Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Groom of Ecclesia.

When people would ask a seminarian friend of mine if he was dating anyone he would answer, "Yes. Her name is Ecclesia." His name is Kim Schreck from the Archdiocese of Pittsburgh, and he has a website that could be interesting to anyone considering the priesthood. He is attending the Pontifical North American College in Rome, and was ordained a deacon in October. He will be ordained to the priesthood this summer in Pittsburgh. Check it out and maybe send him an email to say you are praying for him.

Monday, December 18, 2006

"Come, let us climb the mountain of the Lord."

This passage from Isaiah, which was read not once but twice in this morning's divine office, is very fitting for this day and the tragic death of one of the climbers stranded on Mt. Hood in Oregon. We continue to pray for the safety of the remaining climbers, and we pray for the soul of Kelly James who has just taken an even greater journey than climbing Mt. Hood.

"In days to come, The mountain of the LORD'S house shall be established as the highest mountain and raised above the hills. All nations shall stream toward it;

Many peoples shall come and say: 'Come, let us climb the LORD'S mountain, to the house of the God of Jacob, That he may instruct us in his ways, and we may walk in his paths.'"

- Isaiah 2:2-3

She is so shady it's disgusting.

Click the link and you can watch Hillary Clinton's appearance on the Today Show this morning. It is aggravating to just listen to her. She dodged questions left and right, especially questions about running for president, about which she continues to say she has not made up her mind. Despite the question dodging, the most despicable and ridiculous thing she said is that the gauge she uses to decide on issues is how that issue will help our children. This just makes my skin crawl. How can anyone not see the contradiction between this and being pro-abortion?

Both of the polls they showed this morning said that currently she is not a front runner for the presidency or even the democratic nomination. Let's just hope and pray that she doesn't get into the White House.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Men and women are different? I never would have guessed!

The Today Show this morning seemed very proud of what they considered to be a groundbreaking discovery: Research shows gender affects how our brains work.

I think anyone who considers this a major discovery would be blown away by Theology of the Body. Do they think the only difference between men and women is body parts? Seeing articles like this gives me a new perspective on the importance of the Pope John Paul's work. I guess I take for granted that I recognize the "language of the body" and that men and women are different to their very cores.

To me it is easy to see how lacking this understanding could lead to many errors about what someone believes about the human person and especially sexuality. Maybe this "groundbreaking discovery" can open some eyes that never would have been opened otherwise. Hey, we can always hope and pray for that anyway right?

Sunday, December 10, 2006

What American accent do you have?

See. Not all southerners talk like hicks!

Your Result: The West Your accent is the lowest common denominator of American speech. Unless you're a SoCal surfer, no one thinks you have an accent. And really, you may not even be from the West at all, you could easily be from Florida or one of those big Southern cities like Dallas or Atlanta.

Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Saturday, December 09, 2006

What do you mean there is no discipline?!!!

Mark Foley received no discipline for his "sexual advances to former teenage pages". The speaker of the house, Dennis Hastert, who knew about it but did nothing, received no discipline. What would the reaction have been if Foley had been a priest and Hastert had been a bishop?

My problem is not that Catholics, especially clergy, are held to a higher standard. We should be held to a higher standard, because, if anyone should know better than to sin, we should (CCC 598). All I wish is that the rest of the world, those who hold us to that standard, realized it.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Rest in peace, J.B. Hunt.

No he is not just a truck. Johnnie Bryan Hunt is also a man, and he died yesterday at the age of 79. Hunt had been in critical condition since December 2nd, when he slipped on some ice and hit his head. This is a bigger deal to me than to most people, because the J.B. Hunt trucking company, the largest trucking company in the U.S., is based in my area of Arkansas. Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee said about Hunt, "Every night in our state, families sit down to dinner and have the security of a good job because of J.B. We have lost a true friend and leader and most of all, a sincere Christian gentleman."

Besides providing jobs for so many people in our state, he also gave millions to charities and schools. He would also carry around a clip full of $100's that he would give to anyone who looked like they needed food.

Say some prayers for a man who is hopefully now with the Savior whom he lived for.

Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord. And let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen.
Razorback awards

If you live in Arkansas, you are a University of Arkansas Razorback fan. This year our football team had a better than expected season, although it hasn't ended on such a high note. However there is something to be proud of, and that is Darren McFadden. For all of you who don't have the privilege of being from Arkansas, you probably don't realize just how amazing he is on the football field, because you don't get to see him too often. It is your loss though, because he just won the Doak Walker award as the best running back in the country. He is also one of the three finalists for one of the most coveted trophies in all of sports, the Heisman. Although Troy Smith from Ohio State deserves to win this one, we are still pretty proud of him around here. Look out next year. After all he is only a sophomore.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Joseph is the man!

I got to see the Nativity Story last night. It was not without its questionable moments – it seemed like the filmmakers did not believe that Mary was without sin – but it was certainly not lacking in truth, beauty, and, goodness.

There was one part in the movie that I honestly have never really considered in the way that the movie opened to me, and that is the faith of Joseph. My favorite part of the movie was seeing the reaction that the people of Nazareth had to Mary being pregnant out of wedlock. The part that I had never considered was that when Joseph decided to accept Mary, he was also accepting that people would think he was the father of the child and also guilty of premarital sex. We know that Joseph is only the adoptive father of Jesus, but the people of Nazareth didn’t. They went from thinking that Mary was unchaste to thinking that Joseph was too. Joseph had to give his “fiat” to that ridicule also. To me, this was beautiful. It showed Joseph’s great love for his wife, for Jesus, and above all for his God. This love and dedication of Joseph was very strong throughout the rest of the movie also. To me it is the organizing structure for telling the whole story, and I found it to be a very interesting and moving perspective.

I expected this movie to be very devoted to Mary and Jesus, and to portray them in the glory that they deserve. I was not expecting the same focus on Joseph, but I was very pleased with it. Seeing his example in this way is a great source of strength for myself, and I feel it would be for any husband and father.

Why did God bother with penguins anyway?

My wife and I watched March of the Penguins this weekend, and I thought it was very good. If you haven’t seen it, it is about the 70 mile journey emperor penguins make each year to breed. I doubt that this was its purpose, but it is a good analogy for the self-sacrifice that is required in marriage to have a family.

One question that I asked though is, why did God even create these penguins? If God has a purpose for all he does (which he does), then what is his purpose for penguins? There they are, living in what is seemingly the most uninhabitable climate on the planet, and I can’t see any way in which human life would be worse if they were not there. Buy yet God has a plan for having them there. I am sure a biologist would be appalled and have a wonderful explanation for their existence, but until they send me a nasty email, I guess I’ll be in the dark.

