Thursday, December 07, 2006

A Pilgrim's Reveries

A Pilgrim's Reveries Ia a wonderful blog I fell into by accident. I think it showed up in a feed on My Yahoo. Anyhow, it is full of wonderful meditative discourse. Come and see!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Yep. From The Midwest

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Midland

"You have a Midland accent" is just another way of saying "you don't have an accent." You probably are from the Midland (Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, and Missouri) but then for all we know you could be from Florida or Charleston or one of those big southern cities like Atlanta or Dallas. You have a good voice for TV and radio.

The South
The West
The Inland North
North Central
The Northeast
What American accent do you have?
Take More Quizzes

Friday, November 10, 2006

The Arborticide Shame Test

Wittingshire has posted the most telling thoughts I have encountered on abortion.

Three times I've had to explain abortion to a child. Each time I, too, felt ashamed. There's no way to soften this blow; children are fascinated by pregnant women, love to point out that not so long ago they were inside their own Mommy's tummy. They may not know the biological details, but they know where babies come from; they know how their own lives began.

Each time circumstances demanded that I explain abortion to a child, I watched that child's eyes grow big with disbelief, then sick with horror. And each time I knew that some fundamental trust of adults, some basic belief that grown-ups were merciful and just, had gone.

Oddly, each of my children said, then, the same thing: "I know it must be true because you say it is, Mommy, but I really don't want to talk about it."

And each turned from me and walked away.

You know, I have never thought about having to have that discussion. Really puts it in perspective, doesn't it?

I found this by way of John C. Wright whose own article on the subject is very good, with some interesting comments dialogue.
As I read it, John's own awakening to the horror of abortion came thusly:
For all the years of my life, they told me that a child in the womb was not a human, or, at least, that whether he was human or not was a matter of personal conviction. Every art and artifice at their command, peer pressure, personal insult, sly propoganda in the midst of otherwise innocent books and movies, all, all was directed toward this end: to deaden my natural sense of right and wrong, so that I would regard as a merely personal choice what was actually the crime of Medea.

When my son was (wrongly) diagnosed as having a spinal disease, the doctor urged us to consider "all our options" by which he meant my wife and I should contemplate the murder of our child. When I finally saw a sonic picture of my son in the womb, even at seven weeks, he was as clearly human as any pro-abortionist with whom I'd been debating (and their ability to reason was not noticeably more acute than his, to judge by their performance).

So, the pro-aborts are basically a group of people tried to get me to kill my son.

Great article on Lack of Samhain/AllSaints Connection

The Cranky Professor has a very informative article on this irritating "Oh, you were just baptising pagan feasts" theme we hear every year around this time.

Well, I had hoped to publish this a week or so ago, but seem to be having some difficulty with performancing. Still a good article, though.

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Friday, September 01, 2006

Jesus in the Sky with the Pearl of Great Price

There is a very thoughtful posting by Jay
at, "What if Jesus Appeared in the Sky Every Night?".

Like one of the commentors, I used to think that with such "hard evidence", even great skeptics would be converted, but now I have seen too much evidence of hardness of heart, in which the person to whom Christ is calling simply does not want to hear the call.

Why? Because the Pearl really does exact a great price. It is so hard for us to let go of our folly and our sin. Even after we hear the voice of the Master and follow, who among as has never fallen, never looked back? I know that, for myself, I could never have succeeded without the powerful helps of God's actual grace. When I first had the stunning encounter with Christ the Good Shepherd, among the first thoughts I had when I came to myself was--"Oh no, not you, Jesus!". Because I knew how "uncool" this would be to my family and friends. And I knew I would have to change.

As each day of my new life in Christ passes (8 years, now) I become more and more grateful that My Good Shpeherd came for me, and that He gave me the grace to hear His voice. Let us pray with great love and compassion for all those whose hearts are hardened by their own desires, who are "looking for love in all the wrong places", that they may at last hear His lovely voice.

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Thursday, August 31, 2006

Mostly Cat

You Are: 30% Dog, 70% Cat

You and cats have a lot in common.
You're both smart and in charge - with a good amount of attitude.
However, you do have a very playful side that occasionally comes out!

