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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Congratulations Seminarian Matthew - FKA Moneybags

Well as the name change would suggest the blogger formerly known as Moneybags at A Catholic Lifeis now a seminarian for his diocese.

Back up to speed . . . almost

The dinosaur computer just wasn't cutting it. It was getting slower by the minute. It took me forever to post over on Catholic Converts today. Since buying a new computer isn't an option right now I decided to risk it all tonight. I determined that the hard drive was the problem with my computer and I really don't want to invest in a new hard drive at the moment. So I took the hard drive out of the dinosaur computer and put it into the newer one. After what has seemed like forever installing drivers I'm back up and running. Obviously I'm still on Windows 98 which does create some issues, but at least I have the benefit of a faster processor and a better graphics card which was also wrecking havic with the dinosaur.
I can do just about anything else that I need to do on my computer at work. But I don't think they would take too kindly to blogging. Being able to keep up with my blogs was the main priority for the home computer so pray that this hard drive holds up.
*update* One big problem I do seem to be having is leaving comments. For some reason I can't get the comment's pages to load. That is quite annoying as I've wanted to leave several comments already tonight.
*update 2* Opening the comments pages seems to work at some times and not at others. So if I don't comment on you blog don't feel slighted. If I do comment on you blog, well then you should feel mighty privileged indeed.

Catholic Carnival 116

Catholic Carnival #116

Sunday, April 22, 2007

The Lord Takes It From Me

My yoke is heavy,
The Lord takes it from me.
He gives me his part to bear.

Before time Earthly,
My debt he paid for me,
A new cloak gained me to wear.

Suffering dearly,
His love shown for me,
Heart pierced that mine might hear.

His words come clearly,
Of a new hope for me,
To cast away all my fear.

My yoke is heavy,
The Lord takes it from me,
On a cross for it to bear.

Disclaimer: I'm no poet, cut me some slack. ;-)

A Nice Surprise Today

I went to the 11:00 am Mass today and was pleasantly surprised to find that Archbishop Naumann was there to celebrate Mass. He was the to award certificates of catechist and bless those who has just earned this certification at catechists in the Archdiocese. There were somewhere around 25 students at the St. Lawrence Center plus another 35-40 individuals from around the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas receiving their certificates today.

Being relatively new to the Archdiocese I was glad to get the opportunity to attend a Mass celebrated by the Archbishop. I don't know a whole lot about him but some of the things that I've noticed that he is doing in the Archdiocese seem pretty positive. I thought he gave an excellent homily this morning.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Interesting Email

I received an email (sent to my callingromehome gmail account) tonight from Fr. Brian, Vocations Director for the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas (not to be confused with the Diocese of Kansas City - St. Joseph). Fr. Brian lives across the street from the St. Lawrence Catholic Campus Center and often celebrates Mass there.
Anyway, in his email Fr. Brian stated that someone had email him and said that I may be discerning my vocation. He offered to meet with me sometime.
This is quite interesting. I have a good idea of who may have sent Fr. Brian the original email, but I'm not completely sure. For clarification, I am in no way offended or upset that someone contacted Fr. Brian on my behalf. I'm somewhat flattered that someone out there would take the time to do so.
I have stated many times that I am convinced that my vocation is not that of the priesthood. However, I often find myself question whether I'm really convinced of that or instead trying to say that I am until it becomes reality.
I must admit that this would seem like one more instance in a line of things that would appear to be nudges in that direction. People have made the suggestion before that I may be destined for the priesthood. I often find myself thinking of what I would say during a homily and have at times found myself experiencing something like a desire to celebrate the Mass (this has especially occurred during the Consecration on a few occasions)
On the other hand, why now? I'm almost 26, just finished 7 years of college, have a decent amount of student loans to pay off, and am well on my way to establishing my career. The thought of it all almost sounds absurd. We're talking years before going to a seminary would be feasible and then probably at least 6 - 8 years of study. Then when I say this it sounds like the most horrible and shallow of arguments.
I am convinced that I am called to serve the Church in some manner. What I'm not convinced of is in what way I am to serve. I'm pretty sure its not in the priesthood, yet I starting to feel that I must resign myself to the possibility that it is. This is all becoming very perplexing.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Computer Problems

Things may get really slow around here. My computer seems to have died. I'm waiting on my computer guru brother-in-law to call me back to see if there is anything that can be done. In the mean time I've pulled a dinosaur of a computer out of the closet. Right now I'm running Windows 98 and boy is it slow! This thing hasn't even been plugged in for almost five years (yeah, I know I'm a pack rat). Just pray that this one doesn't go do too since I can't really afford a new computer at the moment.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Supreme Court upholds Partial Birth Abortion Ban

The Supreme Court has upheld the federal ban on a particular form of partial birth abortion.

