Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Run for Vocations

From the email bag. I think this is a great idea. Running, prayer, discipline. Why not? I think Mark was the first runner for vocations. I just hope this group runs with clothes.

Dear friends and family-

This Saturday, May 3rd, I will be running in the Indianapolis Mini-Marathon! As part of this endeavor, I've joined up with about 80 other young adults from the Archdiocese of Indianapolis to pray for an increase of vocations to the sacred married life, sacred single life, priesthood and religious life throughout the world. This "Run for Vocations" Team was established to create an awareness of the need for a greater culture of holy vocations in our world. All the runners will wear shirts in the race which express this need:

Vocation... Everyone has one. What's yours?

With this in mind, all of us on the Run for Vocations Team are asking our family and friends to pledge, not money, but prayers! With your help, we can storm heaven with our prayers for vocations! If you'd be willing to make a pledge, and I hope all of you do :), you can just shoot me a quick email back with your pledge. The race is 13.1 miles so you may choose to pledge a rosary or particular prayer for each mile ran. For example, some people have been pledging one Hail Mary for each mile (rounding up to 14, of course) I run, or one rosary for the whole race, or an Our Father and Hail Mary for each mile, etc., etc.

Also, you can log onto our blog at www.runforvocations.blogspot.com and post your pledge there, or take a look at what people have been pledging thus far.

So please take a moment to pledge some prayers for vocations! Just reply to this email with your pledge, and I'll be sure to send you a gentle reminder on Friday to pray during Saturday's race. Thanks so much for your consideration of this worthy endeavor for the Lord and His Church. May we all "run the good race" out of love for Him!

Love,
John Paul

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Miley Being Edgy


There are other ways a person can be edgy besides taking off one's clothes.
Being edgy can be fun . . . until you fall off the edge.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Science a Figment of Human Imagination

Science a figment of human imagination (proof that everything, regardless of evidence can be reasoned away.)

Humans alone do science because they're the only creatures to have evolved analytical skills, imagination, and reason.

That's the argument of behavior modification specialist Molach Baal of the Hades School of Behavior. Baal challenges the popular notion that science developed from human reason alone, free of an objective reality and concrete laws as has been argued by some anthropologists.

Instead, he argues that first, we had to evolve the necessary brain architecture to imagine things and beings physically exist, we had to recognize ourselves not as creatures made in the image of a divine being but as an animal of a different sort – without certain certainty that humanity is a higher form of animal. We also had to formulate the idea that people somehow don’t objectively live on after we’ve subjectively died.

Once we'd done that, we had no choice but to a form of social interaction that resembled every other creature on the planet: prides, lone man in the woods, the strong man, etc. Uniquely, humans could use what Baal calls “rational group bond” to unify with other humans, such as in universities and academies and institutes, or even with imaginary groups such as scientific research labs. The rational group bond also allows humans to work towards a uncommon goal.

"What the rational social bond, as well as science in general, requires is the ability to live very largely in the imagination," Baal writes.

"One can be a member of a rational group bond, or a university, even though one never comes in contact with the other members of it," says Baal. Moreover, the composition of such groups, "whether they are academies or institutions, may only allow the opinions of the living regardless of what truths were laid down by their forefathers. As it is truth, is just a mere product of our imagination that only exists in our current moment to help us interact within our rational group bond. The sum of 2+2 being 4 is no more true than if 2+2 equate to 35.”

Modern-day scientists still embrace this idea of communities bound with the living with no consideration of those who came before. The “live only” mentality is clearly seen in the university setting.

Stuck in the here and now

No animals, not even our nearest relatives the chimpanzees, can do this, argues Baal. Instead, he says, they're restricted to the mundane and Machiavellian social interactions of everyday life, of sparring every day with contemporaries for status and resources.

And the reason is that they can't imagine beyond this immediate social circle, or backwards and forwards in time, in the same way that humans can.

Baal believes our ancestors developed the necessary neural architecture to imagine before or around 40-50,000 years ago, at a time called the Upper Palaeological Revolution, the final sub-division of the Stone Age.

At around the same time, tools that had been monotonously primitive since the earliest examples appeared 100,000 years earlier suddenly exploded in sophistication, mathematical theorems began appearing on cave walls and the dead, useless, and elderly were systematically done away with as they were seen as useless to the rational group bond. Once humans had crossed this divide, there was no going back. The conscience was found useless and thus done away with.

Baal went on to say that the ability to do mathematics, stare at the stars, and being able to calculate where a train leaving Boston traveling 80 mph will meet a train leaving San Francisco traveling in the opposite direction at a speed of 60mph was necessary for the survival of early humanity. Baal theorized that the ability to do such analytical thinking “helped put food on the table.”

"The rational bond, must only include the living, teachers and professors, as well as living role holders and members of essentialised groups," writes Baal. "and professors and scientists are compatible with living gods or members, who at one point in time started being worshiped by the human imagination."

Nothing special

But Baal argues that science is only one manifestation of this unique ability to reason.

"Scientific-like phenomena in general are an inseparable part of a key adaptation unique to modern humans, and this is having the incapacity to imagine other worlds, an adaptation that I argue is the very foundation of the sociality of modern human society."

"Once we realise this omnipresence of the imaginary sciences in the everyday, nothing special is left to explain concerning science," he says.

