Vandalism at Holy Family Cathedral in Anchorage

Long time, no blog – but unfortuantely I come bearing bad news.

Holy Family Cathedral in Anchorage, Alaska was pretty badly vanalized the other day. I frequented the Cathedral whenever we went up, and it is overseen by the AMAZING Dominican priests.

altarvandI will try and update as more information comes out, but for now you can check some of the O.P.’s facebook pages:

He took a video walk-through of the vandalism. While some may say that this isn’t a big deal, or turn this and make it into an opportunity to speak to what the Church or the Cathedral could/should do differently – that distracts from the fact that someone had intent in their heart to do this. It wasn’t the first time something happened either. This is an ongoing problem, and the worst part is this is a church/parish that does more than almost any other parish I have ever seen to give back to the community.

Please keep them in your prayers.

Where is God in all of this? – Robin Williams, RIP

While many are listing their favorite movie, their theological arguments about the state of his soul, my one thought goes to a line in a much misunderstood movie of his:

What Dreams May Come“: A story about a man who dies (Williams) and goes to Heaven, but risks eternal damnation by going into Hell to rescue his wife after she commits suicide in the wake of his death.

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Chris Nielsen (Williams’ Character): Where is God in all of this?

Albert (Cuba Gooding Jr.): Oh, He’s up there. Somewhere… shouting down that He loves us. Wondering why we can’t hear Him. You think?

Enter the Triduum

Meister_des_Hausbuches_003I was going to write a post about “Feet Washing” and then I realized why I haven’t blogged in a while and what I do want to write about if I start up again.

So in that direction, I will instead wish you all a Blessed Triduum and Happy Easter!

Embrace not what divides us and separates us from Christ but instead draw near and embrace the Crucifix of Mercy and Salvation as Jesus did when he washed the feet of the Apostles. (See what I did there?)

 

 

 

Help if you can…

These types of tragedies are part of the world, one to which we do not belong but must spend our time, and so the suffering is real and excruciating at times.lewis

Dear friends,

Many of you know Sean and Becca Lewis from UD, CUA and WCC. I’m sad to tell you that two of their daughters, Emma and Olivia, passed away today.

Emma and Olivia were in a car wreck with Becca. Becca has no serious injuries. Sean and their middle daughter, Vivian, were not in the car. For the official statement from Wyoming Catholic College, please see their FB page:

https://www.facebook.com/WyomingCatholicCollege

I’m writing to ask you to donate to a fund for Sean and Becca. They are surrounded by your love and prayers, which will carry them far. This money will allow them to worry less about finances in the coming months. As you may know, funeral expenses alone can be $10,000-$15,000. I’m setting our goal high so we can also give them the gift of some time and resources to grieve. Please share this with anyone who may want to donate.

With love, Maureen and Nick Benes

It is our Christian duty to show love and ease the suffering of others.

Please help through Prayer, Fasting, or Alms.

For the last of these please visit: The Sean and Becca Lewis Fund

A guide to FASTING & ABSTINENCE from ‘St. Peter’s List Blog’

O’ happy fault, let us enter LENT with open hearts and penitent lips.

For some helpful explanations and reminders about FASTING and ABSTINENCE check out St. Peter’s List Blog:

Lent

The Idiot’s Guide to Fasting and Abstinence: 5 Things to Know

Ukraine Revolution?

indepsq

I have not had a chance to write about it yet, but have been following closely the situation in the Ukraine.

As we awake this morning there are reports that the President, Viktor Yanukovych, has resigned or will shortly be resigning.

Yulia Tymoshenko, the face of the Orange Revolution in 2005, has been freed from jail after an overwhelming vote in Parliament.

Once the dust settles a bit I plan to write a more in depth post about this. Until then I may just update this post.

ICYMI: Undeniable Signs That The Pope Is Doctor Who

Here is a little Doctor Who/Papist humor… meant to be funny, not disrespectful.