Here's one of many articles. This one is from

I found this quote interesting from the minority dissent delivered by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
In a bitter dissent read from the bench, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the only woman on the high court, said the majority's opinion "cannot be understood as anything other than an effort to chip away a right declared again and again by this court, and with increasing comprehension of its centrality to women's lives."
We can only hope that this is a sign of much more "chipping away" at the legality of abortion.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Catholic Carnival 115

Catholic Carnival #115

National Right to Life Convention

Thanks to Kansas City Catholic for the tip.

The 2007 National Rigth to Life Convention is behing held in Kansas City.

Fr. Richard John Neuhaus will be the keynote speaker at the closing banquet.

Book tag

I've been tagged by KaleJ at un-Muted Mumblings in the Book(s) I'm currently reading meme.
So, for want of something better to write about (or for want of the eloquence to write about something better), I have decided to start another blogosphere ‘tag’ and ask fellow bloggers to write about the book, or books they are currently reading.
At the moment I am reading The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis for the second time. I'm currently on The Horse and His Boy.

I started reading Death on a Friday Afternoon: Meditation on the Last Words of Jesus From the Cross by Fr. Richard John Neuhaus during Lent but havent' gotten beyond the first two chapters. I should really pick it back up again soon.

I tag Matt, Mark, and Annabel

Monday, April 16, 2007

Friday, April 13, 2007

Is abstaining from meat only required during Lent?

Yes. And no.

I have talked with people who rightly knew that the obligation to abstain from meat on the Fridays of the year except during the season of Lent and on Good Friday is no longer in effect (at least in the US as I'm not sure about other countries). However, many where surprised to learn that we are still under an obligation to practice some form of self-denial and penance on Fridays during the rest of the year.

The Code of Canon Law states:


Days of Penance

Can. 1249 The divine law binds all the Christian faithful to do penance each in his or her own way. In order for all to be united among themselves by some common observance of penance, however, penitential days are prescribed on which the Christian faithful devote themselves in a special way to prayer, perform works of piety and charity, and deny themselves by fulfilling their own obligations more faithfully and especially by observing fast and abstinence, according to the norm of the following canons.

Can. 1250 The penitential days and times in the universal Church are every Friday of the whole year and the season of Lent.

Can. 1251 Abstinence from meat, or from some other food as determined by the Episcopal Conference, is to be observed on all Fridays, unless a solemnity should fall on a Friday. Abstinence and fasting are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.

Can. 1252 The law of abstinence binds those who have completed their fourteenth year. The law of fasting binds those who have attained their majority, until the beginning of their sixtieth year. Pastors of souls and parents are to ensure that even those who by reason of their age are not bound by the law of fasting and abstinence, are taught the true meaning of penance.

Can. 1253 The conference of bishops can determine more precisely the observance of fast and abstinence as well as substitute other forms of penance, especially works of charity and exercises of piety, in whole or in part, for abstinence and fast.

Canon Law gives the bishops conference's the authority to substitute other forms of penance for abstaining from meat on Fridays. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops addressed this in 1966 in its Pastoral Statement on Penance and Abstinence.
24. Among the works of voluntary self-denial and personal penance which we especially commend to our people for the future observance of Friday, even though we hereby terminate the traditional law of abstinence binding under pain of sin, as the sole prescribed means of observing Friday, we give first place to abstinence from flesh meat.

We do so in the hope that the Catholic community will ordinarily continue to abstain from meat by free choice as formerly we did in obedience to Church law. Our expectation is based on the following considerations: a. We shall thus freely and out of love for Christ Crucified show our solidarity with the generations of believers to whom this practice frequently became, especially in times of persecution and of great poverty, no mean evidence of fidelity to Christ and His Church. b. We shall thus also remind ourselves that as Christians, although immersed in the world and sharing its life, we must preserve a saving and necessary difference from the spirit of the world. Our deliberate, personal abstinence from meat, more especially because no longer required by law, will be an outward sign of inward spiritual values that we cherish.

25. Every Catholic Christian understands that the fast and abstinence regulations admit of change, unlike the commandments and precepts of that unchanging divine moral law which the Church must today and always defend as immutable. This said, we emphasize that our people are henceforth free from the obligation traditionally binding under pain of sin in what pertains to Friday abstinence, except as noted above for Lent. We stress this so that "no" scrupulosity will enter into examinations of conscience, confessions, or personal decisions on this point.

