Friday, December 28, 2007

Littly Johnny Files a Complaint against Santa & Co.

To Whom it May Concern:

I wish to file a formal complaint against the Santa & Co. who, in my personal opinion, has preformed at a less than professional level and also failed to acknowledge the universal, verbal contract that exists between Santa & Co. and every person in the world that states that the quantity and quality of presents received on Christmas morning from Santa & Co. is directly related to the degree of niceness or naughtiness that the individual has been throughout the previous year. I file this complaint specifically for the violation of said verbal agreement mentioned previously. The behavior I exhibited this past year was clearly Wii worthy: I did not throw spitball at my teachers this year, I only received punish work a total of 2 times, I only got into no school yard fights, I put sugar in the salt shakers only twice this year, I helped mom with the garbage, I helped sis with her math, and I did not break my bat over Tommy’s head this year.

As you can see from the above, I have behaved at a level that is far superior to any of the other kids on my block who, might I add, all received Wii’s this year for Christmas. Unlike the other kinds on the street, I did not do drugs, I did not engage in illicit behavior, I did not do any illegal activity, I did not launder money, nor did I have any of my enemies knocked off. I can only imagine that this mistake might be due to a clerical error, perhaps one of the workers in the main office failed to double check the list to determine that my behavior had improved through the course of the year and was indeed Wii worthy.

To be honest, I am dumbfounded how my behavior was only worth three cans of Spam, a shrunken head, and a half smoked cigar. This leads me to inquire as to whether or not I was even included on the list this year, for the stuff I received makes me believe that my parents were trying to fill in for the Santa & Co. this year. If I was left off the list this year, that would explain the mistake, and I ask you to forward my Wii to the Easter Bunny who should deliver it promptly on Easter Sunday along with Cadbury Cr̬me eggs and a bag of jelly beans Рplease no black jelly beans this year, they are gross.

However, if I was not left off the list and my Wii worthy behavior was not overlooked by a clerical error but was a blatant denial of good, decent, honest, behavior then I will have to seek legal action from the law offices of Dewey, Cheatem, and Howe.

Also, my mother was very upset at the crumbs and footprints your CEO left all through the house.

Thanks you for your time and consideration. I await your reply in a prompt manner.

Little Johnny

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

March for Life: Help for Teens

It's about one month from the March for Life in DC and high school teens across America are going to have to start asking their parents for permission to miss school in order to march for life. Here are some reasons the teens can give their parents on why they should let their sons and daughters march for life
  1. The babies depend on it.
  2. Not only the babies, but also the elderly, sick, disabled, poor, and over worked.
  3. I am standing up for something I believe in.
  4. For the health of women and awareness of men.
  5. My voice will be heard along with 100,000 + other people who have the same feelings and beliefs as I do.
  6. I will help make a public witness to the governments and the nation.
  7. Civil rights aren't dead, and I should be involved in procuring those rights for all people regardless of race, creed, or age.
  8. I will be actively involved in a good cause.
  9. We will learn first hand media bias when the news fails to report 100,000+ people marching on the capital for life but instead feels more obliged to tell us about Paris Hilton's latest tattoo, sex tape, or other antic.
  10. I can get extra credit in my Social Studies, History, English, and/or Religion class.
  11. To help raise national awareness that life is precious beautiful, and sacred and should be respected at all stages of life.
  12. I will learn new jargon. "Womb to Tomb" and "Seamless garment of life."
  13. I will have the opportunity to hear leading government officials as well as leading church figures speak to the United States and Youth of America on the importance of life.
  14. Because 100,000+ people of all races, religions, genders, etc . . . marching together in a common belief will be an inspiring experience.
  15. I can write about it for my college application process.
  16. Because abortion, euthanasia, and the disposal of the unwanted of our society is unAmerican, and it is our moral, ethical, and political responsibility to raise awareness about issues that are dangerous to the American way of life.
Feel free to add some of your own.

Merry Christmas

Need I say more?

Thursday, December 20, 2007

No Blogging Till After Christmas

In order to get more in the Advent spirit and prepare for the coming Christmas season, I've opted to do an Advent fast from blogging. So to all the readers I will return after Christmas.

