01 September 2012

We're alive and kicking, y'all. . .

Aight. . .

We're back.

Power went out Tuesday around 8.10pm and just popped back on at 5.30pm today.  That's four days without power (i.e., no A/C) in August in NOLA!  The digital thermometer on my wall reads 91. 

Let's just say that we had a lot of community time together and I got a lot of reading done.

There was no flooding in this part of the city.  No real wind damage either.  Apparently, the problem with this hurricane was its duration over the city. . .it hung around for almost 36 hrs.  Compare this to Katrina which blew through in about 6 hrs.  Oh, and Isaac was a direct hit on NOLA while Katrina hit east of us on the MS coast.

Anyway, all is well here at St Dominic's!  Many thanks for your prayers!

P.S.  More than anything else. . .I am just grateful not to be wet anymore.  I might have grown some mold.  

Follow HancAquam and visit the Kindle Wish List and the Books & Things Wish List

Click on St. Martin and donate to the Dominicans! ----->

28 August 2012

Isaac, etc.

Latest bit of news. . .

No mandatory evac of NOLA.  Basically, we're bracing for a really Big Thunderstorm.

Seminary classes are cancelled today and tomorrow.  

All the Hurricane Vets here in the priory are predicting a power outrage lasting two to three days.  

So. . .unless they have generators: no A/C for the local nursing homes, hospices, etc.  Keep them in prayer!

Katrina taught some hard lessons about preparation. . .I'm hearing from parishioners that they are more than ready.  Of course, Lakeview is a moderately upper-scale ward, so we have resources to prepare.  It's the low-lying wards south of the river and closer to the Gulf that will suffer. 

May I suggest a prayer to St. Martin de Porres

Follow HancAquam and visit the Kindle Wish List and the Books & Things Wish List

Click on St. Martin and donate to the Dominicans!  ----->

27 August 2012

Update & Thanks

Still sunny and hot here in the Big Easy. . .no orders to evacuate yet.  Seems like most around here are hunkering down for a Cat 1 hurricane and not much more.  The city gov't is assuring everyone that the levees and canals have been sufficiently upgraded to deal with any serious flooding.  We'll see.

Also, I rec'd a book today from the Wish List, Pelikan's Credo.  No name on the invoice, so I don't know who to thank.  Anyway:  Thanks!


Follow HancAquam and visit the Kindle Wish List and the Books & Things Wish List

Click on St. Martin and donate to the Dominicans! ----->

Be worthy of your call from God

St. Monica
Fr. Philip Neri Powell, OP
St. Dominic Church, NOLA

As we wait for Tropical Storm Isaac to become Hurricane Isaac and make landfall, we read this morning about another storm, an ancient storm, Hurricane Jesus, who plows through the arrogance and hypocrisy of an even older religious mindset. With a storm surge rating a Category Five, Jesus doesn't mince his words; he hits the Pharisees right in the face with all he's got. Three times he uses the phrase “woe to you,” a formula of judgment and condemnation. Three times he bitterly accuses the Pharisees of blindness and hypocrisy, revealing their love of power and prestige. Three times he calls them out for the sin of abandoning their people to the false idol of greed. In a devastating accusation, Jesus says, “You traverse sea and land to make one convert, and when that happens you make him a child of Gehenna twice as much as yourselves.” In other words, he accuses the Pharisees of abandoning God's people—one by one—to the burning landfill of spiritual ruin. This is not our Sunday School Jesus. This is Hurricane Jesus set to make landfall, full force, right up the Pharisee's noses! Their most damaging spiritual fault? They are not worthy of their call from God. 

