack on Marriage:

An Honest Look At Marriage and Contraception

Lower Your Net: by Fr. Andrew Budzinski

Fr. Andrew Budzinski

Fr. Andrew Budzinski

One of the great joys I get to share in is helping couples prepare for marriage.

Just about every couple mentions . . . they want a love that knows no limits.

Which is great because this is precisely the love Christ has for us: a love that knows no limits. Christ’s love for us is so great, He, who is God, became one like us. He lived and worked like us. He grew up in a family like us. He suffered hardship like us. He also suffered his passion and death on the Cross for us. He gave his entire life for us and held nothing back. His love for us is a love that knows no limits.

Christ tells us to follow His example of love. “As I have loved you,” Jesus says, “so you should love one another.” We are to love one another, and most especially our spouse by giving our entire lives to them and holding nothing back. These are the dreams that were born the day you fell in love with your spouse. This is the type of love you hoped and prayed for as you got ready for marriage. This is the love you pledged yourselves to when you said your wedding vows. And this is the type of love you choose to live everyday of your marriage: a love that knows no limits.

However, as we all well know, multiple forces attack this love that knows no limits. Arguments about money… jealousy… inattentiveness… lack of communication. All these can lead to breakdowns in our marriages. They pile up barriers between husbands and wives. They prevent us from giving ourselves completely and unselfishly to our spouses.

And there’s another force that attacks this love we all yearn for, this love that knows no limits, and that’s contraception. Although we may not realize it or intend it, marriages are under attack by contraception because contraception prevents us from giving our entire lives to our spouse.

Now, I’m not saying that a couple who uses contraception doesn’t love each other. I am absolutely certain that couples who use birth control love each other in so many authentic ways. However, the act of contracepted love itself can never be an act of authentic love.

Why? Because, when we use contraception, whether we’re aware of it or not, whether we intend it or not, we say to our spouse with our bodies,

“You can have all of me… except for this one part of me: my fertility. I’m keeping that part of me to myself and you can’t have it at the present moment.” And, when we use contraception, we say to God, whether we’re aware of it or not, whether we intend it or not, “I’m sorry God, but I’m not going to let you completely into this union at the present moment.”

Because there aren’t just two in a marriage, there are three: a husband, a wife, and God who unites them and gives them the gift of children.

When couples contracept, they close themselves off from the two things God designed the marital embrace for: a two in one flesh union and children. Or, as I like to say, the two things God made the marital embrace for: bonding and babies.

Now don’t get me wrong, God is not saying that you must conceive a child with every single marital embrace. There are many good reasons why couples need to regulate the number of children they have. The ability to provide financially for a bigger family for instance. Or the health of the mother. God is not saying you have to have as many babies as your bodies can tolerate.

However, He is saying that husbands and wives must cooperate with His design for the marital embrace: husbands and wives must be truly be bonded to one another, holding nothing back and they must be open to the possibility of children.

There is however, a way husbands and wives can regulate how many children they have and when they have them without saying “no” to God’s design for bonding and babies. It’s called Natural Family Planning.

Natural Family Planning, or NFP, is a method by which spouses may achieve or avoid pregnancy by observing naturally occurring signs in the woman’s body. Unlike contraception which invades and sterilizes the body, NFP looks at you the individual person and tells you when you are fertile and ready to conceive and when you’re infertile and unable to conceive.

Now, if you’re thinking that the NFP I’m talking about is the old calendar rhythm method that was developed in the 1930’s, I’m not. The old rhythm method was often inaccurate because it did not take into account the uniqueness of each woman’s fertility cycle. Today, NFP reveals the fertility cycles of every single individual person, even if their cycles are irregular. And NFP today, used correctly, is over 98% successful in spacing or limiting births which is as good, if not better, than any form of contraception.

Now maybe you’re saying to yourself, “If a couple using contraception and a couple using NFP are both trying to avoid pregnancy, what difference does it make if I use contraception?” The answer is, “A huge difference.”

First, contraception is the choice to sterilize the marital embrace. For example, a contracepting couple chooses to engage in the marital embrace, and knowing it may result in a new life, willfully suppresses their fertility.

However, an NFP couple never contracepts. With NFP, you abstain from the marital embrace during the fertile period rather than sterilize and frustrate what it was created for. The difference between sterilizing the marital embrace ourselves or working with our God-given infertile times is very big indeed.

And if you’re thinking you don’t have the will power to abstain from the marital embrace from time to time, you do and I can prove it; you’re all abstaining right now. Besides, NFP is not about constant abstinence. If you’re using NFP, and engage in the marital embrace on all the days of the month when abstinence is not required, you’d be enjoying the marital embrace almost twice as much as the national average. Yes, there are statistics for such things. I’ve looked them up!

Speaking of statistics, we’re all familiar with the fact that 50% of all marriages end in divorce. You know what the divorce rate is for NFP couples? Less than 5%. That’s a category we all want to be in.

Why is NFP so powerful for strengthening marriages?

It’s because NFP respects the bodies of spouses. It encourages tenderness between them. It fosters really, really good communication, cooperation and commitment. Yes, it requires some sacrifice. But that’s a good thing. A real good thing. Show me anything good in this world that doesn’t require sacrifice. It doesn’t put up barriers between spouses the way contraception does. Rather, it allows spouses to give themselves completely to one another. Finally, it helps us love our spouse the way Christ loves us: completely and fruitfully with a love that knows no limits.

You can learn about Natural Family Planning: at

Slight editing, mostly for length.

