Thursday, May 17, 2007

Even bigger news!

Faithful readers of my blog know of my concern for China's tight control of the catholic church. In the communist state, they insist on appointing their own bishops and jailing legitimately ordained catholic bishops. But, I just heard about this story that says the pope may have been invited to come to China at the end of this year. If true, it would be incredible! The Chinese government had better look out, however. Other communist regimes have thought they could have the Vicar of Christ visit with little or no consequence. And other communist regimes have fallen because of their message of freedom.

God bless our German Shepherd.


I arrived at work today with the usual clamor. Someone had come and needed me to fill out a "parishioner in good standing" sheet but I'd never seen him before and he admitted that he'd never been here for mass. I told him that I couldn't do that because, not only was he not in good standing, but he wasn't a parishioner. He left with a smile on his face...a smile that seemed to say, "I'll be the one that puts the flaming bag of dog poop on your door."

I walked around to my mailbox to see if there was anything in it and, sure enough, it had arrived. My copy of Pope Benedict's new book "Jesus of Nazareth" perfect time for my retreat! I'll be away on retreat starting this Sunday and going to Friday. I plan on reading the substance of it while sitting outside of the monastery in the sun, two chapters per day.


I'm in heaven

And my heart beats so that I can hardly speak

And I seem to find the happiness I seek

When were out together reading Benedict

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

proof that I'm really a liturgical geek

I read as often as I can and I found the story about priests' vesture while blessing both very informative and a great question to answer. I get questions like this from good hearted little old ladies all the time. Some slightly mistaken priest may have given them information that seems more like superstition than anything else and they are confused. I'm glad when Fr. McNamara clears it up for us.

A weekend of relaxation with family and friends

I'm basically just getting back from one of the best weekends I've had in a long time. I took my camper out on Thursday and pulled it back in on Sunday. Mom and Dad and my brother Dave went camping with me along with our family friends, the Hoffmans. It really was a nice weekend, despite hight winds on Sunday and just a good weekend to be with Mom, since it was mother's day.
I decided to preach about the idea of change and how we cannot fear it but we also can't get lost in it. Change has been a part of the Catholic Church more so in the last forty years than in the previous four hundred. I'm always afraid that Catholics will either embrace the fact that the church will always change and lose the transcendent nature of certain truths (trinity, divinity, begotten, Christ, etc.) or that we will get tired of all the change and become putrefied. Ultimately, love forces us to go wherever it wills us to go. It isn't always where we thought we'd be but it's where the God who is love wants us to be.

I finished my bit of relaxation by having an outing with a group of young priests. The gossip was thick. The conversation somewhat rarefied but these are the men that understand my situation better than anyone else. I did have to laugh, however, when I realized that the guy who is a year younger than me is a pastor already while I am praying to remain an associate for a few more years...