A Priest Forever
What exactly is meant by "laicization"...
With this whole Corapi mess so prevalent possibly the most misused piece of scripture is “You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.” I’ve probably read this 50 times on one of Corapi’s Facebook pages mostly in defense of his “leaving the priesthood.” The issue is this….I don’t think most Catholic’s have a clue what this really means. “A priest forever?” “Laicized” “Leaving the Church” What is it all about? I’ve decided that to write this post in an attempt to explain this so people can understand what is really happening here. I believe if you read this with an open mind and an open heart you’ll realize just how serious it is that John Corapi will no longer be called “Father.”
On the twentieth anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood, Fr. John Corapi announced to the world that he would no longer be called “Father”. According to his order he has requested “laicization.” He will no longer be called “Father” but instead will go by the moniker, “The Black Sheep Dog.”
So, let’s discuss what exactly is meant by this strange word and how it relates to our misused scripture shall we? To understand this we need to go back to the beginning and talk a little bit about what it means to be a priest. We’ll start first with a basic understanding of the Sacrament of Holy Orders. Orders (from the Latin “Ordo”) means an established body with a hierarchy and Holy (meaning to be “set apart for a special purpose) because these “orders” are set apart for the purpose of ministry. When a person has this sacrament conferred upon them they are left with what the Church calls an “indelible mark” (much like we all receive at Baptism). This can NEVER be taken away, hence the name “indelible (something which cannot be removed.)”
So yes, an ordained priest is therefore a priest forever just as the scripture clearly states. However, here’s where it gets a little more confusing….
A person who has received the sacrament of Holy Order becomes a pries (or Deacon) but also becomes a “Cleric” or a member of the Clergy. this signifies that they have entered into then hierarchial structure of the Church and are separate from the laity. As such, according to Canon law, they now have certain rights and responsibilities, or obligations. When a priest requests (as in John Corapi’s case) laicization, they are requesting to no longer be a member of the clergy and hence no longer have these rights and responsibilities. There are two exceptions to this.
1. The priest must still maintain their vow of celibacy and may not marry unless a separate dispensation comes directly from the Pope giving them this permission.
2. They are obliged to hear any deathbed confessions. (That’s how strongly the Church feels about the importance of Reconciliation, but I diverge.)
Many requirements also come with laicization. I copy from Deacon Greg Kandra’s blog who copied from Jimmy Akin’s to give you the below…
1) He can’t celebrate any of the sacraments except for hearing deathbed confessions. It is especially noted that he can’t give homilies.
2) He can’t serve as an extraordinary minister of holy Communion.
3) He can’t serve any “directive office in the pastoral field” (e.g., serving as a parish administrator).
4) He can’t do anything at all in a seminary.
5) He can’t serve as a director or teacher in a Catholic university.
6) He can’t teach theology or any closely related discipline (e.g., religious studies, history of theology) in a non-Catholic university.
7) He can’t serve a director (e.g., school principal) in a parochial school.
8..) He can’t serve as a teacher in a parochial school unless he gets the bishop’s permission.
9) He shouldn’t live in or frequent places where his status as an ex-priest is generally known, unless he gets the bishop’s permission.
So, what does all of this mean in the case of Fr. Corapi? Well, several things. First and foremost, it means that in the case of #1, John Corapi will never say Mass again. Never. Not in public, not in private, not at a conference, not for his family. Never. Wow.
Secondly, it means that he can’t even be a Eucharistic Minister. John Corapi, who once consecrated simple bread and wine into the very body and blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ can now no longer even dispense it to you. Wow.
Lastly, according to number 9 it means that Fr. Corapi cannot even live anywhere in the US or half the other countries in the world without a Bishop’s permission. He is a world renowned preacher and Catholic priest and will now always be known as an ex-priest. Wow.
So, now that we know what exactly it is that he has requested perhaps you can understand why he has lost so many “fans.”
There are several ways this can play out folks….
1. Corapi humbles himself and turns back on this dangerous path and remains a part of the Clergy. (My personal wish for what it’s worth.)
2. Corapi becomes laicized according to his wishes and then seeks a Bishops permission to live in the US and continue to preach. He gets this permission and goes about preaching but never celebrates the Sacraments again.
