religion

Pater Nobis (Our Father)

Note: When migrating my blog over from Lifeisaprayer.com, I dug up a number of unpublished posts that I had completely forgotten about; this was one such post that I had written just prior to the birth of our first child (who is now three, and reminds us of the fact at least twice per hour—me: "How did you know how to do [some incredible new skill]?" - him: "Becawse I'm thWEEEE!"). I originally wrote this post in November of 2012, but am finally publishing it in 2016!

In the past few months, I've had much occasion to think over the words of the Our Father. Specifically, I've been thinking a lot about the relationship of a father and his children, and the love of a father.

In the Our Father, we hear of some of the traits of fatherly love:

LCWR Assembly in St. Louis

For the past few months, the LCWR (Leadership Conference of Women Religious) has been gearing up for an annual convention in St. Louis (my home diocese), where they'll have a keynote by Barbara Marx Hubbard.

Google finds some interesting tidbits about Hubbard:

"Agents of conscious evolution training." — her newest course, offered via her site.

"Birth 2012; Cocreating a planetary shift. It is time to activate a new era of human possibility and potential!" — Also from her site.

"Conscious evolution is the evolution of evolution, from unconscious to conscious choice. While consciousness has been evolving for billions of years, conscious evolution is new. It is part of the trajectory of human evolution, the canvas of choice before us now as we recognize that we have come to possess the powers that we used to attribute to the gods." — From her site's description of 'conscious evolution'.

"Noli irritare leonem" – Don't disturb the lion

Someone shared a link to slides from a recent lecture put on by Credo St. Louis by Rev. Michael Witt concerning religious liberty and the current furor over the HHS contraception mandate.

Noli Irritare Leonem - Crest of Archbishop Peter Richard Kenrick

During the presentation, Fr. Witt spoke of the episcopal motto of Archbishop Kenrick, Noli irritare leonem (seen in the picture of his crest above, which I took during a visit to the Old Cathedral a few years ago). It is translated, "Don't disturb the lion," and conveys a special message today: don't try stripping us [Catholics] of our religious liberty, or you'll get the full force of our fury!*

The Continuity of the Eternal Word in New Media

This page contains information and resources pertaining to my 2011 presentation at the Catholic New Media Celebration entitled "The Continuity of the Eternal Word in New Media". After that presentation is posted online, I will post a link to the full video and any other appropriate resources here.

Download this Presentation

You can download a PDF file with all the slides from the presentation here: The Continuity of the Eternal Word in New Media [750KB PDF].

We communicate an Eternal Word

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (Jn 1:1)

Before we can proclaim this Word, we must ready ourselves—we need to nurture our own relationship with the Word of God. We can only do this when we are able to profess a relationship with Jesus. Here are two documents pertaining to the 'New Evangelization' to which we are called:

Morality and Politics

A few years ago, I remember a certain dispute over a restaurant coming into the city of Florissant (where I lived until I was 18). This restaurant (which shall not be named, but is known for busty waitresses and 'irreverence') wanted to have a location in the City of Florissant, but was voted down for moral concerns by the city council at the time.

Regardless of whether or not I supported this restaurant (I did not, and voiced my own concerns at a council meeting), I was highly alarmed by a statement one of the council members made in reference to my concerns: "I cannot legislate morality!"

The problem is, you can... and in fact, every single law that our society (and every society) is built opon is law built upon morality. So, maybe what this council member meant to say is "You can only legislate morality—yours or mine!" (that would be more truthful).

A speech given by Archbishop Chaput at the University of Notre Dame this week prompted the memory I recalled above:

"There is no such thing as morally neutral legislation or morally neutral public policy," he said. "Every law is the public expression of what somebody thinks we ought to do. The question that matters is this: Which moral convictions of which somebodies are going to shape our country's political and cultural future?" (Source).

Let's take, for example, the law that states you must obey posted speed limits. This law is meant to make driving safer for everyone on the roads. Without it, someone might be going too fast, relative to the cars around him, and could end up hitting another car, causing harm to another person and himself. Our society believes, then, that individual freedom to choose a speed at which to drive is not as important as saving another person from potential harm. On a basic level, what the speed limit says is: "Persons should not be harmed."

