David Ancell's Virtual Home

Two Things I Wanted To Post

  /   Sunday, February 28, 2010   /   Comments(0)

I was doing random Internet searching for fun and found this parody of Marty Haugen’s Gather Us In.  For me, this particular “hymn” is the symbol of all really awful songs that we sing in church these days.  In this song, we, the congregation, and singing about ourselves, and there is even a verse which could be taken to eschew our desire for Heaven.  I laughed out loud when I read this article.

On a better note, I found this great article by Fr. Gary Coulter on the priest celebrating the Mass facing the same direction as the people.  Notice that I said “the same direction as the people” instead of “with his back to the people” or “facing the wall” or something like that.  The distinction is important here even though any of these phrases would have the priest facing the same way.  I am hoping for a return to the practice of the priest facing the same direction of the people at least for the Eucharistic Prayer.  It shows a sign of unity of movement of priest and people towards God, and, more importantly, it shows that the prayers of the Mass are addressed to God, not the people.  And to think, this practice could be changed without a single legislative act on the part of those in authority.  It is already permitted.

Category: Liturgy

Giving of Treasure

  /   Sunday, February 28, 2010   /   Comments(0)

Here’s my second post about last weekend’s retreat . . .

An interesting point was made about giving money as a possible substitute for going and doing service to an organization. One of the young adults suggested that she felt that giving money might be a way to “buy my way out” of serving.  She has a point.  Though this is not always the case, it is possible to give money because we’d rather just write a check than go to serve.

One of the center staff had a good response.  She mentioned that she wrote a check to help efforts in Haiti.  She said she’d like to go, but she can’t.  This particular person has a very young child.   However, she mentioned that she would have to work a certain number of days to earn the money that she is giving.  So, she was basically working in that capacity to have the money to give.

I’m adding my own thoughts here since I didn’t get to weigh in on this particular part of the discussion.  One thing to add is that we cannot possibly give time to every worthy cause.  We just do not have time for everything.  We most certainly cannot do so at the expense of the duties of our state of life.  Some of us may have health problems with preclude work in certain areas.

On top of that, organizations have a genuine need for money.  There are only so many things that volunteers can do.  In a homeless shelter, unless the local power company donates electricity, money is needed for the utility bill.  There’s just not a way to volunteer electricity.  Money was needed to buy needed supplies to send to Haiti and the fuel to get there.  For these things, writing a check is very helpful.  Some operations need full-time staff, and they need to be paid in order to have a livelihood.

It takes prayer and discernment to decide where to volunteer time. While we don’t want to give money as an excuse not to serve, it is good to give to causes we wish to support but cannot work with.

Category: Spirituality

Having Time

  /   Wednesday, February 24, 2010   /   Comments(0)

Here is my first note on the retreat. We had a group discussion on stewardship and evangelization, and we spent time on each topic of time, talent, and treasure.  Here I’m going to expand on some comments that I made about time . . .

At one time, I knew that I needed to do a lot of new things in my life.  For longer than I wish to admit, I’d simply decide I wanted to do something, and then I’d keep doing everything I had been doing.  I somehow expected to just magically start doing whatever it was I needed to do, whether it be to read more, join a gym, get out more, etc.  Well, it just doesn’t work that way.  In order to make room for what I needed to do, I had to sacrifice something I was doing.

I had a rather time-consuming hobby.  I’m a big electroholic.  It didn’t even occur to me how much time and money I was spending needlessly.  I decided I had to spend less time shopping and playing with my little toys and spend it on the things I needed to do.  Within months, I found time for that which I needed to do.

Being a good steward of time means evaluating how we are spending our time.  It means making a sacrifice so that we can do something more important.  I am thankful that God finally allowed me to realize this.  It’s even more important now that I am married and will hopefully be a father someday.

Category: Spirituality

Visit and Retreat

  /   Monday, February 22, 2010   /   Comments(0)

I am writing at the end of one of a really great trip that my wife and I have taken.  We drove to Pennsylvania to see friends and their new baby, and he’s a real cute little guy.  Then, we went on a young adult retreat at a retreat house in Cape May, NJ.  This brings back special memories for us because our courtship officially began right after that retreat.  Now, we are back as a married couple.  It was a lot of fun, but being around all these twenty-somethings makes me feel old.  In fact, I will have only one more year before I am too old for the young adult retreat there.  It is just as well, though, because I’m now in a whole new phase of life now that I’m a married man.

We took the Cape May-Lewes Ferry to Delaware and have been making our way through Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia.  Yana managed to get in touch with one of her friends visiting her mother in Delaware, and we got to meet up with them.  We thought we’d get all the way home, but we were a bit too ambitious on that one.  My wife found a great deal as she always does, and we were able to stay a night in downtown Portsmouth, Virginia. It is just beautiful here.  We will be heading home this morning, and I have to go back to work.

The retreat brought me some things that I want to expand on when I get a chance.  We had an opportunity for group sharing, and after speaking I always seem to think of something else that would have been good to talk about.  So, I should be back to post more later.

Category: News on My Life

The New Site

  /   Monday, February 08, 2010   /   Comment(1)

You have probably noticed a bit of change on this web site. I moved to a different server, and I set up my blog as a WordPress blog because I figured that they’d have better software than I would have time to write. I managed to import most, if not all, of Danger! Falling Brainwaves, but I decided not to use that name anymore. I am just not good at naming things. Hopefully, I’ll be here more often than I have been recently.

On my web page, you will now see that I am posting links to talks I have given and to my favorite Catholic books. I hope you will find this useful. I have gone through the links and been a bit more selective. My blogroll has also changed as many blogs that I had links to are no longer active.

I hope you will enjoy the new pages.

Category: News on My Life


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