Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year - 2012

It's about 5:00pm here in Southern California, new years eve, day.

Thought I'd wish everyone a Happy New Year 2012 a little early. Many blessings for the new year to all your families.

God Bless

West Coast Catholic

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Tribute to Ben Breedlove: "Do You Believe in Angels or God?....I Do !"

I saw this video this evening. I gave me a chance to be thankful for all that I have.

A precious family and home, everything that I have which God has given me.

Ben Breedlove's message is a touching one. He put together this two part video to describe his life with a heart condition he lived with until his death on Sunday, Christmas day.

It's a story that I can identify with. Ben describes a heart pacemaker operation in 2009 to assist with his condition.

I too underwent heart surgery that same year, just days before my birthday. I spent my birthday in the hospital as well as Thanksgiving day. This year my birthday landed on Thanksgiving day. It was the first time I ever had a stay in the hospital...it was all very unexpected, very stressful, and I consider it a blessing.

Ben, thank you for your story, I know another saint has entered heaven. My prayers are for your family who will miss you

Here's the post on Ben's passing away on Christmas Day

Texas Teen Ben Breedlove Posted Powerful Videos Before Christmas Death  


These days before the New Year, lets all take a moment to remember our blessings. Take a look at this video, I'm sure it will inspire you.


Friday, December 23, 2011

What? Voris Not Catholic???

With all the dissenting 'so called catholic groups and organizations', including Universities, Hospitals church groups (Catholics for Choice example), its kind of perplexing that the Archdiocese would focus on Voris.

Don't understand it. One of the comments to the Fr Z post suggest that Micheal call their bluff and file for the use of the term Catholic to force the Diocese to offer an explanation. Sound reasonable.

While this is not a so much a question of Voris' Catholicism but rather the use of Catholic in the his organization, this is still perplexing. Make no doubt though I fully believe it was directed at what Voris' views are and how he proclaims them.

...so in a sense I do believe that this proclamation is directed indirectly at Voris.

The first thing that I thought of was, is anyone allowed to use the title Catholic without permission? I know I've failed many times and in many ways to live up to claim the title Catholic.

I haven't read all the canon law paragraphs pertaining to this but I plan to as well as search the net for some expert analysis.

Haven't seen Voris' response yet but I'm sure it's coming.

I'll post...stay tuned.

1)Archdiocese of Detroit says Michael Voris and RealCatholicTV.com are not “authorized” to use “Catholic”  

 2) Michael Voris not Catholic?! What's Wrong with this Picture?

 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Homeless Children

Homeless children, struggling Mom's and Dad's.... heartbreaking.

As many suffer and struggle, we must all thank God for what we have and reach out to those that have not.
God Bless those in need.

First Mass With the New Changes

Just attended my first mass with the new changes.As can be expected, people are still trying to adapt, being creatures of habit and all.

To be expected.

Over all despite the priest making his little comments trying to be humorous "well here's one part that hasn't changed...Our Father who art in Heaven..."

ArArArArAr....humor.

...the mass went pretty well. Everyone seemed to be accepting. Didn't hear any comments after mass or heavy sighs during mass, which was good.

I like the changes, although I'm still trying to understand the nuances in the meaning. I've been going through Jimmy Akin's book 'Mass Revision: How the Liturgy Is Changing and What It Means for You' Its very helpful. I'd recommend picking up a copy.

Fr. Longenecker has a few good incites to the changes and some of the reactions he's encountered in a post entitled  'All or Many'. Also read his article in the Nat Catholic Reg and see how he prepared his parish for the new translation. (Introducing the New Missal: Why We Worship With Liturgy)  

And finally, a homily by Fr. Barron - Anticipation, The Potter and the Clay  

Any reactions you've encountered on the new translation? Let me know, I'm interested.   

Friday, November 25, 2011

Video: Conception to Birth - God's Creation

An amazing video showing the beginning of life at conception and the journey to birth.

Wow, you've got to see this. The mathematician asks himself, "..so perfectly organized the structure, it's was hard not to attribute Divinity to it..."

Link to the article HERE   

The video says it all...

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Christ The King - 34 Sunday in Ordinary

Last week before the beginning of Advent. I love the Advent Season.

I'm reviewing the reading before I go to a late Mass this Sunday and I also tapped into Fr. Barron of Word on Fire for a sermon.

The readings are awesome and the sermon expounds on the 'language fit for a Kings'
Sermon: Language Fit for a King   

"Hey, I wouldn't Want to Offend Anyone"

Another favorite line for not 'upsetting the apple cart' so to speak. Not wanting to be singled out as 'non-tolerant' or even judgmental and maybe even "what makes you so holier than thou" category.

"I wouldn't want to offend anyone"

I must admit, I've ducked under this transparent cover myself...shamefully. Maybe you're in a conversation with someone or in a group of people, at work or at a get-together with friends or family and someone says something that is counter to your faith, opposite to the teachings of the church.

Do you say something? Should you wait for someone else to respond to the fallacy?. Maybe if you just pretend to not hear the it.

How about when you're having dinner at a restaurant and you want to say grace before the meal  but you're afraid to sign yourself before you murmur a very quite blessing.

You don't want to offend anyone...

Here's a nice little article that addresses this thought.

The Consequences of the "I Don't Want to Offend" Mindset  

 Over lunch this week with a long-time client, the blessing I said at the beginning of the meal was the catalyst for an interesting conversation (as it has been with so many others in the past).  This human resources executive smiled as I made the sign of the cross at the end and said, “Well, I don’t see this every day.  I can’t remember the last time I said a blessing over a meal at a business lunch.”  Once again, the simple act of saying a blessing over a meal in public was prompting a conversation about faith in the public square and I must admit that I eagerly jumped right in!