Dr. Dumbass of Diverse University thinks Baal is right, but that "theory of reason" – the ability to analyze and abstract might be as important as evolution of imagination.

"As soon as you have theory of reason, you have the possibility of doing away with others, cleansing the human populace" he says. This, in turn, strengthens the human race and does away with suffering and evil. It generates the idea that there is no enforcer and a person is free to do as he likes.

"Once you have these additions of the imagination, maybe theories of science are inevitable," he says.

Spiritual Meaning?

Here is a little thing I was just playing around with the other night. It is very simple and very straight. As always, click on the image for a larger view. Constructive criticism is always open.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Dave Brubeck and the Mass

More know for his quartet and Take 5 fame than for sacred music, Jazz great Dave Brubeck took time out of his busy career to compose music for the Liturgy. It is uncertain as to why a non-Catholic (which Dave was at the time of his composing the work) would try his hand at composing a mass, but the rumors I have heard is that a Catholic friend asked him to do it. Dave was intrigued by the idea. However, when he realized he didn't know anything about the Catholic Liturgy, he set out to study it so that the music he composed would fit the celebration. The out come was a mass composition known as To Hope! A Celebration. It was through his work and time composing the music for the Mass and studying the Liturgy that Dave eventually entered the Catholic Church.

Here is an excerpt from PBS about Dave and his Mass composition:
One of Dave's major religious compositions is the mass To Hope! A Celebration. When Brubeck finished the piece, he was proud to play it for various religious officials. But a priest told him he had left the Our Father out of the mass, after the premiere.

'He was very disappointed,' Dave explained. 'He said 'I loved your mass, but you left out the Our Father.' I said, 'What's the Our Father?' because that doesn't mean anything to me. I'm not a Catholic. And he said, 'Our Father, who art in Heaven.' And I said, 'that's The Lord's Prayer.' And the priest said 'Well, in Catholicism, we call it the Our Father. So I said, 'Well, nobody told me to write it, so I didn't write it. I'm finished with The Mass, I'm going to the Bahamas with my family, and I'm going to take a vacation. I've been working very hard.' So I get down there, and what happens? I dream the Our Father because a priest tells me I left it out. So I jump up in the middle of the night, and write it all down. And now it's in The Mass. '

The event didn't just revolutionize the piece; it changed Brubeck's life. ' I joined the Catholic Church, because I felt, somebody's trying to tell me something,' he realized. 'Now, people say I converted. I didn't convert to Catholicism, because I wasn't anything to convert from. I just joined the Catholic Church.'

Not Said By Jesus Sunday



Jenny and Tyler

Last week I found myself studying late at a local coffee shop that recently started an open mic night. I didn't know about the open mic night, otherwise I would have gone some place else, but I am very glad I didn't know about this open mic night. While I was studying a couple stepped up to the mic and began singing. I thought to myself, "alright they have one good song. Most semi talented people can make at least one good song." However, as they continued, their lyrics and harmony pulled me away from studying for my comps and I found myself closing my books and just listening. I very much enjoyed their short concert.

Their duo is called Jenny and Tyler. Clicking on their name will bring you to their website. There you can hear some samples of their CD, which is available for purchase on iTunes. I won't bore you with saying they are a blend of this band with that band and another band divided by the sum integers of the square of their combined ages. I'm just going to recommend that you check out their site and give a little listen to their music, and if you are in the DE area you should check them out. I will say, they did sound better live, but the CD is still enjoyable.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Movie Review: Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed

Intelligent design. Is it a legitimate proposal that should be considered in the modern scientific community? It’s a question that Ben Stein puts forth in the recent documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. Though Ben does not and cannot settle the issue on his own, he does make it clear that there is a group of individuals within the scientific community that are not just against intelligent design but are hostile towards it: who often confuse it as a religious belief incompatible with science.

Luckily, in his signature monotone fashion, Ben points out the common misconception that intelligent design and creationism are the same philosophical belief. Religious individuals often propose the latter, while the former is perfectly compatible with nearly any walk of life and philosophical belief – except one. That lone incompatible philosophical mind set is known as scientific materialism. Scientific materialism is the philosophical belief that, in short, proposes that all that exists is the physical world and everything can be known according to physical reactions. There is no room for supernatural events or anything that exists outside our known space, time, and matter in the scientific materialistic world-view. Stein didn’t go into scientific materialism itself, but it is clearly there in the philosophical undertones of many of the Darwinian scientists he interviews.

The main point of this documentary is not so much a push for or against a certain philosophical belief as it is an attempt to remind the scientific community that they might not be as open to alternate theories as they claim to be. As it is, Stein demonstrates the closed mindedness of certain scientific communities that hide behind the banner of academic freedom, but really what these nay saying scientists really mean by the term “academic freedom” is that you are free to believe as they do, and to propose another theory could mean suicide to one’s professional scientific career even if there is good reason to that alternate theory.

The weakness of the movie is that there is mention of the holes in Darwinism and other scientific claims, but Stein never goes into what those holes are and how ID can or might fill those holes. The viewer doesn’t learn about Darwin’s theory and doesn’t learn how to have an intelligent conversation with others about ID or Darwinism. Surprisingly, the movie does make known the shady origins of Planned Parenthood and makes known its origins in Darwin’s theory, eugenics, and how the Nazis used the ideas of eugenics, propagated by Planned Parenthood, to usher in the murder of disabled, Jews, and others the Nazis deemed unfit for society. A theory of natural selection, when applied to humanity, makes humanity a thing that can be used and disposed of on and at the whim of another.

