Saturday, August 05, 2006


I found this great website that posts a few great television shows from times past. When you have some time and need a blast from the past, click here.


Mahna Mahna

Swedish Chef making sweedish meatballs

Thursday, August 03, 2006

I've been memed!

Don't know what being memed means? Here's a definition. Thanks Domini Sumus.

1. One book that changed your life
The Sabbath by Abraham Josua Heschel. I know, I know, that's not Christian. But all Christians can understand Christ a little better by reading Heschel. This book showed me how the day of rest is what re-orients our life to God. Man was made for the Sabbath and the Sabbath was made for man.

2. One book that you've read more than once
The Lord of the Rings. Love it!

3. One book you'd want on a desert island
I wish it was the Bible and I know I would need it but I don't know how I'd survive without my brievary! I know the psalms are all there but I could find all the material for prayer that I would ever need in my brievary.

4. One book that made you laugh
DON'T HATE ME!!!! Rush Limbaugh is a big, fat, Idiot by Al Franken. It was vulgar and contained way too many swear words but I really don't like Rush Limbaugh and this book helped me explain why...dialogues are supposed to be two way not playing something someone says and then commenting on what they say. Franken is not always right but he's right in many of his criticisms of the conservative media.

5. One book that made me cry
This is a tough one, not only because I'm a guy and, therefore, never cry but because I don't read frustrating works. But, if you were looking for books that should have been a lot better, on the top of my list was "Lake Wobegon Summer 1956" which had one funny part and then really sucked after that.

6. One book you wish had been written
How to make a young man know that priesthood/celibacy is a great life. I not only wish that I could write it, I wish I could explain it.

7. One book you wish had never been written
Duh Vinci Code. If you know me, you know that I believe this is the most evil book ever written and that it will only cause evil. People who think this book will cause people to think about religion and that all publicity is good publicity are ignoring the problem that we are beginning to experience within Christianity: freedom is not defined as the ability to tell God what he should be/do.

8. One book you're currently reading
The Collar by Jonathon Englert. REALLY BAD THEOLOGICAL EXPLANATIONS!!! But, I'm waiting to see what's going to happen with some of the guys. One of the guys is the typical liberal wacko straight out of the sixties/seventies: women priests, married priests, communion for anyone even unbaptized, church should be out in the trenches and doing everything different, destroy the church and her history and that's going to be good. He's either going to leave seminary or have to change.

9. One book you've been meaning to read
Let me start a list:
Christian Faith and Same-Sex Attraction: Eastern Orthodox Reflections. by Thomas Hopko
Deep Conversion Deep Prayer by Thomas Duba SM
God is Near us by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger
Priestly Celibacy Today by Thomas McGovern

Cardinal Johannes Willebrands

Probably no one really knew who this man was but he worked tirelessly for the ecumenical movement to make us one again. Who's gonna fill his shoes?

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

A better tribute than "Have you forgotten"

I don't like the song "Have you forgotten" by Toby Keith. First of all, I don't like his voice. He's got a problem with what I call forced vibrato. But, secondly, he acts like a schill for the Bush administration. I haven't forgotten about the World Trade Center. Have you forgotten that Iraq and Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with that and that while we waste precious resources fighting that war, the real war on terror OSAMA BIN LADEN, continues to make movies and reinforce troops. I want to shout, "no, I haven't forgotten. How in the heck did you?"

So, I don't like the song. I found this video using Enya's song "Only Time", which I find to be a better reminder of that awful day.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

God or the GIRL

So, I found out here that the one guy in the series "God or the Girl" that was supposed to have gone to the seminary never went.

It's not a huge surprise. I was encouraged by the fact that he was one guy that seemed to have celibacy in correct perspective. But, he was too affective. You can't depend on God to make this vocation feel comfortable. It's innately uncomfortable.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Just as the grains of wheat are gathered, so let your church be gathered

In one of the earliest descriptions of mass, called the Didache, this prayer was prayed over the bread, “We thank you, our Father, for the life and knowledge which You made known to us through Jesus your Servant; to you be the glory for ever. Even as this broken bread was scattered over the hills, and was gathered together and became one, so let your Church be gathered together from the ends of the earth into your kingdom; for yours is the glory and the power through Jesus Christ for ever.” I was thinking about that the other day when something strange happened. I looked around the student center and asked myself, “Where are all the students?” Now, you may ask yourself if I’m totally oblivious to what is happening around me or if I had a temporary memory loss, but let me assure that, you that life at St. Thomas is not like a Soap Opera. Instead, what happened was that I became acutely aware that I’m really looking forward to having the rest of our parish back. It’s not that I don’t appreciate those of you who have stayed here the whole time; our resident parishioners and student parishioners who were here for the summer, but, to use an image borrowed from Pope John Paul II, our parish has two lungs and one of them has been gone for a while. It will be nice when we have them both back.