Don't Need God...Enough to be A Nice Person?

Have you ever encountered fellow Catholics who seem to dismiss the teachings of the Church with a rational of "hey, I'm a good person...that's what counts" attitude?

Fr. Barron has a great post (as usual) of helping set this mindset straight.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Saw the Movie 'Ides of March'... A Very Scary Movie

Well, I saw the late showing of George Clooney's 'Ides of March'

Clooney not only directed it and star in it, he also helped write the screenplay.

My initial thoughts, I tell you, what a depressing movie, at lest for me. I can actually see this plot line being played out in today's election cycle, in my opinion at least.

Anyway, the short story of the plot line, without going into specifics: Presidential election year, everyone stabs everyone in the back...political life goes on, the voters get fooled again.

Many people get scared looking at horror films and TV shows with walking dead, blood guts and gore, monsters and ghoulish figures. Well for me, this story of political intrigue did it for me...scary.. Partly because of the smiling faces of today's candidates, not of any particular party, but all political parties, the corruption and the lies, the power struggles, the lives affected. They say anything, do anything to sway the people into thinking that they, the candidate actually care for them.

Now this isn't anything new, it's been going on here in the U.S. system anyway since the birth of the nation. I've read the book Washington Burning  which gives a pretty good depiction of this as well as the book Triumph  a Catholic history which shows that the history of power and corruption is the struggle of man even in church history. Not that the Church is corrupt, but individuals will always battle those demons.

The Church is the only institution, through the guidance of the Holy Spirit to survive this struggle.

The movie just brought into focus the struggle of our political system and mostly the struggles of the voter to wade through the candidates and their messages, what they say and what they really mean, what they say they will do and what they actually can do.It seems at times that the promises are almost on the level of an Elementary school student body election. Remember those?

"Pizza on the cafeteria menu every Friday!"

Only now it's more like "free!, free!, everything for free" They use words like honor, integrity and transparency. Come on really?

One thing the movie is very clear on is the loss of God in the equation. Father Barron has some great points on this. Once you eliminate God as the primary element in one's thinking and actions, the slow corruption of the individual starts to take place, then the community, then the nation..

Anyway, so this movie was a reminder to me of our political system. It seems today to me that most of the politicians just want to say in office, and I'm not sure how much their intent is to do the nation good. I do believe our system of democracy is the gold standard of the world, but I also believe we've kind of lost our way a little. Nothing like a movie of this sort to make you pause and think.

So what is a Catholic to do? How do we choose from numerous candidates and ballot issues in light of our Catholic faith? I say how can we NOT look to our faith to guide us? We need to put God first.

This takes a little work on our parts. Just like we may look at the debates and look at the issues and listen to the talk shows and candidates, we have to take the time to study what the teachings of the Catholic Church are. Caritas in Veritate is a great place to start, the Compendium of Social Doctrine of the Church is another, and I would recommend the book by Brian Benestad, Church, State, and Society: An Introduction to Catholic Social Doctrine (Catholic Moral Thought). The Catechism of the Catholic Church, and many of the good orthodox blogs and apologist out there can help on that process.

But do something, don't claim to know enough, and pray, pray, pray for guidance and for the candidates themselves. That God is primary in their campaigns, their thoughts and actions.

We live in a great nation. Lets pray everyday that we as a nation to be virtuous and God centric.

And go out and enjoy a movie from time to time.

Peace   

Saturday, October 29, 2011

'Ides of March' Political Intrigue

I had planned on seeing this movie at the late night showing  but by the time I got to the movie theater, it looked really crowed. I have a pet peeve about finding a good seat and at $10.00 a seat plus another 10 for popcorn and a drink, well I like to get there early.
 So I'll see it tonight instead.

I found that Fr. Barron had a short video with some great thoughts on the movie.

Check it out...(caution, spoilers)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Catholicism: Carl Olson

We've started our men's group at our parish on Fr. Barron's Catholicism. The DVD Series is awesome, but the study is well coordinated with the 'Study Package' that goes along with the DVD set.

This study is the perfect companion to the DVD's, giving you multiple ways to present the study....excellent.

And the study is a collaboration between Fr. Barron and Carl Olson of Insight Scoop, Ignatius Press.

The DVD's are phenomenal, but order the 'Study Package' as well. Together there is no stronger, complete, orthodox study on the Catholic faith today.

And pay a visit to Carl's two blog's, lots of good stuff there daily.

Insight Scoop - Ignatius Press        
Carl Olson   

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Modernism and Stephen Greenblatt's - Fr. Barron

I tell you, I learn so much from Fr. Barron, on topics and people that I wouldn't have thought about or knew about.

Modernism, I know about but Stephen Greenblatt's, well didn't know about him until I viewed this video. More importantly are the arguments presented, now that's what I find more interesting. The individuals, time periods, history, Father Barron is just so diversified in his knowledge.

I appreciate his work in producing these short but very informative videos.
Please visit his web site often.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

11 yr Old to Decide If He Wants to Change His Gender

This is completely outrageous!
Gay couple has their adopted child on hormones to postpone puberty to allow more time for the child to decide on if he wants to be a girl.

This is pure child abuse and these so called parents need to be placed behind bars. When I first read this I thought this was a very bad joke. This child is in immediate danger.

