Today’s Funny: Phrases You Wish You Could Say At Work

Phrases You Wish You Could Say At Work

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  1. If you got payed a nickel for every stupid idea you had, you’d be a millionaire.
  2. Just when I thought you couldn’t say anything dumber, you keep talking!
  3. I’d smack you in the head, but shit splatters!
  4. That’s so cute… you’d think I give a shit!
  5. A cubicle is just a padded cell without a door.
  6. Ah, I see the f**k-up fairy has visited us again.
  7. And your crybaby whiny-butt opinion would be…?
  8. Any connection between your reality and mine is purely coincidental.
  9. At least I have a positive attitude about my destructive habits.
  10. Can I trade this job for what’s behind door #1?
  11. Chaos, panic, and disorder: my work here is done.
  12. Do I look like a people person?
  13. Errors have been made. Others will be blamed.
  14. How about never? Is never good for you?
  15. How do I set a laser printer to stun?
  16. I can see your point, but I still think you’re full of shit.
  17. I don’t know what your problem is, but I’ll bet it’s hard to pronounce.
  18. I don’t work here. I’m a consultant.
  19. I have plenty of talent and vision. I just don’t give a damn.
  20. I like you. You remind me of when I was young and stupid.
  21. I see you’ve set aside this special time to humiliate yourself in public.
  22. I started out with nothing and still have most of it left.
  23. I thought I wanted a career, turns out I just wanted paychecks.
  24. I will always cherish the initial misconceptions I had about you.
  25. If I throw a stick, will you leave?
  26. I’ll try being nicer if you’ll try being smarter.
  27. I’m already visualizing the duct tape over your mouth.
  28. I’m not being rude. You’re just insignificant.
  29. I’m out of my mind, but feel free to leave a message…
  30. I’m really easy to get along with once you people learn to see it my way.

 

Turok’s Cabana

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Today’s Extra: 8 Ways You Can Make a Difference for Wildlife

8 Ways You Can Make a Difference for Wildlife

Food, water, energy, medicine — nature provides humankind with invaluable resources. Yet we’re not doing nearly enough to protect it.

The World Wildlife Fund recently published its Living Planet Report — and the news was “sobering.” “On average, we’ve seen an astonishing 60% decline in the size of populations of mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, and amphibians in just over 40 years,” according to the report. “The top threats to species identified in the report link directly to human activities, including habitat loss and degradation and the excessive use of wildlife such as overfishing and overhunting.”

If this inspires you to take action, here are eight ways to make a difference in protecting wildlife.

1. CREATE A BACKYARD HABITAT

A major problem for wildlife is habitat loss. So the National Resources Defense Council suggests turning your property into comfortable terrain for plants and animals. Landscape with native plants — especially ones that require little maintenance and attract pollinators. And make sure you provide enough shelter for birds and other small animals, who help the ecosystem thrive.

If you’re not sure where to begin, check out the National Wildlife Federation’s requirements for a certified wildlife habitat. And find local organizations that can guide you toward what’s right for your area.

2. AVOID PESTICIDES

No matter how you landscape, it’s always better for wildlife when you don’t use toxic pesticides. There are plenty of natural methods to control pests and unwanted vegetation. For instance, choose plants that naturally repel insects, and pull invasive vegetation by hand. It may be a little more work, but you’ll prevent harmful chemicals from damaging the ecosystem.

3. ANIMAL-PROOF YOUR TRASH

If you have outdoor trash cans, make sure they’re secure from the area’s wildlife, especially predators. “This will help reduce potentially negative run-ins and foster coexistence between your family, your pets, and neighboring wildlife,” the National Resources Defense Council says.

Likewise, PETA recommends crushing cans and cutting open containers and other items animal might get stuck in. There’s always the possibility an animal might sneak into your trash, so taking a few extra seconds to make it safe could save a life.

4. LIMIT PLASTICS IN YOUR LIFE

Plastic waste pollutes water, kills animals who ingest it and even makes humans sick. It’s difficult to completely avoid plastic use, but there are many ways to be more eco-friendly about it. Avoid single-use plastics, such as water bottles, whenever possible. Buy used items to cut down on plastic packaging. And recycle everything you can.

It might not seem like you can make much of a difference with all the plastic out there. But if you save even one sea turtle from suffering with a plastic straw lodged up its nostril, you’re doing your part.

5. KEEP CATS INDOORS

If you’re a cat owner, there are numerous reasons to keep your pet indoors. It’s not only much safer for the cat, but it saves the lives of many birds and other small animals. One study estimates cats in the United States kill 1.3 billion to 4 billion birds and 6.3 billion to 22.3 billion mammals every year. Those small animals are vital to the ecosystem and can’t afford such drastic hits to their numbers by a non-native predator, such as the domestic cat. If you absolutely cannot keep your cat indoors, at least attach a bell to its collar to warn its prey.

