Thursday, May 31, 2007

Michael to the Principal's Office

Yes, as a lad, I spent more time in the Principal's office than the man himself, so much that he even let me redecorate to my tastes, which is where my design career first got it's start.

Last night I had one of those panicked bits of nostalgia, when Monsignor Mosley came up to me in church during Adoration, and asked me to call him at the rectory the next day. I quietly agreed, and of course went through the mental list of what he might want.

"Michael, we changed our mind, the Protestants can have you back"

"Michael, a good Catholic would never wear that tie with those slacks"

"Do you hafta listen to P.O.D. as you drive up to the church?"

"Mike, we put money into the basket, we don't make change from it"

"You hung out with Dawn Eden, and didn't call me?"

and the list goes on, because when you combine my over caffeinated imagination with an Al Gorey paranoia, you can easily arrive at something more fantastically distorted than a Michael Moore "reality" flick.

Kidding aside, as I am very excited that they may have use for this silly wannabe monk somewhere in the church. Whether it be helping with the Teen group, Alter service, or cleaning the bathroons; if I am serving my church, than I am serving my King . . .and what more could anyone ask?

"Go in Peace, to Love and to Serve!"

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The DC Dawn

Met my cyber-Yoda last night, as the charming Miss Dawn Eden invited some of us bloggers to a little get together at a DC coffeehouse (to all of you who know me well, YES I brought Berger Cookies, Yes I brought music, and Yes, I babbled too much . . .note to self, duct tape mouth!). While it was an extreme pleasure to meet my world wide muse, I must also say that I could have easily talked with any one of the invitees for hours, as it truly was a lovely group of people . . .and in Dupont Circle? who woulda thunk it? even the lurkers (who we kept veiled at another table) were a pleasant bunch.

It was only a little over six months ago that I first heard of Miss Eden, and/or ever really had read a blog (let alone think to write one). I was looking for something to do one weekend, and saw that a Theology of the Body group was hosting a talk on chastity, by some ex-Rock historian. O.K., I'll admit, that the last part peaked my interest, but I do own TotB (and will finish it one day), and have read and listened to most of the Christopher West stuff. Unfortunately I didn't make it to the talk, but I did end up reading her wonderful book, "The Thrill of the Chaste"(and since have given out about a dozen copies, and also now have a signed copy myself), even wrote a post about it, which she mentioned at her blog (I had hit the big time with my own fifteen seconds of fame).

Getting a new car, meeting a personal hero, as well as an incredible group of sincere Christians (and in the middle of enemy territory), had me way too excited to sleep last night, and I was up until almost 11pm (O: (yes, I'm old), so I am a wee bit tired this morning, and beg your pardon for my quick posting.

Off to be with my new silver metallic love, God's blessing to all,

It's a CRV!

I'll be handing out cigars later, as soon as I recover from the very long labour (ie, me begging bossman for a vehicle with a sun roof). Shallow or not, I am a very happy camper, and may soon post a youtube of me doing the "new car" dance .

For all of you who didn't know, CRV stands for
Christian Rock Vehicle!

I have been pondering if there be any meaning to a series of "new" in my life (car, laptop, house,step-mommy, . ., etc.), all in a rather close span of time. Is God calling for a change? am I being surrounded by "stuff", to see if my focus wanders away from the cross (sadly, it does all too easily without "stuff")? or is God taking care of material needs that a husband should have before he drops the "one" in my life (please, no pun about #2, and last years folly)?, or do I drink too much coffee while pondering things that God is complete control of anyway?

yes, it's the latter, but if I didn't do the coffee/ponder thing, than my blog would look like this

Anyhoo, thanks for your prayers, and PLEASE keep'em coming!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

You Strad!

I am positive this thought has been expressed before, but why let that stop me now.
Today I realized that we are all as "wonderfully made", and more precious than a Stradivarius violin. Like the famed instrument, each one of us is completely unique, with the ability to fully enliven one particular piece of music.

Unlike a "Strad", we get to choose who we shall have play us. We are free to let the world treat us like a dime store fiddle at a backyard hoedown, or we can place ourselves in the loving hands of the Master musician, who alone knows the glorious melody we were born to play.
"I will sing a new song,
I know it will be mine,
because it is His.

God Made you Special, and He loves you Very Much!

Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers - The Waiting

"You take it on faith,
you take it to the heart
The waiting is the hardest part"

"Yes, I am coming soon."

Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

Monday, May 28, 2007

A Gus Tin

"Strive to acquire the virtues you think your neighbors' lack, and then you will no longer see their defects, because you yourself will not have them"

St. Augustine

Non Dating Tip #72 : No "L"s in Ikea

If, like me, you are not dating, or are even perhaps an "un-date-able" (I may fit that description as well); than under no circumstance are you to go to an Ikea . . .especially on the weekend.

