Sep 222016
 

pope-francis2-300x187This version of The Weekly Francis covers material released in the last week from
3 September 2016 to 22 September 2016.

The Weekly Francis is a compilation of the Holy Father’s writings, speeches, etc which I also post at Jimmy Akin’s The Weekly Francis. Jimmy Akin came up with this idea when he started “The Weekly Benedict” and I have taken over curation of it.

Angelus

Daily Homilies (fervorinos)

General Audiences

Speeches

Papal Tweets

Papal Instagram

Sep 192016
 

So installed macOS Sierra on both of my Macs this weekend. This was the gold master developer release, it will be released to the public on 20 September 2016.

First off being to unlock my Macs with my Apple Watch is super cool. So far it has worked every time without flaw and would recognize my watch as soon as the lock screen was opened. I have tried apps to do this in the past, but they just did not work most of the time.

Another feature I like it the new Universal clipboard. So when I copy something on the Mac or iOS device the same thing is available on other devices for a limited period of time. I use the Copied app on macOS and iOS and this new feature won’t replace it, but it is rather convenient. By the way Copied on iOS has just gotten even better.

The notes app on macOS/iOS is more and more actually useful You can set the font size on the macOS version. One of those “finally” features. I keep most of my notes in plain text files on Dropbox, but Notes is good for storing images, PDF, and rich text notes across devices.

This time around I “nuked and paved”, that is formatted my boot drive and installed a fresh version of Sierra from a USB drive. I probably didn’t need to do that, but hard to get rid of my MS Windows mindset – where it really is necessary. Still nothing like the smell of a fresh OS in the morning.

Since my computer setup is highly modified with shortcut keys, ZSH shell, and lots of fiddly things – I keep a note containing all my settings, apps I use, and how to return everything back to the way I want it. I keep this list updated as I add new programs and this made the process of setting up two Macs fairly straight forward. Fortunately more programs now allow you to export settings or save their settings on iCloud.

Still I also maintain a list of things to do before doing a new install as to what settings I need to export or programs I need to deauthorize first. Of course the most important thing to do is to do a full backup – which I did. I have a bootable backup created using Carbon Copy Cloner along with a disk image using the same program. Plus I maintain a Time Machine backup along with cloud service backup. Still since I keep so much in Dropbox and Onedrive – that is another layer of backup.

Siri now being on macOS was a feature I didn’t expect to use much. Maybe it will turn out that way. Still I have found it very reliable in opening apps and since I use Apple Music it is highly useful to tell it what to play. There are additional Siri commands for working with the file system. You can also correct Siri using the keyboard. I would like being able to use a command line Siri where I could just type in the command in situations where I know dictation is unlikely to be accurate. Still the dictation has been very good using just the iMac built in microphone. I guess I will be learning to remember the Siri keyboard shortcut – holding down ⌘-space.

As for app compatibility, but for one exception – every program I use runs fine under the new OS. The exception is Seil and Karibiner which I use to reassign the caps lock to be ⌃⇧⌘⌥ and to be able to create a hyper key for very unique shortcuts. Since these apps might not be updated in a while, I simply assigned my caps lock key to Ctrl and then found new keys to use to access most used shortcuts.

No doubt I will run into bugs with macOS Sierra, but so far so good.

Sep 122016
 

Tim Kaine claims Catholic Church could change on gay marriage.

Washington D.C., Sep 11, 2016 / 04:50 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine, a Catholic who is currently the junior Virginia senator, said on Saturday that he thinks the Church will eventually drop its opposition to same-sex marriage.

“I think it’s going to change because my church also teaches me about a creator who, in the first chapter of Genesis, surveyed the entire world, including mankind, and said, ‘It is very good’,” Kaine said Sept. 10, according to the Associated Press.

His comments came during his keynote address at the national dinner for Human Rights Campaign, an influential LGBT advocacy group, in Washington, D.C.

