Thursday, February 16, 2006

Engaged Encounter

We're headed off on our Catholic Engaged Encounter weekend tomorrow in the Diocese of San Diego. We're looking forward to it! Please pray for us...

Monday, February 13, 2006

Button, Button

Do you remember that episode from the 1980's Twilight Zone which featured a mysterious man who approaches a poor couple in order to give them a small box with a button on it, adding:
If you press this button, you will receive $200,000, but someone -someone you don't know- will die.
After agonizing over the decision, the couple decides to press the button, and the mysterious man promptly gives them their money. The man then takes the button box and leaves, and when they ask him to whom he is going to give the box next, he responds:
I'm going to give the box to someone you don't know...
The obvious implication is that they are to be the next to die.

I often reflect on this episode for a number of reasons. It communicates the simple lesson that our actions, good or bad, do have a relative effect on others. Further, it shows that we are connected in ways that often extend beyond our immediate environment or era. Also, it shows our human tendency to see our own problems (as well as those close to us) as deserving of more immediate attention over the needs, or the life, of another person whom we don't know.

Sunday, February 12, 2006


I was a little surprised to discover that Fr. Michael Crosby, OFM Cap., had been invited to lead a pre-lenten parish mission at my parish this week. Just curious as to what would make someone as notorious as Fr. Crosby perfect for this role..? In fairness, I haven't asked my pastor about it yet to hear his side of it. It just seems odd that Crosby would be invited to our parish, which has brought in some pretty solid speakers and events in the past.

In Sept., 2003, I went to hear for myself what Crosby had to say at a talk he gave, sponsored by Santa Barbara chapter of Voice of the Faithful and our local Institute for Adult Spirituality. Here is what I wrote back then. I referred to him as a liberal prophet of gloom.

I neglected to mention back then that he also boasted about how well versed he was in the Scriptures, and that he has a habit of ridiculing opposing points of view and those who raise them. He boasted particularly about a time when he publically embarrassed a couple of young adults who dared to disagree with him after hearing one of his talks, writing them off as simply uneducated and too influenced by that perpetrator of theological and ecclesiastical oppression, Pope John Paul II. Color me unimpressed. Opening the Church's windows can let in some fresh air, but sometimes you get the funk - and that funk sure do stink!


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