I am done with 1-A college football
They added a permanent 12th game
This virtually ensures that a meaningful college football playoff (see my plan for one)
will NEVER happen at the 1-A level. I don't care that the non-BCS teams have no realistic chance to win the national championship. At least give them a MATHEMATICAL chance to win the national championship. That only happens when a playoff involving ALL CONFERENCE CHAMPIONS happens. This voodoo math they do now basically ensures they dole out token money to the small schools every once in a while. Gee thanks ... It is next to impossible for a good team like Utah was last season to schedule such that they have a real chance at a national title or BUILDING A PROGRAM TO GET TO THAT LEVEL. Their conference schedule makes that impossible. It isn't their fault their conference mates aren't all that great.
EVEN WORSE ... They are allowing a 1-AA game to count towards bowl eligibility every season. To most folks this seems like nothing but my alma mater has to have 5 home games against 1-A teams and this takes away scheduling opportunities ... BIG TIME. The way it was headed, some BCS teams were going to HAVE to go on the road to non-BCS teams at least occasionally because everyone had to have 5 home games and scheduling game payouts were getting pricey because teams were refusing to be pimped out for 3 massacre games every season because they HAD TO HAVE A FIFTH HOME GAME. For once I thought the NCAA did something right ...
Adding in this 1-AA makes it even harder for non-BCS teams to pay the bills because now there is exactly ZERO incentive for Texas A&M, Oklahoma State or Miami to head over to Shreveport to play Louisiana Tech. Now they can just add, Montana, McNeese State or some other school that is LIKELY (not certainly by any means) even easier to beat and STILL get to count the win towards bowl eligibility. Louisiana Tech, however, still has to find 5th home games every season. Now, if people really wanted to they could CHOOSE teams they did not want in 1-A and simply agree never to schedule them and they would HAVE TO MOVE DOWN BECAUSE THEY COULDN'T GET THE FIFTH HOME GAMES SCHEDULED. Anyone else smell a rat?
OK rant over ... I don't know how I can get excited about the future of college football. College basketball anyone?
I still love football ... When does the NFL start?
Simple Vacation log (from my perspective)
Drive to BeaumontLife Teen mass at St. Anne in Beaumont
-- see my musings on the topic of Life Teen
Mall ... always a fun place for the kids on a dreary day
What about Bob? is still a very funny movie
Drive to Galveston
visit St. Marys Cathedral
- visit the tour page
eat at Rainforest Cafe ... comfort children every 12 minutes when the thunderstorm comes
visit beach .. comfort children every 12 seconds when the waves come
Drive to Brenham
notice number of doughnut shops in west Houston ... comfort children every 12 miles when the traffic comes
take bite of worst doughnuts ever after passing unusual number of doughnut shops and settling for gas station doughnuts ... kids thought they were great
visit St. Marys in Brenham
- WAY impressed with their web site BTW
visit althletic complex / park on outskirts of Brenham
visit Blue Bell
/ tour ... listen to oldest son charm the pants off the adults on the tour
notice two doughnut shops in town of 15,000 ... rest in room
get the usual stares while eating dinner at Casa Ole in Brenham
miss out on great outdoor adventure and fun at the Blue Bell outdoor aquatic complex ... because it opens next month
hot tub at hotel
visit Poor Clare nuns
or rather, visit their sign indicating they open in 2 hours .... stare at miniature horses through fence
drive through Chappell Hill, Texas
listen to youngest son rant on about windmills
get doughnuts that are actually worth eatingSensing boom in Texas doughnut industry. Becoming convinced that Texas is seriously rebelling since the lo-carb craze has fizzled
Our Lady of Sorrows in China Texas
On vacation ... doing a little relaxing. Here is what I read today
Pat Buchanan: Behind the rage at Benedict XVI
Why do they not simply say: "The church is wrong, the church is out of touch, the church is yesterday. I'm gone."
Answer: Deep in their hearts, they fear the church is right. They are unsettled because they fear that when the church says it has been given by Christ custody of the truths about how men must live to reach eternal life, it is right. When liberal Catholics say people have been "hurt" by Catholic teachings, what they are saying is that their consciences are hurting.
