Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tewkesbury Road

One of my Mom's favourite poems:

IT is good to be out on the road, and going one knows not where,
Going through meadow and village,
one knows not whither or why;
Through the grey light drift of the dust,
in the keen cool rush of the air,
Under the flying white clouds,
and the broad blue lift of the sky.

And to halt at the chattering brook, in a tall green fern at the brink
Where the harebell grows, and the gorse,
and the foxgloves purple and white;
Where the shifty-eyed delicate deer
troop down to the brook to drink
When the stars are mellow and large at the coming on of the night.

O, to feel the beat of the rain, and the homely smell of the earth,
Is a tune for the blood to jig to, and joy past power of words;
And the blessed green comely meadows are all a-ripple with mirth
At the noise of the lambs at play and the dear wild cry of the birds.

by John Masefield

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Go Team Hoyt!

"The goal of Team Hoyt is to integrate the physically challenged into everyday life. One way to accomplish this is to educate the able-bodied, making them more aware of the issues that the disabled face every day. Another is by actively helping the disabled to participate in activities that would otherwise be inaccessible to them. Team Hoyt targets both of these areas." -- from the Team Hoyt website

Friday, July 24, 2009

The 13th Day

I just heard about this film today...

You can find out more about this movie here.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Sunday, July 19, 2009

I should've posted this three weeks ago...

...when many people were grumbling that MJ's death was getting more media coverage than the protests in Iran. Apparently several thoughtful souls had the good sense to put together YouTube videos depicting the protests in Iran, with MJ's music playing in the background - a good way of keeping the world's attention on Iran, even while paying tribute to Mr. Jackson.

In my opinion, this was a much more creative and productive response than just complaining yet again about the media and bashing the dead guy, which is unfortunately how some of my fellow conservatives reacted...

Saturday, July 18, 2009

More on The Shack

I finished reading The Shack by William Paul Young a couple of weeks ago, and after Mom read it too we had to return it to the library because there are currently many other folks on the waiting list. Unfortunately, this means I don't have the book in front of me right now, so I'll just have to go on memory.

I liked the story very much. One can look at it from both a literary and a theological perspective. I'll try not to give away too much of the story, but here's what I liked about it:

- God shows personal interest in an individual's suffering;
- The main character encounters God in the place that once caused him the most pain;
- The unique depiction of the Trinity (an example of Divine accommodation);
- The focus on forgiveness;
- The emphasis on living in a dynamic relationship with God;
- The reminder that those who have passed on and who are at peace with God are definitely in a better place, and are filled with joy.

There were some sections of dialogue between the main character and God which I'll admit I read over a little quickly because I found the exchanges to be a bit cumbersome. I remember thinking that I would probably have had the main character ask God different or additional questions to the ones that were asked - and I would probably have depicted God answering some of those questions in a different way or with a different emphasis. (But then, I wasn't the one who took the initiative to write such a creative story, and Mr. Young, as the author, is free to have his character ask God whichever questions he wants!)

I remember one paragraph raising a question-mark in my mind - it had to do with the hypostatic union and I remember thinking the paragraph should be re-worded. I've also read one article on the book in which a Catholic reader felt that God sounded too much like Luther in a discussion on the relationship between grace and good works. My impression was that the author of The Shack wanted to convey that being in relationship with God was the most important thing - that good works naturally (or supernaturally) follow from that, but that the primary thing was to be in communion with God.

I don't have the energy at present to write a treatise addressing all the theological points raised in the book - besides, that would require me to have a copy of the book in front of me, which I don't. I will say that in my ideal world, Mr. Young's manuscript would have somehow passed through the hands of one or two of my Catholic editor friends before the book finally went to print... :) But since that didn't happen, I'll just address the book as it currently is and say, "Thank you, William Paul Young, for writing a unique and moving story which helps people to see the extent of God's love for the individual, as well as the importance of forgiveness."

Read more about William Paul Young here and here.

The Power of Your Love

The choir sang this today during Mass. They sounded lovely...

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Rush on Sarah's Resignation - "It's All Speculation"

Brian Maloney, the Radio Equalizer, caught up with Rush to get his thoughts on Sarah Palin's decision to step down as Governor of Alaska.

(h/t: Kathy Shaidle)

Saturday, July 4, 2009

And to my American friends...

Happy 4th of July!
I found this cute image at deltanewsweb.com

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

And before I forget...

... Happy Canada Day!

The Shack, Michael Jackson, and other things

We finally got a copy of The Shack (by William Paul Young) from our local library! I've started reading it, and will write more about it later.

I haven't had any energy for blogging lately, even though there's so much I could've written about: the Sri Lankan protests in Toronto, the protests in Iran, the murder of poor Neda, various celebrities passing on...

Right now, I'm trying to be proactive in fighting against headaches, insomnia, and my tendency towards depression, by doing the following:

- daily exercise
- eating healthy food
- taking vitamin supplements
- going to bed earlier during the week
- cutting down on caffeine
- improving my spiritual life

I'm also grateful to good ol' Rush Limbaugh for smacking down those who claim to have absolute knowledge that Michael Jackson did bad things to children: Please read this and this.

For me, Michael peaked with his Off the Wall album, released in 1979. I also saw him and his brothers in concert in Toronto, in 1981 (I think). As someone who grew up listening to a lot of pop music, I really enjoyed Michael Jackson's musical talent in my earlier years. Jackson music was often playing in the background during fun times I had growing up. I could've done without the crotch-grabbing that he incorporated into his dancing in later years, and I felt sad about his excessive plastic surgeries - I often wondered if anyone close to him ever tried to say to him, "Hey Michael, this is a bad idea - don't do this!"

The news of his death was a shock - I took a while to write anything about it on my blog, because I was embarrassed to admit just how much pop music and pop culture had been part of my earlier life, but the truth is I am sad about Michael Jackson's death, and in many ways, I'm also sad about his life. Michael's passing also made me feel nostalgic about years gone by.

For the last few days, a number of folks have been upset that MJ's death is being given more news coverage than other important events. Others have even referred to MJ as "a pedophile" and "a sick predator". I was disappointed to see that some of the folks using these terms were conservatives. Then, I read what Rush had to say (see earlier links a few paragraphs up) and my faith was restored - the King of Conservatives did not let me down!

I pray Michael's soul is now singing and dancing in God's mercy and peace.