Tuesday, October 31, 2006
This isn't a post on who you should vote for or what you should vote for. It is meant to inform the catholic conscience. I know people get a little touchy if they think you're filling out their ballots for them.
This is no such thing. Just as one would read up on the election material or sit in front of the TV and be bombarded with election commercials, we as Catholics need to step back from the secular info and take stock of our catholic identity. We need to review our catholic teachings. We don't' check our Catholicity at the voting booth door.
These posts are indeed a good review of the catholic social teachings. Please read them.
I really enjoy my Sirius Radio subscription. I've been a subscriber now for a year and it really has paid for itself.
I have a rather long commute (about 3hrs plus each day) so I can listen to the various cable news channels or talk radio. EWTN (Eternal Word Television Network) is one of my favorites and tons of music...Commercial free.
Because of Halloween, Sirius is presenting some 'scary goodies'. On channel 116 the KID STUFF channel, they're playing "nothing but the spooky sounds of the season. Bats screech overhead as ghosts, goblins and witches cackle and moan over howling winds. Doors creak as spooky laughs echo down the hall.."
If you don't subscribe you can still sign-in on their internet website www.sirius.com and click the LISTEN ONLINE button at the top and get a free trial offer.
Also for subscribers, don't forget to tune into the Classic radio channel 118. Last night on the way home I listened to the original Mercury Radio broadcast of the "War of the Worlds". Too cool.
Thought I'd give a Sirius tip!
They tend to cloak the celebrations in a veil of pagan or occult practices and rituals. I personally don't see anything wrong with a little trick or treating, some fun costumes, and party gatherings.
Over at my parish this weekend they had a SPOOK FEAST. Parishioners and friends bring their decorated cars to the church parking lot and the kids venture from automobile to automobile trick-or-treating. It's a fun night in safe surroundings.
I can remember at our previous house these little tikes were actually bused into the neighborhood! Car loads and Van loads would drop there kids off and crunch thru flower beds and shrubs to get to prized goodies. I wonder to this day if the word got out that our neighborhood had some great candy?
I didn't so much mind the large volume of kids and I tried to over look the trampled flowers, but I was very weary about the numerous cars, truck and vans that crowded the neighborhood, following their kids.
Anyway, I found this article at Catholic Exchange with a perspective about poo-pooing the hallowing spirit. HOLIDAY HYSTERIA
It's been a tradition in my family, as I'm sure with many other families, to begin the fall celebrations in the Hallowing spirit, with a good'ole Pumpkin carving.
My kids have kept this family carving time a great opportunity for family memories.
They started out as young'ins, with only a spoon to clean out the inside, then graduated to drawing the face or shape that would eventually be cut out on the pumpkin.
They are all grown now (High School and early twenties) and they still carry on this tradition.
This is a time for them to bond, as mom and dad won't be around forever...at least on earth. It's great to see them around the kitchen table, laughing and carring on...
They've gotten a bit more elaborate with their cutting skills and I'm most happy knowing their clean-up skills have gotten better too!
Anyway, enjoy your Halloween and if you don't like the pumpkin mess here's a site that you can carve to your hearts content...
...without the mess! HALLOWEEN PUMPKIN CARVING
(I'd like to thank Jimmy Akin for pointing this out on his site first: www.jimmyakin.org)
Don't eat too much candy!
Monday, October 30, 2006
Religion and Politics,
The two subjects that we are told should never be brought up at a party or when you're in the company of friends (or enemies for that matter), family or the Boss.
Well, like it or not, these are the two topics which affect our lives on a day to day basis. It's unavoidable and it's most important to be involved and knowledgeable on these two issues.
We're in the home stretch, so to speak, until we perform our civil duty.
The Elections are here; do you know the issues, are you familiar with the propositions? Are you up on the candidates?
Do you know your FAITH?
Fr. Jonathan Morris of Fox News has an article which we'll begin our pre-election awareness week.
"Don't Give Up on Politics" is the title...
...so here we go!
Vote! Vote! Vote! Vote! Vote!
