Friday, December 30, 2011

A Quick Note...

I've sort of let this blog rest for a couple of weeks. Spending time with the family during the Christmas Season. Merry Christmas everyone, and I plan to be back to blogging next week.

In the meantime, check out these sites for Catholic news and stories of interest:

Catholic Exchange

Friday, December 16, 2011

This Week's Headlines

As another week comes to an end, this is your chance to top off your glass with a final helping of news, current events, and just plain interesting stuff that may not have made into the mainstream media. A chance to linger for a few more moments before we close the door on the week. Below are some links to articles, blogs, and miscellaneous happenings that caught my eye over the past few days. Sample what you like - I'll serve up more next Friday...


A Blessed Christmas - "'Where will you have your Christmas?' A common question this time of the year. What’s it mean?"

Breast-Beating During the Confiteor - "Although the Second Vatican Council requested the removal of "useless repetitions," it must be said that not all repetition is useless."

Investigation concludes on alleged Fulton Sheen miracle - "The documents will now be shipped to the Vatican for consideration. If the alleged miracle is approved by the Pope, U.S. Catholics could witness the first ever beatification on American soil in the Diocese of Peoria, said the foundation."
What Hitting Reply Instead of Forward Taught Me About Sin - "Other people in my RCIA class struggled with the idea of confessing their sins to a priest, but I never had the slightest problem with this practice. Especially after that experience with the mistaken email..."

Can a bishop forbid Mass in Latin? - "What many people don’t realize is that the Second Vatican Council mandate that Latin be retained in the Latin Church’s liturgical worship (SC 36.1).  It said that the vernacular could be used at times for some parts of the Mass (SC 36.2)."

Humor Site Revealing of Pro-Abortion Culture - "...when ignorance or dismissal of the sanctity of human life has become this pervasive, it’s safe to say we’ve gone too far in participating in or subsidizing the moral corruption of young adults." [The things reported in this article are disheartening.]

Still Praying For Christopher Hitchens - "I have no reason to think that Hitchens had a sudden religious awakening at the end, but I can hope.  I can hope that at the end there was a small crack in the veneer large enough to let in the light."

December is just so busy... Not much time to blog. Check out these sites for more headlines. And post more in the comments section below, if you see anything of interest:

The Pulpit

Monday, December 12, 2011

Monday Musings

A few random thoughts and ponderings to start the week...

My son made his first Confession this weekend. He said, "It felt good. It makes you feel clean inside, and like a weight is off of you." He said he actually enjoyed it. Good for him. I was still nervous though. I hope he keeps his enthusiasm.

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My five-year-old daughter thought confession was OK (of course, she didn't have to go - she just sat in the pew and looked at books). But what she really liked was Mass earlier in the day. She loved the "pink" vestments that father wore. I told her they are actually "rose" colored. It didn't really matter what I had to say: "No Dad... THAT is pink!"

(By the way, the books that my kids look at and read during Mass are by a priest named Fr. Lawrence Lovasik. I highly recommend them. They can be ordered online from many Catholic sites or at a local Catholic bookstore.)

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In honor of Gaudete Sunday:

Gaudete in Domino semper: iterum dico, gaudete.
Modestia vestra nota sit omnibus hominibus:
Dominus enim prope est.
Nihil solliciti sitis:
sed in omni oratione petitiones
vestræ innotescant apud Deum.
Benedixisti Domine terram tuam:
avertisti captivitatem Jacob

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice.
Let your forbearance be known to all,
for the Lord is near at hand;
have no anxiety about anything,
but in all things, by prayer and supplication, 
with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God. 
Lord, you have blessed your land;
you have turned away the captivity of Jacob.

Friday, December 9, 2011

This Week's Headlines

As another week comes to an end, this is your chance to top off your glass with a final helping of news, current events, and just plain interesting stuff that may not have made into the mainstream media. A chance to linger for a few more moments before we close the door on the week. Below are some links to articles, blogs, and miscellaneous happenings that caught my eye over the past few days. Sample what you like - I'll serve up more next Friday...

Einstein, Imagination and the New Translation - "Of course it’s good that everyone understands what’s going on, but the good is the enemy of the best, and mere intelligibility is not really what the liturgy is all about."

G.K. Chesterton and the Use of the Imagination - "The right use of imagination then is to be lawful, not lawless. To be obedient, not disobedient. To use our creativity for worshiping the Creator, not for defying him."

When a Catholic parish closes, what do they do with the tabernacle, statues and windows? - "The practice of reusing religious items is a common one among Catholics."

