Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

Christ is Born!
Merry Christmas from the West Coast (California)!


Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Eve: As we await the Birth of Jesus

...the journey's end is almost here.
Come O Come Emmanuel...

Peace to everyone...
WCC +<><

Friday, December 14, 2007

B16 Global Warming: Quick Note

I read the speech transcript of B16's New Years talk: For the Celebration of the World of Peace.

Yes, it mentions a paragraph or two about the environment. In the two paragraphs he states some very important points about being lead astray by those with an ideological design agenda, using scare tactics etc...

He states the importance of stewardship and how we must take care of the earth and it's resources.But, I hope that's not the only message that gets taken from this speech. It seem to be the focus of the MSM (Main Stream Media).

There is the important message of the family. The family at the Cell level ( the family at home, Mom, Dad, Children) to the family of the Community, to the family of the Nation, to the Global family and how the all interconnect.

That's the true message of the speech and one that I hope doesn't get missed.

I admit that the Global Warming aspect was the reason I initially read it. And it may be the reason most will attempt to peruse the transcript. But please don't skip over the other paragraphs just to see what B16 thinks of Gore's truth.

Read the entire piece in it's total context. The message is beautiful.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

B16 - Global Warming Prophets

Pope Benedict XVI injected some sanity to the Gobal warming issue. I think this is one of his clearist wording to date on GW.

Many have speculated adding their own interpretation of B16's thoughts.

...I'm just going to post what he said.

Vatican City, Dec 11, 2007 / 11:03 am (CNA).- Pope Benedict XVI called upon the international community today to protect the family at all costs because it is “the first and indispensable teacher of peace.” He also insisted that whoever undermines the family, attacks peace in the entire community.

The Holy Father’s message was made public in preparation for the upcoming 41st World Day of Peace, which will be celebrated on January 1, 2008.

Before launching into his explanation of why the family must be protected, the Pope defined the family saying that it is “’a divine institution that stands at the foundation of life of the human person as the prototype of every social order'."

Benedict XVI insisted that, "the family is the first and indispensable teacher of peace," and it is also, "the foundation of society ... because it enables its members in decisive ways to experience peace. It follows that the human community cannot do without the service provided by the family," the Pope emphasized.

Referencing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Pope Benedict reminded everyone that the family is entitled to protection from society and the State.

“Consequently,” the Pope said, "whoever, even unknowingly, circumvents the institution of the family undermines peace in the entire community, national and international, since he weakens what is in effect the primary agency of peace.”

The Holy Father also stressed that “[e]verything that serves to weaken the family based on the marriage of a man and a woman, everything that directly or indirectly stands in the way of its openness to the responsible acceptance of a new life, everything that obstructs its right to be primarily responsible for the education of its children, constitutes an objective obstacle on the road to peace."

While some people live with the attitude that mankind lives alongside one another purely by chance, the Pope explained that the Christian worldview is one in which society is “progressing along a common path as men and women, and thus as brothers and sisters.” Without the family, Benedict said, “society is a mere aggregation of neighbors, not a community of brothers and sisters called to form one great family."

Needs of the Family Must be Protected

The earth is the home of the human family, says the Holy Father, highlighting the need "to care for the environment" which "has been entrusted to men and women to be protected and cultivated with responsible freedom, with the good of all as a constant guiding criterion.”
The Pope was careful to explain that, contrary to the attitude of some environmentalists, “[h]uman beings, obviously, are of supreme worth vis-a-vis creation as a whole.” “Respecting the environment does not mean considering material or animal nature more important than man," the Holy Father said.

Out of concern for those countries that struggle to afford protecting the environment, Pope Benedict said, “[i]f the protection of the environment involves costs, they should be justly distributed, taking due account of the different levels of development of various countries and the need for solidarity with future generations."

Critiquing unbridled capitalism, the Holy Father said that “the moral obligation to ensure that the economy is not governed solely by the ruthless laws of instant profit,” must be noted.

Natural Law Must Become the International Norm

Benedict XVI writes: "A family lives in peace if all its members submit to a common standard: this is what prevents selfish individualism and brings individuals together, fostering their harmonious coexistence and giving direction to their work. ... For the sake of peace, a common law is needed, one which would foster true freedom rather than blind caprice, and protect the weak from oppression by the strong. ... Power must always be disciplined by law, and this applies also to relations between sovereign States."

This law, the Pope suggested, should be “the moral norm grounded in nature itself." He also insisted that knowledge of this natural moral norm is possible if men strive to reflect on the “deepest inclinations present in their being.”

Pope Benedict XVI explained that in the increasingly globalized society of today, establishing an international moral law depends on “a constant commitment to strengthen the profound human content of international norms, lest they be reduced to mere procedures, easily subject to manipulation for selfish or ideological reasons."

We Must Respond to Difficult Times

"Humanity today is unfortunately experiencing great division and sharp conflicts which cast dark shadows on its future," the Pope observed.

In this context, the Pope underlined how "the danger of an increase in the number of countries possessing nuclear weapons causes well-founded apprehension," while in Africa there are still "many civil wars" and "the Middle East is still a theatre of conflict and violence, which also affects neighboring nations and regions and risks drawing them into the spiral of violence. On a broader scale, one must acknowledge with regret the growing number of States engaged in the arms race."

"In difficult times such as these…At a time when the process of nuclear non-proliferation is at a stand-still, I feel bound to entreat those in authority to resume with greater determination negotiations for a progressive and mutually agreed dismantling of existing nuclear weapons," Benedict XVI exhorted.