26. Perhaps we should warn those who decide to keep the Friday abstinence for reasons of personal piety and special love that they must not pass judgment on those who elect to substitute other penitential observances. Friday, please God, will acquire among us other forms of penitential witness which may become as much a part of the devout way of life in the future as Friday abstinence from meat. In this connection we have foremost in mind the modern need for self-discipline in the use of stimulants and for a renewed emphasis on the virtue of temperance, especially in the use of alcoholic beverages.

27. It would bring great glory to God and good to souls if Fridays found our people doing volunteer work in hospitals, visiting the sick, serving the needs of the aged and the lonely, instructing the young in the Faith, participating as Christians in community affairs, and meeting our obligations to our families, our friends, our neighbors, and our community, including our parishes, with a special zeal born of the desire to add the merit of penance to the other virtues exercised in good works born of living faith.

28. In summary, let it not be said that by this action, implementing the spirit of renewal coming out of the Council, we have abolished Friday, repudiated the holy traditions of our fathers, or diminished the insistence of the Church on the fact of sin and the need for penance. Rather, let it be proved by the spirit in which we enter upon prayer and penance, not excluding fast and abstinence freely chosen, that these present decisions and recommendations of this conference of bishops will herald a new birth of loving faith and more profound penitential conversion, by both of which we become one with Christ, mature sons of God, and servants of God's people.
I mention this because I am guilty of not observing the Friday obligation, even after my ignorance on the matter was relieved. Personally, I've decided to start making the habit of observing the traditional abstinance from meat on Fridays. At any rate we are all still obligated to make some act of penance on all Fridays of the year.

Pope Benedict XVI Birthday

Pope Benedict XVI will be 80 on April 16th.

You can send him a birthday greeting via the Vatican website.

Greetings to our Holy Father Benedict XVI for his 80th birthday - April 16, 2007

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Go and Proclaim, "I have seen the Lord!"

Jesus said to her, “Stop holding on to me,
for I have not yet ascended to the Father.
But go to my brothers and tell them,
‘I am going to my Father and your Father,
to my God and your God.’”
Mary went and announced to the disciples,
“I have seen the Lord,”
and then reported what he had told her.
John 8: 17 - 18

Christ's instruction to Mary Magdala is an instruction to us all. While we should cling to Jesus we must not hold him to ourselves. We are to go forth and tell our brothers and sisters, "I have seen the Lord!"

Our every action and every word should shout out, "I have seen the Lord, and He is risen!"

I must admit that I often fail miserably at this. I know that many of my actions and words are far from proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ.

I confess to almighty God,
and to you,
my brothers and sisters,
that I have sinned through my own fault,
in my thoughts and in my words,
in what I have done,
and in what I have failed to do;
and I ask blessed Mary,
ever virgin,
all the angels and saints,
and you,
my brothers and sisters,
to pray for me to the Lord our God.

How gracious our God is to give us the sacraments and the support of our brothers and sisters in prayer. Alone, in our fallen human nature, we would not be able to follow our Lord's instruction. It is by His grace alone, obtained for us through His provisions, that we are able to go forth and tell our brothers, "I have seen the Lord!".

Catholic Carnival 114

Catholic Carnival 114 is up at Profound Gratitude

Monday, April 09, 2007

Thoughts and new old questions

The last few days have been wonderful. This weekend's Easter Vigil marked my first year in the Catholic Church (well, based on the liturgical calendar at least). This year was the also the first time that I had made it to all of the Easter Triduum services. I cannot now remember the reason that I wasn't able to attend the Good Friday service last year.

I was also excited to celebrate in my new parish which I love. At this time last year (and through the summer into August) I was searching for a job. At times it was very frustrating and I would have to remind myself to trust God to open up an opportunity for me and to send me where he wanted me to be. I enjoy my job and believe that God has presented me with a great opportunity. However, I am convinced that a big reason that He sent me to Lawrence, Kansas was the St. Lawrence Catholic Campus Center. I'm a staff member at the University and as such this is my parish. It is a wonderful parish were the Faith is alive and vibrant. It gives me great hope for the future of the Church that the students here are exposed to such a great display of the Catholic Faith.

The Easter Triduum liturgies were beautiful. My last parish made heavy use of guitars and contemporary music (not to say that it isn't a great place also. It was there after all that my faith was nurtured). St. Lawrence is much more traditional in it's music selections and has an outstanding organ. The incense was so thick all weekend that you could cut it with a knife. St. Lawrence also uses Latin quite a bit for the Gloria, Sanctus, and Kyrie (okay, Greek on that last one). And I will admit that I had trouble singing the Gloria at the Easter Vigil because I was getting a bit choked up. The same thing happened last year. I think that moment when the Gloria is sung at the Vigil is my favorite moment of the entire year.

