Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Just a few moments ago I was updating the events on our Facebook page, and was google-ing an image for our upcoming chastity night.  Apparently searching "Chastity" will not find you a good looking young couple, holding hands and smiling for the camera...something like the front of a Christopher West, or TOB for Teens book.

I was shocked. 

And not necessarily because of explicit content (something a little sketchy will pop up with nearly every image search).  Instead, I was shocked at the mockery. 

Chastity is mocked in society. 

People laugh in the face of chastity, purity and the thought of abstinence.  We apparently live in a time where use reigns supreme. 

Maybe this is causing me to get on my soapbox once again, but whatever. 

Jesus Christ is counter-cultural.  He is a Man. 

Boys simply do what the other boys push back, no thinking for himself.  A boy takes the easy route and does what everyone else says is cool.

But a man stares evil, falsehood, selfishness, in the face and counters it with his every action.  Everything Christ did on the face of the earth, and continues to do, highlights his Manhood.  It is absolutely ridiculous that image searching "chastity" pulls up nothing but mockery. 

So, what are you going to do in the face of this culture?  Go with it? 

Or revolt?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Amish Chicken

Last night I ate Amish chicken for dinner.  Looked and tasted like a normal chicken, but it was Amish.

My wife informed me that she was once told by a vegan in high school that Amish chickens were killed gently.  This made them taste better and justified why the vegan could eat the soft, white meat. 

Let's assume the rumor is true, and not a means by which the vegan could go ahead and morally eat meat - because I was informed upon further questioning that she did not eat animal products because of the cruelties animals face.  What would a gentle slaying look like?  I will provide three thoughts and you can add more below if you wish.

1.) Earlier this week, my daughter learned how to put stickers on her face.  One by one, she would peel and place until she had 8-10 stickers on her face.  Then, she began to stack the stickers, one on top of the other, on her chubby cheek.  It was very cute and provides us with a killer strategy.  What if the Amish place a sticker on the head of the chicken each day, stacking sticker on top of sticker until the poor chicken cannot bear to lift its head any longer.  Slowly it lies down and never rises.

2.) Again, earlier this week I indulged in The Princess Bride.  This movie is a must see.  It's not that long, but is so captivating that it feels like you've been watching it forever.  (Guys, if you like action, check out the RUS scene in the Fire Swamp.)  Wesley, the young farm boy who, due to true love, seeks to save Buttercup from her kidnappers, takes out a giant (Andre the Giant for you professional wrestling followers) in a gentle manner.  Here is the clip dubbed over in Italian!
You will notice here that Wesley is able to take down the giant with a clever sleeper hold and very little struggle.  I would imagine the same could work in killing a chicken gently.  One must jump on the back of the chicken and carry on conversation with it, while employing the choke hold.  Seems simple enough.

3.) The classic poison dart.  Relatively painless and kills on contact.  Here, the Amish would simply need to buggy down to South America, pick up a tribesman (which would require a trade of sorts...maybe one of those Amish electrical heaters for a shrunken head and the gentle killing service), buggy back to Amish Country and let the blow dart man go to work.

These all seem perfectly plausible and about as gentle as my daughter hugging her teddy bear.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Be Mine

Maybe the single greatest Valentine I ever received had Shaq on it.  I was in second grade. 

There is nothing like receiving a Valentine from your favorite gentle giant. 

Unfortunately, these are no longer in print, and yet Valentine's Day somehow manages to press on.  As you eat your red and pink candies today, you can check out this short video on St. Valentine himself:

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Fr. Paul Keller on Catholic Answers

Recently, Fr. Paul Keller, OP conducted an interview on Catholic Answers radio.  You can listen to the entire show here.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Introducing Mr. Brown

Courtney Brown will be our guest speaker at Sunday's Youth Night.  Check out this video he made:

Courtney works for Ruah organization that promotes Theology of the Body.  Click this link for information about their upcoming retreat:

Monday, February 7, 2011

When is an experience an Experience?

Those of you who stopped by to watch The Human Experience on Friday evening may recall the discussion question I left you to ponder:  What does it mean to experience something?