Our Heritage of Beauty - "So great is the schism between faith and faithlessness in art after the seventeenth century that you might suppose that modern artistic formation consciously rejects belief in God." [Featuring an artist who harkens back to a better time in Catholic art.]

Seven Reasons to Own Your Own Missal - "Since the allowance of the vernacular in the Mass following Vatican II, the idea of people having their own Roman Missal has fallen into relative obscurity."

Star Wars and the History of Vatican II - I may not agree with everything in this piece, but this line is priceless: "Jar-Jar Binks represents the really annoying, naive, wild, and even ethnic influences that drizzled into the liturgy and minds of Catholics and consequently empowered modernism to take more control...Jar-Jar is evil."
Vatican university hosts unusual tattoo conference - "Tattooed mummies in ancient Egypt, Crusaders who branded their foreheads with crosses, and New Zealand's inked Maori warriors were fodder for an unusual conference at a Vatican university Tuesday on the role of tattoos in shaping identity."

Just a Dad Playing Hero - "I’ve played Barbies.  I’ll admit it. Don’t you dare judge me.  I’m a father of four girls. I had no choice."

Jimmy Fallon on His Catholicism - [A fallen away Catholic on how the Mass has changed and why he hasn't gone back.] "I want the old way...like straight up, just Mass Mass."

Busy week - short list. Feel free to add more links in the comments section below... 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Monday Musings

A few random thoughts and ponderings to start the week...


Still loving the new translation. It might take a few more weeks to get the hang of all the new parts we have to say... especially, "And with your spirit." So far I have messed it up at least once at each Mass I've been to. But i know I'm not alone.

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A friend recently posted the following on their Facebook page:

"Homosexuality is found in over 450 species.
Homophobia is found in only one.
Which one seems unnatural now?"

My reply:
Many species also eat their young, kill their mates, and allow their wounded to be taken by predators. These are all "natural" things. But just because something happens in nature doesn't mean that humans should follow the example of these animals. I agree that homophobia is wrong... but that doesn't mean that homosexuality is just another form of "normal" for the human species.

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Tomorrow is St. Nicholas' Day...
Don't forget to put your shoes out tonight!

Friday, December 2, 2011

This Week's Headlines

As another week comes to an end, this is your chance to top off your glass with a final helping of news, current events, and just plain interesting stuff that may not have made into the mainstream media. A chance to linger for a few more moments before we close the door on the week. Below are some links to articles, blogs, and miscellaneous happenings that caught my eye over the past few days. Sample what you like - I'll serve up more next Friday...

Who’s Actually Upset with the New Roman Missal? - "Given the absence of any really significant or coherent opposition within the Church itself (and a laudable open-mindedness towards the changes even by ‘many’ clerics and laypeople who were formerly skeptical) it is becoming increasingly apparent that the only dead-set opponents of the changes are those outside the Church: ex-priests, professional critics, or reporters captivated by the prospect of another internal fight in the Catholic Church."

The Four Liturgists of the Apocalypse - [A great piece by Jimmy Akin about the new Mass translation. It opens with a tongue-in-cheek spoof on the Book of Revlation.] "...I saw that the Roman Missal they had was still in its shiny, new shrinkwrap. And behold, there were seven seals upon its shrinkwrap..."

This one is pretty funny too: Nuevo Trad Catholics Revolt

Bishop’s decree: Stop holding hands during the Our Father - "Only the priest is given the instruction to “extend” his hands. Neither the deacon nor the lay faithful are instructed to do this." [Read the bishops whole decree here]

For old Mass books, tradition decrees burial or 'cremation' - "The bishops' liturgy office recommends 'burying the Sacramentary in an appropriate location on church grounds, or perhaps in a parish cemetery,' after the switch to a new liturgical translation on Nov. 27."

A Consideration of St Cyprian’s Teaching against the Fear of Death - "Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God…..Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded."

Atlantis rises: US seminaries are changing - "I’m tremendously impressed with the quality of the candidates, their zeal... We’re seeing a real renewal of the priesthood."

Justice requires fundamental economic equality, not absolute economic equality - "When some folks in the Occupy Movement decry the disparity of wealth, they err if they think unequal wealth is itself unjust. Different activities can justly have different economic value, even vastly different economic value, and thus people can justly receive vastly different incomes or vastly different rates of income growth."

Are we sleepwalking through the great infanticide? - "Is it just me, or is there something sickly schizophrenic about a society that huffs and puffs in outrage at the killing of a baby in the light of day, but quietly supports it when it happens in the darkness of the womb?"

Vatican says seat-belt complaint drew papal smile - "...the Vatican was 'grateful for the affectionate concern for the Pope's safety,' but added that the complaint did not seem to reflect much flexibility in interpreting the meaning of the law."