Monday, August 14, 2006

The Gift of Life

Donum Vitae gets it right, as Michelle Arnold points out in this poignant post on lessons of artificial insemination.

I suppose that Cheyenne is lucky that her mother supposed her father had been thoroughly "vetted". Otherwise she might have fallen under the scythe of that other great eugenic technology, which has already decimated generations.

My prayer is that Michelle Jorgenson benefits greatly from the unique gift of her daughter, and comes to prize this gift for the priceless treasure that it is. I am finally beginning to learn so much from my daughter, who has a developmental disability. In some way I can never explain, but only thank God for, she is perfect--for herself, and for me, as a daughter. I only hope that I can give her half of what she has already given to me.

There is something in this post that really struck me with just how sad our efforts to perfect and orchestrate our children really are, and how little we appreciate the mystery and awesomeness of the gift of life.

Tall, Barrel-chested and Handsome?

This Seattle times article explores one idea about what may have happened to our Neanderthal cousins--we may have assimilated them. According to author Faye Flam:

" Around half a million years ago the Neanderthal line spread through Europe and the Middle East, while our dominant ancestral line didn't move into Europe until much later — around 45,000 years ago. There, we overlapped until about 28,000 years ago...

...Biologist Alan Templeton of Washington University in St. Louis has found hints that some people of European ancestry carry genes that emerged in Europe more than 300,000 years ago — far before our main ancestors left Africa."

There is more to be explored, of course, DNA sampling and so forth, but I think they may be on to something.

Thanks to Don Jim at Dappled Things for his post on Interacting with Neanderthals. Oh, we be interacting, all right. We are the interactingest bunch of people I know.

I kind of like this idea, as I always found the Neanderthals to be a romantic, lost group. Maybe they aren't lost at all. Maybe they are us.

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Tuesday, July 04, 2006

July Prayer Intentions


Our Holy Father Pope Benedict's general prayer intention for July is: "That all those who are in prison, and especially young people, may receive the necessary support from society to help them rediscover a sense to their own existence."

His mission intention is: "That, in the mission territories, different ethnic and religious groups may live in peace and together build a society inspired by human and spiritual values."

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Scottish Proverb

"Better keep the devil at the door than turn him out of the house."
--Scottish Proverb

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Saturday, July 01, 2006

Via Sancta

Via Sancta
Just rejoined St Blog's Parish and looking about a bit, this is the first blog I looked at. Stuart, I hope you go back again in August! What a beautiful calling. Someday I hope to see the Holy Land--actually I long for it; so, I can understand this very well.

God speed!

Friday, June 30, 2006

God Bless the Lakota Souix!

is a very heartening story, which reflects a culture of life!

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Monday, June 26, 2006

RE: Long Time No Meme at Hot Carmel Sundae

From Confessions of a Hot Carmel Sundae, Via Rambling GOP Soccer Mom.
The ABC Meme

Accent: Southern Indiana, which is upper south, with a twang, I guess.
Butter or Margarine: Butter.
Chore I Hate:Bookkeeping
Dog or Cat: Love both, but if must choose, then cat.
Essential Electronics: Computer, and I hate to say it---cell phone.
Favorite Cologne(s): None
Gold or Silver:Silver
Hometown: W Terre Haute, IN
Insomnia: Nope, I can sleep just fine.
Job Title: In between job titles, but always mom.
Kids: one
Living arrangements: too small house.
Most admirable trait: clueless--no, I mean I am, not that its admirable!
Nicknames: Shorty, the short woman, the little woman, mamacita.
Overnight hospital stays: Birth of baby, and a couple of surguries which shall remain nameless.
Phobias: Starting projects
Quote: "Life is a like a single night spent in a bad inn" --St. Teresa of Avila
Religion: Roman Catholic
Siblings: none
Time I wake up: around 5 am
Unusual talent or skill: rosary making
Vegetable I refuse to eat: love 'em all.
Worst habit: getting irritable with my daughter.
X-rays: I glow in the dark, now.
Yummy stuff I cook: Bean soup, cottage cheese dumplings, Veggie soup