Pope Benedict concluded his message by recalling three special anniversaries: "Sixty years ago the United Nations Organization solemnly issued the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. ... This year also marks the 25th anniversary of the Holy See's adoption of the Charter of the Rights of the Family and the 40th anniversary of the celebration of the first World Day of Peace."

"In the light of these significant anniversaries, I invite every man and woman to have a more lively sense of belonging to the one human family, and to strive to make human coexistence increasingly reflect this conviction, which is essential for the establishment of true and lasting peace. I likewise invite believers to implore tirelessly from God the great gift of peace," the Holy Father said.

Thanks B16...

WCC +<><

Friday, December 07, 2007


For those interested, a reminder of an event that I will be attending on the campus of CalTech in Pasadena, California.

The Great Debate: Is Religion A Force For Good or Evil? And Can You Be Good Without God?

Sunday, December 9, 2:00p.m.
Beckkman Auditorium, on the CalTech campus

Dinesh D'Souza V. Michael Shermer

Shermer is the founding publisher of SKEPTIC Magazine.

I'm reading Dinesh's book presently: What's So Great About Christianity?

Should be good. See ya there.

WCC +<><

An Interview with God....

A friend emailed this to me...

It's pretty cool and inspiring...enjoy

Here's another one

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Santa's 34 Microsecond Visit

A Friend emailed this to me today...

Ever wonder what would it take for Santa to accomplish his Christmas Eve task?

How much time and how fast does Santa have to fly.
Check this out.

Between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, Santa Claus's route around the planet includes stops at 2.5 billion homes, assuming that children of all religions receive a present from the jolly man in the red suit, Anders Larsson of the engineering consultancy Sweco told AFP.

"We estimated that there are 48 people per square kilometer (120 per square mile) on Earth, and 20 metres (66 feet) between each home. So if Santa leaves from Kyrgyzstan and travels against the Earth's rotation he has 48 hours to deliver all the presents,"
he said.

Father Christmas has long been believed to reside at the North Pole, although a number of northern towns, including Finnish Rovaniemi, claim to be his true home.
But Sweco's report on Santa's most efficient route -- which takes into account factors like geographic density and the fewest detours -- shows that he wouldn't be able to make his round-the-world trip from there in time.

"He has 34 microseconds at each stop" to slide down the chimney, drop off the presents, nibble on his cookies and milk and hop back on his sleigh, Larsson said.

Santa's reindeer must travel at a speed of 5,800 kilometers (3,604 miles) per second to make the trip on time.

Another report circulating on the Internet suggested however that Santa's sleigh, weighed down with presents and travelling at supersonic speed, would encounter such massive air resistance that the entire contraption would burst into flames and be vaporised within 4.26 thousandths of a second.

The big guy is really moving...

Saturday, December 01, 2007

B16 Encyclial: Atheism, Modernism

I've been hearing report after report of the about Holiday Tree vs. Christmas Tree or crosses along the highway to honor fallen police officers or soldiers should be eliminated because the symbol of the cross is offensive to some.

I visit the local bookstores frequently and notice the titles of various books like 'The God delusion', 'What so great about God' or movies like 'The Golden Compass'.

Mmmmm, is it just me or is something going on here with anti-Christianity?

Well, the Pope has responded with his new Encyclical "Spe Salvi" on the theme of Christian Hope.

He addresses the influences of Atheism in our world today.

Encyclical: SPE SALVI (Saved by Hope)

A couple of articles:
Pope Criticizes Atheism in Encyclical

Excerpts from Pope's new encyclical Spe Salvi

Some Analysis:
John Allen

Catholic Online

Catholic Analysis Blog

Also, I'm reading a book by Dinesh D'Souza "What's so great about Christianity", worth noting which addresses the topic of Christians and Atheism.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Tribute to JP2

A cool video...

The late Pope John Paul II is the star in a new “trip hop” music video backed by the Vatican which is expected to challenge for the number one slot in the Christmas DVD charts.

With music composed by British composer Simon Boswell, an agnostic who made his name scoring for Italian horror movies, Santo Subito! is intended to build on the growing cultic veneration of the late Pope and add impetus to the campaign to make him a saint.

Home to Rome

I read an announcement in my parish Sunday bulletin yesterday and it requested prayers for what could be a very large number of Anglican, Episcopalian church member, coming into the Catholic Church.

The number in the bulletin was around 400,00 although I have not been able to verify that number yet.

I did find this article: 'Will Anglican's Come Home to Rome?

Another article from earlier in the year: 'Churches back plan to Unite under Pope'

Radical proposals to reunite Anglicans with the Roman Catholic Church under the leadership of the Pope are to be published this year, The Times has learnt.

The proposals have been agreed by senior bishops of both churches.

In a 42-page statement prepared by an international commission of both churches, Anglicans and Roman Catholics are urged to explore how they might reunite under the Pope.

The statement, leaked to The Times, is being considered by the Vatican, where Catholic bishops are preparing a formal response.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Eco Extremism

The story of Eco-Extremism.

Protecting the Environment as servants of God, is one thing. When we take that call to another level, a level beyond the teachings of Christ is another.

Case in point...

Meet the women who won't have babies - because they're not eco friendly

Had Toni Vernelli gone ahead with her pregnancy ten years ago, she would know at first hand what it is like to cradle her own baby, to have a pair of innocent eyes gazing up at her with unconditional love, to feel a little hand slipping into hers - and a voice calling her Mummy.

