Thursday, May 31, 2007
I know, it sounds like an oxymoron: Gay Aussies. However, it is true. Most recently a Gay Aussie hotel in Melbourne is no longer allowing heterosexuals and lesbians into the bar and hotel. The reason for this, according to hotel owner Tom McFeely is that "The hotel predominantly markets itself towards homosexual males, towards gay men and we want to protect the integrity of the venue as well as continue to make the men feel comfortable".
1. Whiskey, Wine, and JesusIf your church uses any of the above VBS programs, just walk away.
2. Son-Tanning with Christ
3. Making Baby Jesus Cry
4. Shipwrecked and Nobody Cares.
5. Fire is Fun (or Playing With Matches is Fun)
6. Wedding of Canna: the After Party.
7. You Have Offended Me, and Now You Must Die.
8. Trees Are People Too.
9. The Green Thumb Jesus.
10. Brokeback Bible
11. Adam and Steve, Amy and Eve
12. The Gospel According to Luke Skywalker
13. Peter, Paul, and Mary Hum the Bible
14. Streaking for Christ
15. Holy War! Holy Crap!
16. Jesus Loves You, but Everyone Else Thinks You’re A Jerk.
17. Deliver Us Some E-mail
18. Burying the Dead
19. The Bad Attitudes … uhh Beatitudes
20. How to Believe in the Idea of Jesus.
21. The Rick James Version.
22. Bible Beatings.
23. A Woman’s Place is in the Kitchen, bare foot and pregnant.
24. Best Friends: Buddha and Jesus.
25. Shut Up! I Do What I Want!
26. Michael Jackson Explains the Bible.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
"I've got more faith in almost anything (than in the university process)," he said. "A random group of homeless people under a bridge would be far more intellectually sound and principled than anything I've encountered at the university so far."Personally, I frown seeing how anything controversial is now possible grounds for dismissal from employment at an institute that prides itself as being a place for open dialog.
The line that we say "forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us" is not only about forgiveness. It is a request for our own condemnation. In it, the person who prays this is asking for their own damnation if they willingly do not forgive as God forgives. Is there any other religion that has such a bold prayer?
Monday, May 28, 2007
Sunday, May 27, 2007
In light of this Sunday's readings at mass, particularly the first reading from Acts, I could not help but notice how different the tongues of fire were from both the deacon's and my own tongue. I could not help notice how different the Apostle's tongues were from both the deacon's and my own tongue. In the case of the Holy Spirit and the Apostles, those were tongues of charity, tongues of love. Both the deacon's and my own weren't nearly as kind to each other. But what was different between the deacon and myself when compared to the apostles (besides the fact that the apostles are saints) is that the Apostles knew that even though the Holy Spirit gave them tongues of fire they need not burn others with it. Even though the Word might be a sword, we need not use it to slay our fellow Christians. These things are instruments to use as a means to help others obtain salvation.
Next time I find myself in a spat, I will be more diligent and prudent about my choice of words so as to not burn anyone with my own tongue.
Saturday, May 26, 2007
MonsterPig.com - Hunter's Site associated with the hunting and killing of this massive animal.
I'm sure by now most people have heard of this 11 year old boy who killed a wild 1,051 pound hog. It is certainly an impressive task. What interested me was not the fact that he killed such an animal, but the reactions people have had to the killing this massive hog.
I was most amused by the negative and positive comments about the boy's kill that were on the MosterPig.com site.
It is a world of difference as to the comments made. I was personally taken off guard by the people who made some of the negative comments. Many of which are down right mean. They make me wonder who is the better person and who is the real killer. Here are a few (these are some of the more tame ones):
- I hope you'll be shot someday.. People like you shouldn't live (yes i mean it) May you burn up in hell, pigh4ter!
- You've got a great career as a killer ahead of you! I hope that one day soon, you'll decide to kill your father & then youself. Nigel C., San Francisco, CA
- Did it make you feel good to kill?
- F***you, you stupid redneck, killing a defenseless animal. Too bad the pig didn't have a gun to make it fair, then he could have shot your a** 10 times. Imagine the pain and suffering it went through while you terrorized it in its final moments of life. Funny how you go to a Christian school. You're just another southern, stupid, bible stompin red neck. Rot in hell a**hole.
- Excellent, I would love to have seen the look on your face that big daddy walked out. I guess you want need any bacon for a while. Don't worry about the negative email I bet most of those people wear leather shoes and eat meat. Congrats, Skip Davis
- Jamison, all this old Granny can say is,"YOWZA!" Son that is a mighty big pig. You are a very brave young man, to track your monster animal and finish the job. I know Dad and friends were there to protect you. The fact that you stayed true to
your hunt is just awesome. God has blessed you wonderfully! Don't let anyone steal your thunder. Granny Joyce
- I guess in their minds, people and animals are all on the same level. They should learn some PETH…People for the Ethical Treatment of Humans!! Congratulations to you and Happy Hunting! Jennifer
- I read a report once that said something like 90% of the men in prison never went hunting, so if you want to keep your sons out of prison, take them hunting. Congratulations on your successful hunt.
