Catholic Fatherhood, growing in geekiness, holiness and intelligence.

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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Catholic Internet Abbreviation Lexicon

Most people who chat, red blogs or forums are familiar with a variety of short words that people use to stand for other things such as LOL for Laughing Out Loud. I have recently realized that us Techno-Catholics out here on the Web 2.0 have developed a series of less common abbreviations and I feel it my duty to attempt to compile them. As this is a work in progress, feel free to make your own additions in the comments below or e-mail them for addition.

DINC = Dual-Income, No Children
OINC = One-Income, Nine Children
LMAO = Laughing My Alb Off (Should just be used by ordained clerics)
DD = Dear Daughter
DS = Dear Son
DW = Dear Wife
DH = Dear Husband
TLM = Traditional Latin Mass
SAHM = Stay At Home Mom
WAHM= Work At Home Mom
EMHC = Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion
NO = Novus Order (in english, New Order, The Current Catholic Liturgy)
VII = Vatican Two
JPII = John Paul the Second (The Late Pope)
BXVI = Benedict the Sixteenth (Our Current Pope)
CDF = Congregation for Doctrine and Faith (Formerly, the Holy Roman Inquisition)
SSPX = Society of Saint Pius X (Schismatic Group that is very Traiditional)
FSSP = Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter (This is the Enlish but the initials are Latin)
AMDG = Ad Majoram Dei Gloram (For the Greater Glory of God)
MP = Motu Proprio
CBT = Courteous Biretta Tip (Used by a cleric like CHT or HT would be used)
PLB = Profound Liturgical Bow (In place of CBT, CHT, or HT)
HV = Humane Vitae
PPOTD = Pope Picture Of The Day (usually found on The American Papist)
WYD = World Youth Day
AMP = AMerican Papist
NFP = Natural Family Planning
RSV = Revised Standard Version (of the Bible)
NRSV = New Revised Stanadard Version (of the Bible)
CE = Catholic Edition (Usually seen after one of the above two)
NAB = New American Bible
TTC = Trying to Conceive
STM = Sympto-Thermal Method (of NFP)
HS = Homeschooling
CM = Charlotte Mason (on Homschool Forums) Cervical Mucus (On NFP forums)
CHC = Catholic Heritage Curriculum
MODG = Mother of Divine Grace (Another HS provider)
STAA = Saint Thomas Aquinas Academy (Yet another HS provider)
MM = Maria Montessori (Education Method Developer)
HP = Harry Potter
RSS = Normally Really Simple Syndication but here its Rosary Said Silently
MIL = Mother-In-Law
CCC = Catechism of the Catholic Church
BVD = Blessed Vocations Director (Used at times by seminarians)
LOTR = Lord of the Rings
CON = Chronicles of Narnia
ESCR = Embryonic-Stem Cell Research

Special thanks to The Curt Jester for review the list.

Under the Mercy,

Matthew S

Monday, July 30, 2007

The perfect discipline technique, well almost.

I have what could possibly be one of the greatest parenting tools ever, The Manual Buzzer. Okay, let me explain what the manual buzzer is for those of you who are not acquainted with Jim Rome.

Jim Rome is a radio and television sports commentator of significant popularity these days. He has developed something called, The Manual Buzzer. Basically, if you can imagine a school buzzer that designates the begininng or end of class but produced with the human vocal chords you have the essence of the manul buzzer.

Now, Jim Rome uses it on the callers to his show like the judges of The Gong Show used the gong. It is a way of ejecting callers from the show that are doing something that is just plain wrong, silly or makes no sense. So, on the spur of the moment I decided to eject a behavior I caught my kids in the middle of.

I heard something crinkling in the kitchen and so I ran in their to find the middle two children loading toy plates up with the Fruit Loops that my mother-in-law had bought for them. Instead of counting them, straight up punishing them or getting upset (I was slightly tired) I just said to them, "Okay, you are supposed to ask before getting into those, EEEEEERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR." Kids immediately put Fruit Loops down, heads were bowed in shame of being caughter and life was completely perfect from then on, ok, well not perfect but it sured seemed like I had stumbled upon something almost magical in terms of discipline.

