Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Franciscan quotation


Prayer is the raising of the mind to God. We must always remember this. The actual words matter less. - Pope St. John XXIII

Pax et bonum

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Franciscan quotation


Take care to have around you people, whether clerics or laymen, who are wise, upright, and loyal, and free from covetousness. Talk with them often, but shun and fly from association with the wicked. - King St. Louis

Pax et bonum

Monday, September 18, 2017

Franciscan quotation


As in heaven Your will is punctually performed, so may it be done on earth by all creatures, particularly in me and by me.
- Saint Elizabeth of Hungary

Pax et bonum

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Franciscan quotation


Many apply themselves to prayers and offices, and practise much abstinence and bodily mortification, but because of a single word which seems to be hurtful to their bodies or because of something being taken from them, they are forthwith scandalized and troubled. These are not poor in spirit: for he who is truly poor in spirit, hates himself and loves those who strike him on the cheek. - St. Francis of Assisi

Pax et bonum

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Franciscan quotation


There are many who if they commit sin or suffer wrong often blame their enemy or their neighbor. But this is not right, for each one has his enemy in his power,—to wit, the body by which he sins. Wherefore blessed is that servant who always holds captive the enemy thus given into his power and wisely guards himself from it, for so long as he acts thus no other enemy visible or invisible can do him harm. - St Francis of Assisi

Pax et bonum

Mason Proffit - Sweet Lady Love / Terry Talbot & John Michael Talbot









Pax et bonum

Saul Alinsky - with a nod to Lucifer and Hell


Saul Alinsky, the father of community organizing whose writings and tactics influenced political parties - he taught methods to demonizing foes, destroying them on a personal level, and taking adversarial approaches just to name three tactics - and even some of the social justice programs of the Catholic Church (Call to Action, for example) and other churches said in an interview shortly before he died:
 
ALINSKY: ... if there is an afterlife, and I have anything to say about it, I will unreservedly choose to go to hell.
PLAYBOY: Why?
ALINSKY: Hell would be heaven for me. All my life I've been with the have-nots. Over here, if you're a have-not, you're short of dough. If you're a have-not in hell, you're short of virtue. Once I get into hell, I'll start organizing the have-nots over there.
PLAYBOY: Why them?
ALINSKY: They're my kind of people.
 
His last book Rules for Radicals, contains the following epigram:
 
Lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical: from all our legends, mythology, and history (and who is to know where mythology leaves off and history begins — or which is which), the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom — Lucifer.
— SAUL ALINSKY
 
The rules:
 
      1. "Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have." Power is derived from  main sources – money and people. "Have-Nots" must build power from flesh and blood.
      2. "Never go outside the expertise of your people." It results in confusion, fear and retreat. Feeling secure adds to the backbone of anyone.
     3. "Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy." Look for ways to increase insecurity, anxiety and uncertainty.
    4. "Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules." If the rule is that every letter gets a reply, send 30,000 letters. You can kill them with this because no one can possibly obey all of their own rules.
    5."Ridicule is man's most potent weapon." There is no defense. It's irrational. It's infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions.
    6."A good tactic is one your people enjoy." They'll keep doing it without urging and come back to do more. They're doing their thing, and will even suggest better ones.
    7."A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag." Don't become old news.
    8."Keep the pressure on. Never let up." Keep trying new things to keep the opposition off balance. As the opposition masters one approach, hit them from the flank with something new.
    9."The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself." Imagination and ego can dream up many more consequences than any activist.
   10."The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition." It is this unceasing pressure that results in the reactions from the opposition that are essential for the success of the campaign.
   11."If you push a negative hard enough, it will push through and become a positive." Violence from the other side can win the public to your side because the public sympathizes with the underdog.
   12."The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative." Never let the enemy score points because you're caught without a solution to the problem.
   13."Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it." Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions.

You see in these rules the roots of many of the tactics used in everything from community organizing to political campaigns - just think of how Rules 5 and 13 applied to the most recent Presidential election, for example.
 
In the book he also says "The third rule of ethics of means and ends is that in war the end justifies almost any means...." - clearly out of synch with Catholic teachings. Yet so many in the Church embraced his tactics.  Sad.

 
Pax et bonum

Friday, September 15, 2017

Franciscan quotation


“Every grace granted to man has three degrees in order; for by God it is communicated to Christ, from Christ it passes to the Virgin, and from the Virgin it descends to us.” - St. Bernardine of Siena

Pax et bonum

Rock of Faith God of Wonders 2016









Pax et bonum

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Franciscan quotation


“In things of beauty, he contemplated the One who is supremely beautiful, and, led by the footprints he found in creatures, he followed the Beloved everywhere.”   - St. Bonaventure (of St. Francis)

Pax et bonum

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Franciscan quotation


"While you are proclaiming peace with your lips, be careful to have it even more fully in your heart."  - St. Francis of Assisi

Pax et bonum

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Franciscan quotation


The devil is afraid of us when we pray and make sacrifices. He is also afraid when we are humble and good. He is especially afraid when we love Jesus very much. He runs away when we make the Sign of the Cross. - St. Anthony of Padua

Pax et bonum

Monday, September 11, 2017

Franciscan quotation (Chaput/Michelangelo)


For Christians, art is a holy vocation with the power to elevate the human spirit and lead men and women toward God. - Archbishop Charles Chaput

Pax et bonum

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Franciscan quotation (St. Bonaventure)


Chastity without charity is a lamp without oil. - St. Bonaventure

Pax et bonum

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Franciscan quotation (St. Francis - peacemakers)


They are truly peacemakers who are able to preserve their peace of mind and heart for love of our Lord Jesus Christ, despite all that they suffer in this world. - St. Francis of Assisi

Pax et bonum

Is It Ever Okay for a Christian to Judge Someone? | ChurchPOP

Is It Ever Okay for a Christian to Judge Someone? | ChurchPOP

Pax et bonum

Friday, September 8, 2017

Franciscan quotation (Padre Pio)


Keep your eyes fixed on Him who is your guide to the heavenly country, where He is leading you. What does it matter to you whether Jesus wishes to guide you to Heaven by way of the desert or by the meadow, so long as He is always with you and you arrive at the possession of a blessed eternity? - Saint Padre Pio

Pax et bonum

Misericordias Domini / Les Pauvres de Saint-François










Tres bien!




Pax et bonum

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Franciscan quotation (St. Clare)


Place your mind before the mirror of eternity! Place your soul in the brilliance of glory! And transform your entire being into the image of the Godhead Itself through contemplation. - St. Clare

Pax et bonum

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Franciscan quotation (Fr. Bodo)


Both in art and in nature one is moved to awe before the created thing and the mind and heart that created it - and awe is the prelude to admiration or adoration. One admires the human artist; one adores the Divine Artist. And from adoration flows all prayer. - Father Murray Bodo O.F.M.

