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Thanksgiving Weekend 2021: Puritans, Pandemic and Me

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Americans celebrated Thanksgiving this week. Well, most Americans. Some folks in New England lamented injustices committed over the last few centuries.... ...And, although those who weren't killed during a parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin, may enjoy not being dead, my guess is that none of them feel giddy with thanks.... More at A Catholic Citizen in America : first Thanksgivings: Plymouth Puritans, Virginia and two Spanish events. My health issues, COVID-19 in Minnesota and the Macy Thanksgiving Day parade.

‘Jesus Christ . . . is also the foundation of hope.’ Sunday Reflections, 1st Sunday of Advent, Year C

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Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee Rembrandt [ Web Gallery of Art ] . And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves . . .  (Luke 21:25; today’s gospel). We begin Year C, which highlights St Luke's Gospel Readings   (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, [England & Wales], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland) Readings   (New American Bible: Philippines, USA) Gospel   Luke 21:25-28, 34-36  (English Standard Version Anglicised: India) Jesus said to his disciples: “And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves,   people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken.   And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.   Now when these things begin to take place, straighten u

EXAMEN

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Speaking In Tongues

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  SPEAKING IN TONGUES What is it? Do you speak in tongues? Read more HERE

Reading, Writing, Preferences, Priorities, and Acts 1:8

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I enjoy reading. Some folks don't. I have no idea what fraction of readers boast of their bookish practices. Or how many non-readers argue that reading is a waste of time. Apart, perhaps, from their occasional dip into a how-2 article. Since there's little tumult and shouting on the reader/non-reader front, it's probably not among today's major issues.... More at A Catholic Citizen in America : A brief look at readers: avid, picky and practical. Fiction, ethics and making sense. Fashionable melancholy, the Great Commission and why I write.

'She gave me a glimpse into the Kingdom of God, a gift that has lasted all these years.' Sunday Reflections, Christ the King, Year B

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  From  The Gospel of John  (2003)  Directed by Philip Saville.  [John 18:33-37, today's Gospel] Readings   (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, [England & Wales], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland) Readings   (New American Bible: Philippines, USA) Gospel   John 18:33-37  (English Standard Version Anglicised: India) Pilate asked Jesus, “Are you the King of the Jews?”     Jesus answered,  “Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?”   Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have you done?”   Jesus answered,  “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.”   Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered,  “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the t

No Politics

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A Star by Any Other Name, and a Galilean Interlude

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I started writing about stars, names, designations and how we got to a point where Sirius is also known as BD-16°1591, ADS 5423 and GJ 244. That started me thinking about telescopes, Galileo, Aristotle and Dante.... More at A Catholic Citizen in America .

'The word of God, a seed of eternity that transforms this world from within.' Sunday Reflections, 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

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  St Michael in Victory Murillo [ Wikimedia Commons ] At that time shall arise  Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time  (Daniel 12:1. First Reading).  Readings   (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, [England & Wales], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland) Readings (New American Bible: Philippines, USA) Gospel   Mark 13:24-32  (English Standard Version Anglicised: India) Jesus said to his disciples: “But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light,   and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.   And then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory.   And then he will send out the angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven. “From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becom

A Different Kind of Road

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    Have I mentioned this before? I was on my way to visit one of our daughters at her new job and I missed the road sign where I was supposed to turn.  This happened because I was expecting a different kind of road.  I thought it would be a busy, four lane road when it was actually a quiet, two-lane road. It seems like this is how life works.  We imagine something to be a certain way, and when it doesn't look like what we expected, we miss it altogether. This is true with religion as well. So many imagine Church to be an institution beset by cold demands, where freedom is lost, when in reality it is a place of many encounters with the living Christ.  It is a place where we find friendship and true freedom, as well as salvation! Keep this in mind if you have had the sense that something is missing in your life, but you have been avoiding the community life of a Church because of what you imagine it to be. Sometimes you have to make that "right" turn to disco

Science, Religion, COVID-19 and an Unexpected Opinion

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If you haven't already, you'll soon read about a new development in the war between science and religion. " How Covid Raised the Stakes of the War Between Faith and Science " Tish Harrison Warren, The New York Times (November 7, 2021) " Reviews | How Covid raised the stakes in the war between faith and science " newsnetdaily.com (November 7, 2021) Alleged war, at any rate. I can't read the original piece in The New York Times, since it's behind a paywall.... ...I did, however, find this snippet in an online blurb.... More at A Catholic Citizen in America .

A Smidge of Faith

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  In the Gospel of Luke, Chapter 17, Verse 5, the apostles ask Jesus to increase their faith.  What is the measure of your faith?  Do you have just a smidge of faith, or a lot?  Interestingly, Jesus seems to imply that it doesn't matter.   You see, just a morsel of faith is incredibly powerful.  In his words, he tells the apostles, "If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you would say to [this] mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it would obey you." I checked out mulberry trees.  They don't actually have ears, so they cannot hear you tell them to move.  Neither do they have the ability to move themselves, so what gives? Oh I'm just kidding.  Well, not really.  They don't have ears nor the ability to move themselves. But seriously, mulberry trees shoot up quickly and have a few different varieties.  They reach maturity in about ten years.  Truthfully, their roots can be so aggressive that they can even lift up sidew

Christian Books

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Come on, it's Time!

