Friday, August 31, 2007

Louisiana Needs an Exorcist for Governor

Michael Denton has a great little piece on how to solve all of Louisiana's problems: elect an exorcist for the next governor of Louisiana. He writes:
With the recent demons possessing Louisiana politicians like Democratic Rep. William Jefferson, Republican Sen. David Vitter and New Orleans Councilman Oliver Thomas, Louisiana should not elect an ordinary governor in 2007. We must move past the usual cast of politicians and businessmen if we want to cleanse Louisiana's soul of political corruption. We need an exorcist as governor.
If you're not up on Louisiana politics the suspects are as follows:
  1. William Jefferson -- Tied up in an international bribery case. The government found $90,000 in his freezer.
  2. David Vitter -- Caught up in a Washington sex scandal at the moment.
  3. Oliver Thomas -- also tied up in a federal bribery case.

Book Review: Shattered Tablets

When I received Shattered Tablets: Why We Ignore the Ten Commandments at Our Perill by David Klinghoffer in the mail, I was expecting a book that gave the same boring commentary and exposition of the Ten Commandments that I have been hearing all my life. Klinghoffer does give an exposition of the Ten Commandments, but it is far from the standard rote homily I’ve been hearing in mass most of my life. In addition to an exposition of the Ten Commandments, Klinghoffer provides for his reader a social commentary on America where he uses the Ten Commandments as the standard by which he judges America’s moral state and possibility of future preservation.

There is little doubt that the author believes that America’s moral, political, and social lives are in decline. Why is America in decline? Because she ignores the Ten Commandments, says Klinghoffer. He uses Seattle as his evidence for America’s decline -- as he holds the city to be a microcosm for America. That is, if American doesn’t get its act together and shape up, it will turn into a large scale Seattle from coast to coast. However, he argues, it will not be the nice six-square blocks of Seattle that tourists experience upon visiting the city. It will turn into the Seattle that is his home: a modern day Sodom. Klinghoffer, at the start of each chapter, ties in a story from his Seattle experience into each of the Ten Commandments -- some stories more hair raising than others – where he depicts a Seattle that is morally void. It is a Seattle where mothers fist fight out front Starbucks and knock over one another’s baby carriages fit with babies still in the carriage. A Seattle where people are more concerned about paper bags in grocery store than about one’s neighbor. A Seattle where people have pets instead of children. A Seattle where anything traditional is considered ignorant and scoffed at, regardless if it is true or right. A Seattle where morality is in such a decrepit state that just about anything is considered permissible: murder, theft, homosexuality, and bestiality.

Shattered Tablets
is not just a running social commentary on the state of America. Being of the Jewish faith, Klinghoffer, tries to open up the ten commandments to his readers and get to their original meaning. For instance, “You shall not steal” means more than just the theft of another’s belongings. It relates to a hierarchy of stealing -- the gravest being the stealing of a person into slavery; that is, to fool, trick, or force someone into being a slave. Second is the theft of a person’s heart of mind. This can be boiled down to our modern understanding of deception (sometimes referred to as keeping someone “in the dark”). The last kind of stealing deals with the taking of another’s personal possessions without proper reason. For a good example of this read the Jacob cycle in Genesis (Chapters 25-35) with close attention to Jacob and Laban’s interactions. For Laban forces Jacob into an additional seven years of slavery, steals his mind by passing off Leah as Rachel, and steals Jacob’s possessions by constantly changing his wages.

Klinghoffer writes this book because he is a man of faith who is convinced and convicted that how a person sees and relates to God determines how a person sees and relates to the world. The Ten Commandments are humanities guide book on how humanity needs to view and related to God. Have a bad or improper relationship with God and chances are humanity will have a bad or improper view of how to interact with the world.

Sadly, I thing Klinghoffer might be preaching to the choir in some ways. I find it difficult to believe that the people who would most benefit from reading this book will be the one’s reading it. However, there is still much merit in the book, even if already familiar with the Ten Commandments. For he does shed much light on an ancient text that clarifies and reinforces Jewish and Christian beliefs in a way that is lively, interesting, and very readable.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Pro-Life . . . is this being over looked?

