Friday, March 31, 2006
I went over to our local diocesan centre today and asked to speak to a priest for confession. The only one available was a retired priest in residence, and we met in the chapel.
It was an unusual yet very rewarding experience. He spent a lot of time with me, and promised me his prayers in my struggle against internet porn.
One thing he said really stuck with me: these ladies I "adore" - using the word in the sense of its Latin origins "to pray to", implying I am expecting something from the object of my adoration - cannot fill any of my needs. True adoration must be directed towards God alone; only God can provide what I really need. These women, flawless in their shallow beauty, will only disrupt my perception of the deep beauty my wife exudes. In short, he said, these porn stars need prayer. They are people. Real people. They have parents, they have siblings, they have friends, and most of all, they are the object of God's attentive affection, no matter how much they reject it.
He didn't just give me a few tidbits of encouragement; he spent over half an hour with me, digging and digging, with words of wisdom aimed where they would do the most good.
He was also hard of hearing, which meant I had to list my sins quite loudly in that private chapel, which was a humbling experience.
He recognized the role the computer has in this type of temptation, and said he had learned that since computers act in terms of YES and NO, of 1 and 0, when the initial search is made for online porn, when that electronic pulse from the mouse click or the keyboard is sent, that is the moment the sin occurs.
And yet in all his recognition of the gravity of the sin, he never once made me feel rejected or unworthy. He welcomed me to the sacrament, and encouraged me to come back frequently, saying that was how I would defeat this temptation. In fact, he was the first priest I've ever heard say that it could be defeated. Most priests have simply said that we all struggle, the key is to keep trying, worrying about it makes it worse, etc. None of those statements are untrue, but also none are really helpful. He didn't try to justify it or explain it away. He called sin sin.
He also recommended I read Deus Caritas Est, and is the first priest I've ever heard do so - I consider that to be a remarkable statement. I think I've found my new favorite confessor.
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Monday, March 27, 2006
Looking through the manual for my cordless phone, I happened to read the instructions on what to do if it inadvertently gets wet.
Steps include things like removing the battery, leaving it dry for 3 days, letting it charge uninterrupted for 20 hours, etc.
Then there's this gem:
DO NOT use a microwave oven to speed up the drying process. This will cause permanent damage to the handset, base and the microwave oven.
I wanna know who tried it and wrote the company in anger, seeking damages. In fact, I'm gonna write what I think the letter would have read like:
To whom it may concern,
Yesterday my kid dropped my cordless phone, model IMN-1D/10T, in the toilet. It was soaked right through.
It didn't work after that, so's I figgered I could dry it off by poppin' it in the nukebox. Well, it dried up all right, but the plastic cover kinda melted, and the battery juices burned my fingers. I figgered, hell, what the hell?
I left it for a while, and when it had cooled on down, it still didn't work. Then I tried to make some popcorn, but my nukebox wouldn't go on. And it smelled funny too.
I figger the nukebox was worth about $4500, and the phone about $2500, so I'll expect my check for $6000 in the mail tomorrow, or you'll be hearing from my cousin Leroy, who's a high fallootin lawyer for some fancy office building in Wisconsin. He specializes in something like insurance, and I figger since this deal about matches that, he'll get ya scared.
Someone once commented that the overabundance of safety regulations in our society is diluting the collective intelligence of the gene pool, as stupid people who would normally do stupid things are surviving more often. Anybody disagree?
The segue for my opening happened between my typing the title and typing this line.
It's midnight. My wife and I went to bed about 45 minutes ago, but for various reasons are having a dispute. So I did my best to leave her in a reassured state, and said I'd be going to my office to pray, and maybe to do a little blogging.
Once I sat in my chair, it occurred to me to mix the two.
Then my wife came out of the bedroom, having heard the clatter of the keyboard, to ask what I was doing, since I said I'd be praying. She apologized when she realized my intent, saying she'd never heard of anybody “praying on the computer” before. She's gone off to do the 8 dishes left undone after supper, and then who knows what.
It's been hard for me to pray lately, Lord, and it's been easy for me to blog, so I figure tapping into the resources of one is an acceptable tactic to shore up the other. The enemy has been scoring some hits on me, and I haven't turned to my Refuge for solace. What ever happened to the good old days, God, when I would sit under that tree in the playground at junior high and pray through the Psalms? Psalm 27 especially gave me great comfort from the schoolyard taunts:
The Lord is my light and my salvation;
whom should I fear?
