Restoration of Byzantine-style Catholic Church
Restoration of Byzantine-style Catholic church
The 1995 fire had been set by a Des Moines man consumed with hatred over the Catholic church's stands on homosexuality, masturbation and abortion.
But ironically, the people trying to bring the old church back to life found themselves at odds with people from their own diocese and their own parish council - people who thought it would be more sensible to take the $3.9 million insurance settlement, build a more modest $3 million church to replace it, and have cash left over. ... She's one of the many who believe that the Catholic leadership should have renovated the old structure "instead of building this other barn out here, as we call it."
Reading stuff like this is painful. One person left the Church over this. I am glad efforts are being made, but it is truly sad that the parish leadership chose otherwise. Our parish currently worships in a typical 70's building and after donations to build a new "more traditional" church failed to come in, the parish decided to go with a scaled down church and "keep the look of the old church" ... trust me, there is no look to it. Who deliberately chooses ugly or economical or time sensitive? It used to take decades to build churches. Sacrifices were made and time was usually one of them. Now we find ourselves motivated by deadlines and cost cutting ...
And in other recent news, we have folks wanting to run churches like Wal-Mart.
I have to keep telling myself that places like this
still exist but I am having to wonder how long they will when such flippant attitudes towards restoring them or building anything new to compare seem so rampant.
The gates will not prevail ... the gates will not prevail ... the gates will not prevail.
The Da Vinci Code: Why all the fuss?
Vatican Crusade Against "Da Vinci Code"? Hardly
via Ad Majorem Dei GloriamInsight Scoop 2004: TDVC "Expert": "It's ONLY a novel!"
A thought or two: Yesterday I took the time to count the number of articles from a Google search on "Catholic Church". The most cited story was about The DaVinci Code which I find most perplexing given that it isn't like the Pope ordered a full scale battle to rid the world of the novel. The press, however, has treated it this way. I have to agree with Carl at Insight Scoop ... Have your pick ... either "It's just a novel" or it "raises some serious questions about the origins of Christianity" ...
Catholic stories that the Da Vinci Code "smackdown"
1. UK Cardinal encourages voters to include abortion when casting their vote
2. Legal haggle over population laws in the Phillipines (lawmakers accused bishops of lying)
3. The Pope's health is improving
Also note that a close second in number of stories was about a lay group looking to help the Church better run itself ... Can we see the priority in the press about the Church?
Yeah .... its just a novel.
Pope: Communion to be Reserved to Those Who Know they Have Not Committed Mortal Sin
via Unam SanctumPurse snatchers finding victims in local Catholic churches
I knew it struck me as odd that few women were leaving their purses in the pews this past Sunday ... Don't read this column backwards!Michael J. Gaynor: THE "PRACTICING CATHOLIC" PRETENSE AND THE TRUTHNot enough "feminine"; too much "feminine". Which is it?
Didn't Chesterton point this out about all Catholic truths? One side says a doctrine isn't enough of (A) and another side says that it isn't enough of (NOT A) .. I think it was in Orthodoxy ... Response to a Lutheran about NFP
I mentioned this a few days ago and said that it was one of the best responses I have seen to the charge that NFP is essentially "Catholic birth control" ... Of course, my other favorite is "what? You don't know the difference between having sex and not having sex?"Genes, Intelligence, & ReligionBlessed Sacrament Rescued as Cathedral Burned
via Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam
Alice Von Hildebrand: Reclaim the Supernatural
Reclaim the supernatural
via A Saintly Salmagundi
The sublime vocation of the priesthood is a calling to give oneself totally and completely to Christ: to understand how great a privilege it is to be his servant, to do his will, to represent the Holy One at the altar, to give absolution to the sinners in His name. To become a priest because one comes from a modest background, and the priesthood is a sure way of ascending in the social scale, is an unworthy motive. Any wise spiritual director would turn down such “vocations.”
Alas, ambition is deeply rooted in one’s fallen nature, and it is a sheer illusion to believe that because one has a calling to the priesthood, one is ipso facto, liberated from this shackle. There are priests who hope to become a monsignor — a step that will possibly lead to being consecrated a bishop, and a bishop can potentially become a cardinal. The lives of saints testify to the fact that the true servants of God shun honors, and when they are offered to them, either turn them down (let us think of Don Bosco), or accept them under the cross. When the Holy Pius X was elected, — something which he dreaded — he said; “I accept under the cross.”
See the key elements here ... sacrifice and humility ...
So What’s Wrong with Rock Music? (updated)
So What’s Wrong with Rock Music?
But as the sub-genres grow “harder” or “heavier” or more “metal”, the danger signals increase, not only because of the more frequent evil associations, as noted above, but because of certain elements in the music itself. Man creative as imitation of God the Creator
The first of these elements is distortion. While no sound is intrinsically immoral, and even distortion has its place in making a thematic point or portraying a particular mood, distortion is a staple of hard rock, which seems to delight in perverting and making ugly sounds that would otherwise have far more musical merit. Here the music mirrors the moral distortions with which it is so often associated.
