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Monday, December 31, 2007

From The Desk Of My Six-Year-Old Theologian

Some days it is truly insightful to help a six-year-old with his schoolwork. Recently, while doing a reading assignment, my Youngest Theologian came across the following sentence: "She took all of the candy." Following a sharp inhalation marking YT's astonishment at this girl's brazen behavior, he exclaimed, "Now that is a mortal sin." Sin happens to be Youngest Theologian's area of specialization, so after a hearty laugh, I was forced to consider the wisdom of his statement.

Taking all of the candy would seem to be "a grievous offense against the law of God", at least as seen through the eyes of a six-year-old. But, WWGT (What Would God Think) about the matter at hand? Greed and Gluttony making up 2/7 of the deadly sins, it would seem that YTs observations were off to a good start. We might even be able to add Sloth given she wasn't willing to make the effort to share the tasty morsels. Moreover, taken as a parable, it is right up there with the rich man taking the poor man's only sheep, so we can add Pride, Lust, and Envy to the list. Anger anyone? Well, that would depend entirely upon what kind of candy she took.


Does this mean I will have to share my secret stash of dark chocolate?

Perish the thought! Dark chocolate is medicinal.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Welcome to the Fold Mr. Blair!

Well this is good news indeed. (One might speculate that perhaps the move had something to do with that "nutter" he appointed as the Archbishop of Canterbury.)

Tony Blair Converts to Catholicism

Excerpt from the UK Telegraph:

Tony Blair has completed his long anticipated conversion to Catholicism.

The former prime minister was received into the Catholic Church by the Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, in the chapel of the Archbishop's House in Westminster last night, after years of speculation that he would convert after leaving Downing Street.

Mr Blair, whose wife Cherie and four children are Catholic, met Pope Benedict XVI on an official visit in June - his third trip to the Vatican in four years.

Now a Middle-East peace envoy, he was reluctant to convert while in office because it could have caused a potential conflict with his role in choosing Church of England bishops.

Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor has welcomed Mr Blair into the faith. He said: “For a long time he has been a regular worshipper at Mass with his family and in recent months he has been following a programme of formation to prepare for his reception into full communion."

While in office, Mr Blair had chosen to keep his religious views private, and last month sparked controversy when he claimed that people who speak about their religious faith can be viewed by society as "nutters".

(Click on the link for the full story.)

Also from the UK Telegraph:

The Archbishop of Canterbury said yesterday that the Christmas story of the Three Wise Men was nothing but a 'legend.

Rowan Williams has claimed there was little evidence that the Magi even existed and there was certainly nothing to prove there were three of them or that they were kings. Hesaid the only reference to the wise men from the East was in Matthew's gospel and the details were very vague.

Dr Williams said: "Matthew's gospel says they are astrologers, wise men, priests from somewhere outside the Roman Empire, that's all we're really told. It works quite well as legend."

The Archbishop went on to dispel other details of the Christmas story, adding that there were probably no asses or oxen in the stable.

He argued that Christmas cards which showed the Virgin Mary cradling the baby Jesus, flanked by shepherds and wise men, were misleading. As for the scenes that depicted snow falling in Bethlehem, the Archbishop said the chance of this was "very unlikely".

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Merit Raises for Vatican Employees

In response to a reporter inquiring of him how many people work in the Vatican, Pope John XXIII replied, “Oh, no more than half of them.”

Economists around the world are delighted to learn that Pope Benedict XVI has turned to market economics to solve the problem Pope John XXIII outlined in his famous quip. One must wonder, however, if the normal laws of economics will work for a group that includes many who have taken a vow of poverty.


Friday, November 23, 2007

Pope Restores Tradition of Sacred Music at Mass

Dear Intrepid Mother,

Will this mean an end to bongo drums and guitars at Mass? How can we really get into a Mass without a good toe-tapping beat?

I say, "If it ain't baroque, don't fix it."

Groovy Catholic
LaJolla, CA

Dear Groovy,

If you remembered to turn off your IPOD during Mass this morning, perchance you heard the gospel story of Jesus cleansing the temple in order to restore it as a "house of prayer."

It strikes me that it is no mere coincidence that our dear pope used this gospel lesson as the backdrop for restoring the tradition of sacred music at Holy Mass. It is natural that parts of our modern culture sneak into even the sacred realm, and it is right that from time to time the Vicar of Christ turn over a few tables in order to restore our most beautiful prayer, the Holy Mass, to its former sacredness.

Will this mean an end to bongo drums and guitars at Mass?
Let us pray.

While your feet may be a bit forlorn at the thought of replacing the rhythm of the bongo drums and guitars so familiar to Catholics under a certain age with some really old golden oldies, you might be surprised to learn that there are Catholics around the world leaping with joy at this restoration of sacred music in the Mass. I suspect that you may change your tune once you have experienced the timeless beauty of Bach lifting your heart heavenwards.

If you had ever seen a six-year-old child, who only moments before had been battling dragons and squirrels (and probably the neighbor's cat), suddenly become angelic by simply chanting "Oremus", you would know what I mean. Sacred music lifts the spirits in a way M.C. Hammer just can't touch.

Be not afraid; a little remedial faith formation may help you get your groove back.


Hippie Chick "Heaven" Here

Your Hippie Chick Name Is:

Ahh, they read my blog!

Your Brain's Pattern
Your mind is a multi dimensional wonderland, with many layers.
You're the type that always has multiple streams of thought going.
And you can keep these thoughts going at any time.
You're very likely to be engaged in deep thought - and deep conversation.