I had a professor in college that detested Buchanan. Its easy to hate the man when you are worried sick he might be right. It's Not Ratzinger That's Showing Nazi Tendencies
"Is the West on a slippery slope? No sir. It's a superhighway." Orthodox Dioceses Produce Five Times the Vocations as Progressive Ones
The Holy Spirit gave us a plan for vocations. Next time your diocese has a big meeting to pow wow about this problem, introduce the following and see how it goes over.
Orthodox teaching (especially about the role of virgins and virginity in the Church) +
Perpetual adoration (especially with teens being encouraged to spend time in front of the Blessed Sacrament) =VocationsChina arrests 7 priests of underground Church
As the new springtime comes upon us do not think that Satan's claws will remain as retracted as they have. Musings of a Pertinacious Papist: Benedict XVI, Benedict XV, and St. BenedictAd Majorem Dei Gloriam: The “Reform of the Reform” Has Already BegunEbay Boycott Over Auctions of Catholic Communion Hosts
- Been there. Done that. So should you.Happy Catholic: Oh, How I Love Archbishop Chaput
I am on vacation ... Blogging is therapeutic for me, so you are lucky to be getting something out of me while I relax. I will post something about our vacation in the future.
We visited here:
Democrats and abortion, Uganda and AIDS progress, and NEWSFLASH, the Pope is Catholic
Catholics in the Public Square: Democrats reveal plan to reduce abortions
Adherants of the Republican religion cry foul. --- Call me skeptical, as I read elsewhere that this is a plan by a small contingent of Democrats called "Democrats for Life of America" that is in no way based in reality and has virtually no chance of going anywhere. Not in todays secular Democratic party. However, it points out what disgruntled Republican supporters have known for a long time. In the fight for life doing less than perfect is doing SOMETHING. I could care less if Republicans continue to promise the world. Actions speak louder than words. How many pro-life judges have the Republicans forced through confirmation hearings that have been held up by Planned Parenthood sell-out Democrats? What legal incentives have arisen to save lives from abortion? What attempts have been made to create an ammendment to the constitution to stop abortion? Radical measures ... we need them. Lives are being lost every day. More children die by noon on any given day than are executed in our legal system all year. If a small faction of Democrats can start a movement to make people sit up and notice, then that is a battle I would hope that the politically shrewd Republicans encourage. You already have Democrats WILLING to do this. There are Democrats who have noticed the redness creeping into their poll results. They are fighting for their political lives because of the pro-life issue. This is an opportunity to make a difference and I don't care whose idea it is.
I can think of few things I would rather spend my tax dollars on than saving lives.
Now are Republicans too afraid to actually do something about this? Some theorize that if the Democrats would cave on this issue then Republicans would lose a giant segment of their voters who hold on strongly because of this ONE issue. Are Republicans REALLY serious about reducing abortions? We hopefully will see. I am glad to see Democrats moving to make Republicans play their hand even if their chances of getting it done are slim and none. Its about time somebody is at least saying they are going to do something. I never would have thought I would be cheering on Democrats to actually be the ones to start saving lives on the abortion front. Go ...errrr ... blue?!?!?!Uganda is example in fight to stop spread of AIDS
- This is a Catholic blog. You get one guess as to how they did it. NEWSFLASH: The Pope Is Still Catholic
- man imagine that. While I am at it, there will never be women priests and homosexual acts will always be sinful. Whew that felt good to say. "The gates of hell will not prevail"
For 2000 years the Church has made a habit of carrying the same teachings on. I suggest looking at (shameless plug) the earlychurchfathers.org ECF chart
for some examples. Why would anyone think that when the whims of yesterday couldn't seem to shake the Church, todays will?
Silly Rabbit ...
Life Teen - positive expierence (for once) and some criticisms
Yesterday life happened, as it usually does, and I ended up going to a Life Teen mass at 6pm. I have to admit that I DREAD going to Life Teen masses. Usually I leave a Life Teen mass having witnessed some gross abuse that has taken place, like priests inviting kids up behind the altar and holding hands with them during parts of the Eucharistic prayer.
