Monday, April 30, 2007

Roman Protestant

Via the Spirit's Sword, Roman Protestants: The Lair of the Catholic Cavemen
If you're unsure if the phrase "Roman Protestant" pertains to you, here are a few well aimed questions that may help. Here we go ~

If you categorize yourself as a Catholic, plus....

1. If you consider the Eucharist to be a mere symbol of Jesus, you're a Roman Protestant.

2. If you consider the primary purpose of the Mass to be that of a communal meal/gathering, you're a Roman Protestant.

3. If you purposfully dress-down for Mass (shorts, flip-flops, a Led Zeppelin Houses of the Holy t-shirt), and you present yourself more like your on your way to either the beach or a barbecue vice God's House, you're not necessarily a Roman Protestant. You're just a disrespectful slob.

4. If you hold/raise your hands during the Our Father because you consider doing such "the primary a sign of unity for Catholics", you obviously don't know what the purpose of the Eucharist is. And guess what? You're a Roman Protestant.

5. If you purposfully don't go to Confession, but go to Communion every Sunday... and your rationale is "I'm basically a good person. I don't commit any REALLY bad sins, and besides, I know God loves me just the way I am", you're a Roman Protestant.

6. If you stand during the Consecration instead of kneel because standing displays "fuller participation", that doesn't mean you're a Roman Protestant. But it does mean you should consider doing calisthenics during the Consecration. Could you even imagine how "full" your participation would be then?

7. If you think that Purgatory is just something that The Church invented during The Middle Ages to bring in money, you're a Roman Protestant.

8. If you prefer On Eagle's Wings over Hail Holy Queen, that doesn't make you a Roman Protestant. That just means that you have really, really bad taste in music.

9. If you think that the pope is nothing more than just another bishop, you're a Roman Protestant.

10. [I'll leave #10 for those following the link. I don't disagree, but in charity...]

In closing, to those who call themselves "Progressive Catholics" or "Reformed Catholics", let me tell you that Catholicism already has a word for folks like that... they're called Protestants.

He has one thing right

Don't know much about Chavez except from the mass media, so therefore I really don't know anything about him. And what I do know is probably false.

He seems to be a radical socialist, but he can't be all bad if he has withdrawn from the IMF and World Bank. If he is a socialist, at least he isn't a one world socialist. Even with one oar out of the water, I wager his boat will cross the equator now and then.

Venezuela pulling out of IMF, World Bank - Yahoo! News
Chavez, who says he wants to steer Venezuela toward socialism, made the announcement a day after telling a meeting of allied leaders that Latin America would be better off without the U.S.-backed World Bank or IMF. He has often blamed their lending policies for perpetuating poverty.

Chavez wants to set up a new lender run by Latin American nations and has pledged to support it with Venezuela's booming oil revenues. The regional lender, which he has called "Bank of the South," would dole out financing for state projects across Latin America.

Chavez has criticized past Venezuelan governments for signing agreements with the IMF to restructure the economy — plans blamed for contributing to racing inflation.

Watch out for the forest

I pray that Fr. McBrien realizes how beautiful the forest is when one isn't focused on how many trees his ego can chop down.

Anamchara: FR. RICHARD MCBRIEN AND LIMBO
It reminded me of watching an old horror film from the thirties: the creaking and groaning of an opening coffin. I expected to see the corpse of Pelagius, disgraced Celtic monk (who denied Original Sin) rising from the dead, but it was just Fr. Richard McBrien offering us his take on the rescinded Limbo teaching from the Vatican. As always, he gets it wrong and takes us back to Pelagianism: his quote:

"If there's no limbo and we're not going to revert to St. Augustine's teaching that unbaptized infants go to hell, we're left with only one option, namely, that everyone is born in the state of grace," said the Rev. Richard McBrien, professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame.

Nothing upsets me more than a fellow priest and theologian twisting Catholic teaching to mean whatever he wants it to mean. The new Vatican line on Limbo has to do with God's mercy, not the reality of Original Sin. The bottom line is, we do not know what happens to unbaptized infants or adults who die. We just don't know for certain. Never have, never will until we enter, hopefully, eternal glory. Just like Pelagius, Fr. McBrien negates the necessity of Baptism to wipe away Original Sin, and just like Pelagius, he is wrong.
The bottom line is this, the Mercy of God is bigger than we can fathom. We can't presume to judge what God is doing outside the normal means of salvation (Baptism). A recent article in the Crisis Magazine stated this quite well regarding friends and family who die outside the Church or in the state of Mortal Sin. Justice is reserved to God and He alone can judge the heart of another. We certainly can't, so for us they only need is to pray for their souls.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Its rough out there

Rough being a child. I know where my children are at. I talk to them. They tell me if they have trouble sleeping and we talk about it. No. 3 didn't like the Fr. Brown DVD because the mysteries involved a death. He said it bothered him at night.

No. 4 tells us about his nightmares. He seems to ponder big, deep things for a six year old. He seems rather simple, but some of his questions are pretty deep and thought out. But he has an advantage, as I like to call it, the sibling advantage. He climbs in bed with No. 2 and is comforted.

Peggy is right though. There is so much to be afraid of in todays world. They are contemplating the "Meth Billboards" here in Idaho. I hope they don't. I have seen them in Montana and they are just disturbing. I don't know if they have any effect on potential drug users, but it isn't something we should have to see along the road.

Our kids may be sheltered. But I was too. I had to meet some issues in college. But I was a bit more mature then and was able to deal with them on an adult level. Not that I always made the right choice, but at least I was an adult and not a 12 year old. A child has the right to be protected from decisions they don't have to make. I don't expect my child to have to answer all the questions life could throw at them right now. Down the road, yes they will meet some head on.

Hopefully by then they won't be so scared.

We're Scaring Our Children to Death- Peggy Noonan
But another reason is that, for all our protestations about how sensitive we are, how interested in justice, how interested in the children, we are not. We are interested in politics. We are interested in money. We are interested in ourselves.

We are frightening our children to death, and I'll tell you what makes me angriest. I am not sure the makers of our culture fully notice what they are doing, what impact their work is having, because the makers of our culture are affluent. Affluence buys protection. You can afford to make your children safe. You can afford the constant vigilance needed to protect your children from the culture you produce, from the magazine and the TV and the CD and the radio. You can afford the doctors and tutors and nannies and mannies and therapists, the people who put off the TV and the Internet and offer conversation.

If you have money in America, you can hire people who compose the human chrysalis that protect the butterflies of the upper classes as they grow. The lacking, the poor, the working and middle class--they have no protection. Their kids are on their own. And they're scared.

Too bad no one cares in this big sensitive country of ours.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Brownback for Pres

Reading this article gives some great insight.

Faith-Based Initiative - washingtonpost.com

"So easy to judge people," he says. "I see you coming in the hallway and my mind just automatically goes, 'Okay, reporter, Washington Post, that's a primarily liberal publication, be careful.' Well, now I've automatically judged you. So I've spent my time judging you instead of thinking, 'Oh, here's a great person that I can interact with. I pray to love 'em.' "

Love, sweet love. Brownback examines his soul for hate and tries to excise any malignancies. Some years back, he says, he apologized to Hillary Clinton at a prayer breakfast for having despised her and her husband.

