Friday, September 28, 2012

A Discernment Continues

I had mentioned his story here.

Here's an update.

Fedora doff to Fr. Erik Richtstieg, via his Facebook post, for the new info.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Ordaining And Establishing

Thus begins the current "Contract with America" (the Articles of Confederation having governed us the first 12-14 years of our existence):
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
Today marks the 225th. anniversary of the adoption of the framework of our federal government.  From its inception, what has been written on these four pieces of parchment have been hotly contested in terms of what it does (or should) mean.  Still, now in its fourth century of existing, it remains one of the greatest achievements of civilization.  That individuals would come together peacefully, but not without contentiousness and compromise, and craft a document which spells out how they wish to pursue self-government is something on this side of miraculous.  That it has held up, even through a civil war, for this long is a tribute to the men who arduously worked through the summer of 1787 to create it.

When was the last time you read it, just for the sake of it? We argue over what it says and what it implies, but do we really go to the source? Are certain groups of people just in love with one portion of it while being ignorant of the whole? It may have been a while for the vast majority of us (a government or civics class back in our days of formal education).

How about brushing up on the work itself?

From there you may begin to make your case.

It does, after all, belong to "We, the People."

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The "Perfect" Anniversary

In the world-wide web, a 'blogversary is defined by the day your weblog first appeared on the internet.

Seven years ago from the time stamp of this post, the world saw this entry:
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!
And so began my journey as a 'blogger.  You can thank (or blame) Rick Lugari for getting me into this endeavor.  I still am grateful for his encouragement.

The internet is not an easy place to exist, even if you live in an infinitesimal corner of it.  My hit-and-miss nature of posting probably puts me in the category of those who are hanging on by the ends of their fingernails.  In a sense it is true.  But 'blogging has always been a hobby; there are more important things and concerns in my life, both internally and externally.  This has become "a small, quiet voice" but one which is not ready to become permanently mute.

Do I want fame? No; although I think I have a little bit of recognition with some of my more popular posts.  Do I want fortune? No; I doubt this will turn into any kind of money-making proposition of any proportion.  So, why do I keep on keeping on with this?

Because I am using this as a learning tool:  about me, my Faith, topics which affect me, topics which interest me.  I have certain channels to which I am attuned in this "cacophony of chatter"; I have to work on staying open to those whom I find more white noise than harmonious sound.  I am reminded how little I know and definitely heed Mark Twain's advice; there is a lot of homework to be done before one can voice a truly coherent opinion.  However, I am never opposed to being a Socratic gadfly.

Hopefully, I am up to the task.

It hasn't been easy, but it is still enjoyable.

And so, we begin the eight year.

Welcome, again, to my infinitesimal corner of the universe!

It has expanded some; here's hoping I gain a little more room.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Eleven Years On: 9/11

Tuesday, September 11, 2001.

It was supposed to be "just another day".

History had other ideas.

Today marks the eleventh anniversary of the destruction of the "Twin Towers" at the World Trade Center in New York City via a most hideously ingenious plan:  by ramming each of them with a commercial jet aircraft.  A similar fate awaited the Pentagon in Washington, DC, although the damage to that building was mild compared to the skyscrapers.  A fourth airliner was targeting another prominent landmark in the country; but, because of the bravery of some of the passengers, crashed in a field near Shanksville, PA.

The Gregorian calendar, in its effort to help humanity mark time, takes advantage of the adage "what goes around comes around".  For only the second time since it happened (the other being 2007), the anniversary date falls on the day when it originally occurred.  While we may have "leap days" to keep in sync with our reckoning of the solar cycle, we cannot skip remembering a day where evil seemingly won a big battle.

Gone but not forgotten are those who perished.  For all of them except those who perpetrated this crime, it was going to be "just another day".  Nothing out of the ordinary, they were going to do what they were supposed to do:  live out their lives.  No one had scheduled Emily Dickerson's guest; then, again, it is rare we know that hour is coming.  Even this thief in the night will do his work in the full light of day.

Yet eleven years on, we still don't know what to make of it.  Fellow 'blogger Anastasia Crosswell of "Kyrie Eleison Me" wrote a poem two years ago in where she struggled with the "why" of this, a statement which still rings true to this day.  In a blatant act of gamesmanship, evil gets in our faces and taunts us unmercifully.  "I'm still here, making your life miserable," it says. "Give up and give in."

My response to that is, "Hell? No!" How fortunate the Feast of the Triumph of the Cross is a mere three days away from today.  It is a reminder that Christ has overcome death, sin, and evil.  The Church with her greatest icon, a crucifix, assures us time and again that victory is ours as long as we persevere.  This is a spiritual battle fought as well on a temporal plane.  As we are made of both flesh and spirit, the conflict will rage until death "kindly stops for me."

As has been the case for the past eleven years, there will be prayers and speeches, tributes and memorials, words and deeds to mark the occasion.  If there is something in your locale, I encourage you to attend.  Check out other commentary in the 'blogosphere.  Fly Old Glory, if weather permits.

We should not forget.

We cannot forget.

This is not "just another day".

UPDATE (9/12/12):  Miss Crosswell  has informed me the poem was written shortly after the 9/11 attacks and was re-posted at that later date.  Duly noted.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

September 2012 Morning Offering Prayer Intentions

Here are the intentions for this month when reciting the Morning Offering:
General:  Politicians. That politicians may always act with honesty, integrity, and love for the truth.
Mission:  Help for the Poorest Churches. That Christian communities may have a growing willingness to send missionaries, priests, and lay people, along with concrete resources, to the poorest Churches.