Thursday, October 31, 2002

On Head and Heart

Catherine Doherty's Little Mandate has been in my thoughts for a long time:

Arise - go! Sell all you possess . . . give it directly, personally to the poor. Take up My cross (their cross) and follow Me - going to the poor - being poor - being one with them - one with Me.

Little - be always little . . . simple - poor - childlike.

Preach the Gospel WITH YOUR LIFE - WITHOUT COMPROMISE - Listen to the Spirit - He will lead you.

Do little things exceedingly well for love of Me.

Love - love - love, never counting the cost.

Go into the market place and stay with Me . . . pray . . . fast . . . pray always . . . fast.

Be hidden - be a light to your neighbour's feet. Go without fears into the depth of men's hearts . . . I shall be with you.

Pray always. I WILL BE YOUR REST.

This convicts me. I've always been more of the cerebral, "head" type, and that's what I'll always be. But all the things I know, all the exterior stuff I've done -- what does it matter, if I'm talking the talk, but not walking the walk? Not a bit of it will save me.

What do I want? I want my heart to catch up with my head. I'm tired of merely intellectualizing and rationalizing everything I take in, doing it only for knowledge, and not for love of God. I'm tired of being a know-it-all -- sure, I may know something, but what good is it if my relationship with God is broken through my sins? I'm tired of an erratic prayer life -- so I may know all about God, but I'm not getting to know Him better.

".....If I have not love, I am nothing." What do I want to do? I want to love, and not count the cost. I want to love God -- to do what He wills not for fear of hell, but for love of Him.

I want to pray better -- not to go through the Mass, or the Hours, or the Rosary, or even spontaneous prayer, mechanically and unfeelingly; but to speak and listen with my whole being.

I want that love of God to be carried to my neighbor --every human being-- and not count the cost, which means not being a good-deed bean-counter.

I want to win souls through love and prayer. If that entails using my intellect as well, so be it and God be praised. Otherwise, I will do better by storming Heaven than by polemics and dry reasoning.

I want to be a Nobody -- no status, no sought leadership, no esteem, no reputation, no accolades, no awards, no acknowledgment. All to the glory of God, and not me.

I want to love God, to serve Him, and to be happy with Him forever -- that simple.

Monday, October 28, 2002

On the Bye Week

Besides the move and Mass (8 am at the Cathedral, celebrated by His Excellency), I found amusement in watchingthe Vikings-Bears game.


Henry Burris was living the quarterback equivalent to the naked-in-the-classroom nightmare. I'm very glad he no longer wears green and gold.

New Roomie!

Got a new roommate. A computer engineer, originally from out West. Came in Saturday morning, liked what he saw, and moved in last night. Nice guy.

Thursday, October 24, 2002

On Horrible Liturgical Experiences

Mike, if you're reading this........

1) It's not the end of the world at St. Henry's. You haven't gotten this priest permanently.

2) Let Fr. Cash take care of matters. I'm sure he's as displeased as you are about this, and will let Fr. Fisher know in no uncertain terms what he thinks of his behavior (if Fr. Fisher isn't non compus mentus. Some of what he did makes me wonder).

3) What songs did the DRE's wife perform? Granted, the "Steubenville Style" may not be the same as the "Adoremus Style", but their songs have always seemed "vertical" to me, and no irreverence meant. In fact, if you've ever been on their campus, you'd know better. And doesn't St. Henry's use guitars on occasion as it is?

4) Unprepared, rambling homilies can be inflicted by orthodox priests as well. Trust me on this.

5) Don't go RadTrad on us because of this. Certain people we both know will want to have a word with you if you do.

6) Keep praying, and keep persevering! It ain't gonna get any easier.......

I Never Thought I'd Do This.....

...but last Tuesday, when I attended Mass at the cathedral, I noticed that the priest was also acting as cantor. So I went to the sacristy afterwards and offered to take that job off his hands. He accepted, and I made my debut yesterday, leading 20 or so people a capella. It's been a while since I've done this, and a few things came to mind:

1) If the songleader falters, so does everyone else.

2) I chant better than I sing -- the Kyrie and Alleluia were sung beautifully by the congregation.

3) The St. Louis Jesuits "Holy, Holy" is hard to pull off without instrumental accompaniment. I used Mass of Creation today. Much easier.