Also, I'm leaving today to make the drive from Delaware to New Orleans. Peace, God bless, and have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Repost: Be Charitable this Winter With Random Acts of Kindness

I was thinking that as fall approaches quickly in the Northeast, where I am currently living, and trees are beginning to change yellow, gold, red, and brown, I thought it might be a great exercise in charity and humility to help a fellow neighbor. Here is a picture I took one year while ridding a bus in Chicago. This could be exactly what we need more of in our country. Not to mention, as the prices in fuel go up, it is a way to stay warm without breaking the bank. I wonder if this will pass as my penance for doing three random acts of kindness?.?.

Will the Real Saint Nick Please Stand Up?

Inspired by Caption Contest #40 from the IC.

Will The Real Saint Nick Please Stand Up?
(Set to the tune of Eminem's 'The Real Slim Shady')

May I have your attention please?
May I have your attention please?
Will the real Saint Nick please stand up?
I repeat, will the real Saint Nick please stand up?
We're gonna have a problem here..

Y'all act like you never seen Saint Nick before
Jaws all on the floor like a crook, like John Wayne just burst in the door
and started whoopin him worse than before
they first hitin’ and punchin’, throwin him down the bar (Ahh!)
It's the return of the... "Ah, wait, no way, you're kidding,
he didn't just say what I think he did, did he?"
And Dr. Phil said... nothing you fools!
Dr. Phil’s all in the head, he's on Oprah and on the TV (Ha-ha!)
Everyone loves Ole’ Saint Nick
[*vocal turntable: chigga chigga chigga*]
"Saint Nick, I can’t get enough of him
Look at him, walkin around giving gifts to the world
Givin’ gifts to the you-know-who," "Yeah, but he's a saint though!"
Yeah, I probably got a little jealousy here up in my headless
But no worse, than what's goin on down the street in bars.
Sometimes, I wanna get on TV and just let loose, but can't
but it's cool, did you just see the winter’s flock of goose
"My mom was kissing Old’ Saint Nick, givin a kiss on the lips."
And if I'm lucky, He’ll leave me presents that I can’t miss.
And that's the message that we deliver to little kids
And expect them not to know who that Ole Saint Nick is
Of course they gonna know from CCD who Saint Nick is
By the time they hit fourth grade
They got the Discovery Channel don't they?
"The History of Santa" Well, some of us would prefer to just drink Fanta.
Milk and cookies for the old man Santa
But I wish he would eat some celery
He needs to be around for a long to time, you see.
If hope floats then does he have the antidote.
All the People sing the chorus and it goes,

[Chorus: (repeat 2X)]

'Cause He’s the Saint Nick, yes he’s the real Santa
All you other Saint Nicks are just imitating
So won't the real Saint Nick please stand up,
please stand up, please stand up?

Gold, Frankincense, Myrrh, and Red Bull

Some people have been finding this ad blasphemous. My Italian isn't as sharp as it once was, but I don't seem to see anything outright blasphemous. Hmm this makes me think. If Jesus were to today receive three gifts that represented his kingship, his divinity, and death/priesthood, what might they be? Maybe his picture on a Wheaties box, an Oscar, and his own a clothing line (I'm buying the first pair of Air Jesus Sandals). Then again, I think what the wise men gave would still do just fine. Even if we have nearly lost the understanding of symbols in our culture.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Healthy Messages

Some healthy messages for the holiday season. Also, is a real website. It links to the Governor's Program on Abstinence in Louisiana -- I used to work there back in the day.

Faith, Reason, and the War Against Jihadism by George Weigel

George Weigel usually has something interesting to say, and it is the case with his latest book Faith, Reason, and the War Against Jihadism. The book has such a title because Weigel looks at the faith in Jihadists and the lack of it in the West and the role reason currently plays in each camp and how the lack of faith in the West and the distrust of reason on both parties feeds the fires of Jihadism. The book is divided into three sections and subdivided through the length of the book into fifteen lessons.

Section one is titled “Understanding the Enemy”. In this section he presents the case that America, and possibly the world, has misunderstodd the enemy. We know not who we fight because Americans have not bothered enough to look into it and have forgotten history enough to realize that the struggle between the West and Islamic Jihadism is nothing new. Weigel does mention the rich philosophical tradition that Islam once had, after all it was the Muslims that preserved the writings of Aristotle and other learners from being forgotten, and points out that at one point in history faction of Islam became distrusting of reason and those factions eventually grew in number until nearly all reason was squeezed from the faith. The basic argument goes that without right reason, anything might be deemed permissible. This would allow for contradictions such as murdering innocents in the name of a God who has a commandment about not killing.