Friday, May 25, 2007
Thursday, May 24, 2007
However, the Pope is not directly writing against a select group of people, he is presenting to the reader Jesus of Nazareth in an attempt to restore Christ’s true identity as Jesus the God-man as found in scripture. The approach he takes in presenting Christ is one rooted in exegesis where the Pope uses a holistic approach to scripture letting the text speak for itself. He does not look at each book of the bible as a separate stand-alone text. Instead, he views each book as a part of a larger whole where the fullness of the Gospel message can only be understood in this light. Because of his holistic approach to scripture, Benedict overlays the gospels one on top of the other. He does not stick to one Gospel but includes them all in order to find the true Jesus as present in the text. This approach is contrary to much of current biblical scholarship, but at no time in the book does Benedict do away with current biblical scholarship. In fact, he often uses it but always points out its limitations to the reader. For the danger of the historical-critical method of biblical understanding, as found in current scholarship as taught in most state universities, is that the interpreter is routinely tempted to do away with the divinity of Jesus for the sake of His humanity and in doing so ends with an inauthentic Jesus.
The Pope presents Jesus to the reader as the New Moses, the Kingdom of God/Heaven, and the new Torah. He does this by making connections for the reader. He points out how Jesus fulfills the Old Testament and its prophecies. He points out how the Jews would have responded to Jesus message, and why they responded in the way they did. He points out where and how the Old Testament and the New Testament connect: that point being the person of Jesus the Christ. In other words, the Pope uses the Old Testament to bring light to the New Testament, and he uses the New Testament in order to understand and make sense of the Old Testament.
Being 2000 years removed from the original message, the original meaning of scripture has at times become hidden or lost due to certain social exegetical practices, according to Benedict. In response to the lost meaning of scripture, the Pope breaks open words, phrases, and concepts used in scripture in order to get at the heart and original meaning of the texts that is more often than not richer in meaning than most readers are familiar with today. Do you know how many different ways “Kingdom of God” can be and has been interpreted? Do you know what exactly is meant by “daily bread” as expressed in the Our Father?
In each chapter, the Pope provides the reader with a brief historical examination as to the development of theology through the ages. He points out where certain ideas originated, how they became popular, and how the original meaning of scripture became lost or hidden along the way. If a person would take the time, one could use this book to not only see Christ more deeply, but also to see how Christ became blurred and difficult to find through the years. In other words, you can use the book to follow the development of certain heresies that have origins in improper interpretation of scripture.
The best thing about this new Pope is that he is easy to read. Although the text itself is written by a smart man, you do not have to be on the same intellectual level as the Pope in order to understand it. It is clear from his ease of language that he intended this book to be read by more than just theologians, university students, and other “smart” people. Also, the book is complete with a glossary for some of the more difficult and unfamiliar words a reader, who is unfamiliar with certain theological jargon, might encounter. That is, the Pope wrote this book and made its content, themes, and ideas easily accessible to most people.
It is true that although the book is complete, the work itself is incomplete, as “Jesus of Nazareth” only covers the life of Jesus from His baptism to the transfiguration. In the foreword, the Benedict expressed his concerns of failing health and the desire he had on his heart to publish at least part of his “personal search ‘for the face of the Lord’” (pg xxiii). So look forward to a second volume to this work, God willing.
My personal opinion:
What disappointed me about the text is that I did not learn much that I did not already know, but such is the case of a Theology student. I imagine that most people who are familiar with theology, particularly the early church Fathers, will find it to be the case also. I also felt that the Pope failed to make certain connections that would further develop and more clearly present a couple of his theological concepts, one being Christ as the New Moses. At times it also seemed that Benedict wanted to say more but did not because he wanted to keep the book readable and accessible to a broad audience.
What I liked most about the book is seeing the Pope’s own personal search for Christ unfold in the text. I also liked the how Benedict opened up certain words from the original Greek or Hebrew to get at the heart of the meaning of the word. I also enjoyed the short historical analysis that traced the origin of certain theological concepts to their modern ideas. Also, interlaced in the text are the Pope’s own brief but seemingly accurate social commentary.
There also appeared to be a common trend where the Pope uses the last paragraph in each chapter as a real kicker. I liked this because not only was it an excellent summary and synthesis of the entire chapter, but at the same time it provided material for reflection and meditation. Take the last paragraph of chapter 4:
“In the antithesis of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus stands before us neither as a rebel nor as a liberal, but as the prophetic interpreter of the Torah. He does not abolish it, but he fulfills it, and he does so precisely by assigning reason is sphere of responsibility for acting within history. Consequently, Christianity constantly has to reshape and reformulate social structures and ‘Christian social teaching.’ There will always be new developments to correct what has gone before. In the inner structure of the Torah, in its further development under the critique of the Prophets, and in Jesus’ message, which takes up both elements. Christianity finds the wide scope for necessary historical evaluation as well as the solid ground that guarantees the dignity of man by rooting it in the dignity of God” (pg 126-27).
Uses and recommendations for the Book:
--I could easily see this book being used in an “Intro to Jesus” or an “Intro to Biblical Exegesis” class on the undergraduate level in a university setting.
--Due to its readability, this book would also make a great text for a parish-reading circle.
--For anyone interested in biblical exegesis, but has never encountered it before, this book is a great starting point.
--Although it is more scholarly, the book itself is still a good source for reflection and meditation upon the authentic Jesus and His message.
--Anyone interested in learning more about Jesus.
If you liked this book, you might also like these titles:
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
I heard about this on the Philly news the other night. I'm no expert, but I think women are supposed to menstruate. I'm mean....artificially preventing a natural healthy bodily function is supposed to be good? I'm confused.
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Mark Shea Responds to Ms. Blizzard -- and a good response too boot.