4) Not much "contemporary" hymnody lends itself to a capella singing. Chant (of course) and the old metrical tunes do.

Will be singing the Gloria in Monday's Mass. Has anyone here used the setting from John Lee's Congregational Mass? Looks simple........

Tuesday, October 22, 2002

New Links

Added The Inn at the End of the World (thanks, Mark!) and Mt. Carmel Hermitage Monastery (thanks, Keith!). Check 'em out.......

Another Case of Worshipping Mammon

Granted, I'd rather the facilities were still being used as a convent. Even so, municipalities no longer consider places of worship to be valuable resources for the community. What's more, they apparently violate federal law with impunity. I guess property tax dollars mean more to them than the intangibles provided by a church or synagogue.

Thanks to The Inn at the End of the World for the link. Cool name, BTW.

Prayer Requests

My sister Diane was admitted to the hospital last night with abdominal pains. They're not sure whether it's appendicitis or the resurgence of her ulcer, so they're keeping her in there for observation and tests. Please remember her, and also her two boys and my parents, in your prayers. Thanks.

Also, please continue to remember Sam Gale, the father of my friend Sue. He is in the last stages of pancreatic cancer. Thanks again.

Quiz results

My test on Liturgy (scroll down -- link not working properly) was taken by Michelle, who not only scored 100%, but wrote a boffo short essay on community prayer. Here it is, with gold stars pasted all round it:

We pray as a community because as Christians we are individual members of the Body of Christ that collectively comprise the Mystical Body of Christ. We, as the Body of Christ, offer our worship to and through the Head, Christ, to the Father by the power of the Holy Spirit. When we pray alone we offer personal worship, but not collective worship. Because we are God's family, the family gathers together to worship, something that cannot be done as single individuals. God wants us to pray alone, too, in order to build our relationship with him, but collective worship is also important because "the family that prays together, stays together."

Monday, October 21, 2002

That Sighing Sound You Heard.....

.....was again from Wisconsin......a sigh of relief. Brett Favre has a strain, which means ice, rest, and rehab. It looks like he'll be ready for the Monday Night game on 11/4.

Like I said.....thank God for the bye week.......

Sunday, October 20, 2002

That Screaming Sound You Heard....

Was from Wisconsin. Some time in the 3rd quarter of the Packers-Redskins game, Brett Favre was sacked, and sprained his knee in the process. Fortunately, Green Bay still won handily 30-9, with good defense, three TD's by Ahman Green, and lots of penalties from the 'Skins.

Thank God the Bye Week's come now.........

Saturday, October 19, 2002

An Old Quiz

I used to be coordinator of the Confirmation program at St. Anthony's in Milwaukee. We had no formal high school DRE at the time, and I did the job as a volunteer. In some ways, it was tough -- many of the Mexican kids were confirmed south of the border at an early age, and a lot of the Anglo parents sneaked their children off to other dioceses to be confirmed, since they didn't like the Archdiocesan age of 16. Still, it had its rewards. At least one of my former students is now working as a DRE, and I had a great teaching team to work with. We always had a lot of fun putting together tests for the students.

I discovered one of the tests recently, while sorting through some old papers. I taught Prayer and Liturgy to sophomore students. (First year was Creed, Sacrament, and Commandments; and Confirmation candidates had the Holy Spirit and the Call to Holiness). I always started the semester on Liturgy with the Biblical basis for the Mass, along with its history, a church tour and the various items and terms used. Here is the test for that segment. Take all the time you need, and don't worry about the grade.

Part I -- Matching

A. Grossed Out B. Moses C. Passover D. seating E. catacombs F. solemnity
G. Melchizedek H. ciborium I. basilica J. Latin K. paten L. tabernacle M. red N. Advent O. chalice