"I'm ashamed to say it but I did. And I felt -- justified in my hate," he says, his tone bitter, as if reliving an ancient betrayal. "I disagree politically but there is no call to hate. And it was wrong, it's a sin, and I went to her and I apologized."

That is powerful. And courageous.
During visits to Israel, Brownback used to study the Torah with Ariel Sharon, calling it "each of us feeding our souls." Lately he has been reading the Koran. He says Islam's holy book talks a lot about weighing people's good deeds against their bad deeds, and this has made him appreciate Christianity more.

"That's why I love grace so much. And mercy," he says. "Think of the burden that is on a person, that you're going to be weighed. And all of us fall short.
Not your typical close-minded Christian.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Worth engaging

This column by Pia Hansen claims that the abortion debate is hardly worth entering anymore. Her claim is that no one talks about reducing the number of abortions.

I'll give her this, she wrote her column without ignoring the pro-life and pro-abstinence arguments. I was impressed with here openness. I can't say the same about the comments from the left bank.

But Katrina made her point with reason and eloquence. Someone from the other bank took issue with her comparison of slavery and abortion. Here is her response.


Huckleberries Online: Best Column You'll Read on Abortion from Either Side
In both cases, a segment of the human population is being systematically dehumanized for convenience/comfort/well-being of others. And the arguments for slavery were not that dissimilar from some of the arguments for abortion:

"*Although a slave/fetus has a heart and a brain, and is human from the biological perspective, a slave/fetus just is not a legal person under the Constitution. The Supreme Court made this perfectly clear in the Dred Scott/Roe v. Wade decision.

*A man/woman has the right to do whatever he/she pleases with his/her personal property, the slave/fetus.

*Both the social and economic burdens which will result from prohibiting slavery/abortion will be unfairly concentrated upon a single group: slave-holders/pregnant women.

*Isn’t slavery/abortion really something merciful? Isn’t it really better never to be set free/born than to be sent ill-equipped and unprepared into an environment where one is unwanted, unloved and bound to be miserable?

*Those who believe that slavery/abortion is immoral are free to refrain from owning slaves/having abortions; they should give the same freedom to those who have different moral beliefs.

*Accordingly, those who believe that slavery/abortion is immoral have no right to try to impose their personal morality upon others by way of legislation or a constitutional amendment.

*The claim that slaves/fetuses are like us is simply ridiculous; all one has to do is look at them to see that they are completely different.

*The anti-slavery/anti-abortion movement is in fact a small band of well-organized religious fanatics who have no respect for democracy or the principles of a pluralistic society." (Chris Atkins)

Yes, slavery IS ridiculous. But so is abortion. And one day, I hope, everyone will recognize that.

By my count, her comment alone did in every argument from the left bank.

In season and out of season

The following link is about ways to grow in holiness during Advent. But it is relevant for every season. via Bettnet.

A Catholic Mom in Hawaii: Easy Ways to Evangelize During Advent
30 Days, 30 Ways. Evangelization Made Easy

1 Pray every time a siren sounds
.


3 Say grace before meals


4 Place a cross or sacred-art item in every room
.

5 Have your house blessed.

19 Say the Angelus every day
.
Those are a few that we tend to do as a family. I try to remember the Angelus (if I am in my car at noon, I usually do.)

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Spotted

I think I spotted one of this crew at Mass the other day.

Alive and Young.: Introducing the Liturgical Triage. via the Curt Jester
the Pontifical Office of the Liturgical Police revealed the Special Forces unit called Triage. This is the next step the Vatican is taking in order to end Liturgical abuses. Discenting Priests and Liturgist beware. Any of the specially trained Triage team may be at your church.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Why I never buy newspapers

"nor do I watch news on TV."

The Spirit's Sword: adpapers
A newspaper is, first and foremost, a business, and the purpose of any business is to make money. As is well known, newspapers do not make much money from selling newspapers. They make the majority of their money through advertising. This means the paper you buy is not- repeat, not- the foremost product of the company. Their main product is, in fact, you. To repeat, what a newspaper is selling is not news to readers, but readers to advertisers. To put it another way, when you buy a newspaper, in fact you are being sold to advertisers. (When you turn on the tv the same thing happens, except in most places you don't pay anything to watch tv.)

I am not a product and I will not be sold by anyone to anyone, especially not by morally vacuous editors who could write such a defence of their paper's disgusting stand.
I would have to agree. I hate watching the news because it is so vacuous. You are NOT assured that you are getting all the NEWS nor are you getting just the news. Mostly you are getting what will attract the most viewers. Talk about the lowest common denominator.

Fight or flight

Shellie at Profound Gratitude asks a question about Self Defense


There is a quasi-raging debate on the
homeschool forums I frequent over whether or not Christians should
engage in self-defense or rather if they should turn the other cheek
and love their enemies.


Some posters feel it is a duty for Christians to be
prepared (knowledgeable and packing heat) to defend those they love and
those around them (Virginia Tech) and some feel it’s not a duty, per
se, but it is certainly not wrong to utilize self-defense or to kill to
protect innocent life.


Others are adamant that you can’t find self-defense, well,
defensible, especially if you look at the first 300 years of
Christianity… it’s just not found… posits one college adjunct
professor.


In brief, what are your thoughts? I am curious on the shakedown
between Protestant, cradle Catholic and convert here if you’re so
inclined to comment and tell which of those descriptors fit you.


to paraphrase Chesteron (I think) we fight not because we hate what is before us, but because we love what is behind us.



I see it as a duty for a Christian to defend those behind him. A family, loved ones, others who cannot defend themselves.



Dying for Christ is one thing, dying because some maniac is shooting people at random doesn't honor anyone. Look at the Columbine shootings. One girl was told to deny Jesus or she would be shot. She refused and died for her savior. Denying God is not protecting yourself.



But defending your live and that of others is not un-Christian. Turning the other cheek is about not valuing worldly goods, our pride or even your own life above God.



We should be willing to suffer humiliation for our God. But dying at the hands of a random murderer is not suffering for God.

A broken clock?

During the Creed today, I wondered something about the new translation. So I looked it up once at home. Our parish makes a point of excluding the the "men" from "For us men and our salvation". I think it was more along the lines of getting rid of the mention of the masculine rather than a prophetic knowledge of the proper translation.

But here is the line from the new ICEL translation from, The hermeneutic of continuity:
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven,

Friday, April 20, 2007

Since they won't

Since OSV won't publish her column, I will. Small consolation, I know. But we do what we can.

++ Relapsed Catholic ++ Earth Day is crap

Did your children celebrate Lenin's birthday in school last week?

Don't answer "no" right away.

The first Earth Day "teach-in" was celebrated on April 22, 1970, to protest the Vietnam War, pollution, and littering -- and to commemorate what would have been the 100th birthday of one of history's most notorious villains.

