Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year / New Art

As the New Year opens, and we go about the business of taking down the tinsel and vacuuming up the needles (except for you fake tree people . . .ugh!), our humble abodes tend to look a bit . . .well, um humble. To bring some of that adornment magic back, I suggest looking for original art to spruce up yer walls.

I am going to seek out artists who are Christian, and add them often to my lil' blog in the hopes of given
ya folks some alternatives to (they are actually the same company).When you do find a nice piece of art, please go to your local custom picture frame shop, instead of a Michaels or an AC Moore. While these big box stores are always offering 50% off (because they mark everything up 75% first), they generally do an average job at best, and often cost much more than a small custom framer.
If you care about where your money goes, than also make sure you don't buy any frames made by Larson/Juhl, as they are owned by Berkshire/Hathaway, which is run by one of Planned Parenthood's number one contributors; Warren Buffet (pray for his conversion).


My first artist find is fellow blogger
Nelda Jansen, who's Nel's Everyday Painting site caught my eye while searching for images of my beloved Rock Creek Park. Besides the wonderful quality of the work, her small pieces (which sell quickly it seems) are priced very modestly ($20-85.oo,plus shipping . . . almost too low). Well check out her either/both of her sites, buy some art, and e-mail me for ideas on da framing.

God bless,

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Year End Confession

As I prepare for my annual year end confession ,but with my new spiritual director (pray for us both), and meditating on the bad I have done compared to any good works, I am comforted by this proverb:

"My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD;

neither be weary of his correction:

For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth;

even as a father the son in whom he delighteth."

Proverbs 3:11-12

I hope all my brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus remember that God's discipline is a blessing, not a curse, and only given to those He calls beloved son or beloved daughter.

Rock Prophets

Found this LP from 1979, as I rather sadly attempt to further clear out what was once my super awesome music collection.

Cover has what kinda looks like a Mad Max version of an iPod (O:

Monday, December 29, 2008

A Slightly Late Christmas Card

Wallace and Gromit make Christmas cards (pardon the e-mercial)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Catholic = Universal

Felice Festa Navititas
Nollaig chridheil agus Bliadhna mhath ur!
Wanikiya tonpi wowiyuskin
Feliz Navidad
Buon Natale
Suksan Wan Christmas lae Sawadee Pee Mai
Shenoraavor Nor Dari yev Pari Gaghand
Frohe Weihnachten und ein glückliches Neues Jahr!
Pozdrevlyayu s prazdnikom Rozhdestva i s Novim Godom Rmsaid Juluphi Head uut aastat
Sretan Božic
Gute Vaynakhtn un a Gut Nay Yor
Boldog Karácsonyi Ünnepeket & Boldog Új Évet!
Kala Christougenna Kieftihismenos O Kenourios Chronos
Wesolych Swiat i Szczesliwego Nowego Roku
Sal-e no mubarak
Glædelig Jul
Joyeux Noel et Bonne Anne!
I'D Miilad Said ous Sana Saida
Mele Kalikimaka
Sarbatori vesele
Nadolig Llawen
God Jul
Boas Festas e um feliz Ano Novo
Nollaig Shona Dhuit
Sung Tan Chuk Ha
Tchestita Koleda
'appy Christmas!

Foolish Heart

"The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God"

Psalm 14:1

I only realized the universal truth of this line earlier this week, in that David is not necessarily speaking of his (our) God, but that only a person missing adequate intellectual properties could possibly be an atheist.

Yes, yes, I once called myself by that name, but I truly was a lazy brain-dead fool at the time. I did not actively pursue arguments for or against the existence of God, but decided upon my religious choice (atheism is to me a religion), because I was both angry at God, and found it easier to base my life on the doctrine of whim rather than Christian dogma.

More and more I realize that with all the extremely well written and presented arguments for the God's existence (twas logic that lead me to the cross and eventually to Rome), the only hope an atheist has for remaining an atheist, is to actually stop thinking, to not allow any rational thoughts to attach themselves to there comfortable ignorance.

Of course I sadly also find this type of comfortable ignorance in my Protestant brothers and sisters, because one only needs study whether or not the Catholic church is indeed the true church Christ founded to find out that it is true. Granted, I have met many Catholics who couldn't defend their faith if their life depended on it (um, and it kinda does), so ignorance seems to be a universal tool of the great Tool (ie, the little red liar).