1. Offered bread and wine to God after Abraham's victory.

2. Most people's reaction to Jesus' Bread of Life speech.

3. Cup used at Mass to contain the Precious Blood.

4. Place of reservation for the Eucharist

5. Festival commemorating the Jews' deliverance from slavery in Egypt.

6. Underground tombs where persecuted Christians sometimes worshipped.

7. Roman court hall -- model for early Church buildings.

8. Not found in churches until about the 17th Century.

9. Liturgical color of martyrs, the Holy Spirit, and the Passion of the Lord.

10. Primary language of the Roman Rite (parent language of Spanish).

11. Disc traditionally used to hold large Host -- also may be used to catch particles of the Eucharist at Communion.

12. Season which recalls the coming of Christ.

13. Feast day which is treated like a Sunday -- some are days of obligation.

14. Cuplike vessel traditionally used to hold small hosts.

15. Man who led Israelites out of Egypt.

Part II -- Multiple Choice

1. Vestment worn by priest at Mass -- looks like poncho.

a. chasuble
b. dalmatic
c. maniple
d. mozzetta

2. Holy water fonts are used:

a. to ward off evil spirits
b. as a sign of our entry into the Church at Baptism
c. as a place to discard chewing gum
d. to wash our hands before Mass as a sign of purity

3. He offered a pure sacrifice. His brother didn't.

a. Noah
b. Peter
c. Aaron
d. Abel

4. In order to be a worthy sacrifice, a Passover lamb had to be:

a. without defects of any kind
b. pure white
c. milk-fed only
d. the ugliest one in the herd

5. This was sacrificed in place of Isaac:

a. an ox
b. a ram
c. a goat
d. his brother Ishmael

6. The Mass is:

a. The One Sacrifice of Christ re-presented in an unbloody manner
b. Our Covenant Meal with God
c. A foretaste of the great Wedding Feast of Heaven
d. All of the above

7. Greek for "great thanksgiving":

a. Anamnesis
b. Menalogia
c. Eucharist
d. Trisagion

8. Black vestments are used:

a. because the prist looks cool in them
b. as an option for funerals
c. as an option for Lent
d. not at all anymore

9. This apostle started having doubts about Jesus afer His "Bread of Life" discourse:

a. Judas
b. Peter
c. John
d. Simon the Zealot

10. This man described the Mass to his emperor in the 2nd Century AD -- very much like ours today:

a. Ignatius of Antioch
b. Polycarp of Smyrna
c. Justin Martyr
d. Anthony of Padua

11. "Liturgy" means:

a. divine love
b. remembering again
c. work of/on behalf of the people
d. great bridge builder

12. You don't hear this word during Lent:

a. Kyrie
b. Alleluia
c. Eleison
d. Hosanna

Part III -- Essay Question

Why do we pray as a community? Why is this different from praying alone?

Tuesday, October 15, 2002

On the New Oxford Review

I first came across an ad for the New Oxford Review in the late 80's. I was impressed by what I saw -- balanced commentary, a wide variety of writers, a real ecumenicism, and a truly catholic (that is, universal) point of view. I decided to subscribe, and found that the magazine lived up to its advertising. The articles were well-written and thought-provoking, real dialogue and discussion took place on its pages, and Dale Vree always had time to chat with me when I called. NOR, along with the late Caelum et Terra, helped form my worldview and opinions in my college years and afterwards. And I always enjoyed their advertisements, whether gentle or bitingly satirical.

In the late 90's, they aimed a broadside at Archbishop Weakland and other bishops who signed a certain letter. Fair enough, I thought. NOR had started as an Anglican journal, and the editors saw some of the same symptoms which had afflicted their former communion. Then OSV and the National Catholic Register refused to publish their most recent ads, following the example of America and Commonweal. I couldn't care less about the latter two magazines, but I sided with Mr. Vree and his staff at this outrage. But I when I started to see jabs at OSV and the Register in the editorial pages, I became annoyed. OK, so they slighted you, I thought. Get over it. Still, the articles and other features retained their high quality.

I decided not to renew my subscription to NOR, but kept up with it online or at Marquette University's library. Its tone kept getting shriller and angrier. I noticed that several of the living Contributing Editors hadn't contributed in a long time. It was accepting more ads from Traditionalist publications (not a bad thing in and of itself, but in context....). It wasn't the magazine I had read and loved.

The final straw came when I saw an article by Mario Derksen, a RadTrad and notorious Pope-basher. Mr. Vree could not have been ignorant of Mr. Derksen's online screeds, but he accepted his piece anyway.

It saddens me to see what has happened to a once-excellent periodical. One wonders what Sheldon Vanauken and Walker Percy would think if they could see what now is published in the pages they once graced.

Profession of Faith

Following the examples of many others in St. Blog's.....

