Thursday, December 11, 2008

On the nature of love

Today's Office of Readings has the following:

From a sermon by Saint Peter Chrysologus, bishop

Love desires to see God

When God saw the world falling to ruin because of fear, he immediately acted to call it back to himself with love. He invited it by his grace, preserved it by his love, and embraced it with compassion. When the earth had become hardened in evil, God sent the flood both to punish and to release it. He called Noah to be the father of a new era, urged him with kind words, and showed that he trusted him; he gave him fatherly instruction about the present calamity, and through his grace consoled him with hope for the future. But God did not merely issue commands; rather with Noah sharing the work, he filled the ark with the future seed of the whole world. The sense of loving fellowship thus engendered removed servile fear, and a mutual love could continue to preserve what shared labor had effected.

God called Abraham out of the heathen world, symbolically lengthened his name; and made him the father of all believers. God walked with him on his journeys, protected him in foreign lands, enriched him with earthly possessions, and honored him with victories. He made a covenant with him, saved him from harm, accepted his hospitality, and astonished him by giving him the offspring he had despaired of. Favored with so many graces and drawn by such great sweetness of divine love, Abraham was to learn to love God rather than fear him, and love rather than fear was to inspire his worship.

God comforted Jacob by a dream during his flight, roused him to combat upon his return, and encircled him with a wrestler's embrace to teach him not to be afraid of the author of the conflict, but to love him. God called Moses as father would, and with fatherly affection invited him to become the liberator of his people.

In all the events we have recalled, the flame of divine love enkindled human hearts and its intoxication overflowed into men's senses. Wounded by love, they longed to look upon God with their bodily eyes. Yet how could our narrow human vision apprehend God, whom the whole world cannot contain? But the law of love is not concerned with what will be, what ought to be, what can be. Love does not reflect; it is unreasonable and knows no moderation. Love refuses to be consoled when its goal proves impossible, despises all hindrances to the attainment of its object. Love destroys the lover if he cannot obtain what he loves; love follows its own promptings, and does not think of right and wrong. Love inflames desire which impels it toward things that are forbidden. But why Continue?

It is intolerable for love not to see the object of its longing. That is why whatever reward they merited was nothing to the saints if they could not see the Lord. A love that desires to see God may not have reasonableness on its side, but it is the evidence of filial love. It gave Moses the temerity to say: If I have found favor in your eyes, show me your face. It inspired the psalmist to make the same prayer: Show me your face. Even the pagans made their images for this purpose: they wanted actually to see what they mistakenly revered.

The point I'd like to make in posting this, is that, as Thomas said, we act under the motive of love, even if we are sinning; we place a lesser love above a greater love;

For example, the Catholic who leaves the Church for a nice warm and fuzzy protestant congregation, who says "I'm not being fed" - is seeking something much less than God, with whom he is being fed. St Paul said their god is their belly and their glory their shame, but in light of Chrysologus' item above, it is a little love, placed above the greatest love, Deus Caritas Est.

Chrysologus also gives us insight into the violence and hatred of the so-called gay movement. Their love is real, although a lesser love, but it drives to irrationality, knowing no bounds. This is why the word "disorder" is so wonderful, even while it is being maligned with such vigor. For it is rational to love pleasure, and it is rational to love God, but it is out of order to reverse them, just as:

1,2,3,4,5... is in order, but
4,1,5,2,3... is not in order.

The parts are there, the order is, will, "dissed"

BTW, it was St. Augustine who said that we can know what we love, for we name ourselves with what we love.

Monday, December 08, 2008


Pergolesi's Magnificat

Robert Parson's Magnificat,

Dyson - Magnificat in D

Brewer - Magnificat in D

Studio del Magnificat in canto gregoriano, Schola Gregoriana Mediolanensis, Giovanni Vianini

Robert Parson's Ave Maria

Arcadelt Ave Maria

Dyson- Nunc Dimittis in D

I put up the Christmas lights

Listen up!

A new blog by Fr. Hulk

I wan't talking to you

Straight talk; I like it. Hat tip to Adoro te Devote for the link.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Idaho Chooses Life!

To David Ripley, Executive Director of Idaho Chooses Life, a hearty "THANK YOU" for once again producing a fine evening. And to Judy Brown, for coming and speaking to those assembled, a big "THANK YOU" as well.

A couple thoughts from Judy Brown stuck fast; an admission that being tied to one political party was a serious mistake; a huge admission from one of the architects of that marriage of convienence. Judy stressed many times, and I will do so and I ask you to do so;

"Abortion is not a political issue, it is a procedure that kills a baby."

Whenever you hear abortion argued as politics, get it back on track with this line.

most intriguing, a quote from a Pastor Childers:

"African-American genocide now has a face; Obama."
Time to call the liars out, no more hiding behind obfuscation.

Judy pointed out that NO ONE in this recent election called any candidate to the carpet for the specious claim of not being pro-abortion, but pro-choice. Try it; the next time someone says that sort of moronic thing, then say "Then I can expect you to vote against abortion when you get the choice."


David Ripley's article at ICL:
Idaho Is Blessed by Judie Brown

!!Well, what do you know... I can count 7 Dominicans in the picture above...

Monday, December 01, 2008

Idaho Chooses Life

Christmas Dinner and Auction

Friday, December 5, 2008 6-9:30PM
Community Christian Center
202 E 42nd St. Garden City

This is a fundraising event to support the 2009 Legislative Program.
Auction items gratefully accepted. Tables of 8 can be reserved for $75.00
Families are welcome at $35.00, and child care will be provided.

Reservations can be made by calling 344-8709

Hold fast!

The Samurai with the Cross. From the Acts of the Martyrs of Japan
by Sandro Magister

On December 9, 1603, Agnes Takeda watched as her husband was beheaded, and then reverently picked up his head and held it to her chest. The chronicler tells us that, at the sight, not only the crowd but even the executioners were moved to tears. The separation of the devoted couple was brief, because Agnes was martyred later the same day.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Ultrasound at 11 weeks

Just in from a lovely friend:

Lesson on the False Dichotomy Fallacy

Here's a look at the flawed logic so often encountered in attacks on the faith.

hat tip to Dutch blogger Turgonian Transitus Tiberis via Steve Ray's Defenders of the Catholic Faith forums.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Eucharist - giving thanks

One of the meanings of the word "Eucharist" is "thanksgiving"

Scholars Urge More Research on Holy Grail
Congress Discusses Authenticity of Chalice

VALENCIA, Spain, NOV. 24, 2008 ( Though no one knows if Valencia's grail is the true Last Supper chalice, a group of experts says it has tremendous cultural value due to its impact on history and literature.

This was affirmed by members of the international congress "Valencia, City of the Holy Grail," focusing on the chalice traditionally associated with the institution of the Eucharist.

The congress was held Nov. 7-9 at the Catholic University of Valencia and was organized by the Archdiocese of Valencia, the cathedral’s metropolitan chapter, the Catholic University of Valencia, the Spanish Center for Sindonology, the Royal Brotherhood, and the Holy Chalice Confraternity.

Experts from several countries attended the congress. They gave presentations on the ways in which this relic has marked history and literature since its move from Rome to Spain by Lawrence the Martyr in the year 258, as held by tradition.

The body of existing data points to the Valencia grail as the most probable authentic chalice of Christ.


