Sunday, April 05, 2009

IHS - Iota Eta Sigma - Cardinal George, Palm Sunday, and Chicago

At Little Flower Grammar School near 79th & Wood Street - it was actually on 8000 S. Honore, I believe that it occurred just after Bold Teddy got back from bashing Spain in Cuba, I remember asking one of the Sisters of Mercy, Sister Doralese ( who genuinely and cordially hated my guts), about the meaning of the Three Letters that seemed to adorn every altar, pillar, and church facade in the Church Universal.

S'tir? What's them three mean?'

'Them three what? Them three what? Speak like a Christian and not one of them 69th Street Loafers.'

S'tir, the them three letters what's on the altar over by there.

'What specific three letters, you horrible little man!' ( for Authenticity - hiss and spit each syllable)

IHS - them there.

'Are you some hillbilly? Ask -'Sister Doralese, I have a name you know, please explain the meaning of acronym IHS?'

'S'tir, explain the acorn on the altar over by there.

'God's Mercy! Kneel down! Now! Stay kneeling! Open your books while this one learns some manners!'

And so another paragraph was added to the volumes of my ignorance. Many, Many years later, I learned that each letter represented a Greek Letter: I -Iota - H ( or Haitch as some of the ignorant FBI Foreign Born Irish would pronounce the strange bi-consonant - yes, it was BI - it could swing both ways!) eta and the S stood for Sigma - the collective use by persecuted Christians symbolized Christ - IHSOUS Jesus This is what Jesus would have sewn onto his blue blazer - the Monogram of Jesus.

'Sharp, there Jesus! Man you are Mel Collins; Sea Breeze Lounge Clean! Yeow!Get it at Lyttons?'

Naw, Baskins over on 95th near Longwood! Half-a -Yard On Sale!

'Son of God -You are Duked Out Nicely for a poor kid from Bethlehem!' . . .

Sorry, but I digress . . .

I recalled one of my painful lessons learned from the Sisters of Mercy, because of the rough week Francis Cardinal George has had again at this Holiest of Times to Catholics and most Christians - Easter.

Last year, Cardinal George and the parishioners of Holy Name Cathedral parish were splattered with blood from six nitwits who wanted to domestic terrorists.

This year Holy Name Cathedral caught fire and Cardinal George found himself again attacked by media morons for defending the faith in the flap over Notre Dame ( Neutered Dome -rather) affirmation of President Obama as Abortionist in Chief by conferring an Honorary Degree upon the most strident Abortion President in American History. Barack Obama has set himself up as the Abraham Lincoln of Abortion.

That's nice - but no Catholic school should honor that political decision.

Cardinal George lit into that decision and Religion Swami goofball at the Chicago Tribune's Manya Brachear is soiling her Speedo's in response:

how could the cardinal be surprised that his remarks went viral when the world was on the edge of their seats to hear what he had to say?

With all due respect, Cardinal, in the age of YouTube, every conference is a press conference.

The cardinal's diplomatic words on Friday might have guided the conversation earlier. In clarifying his remarks, he expressed deep respect for Obama and the office of the President. He also acknowledged that he and Obama agree on many issues.

“On other things, particularly on this issue, he has his own principles that are well thought out,” the cardinal said

In fact, the cardinal implied, Obama’s plan to speak is not really the central issue that should be discussed.

“In Catholic community, whatever anyone does affects anybody else,” he said. “We can think of scandals. We can think of problems. Therefore, no institution that calls itself Catholic can be unilateral.”

“So the decision in a sense corroborates our theology,” he continued. “What one of us does in Catholicism affects us all and I think that’s the question that has to be discussed.”

What do you think? Is the issue Obama at Notre Dame or is the issue really how the invitation was offered to begin with?

With all due respect ( Code for 'Gee that is really stupid!') Manya . . . are you really that stupid> Of course you are a Chicago religion writer! Chicago Newspapers compete to have the absolute biggest dummies write about religion.

The Cardinal spoke very clearly - Notre Dame is wrong in giving President Obama an Honorary Degree, because he is the most strident Abortion President in history.

It is not about dialog - it is not about having the President on campus - it is about affirming a grave sin to all Catholics ( whether they choose to believe that or not) and a school that has shed its right to call itself Catholic.

Today, is Palm Sunday which always seemed like the most Politically Correct Feast Day in the Catholic Cycle. It is the MOST phony - a real political rally for Jesus as he rides into Jerusalem on a Donkey ( DNC?) to hypocrites waving palms - that is all of us. We wave Palms - pay lip service to our Faith and Scream for Crucifixion in four day - like go along with President Barack Obama's will to make Abortion - the killing of children just a dandy feature of American life.

Cardinal George is no Palm Waver. He takes the hits - with great and stunning regularity.

Cardinal George is one hell of a priest in an age dominated by Clerical Cupcakes and Doctrinal trimmers.

Cardinal George lives the three letters that I asked the Galway-bred theological genius Sr. Doralese R.S.M. ( Religious Sisters of Mercy) and was put on my knees for thirty minutes and rewarded with continued ignorance for years.

Cardinal George would have told me -
'Good Question , there Kiddo Here's the deal -
Jesus Christ in Greek is ΙΗΣΟΥΣ ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ and written in the English alphabet is "IHCOYC XPICTOC" or "IHSOYS XPISTOS"

Starting in the third century the nomina sacra, or names of Jesus, were sometimes shortened by contraction in Christian inscriptions, resulting in sequences of Greek letters such as:

+ Jesus +
IH (iota eta)
IC (iota sigma) (first and last letter)
IHC (iota eta sigma)
IHS (iota eta sigma)
JH (iota eta)
JC (iota sigma)
JHC (iota eta sigma)
JHS (iota eta sigma)

+ Christ +
XP (chi ro)
XC (chi sigma) (first and last letter)
XPC (chi rho sigma)
XPS (chi rho sigma)

+ Jesus Christ +

The Greek letter sigma has been translated as both "C" and "S"
The Greek letter iota has been translated as both "I" and "J"

With love in Christ, Pal! Now, avoid trouble, you and all of your pals there - Kelly, Bigane, Miller, Ryan, Knight , Fiscelli, Panatera, Shea, and Smith - put that pack of Luckies up here on the desk Mr. Bigane! I'll see you after I'm done with Hickey here. -Say your prayers. Remember Mary Our Mother in All Things - you won't but try. Do your homework and everything will be Jake! Okay - here comes the Blessing! In the Name of the Father, . . .And the Son . . . And the Holy Ghost as was in the Beginning, is now and ever Shall be World Without End Amen! Stay off the Grass - Mr. Grogan just put down seed. The Luckies, Mr. Bigane! Pronto! The rest of you Lambs -Get!

Palm Sunday - it calls to mind many things.

Cardinal George - You are a Hell of a Priest!

Jesus! I gotta get to Mass! Clare! Get up! Hit the Shower! Yes, You are going! TS - it's Palm Sunday! Move!

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