Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving and Prayer Request

Let me offer all of you a Blessed Thanksgiving, and hope that today, and everyday here after, brings you and your loved-ones something to be thankful for.

God bless all of you!

On a sad note, the Little Critter isn't doing so well. There were a couple of days last week which he refused to eat his food, so I took him to the vet on Monday. The doctor said the problem was his prostate, and that we had to perform an ultra-sound to evaluate his condition. We did the ultra-sound yesterday (Wednesday), and there is a possibility of cancer. The doctor took a few samples to conduct a biopsy, but those results wont be available until Monday.

Please say a prayer for the Critter. He's a FULL member of the family and I know you are all aware of how much he is loved.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Sometimes sacred music began not as an expression of our longing for the Devine or for the Christian Mystery. Instead, some had wholly irreligious origins but were then commandeered by someone who felt the music was appropriate for liturgical use. Here are a two pieces that went through a conversion of a sort, and made the crossover from secularism to religious.

The first one is an "Ave Maria" using the famous "Intermezzo" from Mascagni's Cavalleria Rusticana opera. You can't go wrong with Bocelli.


Cavalleria Rusticana (1987 Digital Remaster): Intermezzo from Cavalleria rusticana (1987 Digital Remaster) - Philharmonia Orchestra/Riccardo Muti


The next one is "Lux Aeterna", taken from Edward Elgar's Enigma Variations.

You may want to turn up your volume for the next two since they're a bit low throughout their duration.

Nimrod from Enigma Variations - Edvard Elgar, composer. Vero Beach High School Orchestra. Matt Stott, director.

Please ignore the poor quality of the video and concentrate on the music.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Augustine knew he was restless

"There is in man, a restlessness of ambition...a dissatisfaction
with the present, which never is appeased by all the world has
to unsated appetancy for something larger and better,
which he fancies in the perspective before him--to all which there
is nothing like among the inferior animals."
~Thomas Chalmers 1822 Bridgewater treatise

You're looking, but you cannot find. You long for those places and those things you dream about, and you think that fulfillment and happiness are there. You own things. Do you remember how happy you were when you bought that last gadget, that last item, that last whatever that you wanted most? You were happy then, and you thought you would be perfectly content with it and that nothing else would be necessary. But the novelty wore off, and you were restless again. You hunger, but for what? Even you can't put it into words.

You dream of success and acclamation. Colleagues shaking your hand for a job well done; soliciting your wisdom and your advice in matters that baffle their intellect. Yet, if that life was granted, the thirst for that something else would arise once again. You feel dissatisfied, so again you search for that something else that until you find, you will have no peace of mind. You will place your hopes in material goods only to experience, yet again, an erosion of emotion when it's no longer new, and you've grown tired of it.

So you search and you search and you search...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Miscellaneous Babble

Thomas Beatie, the man who bore a child earlier this year, is pregnant again - at least that seems to be the current chatter. Beatie, who was born female, had an operation to become a man but kept his original reproductive organs. He is currently married to his wife Nancy.

Is anyone else confused about this like I am?

Can this be characterized as a homosexual relationship, specifically a lesbian union? Is Nancy - Beatie's wife - gay, straight, bisexual, or something that is currently undefined? I'm really at a loss on this one.

President-elect Barack Obama is filling his administration with former Clinton advisers (and maybe even a real-life Clinton) and people who were, up until recently, actively lobbying for special interest groups. This after spending his two year campaign for the presidency caterwauling about how special interest groups had seized the current administration, and how John McCain was a puppet of the oil industry.

Busy Boy
I've been busy with school, school exams, and a slew of other stuff that has kept me from visiting the blogs of my blogger friends. Please forgive me if I've come across as apathetic or rude. I can assure you that is not my intention, nor does it reflect my opinion of those blogs I read the most.

Since I'll be going to school in the summer as well, I don't have to take a full twelve credit load during spring or fall semesters. Thank God for summer session. In the spring, I'll be taking three classes, two of which I've singed up for already: 1) Art and 2) Pre-calculus Trigonometry (yes, I know that some of you kids may have taken the pre-cal/ trig. class already. What can I say? I'm not that smart). The third class I have yet to select, but I better do it quickly. My finals begin two weeks from this Monday and in early January spring semester begins.

I'm really looking forward to this art class. I'm heavily stocked in just about every type of medium (charcoals, oils, acrylics, graphites, etc.) that any art class might encompass.

