Monday, May 31, 2004

Today's paper has some nice words to say about Avril Lavigne's second album. Another article says she's maturing as an artist but isn't convinced she can keep her popularity up. I don't have the new album yet.

Happy Memorial Day

I hope you were able to take a moment to remember, and pray for, those who gave their lives to keep our country free.

Sunday, May 30, 2004

Monday, May 24, 2004

Fr. Bryce from A Saintly Salmagundi gives some pithy advice:

Seven Tithing Do's and Don'ts

  • Don’t put your pocket change in the basket - If this is the ultimate insult to a waiter at a restaurant, imagine how it looks to Christ who serves you his Body and Blood at every Mass?
  • Don’t give only one dollar - It is cute when little children do this, it is not cute when grown adults with full-time jobs do this. Let us assume that you make $25,000 a year – giving just a dollar a week is the equivalent of giving .002% of your income.
  • Do use envelopes – Not only do envelopes help to remind you of the collection each week, it also helps the church parish keep up with who is attending church on a regular basis.
  • Do use direct deposit and bank draft – Most banks today have a system where each month they can automatically write a check or draw money from your account and send it directly to the Church. That way there is no forgetting the checkbook or being “hesitant” about giving as much as you know you should each week since it is already done for you.
  • Do give 10% - This is the percentage most Christians recognize as a fair amount to tithe to the church from our income. Sometimes you may give more, sometimes less, but you should always try to hover around that number.
  • Do trust more in God – If you are worried about not being able to make ends meet, remember that Jesus tells us in the Gospel of Matthew not to worry about what we are to wear or where we will find food to eat, that if the Father clothes and feeds the birds of the sky, he will do the same for us since we are worth more than any bird.
  • Do have a deeper conversion – Usually a fair tithe is an outward sign that someone has had a deep conversion and is willing to give himself totally to Christ and to his Church. If you consistently neglect or refuse to tithe, maybe you should re-examine your own spiritual life and commitment to the Lord.

For myself, I opened a second checking account that I direct-deposit a percentage of my income to (currently it's only 2.5% :-( of gross) and I use that for all my good works and charitable giving, except for some direct deposit drafts I had set up previously that still come out of my regular account. This way I know that all the money there is not for discretionary spending but just for supporting my parish, diocese, and other good stuff. It works well for me.

Friday, May 21, 2004

Last Saturday UA alum and former NBA standout Steve Kerr gave the commencement address at the UA's graduation ceremony. I love this paragraph:

Many of you may know the story, but Dr. Likins called me back in November and asked if I would give the commencement speech, and despite a few pangs of anxiety, I accepted his offer. But three weeks later, he called back and said, "I'm terribly embarrassed about this, but it seems that the leader of the free world has requested the opportunity to give the address, only at this point, he's not sure if he'll be available. Would you be offended if we put you on hold until we get a definitive answer from him? To which I responded, "Dr. Likins, whatever Lute Olson wants to do is fine with me!"

Dr. Likins is the president of the university, and Lute Olson is UA's Hall of Fame-member basketball coach.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Episcopal Spine Alert! as Mark Shea says. Check out this letter from Bp. Wenski, coadjutor bishop of Orlando:

The Church wants all her members to become holy. To this end, she offers the examples of the saints to encourage and inspire us. For politicians, St. Thomas More stands as a role model. He did not draw any false distinction between his personal morality and his public responsibilities: he was his king’s good servant, but God’s first. Today, some self-identified Catholic politicians prefer to emulate Pontius Pilate’s “personally opposed but unwilling to impose” stance. Perhaps, they are baiting the Church, daring an “official sanction” making them “bad Catholics”, so as to gain favor among up their secularist, “blue state” constituencies. Such a sanction might turn their lack of coherent Catholic convictions into a badge of courage for people who hold such convictions in contempt.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Wrist Update

