View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Praying for Life

Around the world today people were praying for life - at the prompting of Pope Benedict.

I was unable to get to one of the local vigils, so I took time out this afternoon to offer up a rosary for life.

The Joyful Mysteries lend themselves to thinking about the unborn and their mothers. I especially thought of the joy of Mary and Joseph at the birth of Jesus, and in their pride in presenting him at the Temple. Both are things that those who opt for abortion miss out on.

Dear Lord, give those who find themselves pregnant find the strength and support they need - durign the pregnancy, and after.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

In Thanksgiving for Venerable Solanus Casey

This year, Thanksgiving Day falls on the 140th birthday of Venerable Solanus Casey, a Capuchin who truly knew how to offer thanks to God for blessings received.

"Let us thank God ahead of time for whatever he forsees is pleasing to Him, leaving everything at His divine disposal, including, with all its circumstances, when, where, and how He may be pleased to dispose the events of our death."

He is someone I greatly admire. I pray that I can emulate his gentle, peaceful, practical, grateful humble ways.

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Monday, November 22, 2010

A clerihew (Obama)


Barack Obama
thrives in electoral drama.
Unfortunately, governing
doesn't seem to be his thing.

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Thursday, November 18, 2010

The slug chronicles (166)


a slug among weeds
finds too much time with Prufrock
leaves him etherized

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Distributism in Practice - with the Dadys


I got a chance to put a little Distributism into practice last weekend - and to have a good time doing so.
Our fair city, Rochester, was welcoming two folk icons - Bob Dylan and Arlo Guthrie. I have attended concerts by both in the past. I own a number of their albums. As an amateur musician myself, when I have occasionally performed in public I have often played songs written by Dylan or performed by either Dylan or Guthrie.
The wife and I had to decide: Which concert to attend? (We were leaning Guthrie, by the way.)
Ah, but just as with Distributism, there was a third way.
For those not familiar with Distributism, it's an economic idea advanced by G. K. Chesterton and others as an alternative to Capitalism and Socialism. Put simply, it involves local ownership of the means of production, as opposed to centralized control by the state or large corporations.
In other words, go small and local.
Well, that same weekend, a local parish was celebrating its feast day. The celebration included a performance by two local folk/Irish music icons, the Dady Brothers.
They may not be as well known to the general public as Dylan or Guthrie, but in folk/Irish circles the Dadys are well-known and respected.
John and Joe Dady are local lads who grew up in Rochester, still live in the area, and make their living as musicians. They produce and sell their own records. They also help produce the albums of other local musicians. They regularly perform concerts - including many benefits - for local churches, schools and organizations.
Plus, their tickets for the church concert were only $5 each - as opposed to the $45 for Guthrie and the $47 for Dylan. And the money went to the church or the Dadys, as opposed to the pockets of the record labels and management companies.
Nothing against Dylan or Guthrie, but we had a toe-tapping time listening to the Dadys.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Planned Parenthood gets trashed

This morning I went to Mass at a nearby parish. As I was leaving, I noticed a pile of copies of a "community wishbook" distributed by a local newspaper chain.

The booklet lists local charities and organizations seeking donations and volunteers. I picked up one to see if some of my favorite local charities were listed.

Some were.

But so was Planned Parenthood. In a couple of spots.

Planned Parenthood is the nation's leading provider of abortions. It is an advocate of abortion and birth control. Its sex education programs distort the truth (as I witnessed when Planned Parenthood presenters came to school where I taught), and help to promote sexual activity outside marriage. Through the efforts of groups like Live Action, it has been caught lying to young women about pregnancy and abortion.

And it's a billion-dollar business.

A billion dollars in blood money.

I couldn't understand why a Catholic Church would have a booklet that promoted such an organization. Maybe the staff just saw all the good organizations and agencies listed and did not notice Planned Parenthood was it in. Maybe the booklets were placed there by a parishioner unbeknownst to the staff.

Whatever the case, I picked up the entire stack and tossed it in the trash.

Just like Planned Parenthood tosses babies in the trash.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

The slug chronicles (158)


a slug among weeds
will sometimes, when alone, scream
until his throat hurts

A pro-life video - what we may have lost

Thursday, November 04, 2010

National Right To Life PAC - Thumbs down

Before the election, the National Right to Life PAC came out with some endorsements. One of them was for an area candidate.

I was puzzled. I had been in contact with the candidate, and learned that while he was generally pro-life, he did support abortion under some circumstances. He also openly supported embryonic stem cell research.

It troubled me that this candidate, who is listed as "Catholic," would support things that ran counter to Catholic teachings. It also bothered me that the NRTL PAC would endorse him and even send out a flier promoting him.

The local pro-lifers certainly hadn't endorsed him.

I e-mailed NRTL to find out why they had endorsed him given his positions. I thought perhaps they were not aware, had been deceived, or just had not asked the right questions.

No response.

I e-mailed again.

No response.

I called and left a message.

No response.

I mentioned my experience to a local pro-life leader, who said she had been warned away from them, so she had nothing to do with the NRTL PAC.

I e-mailed them again.

Still no response.

Disappointing.

I guess I have to look elsewhere for guidance when it comes to voting pro-life.