Antonio Beltrán, professor of archaeology at the University of Zaragoza, noted that the cup is formed by a deep red agate, called "Oriental carnelian," with streaks in the form of flames. By its material he asserts that it must come from a workshop in Palestine, Syria or Egypt between the fourth century B.C. and the first century A.D. The subsequent additions, such as the precious stones and the frame, date from the 13th or 14th century.

Jorge Manuel Rodríguez, president of the Spanish Center for Sindonology, explained that although films have always shown "a wooden Holy Grail, […] that material did not comply with the norms of purification of the Jews."

Another element discussed by the scholars was the journey of the chalice from Rome to Valencia.

The experts affirmed that if the chalice arrived in Rome from Jerusalem, it was most likely taken by the Apostle Peter himself.

Jaime Sancho, president of the liturgy commission of the Archdiocese of Valencia, presented a datum that supports the theory that the first popes celebrated the Eucharist with the same chalice that Jesus used.

Sancho explained that in the Roman Canon, which dates back to the second century, it says literally at the moment of consecration "and, taking this glorious chalice in his holy and venerable hands," instead of "the chalice."

This and other proofs contributed by Sancho demonstrate the existence in Rome of a unique chalice.

This was affirmed by José Vicente Martínez, professor of ancient history at the University of Valencia, and American researcher Janice Bennet, doctor in Spanish literature. They both spoke about Pope Sixtus II, martyred in Rome during Valerian’s persecution, entrusting the Holy Grail to Deacon Lawrence to protect it from the emperor.

A manuscript by St. Donatus told of this event, said Bennet, as well as the fact that Lawrence was a native of Valencia, not Huesca, as traditionally believed.

Several presenters gave historical proofs of the presence of the chalice in Spain over many centuries, from the study of various annals and paintings.

German anthropologist Michael Hesemann stated that "as opposed to what many think, the grail legends did not begin with the Anglo-Saxon accounts of King Arthur, but in the rooted tradition that says that the chalice of the Last Supper was already in Spain in the Middle Ages."

Faith and science

The researchers were practically unanimous in supporting research on the chalice with modern scientific techniques to determine its origin, though they emphasized that its religious value does not depend on the resulting discoveries.

Miguel Navarro, doctor in church history from Rome’s Gregorian University, stated that the chalice "is not a magical object, but consecrated by Jesus' use of it and by the faith that perceives it as such, which has great religious value, regardless of the fact that it cannot be proved with absolute scientific certainty that it is the Lord’s chalice."

Relics, he added, are not "simple keepsakes, but something more valuable: palpable evidence of the reality of the human or historical event on which our faith is based, as salvation takes place in history, in the flesh."

Moreover, Father Manuel Carreira, doctor of physical sciences, added that science and faith "are not opposed." However, he specified that "although science can give an explanation of all this, it cannot demonstrate anything literally about what happens in the Eucharist."

Navarro added that the chalice "insofar as relic, is beyond and above science, because its primordial significance belongs to the realm of faith, which does not mean that we approach it in an anti-scientific or fundamentalist way." Rather, "we have the obligation to study it scientifically in its materiality."

Benedict XVI used the chalice during the Mass with which he concluded the World Meeting of Families in Valencia in July, 2006. Pope John Paul II also used it in his visit to the city.

that's it, folks!

sheet music needed

Looking for sheet music in modern notation for "Rorate Caeli Desuper"

if anyone knows of such on the internet that I can download, I'd appreciate it.

here's a nice rendering of the first two verses

I know, I know.... we've been practicing with square notation, but the modern notation is for the organist!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Cartoon is missing one caption

Catholic Cartoon Blog pointing out a painfull reality?

but, it's missing one piece.

Obama administration reveals plans to advance gay agenda

Ode to Pelagius (Belloc)

the source is "The four men; a farrago" by Belloc:

Pelagius lived in Kardanoel
and taught a doctrine there
How whether you went to Heaven or Hell,
It was your own affair.
How, whether you found eternal joy
Or sank forever to burn,
It had nothing to do with the Church, my boy,
But it was your own concern.

Oh, he didn't believe in Adam and Eve,
He put no faith therein!
His doubts began with the fall of man,
And he laughed at original sin!

With my row-ti-tow, ti-oodly-ow,
He laughed at original sin!

Whereat the Bishop of old Auxerre
(Germanus was his name)
He tore great handfuls out of his hair,
And he called Pelagius Shame:
And then with his stout Episcopal staff
So thoroughly whacked and banged
The heretics all, both short and tall,
They rather had been hanged.

Oh, he thwacked them hard, and he banged them long
Upon each and all occasions,
Till they bellowed in chorus, loud and strong
Their orthodox persuasions!

With my row-ti-tow, ti-oodly-ow,
Their orthodox persuasions!

Now the Faith is old
and the Devil is bold
Exceedingly bold, indeed;
And the masses of doubt
That are floating about
Would smother a mortal creed.
But we that sit in sturdy youth,
And still can drink strong ale,
Oh -- let us put it away to infallible truth,
Which always shall prevail!

And thank the Lord
For the temporal sword,
And for howling heretics, too;
And whatever good things
our Christendom brings,
But especially the barley-brew!

With my row-ti-tow, ti-oodly-ow
Especially the barley-brew!

hat tip to Pro Ecclesia Dei

Saturday, November 22, 2008

American Troops in Afghanistan Through the Eyes of French Infantryman

Received this by email from a member of our Dominican Chapter; the source is a french military blog, the original article (in French) is here:

American Troops in Afghanistan Through the Eyes of French Infantryman

“We have shared our daily life with two US units for quite a while - they are the first and fourth companies of a prestigious infantry battalion whose name I will withhold for the sake of military secrecy. To the common man it is a unit just like any other. But we live with them and got to know them, and we henceforth know that we have the honor to live with one of the most renowned units of the US Army - one that the movies brought to the public as series showing “ordinary soldiers thrust into extraordinary events”. Who are they, those soldiers from abroad, how is their daily life, and what support do they bring to the men of our OMLT every day ? Few of them belong to the Easy Company, the one the TV series focuses on. This one nowadays is named Echo Company, and it has become the support company.

They have a terribly strong American accent - from our point of view the language they speak is not even English. How many times did I have to write down what I wanted to say rather than waste precious minutes trying various pronunciations of a seemingly common word? Whatever state they are from, no two accents are alike and they even admit that in some crisis situations they have difficulties understanding each other.

Heavily built, fed at the earliest age with Gatorade, proteins and creatine - they are all heads and shoulders taller than us and their muscles remind us of Rambo. Our frames are amusingly skinny to them - we are wimps, even the strongest of us - and because of that they often mistake us for Afghans.

Here we discover America as it is often depicted : their values are taken to their paroxysm, often amplified by promiscuity and the loneliness of this outpost in the middle of that Afghan valley. Honor, motherland - everything here reminds of that : the American flag floating in the wind above the outpost, just like the one on the post parcels. Even if recruits often originate from the hearth of American cities and gang territory, no one here has any goal other than to hold high and proud the star spangled banner. Each man knows he can count on the support of a whole people who provides them through the mail all that an American could miss in such a remote front-line location : books, chewing gums, razorblades, Gatorade, toothpaste etc. in such way that every man is aware of how much the American people backs him in his difficult mission. And that is a first shock to our preconceptions : the American soldier is no individualist. The team, the group, the combat team are the focus of all his attention.