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Pro-Lifer's (...which I'm one of) have put forth a response to the Michael J. Fox ad that is now running in multiple areas for various candidates.
I commented on this a couple of days ago and it seems that this is heating up....
"Pro-life advocates in Missouri have prepared a response ad to one that actor Michael J. Fox has made in numerous states that contains misleading information about pro-life candidates and their views on stem cell research. The new ads feature St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Jeff Suppan and stars Jim Caviezel of, The Passion of Christ." (...MORE)
Pitcher Jeff Suppan will be at the mount tonight for the Card's and this ad will be shown during the World Series.
So if your tuning in for the game or if you not a baseball fan (shame on you :) ) at least try to catch the new TV ad.
Patricia Heaton from "Everbody Loves Raymound" and KC Royals star Mike Sweeney also are featured.
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Jimmy Akin blog has collected a complete series of audiences on the Twelve apostles that was given by B16. (B16 O The 12)
...plus some nice entries in the Catholic Encyclopedia at New Advent
James the Greater
James the Lesser
John the Evangelist
Simon the Zealous
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
I've just seen a TV ad for Missouri Democratic Senate candidate Claire McCaskill which shows Michael J. Fox (Back to the Future Star) giving his support for Claire and for stem cell research.
His endorsement for Claire is fine, everyone has that right to vote for whomever they choose to, however what struck me as, well odd, is the underline message of this ad.
I think most everyone knows that Michael is suffering from Parkisan's disease. The same disease that affected Pope John Paul II. You may even know of a friend or family member who has this progressively debilitating illness.
I know of a colleague at work who has it and she is a great inspiration to me. She is a mother and a provider and I've never once heard her complain or even talk about it. Yet she performs her daily task just as everyone else, though it's obvious she struggles at times.
The TV ad, again shows Michael showing his support for the candidate of his choice, but it seems to also be saying, look at me and my suffering and if you don't vote for my choice in candidates, then you probably don't want stem cell scientist to find a cure for me.
This may be confusing to some. No one wants Michael J. Fox or anyone else to suffer with this disease. It's not that people are unsympathetic, it' just that the message is false.
The Catholic Church is okay with certain aspects of stem cell research. As long as they are not Embryonic Stem Cell research, which is the killing of a baby.
There is even a new method of embryonic stem cell harvesting which as also been condemned by the U.S. Bishops' Conference (read more).
Umbilical blood stem cells & adult stem cell research is just fine and seems to be the most promising of any of the methods of stem cell.
To use one's illness to first cut off any criticism (after all you're not the one with the disease) and then to place guilt on those that would vote against embryonic stem cell research is, well , Bologna.
I'll pray for you and for scientist to come up with a cure without killing babies (yes babies, not just tissue).
More on the Election issues on later posts.
"The word of God is Scripture. The Word of God is Jesus. This close association between God's written word and his eternal Word is intentional and has been the custom of the Church since the first generation. "All Sacred Scripture is but one book, and this one book is Christ, 'because all divine Scripture speaks of Christ, and all divine Scripture is fulfilled in Christ"  (CCC 134). This does not mean that the Scriptures are divine in the same way that Jesus is divine. They are, rather, divinely inspired and, as such, are unique in world literature, just as the Incarnation of the eternal Word is unique in human history"
This short piece by Scott Hahn and Curtis Mitch takes us a little deeper into our understanding of Holy Scripture.
I've talked to people who tell me that they use their cell phones exclusively and don't even bother with their land phones at home anymore.
"In fact," they tell me, " I'm thinking about getting rid of my phone at home and use my cell phone exclusively."
Well, you might want to reconsider that decision if you're one of those....depending on how much you believe this STUDY ("Men who use mobile phones face increased risk of infertility").
Friday, October 20, 2006
The Gospel for today is a great reading for us to take to heart today.
With all news headlines reading, Nuclear War with North Korea, Bombings in Iraq and Pakistan, gruesome murders on the streets of New Orleans and other cities, sickness and illness which all bring to light our mortality....
...amidst all that, we have today's Gospel from Luke 12:1-7
At that time:
So many people were crowding together
that they were trampling one another underfoot.