Pax et bonum

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Franciscan quotation - a Blessing from St. Francis


A Blessing from St. Francis

May the Lord bless you and keep you.
May He show His Face to you and be merciful to you.
May He turn His countenance to you and give you peace.
May the Lord bless you.

Pax et bonum

Monday, September 4, 2017

Franciscan quotation


The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis. - Dante

Pax et bonum

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Franciscan quotation


“Let us thank God that He makes us live among the present problems. It is no longer permitted to anyone to be mediocre.” - Pope Pius XI

Pax et bonum

Father Kupaun Book: Informative, but ...



For school, I read The Miracle of Father Kupaun: Priest, Soldier, and Korean War Hero by Roy Wenzl and Travis Heying.

I had heard a little about Father Kupaun before, but did not really know much. The book certainly filled in details about his actions during the war, his death, and how he affected a number of people. He came across as a good man worthy of admiration. Certainly inspiring.

Should be officially recognized as a saint? I don't know. I leave that to the Church to decide.

I do wish the book had been better written, though. It's repetitive at times, and the interweaving of the stories of his two possible miracles becomes irksome after while; it would have been better just to tell each of the stories straight through.

If you want to know more about him, the book is a good start. Just don't expect a great read.

Pax et bonum

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Franciscan quotation (St. Charles Borromeo)


“Be sure that you first preach by the way you live. If you do not, people will notice that you say one thing, but live otherwise, and your words will bring only cynical laughter and a derisive shake of the head.”  - St. Charles Borromeo

Pax et bonum

Friday, September 1, 2017

Franciscan quotation


Beauty awakens the soul to act. - Dante

Pax et bonum

A response to Father Martin from Cardinal Sarah


A response from Cardinal Sarah to Father Martin.

Worth a read.

Pax et bonum

Three Clerihews (Clare, Moses, Trump)


Too sick to attend, St. Clare
miraculously saw the service as if there.
Because of that vision
she's now the patron saint of television!


If Moses
really supposes his toeses are roses,
then I'd be inclined to think
he's had too much to drink! 


Allegedly President Trump
called the White House a "dump."
If true, we presume he meant the facilities
and not his own policies.

Pax et bonum

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Franciscan quotation


Our labor here is brief, but the reward is eternal. Do not be disturbed by the clamor of the world, which passes like a shadow. Do not let false delights of a deceptive world deceive you. - St. Clare of Assisi

Pax et bonum

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Franciscan quotation (Archbishop Chaput)


We've all had friends tell us "I'm spiritual, but not religious." By that they usually mean they find purpose and communion with some higher power without the baggage of a religious tradition or other people telling them what to believe. This may sound appealing. But it isn't Christianity. - Archbishop Charles Chaput O.F.M. Cap.

Pax et bonum

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Franciscan quotation


All past persecutors of the Church are now no more, but the Church still lives on. The same fate awaits modern persecutors; they, too, will pass on, but the Church of Jesus Christ will always remain, for God has pledged His Word to protect Her and be with Her forever, until the end of time. - St. John Bosco

Pax et bonum

Pope Francis Derangement Syndrome


Various commentators have claimed that there is a "Trump Derangement Syndrome." Those suffering from this "syndrome" hate President Trump. They focus on what they regard as bad things he's done, and indeed seemingly give a negative spin to everything he does.

And the media, which he has repeatedly attacked, has stoked the fires with misreporting, bias, and outright lies.

Now I do admit I disagree with a number of things that Trump has said or done, but I'm also willing to admit when he is right. Of course, the minute I defend him in any way, or seek to refute misinformation about him, those suffering from TDS go after me.

I see a similar tendency toward negativity among some people toward Pope Francis. He is attacked, called a heretic, a bad Pope, and so on. There seems to be a Pope Francis Derangement Syndrome.

Part of the problem is misreporting in the media. He also has a tendency to speak off the cuff, which lends itself to misunderstanding. He does lack the poetic eloquence of Pope St. John Paul II, and the academic verbal precision of Pope Benedict XVI. And his focus is more pastoral than theological.

Sometimes he merits questions, even criticism, but the attacks, the snide comments, cross the line.

Here's a couple of examples:

This is what is so disturbing about Francis. His willingness to take something that is sacred and turn it into something that profaned God. A Jesuit should never have been made pope. The S in SJ, stands for Satan. SJ is Satan's Jesuits.
 
                 
I think Pope Francis as a Jesuit should clarify whetehr (sic) he supports the views of these leading Jesuit schools. Will he make a statement? I don't believe he will, because he doesn't seem to want to provide leadership for the Catholic flock.


It is now clear to all objective observers that the two “synods on the family”, held in 2014 and 2015, were intended from the beginning to try to force changes in Catholic teaching on marriage and the family. The process culminated in the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, promulgated by Pope Francis in April 2016, which contains numerous heretical proposition.


Faithful Catholics must prepare themselves for the inevitable escalation of this new assault on the Church, in which her own ill-catechised and malformed youth will be used against her. Those who control the mechanisms of power in the Vatican have given ample of proof of the extent to which they will go to spread their own perverted and distorted “gospel”, in the place of the true gospel revealed once and for all by Our Lord Jesus Christ.

I try to be more Franciscan in my approach. As Pope, he deserves respect.

St. Francis in his Admonitions talked about respect for clergy, even those guilty of sin.

"26. That the Servants of God should honor Clerics.

Blessed is the servant of God who exhibits confidence in clerics who live uprightly according to the form of the holy Roman Church. And woe to those who despise them: for even though they [the clerics] may be sinners, nevertheless no one ought to judge them, because the Lord Himself reserves to Himself alone the right of judging them. For as the administration with which they are charged, to wit, of the most holy Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, which they receive and which they alone administer to others—is greater than all others, even so the sin of those who offend against them is greater than any against all the other men in this world."


I think that Admonition is something more of us needs to heed when it comes to Pope Francis.

Pax et bonum

Setting up (school year begins)


I've now spent a couple of days in my new classroom, arranging desks, putting up pictures and posters, organizing the files and the desk. I still have a couple of days left - including copying stories and materials for the opening day.

It's strange after years at one school and in one classroom having to start over.

At this school, it's more than just setting up my room. I'm teaching new courses, new grade levels, under a very different educational system - Catholic Classical Liberal Educations (Liberal as in broad, not political). A very different approach, requiring some creative thinking. I'll be able to use some of my old stories and materials, but in different ways. Most of the stroes and materilas, though, will be new.

I'm both excited, and nervous.

Classes start next week.

St. John Bosco, pray for me.

