Monday, July 30, 2012

Cost Effective

Procrastinating on a term paper: a bit stressful

Sifting through numerous online feeds and post-event Olympic programming: a bit tiresome

Being able to watch the US volleyball team and the Williams sisters both dominate their opponents on live programming at the same time: Priceless

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Olympic Sacrifices....

cool commercial-- a small window into the many sacrifices great athletes must make to compete at a world class level. Wouldnt it be awesome if our souls were as fit as the bodies of these athletes?


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Kristen Stewart Cheats On Robert Pattinson: The Longing of the Human Heart 101

The entertainment world is abuzz with the news that Twlight Star Kristen Stewart has cheated on long-time boyfriend and Twilight co-star, Robert Pattinson (couple at left) .

Apparently photographers caught Stewart in several compromising positions with married movie director Rupert Sanders.

Fans of the Twilight series are "outraged" and disgusted with Stewart following her actions. "How could she do it?!?" many exclaim. "Robert Pattinson is so handsome and he loves her, why wasn't he enough?"

It's interesting that little is made of the fact the Sanders is married with children, while Stewart was only dating. In reality, Sanders has far more to lose (below right with wife). He entered into a sacred covenant with someone, and has two children as a fruit of that covenant. He will bear far more weight even though Stewart is more famous.

Yet, what we really see on display is the deep longing of the human heart. Our hearts continually long, no matter what our social position or status is. This isn't a matter of whether Pattinson is handsome enough or Sanders' wife (a former fashion model) is beautiful enough.

Our hearts are made for eternity and the Eternal. Nothing on earth will fully satisfy this deep longing. It doesn't matter whether one is married to an attractive, wealthy spouse or someone less appealing. There is part of our heart that no relationship, no achievement, no recognition or status can fill. Only God alone can fill it. The problem is not the desire and longing, but where we go to try and satisfy it.

In every person's life, there is a moment or series of moments where "the grass looks greener" on the other side of the hill. We look at our life and our hurts and our dismay and think that something else or someone else will complete what we lack. It is a huge temptation to leave behind the commitment already made for a fleeting moment of completion. But it's always an illusion. It never satisfies. And the devastation that those choice create are sorrowful indeed.

This situation happens all over the world, every day. Yet, imagine if it was you on the cover of every entertainment magazine across the world--humiliating to everyone involved. There is no such thing as a private sin. Truly what we do and say in the dark, always has a way of coming to the light and being exposed. And often times, it's in the exposing that great healing can take place.

The more we bring our pain and longing into the open and to the Light, the less we have to medicate it in the darkness. All of us have parts of our hearts that Jesus wants to touch and heal, for we keep them in dark.


When we admit our longing and desire to Jesus, He comes to minister to us there. He isn't afraid of loving us in our strong desires that are part of our beautiful human heart. He also isn't afraid of loving us when we in our weaknesses let our desires go astray and we fall down. He seeks to come and heal us, in all the parts of our hearts- the parts that are noble as well as the parts that are sinful. And we yearn for that redemptive love.

Interestingly enough, Kelly Clarkson released a new song that speaks about this reality- wanting to be loved for who we are, even in our failures and darkness.




The media will have a heyday with this "scandal" of Kristen Stewart and her fans will wag their fingers and judge her. Yet, all of the people involved-Stewart, Pattinson, Sanders, his wife and kids- real people- will be the ones who will sit alone at night and feel the pain of bad decisions.

The old addage is true- an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

God bless them all.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Faith on Fire Northwest

Those of you in the Pacific Northwest who are looking for an awesome conference to attend will definitely want to check out the Faith on Fire conference being held in Anacortes, WA on August 10-12.

Speakers this year include Steve Ray, Jesse Romero and Mary Beth Bonacci.

Grab your friends and go! You will love it!

check out their website at www.faithonfirenw.org

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Virgin Diaries...

*This post contains mature content and is not for children*

The TLC network aired another installment of the show titled, The Virgin Diaries, which apparently chronicles the lives of several people who are technically virgins. The promo for the current show heavily features Skippy, a 30 year-old mormon man who lives in his parent's basement and collects his own belly button lint. Sweet....

Dr. Drew Pinsky on the HLN network featured a brief interview with Skippy and a woman featured on the show, Karissa, who is virgin as well. While Skippy is saving his virginity because of his religious beliefs, Karissa is waiting because she hasn't found the "right" person yet.