And they are impressive warriors ! We have not come across bad ones, as strange at it may seem to you when you know how critical French people can be. Even if some of them are a bit on the heavy side, all of them provide us everyday with lessons in infantry know-how. Beyond the wearing of a combat kit that never seem to discomfort them (helmet strap, helmet, combat goggles, rifles etc.) the long hours of watch at the outpost never seem to annoy them in the slightest. On the one square meter wooden tower above the perimeter wall they stand the five consecutive hours in full battle rattle and night vision goggles on top, their sight unmoving in the directions of likely danger. No distractions, no pauses, they are like statues nights and days. At night, all movements are performed in the dark - only a handful of subdued red lights indicate the occasional presence of a soldier on the move. Same with the vehicles whose lights are covered - everything happens in pitch dark even filling the fuel tanks with the Japy pump.

And combat ? If you have seen Rambo you have seen it all - always coming to the rescue when one of our teams gets in trouble, and always in the shortest delay. That is one of their tricks : they switch from T-shirt and sandals to combat ready in three minutes. Arriving in contact with the enemy, the way they fight is simple and disconcerting : they just charge ! They disembark and assault in stride, they bomb first and ask questions later - which cuts any pussyfooting short.

We seldom hear any harsh word, and from 5 AM onwards the camp chores are performed in beautiful order and always with excellent spirit. A passing American helicopter stops near a stranded vehicle just to check that everything is alright; an American combat team will rush to support ours before even knowing how dangerous the mission is - from what we have been given to witness, the American soldier is a beautiful and worthy heir to those who liberated France and Europe.

To those who bestow us with the honor of sharing their combat outposts and who everyday give proof of their military excellence, to those who pay the daily tribute of America’s army’s deployment on Afghan soil, to those we owned this article, ourselves hoping that we will always remain worthy of them and to always continue hearing them say that we are all the same band of brothers”.

Vatican Cardinal: “A New World Order is Gaining Ground”

Vatican Cardinal: “A New World Order is Gaining Ground”

Posted using ShareThis

where were you?

45 years ago today?


Friday, November 21, 2008

Bp. Vasa reminds us to pray for the poor souls

Since my visit coincided with the celebration of All Saints Day and All Souls Day it was not possible to avoid the topic of purgatory. It often happens at funerals that the consoling hope that the dearly departed is in heaven with God leads to an over-exaggerated statement that the newly departed is in heaven already. This, of course, is merely conjectured and not known. It is hoped for but not certain. Nonetheless these compassionate sermons can generate within us a profound sense of peace and even joy at the thought that our loved ones are with God. This does sound wonderful but we do not know if it is true or not. Imagine yourself having just died and having discovered that all of your past attachments to sin, which were never completely denounced, have trailed you into eternity. Imagine your shock as you discover that you must now spend (by analogy) one hundred years in purgatory. Imagine your hope as you recognize that the assiduous prayers and Masses offered by your friends and relatives on earth will greatly reduce your purgatorial sentence. Finally, imagine your shock and dismay as you see your family and friends still on earth “canonizing” you and rejoicing that you have no need of their prayers because you are already enjoying the beatific vision, already seeing God face-to-face. These are the ones whom we in the Church refer to as the Poor Souls.

Undoubtedly, it is consoling for us on earth to envision our loved ones as already united with God in heaven but it is much more consoling for the poor souls in purgatory for us to presume that they are not yet fully reconciled with God. There is no harm done in praying for someone as if they were still in purgatory even if they are, in fact, in heaven. There is, by contrast, great harm done in not praying for someone because of a conviction that they are in heaven when they are, in fact, among the Poor and forgotten souls in purgatory. Put yourself in their shoes and pray for them as you will want your children and grandchildren to pray for you. A simple test. Call to mind those whom you know and love who have died in the past year. While you will certainly have recalled them many times in memory, have you also remembered on those occasions to say a decade of the rosary for them, have a Mass offered for them or gathered the family together to pray a rosary for the happy repose of the soul of that loved one? It is good to be remembered, it is better to be remembered in prayer.

All Souls Day this year was particularly poignant for me because one year ago my family and I were keeping vigil with Mom during her last days. She died on November 3 and so the approach of that one year anniversary made this year’s liturgical passage through All Saints Day and All Souls’ Day very memorable. Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her. May her soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen. Let us remember to pray throughout the year for the poor souls in purgatory.

from the Catholic Sentinel online edition.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Congo: from Zenit

I found a little more on what is going on in Congo. When UN peacekeeper forces simply watch as murder and mayhem take place, then... one wonders just what they are there for?

Congolese Prelates Decry "Silent Genocide"

Caritas Workers Appeal for Help in Escalating Conflict

GOMA, Congo, NOV. 14, 2008 ( Congo's bishops have dubbed the violence in the country as a "silent genocide" that could destabilize the entire region if left to run its course.

The bishops reported that widespread massacres, targeted killings of the young, and systematic rapes are taking place "under the impassive eyes of those who have received a mandate to keep the peace and protect the population," according to Caritas.

A force of 17,000 U.N. troops in Congo has been unable to prevent an upsurge in violence over the past three months. An increase in troop numbers is currently under discussion. Today, north of Goma, the United Nations began the distribution of 100 tons of food to 50,000 civilians.

The fighting is generally speaking between the Congolese military and a group of rebel fighters linked to the Rwandan government and directed by Laurent Nkunda. But it is complicated by an assortment of other militia groups. The conflict is over dissidence between Hutus and Tutsis, the same issue that brought the genocide of 800,000 people in Rwanda in 1994.

Congo's bishops appealed for more help from the international community, saying that "our own governments have shown themselves powerless in the face of the extent of the situation."

On Thursday, the bishops made an emergency trip to Goma and Butembo-Beni to express their solidarity with people caught up in the violence, Caritas reported.

The aid agency's emergency appeal is to provide the thousands in refugee camps with items such as food, blankets, hygiene products and cooking equipment.

Monday, November 17, 2008

From the Bl. Margaret Guild & Shrine

Each year I write to you on the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary for the annual El. Margaret of Castello Charity Appeal. The feast is important to Dominicans since the promotion of the Rosary has been entrusted to the Order. The Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary derives from the Feast of Our Lady of Victory, instituted by the Dominican Pope St. Pius-V after the defeat of the Turkisk fleet at Lepanto on Oct. 7, 1571. Four centuries ago Pope Pius asked Our Lady to protect the Church from the invading Muslims; today we ask Our Lady to protect the lives of innocent and helpless children in the wombs of their mothers. As Our Lady brought victory to the Christian fleet, we pray that Our Lady will bring victory to many who work for the end of abortion and the respect for life. We also pray for the conversion and repentance of those who are involved in the abortion industry. As we reflect on the importance of the holy rosary in our lives, I believe the words from our Holy Father Pope Paul VI are worthy of reflection:

From the Apostolic Exhortation Marialis Cultus of Pope Paul VI

The Rosary has been called the compendium of the entire Gospel, for it draws from the Gospel the presentation of the mysteries and its main formulas. As it moves from the Angel's joyful greeting and the Virgin's pious assent, the Rosary takes its inspiration from the Gospel to suggest the attitude with which the faithful should recite it. In the harmonious succession of Hail Mary's the Rosary puts before us once more a fundamental mystery of the Gospel-the Incarnation of the Word, contemplated at the decisive moment of the Annunciation to Mary... Without contemplation the Rosary is a body without a soul and its recitation is in danger of becoming a mechanical repetition of formulas and of going counter to the warning of Christ. "And in praying do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do,. for they think that they will be heard for their many words. " By its nature the recitation of the Rosary calls for a quiet rhythm and a lingering pace, helping the individual to meditate on the mysteries of the Lord's life as seen through the eyes of her who was closet to the Lord. In this way the unfathomable riches of these mysteries are unfolded.

