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Showing posts from April, 2009

Catholic Courage - Mary Ann Glendon's Letter to Notre Dame

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You may have already seen this on Newsweek or Zenit, but here is the full text of Mary Ann Glendon's letter, sent just a day or so ago, to the president of Notre Dame, Father John Jenkins. She has declined the university's offer to give her the Laetare Medal at this year's commencement. She is the Learned Hand Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and former U.S. ambassador to the Holy See. A prominent Catholic and one of the few who seems to actually live what she professes.* * * Dear Father Jenkins, When you informed me in December 2008 that I had been selected to receive Notre Dame's Laetare Medal, I was profoundly moved. I treasure the memory of receiving an honorary degree from Notre Dame in 1996, and I have always felt honored that the commencement speech I gave that year was included in the anthology of Notre Dame's most memorable commencement speeches. So I immediately began working on an acceptance speech that I hoped would be worthy of the occasion, of…

"Be Empty and Stagnify"

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"Let me tell you why you're here. You're here because you know something. What you know, you can't explain. But you feel it. You felt it your entire life. That there's something wrong with the world. You don't know what it is, but it's there. Like a splinter in your mind... driving you mad." - Morpheus, The Matrix The more deeply I delve into Pope John Paul II's new sexual revolution (found in his teaching on the Theology of the Body) the more I come to realize the absolute insanity of the present state of things. WARNING: The following words will either ruffle your feathers or unbind them so you can take flight. Look objectively for a moment at the way the human body is treated today. Look at the magazine covers in your local supermarket, assess the value of the human person by spending 10 minutes watching television, and you'll be tempted to believe that sex is a drug and we are all inextricably addicted. (Sex, that is, torn apart from its tru…

Pastor's Business Card

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I swiped this from one of those forwarded e-mails.... A new pastor was visiting in the homes of his parishioners. At one house it seemed obvious that someone was at home, but no answer came to his repeated knocks at the door. Therefore, he took out a business card and wrote 'Revelation 3:20' on the back of it and stuck it in the door. When the offering was processed the following Sunday, he found that his card had been returned. Added to it was this cryptic message, 'Genesis 3:10.' Reaching for his Bible to check out the citation, he broke up in gales of laughter. Revelation 3:20 begins 'Behold, I stand at the door and knock.' Genesis 3:10 reads, 'I heard your voice in the garden and I was afraid for I was naked.' Remember when the funniest jokes were the clean ones?

Mercy Me

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There's an old Greek myth by Sophocles that I'd like to borrow from and reshape for my own purposes. Two lovers are separated by a war, and the woman hears that her beloved has been killed, forever sundered from her heart. An urn with his ashes in it is brought to her and she clings to it night and day, weeping bitterly that love has been taken from her. But one bright day her lover returns! It was another who fell in battle, and here he is, full of joy to be reunited to his heart. But she does not recognize him... She cannot believe him, and she wanders off in darkness, clutching at the urn. Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said to him, "Before the cock crows today, you will deny me three times." He went out and began to weep bitterly. But Thomas said to them, "Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nailmarks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe." But Mary stayed outside the tomb weeping. And a…

Change We Can Believe In

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We've all heard those dramatic movie trailers that start off in shadowy, ominous tones.... "In a world full of darkness.... in a time of war.... in a city torn by hatred and violence.... ONE MAN stood for justice..." etc etc. Then we get all fired up watching Mr. Biceps (insert the latest Hollywood toughie) fight the powers that be and WIN, and the moral is once again... "One man can make a difference." One man, that is, toting a large semi-automatic weapon. But these remedies in the fight against Evil are always short-lived, aren't they? Lots of explosions and hairpin turns and sweet moves, but only a temporary peace is established.... until.... The Sequel! I believe one Man did make a difference, once and for all. And He not only changed the exterior, but more importantly, the interior realms of the human heart. After all, that's where all of this wickedness is stemming from, isn't it? No external structure can save us, let's face it. No economic…

From Palms to Poison - A Flashback Episode

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(I've begun watching with my freshmen students at Malvern, The Passion of the Christ, Mel Gibson's blockbuster movie from 2004. The following is a "flashback post" from last year at this time. I'd like to post a couple this week, as well as, I hope, some fresh content.) SNAPSHOT: There's a scene in the movie where Jesus first takes up his Cross, and in those first few steps, surrounded by a swirling, spitting, angry mob, we see his eyes, swollen and bloodied, looking out to see palm branches being laid at his feet. For just a few seconds, we see what he saw just five days before. Palms laid out before a King. Cheers and cloaks and green palms falling before the grey, stiff ears of the colt He's riding. Then, in a flash, we're back to the painful, poisonous glare of the crowds. Five days. Just five short days was all the difference there was between praise and utter rejection. How fickle we can be. "How torturous is the human heart, who can unde…