But the very thought makes her shudder with horror.

Because when Toni terminated her pregnancy, she did so in the firm belief she was helping to save the plant.

...so there you have it. No people is the best way to protect the environment. Don't you think that God would have created the world that way, without the creation of Man, if that was his main objective? A perfect environment more important than Man?

Catechism of the Catholic Church:

342 The hierarchy of creatures is expressed by the order of the "six days", from the less perfect to the more perfect. God loves all his creatures209 and takes care of each one, even the sparrow. Nevertheless, Jesus said: "You are of more value than many sparrows", or again: "Of how much more value is a man than a sheep!"210

343 Man is the summit of the Creator's work, as the inspired account expresses by clearly distinguishing the creation of man from that of the other creatures.211

344 There is a solidarity among all creatures arising from the fact that all have the same Creator and are all ordered to his glory: May you be praised, O Lord, in all your creatures, especially brother sun, by whom you give us light for the day; he is beautiful, radiating great splendor, and offering us a symbol of you, the Most High. . .

May you be praised, my Lord, for sister water, who is very useful and humble, precious and chaste. . .
May you be praised, my Lord, for sister earth, our mother, who bears and feeds us, and produces the variety of fruits and dappled flowers and grasses. . .
Praise and bless my Lord, give thanks and serve him in all humility.212

345 The sabbath - the end of the work of the six days. The sacred text says that "on the seventh day God finished his work which he had done", that the "heavens and the earth were finished", and that God "rested" on this day and sanctified and blessed it.213 These inspired words are rich in profitable instruction:

346 In creation God laid a foundation and established laws that remain firm, on which the believer can rely with confidence, for they are the sign and pledge of the unshakeable faithfulness of God's covenant.214 For his part man must remain faithful to this foundation, and respect the laws which the Creator has written into it.

347 Creation was fashioned with a view to the sabbath and therefore for the worship and adoration of God. Worship is inscribed in the order of creation.215 As the rule of St. Benedict says, nothing should take precedence over "the work of God", that is, solemn worship.216 This indicates the right order of human concerns.

348 The sabbath is at the heart of Israel's law. To keep the commandments is to correspond to the wisdom and the will of God as expressed in his work of creation.

349 The eighth day. But for us a new day has dawned: the day of Christ's Resurrection. The seventh day completes the first creation. The eighth day begins the new creation. Thus, the work of creation culminates in the greater work of redemption. The first creation finds its meaning and its summit in the new creation in Christ, the splendor of which surpasses that of the first creation.217

...further... Is nature more important than Man? Does man have a responsibility of Stewardship?

Respect for the integrity of creation

2415 The seventh commandment enjoins respect for the integrity of creation. Animals, like plants and inanimate beings, are by nature destined for the common good of past, present, and future humanity.195 Use of the mineral, vegetable, and animal resources of the universe cannot be divorced from respect for moral imperatives. Man's dominion over inanimate and other living beings granted by the Creator is not absolute; it is limited by concern for the quality of life of his neighbor, including generations to come; it requires a religious respect for the integrity of creation.196

2416 Animals are God's creatures. He surrounds them with his providential care. By their mere existence they bless him and give him glory.197 Thus men owe them kindness. We should recall the gentleness with which saints like St. Francis of Assisi or St. Philip Neri treated animals.

2417 God entrusted animals to the stewardship of those whom he created in his own image.198 Hence it is legitimate to use animals for food and clothing. They may be domesticated to help man in his work and leisure. Medical and scientific experimentation on animals is a morally acceptable practice if it remains within reasonable limits and contributes to caring for or saving human lives.

2418 It is contrary to human dignity to cause animals to suffer or die needlessly. It is likewise unworthy to spend money on them that should as a priority go to the relief of human misery. One can love animals; one should not direct to them the affection due only to persons.

Not to mention God's command to "Be fruitful and multiply..."

This thought process of the enviornment over Man (and of course I mean Man and Woman) is so wrong...

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanskgiving !

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

.... now turn off that computer and enjoy the company of your family and friends...

WCC +<><

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A Stem in the Right Direction

Finally, a breakthrough that has the proponents of embryonic stem cell research turning on their ear.

A breakthrough that may change the course of cloning and finally, maybe not stop, at least take a major step away from destroying babies (embryo's).

It’s called “reprogramming.”

Another technical term for it is “somatic cell dedifferentiation.” Just get those terms into your vocabulary because they’ll be around for the foreseeable future. As reported in two scientific papers published today, reprogramming is now the future of stem cell research and renders ethically controversial therapeutic cloning obsolete (MORE).

Another article...

Richard Doerflinger, deputy director of pro-life activities for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, called the new work "a very significant breakthrough in finding morally unproblematic alternatives to cloning. ... I think this is something that would be readily acceptable to Catholics."

Also this from the Catholic World News...

A new technique for obtaining stem cells could eliminate the public pressure for destructive research on human embryos, a Catholic think-tank reports.

The National Catholic Bioethics Center (NCBC) has welcomed the results of research by Dr. Shinya Yamanaka and Dr. James Thomson, who have found a method of using skin cells to obtain pluripotent stem cells. By "reprogramming" the skin cells, the researchers found that they could reproduce the features that scientists find most desirable in embryonic stem cells.
Research using stem cells obtained from human embryos has met with resistance from Catholic ethicists, since the embryos are destroyed in the process of harvesting the pluripotent stem cells. The Yamanaka-Thomson research promises a means of obtaining stem cells readily without ethical problems.

