Stumbled across this little piece of black humor. You might find it offensive. I am posting it because after playing it a couple of times, I remain intrigued. It's the film equivalent of a Randy Newman song. I've been listening to a lot of Randy Newman recently.
Monday, September 29, 2008
Thomas More is more important at this moment than at any moment since his death, even perhaps the great moment of his dying; but he is not quite so important as he will be in about a hundred years' time. - G.K. Chesterton, 1929
I think Obama is going to win the election. If he does, the pro-life cause has nothing good to expect from him.
Let us pray:O Glorious St. Thomas More, Patron of Statesmen, Politicians, Judges and Lawyers, your life of prayer and penance and your zeal for justice, integrity and firm principle in public and family life led you to the path of martyrdom and sainthood. Intercede for our Statesmen, Politicians, Judges and Lawyers -- and in particular, for Senators Joe Biden and Ted Kennedy -- that they may be courageous and effective in their defense and promotion of the sanctity of human life -- the foundation of all other human rights. We ask this through Christ our Lord.R. Amen.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
I want to promote the new Storytelling in the Catholic Imagination category in the Pauline Book and Media Centers. So I thought I would post excerpts from some of the selections you will find in the new section. Have a taste of the type of story you will find on the shelves of the PBM stores taking part in the pilot project.
Bob awoke with sunlight coming through the mosaic windows in colors of red and blue. Charley was already slugging his feet inside damp boots. Bob slunk up the aisle, looking down pews, until he found Jesse rounded asleep inside his coat, his mouth open, his ankle twitching, a gun in his left hand. Bob then scuttled out of the church in his socks and saw Charley meandering through the cemetery, reading the inscriptions. He ambled over to him with his palms cupping his elbows.Bob said, "Craig gave me ten days."Charley considered an angled gravestone and the engraving GONE ON TO GREATNESS. "For what?"Bob thought a moment, tugging up his right sock as he chose the proper term. "Arresting him," he said."You and me," Charley said."It's going to happen one way or another. If not us, then some deputy sheriff in Saint Joe, or some Pinkerton man in Kearney, or some simpleton with a pistol on loan like it was in the swamplands when the Youngers were captured. It's going to happen, Charley; and it might as well be us who get rich on it."Charley scratched his neck and looked across the road to a greening sward where cattle and sheep were mixed. Timberland was a blue smear on the horizon. His sunken cheeks and cruel overbite made him seem to be sucking a mint. He said, "Nobody's going to get Jesse if he's still live enough to go for his gun. He can kill ya with every hand.""I'll go alone then," Bob said.Charley glanced at his kid brother disparagingly. "And besides that, he's our friend.""He murdered Ed Miller. He's going to murder Liddil and Cummins if the chance ever comes. Seems to me Jesse's riding from man to man, saying goodbye to the gang. Your friendship could put you under the pansies."Charley sighed and said, "I'll grind it fine in my mind, Bob. I can't go any further than that, right now.""You'll come around," Bob said, and returned to the church, twisting the crick in his spine.Jesse was by the altar and above the congregation in a pulpit of inlaid wood. He looked both pious and possessed. His face was stern as he flipped pages at the lectern, his fingers clenched the railing, and his blue eyes had silver fire in them as he put them on the Fords. He called, "From now on you two won't go anywhere without me! From now on you'll ask for permission; you'll asked to be excused!"
Friday, September 26, 2008
I am reading Henri Daniel-Rops excellent "Jesus and His Times", which has given me a visceral feel for the geography and distances of the provinces Jesus walked during his short years of active mission. Galilee and Judea were separated by Samaria and the Decapolis geographically, and by an even more significant distance culturally. Galilee was a rural province, its inhabitants unsophisticated enough to provoke mockery in the more cosmopolitan cities of Judea (cf. Nathaniel's "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?")
Jesus grew up in the "Slower Delaware" of his region. His accent, like Peter's, was probably instantly identifiable to the "slicker" folks who lived in the towns and cities around Jerusalem.
Of the Galilean period of ministry, Daniel-Rops writes:
Throughout this period of his work Jesus was surrounded by an ever-renewed influx of the sick, the crippled, the scrofulous and the paralyzed. As soon as he left a synagogue or got out of a boat, the "court of miracles" in the most literal sense surrounded him. The blind sought him with their sightless eyes, the deaf-mutes turned their blank faces, there was no wound too disgusting to be shown to him, and he unwearyingly responded. It was enough for him to feel that their hope was genuine, to discern the smallest embryo of faith; he would put out a little of his power to serve these humblest causes.The italics are mine. On reading that line I was struck by its relevance to Mark 9:24, a line I have pondered much during my persistent bouts of unbelief in times of trouble:
He fell on the ground and kept rolling around and foaming at the mouth. 21Then Jesus asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” He said, “Since he was a child. 22The spirit has often thrown him into fire and into water to destroy him. But if you are able to do anything, have pity on us and help us!”
