Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Iggy Pop

Give me only your love and your grace. With this I am rich enough, and I have no more to ask.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Childlike Joy

Last night a new friend kinda dragged me to see old time pop-rocker Denny Laine, at Jammin' Java in nearby Vienna, Va (O.K., she didn't really "drag" me, and I owed her big time for talking me up at a recent function, . . . it's just that yer monkster is usually asleep by 9pm these days). Mr. Laine started off in the Moody Blues (before said band turned into Lite FM favorites), and went on to co-found Wings with Paul McCartney.

The smallish crowd, in the equally small venue, is full of yer typical Beatlemaniac types, mostly around middle age (they call it middle age 'cause that's when yer middle becomes more prominent) and maybe a tad geeky . . .I, needless to say, was home (O:

While Denny played numerous Wing's tunes, the standout for me was the Moody Blues tune "Go Now" (which my friend informed me was actually an old R&B tune). Not only was it a delight to hear this song live with the original MB singer, but also seeing the joy on my friend's face upon hearing the first few notes. She allowed the music to magically transport her back 20 or so years, and even, like a happy lil' school girl, climbed up on her seat in excitement. It was easily worth the $25 for the ticket to see the smile on her face, as well as to be able to tell my old Beatle buddies that I stood only a few feet away from someone who used to stand only a few feet away, from my favorite of the Fab Four.

but as I am late for work, I better "Go Now" (O:

Golden Calves

Today's Reading from Exodus, deals with Aaron and the golden calf. The story goes on to have Moses petition God for forgiveness for his people, for this vile sin of idolatry.

Putting myself in the place of the Israelites, I pondered how many golden calves I have made in my own life, of how many idols I have place before God in my life. From the desire to have golden calves (ie. exercise and my sun worship) to things (writing this silly blog, reading Harry Potter, or just enjoying a little too much the taste of pistachio gelato) that take time away from the only truly important thing, important relationship, in my life.

Oh I hope Moses is still praying for us, as I beg all the angels and saints to pray that we all will find the strength to melt down all the idols we have made in our lives.

Christ have Mercy on us!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

An Umpire's Home Run

Ernie Tyler has been an umpire attendant for the O's since before I was born, and for his merit, Cal Ripkin is taking him along to Cooperstown. He has actually beat out Cal's game streak by over a thousand, not missing a game in 47 years.

I guess we just build 'em tougher in Baltimore (O:

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Meme Christo

Athos, one of my mentors over at the Three Mass'kateers, has laser tagged me as part of a Christ Meme (shouldn't it be Christ Him-him?, as we are to leave the "me-me" at the foot of the Cross). As my good teacher has written, the rules are Those tagged will share 5 things they love about Jesus and must tag 5 other bloggers. Those tagged must provide a link in the comments box here with their name so that others can read them.

As I am one part Slacker, it has taken me several days to respond, and in great embarrassment, I also admit that the question was not as easy to answer as you would think from yer monkster.

Why do I love Jesus? This is not just a trivial little question, and contrary to my usual bumper sticker form of easy bromides, I realized that somewhere along the way, I had forgotten the "Why", in my love for my King. As I pondered this I also saw that I could not tell you "why" I love my sisters, or "why" I love my dad, or "why" I love my friends Jason and Josh . . . .I just do, and deeper inside than mere words would allow me to explain.

With that said, the question is a good meditation, in that understanding, and articulating, the "why" in my love for Christ, is important in the sharing of that love. So with that I will start, in no special order:

Our Blessed Lady : As some of you know, my own mom went to rest in our Saviors arms just 10 days before I was received into the Catholic church (her name is Carol, if you would say a prayer, and/or keep her in prayer). One day as I was praying for her, and trying to understand this Mary stuff (that I had never been taught prior), I heard that still small voice tell me that " your mother was in great pain, but now she is at rest, please let My Mother be your mother now, and forever".

Not only did my God give up His own life for me, but He also lends me His beloved mother. A mother who loves this adopted butthead, with the same love she has for the fruit of her womb, Jesus.

. . .to be continued.

Some things never change . . .

Lest I become too prideful, my beloved Aunt Shirley recently gave me this photo, of the child monkster. The taller boy is my cousin Tim, who I am happy to say, is also another brother in Christ.