3. Corapi becomes laicized according to his wishes and then seeks a Bishops permission to live in the US and continue to preach. He does not get this permission but goes about preaching anyway but still (hopefully) never celebrates the Sacraments again.
4. Corapi becomes laicized according to his wishes and then seeks a Bishops permission to live in the US and continue to preach. He does not get this permission and decides in obedience to remove himself from the spotlight and goes to live in a place where they have no idea he is an ex-priest.
So…is John Corapi a priest forever? Yes he is. Have you really known what it meant as you cling to it in hopes that everything will be okay? Hopefully you do now. This is a move of lunacy for John Corapi. In my opinion, it will either lead to him being gone and forgotten and not even a member of the clergy or it will lead into direct disobedience with the Church he professes to love. if you really love John Corapi pray that he returns to the Church. if you really love John Corapi be as hard on him as he has been on us for years. Preach to him with your combat boots on and help him to understand what he is losing here.
Why Good Catholics are "attacking" Corapi...
It’s a curious situation. Across the internet for days a war has been raging and Catholics who were previously thought of as “good” Catholics have been lashing out and railing against the movements of the Black Sheep Dog (or as I like to say, “The Artist formerly known as Fr. Corapi.”)
Take Jimmy Akin for example. Akin is probably one of the best known apologists out there and has inspired thousands with his no nonsense, well thought out blog posts. He has worked for Catholic Answers for years and been affiliated with the National Catholic Register and EWTN. Curiously all of these have a very conservative, orthodox reputation. Now however, Akin is being slandered as crazy, liberal, in league with Corapi’s accuser, stupid, ignorant and more. Amazing how that happened.
Take the case of Mark Shea. Writer of numerous books, well respected Catholic Blogger, affiliated again with the stalwart Catholic Answers. Witness the comments made on his blog when he dared to disagree with Corapi.
Why has this happened? Why are these good Catholics attacking Corapi? Here’s my take for what it’s worth….
Fr. Corapi was always a militant priest. He used military imagery, talked about his military experiences, and in his take no prisoners way he attacked anyone and anything that was in the way of his great Church. He inspired us all so much because he was the butt kicker that we all wanted to be. His loud voice and tough angry features, his famous pointing finger and waving arm. He was like a killer football coach at halftime whipping his team into a frenzy and we loved it! “My mother wears combat boots!” he would yell. Yes! How we reveled in this tough charismatic soldier of a priest.
Here’s the issue…”Live by the sword, die by the sword.”
Fr. Corapi taught us to stand up and fight hard for Mother Church. The world is at war and we need to defend our faith! Why is it any surprise now that we are doing only what he taught us? Corapi has moved against the Church (for whatever reason is irrelevant) and is now actively creating discord within the Church he professed to protect. He is actively speaking out against the Bishops and his fan club is doing the same thing.
This is not something to stand by and watch. As good and faithful Catholics it is time for us to lace up our combat boots, and defend our Church. Being sad that a former warrior on our side is gone and has now moved to the other side is perfectly okay. Praying for his return is wonderful. But as Corapi taught us, now is the time for action, not standing idly by while the enemy attacks. We need to get out there and spread the truth. John Corapi is moving away from His Church, sowing discord and rebellion among it’s members and has abandoned his priesthood so he can remain on a stage. The gloves are off….
The Case Against Corapi
Thoughts on Fr. Corapi et all....
I’ve been following the Fr. Corapi story since it’s inception in March but have only recently started commenting on it. I believe this is a huge moment for the Church and I wanted to share my thoughts. I, like many others, have come out of the closet and started actively commenting on this issue and here’s why….I’m angry! Yes, that’s right. I admit, I am smoking mad and ready to take somebody to the woodshed for a serious beatdown.
For what it’s worth here are my thoughts after the latest Corapi announcement…
John Corapi feels that he needs to continue his public ministry and in fact intends to expand it even. He has expressed that the Dog isn’t done yet. Evidently we are to believe this is the move of The Holy Spirit and not simply a man’s desire to be in the spotlight, so let’s investigate that for a moment.
