Wednesday, May 27, 2009


.....a bit of an absence from here. Had son's First Communion, Soccer Games, Daughters dance recital, and that whirlwind of the school year winding down.

and how much has changed in the world, in the United States, and within the Church.

I try very, very hard not to get political in blogging. Despite his deep involvement in the issues of his day, Chesterton actually seemed to have avoided "politics" as we would define it today. He had a true gift of letting the issues of the day melt into eternal truths and universal principles. From this perspective, what are the universal principles that peer at as from behind the curtain of current events?

The only things I despise more than politics are cliche's, but I think we truly see before us how there is no history, only biography. When even the powerful and wealthy are stripped of their not quite seamless garments of inflated funds and paper financial instruments, we can clearly become aware of the character, personality, and gravitas of world players as well as the pettiness and shallowness which seems magnified during times of hardship.

I am beginning to see the futility in dwelling on the negative and taking delight in the scandal of others, we all are aware of these things going on. On the positive side, however, did anybody really take note of Pope Benedict walking out of a meeting when a speaker was going on an anti-Israel/anti-Semetic rant? That act was the single greatest act of courage I recall on the world stage for many, many months. I am truly honored to identify with that type of heroism, to be able to point at Pope Benedict and say, "There goes my spiritual leader."

Sunday, May 17, 2009

I write this as President Obama speaks at Norte Dame. I am saddened that it happened but not surprised. Father Jenkins has more than once broken his vow of obedience with his Bishop. So this was in reality only a small step for him not the big OMG leap so many have called it. This day began shortly after he took his position at ND allowing theology professors to openly question the dogma of transubstantiation the allowing the Vagina Chronicles to be performed on campus. Each time the local Bishop told him NO. Nothing “happened” to Fr. Jenkins after each breech and the University still stands. So what’s one more sin? Fr. J. thinks that this is open discourse and the kind of open diversity that an University should be about he is rebelling against, um, ah…. well Orthodoxy.
Chesterton would say of his type:
“…But the new rebel is a Skeptic, and will not entirely trust anything. He has no loyalty; therefore he can never be really a revolutionist. And the fact that he doubts everything really gets in his way when he wants to denounce anything. For all denunciation implies a moral doctrine of some kind; and the modern revolutionist doubts not only the institution he denounces, but the doctrine by which he denounces it.”

I, along with others, have questioned if Fr. J. should not have been removed form his office after the first, ‘I know what’s better than you Bishop.’ Then I saw this Chesterton quote in a different light: “There are many, many angles at which one can fall but only one angle at which one can stand straight.”
His Bishop and the other Bishops were not pushing him to fall over but to help him get straight again.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

On neighbors' dogs

We make our friends; we make our enemies; but God makes our next-door neighbor. - GKC

We know our neighbors on one side. Not well, but enough to chat, and to offer help when needed. The wives are both outdoor types, always puttering about in the yard, so there is regular contact. When an ice storm knocked out our power, the husband came over to help rig up a generator. When he got sick we were the back-ups for rides to treatments.

We know their names.

But we did not make friends with them.

On the other side are the new neighbors. New - as in they've lived there for only four years.

We occasionally nod in passing. But no conversations per se. I did bid them welcome when they arrived. And once when their dog got loose I took it back over. That's about it. We rarely see them go outside. When they do, it's for some utilitarian purpose, like mowing the lawn. Then they disappear.

We don't know their names.

I suppose that is unfriendly of us. We could probably be better neighbors ourselves. But I'm kind of reclusive myself.

We did not make frinds, or enemies. We're just neighbors.

I do know their dog. She's a friendly beast. A tail-wagger who always used to come up to the fence to greet our tail-wagging dog, and to get a scritch on the head from me.

I know the dog's name.

Now there's a second dog.

We don't know if this one is a temporary, or a permanent resident.

But this dog barks. Constantly.

Open our bedroom window.


Open our back door - on the other side of the house.


Pull in the driveway.


And go out to the yard to do some work - or chat with the neighbors we know.


And worst of all, the other dog, the tail-wagger, has now picked up the habit.

Bark. Bark.

We don't want to complain - and make enemies.

But ...

Bark. Bark.

At times it's hard to remember that God did make neighbors. Especially when it comes to reclusive ones with barking dogs.

I sometimes think Frost had it right: Good fences make good neighbors.

Too bad it can't be soundproofed fences.

But God left it up to us to make those.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Free At Last! Free At Last!

Concerning my post ‘The Ridiculous and the Sublime’, a reader writes: “Alan Capasso, I will pray for your deliverence from the persistant myth that the ignorant, formalized Church, and the dwindling ranks of the priesthood serve any useful function outside the obvious excuse to gather for coffee and donuts in today’s more enlightened society. Enlightened Christians understand that the Church, in reality, lives within each of us, not in “sacred” buildings and in the self-gratifying Vatican. While your priests and a Pontiff locked into the past teach hatred and bias against gays, individual rights, science, freedom to choose and all the wonderful aspects of humanity that Christ celebrated, your mentality stress instead ritual, sin and punishment. Bill Maher is right you know: Formalized religion has done more physical and psychological damage throughout the ages than all the wars it has condoned.”

It is so nice to hear that someone is praying for me, but I have a question. If this Enlighten Christian believes that the Church lives within him or her who exactly is she/he praying to? His/her self?

I have heard that once you become an Enlighten Christian or a Thinking Catholic you become unencumbered by the burden of history and in so doing become your own god. This of course allows you to reinterpret the Good News to mean that Jesus died on the cross so we can do whatever we want. Wonderful! Where do I sign up!

We all know that Bill Maher’s intellectual prowess far outshines that of Chesterton who said stupid stuff like, “Yesterday’s vices are today’s virtues.” Because yesterday’s vices WERE virtues it is just that the Pontificate and priests want to hide the fact that homosexual love is the source and summit of all that is good and wonderful. They did that because, as Dan Brown points out, they have so much money, power and fame to gain. All those schools, universities, and hospitals the Church started and continues to fund and those encyclicals about human rights were just a clever smoke screen to hide the truth that Mary Magdalene had Jesus’ love child.

And Maher is right you know: “Formalized religion has done more physical and psychological damage throughout the ages than all the wars it has condoned”. Since history is no longer a concern I can accept that the secular leaders that have cast off that repressive Church thing have caused no physical and psychological damage. Guys like Stalin, Pol Pot and Mao were only trying to clean up the mess the church made and if you have to kill a few million people to accomplish that it is a small price to pay for enlightenment.

My only sin now is wondering what wars in the past 200 years or so the Church has condoned? Darn that history thing!

I hope Anonymous writes back soon. I love to hear the dying echoes of unreasoned thought bounce around a small mind. Not as much as the sound of a box of silverware falling down a flight of stairs but close.