Saturday, October 07, 2006

Caleb in Rome

From founding Parousian Caleb Bernacchio:

Greetings from the Eternal City. I just wanted to thank everyone that participated in the roast. I especially thank everyone who did not mention everything which could have been said.

I arrived at about 8:30 in the morning on Wednesday, the Feast of St Francis. My arrangements to be picked up at the airport did not pan out. So I spent about fifty dollars to get to the Phillipino College where I thought I was going to be staying. Upon arrival I waited for a long time before they knew what they should do with a disoriented white man who claimed that he was staying at thier college. Other than the pair of workers I was the only laymen at the college and I was the only white man from America. They asked me to sit in the chair and wait for the rector. I sat down and fell asleep reading the Summa Theologica (thanks to Katie Culotta's offer to buy Gelato from Capital City Creamery, after the 7:00 AM Communion service, I only got about 3 and a half hours of sleep in the two nights before I found myself in Rome).

The Rector woke me up and informed that it was against the law for me to stay at the Phillipino College but he insisted that I eat lunch. Luckily two holy Phillipino priests, resisting the temptation to think that I was deranged, spent all day helping find a place to sleep. I was finally taken in by a convent in the room nearest the chapel. At about 1:00 PM the following day the Mother Superior sent one of the sisters to my room to make sure that I was still alive.

Part 2 later.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Duggan, Hallford, and Danna on Lepanto this Sunday at 8pm

Because Ryan's AC is currently out of commission and for a change of atmosphere, the next meeting will be held at the apartment of Sarah Berard, Mary-Grace Westphal, and Fay Thibodeaux. The location is apartment 601 in the East Campus Apartments. The East Campus Apartments are located on the LSU campus near the REC Center and across from East Laville. Apartment 601 is on the first floor in building Six which is in the middle of the ECA Complex. If any further directions needed call Ryan Hallford, at (504) 952-0247.

The discussion will recognize the anniversary (actually on Saturday) of the battle of Lepanto, one of the most eventful clashes between Islam and Christendom. Mark Duggan will discuss the historical aspects of the battle while Ryan and Tobias Danna introduce G. K. Chesterton's poem Lepanto as well as some thoughts from Chesterton on the Middle East.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Archbishop Charles Chaput on St. Francis' Example to Society's Leaders

Archbishop says public leaders, who claim to be Catholic but do not act on Gospel, are deceiving themselves

"If you and I want to be what God calls us to be in the years that lie ahead, we need to be like St. Francis."

LSU Alumnus and 'Bad Catholic' John Zmirak on Bridging the Political Divide

Trading Places: How to rekindle conversation between Left and Right

The author of The Bad Catholic's Guide to Good Living ridicules the hypocrisy of contemporary progressives and conservatives.

Emily Byers Challenges the Materialistic Mindset

Too often our goals are materialistic

Parousian and Reveille columnist confronts the materialist consumer culture on the feast of Saint Francis.

Remembering Rich Mullins

On what would have been the ninth anniversary of his entry into the Catholic Church, the Parousians remember this Quaker-turned-Evangelical-turning-Catholic disciple of St. Francis, Flannery O'Connor, and G. K. Chesterton.

Rich Mullins -- Enigmatic, Restless, Catholic

A Ragamuffin Music Man: Rich Mullins

Update on Beth Reed

Beth is no longer using a ventilator to breathe, but she has returned to ICU due to breathing difficulties. The doctors hope to remove another brain tumor next week, but they are waiting for some stability in her recovery from the last surgery. Please continue to pray for her healing through the intercession of Pope John Paul II.

A Fresh Perspective on Corporal Mortification for Spiritual Perfection

I Scourge the Body Electric

Monday, October 02, 2006

Special Thanks

A great deal of appreciation goes out to everyone who made Caleb Bernacchio's farewell roast such a success. Special thanks goes out to Father John Carville, Father Bryce Sibley, seminarians and Parousian alumni Matthew McCaughey and Stephen Dufrene, and the Parousians of ULL for helping send off Caleb with good natured jabbing.

Archbishop Alfred Hughes on Pope Benedict's lecture at Regensburg

The real message of Pope Benedict XVI

"In his perceptive analysis, Pope Benedict raises a question for authentic religious dialogue. If we detach a morality rooted in human nature and accessible to human reason from our faith in God, does not that allow us to convert vice into virtue and virtue into sin? Authentic world religions have tried to ground spirituality in moral virtue. But if we believe that God wants our faith to win at all costs, then the end justifies the means. Terrorism becomes an act of virtue. If, however, the Jihad is interpreted as a spiritual war against the demonic powers of evil, it is much easier to find a common ground. This is a challenge that we need to address humbly, sincerely and directly."