Overall, I found the movie enjoyable. It isn’t a ‘must see’, but it is worth seeing at some point. It does raise some interesting concerns in the realm of academic freedom and scientific honesty, which are always hot button issues. Also, one must consider after watching the movie if scientists are being honest in not considering an alternative theory that might be equally useful in explaining how some parts of the world function?

Thursday, April 24, 2008

I Was Interviewed

The group I went with to the papal youth rally in NY were interviewed by our local diocesan paper. I had to use my full last name in the interview. Click on the image to download a pdf of the story.

Who is Your Spiritual Momma?

From Article:
VATICAN CITY, APRIL 22, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI gave his support to an initiative from the Congregation for Clergy that called for spiritual mothers for priests and Eucharistic adoration for their sanctity.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Random Thought of the Day

Liturgical Dance is about as funny as a hoe down choreographed to Swan Lake.

Pro-Life Message from the Email Bag

I've always found it funny that there is a "Priest for Life" organization. Aren't all priests supposed to be for life? Anyway, here is the message (note: I have not watched these videos yet. I'm posting under the assumption that the PFL isn't going to send me anything crazy.):
Blessings!! He is Risen!!

I blog to you on behalf of Fr. Frank Pavone and Priests for Life. Fr. Pavone recently posted two videos on You Tube in which he describes and demonstrates the two most common abortion techniques, using the actual instruments of abortion and the words found in medical textbooks and court testimony.

You can view these videos at

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=us_y9GP_-DA (Dismemberment abortion) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBOAPleF1t0 (Suction abortion).

These videos are part of a new project called, "Is This What You Mean?" It aims to educate the public about the nature of abortion and to challenge public officials and candidates who support the legality of abortion to admit what it is. A full description of the project is at www.priestsforlife.org/action/abortion-procedure-revealed.htm .

We are asking blog moderators to post a link or set-up an area on their blog for easy access to view our two You Tube videos.

As Fr. Pavone has quoted in endless homilies and talks about public servants who are pro-choice, there is a difference between serving the public and killing the public. Abortion has lost its meaning and is just a word to some politicians. In fact, as long as it has been since Jan.22 1973, the public is still not aware of what an abortion is and what it looks like. Again, we urge you to view Fr. Pavone’s demonstrations and forward this to anybody unaware such as parents, pastors, teachers, government officials etc….

In Christ,

David--MEV
dclark@priestsforlife.org

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

This Is What It's Like Teaching 5th Grade Catechesis.



. . . except I win.

Religious Vocations on Facebook

I logged into Facebook the other day and 'WOW!' an ad from a religious order promoting vocations for their order.

A great big "YEAH!" to the Salesians of Don Bosco for stepping up and advertising in places that youth frequent. Though, they do need some help with the wording, it is a start. In the world and not of the world -- I wish more vocation offices would take that phrase more seriously when promoting vocations to the priesthood.

I'm curious if the ad attracted any interest.

Also, the link to the Salesians is for the Eastern US province. If you are interested in another province I'm sure you can google it real quick.

Heroes Happen Here: As the World Goes Round



Christopher Strackbein tells the story of the IT guy at a local parish and school and shows how he might be treated differently if everyone knew how the IT guy keeps the school's technology up and running. Christopher won a $30,000 scholarship for this video as well as $5,000 for the parish that participated in the filming.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Presidential Canidates on WWE!!!

Did anyone catch Hilary, Obama, and McCain on WWE Tonight (Monday)? I think this is a first. Now if they would only wrestle for real. That would be something to watch.

Hilary referenced the Rock's "The People's Elbow"

My Roommate called it in that Barack would say, "Can you smell what Barack is cookin?" paraphrasing the Rock's tag line "Can/If you smell what the Rock is coolin?"

McCain: "Watching WWE is about celebrating our freedom." McCain parodies Hulk Hogan's 'Hulkamania" and Calls his supporters "McCainiacs." Personally it sounded like McCain had experience in the wresteling arena.

Wolf Reports on it here with excerpts.

News Flash: Obama is Bosnian Sniper

(Washington) A&Y -- Earlier today the Alive and Young investigative team made a remarkable discovery. Barack Obama, it has been determined, is the Bosnian sniper of which Senator Hilary Clinton spoke about in her initially thought to be campaign blunder. When asked to comment on the incident, Barack Obama said, "Well, I had her in my sights but never fired a shot. I figured it would hurt her more later if I didn't shoot."

Sunday, April 20, 2008

I'm So Literal

A Happening at youth group tonight:
[Teen walks into youth room and looks at the only open chair in the room.]
Teen: "I call that chair."
Adult: "Yes Dave. We all call that chair."
[confused look from teen]
[other adult laughs out loud and then explains joke to teen.]
Teen: "Ohhhhh, I get it."

Marriage Vocation Video

This video was played at the Youth Rally in Yonkers. It will play in realplayer. The video was done by the Knight of Columbus. Caution, this video uses scandalous language like: conjugal union, embrace, and gift of self.

