Saturday, January 31, 2009
An extreme perk to my humble little career , is that I am constantly viewing beautiful original works of art. As I entered Hermitage Gallery in Virginia yesterday, I was imediately taken by the new showing of Arlington native Teresa Oaxaca's classical art. Finding that she isn't even old enough to legally have a glass a wine at her own opening, only enhanced my appreciation of this talented woman's work.
Check out her website's gallery
Faith is the realization of what is hoped for
and evidence of things not seen.
Because of it the ancients were well attested."
have mercy on us
and on the whole world.'
Jesus, I trust in You!
Friday, January 30, 2009
I was wondering how many folks know that this Lenny Kravitz tune is written as if it is Christ asking the question? I don't pretend to know Lenny's relationship with our Lord, but I do know that as a baby Christian I wept in joy when I saw him wearing this shirt on VH1.
I am the chosen I'm the one
I have come to save the day
And I won't leave until I'm done"
"Are You Gonna Go My Way?"
Thursday, January 29, 2009
In many ways I am happy to be back in my beloved Baltimore, where in general folks are a little nicer, a little less pretentious, and a little less "me" focused than in our National Swamp (although the DC-ites are moving here in force, $20 martinis in hand). Granted, Washington must be aware of it's spiritual deficit (or the faithful are aware of how easy it is to get caught up in the rampant materialism and status), as it sure was a lot easier to find a Bible Study or Adoration chapel down there than I am finding up here in Bawlmer, hon.
I've posted in the past of my own, almost selfish, need to spend time before the Blessed Sacrament, and the blessing of how transformed I feel after just a few hours sitting in silence with our Lord. In my new neighborhood, Father Patrick (who runs three churches without benefit of another priest) barely has time for daily matters, so we only have a short weekday Adoration time. Searching the neighboring parishes, I seem to be finding much of the same, with a one hour gap here, or a first Friday devotion there; but no regularly evening scheduled time for us silly working folk. Last night I even went to my old, wonderful parish, but the sound of Ice crashing as it slid off the roof made me anxious about my one hour plus drive home, so I rested not. I am guessing I am gonna have to make a bit of parishioner noise if I am going to get a bit of spiritual silence (O:
So, if any of the D'artagnon minion have ideas on how to go about getting a weekly Adoration time, or has had to do similar, please give a shout. . . .and if ya happen to have Perpetual Adoration at your church, and ain't going , I can only say "wanna trade homes" (O:
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
All that I have written appears to me as much straw
after the things that have been
revealed to me."
St. Thomas Aquinas
Continuing with my rant about why Christian music is my tuneage of choice, I ask ya to give a listen to the opening of this song. For all my (attempts at) intellectual musings or academic babblings, I hope I never forget the simple, yet sometimes hard to accept, truth of the Gospel ; that We are loved beyond words . . .
You are loved beyond words . . .pass it on!
This is worth any cost
So make the most of life that's borrowed
Love like there's no tomorrow
Someone loves you
Even when you don't think so
Don't you know
You got me and Jesus
By your side
Through the fight
You will never be alone
On your own
You got me and Jesus"
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Oh, how I have failed, or maybe she is still responding to her "cool" uncle's severe hair cut of a few years back, but one of my main purposes is to show folks that while it is not a church teaching that all must pay tribute at the altar of CCM, it is still much better than the church of Top 40.
"Everything is permissible"—but not everything is constructive."
1 Corinthians 10:23
Anyhoo, complaining is not the answer, but hopefully demonstrating again, that there is soooo much great Christin music out there, and more than enough to get you through to that next meal .
Monday, January 26, 2009
Yesterday as I opened the door to that little rowhouse I grew up in, thinking again I would find him in his usual slumber, I was so wonderfully shocked to see my dad sitting up and with a grin say "whattaya know Mike?" I felt like dancing, but just let out a "thank you God".
A little holiday from the illness, and soon he will fall back into that slumber, and than too soon (at least for me) his sleep with our loving Father, but I just wanted to let ya all know how much your prayers are helping (keep'em coming), how happy I was for just a few minutes of time with my pop, and I just want to say thank you from me and my family. God bless you!
Sunday, January 25, 2009
We had a wonderful time seeing the new band Fiction Family last night, and were even more blessed that Jon played this song from his solo album (think Switchfoot acoustic worship cd). Absolutely beautiful, and I so wish the Church would include this in it's folk masses.