Under the Mercy,

Matthew S

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Aid Marriage by Heeding Nature, Says Pope [2007-07-25] and Commentary On Pope B XVI

With the recent release of the Motu Proprio and the CDF statement I have heard mentions that the real Ratzinger is back. Some of these comments are spoken favorably and some are unfavorable. I think these comments miss the whole point of who Pope Benedict XVI truly is as a person.

In his prior duties as the head of the CDF the only thing we saw of him was him fulfilling his role as "the Papal Rottweiler." Now that he is Pope he has not changed but his role has. He is more freely able to express not only his theologcal considersations but he is also expressing his pastoral side. That is what I think was the best part of Summorum Pontificorum, the pastoral side. The article linked to and quoted from below I think is an example of the Pastor and the Theologian. It also shows the influence of his predecessor on him.

Under the Mercy,

Matthew S

Sent to you by Matthew via Google Reader:

via ZENIT RSS-Newsfeed on Jul 25, 2007

Calls for a Return to Creator's Design

Some Quotes that I find to be powerful from Pope BXVI on this are included here:

"Nature invites us, in fact, to marriage for life, a lifetime of faithfulness, along with the suffering of growing together in love."

"But preparation is not enough, the big problems come after that," he said. And he highlighted the importance of accompanying couples, "at least in the first 10 years" of marriage.

"To help couples truly prepare for marriage, not only as the Church intends it, but as the Creator intends it, we must recoup the ability to listen to nature, to rediscover what lies behind what everyone else does, and what nature itself tells us, which speaks in a way much different than this modern way. "

"This model of 'what everyone else does' becomes a model in contrast to that dictated by nature."

Things you can do from here:

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Totus Tuus

This week my parish is hosting Totus Tuus. Basically, it is Vacation Bible School that is hooked up and faithful to the Magesterium of the Church. It was started 20 years ago by someone in our Diocese who is now a priest. In fact, this year we will ordain our 23rd Priest here in Wichita that lists Totus Tuus as a significant influence on his vocation.

My oldest daughter is attending this week long affair for the second time this year (she is going into the 3rd grade). This year they are learning about the sorrowful mysteries. It is a great opportunity, daily Mass, confession and lots of Fun activities but very joyful and faithful. The best thing about it is that its not watered down and the kids love it. I will write more about some of the activities and some of my past experiences later, check out the website above and see if your diocese has this program or talk to someone about bringing it to your diocese.

Under the Mercy,

Matthew S

Monday, July 23, 2007

If saying the Holy Mass was ever a video game....

I think we have already seen the effects of this one...

"It's not how you pray,
its how you MOVE
to the GROOVE
EXPRESS the love you feel,
let it SWAY
through your body,
and dance all through
the Liturgy of the
WORD, to your mother!!!"

Complete your training with an expansion pack, "Guitar Liturgist." After hours of playing this game you will be able to freestyle dance in front of the altar playing the greatest praise songs including the perpetual favorite, Kumbya.

Thanks to Pope Benedict XVI we ARE going to be seeing the effects of this one. . . and I am pretty sure it will never be made into a game.

"There is no contradiction between the two editions of the Roman Missal. In the history of the liturgy there is growth and progress, but no rupture. What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful. It behooves all of us to preserve the riches which have developed in the Church’s faith and prayer, and to give them their proper place."
--Pope Benedict XVI, Summorum Pontificum

Under the Mercy,
Matthew S

Being my Children's Curriculum

"You are the curriculum."

This phrase is something that I cringe at hearing because it means that I am not doing what I am supposed to be doing. I suppose I should explain what I am talking about for everyone reading this who is not my wife and is just now jumping into the conversation.

Our household is a Catholic Home schooling household. I have four beautiful daughters from eight months to eight years old that don't go away for school but instead it is part of their day here at the house. Every year we have debated over, researched and lost hair over trying to decide what exact curriculum and curriculum style to use.

We have lots of different ways to teach your children at home and they all have different personalities, strengths and weaknesses. They also have unique products that have to be purchased, different levels of time commitment and wildly varied price tags.

This has really caused us to step back and reevaluate what our priorities in home schooling are. Our prestige is not at stake, a cute notebook isn't important, approval of others doesn't make it, nor does smooth quiet idealistic days that are carefree and have no problems the point.

What we are trying to accomplish is the formation of an eternal soul, a gift from God that is given to my temporary care. I am responsible for raising this child to know, love and serve the Lord. My goal is to be greeted at the gates of heaven with the words, "Job well done my true and faithful servant." It is also my job that my children be greeted similarly.