Terri Schiavo will live in the memory of most Americans for a number a different reasons -- partly due to the national coverage she and her family received and the discussion her scenario started about living wills, right to life, death with dignity, and patient care (namely who actually has the authority over a patient's care).

Tobias Dana over at Astonished, Yet at Home! has been keeping us updated on another Right to life/Seamless garment of life/Natural life to Natural death/From Womb to Tomb story that made national news for a short period of time, but has been receiving less than adequate attention from Pro-Life media. It involves a Pro-Life Democratic Attorney General, 9 dead patients with lethal concoction of pain-killers found in their biopsies, a doctor charged with their care, and 5 medical experts who were not allowed to testify in favor of the 9 dead patients and their families. Click here for a series of stories from Tobias complete with links to media sources that are reporting on this story.

The case involves:
1. Physician's authority
2. Right of patient to life
3. Right the family has in care for a loved one.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Our Lady of Prompt Succor, Pray for Us

Two years ago today, hurricane Katrina barreled through New Orleans and left the city in unfavorable conditions.

The patron Saint of Louisiana and New Orleans is Our Lady of Prompt Succor (Our Lady of Quick Help). During hurricane season many of the residents of New Orleans do novenas and daily prayers asking for the intercession of Our Lady.

You can learn more here. The site has a short history as well as many prayers. I think my favorite prayer, which was exclaimed by Mother St. Michel during the fire of 1812 that destroyed a large portion of New Orelans, goes: "Our Lady of Prompt Succor, we are lost, unless you hasten to our help."

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Products that Should not Exist





Check out The Complete Idiot's Guide here.
















Check out The Zen of Screaming here.

Dear Presidential Hopefuls,

What is New Orleans to me:
A lazy sway or a syncopated sea,
Warm nights or a creole dream,
Warm hearts or a voodoo queen,
Jazz floating upon the breeze
Making way to that Big Ease?
Thirteen hundred miles removed
From what did I once know moved,
Hurricanes, magnolia trees.
What is New Orleans to me?
New Orleans. It’s my home. There isn’t a place in America like it, believe me I have looked, and I have both traveled and lived cross-country and have found no city that is more fascinating and mystical. The Mississippi River, which provides the source for the city's nick name “Crescent City”, sets the meandering pace by which the residents live – it’s as if the residents make known with their leisurely ways, “Hey, why rush yourself to death, darlin’?” The people there are friendly (not just nice). The food is amazing and can’t be found anyplace else -- any native displaced by Katrina that has looked for similar food else where in the country soon learns that he or she is better off just making it themselves. It’s in the South but isn’t southern – since living outside New Orleans people are always shocked when I tell them I am from New Orleans. They usually expect me to say Jersey or the Bronx. I could go on and on about why I like my home, but that isn’t my intention.

I’m sure you have realized that lately – namely the last two years – that New Orleans has been having some set backs. I am also sure you know why. Yup. It was hurricane Katrina. It’s funny how something can change an entire culture -- the residents no longer use standard measurements for time. Simply, the phrases “Before the Hurricane” and “After the Hurricane” are enough to measure time and sum up the impact the storm had on the city. However a hurricane can only cause so many set backs on its own accord.

After the storm there was great response from around the country and world to help the Big Easy, and we were very thankful for that help too. Yet, from my experience over the last year and a half living outside New Orleans, the country seems to have forgotten New Orleans. I currently live in the mid-Atlantic, and sadly, I never hear of the dire condition the city finds itself. They forget, that schools are hardly opened, neighborhoods are still patrolled by armed National Guard (It is an interesting experience standing in line at Burger King behind two armed servicemen in fatigues with assault rifles slung over their shoulders in an American city.), and the city is getting little help from the government (and that help it is receiving is laughable at best). Everyone over here seems to think the city has recovered and is back to normal, but that is not the case.

