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Monday, October 26, 2009

Mirasola and the Good News

LeeAnne and I ventured off the beaten path of our Sidewalk Counseling Ministry (Facing Abortion) last Tuesday to do a little "Recon" work. We decided to scope out some other dusty trails and visit some abortion clinics in the east valley to get an idea of different approaches that are undertaken and how to actually reach the women that are visiting these "clinics". We also visited our friends over in Tempe at Aid to Women's Center - the good guys that operate a crisis pregnancy center and serves the greater community of Arizona State University. A busy place indeed.

We struck up a lively conversation with three gentlemen from Holy Spirit Parish who were on the sidewalk three days per week praying and spreading the good message of life to those who will listen. My hat is off to these men; rare it is to see guys over 50 out there on the streets doing this kind of work. They wore matching shirts and straw brimmed hats and were full of JOY. As we talked, a burgundy SUV pulled up and the woman driver motioned for me to come closer. She shouted out "Are you here to protest abortion?" To which I replied, "yes". She responded to me: "7 months ago, I came to this Planned Parenthood office to get an abortion, and one of those men over there talked me out of it. I came here last week to thank them but they were gone. I'm back today and I brought my 7 month old son to show them that they saved his life."

She came back to say thanks. (I am instantly transported to the gospel passage where one of the ten lepers returns to do the same.) I motion for our new friends to come over to the vehicle. Troy sat in the back seat. He was all smiles, chubby cheeks and motion. We were all beaming: the straw-hatted men, LeeAnne, Mirasola-the new mommy, Troy and me.

Transported to joy. Joy is that feeling we get when we are truly experiencing God's eager goodness. We get to be transported when we put our will and our lives into His care. We experience it in so many music, in poetry, in love, in gratitude and most especially in service. Sometimes, I think we also get to glimpse a bit of God's gratitude if we stick around long enough. This is joy.

Past the seeker, as he prayed, came the crippled and the beggar and the beaten. And seeing them the holy one went down into deep prayer and cried, "Great God, how is it that a loving creator can see such things and yet do nothing about them?"

And out of the long silence, God said: "I did do something about them. I made you." (Corrigan, Disciple Story)

Go be about the service of God today. And be transported to joy.

Ever have one of THOSE days?

Friday, October 9, 2009

Knots aren't such bad things

God in heaven holds each person by a string. When you sin, you cut the string. Then God ties it up again, making a knot - and therby bringing you a little closer to Him. Again and again your sins cut the string - and with each further knot, God keeps drawing you closer and closer.

(One Minute Wisdom, Anthony DeMello)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The New Catholic Manliness

An article so worth reading by Todd M. Aglialoro

The Catholic Church makes men.... Of such she may also someday make soldiers.

Hilaire Belloc

It is a source of no small irony that, even as radical feminists within and without the Church have railed for two generations against patriarchy and phallocentrism, it can be quite plausibly said that the post-conciliar Church in this country has, for all intents and purposes, been run by women.

Consider a Sunday in the life of a typical American parish. Father Reilly, once his mother's darling, says Mass before a congregation disproportionately representative of widows (both the traditional and the football kind), soccer moms flying solo, and budding young liturgistas. At the elevation of the Host, extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist (80-20 female) and altar servettes gather around the sanctuary to lend him moral support. ...

Jack and Squat

Spartans Down Wolverines...Again

The fall has come
By Matt Bishop
(Last updated: 22 hours ago)

More than four hours after the game ended Saturday afternoon, the Spartan Stadium scoreboard still lit up the night sky.

Matt Bishop
Spartans 26, Michigan 20.

With one incredible Larry Caper touchdown run, a season on the brink was saved and a rivalry officially became competitive again.

Indeed, pride comes before the fall.

Mark Dantonio uttered those now-famous words days after losing to U-M in 2007, a crushing loss during which the Spartans surrendered a 10-point lead in the final seven minutes and extended U-M’s series winning streak to six.

Since, the same old Spartans have been nowhere to be found against the Wolverines.

Saturday, MSU showed the fire, intensity and will to win that was missing in losses to Central Michigan and Wisconsin. And the Spartans clearly were more driven and motivated than the Wolverines, who played like they thought they could walk into Spartan Stadium and win without a fight.

Simply put, the Spartans wanted it more. And they set the tone before the game even started.

Junior safety Roderick Jenrette and a U-M player bumped into each other in the north end zone as Jenrette ran onto the field. The two exchanged words, foreshadowing what was to come — the Spartans punching the Wolverines right in the mouth.

MSU controlled the action at the line of scrimmage, rushing for 197 yards, including 75 from sophomore quarterback Kirk Cousins, as he threw his body all over the field in a gutsy effort.

Cousins helped engineer a tone-setting first quarter drive that spanned 17 plays, 80 yards and more than 10 minutes. Officially, the drive went down as 80 yards, but because of four penalties (some of which I found to be illegitimate), MSU gained 130 yards of total offense during the possession. The drive was a sign of things to come, as MSU nearly doubled the Wolverines in time of possession, allowing the defense to remain well-rested.

Helped by the offense dominating the clock, the defense, which has been less than stellar this season, held U-M to 28 yards on the ground, 212.2 yards below its season average. Even after struggling in the final minutes as U-M frantically scrambled to tie the game, the defense redeemed itself in overtime as senior safety Danny Fortener and junior cornerback Chris L. Rucker combined to intercept U-M quarterback Tate Forcier in the end zone, allowing the Spartans to simply kick a field goal if need be to win the game.

Instead, Caper, a freshman from Battle Creek, broke through the Wolverines defense, escaped two tackles and ran into the end zone, giving MSU a season-saving 26-20 win.

With the win, the Spartans definitively have set a new tone for the rivalry — one of potential MSU dominance — under Dantonio by playing with unmatched focus and intensity.

To U-M head coach Rich Rodriguez, playing MSU is just another game on the schedule. To Dantonio, his staff and players, this game means everything.

The play of both teams Saturday reflected this and probably will continue to do so in the future.

More importantly for the immediate future, the Spartans showed major signs of life heading into games with hapless Illinois and Northwestern and a third straight trip to a bowl game doesn’t appear to be as out of sight as it did this time last week.

While the season marches on, there’s nothing wrong in taking a little more time to bask in the light of a 26-20 victory.

_Matt Bishop is a State News football reporter. He can be reached at