The new technique "fully conforms to what we have hoped to see for some time," the NCBC announced. "Such strategies should continue to be pursued and strongly promoted, as they should help to steer the entire field of stem cell research in a more explicitly ethical direction by circumventing the moral quagmire associated with destroying human embryos."

Hopefully things are headed in the right direction....

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Human Experience

Wow, I found this on the 'American Papist' blog the other day and I thought I'd pass the info on...

It's about what seems to be an amazing film put out by a small media company in the heart of Brooklyn N.Y.

Grassroots film is the producers of this film .... and you've got to watch the trailer to know what I'm talking about.
American Papist has a great write-up on the film so visit there for the full details
I've got to see how to get this screening in our area...
As AP suggest... pass the word on.
WCC +<><

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Catholics in Iraq

Great news from the front lines. Michael Yon embedded with the troops in Iraq, posts from his ONLINE MAGAZINE the daily happenings from the frontlines.

I'm reminded of the Moses' plea "...How about if there were 50 (faithful)? Would you spare them? How about 40... 20... 10?"
We know Gods' answer.
What is ours?

Friday, November 16, 2007

Catholic - Podcast

I love to read and it seems that I've been having more and more trouble finding the time for this.
I've been listening to books on CD, on my long commute to/from home and that's been working out well.

Another remedy to this lose of reading time, are podcasts. Podcast started out hot and heavy back around 2005 with shows like Adam Curry of MTV fame as well as hundreds, of iPod downloadable shows.
Today I'm not sure just how popular podcasting still is but there are some very good ones that deserve a mention.

I found one Podcast that I'd like to pass on. One called 'Daily Breakfast' created by Father Roderick. It's not your typical catholic content podcast show or blog. Fr. Roderick adds content on many topics, including popular TV shows, movies, maybe a lead story in the news to PS3 games... whatever. He does answer a question or two on Catholic teaching when an emailer or caller asks, however most of the show is about the everyday common interest of a Catholic Priest ( in the Netherlands no less) who surprisingly ( or not so surprisingly ) has many of the same interest you and I have.

If you find yourself with less time to read, check out an episode or two. He's SQPN network is the home of many other similar podcasts. Secrets of the Lord of the Rings, Secrets of the Pirates of the Caribbean & Harry Potter, the Catholic Insider, The Catholic Show, Rosary Army .... to name a few.

Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship

Here it is, the Bishops' document on Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship.

Not too much reation yet, I'm planning to read it this weekend.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

"Forming Citizens for Faithful Citizenship"

With the election campaigning in full swing, a new document by the U.S. Bishop's conference has been approved and should be available soon.

I hope this document is better than the last document they put out. The last edition was, in my option... weak.

But the good Bishop's promise a completely revised version which "underwent multiple revisions and was brought before the whole bishop' conference for approval". It even passed with a 97.8% approval.

Well, I'm looking forward to reading it, however I remember a couple of years ago our parish men's group purchased a few hundred voter guides from Catholic Answers organization and our diocese decided to prohibit us from distributing them on church property. All this in favor of their then version of this new document (...which was very weak).

Catholic Answers puts out a terrific voters pamphlet which I highly recommend. You can check it out yourself HERE: VOTER'S GUIDE FOR SERIOUS CATHOLICS

The fact that the new document was approved by 97.8% consensus is a good sign. I still would like to know who the three votes against it came from.

Excerpt from CNA article:
Baltimore, Nov 14, 2007 / 11:56 am (CNA).- A new document concerning the duties of Catholic voters has been overwhelmingly approved at the Baltimore meeting of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops this morning. Many of the bishops expressed their belief that this is document is a great improvement over teachings from past years.

Titled "Forming Citizens for Faithful Citizenship," the document is an update to past conference statements of the same name. Unlike previous years, this version underwent multiple revisions and was brought before the whole bishops' conference for approval. The bishops approved the document with 97.8 % in favor and only three votes against it.

Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn led the presentation of the document to the bishops' conference. He said the document takes its inspiration from Pope Benedict XVI's encyclical "Deus Caritas Est," where the Pope says that the Church “wishes to help form consciences in political life.”

The bishop emphasized that following those words was their goal. "This document is not about bishops and politicians," he said, "it’s about helping Catholics form their consciences."

Excerpt from the U.S. Catholic Bishops on Faithful Citizenship:

WASHINGTON (November 14, 2007)– The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) today overwhelmingly approved a statement called Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political Responsibility from the Catholic Bishops of the United States. The statement urges Catholics to be involved in public life and to use the values of their faith to shape their political choice. It was approved at the bishops’ general meeting in Baltimore, November 12-15.

“In this statement, we bishops do not intend to tell Catholics for whom or against whom to vote,” the bishops explain. “Our purpose is to help Catholics form their consciences in accordance with God’s truth. We recognize that the responsibility to make choices in political life rests with each individual in light of a properly formed conscience, and that participation goes well beyond casting a vote in a particular election.

”The church’s role in helping Catholics to form their consciences is a central theme of the document. “With this foundation,” the bishops explain, “Catholics are better able to evaluate policy positions, party platforms, and candidates’ promises and action in light of the Gospel and the moral and social teaching of the Church in order to help build a better world.

