|With Iraqi Christians a threatened and dwindling minority, U.S. forces are safeguarding a 1,400-year-old monastery _ Iraq's most ancient _ for a time when peace, reconciliation and archaeological detective work can occur. |
St. Elijah's Monastery, with its main fortress-like structure looming atop a barren hillside, sits inside a sprawling U.S. military base. Its bloody history makes clear why the monastery needs protection. In 2003, it was damaged during the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. Some 250 years earlier, it was nearly leveled by a Persian ruler who ordered its monks slain.
Friday, November 28, 2008
Trubador has some interesting posts
The First Thanksgiving
Eleanor Rigby...is she a real person?
AmP has a one...
Advent on the iPhone
Food for thought on Thanksgiving
We enjoyed the days rainy quietness and we shared some long conversation, salsa and chips and DVD's (Dark Knight and Indiana Jones' latest), while the turkey roasted.
There's plenty of leftovers which will serve as dinner for the next few evenings and as per our family tradition, we ordered our Christmas tamales. I don't know if it's just a So. Cal thang, but tamales and holidays are a must. When my grandmother on my father's side was alive we use to help make them.
I hope everyone's Thanksgiving is and continues to be a happy one. Family and the Holiday's, my favorite combination.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Here's the website of Fr. Barron, please visit and support with a donation if you're able.
for more YouTube video of Fr. Barron, Here's the Link: Fr. Barron
I start my day with the daily reading before I hit my news and favorite weblogs. For the past week we’ve been reading from the book of Revelations… with all its mystic symbology.
Today’s Gospel was an eye opener and kind of ominous as Jesus speaks of the ‘end-times’ (Lk 21:5-11) -NAB
I had to read the whole chapter, I just couldn’t’ leave it at verse 11.
1 When he looked up he saw some wealthy people putting their offerings into the treasury
and he noticed a poor widow putting in two small coins.
He said, "I tell you truly, this poor widow put in more than all the rest;
for those others have all made offerings from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has offered her whole livelihood."
2 While some people were speaking about how the temple was adorned with costly stones and votive offerings, he said,
"All that you see here--the days will come when there will not be left a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down."
Then they asked him, "Teacher, when will this happen? And what sign will there be when all these things are about to happen?"
He answered, "See that you not be deceived, for many will come in my name, saying, 'I am he,' and 'The time has come.' 3 Do not follow them!
When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; for such things must happen first, but it will not immediately be the end."
Then he said to them, "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.
There will be powerful earthquakes, famines, and plagues from place to place; and awesome sights and mighty signs will come from the sky.
"Before all this happens, 4 however, they will seize and persecute you, they will hand you over to the synagogues and to prisons, and they will have you led before kings and governors because of my name.
It will lead to your giving testimony.
Remember, you are not to prepare your defense beforehand,
for I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking 5 that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute.
You will even be handed over by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends, and they will put some of you to death.
You will be hated by all because of my name,
but not a hair on your head will be destroyed.
By your perseverance you will secure your lives.
6 "When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, know that its desolation is at hand.
Then those in Judea must flee to the mountains. Let those within the city escape from it, and let those in the countryside not enter the city,
for these days are the time of punishment when all the scriptures are fulfilled.
Woe to pregnant women and nursing mothers in those days, for a terrible calamity will come upon the earth and a wrathful judgment upon this people.
They will fall by the edge of the sword and be taken as captives to all the Gentiles; and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles 7 are fulfilled.
"There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on earth nations will be in dismay, perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves.
People will die of fright in anticipation of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens 8 will be shaken.
And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
But when these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand."
He taught them a lesson. "Consider the fig tree and all the other trees.
When their buds burst open, you see for yourselves and know that summer is now near;
in the same way, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near.
Amen, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place.
Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
"Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life, and that day catch you by surprise
like a trap. For that day will assault everyone who lives on the face of the earth.
Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man."
During the day, Jesus was teaching in the temple area, but at night he would leave and stay at the place called the Mount of Olives.
And all the people would get up early each morning to listen to him in the temple area.
After I reviewed the daily readings I was surprised to see and article on the Drudge Report entitled: RUSSIAN ANALYST PREDICTS DECLINE AND BREAKUP OF USA.
Here’s a clip:
A leading Russian political analyst has said the economic turmoil in the United States has confirmed his long-held view that the country is heading for collapse, and will divide into separate parts…
…He predicted that the U.S. will break up into six parts - the Pacific coast, with its growing Chinese population; the South, with its Hispanics; Texas, where independence movements are on the rise; the Atlantic coast, with its distinct and separate mentality; five of the poorer central states with their large Native American populations; and the northern states, where the influence from Canada is strong. He even suggested that "we could claim Alaska - it was only granted on lease, after all." Panarin, 60, is a professor at the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and has authored several books on information warfare.
Market failings, bailouts to everyone … corporation level pay grade only. Russian warships in Hugo Chavez country, China buying up American debt, 401k converted to 201k (mines down 39%).
Sounds like the end-time may truly be here, right?
Well, I don’t know about that. Are times hard? Very hard? Sure they are.