The Shrine of Bl. Margaret continues to be busy and active. We receive and answer your letters, light candles for your intentions, and most especially pray for Bl. Margaret's intercession over your families and friends. The Dominican friars pray the Bl. Margaret novena prayers each evening for the intentions of the Guild; we celebrate a monthly Mass at St. Patrick's for the intentions of the guild,. and each Wednesday the entire parish community prays the Bl. Margaret novena prayers and venerates her relic. Through your generous donations to both the Bl. Margaret Guild and Little Margaret's Charity last year we were able to distribute $37,025.96 to various charities and needs.

We come to you only once a year for your donations for the works of the Bl. Margaret of Castello Shrine. Our mailing list is small (1,600 names), but we know that each of you is interested in the work of the shrine and the promotion of life. Please give what you can, and if you cannot please continue to pray for our work and Bl. Margaret's canonization.

Our annual Charity appeal letter also comes with a blank form for you to send us the names of family and friends who may want to obtain information on Blessed Margaret. Please know that if you provide us with someone's name we will send information only once, and will not add him or her to our mailing list until they ask us to do so. Also if you would like to place your intentions directly on the altar shrine of Bl. Margaret, please fill out the enclosed form and send it to us, with or without a contribution. During these very trying economic times for all of us, it is the poor that are most forgotten. I am reminded of a homeless man here in Columbus who comes to the rectory almost every day for a sandwich and a glass of juice. It is inconvenient to stop in the middle of your day to meet the needs of the hungry, but I am reminded that if we can't take two minutes to feed the poor, then what is the purpose of claiming you are a Christian? We must be attentive to the poor, the neglected, the abandoned; and especially the unborn in our society. Please help us help them by your financial support. We appreciate any amount you are able to send. I would like to thank you for your continued interest in the work of the Shrine of Bl. Margaret of Castello. Please know that you and your families and friends are in my prayers. Please pray for me and my ministry as the Shrine and Guild Director, and for Mrs. Rosemary Canada who takes care of the day to day work of the Guild.

As always in our Little Margaret,

Rev Andre-Joseph LaCasse, O.P.
Blessed Margaret of Castello Guild
Shrine of Blessed Margaret of Castello
262 North Grant Avenue
Columbus, Ohio 43215-2653
(614) 240-5915

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Prayers for the Congo

This prayer request came today;

Dear Joyful Friends,
This urgent appeal for Prayers for The Congo has waited since the 2nd of November, because of the difficulties we had here with the Internet. Thank God we can share the Letter today. See you at Prayer Time!

Cet appel a la Priere attend depuis le 2 novembre pour quitter le Cameroon a cause des difficultes avec l'internet. Deo Gratias, elle pourra partir cet apres-midi. A tout a l'heure!

Queridos amigos alegre,
Este llamamiento urgente a la oración de El Congo ha esperado desde el 2 de noviembre, a causa de las dificultades que hemos tenido aquí con el Internet. Gracias a Dios, podemos compartir la Carta de hoy. Nos vemos en la Oración ¡Tiempo!

Joyful Marcus of Jesus and Mary,
St Catherine of Siena Lay Dominican Fraternity
Bamenda, CAMEROON.

S.O.S…. Prayers for our Sisters and Brothers, Lay Dominicans! in the Congo, plus Their other Sisters and Brothers in the Congo as a whole….

S.O.S. Nos Soeurs et Frères, Laics Dominicains, plus Leurs Frères est Soeurs, au Congo Kinshasa!

Dear Joyful Ones,
We are all witnesses of the difficult situation in the Congo where so many persons (among whom are Lay Dominicans !) have been displaced from their Homes….We can imagine all other ills attached to this situation: no schooling, no Church Services, raping, wide spread of diseases etc etc.
In these circumstances, we the Lay Dominicans in Africa raise a very very loud alarm inviting all our Lay Dominicans across the Continents, plus the ENTIRE Dominican Family to stand up as ONE person with our Rosaries before the Blessed Sacrament, asking Jesus and His Mother, Mary, to do something very special for each one of those Responsible for bringing about lasting Peace to the Congo.

Bien chers Joyeux,
Nous sommes tous témoins à la situation difficile en la République Démocratique du Congo ou tant d’enfants de Dieu (y inclus des Laics Dominicains) ont été dépaysés. Nous pouvons imaginer tous les autres maux liés à cette situation:point d’école, finie la célébraton de la Messe, le viol,les maladies répandues etc etc
En les circonstances pareilles, nous les Laics Dominicains en Afrique lancons un appel urgent invitant tous les Laics Dominicains dans les Continents, plus la Famille Dominicaine dans sa totalite: Ensemble, prenons nos Chaplets devant le Saint Sacrement et disons à Jesus et Sa Maman, Marie de faire quelquechose de special pour toucher le coeur de tous ceux responsables pour une Paix Durable au Congo.

Estimados unos alegres,
Todos somos testigos de la difícil situación en el Congo, donde tantas personas (entre los cuales son laicos dominicanos!) Han sido desplazadas de sus hogares .... Podemos imaginar todos los demás males adjunta a la presente situación: no hay escuela, no la Iglesia de Servicios, la violación de , Amplia propagación de enfermedades etc etc
En estas circunstancias, nosotros, los laicos dominicos en África plantean una muy fuerte alarma invitando a todos nuestros laicos dominicanos a través de los Continentes, además de TODA la Familia Dominicana a defender como una persona con nuestros Rosarios ante el Santísimo Sacramento, pidiendo a Jesús y su madre, María, a hacer algo muy especial para cada uno de los responsables para lograr una paz duradera en el Congo.

Sincerely yours in Saints Catherine and Dominic,
Joyful Marcus of Jesus and Mary
And from the Ugandan family that hosted my son:

We ask for your prayers for the people of Eastern Congo. How we wish that people with personal greed leave out the innocents to live their simple life without displacement! Here in Uganda, we are a bit okay, for there has not been fighting in the North for close to two years now. However, the effects of the 20 years on are so grave that we need God's intervention to heal the wounded hearts.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Clearing skys?

Is it time to sweep away the smoke?

The bishops are starting to get it:

U.S. bishops swiftly and forcefully respond to pro-abortion policies from Obama

Even if certain Dominicans are not. See these commentaries:

Cringe-worthy comments from by
Fr. Philip Neri Powell O.P., at DOMINE, DA MIHI HANC AQUAM!

Put no trust in princes, in mortal men in whom there is no help, by Tom at Disputations

From John at Nunc Pro Tunc, Justice and peace eLetter and Western Dominican Promoters Meeting

60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Dear Friends,

On December 10th, pro-abortion groups will present petitions asking the United Nation's General Assembly to make abortion a universally recognized human right. The Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute created an alternate petition drive that calls for government to interpret the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as protecting human life from the moment of conception to natural death. They need at least 100,000 signatures by December 10th, the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Please go to the Website: and sign the petition.