As the father of communism, the deaths of tens of millions of people can be laid at that Soviet dictator's doorstep. That now forgotten fact about Earth Day's origins should place your child's sudden enthusiasm for recycling, saving the panda bears and energy efficient light bulbs in a new, well, light.

Like the Marxist philosophy that inspired it, today's environmental movement has become, for its most ardent proponents, an ersatz religion. As Joseph Brean recently observed, "in its myths of the Fall and the Apocalypse, its saints and heretics, its iconography and tithing, its reliance on prophecy, even its schisms -- the green movement now exhibits the same psychology of compliance as religion."

In a widely disseminated 2003 speech, Jurassic Park author Michael Crichton called environmentalism "the religion of choice for urban atheists" and "a perfect 21st century remapping of traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs and myths."

Catholics should be concerned. Next time you hear about the latest sacrifices being demanded of us by environmentalists and their friends in politics and show biz (who rarely practice what they preach ) don't just shrug and say "What harm could it do?"

"What harm could it do" is most assuredly NOT the standard by which Catholics are called to live.

Assuredly, Christians are compelled by their Creator to be good stewards of the earth; the very first book of the Bible makes that clear.

As the Catechism of the Catholic Church explains:

"The seventh commandment enjoins respect for the integrity of creation. Animals, like plants and inanimate beings, are by nature destined for the common good of past, present, and future humanity. Use of the mineral, vegetable, and animal resources of the universe cannot be divorced from respect for moral imperatives. Man's dominion over inanimate and other living beings granted by the Creator is not absolute; it is limited by concern for the quality of life of his neighbor, including generations to come; it requires a religions respect for the integrity of creation." (#2415)

For radical environmentalists, though, "dominion" is a bad word. Catholic teachings that equate care of the earth with the right to private property go against everything they believe. You see, environmentalists hail mostly from wealthy First World nations. They're really concerned less with "saving the planet" than assuaging their guilt about their own relative affluence. They do this through the "ritual" of recycling, buying carbon offset "indulgences" and following other environmental "commandments."

Recently Cardinal Pell of Australia was asked to comment on fellow Cardinal Giacomo Biffi's controversial declaration that the coming Anti-Christ would be a "pacifist, ecologist and ecumenist."

Pell responded that "there are some forms of deep-green ecology that are deeply pagan and deeply hostile to the special and central place of human beings and especially to Christianity. But as Christians, we must have a reverence for nature."

However, the media "have been warning us of global warming, and that's alternated with warnings of the coming ice age. There have been gigantic climatic changes in the past and I think almost entirely they're beyond human control."

"You see," Pell added wisely, "people without religion are often looking for something to fear."

That millions may fall prey to a seductive New Age faith that seems based on good intentions (and "irrefutable science" that seems to change weekly) is a much greater danger than the remote possibility that polar bears are doomed to extinction. (As a matter of fact, and contrary to mainstream news reports, their numbers have increased, not decreased, in the past few years...)

Your child's immortal soul is infinitely more important than the size of his "carbon footprint", or yours.

Amen to that.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Bible Christians

Shellie at Profound Gratitude comments on the vitriol of some anti-Catholics.
John MacArthur for example takes on the Mass so as to "save" us heathens.

Then the pageant really gets going. It takes a lot of training and you’ll understand why, okay?

This is what happens. The priest then makes the sign of the cross sixteen times in his pageant. I’m not going through it step-by-step, I’m going to sum it up. He has to make the sign of the cross sixteen times.

He has to turn toward the congregation six times, lift his eyes to heaven eleven times, kiss the altar eight times, fold his hands four times, strike his breasts ten times, bow his head 21 times, genuflect eight times, bow his shoulder seven times, bless the altar with the sign of the cross 30 times, lay his hands flat on the altar 29 times, pray secretly eleven times, pray aloud 13 times, take the bread and wine and turn it into the body and blood of Christ, cover and uncover the chalice ten times, go to and fro 20 times and in addition perform numerous other acts.

What in the world is he doing? All this extended pageant is designed, writes Betner [sic], to reenact the experience of Christ from the Last Supper in the Upper Room through the agony in the Garden, through the betrayal, through the trial, through the crucifixion, through His death, burial, resurrection and ascension.

That’s why all that motions going on, some kind of dramatization. His bowings and genuflections are imitations of Christ in His agony and suffering and if the priest forgets one element of the drama, he commits a sin, technically invalidates the Mass.So you’ve got to be trained to do this. And you’ve got to have a good memory. Who could count all those? What you do is you go through it, it’s like a routine until you get it down.
To which I would reply? Being you are well versed in the Bible, I have a question. Does the Bible lead us to salvation? If I were to immerse myself in the Bible, learning parts of it by heart, to ponder the Old and New Testament and listen to well versed preachers break open the Word of God; would that be a sign of a good Christian?

How about if I were to praise God as the angels do in the Bible, to pray as Jesus prayed? Would that qualify as good Christianity?

Then I would ask, do you realize that through the "pageantry" of the Mass, going only on Sundays, we would hear about 60% of the Bible over the course of 3 years? Daily communicants can hear over 80% over that same time. And do you know that most of the prayers we sing or recited come from the New Testament?

Have you heard of the Holy, Holy, Holy; it is found in Revelations. The "Lord, I am not worthy to receive you..." is direct from the Bible. The "Hosanna" also. Oh and the incense, where is that found repeatedly in the New Testament?

Here is a challenge. Read Revelations several times. Then go to a Mass and see how many prayers and rituals come straight out of Revelations.

As far as counting each action, some people must have too much time on their hands or their own faith must be shallow to nitpick such as this. Where in the Bible are we forbidden to "lift our eyes to heaven" when we pray? Or bow our heads, strike our breast, or to even "pray secretly". Going "to and fro"? Surely you protest too much.

On holding hands

Fr. Stephanos brings some light to the hand-holding debate, Holding hands really adds nothing to the Mass
fellowship/communion among believers
DOES NOT GUARANTEE
personal devotion to Christ.
I don't hold hands and most of my kids don't like it either. I won't be so rude to jerk my hand away if someone manages to grab it. But usually hand holding leads to people missing half of the prayer because they are moving around, looking for a hand or twisting to hold hands with someone behind them.
It is such a distraction. Not to mention the brotherly contest of squeezing each others hands.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Great articles en mass

Dom at Bettnet.com has links to several great articles.

One of note, Unarmed and vulnerable - Roanoke.com is from a student that noticed that he was vulnerable and unable to protect himself. Even though he was licensed to carry a concealed weapon and capable of handling it.

And he wrote this back in August of 06!


As the Anchoress noted with her sons I haven't spent any time watching the "news" about the tragedy at Va Tech. I probably haven't prayed enough about it either, but watching the media blather on and on while having their eye on the ratings doesn't do it for me.

In case your not paying attention

Like me. My wife emailed and told me to offer up some prayers of thanksgiving. Praise the Lord for even this small victory.

