Wednesday, May 31, 2006

I am so blessed in my family

This is my grandson Owen, whose birth three months ago plunged us all into shock and grief. Owen's MRI showed massive brain damage from an anoxic incident before birth.

Here is Owen at three months, shaking his fist at misfortune and declaring, "Here I am. And here I plan to stay. And grow. And be loved. And love."

He fits into the family well.

The mercy of God is wide.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

a "brief" precis on social justice

Deal Matthews just posted this to the Catholic Writers Organization mailing list. Despite its attribution of briefness, it is long enough that it took me two weeks before I actually read it. Having read it, I'm going to post it here in whole.

Every time I read what the Center for Economic and Social Justice is up to, I want to get involved. Economics is tough and I don't like either strict capitalism or strict socialism. I think CESJ is built on distributive principles espoused by Chesterton and others. We need to think outside the Blue-Red state box, especially since the Blues and the Reds seem equally willing these days to ignore the ordinary folk.

I started a long discussion with my sister Marie about the concept of capital homesteading. She's very leery of it, and sent me a bunch of info why. I need to get back to the dropped thread of investigation of CESJ.


The Characteristics of Social Justice
To: catholicwritersonline@yahoogroups.com

As threatened, here is a "brief" precis of the characteristics of
social justice. It is an extreme condensation of material contained
in "Introduction to Social Justice," by Rev. William Ferree, S.M.,
Ph.D., which is available as a free download from the web site of the
interfaith Center for Economic and Social Justice, www.cesj.org.

You should note that the whole discussion on the laws and
characteristics of social justice actually reconciles the two
principles at the heart of Catholic social teaching. These are that
"Man is by nature a political animal" (Aristotle in "The Politics"),
and "Only man, the human person, and not society in any form is
endowed with reason and a morally free will." (Pius XI, Divini
Redemptoris, § 29.)

Inevitably - repeat, INEVITABLY - commentators reject one or the other
of these principles. The individualist rejects the notion that our
social nature is, well, part of our nature. The collectivist insists
that our social nature is our only nature, and that free will and
individual sovereignty are a myth. Understanding social virtue,
particularly social justice, is the only way to reconcile these two
seemingly contradictory principles. [emphasis is Rae's] Maybe my next book will be "The
Paradox of Social Justice." Anyway,

First Characteristic: Only By Members of Groups

The first mark of social justice is that it cannot be performed by
individuals as individuals, but only by individuals as members of groups.

That is extremely important, because virtually everyone misunderstands
it. The "efficient cause" of ALL social virtue is the individual as a
member of a group, NOT an individual on his own ticket. Father Ferree
considers this so important that he spends four-count-'em-four full
pages on getting the idea across. As a college professor for more
than forty years, he found that this was the single largest hurdle to
understanding Catholic social teaching. It is NOT collectivism, nor
is it any individual act of virtue carried out with a vague intent to
benefit the common good indirectly.

Second Characteristic: It Takes Time

Social justice moves slowly and gradually. It requires organization,
consensus building, more organization, solidarity - all the
troublesome little details of working with actual human beings rather
than abstract concepts.

Personally, I have found that this characteristic causes the most
frustration to people. Society is unjustly structured, therefore
instant results are not only desired, but absolutely necessary!! (and
!!). The temptation in the face of social injustice is to demand that
"they" (usually the State) Do Something - and Do It Now!!!! The
problem is that the State (among other forms of government - all
"organization" requires governance) is the quasi-efficient cause
("quasi" because the State, as an artificial and not a natural person,
cannot be the efficient cause of anything) not of social justice, but
of legal justice. Legal justice is not a particular virtue like
social justice, and thus is not our direct responsibility. As the
State cannot "act" (in a philosophical sense) directly on anything,
it's pretty much a crap shoot whether the desired results will be
obtained by passing laws - UNLESS the passage of laws has been
preceded by acts of social justice - which is OUR responsibility, not
the State's.

