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Bike Journal: Urban Scenery, Transcendent End PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 31 August 2013 15:19

What separates bicycle transport from driving is the experience of the culture around you, the closeness to things is grounding and the work involved in biking is good for the soul.  The pictures capture it but with this journey there was an unexpected benefit in the end. 

The route is the Riverfront Trail in St. Louis that takes you north along the Mississippi River to a park on the Missouri side and towards the chain of rocks bridg on the Illinois side.  Its a mix of urban industrial in the city and when the route splits into two and you choose to take the route over the bridge accross the Mississippi River to Illinois you can enjoy the more country like scenery.  There's a certain poverty to the route as it winds through the industry along the river.  The trail was a nice investment but its beginning to look a little worn as many of the sites to gather for the trail are rough spots in the backyard of industry.  Repair and construction efforts detour the trail on a couple occasions adding a little bit to the experience.  Below are some of the photos: 

 

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Silent & Prayerful, A Message for All PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 25 August 2013 19:48

The apparition of Our Lady of Knock is an apparition that speaks to the heart of Christian life.  There are many among the folks we run accross every day that suffer quietly and there are those in the latter years of their life when this quiet suffering exists side by side with the pressing reality that the end time is drawing near.  For these folks suffering has become their life vocation , hopefully the blossoming of their work on earth for flowers in heaven.  For all those suffering Knock is special because it brings out the welcoming of the faithful as adopted sons, centers on the Eucharist and draws us to silent prayer.  Here is what Margaret Byrne said of the apparition, from Clerical Whispers:

Margaret Byrne, 21, described the sight in a statement: "The Virgin appeared with hands uplifted as if in prayer, with eyes turned towards heaven, wearing a lustrous crown. I saw an altar surrounded with a bright light, nay, with a light at times sparkling." Dominick Byrne, 36, testified: "We saw the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary, having her hands uplifted, and her eyes turned up towards heaven, as if in prayer. To her right I saw St Joseph, and on her left St John."

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As Gaelige, Songs for the Learning PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 21 August 2013 21:18

I've very much enjoyed the You Tube videos of songs in the Irish language.  Mícheál Ó Foighil is the man behind the effort to use music to educate folks on the Irish language.  This is not a new concept, many folks have used folk music to teach language.  As Mícheál himself put it ‘If language learning can be associated with something enjoyable, it makes the learning experience much deeper’.  Mícheál has taken it to a new level with some very creative you tube music videos.  Here's the first of two that I'll Share with you, its an irish version of the cup song When I'm Gone:

 

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Pope Francis Talks on Beauty of Simple Life, Bikes Not Fancy Cars PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 18 July 2013 21:07

Much ado has been made about the Pope's comments to seminarians about driving humbler cars or to ride a bike.  As is expected the main point is often missed in the mess of dealing with the suggestions from the media and from friends that seeing priests driving nice cars is a sign that the Church is "worldly" and disinterested in serving the poor.  Fr. Z has been right to point out that many priests have to deal with challenges from their parishioners and undue criticism for having a new and reliable car.  However, questioning the prudence of the Pope's off the cuff remarks is not the same thing as assessing the value of those comments considered in terms of the Pope's intent. 

Pope Francis is calling the Church to living a simple life more in tune with God's creation, the people on the streets immediately surrounding us and developing some solidarity with the poor.  Now mind you, this is the opinion of someone that just arrived home after a 15 mile bike commute from work.  But we all need his reminder of our humble calling.  Here's how his comments were reported:

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With Every Breath I Take PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 09 June 2013 16:56

A friend of mine thinks that there's a spiritual significance to Bing Crosby's song "With Every Breath I take."  At first, I did not know where to take that except that its a love song, and spiritual in so far as that goes.  Then I popped in over at Dappled Things and read a poem from a mom to her child titled To Every Child Who Asks, am I your favorite?  Here's an excerpt:

Am I your favorite? you want to know.
And I say yes: As every breath I take’s
My favorite breath...

And so
You are my favorite child right now, because
You stand before me, asking that my heart
Declare, You first, you always. And it’s true.
It works this way. Love’s strange, elastic laws
Grant each child its undiluted part,
And that, my love, is what I offer you. 

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