Wednesday, June 26, 2013


I love reading obscure parts of the Old Testament.  I love when various Old Testament figures lift up their prayers in lamentation to God.  They consist of at least three things.  They praise God's faithfulness in the Covenant, and how often they fall short.  Finally, they ask for God's healing of themselves, and of all.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Why the Fortnight for Freedom is (Mostly) Pointless

In response to the increasingly hostile environment the American Church finds herself in, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has called for a "fortnight for Freedom" of "prayer and action."  I really don't want to be an Eeyore.  Anytime Bishops call for Catholics to take their faith in the public square seriously, they should be applauded.  Yet I honestly think this endeavor is flawed for various reasons.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Gaming and the New Evangelization

I have always said four things drove me in my life:  My faith, my job, baseball, and video games.  On June 1st, I added a wife to that list.  (Moved her to just behind faith of course!)  When you work off-shift jobs like I do (I have worked midnights or afternoons 12 out of the last 13 years), you've got a lot of free time at night, especially when I was a single bachelor.  So in addition to reading, prayer and other activities, gaming was one of my favorite past times.  What follows will be some disjointed thoughts about gaming and my faith.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

St. Joseph Added to All Eucharistic Prayers

Fr. Z has details.

My reaction.

That is all.  More later when my voice recovers.

Using Freedom Properly

When discussing Catholic social teaching, there is an error which people make frequently that is very damaging.  They assume that Catholic social teaching is some set of doctrines meant primarily for governments or societies, and while it is nice, it really doesn't have a lot of practical meaning for individual Catholics.  While this view is popular, there is absolutely no basis for it within the Churches Social Magesterium.  As with everything else, the collective will only follow truth if it starts with the individual.

What is the primary truth which Catholic social teaching we are expected to bear witness to?  First and foremost, it is in regard to man's eternal destiny, which Pope Leo XIII speaks about in his encyclical Immortale Dei:

Nature and reason, which command every individual devoutly to worship God in holiness, because we belong to Him and must return to Him, since from Him we came...
The primary truth of Catholic social teaching is that we are not created for this world, but for heaven and God.  St. Paul teaches likewise when he instructs Christians that while we are in this world, we should not conform ourselves to it.  (Romans 12:2)  If this is our purpose, then all we do should be ordered towards that purpose, for as Leo XII teaches "the real perfection of all creatures is found in the prosecution and attainment of their respective ends; but the supreme end to which human liberty must aspire is God."  (Libertas, 11)

When John Paul II speaks about the "freedom of the gift" in his Wednesday audiences Man and Woman He Created Them, I think this is what he has in mind.  If we are made for heaven, how do we best act like we are made for heaven?  The only way to do so is through being a gift to others, to use the gifts God has given us for the service of others, especially in light of the family.  In this sense, John Paul II was applying this classic wisdom from Leo XIII to our modern times and our modern families.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Missing the Point on Modesty

One of the biggest regrets I had during the "Westian Wars" was that the debate was a bit too wonkish at times. There were endless debates over whether or not continence was a virtue, or just something nice, and both sides went to lenghty explanations from Aquinas to make their point. Don't get me wrong, I love me some wonkery, and those Westians really were freakin wrong. Yet I ask myself almost two years later: did the average person care? How did the stuff being presented help people to grow in holiness, save their souls, follow Church teaching, etc? For lack of a better explanation, my "side" still isn't really good at this.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Wedding Photos for Those who Asked

+Diane Korzeniewski of Te Deum did some of the photography at the wedding, and since some have asked about it, here it is.

Once we have the full amount of photos, maybe will throw a few up here.

Pelegians, Gay Lobbies, and Corruption OH MY!

Whatever our thoughts on Pope Francis, let's thank him for one thing:  his off the cuff remarks always give us something to think about, for good or ill.  Rorate broke the story while I was on my honeymoon, and my phone started chirping with text messages and facebook updates, preventing me from enjoying the Rockies with my now wife and drinking a Milk Stout Nitro, at least until I shut my phone off.  Now that I'm back on lower elevations, my thoughts:

1.)  On the whole "Pelegian" thing.  I actually kind of get what the Pope doesn't care for.  Sometimes you get some dissident groups who want to offer something ordinarily good and true for the Pope, but with the worst of motives.  For some in groups like the SSPX, they offer these spiritual rosaries so the Pope can return to "eternal rome", abolish the New Mass, or basically do whatever the heck they think is right and true.  Others look to make a show out of things by the amount of people they have doing it.  If we get to 10,000 people doing this, it's more important than 9,900.  The Pope's answer is:  seriously guys, knock off the counting, just pray for me, let me know you and those like you are praying for me, and leave it at that.  I think that's sound advice.

But Pelegian?  Really?  It's bad enough when ordinary Catholics turn small spiritual imperfections into heresies (I'm looking at you Christopher West and TOB evangelists!), and it's worse when a Bishop of Rome does the same, poisoning the well as a way to chum up to his fellow bishops, most who have a pretty negative view of Catholics who like the Latin Mass, even the loyal ones.  To put them in the same boat as pantheists and new age nutjobs doesn't help either. 

2.)  The Corrupt Gay Lobby

When you are looking to reform the Church, it is best to identify who your enemies really are.  Pope Francis outlines it in pretty stunning fashion without pulling any punches:  a group of very powerful individuals within the Church are part of a "gay lobby" and are really corrupt.  In other words, the food sucks and they serve such small portions!  Hey everyone, remember when Mark Shea, Simcha Fischer and the Patheos mafia dismissed Michael Voris as a paranoid nut for talking about the "gay lobby" in the American Church?  Can't wait to hear what they say about the new hotness...

So I guess my question is:  Traditionalists hate the gay lobby and the corrupt individuals of the Curia.  Even if Pope Francis doesn't like their so called "obsession" with counting the amount of Rosaries they say for him, why the heck alienate them, when its pretty clear he is going to need all the allies he can get when he "sees what we can do" about draining the swamp?  If you want to destroy the enemies of the Church, you need to do so with a single-minded determination. That's not what we have here, and its why I'm still of the belief that while moves will be made, not much will change.  Take out a few bad apples in the Curia, and they will be replaced by other bad apples.  There are structural changes that need to happen, and its far better to focus on that, then to belittle those who are trying to help the Pope, even if in a flawed way.