The Robopocalypse Will Be Brought to you by Harvard - "Harvard researchers just announced that they've built a flexible robot that can crawl and slither under a pane of glass and into your home..."

8 Super-Simple Ways to Celebrate Advent - "For fellow converts or anyone else who needs some baby steps to get started celebrating Advent, here are eight of my favorite ideas from my readers..."
The miracle of A Charlie Brown Christmas - "The reason A Charlie Brown Christmas has endured is because the message is timeless- the true meaning of Christmas, which the elites had a problem with even 50 years ago."


 Feel free to add other links in the Comments section below...

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Quote of the Week

"The only true riches are those that make us rich in virtue. Therefore, if you want to be rich, beloved, love true riches. If you aspire to the heights of real honor, strive to reach the kingdom of Heaven. If you value rank and renown, hasten to be enrolled in the heavenly court of the Angels."
- Pope Saint Gregory the Great

Monday, November 28, 2011

Monday Musings

 A few random thoughts and ponderings to start the week...

New translation was great this weekend. Of course there were a few glitches: slipping into the old responses out of habit. But with more practice we'll soon feel more comfortable with it. The overall effect was more reverent and solemn. The Eucharistic prayer had more "verbal weight" - if that makes sense. But one of my favorite parts of the Mass was when many people in the congregation struck there breasts three times during the words "...through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault..." It seems that changing the words has affected our actions as well. Overall, I am very pleased with the results. Hopefully, with time, it will only get better.

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Just discovered I received a comment on an older post about Mormonism. You can read the original post here, and then click below to see the comment. I don't know if it will spark a conversation, but I admire the person who made the comment. He is a 13 year old  LDS member who came to the defense of his church. Bravo!

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Advent has begun. Inevitably, our kids think of Christmas and Santa and presents. Our daughter (five years old) has the right idea though. She said, "I'm going to make a birthday card for Jesus every year for the rest of my life. Then when I get to heaven I can give him all of the cards."

Maybe we should all do that this Advent.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Quote of the Week

"Now concerning the Thanksgiving (Eucharist), thus give thanks. First, concerning the cup: We thank you, our Father, for the holy vine of David Your servant, which You made known to us through Jesus Your Servant; to You be the glory for ever. And concerning the broken bread: We thank You, our Father, for the life and knowledge which You made known to us through Jesus Your Servant; to You be the glory for ever. Even as this broken bread was scattered over the hills, and was gathered together and became one, so let Your Church be gathered together from the ends of the earth into Your kingdom; for Yours is the glory and the power through Jesus Christ for ever. But let no one eat or drink of your Thanksgiving (Eucharist), but they who have been baptized into the name of the Lord; for concerning this also the Lord has said, Give not that which is holy to the dogs."
- Didache [The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles]

Friday, November 18, 2011

This Week's Headlines

As another week comes to an end, this is your chance to top off your glass with a final helping of news, current events, and just plain interesting stuff that may not have made into the mainstream media. A chance to linger for a few more moments before we close the door on the week. Below are some links to articles, blogs, and miscellaneous happenings that caught my eye over the past few days. Sample what you like - I'll serve up more next Friday...

Busy week = short list...


Does the Government Work for Us, or Do We Work for the Government? - "The government fears trade because it can’t control it. The feds would do well to remember the historical truth that where goods and services don’t move freely, armies will; and where goods and services do move freely, armies don’t."

Catholic Social Teaching: My Thoughts On The Preferential Option for the Poor and Vulnerable - "There are many ways to do good but we are never permitted to do evil."
Underpopulation—The Real Problem - "More and more Americans are waking up to the fact that the UN Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) is involved with some of the most horrific population control programs the world has ever seen."

Obama's Catholic Strategy in Shambles - "Broadly applied, the HHS policy would amount to systemic anti-Catholic bias in government programs. And the provocation is one in a series."

ObamaCare and the Limits of Government - "Under our Constitution's system of dual sovereignty, only states have the authority to impose health and safety regulations on individuals simply because they are present. The Supreme Court has ruled many times that the Constitution denies to the federal government this type of 'general police power.'"


Does coffee break the Eucharistic fast? - [Interesting question; interesting answer.]

That Big Catholic Family Circus - "The question that seems to have been left unanswered in so many of the obituaries for Keane is quite basic: If this man’s values were at the heart of his art, then where did these values come from?"

How Does The Secular World View God? Analyzing a Remarkable Movie Clip - "...they are not so much rejecting God, as a caricature of God, a false and distorted picture of God, gleaned from selective reading of Scripture, and a selective and a distorted notion of the life of faith."