An answer that I have come up with though, helps me to understand and appreciate the providence of our God. Say that there was a couple struggling to adjust to married life. Maybe they are trying to balance how to raise a child and build a family and not go crazy. Now say this couple watched this movie, and it fostered a renewed dedication to family and service to each other. Wouldn’t that be all the reason God would need to put penguins on this earth? When I consider God’s abounding love for each and every one of us, I think that sounds reasonable. I believe God would go to the ends of the earth to improve the life of any individual he has ever created. After all he would have died on the Cross to save even one of us. In that perspective, creating a bunch of penguins just to help one person, doesn’t seem that extreme at all.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Did you know we use human tissue from aborted babies to make vaccines?

"We all know that medicine belongs in babies, babies don't belong in medicine!

So the FDA has recently opened a forum in which consumers and medical professionals can voice their opposition to the use of aborted fetal and embryonic cell lines in vaccines. Some common ones that currently use these cells are chicken pox and rubella. This forum expires on December 28th, 2006."

- Shrine of the Holy Whapping

I did not know this, and when I heard it I did not believe it. That is until I saw the actual docket against it on the FDA website:

"Docket: 2006D-0383 - Draft Guidance for Industry: Characterization and qualification of Cell Substrate and Other Biological Starting Materials for the Production of Viral Vaccines"

To add a comment to the docket click here. This really seems too bizarre and horrific to believe, but there it is. I guess the battle for the unborn has mroe levels than I could ever imagine. Pray!

This must be the slowest blog in the blogosphere!

Yes, we realize that our posting have become few and far between, and we thank you for sticking with us. Steve claims to be busy with law school or something like that, and uses that as an excuse for not posting. I actually am busy trying to raise a child and lead both him and 47 religion students closer to Christ.

One of our goals has been to revamp the style of the blog, so that it doesn't look so much like 87 million other blogs out there. This progress has also has gotten slowed.

Anyway, we are still on the journey with you striving for Christ, so keep checking in. Pray for us that we may leave behind our lukewarm blogging ways, and maybe one day we will return to our glorious form of old!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

U.K. scientists develop "The Pill" for men
Now we men can finally be liberated!

Yes I am joking. The Today Show reported this this morning. Here are a few of the reasons they gave that show how wonderful it will be.
  • It will be great for men who want to experience pleasure without pregnancy. (That's great, because after all there's no reason for them to go together is there?)
  • Women will not have to bear the burden of all the responsibility. (Do you think that maybe, since man and woman are both necessary, they could share the responsibility?)
  • It can be taken just before a date. (I forgot that taking someone on a date is what makes you able to have sex with them.)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Awesome Catholic art blog.

I came across Smallpax yesterday in an image search for St. Lawrence. It is a group of mostly (if not all) Catholic artists, many (if not all) being professional. They post their sketches in various levels of completeness and seriousness. What attracted me most to them is that their devotional art is far from cheesy. Check it out. They haven't posted anything in a while, but I emailed one of the artists, and he said he would be posting again soon. In the meantime, check out their old posts. Here are a few samples, that I hope they don't mind me sharing here:

Our Lady of La Leche

St. Lawrence

St. Anthony

St. Therese

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

"Dad, why is it hard to share?"

My brother and his family are in town for Thanksgiving. He has a 5 year old daughter and 3 and 1 year old boys. The older of two boys, being at an age where more responsibility for his actions is required of him, has to give of himself quite a bit to the 1 year old. A couple days ago, he asked a very profound question that I am sure all of us ask often.

The 3 year old looked at my brother and said, "Dad, it's hard to share. Why is it hard to share?" So my brother went into a long discourse about the trials of sin and a catechesis on the 7 deadly sins, and... Well he didn't exactly say that, but that is of course the answer. It is hard to share, because we are tainted by sin.

Any one of us could ask the same question any day of our life: "Dad, why is it hard to give of ourselves?" It is hard to give, because we wish we could think only of ourselves. I don't know about you, but I sure am glad that we have a God who thought only of us. "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, so that we might not die, but might have eternal life."
We actually do care about others!

The news this morning reported that we now have 3 options for Iraq, "Go Big," "Go Long" and "Go Home." Of course there are people who find fault with all 3 of these, which of course there is. However, I was impressed with the fault that they pointed out for "Go Home."

The news reported that if we bring all the troops home, we run the risk of abandoning the people of Iraq to all out civil war. Even though it would save more Americans, it would leave the people of Iraq extremely vulnerable. I see in this that there is at least some understanding of communio in everybody. Even some of our politicians and media recognize that we have some responsibility for others. To me this really is a sign of the beauty of God, even in the middle of war.

Heaven is for everyone. Christ is for everyone. When we abandon those in the rest of the world, we are abandoning Christ in them. Last week we celebrated the feast of St. Martin of Tours, who gave his cloak to a beggar and later saw Christ wearing the same cloak. We must remember that every person, either Iraqi or American, Muslim of Christian is simply Christ in disguise.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

You've probably seen this already but if not...

A breastfeeding mother was kicked off a Delta flight, because she would not cover her child with a blanket. As a husband of a breastfeeding mother, this seems pretty ridiculous. I particularly like this quote from Yahoo! News: "doesn't she know those things are for selling beer and cars? Any other public use is obviously obscene."

Some people have started a petition to be sent to Delta and to Congress to pass the Breastfeeding Promotion Act, which amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to protect breastfeeding mothers.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Amazing Cooking Priest!

A good priest friend of mine (he concelebrated at my wedding) from the Baltimore area is starting a show on PBS called "Grace Before Meals." He is an excellent cook, and the theme of the show is him going to families' homes and cooking dinner with them as a family. His purpose is to get people back to the family dinner table. Judging from the trailer on the website, it will be a cooking/family dynamics reality show. I don't know where you will be able to see it, but certainly check it out.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

What can you really say?

This is wonderful... ...but a lot is not so nice:
These last ones really make me the most upset. They rejected the law that minors have to notify parents before an abortion. Unless something changed that I didn't know about, minors can't vote! These are the parents saying, "I don't care if my daughter gets an abortion, and I don't even want to know." What are people thinking!?

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Prayers please.

My grandmother is in the process of dying and likely will not make it through tonight. She is 95, and my family has lived with her my whole life. Please keep her and my mother's family in your prayers tonight especially. I will keep you posted.

"Science Can't Explain It All, Says Benedict XVI"

This heading from yesterday's ZENIT news wrapup reminded me of a great article about the relationship between Science and Theology. It was written by Eric Cornell. Cornell won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2001. This article is adapted from a speech that he gave for his induction into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, so I would say it is pretty credible from the scientific standpoint as well as the religious side. The title; Why is the Sky Blue?: What Was God Thinking? Science Can't Tell

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Birth control is bad for your body!? Who would have guessed!?