If you know anyone that would be interested in doing the same you are welcome to forward this message.

Hat tip to Jay Boyd who forwarded this. Check out Deacon Pat Kearn's blog DIAKONIA

Remodel underway

One of the older neighborhood parishes has been under expansion/reconstruction for several months. Although daily mass is being said in the new sanctuary, I've not been inside yet, the time is not condusive to my schedule, even though I drive by every day. I had thought a round aperature on the east end of the reconstructed building would be for stained glass, but...

apparently not.

I will admit, I am mystified by this. Apparently it is made of plastic; which guarantees a short life, and probable replacement.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Another 'champion of abortion' becomes defender of life: the story of Sotjan Adasevic

Another 'champion of abortion' becomes defender of life: the story of Sotjan Adasevic

Madrid, Nov 12, 2008 / 09:21 pm (CNA).- The Spanish daily “La Razon” has published an article on the pro-life conversion of a former “champion of abortion.” Stojan Adasevic, who performed 48,000 abortions, sometimes up to 35 per day, is now the most important pro-life leader in Serbia, after 26 years as the most renowned abortion doctor in the country.

“The medical textbooks of the Communist regime said abortion was simply the removal of a blob of tissue,” the newspaper reported. “Ultrasounds allowing the fetus to be seen did not arrive until the 80s, but they did not change his opinion. Nevertheless, he began to have nightmares.”

In describing his conversion, Adasevic “dreamed about a beautiful field full of children and young people who were playing and laughing, from 4 to 24 years of age, but who ran away from him in fear. A man dressed in a black and white habit stared at him in silence. The dream was repeated each night and he would wake up in a cold sweat. One night he asked the man in black and white who he was. ‘My name is Thomas Aquinas,’ the man in his dream responded. Adasevic, educated in communist schools, had never heard of the Dominican genius saint. He didn’t recognize the name”

“Why don’t you ask me who these children are?” St. Thomas asked Adasevic in his dream.

“They are the ones you killed with your abortions,’ St. Thomas told him.

“Adasevic awoke in amazement and decided not to perform any more abortions,” the article stated.

“That same day a cousin came to the hospital with his four months-pregnant girlfriend, who wanted to get her ninth abortion—something quite frequent in the countries of the Soviet bloc. The doctor agreed. Instead of removing the fetus piece by piece, he decided to chop it up and remove it as a mass. However, the baby’s heart came out still beating. Adasevic realized then that he had killed a human being.”

After this experience, Adasevic “told the hospital he would no longer perform abortions. Never before had a doctor in Communist Yugoslavia refused to do so. They cut his salary in half, fired his daughter from her job, and did not allow his son to enter the university.”

After years of pressure and on the verge of giving up, he had another dream about St. Thomas.

“You are my good friend, keep going,’ the man in black and white told him. Adasevic became involved in the pro-life movement and was able to get Yugoslav television to air the film ‘The Silent Scream,’ by Doctor Bernard Nathanson, two times.”

Adasevic has told his story in magazines and newspapers throughout Eastern Europe. He has returned to the Orthodox faith of his childhood and has studied the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas.

“Influenced by Aristotle, Thomas wrote that human life begins forty days after fertilization,” Adasevic wrote in one article. La Razon commented that Adasevic “suggests that perhaps the saint wanted to make amends for that error.” Today the Serbian doctor continues to fight for the lives of the unborn.

Hat tip to Abe Alsop for the link.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Passing on an award...

Father Speekman says he couldn't resist the urge to send this award my way, and so I will offer due thanks, and pass it along as well!

"This award acknowledges the values that every blogger shows in his/her effort to transmit cultural, ethical, literary and personal values every day.

The rules to follow are:

1) Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person that has granted the award and his or her blog link.

2) Pass the award to other 15 blogs that are worthy of this acknowledgment.

Remember to contact each of them to let them know they have been chosen for this award."

Like Father, I don't have 15 whom I'd like to send this award to, but want to send it to Fr. Richtsteig at Orthometer, Adrienne at Adrienne's Catholic Corner, and Adoro at Adoro te Devote. I'd send it to Anita at V for Victory, but Father Speekman already did!

And a thank you, Fr. Speekman, for sharing your insightful homilies on your blog!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I was delighted to receive this anouncement a few moments ago. Zaccheus Press is doing good work, and I'm pleased to support them.

Zaccheus Press is pleased to announce the release of Blessed Columba Marmion's Christ in His Mysteries.
See below for our special sale offer.
Each year, the Church celebrates the Mysteries of Christ’s birth, life, death, and Resurrection. These are the seasons of Advent, Christmas, Lent, Holy Week, and Easter — and each is the source of a particular grace, each has its own special gift for us.
Christ in His Mysteries is Blessed Columba Marmion’s great meditation on the treasure-house of grace Christ offers to us in the Church’s liturgical year. Writing in the lively, compelling style that made him a favorite of Popes and lay faithful alike, Marmion explains:
• How the Mysteries of Jesus are now our mysteries — springs of living
water we are meant to drink from.
• How Christ’s wisdom, His holiness, His strength, are now our wisdom,
our holiness, our strength.
• How to acquire special graces during each liturgical season.
This new edition of Christ in His Mysteries features a Foreword by Fr. Benedict Groeschel (a long-time admirer of Blessed Columba Marmion), and an Introduction by Aidan Nichols, OP.
It also features a vibrant new translation that captures all of Marmion's depth and spiritual power while remaining meticulously faithful to the French-language original. Aidan Nichols praises translator Alan Bancroft's work as "felicitous... a supremely natural and fluent translation."
Christ in His Mysteries by Blessed Columba Marmion
ISBN 978-0-9725981-9-4
466 pages • $21.95 (paperback)
Special Introductory Offer: Christ in His Mysteries for only $18.00 (regular price: $21.95) plus free shipping. Sale ends December 25.
Sorry, we can only offer free shipping to customers in the United States. Orders are shipped via USPS Media Mail, and will usually arrive within 3-4 days, but please allow up to 14 business days for delivery. Also, longer than usual delivery times can be expected as we get closer to the Christmas season, and the volume of mail increases. Please plan ahead and place your order accordingly.
Place your order for Christ in His Mysteries at our webpage here. You will automatically receive free shipping.
We are pleased to note that our secure webpage now accepts payment via PayPal, as well as all major credit cards.
You can also phone in your credit card order. Call 970-416-6672. Orders may be placed Monday-Friday, 9 am - 5:00 pm, mountain standard time.
To arrange expedited shipping, please call 970-493-3793, Monday-Friday, 9 am - 5 pm, mountain standard time.

For Canadian orders, please call 970-493-3793, Monday-Friday, 9 am - 5 pm, mountain standard time, or email:

Christ in His Mysteries is not for sale outside the US and Canada.

