Catholic Fatherhood, growing in geekiness, holiness and intelligence.

kc0lex (Matthew). Get yours at

Monday, December 24, 2007

Why I like St. Nicholas over Santa

It is amazing what people can do with animation these days, not one to watch with the kids around for some slight rough language and animated violence.

An Apperance in the Catacombs

Blogging has been slow for the past 13 days as Advent, work and family have kept me busy. I have taken lots of great pictures that I will have to upload sometime after Christmas with tales of everything we ran into along the way the past several days. I am working on Part Two of TIRM and just finished relocating the computer in the house.

I was suprised while I was standing in the middle of the grocery store listening to the Catholic Underground on my Sharp Zaurus (that's right a Linux based mini computer) when they mentioned one of my earlier posts on Rubrics for Toddlers. Check them out, Episode 62 mentions me, they are also now affiliates of SQPN.

Under the Mercy,

Matthew S

Have a blessed and Happy Christmas.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Lucia, Happy Feast of St. Lucia (Lucy)

Happy feast day baby girl. Find out more about this saint here.

IMG_1606Thanksgiving 2006 021IMG_3925IMG_4137IMG_4138IMG_4431

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Random thing Meme

I don't do these a lot but here goes.

I have been tagged by Lilder at Ummm, where am I?

Here’s what you do:

~ Each person starts with 8 random facts/habits about themselves and post these guidelines.

~ At the end of the post, choose 8 people to be tagged and list their names.

~ Don’t forget to leave a comment telling them that they are tagged and to read your blog.

Have fun!

1. I tell cops what to do without fear, and they do it.

2. I am a ham (amateur radio operator).

3. I love to take pictures.

4. I work for the government (it sounds kinda mysterious when I put it like that).

5. I like to rock climb.

6. I was introduced to the joy of coffee drinking by an Irish born, Russian orthodox monk living in Oregon. They do have it for sale!!!

7. I love listening to podcasts!!! is the main source, but I have a feed in my sidebar that shows what is in right now.

8. Now to make sure its random, the most painful bruise I have ever had was inflicted by shotgun.

Now, I tag:

Dawn, the Zookeeper.

Jamie, aka Momma Lady

Jeff, the Curt Jester (though he has probably done this before)

Dawn Eden

Dan or Janet (maybe I should count them as 2)

The Simple Mamma

Under Her Starry Mantle

and lastly Domenico

Under the Mercy,
Matthew S

Latest Edition of the Catholic Carnival

Can be found here . . . take a look.

Under the Mercy,

Matthew S

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Celebrating the Feast of Saint Nicholas

We are very blessed in our celebration of the Feast of Saint Nicholas this year. I was able to take my 2 holiday vacation days for the 5th and the 6th of Devember.

On the 5th I took the oldest two girls to the local Orthodox Cathedral for Great Vespers, Crafts and a visit from two people (it was the first time they were seen in the same place at the same time) to discuss the difference between them.


When we got home everyone went to bed, but not before setting out their shoes in the front room.


To our suprise we had a very special visitor to the house that night.


All throughout the day on the 6th, crafts we made.


Until finally we sat for a feast of Stuffed Pork Shoulder Roast, Roasted Potatoes, Peas and Dinner rolls. On the side was a special beverage of Bishop's Wyn.


At the end of the meal the dessert was prepared and brought to the table as a treat to end a wonderful meal.

A great time was had by all, hopefully you can join in the celebration next year!!!


Friday, December 7, 2007

At times I forget how blessed I am . . .

My oldest daughter is really treasure to behold. She has taught me many things over the past nine years. She is really turning into a wonderful and beautiful young lady.


At times I forget and take for granted how much she loves me. Her love language is some type of combination of acts of service and quality time. One of the things she told me the other day is that she turns on the two lights in the garage when she know someone is going to be coming home. I being a second shifter have long noticed the "two lights" being on in the garage. The garage door opener light comes on when I hit the button in my car but the "two lights" are also on. I have noticed that these lights are on when I come home for several weeks now. They have to be turned on by a switch inside the house by someone. That someone is my oldest daughter.

Even though she is in bed asleep (usually) by the time I get to bed she takes the time to turn those lights on for me. I had assumed it was someone turning on or off the lights in the dining room and accidentally flipping that extra switch but all along it turns out it was my beautiful daughter who loves me dearly and I love her too!!! Daddy loves his precious daugthers. I can't put one before the other but each of them have their own way of showing it. I love you and thank you Mary!!

