Wednesday, July 31, 2002

Tuesday, July 30, 2002

From a reader:



John Michael Talbot was a secular franciscan (like lots of other lay Catholics, including St. Thomas More). He started his own community, first called the Franciscan Brothers and Sisters of Charity (affiliated with the secular franciscans), then he disbanded it, and founded a new community, the Brothers and Sisters of Charity, a public association of the faithful which has married, single, and celibate members. With the permission of Bishop Andrew McDonald, who witnessed their vows, John and Viola were transferred to the married monastic expression of the community in 1989. He does not wear the Franciscan habit, he wears the habit of the Brothers and Sisters of Charity (pants and a tunic top), with the hooded prayer shawl of the monastic expression over it. This is the habit he's worn since 1989, not the old brown Franciscan habit with knotted cord that appears on some of his early albums.
Thousands of Squid beach in California



Jumbo Squid Wash Ashore in Calif. (washingtonpost.com)
Giant Squid beached in Austrailia



Monster squid washes up on Hobart beach - smh.com.au
Whales rescued yesterday, beach themselves again today in Cape Cod



From Boston.com
Manatees Beach in South Florida



Breaking News
Angelina wants her blood back, fears a curse!



From the NY Daily News:



According to a source quoted in London's Sun, the actress is worried that Thornton, whose mom is a psychic, will "put a curse on her" using the blood: "He is a redneck and from a background experienced in these things. She wouldn't put it past him to try something like this and it scares her to death." The paper says Thornton took Jolie's blood from their Beverly Hills home in May.
How does she conveniently forget that two planes smashed into the "World Trade Center" which came toppling down?



W sapped '90s econ gains - Hil, from the



NY Daily News

Monday, July 29, 2002

I was surprised to seeJohn Michael Talbot in Franciscan habbit doing the Magnificat at the World Youth Day vigil service.
It is mentioned here too!



Books on Catholic issues vie for audience after abuse scandals -- The Washington Times
"Scandal to Hope" has been featured on theSpirit Daily.com - Spiritual News from Around the World site for the past few days
Today is the feast of St. Martha



Here is a great quote from St. Augustine from today's Office of Readings:



Thus was the Lord received as a guest who came unto his own and his own received him not; but as many as received him, he gave them the power to become sons of God, adopting those who were servants and making them his brothers, ransoming the captives and making them his co-heirs. No one of you should say: “Blessed are they who have deserved to receive Christ into their homes!” Do not grieve or complain that you were born in a time when you can no longer see God in the flesh. He did not in fact take this privilege from you. As he says: Whatever you have done to the least of my brothers, you did to me.

Thursday, July 25, 2002

Why only half of Brebeuf's skull is at the Midland Shrine



From a Homily of Most Reverend Terrence Prendergast, S.J.:



The "Blackrobes" finally gave up their grand project, burned Ste-Marie to the ground and, after one more terrible winter on nearby Christian Island, returned by canoe to Quebec. They carried with them Brébeuf's skull, which they eventually handed over to the Ursuline nuns for safekeeping, and the Jesuits left Canada entirely shortly after the arrival of the British.



They did not return until 1840, by which time the Ursulines felt the revered skull was theirs by law of possession. A literal saw-off was reached, and explains why, today, half of Brébeuf's skull lies in the shrine and half remains with the nuns.
Description of the death of St. John Brebeuf



From a Homily of Most Reverend Terrence Prendergast, S.J.:



Brébeuf's death, as described by witnesses, was not likely to be lost to history even without a shrine. His flesh was apparently stripped from the bone, his skin blistered by boiling water in derision of the baptisms he had conducted among the Huron, his body burned by pitch and resin-drenched bark and heated stones, his lips cut off when he would not stop praying and, finally, his heart ripped from his chest during his final conscious moments.

Wednesday, July 24, 2002

Christ on Trial



The modern world has put Jesus Christ on trial. He stands before all of us both his followers and those who despise him, and all of us like Pilate scornfully ask him, "What is truth?"



