Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Readiness to Fall in Battle

I ran across a definition of the virtue of Fortitude in a book I'm reading by Joesef Pieper that I really like.

"Fortitude is basically readiness to die or, more accurately, readiness to fall, to die, in battle."
And speaking of falling in battle, here is how the Apostles died (from the Catholic Encyclopedia)

Peter - Crucified upside-down
Andrew - Bound to a cross in the shape of an X
James the Greater - Beheaded
James the Lesser - Thrown from the Temple and beaten to death
Bartholomew (or Nathaniel) - Flayed alive and crucified or beheaded
Jude (or Thaddeus) - Beaten to death
Matthew - burned, stoned, or beheaded
Philip - Martyrdom
Simon - Sawed in half or crucifixion
Thomas - Stabbed with a spear
John - Died of natural causes.

Tough crowd. Maybe that's why John is portrayed as a "little less than manly" looking in the Last Supper painting. How would you look if you were in the painting?

Friday, September 26, 2008

Just For Fun ...

Haven't posted here in a long while. This may not be precisely what you're looking for, but me and the older two boys traveled to Yankee Stadium for a religious experience of sorts. For a laugh (I hope), read about it here: Bronx Purgatory. Blessings, all!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Consideration when Selecting Music

Tomorrow has the ability to transform the contemporary ...

...into the ridiculous.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

It's so Easy to Miss

"And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart."
(Luke 2:19)

There's a difference between reflecting on things in your head, and reflecting on things in your heart.

And it's a big difference.

Monday, September 15, 2008

You can do something about it!

Watch the video clip that Serviam! posted, read this email from Rachael Jarvis, then stop worrying about the economy and sign up for the 3am hour of prayer.

Join St. Michael Church Oct. 3-4 to Pray to End Abortion
St. Michael Church has adopted a day in the 40 Days for Life prayer vigil in front of HealthPartners’ Regions Hospital in St. Paul. Please sign up to pray with us:
Friday, October 3, 12:00pm through October 4, 12:00pm.
We would like for people to sign up for two-hour shifts. We will pray the entire rosary the first hour, and have silent prayer the second hour. If you would be willing to lead the rosary please leave a note by your name when you sign up. If you are unable to sign up for a two-hour shift, you are free to join us whenever you like for as long as you like. To sign up contact: Rachael Jarvis, rachaelmarie@tds.net.
All participants are asked to sign a statement of peace. You are welcome to bring signs, however we ask that no one bring negative signs or graphic signs out of respect for families with children coming and going from the hospital. Pro-Life Action Ministries will have signs available for us to use during part of the prayer vigil.
We encourage car-pooling, as parking on the street is very limited around Regions Hospital. There is a hospital-parking ramp, for a fee. If you park in the ramp, drop of your signs with a friend at the vigil sight instead of carrying them through the hospital ramp as it is private property.
Everyone is encouraged to pray and fast the entire 40 days, whether or not you join the vigil. If you would like to pray at the vigil sight but are unable to join St. Michael Church on Oct 3-4, or if you would like to pray more, contact Pro-life Action Ministries.

More on the 40 Days for Life
This fall, from September 24 – November 2 of 2008, our community will be uniting with dozens of other cities across America – and around the world – for the largest and longest coordinated pro-life mobilization in history – the 40 Days for Life campaign. People of faith are praying that this effort will mark the beginning of the end of abortion.
40 Days for Life is a focused pro-life campaign that has generated measurable lifesaving results in more than 130 cities where it has been implemented. Some locations have reported as much as a 28% drop in local abortion numbers and hundreds of new people getting involved in local lifesaving ministry efforts. The 40 Days for Life campaign is made up of three key components:
· Prayer and Fasting: inviting people of faith throughout our metro area to join together for 40 days of fervent prayer and fasting for an end to abortion, at HealthPartners’ Regions Hospital, Saint Paul, MN abortion clinic.
· Peaceful Vigil: standing for life through a 40-day peaceful public witness outside HealthPartners’ Regions Hospital which houses a late-term abortion clinic- abortions up to 20 weeks.
· Community Outreach: taking a positive, upbeat pro-life message to every corner of our metro area through media efforts, church presentations, petition drives, and public visibility.
Learn how you can “speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves” in the Twin Cities by contacting Brian Walker at 651-771-1500 or by visiting: www.40daysforlife.com/twincites

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Upcoming Election

Got this from a friend today.