Weigel also points out that the sweeping assumption that the God of Judaism and Christianity is the same God as that found in Islam. He says this is not the case as both groups have very differing views of God. The latter party allows God to contradict Himself, as if God can be both being and not being (and I don’t mean ‘not being’ in the apophatic sense). In other words, Jihadism is the result of poor theology. So the war America is fighting is not so much a war on terror as it is a war on bad theology -- perhaps America should put some theologians on the front lines, if that be the case. I think Father James Schall sums it up well in this interview.

The current struggle with the Jihading Muslims, according to Weigel, is the struggle between Islam and modernity. Islam did not want modernity to invade its culture so they simply ignored it, and like the ignoring of a bad infection it only gets worse.

The second section of the book is called “Rethinking Realism.” I did feel like I was reading a laundry list of mess-ups from America on the war in Iraq because America failed to see the world as it is. Weigel discusses the misappropriation of funds, the openness of Iraq’s boards that allow in more terrorists and therefore more terror upon US troops, and the uncertainty on the part of the American government. Also in this section are the follies of not taking into account another country’s culture and religion when rebuilding the country and allowing for a style of democracy that is unique to a culture and not trying to force an American style of democracy on another country. In this section he mentioned that the war on terror and the war in Iraq are very different than most other wars in that it is not really contained within a state. It is a war without boarders. This is one of the reasons he sees the war going on for much longer than most people want it to, and it would do American good to develop the virtue of patients on this matter.

The last section of the book was titled “Deserving Victory.” In it Weigel was very blunt in his critique of America, other countries, and Islam. He questions how a country can fight a war against an enemy who views both defeat and victory as positive, the need to rethink and overhaul how countries deal with each other, and the necessity of scrapping the politically correct agenda for the safety of the world. Also in this section are suggestions for limiting the funding from America that goes to terrorism. Two suggestions were to go become oil independent and make alternative fuel sources for travel.

Although I do not know where in the book he mentioned it, but the idea that I found most interesting is that Weigel proposes that Bin-Laden wants America in Iraq and to leave prematurely would send a message of weakness, which would then be interpreted by the terrorists as a victory for them. The terrorists then viewing America’s premature withdrawal from Iraq would then result in an onslaught of more terror attacks on America. If America can be defeated once, she can be defeated again. He used the USSR/Russia as his example.

I found the book an easy read and a very quick read, only 157 pages of text. I do recommend the book to anyone unfamiliar on the issue at hand. The book seems more like a quick overview of the topics and often I found myself asking, “Did this book really need to be written?” I did not find the book to be as clear and concise as some of his other writings, as I found it vague at times, and I often found the people he quoted to be more interesting and insightful than what Weigel had to say. The strongest section of the book was the last section where he critiqued a number of different issues: American dependency on oil, indifferentism, and a loss of history. Weigel did not dive as deep into some of the issues as I would like; for instance, I was expecting much more on the relation between faith and reason and the necessity of each and how one complements the other but the text was nearly vapid on the subject.

I do give a word of caution. There were times when I was uncertain as if Weigel was speaking only of those Muslims who practiced a violent Jihadism or if he meant all of Islam. Though he mentioned only Jihadism, I would not be surprised if he meant the latter but bit his tongue out of prudence.

Books is available December 26, 2007.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Thieves Make off with Man's 'Holy Leg'

Someone should tell these guys that it is only a relic after the person dies.

From Article:
Police in southern India are hunting for two men who attacked a Hindu holy man, cut off his right leg and then made off with it.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the Church

Mark LeBelle over at the Arrival is doing an interesting multi part series relating the success of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on the terms that have been predicated to the animated heros (Teenage, Mutant, Ninja, Turtle) to the terms that have been predicated to the Catholic Church: One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic. The success of each can be found in those terms that describe the nature of each.

