Saturday, April 17, 2004

The new Hamas president was killed in Gaza today. Of course, it was only a few weeks ago that this man said that "God has declared war on the United States."

On the Islamic side of this war, it seems, there is little doubt that this is a holy war between faiths, or perhaps they don't really see the Jews or the USA as having any faith at all. But on our side, it really isn't a holy war, is it. If it were, wouldn't we just nuke them? There, we've called the hand of God down from Heaven to remove your cities from existance. No, it isn't a holy war on our side -- no matter what the Democrats think of Bush quoting the Almighty.

Forgetting all of the above, in a way I'm sure no one outside of the USA is capable of doing, the day here was beyond glorious. Sunny, warm, breezy. Yard work, taking my 5 year old to swim class, more yard work, the mower started on the first pull after a long winter's rest, helping my 18 year old with his '87 Nova, and then a pleasant Mass where a marriage was blessed. I could feel the day's work in my back as I knelt during Mass. It was a good feeling.

Friday, April 16, 2004

I'm still working my way through "The Essential Catholic Catechism." I've been reading it all year and only have a few chapters left. The chapter I'm currently on covers the 10 Commandments. I had no idea how much the Catechism expands the Commandments. Since my book just touches on the highlights, and since I'm having trouble understanding when it's right to stand up for yourself and others (like the War on Terror), I think I will have to read the sections straight out the Catechsim (the Catechism link is a nice, searchable, online version).

Does anyone watch Joan of Arcadia? I enjoy the show, but I'm sometimes unavailable to watch it or else forget it's on since Fridays are busy times. But I caught one the other night where God told Joan to prevent her friend's artwork from being in an art sale show. After many tries at different things, Joan ended up smashing it to pieces. In the end, she realized that there were other avenues besides the violent one and she said she had suffered a failure of imagination.

This is what, to me, most people are accusing of President Bush; that he didn't investigate all paths or have the patience to wait out Saddam. I heard someone say the other day, on TV

"What would John Kerry and others, who today
are blaming the President for not having patience in Iraq, say
if he had waited and pursued more peaceful means and then
we had a biological attack in the USA that was proved to have
originated in Iraq."

Well, of course, they would blast President Bush because all the signs, all Intelligence in the world, said there were biological weapons in Iraq. If he had waited, applying more and more pressure against Saddam, and then some terrorist group had gotten some weapon out of Iraq to attack us -- Kerry and everyone else would today be calling President Bush a weak failure, too afraid to use our power to protect us.

This is the price we pay for preemption: you are bashed if you do and you are bashed if you don't.

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Didache Online 

I read the Didache last night. It's a pretty nice summary of New Testament thought. I bought the book, which came with some non-canon epistles, but you can read the Didache online, too. The Internet: a wonderful thing.

Let your alms sweat in your hands, until you will
have learned to whom to give.
- Didache 1:23

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Nintendo Epistle 

Nintendo Epistle

How do you mark your days? Here you learn mathematics, here you read of things that happened in the limited lives of men (but never the limitless record of God), here you read of things that never happened and never will, here you watch people pretend of life until your inner thoughts are stilled and here you interact with emptiness, contest against a mirror, revel in victories that disappear within the levels of the game.

You are divorced from the rhythms of Earth. The seasons, the natural laws of life and death God used throughout all history to show Mankind the way of Life, mean nothing but, "Here is rain to avoid, here cold to hurry through, here sun to see by, here night to sleep." You are divorced from the faces and interests of other people, their worries, their pains, their joys mean little, mean nothing to you. The golden rule means nothing to you for you do not seek and do not care to be found. You are not evil and neither are you good. You do not lie and neither do you speak. You do not steal for you want nothing. You strive to be unaware.

This happened: God made us aware and free to choose. We chose emptiness. God promised the empty they could become full once more. He became like us to show us how to be full again. Some killed Him, and kill Him still, preferring emptiness. Some followed Him and follow Him still. He will come again, in the end, and will tell us each how empty we are, how full we became. The end will be the mark of your days you never marked yourself. The end will marry you to the consequences of each choice you have made and have not made, each person you have touched and each you have failed to touch, each thought you have had and each thought you have avoided. In the end, once more, you will be made aware.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

I really must apologize for lumping all Methodists into one big ball and representing them as unserious in their faith. I have friends and family who give me evidence enough that there are strong Methodists, full of faith, out and about in the world.