On Christian Unity

"I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one Shepherd."
John 10:16

Friday, July 27, 2007

A Harry'd Prayer

As I wish to finish the last Harry Potter book before some excited 12 year old blurts out the ending, I have been reading a little bit each night ever since I bought it last Saturday. I was initially reading it before my nightly prayers, but soon found that my mind was often still with my muggle brethren. I caught myself twice almost praying for Harry, or my buddy Neville, before realizing that they in fact, won't actually be helped by my prayers.

I have since ordered my time better, in that I do my night prayers first, than if time permits, I check on the Hogwarts gang.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

"Us" and Him

One of the constants in both my Protestant, and Catholic life, is my daily repeating of the Lord's Prayer to start my devotions (granted, as a Catholic, I repeat it a lot more each day). I never really felt quite comfortable with the "Hey Pop, wazzup" casualty of praying that most of my Evangelical friends use (this is the Creator of the universe after all), so I would always start off my morning prayer in the way in which Jesus taught us (Matthew 6:9-13 and Luke 11:1-4).

It was only when I was preparing to enter the Catholic church that I realized that the Lord's Prayer is a catholic prayer (yes, yes, Christianity is a catholic faith, but we're focused on just the prayer now, and little "c" catholic). The one word that Christ uses the most as He teaches the apostles to pray, is the word "Us", and we say it in that way whether alone or in corporate worship. If you even try to turn it from plural to singular, it will not only song oddly wrong, but also quite selfish ("give me" vs "give us"). We are a family, the body of Christ, and that was one of the lessons the Rabbi was teaching in this, the only prayer He taught us.

That many of our Protestant siblings ignore this prayer, or only say it a few times a year, is another example of their own unconscious Catholi-phobia (fear of appearing Catholic). Even calling it the "Lord's Prayer", and maybe even having it printed on nice little wooden crosses in their hall way, but rarely actually saying it.

For me, each "Us" in the prayer seems to slowly get louder, as I hear the Most Holy Trinity trying to desperately remind us that we are One body, we are One church, we are One - Universal, we are One - Catholic.

While we Catholics might sometimes self righteously act like the son who stayed, I do hope we all pray for the prodigal to return, so that our wonderful Father may rejoice in His family made whole.

Lord God, Help "Us" become holy whole again.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Merry Monk

Hey Monk, why are you always so merry?, is it because you're not

No my faithful imaginary reader, I actually would find marriage quite merry, but for now, I, in part, find my merriment in a bit of fermented barley and hops from Easton PA, brewery Weyerbacher. They have a golden Belgian styled ale entitled "Merry Monks", which I have recently grown quite fond of, and which explains many of my typos (O:

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Framing is Fun, pt II

Finished this last night, and can't stop admiring it. The picture was ripped from a remander book I got at Borders, and the frame is actually two frames (721 & 3546, and a fillet, which is that lil' baby frame inside). O.K., so my job is fun sometimes, even if my boss forces me to go to Italy twice a year (O: .

This is being donated by my company to the Our Lady of Mattaponi Retreat Center, after I show it off a bit to some of my customers (0;

On DC Living

"It is no great matter to associate with the good and
gentle; for this is a naturally pleasing to all, and everyone
willingly enjoyeth peace, and loveth those best that agree
with him. But to be able to live peaceably with hard and
perverse persons, or with the disorderly, or with such as go
contrary to us, is a great grace,
and a most commendable thing."
Thomas a' Kempis

Monday, July 23, 2007

Saint Bridget

In 1999, Saint Bridget of Sweden, along with Saints Catherine of Siena and Edith Stein were named co-patronesses of Europe. All three women, while humble in spirit, showed so much strength of character that they individually (with our Lord' s help) influenced the social, political, and even religious systems of their times.

When I think of these incredible women, I have to laugh at the popular notion that Christianity, especially Catholicism, is a boys club. If you study the bible, it's actually the women who seem to do the right thing more often then the men.The strongest roll model we have is our Blessed Lady, with the echos of her great "yes" resounding in the hearts of the faithful forever.

