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Thursday, September 28, 2006

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Milingo excommunicated

A renegade African archbishop who wanted the Vatican to allow priests to marry has been automatically excommunicated after he ordained four married men as bishops, the Vatican said on Tuesday.

Roman Catholic Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo made world headlines in 2001 for getting married himself in Reverend Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church at a mass wedding in a New York hotel. His union was never recognized by the Catholic Church.

The Vatican said he finally went too far when he ordained the four married men as bishops on Sunday in Washington D.C.

"For this public act, Archbishop Milingo as well as the four ordained men have incurred the excommunication latae sententiae," the Vatican statement said. Reuters: Read on

It's about time something was done about this guy.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Rest in peace little one

After being away from the blogging world for a few days, I am sad to learn that Baby Emmie-Rose whom I wrote about last week has passed on.

Réquiem aetérnam dona eis, Dómine,
et lux perpétua lúceat eis.
Requiéscant in pace. Amen.


Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Catholic Carnival

This weeks Catholic Carnival is up. I have a post included this week. Check it out.

Catholic Carnival 86

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Today's homily

In today's homily Father managed to work in the Church's position on the following topics: are you ready for this?

Abortion
Euthenasia
Artificial birth control
Marriage
Divorce
Update: I remembered that he also included embryonic stem cell research in his homily and he related all of this to the day's Gospel.

Wow! Unfortunately I'd only heard a couple of those topics mentioned in a homily a few times in the 2 or 3 years I've been going to Mass. To get them all in one homily was a pleasent surprise.

Militant Islam targets Pope Benedict XVI

Very disturbing news. Pray for Pope Benedicts XVI's safety.

Mujahideen's Army threatens Pope with suicide attack

On a website used by rebel movements in Iraq, a message posted by the Mujahideen's Army said members of the organization would "smash the crosses in the house of the dog from Rome."

Islamic world rails against 'Unchristian' Pope
Sheikh Taj al-Din al-Hilali, the Mufti of Australia, said the Pope's statement "did not come across as the way of the prophet Jesus."

"It's not what I expect from a holy person. The church needs to re-examine its thoughts about someone who doesn't have the qualities or good grasp of Christian character or knowledge."

Speaking outside a conference of Australian Islamic leaders, Sheikh Hilali said the Pope's comments would add fuel to the fire of fundamentalism and terrorism. "The result is to all but destroy the moderates, whereas the fundamentalists gain traction," he said.

Somali cleric calls for pope's death
Sheikh Abubukar Hassan Malin urged Muslims to find the pontiff and punish him for insulting the Prophet Mohammed and Allah in a speech that he said was as offensive as author Salman Rushdie's novel The Satanic Verses.

"We urge you Muslims wherever you are to hunt down the Pope for his barbaric statements as you have pursued Salman Rushdie, the enemy of Allah who offended our religion," he said in Friday evening prayers.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Confession

The issue of confession, or more appropriately the Sacrament of Reconciliation, was a big deal in my own conversion process. It's also one of the favorite targets of those who oppose the Catholic Church.

Having just come from confession, I have a few thoughts. What a great gift the sacrament of reconcilliation is! I've sorta been down and out for the last couple of weeks needing to go to confession. It was painful not being able to go up for communion and left me feeling very unmotivated. Part of that unmotivation resulted in very little blog activity over the past couple weeks. I apologize to those of you who have continued to visit this blog just to find nothing new to read.

And so much the more did they wonder, saying: He hath done all things well; he hath made both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak. - Mark 7:37

Christ does all things well. By virtue of our baptism we are called to follow Christ, emulating Him in doing all things well. However, by virtue of our humanity we are prone to fail in doing well.

The Sacrament of Reconciliation allows us to start anew. It allows us to start over in our pursuit of doing all things well, to live the example that Christ set for us.

Having once been one of them, I understand why some people take offense at the thought of confession to a priest. However, I have found that to keep our sins hidden from the world makes it that much more easier to sin again and again. Confession both humbles us and fulfills us. It gives us motivation to avoid sin and fills us with the knowledge that God's love is ever abiding.

On a side note, I couldn't help but make the intersting observation that men far out numbered women in the confession line today. I find that interesting in light of some's arguement that the Church is losing its attractivness to men.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Thursday, September 14, 2006

A heartbreaking story

Please pay a visit to The Story of Emmie-Rose and ad this child to your prayers.