 Controversial Therapy For Pre-Teen Transgender Patient Raises Questions       
A lesbian couple in California who say their 11-year-old son Tommy who wants to be a girl named Tammy are giving their child hormone blockers that delay the onset of puberty -- so that he can have more time that  to decide if he wants to change his gender.

China Supports WS Occupation, Geee So Does Obama...Go Figure

Okay so now the powers in China agree with the WS Occupiers.
Hmmmmmmmm...now what does that tell me?

I guess President Obama is in good company.

China: Occupy Wall Street's issues worth thought   
BEIJING (AP) -- China's foreign ministry said Monday the Occupy Wall Street movement highlights issues that are worth considering, but that debates generated by the protests should promote global economic growth.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Wall Street Charade - Obama Supports.....for Votes

I don't know, I don't have a good feeling about all this 'Day of Rage', Wall Street Occupation stuff.

Kind of reminds me of the French Revolution. The call for equality to justify chaos in society. You'd think they were storming the doors of local bank as if it were the gates of the Bastille. 

This doesn't leave me with confidence in the future of our Nation.

What the heck is happening. I see so many people with their hands out expecting something for nothing. I don't know how else to explain it. I try to understand all sides, I'm sure there are those with a frustration that has to be expressed in this manner (protest) but I just see a majority that either have no intention on doing anything but complain and want whatever they can get, for free...

or....

have given up and figure if others are doing it, they might as well join the crowd.

This is not good for America. This is not the American Spirit, nor is it Catholic Social justice, which I hear some claim. Even some clergy are marching along side this MOB
.

And yet we see our President looking to capitalize on it, for his own ambitions or re-election.

We are all struggling, myself included, but this is not the way.

Obama extends support for protestors
Barack Obama, US president, offered more support for protesters against the global financial system after a weekend of demonstrations in cities around the world, but called on them not to “demonise” those who worked on Wall Street.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Most Unsatisfyiing Confession...

Ok, so I realize that not all confessions will have that inner soul satisfaction. One that comes from a satisfying point made by the priest as he comments on a particular sin you've confessed or maybe the relief of getting a certain sin off your chest.

I do realize that maybe the line may be too long and length or time the priest has to spend with you is not ample but you know he's doing his best.

This Saturdays confession is one for the books...for me anyway.

I went in right away...no line for either of the two priest available. I like to go face to face.

....and so I begin "bless me father for I have sinned....

...these are my sins....

PRIEST: "Ok, go out and think of your own penance ...go your sins are forgivien"

What do you mean think of your own penance?

No advise? There's no one else waiting father...

MOST UNSATISFYING

Thank you Lord for our priests and the sacrament of Confession...

Articles of Interest...

These are a few articles I've come across but just haven't had time to blog about..


Will Obama Destroy Franciscan University of Steubenville?  

Christian-Themed Movie ‘Courageous’ Resonates With Audiences Across America 

   


Obama vs. Bishop Dolan:


This program is from RealCatholicTV.com

Saturday, October 01, 2011

2 Yrs Marriage Contracts: U.S?

Well, its not here yet but its knocking at the back door...in Mexico.

The proposal in Mexico by Mexico City Assemblyman Lionel Luna of the leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution (no surprise) is to have a 2 yr 'practice run' of marriage at which time if its not working out (according to how you feel when you wake up that morning), the deal is off, as if it never happened.

Now every married couple knows that the first 5 years of marriage are the probably the hardest. Naturally, the longer the marriage some of those bumps and pot holes in life can be very stressful in a marriage (illness, finances, children), in the first 5 years of marriage, the couple is just getting use to the word commitment. The fact that it's not all about 'ME' and that its a 'give and take' and compromising to make things work.

As time goes by that compromising and commitment get stronger, but the first 5 years the couple is learning about life together. In two years the shine of the honeymoon is just wearing thin. Now anyone that tells you that the honeymoon has never worn thin and their marriage is complete bliss 24/7 just isn't truthful. As time goes on the couple learns to weather the hard time together and the couple looks back on those times as 'refiner fire' moments, making their marriage stronger

To end the marriage as proposed by Mexico's proposed bill is just ridiculous and is a family killer and a society killer as well. It use to be that Hispanics were known for their close family ties, 'the familia comes first' mentality. Now it looks like legislators in Mexico are trying to kill that in the name of more freedom. I'm not sure of all the reasons why they'd be doing this. Perhaps to squish any benefits for families that the government has to provide. As if they're doing all they can now? Immigration tells the story

Why do I bring up this article, because I don't see it out of the question for the government here to adopt such outrageous legislature. With the debt figures climbing, the goal of the government to rake in more taxes, it would only seem fare to presume it would be only a matter of time before they start looking at maybe eliminating deductions for children, make it more beneficial to file taxes as single, in the end to help facilitate that with a proposal such as Mexico.

This administrations recently rescinded support for traditional marriage and some radical States (such as the one I live in - California) keep adding to their ant-family laws, well it may be only a matter of time.

I pray that I'm dead wrong and this is only my opinion, but we need to be aware of legislation that's anti-family, anti-life.

If we already except the killing of an innocent unborn baby for sake of convenience, the family and marriage is clearly in the cross hairs.

Here, a website on some interesting statistical facts about Hispanics; divorce rates, education, income...

