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Showing posts from June, 2009

Peter versus Mary

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Does the Church believe that men are better than women? Why can't women be priests? When is the Vatican going to break free of this outdated patriarchal system of "government" and get with the times?

Hmmm. On this feast day of Sts. Peter and Paul, the rocks on which the Church was built, I wonder if in certain circles, these questions aren't stirred up again with new ardor.
The mystics tell us that there are two dimensions to life, two movements of the heart, two approaches to reality and spirituality. They are as big and as cosmic as Earth and Sky, Sun and Moon, Masculine and Feminine. They are the Petrine Way and the Marian Way.

Many of us tend to plod along in our faith journey following the Petrine Way; named after St. Peter, impetuous, lovable, "open mouth insert foot" Peter. It is active, leaps ahead, goes, grabs, speaks with passion and is a very productive way, no doubt. Generally speaking, it has masculine characteristics. To get closer to God,…

Keep On Keepin' On

I think we can all relate to this. What a comfort to see the others who've "failed" somewhere along the line too, only to get back in there and fight! Endurance, persistence, and perhaps a little stubbornness can make all the difference in the world. This also reminds of the line from Neil Diamond's "Done Too Soon." (I know, I know... you never realized how much we can get out of Neil D. huh?) He lists a vast array of people from throughout history and connects them all with this moving verse.... And each one there Has one thing shared: They have sweated beneath the same sun, Looked up in wonder at the same moon, And wept when it was all done For bein' done too soon, For bein' done too soon.... Let's take a look today at the faces around us and beside us, family, friends; at the faces plastered on billboards and magazines and on the silver screen if we catch a movie this weekend. Are we any different on the inside? Are we not all seeking the …

Mission El Salvador

I had the chance to upload some images from a mission trip to El Salvador from 2001. I can't believe it's been that long. Some of the faces and places I encountered on this trip are still very fresh in my memory. There is nothing like the experience of crossing that bridge, entering into another's existence, and just being with them. The time I spent was very brief, but I will never forget it! Thanks to Maryknoll missioners Tim and Ellen O'Connell and Marybeth Gallagher for their hospitality and for their passionate witness to mission!

Sea and Believe

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I love the ocean. It helps me believe in things much larger than me. Transcendent things, eternal things; Beauty, Peace, The Oneness. Ultimately... God. Standing before the sea this morning, here in cloudy/sunny Sea Isle City, I had a physical encounter with a spiritual truth. The sea became a channel of grace. And that's the definition of a sacrament, in a very broad sense. I wasn't alone either. Other daily communicants were gathering for this celebration of the sun, rising in benediction over the new day. Does this sound scandalous? Let's recall that the world was God's first church, or Temple, as the Hebrews saw it. In the beginning, we were all priestly in our vocation of praise and worship to the One Who fashioned it all from nothing. We've spent two nights here and are leaving soon. So I had my farewell coffee sitting in the sand, while Rebecca and the wee lad slept. I snapped this picture with the phone, then just stared and listened for a while as the sl…

Open Up and Say "Awe"

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"Entrances to holiness are everywhere. The possibility of ascent is all the time. Even at unlikely times and through unlikely places." - Bamidbar Rabba Our little boy is captivated by absolutely everything. He is nine months old; his little eyes are brand new, his tiny ears are brand new, and his little soul is like a sponge absorbing EVERYTHING. We watch in amazement as the little nuances of sunlight on a wall capture his attention, or the corners and colors of his toy blocks become like the facets of a diamond in his hands. The other day, he amused himself with a plastic cup for about 15 minutes, turning it over and over again in his fingers, crinkling it, bending it, chewing on it. It was hilarious too watch, and humbling at the same time. Humbling that something so ordinary could capture his attention for so long... Our little boy is teaching us as parents, with our 30 something eyes and ears and hearts, to see everything as if fresh from the Hands of God. These are the day…

Academic Meets Evangelist... Dr. Michael Healy's Response to Christopher West

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Christopher West: A Von Hildebrandian’s Perspective "As professor of philosophy at Franciscan University of Steubenville, I have been teaching a course on the nature of love, using Von Hildebrand, Wojtyla, Pieper, and Kierkegaard (among others) for nearly three decades. I have known of Christopher West’s work more indirectly through the decidedly good influences his works have had on my children. However, this past Wednesday, June 3, I got the chance to finally meet Mr. West. It was my privilege to put on a joint presentation with him on purity and sexuality sponsored by the Personalist Project. Nearly two hundred were in attendance, including a great many young people, most I’m sure drawn by the prospect of hearing Christopher—who is a bit more well-known than I...." Read on here at the Personalist Project website...

The Two Towers - Boy Wonder Returns!

Yes, clearly I DO have too much time on my hands.... I'm a teacher who's off for the summer. What'd ya expect? Enjoy the second installment of the Tower of Binky... the Two Towers! (Coming soon, Return of the Binky!)

The Poet Michelangelo

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I just stumbled on this moving passage from a poem (yes, he was a poet too) of Michelangelo's. Listen to the strain in his heart's voice as he looks beyond the veil of earthly life to what lies just where the horizon tips. Incredibly moving! The course of my long life hath reached at last, In fragile bark o'er a tempestuous sea, The common harbor, where must rendered be Account of all the actions of the past. The impassioned phantasy, that, vague and vast, Made art an idol and a king to me, Was an illusion, and but vanity Were the desires that lured me and harassed. The dreams of love, that were so sweet of yore, What are they now, when two deaths may be mine, - One sure, and one forecasting its alarms? Painting and sculpture satisfy no more The soul now turning to the Love Divine, That opened, to embrace us, on the cross its arms.

Three is the Magic Number

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The following is taken from Pope Benedict's address on this Feast of the Holy Trinity: Today we contemplate the Most Holy Trinity as it was made know to us by Jesus. He revealed to us that God is love “not in the unity of a single person, but in the Trinity of a single substance” (Preface): the Trinity is Creator and merciful Father; Only Begotten Son, eternal Wisdom incarnate, dead and risen for us; it is finally the Holy Spirit, who moves everything, cosmos and history, toward the final recapitulation. Three Persons who are one God because the Father is love, the Son is love, the Spirit is love. God is love and only love, most pure, infinite and eternal love. The Trinity does not live in a splendid solitude, but is rather inexhaustible font of life that unceasingly gives itself and communicates itself. We can in some way intuit this, whether we observe the macro-universe: our earth, the planets, the stars, the galaxies; or the micro-universe: cells, atoms, elementary particles. …

Beauty as Teacher

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This is a word from the late, great Pope John Paul II. I was scrolling through some old drafts for the blog and found it. As the summer begins to dawn upon us, and we plan our getaways, let's give this one some fertile ground in the heart, and keep our eyes open to such graced moments!"It is evident that nature, things, people, are able to cause astonishment because of their beauty. How is it possible not to see, for example, in a sunset in the mountains, in the immensity of the sea, in the features of a face something that is attractive and, at the same time, compels one to know more profoundly the reality that surrounds us?.... Truth is perceived in the beautiful, which attracts to itself through the unmistakable fascination that springs from great values. Thus feeling and reason find themselves radically united in an appeal addressed to the whole person. Reality, with its beauty, makes one feel the beginning of the fulfillment and seems to whisper to us: 'You will not …

The Tower of Binky!

Well, what can I say? Give me a half day of school and a free afternoon while Rebecca runs some errands... and you get this piece of cinematic delight! Me and the Boy gettin' silly!