Ms. Blizzard's article got me thinking. What is the Pope actually doing? The fact of the matter is that the Pope is doing nothing more than asking the people who call themselves members of the Catholic church to believe and practice the tenets of the faith they say to hold. Yet, what politicians constantly respond with are the same weak responses: "I can't do that, I have to think about the people." or "I am personally opposed to this that or the other thing, but I can't impose my views on the country." So the question arises, "What are the politicians saying when they make the above comments?"
Here is what they appear to be saying (according to me):
1. I am weak willed, because I refuse to stand up for my own beliefs. I can't impose my own beliefs, so I will impose someone else's.
2. My views can be swayed by the people, and I can probably be bought for the current market price of 40 silver pieces.
3. I lack leadership skills, because I let others dictate to me my own Job. Hey, I just go with the flow.
4. I want Jesus in all areas of my life, except my Job.
5. I don't really know what I believe, because if I did I wouldn't feel the need to try to spit on the Pope.
6. I lack conviction, because I'm not sure Catholicism is true.
7. I believe Religion, particularly the Catholic faith, is incompatible with everyday life.
8. I believe Catholicism is irrational, anti-political, and anti-life.
9. I got my religious education from CNN, the History Channel, Discovery Channel, and bumper stickers on the car in front of me during rush hour.
Ahhhh. Don't you feel better now?
Monday, May 21, 2007
I'm emailing a number of prominent Catholic bloggers, and have included your address in the BCC of this email, to inform you of a project that took place at Oregon State University. This university has a strong liberal presence. You might remember that The Insurgent student newspaper at the U of O (in Eugene, 40 minutes away) printed pornographic drawing of Jesus Christ about a year ago. This was lauded by some here at OSU. The university has a very strong gay presence (with pride week, featuring "lube olympics" and other vile events). Despite the secularism and liberalism, the Catholic students here are pretty cool.
Well, some friends of mine got the idea to "Saint bomb" campus. Using chalk, hundreds of Catholic Saint names were written all over campus last week. This was done during perhaps the busiest week of spring term. Many events took place this week on the Quad. The Genocide Awareness Project came to the quad, drawing a large number of people. The "Snow in the Quad" (put on by the Protestant apparel designer CIVIL) came to set up the next day. The Relay for Life event happened at night on the quad, which meant hundreds of students were walking by Saint names nonstop all night long. We also used chalk to advertise Mass times. Lots of exposure for the Church!
Here are two videos documenting this event:
The Newman Center had a booth set up inside the Memorial Union building with a "Find your Saint" computer set up. Some non-Catholics came by to find their Saints. Other Catholics who haven't been to Church for a while saw their confirmation Saint name on the ground. Other Catholics got a lot of joy to see the names and to see Christ's presence in a tangible form on campus. And some others were annoyed at the audacity of these students.
We are trying to get more exposure to this project, so if you'd like to link to this video, please do! We'd like to see others get this idea, and maybe do it at their campus, to remind wayward Catholics of their roots and to show a strong presence of Faith! The response we've gotten from people around the community has been amazing, and the priests loved it!
One more thing to note... we got permission from the Memorial Union (the student union on campus) as well as the Church before doing this.
Oregon State University
Sunday, May 20, 2007
There is one issue about the Rapture that is often overlooked or not considered by most Christian apologists and theologians: the issue is that of how the Rapture fails to reconcile suffering in Christian theology. Any casual reader of the Bible can plainly see that suffering is an ongoing theme present in almost every book of the Bible. It is because of the ongoing theme of suffering that suffering plays a crucial component in biblical theology. My aim is to illuminate the issue of suffering and show briefly how the Rapture does not fit into biblical theology because it does away with suffering.The Rapture: A non-Catholic theological belief which proposes that Christ will come secretly and unexpectedly – “like a thief in the night” – in order to save those people who have authentically given their lives over to Christ and have accepted Him as their personal Lord and Savior before the start of and from the suffering and tribulation that the world and Church will go through before Christ’s second coming (1 Thes. 5:2 RSV).
It is not surprising that belief in the Rapture has become popular -- it is everywhere: TV, Radio, Books, Magazines, etc… It is also almost impossible to avoid non-catholic preachers who profess and promote a belief in the Rapture. Due to its prevalence in protestant theology (particularly the evangelical sects of Christianity) and its seemingly quasi-omnipresence, it is clear that Rapture theology is seeping into all parts of Christian theology.
What is it about this teaching that is so appealing that it works its ways into the staunchest of Christian minds? Simple, Rapture theology claims to offer God’s mercy and salvation from suffering. It is true that every person desires God’s love and Mercy (whether they know it or openly deny it), and it is human nature to want not to suffer: nobody likes being in pain of any sort. With that being the case, how can the Rapture not be appealing? It gives without asking of anything in return.
However, what is really being offered is not mercy nor is it salvation, for the Rapture actually negates (or at least severely limits) God’s mysterious ability to turn “mourning into dancing”, sadness into joy, and suffering into salvation (Ps 30:11 RSV). The Rapture does this by proposing that through God’s mercy Christ plucks all believing Christians off the earth before a terrible period of world wide and church wide suffering. Without suffering, God cannot bring about a good from sorrows; therefore, the Rapture does not allow people to suffer for the greater glory of God. The Rapture does not allow humanity to work with God’s mysterious Will, for suffering allows humanity to be “collaborators with God’s Will … and co-workers for His Kingdom” (Catechism of the Catholic Church §300). By plucking people from the earth the Rapture does not give the Raptured person the opportunity to, as Paul says, “give thanks in all circumstances” (1 Thes 5:18 RSV).