Tim Kaine is no doubt another great Selfie Prophet. Being able to predict that the Church will change to his beliefs. That after close to 2,000 years finally we have a theologian with the depth of Kaine to set us straight (pun always intended).

Just like the religious sisters who proclaim themselves part of a prophetic movement. More like a pathetic movement. They are prophets not calling for people to repent, but for the Church to do so. Prophets applauded rather than persecuted. The Old Testament prophet had to call out the people for being lax and following the spirit of the age. These modern “prophets” say “Hey get with the spirit of the age” and that those who actually follow and believe Church teaching must repent.

The hubris of the age is “The Church is wrong and I am right.” My will be done. In my own experience I found the exact opposite to be true.

Really I can’t understand the idea of wanting to belong to a Church that could change here teaching. One that does is a human institution with no authority to teach. Development of doctrine is one thing, theological U-Turns quite another.

An imbecile habit has risen in modern controversy of saying that such and such a creed can be held in one age but cannot be held in another. Some dogma was credible in the 12th century, but is not credible in the 20th. You might as well say that a certain philosophy can be believed on Mondays, but cannot be believed on Tuesdays (G.K. Chesterton – Orthodoxy)

If same-sex marriage was actually marriage then you would have to say the Holy Spirit was rather incompetent. That somehow nowhere in scripture is there one example of same-sex marriage being normative. That God from the beginning intended homosexual acts to be normative, and yet never mention this fact or guides his people to this fact. That we had to wait for abortion loving Democrats to finally learn the truth.

Recently we had a Catholic Vice President officiate a so-called same-sex marriage, and now a Catholic VP candidate telling us how the Church will change regarding this.

Sep 072016
 

pope-francis2-300x187This version of The Weekly Francis covers material released in the last week from 17 August 2016 to 7 September 2016.

The Weekly Francis is a compilation of the Holy Father’s writings, speeches, etc which I also post at Jimmy Akin’s The Weekly Francis. Jimmy Akin came up with this idea when he started “The Weekly Benedict” and I have taken over curation of it.

Angelus

General Audiences

Homilies

Messages

Motu Proprio

Speeches

Papal Tweets

Papal Instagram

Sep 062016
 

When I received Faith Under Fire: Dramatic Stories of Christian Courage by Matthew Archbold I thought I already had a good idea regarding what it would cover. Figured it would focus extensively on the situation in the Middle East and elsewhere with the focused murder and persecution of Christians in those lands. While that is one aspect, this book is much broader than that important focus.

I found stories both familiar and ones I had not heard of. They follow the gamut from some form of persecution to martyrdom. Mostly they are stories of Christians living their faith in season and out of season. Stories of Christians who stepped in to problems situations to make them better. To fully give of themselves to others. The age of people chronicled in these stories also ranged from the young to the elderly.

Many of the stories are bittersweet and involve tragedy, yet the tragedy is not the final answer. Christianity has always been the way of the cross and Jesus told us the consequences of following him. While currently in the United States their is increasing persecution regarding religious liberty, it is still a soft persecution – even if disruptive to some people’s lives. It is how we live our faith in these circumstances and more severe ones that tell if we have really given our lives to Him.

Despite the bittersweet or tragedy, I found these witnesses to the faith encouraging. These stories are inspiring and remind us to turn to the Holy Spirit. That we are all called to be witnesses despite the circumstances. If we can live our faith fully with little or no pushback, then praise God. If we do receive pushback then praise God also in the spirit of Job’s words.

I also really enjoyed how the stories were told and framed together. This is not just some patchwork of news stories, but a result of research and interviews where possible.

Aug 312016
 

pope-francis2-300x187This version of The Weekly Francis covers material released in the last week from 2 August 2016 to 31 August 2016.

The Weekly Francis is a compilation of the Holy Father’s writings, speeches, etc which I also post at Jimmy Akin’s The Weekly Francis. Jimmy Akin came up with this idea when he started “The Weekly Benedict” and I have taken over curation of it.

