Monday, October 31, 2005

Hoping to get restarted.

Life has been wild in the last couple of years. I finished my Master's, so after football season I hope to revisit this blog.

Tonight I went to a Mass closing out a 40 Hours celebration at my parish. It was beautiful. The guest homilist was a Benedictine monk from Cleveland, Fr. Girard. He spoke on the value of the partipating in the Eucharist often. He likened the Mass to going to your grandfather's birthday party. You don't go for the music or the entertainment or to be with your peers. You go because you love your grandfather. Just so, you don't go to Mass for the homily or the music or the architecture. You go because you love the guest of honor, Our Saviour (btw I'm not British, just pretentious).

Additionally, Fr. Girard referenced an outstanding book by Scott Hahn, The Lamb's Supper. It has a fantastic correlations between The Sacrifice of the Mass and The Book of Revelation. I highly recommend reading Scott Hahn's work because it gave me a new perspective of the Universal Church (specifically the Church Triumphant). After you are finished with that book--it's short--you can then enjoy either Larry McMurtry's Lonesome Dove or Stephen King's The Stand. Both are long, but enjoyable.

Sunday, January 18, 2004

Brief Return

Well, the first semester is over and teaching has been great, but much more time consuming than originally projected. I would like to keep blogging, but my time is at a premium.

If the second semester is better, maybe I can hit the blog weekly.

In the meantime, I went to a Pro-life rally today. It was well attended, but not the greatest production I have attended. The main speaker was an attorney, so the rhetoric was long, meandering and uninspiring. A second speaker from Silent No More had a more hopeful message. There was nice representation from our young people, too.

God, please forgive our nation for the 44 million murdered babies. Please inspire your people to end the atrocity.
Mary, Mother of Mercy, pray for us.

Friday, July 25, 2003


Today is my birthday. I have gotten shorts, pants and shirts and some cash. After all, is that not what birthdays are about--counting up the loot. No? Anyway, I have had other wonderful blessings today beyond material goods. I finished my summer coursework today (just 10 minutes ago, in fact.) I get the chance to use what I learned within a month. I am excited to get started.

July 25th is the Feast of St. James the Greater. I have looked to the older brother of St. John the Evangelist for much guidance over the years. Ever since I first discovered that my birthday was on his feast day, I have felt a close bond to this Son of Thunder. Perhaps I can some day have the same zealousness in promoting the faith.

Let us pray,
St. James, you were at the side of Christ for many important events in His life. Now you are at His side in the Kingdom of Heaven. Please intercede for us, that we may come to know your Lord as well as you did. We ask all this in His Most Holy Name. Amen.

Wednesday, July 16, 2003


As I have written before, I am taking a wonderful theology class at the University of Notre Dame. My alma mater has been under the gun the last few years from some of the more traditional wings of American Catholicism. Perhaps the criticism is justified with such notable dissidents as Fr. Richard McBrien on the faculty. I just want to demonstrate that the Body of Christ is still functioning relatively well at ND. Besides, today is the Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, so a defense of Our Lady's University seems appropriate.

In my class we are writing "In Brief" papers that summarize some central concepts as presented by the Church. Here is a paper that I submitted for my class about God and Providence according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church. (I received a check+ for it.)

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1. (§279) This is how God first reveals Himself to us in Sacred Scripture. Included in the creation stories from a Christian perspective, is our need for Christ.
•“From the beginning, God envisaged the glory of the new creation in Christ.” (§280)

The revelation of God as Creator of the Universe is of ultimate importance to our faith.
•Catechesis on creation is important because it addresses the universal questions of our origin and our end. (§282)
•Many cultures and philosophies have offered differing opinions on the origin of the world, but they illustrate the universality of the question of origin. (§285)
•Discoveries about the origins of the world invite us to a greater admiration of the Creator and inspire us to give Him thanks. (§283)

Creation is not only the work of the First Person of the Trinity, however. It results from the shared love of the Holy Trinity.
•God created everything through the eternal Word. (§291)
•“Creation is the common work of the Holy Trinity.” (§292)