Friday, September 12, 2008

A Knight of the White Cross

A friend recently pointed me toward a blog that I have really enjoyed reading. The blog is called Knight of the White Cross - Dedicated to renewing the ideal of authentic Christian chivalry, defending the Catholic faith, and serving the sick and the poor.

The author has the following definition of Chivalry on the his blog: “Chivalry is a name for that general spirit or state of mind which disposes men to heroic and generous actions and keeps them conversant with all that is beautiful and sublime in the moral and intellectual world”.

As I’ve read the blog over, I found myself nodding in agreement and really enjoying what he’s posted there. I have added the link in the “Blogs We Read” section; check it out when you get a chance.

Last Wednesday he posted about a story found in the Washigton Post. Go over and take a look, but let me say that the author began his post with the words,
While it is sometimes difficult to articulate the idea of chivalry there come those times when we see in the selfless example of someone exactly what it is.
It couldn’t have been said better.
I pray my kids have a dad like the dad in the story.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Not All Nancy's Fault??

A proposal: Nancy Pelosi's comments on "Meet the Press" (link below, please watch it) which led to widespread response by many American bishops, is not all her fault. Let's say it's 50% her fault.

Corollary: The other 50% belongs to individuals other than Pelosi. This is based on considering the reasons she would feel confident going on a national (international?) television show on the eve of the DNC and attempt to rewrite Church doctrine, even as Tom Brokaw responds with some skepticism himself.

Let's take a look: Pelosi has apparently held her pro-abortion views for a long time. She's been "on the scene" for a while, too. She and her husband have five children so it would a stretch to say she hadn't accepted God's gift of life herself. So she was sitting pretty-- House Leader, pushing her socialist agenda, clearly pro-abortion with no apparent fear of rebuke. Then, she completely stirs the hive and has now earned the response of those bishops, and potentially even denial of Communion sometime in the future.

The only explanation that I have come to thus far, is that she had never been publicly and strongly challenged by Church leaders in San Francisco. Of course that means her parish priest and the archbishop of San Francisco. It's obvious that, as with many such pro-abortion politicians, the debate goes on about how to handle them.

But, the logic is still unavoidable: left uncorrected, these issues will inevitably grow in destructive magnitude, either simply because a particular politician will derail more and more faith journeys over time; or like Pelosi, their self-importance will lead them to create their own doctrine to justify their radical, wrongheaded agenda.

Let's pray that Archbishop Niederauer can make headway in addressing Pelosi's radical actions, and in preventing future similar damage to the faithful's understanding of true Church doctrine. He now owns that half.


Optimism in Adversity Today

I have posted a few times about wisdom from Fr Francis Fernandez' In Conversation With God. From today's reflection (Vol. 4, pp 591-2) I take his own words (in quotes) and his citation from Cardinal Newman (The Biglietto Speech, May 12, 1879-- italicized). The theme is adversity and resiliency and the good that can come from it.

"In every situation we will always have open to us motives for being happy and optimistic, with the optimism born of faith and confident prayer." Christianity has too often been in what appeared at the time to be fatal danger for us now to be frightened by yet another such test.

We often sit around lamenting the "state of things" in the Church: rainbow sash Masses; unrepentant pro-abortion politicians; charismatic nonsense; kneeler-less parishes; devotion to unapproved apparitions; really bad "modern" music on Sundays; etc. Some of this is obvious personal preference, and some of it is out of fear that forces contrary to the orthodoxy are working to undermine our faith.

I'd by lying if I denied liking a good argument, but I also sincerely have those concerns.

Looking at Fr Fernandez's words, however, I am given a boost of confidence in the survival of the Church and Her theology. This doesn't mean that we should stop fighting-- to the contrary, keep fighting with the confidence that the Church will survive and be victorious as we come vigorously to Her defense.

Holy Mother, pray for us.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

St Michael 2008 Fall Festival Sept 14, 2008

Friends, everyone is warmly invited to attend this year's Festival-- next Sunday, Sept 14! It includes fun, games, great auction items, and of course the world-famous Chicken Dinner.

Despite the significant challenge of having the Catholic School's kitchen closed, the Chicken Dinner will go on! Same great food (chicken, duh! dressing, gravy, etc), same great fellowship!

Finally, don't forget to enter the drawing for a BRAND, NEW CAR!!!

See you there!