Friday, November 22, 2002

Snow last night!

A modest dumping of snow last night. Most of it is gone already. But the cold air remains.
Things to do in Milwaukee while waiting for a meeting...

A visit to Gesu Church on the campus of Marquette will probably not be as dramatic as mine was this past week. After climbing the wooden steps to the top I came face to face with a dead priest lying in an open coffin. Next to the coffin was a collage of sorts saying goodbye to Father Joe, evidently the priest who was lying in the coffin. No one else was around at the time. There was no kneeler by the coffin, but I did pause to say a prayer for the deceased father.

There is a great Catholic bookstore on W. Greenfield called Catholic Book and Gift that is well worth a visit.

I could spend an entire day just gazing at the art that adorns the Basilica of St. Josaphat's.

A great place for lunch is Joey Buona's on Water St. I ordered a sandwich for a very modest price and it was delivered with a large bowl of soup and homemade chips. Very tasty and what a deal! Great service there too!

Thursday, November 21, 2002

Somewhat of a shocker

From theBoston Herald:

A Bosnian priest allegedly removed for sexual misconduct has been banned from taking part in a prayer vigil today at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception after Archdiocese of Washington officials learned of his suspension.

The Diocese of Mostar-Duvno in Bosnia alerted officials on the eve of the event that the Rev. Jozo Zovko is under censure, a shrine spokesman said.


I hadn't heard anything about this. Given the popularity of Medjugordje it seems it would have made a bigger headline over here, at least in the Catholic Press.

Friday, November 15, 2002

On the eve of number 44 I'm home with a sinus infection watching it snow outside.

Thursday, November 14, 2002

The DRUDGE REPORT 2002®has a photo of Michael Jackson

that as he says is "so tragic it defies description."

Wednesday, November 13, 2002

A great piece on Warren Zevon from Rolling Stone:

"I don't remember stardom with any longing," Zevon says. "It was a brief opportunity to be rude: 'Fire that opening act. I don't like the way he looked at me.' My success was a fluke. I was a folk singer who accidentally had one big hit."

Zevon's recent sales are modest but solid: Life'll Kill Ya has sold 80,000 copies in North America, My Ride's Here about 50,000. But he has what Browne calls "the success that matters: this very loyal following of people who truly get him. There's no greater success than being loved and admired for what you really do."


If there is anything I've learned in life is that truly great artists are people who are not loved by the masses but as Jackson Browne says above by "very loyal following of people who truly get him."

Another interesting tidbit in the piece is that WZ seems to be flirting with Catholicism in his last days...

Or about what he might find on the other side. "No" -- that is Zevon's firm answer when asked if he has given any thought to his impending afterlife. "I'm too busy. I might change my mind in a week. Sometimes I go to Mass with my ex-girlfriend. Maybe I'll go to Mass with my ex on Saturday night and decide I want the priest to give me instruction, fast and furious.

Mass on Saturday night is a very Catholic thing...(of the last thirty plus years anyways).

Tuesday, November 12, 2002

Why do the heathen rage?

U of Kentucky fans celebrate vic..uhm defeat...

Monday, November 11, 2002

The Catholic Shopper has my new book featured as a bestseller!

Catholic Books, Catholic Gifts, Jesus Sports Statues, Rosaries
Why warm days in November are not a good thing

From the Journal Gazette: | 11/11/2002 | Twisters slam into Van Wert, leaving 2 dead


Two people were killed Sunday when tornadoes tore through Van Wert County flattening buildings, toppling trees and plunging the agricultural community into chaos.
Two others were killed to the northeast when twisters flipped a mobile home in Putnam County.

"Unfortunately, we did lose life," Van Wert County Emergency Management Agency Director Rick McCoy said Sunday night. "We're thankful to God we didn't lose more."

One of the people killed was ejected from a car when the storm hit, said Jack Snyder, spokesman for the Van Wert County Emergency Management Agency.


Van Wert, Ohio is about 30 miles from Fort Wayne.
A Couple of Jokes from my friend Hank Morgan:


The Buffalo Theory

No one can explain this as well as Cliff Clavin did on the TV show Cheers. One day at Cheers, Cliff was explaining the Buffalo Theory
to his buddy, Norm, and here's how it went....

"The buffalo herd can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo. And when the herd is hunted, it is the slowest and weakest ones at the back that are killed first. Thus the general speed and health of the herd keeps improving by the regular killing of the weakest members."

"In much the same way, the human brain can only operate as fast as the slowest brain cells, and excessive intake of alcohol, as we know, kills brain cells. But naturally it attacks the slowest and weakest brain cell first. In this way, regular consumption of beer eliminates the weaker brain cells, making the brain a faster and more efficient machine.

That's why you're always smarter after a few beers."


The Three Kick Rule

A big city California lawyer went duck hunting in rural Texas. He shot and dropped a bird, but it fell into a farmer's field on
the other side of a fence. As the lawyer climbed over the fence, an elderly farmer drove up on his tractor and asked him what he was doing.

The litigator responded, "I shot a duck and it fell in this field, and now I'm going in to retrieve it."