Looking into the Sacred Scriptures for our origin reveals that we must rely on faith to understand that origin.
•The existence of God can be inferred from creation. Faith confirms this truth. (§286)
•The first three chapters of Genesis address creation from a faith perspective, not as scientific explanation. (§289)
We do not look to the Bible for scientific evidence. We cannot have true observation of creation because no human observer was present. Besides the limitation of pre-observer stories, the Bible addresses unobservable traits of goodness and holiness. This indicates that we can not replace the Bible with Science texts or vice versa.

Creation reveals to us the power of God.
•The world was made out of nothing. (§293)
•Creation from nothing is confirmed in Holy Scripture. (§297)
It also reveals to us the nature of the world.
•God created the world according to his wisdom and compassion. (§295)
•The world is ordered and good because it was created through wisdom and from God’s goodness. (§299)
This revelation unveils God’s glory.
•“The world was made for the glory of God.” Dei Filius, can. §5: DS 3025. (§293)
•“God is infinitely greater than all His works.” (§300)
•Because God can create from nothing, he can make sinners clean and give life to the dead. (§298)

The flourishing of creation assures God’s own glory. (§294)
•God does not abandon His creatures but upholds and sustains His creation. (§301)
•Divine providence is the way in which God guides His creation toward perfection in Him. (§302)
•God is at work in all actions. (§308)

The Christian message gives answers to the question of evil. (§309) God reveals greater power in the freedom He gives to His creations. While God did not create evil, evil occurs so that the greater good of freely loving beings may exist.
•God did not create evil, but He allows evil to respect the freedom He gave His creatures. (§311)
•Evil never becomes good, but God can cause good to result from of the existence of evil. (§312)
So it is through the power that God allows humanity to freely choose good over evil in which we can observe the great power of God.
•God created the world and its creatures in a state of journeying. (§310)
At the end of the journey, God wants his creatures to choose the good and be with Him, but it is dependent on the free choice, not forced goodness.

Anyway, It is neither too academically in depth nor too light. I think it is an adequate summary of what the Church teaches, however.

Let us pray,
Dear Lord, God of all Creation, please look with favor upon your people. Give us the Spirit to guide us through life while we still are blinded by sinfulness. Give us the strength to endure hardships without losing faith in You.

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, pray for us.
Notre Dame, our Mother, pray for us.


Thursday, July 10, 2003


I do not post for a few weeks and Blogger folks must have been worried because they changed the posting layout. I hope I still remember how to do this. Sorry for the long absence.

In my theology for non-religion teachers class (i.e. EDU 506), we were discussing liturgy and the sacraments. The point was about how sacraments are a re-presentation of Christ's saving love. In order for the sacraments to be efficacious, they need to be the full symbol as directed by the Church.

My excellent professor indicated that the sacraments are not based on the holiness of its ministers, but rather the holiness of God. That made sense, so I asked innocently, "What if the priest decides to change the words of the sacrament at the consecration, for instance?" The professor did not have a definitive answer as to the validity in such a case because eucharistic prayers are translations of translations. He, in fact, went so far as to suggest that he would need to confer with a liturgist (shudder).

Q: What's the difference between a liturgist and a terrorist?
A: You can negotiate with a terrorist.

What the professor did say, though, was that even if the sacrament were valid, he hates when priests change the words. That change takes the prayer away from the people of the Church and makes it a personal prayer for that priest. So they should just take the prayers that are handed to them from the Bishops and quit monkeying around with them.

Well put, Professor.

Prayer requests
Please pray for the repose of the soul of Robert O'Brien, former Director of Bands at the University of Notre Dame. He passed away last week. He was one of the good men.
Also pray for a friend of mine who was diagnosed with liver cancer.
And pray for another friend with a new child, which has brought about some new struggles for his family.

