Thursday, March 29, 2007

Indefensible Motherhood

Another Crisis magazine contributor, David Warren, has an excellent essay on motherhood. He very adeptly points out such a great tragedy of modernity, that motherhood needs a defense. I find it particularly revealing that the great thinkers of the past felt no need to defend motherhood. Motherhood is so obviously wonderful that tremendous social upheavals are necessary to dethrone it, even without an organized defense.

I pray for the day when Motherhood (and life) are self-evident again.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

"One and Done" or "Two and Through"

It has been a long time since I encountered the common prejudice against children. The statements above floored me when my wife recounted them to me. We had our yearly eye exam, the first since our recent stork delivery, and the doctor asked if we were, "Two and through?" My wife kindly responded that we hoped to have more children in the future and the doctor revealed that he and his wife were, "One and done." I was disgusted to hear this attitude, all the more so since I really like our eye doctor and respect his professional opinion. But furthermore, I was reminded about my paternal grandparents who were brave enough to have six children. If they had thought like this doctor, I would not even be here since my dad was number six.

I can't help but get indignant at the thought that my uncles, aunt, and father were a burden as children since they were numbers three, four, five, and six. I have seen the joy they have brought to the world. Heck, I'm part of the joy my dad brought into the world. And the world is a brighter place because of them.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Chastity... the first political principle

Many thanks to Dawn Eden for providing a link to this article on General Pace's recent statement. Buy her book! I plan on doing it soon.

I have read Robert R. Reilly before in Crisis magazine but this piece floored me. It restores my hope in the world that there are men like this out there.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

All the King's Men

An excellent new apostolate has started here in Pennsylvania, The King's Men. They gave a talk about how to be a real man on my Men's Retreat at The Malvern Retreat House.

"What is a real man?" is a question that has plagued me since my re-evangelization in college. I have a wealth of examples in my own earthly life, including my father and the headmaster of my high school, Fr. Shea. I also have the heavenly examples of Jesus Christ, St. Francis of Assisi, and St. Joseph. However, I am a very cerebral person and, while examples are illuminating, I need words and ideas to help understand manhood. This is where The King's Men excelled. Their descriptions of masculinity jibe with everything I feel is right. Their presentation uses powerful examples from Braveheart and Gladiator to good effect. They are from my generation and speak in a way that is easy for me to understand. Most importantly, their work is grounded in the Theology of the Body so it will change the world. I hope to learn more about them and to work with them in the future. Maybe they need an NFP consultant?

Monday, March 19, 2007

Happy Feast Day ....Mom!

So, today is the Feast of St. Joseph patron of many good things and this little corner of the Internet. Consequently, it is the feast of my mother and my aunt (Josephine), both of whom I love tremendously. May there be many more feast days in their futures!

Despite the dedication to such great women, I want to post on the manhood of Saint Joseph and how he is a model to follow. I am currently reading Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters a book which I will review on this blog in the future. However, the most salient point I have learned so far is that fathers should be doers. This point is also reinforced by The King’s Men, a group dedicated to re-discovered authentic manhood. They are a group I esteem highly and who I will also post on in the future.

St. Joseph is the perfect biblical example of this since he has no recorded speaking in the entirety of Sacred Scripture. He merely goes about the business of doing God’s will. When God tells him not to divorce Mary, he takes her into his home. When an Angel appears and says to flee to Egypt, he prepares the donkey.

I am thankful for his example, not only because it consecrates my inability to sit still for long, but because it reminds me that the great gift of life is epitomized in service to others.

Saturday, March 17, 2007


I haven't really followed the hullabaloo over Sean Hannity's statement that he sees nothing wrong with contraception. I didn't even know that he was a Catholic until this happened. I am saddened that a known figure squandered a wonderful opportunity to talk about Natural Family Planning to a national audience.

However, I am happy to read Father Thomas Euteneuer's statement, "The battle is not at all between so-called liberals and conservatives. The poster boy for conservative values has just gone on record admitting that he is—obstinately—in denial of a truth of the Faith that must be believed, as the Catechism says, "with divine and catholic faith" (n. 2089). "Liberal" and "conservative" values must all be held up to scrutiny by the Church because no political ideology has the charism of infallibility. Only Christ's Vicar has that. Rather, the internecine battle within our own Church is between those who believe in objective right and wrong and those who believe that they, individually, are the arbiters of right and wrong."

I always need the reminder not to trust earthly princes, but to trust the Lord.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Test post

This is a test of the e-mail blogger system. This is only a test.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Bedtime Songs

I have always wondered what people did for bedtime songs. I love singing and I was even on pitch once or twice and it seems a traditional way to calm down a child. However, I have always wanted to have my own songs to sing instead of just using the same ones my parents did. We first chose "Amazing Grace" since I figured it was useful to have a song which the grandparents and other babysitters would know. I also wanted Maria to know some of her Protestant heritage and songs seemed appropriate.

Even before official bedtime songs, I was singing "When You Dream" by the BareNaked Ladies to Maria when I changed her diapers. I wanted to learn "Goodnight, My Angel" by Billy Joel but it was too forced. I just don't like it enough. Recently, I've been trying to add more to the repertoire so that I don't have to sing the same thing every night. A future seminarian, who shall remain nameless, gave me the idea of singing "His Cheeseburger" from VeggieTales. This is the only Silly Song which I know by heart and it is also the only one which is quiet enough to induce sleep. I just don't see "The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything" leading to sleep.

Any suggestions?

Saturday, March 10, 2007

The Mrs.

Meandering along the digital highway brought me to this article. This is exactly how I would love to write. I also feel a kinship with the author since one of my initial reasons for being a responsible young man was to rebel against my generation of rebels. I am thankful that I have passed beyond that rebellion.

In case anyone is concerned, I have checked with my wife and she is fine with being referred to as the Mrs.

Friday, March 9, 2007

If it ain't broke...

I couldn't help but laugh at the picture on this page which details the problems associated with vasectomy. The site is secular in nature, so it favors contraception, but I am always glad to have another ally in the fight against sterilization.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Double your pleasure

Now that I have overheard it in the cubicle maze, I feel safe to make a gross generalization.

Having two children is no harder than having one.

I thought this may only have been true among my glorious pro-life friends but I felt safer to make the claim now that I heard it from the public at large. As a general rule, I assumed that all of my co-workers have the general worldview, so if we both agreed to the above proposition, it must have been correct.

Jen and I have discovered that the adjustment to the first child was tremendous in comparison to the second child. The two problems were organizing our house and organizing our heads. Our house needed to be drastically reorganized when Maria was born so that we had room for the changing table, diapers, stroller, playpen, co-sleeper, high chair, and 3 cubic tons of toys. Although we prepared tremendously for childbirth, we had prepared less for childrearing so we had many discussions about co-sleeping, vaccines, scheduling, introduction of solids, breastfeeding, growth curves, and poop color (my personal favorite). Once all this organization had occurred, it was easy to add Amelia to the family. She only required a bit of extra time since our house and heads were organized well. We had the tools and the plans already available, we only needed to act on them.

Of course, we also have a 2 year old "big helper" to help us with things like throwing away diapers and putting away toys. It's amazing how relaxing a minute can be when your littlest one is content in a new diaper and your oldest is occupied by trying to open a diaper pail.