Friday, January 31, 2014

iPad Air Commercial (Long Version) and Catholic Philosophy

I don't own an iPad, and probably never will.  I'm sure they are helpful to people.  Personally, my iPhone gives me all I need.  That being said, one of my passions is film making, even though I don't have much time to do it, and this commercial has a lot of good things to say.  The shorter version that has been airing more frequently isn't nearly as good.  The music doesn't match up but this 1.5 minute clip is absolutely beautiful.  It also reminds me of the great Catholic philosopher Josef Pieper's thesis in his "Leisure: The Basis of Culture" - Sunday is not a day of rest to simply recharge for work - we work so that we can be alive and love and do things during our down time.  If we use our rest days and rest times simply to recharge for work, we are no better than machines.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Congrats to My Brother! Teacher of the Year!

Macklemore: An Artistic Response

"The Church Needs to Get With the Times!"??

An observation: many of the people who are clamoring that the Church "get with the times" are people who aren't present on Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, blogs, and so forth and are often people who still think that catechesis is showing video tapes of cheesy Jesus clips from the '70s.  If these people are clamoring for the Church to "get with the times" work for the Church, they often sit around and lament that no one comes to their catechetical program on a Wednesday night anymore, and instead of meeting people where they are at and harnessing the new technologies, they sit around and blame everyone for not coming to programming. 

Admittedly, there are a lot of buffoons who utilize modern technology (myself included) and there are many saints walking around today who have never even heard of the internet, let alone know how to use it.  My point is not that technology is necessary for sanctification; technology is, as Pope Benedict and Pope Francis have noted, morally neutral; it is all about how you use it.

My point is that it IS hypocritical to say "The Church should get with the times" when those same people saying that, as part of that same Church, don't know what a hashtag is nor do they know how to put a video on the internet. 

"I can't believe the Church won't get with the times!"

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Most Controversial Homily?

"Because Catholics believe that the celebration of the Eucharist is a sign of the reality of the oneness of faith, life, and worship, members of those churches with whom we are not yet fully united are ordinarily not admitted to Communion. Eucharistic sharing in exceptional circumstances by other Christians requires permission according to the directives of the diocesan bishop and the provisions of canon law. . . . "

You want all the details on Communion and other faiths - click here

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Archbishop Tobin Homily from Roe v. Wade Anniversary

More Hilarity from Planned Parenthood

So as the dinosaurs at Planned Parenthood commenced their annual "fleeing to the bunkers" whilst a half-million young people marched on Washington DC, unimpeded by a blizzard, we were blessed to receive some more hilarity from their organization.

The following is a tweet from Planned Parenthood yesterday as they again tried to convince themselves that they appeal to young people as well:

Sadly, the "Planned Parenthood Generation" is dead and buried in biohazard bags in landfills throughout the US.

Planned Parenthood still has some pull with the older generations, but the young people throughout the country who have seen a third of their generation aborted, who have lived with the mess of contraception, divorce (natural family planning has a divorce rate of 1%), and the effects of premarital sex, they are standing up completely on the side of the pro-life movement.

If Planned Parenthood had a march in DC, they'd get a few thousand people to show up, and about 20 of them would be teenagers.

Here's to the "Planned Parenthood Generation" indeed!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Thank You Martin Luther King Jr!

"An authentic democracy is not merely the result of formal observation of a set of rules but is the fruit of a convinced acceptance of the values that inspire democratic procedures: the dignity of every human person, the respect of human rights, commitment to the common good as the purpose and guiding criterion for political life.  If there is no general consensus on these values, the deepest meaning of democracy is lost and its stability compromised."

- Compendium of Catholic Social Teaching, paragraph 407

"As history demonstrates, a democracy without values easily turns into open or thinly disguised totalitarianism."

- Pope John Paul II, Centesimus Annus, 46

May we realize the dream, and not let it continue to trend toward a nightmare...

ND Grad Ryan Anderson Before the Judiciary Committee - Must See!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

On Snow and the Sunday Obligation

Thankfully, it seems more people are starting to understand again that going to Mass on Sunday (or the anticipation Mass on Saturday night) is not a negotiable thing.  If I miss Mass, I ought to refrain from receiving the Eucharist until I have confessed that serious sin.

HOWEVER....There are a couple of obvious things that permit me to miss Mass on the weekend
1) If I am too ill to make it to Mass that weekend, I am not in mortal sin for missing Mass
2) If I am a parent who needs to take care of a sick child, I am not in mortal sin for missing Mass

(Note: If it is a two parent household, and it is possible for the parents to rotate and go to different Masses while the other stays home with a sick child or children, that should be pursued.)