From Essay:
Because in the same way that someone can talk about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles without fully understanding what those four words imply, one can state their belief in the One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church week after week and not really comprehend the weight of this title. While these adjectives might seem redundant or superfluous, one must understand that the Church is seldom wordy for the sake of being wordy. Like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, every word counts in the Catholic Church.
The only thing I want to know is if the TMNT were catholic.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Send the Pope a Christmas Card

If you were wondering, you can send the Pope a Christmas card by mailing it here:

Pope Benedict XVI
La Citta Vaticana,

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Where are They Now: Christmas Edition

After becoming well known through seasonal songs and movies Frosty went off to the North Pole to spend the warm summer months someplace cold so that he wouldn't melt. For years he would occasionally make guest appearances outside of malls in Canada, Michigan, and Colorado. Also, from time to time he would pose in people's front yards as a lawn decoration just for kicks. It has been a number of years since anyone had spoken to Frosty, but shortly before the release of "An Inconvenient Truth" rumors were swirling that Frosty was seen talking with Al Gore about being the spokesman for his movie as well as global warming. Since then Frosty has disappeared and has been unreachable since the rumors of the Gore and Frosty meeting. Theories have arisen about Frosty's disappearance ranging from Gore attacking him with a hair dryer to further support his global warming theory to him being attacked by rabid polar rabbits.

Save the Planet, Tax the Babies

This is one of the most absurd ideas I have heard. You have to really hate the world, people, and families to think of an idea this crazy. Also, talk about an idea that is unethical. Man, if this isn't unethical then I don't know what is. It certainly is one way to entice people not to have kids. I personally can't wait till there is a yearly bathroom tax, a plastic tax, a walking tax, a breathing tax, an ear wax tax, and a dust tax. Then again, some of those Aussies are a bit ridiculous, so it shouldn't surprise me when a crazy idea is thought up over there. Sometimes I wonder how far are we really from something as serious as Huxley's Brave New World.

From Article:
A WEST Australian medical expert wants families to pay a $5000-plus "baby levy" at birth and an annual carbon tax of up to $800 a child.

Writing in today's Medical Journal of Australia, Associate Professor Barry Walters said every couple with more than two children should be taxed to pay for enough trees to offset the carbon emissions generated over each child's lifetime.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Not Said by Jesus Sunday

Regifting or God?

Finally, the holiday season has arrived, and you know what that means: standing in line for hours, fighting traffic, and cutting off the old lady who uses a walker to get around the mall from the only parking place left in the parking lot? Well, sort of . . . but not entirely. I’m sure that some of us have attended a few holiday parties playing white elephant, have given gifts and have received presents already in this early part of the holiday season. If you haven’t, then I’m sure you will be doing so soon. My real problem every year at the holiday season is “What the heck am I going to do with all this stuff I’m going to get this year?”

Of course, some of it I will keep – especially if it is something I can use such as the sweater from Granny, the wine from a brother, and a fruit basket from mom. But what about the stuff I can’t use: like the pedicure set from the white elephant party I receive last year from work (I had no idea my pedis needed curing.), or the third copy of Augustine’s Confessions from a secret-Santa last holiday season, or my umteenth Christmas I will surely be getting from cousin Becky?

There is little doubt that some of these presents, particularly the ones I can’t use, will have a second chance as they become ‘re-gifts’ to friends and family through the coming season. A friend of mine prefers the phrase reborn gifts -- she thinks it sounds more Christian. Anyway, I for one am not the biggest fan of re-gift giving, nor do I like receiving re-gifts. We all hopefully remember that episode of Sienfeld where Elaine labels a friend a re-gifter because the friend re-gifted a present that Elaine had given her to Jerry. Heck, there is even a website dedicated to sharing re-gifting stories and practical advice to a re-gifter: don’t re-gift the same gift back to its original giver.

Yet, I am not here concerned with the ethics of re-gifting. I for one think a case stands that God Himself might encourage re-gifting. But before getting into that issue, let us remember what exactly a gift is. I find it quite difficult to remember what a gift is, especially since we live in such an autonomous tit-for-tat culture where if you receive a gift it is almost expected that a gift is to be given in return if not at the present moment then at a later time. How many of us will actually go out of our way to get a small gift for someone because we received an unexpected Christmas present this year?

The trouble with the tit-for-tat mentality is that it turns gift giving into a form of economic exchange – I guess when economics runs deep in a culture it is difficult to keep it from influencing certain areas of life. Be that as it may, what gifting has become is not exactly what it is to be. We aren’t exactly dealing with baseball cards or stocks, and the last I checked there is no exchange rate for gift types. If I give a PS3 what should be given in return? Gift giving or even gift exchanging is not exactly bartering and there is no math formula that will solve for the sum total.

So what is a gift if it is not an economic exchange of goods? A good working definition of a gift might be something freely given or received without expectation or obligation of repayment. The only real obligation of the recipient is hinged on actually utilizing the gift. This understanding is quite different from an economic model. In fact, it is almost contrary to the economic model of gift giving.