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Monday, June 05, 2006

The Speculative Mind vs The Will

"The human mind has two faculties: one speculative, which is directed
to knowledge; the other the will, which carries that knowledge into
action, and which chooses and decides. An evil life does not spoil the
speculative intellect. An atomic scientist who is immoral does not
directly impair his atomic knowledge. But when it comes to judgment, to
directing and guiding, then the evil life exercises its influence. Any person
who consults a psychiatrist should first make an analysis of the kind
of life he lives, because though his scientific equipment may be good,
when it comes to giving counsel, the doctor may be incapable. Our
Blessed Lord warned that behavior affects attitudes toward Him. 'You will not
come to Me because your lives are evil.' " --Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

How true I have found this to be! In my own life, when I first returned
to the Lord, the formation of my will to do evil had become quite strong. I was
without any sort of resistance to temptation. Still I pay the price for turning
away from God. I pray always to be protected in my weakness, and my poor
guardian angel has a fight on his hands every day.
I have seen this very much in others, as well. I have a very dear friend
whose intellect is quite amazing, but because he has in the past led a very
dissolute life, now his lens on the world is so very dark, and as well, he simply
is presently incapable of hearing the Good News.

Dearest Jesus, deliver us from our selfmade hells!

Friday, June 02, 2006

Orthodox Prayer to the Holy Spirit

Heavenly King, Comforter, Spirit of Truth, everywhere present and
filling all things. Treasury of Blessings, and Giver of Life, come and dwell
in us, cleanse us from every impurity and save our souls, oh Good One.
-- Orthodox prayer to the Holy Spirit.

Just three more days.

Oh Infinite Spirit of Love! Rend the heavens and come to your people who long to be filled with You!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Holy Spirit Novena: Better Late than Never

Here it is, only 4 days from Pentacost! The Easter season, so rich in joy and liturgical content, has really flown by for me this year.

Last week I started a novena to the Holy Spirit for Pentacost. The Novena to the Holy Spirit is the oldest novena in the Church, as it was that novena prayed by the disciples in the upper room, as they waited for the Spirit to come. In reality, there is no set form for this novena, although one will find several extant on the web and elsewhere. One simply prays to the Holy Spirit, in whatever way the Spirit moves one to pray.

Here is one such novena on the web, if you'd like to try one.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Good Answers to "Dumb" Vinci Hoax

The below is from an email discussion on
the DaVinci Code. I do not know what source,
if any particular one, the individual in
the discussion was citing, but i love the
responses for their succinctness:

Da Vinci Code Myth: Jesus was just an ordinary man.
Truth: Jesus said He was the son of God and proved
it with dozens of miracles. He turned water into wine,
cured the sick, the lame, the blind and the deaf; cast
out demons; brought three people back to life; and rose
from the dead Himself. Only an "extraordinary Christ who
did extraordinary things," said historian Paul Johnson,
can explain the rise of Christianity during three centuries
of persecution under the Roman Empire.

Da Vinci Code Myth: Jesus' miracles were only "religious
designed to help "millions of people cope and
be better people."

Truth: If Jesus' dozens of spectacular miracles were only
"religious allegory," why were his disciples willing to
suffer persecution and horrible deaths for their belief
that His miracles were real and proved that He was God?
People don't shed their blood for allegorical or symbolic
expressions of divinity, but only for the real thing. And
bear in mind that even Jesus' enemies did not deny the
reality of His miracles. They could not deny what they saw
with their own eyes, e.g., the raising of Lazarus from the
dead, so they denounced Jesus for performing some of His
miracles on the Sabbath.