Under the Mercy,
Matthew S

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Happy Feast of St. Nicholas

Originally uploaded by
We went to the local Orthodox Cathedral (one in every neighborhood, right?) for Great Vespers, crafts and a visit from you know who. The older two loved it. I will post more later, trying to put something together to show a good chunk of the season of advent.

Under the Mercy,
Matthew S

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Six degrees from Mother Teresa to Darth Vader

So, one of my friends tied Yoda to G.K. Chesterron, really an amazing feat shown as follows:

1. Yoda was friends with Ben "Obi-Wan" Kenobi.
2. Kenobi was played by Alec Guinness.
3. In 1954 Alec Guinness played Father Brown in a movie that is either titled Father Brown or The Detective. (
4. G.K. Chesterton wrote the original Fr. Brown stories.

And to think, I never would have figured this out if I'd actually been sleeping.

Well, in the comments to this it was noted that this was an impressive accomplishement, a challenge was laid down:

That's fine... now connect Darth Vader to Mother Teresa. MWAH HA HA HA!

Well, my friend only felt it could be easily done using the Mystical Body of Christ.

Well, here it is in three degrees:

1. Mother Teresa was in the 1986 documentary about her narrated by Richard Attenborough.
2. Richard Attenborough was in Jurrasic Park with Samuel L Jackson
3. Samuel L Jackson played Mace Windu in Episode's 1, 2 and 3 with Darth Vader.

Well, that wasn't really hard but its funny.....with Yoda back to Chesterton we could do all kinds of interesting things.

Ok, done with the time wasting fun for now.

Under the Mercy,

Matthew S

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Listen to Spe Salvi (mp3 format)

Thanks to the Curt Jester for this, I haven't listened to it so I can't vouch for it but it should work well knowing the quality of Jeff's blog.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Jay has taken over the reins for another week, here is the current edition of the Catholic Carnival located at Living Catholocism. Head on over and take a look.

Under the Mercy,
Matthew S

Monday, November 26, 2007

WWJD? Ummmm, maybe not! ! !

One of the worst fads to come out of Christianity is the marketing of a simple question that people now ask to figure out what they should do when faced with a challenge of how they are to act. WWJD, What Would Jesus Do? Honestly, while the answer may be interesting, insightful or maybe even beneficial I know it's the wrong question to ask.

First, let's take a look at what the answers to the question could be:

  1. Forgiving sins of others (pretty sure this is reserved to God)
  2. Feeding the Poor (yes, this is a good one)
  3. Loving our neighbor (again, just an awesome thing to do)
  4. Dividing households
  5. Setting the earth ablaze
  6. Throwing tables over and driving people out of the room with a whip

The main problem that I have with the question, WWJD, is that we are not Jesus, we are not God and we should not have the attitude that we should act as God acts. A better question would be "Jesus, What do You Want Me to Do?" Yeah, I understand that it isn't as fashionable, catchy and probably wouldn't make lots of money if you tried to market it. Marketing and money aren't what life is all about.

I do believe we should imitate Christ in His humanity and humble ourself to the will of the Father, no to be like him but because He asked us to take up our cross and follow Him. As the Lord's prayer, where Jesus taught us to pray, Thy will be done, not My will be done.

The biggest reason we must submit to God and His will is that we are not able to read hearts. We should do what Christ wants of us and not what we think Christ would do.

Let Go
Let God

Under the Mercy,

Matthew S

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Someone Turned 1

SighMy youngest (for now) daughter turned 1 today (November 24, 2007). You can read my version (that's right, a guy's point of view) of the birth story. Here are pictures from the past 21 months (beginning of pregnancy on).

Happy birthday baby girl, Daddy loves you!!


Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Let us give thanks.

homemade decorations

Under the Mercy,
Matthew S

Rubrics for Toddlers: Section 1 Introductory Rites

Selections from a document I found hidden in a diaper bag at Church. . . . .

49. When they reach the sanctuary, the priest, the deacon, and the ministers reverence the altar with a profound bow.

The Toddler should bow and crawl under the pew immediately in front of them to determine if any food was left at the prior Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

51. Then the priest invites those present to take part in the Act of Penitence, which, after a brief pause for silence, the entire community carries out through a formula of general confession. The rite concludes with the priest's absolution, which, however, lacks the efficacy of the Sacrament of Penance.