The Lord is my life's refuge;
of whom should I be afraid?
When evildoers come at me
to devour my flesh,
My foes and my enemies
themselves stumble and fall.
Though an army encamp against me,
my heart will not fear;
Though war be waged upon me,
even then will I trust.
(Psalm 27: 1-3, NAB)
As much as I hated being bullied, I loved being comforted by you. Those two years were the ones most crucial in forming me to love you, Lord. So I thank you for them. Yet I wonder if you couldn't have picked a better way to draw me to yourself; one perhaps that wouldn't have left me with a lingering sense of unworth.
Now that sounds ironic, eh? You loved me, and now as a consequence I feel unworthy of anybody else's love.
My parents love me. My wife loves me. My children love me. Either that, or they are all fabulous liars. So where does this sense of unworthiness come from?
There is something in me, Lord, that is telling me I don't deserve any love. Call it sinful nature gone wild. This may be a sign that my corrupt nature is not conquered; surprise, surprise! Is anybody's?
Perhaps that's the salve I'm looking for here; to know that your love for me is just as real as your love for everybody. I don't doubt your love for my lost coworkers, friends, or family. I don't rate their unworthiness at a higher or lower level than my own. To know that everybody who seeks intimacy with you struggles to accept it is somewhat enlightening.
We strive and strive to know our creator, and when he reveals himself, we shudder and hide ourselves, for “we are naked” (cf. Gen. 3:10).
Yet I know, Lord, that nothing can separate me from your love, including nakedness. So why has it been so long since I have felt it?
Ah, feeling is so fleeting. I've received your love, no doubt: in the Eucharist this morning, in the sacrament of Reconciliation last Thursday, in the ongoing grace of marriage. And then there's that all-encompassing love that permeates every moment and prevents me from spontaneously combusting. The fact that I don't feel it at a given moment doesn't cancel out its truth.
But now Lord, I need to feel it. I need to step into your arms, I need your solace once again. I'm at a crossroads, Lord, and I'm starting to get impaled by the point of the median [if anybody eavesdropping on this prayer doesn't understand that, it's OK, God does].
Right now God, I need you.
There have been times in years past that I've been able to clear my mind of all distractions and really zoom in on you, but I seem to have lost that ability. I've got so much going on in my head at any moment that silence breeds only boredom or panic. Shout, Lord, for your servant is hard of hearing. Help me unlearn the curse of multitasking. Somehow I've gotten good at it, and now no task can sustain my focus for any meaningful length of time.
Gurdeep recommended I “return to core” after I missed that last promotion. You are my core, Lord. Help me return to you.
One Rosary later...
I know, Lord, that prayer doesn't always yield immediate results. So I commit myself to your care, and I will wait for you.
But please don't take too long, Lord.
Friday, March 24, 2006
Our parish had its Lenten reconciliation service tonight. In preparation, I found Fr. Pat's examination of conscience and went through it, making note of some old sins and some new ones.
My struggle with lust continues, and in my clever wickedness I've now found two ways around CyberPatrol. This is driving me crazy - I'm not even a hacker, and I figured out how to totally shut it down. They assure one that any attempts to remove its files will result in lost internet connectivity and a forced reinstall by the CyberPatrol HQ administrator (my wife). But I proved them wrong. You'd almost think I was getting help from an external source.
I'm pretty sure I am - for while I am smart, and can be persistent when I need to be, the workaround I figured out was a total fluke. If I ever needed proof that the evil one likes it when we sin, this is it.
I sent CyberPatrol an email, detailing how I got around their software and asking them to fix it. Since all product enhancements for every piece of software are usually rolled out within days, I expect immediate results. (That was sarcasm, for those of you unfamiliar with my sense of humour).
So again, this is coming down to self-control. I've asked for my readers' help via accountability; I now also ask for your prayers.
St. Benedict, please help me too! You threw yourself into thornbushes to preserve your purity, so you must have some pointers. (ooh, hey, that's a pun!)
One thing I'm doing for sure: turning my computer around so the screen can be seen from the hallway.
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
So I emailed my bishop, Emelius Goulet, P.S.S, about the Catholic Religious Conference's proposal to liberalize Church teaching.