Court backs ban on abortion procedure - Yahoo! News
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court upheld the nationwide ban on a controversial abortion procedure Wednesday, handing abortion opponents the long-awaited victory they expected from a more conservative bench.
But the fanatics for death-at-all-costs aren't happy. It isn't that they care how the death comes, just that they have unlimited access to murder.
Abortion rights groups as well as the leading association of obstetricians and gynecologists have said the procedure sometimes is the safest for a woman. They also said that such a ruling could threaten most abortions after 12 weeks of pregnancy, although government lawyers and others who favor the ban said there are alternate, more widely used procedures that remain legal.
And don't think for a minute that all the prayers for the end to abortion were not the reason Kennedy switch sides to tip the scales for the pro-life ruling.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Ooookay

I am sure it made sense to him. But to me it seems to be a likely winner in the Elastic Connections category.

A co-worker was reading the front page about the Va. Tech shootings and made some comment about the guy being "out there." I mumbled a "yeah" cuz I was trying to read the comic page.

Then he busts in with "Maybe he was a Catholic and wanted ..." He couldn't make the connection for his anti-Catholic remark, so he reached into left field and pulled out something about the shooter wanting the priest to molest him.

How should one respond to that? I was flabbergasted and just finished the funnies in silence and bolted.

Why Hockey is the perfect Catholic Sport:

via the Curt Jester

Catholic Cartoon Blog: Hockey is the perfect Catholic sport
- The penalty box is called the "Sin Bin"

- If you do something really bad, it's a given that some serious

temporal punishment is coming your way.

- The gravity of your offense determines your time in the penalty box.

- They have a penalty called cross-checking.

- A Zamboni is like a "confession-mobile"; it cleans the ice of all imperfections between periods.

- Blood is shed regularly.

And the #1 reason that Hockey is the perfect Catholic sport is:

- When you win it all, you get the "CUP".

Thoughts on the ICEL translation

Puff and Bear-i-tone over at the Spirit's Sword have put in some heavy lifting regarding the ICEL translations.

The Spirit's Sword
Communion
"Behold the Lamb of God, behold him who takes away the sins of the world. Blessed are those called to the banquet of the Lamb." "Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed."
- Very reminiscent of what people say in the Pian mass, but in Latin. "Domine, non sum dignus ut intres sub tectum meum; sed tantum dic verbo et sanabitur anima mea." (It was never changed in Latin. -Bear note.)
A few gentlemen and I were discussing this on Easter. One commented that he wasn't in favor of the changes to this prayer. He preferred the version I have heard (and what our family recites)
Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.
He commented, and I sort of agree, that the new "under my roof" sounds a bit like a revisionist or "spirit of Vatican II" concept. But a fellow Maccabean Warrior pointed out that it was meant to flow right out of the Bible, where the Roman soldier asks that Jesus not defile himself by entering a gentile house, but to merely speak the word.
It made me think of how a Protestant should be able to recognize much of the Mass simply from his knowledge of the Bible.

And as Bear notes, it also follows the Latin that has not changed.

Who?

I finally took the challenge to see which of the Church Fathers I am similar too. After seeing bloggers like the Ironic Catholic turn out to be well known fathers like Origen, I get the obscure St. Melito. It is fairly accurate though.








You’re St. Melito of Sardis!


You have a great love of history and liturgy. You’re attached to the traditions of the ancients, yet you recognize that the old world — great as it was — is passing away. You are loyal to the customs of your family, though you do not hesitate to call family members to account for their sins.


Find out which Church Father you are at The Way of the Fathers!




Shootings don't make sense

But these bloggers do. Much better than I can anyway.

Kathy at Relapsed Catholic: Obligatory Virginia Tech Post
Please don't indulge in godless modern paganism and set up homely, self-indulgent makeshift memorials with cheap flowers and teddy bears. Don't hold hands and sing bad pop songs.

Go to church. That's what it's for. For centuries, people smarter than you and with more finely honed aesthetics worked on rituals that actually do what they're supposed to do.

Those people who hung around outside the Palace after Princess Diana's death looked like fools and you will too if you cave to the lure of cheap grace and post-modern superficiality. Those British mourners displayed as much gringe-inducing, pan-generational learned helplessness as Katrina survivors, but their laziness and ignorance was spiritual.

Worse, you will still feel as empty as you did before, maybe more so, and wonder why.

Don't make America look stupid and shallow to the whole world by Disneyfying your grief. [emphasis in original]
And Bear-i-tone at The Spirit's Sword: And again
In the days to come our newspapers will undoubtedly be filled with stories related to the events: eyewitness accounts, police reconstructions of the events, calls to ban guns, calls to not ban guns, and, most of all, stories about the killer, whomever he was.

The study of the killer is a natural response to the question: why? Why did he do it? What drove him? How can we stop it from happening again? The news will trot out their long lines of experts, each with their own theory explaining what happened, as the news trolls through his history, looking for some clue, some missing piece, to explain everything.

This tendency is natural, but, it seems to me, misplaced. Publishing his story will lead to others reading it to identify with the killer, and to see themselves in him. This should never be encouraged. It has always disturbed me that after events such as these, and I have seen far too many events like this in the news, I know everything about the killer, and about his victims I have only a number.

We should see the victims as the innocents they were; their hopes and their dreams. They should be seen as people, and not numbers. The would be killers should see the outcome of their actions as a loss of real, individual humans, and not a body count. [emphasis added.]

Monday, April 16, 2007

All thumbs

We need to get beyond it or he needs to get over himself as a candidate.

Rudy Giuliani Tells Pro-Life Advocates: Get Over Abortion Issue
Rudy Giuliani thumbed his nose at the pro-life movement further over the weekend telling them to get over the issue of abortion.
...
Though merely admitting to a disagreement on the issue before, Giuliani went further this weekend, telling an Iowa newspaper that pro-life advocates should get over the contentious issue.
"Our party has to get beyond issues like that," he told the Des Moines Register newspaper.
He also appeared to indicate that the Republican Party won't gain supporters if it retains its pro-life position.
"Our party is going to grow, and we are going to win in 2008 if we are a party characterized by what we're for, not if we're a party that's known for what we're against," he said.
Judging from the reaction to Bush's SCOTUS nominee Harriet Meiers, I think it might be the latter.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Divine Mercy Sunday

For the sake of His sorrowful Passion,

Have Mercy on us and the whole world!

The perils of life

There have been a couple of posts on other blogs I read about getting rid of television, or at least avoiding it at all costs.

The Spirit's Sword: The Downhill Slide

Catholic Dads: Food for Thought from a New Guy

Usually, a coincidence like that would lead me to wonder if God is working on me in some way. But this time I see it from a different angle. On the Catholic Dads site, the father notices the zombie like stares and the endless parade of nothing across the TV. And how life is better without it during Lent.

My wife and I used to notice the same thing. How our life was holier without watching the tube. And how raunchy it seemed again when we watched it after a time away.

But perhaps a blessing of a large family is that you just don't have time for too many vices.

