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Showing posts from December, 2008

Welcome Aboard!

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We celebrated our son's baptism on Sunday, the Feast of the Holy Family (Picking that date without knowing this feast fell on it brought a broad smile to our faces. I think our guardian angels we're behind it). Now baptism is an amazing thing. Let's check out what the Triple C (Catechism of the Catholic Church) has to say about it: "This sacrament is called Baptism, after the central rite by which it is carried out: to baptize (Greek baptizein) means to "plunge" or "immerse"; the "plunge" into the water symbolizes the catechumen's burial into Christ's death, from which he rises up by resurrection with him, as "a new creature." (CCC, 1214)"This bath is called enlightenment, because those who receive this instruction are enlightened in their understanding . . . ." Having received in Baptism the Word, "the true light that enlightens every man," the person baptized has been "enlightened," he b…

A Year in 40 Seconds

One year in 40 seconds from Eirik Solheim on Vimeo. Time flies, when you piece 12 months together into a 40 second clip. Very nice transition with the sounds of nature and all. So long 2008! Hope 2009 slows down a bit!

Dad's Woodwork

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My dad has begun a new wood carving hobby, and is creating some beautiful work! Check out this teething ring, carved from maple wood, finished in orange oil and beeswax. Non-toxic, and made in Maine. And our son just took to his Christmas gift like... bees to honey! Here's the link

To Consume or Be Consumed, That is the Question!

What a bizarre time this is; the Christmas season.Never is there a period of such polar opposites as there are at this time of year. All around us we are bombarded with the imperative to consume, collect, gobble, and grasp. There are lines of impatient, honking, beeping, cranky souls snaking through the shops and malls all around us. Incredible pressure is laid on people to find this or that gift for this or that niece or nephew, cousin or coworker. It can bring out the absolute worst in people. I watched a woman in her 50s sitting in her car with her elderly mother curse out a car behind her for honking at her... one honk. And it was one of those friendly little honks too. Grandma just kinda slid deeper into her seat, clutching her purse.Then comes Sunday, and we roll off to Church and hear just the opposite. "It is better to give than to receive" - "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son..." - "wrapped him in swaddling clothe…

Good Stuff

Nothing profound today, just a little laugh from the Mac commercials that literally were the impetus for me to check out their product. I love Mac! From the desktop to the iPhone, the iPod to Apple TV. We're sold. I think I need to dedicate a post a week on "Why I Love Apple." Hmmm.... "Mac Mondays?"

A New Angle on Moses

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After covering our section on Moses and the parting of the Red Sea a few weeks ago, one of my students had a kind of "Far Side" moment and set to drawing out his vision. Click his masterpiece for a full scale picture. Props to you Ryan Fulmer!

Flashback - The Nativity Story: A Review

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I know, another flashback episode.... sorry gang! ____________________ From a private screening of the New Line Cinema movie "The Nativity Story." The film chronicles that year in the life of Mary and Joseph that forever altered the course of human history. It's the Christmas story, told beautifully in rich, earthen tones. The journey takes us from a windy garden annunciation of Gabriel to the Holy Birth soaked in starlight, ending with the flight of Mary and Joseph with the Child into Egypt. First Impressions: For me, the real treasures of this film lie in its attention to detail; the humble village of Nazareth is recreated with such evident devotion that this alone makes the film a joy to watch. We are invited to enter into the daily life of Mary, Joseph and their kin. We move with their schedules, we perform their everyday rituals, and it slows us down. These scenes are so rich with authenticity! Mary's coarse cloak, handwoven and weathered, brushing past the w…

Flashback Episode: The ICLAs are Coming! The ICLAs are coming!

