“Just another guy with a blog.  No big whoop.”

August 30, 2010

British pundit comments trenchantly on the NYC mosque debacle

As far as I'm concerned, he's nailed it. What do you think? And while you're thinking about it, just imagine what the reaction would be if the Catholic Church were to try to build a church in, say, Riyadh or Medina. What is being demanded of us here would be forbidden to us there.

August 26, 2010

I don't have time to produce a serious, substantive post today, so this is what you get

It's true and actually pretty funny when you think about it. Dog masks. Ha!

Irony Now (get it?)

August 22, 2010

At first glance, I thought this was a Christopher Guest mockumentary about CCD

(Courtesy, Richard Chonak)

August 9, 2010

The steward was "having a bad day," sources said.

I think this qualifies as perhaps the most spectacular understatement of the year, maybe of the decade.
“A flight attendant ran out of patience on a plane that just landed at JFK on Monday afternoon, so he allegedly cursed a blue streak over the p.a. system, grabbed some beers [grabbed some beers!!!], pulled the emergency chute, slid down and ran from the plane, sources said. . . .” (continue reading)

What did the Lord mean when He said, "Do not judge, lest ye be judged"?

We all need to think long and carefully about the message in this sermon. I know I do. And my guess is that plenty of you do, too. May God bless us all.

The problem with vampires

Parenting for Dummies: Rule #22: Do not let your daughter date a vampire, ever.

This is one of those practical parenting rules that you just can’t go wrong by following. In the past, if you found your daughter was interested in a vampire, you could have used a stake through the heart, or perhaps some garlic and a crucifix — the traditional ways to rid oneself of a pesky vampire. However, in “modern times,” vampires are different and do not play by the same rules.

— By Milicent Fairweather for Envoy Magazine

There seems to be no way to get rid of them; in fact, there seem to be more of them all the time appearing in books, movies, TV shows, and so on. Since we cannot get rid of them and they keep coming, we have to bar the door and not let them in to begin with. It’s common sense, and other than heavenly protection, it is the only defense you have.

Let’s take a typical situation these days and pretend it applies to your daughter. What if you knew that your daughter was dating a young man who wanted to kill her? He has killed others and now has to struggle with his desires night and day to prevent himself from attacking and killing her? And your daughter, knowing about his murderous tendencies, is willing to do anything for him, including giving up her eternal soul. . . . (continue reading in PDF).

August 6, 2010

Catholic apologists gathered in Steubenville over the weekend. Look what happened:

Participating in the annual "Defending the Faith" conference as a speaker, as I have for more than a decade now, is truly one of the high points of my year. I absolutely soak up all the energy and fellowship and palpable Catholic piety that pervades the 1400 or so who attend. It's always a great opportunity to see and catch up with old friends, to make new ones, and to recharge my spiritual and intellectual batteries by immersing myself in the sheer delectation of Catholic apologetics in the company of those who are enthusiastically committed to explaining, defending, and sharing the Catholic Faith.

Some folks might wonder if we Catholic "apologists" are in constant communication with each other, meeting regularly to coordinate (some might say, "plot") our stratagems for conquering the world. Not so. Everyone is so busy that we're lucky to see each other once a year at an event like this one. It's great. And I'd like to take this opportunity to invite all of you to attend "Defending the Faith." If you love Catholic apologetics, you won't be sorry! I hope to see you there next year.

STEUBENVILLE, OH—"When friends and colleagues find out we're Catholic and ask us, 'Do you really believe all that?' and we respond, 'Yes, I do,' a new moment begins," said Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philadelphia. "Our yes inherits all the grace of every yes uttered throughout salvation history. Our 'yes' is an echo of the fidelity of faithful men and women in every time and place."

Nearly 1300 conferees packed Finnegan Fieldhouse at Franciscan University of Steubenville's 20th annual Defending the Faith Conference "Be Transformed By the Renewal of Your Mind," July 30-August 1.

Co-hosted by Franciscan University theology professors Dr. Alan Schreck, founder of the conference, and Dr. Scott Hahn, founder of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, the conference attracted people from 39 states and 8 foreign countries, including India, South Africa, and Portugal. Participants were drawn by a unique opportunity to sit at the feet of some of the greatest apologists laboring in the world today.

Speakers were clear eyed about the challenges facing the Church.

"We simply cannot confine ourselves to strategies of neutrality," said Cardinal Rigali, who opened the conference with a keynote address titled "His Name Is Jesus. "The skepticism of today arises out of a lost sense of meaning. Our friends and family are told the undeniable yearning in the human heart is only a superficial emotional affect."