He responded within a few days, and said:
Thank you for your email of March 18th, 2006, regarding the letter from the Catholic Religious Conference to the Bishops. It gave me the opportunity to read the Globe and Mail’s article.
Please do not be concerned. I am preparing the ad limina visit according to the information that was sent by the Congregation for the Bishops. I thank you for your prayers. You can be sure I will pass on your greetings of respect and love to the Holy Father.
Yours in Christ,
+ Emilius Goulet, P.S.S.
Archbishop of Saint Boniface
I didn't know what order "P.S.S. " referred to, so I looked it up and found that it's the Society of Priests of St. Sulpice. It dates back to 17th Century France.
It's also one of the 230 societies affiliated with the Catholic Religious Conference.
I dare not presume to infer guilt by association; I've had several intimate talks with His Grace, and I believe he is a holy man with a discerning wisdom.
Since he's taking his instructions from the Congregation for the Bishops, a Vatican office, I'm confident that Archbishop Goulet will not let us down.
Let us keep him, and all our bishops, in our prayers as they prepare for their Ad Limina visits (meaning to the threshold, referring to the tombs of St. Peter and St. Paul) with Pope Benedict XVI.
Sunday, March 19, 2006
Uncle Diogenes has more thoughts on the CRC than I managed to fit into my last post.
Specifically, he points out that the supposed 20,000 religious & clergy the CRC claims to speak for cannot be accurate if any of those members disagree with the letter. The group, while seeking more democracy from Rome, is hardly a beacon of democracy itself.
Also worth noting is that the Globe and Mail article which originally drew this to my attention (h/t Neale News) does state that Cardinals Marc Ouellet and Jean-Claude Turcotte "both played down the significance of the dissent, and Cardinal Turcotte said the Canadian church will never separate itself from mainstream Catholic teaching." So it sounds like at least these two bishops have got their heads on relatively straight.
But still, I encourage everybody to email/phone/write your bishop to ensure he knows that the dissenters aren't the only ones who want to have their say. Let him know that you're eager to see the Church stay the course.
Click here (ici) to find out who your local Canadian bishop is.
Saturday, March 18, 2006
So the Canadian Religious Conference has "decided to address a Message to the Bishops on the occasion of their Ad Limina visits to Rome in a spirit of openness, dialogue and trust."
Gotta love that word: dialogue. The only people who want to dialogue are the ones who want to change things; dialogue is never initiated to affirm the status quo.
So what do they want to change?
They are asking the Bishops to inform the Pope of the Conference's desire (based upon the results of a survey "sent to the major superiors of 230 religious congregations") for the Church to:
- "lend the ear to the common sense of ordinary people who also hold the Gospel in their hands"
- emphasize that "Christian faith and modernity are not in opposition"
- relay that "men and women everywhere need pastors who, with them, can sit down, ask questions, be ready to seek together and to reaffirm the truth in today's world"
- inform the Holy Father that "our Church is isolated: by its language and its attitudes, it moves away from being a meaningful force in our world"
The plentiful criticism that our Church undergoes comes not from evil, bad or deviant spirits. Christian men and women who speak openly of their incomprehension and their refusal of official Catholic positions cannot be classified as a throwback of what people say and think who are marked by the "spirit of the world", as Saint PaulAh, good that you cleared that up for us. Now that you tell us your dissent is not directed by the evil one, we can rest assured that it truly is not. Because frankly, we were rather leaning towards that conclusion.
Now what's really interesting about this letter that the CRC sent to our Bishops is that this was "a message that was meant to be private" which "unfortunately... became public knowledge for all to see." But still, "it was sent in a spirit of dialogue and listening." This must be that special kind of dialogue and listening which is meant to be unnoticed by hoi polloi.