Third Characteristic: Nothing is Impossible

In social justice there is NEVER ANY SUCH THING AS HELPLESSNESS. As
Father Ferree stated, "No problem is ever too big or too complex, no
field is ever too vast, for the methods of this social justice.
Problems that were agonizing in the past and were simply dodged, even
by serious and virtuous people, can now be solved with ease by any
school child."

Fourth Characteristic: Eternal Vigilance

The work of social justice is NEVER finished. This is not the same as
saying that social justice takes a long time! It refers to what Pius
XI called "the radical instability of society." This means that human
beings change, conditions change, and our institutions - our human
response to the task of being what Aristotle called "political
animals" - must be restructured and reformed to meet the new
conditions. This change is ALWAYS happening, therefore the work of
social justice is continuous.

Fifth Characteristic: Effectiveness

Work for the common good - the material cause of social justice - must
be effective. You can't just do something and hope it works, or go
about chanting that it WOULD work if only people weren't human. A
mere "good intention" that the common good be benefited is simply not
good enough.

Sixth Characteristic: You Can't "Take it or Leave It Alone"

As Father Ferree states, "Another corollary of this characteristic of
social justice (that it is never finished) is that it embraces a RIGID
OBLIGATION." That means that each of us is directly and individually
responsible for the common good - and we must organize with others for
the common good.

Of course, having said all this, it would be much better - and
probably much clearer - simply to read Father Ferree's pamphlet
yourself. It's free ... which, next to "beer," is my favorite word.

The Finding in the Temple

I was praying the rosary this morning in front of the virtual Blessed Sacrament and I went off in search of a picture of the fifth joyful mystery, The Finding in the Temple. I came across this one, which was just too good not to share.

Turns out it is a work of Michael D. O'Brien, author of Father Elijah, Strangers and Sojourners, and more. These are Catholic apocalyptic novels. I read Father Elijah and liked it, started Strangers and Sojourners and could not get into it. My daughter Gabe went to school with one of the many O'Brien kids. I believe the daughter she went to school with now teaches (or did teach) at Mary Mother of God School, a wonderful independent Catholic school in Toronto co-founded by Rebecca Pontisso and presided over now by Gord Nixon. I first learned the beauty of singing the Office in Gregorian chant, in English, from Rebecca, Gord, and John DiMarco years ago at a retreat in Wernersville, PA.

How nice that morning prayer wound up a meditation on friendship, this morning. Also I think I might like Michael O'Brien's art work more than his writing. What struck me about this picture, as I looked at the many images of the mystery that I googled up, is the scrolls of the Torah that young Jesus holds with such reverence. Suddenly it seemed to me right that he had gone off on his own without telling his parents. Didn't they know he would be in his Father's home?

Monday, May 29, 2006

Requiescat in pace

Father Todd Reitmeyer has died, in a jet ski accident while on vacation with his family in Austin, Texas.

I never added Fr. Todd to my blogroll, but I followed his blog sporadically. I loved its name -- A Son Becomes a Father.

May his soul and the souls of the other faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace, Amen.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

"not all Christians agree with Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson"

Cross-Walk America is near Amarillo, Texas on its 39th day of walking across the country. My brother Mark reports that the hospitality of the host families is almost distracting from the goal of Cross-Walk America, which is "TO TRY TO SPREAD THE MESSAGE THAT NOT ALL CHRISTIANs AGREE WITH PAT ROBERTSON + JERRY FALLWELL ..."

Mark, are you reading my blog? I know you know I am posting your updates. I wonder what you will think of a novena to St. Charles Lwanga. Cross-Walk America's blog indicates that the most controversial aspect of their movement, at least to those Christian churches with whom they try to make contact as they walk, is a codicil of affirmation 5 of the Phoenix Affirmations.

Affirmation 5 is: Engaging people authentically, as Jesus did, treating all as creations made in God’s very image, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, age, physical or mental ability, nationality, or economic class;

The controversial codicil to Affirmation 5 is: As Christians, we welcome those of every race, gender, sexual orientation, age, physical and mental ability, nationality, and economic class into the full life of our community. [emphasis mine.]