I made this drastic error yesterday, and was surrounded by "happy loving couples" and young families, who's main purpose in being there, it seemed, was to help hi lite the big "L" on my forehead. Everywhere I turned there was this cute little pair of happiness, list in hand, as they planned this part of their life together . . .ugh!

If, by some chance, I did spy someone alone (I seemed to notice the attractive women . . .go figure?), it was only a matter of counting down from 10, until partner arrived . . .doh!

I am actually surprised there isn't a silent "single person" alarm, so that customer service can be alerted, and have us quietly removed (There is a similar alarm when entering DC, but it goes off only if any one tries to bring in an original thought . . .I think we bought it from Hollywood).

I don't know if it's just that it's Spring, or that lately very attractive woman having been flirting with me (also because it's Spring), or that this is a testing of my "one year"of discerning, or that God has finally said "enough Michael, get thee a wife!" . . .but whatever, I have felt the desire to go on a date, with my Ikea adventure seeming to amplify that in me.

Also affecting my present state of longing for a wife and family, is my recent purchase of the CD "Lovers" by the husband and wife team known as Rich Creamy Paint. Originally a solo project, Rich and Mindy Painter chose to make beautiful lo-fi music together, and became a duet after their marriage (is that redundant?). The tracks on "Lovers" are filled with lyrics of the God given love these two kids have for each other. Songs that immediately put a smile on yer face, until the dawning realization that you yourself may never again experience that form of love, and out comes a Dashboard Confessional disc (O:

There is no doubt that I love God, am in love with God, or that I only wish to serve God . . .it is just the "how" I am having problems with (as in alone or solo . . .and yes, I know I'm never alone). Is my vocation married life?, my past seems to holler "no", but only a fool listens to their past, the wise man seeks out God (and I did play a Wise man in a Nativity story in 7th grade). Being that Spring is one of the possibilities for my present mood, me thinks, in either event, it behooves me to wait until at least Summer (yes, I just wrote "behooves").

I did notice that at least all the "L"s also had the pointing fingering aiming towards heaven, so God bless us losers in the arena rock of love .Matt 16:25

Anyhow, please say a prayer for me, that I will hear and carry out His perfect will for my life.
thanks, D'art

T-shirt 2

This really isn't just a crass lil' question, as honestly, I am constantly getting caught in the act of staring at chests (male or female), trying to read or decipher, the t-shirt covering them. This would just be my own little preemptive response (O:

and yes, maybe this is something I should mention to my spiritual director

Sunday, May 27, 2007

A Horse of a Different Color

. . .or Donkey, as the political symbolism goes.

It was brought to my attention yesterday, that if Barack Obama was just another Caucasian democratic contender, his lack of experience coupled with his dopey opie "used car salesman" grin, would not even have gotten him noticed, let alone afforded him bumper sticker space on the back of so many $85,000 Volvos (next to the "feed the poor" and Ivy league college stickers).

I was hanging out with an old friend yesterday, who happens to share similar melanin levels with the Senator from Illinois, and he voiced a statement, that (me) as a pigment challenge American, could not (lest fear the wrath and bad hair of Rev. Al Sharpton). Q told me that he doesn't know one other black person who would vote for Obama, and more interestingly, that he feels most of the white folks who are supporting him are doing it for culture shock value or liberal brownie points.

He compared Barack supporters to the "lil' white college girls" who often dated him when he was younger, partially with the hope of bringing him home to freak out their parents, or just to feel "radical" around their friends. Being an ex-long haired rocker dude, I could relate, as a number of lil' coeds played that same game with the monkster (except parents always ended up liking me, which would annoy the heck out of the silly ex-debutantes).

*not surprisingly, the above pic was found on my first "Obama" image search

We also talked about the "look at me I am not racist, I am voting for Obama" people, who are usually the same sort who are quick to brag at having gay or Muslim friends (or whatever group they think is anti-establishment), yet couldn't (wouldn't) tell ya if they have any friends who are Christian. These folks can usually be found in a Toyota Prius, proudly driving below the speed limit while in the fast lane (growing in smugness as the line behind them increases), while on their way to the local Unitarian Universalist vegetarian co-op / "church". It really is funny that folks who boast of not being bigoted, tend to be able to (and with great enthusiasm) list the "politically correct" race, creed, and sexual preference of everyone they know.

The odd thing is that my friend actually leans to the left on most issues, but like me, can't find any "real" potential candidate to support (Brownback rocks, but I fear won't make it to the final showdown). I was happy that he agreed with my statement that "how come I can admit that Bush is an idiot, but the left can't be that honest about Hilary?"

