Friday, March 31, 2006

Thursday, March 30, 2006

I was reading an article about persistence in prayer, and I recalled that tomorrow is the anniversary of Terri Schiavo's deathmurder.

I, like many at St. Blog's, prayed and supported Terri's fight. Nevertheless, despite the prayers of so many, she died. It's easy to be discouraged at such a horrific outcome, and to wonder whether God is listening, whether God heard our prayers or not. After all, so many worked so hard, and her family and friends suffered so much, seemingly to no avail.

I became convinced, though, that it wasn't for nothing. Terri's suffering and that of her family and friends will make a difference, I think. The extraordinary (and truly unprecedented) lengths that so many went to to try to save her life would not have happened were it not for prayer. The public visibility and the questions and discussion that were sparked will, I'm convinced, be used by God for His means in the long run. It's up to us who remain to be faithful, to continue to pray and to work.

I was in a bookstore on Tuesday night and saw, on the same table, the Schindler's book about Terri and Michael Schiavo's book. What a strange juxtaposition! Fr. Frank Pavone has written a very moving open letter to Michael Schiavo. May God have mercy on Michael Schiavo; I pray that he will repent of his actions.

Happy Birthday Jeanetta!

A happy birthday to the lovely Jeanetta, who turns the big 2-4 today! Sheesh J, yer gettin' old! :-)

Monday, March 27, 2006

I got to see "V for Vendetta" on Friday with Marie ... it was fun, albeit a bit too reminiscent of "1984". Check out the Wildcat's review -- 'Vendetta' brings summer fun in spring.
Bwahahaha! Check out this series of emails between an incompetent city manager and CentOS tech support. I found this particularly amusing since I just installed CentOS 4.3 (which rocks, btw) over the weekend and enabled Apache so I saw the test page myself.

Thanks to Slashdot for the link (see the Slashdot discussion as the geeks rip this guy a new one).

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Last night I had my audition with the Oregon Chorale. The audition began at 6:45 and looked like this:
  • vocalizing. I don't know what my top end was but I bottomed out at an E-flat which is better than I expected.
  • audition piece. They had asked for something that I could sing a capella, which took out most of the pieces I would ordinarily sing for an audition. I wound up singing the chant Gloria. It went well. After I sang about halfway through it, he stopped me and asked me to make some changes -- flipping my "r", adding some dynamics, etc. All very simple. I think he wanted to see how well I could make changes (how flexible I am) and whether I could institute things like that on the fly.
  • tonal memory. The usual "sing this 3-note pattern back to me." I did okay, I guess.
  • sightsinging. A relatively simple piece, just a page or so of an easy song. No complicated rhythms and it was in C. Still I did just okay.
After the audition I waited around for 20 minutes or so and then got to sit in on a rehearsal. It was a lot of fun! We worked through two pieces that were new to the group, a piece by Z. Randall Stroope and a spiritual by Moses Hogan. Besides giving me a feel for the group I assume I was being observed for how I participate in rehearsal. Hopefully I behaved myself :-).

After the rehearsal I handed my music back and asked him when I would hear from him. He reiterated that they were full up for the next (final) concert of the year but that I'd hear from him (which is what I expected him to say). So clearly it was not a case of I'm so wonderful he's going to put me in right now because he has to have me :-). It was fine though. I really enjoyed my experience and hopefully I'll get to sing with them in the fall.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

The Catholic Butts continue apace. You know them, the ones who say "I'm Catholic, but..." where the "but" is always some rejection of the Church's teaching.

The particular manifestation I'm referring to is the continuing effort by some "Catholic" politicians to identify themselves as Catholic but then proudly proclaim their support for abortion. 55 Catholic politicians signed the "Statement of Principles" which will presumably assist St. Peter in sorting out their destiny when he meets them... the US Bishops responded with yet another "Statement on Responsibilities of Catholics in Public Life" that will be ignored by almost everyone. It's sad.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I am not Irish at all, but like many Catholics in America I've been blessed with a number of good Irish priests in my life... so.. Fr. Charlie, Fr. Cyprian, Fr. Todd, and all the ones I can't remember -- thanks for leaving your beloved homeland to minister here in America. May St. Patrick win special graces for you on this day!

The Archbishop of Portland, and the Bishop of Tucson, have both dispensed their flocks from abstinence today in honor of St. Patrick and the contributions of Irish-Americans to the Faith in America.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

I went to an Oregon Chorale concert on Sunday. It was pretty neat. I have an audition with them on Monday -- although they don't currently have any openings for basses, so I'll be on the waiting list. I was on the waiting list for Lane Justus Chorale for 5 years before there was an opening! It's a good sign, though -- it means they have low turnover and that's always a sign of a good group, with committed singers and some esprit de corps.

I'm a bit nervous though -- I've not done much singing at all since Christmas and I'm worried I'll biff my sightsinging, not to mention finding some music to sing amidst the boxes!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Sorry to be so chatty today, but had to blog this article from -- Stunning views, but watch out for cacti. A nice little article about my hometown!

I've decided that the simplest way to identify where I'm "from" is to say that my birthplace is San Francisco, but my hometown is Tucson.
Somewhat relatedly to the post below, people are starting to wake up to the news that the Left is contracepting itself out of existence -- see The Liberal Baby Bust and also The Return of Patriarchy.

Thanks to Mark Shea (and a Mark Shea commenter) for the links.
My friend Gabe sent me this article, Wanted: Pro-Life Democrats. It's a good article with much food for thought.