Any Catholic, I think, can agree with this if it is not accompanied by an insistence on the right and/or the goodness of homosexual activity or any sexual activity that does not adhere to Christian teaching on sexual morality. The Catholic Church welcomes all into its community life, although it reserves the right given by Christ to the apostles and their successors to bind and loose the bonds of sin that keep a person from enjoying the full, sacramental life of the community.

The sticking point, as is true in the general debate about homosexuality and Christianity, is whether treating all as creations made in God’s very image means accepting the revisionist interpretation of scripture that says sexual moral teaching in the early Church was wrong. The same sticking point exists in the debate about abortion and Christianity. The revisionist interpretation says that the culture of the twenty-first century is more enlightened than that of the first, and that the early Church's condemnation of both homosexual activity and abortion was culturally conditioned, and now out of date.

In fact, rather than being influenced by first century culture, the early Church broke with the surrounding culture in both matters. Both homosexual activity and abortion (as well as infant exposure) were acceptable in the Graeco-Roman culture.

Mark wants me to find a hospitable church to offer shelter and food to CrossWalk America in or near Cumberland, MD. I wonder what an orthodox Catholic parish would do if approached. I think offering a welcome to the group would be a good thing. CrossWalk America is willing to debate or discuss any and all of the Phoenix Affirmations with any group, even those who disagree.

Here is Mark's latest entry.
CROSS-WALK AMERICA DAY-39
ODIN's DAY** (WEDNEsDAY)-24-MAY-2006

**LINGUISTIC-LY, OUR WORD "WEDNEsDAY" IS RELATED TO THE
GERMANIC (OR "NORSE" OR "GOTHIC") WORD "ODIN" ...
ODIN WAS A NAME FOR 1 OF THEIR "GODs" ...
[NOW U KNOW WHY I USE A LOWER-CASE "s" WHEN
I WRITE "WEDNEsDAY"]

TONIGHT WE STAY AT ANOTHER CHURCH-CAMP --- ACTUAL-LY MORE LIKE A "RETREAT-CENTER" ... A BIT NORTH OF AMARILLO,TEXAS ... OUT ON THE PRAIRIE: HOME-HOME-ON-THE-RANGE COUNTRY ... MANY DEERs + RABBITs, (+ COYOTEs!!) OUT HERE ...

AS USUAL, OUR LOCAL-HOSTs ARE AWE-SOME-LY NICE: WE HAVE A WHOLE BIG HOUSE ALL-TO-OUR-SELVES, AND THEY SAY'D "HELP YR-SELF TO ANY-THING IN THE KITCHEN" ... DINNER WAS AWE-SOME: YUMMY LASAGNA, A SEPARATE PORTION FOR VEGETARIANs: 3 OF US VEGGIE-EATERs NOW, AS THE DAUGHTER OF ONE OF THE OTHER WALKERs JUST-TODAY ARRIVED FROM SOUTHERN-CALIFORNIA, AND SHE's VEGETARIAN ...PLUS: SALAD + BREAD-ROLLs + SODA + BEER ...

THE FOOD IS SO GOOD, IT ACTUAL-LY DISTRACTs FROM OUR GOAL, WHICH IS TO TRY TO SPREAD THE MESSAGE THAT NOT ALL CHRISTIANs AGREE WITH PAT ROBERTSON + JERRY FALLWELL ...

WE HAD A MEETING TODAY ---AN OFFICIAL MEETING --- IN AN OFFICIAL MEETING-ROOM, WITH COFFEE FOR GOOD-NESS SAKE, AND FOLKs WERE COMPLAIN-ING RE LOW ENERGY-LEVELs, AS THE WEATHER's BEEN VERY-HOT ALMOST A WEEK ... MY SUGGESTION THAT PERHAPs DRINK-ING BOTTLED-WATER WHICH WAS PROCESS'D BY "REVERSE OSMOSIS"
WAS ---(ALMOST)--- SHOUTED-DOWN, AS I SAY'D THAT SEVERAL TIMEs ALREADY DURING THE PAST WEEK ... I FEEL TRUE-LY SORRY FOR THEM, BUT IT's AS THEY SAY: "U KIN LEAD A HORSE TO WATER, BUT U CAN'T MAKE IT DRINK" .....