We expect no answer from him, because we have come to believe that there is no such thing as truth. In fact we secretly fear that anyone who claims to know the truth is responsible for every discord in life, whether it be as simple as an argument or as horrific as a war.



So we mock Our Lord with our smug attitude. We allow others to mock him publicly as they spit upon him, playfully bow to him and create a crown of thorns for his head. In the name of tolerance we accept almost any evil and are only intolerant of anyone who claims the name Christian and claims knowledge of right and wrong.



Yet this public mocking of Christ who is the Truth will end no differently than the first mocking and crucifixion of Our Lord, he will triumph.



Jesus is the truth. We have witnessed great miracles like the first disciples as we have watched Christian ministers march in the 50's and 60's for the civil rights of all and have witnessed changes that people who lived at the beginning of the twentieth century could not even have imagined. Yet like the disciples we now witness the passion of Christ.



How can anyone living in the modern world think that truth is a matter of opinion? Do we really believe that racism, the subjugation of people is just a matter of personal opinion?



The words of John's Gospel said by Jesus haunt the modern world, " And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil," (John 3:19).



Doomsday--February 1, 2019?



From the BBC:



A preliminary orbit suggests that 2002 NT7 is on an impact course with Earth and could strike the planet on 1 February, 2019 - although the uncertainties are large.



Astronomers have given the object a rating on the so-called Palermo technical scale of threat of 0.06, making NT7 the first object to be given a positive value.
The Tablet's Robert Mickens believes that Cardinal Kasper is the leading candidate to replace Pope John Paul II



Frame-based Story view



Among them is Robert Mickens, Vatican correspondent for the respected British Catholic weekly The Tablet. Mickens is a former student of the Pontifical Gregorian University -- the premier institution of its kind in Rome -- and he spent a decade as a correspondent for Vatican Radio. Among the current crop of papabile -- those who are "popeable" -- Mickens believes the leading candidates are Walter Kasper, 69, former bishop of Rottenburg-Stuttgart and now Rome's chief ecumenist and a leading theologian; Godfried Danneels, 69, the primate of Belgium and an articulate intellectual; and Roger Etchegaray, 79, a poised French cardinal with a strong record of pastoral and diplomatic achievements, and close ties to John Paul.



The Vatican has rejected the latest English translation of the Mass



The letter from Cardinal Estévez is very good in pointing out the deficiencies of the translation as well as calling into question the ideology and theology behind it.



The full letter is here at Medinalet. Here are a few examples:



I.

D. Certain texts included in the project, such as the seasonal introductions and the hagiographical notes in the Proper of Saints, by virtue of their genre as well as their bulk, should not be published within a liturgical book. At times, their very content militates against such an intention. For example, the statement that [St.] Jerome "began work on a new Latin translation of the Bible, known as the Vulgate," is historically inexact, since he selected and compiled existing texts of the Vetus Latina for many parts of the Bible, while his characterization as "irascible and intolerant" is hardly an appropriate appendage to the prayers prescribed for his liturgical Memorial. In the same vein, one might cite the inappropriateness of the reference to Santa Claus in commemorating St. Nicholas, or the unexplained statement that St. Callistus I "served a sentence as a convict," or the assertion that St. Pius V’s "excommunication of Queen Elizabeth I of England hardened the split between Catholics and Protestants." While there is an admitted distinction between a liturgical and a hagiographical text, these are neither. The present Observations are not the context in which to address questions of the veracity of these statements; it is sufficient to point out that they are out of place in the Missal.



II.

A. The structure of the collects: Relative clauses often disappear in the proposed text (especially the initial Deus, qui ..., so important in the Latin Collects), so that a single oration is divided into two or more sentences. This loss is detrimental not only to the unity of the structure, but to the manner of conveying the proper sense of the posture before God of the Christian people, or of the individual Christian. The relative clause acknowledges God’s greatness, while the independent clause strongly conveys the impression that one is explaining something about God to God. Yet it is precisely the acknowledgment of the mirabilia Dei that lies at the heart of all Judeo-Christian euchology. The quality of supplication is also adversely affected so that many of the texts now appear to say to God rather abruptly: "You did a; now do b." the manner in which language expresses relationship to God cannot be regarded merely as a matter of style.



