Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Are we fools? Probably not entirely. But we are often foolish, often believing and behaving in ways that give lie to Paul’s declaration, “Love never fails.” God never fails, but we often do. When we make the creature the Creator, giving thanks and praise to the bounty of our own wisdom, we reach down for the higher things and convince ourselves that we have grasped truth. We do this when we believe that it is not only sometimes necessary but also good to murder the innocent; when we believe that it is right to murder the inconveniently expensive, those whom the Nazis called “useless eaters,” the sick, the elderly, the disabled. We reach down for higher truths when we create markets for housing in order to exploit for profit the homelessness of the poor. We are foolish when we raise impregnable borders around the gifts we have been given , gifts given to us so that we might witness freely to God’s abundance. We do foolish things because we believe we are God, and so, we must be commanded by Love Himself to love. But surely this is no hardship. Difficult, yes. But not impossible. With Love all things are possible.
Read in entirety...
Domine, da mihi hanc aquam...: Reaching down for higher things
Federal judge rules sixth grader can wear pro-life t-shirts to school
Saturday, October 25, 2008
This marine made choices based upon a real world and real issues that must be confronted. Vital in every way is our own call to be faithful citizens as is articulated yet again in another brilliant piece written by Cardinal Rigali ...
Throughout our history, Catholics have earned their right to call themselves patriotic Americans. Faithful citizenship not only includes dying for one’s country or working towards its prosperity, it also includes being faithful to a law which is higher than the expediency of the moment with the same generosity of body and heart, and the same courage that is given on the battlefield and in the workplace. We remind ourselves of this as we continue to be called to faithful citizenship and respect for life in the “earthly city” without forgetting that we are ultimately called to live as citizens of heaven forever.
Read the article in entirety,
The Catholic Standard & Times
“The Word of God must travel the roads of the world, which today also include those of electronic, televisual and virtual communication. The Bible must enter into families ... schools and all cultural environments. ... Its symbolic, poetic and narrative richness makes it a sign of beauty, both for the faith and for culture itself, in a world often disfigured by ugliness and brutality.”
Read the full article here...
Bishops close Synod with poetic message on the Word of God
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
to sing praises to Thy Name, O Most High;
to declare Thy steadfast love in the morning,
and Thy faithfulness by night,
to the music of the lute and the harp, to the melody of the lyre.
For thou, O Lord, hast made me glad by Thy work;
At the works of Thy hands, I sing for joy. Ps 92: 1-4
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
I love you both.
I've learned that it's usually not good news that your pastor is going to deliver when he greets you at your car door at 7am. The last time it happened, the baptismal font had been overflowing for several hours causing a deluge the likes of which Noah would have been familiar. I figure God was up to something by blessing the church proper, not to mention the courtyard, with holy water. It took several weeks for Father to come round on that way of thinking.
This Sunday, the power was out. Father rightfully declared that the Mass must go on and that we would celebrate in 15th century style which was actually kind of cool. All of us that normally use microphones have big mouths anyways, so this presented no challenge. As a liturgist, I also have learned that simple is good. Less is more. After all, Mass will happen in spite of our best efforts to destroy it. We began the liturgy as scheduled and as I was comfy-ing into our candlelit prayer, Father wisecracked about how many Catholics it took to screw in a lightbulb (answer, none...Catholics use candles). We completed the Opening prayer and belted out the Gloria. Then, as the final note resonated, guess what? Power returned. Alleliuia! What amazing timing! Just like the Easter Vigil. Thanks God. Oh but wait, there's more. The prayer directly following goes something like this: "Lord, source of power and inspiration..." Needless to say, the church erupted with laughter and after most composure was regained, we carried on without incodent (except for that very unmistakeable part where Father says the words of consecration and the bread and wine become the body and blood of our Lord!)
We needed the little miracle? Maybe. We needed a laugh? Perhaps. We needed a reminder of What and Who God is? Absolutely. He IS the source of all power and inspiration. Nothing is possible without His power. We are creatures who are completely dependent upon His grace at every moment. And if that grace were withdrawn for one fraction of an instant, we would be snuffed out of existence quicker than you can say 'Bob's your uncle'.
