Monday, March 28, 2011

If You Say YES Then...


If you answer YES to at least 5 of the following questions you must do the next logical step. Are you ready? Operators are standing by...


1. Do you want to be happy? 
2. Are you distressed by the current situation in Libya? 
3. Have you ever prayed that Lady Gaga and/or Madonna would turn their creative passion into a volcano of love for God and the beauty and gift of femininity?
4. Have you ever experienced divorce in your family or your extended family and wanted it to go away? 
5. Have you ever dreamed of finding perfect love? 
6. Do you like food? 
7. Do you enjoy intense and uplifting conversations about the deepest questions of life with people of all ages from all over the country and beyond? 
8. Would you like to lose yourself (and find yourself) in a deep heart and head academic immersion into the inspired meditations of a man about to be declared "Blessed" by the Catholic Church?
9. Are you intrigued by Amish people? 
10. Could you use a week of retreat with Holy Mass, adoration, confession, and praise and worship music? 
11. Would you like to hear me sing 80's music at random intervals while quoting from Blessed John Paul II ? 
12. Would you like to possibly find your soulmate. I'm just saying it happened once before. 
13. Have you been hearing a lot of press about Theology of the Body and always wanted to learn more? 
14. Would you like to celebrate Pope John Paul II's May 1st beatification in a really substantial way, one that would make him really happy, even happier than he is right now in the Beatific Vision (if that's possible)?


If you answered YES to at least three of these queries, then really need to CLICK THIS. Then scroll down to June 12!!



Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Pieta

A mother and child in the wreckage of Japan.
A mother and child in the wreckage of Japan.
I can't imagine the heartbreak of this woman. I believe she is the child's mother but I have no information about the photograph. Regardless, this anonymous image has been repeated all over, again and again, since the earthquake in Japan.

There is no comfort I can see except in the melding of this pieta with Mary's pieta; Our Lady holding her broken Son at the foot of that instrument of death, the Cross. I don't know what a person can do or say, or what a friend coming in to help can do or say. One can only hold the other. Feel the salt of tears, the sobs. The heaving chest, the blank stare. Absolute pain and loss requires absolute quiet and reflection; the earth feels the blade pierce and cut through, lifting up a patch of ground. Turning over the rich soul-soil of our inner life and exposing it to the light of day. It happens, but we don't like it. But at least we are not alone in it. The Sower sows the seed, the Word, into this empty space in the furrowed heart. We receive it. Never more vulnerable, never more ready than after the rains of sorrow and the storms of suffering. And we hope the seed takes and someday, life returns.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, "My son, the battle is between 2 "wolves" inside us all.

One is Evil.  It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

The other is Good.  It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: 

"Which wolf wins?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed." 

- Author Unknown

Thursday, March 17, 2011

What Shall I Say About the Irish?

What Shall I Say About the Irish?
The utterly impractical, never predictable,
Sometimes irascible, quite inexplicable, Irish.
Strange blend of shyness, pride and conceit,
And stubborn refusal to bow in defeat.

He's spoiling and ready to argue and fight,
Yet the smile of a child
fills his soul with delight.
His eyes are the quickest to well up with tears,
Yet his strength is the strongest
to banish your fears.
His hate is as fierce as his devotion is grand,
And there is no middle ground
on which he will stand.
He's wild and he's gentle,
he's good and he's bad.
He's proud and he's humble,
he's happy and sad.
He's in love with the ocean,
the earth and the skies,
He's enamoured with beauty wherever it lies.
He's victor and victim, a star and a clod,
But mostly he's Irish—
in love with his God.


- Unknown

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I've been invited to speak at this weekend's Natural Family Planning Network Conference at Our Lady of Good Counsel Trinity Parish in Southampton, PA. Please spread the word about this invaluable resource and opportunity to learn about the mystery and gift of married love! Details below:

Philadelphia Natural Family Planning Network
Philadelphia Catholic Medical Association
St. Mary Medical Center
Archdiocese of Philadelphia Family Life Office

Present
MARRIAGE: A DECISION TO LOVE
NATURAL FAMILY PLANNING AND MARRIAGE PREP

Saturday MARCH 19, 2011
9:00 AM- 4:30 PM
Additional information available at www.pnfpn.org




PROGRAM SCHEDULE
9:00- 9:45 AM        Registration and Continental Breakfast
9:45- 10:00 AM      Opening Prayer, Opening Remarks- Dr. Lester Ruppersberger Pres. PNFPN
10:00- 11:00 AM    Marriage Prep & NFP: At the Service of the Sacrament - Tara Plymouth
11:00- 12:00 PM    Theology of the Body in Marriage Prep - Bill Donaghy
12:05- 1:00 PM       Lunch and Exhibits
1:00-   2:00  PM      God’s Plan for a Joy Filled Marriage - Damon Owens
2:00-   3:00 PM       The Priest- Marriage Prep & NFP -  Fr. Pat McCormick
3:00-   3-15 PM       Break
3:15-  4:15 PM        “The Road Show”- Dr. Les and Betty Ruppersberger
4:15-  4:30 PM        Q & A: Wrap Up; Where do we go from here?
4:30-  4:50 PM        Cardinal Rigali Address
5:15 PM                   Mass at Our Lady of Good Counsel: Cardinal Rigali Celebrant


