Showing posts from November, 2008

Let's Eat, Drink, and Be Merry

No matter how you slice it, Thanksgiving is an awesome holiday. First
off, it was strategically placed by our pilgrim ancestors on a
Thursday, which was brilliant. It means we ALWAYS get a four day
weekend. That's right! It's not like one of those "floating" holidays,
where you so often get stiffed; like Christmas on a Monday.The other thing is, Thanksgiving involves large portions of food,
which is a thing everyone I have ever met is deeply interested in.
I've never met anyone who said to me, "Food? Never touch the stuff."Finally, Thanksgiving is about family, and family is foundational.
Your family is the launch pad from which you blast off, the
springboard which you leap off of, sailing out into the Big Wide World.Families are like seedbeds, little gardens wherein we start to grow.
They come in a million different varieties, shapes and sizes, but each
hold the same fundamental responsibility; to care for and to cultivate
the beauty of life…

King Me!

On Sunday, the Church celebrated the Feast of Christ the King. Now at first glance you might be thinking.... Wow, what an outdated concept! How completely irrelevant to my life and to talk at the water cooler on Monday. "Hey Bob, what you'd do this weekend?""We celebrated the Feast of Christ the King." "The King? Huh... Sounds kinda medieval, Bob. When are you Catholics gonna wake up and smell the 21st century?" Then you hang your head and slink back to your little patch of serfdom behind some flimsy beige partition and think, "yeah, that does sound totally medieval." I mean come on.... this is America! We're a democracy! We don't want some archaic flashback to a time of fairy tales, princesses, dragons, and kings! Right? I mean WE the People! After all, we know what's best! Look around: isn't it working out perfectly in this new City of Man, this Brave New World? Finally, there's peace and justice for all! In the immor…


"Become who you were born to be." I've always loved this line, taken from a scene in Peter Jackson's film "The Return of the King." In a darkened tent where the army of Rohan encamps on the side of a mountain, Elrond speaks a word of challenge and invitation to Aragorn. He is the descendant of a royal line who has for too long wandered and waited for his vocation to be actualized. In this scene, the Ranger from the North takes up his forefather's sword and takes hold once and for all of his high calling. He rises with a new name, Elessar, and a new mission. Since the adoption of our son last month, I've been feeling the weight of a call; of a new vocation. I think something was activated in me just a few weeks ago, something that has perhaps lain dormant until now, like a seed that was planted but never cracked open until God knocked on the thin shell of my heart and whispered "Let there be life." It's the glowing ember of fatherhoo…

Twisted Mystics is Here!

Truth and Beauty flow into us from many streams, sometimes cool and clear, sometimes muddy and blurred. One of the tasks of the New Evangelization is to step into the waters of our times and discover what streams lead to the Ocean of Truth, and which lead to a waterfall of self-destruction. Our new blog, Twisted Mystics, is an attempt to filter through and find in the music of our culture the longing for that Infinite Love that every human heart longs for. We'll sing the songs of our culture with the voice of the Theology of the Body! Please pop in for a visit, and pass it on! Visit Twisted Mystics here.

Starved for Beauty Part 2

This is a flashback episode, as just this morning I discovered the clip referred to in Shawshank Redemption on YouTube! Enjoy...

How often have you found yourself out at a movie or watching the television, perhaps just flipping through channels in the hopes of finding "something good," and you actually find it?

Does it grab you? Is it like a new power descending and lifting you up... a fragrance you once knew and loved returning and flooding your mind? For me, it seems so often I stumble through the media with boots on, wading through the equivalent of sewage, and then fresh water comes in like a stream from the mountains. And I know I've found the Good Stuff...

Shawshank Redemption is good stuff. It's the film based on a Stephen King novella (he sold the movie rights for $1 to writer/director Frank Darabont): a heart-wrenching work with themes of endurance in the midst of suffering, hoping against hope, and the heart's yearning for beauty and freedom.