Angelus

General Audiences

Letters

Messages

Motu Proprio

Speeches

Papal Tweets

  • “Never abbandon prayer, even when it seems pointless to pray.” @Pontifex 18 August 2016
  • “Where there is love, there is also understanding and forgiveness.” @Pontifex 19 August 2016
  • “Mercy does not just mean being a “good person” nor is it mere sentimentality. It is the measure of our authenticity as disciples of Jesus.” @Pontifex 21 August 2016
  • “New forms of slavery such as human and organ trafficking, forced labour, and prostitution are true crimes against humanity.” @Pontifex 23 August 2016
  • “Consoling those who suffer we are able to help build a better world.” @Pontifex 26 August 2016
  • “May a powerful gust of holiness sweep through all the Americas during the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy!” @Pontifex 27 August 2016
  • “An easy prayer to say every day: “Lord, I am a sinner: come with your mercy”.” @Pontifex 28 August 2016
  • “May God’s mercy towards us move us to be merciful towards our neighbors.” @Pontifex 29 August 2016
  • “Serving with love and tenderness those who are in need helps us to grow in humanity.” @Pontifex 31 August 2016

Papal Instagram

Aug 252016
 

From St. Augustine’s City of God.

So we must not grumble, my brothers, for as the Apostle says: Some of them murmured and were destroyed by serpents. Is there any affliction now endured by mankind that was not endured by our fathers before us? What sufferings of ours even bear comparison with what we know of their sufferings? And yet you hear people complaining about this present day and age because things were so much better in former times. I wonder what would happen if they could be taken back to the days of their ancestors–would we not still hear them complaining? You may think past ages were good, but it is only because you are not living in them.

It amazes me that you who have now been freed from the curse, who have believed in the son of God, who have been instructed in the holy Scriptures–that you can think the days of Adam were good. And your ancestors bore the curse of Adam, of that Adam to whom the words were addressed: With sweat on your brow you shall eat your bread; you shall till the earth from which you were taken, and it will yield you thorns and thistles. This is what he deserved and what he had to suffer; this is the punishment meted out to him by the just judgment of God. How then can you think that past ages were better than your own? From the time of that first Adam to the time of his descendants today, man’s lot has been labor and sweat, thorns and thistles. Have we forgotten the flood and the calamitous times of famine and war whose history has been recorded precisely in order to keep us from complaining to God on account of our own times? Just think what those past ages were like! Is there one of us who does not shudder to hear or read of them? Far from justifying complaints about our own time, they teach us how much we have to be thankful for.

There is much just critique of the cult of progress where history is seen as a line sloping up. Progress measured by an ever changing metric.

“Progress should mean that we are always changing the world to fit the vision, instead we are always changing the vision.” G.K. Chesterton (Orthodoxy)

At the same time there is a view taking the opposite direction of regression and decline. A nostalgic take for a world that never existed.

Both view things that we are in a point of history that intersects either a line going upward or downward. As a pessimistic/optimist I am at times drawn to both viewpoints. Still I think Dicken’s famous introduction regarding it being the best of times and the worst of times is the correct view that straddles all points of the timeline. The present is always a mixture of various rise and falls.

“I am a Christian, and indeed a Roman Catholic, so that I do not expect ‘history’ to be anything but a ‘long defeat’ – though it contains some samples or glimpses of final victory.” J.R.R. Tolkien

With a clear-headedness we can see all that we have to be thankful for even in the most tumultuous of times. There has never been a time when someone could not be a saint. If anything society’s brokenness can shine a light on our own brokenness.

“At times of course it is hard to understand this profound reality, because evil is noisier than goodness; an atrocious murder, widespread violence, grave forms of injustice hit the headlines; whereas acts of love and service, the daily effort sustained with fidelity and patience are often left in the dark, they pass unnoticed” (Te Deum and First Vespers: Homily of Benedict XVI, 31 December 2012)

So easy to put a lot of effort in what’s wrong with the world and others, and little effort with the same in ourselves. I would rather rant than pray. Long for holiness while not wanting to put much effort into that desire. Knowing I suck, while seriously trying to not block the grace to reduce my suckitude.