Sadly, we do tend to define our sisters' strength in masculine terms, especially odd in this age of gender neutrality (whatever that means). Every morning I pass the same couple of women, with them leaving the gym, the same time as I leave Mass. I admit I go home and take a quick run, after morning prayer, but if time is limited, it is the running that loses out, as the inner strength which is a gift of God, is of greater importance than a tight tush. One day I am going to invite one or all of those 7 AM gymbots to church, and I usually try to say a little prayer for them on my ride home.

What is Strength? The answer is as easy as reading the lives of the saints, or watching a mother home school her five kids (one who has Downs), or maybe a college student who remains chaste amidst the hedonistic environment of dorm life, or the lawyer who gives up a 6 figure salary so she can be a missionary in Belize . . . but to truly know what true strength is, we only need to gaze upon the Cross.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Yeah, Yeah, Yeah - Judson Spence

A son of Christian missionaries, Judson Spence's 1988 debut album (still a personal favorite), was produced by unknown Monroe Jones, who went on to make records with most of the biggies of CCM (with at least a dozen or so of these albums on the monkster's, or funkster for this tune, all time fav's list).

It's a nice day so like David, let's do a little dancin' (O:

Saint Mary Magdalene

It would seem that the demons cast out of Mary Magdalene eventually ended up in the type writer of that DaVinci Code guy, and were multiplied by the foolish (sadly many even self professed Christians) who read his unintelligible little piece of exploitative fluff (O.K. "fluff" isn't really the first world that kind to mind).

Even without the idiocy of Dan Brown and his readers, Mary had for most of Christian history, been mistakenly focused on as the "worldly" woman of Luke 7:36, instead of being remembered as the first person to whom the risen Christ appeared.

Father W.J. Harrington, O.P., writing in the New Catholic Commentary, says that “seven demons” “does not mean that Mary had lived an immoral life—a conclusion reached only by means of a mistaken identification with the anonymous woman of Luke 7:36.” Father Edward Mally, S.J., writing in the Jerome Biblical Commentary, agrees that she “is not...the same as the sinner of Luke 7:37, despite the later Western romantic tradition about her.”

Mary Magdalene was one of the many “who were assisting them [Jesus and the Twelve] out of their means.” She was one of those who stood by the cross of Jesus with his mother. And, of all the “official” witnesses that might have been chosen for the first awareness of the Resurrection, she was the one to whom that privilege was given.

Above from "Saint of the Day"

Today, I thought of the Mary Magdalene who I attend daily Mass with. On first notice, this woman who sits in the front pew, often mumbling to herself (but who never interrupts the service), with occasional flailing of arms, may be cause for a bit of fear or worry. If one is willing to look beyond their comfort zone, you will see a wonderful daughter of God, who is always very nicely dressed , never bothers anyone, and as I've said, attends Mass everyday (um, do you?).

I have often prayed that the Lord would take these demons from her, but have been shown time and time again, that her presence reveals our own demons . . .those of wanting a perfect little sterilized church, where the music is pretty, the homilies are innocuous, and the service is short enough that I can still catch up with friends for a $50 brunch. By being placed in the same church,God uses this "Mary" to reveal the pharisee living in each of us, and with a not so gentle reminder that all of us are broken, and that one day, Praise be Jesus Christ, all will be restored.


Saturday, July 21, 2007

Ephesians 6:12

"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood,
but against the rulers, against the authorities,
against the powers of this dark world

and against the spiritual forces of evil
in the heavenly realms"

I would say the two greatest gifts I see in my more saintly friends (granted, it takes a saint to put up with me), is that first, they fully realize the love of God (for themselves, and others); and secondly, they understand, and live, the above verse.

Knowing that we are all "precious in His sight" is an important factor when dealing with folks (or even yourself), as it allows us to see at least a glimpse of the dignity that each of us have, and deserve. Realizing we, ourselves, are passionately loved by the Creator of all things, inspires us (or should inspire us) to look for that dignity even in that guy that just cut me off in traffic, or kid in the checkout line wearing an anti-Christian slogan on her trendy designer shirt.

But, if we forget that this war we are in the middle of, is not against human kind, not against flesh, I think we may, regardless of how we act outwardly, still have seeds of hate inside us. These seeds, of course, are what the above mentioned "powers of this dark world" are very content to nurture, to slowly grow inside us until it strangles the Truth we cling to.