B. The unfortunately monotonous effect of placing the vocative "Lord" always at the beginning of the prayer has already been cited by the Congregation in connection with previous texts submitted for its approval. However, this tendency can also be observed in the present text.



C. After the Orate, fratres, the people’s response Suscipiat Dominus sacrificium de manibus tuis ... has been distorted, apparently for purposes of "inclusive language": "May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands for the praise and glory of God’s name, for our good, and the good of all the Church." The insertion of the possessive God’s gives the impression that the Lord who accepts the sacrifice is different from God whose name is glorified by it. The Church is no longer his Church, and is no longer called holy - a flaw in the previous translation that one might have hoped would be corrected.



III.

B. "Opening song" does not translate "Cantus ad introitum" or "Antiphona ad introitum" as intended by the rites. The Latin is able to express the musical processional beginning of the Liturgy that accompanies the entrance of the priest and ministers, while "Opening song" could just as well designate the beginning number of a secular musical performance.



C. The Congregation, in the course of its various contacts and consultations has encountered widespread — indeed, virtually unanimous — opposition to the institution of any change in the wording of the Lord’s Prayer. More than one reader cited poignantly the experience of having seen this prayer coming to the lips of Christians who had otherwise appeared unconscious, its familiar wording having been learned by them from infancy. By contrast, the Mixed Commission’s justification for its changes, in its third Progress Report on the Revision of the Roman Missal, seem inadequate and somewhat cerebral.



E. The rich language of supplication found in the Latin texts is radically reduced in the translation. Words and expressions such as quaesumus, exoramus, imploramus, praesta ... ut, dona, concede, etc. have been collapsed more or less into the terms "ask" and "grant," transferred almost always to the last line of the prayer, resulting in a corpus of prayers that is relatively monotonous and impoverished with respect to the Latin. In addition, these factors render the imperative verbs in the body of the orations somewhat abrupt and presumptuous in tone, so that the oration seems to be a command rather than a prayer addressed to God. Again, there is more than style at stake here.



F. The language often lapses into sentimentality and emotionality in place of the noble simplicity of the Latin. A focus on transcendent realities in the Latin prayers too often shifts in the English prayers to a focus on the interior dispositions and desires of those who pray. The overuse of the word "hearts" when the word is not present in the Latin text weakens the use of the term on those occasions where it actually occurs. Likewise, the overuse of the term "sharing" flattens and trivializes the content conveyed by the Latin word participes and consortes.



G. For patena, calix, etc. the translators avoid the use of specifically sacral terminology, and use words commonly employed in the vernacular for kitchenware. In an already secularized culture, it is difficult to see what legitimate purpose could be served by a deliberate desacralization of religious terminology. There do exist in English words for these items having sacral connotations, such as "paten" and "chalice" but these are assiduously avoided in the translation. The Congregation views this tendency with regret, especially in conjunction with certain other tendencies enumerated in these Observations, by which the sense of the transcendent is not only inadequately conveyed, but actively obscured.



IV.

E. The translation of "Et cum spiritu tuo" as "And also with you" has become familiar in the English-speaking world, and a change in the people’s response would no doubt occasion some temporary discomfort. Nevertheless, the continuous literal translation of this response in all major liturgical traditions, whether Semitic, Greek, or Latin as well as in virtually every other modern language, constitutes a historical consensus and an imperative that can no longer be set aside. The present translation inappropriately situates the exchange on a purely horizontal level, without an apparent distinction in the roles of those who speak; the literal translation in its historical context has always been understood in relation to the crucial distinction of liturgical roles between the priest and the people. Weighty considerations such as these necessitate that the English translation at last be brought into conformity with the usage of the other language groups, and with the tradition, as is also prescribed now in the Congregation’s recent Instruction Liturgiam authenticam.

