One day the Devil challenged the Lord to a baseball game.(Please don't throw anything at your monitor. And, yes, it's a slow day for me.)
Smiling, the Lord proclaimed, "You don't have a chance, I have Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, and all the greatest players up here."
"Yes," snickered the devil, "but I have all the umpires."
Thursday, September 29, 2005
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
Jimmy Akin and Mark Shea are two of the most respected and prominent defenders of Catholicism in our time. They also make comment on current issues and events. Their arguments are well reasoned and well grounded. I have learned much from their 'blogs.
They are part of my 'blog reading routine. Make them yours.
Monday, September 26, 2005
Rick Lugari will cease to post on Unam Sanctum. However, he will continue to provide his perspective on a different site.
In fact, he has built a new city. De Civitate Dei. Check it out.
(And how did I get elected to the City Council?)
Thursday, September 22, 2005
Another one of my favorite 'blogs is The Anchoress. Lots of posts on things spiritual and political. This one witnesses to the need for and the power of prayer. It is a great reminder to ask, persevere, and believe.
God does answer knee mail.
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
What would a turnaround artist do with an $8.6 billion (sales) organization with 133,000 employees, falling market share and a mountain of multimillion-dollar lawsuits?So goes the opening line of an article found at Forbes.com. (If this link does not get you there, registration is required to view the article, but it is free.) For all the talk about stewardship that one hears, it does make a person wonder if this is a case of "do as I say, not as I do."
The authors summarize the conflict in a sidebar:
Change doesn't come easily to an authoritarian institution. The last guy who really pushed it with the Vatican kicked off the Reformation. At the same time it's tough for people living in a democracy to accept absolute authority. The current dispute centers on how much power an informed laity should have in the day-to-day management of the Church, given the perilous state of its finances. Reformists, among the most powerful Catholics in America, insist their push for participation is not a challenge to dogma or to bishops. Traditionalists, made up of prominent and influential religious officials and patrons, view their opponents as a threat to the very foundations of the Church. On this iteration of an old debate, the Vatican has, to date, been silent.
Granted, the Church is not a business in any sense of the word; this paradigm is a very big stretch. I hope, however, parishes and dioceses do make the effort to act with prudence and responsibility in matters of finance (or learn how). Both sides of this issue make very good points, because both sides bring their talents as well as cautions to the forefront. It seems to me the temporal and spiritual world can work together; it's "both/and" rather than "either/or". "There are different gifts, but the same Spirit,..."
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
Miss Crosswell is a Southern Lady. I expect no less than proper respect for her.
We are renewing acquaintences, in a sense. Long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away...
Ah, but wouldn't that be a good subject for another post?
Monday, September 19, 2005
Saturday, September 17, 2005
My mentor sent me the following link:
He didn't have time to make remarks about it, but thought I might be able. This a good article for a rookie fisker to entertain. My comments will be in red.
Good Catholics Can Disagree
Most Americans think Catholics are not permitted to think for themselves. Sociologist Andrew Greeley turned up that datum in his research on the persistence of anti-Catholicism in America and reports it in the Sept. 9 issue of Commonweal in a preview of his next book.
Maybe one, the other or both (Chief Justice Roger Taney and Associate Justice William Brennan) are bad Catholics who either do not know their faith or don't care. Some Catholics gravitate to that explanation, but it's not a good one.
These are serious men, for one thing. And the explanation defies a church that says its members shouldn't try to judge other people's souls.
Another explanation is that maybe religion is irrelevant to Supreme Court matters. If so, someone should tell the lobbyists on both sides of Judge Roberts' confirmation.
The Christian explanation is that when serious people make prudential judgments about complex issues, they may, alas, come down in different places.
Just lately, some bishops have proposed abortion as an exception to prudent judgment.
They (the bishops) have denied Communion to some members of Congress for voting wrong as they see it.
But it was justices, not legislators, who said Congress may not constitutionally restrict abortions. The punished legislators are only not doing what the high court says they may not do.
It's only a matter of time until consistency will force rocket-launching bishops to target judges along with legislators unless the more accommodating bishops convince their zealous peers to step back from the constitutional brink.
The Vatican recently issued a hefty compendium of the church's teaching on a range of social issues from marriage to labor unions to the United Nations to war and peace.
American Catholics, including politicians, have a spotty record for even paying attention, much less acting on the social teachings.
The difference for abortion seems to be this: While the church proclaims that it supports organized labor and condemns aggressive war, it really, really double Dutch means what it says about abortion.
"Really, really double Dutch," though, has no philosophical nor theological significance.
A person has to be born before he can have any of the other rights the church upholds, but saying that is a tautology.
The court and Congress are competent to deal with the legalities of abortion, not its morality. Some people see that point as a mere technicality, but it is on such technicalities that American constitutional freedom rests.
Still, since some bishops have made Communion an issue, Judge Roberts should be smoked out on what he will do if threatened with ecclesiastical penalties if he doesn't vote a certain way on a case before the court.
Americans who think Catholics have to think alike should watch closely when the several Catholics on the Senate Judiciary Committee quiz Judge Roberts. It could prove to be educational.
Friday, September 16, 2005
My only goal right now is to post on a consistant basis. As this is still in its infancy, I am not going to worry if I miss a day.
