Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Archbishop J. Peter Sartain

Tonight was the Rite of Installation and Vespers with new Archbishop of Seattle, J. Peter Sartain. It was a very powerful and symbolic Rite, which began with the Archbishop knocking on the door outside the Cathedral, as a symbol of his desire to be accepted as Shepherd of the people.

After entering and being welcomed by retiring Archbishop Alex Brunett, Archbishop Sartain venerated the processional cross of the Cathedral and received a blessing with Holy Water from Archbishop Brunett.

The two archbishops sprinkled the entire congregation with Holy Water and Archbishop Sartain greeted representatives from various communities and organizations within the Seattle Archdiocese.

Within the recitation of Vespers (evening prayer) Archbishop Sartain gave an amazing and moving homily. This man brings with him a powerful presence. Not a presence of domination and self-importance but a presence of holiness, kindness, truth and love. He bear a weight within, the weight of the Cross.

As I sat there listening to him speak about the desire of the heart for holiness and for Christ (his episcopal motto is "of You my heart has spoken") I very moved to reflect once again on the basics of life.

A few days ago, Jesus in the Gospel urges us to remain vigilant- that the anxieties of life do not over take us.

It is so easy for us to allow daily living, and all its busyness, trials, struggles and distractions to dull our hearts to what really matters. Its easy to get caught up in the drama, politics and gossip that surround us (and is even created by us at times although we'd probably rather not admit it!).

And when we allow these things, the daily trials that come to all people, to overtake and overwhelm us, we lose the simple joy of living. We lose gratitude and begin to focus on ourselves. We begin to worry over what people think about us or what they're saying about us vs what life is really about. Because in the end, we are accountable to no one but God. He sees our heart, our interior sentiments, hidden from others and sometimes from ourselves.

Archbishop Sartain said that every single person on the face of the earth has the same fundamental calling; to "be" for God. That God delights in every single person on the face of the earth. God desires us at every moment of every day. These words truly moved me to tears as I sat there in the silent Cathedral filled to near- capacity. The weight of Christ in this man spoke deep within our hearts.

How often we forget. In this Season of Advent and Christmas, when most of the country is focused on what to buy people and what they want to receive personally, we are called to simply and quietly "be" for God.

This is the fundamental truth for our lives. As Jesus comes to earth to "be" for us, for our redemption, so we are called to "be" for Him. We are His delightful children. We needn't be afraid.

Rock on Archbishop Sartain! We are blessed to have you here.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Debussy's Arabesque #1

Tonight is a full moon :) and I posted some time ago a work by Claude Debussy entitled "Clare de Lune" but tonight i post another of Debussy's works "Arabesque #1"

Its such a beautiful piece, one of his earlier works, written while he was still in his 20s. It's amazing how talented people usually suffer with some deep struggle. Wikipedia states that "Debussy was often depressed and unable to compose, but he was inspired by Franz Liszt, whose command of the keyboard he found admirable."

Beauty often resurrects from darkness. I hope you enjoy this piece.

A blessed solemnity of Christ the King to all of you. May Jesus truly be the King of our hearts and the Divine Lover of our souls.

Condom Clarification

For those of you who have read that astounding news "headlines" that the Holy Father has "changed the Church's stance on the use of condoms" PLEASE read this great commentary by Catholic Apologist Jimmy Aiken.

He explains what the Holy Father said and DID NOT say and the context in which the comments took place (and were taken out of place!)

Be informed and spread the word!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

What Should I Do?

Perhaps this the perennial question we face during many phases of our life- the question of "What should I do?" What is life about anyway? Should we live our lives to please others? Should we be who others want us to be? Should we listen to our friends? the media?

Or shall we follow our destiny and become the people we were born to be by allowing God to reveal Himself and our destiny to us? Who knows best? our little finite selves or the infinite, beautiful creator of the universe?

Tomorrow in the Gospel at daily Mass, we see Jesus weeping over Jerusalem. As He looks out over Jerusalem, knowing it will be the place of His death and the ultimate betrayal by some of His closest friends, He weeps. Jesus knows that peace is not found in self-righteousness and power, He knows that peace is found in surrender to God and the turning away from sin.

But even as He looks over the city, He does not curse the city, He longs to heal it.

He sees us in the same way. Jesus longs to heal us. He knows what will bring us peace.

So, what should we do?

Here is Lebron James' take on the matter of the choices he has made in his life.