You always amaze me
Let Your kingdom come in my world
And in my life
Give me the food I need
To live through today
Forgive me as I forgive
The people that wrong me
Lead me far from temptation
Deliver me from the evil one
I look out the window
The birds are composing
Not a note is out of tune
Or out of place
I walk to the meadow
And stare at the flowers
Better dressed than any girl
On her wedding day
So why should I worry?
Why do I freak out?
God knows what I need
You know what I need!
Your love is
Your love is
Your love is strong
The kingdom of the heavens
Is now advancing
Invade my heart
Invade this broken town
The kingdom of the heavens
Is buried treasure
Would you sell yourself
To buy the one you've found
Two things you told me
That you are strong
And you love me
Yes, you love me
Your love is
Your love is
Your love is strong
Your love is
Your love is
Your love is strong
Our God in Heaven
Hallowed be Thy name
Above all names
Your kingdom come
Your will be done
On earth as it is in Heaven
Give us, today, our daily bread
Forgive us weary sinners
Keep us far from our vices
And deliver us from these prisons
Saturday, January 24, 2009
"Be patient, not only with respect to the main trials which
annoyances which arise out of them. We often find people who
imagine themselves ready to accept a trial in itself who are
impatient of its consequences."
The First Catholic book I was ever given, besides the bible, was St. Francois de Sales' classic "The Introduction to the Devout Life". Sadly, me thinks I am still in the introductory part of said devout life, but re-reading this lil' gem of wisdom has gotten me back on track more than once.
At 35 he became bishop of Geneva. While administering his diocese he continued to preach, hear confessions and catechize the children. His gentle character was a great asset in winning souls. He practiced his own axiom, “A spoonful of honey attracts more flies than a barrelful of vinegar.”
Besides his two well-known books, the Love of God, he wrote many pamphlets and carried on a vast correspondence. For his writings, he has been named patron of the Catholic Press. His writings, filled with his characteristic gentle spirit, are addressed to lay people. He wants to make them understand that they too are called to be saints. As he wrote in The Introduction to the Devout Life: “It is an error, or rather a heresy, to say devotion is incompatible with the life of a soldier, a tradesman, a prince, or a married woman.... It has happened that many have lost perfection in the desert who had preserved it in the world. ” and A Treatise on the
In spite of his busy and comparatively short life, he had time to collaborate with another saint, Jane Frances de Chantal, in the work of establishing the Sisters of the Visitation. These women were to practice the virtues exemplified in Mary’s visit to Elizabeth: humility, piety and mutual charity. They at first engaged to a limited degree in works of mercy for the poor and the sick. Today, while some communities conduct schools, others live a strictly contemplative life.
Francis de Sales took seriously the words of Christ, “Learn of me for I am meek and humble of heart.” As he said himself, it took him 20 years to conquer his quick temper, but no one ever suspected he had such a problem, so overflowing with good nature and kindness was his usual manner of acting. His perennial meekness and sunny disposition won for him the title of “Gentleman Saint.”
Francis tells us: “The person who possesses Christian meekness is affectionate and tender towards everyone: he is disposed to forgive and excuse the frailties of others; the goodness of his heart appears in a sweet affability that influences his words and actions, presents every object to his view in the most charitable and pleasing light.”
From Saint of the Day
Friday, January 23, 2009
Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth
"The Bible is like a telescope. If a man looks through his
telescope, then he sees worlds beyond; but if he looks at his
telescope, then he does not see anything but that. The Bible
is a thing to be looked through, to see that which is beyond."
Henry Ward Beecher
"The Bible is a supernatural book and can be understood only by supernatural aid."
A. W. Tozer
“The Bible tells us to love our neighbors, and also to love our enemies; probably because generally they are the same people.”
(Trying not to quote Chesterton is as futile as trying to only eat one potato chip)
Dr. Peter Kreeft
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Timeless Truth "We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all human beings are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, among which is the right to life . . .."
Modern "truth" "We (in power) hold these whims to be selfish-evident: That all human beings are created if it's convenient, and are sometimes (if it's an election year) endowed by their Government with certain rights (if they can vote), among which is the right to be lead by the media, lest anyone should think for themself"
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves;
For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him?