Pax et bonum

Monday, August 28, 2017

Franciscan quotation


If young people are educated properly, we have moral order; if not, vice and disorder prevail. Religion alone can initiate and achieve a true education. - St. John Bosco

Pax et bonum

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Franciscan quotation


“Act today in such a way that you need not blush tomorrow.” - Saint John Bosco

Pax et bonum

Friday, August 25, 2017

Franciscan quotation (King St. Louis)


The first thing I advise is that you fix your whole heart upon God, and love Him with all your strength, for without this no one can be saved or be of any worth. - King St. Louis, Advice to his son


Pax et bonum

St. Louis IX - Advice to his son


King St. Louis IX - a Secular Franciscan - penned the following letter of advice to his son:

1. To his dear first-born son, Philip, greeting, and his father's love.

2. Dear son, since I desire with all my heart that you be well "instructed in all things, it is in my thought to give you some advice this writing. For I have heard you say, several times, that you remember my words better than those of any one else.  3. Therefore, dear son, the first thing I advise is that you fix your whole heart upon God, and love Him with all your strength, for without this no one can be saved or be of any worth.  4- You should, with all your strength, shun everything which you believe to be displeasing to Him. And you ought especially to be resolved not to commit mortal sin, no matter what may happen and should permit all your limbs to be hewn off, and suffer every manner of torment , rather than fall knowingly into mortal sin.  5. If our Lord send you any adversity, whether illness or other in good patience, and thank Him for it, thing, you should receive it in good patience and be thankful for it, for you ought to believe that He will cause everthing to turn out for your good; and likewise you should think that you have well merited it, and more also, should He will it, because you have loved Him but little, and served Him but little, and have done many things contrary to His will.  6. If our Lord send you any prosperity, either health of body or other thing you ought to thank Him humbly for it, and you ought to be careful that you are not the worse for it, either through pride or anything else, for it is a very great sin to fight against our Lord with His gifts.  7. Dear son, I advise you that you accustom yourself to frequent confession, and that you choose always, as your confessors, men who are upright and sufficiently learned, and who can teach you what you should do and what you should avoid. You should so carry yourself that your confessors and other friends may dare confidently to reprove you and show you your faults.  8. Dear son, I advise you that you listen willingly and devoutly the services of Holy Church, and, when you are in church, avoid to frivolity and trifling, and do not look here and there; but pray to God with lips and heart alike, while entertaining sweet thoughts about Him, and especially at the mass, when the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ are consecrated, and for a little time before.  9. Dear son, have a tender pitiful heart for the poor, and for all those whom you believe to be in misery of heart or body, and, according to your ability, comfort and aid them with some alms.  10. Maintain the good customs of your realm, and put down the bad ones. Do not oppress your people and do not burden them with tolls or tailles, except under very great necessity.  11. If you have any unrest of heart, of such a nature that it may be told, tell it to your confessor, or to some upright man who can keep your secret; you will be able to carry more easily the thought of your heart.  12. See to it that those of your household are upright and loyal, and remember the Scripture, which says: "Elige viros timentes Deum in quibus sit justicia et qui oderint avariciam"; that is to say, "Love those who serve God and who render strict justice and hate covetousness"; and you will profit, and will govern your kingdom well.  13. Dear son, see to it that all your associates are upright, whether clerics or laymen, and have frequent good converse with them; and flee the society of the bad. And listen willingly to the word of God, both in open and in secret; and purchase freely prayers and pardons. 14. Love all good, and hate all evil, in whomsoever it may be.  15. Let no one be so bold as to say, in your presence, words which attract and lead to sin, and do not permit words of detraction to be spoken of another behind his back.  16. Suffer it not that any ill be spoken of God or His saints in your presence, without taking prompt vengeance. But if the offender be a clerk or so great a person that you ought not to try him, report the matter to him who is entitled to judge it.  17. Dear son, give thanks to God often for all the good things He has done for you, so that you may be worthy to receive more, in such a manner that if it please the Lord that you come to the burden and honor of governing the kingdom, you may be worthy to receive the sacred unction wherewith the kings of France are consecrated.  18. Dear son, if you come to the throne, strive to have that which befits a king, that is to say, that in justice and rectitude you hold yourself steadfast and loyal toward your subjects and your vassals, without turning either to the right or to the left, but always straight, whatever may happen. And if a poor man have a quarrel with a rich man, sustain the poor rather than the rich, until the truth is made clear, and when you know the truth, do justice to them.  19. If any one have entered into a suit against you (for any injury or wrong which he may believe that you have done to him), be always for him and against yourself in the presence of your council, without showing that you think much of your case (until the truth be made known concerning it); for those of your council might be backward in speaking against you, and this you should not wish; and command your judges that you be not in any way upheld more than any others, for thus will your councillors judge more boldly according to right and truth.  20. If you have anything belonging to another, either of yourself or through your predecessors, if the matter is certain, give it up without delay, however great it may be, either in land or money or otherwise. If the matter is doubtful, have it inquired into by wise men, promptly and diligently. And if the affair is so obscure that you cannot know the truth, make such a settlement, by the counsel of s of upright men, that your soul, and the soul your predecessors, may be wholly freed from the affair. And even if you hear some one say that your predecessors made restitution, make diligent inquiry to learn if anything remains to be restored; and if you find that such is the case, cause it to be delivered over at once, for the liberation of your soul and the souls of your predecessors.  21. You should seek earnestly how your vassals and your subjects may live in peace and rectitude beneath your sway; likewise, the good towns and the good cities of your kingdom. And preserve them in the estate and the liberty in which your predecessors kept them, redress it, and if there be anything to amend, amend and preserve their favor and their love. For it is by the strength and the riches of your good cities and your good towns that the native and the foreigner, especially your peers and your barons, are deterred from doing ill to you. I will remember that Paris and the good towns of my kingdom aided me against the barons, when I was newly crowned.  22. Honor and love all the people of Holy Church, and be careful that no violence be done to them, and that their gifts and alms, which your predecessors have bestowed upon them, be not taken away or diminished. And I wish here to tell you what is related concerning King Philip, my ancestor, as one of his council, who said he heard it, told it to me. The king, one day, was with his privy council, and he was there who told me these words. And one of the king's councillors said to him how much wrong and loss he suffered from those of Holy Church, in that they took away his rights and lessened the jurisdiction of his court; and they marveled greatly how he endured it. And the good king answered: "I am quite certain that they do me much wrong, but when I consider the goodnesses and kindnesses which God has done me, I had rather that my rights should go, than have a contention or awaken a quarrel with Holy Church." And this I tell to you that you may not lightly believe anything against the people of Holy Church; so love them and honor them and watch over them that they may in peace do the service of our Lord.  23. Moreover, I advise you to love dearly the clergy, and, so far as you are able, do good to them in their necessities, and likewise love those by whom God is most honored and served, and by whom the Faith is preached and exalted.  24. Dear son, I advise that you love and reverence your father and your mother, willingly remember and keep their commandments, and be inclined to believe their good counsels.  25. Love your brothers, and always wish their well-being and their good advancement, and also be to them in the place of a father, to instruct them in all good. But be watchful lest, for the love which you bear to one, you turn aside from right doing, and do to the others that which is not meet.  26. Dear son, I advise you to bestow the benefices of Holy Church which you have to give, upon good persons, of good and clean life, and that you bestow them with the high counsel of upright men. And I am of the opinion that it is preferable to give them to those who hold nothing of Holy Church, rather than to others. For, if you inquire diligently, you will find enough of those who have nothing who will use wisely that entrusted to them.  27. Dear son, I advise you that you try with all your strength to avoid warring against any Christian man, unless he have done you too much ill. And if wrong be done you, try several ways to see if you can find how you can secure your rights, before you make war; and act thus in order to avoid the sins which are committed in warfare.  28. And if it fall out that it is needful that you should make war (either because some one of your vassals has failed to plead his case in your court, or because he has done wrong to some church or to some poor person, or to any other person whatsoever, and is unwilling to make amends out of regard for you, or for any other reasonable cause), whatever the reason for which it is necessary for you to make war, give diligent command that the poor folk who have done no wrong or crime be protected from damage to their vines, either through fire or otherwise, for it were more fitting that you should constrain the wrongdoer by taking his own property (either towns or castles, by force of siege), than that you should devastate the property of poor people. And be careful not to start the war before you have good counsel that the cause is most reasonable, and before you have summoned the offender to make amends, and have waited as long as you should. And if he ask mercy, you ought to pardon him, and accept his amende, so that God may be pleased with you.  29. Dear son, I advise you to appease wars and contentions, whether they be yours or those of your subjects, just as quickly as may be, for it is a thing most pleasing to our Lord. And Monsignore Martin gave us a very great example of this. For, one time, when our Lord made it known to him that he was about to die, he set out to make peace between certain clerks of his archbishopric, and he was of the opinion that in so doing he was giving a good end to life.  30. Seek diligently, most sweet son, to have good baillis and good prevots in your land, and inquire frequently concerning their doings, and how they conduct themselves, and if they administer justice well, and do no wrong to any one, nor anything which they ought not do. Inquire more often concerning those of your household if they be too covetous or too arrogant; for it is natural that the members should seek to imitate their chief; that is, when the master is wise and well-behaved, all those of his household follow his example and prefer it. For however much you ought to hate evil in others, you shoud have more hatred for the evil which comes from those who derive their power from you, than you bear to the evil of others; and the more ought you to be on your guard and prevent this from happening.  31. Dear son, I advise you always to be devoted to the Church of Rome, and to the sovereign pontiff, our father, and to bear him the the reverence and honor which you owe to your spiritual father.  32. Dear son, freely give power to persons of good character, who know how to use it well, and strive to have wickednesses expelled from your land, that is to say, nasty oaths, and everything said or done against God or our Lady or the saints. In a wise and proper manner put a stop, in your land, to bodily sins, dicing, taverns, and other sins. Put down heresy so far as you can, and hold in especial abhorrence Jews, and all sorts of people who are hostile to the Faith, so that your land may be well purged of them, in such manner as, by the sage counsel of good people, may appear to you advisable.  33. Further the right with all your strength. Moreover I admonish you you that you strive most earnestly to show your gratitude for the benefits which our Lord has bestowed upon you, and that you may know how to give Him thanks therefore  34. Dear son, take care that the expenses of your household are reasonable and moderate, and that its moneys are justly obtained. And there is one opinion that I deeply wish you to entertain, that is to say, that you keep yourself free from foolish expenses and evil exactions, and that your money should be well expended and well acquired. And this opinion, together with other opinions which are suitable and profitable, I pray that our Lord may teach you.  35. Finally, most sweet son, I conjure and require you that, if it please our Lord that I should die before you, you have my soul succored with masses and orisons, and that you send through the congregations of the kingdom of France, and demand their prayers for my soul, and that you grant me a special and full part in all the good deeds which you perform.
36. In conclusion, dear son, I give you all the blessings which a good and tender father can give to a son, and I pray our Lord Jesus Christ, by His mercy, by the prayers and merits of His blessed Mother, the Virgin Mary, and of angels and archangels and of all the saints, to guard and protect you from doing anything contrary to His will, and to give you grace to do it always, so that He may be honored and served by you. And this may He do to me as to you, by His great bounty, so that after this mortal life we may be able to be together with Him in the eternal life, and see Him, love Him, and praise Him without end. Amen. And glory, honor, and praise be to Him who is one God with the Father and the Holy Spirit; without beginning and without end. Amen.

