Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Treat Yourself...

...to this great talk on the Holy Spirit by Carole Brown, given on 7/3/04 as part of Francisican University of Steubenville's Young Adult Conference in Washington D.C. Carole graduated with a Master's degree in Theology and Christian Ministry from Franciscan University in 1997 and worked there for 8 years as the Director of Evangelistic Outreach. She's currently a Missionary in Ireland, as well as a Ph.D. student.

I hope that eventually more of Carole's talks will be available online. Meanwhile,
you can link here to visit Carole's blog and read about her adventures: A Light to the Nations

Friday, January 25, 2008

A Hilarious Spoof by Jerry O'Connell

Yesterday, I came across Jerry O'Connell's very funny parody of a Tom Cruise video. Before you watch the video below, you HAVE to see the original video Jerry is spoofing. The original video of Tom Cruise is 9.5 minutes long, but it's worth watching to properly enjoy Jerry's much shorter parody. First CLICK HERE to see the original video of Tom on gawker.com. Then watch the video below. Please forgive me, Tom, but Jerry's spoof really is funny!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Wise Words from De Sales

To remember him on his feast day, here are some quotes from St. Francis De Sales, the "gentleman saint":

Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset.

Nothing is so strong as gentleness, nothing so gentle as real strength.

Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections.

Make friends with the angels, who though invisible are always with you. Often invoke them, constantly praise them, and make good use of their help and assistance in all your temporal and spiritual affairs.

For more quotes by St. Francis De Sales, please click here.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

35th Annual March for Life!

Today is the 35th Annual March for Life. I regret that I won't be participating this year, but I send my thoughts and prayers out to those who are marching today in D.C. and in other parts of the States. God bless you all! Try to keep warm!

For more information on today's March, please click here.

Monday, January 21, 2008

It's a Beautiful Morning!

This morning I was up early and actually saw the sunrise! That doesn't happen often - not just because I'm rarely up at sunrise, but because where I currently live, most mornings and days are continually cloudy at this time of year. The greyness and bleakness can become depressing - and a sunshiny morning is a real lift to one's spirit! So far it's been sunny all morning! Of course, it inspired me to think of the 1968 song by The Rascals...

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Thinking out loud

I've been thinking a lot about my recent experiences at a University whose intended purpose is to raise up faithful young Catholics to be professionals in their fields and witnesses to their faith.

It was very sad to experience first-hand the lack of fellowship among staff. Many staff members there are fearful of the administration. Staff are sometimes let go without notice or cause, and management is perceived as being cliquish and aloof. Female employees have to learn by word-of-mouth that the Chancellor prefers that they wear skirts, pantyhose and close-toed shoes and that they may be called to task for not wearing them, even though the employee handbook does not state that such dress is required. In fact, the handbook states that dress slacks are permissible for women. There's nothing wrong with dressing professionally for work, but I'd rather that the particulars of the expected dress code were placed directly in the employee handbook rather than having to learn through private conversations that this is what you must do to please the Chancellor.

There was also a regrettable tension between those who are inclined towards a more solemn Catholic spirituality and those who prefer Charismatic-style prayer. At this school, possibly everyone involved desires to be faithful to the magisterium, whatever their personal spirituality may be, but rather than use this setting as an occasion to learn and celebrate both tradition and charism, many in the "traditional" camp see themselves as being persecuted by the "charismatic" administration (whether this is actually true or not is, in my opinion, debatable). Unfortunately, some of the administration do make terrible decisions when it comes to managing people and when it comes to public relations. The policy of letting people go without notice or cause is particularly upsetting when it takes place in a school that claims to aspire to high Catholic ideals, especially when some people have uprooted their lives and relocated their families, in order to be a part of the school's mission.

I do keep this school and its various projects in my prayers. I want it to succeed for the sake of the students who are there, and for the sake of the dedicated faculty and staff who have sacrificed much in order to work and live there. But I pray that there will be a change in the administration's style of management and that they will take more concrete steps to foster a sense of community and fellowship. I think this is essential in order for this school to succeed.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Angels Listened In!

Today I was visiting Dawn Eden's weblog The Dawn Patrol and came across this cool machinima video by Charlemange Fezza. The song is The Angels Listened In by the Crests.

According to the site: "The Crests are best known for their hit 16 Candles. Their lead vocalist was Johnny Maestro and for a short time, Luther Vandross' older sister Patrica was a member of the group. This is a fictional story of Patrica appearing on TV with the guys."

