Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Veterans' Day

I know I'm a few days late with this, but I wanted to include this comic from Sunday. I think this is a great tribute to our veterans, without whom we would not enjoy the freedom we do.


Friday, November 9, 2007

poison popups

Is it possible to go one whole day without stumbling across some form of porn? It's really getting on my nerves...

Monday, August 6, 2007

San Francisco

At an early age I fell in love with Saint Francis. I first learned about him at a very important crossing point in my life. His great love, his humility, his tenacious foolishness in pursuit of Christ through Lady Poverty were inspiring to me. Saint Francis was a lover of all that God created. Because of that, people often look to him as the patron of animals. Make no mistake, though. Saint Francis was much deeper and more complex than the concrete statues of him that adorn birdbaths everywhere. His commitment to following Christ --totally-- is, in historical terms, singular.

He understood that love came with humiliation. After all, to take up one's cross means to march towards one's own crucifixion, the deadliest of all humiliations. And Francis did so with love. Not flowery, saccharine fairweather love, but stern compulsive conviction.

This conviction carried him through abandoning his father's wealth and life of ease, the ridicule he suffered when rebuilding the little church of San Damiano, through the many tests of faithfulness, and the painful honor to bear Christ's wounds in his own hands and feet.

It is this love and willingness to suffer any humiliation for Jesus, that marked Francis his whole life.

And I hear about what happens today in the city that bears his name. Crime, drugs, sexual perversions of every kind-- gay marriage, bathhouses, NAMBLA, a cross-dressing police commissioner, S&M demonstrations before churches. I saw photos from the March for Life in San Francisco a couple of years ago and was horrifed at what was thrown at the marchers. It has become a city that breeds death unto itself.

How is it that the modern Sodom and Gomorrah is the city of St. Francis?

There is no real explanation nor condoning it, but I can imagine that if any saint in heaven were asked to suffer the humiliation attached to such a situation, Francis would volunteer, offering the humiliation as a sacrifice for the conversion of souls. I doubt that this is theologically sound or even "historically" accurate, but it's how I like to think of it.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Writer's Blogck

I am relatively new to this medium and have up until now been afflicted by a perfectionistic writer's block. As I drive to work and go through my day, at least ten ideas run in my head of blog topics, but when I sit down to the computer, they all either disappear or I want to make sure it is absolutely polished and complete before I commit it to publication. Partly, it's my own sense of perfectionism in what I do, partly it's out of respect for you the audience and the message and purpose this blog serves. But I have to remind myself, "This is a blog! Not the Wall Street Journal or Time or a graduate thesis." I'm sure it will be rough, but if I massage every word and phrase incessantly to the point of journalistic impotence, no purpose will be served. This doesn't mean I want to churn out mediocrity because the audience will take it; it means that I want to get my views out there and now, I'm not doing that. If I am unclear, hopefully that will spark some discussion that in clarifying, we can get to a point we never would have got to otherwise.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

"Life is Sacred"

My apologies for the dismal frequency of my posts on this blog. I have been starting up a specifically pro-life blog for the regional group my wife and I are involved with. This and my ridiculous hours of overtime at work have prevented much involvement here. Please visit the pro-life blog, Life is Sacred, the link of which is located to the right. We welcome any information or comments that we can post there to further spread the message of protecting the most innocent of human life.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Marriage as Sacrament

I'm reading a spiritually rich book right now by Dietrich von Hildebrand called "Marriage, the Mystery of Faithful Love." I want to share with you this short passage in the foreword to this edition, published by Sophia Institute Press, by the late archbishop of New York, John Cardinal O'Connor.

"Marriage as a Sacrament, then, becomes the concrete, earthly expression and incarnation of God's saving love for each of us. Herein lies the essence of the sacramentality of marriage: through the loving marital relationship, God continues to make known His presence in the world.

"In effect, when marital love and commitment that is open to life is expressed, God continues to take on flesh. God's love, therefore, does not simply transcend our own flesh, but rather comes and dwells in our midst. For a Christian, then, the vision of marriage must be rooted in one's commitment to Jesus and faith in Him as Lord.

"Jesus announced the advent of His Kingdom as one of tenderness and intimacy. He speaks of a God whose love, mercy, and forgiveness is extravagant, limitless, and without reservation. He is a God of concern who is totally and permanently faithful in bringing Creation to fulfillment by constantly drawing us back to Himself, the source of all goodness. Since marriage is the living, tangible, sacramental sign of this love, these characteristics are to be expressed and experienced in the marital relationship."


Minor Rant

OK, this is just a minor annoyance, but I have to say it. I like scrolling through the random blogs here on I like to see the different creative visions, opinions, interests, and the stories of people's lives. But here is the thing: I CAN'T READ CHINESE!!! OR SPANISH, OR PORTUGESE, OR KOREAN, OR ITALIAN. I can read a little bit of French, but do you get my point? Is there a setting somewhere that I can check so that when I click "Next Blog" I get only English blogs?

Monday, April 30, 2007


Boy, it is interesting how phrases can skew a discussion. Since the partial-birth abortion ban was upheld, I've been listening a lot of discussion on the radio about what are the next steps for pro-choice and anti-choice groups. (Or is that anti-abortion and pro-death groups? Or pro-life and pro-women's health groups?)

To be fair, NPR has been looking at both sides of the issue with their usual civility and decorum, but the inclinations of the "establishment" still shine through
when the question is asked about women making the choice "to bear a child or terminate a pregnancy."

We probably hear those phrases so often that they can rush right past us without noticing what has happened. The fetus is either a child or the by-product of a pregnancy, all depending on the intention of the mother/ pregnant woman. If the woman wants the child, then yes, it is a child, and we're sympathetic to her struggles, her hopes and her joys. If she does not want a baby, then our society sees not a child but an inconvenience, a blob of tissue that will be an obstacle to any of that woman's happiness. Keeping a child is a joy, having an abortion is only terminating a pregnancy. It sounds like having one's tonsils out.

