29 March 2014

Coffee Cup Browsing

Church "reformers" do not understand the mission of the Church. They see everything, including the Church, in terms of secular political agency.

Pope Francis and B.O. affirm their mutual desire to stop human trafficking. Odd. B.O. cut funding to the USCCB anti-trafficking office b/c they wouldn't provide abortion counseling.

My Dominican sister and friend, Sr. Jane Dominic, is stirring the pot in NC! Stir, sister, stir!

A new catechetical program from the Augustine Institute. Looks good. They should send me a review copy (hint, hint). . .you know, since I teach catechetics to seminarians and all. . .  :-)

Dr. Chris Baglow of NDS reviews the new COSMOS series. 

Noah: an anti-Christian propaganda film? What sins prompt God to flood the earth? Environmental "sins."  Sounds like I will be skipping this one. 

Poet Fanny Howe on the liturgy and the horror of being human.

Follow HancAquam or Subscribe ----->

28 March 2014

Without God, all we have. . .

 The Times-Picayune posted my Lenten article from last Friday:

Give 'em some traffic!


Follow HancAquam or Subscribe ----->

But madness is the mission

3rd Week of Lent (F)
Fr. Philip Neri Powell, OP
Notre Dame Seminary, NOLA

Francis Tarwater finally sees his chance to baptize the “idiot-boy,” and he takes it. Throwing the boy into the lake, he does the deed and in the process drowns him. As with most of Flannery O'Connor's “preachers of nihilism,” Tarwater is compelled by a prophetic mission, and ruinously haunted by the Devil. This tension explodes when Tarwater tries to fulfill a promise he made to his uncle to baptize the boy. When he tries, the Devil tempts him with disobedience, saying, “If you baptize once, you'll be doing it the rest of your life.” What the Devil knows about Tarwater that Tarwater doesn't know about himself is that he loves. He loves his uncle. He loves the “idiot-boy.” He loves the idea of being a baptizing prophet. And so the Devil says the only thing he can to pull Tarwater away from his promise, “You have to quit confusing a madness with a mission.” When Jesus commands us to love as God loves, to love neighbor and self with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength, I think, “Madness!” We can't survive in this world if our mission is to love as God Himself loves. If we're to survive, we must stop confusing our mission with the madness of divine love. But that's the Devil talking, telling me what I want to hear.

Hearing God's word of love and receiving His love as a gift is not easy. Israel, so often on the receiving end of both God's love and His wrath, knows this better than anyone. The Lord sends Hosea to His people with a message, “Return, O Israel, to the Lord, your God; you have collapsed through your guilt.” Sounds simple enough. Repent, turn around, and go back to righteousness. But repentance requires more than a muttered “sorry 'bout that.” Repentance requires a fundamental transformation of heart, mind, soul, and strength. It requires a new creation, starting over on the right path in mercy. This doesn't sound so bad until I realize that true repentance is made manifest by an act of mercy: I forgive those who have sinned against me. If my repentance doesn't culminate in an extravagant outpouring of forgiveness from me, then my repentance is incomplete. How can I say that I love as God loves if I cannot or will not forgive my enemies? Thus, the Devil calls Tarwater's mission of love “madness.” And urges him to stop confusing this madness for a mission. To forgive those who have sinned against you is a sure sign of repentance, and a measure of one's distance from the Devil. So, of course, the Devil wants you to nurse your wounds, to glory in your victimhood, to wallow around in self-pity and hurt. He wants us to forget that the madness of love is our mission.

As difficult as it might be for us to love as God loves, to forgive as we have been forgiven, we cannot forget that He promises us His assistance. He says to Hosea, “I will heal their defection. . .I will love them freely; for my wrath is turned away from them. I will be like the dew for Israel.” We also have the comfort of knowing that Christ's command to love is a command. Not a suggestion, a hint, or just one option among many. A command. Lord, give what you command, and command what you will. But be careful with this prayer. Before you offer the sacrifice of your will to God's will, know that there is a madness in His love, a madness that will become your mission, a mission that will attract the voices of the Enemy to pull you away from your anointed task. These dis-easing voices have names: Excuse, Entitlement, Vengeance, Petulance, Stubbornness. But God's healing graces have names too: Responsibility, Generosity, Mercy, Patience, Obedience. And His names – received in absolute gratitude with abundant praise – will turn the madness of our sin into the divine madness of love, a love let loose to bring the world to kneel.