Male Mentality
I was having lunch with a friend this week at a local hotel when we noticed a group of cocktail waitresses making their way into the casino to make their rounds in the casino floor. He commented about their good looks to which I responded, "They're too skinny." He promptly rebuttaled with, "There's no such thing." This is the second time he has made this comment, and for the second time I'm perplexed. What on earth does he mean by that? Is his ideal mate a character from Schindler's List? Not only did I have to grapple with the there's-no-such-thing-as-too-skinny answer, but these cocktail waitresses were in their very early twenties.

Terribly young, and anorexic: two big turn offs for me.

And Finally...
My blogger pal Shirley has bestowed me with a blog award. Thanks Shirley!

In turn, I pass the award unto these great blogs. Please visit them and say hi!
1) A Catholic Mom in Minnesota - Tracy (again!)
2) Salve Regina - Paramedicgirl
3) Practicing God's Presence - Kirk
4) Chris and Co. - Chris
5) Our God is an Awesome God - Kimberly
6) The Recovering Dissident Catholic - Cathy
7) The Catholic Path - Jennifer

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Remember this poem/this book?

Where the Sidewalk Ends

There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.

Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.

Yes we'll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And we'll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
For the children, they mark, and the children, they know
The place where the sidewalk ends.

Shel Silverstein

I suppose I'm still a kid at heart since I've never forgotten the poems in this book, and how I used to recite them to get a laugh out of my fellow students in the third grade. The above poem to me is imbued with a sense of nostalgia. Not only because of the inherent nature of the poem, but because I remember the book from when I was a child. "Oh, to go back and relieve those" blah, blah, blah

If you've read this book, you must have a favorite poem in there somewhere. Let me know.

Friday, November 14, 2008


I had posted the following essay the day Obama was elected president. I was so disappointed by the results that I removed it, unable to appreciate its beauty and creativity. I suspected that some of you were equally distracted.

Although this is a lengthy post, it's quite worth the read.

"Genesis for the Third Millennium"

There was God. And God was All-That-Was. God's Love overflowed and God said: "Let Other be. And let it have the capacity to become what it might be--and let it explore its potentialities."

And there was Other in God, a field of energy, vibrating energy but no matter, space, time, or form. Obeying its given laws and with one intensely hot surge of energy--a hot Big Bang--this Other exploded as the universe from a point twelve or so billion years ago in our time, thereby making space.

Vibrating fundamental particle appeared, expanded, and expanded and cooled into clouds of gas, bathed in radiant light. Still the universe went on expanding and condensing into swirling whirlpools of matter and light--a billion galaxies.

Five billion years ago, one star in our galaxy--our Sun--attracted round it matter as planets. One of them was our Earth. On Earth, the assembly of atoms and the temperature became just right to allow water and solid rock to form. Continents and mountains grew and in some wet crevice, or pool, or deep in the sea, just over three billion years ago, some molecules became large and complex enough to make copies of themselves and so the first specks of life.

Life multiplied in the seas, diversifying and becoming more and more complex. Five hundred million years ago, creatures with solid skeletons, the vertebrates, appeared. On land, green plants changed the atmosphere by making oxygen. Then 300 million years ago, certain fish learned to crawl from the sea and live on the edge of land, breathing that oxygen from the air.

Now life burst into many forms--reptiles and mammals (and dinosaurs) on land, flying reptiles and birds in the air. Over millions of years, the mammals began to develop complex brains that enabled them to learn. Among these were creatures who lived in trees. From these our first ancestors derived and then--only 40,000 years ago--the first men and women appeared. They began to know about themselves and what they were doing--they were not only conscious, but also self-conscious. The first word, the first laugh was heard. The first paintings were made. The first sense of destiny beyond--with the first signs of hope, for they buried their dead with ritual. The first prayers were made to the One who made All-That-Is and All-That-Is-Becoming. The first experiences of goodness, beauty, and truth but also of their opposites, for human beings were now free.

The late Anglican priest, Arthur Peacocke, wrote this brilliant essay in which he recounted the story of Creation in modern-day phraseology. Dr. Peacocke was a devout Christian who also happened to be a man of science, and who saw no conflicts with his Christian faith and his scientific beliefs. Because he was both a scientist and a Christian, Dr. Peacocke would often torment to no end famed atheist Richard Dawkins with his writings.

Using the most up-to-date scientific data available to him at the time, Dr. Peacocke recapitulates the story of Creation as it is found in the book of Genesis, but with language that references modern-day scientific understanding of the universe. Some of you who have problems with evolution, or who prefer the archaic literature of the original book of Genesis are going to have some difficulty opening up to this type of presentation. But before you formulate a derogatory opinion about Reverend Peacocke, let me state unequivocally that the above essay is NOT an exercise in new-age spirituality. It it guided by sound theology based on verifiable scientific data, and reasonable scientific theory. This is not the kind of stuff you're going to hear Oprah talk about intelligently.