I am a pro-life Democrat (PLD). This position is often incomprehensible to others, be they of the Left or the Right. My conservative friends, many of them Catholic, can't comprehend how I can be a member of a party that practically makes a sacrament of abortion. My liberal friends (mostly not Catholic) can't understand how I can agree with them on so much but be so firmly against abortion.

Abortion strikes at the heart of America, and makes us reflect on eternal questions: who is a human being? Who has rights and who doesn't? When is a person a person?

Horton the Elephant said, "a person's a person, no matter how small." That simple wisdom escapes many in our society today, who are so firmly convinced that an unplanned pregnancy means the death of a woman (I have actually heard this opinion espoused) that they refuse to even consider that the object of their attention is a person, albeit a very small one.

The Democratic party that I grew attached to as a young child was made of people like John F. Kennedy (who died when I was 10 weeks old) and Hubert Humphrey -- people who fought for the rights of others, especially the weak and the most vulnerable. Somewhere in the 70s, though, the Party abandoned the unborn -- the most weak and vulnerable imaginable. In Isaiah 49:, God says, "Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even should she forget, I will never forget you." When I first heard those words I thought they were hyperbole. Then I learned what abortion was, what it really was, and discoverd that mothers (and fathers!) can indeed be without tenderness for the child of their wombs.

A friend responds to the criticism, "Don't like abortion? Don't have one!" with the statement, "Don't like slavery? Don't own slaves!". This is very apt, because it identifies a core issue for many pro-lifers -- the refusal to see the humanity of the unborn. On the other hand, others have argued (persuasively, I think) that many fail to see the humanity of the unborn not due to hardness of heart but due to the issues raised in this article, Abortion: A Failure to Communicate. This article identifies the very issue I mention above, that some women see an unplanned pregnancy as the equivalent of death.

I never understood how NARAL, Planned Parenthood, et al. can be so concerned about the possibility of Roe v. Wade being overturned by SCOTUS. Then I realized it's because they don't really believe their own rhetoric. If they really believed that the American people wanted abortion, they would not care about the Supreme Court because legislators everywhere would bow to the will of the people and make it legal by an exercise of the legislative function. The fact is that while Americans are very ambivalent about abortion, they certainly don't support it being as widely available as it is now.

Abortion as an issue has never gone away because no consensus was ever reached on the subject. It was legislated by the court, not by the legislature or the people.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Okay, more fun stuff... came across this post of Penzance Parodies over on Basia me, Catholica sum**. I particularly enjoyed this one:

I am the Very Model of a Modern Vicar-General

from the Penzance Codex of St. Gilbertus of Sullivan
translated by Matthew of the Holy Whapping and Lauren of Cnytr

I am the very model of a modern vicar-general,
I've information liturgical, ecclesial and clerical,
I quote the Popes of Latium and councils ecumenical,
From Chalcedon to Vatican, with subjects esoterical.

I'm very well aquainted too in matters sacramentical,
I know the sin occasions both the distant and proximical:
About the Nicene Credo, I'm teeming with a lot of views:


With many complex facts about the substance Homoousios!

Chorus of Seminarians: With many complex facts about the substance Homoousios,
With many complex facts about the substance Homoousios,
With many complex facts about the substance Homoousi-ousios!

I've very good recessional, antiphonical canticles,
I know the secret names of all the Jesuit conventicles,
In short in matters liturgical, ecclesial and clerical,
I am the very model of a modern vicar-general!

Chorus of Seminarians: In short in matters liturgical, ecclesial and clerical
He is the very model of a modern vicar-general!

I know salvation history, King David's and the Sampson locks,
I answer hard sed contras, and own a pair of scarlet socks.
Respondeo dicendum every Vatican concilius,
All liturgics I can celebrate in Romanist basilicas.

I can tell undoubted Augustines from Bossuets and Zwinglians,
I know a Sarum Epiklesis and excommunicate the Arians,
Then I can hum the Sanctus if I've heard the mode ex nihilo,
And sing in tono recto Pax Domini cum spiritu tuo!

Chorus of Seminarians: And sing in tono recto Pax Domini cum spiritu tuo,
And sing in tono recto Pax Domini cum spiritu tuo,
And sing in tono recto Pax Domini cum spiritu tuo!

Then I can write encyclicals in a monastical scriptorium,
And pontificate the meaning of St. Paddy's grand loriculum,
In short in matters liturgical, ecclesial and clerical
I am the very model of a modern vicar-general!

Chorus of Seminarians: In short in matters liturgical, ecclesial and clerical,
He is the very model of a modern vicar-general!
In short in matters liturgical, ecclesial and clerical
He is the very model of a modern vicar-general!
I'm sending it to Fr. Van.

**For those whose Latin is lacking, I believe this is "kiss me, I'm Catholic."
Bwahaahaha! Check out The ten step Marty Haugen song writing program. Okay, it's a little mean but it's funny!

A tip o' the hat to Mark Shea for the link. He's in a pledge drive so throw a buck his way, eh?

Thursday, March 09, 2006

A Winter Wonderland

It's snowing today. It actually started snowing late last night (around midnight), big fluffy flakes. It didn't snow a lot last night but it stuck. As I was going to work this morning it was snowing pretty hard but the streets were clear.

Monday, March 06, 2006

I'm sorry I've been so out of action on the blog here! Life has been keeping me pretty busy. I had wanted to comment on B16's new encyclical and some other stuff I can't even remember now.

Apparently South Dakota has now banned abortion in most cases. This will be an interesting test in many respects. Unfortunately I'm not convinced that even the current Supreme Court will uphold this law. We'll see.