Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sunday Observations - 5/6/12

It's been a while since I have done one of these, but it's about time, and finally I have time on a Sunday to do one. Let's get to it!

- Twenty-two years ago to this day, I made my First Communion at the 10 AM Mass at Holy Redeemer.  We had been living in Maryland for just a few months, but I had jumped right into the class work and had been caught up.  Originally, we were going to do the group First Communion, but with so many relatives coming in and being limited to one pew for the group, we had it done individually on a Sunday Mass.  

- It's interesting that this is the anniversary of my First Communion, because yesterday I did my training to become an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist.  A few people have said to me along the way in my life that being a faithful Catholic is the true counterculture.  They are absolutely correct.  It's not an easy position in which to be, but with so much that is out of our control in this world, our faith is one of the few things of which we do have control.

- Congratulations to the Nationals for beating the Phillies in the first two games of the series. In May. At home.  In others, big deal.  The season is 162 games and we still have about 135 games to go.  The whole "Take Back Our Park" and "Natitude" campaign for this series reeks of an infantile need to get attention.  There is one cure to eliminate Philly fans from coming and taking over your park - winning consistently.  In other words, one season with 81 wins isn't going to be enough.  And the other thing is - at least win a couple of division titles before giving me crap about domination and all that.  Remember, aside from the Phillies, most of the other NL teams who have been to the playoffs have been one-year-wonders.  See: Giants, Brewers, Dodgers, Mets, Braves.  So don't get too excited just yet.  In other words, stop acting like the football Redskin fans you really are.  Baseball is a totally different animal and most of the "fans" of the Nats are showing their ignorance of the subject.  Harsh? Yes, but it needs to be said.

- Lots of political stuff going on, as Mitt Romney has effectively sealed the Republican nomination for this fall's election.  President Obama has been busy spiking footballs and such lately, but there are lots of ominous signs for him as we move into campaign season proper.  

- The Occupy (Whatever) movement has been back in the news with its Communist-inspired "May Day" "protests", which apparently include conspiracy to bomb bridges in Cleveland. And they say they are peaceful.  As a part of the so-called "99%", they clearly do not represent me in any way, shape, or form.  I don't look for any kind of handouts nor do I want the federal (or state or local) government to take over every aspect of my life.  I want them to do what they are mandated to do in the Constitution - defend our borders, secure our God-given liberties, and generally stay out of the way.

- Speaking of which, the whole Julia thing has been made into the subject of ridicule, as it should have been.  A much better look at what should be done is here.  Of course, if you are a statist (or an Obama supporter), then you won't like what it has to say, because it actually fosters some sort of self-reliance and puts the individual and the family at the center, rather than the state.

- Back to Mass, I really like the settings we have been using for this Easter season.  It is called the Mass of Wisdom, and in reality, anything is better than the Mass of Cremation Creation, which has been a standard for many years in the Church here in America. Thankfully it is being mercifully put down.  It has been about 5-6 months since the introduction of the revisions in the Mass, and only at Easter itself did I see any more awkward misspeaking among those who are not regular attendees of Mass.

- An annoying trend that I have noticed more and more across the board at Mass (with some exceptions): the penchant for priests to elevate the Book of the Gospels longer than they elevate the Eucharist at the consecration.  Last I checked, it is the Eucharist that is the "source and summit" of the Faith, and not a book.  The Eucharist is Christ, whereas the words in the Book of the Gospels only remind us of Christ.  I think there was a rush to try and "balance" the Liturgy of the Eucharist by emphasizing the Liturgy of the Word more, but let's never forget that it is in the Body and Blood of Christ that we are saved, not merely hearing the words.

- Lastly, there are three weeks of class left, plus exams.  May is always an interesting month in which to teach.  Kids can smell the end.  Teachers can smell the end, and yet, as with so many things, the one who finishes strongly is the one who succeeds - sort of like hitting foul shots in the final two minutes of the game; no matter how tired you are, they have to be made in order to win.  I've seen way too many kids falter down the stretch because they rest on their laurels and mail it in.  Life works that way too, unfortunately.

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