Monday, April 14, 2014

Gethsemane today

Friday, March 14, 2014

Donut Philosophy and Theology

After mass fellowship will never look the same.  Got this from facebook, happy to give credit to whomever first snapped this....

Of course, we can add on!
  • Pope Francis: Donuts bring joy.  Let us share the donut.
  • Pope Benedict XVI:  I'm finishing my donut early.
  • Pope John Paul II: Let us begin our pontificate with audiences on the Theology of the Donut.
  • Flannery O'Connor: That donut was destroyed by a one legged spitoon of a man named "Glory."
  • Rahner: We must authenticate the donut.
  • von Balthasar: May we hope that all eat donuts?
  • Fr. Barron: Let me explain the historical deliciousness of the donut.  With video.  And books behind my back.
  • Matthew Kelly: Obtain the best version of the donut you can find.
  • Fulton Sheen: Life is worth living. So have a donut.
  • St. John of the Cross: In lent, we often choose to embrace the dark night of the donutless.
  • Augustine:  Lady Continence than offered me a donut, and it was holey and good.
  • Thomas Aquinas: After consuming the donut, all I have written is straw.
Anyone else?

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Biblical short notes: The Gospel of Mark

(A new series of blog posts on the Bible in shorthand. Based on teaching this gospel in depth to college freshmen for 10 years.)

They were amazed!
They were afraid.
They were amazed!
They were afraid.
They were amazed!
They were afraid.
They were amazed!
They were afraid.
They were amazed!

[They were occasionally dense.]
They were afraid.
They were amazed!
They were afraid.
They were amazed and afraid.
They were amazed.
They were afraid....

[Shorter ending: They were amazed!]
[Longer ending: They were really amazed!]

Not the end.

aka "the spiritual life in 16 chapters"

Monday, February 17, 2014

Jesus Says Twitter Is More Virtuous As Bloggers Close Down Shop

Twitter=virtue?  Looks like the Holy Spirit.
New York City, NY: Catholic blogger Mariann Seneca did not expect to stop blogging forever at 10am this past Sunday morning.  But due to listening to the Gospel reading at her parish, she did just that.

"It's just that when our priest intoned 'Let your yes mean yes and your no mean no; anything more is from the Evil One,' I realized: I have nothing at all to blog about now," she admitted, wiping a tear from her eye.  "I mean, I blog on Catholicism and politics with a daily dash of cultural criticism.  EVERYTHING I write is more than yes or no.  'Yes, because she's an idiot.'  'No, over my dead body.' Seriously, what does a blog post look like when you strip it down like Jesus Christ commands?  I've got a title: 'Is embryonic stem cell research wrong?' and the entire body of the post is one word: Yes.  I'm frozen here, I don't know what to add.  Can I even add a meme? I just can't blog under these conditions."  And she wept bitterly.

Fr. Fred Gallman, social media director at the diocese, noted that while the gospel gives "rich food for thought," he admitted it would be useful to go a bit beyond yes or no, to present arguments for the yes or no pastorally and logically.  "The point is not to get on a roll with your pride," he said. "And occasionally, to just shut up."  When asked if he really meant that, he closed his eyes and said, "Yes."

Other Catholics involved in social media argued that the gospel provided an opportunity for micro-blogging, aka twitter. "The pithiness of twitter was forecast by Jesus years before we caught on," argued Dr. John Savenborne, professor of communications at RBCU*.  "Indeed, one could argue that twitter encourages virtue by pruning our lack of charity.  According to the Sermon on the Mount, the Kingdom of Heaven is a twitterverse."

"Facebook," Savenborne added, "is for parables. But few can master that method.  And after the parable is given, you need to walk away.  Virtually impossible for anyone but Jesus."

Seneca said she would consider moving her forum "Kickin' Catholics" over to Twitter, but was concentrating on gratitude for her narrow moral escape.  "At least I don't have to pluck my eye out today," she sighed.


* RBCU= Really Big Catholic University

Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentine's Day Catholic Worker Pick Up Lines

Also known as the post wherein I create too small a humor niche.  If you have no idea what the Catholic Worker is, google it: founded by Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin in the early 20th century, assorted lay people take informal vows of poverty to create houses of hospitality for the homeless and engage in education and civil disobedience for social justice as needed.  But, niche or not, here we go:

  1. I'd love to go out with you for dinner.  Do you prefer dumpster-diving at the organic local foods fair trade coffee and sandwich shop or at the Five Star Corporate Steakhouse, where we can protest wait staff wages?
  2. You know, the Long Loneliness could end here tonight.
  3. Would you like a roundtable for two?
  4. Would you accept these lovingly grown no pesticide flowers in a pot and promise to compost them later?
  5. Just because Peter and Dorothy had a Platonic relationship doesn't mean we would have to.
  6. So.  Let's blow this Popsicle joint and create a new community together!
  7. We can live for today because jail is my retirement plan, anyway.
  8. Hey, I've heard "Joe the Homeless Guy everyone knows in town" cuss you out, too!  We have so much in common.
  9. I'll bet you make an awesome donated vegetable soup.
  10. Do you wash dishes?  You do?  Want to move in?