I think in today’s Gospel, Jesus is reminding us that we shouldn’t put too much trust in the man made empires. The Jerusalem temple was the center piece in the Jewish community back then, yet in 70AD it was destroyed.
Today we see banks going under, mighty corporations on their knees, things we’ve learned to trust over time are now on shaky ground and times don’t look as secure as we would like.
Will times get harder?
Maybe, but Jesus tells us to focus our trust in Him and to stay alert.
Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
"Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life, and that day catch you by surprise
like a trap. For that day will assault everyone who lives on the face of the earth.
Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man."
Jesus said these words just before his last Passover Supper, just before the beginning of his Passion.
I was talking with my kids who are young adults, about the news events of the day last night. They have the same concerns as everyone.
“I’ve just graduated from college… what does the future look like for me?”
“I’m getting married… what will my life be like in the next 5 years?”
I wish I could say that they would find good jobs and that their future children would grow up in peaceful times with prosperity all around them,
But I couldn’t say that.
The only advice I could give was a reminder what ultimately life’s goal is and that’s what our focus should be on. Yes we have to deal with jobs, food, and shelter. We need to remain involved with our communities, helping each other out, and remain focused on the banquet Christ has prepared for us.
Trust in His providence, remain alert.
I don’t mean this post to instill words of wisdom. There are plenty of folk out the in weblog land with ABC’s after their names and theology educations that rightfully would say my ramblings are remedial at best and laughable nominally.
These are just the some thoughts I had while reflecting on today’s gospel and today’s news….
Monday, November 24, 2008
Is this the face of the new Protestant church?
One of the key leaders of today's most cutting-edge church movement has opened an Internet discussion on the issue of same-sex marriage with the bold proclamation that he believes "gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual and queer" individuals can and should live out their sexuality in – and blessed by – the Christian church.
"I now believe that GLBTQ can live lives in accord with biblical Christianity (as least as much as any of us can!)," writes author and church leader Tony Jones, "and that their monogamy can and should be sanctioned and blessed by church and state."
MORE: Emergent church leader says 'gay' can be biblical lifestyle
I don't mean to pick on our brothers and sisters. The truth is this frame of thought that Tony Jones has is becoming more and more prevalent in the Catholic church as well.
The passage of Prop 8 leaves us with some hope, however it's easy to see our leaders attempting to pull us away from church teaching.
Sunday was the Solemnity of Christ the King. It's the end of the church calendar as we head into the Advent season.
The Gospel reading for Sunday was on the "goats and sheep" (Matt 25:31-46).
We need to ask ourselves on a daily basis,
'which are we?'
The Deadly Convienence of Christianity without Culture
“Gnosticism” may not be the right word for it, but it is what Harold Bloom in The American Religion calls a religion of the self. It is a seductive way of accommodating differences by declaring a truce in contentions over truth. The “Christ without culture” model—meaning Christianity indifferent to culture—would seem to produce a circumstance in which religion is impervious to culture and culture is impervious to religion. But, in fact, it results in religion’s acquiescing in the culture’s demand that religion confine itself to the sphere of privacy.
In his classic study at the beginning of the last century, The Varieties of Religious Experience, William James describes religion as that which a man does with his solitude. What one does with one’s solitude may take many different forms, from mystical experience, to thinking positively in ways that maximize your potential, to ten-step meditation techniques resulting in a greater measure of inner peace. In more contemporary language, religion—or, if you prefer, spirituality—is whatever works for you.
18And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
19"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,
20teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
There are so many good (and bad) resourses out there from Catholic periodicals (mags) and books, and some great weblogs.
Friday, November 21, 2008
In fact, the "social justice" people were positively aglow about the election of their new messiah, Barack Obama. Several of them were speaking of their plans to attend the Inauguration and were utterly unaware that there would be 100,000 people marching on the nation's Capitol two days later for the right to life of unborn Americans which they had just voted into irrelevancy by electing Obama to the highest office of the land. One of them even expressed shock at the provisions of the upcoming Freedom of Choice Act until he was confronted with the nasty little fact that his messiah had been a sponsor of that pernicious bill in the last Congress. True to form, he steadfastly refused to allow that truth to have any effect on his euphoria. His mind was made up, and he would not let himself be confused by facts. Needless to say, the orthodox, practicing, believing Catholic pro-lifers will not be attending the Inauguration.
How can these two groups sit side-by-side in the same pews and display their ministries in the same space at the same Catholic parish? Simply because this contradiction has been tolerated for years by those in charge of our Church. In this election season neither of these two groups received any guidance about voting according to Catholic principles because, as per usual, there was silence from the pulpit on the issue. The absolute failure of our church leaders to define for us what membership in the Church means - and then to enforce it - has led to the degradation of Catholic culture and the loss of meaning for things that are sacred. When Christ and Belial are considered equal partners in the sanctuary, then nothing in the sanctuary means anything any more and no meaningful standard exists to distinguish a true Catholic from a false Catholic.
