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Bazooka Joe, Chesterton and Godly Virtues!

  I made an impulse purchase on my way through the checkout the other day.  Now this is something I  never do, but the pack of Bazooka gum was calling me.  I haven't had a piece of Bazooka in several years. Although I was disappointed that it was not wrapped exactly the way it was in the late sixties, I was pleasantly surprised that it still contained the Bazooka Joe (and his gang) comic strip.  I was even more surprised that it gave me a code for a webpage (for kids) with games and videos.  It did include my fortune, also, that warned me that "someone close to me is jealous," so there's that. Anyway, after doing a little research on Wikipedia (maybe you already know this?), I learned that "The gum was probably named after the rocket-propelled weapon developed by the U.S. army [in World War II] which itself was named after a musical instrument." Interesting. Anyway, the sugary part of the gum lasted about as long as it always had and provided

Trust in God

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Catholic Writers- How To Avoid Being Dead Right

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  Decades ago, I read an insight by  Jean Vanier , a Canadian Catholic philosopher and theologian, “You can be right. You can be dead right and bring death to everyone around you”.  These words stripped bare my arrogance, profoundly affecting the way I expressed my faith to others and especially the way I wrote about the Catholic faith. Writers Wield Power Words have power, a terrifying power to influence others. One lie or the words of one bullying tweet have the potential to go viral, enraging, or misleading thousands, if not millions of readers. Even truth, if expressed with arrogance can instigate similar chaos. Words matter. Tone matters. Even a message of  Christian hope can be lost when writers are not prayerful disciples of the Living God, writing with the heart of a servant. Writers have the ability to destroy as well as the ability to educate, heal, and lift up. We must learn how to communicate and engage with our adversaries in a spirit of mutual respect because everyone is

Desperate Prayer

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Was Oprah Right?

Let's talk about morality and clear a few things up. Do you find it confusing when trying to figure out if something you did, or want to do, is moral?  Especially if your goal or your intention is good?  Here is some great, clarifying information from the Catechism of the Catholic Church that goes a long way in simplifying the messes we create. First, there are three elements, all of which must be in place to determine if an act is moral: 1)  What we are doing must be objectively good.  Some things we know are not good--murder, for instance.  Those things that are just wrong cannot be made right by our good intentions. 2)   Our intended goal must be good.  Now if a bad intention is our motivation and our end goal is good, then our action is not okay.  Likewise, if I intend to do good, but go about it by doing a bad act, I am still in deep water. 3)  Circumstances and consequences are the third element of the moral action.  These contribute to the "goodness" or

Supernova Requiem: Reruns From a Gravity Lens

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Nothing in this universe lasts forever, including stars. Massive stars live fast and die young: exploding as supernovae. One of these, AT2016jka, nicknamed "Requiem," was first spotted in 2016. It showed up again in 2019. Scientists figure they'll get another look in 2037, give or take a few years But the supernova only exploded once. We're getting reruns of the event, thanks to gravitational lensing. I'll be taking about stars, including supernovae, gravitational lensing, and whatever else comes to mind. More at A Catholic Citizen in America .

'Even amid the ravages of terrorism and war, we can see, with the eyes of faith, the triumph of life over death.' Sunday Reflections, 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

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  First Steps (after Millet) Vincent van Gogh [ Web Gallery of Art ] Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and  whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.  (Mark 30:37; today's gospel). Readings   (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland) Readings   (New American Bible: Philippines, USA) Gospel   Mark 9:30-37   (English Standard Version Anglicised: India) Jesus and his disciples went on from there and passed through Galilee. And he did not want anyone to know,   for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them,  “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him. And when he is killed, after three days he will rise.”   But they did not understand the saying, and were afraid to ask him. And they came to Capernaum. And when he was in the house he asked them,  “What were you discussing on the way?”   But they kept silent, for on the way they had argued with one anoth

Finding Hope on a Messy Road

  If I may say so, honestly, without complaining, it has become quite a challenge to find my way to work lately.  It seems that every street I re-route to, there is new construction. Near my house, they started some piping project months ago.  Barrels go up, barrels go down.  It changes from day to day, but all I really want to see is paving trucks.  The road is such a mess. You can imagine my excitement when my husband came home and told me the paving trucks are out!  Yay!  I thought it was a project that wouldn't happen until next year, but at last, my painful waiting will soon be over. There's something about being given hope that changes one's perspective.  I have moved from grumbling to happy anticipation. The way I see it, we need hope today.  People are angry, discouraged, frightened, anxious and down-right sad. So where do we find hope? Well--and I don't want this to sound cliche--we find hope in Jesus.  It is from God that we find hope and when thing

'I feel called to make my life a little simpler. This comes from trying to be a follower of a poor man.’ Sunday Reflections, 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

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    Mocking of Christ Titian [ Web Gallery of Art ] I gave my back to those who strike,   and my cheeks to those who pull out the beard;   I hid not my face   from disgrace and spitting.   (Isaiah 50:6. First Reading). Readings   (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland) Readings   (New American Bible: Philippines, USA) Gospel   Mark 8:27-35   (English Standard Version Anglicised: India) Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi. And on the way he asked his disciples,  “Who do people say that I am?”   And they told him, “John the Baptist; and others say, Elijah; and others, one of the prophets.”   And he asked them,  “But who do you say that I am?”  Peter answered him, “You are the Christ.”   And he strictly charged them to tell no one about him. And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after t

Healthcare & Discrimination? Really?

