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Thursday, May 31, 2007

A lesson for Dads from a Father

The above linked story is one that I had many reactions to as I read it. Some of my reactions where things like: "attaboy, you show her!", "that is really sad." and "Wow, people are really slow to learn." The mentality of the woman involved was that because of her situation she knew better than the Church what was right for her and since that was her "ministry" it was more important than right or wrong. It is the same attitude I see from lots of people regarding cloning, abortion, and many other sins today.

Part of me would have invited her into the office just as the priest did and give her a similar ultimatum that what she was doing was incompatible with Church teaching and that she couldn't continue it. I may have given her a period of time to think about it from a few minutes to a few days if I was feeling generous. At the end of that time if I had received the same answer I would have taken her out of every ministry she participated in effective immediately. She would be done and gone, end of discussion.

The priest in question did something different. After confronting her he took away one duty and then another, and another. Eventually they are all gone but he did it slowly. I think this is a lesson or something for us to remember as dad's. Each time he took something away it gave her another chance for reversion, she still has the chance for reversion but he continually gave her small "punishments" not for the sake of punishment itself but for calling her back to the Church. This priest shows some serious spine but also pastorally treats her as a father would calling her back. Maybe that is why the Church is often slow to formally excommunicate those who publicly decry its teachings from within. Each part of the exchange going down the road is a cry for them to come back to the faith that God gives us.

I think that this example is something that us Dad's can learn from. We have to constantly call our children back to proper behavior and following Christ. We have to punish them but out of love for them.

Under the Mercy,

Matthew S.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Wow, What a month it has been.....

I must say that May is an amazing and busy month for me. Its a month at work that begins with us getting busy. I have my mother's birthday along with 3 of my 4 dear daughter's birthdays. I also this May had my oldest daughter break her arm on the 2nd oldests birthday. Froze a water pump on my car which threw the alternator belt, the process of which sheared an old bolt off on the tensioner. I had to go testify in court in an aggravated assault. We had "Tap, Dance and Jazz classes". Yeah, it was busy but it was good.
Lucia had a fun birthday and she is showing her true colors as a girl as everything had to be pink. She didn't even like the Red/White/Blue swimsuit that Momma got her. Oh well, she wanted and got big girl panties, maybe she will start using the potty so she can wear them.
Anna is my little elf. I am so scared of her getting any older than she already is. She is so much a little girl but she has some tomboy in her, she loves her new camping outfit.

Of course she made it to her recital for her "Tap, Dance, and Jazz class. She loved it and had a blast and really showed her self off as a superstar.

Clara had a good time at the Dance recital hanging out on Mom's lap and posing for the camera (Mom was a bit more shy). Oh, little baby girl with blue eyes.

Clara had her 1/2 birthday this month and was offered mashed banana, it wasn't as big a hit as that "accidental" snagging of some choclate frosting.

Mary's birthday (the same day as the dance recital and Clara's 1/2 birthday) was a blast as well, she is turning into such a lovely young lady.

The girls had a great time at their combined birthday, I think everyone that came enjoyed Dawn's strawberry cake that she made.

Oh yeah, the flood of 07, not too bad but I wasn't able to drive myself to work, had to have a Squad come pick me up. May, what a month, all lion and very little lamb.

Under the Mercy,

Matthew S.

Monday, May 21, 2007

That Catholic Show

Check it out, go Greg and Jennifer.

Love everyone at and The Rosary Army.

That Catholic Show is a great high quality production.

Under the Mercy,

Matthew S

Friday, May 18, 2007

Just what makes it bad hospitatlity?

Thanks to Mark Shea for bringing this one up. He has some really good points about journalism but I think it may be time to think about hospitality and what modern society finds acceptable and what we should find as acceptable. Here are Mark's thoughts:

"Back in the day, op ed pieces were about news. If the story was about the dropping water level in the Dead Sea and the opportunities this presented archaeologists to verify the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, you focused on that. If you wanted to talk about the draining and pollution of the River Jordan, you did that.But this reporter wants to do an exegesis of Genesis in order to make sure we are good Episcopalians. That means veering from the subject of the story (the Dead Sea is drying up) to stuff like this:

Sodomy, though the word comes from the city, may not have been the main problem.
The text of Genesis is surprisingly unspecific. The two cities are broadly
accused of sin, and the story has more to do with the ancient duty of
hospitality to strangers than with any sexual practice.