"The skepticism we face is not merely resistant to Christians, it is hostile to Christians. It seeks to relegate Christians to the corners of society," said Cardinal Rigali, former papal chamberlain to Pope Paul VI.

"Over time, unaddressed, this skepticism erodes the foundations of faith and results in a practical atheism. The subtle atheism of today seeks to divert, misdirect, and deny the deep longing for God that slumbers in every human heart. "The theme of this year's conference is an urgent call, dear friends, to embrace the fundamental calling of each human person."

To share that call to Christ with others, we need to prepare to answer opponents to the faith, said Patrick Madrid, editor of Envoy magazine, in his keynote address, “The Godless Delusion: A Catholic Challenge to Modern Atheism.”

"We have to be willing to engage in these discussions, even with atheists," said Madrid. "If we don't, many more people will be lost." He read aloud a sample of the atheistic reaction to The Godless Delusion, his recently published argument that atheism is false. "'There is no Christian,'" Madrid quoted, "'as obnoxious, as smug, as conceited, as vain, as dense, as repellent, as chillingly impervious to reality, as oppressive, as mean, as cruel, as unethical as a Catholic.'"

"You can see what we're up against," Madrid concluded. "I believe that we're heading into a storm, probably very soon. If this storm breaks on us, people may break from Christ."

Father Benedict Groeschel, CFR, expressed a similar concern in his Holy Hour homily on Saturday night. "We may be in the middle of something more dangerous to faith than persecution: indifference, being cold, not being Catholic at all," said Father Groeschel, author of In the Presence of Our Lord.

But he offered a remedy. "Never allow anything else in your life to come before the Eucharist," he exhorted. "Let's return home with a fervent Catholic Eucharistic belief and hope, because Christ is with us, and he calls us to be with him." (continue reading)

August 5, 2010

Rock Stars Then and Now . . .

This just in from my “Sic Transit Gloria Mundi” files. No doubt most of you, like I, listened to at least some of the music these rock stars performed over the last 40 years. Once upon a time, they were young and firm and beautiful. That's how I remember them, or at least those of them who interested me, way back when I was young and firm and thought of myself as beautiful.

So, when I ran across those pictures, and these, juxtaposing how some of these famous people used to look with how they look today, I was reminded of Scripture's admonitions about how fleeting this life is and how quickly our youth and beauty fade. Not even rock stars can escape it. It reminds me of how, in God's eyes, money, influence, and pulchritude (ah, the pulchritude of youth!) are ultimately meaningless. Seeing these pictures was for me a good, salutary reminder of how I need to keep my eyes fixed on what really matters.

Job 14:2 — “He comes forth like a flower, and withers; he flees like a shadow, and continues not.”

Eccl. 2:1, 11 — “I said to myself, 'Come now, I will make a test of pleasure; enjoy yourself.' But behold, this also was vanity. . . . Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had spent in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun.”

Psalm 90:6 — “in the morning it flourishes and is renewed; in the evening it fades and withers.”

1 Peter 1:24 — “All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls.”

James 1:11 — “For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits.”

Grace Slick (seriously)

August 4, 2010

Your Oxymoron for the Day

August 3, 2010

Photographer captures tragic final moments of Chinese firefighter lost while cleaning oil spill

“July 16, 2010, an oil pipeline explosion accident happened in Dalian, the fire was put out after 15 hours of burning. The cause of the accident was still under investigation. According to CCTV, about 400,000 gallons of oil was spilled into the Yellow Sea, which heavily polluted over 160 square kilometers of the sea water. (The BP oil spills at the Gulf of Mexico was over 100 million gallons)


“(From Daqi) A photographer, in 334 seconds, captured the death of a firefighter when cleaning up the oil spill.

“Out of curiosity, a photographer from Zhejiang aimed his camera at the Dalian firefighters cleaning up the oil spill in the ocean. He said, “never thought he would have died…”


“Two firefighters are cleaning up the water pump in the ocean.


“Zhang Liang cuts the rope line between the floating water pump and the fishing boat . . .” (continue)

Prelapsarian Mel Gibson

This 3-minute video clip of Mel Gibson's opening monologue for "Saturday Night Live" in 1989 features him talking about his career long before his plunge from the apotheosis of celebrity he came to enjoy — 21 years before, to be exact. Given all that has befallen him recently, his comments here are weirdly, ironically prescient. Watch, and you'll see what I mean.

I'll be in the air tonight on Catholic radio

Hubba, hubba. I'll be fielding questions from callers today during the first hour of the “Catholic Answers Live” broadcast (6:00 to 7:00 p.m. ET). You can catch it on a Catholic radio station in your area, if you don't have one near you yet (they're popping up all over the place) you can also listen live online. I hope you'll tune in.

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