Jesus began to speak, first to his disciples,
"Beware of the leaven-that is, the hypocrisy-of the Pharisees.
"There is nothing concealed that will not be revealed,
nor secret that will not be known.
Therefore whatever you have said in the darkness
will be heard in the light,
and what you have whispered behind closed doors
will be proclaimed on the housetops.
I tell you, my friends,
do not be afraid of those who kill the body
but after that can do no more.
I shall show you whom to fear.
Be afraid of the one who after killing
has the power to cast into Gehenna;
yes, I tell you, be afraid of that one.
Are not five sparrows sold for two small coins?
Yet not one of them has escaped the notice of God.
Even the hairs of your head have all been counted.
Do not be afraid.
You are worth more than many sparrows."
Thursday, October 19, 2006
I was impressed not only by the message of this website but also by the visual, multimedia content of it. ( The Reason For Our Hope Foundation )
I wish my blog site could look like this (I've got to work on this...)
Father Larry is the founder of this effort and he has a great interview posted HERE.
Excerpt: "If you have ever wondered exactly how to share the Gospel, Fr. Larry demonstrates that inviting someone to know Christ is no more complicated than introducing two of your friends to one another. His amazing website gives you the tools to do exactly that and he wants to partner with you to reach millions with the gospel. I could hardly wait to interview this dynamic priest whose life-changing message is so irresistibly presented."
I have a couple of Featured Blogs this morning I'd like to share with you...
The first is one that affects or should affect everyone here in this good country of ours America.
I'm sure that you often wondered how our son's and daughters, brothers and sisters, friends and relatives are doing over in Iraq and Afghanistan. How ever we feel about the war issues, especially during this election time of year, we have to wonder if there is anything we can do to help our Soldiers.
The website banner reads, " Want to send your support to a Soldier in harm's way, but have no idea of what to send, who to send it to, or how to send it?"
This is the perfect site for just that.
This website (Any Soldier) was started by a "Sergeant Brian Horn from La Plata, Maryland, an Army Infantry Soldier with the 173rd Airborne Brigade was in the Kirkuk area of Iraq when he started the idea of Any Soldier to help care for his soldiers. He agreed to distribute packages that came to him with "Attn: Any Soldier" in the address to the soldiers who were not getting mail.Brian also completed a tour in Afghanistan and is now home, but AnySoldier.com continues.
Any Soldier Inc. started in August 2003 as a simple family effort to help the soldiers in one Army unit, thus our name. However, due to overwhelming requests, on 1 January 2004 the Any Soldiertm effort was expanded to include any member, of any of the Armed Forces in harms way." - Any Soldier
With all the election time politics going on I thought this site would bring the focus back to where it belongs... on our brave troops.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Pope JPII is in the Money...or should I say On the money?
I found this at American Papist blog (one of my morning Blog List visits).
Evidently, Poland has place the Holy Father on the face of it's currency. Wow!
Can you imagine, B16 on the face of any U.S. currency?
Naaaa, never happen.
But then we did put Susan B. Anthony on a 25 cent or was it 50 cent piece...but she was an atheist.
Oh well, give to Caesar what is Caesar's...
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
It's lunch time and I have time for one quick post..
I guess with iPods and PSP's and the whole gamut of such tech devices, downloading movies is the latest thang.
Some go with the bittorrent or other such file sharing...I tend to be more on the legal side of obtaining my movies.
I guess Blockbuster and Hollywood Video rental places are going the way of the Dodo bird with the advent of downloading straight to your ipod or PC.
This article has the latest reviews on the top website download stops.
You might want to try it... legally.
Monday, October 16, 2006
I just came accross this short but disturbing video about Tibetan's crossing the mountian ranges on foot and in snow to see the Dalai Lama. A pilgramage for them.
Unfortunately the are caught by Chineese troops who attempt to prevent their journey.
(Watch video but CAUTION: it's disturbing)
These are the actions of the fastest growing economy in the world. A nation that claims they want to be apart of and influence the world. They (the government of China) want to be the new superpower.
A nation that's brokering peace for us in North Korea.
So much evil...