Um, Monk, um yer kinda dark this morning?

Sorry imaginary reader, but I am fearful that too many folks go around saying "God is Love", without remembering who is hate. I just think a certain form of compassion takes over, when we realize that the same buzzing insect that whispers lies in our ears, is of the very same evil trying to corrupt our enemies. This also helps us have a more fuller understanding of why we are commanded to "love our enemies".

I started pondering on this as my friends have already started picking political sides for the next election, which reminded me of how viciously I used to attack, and verbally destroy, those of the opposite political spectrum. Now, while I still have the same views, I find that politics is just pretentious child's play when compared with the need to share the oh so Good News, to a world ignorantly chasing after it's own death.

Anyhow, it's gonna be a lovely day, so go share His love with someone . . . even if they be a liberal, or a wacky conservative wannabe monk.

To paraphrase a great vegetable prophet
"God made them special, and He loves them very much!"

Saint Michael, the Archangel, Protect Us!


Friday, July 20, 2007

Sunny Daze

As I left Mass this morning I was struck by how much the traffic had increased in just 25 minutes ( and yes, I was also almost struck by the traffic, as DC drivers are quite scary), as the Wisconsin Ave was fairly quite when I entered the church. I went on to think of how yesterday started with clouds and serious humidity, to end with sunny skies and cool "after the rain" breezes.

I remembered how the last time (possibly, the last "last" time) I fell in love, was also the same week I found at my mother had cancer, and my niece accepted our Lord at summer camp. My mom went to sleep in our Saviors arms less than two weeks before that wonderful night at Easter Vigil, when I was welcoming into the Church. Recollections of how an awesome trip to Brazil last year, came only a few weeks after a gut wrenching day where I returned an engagement ring. I thought again how a good friend is waiting (and waiting) for the birth of her first son, while at the same time praying for her mother who is hospital bound a thousand miles away.

Sunny, Cloudy, Good, Bad, Happy, Sad, . . .the constant is, was, and ever shall be, our Triune God, Who's love and mercy, endures forever. Somehow I think we all know that, just as on a rainy, yet partially sunny day, we all strain to find that elusive rainbow in the sky.

Praised Be God Forever!

Hello Down There

Yes, that's Richard Dreyfuss
Dreadful film, which I bought on DVD the second it was available (O:

Thursday, July 19, 2007

"Humility is the

and bond
of all virtue."
Saint John Chrysostom

Formstone and Fried Dough

Los Lonely Boys or the Isley Brothers? This is the only difficult decision I need to make this weekend, but a difficult one never the less. Both of these fine bands will be playing at Baltimore's Artscape this weekend (us Bawlmer folks call it "Foodscape", as there are more vendors than artists . . .although Fried Dough is an art in itself, especially when itself is in myself). As "Heaven" by dem lonesome Texicans is one of my favorite tunes, me thinks thats where you'll find the monkster at 8:30 friday night, micro-brew in hand.

Friday is the best night of the three day Festival, as the rest of the weekend I will be in a cave somewhere, exploring the mysteries of J.K. Rowling, lest anyone ruin the ending for me, leading me to sin, as I royally thrash them.

Any bloggers or lurkers, or imaginary readers, that wanna join me, or need a ride, just leave a comment.

Be there, or be square, Hon! (O:

Heaven- Los Lonely Boys

Save me from this prison
Lord, help me get away
'Cause only you can save me now
From this misery

Well I've been lost in my own place
And I'm getting' weary
How far is heaven?
And I know that I need to change
My ways of living
How far is heaven?
Lord, can you tell me?

I've been locked up way too long
In this crazy world
How far is heaven?
I just keep on prayin', Lord
I just keep on livin'
How far is heaven?
(Oh, Lord, can you tell me?)
How far is heaven?
(I just gotta know how far it is)
How far is heaven?
(Oh, Lord, can you tell me?)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The B-side to Good Sam

"We are the beggars at the foot of God's door
We have known the pain of loving in a dying world
And our lies have made us angry at the truth
But Cinderella's slipper fits us perfectly
And somehow we are made royalty with You,
Oh we of little faith,
Oh You of stubborn grace
And You have welcomed us in"
We are the beggars at the foot of God's door - The Normals

We all know the parable of the Good Samaritan, and through it have hopefully learned who "our neighbor" is . I have often seen, or put, myself in the place of the priest, the Levite, as well as the Good Sam; but on reading fellow blogger Charles of New Haven's Sunday homily, I have for the first time been able to see myself from the viewpoint of the poor victim.