Gift giving should always be done freely. There is no obligation set upon any person to give gifts. There are no government laws or documents that requires Americans to give gifts to one another, nor are there any Church statements, papal bulls, or encyclicals which explicitly oblige Catholics (or any Christian) to give gifts. Then why should we give gifts? Because it echoes God when we give freely as it is God who gives freely His love to the world. Why should we receive gifts? Because it again allows us to echo God when we receive freely as it is God who freely receives our love in prayers. In other words, by giving and receiving freely we help allow others to practice true love (or charity), and it brings us and them closer to God.

As far as re-gifting is concerned, if it is done freely with the hope of spreading joy and love I see little problem with it – especially if what is re-gifted is something that the re-gifter cannot use (like a pedicure set). I believe that God actually encourages re-gifting. Does He not give us all a free gift of His love? Does He not want us then to take that gift and pass it on to someone else? In other words, aren’t we supposed to re-gift God’s love to one another? That is, re-gifting is hardwired into the soul. So it is no wonder that many many people not only feel the need to re-gift but actually do re-gift.

Why re-gift? Because gifts need to be used. Just as every bird has a nest, every gift has a proper home. For example, I will never use the pedicure set that I received this year, but I do know a few girls who would put it to good use. Besides, nothing pleases the giver of said gift more than seeing his or her gift being used. Isn’t that why you always take Aunt Sally’s lamp out the closet when she comes over or wear the shirt Uncle Bob gave you when you go visit because they receive joy and love is returned to the giver by using his or her gift?

Perhaps this year I will do my best to look at re-gifting not as getting rid of unwanted junk but as a freely given gift that is once again being freely given in an attempt to spread some joy and love in the world. After all, God does seem to be most regiftable.

Friday, December 07, 2007

How To Introduce a Bishop

Have you ever wondered, "Exactly how do I introduce my Bishop?" Well, I had to ask myself this just a little earlier today, as I was asked to introduce my Bishop tonight for our Advent Theology on Tap series. This is what I came up with in 30 minutes, which was all the time I had to prepare, and a pint of beer-- oh, and feel free to use it on your bishop if you ever have to introduce him.

note*[I called the Bishop only by his first initial below. I used his actual name when I introduced him]

{begin intro}
I feel little need to introduce Bishop S., as he is already well known and liked throughout our diocese. So instead of reiterating the same facts that we have all most likely heard at least three times a piece, I've decided to take a different approach introducing Bishop S. by sharing with you several little know facts about himself. I assure you that all these facts are real as I found them on the internet after doing a quick Google search of his name. So here they are:

1. During the 70's, Bishop S. was an international surf-star and still the only person ever to win the triple crown of surfing.

2. For a short period of time, he traveled the professional wrestling circuit and was known as "The Apostle". His finishing more was called 'God's Hand' (Ask him to show you later, it is pretty amazing.).

3. It is a little known fact that Bishop S. once defeated both Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan in a 2 on 1 basketball game.

4. He studied martial arts and trained under Bruce Lee. It is this reason that certain film studios sought our Bishop out to be the stunt double for Sly Stallone, Jackie Chan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and other really big, strong action stars.

5. The Character we all know as James Bond. Yeah, well, he has nothing to do with our Bishop.

6.Bishop S. is the only person to climb Mt. Everest twice while wearing nothing but a Hawaiian shirt, shorts, and sandals.

7. Most recently he released a hybrid rap-country-folk album under the pseudonym 'B. Diddy"'

But on a more serious note . . . [then I did the real intro to what he would be doing tonight].

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Interview with God

Over at 100 Word Stories a writer, Dave, wrote a nice little 100 word piece on preparing for an interview with God. Read it here. It made me laugh.

From Story:
Hmmm ... maybe drop the "Problem of Evil" down to #2, move the "Meaning of Life" up -- it's more feel-good -- I hope -- less of a challenge. Ease into things.

