Friday, July 27, 2007

So many good thoughts that I can't even remember one

I keep having these thoughts that would make good blog ideas while on my walk but forgetting them by the time that I can actually blog. They all tend to be what I would call "interesting dichotomies" or why the church thinks differently about things. I do remember one, though.

I was listening to about four talk shows last night on my drive back from Dubuque seeing a great drum and bugle corps competition. Hannity and Colmes, Alan Colmes, George Schultz, and the O'Reilly factor. I'd listen for a while until they frustrated me and then I'd switch to the other side and listen for a while. While there were points that I agreed with all of them, there were also times when it was abundantly clear that they violated the values of Love God and Love neighbor that I treasure.

One of the more interesting conversations happened on the Alan Colmes show. There's an Arabic speaking school being opened in Queens and people are opposed to it. When I was listening to it, they got the typical redneck idiots who think that the language is the problem, not
radicals that want to kill us that happen to speak the language. One person just made me angry because he said something along the lines of, "I'll ask you a question: they will read from the Koran", which makes me mad because it's not a question.

What really made me mad, however, was that no one was listening to anyone else. Everyone else was so steeped in their own position that the basics of respect, hearing the concerns of others and addressing those concerns, was totally lost. I just kept thinking that it's a good thing that church doesn't operate like this. We aren't always going to change for you but we allow for dissent and at least try to listen to what people say.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Great Quote

I'm reading the book "Catholic Matters" by Richard John Neuhaus. I thought this was a hilarious quote and so true that it makes me cry....

"When the Second Vatican Council permitted the liturgy in the vernacular - contra many liturgists it did not mandate the vernacular - slap-dash translations of the Latin were rushed into use...Many of the appointed prayers may be summarized in the petition, 'O Lord, help us to be even nicer people than we already are.' Awe, majesty, mystery, unworthiness --anything associated with wonder in the face of the numinous -- is out."

Too true. Pray for the reform of the reform.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Hospitality

The readings today made me think of the importance of hospitality. It was tough, though, because I was in a parish that was thoroughly hospitable. My little parish in the country, Sts. Peter and Paul, is an incredibly welcoming place. There's a core group of ten or fifteen that reach out right away and make people feel welcome.

The story of Martha and Mary is, to me, a lesson in learning how to balance paing attention to guests and paying attention to guests physical needs. Martha was so fixated on food and drink that she lost how important it is just to be with someone, especially someone like Christ. Mary, on the other hand, erred on the side of conversation, on spending time with Christ. In retrospect, I could have used the example of the importance of Sunday as a day of prayer. While we work all week, Sunday should be a day of spending time with the body of Christ, the church.