Thursday, March 8, 2012

Contentment vs Happiness

February passed in a whirlwind and it is well into Lent. I have been studying philosophical errors this semester and it is amazing how so much that is based on bad reasoning or lack of logic have become pillars of what "everyone knows".

We have started looking at happiness, as discussed by St. Thomas Aquinas vs contentment, which is what passes for happy in too many modern philosophical stances. The difference, happiness is not something we know we have achieved until we reach the end of our life. Then we will know if we are happy. Those in between moments from birth to death, no matter how sweet, are contentment. We can rest in that moment, but then we go on to the next contentment.

Too often, temporary moments, sweet though they may be, are given the name happy. No wonder there is so much dis-content.

Monday, January 23, 2012

March for Life 2012

Attended the 39th annual March for Life with my son and one of his friends, and untold thousands of our closest friends. It is always inspiring to see so many young people including priests and religious. I ran into a friend from our parish as well as some of the group from our old parish in Ohio. For some reason, we kept ending up in the middle of the Up'pers (from the Upper Penninsula of Michigan) and the Florida State Catholic student union. I did get a chance to yell OH-IO with a group from Sydney, OH.

Son was not feeling that great due to a cold so we could not stay to listen to some of the women and men with the Silent No More campaign. There was some misty-rain, but the temperature was not that cold so all in all, we were blessed.

My prayer would be we would not have to have a 40th march.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Welcome Mt. Calvary Church

Four priests and about 50 lay people were received into full commuion with the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church today in Baltimore as part of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. This is part of the fruits of Anglicanorum coetibus, the Apostolic Constitution from Pope Benedict XVI, which allowed parishes or groups of Anglicans to enter into full communion with the church, but to keep parts of their patrimony or spiritual heritage. Mt. Calvary was the first church in the U.S. to vote to enter into full communion with the church, but is the second to actually enter as it took time to resolve property issues with the Episcopal diocese. We now have 2 ordinariate parish's here in Maryland.

I was not able to attend the reception mass for Mt. Calvary Church (choir for our 1:30pm TLM), but I did attend the solemn high vespers and benediction. It was wonderful and the church is lovely. Simple and clean lines with a stunning crucifix and high altar. I had never attended an Anglican rite vespers before and the music was simply beautiful. Anglicans are known for their singing- psalms as well as hymns and everyone was singing the congregational parts. The psalms were sung in beautiful and straight-forward polyphony. That means yes, the congregation did not sing everything, but we were no less involved. The program had the psalms and it was meditative to read along and it was English chant.

I had always read and heard that one of the hallmarks of Anglican worship was their love of the prayers of the hours- a hold over from England before the break- when lay people actively participated in some form of the office. In fact, I recall, from my time attending Episcopal churches, that the Book of Common prayer we used (which was the late 70's or early 80 included lauds and vespers if I recall. One irony is that if you look at many older versions of TLM breviaries and prayer books, you will see Sunday vespers simplified offices. Many parishes used to have vespers and benediction on Sunday but this, along with so much else, has been lost.

Fr. Dwight Longenecker gave the the sermon which was excellent. Afterwards, there was a reception, and I was able to speak with several people I knew and I was able to see our pastor from St. Pat's back when we joined. I also met several women and men who had come down from an ordinariate parish in Scranton, PA to celebrate and to attend the March for Life tomorrow.

I did not get any pictures as we were in the front row, per request of the little one, and I don't know how to disable the flash. I will see if I can find some posts to link to later.

This parish, and the ordinariate, needs our prayers and also our financial support. Swimming the Tiber can cause difficulties and it is worth every one of them. It is especially means a willingness to depend on God's providence for clergy. There is a donate button at the ordinariate web site...I'm just saying....

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Want Veil?- Contest for a free one.

It has been an overly eventful start of this year but I have been mulling over some posts which should come to fruition soon.

In the mean time, there is a contest for a free chapel veil which has been posted at a blog I found recently (though I found out about the contest from Veils by Lily). The blog has posts from several women and is called Catholic Sistas.

Here is the post on the giveaway-

And here is the website that is supplying the veil. The veils are beautiful and if you are seeing this post today (1/11/2012) there is free shipping on any veil order through today.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Muppet philosophy- they have it right.

I finally got to take DD to see The Muppet Movie. Yes, I know it has been out for over a month. I have fond memories of watching The Muppet Show with my mom and sister- it was must see tv each week. I would put that show in the line of shows meant for children that had more than enough content to keep parents engaged, such as The Rocky & Bullwinkle Show and The Wonderful World of Disney.

Anyway, saw the movie and I laughed, I cried (The Rainbow Connection like the end of Charlotte's Web gets me every time) and it was one of the few movies I have seen in recent years that I feel was worth the price of admission.

One piece of dialog fairly early in the movie really struck me. Several characters were discussing some issues and one asked what was the best present anyone could give someone. The character was aiming at laughter, as the correct answer. The character that answered said "children". OK, what is the second best present- "ice cream", ok what is the third best answer, "laughter". Then the characters did a re-cap and confirmed, the best present anyone could give someone was a child.

Now, I don't expect any movie to go all Aristotle and Plato on me, even those that are trying to be deep. This moment was in a pop culture movie and just stated what is not news to many of us- Children are a gift. They are such a precious gift. Our society needs to remember that. Children are not an entitlement or a "thing" on your bucket list. They are gift and I think a reminder that God really does love us.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011- Goodbye to a "bad" year or keeping perspective

It has been a hectic week for numerous reasons, among them I have been one of those who was not on vacation this past week. At the end of every year, the news is full of retrospectives and "looks back on the year that was". I have heard a few references to this having been still a bad year economically. God has been pretty much eliminating my ability to give myself any kind of pity party the past year or so by reminding me of those who are really having bad years and are really suffering. I can think of several families or individuals for whom Christmas will likely never bring good memories due to truly horrible things which happened. I can think of others who are missing loved ones unexpectedly. So many of the problems I could whine over are really not so much. This next year, I will be trying to love more and to make those I love know it more.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Parvulus filius hodie natus est nobis- A Child is born to us this day!

The hustle and bustle of the past week or so is over and Christmas is here! I was able to slip away once the little one was in bed for an hour of adoration, which did wonders to help me leave Martha mode and try to be a Mary. I wish the blessings of this holy season on all. Christmas is here!