I am continually baffled by the fact that people can't figure out that when you make your body stop doing what it is supposed to do, that is bad. Consider this:

"I sure feel good today. Will you hit me in the head so I have a headache?" - Ridiculous

"My blood pressure sure is good today. I better go get mad about something." - Ridiculous

"I sure do enjoy the use of my limbs. Would you break my arm, so I don't have to enjoy this any more?" - Ridiculous

"My fertility sure is working well today. I better do something to stop it." - Acceptable.

Why is that acceptable? Is there any other bodily function that when it is working right, we take medicine to make it stop working so well? I can't think of one. Why is this one area where so many people discard the best option and immediately go for second best? How often do you hear anyone promoting safer cigarettes? "Who could possibly consider not smoking at all? That would be way too hard." You don't hear that too much, but we definitely do hear it about sex. Abstinence is way too hard. We should promote something that is less effective rather than waste our time on it. I pray that some day the world will stop accepting mediocrity and start striving for the perfection that Christ modeled for us.


This is a slide from an NFP talk I have seen. It outlines the side-effects of the various methods of regulating births. Click for larger size:

The world just keeps getting more wonderful!

The only problem now is which to choose: beer or wine?

And the best part is that this only reminds us how wonderful the married life is, because when we turn to the Word that our gracious God has given us, we remember:

“Wine and music please the soul, but better than either, conjugal love.” – Sirach 40:20

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Why baseball?

With the St. Louis Cardinals, and the baseball playoffs being a common theme in my posts of late, you may be wondering why someone would care so much about something like baseball, when there are so many important things to worry about. To baseball people, it is next to impossible to explain why they like the game so much. Believe me. I tried last year to answer this exact question for my school's yearbook. I would like to share a paragraph from Ken Burns' book Baseball: An Illustrated History, which is a companion to his Baseball documentary. To me, this statement is a glimpse of the tip of the iceberg:

The historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. has remarked that we suffer today from 'too much pluribus and not enough unum.' Few things survive in these cynical days to remind us of the Union from which so many of our personal and collective blessings flow, and it is hard not to wonder, in an age when the present moment consumes and overshadows all else – our bright past and our dim unknown future – what finally does endure? What encodes and stores the genetic material of our civilization – passing down to the next generation the best of us, what we hope will mutate into betterness for our children and our posterity? Baseball provides one answer. Nothing in our daily life offers more of the comfort of continuity, the generational connection of belonging to a vast and complicated American family, the powerful sense of home, the freedom from time's constraints, and the great gift of accumulated memory than does our National Pastime.”

Saturday, October 28, 2006

World Series Champs!

The Cardinals have won their first world series in 24 years, which also happens to be the first in my lifetime! I am sure that everyone is just as excited as I am!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

The Stem Cell Debate in Missouri.

Michael J. Fox has been all over the news lately for promoting a candidate from Missouri who is promoting embryonic stem cell research, but there is another ad that hopefully will be drawing just as much attention in the very near future.

Jim Caviezel (Catholic), Everybody Loves Raymond's Patricia Heaton (Catholic) St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Jeff Suppan (Catholic), St. Louis Rams Super Bowl winning quarterback Kurt Warner (raised Catholic), and Kansas City Royals player Mike Sweeney (Check out his sweet Catholic website!) are in another ad speaking against embryonic research. You can see it here.

I had seen Heaton on the cover of Catholic Digest before, and obviously Caviezel is sincere in his faith, but I didn't know this about the others. Personally I think this is pretty impressive. Kudos to them!

BTW, Suppan pitched for the Cardinals last night, and they won. God is definitely on our side!
Interesting observation on Sunday's Gospel.
Mark 10:46-52

Every Thursday in my Scripture class we read the Gospel for the upcoming Sunday, and attempt to reflect on it. I do this as a way to get them to pay more attention to the mass. A student today made an interesting observation that I had never really considered.

The student pointed out that the way Jesus' followers rebuke Bartimaeus is almost exactly the way that the Pharisees rebuke Jesus. It is a reminder to "remove the plank from our own eye." We can get so wrapped up in our own righteousness that we are oblivious when we begin to act like those we think are less than worthy. We constantly need to remind ourselves that we are not so great that we don't need help in our own journey to Christ.

Humility is always calling!
What if Noah was here today?

In the year 2006, the Lord came unto Noah, who was now living in the United States, and said, "Once again, the earth has become wicked and over-populated, and I see the end of all flesh before me. Build another Ark and save 2 of every living thing along with a few good humans."

He gave Noah the blueprints, saying, "You have 6 months to build the Ark before I will start the unending rain for 40 days and 40 nights."

Six months later, the Lord looked down and saw Noah weeping in his yard - but no Ark. "Noah!" He roared, "I'm about to start the rain! Where is the Ark?"

"Forgive me, Lord," begged Noah, "but things have changed. I needed a building permit. I've been arguing with the inspector about the need for a sprinkler system. My neighbors claim that I've violated the neighborhood zoning laws by building the Ark in my yard and exceeding the height limitations. We had to go to the Development Appeal Board for a decision.

Then the Department of Transportation demanded a bond be posted for the future costs of moving power lines and other overhead obstructions, to clear the passage for the Ark's move to the sea. I told them that the sea would be coming to us, but they would hear nothing of it.

Getting the wood was another problem. There's a ban on cutting local trees in order to save the spotted owl. I tried to convince the environmentalists that I needed the wood to save the owls - but no go!

When I started gathering the animals, an animal rights group sued me. They insisted that I was confining wild animals against their will. They argued the accommodation was too restrictive, and it was cruel and inhumane to put so many animals in a confined space.

Then the EPA ruled that I couldn't build the Ark until they'd conducted an environmental impact study on your proposed flood.

I'm still trying to resolve a complaint with the Human Rights Commission on how many minorities I'm supposed to hire for my building crew. Immigration and Naturalization is checking the green-card status of most of the people who want to work. The trades unions say I can't use my sons. They insist I have to hire only Union workers with Ark-building experience.

To make matters worse, the IRS seized all my assets, claiming I'm trying to leave the country illegally with endangered species.

So, forgive me, Lord, but it would take at least 10 years for me to finish this Ark."

Suddenly the skies cleared, the sun began to shine, and a rainbow stretched across the sky. Noah looked up in wonder and asked, "You mean you're not going to destroy the world?"

"No," said the Lord. "The government beat me to it."

Sunday, October 22, 2006

The Beauty of the Struggle.

CBS Sunday Morning ran a segment this morning about Dean Karnazes, the Ultramarathon Man. Dean is currently running 50 marathons in 50 days in all 50 states. He is doing this with the mission of kindling a desire for physical activity in those who see him, and as I watched this article he made a very interesting and very Catholic point.

Dean stated that we [Americans] have become too comfortable in our lifestyles and our lives. He said we need to struggle a little bit to be truly happy. He said he feels the best when he must confront the struggle and the suffering of his marathons. Gee, have we ever heard anything like this before?

