Monday, July 26, 2010

"I don't know what tomorrow holds, but I know Who holds tomorrow"

May God bless all who read my ramblings,

Friday, July 23, 2010

7 Quick Takes Deuce

I have discovered that I cannot just pull out a Capri Sun, stick a straw in it and hand it to my daughter. She won't touch it. First I apparently have to ask her if she wants one. Then I have to ask if she wants me to open it. Then she will drink it. Any deviation means she just sets it to the side and refuses to acknowledge it.
I have been going to a new barbershop these last few weeks. The last barber did a GREAT job and new what haircut I wanted so I didn't to say anything anymore, I just sat down. I stopped going because it turns out he's a former grand wizard for the local Klan group. He left the Klan but still holds a lot of the racist views. I figured the Stars and Bars on the wall was just a southern pride thing, but after finding out his political/racial views I couldn't go there in good conscience anymore.
The new barbershop is decorated mostly with pennants. There are a few other random decorations, but the vast majority of the decorations are random pennants (mostly collegiate). I asked about them Monday and I was told that various people have brought in pennants over the last 15 years and he told me that if I brought in a pennant he find someplace to put it on the wall. So now I have to stop being lazy and get around to ordering a University of Idaho pennant so my alma mater can have its spot on the wall too.
Please pray for Father Nguyen Van Ly. He is a Catholic priest in Vietnam arrested and sentenced to 8 years (about 5 years left) for resisting Communist influence on the Catholic Church in Vietnam. You can put together a letter in Vietnamese to send to him here. I am sure that he could use encouragement and sometimes when enough people write letters the government releases political prisoners.
Was anyone else taught that you should write an extra s after possessive words ending with s except in the case of Moses or Jesus? For example Chris' instead of Chris's.
Mental Floss has a Saint Quiz: Catholic Saint or New Orleans Saint? I got to admit that I only recognized one name and failed. H/T to Ironic Catholic
There are two kinds of people out there: 1. Those who hear their alarm the first time and get out of bed 2. Those of us who hear the alarm, hit the snooze and sleep til it goes off again.

May God bless all who read my ramblings,

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I was looking for great quotes on fatherhood and found this gem from the Pope. This is from Pope Benedict XVI's address in Yaounde 18 March 2009 (emphasis mine):
"Speaking to the crowd and to his disciples, Jesus declared: “You have only one Father” (Mt 23:9). There is but one fatherhood, that of God the Father, the one Creator of the world, “of all that is seen and unseen”. Yet man, created in the image of God, has been granted a share in this one paternity of God (cf. Eph 3:15). Saint Joseph is a striking case of this, since he is a father, without fatherhood according to the flesh. He is not the biological father of Jesus, whose Father is God alone, and yet he lives his fatherhood fully and completely. To be a father means above all to be at the service of life and growth. Saint Joseph, in this sense, gave proof of great devotion. For the sake of Christ he experienced persecution, exile and the poverty which this entails. He had to settle far from his native town. His only reward was to be with Christ. His readiness to do all these things illustrates the words of Saint Paul: “It is Christ the Lord whom you serve” (Col 3:24)." --Pope Benedict XVI

May God bless all who read my ramblings,

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Christians formerly hidden by Buddhist monks

I saw an article on UCAnews about Christians hiding inside a Buddhist temple in Japan. I found it really interesting, since you almost never hear about persecution outside of Europe or Communist countries. The Church has a different history everywhere you go.

Japanese Buddhist monks hid persecuted Christians in a secret room in their monastery. They then chanted sutras outside to drown out any incriminating noise, Catholics learnt during a Church program.

Sixty people, led by Father Makoto Onchi of Hagi Catholic Church in Yamaguchi Prefecture, visited the Houonji Buddhist monastery on July 4. The program was part of the church’s annual visit to sites associated with Christian persecution which occurred at various times from the early 1600s.

The monastery had discovered a secret room attached to its main hall, with a tunnel leading out to the fields behind the temple, chief Buddhist monk Venerable Toshiaki Namba told Father Onchi during an interreligious gathering.