And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee.
I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth."
praying is to keep at it... Be importunate, Jesus says--not,
one assumes, because you have to beat a path to God's door
before he'll open it, but because until you beat the path
maybe there's no way of getting to your door."
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Of all the photos that stick in my over cataloged database of a noggin, one of my favorites is a picture of an old friend's grand parents (wish I had a copy to show ya). In this slightly distressed sepia print from the early 20th century, sits a nicely dressed African American woman, and standing next her, a Native American looking daper in a three piece suit and sporting a mohawk.
I thought of that photo, as well as a wonderful lil' film "Once Upon a Time, When We were Colored", back in October when it was announced that Barack Obama had won the presidential election. While I pretty much disagree with just about everything that comes out of our new President's mouth, I have found a bit of solace in the fact that there are so many of my slightly more tan brothers and sisters out there, that have maybe for the first time, completely felt that God given dignity, that I take for granted every single day.
Just a thought.
Monday, January 19, 2009
"At that time Samuel was not familiar with the LORD,
because the LORD had not revealed anything to him as yet.
The LORD called Samuel again, for the third time.
Getting up and going to Eli, he said, “Here I am. You called me.”
Then Eli understood that the LORD was calling the youth.
So he said to Samuel, “Go to sleep, and if you are called, reply,
Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.”
When Samuel went to sleep in his place,
the LORD came and revealed his presence,
calling out as before, “Samuel, Samuel!”
Samuel answered, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
Oh yeah, I am as guilty of this as anyone, and thankfully found a convicting call to my heart in this passage. Learning to listen to God, or anyone quite frankly, is not the easiest thing for most people; but what shows greater humility?, or helps us more, than a heart and mind open to God.
Granted, if we listen to our Lord we might have to do something we don't want, love someone we'd rather not, work somewhere that pays less . . . we might have to serve and submit, and like Christ, have our own desires crucified for the sake of the One who sends us.
The passage also ends with a promise for those with "ears to hear" (it's also a great line to defend papal infallibility with), as well as a bit of almost biblical sarcasm, in that unless we learn to listen, we will never "grow up".
Saturday, January 17, 2009
"Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.
Cleanse your hands, ye sinners;
and purify your hearts, ye double minded."
"Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation:
the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."
As someone who always considered that Jesus was merely showing His great mercy in "but the flesh is weak", it was only in context that I realized that this was more a warning. Christ was telling the apostles which part of their nature to use to, to focus on, to control the other, so as to "not enter into temptation".
It seems we too often use "our weak flesh" as an excuse to sin, or to allow others to dwell in temptation-land; where we should be focusing more on the strength of Christ's spirit, "which is willing", inside us that beckons us all to "watch and pray".
Sadly, we are too often, as James writes "double-minded",thinking we can feed both the "spirit" and the "flesh", forgetting that to there is only enough food for one.
Friday, January 16, 2009
If you're also a fan of Maroon 5, but wished they would write lyrics of God's true and pure love, instead of songs of lust and infidelity, have I got a CD for you!
DC raised Nate Sallie's latest disc will have you dancing like David in no time, and might even have ya saying "Maroon who?". His first disc "Inside Out" was more guitar driven power pop aimed at the youth group crowd, but "Ruined for Ordinary" shows a more mature soulful side of this Christian artist that will hopefully appeal to the various generations of music lovers.
Could find no video, as of yet, for the first single "Lone Ranger" (go ahead, download it for a buck), but I found this lil' live clip to give ya a taste. . . enjoy!
Now that I have found a love that never ends
Everything you are is all I hope to be, yeah
I used to walk around and be the lone ranger
Never needed love from a stranger
Always walked away from the danger
Of losing a friend, yes
And then I stumbled in to You in my senses
I needed You to melt my defenses
You're the sum of all I've been missing for so long
Let me say to You
I don't ever wanna be alone again
Now that I have found a love that never ends
Everything you are is all I hope to be
'Cause You're the best thing that's happened to me
And You know that I'll go
Anywhere you take my hand
And I don't ever wanna be alone again
I don't wanna be 'lone again
Don't wanna be 'lone again
Thursday, January 15, 2009
“Harden not your hearts as at the rebellion
in the day of testing in the desert,
where your ancestors tested and tried me
and saw my works for forty years.