The redemptive power of suffering; what a wonderful lesson! Christ has shown us that suffering is a part of life, and rather than being someone that causes resentment for this world, is something that allows us to encounter the divine. In our suffering we realize the limitations of this world and yearn for the next. I always find it amazing when lessons like this pop up in popular culture, and people are amazed by them, because they are so "revolutionary." "Revolutionary" meaning not what we are used to. Thank you Dean Karnazes for reminded us of one of Christ's beautiful lessons which we so often overlook.

Friday, October 20, 2006

"The Big Guy's got quite a paint brush."

That quote from The Truman Show set the tone for my day today. It was very foggy as I drove to work this morning, and as I topped a small hill I got a face full of the sun rising over a mountain, only you couldn't see the mountain because of the fog. All I saw was an amazingly beautiful top half of the sun illuminating all the fog and making the sky glow. I wish I had had my camera, because I can't really describe it, but my point is not about the sun. My point is about God.

Sometime over the course of four years in college, I was given the blessing of understanding the transcendentals of truth, beauty, and goodness, and I am ever grateful for it. I find myself constantly being touched by these three things, and today was a plethora of beauty (and yes I know what a "plethora" is).

I love the skies here in rural Arkansas where there is no pollution. I love the Jazz Ensemble at my school, because they are excellent. I love to soak up the beauty of my wife and my son. I love all of these because the God who lovingly created them is exceedingly good. Amen! Alleluia!
"The Church teaches that the one true God, our Creator and Lord, can be known with certainty from his works, by the natural light of human reason." - CCC 47.

I told you on opening day that you needed to root, root, root, and aren't you glad you did. While the rest of the world gets more and more wrapped up in football, I will be paying attention to a real sport!

Follow them through the World Series on the blog of one of the Cardinals outfielders, John Rodriguez.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Misunderstood Apostle: Judas.

Pope Benedict XVI concluded his Wednesday audience lectures on the twelve Apostles yesterday with who else, Judas. This is very interesting to me, because I have always thought (and attempted, often vainly, to explain to others) that I we should be careful about judging Judas. After all someone had to do it.

Those who wanted Jesus dead (i.e. the devil) were afraid of what they had to do. They knew that Jesus' followers would not be too keen on their plans, so they needed a scapegoat. They needed someone to do their dirty work, and Judas fit the bill. Had there been someone else around, they might have chosen that person. And after all, Judas had help. The Holy Father points out that the Gospels "insist on another aspect." John tells us that "the devil had already induced Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot, to hand him over" (John 13:2), and he even goes on to say that "after he took the morsel, Satan entered him" (John 13:27).

This point really stuck out to me after seeing the Passion of the Christ. It was very, for lack of a better word, freaky to me and seemingly the rest of the theater when the demon shrieked at Judas. How clearly could any of us have been thinking if that is what we were up against? In the face of that kind of torment, anyone would have serious difficulty making an important decision. We are lucky though. Most of our important decisions do not regard the life and death of a loved one, let alone God himself. Judas did not have this comfort. What would we have done in this situation? Who can say.

The Holy Father reminds us that Judas' betrayal "led to the death of Jesus who transformed this tremendous torment into a space of salvific love and in self-giving to the Father." "In fact, when we think of the negative role Judas played, we must frame it in the higher way with which God disposed the events."

God's plan is not our plan. God can save us, especially when we cannot save ourselves.
Happy Feast Day!

Today is my son's first feast day. Today, please keep his life and vocation in your prayers.

St. Isaac Jogues - Pray for us!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Kevin Spacey as St. Benedict

The pictures of the saints that were included in the Lives of the Saints book that I had when I was little have forever been burned into my mind. Today I came across the same picture of St. Benedict that was in that book, and it reminded me of something. I have always thought that this picture of Benedict looks a lot like Kevin Spacey. If anyone out there ever feels like making a movie about Benedict, I think you have your man.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Rest in peace Matthew Covey.

A classmate of mine from Steubenville died this weekend. He had been a pretty good friend of mine my freshman year. He was an amazing guitarist and was always in a good mood. Please keep his soul and his family in your prayers.

Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord.
- And let perpetual light shine upon him.

May he rest in peace.
- Amen.

(I want to clarify that this is not a suicide. He died from "cliff jumping" off of a bridge into the Ohio River. This is something that countless Franciscan students have done in the past for fun. There have never been any accidents of this magnitude before.)

Monday, October 09, 2006

Big Family Haters - my #1 Pet Peeve

I was reading this article from the AP on the small increase in the US in larger families. 11 percent of births in 2004 were to women who already had 3 children, up from 10 percent the year before. That's hardly a world-changing event, but I like the direction of the change. The article is pretty balanced as well, even gets a plug in about a Roman Catholic family that refused to have birth control and wanted to have a big family. They totally miss the boat, however, on people who plan and try to have large families - like my wife and I and many of our friends from Steubenville are already putting into practice.

This article mentioned one of the things that makes me absolutely crazy about people in our world today - summarized by "the gasp," "the stare," and "the head shake." It's those middle-aged femi-crazies who stalk supermarket aisles waiting for innocent, unsuspecting women under 35 who have the unmitigated gaul to love their God, love their husband, and believe in the goodness of life enough to manifest if by having more than three children. These goulish keepers of infertility, jealousy, and the culture of death sneer, lift up their noses, and scoff at the obvious ignorance of those who clearly don't realize that pregnacy is just another way for men to enslave women and that children are a curse to the planet that will steal all its precious resources that need to be saved for baby pandas. And that's if they don't come over and tell you just how "irresponsible" you're being.

These people, honestly, make me just want to punch a hole in the wall. The absolute arrogance, the smug confidence in something so antithetical to the very essence of humanity and truth! It's insane! And they stand there like it's the most natural thing in the world to hate children, to think that the future is hopeless, and to have three condos, two cars, four dogs, and not a single person to truely pass on the goodness you've received from God. It makes me so irrationally angry I can hardly stand it. The only time I ever encountered one of these people I had to leave the store I was so angry I was actually bristling with fury. If any of these people try to say something like that to my wife...well, let's just hope for everyone's sake that doesn't happen.

I don't like sounding like Ann Coulter. The fact that this class of people evokes a reaction in me as close to hate as anything I am aware of in myself is not a good thing. Righteous anger is virtuous, but is a path that must be trodden upon with wisdom. Christ drove the money-collectors from the temple, and you better believe if one of these snippering snobs approached my wife or family with their gospel of lies, the "driving out" process would be vigorous indeed. We are not called to "tolerate" darkness, but to dispell it with the light of truth. Love the sinner, hate the sin.

Clearly, I hold nothing against those who don't have kids or those married persons who choose, for legitmate reasons, to not have a large family, or anyone who is actually infertile. I'm against those who have choosen the road of death and despair and are actually surprised when people don't want to follow them down it.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Hail to the Victors! A Fan's Tribute (before disastor strikes...)

