Saturday, October 23, 2010

Let Sleeping Blogs . . .

I think I’m going to let the blog go to sleep again for a while.  The problem is finding time to do this, and finding a consistent ‘voice’ for the blog.

You might also consider that the blog is just entering a phase of silent, contemplative prayer.

No matter what, let us always continue to pray for each other and for the whole world.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Retreat!

Next week (Oct. 18-22) I will be on my annual priest retreat.  This year I’m attending the diocesan sponsored retreat which will be directed by Fr. Zachary of the Mother of God, SOLT.

I’m happy to learn that our new Auxiliary Bishop will be with us, as my brother priests and I hear about “The Priestly Soul & the Priestly Spirit.”

A time to pray, to reflect, to ask God’s continued Grace and Strength. 

May the Lord continue to Bless all priests to be the sign and instrument of His Love in our world.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Cutting the Cord

I’m not a big watcher of what is called Prime Time television.  These are the shows produced by the big networks (ABC, CBS, CW, Fox, NBC) and usually air from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. around the country (though in Arizona it has always been 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.)  But for some reason, this year, I’ve been recording and watching more of these shows, and frankly, I have begun to wonder both why I do it, and why I still pay for cable TV.

Most of these shows are available for free using an antenna.  I grew up in a rural town, so I know that is not always the case, but now in the city, I can get all the channels just fine OTA (Over The Air as they say).  That goes for most of our local sports teams and a small amount of sports on weekends (even though that’s my busy time of the week).

Many of these shows are now available over the Internet as well through services like Hulu, or from the networks’ web sites.  Even Netflix is getting into the act with offering many NBC (and affiliated cable networks) shows for Internet streaming the day after broadcast.

But two other things have caught my attention of late, especially with these Prime Time shows.  First is the lowering or abandoning of all moral standards in these shows, and second is the heavy-fisted preaching of modern themes in these shows.

In what used to be called the Family Hour – the first hour of Prime Time – that was safe for viewing by all members of the family, I can't believe the number of sexual innuendo and references.  Maybe because I haven’t been watching these shows regularly for a while, it makes it even more jarring to me since I wasn’t slowly made numb to it by the increase over the past few years.  (Look up, on your own, a reference to slowly boiling a frog.) 

TV has also always pushed for modern themes.  The original Star Trek pushed the boundaries during its initial airing by having the first scripted interracial kiss on television.  (Kirk and Uhura in the episode “Plato’s Stepchildren”)  But over the last couple of decades it seems to have really accelerated, or at least I’m a lot more aware of it.  Maybe this is behind the rise in popularity of the reality based shows, the viewers choose them so they don’t feel chastised if they hold views contrary to those of the writers and producers.  It is just getting more difficult for me to separate out any kind of entertainment from the barrage of preaching about how I’m supposed to think and act.  (Look up, on your own, Brownies with a Difference.)

Modern technologies are making it possible for me to drop cable TV completely.  I can use iTunes or Amazon to purchase or rent the shows I want to watch.  I can use antenna to still watch the local news or sports.  Google, Apple, Microsoft, Sony, Roku and others have competing technologies to let me watch, record or stream television shows.  Even modern smart phones like the iPhone and Android phones will let me watch more and more video.  Maybe it is time I sat down, really looked at the math of the money I’m spending on television and video, and found alternate ways to watch things that entertain me and won’t bludgeon me with innuendo and condescending modern attitudes.  It will be more difficult at first, and probably a technological nightmare to organize it all.  But I’m not sure I can take much more of the way it has always worked before.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Jammies

OK, I’ve gotta wonder aloud.  When did pajamas become acceptable fashion outside of the home?

This last weekend I was in Los Angeles for the EOHSJ Western Lieutenancy annual meeting (see previous post).  I stayed at a Doubletree, and one morning ate at the hotel’s restaurant breakfast buffet.  This was not a “free” buffet, but had a price.  I was rather taken aback at the amount of people wearing sleeping attire into the restaurant.

At first I was rather taken aback, and then an old childhood rhyme stayed with me.  “I see London, I see France, I see someone’s underpants.”  Many people, of all shapes and sizes, including a table of 20-something young women.  Let’s just say I had breakfast and a show.

Consider me old fashioned.  Consider me prudish.  I don’t care.  I just don’t want to see your choice (or lack of choice) in sleepwear.  That privilege should be reserved for the closest family members.

And yes, this goes for Mass attendance too. I have seen people attend Mass in sleeping attire.

EOHSJ Update

This past weekend I was fortunate to attend the annual meeting of the Western Lieutenancy of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.  Also known as the Knights and Ladies of the Holy Sepulchre.

We met in Los Angeles, heard about the efforts of the Order in the Holy Land, and celebrated promotions within the Order and new Investitures in the Order.  Two Cardinals of the Church were in attendance, the Prior of the Western Lieutenancy, Cardinal Mahony of Los Angeles, and the Grand Master of the Order, Cardinal Foley.  At the Investiture Mass we had two Cardinals, an Archbishop, 15 other Bishops, almost 40 priests, and over a thousand Knights and Ladies.

I invite you to visit the website of the Western Lieutenancy at www.khswesternusa.org or the main USA website at http://holysepulchre.net

I have the honor of being a Knight for the past three years, and it is always a spiritual lift for me to meet with so many people who try each day to live the Order’s motto, “Deus lo vult” (God wills it).  Placing ourselves into the Will of God is one of the most difficult, but most rewarding things we can do.  May God always bless our efforts with His grace.