Thursday, March 13, 2014

Chastity Trialogues

In case you're wondering what I've been up to the past couple of months, mostly I've been working on producing content for a Catholic chastity web-site that will be launching soon. The site itself is still a work in progress, but I can give a sneak-peek of some of the videos that we've produced.

Positive Chastity


Long Haul Virtue


Spiritual Direction and Confession


Friday, January 24, 2014

Apparently After 2am I Become an Augustinian

Once upon a time beauty was everywhere
But somehow when we fell it altered
Concentrated in particular moments
Made more beautiful by contrast
And the reign almost ubiquitous of ugliness
Was the triumph of the good
Everywhere truth fell to pieces
And we fed on her entrails in the dark
Yet somehow in the hungered frenzy
We tasted something Real
And knew it was a person
And longed to know His name
We cried in the darkness
And no one could explain
Except the darkness
The silence
The soft still voice beyond the waterfall
The one who could have been a raging fire
But chose to be a quiet whisper.
And that is how we knew Him
How we trusted
Because He hardly announced Himself at all
Just moved in to our heart
And became one
With no explanation, or apology
No accounting for this wonderful pain
Only truth and terrible beauty
That we long for
That we long for
Beyond desiring
Beyond the furthest strength of our hope
Where grace alone suffices.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

It's My Birthday Precious!

I've been away from the blog for a while. I have all the good excuses: Christmas chaos, six sick children, etc. But I've become increasingly embarrassed that the first visible post here is about Duck Dynasty. In order to correct for this egregious aesthetic fault, I provide the following reflection by Henri Nouwen. This comes courtesy of my friend Wesley Hill (if you haven't read his book, you must) on the occasion of my birthday:

Birthdays need to be celebrated. I think it is more important to celebrate a birthday than a successful exam, a promotion, or a victory. Because to celebrate a birthday means to say to someone: "Thank you for being you." Celebrating a birthday is exalting life and being glad for it. On a birthday we do not say: "Thanks for what you did, or said, or accomplished." No, we say: "Thank you for being born and being among us."

On birthdays we celebrate the present. We do not complain about what happened or speculate about what will happen, but we lift someone up and let everyone say: "We love you!"

I know a friend who, on his birthday, is picked up by his friends, carried to the bathroom, and thrown clothes and all into a tub full of water. Everyone eagerly awaits his birthday, even he himself. I have no idea where this tradition came from, but to be lifted up and "re-baptized" seems like a very good way to have your life celebrated. We are made aware that although we have to keep our feet on the ground, we are created to reach the heavens, and that, although we easily get dirty, we can always be washed clean again and our life given a new start.

Celebrating a birthday reminds us of the goodness of life, and in this spirit we really need to celebrate people's birthdays every day, by showing gratitude, kindness, forgiveness, gentleness, and affection. These are ways of saying: "It's good that your are alive: it's good that your are walking with me on this earth. Let's be glad and rejoice. This is the day that God has made for us to be and to be together."

Friday, December 20, 2013

Much Ado About Nothing or The Duck Dynasty Debacle

I can't believe the amount of attention that this is getting. Actually, I can. So I'm going to give it more, but not much more. Here's the deal: the guy gave an interview where he said a lot of offensive things, not just about gay people. A&E has a really slick marketing department. They said "We are going to have egg on our face if we do nothing. So let's turn this into a major publicity stunt! We'll fire the guy, but instead of giving the boring obvious reason (he's a racist) we'll make it into a gay-rights, first-ammendment foofaraw! We will mobilize the entire Culture Wars machine to create publicity for our crappy little reality TV show. Huzzah!"
That is the whole story. Pay it no more mind.