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Showing posts from July 27, 2014

Today's Gospel: Mt. 13:54-58

It's actually the next day when you will read this, but you can't rush these things! Anyway, I could hardly keep from jumping to conclusions, which means for me, cross-references. I didn't flip there, no; I did recall that in another place, Jesus is said to have added, "But blessed is he who takes no offense at me." That was the thing that jumped out: "And they took offense at him." In the prologue of John's Gospel, we read, "He came to his own, but his own did not receive him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God..." There's something about Jesus. He mentions that God's prophets have a rough time among their friends and family; it is incongruous, really: We've known you since you first breathed, and you now lecture us?  But it's more than just human pride; God seems to use the mundane to do the extraordinary, and we're still not used to it. And not only t

Just Get It Over With

Read this . He may have a doctorate, but he's very confused. "Tradition" isn't just a card you play; it's a recognition that God has broken into the normal course of human events to say something, something that transcends us by the fact of Him saying it. This is one of the chief characteristics of revelation; it is given by God, and in the case of supernatural or special revelation, could not be otherwise known. If I may digress for a moment, one reason why some Catholics reject the false "Scripture vs. Tradition" dilemma is that Sacred Scripture, though uniquely God-breathed, is Tradition. That may shock you, but stay with me. Were not the Scriptures of the New Covenant composed as the written version of the apostolic kerygma concerning Jesus? Being careful to remember that the Sacred Scriptures are of divine origin, and in consequence, completely free from error, we must say this. The Scriptures are human in that sense, that real people encountered

Still The Same Old Kid

I haven't grown up much. I'm 34, and I'm a bit silly, if you know me. I love to laugh, and tease my friends. The truth is, I'm incredibly sensitive, and pretty emotional. I probably don't forgive as often or as well as I ask for it. Lord, have mercy! One thing that makes me vulnerable is the deep wounds from tragic, sudden death. It happened more than I care to recount. I lost two father-figures just this way. A high school friend. Others. You can't know what this is like unless you know. Mixed in here was the loss of my Dad, Rick Kettinger, when I was 9. We weren't going to win an intact family award as it was, but I realize as I go that this affects me more than I would want. I've blogged about this before, but Nicole DeMille posted about her mom again, and it got me thinking. (And feeling, quite frankly.) I think back to my favorite movies and stories, and they have Dad Issues subplots. I don't like Top Gun for the action and sex appeal; I l

Today's Gospel: Mt. 13:47-53

There is a lot of talk about "pastoral" sensitivity these days, and it's not altogether bad. But Jesus comes along and shoots it straight. It's about two things: heaven, and hell. What sort of life do we lead? Do we seek mercy when we need it? Do we give it when others need it? Jesus alone is Savior and Lord. We can talk about ignorance that is invincible and inculpable until we are green in the face, but it doesn't change this simple fact. More than any other desire, I wish to be found in Him. What do you desire? Do you see things as they are in these simple terms? Let's keep it simple, and our hearts open, and we will not be thrown outside.

5 Thoughts For Today

5. Seriously, who broke the Cardinals? 4. SAN DIEGO! 3. In other news, I am heavily in favor of the NFL's Raiders moving to San Antonio. The Raiders would become immediately relevant (and good not long after). Can you imagine the fan cross-pollination with the Spurs? I'm sorry; I meant to say, "the reigning NBA champion San Antonio Spurs." My bad. 2. The book dies today. Today. Not tomorrow. Not Saturday. Today. 1. I actually like Mexicans, and think we should have more of them (immigrants). So any discussions about "protecting our borders" need to take account of: 1. the natural right of people to settle where they will; 2. the obvious fact that citizenship for people who come here is better for everyone than non-citizenship; 3. the fact that the federal government can't walk and chew gum at the same time, much less prevent highly determined and desperate people from getting where they want to go. If that makes me a proponent of "amnesty&qu

5 Thoughts For Today

5. Welcome to the Cardinals, Justin Masterson! [That ERA is truly hideous.--ed.] The change of scenery will help. [I hope so.--ed.] 4. Utter the slightest word that what we want at any given moment is not our final end , and the Acton Institute will freak out , and call you a Stalinist. [Exaggeration much?--ed.] 3. Bryan Cross wrote: "  Dylan writes, "This has had the ill-effect that those dissatisfied with the product are more likely to go “church shopping” or, perhaps, take an entrepreneurial model and start their own church or denomination. But what is the alternative?" He then proposes a dilemma: the only alternative to ecclesial consumerism is coercion, which is obviously untenable. So instead of complaining about consumerism, claims Dylan in his penultimate paragraph, churches need to offer a better product than their ecclesial 'competitors.' But Dylan's "either ecclesial consumerism or coercion" dilemma is a false dilemma. In advancing su