As you could imagine from the movie title, the word "experience" comes up over-and-over again.  The temptation, especially in watching the stars of the film experience a bunch of new stuff, would be to look at experience quantitatively. 

The more stuff I do and places I go, the more experience(s) I have. 

And even though the guys in the movie do experience many new things, the movie is calling us to something more than a bucket list. 

Here is the most recent example from my life:

Two weeks ago I attended my third March for Life event.  This was my third experience of hundreds of thousands of people pouring into our nation's capitol to make a statement about life.  I literally slept through the first two trips (partially because I was exhausted due to overnight bus rides and partially because I didn't have my head in the game). 

This year was a completely different experience.  I was probably just about as tired as in years past, but this time I was aware, open and making judgments about what I was ingesting (no, not all of the sick fast food and candy that were in abundance). 

March for Life 2011 was an experience for my life that changed me. 

You see, I was aware and seeking meaning in what I was doing in DC.  Each tourist or religious stop allowed me to ask new questions and to probe into the Mystery of human life, struggle, happiness, etc.  So, the first step for an experience (from my experience) was to actually be awake, and aware - open to an Event. 

The second step is even harder...judging what you are taking in based upon the needs of your heart and its impact for your life.  Going to DC for the March is overwhelming.  You are called to confront, face-to-face, the reality that secularism and the culture of death appear to be winning on so many fronts in the US.  It is easy to feel your spirit slowly burdened. 

Yet, when I saw the gazillion seminarians pour into the Basilica, and the hoards of young people filling up every empty space (this was grassroots, when Jesus walked the earth - literally there were people sitting in the aisles and stairways), I took in the experience (everything around me) and was filled with hope.  I judged the situation based upon the needs of my heart (a need for a great Hope and for Justice) and recognized that Hope itself was right in front of my eyes. 

I have been to the March for Life three times, but only penetrated it as an Experience for my life - one that changes me - once. 

Friday, February 4, 2011

Super Memories

These are my three most memorable Super Bowl commercials (because, as a Bengals fan, I have only known how to watch the Bowl for the 30 second spots during TV timeouts):

How I wish that could really happen...and this too...

That ain't yo cake, Philip!

Enjoy the Super Bowl this Sunday!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Message from Pope Benedict XVI to Young People at Youth Rally

January 26, 2011
Pope Benedict XVI sent the following greeting to the young people attending Masses for Life at the Verizon Center and D.C. Armory marking the 38th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion in the United States.

The message was sent to Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, and was read by Archbishop Pietro Sambi, papal nuncio to the United States, to over 17,000 youth at the Verizon Center, and read by Cardinal Daniel DiNardo to 10,000 youth at the DC Armory:

From the Vatican, 13 January 2010

Your Eminence,

His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI asks you kindly to convey his cordial greetings to the more than 30,000 young people from throughout the United States who will gather in Washington on the 24th of January 2011 for the annual Youth Rally and Mass for Life held in conjunction with the National March for Life.

His Holiness is deeply grateful to all who take part in this outstanding annual witness to the Gospel of Life, and to the many others who support them by fasting and prayer. He is especially proud of the growing number of young people whose presence demonstrates their recognition of society’s duty to defend the inviolable dignity of every human being, especially the weakest, the most defenseless, and those who have no voice. By their efforts to ensure adequate legal protection for the inalienable right to life enshrined in the nation’s founding documents, they are contributing in no small measure to the building of an ever more inclusive, compassionate and just society.

It is also the Holy Father’s hope that more and more young Christians, inspired by this moving celebration of the beauty and grandeur of God’s gift of life, will take up the challenge of the new evangelization, bearing joyful witness to their faith in the Risen Lord and allowing the wisdom and liberating power of his word to guide them in facing the urgent moral and social challenges of the present time.

With these sentiments, and with great affection, His Holiness commends all those gathered for the March for Life to the prayers of Mary, Mother of the Church, and willingly imparts his Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of wisdom, strength and peace in the Lord.

With fraternal good wishes, I remain

Yours sincerely in Christ,

Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone
Secretary of State