Thursday, May 29, 2008


Hotel room with a view (of cows grazing): $70

Gas: $198

Dinner with the family: Priceless

HA! Take that Master Card!

I'm back in NOLA now. First meal back in the Big Easy: A big ole' shrimp poboy dressed.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Not Said By Jesus Sunday

Happy Solemnity.

P.S. The Eucharist we celebrate really is the real presence of Jesus Christ. It is so substantially not accidentally. So it might seem that we are only consuming bread and wine that is not the case. It is the case that in reality we consume Christ as He who underlies (or stands under or the real essence if you prefer) the accidents of the bread and wine.

PPS. Language can be tricky.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Who I Am Makes a Difference

If you are prone to tears be sure to grab a tissue before watching. We never know the impact of a kind word and gesture.

Thanks Paddy D.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Stuff Catholics Like: Baptism

I know what I said, but this was just posted over at Stuff Catholics Like. It is my latest over there, and it is on Baptism.

Packing Break

Hey Everyone. If you are wondering why I am not updating it is because I am busy packing to return to New Orleans. I hit the road on Tuesday. I will update the "Not Said By Jesus Sunday" posts, but I don't think I'll be doing much more than that until I return to NOLA next week.

Also, I'll be driving from Delaware to Louisiana, which means I'll be in the car for over 20 hours. If you have any good driving tunes you would like to recommend you are more than welcome to leave a music suggestion in the annotation box (comment box).

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Random Thought: Cleaning

Why is it that the place in which you live is never cleaner than on the day you move in and on the day you move out?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Grocery Store Wars: A New Farm

This is for my friend Martha D. who works in an organic store.

This video does not necessarily represent the views of this blog or the blogger who writes the blog. He has no problem with organic food -- except the price.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Oh, The Humanity!

"Police say a trailer loaded with 14 tons of double-stuffed Oreos has overturned, spilling the cookies still in their plastic sleeves into the median and roadway." Local authorities are requesting 10,000 gallons of milk and the help of cookie lovers to aid in the cleanup process.

What Can You Do With Six Bucks?

What can you do with $6?
  • Have a Venti Mocha Latte + tip.
  • Get a fast-food value meal.
  • Buy approximately 1.6 gallons of gas.
  • Pay for shipping from
  • Provide a person with drinking water for two years.
The people over at the Blog have pointed its readers to a handy portable water purification device that requires no electrical power, can be worn around the neck, is light weight, and is about 14 inches in length. It is called the LifeStraw and is produced by the Danish based company Vestergaard Frandsen who is "committed to the goal of basic disease prevention by providing safe drinking water and protection from malaria and other vector-borne diseases."

By filtering the water through a series of filters, with the smallest filtering 15 microns in size, and hitting the water with a quick dose of iodine, the LifeStraw is able to filter out or kill a number of dangerous bacteria and viruses that can cause health problems resulting in death. The LifeStraw site says it is able to remove 99% of these harmful bugs; though, Girardi still sneaks through the 15 micron filter as this little parasite is only 5 micros in size.

LifeStraw recently received the 2008 Saatchi and Saatchi Award for World Changing Ideas, was referred to as ‘one of the Ten Things that will Change the Way We Live” by Forbes Magazine, and was named Best Invention of 2005 by Time. LifeStraw had received other awards and accolades from other institutes and periodicals.

This little device is certainly handy for parts of the word that do not have access to drinkable water and will likely be very useful after natural disasters: tsumanis, earthquakes, hurricanes, and the like.

What a way to spend six bucks!