Dr. Peter Kreeft's website offers a series of essays presenting the various historical Arguments for God's Existence, and I challenge any supposed atheist to read or listen to them and than honestly still choose to believe in nothing.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Symbol of a Real Hope

I actually considered doing a design like this myself, and thought it prudent to check if anyone else had a similar idea. . .and they did ( Ecclesiastes 1:9 )

The Advent of Humility

"Humility is so shy. If you begin talking about it, it leaves." Interesting CT article on Christ's humility, an often overlooked, or undermentioned, character trait of our Savior.

"Humility is crucial for Christians. We can only receive Christ through meekness and humility (Matt. 5:3, 5; 18:3-4). Jesus humbled himself and was exalted by God (Phil. 2:8-9); therefore joy and power through humility is the very dynamic of the Christian life (Luke 14:11; 18:14; 1 Pet. 5:5)."

We tend to forget that Christ was truly humble in all ways; from allowing himself (the Creator of the Universe) to be born naked and helpless in a smelly cave, through all His work on Earth(always praising the Father who sent Him), then death on a cross while my sins cried out "crucify". We Catholics are so blessed in that we witness that humility in the Eucharist, that Christ would make himself so small as to become "our daily bread".

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christian Art is only recently an Oxymoron

"My wife was sitting next to me and said, 'I think I saw God when I was listening to this music.'"

From an article in Christianity Today.

While I love Veggie Tales and Christian Rawk, me thinks we still need to rise above the idea that Thomas Kinkade and the Left Behind movies are the best we creative Christians can do.

Adding to this is an wonderful new audio Lecture on "Shocking Beauty" from Dr. Peter Kreeft over at his website (in one of his earlier lectures Dr. Kreeft is asked when he will have a website, and my favorite modern philospher replied "when hell freezes over"
. . . well it IS rather cold out (O: ).

art by Doug TenNapel

Monday, December 22, 2008

God STILL with us

O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan's tyranny
From depths of Hell Thy people save
And give them victory o'er the grave
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death's dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, O come, Thou Lord of might,
Who to Thy tribes, on Sinai's height,
In ancient times did'st give the Law,
In cloud, and majesty and awe.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.


Sunday, December 21, 2008

First Class

My new favorite phrase, coined by Catholic motivational speaker and writer Matthew Kelly, is "the Classroom of Silence". His website also has the quote
"You can learn more in an hour of silence, than a year from books".

Our Verizon Fios'd mega Ipod world affords us unending chances for entertainment, but isn't all of our gluttony of noise making a society of Fat-heads? At the end of the day, have we learned anything?, grown in anyway?

Of course a much scarier question is
"why are we afraid to be alone with ourselves?"

Anyhow, time to turn this electronic brain off, and turn on my own (O:

" silence is golden when i'm not , i'm not "
Anymore -Smalltown Poets

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The "Yes" that changed everything

In the sixth month,
the angel Gabriel was sent from God
to a town of Galilee called Nazareth,
to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph,
of the house of David,
and the virgin’s name was Mary.
And coming to her, he said,
Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.”
But she was greatly troubled at what was said
and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.
Then the angel said to her,
“Do not be afraid, Mary,
for you have found favor with God.
Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son,
and you shall name him Jesus.
He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High,
and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father,
and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever,
and of his Kingdom there will be no end.”

But Mary said to the angel,
“How can this be,
since I have no relations with a man?”
And the angel said to her in reply,
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
Therefore the child to be born
will be called holy, the Son of God.
And behold, Elizabeth, your relative,
has also conceived a son in her old age,
and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren;
for nothing will be impossible for God.”

Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word.”
Then the angel departed from her.
Luke 1:26-38

Which is Our typical response?

"May it be done to me according to your word.”

"yet not as I will, but as You will"

"Thy will be done"

"If I have time, . . . how does a week from Tuesday sound?"


Friday, December 19, 2008

More Law's

"If you look into your own heart in utter honesty,
you must admit there is one and only one reason that you are not,
even now, as saintly as primitive Christians :
You do not wholly want to be"

Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life - William Law


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Big is the New Small

"Big is the New Small" - Grand Incredible

Let me learn by paradox
I’ve got to fall
If I wanna walk
That I hear a voice that doesn’t talk, that doesn’t talk
That didn’t start and never stops

A touch of folly that it may be
But it should come as no surprise
To find that fools are counted wise
And blind men have the sharpest eyes
The truth can wear a jokes disguise

Cuz big is the new small
Death is a new birth
Back is forth and up is down
And the last are really first
You’re goin’ the wrong way
If you follow the right signs
Just know you know nothing at all
Cuz big is the new small

Where the light has been erased the shadow behind
Cuz you show the shape
It doesn’t reveal but it indicates
We learn about light from the darkened space

Friday, December 12, 2008


"There are those who hate Christianity
and call their hatred
an all-embracing love for all religions."