During the past few days I have found a renewed joy in my Faith. I haven't been able to get the Gloria out of my head since the Easter Vigil. A couple of other things also happened. Since I was in RCIA I have wrestled with the notion of Communion in the hand vs. on the tongue. We were never given any instruction on this unfortunately and I ended up going along with the crowd and receiving in the hand. Since, then I've always been too nervous to try receiving on the tongue even though I was convinced that it would be the much more reverent option. Right before communion on Holy Thursday I made up my mind to receive the on the tongue. What a difference!!! By Easter Sunday (having a couple of receptions on the tongue under my belt) I noticed that I was much less worried about dropping the consecrated host and much more focused on my Lord whom I was about to receive in the Eucharist. I don't think anything short of an directive from the Pope or Magisterium will cause me to revert back to Communion in the hand.

I've also decided to really try to go to daily Mass. Again, St. Lawrence being the great parish that it is makes this really easy. They offer two every day. So this morning I got up and went to the 8:00 am. What a great way to start my day. I usually am not a Monday person but I think today went much better than usual. So far so good, but I should avoid being boastful as that is the surest way to fall. Right now, I'm going to shoot for making it to Mass every day of the Octave of Easter and hopefully my daily Mass attendance will continue from there.

The Easter Triduum also saw the return of some thoughts about my vocation that I thought, or at least had tried to convince myself, that I had resolved. I found myself questioning again whether or not God could be calling me to the priesthood. I can think of many obstacles to that, which is exactly what I started to do immediately. But then I realized that if that is what God really wanted and if I turned it over to His hands he would resolve those obstacles. However, that being said and I am still pretty sure that the priesthood is not the vocation that God has in store for me. But I do pray for the strength of heart and spirit to say "yes" to whatever he asks me to do.

Along those lines, I think some of this may come from a need to become more involved in the Church. Being a convert and moving 300 miles has left me not knowing very many Catholics, well not practicing ones anyway. I realized that interaction with others in the Church is pretty much limited to the Sign of Peace during Mass, my blogs and those that I read, and the Defenders of the Catholic Faith message board. Not that I don't treasure the friendships I've made on the blogs and message board, but it's not quite the same as having some live face to face interaction with people. So, I think that meeting people has to really be a focus over the coming months. Of course, I am unsure what turn my life will take in the next couple of months. My current job is not the most permanent of positions. I currently have my eyes open for new jobs and in my line of work that almost always involves moving some distance. So as of right now I'm not sure if I will still be in Lawrence or moving somewhere else come the end of June. But, during the Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday masses I started to have a strong idea that I should investigate the possibility of joining the choir if I end up staying here. It seems that the choir, like almost everything at the Center is open to students and the "permanent community" (i.e. faculty/staff) alike. I'm not the best singer in the world but I was the the University Choir back at Arkansas for two or three semesters. So basically my thought process went, "maybe I am called to be a priest, no I'm just longing for more involvement in the Church, maybe I should join the choir". Anyway, we'll see where all of this goes.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Gloria in Excelsis Deo

Surrexit Christus hodie, Alleluia

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

New Jersey School Stages Practice Hostage Drill – Portrays Killers as Fundamentalist Christians


On Thursday, March 22, officials at Burlington Township High School enlisted the help of two local policemen to carry out a mock ‘hostage situation’ drill at their school. The drill invoked disapproval from Christian students as the student body was told that the alleged gunmen were “members of a right-wing fundamentalist group called the 'New Crusaders' who don't believe in separation of church and state.”

According to a report in the local paper, The Burlington County Times, the mock gunmen pretended to gun down several students in the hallways before taking 10 students hostage in the school’s media center. Given that the drill was intended to test the disaster response of students, faculty and local emergency personnel, county officers were dispatched during the drill to realistically execute an emergency evacuation of the building.

The drill organizers explained that the supposedly Christian gunmen “went to the school seeking justice because the daughter of one had been expelled for praying before class.”

Continue Reading
It is a practice in Christian charity to not use the words that I want to use over this as they are not appropriate to this blog (or at any other time really).

Later in the article Bob Pawson, National Coordinator of the Scriptures in School Project, points out a flashing sign of bigotry explaining that, "It is perfectly legal for any student or staff member to pray in a public school. They know that no student can ever be expelled for praying before class. Hence, the contrived reason for the mock attack is bogus".

This is nothing more than a liberal left-wing attempt to slander the Christian right. It is scandelous and an outrage.

Catholic Carnival #113

This weeks Catholic Carnival is up. Check it out!

Holy Week Catholic Carnival