The degradation of Catholic culture is largely, but not exclusively, the fault of the clergy. For four decades in the Catholic Church in America we have seen:
1. Liturgical abuses run rampant, aided and abetted by those in charge
3. Sexual abuse by clergy excused and unaddressed by the hierarchy
4. A blind eye turned to high profile dissent and political class heretics
5. Wholesale attacks on sacred teachings that receive virtually no response from our pastors (and if it weren't for Catholic Answers, EWTN and the Catholic League we would have no defense whatsoever)
6. The succumbing of our Catholic institutions of higher education to the ravages of political correctness, and the list goes on.
In the face of all this, should we be surprised that 54% of "Catholics" voted for Barack? Hardly.
The battle for Catholic culture begins with us, and there is no time like the present to don the armor of spiritual warfare. We either believe and practice what the Church teaches or we live as part of the shadow church, falsely trading on the Name Catholic for its benefits without at the same time shouldering the crosses that this entails.
There is, however, great hope for the future because the battle has already been engaged: new Catholic colleges are springing up to replace the old decrepit houses of heresy, new religious orders with abundant vocations and orthodoxy have arisen, home schooling families and strong lay movements are abundant now. Only when we take back our beloved Church from the false Catholics and clerics will our Church be able to stand up and rebuke the storm winds of paganism that are building faster than we care to admit. This project is not without its price, however. The cost of being a true believer will undoubtedly be much higher than ever before in our lifetime. Starting now and into the next generation we as Catholics will have to show the world not only what we believe but that we are willing to lay down our lives for it as a witness to the truth.
CA Supreme Court Grants Our RequestsUpdate on Next Steps Below
On Wednesday, November 19, the California Supreme Court granted all of the requests submitted by ProtectMarriage.com regarding the three lawsuits filed against Prop 8. We are very pleased by this action. Specifically, the Court
-Refused to block the full implementation of Prop 8 pending the outcome of the litigation
-Accepted jurisdiction over the case, which will facilitate a speedier resolution
-Granted ProtectMarriage's request to have standing as the defender of the interests of the voters that passed Prop 8. Otherwise the defense would have been solely up to Attorney General Jerry Brown who opposed Prop 8 and tried his best to undermine its passage.
-Refused the request of Campaign for California Families and the Liberty Council to represent the voters in the case. Campaign for California Families opposed the qualification of Prop 8 and never cooperated with the campaign to pass it. To help undermine our efforts, Jerry Brown supported the participation of this outside group.
It is important to remember that we won Prop 8 because we worked together with a coordinated strategy and message. In this delicate post election period, it is important to continue to do so.
Many different organizations, some that were supportive of the campaign and some that were not, are sending out emails with conflicting messages and strategies. ProtectMarriage.com, of which CatholicsforProtectMarriage and CCG are members, is the only organization representing the team you were a part of to pass Prop 8. We need to continue to stick together. An update on current and future objectives for the coalition is posted below but I would like to emphasize two important points:
-We do not support efforts or suggestions to recall any judges.
-We discourage counter demonstrations and any acts that would incite our opponents.
Please continue to offer your prayers and suffering for people are committing acts of intimidation against the voters and supporters for Prop 8, for the political leaders who are instigating them, and for the many people who are suffering as a result.
Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us.
For the Common Good,
Bill May, ChairmanCatholics for Protect Marriage
Letter from ProtectMarriage.com Chairman Ron Prentice
Many people have asked what the Yes on 8 campaign has in mind for next steps. There has been, unfortunately, some chatter from outside groups who claim to represent the Yes on 8 campaign, that has resulted in confusion as to what we are doing. As you know, ProtectMarriage.com Yes on 8 is the only official campaign in favor of Proposition 8. It was our group that qualified the measure for the ballot and raised the approximately $40 million to pass the initiative. We had significant help from some critical allies like the National Organization for Marriage, Knights of Columbus, Focus on the Family and Family Research Council. But ProtectMarriage.com is the only committee that passed Prop. 8. Some other groups are attempting to use the passage of Prop 8 for fund raising and publicity purposes. Id like to address what we are focusing on, what we are not focusing on, and ask for your continued prayers in support of our efforts.
Our most important work now is to defend the Peoples right to enact Proposition 8. We have asked the California Supreme Court to set a hearing to decide on the challenges that have been filed against Prop 8 because we are confident that the Court will do the right thing and uphold our right to enact the measure by initiative. By encouraging the Court to hear and decide these cases now, we are hoping to avoid years of costly litigation over Prop 8 as the cases would normally wind through the court system. We have also urged the Court to deny all of the requests for preliminary injunctions that would suspend Prop 8 while the cases are pending in the Supreme Court.
Since we, as the Official Proponents, were not originally named in the lawsuits, we have asked the Court to allow us to formally intervene as official parties, so we can vigorously defend Prop 8. Also, we are opposing the efforts of other groups to intervene in the cases, including the Campaign for California Families which actually campaigned against Proposition 8 until a short time before the election. Since we are the only organization representing the official proponents and the campaign committee that was responsible for passing Prop 8, allowing outside groups to participate in the defense of Prop 8 will only harm our chances of success.
We continue to work vigorously in the court of public opinion to defend Proposition 8. Our campaign firm, Schubert Flint Public Affairs, is still on board and is working on long-term public relations strategies for consideration by the Executive Committee. Schubert Flint and members of the Executive Committee have given hundreds of media interviews over the past two weeks defending Proposition 8 from attack.