The Holy Spirit is the moving force behind the Church itself and would never do anything to create discord within the Church. Let’s be clear here, unless the Pope and the Bishops as a whole are in apostasy then they are in charge and the Holy Spirit continues to function within the Church. The Holy Spirit would never, in fact could never be encouraging John Corapi to act in a way which would bring condemnation, attacks and ruin upon His Church. This is impossible and wholly incompatible with the very nature of The Holy Spirit. Therefore, there are two possible scenarios at work here.
The first is that The Catholic Church is in apostasy and The Holy Spirit requires the use of a holy man like John Corapi to bring about a restoration. The second and far more likely scenario is that John Corapi is in serious error and misinterpreting the direction of The Holy Spirit. Be clear on this. Only one of those two scenarios is possible.
Now, let’s move on to Corapi’s intentions. Minutes after his initial Black Sheep Dog post appeared the internet went crazy. Catholic’s started lighting into each other with sarcasm, accusation, personal attacks, name calling and it didn’t stop there. It moved right onto the hierarchy of The Church that Corapi professes to love. People all over facebook and the blogosphere were saying horrible things about the Bishops, (one commenter I read even called them “a-holes”) and said with absolute certainty that they knew Corapi was innocent and that The Church was out to get him. Not to be outdone, anti-Corapi folks sprang up and started their own onslaught of nastiness. Now, once again, there are two possible scenarios here, and only two.
The first is that John Corapi is a wonderful, holy man of God and made a major mistake. If so then while he was reading all of these posts and seeing Catholics turn on each other and on the leadership he would have realized that The Holy Spirit would never want such a thing to happen. He would have immediately addressed it, silenced it by deferring to Mother Church and abandoned his divisive Dog campaign.
The second scenario is that Corapi sat at his ranch and watching all of this unfold, felt vindicated. I can almost see him sitting on his couch lacing his combat boots up yelling in his deep Sean Connery voice, “I’ll show them! Who do they think they’re dealing with here?”
Once again, there is no other possible scenario. The Holy Spirit would never wish this upon the Church, John Corapi can see that it is happening and has done nothing to stop it. Let me be extremely clear here. Even if the Bishops are idiots, the absolute only time The Holy Spirit would allow this is if the Church were in apostasy and needed John Corapi to sort it out.
Ok, let’s say you have read all this and are thinking to yourself, “This guy is full of crap, I just don’t buy it.” In that case, let’s move on.
Fr. John Anthony Corapi had a wonderful story book conversion. It makes for wonderful reading. I remember the first time I heard him speak. I was blown away by the stories. I was blown away by the fact that now he lived his Catholicism in the same extreme way that he had partied. The passion coupled with knowledge and speaking talent was amazing. Think about this though. What is the single greatest thing that this man did? As a Catholic there is only one answer. Do you know what it is? Let me give you a hint….what is the “source and summit” of our faith? If you haven’t figured it out yet, here’s the answer. This gifted, talented man became a priest. In persona Christi he celebrates Mass and consecrates the Eucharist. Once again, let’s be clear. One single priest celebrating the Eucharist one single time is by a long shot infinitely more important than filling a stadium full of people to here someone preach. The absolute most important thing that John Corapi ever did was celebrate the Mass.
I’m not going to pull any punches here. If you do not understand this then you might as well not be Catholic. When we start to believe that our human words hold a candle to the miracle of the Eucharist we are goners…..
So, with that in mind….Corapi’s most recent statement says that nothing will change, he has simply renounced his priestly faculties and to be honest 90% of his ministry was not sacramental in any case. Oh really? Let’s look at that….
According to Canon Law a priest has certain obligations. Here are the two most important….
1.Strongly suggested to celebrate Mass every day.
2.Pray the Liturgy of the Hours daily
Now, as Catholics we believe in obedience to the Church and Corapi has spoken often of it. Therefore, on the day of one of his many stadium filled events Fr. Corapi did three things.
2.Prayed The Liturgy of the Hours.
3.Preached to Thousands.
Incidentally, according to the Catholic Church those three things that he did also happen to be listed in their order of importance. In fact, technically a priest could be a perfectly good priest and never preach! But he cannot be a good priest without the first two.
Back to the Dog and his assertion that 90% of his ministry is not sacramental. Now, let’s say that Fr. Corapi spoke at a conference or a rally everyday (which obviously he did not.) That would still only be 33.3% of his ministry, not 90% as he claims. In fact, for it to be the 90% that he claims, he would need to preach around 18 times a day! Either that or he is not celebrating Mass daily…or perhaps he is and just doesn’t realize how much more important that is than his preaching.