Uh huh. As Kimberly Hahn once remarked, homosexual gang rape is a particularly acute form of inhospitality."

Under the Mercy,

Matthew S

Monday, May 14, 2007

Geneva and Conscience for kids?

This has to be covered under the Geneva convention in the sections on torture doesn't it?

Question: What is a good standard for conscience for kids?

Under the Mercy,

Matthew S

There have always been sinners

I hope that I can be counted among the faithful at my judgement. I know that I fail but I hope that I will be let into at least purgatory after my death. However, at least I know that their have always been sinners around. Pope's stern words fail to persuade all Brazillians, shouldn't come as a suprise to any of us really. Even when God spoke directly to Adam and Eve they still weren't 100% persuaded and they fell. However, it may not be as bleak as some make it ought to be.

Rudy oh Rudy why do you forsake me?

May 14, 2007
Rudy Giuliani Won't Challenge Pope on Abortion-Communion Comments
Washington, DC ( -- Rudy Giuliani is pro-abortion but he won't challenge the Pope on comments the Catholic leader make last week saying that politicians who favor abortion shouldn't take communion and have excommunicated themselves from the church. The former mayor said last week that his differences with the Catholic Church over his support for abortion are between him, God and his spiritual adviser, not Pope Benedict XVI. He sought to avoid a head-on confrontation with the pontiff over the issue that has bedeviled Giuliani's campaign. "I don't get into debates with the pope," Giuliani told reporters. "Issues like that for me are between me and my confessor. ... I'm a Catholic and that's the way I resolve those issues, personally and privately," he said. "That's what religion is all about -- it's something that's between you and your conscience and God and then whoever your spiritual advisers are." The Giuliani campaign Wednesday night deflected questions about Giuliani's spiritual advisers and whether he takes Communion -- saying, as the mayor did, that those are private issues. Giuliani took a different approach in 1996, when he criticized Pope John Paul II for attacking then-President Bill Clinton's decision to veto a ban on late-term abortion. Giuliani said the pope's "direct involvement in politics is not a good idea, because I think it confuses people." Until now, Giuliani has not faced the religious questions that hung over Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, also a Catholic, in 2004. Some American bishops said they would withhold Communion from Kerry because he supported abortion.

Religion is how people relate to God. However, when you choose a religion in particular you pick its rules. Kind of like Education. Education is how you access knowledge but when you pick a High School or a philosophy you pick its rules to play by. Rudy standing up like this and saying I am not going to discuss with the person who makes the decision in the religion I "choose" is his way of arguing with the Pope. I could insert my full commentary and diatribe about how I would fly to the U.S. and have a personal meeting with Rudy and then excommunicate him if he refused to have a press conference with me explaining the error of his ways afterwards but again that is the "un-pastoral" and impetuous part of me speaking. I am actually glad I am not the Pope having to discern what the best way to go is.

Under the Mercy.
Matthew S

Monday, May 7, 2007

Equal care for all but the Innocent

The thing that just unnerves me about this is that it hearlds fairness as more important than personal belief. This shows the hypocrisy of the toughted freedom and fairness that many liberals espouse to promote people's alleged right to abortion and contraception. Their is no allowance for me to not be part of the process. If I object to what they hold sacred I have no right to object. It is not freedom they want but their personal belief structure.

Under the Mercy,


Thursday, May 3, 2007

The Church of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe

Today (April 29), Anna suprised me with her profound insight that seems so rare in modern times. I should note that Anna is just over a week from turning five years old. She is blessed by having a Mother that enjoys reading good Literature to her children. Her mind is being developed and growing sharper as she learns and explores in her imagination and the world around her.

One of the fine pieces of literature that is being read to my children is The Chronicles of Narnia. As we where sitting in Mass Anna turns her head to me and made an observation about the statue of Jesus that was right in front of us. ``Jesus looks like He has been turned to stone by the White Witch. If we had a picture of Aslan we could be at the Church of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe!''

It reminded me just how important fine literature and the basic elements of a classical education are to my children. Anna easily identified Aslan as The Christ in Narnia and the White Wìtch as the enemy of The Christ. Anna understands, as well as a 5 year old can, that Aslan isn't an analogy of Christ per se, but some theorize that Aslan is what/who Christ would be if the other world of Narnia that is in Lewis' mind existed in reality.

In some ways she has a grasp of the beauty of Jesus’ love and who He is in her heart better than I could ever teach her on my own. No matter where she goes or becomes may she always recognize Christ and His Love wherever it is found.