Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Holiday PSA

There are only 99 shopping days until Christmas.

(Just a friendly reminder, for all you looking to beat the rush.)

UPDATE 9/15/2015:  That was back when there wasn't the glut of stores being open on Thanksgiving Day. Now it seems that day must be counted as well.

Anyway, there are only 100 shopping days until Christmas.

Avoid that last-minute rush.


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Originally posted 9/15/2008.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

X Marks The Date

It all started with this.

And to think it all started ten years ago.

Has it really been that long?

Yes.

And, like the lyric from the Grateful Dead, "What a long, strange trip it has been."

It has not been easy. There have been times I have wanted to throw in the towel and have my infinitesimal corner of the universe be swallowed into the black hole of defunct 'blogs. Really, what did I have to offer in terms of a voice in this cacophony of chatter? Many of my posts have been laboriously crafted--clear thoughts took too long to develop, I rarely could add anything of substance to a topic, and my writing style is very elementary.  Add to this not having the desire to address the issues of the day and I can see how I was never cut out to be a decent, prolific amateur writer. (Again, a fedora doff to the pros.)

I look back and see at times (and more times than maybe prudent) this has become an on-line diary. It was never my intention to have it be that. But I do have to thank God for using this to intervene in my life when I had seemingly run out of options. And I thank what readership I do have for bearing with what amounts to venting on occasion.

But then I look back and see some thing of which I am proud to have penned. My meditations on the "O" Antiphons and the "Seven Last Words", my Christmas Eve Reflections, and my Independence Day tribute I consider my best work, meager offerings as they are. My touching upon some things regarding the liturgical calendar and highlighting some of the feast days celebrated have held some promise. And then there are the "obligatory" dates like January 22 and September 11; while efforts on those days have been hit and miss, there have been efforts to mark the occasion.

What I wrote in my first post is still true. This still is "a small, quiet voice for now. So many subjects, so little time!" Although I have narrowed my focus somewhat, now I have to have the courage of my convictions and do the hard work of research and writing. While I still won't let 'blogging interfere with my life, I hope it can continue to be part of it, despite the dearth of posts the past few years (at least I have been consistent in my inconsistency). I go back to a reference a 'blogger by the pseudonym of the Holy Fool said about me when I first started. May I fulfill that promise.

As it was "In The Beginning", is now, and ever shall be, until this 'blog comes to an end:  "Welcome to my infinitesimal corner of the universe."

Let's keep improving for the next ten years.

Friday, September 11, 2015

From A Fortnight Of Years Ago

Tuesday, September 11, 2001.

A day in late summer. The Labor Day weekend was a memory. Students were settled into their academic routines. Another work week was up and running. The rhythm of life and living were pulsating along at at steady beat.

All of a sudden, the United States suffered a heart attack.

Within the span of seventeen minutes, two commercial aircraft were deliberately crashed into the "Twin Towers" of the World Trade Center in New York, NY. Thirty-four minutes after the second, a third plane crashed into the Pentagon in Washington, DC. Twenty-six minutes after that, a fourth crashed into a farm field near Shanksville, PA.

As if this event couldn't get any more surreal, it did.

Almost an hour after the South Tower was hit, it collapsed. Thirty minutes later, the North Tower met the same fate, having been burning since the crash. A third building at the WTC collapsed later in the day.

When the smoke dissipated and the dust plume settled and the rescue and recover efforts were well under way, only then could we begin to total the devastation.

The final number:  2,996 fatalities.

We are now fourteen years removed from it and we still wonder, "Why?"

Not event the death of the leader of this attack has really brought us any closure.

Ceremonies will be held across the country on this Patriots Day, especially at the three sites where the planes did the damage.

And we as a country will remember. And we as a country will grieve some more.

While evil has happened before and after this tragedy, this was the kind that makes one sit up and take notice. It is a reminder that evil plays under its own rules and sometimes under no rules. It fills the void when good is not there, for Nature abhors a vacuum. Its end game is destruction and death.

This is not Heaven; it isn't even close to being Eden. We still live in a world reeling from Original Sin. While our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ through His Life, Death, and Resurrection, "because by His Holy Cross...has redeemed the world," we still are working out our salvation "with fear and trembling". The world still groans under the yoke of evil. Only on the Last Day will we be free of it.

So the weeds still grow with the wheat. Our attempts to overcome it may seem futile and feeble, but fighting the good fight is still the only option. Only in Christ will the harvest be fruitful. Only "with the help of Thy Grace" shall we be able to complete the works of redemption and salvation.

That is why we need to remember events like this. (And, by all means, visit your favorite 'blogs; this is one of those days in the 'blogosphere where a tribute is lovingly required.)

This is how we help God draw good from evil.

Never forget.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

September 2015 Morning Offering Prayer Intentions

Here are the intentions for this month when reciting the Morning Offering:
Universal Intention - Opportunities for the Young. That opportunities for education and employment may increase for all young people.
Evangelization Intention - Catechists. That catechists may give witness by living in a way consistent with the faith they proclaim.
Reflections for these intentions are found here.