G.K. Chesterton (1874 – 1936)

Monday, December 1, 2008

New American Church of Mediocrity

"Whilst you are divided betwixt God and the world, you have
neither the pleasures of Religion, nor the pleasures of the
world, but are always in the uneasiness of a divided state of
You have only so much Religion as serves to disquiet
you, to show you a handwriting on the wall, to interrupt your
pleasures, and to appear as a death's-head at all your feasts,
but not Religion enough to give you a taste and feeling of its
pleasures. You dare not wholly neglect Religion, but then you
take no more than is just sufficient to keep you from being a
terror to yourself, and you are as loath to be very good as
you are fearful to be very bad."
William Law (1686-1761)

"I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth."
Revelation 3:15-16

Friday, November 21, 2008

Respectable Selfishness

"No indulgence of passion destroys the spiritual nature so
much as respectable selfishness."
George MacDonald (1824-1905)

"Respectable Selfishness", me thinks, is the perfect label for that oh so typical ailment shared with myself and other well-meaning, fairly decent, "good people". We help out at soup kitchens (if we aren't busy), we donate money to the poor (after we've planned our entertainment budget), we will even drive a friend to the airport (if we happen to be heading that way) . . . .in fact we will pretty much do, or give, anything to anyone . . . as long as it's "convenient".

Me also thinks that "Convenient Charity" could easily be swapped out for "Respectable Selfishness", in the MacDonald quote, for if we give of ourselves only what is surplus, are we truly loving with the sacrificial love of the Son who we say we want to imitate?

"Each of you should look not only to your own interests,
but also to the interests of others"
-- Philippians 2:4

True J.O.Y.
(thanks to Father Larry)


Monday, November 17, 2008

Movin' on up . . .

"By faith
, when called to go to a place he would
later receive as his inheritance,
obeyed and went,
even though

he did not know where he was going."
Hebrews 11:8

My New Home

.....The majority of the neighborhood's original settlers were either German or Irish descent. Rivalry between the ethnic groups was intense for newly immigrated to the United States who were not only vying for status within the community but also for the limited number of blue-collar jobs that were available at the time. The Irish were especially close knit and generally did not welcomed anyone but their own into their churches. At the corner of Riverside and Gittings Street stands St. Mary, Star of the Sea, which was built in 1871.

The Irish in the neighborhood established this Parish at atime when the Catholic Church of America was obligated to create new parishes and new orders of priests and teaching nuns as a means of coping with the differences between rival ethnic groups. In the evening, after work, the parishioners would arrive at this site with picks and shovels in-hand to dig the building foundation. Bricklayers, carpenters, and general laborers were then enlisted to deal with the actual construction of the Church. Most of the original interior furnishings (including the marble flooring) came from Europe. The entire project was financed by staging street fairs, carnivals, strawberry festivals and harvest homes. By 1900, the construction debt had been paid in full.

In the 1960's in an effort to stem the tide of decreasing attendance, the Vatican issued an edict for the "modernization" of all Catholic Churches. Adeep division between the younger parishioners of St. Mary's and their elders developed. A furor erupted when most of the beautiful and valuable orginal European furnishings were damaged or removed.

Fortunately, many of the artifacts, inluding the original altar, have recently been recovered and a major interior restoration project at St. Mary's began in 2002. For the first time in nearly 40 years. visitors can view the beautiful marble blue star that was originally installed in the floor of the Church just beyond the main foyer. This installation was meant to compliment the blue beacon installed in the Churches tower, which was lit to welcome home returning Irish sailors. The beacon has long been considered a Baltimore landmark.

*from Federal Hill online

O to live consistent lives!

"We are not only to renounce evil, but to manifest the
truth. We tell people the world is vain; let our lives
manifest that it is so. We tell them that our home is above
and that all these things are transitory. Does our dwelling
look like it? O to live consistent lives!"
J. Hudson Taylor (1832-1905)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A Family Affair

[Jesus:] "Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth.
I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.
For I have come to turn "'a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law
--a man's enemies will be the members of his own household.'"

Sticky Stuff

"Anger is the fluid Love bleeds
when you cut it."

C.S. Lewis

who knew that Jack liked Nine Inch Nails (O:

What Me Worry?