What the Rapture truly proposes is avoidance of suffering and not salvation from suffering. Rapturists promote suffering to be a thing worse than sin, but suffering is not what is wrong with the world: it is sin which is the problem. It is sin from which humanity needs salvation. To make suffering a graver evil than sin is like putting the cart before the horse, and it is like chopping down a weed in hopes to solve one’s gardening problems without considering the root of the plant as the source of the real problem. Because of this backwards view of sin, suffering, and salvation, the Rapture fails to provide the Christian with the means and depth of Christ’s original sacrifice that makes suffering meaningful and valid for the journey towards Christian perfection. In other words, the Rapture does not and cannot make sense out of suffering, and the thing humanity needs is salvation from sin and help with suffering.
I do not propose to solve the problem of suffering. I do not know why God allows it, but I do know that God uses it to His and humanity’s advantage (if humanity only allows). But a fact of life is that every person who is alive will suffer at some point in their life. Suffering seems to be one of those unavoidable facts of life, but because it is unavoidable, it does not mean that people should seek out suffering. Suffering has a way of finding us well enough on its own – there is no need to help it along.
After all is said and done, there are two basic responses to suffering. The first is to run from it or avoid it, which caries with it the physically component of suffering. The other is to learn from it and let the suffering experience make you a better person, which caries with it the spiritually and emotionally component of suffering. The Rapture does the former, while not even considering the latter. The theology surrounding the Rapture then becomes an escapist view of the end of days. It is a teaching that fails to empower the Christian to actively participate in making the world a better place. Because if I am Raptured then who cares about the people left behind? In other words, Rapture theology is a coward’s theology. It is a wanting to follow God without carrying the cross. It is a wanting of everything without doing anything to get it.
Yet, upon examining the Bible, that ever present theme of suffering sifts its way to the surface of biblical understanding and Christian life. Suffering becomes the crucial component to Christian theology as well as the Christian life. Most interesting God never seems to save His chosen people from suffering; however, He does bring His chosen people through and out of suffering. Think of Abraham who underwent a series of ten suffering tests, which culminated in God’s wanting Isaac as a sacrifice (Gen 21). God did not spare Abraham from suffering; in fact, if you were to read the Abram/Abraham cycle it would almost appear as if God leads Abram/Abraham into the suffering.
Still, think of other of God’s chosen people in the Old Testament. Who did he save from suffering? Who did he save from suffering only to have them enter into a different kind of suffering? Did God save Jacob from treacherous journeys across the desert alone or from being fooled by Laban into marring the wrong girl? No. Did God save Jacob’s beloved son Joseph from suffering, or Moses, or Jonah, or David, or Job, or even the seven brothers from 2 Maccabees 7? No, God did not save any of these people from suffering, but He did allow their suffering to happen, and He did bring them through it and the strength to endure it.
When God allows suffering to occur to His chosen, God always rewards the suffering party. Abraham gets a great nation and offspring from Sarah. Jacob receives his chosen wife and a number of offspring. Joseph becomes second in command only to the Pharaoh – he eventually saves the nation of Israel from starvation. Moses is exalted and given the blessing of seeing God and leading His chosen people. Job, in turn, is rewarded times over by his faithful suffering. In other words, there is a pattern of God choosing a person. That person then suffers in some way. Then through that suffering God leads him to a blessing, an exaltation, or reward. It is as if the suffering occurs so that the person may be tested and proven that he or she is God’s chosen, and after the testing that person is then able to take his or her spot as God’s chosen.
Further still, people might object and say “that is fine and dandy for the Old Testament, but how is that the case for the New Testament?” One only has to read the words of Christ to realize that suffering is part of New Testament theology as well. Suffering did not and does not end with Christ. For arguably it can be said that Christ came to usher in suffering as He said that He came to bring “division,” to set a house against itself, and to put “father against son” (Lk 12:51-53 RSV). If suffering was to end with Christ then why is it that the Apostle Paul references to being “crucified with Christ” and that for the Christian it is the “old self” that is crucified (Ga 2:20, Romans 6:6 RSV)?
Moreover, one only has to look at Christ to find the answer to this problem, for through Christ’s suffering it can be realized that there is some merit in suffering. If suffering was a thing to be avoided and there was nothing to be gained in suffering, as the Rapture proposes, then Christ Himself would not have suffered and died upon the cross for humanity’s sins. Christ instead would have jumped straight into His glorified state, but the bible states otherwise. Christ did not jump into His glorified state without first suffering a cruel passion, and it was only by His passion and death that He was later exalted by rising and ascending into Heaven. In other words, God did not save even His own Child from suffering.
If a person is to look past the Gospels he or she finds instances of suffering for the faith. For in Acts 5 it is written that the council of high priests beat the Apostles, and after the beating the Apostles “left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were worthy to suffer dishonor for the name” (Acts 5:41 RSV). Still we see that God tells Anani’ in Acts 9 that God will reveal to Saul/Paul “how much [Saul/Paul] must suffer for the sake of [Christ’s] name” (Acts 9:16 RSV).