Oops, my mistake, on the news, they always refer to the procedure as "so-called" partial birth abortion. Wouldn't want to misrepresent the truth...

Brownback on Hannity

So I heard Sam Brownback on Hannity today. God bless the man, he has no chance.

I think he knows this though, and I suspect that winning the election is not his primary motivation. I truly believe that his first goal is to bring the sanctity of life into the fore of the public debate. I am convinced of this because of what he said to Sean today. Sean asked Senator Brownback about abortion in the case of rape and he didn't dodge the question as any other politician with blind ambition would have done. He stook his ground and pointed out that the child is still innocent and sentencing her to death will not solve the exterior problems.

That is a hard lesson to take, but one that our society needs to learn.

Friday, April 20, 2007

I'm on the bottom.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Das Boot, part II

So I did finally finish Das Boot. Wifey fell asleep long before it was finished-- big surprise; she's lucky to make it fifteen minutes into any movie and this one was considerably long. Besides, she likes movies that contain a lot of talking. She needles me about "it must be a guy thing" regarding movies that I watch where the main characters can have entire conversations with few, if any words. (See just about any movie by Sergio Leone.) I found it worth the two-disc plod. As one reviewer said, you find yourselves rooting for the crew even though they were fighting for Nazi Germany. The irony of the movie is strong, and to describe that in any detail would be to give away the ending for those who have not seen it.

Sadly, a symbolic victory

So today the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the ban on partial birth abortion. With mixed feelings I reflect on it, for though a victory for pro-life forces, its passage immediately becomes a symbolic victory.

I say this because the decision today upholds the ban on the method only, but not the practice in concept. The ban, if enforced, will not directly reduce the number of abortions in the United States. As a dammed river will overflow or change course to find its way to the ocean, the forces of abortion have already circumvented the obstacle and moved on to other "safer" methods. Live birth abortion is an alternative to partial-birth abortion in late-term pregnancies. The baby is delivered and placed in another room and denied nourishment or medical care until it dies. Other methods include injecting the fetus with chemicals which will seize its heart; the dead baby is then extracted via cesarian section. (This method in particular plays right into the argument against partial-birth abortion: why is it necessary for the health of the mother that the baby be aborted rather than delivered cesarian section?)

This seeming futility, however, does not negate the urgency in supporting the partial-birth abortion ban and other such legal measures. A symbolic victory in this uphill battle is a victory nonetheless. It sheds light on the brutality of the procedure and opens discussion on why abortion is morally wrong in all cases.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

mission statement

So... a little about me.

I grew up here in Southeastern CT, the youngest of four kids. Not the most athletic kid, I was from early on interested in art. I began my college career studying architecture, but left it to follow another path. I switched to philosophy, studying for a couple of years for the Catholic priesthood. It proved not to be my vocation, as I finally realized that I was still in love with the woman who would become my wife.

At this writing, I am 26 years old (now having to stop and do the math...), am married to my beautiful bride Patty, and have three little boys tearing up the house. I shouldn't say house; actually, it's the Incredible Shrinking Mobile Home. It's nice for now, we got it before the people here before us let the maintenance pass beyond the point of no return. A lot of work, and watch your step.

I call myself a graphic designer, but I think the term graphic mechanic fits better. I took the job at the printing company for graphic design experience, and ended up staying on, eventually becoming prepress/ production manager, juggling, putting out fires and fixing all the customers' print files. I like the work that I do, but what I really am interested in is a project I don't know how to start.

I want to launch a magazine for Catholic young adults. Arts, theology, culture, politics, all in the light of Christ. I haven't come up with a name yet, but I do have a mission statement: "To seek out that which is holy, right and good in the world today, and to use it, like all good things, in the service of Christ." I see it as part coffee house, part apologetics guide, part cultural review, part evangelization tool.

More on that later...

Das Boot part I

Well, the TV's broken, so I can't finish watching the latest movie in from Netflix. I had started watching Das Boot, about a German submarine in WWII, the officers' disillusionment with the Third Reich, and the cat-and-mouse games they played with the British. Very long, but so far so good. I pick up on visual homages in movies, and I believe a scene from Pixar's Finding Nemo was an homage to Das Boot. When the whale appears behind Marlin and Dori seemingly out of nowhere, filling the screen, it's just how the sub appeared in the beginning of the movie. Nice touch. I'll give more feedback when I finish the movie

Wednesday, February 7, 2007


The title, "Exultet," is the Latin word for "rejoice." The reference is to the first word of the ancient hymn that the Church uses to open the solemn celbration of the Easter Vigil Mass throughout the world.

"Rejoice heavenly powers! Sing choirs of angels!
Exult, all creation around God's throne!
Jesus Christ, our King is risen!
Sound the trumpet of salvation!

Rejoice, O earth, in shining splendor,
radiant in the brightness of your King!
Christ has conquered! Glory fills you!
Darkness vanishes forever!..."

Christ's death on a cross paid our ransom from sin, and His resurrection destroys the power of death. He has risen; He shall die no more! And we shall rise with Him! We have much to rejoice about, alleluia!

It is very important that this is the starting point for this forum. I plan on discussing many things here: current events, history, theology, literature and the arts, science, and anything else that seems important. The fact is that much of it is bad news, and I would be irresponsible to pretend that there is not darkness all around us. However, we must never lose hope that the victory is already won, and our task is to remain faithful to Christ, who is the way, the truth and the life.

All are welcome to join the discussion. I hope that our conversations will be fruitful.