The CRC does state that they hope "the Message be taken in its entire context and not just one portion of it." Tough luck, I say. Sure, some of what they're asking for is good and perfectly licit, but in poring over the 26 page PDF they have sent to our bishops, I've noticed several portions that can't be reconciled with Catholic morality in any context. Here are some of the juicier ones that I openly admit I cherry-picked. Bear in mind these are direct quotes, with my own interpretation in brackets:
- The lack of freedom of speech among Christians; in the universal Church, the quick condemnation of theologians; the perception of the Church by the media as having no meaningful role for humanity; the loss of confidence of a growing number of people (men, women and young people) in the Church as the carrier of a message that responds to their profound search for meaning. [ie, the Inquisition continues]
- That our Church often gives priority to the reaffirmation of dogma and traditional morals rather than listening to the people's search for meaning and journeying alongside them in the discovery of their deeper motivations. [ie, the Church cares too much about what's true and not enough about what's popular]
- The legalistic image of the Catholic Church - and of our Canadian Church - its rigidity and its intransigent stands on sexual morals; its lack of openness regarding access to the sacraments for divorced and remarried Catholics, its lack of compassion for them; its unwelcoming attitude towards homosexuals: images and attitudes that represent a regression from the evangelical perspectives advocated by Vatican II. [ie, stop denouncing sinful conduct, and let people eat and drink the Body and Blood of Christ to their own condemnation unhindered - I Cor. 11:29]
- The clear loss of autonomy of the Bishops and the CCCB in making decisions related to the Church in Canada, ignoring or not taking into account its specific reality. [ie, who's for a starting a Canadian Catholic Church, kinda like the Anglicans did?]
- That the ministerial role of women in our Church does not reflect their numerical importance in communities; that they do not have access to various decision-making processes or to all aspects of Church ministry [ie, forget this nonsense about the differences between the sexes actually meaning something sacramentally]
- The resistance of efforts to translate and update liturgical texts (which, along with the use of patriarchal language, help reinforce feelings of exclusion among women in our Church). The fact that women are still ignored in our Church, not only in the decision-making process, but also in the "exclusive" language used by the Church. [whoa there - women are ignored? If so, then Sr. Dr. Ms. Donna Geernaert, VP of the CRC, and a major contributor to this letter, just wasted a lot of time. She should take it up with Alain Ambeault, C.S.V, the exclusively male president of the CRC.]
- The prohibition, by Roman authorities, from holding communal celebrations of penance with general absolution despite the fact that the People of God had expressed their positive support for this practice. [ie, let the people decide what the will of God is]
- The lack of equality in our Church between men and women, between ordained ministers, religious, and lay men and women. [that's right, totally unequal, oh yeah... there are absolutely no women in places of prominence in Catholicism, except this minor figure]
- That our Church has so little influence in the great social debates, because of its conservatism and that of Rome which it supports, and also because it does not accept any dissent, even responsible dissent. It stifles its prophets [does this really need to be rephrased?]
- That ordained ministers arriving from other countries and other cultures will receive orientation for pastoral ministry specific to the Canadian Church and its culture before practicing their ministry here (leadership, public speaking, work with women, etc.: cultural integration). [ie, stop bringing in those accented orthodox priests from Uganda and Korea if you're not going to liberalize them first]
- That, in terms of ethics and moral teaching, our Church will be open to current developments and perspectives of anthropological, social, and medical sciences, etc.; that in this field, Bishops not forget that lay people (men, women, couples, families etc.) form the People of God, acknowledging their competence and freedom of conscience. As Cardinal Josef Ratzinger pointed out in 1966: "Conscience is the supreme and ultimate tribunal, even beyond the official church, and it must be obeyed." [ie, let trends determine their own morality. Low blow with the unsourced Ratzinger quote too. Now who's taking whom out of context?]
- That the primacy of the person be effectively recognized and promoted within our Church and that any formation of conscience be carried out with respect for the individual's fundamental freedom. [let's temper that with the Catechism, paragraph 1791: "when a man 'takes little trouble to find out what is true and good, or when conscience is by degrees almost blinded through the habit of committing sin'... the person is culpable for the evil he commits."]
- That our Bishops create opportunities for discussion and discernment; engaging in the questions and problematic situations raised in today's society: separated families, reconstituted families, domestic violence, the place of women in the Church, marriage between persons of the same sex, assisted suicide, etc. [again, dialogue only happens when they want to change something, and they've given us a pretty clear list here]
- For a revision of liturgical rites, the encouragement of initiatives respecting the sacred nature of the liturgy with more reference to people's experience; a liturgy that is closely grounded in life. [ie, more priests dressed like clowns, and more Glorias set to the didgeridoo]
- That our Church structures will favour the need for communion over power. [oh, SNAP! Why don't you tell us how you really feel?]
