T.O.B. or Not to Be

Who looks back at you when you look into the mirror?

We all remember those famous words of the queen from Disney’s classic, Snow White. The mirror always told the truth to the queen whether she liked it or not…and, that’s how the saga began. Wouldn’t it be nice this Lent to have a mirror to do the same for us?

The Beautiful Body

January 19th, 2012

Keats once said, “Beauty is truth, truth beauty.” Is that true of the body too?
Like most dioceses in the United States, if not the world, my own is working to provide a response and pastoral approach to the problem of pornography at every level. Pornography is not just the stag movies, the infamous magazines and the unmentionable internet sites. It also includes a good many of the romance novels, primetime television shows and commercials. If you wanted to argue the point I guess, we would most likely be arguing over degree not content.

What was your Christmas shopping experience like? Did everyone have clothes on?

Last week, like most dads, I spent a great deal of time with the kids looking for that perfect gift for Mom – at every store in Northern Virginia. We always take in the sights. You know, looking at all the festive sweatshirts, drinking some peppermint coco, admiring the decorations, seeing in-the-flesh exploitation of barely legal men and women marketing expensive clothes. Wait, you didn’t have that same experience?

Did you know that the Pilgrims celebrated the second Thanksgiving? Even President Kennedy knew that!

Being from Virginia, we take pride in our history. Every grade school child has heard the narrative concerning Thanksgiving at Plymouth. I loved making those pilgrim hats as a kid. However, what happens if our history is incorrect?

To See or Not to See, that is my Question

In April of this year, my Bishop asked me to take a position in the Chancery as the Director of Child Protection & Safety for the Diocese of Arlington. It took me a number of days for me to accept his proposal. One of the main reasons for my hesitation was the very nature of the position. Working in the area of child protection you typically get to hear and see the bad and the ugly.

Theology of the Body speaks often about mystery. One young actress in Hollywood has spoken out and makes the quote of the week. Who? Give a hand to Ms. Emma Watson.

While I cannot comment on any of her other views nor the manner in which Ms. Watson lives, she intuitively understands what society does not. Ms. Watson understands that in order for the public to see and hear her, she must wear more than less. It’s counter-cultural. It’s radical. It’s TOB!

Will your dance partner be an angel in heaven? Wait! They dance?

Today the universal Church celebrates the Feast of the Archangels. One might think, “What does this have to do with the Theology of the Body?” I would suggest that it is incredibly important since it helps us understand our place in the celestial court.

Sometimes the ad agencies get it right. As difficult as it is to admit, Toyota deserves kudos for their imaginative and satirical review of Facebook in its Toyota Venza Parents Facebook 2011 commercial. Now, I am not a dolt. I do understand that the object of the commercial was to sell the car but it was just such a fun way to demonstrate the limitations of social media.

“O death, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting?”

On Easter morning, we again find ourselves in a garden (Mt 28:8 and Mk 16:8). The enemy believes that he has won. But Aslan’s words in C.S. Lewis’ classic, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, illustrates a truth that the accuser of the brethren had not considered,

“It means,” said Aslan, “that though the Witch knew the Deep Magic, there is a magic deeper still which she did not know. Her knowledge only goes back to the dawn of time. But if she could have looked a little further back, into the stillness and darkness before Time dawned, she would have read there a different incantation. She would have known that when a willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor’s stead, the Table would crack and Death itself would start working backwards.”[1]

Even in silence, the Lord is still battling the devil but His victory is assured.

And silence covers the earth. For the Warrior-Bridegroom is gone. Our sanctuaries lay bare, our sacraments are not celebrated except in the case of the dying, and there is a hush over the land because of the quiet expectation of Resurrection Sunday while all still mourning the loss of our Lord.