Anyhow, we both also agreed that whoever wins in 2008, we are obligated to pray for that person, as in the end, it is God not man, who gave them the authority.

Disagree with your Leaders if you must,
but Always pray for them!

T-Shirt /Bumper Sticker idea

If we Catholics tithed as well as many of our Evangelical brothers,
we would no longer need Bingo night.

Just think, there was a time when Catholics did tithe well, and because of that, Catholic schools offered free admission. I do think that tithing is similar to our stand against artificial birth control, in that both show a trust (or lack of trust) in God's provision.

True "Fair Tax" : All of our money is God's, He only askes for 10%

Saturday, May 26, 2007

The News Knew

Listening to one of my Covers cds, and came across The Early November's beautiful acoustic version of "The Power of Love" by Huey Lewis & the News, and was pleasantly surprised by the lyrics.

The power of love is a curious thing
Make a one man weep, make another man sing
Change a hawk to a little white dove
More than a feeling thats the power of love

Tougher than diamonds, rich like cream
Stronger and harder than a bad girls dream
Make a bad one good make a wrong one right
Power of love that keeps you home at night

Chorus 1 :
You dont need money, dont take fame
Dont need no credit card to ride this train
Its strong and its sudden and its cruel sometimes
But it might just save your life
Thats the power of love
Thats the power of love

First time you feel it, it might make you sad
Next time you feel it it might make you mad
But youll be glad baby when youve found
Thats the power makes the world goround

Chorus 2 :
And it dont take money, dont take fame
Dont need no credit card to ride this train
Its strong and its sudden it can be cruel sometimes
But it might just save your life

They say that all in love is fair
Yeah, but you dont care
But you know what to do
When it gets hold of you
And with a little help from above
You feel the power of love
You feel the power of love
Can you feel it ?

Chorus 3 :
It dont take money and it dont take fame
Dont need no credit card to ride this train
Tougher than diamonds and stronger than steel
You wont feel nothin till you feel
You feel the power, just the power of love
Thats the power, thats the power of love
You feel the power of love
You feel the power of love
Feel the power of love

Ode to a Good Boss

With me in a mighty battle with my employer over my next vehicle, mixed with the confusion associated with the recent Italy non-adventure, I had forgotten how blessed I am to work for the man.

The fact that I am battling at all, is testament to how his mentoring has helped shape me into the confident person that writes this here blog, as in the past I woulda just grinned, bared, and resented it. I must admit it took me sometime to realize that I would not get fired for stating my opinion . . .said "no" to a heck of a lot, but still employed. The "no"'s I hear are from a person who has been in my industry for over thirty years, and as much as I hate to admit it, he is almost always right!

That "always being right" thing took me a while to get used to, because naturally I thought that moniker belonged to me, but in the end is the main reason I am known to say that "I respect my boss more than anyone I have ever worked for". It wasn't because he was my pal, but completely out of sincere respect for him as a businessman.

Respecting, and even liking, the boss dude, on a personal level didn't happen until 2 years ago this very weekend. His son and I were checking out my new apartment in DC, and on the ride home, J told me that his father had just donated almost half a million to a church in Turkey, something I still remind myself when I need a little motivation (our biggest competitor is a big sponsor of Planned Parenthood). Later that weekend, while trying to move into the new place, I managed to threw my back out (I tried to move solo, as friends are scarce on a holiday weekend when manual labor is involved . . .and I have a lot of stuff!). When I called on Tuesday to say I damaged my back, bossman than replied, "O.K., I'll call you back in a bit", which confused me just a tad. When he does call back, it's to say that "they'll be right up", which also confused me. Seems my boss organized his own workers and delivery trucks, to come up to my old place in Baltimore, to finish moving me . . .and he paid them!!!!

Since then, during a particularly bad cold season, I watched a pallet of juicers arrive at our warehouse, one for each employee (granted I have never used mine, but the sentiment is what's truly important). On any of our desks, you are apt to find vitamins and Cod Liver oil, that my employer constantly provides (whatever you think about Cod Liver oil, you have to at least agree it is a very generous thing), as well as books on health and nutrition. Once, he had me run out to the CVS for aloe, because one of my coworkers had gotten a very bad sunburn over the weekend. I am also quite sure that he does a lot more than I see, as he never does any of these things for personal glory, but just because they are the right things to do.

After last year's "engagement folly", it was both comforting, and a little annoying, how my boss seemed to keep an eye on me , even taking me to Utah for a couple a days to get me away from everything. He had even previously offered to send the lovely redhead and myself to Capri for our honeymoon.