In addition to Acts, there is much in the epistles about suffering. One letter in particular is that of 1 Peter, where Peter constantly encourages his readers who suffer. In a letter only five short chapters, the reader in reminded a number of times that suffering for God is a good thing. As Peter writes, “if you do right and suffer for it, you have God’s approval” (1 Pt 2:20 RSV). Then again he writes that “even if you do suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed (1 Pt 3:14 RSV). Still again Peter writes only three verses later that “it is better to suffer for doing right, if that should be God’s will, than for doing wrong.” (1 Pt 3:17 RSV). Lastly the reader is reminded in 1 Peter 4 to “rejoice in … Christ’s sufferings” and “if one suffers as a Christian …let him glorify God” and finally to “those who suffer according to God’s will do right and entrust their souls to a faithful Creator” (1 Pt 4:13, 16, 19). Even the book of Revelation encourages the believer to “not fear what you are about to suffer” (Rev 2:10 RSV).
Realizing that God did not spare even His own Son from suffering death and learning from Paul that every believer is a son of God then what does that mean to the modern believer today? Since we are God’s sons the only possible conclusion is that we too will suffer as Christ suffered before, as the Christian is to “follow in [Christ’s] steps” (1 Pt 2:21 RSV). Following in Christ’s steps means to suffer as Christ did and to be crucified with Christ as Paul was crucified with Christ (Ga 2:20 RSV). This suffering which the Christian is to under go will occur before he or she is exalted. But how can the Christian suffer as Christ suffered if they are taken away and out of the earth before they can under go the most sever kind of suffering? How does glorification and blessing occur when the vehicle (that vehicle being suffering) God uses for humanity to obtain those blessings are taken away?
Finally, imagine for a moment where Christianity would be today if Christ had not suffered. Imagine where Christianity would be today if the Apostles had not suffered. Imagined where Christianity would be today if Christians had not suffered. Imagine where would Christianity be today if the Saints had not suffered. Yet the Rapture proposes to take away this amazingly mysterious vehicle and witness to the Christian faith solely because suffering isn’t easy. Therefore, the Rapture cannot and does not follow from Biblical theology and should not be believe by any Christian, for as Christ suffered, we too must suffer.
I really give it to the scientists for giving it the ole' college try, but come on scientists. Choice doesn't equal free will neither does spontaneous decision making/actions. Anyone who owns a pet, particularly a dog or cat, realizes that animals have the ability to make choices: this is no news flash. Yet, my dog has never really does what it should do or should not do. Meaning, I haven't heard of an animal being virtuous. Yes, I know sometimes dogs protect their masters. Then again don't people sometimes do the 'right' thing on accident without any training in virtue? Then again, I've never seen an animal (except maybe the brother Lions in the Chicago Museum of Natural Science) going on killing sprees: there are no animal serial killers.
I hesitate to call my dog's actions evil or even virtuous. I also don't see how an animal can live the good life.
I suggest that the scientists go back and read some philosophy and theology then reapproach the topic at hand in new light. I suggest starting with Agustine's On Grace and Free Will.
I have been a big fan of Blizzard's Real Time Strategy (RTS) games back when they released the original Warcraft game and basically changed the RTS genre. I don't own a Playstation, Wii or Xbox, so I'm always happy to see it when Blizzard comes out with a new game because it is always available to play on computers -- which means I will be able to play it. The description of the game sounds great. Click on the Link above to get the description from a reporter who was at the expo in Seoul.
Go to Blizzard's Starcraft II site if you want some screen shots and background information. The early production photos, screen shots, and art work already look fantastic. Looks like Blizzard is going to have another hit on its hands. It also appears that it is going to be staying true to the game play that has made the Blizzard RTS games so popular. Also on the Starcraft II site is the cinematic game trailer, desktop wallpaper, and other multimedia downloads.
Saturday, May 19, 2007
You’re St. Melito of Sardis!
You have a great love of history and liturgy. You’re attached to the traditions of the ancients, yet you recognize that the old world — great as it was — is passing away. You are loyal to the customs of your family, though you do not hesitate to call family members to account for their sins.
Friday, May 18, 2007
"School officials in Tangipahoa Parish habitually show disdain for the Constitution, while disrespecting the right of parents, who happen to be Catholic in this case, to choose the religious tradition in which to raise their children," said Joe Cook, the ACLU executive director for Louisiana."I really dislike Joe Cook. He sued the Governor's Program on Abstinence (GPA) back when I worked for the GPA for the mere fact that it was a non-bias program that allowed anyone and everyone to start a GPA Club in their school, church, or even house if they wanted too. Cook even went as far as to say the GPA was using government funds to promote religion by having articles and links on the "news" page of the GPA website that connected to religious sites. Some people just take this seperation of church and state thing a little too far. Joe Cook is one of them, eventhough he does have some valid points at times.
Well, at least I can pray for Joe Cook's immortal soul.
Mike was born October 18, 1989 and died May 18, 2007.
This caught my attention because it was here in Delaware. If you aren't up to date on Delaware Senate Bill 5, it made ways for not only Embryonic Stem Cell research but also Human Cloning. The Bill was Defeated, and I believe it was in part to A Rose and A Prayer, which signed up people in different time slots to pray for the defeat of Bill 5 during the time it was in debate in the Senate. The Prayer lasted for 5 days, 24 hours a day. Rose and a Prayer also sent roses and letters on behalf of the people opposed to the bill to the Senators in the state.
The letter between the pastors is worth the read, especially the Lutheran Pastor's.
Thursday, May 17, 2007
This is a fine example of not thinking before you act.
The Priest is crushed that the Church has sanctioned him, and He can no longer celebrate mass. The Parishioners are "on Strike" and refuse to go to mass and celebrate the sacraments with the new priest.
