Saturday, November 27, 2010

Advent at St. Lawrence

Some pictures I took this morning after decorating for Advent. The new addition this year is the tabernacle veil. Thanks to the ladies at Sacred Stitches for their work.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Abp. Chaput article

Archbishop Chaput has written an article for First Things Magazine's online addition about the hullabaloo over what the media says the Pope said.

Read the whole article HERE.

I leave you with one of his last thoughts:
In the context of the book's later discussion of contraception and Catholic teaching on sexuality, the Pope's comments are morally insightful. But taken out of context, they can easily be inferred as approving condoms under certain circumstances.

Black Friday "bluelight special"

Today was supposed to be so simple. The action today is all centered around retail shopping, and I had no intention of going near any stores. Simple, right?


My rectory is on a main street, the main street of Laurence Harbor. This street also happens to be a street that connects the Garden State Parkway to State Route 35. What that meant was that, this morning, at about 3:50am, I awoke to the sounds of cars zipping their way to and fro in front of my rectory (Note - on a normal day, my street doesn't get busy until after 5am). So why the action? People were on their way to join the rest of the drones who have been pressured into getting themselves out of bed, on what should be a day off, to walk around stores and malls at an hour when the only things that should be open are hospitals and diners!

Now, the next wave comes. I'm getting e-mails like crazy today, throwing discount codes and free shipping at me in a vain attempt to get me to do over the computer what I refuse to do in person.

So, in my attempt to turn lemons into lemonade, I will pass one on to you.

This one comes from the website, who specialize primarily in Mexican food. But, they also sell (and I know because I have bought a few from them over the years) excellent prints of the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. With her feast day coming up in a few weeks (the 3rd Sunday of Advent this year), I figured some of you may want to get yourself a nice print. In addition, I was told by my e-mail, if you put the phrase MASECATAMALES in the coupon code box at check out, you'll get 25% off of your entire order.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Fr. Joseph Fessio article

Father Fessio weighs in on the kerfuffle (and gives another good analogy of understanding what the Pope said).

Here’s an example of this distinction that parallels what the Pope said. Muggers are using steel pipes to attack people and the injuries are severe. Some muggers use padded pipes to reduce the injuries, while still disabling the victim enough for the mugging. The Pope says that the intention of reducing injury (in the act of mugging) could be a first step toward greater moral responsibility. This would not justify the following headlines: “Pope Approves Padded Pipes for Mugging” “Pope Says Use of Padded Pipes Justified in Some Circumstances”, Pope Permits Use of Padded Pipes in Some Cases”.

The article can be found HERE.

George Weigel article

George Weigel weighs in about the media's attempt at Goebbel-ing* the Pope's remarks.

Click HERE for the WEIGEL article.

* Josef Goebbels, Nazi Minister of Propaganda, said, "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it."

Monday, November 22, 2010

Janet Smith article

Someone asked me to post the link to the article by Janet Smith from which the analogy in the previous blog entry was taken.

You can read her article by clicking HERE.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


In the next few days, you're going to read and watch news stories from a variety of media outlets telling you that Pope Benedict has "seen the light" and now understands that condom use by Catholics could be morally permissible. If you read this, think this:

Catholic apologist Jimmy Akin lays out well what the Holy Father said and the context in which he said it: READ JIMMY'S BLOG ARTICLE

In the article, Dr. Janet Smith gives a great analogy of what the Holy Father actually said:
"If someone was going to rob a bank and was determined to use a gun, it would better for that person to use a gun that had no bullets in it. It would reduce the likelihood of fatal injuries. But it is not the task of the Church to instruct potential bank robbers how to rob banks more safely and certainly not the task of the Church to support programs of providing potential bank robbers with guns that could not use bullets. Nonetheless, the intent of a bank robber to rob a bank in a way that is safer for the employees and customers of the bank may indicate an element of moral responsibility that could be a step towards eventual understanding of the immorality of bank robbing."

Friday, November 19, 2010

Get the honey, Junior!

Sorry I've been away from the blogosphere lately. A few things happened here that kept me occupied.

Since I first heard it recommended by Archbishop Fulton Sheen, I've been a regular user of William Barclay's commentary on the New Testament. I find it especially helpful for my daily Mass homilies, in the way they give a historical background to the people, places, and things found in Scripture (giving Mass attendees a tiny insight into the reading's context). Abp. Sheen does give a caveat: Barclay is a Presbyterian Minister, so his perspective on certain Scripture passages (John 6, Matthew 16:18, John 20:22, etc.) is not particularly Catholic. But by and large, the books are a great resource for anyone who leads a bible study or preaches regularly.

This one I found neat, for today's First Reading from Revelation, about the scroll being sweet like honey:

"It may well be that behind these words lies a pleasant Jewish educational custom. When a Jewish boy was learning the alphabet, it was written on a slate in a mixture of flour and honey. He was told what the letters were and how they sounded. After the original instruction, the teacher would point at a letter and would ask: 'What is that and how does it sound?' If the boy could answer correctly, he was allowed to lick the letter off the slate as a reward!"

Monday, November 01, 2010


Today was All Saints Day, and many oratories, shrines, and parishes (my own included) put out the relics of Saints for the veneration of the faithful. To some, the idea of bits of bone is a bit creepy. But I think it's a great reminder to all of us.

First, it reminds us that the Saints were real. Too many of today's heroes are not real; just characters created by a bunch of unknown writers who gather around a table each week and make sure this person says the funniest or most profound things while stuntmen make sure they do amazing things and casting directors have made sure they're incredible looking. The Saints were flesh and blood (and bone) like you and me, warts and all.

Look at what we "venerate" in pop culture: JFK's golf clubs, Jackie's jewelry, a baseball card, a football, Princess Diana's dresses, Elvis' sunglasses, Mr. Spock's rubber ear tips, a typewriter used by Hemingway. Using any of them doesn't make me powerful or glamorous or profound. But they remind me that it's the user who turns ordinary things into extraordinary ones, not the other way around. Can you imagine someday someone paying admission to look into your bedroom from behind a velvet rope?

What will be left behind of you or me 10 years after we're dead? 50 years? 200 years? We have a few years on earth to make our holiness known. If we do it right, we'll be talked about a thousand years after we're gone. That's amazing. Those are the Saints.

Geez, I'm in a weird mood tonight.