As I stated previously, the essay is both brilliant and beautiful.

Monday, November 10, 2008

New England Catholicism

I think I've bored all of you with my tautologous announcements of living someday in New England. One of the more beautiful places of New England is Nantucket island in Massachusetts. Recently, while scavenging for more information about the island, I watched a video that contained images from Our Lady of the Isle Catholic Church. This is a Catholic Church based in Nantucket with beautiful New England architecture. Doesn't the name sound beautiful?

Our Lady of the Isle. I could say the name forever and not get tired.

Anyway, it would be a beautiful thing if someday I found myself inside that Church giving thanks for the gift of living in New England.

Photo by Khoi Huynh-Dinh.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

"I believe that the universe
is an evolution.

I believe that evolution
proceeds towards spirit.

I believe that spirit is fully
realized in a form of personality.

I believe that the supremely
personal is the universal Christ."

- "How I Believe" by Teilhard de Chardin

"I speak to you,
my fellow priests...if
there be any among
you who are at a loss
in so unforeseen a
situation - with
your mass unsaid
and your ministry
unaccomplished -
remember that over
and above the
administration of the
sacraments, as
a higher duty than
the care of individual
souls, you have a
universal function to
fulfil: the offering to God of the

- "The Priest" by Teilhard de Chardin

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


I don't think it takes one of these pompous panelists who circulate through Meet the Press or Charlie Rose to recognize what cost John McCain the election. Two words: George Bush. President Bush, despite having admirable qualities, made several catastrophic and inexcusable mistakes during his administration that served to stigmatize John McCain. The single biggest miscalculation is, of coarse, the war in Iraq. What a tremendous blow to the gut of the American people when it was concluded that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq; that there were never any definitive ties between Iraqi diplomats and elements from Al qaeda. Can anyone put a mental grip around the price this nation has dished out, in terms of American lives and taxpayer money, in funding a war over falsified data?

Then came the economy meltdown. Hundreds of billions of dollars were procured to bail-out white collar crooks that drove this country to near financial demise. While Democrats contributed to this economic condition, the most visible branch of government to the American people - the Executive branch - will invariably be assigned culpability.

So what were voters looking for? They were looking for anything that wasn't George Bush. They were looking for someone who was not involved in initiating the Iraq war as appose to someone with the necessary leadership that could remove American forces prudently out of there. They were looking for someone who was not in the Oval Office when the economic meltdown occurred, despite the fact that the President is not the one who should be assigned the bulk of the blame for that fiasco. They were looking for a president who was not directly linked to over four-thousand dead Americans in Iraq for reasons that were completely frivolous. Basically, Obama is the embodiment of the absence of Bush, while McCain was tragically stigmatized by the President.

In a sense, Barack Obama remains very distant from this presidential election, since who and what he is remains, to some degree, undefinable and obscured. With George Bush's tremendous unpopularity, this election is a case of voters who were driven away from one candidate as oppose to being drawn to another. Can you imagine how Hilary feels? She might never again see a political climate that could have been so conducive to her victory as this last one.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Vote for John McCain!
Vote for John McCain!
Vote for John McCain!
Vote for John McCain!
Vote for John McCain!
Vote for John McCain!
Vote for John McCain!
Vote for John McCain!
Vote for John McCain!
Vote for John McCain!
Vote for John McCain!
Vote for John McCain!
Vote for John McCain!

New Virus Announced by the C.D.C.!!!

The Centers for Disease Control issued a warning via all media outlets this morning for a highly contagious (airborne) pathogen. It operates similarly to the SARS virus, but with potentially immediate consequences upon infection. Please read the following.

Ballistic Organ Syndrome (Ballistitis)
Country of Origin
Java (Indonesia)

First Known Case
Ballistic Organ Syndrome, although rare, has been known since prehistoric times. In Australia and Micronesia, cave paintings have been found depicting humans and animals with internal organs erupting from their bodies.

Ballistic Organ Syndrome manifests as a sudden, explosive discharge of one or more bodily organs at high velocity; this exit may be accompanied by some pain. There are two known variants: subsonic Ballistitis, in which the organ exists the body by the path of least resistance, breaking free directly through muscle, tendon, bone and skin tissue.