I can’t blame the people for not knowing about the poor state the city is in and the poor help New Orleans is receiving. Clearly Paris Hilton’s jailing and Michael Vick’s dog fighting charges are far more pressing issues for America than the fate of an entire American city. Without a doubt, Michael Vick has a greater impact on the country than does an entire port city. When the news stations finally gets around to their obligatory Katrina Update, the media shows the barely damaged French Quarter or Mardi Gras celebration as if New Orleans is only the Quarter and Mardi Gras. If the news reports other topics it displays New Orleans in an unfavorable light: a political mess-up, an example of what not to do, when a politician’s corrupt nature becomes know, or when a presidential hopeful goes to the city.

Over the last two years, New Orleans has become a politically hot issue, and New Orleans is on its way to being a political platform for presidential hopefuls. Not long ago John Edwards announced his presidency while helping local residents gut, clean, and build a house. Hillary Clinton, Mike Huckabee and Duncan Hunter, visited the state in late August for the “Hope and Recovery Summit”, which was held at the University of New Orleans. Clinton and Edwards have already planned their second trip to New Orleans and are scheduled to arrive sometime this week. Barack Obama just finished his visit to the city where he promised to help the Gulf Coast in the recovery efforts if he becomes president. I’m sure it won’t be much longer till New Orleans starts seeing more presidential hopefuls campaigning as election dates near.

However, I ask you, every politician and presidential hopeful that comes to New Orleans, please do not come down here making promises you cannot keep or do not want to keep. New Orleans is filled with hurting and angry people, and to take advantage of those individuals for a vote is wrong and unethical. New Orleans is not your political call-girl. You will not win votes by talking about what needs to be done. Beside, the government has demonstrated no good reason to be trusted from a New Orleanian perspective, and has shown little interested and lacked competence in helping the city.

For instance, the levees broke that were built by the government Corp. of Engineers. Mayor Ray Nagin did little to help the city and has done more harm to the city after his remarks about New York and Philadelphia. There are rumors of Nagin running for a new office this coming election (even though he has 3 years left to his term). He is raising money for something. Nagin might be physically present in the city, but mentally, he might already be gone. Governor Blanco dropped the ball, and now she wants to build roads in northern Louisiana with the surplus of money Louisiana received for recovery efforts. All Senator Landrieu could do is cry and hold committees. Bush, well he made some promises, but did not live up to them. FEMA, that didn’t work out too well either. The “Road Home” program is running out of money fast. US Rep. Bill Jefferson has been charged with bribery (Doesn’t everyone keep $90,000 in their freezer?). Senator David Vitter is tied up with a sex scandal. City Councilman Oliver Thomas recently pleaded guilty to federal bribery charges. Lastly, the police have difficulty keeping up with crime: the murder rate per capita is through the roof (I think it is the highest in the nation at the moment). With the government failing New Orleans on all levels how do the residents of New Orleans begin to trust the government?

In reality, the people in New Orleans have heard enough words about what needs to be done, and getting what needs to be done should not depend upon a particular candidate winning the presidency. What the city does not need is another person flying in from wherever to tell the residents, the people experiencing it first hand, the obvious. If you want our vote (yes, my voting district is still in New Orleans), do not lecture us on rebuilding, don’t tell us what you will do when you become president. Again, helping New Orleans should not depend upon winning the presidency. If you want our vote, step down from the podium, grab a hammer, some nails and boards, and put into action the words you speak. New Orleans is tired of talk. It is time to start doing. Who knows, if you stop talking and start doing you might not win the presidency, but you will change a person’s life, guaranteed.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Life, It's Like Closet Space.

Over in New York, Manhattan Mini Storage thinks it necessary to liken closet space with human life. I'm sure they will get lots of business with that sign. Just after people drive by and say "gross".

Maybe next time they can have a photo of an aborted fetus with the caption "Your closet space is being aborted as fast as this lump or cells" or maybe a picture of a brain that reads "Your closet space is shrinking as fast as our brains (act now and we'll throw out our common sense, decency, and moral integrity)".