Yesterday was different ... I could see the vision behind Life Teen and I came away with a favorable yet guarded opinion of Life Teen. First
, the music was halfway decent. It was rock music, which I am generally opposed to in mass
, but since it was there it might as well be good. Second
, it was PACKED and the kids were INVOLVED. Third
, it was lightly charismatic, as in raising of hands during some of the songs. See my diatribe on the proper inclusion of charismatic phenomenon in the mass.
This mass fit my criteria. Fourth
, there seemed to be regular attendees who were NOT teenagers. Fifth
, there were no visible abuses in the liturgy and the teaching was in line with the Magesterium.
These are all good signs ...
In the sense it was presented yesterday, I can see where Life Teen is intended to get youth interested in the mass in a culture that is very hostile to teenagers. In that way I applaud what is trying to be done. I think that the goal, however, needs to be to get kids interested in liturgy that is more
ordered towards heaven and this is where I think Life Teen falls a little short. I think it is important to meet people where they are. Life Teen does that. One has to worry however, if what we are really doing is creating adults who want to relive the glories of their youth, which in the future might include attending mass with mostly teenagers or leaving the Church altogether to find "lively" services in a Protestant church.
Another thing that I think Life Teen creates a problem with is getting worked up about songs throughout the liturgy and then having the Eucharistic prayers seem almost dull in comparison. Sure, good catechesis solves that problem and maybe I am underestimating what teenagers know about what is happening on the altar. The focus of Catholic worship is the Eucharist. Without the understanding of what is most important in mass, teenagers can grow accustomed to mass being like everything else in this world. A place to feel good, and not necessarily to pursue holiness.
Also, priests ... you can give deep homilies to kids. They won't bite and they will likely appreciate your affirmation that their intellect is up to the level that you typically associate with mature adults. I encounter Catholic teenagers online all the time. They read Aquinas, Newman, Ratzinger ... they want the good stuff too.
The hateful things said about the Catholic Church
The blog post referenced above reminds me of why I love to spend time with apologists. They have the stomach. They can deal with the hatred. Most of us can't. The Church is too precious to us to spend day in and day out watching people say mean and hateful things about it. We want to deflect the burden of the questions we hear all the time to someone who not only has answers but who specializes in giving GOOD answers. Sometimes I try to mediate between those with the good answers and others ... which works for a while but the whole process gets tiring. When I see someone trot out an astronomical claim that 9 million people were killed by the Catholic Church during the Inquisition, I have to ask myself why such absurd numbers in and of themselves are not enough to get people thinking ... "man, this sounds absurd ..." Why did it seem so obvious to me that there are lies about the Church out there? To me the response to "Catholics chained their bibles in the churches" seems obvious ... They were worth the equivalent of a mortgage today. It isn't obvious to some ...
When people talk and write that way, they aren't looking for answers, they are looking for confirmation.
That is about what it boils down to. My wife always tells me that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Sometimes apologetics seems that way. Truth be told, small groups of people see the absurdity every time a public discussion happens, even if it seems like what you are doing is insanity. The work seems thankless ... but I, for one, can thank many apologists for my being Catholic. I saw the hatred towards the Church and the logical arguments that were being ignored just because the opponent couldn't fathom even the possibility of being wrong on the matter.
So thanks to the members of DCF, Coming Home Network, Marcus Grodi, Dave Armstrong, Rosalind Moss, Kristine Franklin, Karl Keating, Jimmy Akin, John Henry Cardinal Newman, G. K. Chesterton ... and on and on.
Kudos to anawim on DCF
... I am using this as an exuse to test something.
The new pope is being called, among other things, a Rottweiler. I checked the AKC. Here's what they describe:
|The Rottweiler is basically a calm, confident and courageous dog with a self-assured aloofness that does not lend itself to immediate and indiscriminate friendships. A Rottweiler is self-confident and responds quietly and with a wait-and-see attitude to influences in his environment. He has an inherent desire to protect home and family, and is an intelligent dog of extreme hardness and adaptability with a strong willingness to work, making him especially suited as a companion, guardian and general all-purpose dog.