6. PLACE DECALS ON YOUR WINDOWS

Speaking of birds, millions die each year due to collisions with man-made structures — especially windows and glass doors. Fortunately, there are several effective methods to collision-proof windows. “Screens, grilles, and shutters work wonders,” according to the National Resources Defense Council. ”Frosted glass, window film, and taped or etched stripes and dots — placed either two inches apart horizontally or four inches apart vertically — all significantly reduce collisions as well.”

Remember, birds provide natural pest control by eating insects, such as mosquitoes. And they help to disperse seeds and nutrients throughout the soil. Those services to your local environment are well worth a few adjustments to your windows.

7. PROPERLY DISPOSE OF HAZARDOUS MATERIALS

If you need to get rid of hazardous materials, such as paints or batteries, don’t just pour them down the drain or throw them in the trash. “Things like paint thinner, furniture polish, and antifreeze can pollute our water and land, impacting people as well as wildlife,” according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Most communities have organizations that collect and properly dispose of hazardous substances. But it’s up to you to seek them out and keep your wildlife safe.

8. BE A VOICE FOR NATURE

Turn your passion for nature into action by volunteering at local wildlife organizations and working to educate your community. “Speak up at community forums where topics connected to wildlife or natural habitat are on the agenda, take local action, such as organizing a tree-planting project or a cleanup of one of your area’s waterways, or advocate for town ordinances that prevent pesticide use in parks or on lawns,” the Natural Resources Defense Council suggests.

You can make an impact on a global scale, as well, by helping to raise awareness and funds for certain causes. The World Wildlife Fund’s Action Center is a good place to start to find causes that need support. It might seem like a daunting task, but for all the wrongs humankind has inflicted on wildlife, there are passionate people around the globe working to make them right.

Care2.com

The Old Farmer’s Almanac: BRIGHTEST COMET COMES CLOSEST TO EARTH DECEMBER 16

 

2018’S BRIGHTEST COMET COMES CLOSEST TO EARTH DECEMBER 16

COMET 46P/WIRTANEN VISITS DECEMBER 15-16

Comet 46P/Wirtanen is 2018’s brightest comet and comes closest to Earth on December 15–16, 2018—this weekend! As awesome as they can be, you can’t trust comets. We can always predict where they’ll be, but not how they will react with the Sun’s energy. So, the question is: Will it be an amazing sight or another bust?

 

 

The Old Farmer’s Almanac: WHEN A METEOR IS NOT A METEOR

 

WHEN A METEOR IS NOT A METEOR

WHAT IS A METEOR, EXACTLY?
By The Old Farmer’s Almanac
One of the most frequent topics letter-writers contact us about is meteors. Also known as shooting stars or falling stars, they usually appear as fast streaks across the sky. People gasp when they see them. Although most are rather dim, they are occasionally brilliant and sometimes regarded as UFOs. Many wrong ideas abound. So here’s the true story.

WHAT IS A METEOR?

The average meteor is the size of an apple seed. It is a tiny fragment of a distant comet or asteroid and screams into our atmosphere at 20, 30, or even 40 miles per second. This high speed creates lots of air friction, which is what produces the brilliant streak. In most cases, you’re not observing the actual tiny meteoroid, but the superheated bubble of air surrounding it.

Friction with our atmosphere slows the meteor down. While first visible at a height of 80 or 100 miles above the ground, it stops glowing altogether when it’s about 30 miles up. By then, most meteors have disintegrated into dust, but occasionally, one will survive and keep falling invisibly until it hits the ground or some rooftop. In such cases, the final impact speed is only 250 or 300 miles an hour. That’s enough for the meteor to penetrate the roof and end up on someone’s bedroom floor. In 1982, one even continued through the first floor ceiling of a home in Wethersfield, Connecticut. In that case, the meteor is no longer hot and can be picked up immediately.

Actually, no one picks up a meteor. The name of the rock changes upon impact, so that thing you’re holding in your hand is now known as a meteorite.

HOW RARE ARE METEORS?

On any given night, an observer away from city light pollution will see around six meteors every hour, especially after 2:00 AM. There are more in the predawn hours because that’s when your part of Earth is facing forward in space, as Earth orbits the Sun at 18.5 miles per second. That’s when the sky overhead is slamming into meteors. Prior to midnight, meteors have to catch up to us from behind, so they’re slower and there are fewer of them.

Meteor intensity greatly increases a few nights a year when our planet slams into fragments from comets. But these meteor showers vary enormously in intensity. A minor shower, such as those in April and July, only increase the background rate by a few meteors per hour. Hardly worth the trouble. In contrast, the year’s two biggest major showers each average one shooting star a minute. These are the Perseids—on the nights of August 11 or 12—and the Geminids, on the night of December 13. A key predictor of meteor intensity is whether that night will have a fat, nearly-full Moon, which makes the sky so bright that only a few shooting stars are seen through the milky glow.