Also, some take exception that I said Methodism came out of the Catholic Church. They say it came out of the Church of England... but to me it seems clear, whether the Methodist Church is a child of the Catholic Church or a grandchild, she doesn't honor, or learn from, her roots.

I was quite disappointed in the President's presentation tonight. It reads much better than it was delivered. I wonder why he didn't just address the nation instead of taking questions... he could have used a teleprompter and come off better. I'm not surprised he wants to take Cheney in with him before the 9/11 panel. I would want someone in with me as well, Cheney can talk while the President considers his words and gets them in order. I wish he would have been harder on the press tonight, especially when the questions were seeking his apology and for him to list his mistakes. I would have said, "My opponent would just love that question. I'm sure the Democrat nominee would like nothing more than for me to take the blame for 9/11 and serve up a list of all I've done wrong. Well let me just say, I've considered with a heavy heart each decision I've made and I took each decision before people I respect and before God in prayer and I stand by my deeds."

Ah well, silk purse, sow's ear and all that.

What is There Left to Say

What is there left to say
beyond the stars at night,
beyond the break of day?
God's truth is in our sight:
how far beyond their needs,
the color of the light
off blooming, common weeds.
God's truth is in our ear:
when sparrows state their needs,
it's beauty that we hear.
We sense when God's at play
and when His work is near.
What is there left to say
beyond the break of day.

Monday, April 12, 2004

I saw in Donald Sensing's "One Hand Clapping" that a soldier, Don Steven McMahan, who was in the plane on his way home from Iraq, was recalled before the plane could take off. He was then subsequently killed in action, leaving behind his family.

Do you remember when the 3000 people in the Trade Center were killed (of course you do) how America donated billions of dollars and celebrities put on concerts to raise even more money. All of those innocents and those fire fighters and those policepeople who were killed in 9/11 left behind families who are now, however you want to cut it, without money worries.

And then there's the people, the soldiers, the civilian workers, Andy Rooney says are not heroes. Someone, somewhere, sometime soon.... please set up a fund for those who are dying in Iraq. I will give more than I gave for the 9/11 victims because these people ARE heroes.

Beyond Rebellion 

I come to the Catholic Church ready to accept the Catechism. I am beyond any rebellious stage in my life and have seen, first hand, the way the Methodist Church bends to breaking under the modern wind while Catholicism seems only to sway. I come ready to pray to the Catholic Saints for intercession, I come ready to learn from their lives because Methodism has no such backdrop to learn from or to use as examples in how to live. Methodism came from Catholicism and the Methodist Church has thrown away 1500 years of living history. I come ready to stand up, politically and personally, for the teachings of the Church. What is my alternative? Why should I stand up? Because the Methodist Church takes no stand from the pulpit and the Global Ministries takes stands which seem against the only directives they ever had. The Methodist Church supports abortion, they like what Castro has done for Cuba and they don’t care about divorce. Once staunch opponents of gambling and drinking, Methodist leaders don’t care about those things, today, either. Even those things Methodists say they are against, like Pastors being homosexual, they don't care enough about to stand up and claim, they hold a trial and don't convict the guilty because they no longer seem to accept what guilt is. So what is my choice? I either become Catholic and stand up for what I believe is right, or I remain Methodist, silently supporting what I believe to be wrong? What choice is that? If I don’t understand some rules in my new Catholic Faith, like the celibacy of Priests, I come ready to accept the rule and not rebel against it, for what is the alternative but no rules at all. I come to Catholicism because the Discipline and tenants of Methodism change at the will and the whim of the people, why would I run away from that problem and yet seek it in my new home? I come knowing there is conflict in the Catholic Church, I come knowing there is scandal in the Catholic Church. In short, I come because the Catholic Church still cares enough about their religion to have conflict and scandal... for in an institution run by humans, the only alternative to conflict and scandal is to not care. I come to care.

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