Monday, December 31, 2007

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Maputo's Cathedral

In case you are wondering, Maputo is the capital of Mozambique. It is named for Our Lady of Fatima.

Noël en toi...

The title of this post translates as "Christmas in you". It was a post that I found on , a French St BlogChemins de lecture (in case you are wondering the blog's name means Paths of Lecture, maybe Learning). I know that December 25 have come and gone, but we are still well withing the 12 days of Christmas. After all, Epiphany is still a week away.
The post on the blog was just a quote:

"Le christ serait-il né mille fois à Bethléem, s'il ne naît pas en toi, c'est en vain qu'il est né" --Angelus Silésius

I have no idea who Angelus Silésius is, but the quote is very beautiful and profound. For those of you who do not read French:
"Christ could be born a thousand times in Bethlehem, if He is not born in you, it is in vain that He was born."

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Psalm 42

As the deer longs for streams of water, so my soul longs for you, O God.
My being thirsts for God, the living God. When can I go and see the face of God?
My tears have been my food day and night, as they ask daily,"Where is your God?"
Those times I recall as I pour out my soul, When I went in procession with the crowd, I went with them to the house of God, Amid loud cries of thanksgiving, with the multitude keeping festival.
Why are you downcast, my soul; why do you groan within me? Wait for God, whom I shall praise again, my savior and my God.
My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you From the land of the Jordan and Hermon, from the land of Mount Mizar.
Here deep calls to deep in the roar of your torrents. All your waves and breakers sweep over me.
At dawn may the LORD bestow faithful love that I may sing praise through the night, praise to the God of my life.
I say to God, "My rock, why do you forget me? Why must I go about mourning with the enemy oppressing me?"
It shatters my bones, when my adversaries reproach me. They say to me daily: "Where is your God?"
Why are you downcast, my soul, why do you groan within me? Wait for God, whom I shall praise again, my savior and my God.

Eucharist as Calvary Continued

I can see in the consecrated Host or the Eucharist a mystical passion, the
continuation of the Lord's Passion at Calvary... It is the same Heart that
suffers, and the same sins It is sacrificed for... I can see Him in a constant
act of atonement, holding back divine justice, searching for souls, but holy,
pure and sacrificed souls that in their union cry out to Heaven for pardon
and mercy... He is tireless in this mystical crucifixion, abandoned in His
solitude, infinitely patient, receiving so much ingratitude in exchange for so
much love.


I don't have any commentary on this. I think its speaks very well for itself.

Conchita on the Tabernacles

Oh my God, my God! What would become of the world if there were no tabernacles?
They are the lighting conductors, the light, the warmth, the life... the
whiteness, the purity that covers the filthy mud of the Earth... Jesus is there,
and almost every time I draw near Him He asks me for purity, purity, crucified
and clean souls to console Him... The Lord is thirsty for purity and for
the Cross, and yet the world is deaf, wallowing in its dirt and sleeping on its
material comforts. A terrible awakening awaits it that makes me tremble, and
also makes that Heart that is all goodness to men tremble (incredible love!). He
wants His Cross to reign in our hearts- only the Cross can save the world;
spirits can only be sanctified through Him.

Conchita, mystical foundress of the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit
Other quotes and posts about Conchita here

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

St Stephen, the First Martyr

The 26th of December is the feast day of St Stephen. He was the first Christian martyr and his death by stoning is described in the Acts of the Apostles.
He is not, by any means, the last martyr. Many, many, many more would also wear the martyr's crown. As a matter of fact Christians die for their faith on a daily basis. In Communist nations such as China, Vietnam, Laos, Cuba, and especially North Korea. Christians also die at the hands of religous extremists, mostly Muslim but also Hindu and other religions. Only Christ's return will ever stop the killings.
However, martyrdom only helps to spread the Gospel. It is a powerful testimony to persecutors and Christians alike. It means another soul is in Heaven praying for the continued conversion of souls.
Today being the feast day of St Stephen, Pope Benedict XVI said of martyrdom that it is "exclusively an act of love towards God and all mankind including persecutors". I couldn't have said it better.

Monday, December 24, 2007


I want to wish everyone a merry Christmas! May the celebration of Christ's incarnation be a time of joy and peace for all of you.

St Joseph's Cathedral

Its Christmas Eve, but I decided to do something off the wall this morning.I have decided to post pictures of a Cathedral from the most random place I could think of. I thought of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. These are pictures from St Joseph's Cathedral in Tanzania. It was built by German missionaries while it was still a German colony. German lost Tanzania and all its other African holdings as a result of WWI.

I know that Easter is a long ways off, but I was so impressed that I threw it in just because.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

GK Chesterton- Christmas Poem

I found this on Wittingshire

The Christ-child lay on Mary's lap,
His hair was like a light.
(O weary, weary were the world,
But here is all aright.)