--- Some good advice for all of us!

Pax et bonum

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Franciscan quotation


Christ's kingdom doesn't come because of an inexorable, impersonal force. It comes because God builds it with our hands. Christian hope compels us to be faithful to our spouses and care for our children, to feed the hungry and welcome immigrants, to visit prisoners and sit by the dying right now. - Archbishop Charles J. Chaput.

Pax et bonum

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Franciscan quotation


The true friends of the people are neither revolutionaries, not innovators, but traditionalists. - Pope Saint Pius X

Pax et bonum

No, Jesus Did Not Learn to Overcome Prejudice from the Canaanite Woman | ChurchPOP



Good response to some troubling - and wrong - tweets.



No, Jesus Did Not Learn to Overcome Prejudice from the Canaanite Woman | ChurchPOP





Pax et bonum

Monday, August 21, 2017

Franciscan quotation


Holy Communion is the shortest and surest way to Heaven. There are others, innocence, for instance, but that is for little children; penance, but we are afraid of it; generous endurance of the trials of life, but when they come we weep and ask to be spared. Once for all, beloved children, the surest, easiest, shortest way is by the Eucharist. It is so easy to approach the holy table, and there we taste the joys of Paradise. - Pope Saint Pius X

Pax et bonum

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Franciscan quotation


“A belief in the immortality of the human soul, of the survival of the person beyond death, is one of the most important expressions of human hope.” - Father Benedict Groeschel

Pax et bonum

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Franciscan quotation


“If you do not know your own dignity and condition, you cannot value anything at its proper worth.” – Saint Bonaventure

Pax et bonum

We don't need no stinkin' trial (Charlottesville)


Some facts are clear.

James Fields, a troubled 20 year, was in Charlottesville to be part of the White nationalist protest when he drove down a street at a high rate of speed striking vehicles and people and killing Heather Heyer. He then backed up, fled, and was later arrested. Among the charges he is facing is second-degree murder.

Many on social media have already convicted him of murder.

Guilty. Guilty. Guilty.

It's as if some folks would like to save time and money and not bother with a trial.

I think it likely he will be convicted of crimes - such as fleeing the scene of an accident - and face jail time.

But ...

The investigation has not been completed. He has not been tried.

Now after the investigation it may be found that he did indeed maliciously, deliberately drive into that crowd. If so, the murder charge will likely hold up.