Thursday, May 15, 2008


From Article:
Melbourne -- Retired priests and nuns from an old people's home have been fighting off old age with a new activity — fencing. About 16 residents aged over 80 from the Corpus Christi Catholic home in Melbourne, Australia have spent the past nine months learning the sport, including Sister Delores Kirby, 93. “It's very unusual at our age. It's a challenge. I'm always a bit afraid I might fall over,” Sister Delores, a retired nun from the Faithful Companions of Jesus order, said.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Twitter, Text Messaging, and Youth Ministry

Youth Minister: “Hey Jan. We missed you at youth group the other night. What were you up to?
Jan: “I didn’t know where were having it this week.”
Youth Minister: “Didn’t you get my email reminder?”
Jan: “I don’t really use my email.”
Youth Minister: “Don’t use your email? Then what do you use? How do you stay in tough with your friends?”
Jan: “We text message.”
If your youth group is anything like the one I help with then you have probably had a conversation similar to the one above with one of the youth group teens, and I assume your reaction was similar to my own lament when I discovered that today’s teens aren’t using email like my generation does. Whether giving up email is a folly of the youth who don’t recognize the usefulness of email or a product of their own youthful wisdom remains to be determined. Whether, not giving up email is the stubbornness of the earlier generations or it is the tested wisdom from practical experience is yet to be determined. However, one thing is certain: Parents and ‘old people’ use email to communicate, and teens use text messages.

The main draw back that kept my church from taking advantage of using text messaging lied in two areas: cost and texting multiple users. At 10 cents a message, texting the entire youth group could get costly. Plus texting the entire youth group at one go from one cell phone was not a reality. I looked into a number of free texting services, software and websites, but most were inadequate and only allowed a text message to be sent to one number at a time. The pay sites offered more features such as a phone number data base and the ability to send one message to everyone in your data base; however, the pay sites cost money.

I had given up trying to use text messages in ministry until the recent episode of thecatholicunderground (episode 74) where the cast introduced its listeners to twitter. For those not familiar with twitter, it is a small free online application that people use to answer the question “What are you doing now?” The activity that twitter provides is sometimes referred to as micro-blogging as the twitter application only allows for 140 characters per message. So what does this have to do with ministry?

Fr. Ryan Humphries of thecatholicunderground pointed out that a person can use twitter to keep in touch with large groups of people via free text messaging and suggested using it in youth ministry to send out reminders to teens. This is how it is accomplished using twitter.

  1. Create a twitter account for your ministry or youth group at the twitter website.
  2. Activate your cell phone for use with twitter. Don’t worry, no one will see your number. This is purely for activation purposes only. This is equally good because if you were worried about giving your cell number to your youth group teens you need not be concerned. No phone numbers are exchanged. The teens won’t know your number, and you won’t know their numbers.
  3. Tell your teens about it. Each teen will have to make their own twitter account, activate their cell phone for use with twitter, and then send a text message to twitter letting twitter know that they want to ‘follow’ your ministry’s twitter. Maybe you can make it in to a youth night. Call it something like "Can you see God's face on MySpace?" and talk about responsible use of media and technology. Challenge all your teens to sign up to the youth group's twitter feed. If your church has a couple of computers that can be moved around, maybe the teens can sign up at the meeting.
  4. Now every time you update your ministry’s twitter with a new message (say a reminder about youth group this week, the service project planned for the weekend, or maybe a bible verse) a text message will be sent to all the users who have subscribed to follow your ministry’s twitter via their cell phone.
Bam! That’s it. It is simple, easy to use, and it is free.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Money is Tight These Days

I really hope families aren't faced with this decision because of gas prices.

Friday, May 09, 2008

The New Conversational Dictionary of America: "They"

They (n. third person plural) - An unidentified, unqualified, unquantified group of people who are often invoked during conversation as an authoritative body to support an idea regardless of how bizzar the idea might be. The word is most often found in the phrase "they say . . ." then proceeded by a statement with an unknown truth value associated with it and an unknown authoritative weight as no one know who 'they' really is. 'They' can range anywhere from professors, institutes, universities, celebrities, bums on the street, a TV show, a work of fiction, a magazine, a friend and everything in between and beyond what was just mentioned. 'They' might even refer to no person or no collective body of people, but in fact is a figment of the imagination where 'they' really translates into the phrase, "in my opinion". 'They' is often an opinion and can be nothing more than an opinion becuase the individual flinging about the authoritative 'they' has not done the research enough into the subject at hand to be informed enough to make a real statement supported by real facts. So, instead, the 'they-sayer', wanting to sound authoritative, well read, and smart will appeal to the mysterious 'they'.