Because we fully expect to prevail in court, we expect that, at some point, we will need to defeat a ballot proposal by advocates of same-sex marriage. Our opponents have threatened such a proposal as early as 2010. We are already beginning the planning process to lay the groundwork to defeat a future proposed initiative that would legalize gay marriage. What we are not doing is discussing the possibility of recalling justices who oppose us. We are fully confident that the California Supreme Court will uphold Proposition 8, even if some members of the Court disagree with the issue. We encourage all supporters of Proposition 8 to set aside any discussions about the possibility of recalling any justice of the Court. We see no need for such discussion. For now we must allow the Court to make the correct legal decision. Making threats to recall justices from office is counter-productive and harmful to our chances of winning in Court.
Many of our supporters have asked about holding events to offset the numerous protests that have been held by our opponents. We organized a press conference last Friday in Southern California that was heavily attended by the media. This event showcased the vast support that Proposition 8 received from a wide array of groups, including representatives of numerous faith traditions and ethnic backgrounds. Beyond that rally, we do not encourage supporters to organize local demonstrations or counter-protests. Doing so will only spawn further protests from our opponents and potentially spark street corner confrontations. Criticism of our opponents tactics is mounting daily and they would dearly love to provoke our supporters into a confrontation that makes us look like aggressors. Every protest our opponents launch features angry gays screaming at California voters. They call voters bigots and homophobes, and many of them have used racially derogatory terms in referring to African Americans and their strong support for Proposition 8. Their protests are doing great harm to their public position.
We currently have a campaign surplus which is allowing us the ability to continue defending Proposition 8 for a period of time. However, we will likely launch a new fund raising effort in a few weeks to ensure that we have the financial resources necessary to compete in the Supreme Court and the court of public opinion. As you consider giving, please remember that our committee is the only committee that represents Proposition 8 defending it before the courts and with the public.
Please keep the leadership of the campaign, our consultants and our supporters in your prayers. All of us have been targeted by gay activists with vile emails, phone calls and threats. We are praying for those like Scott Eckern, who was forced to resign as Artistic Director of the California Musical Theater because he gave our campaign a $1,000 donation, and for the owners of El Coyote restaurant in Los Angeles who are being boycotted because an employee supported us. One supporting business was forced to shut down its Web site and send all phone calls to voice mail due to the disgusting harassment by our opponents. These are just a few examples of those who have been subjected to hateful actions by our opponents who, ironically, demand tolerance from others but seem so incapable of showing tolerance themselves. Thank you for your continued support of traditional marriage and Proposition 8.
Yes on Proposition 8
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Issues of Moral Weight
Q: Your Excellency, do you believe that the United States could be making a sharp turn toward secularism -- following the lead of Canada or Western Europe?
ArchbishopNaumann: I do not believe that we have to take a fatalistic view and simply concede that we will inevitably go the same route as Western Europe or Canada. I think there are different dynamics in the make-up of the United States.
However, Europe and Canada are sober reminders of what could happen if the Church and all people of faith are not vigilant. Of course, the Church, in its beginning, found itself in a hostile society and throughout history and in some parts of the world today, the Church has to keep the light of truth burning in difficult cultural environments.
There are those who are constantly trying to write the obituary of the pro-life movement. I remember in the mid-1980's a television commentator reporting on the huge crowd at the annual March for Life as the "dying gasp" of the movement. It is 20 years later and the pro-life movement is growing stronger and younger.
Q: In this election cycle the clergy spoke out as never before for the rights of the unborn. More than one-third of all ordinaries issued statements on the importance of supporting pro-life candidates. Why do you think they spoke out like this?
Archbishop Naumann: Bishops and priests have had the example of Pope John Paul II, and now Pope Benedict XVI, both who have spoken the truth fearlessly with love. I also think that Archbishop [Raymond] Burke, in the last election cycle, calling Catholic politicians to accountability has had a significant impact.
Some Catholic politicians, for many years by their actions, have been contradicting Church teaching on the sanctity of human life, but now several are actually attempting to redefine what the Church teaches. This has compelled bishops to assert their role as the authentic teachers of the faith.
That was the buzz word this election. Well, as this article points out, somethings change for the better, somethings change for the worse and somethings.... never change.
If a Hate Crime Takes Place In a Forest and Nobody Hears It...
In San Francisco's Castro district, a handful of homosexual activists were peacefully chanting slogans when they were set upon by a mob of angry fundamentalist Christians, who surrounded and hounded them, shouting obscenities and threatening to kill them. One woman was thrown to the ground and kicked. Police intervened in time to prevent further violence, and escorted the small group out of the area, with the mob howling threats all the way.
Patrick Madrid as a post on persecution as well...
A majority of California voters, as you know, voted YES to Prop 8's ban on Gay Marriages. The outrage from the opponents was immediate. Protest ensued and Gov. Terminator sided with these nay-say'rs to call for the California's Supreme Court to crush the power of the vote.
This is as ludicrous as the Firemen in 'Fahrenheit 451' setting the fires instead of putting them out. Now you have the courts ruling over the law of the land... the vote of the people.