Feel free to add other links in the Comments section below...

Monday, November 14, 2011

Monday Musings

A few random thoughts and ponderings to start the week...

The new musical arrangements for the Sanctus and the Gloria, which our parish has begun using in anticipation of the new Mass translation, are beginning to grow on me. But I'm afraid I still don't like them. For All Saints Day we simply chanted the Latin a cappella. As I said here previously, I really think we should try some kind of chant for the English... Just keep it simple. Why does everything we sing at Mass need musical accompaniment and clumsy melodies.

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Our son turned eight recently. A friendly older couple, who seem to have adopted our kids as surrogate grand-kids, gave him a card with five dollars in it. The following week, after Mass, they asked what he spent his money on. We told them that he had donated it to St. Jude's children's hospital. He said, "Those kids need it more than I do." It goes without saying that our friends were impressed and we had a proud parent moment. :)

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Apparently it has become fashionable in some circles to wear rosaries as jewelry, and I don't mean out of some sort of devotion, but as a fashion statement. I had read about this phenomenon recently, but over the weekend I saw some fashion "rosaries" for sale at the mall...tacky, gaudy, and in bad taste. I hope this fad passes quickly.

Friday, November 11, 2011

This Week's Headlines

As another week comes to an end, this is your chance to top off your glass with a final helping of news, current events, and just plain interesting stuff that may not have made into the mainstream media. A chance to linger for a few more moments before we close the door on the week. Below are some links to articles, blogs, and miscellaneous happenings that caught my eye over the past few days. Sample what you like - I'll serve up more next Friday...

What's So Great About Catholicism? - "...if we look on the world through truly Catholic eyes, we will find that the fog lifts, our perspectives grow deeper, and beauty and truth beckon above the puerility of mass popular culture."

God: The Shakedown Artist For The Welfare State? - "Concern for the poor permeates Scripture, but nowhere does God set forth the means to achieve this end.  There certainly is no directive to turn to the state.  The Good Samaritan didn’t lobby the Sanhedrin to create a public bureau to aid travelers waylaid by criminals; rather, he personally paid to care for the injured man."

Obama Couldn’t Wait: His New Christmas Tree Tax - "The economy is barely growing and nine percent of the American people have no jobs.  Is a new tax on Christmas trees the best President Obama can do?"

Why We Must Stop Liberal Catholics From Handing The Church Over To the State - "For orthodox Catholics, the Church (founded on Christ) is the ultimate moral and personal authority, it supersedes the State in every area where the Church has primacy, namely, faith and morals. For liberal Catholics, however, I see only increasing evidence that the State and the liberal view of the State are their ultimate authority."


The Bible: Who Owns the Copyright? - "Look, there’s a reason why Catholics don’t read the bible in an exclusively literal sense, and haven’t since the time of Origen (+253). The Church looks at the books of scripture according to the genres in which they were written (history, allegory, wisdom, prophecy, and so on)."

Treating Jesus as a King Without a Kingdom - "Christ doesn't leave us as ecclesial consumers to choose our favorite flavor of Christianity.  He establishes Himself as the eternal Shepherd, guiding and guarding the Flock.  If we find ourselves going in a separate direction from the flock, we're going in a separate direction from the Shepherd."

Proportion, Integrity and Honesty: 3 Foundations for Church Architecture - "...a Catholic church should witness to the Catholic faith and that the Catholic faith is timeless; therefore, the church should be built to last 1,000 years."

Before and after: how to renovate a Catholic church [pictures of a beautiful renovation]

Joint ills prompt pope's use of mobile platform at St. Peter's - "Pope Benedict XVI has reached the age John Paul II was at his death in April 2005, and every stumble or step with a cane is watched for signs of impending doom."


Feel free to add other links in the Comments section below...

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Quote of the Week

"It is clear, therefore, that in the supremely wise arrangement of God, sacred Tradition, sacred Scripture and the Magisterium of the Church are so connected and associated that one of them cannot stand without the others. Working together, each in its own way under the action of the one Holy Spirit, they all contribute effectively to the salvation of souls…this Magisterium is not superior to the Word of God, but is its servant. It teaches only what has been handed on to it. At the divine command and with the help of the Holy Spirit, it listens to this devotedly, guards it with dedication and expounds it faithfully."
- Pope Paul VI, Dei Verbum

Friday, November 4, 2011

This Week's Headlines

As another week comes to an end, this is your chance to top off your glass with a final helping of news, current events, and just plain interesting stuff that may not have made into the mainstream media. A chance to linger for a few more moments before we close the door on the week. Below are some links to articles, blogs, and miscellaneous happenings that caught my eye over the past few days. Sample what you like - I'll serve up more next Friday...

