Friday, May 18, 2018

Oblige Them to be Fair

This week I received a survey from a Catholic organization asking what I thought about how the Catholic Church and Faith are treated by certain institutions in contemporary society. The questions were in the vein of whether the Church was being given a fair shake - e.g. is the news media fair, is the arts community fair, is the government fair, is the business community fair, are colleges and universities fair.

Those questions are fine as a conversation starter, but the survey doesn't go past them; as a result, it risks being nothing so much as a means for harvesting a list of grievances. Nobody but the aggrieved care about that.

I replied to the survey, and added the following response:

Our society has never been Catholic, and it has always been opposed to the Catholic faith. In the days when the Church was better respected, it was because Catholics were unabashedly Catholic. Today’s Catholics, however, have turned their back on their own faith and culture; small wonder that society at large shows no respect for the Catholic Church: her own children act embarrassed about her. Let Catholics shake off their lethargy, vigorously embrace their faith and religious heritage, and so oblige the Church’s opponents and critics to respect the spotless Bride of Christ.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Himself and the Tin Man

About 16 years back I arrived at work one morning to discover a suit of armor at my desk. The Tin Man belonged to my boss, who wanted to recognize me for my heroic and gallant efforts on behalf of the team and the company during a demanding and difficult project. Though just a temporary loan, the knight-in-miniature was a welcome token of appreciation.

Himself and the Tin Man

The Tin Man and I enjoyed several days of diversion together, and he was a popular conversation piece with colleagues. I did put him to work here and there, but for the most part he was just eye candy.

Tin Man at work: not just a pretty face

A couple of months later my celebrity status came crashing to a halt when I declined to work on an objectionable project. We were handling publications for a state agency that sponsored what was euphemistically dubbed women's reproductive health initiatives, but was really a means to promote birth control and abortion. The assignment hit my inbox, and I immediately replied to my boss that I would not work on it; I wouldn't even facilitate the work by passing it down the line to a colleague. Ah, I was the unwelcome black sheep after that; my time with the company ended in less than a year.

Did I save the lives of any unborn children through my non-participation in a shabby assignment? I can't say, but I doubt it. More importantly, I did not lose my soul over the matter.

Where is the Tin Man today?

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Catholicism and AA

This writer knows a man that proposed to a woman who was a recovering alcoholic. She was perfectly serious about her Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, attending five or more of such gatherings each week.

She accepted the marriage proposal on the condition that “God and AA come first.”

The chap readily conceded that he had no desire to usurp the place of the Almighty in her life; neither did he desire to disrupt her program of recovery.

And so the two were married.

For several years they lived as a happy couple.

The wife then surprised her husband with a change of religion: she gave up her nominal Protestant ways to become a Latin-Mass Catholic.

The husband was none too thrilled.

He was a good sport, however, and sought to educate himself about his wife’s new religion. He read her catechism and met her priest and attended her Mass. Initially he was unsympathetic to the whole affair, but in time he came to modify his view. Not quite a year after his wife crossed the Tiber, he himself took the plunge.

For another year they lived as a happy couple.

The wife then surprised her husband with a change of religion: she gave up her Catholic faith to “worship God in AA.”

“Being Catholic isn’t a hobby,” the man observed.

“It is for me,” she replied.

The wife added that she was "brainwashed" and "guilted" into joining a "cult."

She told her husband that he had become a "fanatic" in Roman ways.

She began reading New Age literature and leaving it about the house.

She insinuated the faithful husband was indiscreet with other women.

She informed her husband that she had been made into a lesbian by her gay girlfriend. Then she took that back and said it had just been a bit of humor.

She pleaded that she was just "a selfish alcoholic - a taker of things and a user of people.”

She was coached and encouraged in all of this by AA girlfriends.

Then the wife divorced the husband for being too difficult to live with.

And because he was Catholic.

Matthew 19:29: “Every man that has forsaken home, or brothers, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands for my name’s sake, shall receive his reward a hundredfold, and obtain everlasting life.”

May God grant that the husband stays faithful to his Catholic faith and to his wedding vow. May the Almighty also grant that the wife have that moment of clarity where she sees herself the way she really is and does what she can to repair the “wreckage of the past.”

Read more about Catholicism and AA

See a map of Irish pubs in Atlanta

Friday, February 2, 2018

Alleluia for Candlemas

Alleluia, alleluia. Senex Puerum portabet: Puer autem senem regebat. Alleluia.

Alleluia, alleluia. An old man was carrying a Child; but the Child was the old man's Lord. Alleluia.

Luke 2:22-32

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Nine Choirs of Angels

“It is from the lowest of the nine choirs, the nearest to ourselves that the Guardian Angels are for the most part selected. God reserves to the Seraphim, Cherubim and Thrones the honor of following His own immediate court. The Dominations from the steps of His throne preside over the government of the universe; the Virtues watch over the course of nature’s laws, the preservation of species and the movements of the heavens; the Powers hold the spirits of wickedness in subjection. The human race in its entirety, as also its great social bodies, the nations and the churches, are confided to the Principalities; while the Archangels, who preside over smaller communities, seem also to have the office of transmitting to the Angels the commands of God, together with the love and light which come down even to us from the first and highest hierarchy. Thus then, the admirable distribution of offices among the choirs of heavenly spirits terminates in the function committed to the lowest rank, the guardianship of man, for whom the universe subsists.”
– Fr. Louis Alessio

Monday, December 25, 2017

Christmas on December 25

Taylor Marshall gets into how we know that December 25 is the nativity of Christ at

Merry Christmas, Feliz Navidad, Fröhliche Weihnachten, Joyeux Noël, Vrolijk Kerstfeest, Hyvää Joulua, Wesołych Świąt, Cчастливого Рождества...

Christmas in Mosul

This is the Arabic letter Nun (pronounced noon). It became known in the west as the Christians were being driven out of or killed in Mosul in northern Iraq over the past several years: the ISIS aggressors would put this sign on the homes and businesses of Christians to indicate that if they remained, they would be killed.

Nun is the first letter in the name “Nazarene,” which is what some Muslims in that region call Christians. It is a pejorative term, a word of contempt. Think of it as the Arabic equivalent of the N-word.

After three years of persecution, on Christmas day 2017 the Iraqi Christians publicly celebrated Christmas in a Mosul church for the first time since ISIS was driven out.


With prayers for Mosul.