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Saturday, October 04, 2014

Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence

I'm not cut out for silent retreats. I suppose that is the point. I don't want to make it sound like I'm very holy, because that is a lie. I think when they write the story of my life, it will say, "Finally, at the end, he learned to have a thought about God."

But the cool thing about all this sacred time is that one might actually start to use it. Father said the true cost of the retreat was to pray a decade of the Rosary for our brethren in Iraq. I can do that, I thought. But the fact that it seemed like a small thing reminded me of 2 things: 1. How often do I not even do the small things; and 2. Father actually believes in prayer, and if I did too, it wouldn't seem so small.

He left me with this one insight: My heart is not big enough to truly love the people in my path. I must ask for this grace, because self-effort is futile in such things.

St. Francis, pray for us!

St. Louis, King of France, pray for us!

Friday, October 03, 2014

Postseason In The City Of Stan

It's just about an hour now; the obnoxious annual ritual that is Cardinals postseason baseball will begin, against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League Division Series. What does it feel like? Well, if you could feel like you are going to vomit, but totally in a positive way, that's it.

It seems like all the greats are watching us, to see if these men will carry the birds on the bat with the special pride and dignity of champions. That, by the way, has little to do with winning and losing; last year's team fell short in the World Series, but they played for each other; they played for us, and they were a credit to the game. That's the Cardinal Way.

If I were not me, I would have been a pitcher. I feel it in my bones; I see the game differently than the average fan. This is not average fan time; this is the time when hearts rise and fall with every fraction of an inch.

Let's do this.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Good Luck, Sparky

We just witnessed Madison Bumgarner's thorough dismantling of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Complete game, no runs, only 4 hits, and 10 strikeouts. That puts him on the same list as Sandy Koufax. I heard he was pretty good.

ESPN was showing their "K Zone" feature, that shows you where pitches were located. He was hitting the corners on every pitch. No wonder they couldn't get any runs.

He's probably so good because his parents named him "Madison." First of all, that's a girl's name. Secondly, why this rash of "unique" names? It's not unique now. Moreover, there is a 98.642% chance that he'll be the next Zach Morris, and/or wear checkered shirts. Stop it. Right now.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

I Was Rooting For Oakland

Did you see that AL Wild Card Game last night? Incredible. On the other hand, totally believable. If I'm being totally honest, I knew the A's were totally hosed when the first hit of Kansas City's 3-run eighth inning was--in the uncouth parlance of ages past--a "seeing-eye" single. You'd think baseball announcers would stop being amazed all the time. It's a classic baseball phenomenon. How many games have these guys watched? Zero?

I've been watching baseball fanatically for about 20 years now, and I'm telling you, it follows a pattern, especially in the playoffs. Don't worry if your team plays the worst 3 innings you've ever seen to start a game; they'll probably win.

On the other hand, when two teams get together in the first game of a series--call it the "Aces Game"--look out. The first team to make a random, fluky mistake they don't usually make will lose 2-1, in the most gut-wrenching way possible.

Look out for the Team Of Destiny. Those cats will be invincible, unless they come up against some straight ruthless killers, yo. (Yankees, Cardinals) Kansas City is the Team Of Destiny this year. The Angels may be in trouble.

No Foxy Nuns!

Let's be honest; I just wrote that title so you'd click the link. At least I didn't write, "And What Happened Next Will Blow Your Mind!"

This looks interesting, no?

It got me thinking. Jesus calls the pretty girls to be only His, too. And I've certainly seen some hot guys enter seminary and religious life. [Did you just say "hot guys"?--ed.] Yep. Seeing if everyone is awake. Anyway...

I read about a lady who desired to enter the convent, but hadn't yet. One thing she described was learning not to use her sex appeal to get what she wanted or needed. I almost sent her a fruit basket. I'm not kidding. Young women today are the worst about this. The. Worst.

[rant omitted]

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

That Awkwardly Awesome Moment

When a Presbyterian seminarian/clergyman unwittingly channels Humanae Vitae, and is somehow not Catholic. A guy I know said on social media, in reference to a pornography story:

"This is the tragic result of when you engage in a life-uniting act without life-uniting intent."

Absolutely correct. Out the window goes contraception, and a host of other things. Guess who teaches this truth unambiguously?

Getting nervous yet? I would be. But I've received the Popish Mind-Eel already.

Monday, September 29, 2014

The Day Jeter Was A Cardinal

Read the whole thing. And then stay with me. I don't remember the day now, but I was there. Third game, when the Yanks were in town. We took the Metro. There was a father and son together. Yankee fans. Grown. No fan of the Cardinals can really hate the Yankees, if you think about it. We are the Yankees, for so many other teams.

That conversation was genial, in the way that only fans of The Game's two greatest franchises understand. I said jokingly, "I know I'm supposed to hate the Yankees, but how can I, with the quality of the guys on your club?" I stated plainly, "We had to see Jeter."

And the look between me and the older man could only be described as deep understanding and respect. This is the city of Stan the Man; we know iconic and larger-than-life, and what it means.

He didn't play. Former Cardinal Brendan Ryan started at short, and he played well. We were disappointed, but not too much. Once a Cardinal, always a Cardinal.

But in the middle of the sixth, the Cardinals showed a video, interspersed with Jeter highlights, and tributes from Cardinals players. The crowd got louder; somebody in the dugout pushed Jeter out there, as if to say, "Get out there! There's a reason everybody wants to play here."

He came out, tipped his cap, and found out why. Some say the tributes have been too much. I disagree; when you truly love this game, when it's in your blood, there is plenty of love to be had, and it's not too much for one so great.