Breaking Bad Liturgical Habit - "[T]he “changes in the words” offer the Church a golden opportunity to confront, and then break, some bad liturgical habits that have accumulated, like unlovely barnacles on the barque of Peter, over the past several decades."

One Example of How Beautiful Church Buildings Lead People to God - "To experience beauty is to experience God. It’s why the monasteries and cathedrals of Western civilization have always been so marvelous, why places like the Sistine Chapel lure people of all different faith backgrounds to behold them."

How to handle awkward conversations with family members - "So, to be a faithful Catholic today, one must remember first and foremost that to do so means being rejected at times, even by those we dearly love, but this rejection can be a means of drawing closer to Christ — of being truly blessed."

How do Saints in Heaven 'Hear' Us? - "Ultimately, glorified Saints in heaven take up their priestly identity as the people of God. This priestly identity involves intercession and so they continue to love us and the only thing they can do is pray for us."

Pope on All Saints' Day: 'The Original Vocation of Every Baptized Person Is Holiness' - "The Pope also reflected on how today’s emphasis on the “communion of saints” continues into tomorrow’s commemoration of All Souls, which occurs every Nov. 2. This is the day when the Church prays for the souls in purgatory."

And He Will Wipe Every Tear From Their Eyes, yes, Every Tear. A Reflection on the Healing Hope of Purgatory - "Purgatory has to be. God loves us too much to leave us in our present unseemly state."

The Enchiridion of Indulgences - "The following is not represented to be an exact reprint of the Enchiridion but and accurate digest of what constitutes an approved indulgenced work by the Sacred Apostolic Penitentiary."


Sing the Dies Irae at My Funeral – A Meditation on a Lost Treasure

The Three "Reformation Day" Ironies  - "While I respect the desire to have fun without celebrating evil, I find Reformation Day to be unwittingly hilarious.  Here's why..."

Witches Are Real - "All magic is black magic because of the philosophy behind it: those involved in witchcraft seek power, and anybody who seeks power for it's own sake is bad."

Vatican Does Horrible Job of Being Anti-Science - "The Vatican signed a $1 million contract with NeoStem, and will be co-hosting an adult stem cell conference in Rome in November.  The Church supports adult stem cell research, but condemns embryonic stem cell research because it requires the destruction of the human embryo."

Top 5 Heresies I Would've Believed Without the Authority of the Church - "If God wanted us to know him, it seemed nonsensical that he would give us a system where even the most basic ideas about his nature and his will were up for grabs... Then, when I heard the theory behind the Catholic Church, it all came together."

Moral Economics 101 - "...next time you’re talking to someone about Occupy Wall Street, don’t just denounce greed. Bring up honesty, prudence, and chastity: these are as important as charity in the development of a just, flourishing economy."

Why are parents encouraged to abort Down syndrome children and banned from aborting girls? - "Since the advent of ultrasound, sex also can be diagnosed prenatally. However, the Ethics Committee for the American Congress of Obstetrician and Gynecologists (ACOG) issued an opinion in 2007 that said it was unethical to use prenatal testing for sex selection. This was the same year that ACOG also recommended that all women be offered prenatal testing for Down syndrome."

The Coming Church-State Wars - "...if the Office of Human Rights has nothing better to do than spending six months investigating these nonsensical charges, it ought to be abolished. Give the taxpayers back the money these bureaucrats are wasting..."

U.S. House Reaffirms 'In God We Trust' - "The resolution, passed by a vote of 396 to 9, encourages the motto's public display 'in all public buildings, public schools and other government institutions.'"

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Quote of the Week

"The whole Church observes this practice which was handed down by the Fathers: that it prays for those who have died in the communion of the Body and Blood of Christ, when they are commemorated in their own place in the sacrifice itself; and the sacrifice is offered also in memory of them, on their behalf. If, then, works of mercy are celebrated for the sake of those who are being remembered, who would hesitate to recommend them, on whose behalf prayers to God are not offered in vain? It is not at all to be doubted that such prayers are of profit to the dead; but for such of them as lived before their death in a way that makes it possible for these things to be useful to them after death."
- Saint Augustine

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

All Saints Day

In Praise of the Saints
How shining and splendid are your gifts, O Lord
which you give us for our eternal well-being
Your glory shines radiantly in your saints, O God
In the honor and noble victory of the martyrs.
The white-robed company follow you,
bright with their abundant faith;
They scorned the wicked words of those with this world's power.
For you they sustained fierce beatings, chains, and torments,
they were drained by cruel punishments.
They bore their holy witness to you
who were grounded deep within their hearts;
they were sustained by patience and constancy.
Endowed with your everlasting grace,
may we rejoice forever
with the martyrs in our bright fatherland.
O Christ, in your goodness,
grant to us the gracious heavenly realms of eternal life.
(Unknown author, 10th century
)

Monday, October 31, 2011

Monday Musings

A few random thoughts and ponderings to start the week...

