16 July 2011

OP Laity Retreat

Every summer I offer a day-long retreat for the Dallas-area Dominican laity.  And every summer, we have a great time!

This summer, the topic of the retreat will be:  “'Putting Out into the Deep'":  Catholic Laity and the New Evangelization." 

The retreat is open is all. . .come join us!

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Coffee Cup Browsing (Humor Edition)

I'm tired of lying politicians; self-absorbed celebrities; impotent dictators (foreign & domestic); and zombie-idolaters. . .so, I give you COFFEE CUP BROWSING:  THE ALL-HUMOR EDITION!!!

Venn diagram of my sense of humor.  Yes, I am constantly in trouble b/c of my sense of humor. 

Self-appointed Plate Monitor is "concerned" about your weight.  MYODB!

Like the Park Ranger said, "I don't have to outrun the bear. . .I just have to outrun you!"

Organizing for maximum efficiency!

If your fav font were a dog. . .

Creative wedding cakes.  #19 is my fav.

Ahhhh. . .breakfast in bed.

Learning math in Catholic school.

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15 July 2011

When "diversity" becomes a religion. . .

This is why you should send your kids to a small, Catholic lib arts college like the University of Dallas:

UC-San Diego is gutting several academic programs b/c of budget shortfalls.  Almost every department in the university is getting some sort of cut.

The only sacrosanct area?  "Diversity" programs/bureaucracies.

While slashing real academic programs and productive faculty, UCSD will add yet another "diversity" wonk to an already massively bloated P.C. bureaucracy:  ". . .the Chancellor’s Diversity Office, the associate vice chancellor for faculty equity, the assistant vice chancellor for diversity, the faculty equity advisors, the graduate diversity coordinators, the staff diversity liaison, the undergraduate student diversity liaison, the graduate student diversity liaison, the chief diversity officer, the director of development for diversity initiatives, the Office of Academic Diversity and Equal Opportunity, the Committee on Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Issues, the Committee on the Status of Women, the Campus Council on Climate, Culture and Inclusion, the Diversity Council, and the directors of the Cross-Cultural Center, the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Resource Center, and the Women’s Center."

It's a religion.  Send your kids to a Catholic university.

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Mercy not sacrifice

St. Bonaventure
Fr. Philip Neri Powell, OP
St. Albert the Great Priory

Like the sniping political operatives that they are, the Pharisees attack Jesus and his merry band for violating the Sabbath Law. Their crime? Some of the disciples absentmindedly pick grains of wheat and snack on them during a lesson. When the Pharisees pounce, Jesus—ever the scholar of Jewish history and the scriptures—remind them that David and his friends went into the temple and ate the bread of offering. Then he lowers the boom: “If you knew what this meant, I desire mercy, not sacrifice, you would not have condemned these innocent men.” This is a triple accusation. The Pharisees do not know their own history. They do not understand mercy or sacrifice. And they have condemned innocent men. Of course, their most egregious error is their failure to recognize Jesus as the promised Messiah. Had they done so, they would have known that the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath, thus making their condemnation of the disciples into a chance to show mercy. So, what does this scene tell us about the relationship btw mercy and sacrifice?

We might be inclined to conclude that the two are opposed. Jesus says that he prefers one to the other, therefore, we can either show mercy or offer sacrifice. The Law requires sacrifice, while Christ requires mercy. The two are incompatible. But this can't be right since Christ is the fulfillment of the Law. In the City of God, Augustine clears it all up for us. When Jesus quotes Hosea, “I desire mercy, not sacrifice,” Augustine writes, “. . .nothing else is meant than that one sacrifice is preferred to another. . .mercy is the true sacrifice. . .All the divine ordinances. . . concerning the sacrifices in the service of the tabernacle or the temple, we are to refer to the love of God and our neighbor” (X.5). In other words, every act of mercy is a sacrifice, an embodiment of the love God has for us and a demonstration that we love Him in turn. To set aside judgment and condemnation in favor of mercy is the sacrifice God desires from us. 

What might be confusing here is that we seem to be using the term “sacrifice” in two different senses. When Jesus says, “I desire mercy, not sacrifice,” he uses “sacrifice” to mean “the ritualistic slaughter of an animal in the temple by a priest according to the Law.” This is not the sort of sacrifice the Lord desires. Augustine gives the term “sacrifice” its contemporary meaning in the context of Christ's fulfillment of the ritual Law of animal slaughter. That is, he goes to the root of the word and discovers that sacrifice is what we do when we love the sinner and show him/her mercy. For Augustine, following Christ, without love, the sacrificing priest is just a butcher and his sacrifice is just killing. What makes “showing mercy” a sacrifice is our giving up on the prideful need to sit in the Lord's place as judge and executioner of His justice. When we show mercy to a sinner, we first acknowledge our own sinfulness and confess the need to be forgiven. None of this means that we're to be “soft on sin” or make a habit of excusing disobedience! It means just the opposite. Only a sinner needs mercy. Only a sinner can be called to repentance. 

Jesus tells the Pharisees that they are in the presence of something greater than the temple, something more fundamental, more vital than the Law. They are in the presence of Love Himself, mercy-made-flesh. Had they acknowledged this truth, their desire for sacrifice would have turned to pleas for mercy. And their accusations to songs of praise.