Similar phrases used in a similar manner: "Some say", "Some people say", "It is said", "they've said", and "NPR said".

Storm Troopin': The Secret Lives of Storm Troopers

A flickr album has captured a side of life of the feared drones known as Storm Troopers from Star Wars fame that is normally not seen by outsiders. Go here to see what Storm Troopers do on their spare time.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Adventure in Catechesis #9

NFCYM speaks with C.S.Lewis' stepson on upcoming film

Recently the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry (NFCYM) had a chance to speak with Douglas Gresham, C.S. Lewis' stepson, on the upcoming Narnia movie Prince Caspian. No worries, there are no spoilers in it, but he does shares with us some of the multiple layers of meaning that is found in Lewis' fantasy writings. Douglas Gresham also lets us know a little about the characters in the movie and where his stepfather drew his inspiration in creating those characters. Want to know the next Narnia movie already in production? Watch the clip. It is worth it.

Hat tip to Paddy D

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

New Evangelization

I've been reading much in the Catholic news about Benedict and his call for a new evangelization as if it is something new. Some will connect it back to John Paul II, but the call for a new evangelization is older than some realize. Those who are familiar with Vatican II understand this. Here is a paragraph from a paper I wrote at Notre Dame about Evangelical Catholicism. I wrote:
. . . the evangelical Catholic movement began when Pope John XXIII prayed for a “New Pentecost” (novo Pentecustes) in his apostolic constitution Humanae Salutis that ushered in the start of Vatican II (§23). For Pope John XXIII to call for a new Pentecost is to call for a church in the modern age that is as convicted in their faith as deeply as the apostles were on the day of Pentecost and the years following. Moreover, there cannot be a new Pentecost without there also being a new evangelization – something Pope Paul VI understood when he expressed the desire the Synod Fathers had for a “new period of evangelization” (§2 Evangelii Nuntiandi). The new evangelization was also a theme present in the ministry and writing of Pope John Paul II.
I found it fascinating that the Pope who opened Vatican II called for a new Pentecost and the Pope who closed Vatican II expressed the desire for a new evangelization.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Intellectual Prizefighting

I wrote an article on the rapture and how it fails to reconcile suffering with biblical theology. The New Oxford Review picked it up. I never thought that my name would be on the same cover as Alice von Hildebrand. I haven't really looked at how they edited it, but I will say that what was published is considerably shorter than what I submitted, and from the brief skim I gave it, I think they managed to keep the necessary content in place in order for the reader to make sense of the argument.

Here is a short excerpt from the essay:
Apart from the obvious theological problems surrounding the idea of a rapture, as well as its sketchy, non-biblical origins, there is one issue about the rapture that is often overlooked or not considered by most Christian apologists and theologians: the rapture fails to reconcile suffering in Christian theology. Any casual reader of the Bible can easily see that suffering is an ongoing theme that is present in almost every book of the Bible, that suffering plays a crucial component in biblical theology. The rapture, however, does away with suffering, and therefore does not fit into biblical theology.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Not Said By Jesus Sunday

Adventure in Catechesis #8

Well, it was an "A" for humor, but an "F" in theology.

For those uncertain of the greatest commandment, it is to "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind." I believe it can be found in Matthew 22.

Friday, May 02, 2008

The Art of Manliness

I stumbled across a very informative blog the other day. It is called The Art of Manliness. If you are a man and find yourself ever wondering "Hmmm, I wonder what it means to be a man?" then this blog is for you. On it, the blog gives you manly advice on all areas of life: Lesson in Manliness, The Virtuous Life, Dressing and Grooming, Relationships and Family, Money and Career, Health and Sports, and Manly Skills.

I think I will be frequenting this site.