As a sign of true sorrow for having been caught under the pew eating stale dry cereal the Toddler should now throw himself or herself on the floor, kicking, wailing and gnashing teeth.

The Collect

54. Next the priest invites the people to pray. All, together with the priest, observe a brief silence so that they may be conscious of the fact that they are in God's presence and may formulate their petitions mentally. . . . . . .

Lest the joy and beauty of a Toddler be forgotten let your voice be raised to the heavens in a song unrelated. This helps direct the intention of the congregation in prayer to pray for the Toddler directly.
. . . . . . . .

The people, uniting themselves to this entreaty, make the prayer their own with the acclamation Amen.

The Toddler should wait until all others have said Amen and then exclaim rather loudly, Amen!

There is always only one collect used in a Mass.

The use of one collect at Mass does not preclude Amen from being recited multiple times, loudly, by the Toddler

Under the Mercy,

Matthew S

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Odd searches

Every now and then (okay, almost daily) I look through a list of refering pages to my blog. I have had 3-4 people, 2 of them today, that have come across my blog by searching for some derivative of the phrase "how many pounds of green beans per person".

I love Thanksgiving. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone out there, I hope you can be with your family or call your family. If you cannot, say a prayer for them. Say a prayer for those who cannot be with their family and say a prayer for those that will be protecting and serving tommorow.

I will be with my parents for lunch and then working.

God bless all of you.

Under the Mercy,

Matthew S

Sunday, November 18, 2007

It's movie night

When we watch movies (DVD's on the computer or hauling the 19 inch television out of a storage closet in the storage room and hooking everything up on a table) its an event becuase it is rare. Needless to say, everyone in the house shows up.
I did say everyone showed up, well for the family movie they did. Now, my beautiful wife and I are going to watch the second movie after I set the horse out to pasture.

Reviews to come and I hope its obvious who watched what movies.

Under the Mercy,
Matthew S

Thursday, November 15, 2007

A horse is a horse?

Recently, I have been spotting a horse around the house in a variety of situations. I have been starting to stalk the horse and have been able to capture some interesting pictures and I am going to start sharing them as an irregular feature on my blog, all in the name of fun and oddity.

Under the Mercy,
Matthew S

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Fr. Francis Mary and EWTN

My comments from this post at Roman Catholic by Choice. Roman Catholic by Choice is a fine blog that I regularly see and read the posts from as they scroll across the feed reader.

My comments in the combox:

“As a result, I am compelled to take some time off to prayerfully and honestly discern my future.”

I don’t know where everyone is jumping the gun saying he is on a leave of absence from the priesthood. From what I can recall reading he is taking time off from EWTN. “prayerfully and honestly discern my future”

I don’t see anything in that stating he is considering leaving the priesthood. He never said he was reconsidering his vocation to the priesthood…it is possible that he is locking himself up in the desert in Arizona with a couple other brothers serving some cloistered sisters and deciding if his vocation is going to include public ministry.

The point is that no one who has made these comments knows the truth. This is something I have been meaning to blog about for quite a long time and I may just end up putting this comment with a link back over on my blog.

Under the Mercy,
Matthew S.

I would like to add that you can find the full text of the letter here and I would agree with the contention of that author that Fr. Francis could use our prayers. He did always and will always have a need for prayer.

With that said, it is best that I deal with it away from EWTN.

Therefore, I have asked for and graciously been granted some extended time
to prayerfully discern my vocation.

These two things show me that he is taking time to look at his future, you can infer that he is considering moving in with a widow and having a family if you would like...that is what society would like you to believe, (actually its Satan that wants you to believe that and would love that to be true) but all its says is that he is taking care of this outside of the public spotlight and he is trying to gain clairty of where his future is (around EWTN or away from it, in the monastery or away from it). Time will tell.

Under the Mercy,
Matthew S

What does it take to homeschool?

When I began home schooling I never sat down and figured out what it would take for my wife and I to school our children at home. Basically, we hold onto several decisions that are normally made by committees, school boards, principals and teachers. We hold onto questions of class structure, content, teaching style, lesson plans and curriculum. As parents teaching in the home we not only maintain the role of parent but also keep that of administrator, teacher, janitor and lunch lady.