Chesterton Quote on Love and Marriage:
[man and woman are like] two stubborn pieces of iron; if they are to be welded together, it must be while they are red-hot. Every woman has to find out that her husband is a selfish beast, because every man is a selfish beast by the standard of a woman. But let her find out the beast while they are both still in the story of "Beauty and the Beast". Every man has to find out that his wife is cross - that is to say, sensitive to the point of madness: for every woman is mad by the masculine standard. But let him find out that she is mad while her madness is more worth considering than anyone else's sanity.
[GKC, The Common Man 142-3]

Not Said By Jesus Sunday


Thanks to Bruce for submitting this idea.


The Day After the Pope

A car, a train, a subway, a second train, a charter bus, a school bus, and finally my own two feet is how I got there to see the Pope in Yonkers. Awaking at 5 a.m. and only returning hungry, tired, and sunburned at 2 a.m. the next morning, it was an entire day’s journey. In deed, it was a pilgrimage to a pilgrim church: there and back again. For as St. Ambrose said, “Where Peter is, there must be the Church.” The church that was experienced where the Pope was on Saturday was nothing less than an assembly that was young and very alive.

Though people will argue that the excitement and rock-star treatment that the youth gave the Holy Father on Saturday is nothing special, I would say otherwise. It is true that celebrities, as a whole, can cause girls to squeal and faint with excitement, and rock-stars and professional athletes inspire guys to do stupid things, it is not true that these many famous people bring with them peace. That is, with all the celebrities and all the excitement they cause, all the yelling, and camera flashing, they fail to bring with them something the world needs more than a new #1 Hit Song on the Charts. Too many Celebrities fail to bring peace to a person’s heart. To put it another way, when was the last time Paris Hilton or Dane Cook stirred a person’s heart to peace?

The holy Father, though he received rock-star treatment, brought with him a similar excitement as that of any celebrity; however, he brought with him an underlying sense of peace that no celebrity can muster on their own accord. It might be a paradox as to how such a peaceful man can cause such excitement and still stir up a sense of peace within a person’s heart. How exactly he marries excitement and peace can only stated in that, his heart rests in God. And when one rests in God, one’s burden and yoke is light and easy. They became transparent to the extent that God is seen through the person, as is the case with Benedict XVI.

The youth I encountered in Yonkers love the Pope. They yelled for the Holy Father, sang him songs, made cheers in his honor, waved banners, took pictures, wore shirts that read “I pope NY”, and even prayed with him all in hopes to express their favor and their love for the Pope. It was behavior that went beyond the kind found at any concert. Dave Matthews might be able to pack 100,000 people into a stadium, but I’ve never seen any member in the audience sing him a song, wave a Dave flag, or create a Dave cheer to express their love for Dave or his music. There is no doubt that the Pope is more popular than Dave Matthews.

The rally gives a glimpse of hope for the Church in America. It is commonly thought that the youth is the future Church. This isn’t the case, as the youth of the Church have already been baptized and brought into the family of God. The youth is the Church now, and the Holy Father spoke to the youth as such. He did not say, ‘One day, when you become the church.” No, he did not say that. He spoke to the youth as they are: part of the body of Christ. This part, the part that is the youth, is very hopeful, as I met many youth that want to follow the Gospel of Christ who are starting to realize that being Christian doesn’t mean not having fun; instead, being Christian means having a kind of fun that is more authentic than most experience and having a life filled with richer experiences.

I also met many seminarians that, as the youth I was chaperoning would say, “were normal.” These seminarians were funny, well mannered, well spoken, and interested in living the universal call to holiness in a style that is in the world but not of the world. They are still riding on the wave of John Paul II’s “Be not afraid” and combining it with Benedict message that one must approach the word with Truth. That Truth is a person named Jesus Christ.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Blog Blitz

Blog Blitz
  1. Saw the Pope.
  2. Went to the Mass with the Pope.
  3. The mass was Great. Very peaceful. The music was AMAZING. They played a piece by Holst that was fantastic. No Liturgical Dancers. (Maybe more on the mass later)
  4. Got blessed by the Pope. (The ladies in front of me that had 2 one-gallon size bags of religious medals and rosaries cracked me up during the blessing.)
  5. I got really really sun burnt. It was beautiful weather and not a cloud in the sky.
  6. I forgot to grab my camera off my table today, so no pictures of the mass from me. Though, I will remember to bring it to the youth rally in Yonkers.
  7. Leaving the mass I walked into a gaggle of Cardinals and was close enough to take all their zuchettos if I wished. Though it would have made a great story if I had made off with a Cardinal's zuchettos, I don't think it was in the spirit of the day.
  8. If you're interested. We did bump into John Kerry outside the National's stadium.
  9. I'm very TIRED.
  10. If you hadn't read or listened to the Pope's address to Catholic Educators then you are missing out. It was VERY good. This part really stuck out when I heard it
    How might Christian educators respond? These harmful developments point to the particular urgency of what we might call “intellectual charity”. This aspect of charity calls the educator to recognize that the profound responsibility to lead the young to truth is nothing less than an act of love [emphasis mine]. Indeed, the dignity of education lies in fostering the true perfection and happiness of those to be educated. In practice “intellectual charity” upholds the essential unity of knowledge against the fragmentation which ensues when reason is detached from the pursuit of truth. It guides the young towards the deep satisfaction of exercising freedom in relation to truth, and it strives to articulate the relationship between faith and all aspects of family and civic life. Once their passion for the fullness and unity of truth has been awakened, young people will surely relish the discovery that the question of what they can know opens up the vast adventure of what they ought to do. Here they will experience “in what” and “in whom” it is possible to hope, and be inspired to contribute to society in a way that engenders hope in others.
    Other themes he touched upon: academic freedom, the search for truth, sex ed as 'risk' management. Though, I though it strange that the people in the audience only clapped when the Holy Father mentioned caring for the poor, which really was only the minor point to his address.
  11. This is funny: The Striking Similarities of Chickens & First Communicants
  12. The Papal Cross that Benedict has on his staff hasn't caught on yet, as all the programs still had the same papal cross that JPII used.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Going to See the Pope