I want to spend eternity in heaven and my children learn that love for the Lord not from coloring pages or singing Kumbaya but from seeing me. I am the curriculum and though I fail, I will ask forgiveness and continue to run the race before me. That is the most important lesson they learn, perseverance unto the end in abiding in the Lord.

Under the Mercy,

Matthew S.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Silence. . . . .

There is something truly special about going to adoration in the middle of the night that is awe-inspiring and very instructional.

In the quiet of the night we come with all of the worries and business of our day and our minds spinning with our thoughts and worries. Our Blessed Lord is present to quietly teach us a lesson. He is simply and silently present for us. He invites us to Himself. He invites us to join Him who fasted in the dessert, praying to His Father.

It is here in the quiet we learn to be like Him. We can learn to empty ourselves and achieve Serenity. Let me accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can. The wisdom to know the difference. The prayer of silent surrender, practicing the presence of God.

Under the Mercy,

Matthew S.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Prayers please

As someone in emergency services I deal with life or death situations daily, it is almost a routine occurence. I would like to ask everyone to pray for some fellow emergency workers that we dispatch for that were hurt the other night. Its always a little harder when its a member of the team that gets hurt, almost as bad as when a child gets hurt.

Under the Mercy,
Matthew S

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Why I love Jesus Meme

Well, Ye Ol' Curt Jester has tagged me for the Why I love Jesus Meme.

The Rules:
Those tagged will share 5 things they "love" about Jesus. Those tagged will tag 5 other bloggers. Those tagged will provide a link in the comments section here with their name so that others can read them.

Well, hmmmmmmm, so I am sitting here trying to pick just five things, and which five mean the most. Of course when you are speaking philosophically and talking about loving and dealing with an infinite being this could get hard and confusing. So, I am going to attempt to make a video based response.

#1 I can only Imagine, but I don't have to....

#2 Something I have always liked about my best friends is that they had awesome Mom's

#3 I spent 2 years in seminary and learned that Jesus reaches out to us in some amazing ways through others that He specificaly calls, the best of them wear black. I love home for the gifts he gives us through the priesthood.

#4 Heaven with him will be a stomping good time......

#5 Because loving Him is more than just a feeling and yes, He brought me home before I loved Him, because He first loved me.....

I imagine this will take a bit longer to get through than a regular blog post but I hope you enjoyed it. In conclusion, I love Jesus for who He is and I tag 5 of my fellow Catholic Dads:

Bruggie Tales, Real Life Rosary, Kyrie Eleison, Bettnet, and Blowing San #1

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Golden, you are setting out to do what?

Over the past week my wife and I went and saw the third installment of Pirates of the Caribbean, and one of the trailers was "from the people that brought you Lord of the Rings" (I don't know if it is the special effects people or who or what they did) and it showed a ring falling, my wife and I got really excited and started softly chanthing "The Hobbit, The Hobbit." Anyway, it turns out to be this movie called "The Golden Compass", to me it looked like a lame attempt to take Narnia, repackage it and make another story that isn't as good in an attempt rape and pillage parents wallets as kids would just "love" to see it and so I made the statment, " I will pass on that one."

Well, it turns out to basically be written by a guy named Phillip Pullman, who is from England and apparently an atheist. This moves is a story that is part of a series, His Dark Materials, in the UK the first book is called Nothern Lights but in the US it is published as The Golden Compass. Basically, in a fashion that is somewhat similar to Narnia, Pullman creates a world that t is designed to draw children in but has a decidely different message. It appears that the person who has "created all that is" was really created just the same as everyone else and lies to everyone saying her created them. The quest that the children undertake is basically for all intents and purposes to kill God. Another one that just drives me up a wall is the fact that everyone has a daemon (translation from old english=demon) that is part and parcel of their being and in fact you die without it.

One of the links written by Pullman himself is a description about the dishonesty of Narnia (whom Pullman despises), and is located here. Another resource with lots of information is Amy Welborn's review of the material here. I have also found a kind of cliff notes version/study guide is available at SparkNotes. My wife alerted me about this on a discussion forum that she is on. Here is another article from New Yorker magazine on the subject of Lewis and Pullman. Lastly, here is an article from Mark Shea, talking about Potter, Nine Inch Nails and Harry Pullman.

