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: http://www.diabetes.org/home.jsp

For more information on America's Walk for Diabetes, please visit http://walk.diabetes.org/site/PageServer?pagename=AWD_homepage.

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.