The second element is the sheer volume of sound. Just as harder forms of rock almost never present a sweet passage without following it with the inevitable angry distortion, so also they rarely present a soft passage without following it will an ear-splitting (and ear-damaging) wall of sound. At a certain point of volume, all sounds become mere noise. True, apart from concerts, one can listen at lower volumes, but these electronically-generated sounds are built, as it were, for high volume, and the suggestion of electronic noise is very often present no matter what the playback volume. It has been suggested, and I think with reason, that there is an almost drug-like aspect to this immersion in a physically-damaging volume of sound.
The third element is the perversion of the human voice. Again, in fairness it must be noted that nearly every genre of music (with the possible except of folk) is defined in part by its peculiar shaping of the human voice. Whether we are listening to opera or country, there is a characteristic shifting of the voice for use in a predictable instrumental way. However, in hard rock music with male singers, the nearly universal and deliberate distortion of the voice into a toneless shout or growl suggests again a perversion of human characteristics and values. This trend reaches its nadir in the self-evidently and deliberately ugly sound of the “death voice” in certain Satanic and near-Satanic genres.
-- from John Paul II's Letter to Artists
None can sense more deeply than you artists, ingenious creators of beauty that you are, something of the pathos with which God at the dawn of creation looked upon the work of his hands. A glimmer of that feeling has shone so often in your eyes when—like the artists of every age—captivated by the hidden power of sounds and words, colours and shapes, you have admired the work of your inspiration, sensing in it some echo of the mystery of creation with which God, the sole creator of all things, has wished in some way to associate you.
In these things we appreciate the gifts of God, for the people of God … but why do I like certain things … Beautiful Sounds vs. Ugly Sounds
I think it is difficult to quantify what makes beautiful sound vs. ugly sound but I think that there is a generalization that can be made based on the type of music that meets the high standard that is considered preferable for liturgy. Chant holds the highest place, in terms of music, for the liturgy, followed by vocal pieces accompanied by instrumentation to finally that of performances containing solely instrumentation. Consider a hierarchy developed around the idea of connectivity to the voice/human ability to express and the genres typically associated with them.
Classical/Voice: The human voice – As the Catholic Encyclopedia notes “that first and most perfect of instruments, the work of God Himself”
Classical symphonic/ Classic Jazz / Folk: Instruments requiring intimate human interaction – strings, brass, guitars, piano
Light Rock/Rock/Contemporary Jazz: instruments masking intimate human action – guitars run through effects (delay)
Rock/Electronic: Instruments most lacking in intimate human interaction – drum machines, samplers, sequencers, tape loops, DJ work.
Naturally in liturgy one can see a relationship between what is preferable in mass and what is least preferable. The level of division from the perfect instrument, us, is what further divides the medium from God. Still, that doesn’t explain why I like what is essentially the MOST removed from instrumentation best suited for mass. But if it is not necessarily compatible with mass, is it compatible with the Christian life at all? I believe so and let me explain why. The elements higher up the chain are intimately spiritual. They emphasize the emotional aspects of humanity. One only needs hear the pain of a tragic opera or the passion of a violin soloist to understand this. The elements lower down the chain, while removed some from the deep spiritual aspects tend to emphasize the logical qualities of us, and as images of Him, God. Drum machines are meticulously manipulated to create complex and highly intricate and logical patterns. They appeal to the mathematical, the philosophical, and the logical. They appeal to the St. Thomas Aquinas in all of us. While possibly lesser in pure terms, we still have an emphasis on a particular aspect of humanity. We also have a glimpse into a deep concept of the logical aspect of absolute truth from an angle that is difficult to achieve with more classical instrumentation. Composition vs. Improvisation
A similar hierarchy can be developed for composition style. Consider the following:
Classical: composed music
Folk, Rock: composed with some improvisation
Jazz: Primarily improvised music
Composed music appeals to the logical in us. Improvised music appeals to the emotional in us, a more human side … but a side created by God. Jazz can provoke us to consider better the human nature of Christ and thus lead us directly into deep contemplation of the mystery of the Incarnation itself.
There are many more ways this can be broken down all of which are intriguing and fascinating ways to use the gift of music to appreciate deep truths of the faith. All express different areas of His glory and emphasize different aspects of the faith. These things can, and should, be used to Glorify Him. Talent, even in grossly secular music is a glory to God as it is a gift from Him. Talent ordered towards the divine draws us into the mysteries of the faith. Talent ordered towards the world thrusts us into the desires of the world. Such is the power of music to touch us. The key is developing a solid level of discernment by study of the truth. A song that is composed to the altar of worldly virtue is going to reveal itself, if not explicitly, in the choice of phrases and combined instrumentation. Our job as Christians is not to eliminate genres of music as wholly un-Godly to be avoided by the faithful. Rather, we are to engage the culture and baptize its elements to Christ in order to bring the world to a full realization of Christ and His love for us. This is the Catholic way.
St. Blogs Parish Hall and Google/Yahoo news search RSS feeds
Canada: Analysis Finds Canadian 'Catholic New Times' Newspaper Anything But 'Catholic'
Lifesite: Analysis Finds Canadian 'Catholic New Times' Newspaper Anything But 'Catholic'
Motivated by the current controversy surrounding the political attempt to redefine Canadian law to include same-sex marriages, and the CNT's explicit support of this attempt, Fr. De Valk asks the question of whether this contradiction of Church teaching was an anomaly for the editorial board at CNT. The result is a comprehensive and systematic examination of the philosophical and political premises that have motivated CNT editors and contributors since its inception 27 years ago to its direct support of same-sex marriage beginning in the fall of 2003 when then Prime Minister Jean Chretien declined to challenge the Supreme Court's June ruling.