I've been following what is going on in Texas with the law banning abortions after cardiac activity is detected (about six weeks).  Many people are outraged claiming that it hurts "people of color, low income and the marginalized." Although I don't remember the exact numbers, I read about one abortionist who was upset because normally he did something like 75-85 abortions per day , and since he can't do them anymore, he has to explore other options with the women for their healthcare . First of all, I am happy for the lives saved by the ban. Praise God! Secondly, calling abortion healthcare (or reproductive health) is a tired and ridiculous ploy to hide a gruesome reality.  Women are not stupid and we really should no longer be buying into that marketing scheme.  How much do you suppose that abortionist was making anyway? If you guessed between $500 and $2500+ per abortion , per day , you'd be right. It doesn't take a mathematician to see that t

Centennial of the Legion of Mary, 7 September 2021

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  Legion of Mary altar At the very first meeting of the Legion of Mary an altar just like that in the photo, except for the words 'Legio Mariae' and the Vexillum, the standard of the Legion, was used. Every meeting since then, at whatever level, has such an altar, with the Vexillum included. The Legion of Mary held its first meeting on the evening of 7 September 1921 in Myra House, St Nicholas of Myra Parish, Francis Street, Dublin, under the name of the Association of Our Lady of Mercy that became the Legion of Mary in 1925. Present at that first meeting were Fr Michael Toher, Frank Duff, a 32-year-old civil servant, and a group of women, all young except for 64-year-old Mrs Elizabeth Kirwan, a widowed New Zealander and a nurse. She was appointed president of the group. The  website  of the Legion of Mary  states :  The object of the Legion of Mary is the glory of God through the holiness of its members developed by prayer and active co-operation in Mary’s and the Church’s wor

Does This Make Sense?

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  I don't know, maybe it's me, but doesn't it seem strange that a guy participating in the running of the bulls would wear a mask?  I mean, don't you have bigger things to worry about if you are running from that massive animal? I believe in wearing masks, don't get me wrong, but while being chased by a bull? I guess you can't be too careful.  I suppose the runner was incredibly confident in his athletic prowess. Anyway, whatever work you do that is running you down, I hope you can take a break from it this weekend and find some quiet where you can listen to God and refresh your soul.   Janet Cassidy janetcassidy.blogspot.com

COVID-19: Attitudes, Frustrations, and Perspective

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Since I'll be talking about COVID-19, variants, and the pandemic, clarifications may be in order. I had COVID-19 vaccinations in May and June, because I thought it was a good idea. Politicos, partisans and crackpots have been throwing accusations and assertions about the pandemic at each other. I'll be talking about that, but I'm not 'political.' I've neither been proclaiming that one political party is in league with the Antichrist, nor denouncing another as a tool of fascists and racists. And, although I think the COVID-19 pandemic is real, I haven't been dreading America's impending doom and destruction. More at A Catholic Citizen in America .

Jesus is bringing someone back into the circle. Sunday Reflections, 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

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  Mark 7:31-37 in Filipino Sign Language Readings   (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland) Readings   (New American Bible: Philippines, USA) Gospel   Mark 7:31-37   (English Standard Version Anglicised: India) Then Jesus returned from the region of Tyre and went through Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, in the region of the Decapolis.   And they brought to him a man who was deaf and had a speech impediment, and they begged him to lay his hand on him.   And taking him aside from the crowd privately, he put his fingers into his ears, and after spitting touched his tongue.   And looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him,  “Ephphatha”,  that is,  “Be opened.”   And his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly.   And Jesus charged them to tell no one. But the more he charged them, the more zealously they proclaimed it.   And they were astonished beyond measure, saying, “He has done all things well. He even makes th

Did God Make A Mistake?

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Does God exist?

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Bible Quiz

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What Jesus said ...

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Heavenly Ribs!

We bought a rack of pork ribs on sale so my husband started searching recipes, anticipating grilling them.  Once he found the perfect recipe, he had to buy the ingredients he needed.   Grilling the ribs would take careful preparation and oversight for about two hours.  When he set the plate on our dinner table, we thought we were in heaven.  The ribs were flavorful, moist and done to perfection! Recently, I've been reading about preparation in Matthew's gospel (Chapter 25). We have the Ten Virgins, five of whom were ready to meet the bridegroom (Jesus) and five who were not ready. Then we have the Parable of the Talents which describes what we are supposed to do with what God has given us.  It seems we are being led to the question:  How am I preparing for Heaven, right here, right now?  I would encourage you to dig into these two parables and prayerfully consider the depth of their meaning.  What does the oil in the lamps of the virgins represent?  How might you use

Evolution: Science, Religion, Opinions and Me

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The University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research has learned that more than half of all Americans think evolution is real. Seems that 2016 was the tipping point. That's when my country, on average, decided to step into the late 19th century. Or stopped listening to Bible-thumpers. Or started learning about science. At any rate: More at A Catholic Citizen in America .