Tuesday, July 23, 2002

Michael Dubruiel

This is a continuation of the 73 Steps to Spiritual Communion with God. The previous entries are found in the archive to the right.



(65) To hate no one.



Christianity introduced a radical concept into the world that has seldom been lived out--to love everyone as God loves him or her. Our Lord counseled his disciples to "love their enemies" and to "love one's neighbor." When asked by one of His hearers who their neighbor was, Jesus used the example of what undoubtedly would have been the questioners idea of an enemy--a Samaritan as the good who was "neighbor" to the unfortunate fallen soul along the roadside.



Benedict's maxim almost takes this a step further in counseling us in the first place to "hate no one." This may seem impossible to do but only if we are convinced that we ourselves have been set up as the supreme judge over all people. Every person that we might "hate" is an invitation for us to turn to God again and to acknowledge that God alone knows what His designs have for both the person and us in question.



We should pray for those who abuse and mistreat us. We are to try to understand those who "hate" us. Hatred by its very nature is evil.



The example that usually drives the point home is to imagine that the person in question is your child. Could you hate your own flesh? Would you not wish for their salvation? If they are doing wrong would you not do everything in your power to help them to do right so that they might be saved?



In the Kingdom of God we are all brothers and sisters, God's children.



The genius of St. Benedict's counsel is that it does not play the game of saying that you can love someone but not like them--which I have always found rather ridiculous. We are to hate no one and to see "hate" as an obstacle to love.

Women feel more than men



From ABCNEWS.com:



Matrimonial lore says husbands never remember marital spats and wives never forget. A new study suggests a reason: Women's brains are wired both to feel and to recall emotions more keenly than the brains of men.

Monday, July 22, 2002

This is a continuation of the 73 Steps to Spiritual Communion with God. The previous entries are found in the archive to the right.



(64) To love chastity.



St. Benedict's counsel to "love" chastity applies to every Christian regardless of their state of life. The monk will be chaste in a way that is different than a married person but both are required to be chaste in their dealings with all people. Chastity is an attitude toward the other that sees the beauty of the person but does not wish to take or consume the other.



Being chaste means never making an object of anyone. While we think of this in sexual terms, sex is really just the tip of the iceberg. Seeing a person as a person and not making an object of them helps us to truly be reverent toward the person. Being chaste means being open to seeing others as God sees them. We desire to be in a good relationship with all people but we do not seek to enslave the other.



Some were shocked some years ago when Pope John Paul II stated that even a married man could commit a sin of lust with his own wife. What the Pope was pointing out was that even marriage does not give a man or woman the license to treat the their spouse like their property. In the same way we are called to treat all with respect.



In Latin this counsel is made up of two words, "love" and "chastity." In reality the two are equal. We are called to love all people chastely, in imitation of God who loves all of His creation.
Earnhardt Junior's reaction to NH accident

Junior launches attack against track, from the Boston Herald:



``I don't have any sore feelings toward (Bodine),'' said Earnhardt, who finished 23rd. ``We were racing our (expletive) off. I got into the back of him and tried to knock him up the racetrack, but I was the one who spun out. I got underneath him and thought I could race him down the straightaway and get by him, but he cut me off. I was just driving over my head. It's a tough deal. It was either me spin or him spin and this time it was my turn.



``I'm just glad I didn't get hit after I spun out and I was able to get out of the way.''



We are back in the U.S.A.



Photos from the trip:



Ontario

Wednesday, July 17, 2002

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my wife Amy today!



We are heading up to Canada tonight for a four day celebration by camping out along Lake Huron.

Tuesday, July 16, 2002

A Reason to drink Coffee (as if you need one)



Three coffees a day keeps dementia at bay [15jul02]
Sign of the Apocalypse or a new item on the menu?