MORE INFO RE THE WALK AT: www.CrossWalkAmerica.org
AND 1-877-CWA-WALK

MORE INFO RE BOTTLED-WATER ON THE LABEL OF THE BOTTLED-WATER CONTAINER, BUT U NEED TO BE CARE-FULL, + SKEPTICAL, AS THEY'R NOT REQUIRED-BY-LAW TO TELL U HOW THEY PROCESS'D THE WATER, THO THEY SHOULD BE; AS NOT ALL BOTTLED-WATER IS CREATED EQUAL ...

SINCERE-LY, "PERFESSER" MARK CREEK-WATER
PEACE-WORKER/WALKER, TEXAS, USA

novena to St. Charles Lwanga & Companions

Marty Helgesen suggests a novena to St. Charles Lwanga and Companions, to ask for their intercession in our society's misunderstanding of homosexuality. My readers who do not subscribe to the Catholic sexual teachings may be shocked that I would publicize such a novena. That shock would be due more to the unwarranted dread of "homophobia"
as a plague in our society than to any homophobic significance to the calling for this novena.

Prayer is powerful. Make the novena according to your own lights, asking that St. Charles and his companions implore Christ, "Send forth your Spirit, and they shall be created, and Thou shalt renew the face of the earth." Our postmodern culture suffers a lot because sexuality (both homo- and hetero- ) is not sufficiently understood from the God's-eye point of view.

From Marty:
Saturday, June 3, is the feast of St. Charles Lwanga and companions,
the Uganda Martyrs. One of the reasons they were killed is they were
pages in the court of the pagan king, who was a homosexual, and they
refused to engage in acts of perversion with him because of their
Christian faith. They would seem to be suitable patron saints for
homosexuals, that they will be given the grace to live chastely, and
for the defense of the Church and civil society from attacks by mili-
tant homosexuals. I suggest a novena to them leading up to the
feast. If you start Thursday, May 25, the ninth day will be June 2.
If you start Friday, May 26, the last day will be the feast itself.
Also, whenever you learn of some attack on the Church or civil socie-
ty by militant homosexuals, you could offer the prayer, "St. Charles
Lwanga and Companions, pray for us"

Saturday, May 20, 2006

A saint whose bio sounds remarkably contemporary

Today is the feast of Saint Bernardino of Siena. I don't think I've ever heard of him before. Reading his bio in Universalis, I thought he could easily be a young man of today.

Saint Bernardino of Siena (1380 - 1444)
Bernardino (“Little Bernard”) was born in Tuscany. His parents died when he was a child. While still a student at the University of Siena he took charge of the hospital there when an epidemic killed most of the staff. Later he looked after a bedridden aunt until her death; and then, at the age of 22, he became a Franciscan.
He was an energetic and popular preacher and spent years travelling on foot through Italy preaching to enormous audiences. He denounced usury, promoted peace among the warring Italian cities, and worked hard for the reform and discipline of the Franciscan order, and for church unity.
Bernardino’s achievements before he became a Franciscan show what the young can achieve if given the chance. Let us try not to confirm them in a culture of enforced irresponsibility, but to encourage each of them to give to others whatever they have been called into this world to give.

Friday, May 19, 2006

A Tale of Two Jesuses

Frederick and Mary Ann Brussat over at Spirituality and Practice wrote a review of The Da Vinci Code that disappointed me and caused me to lose respect for them as folks of faith who navigate the modern and post-modern scene with wisdom. But they also gave me insight into the cultural meaning of the book and the film at this juncture in the first decade of the 21st century. Here is what they write:
In our era, a great and fierce battle is being waged by zealous, rigid, and close-minded Christians against more progressive Christians and spiritual seekers who are open, curious, and hospitable about Christianity and all religions. One reason why this film will speak to so many people is that we can empathize with Robert and Sophie as they realize the extent of the conspiracy to suppress the truth about the Holy Grail and to keep quiet the important role of women in church history. We also can connect with their deep desire to get to the bottom of things.