Also a couple of great articles on Marriage:
Abp. Dolan to President Obama: Cease Attacks on Marriage or Risk “National Conflict…of Enormous Proportions”   

Marriage Matters


An here's the article on Mexico's proposed bill:

Till two years do us part: Mexico City considers temporary marriages    
“The proposal is when the two-year period is up, if the relationship is not stable or harmonious the contract simply ends,” Reuters quoted bill co-author and Mexico City Assemblyman Leonel Luna. “You wouldn’t have to go through the torturous process of divorce,” continued Luna, a member of the leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution.  MORE   

Friday, September 23, 2011

GOP Debates - WestCoastCatholic Opinion

Okay so this is the first of the 3 debates I've half listen to half viewed.

I listen to part of it on the way home from work and the other while eating Chinese takeout.

So here's my initial thoughts, before I listen or read any of the analysis.

Tomorrow's headlines will pronounce Mitt Romney the winner, but that's not the whole story.

Well, I thought that Romney showed himself well, a lot better than Perry to my chagrin. I was really hoping Perry would make this debate his best of the three...and well I don't think he did that well in the others.

Perry seemed tongue tied every time he tried to make a point or to tangle with Romney. But to be honest Romney seemed more at ease, more fluid.

Perry blew it on the immigration issue. While I think we need to reform immigration laws and provide illegals with an amount of care for them and their children, giving them College money and privileges for first class choice over U.S. citizens is a no go for me. I have college kids and know the situation well.

Now, to be up front, I'm not a Romney fan. Frankly I still remember his down right anti-Catholic stance with his Romney-Care which specifically wouldn't allow Catholic Hospitals to opt out. They were forced to provide the morning after pills and Catholic Orphanages to allow Gay couples to adopt. The Catholic Orphanages decided to close.

I don't trust him, Perry is right to point out Romney's flip-flop history. I also want to bring attention to Mitt's claim that he stayed in the private work force out of choice. The real reason is he wasn't elected (2002 US Senate) to the positions he ran for including a bit for the Presidency (2008) . It wasn't out of choice so much as the  voters didn't want him.

I do like Rick Santorum but I really don't think people will give him the vote.

Gingrich is a veteran politician and has some great ideas, but I think his time as come and gone. Maybe a VP slot.

The one that impressed me the most was Herman Cain. I don't know, I'm still not knowledgeable in all his view points but he did impress me.More than all the others tonight.Better than Romney in my opinion.

Michele Bachmann is not for me.I think after tonight Michelle and Perry are tied, which means at this point not a primary win for either.

Jon Huntsman and Gary Johnson are off my list. Aside from a couple of good one liners they're out. The neighbor with 2 dogs and shovel ready jobs was a good one though. That will circulate the media for sure.

Anyways these are my first thoughts on tonight's debate. A long way to go, but still anyone tonight would do a better job than Obama... well almost everyone. I'm sorry but the youth are infatuated with Ron Paul but an absolute no for me.

Love to hear you thoughts....

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Megyn Kelly on the Wrong side of Bono Issue

Megyn Kelly is one of my favorite commentators. I like her spunk and legal knowledge. She's not afraid to confront and stand up for what she believes.Her experience as a lawyer shows that she is not just another pretty face on TV.

Of late, Her lawyer smarts seem to be getting in the way of her moral judgement. I see her  more and more putting aside that which is very essential in faith and reason mainly just that, 'faith and morals'.

Pope Benedict and Social Doctrine says that a good society can not be accomplished if there are not virtuous people in that society.

And that word virtue(ous) is not one mentioned very much anymore and even less when it comes to judging whether something in society is right or wrong.

Tolerance is a word which seems to be taking it's place."You mustn't judge [something to be right or wrong]".
I don't thing that is a good message to teach. we make judgements thousands of times a day.

I wonder if Ms Kelly, a new Mom, will go the strictly "the law says" when raising her children.

The law says "abortion is legal"

The law says "gay marriage is legal"

The law says "schools can hand out condoms and take you child to get an abortion" without a parents consent.

The law says that you have a right to mutilate your body in a transgender operation.

...and if you disagree with any of this you insight violence and intolerance.

I wonder if as a parent how far Ms Kelly will go when applying her parental guidance?

"Gee, I guess your right child of mine. If the law says it's legal to do any of these and numerous other things, I shouldn't discourage you from gong for it."

As a parent and now a grandparent, I know a little about raising children and yes children are influenced by everything around them. They will imitate whatever they see, whether it's Wrestle Mania or violent video games to smoking, swearing, dressing, and what they eat and drink. It's not unusual to see younger than teenage kid drinking energy drinks or asking Mom or Dad to order them a Star Bucks...as if they are lacking in energy. or need the caffeine.Hey everyone's doing it. It's legal and it's advertised everywhere.

That's why we are parents, so we can guide them through the minefields. Just because you bring that guidance to your children doesn't mean you're telling your kids that they should hate those that do those things. That they should bring violence into the situation whenever you confront those participating.

In fact it's more prevelent that if you disagree with these practices you will encounter violence from those that support them.

It's not uncommon when I visit an abortion clinic for a prayer vigil I will be cursed at 'flipped off' , even spit on (this hasn't happened to me..spitting that is,  but I know of those that this has happened to).

All Doctor Ablow is saying is that celebrating the decisions of Chaz Bono and let's use her real name Chastity Bono, is not what I would say is a growing moment in a child's life or a Teen's life for that matter. That's when the real parenting needs to be strong.

I think Ms Kelly as a Mom has a lot to learn. As a commentator lawyer, she is just wrong to say Dr  Ablow is insighting  violence.