Another cool fact: We don’t get meteorites from meteor showers. That’s because meteor shower “shooting stars”—being comet fragments—are composed of ices. They’re too fragile to survive a sizzling trip through the atmosphere. So every meteorite you’ve seen at a museum or in a collection is really an asteroid fragment. Or, more rarely, a blasted-away piece of the Moon or Mars. But not comet material.

KEEP YOURS EYES ON THE SKY

Every few decades, the Leonid meteors go from a minor shower to the year’s best spectacle. In the predawn hours of November 18, 2001, the Leonids averaged five brilliant shooting stars every minute.  They were bright, they were green, and they left behind glowing trains that lingered for a few extra seconds like a Cheshire cat smile. For most of us, that was the best meteor shower of our lives. Unfortunately, the Leonids are not expected to produce a comparable spectacle again until November 18, 2099.

Sometimes, an orbiting satellite decays and comes crashing into the atmosphere and looks like a brilliant meteor. But even natural meteors can be spectacular. A meteor bright enough to cast shadows is called a fireball. One that explodes like a firework is called a bolide. Watch the sky long enough and you’ll see such awesome meteors sooner or later.

METEORITE… OR WRONG?

Mistaken reports are a whole other topic. One letter-writer thought he often heard meteors hitting rooftops. A more common report is of a meteor that “came down in a neighbor’s yard.” It’s understandable, because a bright meteor can indeed seem as if it’s nearby. But remember, every visible meteor is roughly 60 to 80 miles from your eyes, and since they’ve slowed and stopped glowing by the time they hit the thick cold air 35 miles high, you’ll never see a meteor as close to you as even the most distant passenger jetliner.

As for finding meteorites, good luck. Using New York as a typical example, only 12 meteorites have been discovered in the entire history of that state. Odd-looking rocks are almost never meteorites. Many museums have collections of stones that people have brought in for analysis: they’re often referred to as “meteor wrongs.”

On the other hand, some serious collectors have traveled to places in the world where giant incoming meteors have broken into hundreds or thousands of fragments. Currently on e-bay, one can buy so-called “Campo” meteorites that landed centuries ago on a large field in Argentina. These are legitimate sellers, and the beautiful meteorite specimens are not particularly expensive. If you can afford a few hundred dollars, it’s certainly a conversation piece to display a large, heavy celestial stone—an actual asteroid fragment—in your living room.

This topic of meteors and meteorites never loses its fascination. It is the area of astronomy that most directly connects ourselves, and our planet, with the universe beyond.

Want to know when the next big meteor shower is going to be overhead? See our Meteor Shower Calendar to know the best dates!

ABOUT THIS BLOG

Welcome to “This Week’s Amazing Sky,” the Almanac’s blog on stargazing and astronomy. Bob Berman, longtime and famous astronomer for The Old Farmer’s Almanac, will help bring alive the wonders of our universe. From the beautiful stars and planets to magical auroras and eclipses, he covers everything under the Sun (and Moon)! Bob, the world’s mostly widely read astronomer, also has a new weekly podcast, Astounding Universe!

Old Farmer’s Almanac

The Old Farmer’s Almanac For Dec. 13: BEST METEOR SHOWER OF 2018

 

GEMINIDS 2018: HOW TO SEE THE GEMINID METEOR SHOWER DECEMBER 13

BEST METEOR SHOWER OF 2018
The finest meteor shower of 2018—and perhaps the best night sky sight this year—happens on Thursday, December 13. These are the Geminids, the sky’s “Old Faithful.” Their trustworthy one‑a‑minute frequency have created reliable December sparklers for the past century.

GEMINID FACTS AND ODDITIES

  • Geminids are much slower than either the famous summer Perseids or the hit‑or‑miss Leonids because they don’t strike us head‑on. They come at Earth sideways. At 20 miles per second, they lope along at half the speed of the other major showers, and it shows. It’s very appealing. Instead of sharp, brief zaps across the sky, we get leisurely streakers.
  • These meteors are also the most mysterious in the known universe. All other showers are debris from comets, skimpy stuff less dense than ice. Strangely, Geminid meteors are twice as dense, yet nonetheless too lightweight to be bonafide, metal-stone asteroid material. So what could they be?
  • There are other oddities too. All other major meteor showers have been observed for centuries or millennia. But the Geminids were unseen as recently as the mid‑1800s when it started as a modest shower that delivered only 20 meteors per hour. Over time, it’s grown increasingly rich; now it delivers one to two a minute.
  • Despite decades of searching, the source of these strange fireworks was unknown until 1983, when NASA’s infrared‑detecting satellite IRAS found a small body moving in exactly the same path as the meteoroid swarm. Named Phaethon, it has a speedy orbit that carries it far within the orbit of Mercury and then out past Mars into the asteroid belt. Since Phaethon does not develop a cometlike tail nor shed material when approaching the sun, it was assumed to be an asteroid, a rocky body.