Swarming Locusts May End Up in Beijing Woks



I often joke with Amy about Chinese food being filled with sticks and undecipherable vegetables--usually holding up various pieces and asking her, "what's this?"

Monday, July 15, 2002

For Florida Voters



See the below story.
Results of the Palm Beach Election testing



Pat Buchanan didn't get a vote, but then he wasn't on the ballot. I think he needs to be on one of the ballots for an accurate test!



From the Palm Beach Elections.org:



GREATEST AMERICAN COACH



BOBBY BOWDEN 1,488 49.67%

STEVE SPURRIER 988 32.98%

LARRY COKER 520 17.36%

Total 2,996 100.00%




What?



Devotional life of the Church isn't what it used to be



From ABC News Online:



Priests thought a young South American couple were devoted to a Madonna statue in their local church until they realised the pair were more interested in the effigy's electrical charge than its spiritual vibe.



The young couple were regular visitors to the Milan church for more than a month and spent an hour sitting attentively in front of the Madonna each time before silently departing.



Priests assumed they were seeking spiritual guidance until a cleaner noticed an electricity cable poking out from behind the statue.



Closer examination revealed the visitors were using the electricity socket used to light up the Madonna to charge their mobile phone.
From the DRUDGE REPORT 2002®:



VH1 plans to announce a Liza Minnelli reality series



What does this say about their viewership?
Today is the Feast of St. Bonaventure



I really like this from the Office of Readings:



A man should turn his full attention to this throne of mercy, and should gaze at him hanging on the cross, full of faith, hope and charity, devoted, full of wonder and joy, marked by gratitude, and open to praise and jubilation. Then such a man will make with Christ a pasch, that is, a passing-over. Through the branches of the cross he will pass over the Red Sea, leaving Egypt and entering the desert. There he will taste the hidden manna, and rest with Christ in the sepulchre, as if he were dead to things outside. He will experience, as much as is possible for one who is still living, what was promised to the thief who hung beside Christ: Today you will be with me in paradise.

Saturday, July 13, 2002

Wisdom from the Office of Readings, from a letter to the Corinthians by St. Clement:



For it is better for a man to confess his sins than to harden his heart.

Friday, July 12, 2002

Goat with the #3 on its side



'Lil' Dale' carries the mark of a champion
Blessings in everything!



From The Sun:



PORKY Shaun Reaney was saved by his beer gut when thugs slashed open his belly with a circular saw.



The 22-stone builder suffered a gaping 18-inch wound that would have killed a normal weight man.



But docs were able to sew up the wound without complications — because the blade did not get through his blubber.


A Story that will make Bingo players happy:



From the NYPOST.COM:



Think elderly bingo players are simpletons? Think again, because they really have faster and more accurate minds than young people, a study says.

"Bingo players, whether young or old, were faster and more accurate than non-bingo players on many tests of cognitive function," said researcher Julie Winstone of the University of Southampton in England.



"Moreover, in certain tasks, older bingo players significantly outperformed younger players."



She added that bingo may be better for the brain than chess or bridge because it is played faster and over a limited period of time.




Thursday, July 11, 2002

Five Walton's in the Top Ten--that makes them the richest!



Think of that the next time you go to Wal*Mart...



Forbes.com: Forbes World's Richest People 2002
Saint Benedict



Roman nobility. Twin brother of Saint Scholastica. Studied in Rome, but was dismayed by the lack of discipline and the lackadasical attitude of his fellow students. Fled to the mountains near Subiaco, living as a hermit in a cave for three years; reported to have been fed by a raven. His virtues caused an abbey to request him to lead them. Founded the monastery at Monte Cassino, where he wrote the Rule of his order. His discipline was such that an attempt was made on his life; some monks tried by poison him, but he blessed the cup and rendered it harmless. He returned to his cave, but continued to attract followers, and eventually established twelve monasteries. Had the ability to read consciences, prophesy, and forestall attacks of the devil. Destroyed pagan statues and altars, drove demons from groves sacred to pagans. At one point there were over 40,000 monasteries guided by the Benedictine Rule. A summation of the Rule: "Pray and work."
From today's Office of Readings for the Feast of St. Benedict:



Just as there exists an evil fervour, a bitter spirit, which divides us from God and leads us to hell, so there is a good fervour which sets us apart from evil inclinations and leads us toward God and eternal life. Monks should put this fervour into practice with an overflowing love: that is, they should surpass each other in mutual esteem, accept their weaknesses, either of body or of behaviour, with the utmost patience; and vie with each other in acceding to requests. No one should follow what he considers to be good for himself, but rather what seems good for another. They should display brotherly love in a chaste manner; fear God in a spirit of love; revere their abbot with a genuine and submissive affection. Let them put Christ before all else; and may he lead us all to everlasting life
Today is the Feast of St. Benedict



This is a continuation of the 73 Steps to Communion with God. The previous steps appear throughout the Archives, available to the right. This is the 63rd step:



(63) To fulfil daily the commandments of God by works.



Most of us think of the commandments as "something" not to do, but this is not Benedict's take. He sees them as something that requires action on our part daily. The type of action required is either to "fight" against the urges that keep us from fulfilling God's commands or to "flee" the devil as we run toward God.



Fighting or fleeing are the actions demanded of the disciple of Christ. Most of us may find that we are moved to do neither. It could be that in our complacent lifestyle that following God's commandments doesn't seem to ask much of us. We peer out of the windows of our house or car and see the world outside of our selves and are quite unmoved by the plight of those who live down the street or in another neighborhood. We somehow listen to the Gospels and confuse Jesus with someone who "didn't care" and wouldn't have lifted a finger to help anyone.



If this definition hits close to home, then you know what you must "fight" in order to fulfill God's commands daily--indifference. If on the other hand this definition makes you angry and you don't like the mean guy saying that perhaps you aren't a "good" Christian after all, then you need to flee the devil who has taken hold of your life (coming no doubt as an angel of light) and run to God who will empower you to fulfill His commands.



This counsel is against complacency. It is against thinking that we have ever arrived and now all we need to do is sit back and relax. It is a warning against the riches that can blind us to the truth of the Gospel which can neither be lost by the gnawing of a moth or the rot of rust. Works are demanded of us daily in order that God's will might be done on earth as it is in Heaven.

Wednesday, July 10, 2002

What about Slim Whitman, who outsold both Elvis and the Beatles?



From the NY POST: JACKO: I'M HATED BECAUSE I OUTSOLD ELVIS
"If they strike you on one cheek, turn and offer them the other."

but who would have thought that it would be the "Christians" who would be doing tthe striking?



From CNN.com: Texas boy allegedly beaten in Bible study
What's right with America?



From Peggy Noonan:



Blogging. The 24-7 opinion sites that offer free speech at its straightest, truest, wildest, most uncensored, most thoughtful, most strange. Thousands of independent information entrepreneurs are informing, arguing, adding information. Imagine if we'd had them in 1776: "As I wrote in yesterday's lead item on SamAdams.com, my well meaning cousin John continues his grammatical nitpicking with Jefferson (link requires registration) 'Inalienable,' 'unalienable,' whatever. Boys, let's fight. Start the war." Blogs may one hard day become clearinghouses for civil support and information when other lines, under new pressure, break down.
Duh!



Research: video games decrease brain activity

Tuesday, July 9, 2002

This is a continuation of the 73 Steps to Communion with God. The previous steps appear throughout the Archives, available to the right. This is the 62nd step:



(62) Not to desire to be called holy before one is; but to be holy first, that one may be truly so called.



Holiness comes from God's grace. One's desire should be to be in a good relationship with God and not to be well thought of by others. In fact Our Lord declared that "Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account," Matthew 5:11. It would matter little then, if people thought of us as vile and pagan if that were not the truth.