The Christ-child lay on Mary's breast
His hair was like a star.
(O stern and cunning are the kings,
But here the true hearts are.)

The Christ-child lay on Mary's heart,
His hair was like a fire.
(O weary, weary is the world,
But here the world's desire.)

The Christ-child stood on Mary's knee,
His hair was like a crown,
And all the flowers looked up at Him,
And all the stars looked down.

--G.K. Chesterton


I am late on linking to the Carnival at Aussie Coffee Shop, but here it is.
There is a great posting in there about Frosty the Snowman as a Christian allegory.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Tony Blair is now Catholic

Hat tip to Bloom Where You're Planted

Tony Blair has finally joined the Catholic Church. It has been expected for a while, but now its a done deal.

Top 10 Post Meme

The Ironic Catholic tagged anyone who wanted to be tagged so I consider myself tagged. These are my personal 10 favorite posts on 50 Days After for the year 2007.

  1. Catholic Carnival: St Joseph the Worker
  2. Catholic Carnival 141
  3. Athanasius Contra Mundum
  4. 5 Reasons Meme
  5. Citizen Soldier by 3 Doors Down
  6. TAC asks Rome for Union
  7. Top 5 Reasons I am Catholic
  8. Ranger Rosary
  9. King of Poland
  10. And last but actually my favorite: A Soldier's Best Weapon

I tag anyone who wants to be tagged, but I invite everyone to share their top posts of the year.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Book Meme

I have been Memed and I am overdue for a response to Anita. And btw, I think I have met this blogger. From her profile I glanced that she is a lawyer and she lived in Moscow, ID about the same time I went to school there. And I remember an Anita, who was a lawyer from St Augustine's in Moscow.
Temporary deviation from topic at hand: I want to try guest blogging so let me know if you'd be interested in posting on 50 Days After.
Back to the Meme...

1. One book that changed your life...
I know its cliche, and yes I know it is an anthology, but the Bible has changed my life drastically. I actually started reading it when I was in high school, because I was looking for cool quotes to use. I tried to use the author and He used me instead.

2. One book that you have read more than once...
I honestly have never read any book more than once.

3. One book you would want on a desert island...
War and Peace, cause it might be a looong time before help comes.

4. One book that made you laugh...
Father Joe

5. One book that made you cry...
I am not going to admit that any book made me cry, but The Jungle came close.

6. One book that you wish had been written...
Why My Opinion is Never Wrong :)

7. One book you wish had never been written...
Das Manifest

8. One book you are currently reading...
Utopia by St Thomas More

9. One book you've been meaning to read...
The Red Badge of Courage. I started to read it but I had to return it to the library and I have always wanted to finish it.

I tag anyone who wants to be tagged. And as another side note I woud like to share that it is -41 F here this morning.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Christmas Song Riddle

I this on Steve Ray's Blog. I had heard a similiar joke before.
Can you figure oiut which Christmas song this is?

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Second Week of Advent

I am feeling deliquent. I am proud to be a St Blogger but yet its already the second week of Advent and I have remained silent.
I am listening to O Come O Come Emmanuel as I write this. I was thinking about the meaning of the words. "Rejoice, Rejoice, Emmanuel shall come to thee O Israel" Just as Israel was and still is His chosen people, we also are a chosen people and indeed we can think of ourselves as the new Israel. Of course, as Christ promised (Matthew 28:20, among other places) He has never left us. We need look no further than the nearest Tabernacle to know that Christ still dwells among us body, blood, soul and divinity.
Nonetheless, we look forward (especially at this time of year) to Christ's return in all His glory and majesty. Every time Mass is celebrated we repeat the same words used by the Ancient Jews of Jerusalem to greet Jesus. "Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord." Ever time I hear those words I picture our Lord riding His donkey down the aisle toward the altar to be present for the Holy Sacrifice of the Eucharist. That's just me, but I also wonder from time to time about Him riding back to us, the new Israel, but this time He returns in glory to establish peace and justice. As a Soldier, I long for peace more than most. And we know that someday, He will return to do just that. Although, somehow I think He'll forgo the donkey the second time.
The point though, is that as Christians we look not so much backward to the Birth of Christ some 2000 years ago. We look forward to that unknown day when He shall return in all His glory and majesty. That day when the lion shall lay down with the lamb and the child shall play with the asp.
Marana Tha!

