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Archive for September, 2011


9/11 Ten years later

10 years, 3000 innocent deaths, 2 wars, young men giving their lives for our freedoms. A world changed, and a country that lost its innocence in one horrifying day.

And then today this comes up in the Liturgy of the Word:

I will never be fully anti-war, no one could argue that we should have left Germany to their own devices. But maybe along the way we missed something crucial, maybe we over-reached, maybe, just maybe, we overreacted. I’m glad we got Osama, I would have pulled the trigger myself, and slept like a baby. I support our men and women who give so much, and get so little in return.

But this makes me wonder where we are headed, and what future generations will face.

10 years is a long time, a lifetime for some, I can still remember that Tuesday morning like it was yesterday, and it still deeply moves me. But now I feel sadness, and frustration at the futility of so much hate.

God Bless America, I love this country, and I worry about where we are headed.



Tempest in a Teapot

There is a old saying among those who program for a living: It’s either feast or famine when it comes to work.

Right now, and probably late into next year it’s feast time, I have more work than I can handle, to the point that I’m losing sleep worrying over details and making sure what I build will last for years. That, more than anything else is why there have been no new posts, it’s impossible to find the time to dedicate to updating the site. On top of that I’m back at School, doing my second year of Philosophy, so there’s not much room upstairs right now to construct some new pieces. In lieu of that, here are some things that have been on my mind that at some point I’ll develop into larger pieces:

Receiving Communion

We joined the Catholic church in large part because we found many of the protestant claims and practices to be anything but truly biblical (something I’ll write on later), more importantly as we moved through our journey we began to see how inappropriately Communion was being handled. When we finally arrived at the doors of the Catholic church, we knew we had finally found others who believed in the sanctity of the Eucharist and would treat it with the respect it deserves.

However now Catholic, we have found a division in the church regarding how the Eucharist should be taken, many want to go back to a kneeling rail, receiving communion on the tongue only. Strip away all the vitriol and condescending language, and what you finally get to is simple: people are concerned that the Eucharist not getting the respect is deserves. I couldn’t agree more, from people who dress in baggy shorts, to a father who wore shorts and a casual shirt to his child’s baptism (Seriously!). I’ve been shocked more than once by how people act and dress when they enter the house of God, so I very much agree with their position.

Where I disagree with is their emphasis on going back to the pre-Vatican II Mass, their characterization of anyone taking communion standing, or their vitriol on anything they see and not pious enough. We can change the whole liturgy, do it in latin, re-model the sanctuaries to go back to the altar at the front. All of that is fine, but it won’t change the level of respect that people have for what they are taking. The reason is simple, if we don’t educate, then we fail in being Catholic. Father Z makes the statement “Save the Liturgy, Save the World”, wrong. Changing the liturgy just makes a new set of motions to go through, so I would like to counter with this: “Save The Catechesis, Save The World”.

There is no reason to disparage those whose only option is to take communion in the hand, they can be just as respectful as those who use the older forms. The Catholic church is suffering from the same problem that the Protestant churches suffer from, lack of proper instruction. There is no depth in the laity, it’s an epidemic across the whole of the Christian world. I would love to see people come to Mass dressed in conservative clothes, showing respect for the Eucharist and taking it seriously. How can you wear shorts, floppies, an old shirt, and then receive your Lord in communion? Now if that’s all you can wear or own, then you know what, that may be your best clothes. The point is it’s about HOW we internally approach the mass, not our outward appearance, but I’m pretty certain that people in my parish own more than just shorts and floppies. We have to change the internal, once we do the rest will take care of itself.

Recent Reading List

To manage my sanity, I read as much as I can, so here are some books I have recently found to be enjoyable:

Anything by Eoin Colfer
I actually enjoyed the Harry Potter series, and I have found that Artemis Fowl is a good enjoyable read. Good humor, and solid, but amusing characters.