Happy Campfire Song

Happy Autumn Wednesday to you! Here's a happy little song by Christian artist Chris August, called The Campfire Song. It's a peaceful little song about the love between a man and a woman.



When it's cold outside count on me to keep you warm
And when we arrive there I'll be to hold the door
When we talk at night I promise I'm all ears
I will turn into your prince if you kiss me here

You love music and the smell of summer rain
Well, I have this old guitar and a pocket full of change
So, I might be what you're looking for
What you're looking for

When your day goes blue I'll find a way to make it bright
When you need a laugh I'll bring a smile right to you, to you
When we're all alone I'll be the sweetest man
You will fall into my arms or at least that's my plan

You love sweaters and the feel of linen sheets
Well, I'm not begging you, no I'm not that hard to please
So, I might be what you're looking for

At night, I watch the sky to find a shooting star
If that's what I have to do to be right where you are

You love fairy tales and the thought of growing old
We'll have a happy life, that's how our story goes
So, I might be what you're looking for
I just might be what you're looking for
I might be what you're looking for
What you're looking for

Saturday, November 13, 2010

What is it with men and commitment, anyway?

Check out the text of this talk about men and commitment, aptly titled "What is it with men and commitment, anyway?" 

The prevailing thought of many is that men never want to commit and that living together before marriage is a good way to see if "two people are compatible".

Both of these thoughts are seriously flawed and Scott Stanley, PhD, explains why.

Some awesome resources for you

Check out this link to a page from the Family Life Center website. This organization is dedicated to strengthening marriage and family life and this page lists resources to help or give information on a variety of topics.

With links about topics on various issues from alcoholism to end of life decisions, from, homeschooling to help for hurting marriages, check this out. it's great stuff. sometimes we struggle or wonder about certain things but don't know where to turn for solid info or help, this is a great resource.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

You Live, You Learn...

I came across a song by Alanis Morissette that I hadn't heard in many years. The song is called, "You Learn, (Jagged Little Pill)" and it was very popular in the 90's. But as with many things in our lives, we revisit themes on deeper levels as we grow older.

Here are some of the lyrics-
I recommend biting off more then you can chew to anyone
I certainly do
I recommend sticking your foot in your mouth at any time
Feel free

Throw it down (the caution blocks you from the wind)
Hold it up (to the rays)
You wait and see when the smoke clears

You live, you learn
You love, you learn
You cry, you learn
You lose, you learn
You bleed, you learn
You scream, you learn

There is a very famous saying that goes, "live and learn" and isnt' that the truth? Perhaps for those of us perfectionists out there, we would rather just "know everything" without having to make mistakes and live through things, but that's not reality.

Here's another saying for you, "We cannot control the direction of the wind, but we can adjust our sails."

How often I find myself wanting to control the direction of the wind and what an utterly frustrating waste of time that is!

Perhaps I want to control the outcomes of situations, or other people's reactions and responses to things. Perhaps I want things to turn out the "right way" (aka- how I think things "should" turn out) or perhaps I just want to simply avoid suffering.

But all of these coping mechanisms are an illusion. They do not allow me to live the fullness of life. Jesus came that we might have life and have it to the full, not some artificially controlled mediocre existence.

So what this means is that we get to embrace everything that life brings. We get to embrace the joy and the sorrow, the triumphs and the failures. We get to embrace good days and bad days, the sun and rain for we need all of it to live a full life.

Suffering comes with the promise of Resurrection and opens our heart at deep levels.

So let us take the hand of Jesus and live.

Archbishop-elect Peter J. Sartain

Check out this great article about our Archbishop-elect Peter J. Sartain, set to be installed here in the Archdiocese of Seattle on December 1st.

Brings much hope to us here in the Northwest.

Rock on! :)

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Surfer Andy Irons 1978-2010

Surfing legend Andy Irons passed away on November 2nd in Dallas, TX. He was 32 years old.

Read the story of his amazing life and untimely death here.

Andy was much beloved and respected in his home of Hawaii and across the world. A man who was very human in spite of being wildly popular.

When I read the article posted above, I was filled with a sense of sorrow and an immense sense of awe for the sacredness and gift of life.

Why things happen the way they do may not be known in this life.

All we do know is that God makes sense of our confusion and accompanies us in our deepest sorrows and mysteries.

My prayers go out to his family, especially his wife, due to give birth to their first child next month.

May he rest in peace and may perpetual light shine upon him.

God bless you, Andy.