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All Are Welcome - What Exactly is Universal Hospitality? PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 10 May 2013 19:40

Cardinal Dolan recently welcomed into his office Joseph Amodeo, a writer for the Huffington Post and apparent homosexual activist.  Amodeo left his meeting with Cardinal Dolan feeling good about what transpired.  Cardinal Dolan was very welcoming and promised to write a post communicating the "all are welcome" message to Catholics, especially Catholics with homosexual orientation.  The result was a post on Cardinal Dolan's blog All Are Welcome.  Cardinal Dolan started with a story about his childhood friend Freddie who was allowed to eat dinner at his home:

“Freddie, glad you’re here,” dad remarked, “but . . . looks like you and Tim better go wash your hands before you eat.”

Simple enough . . . common sense . . . you are a most welcome and respected member now of our table, our household, dad was saying, but, there are a few very natural expectations this family has.  Like, wash your hands!…

So it is with the supernatural family we call the Church:all are welcome!

But, welcome to what?  To a community that will love and respect you, but which has rather clear expectations defining it, revealed by God in the Bible, through His Son, Jesus, instilled in the human heart, and taught by His Church.

The Church is Catholic . . . that means all are welcome;

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Shame, A Virtue of The Humble PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 02 May 2013 20:28

I remember reading about the virtue of shame in Pope John Paul II's Love and Responsibility.  I was struck by it because the idea of experiencing shame is something mocked and dismissed as archaic or simply something a parent does to a child to control their behavior.  The other day, Pope Francis spoke publicly about this virtue.  The ability to feel shame is a Christian virtue:

But Jesus in the confessional is not a dry cleaner: it is an encounter with Jesus, but with this Jesus who waits for us, who waits for us just as we are. “But, Lord, look ... this is how I am”, we are often ashamed to tell the truth: 'I did this, I thought this'. But shame is a true Christian virtue, and even human ... the ability to be ashamed: I do not know if there is a similar saying in Italian, but in our country to those who are never ashamed are called “sin vergüenza’: this means ‘the unashamed ', because they are people who do not have the ability to be ashamed and to be ashamed is a virtue of the humble, of the man and the woman who are humble.


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Music To Touch The Soul PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 02 May 2013 19:30

I was scanning the web tonight and found an article on Danylo Fedoryka, a popular folk-rock musician, who is pro-life.  Curious I dug into the history of his band Scythian and saw a couple familiar names which led me to dig deeper.  The band is a blend of folk traditions from Celtic to Bluegrass and Ukrainian Gypsy music.  This find comes at a good time for me as we are planning to promote the Hungarian folk band Tukros' concert at the St. Mary of Victories parish hall.  An interview with Danylo Fedoryka was posted on World on Campus with an emphasis on his pro-life position.  His guitar case is plastered with pro-life stickers.  Danylo's pro-life stance may stand out among musicians but its his perspective on music and God that truly stands out.  When asked if he has taken any backlash from the music world for his views, he answered:

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Why Do Things The Hard Way? PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 01 May 2013 20:39

That's the question I have been asked on a number of occasions and is at the front of my mind today, the first day of national bike month and the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker.  Some think and others will just say, you bike to work when you could ride, losing time, push a reel mower over two-thirds an acre when you could use a riding mower, and you grind coffee by hand when you can get a powered grinder. Comments such as these leave me wondering just how to explain my reasons for the lofi labor approach.  I take a different approach and most conversations don't allow for the needed explaination.  The reasons given by the modern mindset to justify work come from a very different mindset.  For example, whenever biking is promoted it seems to be presumed that the main justification is saving the environment.  Bike to work and save the planet - a most unachievable goal if I have ever heard one.  The other main justification given is improving your health.  Being environment friendly and getting in shape are good goals but it would behoove folks to look a little further than these very measured reasons to identify a reason not bound by calculation and utilitarianism.

Pope Francis can help us here.  He marked the Feast of St. Joseph with a reflection on the value of work that emphasized the rightful place of work in our lives.

“How many people worldwide are victims of this type of slavery, in which the person is at the service of his or her work, while work should offer a service to people so they may have dignity... Work is fundamental to the dignity of a person. Work, to use an image, 'anoints' us with dignity, fills us with dignity, makes us similar to God, who has worked and still works, who always acts; it gives us the ability to maintain ourselves, our family, to contribute to the growth of our nation.”

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Chronicling Her Presence, April 2013 PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 27 April 2013 20:27

This past Christmas, I was blessed with the opportunity to bring my mother to my daughter's Dance and Music Christmas Concert.  Last year due to her Dementia, I felt that bringing her would be overwhelming for us but this year with my father making the trip we decided to give it a shot.   We knew preparation would be key to pulling it off.  First, I took a day off and brought my mother to the local salon to dye her hair its beautiful old red color and get her hair styled.  That experience itself made this decision well worth it.  I've been her son for over forty years but this was the first time I ever went to the salon with her.  It was fun to see how much she enjoyed having her hair done.  Of course, its these simple joys that folks with dementia appreciate most.  It relates to old memories and helps them feel more like their old self.  Next, we went shopping for a new dress and all the extra stuff to go with it.

When the concert came around my mother's home did an excellent job preparing her.  After Mass, I drover her back to my home and finished the job with some stockings, new shoes and some touch ups on her hair.  She looked beautiful!  It was great having family there for the concert and we managed to get a family picture that we will treasure for years to come. 

I was unsure about how much my mother enjoyed the concert, that is until my father filled me in.  She had told him numerous times how much she enjoyed the concert and in my fathers words "the music really energized her."  I wrote about the helpful role that music has played in caring for my mother in a previous "Chronicling Her Presence" post.  Here's a grab from that post:

Read the rest of this post at The Guest's Chair Journal

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