Fr John Hardon
I found this from a reference made at Fr Z’s site, so I picked it up. It’s part of my normal morning reading routine now, it’s deep and incredibly well written. Very rich Catholic resource, he reset my thinking on John Calvin, I had never thought of double pre-destination as Manichean in nature, but Hardon nailed that one.

Dante’s Inferno
I’m not much into classical literature, I’m a programmer at heart, so get the point, NOW. We talked about Dante at length in our religious class, so I decided to take the plunge. I have four translations on my kindle, but this was the only one that made sense to me. I despise anything written in prose, using flowery language, and while I found the story interesting. It was too predictable for my tastes, I was expecting more based on everyone else’s experience.

Steven Ray, Crossing the Tiber
Good solid story about one mans conversion to Catholicism, well written if a little short. Ray does give a good defense for some of the core tenets of the Catholic faith.

The Rite, Matt Baglio
We watched the movie one day when I was home sick, so I bought the book. Very interesting read, much more interesting than the movie in my opinion, and it gives an insight into a part of our faith we don’t talk much about anymore.

Why Catholics Are Right
Good book, I would recommend it with reservations. Coren makes some good arguments, but in some cases his enthusiasm gets in the way of what he is trying to say. It’s more than a little Polemic, which is OK in some cases, but I find many times people when doing Apologetics tend to say too much. A quick read, if you can deal with Coren’s zeal for the topic.

The Fathers Know Best
Wow, I don’t know how else to put it. Jimmy Akin is one of the very few Catholic Apologists that I actually trust, this book is filled with Wisdom and fabulous information. I gobbled this up, it was mind glowingly good. The thing I like so much about Mr. Akin, is that he is so irenic and respectful when we argues a point, to me, that is the hallmark of a good Apologist. Highly Recommended reading.

Light of the World
This is an interview with the Holy See, a good read, and an interesting insight into a man who is trying to unite the World. As a Catholic I respect the Papal office, as a believer I am truly humbled by this great man, he is such and inspiration. I can only hope to stand in his shadow one day. Highly Recommended.

Upon this Rock
Another Steven Ray book, I actually didn’t finish it because he made such a good case that half way through I was convinced. Since it’s on my Kindle, It’s now part of my reference library. If you have any doubts about the Papal office, it’s beginnings and history. This is the book to read, I heard many times while protestant that the Papal office was a Roman invention and was not part of the early church, Ray takes that argument apart and clearly shows Apostolic succession and clear support of the Papal office from the beginning.

Chickens and Fish
Our chickens are now a year and a half old, we get a daily supply of fresh eggs, and a bug free back yard. This morning I got up early, and sat on the swing and watched the sunrise while reading my logic homework. I also let the Chickens out to forage for bugs, it was a little peaceful slice of heaven. Later today we will take our second batch of Clownfish to the local fish store, we have successfully grown two full batches. They are cute little guys, and being hand raised are very friendly. But they are old enough now to find a new home, our older pair of Clowns have stopped laying eggs. So we have been able to take a break, but we have a new pair of Picasso’s that hopefully will start laying before the year is out. Then we will start the process again 😉

Pain and Golf
Both are four letter words for reason, I’ve been playing a great deal of Golf lately. Today is the first saturday I’m not out at a course, but there are already plans to pick up the pace as weather cools. I’m thinking this year we will continue until the snow hits, and I’ve found that once again I really love getting out and causing a little mayhem. We bought a set of irons a few years ago, and that was a great investment, I intend to wear them out this year.

Finally, my pain is back. I’m not sure what or why or even how. Some nights are so bad that my thoughts are filled with dark ideas, it’s more than just my joints, everything hurts. And we don’t know why, we have yet to find a cause. It effects my sleep, which in turn effects my pain, which effects my sleep, which… I’m uncertain anymore if it will ever get better, for now all I can do is keep moving, hopefully we will find a solution. Say a prayer, for Michelle and I both, she is dealing with pain in her legs. Getting old sucks, and we aren’t even old yet!!!

I hear a logic book calling my name, my first test is Wednesday, so study I must.