Professionally, he constantly asks my opinion on important decisions (me thinks, more out of respect for me, than the genuine need for help), and not the least of which are my ideas for new designs for our moulding . This being a big factor in my personal growth, especially in the area of self confidence (which is even starting to drift into "cocky" land, so me needs to be reading the lives of the Saints more).

So when all is said and done, and whether next week I am driving a Jeep or a CRV, I know that I have been very blessed to work for, and with, the person who I sometimes call "sir".

um, now can I have a raise? (O:

Friday, May 25, 2007

Bonzo goes to Washington

Woh hoh, Gotta get outta here

Weekend vid for travelers.

The tune is about God, but the "suits" made 'em put a girl in the video (O:

Relient K - Be My Escape

I've given up, on giving up slowly
I'm blending in, so you won't even know me
Apart from this whole world that shares my fate
This one last bullet you mention
Is my one last shot at redemption
Cause I know, to live, you must give your life away

And I've been housing all this doubt
And insecurity
And I've been locked inside that house
All the while, you hold the key
And I've been dying to get out
And that might be the death of me
And even though there's no way of knowing
Where to go, I promise I'm going because

I gotta get outta here
I'm stuck inside this rut that I fell into by mistake
I gotta get outta here
And I'm begging you, I'm begging you, I'm begging you to be my escape

I've given up, on doing this alone now
Cause I've failed and I'm ready to be shown how
You SHOWED me the way, and I'm trying to get there
And this life sentence that I'm serving
I admit that I'm every bit deserving
But the beauty of grace is that it makes life not fair

Cause I've been housing all this doubt
And insecurity
And the while, you hold the key
And I've been dying to get out
And that might be the death of me
And even though there's no way of knowing
Where to go, I promise I'm going because

I gotta get outta here
Cause I'm afraid that this complacency is something I can't shake, yeah
I gotta get outta here
And I'm begging you, I'm begging you, I'm begging you to be my escape

I am a hostage to my own humanity
Self-detained, and forced to live in this mess I've made
And all I'm asking is for You to do what you can with me
But I can't ask You to give what You already gave

Cause I've been housing all this doubt
And insecurity
And I've been locked inside that house
All the while, you hold the key
And I've been dying to get out
And that might be the death of me
And even though there's no way of knowing
Where to go, I promise I'm going because

I gotta get outta here
I'm stuck inside this rut that I fell into by mistake
I gotta get outta here
And I'm begging you, I'm begging you, I'm begging you to be my escape

I fought you for so long
I should've let you win
Oh, how we regret those things we do
And all I was trying to do was save my own skin
Oh-o, but so were you
So were you

Ignatian Station

I am very privileged to attend an extremely interesting Young Adult Bible Study on Tuesday evenings (mostly privileged that they allow me to pretend I am at once young, and an adult). It is both a scholarly and contemplative group, mainly due to the fact that our leader is one of those wacky Franciscans from Steubenville.

This week we shook things up, foregoing our chosen form of prayerful study (lectio divina), to have a guest speaker instruct us in the ways of Ignatian Spirituality (yes, we're a rowdy bunch). This was of extreme interest to me, as discerning my vocation is one thing, but then to choose an order, will be whole new bag of Fritos.

Kathleen, our speaker, shared the history of St. Ignatus, discussed what distinguished Jesuits from other orders, and instructed us in both the Examen and the Spiritual Exercises. The Exercises were particularly fascinating to me, as they require the mixture of the Gospels with the imagination (and asking me to use my imagination is somewhat like asking me to breathe). You are not only to read the passage, but to enter into the story and become part of it.

So at Adoration this week, I tried the Exercise on my own, using the day's reading as my Gospel selection. Being that it was John 17, and is part of Jesus' "great prayer", I assumed it would be difficult to imagine myself in a prayer setting, and almost chose a different reading. I read our Lord's petition for his disciples, and started my first part of the exercise.

Because of the day's earlier excitement, and assuming that Jesus was alone, I pictured myself as a young fawn who wanders into the part of the forest where Christ is in prayer. I found the Good Shepherd gently petting my head as He lifted up prayers to His Father. My deer self (no pun intended), then curled up in my Savior's lap, while listening to the words "keep them from the Evil One".

I soon realized that He would not have been alone, and saw myself in a circle of men, knelt down humbly before their King. His hands lifted up, as to reveal His words to not only be a prayer, but a blessing, as He consecrated the Apostles (consecrated in Truth).

I asked Him if this was meant for me, or just those called. If I am to be one of His consecrated servants, or serve in another way.