Living in NoVa and trying to find housing in Baltimore
. . .by tomorrow, ugh!
You all are kindly invited to pray . . .pah-lease (O:

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Evil of "God's Plan"

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

The outcome of the this year's election, and more to the point, the fact that so many "Christians" voted for our own private Chavez, has 'caused me again to ask "what are they teaching in churches these days?".

I realized it is only what they are "not" teaching, or actually what they are afraid of teachings. Churches (and pastors) , me thinks, seem to be suffering from a form of people pleasing insecurity. Worried a little too much about numbers of filled seats more than the book of Numbers, all the while turning hard Truthes into empty cliches' to pasteurize their flock, teaching half-verses without the full-meanings.

One such truth, that is used to the point of blasphemy, is that of the Christian-ese platitude "God has a plan".This of course is true, and I know in all things evil our God can bring good, it is just the turning of this truth into a powerless bromide that I am really a bit frustrated with.

It is of course fine to tactfully speak of God's plan to a grieving widow, but not so much if you happen to be the drunk driver who caused the senseless death. It is O.K. to console an unemployed friend with the truth of a brighter future, but maybe not so great to hear it spoken by the boss as he fires you. Could you imagine the rapist telling the victim "Don't worry, God has a plan", and yet I feel too many do use this truth a wee bit too often as an easy excuse while in the act of harming another.

A dear friend's wife recently wrote "Don't worry, I know God has a plan" in a note he found on the kitchen fridge, when she left him and their children, to go off and '"find herself". Did her church even teach that her goal isn't self awareness, but Christ awareness (which leads us to our true self) ?

It is true that God can bring Good outta bad, but that doesn't give us free reign to commit a bad, in the distorted knowledge that God will clean up our mistake. If you are speaking of the Almighty's desire for your life, while actually following your own agendas and goals, are you not in fact making yourself your own god?(granted, this does seem to be the modern American way)

If we are to try to be as lil Christs, than we must first take the bad unto ourselves rather than inflict it, to "plan to prosper our neighbor and not harm them, to give them hope and not take away their future".

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Why most shrinks hate the Bible

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow,
for tomorrow will
worry about itself.
Each day has enough trouble of its own."

Matthew 6:34

Monday, November 3, 2008

Patience of a Saint . . .

. . . is what is often needed in my line of work (O:

Sunday, November 2, 2008

What part of All didn't you understand?

As we observe All Souls Day, I was reminded how easy I pray for those asleep in Christ who I love, or who are loved by those I love, but so very often I ignore the souls of those I may not have liked all that much. I again realized that God, on most days, doesn't really like me very much (in the choices/actions I make), but that doesn't stop Him from loving me, nor does it stop Our Lady from praying for me.

I have talked to priests who daily pray for Martin Luther and other heritics, relatives who pray for their child's murderer, and even rape victims who pray for their rapist . . . and yet I forget to pray for the guy who just cut me off in traffic. I truly believe the Saints in heaven pray more over those committing evil, than need pray over blessed Aunt Tootie.

All souls means kinda exactly that . . . ALL!
. . . so um, let's "all" get ta prayin', 'cause there is a lot of souls a waitin'.

pray for me too please, hopeless sinner that I am.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Naked Truth

"... so he got up from the meal, took off his outer
clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he
poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples'
feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him."
John 13:4,5

I was just pondering on the possible importance of us knowing that Christ removed His outer garments before serving His disciples. Could it be that this bit of clothe be in reference to that persona that we wish the world to think we are, that must be discarded before we can truly love, or be loved, by another?

Or could it be the "self" that may end up, consciously or unconsciously, boasting of our doing a service, that must be taken off? How many times have I personally had to fight off the feeling of superiority or self-righteousness, because "I" went to Mass, or I helped out at a soup kitchen, or . . . .( If we serve to feel good, we are still serving ourselves).

Either/or, I am quite sure that it is impossible to truly love and serve as Christ, if we do not also remove things in us that are not of Him.

*the neato lil' image above was made with the help of the Church Sign Generator


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Anima Christi: A Prayer for All Centuries


From Friar Jack's latest E-spiration newsletter

This prayer touches us on emotional and mystical levels. The words are most sacred and, with the Spirit’s help, happily lead us into an immediate union with Christ and, through him, with those we love, as we shall discuss later.

Photo by Jack Wintz, O.F.M.