‘Rather, it is seen as the Lord’s most precious gift . . . and with it write a love story.’ (BXVI). Sunday Reflections, 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

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  Moses Carlo Dolci [ Web Gallery of Art ] Moses said to the people:  “And now, O Israel, listen to  the statutes and the rules  that I am teaching you, and do them,  that you may live, and go in and take possession of the land that the  Lord , the God of your fathers, is giving you."  [First Reading]. Readings   (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland) Readings   (New American Bible: Philippines, USA) Gospel   Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23   (English Standard Version Anglicised: India) Now when the Pharisees gathered to him, with some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem,   they saw that some of his disciples ate with hands that were defiled, that is, unwashed.   (For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands, holding to the tradition of the elders,   and when they come from the market-place, they do not eat unless they wash. And there are many other traditions that they observe, such as the washing

Is it inmoral not to get vaccinated? Is it inmoral to get vaccinated? (Spanish) La difícil desición de vacunarse o no vacunarse.

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              Como católico consciente y reponsable, la desición de vacunarse puede ser complicado, pues la forma de obtener y elaborar las vacunas incluyen uso de material de órganos y tejidos de bebés creados y sacrificados par tal fin o abortados.  Al vacunarnos... ¿Nos volvemos responsables de ésto? ¿Promovemos la muerte de más pequeños en aras de la salud mundial?  Además la efectividad de las vacunas no ha sido comprobada y hasta se ha llegado a considerar la necesidad de aplicar refuerzos a los ya vacunados al empezar a recibir enfermos de COVID que ya estaban vacunados.  ¿Estamos obligados a vacunarnos? Qué recomienda la Iglesia?  También los efectos secundarios de la vacuna ya empiezan a clarificar que la aplicación de la vacuna no es inocua. Y por otra parte no está comprobado que el estar vacunado garantice que la persona no transmita el virus (1)... Entonces.. ¿ Es inmoral no vacunarse? ¿Va contra nuestra convicción espiritual de apoyar el bien de todos? Como d

Living While Dying: Thomas, Koppel, Morrie & Mitchell

  I've been consumed with death lately.  Not intentionally, mind you, but it just sort of happened.   It started with a conversation with my husband about whether or not we will recognize our loved ones in heaven (see this VIDEO for help with that question.) Then I went down a rabbit hole as I read about Jack Thomas .  Jack was the first person to write about * Morrie Schwartz back in 1995, before Morrie was interviewed by Ted Koppel and immortalized by Mitch Albom in print ("Tuesdays with Morrie"). Then, I watched a video about former Congressman Paul Mitchell who died recently, leaving a final interview to be aired after his death (with Jake Tapper of CNN.) So, like I said, none of this was intentional, but it sure has been an interesting journey.  I encourage you to click on the links I have provided, but be warned, the one with Ted Koppel is good, but a bit challenging, as it is a series of video interviews with Morrie as he went through the process of dying. 

Purgatory

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Inspired by Chocolate?

I opened a little piece of chocolate the other day--as I so often do!--and read the inspiration on the wrapper.  It said, "Don't talk about it, just be about it." It reminded me of the passage I had just read in the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 23.  Talking to the people about the Scribes and Pharisees, Jesus said:  " do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example. For they preach but they do not practice." You could draw the conclusion that Jesus placed a high priority on "being about it."  Most of us probably have good intentions.  Most of us probably have a pretty good understanding of what Jesus taught. Can we also say that most of us are about the "doing" part? What do you think?  What does Jesus want us to "practice?" Janet Cassidy janetcassidy.blogspot.com (If you haven't done so already, will you kindly subscribe to my blog?  If you like it, also please post it on your social med

Secondary Causes: Both/And, not Either/Or

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How the Grand Canyon was formed depends on who's talking. Scientists say it's what happened as a river cut through the Colorado Plateau. Since I think scientists are right about the Colorado River's role in making that mile-deep gulch, and think that both are part of God's creation, maybe an explanation is in order. To begin with, I'm a Christian and a Catholic, so I must believe that God made and makes everything. Which doesn't mean I see God as a supercharged Paul Bunyan. More at A Catholic Citizen in America .

A not-so-holy response

Have you ever had a co-worker praised while your contribution was ignored?  Or maybe a sibling showered with praise while your achievements were met with silence? How did it make you feel? The holy response, of course, would be your appreciation that they were acknowledged. The not-so-holy response (which I expect is more common among us mere mortals) we could call jealousy, but I think it actually might run in a different direction.   It's not that we are necessarily jealous of the person getting honored, or that we are unhappy that they are appreciated, but its more likely that we just wish it were us. Hear me out. In her prayer known as Deliver me, O Jesus , Mother (Saint) Teresa identifies desires we need to be freed from, and fears that can paralyze us. In the first part about the desires, she says: "Deliver me, O Jesus, from the desire of being praised."  So why did Mother Teresa think these desires were not good for us and that we need to be delivered fro