Robert and Sophie are mentors of openness as they plow through one mystery after another. Openness as a spiritual practice has become more important than ever these days when government, corporations, and church institutions use secrecy and spin doctors to cover up the truth and protect themselves and their power base. The film no doubt will be championed by those who are curious about learning more about the Sacred Feminine, the life of Mary Magdalene, and the humanity of Jesus. (See our list of many varied and fascinating resources we have covered on these subjects.)

Those of us who believe that openness is a prerequisite for spiritual growth in a complex world know that God loves diversity. Hence, we can tolerate differences and see no need to destroy someone else's position in order to make room for our own. The Da Vinci Code is making a great contribution by encouraging dialogue about Christianity and creating awareness of the diversity within the early church. Because of this novel, thousands have been spurred on to read the Gnostic Gospels and to re-envision the role of Mary Magdalene in the Christian community. And any movie that salutes the staying power of the Sacred Feminine is something worth celebrating in a time when chauvinism is strutting its last hour upon the stage.


They have named the disease, I think: it's the Battle of the Jesi. Let's consider the salient line one more time:
... a great and fierce battle is being waged by zealous, rigid, and close-minded Christians against more progressive Christians and spiritual seekers who are open, curious, and hospitable about Christianity and all religions.


The Da Vinci Code is the mirror image of The Passion of the Christ: in that case, the "zealous, rigid and close-minded Christians" turned out in droves to see a non-deconstructed Passion Play on film. The Passion as a horror film, effectively done. In this case, the "more progressive Christians and spiritual seekers who are open, curious and hospitable about Christianity and all religions" will [presumably] turn out to see an affirmation of the major tenets of the feminist Christian heresy: that men hate and fear the power of women; that Christianity was co-opted from Good Guy Jesus by a bunch of women-hating men who would stop at nothing to pervert the truth and drive out the Goddess and her nurturing acolytes; that the Catholic Church is inhospitable to women, oppressive, secretive, and rigid.

I was thinking this morning about the anecdotal story of Pope Leo XIII and his vision. The aging Pope Leo, so the story goes, had returned from celebrating Mass and had begun to confer with his cardinals. Suddenly he fell into a deep faint, and the cardinals could not find a pulse and feared for his death. After a few minutes, the Pontiff opened his eyes, sat up, and exclaimed "Oh what a horrible picture I was permitted to see."

The vision he saw had elements of the Book of Job and elements of the Book of Revelations. He saw God and Satan in discussion, and Satan was mocking God and telling Him that humankind was getting easier and easier to deceive. His Christ would soon be forgotten in the hearts of men and women, and it was only because God shored up the Body of Christ with so many extra helps that it had any loyalty and remembrance of Christ left at all.

So God said, "I give you the next century. I will withdraw my special helps. Do your worst. My Son will conquer even so."

Pope Leo went on to write the Prayer of St. Michael, and inserted it at the end of the Mass in the final prayers. I grew up saying this prayer. The Novus Ordo does not include it so we no longer pray it at Mass, although by custom it is always prayed now at the end of the public praying of the rosary.

I've thought often of that story as we make our way into a new century. What if the story is true in its basic elements? It certainly would explain the horrors of the 20th century. Then a part of me is peeved at having to come of age at a time when the Prince of Lies was getting in his licks and succeeding so well. Part of me is delighted that perhaps my grandchildren will come of age in a different world, less full of deception and the evils concomitant on belief in deceptive ideologies.

Now would be the time of change, the cusp of a reawakened Body of Christ, and the Prince of Lies is making his last gasp effort to stem the tide.