Ok, I know its too late to stop this movie from coming into being but it definitely isn't too late to keep our kids from it and keep it from becoming the heir apparent to Narnia and Potter. This all reminds me of the discussion that Socrates had in Plato's Republic. Plato has a diatribe about poet's and that they can very much confuse things and about the justified poet, the one who is in right reason are the only ones that should be in the city. If the city is your house, your children's minds, what do we want in their mind?

Under the Mercy,

Matthew S

Oh, and Catholic Bloggers, the Catholicblogs result is at 10 currently, lets fill it up and create a storm.
Oh, and some more resources coutesy of The Curt Jester.

You might be interested in what former atheist and SF author John C. Wright
says about Pullman. He liked the first book for the most part,but not the
following two. He protests the recent naming him for the best
children's books in the last 70 years.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Now, this is not a suprise

CHT to Knit Together in Love.

It really comes as no suprise the Pope Benedict XVI uses the prior rite for his private masses. We used the prior rite for the baptism of our third child (in english) the meaning is very deep.

Under the Mercy,

Matthew S

Trojan what?

So, I had one of those how-now moments the other day. It was of those that just came into my head and made me kind of chuckle.

Ok, so everyone knows the story of the Trogan horse where the Greeks decided to build a large wooden horse, roll it up outside the gates of the city of Troy, jump inside and wait for the Trojans to wheel the horse in the gates so that they can jump out and pillage the citizens of Troy at night.

Basically, the store of the Trojan horse is basically a story of how people use deception to be able to rape and pillage people, literally and figuratively.
What struck me is the fact that a very popular brand of condoms go by the name Trojan. I find this actually very fitting. Condoms are a way that one is deceptive in sexual relations. Sexual relations are and should be an expression of love for and toward the other person. When one uses a condom the expression becomes "I accept (or give) all of myself but this particular thing that is designed into my very Being."

The act becomes less about donation of self and more about the pleasure of the participants. They change the way God designed it to work. They are deceptive in order to conquer the other for their own personal pleasure, there is not a complete acceptance of the other as God made them.

Under the Mercy,

Matthew S

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Something to chew on.....

Ok, a serious rant but it was inspired by something I thought was cute and I tie it all together and share it at the bottom, so pardon my soap box.

One of the things that I am working on as I go on (thank God we are homeschooling our kids) is their "education" in that which brings about human life. Oh, and I am not talking about the story of creation. So, we have decided that formal education is out, just see what bringing attention to drugs has done in the D.A.R.E. programs. So, our kids ask us things and we tell them a true answer but not completely true answer to their question and their current level of satisfaction. For example, our five year old will tell you that babies are made by Mommy and Daddy participating in a "special hug" that brings about a new baby. In fact, she has asked when my wife and I are going to do that again so we can have another baby!

My opinion would be that we should not have any form of public sex-education, I don't want my kids taught about condoms or an abstinence only program. I have a feeling that highlighting sexuality, especially in a mixed environment (lets face it the 1 hour of class may be segregated by gender but the rest of the day isn't), no matter what the message is, especially to a younger group of kids that are still learning to reason, is a dangerous thing. I get alot of my information from Steve Wood's website, On e of the things that I think is important is modeling the virtues for our children, if we want them to be modest, shouldn't their education be modest? Does a young woman need to know that sex can be really exciting and fun until she is engaged and soon to be married? What is she going to do with that knowledge before then? She can know it is beautiful, special, important and the means of procreation.

I really think that telling 12 year olds how to chart and know what it means (this is when you are "safe") is like giving them a loaded gun, especially if they are of the thought that this is going to be fun. The other thing that I think is important is that our daughters and sons know that we respect them and support them in a decision to be chaste. I know how hard it is to be chaste in a wild dating society and fully intend on my daughters only being allowed to court. Anyway, I am swinging far and wide. Does anyone else have any ideas about sex education for kids? Right now we are just running with it as any other part of life, not something that you have to be sat down for and make a big production out of. I am not calling anyone a bad parent for what they have done, I am trying to build on experiences and figure out what is best, so that I can provide it for my kids. Though, I will say that this makes for interesting times with my 7 month old daughter as she chews on the different ideas around contraception.