Other Christmas Sale Offers
This Christmas season we are offering special sale prices on five of our previously released titles, including:
"A treasure chest of wisdom and insight" —Fr. Benedict Groeschel
"Clear, simple, and beautiful wisdom." —Fr. Matthew Lamb
Christ, the Life of the Soul by Blessed Columba Marmion (paperback and hardcover on sale)
"Read this — it is the pure doctrine of the Church." —Pope Benedict XV
Our Lady and the Church by Hugo Rahner, S.J.
"Marvelous... Important." —Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI)
"One of the few classics in Catholic theology composed in English.
This book should never be out of print." —Avery Cardinal Dulles
In addition, to the sale prices on individual titles, we are offering free shipping on orders of any combination of 3 books or more (not including Christ in His Mysteries, which already includes free shipping).
Our books make wonderful Christmas gifts. Please check out the Zaccheus Press home page for details, and place your order today!
About the Author
Born in Ireland, Blessed Columba Marmion served for several years as a priest in Dublin before finding a vocation to the monastery. He eventually became the Abbot of Maredsous Abbey, Belgium. One of the foremost spiritual masters of the 20th century, his books were translated into eleven languages and sold some 1.5 million copies.
Firmly rooted in the Bible, the Liturgy, and the writings of the Saints and Doctors of the Church, Marmion explores every aspect of Catholic doctrine, with penetrating insight. His writings are marked both by the remarkable clarity of their exposition, and by their keen psychological insight and sensitivity.
But his greatest contribution to modern spirituality was to restore Jesus Christ to His rightful place at the center of the Christian life — Christ as “the life of the soul” of every Christian: through faith, through the sacraments, and through the liturgy of the Church. Historians note that only a handful of books were universally read by the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council: the Bible, the Catechism of Trent, the 1917 Code, and the writings of Columba Marmion. His doctrine is recognizable in several Vatican II documents.
Many of his admirers believe Marmion will one day not only be canonized, but also declared a Doctor of the Church.
Blessed Columba Marmion: A Deadly Serious Spiritual Writer discusses the miraculous cure of an American woman diagnosed with cancer, which led to Blessed Columba’s Beatification by Pope John Paul II in 2000. The article includes an interview with Fr. Benedict Groeschel in which he discusses the relevance of Marmion's spirituality in today's world.
Praise for Blessed Columba Marmion and Christ in His Mysteries

“Splendid... Powerful... This classic of Christian spirituality can easily serve as an excellent introduction to Columba Marmion... My advice to the members of this generation is to run to the library for Marmion before you succumb to malnutrition. Read Christ in His Mysteries as soon as possible and you will get some idea of what you have been missing and where to find it.”
Fr. Benedict Groeschel, writing in the Foreword

“In Christ in His Mysteries, Marmion’s insight, as simple as it was brilliant, is that practicing Catholics will draw maximum profit from their meditation on the life of Christ if they contemplate its chief happenings through the lens provided by the Church’s liturgical year. In that year those happenings are celebrated in feasts and seasons. The Liturgy is the way the Church as Bride gazes lovingly — and therefore penetratingly — at her Bridegroom, laying out her understanding of His heart: His purposes, the grand design of the Father which He carried out for our sake... Readers of Christ in His Mysteries have opened to them the theological and spiritual treasures of Latin Catholicism at its best.”
Aidan Nichols, OP, writing in the Introduction

Marmion's books are "singularly conducive to stir up and sustain the fire of divine love in the soul, and to foster the desire to imitate Christ and to live by Him..."
Pope Benedict XV

The works of Marmion are “outstanding in the accuracy of their doctrine, the clarity of their style, and the depth and richness of their thought.”
Pope Pius XII

“An outstanding master of the spiritual life.”
Pope Paul VI

“I owe more to Columba Marmion for initiating me into things spiritual than to any other spiritual writer.”
Pope John Paul II

“He revealed the soul of the liturgy to us, by which I mean all those elements of doctrine and of life which it holds in reserve within the visible envelope of its rites and symbols: he is the theologian of the liturgy.”
Dom Lambert Beauduin

Luminous, profound and elevating doctrine... The very breath of life seems to come from his pages because all the truths he expounds have first been lived in his own soul.”
Archbishop Guerry of Cambrai
“Always, at each of his pages, one is bathed in a spiritual atmosphere — an atmosphere of prayer. Hence also light, security and peace.”
Dom Raymond Thibaut

"When one considers the spaciousness of his work, the richness and striking nature of his details, the indelible impression remains that one is in the presence of a true master, whose experience and thought are above the ordinary, who gives a new value to everything he touches."
Ephrem Boularand, S.J.

"God sends to each age the doctors and the saints of whom the Church has need. The men of today need a God who will look down on their troubles with the heart of a Father.
Alongside St. Thérèse of Lisieux, who stands before us as the saint and doctor of spiritual childhood, God has raised up Dom Marmion to be the doctor of divine adoption and one of the greatest masters of our time."
Fr. M. Philipon, O.P.

"The impression we get from every stage of the life of Dom Columba Marmion is of a life enriched with choice graces, of a man moved from childhood onwards by a deep love of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and raising himself, through many trials, to the highest peaks of contemplation... of one who renewed in himself an intense interior life, and gave others nothing but the fruit of his own personal and apostolic experience, namely, communion in the mysteries of Christ... In the strictest sense of the term, Dom Marmion was a master of the spiritual life... but his theology was never in any way dry or remote."
Cardinal Suhard of Paris

"A masterful mixture of theological richness and conversational clarity...
The beauty of this master’s writing is its ability to communicate dense theological insights to people with zero theological training.
He seamlessly cites Scripture, conciliar decrees and writings from the doctors of the Church, all with a pastor’s warmth and care."
Carl Olson, review of Christ, the Life of the Soul for the National Catholic Register

“Dom Marmion makes one touch God.”
Cardinal Mercier

"My Father, I owe to you the most beautiful moments of my life! Your books are a real revelation; the happy soul at last finds expressed what she felt and knew, but so confusedly!
I cannot thank you enough. You lead the way to accessible heights; you attract the soul to no imaginary ideal; and one comes down from these heights athirst for love, but also with an intense desire to do good. Thank you for all you have already done for me!"
Personal Letter to Dom Marmion, July 14, 1919

Monday, November 10, 2008

Ask Dr. Science!

One of the interesting things about installing software in other people's offices... is the interesting things they pin up on their walls. Given where I work, this is priceless.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

God provides

On a long drive, there are many thoughts that occur to one, especially when heading to an old neighborhood left behind almost 40 years ago, one with good and bad memories. One of the good memories was the lowly guava, which is planted by landscapers as an ornamental in many parts of California, a plant that hides a delightful fruit. I wondered briefly if I would happen to see any of these, and the thought was banished immediately by a thousand more just as quickly gone.

Forgotten, but recalled when on Saturday night I parked, and there in the headlights was a gauva bush, laden with fruit! Since this was commercial landscaping in a commercial district, I had no scruples about harvesting a few for nostalgia's sake.

In spite of all our hubris, we still cannot 'make' food; we rely on nature, and, as the Ven. Louis of Granada observes, what is nature but, in effect, the middle name of God? It is easy to forget our utter dependency on the Lord our God for the very sustenance of life, in all it's aspects, but I am glad that at least we have a tradition to help us hold on to that awareness, and once in a while, God smiles upon us in a way to remind us to "be in the words" of what we say:

Bless us O Lord, and these thy gifts, which we have received from thy bounty

Thursday, November 06, 2008

God alone is enough

November 5 Homily of Fr. Geoff Horton:

St. Teresa of Avila wrote a famous poem:

Nada te turbe,
nada te espante,
todo se pasa;
Dios no se muda.
La paciencia
todo lo alcanza;
Quien a Dios tiene,
nada le falta;
Solo Dios basta.