Today is the Eve of all Saint's Day (All Hallow's Eve = Halloween). But it is also the anniversary of a famous (or infamous) event in Protestant history. On this day nearly 500 years ago, Martin Luther nailed his 95 Thesis to the church door in Wittenberg, Germany, sparking the Protestant Revolt (a.k.a. Reformation). Here is a piece written in 1995 by Protestant theology professor Stanley Hauerwas on the theme of "Reformation Day," as this day is called. It is a refreshing re-evaluation of the Reformation that boarders on "Catholic" in its approach.

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Sometimes when you hear of someone else's tragedy it reminds you of how lucky you are, and how insignificant your own problems are. I had a moment like that today.

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When I started doing these Monday Musings posts, I needed some way to separate each independent thought. So I always put three crosses + between each of thought. The crosses are separated by eight spaces. The three crosses represent the Trinity but also faith, hope, and love. The eight spaces are to symbolize joy and celebration, as in an "octave" celebration on the Liturgical calendar.

Maybe by doing this I'm over-thinking things a bit, but I like to do things with a purpose, and it seemed a fitting element to added to this blog. For Catholics, symbolism is a very important part of our faith, and I like utilizing that idea whenever an opportunity arises.

Friday, October 28, 2011

This Week's Headlines

 As another week comes to an end, this is your chance to top off your glass with a final helping of news, current events, and just plain interesting stuff that may not have made into the mainstream media. A chance to linger for a few more moments before we close the door on the week. Below are some links to articles, blogs, and miscellaneous happenings that caught my eye over the past few days. Sample what you like - I'll serve up more next Friday...

Can we hope that all men be saved? - "In any case, we cannot trust the speculations of the modern theologians, we must trust in the promise of Christ. And he never promised that all would be saved, he only said that we will be saved if we continue to follow him."


Reformation Day – and What Led Me To Back to Catholicism - "Although I am forever indebted to my Evangelical brethren for instilling and nurturing in me a deep love of Scripture, it was that love that eventually led me to the Church that had the authority to distinguish Scripture from other things."

Mea Culpa - "The new Confiteo is a refreshing antidote to the victim-entitlement poison. I beat my breast and say, 'My fault, my fault, my most grievous fault' and as I do I take responsibility for myself in a most solemn threefold vow of acknowledgement."

Government Greed Needs an 'Occupation' Too - "Solutions can be found not in centralized power and burdensome regulation, which facilitate and reward government greed, but in framing sensible laws and reinvigorating a culture of virtue in business and government alike."

The New Vatican Document on Finance: Right Diagnosis, Deadly Cure - "The Vatican seems to be growing in intellectual sophistication over worldly affairs. Now it gets economic matters half right. Sadly, being half right on something this important can lead to permanent calamity." Also this piece, and others below...
On Going the Way of World Government - "If the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace is trying to make the Catholic Church sound as if she’s living in a fantasy world or trying to portray Catholic social teaching as completely irrelevant to real world problems, I’d say, 'Mission accomplished.'"

Just How "Major" Was Monday's Finance Document? - "...the document does not represent the Church’s teaching authority or Magisterium—at least the document as a whole does not. (It does contain quotations from other documents which do carry magisterial authority, and those passages carry the same authority as they had in their original context.)"

The new “white paper” from the Pont. Council Justice and Peace. [Fr. Z's rant] "...thanks be to God this 'white paper' (I won’t dignify it with 'document') doesn’t form part of the Holy Father’s Ordinary Magisterium."

Catholics, Finance, and the Perils of Conventional Wisdom - "For a church with a long tradition of thinking seriously about finance centuries before anyone had ever heard of John Maynard Keynes or Friedrich Hayek, we can surely do better."
The PCJP’s Vision of Polity: The Ideal vs. the Real - "This to me is the great failure of the document: It calls for an approach which is likely to be sensible only in an ideal world, and which is fraught with danger everywhere else."

Spare us from Vatican economic analysts - "...while economists are learning from the Vatican, perhaps the Vatican might learn a few lessons from economic analysts."