Da Vinci Code Myth: No one knew Jesus was the Son of God
until the
Council of Nicea in AD 325.
Truth: Jesus is described as the Son of God or as God's
Son more than 100 times in the New Testament. For example,
when the Apostle Thomas was invited by Jesus after the
Resurrection to put his fingers into Christ's
wounds, Thomas fell to his knees and said, "My Lord and
my God" (John 20:28), and Peter in his Pentecost sermon
that led 3,000 listeners to ask for Baptism, said: "Therefore
let the whole house of Israel know for certain that
God has made Him both Lord and Messiah, this Jesus, whom
you crucified" (Acts 2:36). Futhermore, in AD 107,
St. Ignatius of Antioch referred to "Our God, Jesus Christ."
In AD 150, St. Justin Martyr said that Jesus was. "God, Son of
the only unbegotten, unutterable God." In AD 177,
St. Iraneus called Jesus "true man" and "true God." Not long
after that, St. Clement of Alexandria (d.215) said that Jesus
is "quite evidently true God. These statements came
long before the Council of Nicea.

Da Vinci Code Myth: The bishops at the Council of Nicea decided by
relatively close vote" that Jesus was God.
Truth: Responding to the Arian heresy that denied the divinity of
Christ,the bishops of the Council of Nicea already knew Jesus was
God and voted 218 to 2 (that's close?) to affirm that. He was
true God and equal to the

Father. They approved the Nicene Creed that is said every Sunday at
Masses around the world, that Jesus is "God from God, Light from
Light, true
God from true God, begotten, not made, one in being
with the Father."

Da Vinci Code Myth: That must be Mary Magdalene sitting next to
in Leonardo Da Vinci's painting of The Last Supper because
the person has
long hair, no beard, and feminine features.
Truth: No, that's John the Apostle sitting next to Jesus, not Mary
Magdalene. Leonardo explained in his Treatise on Painting, that he
painted people according to their age and status. Since John was
the youngest apostle and a favorite disciple of Jesus, Leonardo
painted him as youthful, long-haired and clean-shaven.

Da Vinci Code Myth: That Leonardo was part of a secret conspiracy
shown by his painting of the Mona Lisa because when you shift
the letters
around, Mona becomes the pagan god Amon and LIsa
the pagan goddess Isis.

Truth: Mona is a shortened version of Madonna, which means, "My
Lady." Lisa was the wife of an Italian businessman and Leonardo
did the painting for him and called it La Gioconda, not Mona Lisa,
which means, "My Lady Lisa."

Da Vinci Code Myth: The Roman Emperor Constantine shifted the
from Saturday to Sunday, because that was the day that
the pagans worshipped
the sun, and that's why we observe Sunday
as the Sabbath.

Truth: In AD 321, Constantine did make Sunday a day of rest in
the Roman Empire, but the Catholic Church changed the Sabbath
from Saturday to Sunday nearly 300 years before Constantine
(cf. Acts 20:7) because that was the day on which Jesus
rose from the dead.

Da Vinci Code Myth: Constantine created a "new Vatican power base"
the fourth century.
Truth: The Vatican was swampland in the fourth century and did not
become the official residence of the Pope until a thousand
years later.

Da Vinci Code Myth: Constantine assembled the Bible and burned all
those "gospels" that showed Jesus wasn't God.
Truth: The Bible was assembled by the Catholic Church about 150
years before Constantine and included only those Gospels (Matthew,
Mark, Luke and John) that were written by persons who either knew
Jesus ( Matthew and John) or those who had talked with those
who knew Jesus (Mark and Luke). That these four authors spoke
the truth is proved by their willingness to
give up their lives for what they wrote about Christ.

Da Vinci Code Myth: Some of the gospels that Constantine tried to
destroy were found among the Dead Sea Scrolls discovered in 1947
in a cave in
the Judean desert.
Truth: There are no gospels, (none!) among the more than 800
scrolls found near the Dead Sea between 1947 and 1956.

Da Vinci Code Myth: The Dead Sea Scrolls are the "earliest Christian
records" we have.
Truth: The Dead Sea Scrolls are Jewish records, not Christian
records. They were compiled by a Jewish sect known as the
Essenes, who lived near the Dead Sea from about 200 BC to 100 AD.

Da Vinci Code Myth:
Dan Brown's book is supported by scholarly research and historical

Fact: The bulk of "historical" assertions made by Brown
are pure fiction and filled with anti-Christian and
anti-Catholic messages.

Here is a link to the Jesus Decoded Website, which has some
excellent material.