Today's Gospel: Mt 13:44-46

I decided to spend 15 minutes with the Gospel reading. I saw that it was very short, and thought, "Oh, boy, here we go," meaning that it's very hard to sit still in silence for most of us. A wise priest told me to read slow and repeatedly; whatever jumps out is what the Holy Spirit wants to talk with you about. If you don't mind me saying, the thing that occurred is that I don't love God this much. Do you ever have a victory against a temptation, and think, "Whew! I didn't lose"? It's more like relief. But the truth is, we can't stay there for long. Pleasing God and keeping the commands will become dull and boring, if we do not ask God to increase our love. I need eyes to see the end, and its everlasting joy. Frankly, my heart most often says, "Surely I in vain have kept my heart pure." Come, Holy Spirit...

Who's This Matt Walsh Guy?

Just kidding.  Seems like a nice gig, actually. Share your opinions; make money. I'm not really going to share a great deal of my opinions about Matt Walsh. I think it'd be more helpful to talk about myself. If I had to pick one non-fiction book (besides the Sacred Scriptures) that has impacted the way I think about the world and my place in it, it would have to be "Radical Son: A Generational Odyssey," by David Horowitz. It wasn't the information; it was him; the way he experienced life as the son of Communists will move you. Just trust me on this. And I sat there as one born at the dawn of Reagan, and thought, "This is still where the fault-lines are. I have felt this way; I know these people." The outlook of a conservative who thought he was something else--or wanted to be--is astonishment. It feels like you've been "mugged by reality," as the saying goes, and it's hard when the (seemingly) obvious is staring us all right in the

What Is Love?

Everybody just wants to be loved, they say. But what is it? Sex? Friendship? Service? Sacrifice? Yes, and much more we could say. If you love anything, you put its good before your own. People don't change that equation. Sometimes, the most loving thing a person can do is go away for awhile, or maybe for good. It doesn't feel good, most times, if that happens. But feelings--while powerful and often good--don't always tell the whole story. Bad things (or good things at the wrong time, or in the wrong proportion) often feel good. The demands of the Good, the True, and the Beautiful sometimes feel like torture. No matter what anyone tells you to the contrary, we are not simply animals. Those who live to maximize pleasure and avoid pain are actually very confused. It's pretty much completely backwards from reality. How did Westley say it? "Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something." You are loved, right now, more than you could


Somebody asked me what my favorite karaoke song is. It's this one . It's got a great lead vocal, and it's what would be quintessential R&B for the next 20 years: lush, melodic, and you remember the chorus. They probably would have done more of this, but somebody went, "Wait! We're a funk band!" Anyway, I had to listen to it. And then I thought, "You know what else I wanna hear?" "Always," by Atlantic Starr. Yes, I know. Shut up. I wanted to just listen to it, but I know what this song does to me. I made it 1:40 before I started singing along. I'm sorry. But not. I hope that if I get married, I'll be slightly more realistic. On the other hand, we need romantics and saps like me. Maybe we're ruled by neo-Malthusian, faux-estrogen hawking overlords because we've believed the lie that there is no role for feelings, on the one hand, and that permanence is unrealistic or stupid, on the other. (Consequently, another error

5 Thoughts For Today

5. The problem with "Mrs. Columbo" was not that it was bad; it's that the whole premise required that she and Columbo got a divorce. Not cool. 4. For the record, I'm not afraid of Teh Muslims breeding. I consider it a noble rebuke to our neo-Mathusian, faux-estrogen hawking overlords. 3. Holy mother Church is always pretty confident she can woo anybody. 2. Yes, I watched the whole ceremony. It ruled, pretty much. I have more to say later. 1. What happened to the theme song of Magnum, PI in the third episode of season 1? Truly hideous.

Field Of Dreams

You may know this is one of the "Trinity" of my favorite movies. I won't make any grandiose claims about its place among the great baseball movies, because, frankly, I probably haven't seen them all. What I can tell you is that baseball is more than just a game for many of us, and "Field Of Dreams" is our movie. The father-son thing is huge. This dynamic makes the movie go. I read the book it's based on, and I don't recall it there, but it's the only reason this crazy ghost-story involving baseball works. Regret, forgiveness, family, and healing. I wonder if anyone can identify with that? It goes way beyond the climactic scene; I noted that the protagonist, Ray, was born in 1952, the same year as my father. The last full year of my dad's life was 1988, the year this movie was released. Later that fall, the Dodgers would win the World Series, and my dad would see it. Just like Ray, his team was the Dodgers. I still can't root against