There was also a subtext to the power restoration and this is my take on it: Sometimes we need to experience a bit of woe, to truly appreciate a blessing. We don't appreciate light so much, if we've never been in the dark (see prodigal son). We can't know the joy of finding something lost unless it's gone missing in the first place (see Mary and Joseph finding Jesus in the temple). We can't be grateful penitents unless we've been soul sick (see "he who is forgiven much, loves much" St. Mary Magdalene).
And not three minutes ago, my teenager reported that his long lost retainer had been found (yet again!) on the dirt road 200 yards from our driveway. The expensive little thing is thankfully like a bad penny.
Tony Tony please come 'round. Something's lost that must be found. (thanks-I owe you, big time).
God writes straight with crooked lines. I am grateful for all the little miracles He allows me to see even when I need to take a U-turn to see them.
Friday, October 17, 2008
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Arithmetic (Time,1 hour 15 minutes)
1. Name and define the Fundamental Rules of Arithmetic.
U.S. History (Time, 45 minutes)
1. Give the epochs into which U.S. History is divided
Orthography (Time, one hour) [Do we even know what this is??]
1. What is meant by the following: alphabet, phonetic, orthography, etymology, syllabication
We celebrate our dear Saint and Friend in heaven...St. Teresa of Avila. I have great admiration for this true reformer:
A. She was feisty, tenacious & had an extraordinary sense of humor.
B. She didn't shy away from a good fight
C. She had her own share of trial and tribulation and rose to the occasion. Her virtue was heroic.
D. She was 'burdened' with good looks and had to weather the scandal of personal suitors even while in the convent
E. She would have fit in rather nicely here in 2008; ergo, her lessons bear a timeless quality that we can still learn from.
F. She loved the Lord with heart, mind and soul.
"If you want me to rest,
I desire it for love;
If to labor,
I will die working:
. . . Calvary or Tabor give me,
Desert of fruitful land;
As Job in suffering
Or John at Your breast;
Barren or fruited vine,
Whatever be Your will:
What do you want of me?"
And one for the road...
Who possesses God
God alone suffices."
St. Teresa, pray for us.
What is the point of healthcare?
What is the point of renewable energy sources?
What is the point of lower taxes?
What is the point of education?
What is the point of gun control?
What is the point of understanding climate change?
What is the point of a bank bailout?
What is the point of bigger or smaller government?
What is the point of any of the amendments to the Constitution?
What is the point of litmus-testing justices
What is the point of clean elections, voting or even dangling chads?
If a society endeavors to kill any of its members - especially its most vulnerable...
WHAT IS THE POINT?
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
I love you God, my strength. Glory to You, O Christ, my life, my consistency, origin of my friendship with all those you have me meet along the way.
And then there is this...
In times of happiness, enjoy faith;
In times of trial, exercise faith.
Monday, October 13, 2008
Synod of Bishops October 2008
The XII Ordinary General Assembly, THE WORD OF GOD IN THE LIFE AND MISSION OF THE CHURCH was convoked by Pope Benedict XVI on October 6, 2006. The synod will convene October 2008.
The Synod proposes to:
1. Reverently contemplate this mystery of the Word, God’s greatest gift, to render thanks for it, to meditate upon it and to proclaim it to all members of the Church and all people of good will.
2. Spread and strengthen encounters with the Word of God by thoroughly examining its doctrinal underpinnings and allowing them to show the manner in which this is to be done
3. Help the faithful understand what the Bible is, why it is there, how beneficial it is to the faith and how to use it properly and apply it to everyday life
4. Renew listening to the Word of God, in the liturgy and catechesis, specifically through lectio divina, duly adapted to various circumstances; and to offer a Word of consolation and hope to the poor of the world.
5. Set forth the intrinsic connection between the Eucharist and the Word of God, since the Church must receive nourishment from the one “bread of life from the table of both God's word and Christ's body.”
This is the Synod’s underlying purpose and primary goal, namely, to fully encounter the Word of God in Jesus the Lord, present in the Sacred Scriptures and the Eucharist. ~Lineamenta
What is a Synod?