Heavenly Father, You are above all things. You are beyond words. Please watch over us during our struggles. Give us Your Son's peace. Grant us Your forgiveness when we fail You. Thank You for all that I have. It is only through You that I have anything.

Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for us.

Friday, June 20, 2003


I am linus

Which Peanuts Character Are You Quiz


I just wanted to put a quick plug out there for a strong Catholic professor in the Theology Department at the University of Notre Dame. I know that the Home of the Fighting Irish has its critics. Many feel that Fr. Richard McBrien's presence on the faculty is proof enough of the University's movement toward "Catholic Lite" as George Weigel calls it. While there was a disturbing trend through the 1980's and '90's of the liberal Catholics being in charge, some significant orthodoxy has infiltrated their left-wing ranks.

I want to specifically identify Dr. John C. Cavadini, Chair of Theology, as a key indicator of the movement. In my quest to teach in Catholic schools, I am taking a class called: Basics of Christian Faith for Teachers in Catholic Schools taught by Dr. Cavadini. Sure, one could immediately start to wonder, "What kind of new age crap are they going to throw into this course? How many times will we sing Kumbaya?" But if the choice of text is any indicator, the course will be orthodox. No, we won't use Dick McBrien's tome of sophistry, Catholicism. We are using perhaps the antithesis of his creed. What book do you suppose could curl the whiskers of the most accepting, open-minded, deep-thinking, progressive professors? Why it's the Cathechism of the Catholic Church. Hallelujah! The school that professes to be, "Where the Church does her thinking," actually might be doing some honest catechesis.

Sure, the professor could then refute the text and make the book seem worthless. Well, I am a quarter of the way through the class and nothing has been off yet. So I have great hope that many of the young minds sitting in the classroom with me will then take this good leadership to their classrooms around the country.

Let us pray:
Notre Dame, Mother of God and Mother of us all, please pray for the students of ACE. Help them to form good consciences and have right judgment so that when they represent your beloved Son to their students they may offer the true love of Christ. Amen.

Sunday, June 15, 2003


To all fathers, and especially to my own, Happy Father's Day. I called, Dad, but nobody was home. You seem to be gone a lot in your retirement. Good for you!

Anyway, please say a prayer for my Dad, Jerry, today, or if you run out of day (only 1 hour left for me) do it tomorrow or the next.

O Blessed Trinity, please watch over my Dad. Give him strength in body and spirit. Draw him ever closer to You, Lord of all hopefulness.
St. Joseph, the just. Pray for us.


Thanks to Roger at Between Heaven and Hell . . . for the story about how the Democrats refuse to acknowledge pro-lifers in their ranks. See the story here.

I disagree with Democrats on most issues because of a belief in individualism and privatization, but I can actually see their reasoning for some things stemming from community mentality--it takes a village, blah, blah, blah. . . The biggest issue in which I have never been able to see their view as anything other than blind stubborness is the abortion issue. Maybe 25 years ago some uncertainty might have existed. Maybe before sonograms and neo-natology were common some areas were unclear. But now in 2003, we know what is happening inside a womb. We know that it is human life. Anybody who refuses to accept that a human fetus is, well, human, is defeatably obtuse.

Those people are--ta dah--the DNC. The donkeys are so bound to fringe groups seeking license to do anything that they won't even offer the possibility that life in the womb is worth protecting. If there were ever going to be a time for this to change it is now, but cynically I don't see it happening. There could be little more evidence provided than what we already have. So why no change?

I look for some type of miraculous conversion. At my Parish, we pray each week for the enlightening of the minds and the softening of the hearts of those who accept abortion, euthanasia and contraception. I suggest you do the same. All these issues relate to the sanctity of life at all stages, but I think people on the side of God (i.e. pro-lifers) know that it will take individual conversions of the heart to protect our most innocent ones. In the meantime, I have often supported pro-life Democrats like former Governor Casey of Pennsylvania because they face such opposition from their own. Anybody who can show the fortitude of standing up to the pressure of Dems against life supporters has to have strong convictions. That is the type of person I choose to support.