Sometimes my wife wonders how others manage to keep an immaculate house or have time to mend clothes and to read. But I suspect our kids spend much more time interacting with her during the day because they aren't camped out in front of the TV. And not because they don't want to, but because we reign it in. Our oldest, #3 and #5 are TV heads. #2 usually doesn't pay much attention to it (being blind has its advantage there) and #4 gets bored with it. But #5 is at the age that he would spend all day in front of it if we let him.

So why even bother keeping it around? What value is there in it?

I find it useful as a tool to reach certain children. My daughter read all the Lord of the Rings and I finally read the books too. So as a reward for her hard work in school and as special daddy-daughter time, we are watching the LOTR movies. It is something we enjoy doing together, noting where the script leaves the book and how we imagined the characters.

But it can be more than enjoyment. Number 3 is seven years old and quite a challenge. He is very athletic but doesn't have the drive to succeed. He gets easily discouraged when the wrestling match doesn't go well and jealous when his brother does better than him. The tears flow and frustration sets it. I try to push him, encourage him and point out his strong points. But it doesn't reach him. Basically I don't know how to relate to the gifted yet undetermined boy. (as I was quite the opposite)

But he has an emotional side that is easily reached through books and movies. He will often get very sad and teary when a good movie touches his heart. So it was the other night when we watched "Facing the Giants." It is a Christian movie, very good for the budget (read: some of the acting was shallow) and didn't get too preachy; about a high school football coach that is struggling in many areas of life.

In his struggle to reach his under-achieving team, he realizes it isn't about football but about life and glorifying God in all we do. And he challenges one particularly talented but lazy boy to go beyond his self imposed limits. He does this by blindfolding him so he doesn't know where to "quit".

It struck me as similar to my boy thinking he can't do something. In one wrestling match last year he was wrestling his best match so far. But his opponent came back to tie the match and send it to overtime where the first point wins. My son got the advantage when the other boy tried to shoot in for his leg. He was on top and all he had to do was to break the boy's grip and spin to the back for the 2 point takedown. But just at the point of victory he gave up, not realizing how close he was to winning.

He thought he couldn't do any more and he was right. So he gave up.

Now I am not overly concerned about a lost wrestling match for a seven year-old. But more so for what life may throw his way and his ability to withstand the challenge of living a holy life.

So after the movie I was able to talk to him about how that football player was able to do more than he thought possible. And how I know he can do the same. God had given him talent and it was up to him to use it fully, not just in sports but in life.

So, to end the long-winded post, TV proved to be a tool for me to better understand my son. A tool for him to see how others can struggle and overcome. Without being able to use someone else's inspiration and story, I would be at a loss. And without the medium, I would have trouble relating it to my son.

Friday, April 13, 2007

This should cause some rukus

And only because those who despise tradition are getting rather traditional about their own traditions.  The unofficial new English Translations for the Order of the Mass has been leaked.  Looks like we will all be reading out of the missal for a while.  But that is good.  It will give us pause to reflect and remember what we believe.



The hermeneutic of continuity: Text of the new ICEL translation via the Curt Jester.



Or go straight to the evil PDF version.

Make it a sweep

Right now Catholic blogs are running one and two. Lets bring how the Win, Place and Show.



Blogger's Choice Awards | Best Religion Blog

Keep coming home

Mark Shea points out someone who proclaims to have the Truth. She asks us Catholics, Can you handle the truth?
Mr. Truth Teller meets Mr. Duped

Truth Teller was walking down the street, and somehow gets into a conversation with a seemingly nice person. The topic of eternal salvation comes up. This seemingly nice person claims to be a fellow believer, yet he starts describing rituals and traditions that are not in the Bible, but are the opposite of what the Bible says in many places.

Truth Teller tries to alert this duped person to the fact that mere man is duping him, and shows him from the Bible what the truth is. Mr. Duped takes offence.

“How dare you be so hateful of me? You hater! You are putting down my religion, you horrible person you!”

Who’s the real hater here? Truth Teller, who is trying to help Mr. Duped? No. Truth Teller is warning Mr. Duped, out of LOVE. But apparently Mr. Duped hates it. :-(

If you’re a Roman Catholic, you may very well be duped. I’m going to warn you about it, and you can call me all the names you wish, but I’m going to shout out the truth anyhow.
One commentor rightly pointed out some misunderstandings in your notion of infallibility. But there is another point I must draw your attention too.

You refer often to the teaching of God versus the teaching of man. Meaning you find the teaching of God in the Bible while the Catholic Church follows the teaching of man.

Then I ask, how do you know the Bible is true? And where did you get it from? The KJV was sanctioned by King James (a man), was it not? And how do you know the Bible has been handed onto you without error? I assume no one is going to claim Jesus handed them their Bible personally.

Some institution of 'man' has preserved that Bible and translated it into the tongue of the people for 1500 years before another MAN came along and decided he knew better than history and the Holy Spirit guided Church.

But when some of the comments here point out that they disagree with some other Protestants and the different sect such as Mormons, then you must stop to think, who is following the tradition of man? And where is the Truth?

Sure, the Church has many warts. God chose to use man to save his people from sin. The big difference is that Jesus did not have sin. All of us, Catholic and otherwise are subject to sin. Hence we fall short.

But before you dismiss the "rituals" of the Catholic Church, read Revelations and then stop by a Mass sometime. You will see prayers right out of Revelations. The Holy, Holy, Holy for example. And on Sunday Mass, you will hear 4 readings from the Bible! And these readings are picked from the Old Testament, Psalms, Epistles and Gospel. And guess what, they are chosen because they relate.

That is the wonder of the Catholic Church. It has been around for 2000 years protecting the Bible, the faith and the teachings of the Apostles.

Book tag

I guess I have been tagged by James at The Daily Brouhaha: with the Book(s) I am currently reading meme.
So, for want of something better to write about (or for want of the eloquence to write about something better), I have decided to start another blogosphere ‘tag’ and ask fellow bloggers to write about the book, or books they are currently reading.
So what am I reading right now? To be honest, not much. I finished Tolkein's "Lord of the Ring" in the last month. That kept me quite busy for the winter. After that, I finished the short book "Courtship and Marriage" by Fr. John A. O'Brien. I have to write a review on that yet.

Two books I started and haven't finished yet; "Mass Confusion" by Jimmy Akin and "Search and Rescue" by Carl Olsen (I think). So they sort of count.

But in reality, I am doing a Bible Study on podcast right now. It has me enthusiastic about reading the Bible and seeing the connections between the Old and New Testament. That coupled with being very with work and the kid's activities, I guess the Bible is really the only book I am reading. And I am not showing off either James.


I tag Shellie, Puff and Bar-i-tone, and Chris

Being indecent

Matthew on Catholic Dads shares his view on An Indecent Family . There is a good conversation going on in the comments, so come over and join in.
My family and I go to a diner most Sundays after church. It’s our big event of the week and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Recently, two women sitting at an adjacent table engaged in a lengthy conversation about how crazy my wife and I must be to have four children. They didn’t care if we heard. “Oh my God, I would go crazy,” she said. “Why would you have so many? It’s just…indecent.”