Available in parishes and Catholic school libraries across the country, CNT's reporting on social justice issues is well known. Fr. de Valk himself wrote "Some of these articles I read with much interest, others less so, but in general I thought the topics were worthwhile and interesting." However, on the critical moral and doctrinal issues, especially those surrounding homosexuality, the priesthood and abortion, Fr. de Valk emphatically states "This is no longer a Catholic paper." Actually, it never was.
I am shocked it took 27 years to figure this out. News flash!!!!
Dissent 27 years ago breeds dissent today.
Judge says, judge rules, court decides ...
I am sick of reading headlines that start like this .... Republic? Vaguely. How much control over important things do we have any more? When will we get to decide again?
I know some folks who favor a monarchy. At least in that case I have the assurance that me not being in control is part of the system. There is at least honesty. You are king ... you make the laws. I deal.
In this country my not being in control is done in the name of my consent, yet completely without it. Sigh ...
Around the world in 8 ways (update)
"More people use Christian Media Than Attend Church"
If you are reading my blog (you likely aren’t) and you fall into this category …Catholic, Orthodox or Protestant … Go to Church spotty. Bowling Balls Come in Different Scents
- I guess the even more amusing thing was that this was a TOP HEADLINE
from the AP today. Hail, Mary - on growing Protestant devotion to Mary
I am seeing this more and more. It started right around the time of The Passion of the Christ. Christianity Today had an article on this same thing and from what I gathered there has been some soul searching in Protestant corners precisely because the movie emphasized what had to have been a quite intense relationship between Christ and His Mother. It is also quite obvious that the reformers, particularly Luther, held very Catholic beliefs regarding the Blessed Virgin. I have heard of Protestant rosary sites and even seen Protestants defending Catholic Marian beliefs against the extreme word play employed by the fiercest anti-Catholic apologists. I pray this continues. After all, Mary has a tendency to lead people to her Son. Marian dogma is actually amongst the most beautiful of all the teachings of the Church. Every one of them reveals a masterful plan by God and emphasizes a glorious truth about our Lord. She truly does lead us to Him. Everybody (do do doo do do) Everybody
- NEW Homestar Runner poster!!!
The description mentions something about being the envy of your dorm. I knew I had never really gotten over being in college. Ahhh.. Dorm stories. Another endless supply of blogging material ... Philippines - Legislators to bishops: Stop lying on population
- I wish it would have been made clear exactly what "lies" the bishops supposedly told. I mean, what am I supposed to make of this?
We have vague accusations of lies.
We have some vague information about letters, text messages and the like received.
The article NEVER claimed they were from the bishops.
The only bishop cited affirmed a Church teaching.
It seems to me that this article serves one purpose. Making the reader assume the accusation is true. The bishops do not need lies to fight the population police. The truth stands well enough on its own. My guess is that the teachings of the Church are being emphasized. If so, then support for such a measure should be lacking … more: CBCP says Church failed to educate flock on abortion
Vague is becoming less so ... The "lies" apparently seem to revolve around the definition of abortion.Catholic Group to Promote Church Overhaul
On bishop appointments, the roundtable recommended that a committee of the U.S. hierarchy work with human resources experts to improve the process by clearly defining qualifications, adding face-to-face interviews with candidates and encouraging "well-informed nominations" from priests and lay parishioners.
Actually, I am all for it if the qualifications include
Willingness to heavily promote unpopular teachings,
Willingness to excommunicate dangerous heterodox lay members and clergy and
Willingness to support rampant fundraising to gut modern flying saucer churches and fill them with relics, statues, art, candles and other items to re-establish a solid link to the rich history of the faith.
I have a sneaking suspicion that they do not. I am starting to think that the typical American deification of Democracy should be considered a new heresy. We seem to think that we have found some good ideas ... capitalism, democracy ... that need to be applied to God. "Hey God ... got a problem with that adultery bit”. I really think that Americans have a lot to get over when going through the continuous conversion process of becoming Catholic. It is hard to give up the idea that your voice is important even when you KNOW that His voice contradicts yours and requires submission on your part. Americans are not used to submitting to authority … we normally have a say. News flash … God doesn’t work that way. UK: Cardinal tells Catholics to reject Labour over abortion
Another sign. Another year that will go by where the left will ignore the obvious. The trend everywhere is towards conservatism. ITS ABORTION STUPID
To carry over from my tornado blurb yesterday, there is a Slight chance of tornadoes today in northern Florida and southern Georgia. See more in the Mar-14-2005 1300 UTC Day 1 Convective Outlook.
Continuing on that ... Storm Prediction Center Severe Thunderstorm Watch 50
Samurai, tornado season, dissent ... lots of chaos today
Did you realize that nothing in the Church is ever settled?