3) the weather forecast for Brazil, IN looks to be a 3-5" snow storm tonight (Saturday), it is important for folks to recognize that if the weather would be unsafe to negotiate, then a person should know that they are freed from their Sunday obligation (If I normally go Saturday could I make it on Sunday instead?  If the forecast is bad for Sunday morning, can I get there on Saturday night instead, even if that means rearranging my schedule?)

Rule of thumb - I had a parishioner two weeks ago during our last storm tell me "I figured I would have driven to work, I should probably go to Church."  - If you'd go to work in the conditions, if you'd go to a party in the conditions, if you'd go see a movie in the conditions, then I'd say you should probably go to Church as well.  But if you are worried at all about your safety, then you should definitely stay home.

Catholic Radio Interview Part 2: "Unnatural Law?" and Homosexuality

Catholic Radio Interview - My Book, Blogging, and Controversy

Monday, January 13, 2014

Indiana Marriage Amendment

I've been fielding a lot of questions on the proposed marriage amendment in Indiana that would essentially define marriage as being between a man and a woman.

Some ask: "there are other laws that allow violations of Church teaching, and yet the Church doesn't fight those; why should we fight against homosexual marriage?"

The answer here is real simple - the Church says there are certain things that governments can decide for themselves, but there are other issues that, if the government of a society gets them wrong (goes against the Church and Christ), then the society will fall.

So...a Catholic is COMMANDED to fight against certain violations of Church law - and the redefinition of marriage is one of those issues.

So it isn't a state law, as far as I'm aware, that cheating on spelling tests is illegal.  The Church doesn't COMMAND Catholics to fight for laws that punish spelling test cheaters, even though cheating on a spelling test is morally wrong.

However, homosexual marriage IS something we are commanded, by the Church, to fight against in the civil realm. 

You might not like to hear it spelled out this way...but a Catholic doesn't have the option as to whether or not they are going to care about legislation concerning the redefinition of marriage.

People looking for where, exactly, I'm getting this teaching will want to turn to paragraph 229 of the Compendium of Catholic Social Teaching, where we read:

"Although legislation may sometimes tolerate morally unacceptable behavior, it must never weaken the recognition of indissoluble monogamous marriage as the only authentic form of the family"

The first part of this teaching is derived from John Paul II's encyclical Evangelium Vitae, 71.

In that letter, Pope JP II was using St. Thomas Aquinas's Summa I-II q. 96 a. 2, which answers the question "whether it belongs to human law to repress all vices" - the answer being "no"

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Best Christmas Songs

As Christmas time continues, I say one of the best ways to keep the flame burning is to continue to listen to good Christmas music.  I wanted to share my favorite Christmas Songs, and favorite versions of those songs.  I'd love to hear yours.  I'm looking to expand my catalog!

1. Videte Miraculum (Tallis) - Stile Antico - Click here to listen

Videte is a command to "see" - so "SEE the miracle!"  May we see it indeed!

2.  Oh Holy Night - Home Alone Choir - Click here to listen

Thank you John Williams!

3.  Carol of the Bells - Home Alone Choir- Click here to listen

For a kind of snarky Christmas movie, Home Alone sure got two Christmas songs perfectly right!

4.  The First Noel - Crash Test Dummies - Click here to listen

Despite being unable to grow a beard at age 34, I actually can only contribute to a choir by singing bass.  The guy from Crash Test Dummies gave me hope that people who sing bass actually have a place besides barbershop quartets and Boyz II Men.  You may hate this version...but it's my favorite.

5.  What Child is This? - John Denver - Click here to listen

This video above has the most beautiful artwork in a Youtube video that I think I've ever seen.  Awesome!!!

6.  O Magnum Mysterium (Lauridsen) - Choir of Wells Cathedral - Click here to listen

"O Great Mystery!" - that about sums up Christmas!

7. The Angels Cried - Alan Jackson and Alison Krauss - Click here to listen

I am a country guy at heart, and these are two of my favorites.  Ms. Krauss even crosses over into my other favorite - bluegrass.  Alison Krauss may have the best voice I've ever heard.  Beautiful song.  And for all the Thomists waiting to pounce - yes I know that Angels do not have bodies so they can not actually cry; nonetheless I like the song.

8. O Come All Ye Faithful - Celine Dion - Click here to listen

That girl can belt out a song, and this is a song that needs to be belted out!

9. O Christmas Tree - Vince Guaraldi Trio (Charlie Brown Christmas) - Click here to listen

The whole Charlie Brown Christmas CD is worth a purchase!

10.  Gloria - Thomas Tallis (Tallis Scholars) - Click here to listen

Some Christmas I'm going to scrap together the money to have a choir come do this Mass with me on Christmas morning. 

What are your ten favorite?


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

I Think I Finally Realized What "Mary the Mother of God" is a Celebration of

Keeping Christmas is hard
The Devil helps us not keep Christmas by getting us to view Christ wrongly
Mary always remembers her Son as He really is
Therefore Mary helps us keep Christmas year round