Sunday, April 18, 2010

An apologia and an apology

"Apologia" is defined by as "an apology, as in defense or justification of a belief, idea, etc." Of course, this term is also related to the modern word "apology" - meaning, "explanation why I've been a doosh." 

Why am I telling you this? Because the purpose of this post is twofold:
1) to say I'm sorry - for not posting more. 
2) to explain why I'm not posting more. 

When you hear the explanation, you'll also know why I haven't written anyone, including friends and family, haven't spoken to anyone, and generally have been incognito for the last couple weeks. 

The truth is, I've been busy. In fact, I've been overwhelmed. If my life had a soundtrack, right now it would be the theme from Jaws

My poor heroic spouse is in her eighth month, about ready to pop. I got a deadline to finish my book at the end of this month. For the last week I've had both a head cold and a toothache. To quote Prince Humperdinck, I'm swamped. So that's why you haven't seen as many amusing posts from me as of late. 

I need to say a few words in praise of my wife. She's at the stage of her first pregnancy where she's done "getting used to it", she's done with the novelty of it - she just wants to be done with it. But she never complains, except in the most indirect way. For example: a few minutes ago she starts sneezing and wincing. I ask her why. "No big deal," she mutters. "Every time I sneeze I get a shooting pain down both legs. Don't worry about it - write your blog." Ain't she a trooper, folks? 

Now, as for the book - yes, I am writing a book. Specifically, I'm writing the third book in the John Paul 2 High Book series - and I'm working harder then I ever have on it. To put into perspective how hard I'm working on it: It took me a year to write Chapters 1 - 7. I finished Chapters 8 and 9 in the last two weeks. 

Finally, there's the head cold and the toothache. No big deal - just annoying. 

So, that's why I haven't been posting much lately - and that's why I won't be posting much in the next couple weeks - I will let you all know when Dominic arrives, but I can't guarentee much more than that, I'm afraid. However, there will be a brand new baby and an awesome book at the end of this drought, so don't despair! 

A few final thoughts before I say adieu: I have to pass a message on to a friend of mine - someone with whom I recently had an ugly quarrel with. I'm sorry. I've been thinking a lot about the passage from Ephesians 4: 

Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body. "In your anger do not sin": Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Would that I actually followed these words. Would that we all did. 

One final thought: I was reading the Divine Office today, and came across this reading. I wanted to pass it on to you - simply because it's a great argument for the Eucharist. Written by a 1st Century martyr, it's a fascinating look into the early Church, and incidentally a window into the early Mass, only a century after Christ. Check it out. (oh, and by the way, St. Justin was one of the first apologists - get it?)  

Reading from the first apology in defense of the Christians by Saint Justin, martyr
The celebration of the Eucharist
No one may share the Eucharist with us unless he believes that what we teach is true, unless he is washed in the regenerating waters of baptism for the remission of his sins, and unless he lives in accordance with the principles given us by Christ.
We do not consume the eucharistic bread and wine as if it were ordinary food and drink, for we have been taught that as Jesus Christ our Saviour became a man of flesh and blood by the power of the Word of God, so also the food that our flesh and blood assimilates for its nourishment becomes the flesh and blood of the incarnate Jesus by the power of his own words contained in the prayer of thanksgiving.
The apostles, in their recollections, which are called gospels, handed down to us what Jesus commanded them to do. They tell us that he took bread, gave thanks and said: Do this in memory of me. This is my body. In the same way he took the cup, he gave thanks and said: This is my blood. The Lord gave this command to them alone. Ever since then we have constantly reminded one another of these things. The rich among us help the poor and we are always united. For all that we receive we praise the Creator of the universe through his Son Jesus Christ and through the Holy Spirit.
On Sunday we have a common assembly of all our members, whether they live in the city or the outlying districts. The recollections of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read, as long as there is time. When the reader has finished, the president of the assembly speaks to us; he urges everyone to imitate the examples of virtue we have heard in the readings. Then we all stand up together and pray.
On the conclusion of our prayer, bread and wine and water are brought forward. The president offers prayers and gives thanks to the best of his ability, and the people give assent by saying, “Amen.” The Eucharist is distributed, everyone present communicates, and the deacons take it to those who are absent.
The wealthy, if they wish, may make a contribution, and they themselves decide the amount. The collection is placed in the custody of the president, who uses it to help the orphans and widows and all who for any reason are in distress, whether because they are sick, in prison, or away from home. In a word, he takes care of all who are in need.
We hold our common assembly on Sunday because it is the first day of the week, the day on which God put darkness and chaos to flight and created the world, and because on that same day our savior Jesus Christ rose from the dead. For he was crucified on Friday and on Sunday he appeared to his apostles and disciples and taught them the things that we have passed on for your consideration.

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