We all truly are the helpless innocent, beaten to near death by our own selfish thoughts and desires, while stripped naked and left for dead by a world that is just as broken and scared as we are. Only the risen Christ can truly care for us, for if we let the world try (however good their intentions), I think we will just end up in that same ditch, more battered than before.

Lord, I am not worthy to receive You,
but say the Word and I shall be healed

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Bad News Bares . . .

Recently, while kneeling in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament during Wednesday evening Adoration at my parish, I looked up to see two little children, walking past with their mom. I smiled, and thought of what it would be like to be a father, but sadly I heard God whisper "not for you Michael", and my heart sank.

It took a few minutes to get over that, and offer up again, that it be His will, and that I have complete trust in His ultimate plan for my life. I prayed to know what to do with this knowledge, if it meant that I am in fact called to religious life . . . . . . .silence . . . . . . .I asked if this meant that marriage is out . . . . . . silence . . . . . ."I guess You just want me to keep focusing on You" was my thought, and "Yes" was the answer in my soul.

"But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness,
and all these things will be added to you"
Matthew 6:33

He will take care of whatever I need, and whatever is in my best interest, and which will serve His kingdom best. I resigned myself to this, and continued in prayer and devotions, and just quiet time in the real presence of my Savior, King, and Best Friend. I prayed for those that had died, for those that are ill, for my family, for my friends, and for my enemies.

I ended my prayer time asking for two things. First, I asked God to please show me how He wants me to serve Him. I than went onto my second petition, that He would let me marry. As knelt before Him just prior to leaving, I thanked Him for all He has carried me through, and for all my blessings.

As I walked in great peace to the neighborhood Whole Foods, to indulge in my post Adoration pizza, I was stopped by an incredibly lovely older woman, who went on to ask if I would like to help with a Catholic youth group (she had seen me around DC Catholic haunts for a while now . . . . .and O.K., I may have accidentally noticed her once or twice too). Excited at the thought that both my prayers were so quickly answered, I may have overwhelmed her a bit . . .but I kinda do that to people anyway (Baltimore boy, remember). While I did admit to her the first prayer, I prudently kept the second to myself, for fear of seeing a cloud of dust, where seconds earlier had stood a fetching Catholic lass.

O.K., One prayer answered, or two? either way, I had a huge grin on my face the rest of the evening, and I found joy in thinking that perhaps our Lord may have been smiling as well.

Anyway, I think that it was perhaps only the first prayer answered (although, woulda been a great story for the grand kids), but even still, it was an awesome demonstration to me that God does in fact "listen" to our prayers. It also helped me realized how deeply I do kinda desire marriage, and now just have to discern if God wants that desire to see fruition, or if giving up that desire be a sacrifice He wishes.

Either or, I am loved and heard!


Monday, July 16, 2007

St. Augustine

“Let us sing alleluia here on earth, while we still live in anxiety so that we may sing it one day in heaven in full security. God’s praises are sung both there and here. But here they are sung in anxiety, there in security; here they are sung by those destined to die, there by those destined to live forever; here they are sung in hope, there in hope’s fulfillment; here they are sung by wayfarers, there by those living in their own country.

So then let us sing now, not in order to enjoy a life of leisure, but in order to lighten our labors.”

"You should sing as wayfarers do sing,

but continue your journey sing then,

but keep going."

New Improved Swiss Guard

Another fine T-shirt design from those wacky folks at Threadless

Top 40 Hymn

Hanging By A Moment - Lifehouse
Desperate for changing
Starving for truth
I'm closer to where I started
Chasing after you
I'm falling even more in love with you
Letting go of all I've held onto
I'm standing here until you make me move
I'm hanging by a moment here with you

Forgetting all I'm lacking
Completely incomplete
I'll take your invitation
You take all of me now...