Christmas Songs that We Will Never Hear

24 hours of Christmas music makes a person think. What kind of Christmas songs never made the cut to become Christmas songs on the radio? Here are a few suggestions. Feel Free to Share your own suggestions.
1. Santa had a Heart Attack.
2. Santa Needs to Go on a Diet.
3. Frank the Bitter Disgruntle Christmas Elf.
4. Mommy Stood in Line for 13 Hours To Get You This Gift, and Santa Gets All the Credit.
5. Christmas Bankruptcy Blues.
6. I'll Have an Air Conditioned Christmas.
7. Noisy Reckless Holiday Gathering.
8. Uncle Dan: Not Smarter than Daniel the Christmas Donkey
9. Chilly the Cool Christmas Puddle (aka, Have You Seen Frosty Lately?)
10. Jesus Wants Me to Celebrate His Birthday by Overeating, Sleeping, and Being a Lazy Bum on the Couch While Watching the Planet of the Apes Marathon for the 15th year in a Row.
11. Licking Frost Covered Poles is Fun!
12. I'm Dreaming of a Yellow Snowball Fight.
13. All I Want for Christmas is a PS3 . . . and I Don't Care if I Send My Family to the Poor House as Long as I can Blow Things Up in Blue Ray High Def.
14. I Saw Mommy Talking to Santa About Remaining Faithful to Mrs. Clause.
15. Scrooge Was Right.
16. Heaux, Heaux, Heaux, Geaux, Geaux, Geaux, Neaux, Neaux, Neaux (for my Louisiana readers).

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Decoding Your Christmas Cards

Here is an article I found. I thought it was worth a glance.

From Article:
In the next few weeks, most of us will be receiving an influx of Christmas cards. While many of these will feature cardinals in the snow or a Victorian Santa Claus, many others will be reproductions of Renaissance paintings of the Nativity, the subject that was the origin of the feast of Christmas.

We are so familiar with many of these images that we often look at them without really looking. We may note the familiarshepherds and wise men as they surround the Holy Family in the stable, or recognise the star. But as we hold the 4-by-6 inch card printed on heavy paper, sometimes complicated by an embossed gold frame or other enhancement, we may not think about the grandeur or substance of the original painting. We may easily overlook the artist’s purpose and the meaning of the details. We enjoy the beauty of colour and form, the sweetness of the mother and child, and then we put the card on a mantelpiece to be seen by other family members -- and perhaps to remind ourselves to put a card in the mail to the sender.

Monday, December 03, 2007

I've Been Memed!

Ok, so Adrienne over at Adrienne's Catholic Corner memed me earlier today. The first time I got a meme I didn't know what the heck the kid was talking about. I was like "meme, sounds like a disease." Anyway, after learning from my past experiences I now know what to do. Here is the meme.

Each tagged person must post 8 random facts or habits about themselves on their blog. At the end of the post, choose 8 people to be tagged and list their names. Don't forget to leave a comment telling them that they are tagged and to read your blog. Have fun!
  1. I love cheese.
  2. I love beer. I love theology and beer together at the same time even more.
  3. I failed English in High School, and I almost failed English two other times. If my teachers could only see me now.
  4. I have a strange liking for traditional music (bluegrass, cajun/zydeco, celtic/irish). I like modern stuff too, but there is just something about the trad tunes that I enjoy -- a certain beat and feel not found in most modern music.
  5. A messy kitchen/sink bothers me. A messy room or office is a totally other story.
  6. I only eat bagels so that I can eat the cream cheese that comes on them (see #1). Believe me, people think it weird when you eat spoonfuls of cream cheese for a snack without putting it on anything.
  7. My last name is not 'Cat', but 'Cat' is an abbreviated form of my last name.
  8. I hate wearing shoes. I enjoy wearing my Chacos. This is troublesome to me seeing that I now live a bit farther north than New Orleans. Delaware just isn't suited for 11 month sandal wear.
People I will now Meme:
  1. The Crew Over at Arrival: The Parousian Weblog.
  2. James over at the Opinionated Catholic.
  3. Stephen our ivy Catholic over at For God, For Country and For Yale.
  4. Michael over at For the Great Glory
  5. Julie the Happy Catholic.
  6. Paul the Catholic Cartoonist at Catholic Cartoon Blog.
  7. Susan our Ironic Catholic.
  8. Andie at Theophany All Over

Sunday, December 02, 2007

A Rant: Shhh it's not a secret

Sorry, every once in the while I have to rant. I apologize ahead of time.