Stuff Catholics Like

I recently became a contributer to a new education-through-humor blog called Stuff Catholics Like. Here is my first contribution. It is on babies. Other contributers to this new adventure are The Curt Jester, the Ironic Catholic, Ian of Aquinas and More and others. Feel free to have a gander and pass it along if you like it. If you don't like it feel free to pass it on to someone you don't like.

When Zebras Attack

Just a laugh for Friday. Nothing more.

More Liturgical Dance

Shoot if we let that other stuff in the liturgy we might as well allow this. Plus this is WAY cooler.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Not Said By Jesus Sunday: Ascension Edition.

The Ascension of Christ is celebrated, well it used to be celebrated on Thursday, this Sunday. My diocese celebrates it on Sunday and other diocese still celebrate it on Thursday. So today, being the original day known as Ascension Thursday, here is a special post. I posted this cartoon a while back, as you can see from the date on the picture, but it is appropriate for today.

There are some theologians who speculate that Christ's ascension into Heaven was partly so that His sacrifice would be completed, this idea ties in well with the Mass being the Heavenly Liturgy. I am no expert on this, so don't take my word on it. It is just something I've heard discussed.

The CCC says the following about the Ascension:


659 "So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God."532 Christ's body was glorified at the moment of his Resurrection, as proved by the new and supernatural properties it subsequently and permanently enjoys.533 But during the forty days when he eats and drinks familiarly with his disciples and teaches them about the kingdom, his glory remains veiled under the appearance of ordinary humanity.534 Jesus' final apparition ends with the irreversible entry of his humanity into divine glory, symbolized by the cloud and by heaven, where he is seated from that time forward at God's right hand.535 Only in a wholly exceptional and unique way would Jesus show himself to Paul "as to one untimely born", in a last apparition that established him as an apostle.536

660 The veiled character of the glory of the Risen One during this time is intimated in his mysterious words to Mary Magdalene: "I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brethren and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God."537 This indicates a difference in manifestation between the glory of the risen Christ and that of the Christ exalted to the Father's right hand, a transition marked by the historical and transcendent event of the Ascension.

661 This final stage stays closely linked to the first, that is, to his descent from heaven in the Incarnation. Only the one who "came from the Father" can return to the Father: Christ Jesus.538 "No one has ascended into heaven but he who descended from heaven, the Son of man."539 Left to its own natural powers humanity does not have access to the "Father's house", to God's life and happiness.540 Only Christ can open to man such access that we, his members, might have confidence that we too shall go where he, our Head and our Source, has preceded us.541

662 "And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself."542 The lifting up of Jesus on the cross signifies and announces his lifting up by his Ascension into heaven, and indeed begins it. Jesus Christ, the one priest of the new and eternal Covenant, "entered, not into a sanctuary made by human hands. . . but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf."543 There Christ permanently exercises his priesthood, for he "always lives to make intercession" for "those who draw near to God through him".544 As "high priest of the good things to come" he is the center and the principal actor of the liturgy that honors the Father in heaven.545

663 Henceforth Christ is seated at the right hand of the Father: "By 'the Father's right hand' we understand the glory and honor of divinity, where he who exists as Son of God before all ages, indeed as God, of one being with the Father, is seated bodily after he became incarnate and his flesh was glorified."546

664 Being seated at the Father's right hand signifies the inauguration of the Messiah's kingdom, the fulfillment of the prophet Daniel's vision concerning the Son of man: "To him was given dominion and glory and kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed."547 After this event the apostles became witnesses of the "kingdom [that] will have no end".548


665 Christ's Ascension marks the definitive entrance of Jesus' humanity into God's heavenly domain, whence he will come again (cf. Acts 1:11); this humanity in the meantime hides him from the eyes of men (cf. Col 3:3).

666 Jesus Christ, the head of the Church, precedes us into the Father's glorious kingdom so that we, the members of his Body, may live in the hope of one day being with him for ever.

667 Jesus Christ, having entered the sanctuary of heaven once and for all, intercedes constantly for us as the mediator who assures us of the permanent outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

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