On the other hand, the investigation may reveal that he did not do it deliberately and intentionally.

There are reports - including allegedly some video footage and pictures - that seem to show he was driving slowly down that street and only sped up after his care was attacked. There is the possibility that he panicked, hit the gas, and that led to the tragedy. And when he did hit the vehicles and people, his car was also under attack, so he fled, perhaps fearing for his life. Indeed, initial police reports describe him as scared. Scared because he got caught? Scared because of what happened? Or scared because he felt threatened?

And remember that he is a troubled 20-year-old. Twenty-year-olds notoriously show poor judgment and self-control.

In other words, the investigation might reveal mitigating circumstances that, if true, could potentially lead to conviction on lesser charges.

There's no excuse for racism. Showing up to take part in a White Nationalism protest was inexcusable.

But I used to be 20, and I know I did and said stupid things. Nothing on the scale of evil that Fields has reportedly done - I never voiced hatred for any race. ethnicity, or religious group, for example. I did, however, show poor judgment at times. I did take part in marches and protests, and they could have turned violent.

I'm not justifying anything he did. I do think he needs to be tried. And I think the movement he's part of needs to be denounced and opposed (nonviolently).

Still, I think we need to wait for the investigation to be competed and the evidence to be revealed before we try and convict him. I refuse to hate him, call him names, or slap a label on him.

Otherwise, aren't we acting with the kind of prejudice - pre-judging - and hatred we condemn him and the White Nationalists, KKK, and neo-Nazis for doing?

Instead, we need to pray for Heather Heyer, for the other victims, and, yes, for James Fields.

Pax et bonum

Friday, August 18, 2017

How to Turn the Tables on Four Pro-Choice Arguments



Good read - great responses.



How to Turn the Tables on Four Pro-Choice Arguments: Imagine you and a good friend decide to play a game of chess. As you sit down, your friend takes your queen off the board and puts it back in the box with no ex

Pax et bonum

Franciscan quotation



The simplification of our lives is not so much in what we rid ourselves of as in what we concentrate on, what focuses the soul. - Father Murray Bodo, O.F.M.


Pax et bonum

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Advice from Bishop Barron: Read C.S. Lewis' "The Great Divorce"



... Just recently, I followed, with rapt attention, a book that I had read many years ago but which I had, I confess, largely forgotten: C.S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce. The inspiration for this theological fantasy is the medieval idea of the refrigerium, the refreshment or vacation from Hell granted to some of the souls abiding there. ...





A Bishop Explains Why You Should Read C.S. Lewis' Masterpiece "The Great Divorce" | ChurchPOP

Franciscan quotation


"It's 'Heaven Begun', for the grateful on earth." - Father Solanus Casey

Pax et bonum

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Franciscan quotation


O Lord, our God, you have proclaimed yourself to be the first and last. Teach your servant to show by reason what he holds with faith most certain, that you are the most eminent, the first efficient cause and the last end. - John Duns Scotus

Pax et bonum

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Franciscan quotation (More Archbishop Chaput)


In a world of hyperbole, duplicity, factual disfigurement, and spin, speaking plainly and living honestly in obedience to Jesus Christ is an abnormal behavior. - Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.

Pax et bonum

Monday, August 14, 2017

Franciscan quotation


“No one in the world can change Truth. What we can do and and should do is to seek truth and to serve it when we have found it. The real conflict is the inner conflict. Beyond armies of occupation and the hetacombs of extermination camps, there are two irreconcilable enemies in the depth of every soul: good and evil, sin and love. And what use are the victories on the battlefield if we are ourselves are defeated in our innermost personal selves?” - St. Maximilian Kolbe

Pax et bonum

Martin Luther King Jr’s Niece Alveda King: Abortion is Racism and Takes Away the Civil Rights of Unborn Babies



Racism is on our minds these days. Here's another way it is manifested.



Martin Luther King Jr’s Niece Alveda King: Abortion is Racism and Takes Away the Civil Rights of Unborn Babies: Alveda King the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King jr is responding today to the white supremacy protests in Charlottesville, Virginia. King says the white supr

Pax et bonum

Charlottesville thoughts


Under the Constitution, people have the right to voice their views - no matter how repugnant they are - as long as they do not commit acts of violence against others, encourage acts of violence against others directly or indirectly, or threaten or unjustly infringe upon the rights of others.

So the white supremacists who marched in Charlottesville had a right to express their racist, repugnant views. But they did so in violent ways, prepared for violence with their weapons and shields, in defiance of the law. That was beyond what their "right" allowed.

And as a result, a woman is dead and many others injured.

Catholic leaders are right to denounce what happened.

The man directly involved in the killing is under arrest and face charges. I think others should face charges - criminal or civil - for what happened.

The sad thing is that there have been an increasing number of violent incidents from both the right and left. We saw the direct violence of the shooting at the softball field earlier this summer, and now this. I fear more is to come.

May God forgive us for allowing this to happen.

Let us pray that we can head off more such violence.

Let us look to our own words and actions that help to increase the violence in any way.

Pax et bonum

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Franciscan quotation


Pornography, cohabiting, adultery - all these things push us away from God. They also inflict on us a kind of self-mutilation, as we sever what we do with our bodies from our true selves. - Archbishop Charles Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.

Pax et bonum

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Franciscan quotation


No ignorance of truth is a personal sin before God, except that ignorance which springs from personal sin.  - Edward Cardinal Manning

Pax et bonum

Friday, August 11, 2017

Franciscan quotation (St. Clare)


 
Place your mind before the mirror of eternity! Place your soul in the brilliance of glory! And transform your entire being into the image of the Godhead Itself through contemplation. - Saint Clare of Assisi         

Pax et bonum

Tensions Escalate As North Korea Threatens To Deploy LCWR Nuns On West

Tensions Escalate As North Korea Threatens To Deploy LCWR Nuns On West

Pax et bonum

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Franciscan quotation



Beauty awakens the soul to act. - Dante

Pax et bonum

Evangelizing for most of us


We are all called to evangelize, but the thought of doing so intimidates many. They think you need a degree in theology, or be a Bible scholar, or be a canon lawyer in order to do so.

But in reality, we can evangelize simply by living and through small actions and symbols. Here's a few ideas.

Wear your faith on your sleeve - or on your lapel, or around your neck.

All of us can wear some item that identifies our faith without standing on a soapbox. I am a Secular Franciscan, so I wear a Tau Cross - ether as a cross around my neck, or as a lapel pin. That's our habit, but it also is a witness that sometimes spurs conversation as people ask about my cross,

Other people could wear a pin, a necklace, some item that identifies one as a Christian.

Along the same line, we can choose clothing that identifies us - a tie, a tee-shirt, a mantilla, whatever.

Not only can what we wear be a way to witness, it can be a reminder to us to watch what we say and do.