She had searched for that word. And sadly I think she meant it. She wasn’t trying to be shocking or speak hyperbolically for a laugh. The other woman agreed and shook her head.

I saw my seven year old girl listening to them. She understood the words but I saw in her face that she didn’t really comprehend the cruelty beneath it. I was glad for that. But sad that one day she would understand. My wife just smiled at me.

There is a divide in America. It’s talked about incessantly on television and in the press. They say it’s Republicans vs. Democrats, pro-life vs. pro-choice, and haves vs. havenots. But I think it’s something deeper. The divide in this country is between those of faith and those without faith.

It is evidenced in all those other things including how we vote, how we live, how many children we have, where they go to school but the underlying basis is faith. Do you have faith in God or not?

I believe in God. I am a punch line for the secular elite.
The topic turned to responses to the judgmental comments we receive.

I have had more than one co-worker ask if I know how that happens. Too that I always respond with a big grin, "Of course. That is why we have so many."

To the ones that suggest getting "fixed" I let them know that neutering is for dogs and cattle.
There is a divide in this country. My side seems to smile a lot more. But we also whisper nice things while mean things are said loudly. Perhaps we should keep smiling but raise our voices a little more.
But perhaps charity and the quiet witness of the sign of contradiction is what our world needs. Catholic singer Marie Bellet has a wonderful song on this called, "What I wanted to say." The gist is, can't you see these children are the best of me.

Sometimes it is the Catholic friends that can be the harshest. They should know better, but their "fun" often hurts the most.

Funny thing is, some of these same people are the ones that LOVE getting hugs from our numerous children. I almost want to ask if they can see what they are missing.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Un-offendables

I love Shea's ability to sum up some groups with the patented [TM]. Think of anything else Sharpton and Jesse Jackson have done other than masquerade ask the front for the latest "outrage".

Catholic and Enjoying It!: Don Imus
One of the many nice things about living in Seattle is that I've never heard Don Imus. I get the impression he's one of these guys who has risen to fame by being obnoxious on the radio, but never having heard him I couldn't say. I notice on Drudge that he appears to have said something crass and ugly about some black female jocks or something and now is going through the de rigeur act of public show trial self-abasement with the de rigeur declarations from Professionally Outraged People[TM] that he be sacked, that America Examine Its Conscience and that toads like Al Sharpton be treated as Anointed Prophets of God.
Kathy at Relapsed Catholic has a few fine points too.
"Could someone send me a guide?"

"And be real sure to include phrases black people use affectionately towards each other that would offend coming from me but not from Tarantino or not from me in a Tarantino movie if Tarantino directed but it had black people where he was acting and not only directing and I said the line to a black person but there was more than three white people in the room and Sam Jackson said it was okay and not on the radio..."

***

Can you imagine Lenny Bruce apologizing to (bad analogy chosen for decade-appropriate comparison purposes only) Martin Luther King? Can you imagine King asking him to? No, since he was busy doing actual things.

Do I approve of the coarsening of our culture, that during the Clinton administration my mom had to explain to my gramma what a blow job was? Hell, no.

But I really object to cowardly corporate whores like Imus, masquerading as outlaws until it hits the fan, while creeps like Al & Jesse pose as saints.
That is what I am saying. He makes his living off being an idiot and suddenly he offends The Un-offendable. Sorry, show a little outrage when he mocks Christianity. Or when he mocks whomever he does. Not just when he finally says something that can get Jesse and Al on TV again.

Missing the Pope

If only they had a fraction of the "respect" for Pope JPII when he was alive as they do for their biased "memory" of who he was after his death. Jeff takes out the fisk broom and sweeps this NoNewsweek article into the birdcage where it belongs.

The Curt Jester: Newsweek still sucks

I guess the MSM just loves to have it both ways. First he is painted at the mean-spirited enforcer forcing his ways on everyone, and then he is the paper-tiger and politicians that had a certain respect under JPII have totally lost it now. This is so laughably funny as a piece of analysis it is hard to know where to start. Secular politicians promoting gay marriage and abortion never cared one bit about the Pope whether it was JPII or B16.

And then with his visit to South America you know they are going to bring up the document critical of Father Jon Sobrino. So I guess the paper-tiger is back to biting. They of course frame the criticism of Father Sobrino's writings in the framework of Liberation Theology when it was a condemnation of his weak-Christology.

To borrow from Archbishop Sheen again, I am glad to see Newsweek still believes in the influence of the Pope. If they believed what they write, this wouldn't make it off the newsroom floor.

The Strange Wedding

One often wonders about the strange wedding of the Liberal Left and Radical Islam. One one level we can understand the Liberal Weenies' desire to avoid offending Islam in anyway. They cower under the blanket of free speech when it is protected and safe. But they don't believe in free speech if there is a potential cost. Hence we get slanderous art and depictions of the Cross and all things Christian, but rarely do we see any follow ups to the Danish Cartoons.

But on another level, it is the spite for individual freedom that brings these two strangers together.

Breath of the Beast: The Emergence of the Agélaste Left via Bettnet.
For instance, why is there a marked and growing support for Islamism among the left-leaning sectors of the western countries? On the face of it, it makes no sense that a movement within the Muslim world that declares publicly that it wants to either kill or convert everyone else on earth to Islamism, which believes in slavery, misogyny, anti-Semitism, racism, gay bashing(and murdering!), religious intolerance (exclusivism, really), the teaching of hatred and murder to kindergarteners and the deliberate targeting of innocent civilians with terror should be lionized by people who profess to hold “humanitarian” ( or, at least, humanistic) values above all others. Why, too, does that same left-wing so despise Israel, a country founded in Democracy, having a strong socialist component, and which far out shines any of its neighbors in human rights and minority freedoms? The answer to this conundrum is one of the diagnostic markers that prove the existence of a totalitarian system of belief. When there are such obvious internal contradictions that are held by a self-identified group of people who police each other for the correctness of their thought without regard to the actual logical content of that thought it is totalitarianism.

Totalitarian systems loath each other but they hate the individual human being, his sense of humor and his free thought much more. That is why the Totalitarian left and Caliphate Islam find common cause with
each other.


Found it

Here is the B.C. Easter cartoon from years ago that caused such a fuss for the late cartoonist Johnny Hart. As a Christian, I love seeing the Seven Last "Words" of Jesus. Archbishop Fulton Sheen had a wonderful talk on that subject.

Of course the LW (liberal weenies) can't stand it. They claim Hart was proclaiming "Triumphalism" and we know from socialistic public education now-a-days that we can't be better than anyone, everyone is equally worthless. Of course the whole "Triumphalism" issue only relates to Christianity (or further defined as Catholicism) claiming to be the one True Faith. So they want us to deny the Creed because it might offend somebody. For a tangent of that thought, see The Strange Wedding. Remember, the Jewish people awaited a Messiah. As a Christian, we see Judaism as the root of our faith. In the Bible study I am doing right now, the link between the Old and New Testament is profound. We miss so much without understanding Judaism.