A "synod" is a ecclesiastical gatherings under hierarchical authority of the clergy, with or without the laity, for the discussion and decision of matters relating to faith, morals, or discipline.Canon Law acknowledges two types of synods: the Synod of Bishops and the Diocesan Synod. Ecumenical and particular councils, although not called by the name, are also synods.
Who will attend this Synod of Bishops?
The Synod will be attended by:
Pope Benedict XVI
Over 250 Bishops chosen from different regions of the world
Those Bishops From the United States:
Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, President of the U.S. Episcopal Conference
Bishop Gerald Kicanas of Tucson, Arizona, Vice President of the Conference
Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Houston, Texas
Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C..
Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philadelphia and Bishop William Skylstad of Spokane, Washington, were named alternate delegates.
Auditors: Those men and women considered guests in addition to the bishops.
When will the synod take place?
October 5-26, 2008
What is the official language of the synod?
Latin is the official language of the Synod, but only a few talks are given in that language. The language used more frequently, however, is English. Yet since the not all of the bishops speak English, there will be many translators present and translating all the talks in the Synod simultaneously.
How will the public be informed about the synod?
The Vatican publishes daily bulletins in five languages (English, French, German, Italian and Spanish) which summarize all the talks of the Synod. There are also regular "Briefings" in all five languages which follow plenary meetings. Along with those areas of communication, different members of the Synod will conduct a press conference once a week.
What happens after a synod?
Following the Synod, Pope Benedict will be given a set of “propositions” which arose from all the talks in the Synod. The Pope will then write an Apostolic Letter with respect to all that which was discussed. It is typical to see that Apostolic Letter published a year after the conclusion of the Synod.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
I will test myself against that mountain, he thought. He put on his buffalo-hide shirt, threw his blanket over his shoulders, and set off to climb the peak.
When he reached the top he stood on the rim of the world. He could see forever, and his heart swelled with pride. Then he heard a rustle at his feet, and looking down, he saw a snake. Before he could move, the snake spoke:
"I am about to die,' said the snake. 'It is too cold for me up here and I am freezing. There is no food and I am starving. Put me under your shirt and take me down the valley."
"No,' said the youth. 'If I pick you up, you will bite, and your bite will kill me."
"Not so,' said the snake. I will treat your differently. If you do this for me, you will be special. I will not harm you."
The youth rested awhile, but this was a very persuasive snake with beautiful markings. At last the youth tucked it under his shirt and carried it down to the valley. There he laid it gently on the grass, when suddenly the snake coiled, rattled, and leapt, biting him on the leg.
"But what about your promise?!", said the youth.
"You knew what I was when you picked me up," said the snake as it slithered away.
The legend above was conveyed to Norman Vincent Peale by old Iron Eyes Cody. You might remember Iron Eyes as the lone indian paddling a canoe down a polluted metropolitan river as part of the "Keep America Beautiful" campaign of the mid 1970s.
This story is a timeless illustration from an old indian legend. How often do I take the time to really explore my own conscience and if I do, what might I find there? Do I have one of those snakes with beautiful markings tucked away taking comfort in my pity, my seeming good nature, my addiction, or my laziness? Am I able to recognize the snake in the grass when I see it? And no, it probably will not go away if I ignore it.
Conscience, completely under-valued in our society, is a friend who is present not to rob us of our freedom, but to preserve it. Conscience is a clear reminder that snakes are snakes and if we pick them up and try to befriend them, they will bite us. True of our personal lives and truer still in the larger scheme of things in our nation. The polluted river may not be the only thing needing examination.
"You knew what I was when you picked me up..."
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Dennis Prager is one of America's most respected radio talk show hosts. He has been broadcasting on radio in Los Angeles since 1982. You can listen to him here on KKNT from 9-noon every day.
Dennis has engaged in interfaith dialogue with Catholics at the Vatican, Muslims in the Persian Gulf, Hindus in India, and Protestants at Christian seminaries throughout America. For ten years, he conducted a weekly interfaith dialogue on radio with representatives of virtually every religion in the world. New York's Jewish Week described Dennis Prager as "one of the three most interesting minds in American Jewish Life."
(Oh, he conducts symphonies too.) Here's a writing sample.
Dennis Prager :: Townhall.com :: If There Is No God
Tune in, you won't be disappointed.