”The bishops affirm their legitimate role in public life. “The obligation to teach about moral values that should shape our lives, including our public lives, is central to [our] mission,” they state. “Our nation’s tradition of pluralism is enhanced, not threatened, when religious groups and people of faith bring their convictions and concerns into public life.

”Respect for the dignity of every human being is a foundation for Catholic teaching about “faithful citizenship.” The statement explains the necessity of opposing actions that are intrinsically wrong, such as abortion and euthanasia, because these actions involve directly andintentionally ending an innocent human life. It also affirms the obligation to promote the common good by combating such threats to human life and dignity as hunger, poverty, racism, unjust immigration policies, and unjust war. “Both opposing evil and doing good are essential obligations.”

I'll post a link to the document as soon as I find it.

The Big One...That Didn't Get Away

Photo Slide Show...

I saw this slide show this morning over coffee... and thought I'd pass it on


Monday, November 12, 2007

Veteran's Day

I didn't post anything on this special day, however I did want to thank all the men and women of our Armed Forces.

Thanks for all your dedication, perseverance & self sacrifice. Without you there would be no great nation of America.

Thank you also to all the Mothers, Fathers, Brothers and Sisters who have loved one's in the Service of their country.

God Bless you all and thank you.

A daily visit to this link will update you on what is ACTUALLY happening in Iraq: Michael Yon: Online Magazine

...and a personal Salute to a fallen solider: Lt. JP Blecksmaith, USMC who is from my neck of the woods.

Archaeologist: 5th Century B.C. wall built by Nehemiah

Interesting archaeological find:

Dr. Eilat Mazar, one of Israel's top archaeologists, ended her presentation Wednesday to the 13th Annual Conference of the Ingeborg Rennert Center for Jerusalem Studies on "New Studies on Jerusalem," with a surprise announcement. She had discovered remnants of the fifth century B.C. wall built by Nehemiah, the account recorded in the Old Testament book of the same name.

According to the biblical account, Nehemiah served as cupbearer for the Persian King Artaxerxes in the city of Susa. The Persians had conquered the Babylonian empire that had destroyed Jerusalem in 586 B.C. and taken most of the inhabitants of Judah into captivity in what is now modern Iraq.(WND)

A Step Closer to the Cliff...

The big headlines today "Cloning... a step closer". The obvious claims of curing the sick and terminally ill, very noble causes all scientist, doctors should strive for.

But at what cost? The cost of helpless innocent lives (Embryos = Babies)? Why are scientist pursuing embryonic stem cell research when there has not been success of this method to date. Especially when success is found elsewhere, namely adult stem cells, umbilical cord blood stem cells...

...the only conclusion....to strive for HUMAN CLONING!

A technical breakthrough has enabled scientists to create for the first time dozens of cloned embryos from adult monkeys, raising the prospect of the same procedure being used to make cloned human embryos.

Attempts to clone human embryos for research have been dogged by technical problems and controversies over fraudulent research and questionable ethics. But the new technique promises to revolutionise the efficiency by which scientists can turn human eggs into cloned embryos.

"Against the Tide"

Pope Benedict's call to all young adults...not just Catholic.

B16 said that young Catholics are "called to go against the tide," during a November 9 meeting with an Italian students' organization.

In contemporary society, the Holy Father said, too many people are caught up in "a race, sometimes a desperate race, toward appearance and possession at all costs-- at the expense, unfortunately, of being." Young Catholics, he said, should be constantly cautioned to avoid that mistake, and "not to fear choosing alternative paths which only Christ can indicate."

...In university life today, the Pope continued, students are confronted with appeals to "arrogance and the achievement of success at all costs." In opposition to that attitude, he said, Christian students should bear "convinced and courageous evangelical witness." He asked the young people to help demonstrate to their peers that faith and reason can strengthen and support each other.(CWN)

Great motto to live by...for all adults young and old, Catholic and non-catholic, Christian and non-Christian...

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Crisis Magazine - New Look

Crisis Magazine has just gone completely to a online publication and with that a new website insidecatholic.com.

The content is great and extensive. Lot's of great articles from some knowledgeable writers. Mark Shea, Brain Saint -Paul, Dinesh D'Souza, Harry Crocker, cover everything from faith and culture to politics. You'll find videos and audios, links to the older Crisis Magazine (which is still up and running with it's 'must read ' content) to the Morley Institute link. They also have a blog to share one's thoughts.

I'm adding this link to my site. Pay them a visit it's well worth adding them to your favorites list.

All Saints Day - Holy Day of Obligation

All Saints Day is a Holy Day of Obligation....that means all Catholics are obligated to attend Mass.
We don't have very many of these days. Many have been transferred to the following Sunday.

I kind of like to see Catholics gathering on a weekday. There is something about attending Mass during my lunch time (which I'll probably do today) and seeing the Church pews full. Some come in business suits, some busy mothers taking time to bring their pre-schoolers. The elderly always make up the majority.

At the last Holy Day in September, I even saw a few of my colleagues from work at Mass. We made eye contact and there was that look "I didn't know you were Catholic?".


Here's a little read: All Saints Day

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

D'Souza vs. Hitchens

Heres' a discription from the inside flap of the book:

Dinesh recently had a debate with Christopher Hichens, author of the book 'God is not Great - How Religion Poisons Everything' held earlier this month.

This Catholic, Atheist debate can be heard HERE ONLINE.