Because of this I was provoked with that generation
and I said, ‘They have always been of erring heart,
and they do not know my ways.’
As I swore in my wrath,
‘They shall not enter into my rest.’”
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
changing our works, but upon our doing that for God's sake
which commonly we do for our own; that it was lamentable to
see how many people mistook the means for the end, addicting
themselves to certain works, which they performed very
imperfectly, by reason of their human or selfish regards."
A quote from The Practice Of The Presence Of God , a wonderful little classic for anyone wishing to make their whole life a prayer.
On a side note, I am collecting covers of old paperbacks to eventually frame, so if anyone comes across a ten cent copy of an old Lewis, Chesterton, MacDonald, etc., feel free to send 'em my way (O: (and for you "bookies" out there, yes, I am ripping the covers off old novels). My humblest of apologies to my fellow Mass'keteer, but Mandate is not, as of yet, sufficiently distressed for my design purposes (O:
Monday, January 12, 2009
Will YOU speak for those without a voice?
Does Your Silence = Their Death?
Will You at least Pray for our unborn family?
From the 1980 Album, "Ph'lip Side.
May we all do our part to save the children.
Sunday, January 11, 2009
"His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold
wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and
authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal
purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord."
"Critical Success Factor", which it seems is a business term, used for an element which is necessary for an organization or project to achieve its mission. It, of course, lead to my meditating on what D'art's own personal one(s) might be, given that my "mission" is to "love God with all my heart and with all my soul and with all my mind" and 'Love my neighbor as myself.'; I realized that my CSFs are to be found again in scripture.
To achieve my God given mission in life I must strive to make it possible to interchange the word Love (or charity) in 1 COR 13:4-7, with that of my own name. So these are my Critical Success Factors:
Michael cares more for others than for self.
Michael doesn't want what he doesn't have.
Michael doesn't strut,
Michael doesn't have a swelled head,
Michael doesn't force himself on others,
Isn't always "me first,"
Michael doesn't fly off the handle,
Michael doesn't keep score of the sins of others,
Michael doesn't revel when others grovel,
Michael takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Michael never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
On some I am, praise God!, a lil' closer than others, but in all I must work very hard to achieve, and with all my heart, all my mind, and all my soul . . . that is how I love my God.
Saturday, January 10, 2009
"Hathaway and Hudson, both natural charmers, are reduced to female stereotypes in this outdated comedy," while Ann Hornaday of the Washington Post minces no words: "This thoroughly joyless movie also possesses a deep nasty streak, making it loathsome when it might have been merely annoying."
uuum, obviously Ms. Hornaday is not married, or if so did not discuss this review with her husband in advance, because as one who barely survived the engagement process, I have to say that putting that first ring on even the nicest "natural charmer" can sadly turn one into a "female stereotype" capable of making a wedding, or a groom, "thoroughly joyless".
"We also know that the Son of God has come
and has given us discernment to know the one who is true.
And we are in the one who is true,
in his Son Jesus Christ.
He is the true God and eternal life.
Little Children, be on your guard against idols."
1 John 5:20-21
Friday, January 9, 2009
Seems he and Nickel Creek friend Sean Watkins have made a little record (release date 1/20/09) under the moniker of Family Fiction .The first single "When She's Near", is available for free for Download this week at itickets, and it has Jon singing about romantic love, something he has for the most part, shied away from on his other projects.
From their Bio "Foreman and Watkins began their collaboration in 2005, and eventually pieced together their first song called "Betrayal." The pair continued to write songs in the same manner because Nickel Creek and Switchfoot were both constantly on the road touring. "Whoever was home from tour would chip away at the songs with no real expectations at all," said Foreman. It was "mainly just for ourselves and for the love of the song I suppose."
The tracking of the record was very organic, with little production involved besides some basic samples the two created from scratch. It was recorded completely in Foreman and Watkins' home studios, and with a few exceptions, "every note was written, arranged, played, recorded, mixed, and mastered by sean and myself," Foreman said.
Eventually, the pair had pulled together enough songs for an EP, but enjoyed the project so much they decided to continue writing until they had a full record. They finished tracking in 2007, and rumors were swirling that Starbucks Coffee would be releasing the record on their label. But that deal apparently fell through, and the album was shelved until ATO Records picked it up late in 2008."
