The Real Fight

Someone was commenting earlier today that it seems even the PG-13 movies are more violent and suggestive than a few decades ago. It seems our culture, for all it’s development and all the seemingly “liberal” notions in ascendency nowadays, the culture has gotten more violent and more coarse. What can we attribute this apparent cultural “slide” to? Well, for me, it seems to be a loss of the ability to actually value…

I’M Not Prejudiced! (Am I?)

“Prejudices, it is well known, are most difficult to eradicate from the heart whose soil has never been loosened or fertilised by education: they grow there, firm as weeds among stones.” CHARLOTTE BRONTE, Jane Eyre Prejudice is always the ugly counterfeit to true discernment and good judgement. But we humans all too often confuse these realities to our own detriment. As a man who has grown up in the American South, I…

The Shepherd and the Hireling

If you’ve ever hired a babysitter, then you know that sinking feeling any new parent has when they leave their child with someone new. In fact, there was a recent story in them paper about a family whose pet dog started growling and barking at the babysitter the family used to watch their infant child. Whenever the babysitter would come to sit with the baby the dog acted very aggressive toward her. This…

Give Till It Makes You Happy

The old saying is “give till it hurts.” But that isn’t actually the best way to give. For many years I have been reading and studying the power of philanthropy. I’ve even been blessed to attend the School of Philanthropy in Indianapolis, IN for some specific courses on how to help fund non-profit organizations. And study after study shows that when a person develops a habit of generosity it actually creates the sensation…

A Pound of the Eternal in a Paper Sack!

OK, I have to be honest, I have mixed feelings about gift bags. I guess I have too many fond memories of my mom laboring over just the right wrapping paper and then getting just the right bow for that paper and then attaching the matching name tag to the gift and then sliding the gift under the tree. She is an artist when it comes to gift wrapping. But nowadays giving…

Support Your Local Priest!

Today is the anniversary of my ordination to the diaconate in November of 2009. I would be ordained to the priesthood later in March of 2010. Listen to one of the prayers of ordination: “The divine grace, which always heals that which is infirm and completes that which is lacking, ordains the most devout Deacon (name) to the office of Priest. Let us, therefore, pray for him, that the grace of the…

Don’t Be A Dummy!

“I say that inner beauty doesn’t exist. That’s something that unpretty women invented to justify themselves.” OSMEL SOUSA, the longtime head of the Miss Venezuela pageant on the popularity of plastic surgery in Venezuela. This is a quote from today’s NY Times talking about their article on the popular rise of plastic surgery in Venezuela. The article focuses on the growing popularity of mannequins with the “ideal” shape for a woman. What…

New and Improved!

The packaging is more colorful, the content is said to be far and away so much better than the old product, and millions of dollars in advertising will be spent to convince you that this “new and improved” product is an absolute “must have” if you are going to have any happiness in your life! And yet, “New Coke” was a colossal failure. My home town is Atlanta and the Coca-Cola company…

You Are What You Eat!

“You are what you eat.” So goes the the saying that has at times served as a means to get people to have better diets, and a way for philosophers to reduce the human person to merely a thinking animal, and even to theologians trying to have folks consider the profound teaches of the Eucharist. Regardless how the phrase is used, the biological truth is we have to take in nourishment to…

Birds and Flowers and You

There is a saying popular in this modern age: “He who dies with the most toys, wins!” It is an apt description of a modern age that has forgotten itself. A materialistic mindset that reduces human existence to the sum total of possessions and the amount on the balance sheet at the bank. But let’s look at the consequences of such a mindset, an attitude. First if it is true that our…