It doesn't exactly make me want to shop at WalMart.. (Made in China)
I read this article on Sunday before Mass and I’ve been reflecting on it since then.
The article in question is “Married Couples No Longer the Majority”. According to the article:
“For the first time in U.S. history, married couples have slipped into a minority, according to an analysis of new census figures by the New York Times.
The American Community Survey, released this month by the Census Bureau, found that 49.7 percent, or 55.2 million, of the nation's 111.1 million households in 2005 were made up of married couples — with and without children — just shy of a majority and down from more than 52 percent five years earlier, the Times reports.”
So, according to the “American Community Survey report of the Census Bureau”, married couples make up 49.7% of the American population which is closing in on the 300 million number. Therefore, more people are not married, ever so slightly but a number that’s growing.
(Side note: A number which will put the U.S. in the elite club with China and India having populations of 300 million or more. Sounds like a whole lot of “over population” MSM articles are on the way…)
While we know that God has a plan for each and everyone of us to be married or unmarried, with children or without children, single or perhaps in God’s plan to be apart of his clergy or religious community, I still felt a little sad.
Maybe because I have children of my own who are at that marriage age? If fact my oldest is older than I was when my wife and I first married.
We’ve been married now for 24 years and thru hard times and good times I still find sharing my life with someone who loves me for who I am and visa-versa just overwhelmingly joyous.
Right now I’m sitting here on an almost rainy day, preparing this post for Monday; one of my kids has the radio a little too loud blaring from their bedroom, preparing for church. My wife is sitting at her vanity, towel on her head…she still looks so cute; and I’m totally content. Life is good, God is good…all the time.
Don’t get me wrong, not everyday is a “red-letter day” in our household.
Still this article has me worried.
The article goes on to say that unmarried opposite-sex households are on the rise as well.
We already see surveys of more deaths than births in Europe and in fact trends are continuing to spiral downward. A dieing civilization.
I went over to the Census Bureau website to check the sources and to find out what other facts I could find.
Here’s a fact sheet you’ll find interesting:
Questions arise in my mind; what example have I been for my kids that would cause them to reflect on marriage as a wonderful, holy example of life that God may have in plan for them.
I’ve been emphasizing completing College degrees and thoughts about how to raise a family. The joys of children, of staying firm and strong in their faith.
…but is it enough in today’s society? There are so many distractions.
Hum? What else can I do?
Time for Mass. I’ll have to talk to God about this one.
Friday, October 13, 2006
I over heard some people talking about the Catholic Church taking a step back in time or reverting back to a time forgotten.
I see it as the Holy Father trying to restore some of the sacredness that's long been neglected.
I can remember being an alter boy at the tail end of this sacredness during Mass. It wasn't too long after that I remember the communion rails coming down. Statues removed and music changes.
I'm kind of looking forward to seeing how this pans out. How far will the bishops of each diocese will allow it.
Over in Orange County ( or the O.C. as some call it) there is a small parish (Mary's by the Sea) that is under internal strife about this issue.
Hopefully this is good news for them.
35, 000 people were in attendance! Can you believe this? I get scared everytime I have a presentation to give in front of 15 to 20 people at work. I can't imagine 35,000 people.
Anyway, from the article the Holy Father said
"...that dialogue should never cause Christians to neglect their duty to recall, and to emphasize with adequate force, the main lines of our Christian identity."
This is in contrast to what the MSM is trying to do by protraying our Holy Father as someone who is backpedeling on previous statements at the 'Regensburg lecture.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
She gives permission to use this video so long as we share where we obtained it from.
Katerina does a great job and she says the response for the Confirmation classes she shows it too is over-whelming.
This blog that she and Michael have put together is a good one to add to your morning blog visit list.
Why am I Catholic?
1) the Eucharist
2) the Church
3) the Sacraments
5) Marriage (actual and spiritual)
6) the Communion of Saints
Thank you Katerina and Michael...awesome!
You’ll be surprised at what you read here. I think it was about a month ago that there was that ordination of women priests and in my postings last month there was that excommunicated married Archbishop.