As they say in the God Father; it's time to 'Go to the Mattress' (Uhhhhh... Michael)
There's a Mormon church on the same block as our Catholic church and there's a protest scheduled for today by the NO on Prop 8 crowd. Our church will probably be next. During the elections we were handing out Yes on Prop 8 signs, 300 of which were stolen from church grounds.
My sign was missing from my front yard on election day...
So... for those in California call your elected officials and representatives, call Arnold's office. Those not in California, if this can happen here, it's only a matter of time...
Prayers, of course, always!
From today's Readings:
As Jesus drew near Jerusalem,
he saw the city and wept over it, saying,
“If this day you only knew what makes for peace–
but now it is hidden from your eyes.
For the days are coming upon you
when your enemies will raise a palisade against you;
they will encircle you and hem you in on all sides.
They will smash you to the ground and your children within you,
and they will not leave one stone upon another within you
because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.”
California Supreme Court to take up Gay Marriage Ban
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - California's highest court agreed Wednesday to hear several legal challenges to the state's new ban on same-sex marriage but refused to allow gay couples to resume marrying before it rules.
The California Supreme Court accepted three lawsuits seeking to nullify Proposition 8, a voter-approved constitutional amendment that overruled the court's decision in May that legalized gay marriage.
All three cases claim the measure abridges the civil rights of a vulnerable minority group. They argue that voters alone did not have the authority to enact such a significant constitutional change.
As is its custom when it takes up cases, the court elaborated little. However, the justices did say they want to address what effect, if any, a ruling upholding the amendment would have on the estimated 18,000 same-sex marriages that were sanctioned in California before Election Day.
Gay rights groups and local governments petitioning to overturn the ban were joined by the measure's sponsors and Attorney General Jerry Brown in urging the Supreme Court to consider whether Proposition 8 passes legal muster.
Times are difficult for everyone, so I thought I'd offer up my day for those in need.
If anyone has a special intention they would like me to include with mine, I will definitely offer them up at this afternoon's mass.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
I'm bathing in holy water as I type.
To be more specific, the evangelical, right-wing, oogedy-boogedy branch of the GOP is what ails the erstwhile conservative party and will continue to afflict and marginalize its constituents if reckoning doesn't soon cometh.
Simply put: Armband religion is killing the Republican Party. And, the truth -- as long as we're setting ourselves free -- is that if one were to eavesdrop on private conversations among the party intelligentsia, one would hear precisely that.
The choir has become absurdly off-key, and many Republicans know it.
It's not holy water your bathing in Darling...
Case in point; CNN's Wolf Blitzer bashes Cardinal Stafford and mis-quotes him.
Now that's something new....NOT!
American Catholic has the post:
CNN Wolf Blitzer
On Tuesday’s Situation Room, CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer referred to a Catholic cardinal’s criticism of Barack Obama’s abortion position as a “scathing rant“ and a “diatribe.“ A CNN graphic also used the “scathing rant” term, and Blitzer later referred to the cardinal’s words as a “blistering rant.“
AmP has a video that shows grave liturgical abuses: Balloons, baked bread...just view the video.
Now I view Cardinal Schonborn as one of the best the church has to offer. I've read his book 'Chance or Purpose? Creation, Evolution and Rational faith'. He even wrote the Forward to B16's latest book 'Creation and Evoution' , so I'm quite confused by his participation in this mass.
Read the post on Amp
My thoughts are with Heidemarie, they're not going to let her live this down for awhile back at the Cape. ;-)
...The briefcase-sized tool bag drifted away from astronaut Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper on Tuesday as she cleaned and lubed a gummed-up joint on a wing of solar panels on the space station. She and fellow astronaut Stephen Bowen were midway through the first of four spacewalks planned for the mission. The tool bag was one of the largest items ever lost by a spacewalker.
As Stefanyshyn-Piper cleaned up a large gob of grease that seeped from a gun used to lubricate the joint, the tool case somehow became untethered from a larger bag and floated away along with a pair of grease guns, wipes and a putty knife attached to it.
"What it boils down to is all it takes is one small mistake for a tether not to be hooked up quite correctly or to slip off, and that's what happened here," said lead spacewalk officer John Ray.
I thought of the passage in Matthew 22:17-22
17"Tell us then, what do You think? Is it lawful to give a poll-tax to Caesar, or not?"
18But Jesus perceived their malice, and said, "Why are you testing Me, you hypocrites?
19"Show Me the coin used for the poll-tax." And they brought Him a denarius.
20And He said to them, "Whose likeness and inscription is this?"
21They said to Him, "Caesar's." Then He said to them, "Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's; and to God the things that are God's."
22And hearing this, they were amazed, and leaving Him, they went away.
One can almost substitute Caesar's for Obama.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Kmiec: St John's Seminary in Camarillo, California- " I'll change my pro-Obama position if the Pope tells me to"
(thanks: Catholic Culture)
South Carolina Diocese Repudiates Priest's Remarks; Parishioners Show Support
Msgr. Martin T. Laughlin, administrator of the Diocese of Charleston, has repudiated remarks made by Father Jay Scott Newman in which the latter said that supporters of President-elect Barack Obama must repent before receiving Holy Communion. The November 9 parish bulletin, in which Father Newman made his remarks, has been removed from his parish’s web site-- evidently as the result of orders from the diocese.