The Anima Christi (Soul of Christ) has been attributed at times to St. Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556), but historians say that the prayer predates Ignatius by as much as a century and-a-half. A long tradition tells us, moreover, that it was a favorite prayer of Ignatius’. Indeed, in many cases, it has served as the opening prayer of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. The prayer is so sacred and sublime that it transcends all time, all centuries. We ask the Spirit to guide us into the sacredness and hope spelled out by these ancient words:

Anima Christi

Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
Body of Christ, save me.
Blood of Christ, inebriate me.
Water from the side of Christ, wash me.
Passion of Christ, strengthen me.
O good Jesus, hear me.
Within your wounds, hide me.
Let me never be separated from you.
From the malignant enemy, defend me.
In the hour of my death, call me,
And bid me come to you,
That with your saints I may praise you
Forever and ever.


Although there are many translations of this prayer, the wording here is a literal translation of the original Latin. Let me share how this prayer inspires me at this juncture of my life’s journey:

Soul of Christ, sanctify me. Jesus, risen one, let your soul, which is as vast as the universe, invade my whole being and make me holy. Breathe your Holy Spirit, the sanctifier, upon me just as you breathed upon the first disciples after you rose from the dead. Set me free of sin, and fill me with the holiness that fills your own soul.

Body of Christ, save me. I open myself to your love. Embrace me with your healing and transforming power. Jesus, this prayer moves me especially when I say it after receiving your body and blood in holy Communion or after Mass has ended. But the prayer is meaningful at any time. I believe you are with me always and ever standing at my door knocking (Rv 3:20)—inviting me to open the door and enjoy a mystical union with you, the risen one.

Blood of Christ, inebriate me. You have redeemed us, Jesus, by your blood shed upon the cross. At the Eucharist, we receive that blood in the form of wine. Your burning love is so overwhelming that one becomes intoxicated by the intensity of your care for each one of us. Such love prompted St. Anthony of Padua to proclaim, “The humanity of Christ is like the grape because it was crushed in the winepress of the cross so that his blood flowed forth over all the earth…. How great is the charity of the beloved! How great the love of the bridegroom for his spouse, the Church!”

Water from the side of Christ, wash me. Yes, Jesus, let the water flowing from your side cleanse me, as did the life-giving water that flowed over me at baptism. And this saving stream never stops flowing through me—unless I separate myself from your love. You are the vine, I am the branch. If I remain in you, your abundant life continues flowing into me. As St. Paul attested long ago, “I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me” (Gal 2:20).

Passion of Christ, strengthen me. It is your power, and not my own, which heals me and makes me strong. As the psalmist says, “Unless the Lord build the house, they labor in vain who build it” (Ps 127:1). Your strength alone is my source of hope.

O good Jesus, hear me. Within your wounds hide me. There is something so mystical, and dare I say intimate, Jesus, in our hiding in those holy wounds through which we are saved. As Isaiah tells us, “by his bruises we are healed” (Is 53:5). Draw us into this most loving mystery—this sacred fountainhead of our salvation!

Let me never be separated from you. Loving savior, this expresses, perhaps, the most central theme of Anima Christi. Keep reminding me that the best part of prayer is not so much gaining information about you, O Jesus, as it is growing into a more intimate love union with you. So, loving savior, hold us close to you.

From the malignant enemy, defend me. This line is similar to the closing line of that special prayer that you yourself taught us—the Our Father: “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.” We rely on your healing power, O Lord, to set us free of any malignant force that might cause us to be separated from you—from life itself.

In the hour of my death, call me, and bid me come to you, that with your saints I may praise you forever and ever. Amen. Jesus, I need your help to reach my final destiny in your Kingdom. Stay with me to the end—until I can join in singing your praises with all those saved by your immense love.

Additional thoughts

No doubt you have noticed how my reflections on the Anima Christi have strayed from the “me” and “my” vocabulary of this very personal prayer—and I have begun to use words like “we” and “us” and “our.” The Anima Christi is very much a prayer focused on my personal relationship with Christ. We also know from the changes ushered into the Church by the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) that we have come to more communal ways of celebrating the sacraments and of praying together as Church. This in no way contradicts the importance of recognizing those times in our lives when the Spirit calls us to more personal styles of prayer.

I have found it very fruitful in my own praying of the Anima Christi to alternate between the personal and the communal—and I’ve heard others also speak very favorably of doing the same. Perhaps you will find this fruitful as well. A number of people have the prayer memorized and may say the Anima Christi first personally in the traditional form quoted above, and afterwards in the “us” and “our” form, so to speak, by including coworkers, family members or a sick relative, spouse or loved one in the prayer. Thus, in the same prayer, individuals can contemplate their personal love relationship and union with Christ and, at the same time, think lovingly of a sick relative, dear friend or other persons in need. One might focus simply upon one special person or, on the other hand, a whole assembly of people.

Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night or before dawn and am unable to sleep for maybe an hour or more. I sometimes find great peace and meaning in contemplating my union with Christ as well as with those I include in my prayer. Having memorized the Anima Christi, I keep going through the prayer and meditating on it, phrase by phrase, perhaps while fingering rosary beads. At times, it becomes a profound mystical experience. This cherished experience doesn’t come from me, but from the goodness of God. After all, the Anima Christi expresses nothing less than Christ’s incredible love not only for me but also for any others (and all others) who come into my consciousness. Lord Jesus, may we never be separated from you and from those we love! Amen.


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Just bread and wine, or?

"Let a man examine himself,
and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup.
For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body
eats and drinks judgment upon himself"
1 Corinthians 11:28,29

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

More or less

"Our body has this defect that, the more it is provided
care and comforts, the more needs and desires it finds."
Teresa of Avila (1515-1582)

Friday, October 3, 2008

feeling a lil' Moody today

"We can stand affliction better than we can prosperity,
for in prosperity we forget God."
Dwight Lyman Moody (1837-1899)

"Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. "
Matthew 5:3

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Little Flowerings

"To die of love, O martyrdom most blest!
For this I long, this is my heart's desire;
My exile ends; I soon will be at rest.
Ye Cherubim, lend, lend to me your lyre!
O dart of Seraphim, O flame of love,
Consume me wholly; hear my ardent cry!
Jesu, make real my dream! Come Holy Dove!
Of love I die!"
St. Therese of Lisieux (1873-1897)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

What Francis might say to the Tele-friars Club

"Moreover, I advise and admonish the friars that in their preaching, their words should be examined and chaste. They should aim only at the advantage and spiritual good of their listeners, telling them briefly about vice and virtue, punishment and glory, because our Lord himself kept his words short on earth"

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Before the Separation of Church and Statesman

"No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the Invisible Hand which conducts the affairs of men more than those of the United States."
George Washington

Friday, September 19, 2008

lest ye forget

"When you are down to nothing ...

God is up to something."
special thanks to CK's Mom

Thursday, September 18, 2008

So much for Science vs Religion

"I find more marks of authenticity in the Bible than in any
profane history whatever."
... Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Where there's a will . . .

"Clearly, what God wants above all is our will which we received as a free gift from God in creation and possess as though our own. When a man trains himself to acts of virtue, it is with the help of grace from God from whom all good things come that he does this. The will is what man has as his unique possession"
St. Joseph of Cupertino

Monday, September 15, 2008

What Sorrow Have We?

Our Lady of Sorrows

"At the cross her station keeping,
Stood the mournful mother weeping,
Close to Jesus to the last.
Through her heart, his sorrow sharing,
All his bitter anguish bearing,
Now at length the sword has passed."


Saturday, September 13, 2008

a greater work

"Feeding the hungry is a greater work than raising the dead"
St. John Chrysostom

Monday, September 8, 2008


"When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, 'Woman, behold, your son!'. Then he said to the disciple, 'Behold, your mother!’"Jn 19:26-27

Today, September 8th, is the day picked as the day to celebrate the birth of our Blessed Mother. This is not a Catholic day, nor is it a Protestant day, but a day to celebrate along with the Good Son the birth of His Mother, who He gave to us all.

If we choose to say we will not only follow Christ, but try to become "little Christs" ourselves, than we must do as the commandment says, and honor our Mother. This will not suddenly make you Catholic, and Rosary beads won't magically appear in your hands, nor will the cross around your neck mystically appear connected to a Miraculous Medal . . . but you might just join in the communion of saints as we watch our Lady of Grace blow out the candles (on what I hope is carrot cake), seated next to her loving Son.

Again, I just ask any with "ears to hear" (o.k. eyes to read), that they just ponder in their heart the question of not only why they are scared of Marian doctrine, but a deeper question, which is. . . .

If Mary was to have no purpose except birthing and teaching the young Jesus, than it was it not extremely cruel of Christ to make His mother watch Him die on the cross? He could have easily had her taken home to heaven before that day, as He did with Joseph.

Why was Mary at the cross, and why would Christ use the few precious moments of life left to Him to utter the words "behold your Mother".

Holy Mary Mother of God, I truly thank you for humbling yourself to be the mother of all, especially this silly ol' Baltimore boy.