Whatever the case, Corapi is now renouncing his priesthood so he can do the third one. There is nothing Catholic about this act. How could one possibly do this and expect for people to believe their sanity?
People, if you are still following Corapi right now ask yourselves this question? How important are the sacraments in your life? The Catholic Church would not be the Catholic Church without the Sacraments. It would be just fine without preaching….but without the Sacraments it would be no different than Joel Osteen’s mega church…..
John Corapi has given up the most important thing in his life for one reason. He likes to be on stage. He likes to be in front of people and adored. You don’t agree? Let’s take it a step further then…
John Corapi responded in anger at being suspended from his priestly duties. Let’s look at what that entails…actually…let’s look at what it doesn’t entail…..
Even as a suspended priest John Corapi could have celebrated private Masses. That’s right. He could have united himself with the communion of saints, he could have knelt around the throne and sang ‘Holy, Holy,” he could have continued to do the greatest thing that he ever did. He could have prayed and interceded and offered his Masses for his accuser, for the “corrupt” Church leadership, for his “flock,” but he didn’t. He needed the spotlight. And so he is willing to be laicized. What does this mean? It means he will never celebrate the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist again. Take that in for a moment. John Corapi will never consecrate The Eucharist again. What could possibly lead someone to accept that? One word. One deadly sin. One tool of the devil. In five awful letters…pride. John Corapi doesn’t value saying Mass because no one can see him. No one is there to tell him how brilliant he is, to fawn over him, to build his ego up even more. That, my friends is the issue.
If you are still with me at this point I implore you…do not follow this movement of John Corapi. Pray constantly for him to return, but do not follow him. He treads a dark path which can only lead one place and those who follow him will be swept away with him. The Church is your beacon in this darkness. Hold fast to your Church!
7 Quick Takes Vol. 2
Continuing the wonderfullness that is 7QT's Friday...
This is my second edition to Jennifer Fulwiler’s great idea of the 7 Quick Takes Friday. Without further ado…
1. I’ve been working on a lot of Catholic websites lately with my business Kickstart Media and I really love the opportunity to make money to support my family but do work that I really love! The one I am having the most fun at the moment though is a new site for The Sister’s of Charity of Our Lady Mother of the Church (Yeah, I know…it’s a mouthful.) There is just something SO COOL about nuns! (For all you theologians out there, I know there is a difference between nuns and sisters but I really like the word “nuns” so I’m going to use it!)
Anyway, these nuns are just the coolest people I have met! So real, so fun, so holy…it’s inspiring. I’m creating this site and Sister Joan Clare is sending me photos of their folks and I’m seeing this beautiful witness of nuns in habits not only doing “nun things” like praying, worshiping, etc, but also everyday things like paddling a canoe! I contrast this witness of devotion tempered with reality to sisters like Sister Mary Mackey and her order who don’t even look like sisters. In fact they look like the old lady who lives next door to us. Where’s the dang witness ladies? Why can’t there be more young, vibrant nuns walking around in habits witnessing to my daughters how wonderful it is to truly serve the Lord and His Church? Can I get an “Amen???”
If you want to check out the sister’s site in progress it’s here for now…
2. Okay…I confess that Mama and I are huge American Idol fans….we’ve been hooked for years…I don’t know if it’s the former musician in me or the format or what…but we love it. Or should I say…”loved it.” This year has just been horrible. I think with Simon gone to sway the minds of America, we’re truly seeing that the format of this show is just wrong. Young 15 year old girls are voting 17 million times for someone who has no more musical talent than the guy who runs the open mic night down the street. Meanwhile everyone with real talent is getting booted. If you’re an American Idol fan here’s my challenge to you…don’t watch the show next week. Instead turn it on and go in the other room and just listen to it. You’ll be amazed. The people remaining are seriously horrible. In addition, contrast it to last year when we had people like Crystal Bowersox and Lee, or previous years with David Cook and Adam Lambert. These people who so artistically talented and creative it just blew my socks off. I didn’t necessarily like their styles all the time but dang it…they were creative! True art is at an all time low in America right now and it’s sad to me that a show with so much power can’t use that platform to promote really creative and inspiring art. Here’s in my opinion the best that American Idol had to offer this year. Like ‘em or Hate ‘em, this dude is seriously talented and seriously creative. No doubt.