If you want to call and complain the number is 1-800-STORAGE (786-7243). If you want to email: advisor@manhattanministorage.com.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Book Review: "Reasons to Believe"

Anyone who is familiar with Scott Hahn’s writings or lectures will already be familiar with how “Reasons to Believe” reads. Not only is it written in his easy to read prose, but it also reads like Dr. Hahn speaks. So, no one should be afraid of reading Dr. Hahn’s latest book.

As the title suggests, Dr. Hahn gives a number of different reasons why a person should want to be a Christian. He divides the book into three sections: natural reason (philosophical), biblical reasons (theological), and royal reasons (theological). One thing is certain after reading this book is that Dr. Hahn’s forte is biblical studies. He might do well on his own with philosophy, but he tries to cover too much in a short amount of space in this book. However, what he does cover are the key philosophical arguments for believing in the Natural Law and God. He briefly delves into Aquinas, Pascal, Maritain, and others. Even though he tries to cover too much, the first section of Dr. Hahn’s book is a good summary and introduction to some of the philosophical reasons to believe for people who have no philosophy background.

The last two sections of the book are where Dr. Hahn shines. There is no doubt that he is more familiar in dealing with the bible than he is with philosophy. He spends a significant discussing the new Davidic kingdom and how the new testament, Gospel writers, early Christians, and Christ himself fit into the ancient Jewish expectation of the restoration of the Davidic kingdom. Specifically, Dr. Hahn is demonstrating this and drawing his examples by linking together the new and old testaments and showing how the old testament illuminates the new.

I recommend the book to people who are interested in a fresh, exciting, easy to read introduction to philosophy and biblical theology.

Seven Things Not Said by Jesus










Wednesday, August 22, 2007

A Toyota, a Hybrid, and Orthodoxy

I saw my parish priest pulling into the parking lot at church the other day with his new Toyota Prius when I had a startling revelation. His car is orthodox. That is, the Toyota Prius (just about any hybrid car for that matter) crosses the gap that separates the liberal Catholics from the conservative Catholics and bridges them together. It is too liberal of a car for conservative and too capitalistic for liberals. What I mean is that the Prius isn’t just for hippie tree huggers who wear Birkenstocks and want to save the whales. Likewise, the Prius isn’t just for papal loving conservative capitalistic papists. It is a car for the universe (uhh catholics).

Don’t believe me? Take this for a short example:
When a conservative buys a hybrid Prius, he or she can easily say that they purchased the car because he or she is following in the Pope’s footsteps. This is especially true since the Pope now drives an electric pope-mobile and is slowing getting the Vatican to go ‘green’. Yet, by purchasing such a car the conservative in turn becomes a better steward of the earth and a better Catholic. Who knew following the Pope could be so green and liberal?

When a liberal buys a hybrid Prius, he or she can easily say they purchased the car because they want to reduce carbon emissions and save the planet and combat global warming. Yet, by purchasing such a car the liberal in turn is follows the Pope and becomes a better Catholic. Who knew that going green could be so capitalistic and conservative?
This is why I think the hybrid car is an orthodox car that all Catholics can agree upon because you both follow the Pope and take care of the environment. It is both liberal and conservative. I guess that is why it is orthodox. It takes the best from both sides and gets rid of the worse from each side. It is certainly the hybrid car that Bill Donahue and Father McBrien can shake hands upon and agree that a hybrid is most certainly a catholic vehicle.

Wait a second, does this mean that the Pope himself is orthodox; I mean that he cares about the Catholic faith and church as well as the environment; that he doesn't fit into any ideology?

Monday, August 20, 2007

Beer Found to be Deadly...

Recent news reports have found beer to be deadly. I think there is an important moral lesson in this story. I'll let you determine it.

This story reminds me of 2 Kings 2:23-24.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Parenting

I heard a great quote today on PBS, and there seems to be much truth in it.
"Parenting is a school for humility"

I don't remember who said it, but it was on the PBS show "Religion and Ethics."