The ironic thing is that you would have received an entirely different response from me two or three months ago. I was ready for some peace and quiet after several 2:00am moments of being awoken as the bar crowd walked by my window. I actually looked out as Buchanan hall one Saturday morning when all kinds of moving vans and trucks were pulling up to take students home and I said to myself, “good, get those kids out of here” now I want them back so that our parish can get back to normal.

Our gospel today is both a culmination and a transition: it is the culmination of what has taken place the last two Sundays. These past few Sunday’s we’ve been hearing a consecutive set of readings from the gospel of Mark. You might remember two Sundays ago, Fr. Ev preached about how the apostles were sent on mission and Fr. Ev also challenged us to go on mission. Last week, I preached about the return of the apostles and how they were not given time to reflect on their evangelical mission because they were overrun by people. I challenged us to persevere through the tough times in order to carry out the mission that we began. The next story in Mark is the very story that we heard today but, as you may have caught, we transitioned to the Gospel of John. Same story, just expanded a little bit…enough to fill five Sundays talking about the bread of life. The transition to this is this miracle story of the feeding of the 5000 and all that surrounds it. Just like last week, we recognize that the success of the apostles evangelical endeavors has led to a large crowd that seemed like sheep without a shepherd, to use terminology from the gospel of Mark. In John, however, there is no demand for food. Jesus just knows their hunger and desires to feed them. I imagine most of us can sympathize with the hunger of the crowd. But, imagine being Phillip who heard that it’s his responsibility to feed them. It seems impossible. It would take 200 days wages to feed 5000 people! It takes Andrew’s cool head to see that Jesus wasn’t going to leave them without hope. He was probably at the wedding at Cana when Jesus turned Water into wine, he knew he could feed the hungry masses. Because of a boy’s five loaves and two fish and the faith of Andrew, the whole crowd is fed such that there is even more left over than when they started.

I think it deserves to be said that there are a few messages that aren’t quite central for this reading. The fact that there was enough left over that they had to gather it up is not just an ecological message about not wasting food, even though that’s a good message that we Americans need to hear. Nor is this gospel merely a message about sharing, as though the crowd, upon seeing the young man turn over his meager fish and loaves, opened their bags and started giving over what they had. It’s obvious from their reaction, wanting to make him king, that a real miracle happened here similar to the miracle that Elisha did in the first reading. Despite how important an ecological message or a message about sharing is, neither of them really has to do with this particular passage of scripture.

Instead, taking the next step from the previous two passages in Mark, Jesus is trying to tell us that his message needs to go out to all people, not just either to those who want to hear it or those who act like they want to hear it. Our goal, according to the second reading today, is “to preserve the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace”. God wants us all to be united under Jesus Christ “with all humility and gentleness, with patience.” Just as Jesus gathered the fragments together, so we are called to gather the lost sheep together, especially the ones that are hardest to convince.

In the next few weeks, we will go through a difficult transition with the arrival of several new parishioners. Many of them will walk into St. Thomas and experience a liturgy like they have never experienced before. Let’s face facts; we do things here that don’t happen in most other catholic churches. This is intimidating and, again to be honest, it turns some people off. One thing that can help people make the transition to St. Thomas a little easier is quite simple: helping them know that even as strange as our liturgy might seem, they belong here. This is part of our common mission as baptized Christians – to welcome the stranger and help them feel united to us. It’s not just the role of the staff or even just the role hospitality ministers. All of us are called to do what we can to gather the people of God together so that, “(e)ven as this broken bread was scattered over the hills, and was gathered together and became one, so let your Church be gathered together from the ends of the earth into your kingdom; for yours is the glory and the power through Jesus Christ for ever.”