Crazy About Truth

This blog contains the random thoughts that enter into my mind. Most of these will be of a serious nature that I will then proceed to mangle until unrecognizable. But I may yet discover truth in something...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Greatness of Prayer

I started a new blog, The Greatness of Prayer. My purpose is simply to post prayers online. I hope you will find some value to them as I have.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Obama on ND Campus

I don't really get tired of seeing this video.

Mankind's default position

It seems like all of humanity, by nature, looks around and sees the world, and from that point on, decides that he wants to dominate it. Somehow or another, a person always struggles for primacy. If he were unique in the food chain, he would fight to be the master of the animals and the world. Since he is not unique, he instead competes with the rest of his race (and the rest of creation, for that matter) for dominance. I don't really have much other thought on this. I was just noticing it the other day while I was sitting at the stoplight after I left my house. It occurred to me that I was sitting there, wondering if I was a better driver than everyone else. This train of thought followed me to the next intersection where I looked straight ahead and saw the gym. Immediately, thoughts of "Wouldn't it be neat if I were able to lift more than every other person in there?" came coursing through my head, but they were quickly dismissed as I turned left and then right, establishing my presence in every lane as I entered I-66. At no point in time did I ever really yield to traffic: all traffic yielded to me. It felt natural -- it felt like traffic flowed.

Before I wax too philosophical or poetic, I'm going to go to sleep. I'm going to try to get up early tomorrow and get to the gym.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

More on Religion

This occurred to me today while shaving. Don't ask me why -- maybe I was psyching myself up for Mass, maybe it was the concert yesterday in the Episcopal church, maybe it was the conversion story that Tim told us during the intermission of a man who became Catholic because of one of the pieces (Gaude Rosa Spina, by Fawkyner) -- whatever it was, there I was, scraping my face, and a little light comes on.


There are two religions in the history of the world that began with an acceptance of rules from God: the Jewish Religion, all the way back in the Old Testament, first with Abraham, and later with Moses, and continued with the Prophets. The only other one is the completion of the Jewish religion, the Catholic Faith, which brought all the faith and hope of the Jews for the Messiah to completion. You may say that, following this logic, there are two true Faiths, the Jewish religion and the Catholic Faith, but it's not so. The Jewish religion ended with the Messiah. The Jewish religion was built up around the anticipation of the promised Messiah. When the Messiah came, the Jewish religion was ended, and the religion established by the Messiah (who was Jesus Christ, in case you're not following this) was the True Faith, and this trumps all other faiths before then and still to come.

All other faiths began with a denial of truth. Or, in the case of modern Jews, "No, the Messiah never came. Jesus wasn't the Messiah." In the case of the Muslims, "Jesus wasn't God, but only a Great Prophet, second to our prophet." In the case of the Eastern Orthodox Rites (which have valid orders, so their sacraments are real), "Jesus did not make Peter the head of the church, and thus, the Pope is not the head of the church, but all the bishops are instead when gathered together in council, as it was with the apostles." In the case of the countless variations on Christianity, "Oh, I accept Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior, but..." and then the buts go all over the place, usually focused on something along the lines of: "but I don't believe that you have to belong to one religion to go to heaven; I believe instead that any religion that asks you to be good will get you there."

Of course, my thoughts on this are far from complete, and I'm certainly not the only person to have ever thought this. I'm sure if you do a minimal amount of searching, you'll find much better sources than I. You might even prove me wrong on my points about other religions. But you can't prove me wrong about the position of the Catholic Church as the religion established by Jesus Christ, and therefore the only Faith that can grant salvation to mankind.

Just my $0.02...

Friday, January 16, 2009

Bush Farewell Speech

Mr. Bush, I salute you. I can only hope that our new president isn't as bad as I believe him to be.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Challenge to all Catholics: Expressions of Faith

I'm a member of the Diocese of Arlington, and thanks be to God, it has diversity. Unfortunately, this is a pendulum that swings two ways. It has enough diversity to allow the Tridentine Latin Mass in all parishes where requested (Motu Proprio comes to mind), unlike in other dioceses that still think it's outlawed (you can tell that some people don't actually follow what the Holy Father has proclaimed). It also has enough diversity [read with a lisp] to allow for nutty liturgies and guitar Masses. I was one of three men on the front page of the Arlington Catholic Herald in late June, 2007, in an article talking about the music appreciation of the Diocese. I was singing Gregorian Chant.