I admit it. I got bent out of shape this morning. I read an article and then went to mass. I spent most of the drive there venting to my wife about it. I decided not to comment after mass preferring to nap instead ... Seems though that the Curt Jester
saved me the time commenting on this "Whose Church is this"
mess anyway and thus thankfully avoiding an occasion for sin. Seems its a glorious and wonderful thing to be a dissenter in the eyes of some. I'm too new a Catholic to take this type of thing in stride. I seek humility and acceptance of this matter and I pray that my hope in His promise that the gates of hell will not prevail is enough to get me through the day. Thanks for saying what needed to be said Jeff. (Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam also comments) FYI, this is what they are upset about
having to sign. A superb requirement
in my opinion. I wish all bishops were willing to go out on a limb like this in order to ensure that the teachings of the Church are taught
rather than undermined. The Dusty Choir Loft: The Last Samurai and it's liturgical relevance
I love Samurai films. Now I can feel like one of the Seven Samurai when I experience bad liturgy. Kurosawa anyone?Tornadoes
The real start of tornado season is soon to be upon us which means I will be glued to various web sites and be tempted to get satellite TV again just to watch coverage of major outbreaks as they happen. I am a severe weather enthusiast. I own Tornado Video Classics 1-3
(thanks to my wonderful wife who realizes this need to see the awesome fury of nature) ... I have always had dreams about tornadoes. I would say that I have about 10-15 dreams a year and they are quite frightening and often times very graphic. Still, that does not hinder my interest in them. In fact, it likely fuels my interest in them.
I am thankful that there are others who are interested in them because in the last several years there has been an increase in the lead time often given to those in the path of these destructive monsters. I am convinced that the events in Oklahoma City on May 3, 1999 (see especially Storm A)
would have been far worse if not for the incredible coverage given to the tornado. The gravity of the situation was well documented, in real time, for the entire community to see and have full knowledge AS THINGS WERE HAPPENING. Still, over 40 people died.
What tornadoes truly bring to realization for me is that there are some things that are well outside of our control. If you are in the path of an F5 and not underground, there is little you can do that will ensure your being alive after the storm passes. It is almost a certain death sentence. I got my first real understanding of that by reading accounts of the Jarrel F5
just outside of Austin Texas. You cannot begin to comprehend the damage that occurred until you hear some of the incredible accounts of the storm. Foundations were wiped clean. The earth was extracted to a depth of 18" in some places and I have read accounts where evidence of cars that were known to be in the neighborhood at the time could not be found. Video of the 1995 Pampa TX (Windows Media)
and ... another (Windows Media)
... the debris in this one is incredible. In the TVC videos, they slow this down and show that there are SUV's roatating around the funnel about 80 feet off the ground.
We found a gem of a church today (St. Joseph Co-Cathedral - Thibodeaux, Louisiana)
Another entry in the race for most beautiful church in south Louisiana.
This morning I decided that a semi-long trek down to Thibodeaux, Louisiana (pop ~ 15,000) in order to catch my alma mater play a baseball game was in order. It was an excuse to get outside on a gorgeous day and to see how my children would respond to a laid back sporting event. We had to leave the game after a mere 3-innings but on the way out of town I caught a glimpse of a church out the corner of my eye that required investigation. When we arrived, mass was ending. We walked through the door and this is what we saw:
The name of the church is St. Joseph Co-Cathedral. (dicoese page) (home page)
A full collection of photographs can be found here
Another fascinating feature of this church is a relic from a second century martyr named St. Valerie of Milan.
I would also like to reference a post that Fr. Bryce Sibley made about St. Elizabeth's in Paincourtville, LA
... looks like another day will require another trip down the bayou.
Opus Dei monk confirms ...
The European Union is a Catholic plot to impose Catholicism on Protestant Britain. (bettnet)
One Catholic in the room ... foil hats. These kids know something you don't.
(once again ... NOTE - for the uniformed ... there is no such thing as an Opus Dei Monk)
Why modern design generally doesn't work in the Catholic Church
As a fan of modern design I have to admit that I like the church presented here
HOWEVER I do not think it should be a church. It suffers from the lack of something that a Catholic Church requires, that a dentist office does NOT require.
Modern design, as a whole, is stark and bare. It’s usually pretty cold. It is almost completely devoid of the intimate human touch of older churches. Let me explain...
Modern architecture tends to focus on pure forms and sacramentality is not like that. Creation is messy. To me, modern design left unencumbered in a Church tends to implicitly deny the Incarnation. It is hard to think of Jesus as anything other than a vague blob in a church like that. Contrast this to older churches. The forms are human. They touch us personally. A realistic looking crucifix can touch us in a way that an interpretive modern sculpture that merely reminds us of Jesus cannot. I don't want to have to put out the effort to take a basic form and project my humanity towards it in order to elevate me into contemplation of the Incarnation. I want the art to complete that leap for me. It is far less work on my part and I start the contemplative journey far closer to the goal than if I have to make the effort to "see" what is implied rather than what is.
We have a modern church in town that I DO like very much. The stations are works of art. They are graphic, messy.... and human. The Mary statue and the crucifix are also fantastic for the same reasons. I feel like I am AT the foot of the cross when looking at them. The Church is also designed to make you feel like you are outside and since the Church is in the woods you have the natural outdoor beauty saturating the stark forms that are the building itself. The building is designed to give way to that. God's natural creation, of course, isn't missing this element. So in the case of that Church, it works.