Basically, it seems that the doctors at U of M have decided that Emmie-Rose is a lost cause and have decided to refuse her both treatment and nourishment. Emmie-Rose has continued to live after they discontinued treatment so now they have decided to starve her to death.

This story reflects so much of what is wrong with society today. Our society has stopped believing in miracles. We have studied our way out of faith.

Our doctors have abandoned the vow of protecting human life and easing the pain of the suffering for a preference to the culture of death. It is cases like this one that are so reminiscent of the Terri Schivo case. I am saddened that our culture has resorted to the inhumane practice of starving those who are deemed "imperfect".

From that limited information made available on the above linked blog it seems that there is little hope for this baby. But, that in now way gives anyone the right to deny this child the basic necessities of life (food, water, and shelter). By virtue of her human dignity this child is entitled to at least these basics. Sadly many in our society have cast aside the notion of human dignity.

Please pray for this family and help spread the word. Both prayer and the blogosphere have accomplished great things. Let's combine these two tools in the fight for life and human dignity.

Luukas' second EEG results

From his dad:

The EEG still showed abnormalities, i.e. slow motion in some parts and solitary spikes everywhere. Those spikes are related to epileptic activity, but the fact that they do not spread to the whole brain cortex (which would cause a seizure) is a positive sign. The neurologist said that these findings are by no means lifelong and permanent, so we will just go on observing the situation and giving a small amount of anti-epileptic medication. On the other hand, she was very pleased with Luukas' progress in movement, reactions and contact with other people. He really showed the best he can by listening and watching toys as well as smiling and "talking" to the toys and to the doctor and physiotherapist. His movements seemed normal for his age. His vision and hearing will be checked in October.

We also happened to meet Rosa with her mother in the hospital, and while she is not as active in contacts as Luukas, she drinks milk from a bottle, keeps her eyes open and understands things that are going on around her.
Please continue to keep Luukas and baby Roosa in your prayers.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Something to think about

Today I stopped in a pizza shop to order a pizza. I noticed a man sitting at a table who appeared to be "of the street". He was counting out change and when he was done he went to the counter and asked the clerk to exchange it for paper cash. He probably had 3 or 4 dollars all together. As he was leaving he walked over the a table where some people had just left. He then picked up one of their half finished glasses of soft drink and drank it. He then picked up the two slices of pizza left on the table and walked out.

I couldn't help but think what a sad moment I had just witnessed. I have no idea who this man was or what his situation in life is. He could be homeless and jobless through no fault of his own or through all of his own fault. When I see people like this I often feel guilty for not doing anything to help. By practice I rarely carry any cash, but I sometimes think that I should for situations where it may do well to offer to buy another person a meal. After all, our Lord did say:

35 For I was hungry, and you gave me to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me to drink; I was a stranger, and you took me in:

36 Naked, and you covered me: sick, and you visited me: I was in prison, and you came to me. 37 Then shall the just answer him, saying: Lord, when did we see thee hungry, and fed thee; thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38 And when did we see thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and covered thee? 39 Or when did we see thee sick or in prison, and came to thee? 40 And the king answering, shall say to them: Amen I say to you, as long as you did it to one of these my least brethren, you did it to me.

41 Then he shall say to them also that shall be on his left hand: Depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry, and you gave me not to eat: I was thirsty, and you gave me not to drink. 43 I was a stranger, and you took me not in: naked, and you covered me not: sick and in prison, and you did not visit me. 44 Then they also shall answer him, saying: Lord, when did we see thee hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister to thee? 45 Then he shall answer them, saying: Amen I say to you, as long as you did it not to one of these least, neither did you do it to me. -- Matthew 25

But then, another man came through the door. He also looked to be "of the street". He walked up to the counter, looked down at what was in his hand, and turned away. He stopped at a table where another person was sitting. He held up what was in his hand and said, "I found this on the street. I thought it was a credit card, but its just one of those hotel key cards." He dropped it on the table and walked out. Again, I don't know who this man was or what his situation in life is. Whas he in this situation through no fault of his own and willing to steal by using a lost credit card out of desperation? Or, was this act an example of his fault that has lead to his status in life?

These two episodes have given me more questions that answers. What should be my response to those who appear less fortunate than I? Am I to trust fully in the goodness of each human person? Where do I draw the line between charity and recklessly allowing myself to be taken advantage of? Why was I in that resturaunt at the time when these two men would also be there? What am I supposed to learn from this experience?