They are also touring to promote the disc, and I am excited that they will be in my area in a couple weeks (and I get to take a couple of awesome friends with me to the show).
check 'em out
|Borders Store - FREE||Ann Arbor, Michigan|
|The Ark||Ann Arbor, Michigan|
|Literary Club - Calvin College||GRAND RAPIDS|
|Abbey Pub||Chicago, Illinois|
|Ransburg Auditorium - University of Indianapolis||Indianapolis, Indiana|
|Mountain Stage at WVU||Morgantown, West Virginia|
|Bowery Ballroom||New York, New York|
|Paradise Rock Club||Boston, Massachusetts|
|World Cafe Live||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania|
|Crawford Auditorium||Grove City, Pennsylvania|
|Jammin’ Java||Vienna, Virginia|
|Brubaker Auditorium||Grantham, Pennsylvania|
|Gravity Lounge||Charlottesville, Virginia|
|Variety Playhouse||Atlanta, Georgia|
|Belcourt Theater||Nashville, Tennessee|
|Neumos Crystal Ball Reading Room||Seattle, Washington|
|Aladdin Theater||Portland, Oregon|
|The Independent||San Francisco, California|
|Anthology Restaurant||San Diego, California|
|Largo at Coronet Theater||West Hollywood, California|
Thursday, January 8, 2009
I have been, until now, rather silent about the not so great events surrounding my life at present, but thought it best to ask the blogosphere to please take a moment to say a prayer for my family.
My father is in the late stages of ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease), as well as suffering from Alzheimer's. My poor stepmom, who has been trying to do a lot of the care giving (we have just started home hospice), is now herself suffering from pneumonia (they will hopefully celebrate their 2nd wedding anniversary in April). My sister who normally lives with them, has Downs Syndrome, and is temporarily living with my other sister (who has enough on her plate, as she has two teenagers), until we can set up a permanent room in my humble lil' house.
Please , please mention us in your prayers, that the Peace that surpasses all understanding would flood our lives, lending us the grace and wisdom to help and support each other through a stressful and sad time.
Thanks and God bless,
A wonderful, and surprisingly gentle, lil' satire of the vacuous state of most media. Thanks to Relevant Radio's Morning Air blog for posting, as I am not one to visit the Onion that often.
Breaking News: Series Of Concentric Circles Emanating From Glowing Red Dot
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
My new parish is more correctly a "community" comprised of 3 historic churches pastored by one priest, who is alone left to preside over each Sunday Mass, as well as the weekday daily masses. Lately poor Fr. Pat has been looking like a cold has gotten the best of him, and I can't help but worry about when he will be get a bit of rest (granted, the Christmas season is over, so I hope he'll get a slight respite).
Knowing this servant and shepherd is the only priest for 3 churches lead my mind to, of course firstly, wish that I had become a priest, but more importantly, reminded me that we MUST remember to pray for our pastors each and everyday. . . . BUT DO WE?
Partly, me thinks, we tend to only pray for those we "feel" need prayer (someone sick, grieving, struggling, etc.), and forget about those who we think are spiritually above us (how we determine this, I ain't sure). Many of us might just think that they (religious) take care to pray for one another (which is true), but are our petitions of any less importance, or have any less power available to them? Even in this, I only realized that I should pray more for our religious after I noticed a coughing cleric struggling to get through mass.
Anyhow, so I just wanted to ask anyone out there to please remember to pray for our religious, from the Pope on down to yer favorite Deacon, because they do so need our prayers . . . mostly 'cause they have to deal with us (O;
St. Therese of Lisieux
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Found an interesting article on the Pro-life questions raised in "Horton Hears a Who," and I couldn't help but wonder how long before our fascist friends on the left, who control much of the NEA,will have the book removed from school libraries.
Sadly, I also found an article where Audrey Geisel, widow of Theodor Seuss Geisel (Dr. Seuss), was upset that the quote was being used for a pro-life poster advertising a Pro-Life Sunday .
While a fully pregnant woman, in all her beauty, might feel a bit like our beloved elephant Horton at times, I don't know exactly if the good Doctor had that in mind (O:
Monday, January 5, 2009
Yes, sadly, there SHOULD be Towers behind me.