Write In Between

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Off to Rome!

I interrupt this blog for two reasons.

First, my husband and I are celebrating our 25th anniversary this month. But we are deep in his "traveling season" for his work. One of the only perks of having a traveling husband is that once every so often a great trip comes along for a family member. I have a wonderful chance to meet up with my husband in Italy for a few days... where we plan to have a mini-pilgrimage in Rome and renew our wedding vows for our Silver Anniversary. Kindly keep us in your prayers.

Second, upon my return I have midterm exams and papers due. Need I say more? Much as I love to be on-line, I need to focus my energies elsewhere for a while.I should be back blogging around the end of the month.

Ciao, for now!

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Writer's Wednesday -- Barbara Nicolosi

[On the subject of Heroes]

Things That Are Not Heroic:

a) To have an illness. To be a victim. To have a bad hand dealt to you. HEROISM is in still serving others with an illness or bad thing.

b) To survive your own iniquity. (In the Bill Clinton sense. I heard a lady on TV say that she admired Clinton because he was "a survivor." Well, by that standard, you could admire roaches.) HEROISM for a person in habits of iniquity would be in full repentance, and in heading back into the sewer you once created to repair it.

c) It isn’t heroic to have a great talent or skill. To be able to run fast or sing well. It might be heroic to develop that talent to your utmost and at great price – as long as it is in response to the cosmos and not for your own glory.

d) It is not heroic to fight for the wrong thing. To build a business or buy a house or paint a fence or go on a trip or make a million dollars or win an award.

e) It is not heroic to fight using disproportionate means. Someone attacks your son, and you nuke their country. The whole vengeance thing is essentially anti-heroic.

f) It is not heroic to do an evil to achieve a good: Torturing someone to save the U.S.

[What] the world needs from us:

a) The conviction that there is something worth dying for. That suffering is not the worst thing that can happen to us.

b) The conviction that some things that people are dying for are the wrong things! (Money or fame or to be a size zero...)

The most pitiful among men is he who turns his dreams into silver and gold. Kahlil Gibran

c) Another conviction the hero brings is that there is good and evil in the world. The hero story is a direct attack on moral relativism which, Pope Benedict recently said was the wrong idea that is at the heart of the decay of Western civilization. The only thing that explains Ahmadinijad at Columbia is that there is no more good and evil in the world. If everything is relative, then we can listen to a man in a suit share his ideas about how the Holocaust didn't happen, because who are we to judge the fact that he has murdered hundreds of American soldiers, and has imprisoned scores of Iranian journalists and dissenters, and that he has killed and tortured so many homosexuals that they no longer exist in Iran? I mean who are we to judge him, right? Just because we find those behaviors repugnant might be our problem – like the way we don’t really eat eel here. Right? See, we aren’t going to be able to hold off the conviction of Islamo-fascism with yawning relativism.

d) The mystery of immortality. “A man of courage is also full of faith.” Cicero

e) That being a hero is not a unique call, but a universal one.

f) Being a hero doesn’t come out of nowhere. That you can’t be a hero in big things if you are unheroic in little things. You will not be up to the big moments unless you have made virtuous habits, and have cultivated a broad respect for others. And most of us are schleppy and lazy in our normal moments...

“We can't all be heroes because someone has to sit on the curb and clap as they go by.” Will Rogers

“It's choice - not chance - that determines your destiny.” Jean Nidetch

“A man must indeed be a hero to appear such in the eyes of his valet.” Thomas Carlyle

---Barbara Nicolosi, taken her blog post of her notes from a talk she gave to the San Diego Christian Writers Guild.

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Friday, October 05, 2007

Loving the Bride -- vol. 42

Something old....
The office of priests... shares the authority by which Christ builds up, sanctifies and rules his Body. Wherefore the priesthood... is conferred... by the anointing of the Holy Spirit, are signed with a special character and are conformed to Christ the Priest in such a way that they can act in the person of Christ the Head.

