Showing posts from May, 2009

Lord of the Ringtones

Are we addicted to our gadgets? Have iPods become our igods? I was struck by this article on a few levels... and I'm not gonna lie, at first glance, we were nervousss, preciousss... that they wanted to take it from usss, preciousss! The main point addressed was captured here: So, the answer seems simple: Like the One Ring, mobile electronic devices are too powerful for mere mortals to wield without corruption. They inevitably lead to disturbance, disruption, and disaster. Or do they? ... On the spiritual side, anyone can reference prayers, sacred texts (in the traditional sense), and fellowship with co-believers anytime, anywhere. (One of us spent the Jewish holiday of Purim tracking the reading of the scroll of Esther on his iPhone, complete with special noise-making software. The other enjoyed Lenten prayers using this iPhone app.) Hmmmm... read on!

The Boy Who Saved Us

God sure knew what He was doing when He decided that the human species would be able to procreate and raise little humans. For one thing, I see it as His ingenious way of getting the male component outside of their own heads once and for all. Ladies, I imagine you need sweet liberation from your own mental gymnastics of self-seeking fulfillment too, from time to time. I have discovered that babies have the potential to pull the selfless out of the selfish. When you become a Mommy or a Daddy, powers are unleashed that could not have been extracted in any other way, except perhaps through some great trauma or suffering or epiphany. It's amazing, exhausting, exhilarating.... "It is life nearest the bone where it is sweetest." Our nearly 9 month old baby boy continues to astound, capture, and captivate our hearts on a daily basis. We wake and walk the halls at 3am, and love it. We hear him cry and we run to him. He poops, or should I say explodes, and we think, get this, that…

Moral Theologian Says Christopher West's Work is 'Completely Sound'

Dr. Janet Smith holds the Father Michael J. McGivney Chair of Life Ethics at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit. In her article at, she responds to Dr. David Schindler's critique of Christopher West's approach to the Theology of the Body. For his article, click here. For the origin of this debate, click here!Here, I want to offer a brief, partial, response to Prof. David Schindler’s assessment of West’s work. The fact that Nightline got a lot wrong about West’s work is not surprising. In fact, it is surprising how much it got right. Those of us who work with the media know that potential martyrdom awaits us at the hands of an editor. West has likely been suffering a kind of crucifixion over the past week. What is puzzling is that an influential scholar chose this moment to issue a weeping, negative critique of West in such a public forum. I have great respect for the work and thought of Schindler and realize that it must be difficult to be on the recei…

The Promise

Remembering Your touch, your kiss Your warm embrace I'll find my way back to you If you'll be waiting... Think of times in your life you've waited for Love's reply. Will the call come, will the heart respond to mine, will that face I've longed for turn the bend and come to me, turn her face and look on me. I've longed for you and I have desired To see your face your smile To be with you wherever you are Waiting.... hoping, and with it comes such a surge of emotion, tied inseparably to the deepest cords of the soul (for our bodies and souls are one). Longing not just for the physical sensation of nearness, but for the mystical, the spiritual, the infinite of which human love touches only the hem. These days before Pentecost are the days of waiting, this is the age of the Holy Spirit... remembering those expectant hearts of those ancient men and women of Israel; Peter, John, Mary, James. Seeing them, hearing them; warm breath, beating hearts, fearful, clustered tog…

Play Me

(This is my latest post from Twisted Mystics! Hope you like) OK, I know that when you first saw this dazzling pic of Neil in his technicolor dreamcoat, you were tempted to go and google the etymology of "cheese" or something; anything rather than consider that Neil Diamond might have something deep to say to you today. Maybe you thought "Twisted Mystics" was about young hipsters, youth in angst, or mainstream rockers and rollers. Well it's time to broaden them horizons! I was first introduced to Neil as a young lad, through the big, bulky "Jazz Singer" soundtrack my mother owned on an 8 track tape. Those tapes were awesome and could double as coasters, or a hammer if you were desperate and really needed to hang that painting. Anyhoo, back to Neil. Let's take the following words and set them into the mouths of lovers... of a husband and wife. This is what we do here at Twisted Mystics; we transpose. We find the theme and set it to a theological m…

Wicked Good

Good and Evil. Remember them? Many believe they were invented by theologians in the Middle Ages and later popularized by animated angels and demons on the shoulders of cartoons and comedic actors. But check this out: they are really real, and really old, and always present to the soul in every choice.
But we live in an age where words like Good and Evil just sound so.... awkward. They are so glaringly crisp; their edges so.... sharp. We prefer a nice dulled handle on things today, don't we? Something curvy and cushy; kind of like a "sport grip" that contours to our particular touch. "Oooo, nice. This works for me!"
This talk of things being objectively Good or Evil just feels so heavy in the hand, so cold to the touch, like the hilt of a sword. We like things to "give a little" today. Now call me crazy but I have this sense that we're dead wrong here (oops, another awkward word... I mean non-right). I think western civilization is up to its neck in …

Vatican Meets iPhone

As a Catholic Nerd with an iPhone, I am very excited about what's coming this Sunday, in honor of this year's World Communications Day.... check it out here. If this doesn't justify you making the switch to the world's greatest phone / ipod / game device / calendar / internet browser / e-mail / camera / mosquito repellent (yes, there's an app for that), than I don't know WHAT will. Here's the snazzy new website the Vatican has just launched."The site and its applications were developed by Italian Father Paolo Padrini, a diocesan priest from Tortona. He also helped develop the iBreviary application for the iPhone and the Catholic Facebook application called Praybook, which allows users to access and share with others traditional Catholic prayers and texts from the Liturgy of the Hours." - from the CNS article"I would like to conclude this message by addressing myself, in particular, to young Catholic believers: to encourage them to bring the wi…

Some Good News - A Shift Towards Life

An interesting Gallup survey....