Fine. Except asteroids don’t disintegrate to produce meteor showers: Curioser and curioser. Maybe Phaethon is a true rocky asteroid that suffered enough collisions to fill its lopsided orbit with debris. Or else, maybe Phaethon is an odd has‑been comet, one that completely lost its icy outer covering and is presently just a comet‑core that has perhaps acquired a coating of interplanetary dust grains. Either way, the mystery material puts on quite a show.

HOW TO SEE THE GEMINIDS: VIEWING TIPS

  • Geminids are well seen all night long—bright in the sky from anywhere in the Northern Hemisphere. Take in as much sky as possible.
  • They’re at their highest in the sky around 2 A.M. but any time of the night, you WILLsee meteors if it’s clear. The later, the better.
  • For best results, try to get away from city lights, to a place with an open expanse of sky, not just breaks between trees. Bring a folding chair to be comfortable or perhaps a sleeping bag. Dress warmly. You’ve got to be a little nuts to do this in the middle of December.
  • It probably takes our eyes about 20 minutes to truly adapt to dark skies. The Geminid meteor showers tend to come fast and quick with very bright white lights.

Be patient and keep your eyes glued upward. You will be rewarded with the reliable Geminids!

 

ABOUT THIS BLOG

Welcome to “This Week’s Amazing Sky,” the Almanac’s blog on stargazing and astronomy. Bob Berman, longtime and famous astronomer for The Old Farmer’s Almanac, will help bring alive the wonders of our universe. From the beautiful stars and planets to magical auroras and eclipses, he covers everything under the Sun (and Moon)! Bob, the world’s mostly widely read astronomer, also has a new weekly podcast, Astounding Universe!

The Old Farmer’s Almanac

Today’s Holiday Around the World: Susuharai (Soot Sweeping)

Susuharai (Soot Sweeping)

December 13
In Japan, many people choose to give their houses a thorough cleaning at year’s end. Worn or broken furniture and utensils and items that have been lost are replaced. New tatami mats, which are the thick straw mats on which people sit and sleep, are brought in, and damage to the paper sliding doors in traditional Japanese houses is repaired. In some areas, it is customary to tie pounded rice cakes ( mochi-bana, “rice-cake flowers”) to the branches of willow trees as an offering to the gods. Friends and co-workers may also throw “year-end forgetting parties” known as bonen-kai .

SOURCES:
JapanFest-1965, p. 208

This Day In History: Council of Trent Convened (1545)

Council of Trent Convened (1545)

TheCouncil of Trent (Latin: Concilium Tridentinum), held between 1545 and 1563 in Trent (or Trento, in northern Italy), was the 19th ecumenical council of the Catholic Church.[1] Prompted by the Protestant Reformation, it has been described as the embodiment of the Counter-Reformation.[2][3]

The Council issued condemnations of what it defined to be heresies committed by proponents of Protestantism, and also issued key statements and clarifications of the Church’s doctrine and teachings, including scripture, the Biblical canon, sacred tradition, original sin, justification, salvation, the sacraments, the Mass and the veneration of saints.[4] The Council met for twenty-five sessions between 13 December 1545 and 4 December 1563.[5] Pope Paul III, who convoked the Council, oversaw the first eight sessions (1545–47), while the twelfth to sixteenth sessions (1551–52) were overseen by Pope Julius III and the seventeenth to twenty-fifth sessions (1562–63) by Pope Pius IV.

The consequences of the Council were also significant in regards to the Church’s liturgy and practices. During its deliberations, the Council made the Vulgate the official example of the Biblical canon and commissioned the creation of a standard version, although this was not achieved until the 1590s.[2] In 1565, a year after the Council finished its work, Pius IV issued the Tridentine Creed (after Tridentum, Trent’s Latin name) and his successor Pius V then issued the Roman Catechism and revisions of the Breviary and Missal in, respectively, 1566, 1568 and 1570. These, in turn, led to the codification of the Tridentine Mass, which remained the Church’s primary form of the Mass for the next four hundred years.

More than three hundred years passed until the next ecumenical council, the First Vatican Council, was convened in 1869.

Background information

Obstacles and events before the Council’s problem area

On 15 March 1517, the Fifth Council of the Lateran closed its activities with a number of reform proposals (on the selection of bishops, taxation, censorship and preaching) but not on the major problems that confronted the Church in Germany and other parts of Europe. A few months later, on 31 October 1517, Martin Luther issued his 95 Theses in Wittenberg.

A general, free council in Germany

Luther’s position on ecumenical councils shifted over time,[6] but in 1520 he appealed to the German princes to oppose the papal Church, if necessary with a council in Germany,[7] open and free of the Papacy. After the Pope condemned in Exsurge Domine fifty-two of Luther’s theses as heresy, German opinion considered a council the best method to reconcile existing differences. German Catholics, diminished in number, hoped for a council to clarify matters.[8]

It took a generation for the council to materialise, partly because of papal reluctance, given that a Lutheran demand was the exclusion of the papacy from the Council, and partly because of ongoing political rivalries between France and Germany and the Turkish dangers in the Mediterranean.[8] Under Pope Clement VII (1523–34), troops of the Catholic Holy Roman Emperor Charles V sacked Papal Rome in 1527, “raping, killing, burning, stealing, the like had not been seen since the Vandals”. Saint Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel were used for horses.[9] This, together with the Pontiff’s ambivalence between France and Germany, led to his hesitation.