Answering the New Atheism with Ben Wiker

Are You Able to Answer the Arguments of an Atheist? In this week's radio show, I interviewed Dr. Ben Wiker, co-author with Dr. Scott Hahn of a new book that hears and answers the arguments put forth in evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins' best selling book The God Delusion. Benjamin Wiker received his Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University, and has taught at Marquette University, St. Mary’s University, Thomas Aquinas College, and Franciscan University. A senior fellow with the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology and with Discovery Institute, he is now a full-time writer. He lives in rural Ohio with his beloved wife and children, and an ever-increasing number of a moderately useful but always entertaining animals. To learn more about Wiker's books, click here. For information on interviews and speaking engagements, click here. From his website: Answering the New Atheism: Dismantling Dawkins’ Case Against God cuts through the shoddy reasoning,…

Frivolity is Frivolous

OK, there are plenty of important things we should be focusing on these days; life, death, taxes, the economy, what's for dinner..... this I realize. But at the same time, in the immortal words of St. Thomas Aquinas, "there must be time for frivolity" (at least I hope that was Aquinas, since I've been getting plenty of mileage off of this quote for some time now). And so, I bring you, on this Tuesday evening in the year of Our Lord Two Thousand and Eight.... one of the coolest a capella tributes to the movie music of John Williams using lines from the original Star Wars movies that I've ever heard. Well, it's actually the only one I've ever heard. And that's a good thing.

The Forest for the Trees

The other day at school, one of the theology teachers was trying to determine an answer on a crossword puzzle that his students were given in class. The question was “What is the fundamental norm of Christian morality and the fullness of the law.” The answer had 5 letters, the second to the last letter was "u." _ _ _ u _ Now there were a few of us in the department hanging around St. Rita's before class, and we all puzzled over it. We laughed, because no one could figure it out. A combined mass of Masters degrees in Philosophy, Systematic Theology, Church History, etc. Clueless! How the heck are the kids gonna get this if we can't? This got me thinking about how often we scramble and scratch and work incessantly to get an answer for the blank spaces in life. And we feel so limited. It's just a couple of blanks! How could we not guess the answer? Why won't this word fit, or this one? The book must be wrong. It's a typo. It's impossible! I think al…

A Stranger in a Strange Land

I'm packing my bags. This is going to be a way of sorrows. A long walk through a valley of death. We have just elected, as a people, the most abortion-minded politician in decades. "The first thing I'd do as president is sign the Freedom of Choice Act. That's the first thing that I'd do." - Barack Obama, speaking to the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, July 17, 2007 The Freedom of Choice Act? What's that all about? Healing the economic crisis, bringing peace to the war in the Middle East? Finding solutions to issues like immigration or health care? No, it's about destroying our unborn children, America's future generations. Is this the change you wanted America? From the National Committee for Human Life Amendment:The Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) ... is a radical bill. It creates a “fundamental right” to abortion throughout the nine months of pregnancy. No governmental body at any level would be able to “deny or interfere with” thi…

A Song for Grace Elizabeth

Anyone who knows my wife Rebecca knows her gift for music. This is a song she composed for our unborn daughter, Grace Elizabeth, diagnosed with a terminal condition and not expected to live outside of the womb. The first image is of Grace and her siblings at the embryonic level, just prior to their transfer through the miracle of embryo adoption (click here for the original post of our story). Only Grace survived, and for this and for our time with her to date, we are eternally grateful. As we near an election that could spell hope or doom for the most vulnerable among us, the unborn, may this music stir our hearts into a true and lasting love for human life. Thank you all for your continued prayers! "Everything is a grace."- St. Therese of Lisieux

Fr. Barron on the Film "Religulous"

Fr. Robert Barron is the Bishop Sheen of the new millennium. He has a prolific presence on YouTube, podcasts on iTunes, and is now on location filming a mammoth series called The Catholicism Project on the history of the Catholic Faith, sure to be a media treasure when it comes to sharing what Catholics really believe. I'll be interviewing Fr. Barron this Tuesday, November 4, on the radio show, 5 to 6pm EST on