23Jesus said to him, “‘If you are able?’ Everything is possible for the person who believes!”
24With tears flowing, the child's father at once cried out, “I do believe! Help my unbelief."
It was enough for him to feel that their hope was genuine, to discern the smallest embryo of faith; he would put out a little of his power to serve these humblest causes.
That has been my constant experience. My tiniest flicker of faith draws forth the enormous power of Jesus. Such extravagance of mercy. Such a generous sharing of what was given to him by the Father. Thank you, thank you, thank you! My faithful lord, my resplendently beautiful redeemer! I love you, I love you, I love you! I say it publicly and joyfully and with only a little embarrassment at being so uncool. You're the one. Now and forever. Your Rae
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Last year I got shingles out of the stress of trying to organize the calendar for the Delaware 40 Days for Life effort. This year I am a worker bee, not an organizer. This is the second year for 40 Days for Life, an ecumenical effort of prayer, fasting, and community outreach to bring an end to the scourge of abortion in the US.
Jesus spent 40 days wrestling with the devil in the desert. Moses spent 40 years wrangling the people of God through the desert. Let's spend 40 days in prayer and sacrifice, wrestling and wrangling in the desert of fear and hopelessness that chooses death by abortion over life with hope.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
I am seeing fruit already from incorporating Idyll Press' prayers for a Catholic literary revival into my daily orisons.
Friday, September 12, 2008
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Even better -- these guys from the kung fu school have been making comedy homages to The Office, complete with stealing the theme song. It's got its moments. A post-partum ban on cake, hilarious!
You'll see my nephew Robbie Lungren in the opening credits, and son-in-law Scott has acting and writing credits. And Mark, Raj, Ron and Cindy I know from the wedding, the school, and my son Ish's live action role-playing game.
Why did nobody tell me about these videos? Must I find everything out on YouTube??
Friday, September 05, 2008
Sarah Palin said this on Wednesday:
"Al Qaeda terrorists still plot to inflict catastrophic harm on America ... he's worried that someone won't read them their rights?"
I liked her speech overall, as I wrote yesterday. She knocked it out of the ballpark, and made herself a credible candidate at a time when even many Republicans were worrying that John McCain had been as stupid as his critics suggested in inviting her to be his VP.
However, I forgot to mention that I found the above statement of hers upsetting. If the US does not stand up for the rights of the accused, what does it stand for?
I hope this does not imply that a McCain/Palin ticket would continue to endorse waterboarding and other forms of torture of captured enemies. War or not, torture is not what America does.
“Anyone who knows what waterboarding is could not be unsure. It is a horrible torture technique used by Pol Pot and being used on Buddhist monks as we speak People who have worn the uniform and had the experience know that this is a terrible and odious practice and should never be condoned in the U.S. We are a better nation than that.”I certainly hope he continues to believe we are a better nation than that. Our use of torture is to the Republican right what the abortion issue is to the Democratic left – an example of fear and pragmatism overcoming right reason and morality.
Thursday, September 04, 2008
Peter Chattaway over at Film Chat quotes Rod Dreyer, and says it all for me:
As Rod Dreher puts it, "I can't help thinking that in the matter of Bristol Palin and her unborn child, many on the left simply can't stand it that conservatives are failing to live up to the malign stereotypes liberals have of them."
The Christian Science monitor had my favorite analysis of what Sarah Palin accomplished last night. I thought I'd weigh in with some thoughts:
- I like her. She seems like the real deal to me. And by that I mean not a saint (which is the real deal to me) but a politician who might actually have the capability to govern and administer in a statesmanlike manner. She can do the whole speak-in-front-of-the-audience thing with poise, and she has governed successfully, however briefly, both at a local and a state level.
- She is actively pro-life and a member of Feminists for Life, whose founder Serrin Foster impressed me mightily when I shared pizza with her before she spoke at the University of Delaware last year. My most excellent friend Cat Clark, another outstanding pro-life feminist, now works full-time for FFL. I could become an evangelist for their ideas on how to get pro-life and pro-choice college students to collaborate on projects that are beneficial to women and to each ideology's goals.
- She has a normal 21st-century family, and isn't ashamed of them. She also isn't ashamed of being a working mother.