I, David Mark Francis Pawlak, with firm faith believe and profess everything that is contained in the symbol of faith: namely,

I believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is visible and invisible. I believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, one in Being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven: By the power of the Holy Spirit, he was born of the Virgin Mary, and became man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered, died and was buried. On the third day he rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. I believe in the one holy catholic and apostolic church. I acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

With firm faith I believe as well everything contained in God's word, written or handed down in tradition and proposed by the church--whether in solemn judgment or in the ordinary and universal magisterium--as divinely revealed and called for faith.

I also firmly accept and hold each and every thing that is proposed by that same church definitively with regard to teaching concerning faith or morals.

What is more, I adhere with religious submission of will and intellect to the teachings which either the Roman pontiff or the college of bishops enunciate when they exercise the authentic magisterium even if they proclaim those teachings in an act that is not definitive.

Monday, October 14, 2002

In Search of......

The roomie's taking a house here in town, so I'm officially on the market for someone to share space & expenses with me.

Here's what I'm looking for: a quiet, nonsmoking male who's willing to share . What I have to offer: a bedroom with two closets and a pullout bed (if needed), a parking space, use of laundry facilities, storage space, and a computer. Caveats: the former landlords neglected repair and maintenence work, so the bathroom and kitchen aren't the best. However, the new owner has promised to take care of things. The total cost: $300-330, including utilities and (if desired) cable. No pets (the landlord's decision, not mine).

If you're interested, or know anyone looking for a place to live in the Milwaukee area, please let me know. At the very least, please pray for me, that I may find a new roommate, or at least be able to take care of expenses until I find one.


Thank you, Mr. Sullivan....

....who writes a nice clerihew about yesterday's game.

Cheer up, Mark! Perhaps the Pats will turn it around and have another go at the Pack come January.......

Sunday, October 13, 2002

On the Packers

Haven't felt like blogging this week.....but here I am again.......

Great game. Special teams needs some work, Ryan Longewell (the kicker) still concerns me, and losing Chad Clifton wasn't good; but the Packers showed what good coaching can do. They spanked the Patriots with a makeshift defense and a patchwork offensive line. I listened to the game on the radio, as I was doing the tutu thing this afternoon. But I'll be looking forward to the highlights come the nightly news..............

Tuesday, October 08, 2002

One More Thing.....

Speaking of homes, I'll likely be looking for a new roommate soon. Is anyone in the Milwaukee area interested in sharing space with a 30something disorganized Catholic bachelor male?

Didn't think so.........

Be It Ever So Humble...?

3000+ square foot houses in 5+ acre lots, occupied by DINKS (Double Income No Kids), or a couple with one or maybe two carefully planned and wanted commodities.....I mean, children.......what a waste......

Don't get me wrong. The layout of homes change with time and fashion, and some of the new technology is a boon. Also, a good-sized home on a good-sized lot is a blessing if you've got a good-sized family. But a lot of it just seems to be the usual Boomer excess. I mean, two of everything in the kitchen is great if you have a big family, but you don't need that if it's just you and your spouse and your projects....I mean, children. And a plethora of TV's, including a plasma monster more suitable for a movie theatre?

And there's all that space. I can understand a home study/office and a good-sized kitchen, but what is the point of having huge amounts of space if you don't have a family to fill it up with? It's just empty -- in more than one sense of the word.

I think all that is wrong with this mindset is found in the "Master Suite". His-and-her (or other gender combo of your choice) closets, workspaces, and bathrooms. A shower which could double for a car wash. Exercise space. A breakfast bar, even. If you added a stove and fridge, it'd make a nifty apartment. And everything done with expensive materials, naturally. A perfect place for complete self-indulgence, even if your spouse is in there with you.

I'm not saying that nice things are bad in and of themselves (the multi-jet shower is appealing). But this has become conspicuous consumption, as all things are for the Most Important Generation, done for self-gratification. Children might be allowed to share the space, if careers, "life goals", and the SUV payments allow. And since you can't find these homes in older neighborhoods, you either must contribute to urban sprawl by building a subdivision full; or else gut an older house and make it into a monument to Self.

One last thing before I answer the Sandman's call: there is a counterpoint which points out some of these things far better than I can.........

Comments Field

Just installed Haloscan. Please, leave a note. Let me know you've paid a visit. Especially you Bears fans out there..........

On Last Night's Bears Game

Still got a few concerns......

1) Injuries. Now we're missing both starting defensive ends -- one of them for the season. Hope Jamal Reynolds can redeem himself.