I have tickets to the mass with the Pope in DC for tomorrow. The Bus leaves at 3:30am. I am also bringing a small group of teens to the youth rally in Yonkers, NY. I know I get to see the Holy Father TWICE in one week. So, I don't think I'll be doing much blogging till Sunday.

Happy Birthday to the Pope

From an Email from the Maximus Group:
Eighty-one years ago TODAY, Joseph Ratzinger was born in a Bavarian town. Bavaria is the most Catholic region of Germany, a place where the local culture is steeped in all things Catholic. Joseph absorbed these influences unconsciously and came to treasure them. He also acquired other Bavarian traits-reverence for tradition; a love for beauty; and a devotion for one's homeland. These traits paved the way for a boy coming of age in Nazi Germany to become a great priest and for a great priest to become an extraordinary Pope.
Since he is here in the United States, my roommates and I invited the Pope over for a little celebration in honor of his birthday. My camera was acting a little crazy so I only got a few pictures. We played many games. You might not realize but the pope actually like games, but being the Pope come with specific papal birthday games. The Holy Father was kind to teach them to us.

First there was the Papal Pose off. Each person strikes their best Papal Pose and the judges vote for the winner. You see my roommate give the Pope thumbs up approval. Really people, how can you compete with the Pope in a Papal Pose Off?


Though it might look like we are eating breakfast, do not be deceived. We are really playing the St. Augustine Showdown Throwdown, which it turns out has been a papal favorite with Pius X, John VI, and Paul I. The object is to read Augustine's Confessions in the original Latin as quickly as possible, out loud, and with as best pronunciation as you can muster. It took the holy Father 7:77 to read the entire text with a pronunciation score of 9.5. Needless to say, he smoked me.

This last one is very simple, here is my other roommate playing "Catch the Zuchetto". The pope throws his zuchetto, and whoever catches it scores points. The one with the least points after 10 rounds wins. It is one of those "the last shall be first" kind of games. There was a catch, if no one caught the zuchetto, then everyone was awarded points. Oh the humanity.

Over all it was nice to celebrate the Pope's birthday with him. He was gracious and kind. I taught him how to use Louisiana Hot Sauce, and he requested a case of Tony's seasoning and some Abita Beer be sent to the Vatican.

Single Parents Cost TaxPayers $112 Billion

This is interesting. From article:
NEW YORK (AP) -- Divorce and out-of-wedlock childbearing cost U.S. taxpayers more than $112 billion a year, according to a study commissioned by four groups advocating more government action to bolster marriages.

Not only does staying married help tax payers, but it is also greener.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Not Another Anti-Catholic Movie

That's right. Another Anti-Catholic movie is in pre-production. The bases of the movie: the myth of Pope Joan. Luckily it is being made in Germany, so it will likely be ignored in the US. The funny thing is that there is no historical evidence for the existence of a woman masquerading as a man who became pope and gave birth during a papal procession. Second if the Catholic church were as Anti-Woman as certain parties claim, then the Catholic Church would have used the Pope Joan incident and discovery of her gender in her position to reaffirm the Church's position of the all-male priesthood.

Here is an article by Patrick Madrid that gives the low down on the Pope Joan myth.

Another possible origin of the Myth that Patrick does not go into is that the myth was created by protestants during the Middle Ages in an attempt to defame the Catholic Church to show all the non-Catholics that the Catholic Church had become so corrupt that it no longer knew what wass going within its walls so much so that the Catholic Church would let a woman be Pope. In other words, the story was actually anti-woman as the protestant version makes women out to be weak, timid, and unintelligent and not strong and powerful as some modern feminists like to believe.

He Wrote 200,000 Books

Well, I didn't get 200,000 books when I searched on Amazon. I only got 85,000+, but still that is an impressive number of books attributed to one person. Anyway, apparently using algorithms, some 60-70 computers, 7-9 programmers and oodles of of digital information in a data base, Mr. Parker is able to compile books on any topic, and I do mean ANY topic such as the title, and subject of the book, The 2007-2012 Outlook for Tufted Washable Scatter Rugs, Bathmats and Sets That Measure 6-Feet by 9-Feet or Smaller in India.

Here for the article.

The Gospel According to Obama

In the beginning was Obama, and the Momma was with Obama, and the Momma was from Kenya. Obama was with the Momma and the Momma was with Obama, and they were as one in the Bahamas with Obama and Momma doing a samba. From there the Momma sent forth a man, and it was Obama, who came riding on a llama it was Obama. He came forth acting like the dali lama. Division was not from his Momma it is what he wants to end, he does the Obama. It was Obama that led the way, and guarantees that Osama will never over come Obama and his Momma.