Charles V strongly favoured a council, but needed the support of King Francis I of France, who attacked him militarily. Francis I generally opposed a general council due to partial support of the Protestant cause within France, and in 1533 he further complicated matters when suggesting a general council to include both Catholic and Protestant rulers of Europe that would devise a compromise between the two theological systems. This proposal met the opposition of the Pope for it gave recognition to Protestants and also elevated the secular Princes of Europe above the clergy on church matters. Faced with a Turkish attack, Charles held the support of the Protestant German rulers, all of whom delayed the opening of the Council of Trent.[10]

Occasion, sessions, and attendance

In reply to the Papal bull Exsurge Domine of Pope Leo X (1520), Martin Luther burned the document and appealed for a general council. In 1522 German diets joined in the appeal, with Charles V seconding and pressing for a council as a means of reunifying the Church and settling the Reformation controversies. Pope Clement VII (1523–1534) was vehemently against the idea of a council, agreeing with Francis I of France, after Pope Pius II, in his bull Execrabilis (1460) and his reply to the University of Cologne (1463), set aside the theory of the supremacy of general councils laid down by the Council of Constance.[11]

Pope Paul III (1534–1549), seeing that the Protestant Reformation was no longer confined to a few preachers, but had won over various princes, particularly in Germany, to its ideas, desired a council. Yet when he proposed the idea to his cardinals, it was almost unanimously opposed. Nonetheless, he sent nuncios throughout Europe to propose the idea. Paul III issued a decree for a general council to be held in Mantua, Italy, to begin on 23 May 1537.[12] Martin Luther wrote the Smalcald Articles in preparation for the general council. The Smalcald Articles were designed to sharply define where the Lutherans could and could not compromise. The council was ordered by the Emperor and Pope Paul III to convene in Mantua on 23 May 1537. It failed to convene after another war broke out between France and Charles V, resulting in a non-attendance of French prelates. Protestants refused to attend as well. Financial difficulties in Mantua led the Pope in the autumn of 1537 to move the council to Vicenza, where participation was poor. The Council was postponed indefinitely on 21 May 1539. Pope Paul III then initiated several internal Church reforms while Emperor Charles V convened with Protestants at an imperial diet in Regensburg, to reconcile differences. Unity failed between Catholic and Protestant representatives “because of different concepts of Church and justification“.[13]

However, the council was delayed until 1545 and, as it happened, convened right before Luther’s death. Unable, however, to resist the urging of Charles V, the pope, after proposing Mantua as the place of meeting, convened the council at Trent (at that time ruled by a prince-bishop under the Holy Roman Empire),[11] on 13 December 1545; the Pope’s decision to transfer it to Bologna in March 1547 on the pretext of avoiding a plague[2] failed to take effect and the Council was indefinitely prorogued on 17 September 1549. None of the three popes reigning over the duration of the council ever attended, which had been a condition of Charles V. Papal legates were appointed to represent the Papacy.[14]

Reopened at Trent on 1 May 1551 by convocation of Pope Julius III (1550–1555), it was broken up by the sudden victory of Maurice, Elector of Saxony over the Emperor Charles V and his march into surrounding state of Tirol on 28 April 1552.[15] There was no hope of reassembling the council while the very anti-Protestant Paul IV was Pope.[2]The council was reconvened by Pope Pius IV (1559–1565) for the last time, meeting from 18 January 1562 at Santa Maria Maggiore, and continued until its final adjournment on 4 December 1563. It closed with a series of ritual acclamations honouring the reigning Pope, the Popes who had convoked the Council, the emperor and the kings who had supported it, the papal legates, the cardinals, the ambassadors present, and the bishops, followed by acclamations of acceptance of the faith of the Council and its decrees, and of anathema for all heretics.[16]

The history of the council is thus divided into three distinct periods: 1545–1549, 1551–1552 and 1562–1563. During the second period, the Protestants present asked for renewed discussion on points already defined and for bishops to be released from their oaths of allegiance to the Pope. When the last period began, all hope of conciliating the Protestants was gone and the Jesuits had become a strong force.[2]

The number of attending members in the three periods varied considerably.[11] The council was small to begin with, opening with only about 30 bishops.[17] It increased toward the close, but never reached the number of the First Council of Nicaea (which had 318 members)[11] nor of the First Vatican Council (which numbered 744). The decrees were signed in 1563 by 255 members, the highest attendance of the whole council,[17] including four papal legates, two cardinals, three patriarchs, twenty-five archbishops, and 168 bishops, two-thirds of whom were Italians. The Italian and Spanish prelates were vastly preponderant in power and numbers. At the passage of the most important decrees, not more than sixty prelates were present.[11]