I like to think this is so.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Flylady, salmon & Malcolm comes to an end

A couple of months ago my daughter Gabe introduced me to the Flylady at flylady.org, and I started using her strategies for decluttering my house and my life. Cleaning in 15 minute spurts really does result in more cleaning getting done than waiting until I have time to tackle each room thoroughly. Keeping my kitchen sink clean and shiny really does make me feel better when I get up in the mornings. I also like the idea that perfectionism is more of a curse than a blessing. I also like the idea of throwing away any clothes in your closet that don't make you feel great wearing them. I mean, what's the point?

Last night Emily and I were at Pathmark buying fresh fruits and vegetables and trying to figure out what to make for dinner. I'm also very much trying to eat better and keep my salt intake down, lose some weight and maybe not have a stroke from high blood pressure quite so soon. We ran into Kate Rogers who was standing at the fish counter, and got into a discussion about how we've been thinking of trying to eat more fish but neither of us was any good at cooking fish. It's always bland. So Kate gave us an on the spot method for a kind of teriyaki salmon, we bought some, took it home and cooked it up as per her recipe, and it was a hit! So maybe I'll have salmon once a week. I'd been getting smoked salmon but the salt content is way too high, it cancels out any benefit of the fish itself to health.

It's 7:33am and I have to leave for work in a half hour. I'm stalling my shower and morning routine because I really would rather just sit here and mentally meander.

Oh, and the series finale of Malcolm in the Middle was painful to watch in parts but there was one final great exchange between Lois and Malcolm that was a work of art. Malcolm and Reese both wound up janitors, Malcolm in Harvard where he was working his way through on his way to becoming President of the United States, Reese at his old high school where he couldn't believe he had lucked into such a great job. Francis' wife made an appearance much to my relief, because we hadn't seen her in awhile and I worried they'd broken up, and Francis had a normal job in a cubicle as a faceless minion of a big corporation and he LOVED IT, but continued to tell Lois he was out of work and a free spirit as always.

And Stevie grew into a slim, handsome young man, he looked so different from the younger Stevie I thought it was a different actor in that wheelchair.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Day 28 - - CrossWalk America

DAY-28 --- CROSS-WALK AMERICA
SATURDAY-13-MAY-2006

DEAR FOLKs-----
THIS WEEK WE WALK'D TO NEAR THE STATE-LINE BETWEEN NEW MEXICO
AND TEXAS ... SMALL TOWNs + MILEs OF SEMI-DESERT PRAIRIEs ...
ROLL-ING HILLs WHERE COVER'D-WAGONs ROLL'D WEST-WARD-LY DURING THE 1800s ... GOOGLE KEY-WORDs: "MANIFEST-DESTINY" ... 1846 ... FORT BENT ... "GEORGE BENT" ... "CHARLES BENT" ... NEW MEXICO WAS, IN FORMER TIMEs A PART OF OLD MEXICO ... DOES ANY OF THIS MATTER ?? OR IS IT JUST-SIMPLY ANCIENT-HISTORY ??
WELL, CROSS-WALK AMERICA AIMs TO ADDRESS OUR HUMAN-NATURE,
AND TO CHALLENGE US TO TRY TO DO BETTER, AS QUITE OFTEN WE ARE TOO-MUCH IN A HURRY TO CHALLENGE OUR-SELVEs IN THIS WAY ...
MEAN-WHILE, FOLKs ALONG THE WAY HAVE BEEN WONDER-FULL, AND THE WALK HAS BEEN A BEAUTY-FULL + POSITIVE EXPERIENCE ...
NEXT WEEK WE HOPE TO BE IN TEXAS .....

MORE INFO ---AND PHOTOs--- AT: www.CrossWalkAmerica.org
OR PHONE: 1-877-CWA-WALK

SINCERE-LY, MARK CREEK-WATER
PEACE-WORKER/WALKER, SOUTH-WEST USA

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Brrr, it can get cold walking across America.

Mark's latest report reminds me of when my husband Bill and I hitch-hiked across the country, from the East Coast to the West, in 1971. Thumbing through northern Arizona we hit a patch where nobody picked us up for a couple of hours. It was the longest we'd ever gone with a ride, and it was COLD.

