Tuesday, October 31, 2006

What horrible Edward Gorey death will you die?

Julie D. always seems to find the best quizzes.

What horrible Edward Gorey Death will you die?

You will sink in a mire. You like to think you're normal, but deep down you really just want to strip off your clothes and roll around in chicken fat.
Take this quiz!

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Monday, October 30, 2006

Fun Size Candy Lacks Fun

I was loading the Big Bowl of Christian Halloween Charity (my All Saints' Day offering) when I noticed the ever-dwindling size of the Milky Way bars. Aside from the problem of having proprietary measurements that can be changed at a company's whim, consider the ramifications of arbitrarily changing the size of fun. As if it were even possible! It's yet another example of what our Holy Father calls the dictatorship of relativity.

Caitlin at Candy Addict confirms and even has a graph to prove it.

SF Archdiocese Says Revival Bingo to be Cancelled

Mark Shea blogged last week about a mess at Most Holy Redeemer Parish, where the parish hall was rented to a group who runs a blasphemous and unacceptably irreverent bingo game. I sent an email to the Archdiocese of San Francisco, as well as the pastor of the church in question. Today, I received the following reply:

"Permission to use Ellard Hall should not have been given to the group. The Archdiocese of San Francisco has directed the parish to end the arrangement immediately. For years the group has directed contempt and ridicule at Catholic faith and practices. The particular targets of the group's derision are women in religious communities, for whom Catholics, and many non-Catholics, have a special reverence and respect."

I would've liked to have seen something from the pastor himself, but from what I've heard of his doctrinal leanings, that is probably not likely. Nonetheless, it's good news.

[Technorati tags: Christianity, Catholic, Catholicism, Church History]

Sunday, October 29, 2006

A Sign That I'm Either More Conservative or Just Old

Blogger has a beta program for there upcoming upgrade, and I have no intention of trying it out or moving until I have to.

Back from the Evangelization Retreat

I apologize to those few regular visitors for not posting anything recently. I have no excuse. Mea maxima culpa, as we Catholics say (or used to say, as it may be).

I attended the St. John's Cathedral evangelization retreat this weekend. It was an excellent experience, and I'd recommend it to any of my friends (read: Patrick) or coreligionists. The focus was not so much on catechesis (although that plays a big part in the ongoing meetings) but on personal experience. What struck me most was the common theme throughout from most of the attendees and the retreat team about having it all, losing it all, coming to find that God never left you, and finding your way back. I didn't have any earth-shattering personal experience, but I saw a few. As I said in my own brief testimonial, I've come to faith via my head, and I'm still working on having that experience of the heart (and with God's grace, that will happen eventually).

We've been asked to write down our faith journey, and I guess I can now officially commit to doing that. I've been thinking about writing my conversion/reversion story for some time, but frankly, I've been using some of the more sordid elements of my past as an excuse not tell me story. However, I did have one experience this weekend that made an impact.

I attend reconciliation frequently and had done so last weekend. So when the retreat father announced that we would be attending reconciliation, I thought it was rather superfluous. We'd been to Mass that morning, and I simply hadn't had time to go out and commit a mortal sin (not that I seek such opportunities, of course). Why go to reconciliation again so soon?

And so I met Fr. Donny, the brother of one of the retreat team members and a retired priest (due to health reasons). I don't think I have ever been chastised by a priest, but he pretty much told me to stop using my shame about my past to be an excuse not to answer God's call.

I don't think a message can get any clearer than that. I've been hesititating to put certain things out there because I'm ashamed of my past. I don't want them exposed to the light of day. However, if I have a call—to the diaconate, to any public ministry, or just to some kind of public witness—I'd better be up front about who I am and where I've been.

That sounds foreboding, and I'm sure what I write will shock few. Nonetheless, it has been a roadblock for me. Now, I know, I have no excuses.

I'll be posting my conversion story in the next few weeks in installments. If I can give you something interesting to read, that's great. More importantly, I hope I can give you something that will be of use.

[Technorati tags: Christianity, Catholic, Catholicism]

Sunday, October 08, 2006

S.M. Stirling: Fantasy Crack Dealer

Okay, up front, I'll admit that the title of this post is intentionally provocative, in the hope that S.M Stirling would grace me with another visit. At the same time, I have to assert that his posting online of the first ten chapters of A Meeting in Corvalis is nothing short of the same tactic used by drug dealers throughout the U.S. He gives us just enough to get hooked, then CUTS US OFF AT CHAPTER TEN.

Despite the fact that I intended to buy the novel anyway, I just feel so cheap...

UPDATE: Yes, I bought the hard back. And the rush I felt as I peeled off the dust cover and opened it up to chapter 11 was worth it. So far, I'm quite pleased with this volume. The second seemed to be more of a bridge. I was expecting more of the conflict with the PPA to be more extensive. In this volume, the war really seems to take off.

I think the one thing I do have a little trouble with is the idea of Arminger's pope declaring the Mt. Angel faction to be schismatic. What isn't quite so clear is how the pope and all of the PPA religious attained their positions. That would really determine who were schismatic and who wasn't. I guess I have more of a problem with this just because we get a loose association of the Church with the bad guys, except for the Mt. Angel Catholics who are declared schismatic. But we don't really see much of an exploration of their beliefs or the ecclesial structure. About the closest we get to an exploration in the Catholic personality is Mattie, who was clearly not properly cathechized (or she wouldn't have engaged in a synchretistic ceremony, however innocent).

I'm only on chapter 10, though, and Mr. Stirling did go to the illustrious Dale Price for background notes, so maybe I'm just being persnickety.

Anyhoo, despite a few grievances, I love the book. Mr. Stirling's attention to detail is excellent—reminds me a bit of Bernard Cornwell (and I'm a big Sharpe fan).

UPDATE 2: Okay, got to the part about Mt. Angel, and I guess I can't complain anymore. I can definitely see Mr. Price's fingerprints on that chapter. If only the rest of our archdiocese were as orthodox and enthusiastic.

BTW, I'm in the lovely little town of Hershey, PA this week for some training. Postings will probably be rather sparse.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Not usually a fan of Supreme Court justices, but...

The more I read Antonin Scalia, the more impressed I am with his wit and intelligence.

Interestingly enough, he's frequently painted as a troll-like autocrat in black robes by the Left. However, if you understand his judicial philosophy, he's nothing of the sort. He refuses to engage power that is not appropriate for the judiciary (that is, imposing his opinion of what the law should mean instead of what the text of the law clearly states and meant in its original context), unlike those justices who insist that laws be reinterpreted within an ever changing contemporary context.

What I particularly enjoyed in his review of Steven Smith's book was his appreciation for its merits while being able to cut through and affectively critque its assumptions. I also find it humorous that he deconstructs Smith's own insistence on the inaaprorpiateness of religion in an academic discussion, revealing that the very influence Smith seeks to ban from jurisprudence is the one he acknowledges is critically necessary for clarity.

Anyway, I'm sure others will have a better understanding of such matters than I, but I hope we get more like Scalia. Three years ago, I never would've considered such a thing.