Nothing here will top a chocolate cake recipe, I'm afraid, but perhaps some might find these links helpful. I found two insightful articles:
The latter I found to be especially helpful. It condemns the attitudes of some Catholics who lie in wait for our Papa to say anything that could be twisted to be heretical, and then discusses the most often-quoted "heretical" passages from Benedict's works and interprets them in context.
While reading this article, I can completely relate to the author's obserations. Where do people pick up such a terrible attitude? It certainly exists. Is it natural cynicism? Is it inherited prejudice? Is it from seeing so many less-than-perfect Catholics? I can't figure it out, but it is despicable. An apologist named John Martinoni appropriately said, "There is a shortage of vocations to the priesthood, but none to the papacy!" The pope is not a bureaucrat, he is our God-appointed father, and anyone who calls himself Catholic must treat him as such. Naturally, one does not have to agree with every single thing he does, but there should be a charity and softness about criticism that one would give to a family member or close friend. One can desecrate a holy thing with words as well as actions, and the pope's name is a holy thing.
Also, as with familial criticism, such objections must be said only to an appropriate audience; in other words, discretion must be used so that when faults or apparent errors are discussed, it is done only when some genuine good may come of it. It is a sick person indeed who wanders about, telling everyone they meet about the flaws of their father, yet so often that is what happens with Catholics and their opinions about their pope.
"O Fair and Strong! O Strong and Fair in vain!
Look southward where Rome's desecrated town
Lies mourning for her God-anointed King!
Look heaven-ward! shall God allow this thing?
Nay! But some flame-girt Raphael shall come down,
And smite the Spoiler with the sword of pain."
In other news, no sign of the anti-Christ here in South Carolina. The honeysuckle is blooming and making the warm evening air languidly fragrant. There is a most interesting phenomena that happens in the twilight here, that I have not yet seen in Virginia. Sometimes the rosy sky and sun make everything appear pink, as if you are wearing rose-colored glasses. Perhaps it comes from being so near sea-level. It's beautiful.
Work is going well--it hasn't picked up so much yet that I don't have time to ride at least a couple of times a week. It's so encouraging to see how my students from last summer have improved after only one year of riding.
I have some good pictures of last year I would love to post, but for some reason our computer lacks a USB driver. If anyone knows how/where to get one, please speak freely.