As for Chasity (Chaz) Bono, I will pray for her. I pray that God will protect her and shower her with his graces, that she may see the error of her ways. I realize she as lead a very troubled life. I do wish her the best.

And I hope and pray for Ms Kelly. I still like to hear her point of views.

Fox's Megyn Kelly: Disapprove of Chaz Bono? You're Pushing for Violence 

Kelly said Ablow's science was "way off base," but O’Reilly pressed Kelly to say Ablow wasn’t a bad guy, but she insisted he could cause violence. “That doesn’t mean his own words won’t lead to that.” The column “was irresponsible and dangerous and could lead to some real problems. Listen, this group of people already undergoes enough discrimination and isolation and violence. “

O’Reilly suggested she was on a “slippery slope” insisting criticism equals violence, and she shot back, “No, don’t talk over it! I’m telling you! This group of people is persecuted already, and now you’ve got Dr. Ablow telling people that if your kids sees one in a manner that’s something akin to a celebration, your kid may wind up being one of them! Now there are people in this country that will react to that, and the next time they see a transgender at the McDonald’s or at some group event, and that’s irresponsible."  MORE 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

9/11 Anniversary - 2011

Lot's of memories of that day. We had just moved to the home I'm presently in with my family. The chaos at work with everyone trying to find out what was happening.

Calling home to check in with the family, just to hear my wife's voice telling me everything is okay at home and discussing what was happening in New York.

(Google Photos: Towers)

The prayer services we attending that were arranged ad hoc.

The fears the day after for me here in So.Cal and for millions of others around the nation; President Bush had just announced that the nation was under attack. Should I go to work and leave my family. Should we be preparing for more attacks.

We should all continue to remember.                                         (9/11 Firemen)

It's interesting to note that today's readings for this Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time on the Catholic readings calendar, focus on 'Forgiveness', 

Fr. Barron has an appropriate video on reflections of 9/11: 'Anger & Forgiveness'

The continued vigilance at today's memorials services is a reminder how the world and especially here for Americans will always be changed.

Let us remember, let us forgive, but let us never forget. Let us continue to be prepared. 

(Fr. Mychal Judge)

God Bless the soul's lost, God Bless the families that Survived. God Bless our 1st responders and military.

God Bless America.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Fr. Barron: 9/11 Anger & Forgiveness

Father Barron gives a wonderful lesson on Anger & Forgiveness. As he points out, Sunday's readings are on forgiveness.so this is a good way to prepare.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Everything About Us .... For God's Glory

Voris (Controversial as some say he is) has a very good message.Everything I do say act think feel, act on react to...everything should be for God's glory.

A lengthy talk but well worth the listen.


This program is from RealCatholicTV.com

Labor Day Featured Blog - Accepting Abundance

Perusing the web briefly this morning, well what's left of the morning.

Reading anything and everything on Catholic Social Doctrine.Found this blog 'Accepting Abundance' with an interesting post.

Thought I'd pass it on. I'll be bookmarking this one

Enjoy the read.


Science Came From Catholic Doctrine    

I read the first part of St. Thomas Aquinas' Summa Theologica the other day for a course I started, Norms of Catholic Doctrine. I didn't even know what that meant. It's a course that teaches how doctrine was developed from the three integrally connected foundations of Catholic theology – Sacred Scripture, Tradition, and the Magisterium over the last 2,000 years. I always am amazed at how coherent the Faith is; solid, logical and consistent however far you dive into it.

MORE    

Labor Day - Movies of the Summer

Well, here we are at labor day. Just a hop-skip and a jump from October and Halloween and from there the year seems to slip by.

So it's probably one of the last weekends to take advantage of seeing some of the latest summer movie hits.

One of those that I saw and highly recommend is 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes'.

Now this is obviously coined from the 70's Planet of the Ape movies which were a great hit, so I went with some hesitation. I ended up enjoying the movie and give it a thumbs up.... a must see.

Having said that I was interested in hearing what other people had to say about the movie and if they liked it as well.

Father Barron is a person who's opinion and thoughts I love to hear and his movie reviews sometimes give great insight.

Here's his latest review and it's on 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes'.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Pinhead for the Month of September: Mayor Bloomberg

As we get closer to the date September 11th, a number of programs on cable and the local channels are scheduled to be aired.

Every time I see such programs I can't help but fill that lump in my throat at the lose of life and how that lose took place. All those feels are just automatically brought to the surface again.

I remember the vigils at church, street corners, night time candle vigils, speeches, talks from lay people, priests, pastors, government officials.

In every one of those talks there was an appeal to God or at least His name was mentioned or just the term "God Bless America" was proclaimed or sung.

Mayor Bloomberg's rational for his decision to eliminate religion from the 9/11 remembrances  is just totally off base, in every aspect. This article addresses only a few but they are made in charity and to the point.

Blomberg’s 9/11 Gag Rule Insults Catholics    

Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s handling of the 9/11 memorial ceremonies:

Last year, Mayor Bloomberg sought to justify his support for building a mosque near Ground Zero by recalling the bravery of the firefighters on that fateful day. “In rushing into those burning buildings, not one of them asked, ‘What God do you pray to?’” He added, “We do not honor their lives by denying the very constitutional rights they died protecting.”
MORE

A Walk Down Catholic Lane: Why We Need the Catechism

A Blog well worth a visit, Catholic Lane (CL), brought me to this article on the topic of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

It use to be that the argument "We don't need your Catechism" was mainly a Catholic Protestant debate, however more and more this argument is being heard among Catholics themselves.