Friday, August 17, 2007

Father Schall on Celebrating the Tridentine Mass

Father Schall comments on his experience from pre-Vatican II to post-Vatican II with the reforms of the Liturgy. The Article might surprise some people. Father Schall writes,
If at least three popes have reaffirmed the validity of this Novus Ordo Mass, however much it might be improved, we must assume it is within the long and orthodox tradition of the Church's worship. There are those who insist that Pius X was the last "valid" pope because of issues concerning the form of Mass. In effect, these views make subsequent popes heretical, so that, on this assumption, it is difficult to see any continuity in the actual Church. Benedict intended to address these concerns by frankly affirming that the Old Mass had never been abrogated. The Novus Ordo, however, is not a new rite, but another version of the Roman Latin rite. The bottom line is that the same Mass is always celebrated no matter what language or variety of movement so long as it is in the direct line of ancient tradition and the authority of the Church (read the full article here).
.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Pope, Looking Green These Days . . . and Not With Envy.

Benedict XVI is one of the 'greenest' religious figures in the world. He ranked 6 in a recent article by Grist Magazine. He earned the ranking for having an electric pope mobile, by making Vatican City solar powered, and for encouraging the people of the world to be good stewards of the Earth.

I always laugh when people are shocked that the Catholic Church would say something like the environment needs to be taken care of. Haven't people read Genesis 1 where God calls humanity to keep the Earth? You can't be a very good keeper of something if (1.) you allow it do destroy itself (or the keeper for that matter), or (2). you destroy it yourself.

Sex, Beer, and a Catholic Church

I hate telling people what to do and what not to do, but you might want to reconsider drinking Samuel Adams beer, and for that mater anything that comes from the Boston Beer Company. I kept hearing rumors that Samuel Adams sponsored, on a number of occasions, a contest called "Sex for Sam" that encouraged contestants to engage in sex in some strange places: Times Square, NBC Today, on a Bus, in a museum (click here for the list); each place the contestants had sex, they would receive points for its corresponding location.

Now what does this matter to a Christian? Well the contest Hosts, Opie and Anthony of the Opie and Anthony radio show, encourage a couple to have sex in Saint Patrick's Cathedral in New York. The couple were arrested, Opie and Anthony were fired, and the radio station fined over $300,000. But despite firing, it did not discourage Opie and Anthony to drop the "Sex for Sam" contest when they entered the arena of XM/satellite radio, neither did it stop Jim Koch (owner of Sam Adams and Boston Beer Company) from sponsoring the event.

Besides sponsoring the event, Jim Koch was a guest on the Opie and Anthony show, and while a guest he became the "Celebrity" of which people (5 couples) attempted to have sex in front of him in order to gain 30 points towards the contest. Jim did nothing to stop it. In fact, Jim felt embarrassed . . . for the three couples who did not succeed in capturing the celebrity voyeurism points (Jim was the celeb). Jim then went on to say that all the competitors were, "awesome, all of 'em, better teams. The quality gets better every year."

Now, I don't know about you, but I don't think I want to buy beer from a guy who promotes and encourages exhibitionism, displays a low moral character, and appears to lack the backbone to get up and leave. In other words, I don't think I'll be buying beer from Jim Koch any more.

If you want more information, the people over at The Smoking Gun reported more on the story. They also have links to the radio show and the Fox5 news cast that reported the story of the couple having sex.

Via: Nurse Jerz.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Don't You Tell Me What To Do. I Have a Masters or Phd

Hat tip to the Curt Jester.

I really dislike people who have an elitist attitude as the one displayed by Elizabeth Harrington in her article on Catholic Leader online. She offers suggestions on how to interpret liturgical documents. I will get to her suggestions is a moment, but from the first two sentences she clearly wants only people in positions of authority with Masters and Phds to interpret liturgical documents . She seems to forget that the real liturgist is not the person with letters after his or her name -- Peter seemed to do just find without his Masters in Theology. The real liturgist is the the little old lady who sits in the front pew week after week. Exactly how organic can the liturgy be if the laity have no role in its development?