Friday, March 11, 2011

Shaken


Japan today has suffered an immense earthquake. They are shaking, and we watch in terrible awe as tsunami waves wash over homes and villages in videos posted on websites and blogs all over the world, connecting us instantly in this digital age. Nearly two dozen countries are issued warnings that more may be coming, more waves and more terror. Even to the borders of our land…

Once again in this season of Lent we find ourselves "shaken" in another realm. As the physical world shakes, the realm of the spirit is rocked by news again of the actions of some of Christ's followers who have clearly not followed Christ. These acts have torn at the very fabric of our Catholic heart - and they tear at us in these first days of Lent, stripping us just as Christ was stripped of his robes in His Passion. Horrendous sins that shake us. We deeply feel the tremors and destruction of these sins committed.... and the aftershocks are sure to last throughout this Holy Season of Lent and up to the very shadow of Good Friday's Cross.

Is anything solid anymore, anything reliable, anything sturdy enough for us to walk on without giving way under our feet? 

Lent promises no security either, I'm afraid. Maybe just the opposite. These 40 days are designed to shake us to our foundation as well as anything.

Lent is a Lion. It knock things off our neatly organized shelves. It breaks things, breaks us. It makes us uncomfortable. We are reminded of our own fragility, reminded of our own death, our own sins. Ashes, thorns, nails, hunger, thirst, fasts. We are afraid. We grumble against Lent as this Mysterious Shaker, this Destroyer, this Lion because it strips us down. It cleans house. It takes and scrapes and we are empty, homeless as our brothers and sisters in Japan and so many lands across the earth right now. 

Why take these things from me? My security, my comfort, my routine? Why?

Because there is More coming. Because He is coming, and a terrible beauty will be born if we allow Him to fill us. We were not made for comfort. We were made for greatness… made for a Fullness of Love that the world cannot contain. And so it trembles, it shakes. For us to be filled with this New Love we must first be emptied. As Christ was emptied, as Christ was in an earthquake, then the tomb opened, then Christ was filled with New Life.

I don't like the process either, but if I want the More that I have seen glimmers of in the world, then I have to be willing to let go. All these tiny little strings I've made to secure myself to this world, to be safe, to protect myself.... they keep me tied down. I have to cut them. I have to shake or be shaken, and that is the real question.

Like tsunami waves moving closer to land, we are coming closer everyday of Lent to Mount Calvary, to the cross, to death. The normal human reaction to all of this? Run the other direction. No thank you. But all of us must be shaken up before that final shaking off of our "mortal coil" in death. If we can't allow ourselves to be stripped now, and to enter into the white hot furnace of silence, will we ever know who we truly are? What we're truly made of?

What vision does God have of us... of our full potentiality? He sees us in the storm, He is in the storm too, in Jesus. There in God made flesh,  the ultimate Storm arose, of Love meeting hate, Truth meeting lies, and the battlefield was His Sacred Heart. A Heart wrapped in thorns, and pierced. We must have His Heart. If we can't be stripped on Good Friday, shaken and emptied, can we ever be filled, and clothed in the glory of Easter Sunday? 


Wednesday, March 09, 2011

New Radio Show on Theology of the Body

More2Life
(from the website!)


More2Life is a surprising new radio program that brings the teachings of John Paul II’s Theology of the Body into the practical, everyday experience of life. This live call-in program is hosted by Dr. Greg Popcak and his wife Lisa and airs weekdays at 12PM Eastern/11 AM Central. Dr. Greg and Lisa will help you solve your problems with relevant, relatable and achievable tools and solutions straight from the genius of the Theology of the Body. It’s the life you were meant to live! 

In addition to your calls, we check in each day with our friends from around the country to bring you fresh and exciting discussions on creating the life you were meant to live. Every Monday, we focus on marriage with our friends at the Couple to Couple League and Frank and Julie LaBoda of Retrouvaille. Tuesdays feature Dr. Joe White from the Diocese of Austin and Emily Bissonnette of Ruah Woods on relationships. Every Wednesday, Fr. Thomas Loya of the Tabor Life Institute and the Theology of the Body Institute’s Bill Donaghy comment on culture and life. Thursdays, we look at parenting with Ann Nerbun of Family Honor. And to end the week, we celebrate living large and head to “Life in the Big House” with homeschooling mother of 10, Rachel Watkins.

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