Profits Are For People - "The pursuit of profits forces producers to be attentive to the will of their customers, simply because the customer of, say, a supermarket can fire it on the spot by taking his business elsewhere."

Assisi Gives an Encore. But Revised and Corrected - "As a cardinal, Joseph Ratzinger did not participate in the encounter of Assisi in 1986. He never criticized it in public, but his absence was interpreted as a distancing of himself from the ambiguities that the initiative unquestionably produced, inside and outside of the Catholic Church."

Pepsi Shareholders Demand It Stop Using Aborted Fetal Cells - "As recently as May, Pepsi ignored concerns and criticism from dozens of pro-life groups and tens of thousands of pro-life people who voiced their opposition to PepsiCo contracting with biotech company Senomyx even after it was found to be testing their food additives using fetal cells from abortions."


Why It Matters that Kate Middleton Can Be Catholic Now  - "The change in the royal succession laws is good, in that it gets a blatantly anti-Catholic law off the books, and one that was causing heartburn as recently as 2007, with Blair's conversion.  But the sad reality is that this change is possible simply because religion of all sorts - Anglicanism, Catholicism, or theism in general - no longer seems to matter to the United Kingdom in the way that it once did."

The unintended consequences of socialist architecture - Opposition to post-war architecture tends to focus on aesthetic concerns... But its mostly deeply pernicious effect is surely the way in which it has affected people’s behaviour..."

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Quote of the Week

"Never be afraid of loving the Blessed Virgin Mary too much. You can never love her more than Jesus did. If anyone does not wish to have Mary Immaculate for his mother, he will not have Christ for his brother."
- St. Maximilian Kolbe

Monday, October 24, 2011

Monday Musings

A few random thoughts and ponderings to start the week...

I really do plan on writing more soon...but not this week. Kids are on fall break and I have some time off from work. I feel like being lazy, not writing.

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At our parish we've been trying some new musical settings for the new translation of the Mass. I must say, they are mediocre. Not that they are bad, per se, but they just sound like a re-hash of some of the same stuff we've heard before. Maybe some simple chant is all that's called for.

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I ordered a new Missal in preparation for the new translation. It is currently on back-order. When I receive it and get a chance to use it, I'll make a comment or two about the particular missal I bought. Different publication houses organize the contents differently. I didn't really look into the details of the missal I bought (I purchased it based on price and availability, so I know next-to-nothing about how the text is laid out); I'm anxious to see how I like using it.

Friday, October 21, 2011

This Week's Headlines

As another week comes to an end, this is your chance to top off your glass with a final helping of news, current events, and just plain interesting stuff that may not have made into the mainstream media. A chance to linger for a few more moments before we close the door on the week. Below are some links to articles, blogs, and miscellaneous happenings that caught my eye over the past few days. Sample what you like - I'll serve up more next Friday...
  
Heresy Gets Things Done - "Heresies have always been simpler and more persuasive than nuanced orthodox answers. Orthodoxy, like reality, is tediously complex when you try to account for all the details. Like math, it’s hard. Like surgery, it’s work..."

2012 is the “Year of Faith”…What Does It  Mean? - "According to Pope Benedict XVI, the 'Year of Faith' will officially begin on October 11, 2012 and will last until November 24, 2013."

Are the Gospels Myth? - "Christianity, more than any other religion, is rooted in history and makes strong—even shocking—claims about historical events, most notably that God became man and dwelt among us."

Does the Bible Prohibit Religious Images? - "Now, obviously, Protestants today aren't roving around destroying Catholic art. But iconoclasm has ongoing negative impacts."
 
Is Religion Relevant - "The problem with trendy vestments, and any other attempt to make the faith 'relevant' is that it is immediately out of date."
 
Are You a Nice Christian? - "Fact is, we don't know if they are or not, but we can see what they believe and how they behave and make some tentative judgements."

Pro-Lifers Urgently Need to Engage in the SEO War - [SEO = search engine optimization] "There needs to be a concerted effort in the pro-life movement to get our websites do better in online search results."

Evangelizing the Self-Satisfied Secularist - "It is not a very effective strategy for believers to tell the self-satisfied secularist that he is really unsatisfied, just not aware of it. It is far better to appeal to the unstable nature of human satisfaction, and the consequent human tendency to always yearn for more, even when we feel satisfied."

Rick Santorum: Disabled Children Have So Much to Teach Us - "As Santorum said this week, 'If it’s (the pro-life movement’s) not successful, we will lose the soul of the country.'"

John Paul II will soon be a saint  - "The second miracle attributed to the Blessed John Paul II, must be recognised by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints on behalf of the deceased pope. The dossier of miracles attributed to Karol Wojtyla is constantly being updated with new testimonies."