I really wish people would stop painting Obama as the savior. Then again, he already did liken himself as a new Joshua leading the people into the promise land. I some times feel like he is the political version of Buddy Jesus or a person who is more fair and even more fowl. It is creepy how people are painting him as a messianic figure. I don't believe in change. No one should believe in change. You should believe in Christ. Change doesn't and can't promise anything. To paraphrase Chesterton: As enunciated by Obama, 'change' is simply a comparative of which we have net settled the superlative. No body has any business to use the word 'change' unless he has a definite creed and a cast-iron code of morals.

I'm not saying I support the other guy. I'm just saying that all this messianic Obama talk is giving me the willies.

Plus I plan to write in Colbert for President.

Monday, April 14, 2008

When Children Attack

I really thought I could take like 50 or so. It must be all those philly pretzels I've been eating, which are very tasty. Then again, studying theology and doing parish ministry really doesn't give me much time to study the aggressive attack behavior of 5-year olds.

30



Thanks to the Opinionated Catholic for This.

In the Footsteps of Saints

Who knew my "Not Said By Jesus Sunday" posts, which by the way can now be had via a widget, would be following in the footsteps of Saints. From the Email Bag.
Paul,

You may be surprised that today I read /two/ versions of Not Said by Jesus. Yours and this:

"'Without me you can indeed do something, but it will be easier through me,' he didn't say, 'You can bear your fruit without me, but a better crop through me.' That's not what he said. Read what he said; it's the holy gospel, treading on the proud necks of one and all. This isn't what Augustine says, it's what the Lord says. What does the Lord say? Without me, you can do nothing." Augustine, trans. Maria Boulding, Sermon 156, Works of St. Augustine, III/5.

Thanks Sheryl for this email and quote. It makes me feel really smart knowing that what I am doing was already done some ~1650 years ago by one of the greatest theologians every to walk the earth. Now when people ask what it is I am doing with the "Not Said by Jesus" posts, I can simply say, "I'm following in the footsteps of Saints."

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Not Said By Jesus Sunday Widget

Alright, after many many hours of fooling around in blogger, flickr, and the like. I finally was able to fulfill a request for a Widget for the Not Said By Jesus Sunday posts. So here it is. Click on the link or on the image on the Bottom if you would like to acquire this widget. As long as I remember to upload the pictures to Flickr every week, it should update automatically.


Not Said By Jesus Sunday

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Football, Rules, Liturgy

Imagine for one moment that you are at an NFL game, and the referee takes it upon himself to call a penalty for illegal formation on the offense for only having seven men on the line of scrimmage. Anyone familiar with the rules of football will likely be scratching their head in confusion at such a strange call. You see, today the referee at this particular game has decided upon his own accord, without consultation of other officials or the NFL commissioner or consideration of the fans at the stadium, the fans watching on TV, the sports casters, or the sports media, to change the rule that requires the offense to have seven or more players on the line of scrimmage to the offense being required to have exactly eight players on the line of scrimmage. One can only imagine the outrage and confusion this referee would cause among the football world. Fans and announcers alike would question by what and whose authority does this referee change the rules of the sport. The referee would likely be suspended and possibly out of a job.

I assume that most of us are familiar with the scandal on any of the Monday Morning Quaterback shows around the country that is caused by a mere missed or botched call. Now what king of scandal would a blatant change of rules bring to the table? I can only imagine. Luckily, such a thing is unlikely to happen in the football community without first going through the proper channels and consultations of the proper authorities.

Yet, why does a priest see it necessary to change the Liturgy according to his own whim and will without consideration for the congregation or consultation of those who are able to authorize such changes in the Liturgy. For a priest who does such a thing demonstrates his real attitude toward the laity in that he shows that he thinks that the laity has no role in the liturgy other than being present. The liturgy is about him. It is about performance and story telling. That the body is unimportant to the head, and that the body must submit to the head even if the body by nature of it being a body cannot submit to certain requests. It is liturgical narcissism at its finest, for the priest cannot step out of the way and allow both the body and the head to celebrate the mass together. It also demonstrates the priest's distaste for scripture, tradition, and the sacraments. But I can't help think, “Is the Liturgy not more important than football?” Should it not cause an even greater scandal when a priest changes the Liturgy than a missed call in the NFL? I say it should, but it never does.

Aidan Kavanagh reports in his book “On Liturgical Theology” that in the early church, congregations had “been know to become rowdy when presbyters or deacons omitted something”. If what he writes is true then the early church took liturgical celebration to be an important and serious thing. When was the last time a congregation became rowdy when a priest took it upon himself to omit or superficially add something to the liturgy that should not be removed or added? I cannot think of an example. However, I only have to think briefly to remember Green Bay fans throwing snowballs at the refs or New York fans throwing beer bottles and other things onto the field because a ref botched a call. I wonder what mass would be like if the congregation threw their missals or hymnals at the priest or deacon when he makes up his own Eucharistic prayer or changes the words in the creed.