The priest did one of the the very things he promised not to do. How is the church supposed to react? With an "I'm sorry poor fellow, cry on my shoulder"? If you promise to do something, you stick by that promise. May your "yes" mean "yes".
I fail to see what there is to be upset about the priest being sanctioned -- other than the fact that he was not living up to his vows. The only people the parishioners are hurting are themselves and the parish they are striking against.
Sunday, May 13, 2007
Editor Raymond Arroyo took great care in selecting quotes and passages to put into this little book of Mother’s teachings. In plan and simple English, Arroyo sets forth Mother’s spirituality and view on the Christian life using her own words from never before publicly released material.
Mother’s words might be simple and plain – and at times comical– but there can be no doubting the truth and profundity with which she speaks. Although Mother uses simple language to express her teachings, this only reflects one of her views on the Christian life as found in this book: that the Christian life is simple. Moreover, the ease of language Mother uses, which adds to the accessibility of her lessons to the common person, also reveals another of her principles for the Christian life: that being, Christianity is for everyone: young, old, smart, simple, sick, and healthy – and she has a lesson for each delivered in a manner that can be understood by all.
Because of its easy readability, this book will make an excellent gift for those adults who recently entered into the Catholic faith. It will also make a great gift for the recently confirmed teen.
Mother's Little Book can be finished easily in a couple of sittings—as I did while recovering from surgery. It is perhaps best read slowly, in short sitting reading only a couple of Mother's teachings at a time. By reading the book in this manner, it will allow the reader to reflect upon Mother's lessons throughout the course of a day, which if taken seriously, can prove beneficial to the spiritual life. I personally enjoyed the book, and I already have plans to reread it but with greater care this time, as I found Mother’s words to be very insightful, inspiring, and challenging.
In short, this book is like having Mother Angelica in your pocket, on your bookshelf, in your purse, or where ever it is you keep this book. It is like having Mother close at hand.
Who Can Benefit from this Book: Anyone and Everyone
Truth speaks louder than any ideology, and Catholic spirituality is universal, so there is no doubt that people from all walks of life, from Catholics to non-catholics, and from charismatic to contemplative who won’t benefit from this little treasury of Mother’s wisdom, wit, and life lessons.
Possible uses for this book:
-Food for Spiritual Journey.
-Reminder of who we as Christians are and what we are doing.
-Great resource for prayer, prayer services, and retreats. (If you are a Director of Religious Education in a Parish, this is a sure-fire purchase and money well spent.)
A couple of Favorite short passages: (many of my favorite are too long to reproduce here)
”We’re all trying to get master’s degrees, and so often we forget the Master.”
“Forgiveness means ‘to give’. It means to give before your neighbor does.”
“If you’re not a thorn in somebody’s side, you’re not doing Christianity right.”
“…if I am living in the imagined pain of tomorrow with the grace I have now, I will always feel at loss.”
“The apostles wouldn’t pass the seminary today. Heck, I doubt if they’d make it past the psychological screening.”
“A queen visited America several years ago, and they asked what most impressed her about America. She said she was very impressed by how the parents obeyed the children! But you see, unless you are trained and taught what it means to be a Christian and your family understands their position before God, all are in danger.”
"Don't be afraid to be frustrated. Look at me, I take a lot of Maalox. Somebody said to me not long ago, 'I'm surprised that a woman of such great faith would have to take Maalox.' I said, 'My friend, my stomach doesn't know about my great faith.'"
Friday, May 11, 2007
Litany of Saints for Doctors.
St. Luke, Pray for us.
St. Bartholomew, Pray for us.
St. Cosmos, Pray for us.
St. Damian, Pray for us.
All Doctors of the Church, Pray for us. (this is my favorite line.... Hey, I'm a Theo grad student.)
All Holy Men and Women, Pray for us.
All Angels and Saint, Pray for us.
Mary guiding star of the sea, pray for us.
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Because He Knew Who He Was.
John writes that the Jews wanted a plain answer from Christ, from His mouth, as to whether or not He was the Messiah (Jn 10:24). What the Jews in this passage fail to recognize is that you know who a person is not by what they say, but by what they do, for we are people of action and not of words. If I practice thievery, am I not a thief? If I love, am I not a lover? If I run the race, as Paul says, am I not a Christian? Don’t we know that people can speak and still not be what they say they are? The Pharaohs and Emperors said themselves to be gods, yet we know that is not the case for there is only One God, One Word, One Spirit. Still, we know that words are empty unless followed by action.
Words are not what make a person. Neither is it Clothes that make the man. Nor is it shoes that make a lady. In this case it is what one does that makes the person into the kind of person he or she is. As the old maxim “actions speak louder than words” holds true in determining who one is. And Christ when he answered these Jews did not say “I am the Messiah because I say I am the Messiah.” No, His answer was much simpler. Christ said that “The works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness to me … My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” (Jn 10:25-27).
The voice Christ speaks heard by His sheep is none other than His actions, and it is a voice He speaks without words – as actions in themselves are voiceless. Christ is the Word, and He is word enough so as not to speak any word. If Christ is God as we hold true then He must do Godly things. I do not mean Godly as in good things that we can do. I mean Godly things as in things that only God can do. There is one event in particular that God does that humanity cannot do; create and re-create.