Supersonic Ballistitis is the more dangerous manifestation, as the ejecta exceed the speed of sound and therefore strike without warning. Surprisingly, however, the high energy of supersonic Ballistitis discharge cauterizes the surface of the organ and sterilizes the ejected bodily contents, so that the overall risk of infection is less than that of subsonic Ballistitis. In rare cases, the Ballistitis virus infects the patients entire body. Eventually, some event causes one or more cells to rupture, after which the patients body is disrupted in an explosive ejection of all bodily organs. This manifestation of the syndrome frequently occasions the death of the patient; at best, the loss of all bodily organs will cause considerable inconvenience and distress.

The Ballistitis is known to be caused by a retrovirus that reprograms body cells to concentrate water at extremely high pressures. It may be transmitted through direct contact with organic ejecta or through inhalation of atomized bodily content. Medical personnel dealing with infected patients are strongly recommended to seek the advice of military fortification engineers to assist in deploying sandbagging, and overhead protection, as ejected organs can travel a considerable distance and explode with some force on impact.


Saturday, November 1, 2008

Learning from bees & Lewis (Long post but worth it)

This is one of my all-time favorite poems. It was composed by the late-great C.S.Lewis, and I've been wanting to share it with all of you since I started blogging. Unfortunately, I've tried looking for it everywhere on the web and found, at best, only fragments of it. The books I own which contain this poem were placed in storage, and since my house is getting revamped, I had the opportunity to retrieve them when some of the materials for the renovation were warehoused in the same area.

This poem is about you. It's about me, my friends, your friends, your significant others, and anyone else who has had to endure the uncertainty of the trials and tribulations that life throws at us. It's about those trails in life which many of us are forced to walk, and reflect with anxiety and exasperation at those other paths we wish we had taken. But fear not the road you walk. Those paths that forces beyond our control sweep us into might be nothing more than God tweaking us in the right direction. The bee in this poem found her way to the laden flowers, but not before anguishing a change in direction.

Of this we are certain; no one who dares knock
At heaven's door for earthly comfort found
Even a door- only smooth endless rock,
And save the echo of his cry no sound.
It's dangerous to listen; you'll begin
To Fancy that those echoes (hope can play
Pitiful tricks) are answers from within;
Far better to turn, grimly sane, away.
Heaven cannot thus, Earth cannot ever, give
The thing we want. We ask what isn't there
And by our asking water and make live
That very part of love which must despair
And die and go down cold into the earth
Before there's talk of springtime and rebirth.

Pitch your demands heaven-high and they'll be met.
Ask the Morning Star and take (thrown in)
Your earthly love. Why, yes; but how to set
One's foot on the rung, how to begin?
The silence of one voice upon our ears
Beats like the waves; the coloured morning seem
A lying brag; the face we loved appears
Fainter each night, or ghastlier, in our dreams.
'That long way round which Dante trod was meant
For mighty saints and mystics not for me,'
So Nature cries. Yet if we once assent
To Nature's voice, we shall be like the bee
That booms against the window-pane for hours
Thinking that way to reach the laden flowers.

'If we could speak to her,' my doctor said,
'And told her, "Not that way! All, all in vain
You weary out wings and bruise your head,"
Might she not answer, buzzing at the at the pane,
"Let queens and mystics and religious bees
Talk of such inconceivables as glass;
The blunt lay worker flies at what she sees,
Look there--ahead, ahead--the flowers, the grass!
We catch her in a handkerchief (who knows
What rage she feels, what terror, what despair?)
And shake her out--and gaily out she goes
Where quivering flowers stand thick in summer air,
To drink their hearts. But left to her own will
She would have died upon the wind-sill.'
Would you like to sign this petition?

International Call for the Rights and Dignity of the Human Person and the Family

We, the citizens of UN member states, in this year of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted and proclaimed by the UN General Assembly resolution 217 A (III) of 10 December 1948,

Recalling that:

The Universal Declaration is a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all Nations,
Bearing in mind that:
Human rights, dignity, freedom, equality, solidarity and justice constitute the spiritual and moral patrimony on which the union of Nations is based,
Stress that:
Proper consideration must be given to
The right to life of every human being, from conception to natural death, each child having the right to be conceived, born and educated within the family, based on marriage between a woman and a man, the family being the natural and fundamental group unit of society,
The right of every child to be educated by his or her parents, who have a prior and fundamental right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.
Therefore, we call upon:
All governments to interpret the Universal Declaration of Human Rights properly such that:
Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person (Article 3)
Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family (Article 16).
The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State (Article 16).
Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance (Article 25).
Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children (Article 26).

If you agree with this, please sign up here.
Almighty and Everlasting God,
who dost enkindle the flame of Thy love in the hearts of the saints,
grant unto us the same faith and power of love;
that, as we rejoice in their triumphs
we may profit by their examples, through Jesus Christ our Lord.