Let nothing disturb thee,
Nothing affright thee;
All things are passing;
God never changeth;
Patient endurance
Attaineth to all things;
Who God possesseth
In nothing is wanting;
Alone God sufficeth.

In this world, there are no final victories until Jesus returns, and no complete defeats because He will return. There is never a time to rest easily in satisfaction, and never a time to give up in despair.

Every time and place where there are Christians presents its own challenges. God in His providence has chosen us to be the ones who face the challenges of the present day. This time is ours, and not another one. The problems of this time are ours, and not others, and it is futile to wish that they were.

We are Christ’s disciples, and He is our victorious King. He is ours because we are His, and there is no hope more secure than that.

Nada te turbe
Solo Dios basta.

Let nothing disturb you.
God alone is enough.

To live as if God exists

Sandro Magister writes about German author Robert Spaemann's book "The Immortal Rumor."
To live as if God exists
"That there exists a being who in our language is called 'God' is an old rumor that cannot be silenced. This being is not part of that which exists in the world. It must instead be the cause and origin of the universe. It is part of the rumor, however, that there are in the world traces of this origin, and signs that point to it. And this is the only reason why such different statements can be made about God."

Magister quotes the Holy Father, from his last address before being elected to the pontificate:

"In the age of the Enlightenment, the attempt was made to define essential moral norms by saying that they would be valid 'etsi Deus non daretur', even if God did not exist. In the mutual opposition of the confessions and the looming crisis of the image of God, the attempt was made to hold on to the essential values of morality beyond the disputes, and seek evidence for them that would make them independent of the multiple divisions and uncertainties of the various philosophies and confessions. The desire was to ensure the foundation of coexistence, and, more generally, the foundation of humanity. At the time, this seemed possible, in that the great fundamental convictions established by Christianity remained in place to a large extent, and seemed undeniable. But that's no longer the case. The search for this kind of reassuring certainty, which could remain uncontested beyond all the differences, has failed. Not even the effort – as heroic as it was – of Kant was able to create the necessary shared certainty. Kant had denied that it was possible to know God in the domain of pure reason, but at the same time had represented God, freedom, and immortality as postulates of practical reason, without which, for him, moral action did not make sense. Does not the current situation of the world, perhaps, make us again think that he may have been right? I would like to say it in other words: the attempt, taken to the extreme, to mold human affairs by completely ignoring God brings us closer and closer to the edge of the abyss, to the total elimination of man. We should therefore reverse the axiom of the Enlightenment and say: even those who are unable to accept God should in any case seek to live and direct their lives 'veluti si Deus daretur', as if God exists. This is the same advice that Pascal had given to his nonbelieving friends; it is the advice that we would like to give today as well to our friends who do not believe. In this way, no one's freedom is limited, but all of our affairs find support and a criterion that they urgently need."
There is sound advice here. The immediate self-reflection, is "Do I live as though God exists?"

Professions at October meeting

Our little branch of the world-wide Dominican family continues growing! Member Gayle Boyer sent these pictures she took at the professions, October 18th 2008

Beginning the ceremonies:

Newest inquirer, Judy Lamb (Nampa) recites the promise to diligently examine the Order and the Life in the Chapter:

Joined by the members and guests present (present are Barbara and Myrna from Baker City OR):

Newest Novice Lydia Brown (Moscow) takes the temporary vow:

with Mike Turner (Boise) who renewed his temporary vow:

freely choosing to live according to the Rule of the Laity of the Order of Preachers,

and are presented with the cross of the Order.

This year we had four who made their perpetual professions; Bill an Ruth Robertson (Emmett), Rozetta Hedden (Twin Falls), and Crystl Collins (Boise)

A lovely dinner was held after at Mr. V's Restraunt in Caldwell, which did a wonderful job managing this mob!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Tax lesson

In today's mail:

U.S. Tax System - Explained With Beer

Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

* The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
* The fifth would pay $1.
* The sixth would pay $3.
* The seventh would pay $7.
* The eighth would pay $12.
* The ninth would pay $18.
* The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

So, that's what they decided to do. The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve. 'Since you are all such good customers,' he said,'I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20.' 'Drinks for the ten now cost just $80.'

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men - the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his 'fair share?' They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer.

So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay. And so:

* The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
* The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings).
* The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28%savings).
* The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 ( 25% savings).
* The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 ( 22% savings).
* The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).
Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings.

'I only got a dollar out of the $20,'declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man, 'but he got $10!'

'Yeah, that's right,' exclaimed the fifth man. 'I only saved a dollar, too. It's unfair that he got ten times more than I!' 'That's true!!' shouted the seventh man. 'Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!' 'Wait a minute,' yelled the first four men in unison. 'We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!'

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up. The next night the tenth man didn't show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn't have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works.

The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

For those who understand, no explanation is needed. For those who do not understand, no explanation is possible.

As the old Hamms commercial used to go, "Refreshing as the land of sky-blue waters."

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

A day for prayer

Received by email, prayer for election day:

God is all-powerful, and He greatly desires to answer our prayers. He can and will influence voters and circumstances on Election Day. So as we join together now in prayer, please do so with an abiding sense of faith and peace, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit:

"Dear Jesus, King of Kings and Lord or Lords, pour your grace into the hearts of voters in the United States as we prepare for the upcoming election. Secure for us leaders who will bring our country closer to Your holy will."

"Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in the day of battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, cast into hell satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen."

"Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen."

Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas and the Unborn, pray for us.
Saints Katharine Drexel and Elizabeth Ann Seton, American saints, pray for us.
Saint Thomas More, Patron of Politicians, pray for us.
Saint Jude, Patron of Impossible Causes, pray for us,
Saint Joseph, King of Silence, pray for us,
Saint Anthony, Miracle Worker, pray for us,
Saint Josemaria Escriva, Powerful Intercessor, pray for us,
Saint Maximilian Kolbe, Martyr of Love, pray for us,
Saint Therese the Little Flower, Friend in Heaven, pray for us,
Immaculate Mary, Patroness of the United States, crush the serpent's head!

Merciful Jesus, for the sake of your sorrowful passion,
have mercy on us and on the whole world!

Almighty Father in heaven, release Saint Michael now!
Almighty Father in heaven, release Saint Michael now!

Science, still learning

Strange Portal Connects Earth to Sun

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Truth be Told

Truth be Told, Bringing Christ to the World is the new Newsletter of the Dominican Laity of the Province of the Holy Name of Jesus.

If you are reading this blog, then you know the new editor! As the old saying goes, be careful what you ask for. Have a look if you like...

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Family emergency

I'm on the road, traveling to visit with my step-mother's step-father who has not much longer to live. John and his recently departed wife, Emily, have contributed much to the world of the modern blended family. Some of their books are here.
As physician and psycholgist, they did their best to help in a world which rejects the Physician of souls. May our merciful God grant them both peace, for they certainly did the best with the good will they had.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Fascinating "dialogue"

Anita at V-for Victory has some pictures which are an embarassment to our political process, in her post More Liberal Compassion.

a couple weeks ago Rachael Maddow interviewed David Frum on her program. This is a fascinating video, well worth watching. Watch how David turns the tables on Rachael, he's got her dead to rights, and her squirming is palpable.