It's been a long journey for me as a Maize and Blue fan, and I can't say there haven't been times when I wished I could just shut down the part of me that loves this team. They're a frustrating bunch, seeming to savor the sweet scent of victory, but too greedy to keep it to themselves. They blow fourth quarter leads and undefeated streaks like it's their job, maybe they just want more face-time on ESPN Classic.

But not this year! Harkening back to the Glory Days in '97 (yes, I still have the hat and the shirt from that championship run), the Winged Helmets are flying all over the field, looking like a team that could challenge for the title come January. The best part of it is that we've got that blitz-the-hell-out-of you attitude back again, the one that dares you to drop back and throw, because we can probably get to the fifth step of your drop before you do. Umm, it feels so good!

It's hard not to have the weight hanging there, in the back of my mind like the Swords of Damocles waiting to end the dream at one fell stroke. I can't help the worrying, it's genetic. My dad, the only one in the family with actual ties to Ann Arbor (engineer, graduated back before we started counting time in "years") can't watch the games anymore, they ruined too many Saturdays. I wish I had the strength of will...I can't count to number of Saturday nights I've spent, wishing to God that I could find that part of my stomach that seemed to have fallen out back in the family room by the TV. Always took at least a day to remember that life would go on, that rankings weren't everything, and I could wear all that Michigan apparell again when the season was over.

So, do I think we're going to blow it again this year? Hard to tell, but I think the ulcers are on their way. I'm just so scared that Ron English is going to lose his mind and go into "prevent defense" (more like prevent-your-team-from-winning-defense), that Lloyd will call a 1 yard pass on fourth and 5, and that the demons of the past are all-too unexorcised from the Big House.

I wouldn't have it any other way.

Wife Carrying - This is Getting Serious.

This is one of the best things I have ever seen, and it's just the thing to re-re-restart my blogging career. Here's an except from the authoritative site on the subject, and watch out for those crafty Estonians!

" Tired of football, basketball or other boring sports? Well, come to Finland for the ultimate world sports event: The Wife-Carrying World Championship.

In 1992, the people of Sonkajärvi decided that it was time to revive some long-forgotten traditions: back in the late 1800's there was in the area a brigand called Rosvo-Ronkainen, who was said to have accepted in his troops only those men who proved their worth on a challenging track. In those days, it was also a common practice to steal women from the neighbouring villages.

So that's how this small town in central Finland became the focus of attention of world media and sportshusbands and wives. From year to year a large number of competitors, public, and media from Finland to Canada attend the annual Wife-Carrying rendezvous in Sonkajärvi, doubling the population of the town for the weekend.

The Wife-Carrying World Championship is becoming increasingly popular. If he were alive today, old Rosvo-Ronkainen would have faced tough competition from husbands from as far away as Estonia, Norway, Ireland, or the United States of America. And being fit would just not be enough for Rosvo's troops taking into consideration that qualifying Wife-Carrying competitions are already being held in Estonia, Sweden, Denmark, the USA, and South Korea..."

Also on: ESPN, Wikipedia,

The dreaded "Estonian style carry" - dominating competition since 1994:

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Happy Feast Day!

What kind of Steubenville students would we be if we didn't wish the blogging world a happy feast of St. Francis. May we all be inspired by his humility.

St. Francis of Assisi - Pray for us!
"M" for Media Vendetta

The attorney for Florida Rep. Mark Foley, who is accused of sending inappropriate emails to young boys serving as pages, said yesterday that Foley had been molested by a clergyman when he was younger. The article linked above also goes on to mention that he was a Catholic from Boston.

Let me start by saying that, if this did happen it is a terrible tragedy, just as it is that it has happened to so many others. We certainly should be able to (and do) hold our priests to a higher standard. They of all people should know better than to commit such a sin.

This one report is all I have heard, and have heard nothing yet to contradict it, so I am giving Foley the benefit of the doubt and assuming that this really happened. Now, does that mean that he has an excuse for doing these same things with young boys. Absolutely not. Anyone who has been through this is another person who should know better, because they know first hand how devastating it can be to a person. I know people who have gone through sexual abuse as a child, and they did certainly did not turn to that when they got older. They turned to Christ.

What frustrates me most about this is that it seems that the media is now going to use this to shift the blame from Foley onto the Catholic Church. With all of the media's focus on "tolerance" of all, it is still mind-boggling to me how they can lead the charge on one of the last socially acceptable prejudices.

Pray for our Church, and that the hearts of the uneducated are not turned away by these things.

Monday, October 02, 2006

It's time to start looking even more awesome in your Catholic masculinity!

Lionheart Apparel is a new Christian men's clothing company. It was founded by Tarek Saab, a contestant from the Apprentice, and a Catholic U graduate. His products are t-shirts and hats with Christian symbols as logos.

Besides clothing, the company's website has other points of interest.

The "Man of the Month" is currently a musician named Creede Williams. This part of the site includes an interview with him about stayin faithful in fame, and samples of his music.

In the "Lion's Den," each Sunday "features an article from notable Christian men on topics related to Christian manhood." This week's is "Memory or Manhood?" by Kevin Vost, Psy.D.

It is definitely worth checking out.
Viva la Parenthood Revolution!

ZENIT included this article in its weekly wrap-up. It discusses the deline of mother/father families. I would have liked to link to the article, but ZENIT articles do not have their own permalinks, so here it is:

Decline of Mom-and-Pop Families
Kids Left Behind as Parenthood Is Redefined

NEW YORK, SEPT. 30, 2006 ( Family structures and parenthood roles are being redefined without sufficient consideration for the needs of children. This is the warning of a report just published that describes worldwide trends in family law and reproductive technology.

"The Revolution in Parenthood: The Emerging Global Clash Between Adult Rights and Children's Needs" is published by the Commission on Parenthood's Future. The commission "is an independent, nonpartisan group of scholars and leaders," active in the area of the family, according to a press release on the Web site of the Institute for American Values. The New York-based institute is one of the organizations behind the commission.

The author of the report is Elizabeth Marquardt, a member of the commission and author of the book, "Between Two Worlds: The Inner Lives of Children of Divorce."

The report finds that worldwide trends in law and reproductive technologies are redefining parenthood in ways that put the interests of adults before the needs of children. "The two-person mother-father model of parenthood," it states, "is being changed to meet adults' rights to children rather than children's needs to know and be raised, whenever possible, by their mother and father."

The revolution in parenthood described in the publication comprises a variety of issues: high divorce rates; single-parent childbearing; the growing use of egg and sperm donors; support for same-sex marriage; and proposals to allow children conceived with the use of sperm and egg donors to have three legal parents.

A legal revolution

The report gives a number of examples of far-reaching legal changes in families, often introduced with a minimum of debate.