Under the Mercy,

Matthew S.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Sacrifice and overtime ahead

One thing about being a home schooling dad that I have discovered is that I have to step up to the plate and really give of myself to keep the ball rolling around the house. Well, the ball is going to roll one way or the other but it is up to me to help keep it running smoothly. I have to help with chores instead of doing what I want so my wife can get other chores done and still have sufficent time to school. At times that also means that I need to do some of the schooling.

I have come to understand that as the husband, the head of the house, I am ultimately responsible for the success and failure of the house. I am to love like Christ loved the Church, I am to lay my life down for my wife and my family. I have committed to my wife to do things for her on a daily basis ro keep the house moving forward.

I am also an employee of a public safety agency that is in the process of a major upgrade that is requiring massive amounts of overtime from all of us right now. When my wife and I were discussing that fact she immediately asked what I needed, what could she do to help me? I told her that I would like to sleep until a certain time to make sure that I will get the rest that I need.

It wasn’t until later that I realized that she just took an interest in what I needed without my asking and put her foot forward. Thank you, dearling, Thank you!

Under the Mercy,

Matthew S

Hmmmmm, maybe I should read the Motu Proprio now that it is out now…..

Sunday, July 8, 2007

I don't want to be a bully anymore (and other rambling)

Okay, so my wife is a great source of inspiration that draws me outside of myself. This is why she is my dearling. I should probably tell that story so that all of you can come to know a hidden gem of a story; it’s a tale of love, faith and how the two work together. Anyway, off to my current point of inspiration, discipline and children.

We went out to eat last night and got on the subject of our tempers, how kids react to us, and how early they need to be educated. My wife is currently reading a book entitled, The Successful Homeschool Family Handbook by Dr. Ray and Dorothy Moore. The Moore’s are advocates of a late start to formal education. They also talk about how the first ten to eleven years are extremely important for a child.

They talk about how a child’s values are formed in the first ten to eleven years and their full understandings of things come to the front and are cemented about the age of eleven. In other words, a child may not fully comprehend obedience to mother and father until about that age and their core values are basically set about that time. Up until the age of eleven the location the child spends time is what sets their values and social behaviors. I keep returning to the question of who is going to teach my children their values and how to behave. Do I want a bunch of eight year olds who watch Pokemon and go to sleep listening to their parents watch Sex in the City and The Sopranos, teaching my kids how to act? Do I want eight year olds I know little about expressing values I know nothing about to my kids?

These are the fears that I struggle with. I also don’t want to feel like I am condemning the lifestyle I was raised in or say the other families that aren’t just like me are wrong. I just feel, after prayer and meditation, that I have a much higher and harder tasks than prior generations in my family tree (technology, enough said for now, that is another oddity of a rant) have had in the task of parenting. Also, as someone who works in emergency services I have a slightly skewed reality of the world as I see more of the bad that happens. I just feel that I have to protect my daughters; I want the best for them in this world.

Anyway, as to discipline, I feel that (and I am guilty of this as well) most of what we do with discipline isn’t a good model of God. Personally I have struggled with not working on promoting good behavior enough. Instead, I have often looked at punishment as a way of promoting good behavior and have tried to punish my children into behaving correctly. In reality, punishment is rendering a debt for a transgression that has occurred. We should be giving small aids, gifts of ourselves (Grace), to help our children grow in virtue and discipline. Instead of trying to BULLY my child into behavior through increasing punishments (however, JUST punishment are very important) I need to punish them for transgressions and give them part of myself, working with, directing or rewarding them to help move them in the direction of behaving and doing chores with a proper attitude. I need to give more of myself, exhibit more of Christ’s love to them.

As a parent I shouldn't try to bully my child into behaving.

Under the Mercy,

Matthew S

Friday, July 6, 2007

Atheism is logically self-defeating? YES!!

My wife and I talked last night afterwork and we got to talking about higher things, atheism and life not on this earth. Of course, I being a smart aleck, when my wife asked me if I thought life existed somewhere other than earth enthusiastically said, "YES!" Retort the obvious she said, "Well other than God and the Saints!" I again replied,, "YES!" This tottally took her aback until I told her she forget about the damned, the souls in purgatory and demons.

I said that while I think it is possible for life to exist on other planets I think it is highly improbable due to how closely everything has to line up for us to exist. This of course brought up the idea of intelligent design and somewhere atheism came in. I noted that atheism is a self-defeating purpose. So here I go, attempting to share that.....