I never really considered this a few years ago when I consented to letting my wife to “try” teaching our kids at home. Now, I wouldn’t give away these roles. Our children gain several benefits from us not delegating these roles away. We are able to seek outside help in our state and have consultants that we pay for out of our own pocket, that help us make decisions of curriculum but my wife and I (mainly my wife) make the final decision.

The biggest benefit that I can work with is I can tailor my curriculum at the beginning of the year to the level my child is at right now. They can be halfway through second grade on one subject, at the beginning of third grade in another subject, and even further on in another subject. The decision on what is taught to my child is based on what she knows and what she has mastered. This is a huge benefit for my child over institutional school where decisions are made on some imaginary standard of a student that is used to develop grade levels.

As the school year progresses we are able to adjust our schedule and path for each subject as the year moves forward and meet my child’s needs. The benefit is that we are able to present the lesson to our child and our child alone. I only have to meet one mind in its needs and its understanding.

The role of administrator really is the role of parent. We have to make decisions about how much outside playtime, inside playtime, computer time and field trips. The great thing is that we don’t have to participate in parent-teacher conferences and teacher-administrator meetings. We are able to combine all of these roles together into the parents.

The role of janitor is one of my favorite roles because it really takes very little additional time to fill when you are teaching your children at home. If you think about it the additional mess that a child in school makes is really small in the grand scheme of a toddler and their ability to help is present (in varying degrees and depending on their attitude).

The role of Lunch Lady, especially for me as a father, can be lots of fun as well. Currently, I am working second shift and I get up in the morning and make breakfast for my children and then we have lunch together before I go to work. We don’t have to rush around in the morning trying to get anyone out the door unless we have something we have scheduled or planned.

Another favorite activity we have undertaken this year is going on nature walks. Every week we are going outside and just experiencing nature and what is going on with the seasons. I am thinking of adding geocaching to the experience of the outdoors as it could be a fun game for the kids to grow into, problem solving and some basic orienteering skills could easily be learned.

Anyway, I am beginning to digress from my point. What does it take to home school? It takes decisions about lifestyle and roles that you are going to undertake. My wife is a Stay At Home Mother (SAHM) and that is one of the things that makes homeschooling a possibility. We also make choices about what is important to have in the house like cable, newspapers, cellphones and how much you eat out.

One of the big things I work to maintain my attitude on is the question of what do I do when I am not at work. When you are a parent you are “on the clock” and working from the time you wake up until you go to sleep at the end of the night. From the time you go to sleep until you wake up you are merely on call. As the parent that works outside of the home I consider that I have one job outside the home and many inside the home but I don’t ever truly have “off-time”. My wife who stays at home has time on the clock and runs longer than a full-time job. However, I do work to give her time away from the home and time to herself since she doesn’t have the “break” of getting out of the house as regularly as I do.

So, to return to the question, what does it take to home school? It is a choice that a parent makes, it is a commitment. It isn’t for everyone but it is an option that should be preserved, promoted and defended.

Under the Mercy,

Matthew S.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Stop telling me I am going to drown

I know, yes, you really can walk on water, but Jesus has to call you to do that, parody of an article found here.

Lake FrimstoneBire, Nov. 12
A couple of firsts: Two women walked on water Monday at Lake FrimstoneBire -- and the water-walking was on a concrete floor.

The ceremony for Ima T. Pot, 76, and Outto Lunch, 57, was held on a Freeway with 600 commuters passing by, the Associated Depressed reported.

The Laws of Physics don't allow women or people in general to walk on water. Dr. Knowing WhatImean, PhD sent the women a letter condemning their plans and informing them they could possibly drown if they went ahead.

WhatImean also criticized the freeway, threatening to cease all commuting on the freeway if it was going to try to act like a lake, the newspaper said.

"For us in Frimstone Bire today, the (Concrete) Water is a symbol for floating to justice and equality for women to do as they please," Shortta Bit, the chief physicist with Women WalkingonWater cause we feel like it, told the Associated Depressed.

The women said they plan to walk on water at home in a Bathtub, as part of an international organization called Women WalkingonWater cause we Feel like It, Inc.

Pot is a great-grandmother, who learned to swim at a young age but never took a physics class at her outcomes-education based high school. Lunch, who said she wanted to walk on water since she saw the special effect in a movie, is a grandmother who taught physics in area schools for more than 40 years.

Putting your house in order.

The Full Story From Catholic World News. 6 weeks? Wow, he has the broom out and is getting after the cob-webs and dust bunnies. This is what we call, "reform of the reform".