3. The chicken coop is in the throes of completion…finally…this was one of those projects that I started with the naive assumption that I knew what I was doing and it would just be a quick and easy one weekend fun project with the kids….epic fail if I do so say myself. There’s so much to building something that I forgot and “remembered” as I was in the middle of the project. Now of course, it’s too late to go back and change things….
However, we’re getting there and I am absolutely going to be done this weekend before it sucks the life from my bones….it’s been a hard thing for me to remain optimistic and happy and still teach the kids that even though some things are much harder than you thought, you need to stick to it and finish what you started… by next week they’ll either be pictures of a newly finished Casa for these darn chickens or a picture of a smoldering ruin of wood and wire in the yard and a newly cooked meal of something a la chicken…
4. The darn weedwacker is broken. This is one of those tools I don’t think about often and don’t use very much. I just assume it will work when I need it to and it usually does. However, last week I noticed things were getting a bit untidy and I decided to get the implement of destruction out and go to work. No dice baby. So I bring it to the repair shop and find out it’ll take 10 days to fix at least. No problem, I think…the grass grows slowly, it’ll be fine. Oh no…of course not. The little grass growing gremlins living underneath my yard think it’s a perfect time to get to work now that my weapon is out of commission. I swear the grass grew an inch a day! What is up with that? Now the yard is a total overgrown mess! Why do things like that always happen….
5. So Josie hates piano lessons…Mama and I are both super happy with her teacher and she is learning a lot! But it’s very regimented (her teacher is a Russian Immigrant and teaches European style), and Josie is really chafing at it. I want my kids to learn music and develop these skills but I also want them to develop a LOVE for it and have it always be a consolation, an inspiration, a creative outlet for them. I’m torn….do I make her stick with the lessons and continue to develop her skills but at the possible cause of her hating music or do I let her quit and not have the skills but still love music? Tough one…
6.This is one of the funniest and coolest things ever. I wish I could grow a mustache like these…
7. It’s Friday the 13th. I don’t really get into superstition and horror slasher flicks so I’ll leave you instead with some great music!
We build a soda bottle water rocket....
Okay so the other day I was reading my friend Jennifer Fulwiler’s blog post and saw that her husband and sons had built a water rocket out of pvc pipe and a 2 liter soda bottle that allegedly shot hundreds of feet into the air. I had to try it….
This morning the kids and I and some of their friends went out for a trip to Home Depot and built ourselves a rocket. If you’re looking for an awesome summer project with your kids that even the most inept Dad can build successfully then THIS IS IT! $20 in parts + 15 minutes of labor = more fun than I have seen the kids have in a coon’s age!
The only thing you’ll need on hand besides the cheap parts is some empty 2 liter soda bottles and a bicycle pump.
Tutorial Videos we followed…
A simple rustic italian desert with a special twist...
A Crostata is simply an Italian pastry traditionally filled with berries. They’re very easy to make and super delicious! We made our with the addition of cream cheese which gave it a rich wonderful flavor and served it with homemade whipped cream! Yum!
We were looking for quick and easy tonight so we started with ready made puff pastry sheets which are perfect for this kind of desert. You can put anything you want into the filling; here’s how we did it:
- 1 bag of frozen blueberries
- 2 packs of cream cheese
- 1/4 cup of flour
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 2 tablespoons of melted butter
- 1/4 of water
- 1 tablespoon of cinnamon
- Puff Pastry Sheets
- 1 Egg
- Mix together all of the ingredients except the egg and Puff Pastry sheets.
- Stir until they are well mixed, if it’s too thick add a little water, if it’s too thin add a little flour.
- Spoon some of the mixture onto the center of the pastry sheets and then bring up all the edges of the sheet towards the center. You can crimp it together in the center if you want or simply leave it open.
- Crack your egg and whip it quickly and then brush the pastry with the egg mixture (you can use milk instead of egg if you want). This will give it that golden brown bakery style look.
- Bake it in a 400 degree oven until golden brown (about 15-20 minutes).
- Slice and serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream!