I haven't heard the whole thing yet, however I wanted to post it for your availability.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Eagles Concert: Nokia Theater Live

The Wife and I treated ourselves to the Eagles Concert this weekend at the new Nokia Theater, which is located right across the street from the Staples Center in Los Angeles (Lakers territory).

It was a great evening. We had a great dinner at home and some desert over at the Cheesecake Factory in Pasadena. The show started at 8:15pm.

I'm not a Dixie Chick fan, especially with the high political agenda of their lead singer, however I was impressed with their talent and music. They managed to stick to their music and that was a plus.

The Eagles' were fantastic. They headed off the show with a handful of their new songs from their Long Road Out of Eden CD. But the fan's were there for there older hits and The Band didn't disappoint.

We didn't get out of there until around midnight. The band donated some of their proceeds from the concert to the fire victims of California

Great show to see if they come to your town.

Everyday Martyrs

B16 has reminded us of our need for "everyday" martyrs.

At his regular Sunday Angelus audience on October 28, Pope Benedict XVI said that the beatification of 498 Spanish martyrs earlier that day was a reminder that "the supreme witness of blood is not an exception reserved just for a few individuals, but a realistic possibility for the entire Christian people."

The Holy Father reminded his audience that the Spanish martyrs of the 1930s included Catholics of all states and conditions, lay men and women as well as priests and religious. Most almost certainly did not think of themselves as potential martyrs, he remarked, before they were caught up in the campaign of violence against the Church. Then, he said, "they paid with their lives for their faithfulness to Christ and to His Church."

In most cases, faithfulness to Christ will not lead to bloody martyrdom, the Pope continued-- although that possibility cannot be dismissed. More often, he said, fidelity is shown in "the silent and heroic witness of so many Christians who live the Gospel without compromise." He called attention to the example of Blessed Celina Chludzinska Borzecka, the Polish woman who was beatified in a separate ceremony on October 27 in the Roman basilica of St. John Lateran. "This martyrdom of everyday life is a vital testimony in the secularized societies of our own time," the Pope said...

At the same time I read this: "Nuns beaten, then charged under conversion law."

Catholic Church leaders in India's Madhya Pradesh state have protested the vicious beating of several nuns. Their protest was quickly followed by charges that the nuns were seeking to convert Hindus to Christianity.

Five Clarist nuns were assaulted by Hindu fundamentalists near the town of Indore on October 27, as they traveled to the home of a Catholic parishioner for a prayer meeting. After inflicting serious injuries on three of the nuns, the Hindu zealots took the religious to the local police station, where they filed charges against them under the state's law restricting religious conversions.

"How can they be charged with conversion," asked Indore's Bishop George Anathil, "when the nuns went to pray at the house of a Catholic?" The bishop said that the legal charges were "a clear attempt to justify the attack on our sisters and to divert public attention." (CWN)

Hail Mary full of grace...

The Evangelical Thought on Conversion to Catholicism

Read this post on Carl's InsightScoop (...I go there a lot as you've probably noticed)

"What to do if an Evangelical is roaming toward Rome?"

What would you say to an Evangelical tempted to become Catholic or Orthodox?
Moore: There are some Evangelicals who genuinely become convinced that the truth claims of Rome or Antioch are persuasive. If that’s the case, one should indeed become Catholic or Orthodox rather than attempting to convince Shiloh Baptist Church to use icons or King James Bible Church of the benefits of venerating Mary.

Most Evangelicals I’ve encountered who are tempted to become Catholic or Orthodox, however, are going to make quite poor Catholic or Orthodox churchmen. I type that with fear, knowing many exceptions to this—including some colleagues on our editorial board...

A great read about six Evangelical Scholars/theologians and their thought on Catholic conversion.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Hahn and Pitre on the West Coast

Mark your calendar those of you on the West Coast (or anyway actually) for this up coming event. If you can make it to the event it's gong to be well worth it!

Dr. Scott Hahn and Dr. Brant Pitre will be speaking in San Diego.


When: Friday, November 16th @ 7pm

Where: Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Mira Mesa (
link) (location / directions on Google Maps)

Tickets are $10.

Got this off of Michael Barber's website "Singing in the Reign"
Check there for more details...

Catholic and confused

I read this posting from Carl Olsen over at InsightScoop the other day and didn't get a chance to pass it on.

A cranky response to a confused Catholic apologia for voting Democrat

Alright, alright, I admit it: I'm a bit cranky today. No reason, really. After all, the new Dwight Yoakam CD, Dwight Sings Buck, is excellent, we've had three days of sunshine in a row here in western Oregon, and the Oregon Ducks still have a shot at the national title (yeah, I know. Just let me dream the impossible dream for another day or three).

It didn't help my mood too much to read an opinion piece, published in today's Idaho Statesman, titled
"When I weigh all the issues of importance to me as a Christian, I must vote Democrat" and written by Will Rainford, LMSW, Ph.D., who is "the legislative advocate for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Boise." As regular readers of this blog know, we try to avoid much discussion of politics just for the sake of politics. That isn't one of the objectives of Insight Scoop, and we know that good Catholics can and do disagree on a host of touchy political issues (i.e., welfare reform, the war in Iraq, the music of Bob Dylan, etc.). But this op-ed begs—cries out!—for a little bit of fisking, for at least two reasons: it is irrational and it is condescending. And (okay, three reasons) it is written by a Catholic who really shouldn't be embarrassing himself like this in public. That said, here goes:

While perusing the net one can find ton's of Catholic website and sometimes it's hard to distinguish if their views follow true Catholic teachings or if they don't. One should always compare those views with what the Church's actual teachings say (including this website).