Sounds o.k. to me. What's the problem?
ok ... so it took a little work to make look nice ... that said ... Firefox is AWESOME
Your must reads for today (and more from yesterday)Predicted libellous liberal backlash against new Pope begins
A solid summary of the nastiest flagellations going on in the press about the election of a man who stands for TRUTH
.Pontifications: Who wears the Halo of Hatred?
- the backlash isn't limited to one groupMusings of an Expagan: Catholic Reaction - Lets Study
- funny ... a must seeWhy They Ran by Peggy Noonan
- excellent ... a must readEmotional Converts by Patty BondsUK: Shock! New Pope a CatholicEBay moves to end Eucharist auction
- but go read why ... Cancel your accounts with EBay, half.com and PayPal. Why some matters of religious doctrine won’t change
- someone in the press who gets itBenedict's landslide the biggest in history
- "no less than 90 and possibly 107 of the maximum 115 votes"UPDATE: New Pope condemns Spain gay bill
- "Pope Benedict XVI has responded firmly
to the first challenge of his papacy by condemning a Spanish government bill allowing marriage between homosexuals." --- Europe matters to this Pope ... expect more of thisIf the NYT had covered the Main Event
- NICE parody ...
People I have met online started Catacombers
which has a (forum)
Catacombers is a Catholic apostolate supporting Catholic artists in the creation of works that enhance faithfulness to the Church, its teachings and leadership, and reverence in Catholic liturgical worship. We wish to encourage our Catholic brethren attending and serving at standard Catholic parishes to use their time and talents to restore His House (per St. Francis of Assisi) making it more orthodox, liturgically sound, and respectful of the ancient ways of the Christian church.
Artists, writers and musicians: Please support this apostolate by getting involved.
See Land of the Free of the Land
- Michael, if you are reading this, use trackback. It is a way cool feature and it makes people come read your blog. Not that anyone reads mine ... :)
This, for some reason, reminds me of a discussion that my wife got into with a friend of hers from eastern Europe. In the discussion she essentially said that America had no culture. One can clearly see, however, that it does. We have baseball, country music and a strong jazz heritage (and interestingly enough for the electronic music fan, we have Detroit and techno/house) just to name a few. That said, look what Europe does with some aspects of our culture. They tend to not be fond of baseball or football (not the soccer variety) ...but they have taken "house" and jazz to another level thus really assimilating it as part of a more global culture than something distinctly American. Nobody would really associate Detroit techno with America unless they just simply knew something about the history behind it. They would lump it in with things those weirdo Eurpoeans do ...
Country music is still all American though ... nobody outside of the US gets it.
Its like the cult of oblong meats in Germany and the legion of fancy skirts in Scotland ... we are hard pressed to "get it" over here but it is part of their culture and willl likely remain with those cultures for quite some time, if not forever.
I guess one could argue the point that at one time England wasn't England. It was also a place that people migrated to for some reason or another. Today it is England. Time will pass. Countries will change. Economies will change. Other places will become as enticing a place to be as the United States. People will move there. There will be a core however that remains in the United States. This has become and will continue to become America. No matter how global we become, culture still happens for odd reasons that happens to remain regional and national.
OK, for at least 5.5 months I won't have much of an excuse for not blogging on a fairly regular basis ... I finally have the home network set up so that gives me access to actually blog ... I won't reveal the embarassing situation with why it took me 2.5 hours to set up a simple router. All I have to say is DOLT!!!
Rumble, rumble, rumble .... or is it the sounds of spring?
OK, tonight I am going to be bringing home a DSL/router, which means I can ACTUALLY get online from home for the first time in months. I, of course, missed commenting quite possibly the most interesting month and a half of being Catholic that there has been in quite a while. Notice there is very little on Terry Schiavo, the death of JP2, the election of B16. It is all quite overwhelming for me to try and catch up on now ...
I do want to mention one quite extraordinary side effect of the events of recent weeks. EVERYONE has a take on the Catholic Church now. Fox News was virtually a 24-7 Catholic apologetics forum in the days following the death of John Paull II. Non-Catholics were calling EWTN in droves genuinely asking questions. People are curious about this Catholic thing and on more than one occasion the coverage given the Church has caused people to see the faith for what it REALLY is and not the caricature that is portrayed by so many intending on leading people away from the Church. I even heard on at least occasions of conversions based SOLELY on the coverage (an Anglican caller and a Baptist organist caller).