According to Elizabeth Harrington the correct approach to understanding and interpreting such documents involves [My comments are in red]:
  • Reading them with an open mind to discover what they are really saying and not relying on media reports or hearsay. [Instead of reading texts with an open mind. Let us read them with the mind of Christ and the mind of the Church. In other words, read them like you are trying to get you and others to Heaven.]

  • Looking at the overall thrust rather than zeroing in on selective bits that support one’s particular “hobby horse”. [She is almost right here. She is wrong in only looking at "the overall thrust". By doing that one misses the particulars that are found in the document. She is right is saying that it is wrong to only look at the specifics of a document. In other words, the person reading the document needs to read it in its entirety. Also, there can be no spirit of the law without there being an actual law. The spirit is based upon the literal. The spirit cannot exist independently of the literal law.]

  • Putting them in the context of other liturgical and Church instructions rather than treating them in isolation. For example, liturgy documents must always be viewed through the lens of those liturgical principals so strongly espoused in the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy from Vatican II. [True, but you also have to know the development of the language used in such documents. That is to say, interpretation of any church document must be done in light of the prior papal or other documents from which it quotes, draws its language, and cites. You also have to keep in mind that if something is not mentioned in a document it does not mean that it is fair game for alteration or not considered important anymore. In regards to the development and placing the a document in context most people probably don't realize that the theology and language of Sacrosanctum Concilium is older than some expect.
    • i. Leo XIII ->Mirae Caritatis (1902) “Spoke of the eucharist liturgy as the ‘font and most important gift’ of all God’s gifts.”
    • ii. Piux X -> in his 1903 Motu Proprio on Church Music, he encourages “Active participation in the most sacred mysteries and in the public and solemn prayer of the church” and that the liturgy “was the first and indispensable source of the true Christian Spirit.”
    • iii. Pius XI -> Divini Cultus (1928) Pius called for more active participation in the liturgy, people should sing their parts of the mass in Gregorian Chant. Pius did not want passive on-lookers.
    • iv. Pius XII -> refers to the liturgy as the “font and center of Christian piety” and “the chief action of divine worship.”

  • Waiting for directives from the diocesan bishop or liturgy office before acting, or expecting others to act, upon new directives. Interpreting and implementing documents require the expertise of those with authority and training in theology, liturgy and canon law.[So now I need a Phd and specialized training in order to realize that I, as a lay person, no longer have permission to clean the vessels after the liturgy. My grandmother has no specialized training and never went to college, yet she has common sense enough to understand that kneeling portrays a different meaning than standing.]

  • Considering who the document is written for and directed at. Confusion and hurt sometimes arise when documents intended for the guidance of diocesan bishops, not for the general public, are widely circulated. [So basically, Elizabeth is encouraging us, the laity, not to hold our Bishops accountable. Yet, as Christians aren't we called to hold each other accountable for our actions? Confusion and hurt arise when people don't do what they are supposed to do.]

  • Using common sense when it comes to expecting instant compliance.[I'm not sure what she means by this, but implementation of any document must happen slowly and with precision. Too much change at one time is like yanking the carpet out from under people. Slow and steady.]

  • Keeping fully informed about the issues by reading Catholic papers and liturgy journals. [You know, if people would only read the documents carefully, they might actually shed some light on the commentary].
I am going to go out on a whim here and assume that Elizabeth writes this article because she has been confronted by individuals in most uncharitable ways. If you do have to bing up a liturgical issue in a parish or diocese be sure to do your homework on the topic first. Then if you must present it to a liturgist or priest be sure to do it gently and with charity.

Powerthirst

Worth a GREAT laugh!