Thank You Jesus!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

But do we know? . . .and do our friends?

Nevertheless, God's solid foundation stands firm, sealed
with this inscription: "The Lord knows those who are his,"
and, "Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn
away from wickedness."
-- 2 Timothy 2:19 (NIV)

God never changes, and truly "knows who are His", but sadly the problems lie in that those that are His, have either forgotten this truth, or have never been told. So for God's sake go tell someone, even if is just that fuzzy face you see in the mirror.

Oh, and um, work on that other part of the verse too (O:

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Thursday, July 31, 2008

My God, not my faith

Any of you folks still lurking around will remember that I have blogged ad nauseam about struggles in my own life, and our Lord's never ending grace and provision. When giving my "testimony", I have often heard something like "your faith has seen you through" or "your faith kept you going".

Lately this type of dialogue has popped up again in current politics, as well known defenders of Christianity such as Barrack Obama and Hilary Clinton (yes, this is called sarcasm), talk of times when their faith "carried them".

Pondering this under the microscope of humility vs. political posturing, I realized how much this type of statement is actually rather self centered.

My faith is a product, a gift, of a merciful and loving God, and to be truthful, nothing of "me" has gotten me through anything. Twas God . . . .before,now, and tomorrow.

God carried me through.
God provided.
God even punished (all the while calling me "son")
God poured out blessing upon blessing on one so deserving of hell

In the end, my faith is only the eyes which to see what my God has/is/will do.

My God, all praises to Him!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Explaining the Odd Smell in D.C.

"Apart from God
every activity is merely a passing whiff of

Monday, June 30, 2008

Bumper Sticker of the Day

"God Loves you right where you are,
right where you live,
but you must love God
if you want to live right where He is"

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Gore blames _______ on Global Warming

Gore blames Flatulence on Global Warming

I was just wondering if our favorite overweight ex-pro-lifer might ever use Global Warning as a possible explanation for the funk in the living room after returning from his favorite Tex-mex dive "Las Gluttonia on da Border". Just a thought.

"sorry teacher, the global warning melted my homework"

"no Father your 45 minute homily wasn't boring, it must be the Global warming"

"I would be posting more, but you know how the Global warming changes thought patterns"

What do you blame Global Warning for?

Monday, April 14, 2008

Quote of the day

"Even in the Catholic church, nobody has the right to instrumentalize the visit of the pope to serve their personal interests," (Vatican's envoy to the United States) Archbishop Pietro Sambi told the National Catholic Reporter. "The problem is that there are too many people here who would like to be the pope ... and who attribute to themselves a strong sense of their own infallibility."

addressing the possible demonstrations by various groups who call themselves Catholic, while at the same time denying what the church teaches.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

He Is Risen!

He is Risen indeed!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Whadya think?

I have been working on a Celtic series of picture frame mouldings for a while now, and thought I would inflict my designs upon you all.Please let me see through your eyes. thanks

Sunday, February 17, 2008

My "Stations" in life

While anyone who knows me might likely agree that I am a bit of a sap, my definition of the word "Love" has changed a lot since my younger days of puppy love. Still the ever hopeless romantic, I know that romance is not the end, but only a means to show your beloved how much they are loved.

Now that I have been blessed beyond words in my new engagement, pondering on how to love as Christ would have me, has never seemed so immediate, so real.

Thankfully, God's timing is always perfect, and "our" (have to get used to the blessing of no more "mine") engagement started during the Lenten season, with my parish's regular Friday night "Stations of the Cross" only a few days later. As my love and I walked the stations in honor of our first Love, I wept as I knew that this was true marriage prep for any man, with the full knowledge that if I am truly to love this wonderful woman (and any small persons our Lord would bless us with) than this way of the cross, this ultimate act of love and sacrifice, must be how I am to live.

"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church
and gave Himself up for her"
Ephesians 5:25

The Stations are not only our way of knowing and/or experiencing our Lord more deeply, but they are so obviously a true and perfect Love lesson (especially for us guys). You can take all your silly romance novels and chic flicks (the ones yer Mass'keteer admits to kinda liking, and possibly tearing up to on occasion), and replace them with the Sorrowful mysteries or Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" as guides on how to love.

It is easy for writers to pen tales of those early months of a relationship, yet almost every "romantic" story ends with the marriage, or the "I love you" . . . .yet this is when real love not only begins, but is also when it starts it's testing. I have to admit, that one of the most true to Christian love stories I have seen in recent years, was the movie "50 First Dates", and the truly sacrificial way that Adam Sandler's Henry loved Drew Barrymore's "Lucy"(you'll have to watch, I don't spoil endings). Yes, it is also a true Adam Sandler movie, with all the silly locker room humor you expect, but for those with "eyes to see", there is a story of love . . .God's way.