The timing on this is pretty good. Reverand Ray Ryland, a married Catholic priest shares his life experience.
This months Crisis Magazine has an interesting piece on voting.
I know, you don’t want anyone to tell you whom to vote for and what to vote for.
Come on, give it a read. You don’t have to agree with everything you read but this piece addresses why Catholics vote the way the do.
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
I just subscribed to the "Catholic World Report" magazine for the discounted price of $9.95... limited time.
You can't go wrong especially during the election time coverage.
Catholic World Report doesn't set out to be a “conservative” magazine or a “liberal” magazine. It’s a Catholic magazine.
Great article over at First Things website by Joseph Bottum which address the Catholic Culture in America.
A must read.
Joseph compares the migration of the Swallows coming back to Capistrano (which doesn't happen in numbers anymore) with the state of Catholicism in America.
An interesting comparison.
We are about 4 weeks before we are called to our civic duty of voting. As a Catholic, I don't think this is a topic that can be ignored.
I think we understand the importance of the voting right and we shouldn't take that right lightly. This is our time to weigh the issues and cast our votes to the candidates of our choice and to the propositions that clearly reflect our stand on the various issues that affect our society.
The trouble is, which is the right thing, which is the wrong thing. What is Right and what is Left. With war and scandals, and with all the different news sources, blogs and websites, it's hard to decide what one should be voting for and for whom?
I don't like to consider myself Republican or democrat; nor do I hold to any one particular party, whether it be Indepentent or the Green Party or whatever. I like to take the issues and candidates individually and make a decision as to who and what I think would be best.
What I do hold closer is my Catholic faith. I am Catholic all the time. In Church, in the supermarket, on the soccer field, in the movie theater, as I'm conversing with my neighbor or at work. I'm catholic all the time and everywhere...even in the voting booth.
I don't check my faith at the voting booth door.
With that, between now and election time I will, from time to time share some articles that reflect some thoughts on voting as a Catholic.
I think everyone should gather as much information as possible on what they're voting on. Understand the issues and candidates as best we can.
And always remember that we can not and should not forget our faith.
Monday, October 09, 2006
The article is entitled "Limbo In Limbo?"
I can always count on Jimmy to clarify things...
An article by Fr. James V. Schall, S.J. over at the Ignatius Insight blog gives his analysis of a talk Pope B16 gave to the Canadian bishops from Ontario. "This talk was given just a few days before (September 8) his now famous Regensburg Lecture (September 12)."
I noticed a number of visitors from Canada and I'd like to know what you think of this analysis.
Friday, October 06, 2006
For those die-heart Starbucks coffee drinkers, now you can listen, and even download music at you local coffee store...
I hear there are now more Starbuck stores than there are Pubs in England...I've never been to England.
They're everywhere! Stand alone stores, supermarkets, bookstores (..no wait, that's Seattles' Best), I've even seen one at a car wash.
Thursday, October 05, 2006
As a kid I remember reading some of H.G. Wells famous works. The Time Machine, The Invisible Man and War of the Worlds (I love the ORIGINAL movie).
One of the more bizarre stories from this collection was The Island of Doctor Moreau.
The story goes...
"On a deceivingly beautiful island in the South Seas exists the sinister kingdom of Doctor Moreau. Shipwrecked in this seeming paradise, the unfortunate Edward Prendick stumbles upon the wild beastly creations of the sadistic doctor and enters into a bizarre and terrifying world of a doctor who plays an evil God and cruelly creates monstrosities of living creatures." (Quote)
Reading this as a kid kind of sent shivers down my spin...but then...this could never happen.
Fast forward to 2006, the 21st Century and this article from London, England entitled "Scientists To Create 'Frankenbunny' In Big Research Leap'
For the advancement of science...Yah right! More for the advancement of the dollar.
Stem Cell research...ahuh
I keep thinking about all those embryo's (babies) that will be created and destroyed by this madness..
Again with the shivers down the spine...
Lets pray for the unborn babies: "Into Your Hands O Lord..."
"Each preserved the quality of its particular species: the human mark distorted but did not hide the leopard, the ox, or the sow, or other animal or animals, from which the creature had been moulded."