Please click here to visit Charlemange's YouTube channel and see her other videos!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

In the News...

R.I.P., Mr. John Vincent Coulter 1926 - 2008

My sincere condolences to Ann on the loss of her Father. Here's an excerpt from her moving and sometimes funny tribute to him:

"When Mother was in a rehabilitative facility briefly after surgery a few years ago and Father was not supposed to be driving, we were relieved that a snowstorm had knocked out the power to the garage door opener, so Daddy couldn’t get to the car. It would just be a week and then Mother would be home.

My brother came home to check on Father the first day of this arrangement to find that he had taken an ax to the side door of the garage, so he could drive to the rehab center and sit with Mother all day."

Now that's a dedicated spouse!

Please click here to read Ann's complete tribute to her Father


Congratulations, Governor Bobby Jindal!

Click here for the scoop

To read more about Governor Jindal's story, please click here

Sunday, January 13, 2008

St. Joseph, Pray for Us!

God our Father and Creator,

You bestow on us gifts and talents to develop and use in accord with Your will.

Grant to me, through the intercession of St. Joseph the worker, as model and guide, employment and work, that I may, with dignity, provide for those who depend on me for care and support.

Grant me the opportunities to use my energy and my talents and abilities for the good of all, and the glory of Your name.

Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Source: Daily Prayers by Priests of the Sacred Heart

Thursday, January 10, 2008


I miss the puppies...but I'm happy for them because I know they have one of the nicest possible owners in the whole world!

You can click on the picture to see these two little cuties close-up.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Saved by Hope: more on the topic of Eternity

Yesterday, Father John recommended I read Spe Salvi (Saved by Hope), an enyclical by Pope Benedict XVI given on Nov. 30, 2007. Sections 10, 11, & 12 look at the question "Eternal Life - What Is It?"

Here's a quote from the end of section 12:

"To imagine ourselves outside the temporality that imprisons us and in some way to sense that eternity is not an unending succession of days in the calendar, but something more like the supreme moment of satisfaction, in which totality embraces us and we embrace totality—this we can only attempt. It would be like plunging into the ocean of infinite love, a moment in which time—the before and after—no longer exists. We can only attempt to grasp the idea that such a moment is life in the full sense, a plunging ever anew into the vastness of being, in which we are simply overwhelmed with joy. This is how Jesus expresses it in Saint John's Gospel: “I will see you again and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you” (16:22). We must think along these lines if we want to understand the object of Christian hope, to understand what it is that our faith, our being with Christ, leads us to expect."

Please click here to read the whole encyclical.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The Last Things

I'm currently working on my FINAL paper for the final course of my graduate degree. Please God, help me to get through it - I've been working on this program part-time for the last 12 years!! Appropriately, the topic of the paper is The Last Things; i.e., Death, Judgement, Heaven & Hell.

I find myself wondering a lot about what heaven will be like; how will it be experienced? The thought of perfect and eternal peace and joy is beyond my imagination but, boy, do I desire it! I know what I would like heaven to be like, but I also believe quite happily that it will be infinitely better than anything I could ever imagine.

When I think about heaven, I think about happy times with friends and family, beautiful landscapes & skyscapes, soaring through space, cozy settings, warm beverages, good food, endless adventures & engaging activities, continual learning, music, laughter, closeness to others & central to all of this, an ever deepening relationship with God; knowing Him like I've never known Him before - and I think that heaven might be a little like all this, but much, much, much, much more; it will continue to be exponentially more for all eternity. Wow...

Anyone read The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis?

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Happy Birthday, Professor!

Today is the birthday of Professor John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (1892-1973), Professor at the University of Oxford and Author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

The Tolkien Society invites us to raise a glass today and toast the Professor!

Please click here for more info from The Tolkien Society.

Put It In Writing!

The beginning of the new year seems like a good time to re-establish my goals - and I figure, maybe if I put them in writing where the whole world can read them, I'll try harder to reach those goals. On the other hand, there are probably a grand total of four people (including myself) who read this blog with any regularity... but the three of you are free to encourage me every now and then to stay on track! I'd be grateful for that!

Here they are:

- to complete my final paper for my final course, and write my comprehensive exams;
- to follow my diet and exercise regularly;
- to pay off my credit card debt

Thanks in advance for your prayers and encouragement! Please feel free to share your goals too, if you so desire!

God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
the Courage to change the things I can,
and the Wisdom to know the difference.