Baltimore, Nov. 9, 2007 ( - Baltimore's Archbishop Edwin O'Brien
has removed a pastor who invited a female Episcopalian priest to join him in celebrating a funeral Mass, the Baltimore Sun reports.

Father Martin was removed from his parish assignment at a meeting with archdiocesan officials on November 8. The priest, whose unorthodox liturgical practices had prompted several prior complaints, said that the Episcopalian priest had not participated in the Consecration during the October funeral liturgy, although he had invited her to read the Gospel. There were conflicting reports on whether or not the Episcopalian cleric had received Communion; Father Martin said that he could not recall administering the Eucharist to her.

On the orders of the archbishop, Father Martin resigned his parish assignment and issued an apology for "bringing scandal to the Church," the Sun reports. A spokesman for the Baltimore archdiocese explained that the pastor's removal was called for because "he has repeatedly violated Church teaching."

Father Martin was serving as pastor of three different parishes in south Baltimore, where he had worked for 5 years. His removal comes just 6 weeks after Archbishop O'Brien was installed as head of the Baltimore archdiocese.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

How quick they grow up

Clara Joy 067
It has been almost one year. We are down to the last 12 days left until that first year is complete.
Clara Joy 066
I almost forgot how small those hands and feet used to be.
Clara Joy 154
We easily forgot how they feel next to us when they are so sweet and innocent.
She already has the keys to my heart, I am just glad that she isn't asking for the keys to the car, yet!
Happy Birthday in just 12 more days, Clara Joy!
Under the Mercy,
Matthew S

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Blogging may be slow

Doing some extra study and preparing to for an interview at work. Please pray for me.

I need to do a ride along with my brothers in the red trucks....its amazing how hard it is to just drive to the fire.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Rosary Army Podcast

Just finished listening to the live recording of Episode #191
Network (SQPN)
Ustream page
Today's Show Complete with hilarious new intro

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Carnival Time Again

You will find this blog either discussingproper use of eighth notes on an organ or the molar weight of hydrogen, its the Organ-ic Chemist with this week's Catholic Carnival.

Under the Mercy,
Matthew S

Monday, November 5, 2007

Joys of fatherhood

Simple joys of fatherhood. No, not my child but I can relate.

Decided to share but I had to get myself off the floor first.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Welcome to my world, glad to see you here.

Okay, so we have a bookshelf that sits to my left and our 11 month old walking daughter at times gets over to it and pulls books down off it. Not a huge deal but I asked my eight year old to pick them up before she lept out the back door to play.

Ok, so apparently she came over, picked them up and ran outside to play. I not seeing the actually cleaning occur was rather dismayed when I saw the books laying on the ground, paused to regain my composure and then called her back inside to clean them up.

I was standing behind my wife who was getting ready to go out to eat when we heard my oldest and dear eight-year old daughter say the following:

"I just cleaned this mess up!! Who made this mess?!? I need to know who made this mess again, I really did just clean this up!! I keep cleaning up the same messes!!"

Welcome to my world! I think my wife and I may have said that in unison.

Under the Mercy,
Matthew S

My new blog, well just a side blog.

In an effort to better promote thngs I find on the web I now have through some extensive work configured a blog that will automatically have anything I post to my Delicious feed posted to it daily, it's kind of a "links blog". I got the idea from Jen at Et tu? who made her own links blog. This will allow me to keep trakc of and promote things, I am going to have it run as a scrolling headline here.

The site is found here.

Under the Mercy,
Matthew S

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

That sound stops me in my tracks everytime

D A G A play it twice and I will stop dead in my tracks. It is the beginning of the song (tab format) that my wife sang to me at our wedding reception.

At my brother-in-laws wedding this weekend I heard this song and it stopped me dead in my tracks. Unfortunatley, we couldn't dance due to the nursing baby but that didn't stop me from sitting with my wife and enjoying her company. I love you Dawn, my dearling, my Davy. Thank you for the wonderful weekend.


Under the Mercy,
Matthew S

The Scratching Post: The Feline Theocracy Hosts the Catholic Carnival

Well, here it is, the one, the only, the Catholic Carnival! ! !
Dog lover though I may be, lets hear it once for the cats! ! !
The Scratching Post: The Feline Theocracy Hosts the Catholic Carnival

Under the Mercy,

Matthew S

Monday, October 29, 2007

I think I lost my head. . .