May God bless all who read my ramblings,

Monday, July 19, 2010

Raising children to stay in the faith

I was reading a post over at Conversion Diary about how to raise children in the Christian faith and raise so that they will stay faithful Christians. The author grew up as an atheist and later converted to Catholicism and so has no background on how to raise a Christian family. She has been asking different Moms how they go about it and different people how their parents went about it. She goes on that of course Christian life is not about formula, but about a relationship with God. She noted 3 common elements in families where the children remained in the faith:

  1. The parents prayed for their children to have faith

  2. The children saw the parents rely on God in real, concrete ways (e.g. if the father didn't get a big promotion at work he'd pray about what God wanted him to do next, express trust that God would bring good out of the situation, etc.)

  3. The parents and children prayed together at least occasionally
The only thing I would add is that it is very important to make sure your children are receiving the sacraments. At the least baptism because prayer and a prayerful example are one thing, but you need your children to also enter into the covenant with God. A relationship with God is paramount and nothing says relationship like a binding covenant. Moreover, insisting upon your children receiving the sacraments (as long as you also receive them) sets an example and one should never underestimate the power of grace received in them, most especially the Eucharist.

May God bless all those who read my ramblings,

Friday, July 16, 2010

500th POST!!

So this is my 500th post on this blog. It took me a little over 5 years but I don't post as often as a lot of others and I had gaps in posting while I was deployed. What do I want to talk about in my 500th post... I don't know I am making this up as I go.
OK, here's something: 2 days ago Pope Benedict XVI established a Syro-Malankar exarchate in the US. I wonder how many people before reading this had heard of the Syro-Malankar rite. I found this article on Zenit. The commentary in green is obviously mine.

New Apostolic Exarchate for Syro-Malankara Church

1st Bishop Will Also Be Visitor to Community in Canada, Europe

NEW YORK, JULY 14, 2010 ( Benedict XVI erected an apostolic exarchate (I wonder what is the difference between eparchy and exarchate?) for the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church in the United States, and appointed Father Thomas Naickamparampil (appropriate for a priest to St Thomas Christians) of the Major Archieparchy of Trivandrum as its first bishop.

The bishop-elect, 49, was also appointed apostolic visitor for the Syro-Malank

ara Catholics in Canada and Europe.

Thomas Naickamparampil was born on June 6, 1961 at Mylapra in Pathanamthitta District of the Eparchy of Pathanamthitta.

After completing high school, he joined St. Aloysious Minor Seminary, Pattom, Trivandrum, and then later completed his priestly formation at the Papal Seminary in Pune. He was ordained on Dec. 29, 1986.

He has a doctorate degree in philosophy from the Pontifical University Gregorian in Rome.

The Syro-Malankara Catholic Church traces its roots back to St. Thomas the Apostle (That's right "Doubting Thomas" evangelized India long before the Age of Discovery brought European powers there. I am personally a big fan of his and I think he got a bum rap. He's no worse for his disbelief than Peter for his denials). The Church split from the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church in 1930, and then entered into communion with Rome. In 2005, the Eastern Church was elevat

ed to a major archiepiscopal Church. It is currently led by Major Archbishop Baselios Cleemis, and currently has eight eparchies and some 500,000 faithful.

The community of Syro-Malankara Catholic Church began to organize in 1984 in New York. Today there are an estimated 10,000 members, 16 parishes and 15 mission stations (The nearest one of these to me is Miami. I am

curious to see their liturgy, but there is a Syro-Malabar parish in Atlanta that I could go to. I would think the liturgy is similiar since they are both St Thomas Christians) of the Church in the United States and Canada. It also counts with 30 priests, and 34 religious.

The new exarchate will have its headquarters in New York City, and the main parish will be the Malankara Catholic Church in Long Island.

Malankara Major Archbishop Isaac Mar Cleemis(above)

On another note remotely related note, the Syro-Malankar and Syro-Malabar rites are based out of Kerala State in India which is home to Vailankanni, which is a major site of pilgrimage because of the shrine to Mary that is there. I first heard about it right after the tsunami and I have wanted to visit there ever since. Maybe some day I will finally get to go.

