Monday, January 31, 2005

Litany of St. Joseph!

Perhaps the best penance ever given. Wretches, check out the line I put in bold....

Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.
Jesus, hear us. Jesus, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of Heaven,
have mercy on us.
God, the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Spirit,
have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us. pray for us.
Holy Mary, pray for us (continue saying this after each name for St. Joseph)

St. Joseph,
Renowned offspring of David,
Light of Patriarchs,
Spouse of the Mother of God,
Chaste guardian of the Virgin,
Foster father of the Son of God,
Diligent protector of Christ,
Head of the Holy Family,
Joseph most just,
Joseph most chaste,
Joseph most prudent,
Joseph most strong,
Joseph most obedient,
Joseph most faithful,
Mirror of patience,
Lover of poverty,
Model of artisans,
Glory of home life,
Guardian of virgins,
Pillar of families,
Solace of the wretched,
Hope of the sick,
Patron of the dying,
Terror of demons,
Protector of Holy Church,
Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world. have mercy on us.
He made him the lord of his household. And prince over all his possessions.
Let us pray. O God, in your ineffable providence you were pleased to choose Blessed Joseph to be the spouse of your most holy Mother; grant, we beg you, that we may be worthy to have him for our intercessor in heaven whom on earth we venerate as our Protector: You who live and reign forever and ever. Amen.

Thursday, January 27, 2005


I'm tired, ok? Tired of arguing with people just like me. That's the problem with the world: me and all the people out there just like me.

We mean well, of course. We are prideful, we think we're right about everything. "No, no, of course I'm not right about everything, I'm human!" That's what we all say. And we really do believe it in our minds, and when we go to confession, we really feel it and know it in our hearts as well. But we sure don't act like it. We can find fault with most people we encounter, although we very easily overlook not only our own faults but those of the people we love the most. They can do no wrong, or rather, we know that when they do wrong, they don't mean it.

Join with me now, let's say the litany of humility (abridged to the parts I have memorized):

Jesus, meek and humble of heart, hear me.

From the desire to be loved, Jesus deliver me
From the desire to be esteemed,
From the desire to be admired,
From the desire to be praised,
From the desire to be noticed,
From the desire of being preferred to others,
From the desire of being consulted,
From the desire of being approved,

From the fear of being humiliated,
From the fear of being despised,
From the fear of suffering rebuke,
From the fear of being forgotten,
From the fear of being ridiculed,
From the fear of being calumniated,
From the fear of being wronged,
From the fear of being suspected,

That others may be loved more than I, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it
That others may be esteemed more than I,
That in the opinion of the world others may increase and I may decrease,
That others may be chosen and I set aside,
That others may be praised and I unnoticed,
That others may be preferred to me in everything,
That others may become holier than I, provided I become as holy as I should,

Warning: Praying this daily leads to countless humiliations and realizations of your WRETCHEDNESS! Be brave. Be wretches.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005


Don't look at me yet!! eeeeeek!!! I just "applied" to join a webring of awesome Catholics but I'm unprepared! I didn't realize... forgive me... I will have to think of something witty and devout to write about in the next hour. And figure out some HTML! eeeeeeeeee! Just ignore me, nice stranger who is now reading this, because I need to avoid becoming addicted to this, and there's just still something strange about this whole thing, even though I enjoy reading them....

I guess being a JPII-er is really soaking in... this technology itself is kind of an evil. Like a miniature structure of sin.

So since you, dear stranger, will probably be the only stranger to read this, I will tell you a bit of what we have been discussing in classes here, and you can ponder it.

(For further reading: George Grant, Wendell Berry, David S. Schindler)

What is technology?

In America, we say that all this stuff we have is just that: Stuff. It's how you use it that can make it a problem. We have television: It's fine, even great (history channel!) but it can be used in the wrong way, we say. We have computers and the internet, which are wonderful, but again can be used in the wrong way.

"Technology is the ontology of our age." (Grant) It is everything to us. It is our mode of being. Ever since that crazy Enlightenment, we've been out to mess with the world, control it, make it do our bidding, rather than to see it as a gift. Yes, it is a gift we can work with. But that should not be our first thought. When many people see trees, they see paper... firewood... money. They do not think, "Wow, this tree is beautiful for its own sake" if there would be a material advantage to getting rid of it.

So what is our world of technology teaching us?

  • If you want to learn about anything, just type it into Google. In other words: The acquisition of information should be instantaneous. You do not have to work to know. You do not have to go to the library and use your body, smell the dusty volumes of the encyclopedia, and get glorious paper cuts. In fact, our bodies have nothing to do with learning or thinking.
  • I should always be entertained. I do not need a long attention span, either. In fact, it's better if I don't because the commercial breaks won't be so annoying.
  • Communication has nothing to do with the body. Someone can really and truly know me by reading my blog, if all I am is my thoughts... but I'm not a ghost in a machine. There is something really important in actually being in the presence of the other.
  • I should be connected to everyone, anytime, anywhere. How many of us have felt cut off from the world because we were away from our email for a week, or even less? Who feel suddenly vulnerable to car accidents if we discover we do not have our cell phone with us? I'm guilty, here, people, I'm just saying... it's not good. We're addicted.
  • I can get anything I want without any human interaction. I don't have to speak to anyone. I don't have to make small talk with the clerk as my credit gets approved. A few clicks and a couple days, and what I want will be delivered to my own home. I can even track it online. No more is there an element of adventure, unpredictability. Everything goes just as I plan it.
  • Silence is bad. There is noise everywhere... the radio is on in the car, the tv goes on as soon as we get home; we wake up in the morning to harsh beeping. But God speaks to us in the silence. I don't think silence has ever been the easiest thing, but our culture certainly cultivates noise. Kids seem get antsy after about 2.5 minutes of silence in a chapel.

There are more, but I'm tired. That's another thing- these things are bad for your eyes... now all I have to do is figure out how to kick the addiction.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Good Books

Well, I guess a good place to start would be listing my most-recently-read books:

Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry
The story of a small-town barber, who remains faithful to a woman he never marries, and witnesses the changing agriculture with sadness. Well there's a lot more to it, but I pick out what I liked best, of course. Berry is a very interesting author, who does not use a computer to do his work and lives on a farm in Kentucky. He knows farming and he knows people.

The Miracle Detective by Randall Sullivan
Excellent piece of work by a contributing editor to Rolling Stone who undergoes a conversion while investigating the apparitions in Medjugorje. He gives a lot of the history of the area and tells the story of the children's visions and all the tests they have undergone. He also goes to the Vatican to look into how they determine a miracle has taken place for beatifications. It's all very well written and interesting!

Padre Pio: Man of Hope
Ok, so this man was a saint. ha. Reminder to us all that saints are lights for us, not the only way to become holy-- I didn't start seeing the Virgin Mary when I was 5! (or ever for that matter)

The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton
How could you not love anything by Chesterton?

Prayer: The Great Conversation by Peter Kreeft
Also a big fan of his. The most important thing about prayer is to do it. Amen!