Jeff Geerling's blog

3 million pageviews

Wow. Just glanced at stats for 2008-now on, and it looks like I've passed 3,000,000 page views, with more than 1.6 million unique visitors (I didn't keep stats from 2004-2008, so I don't have data for that time).

Thanks for all your visits, and for helping me improve this site through your feedback! I've received over 1,500 comments and 1,000 emails over the course of 800 blog posts, 60 articles, 31 reviews, and 1,100 photos posted to this site. I've written over 40,000 words in the posts on this site (not yet enough for a novel), and I've written similar amounts for sites like Open Source Catholic and Midwestern Mac.

One of my greatest dilemmas is whether to consolidate sites like those into this site, or to try to keep Life is a Prayer more about personal things, marriage, family life, etc. Here's to another 40,000 words figuring it out!

Daddy #protips

I've been thinking about starting a Tumblr account for some of the many Pro Tips™ I'm learning from raising a baby. I'm sure there are about 10,000 more that I will learn in the next month alone.

Like "when your baby boy starts peeing during a diaper change, you can either let the stream hit the nice carpet and cause a stain, or use your hand (which is much easier to clean) as a deflection shield to keep everything in the waterproof changing pad liner." Apparently this also makes your wife laugh.

It's like babies know when the worst time is to spit up, go potty, and scream—and intentionally do those things at that time. I think they're just playing us parents all for fools.

But they're so darn cute, it's impossible to get angry.

What were they thinking?

I noticed this video from the Center for Reproductive Rights on YouTube today, after seeing it posted by a few different people on Facebook and Google+:

What were they thinking?

There are so many things wrong with this video, it's hard to pick just a few to comment on:

  • A black man. Seriously? Do they realize that abortions are performed disproportionately on the black population, and that those who dismiss this statistic's negative interpretation as evangelical fanaticism say it's a good thing because it helps black people in their struggle to overcome poverty and poor health care?
  • A black man. Okay, so the video's already able to be construed as having some sort of racial overtones. As if that's bad enough, a man celebrating a "women's right to abortion" is about the most sexist and anti-feminine thing I can think of. The man is rightly happy (and strangely turned on—can you say creeper?) in the video because of the fact that he can have sex without consequences, with any woman he chooses, consequences-be-darned, because he knows women feel the pressure to use birth control—and when that fails, have abortions.
  • A black man drinking. Is the man drinking because he knows there are higher risks of substance abuse for women who have abortions? Is he drinking as an in your face to the heroic women who choose to carry a baby to term, but sacrificially forego drinking and modify their diets to help their babies remain healthy?

It's like the Center for Reproductive Rights is run by sexist, racist white men! Again: what were they thinking? I'd be surprised if the video is not pulled offline at some point. It's already at 2.5k dislikes (with just 114 likes), and all the top comments are negative.

Great video on Altar Servers

Through Facebook, I discovered this great video on one young man's experience as an altar server:

I definitely agree that the altar server can distract from the liturgy if he is not focused on his duty, and that priests should encourage the use of cassocks and surplices instead of albs. A large reason for my joining the Seminary was my experience as an altar server, assisting some very humble priests who were great representatives of the Church and very close to Jesus—and this was reinforced by how reverent and dedicated they were to the celebration of Holy Mass.

The Meaning of Life

So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love. (1 Cor. 13:13)

Yesterday my wife and I experienced the birth of our first child, who was born just one day prior to his due date, and is as beautiful as any child I've ever known. But even more so because he's mine!

Labor is an emotional roller coaster, and I was incredibly privileged to be with Natalie throughout the entire process: from the early stages at home to the final push in the hospital. Especially in the last moments, my ability to love and experience God's love was radically altered.

Seeing mommy's radiant face moments after the birth, hearing the first gargling cries of our new child, and experiencing all the beautiful moments of agony and ecstasy involved in bringing the baby into our world has given me a new perspective on love.

Love, you see, is the only cardinal virtue that will remain in Heaven. There is no need for faith, for those in Heaven have complete faith in God. There is no need for hope, because you have nothing more for which you can hope. Love remains, and is increased so that it consumes the whole of your being.

I experienced a foretaste of that when our little bambino was born.

For anyone who is called to a vocation of marriage, the birth of your first child is when the true meaning of life begins to take hold.* And that is to love. Love deeply, love sacrificially, love with your whole self, body and soul. The married bond between man and woman sets the stage, but the birth of a child, and the subsequent family relationship sets that bond into a firm foundation of true love.

I can't begin to describe the increase in love that has already occurred in the past day and a half. And I can't imagine what's to come.

Love is not always easy, but it's not hard to love someone when he's just so darn cute!

Geerling Baby Foot

*Not to say that those who are married and are without children, for whatever reason, are not living their vocation or experiencing life to its fullest—I sincerely hope that every married couple gets a chance to bring new life into this world, and I pray especially for those who have a difficult time making this so!

"Ordain a Lady" - Thérèse of Lisieux is not impressed

I noticed this video yesterday, featuring a nasally rendition of Call Me Maybe by the Women's Ordination Conference (not worth a link):


  • "Excommunication, I'm still glowing."
  • "[I] don't listen to St. Paul."
  • "We want our Church back."

Notably, comments were disabled sometime this morning, after over 300 comments were posted yesterday witfully deriding the lunacy of the video (additionally, the negative ratings were beating positive ratings 2:1). I guess the Women's Ordination Conference can dish it out, but can't take the heat.

The video mentions St. Thérèse of Lisieux, and says that like her "I need to give this a whirl." Looking at the WOC's website, I found the following:

St. Thérèse of Lisieux, a Doctor of the Church, is the patron saint of women’s ordination. St. Thérèse’s call to the priesthood is well-documented. St. Thérèse died at the young age of 24. Before her death she stated, “You see, God is going to take me at an age when I would not have had the time to become a priest…. If I could have been a priest, I would have been ordained at these June ordinations. So what did God do? So that I would not be disappointed, he let me be sick: in that way I could not have been there, and I would die before I could exercise my ministry.”


Thérèse of Lisieux is Not Impressed

Yeah, so that quote is not entirely accurate, and is completely devoid of context. Something the organization also tends to do when representing Paul, Pope John Paul II, and pretty much anyone else they disagree with.

For a good read on how far from the Mark the WOC is, check out Peter McDonald's article, Did St. Thérèse want to be a priest?.

It's ironic that this video was published shortly after I wrote a response on Quora to the question Why are there no female Roman Catholic priests?. And after a much better (and more faithful) adaptation was published by Imagine Sisters of Convent Maybe?


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