The French monarchy boycotted the entire council until the last minute; a delegation led by Charles de Guise, Cardinal of Lorraine finally arrived in November 1562. The first outbreak of the French Wars of Religion had been earlier in the year, and the French had experience of a significant and powerful Protestant minority, iconoclasm and tensions leading to violence in a way Italians and Spaniards did not.[clarification needed] Among other influences, the last minute inclusion of a decree on sacred images was a French initiative, and the text, never discussed on the floor of the council or referred to council theologians, was based on a French draft.[18]

Objectives and overall results

The main objectives of the council were twofold, although there were other issues that were also discussed:

  1. To condemn the principles and doctrines of Protestantism and to clarify the doctrines of the Catholic Church on all disputed points. It is true that the emperor intended it to be a strictly general or truly ecumenical council, at which the Protestants should have a fair hearing. He secured, during the council’s second period, 1551–1553, an invitation, twice given, to the Protestants to be present and the council issued a letter of safe conduct (thirteenth session) and offered them the right of discussion, but denied them a vote. Melanchthon and Johannes Brenz, with some other German Lutherans, actually started in 1552 on the journey to Trent. Brenz offered a confession and Melanchthon, who got no farther than Nuremberg, took with him the Confessio Saxonica. But the refusal to give the Protestants the vote and the consternation produced by the success of Maurice in his campaign against Charles V in 1552 effectually put an end to Protestant cooperation.[11]
  2. To effect a reformation in discipline or administration. This object had been one of the causes calling forth the reformatory councils and had been lightly touched upon by the Fifth Council of the Lateran under Pope Julius II. The obvious corruption in the administration of the Church was one of the numerous causes of the Reformation. Twenty-five public sessions were held, but nearly half of them were spent in solemn formalities. The chief work was done in committees or congregations. The entire management was in the hands of the papal legate. The liberal elements lost out in the debates and voting. The council abolished some of the most notorious abuses and introduced or recommended disciplinary reforms affecting the sale of indulgences, the morals of convents, the education of the clergy, the non-residence of bishops (also bishops having plurality of benefices, which was fairly common), and the careless fulmination of censures, and forbade duelling. Although evangelical sentiments were uttered by some of the members in favour of the supreme authority of the Scriptures and justification by faith, no concession whatsoever was made to Protestantism.[11]
  3. The Church is the ultimate interpreter of Scripture.[19] Also, the Bible and Church Tradition (the tradition that made up part of the Catholic faith) were equally and independently authoritative.
  4. The relationship of faith and works in salvation was defined, following controversy over Martin Luther’s doctrine of “justification by faith alone”.
  5. Other Catholic practices that drew the ire of reformers within the Church, such as indulgences, pilgrimages, the veneration of saints and relics, and the veneration of the Virgin Mary were strongly reaffirmed, though abuses of them were forbidden. Decrees concerning sacred music and religious art, though inexplicit, were subsequently amplified by theologians and writers to condemn many types of Renaissance and medieval styles and iconographies, impacting heavily on the development of these art forms.

The doctrinal decisions of the council are divided into decrees (decreta), which contain the positive statement of the conciliar dogmas, and into short canons (canones), which condemn the dissenting Protestant views with the concluding “anathema sit” (“let him be anathema”).[11]

Canons and decrees

The doctrinal acts are as follows: after reaffirming the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed (third session), the decree was passed (fourth session) confirming that the deuterocanonical books were on a par with the other books of the canon (against Luther’s placement of these books in the Apocrypha of his edition) and coordinating church tradition with the Scriptures as a rule of faith. The Vulgate translation was affirmed to be authoritative for the text of Scripture.[11]

Justification (sixth session) was declared to be offered upon the basis of human cooperation with divine grace[11] as opposed to the Protestant doctrine of passive reception of grace. Understanding the Protestant “faith alone” doctrine to be one of simple human confidence in divine mercy, the Council rejected the “vain confidence” of the Protestants, stating that no one can know who has received the grace of God. Furthermore, the Council affirmed—against Protestant doctrine—that the grace of God can be forfeited through mortal sin.

The greatest weight in the Council’s decrees is given to the sacraments. The seven sacraments were reaffirmed and the Eucharist pronounced to be a true propitiatory sacrifice as well as a sacrament, in which the bread and wine were consecrated into the Eucharist (thirteenth and twenty-second sessions). The term transubstantiation was used by the Council, but the specific Aristotelian explanation given by Scholasticism was not cited as dogmatic. Instead, the decree states that Christ is “really, truly, substantially present” in the consecrated forms. The sacrifice of the Mass was to be offered for dead and living alike and in giving to the apostles the command “do this in remembrance of me,” Christ conferred upon them a sacerdotal power. The practice of withholding the cup from the laity was confirmed (twenty-first session) as one which the Church Fathers had commanded for good and sufficient reasons; yet in certain cases the Pope was made the supreme arbiter as to whether the rule should be strictly maintained.[11] On the language of the Mass, “contrary to what is often said”, the council condemned the belief that only vernacular languages should be used, while insisting on the use of Latin.[20]