Follow HancAquam or Subscribe ----->

27 March 2014

Quaestio: Is being a Dominican awesome?

Videtur quod being a Dominican is not awesome.

Respondio: WRONG!

14 Totally Awesome Things About the Order of Preachers!

Only 14?

I can think of at least one more: Not being able to sneak up on your students b/c you sound like a tinker wagon on a dirt road.

Oh, and one more: You have incredibly generous benefactors who send you books and coffee and rosaries and. . .most importantly. . .Prayers!

h/t: MFT

Follow HancAquam or Subscribe ----->

Coffee Cup Broswing

Why are feminists obsessed with abortion and birth control? Easy. . .like all things totalitarian, it's about power. 

The FBI finally wises up to the antics of the Southern Poverty Law Center.   

World Vision U.S. reverses its decision to support same-sex "marriage."

The Holy Father meets B.O. Prepare yourself for The Spin. . .and don't overreact. 

". . .the anti-Catholic prejudice today wears a mantle of utter reasonableness and courtesy." Well, I'm sure the anti-Catholic bigot thinks he's being reasonable and courteous.

Follow HancAquam or Subscribe ----->

25 March 2014

Coffee Cup Browsing

Six media lies about the contraception mandate. Clear. Concise. Devastating.

Some guy tells the Church that we need to change ourselves into Something Else. . .or else.  Somebody send this guy this article, "End of the Mainline."

The Walking Dead has become nothing more than a bad soap opera, starring really smelly people with bad skin. Haven't watched it in weeks.

Why do fantasy/sci-fi TV shows often fail? Easy: they stop being fantasy/sci-fi and become mushy, character-driven soap operas. Spending weeks on a character romance with all the sentimental trimmings is a death-sentence.

"Years ago, the Europeans made a conscious decision to inhabit an imaginary world where everyone is just as emasculated and effete as they, where everyone wants to anesthetize themselves from the pain of responsibility with social spending and moral posturing."  

Follow HancAquam or Subscribe ----->

24 March 2014

Coffee Cup Browsing

God's Not Dead breaks into the Top 5 movies over the weekend. Haven't seen it. Anyone? 

Here's a trailer. . .love how the philosophy professor -- committed to argument and evidence -- begins by concluding that God is dead. I believe that's called begging the question.

Here's why B.O. Care is failing and will always be a failure. . .

That No Christians Need Apply clause in a school contract just somehow, mysterious floated into the help wanted ad all by itself. Sure it did.

Pope Francis: Don't clericalize the laity!

Secularism is really just the re-paganization of the West.


Follow HancAquam or Subscribe ----->

23 March 2014

God always makes the first move

3rd Sunday of Lent

Fr. Philip Neri Powell, OP

Our Lady of the Rosary, NOLA

Indeed: “the hour is coming, and is now here, when true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth. . .” The hour is here and here we are, worshiping the Father in Spirit and in truth. How else can we worship the Father but through His Spirit and in His truth? “Is the Lord in our midst or not?” Hasn't “the love of God been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit”? Of course! “God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.” While we were still sinners. Not b/c we did something deserving. Not b/c we had achieved holiness w/o Christ. But even while we were sinning, Christ died for us. Moses, Paul, and Jesus himself testify to the Father's unbounded love for us. Despite their kvetching in the desert, He provides water for His wandering people. Despite our sin, He provides the Christ for our salvation. Despite our frequent infidelity, He sends His Holy Spirit so that we might worship Him and come back to Him in holiness. In every instance of our disobedience, God makes the first move to restore us. He takes the initiative and gives us everything we need to find our way home. He loves first, so that we might begin to love. 