It teaches, in it's own way, that love is not what I can get, but what can I give. If I truly desire to see my beloved in heaven, than I must be willing to take the nails in my hand. If I honestly wish her to know she is loved, I must be willing to wear the crown of thorns in her name. If I completely am to be worthy of this beautiful bride, I must be willing to be made ugly before men. If I really wish for her an abundant life, I must be ready and willing to give up my own life.

I knew I was ready to "pop the question", when I said yes to the above, and with God's grace, hope to continue all the days He lends me breathe.

Anyhow, rambling on as I do, I will just end with two things. First that any of my married, or hoping to be married, brothers out there, would just meditate on "perfect love" before a crucifix (the perfect symbol true love) for a few minutes each day, or at least once a week.

Second, that you could pray for this silly man, who desires nothing more than to lay down his own desires, and his life, for the amazing person (and hopefully lil' persons) God has entrusted him with.

Thanks and God bless, mike

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Elmo - Goo Goo Dolls

for all of you who know of my other, not so hidden, "talents" (O:

Monday, February 4, 2008

Don't Judge a Book by the Eye Liner

A recent trip to Phoenix allowed me to visit Alice Cooper's Cooperstown, and it even afforded me an opening to share my faith with my hosts who were unaware of Alice's strong faith. Me thinks it also may have helped to break down the silly stereotypes people have about us wacky followers of the Lover of all.

I once used "No More Mr. Nice Guy" as a metaphor for the misconception of the "shiny happy Mr. Rodgers" Christ, and how the real rebel Jesus would be treated in many churches today. . . .heh, when yer workin' with kids, you use anything you can (O:

Also, check out this awesome CNN interview with Vince Furier (aka Alice), and visit the Solid Rock website.


Sunday, February 3, 2008

Good News or just Good Advice?

Is not the popular idea of Christianity simply this, that
Jesus Christ was a great moral teacher and that, if only we
took his advice, we might be able to establish a better social
order and avoid another war? Now, mind you, that is quite
true; but it tells you much less than the whole truth about
Christianity, and it has no practical importance at all. It is
quite true that, if we took Christ's advice, we should soon be
living in a happier world. You need not even go as far as
Christ. If we did all that... Confucius told us, we should get
on a great deal better than we do. And so what?... If
Christianity only means one more bit of good advice, then
Christianity is of no importance. There has been no lack of
good advice for the last four thousand years. A bit more makes
no difference.
C. S. Lewis - Mere Christianity

Saturday, February 2, 2008

After the last tear falls

Not the best version of this wonderful tune, but with a week of mother's going home to heaven, friend's going under the knife, and aging parents forgetting their children's names, it it good to remember that before, during, and after the last tear that falls there is God's love!

Andrew Peterson - After the Last Tear Falls

After the last tear falls
After the last secret's told
After the last bullet tears through flesh and bone
After the last child starves
And the last girl walks the boulevard
After the last year that's just too hard

There is love
Love, love, love
There is love
Love, love, love
There is love

After the last disgrace
After the last lie to save some face
After the last brutal jab from a poison tongue
After the last dirty politician
After the last meal down at the mission
After the last lonely night in prison

There is love
Love, love, love
There is love
Love, love, love
There is love

And in the end, the end is
Oceans and oceans
Of love and love again
We'll see how the tears that have fallen
Were caught in the palms
Of the Giver of love and the Lover of all
And we'll look back on these tears as old tales

'Cause after the last plan fails
After the last siren wails
After the last young husband sails off to join the war
After the last "this marriage is over"
After the last young girl's innocence is stolen
After the last years of silence that won't let a heart open

There is love
Love, love, love
There is love

And in the end, the end is
Oceans and oceans
Of love and love again
We'll see how the tears that have fallen
Were caught in the palms
Of the Giver of love and the Lover of all
And we'll look back on these tears as old tales

'Cause after the last tear falls
There is love

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Holy Name of Jesus

“Glorious name, gracious name, name of love and of power! Through you sins are forgiven, through you enemies are vanquished, through you the sick are freed from their illness, through you those suffering in trials are made strong and cheerful. You bring honor to those who believe, you teach those who preach, you give strength to the toiler, you sustain the weary”
St. Bernardine of Siena

Wednesday, January 2, 2008