Tuesday, June 18

Good stuff Catholics do:

A continuing series....

Catholic Network for Volunteer Service.

I had blogged this link a few months ago, but I think it bears repeating:

Catholic Network of Volunteer Service (CNVS), challenged by the message of the Gospel, promotes and assists member programs serving in the United States and throughout the world.

We are a resource for people who are discerning a call to volunteer service, are in service, or have returned from service.

We advocate an increased role for all women and men to utilize their gifts in service to the Church and the world.

Lots of links provided for all kinds of service opportunities, including particularly urgent needs.

Perhaps you're being called?

This afternoon, I picked up our copy of Dwight Longenecker's St. Benedict and St. Therese: The Little Rule and the Little Way and, I must admit, I couldn't put it down.

Strange, you say, for a book on the spirituality of two saints, but maybe not. Longenecker, an Anglican convert to Roman Catholicism, has a graceful, direct writing style that perfectly mirrors the simple, direct spirituality that he's describing.

On his exposure to monasticism:

I had thought monks were unusual, perhaps a little eccentric or deranged, certaily religious extremists. Instead, there was a naturalness about their religion and life that suddenly made the rest of the world look mad. Here were men who had decided to live together in order to pray, work and study. They decided to stay in one place and commit themselves to a hard but high quality of life. Their life was vibrant and relevant, yet rooted in venerable and beautiful traditions. We must all give ourselves to something, and their decision seemed far more sensible than chasing money up and down a motorway five days a week.

On saints:

The saint is fascinating because she is the person she was created to be; and the more we become who we are, the less we will be like anybody else. The saint has no time for role models. She cannot spend time pretending to be someone else because she realizes it is the work of a lifetime to become oneself.

Is Gerard all right?

His last post on The Blog for Lovers was last Thursday, and in it he said he wasn't feeling well. Anyone know?

Bishops and their Beneficiaries:

Lynch in Tampa favors male triathletes. Not, I hasten to say, in the exact same category, Cardinal Law has made some strange choices in personnel for the Archdiocesan paper, according to Mark Sullivan:

Now The Pilot is edited by a Spanish émigré, Antonio Enrique, a devotee of a secretive sect, the Neocatechumenal Way (more links here), whose main qualification for the job appears to be a willingness to churn out editorials from the Lake Street bunker defending the cardinal while criticizing media coverage of the current crisis. The managing editor of the Archdiocese's Spanish-language monthly also is a member of the Neocatechumenal Way. Both editors emigrated with their families from Spain in 1996 at Cardinal Law's behest, to serve, according to The Pilot, as missionaries to the Latino community.

Why, one wonders, would Cardinal Law bring members of this sect over as homesteaders and set them to running the archdiocesan papers? Loyalty? A shared suspicion of American mainstream media?

Thanks also to Mark for this link to Gerard Serafin in which we can see for ourselves what happens when Liturgical Design Consultants Run Free.

Update: Hey. I didn't call it a sect - Mark did. Go after him at his blog!

But also read the interesting comments of Sandra Meisel in the comment section on this post, and while you're there check out the wise words of my college friend Meggan about liturgical design.

Instapundit links to some bloggers who are talking about the issue of homosexuality and the priesthood.
After a brief hiatus, Anthony Marquis is back a'blogging. He offers a very personal, illuminating post in honor of his return. Read it here.

Thank you for your honesty, Anthony.

Oh dear.

Did you know that St. Blog's has an "official proofreader?"

I didn't until a moment ago. but hear he is:Nihil Obstat.

You know, a couple of months ago, Blogger had spellcheck for a bit, but no more. I wonder what happened?

Lee Bockhorn on selective sanitizing in Dirty Harry movies and Tom and Jerry cartoons.

I'm going to make a case for calling our Times the Culture of Contradiction. It drives me nuts: Sanitizing pop culture products of what's considered "insensitive" comments related to homosexuals or racial imagery, doing an ethnic cleansing on literature for the NY Regents' exam, but then, at the very same time, in the very same cultural breath, arguing against restrictions on (mostly) sexual content that's on free broadcast television or the content of federally-funded art exhibits in the name of freedom of speech.

Other examples:

Claiming that access to music, television programs and movies that contain sexual suggestiveness and worse is okay for kids because they recognize that it's not real life and it doesn't affect them....

but then....

Declaring that tobacco and alcohol advertisements must be regulated and suppressed because...it might affect kids.

Saying that television is just fantasy and has no impact on our lives, therefore not to worry about its content...but then....Interest groups - gay, environmental, ethinic - describe their efforts to impact the content of television programs through meetings with network execs, boycotts, awards for "positive portrayals" and so on.

But if it doesn't matter....then...why...

Or this

Decrying incidents of sexual abuse of minors in the Catholic Church

but then...

Publishing interested, "balanced" articles about the attempts of researchers and activists like Judith Levine (Harmful to Minors to de-stigmatize the sexual activity of children, with each other and with adults.

Or this:

Celebrating the triumphs of medicine in relation to saving preterm babies and operating on children in the womb

but then....

Protecting the killing of children the same age as a "right."

Your examples welcome.

Fr. Johansen responds to Michael Rose, and with that note, I'm officially out of this one.

To continue to follow the discussion, head towards Fr. Johansen's blog, Michael Rose's news site and now seminarian Steve Mattson's thoughts on the subject, which include:

Reading Michael Rose's book makes it easy to believe he had his thesis before he did his research. For that reason, critical readers wonder about the validity of Rose's conclusions. And Fr. Rob Johansen raised questions about Rose's review of Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit. Others could come forward with their own challenges to the portraits Rose paints. I have already stated that the Mundelein of his description bears little resemblance to the Mundelein I attend.

What is clear is that Rose doesn't want men like Rob Johansen coming forward with reports that would temper his attack. And that's regrettable. A more measured approach, one that offered reasons for concern and reasons for encouragment, would have served the Church better. But, then again, I suspect it wouldn't have sold nearly as many copies.

I suppose you want to know about our anniversary celebration.

It was as nice as could be with our third party tagging along. We went to Biaggis to eat, after determining that is was probably the most fitting decent restaurant that could accomodate our needs: aka a 14-month old whose hobbies include throwing things and screeching when prohibited from doing so. It worked out fine - we were tucked away in a walled-off nook, where we fed Joseph bread and potatoes, and, in the end, bits of olive-oily shrimp (which he liked very much) and drew pictures of dogs ("woof-woof!") and cats for him on the paper-cover for the tablecloth.

He still threw stuff, but behind him, so no one got hurt.

I was mildly and reasonably scolded by someone for not getting a sitter, but you know this is how I feel about it - Michael and I have been "alone" together for a long time now, and Joseph is the visible fruit of the almost - central relationship in each of our lives (okay, God first. Yeah. True. No argument.). It was high time for him when he finally came along, and right now, it would seem to me, at least, that to celebrate us without him wouldn't feel right. Something would be missing.

Like bread and crayons all over the floor...

Michael Novak on Dallas. He sees not only elephants, but camels as well.

As for me, I see armadillos.

Remember the online chat this evening at 7pm EDT. When it comes time, Click here to participate.
Slow blogging this morning. Baby's at the sitter, I have a book manuscript to wrap up this week, and blogger was down for a bit, I think. More this afternoon.
Jehovah's Witnesses face their own scandal.


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