The saints are oases around which life sprouts up and and something of the lost paradise returns. (Pope Benedict XVI Jesus of Nazareth P. 248)

Aug 182016
 

Earlier today on various social media platforms I quipped:

  • Catholic Extrovert: Catholic parishes are unwelcoming and need to change.
  • Me a Catholic Introvert: Catholic parishes are awesome, never change.

As someone with introvert tendencies I like it fine not to be bothered at Mass. Still I also realize the seeming coldness at Catholic parishes I have experienced is not something we can brag about. So my quip was definitely tongue-in-cheek.

Having listened to so much Catholic radio I realize how many out there are totally turned off by this as if they are totally unconnected to their parish. People who have left the Church have mentioned this as one reason why since they found fellowship in Protestant churches. There are many cultural shifts responsible for this.

I have been in some parishes where there is an attempt to be more welcoming, but aspects of these attempts fall flat for me. Friendly ushers that welcome you should be pretty much default. Still I find attempts at faux-community such as the request at the start of Mass to introduce yourself to your pew-neighbor, extended Kiss of Peace, and a litany of birthdays, anniversaries, “our choir is great” (usually not), and asking visitors to acknowledge themselves. All connected with rounds of clapping.

Seems to me if the central axis of a welcoming effort is the Mass, you are doing it wrong. It is understandable since the parish is no longer a rallying place for Catholic community, but a place where you go to Mass once a week. Punch that Sunday ticket and move on. Or the idea that a vibrant parish is one with amplified music lifted from the sixties.

One parish I sometimes attend seems to understand this. There seems to be a real network of parish involvement as they provide a wealth of activities and access to continuing education in the faith. They had to build a larger parish hall since they had been successful at this. A nice balance of things like movie nights to more substantial dives into learning the faith. Along with the importance of apostolates and serving the poor.

Getting people involved must be a continuing difficulty for most parishes since the volunteers are often the same small core of people. Still I imagine this can grow when paths to involvements are offered. I have no experience with CRHP (Christ Renews His Parish) and similar programs. No doubt it is a step in the right direction (depending on who is facilitating the program). There are also programs like rebuilt parish which I also don’t have experience with. Still it seems to me we should be following the models of diocese who have increased Mass attendance, adherence to the faith, and vocations without gimmicks – for example the Diocese of Lincoln and Archdiocese of Denver.

The fact seems to be from anecdotal evidence that most parishes are the anti-Cheers “Nobody knows your name.” That is not a good thing.

Still as an introvert I especially like Eucharistic Adoration for reasons other than just being able to worship Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Yet I also long to be in community with other Catholics.

Aug 172016
 

pope-francis2-300x187This version of The Weekly Francis covers material released in the last week from
26 July 2016 to 17 August 2016.

The Weekly Francis is a compilation of the Holy Father’s writings, speeches, etc which I also post at Jimmy Akin’s The Weekly Francis. Jimmy Akin came up with this idea when he started “The Weekly Benedict” and I have taken over curation of it.

Angelus

General Audiences

Messages

Speeches

Papal Tweets

  • “In Confession we encounter the merciful embrace of the Father. His love always forgives.” @Pontifex 12 August 2016
  • “May people see the Gospel in our lives: in our generous and faithful love for Christ and our brothers and sisters.” @Pontifex 13 August 2016
  • “We ask Mary, our Mother, to help us to pray with a humble heart.” @Pontifex 14 August 2016
  • “I entrust you to the maternal care of our Mother who lives in the glory of God and is always by our side on our life’s journey.” @Pontifex 15 August 2016
  • “Through the cross we can touch God’s mercy and be touched by that mercy!” @Pontifex 17 August 2016

Papal Instagram