I'm falling even more in love with you
Letting go of all I've held onto
I'm standing here until you make me move
I'm hanging by a moment here with you
I'm living for the only thing I know
I'm running and not quite sure where to go
And I don't know what I'm diving into
Just hanging by a moment here with you

There's nothing else to lose
There's nothing else to find
There's nothing in the world
That can change my mind
There is nothing else
There is nothing else
There is nothing else

Desperate for changing
Starving for truth
I'm closer to where I started
Chasing after you....

I'm falling even more in love with you
Letting go of all I've held onto
I'm standing here until you make me move
I'm hanging by a moment here with you
I'm living for the only thing I know
I'm running and not quite sure where to go
And I don't know what I'm diving into
Just hanging by a moment here with you

*Chastity Alert : the singers shirt reads "Wild and Pure"

No Wings, No Service

To once again demonstrate my devout un-manly-ness, I confess that I am a bird watcher (and not just of the Brit variety). In my back yard is a Gold Finch feeder, a Tube feeder, and now a Hummingbird feeder (that is being used as I type).

The seed I prefer to use for my boyds is safflower, as in general those pesky squirrels don't like the stuff. I have come to find, as the photo clearly shows, that chipmunks have a slightly different palate than their fluffy tailed cousins, and are more than happy to fill their cheeks with the stuff. I have since replaced this feeder, with the above mentioned hummer feeder, leaving Alvin, Simon, and Theodore to seek other yards to dine in.

"You have filled this world with wonders,
and I am filled with the wonder of Your world"
Rich Mullins

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Hey, Hitch!

"There is no such thing as a post-Christian society. One
generation may reject the Gospel itself, but it cannot reject
it for future generations."
Luis Palau

Manly Man's Man Being Manly

Last weekend's guys' retreat, while leaving me still no closer to knowing my vocation (although, still discerning), left me with some incredible memories. Yer monkster is not exactly what you would call a very manly fellow, as that type of guy is less likely to write words like "manly fellow". I dig playing sports, but if I try to watch them on TV I am more likely to notice how the teams' colors clash with the AstroTurf, and would be much happier watching HGTV than ESPN. Heck, even though I have a tattoo, it's of two kids hugging. So for me to be around only guys for a weekend is a rare thing.

The last time was back in 1997, when still an atheist, I accompanied my then Christian brother to the Promise Keepers "Stand in the Gap" event on the Washington, DC Mall (kinda like the Million Man March, but without the fascism and bigotry of a Farraknan event). I can easily say that it was one of the most incredible days of my life, and while I did not respond at the time, I could feel the presence of the Holy Spirit as strong as any time since.

I have three distinct memories of that day. The first was watching an old biker dude get on his knees and beg forgiveness of a black gentleman, for his racist past (both showed love, as one repented, and the other, although uncomfortable, allowed him to). The next was the image of thousands of small prayer circles on the Mall, from a distance giving the impression of a large flower bed, being gently tended to by the Father, Almighty.

The last memory, was when I was in a long line of Christian men, to use the Men's room at the Smithsonian, and someone sneezed. No one said "God bless you", and that just struck me as funny (but almost everything strikes me as funny).

Anyhoo, back to last weekend. As it's usually the female voices that dominate the singing during a Mass, I nearly wept at the beautiful the sound from this ragamuffin band of Catholic men, when we sang the prayers and hymns. I did kinda notice that some of us may have been singing a bit deeper than usual, to sound extra manly (o;

My favorite image and memory, was that of us taking a long, slow, Rosary walk on Saturday night, just as the sun was setting in the evening sky. It was perfect that we did it on the second day, as by that time we were all a bit more casual with each other, which seemed to make the prayer especially peaceful. I can honestly say I have never been so happy to be with a bunch of guys, as I was during that walk. Just a small band of men, walking up a country road, who happened to be surrounded by all the angels and saints, as we prayed with our Blessed Lady, to the Lord, our God.
Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God.
That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

After the fact

God gave the prophecies, not to gratify men's curiosity by
enabling them to foreknow things, but that after they were
fulfilled they might be interpreted by the event,
and His own providence, not the interpreter's,
be thereby manifested to the world.
Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727)

Friday, July 13, 2007

Must Have Done Something Right

"We should get jerseys
Cause we make a good team
But yours would look better than mine
Cause you're out of my league"

Must Have Done Something Right - Relient K

Funny, and oddly touching, power-poppy teen romance tune,
with opening lyrics I wish I woulda wrote.
Who says Christians can't write "silly love songs" too (O:

Also thought the video went well with Friday the 13th

Check out the Brian Wilson nod in the middle.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Maybe Puck?