‘This past week,’ said Msgr. Martin T. Laughlin in a statement issued Friday, ‘the Catholic Church’s clear, moral teaching on the evil of abortion has been pulled into the partisan political arena. The recent comments of Father Jay Scott Newman, pastor of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Greenville, S.C., have diverted the focus from the Church’s clear position against abortion. As Administrator of the Diocese of Charleston, let me state with clarity that Father Newman’s statements do not adequately reflect the Catholic Church’s teachings … Christ gives us freedom to explore our own conscience and to make our own decisions while adhering to the law of God and the teachings of the faith. Therefore, if a person has formed his or her conscience well, he or she should not be denied Communion, nor be told to go to confession before receiving Communion.’
‘The pulpit is reserved for the Word of God,’ Msgr. Laughlin concluded. ‘Sometimes God’s truth, as is the Church’s teaching on abortion, is unpopular. All Catholics must be aware of and follow the teachings of the Church.’
In his November 16 parish bulletin, Father Newman criticized the Associated Press for implying that he would deny Holy Communion to supporters of the president-elect and clarified his November 9 remarks: ‘What I wrote last week has to be read in light of the teaching of the American bishops on ‘Faithful Citizenship’ which was distributed in the bulletin the week before the election and explained from the pulpit. From that document and the teaching of the Church’s Magisterium, no one could conclude that a vote for Senator Obama is in itself or by itself a mortal sin. But from that same teaching, though, we must conclude that a vote for a pro-abortion candidate can be a mortal sin if the intent is to support abortion, that abortion is not merely one issue among other important issues, and that no Catholic should endorse a pro-abortion politician if a plausible pro-life alternative is available. I regret that I did not take time last week to parse out every stipulation of the Church’s teaching, because the failure to do so allowed those who oppose that teaching to ridicule it by falsely asserting that I intended to deny Holy Communion to anyone who voted for the president-elect or that I presumed to know or judge their conscience.’
‘As I write these words,’ added Father Newman, ‘I have received over 3,500 emails from around the world. Most of the people who wrote seem to regard me as either a mighty champion of reform or an evil tool of the devil, and I am naturally hesitant to accept either title. In truth, I am but a useless servant of the Lord Jesus trying, despite my frailty, to be a faithful witness to Him who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.’ On Saturday afternoon, over 50 Catholics rallied outside the parish in support of the priest. When Father Newman celebrated Mass later in the day, his homily was interrupted by a lengthy standing ovation as his parishioners indicated their support. When his gestures for silence failed to stop the applause, Father Newman, fighting back tears, turned to kneel, facing the Blessed Sacrament, until the congregation finally quieted down.
Vatican Offical Warns of 'Apocalyptic' Obama Presidency
The former president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity said that "American suffered a cultural earthquake" with the presidential election of Barack Obama, and warned that the Obama administration will sorely test Christians. "For the next few years, Gethsemane will not be marginal," Cardinal James Francis Stafford told an audience at the Catholic University of America. "We will know that garden." He alluded to the "extremist anti-life platform" that Obama had promoted during his campaign, and said the incoming President's impact on Christian living could be "aggressive, disruptive, and apocalyptic."
The cardinal, speaking at an event hosted by the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family, centered his remarks on the 1968 papal encyclical Humanae Vitae. In the 40 years since the appearance of that encyclical, he said, "the United States has been thrown upon ruins." Comparing the tumultuous year of the encyclical's release with the year of the Obama victory, he said: "If 1968 was the year of America's suicide attempt, 2008 is the year of America's exhaustion."
Cardinal Stafford, who is now the head of the Apostolic Penitentiary, is a native of Baltimore, Maryland. Before his 1996 appointment to head the Pontifical Council for the Laity-- a post he held until 2003-- he had been Bishop of Memphis, Tennessee; and later Archbishop of Denver. He was raised to the College of Cardinals by Pope John Paul II in 1998.
Now, Let's not upset the parishioneers....
It's addressed to his flock and it concerns the election of Barrack Obama as the next President of the United States.
The good father is concerned with those Catholics that voted for him with the knowledge that Mr. Obama is the most pro-choice candidate in 35 years. He asks them to visit the confessional before recieving communion if need be.
He also reflects on our support for President-Elect Obama and pray for him and his administration.
And what does he get for his pastoring?
Well, those Catholics that voted for Mr. Obama are quite upset. They don't want to be reminded of there decision to elect a pro-choice president.
Obama has already threatened with Executive Order No. 1, to overturn Embryonic Stem Cell Research ban. FOCA also looms on the horizon.
The secular media is coming to their rescue as well with this AP report.
Here's the bulletin entry. Read it for yourself: (by the way it's been deleted from St. Mary's site.)
