Thursday, June 28, 2007

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Chocolate Mint Explosion

Vote for it! Dan - Dan, the Baking Man - has made it to the top 30 over at Mrs. Fields' cookie contest. These are momentous times, comrades. Go there. Vote. Vote. Vote. (Well, vote once. Can you vote more than once?) Vote him into the top 5.

Congratulations, Dan.

King of Glory

Colbert cracks me up.

HT: Fr Dwight Longenecker

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

For My Protestant Brothers and Sisters

I would love to hear your thoughts on this short post by Fr Longenecker.

I think he's largely right, frankly. Some of my own push back has to do with the reason for the Evangelical Protestant to go, and the idea - I have forgotten where I recently read this - that when such missions are undertaken, we are the ones being evangelized - we are "evangelized by the poor."

Monday, June 11, 2007

Dear John

I've decided I need a break; I need time away from writing here. I will post about the kids occasionally or about that issue that's burning holes in the pockets of my brain. But as far as posting with any regularity - I'm shutting it down for a while. Maybe for the summer.

Go on. Get your box of tissues.

I'll be lurking, to be sure. But for now I need some distance from this place. I'm needed elsewhere.

But I'm still here, of course. And if you are dying for my groovy wisdom and sweet insights (or if you just want to chat), send me an e-mail. I read all my mail and answer it personally.


Wednesday, June 06, 2007

A Candidate Worth Voting For

You can vote now for Dan's Chocolate Mint Explosion cookies.

Do not vote at your own peril.

I'm warning you.

For those interested, my warning is comparable to the ubiquitous chain-letter threat (e.g., if you don't do x your pet chihuahua will choke on a bone and die within the next ten minutes - that kind of thing).

Cheers. And happy voting.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Jesus of Nazareth

I'm still planning on adding my inanities to the myriad of voices reviewing Papa Benedict's new book. But until then, this quote by an Orthodox Christian, Kevin P. Edgecomb, perfectly states the feelings I've had while reading it:

"One thing I think is clear. This book Jesus of Nazareth by Pope Benedict (Ratzinger) will come to be recognized as a watershed in a way that none of the other Jesus books ever has been or ever could be, a flaming sword between the Paradise of a faithful reading and application of all the Biblical texts fully informed by Patristic writings and Church Tradition yielding an image of the Living Jesus Christ, and the desert of academic historical-critical and other fads seeking a new and different contemporary Jesus to pad curricula vitae."

The Boy Is Three

Will turned three today. When he woke up, he asked me, "Am I bigger now?"

Will loves Spider-Man, Superman, swords, and clubs. He hits and pesters his sisters. He chases them with sticks. He pees outside sometimes. His favorite word is poopie, and the mere repetition of it is enough to drive him to hysterics. He's all boy, yet sometimes he keeps his action figures in little pink bags with hearts on them. He shares a coffee with me each morning.

He has grown up.

Yesterday at Mass he reached the pew before me and, with no direction from me, did his best to honor our Lord by kneeling. He's seen me do this, of course, but I've never directed him to do so. His kneel ended up looking more like a brief squat (with bowed head), but for our Lord, I am sure, it was the most endearing gesticulation of the day. Perhaps the most genuine as well.

I love this boy, though, at times, I want to strap him. I want to be good and strong when I am with him, a man of steel.

Happy birthday, Will. Today you are bigger.

Friday, June 01, 2007

The Girl in the Masthead

Sophia Grace is eight years old today. She's beautiful. And, as always, I can't believe it. I don't know why I continue to say, "I can't believe it." But I can't. Time and the growth of your children are difficult concepts to grasp hold of.

She is boisterous and loud. Her feet are nearly the size of her mother's and her heart is twice the size of mine.

Sophie is the embodiment of innocence, of childhood. Her heart is like a flower, beautiful and fragile - and it needs a gentle and good gardener.

Pray for me, that I can be gentle and good for her.

In a few weeks, as school ends, I'll be spending far more time with this growing girl, who I'm in love with. June 21 is her last day of school. Her last day. Laura and I have made the decision to educate Sophie at home. Personally, I'm terrified and excited all at the same time. Her education is going to demand more of me. But nothing I'm not willing to give.

Let me explain why we've made our decision to keep Sophie out since Laura is a teacher at her school. Sophie is entering third grade next year - a big testing year with a lot of meaningless and useless teaching to test. (Don't deny it, it's the truth.) Sophie will never shine with that kind of impersonal rigor. She's simply not made for it. (Are any of us?) Her first year at school, in first grade, she had a wonderful teacher who nurtured her, who came alongside her and encouraged her. Sophie blossomed and learned a great amount - she had a great deal of catching up to do. This year her teacher is far more task-oriented, education- rather than child-centered. (Don't confuse the two.) Sophie has withdrawn and her education has suffered because of it. She struggles to get up in the morning. She becomes physically ill on Sunday nights. She is made fun of at school.

Sophie loves people - the concept of "stranger" does not exist in her brain. She believes the teller at the bank or the girl in the drive-through window wants nothing more than to know about her exciting news, whatever it might be. She has no concept of the darkness of the human heart - or the natural cruelty of children. That's not to say she is perfect and angelic, or that she never hits or yells or manipulates. She does. All the time. But she understands reaction. What is difficult for her to comprehend is cruelty without provocation.

I want her to be more fully who she is again. So we've decided to make the step. I ask for your prayers both for her and me. This undertaking is new for us, but I'm convinced it's the right decision.

Mystery, Awe, and Otherness

"Don’t get me wrong. I’m solidly in the Reformation camp. I see the [Roman Catholic Church] as a dead-end and always have. I feel sorry for anyone so seduced by a need for mystery, awe, and otherness that they’ll abandon truth for it.

"Yet I still understand why they do it."

- Dan Edelen

An interesting couple of articles has popped up about why Evangelicals become Catholic. Dan Edelen at Cerulean Sanctum makes the assertion that they do so because Evangelicals have abandoned any sense of mystery, awe, and otherness within their worship. (In all fairness, his examination of the issue has as it's purpose the finding of the problem on his side of the Tiber.)

I appreciate the mystery in Catholicism. It's beautiful. It's sublime and breathtaking. It is seductive. But beauty is, nevertheless, beauty is not the enemy of truth. It is also not the only reason that Evangelicals become Catholic. Nor, I would imagine, is it the largest reason. In fact, it offends me that people should think one gives up truth for beauty, or beauty for truth, for that matter.

Scot McKnight in a paper titled, "From Wheaton to Rome," (JETS, vol 45, no 3) writes about four reasons that Evangelicals pope. His reasons are (1) certainty, (2) history, (3) unity, and (4) authority. He does mention transcendence as an issue, but not a major issue. These reasons are far closer to my personal experience as well as the stories I hear from other converts.