LSU Tiger Stadium...The Scariest Place on Earth for an Opposing Team

I know we all have our favorite college teams, and I have been to a large number of Stadiums around the country on road games, and I have found only a few that compare to LSU's Tiger Stadium. This Flash about Tiger Stadium is a little dated, so here are some points for clarity:
1. Tiger Stadium now holds 92,000 and somehow always manages to squeeze in an extra thousand or two on game day.
2. You can smell the Bourbon, beer, wine, liquor in general on the field during a night game. (I was on the field for every home game the season LSU won the NCAA National Championship)
3. Being on the Field is deafening. I don't know how either the home or visiting team can play in it.
4. Notre Dame is tame compared to Tiger Stadium. (I still need to check out Michigan and Tenn.)
5. Students and fans start tailgating the day before. (I've been told that LSU fans have been disqualified from ESPN's tailgater competition because tailgating at LSU is a serious thing.) LSU fans don't cook Brats or Dogs. Why cook that stuff when they are serving up boiled crawfish, jambalaya, red beans and rice, BBQ chicken, fried chicken, po-boys, whole roast pig, shrimp creole, sauce piquante -- and if the fans are Cajun you might find some rabbit, squirrel, dove, and gator on the menu. (The Water Boy has alot of truth). LSU fans leave the dogs and burgers for the kiddies.

Anyway, I can be biased about my Team all day. So here is the link. LSU Tiger Stadium ... the scariest place on Earth for an opposing team.

Dear Catechists

Dear Catechists,

I hope this letter find you and your family in good health. I appreciate all that you have done over the past year. Truly, religious education would be impossible in the parish without you all.

However, sadly there have been some misunderstandings floating around the parish in the religious education classes over the last year that I would like to clear up before the new year begins.

1. The Pope speaks ex cathedra and not ex catheter. The former is a position of authority that refers to the Chair of St. Peter (the first Pope). It also connotes the understanding of papal infallibility when the Pope speaks from the chair (ex cathedra). The later is an unpleasant medical procedure.

2. There has also been much confusion as to how to refer to the Pope. Please, Please, Please, do not refer to him as Papa Ratzi. This caused much confusion among the 6th grade class last year. I had many students in my office last year asking if the Pope was really paparazzi and if he had been following around Britney Spears. For clarity, use one of the many titles already in existence: pontiff, Pope, Papa, Supreme Pontiff, Benedict XVI, or Holy Father. If you feel the need to be 'hip and cool' a less confusing term is 'B-16".

3. Priests take a vow of celibacy and not a a vow of celebratory. One is a promise so be a eunuch for the kingdom of God. That is, the priest gives of himself completely and fully in a way that is different from the married life. Of the later term, priests do celebrate the Liturgy. However, they do not take a vow of celebratory.

4. Please do not refer to the person in Mark 14 as a Streaker for Christ. The young man who followed Jesus has long be taught and believed by the Church to be Mark himself.

5. Just because we have mass does not mean we are already at Mass. Weight is not the same as the Sunday Liturgy.

6. There are no fleas in the Bible. Although the story says that Lot was warned to take his wife and flee out of the city, be sure to clarify for your students. "Flee" means to "leave" or "go from". "Flea" is a small animal that causes much scratching and itching. I don't want students asking me about Lot's pet flea this year.

7. This year teach the correct "Lay me down" prayer. The following one taught to the first graders last year, though funny, was unacceptable: "Now I lay me down to rest, and hope to pass tomorrow's test, if I should die before I wake, that's one less test I have to take."

8. This Christmas, remember it is the Three Wise Men that visited Jesus whose names are Gaspar, Balthasar, and Melchior. We are not dealing with the "Three Wise Guys" and they are not called Larry, Moe, and Curly. Please remember this for the coming year.

9. Good Friday is the day that Jesus was crucified. Good Friday is not the Character from Dragnet...that was Joe Friday.

10. Lastly, the practice of having only one spouse is called monogamy and not monotony.

Thank you all for your time. I do look forward to this coming year. Please feel free to contact me if you have any further questions. Also, if you are uncertain about a specific doctrine or phrase, check with me first... or just stick to the text for the day.

Peace and God bless,
Your DRE

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Moral Obligation to be a Saints Fan


I've been saying it for years that it is a Catholic's and Christian's moral obligation to be a Saints fan, and now Aragorn over at For the Greater Glory has written a lengthy post on The Pagan Influence in the NFL. Why should you cheer for the lovable Saints? Well Read the post and find out for yourself.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Catholic/Christian Reject Lines.