Imagine that, there is no longer an understanding that there is a need for the Catechism within the our Church menbers who's benefit it was written for. This may be because for many reasons, ignorance of what it contains, how to use it, maybe understanding it and refusing to apply it in our own lives because it means changing how we live.

CL's article brings this in light of the author  teaching to catechism teachers in his parish.

He made me aware of a few techniques on how to properly instruct, namely presentation and questions to reinforce what's been taught. Many times, maybe because of time constraints one concentrates on just getting out the information and not much on if the audience understands the material.

Good article...great blog 'Catholic Lane'   


I Don’t Need your Catechism!

A couple of years ago, a pastor asked me to provide a catechetical training day for teachers in his Catholic school and CCD program. One of my first questions to him was what issues had developed that required my assistance. The Pastor voiced to me his concern over poor doctrinal formation he suspected the children were receiving. I asked him how he finally came to this point. He said, “I knew things were off when all I saw was glue, crayons, construction paper and scissors during an eighth grade religion class.” Right there and then I realized what I had to work with

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Fr. Barron's 'Catholicism' - Awesome!

Can't wait to get this. I've decided to use Father Barron's new series call Catholicism as a study for our parish Men's Fellowship.

We'll use the book to read and use 1/2 increments of the video in our 1 1/2 hr Saturday meetings. The book for home study, the video shown at the meetings to stimulate discussion.

Hope to show this series to the rest of the parish as well.

Check out the new trailer:


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

B16 : The Common Good

My eyes are slowly being opened to a new vocabulary, at least for me, that I read in the comments, talks and speeches that Benedict XVI uses when addressing the public.

Here's his latest:

Pope Demands Greater Morals & Ethics in Global Economic Policy 

MADRID (The Blaze/AP) — Pope Benedict XVI denounced the profit-at-all-cost mentality that he says is behind Europe’s current economic crisis as he arrived in hard-hit Spain on Thursday, and said morals and ethics must play a greater role in formulating economic policy in the future.

Benedict made the comments as he traveled to Madrid for the Catholic Church’s World Youth Day, a weeklong Catholic festival that is taking place against a backdrop of the European debt crisis and social unrest among the young that exploded recently in the riots in Britain.
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It's not that the vocabulary is new, it's just that I'm now becoming more aware of it through my read of Brian Benestad's book 'Church, State, And Society - An Introduction To Catholic Social Doctrine'.

I'm doing some studying on Catholic Social Doctrine. It seems to me that so many people, in the media especially want to tell us (Catholics) what Catholic social justice, social doctrine is or should be, that it's confusing the heck out of Catholics in the pews. And let's face it not many of the pew dwellers want to take time to do a little studying or at least looking into what the Church actually says.

I haven't run across too many homilies either that explain this teaching. Granted 10 minutes at mass isn't enough time but B16 gives some wonderful brief talks during his weekly audiences.  You can find these talks compiled in books if you've missed them. He's talks on the Church Fathers in one of my favorites.

I'm finding it a little difficult myself with 10 hour work days, a 3 to 4 hour commute to and from, two grandchildren vying for attention, and my wonderful patient wife waiting her turn to catch a few minutes with me. So I can empathize with finding enough time. I know my schedule doesn't compare to some out there with even busier life schedules.

But let's face it, as Catholics our knowledge of our faith doesn't end in CCD. I've heard so many fallen away Catholics say "I have 12 years of Catholic education under my belt and I'm still not convinced the Catholic Church is the true faith".

Let's be real about this. They're talking about elementary, middle and high school education in the Catholic school system. Along with the essentials of an education (math, reading, writing, science) they may teach a few prayers or the basic tenants of the faith, God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit.

They may teach "Love God with all your might, all your strength, with all your mind and Love your neighbor as yourself". But my guess is they didn't go into a deeper understanding of these  two golden rules into the realm of 'Common Good' in regards to Catholic Social Doctrine.

I myself attended the Minor Seminary for four years and I only began to start studying my faith with any substance until I left the Seminary life for my calling as a husband and father; ten years into married life. I'm still only scratching the surface after 29 years of marriage.

And I'm loving every moment of my continued study of the wonderful Catholic faith.

So when I picked up this book by Benestad it really is giving me a better understanding of Catholic Social Doctrine.

With regards to Pope Benedict's point of "morals and ethics must play a greater role in formulating economic policy in the future", it's beginning to make perfect sense.

So many times we are told that we must give the 'instrumental' needs to the poor and needy. Instrumental meaning food, shelter, clothing etc.,  but not much emphasis is given to the true definition of Catholic Social teaching and that along with the instrumental giving there must be 'substantive' (Benestad, Church, State and Society, pg 82) part of that giving. Substantive meaning the promotion of "virtue in the lives of every individual, while preserving or establishing good mores and institutions"

This is what B16, I believe is talking about. He sees the tragic happenings throughout Europe and especially Great Britain with regards to the riots and recognizes that there is NOT this promotion to virtuous living.

The State can not just give the food shelter, jobs, clothing and whatever else without an instruction to it's citizens to live virtuous lives.


The Raider/ 49er melee this weekend is just another example of the loss of virtue in our society. This picture says it all. Everyone carrying beers, looks like an infant or toddler being held in the crowd and no one cares.
There seems to be more violence and disregard for “love thy neighbor as thyself” and more a “love myself more than my neighbor” mentality today.

That ‘love myself’ mentality is flowing into every niche of society. Even in the way we think of Catholic Social doctrine. There seems to be more of an emphasis on the ‘instrumental’ side and less of the ‘substantive’ side of the teaching.