The CRC maintains a list of member Sisters and Priests & Brothers, but it is missing at least two communities I've come to respect: the Companions of the Cross, and the Legionaires of Christ. So I know they're not speaking for everybody out there.
Thank God for that.
My wife recently received a survey from a local nun who was trying to understand what would bring more women through the convent's doors. Funny that the nun gave it to a married woman, eh? The survey was asking if interest would be generated by, among other things, meaningful work with competitive compensation, co-ed communities, or environmental activism. Perhaps the convent should be handing out flyers here.
You bet my wife filled it out and returned it.
For all those religious communities wondering why the average age of your disciples is 67, take this advice to heart: If you want to bring young people in, create an atmosphere of truth, fidelity to the magisterium, Marian devotion, and Eucharistic enthusiasm. You'll be surprised by the interest you generate.
Friday, March 17, 2006
So at work they just finished a round of promotions. I need some help with the math here... where's my calculator? Ah, here it is. Let's see:
50 candidates in the initial selection pool
19 made it past the first interview (including me)
Ok, so that's 31 that are out. But I'm still in it. Great.
There were 8 positions... ok, I'm with you so far.
Meeting with the bosses... you say I ranked in the top half of the 19? Great, so in the top 9.5...
Oh, I see... I didn't get the job...
Sometimes you just wanna cut and run from corporate life and become a carpenter.
But cancel the pity party. I'm a tough guy.
Ya really gotta feel sorry for that half-guy, though.
It seems like the condom producer Durex has learned a lesson:
Sure, they're trying to be funny, and they probably paid some ad consultant thousands of euros to come up with this concept, but wow - this is a Freudian slip if I ever saw one.
Pope John Paul II termed such thought as contributing to the "culture of death." From his landmark 1995 encyclical Evangelium Vitae (paragraph 12):
...we are confronted by... a veritable structure of sin. This reality is characterized by the emergence of a culture which denies solidarity and in many cases takes the form of a veritable "culture of death". This culture is actively fostered by powerful cultural, economic and political currents which encourage an idea of society excessively concerned with efficiency.
With that one phrase, he set his pontificate in a new direction, and established a rallying point around which the pro-life movement could gather in solidarity.
More and more I'm seeing the mainstream media pick up on the fact that modern liberalism is not breeding itself out of existence, while religious conservatives are setting their children up to inherit the earth, literally. This topic used to get focus only from us lowly bloggers, but there are enough of us pointing this out that the alarm claxons have finally been sounded among the willfully infertile.
I think, however, that it's too late. You're not going to convince a single-child soccer mom who has achieved a fulfilling career to start popping out offspring to save the Movement; every woman in her generation has been encouraged to put her own needs first. So when Liberalism comes knocking at her door to beg her to beget, they'll have to leave a note because she's putting in overtime at the office.
Monday, March 13, 2006
The United Trinitarian Homespun Progressive Luminary First Church of Humanology has begun sales of its new Customeasure Concept Stick.
For the price of anywhere between $0.01 and infinity, you can receive unspecified quantities of this revolutionary new device.
For generations, so-called scientists have applied the rigid, unforgiving, and intolerant forms of metres, litres, and kilograms. Even these relatively new standards are spinoffs of the older yet still misguided concepts of inches, quarts, and pounds.
Progessives in the realm of measuring had high hopes with the announcement of the Second Measuring Council in the 1960's, but those hopes have ultimately not been fulfilled.
So the UTHPEFCoH has created its own standards. More accurately put, we're letting you create the standards now. Are you called short with a height of 5'3"? Well, no more. Now you can be a full 6 feet tall, or even 1000 feet tall, just by comparing yourself against the Customeasure Concept Stick.
Skeptical? Here's an example of how it works. Under the out-of-touch definitions of yesteryear, 2 inches were equal to 5.08 centimeters:
Most opinion polls confirm that the majority of people don't want external standards applied in their lives. So one possible application of the Customeasure Concept Stick is to tweak the old standards to a more modern definition:
Insecure guys, this is the one for you! Wink wink, nudge nudge!
But that's not all the Customeasure Concept Stick can do. Feeling adventurous or inspired? Or just tired of the outdated definitions of Inches and Millimeters? Come up with your own standards with our Templation line. You're the boss - fill in the blanks as the need arises!