Since the death of JP2, Steve Ray's forum
has been flooded with two groups. Catholics with re-ignited fervor for the faith and hit and run anti-Catholics who post the usual weak apologetic fare and head off with little or no substantial defense of their claims. It is the best of both worlds. You have reluctant Catholics who want to be excited about their faith watching arguments that have always haunted them get substantially answered. One can only hope that this gives them reason to follow the path where it leads; to understanding that the Catholic faith IS very much biblical, historical and logical. There are answers to the tough questions and there is little excuse for the new posters who choose to stay. They will get their answers from seasoned defenders of the faith.
Thats why I keep going back ... it used to be that Catholics knowing their faith was a novelty. It gets better and better every day. Soon it will be the norm. The "new springtime" that JP2 always spoke of could very well be realized in the pontificate of Benedict XVI. The rolling snowball is reaching avalanche proportions ...
Things you need to read today ... The Curt Jester: Now with B16!
- in his classic humorous style ... enjoy!!!Crush the Benedict XVI was a Nazi sympathizer nonsense
before it gets legs like so many lies about the Church and its leaders
comments later ... I must admit ... I am shocked, joyed and overwhelmed at what took place today. I am sure there are liberal Catholics everywhere wondering what their next step needs to be.
Apparently you can't even get to Cardinal Ratzinger Fan Club ... wonder why? :)
Our month of total and complete hell has come to an end
We watched the Incredibles last night. We all slept in our usual places and I came in to work knowing where I am going to be headed AFTER work.
Net damage ...
$500 cell phone bill
$600 gas bill
old house note AND rent for an apartment
$1200 in repairs to old house
moving, deposits etc ...
I will relay my story in a later post ... its been a bad month. I have much in the way of suffering to offer up ... Time for us to review redemptive suffering and why this facet of Catholicism answers one of the toughest questions posed to all religious.
Add the Eucharist to the List of Items Prohibited for Sale on EBay
Add the Eucharist to the List of Items Prohibited for Sale on EBay
Still super busy but I thought I would put this up real quick. Signatures coming in fast ... add yours to it.
Better yet ... back up your signature with ACTION
... http://pages.ebay.com/help/account/clos ... unt.html#5
<-- if you have an ebay account, this is how you cancel it.
Rate of adult conversions to the US Church
From Sherry Weddell of St. Catherine of Siena Institute
shamelessly lifted from Mark Shea
From my research of the past week (while re-writing a portion of Making Disciples, Equipping Apostles;
I'd like to add this bit of reality about adult conversions to the US Church:
in 1960, the pre-Vatican II height: 145,000 adults entered
in 1975, the nadir: 75,000 adults centered
Under JPII, the trend has completely reversed itself. Since 1994:
23,000 more adults have entered the Church every year than did in 1960:
An average 163,000 adults every year between 1994 and 2003. That's 1.635 million adult converts in only ten years.
If adult converts to Catholicism from those 10 years alone were a denomination, we would be the 16th largest in America, right behind the Episcopalians and ahead of the Churches of Christ and the Greek Orthodox.
And I will make this prediction. This week of incredibly powerful coverage of the Pope's life, faith, impact and the endless interviews with believing Catholics is going to be the catalyst of the spiritual awakening of millions around the world. I'm betting on a significant jump in adult converts on Easter, 2006 and an increase in priestly and religious vocations in the next two years.
God bless you, John Paul the Great. We owe you so much!
Likely won't comment later due to time constraints but in short, I see the same thing happening and I totally agree with the prediction. The Holy Spirit is moving in a big way.
With gratitude (and apologies) to C. S. Lewis.
Moving over the next month and a half
OK, life has proven difficult on the personal front for about the last 3 days. We are in the process of selling our house and there is much that needs to be done before closing which is supposed to happen on March 30. Anyway, then closing on our new home isn't scheduled until April 26. That leaves us living it on the run.
Anyway, I will try to blog as time permits but it is going to be rough the next month or so.
Terri Schiavo's feeding tube removed
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
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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 ...