Thursday, February 19, 2004

I've Moved!

Following in the footsteps of Fr. Bryce Sibley and a few others, I have moved to a blogging "community." I've become extremely impressed with Joshua LeBlanc's efforts over at cyberCatholics, so he agreed to let me cyberSquat on his domain. I really like the fact that I have access to Pivot over there, which is much better for my blogging needs. The new template is a work-in-progress and since I've been so busy this week it hasn't been worked on very much. I'll get to it soon enough.

My new blog, Fiat, will focus on the same issues usually discussed here, but I've decided to take a break from the stickier side of politics. Instead, Fiat will focus largely upon my vocational call and the encouragement of others to spend some time discerning their vocations. You'll still see the typical craziness (bad eBay auctions and the occassional hilarious .jpg, for example), so never fear. Update your bookmarks!
posted by Josh at 1:33 PM

     Saturday, February 14, 2004

Just a Thought...

...regarding the previous post below:

Since when have gay people not been allowed to marry?

Hasn't Western Civilization, throughout its history, had a very clear-cut, absolute definition of what it means to be "married?" Nobody has said that a gay individual can't partake in this institution, because a gay man is free to marry a woman any time he pleases, and vice versa.

Doesn't this counter the homosexual advocate's belief that this is an issue of civil rights and freedom? As the institution stands, anyone is free to partake.

I guess this leads us towards the larger picture, which is that the push for gay marriage isn't about civil rights. It's about the redefinition of marriage, and as such a redefinition of family.
posted by Josh at 12:07 PM

San Francisco Officially Withdraws From the Union!

AP: More Gay Weddings Set for San Francisco
SAN FRANCISCO - Gay and lesbian couples planned to celebrate Valentine's Day with weddings at City Hall as officials continued to defy state law by issuing marriage licenses to same-sex partners.
Well, you knew it had to go some time.
posted by Josh at 11:56 AM

Review: Scott Hahn's The Lamb's Supper

I'll admit it: I'm probably the last serious Catholic to have read Scott Hahn's 1999 release, The Lamb's Supper. I'd heard about it from all over, but I hadn't picked it up for myself until a couple of days ago.

The book reads quickly; it's clear that Hahn is writing for you, me, and the guy down the street. He avoids heavy theological concepts, preferring a more accessible style of argument that cuts through the reader to make a clear point. And at less than 170 pages, I found myself racing towards the end with ease.

Hahn describes a class of Catholics, like myself, who prefer to glance at Revelation, give it a shrug, and move on to another biblical book. I've avoided Revelation because of its confusing imagery and the extremely implausible conclusions certain individuals have drawn from it. How many times have we heard that the Catholic Church is the Whore of Babylon and all of that? Anyway, I suspect these preconceived prejudices towards the mystical book of the Apocalypse have kept me distant, and as a result of this it's apparent that Dr. Hahn wrote this book for folks like me.

The premise behind The Lamb's Supper is that our Mass is closely related to the events and symbolism contained within Revelation. As a result of this connection, we should celebrate the Mass as a representation of "Heaven on Earth." I'll admit that I was a bit skeptical (even after reading Fr. Groeschel's introduction where he states that Hahn's thesis has been his belief for years) of this before delving in to the book since I have never developed this notion or had it laid out so simply before me in the past.

I am happy to report that Dr. Hahn's work succeeds. He makes his case beautifully, and his interpretation of Revelation makes me want to read the text instead of avoid it. For anyone who reads Revelation with an eyebrow raised (and who doesn't?), I recommend this work.

posted by Josh at 11:27 AM

     Thursday, February 12, 2004

Yes, Julie, I Live!

Sorry to everybody for not leaving a note concerning my almost two-week absence from the blogosphere. Actually, the comment left below is half right; I've not been blogging because I have been living in community as I further my discernment efforts. So, pray for me and all of those in formation. I'd greatly appreciate it.

I'm not signing off by any means. I'm just taking my new situation slow right now and will be back at it full-steam soon, I am sure.

Take it easy everybody, and God be with you all!
posted by Josh at 2:28 PM

     Saturday, January 31, 2004
I Never Have Liked Friendster

Something about Friendster just doesn't do it for me. I think it has to do with the fact that I am introverted and while making new friends is fun every once in a while and I'll do it if I'm in a social environment, I'd much rather read a book... Or dust.

So for people like me, there's Introvertster. The 'net has it all, babe.
posted by Josh at 3:07 AM


Rolling Stone's 50 Uncoolest Records (That We Love!)

Satan Is RealOh man, how cool is this? Fifty of the worst of the best. This a month after the Fifty Coolest Records of All Time (I especially agree with #15, which contains "I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine").