Back to the orthopedist today. He cut my old cast off (alas, there goes all the lovely artwork from the girls at the rink!), then pulled the pins out, and gave me a new cast (light blue this time). Pulling the pins out was a bit freaky. I was expecting it to be painful, but it didn't hurt a bit, he just pulled them straight out. One is about 2 inches long, the other about 1.75 inches. I asked why it didn't hurt and he said the body just gets used to them being there, kind of like an earring. I guess that makes sense.
Good news for geeks today! First, Slashdot reports that the new Fedora Core 2 Linux distribution has been released. Get in line at your favorite mirror. Also, Slashdot reports that UPN has renewed Star Trek: Enterprise despite its somewhat abysmal ratings. Yea!

Happy Birthday, Holy Father!

Today is Pope John Paul II's 84th birthday! If you wish, you can send birthday greetings from the Vatican website.

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Here's a neat interview with one of the Vatican Observatory astronomers, Br. Guy Consolmagno. Check it out. Thanks to Mark Shea for the link.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

I went to the orthopedist today and got some good news and some disappointing news. The good news is that we took new x-rays and the bones are healing nicely and are in good position (not perfect, but good). The disappointing news is that they had mis-scheduled my appointment, and it's too early to take the pins out. So I'm going back next Tuesday for that, and then he says it'll be 3 weeks beyond that in the new cast. sigh So if that timing is right I won't be out of a cast until June 8th. On the other hand, I asked if I would need to wear a brace or splint or anything after that and he said no, after I get the cast off I should go ahead and use it normally.

Sunday, May 09, 2004

Music for Mass
SSPP Latin Schola
Fifth Sunday of Easter, Year C

Prelude: Salve Regina
Gathering Song: Alleluia! Alleluia! (HYMN TO JOY)
Penitential Rite: Kyrie (Chant Mass)
Gloria: (Chant Mass)
Responsorial Psalm: (OCP R&A)
Gospel Acclamation: (OCP R&A)
Preparation of the Gifts: O Sanctissima (St. Gregory Hymnal #206)
Holy,Holy: Sanctus (Chant Mass)
Memorial Acclamation: (Chant Mass)
Great Amen: (Chant Mass)
Our Father: (Traditional Chant)
Lamb of God: Agnus Dei (Chant Mass)
Communion: Where Charity and Love Prevail
Gloria Patri (Palestrina)
Meditation: Alma Redemptoris Mater (Palestrina)
Recessional: Lord of All Hopefulness (SLANE)

Friday, May 07, 2004

As a "team-building exercise", my co-workers and I spent the morning working for Habitat for Humanity Tucson. We painted two houses! It was hard work, especially for me in my gimpy state (I was rather limited in what I could do), but I was really glad we did it. I was really glad to do something "constructive" rather than rocks n' ropes or some such.
Whatever you think of his politics, stories like this really put a lump in my throat. Thanks to Mark Shea for the link.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

If you ever wondered what priests do all day... Fr. Jim Tucker shares a day in the life. Check it out, and say a prayer for priests.

Monday, May 03, 2004

I known I've blogged about Evanescence before, although the Google search bar below right isn't turning up anything. I've been listening to their album Fallen quite a lot lately. There's really a lot to like in there, besides "My Immortal" and "Bring Me To Life". Really. Check it out.

Sunday, May 02, 2004

I've had a fair amount of time to think about the meaning of suffering, specifically in regards to breaking my wrist two weeks ago. It's really brought home to me how lucky I really am -- how fortunate. After all, if all goes as it should, in a month or so I'll have my cast off and be more or less good as new. There are plenty of folks who are missing a limb and there's no healing for them here on earth. Every time I have to do something with my left hand that's awkward, or forgo doing something that's just too difficult, or have some pain, I really am brought back to the fact that I'm one of the fortunate ones. God bless all those who are not as fortunate.
Welcome to everyone who's checking out my blog after seeing the article in the May Catholic Vision! Thanks for stopping by!