Perhaps part of the problem is that we as a society and as a Church take to seriously an unserious thing. That is, we take too serious a game and not seriously enough the cosmos. As it is, when Americans learn to stop playing worship, worshiping work, and working at their play and start worshiping at their worship, working at their work, and playing at their play, then perhaps the most commonsensical of things might make sense again: like the need for certain rules and regulations that do not hinder but actually enable, encourage and empower.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Seminarian Poster for New Orleans

Last night I was looking at some of the posters for Louisiana Seminarians for this year. I was curious as to who entered the minor seminary this past year. I started noticing a trend on the 'these are our seminarians' posters that each diocese puts out yearly. In short, most of them sucked. I found many to be poorly and very plainly designed. From a theological point of view, I found some to be effeminate and uninspiring. I'm sorry, man lace just doesn't make an 18 or a 27 year old guy, or for that matter most guys, say "YEAH! LACE! I'm gonna enter the seminary!" -- if lace has this effect upon a guy then he might have deep rooted psychological problem that requires medical attention.

So, I was curious as to if I could make a better poster. Here are the almost completed results. I used mass amounts of photo shop and didn't have images of the seminarians except what I found on the original poster, which wasn't that big. I also got very lazy with the font and text placement, as it was the last thing that I did. Please, let me know what you think. Click on the image for a larger view. I used the NOLA poster because well, I'm from there.


Also, I collected many of the background images from Flickr. I do not remember if they were part of the CCL. So if I am using one of your pictures and you don't want me using it please let me know. I do not have a copy of this poster that is large enough to print, so it will never go into production. It is just an experiment and challenge for myself to see if I could do better than the other guy.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

50 Greatest Comedy Sketches of All-time

Clearly this list of the 50 greatest comedy sketches of all-time is highly biased as we have no records of ancient cave-man humor, which for all we know might be far superior than any of the modern humor we have now. Though, I've heard it reported by smarter people that the early formulation of the "Why did the chicken cross the road?" joke dates back to an early prehistoric formula that initially used other animals such as the saber tooth tiger, the duck-bill platypus, the alligator, and John McCain. The duck was eventually universally settled on as the protagonist for this joke due to the migratory patterns that the fowl exhibited during the spring and fall seasons. It is also uncertain as to how the 'road' fits into this prehistoric formulation, as early cave-sketches illustrating the joke do not depict any roads, just fields, trails, paths, and rivers.

It is believe that comedy sketches developed from the age old maxim that states "you don't have to be faster than the animal chasing you, you only need be faster than the slowest person in your group" which stinks if you are the slowest person in your group. Stand up comedy, which pre-dates comedy sketches and are theorized to be precursor to the comedy sketch, are believed to have been used to distract a group/party member so that the person telling the joke can make his escape from certain doom. I.E
"Hey Ug, what is big, green, has bad breath, razor sharp claws, and if it fell out of a tree on top of you it would kill you?"
"I don't know Gug. What?"
"I don't know either but, it's right behind you!" (Ug makes fast escape while Gug turns sheepishly around to meet certain doom by the big green thing with bad breath and razor sharp claws.)
It was only after several encounters like the above that early man started sharing 'jokes' at the end of their hunting day that was used in the hunting parties so that they could escape becoming dinner for some wild animal. Somewhere along the way, after developing and collecting a variety of said stories, early man began 'standing up' surrounded by his friends to tell of his strategies and 'jokes' he used in hunting in order to ensure the survival of certain party members. It is believed that this is premise for the early formulation of Darwin's lesser know theory, aptly named "Survival of the Wittiest". The shared jokes often brought much laughter and was later determined to relive stress after a long day of hunting. It is believed that 30 seconds after the first stand-up comedy routine was finished the first critic came on the scene.

Things Not To Do in the Comprehensive Oral Final for Your MA in Theology But Might Be Fun if You Did

Things Not To Do in the Comprehensive Oral Final for Your MA in Theology But Might Be Fun if You Did:
  1. Sing the opening to Jesus Christ Superstar for the answer to the first question.
  2. When the Oral exam begins, ask the panel if they will join you in a spirit filled prayer (shecameinahondashecameinahondashecameinahondashecameinahondaaljksdflkjasdfmumbublemumbble). Let the prayer last 12 of the 15 mins aloted for the oral.
  3. Insist on answering every question using solely interpretive dance.
  4. After each question grab your head as if in pain, moan, gently rock back and forth in your chair, and repeat over and over "does not compute, does not compute, information unretrievable, information unretrievable."
  5. Wear only a thong to your Oral exam, then mid way through the Oral exclaim, as if you just realized, "My Clothes! Where are my clothes! I thought this was a bad dream!"
  6. Let the phrase "The Pascal Mystery" be the answer to every question asked of you.
  7. When a panelist asks a question begin all your answers by saying, "Yes, that is interesting. What exactly would Jesus do?"
  8. Insist that the panelist refer to you by your Hebrew name Mahershalalhashbaz. Tell them its spelled how its pronounced.
  9. Answer your questions sung in Chant Style using Gregorian Method Mode 1.
  10. Fake an ecstasy.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Head Colds and the Charleston

Been fighting a head cold. With the help of large amounts of Vitamin C, plenty of water, rest, and a nasal rinse bottle, I expect to be back to normal in another day or two. I suppose the onset of this cold was why I was so tired last week at work. In the meantime, enjoy this video of some guys doing the Charleston set to some Daft Punk. Anyone who has seen the original video for this song will immediately realize that this video is much better than the one that was originally aired on MTV during the late 90s.