-- In Canada the law allowing same-sex marriage also included a provision that eliminated the term "natural parent" in federal law, replacing it with "legal parent." With that law, the locus of power in defining who a child's parents are shifts precipitously from civil society to the state, with the consequences as yet unknown.

-- In Spain, shortly after the legalization of same-sex marriage, the government changed the format of birth certificates for all children. In the future they will read "Progenitor A" and "Progenitor B," instead of "mother" and "father."

-- In India guidelines on assisted reproductive technology issued in June 2005 state that a child born through the use of donated sperm or eggs will not have any right to know the identity of the genetic parents.

Pressure for other, more radical, changes is also under way.

-- In New Zealand and Australia, law commissions have proposed allowing children conceived with use of sperm or egg donors to have three legal parents. The proposals fail to address what would happen if the three parents break up and feud over the child.

-- There is increasing support from influential legal commissions and legal scholars in Canada and the United States for the legalization of group marriage arrangements such as polygamy and polyamory, which involves intimate relationships of three or more people.

-- In Ireland a commission on human reproduction proposed that couples who commission a child through a surrogate mother should automatically be the legal parents of the child, leaving the woman who delivers the baby with no legal standing or protection should she change her mind.

France is one of the few countries resisting the rush to change family law. A parliamentary report on the family and the rights of children, issued last January, stated that "the desire for a child seems to have become a right to a child."

The French report also recommended not legalizing same-sex marriage. Among the reasons it gave was concern about the identity and development of children when the law creates a situation in which there are "two fathers, or two mothers -- which is biologically neither real nor plausible." The parliamentary report insisted on the need for a medical justification for assisted procreation, and that the ban on surrogacy should stand.

Adults first

In "Revolution in Parenthood" author Marquardt explains that the changes in parenthood and family structures are leading to clash between children's and parent's interests. "This redefinition," she warns, "increasingly emphasizes adults' rights to children rather than children's needs to know and be raised, whenever possible, by their mother and father."

"A good society protects the interests of its most vulnerable citizens, especially children," Marquardt's report contends. But the core institution of parenthood is being fundamentally redefined, often in a way that orients it primarily around adults' rights.

A common thread in many of the changes is an alleged "right to a child." The desire for a child is indeed "a powerful force felt deep in the soul," admits Marquardt, and the inability to bear a child of one's own is often felt as an enormous loss. "But," she adds, "the rights and needs of adults who wish to bear children are not the only part of the story."

Adoption has long been available for parents unable to bear children. But the use of assisted reproduction methods has transformed the situation, leading to the deliberate separation of children from their biological mothers and fathers. Biology is obviously not everything, the report notes, but at the same time it does matter.

Family structures are also crucial for children. Studies on the lives of children of divorce show enormous negative consequences for them, not sufficiently considered when no-fault divorce was introduced.

The first generation of donor-conceived children are now reaching adulthood. They were mainly conceived by married heterosexual couples using donor sperm. Marquardt cites a number of cases where the children are now speaking out about the powerful impact on their identity when adults purposefully conceive a child with the clear intention of separating that child from a biological parent. The young people often say they were denied the birthright of being raised by or at least knowing about their biological fathers.

In fact, many of these teen-agers and adults are now forming organizations and are using the Internet to try to contact their sperm donors and find half siblings conceived with the same sperm.


One issue raised by the offspring of donor children is that the informed consent of the most vulnerable party, the child, is not obtained in reproductive technology procedures that intentionally separate children from one or both of their biological parents.

"Revolution in Parenthood" observes that in recent decades a powerful consensus among social scientists has emerged about the benefits of marriage for children. The current redefinition of parenthood, the report says, is reshaping culture and legal systems "in ways that contribute to further deep uncertainties in the meanings of fatherhood and motherhood."

For example, in the United States at least 10 states allow someone with no biological or adoptive relationship to a child, and no marital relationship to a child's parent, to be assigned parental rights and responsibilities as a psychological or de facto parent.

"In law and culture, the two-natural-parent, mother-father model is falling away, replaced with the idea that children are fine with any one or more adults being called their parents, so long as the appointed parents are nice people," the report comments.

These changes will have far-reaching consequences for the family, children and society. "Those of us who are concerned," concludes the report, "can and should take up and lead a debate about the lives of children and the future of parenthood."

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

It's a small world after all!

My wife gets a Catholic parenting magazine from Our Sunday Visitor, and when her issue came this past Saturday, there was another copy sticking to it. When I looked at the name and address on the second issue, I immediately noticed that it belonged to the mother of one of my students. Now this might not seem like much of shock at a local parish school, but seeing that my school is a boarding school, and the other family lives an hour away in a town of 80,000 people, it was a little more striking.

It is amazing to me how small the world of the Catholic Church is. Things like this actually seem to happen fairly often. People say that we can be connected to anyone on the planet within six degrees, but I think it has to be even closer in the Church.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

The New Numa

If you don't know about Gary Brolsma and the Numa Numa dance, you are missing out. This video became extremely popular during my senior year of college and the singing and dancing of it at my wedding dance prompted our DJ to say, "I have never seen a group with this much energy!"

Anyway, Gary is back with a website and a new video, which is not nearly as funny, but considering how embarrassed he was about the first one being seen by millions, it is nice to see him back in the saddle. He deserves to profit from it.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

They have the Diocese on computers now! Finally!

I am sure that as you read this everyone will run through a long list of comments regarding the behind-the-times nature of us hicks out here in the backwoods of Arkansas, but the Diocese of Little Rock finally has an official website. Can you believe it? I mean Al Gore only invented the internet about 30 years ago!

Check it out.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Thank you Pope John Paul!

I caught a few seconds of the Today Show the other day, and one of the stories they were covering was a preacher who is getting recognition for what he is teaching about faith and sexuality. They said that it was "very frank" talk about sex, love, and life. One of their comments particularly struck me though.

Lester Holt said that the things the preacher has been saying are things that you "wouldn't normally expect to hear from the pulpit" (paraphrased). My first reaction to this was "why wouldn't you expect to hear about sex from the pulpit?", and then it hit me: not everyone knows the great blessing that was given to us by Pope John Paul, Theology of the Body.

What a blessing it is that we live in the time of a pope with such a dynamic and beautiful vision of human sexuality, who not only beheld the vision, but put it into words for all to hear. I had the great privilege of getting married during this era of Theology of the Body, and I am eternally grateful to our great and glorious God for making us in his image this way, and for giving us such a great shepherd to show us the way to live it.

Thank you.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Prayers still needed.

I asked for prayers a couple weeks ago for my brother and his wife. They did in fact have a miscarriage, and tomorrow will be going through a DNC. Please keep them and their family in your prayers tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Awesome Christian music. Jimmy Needham.

My biggest complain about Christian music has always been that most Christian artists are not as talented as their secular counterparts. The discovery of Air1 radio has shown me that that is not always the case, however, if you have never been convinced, I want to recommend Jimmy Needham.