Therefore, limiting the speed of travel on US roadways is moral legislation.

Take any law, anywhere, and on a basic level, you'll discover a moral belief that is being protected: "Natural resources should be protected," in reference to any law dealing with conservation. "Every company should have a chance at success," in reference to anti-monopoly laws.

Thoughts on Avatar...

Not Real - Move on with your Life
Image from Geekologie

From a friend's blog post on Avatar:

People applauded at the end of the film, which I found a bit disturbing. Visually, it was awesome. But we just saw humanity slaughtered on an alien planet. We just saw the greed of humanity at its worst. We just saw a terrible spirituality exalted as ideal. And, finally, we just saw the remnant of the humans sent back “to their dying planet,” and we cheered.

No wonder people feel depressed after stepping out of the theater and back into reality. We are scum. We are parasites. We deserve to die on this rotting planet for our sins against Mother Earth.

Signal to Noise

... or, Liturgical Music: Finding Hymnody to Enlighten the Mind and Lift the Soul

Having been a Seminarian for the Archdiocese of Saint Louis—an Archdiocese with great diversity in liturgical music, priestly ministry, and culture—I have had a great variety of liturgical experiences. Also, being a young adult with twenty-four years of musical listening habits under my belt, I've listened to a wide variety of genres, most especially alternative, classical, and pop music (with a bit of country music thrown in on the side). My most consistent favorite is soundtrack music (which can incorporate many of these styles in a single album).

Priestie Boyz - Lost in Ecstasy

A project on which I am proud to have worked is the recording and mastering of an album (pictured above) for a Seminarian rock band—I helped with everything besides the musical talent. (You can buy the album, Lost in Ecstasy, by the Priestie Boyz, on CDBaby or iTunes). I also had the privilege to work in radio engineering for five radio stations over the course of five years—two pop stations, one soft rock, and two AM/talk radio stations.

These experiences recently came to my mind simultaneously as I attended a youth-oriented Mass, at which many liturgical hymns (published in OCP) were sung with the accompaniment of two guitars, a drum set, and some percussion instruments.

In my analytical mind, I was using my mind's waveform analyzer (didn't know I had one of those until now!) to 'see' the music. What I saw made me think quite a bit about the different genres of music, and different purposes of music—especially liturgical music. In particular, I thought about the efficacy of different styles of music in worship, and how fitting (or unfitting) are different styles, especially for different audiences.

Abortion: What About Rape, Incest, etc.?

Recently someone emailed me (in good spirit), encouraging me to outline the Church's response to abortions in case of rape, incest, grave danger to the mother's life, etc., and so I shall oblige.

One must understand, as I have come to understand, that abortion is evil. Abortion causes the death of a human being—a living person (that I believe is endowed with a soul given by God at the moment of conception, although that is debatable). Even though the person may not be completely able to live on his own yet, he is living, with his own cell structures, DNA, genetic code, etc., and should be given all the God-given rights any other human person has. Abortion, the immoral killing of a human being in a mother's womb (and sometimes outside the womb), is wrong. Our society seems to be stuck on saying 'NO' to life; why can we not begin to accept the great gift of life God has given to us?

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church (2270):

Music: Profanity, Addiction, Piracy

Well, now that I'm on break, I have a little time to devote to writing another entry (sorry it's been so long). I thought I would do well to write about music, as it is one of the most influential and intriguing media forms today; not only is radio (FM, AM, Satellite, Internet, etc.) extremely prevalent in our modern society, the instant availablility of music from places such as the iTunes Store or any local music store makes music a potent medium with which many different people spread their ideas and influence.

Not only can someone quickly find almost any popular music on the planet, but he is also able to carry it all with him on his iPod, on a CD player, or using some other portable method. What goes into a person's head is very important, for the Bible states, "I do not allow into my presence anyone who speaks perversely" (Psalm 101:3). How important it is, then, for us to protect ourselves from not only people who speak perversely, but also to protect ourselves from their words, i.e. music.

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