"You are mine" was all I heard, and this will have me a pondering for days to come. Mainly, I gathered that it's meaning was "relax", either way "You are Mine"

and in the case any of you have forgotten, you too, are indeed His!,
and oh, how He so loves you!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Lil' Blessings in my Backyard


Wasn't home ten minutes when I first spy momma deer out of the window of my humble NW-DC flat. Soon this little one shows up, and I was fortunate enough to get these shots, before they decide to be off.

Momma jumped the neighbor's fence, but my lil' buddy couldn't quite do it. Frustrated, the fawn tried to get through the fence, and proceeded to get stuck half way. I ran outside, and quickly freed my lil' blessing (while of course, breaking my neighbor's fence . . .which I have since repaired). I must admit, that I gave a quick pet to the little one, in exchange for it's freedom.

So many worries of late, all melting away, by the gift of the presence of two simple creatures into my backyard yard.

Thank you God,
for always knowing what I need, despite what I think I want.

O.K., the amazing Jars o' Clay are not really, as of yet, playing at my friend's wedding, but I just thought I'd have a lil' fun. Ya gotta admit, they do kinda look like they just came off a successful wedding/junior prom/Bar Mitzvah tour (O:

I have written the band, in hopes of getting at least the singer to stop by the wedding. I am the Best Man, and I wanna do something reallllly special! (my friend is computer phobic, so he doesn't read my blog, or I wouldn't a mentioned it). I almost had them sing the wonderful "Fly Farther", as I proposed to the lovely redhead from last year, as we attended a Jars performance the evening of the day I bought the ring.
"He said "I pray I'm not alone,
In my dreams about forever."
That you and I could become one
And always be together
We'd grow old and wise, through all the days
For worse or for better
And I'll be true, cause I love you
Even now, more than ever

And my, time flies
But we'll fly farther
Into the night where the eyes of loneliness can never bother
All our dreams of together, uneclipsed by never never
And my, time flies, it's in your eyes
But we'll fly farther"

Oh well, I still prefer my original way of proposing marriage,
in a hot air balloon ride,
high above the clouds
. . . so if the lady, for whatever reason, says "no",
than over the side she goes (O:
. . .um, just kiddin' on that,
as I'm way too cheap to pay for a balloon ride.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

One Girl Army

Came across a wonderful lyric of our Blessed Lady,
in Five Iron Frenzy's tune "One Girl Army"

Here lies the old myth,
breaking the mold with,
truth to take away the trickery.
Twenty centuries of progress,
suffer slowly as we regress,
losing headway to ourselves.
Behold the covers, the sisters, the mothers,
the daughters, and spouses, on the magazines.
Truth has been abused.
How could she fill those shoes?
Propaganda meant to fuel their schemes.

She is strong but never silent,
sure of where her truth/strength comes from.,
one day, one girl army will overcome.

Treading the current, issues at hand,
Shifting, we sway, from justice and then back again.
What we once broke, He has made right,
lifting her up, giving birth to Jesus Christ.

She is strong but never silent,
sure of where her truth/strength comes from.,
one day,
one girl army will overcome.

Largo Rocks!

Here are some shots of Largo, my favorite 14 year old niece (O.K., my only14 year old niece), at a recent recital, and yes that's one of Uncle Mike's gee-tars she is a strumming. My lil' Avril played a Christian tune, as did several other kids, including two adorable 11 year old, twin Messianic Jewish girls (and yes, the wacky monk is also a wimpy one, and shed a wee tear as they sang . . .and I wonder why I never got married).

Largo's lil' brother, Casey, received drums for Christmas, so I'm a hoping for a family pop band (can you say Partridge Family?) , with their wacky ol' uncle on bass (always wanted a Hofner). . .of course, their parents are just hoping for some sleep (O:

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Promises, Promises

Photos taken Saturday, just off 95 , somewhere between Baltimore and DC . . .yes, I pulled off the road before shooting the pictures (O:

Holy Translator , Batman!

Looking at my English to Italian dictionary yesterday, I realized that there is another translation index that must be written : the "Protestant to Catholic" dictionary.

While I am half joking on this, I do realize that there are a lot of words,phrases, or terms; that have very different meanings depending on what faith, or lack of, you may have been raised in.

To a Protestant the word church has to do with a place you go to one or two days a week(but can change at the slightest disagreement with a pastor or music selection), to a Catholic it is "the Church", a body we are part of, a place to nurture and be nurtured, a place or authority and service, . . .a family. We don't go to "church" because we are the church, and it goes with us.

To Protestants, Communion is some kind of almost cartoonish ritual that they partake in every couple months, but to a Catholic it is the very center of the Mass.The earliest Christians believed in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, and from talking to other converts today, this truth is usually the #1 reason for reconciling with Rome.