We have all heard those Catholic Pick-up Lines by now. Here are some Catholic Reject Lines you can use in response. The lines are generic and aren't responding to any of the pickup like in particular.

Do you have any of your own Catholic/Christian reject lines that you use or heard?

Some Reject Lines in no particular order:

1. You'll have to speak with my God the Father.
2. I'm sorry. I already have a date with Jesus tonight.
3. I'd go out with you, but the Rapture is gonna happen at any second. (nothing like bad theology to scare someone away)
4. I'm discerning my Vocation.
5. I really think you might be called to the priesthood.
6. Woe unto thee, O thou son of a Philistine, for you will be cast onto a steaming dung-heap!
7. I don't think my mother (Mary) would approve.
8. I'm celibate.
9. I'd like to but I'm on my way to do penance right now.
10. You kind of remind me of Judas.
11. You're too nice, women hate that. (From The Musical Monk) -- this one always confuses me.
Guy: "But didn't you say to all your girlfriends that you wanted to find a 'nice guy'"
Girl: "Yeah, but you are just too nice."

Friday, August 10, 2007

Introducing...Astonished, Yet at Home!

Tobias Danna has launched his own personal blog. He is calling it Astonished, Yet at Home! Tobias has written commentary for the LSU Revielle and came up with the idea for the Parousians. He always has something to say, and it is usually good too.

His first Post is certainly a good one. It is about Louisiana Congressman (and soon to be running for Governor of LA next election) Bobby Jindal and Exorcism (spiritual warfare). Apparently Jindal wrote an article recounting an experience he had in college for the New Oxford Review back in 1994 that, from the story, deals with demonic warfare and possible possession, and As Tobias points out -- as well as others bloggers -- Democrats and the far left are using the article against Jindal. It seems that democrats are afraid of having a Rhodes Scholar as Governor. I mean, they put up such a fuss about David Vitter and his Rhodes Scholar and Harvard degree tendencies.

I'll be posting something later about the Jindal Article(On the New Oxford Review site. To read the entire you need a subscription.). It is certainly worth the read, but I'm saying that because I am from Louisiana and Jindal will have an impact on my state.

Me...Influential?

Apparently someone has been liking what I have been posting. Looks like I made a list over at the TimesOnline for being one of the 30 most influential religious blogs.

They have a section over on the TimesOnline called Faith Central. I've been looking around it the last couple of days. It has some good religion and faith themed pieces. Be sure to check it out.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Hot Pockets!

Jesus' Glorified Body...a point of clarity.

Hey Everyone,

Sorry for the shortage of posts. I left the university this past Sunday, and I am slowly making my way back to Delaware. In the mean time, I decided to add a point of clarity to the post about Jesus' glorified body. The image was much of a joke. I don't think we get roids in heaven...that would be weird...and kind of funny to see angels striking muscle bulging poses as they thwart the devil, but by the time our bodies are glorified, the devil will have been defeated. So there might not be the need for St. Peter to pass out the roids as you enter the gates of heaven.

Anyway, this guy named St. Thomas Aquinas -- maybe you have heard of him -- wrote some stuff on our glorified bodies. He basically listed 4 properties of the glorified bodies: Impassibility, Subtility, Agility, and Clarity.

Impassibility -- The Body no longer suffers from the result of the fall: no sickness, illness, death, etc.
Subility -- Body not limited to time and space. It can move freely at the will of the Spirit.
Agility -- The Body can move with angelic (and abundant) speed, ease, grace and energy.
Clarity -- The splendor the appearance of the body will take at the resurrection. Think the Transfiguration of Christ. A radiant body.

I have heard from a couple of theologians that Christ's body contains a fifth property. I don't know the technical term but it has to do with Christ's body being able to take on the appearance of what He wills it to be like -- thus the possible reason why the couple on the road to Emaus did not recognize Christ when they saw Him. Their eyes were close because Christ looked different. Hmmm I wonder if this has any connection to the Eucharist and Transubstantiation.
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