As men charged with leading God's people to righteousness through the Law, the scribes and Pharisees are set aside by God to provide instruction, direction, spiritual leadership. Their job is to help those who will to enter a covenant-relationship with God, give access to His wisdom and love. Instead, Jesus says, “You lock the Kingdom of heaven before men. You do not enter yourselves, nor do you allow entrance to those trying to enter.” Not only do they themselves refuse to enter the Kingdom, they prevent others from doing so as well. This is a failure in leadership, and more so a disastrous failure to be worthy of their calling from God. With their hearts set to love the power, riches, and celebrity that comes with their calling, the scribes and Pharisees become “blind guides” to a population of blind seekers. Lest we spend too much time and energy sneering at their many failures and forget our own, remember: we are no less vulnerable to this same failing, no less prone to holding onto our access to the Father through Christ, and becoming self-appointed Gatekeepers of the Kingdom rather than Missionaries of the Good News. 

 The scribes and Pharisees are unworthy of their divine calling b/c they have chosen to use the authority of their vocation as a tool to exalt themselves. Rather than exhaust themselves in making sure that every living soul in their charge knows and understands the Law as a means of growing in righteousness, they use the Law to set up more obstacles, higher hurdles, deeper moats. We too are guilty of this when choose to see the Church as a social club with strict membership rules; or as an exclusive retail boutique serving privileged clientele; or as a remnant of the last remaining faithful who must jealously protect God's precious gifts from those we find undesirable. Woe to us if we fail to recognize and give thanks for the inexhaustible gifts of our loving God. Woe to us if we set up social, political, cultural, racial obstacles to those gifts. Woe to us if we preach the Good News but dwell in the hypocrisy. Paul urges us to live lives worthy of our divine calling; to live the Gospel life with grace, reckless abandon; always throwing ourselves on the mercy of God, and forever depending entirely on His never-ending abundance. When we share His Good News without hesitation or worry, we offer Him thanks. Generosity multiplies generosity. Welcome and be welcomed. 

Follow HancAquam and visit the Kindle Wish List and the Books & Things Wish List

Click on St. Martin and donate to the Dominicans! ----->

Audio for 21stSunOT w/comments

Here's the audio file for my homily from the 21st Sunday OT, "Are you prepared for radical transfiguration?"

A couple of parishioners said things like, "Too intellectual for this parish, Father."

Others said things like, "Enjoyed it.  Didn't understand some of it."

A couple encouraged me to preach this way more often.

One faithful soul chastised me for "apologizing" for quoting difficult material from BXVI, "Don't ever apologize, Father, for making us grow!"  Yes, ma'am, said I.

No one dumped on it, but they probably wouldn't say anything too negative to me personally.  Too bad.

As a Dominican, I refuse to coddle Catholics when I preach. . .meaning, no New Age Oprah Pablum; no social-justicey cliches; no "Jesus Loves You" greeting card verse; no Boil It All Down junk.  
I want to challenge w/o alienating; dare without being needlessly aggressive.  Catholics are always smarter and tougher than priests think they are.  Give it to them, Fathers.  They can take it.

What say you?

Follow HancAquam and visit the Kindle Wish List and the Books & Things Wish List

Click on St. Martin and donate to the Dominicans!  ----->

26 August 2012

Hurricane, hurricane, go away!

Just finished watching an hour's worth of the Weather Channel and local weather. . .

Looks like Isaac is going to hit a little east of us, which is good for us here in Lakeview.

If he hits west of us, then that's bad.  Lower parishes (counties) of LA are being evacuated already.

I went out twice this afternoon and the gas stations in the immediate area are backed up with cars for blocks and blocks.  

Parishioners told me after the Masses this morning that it took between 12-18 hrs to get to Jackson, MS from here during evacuation.  YIKES!  That's normally a 3.5 hr drive.  

Pray for us.  We need it.

P.S.  If you are a Map Nerd (like me), St Dominic's neighborhood is located at the conjunction of the horizontal line marked 3ON and the vertical line marked 9ON.  IOW, right in the middle of the hurricane warning area. 

Follow HancAquam and visit the Kindle Wish List and the Books & Things Wish List

Click on St. Martin and donate to the Dominicans! ----->