The word religion is even being deconstructed by Evangelicals, as in the new "Not Religion", a campaign giving in to the world's hatred of God, and placating the likes of Christopher Hitchens or Oprah, by saying it's "not about Religion, it's about relationship". Sadly, they seem to have misplaced their dictionary, as the word Religion actually means a Relationship, one coupled with reverence.

This last part I think, is a key to understanding where the various definitions /misinterpretations come from. Because the Catholic church has a source of authority, and is truly universal, there is, and must be, a concrete dictionary (the Catechism); so that it's followers will not be swayed by world-speech. Unfortunately in the 50,000 plus Protestant denominations (with more splintering all the time), there are varying degrees of authority, which leaves a populous of proverbial "chickens with their heads cut off", being lead around by the whims of the world.

I do truly believe if there is to be reunion in the Body of Christ, than a Translator really will be needed, and with that I pray:

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.

O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, Through Christ Our Lord, Amen.

Monday, May 21, 2007

New Clothes

"Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. But now that you know God—or rather are known by God—how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable principles? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? You are observing special days and months and seasons and years! I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you."
Galatians 4:8-11

So often, even after we have been clothed anew in Christ, we can find ourselves trying to put on our "old clothes". It would be easier if God made that they no longer fit, but sadly they seem to go on rather easy. He does give us the gift of the Holy Spirit, Who's presence seems to make the old clothes itchy and rather uncomfortable, so that we soon want them away from our bodies.

We are are often a little like the surprised participants on "What Not to Wear", who even after being told by friends and family how bad we look, and after being given a $5,000 Credit Card, still try to put on the black parachute pants with the Hawaiian shirt and matching tie (and don't even mention the mullet). The one thing I noticed about most of the people on that show is that they tend to go with what worked once for them, regardless if it was during the hayday of Miami Vice.

God truly is the perfect makeover artist, as He not only sees the real us, but knows that person better than even we do. Like the "Lilies of the Field", I trust Him to clothe me , and have seen first hand the reactions of friends and family, as they say how much better the "new look" suits me.

I know that my "makeover" will not be completed on the Earth, and at times even painful, but I am hopeful that one day I will make the cover of Heaven's GQ (o:

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Ten Boon - Trust

“When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark,
you don't throw away the ticket and jump off.
You sit still and trust the engineer.”

Corrie Ten Boom

Saturday, May 19, 2007

"Let us begin, brothers, to serve the Lord God,
for up to now we have made little or no progress"

This quote, attributed to St. Francis, was not him telling the brothers so much that they have not done anything, but more that what they have done is nothing in comparison to what they can do, strengthened by the grace of God. It is also a not so subtle reminder, not to become prideful, boastful, or self righteous about our works ('cause the works may be ours, but the power to do them ain't).

Listening to a homily by Fr.Larry Richards, I was, as per usual, knocked to my knees by one of his sucker-punches , um, statements.

"We play this false humility game, of oh God I'm not worthy to do your work"

We, I, say this not out of true humility, but as an excuse for not being about our Father's business, as an out for not doing what we know we should. It is an easy trap to fall in, especially if our focus is not completely on the Source of our to good.

If a bodybuilder lifts a car off the trapped driver in an auto accident, he will be
honored, and folks might start going to his gym. If a 99 year old grandma does the same in Jesus' name, God will be honored, and a few more folks might show up to Mass.

So be brave, and do the impossible, because through Christ, you can!

For me, I love that these little blows of the hammer, that notso gentle pounding that is forging me into a lil' Christ, always seem to come just as complacency starts to settle in, as the silly cares of this world take my eyes off the prize of the next (and of how many folks I want to bring with me).

As we approach Pentecost, please pray that we, I, stop worrying about our own strengths, and rely more fully, on the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

oh, I see an overturned car, gotta go (O:

Friday, May 18, 2007

Home (Live) - Duncan Sheik

Once a song that made me think of a lovely redhead, but which now, in the chorus, reminds me of time spent in Adoration before the Eucharist. "See Mother, I make all things new"

"Then I'm with you,
No longer alone.
When I'm with you,
It feels like I'm home.
And you are with me,
No longer alone.
And how can it be?
It feels like I'm home."

Happy, happy or Joy, joy?

I was, for almost 24 hours, happy this week; something I can't honestly say I have been for about a year now. The last truly happy day for me was that incredible night when the wonderful, but confused, woman I was madly in love with last year, agreed to finally move our relationship towards marriage (which sadly was only a manipulative, albeit unconscious, device to prevent me from finally ending a stalled courtship).

This week, the moment of happiness came out of the possibility of my getting a new Jeep Unlimited as my company car. That idea has since been shot down, but I shamefully admit that the thought of me having a vehicle which allows the top to be removed (I am generally in it from 8-10 hours a day) had me almost as excited as I was on that morning last summer, when I left the jewelry store, diamond ring in hand .