There was one line in a two page article that references Gregorian Chant in an off-handed way. Sacred Polyphony was either blended into that same sentence, or was the second sentence of that two sentence paragraph, also mentioned rather off-handedly. It gave major preference to all the other forms of "sacred music" (Broadway, 70's tunes, Creole folk songs, etc.).

So this brings me to the buildup to my question: As Catholics, we are united in Faith. We have one Creed that we recite every Sunday. If we are united in Faith, why don't we express our Faith in a unified way?

Speaking of music, why don't Catholics sing at Mass? I don't mean the members of the choir. Anyone who is in the choir sings every Sunday. (All of you can stop reading, if you like.) To the people who "can't sing" or just don't sing, what is preventing you from opening your mouth to give praise to God in the ways proscribed by the Church? Joining in the hymns and chants of the season is a great way to do so. Responding where necessary (depending, of course, upon the Liturgy you attend) is also recommended for participation, although not strictly necessary. What is required for participation is simply an attitude of actually wanting to attend Mass. Showing up is a good start. Showing up and paying attention is participation is the loosest sense of the word. Showing up, paying attention, and responding and/or as applicable is even better. Showing up in your Sunday best is showing your best side to God (which is yet another good step). Showing up in your Sunday best, sitting towards (or at) the front of the Church, being attentive, being good, maintaining a prayerful and respectful demeanor all the way through Mass is probably the best that we can do on this earth. It's hard, but hey, heaven isn't free.

Time to break some things down. I won't go into all of them today.

To those of you that come to Sunday Mass in less-than your best, what's up? Is God not worth it? If you can't afford good clothes, that's something else. Your best may be only one level above your worst. But if it's your best, it's your best.

Alternately, the people who come in Gucchi shoes, Ralph Lauren designed shorts and shirts, Oakley sunglasses riding on the tops of their heads should not attend Mass like that. Sure, it may be their "best", if by "best" you mean "most expensive", but I certainly don't. I'll never wear an UnderArmor outfit to Mass that isn't respectfully covered by something else, and that's pretty darn expensive. I wear suits to Sunday Mass, and at least nice-looking clothes to weekday Masses.

As a Confession, I will say that my dress code for weekday Masses is seriously relaxed from Sundays (I won't talk about Christmas and Easter). I'm still working on following the example that I set out as ideal. But my clothes are at least modest, and not too distracting -- at least, not to my knowledge. Of course, considering the Politically Correct Mumbo-Jumbo that infects today's society, I'll never really know for certain, unless the priest tells me.

Ideally, your "Sunday best" should be your "Mass best". If you put the best foot forward to give God the glory due to Him by appearing at Mass in a tasteful, non-distracting manner, you'll have overcome one major obstacle on your way to the perfection to which God calls all of us, and that not a single person on earth has achieved.

God Bless!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Challenge to all Catholics: Do You Really Believe in God?

While I going through my normal routine, I began to notice that I wasn't making much time for God. Every day, I roll out of bed, reset my alarm, and go back to sleep. Eventually, it becomes ridiculous beyond the point of belief, and then when I do get up, I've been in bed for so long that it's just time to start my day, and if I don't get started, I won't get anything done. Alternately, I tend to work long hours, such that when I'm done, I have about 2 hours to handle all of my other responsibilities, and then I go to bed, and rattle off only quick prayers.

This doesn't mean that I don't pray. I do try. Every so often, I do succeed, at least it would seem so to me. But this brings up a question.

Why do I do this? I mean, if I really do believe what I say about God, and how He loves us and how we owe Him absolutely everything, how is it that I can spend one minute (or less) in every 24-hour period thanking Him, worshiping Him, talking to Him?

To those of you who have a similar pattern, maybe you can help answer the question. To quote a good friend of mine, "I'm a sinner in need of a Great Savior." And I've got One. But I have to use the grace that He gives me to attain salvation. More often than not, I don't use the graces given, and that tends to be a problem.

Anyway, just stop and think about that. Every day that you dedicate to yourself and your needs, are you stopping to thank God for the life that He gave you, the friends you have, the Catholic Faith that you belong to (and I hope hold dearly)? Are you using His graces and His Gifts?

Also, a quick reminder, today is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (Our Lady's Conception, not Our Lord's). Today is a Holy Day of Obligation. You are not under any restrictions today for fasting or abstinence -- since it's a feast day of the Church, I think that fasting and abstinence is forbidden. Anyway, also, just make sure you go to Mass today!

God Bless!