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(Originally posted in December 2006.) Well friends, Christmas fever has once again gripped the nation, and it's hotter than a string of big bulbed Christmas lights from the 70's! I think you'll agree with me in noting that THIS Christmas is going to be bigger, bolder, and brassier than ever! Why? Because of INFLATABLE CHRISTMAS LAWN ART!! (The aforementioned oddities will hitherto be referred to as ICLA's) Now I don't know if the ICLA's have invaded neighborhoods west of the Mississippi yet, or even across the sea (any reports?) but let me tell YOU.... they are crawling all over the mid-eastern seaboard. Maybe they came from Sweden? IKEA? ICLA? Whatever the case may be, these massive Christmas mutants are taking over! Picture Godzilla with a wreath around his neck! Big, puffy pieces of plastic in yuletide shapes. We've got Santas, Frostys, Elves, and Reindeer.... even the Grinch gets a spot on the lawn! Sure, they seem kinda cute, but don't be fooled…

On Babies by G.K. Chesterton

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(from the essay "In Defence of Baby Worship" from THE DEFENDANT. 1903.) The two facts which attract almost every normal person to children are, first, that they are very serious, and secondly, that they are in consequence very happy. . . The most unfathomable schools and sages have never attained to the gravity which dwells in the eyes of a baby of three months old. It is the gravity of astonishment at the universe, and astonishment at the universe is not mysticism, but a transcendent common sense. The fascination of children lies in this: that with each of them all things are remade, and the universe is put again upon its trial. As we walk the streets and see below us those delightful bulbous heads, three times too big for the body, which mark these human mushrooms, we ought always to remember that within every one of these heads there is a new universe, as new as it was on the seventh day of creation. In each of those orbs there is a new system of stars, new grass, new c…

Joyness

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"Brothers and sisters: Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophetic utterances. Test everything; retain what is good. Refrain from every kind of evil. May the God of peace make you perfectly holy.... spirit, soul, and body..." - 1 Thessalonians 5:16... I believe joy should be the undercurrent in the soul of every Christian. That's what this third Sunday of Advent is about, and so it's traditionally called "Rejoice" Sunday (Gaudete). After all, compared to the horrific death of Jesus on Calvary, to the crucifixion of Love Himself at the hands of His creatures, is there any sorrow that cannot be undone? So our crosses all combine and meet and meld into One at Calvary, and this is communion. And then they are buried in the earth, break open in the darkness and then push, pine, and blossom forth in the Spring into something holy…

Who's Your Daddy?

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Our son loves to laugh and smile, but just when we think it's our funny faces or noises that are the cause of it, we're given cause to think again. He's like the ent named Quickbeam from The Lord of the Rings; it's simple things that stir up joy in him; the pattern on a couch cushion, a light fixture, a sneeze, a toot (of course, those are funny even if you're 90). These are the things that make him laugh and smile. The reality is, he has no clue who we are.... at least not yet. Unknown hands pick him up to carry him. Food comes right to his tiny mouth just when he needs it. He can barely see things that are just a few feet away from him. He's wrapped, rocked, cleaned, comforted, and cuddled by a love unknown to him. I was thinking the other day as I was feeding the wee lad, it's the same thing with us and God. So often, we have no clue just how close this Heavenly Father is to us.... just when and where He is comforting, cuddling, cleaning and caring for…

Lovely Lady Dressed in Blue

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Lovely Lady dressed in blue Teach me how to pray! God was just your little boy,Tell me what to say! Did you lift Him up, sometimes, Gently on your knee? Did you sing to Him the way Mother does to me? Did you hold His hand at night?Did you ever try telling stories of the world? O! And did He cry? Do you really think He caresIf I tell Him things little things that happen? And do the Angels' wings make a noise? And can He hear me if I speak low? Does He understand me now? Tell me, for you know. Lovely Lady dressed in blue Teach me how to pray! God was just your little boy, And you know the way.- Mary Dixon Thayer This prayer-poem was made famous in the 1950s by Bishop Fulton Sheen. Let's sing it from the heart today on this great feast of Mary's Immaculate Conception!

Wait Watchers

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Waiting. Some of us just can't stand it. We can't wait in a line, on a phone, or for a table without getting our cranky pants on. You've seen it yourself, I'm sure. "I need it now and you're not facilitating my needs fast enough!" Black Friday was as black as ever this past week when an angry mob's impatience led to the death of a Walmart employee. Death... in a department store. Hordes of people trampled over a man and killed him in a reckless pursuit of things. May God forgive us, and bring peace to his soul and his family! This waiting, however, is absolutely critical to the Christian way of life. Advent begins our whole Liturgical Year as Catholics with a call to patient waiting. It's a period of watchfulness for Christians across the planet. This holy expectancy is at the very heart of a believer. It's name is Hope, and if Hope is not filling the cavern of the soul, then a person tries filling it, in vain, with something else. But no th…