May God bless everyone who reads my ramblings,

Thursday, July 15, 2010

7 Quick Takes

It wasn't a good idea to check on my daughter before PT on Thursday. Next thing I knew she was awake demanding food, drink and TV, but I had to leave so that meant waking up Hephzibah. This might not sound like a big deal but I had to leave just before 6 AM.
I have been reading The Count of Monte Cristo with my wife, we take turns picking books to read together, and even though its an abridged version it feels like the book that never ends. Don't get me wrong; I am enjoying the book, but I never seem to have the time to make a dent in it. I am definitely enjoying it more than The Gospel According to Biff. Each page of that was more painful/blasphemous than the page before it.
If you want to sound smart (or perhaps annoying) you always start saying welkin instead of sky. They mean the same thing, but no one obviously says welkin anymore.
I just got done writing a nine page paper. Its amazing how being told that you have to do something makes it not fun anymore. I would have studied the Battle of Cowpens for fun, but being told to do it and write a paper killed the fun factor.
I posted a trivia question about a month ago: What is the only country in the world without a Latin Rite Catholic diocese? The answer is Eritrea. There are eparchies, but no dioceses. Don't ask me how I know these things.
I posted another Saint Quiz about a month ago. No one has yet answered it. The saint portrayed was St Maron. He is the namesake for the Maronite rite.
I bought the book "Pope-Pourri". I like a lot of the trivia and history in it, but the author seems to spend an inordinate amount of space on Papal scandal, statistics on how many priests are in favor of married clergy and statistics on how many nuns are in favor of women priesthood. I wish that I hadn't bought it.

God bless all who read my ramblings,


So I learned a new word: nudiustertian. It means having to do with the day before yesterday.
I am not sure in which context this could ever be used, but I am actively seeking it.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

People seem to sanctify me a lot

Don't say: 'That person gets on my nerves.' Think: 'That person sanctifies me.'
-- St. Josemaria Escriva: The Way

Monday, July 05, 2010

I just remembered this quote today. Its a day late, but still one of my favorite quotes.

He who... does not thank God that he is an American, should in simple consistency betake his foreign soul to foreign shores, and crouch in misery and abjection beneath tyranny's scepter. --Archbishop John Ireland

This would have also been an awesome 4th of July quote, but it was a great posting by Suzanne.
h/t to Big Blue Wave

Freedom is not only a gift, but also a summons to personal responsibility. Americans know this from experience – almost every town in this country has its monuments honoring those who sacrificed their lives in defense of freedom, both at home and abroad. The preservation of freedom calls for the cultivation of virtue, self-discipline, sacrifice for the common good and a sense of responsibility towards the less fortunate. It also demands the courage to engage in civic life and to bring one's deepest beliefs and values to reasoned public debate. In a word, freedom is ever new. It is a challenge held out to each generation, and it must constantly be won over for the cause of good (cf. Spe Salvi, 24). Few have understood this as clearly as the late Pope John Paul II. In reflecting on the spiritual victory of freedom over totalitarianism in his native Poland and in eastern Europe, he reminded us that history shows, time and again, that “in a world without truth, freedom loses its foundation”, and a democracy without values can lose its very soul (cf. Centesimus Annus, 46). Those prophetic words in some sense echo the conviction of President Washington, expressed in his Farewell Address, that religion and morality represent “indispensable supports” of political prosperity.

++ Pope Benedict XVI, speech at the White House in April 2008.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Syrian Catholic posted an amazing video on Ecce Agnus Dei. Check it out.

I was reading Rachel's post about how the Devil used fear in Thomas Merton's life and I remember another great passage from Seven Storey Mountain appropriate for the 4th of July.

The eloquence of this liturgy was even more tremendous: and what it said was one, simple, cogent, tremendous truth: this church, the court of the Queen of Heaven, is the real capital of the country in which we are living. This is the center of all the vitality that is in America. This is the cause and reason why the nation is holding together. These men, hidden in the anonymity of their choir and their white cowls, are doing for their land what no army, no congress, no president could ever do as such: they are winning for it the grace and the protection and the friendship of God.