2) Special Teams. They played better, but they're still giving up too much yardage on kickoffs & punts.

3) Ryan Longwell. Three missed field goals? OK, so one was blocked. But the other two....... And he also had some problems on kickoffs.

OTOH, Brett Favre was spectacular, his wide receivers rose to the occasion, and the defense had a good game.

Bottom line? The Packers won, the Bears lost. As it should be.

Hi Michelle!

I've added the wonderful blog "And Then...?" to my links. It was Michelle's post on the Fun Funeral Home which inspired me to outline my ideal funeral. Thanks again, Michelle, and may you have lots and lots of visitors.

Sunday, October 06, 2002

And When I Die.....(Part II)

Worked Thursday & Friday, chatted with a friend Saturday, so.........apologies for the days-long gap......

Now for more on the truly countercultural funeral I hope to have:

3)The Liturgy of the Hours. If my family chooses to have the traditional evening visitation/morning Mass format, I would like Evening Prayer celebrated at the visitation, not the usual prayer service. Why? First of all, because it is praise, and even in times of sadness and grief, we should not forget to praise God. Second, because the psalms and texts speak of mercy and hope. And lastly, because the popular prayer service seems to do things halfway, and my Catholic friends already pray the Hours. I'd want to modify a few things -- if my friends from my old prayer group show up, I'd want at least one of them to bring along a guitar and sing some contemporary songs like "We Belong to God" (as office hymn), "Salvation Belongs to Our God" (as concluding song), and "Holy Is His Name" (for the Magnificat).

4)A Dignified Funeral Mass. No eulogies (if you must do it, save it for a gathering afterwards), no schmaltzy music, and a real homily, in which my name need not be mentioned. I have the readings and hymns selected by season; for example, Ordinary Time would feature the passage from Job "I know that my Redeemer lives", Psalm 63, 1 John 3:1-2, and the Gospel from John 5. The hymns: "All Creatures of Our God and King", "Wondrous Love", and "Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee". Other appropriate hymns and readings for Advent, Lent, or Easter.

5)A Simple Grave. This depends on where my family decides to plant me. Currently, there is a vacant plot where my maternal grandparents and uncle are buried at Mt. Olivet Cemetery. All they need to do in that case is to add another name to the headstone.

My other grandfather bought a three-plot lot at St. Adalbert's Cemetery for himself, my grandmother (divorced since the 50's), and their daughter. However, my grandmother decided to buy her own plot, and so my parents are (for the time being) planning on being buried at St. Adalbert's. Should they both decide to be cremated (and so fit into one plot), they might decide to put me in the remaining space. Were they to do that, I'd want a marker with a simple cross on it and the inscription "Please pray for the soul of David Mark Pawlak 10-21-69 - xx/xx/xx".

6)Omit Flowers. The money can be best given as Mass stipends to my priest friends in various parishes and communities; or as donations to a Catholic church, school, or community.

7) Aftermath. First of all, all my possessions which can't be used directly by my family and friends should be sold off in a big rummage sale, the proceeds going to defray any costs of the funeral, if necessary. Secondly, if it seems appropriate, I would like a ComedySportz show for everyone I know. Donations would be taken to defray the cost of the show, and anything left over would go to CSz's workshop program. Lastly, I would hope that my friends would remember this poor soul in their prayers, and have me remembered at the altar, since I'm going to need all the help I can get.......

Wednesday, October 02, 2002

And When I Die....

The system keeps going down at work, so I've got time for a Stealth Blog.....

As usual, the Me Generation has to celebrate itself in every way, including when they leave this world. As for me, I wish to be truly countercultural. Here is how I would like my funeral:

1) Closed Casket. While I know the reasons for exposing the body, I'd rather be wrapped up in a shroud and zipped up in a bag. No point in wearing a suit if your body's not going anywhere until the Last Judgement.....and speaking of caskets......

2) Trappist Casket. The simple rectangular model. Why? First, because I love the monks of New Melleray, and I want to support their work. Second, because getting a casket wholesale is less expensive. And last, unless the law requires it (such as having to have my remains shipped from another place), I see no point in having my remains placed in a metal casket -- especially a fancy one. (BTW, check out The Trappist Spirituality of Death on their website. Beautiful.)

We Interrupt this Blog...

The system is back up again. Back to the salt mines.......