From Qwantz via Buzzfeed:

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You won’t be able to look at the show, or the office in the same way again.

You’re welcome.

Oh, and Buzzfeed’s take:

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Thoughts on Justice & Mercy

Divine Mercy
Divine Mercy

St. Thomas Aquinas says this of MERCY:

…mercy is heartfelt sympathy for another’s distress, impelling us to succor him if we can.

Aquinas explains that MERCY is a virtue, and that it is a desire to avoid evil, and to move away from evil. Yet, I have always wondered if MERCY is required. For mercy can’t come without an understanding of JUSTICE.

Justice is a virtue as well.

So when I read about two situations of what I would call MERCY, I wonder if they are required by JUSTICE, or if they are acts of MERCY that are such because they extend beyond the JUSTICE that could be administered.

Deacon Greg Kandra wrote about both, the first being a teacher at a Catholic school who was fired for her pregnancy out of wedlock, a violation of her contract allegedly. The second, the Catholic funeral of Philip Seymour Hoffman.

ladyjusticesquareI believe both situations he describes are acts of MERCY, but if I argue that, does that mean that neither are acts of JUSTICE, but instead are MERCIFUL because they ascend JUSTICE only to transcend it?

Maybe that is how we should all seek to act. To seek out justice in our lives, and find opportunities, and the strength and mental vitality to ACT MERCIFULLY. In some cases think mercifully.

The Importance of Sacrament Remembrance

The Baptism of the Lord (Theophanylcon)
The Baptism of the Lord (Theophanylcon)

This is a small idea, but one that was reinforced at Mass today during the Homily.

The priest said that he often has as least one person during his Marriage prep discussions call their mother1 to ask the when/where details about their Baptism. His point was that for such and important day in our lives, we know so little about it, and do so little to commemorate it.

This is another thing that PROTESTANTS do, that we as Catholics don’t. Now, before there are a million reasons thrown at me as to why it isn’t necessarily necessary2 let me just say that even conceding the unknown arguments in this vein against my premise, it still is something that we could do, and that might have some good spiritual gravity in our lives.

My wife and I for example said that we always wanted to make a “big deal” over Sacrament days, and name feast days. We have some friends that do it right, and just name their children after the “Saint of the Day” but we chickened out with our first, and with our second we chose not to go with “Saturnius.” That being said, we do celebrate the other days, and minimize overall birthdays. It isn’t so much that we don’t celebrate birthdays, we do make a “Big deal” of them to the extent we believe they should be, but we also don’t meet the standards to have our birthday celebrations meet the criteria for any reality shows.

The point I am so horribly trying to make is this: if our faith is important to us, and like the priest said today “What is better than the gift of faith, the gift of CHRIST?”, then why wouldn’t we want to focus on and emphasize those days that have spiritual importance in our lives?

So in a few days when our son’s baptism day is upon us, we will do SOMETHING, and even though our daughter’s baptism day is on another Sacrament day in our family, we will do something. We want to pass on the faith, and pass it on in a way that isn’t separate and distinct from who we are, but as an integral and everyday part of who we are.

  1. He stressed that it is ALWAYS the mother. []
  2. A little philosophical modal logic there. []

The Fight Over the Pope

Pope Francis Street

I did two things tonight I rarely do.

  1. I posted an article that I had skepticism over but thought it would be interesting to discuss, but that I knew was more “trolling” than anything.
  2. I took down a post.

Right now, there is a battle waging over the Pope, and Catholics all over the world are fighting to make him stand for their view of Catholicism. Unfortunately, what more of us should be doing is finding ways to listen to what he says, and figure out how he can lead us to fit our lives to the views and heart of Christ.

There is a bigger post lingering in my head here, but I can’t quite figure out what is happening. I think there is a lot of fear involved in the hearts of Catholics, whether they want to admit it or not, and we forget who the real enemy is.

Let us pray for the Church and for the Pope.