I'm passing on this posting from Carl because I believe that some Catholics (not all) seem to be justifying their voting positions minus the teachings of the Church. This posting from Carl is just one example. I've read postings on another catholic website that supported pro-choice and same sex marriages (I'm not linking them. I'm sure one can find them on your own).

To do this I relay on checking with the experts (see my links on this page). I've learned plenty from these sites. In the link above Carl consults the Catechism of the Catholic Church. That's always a good place to start.

I'm not a scholar or a Catholic intellectual. Just another Catholic trying to follow the Church of Jesus Christ, the Catholic Church, as closely as possible. I pray that my postings don't mislead others away from the true teachings of the Church. If anyone does find something, please post your concerns and I will correct any errors.

If you have any good Catholic websites you'd like to recommend please forward them.


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

"Bella" - The Movie

This is the big weekend for the winner of the Toronto Film Festival, "Bella". It's getting harder and harder to find a movie that you can take the family to. Even harder is trying to see one that doesn't have some graphic sex scenes that you kind of look at your date and say "did they really need to put that in the movie?"

It's getting close to Halloween and the graphic 'trick-or-treat' movies with plenty of blood guts and gore are out, but somehow no one wants to view the realities of this issue; abortion.

This movie may not make to the top of the 'Rotten Tomatos' review list (because it lacks entertainment value = no blood guts & gore, or sex, violence, endless vulgar language).

Some say this listed lack of entertainment values makes the movie boring! I say they're entertainment values need adjustment.

This movie will bring to mind the lost values of our society. The freedom not to do what I want, but the freedom to do what's right.

Please support this movie.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

So Cal Fires: Day 3

(photo: LATimes)
700+ homes burned so far. Over half a million evacuations. And smoke everywhere. I work by the beach area so the smoke isn't as noticeable but I live inland and it's a lot thicker there. We have a state park in our city and we've been keeping an eye on the surrounding hills.
Living in a state of fires and earthquakes I personally fear fires more. Earthquakes are devastating on their own, however everything happens in an instant. Of course the aftermath can be equally devastating, but fires of the magnitude we have today linger for days and the damaged hill sides wreck havoc when it rains in the form of mudslides.
What I fear the most are the Arsonist. Once a large fire happens you can bet that these parasites will come out of the wood work to do their dirty deeds. I think at last count we have 15 fires burning and there is the fear that the San Diego fire will merge with the LA fire.
I was down in San Diego 2 weekends ago for the Miramar Air Show on a Sunday and I remember looking at the surrounding hills. There's a lot of fire fuel up there and all along the 15 Freeway, which is a pipeline into the San Bernardino county, which is also a hop-skip-and a jump from the Angeles forest. I can see Mount Baldy from my kitchen window.
To give you a perspective I heard this morning that the total acreage in fire is equal to the size of the City of New York.... and growing.
The skies are red and the winds were pretty strong last night. We left an upstairs bathroom window open and this morning all the counters, floor and shower areas were covered with a fine black powder. Not doubt soot from the fires.

(photo: LATimes)

We sure could use some prayers over here. For the Fire Fighters, Water Aircrews, displaced families and everyone affected by this toxic smoke.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Internet Literary Treasures

I found these out of print books on the web and I thought I'd pass them on to you.

Luke Rivington was a convert to the Catholic Faith in the late nineteenth century. His books The Primitive Church and the See of Peter by Luke Rivington (1894
and Authority; or, A plain reason for joining the Church of Rome (1890)

Luke Rivington:
Born in London, May, 1838; died in London, 30 May, 1899; fourth son of Francis Rivington, a well-known London publisher. He was educated at Highgate Grammar School and Magdalen College, Oxford. After his ordination as an Anglican clergyman in 1862, he became curate of St. Clement's, Oxford, leaving there in 1867 for All Saint's, Margaret Street, London, where he attracted attention as a preacher. Failing in his efforts to found a religious community at Stoke, Staffordshire, he joined the Cowley Fathers and became superior of their house in Bombay. Becoming unsettled in his religious convictions he visited Rome, where in 1888 he was received into the Church. His ordination to the priesthood took place on 21 Sept., 1889. He returned to England and settled in Bayswater, not undertaking any parochial work, but devoting himself to preaching, hearing confessions, and writing controversial works. The chief of these were "Authority; or a plain reason for joint the Church of Rome" (1888); "Dust" a letter to the Rev. C. Gore on his book "Roman Catholic Claims" (1888); "Dependence; or the insecurity of the Anglican Position" (1889) "The Primitive Church and the See of Peter" (1894); "Anglican Fallacies; or Lord Halifax on Reunion" (1895); "Rome and England or Ecclesiastical Continuity" (1897); "The Roman Primacy A.D. 430-51" (1899) which was practically a new edition of "The Primitive Church and the See of Peter". He also wrote several pamphlets and brought out a new edition of Bishop Milner's "End of Religious Controversy". This was for the Catholic Truth Society of which he was long a member of the committee, and a prominent figure at the annual conferences so successfully organized by the society. His pamphlets include "Primitive and Roman" (1894) a reply to the notice of his book "The Primitive Church" in the "Church Quarterly Review"; "The Conversion of Cardinal Newman" (1896) and "Tekel" (1897) in which he criticized the reply of the Archbishops of Canterbury and York to Pope Leo XIII after the condemnation of Anglican Orders. In 1897 the pope conferred on him an honorary doctorate in divinity. During his latter years he lived near St. James church, Spanish Place, devoting himself to his literary work and the instruction of inquirers in the Catholic Faith.

