This pretty much sums up a vocal segment of our culture:
h/t to The Sacred Page
Sorry that there was no reflection last week.
Today is the last Friday in September and the last day before we begin to reflect on the second station. Think back to last Sunday’s readings, especially the reading from Ezekiel. I’ve been hung up on that reading all week, thinking about how God answers our accusations that his ways are not fair. We have all accused God of this in one way or another. It usually has to do with some cross or struggle that we each bear: a vocation, a family member, an addiction, a roommate, finances, whatever. Our cry is that God is unfair to us, that his way basically sucks and is wrong. But look at his way. Look at the Way of the Cross, the way we are all called to. At the moment of our Baptism we are called to bear a cross. In a way our Baptism condemns us to death. Call it what you want, it is God’s way, and it is to this way that we must submit. We must do as he asks, and he asks us to follow Jesus to the end. We are promised that at the end of this road, and the end of this way, we will be richly rewarded. Yes, there will be suffering on the way, but if we do what is right we will end up all right. That is all that God demands of us.
So let’s put on our big-boy and big-girl pants and quit complaining about the “unfair” crosses that Jesus asks us to bear. Be ready to receive whatever cross God is asking you to bear. It is time to follow Jesus. The time has come to accept the fact that we will suffer. The time has come to bear that suffering in union with Christ, who’s way is perfectly fair.
Shared by one of my intellectual friends on facebook:
A picture began circulating in November. It should be “The Picture of the Year,” or perhaps, “Picture of the Decade.” It won’t be. In fact, unless you obtained a copy of the U.S. paper which published it, you probably would never have seen it.
The picture is that of a 21-week-old unborn baby named Samuel Alexander Armas, who is being operated on by surgeon named Joseph Bruner. The baby was diagnosed with spina bifida and would not survive if removed from his mother’s womb. Little Samuel’s mother, Julie Armas, is an obstetrics nurse in Atlanta. She knew of Dr. Bruner’s remarkable surgical procedure. Practicing at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, he performs these special operations while the baby is still in the womb.
During the procedure, the doctor removes the uterus via C-section and makes a small incision to operate on the baby. As Dr. Bruner completed the surgery on Samuel, the little guy reached his tiny, but fully developed hand through the incision and firmly grasped the surgeon’s finger. Dr. Bruner was reported as saying that when his finger was grasped, it was the most emotional moment of his life, and that for an instant during the procedure he was just frozen, totally immobile.
The photograph captures this amazing event with perfect clarity. The editors titled the picture, “Hand of Hope.” The text explaining the picture begins, “The tiny hand of 21-week-old fetus Samuel Alexander Armas emerges from the mother’s uterus to grasp the finger of Dr. Joseph Bruner as if thanking the doctor for the gift of life.”
Little Samuel’s mother said they “wept for days” when they saw the picture. She said, “The photo reminds us pregnancy isn’t about disability or an illness, it’s about a little person” Samuel was born in perfect health, the operation 100 percent successful. Now see the actual picture, and it is awesome…incredible….and hey, pass it on! The world needs to see this one
I just don’t get Protestants that mention Catholic Saints when they talk about great Christians. I mean, yeah, Catholic Saints are the best Christians you can find, but they aren’t exactly people that Protestants actually agree with. For instance, take St. Francis of Assisi. So many Protestants will quote St. Francis or talk about his zeal. But do they really know that St. Francis was a radical reformer of the Church, much like Luther? The difference is, Francis’ pride didn’t get in the way and he stayed submissive to Holy Mother Church. Do they realize that he started a new religious order that reported directly to the Whore of Babylon, the Pope? Do they even understand that he is credited with bringing Eucharistic Adoration to Italy and making it widespread? Do they get that he was an ardent defender of the Catholic faith and did his best to root out heretics? I don’t think that they even grasp that if he were alive on earth today that he would consider them heretics, and that they would be trying to convert him to real Christianity.
Or today, I saw an article by Mark Driscoll on facebook (I generally try to avoid him though) about alcohol. I tend to agree with his views on alcohol, however, I was surprised that he listed St. Gall on his list of Christians using alcohol. St. Gall was a Catholic Missionary to the Celts. After his death, his relics were revered and a monastery built in his honor, a monastery that played a large role in Catholic intellectual life. Why? Why list him? He was a heretic by the reckoning of Protestants. I have to laugh because two or three names after St. Gall, is Martin Luther with a disparaging remark about the Papacy.
Maybe they are trying to rewrite history, or maybe they just want to feel like they are a part of the rich history of Christianity, but it doesn’t change the fact that these Christian men and women that they list, quote, and honor were Catholics who would view them as heretics.
What kind of name is Boulevard Avenue?
That’s like having Avenue Street or Broadway Avenue (oh wait, Bismarck has that too) or Street Street or Avenue Way, you get the picture.
What kind of town is this?
On a different note, today I realized that I love my job. Not sure what sparked that.
Oh, and as co-adviser of student government, I get to go to Washington, DC, during spring break for a student government conference…all expenses paid. Woooooooooooot!
Good King Wenceslas looked out
On the feast of Stephen
When the snow lay round about
Deep and crisp and even
Brightly shone the moon that night
Though the frost was cruel
When a poor man came in sight
Gath’ring winter fuel
“Hither, page, and stand by me
If thou know’st it, telling
Yonder peasant, who is he?
Where and what his dwelling?”
“Sire, he lives a good league hence
Underneath the mountain
Right against the forest fence
By Saint Agnes’ fountain.”
“Bring me flesh and bring me wine
Bring me pine logs hither
Thou and I will see him dine
When we bear them thither.”
Page and monarch forth they went
Forth they went together
Through the rude wind’s wild lament
And the bitter weather
“Sire, the night is darker now
And the wind blows stronger
Fails my heart, I know not how,
I can go no longer.”
“Mark my footsteps, my good page
Tread thou in them boldly
Thou shalt find the winter’s rage
Freeze thy blood less coldly.”
In his master’s steps he trod
Where the snow lay dinted
Heat was in the very sod
Which the Saint had printed
Therefore, Christian men, be sure
Wealth or rank possessing
Ye who now will bless the poor
Shall yourselves find blessing
So last night I’m standing in my really nice kitchen in my really nice apartment in Bismarck and my window is open. As I’m standing there I smell the odor of a campfire or a bonfire drifting into my kitchen. It really smelt good and it reminded me of all of the bonfires I have had in Fargo with all of my friends.
Then this morning I open my dishwasher, and the smell of campfire wafts out at me again. I unload the dishes and see a wooden spoony thing lying in the bottom of the washer…on top of the heating element. I had put it on the top rack, but the water must have knocked it down through the rack. As I picked it up, the bottom has a nice black scorch mark on it. Now I know where the actual source of the campfire smell came from. I also know now to never ever put a wooden spoon in the dishwasher. I wonder, did the spoon actually catch fire? I could have burnt my whole building down. Yikes.
Love says I sacrifice myself for the good of the other person. Abortion says I sacrifice the other person for the good of myself.
Hear, O daughter, consider, and incline your ear; forget yoru people and your father’s house; and the king will desire your beauty. Sine he is your lord, bow to him; the people of Tyre will court your favor with gifts, the richest of the people with all kinds of wealth.
The daughter of the king is decked in her chamber with gold-woven robes; in many-colored robes she is led to the king, with her virgin companions, her escort, in her train. With joy and gladness they are led along as they enter the palace of the king.
Instead of your fathers shall be your sons; you will make them princes in all the earth. I will cause your name to be celebrated in all generations; therefore the peoples will praise you for ever and ever.