UPDATE: From another blog: Catholic Social Teaching pick up lines.

Monday, February 10, 2014

The World Council of Churches' Winter Olympics: medal round up

Photo credit.
Geneva, Switzerland: The World Council of Churches, tired of the lengthy debates and nuanced discussions of ecumenical work, broke loose and held its first Winter Olympics last week.  Enjoying good sportsmanship and fierce competitive spirit (except for the Quakers), the denominations participated in each sport.  The hard won results are found below.

Alpine Skiing 
  • Downhill  Gold: Lutherans, Silver: Southern Baptists, Bronze: Reformed
  • Slalom  Gold: Roman Catholics, no silver or gold because all other competitors diverged off the path

Biathalon, Gold: Roman Catholic, Silver: Coptic Orthodox, Bronze: Byzantine Rite Catholics

Bobsleigh, Gold: Lutherans, Silver: Methodist, Bronze: Prebyterians

Cross Country Skiing, Gold: Pentecostalism, Silver: Roman Caholicism, Bronze: Evangelical Christians

Curling, Gold: Quakers, Silver: Unitarians, Bronze: the Amish

Figure Skating,
  • Mens, Gold: Russian Orthodox, Silver: Anglicanism, Bronze: Ukrainian catholic
  • Womens: Gold, Russian Orthodox, Silver: Ukrainian Catholic, Bronze: Roman Catholic
  • Ice Dance Pairs, Gold: Russian Orthodox, Silver: Roman Catholic, Bronze: Antiochene Orthodox

Freestyle Skiing (Moguls), Gold: Unitarians, Silver: United Church of Christ, Bronze: Episcopalians

Ice Hockey: Gold: Roman Catholic, Silver: Presbyterian, Bronze: Lutheran 

Luge: Gold: Seventh Day Adventist, Silver: Messianic Jews, Bronze: Jehovah's Witnesses

Nordic Combined: The WCC convened and decided they had no idea what Nordic Combined was.  While an attempt was made to create an ecumenical discussion on the definition of the sport, it was decided this would be even more difficult than finding a common definition of the eucharist/Lord's Supper and everyone decided to head to the chalet and have a reconciliatory fair trade cocoa instead. Competition cancelled.

Short track Speed Skating, Gold: Evangelical Christian, Silver: Jehovah's Witnesses, Bronze: Baptists

Skeleton, Gold: Reformed, Silver: Lutheran, Bronze: Presbyterian

Ski Jumping: Gold: Roman Catholicism, Silver: Pentecostalism, Bronze: Willow Creek

Snowboarding,  Gold: Spiritual Not Religious, Silver: Unitarian, Bronze: United Church of Christ

Speed Skating,  Gold: Roman Catholic, Silver: Greek Orthodox, Bronze: Russian Orthodox

In general, it was a good Olympics for the Catholics, who traded on their endurance, liturgical elegance, and ability to adapt, the Russian Orthodox, who train like heck for any sporting event and brought a deep beauty to every event, and the Lutherans, since Luther's small catechism required facility in winter sports for confirmation (the little known reason for Lutheranism's long standing popularity in Scandanavia).

The surprise of the games was the weak showing for the Baptists, who do make up a significant percentage of Christians worldwide, but the president of the Southern Baptist Convention reminded people that Baptists typically shrink and die north of the Mason-Dixon line, and perform better at the Summer Olympics.

Ecumenical dialogue begins again starting March, after the bragging rights have died down.


Sunday, January 26, 2014

Too. Cold. To. Be. Original. Thus: "It's cold in the old Church tonight" jokes

It's So Cold...(-9 and windy tomorrow here in the Miami of Minnesota)...
  • It's colder than Pharaoh's hardened heart. 
  • I'm shivering like a sinner entering a confessional after 50 years' absence. 
  • Too cold to put away the creche. Besides, the penguins coming to worship the infant Jesus are cute. 
  • It's so cold that the local women's Bible study, reading about Isaiah walking naked through the city of Jerusalem, immediately began knitting long wool tunics. 
  • You lit the Easter candle and the flame froze. 
  • Before the flame froze, the puff of smoke rose, crystallized, fell to the ground, and shattered. 
  • Father decided to open the fridge to heat the rectory. 
  • Parishioners are ruing the day it was decided to name the parish "Our Lady of the Snows."  Ad hoc committee looks for Marian apparitions in warm climates.
  • A close call: there was an attempted robbery of the church! But the police told the robber to freeze, and he did. 
  • We rejoice always and in all circumstances, because it is flu season--and now people are looking forward to getting a fever. 
  • The local Eagle Scout created a chapel igloo, and it comes with a lifetime guarantee. 
  • When the pastor calls the congregation "the frozen chosen," it's no longer a joke.  Just literal truth.
  • Someone lit every one of the candles in the church for heat. Or prayer intentions have gone up 500%.  Betting on the former.
  • The Mary statue on the Church grounds neither weeps nor blinks but begs you to take her inside at night. Pilgrimages are set to begin when the temperature gets above zero.

Monday, January 20, 2014