There was a group of holy men in Russia who sought to live this out quite literally, to no avail. They are know as the "holy fools of Russia" and would do everything humanly possible to be thought of us vile and "unholy" to the point of publicly fornicating with prostitutes, walking naked through the public squares and uttering every kind of vulgarity loudly. But the populace knew that this was all so that they would not be well thought of and so they revered them anyway!



We do not have to go to such lengths to avoid being well thought of by others but we shouldn't lose the point of their witness--that holiness is something to be rather than something that others think we are. Holiness is not an act but rather is the result of a relationship with God. Our motivation should always be to seek the Kingdom of God in our lives first and sometimes that will lead to others thinking poorly of us. But Jesus tells us that we are blessed and that is what matters.



The civil rights leaders of the late 1950's and early 1960's were religious people. They were motivated by their belief in God to reject the way black people were being treated in this country. They sang praise to God as they marched in front of State Capitals, sat at lunch counters or entered school buildings. Other so-called "Christians" reviled them declaring them to be atheists, troublemakers and Communists. But they were blessed and now we look upon them as saints and martyrs.



When we are gone from this earth, then we hope people will think of us as holy.

Google! DayPop!



This is my blogchalk: English, United States, Fort Wayne,
Think you're having a bad day? Try using this search engine:



elgooG
With Any Luck, the Earth and I will probably go at the same time!



Earth 'will expire by 2050'
The Bodine Curse Continues...



Bodine 'sore' after wreck



The story is about Brett Bodine's wife who wrecked her car driving to the beach on Sunday morning. Most of you have probably seen the replay of the big accident at the Pepsi 400 on Saturday night where Brett Bodine's car went up in flames. Talk about bad luck!
Story in the LA Times about the Vice Presidential Museum in Huntington, IN



The Quayle arkives



Btw, there is no interstate 12 miles north of here and the few Huntinton people I spoke with had never heard of the Ole Gray Barn.

Monday, July 8, 2002

Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, "Teacher, rebuke your disciples!"



"I tell you," he replied, "if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out." Luke 19:40



Water stain on Western Wall stirs expectations for the Messiah



Two Jewish men tried to climb the Western Wall because a water stain on one large stone has led some ultra-Orthodox Jews to conclude that redemption is near and the Messiah is on his way.



Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch, the chief rabbi of the Western Wall - also known as the Wailing Wall - said Wednesday the water stain was discovered four days ago by worshippers who pray at the base of the wall. Some Jewish mystics believe it is a sign the "wall is crying," signaling the coming of the Messiah, he said.
An Eyewitness Account of How Crop Circles are Made:



Crop circle mystery deepens, Environment Canada
Amy's posted some new pictures of Joseph



A day at the park
This is a continuation of the 73 Steps to Communion with God. The previous steps appear throughout the Archives, available to the left. This is the 61st step:



(61) To obey the commands of the Abbot in all things, even though he himself (which Heaven forbid) act otherwise, mindful of that precept of the Lord: "What they say, do ye; what they do, do ye not" (Mt 23:3).



The Abbot is the head of the monastery, and even though you and I may not be in a monastery we all have human authorities that we should respect and obey. Like the previous counsel where St. Benedict taught us to hate our own will, here we are taught to obey those whom God has placed over us even if the person in authority isn't the most God-like person.



Benedict quotes Our Lord injunction to obey the Pharisees who He says sat in the seat of Moses. A quick survey of the Gospels will find that Jesus often condemned the behavior of the Pharisees but in this passage says that they should be obeyed anyway because God had put them in their positions of authority.



We also have the example of Our Lord's journey to the cross where He is handed over by the High Priests and then made subject to Pilate. He tells Pilate that Pilate has no authority over Him unless it were given from above from God. So Our Lord accepts Pilate's authority to put Him to death.



This way of looking at authority should lead us to pray for those who God has placed over us that they too will seek to do God's will. The person who truly believes in God will trust that even a corrupt authority will unwittingly do the will of God. The Scriptures are filled with examples of evil kings doing the will of God even though they were unaware of it and might have had evil motives at the time.