The old farmer replied. "This is my property, and you are not coming over here."

The indignant lawyer said, "I am one of the best trial attorneys in the U.S. and, if you don't let me get that duck, I'll sue you and take
everything you own."

The old farmer smiled and said, "Apparently, you don't know how we do things in Texas. We settle small disagreements like this with the "Texas Three Kick Rule."

The lawyer asked, "What is the Texas Three Kick Rule?"

The Farmer replied. "Well, first I kick you three times and then you kick me three times, and so on, back and forth, until someone gives up."

The attorney quickly thought about the proposed contest and decided that he could easily take the old codger. He agreed to abide by the local custom. The old farmer slowly climbed down from the tractor and walked up to the city feller. His first kick planted the toe of his heavy work boot into the lawyer's groin and dropped him to his knees. His second kick nearly ripped the man's nose off his face. The barrister was flat on his belly when the farmer's third kick to a kidney nearly caused him to give up.

The lawyer summoned every bit of his will and managed to get to his feet and said, "Okay, you old coot now it's my turn."

The old farmer smiled and said, "Naw, I give up. You can have the duck."

Thursday, November 07, 2002

A New Blog

Envoy Magazine has launced a new blog with some great contributors. Check it out!
"Brother of Jesus" bone-box a fraud?

From theIsraelinsider

Both Altman and noted paleographer Ada Yardeni have concluded that the second part of the inscription was added later. "There are two hands; two different scripts; two different social strata, two different levels of execution, two different levels of literacy, and two different carvers," Altman says.

Altman believes that the second half was actually written in the 3rd or 4th century, while Paul Flesher at the University of Wyoming, an expert on Hebraicized Aramaic dialects, dates it anywhere between the 2nd and 7th centuries.

Friday, November 01, 2002

This is actually a repost from a year ago...

The Great Christian Feast-Halloween

This is one of those thoughts that comes to you in a moment of clarity with such force that you wonder how it could be that everyone just doesn't see the truth of it.

Last night when I made one of my few trips to the door to hand out candy, it just hit me. There I was confronted with a skull painted white on the face of an African American, who was standing there holding open a bag, expecting something from me.

A home invasion?

Uh...No, but Trick or Treat!


I gladly obliged his request with a handful of candy and he turned and went on his merry way to join the other hordes of beggars that flooded our streets.

I had just fulfilled the mandate of the Gospel of Jesus Christ! I had just welcomed Him in the guise of the hungry, "When I was hungry, you gave me something to eat." Matthew 25!

"When did we see you Lord?"

"Whenever you did it to the least of my brethren, you did it to me."

Is there anytime left in our year when Americans are so blatantly Christian, welcoming the strangers that come to their door? Is there anytime that we reward those who on purpose try to repulse us by their costumes?

Yet the thought that it is better to give than receive dominates this day and truly the day fulfills its purpose of being the eve of All Saints Day! For if we are ever to join the saints we must learn to make everyday Halloween!

So that today when we meet those we might otherwise demonize, we give what we have freely as though we were meeting Christ Himself in the streets (and if we believe the Gospel message we are in fact meeting him)!

I used to joke that strangers could in fact be demons, (this was when the angel rage was in full swing and I use to make the point that yes a stranger might be an angel but who is to say if it is a good one or a bad one--sort of a twist of the Glenda the Good Witch's question to Dorothy in the Wizard of OZ, "Are you a good witch or a bad witch?"), but I would ask you to reflect on Halloween a bit more with me.

If we give to the stranger, indeed we welcome them as Christ. But if we look at the stranger only as someone who has something to give and we judge them based on that we are apt to conclude that all strangers are demons!

For example if we start viewing every middle eastern looking Arab that we do not know personally as a terrorist we are forgoing an opportunity to see them as Christ (who happened to be of middle eastern descent). Abraham was visited by three strangers (one would presume of middle eastern descent) and he fed them--they turned out to be angels and they gave him a blessing! But let's suppose that we in fact do come across some terrorists in our daily activities. What if our interaction with them, seeing them as Christ and giving them whatever we have to give at that moment (even if it is only a smile of acceptance) led them to change their whole way of viewing Americans?

It is sad to think that a day that is the perfect example of what it means to be a Christian has been protested by so many Christians in this country. Do they read the Gospels?

No one is celebrating or worshipping demons on Halloween. The children who dress up in their costumes are playacting and giving the individual behind every door an opportunity to imitate Christ.

It is also sad that many miss the point in the other direction. They overdo it in the name of "everyone else is doing it" and light their houses up as though it is Christmas, rather than encountering the little masked Christs in the darkness the way it is intended to happen and does happen in daily lives. The vacuous nature of their souls demands making a show of their giving. Sadly they have already received their reward--the empty praise of their neighbors and friends.

There have been moves lately among some Catholics to have children dress up as saints-- this may be a fine thing to do on All Saints day but it totally misses the point of Halloween. We will never be saints, nor will we imitate them, until we open the door everyday and welcome the ghouls we encounter as though they are Christ.