After watching When Harry Met Sally, Jenn and I made our way to our Netflix account to make some new additions and,unbeknownst to us, get pulled into a Sesame Street time-warp. We started off with the Honker-Duckie-Dinger Jamboree, watched the Yipping Martians talk with a telephone and then land at Old MacDonalds Farm. Finally Grover waited on his ever-victimized-patron, assaulting him with a Giant Hamburger.
It's amazing how watchable the old Sesame Street is. If you compare it with anything offered up on kids television today, including Sesame Street, you can't help but notice the lack of quality. It's like they're not even trying anymore. What is worse is that more children are being left infront of the television than ever before. Garbage in, garbage out.
THe new Harry Potter trailer is now on the internet, and judging from the last few films, I'm beginning to harbor a growing suspicion that this movie will fail to come through and even meet my expectations. There is much wisdom in deciding to make book 7 into several movies.
Also, Harry is starting to resemble Sweeny Todd... Odd.
I'd like to introduce Anthony. He is local to New Zealand and we have far too many acquaintances in common to have never met/been in the same hemisphere. For those in the know, his mentioning of Bob Barr was completely unprompted despite the fact that Barr will probably walk away with my vote during this election. In case you missed it, check out Kiwifruit Political.
David, a good friend, sent this article to me earlier today. It marks the 40th anniversary of Humanae Vitae's promulgation by Paul VI. Besides being an amazing historical witness of the greatest hemorrhage of the church since the Reformation, Cardinal Stafford stands as a witness that the love and redemption of Christ is intentional, selfless, sacrificial and fruitful and our response to it, if we are serious about following Him, should be the same.
Humanae VitaeThe Year of the Peirasmòs - 1968By Cardinal James Francis Stafford
“Lead us not into temptation” is the sixth petition of the Our Father. Πειρασμός (Peirasmòs), the Greek word used in this passage for ‘temptation.’, means a trial or test. Disciples petition God to be protected against the supreme test of ungodly powers. The trial is related to Jesus’s cup in Gethsemane, the same cup which his disciples would also taste (Mk 10: 35-45). The dark side of the interior of the cup is an abyss. It reveals the awful consequences of God’s judgment upon sinful humanity. In August, 1968, the weight of the evangelical Πειρασμός fell on many priests, including myself.
It was the year of the bad war, of complex innocence that sanctified the shedding of blood. English historian Paul Johnson dubs 1968 as the year of “America’s Suicide Attempt.” It included the Tet offensive in Vietnam with its tsunami-like effects in American life and politics, the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Memphis, Tennessee; the tumult in American cities on Palm Sunday weekend; and the June assassination of Senator Robert F. Kennedy in southern California. It was also the year in which Pope Paul VI issued his encyclical letter on transmitting human life, Humanae Vitae (HV). He met immediate, premeditated, and unprecedented opposition from some American theologians and pastors. By any measure 1968 was a bitter cup.
If this blog were Gotham and I had any martial ability or physical grace I would be the new Batman in town. You could say I'm Bruce Wayne come to plow up the conventional and plant confused mixed metaphors. I am the kiwifruit from left field.
I thought I would start my mission of blog subversion (I think it really should be Marigold Blog Journalism...) with some international perspective on the American Presidential Race:
The world loves Obama? No, the world hates Bush and Obama looks and acts very differently. We don't know anything about him really other than he's young, not bad looking, actually articulate and says "change" a lot and everyone knows that change is just always awesome (like the current change from prosperity to depression). Sure we haven't looked at him deeply enough to realise his policies are only minor tweaks away from the status quo, but then neither have most Americans.
Of course with the media frenzy surrounding Obama we could be forgiven for forgetting that there is some white guy with matching hair from another party running as well. Yes Bob Barr deserves media attention too you know! It may come as a shock to many Americans that there can be more parties than just two but in other countries like mine there is a wide range of choice. American political history for more than a century has been a ball toss between two large corrupt political parties, each time with the voters expecting election promises to be fulfilled and being sorely disappointed. Repeating the same action again and again and expecting different results is one definition of insanity... why not try something else then?
This weekend saw something unprecedented. I turned off my phone, I put away the computer and I didn't miss them (much). I've got to face the fact that I am never going to have the time that I would like to be the kind of husband and father that I would like to be. I'm trying to work on finding ways to maximize the time that I have with Jenn and JP3 while reorganizing my schedule to reflect the fact that my vocation is tied up intimately with them, not as an employee of whatever INC. I happen to be getting a check from. One takes precedence over the other. My latest offering to that cause was to unplug for a weekend and try and spend some extra time and care on my wife.
It turns out that Jenn and I are dating more now, post-baby, than we ever have before. When we were dating, we were like a married couple-staying in and watching videos-now we are more like a dating couple-going to restaurants and movies. Saturday nights offerings involved the Amsterdam Café and Hancock.
The food was great and the movie was refreshing. It wasn't something that is going to walk away with an Oscar, but who cares? It wasn't an attempt at film-as-art. It was a Bum-as-Hero movie and it made it work while not giving anyone nightmares. Oh, and I haven't mentioned it yet, today, but my wife is hot. Seriously.
Post-date Jenn and I sat out on the deck of the hotel where we were staying(we had the same room from the night that we got married) talking over cherry coke and gummy worms. We decided that the Gummy Bear franchise was much more valuable than the gummy worms could ever have been.
All in all, it was a great weekend. The final capstone was running into the freshly-ordained Fr. Neil "Dobbs" at the Cathedral. I'm glad to see that he is beginning his priestly ministry and doing so around the corner from my apartment.
Friday Morning I listened to the second half of Andy Stanley's sermon on cheating. He is taking his references from the book of Daniel, essentially a young man who is forced to choose between his "employer" (master, more accurately) and his God. He had to decide between risking his life and risking his soul. Now, I've never been put in a situation where I had to choose between my soul and my neck, but I have had to choose between my soul and a job, my soul and a relationship, my soul and a drink, and I've had to choose between my soul and a lifestyle. More often than I care to admit, I've chosen the wrong option, but even when I haven't, the decision is difficult.
I was reading a book, the chapter that I was flipping through talked about St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, and came across one of the statements from his companions that his early life had been marked by possessing the faith but never fully applying it. He never really smoked what he was selling until his famous conversion in the hospitals after being shot by a cannon ball.
Faith, well practiced, usually begins with a buy in. It takes a decision to act and then to take definitive action. Often times this definitive action will hang out out over a ledge and when that has happened to me, I've felt like I've been hung out to dry. But what happens if I hang out over the edge, and I wait, just wait for God to do his thing. The Almighty is in the business of salvation, but I keep saving myself. What happens if you just hold the uneven and difficult ground with no plan to get back to a more stable place?
So in a few different areas of my life, I'm hanging out over the ledge. I look to the mountains. From where does my help come from?