If you think this all sounds rather shallow, you are soooooo very right to think that. I am very ashamed that I fell for the dangling carrot again, while forgetting for a moment the Truth of the Joy that lives in me every single second of everyday. A Joy that is ever present, regardless if I temporarily feel happy or sad, bored or excited; for Joy is found in truth, where happiness is found in "feelings".

Happiness from a car?

I pondered on the Saints, and how few, although some, were ever considered "happy", but how the words "full of joy" or joyful" are to be found in almost every description of every Saint . . .along with the words "humble" and "lover of God".

Well again I have fallen, and again was lifted up by the forgiving love of our wonderful Savior.

Am I happy? don't care
can I be used to make others feel happy, or better, Joy? I believe so
do I have Joy, you betcha!

Thanks be to God!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Brownback Rocks!

I no longer enjoy politics, but I happened to catch Sen. Brownback's response to an abortion question, during the last debate. Again he confirmed his view that we must realize it is not a choice but
"a life, a child of a loving God".

Amen Sen brother!

Beneath the Cross

....Oh, how I wish I woulda had my camera yesterday. Upon entering the beautiful grounds of the the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception / Catholic University, I spot the six foot wooden cross that has been on the quad since the Easter season began. Sitting rather comfortably under the cross was a young seminarian reading over some papers (term paper, letter from a friend, ?) and getting some sun. The word "comfortable" struck me, as I pondered how wonderful it would be if we all felt that need to sit beneath the cross, and share our thoughts , joys, worrys, of the day, with the One who loves us most.

When I left Mass, I noticed our young friend leaving too, but couldn't talk with him, because he zoomed by me rather quickly on his skateboard. For the life of me, I can't remember if it's the Dominicans or the Franciscans, that utilize Skateboarding in their daily meditations (O:

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

This is my brain on . . .

.Who am I kiddin', my brain is always "On" (O:

The above image represents a small portion of what is circling through my gray matter. Helping with designs for both our Italian and Brazilian factories (as well as the trip to Italia), picking a new Laptop, a new apt/house, scheduling two DJ gigs for friends in June, talking my boss into the beautiful vehicle above (mine is starting to die, after only 2 1/2 years, and 90,000 miles), an e-mail from the person I bought two engagement rings for, two unsolicited job offers, and a friends mom lying in the hospital.

Like Father Larry says, "you should spend at least a half hour in prayer a day, except when you're busy . . .then spend at least an hour!"


Saturday, May 12, 2007

Friday, May 11, 2007

Get Down - Audio Adrenaline

Weekend Vid : A simple pop tune made wonderful by lyrics of trust, truth, and humility . . .if only this was the mainstay on pop radio.

Get Down - Audio Adrenaline

Lavishly our lives are wasted
Humbleness is left untasted
You can't live your life to please yourself , yeah
That's a tip from my mistakes
Exactly what it doesn't take
To win you've got to come in last place
To live your life you've got to lose it
And all the losers get a crown

I get down and He lifts me up
I get down and He lifts me up
I get down and He lifts me up
I get down

All I need's another day
Where I can't seem to get away
From the many things that drag me down, yeah
I'm sure you've had a day like me
Where nothing seems to set you free
From the burdens you can't carry all alone
In your weakness He is stronger
In Your darkness He shines through
When you're crying He's your comfort
When your all alone, He's carrying you


This valley is so deep
I can barely see the sun
I cry out for mercy, Lord
You lift me up again


Psalm 46:1-3

   God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in
trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives
way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble
at its swelling.
-- Psalm 46:1-3

God is not a deceiver, that he should offer to support us,
and then, when we lean upon Him, should slip away from us.
... St. Augustine

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Easy Testimony

I was talking with a friend yesterday, and mentioned the morning reading at Mass, which prompted my friend to ask "You went to church today?" (he said church, not Mass, as he is an Evangelical from my old church).

I replied "I try to go every day, unless traveling"

Surprised and confused, he asked "Why go everyday?"

"Because I can"

This is the very truth of the matter, I go to daily mass for many things, but in the end it is because I can. Just another of the many benefits that come with being reconciled to the Truth of the Catholic church.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Opus Beerus

Read Alive and Young post on

Christ the Divine,
Christ the man,
and a little mixture
called a "Black and Tan"

What time is it?

Jet lag is a wonderful thing . . .NOT!

For the next few days I will not have the slightest idea what time it is, nor will I likely retain any info customers decide to share with me (that goes for friends as well).