Archbishop Jose Gomez on Moral Law

Don't mess with your faith

" At first sight, the Ten Commandments look like a long list of “no’s.” However, Jesus Christ has revealed to us the fullness and completion of this law: the “no’s” are, truly, the ancient expression of a totally new law; a law that is summed up in the commandment to love God and neighbor, and to love one another as Christ loved us. This law has also been inscribed in the human heart: it is the law of freedom that we received through our baptism and that must affect every aspect of our life. God’s law, then, makes us free, and brings us happiness and salvation."

Ryan Hallford on Gossip, Truth, and Community

From founding Parousian Ryan Hallford:

"Where do I start? Why do I write? What can be accomplished? Attempting to say something of importance has typically forced my mind to go blank. Perhaps, I should start by saying something very non-important. And why not? Often society devours very non-important things. This trend radiates throughout the media. When I listen or read the news, I anticipate many unimportant things that writers publish. The numbers of magazines devoted to such topics baffles my mind. When shopping in stores how often do you see academic or religious journals at checkout lines? While the wide spread use of internet may serve to advance the type of global consciousness theorized by the likes of Teilhard de Chardin, I can not help believing that the social obsession with trivial news sets back progress.

Gossip in any community can easily become a frequent past time; however; does the present rate of gossip serve to benefit mankind? One of my favorite churches, St. Joseph Abbey, has the seven vices or capital sins depicted in the apse. These vices are embodied in the form of demons that are held prisoner under the angels of God who simultaneously uphold and serve God’s creation. In the spirit of good humor, and because the space between windows merits another portrait, the painter, Dom Gregory De Wit, includes an eighth vice for the Benedictine community to be vigilant against. This eighth demon whispers towards the choir stalls where the monks daily gather to pray. This depiction serves to warn them against the destructive nature of gossip. Apparently, not only secular society suffers from the infestation of unimportant things. Frankly, it distracts us from the more important issues of life.

The problem gossip creates makes important things disappear in the horizon of infinite amounts of tedious rumors and possibilities that serve to distract the mind rather than form it. Instead of focusing on issues that concern the nature of man and his end, we become bogged down in a quagmire of filth. The truth takes back seat to the entertainment that soap operas afford. Why waste energy talking about gossip? Because there is a growing need to reexamine our culture in hopes to discover those precious gems of life; to embrace culture from within and find those important things that truly enhances the life of the individual. Such a realization sets out to evangelize culture through two methods: from within and without.

Through the instruments of faith and reason the mind can discern the moments of grace manifested within culture. These spectacles of truth can often go unnoticed in the midst of unimportant things unless given proper recognition. This method intends to evangelize the culture from within thereby adhering to the call of a New Evangelization that reads the signs of the time. However, an equally important counterpart to this New Evangelization not only deciphers the important things from within but speaks about those truths found outside any individual culture. By transcending a particular culture and calling upon the eternal truths expressed by means of the Church and the light of reason, the responsibility of spreading the Gospel and redeeming the culture rest in the hearts of a people awaiting the Parousia.

Often, the vast sea of non-important things drowns the advocates of Truth. Much ciphering takes place before exposing the truth ingrained at the heart of the community. Within the community, every person has a valid insight into reality by the nature of their own experiences. Reality is greater than the any individual mind can know. Each person is a part of reality and therefore a part of the whole. Each person does have a capability of contemplating the whole (animals do not) and thereby offer a subjective perspective on reality without objectively comprehending the whole of reality. This does not mean that the community can invent or create Truth. However, we are called to collectively work together in seeking the Truth and participating in its reality. Life is full of beauty and meaning, and I encourage people to share their insight so that I may too learn what they have to offer. By journeying and journaling together, hopefully this blog may inspire greater knowledge and love of God than any of us could have obtained individually. Truth is a communal affair and calls us to greater unity and brotherhood. In arguing for the important things in life, I believe there are three types of people that argue: those who argue for the sake or arguing, those who argue because they like to hear themselves argue, and those who argue to seek the Truth. I consider myself in the last category. And by "argue" you can easily substitute it with the word "dialogue". I believe Truth is of the utmost importance. We should search for the Truth and rejoice in the day we find it."