Monday, June 30, 2008

Pimp My Ride

For Father's Day, I got an unusual present from Gordo and his brood. While my back was turned they "pimped my ride." So I guess it had to be memorialized with the picture. Yo, Momma!!

Friday, June 27, 2008


'Tis an awesome thing,
Revealed by Christ. God desires
We call Him "Abba.!"

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Fr. Deacon Daniel Gordon

Last weekend, our family traveled to Parma, Ohio to witness the ordination of Gordon, (#1 Son) to the diaconate. The Eparchy of Parma is located just south of Cleveland. The rite was done in typical Byzantine fashion: lots of incense, a capella singing, and the 1600 year old liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. The Cathedral of St. Josaphat was replete with iconography, some in mosaic others painted (or written as they say in the East.) If you have never participated in a Byzantine mass, you need to experience it.

Gordon performed the rubrics flawlessly, though he had no time to practice. Since "Gordon" is not the name of a saint, he is using his confirmation name, "Daniel." So Fr. Deacon Daniel Gordon is the appellation.

He told me that when the Bishop placed his hands on Gordon's head, it felt like a warm, spring rain was falling on him. This "gentle rain" was confirmed as we left the Cathedral for the reception: the once sunny afternoon was abruptly changed by an array of thunderstorms that drenched each and all. Wet to the bone, we arrived at the reception hall where the Ukrainians, who are known for their great food and hospitality, did not disappoint.

Fr. Deacon Daniel Gordon will serve his first Mass on Sunday June 29th. As I mentioned before, the deacon's role in the eastern liturgy is very extensive. He will also preach the homily. Bishop Robert told Gordon that he would soon ordain him to priesthood. Probably in a year. Until that time, Gordon will minister at his parish, St. Nicholas in Cary.

God has answered my prayer for a vocation out of my brood of eight. St. Monica prayed for St. Augustine for 16 years. I only had to persist in prayer for 25.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Your love is boundless.
Lord, why do I not fully
Trust your providence?


Our Protestant brothers and sisters do not understand the Catholic practice of honoring Saints and even naming Churches after them. Some Protestants will name a church after a back alley or service station before someone considered a "Saint."

Recently, my son, Nathaniel and I were talking about the American Indian custom of naming children. After the birth, the proud father would go outside and name the child after the first thing he saw: Running Bear, Crazy Horse, etc. He suggested that our Protestant brothers and sisters must do something similar. They leave the parking lot and drive around until something strikes them to name the new fellowship: 32 Street Church of Christ, for example. Well with such inspiration, we were creating a few fellowships of our own as we drove along...The Home Depot Church of the Redeemer, Exxon Church of Christ, Steinmart Third Presbyterian.

Protestant readers, do not be offended. I love you. I owe a great deal to you in my odyssey of coming into the fullness of my relationship to Christ. But really, what is wrong with naming a church after a great Protestant man or woman of God? (Some Anglicans and Lutherans do name Churches after saints.) Saints are our our link to past salvation history...through their testimony, they give us hope that we too can walk the Gospel way. And what is wrong with asking them to help us to respond to God's grace as they did? So how about "Dietrich Bonhoffer Baptist?" Would that be a miracle or what!!!

I subscribe to a daily email blast from called "Saint of the Day." Go to their site and sign up. It's free and each day, you will receive a short biographical selection of a holy man or woman of God. As you read these sketches, one thing becomes abundantly clear: Suffering and Sanctity go hand in hand.
I am not talking physical suffering necessarily, but all kinds: depression, addictions, battles with carnality, temptations to despair and loss of faith, etc. You suddenly realize that the Saints are just like us. The big difference is that, unlike us, they didn't waste all of the graces that God gives us each nanosecond.

I was really impressed with Matt Talbot. His story is found below. His life gives me great hope, for he is the saint for those addicted to all the evils that our modern culture offers: alcohol, drugs, porn, sex...etc. His life shows that prayer and cooperation with God's inestimable and inexhaustible grace, changes things.

Matt can be considered the patron of men and women struggling with alcoholism.
Matt was born in Dublin, where his father worked on the docks and had a difficult time supporting his family. After a few years of schooling, Matt obtained work as a messenger for some liquor merchants; there he began to drink excessively. For 15 years—until he was 30—Matt was an active alcoholic.

One day he decided to take "the pledge" for three months, make a general confession and begin to attend daily Mass. There is evidence that Matt’s first seven years after taking the pledge were especially difficult. Avoiding his former drinking places was hard. He began to pray as intensely as he used to drink. He also tried to pay back people from whom he had borrowed or stolen money while he was drinking.

Most of his life Matt worked as a builder’s laborer. He joined the Secular Franciscan Order and began a life of strict penance; he abstained from meat nine months a year. Matt spent hours every night avidly reading Scripture and the lives of the saints. He prayed the rosary conscientiously. Though his job did not make him rich, Matt contributed generously to the missions.

