Monday, April 21, 2008

First comes love... then comes marriage... then comes...

Benjamin Alan Souligne! Born today, April 21st at 6:37 p.m.. 7lbs 12oz, 20 inches long. He is perfect and absolutely beautiful.





And a couple of videos:

video

video

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

One of the cool things...

...I get to do for work.

video

Monday, February 25, 2008

Another resolution (not just for Lent)...

I've recently experienced a few occasions (that being far too many) where people have been out-right cruel. How is one to respond when in the midst of a group of people who are being cruel to another (not in actions, but in words)? Sadly, I simply hung my head and didn't say a word. I felt like I should have done something... should have said something.

On being Courteous.

Hilaire Belloc says Of Courtesy…
it is much less than Courage of Heart or Holiness,
Yet in His walks it seems
That the Grace of God is found in Courtesy…

Courtesy, among other things is the refinement of conduct in the small matters of daily life. Courtesy is not necessarily a “Christian Virtue”. One need not be infused with the Grace of God to be courteous. However, when formed by explicit Faith and Charity, The Grace of God is in Courtesy.

Courtesy is not strictly distinct from the other virtues, but rather a quality to be found in them all. It has something to do with reverence and humility. It is shaped by charity, the form of all the virtues, into the quality of mercy. Courtesy is the beauty of a brave and generous life.

Courtesy is, first of all, reverence for one’s fellow man. It is a habit of seeing made possible by faith and charity, an eye which sees in every man, great or small, the shining image of the Trinity. The courteous person has an attitude of “worship” toward his fellows: by small deeds of kindness, he acknowledges their worth, their dignity, as human persons.

Secondly, courtesy is closely tied to humility. According to G.K. Chesterton, courtesy is “the wedding of humility with dignity.” One example he uses is that of a prince who waited like a servant on a man who was his own prisoner. There is something in courtesy that deserves to be called self-emptying – the noble refusal of self-worship. The proud or self-centered person may be polite, but he can never be courteous, because he refuses to serve.

The courteous person is not necessarily a Saint. However, they do strive to be saintly. They can be deceived by the world, racked with concupiscence, and tempted by evil. However, courtesy is measured by the wholeheartedness of the struggle. If the courteous Christian be not in God’s grace, he prays God to put him there.

Finally, courtesy has beauty. It is an attribute of the whole person… at once a graceful bodily gesture (as in “curtsy”) and a gracious attitude of the mind. St. Thomas Aquinas said that the spiritually beautiful and the morally right were really identical, because when a man is righteous, the splendor of reason shines through his actions. Therefore the courteous person is beautiful and sheds beauty on those to whom he shows courtesy. To show courtesy to a unkind man is to show him the loveliness God gave him in his nature and the even greater loveliness he could have if only he allowed God’s grace to change him.

And (of course) according to Dante… courtesy does not die at death. The living man shows himself courteous toward the souls of the departed by praying for them, so that they may purge their guilt. And in Paradise, there is a sweet lack of envy in the saints… Each of the blessed accepts his own degree of glory and rejoices, without jealousy, in the merits of his fellows. This heavenly magnanimity is courtesy. According to Dante’s report, Bonaventure the Franciscan is so moved by the courtesy with which Thomas the Dominican praises St. Francis that he is moved in praise of God all the more. (See Paradiso, canto XII)

Saturday, February 16, 2008

On Lent...

“The dawn was overcoming the morning breeze, which had fled before it, so that I descried far off the trembling of the sea. We made our way over the lonely plain, like one who returns to the road he has lost and, till he finds it, seems to himself to go in vain.

“When we were at a part where the dew resists the sun and, being in shade, is little dispersed, my Master gently laid both hands outspread on the grass. I, therefore, aware of his purpose, reached toward him my tear-stained cheeks and on them he wholly restored that colour which Hell had hidden in me.”
Purgatorio, Canto I, line 120

This is one of my favorite parts of Dante’s Divine Comedy. It’s the beginning of Purgatory after Dante and Virgil’s ascent from Hell. It is where Virgil washes Dante’s face “of the soot of Hell”.

It is, for me, a fitting image for Lent.


I must admit, I’ve not even begun my Lenten sacrifices this year. Not to mention that I forgot it was Lent this past Friday until it was Saturday and realized that I had meat for lunch – but only beer for dinner (which I had every intention of giving up).

I will say, though, that I am going through a certain purgation which reaches far beyond the physical (which I suppose is most important). I know what I must give up… what I must let loose (and it has nothing to do with beer). It is time that I cease wandering (without direction) in vain... it is time my tear-stained cheeks be cleansed and my focus be set on goodness and on a future of hope. Thank you to the “Virgils” in my life who have helped wipe the tears from my face, and most importantly, have pointed me in the proper direction.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

O would some power...

O would some power -- the gift, give us
to see ourselves as others see us! - Robert Burns


O that He would give us the gift to see ourselves (and others) as He sees us (and them)...

Thursday, October 18, 2007

A few of my favorite things...

I wrote this for my Facebook profile and figured I'd post it here (although those that know me know these things).

I love...

...coffee (even better if shared with friends)
...football – especially the Dallas Cowboys.
...the month of October (but only when it’s cool… right now it’s too damn hot!)
...my job (really)
...the smell of Aveda products (just did my hair this morning and I can still smell it)
...music, in general
...jazz, specifically
...the beauty of Joe Williams’ voice, to be even more specific

...and then there's Diana Krall
...my mom; she’s a treasure to me; I’ve always known this, but was recently re-reminded
...to laugh and to hear people laughing (Joni & Eliz)
...people in general
...specifically people who inspire me to be a better me
...honesty and sincerity and people who are who they ARE.
...faithful friends
...hot dogs (that’s a silly one, but it’s true)
...beer (again, much better if shared with friends)
...specifically beer with a fresh lime wedge
...my dad (he’s very likely the reason I love football (and beer))
...traveling (experiencing new places, meeting new people, gaining a broader perspective on life)
...Assisi, Italy (Well, really pretty much all of Italy).

...wine (especially when in Italy)
...a clean house (call me crazy, but I love to clean)
...my faith (the Richness of the Catholic Church)
...peace and beauty and goodness and grace
...simplicity

...Francis, Therese (both the Saint and Enders)
...white (the "non-color")
...Mr. Blue (the book)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Fun...

It doesn't get much better than this:

The wedding of a dear friend
Meeting new friends
Sun
Sand
Water
Corona (many) with lime
Laughter (lots and lots)
Good conversation
Sleep (very little)

That was my weekend.