It simply takes a lot of effort and UNDERSTANDING of the sacramental nature of the faith to apply modern design in a Catholic setting and that effort usually isn't put into it. Art for arts sake is inappropriate and most modern designers are infected with this thought process. They don't "get" Catholicism and it comes out in the design of their churches. Without the goal of glorifying God you end up with a Church that totally misses, and undermines, the worship that takes place within.
That’s just my two ... from a fan of modern design.excerpt from conversation I had on this after initially posting itweunice: ... I think the purpose of the crucifix just hit me ... being as that we are taking part in the once for all sacrifice of Christ at Calvary, we are in essence actually AT the foot of the cross. The crucifix, partially at least, reminds us and helps us fully realize that. It makes us feel like we are at the foot of the cross moreso than just intellectually knowing that is what is going on ... sorry, you likely knew that but it is a light bulb for me
weunice: and that it why it should be Jesus as he was at the cross, crucified ...
Lent and the Modern Mind
from Kathy Shaidle
I'm just shocked that the guy has listened to Michael Savage. A good read about what has happened to liberalism. Nuptial union finds its proper place only within the ChurchI Was Converted by Mozart
via Lane Core
More links later ... maybe even some commentary. Dawgs lost to Fresno last night. Another year another season the ends without a tournament bid.
OK time for a fun post. Nobody visiting this blog other than my family has any idea who I am ...
name: William Eunice
gender: male - married, 3 kids
education: BS Computer Science, Louisiana Tech University, 1997
religion: Catholic revert since Easter Vigil last year
interests: Jesus, His Church, family, music (especially electronic), sports, older electronic music technology (like the EMS Synthi AKS pictured below -- man those colored knobs should be on everything) ... Can you say Dr. Who?
This afternoon I listened to 80's Dance and Old school rap today on LAUNCH instead of my station. Reminded me of the school bus in the 7th grade ... and then high school "I lost my wallet in El Segundo"
I also wanted to plug the main site hereHTTP://WWW.EARLYCHURCHFATHERS.COM
University Opus reforms repressive C.A.T.H.O.L.I.C. Europe
Daily reading ...
LOCAL: Universities want authority to raise tuition without Legislature
OK, I am too lazy to sign up for a login and my BugMeNot
I know for a fact that my alma mater (Louisiana Tech
) is trying to get their admissions up to highly selective more along the lines of a school like Georgia Tech. They have been raising standards and allowing enrollment to catch up and then raising the bar again. The goal is a smaller university (10-11k students) with higher academic standards and presumably higher tuition to meet the needs to hiring better staff to meet that goal. The ability to control this process given to the university would allow them to truly compete in the market for the best students and I honestly think it would result in a handful of high quality universities in the state and a collection of less expensive ones that meet regional needs a lot better by having lower admissions standards, large student bases and more regionally oriented degree offerings. Why continue to give this control to legislators who have tended in the past to trade political favors in order to create too many 4 year institutions resulting in the highest per capital spending on higher education and universities with smaller and smaller percentages of support actually coming from the state.
Not a chicken in every pot ... a 4-yearuniversity in every town ...
Time to cut back on the favors and loosen the reins and let these schools do what they can to further their own missions and improve. 8 From Opus Dei in Process of Canonization
I am not Opus Dei but I am personally pleased to see this type from fruit coming from it long term. My main reason for not joining Opus Dei is the great urge to join something just so I can freak out DaVinci Code readers. "Yeah, I'm Opus Dei" ...
(NOTE - for the uniformed ... there is no such thing as an Opus Dei Monk)Reformed To Catholic?
Jimmy Akin is the best at this type of topic ... while I am at it I HIGHLY recommend his book, The Salvation Controversy.C.O.N.V.E.R.T. New Associtation for those who have been removed from Parish Catechesis
via Curt Jester
It is scary that something like this is necessary. My wife and I have only been in the Church a little under a year and I have noticed that a lot of the people who are involved like to teach namby pambiness. It never crossed my mind that people faithful to the Magisterium were actually being run out of positions where they could teach the faithful what the Church is really about. Ahhhhh the gates of hell giving it a mighty shot. Fortunately we have the divine hope that they will not prevail. The Vatican too "repressive"?? Gimme a break!
The shocking thing to see on this list is that exactly ONE traditionalist is on the list. That said, it could be that the leftist rag that printed this list is skewing the incidents to look like they are oppressed by that nasty group from Rome. Still, the list is a far cry from the typical rallying cry of traditionalists that I hear ... "the Church is oh so willing to come down on the SSPX but they won't even touch such and such modernist heretic" ... well the truth looks like they don't come down on really much of anyone but on this list the liberal dissenters outnumber the traditionalist dissenters about 23-1. EWTN.com - PORTUGUESE PRIEST SPARKS CONTROVERSY BY DENYING COMMUNION TO ANTI-LIFE LEADERS
Dissenters make my blood boil. This man is a hero. Lets pray that more strong men of God follow in his wake. Let us pray that the bold come forward and stand firm on the doctrines of the faith and fan the flame of conversion around the world to a people starving for truth and thirsty for the knowledge that gives life. Can Pope John Paul II save Europe again?
Everyone should read the National Review article
referred to above ... I pray the author is on to something. I have a tremendous fear for the future of Europe, one that could lead to persecution of the Church like we haven't seen, well, since what is currently going on in Africa in places like the Sudan. It can happen to Europe folks. Also, today I read a fabulous post on WHY NFP is NOT Catholic "birth control" that really was quite brilliant. I am hoping the author will take my suggestion and post it to his blog so I can copy it here in its entirety for your enjoyment.