The example of Joseph in Genesis, sold into slavery by his brothers who later bow before him imploring his mercy stands as the premier example of this trust that we all should have that God works through whoever He wills. Joseph faced with his brothers says, "what you did to me you meant for evil but God meant it for good to bring about the salvation of many."



Being obedient but without following the example of bad authority allows us to worship God alone.

Sunday, July 7, 2002

Spiritual Reflection by Michael Dubruiel

This is a continuation of the 73 Steps to Communion with God. The previous steps appear throughout the Archives, available to the left. This is the 60th step:



(60) To hate one's own will:



Someone who seeks to be in communion with God has to learn to subject themselves entirely to God's will. Jesus who was the Son of God still prayed in His humanity that "not his will be done but the Father's." We all have "our way" of looking at life and "our way" of doing things and the Scriptures are quite clear that "our way is not God's way."



We all suffer because we believe that happiness lies in fulfilling our will. But if we have the gift to reflect on our past, we quickly come to the realization that much of what we "will" does not bring us happiness and in fact is quite fleeting and arbitrary--changing with the wind.



To fight "our will" does not mean going off into another direction but rather facing reality. Our "will" often pulls us away from what most needs our attention. We often will to be somewhere other than where we are, to be doing something other than what needs to be done and to be with someone other than the one we are with at the present moment. These are exactly the moments when we are to "hate" our own will and seek to do the will of God.



God had placed us where we are right at this very moment. He has also placed us in a situation that demands our attention at this moment. The person who is before us has been placed there by God. Being attentive to all that God has placed in our midst will bring a contentment that we will never find if we are constantly seeking to flee from the cross.

Saturday, July 6, 2002

Geoff Bodine stories



From the Augusta Chronicle:Bodine looking for any respect 07/06/02
Close Up with Geoff Bodine- from Tampa Bay Online
Positive looks at everything



Back to regular blogging on Sunday. I have to finish a big project today and then I'll be free to once again provide commentary and news on events from my corner of the world.



The Scripture quote I chose for this blog has been rather prophetic and I won't go into details but the "now you will be silent" has been one of the reasons I haven't blogged much in the past few weeks. But I've decided that there is a positive way that God works through everything, including this and I'll take the challenge. So from here on out the focus of this page will be to take a positive look at the seemingly negative direction that life often seems to be headed toward.



The Trip



We have returned from visiting two hall of fames and seeing two professional baseball games for our celebration of the Fourth of July. Both games we attended at PNC Park in Pittsburgh were very pleasant. It is a beautiful stadium and very comfortable to watch a game in, even when it is in the high 90's! I had been to the Football Hall of Fame before, but had not to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame which had a nice film at the beginning tracing the roots of rock and a nice computerized jukebox where you could hear anything ever recorded by the inductees--but it was crowded so it wasn't always easy to use any of these computer stations. We ate lunch in Cooper'stown (Alice Cooper's restaraunt).

Wednesday, July 3, 2002

Off for a few days.



Like everyone else, I'll be off for a few days. Happy Fourth to everyone!

Monday, July 1, 2002

From Scandal to Hope



I hope everyone will read this book before making quick and uninformed decisions on its contents. The attack on the media is necessarily what the self-inflated media egos will focus on and again limit that wide term as though it only meant "newspapers" which of course it doesn't. The book is about reform and believe me everyone gets blasted equally, even the all not so holy media (think television, movies, advertising, radio, etc.).



I wish the media were the true "watchdog" that it should be, but the media (newspapers and television) have consistently let us down over the past 20 years when they have not reported stories that went agaist a certain liberal bias. Even in the current clergy crisis they have not always been pure in what they chose to report. When the story proved to be more about "gay" priests rather than child molesters--the focus was shifted to the bishops as though they were handling all of these case individually. If anyone thinks the media is unbiased, let them reflect on how the Clinton presidency was reported on, and the Florida presidential election results!