And conversely, it can make us more conscious of what we should not wear. Is wearing a "Co-ed Naked Volleyball" tee-shirt really a way to say "I am a Christian" - or something we'd like to face God wearing?

Try praying publicly.

I remember years ago when I was hitchhiking (yes, you could get away with it in those days), and a man picked me up. We started chatting, and I noticed something on his finger. I asked what it was, and he explained that it was a finger rosary, and that he prays the rosary when he's driving.

I never forgot that. I now do the same thing. That man had evangelized by simply praying.

There are other ways to do that. Make a sign of the cross - notice how when athletes do that people comment? Bow or tip you hat when you pass a church.

And what about saying Grace in a restaurant?


Watch what you say.

It's so easy to get caught up in negative conversations at family gatherings, at work, when out with friends. We fall into criticizing, gossiping, and tearing down others. What if we did not take part? What if we changed the subject? What is we responded with something positive? What if we said it made us uncomfortable? What a witness.

Along that line, our conversations have gotten coarser, full of foul words and sexual innuendo. Just as with the talking about others, what if we refused to use the crude language? If we feel braver, maybe even say something.

I had a co-worker who came up with a way to stop it. She taught a night school course, and a number of the men in the class tended to use foul language, with f-bombs flying. She realized they were not doing so maliciously, it was just a habit. So one night she walked into class and substituted f-bobs for every adjective and adverb. The guys were shocked, then they got it and cleaned up their own language. I wouldn't do that myself, but it worked.

Anyway, by avoiding the talk, being aware of our own words, maybe helping others to look at what they are saying, we can witness to others, and so evangelize.

Use common courtesy.

Each day we have so many moments when we can treat others with respect and courtesy. Let someone else go first. Hold a door. Make room for another driver to switch lanes. Smile. Say please and thank you and sorry. Say "God bless you."

Yes, I know these all might be just courteous, but in a world where courtesy is increasingly rare, such gestures stand out. And if others then see our religious pins or bumper stickers, they might then link how we are behaving to what we believe.

I'm sure people can come up with more examples. But the point is we can all evangelize every day in so many ways.

Pax et bonum

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Franciscan quotation


A peaceful man does more good than a learned one. - Pope St. John XXIII
Pax et bonum

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Franciscan quotation (more Archbishop Chaput)


“When Catholics oppose abortion, they do so not because of some special Catholic religious doctrine or simply because the church says so. Rather, the church teaches abortion is wrong because it already is. Abortion violates the universal natural law by abusing the inherent human rights of the unborn child. The injustice of genocide, oppressing the poor, the killing unborn children is not a matter of religious doctrine. It’s a matter of natural law.” – Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.

Pax et bonum

Monday, August 7, 2017

Franciscan quotation (Archbishop Chaput)


Consumer culture - the world we live in every day - is deeply anti-Christian not just in its gluttony and its exclusion of the needs of others, but also in its damage to the mature, clear-thinking self. - Archbishop Charles Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.

Pax et bonum

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Franciscan quotation (Pope St. John XXIII on peace)



Nuclear weapons must be banned. A general agreement must be reached on a suitable disarmament program, with an effective system of mutual control. Everyone, however, must realize that, unless this process of disarmament be thoroughgoing and complete, and reach men's very souls, it is impossible to stop the arms race, or to reduce armaments, or, and this is the main thing, ultimately to abolish them entirely. Everyone must sincerely co-operate in the effort to banish fear and the anxious expectation of war from men's minds. But this requires that the fundamental principles upon which peace is based in today's world be replaced by an altogether different one, namely, the realization that true and lasting peace among nations cannot consist in the possession of an equal supply of armaments but only in mutual trust. - Pope St. John XXIII (Pacem in Terris)

Pax et bonum

Remembering Hiroshima



walking in the woods
noticing all the mushrooms -
August 6

Pax et bonum

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Franciscan quotation



“The man of impure speech is a person whose lips are but an opening and a supply pipe which hell uses to vomit its impurities upon the earth.” — Saint John Vianney

Pax et bonum

Friday, August 4, 2017

Franciscan quotation



It is always springtime in the heart that loves God. - Saint Jean (John) Vianney 

Pax et bonum

Methuselah clerihew


 
Methuselah
was one long-lived fella.
It wasn't because longevity was bred in his bones,
he was just determined to pay off all his college loans.

Pax et bonum

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Franciscan quotation


Death has no terrors for a sincere servant of Christ who is laboring to bring souls to a knowledge of the truth.  - Blessed Ramon Llull

Pax et bonum

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Franciscan quotation


“Be sure that you first preach by the way you live. If you do not, people will notice that you say one thing, but live otherwise, and your words will bring only cynical laughter and a derisive shake of the head.” - Saint Charles Borromeo 

Pax et bonum

Brother (Cover) || Franciscan Friars of the Renewal



Pax et bonum

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Rising || Franciscan Friars of the Renewal (ft. Fr. Tansi, CFR)



Pax et bonum

Franciscan quotation


“The more I study nature, the more I stand amazed at the work of the Creator.” - Louis Pasteur

Pax et bonum

Monday, July 31, 2017

Franciscan quotation


If there were one million families praying the Rosary every day, the entire world would be saved. - Pope Saint Pius X

Pax et bonum

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Franciscan quotation


The deeds you do may be the only sermon some persons will hear today. - St Francis of Assisi   

Pax et bonum

Solomon Clerihew



King Solomon,
though deemed wise, when all was said and done,
undermined his spiritual life
by trying to please wife after wife.

Pax et bonum

Vocations - what seems to work




I've long contended that while many progressive religious orders are slowly dying, ones that are traditional/orthodox in practice - both newly created, and even older ones - are thriving. Among those orders are the Sisters of Life (above), or the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal (below).


Recently I came across the following passage in the 2009 Vocations Study Overview by the National Religious Vocations Conference that confirmed some of my observations.

The most successful institutes in terms of attracting and retaining new members at this time are those that follow a more traditional style of religious life in which members live together in community and participate in daily Eucharist, pray the Divine Office, and engage in devotional practices together. They also wear a religious habit, work together in common apostolates, and are explicit about their fidelity to the Church and the teachings of the Magisterium. All of these characteristics are especially attractive to the young people who are entering religious life today.

Let's break that down.

The most successful ones in terms of attracting and retaining members are ones that "follow a more traditional style of religious life."

That style includes living "together in community," participating in daily Eucharist, praying the Divine Office, engaging in in "devotional practices together. So community and communal activities are important in providing encouragements and support.

In addition, they "wear a religious habit." I've long pointed out this one. The habit serves as a way to identify and to evangelize. In public, priests should at the least wear their collars, and members of religious orders should wear their habits.  

The members "work together is common apostolates." To be honest, this is one that I've never really considered much. Certainly there are traditional apostolates - teaching, social ministry-based,  and health care, for example. They should avoid ones where they are called to compromise beliefs or downplay their identity - such as in government service.