The 26 Minute Dinner
What the Chefs cook on busy weeknights...
A lot of folks se our cook night meals and think we cook like this all the time. Not so…hey I mean really…we have eight kids…we’re lucky if we get dinner on the table by bedtime some nights! There are many times when we default to the tried and true boxed Mac and Cheese, frozen chicken fingers or whatever. We do try and always cook something and we attempt to give the kids as much responsibility as possible.
We decided to showcase one of those “We need dinner in 30 minutes or less, while you cook dinner we’ll drive your brother to play practice, sign your sisters homework and then be back just in time to site down for dinner” nights. One of the kids favorite meals to eat also happens to be really quick, completely delicicious and is something that one kid chef can easily do all by themselves! Here’s Jacob showcasing “Linguine with Clam Sauce” which actually only took him 26 minutes from start to finish!
7 Quick Takes Friday
Jumping on the Bandwagon with Conversion Diary...
This is my first edition to Jennifer Fulwiler’s great idea of the 7 Quick Takes Friday. Without further ado…
1. I’m making Beef Wellington tonight with the kids in honor of the Royal Wedding. It’s one of their favorite things to eat and it’s one of my favorite things to cook. (Mainaly because there are a lot of relatively easy steps to keep lots of little hands busy.) Actually, I don’t give a hoot about The Royal Wedding (or anything England does for that matter) but it’s a good excuse to celebrate with a wonderful British classic! Stay posted for pictures of the event….
2. So a friend that also happens to be a client is coming over today to work on a website and was having an issue finding childcare for her new baby. We love babies here and so I said, “Bring him!” We went through the whole “No, I couldn’t impose” bit but in the end she’s bringing the baby. I told Mama about it and she was just ecstatic! She started running around the house picking things up that weren’t baby friendly, making sure the floors were clean in case he crawled around on them, closing low cupboards and moving any perilous things out of them . I haven’t see her like this in years….
I too was really excited to get my hands on a real baby. We realized that now that our youngest is 4 it’s just been forever since we had a tiny little baby in the house and just how much we miss it. Our kids are growing up so fast…
3. I’m very excited about the beautification of JP2 on Divine Mercy Sunday! It’s bittersweet though. I love Texas but I’m originally from Stockbridge, MA which is the home to The National Shrine of Divine Mercy. This weekend’s celebration will bring 18,000+ pilgrims to my home town to celebrate the feast and the beatification. I miss home. I wish so badly that I could be there sharing that event with my family and all those faithful Catholics! I’ll be praying here and joining them through the Communion of Saints… In honor of this day I wrote up a post for how to change your Facebook profile to honor JP2.
4. We’re building a Chicken Coop this weekend for our little hens and now that Mama knows I am getting tools out all of a sudden there is a list…Now I’m repairing a fence, constructing a new fence and probably a bunch more stuff that I don’t know about yet. I new there was a reason I hid behind my desk all day! Truly, I’m looking forward to being outside working with the kids…
5. We met another family recently that has a ton of kids also. It’s been really cool because all of their kids are the same ages as ours and so everyone gets a playmate. So today Melissa calls me and says something like, “I don’t want to offend you or anything but can I invite my kids over to your house today? If it’s a problem they can all come here but they really want o come to your house.” Of course I said, “Sure!” but the funny thing is that she did it. I totally love that and I’ve wanted to do that so many times before! Instead of tiptoed around with language and tried to get what I wanted through subtlety. I love that we’re finding friends who can just say it like it is and dispense with the formalities! Bring ‘em over anytime Melissa!
6. I’m trying to teach myself piano. It’s slow going but I’m slowly picking it up. It’s been one of my lifelong goals and everytime I hear someone good play I have a renewed zeal to learn it myself. I’ve started to get my right hand down pretty good but can only hit octaves on my left hand. I don’t read music and I don’t want to learn to so I’m kind of stuck with just learning by ear or with video instruction. Anyway I found a great resource lately that I wanted to share if anyone is in the same boat as me…
7. I leave you today with a quote in preparation for Divine Mercy Sunday: “Whoever approaches the Fountain of Life on this day will be granted complete forgiveness of sins and punishment.”(Diary, 300). If you are not familiar with the Divine Mercy Message and St. Faustina do yourself a favor and read up on it. Powerful stuff. This weekend hit confession and Mass, you won’t regret it.