On Angels and Demons - Fr. Barron's Review

When will it end? More DaVinci Load served up on the silver screen to distort the truth, history, and real relationship between the Church and Science for millions of movie goers. Let's all grab a hot cup of coffee, kick back, and watch this excellent unpacking of it all by Fr. Robert Barron, and then read this beautiful letter - On Faith and Reason - by Pope John Paul II, and THEN (refill your coffee, grab some cookies) and peruse this "illuminating" website that shows the harmonious relationship of faith and the sciences -“Science can purify Religion from error and superstition; Religion can purify Science from idolatry and false absolutes.” - Pope John Paul II

Has Christopher West Gone South?

(The videos embedded in this post show a more articulated and contextual unpacking of key points in the Pope's teaching on the Theology of the Body and are a necessary addition to the news interview mentioned below. I hope they help!) In the past week since ABC Nightline aired a 6 minute video interview on Christopher West, articles have tried to articulate, posts have posited, and Twitter has been twittering with people's reactions to its content. Many have been overwhelmingly positive, seeing through the roughly 10 substantial distortions and misquotes from the 6 minute piece (each clarified by Christopherhere), grateful that even a glimmer of the Church's beautiful teaching slipped through the mainstream to potentially 4 million viewers. Others have used up large pockets of cyberspace to attack and belittle one of their own rather than the slanted ABC interview. Samples of this attack: "He (Christopher West) is one of the many self-help gurus out their that market th…

The Pope's Assassin, Ali Agca, Becomes Catholic?

CN CathNews reports: In a letter written from a Turkish prison, Mehmet Ali Agca, author of the failed attempt against Pope John Paul II in 1981, claims to have renounced Islam and embraced the Catholic faith. Italian weekly Diva e people donna published the letter, French journal 7s7 reports. "I am looking for an Italian woman, who wants to correspond with me. Obviously (I hope) she is Catholic because from May 13 2007, I decided to renounce the Muslim faith and becoming a member of the Roman Catholic Church," Agca writes. "I have decided to return peacefully to the (St Peter's) square and to testify to the world of my conversion to Catholicism," he says in the letter written in Italian. - Read the full article here


The Sadness and Madness of Margaret Sanger

Margaret Sanger, the foundress of Planned Parenthood, has recently been awarded a place in the National Portrait Gallery. She is quoted as saying that the poor and mentally handicapped are "human weeds" that "clog up the path.... drain out the energies and the resources of this little earth." Her solution? "We must cultivate our garden." The more I read about this woman, the more bizarre it gets. And this is the woman that Hillary Clinton is in "awe" of for her heroic work? Sanger was a massive proponent of eugenics and quite clearly a racist. Her own words convict her, as cited in her letters and books captured in this disturbing video. And our tax dollars are supporting her agenda by honoring her in the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery. God help us to see the lie behind the curtains of these so-called Planned Parenthood "clinics." Please watch and learn from the video for yourself.

For a more in depth look at Margaret S…

Theology of the Body Hits Mainstream Tonight on Nightline

Please pray for a great outpouring of grace tonight as the potential to reach millions with a little taste of Theology of the Body hits ABC's Nightline. Here's a link to the article, and the time tonight is 11:30ish EST.Taken from Christopher's website: About the Theology of the Body A New Sexual Revolution Pope John Paul II devoted the first major teaching of his pontificate to what he called the Theology of the Body. This teaching is being hailed as a “new sexual revolution,” because it calls everyone to an authentic understanding and living out of what it means to be created male and female in the image and likeness of God. There are good reasons why the Theology of the Body is in such demand around the world. It is renewing marriages, awakening vocations, healing deep personal wounds, and setting people free to live the life of greatness for which they were created. This is no passing theological fad, but a rich, refined understanding of our Catholic Faith. Find resource…

Sending Out an SOS

Suffering can set us free. Crying out can often lead to a catharsis. Sorrow affords us a chance to struggle and squirm our way out of the black cocoon of self and into the wide expanse of the world of the Other. The song Message in a Bottle by the Police captures this journey of self-discovery through suffering. Sting, the lead singer of the former band, is a much revered icon in the music world today. He confessed to Jools Holland of the BBC that Message in a Bottle is his favorite song. Just a castaway, an island lost at sea, ohAnother lonely day, with no one here but me, ohMore loneliness than any man could bearRescue me before I fall into despair, oh In the late and great Pope John Paul II's Theology of the Body, the Holy Father seeks to answer two questions that I feel everyone in their heart of hearts asks at some point in this life: What does it mean to be human?How can I be truly happy? In the first question, he looks into our origins, our history, and our destiny to …