At Mass this morning, I banged my knee when getting up from kneeling in prayer, with seconds before my prayer being that God would teach me to offer up my sufferings and pain.

Me thinks my Guardian Angel might be part Imp . . . but would you expect anything less for me ? (O:

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Diary of an Old Soul

"O Christ, my life, possess me utterly.
Take me and make a little Christ of me.
If I am anything but thy father's son,
'Tis something not yet from the darkness won.
Oh, give me light to live with open eyes.
Oh, give me life to hope above all skies."
George Macdonald (1824-1905)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

A Hard Days Rut .

As the Fab blogger extraordinaire, Dawn Eden, is known to post classic pop, I figured it was time for the apprentice to step up. The Rutles should have been bigger than the Beatles, if only they would have actually existed (O:

Teenage Fanclub also covered this non-tune on a b-side, a few years ago.

The Gospel according to Sinead ?

Our favorite, slightly less than intelligent, Irish bald lassie, Sinead O'Connor has a new album "Theology". Most of the lyrics are said to be born of the Old Testament, but from this interview in Christianity Today, it seems she hasn't actually gleaned much from her readings.

I was so hopeful going into the CT article, that she had finally seen the Light, but it sadly seems she still prefers her own foggy opinions, than actually seeking out the Truth. I couldn't help but wonder if we perhaps have a different Bible, especially when she ponders "
We expect God to be perfect, but if we're made in God's image, then perhaps God isn't perfect". Um, Ms. O'Connor, did ya happen to read that verse in Matthew 5 , where Jesus states " . . .as your heavenly Father is perfect"?

Anyhoo, I will most likely buy the disc when it ends up in the dollar bin (if only for the Jesus Christ Superstar cover of "I Don't Know How to Love Him") , and will post about it at that time. Until then, I'll just keep praying for that silly clean shaven Celt, and I hope y'all will do the same.

Monday, July 9, 2007

The Advances from Retreat

You who dwell in the shelter of the Most High,
who abide in the shadow of the Almighty,
Say to the LORD, "My refuge and fortress,
my God in whom I trust."
Psalm 91

So, where am I? well the answer is found above, but if yer wondering if I know my true vocation after this past weekend, the answer is "no".

I did learn a lot to help me in my discerning process, as well tools to help me grow in my relationship with my Lord. I also was reminded of how God is the great unifier, as the wonderful group of men I spent last weekend, were all very different from each other, with the only clear common factor being our mutual love for the One who loved us first. Learning also, that I could easily see myself working along side any of these fine servants, all the rest of my days.

This was my first retreat, and I completely admit that I did not want to go, as I was so scared of the answer I might receive over the weekend. I still struggle with my own desires of wife and family, over my truest, purest desire, to serve my loving Father the best way I can, and more to the point, to serve in the way He designed me to.

I actually had very little peace the first day, as I realized that I was being overly pious in how I related to God, especially by leaving out my own goals and dreams. I forgot how much He loves me, and how His desire for me is really the same as mine . . .that I serve Him, in whatever vocation, with all my heart. When I finally said "Lord I want to serve you, but I so miss having a hand to hold ", instead of a feeling of condemnation for my selfish desires, I felt my Brother Jesus' presence, and His hand in mine.

I not only pondered my relationship with my King, but also my relationships with people. I realized that I am a great, super romantic, boyfriend; but how does that translate to a solid virtuous husband. Husband or priest, I know that I am called to lay down my life for whoever I marry, to put the other first in all things. With God, that's a little easier, as I totally trust His will and His motives; where with another person, motives can change as easily as moods, and make as little sense. After last years engagement disaster, I must admit that trusting another person ain't the easiest thing, but also the very thing I need to correct in my thinking if I am to truly serve God the best I can.