Saint Joachina de Vedruna de Mas

Joachina was born in Barcelona in 1783. She married Theodore de Mas in 1799 and bore him nine children before being widowed in 1816.

In 1826 she was prompted by God’s Spirit to found the Congregation of Carmelite Sisters of Charity, which spread throughout Catalonia, establishing houses for the care of the sick and the education of children, especially the poor. She had a great love for the Holy Trinity, and was drawn to comtemplation of this cnetral mystery of our faith.

Joachina lived a life notable for devotion to prayer and mortification. A true spiritual daughter of St. Teresa, she lived in an exemplary way the central Christian virtues of detachment, humility and charity.

She died at Vich in 1854, and was canonized in 1959.

Prayer from her Mass

Lord God,
you gave St Joachina de Vedruna to your Church
for the Christian education of youth
and the care of the sick.
May we follow her example,
and lovingly devote our lives
to serving you in our brothers and sisters.
Grant this through Christ, our Lord.

Optional Carmelite Memorial.

What little information I have found about the present day Carmelites Sisters of Charity indicates that they are very devoted to their charism of exercising the Church's preferential option for the poor. They are an active order with a very lively concern for social justice, serving in healthcare and education, among other things. Contemplatives in action!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Memorizing the Office

A Yahoo group to which I belong, IFSB (I think it stands for International Federation of Saint Bruno--Boy thats bad, when you can't remember the names of your groups! Anyhow, a group for those interested in Carthusian spirituality), has had a recent discussion of how possibly the memorization of parts of the Divine Office leads to a deeper integralization of the text, and can be an inducement to contemplation. Here is a quote from a recent posting:

"Do people here in this forum find that prayer and liturgy
learnt by heart creates a deeper internal contemplative rthymn of prayer and
if so what do you learn by heart?"

" I personally have always found this to be true, that prayer and
liturgy learnt by heart creates a deeper internal contemplative rthymn of
prayer, and I’ve been doing it since 1966 when I first entered the
Trappists. It was even more certainly true for me as a Carthusian in the
solitude of the Cell. All this has really carried me in my very active life
as a husband, father, neighbor, and clergyman with a busy social
ministry and campus ministry.

As far as a version of the Office and the Scripture is concerned, I
find it gravely difficult and disruptive to switch around translations.
Every opportunity I get to use the same standardized translations and
texts, I do. This is especially true of the Eastern Christian services
since rendering them in English is relatively new and there has been
very little universally endorsed translating of texts or authorizing of
exclusively to be used Scriptural translations. What we have is a
confusing mismash that is liturgically disruptive and uneven, and produces a
lot of unwanted gaffs and even confusion when serving/celebrating.

For the physical muscular and neurological imprinting in these
various memories of our bodies and minds to work as it worked for the Church
Fathers and the Desert Mother and Fathers, it requires a predominantly
single stable set of texts and translations. This is why the Septuagint
with the Textus-Receptus in the Greek East and the Vulgate in the Latin
West held sway for so very long as the only authorized scriptural

This imprinting allows a marvelous recall, as well as a type of
connection with everything else that has been imprinted that uses the same
words. You see this at work in some of the Latin Patristic
Commentaries, especially the monastic ones, where the use of a word in one original
text will cause the recall of all kinds of other texts with the same
word to help illuminate the meaning of the original text under

So I am a strong partisan of the position favoring stable texts and
translations. This reduces distractions from becoming flustered by the
differences in the rendering of texts and translations, which may seem
minor in scope but can produce some major disasters. It you are publicly
serving liturgically, it also helps you not to become tripped up or
confused while serving or celebrating, even if you are reading out of the
ritual book, since you are imprinted for one thing and your tripped up
by trying to read something different in place of what you are used to.
I may possibly be an old dog that can’t learn new tricks very well, but
that’s been my experience and it’s conditioned my advice, PICK WHAT

Now that particular argument for a stable translation had not really dawned on me. Imagine having such living scripture in your heart that the mere mention of a word on a passage could bring up a whole interior wealth of "crossreferences"!

My First Post

Okay. I've decided to try this again. My last blog, linked to my website, was trashed by spambots--tres discouraging. But what the hey, here we go again.