I think that right then and there we decided we'd buy a car. And so we did, when we got to Lubbock, Texas.


CROSS-WALK AMERICA UP-DATE:
DURING THE PAST 2 WEEKs WE DID-GET SOME RAIN+SLEET+SNOW, W/ THUNDER+LIGHTNING (VERY-VERY FRIGHTEN-ING), FRIDAY AFTER WE LEFT SHOW LOW ...
THAT EVE WE GOT TO A CHURCH-CAMP NEAR GREER,AZ + WHEN I WALK'D IN-TO THE DINING-ROOM, W/ A ROAR-ING WOOD-FIRE IN THE FIRE-PLACE + HOT COFFEE + HOT CHOCOLATE-DRINK + HOT APPLE-CIDER, WELL, I JUST-SIMPLY FEEL'D LIKE I WAS ALREADY IN "HEAVEN" ...
IT WAS A BIT COLD THERE NIGHTs, ELEV. 8300 FT., I THINK, BUT NOT TOO BAD ... OUR HOST WAS SO EXCELLENT-LY NICE, PREPARE-ING 3 MEALs/DAY, INCLUDE-ING LUNCH, AND THEN DID-NOT EVEN CHARGE US, AS SHE BELIEVEs IN WHAT WE ARE DO-ING !!
THE BEST WAY TO GET NEWs RE CWA IS THE WEB-SITE:
www.CrossWalkAmerica.org
THE BLOG IS ESPECIAL-LY KOOOL: I'V NOT EVEN SEEN IT YET, BUT I WILL, SOON ...
OF COURSE WE ALL HOPE FOR MORE PUBLICITY, BUT I RECKON THIS WILL HAPPEN, AS WE GO EAST-WARD TO BIG-ER + BIG-ER POPULATION-CENTERs: FOLKs IN CITYs TEND TO BE MORE "LIBERAL" + "PROGRESSIVE" ---SO MORE PUBLICITY IN LOCAL NEWsPAPERs IS PROBABLE ... MEAN-WHILE, MANY FOLKs ALONG THE WAY SUPPORT US: SOME FOLKs WHOM WE MET YESTERDAY IN A PIZZA-RESTAURANT DID-GIVE A $50 DONATION !!
NOW WE'R AT AN RV-PARK IN A LITTLE TOWN ---MOUNTAINAIR,NM)
LIKE, NEAR THE WESTERN-EDGE (THE HIGH-END) OF THE USA-GREAT-PLAINs--- LIKE, MOST-LY DOWN-HILL FROM HERE TO THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER ...

SINCERE-LY, MARK CREEK-WATER
PEACE-WORKER/WALKER, SOUTH-WEST USA

Mark & CrossWalk America are in Albuquerque!

Nickey D'Orazio, our mother, was a radio control operator in Albuquerque, way back when she was Nickey Moss, before she married our father. She always liked Albuquerque and spoke of it fondly throughout her life.

CROSS-WALK AMERICA --- DAYS 21+22:
> SATURDAY+SUNDAY / 6+7 / MAY / 2006
> DEAR FOLKS---
> OUR STAY IN ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO HAS BEEN
> AWE-SOME !! OLD ROUTE-66 IS, LIKE, THE MAIN-STREET
> (CENTRAL AVENUE) HERE ...
> WE HAVE LOTS OF LOCAL SUPPORTERS: SUNDAY AFTER
> NOON APPROX 35 OF US WALK'D APPROX 1 MILE, FROM THE
> 1ST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH (UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST)
> THRU THE UNIVERSITY OF NEW MEXICO CAMPUS + THEN BACK
> TO THE CHURCH ...
> OUR DINNER SATURDAY-EVENING AT KELLYsPUB WAS
> A MAJOR SUCCESS, + LOTS OF FUN ... BEFORE THEN
> WALKERs RECEIVED FREE BODY-MASSAGEs AT A LOCAL
> HEALING-THERAPY PLACE ...
> AND TONITE IS A POT-LUCK AT THE HOUSE OF ONE OF
> OUR HOSTs, WHERE WE EXPECT A BIG CROWD, + I'M
> HOPE-ING FOR SOME MORE BEER :-)
>
> ...MORE INFO AT: www.CrossWalkAmerica.org
> AND: 1-877-CWA-WALK
>
> SINCERE-LY, MARK CREEK-WATER
> PEACE-WORKER/WALKER, SOUTH-WEST USA