I also love Eucharistic symbolism of the last pane with the blood from the cross running down to the bread and wine with the caption, "Do this in remembrance of me." One would think it had Catholic origins if we didn't know the man behind it.

click on the image to see the larger version.


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

From unexpected sources

I stumbled across some profound theological thinking in an unlikely place. Usually slashdot is not a place for kiddies or those who adhere to any religion. But these two comments blew me away.

Slashdot | The Myth of the Superhacker
The biggest trick Satan ever pulled was convincing the world he doesn't exist
Quite true, not mind blowing but definitely true. But he opened the door for this
St. Augustine has a worthwhile point to make here.

He was dealing with a fundamental theological problem: how does a good God create a universe in which evil exists. He came up with a novel solution: it's all good, but evil chooses lesser goods over greater goods -- an concept closely akin to the modern economic concept of opportunity cost. You cannot have the capacity to choose without the capacity to choose the wrong thing; if you were forced to choose the right thing all the time then you wouldn't have free will. Therefore free will implies the existence of evil, which is not a thing in itself, but a deficit.

Dante sharpens Augustine's point in the Divine Comedy: evil is really the result of stubborn, even aggressive stupidity. As outlandish as the punishments that are meted out in the Inferno, they're all pretty much people getting unlimited quantities of whatever it was they pursued in life.

The Devil, then, doesn't need to exist; at least if he does he has no power of his own. There is no need to believe in the nearly all-powerful devil of neo-Christian folklore. The power of Satan, both biblically and by orthodox theology, lies in the stupidity and stubbornness of humanity. A near omnipotent Devil is not really any better off than a powerless but tricky one because (a) near omnipotence is not very useful when the other side is omnipotent and (b) it is impossible to spread evil (in the Augustinian sense) by the exercise of raw power.

Which brings us to the Superhacker. There is no need for a hacker to obtain near omnipotent technical skills. In any case people with extremely high levels of technical skills have better uses for them. Instead, a hacker exploits the stubbornness and stupidity of people who own computers. They won't pay competent people to manage them. They'll choose software for superficial convenience. In Augustinian terms they choose the lesser goods of short term cost savings and convenience over the greater good of security.
Now, I don't completely agree the devil doesn't need to exist and is just a trick wimp thought, but it is correct that Satan has no power of his own. He can only corrupt and twist what is created by God.

And yes, humans are our own worst enemies. Much worse than Satan as he can only suggest, where we actually commit. And pulling that into tech terms with the hackers... Well done.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Emotional appeal

Shellie at Profound Gratitude shares her conversion story, but with the small caveat that she is concerned about the lack of emotion she felt in swimming the Tiber.

For a while I was quite concerned that the white-knuckle experiences of my Nazarene life (Just As I Am, 7 times at altar call) weren’t being duplicated. Our reconciliation to Rome almost seemed too…un-emotional.

One night, I begged and prayed and cried out to God: This is too important! I must hear from you. My children’s salvation and nothing less is at stake here! Please, my God, give me a word from you. I just need to hear something. I think this is right. I believe this is right, but I need a word. Thank you.”

As far as the emotional appeal. I can relate to that. I am very un-emotional and often struggle with that. But so many times I thank God after Mass that I am a Catholic. Precisely because our faith doesn’t rest on emotion. I would be a lousy protestant of any stripe because I would get nothing out of the services so often. With the kids fussing, worries of the day, distractions and all, I often struggle to get anything intellectual or emotional out of Mass. But as a Catholic, we still RECEIVE our Lord. How much grace we get out of it has some dependency on our state of mind and soul, but the Lord doesn’t depend on our fickle humanity.

So, from an un-emotional wreck. Don’t sweat the lack of it. I treasure the times that I have been blown away at Mass, few thought they are. It isn't God that is lacking, but me. The time I trembled on my way up to receive Him and cried tears of joy afterwards. The times I feel joy watching one of my children receive, or watch a whole family receive Him for the first time. (receiving Him as He asked us too, not just receiving Him into our hearts.)

Monday, April 09, 2007

Tolerance of all things except one

Funny how the pillars of Tolerance and Diversity suddenly become bigots and narrow-minded when the subject turns to Christianity. The author of the B.C. cartoon dies and he can't even be memorialized without railing against his occasional Christian theme.

SR.com: 'B.C.,' 'Wizard of Id' cartoonist dies at 76
For a strip whose tone was lighthearted, "B.C" suddenly became controversial in the 1990s when Hart included themes influenced by his fundamental Christianity and literal interpretation of the Bible. He did so sparingly, often around holy days, but its inclusion was perceived by many readers as making him far more frank about Christianity than any of his mainstream contemporaries.

Some newspapers canceled the strip. Others pulled it selectively. On at least one occasion, the Los Angeles Times relocated it to the religion page.
Isn't that the cardinal sin of Censorship?
Other work by Hart brought criticism from Jewish and Muslim groups for what they called insensitive and at times offensive themes.

One Easter "B.C." strip showed a menorah's candles being extinguished as the candelabra morphs into a cross; the final frame included the words, "It is finished." To his critics, this symbolized a triumph of Christianity over Judaism, but Hart said it was meant to "pay tribute to both" religions.

Muslims were enraged by another "B.C." strip that ran during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. It featured an outhouse with multiple crescents – a symbol associated with Islam – and showed a cave man saying from inside the makeshift bathroom, "Is it just me, or does it stink in here?"
He swings and misses at a pitch WAY outside. Boy was he reaching for one here. First off, the crescent is rather common on old outhouses. Don't know why but I have a feeling it goes back almost as far as Islam does.

And as I have said before, for a society that often praises the masculine sacrifice to the extreme of raising suicide bombers, they are a bit on the sensitive side. No?

As far as the menorah morphing into the cross, isn't that what all good Christians think of Judaism? That the Jews were waiting for the Messiah and Christians believe Jesus was the fulfillment of Judaism? Now those still of Jewish faith would disagree and that they are still awaiting the Messiah. But that is a difference of opinions.

Anyway, Johnny Hart, Rest in Peace. You will be missed.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Alleluia

He is risen!

What a joy we have in our faith.

We took the whole family to Easter Vigil. It is always wonderful watching people come into the Church. There was even one lady who looked to be in her eighties who got baptized. I had to smile at that.

And to the family at Profound Gratitude that swam the Tiber last night, it was so wonderful to finally meeting you. I felt pure joy as I watched you receive our Lord in the Eucharist for the first time.

And you are truly blessed to have such friends as Kid Sister and Red Neck Woman who traveled so far to witness the blessed event. It was nice to meet you both.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Washing of feet

One of my readers asked for this link. It is not done right in my parish, but that isn't a battle I am going to wage.
Adoremus: Washing of Feet
also see this in-depth post by Old Oligarch on the meaning behind the washing of feet.

Via the Curt Jester. See his Foot Washing 2000 Parody.

