Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Making You Think

Very interesting video here by a group that asked homeless people to write down a fact about themselves.

It reminded me of my deceased great uncle. He was simply know as "Uncle Bill."  He was the...shall I say...special one in the family. He was basically homeless for most of his adult life. He was my grandmother's brother. He was a very strange guy, and my family tried to help him as much as we could. I think they even tried to rent him an apartment or house for a while, but he just chose to be homeless.

We never really knew why until after he died. As it turned out, he had been in the Korean War front lines. We learned from a friend of his that he'd see all these starving kids and would feel so guilty about it, he'd basically give away all his C-rations. He was basically starving himself the entire time he was over there, and it apparently warped him. He never recovered from that.

Back then, we really did not know anything about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or any of that. We just thought he was weird old Uncle Bill.

Sometimes you just don't know...

Monday, August 18, 2014

Reading Scripture

Good stuff here reminding us what the Catechism teaches on the appropriate way to read scripture, of which I quote here:

 "The Catechism reiterates the profound teaching in Dei Verbum by laying out for us three rules that must be observed as foundational principles to reading the Bible “in accordance with the Spirit who inspired it.”In the first rule, paragraph 112 of the Catechism tells us to observe with the utmost strictness that the entirety of the Scriptures from the first word of Genesis to the last word of Revelation. Every word from first to last has a unity and consistency of content that excludes any contradictions. It is common practice today to try to search out apparent contradictions in the Biblical texts. Surely, many apparent contradictions have been found and held out for examination, but upon deeper understanding, all contradictions are proven illusory. All of the Holy Scriptures emanate from Christ’s Sacred Heart illustrating the unity of God’s salvific plan and such unity is revealed in the Holy Scriptures when they are properly interpreted.

"The second rule in paragraph 113 is that we must read the Bible within “the living Tradition of the whole Church.” Such is our reliance on the written word today that we overlook the truth that Sacred Scripture is written on the heart of the Church in the same way that God’s law is written on our hearts. The written works and archives are pale imitations incapable of transmitting God’s truths to us with the same organic fluidity as our teachers, the Church Doctors, who properly convey the sacred Traditions of Holy Mother Church. We must turn to those great teachers instead of to ourselves if we are to properly understand what we are reading.

"Finally, the third rule in paragraph 114 explains that we must be attentive to the “analogy of faith.” By this the Catechism means “the coherence of the truths of faith among themselves and within the whole plan of Revelation.” The Analogy of Faith is the assurance that Scripture will not contradict itself. This demonstrates the harmonic and immutable teaching contained in the entirety of the Bible.  In the early Church there were no hermeneutics to assist folks in interpreting the Scriptures, so Tradition and the Analogy of Faith were the two dominant laws of interpretation."

General Question:

General Question for comment. I have been asked to do an adult forum at my parish. The priest has given me pretty free reign to do what I want. I have plenty of ideas, as I have done several in the past. If it was your parish, what would interest you in a Monday night adult forum?

I am inclined to do a bible study or something in church history or theology, but I would be interested in hearing suggestions.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Adventures in Woodworking

I saw the pattern for this in this month's edition of Scrollsaw Magazine. They called it a "crayonator," which I thought was kind of lame. We took my daughter to the zoo a few weeks ago, and so my daughter saw this pattern and immediately wanted one. 
It was actually extremely easy to do, though it turned out much larger than I had pictured. Upon reflection, I don't know why I thought something that would hold 24 crayons in this manner would be small.  
I think it turned out pretty well. Though, I would add that if you are using the pattern, the directions tell you to use a 3/8 inch bit for drilling with your drill press. I found for regular Crayola crayons with the wrappers still on them, you need a larger bit for the crayons to fit smoothly into the holes.

If I could have found a package of solely orange and white crayons, I would have used them for the picture. I am still a Tennessee fan after all...

Friday, August 08, 2014

What You Can Do for Christians in Iraq

As many people know, the crazies in Iraq are trying hard to exterminate Christians and other minority groups like the Yezedis (who are basically Zoroastrians). If half of what I read on the internet is true, it is basically a whole out genocide.

It has become trendy on Facebook to post the image of the Arabic letter nun. You can research that at your leisure. I have mixed feelings about doing things of this nature. I guess it does raise awareness to an issue that the Western media has pretty much swept under the rug. I recoil at political internet bandwagons like this because in the end, it ends up being well meaning people patting each other on the back for "doing something" when what is actually done in real life is incredibly minimal. Posting something as your Facebook picture perhaps is a start, but do not fall into the trap of thinking you have now done something and are now not morally obligated to do anything else.

So, what can you do other than post Facebook stuff that might actually have some substance?

There are several options:

1. You can educate yourself. Visit  There is lots of good information to be found there on the very complex issues and groups involved.

2. You can donate money or resources. There are several websites out there, of which I am dubious of some. Bona Fide ones to consider are the following:

The Catholic Near East Welfare Association which is more than just Iraq. which is sponsored by the Chaldean Catholic Church in the USA. Chaldeans are an Eastern Catholic Rite which is one of the Christian groups that have been in Iraq for nearly 1700+ years and have been almost entirely removed from Iraq under the ISIS regime. The website has more than just a Donate Money button; you can actually adopt an Iraqi family amongst others.

For Anglicans, my friend, Canon Andrew White, who has more or less had to go into hiding temporarily, runs a church and clinic in Iraq. You can be updated on his ministry and how to help there at the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East.  When he has access to the internet, he has several social media outlets that he updates when he can. In fact, the BBC interviewed him (he said on Facebook he was in a "secure location" for the interview) a few days ago:

3. Pray.