Some people object to any sort of arbitrary standards of measurement. Why must we compare apples to apples? After intense dialogue with many different groups opposed to the traditional, conservative concepts of universal standards, we developed our flagship Clever Whatever standard. This is an inclusive, build-to-order model available to anybody for... whatever!
In addition to measuring distance, also check out our volume and weight section. Don't have enough sugar to finish making those cookies? No problem! Just use a Customeasure Approxicup and blammo! - you have enough now. [Note: please don't tell your friends that you used our product to help prepare those cookies.] Have you outgrown your favorite jeans? Simply (gingerly) hop onto the Customeasure Scaletastic and they should fit afterwards. [Note: if they don't, then you used it wrong.]
Don't hesitate to act on this offer. If history repeats itself, our products will soon be overwhelmed by a revival of archaic standards again.
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
In World War II, Pope Pius XII helped countless Jews escape death by the Nazis. His efforts were lauded by Albert Einstein, Golda Meir, and many other prominent Jews in politics, religion, and art.
Nowadays, the average Joe tends to think that the Church did nothing to stand in the face of fascism. The esteem held for Pius XII by the Jewish community has changed with a historical distortion. There's an excellent explanation of it by a rabbi here.
The purpose of this post, however, isn't to defend Pius; abler minds have taken up that task.
I'm making a prediction. In 30-40 years, when abortion has been outlawed, or at least severely restricted, the futuristic naysayers and heretics will accuse the Catholic Church of silence in the face of the Second Holocaust, which to date has killed almost 1 billion people.
Sidebar: want a fun experiment? Search Google for abortion "one billion" killed and you get this:
That's rather revisionist, wouldn't you say?
Back on track: I cannot substantiate that BILLION figure, as no serious organization will research it in this era. But it's an estimate that I've seen in many sources.
We will realize as a species how heinous this slaughter has become, and we will stop it, if for no other reason than to make more taxpayers. When the crunch comes, when the baby boomers are in their 80's and 90's, slowly dying in nursing homes with nobody to look after them except the robots, the new generations will ask why the Church didn't stop the Second Holocaust. They will accuse Paul VI, John XXIII, John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and probably one or two more popes of being complacent and doing nothing.
There. I've predicted it. I sure hope they still have the internet in 30 years so they can see this coming.
Saturday, March 04, 2006
This evening I had to laugh at Tie Domi, the notorious hockey fisticuffs tough guy.
He had played his 1000th game prior to tonight's Ottawa Senators 4-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Syrup (oh, by the way - HA HA HA!), and prior to tonight's home game the buds put on a little video montage and awarded him with a bunch of gifts.
Obviously moved, he gave a brief speech to the crowd. The third item on his list of thank-you's was the medical staff. THE MEDICAL STAFF!
Nice one, Tie. That was funny.
Friday, March 03, 2006
A while back I promised a big, important post. The time has come.
Readers of my site will know that having the internet in my home is a dangerous thing for me, as I struggle with a certain vice which the internet makes easy to give in to.
My wife and I agreed that to get the net again, we'd need to install some filtering software to keep out the bad stuff, and to that end we forked over some coin for CyberPatrol.
Now I'm a sinful man, and a relatively smart techy guy, so I'll admit that I tried to get around it a few times; partly to see merely if I could, and partly to get around it.
Thankfully, I was unsuccessful. It can't be shut down in system services or msconfig, it can't be uninstalled, it still applies when you create a new system user; in short, it is a very well protected program.
Sure, there's the drastic step of reformatting and starting everything from scratch again - but also thankfully, my laziness trumps by sinfulness.
Then I figured it out. I figured out a way around CyberPatrol. It is quite simple, really.
No, I'm not going to post it. That would be scandalous.
So this internet thing is going to become an issue of self-control, instead of external control, all over again.
But I feel up to it. I can do this.
Please, all of you, keep me accountable. Don't be afraid to email me to check on my progress in this struggle.
This post probably wouldn't have happened, but Owen (::thrive!) sent me a follow up email to a post from a few weeks ago. His words - although obviously not intended as such - were like a slap across the face to a man suddenly going insane.
Thanks Owen! You may well have saved my blog, and my soul!
Thursday, March 02, 2006
May history never forget Cpl. Paul James Davis, the Canadian soldier who died on duty (but not in combat) defending democracy and Western civilization.