First, let us assume that everything that is here just happened, no logical design and we just crawled up out of the muck. Human beings would be a series of basically organic computers. The limitation of these computers is that they are completely based on stimulus and response. What goes in gets processed and defines a return, now the software gets refined with every response but nothing comes out that doesn't come in. Now, let us proceed to imagination....

I am going to make the claim that we can only dream up things that are something that exists. We have to have stimulus to regurgitate it. Well, obviously this is not true because I just thought of a Pink Elephant in my head. Actually, I am taking the idea of Elephant and the idea of Pink and putting them together, I am Re-membering the parts together, imagination just puts thinks together that don't exist together.

Ok, so now if God doesn't exist how does the idea of God exist? The idea, infinite and omnipotent, are beyond the human experiencing and thus cannot be remembered or dreamed up. Sooooooooo, they must have been placed in the mind by something that can fathom being infinite and omnipotent, hmmmm, sounds like God to me.

Ok, so someone will object and say, "That is just a short circuit in the software, like the blue screen of death on your Window's PC." Well, then why don't people think of God and then fall over dead, why do people never connected to each other become able to understand at a finite level these concepts beyond them and why do people come up with comparable ideas in seperate places at seperate times uninfluenced by each other?

Lastly, that is the place where the gift of faith comes in. I hope this philosophic rambling has been helpful or enlightening or stirred your mind to think. I love you dearling (my wife that is) for being a great source of inspiriation to me. Oh, and if you want to hear a great talk abou atheism check out John Martignoni's Website, The Bible Christian Society, he has a great talk Called "Was Hitler Right?" that is available as MP3 here and tape/Cd here. He has tremendous resources available and keeps fees low so that Truth is accessible to all.

Under the Mercy,

Matthew S

Money Kids get for Birthdays

One of the things that is very popular for our kids to receive is money for birthdays and other gifting occassions. We allow them to buy some things that they want with the cash and we also use it to go get things that they need. Problem today is that it was all in a pile and we were scratching our heads trying to figure out how much each kid had been given and how much eavh had spent without having a written record. Now, spending the kids money is my wife's area of responsibility for the most part.

Lets just say we were both stressing out but across the kids we got down to a nine dollar disparity from the initial 75 dollar disparity. We didn't come up with more money, my wife remembered the purchase of cookies at the mall (very expesnive, high overhead and good tasting from what I hear). Anyway, budget and money is something that is stressful but I would like to say that I am proud of my wife as she kept her cool, she did awesome. Dave Ramsey and is financial planning has really helped us out with dealing with finances and getting on a better track than we were.

As to the rest of the world, my now 7.5 month old is actually crawling a little, most of it is belly army crawling but she does some real crawling. Of course, she can pull herself up standing on things too. That is scary. Maybe I will have to loud up blogger in draft and upload some videos for everyone to see. Would also give me a chance to compare it to myspace and youtube video features.

Today is the last day of my training at work and we are going to do some work on multi-tasking with the new computer software in a simulated environment. Tommorow I am going back to the center and will work on overtime shift one 1 of my 2 days off this week, but since that isn't my normal day off and it backs up to my normal two days off I will get 2 in a row after that. Of course next week I will probably have 4-5 12 hour days. This will be going on for the next 4 weeks or so and it sounds like we are probably getting ready to loose a few more people in the department, good for me that this will boost seniority but its going to mean a long long time of lots of overtime and the new stress of restarting homeschooling while I am running on low and it takes quite a long time for us to get people hired, trained and out working on their own.

Now, starting tommorow the older two kids are taking off with my parents for a Gulf of Mexico beach week in Texas. They are going to have so much fun on this trip and my wife and I will not know what to do with just two kids here at the house. I think we are going to rent a movie (Pirates of the Carribean 2) and then possibly try to go watch a movie as well or go out to eat or both. We are also going to have the assesment packet from our homeschool academy that we signed up for to go through starting this week. I am very excited.

Don't forget to vote in the Pocast awards for your favorite SQPN shows, and if you don't know what SQPN is, its a great Catholic Podcasting network. Kick the radio habit and get into podcasts, you can control the content and listen to stuff from EWTN, SQPN, and several other places around the net. On the left sidebar I keep a scrolling run of things that are in my MP3 player.