 They "are explicit about their fidelity to the Church and the teaching of the Magisterium." I know I have always been troubled when people who identify as priests, deacons and religious publicly criticize, oppose, distort, or ignore Church teachings.

This study was from eight years ago, but I think the findings are still valid. And in recent years even as I've seen progressive orders slowly dying I've seen others following these guidelines growing. I'm optimistic.

Pax et bonum

Friday, July 28, 2017

Franciscan quotation


Place your mind before the mirror of eternity! Place your soul in the brilliance of glory! And transform your entire being into the image of the Godhead Itself through contemplation. - Saint Clare of Assisi          


Pax et bonum

Catholic Liberal Education


I've just returned from a conference on Catholic Liberal Education - liberal in the traditional "classical" sense, not in the political.

It was wonderful.

An education based on the classics, on rhetoric, on reading and writing, on reducing the use of electronic media rather than reading printed text and writing by hand. All with a spiritual sense.

I loved the ideas. Some of the methods - mixing music, art, and literature, and linking works - are ones that I've already used to some degree. So this is right up my alley.

As for the Catholic angle - I don't recall the last time I saw people say grace at every meal, or an education conference that involved morning prayers and daily Mass, or even where we said rosaries as we drove to and from the conference. Faith was brought up in almost every talk and workshop. Two of the breakout sessions were on C. S. Lewis. One talk even focused on levels of prayer - and how to incorporate more prayer into classes.

I'm somewhat religious, but these good folks put me to shame!

I'm looking forward to the school year.

Pax et bonum

C. S. Lewis clerihew



It is said that C. S. Lewis
was unhappy if in his class he saw a miss.
so his friends were amused when their boy
was suprised by Joy.

(Lewis reportedly was not happy when women began attending his university. His autobiography was "Surprised by Joy" - about his discovery of faith - but then in his 50s the seemingly committed bachelor married Joy Davidman, leading to some jokes.)

Pax et bonum

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Franciscan quotation


Speak courteously to everyone. - St. Francis of Assisi

Pax et bonum

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Franciscan quotation


Gratitude is the first sign of a thinking, rational creature. - Blessed Solanus Casey


Pax et bonum

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Franciscan quotation


To write well and speak well is mere vanity if one does not live well. - Saint Bridget of Sweden

Pax et bonum

Franciscan quotation


There is no sinner in the world, however much at enmity with God, who cannot recover God's grace by recourse to Mary, and by asking her assistance. - Saint Bridget of Sweden


Pax et bonum

Friday, July 21, 2017

Franciscan quotation


“God, you made me. You love me. What would you have me do? Where would you have me go? Who would you have me serve? Show me how I can be your eyes of compassion, your heart of love, and your hands reaching out to this world. Amen.”  - John Michael Talbot

Pax et bonum

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Franciscan quotation


Thank God ahead of time. - Blessed Solanus Casey

Pax et bonum

Post-Christian U.S. Cities - Rochester is #13


According to a study by Barna, a religious research group, Portland-Auburn, Maine, is the most post-Christian city in the United State, and my city, Rochester, New York ranks 13th.

Yay.

The study involves surveying people on 16 factors, and those who fail on 9 of them are deemed post-Christian, and those who fail on 13 are considered highly post-Christian.

Those factors are:

  • Do not believe in God
  • Identify as atheist or agnostic
  • Disagree that faith is important in their lives
  • Have not prayed to God (in the last week)
  • Have never made a commitment to Jesus
  • Disagree the Bible is accurate
  • Have not donated money to a church (in the last year)
  • Have not attended a Christian church (in the last 6 months)
  • Agree that Jesus committed sins
  • Do not feel a responsibility to “share their faith”
  • Have not read the Bible (in the last week)
  • Have not volunteered at church (in the last week)
  • Have not attended Sunday school (in the last week)
  • Have not attended religious small group (in the last week)
  • Bible engagement scale: low (have not read the Bible in the past week and disagree strongly or somewhat that the Bible is accurate)
  • Not Born Again

  • Some of the wording is decidedly evangelical Protestant - "Born Again," "commitment to Jesus" and "the Bible is accurate," for example - and so it's language devout Catholics might not use, thus the results for cities that are heavily Catholic might be off. Heck, I'm off on a few, and people consider me very religious. But still, the results are revealing, and not surprising.

    Portland-Auburn, Maine, topped the list with a score of 57%.

    Boston, MA-Manchester, NH came in second at  56%. The others in the top 10 are:

    Providence, RI-New Bedford, MA - 53%
    Burlington, VT-Plattsburgh, NY - 53%
    Hartford-New Haven, CT - 52%
    New York, NY - 51%
    San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, CA - 50%
    Seattle-Tacoma - 50%
    Buffalo, NY - 50% 

    Hey, Buffalo beat us. Given its heavily Catholic population, the number may be slightly off, maybe even enough for us to pass them.

    Philadelphia, PA (11), Tucson-Sierra Vista, AZ (12), and Rochester (13) all tallied a score of 49%.

    Of the top 13, 10 are in New England/Northeast, and two are West Coast. No surprise there.

    When you look at Rochester, the number of colleges and universities likely play a role in helping us to abandon Christianity. We have an active arts/music/theater community as well, and a substantial number of those folks tend to reject traditional religion. As for the religious community, in Rochester there is history of liberalism, heresy, and acceptance of immoral and disordered behavior.

    Still, there are many good people trying to evangelize and turn things around, so I'm optimistic.

    But I will pray for the people of my city - and that my own faith and religious practices might grow and develop.

    Pax et bonum

    Wednesday, July 19, 2017

    Franciscan quotation


    You cannot all abandon your possessions, but at least you can change your attitude about them. All getting separates you form others; all giving unites to others. - St. Francis of Assisi

    Pax et bonum

    Tuesday, July 18, 2017

    Franciscan quotation


    Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do. - Pope St. John XXIII

    Pax et bonum

    Monday, July 17, 2017

    Franciscan quotation


    The best gift anyone can give to a friend is to pray for him.

    - Father Benedict Groeschel


    Pax et bonum

    Sunday, July 16, 2017

    Franciscan quotation


    This morning my soul is greater than the world since it possesses You, You whom heaven and earth do not contain. – St. Margaret of Cortona


    Pax et bonum

    Saturday, July 15, 2017

    Franciscan quotation


    The most deadly poison of our times is indifference, And this happens, although the praise of God should know no limits. Let us strive, therefore, to praise Him to the greatest extent of our powers. - St. Maximilian Kolbe

    Pax et bonum

    Friday, July 14, 2017

    Franciscan quotation


    The world would have peace if only men of politics would follow the Gospels. - St. Bridget of Sweden.