I was especially moved by the words of his father, Jim Davis, who in an interview aired on CBC Radio's The World At 6, said that he knew when the towers fell that his son, already enlisted, would go to war. He urged those listening not to give up, but to "follow through" with the mission.
But darned if I can't find that quote anywhere on the news sites. I guess "following through" in Afghanistan is about a popular topic for the media as success in Iraq.
I scoured every online news source I could think of: CBC, CTV, Global, Yahoo. The articles on newspaper sites for The Globe and Mail and the National Post had a similar dearth. They all did include the following phrase from the grieving father:
"He died in the service of his country and he died doing the service for the free world."
But none of them mention the "follow through" comment. CTV comes close:
"I believed in what he was doing 100 per cent and to his friends in Afghanistan, if they're listening to me, I want them to know I'm 100 per cent behind all of them."
I'm amazed at this dad's character: to recognize the importance of the sacrifice his son had made is a tremendously selfless act. One thing's for sure, he's no Cindy Sheehan.
What I'm really wondering is how can the CBC's radio network's flagship evening news program, with time at a premium, let us know more of what this man had to say than any of the Canadian media websites? Does the internet not have capacity for the "follow through" phrase? Or are the editors of these sites all of the mindset that it's not worthy of print?
Still, a widow and two toddlers are in mourning here, and I don't want to distract from that. May the peace of the Lord be with them. May these kids grow up well, and understand.
I always find it tacky when people put poems on their blogs, but I feel this is somewhat warranted:
Ode to the Known Unto God
I stand in front of your casket,
You whose bones have rotted for eighty years,
And a single tear forces its way past my control.
I whisper, "Thank you,"
And pray, "God, bless this man,"
Then turn and quietly walk away.
You did not die in splendor
Or even in glorious self-sacrifice.
You were probably quite frightened,
Merely obeying the orders of your superior
To taste the enemy's lead.
You may have died poorly.
Perhaps you cried for your mother
Or lost control of your bowels.
Perhaps you were completely dismembered
And felt no pain at all.
Would the Hun have conquered here if you had lived?
Does your death have meaning by itself
Or does it require the company of thousands?
Or do we simply require one death less than the enemy?
How mysterious, that the dead can free the unborn!
And now, eighty years later,
I remember you.
I will not forget your loss,
Lest I forget my fortune.
*written May 27, 2000 - the day before the Unknown Soldier was entombed at the National War Memorial in Ottawa
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
...here's how Diogenes phrased it:
Multiculturalism, at root, is an assault on Christianity, and its enforcement of the norms of "diversity" and "tolerance" displays those Stalinist-style asymmetries we've all come to take for granted. But the enforcers overreached themselves. Having defined intolerance as synonymous with Christianity -- such that they became interchangeable terms -- the rainbow coalitionists found they had no weapon with which to combat hostility trained on them by non-Christians. If Nigerian Muslims bury adultresses alive, we must celebrate the practice as part of the rich tapestry of cultural diversity.
By the same token, the hysterical vocabulary of oppression has bled oppression itself of its shock value, such that this ploy too has turned out to be an autogol. If you call the CDF's letter on the Care of the Homosexual Person a case of gay-bashing, fine. If you call the Instruction on Seminary Admissions an act of violence, great. But then, after some transgressive playwright is found in an alley with his throat sliced through to the spine, you can't blame folks -- the folks you coached -- if they yawn and turn to the baseball scores.
'nuff said - I can't top that. Check out the whole piece.
In the spirit of Lent, my posts for the next 40 days + intervening Sundays will be in purple.
Normally I try to do something directly spiritual for Lent, such as increased time in daily prayer as well as intense journaling.
This year, I've decided to do something a little different.
Stew Smith, as retired Navy SEAL and fitness instructor, has a Lenten gift: a free 45 day workout plan, complete with diagrams. Here's the file (evil .pdf format!).
Those of you who know me, or who have at least seen me, would know that I'm inclined to be grateful for Stew's expertise in this matter. In other words, I feel more comfortable with Fat Tuesday than with Ash Wednesday. So starting a workout plan, while still focusing on the needs of the spirit, will be a big challenge and sacrifice for me.
That's all for now... but let me publicly pledge that I have a more important post coming, when I can find the time to compose it.