Originally uploaded by
I know that some people say at times I act like a chicken running around with my head cut off but the past week has been busy and today has been a great relief and rest. From hosting the Catholic Carnival at the beginning of the week, working hosting a conference, working, having a wedding/dinner/dance, brunch the next day and getting to Church for Sunday its been a little crazy. We kept up good and got everywhere on time and jumped back into the swing of things here at home with me even doing the cooking today. I even got Dawn out to a knit-in at one of her friends homes. I am feeling like I have accomplished much today, I think I even found my head.

Under the Mercy,
Matthew S

The better portion?

Something that comes up from time to time in our life is if what we are doing is really important? Does it really make a difference that we: nfpecologicalbreastfeedgeneroustonewlifesleepinginafamilybedhomeschoolourkidsononeincomeprotectingtheirinnocence ? Yes, at times it feels like a mouthful at times and it means sacrifice. We feel that at times we have to forgo social invitations and having some of the nicer things in life for the sake of our children and at times we wonder if its really the better portion.

We have good Catholic schools, would they really be worse off? Would it hurt if my wife worked and we had a little more income and nicer things?

I keep coming back to one thing, do I seek my reward now or later? Would it be so bad to have some of my reward now? I am working hard and I need to be strong to keep working so something nice around would be helpful to keep me feeling refreshed.

I have come to a conclusion, its hard to feel it because at times God feels far away when raising a child never seems to end. The Snoring Scholar said it well with her post after the birth of her last child saying, "these are the longest days and the shortest years." My conclusion is simple if we look at our reward as food.

As I do my work as a parent God is cooking me food. In society we want things done well and done now, thus we have created FAST FOOD. If I want my reward now, that is what I can have, Two Cheeseburgers, some fries and a Coke. However, God is cooking a feast, a banquet for us, he cannot give us that food now, it is not ready for us to eat, it would make us sick until it is prepared. So at times we settle for FAST FOOD. I think I would rather wait for the banquet in Heaven.

So, is it worthwhile? When I am not so shortsighted, focused on myself and looking for gratification the answer is very clear. When I am with my children and my wife, then answer is very clear.


More on the busy week past later.

Under the Mercy,
Matthew S

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Sigh, do we really have to do this again?

Okay, so it isn't that suprising that the United Nations has come out and criticized the teaching that the Catholic Church holds and defends on sexual morality. It isn't even suprising that the logic makes no sense. However, it is none the less irritating.

"In Latin America the use of condoms has been demonized, but if they were used in every relation I guarantee the epidemic would be resolved in the region," said Alberto Stella, the UNAIDS Coordinator for Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica.

Well, I wonder if this is a really true and good statement, someone just blowing smoke for an agenda or simply a misinformed soul?

I don't know the answer but I know that if condoms were used and used perfectly we would still have AIDS transmission. Here is an article talking about the fact that the condom only prevents pregnancy 98% of the time when used properly.

When condoms are used reliably, they have been shown to prevent pregnancy up to
98 percent of the time among couples using them as their only method of contraception.

Considering this is not a measure of failures of the condom as you have a very small window for pregnancy to occur over the course of a woman's cycle it has to make you wonder how many other times sperm gets through but doesn't achieve pregnancy? Ok, wait we are talking about AIDS, not how often sperm get through, right? Well, sperm are bigger than the AIDS virus.

Average HIV particle is 0.08 um wide and the average sperm head is 4 - 5 um
long and 2.5 - 3.5 um wide. --Dr. Holodniy , Stanford University school of Medicine.

To sum it up that would be about the difference between the size of a dime (HIV virus) and a tennis ball (head of a sperm). We also know that their are pores in the latex condoms, their is debate and varying studies as to the size and danger from them. I did find a few studies that observed some virus making it through. More important though is infection rates, I will concede in no small fashion that the rate of infection goes down in a monogamous couple that uses a condom where only one partner is infected as found in this article.

In a multi-center Italian study that followed 305 sexually active seronegative female sexual partners of HIV-infected men for a median of 24 months, 3.9 infections occurred per 100 person-years (py). (Saracco) The HIV incidence was reduced by 84 percent in women who always used condoms compared with women who used them inconsistently or never (rate ratio 0.2; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.1-0.5).*

Basically, the rate of infection went down by 85%. What does that mean? Well, if we have a situation that kills 100 people every month, we are now only killing 15. Is this the solution we really want to SOLVE the problem of AIDS? So, do condoms resolve the problem? Uhhh, no!

