Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Today on Kresta - Nov. 4, 2009

Talking about the "things that matter most" on Nov. 4

4:00 – November: The Month of Indulgences / 2010 Calendar of Indulgences

It is during November that the Church meditates on the Communion of Saints, which is the charitable link with the faithful who have already reached heaven (Church Triumphant), the faithful departed who are still expiating their sins in Purgatory (Church Suffering) and of the pilgrim faithful here on earth (Church Militant). "In this wonderful exchange, the holiness of one profits others, well beyond the harm that the sin of one could cause others. Thus recourse to the communion of saints lets the contrite sinner be more promptly and efficaciously purified of the punishments for sin." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1475). There are many indulgences, applicable only to the souls in Purgatory, that can be obtained during the month of November. We look at these opportunities with Steve Kellmeyer, creator of the calendar of indulgences.

4:20 – Descartes' Bones: A Skeletal History of the Conflict Between Faith and Reason
On a brutal winter's day in 1650 in Stockholm, the Frenchman RenĂ© Descartes, the most influential and controversial thinker of his time, was buried after a cold and lonely death far from home. Sixteen years later, the French Ambassador Hugues de Terlon secretly unearthed Descartes' bones and transported them to France. Why would this devoutly Catholic official care so much about the remains of a philosopher who was hounded from country to country on charges of atheism? Why would Descartes' bones take such a strange, serpentine path over the next 350 years—a path intersecting some of the grandest events imaginable: the birth of science, the rise of democracy, the mind-body problem, the conflict between faith and reason? Their story involves people from all walks of life—Louis XIV, a Swedish casino operator, poets and playwrights, philosophers and physicists, as these people used the bones in scientific studies, stole them, sold them, revered them as relics, fought over them, passed them surreptitiously from hand to hand. Russell Shorto is here to explain.

5:00 – Lessons From Yesterday’s Election?
Independents who swept Barack Obama to a historic 2008 victory broke big for Republicans yesterday as the GOP wrested political control from Democrats in Virginia and New Jersey, a troubling sign for the president and his party heading into an important midterm election year. Conservative Republican Bob McDonnell's victory in the Virginia governor's race over Democrat Creigh Deeds and moderate Republican Chris Christie's ouster of unpopular New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine was a double-barreled triumph for a party looking to rebuild after being booted from power in national elections in 2006 and 2008. Elsewhere, Maine voters rejected a state law that would allow same-sex couples to wed. If supporters had prevailed, it would have marked the first time that the electorate in any state endorsed gay marriage. Gay “marriage” has now lost in every single state -- 31 in all -- in which it has been put to a popular vote. Paul Kengor has the analysis.

5:20 – A Catholic View of Literary Classics – Part 6 of 10: The Picture of
Dorian Gray
We continue our 10-week series examining Classic Literature from a Catholic perspective. Acclaimed literary biographer Joseph Pearce is the editor of the Ignatius Critical Editions and will be our guide. We will ensure that traditional moral readings of the works are given prominence, instead of the feminist or deconstructionist readings that often proliferate in other series of 'critical editions'. As such, they represent a genuine extension of consumer choice, enabling educators, students, and lovers of good literature to buy editions of classic literary works without having to 'buy into' the ideologies of secular fundamentalism. Today, we examine Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray.

5:40 – The Vampire, "Twilight" Craze – What Does This Say About Faith?
Fr. Robert Barron of Word on Fire has some good insights on how hugely popular vampire stories and movies such as "Twilight", seek, unsuccessfully, to provide a "bloodless substitute" to the Catholic understanding of spiritual truth and eternal life. We explore the topic with Fr. Barron.

5:50 – EWTN To Be Made Available in HD
EWTN Global Catholic Network will become available to all U.S. affiliates in HD beginning Dec. 8. The Faith never looked so good! “EWTN is the only Catholic television network available in this format,” said EWTN President and CEO Michael Warsaw. “We chose to launch HD in December so we could bring our viewers all the beautiful images of the Christmas season using the most advanced technology. We chose December 8, the feast of the Immaculate Conception, to honor Our Lady, who has conveyed so many blessing upon this Network.” We talk with Michael about this latest development at EWTN.

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