God bless, pray for us as we work on our children's classical education. Maybe I should blog about that and I am working on the topic idea for the Catholic Dads Carnival, suggestions are always appreciated.

Under the Mercy,

Matthew S

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Motu what?

After reading the latest news about the Motu Propio, I am getting somewhat excited. Of course, we are blesseed in Wichita with two priests that handle the TLM community (its at a "tri-linqual parish: Vietnamese, Latin and English) but this is exciting news. So, I let Motu-mania bite and parodied the following, highlighting a few of my favorite bloggers. Enjoy!
Under the Mercy,
Matthew S

Twas the night before the Moutu Propio
and all through the blogosphere not a soul was blogging,
not even the woman priests.

The chapel veil's were hung
by the chimney with care in hopes that Pope Bendict XVI
soon would be there.

The children were nustled all snug in their bed
while visions of thuribles danced in their heads;
and Mamma in her kerchief and I in my cap
had just settled down for our from midnight fast.

When from the Zenit RSS feed their arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.

Away to my desktop I flew with a flash,
Opened internet explorer and Google Reader.

The monitor on the glass of my saintly art gave a lustre of mid-day to all of my office,
when what to my eyes should appear but 476 unread feeds!!

With a little ol' mouse so lively and quick I clicked to find Pope Benedict!
More rapid than pop-ups the new posts they fell as I shouted them all by name,
"On SQPN and Curt Jester!!
On Jimmy Akin and Jeff Cavins!
On Happy Catholic and Relapsed Catholic!!!
On Rorate-Caeli and Real Life Rosary!!

Dial up the internet, connect to Rome, now blog away , blog away all."
As bytes across a T1 they fly,
then they meet with an obstacle, and fail to deliver,

Finally, up to the top of the list they flew,
With a listing of blogs and greeting good news.

And then in a twinkling I heard from my speakers,
the system sounds of new mail.

As a hovered my mouse and began to click,
what should appear but ol' Pope Benedict!!

All vested in mitre, cincture, maniple and tierra,
his vestments were resplendent and aglow,

A short few pages sat on his podium
and he looked around as he began to speak

His eyes -- how they twinkled!
his dimples how merry!

His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,

And the color of his alb was as white as the snow;
His crozier was held tight in his hand,
and insencse encirled the altar like a wreath.

He had a tall face and a papal tierra,
that stood tall when he processed in

I gave thanks to the Lord when I saw him, in spite of myself,
A headline scrolling and the text of a document,
soon let me know I had nothing to fear.

He read the document for all to hear,
and lifted his hand in Apostolic Blessing.

and giving a nod the popemobile he mounted
to his driver he whistled,
and whisked him to Castel Gandolfo.

But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight:
"Deo Gratias, Motu-mania, Deo Gratias"

Round up for Thursday

It's Thursday and we have to see some of the interesting things I have found on the web.

The first stop is going to be a look at someone who is homesexual, or actually according to them they were homosexual. His name is Michael Glatze and he is a former up and coming activist. I found the story here. Update!! found a link to the story here at WorldNetDaily.

Second stop in the world of the web takes us to a very simple but very pretty blog, Rorate Caeli and a very stark post that may oversimplify the situation but I can appreciate the contrast. THe lacking part is something that I have found here in Wichita, Ks and our diocese is that I have seen the Novus Ordo performed in such a way that is very moving, in the traiditional perspective, not to say that I don't enjoy the indult Mass and its beauty that is very unique. I also love the picture of Chaplain Kapaun from our diocese (his cause has been opened) saying Mass in Korea on the hood of a Jeep. The mass overall is awesome and I believe the important part is retention of the sense of mystery.

Now to a very entertainin and enlightening set of blogs from Catholic-Dads: The first is Bruggie Tales, a mate from Ausralia that came to the US and apparently did the only sensible thing, went back to Australia !?! Another intestersting fact about the blog author is that he his a homeschooling 4real dad. Woohoooo, I am not alone!! :-) Second stop from Catholic Dads is Real Life Rosary by James Hahn. He is a great author, well written and a funny guy. Oh, and he is a fellow WCSS sufferer.

Now for a little bit of internal news from around the house. Yesterday was the 4th of July, and it almost went out with a huge bang. I started out the day working on chores and a few other odds and ends. Then after lunch I took the oldest three (8,5 and 3)with some of their fun money that they earned to the fireworks stand, of course my 5 yo spent the most and only got two things. My oldest spent the next most and got four things. Now the youngest I worked with and she got the most with the least money. It was a great lesson in the value of money and budgeting for them.