Robert Downey, Jr. Asks Hollywood to Forgive Mel Gibson - "I would ask that you join me...in forgiving my friend his trespasses and offering him the same clean slate you have me, allowing him to continue his great and ongoing contribution to our collective art without shame."

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Quote of the Week

"There is one God and one Christ, and one Church, and one chair founded on Peter by the word of the Lord. It is not possible to set up another altar or for there to be another priesthood besides that one altar and that one priesthood. Whoever has gathered elsewhere is scattering."
- St. Cyprian

Monday, October 17, 2011

Monday Musings

A few random thoughts and ponderings to start the week...



I've been a lazy blogger lately... I have no excuse. Hopefully, as the weather cools off and I spend more time inside, I'll have more time to write.

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I had a conversation recently about religion and politics. Someone suggested the faith should not be involved in people's political decision making because it violates the separation of church and state. There are many arguments against this fallacy, but during the course of our conversation I proposed the following:

There is no way to separate “faith” from political decision-making, because for most Americans there is no way to separate “faith” from “values/morality”. Our laws are by their very nature "moral" - through the power of "law" society imposes moral order. Since most people are religious or subscribe to some faith, it would be unfair to tell these religious people that they must make their value-decisions (when voting for a candidate or a ballot initiative, etc.) without utilizing their faith…you are telling people to jettison a part of who they are if they want to engage in politics. This has never been the case in American history…in fact I would argue that belief in a Creator is a foundational principle in this country.

Now certainly we cannot legislate *theology* or *doctrine*; we cannot establish a national *church*. I would submit to you that that what was meant by “separation of church and state” is that our government cannot dictate religious belief or require its citizens to subscribe to a particular faith. Specifically it means that the State (our government) is to remain separated from the Church (ecclesial bodies). And so we must consider that while “church and state” must remain separate, there can never be a separation of “faith and politics” nor did the Framers intend any such separation.

Friday, October 14, 2011

This Week's Headlines

As another week comes to an end, this is your chance to top off your glass with a final helping of news, current events, and just plain interesting stuff that may not have made into the mainstream media. A chance to linger for a few more moments before we close the door on the week. Below are some links to articles, blogs, and miscellaneous happenings that caught my eye over the past few days. Sample what you like - I'll serve up more next Friday...
A Letter to the Lazy - "Do something specific and constructive, and if you are willing to work as hard as the people on Wall Street, you might just accomplish something."

Belloc, Distributism and Political Power - "I can always find common ground with the Distributists I meet... But then there’s the question of centralized political power in the economy."

The New Missal Translation: Renewing Awe and Wonder - "The new translation affords us an opportunity to look at the words in the Mass and ask, 'How and why is this different?' I think if people do this, they will find that the new translation offers a great opportunity for deeper prayer and reflection."

Why Young Christians Leave the Faith - "We aren't losing a generation - they are lost. The question now is, what do we do about it?"

Why Teens Leave the Church – A New but Dubious Study? - [An analysis of the study cited in the article above.]

Answering Four Common Protestant Objections to the Papacy - "Andre, a Protestant on his way into the Catholic Church, recently had something of an exit interview with his former pastor. His pastor made some last-ditch attempts to scuttle Andre's belief in the papacy."

Reporters, Baptists, Romney & ‘cults’- "Journalists are going to have to get up to speed and learn how to tell the difference between bigoted believers who reject Mormons, period, and those who reject their theology, but are willing to work with them in the political arena. Otherwise, there is no way to make sense of these events."

Is Mormonism a Christian Denomination? - [Excellent overview of Mormon beliefs, including the Christian response to each error.]

Jehovah’s Witnesses Knock on the Wrong Door - "No one can change their beliefs on a dime. It takes time... It’s enough to present the truth and then let them see it as God helps them to understand."

Yes, Steve Jobs, R.I.P., was an innovating genius. But... - "Don't get me wrong: I fully recognize that Jobs was an innovating genius when it comes to technology and material things. But his perspective of the bigger picture was seriously lacking."

Large Group of Episcopalians Received Into the Church - "The ceremony seemed to have made a deep impression on many of those present. Two women clutching handkerchiefs admitted they had been moved to tears." See also this article which includes a few pictures: Episcopal parish in Bladensburg converts to Roman Catholic Church

Catholic-dudes, we need you - "Find the time to impress upon the younger men you encounter how fulfilled you are by being a faithful brother in Christ."

Capital Punishment Revisited - [An interesting compilation of essays for and against, from a Catholic perspective.]


Feel free to post more links in the comments section below...