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...