In the measure in which they participate in the office of the apostles, God gives priests a special grace to be ministers of Christ among the people. They perform the sacred duty of preaching the Gospel, so that the offering of the people can be made acceptable and sanctified by the Holy Spirit. Through the apostolic proclamation of the Gospel, the People of God are called together and assembled. All belonging to this people, since they have been sanctified by the Holy Spirit, can offer themselves as "a sacrifice, living, holy, pleasing to God" (Rom 12:1). Through the ministry of the priests, the spiritual sacrifice of the faithful is made perfect in union with the sacrifice of Christ. He is the only mediator who in the name of the whole Church is offered sacramentally in the Eucharist and in an unbloody manner until the Lord himself comes. The ministry of priests is directed to this goal and is perfected in it. Their ministry, which begins with the evangelical proclamation, derives its power and force from the sacrifice of Christ. Its aim is that "the entire commonwealth of the redeemed and the society of the saints be offered to God through the High Priest who offered himself also for us in his passion that we might be the body of so great a Head."

-----Pope Paul VI, from the Documents of the Second Vatican Council, DECREE ON THE MINISTRY AND LIFE OF PRIESTS PRESBYTERORUM ORDINIS (1965)

Something new....
I gotta run this again, from earlier this week, a great talk for priests by Archbishop Charles Chaput on "The Signs of Our Times."


Catholic pilgrims from Boston, lead by Cardinal Sean O'Malley meet with Orthodox leaders!

Something borrowed....

A anniversary celebration of 10 years of priesthood--for the young man who once was the altar server at our wedding, 25 years ago! Love you, Fr. Guy!
A few (dare I say 'cute'?) pictures of the pontiff... over at Young Fogeys.

Something blue....
Don't miss this! Here is a great video on Our Lady that explains, not only the four relevant dogmas Catholics believe about her, but also the Vox Populi movement to have a fifth and final dogma proclaimed about her maternal mediation as co-redemptrix (woman with the Redeemer), mediatrix (a mediator of grace) and advocate (one who intercedes continually for us). It is 60 minutes long. Give yourself time to take it in. It features Benedict XVI, John Paul II, Mother Teresa, Bishop John O'Connor, and varous theologians including Dr. Mark Miravalle and Dr. Scott Hahn.

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!

Remember, October is the month of the Rosary. Oct 7th is the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary! Pray, pray, pray!

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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Writer's Wednesday -- Archbishop Charles Chaput, OFM Cap.

[Another] sign of our times is that the society we live in breeds a practical, workaday atheism. People go about their days as if God doesn't exist. Because they live in a society that denies any presence or need for God, people learn to live without him. The deeper questions of human existence — where do I come from, what am I here for, what should be the purpose and direction of my life — these questions no longer seem relevant.

Theo, the P. D. James' hero [in the book The Children of Men], expresses the sum total of his metaphysical beliefs in these few words: "That once I was not, and that now I am. That one day I shall no longer be." I'm afraid that's the unspoken creed of many of the people we serve, even many who sit in our pews every Sunday.

But the human heart is made for worship, to serve something or Somebody beyond itself. There's a hole now in the modern heart. It's a void left by the absence of God. People fill that hole with all the sights and sounds and trinkets of our consumer culture. James' character calls these things "my consolations."

But there's something vampiric about the way consumerism works to "console" us for the loss of God. It keeps us absorbed in the unimportant while it drains out the life of the soul.
The rise of consumerist culture was one of the great worries of John Paul II in the later years of his pontificate.

In his 1999 World Day of Peace message. John Paul writes: "The history of our time has shown in a tragic way the danger which results from forgetting the truth about the human person. Before our eyes, we have seen the results of ideologies such as Marxism, Nazism, and Fascism . . . No less pernicious, though not always obvious, are the effects of materialistic consumerism . . ."

Those are strong words. John Paul argued that the habit of consumerist greed is "no less pernicious" in its effects than Nazism, Marxism, and Fascism. The effects are as deadly and as destructive as the murderous systems of the 20th century-ideologies that gave us the Holocaust, the gulag and the killing fields of Cambodia.

John Paul finishes this quotation with a comment on what materialist greed entails. With this ideology, he says, there is an "exaltation of the individual and the selfish satisfaction of personal aspirations become the ultimate goal of life."

This habit of consumerism forms the mind of the people we're called to serve. It's so damaging because it makes people prisoners of their selfishness. It invites them to create their own chains, to be willing addicts to their appetites and passions. It keeps them away from the only questions that matter: why we're here, and where we're heading.

-----From a longer talk given to priests by Archbishop Chaput, "The Signs of our Times, and What they require of Priests"

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Monday, October 01, 2007

Theology of the Body Forum --end of October!

Here's a commercial, but very pastoral, message: If you can go to the Theology of the Body Forum,


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