Here's and excerpt from the Preface of he's 'The Primitive Church and the See of Peter'

...First, it would be easy to string together a most formidable array of difficulties quoted and examined by Catholic theologians in their great scientific works on theology. But it is obvious that I would be necessary to be a trained theologian, or to spend a lifetime in research, were it needful to give detailed answers to them all. Then there are works, like those of Dr. Litttledale (prominent anti-catholic apologist of the time) and others, written in order to blind and mislead; made up of calumnies, misquotations, and a calculated admixture of truth and error. These are often intended to shock and alienate the moral sense quite as much as the intellectual. If they do not finally succeed in this, at least they may succeed in creating perplexity, anxiety, and delay.

Now, instead of entering into a maze of objections, into labyrinth of difficulties, a shorter and more satisfactory course should be taken. Find the Divine Teacher, find the Supreme Shepherd, find the Vicar of Christ. Concentrate all ;our mental and moral faculties upon finding he Head of God’s Church upon earth. This is the key to the situation. The learned work to which these words serve as introduction is intended to aid this inquiry, by setting forth for this doctrine various of it’s reasonable motives of credibility. If only you find the Divine Teacher, you may leave all objections to the doctrines he teaches to answer themselves. And if you find him not, then answers to the difficulties brought against his teachings will go for little.
[The Primitive Church and the See of Peter - Preface, xii]

I recently say the interview with Francis Beckwith on EWTN a couple of weeks ago and it seemed to me that he approached his conversion in a similar manner. He didn't have all the answers to the questions asked him from callers to the show or in other interviews about the Rosary or other Catholic devotions and traditions, but he seemed to be saying, Ive found that Christ Jesus founded the Catholic Church and I must be apart of this. All other objections will work themselves out.

Enjoy the read...

Monday, October 15, 2007

More Madness from the California's Politicians

The Terminator 'Gov. Schwarzenegger' has sided with those against traditional family values with his signing into law SB777.

'Mom' and 'Dad' banished by California...

The bills signed by Schwarzenegger include SB777, which bans anything in public schools that could be interpreted as negative toward homosexuality, bisexuality and other alternative lifestyle choices.

There are no similar protections for students with traditional or conservative lifestyles and beliefs, however.

"SB 777 will result in reverse discrimination against students with religious and traditional family values," said Meredith Turney, legislative liaison for Capitol Resource Institute. "These students have lost their voice as the direct result of Gov. Schwarzenegger's unbelievable decision. The terms 'mom and dad' or 'husband and wife' could promote discrimination against homosexuals if a same-sex couple is not also featured.

"Parents want the assurance that when their children go to school they will learn the fundamentals of reading, writing and arithmetic – not social indoctrination regarding alternative sexual lifestyles. Now that SB777 is law, schools will in fact become indoctrination centers for sexual experimentation," she said.

...you've got to read the whole article for yourself.

Thomasson said SB777 prohibits any "instruction" or school-sponsored "activity" that "promotes a discriminatory bias" against "gender" – the bill's definition includes cross-dressing and sex changes – as well as "sexual orientation."

"Because no textbook or instruction in California public schools currently disparages transsexuality, bisexuality, or homosexuality, the practical effect of SB777 will be to require positive portrayals of these sexual lifestyles at every government-operated school," CCF noted.

Offenders will face the wrath of the state Department of Education, up to and including lawsuits.
CCF noted that now on a banned list will be any text, reference or teaching aid that portrays marriage as only between a man and woman, materials that say people are born male or female (and not in between), sources that fail to include a variety of transsexual, bisexual and homosexual historical figures, and sex education materials that fail to offer the option of sex changes.

Further, homecoming kings now can be either male or female – as can homecoming queens, and students, whether male or female, must be allowed to use the restroom and locker room corresponding to the sex with which they choose to identify.

It just keeps going down hill. The worst part is that this stuff just gets accepted without much notice.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Coulter - "perfected"

No doubt this will become another "those Christians" issues in the news.

So what does the Catholic Church really say about the Jewish faith? We know we have our roots deep in the Old Testament and for heavens sake (no pun intended) Our Lord was Jewish. He came for all.

Let's see how many so called Catholic Christian news anchors, talk show host, newspaper columnist, weigh in on this one.

...more later... I can just hear Alan Colmes on this one.

B16 on Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Got to post this..

Pope Benedict appealed to scientists on Thursday to stop using human embryos in stem cell research, saying it violated "the dignity of human life".
The Vatican is a proponent of stem cell research as long as it does not harm human embryos, which the Catholic Church holds are humans from the moment of conception.
"The destruction of human embryos, whether to acquire stem cells or for any other purpose, contradicts the purported intent of researchers, legislators and public health officials to promote human welfare," the Pontiff said.
The Church supports research on adult cells and even promising alternatives to embryonic research, like the use of amniotic fluid protecting fetuses in the uterus.
The Pope said such research methods "harmonize with the aforementioned intent (to promote human welfare) by respecting the life of the human being at every stage of his or her existence".

Mastermind of 1st Twin Towers Attack - Convert to Christianity


Hot off the wire:

I don't know, 60 minutes isn't on the top of my list of truthful journalism. I would be nice though and something to pray for.
I'll have to keep my eye on this story...