(thanks: Veritas Et Virtus)
Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome
9 November 2008
Dear Friends in Christ,
We the People have spoken, and the 44th President of the United States will be Barack Hussein Obama. This election ends a political process that started two years ago and which has revealed deep and bitter divisions within the United States and also within the Catholic Church in the United States. This division is sometimes called a “Culture War,” by which is meant a heated clash between two radically different and incompatible conceptions of how we should order our common life together, the public life that constitutes civil society. And the chief battleground in this culture war for the past 30 years has been abortion, which one side regards as a murderous abomination that cries out to Heaven for vengeance and the other side regards as a fundamental human right that must be protected in laws enforced by the authority of the state. Between these two visions of the use of lethal violence against the unborn there can be no negotiation or conciliation, and now our nation has chosen for its chief executive the most radical pro-abortion politician ever to serve in the United States Senate or to run for president. We must also take note of the fact that this election was effectively decided by the votes of self-described (but not practicing) Catholics, the majority of whom cast their ballots for President-elect Obama.
In response to this, I am obliged by my duty as your shepherd to make two observations:
1. Voting for a pro-abortion politician when a plausible pro-life alternative exits constitutes material cooperation with intrinsic evil, and those Catholics who do so place themselves outside of the full communion of Christ’s Church and under the judgment of divine law. Persons in this condition should not receive Holy Communion until and unless they are reconciled to God in the Sacrament of Penance, lest they eat and drink their own condemnation.
2. Barack Obama, although we must always and everywhere disagree with him over abortion, has been duly elected the next President of the United States, and after he takes the Oath of Office next January 20th, he will hold legitimate authority in this nation. For this reason, we are obliged by Scriptural precept to pray for him and to cooperate with him whenever conscience does not bind us otherwise. Let us hope and pray that the responsibilities of the presidency and the grace of God will awaken in the conscience of this extraordinarily gifted man an awareness that the unholy slaughter of children in this nation is the greatest threat to the peace and security of the United States and constitutes a clear and present danger to the common good. In the time of President Obama’s service to our country, let us pray for him in the words of a prayer found in the Roman Missal:
God our Father, all earthly powers must serve you. Help our President-elect, Barack Obama, to fulfill his responsibilities worthily and well. By honoring and striving to please you at all times, may he secure peace and freedom for the people entrusted to him. We ask this through Our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever.
Thank you Fr. Newman for your pastoring.
Monday, November 17, 2008
PBS has long supported programing as this Nova series which claims that the entire Exodus story is debunked.
Catholic Answers and a forum on this: Catholic Answers Link
The aired this back in July of this year: Holy Moses! PBS documentary suggests Exodus not real
Which is why I don't contribute to the supporting PBS. At one point they wouldn't air the Christian side of things as they did with their Evolution series.
Check out News Busters for the post.
Still some hot spots but it looks like it's on it's way to containment.
No school day because of the air quality. My son's school is a Red Cross shelter.
Thanks for the prayers everyone.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
The DC9 and other fire fighting aircraft are making their runs, I see them through my kitchen window this morning.
I'm requesting prayers and fasting for all those affected by the fires, here in Chino Hills and Diamond Bar as well as all the other locations in So. Cal
Saturday, November 15, 2008
It's also home to several notable podcasts and video podcasts, some of those also among the Podcast Award winners.
The video series ‘Grace Before Meals’, hosted by the Catholic priest and chef Fr. Leo Patalinghug is another of my favorites.
Congratulations to Fr. Roderick and the entire SQPN family.
Those opposed to this Prop, aimed their anger at the Mormon Church and blamed them for the successful campaigning and ultimately it's passage.
They continue to spew hateful accusations claiming that the IRS should investigate the church.
I personally applaud the Mormon church and everyone involved with supporting Prop 8. Including the Catholic Church and fellow Catholics which I credit with helping to put the votes over the top.
With our combined efforts we showed those that would change the definition of marriage that the majority will defend a marriage between a man and woman.
Check out the video and don't forget to visit 'Singing in the Reign'
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Laura Ingraham: Here is the problem, how many of the bishops voted for Obama.Raymond
Arroyo: ...The bishops I spoke to say that maybe half of their brother bishops if not more voted for Obama. Because they thought the symbol of Obama would overcome racism and be a great healer and unity.
This may or may not be true, however I do thanks those bishops who where not afraid to voice their opposition to electing the most pro-choice candidate in 35 years.
Special thanks to bishop Chaput, even though his flock in Colorado seems to have paid him no heed.
Oh, and thanks for a great book, "Render Unto Caesar".
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
The Martin County Sheriff's Office says 33-year-old John Samuel Ricci of Canton was cornered by fellow churchgoers when he grabbed a handful of wafers from the priest during communion services Saturday.
The Stuart News reports that Ricci was being held down by six or seven offended parishioners when deputies arrived at St. Martin de Porres Catholic Church in Jensen Beach. Police say two parishioners, ages 82 and 61, received minor injuries in the scuffle.
Have a read....
Only four years ago, the media were abuzz with the revelation that a fissure ran through America, dividing us into Republican red states and Democratic blue states, polarity as much cultural as political. Red states are NASCAR and barbecue, while blue states are NPR and brie. Red states are overweight and vulgar and gas-guzzling, while blue states are trim and green and cool in a European sort of way. Tell me what radio station you listen to, what kind of beer you drink, where you spent vacation—and I can tell you what party you voted for.
