Showing posts from January, 2010

Newt Knees and Easter Gifts

My sister-in-law Amy is one crafty gal. You can check out her skills through, the homemade crafty people's domain! Her "current obsession" is wool and needlefelting. Look at these little chickies emerging from their woolen wombs! What a great gift idea! (I'm not being paid for this advertisment... unless homemade jams or dandelion wine counts?)

What Must I Do?

Two weeks after the tragedy of the earthquake in Haiti, and people of good will are still wondering "What more can we do for Haiti?" Many of us realize that there will be no real change in Haiti so long as the gifts sent are merely cash or the construction of a new infrastructure. Haiti needs more. Haiti needs our hearts. Haiti needs communion with the community of the world. Haiti must not again be forsaken. We must see in Haiti's brokenness an opportunity for togetherness. We must do for the least of our brothers and sisters as if we were doing for Jesus Himself. For Jesus is truly among us, in the "distressing disguise of the poor." For many too, I think, another question is rising out of the smoke and dust of this tragedy; "Where is God in all of this?" I believe the answer is not up in the clouds... God is in Haiti. Again, since Jesus has entered our world, our world is not the same. The Author has entered his own pages. He has bound Himself to th…

Some Pictures from the March for Life

Click to enlarge! It was such a blessing this year for my wife and I to bring our little boy to the March for Life in our nation's capitol. And this year's numbers were incredible; over 300,000! All of us from all over the country, different colors, different creeds, all in support of the dignity of human life, born and unborn, womb to tomb. The Boy and his sign got lots of smiles and oooos and ahhhs. He even marched a few steps! As always, the mass media either completely ignored or grossly misrepresented the March for Life this year. For the most accurate coverage and for links to the mainstream media's poor reporting, read this article!

A Heart for Haiti

I was in Haiti in 2002, driving through the rubble of the streets of Cite Soleil with a missionary priest named Fr. Tom Hagan (you can read an update of his experiences here). It looked as if an earthquake had already struck the land, and that was almost 8 years ago. Why Haiti? Why so much sorrow and pain? Something I can't stop thinking about in my pondering of what's happened is the thought that Haiti is the broken body of Christ. More than a thought, it's the realization that Haiti is the broken body of Christ. Haiti is like the youngest of Jacob's sons, sold into bondage at the hands of jealous, greedy brothers. Haiti is the Suffering Servant in the Prophet Isaiah, whose back has been whipped in its sad history of slavery, and its beard plucked by the grasping hands of countries stripping its once fertile land of resources. Haiti is "making up for the things that are wanting of the sufferings of Christ," in the mysterious words of St. Paul. Haiti is a never-…

Avatar (or Pocahontas in Space): A Reflection

James Cameron's epic film Avatar is definitely worth seeing. It is a visual feast that makes Star Wars look like the dollar menu at a fast food chain. Avatar is imagination pushed to new heights. It's a journey into a strange new world that drips with as much intoxicating beauty as Eden must have before the Fall. This, I believe, is the film's greatest appeal. Avatar gives us all a chance to play again; to get lost like kids in the middle of summer, when school seemed like it was light years away. Our seat in the theater becomes our personal "avatar," plugging us into Pandora, the alien world far, far away. And we drink in the elixir of its created beauty straight from the fountainhead. I don't remember being given an invitation to imagine like this since C.S. Lewis' Perelandra. There's an innocence and a harmony in the alien race of the Na'vi that we all wish were our own. We hear an echo of what was perhaps our own story in the beginning, before D…

Helping Haiti

How you can help through a reliable and trusted source that is already and for over a decade on the ground, working in Haiti: From Mike DeWine: "Our dear friends Father Tom Hagan and Doug Campbell run an organization called Hands Together. From scratch, they started a school, clinic, and feeding program in the poorest slum in Port-au-Prince – a place called Cite Soleil. Starting with just five classrooms, the school, named after our late daughter Becky, is now part of an 8 school complex that educates and feeds over 7,000 children each day. We received word that Father Tom and Doug are both alive. The schools have been damaged and Father Tom’s house was destroyed. We thank you for your prayers for them and for all of Haiti. People have been very generous. The immediate need is for monetary contributions. Hands Together’s resources will be quickly depleted as they help those most in need and start the rebuilding process." Should you wish to make a donation, please send it t…

Bible Smackdown - The Moses Edition

When Pope John Paul II called for a New Evangelization, he asked that it be "new in ardor, methods, and expressions." I hope this is what he meant... Bible Smackdown is one of my ridiculous attempts (and successes, mind you) at getting my students to read and know (and love I hope) the Bible - the people, places, events, and lessons to be learned in the Word. So enjoy this little "teaser trailer" of our last episode! THE SKINNY: 1. There are three teams, electing one "Moses" each (beards and robes provided). 2. All the students compile trivia questions from the appropriate book(s) of the Bible, our notes, etc. I add a few of my own as well. 3. I ask a question of the prospective Moseses... ending with the sonorous "ding" of Tibetian chimes, and the points go to the first hand up with the correct answer! Two heseds (Hebrew for 'mercy') are given a game, where a Moses can ask his team for help "remembering" his life story and God&…

Saint du Jour - The Porter of Paradise

How often do we stop and really look at one another? How often do we really listen to each other’s stories, as opposed to waiting for them to stop talking so we can “one up” them? Do we notice the face of the person at the pharmacy, the Wawa cashier, the drive-thru window as we drive through our lives at often break-neck speeds? Our fast-paced culture is almost conditioning us to miss many face to face encounters, and many souls are slipping through the cracks. Enter Blessed André Bessette, born in 1845 near Montreal, Canada. His story as it pans out would appear to be one of total insignificance. He could have gone unnoticed, could have felt unwanted, lost in the shuffle, just another number… but it was not so. André is the voice of the Invisible Man, he is the shadow cast by the little ones who seemingly don’t matter in this culture. The eighth of 12 children, he was weak and sickly from birth. When both parents had died, he was adopted at age 12, worked as a farmhand, then slippe…

The Human Experience: A Review

A young man is tucked in the back seat of a car, looking up and often out the window. He is reflecting on his life, his experiences, his hopes and frustrations. Outside the world blurs past. Jeff is searching for meaning, for purpose. He is on a journey, and we the viewers are invited to join him. I recently attended one of the many screenings of Grassroots Films new work "The Human Experience." I've been waiting a long time for this one, ever since I caught the trailer a few years back and saw viewings popping up across the country. It was well worth the wait. From Grassroots Films of Brooklyn, New York comes THE HUMAN EXPERIENCE - the story of a band of brothers who travel the world in search of the answers to the burning questions: Who am I? Who is Man? Why do we search for meaning? Their journey brings them into the middle of the lives of the homeless on the streets of New York City, the orphans and disabled children of Peru, and the abandoned lepers in the forests of…