I was in a conversation recently where the subject of passing on the faith came up.  The discussion brought up my concerns that if the present (younger) generation does not take up faith, generations from now could be in a position of essentially being faithless. Now I know that it will not necessarily come to pass, as there are still plenty people of faith.  Plus, God is always victorious, so even if it seems like all could be lost, there is always a remnant to continue.  But still, if a whole generation let's their faith slip past, who will teach their kids, and their kids after that? In Psalm 145, we read: "Generation after generation praises your works and proclaims your might.  They speak of the splendor of your glorious majesty and tell of your wondrous works." Do you give praise to God and share what he has done for you?  Or, do you really not know his saving grace, his constant outpouring of love or his unlimited mercy (forgiveness)? What do you think

Old St. Peter's, Visigoths and a Henry

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St. Peter's Basilica in Rome isn't nearly as old as it looks. Architects in ancient Rome often covered large interior spaces with barrel vaults and semicircular arches, although they hadn't invented either.... ...Today I'll be taking a quick look at a famous Roman architect, Vitruvius, and then recap what happened during the half-dozen centuries after Emperor Constantine signed off on building the first St. Peter's basilica.... More at A Catholic Citizen in America .

Would We Ever?

In the Gospel of Luke (15:1-10), this sentence stopped me in my tracks:  "The tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus, but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying, 'This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.'" Have you ever heard anything so ridiculous?  Scribes and Pharisees, religious men, complaining about Jesus associating with sinners?  The very sinners he has come to save?  How is he supposed to reach sinners if he separates himself from them? I started wondering.  Is this still a problem today, holy people complaining to Jesus about others?  Let's see: Would we ever complain about people who only come to church at Christmas and Easter and take our seats? Would we ever look sideways at people who come to church with purple hair, tattoos, nose rings or dirty clothes? Or criticize people who seem irreverent, who don't know the right words or actions? Would we every complain to God about parents of noisy chi

Sifting Through the Ash Heap of History

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Petrarch called Rome "a rubbish heap of history." That's what Ferdinand Gregorovius says Petrarch wrote in a letter, at any rate.... ...A bit over a half-millennium after Petrarch, a fair number of notables have used variations on "rubbish heap of history:"... ...So I'll be sifting through our ash heap: starting with a wrap-up of what I said about Pericles and good times (for some) in Athens three weeks back. More at A Catholic Citizen in America .

'Let us go in the peace of Christ to serve God in man for the love of God.' Sunday Reflections, 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

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  SHEMA YISRAEL ADONAI ELOHEINU ADONAI ECHAD [ U'SHEMO ECHAD ] V'AHAVTA ET HASHEM ELOHEICHA B'CHOL LEVAVCHA U'VCHOL NAFSHECHA U'VCHOL MEODECHA [YAIDA DAI YADA DAI YAIDADAI . . .] Hear, O Israel: The  Lord  our God, the  Lord  is one.   You shall love the  Lord  your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.   And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart (Deuteronomy 6:4-6) . [First Reading; quoted by Jesus in the Gospel]. Readings   (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, [England & Wales], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland) Readings   (New American Bible: Philippines, USA) Gospel   Mark 12:28-34   (English Standard Version Anglicised: India) One of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that Jesus answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?”   Jesus answered,  “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.   And you sh

They Will Be Done

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  THY WILL BE DONE WHAT DOES THAT REALLY MEAN? Jesus taught us to pray it But what did He mean? CLICK HERE

What happens on the other side ...

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  Have you ever wondered ... What happens on the other side? Your views are welcome.  CLICK HERE

Parting of the way

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  . PARTING OF THE WAY THIS ARTICLE MAY BE HELPFUL TO ANYONE EXPERIENCING A DIFFERENCE OF OPINION WITH A LOVED ONE CLICK HERE

What would you say?

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Where's your wealth?

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HD 63935: Two Sub-Neptunes and Maybe More

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Designations like HD 63935 b and c don't exactly roll of the tongue. Although with a little work I might pronounce them "trippingly on the tongue," as Hamlet put it. Maybe saying "sixty five ninety three five bee and cee" would do the trick. Then again, maybe not. I thought, briefly, of calling HD 63935, HD 63935 b and HD 63935 c "Sam, Fred and Chuck;" but thought better of it. At any rate, I'd been catching up on 'exoplanet' notes from the last year or so when I read about the HD 63935 planetary system. HD 63935's known planets there, sub-Neptunes, should help scientists learn more about how planets form. Or, rather, observing them and analyzing those observations should.... More at A Catholic Citizen in America .

'We cannot but speak about what we have seen and heard.' Sunday Reflections, 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

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Christ Healing the Blind (detail) Lucas van Leyden [ Web Gallery of Art ] Behold, I will bring them from the north country   and gather them from the farthest parts of the earth,   among them the blind . . .   (Jeremiah 31:8; First Reading). World Mission Sunday Readings   (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland) Readings   (New American Bible: Philippines, USA) Gospel   Mark 10:46-52   (English Standard Version Anglicised: India) As Jesus was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a great crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the roadside.   And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”   And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”   And Jesus stopped and said,  “Call him.”  And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart. Get up; he is calling you.”   A

Suffering

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Complicated God

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Closed Hearts

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A Trilobite With a Hyper-Compound Eye

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It's barely over two weeks since scientists at the University of Cologne published what they'd learned about a trilobite's unique eye. Their research vindicated an amateur paleontologist's observations, and very likely will raise more questions than it answers. That's par for the course. Answering a few questions and raising many more, I mean. So is discovering something new. New to us, that is. This trilobite's 'hyper-compound' eye last saw the light of day — or dark of the ocean floor — 390,000,000 years ago. I had fun writing this, and hope you enjoy reading it. Who knew trilobite eyes could be so entrancing? More at A Catholic Citizen in America .