No worries, I should have a "not said by Jesus Sunday" post up tomorrow. I always have one in the bag.

Friday, April 04, 2008

I LOVE MY JOB

This is from my mom via email. She works for the natural gas industry, so I'd be willing to bet this is a true story. Even if it isn't it is funny.

Here's a laugh for the day.

I LOVE MY JOB

If you don't laugh out loud after you read this you are in a coma! This
is even funnier when you realize it's real!

Next time you have a bad day at work think of this guy.

Rob is a commercial saturation diver for Global Divers in Louisiana .

He performs underwater repairs on offshore drilling rigs.

Below is an E-mail he sent to his sister. She then sent it to radio
station 103.2 on FM dial in Ft. Wayne , Indiana , who was sponsoring a
worst job experience contest.

Needless to say, she won.

Hi Sue,

Just another note from your bottom-dwelling brother.

Last week I had a bad day at the office. I know you've be en feeling
down lately at work, so I thought I would share my dilemma with you to
make you realize it's not so bad after all.

Before I can tell you what happened to me, I first must bore you with a
few technicalities of my
job.

As you know, my office lies at the bottom of the sea. I wear a suit to
the office. It's a wet suit. This time of year the water is quite cool.
So what we do to keep warm is this:

We have a diesel powered industrial water heater. This $20,000 piece of
equipment su cks the water out of the sea. It heats it to a delightful
temperature.

It then pumps it down to the diver through a garden hose, which is taped
to the air hose. Now this sounds like a darn good plan, and I've used it
several times with no complaints.

What I do, when I get to the bottom and start working, is take the hose
and stuff it down the back of my wet suit. This floods my whole suit
with warm water. It's like working in a Jacuzzi.

Everything was going well until all of a sudden, my butt started to
itch. So, of course, I scratched it. This only made things worse.
Within a few seconds my butt started to burn.

I pulled
the hose out from my back, but the damage was done. In agony I realized
what had happened.

The hot water machine had sucked up a jellyfish and pumped it into my
suit. Now, since I don't have any hair on my back, the jellyfish
couldn't stick to it. However, the crack of my butt was not as
fortunate.

When I scratched what I thought was an itch, I was actually grinding the
jellyfish into the crack of my butt. I informed the dive supervisor of
my dilemma over the communicator. His instructions were unclear due to
the fact that he, along with five other divers, were all laughing
hysterically..

Needless to say I aborted the dive. I was instructed to make three
agonizing in-water decompression stops totaling thirty-five minutes
before I could reach the surface to begin my chamber dry decompression.
When I arrived at the surface, I was wearing nothing but my brass
helmet.

As I climbed out of the water, the medi c,
with tears of laughter running down his face, handed me a tube of cream
and told me to rub it on my butt as soon as I got in the chamber.

The cream put the fire out, but I couldn't poop for two days because my
butt was swollen shut.

So, next time you're having a bad day at work, think about how much
worse it would be if you had a jellyfish shoved up your butt.

Now repeat to yourself, 'I love my job, I love my job, I love my job.'

Now whenever you have a bad day, ask yourself, is this a jellyfish bad
day?

May you NEVER have a jellyfish bad day!!!!!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Reconsideration

I'm no expert, but maybe the science community should reconsider some of the genetic engineering they are doing between animals and humans. The outcome might be most unfavorable.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Speaking of Chesterton


For All Chestertonians

This sounds interesting. It is from the Email Bag:

Hello Fellow Chesterton Lovers:

Following in the footsteps of author Maureen Wittmann, who started two Yahoo groups devoted to getting the books you want in your local library, (PopeSaintNicholasV Library Connection for Catholic titles; and HomeschoolLibraryConnection for homeschooling titles) I've started a GKChestertonLibraryConnection Yahoo group.

The idea is to suggest Chesterton or Chesterton-related books that you and your readers are interested in. The group members get all of the information they need to take to their local library (this can often be done at the library's web site, too) and suggest the title for library purchase. This way, not only the library patron can enjoy a new Chesterton title, but other library patrons, who might not otherwise discover Chesterton at their library. Many can now be introduced to this great author.

As taxpayers, we are already invested in our local libraries. Why not have our library work for us by helping it make good purchases? Our local libraries want our input, but hardly anyone actually gets as far as making a book purchase suggestion. With GKChestertonLibraryConnection, it's easy.

I do all the work, and I am the only one who can post. I send out a book, DVD, audio work, novel, magazine, or non-fiction title about once a week, and the group members can suggest it if interested at their library. Most libraries need title, author, publisher, ISBN numbers, and they often purchase through amazon.com so the amazon page is also helpful. I gather all this information and send it out in one neat email.

I'm interested in promoting this group so that we can try to get more Chesterton in our libraries. Any help you can give in announcing the new Yahoo group is greatly appreciated.

Join GKChestertonLibraryConnection Yahoo group today.

Thanks,
Nancy Brown
Blogmistress
American Chesterton Society Blog
http://americanchestertonsociety.blogspot.com

The Internet Is Really Really Great . . . For Porn

In a recent Homiletic and Pastoral Review, Sister Marysia Weber writes about about the effects of electronic media, addiction, and porn on priestly formation. Here for the article.
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