Sometimes we may think that in giving only, we can solve the problems of poverty or injustice. And while I agree that we should give as much as we can, there should also be the other side of that coin in that those that receive have their ‘duties’ to perform.


We hear so much about ‘rights’ and not enough about ‘duties’.

As I study more on the Churches social doctrine and the Common Good, I see that the “political community, the institutions of civil society, and individuals both [have a duty] to restrain evildoers and remedy unjust situations, and to promote the practice of virtue in the lives of every individual, while preserving or establishing good mores and institutions” (Church, State and Society- Brian Benestad, pg 83)

I think it most important to know what Catholic Social Doctrine is and what it's not. With the elections coming up it's no secret that political Left as well as the political Right will once again try to convince Catholics that they know the faith better than we do.

We as Catholics should be aware that we are Not Left or Right, Liberal or Conservative, Democrat or Republican. We are members of God's family through baptism and we must be the light in the world we are called to be.

That means to know your faith and able to explain it without fear at all times.

Living here in California is not an easy place for doing that. The thought here is 'keep your faith on Sunday', and I mean at church not at the football game or at the office and definitely not in the voting booth.

Some have lost the will to battle the forces against the church. Especially when we seem to be battling our fellow Catholics who have their own ideas on what the Catholic Church is.

Catholic Social Doctrine is one of those subjects that is raging in many parishes today.

Political groups are infiltrating our parishes. At my parish a group called UCIC has been invited into our Youth Group by the pastor, endorsed by the Bishop.

It's a group bent on defining Catholic Social Doctrine on their own terms for their own means with a definite political agenda.

That's why it's important to study your faith. That's why I'm studying what the Church teaches on Social Doctrine. One must know the vocabulary and terms and teachings. Through the encyclicals, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the Church Doctors and saints.

For a great intro into Catholic Social Doctrine, Brian Benestad's book is a good place to start.

Keep studying your faith.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

A Touching Story of a Precious Family

A truly inspirational storhttp://www.blogger.com/post-create.g?blogID=34775758y. A family with God at their center.

See the video and give your family a hug....and thank God for all his blessings.

SEE VIDEO   

Seal Team Six - A Deadly Day

Some very sad news just a few weeks passed the events surrounding the killing of Osama Bin Laden.

25 Seals (Team Six) parish when their helicopter was shot down.

My prayers go out to them and their families.Thank you for  your service and sacrifice.
WWC

31 Americans, 7 Afghans killed in helicopter crash   
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- A military helicopter was shot down in eastern Afghanistan, killing 31 U.S. special operation troops, most of them from the elite Navy SEALs unit that killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, along with seven Afghan commandos. It was the deadliest single incident for American forces in the decade-long war.
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USA Credit Rating Downgrade - It's Here

For me it wasn't a surprise. I was hoping that it wouldn't come but it was already a given when the credit rating groups (S&P) stated that just raising the debt ceiling was NOT ENOUGH.

That was ignored.

I'm already hearing the arguments for who is to blame, the Right the Left, the Tea Party, the Treasury, the President.

Tomorrow or Sunday we'll hear another President Obama speech with who he blames; a previous President, the Republicans, but there's no ignoring the 15 Trillion dollar of debt which the majority happened under his watch including the 2.4 trillion additional debt with this last deal.

The only way now is to immediately come up with a plan to make some drastic cuts in an attempt to regain the triple 'A' rating.

Will we cut what needs to be cut or will the government use this as an excuse to make cuts that will hurt the workforce even more.

I'm thinking the cuts won't come from Obama Care. No, it will be about cutting the Defense budget.
That would lead to more layoffs. Thousands more out of work.

Are you then going to raise taxes too Mr. President?

Yikes, I know I will be dedicating this Sunday's Mass to our nation.

God save America. I'm praying that we can now come together to right the ship before we take on anymore water.


S&P downgrades U.S. credit rating for first time 

Standard & Poor’s announced Friday night that it has downgraded the U.S. credit rating for the first time, dealing a symbolic blow to the world’s economic superpower in what was a sharply worded critique of the American political system.
Lowering the nation’s rating to one notch below AAA, the credit rating company said “political brinkmanship” in the debate over the debt had made the U.S. government’s ability to manage its finances “less stable, less effective and less predictable.” It said the bipartisan agreement reached this week to find at least $2.1 trillion in budget savings “fell short” of what was necessary to tame the nation’s debt over time and predicted that leaders would not be likely to achieve more savings in the future.
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Friday, August 05, 2011

ObamaCare and Paid for Abortions

I can't tell  you how many Catholic friends I know who tell me that Obama promised that the Health Care law would not make us pay for Abortions or contraception.

Surprise! ....or not so much of a surprise.

Here's the sad story:
Oh and thanks Kathleen Sebelius...NOT!


New Poll: Americans Oppose Requiring Contraception Coverage 46%-39%, And What We Can Do

Rasmussen Reports polled Americans this week and finds they are not in favor of the Obama administration’s decision to require private health insurance companies to cover contraception:

“The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of American Adults shows that 39% believe health insurance companies should be required to cover all government approved contraceptives for women, but 46% don’t think they should be. Another 15% are undecided.”
Rasmussen did not even mention in the polling that one of the “contraceptives” covered under these new rules is actually the abortifacient pill Ella — that would surely sway even more people to oppose the new rules. As it stands, 15% remain undecided (which means we need to figure out how to reach those 15%).