Dr. Drew expressed his concern for Skippy (below left), as to whether Skippy properly desired women, while Dr. Drew's co-host Simone Bienne, asked Karissa if she engaged in "self-pleasure" and enjoying her own body because Bietta claims, "if a person isn't enjoying their own body, they are repressing their desire and if that desire is repressed, it's hard to reverse it."

okay....

Yes, yes this is secular television and full of a bunch of nonsense, obviously. But it also speaks to what has become accepted in society.

In this show we find that being a virgin, which they are defining as someone who has not had sexual intercourse, is rare. This is, unfortunately, partially true. What used to be sacred and special has become mundane and something to "get rid of."

Secondly, the only seeming way out of this predicament is by engaging in selfish"self-pleasure" or else a person is repressing their desire.

I think that people long for more than these lonely expressions of sexuality. Who is really happy when they are engaging in pre-marital or exta-marital intercourse, or lamenting their virginity or engaging in masturbation? Our hearts yearn for more than this. We yearn to give ourselves as a gift in a safe and sacred covenant and to receive another as a gift as well. Society can claim that pre-marital sex is okay and "healthy" but no one can change the deep nature of the human heart. We yearn for more and always will. We are made for eternal love.

What is one way we know this to be true? Look around at society and see that we have more "sex" than ever, yet more brokenness than ever. Lust is never the answer. Even in marriage, lust is never the answer. Lust never satisfies. The desires in our hearts are calling us to something noble and good. All of us are in need of the redemption of our desires. When we open our desires to Jesus, He draws them out, unfolds them and redeems them. Jesus never repressed authentic desire. The answer to lust is not repression but ongoing redemption, conversion and true love.

Virginity isn't something to be exploited nor lamented. It makes me cringe (although I am not at all surprised) that the man on the TLC show who is remaining a virgin for religious reasons is protrayed as being eccentric and nerdy. Of course weird religious zealots are all like that.... (insert eye-roll here).

Our sexualiy, our masculiniy and femininity, is a gift given to us by God. When we use the spousal meaning of our bodies as it was meant to be used (as a beautiful expression of eternal love and life; making a complete gift of ourselves) the gift brings closeness, intimacy and beauty.When we misuse the gift and try to make the rules ourselves, we bring destruction upon ourselves.

Those who are virgins are not animals in the zoo or artifacts in a museum. Things that are valuable are veiled and must be kept as sacred. It doesn't seem to me that The Virgin Diaries seeks to uphold the gift, but exploits it for a few bucks.

We can do better.





Leader of the LCWR speaks out...

The head of the LCWR (Leadership Conference of Women Religious), Sr. Pat Farrell spoke out yesterday on NPR.

What do you think? What do you think of the logic she gives on pro-life issues?

http://www.npr.org/2012/07/17/156858223/an-american-nun-responds-to-vatican-condemnation

Archbishop Aquila

Archbishop Aquila was installed today in Denver.

Congratulations to him and the entire archdiocese!
http://www.archden.org/

http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=695139

Summer Dreams...

Hope you all are enjoying the summertime and finding some enjoyment in the warm days and the beautiful nights.

I think there is something about summertime that has the potential to bring out the kid in all of us. Whether its the warmer weather or the vacation time or more extensive "playtime", summer can be very magical.

As we get older and inherit more responsibilities, it's easy to forget what brings joy in our lives. It seems to me that the answer can be hidden in the desires of our heart, in the young places of our heart.

My mom was just telling me the other day about a study wherein doctors gave older patients relics from their childhood. They gave the patients similar clothes to what they had when they were young, had them watch favorite TV shows from their youth and play games from their childhood. The result? It took years off the hearts of the patients and much joy flooded forth.

What brought you joy as a child? What were some of your happiest times and memories? What was something you really looked forward to as a young person? These things are not lost, they are deep in our hearts. I found out that I am happiest in my running shoes and love getting lost in a good book. These things bring me great joy.

Summertime can be a great time to remember our favorite things and reclaim the beauty within our hearts.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Fr. Michael Jordan, R.I.P.

Our SOLT community received the sad news this morning that our dear priest Fr. Mike Jordan died this morning in a car accident. His companion in the car, Fr. Ed Roche, is hospitalized at this time and is undergoing surgery.

Fr. Mike was a well-known and beloved priest in the SOLT community. He will be remembered for his joyful service, tireless pro-life work and willing heart.

Details of his funeral will be forthcoming. Please keep Fr. Mike and his friends and loved ones in your prayers as well as Fr. Ed.

UPDATE: Fr. Mike was laid to rest on Saturday in Corpus Christi, TX. Hundreds of mourners filled the cathedral for the funeral Mass as well as over 40 priests. Fr. Mike will be missed and never forgotten.