Charismatics and His Church: problems and praises
I posted this on DCF a while back and since the topic came up recentlly in a discussion there I wanted to post it here so that it wouldn't get lost to the sands of time ...
OK I told everyone that I would give my two cents so I will. First off I want to start off with what the Catechism says on the matter.
799 Whether extraordinary or simple and humble, charisms are graces of the Holy Spirit which directly or indirectly benefit the Church, ordered as they are to her building up, to the good of men, and to the needs of the world.
800 Charisms are to be accepted with gratitude by the person who receives them and by all members of the Church as well. They are a wonderfully rich grace for the apostolic vitality and for the holiness of the entire Body of Christ, provided they really are genuine gifts of the Holy Spirit and are used in full conformity with authentic promptings of this same Spirit, that is, in keeping with charity, the true measure of all charisms.253
801 It is in this sense that discernment of charisms is always necessary. No charism is exempt from being referred and submitted to the Church's shepherds. "Their office [is] not indeed to extinguish the Spirit, but to test all things and hold fast to what is good,"254 so that all the diverse and complementary charisms work together "for the common good.
The church I used to attend was somewhat charismatic. It was Episcopalian so we had liturgy but it was very low-church. About 3 times a year we would have someone speak in tongues and there was ALWAYS an interpretation. We had fellowship weekends, usually related to something like Alpha (which has a Holy Spirit weekend as part of it) where there was usually a seperate "baptism of the Holy Spirit" apart from grace received via the sacraments. This usually resulted in "slain in the spirit" type behavior and "Holy laughter" along with uncontrolable and random speaking in tongues.
The first verse I will point out related to all of this is a quite simple one. 1 Corinthians 14:33. "For God is not a God of disorder but of peace."
I have been to a service that resembled nothing of either mass or your typical non-denominational Protestant service. You showed up and some guy talked about the Holy Spirit and everyone ended up rolling on the floor and laughing for long periods of time. By the standard of scripture I would say that this is a gross misapplication of either valid gifts OR the manifestations themselves were not of God.
The entire book for 1 Corinthians 14 should be a guide for us to discern and test charismatic phenomenon. The same holds true for tongues. As you can see from my description above tongues in the church I attended followed very closely the biblical model. It was infrequent and interpretation was expected. Now, despite the fact that I personally believed most of the interpretations to be bogus, I couldn't fault them entirely because I think that intent to keep to the Holy Scriptures was followed and who am I to say that God did not occasionally bless us with a message via these means. (There have been very long essays written about the purpose of tongues where I think a solid case can be presented that tongues was used in the case where nobody knew the native language ... worth keeping in mind .. just information to add to the discernment process). My general skepticism noted, there are times where I felt I had witnessed a legitimate manifestation of tongues but those instances were uncommon. Charismatic Praise music ...
I have strong opinons about this because I think many Catholic Churches have allowed strong influence of this into the liturgy. I am FOR praise and worship in the typical charismatic Protestant fashion. Singing songs of praise to the Most Blessed Trinity is a good and positive thing. Getting emotional about it is not necessarily a bad thing and in fact I personally found it freeing to become involved in my Protestant worship to such an extent. If anyone has read my Easter Vigil essay
, you would know that the SAME types of things happened to me
in a Catholic Church in a far more intimate and real way than anything I had known as a Protestant (and this is not to diss my experience ... there really is much to the phrase "fullness of the faith") ... I really feel that my charismatic experience allowed me to look for the ways I was being touched at that first reception of the Body and Blood of Our Lord. That experience IS there at mass and we can respond to that grace with great anticipation that something is happening to us every time we receive. Something IS happening.
Still despite my approval of such things I think concerts such as this belong APART from mass or ordered in mass such as not to distract one from pious observance and reverent participation in the most awesome gift that we have in the mass. There comes a point where the focus can be on nothing other than Jesus and where worship reaches a level that I think campiness and emotionalism frankly are great distractions.Slain in the spirit
I have been slain in the spirit twice. The first time I felt wretched afterwards and the second time I felt somewhat indifferent about it. The first time I was NOT in control of my person and the second time I resigned myself to the movement. There are perfectly logical and scientific explanations for both behaviors so I am not sold that what happened was anything other than mass hysteria. In both cases I was expecting something to happen and in both cases something did happen. Now to heighten my skepticism of these events, I must mention that neither of these events seems to have had any effect on my relationship with God. Still to this day I cannot figure out, if they were of God, why on earth He would have had something like that happen to me. Then again, the ways of God are not necessarily my ways.
I am here aren't I?Charismatic prayer, laying on of hands, oils etc
This is the aspect of the charismatic movement that I felt was the best. When we got together in small groups we prayed for the needs of others in VERY INTENSE ways. I know for a fact that God answers prayer. I loved the spirit of openness to Him and the utter trust placed in Him by people who prayed with a certain understanding that God answered prayer. Obviously this was outside of church and I think it should remain there.