An example of Christ re-creating is found in John 9 when Christ heals the blind man. Take note, that it was not a mere healing as people like to think. It can be called a healing, but it is more than an ordinary healing as found in other places in scripture. Notice that Christ did not just wave His hand and heal the man as if He was some kind of magician. This is not magic. This is Christ re-creating. What do I mean by this?
John says that Christ “spat on the ground and made clay of the spittle and anointed the man’s eyes with the clay … so he went and came back seeing” (Jn 9:5-7). It is at this point that we see Christ doing a Godly thing. Who else created from clay except God? Who else can create something living from something not alive but God Himself? Here is an instance of Christ re-creating the blind man’s eyes. That is, here is Christ doing what God does. To be able to do what God does, re-create, means only one thing, and that leads us to the conclusion that Jesus is God, for to do Godly things is to be Godly.
Moreover, it has been said by certain intellectual people, whose only authority rest upon the robes they wear, that because Christ never right out said “I am God” proves that He is not God. That Christ did not think Himself to be God. I say that it is because Christ did not right out say “I am God” only proves that He is God, for Christ knew who He was. He had no reason reaffirm himself of who he is.
What I mean is that why do we as humans feel the constant need to tell people what it is we do: “I am a banker.” “I am a student.” “I am a teacher, mechanic, sales clerk?” The only obvious reason is that we are uncertain of who it is we are and what it is we do. If I know I am a Christian, if I know I am a teacher, I know who it is I am, how to act and what I am to do. But if we forget this fact daily or a number of times in the course of the day I would need to be reminded after each instance of forgetfulness. Most often this reminder comes from the liturgical like announcing of my job to those people who inquired into what it is I do. Why else do we have a Creed if not to remind us of who we are and what we believe? Yet, we hold onto an imperfect knowledge, and by no fault of our own, we often forget who we are and what we do: we forget we are Christians and God’s Children. Perhaps that is why we must daily “put on Christ”: he who is perfect in all areas, and in doing so not forget who we are (Ga 3:27).
But imagine if you had perfect knowledge. There would be no need to remind one’s self of who one is and what one is to do, for that knowledge is already there – it is perfect and unforgettable because it is perfect, and when a person asks “Who are you?” or “What do you do?” we can respond in a most clever way because there is no need to constantly remind ourselves of who we are because we cannot forget with a perfect knowledge. A teacher could be a molder of minds. A poet becomes a wordsmith. A scientist becomes the eyes of the world. Likewise it is Christ who has perfect knowledge, which allows Him to not forget who He is and it allows Him to speak in an indirect manner about Who He is. As Christ becomes the Son of Man, I am, One with the Father.
So let us pray daily that we might not forget who we are and what we are to do, and let us not become frustrated by Christ’s perfect knowledge. Just because we do not understand does not mean we shouldn’t believe.
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Here is My favorite part of the interview.
TIME: Are you not afraid?
Ncube: They do harass you in every way. They invent things about you. They say I am gay, which is far from the truth. This phone is tapped. They could kill me any time if they wanted to. They say that when you have 20 people together, one or two of them will be Mugabe's spies. He has infiltrated everywhere, even the Church. I don't care. I will say what I want to say. I will not be quietened. I am not their slave. I do get afraid. But there comes a time when you have to overcome that. I take a stand because I am convinced I am speaking the truth. And the church must always defend the poor.
When the expectation for a spouse has gone from a person who is hard working, devoted, loving, caring, funny, disciplined, committed to the mere lowly expectation of a fleeting feeling of making one’s self happy, it is of no surprise that marriages have become fleeting – lasting almost as long as the feeling lasts.
When people spend more time planning the wedding than planning their marriage, it is no surprise when the marriage fails because no one bothered to plan for it.
When people are more concerned about the foundation and structure of their house than the foundation and structure of their marriage it is no surprise when the marriage collapses because no one bothered to inspect the structure.
When people spend more time investing and trying to obtain what it is they do not have than investing in what they already have it is no surprise that a marriage goes bankrupt because nothing was invested in it.
When equality in a relationship supersedes the collaborative nature and mission or goal of any relationship, it is no surprise that the mission fails because there can’t be two commanders on the same mission. The result is a divided house.
Monday, May 07, 2007
9. You have the most beautiful scapular brown eyes.
8. WOW! You remind me of the girl from Proverbs 31.
7. Excuse me, I couldn't help noticing how modest you look in your ankle length dress.
6. Why don't we blow this joint and go to adoration?
5. Do you confess here often?
4. Pardon me, but you have my rib.
3. Is anyone kneeling here?
2. Hey baby, I just figured out that I'm not called to be a priest.
1. Would you go to youth night with me?
Hat Tip to my friend Sam "The Mexican".
The case of the general talk of "progress" is, indeed, an extreme one. As enunciated today, "progress" is simply a comparative of which we have not settled the superlative. We meet every ideal of religion, patriotism, beauty, or brute pleasure with the alternative ideal of progress--that is to say, we meet every proposal of getting something that we know about, with an alternative proposal of getting a great deal more of nobody knows what. Progress, properly understood, has, indeed, a most dignified and legitimate meaning. But as used in opposition to precise moral ideals, it is ludicrous. So far from it being the truth that the ideal of progress is to be set against that of ethical or religious finality, the reverse is the truth. Nobody has any business to use the word "progress" unless he has a definite creed and a cast-iron code of morals. Nobody can be progressive without being doctrinal; I might almost say that nobody can be progressive without being infallible--at any rate, without believing in some infallibility. For progress by its very name indicates a direction; and the moment we are in the least doubtful about the direction, we become in the same degree doubtful about the progress. Never perhaps since the beginning of the world has there been an age that had less right to use the word "progress" than we.