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Coffee Cup Browsing

A Pastafarian (follower of the Flying Spaghetti Monster) wins the right to wear "religious headgear" in his DL photo.  The gear?  A colander.   LOL!

Mark Shea:  ". . . gay 'marriage' is prelude to legal persecution of the Church for teaching what it teaches about sexuality."  Yup.  Just a matter of time and right Nanny State judge.

Pop-atheist/Brit Blowhard Dickie Dawkins is rendered of his self-important fat and his bones are ground to dust. . .couldn't have happened to a more deserving fellow.  (NB.  the language of this article isn't "family friendly.")

Tiresome clerical dinosaurs in Austria throw a hissy-fit.  Basically, they are whining that the Church isn't Protestant.  Fortunately for them, there are lots of Prot communities for them to join!

Catholics Doing Bad Right for Centuries:  "Even our sissypants wonk patsies are hardcore."

"Friend" vs. "Best Friend"

I want this to be the cover art on my first collection of poems. . .

For all my fellow Grammar Nazis out there. . .

12 July 2011

Poetries & Poets

This list of poetry types and representative poets is freely adapted from Kathryn VanSpanckeren's article, "Contemporary American Poetry."

Poetry of Self:  Jorie Graham, John Ashbury, W.S. Merwin, Susan Howe.

Poetry of Voice:  Louise Gluck, Brigit Pegeen Kelly, Rita Dove.

Poetry of Place: Charles Wright, Tess Gallagher, Mark JarmanYusef Komunyaka, C. D. Wright.

Poetry of Family: Li-Young Lee, Sharon Olds, Stephen Dunn.

Poetry of the Beautiful:  Mark Doty, Eric Pankey, Sandra McPherson, Henri Cole, Robert Hass.

Poetry of Spirit: Jane Hirshfield, Gary Snyder, Arthur Sze, Franz Wright.

Poetry of Nature:  Mary Oliver, A. R. Ammons, Pattiann Rogers, Maxine Kumin, Amy Clampitt.

Poetry of Wit:  Billy Collins, Charles Simic, Mark Strand, Stephen Dobyns, Mark Halliday.

Poetry of History:  Robert Pinsky, Frank BidartGjertrud Schnackenberg, Michael S. Harper.

Poetry of the World:  Yusef Komunyakaa, Richard Hugo, Philip Levine, Ellen Bryant Voigt.

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Pointers on how to read a poem

The creative writing class is going well!  Here's a handout I gave the budding poets this afternoon. . .just a quick & easy list of suggestions and guidelines for reading a poem:

Writing Poetry
Fr. Philip N. Powell, OP, PhD
University of Dallas: Summer Two 2011

On Reading a Poem

Read the poem. . .

. . .silently several times. Look up unfamiliar words. Set aside interpretation for now.

. . .out loud, using different tones/voices (calm, angry, a child, a prophet, etc.).

. . .to someone else and have them read it to you.

. . .and record yourself reading it. Replay the recording and listen w/o the text.

. . .and copy it out by hand. Typing it doesn't have the same effect.

. . .and have it read to you while you transcribe what you hear.


Does the poem have an overall “feel,” a tone that pervades it? What is it?

Does the poem have a dominant “voice,” a personality speaking it? Who is it?

Does the poem have a “tense,” that is, an overall sense of a place in time? What is it?

Does the poem have a subject, something or someone that it is about? What? Who?

Does the poem have a “setting,” a place from where or to which it speaks? Where?

Does the poem reveal its reason for existence? Why?

What are the images (“word pictures”) in the poem?

What are the allusions in the poem?

What are the figures of the poem, that is, the metaphors, similes, etc.?

Is there something missing in the poem, something “left out”?

Does the poem have a formal structure (sonnet, sestina, etc.)? How does it use this form?

What are the structural characteristics of the poem (other than the formal)? Line breaks, blank spaces, unusual typography, etc.?  What purposes do they serve?

What sort of language is the poet using—haughty, common, upper-class, ethereal? Why?

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Suspect arrested in Fr. Ed's murder

Jeremy Wayne Manieri, 31 has been arrested for the murder of Fr. Ed Everitt, OP.  Manieri was the maintenance man for the property in Waveland and a convicted sex offender.

Please pray for the repose of Fr. Ed's soul and for Mr. Manieri.

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Coffee Cup Browsing

Tolerant, freedom-loving Leftists at Chicago book fair vote to ban conservative books by Beck, Palin, etc. . .but not Adolf's Mein Kampf.

The next slippery step on the SSM slope:  Utah man sues for the "right" to have four wives

MD city council bans the Pledge of Allegiance and the Lord's Prayer form council meetings. 

Cultural Marxism and the "long march through the institutions."

What pastors can say to co-habitating couples who want to get married. . .ouch, that's gonna leave a mark!

Ummmm. . .SURPRISE!!!


And one for the guys. . .

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11 July 2011


The friars of the Southern Dominican Province learned this afternoon that our brother, Fr. Ed Everitt, OP was killed in what appears to be a robbery at one of our properties in Waveland, MS.  Fr. Ed was shot twice and died on the scene.  

Fr. Ed has been pastor at Holy Ghost Parish in Hammond, LA for several years now.  He also served as pastor at St. Peter's in Memphis, TN.

Please pray for the repose of his soul and for the consolation of his family, friends, and brother friars.

Updatelocal news report.

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