Now laying on of hands was something we typically did when someone was sick or had a great prayer need. The intent was not to do as bishops do when conferring apostolic succession or priestly orders. The intent was to PRAY for healing. Now, because I do not doubt the authority of the Church in such matters I know that what was happening was different from anointing of the sick. That said, miracles do occur because I firmly believe that God simply answers prayer. I will not go beyond that because I have seen much discussed on anointing with oils and such and I am ignorant on the matter from the Catholic perspective. Typically conservative moral values
One definite positive is I find that charismatic Christians tend to be on the morally conservative side of things. You typically are not going to find a bishop Spong type raising their hands during worship service. I compare the beliefs of my charismatic Protestant friends and I see MUCH in common with that of the Catholic faith. Naturally there are huge chasms but they are far from mainline liberal Protestants. Mainline liberal charismatic Protestant is an oxymoron. Conclusion
I think what is positive about the charismatic movement is an intense desire to get to know one of the persons of the Trinity in the Holy Spirit. The guiding force for this is the promise in scripture to lead us into all truth (yeah yeah no need to cover the obvious problems here) ... I think God responds to that deep seeking desire of most charismatics and rewards them with sufficient grace to find themselves in the presence of a great deal of truth. I would like to think that my charismatic background, being that it was my background, was certainly part of the path God had for me to return to His Church. I honestly yearn one day for all of the people I used to attend Church with to return to Rome. I think the Holy Spirit can lead them here and I pray that they are open to that grace.
The negative aspects I saw were a flippant and almost anti-intellectual attitude towards history. I also saw WAY too much emphasis placed on the experiential over practical aspects of spiritual life that could be discerned by just reading or being taught. That said I want to point out what I think is the single most important aspect, especially from an apologetics standpoint, of the charismatic movement. There are only a few synapses that need to fire in order to connect spiritual experiences to sacramental experiences. It is not difficult to take someone who clearly believes that God can touch us in very real ways and point them to the Eucharist and the other sacraments.
I personally found all of that amazing once it fell into place. The path is short and the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist is a huge key in getting charismatics to bring their gifts to His Church.
Tsunami suit filed against forecasters
Tsunami suit filed against forecasters
Initially here are my thoughts ...
I remember reading the Tropical forum on Weather.com the day that Hurricane Charley made landfall in Florida. There was more than one poster who tossed out the idea that the NWS should be sued because they were wrong compared to some amatuer forecasters who got the landfall correct. Its called blind luck that they happened to do better than the NWS ...
To me, this is a very American (dare I say western) way of looking at things. The idea is that when something bad happens it MUST be the fault of someone that we can either drain dry of money or send to jail. It makes us feel better that situations that are really out of our control somehow seem within our control if someone takes the fall for it. We saw it with 9/11 where, after some time, people tried to deflect blame from Islamic terroritsts to the Bush/Clinton administrations as it suited their purpose. Hindsight is certainly 20/20 ...
It pains me to think that there might be some guy who was sitting in front of a warning system that day who is now thinking he didn't do enough. He did what he felt appropriate at the time and he knows that now he would do a little more. Why find it necessary to sue and divert resources away from a system whose purpose it is to prevent another disaster like this just because you think they should have done their job that much better? I am sure every one of those people in the lawsuit is a model employee who has never made a mistake or taken a shortcut in their lives. ... Unfortunately, in life, we sometimes have to make big mistakes in order to see the gravity of even our simplest actions.
The real fact here is that some things are out of our control ... and suffering is a FACT of life. Get over it already. The arrogance of mankind is astounding ...
Podcast, Spirit, Kids, Inferno, Find, School, Flowers
Not enough time today ... please read ... PodcastingSpiritbustersCan the Church's Teaching on Contraception Change?
... also The Church’s Infallible and Immutable Doctrine on Contraception Stands Amid Growing OppositionDo Catholic have enough children?Dante's Inferno Test - Impurity, Sin... and Damnation
via Envoy Encore
I am destined for Purgatory ... apparentlyCatholic Find
JP2's encyclicals ... Vatican II ... some of the ECF's (they need more of these)
LOCAL: EBR school forums seek public input
A quick overview. Longest desegregation case in the United States comes to an end in Baton Rouge ... over 40 years. The practical solution of parents with even marginal incomes was to place their kids in private schools or move to surrounding parishes where the legal system was not intent on destroying the school system. Baton Rouge likely has one of the highest private school per capita ratios in the nation. The new super for the school system comes in and wants to get parents involved in the system. The problem is that the students who are left in the system are the ones with parents who do not want to get involved. Involved parents left years ago. A truly tragic tale.
LOCAL: Louisiana A Tough Place For Florists
I think this is one of the most rediculous things in the state of Louisiana. In order to sell flowers in the state, you don't have to be good at it, but you DO have to get a license from OTHER EXISTING FLORISTS in order to conduct business in Louisiana. I am glad that we didn't have to get permission from other software companies in Louisiana in order to open shop ....
The Spirit of excommunication, Gregorian Chant and wasted time
Particularly bad music day today at mass for my wife
At this time The Curt Jester: Missal Defense
will be deemed appropriate. An old classic and a sometimes necessary medicine
I am going to mass later as we have some sick children ... I will likley be attending a Teen Life mass as that is all we have after noon on Sunday. I will be subject to other abuses but at least the music will be marginally better. Still, any excuse to blast Gather hymals is a good one ..