Ordination (twenty-third session) was defined to imprint an indelible character on the soul. The priesthood of the New Testament takes the place of the Levitical priesthood. To the performance of its functions, the consent of the people is not necessary.[11]

In the decrees on marriage (twenty-fourth session) the excellence of the celibate state was reaffirmed, concubinage condemned and the validity of marriage made dependent upon the wedding taking place before a priest and two witnesses, although the lack of a requirement for parental consent ended a debate that had proceeded from the 12th century. In the case of a divorce, the right of the innocent party to marry again was denied so long as the other party was alive,[11] even if the other party had committed adultery. However the council “refused … to assert the necessity or usefulness of clerical celibacy.[20]

In the twenty-fifth and last session,[21] the doctrines of purgatory, the invocation of saints and the veneration of relics were reaffirmed, as was also the efficacy of indulgences as dispensed by the Church according to the power given her, but with some cautionary recommendations,[11] and a ban on the sale of indulgences. Short and rather inexplicit passages concerning religious images, were to have great impact on the development of Catholic Church art. Much more than the Second Council of Nicaea (787) the Council fathers of Trent stressed the pedagogical purpose of Christian images.[22]

The council appointed, in 1562 (eighteenth session), a commission to prepare a list of forbidden books (Index Librorum Prohibitorum), but it later left the matter to the Pope. The preparation of a catechism and the revision of the Breviary and Missal were also left to the pope.[11] The catechism embodied the council’s far-reaching results, including reforms and definitions of the sacraments, the Scriptures, church dogma, and duties of the clergy.[4]

On adjourning, the Council asked the supreme pontiff to ratify all its decrees and definitions. This petition was complied with by Pope Pius IV, on 26 January 1564, in the papal bull, Benedictus Deus, which enjoins strict obedience upon all Catholics and forbids, under pain of excommunication, all unauthorised interpretation, reserving this to the Pope alone and threatens the disobedient with “the indignation of Almighty God and of his blessed apostles, Peter and Paul.” Pope Pius appointed a commission of cardinals to assist him in interpreting and enforcing the decrees.[11]

The Index librorum prohibitorum was announced in 1564 and the following books were issued with the papal imprimatur: the Profession of the Tridentine Faith and the Tridentine Catechism (1566), the Breviary (1568), the Missal (1570) and the Vulgate (1590 and then 1592).[11]

The decrees of the council were acknowledged in Italy, Portugal, Poland and by the Catholic princes of Germany at the Diet of Augsburg in 1566. Philip II of Spain accepted them for Spain, the Netherlands and Sicily inasmuch as they did not infringe the royal prerogative. In France they were officially recognised by the king only in their doctrinal parts. The disciplinary sections received official recognition at provincial synods and were enforced by the bishops. No attempt was made to introduce it into England. Pius IV sent the decrees to Mary, Queen of Scots, with a letter dated 13 June 1564, requesting her to publish them in Scotland, but she dared not do it in the face of John Knox and the Reformation.[11]

These decrees were later supplemented by the First Vatican Council of 1870.

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Inspiration for the Day: The Importance Of Seeing The Good In All

The Importance Of Seeing The Good In All

BY MADISYN TAYLOR

There is a perceptible energetic shift that takes place when we choose to see the good in all.

Our perception shapes the lives we lead because the universe adjusts itself almost instantly to our expectations. When we look for negativity, we are bound to come across it in abundance. Conversely, we create positive energy when we endeavor to see the goodness around us. As easy as it is to criticize the people and situations that frustrate or hurt us, we do ourselves a disservice in the process. It is important to see the good in all as there are blessings hiding in every aspect of our outer-world reality, and the potential for grace exists in all human beings. When our lives are flooded with challenges, grief, and pain, we may be tempted to believe that some individuals or incidents are simply bad. But if we look for the good in all, good reveals itself to us, easing our doubts and reminding us that the universe is a place of balance.

There is a perceptible energetic shift that takes place when we choose to see the good in all. The unnecessary tension that came into being when we dwelled on negativity fades away and is replaced by sympathetic tolerance. We can forgive those that have wronged us because we recognize in them traits we admire, and we may even discover that we can bring out the good in one another. Though loss still grieves us, we recognize the beginning of a new phase of existence that abounds with fresh opportunities. Each new challenge becomes another chance to prove ourselves, and we learn to show great patience in the face of difficulty. There are few pleasures greater than gazing outward and seeing beauty, wisdom, and harmony. These are the attributes of the universe that help us to cope when we encounter their opposing forces.

Since you create your reality, you make your world a better place each time you acknowledge the good in your circumstances and in the people you encounter. As you draw attention to the positive aspects of the world around you, your understanding of the affirmative nature of all existence will grow. There are few lessons you will learn in this life that will prove as instrumental to your happiness and satisfaction. In appreciating the all pervasive goodness that exists in the universe, you internalize it, making it a lasting part of your life.