Talk about the bastardization of language. Something I am tired of see and hearing about is secrets. No, I don't mean people telling me their own personal secrets that I in turn am obligated to not speak a word of to anyone other than the person who shared his or her secret with me. I'm tired of people who write books and call them things like "Secret" or "Seven Secrets to Success" or "the Secret Church" or "The Secret Secret that is Secretly Secret that Secretly Everyone Knows but no One Speaks it Because They Think it is a Secret but Share it Anyway Because it is a Secret" or "I Can't Think of a Better Title for my Book, so I'll Just Ruin the English Language a Little more and Misuse and Abuse it by Using Words in ways that They do not Mean." A secret by definition is something that others do not know and are usually not entitled to know. Thus a secret is just that: a secret. Once people start sharing the secret, it no longer is a secret. So in reality, the secret that you are learning isn't really a secret at all. In other words the real 'secret' is so obvious and staring you in the face that if it were a poisonous snake you'd be dead by now.

What I am trying to say here is that we have become so untrusting in our society of others that we think the only way to acquire true knowledge is to not go to the obvious source of the matter but to go to someone who claims to have a secret about the issue at hand. We are so obsessed with secrets that even secrets themselves have lost their meaning. Secrets have become unsecretive (because they were never secrets to begin with), and the people who worship secrets have become boring and unable to keep a secret if they had any.

What people call secrets aren't secrets. It is just information. Maybe information from a person more learned then you, but I assure you, it is no secret. In short, the secret is that there is no secret.

Not Said By Jesus Sunday

The Man and the Birds

This is one of my favorite stories come the holiday season. It always seems to put the incarnation into perspective. It's like having one of those "duh-it's-so-obvious" moments.

The Man and the Birds by Paul Harvey

The man to whom I'm going to introduce you was not a scrooge, he was a kind decent, mostly good man. Generous to his family, upright in his dealings with other men. But he just didn't believe all that incarnation stuff which the churches proclaim at Christmas Time. It just didn't make sense and he was too honest to pretend otherwise. He just couldn't swallow the Jesus Story, about God coming to Earth as a man.

"I'm truly sorry to distress you," he told his wife, "but I'm not going with you to church this Christmas Eve." He said he'd feel like a hypocrite. That he'd much rather just stay at home, but that he would wait up for them. And so he stayed and they went to the midnight service.

Shortly after the family drove away in the car, snow began to fall. He went to the window to watch the flurries getting heavier and heavier and then went back to his fireside chair and began to read his newspaper. Minutes later he was startled by a thudding sound...Then another, and then another. Sort of a thump or a thud...At first he thought someone must be throwing snowballs against his living room window. But when he went to the front door to investigate he found a flock of birds huddled miserably in the snow. They'd been caught in the storm and, in a desperate search for shelter, had tried to fly through his large landscape window.

Well, he couldn't let the poor creatures lie there and freeze, so he remembered the barn where his children stabled their pony. That would provide a warm shelter, if he could direct the birds to it. Quickly he put on a coat, galoshes, tramped through the deepening snow to the barn. He opened the doors wide and turned on a light, but the birds did not come in. He figured food would entice them in. So he hurried back to the house, fetched bread crumbs, sprinkled them on the snow, making a trail to the yellow-lighted wide open doorway of the stable. But to his dismay, the birds ignored the bread crumbs, and continued to flap around helplessly in the snow. He tried catching them...He tried shooing them into the barn by walking around them waving his arms...Instead, they scattered in every direction, except into the warm, lighted barn.

And then, he realized that they were afraid of him. To them, he reasoned, I am a strange and terrifying creature. If only I could think of some way to let them know that they can trust me...That I am not trying to hurt them, but to help them. But how? Because any move he made tended to frighten them, confuse them. They just would not follow. They would not be led or shooed because they feared him.

"If only I could be a bird," he thought to himself, "and mingle with them and speak their language. Then I could tell them not to be afraid. Then I could show them the way to safe, the safe warm barn. But I would have to be one of them so they could see, and hear and understand." At that moment the church bells began to ring. The sound reached his ears above the sounds of the wind. And he stood there listening to the bells - Adeste Fidelis - listening to the bells pealing the glad tidings of Christmas. And he sank to his knees in the snow.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

A Vision of Today's University Students

Been spending a lot of time on the YouTube. Sorry, just been finding some interesting things.

To affirm some things:
1. I took a class at LSU with 1000 students.
2. about 600 did not go to class.
3. Of the 400 in class, about half were doing other assignments, surfing the web, playing video games or watching a movie.
4. So yes, there is truth in this video.
5. One stat that isn't one the video is how much time the average student works in addition to the other things surveyed.
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