In the Catholic twelfth century, in the philosophic eighteenth century, the direction may have been a good or a bad one, men may have differed more or less about how far they went, and in what direction, but about the direction they did in the main agree, and consequently they had the genuine sensation of progress. But it is precisely about the direction that we disagree. Whether the future excellence lies in more law or less law, in more liberty or less liberty; whether property will be finally
concentrated or finally cut up; whether sexual passion will reach its sanest in an almost virgin intellectualism or in a full
animal freedom; whether we should love everybody with Tolstoy, or spare nobody with Nietzsche;--these are the things about which we are actually fighting most. It is not merely true that the age which has settled least what is progress is this "progressive" age. It is, moreover, true that the people who have settled least what is progress are the most "progressive" people in it. The ordinary mass, the men who have never troubled about progress, might be trusted perhaps to progress. The particular individuals who talk about progress would certainly fly to the four winds of heaven when the pistol-shot started the race. I do not, therefore, say that the word "progress" is unmeaning; I say it is unmeaning without the previous definition of a moral doctrine, and that it can only be applied to groups of persons who hold that doctrine in common. Progress is not an illegitimate word, but it is logically evident that it is illegitimate for us. It is a sacred word, a word which could only rightly be used by rigid believers and in the ages of faith.
Sunday, May 06, 2007
The Liturgical Abuse Seat Saver is a free product from the Pontifical Office of the Liturgical Police. Please use freely and as often as needed.
Saturday, May 05, 2007
A University student is being held on a $1 million dollar bond after allegedly threatening to kill Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York.
Richard Ryan Wargo, physics freshman, of Shreveport, was booked into East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on counts of terrorizing, communicating false information of planned arson, simple possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia, according to an Associated Press report.
Clinton is scheduled to speak at the Baton Rouge Rivercenter this Saturday at the National Conference of Black Mayors.
Wargo, a resident of Herget Hall, allegedly made the threat while talking to another student.
The student contacted LSUPD about the threat.
LSUPD and East Baton Rouge Parish Prison have not returned calls to The Daily Reveille.
My question is did the student he told this to go to far? Was this a joke gone bad? Was it an infringement upon free speech? I do hope that the student who reported Wargo was right in his suspicions. I am certainly interested in seeing how this plays out.
Friday, May 04, 2007
Thursday, May 03, 2007
Arguments summed up like this:
Claim: There is no God
Proof: Because I think there is no God.
Reason for Belief: Christianity is hard.
It is easy to stand on the outside and poke fun at those people on the inside, but dang it, at least first take the people you are making fun of seriously. If you can't take something seriously, no rights should be given to those comments made by said unserious person, for how can an unserious person even begin to comment upon a serious subject? Why is it always the case that belittlement and snickery are the instruments of those people who are too simple minded to see past the end of their own noses.
Claim: All religions are false.
Proof: Religions have similar aspects, stories, teaching, etc about them.
Reason for belief: Forgot to look at at the religions and see that to say that two or more things are alike is the same as saying that two or more things are not alike. (sounds like someone took too many comparative lit. classes in college).
Claim: Religion is the problem.
Proof: Religions people do bad things.
Reason for belief: People aren't perfect. Religion isn't the problem. People are the problem. Sin is the problem. Just because someone says they are doing God's will doesn't really mean they are doing God's will.(Damn our fallen nature)
Claim: The Bible contradicts itself
Reason: Because it appears to be the case. (eye for an eye ----- love your neighbor)
Reason for belief: 1. Doesn't take the bible nor the religion seriously, so he won't do the research to discover the real meanings of the biblical texts. 2. If the Bible doesn't contradict itself then one's attitude and lifestyle must change.
In short, this is just the same recycled garbage that has been around for 1000s of years, even more so over the last 200. After all, there is nothing new under the sun. Please Mr. Hitchens please stop thinking, or if you do think at least try to be original about it.
Wow. That is all I can say. This judge should be ashamed of himself. Here is an excerpt that I laughed at.
Because Pearson no longer wanted to use his neighborhood dry cleaner, part of his lawsuit calls for $15,000 — the price to rent a car every weekend for 10 years to go to another business.
"He's somehow purporting that he has a constitutional right to a dry cleaner within four blocks of his apartment," Manning said.
In other News: Our God Given Right to Air-Conditioning.
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
Bill 5473 proposed that all government offices conduct business as usual but without speaking on the first of each month. The logic behind Bill 5473 revolves around the amount of talking, debating, and discussing and the productions of excess carbon gasses that enter the atmosphere due to all the excessive amount of needless debating. Iowa Democrat Senator Tom Harkin had the following to say about Bill 5473: "We politicians spend far too much time talking and not enough time doing. Imagine how much Carbon gasses are not released into the environment when Filibusters no longer involve countless hours and hours of dictionary reading. Imagine how much breath we waste debating needless issues. Maybe this bill will teach both parties to communicate better."
To support Bill 5473, all Senate, Congress, and all Executive offices will be wearing and passing out "No Talking, Save the Environment" buttons (image left). Louisiana Governor, Kathleen Blanco, plans to extend the bill to the local level and is inviting people across the state to participate in the "No Talking, Save the Environment" Bill.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi using hand mostions and gestures to get her point across.