I am beginning to think of topics. Stay tuned.
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
I am a Christian. Specifically, I am a practicing, devoted member of the Roman Catholic Church. My perspective is a traditional/orthodox view. I am working on digesting more "solid food" in terms of knowing and understanding the teachings of the Church, developing a mature sense of the Faith, and applying it more in my life. The breath and depth of knowledge which Holy Mother Church has is an unlimited source and supply of nourishment. I am not perfect. I am needing to be perfected. I am a human being, becoming in process. (That's why it's called practice.)
Borrowing from Mario Cuomo, the former governor of New York, "I am Catholic--first, by birth; then, by choice; now, by love." I choose to be immersed in the Faith, learning how to be formed so as to be a worthy member of the Mystical Body of Christ, striving to seek the will of the Father. Spiritual progress is so hard to discern; while I have come far, I have much farther to go. "Be patient with me; God is not yet finished."
There will be times I will make comment on things involving the Church, both within and without. I am not a trained apologist, but I will speak based on what I know and understand. I pray the Holy Spirit will guide me to be articulate.
"I Have My Mission," by John Henry Cardinal Newman, sums up what I am saying:
God has created me to do Him some definite service. He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another. I have my mission -- I may never know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next."I do believe, Lord; help my unbelief."
I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons. He has not created me for naught. I shall do good. I shall do His work. I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth in my own place while not intending it -- if I do but keep His commandments.
Therefore I will trust in Him. Whatever, wherever I am. I can never be thrown away. If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him; in perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him; if I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve Him. He does nothing in vain. He knows what He is about. He may take away my friends. He may throw me among strangers. He may make me feel desolate, make my spirits sink, hide my future from me -- still He knows what He is about.
At 2:30 AM, the fire alarm in my apartment building sounded. Fortunately (?), my inner body clock awoke me just before it happened, so it wasn't as jarring as it could have been. Slipped on a warm-up suit, grabbed my keys, locked the door, and left the building.
Even more fortunately, it was a false alarm. I'm not sure what triggered it. I have lived in this complex for over 12 years, 10 of them in another building where this was an occasional occurrence. In most of those instances, somebody burned a late-night dinner to the point smoke dectectors were activated. This was the first time in quite a while since this has happened to me.
In about five minutes, the fire department arrived on the scene. I am very lucky; there is a station only about half a mile away and they respond very timely. The firefighters made their cursory sweep around the cluster of buildings to check for smoke and/or flames, then got down to the business of turning off the alarm. A maintenance worker arrived at about the same time the fire trucks and assisted them with that task.
It was a somewhat cool night; I would guess temps were in the low 50s. Better than standing outside on a cold winter's night (which has happened). While I was outside waiting for the "all clear", a patrol car drove past the scene. My thoughts then turned back to Sunday, the fourth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Remembering those of New York's Finest and Bravest who made the ultimate sacrifice that day, I was grateful that these people were here, going about their job in a professional manner. At 2:55, we were allowed back inside.
So, the next time you see a person who protects the public from harm, give them a word of appreciation. Let them know how proud you are of them.
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
One 'blog I started visiting was Unam Sanctum. I posted a comment on an article the 'blogmaster had linked to his site, stating that it would make great fisking material if I had a 'blog. In the thread that followed, we conversed about my starting one. Now, I admit I had been thinking about doing that for about a month; but it was his encouragement that changed that thinking into doing.
So, my first HT (a white fedora) goes to Rick Lugari, the voice of both Unam Sanctum and Musum Pontificalis. He also has seemingly taken me under his wing as a mentor, helping so far with some technical issues (Haloscan and Site Meter), perhaps an idea for another post, and to spread the word about this newbie. I appreciate all he has done so far. And, yes, Rick, as soon as I figure out how to add your URLs to my list, I will. (UPDATE: Mission accomplished.)
Lots of people use a 'blog as an on-line journal. There will be a time and place for that, but I don't see this becoming a "Dear Diary" enterprise. I am a somewhat shy, quiet, reserved person in the real world and rather reluctant to talk about myself.
I can see me linking to other sites on a very frequent basis. My choices will definitely be a reflection of my tastes and preferences. For now, others are opining on things much better than I can. I might add a few words when the occasion warrants, but I want my words to be thoughtful and reflective.
I am not a big surfer of the 'net, so I don't think I will be finding what I would consider a lot of "odds and ends", the unique and/or unusual sights of the world. Might be something to explore.
Like I said before, "So many subjects, so little time!" Starting a 'blog will involve a lot of experimentation. And with all that is out there, this will be a lab.
Monday, September 12, 2005
Actually, one of the visitors is the person who encouraged me to start a 'blog, after making comments at his place. I have much to learn about the technical aspects of this; he has graciously made some suggestions which I will use.
I am learning to be more computer literate. To me, "user friendly" is more of an oxymoron.
But, that is all for now. And so, to bed.
I have decided to add my voice to the cacophony of chatter known as the 'blogosphere. (Is there a relationship to the tower of Babel?)
It will be a small, quiet voice for now. So many subjects, so little time!
I need to carve a niche and develop a writing style. I have some ideas, though.
Welcome to my infinitesimal corner of the universe!