I went off to work (I am a second shifter), the kids stayed home until Grandma and Grandpa could come over and help them shoot of the fireworks, of course severe storms moved into the area and it ended up raining but that just slowed down the fireworks a little, people were still shooting them off at 11 pm when I got home.

Last note from the home, you may be seeing the CatholicZoo starting to show up here. If you don't know the CatholicZoo, that is my wife, errr, I should say, she is the zookeeper at the CatholicZoo, also known as life. I have told her she will be allowed to guest blog instead of having to worry about keeping up her own blog.

Have a good couple of days while I finishe my training at work.

Under the Mercy,

Matthew S

Monday, July 2, 2007

When something sounds right but the conclusion is wrong....

The hard part about working and discussing with people things moral and immoral is that they take the truth and then run into the ocean or up the cliff instead of continuing on the shore.

Case and point and be found here:

Last week, the Catholic clergy restated its opposition to the use of condoms. But they should understand that sinful sex has nothing to do with condoms, but morality. To use or not to use condoms is a decision the faithful should be allowed to make. Safe sex should not to be fought; it should be encouraged.
Sabastian Wandera,

The way that I have learned to deconstruct this type of argument or conjecture is as follows below.

First, lets begin by identification of what is true in the post:
  1. Sinful sex is a moral problem.
  2. Safe sex should not be fought but encouraged.
  3. The Catholic Clergy restated its opposition to the use of condoms.
  4. To use or not to use condoms is a decision that the faithful should make.

Now, lets dissect how the author goes astray with each of the above numbered points.

  1. Obviously the moral guidelines surrounding sex are what determines its sinfulness or moralness. The falsehood that is presented in the argument quoted above that the mechanics of the sexual act has no determination on the morality of it. However, if the mechanics of the sex act are not what effect the moralness of the act then what does? Driving a car is not immoral but when you pull up on the sidewalk instead of on the road and place pedestrians in danger, then we have a problem. Mechanics of the act and deviations from the way God designed things are what determine the objective morality of an act. The moralness of sexual relations is determined by whom, with whom, where and how, what else is there?
  2. Yes, this is sooo true, but what is meant by safe sex? Is it safe to have sex that doesn't give oneself fully to the other? Here the author quoted above turns to just looking at physical safety and gives no consideration for the mental impacts of adding a layer to the act not designed into it by God that has the potential to objectify the other party. A good well written source on this is Humane Vitae itself. If you haven't read it, you should, it's not a difficult read.
  3. While it is true that the clergy restated the prohibition on Condom usage, it is defending that which is handed onto it as an immutable truth from God. The clergy doesn't make this stuff up on a whim. The rules are just defended by the clergy, they are given to us from God. The rules on the morality involving intercourse was given to us by the design imparted by God during creation.
  4. Yes, the faithful have free will and the ability to chose to use or not use condoms. What should be remembered is what they are choosing between in an eternal perspective, the choice between a moral choice and an immoral one. This life isn't for temporary pleasure but our eyes should stay focused on the prize and with a well-formed conscience we are able to make choices that are in line with God's eternal truth. Yes, the faithful have the ability to choose, they choose to be faithful or unfaithful.

The problem with the quoted letter above is that it fails to state realities and utilizes only partial truths, or that is the attraction in the human heart to the kinds of arguments demonstrated above. We are attracted to the truth in it but if we fail to see the falsehood, stated or unstated, then we can buy into the Master of Lies and his ways. I believe that most people that buy into contraception have a poor world view and don't really understand the reasoning against it, they may be hardened through an attatchment to sin, the comfort of their current life or just a good old fashion poorly formed conscience. Whatever the case may be we must proclaim the truth.

Hopefully, I have been able to shed insight on a method to do this. Pick out the truth in the argument and then see which way they go.

Under the Mercy,

Matthew S

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Catholic Colbert?

I know that Stephen Colbert is Catholic and he is very witty and at times I am so ecstatic about what he does and at other times I feel I am watching a train about to wreck into a minibus when I am watching him. All in all though he is on the refreshing side. Check out this new blog Catholic Colbert.

Under the Mercy,

Matthew S