7 Quick Takes on Friday

Pope Francis met with media
Pope Francis met with media (Photo credit: Catholic Church (England and Wales))

Last week, whilst preparing to attend the Latin Mass, I learned that after retirement most of my dress shirts, those worn with jacket and the dreaded tie, had shrunk.  They didn’t shrink much, just enough to be uncomfortable.  I don’t know how that happened, but have made a mental note to discuss appropriate laundry techniques with my better half, that must be where the problem lies.  I squeezed in and got the tie on, albeit without buttoning the top button of the shirt.  I wasn’t great, but I got away with it.

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I was heartened this week by a short essay on the Crisis Magazine website concerning World Youth Day.  I guess the logistics were a mess, but there’s good reason to believe that Pope Francis’ message got through, and what a wonderful message.  He preached, over and over again, to bishops and young people alike, the theme of evangelization.  “Faith is a flame that grows stronger the more it is shared and passed on . . . Jesus did not say: ‘if you would like to, if you have the time,’ but: ‘Go and make disciples of all the nations.”  I think that’s just what we need to hear from our Holy Father.

Over three million young people attended in miserable conditions, but they were there.  As the author points out, that can’t be a bad sign for the future of the Church.  I think it shows that more and more young people are waking up to the lies being spread in society, lies that lead nowhere.  Btw, in comparison, in 2006 The Rolling Stones played Copacabana Beach and drew “only” 1.5 million for a free concert.  Interesting, vedy interesting!

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Pope Francis also had a strong message for the bishops, addressing all the problems they face: “And with these problems and difficulties, a Bishop’s faith can grow sad.  How horrible is a sad Bishop?  How bad is that?”

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Living in Colorado is something you have to get used to, at least as far as the weather is concerned.  In typical years, you can sit out on the back deck and barbecue a steak in January on two or three Sundays. In December or February, be prepared for a blizzard.  Similarly, there can be a week or two in the summer where fall seems to have gained an early foothold.  Looks like next week is the week for that.  The forecast is calling for temps in the low 70s, at best, and a high probability for rain.  It’s been warm this past week or two, so I welcome the cool weather and moisture, but there’s a downside.  We now have two large “burn scars” in town, and if we get the predicted rain, there will certainly be floods from the run-off.  Please pray for the folks that must live with those very unpleasant conditions.

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I’m coming up on the expiration of my cell phone contract and I’m facing a decision: do I just keep my iPhone and continue the deal with the cell phone company until it finally dies?  Or, do I start looking for a new phone?  Complicating matters, there is now the question between one of the Android models or the current version of the iPhone.  I would be most inclined just to continue the current deal, but I’m beginning to suspect problems with the battery on my phone; it seems to go less time between charges than when it was new.  I would very definitely appreciate thoughts on the matter.

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I’ve been reading, more like struggling through, Romano Guardini’s, The Spirit of the Liturgy.  One problem I’m having is that it’s actually a series of six separate essays on different aspects of the Mass.  I don’t know what it is, but I have problems reading an edition of essays like this, it just seems that there’s no common thread or purpose and so it’s hard for me to see any continuity.  I first picked it up in order to do some preparation for attending the Latin Mass but now I’m rereading it to try to understand my some of my own reactions to TLM.  I’m going to plug away though, and also plan to read Joseph Ratzinger’s book by the same name.

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There was an interesting story this week in the sports news about Marvin Lewis, the Head Coach of the Cincinnati Bengals of the NFL.  Up until 2010, he was a losing coach, with an overall record of 60-67 in eight years.  Then, things changed.  There was a great hue and cry that Lewis be fired, his coaching friends urged him to quit because of the poisonous atmosphere with the Bengals.

Instead, he met with the owner of the team and they decided to work together to make changes – they hit the restart button.  They got rid of players who had a “me first, then the team” attitude and players with criminal records and replaced them with a focus on contributing to the team winning a title.  They looked for players with a positive attitude to build a winning team.  This year, come January, they may hit the big time.

This speaks to the importance of character and attitude in a person, no matter what the job.  Those out for themselves and what they can get in the end don’t win, not consistently.  I think that’s something the Church has been teaching for nearly 2,000 years, funny people are just now learning the lesson.


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As always, thank you to our gracious host, Jennifer Fulwiler of Conversion Diary for hosting these 7 Quick Takes posts.

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