H.G. Wells (Island of Doctor Moreau - Chapt. 15)
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Father Jonathan Morris is ...well not exactly your typical reporter.
He's not at all what you'd expect when one see's a priest on TV. You expect a very elderly priest who looks like he might have had St Peter himself over for dinner, way back when.
I love this guy, he young, very articulate, intelligent and...yes...orthodox!
If you haven't heard of Father Jon, you're really missing out. He's really hard to find on the Fox News website so I'm going to highlight him from time to time.
His latest article "Neo-Darwinism Vs. Reason" is a review of this weeks edition of Time Magazine.
Also... He'll be appearing on "Big Story with John Gibson" at 5pm ET tonight.
Tune in, he'll be talking about the recent spree of school shootings.
I was told about this book at a men's breakfast we had a couple of weeks back and I just had sometime yesterday to thumb thru this at a local book store.
I don't know about you but I have a lot of questions about Islam.
What are it's main beliefs and disbelief?
How are we to talk to Muslim's about our faith?
What do we have in common?
Why the violence?
This seemed like a pretty good book. I picked it up myself.
You can peruse the Introduction to this book Here..
The tragedy at Nickel Mines, Pa. this week has caused us to take a look at what God has Blessed us with in our own families.
I know I gave my children an extra hug yesterday and Blessed them each individually before I left for work this morning.
Let us pray this morning and throughout the week for the Children of this tragedy and for their families.
Please shower your graces on these children and their families, & comfort their souls in their hour of need...
Monday, October 02, 2006
I use to subscribe to an outstanding magazine a few years ago called "Catholic Dossier". I don't know whatever happened to it, however it would choose a topic; let's say in this case "The Crusades" and write about it from all kinds of angles, historic, theological, even a Fiction work of "A Father Dowling Mystery" by Ralph McInerny on the subject at hand.
This link is from their January/February 2002 Issue on "The Crusades"
You've got to print these out and save them in your home library for reference. You'll find many more issues of interest as well. One on Mary, Galileo, the Reformation and a number of others issues from 1996-2002.
Bookmark this website.
Just heard a great talk show on my Sirius Radio, on the drive home today. EWTN, channel 160 was airing an episode of Catholic Answers with Patrick Madrid as host.
You can catch the show Here...(Monday Oct 2 - Guest Douglas Brinkley)
The show was on the Knights of Columbus and Douglas Brinkley was the guest. Doug is the author of a new book on the K of C and it's founder Father McGivney.
The book is entitled "Parish Priest-Father McGivney and American Catholicism"
"On Oct. 2, 1881, a small group of men met in the basement of St. Mary's Church on Hillhouse Avenue in New Haven, Connecticut. Called together by their 29-year-old parish priest, Father Michael J. McGivney, these men formed a fraternal society that would one day become the world's largest Catholic family fraternal service organization." The Knights of Columbus.
This Holy Priest did quite a bit and had a major influence on world charities and organizing men in communities across the U.S. .
Read more on his life..
Sunday, October 01, 2006
Cool Temperatures in the 70's, clear California night sky, beautiful wife beside me and a stroll down, DownTown Disney.
The Disneyland Resort is only 20 minutes from my home. Angel Stadium and The Might Ducks Pond Arena are all in the same vicinity.
Downtown Disney is a collection of shops and eateries set in a 'downtown walk' atmosphere. There's an ESPN Sports place as well as a House Of Blues Restaurant. The Jazz Kitchen Restaurant is a favorite spot which has fine dining upstairs and casual dining downstairs. There's also live entertainment in the New Orleans style.
Parking is free for the first 3 hours (6 dollars for each hour after...Ouch). Still without going into the Disneyland park or California Disney resort itself (although you can if you want at $50.00 each) you can still have a great time. I didn't take any picture of it but if you plan to stay you must consider Disney's Californian Hotel . The hotel is connected to Downtown Disney and you have early access to the parks .
The evening was perfect. We even survived the " Build your own Bear" store. That place is a mad house... but we had a great time.
God is Good...all the time