Of the "cool" albums, I own many. Of the "uncool," only a couple. And just for the "record," I am not happy with Rolling Stone's labelling Meat Loaf's Bat Out of Hell as "uncool." No matter what anybody says, Meat Loaf, you're the coolest.
posted by Josh at 2:39 AM

     Friday, January 30, 2004

Visiting the Vet

Something tells me this dog isn't enthused.
posted by Josh at 11:42 PM


MusicPlasma is a neat little utility. Type in your favorite music artist (or one just representative of a certain style) and get a visual chart showing other similar artists.
posted by Josh at 9:22 PM

Jeff Miller Rules

posted by Josh at 2:18 PM

Great New Blog

Letters From Fort Benning is run by Jeremy Hall, who just left on the 20th for basic training. As one who has never seen military service, it will be interesting to follow his (mis)adventures.

Actually, what makes this blog so unique is that he uses snail mail to make contact with folks at home who run his blog. Obviously, boot camp isn't exactly the best environment for Internet access. He asks for our prayers, so we'll have to keep him with us.
posted by Josh at 2:39 AM

Today We Honor St. Hyacinthe Mariscotti

I usually leave Feast Days/Memorials to others, but this one is particularly interesting:
Franciscan tertiary who was placed in a monastic life because of her troublesome nature. Born in Viterbo, Italy, she was so scandalous that she was forced to become a religious. She rebelled there as well, but after twenty four years, she became a model tertiary. She was canonized in 1807. (From
I can think of a one or two people I'd like to force in to a convent, but I suppose the days of forced vows have (for the better) passed us by.
posted by Josh at 2:14 AM

The King and the King, In Heaven

eBay: Velvet Elvis & Jesus The King in Heaven

Notice how Jesus gets less halo than Elvis here? Jesus looks like a fan at a truck stop googling at "the King," and Elvis looks like he doesn't even want to give him an autograph.

I've always struggled hard to figure out what you older generations saw (and apparently still see) in Elvis. His veneration following death seems a little out there. I respect him for the pioneering mover-and-shaker (pun intended) that he was, but beyond that I'd much rather listen to his near-contemporaries who knew how to get down.
posted by Josh at 1:48 AM

     Thursday, January 29, 2004
Worthless Quizilla Time!

You are Ken & Barbie as the happy and devoted
Herman and Lilly Munster! What a gas, Daddy-O!

Which Ken & Barbie Couple Do You Belong To?
brought to you by Quizilla

I always did like those Munsters.

What Common Breed of Dog Are You?

brought to you by Quizilla

I was "raised" by a black lab as a baby. Makes sense.
posted by Josh at 12:57 PM

     Wednesday, January 28, 2004
Ironic Headline of the Week! Rights Agency to sue Cardinal Joos over "gays=perverts" comment

So let me get this straight... You sue somebody in order to supress somebody's freedom to expression and speech in order to secure what you consider to be the Highest Order of Freedom (tm), gay rights?

Good thing we have rights groups to tell us who has the right to an opinion.
posted by Josh at 6:39 PM


Today We Honor St. Thomas Aquinas

St. Aquinas was one of the keys to my eventual conversion of the heart.

How often do we hear the arguments that faith and spirituality are anti-intellectual, illusional efforts to help make sense out of chaos? I know the arguments well, because I held them once. St. Thomas Aquinas showed me how wrong I was.

Actually, I'd come 1/5th of the way on my own before becoming acquainted with Aquinas. I'd always suspected -- even in my agnostic days -- that there had to be what Aquinas signifies as a First Mover; God has to be the entity that sets the universe in motion. My limited understanding of physics helped to develop this concept; if nothing comes from nothing (as the fool in King Lear says), then how did motion ever start? Even the Big Bang requires something at its core to set it in motion.

But that's not where it ends. As one who's always had a deep respect for philosophers, I admired Aquinas' ability to synthesize classic Greek systems of thought in to Christianity. The Summa shows us that the foundations for philosophical thought are not only in synch with Christianity, but also help to solidify apologetical aspects of the Faith.

A prayer for St. Thomas:
You show us how to make sense of a physical world where despair and commotion compete for our souls with the Lord our God. The head often leads the heart, and so many times in error; but with your words, we find Truth. Pray for us constantly, St. Thomas Aquinas, that God may strengthen our knowledge of Him.

posted by Josh at 4:06 PM

saint some days

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going.

I do not see the road ahead of me
Nor do I really know myself,
And the fact that I think I am following your will
Does not mean that I am actually doing so.

But I believe that the desire to please you
Does in fact please you.
And I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this,
You will lead me by the right road
Though I may know nothing about it.

Therefore will I trust you always though, I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, And you will never leave me to face my struggles alone.

-- Thomas Merton


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