The red–blue divide has never been as sharp as the electoral maps make it seem, and the red–blue analysis obscures the more fundamental division in American political life. Since the mid-1970s, the “culture wars” have defined the alignments of American politics, and the alignments of the culture wars are largely religious.
The 1963 school-prayer and Bible-reading decision, Murray v. Curlett, startled some believers into activism, but it was not until Roe v. Wade that evangelicals awakened from their Pietist slumbers and launched a crusade to win back America. Once energized, evangelicals were not content to remain narrowly anti-abortion, but sought to promote religiously grounded positions on everything from Star Wars to stem cells. The culture wars are the result of the invasion of conservative religion—mostly Christianity—into public life.
Not everyone sees things this way. Despite his post at the Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life, Alan Wolfe has nothing to say about religion in his post-election analysis of Obama’s achievement in ending the culture wars. That’s because Wolfe doesn’t think the culture wars were really about religion in the first place. The culture wars, it turns out, were racial conflicts in disguise.
Baltimore, Nov. 11, 2008 (CWNews.com) - In his address yesterday to the fall meeting of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Cardinal Francis George said that the election of Sen. Barack Obama is a sign of the progress American society has made against racism but noted that deeper challenges remain for faithful Catholics who take part in public life.
‘This is a moment that touches more than our history,’ said the USCCB president, ‘when a country that once enshrined race slavery in its very constitutional order should come to elect an African American to the presidency. In this, I truly believe, we must all rejoice … We can also be truly grateful that our country’s social conscience has advanced to the point that Barack Obama was not asked to renounce his racial heritage in order to be president, as, effectively, John Kennedy was asked to promise that his Catholic faith would not influence his perspective and decisions as president a generation ago.’
The ornaments and advertisements will be hitting the local stores and T.V. commercials and holiday billboards will be ringing in the festivities.
Manger scenes will be going up... where approved.
... but what do my wondering eyes should appear.. is it Santa, is it baby Jesus with a star shining over the manger scene in front of a church?
No. It's the new advertisement signs being put up around town this year, sponsored by The American Humanist Association.
I guess it's some of that 'Change' they keep talking about.
Here's the story:
Ads proclaiming, "Why believe in a god? Just be good for goodness' sake," will appear on Washington, D.C., buses starting next week and running through December. The American Humanist Association unveiled the provocative $40,000 holiday ad campaign Tuesday.
In lifting lyrics from "Santa Claus is Coming to Town," the Washington-based group is wading into what has become a perennial debate over commercialism, religion in the public square and the meaning of Christmas.
"We are trying to reach our audience, and sometimes in order to reach an audience, everybody has to hear you," said Fred Edwords, spokesman for the humanist group. "Our reason for doing it during the holidays is there are an awful lot of agnostics, atheists and other types of non-theists who feel a little alone during the holidays because of its association with traditional religion."
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Veterans Day is parades, the Tomb of the Unknowns, a flag-draped Main Street, children and old men with hands over their hearts, but a lot of the celebration is words – great words describing great courage and paying homage to present and past warriors, and sometimes even future military heroes.
When Schwarzkopf was fresh back from the Gulf War triumph, he was asked to speak to the cadet corps at West Point, his alma mater.
The hero whose demeanor earned him the label “Stormin’ Norman” was brimming with pride in the caliber of America’s armed forces when he boomed forth to the ranks of the young men and women of the United States Military Academy: “It takes a war to demonstrate that we have these people in our ranks — and our ranks are loaded with them. They are loaded with them, and you are going to be one of them when you join our ranks. And if there is any doubt in anybody’s mind or was any doubt in anybody’s mind, there sure in hell isn’t any doubt now — because it has taken us 100 hours to kick the ass of the fourth-largest army in the world!”
Schwarzkopf had the young cadets in the palm of his hand by the time he his final points reverberated across the assembly: “If you leave here with the word DUTY implanted in your mind; if you leave here with the word HONOR carved in your soul; if you leave here with love of COUNTRY stamped on your heart, then you will be a 21st-century leader worthy of the great privilege and honor of leading the sons and daughters of America . . .”
Monday, November 10, 2008
There has been continued unrest in Los Angeles and San Francisco notably since the YES vote was upheld.
Gov. Schwarzenegger is hoping that the courts will over turn this once again and squish the peoples voice.
Gov. Schwarzenegger, you are an embarrassment. The voters have spoken, why would you want to have the courts over tune the people?
I hope everyone who voted YES (and that's a majority) will remember the Governors words when it's time to vote him in or OUT.
Reporting from Sacramento and Lake Forest -- Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Sunday expressed hope that the California Supreme Court would overturn Proposition 8, the ballot initiative that outlawed same-sex marriage. He also predicted that the 18,000 gay and lesbian couples who have already wed would not see their marriages nullified by the initiative.
"It's unfortunate, obviously, but it's not the end," Schwarzenegger said in an interview Sunday on CNN. "I think that we will again maybe undo that, if the court is willing to do that, and then move forward from there and again lead in that area."