I Just Thought I'd Share

As a dog that returneth to his vomit, so is the fool that repeateth his folly.
Proverbs 26:11

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Magnificat in Latin

Magníficat ánima mea Dóminum,et exsultávit spíritus meusin Deo salvatóre meo,quia respéxit humilitátemancíllæ suæ.
Ecce enim ex hoc beátamme dicent omnes generatiónes,quia fecit mihi magna,qui potens est,et sanctum nomen eius,et misericórdia eius in progénieset progénies timéntibus eum.Fecit poténtiam in bráchio suo,dispérsit supérbos mente cordis sui;depósuit poténtes de sedeet exaltávit húmiles.Esuriéntes implévit boniset dívites dimísit inánes.Suscépit Ísrael púerum suum,recordátus misericórdiæ,sicut locútus est ad patres nostros,Ábraham et sémini eius in sæcula.
Glória Patri et Fílioet Spirítui Sancto.Sicut erat in princípio,et nunc et semper,et in sæcula sæculórum.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Great Quote

This morning, I came across this gem from The Cave:
"Yeah, yeah... it's all fun and games 'till someone loses their immortal soul."
I chuckled when I read it. And just so everyone knows that I agree: ugh... heresy... bad. But seriously making movies that propagate heresy is dangerous not only to your own soul but to many, many others.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Adrienne's Meme

And now for an overdue meme response...
I have been tagged by Adrienne over at Adrienne's Catholic Corner for the latest and greatest Meme. I am supposed to say 8 random things about myself. Then I'll tag 8 bloggers. They in turn are supposed to say 8 random things about themselves and tag 8 other bloggers.

  1. I have a scar in one eyebrow that I got in the process of stealing a construction sign once upon a time.

  2. "Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam" is my favorite non-Biblical phrase.

  3. I have been blogging for about a year and a half.

  4. I am over six feet tall.

  5. I am about a month out from becoming a father for the first time.

  6. I am one of those crabby guys that always complains about Christmas specials that aren't about the birth of Christ.

  7. I earned the rank of Eagle Scout.

  8. I almost always sneeze twice.

I tag the following:

Kim at Transitus Tiber

Anita at V for Victory

Catholicgop at Faith and Country

The SciFi Catholic

Mark at Dominican Idaho

The Evantine Abbey

Suzanne at Big Blue Wave

Jeff at the Curt Jester

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Soviet Martyrs

Hat Tip to Per Christum
I found a web page that has a long list of Catholic men and women martyred by the Soviets in the Ukraine. These martyrs are all declared Blessed. Its impossible to tell how many more were martyred and not declared Blessed, how many others were martyred and we'll just never know, how many Orthodox and other Christians (and this only those in the Ukraine).
Two stories in particular really struck me:

Blessed Sr. Tarsykia Matskiv was born on 23 March 1919 in the village of
Khodoriv, Lviv District, baptized as Ol'ha. On 3 May 1938 she entered the Sister
Servants of Mary Immaculate. After professing her first vows on 5 November 1940,
she worked in her convent. Even prior to the Bolshevik arrival in Lviv, Sr.
Tarsykia made a private oath to her spiritual director, Fr. Volodymyr Kovalyk
O.S.B.M., that she would sacrifice her life for the conversion of Russia and for
the good of the Catholic Church. The Bolsheviks were determined to destroy the
monastery. On the morning of 17 July 1944 at 8 a.m., a Russian soldier rang the
convent door. When Sr. Taryskia answered the door she was shot without warning
and died.
All she did was answer the door.

Blessed Fr. Roman Lysko was born on 14 August 1914 in Horodok, Lviv Region. He
graduated from the Lviv Theological Academy. He and his wife worked very gladly
with the youth. On 28 August 1941 he was ordained to the priesthood by
Metropolitan Andrei Sheptyts'kyi. On 9 September 1949, he was arrested by the
NKVD (KGB) and put into a prison on Lontskoho St in Lviv. The people of Liviv
reported to one another that after being tortured, the young Fr. Roman sang
psalms at the top of his voice. It was then reported that they had immured him
alive in the prison walls. His death is officially dated on 14 October 1949.
I didn't get it at first so I had to look up the word "immured". I found this at
tr.v. im·mured, im·mur·ing, im·mures
1. To confine within or as if within walls; imprison.
2. To build into a wall: immure a shrine.
3. To entomb in a wall
They built the wall around the priest. They were so afraid of him that they entombed him in their prison, where they felt he couldn't do them any more harm. How horrible would be to have the wall built all around you? Of course I also wonder, on a lighter note, why do we have a word dedicated to that specific purpose?

As an aside I recommend a book called Tortured for Christ. Its written by a Lutheran pastor about his experiences of persecution and imprisonment in Communist Eastern Europe. You can get a free copy here actually.

Mission Statement

How many of you think that a mission statement is pointless?
It really should go without saying that the purpose of any parish is the salvation of souls. In the words of Pope Benedict XVI, "This, and nothing else, is the purpose of the Church: the salvation of individual souls." (I got that from the bottom of Dominican Idaho)