 

Daily OM

When Astrological Opposites Attract: Can It Work?

When Astrological Opposites Attract: Can It Work?

Reveal how to fan the flames of desire with an opposing sign


Content authored by April Elliott Kent

Ah, romantic chemistry: So thrilling, so unpredictable … and yet, so exhausting. Any two zodiac signs can get along if both are willing to work out their differences. Opposite signs, however, share a special attraction right from the start — and also face the special challenges that come with having very different personalities.

Just as a battery creates an energizing spark when opposite polarities are brought together, Sun signs that are polar opposites on the horoscopic wheel generate sparks that can ignite passionate relationships. But spending time with someone whose approach to life is completely opposite your own can be draining, too, and eventually your relationship battery will need to be recharged. How can you and your opposite sign revive the spark that brought you together — and maintain your relationship’s sizzle?

Aries (March 21 – April 19) +
Libra (Sept. 23 – Oct. 22)

When Aries meets Libra, a spark of passion is ignited by a primal clash between Aries’ raw energy and unbridled sexuality and Libra’s smooth charm and refinement. But over time, the spark can trigger flames of irritation as Aries tires of Libra’s delicate manners and Libra despairs of ever-civilizing Aries. To keep your relationship pulsating with passion rather than pique, declare a truce in the battle of the sexes and work together to create something tangible: start a business, build a house, or just cook dinner together. The complementary skills you bring to the task at hand will remind you why you’re such an excellent match.

 

Taurus (April 20 – May 20) +
Scorpio (Oct. 23 – Nov. 21)

This is a flaming hot combination right from the start. When easygoing, sensual Taurus collides with Scorpio’s smoldering passion, they erupt in a blaze of desire. Over time, though, Taurus can tire of Scorpio’s intensity, while Scorpio may find Taurus a bit too laid back. Ironically, you can keep the sparks flying in your relationship by occasionally getting out of the bedroom. An afternoon with friends or an evening at a concert will help you see each other through fresh eyes — and give you the chance to yearn for each other from afar.

 

Gemini (May 21 – June 20) +
Sagittarius (Nov. 22 – Dec. 21)

From the moment that sparkling, intellectual Gemini meets sage, philosophical Sagittarius, your mutual love of ideas sparks immediate fascination. Your opposite approaches to the world of the mind can, however, drive you to frustration, with Gemini growing annoyed by Sagittarius’ know-it-all attitude and Sagittarius irritated by Gemini’s love of chatter and gossip. Transform the tension into sizzling sensuality with forays into the realms of nature and imagination. Take a swim, hike in the mountains, go on a safari, or spend an afternoon losing yourselves in music, film, or art. Simply getting out of your heads for a while can refuel your passion — and give you new and exciting ideas to talk about.

 

Cancer (June 21 – July 22) +
Capricorn (Dec. 22 – Jan. 19)

When sensitive, security-seeking Cancer meets strong, silent Capricorn, the classic match between supportive nurturer and worldly provider excites instantaneous attraction. Over time, though, Cancer can feel ignored by Capricorn, while Capricorn sometimes sees Cancer as too clingy. To keep your relationship from cooling, you need to remember that you’re not just partners, but lovers. Follow the example of every couple in the history of television sitcoms and get out of the house, stash the kids with their grandparents, and have yourselves a real, old-fashioned date. Head to a trendy restaurant with flowers, champagne, and romantic gifts in tow … and when you get home, slip into your most provocative lingerie.

 

Leo (July 23 – Aug. 22) +
Aquarius (Jan. 20 – Feb. 18)

Attraction explodes when Leo, the king or queen of the kingdom, encounters irreverent Aquarius. Aquarius, who refuses to bow before royalty, fascinates Leo; Aquarius admires Leo’s ability to warm up any room with sheer charisma. Over time, though, Aquarius can become weary of Leo’s need for attention, and Leo grows cranky as Aquarius continually defies social conventions. When you’re ready to wash your hands of each other, drag each other off to bed instead. Spending time away from crowds and indulging the purely physical side of your relationship is the surest way to find common ground and reenergize your attraction.

 

Virgo (Aug. 23 – Sept. 22) +
Pisces (Feb. 19 – March 20)

Virgo is, above all, orderly and practical; Pisces swims through life deftly avoiding the stifling confines of boring routines. When you come together, each is titillated by the prospect of giving the other a makeover, with Virgo organizing Pisces’ affairs and Pisces helping Virgo unwind and live a little. Over time, though, Virgo becomes exasperated by Pisces’ unreliability, while Pisces resents Virgo’s tendency to criticize and control. A regular change of scenery is the key to keeping your relationship passionate. Travel to new lands, study a language together, or just visit a new restaurant across town. Virgo will benefit from the change in routine, while Pisces will appreciate Virgo’s ability to plan an efficient itinerary, remember to make reservations, or conjugate unwieldy verbs in a foreign tongue.

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