YouAreRock.com

A Catholic Convert talks about faith and life

We don’t always understand, but we still believe

The moon and Jupiter taken at St. Peter's square

A picture I took from St. Peter's square in the Vatican. Behind the obelisk you can see the moon with Jupiter just below it

Have you happened to look in the western sky in the early evening the last couple nights?  If you have, maybe you have taken notice of the two bright stars in the western sky, both appearing well before dark, and also well before any other stars in the area.  These two objects, as you may be aware, are Venus and Jupiter.  Which, if I remember right, are the third and fourth brightest objects in our sky, behind the Sun and Moon.  Venus is the brighter one, and currently appears slightly below Jupiter, but that will change soon.  On Sunday night, if you’re lucky to have a clear sky (which it looks like the Detroit area will), you will see that the two planets appear to be right next to each other.  Now, maybe this doesn’t exactly thrill you, but it does me (go ahead, call me a geek – you wouldn’t be the first).  Not only do I think it’s cool, but it also gets me thinking… Continue reading

The battle lines are drawn, here is one of our soldiers

I highly recommend you take seven minutes of your life and watch this video.  We are in a fight, whether we like it or not.  It’s time to rally the troops and stand up for ourselves, now the only question is how?  Prayer is a good place to start.  I know that’s where I’m going to start.

I heard this video this morning on “Seize the Day” with Gus Lloyd, and Gus was asking if people like to hear a priest talk like this, or if they think that our priests should stay out of politics.  Personally, I love to hear this kind of stuff from our priests.  I think we need to know exactly what we are up against, and exactly where our Church stands on the subject. Continue reading

Maybe Bill Maher can have a “Field of Dreams” moment

Earlier today I came across this post -

“BILL MAHER: JESUS CHRIST WAS A ‘PALESTINIAN’ WHO DID ‘MAGIC TRICKS’”

and it made me think of some things.  The first thing it made me think of was how I used to think the exact same way that Bill Maher does now. I believed that only weak, gullible people could possibly believe in something like Christianity, or even God Himself for that matter.  I would look down at people who I knew were believers, even though some of the strongest, most intelligent people I knew were also believers.  You can explain anything away if you try hard enough, just like Bill Maher does with his line “You can have whatever opinion you want, and the fact that a billion other people believe it gives you a lot of strength and credence.”  This was his way of saying that just because you and a billion other idiots have this opinion doesn’t mean that the rest of us have to be idiots as well.  I’m paraphrasing, but I’m pretty sure that was his point.  The next thing that it made me think of was the fact that I am going to continue to pray for Bill Maher, and others like him, to have what I call their “Field of Dreams” moment. Continue reading

The HHS Mandate is a very scary proposition indeed

Stop HHS Logo

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past month, you’ve probably heard about the HHS mandate requiring everybody, even religious institutions, to provide health insurance to employees that covers both contraception and sterilization.  We (by we I mean “we the people”) were promised by the administration that the new health care mandate would include a “conscious clause” that would allow religious institutions to be free from violating their consciouses by providing services that they believe to be immoral.  In the end, however, that clause ended up defining “religious organization” so narrowly that no religion I can think of would qualify.  In order to qualify as a religious organization you have to both serve and employ only members of your religion.  In other words, in order to be a religious organization the government says you must not serve people outside of your religion.  Which not only disqualifies the Catholic Church (as well as pretty much any other church), but would have disqualified Jesus’s ministry as well. Continue reading

What do they put in those ashes anyway?

Image of Ashes

I just got home from my third ever Ash Wednesday Mass, and now that I feel like I’m an expert on the subject, I’d like to make some observations.  Have you noticed that EVERYBODY comes to Ash Wednesday Mass?  I attend a fairly large parrish.  Our Sunday Masses are well attended, but not packed.  Our holy day of obligation Masses, on the other hand, are extremely sparse.  When you walk into mass on, say, The Feast of The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, you’d think you got the date wrong. Continue reading

Sometimes the world you land in isn’t the same as the world you took off from

Well, it’s been a busy couple weeks. Emily and I returned home from our cruise back on Saturday February 11th, getting back to our house at around 12:30 am. Then, went to bed, got up Sunday morning, went to mass, did two loads of laundry, packed again, went back to the airport, and I left for Frankfurt, Germany at 7:30 pm Sunday night.  This one, however, was a work trip.  No tropical ports of call for me this time.  I arrived in Germany at about 10:30 am Monday (German time), drove two hours to my hotel, tried to stay awake the rest of the day, attended meetings on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, drove two hours back to Frankfurt, stayed overnight, and flew out at 9:30 am Friday back to Detroit. Continue reading

The Mayan 2012 mystery

Our cruise continues. Yesterday we went on our “2012 – Mysteries of the Mayan Civilization” tour, which was pretty informative. The tour was led by a man who said that he was of 100% Mayan ancestry, which he had supporting evidence that I won’t get into here. He began the tour by bringing up the doomsday date of December 23, 2012 and told us something absolutely shocking – the Mayans did not predict that the world was going to end on that date (imagine that, a culture that is misunderstood by society). That just happens to be the date that their calendar period ended, not that their calendar ended.  December 24, 2012 just begins the next period. Continue reading

Stories from a cruise ship

Yesterday I turned the big 4-0.  Some people freak out about age, not me though, I don’t feel a day over 39.  Besides, I spent the day in the best way I could ever imagine, on a cruise ship in the western Caribbean with my wife and best friend, Emily.  Emily wanted to do something special for my 40th birthday so she booked this cruise as a surprise.  The surprise part didn’t work out (that’s ok, I’m not really big on surprises anyway), but the cruise is awesome!  I don’t know if you’ve ever been on one of these things before, but the people watching alone is worth the price of admission.  I just thought I’d share a couple of the funny things I’ve heard since I’ve been here. Continue reading

When did everyone get rosaries?

Rosary hanging from a mirror

Do you ever get the feeling that the Big Guy is trying to give you a sign? Today my wife Emily and I had to run some errands; dry cleaner, drug store, grocery store. You know, super-exciting saturday afternoon adventures. The car was also in need of an oil change, so we decided to stop at one of the local quickie oil change places in town. There were already a couple other cars waiting when we pulled up, so we got in line and patiently waited our turn to enter the bay. I think that every car that went in not only got an oil change, but also windshield wipers, new brake lights and turn indicators, and just for good measure a radiator flush as well, because we were sitting there for a long time. Continue reading