"Holy Indifference" was the phrase that stuck out over the weekend. For me to cast all my cares on God, and to "completely" resign myself to His plan; to know that like Aslan, God's will may not be tame, but oh "it is Good!".

Please Keep praying for me, and all the men in the photo, that we will all surrender ourselves to the will of the Father, and continue to love and serve, in whatever way He has chosen.

"Because he clings to me, I will deliver him;
I will set him on high because he acknowledges my name.
He shall call upon me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in distress. '
In you, my God, I place my trust.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

A Few Good Men . . .and me

The last few days I have been on a vocation retreat with these mugs above. I will talk later about my own personal experience, but for now I just wanted to say how honored I was to spend the weekend with this awesome group of men. I can honestly say I saw Jesus in each one of these guys.

All of my brothers above, except Msgr. Panke of course, are currently trying to discern how they can best serve their King (three are to enter the seminary in the Fall), and I think I speak for all when I ask you to say a prayer for each of us, that we continue to seek, and respond, to the love and the call God has for us.
Thanks and God bless!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Happy Fourth, and Happy B'day to my Pop !

Allstars from my doodles page

Happy Birthday to my favorite Country

and to my favorite Dad!

Song in My Head - Sherwood

Appropriately named song, as it doesn't wanna leave my noggin'. Sherwood started as just another talented bunch of pop punksters, but have evolved into a brilliant power pop band. Lyrics aren't exactly preaching the Gospel, but this wacky group of Christians writes honest, heartfelt tunes, and I personally can't wait to see 'em at the Purple Door Fest in August.

You can download there tune "The Only Song" at their myspace page, and be sure to check out their take on the Full House theme.

God in a bumper sticker

As I am of a rather humble (ie. trailer park) background, God has to speak to me in slightly more simple ways than a burning bush or an ever present cloud.
Last night while trying to decide if I should work on my monkish muscles, or take my prayer walk before dark, I spy one of the ugliest vehicles ever made driving by my house. On the back of this yellow Detroit monstrosity was a "Pray the Rosary" bumper sticker.

O.K., so I went for a prayer walk, and I guess I'll leave the muscle building to Deacon Payne (O:

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

In this Tent . .

"For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened,
because we do not wish to be unclothed
but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling,
so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.
Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose
and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

Therefore we are always confident
and know that as long as we are at home in the body
we are away from the Lord.
We live by faith, not by sight."
2 Corinthians 5:4-7

Hello Muddah, don't believe in Faddah

"All the counselors hate the waiters
And the lake has alligators
And the head coach wants no sissies
So he reads to us from something
called Ulysses"

Interesting Summer Camps, ya might not want to send yer kids to, in a blog entry over at CT, dealing with atheist Summer camps. It is an interesting article, but forgets to remind us to pray for the little tykes and their misguided parents.

I would be interested in seeing a Jesus Camp type film on this, and other ways, atheists proselytize to young kids. Also hoping CT, as well as other Christian family groups are preparing for Hollywood's latest attack on children, "the Golden Compass", from the first book in Philip Pullman's anti-Christian young adult series "Dark Materials".

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Phelps: knowledge

    "A knowledge of the Bible without a college course is more
valuable than a college course without a knowledge of the
William Lyon Phelps

Godspeed - Anberlin

Hey, Hey!
As I have about 8-9 hours of driving today, I have picked this as my first tune on my trip.
Ya better be safe, and stay off the highways this Sunday (O:

Seriously, please say a prayer for me, my CRV, and my frightened travel companion.

Not what we meant by "on fire for God"

After their performance at this years Creation Festival East, Relient K left the Agape Farm heading to Bushnell, IL for Cornerstone but were rudely awoken at 3:20am by flames due to an engine eruption. Matt Thiesson, alone, lost $7,000 worth of belongings and a laptop with over 100 unfinished songs. Thiesson said "“It’s funny to be onstage playing for 75,000 people having a great time, at the height of your element, then hours later standing outside by a burning bus with no shoes on, feeling basically like a refugee.”
Check here for more on this story.

Yer monkster is thankful that everyone is O.K., and hope all of you out there might say a prayer for these guys (who coulda been in a nice big new bus, paid for by a big record label, if they'd only stopping talkin' about that Jesus guy).