Pope Facebook Trick…
Here's how you can honor JP2 on Facebook...
It seems only fitting that we honor JP2 through Facebook as he was the Pontiff who excelled at using the media for so many years! With that in mind, here are directions for getting your Facebook Profile to display a collage of pictures showing your support for Blessed JP2′s beatification this Sunday (Divine Mercy Sunday.)
Download the photos at the bottom of this post and retain their labels (pope1, pope2, etc). You should have five small photos each 97px by 68px in size. In addition you should have a profile picture that is 180px by 521px in size.
Go to your Facebook Profile page and upload the photos in order starting with pope1.jpg. As you upload each photo tag yourself in the photo and publish it to your feed. When you finish with each of the five small photos upload popeprofile.jpg as your new profile picture. That’s all! Your profile should now look like this:
Here are the pics:
My Xbox Spirituality
Formerly an Xbox, now I'm a Wii...
We decided to break down two years ago and get a game system for the kids. After a lot of research I selected the Ninteno Wii. The graphics were pretty weak, it didn’t have as many games as the Xbox 360 and it didn’t really appeal to the older kids as much however what I really liked was the Nintendo name and what it stood for. All of the reviews said the same thing, namely that this was the dreadnought of all game systems, it would not break or need repairs and it would work forever. Maybe not as flashy and cool, but steady and unwaveringly doing it’s job. My older kids really wanted the Xbox 360 that all of their friends had, they wanted the flashier games and the fancy graphics. So for this Christmas I finally broke down and got the Xbox…
Well, yesterday the new, fancy XBox broke. I guess it was really cool while it lasted. So now we’ve got a fancy, flashy Xbox that needs a $200 repair gathering dust on the shelf while the steady trusty Nintendo Wii is still trudging on working just fine. My guess is that if I fix this XBox or replace it then it’ll break again and the Wii will still be running!
So, I was reflecting on this issue, sorting through my frustration and I began to think about my spiritual journey. Mama and I had very strong emotional conversions about 15 years ago that completely changed our lives. Our clothes, changed, our habits changed, our language changed…everything. I started going to Mass 7 times a week, prayed my Rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet daily, read the Bible all the time, watched Scott Hahn scripture study tapes, and earnestly and aggressively evangelized anyone I came in contact with. In short, I was one of those annoying, fresh converts of Catholicism. Well intentioned, fervent, on fire, but really just slightly annoying.
As life progressed we starting having children and it became busier and busier. As well our emotional spiritualism began to wane. 7 days of Mass a week became 4, The Rosary and The Chaplet became just The Rosary, and Mass was less of a quiet spiritual haven with screaming, fidgety, Cherrio eating babies in our arms. We loved our life but started to feel as though we were slacking off spiritually which in turn made us feel rotten about ourselves. Instead of going out armed with my “Have you called your Mother in Decades” Mary T-shirt and sporting my brown scapular hanging inside my shirt (but out enough for folks to know I was wearing it) I preferred anonymity, instead of evangelizing others I felt that I was a hypocrite for doing so and preferred to just wallow in my own spiritual wretchedness. Through the years we’ve been up and down spiritually but never really regained that passionate, emotional zeal that we started with. I’ve missed it! I’ve begged God for it back, but to no avail.
About two weeks ago I took my two oldest sons, Jamison and Jacob, to a Youth 2000 retreat with the Franciscan Friars of the renewal. This was the retreat that I had had my initial conversion on and I was excited that they wanted to go. While we were there I hit the confession line in the same sort of fashion I had been doing it over the years. “I’m here Lord, not feeling it right now, but know I need to do it, so here we go again…same old sins.” I sat down with one of the friars and everything changed. He alternately hammered me down and then helped me up, telling me that I was being too hard on myself then telling me to get to work. It was just what I needed. Basically the gist of it was…
Just like that Nintendo Wii. Day in, day out it works. It aint flashy, but when you hit the power button it comes on and it does what it’s designed to do. I was an XBox before, all flash and no substance. I’m slowly turning into that stalwartly steady Wii. Thanks God.
*note: The following video is in here for a bit of light humor. I’m sure some will find it controversial- get over yourselves. It’s funny.