Toy Truck ->IED->Saved Soldiers

Love this story...keeping our soldiers safe, one remote controlled truck at a time.

Remote Controlled Truck Sent to Soldier (see video)
Staff Sgt. Christopher Fessenden is on duty in Afghanistan now after tours with the Army in Iraq. He has traveled with standard-issue equipment -- weapons, helmet, uniform, boots and so forth -- plus a radio-controlled model truck his brother Ernie sent.
The truck is not a toy to him. He says it just saved six soldiers' lives.
"We cannot thank you enough," said Sgt. Fessenden in an email from the front that Ernie, a software engineer in Rochester, Minn., shared with ABC News.
  

Harry Potter and Catholics

Ever criticize Harry Potter to someone who is a fan?
Wooowaa...

Great article with a lot of good points on the Potter franchise.

Michael O’Brien Responds to his critics re: Harry Potter 

 In the interview O’Brien explains why he became involved in critiquing the Harry Potter series, his views on why the series has become so popular and the astonishing and at times hateful criticism that Potter critics have received, such as O’Brien himself being called “the anti-Christ” by a Potter fan. O’Brien also answers the question of what he meant by “the evil means” used by Harry to defeat Voldemort, why Harry Potter is not just “entertainment”, why it is appropriate for LifeSiteNews to cover the Harry Potter issue, how Rowlings pro-homosexual views may be reflected in the novels, and more:   

Teen Choice Award Nominees...Yikes!

..Just what the heck is happening to our youth...the future of America?

Looking at the list of nominee's for the 'Teen Choice' award the future isn't looking very good.

No God...No future.

Producers Pick Lesbian Kiss, R-Rated Movies as Teen Choice Award Nominees  

A girl-on-girl lip lock, a movie in which a bulldog masturbates, and a marijuana-smoking middle school teacher are among the nominees for the 2011 Teen Choice Awards. Yes that’s right, an awards show specifically aimed at 13-19 year olds will be featuring inappropriate content more suited for the panel of adults that chose the nominees.

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Monday, August 01, 2011

And Now a Word from Our Sponsor

Just my way of saying... let's take a short break from the madness of the day.

The news is covered with a doomsday scenario of dark days ahead and well I need to divert my attention, if just for a moment to take a breath and gather my thoughts.

Just like a boxer must go to his corner for a moment to collect himself

So check out this short clip of Shakespearean ramble done by impressions of familiar voices from a very talented man.

(As a form of 'Disclaimer - I took this from Creative Minority Blog who lifted it from the American Catholic Blog; Both great blogs which I visit daily. Please, Please visit them frequently)

Thanks WestCoastCatholc

Bagels, Pies and the Free Market

Crisis Magazine has an article explaining the 'Free Market' by putting forth an example of producing bagels an pies.

Hey, I'm always looking for a way to simplify my understanding of the complex world of economics.

  Cooperation: A Free Market Benefits Everyone



The following will explain the most important idea in the history of social analysis. The notion (actually, it’s a description of reality that is all around us but rarely noticed) has been around for many centuries. It was first discovered by late-medieval monks working in Spain. It was given scientific precision in the classical period. It is the basis of advances in social theory in the 20th century.
In fact, it is an essential part of the case for freedom. It was the basis of the belief of our ancestors that they could throw off tyrannical rule and still not have society descend into poverty and chaos. The failure to comprehend this idea is at the very root of the pervasive bias against liberty and free enterprise in our times, on the left and the right.
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Not simple enough?

American Catholic Blog has a nice video...nice and simple

St Paul - A Catholic Saint

So many good books read.

Taylor Marshall has a new (2010) book that I've been wanting to read. St. Paul is the topic and it look like a good one.

Check out the video:

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Coulter vs Ex-Father Albert

Late last week Ann Coulter was a guest on Ex-Catholic Priest Albert Cutie's TV show (why Fox allowed this to be a part of their network lineup, I don't know)

Ann in her 'in your face' way tries to explain why single motherhood is not the plan of Christ in bringing up children. Now single mothers do their best to raise children because the father for whatever reasons skip out on their duties. Or maybe a death of a husband as Mary had to raise Jesus. We don't know when Joseph was no longer a part of the family (died) but it definitely was not a divorce situation. No scholars support divorce.

God's intent is to have a father and mother raise their children, that is the best way. We should do everything possible to create marriages to be strong and lasting and most importantly mothers and father partners with God.

Now Coulter gets a whacking from the audience who comprise mostly of single mom's and that suits Cutie just fine. Instead of explaining the proper most successful way to raise a family (Note: this clip doesn't show the complete encounter) but he seems to want to blame the fathers (maybe rightfully so) for their abandonment of their families, though with an audience of mom's, he doesn't know the whole story. No way he's going to lecture the mom's... he's out numbered and let's face it, he's got Coulter on the ropes.

So Coulter's message of children from broken families have a disadvantage and many times end up creating broken families of their own or end up in a life of crime. Not all the time but statistics (as Ann tried to point out) show this. Albert Cutie decides to sidestep these facts and goes with the angry crowd.

Single moms have to deal with the circumstances that befall them, but maybe forming a true relationship before getting married will keep a family of father, mother, children and God strong and life lasting.

Is Albert Cutie really helping the single mom's in the audience or viewing on TV? Is he passing on a Godly message?

Nope

So here's the encounter... but then look at a real priest (Fr. Barron) with a true message about marriage and relationships.

No comparison



...and now the real truth