What does love have to do with Lent? Well, if Lent is about finding and eliminating the sources of our disobedience, then the Sundays of Lent are all about paying attention to God's mercy. The Psalmist sings this evening, “Come, let us sing joyfully to the Lord. . .Come, let us bow down in worship; let us kneel before the Lord who made us.” And we might rightly wonder why we should bother with all this singing and rejoicing and kneeling. We're two weeks into our Lenten desert and if we are doing it right, we know all too well how far we are from God. But if we wallow in that distance, if we cling to the length and depth of our sin, we will miss the Good News that Christ came to deliver. He says to the woman at the well, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again; but whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst. . .” And then we would miss our chance to say to Christ, “Lord, give me this water, so that I may not be thirsty. . .” Yes, Lent is about identifying and tackling our sins. But while we are identifying and tackling our sins, Christ stands with us, pouring out for us the Waters of Eternal Life. This is why we pause during Lent – to pay attention when he says, “I am your Savior.” 

The Sundays of Lent all about hearing the GOOD News of Lent. So, here’s what we are supposed to hear from the gospel: the preaching of the Good News is to go out to everyone, excluding no one not even those with whom we have significant religious differences. The Living Water of God’s grace is immeasurably deep and awesomely wide. We receive this Water as a gift, given without price or debt, liberally handed-over in love, and dipped from the well of Christ Jesus himself. 

The Living Water of God’s saving grace flows easily and freely over the dirtiest feet, into the foulest mouths, through the most unclean hands, and washes away any and all afflictions. 

The Living Water of God’s grace waters the cruelest heart, softens the hardest head, and tames the most passionate stomach. No dam or pipe or bucket or cloud is strong enough, high enough, deep enough or empty enough to hold the gifts that our Father has to give us. 

The Living Water of God’s grace is the Bridge between blood enemies; the Way across all anger and pride; the Means of health and beauty; the only Gate to truth and goodness. Built on the confession of Peter and guarded against Hell itself, the Church floats on its ocean, unsinkable, unshakable, His Ark. 

The Living Water of God’s grace wets everything it touches, stains anything it falls upon, and indelibly marks for eternal life anyone who will say with the Samaritan woman, “Lord! Give me this water.”

We learn from the gospel that we cannot worship I AM THAT I AM on any single mountain; in one church building and not another; nor can we pray in Jerusalem alone, Rome alone, Paris alone, or New Orleans alone. We learn that we are to worship the LORD in Spirit and in Truth, not with spirits and lies, but in His Spirit and His Truth; alone with Him and all together, we pray where we are, when we are, and we ask for one gift: voices eager to praise His glory, voice set afire with the Word of God’s mercy.

Jesus says to the woman, “I am [the Christ], the one who is speaking with you.” When she tells her neighbors this truth, they come to Christ and listen to the Word. For two days they listen. When the time for him to leave comes, the Samaritans say to the woman, “We no longer believe because of your word; for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is truly the savior of the world.” If she had held her tongue, quieted her voice and failed to speak the Truth, they would not have heard. Where then would they find hope?

Paul writes to the Romans: “…hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” If we are not disappointed in the grace we have received, how much more passionate are we then about speaking a simple truth, just one word to our neighbors about the gift of life we have received. There is no hope on the dry land of secular religion or science; no hope in the mouths of politicians or professors; there is no hope in test tubes or books. No hope that lasts. Our hope, our one hope is the depth, the breadth, the width of our Father’s immeasurable mercy – the sky-wide and valley-deep well of His free flowing and ever-living Water. Walking this desert of Lent to the Cross, let Paul remind you: “…only with difficulty [do you] die for a just person, though perhaps for a good person [you] might even find courage to die. But God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners [still sinners!] Christ died for us.”

The first move in Love and Mercy belongs to God alone. The second move is ours alone. Do we drink from the saving well, or not? Do we rejoice with Christ, or grieve without him? Tomorrow you return to the desert. Will you go back thirsty, or filled with the water of Eternal life?

Follow HancAquam or Subscribe -----?

Coffee Cup Browsing

Here's a fun site: Discover the Networks. David Horowitz brings some sunshine to the nefarious spider-web that is the Left.

Yet another Racist Hoax

Fr. Lew, OP! Interviewed by NRO.  Ah, I remember him when. . .

New Vatican commission on sexual abuse. The first thing they need to do is trash the Dallas Charter and come up with something Christian to replace it with. 

Pittsburgh's Bishop Zubik rejects Common Core for his diocesan schools.

The Coat Hanger Mythology of the pro-abortion money-makers.

Medieval Haters of Science. Not. Without Catholic Aristotelianism there would be no modern science.


Follow HancAquam or Subscribe ----->