First rate therapy.
The best of my unsolicited advice about getting married
Every marriage is different
The goal of marriage is the salvation of your spouse and children.
Marriage is a sacrament. Through it you receive an abundant and constant source of grace. I have heard it said that it is the primary means of salvation for the majority.
That grace frequently call us to intense sacrifice.
You must understand that love is a choice.
Guys, you must be prepared to give yourself up for her per Ephesians 5.
You must give up being single.
You must understand that getting married is rightly ordered towards procreation -- or, you had better understand that being a parent in short order is a very real possibility.
Read Psalm 127
Marriage vs. career goals .. marriage ALWAYS comes first.
The fruits of your career are temporal ...
You cannot take the fruits of your career with you.
The fruits of your marriage are eternal ...
the easiest attack point for Satan on a solid Catholic marriage is BEFORE IT STARTS
the warm fuzzies come and go
you will make each other mad on occasion
when dealing with "intense fellowship" STOP ARGUING and pray together first, no matter how much it hurts
Oh, and one last thing ...
Marriage rocks ... Learn everything you can about sacramental theology. Nothing makes your spouse more beautiful than understanding their purpose and your purpose. Understanding the link between the physical you and the spiritual you is paramount to having the type of love that is like a fine wine as opposed to the type of love that is like a birthday cake.
As time goes by ... which would you prefer?
Marriage banking, the Shaw Center for the Arts and my thoughts on the "arts scene"
Summa Mamas: a sign 'o our stinkin' times
“A new survey shows 48 percent of all couples have two or more checking accounts”
My wife and I had a discussion the other night as to what advice we would give people getting married … I compiled the notes and will post it later. We didn’t explicitly mention a single bank account but I, for one, cannot see it any other way.
LOCAL: Shaw Center Showcase
I must admit that I am excited about this development. Much effort has been poured into making downtown a place for the arts. The biggest problem, and I am sure this is the case in most places, is that the arts scene here is ripe with secularism. It seems that until the last 150 or so years, art, music and the like were heavily influenced if not entirely driven by faith. Now art is generally used to capture the sad state of humanity or to drive home a particular hollow political propaganda point masquerading as the greatest problem facing mankind. What else matters except Christ? Everything in life flows from that ...
Efforts like The Passion of the Christ
are slight indications that the tide may be turning in the film industry. The popularity of The Lord of the Rings
series and the Passion have to leave somebody out there wondering where the rest of the good films are? The world is yearning for more, yet Hollywood is patting themselves on the back with anti-culture tripe. The fact that The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
is due out soon is also a promising step in the right direction. Even further telling is the fact that Disney is making an effort to get Christians out to see the film
, ala the marketing strategy for the Passion. This is a double-edged sword for Hollywood though and I think to some extent they know it. The money-making opportunity is tremendous but when you place a movie in a theatre like The Passion next to a movie glorifying euthanasia, abortion or gay marriage, the truth
stands tall. Lives are changed. The Evangelizing power of beauty is one that cannot be dismissed. I venture to guess that in the future, more people will be brought to a true perseverant conversion to Christ through the arts than through just about any other means.
Still, the case remains to be seen if Christians are going to get off their rear and challenge the culture rather than being a far less effective reaction to secular culture. Many people see right through that and they want the original.
Music is really my passion in the arts. The problem is that we have a lot worth remembering but it is more for the fact that God bestowed these gifts upon these artists rather than the fact that they even remotely use them to glorify Him. Sadly, that tends to mean that the vast majority of the stuff I find interesting to listen to is likely to be lost to history in favor of the certain coming renewal of art infused by the proper search for beauty that is ordered towards a deep love of mystery and an intense seeking of God. The little nuggets of truth are there. How much more powerful wouldn't it be if it were backed by the unparalleled truth of the Gospel?
Time to lead folks ...ONE BEEF:
Why did local agencies including LSU hire a firm from Boston to do this? Is the in-state talent not up to the level required for such a project? If so, whose fault is that? Maybe it was a lowest bidder deal, which, I am sure ... the taxpayers approve of ...
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Catholic Light: On the enduring value of classical philosophy
On the enduring value of classical philosophy
As someone with a degree in computer science I would agree with this entry completely. Computer science is mostly about thinking in a certain very logical way. Any coursework which assists in helping someone to think more clearly should be at the top of courses added to a curriculm. I have found in practice that my most valuable classes were those that focussed on algorithms, theory and logic. Languages and networking protocols are something we were expected to pick up on our own. If you didn't know C++ going in to week two of any given class, you had a week to learn it :) ... I am still firmly of the opinion that the content on ones resume is not as important as their ability to pick up and run with something new and that is hard to represent on a resume. I have seen people with stellar credentials in a single language that didn't understand some very basic concepts about programming and I have seen people fresh out of college with a significant understanding of programming with virtually no corporate experience with even a single language. I want the second guy. Such is the value of a good computer science education. After all, so much of what I know and use today didn't exist back when I graduated. The only way once can keep up is if keeping up and learning new things is part of the usual process.
Being a convert and studying the Catholic faith has brought me in contact with great thinkers like Aquinas. I have been edified in my career very much by the refinements in thought process that occur from relentless pursuit of the truth.
And that is a gift that the Church keeps on giving and giving ...