I actually came home a bit early, as my boss did not inform me until Friday evening, his plan to drop us off in Rome for two days, without a guide, vehicle, or scheduled place to stay. For me that was a little much to ask, so I took any earlier flight to avoid the increase confusion of cluelessly bumbling around Roma with my overstuffed bags. I also have to get to confession today, as I blatantly lied to boss man, saying I didn't feel well instead of the truth of the extreme anxiety of the above mentioned situation was causing me. Of course, as I mentioned in an earlier post, I did not really want to go on this trip, so my only worry was that of disappointing my employer, but thankfully we had finished the business part of the trip by this time.

I generally prefer to be as painfully truthful as possible, as pre-Christian me was quite the little liar, but more in the Big Fish vain, than out of acts of deception . . .I was just good at making up stories, as us Irish are prone to . Regardless, I now follow the Truth, and must strive to always be truthful.

My choice to exaggerate my nervous stomach (the anxiety mixed with jet lag and large quantities of Italian food, did actually make me a bit ill), was based on the fact that employers generally understand about physical ailments, but that stress or anxiety tends to send up red flags that might hinder career advancement (granted, I am hoping God might call me into another line of work by years end).

Anyhow, I confess to you my brothers and sisters that I have lied, and now must get to my parish for proper reconciliation.


Monday, May 7, 2007

Will Victory in France mean doom here?

While I was at first excited that France's queen of tired rhetoric, Segolene Royal, did not win the election yesterday, I am a bit fearful that this will light a fire under the pampered butts of America's left ( ie, the party of "we don't know what we are for, just what we are against").

I will admit that my political rants have diminished much after becoming a Christian, mainly because politics seem so small in comparison to the work Christ has given us to do whilst in our pre-bodies. I do know that the left is unequivocally anti-Christian, regardless of how many registered democrats I attend Mass with, or even how Christian sounding their goals may appear in theory.

It is time for us on the right to stand for what we know is true, instead of trying to defend a President who has forgotten, for the most part, what those, our, ideals are. I wanna make a t-shirt that reads something like "Bush sucks, but the Republican party still Rocks!".

Naturally, I am a Sam Brownback man, and yes, because he is Catholic. But it is because of the fact that he risked the political death his conversion to the Church might have brought, following his conscience and not the polls . . .that is a man I feel I can trust!
I must admit that Rome has conquered me (O:

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

The Blood Miracle of San Gennaro

I am hopeful that I will be able to be in Naples during this Bi-yearly "event", which takes place this weekend. Granted, I have little need to seek out miracles, as all I have to do is look into the mirror and see the miracle that is the man that Christ is making me to be.

Yearly on the first weekend of May (on Saturday) and on the 19th September amazement spreads through Naples Cathedral. There one can marvel at how the blood of the beheaded San Gennaro liquifies in its ampoule.

The day of the blood miracle is an important feast for Naples and the people celebrate it accordingly. The Cathedral is surrounded by stalls selling sweets, cobs and all kinds of curiosities and kitsch.

In advance a procession takes place, whereby holy figures are carried through Spaccanapoli. The silver bust of San Gennaro leads the procession, followed by holy Teresa, Lucia, Patricia and many more. The Neapolitans like to bet on the sequence of these holy statues, while applauding their favourite saint in the hope that these would get a place at front at the following procession.

At the subsequent service a centuries-old ritual takes place: the Saint’s silver bust is positioned next to the altar and the ampoule with blood is shown to the faithful by the „abate del tesoro“ and then slowly turned. Shortly after this, traditional prayers of the „parenti di San Gennaro“ (relatives of San Gennaro, a group of faithful women, sitting in the front row) are said. These prayers heighten ecstatically until the blood liquifies. The wild rejoicing of the faithful is crowned by the sound of the cathedral’s bells ringing. The crowd starts pushing its way through to kiss the ampoule of blood. This overcrowded service is attended by spiritual authorities, political dignitaries and hundreds of anticipating believers.

According to the people this blood miracle takes place, when no disaster is expected in the near future. For most of the natives of Naples the service has an oracle character. The absence of the miracle augurs tragedy for Naples and its surroundings. For instance in 1980 before the harsh earthquake took its toll on 2000 lives, the blood didn’t liquify.

The people of Naples rather have a personal than religious relationship with San Gennaro. They present him their wishes with love and expect them to be fulfilled.

Friar Chucks

It is a help in my discernment process to know that Converse makes Chuck Taylor's in Brown, as well as basic Black (O:

Also (from a Bible study pal) on the topic of footwear, remember to kick yer shoes under the bed at night, so each morning you have to get on yer knees to get them. Good advice, as I need all the help I can before the caffeine kicks in (then it's everyone else who needs help, from me).

Will post Italy pics soon.