I found another article that also cites the facts that I have cited and it is found here. Again stating that you have a 2% perfect use chance of getting pregnant and 85% less chance of getting killed, I mean getting AIDS (for all intents and purposes these two things are the same right now) versus not using a condom at all. Again, I must reiterate if you have the following three choices which do you pick?

  1. Have a 50-50 chance of being killed.
  2. Have a 7.5% chance of being killed.
  3. Almost zero to zero percent chance of being killed.

Just the facts, abstinence and chaste monogamy make it hard for the HIV virus to get in the door.

Alright, back to the article again:

"The fact young people start to be sexually active between 15 and 19 without sex education contributes to the spreading of the virus, as well as the fact that the evidence shows abstinence is not working," Stella told Reuters.

No, actually abstinence works just fine, people these days are choosing not to use it and are placing themselves in danger. Show me how someone actually being chaste/abstinent contracts AIDS and I have already shown you how someone out in the world living it up contracts AIDS and at almost infinitely greater rates than someone who is abstinent or in a faithful committed and monogamous relationship.

Really, do I need to make a parody? No, it wasn't that funny anyway. The cold hard truth is that people not doing the safest thing doesn't mean the safest thing doesn't work. Alright, I am going to get off my soapbox for a few and try to get some sleep. If everyone would just be faithful and not live life like immediate sexual satisfaction was the be all end all, we would have this AIDS epidemic shut down in no time but some people just can't stop running across the street in front of the bus. Sadly, some people will continue to get hit by the bus, even if we put soft bumpers on the bus they will still get hurt. If not through AIDS, through the emotional damage of imperfect sexual relations designed around personal pleasure and not love for spouse.

Under the Mercy,

Matthew S

p.s. The Curt Jester has some good insight and did a wonderful commentary on this yesterday while I was at work showing the condom distribution doesn't solve the problem.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Catholic Carnival #142 (my 100th blog post here)

Welcome to the October 23, 2007 edition of Catholic Carnival.

Let us start with a picture:

K T Cat presents YAPS posted at The Scratching Post, saying, "It's not theological and it's not social, it's just a wonderful, beautiful gift from God." I just hope I can get this good with my camera. Still learning what all those settings do on my camera. I know KT Cat has to be looking forward to this edition of the Carnival because it means she is down to just days until her turn to host next week. I have all the information at the bottom of how to submit your article for next week and don't forget to link to this edition so that we get lots of interest in the Blog Carnival.


RobK presents Faith in Rudy? No! posted at Kyrie Eleison, saying, "Discussion of staying true to our values in picking a presidential candidate, particularly in the current discussion about Rudy Giuliani." Some country songs say you shouldn't talk about "Politics, Religion and Her." I agree with Rob and see no need to stay away from "politics" when it affects our faith, "Religion" is a no-brainer (this is the CATHOLIC Carnival) and "her" is always ok as long as its the Blessed mother.

Speaking of Children, you can't have Children without parents and Denise at Catholic Matriarch in my Domestic Church aka Catholic Mom gives us some insight into the role of a parent and the role of society in her post I am Not the Enemy. Now I think I understand why someone wrote the book, "It Takes a Village". I should stop now or we will end up with a full blog interlude here in the middle of the carnival.

Seth sent me his memories of The Night to Life in Oakland from his blog CatholicLand, hmmm, sounds like a good name for an amusement park.

Now here is someone that I can respect and actually have probably bumped into at the Midwest Catholic Family Conference, Jean from Catholic Fire brings forth a series of quotes that should help strengthen your understanding and provide you a little bit of moral support with a set of Contraception Quotes by some prominent saints and saints-to-be.


Ian presents If A Three Year Old Can Sing Chant, What?s Your Choir?s Excuse Again? posted at A Call For Volunteers - Review Your Religious Education Material!. A short video and all I can say is, "From the Mouth of Babes."


Okay, everyone get your thinking caps on and head over to help Therese at the Aussie Coffee Shop and give her some quality feedback on socialization and homeschool. I may have to go with a full out blog post instead of a comment but lets just say I would rather my kids learn from me right and wrong than from the kid doing drugs in the neighborhood park.