Pope: God’s eternal love turns despair into hope

Pope: God’s eternal love turns despair into hope:

Remembering that God’s love is forever helps lead people out of despair and towards a future of hope, Pope Benedict XVI has said.

At his weekly general audience the Pope said it was important to remember all of God’s gifts to humanity – from creating the earth to giving humanity his only son – because it is that very recollection of his generosity that “becomes the strength of hope”.

Remembering God’s goodness and mercy “also opens up the path of light toward the future during times of darkness”, the Pope said.

In his audience talk to about 15,000 people in St Peter’s Square, Pope Benedict spoke about praising God for his everlasting love, an attitude reflected in Psalm 136.

The psalm praises “God’s mighty deeds in the creation of the world and in the history of Israel”, saving his people from their enemies and leading them to the Promised Land, the Pope said.

After each recollection of something God has given or done for his people, the psalm repeats the refrain “God’s love endures forever”.

Human history has been marked by periods of darkness and light, and the lives of individuals, too, have been coloured by difficulties and great happiness, the Pope said.

While it may be hard to imagine the difficulties endured by the early Israelites as recounted in the Psalms, there are plenty of recent episodes in history like the “dark period of Nazi and Communist persecution”, he said.

No matter how dark the world became, “God came to us, He showed He is good, has strength and that His mercy lasts forever,” he said.

“One can survive in these valleys of darkness and death because one remembers the Lord’s goodness, power and mercy” never dies and that enduring love – that light – acts like a guiding star leading out of the darkness toward hope, he said.

Everybody has a personal experience of salvation and that experience of God’s mercy must always be remembered in order to hold strong to one’s trust in God and know that “if today I am in the darkness of night, tomorrow I will be free because his mercy is forever”, the Pope said.

At the end of the audience, Bishop Arthur Roche of Leeds presented the Pope with a specially made white version of the new Roman Missal.

Bishop Roche, chairman of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy, opened the Missal to a page of colourful illustrations, and the Pope then leafed through the heavy, leather-bound, gilt-edged Missal.

The Missal is a special edition version of the altar missal produced by the Catholic Truth Society.

Family Dialogue

Family Dialogue:

Fr. Nicolás Schwizer

1. Today, a great deal is said about dialogue in all circles of life. But that does not mean to say that there is a great deal of dialoguing, because to talk is easy, to teach is easy, but to dialogue is difficult. Also, in the family, true dialogue is rare. This is also true in families where it appears that everything is OK, where nobody ever raises his/her voice.

2. What counts and what is necessary is true dialogue. A sort of tolerance related to the children’s points of view is not dialogue. Putting oneself in their place – as an understanding friend – is still not dialogue. Dialogue assumes a profound inner attitude, the virtue of humility. Not believing that one is the holder of all truth, perfect, unchanging, but knowing the limits, the need to improve, to change…..this humility is the assumption for dialogue.

3. What occurs is that authentic dialogue takes place between truthful persons, and it belongs to humility to recognize the other person, also the child as a truthful person. It is smaller, weaker, less prepared for life, but a person… original person, aware, capable of assuming the responsibility for its own decisions. Dialogue is a mysterious bridge between free persons: not necessarily of the same age, with the same preparation, not necessarily the same; but definitely necessarily aware and free.

True dialogue does not exclude the authority which one may have over the other person. On the other hand, it excludes whatever form of contempt, lack of self-esteem or respect, of paternalism (fatherliness). The parents who dialogue with their children will see their authority increase. It is the same as God not fearing to lose authority for dialoguing with mankind; He even became man in order to facilitate dialogue.

4. To dialogue means to talk, but also to listen. Dialogue between parents and children is difficult because there are parents – and sometimes also children – who do not know how to listen. On the one hand, it is a problem of the times: the mother, at times, finds herself absorbed with household chores which are certainly very important

But is is not less important to listen to the child when he/she comes home from school. It is true that the father has much to do, but the father should always have time for what is more important; and for a father, there is nothing more important than to attend to, take care of and educate the child.

It could be said that the parents are disposed to listen, but that the children are not disposed to talking. But, fundamentally, whose fault is it? Perhaps the children tried and they were not given sufficient attention. So, they have become silent. Their sensitivity in relation to the attention from their parents is enormous, it can even seem exaggerated.

What the youth has to say is very important to him/her. He/she has thought it and re-thought it over and over and has even suffered through it. And if he/she does not find at home who will want to listen to him/her, he/she will seek attention – more or less real – outside of the home.

5. To know how to listen – more than a problem of time – is a fact regarding attention and inner readiness (availability). Therefore, it is so difficult. It is about having in oneself some space for the other person and for what they have to say. It is about not being full of oneself and having space for others. If we do not know how to listen to the other person with joyful love, he/she will know it and will not speak again.

True dialogue presupposes attention: attention to the lives of the children, to their words, to their problems. Therefore, to love the children, it is indispensable to know how to look at them. It has to do with an attentive gaze where the soul can empty itself of self in order to be able to receive the person being contemplated… he/she is… all their truth and richness.

6. Dear brothers and sisters, let us ask the Blessed Virgin to grant us – to our parents and to our children – the grace of fruitful and permanent family dialogue, and that thus our families can grow daily in more love, in surrender and in mutual understanding.

Questions for reflection

1. Do I pay enough attention when the other one is speaking?

2. Do I help the children with their homework?

3. Do I place my efforts for the education of my children into the hands of God?