I heard a song of his (Lost at Sea) yesterday and thought it was amazing. A lot of the most musically talented Christian groups (Lifehouse, Switchfoot, etc.) are not distinctly Christian in their lyrics. Well Jimmy Needham is blatantly Christian and blatantly freakin’ awesome on the guitar! Check out some of his songs on his myspace music page.

If you like music, this is worth your time.
If you like Christ, this is worth your time.
If you like both, you can’t miss!

Save the Jordan River.

This has probably been an ongoing thing, but I heard a news story this morning talking about one of the world's most sacred rivers being polluted. My first thought was the Ganges, so when they said the Jordan, I was a bit surprised.

"The faithful wet their faces and arms, shouting “amen” and “hallelujah” after each baptism, unaware that just downstream, raw sewage was flowing into the water.

That’s the split personality of one of the world’s most sacred rivers."

How's this for a fish tale?

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Win one for Il Papa!

For the Catholic baseball fan, this post and video from the Holy Whapping is a can't miss! After all, he did start the Vatican sports department!
Waht's taht?

The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig
to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy,
it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae.

The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm.

Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Where were you?

I was walking to class at Franciscan, and I overheard a professor telling a colleague that "two planes had crashed," and I took that to mean two planes had collided on a runway somewhere. When class was over I rushed to a TV to find out about the planes, and then I saw the truth. The campus, like the rest of the world, was glued to the TV for the next few days.

A friend of mine who lived across the hall was from Long Island, and his dad was a NYC fireman. He was beside himself, and he couldn't get through to his parents, because all the phone lines were tied up. (His dad was okay)

There were prayer services set up on campus for the rest of the day. The priests were outside on the grass hearing confessions, and the line was over a hundred feet long. Later that night, they set up a prayer vigil and Eucharistic adoration where the priests had been.

It was an amazing place to be. I got to see the reactions of people from all over the country. They, like everyone else it seems, turned to God in time of need.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Help fight diabetes.

Mr wife's maid of honor is walking in a fund raiser for the American Diabetes Association. If anyone would like to help sponsor her click here. We know several people with diabetes, including my father-in-law and Isaac's godfather, so this is definitely something that can touch many lives.

Here is her request:

I am proud to let you know that I will be walking in the America's Walk for Diabetes fund-raising event to benefit the American Diabetes Association. I am taking part in this event because I believe in and support the Association's mission: to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes.

You can help by supporting my fund-raising efforts with a generous contribution. Did you know that more than 20 million Americans suffer from diabetes and another 40 million are at risk for developing diabetes? Your gift can make a difference.

It is fast and easy to support this great cause. You can make your donation online by clicking the link at the bottom of this message. If you want to do even more to help, please consider joining me in this great event. Our efforts will help set the pace in the fight against diabetes.

I greatly appreciate your support and will keep you posted on my progress. Thank you very much!

More information on the American Diabetes Association, its programs and diabetes in general can be found at the Association's Web site:

For more information on America's Walk for Diabetes, please visit

Thursday, September 07, 2006

As a baseball fan you've gotta love it.

Rookie Anibal Sanchez of the Florida Marlins, making just his 13th big league start, made history by throwing a no-hitter.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

C'mon, is there really any question as to who is cuter?!

I know little miss Cruise is getting all the press, but I think baby Isaac wins hands down. Seriously, what is up with that hair?

Monday, September 04, 2006

A Tragic Loss

We all knew it would happen someday, but it is shocking and sad nonetheless. Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter, leaves behind a wife, a daughter, and a son who now need our prayers. He also departs from his countless fans to whom he brought much joy with each adventure. One of the Google’s quotes of the day today is from E. E. Cummings:

"The most wasted of all days is one without laughter."

There will certainly be more wasted days now without Steve.

Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord.
And let perpetual light shine upon him.
Similarities in the Saints

Each day in my class I write the names of the day's saints from Lives of the Saints volumes I and II on the board. Something that I have always noticed is that the saints who share a feast day very often have some remarkable similarities (I am not even talking about those who are grouped together on the calendar).

For example, last week St. Augustine and St. Moses the Black shared August 28, and both lived lives of terrible debauchery before turning to Christ. Today St. Rosalia and St. Ida are both descendants of Charlemagne although from the 12th and 9th centuries respectively.

It always makes me wonder if there is anything more to it in God's plan.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

These are starting to pile up now...

Another piece today from the WSJ about the declining birth rates around the world. This is an economist's view on the problem, and I think he really misses the ball on the root cause - a fundamental shift in the view of the human person from one of dignity to one of utility. When children are viewed through the lens of economic utility instead of a gift from God, it's a whole new ball game with totally different rules. And I'd have to say that the world is losing at its own game.

Here's the article, and the comments by some that read it, pretty interesting.
Last WSJ article post.
Procreate and Dominate Post.

Let me know what you think.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Prayers please.

My brother and his wife recently found out they were pregnant with number 4. When they went in for their first checkup this week, they were unable to find a heartbeat. They expected that the baby should be about 10 weeks along, so a heartbeat is possible, but when they looked at the baby he only looked to be 5 weeks. Please keep them in your prayers over the next few days.

St. Gerard Mejella - Pray for us!
Papa just keeps on going doesn't he.

My wife and I just sat down in the San Francisco Bread Co. (which is actually where I am writing this) and on their flat panel big screen is a CNN special about the last hours of Pope John Paul. At the time of his death, it was amazing the way that he was evangelizing the whole world even in his last hours, but that his witness is so strong that people are still turning to him almost a year and half after his death is awe-inspiring. I guess he wasn't ready to stop.
Would you trade $10 for a drawing of a $10 bill?

I just saw J. S. G. Boggs in National Geographic. He draws very realistic pictures of currency, and tries to convince merchants to trade his art for the corresponding amount of service. He then gives the receipt to art collectors who often track down the drawing and trade it for thousands.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Can a Catholic Be a Democrat?

This could be an interesting book.

When author David Carlin was a young man, it was scandalous for a good Catholic to be anything but a good Democrat. In the pews, pubs, and union halls of America's cities, millions of poor European immigrants and their children pledged allegiance to the Church of Rome and the party of FDR.

All that changed in the 1960s, with the rise of a new kind of Democrat: wealthy, secular, ideological.

Even as Carlin served the party he loved -- twelve years as a Rhode Island state senator and once a candidate for Congress -- he could only watch in dismay as its national leaders abandoned their blue-collar, pro-life, and religious constituencies and took up with NOW, Hollywood, and the abortion lobby.

So complete has been this transformation that we no longer speak of a natural alliance between Catholics and the Democratic Party. Indeed, Carlin here asks whether today it's even possible to be both a faithful Catholic and a Democratic true believer.

