Wednesday, December 28, 2011

On the Fourth Day of Christmas . . .

Of Course a Child
Of course a child, low, begotten grace
in cattle straw, naked, small, our sole reprieve.
And then, a child again, to recognize His face,
to watch for stars, hear angels, and believe.
Humbled be, as humbled He, heaven’s happy choice.
Awaken wonder. Hope anew. To manger, run. Rejoice!
                                                                  T. Silva, Dec. 2011

Sunday, May 15, 2011


The National Catholic Register's Twitter account was hacked and deleted last week. A notice at the NCR web page reports the hacking incident and suggests that the NCR Twitter account may not be retrievable and will probably have to be rebuilt - one "Follow" at a time. The bulletin also draws a connection from the First Reading of the previous day, and points out that "sometimes you know you are honoring Christ by those who choose to be your enemy, and by the ways they make their opposition known."

It's true, but I don't always like to think about it. We shouldn't be surprised when we run into opposition as we labor in the daily work of the Gospel. It is difficult to interpret the stress and discouragement with which I struggle as an ataboy pat on the back. A heavy handed, sometimes not charitable pat, but an affirmation just the same. An affirmation that I'm involved in something extraordinary, that my little corner of the local Church is making progress and faithfully carrying forward the Lord's will, especially at those times when every little thing seems to come crashing down. If it's painful, it's probably gainful.

There is definitely an abundance of joy to be found in living the Gospel. We are promised a peace that cannot be attained any other way, a peace beyond human understanding. But we should expect the cross to chafe at times. We may hear jeers instead of cheers after making a great play. We don't always have the home court advantage in this temporal journey, but we shouldn't lose heart. When big time opposition confronts us, we can take that as a big time compliment. If the other guys are double teaming us and constantly throwing fowls in our face,  we must be considered a major threat to score. And we will score, again and again.  And we'll take the free throws too, thank you.

The National Catholic Register suggests that we be ready to Follow them anew when they return to Twitter, and to encourage our friends to Follow as well. I will, and I'd recommend that you do so, even if you didn't before. The National Catholic Register is a great Catholic presence in the abundant fields of social media. They may get hacked again. They will get up again. Jesus already modeled this for us. Pick up the cross and walk on. Oh, and say some prayers for the hackers while you're getting back to your feet.  Jesus would "Like" that.

Friday, February 4, 2011

And Now For Something Completely Different . . .

I've been lagging in the written word of late, but still spending time in creative endeavors. This is a comic I'm pitching to run weekly or monthly on an intranet web site that I'm creating for work. The site is intended to be an online option for our customers problem resolutions.. The trick with the comic is to be funny with an IS/IT theme without making light of our customers problems or our response. I've always enjoyed writing. The drawing is more of a guilty hobby, I call it "Fun with Inkscape."

I've also been producing a comic and blog for my kid's school, Our Lady of Refuge in Long Beach. Go Bears! You can check out the adventures of Reffie Bear and friends HERE.

Still progressing on two novels in whatever spare time I can find. Haven't written any new music this year, but did get an opportunity to play. Spending most time and energy in the center ring of husband\fatherhood parishioner.  St. Expeditus, pray for us.

Friday, January 7, 2011


Wow. Talk about getting birthday presents from your rich uncle. Three Kings show up who hadn't even been included in the Evite. Gold. Frankincense. Myrrh. Can you imagine the discussion between Joseph and Mary as they were still peeking through the window to see who was knocking?

"Camels. They have camels."
"We can't feed all of those camels."
"Has to be the wrong house. Is that tall one wearing a crown?"
"He is. And the little one in back, the one having trouble dismounting. Wait! There's a third, just come round the cistern."
"Kings? Three kings?"
"Cleopus and his Mary are out talking to them now. I hope he doesn't anger them."
"Here. Hold the baby."
"Why? What are you going to do?"
"We have to offer them something. Give the baby to Cleopus and go and draw some water."
"OK. But we're not going to feed the camels. They're knocking again."
"Hurry now. You know, angels came to see him. Why not kings?"
"The angels didn't show up with hungry camels. Look - now they're into the figs!"

As humble as He arrived, and as humble as He lived, the world just couldn't help but take notice. The homage of the foreign kings, and later the palm strewn cheers of the fickle multitude. Alleluia. Hosanna. Come Lord Jesus. Come indeed. Receive the shabbily rewrapped return of Your own merit as gift from us.

This Advent, my two older children came to my wife and I asking what work they could do around the house. They wanted to earn money so that they could buy us Christmas presents. (The youngest is a November baby, and proudly invests her surplus birthday money.) When they were younger, they would just take items from around the house and wrap them. The truth is, the gift is always the act of letting them be the giver.

That's how it is with God. Everything we offer Him, every sacrifice or talent we place before Him, already belongs to Him. He humors us, encourages us to mimic His act of giving, to be the givers, so that we can approach Him, stand right beside those travelling kings from afar, and lay down our gifts. We repurpose the blessings He has given us and set them back before Him. Bright shiny possesions that we were allowed to take as our own just so that we could give them back. A skipped meal or the Sistine Chapel, they are all simply lumpy clay nic nacs with our names scratched into the belly. None should boast or be ashamed. All should give. Like the boy whose small offering of bread and fish fed a multitude. He might of thought afterwords, "Wow. Did I do that?" No. But God does it with us. In us, through us. Let's us play a part.

So, let us go then. Travel afar or near. Bearing gifts. Write a song. Call a friend. Visit a shut in. Feed the hungry. Paint a chapel. Or maybe sit down and pound out a really cool drum beat, and offer that to God. Parum pa pum pum.

Favorite Donut of 2010

You can dip 'em, dunk 'em, bring a box into work and share 'em, but when you wear one, you get my vote.