After 1923 his health failed and Matt was forced to quit work. He died on his way to church on Trinity Sunday. Fifty years later Pope Paul VI gave him the title "Venerable."

Friday, June 13, 2008


The Holy Scriptures,
Inspired by the Holy Ghost
Are fragrant with God.

St. Ambrose

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Which week is it?

When one is blessed with such a large brood and extended family, something is always going on. St. Eva the Almost Good (yes, she was reduced to "almost" two weeks ago. I'll explain later) and I never have a week in which something is not happening..good or ill. Recently, Eva asked me when Gordon, III was being ordained to the diaconate in the Byzantine Ukrainian Catholic Church? "On the 11th of June,"says I. "No," says she, "that can't be right. I think that is the day for Ben's court appearance." "Ah, Yes," says I. " I got the ordination mixed up with the divorce."

Yes. Our life is never dull. As a matter of fact, I just arrived back home after a 1600 mile round trip to Indiana to be a moral support for Ben as his marriage to Rebecca was dissolved. It was never a sacramental union. They got married by a Justice of the Peace while standing on a porch outside the Carthage City jail. That should have been a sign from God right there!! But there is sadness when any marriage dissolves and this one was bittersweet. At least he will be able to have definitive visitation privileges with his daughter, who is the joy of his life.

And next week, it is off to Parma, Ohio where the Ukrainian Eparchy is located. We will celebrate Gordon's ordination to the permanent diaconate on Saturday, June 21. The Ukrainian Byzantine Catholic Church uses the ancient liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. It is very beautiful and sung from beginning to end. In the eastern church, the deacon plays a major roll in the Mass, while in the Roman rite, we still don't know what to do with these guys. The Ukrainian church reunited with Rome more than 500 years ago. In addition to a unique liturgy, they also have a married clergy. Gordo may be ordained a priest in June 2009. That remains to be seen.

Yes, I finally got a vocation out of this crowd. I have prayed for all these many years that someone would enter religious life. My prayer was answered. And I gave him this advice: a successful homilist never lets his sermon exceed 12 minutes. The story goes that while a deacon was preaching, he noticed that his wife was beating her watch with her fist during the sermon. After Mass, he told her that she didn't need to use such histrionics in order to let him know that he was a bit lengthy. "Well" she harrumphed, "it went on so long, I thought the battery had died."

Friday, June 6, 2008


We sing a new song
When we give ourselves to Christ.
A song 'twixt lovers.

Monday, June 2, 2008

The Vanishing White Man

For centuries, the only Christian church steadfastly opposed to contraception and artificial means of birth control has been the Catholic Church. In the early days of the Reformation, all Protestant sects taught the moral evils contained in contraception. This came to an abrupt end with the Lambeth Conference in the 1920's. Yes, our Anglican friends were the first to succumb to secular pressure and permit the abhorrent practice. Over the next few decades, one -by-one, the other Protestant denominations followed suit.

The 1960's were a heady time for the forces of artificial contraception. The Catholic Church came perilously close to abandoning its centuries old teachings. In fact, most of the radical cardinals and periti thought Pope Paul would cave- in with the eagerly awaited encyclical, Humanae Vitae

If there were ever an example of the veracity of Christ's promise to protect the Church from error through the Holy Spirit's constant presence, this is a textbook case. Pope Paul VI shocked the world with his letter proclaiming the ancient teaching on the purpose of the sexual act in the marriage covenant. Many Catholics, schooled in the protestant ethic of conscience and private interpretation of Scripture, disdained the teaching. After all, what does that old celibate know about our problems? Like Lucifer's' cry of "Non serviam" they elected to serve themselves and not God.

Humane Vitae was remarkably prescient in its predictions of the fruit of contraception. Abortion and euthanasia would soon follow, according to the Holy Father. And so they did. Even he, however, was not able to see how catastrophic the culture of death would be to the West, especially the white race.

Recent reports of the UN's study on population revealed the following:

----In 1950, whites were 28% of the world's population. In 2060, they will have fallen to 9.8%.
----Two hundred million white people, a number equal to the entire population of France, Britain, Holland and Germany---will vanish by 2060.
----By 2050, one-fourth of all the people in Eastern Europe will have vanished.
----In America, the Hispanic population will triple to 127 million by 2050. As Mexico's population increases to 130 million and based on statistics from the Pew Research Center, Patrick Buchanan notes that an "erasure of the U.S. border or merger of the two countries, or the linguistic, cultural and social annexation of the American Southwest by Mexico seems fated."

The consequences of the selfishness exemplified in contraceptive acts will have devastated Western Man and Western Culture. The great sadness remains that these demographic facts are inexorable. They cannot be changed even if the Western nations triple their birth rates. What is summarized here is our future. The sun has set on Western Civilization.