A veteran sociologist, philosophy professor, and author of The Decline and Fall of the Catholic Church in America, Carlin shows how his party and his religion have taken opposite sides in the Culture War. On issues of human life, sex, faith, morality, suffering -- and the public policies that stem from them -- the modern, secularist Democratic Party has become the enemy of Catholicism; indeed, of all traditional religions.

Carlin shatters the excuses that Catholic Democratic politicians employ in a vain attempt to reconcile their faith and their votes, and then, with what he calls the "political equivalent of a broken heart," he examines his own political conscience. As a faithful Catholic and a Democrat approaching his seventieth year, must he now leave the party he's called home since birth?

David Carlin's arguments challenge all religious Democrats to ask themselves the same question.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Free money from an ATM!

I guess this is the same principle as the Arizona voting lottery, although not as risky.

Monday, August 28, 2006

A reminder of things I find troubling in our world.

My wife and I, and of course the baby, had a little date this weekend. Since not everything is at your fingertips in rural Arkansas, we made the 45 minute trek to Red Lobster in Ft. Smith. We entered and were seated with a little stand to hold Isaac's car seat, and we ordered a margarita and an amaretto sour. My wife and I are 24 and 23 respectively and most people say we look younger, so we got carded as we usually do. Being carded typically frustrates me. Not because they do it, but because they usually make some kind of comment like, "Take it as a compliment," or "You'll appreciate it when you get older." Ha Ha.

This time however carried an added annoyance. Why is it that it is not a big deal for us to have a child at our age, but it is have a drink? Say they thought we were under 21, which they obviously thought was possible, (yes, I know they are supposed to card anyone who looks under 27 or whatever, but that is only because it is possible that they are under 21.) no one batted an eye at us having a child, but of course it would be the end of the world for someone underage to have a drink. You also have to remember that this is the bible belt, so I am sure there were plenty of people in there who think having a drink at any age will take you straight to Hell (and if you've never been in the bible belt, no, I'm not exaggerating).

I am sure that this was not nearly this complex to anyone else. I am sure that our waiter never even thought about these things, but that is essentially my point. If someone is responsible enough to care for the life and soul of another human being, one who is absolutely 100% reliant on them, shouldn't they be responsible enough to have a drink of alcohol? The problem is not that our waiter doesn't believe this. The problem is that there are so many people who do both, but are far from responsible enough for either.

It is simply sad to me that we see so much about keeping young people safe from drinking and smoking, but so little about keeping them chaste.
Husbands love your wives.

This weekend saw one of the most misinterpreted passages of Scripture be read at mass. It truly does have far greater meaning to me now being married. It is one of those reading that I yearn for everyone who hears it to understand its truth. So, rather than ramble on in my own explanation of the reading, I would like to refer you to a beautiful and poignant expounding by Fr. Steven Hamilton of Catholic Ragemonkey. Enjoy!

Wives and husbands, you know what to do!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

The Colbert Report - A Great Show or the Greatest Show?

Stephen Colbert is a comedian who has become wildly popular in the last two years for a number of reasons, the most important being that the guy is hilarious. Irreverent? Yes. Sometimes crude? Yes. But putting these aside, the guy has some real creative genius. My favorite segment of his show, which unfortunately I can only watch rarely, is "Better Know a District," a 433 part series on the congressional districts and those who represent them. Watch a few of these and tell me you didn't laugh. My favorites (so far) are the District of Columbia, California's 6th, and Georgia's 8th - the Fightin' 8th!

Baby Grace - Rest in Peace Little Angel

Grace Elizabeth passed away in the early hours on Saturday, August 26th, 2006. After a vailent struggle for life against infection and lung collapse, her little heart was just too weak to carry on. She was a inspiration to all around her, and inspired countless acts of generosity. Thanks to all those who answered the call for prayer.

A friend of the family created a Paypal donation site a few days before she died, but if anyone would like to make a donation to help the family, please visit
Hurricane Ernesto Threatens Florida

Excellent coverage of this ongoing drama can be found at The Irish Trojan Blog, a record kept by another ND Law student (how he has time for this I have no idea...). He's "fanatical" about hurricanes if you couldn't tell.

National Hurricane Center
FoxNews - Florida Keys endangered
CNN - downgrade to tropical storm

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Boston Catholic Charity Board Members Resign Because Bishop Does The Right Thing

Picked up by the Mallon's Media Watch blog, this story is shocking. Members of the board of Catholic Charities resigned because the Bishop called for Catholic relief agencies, e.g. Catholic Charities, to be exempt from laws requiring these agencies to place some children in gay couple homes.

These board members them had the unmitigated gaul to state that the Bishop's ruling undermined their "moral priority of helping vulnerable children find loving homes." These people, who undoubtably have done considerable good vicariously through this agency, have stepped over the line with that statement. How can a home that by its very construction defies the natural order of Love hope to be one in which Love is welcomed and fostered? I can only speculate that they have allowed the sentimentality of their positions, and I am sure it is a very strong pull, to cloud their judgement of the higher orders of truth.

Mad props to the Bishop of Boston for getting this one right.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Arizona Voting Lottery

Here's a well-thought response to the Arizona Voting Lottery idea. With not at all the angle I was expecting, Jeff Jacoby of the Boston Globe walks though the logic following the assumption that voter turnout is the proper measure of democratic health. Once you start there, anything, including lotteries or giveaways, that can improve that number should make the state healthier. He's got a good read on the situation, and I find myself coming to the same conclusion: voter turnout is not the best measure of democratic health, and even if it was, the best way to improve it is to give honest, conscientious citizens real reasons, real choices at the ballot. Far too many incumbents win elections because of gerrymandered districts, georgraphically tortured to preserve the status quo. Let's give people real political debate over things that matter, and then see how healthy we look.
Procreate and Dominate (Revisited)

As illustrated here at 40:20 some time ago, more and more people are starting to take notice of the repurcussions to society caused by the contraceptive mentality. Here's another gem from the Wall Street Journal. This one focuses on the coming shift in electoral politics as conservatives continue to out-produce liberals on an accelerating basis.
How dare they!

Does anyone else find this a bit silly? Someone in Britain is mad, because Tom and Jerry, yes Tom and Jerry, smoke in a couple of cartoons.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Russian Climbing Video

An incredible display of agility, strength, and freakin' awesomeness! This kind of stuff makes me wish me parents had made me be a dorky gymnast when I was a kid. I may do it to my boys when I get the chance...

Baby Grace

My 1 pound, 1 ounce niece Grace Elizabeth was born on Saturday at 11:59:55 PM. She was born at 24 weeks along, and is only 11 inches long. But, despite her size, she's already a fighter. My wife and I drove up to see her and we were astounded by her tiny perfection. These pictures don't do her justice, she's already quite the looker.

Please keep her in your prayers, as things will be touch and go for some time now.