On Notice



Make your own

Sunday, September 03, 2006

the WORST mass I have attended thus far

I just got back from mass at St. John the Evangelist in Lawrence, KS. This is my second weekend in Kansas so I decided to visit my second church in the city. Last weekend I was very happy with St. Lawrence campus center and parish.

Well not long after I enter the church the band/choir starts rehearsing. Piano (almost jazz piano) guitar and drum set.

DRUM SETS HAVE NO PLACE IN THE MASS!!! (in my opinion)

I can already tell from what they are rehearsing that I'm in for a bad ride. But at this point I'm afraid that I don't have enough time to make it to St. Lawrence for the same time mass and I've heard some pretty bad music as mass before. So, I decide to just deal with it.

"Then, the priest walks out to the front of the church and says to the band, "what do you have for us?" They then proceed to sing some song that no one appears to know and for which there are no copies. After this song, the priest again asks, "what else do you have for us?" And the band starts into another song; this one is in the "Proclaim" photocopied “songbook” full of lyrics. Something that I’m starting to recognize as a bad sign.

Finally, the priest makes the announcements, INVITES EVERYONE TO GREET ONE ANOTHER AT WHICH POINT EVERYONE GOES THROUGH A ROUND OF HAND SHAKING AND TWISTING IN THIER PEWS LIKE OWLS, and goes to the back of the church for the processional.

The Gloria is a very strange version with rock beats coming from the drums and from what I tell only about 1/3 of the people trying to sing along. When it comes time for the responsorial psalm, it's not the one in the missal and I can't understand a word that the girl singing is saying.

After the gifts are presented and the creed (side note: maybe 10 people NOT INCLUDING THE PRIEST make anything resembling a bow at the words, "by the power of the holy spirit . . .") a group of about 10 what appear to be high school students proceed to the alter and form an arc behind the alter on both sides of the tabernacle. NO ONE kneels and the priest launches into the consecration.

When it comes time for the Our Father the priest says, "AS WE JOIN HANDS. . .” and the whole congregation shifts so that people can join hands across the aisle. The priest also steps back from the altar to join hands with the kids behind him. I really think I offended some people by prayerfully clasping my hands in front of me. The Our Father is sung with the choir/band singing each line and then the congregation repeating it.

Then comes the sign of peace with people roaming across the aisle and all over the place to shake everyone's hand they can reach. The priest takes part in this roaming as well.

At this point the 5 EMHCs come up and form an arc behind the altar. The priest distributes each of them with a consecrated host BEFORE THE "Lamb of God".

4 EMHC's distribute the wine while the priest and another EMHC distribute the hosts. Then, the priest goes and sits down while the EMHC distributes communion the band/choir. The EMHC then places the left over hosts in the tabernacle.

Finally, the closing hymn is "Our love is loud": here are the lyrics

When we sing
Hear our songs, to You
When we dance
Feel us move, to You
When we laugh
Fill our smiles, with You

Pre-Chorus:
When we lift our voices
Louder still
Can You hear us?
Can You feel?

Chorus:
We love You, Lord
We love You
We love You
We love You, Lord
We love You
We love You

When we sing [LOUD!]
Hear our songs, to You
When we dance [ROUND!]
Feel us move, to You
When we laugh [ALOUD!]
Fill our smiles, with You

(Pre-Chorus)

(Chorus)

Bridge:
And our love is big
Our love is loud
Fill this place with this love now [4x]
And our love is big
Our love is loud
Fill our lungs
To sing it now...

(Chorus [4x])

Out:
We lift our voices louder still
Our God is near
Our God is here

I didn’t realize that the bible said, “And the world so loved God that they sang their own praises and demanded that He listen”.

When the choir/band finished the song, of which the loudest part is the rock beat coming from the drum set, EVERYONE CLAPS FOR THE CHOIR/BAND!

Let me tell you, I got out of that church as fast as I could praising and thanking God that it isn't the only parish in town. I came close to leaving many times during mass.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Don't forget Luukas in your prayers

From his mom:

Luukas' physical therapy started this week. He has problems with concentrating his eyes on one's face and with following things with his eyes. His eyes also move involuntary.

So far, Luukas has won the biggest fight of his young life, FOR HIS LIFE! Now he needs our prayers in helping him to fight for everything that life has to offer.