    Pax et bonum

    Thursday, July 13, 2017

    Rule of nature reminder trashed


    A recent paper by the U. S. Institute of Physics restating and upholding the Law of Gravity is meeting with charges of unfairness, insensitivity, and being out of touch.

    The paper stated that gravity exists, that all planetary bodies are surrounded by gravitational fields, and that the measurable effects of gravity are affected by mass and acceleration.

    These statements drew immediate criticism.

    "The Pharisees of the physics establishment are trying to impose an outdated law on us," declared Patchouli Dumhuvud, a Rochester, N. Y Reiki master. "We have learned so much about various forms of energy and how to channel them in recent years. And there have been so many advances in technology that also allow us to negate that law We need greater flexibility when if come to gravity."

    Courtney Kruller also said the law is unfair to those who are clumsy or weight challenged.

    "This law discriminates against those who have trouble with gravity," declared Kruller, vice president of the International Crystal Cooperative. "Stating this law in this way is so insensitive to them."

    Albert Newton, spokesperson for the Institute, pointed out that the paper was simply reminding the world of a law that was already in place.

    "There was no desire to create a new law," he explained. "We have all been equally subject to the law of gravity, and all we were doing was reminding people of what's been accepted and true for centuries."

    Such explanations do not sit well with those angered by the paper.

    "We can change our hair color, our noses, or the definition of marriage," Dumhuvud contended. "Why not a law of nature?"

    In response to the report, the Los Angeles-based Anti-Gravity League has begun circulating a petition calling for basing the law and all such laws on either a vote or an opinion poll.

    Pax et bonum

    Franciscan quotation



    Just as the root feeds the tree, so humility feeds the soul. The spirit of humility is sweeter than honey, and whoever is fed by this sweetness produces fruit. – St. Anthony of Padua

    Pax et bonum

    Wednesday, July 12, 2017

    Found poems


    I rediscovered some poems I'd kind of forgotten had gotten published.

    The two topical limericks were printed in City in the July 24-30, 2002, edition:

    The truth about white collar crime
    is offenders will rarely do time.
    They're in bed, you see,
    with the powers that be,
    who'd turn a blind eye for a dime.

    Please don't call them corporate crooks
    because it is not as it looks.
    After working each deal,
    it's hunger they'd feel,
    and that is why they cooked the books.

    Pax et bonum

    Franciscan quotation


    We are developing in the United States a huge underclass of unwanted people, many of they the descendants of the exploitation of the South American and Latin American countries by American piratical capitalism. Not all capitalism is piratical, but some of it certainly is. And we have a fantastic gap beginning to exist between rich and poor.

    - Father Benedict Groeschel, CFR 

    Pax et bonum

    Tuesday, July 11, 2017

    Franciscan quotation


    We must be faithful to the present moment or we will frustrate the plan of God for our lives.

     - Venerable (soon to be Blessed) Solanus Casey, OFM


    Pax et bonum

    Monday, July 10, 2017

    In Honor of E.C. Bentley's Birthday



    Today is the birthday of Edmund Clerihew Bentley (July 10, 1875), who befriended G. K. Chesterton while they were in school, and who invented the verse form that bears his name, the clerihew. (Chesterton illustrated a number of Bentley's clerihews.)

    Here's a clerihew in his honor:

    E. C. Bentley
    evidently
    knew just what to do
    with a clerihew.

    Pax et bonum

    You can quote me


    I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice. - Abraham Lincoln
     


    Pax et bonum

    Franciscan quotation






    Pax et bonum

    Sunday, July 9, 2017

    St. Matthew cinquain



    Matthew
    left his table
    to respond to the call
    to share with all the Lord’s message
    of  love.

    Pax et bonum

    You can quote me


    "In the first centuries of Christianity the hungry were fed at a personal sacrifice, the naked were clothed at a personal sacrifice, the homeless were sheltered at a personal sacrifice... And the pagans used to say about the Christians, "See how they love each other." In our own day the poor are no longer fed, clothed, and sheltered at a personal sacrifice, but at the expense of the taxpayers. And because of this the pagans say about the Christians, 'See how they pass the buck.'"
     
    - Peter Maurin         

    Pax et bonum

    Saturday, July 8, 2017

    You can quote me


    “Don't worry about being effective. Just concentrate on being faithful to the truth.” - Dorothy Day

    Pax et bonum

    Thursday, July 6, 2017

    Why I quit (part 2)


    Just got the AP scores - I'm still falsely listed as the teacher, even though the principal replaced me two years ago with a teacher whom he contended would do better job (the real reason was he wanted the course as a lure).

    They look - awful.



    The AP Language and Composition Scores (by teacher)

                         Me            "better teacher"
             2014   2015      2016   2017
                               
     Tests - 42         68         58        70

     Score   %        %         %         %   

      5       26.2     26.5      19       15.7      
            
      4         38       32.4      36.2    24.2
      3         31       32.4      32.8    38.6
      2         4.8         8.8     12.1    7.1
      1           0          0          0       4.3


    Failure   4.8       8.8      12.1    21.4 

    The drop in the percentage of 5s (the highest score) from the last year I taught the course to the first year of the supposedly better teacher was 26.5 to 19 - a 28 percent decrease - and from that last year I taught to the score under the "better teacher" this past year the decline was 26.5 to 15.7 -  a 41 percent decrease.

    Overall, the percentage of passing students decreased, and the average test score dropped.

    So ...  clearly a decline in the scores. The class when I taught it was the most successful at the school, and one of the highest scoring in the region. Now, middle of the pack. Better teacher? Really?

    I feel bad for the students.

    Pax et bonum

    Isaac and Abraham (clerihew)



    After that day in Moriah, young Isaac
    developed many a nervous tic,
    and was tempted to run for his life
    whenever Abraham picked up a knife.

    Pax et bonum

    Wednesday, July 5, 2017

    Beardless blasts from the past


    Before I left my old school, I located some old pictures in a yearbook from 1986. I shaved off my beard for the first half of that year - the only time in my adult life (starting when I was 18) when I didn't have a beard - and there were two images of me beardless.


    In the above photo, a fellow teacher (the late, wonderful, Juli Palma) and I dressed up as Herman and Lily Munster for Field Day. One of the day's activities was a Scavenger Hunt that included getting teachers to dress up as television characters. My daughter Clare was with me that day, so we said she was Wednesday visiting from the Addams Family.

    This one is my official faculty picture. We had a couch in the English office, and I stretched out to pose with a book (On Becoming A Novelist).


    And yes, I did work part-time in radio for more than 20 years. Here's the 2003 schedule with me as the Weekend Edition local host. My shift was 6 to noon every Saturday for 21 years. I also did some spot news coverage, and hosting of shows like Morning Edition or All Things Considered during school breaks, and overnight blues and jazz programs on weekends. One summer while the station was looking for a permanent All Things Considered local host three of us rotated hosting duties.

    Ah, memories!

    Pax et bonum