Holy week with kids

Dom asks a good question, what should parents do on the long evening Masses of Holy Week and Easter?

I agree with his assesment of Holy Thursday. It is one of my favorite Liturgies. The procession and Tantum Ergo are so filled with longing and expectation.

Missing Mass * Bettnet.com
In case you’ve misplaced your calendar, it’s Holy Thursday, the beginning of the Easter Triduum. It’s an exciting day for me because the Liturgy of the Last Supper is one of my favorites.
It’s not for the foot-washing and the accompanying battles every year, but because of its focus on the Eucharist. I love the prayers, the stripping to the altars, the procession to the chapel of reservation, the Holy Hour, the singing of the Tantum Ergo. I love the way the Mass just ends, without a regular dismissal. It leaves you with a sense of anticipation, that this is just the beginning. The world pauses for a pregnant pause before the horror of Good Friday and the exultant joy of Easter Sunday.
Unfortunately, I think that this will be the first Holy Thursday Mass I’ve missed in a long, long time. With Isabella here now, we can’t just drag her to church at bedtime and expect her to be well-behaved, never mind the time for adoration after.
I did offer to let Melanie attend and I would stay home and mind Bella. Then next time I could go. How do other parents of little ones handle liturgies that conflict with bedtime?
On Holy Thursday we take all 6 with us. Evening Mass is always difficult with kids, but this is one we just bear through. Often some will fall asleep and I lug them out to the suburban while my wife goes into adoration with the oldest.

I usually get a moment to pop into adoration to see my Lord for a couple of minutes. I think as a parent, often the beauty or sanctity of the moment is lost. But God doesn't desire sacrifice and offerings as much as He desires our complete heart. What is lost in the sublime is made up for by the eternal souls of the children being taught about God and about duty.

Easter vigil is where we switch off. Or I usually go with a couple of the older kids. (also nice because I can break my Triduum fast after the vigil instead of Sunday Morning.)

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

My first post

Here is my first post at Catholic Dads. Not my greatest work, but the thought that started it was profound to me.

Catholic Dads: Part review, part personal

Peter Kreeft

I am glad Peter Kreeft is on our side. I would not do well having to face him in a debate.

For God, For Country and For Yale: Why Peter Kreeft is Pro Life
Professor Kreeft framed his argument first around science- that the prevailing scientific view is that life begins at conception. He mentioned that this fact was proclaimed in every science textbook until Roe v. Wade. He also based it on morality- the sanctity of human life requires a right to life. His third opening point was based on the law. The law protects innocent life. The law protects human rights, the most basic of which is the right to life.

Professor Kreeft ended with a powerful message. He admitted that he can make the argument against abortion with many different arguments. However, when explaining why he personally was pro-life he said that abortion is not only homicide, it is also deicide- the killing of God. Because humans are made in the image and likeness of God, anyone who aborts their child sees their own face, the face of the child and the face of God. He noted that when people ask him “Where was God during the Holocaust?” he replies- “He was gassed along with the Jews.”

Where is God during abortions? He is aborted along with the innocent life.

Matthew 25:41-45

“Then he shall say to them also that shall be on his left hand: Depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry, and you gave me not to eat: I was thirsty, and you gave me not to drink. I was a stranger, and you took me not in: naked, and you covered me not: sick and in prison, and you did not visit me. Then they also shall answer him, saying: Lord, when did we see thee hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister to thee? Then he shall answer them, saying: Amen I say to you, as long as you did it not to one of these least, neither did you do it to me.”
via the Curt Jester

Not so kind

Or accurate, but what can we suspect from those who have no clue about our faith. The Curt Jester has the MSM's take on John Billing death. The headlines: Founder of contraceptive method dies and Rhythm method pioneer dies in Melbourne.
Yes it is a good thing the MSM has editors so they don't make blunders like this. Of course not mentioned in the fact that the Billings Ovulation Method can be used to help couples who are having difficulties to conceive. But then that wouldn't fit the NFP is contraception meme.
At least we didn't see "Father of Rhythm and Roulette dies." In my earlier post, I remembered the "aiding those with fertility problems to achieve pregnancy" part right before I posted it.

As a father of 6 I often forget the other side of NFP. But hopefully science can continue to help them without resorting to evil.

Selective screening perhaps?

DFO at Huckleberries links to an article where doctors may be rethinking a blanket recommendation.

How a blanket recommendation was considered a good idea in the first place I don't know? Good for doctors and the hospitals who stand to profit, but following a herd mentality is rarely good for the patients.

Mammograms from ages 40-50? Maybe not
Reopening a long-running debate, the American College of Physicians, which represents 120,000 internists, plans to issue new guidelines today that instead urge women in their 40s to consult with their doctors individually about whether to get the breast X-rays.

The group based its recommendations on a comprehensive review of research on mammography that concluded the benefit is less clear for women in their 40s than for those 50 and older, and that screening carries significant risks, including exposure to radiation and unnecessary biopsies, surgery and chemotherapy.

The guidelines conflict with long-standing recommendations from several other leading medical groups, including the American Cancer Society and National Cancer Institute.
It is good to see that they realize the risks may actually be risks and therefore they blanket recommendation doesn't fit. Of course the two cancer conglomerates don't want anyone to intrude on their fund-mongering. They make a healthy living off the fear of cancer, and turning that fear into donations for their research that hasn't yielded much success.

Perhaps there is another way to narrow the field before recommending screenings.
But others said the recommendations represent a more nuanced approach that better reflects what is known about the benefits and drawbacks of mammography.
Perhaps it is time to look at filtering the screening to the high risk groups.

John Billings, RIP

May his soul rest in peace. What a wonderful pioneer, recognizing a need for legitimate spacing of children without resorting to the grave evil of contraception. His method also is a help those couples that struggle with infertility.

This is an example of what science should be. Using knowledge to help people and find better methods without resorting to the anti-science of doing harm.

Billings wasn't the "father" of the method we teach, but his method is the "sympto" in what is known as the SymtoThermal Method.
Catholic World News : John Billings, NFP pioneer, dead at 89
Dr. John Billings, the Australian pioneer in natural family planning, died in Melbourne on April 2 at the age of 89. Trained as a neurologist, Billings began research on fertility in the early 1950s, devising what was originally known as the "ovulation method" of natural birth regulation. Together with his wife, Dr. Evelyn Billings, he spent the remainder of his career refining the method-- now popularly known as the Billings method-- and educating couples throughout the world on its use.
The Billings method, which helps women to identify their fertile days based on their monthly cycles, has been used successfully by thousands of couples-- either to space births or to achieve pregnancy. John and Evelyn Billings founded an international organization known as WOOMB (World Organization for Ovulation Method- Billings) in Melbourne to further their work.

Catholic Dads

I have added a little image on the side bar that links to the Catholic Dads blog. I have joined and hope to be contributing there with some frequency.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

The old and the new

The Curt Jester has some items for Palm Sunday. I especially like the Palm Pilate.

Palm Sunday Old and New