The motions

My daughter Amelia is about to turn 2, and she is such a delightful human being.  She is at an age when she loves to see what Mama and Papa are doing, and she does her best to imitate.  This includes baking, putting on deodorant, nursing babies (she nurses her doll), reading stories (again, she’ll read to her doll), and even exercising.  All of this is taken up with wonder and exuberance.

This will tie in, in a moment.

From the first donation, I have been fascinated with the whole process of giving blood.  Naturally, there are the very good, altruistic reasons for doing it – you can help save or improve the lives of those who are critically injured or ill.  In fact, it is an almost completely altruistic act.  The only thing one concretely gets from it is a snack and some juice.  Less concretely may be a sense of moral superiority, but we’ll leave that aside for now.

The fascination has to do with actually giving away, in a real sense, a part of one’s very life.  It is admittedly a modest part, and one that is not very sacrificial beyond giving up some time and a . . . → Read More: The motions

Rapturegate Redux

I’ve received some feedback for my first Ratpuregate post so I wanted to clarify my thinking on this issue. I also learned an important lesson: you should try to avoid heavier topics when looking out over San Francisco Bay from your executive suite at the Hilton – sometimes there is a time and a place for deeper thought. : )

Before I clarify my point it’s important to point something out. First – Mr. Camping should be pitied and also feared for his ability to mobilize the campaign he did. Pitied because he has squandered quite a bit of his fortune on such a foolish pursuit; feared because he was able to take so many other people with him, many of whom risked much more than he did.

The point I wanted to drive home which, upon further reading, I missed the mark on is this: why was the whole world so fascinated with this? Facebook, Twitter, Google News, TV news, print news have been frenzied over this prediction. Why?

There are some who think it was like watching a train wreck with Mr. Camping and his followers being the ill-fated train. Others who think this was a way for . . . → Read More: Rapturegate Redux


The only thing more fascinating than someone spending $100 million on a campaign advocating a bunk prophecy is how much play this has gotten in the press. Flipping through the channels in my hotel room last night, talk about Harold Camping’s bold (and now, utterly false) prediction was inescapable. Now I know atheists are planning post rapture days on Sunday and those who utterly despise religion are using this to show the foolishness of the entire faith enterprise, but I think this points to an all together wonderful and escapable truth – we are created for God.

A recent study by a professor of psychology from Bristol Univrsity has put forth a proposal that our brains are literally hard wired for God. While I don’t propose to know the science behind this, I, for one, believe it. And I think this entire rapturegate (I hope I’m the first one to throw “gate” at the end of the word rapture in the history of media) is a fascinating case study in the inescapable metaphysical reality of God.

We are created by God, for God. It’s in the deepest parts of us. St. Paul teaches us that the whole of creation . . . → Read More: Rapturegate

Fire-breathing Catholics – St. Henry Morse

About to be martyred:

“Come, my sweetest Jesus, that I may now be inseparably united to thee in time and eternity:  welcome ropes, hurdles, gibbets, knives and butchery, welcome for the love of Jesus, my saviour.”

St. Morse’s story is almost absurd in its repetition.  Well, that’s one Jesuit who made the list…

Thanks to Quotable Saints, compiled by Ronda De Sola Chervin.


When I look at this picture, I see a kid with a huge smile on his face.  I see a teenage kid with his family posing for another family photo.  He could easily think he’s too cool for it, but he wants to get in on the fun. You can sense a closeness in this picture.  A genuine joy.

Almost 40 years after this photo was taken we have the one below, snapped as the news of that same kids’ assassination spread across the globe.

What happened?

How did this kid, smiling with his family on a bright sunny day, become responsible for the blood of 3,000 men, women, and children?  How did this kid become a man who could dream up using a passenger jet as a missile? How did this kid’s death become the cause for chants of “USA! USA! USA!” and waving American flags?

In looking at the contrast between these two photos one thing struck me, Osama Bin Laden was never just a man in the collective consciousness of our culture.  His name was a symbol the moment it first came into our living rooms.  It was a symbol of hate, of murder, of terror. . . . → Read More: Dignity

Sign of the Cross

Arriving at, during, and departing from Mass, Marcy and I will make the sign of the cross on ourselves, and then on our girls.  Amelia (almost 2) is particularly interested in the holy water, and will sometimes bless her baby doll as well.  Or, you know, whatever that gesture can mean to a little child.

In the process of all of this, onlookers will sometimes watch steadily, and some will smile approvingly.  When Amelia wants to rush into the baptismal font at St. Julie, this usually draws laughter.

This of course, is all fitting.  It can be…hmm…adorable, or even “cute” to watch children doing as their parents do, to see the faith tangibly being passed along.  Those serious observers, too, may be on to something.

This sign is not like a sticker you get at the doctor’s office, or learning manners when you greet someone, or even something idiosyncratic that the child mimics after watching her parents do it a dozen times or so.  It is cute to see your daughter talking to her uncle on the phone, and walking around the house because that’s what her parents do when they’re on the phone.

We are, in fact, marking them . . . → Read More: Sign of the Cross