"given the small plate of responsibility that you personally have, how do you manage that responsibility? The fact that other people fail in other ways, is not an excuse for you failing in your way." david's response to Rachael's trying to equate her lack of respect with convention hecklers yelling "kill Obama."

Watch it here. fascinating.

If you find her self-defense acceptable and her criticism valid, then see Anita's post linked above. the noose swings both ways.

Let's Spread The Wealth

This morning I received this political cartoon (click to see larger view):

This got me to thinking, what about "equal protection" and all that...

I'd like to see started a grass-roots movement to tax political contributions as income! After all, our political contributions are NOT tax deductable, and political organizations are NOT non-profit corporations, so… give ‘em a dose of their own medicine! Tell me why should such wealthy organizations get a complete pass on tax liability?

If the Bush tax cuts expire, the next presidential election should raise an additional $500 million in tax revenue, based on the billion raised in this election.

Hey, the Lotto is taxed at 50% - I say “share the wealth” – let's apply the same standards to the Big Lotto winner as we apply to the little guy who wins a lotto; that would be fair, right?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Traditions of men

The Calumny that the Catholic Faith is infested with or composed only of the "traditions of men" rather than following the Word of God is often thrown at us; usually by those who follow the "traditions of men," most of which are the spawn of the tradition created by Martin Luther of private interpretation of the bible, a clear violation of Holy Scripture (2 Pt 1:20).

That said, I always see in their faithful, be they Mormon, JW, Moslem, as well as the various stripes of protestantism, a precursor in the Rechabites. Jeremiah, teaches us that we should well be shamed by the adherants of the traditions of men, they are here to teach us something...

Chapter 35
1 This word came to Jeremiah from the LORD in the days of Jehoiakim, son of Josiah, king of Judah:
2 Approach the Rechabites and speak to them; bring them into the house of the LORD, to one of the rooms, and give them wine to drink.
3 So I went and brought Jaazaniah, son of Jeremiah, son of Habazziniah, his brothers and all his sons, the whole company of the Rechabites,
4 into the house of the LORD, to the room of the sons of Hanan, son of Igdaliah, the man of God, next to the princes' room, above the room of Maaseiah, son of Shallum, keeper of the doorway.
5 I set before these Rechabite men bowls full of wine and offered them cups to drink the wine.
6 "We do not drink wine," they said to me: "Jonadab, Rechab's son, our father, forbade us in these words: 'Neither you nor your children shall ever drink wine.
7 Build no house and sow no seed; neither plant nor own a vineyard. You shall dwell in tents all your life, so that you may live long on the earth where you are wayfarers.'
8 Now we have heeded Jonadab, Rechab's son, our father, in all his prohibitions. All our lives we have not drunk wine, neither we, nor our wives, nor our sons, nor our daughters.
9 We build no houses to live in; we own no vineyards or fields or crops,
10 and we live in tents; we obediently do everything our father Jonadab commanded us.
11 But when Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, invaded this land, we decided to come into Jerusalem to escape the army of the Chaldeans and the army of Aram; that is why we are now living in Jerusalem."
12 Then this word of the LORD came to Jeremiah:
13 Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Go, say to the men of Judah and to the citizens of Jerusalem: Will you not take correction and obey my words? says the LORD.
14 The advice of Jonadab, Rechab's son, by which he forbade his children to drink wine, has been followed: to this day they have not drunk it; they obeyed their father's command. Me, however, you have not obeyed, although I spoke to you untiringly and insistently.
15 I kept sending you all my servants the prophets, telling you to turn back, all of you, from your evil way; to reform your conduct, and not follow strange gods or serve them, if you would remain on the land which I gave you and your fathers; but you did not heed me or obey me.
16 Yes, the children of Jonadab, Rechab's son, observed the command which their father laid on them; but this people does not obey me!
17 Now, therefore, says the LORD God of hosts, the God of Israel: I will bring upon Judah and all the citizens of Jerusalem every evil that I threatened; because when I spoke they did not obey, when I called they did not answer.
18 But to the company of the Rechabites Jeremiah said: Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Since you have obeyed the command of Jonadab, your father, kept all his commands and done everything he commanded you,
19 thus therefore says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Never shall there fail to be a descendant of Jonadab, Rechab's son, standing in my service.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Bishop reminds Catholics to remember Judgment Day in the voting booth

Bishop reminds Catholics to remember Judgment Day in the voting booth

St. Louis, Oct 18, 2008 / 08:03 am (CNA).- Bishop Robert J. Herman, the administrator of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, has written a column reminding Catholics that their vote will be a decision weighed on the Day of Judgment. He urged Catholics not to treat the unborn as the neglectful rich man treated Lazarus in the biblical parable.

“Judgment Day is on its way,” the bishop wrote in the St. Louis Review. “We cannot stop it. We don’t know when it will come, but just as surely as the sun rises daily, the Son of Man will come when we least expect.”

“For many, this coming election may very well be judgment day, for this election will measure us,” he continued, referencing Christ’s words of judgment in Matthew 10:32-33:

“Everyone who acknowledges Me before others, I will acknowledge before My heavenly Father. But whoever denies Me before others, I will deny before my heavenly Father.”

Bishop Herman asked the faithful to consider what kind of witness they give to God when they enter the voting booth on Election Day.

“The decision I make in the voting booth will reflect my value system. If I value the good of the economy and my current lifestyle more than I do the right to life itself, then I am in trouble,” the bishop wrote.

He cited Pope John Paul II’s apostolic exhortation Christifideles laici, which said outcry on human rights is “false and illusory” if the right to life is not defended to the maximum.

“The right of our children to be protected from destruction is greater than my right to a thriving economy,” Bishop Herman continued.

“My desire for a good economy cannot justify my voting to remove all current restrictions on abortion. My desire to end the war in Iraq cannot justify my voting to remove all current restrictions on abortion.”

Bishop Herman looked to the spiritual dimension as well.

“Those 47 million children our nation destroyed are still living. We have destroyed their bodies, but their souls are still alive. When our Lord comes again, they may very well be there to judge us. Even worse, Jesus tells us that whatever we do to the least of our brethren, we do to Him. We would truly shudder if we heard the words, ‘I was in my mother’s womb but you took my life!’

“It is quite possible that we might see these children, but, depending upon the choices we have made, we may very well be separated from them by a great chasm which cannot be crossed, much as the rich man who ignored Lazarus, the poor man, during his lifetime here on earth but was separated from him after death.”

Bishop Herman said the “deepest problem” with many Catholics is that they have become accustomed to rationalizing away a “life of sinful actions” headed in the wrong direction.

“My goal is not to engage you in some political party way but to engage you with our Savior and His teachings. We need to constantly challenge our accustomed behaviors in the light of the Gospel,” he wrote.

He said the issues of the coming election could help people learn about the teachings of the Catholic Church and to use the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

“When we do this, both we and the heavens will be filled with joy!” he asserted.

“Judgment Day is on its way,” he repeated, encouraging people to pray the family Rosary daily between now and Election Day.

In a previous column for the St. Louis Review, Bishop Herman urged Catholics not to put politics ahead of the Fifth commandment, “Thou shalt not kill.”

“Save our children!” he wrote. “More than anything else, this election is about saving our children or killing our children. This life issue is the overriding issue facing each of us in this coming election. All other issues, including the economy, have to take second place to the issue of life.”