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Sex, lies and prison

Kathleen Parker has a chilling column on what happened to one foolish young man in the current climate of "virgins and demons" (as she calls it).

We have just gone through Sexual Assault Month at the University of Delaware, where some of us unsuccessfully tried to have the Office of Women's Affair withdraw the pro-abortion, anti-Catholic documentary film "Rosita" from the schedule of campus events for what is supposed to be a month to teach students how to create a safe sexual environment on campus. I am the parent of two University of Delaware students. In theory, I should welcome the University's attempt to teach its young men and women how to avoid being either perpetrators or victims of sexual assault.

In reality, I do not welcome a whole month spent proselytizing the radical feminist vision of all men as rapists, all women as victims, and abortion as a necessary corollary to sexual safety.

Read the case Kathleen Parker reluctantly decided to write about. Why reluctant? Because who wants to be defending a rapist? But if the facts are as she reports, this makes for chilling reading for parents of any young college male.

He ain't heavy, he's my brother

I am going to be following my brother Mark's walk across America in this blog, and posting his updates as he sends them to me. Check out the link, the folks who organized this walk are self-identified progressive Christians who want to take back Christianity from its identification with the political right. I like these folks. They are blessed to have Mark along with them.


MARK CREEK-WATER



HI FOLKs
DAY-17 TUEsDAY-2 MAY-2006
WE'R IN NEW MEXICO, NEAR-ING ALBUQUERQUE ...
WE PLAN TO BE THERE THIS WEEK-END, SATURDAY+SUNDAY ...
ACTIVITYs INCLUDE A PRESS-CONFERENCE 2PM SATURDAY
AT THE CIVIC PLAZA, AND A 1-MILE WALK WITH LOCAL SUPPORTERs
1-2PM SUNDAY ...
MORE DETAILs ON THE WEB-SITE: www.CrossWalkAmerica.org
OR PHONE 1-877-CWA-WALK
PEACE+LOVE, MARK CREEK-WATER
PEACE-WORKER/WALKER, SOUTH-WEST USA

Monday, May 01, 2006

the Harlem Studio of Art

Soon after finishing her fine novel The Mystery of Things, I subscribed to Debra Murphy's mailing list Quotes for Catholic Writers.

Today's quotation was from a blog called Arma Virumque by Roger Kimball, which seems to be a blog from the literary journal The New Criterion - a journal I don't know at all, I should say, although I recognize the name and vaguely know that I ought to be embarrassed not to know more than that.

I've added it to my blog list on the right, but go read this article that mentions The Harlem Studio of Art. I very much like the idea of finding Bright Spots in culture and making them known.

God bless the St. Louis Jesuits

God writes straight with crooked lines. My defense of the cool old St. Louis Jesuits brought this from reader Karen Ann Young, who gives me permission to copy:
from karenann young
to me Apr 28 (3 days ago):

You don't know me, but I had to write and thank
you for your blog post. I'm facing major surgery
next week and I had to go in for tests yesterday.
The song, Be Not Afraid kept running through my
head but I couldn't remember all the words. So I
Googled them and came up with your blog. That
song means so much to me and I love it. Now I'll
be able to memorize it and sing it in my head for
the days ahead. Thank you!

God bless you,
Karen

Let's all pray for Karen as she faces her surgery this week. May she be not afraid, Christ goes before her always. If she stands this week before the pow'r of hell and death is at her side, may she know that He is with her all the way!

God is good.