Maybe we should start this section with expectation and a beautiful poem from Courtney at her blog Peace! Be Still! and Poem about a Kick experienced from the Mom's point of view. As a dad I only feel them in my kidney or on my hand and they always come from without. I am jealous of that feeling of the kick from the inside.

Now we come to share some wonderful news from a previous host of the Carnival, Sarah has had her baby, I will let her share all the details in her blog post that is wise beyond its longest days and shortest years in just another day of Catholic Pondering.

Speaking of birth, that can only mean baptism is around the corner and Melissa, at a Third Way, gives us a story about her son's baptism and special gifts to and from our Lady to this new mother. This story definitely brought a smile to my face as it reminded me of each of my four daughter's baptisms. Oh, and I love the Bible quote you use on your blog, one of my wife's favorites too.

Now that we are talking about kids, nothing is more fun than going to the theater with the kids. I would however reccomend skipping The Golden Compass (link to my post on the subject) and Jay at Living Catholicism has some excellent alternative movies.

Before I forget I should take everone past my wife's blog, Turning Water into Wine: Vino Per Tutto and two of her recent posts that have become favorites of mine. The first is simple: Your mission if you should choose to accept it, pull off a nature walk in the morning with 4 kids (8, 5, 3, 11 mo.) while your husband works second shift thus throwing your whole scedule off. My wife prepares with a positive frame of mind in her Before Nature Walk Routine and yes it was successful. Secondly, for all you moms and dads that are feeling a little (or a lot) overwhelmed, read bit by bit for some uplifting inspiration.

Well, if you have parents then we should pay a visit to The Heart, Mind and Strength weblog to find some inspiration for our marriages and our prayer life and Kevin gives us this reflection on Faith, Prayer and Scripture that I really should look over again a few more times when the day is quieter, okay, who am I kidding I should wait until the still of the night when the four kids are sleeping restfully because when they are awake and I am home I should play with them.

Okay, time for a musical break and that means a visit to Bryan Murdaugh for his short reflection and song All in the Family.


Joe brings us a little bit of Lectio Divina in his blog post Not a Chump, from his blog Ho Kai Paulos (you need to explain what that means). We have to stand up for what is right, this is one of my favorite Bible verses as a man.

Now for a little bit of Apologetics and basic Logic/Philosophy!!! Come on, just because I said the P word doesn't mean its boring!!! Nicholas Hardesty brings a simple syllogism (a verbal equation) on his blog PhatCatholic Apologetics to show one form of a defense of prayer to saints. Go over and comment now, the combox may get active on this one.

Now from the Catholic Spitfire Grill we have another well written piece of Apologetics, this time on the charge from protestants that always shocks me when they claim we worship x, y, or z; instead of Jesus.


Heidi, being slightly overactive has brought two posts, one from each of her main blogs (you have time for more than one of these?????) to the table. From Mommy Monsters we have another reflection on the past Sunday's readings. Then we roll off to Streams of Mercy and find her reflections on her mission trip to Africa, hats off to you!

At Deo Omnis Gloria we can find an interesting perspective on the bonfire of John Paul the Second and how as Catholics we seem to be more readily able to see the miraculous.

Barb Szyszkiewicz presents Poverty and Christianity posted at SFO Mom, saying, "Reflections on the meaning of "poor" versus "poor in spirit," from a Franciscan perspective." A beautiful and simple post and I don't mean to offend but it sounds like your husband may have a little Carmelite influence, he appears to have a simple thirst for a simple way to help souls, much like "The Little Flower."

Jim, at Bethune Catholic brings us a wonderful post on the Immutability of God based on Aquinas' The Ways of God. Make sure your printer has paper and sit back for a reflective read.

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of
catholic carnival using our carnival submission form.
Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

Wow, this was lots of work, enlightening and fun. Thanks for reading and thanks for sending in your entries.

Under the Mercy,

Matthew S

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Walking through a field (aka Nature Walk)

Originally uploaded by
Of course, I could make it better, what fun if this was truly out in the country and in your hands was a shotgun. Well, it is too early in the year to really go rabbit hunting as we haven't had a good freeze.

Under the Mercy,

Matthew S

I am being overrun at work

Originally uploaded by
I had a wonderful suprise the other day at work. Well, it wasn't a complete suprise as they did call first and we had to let them in the building but it wasn't planned much in advance. 5 people that made my day.

Love you girls!!!
Under the Mercy,
Matthew S