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Showing posts from July, 2017

Dealing With Cystic Fibrosis

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A "Benefit for Teri (Sanden) Starkey" notice was on the Our Lady of Angels bulletin board this Sunday.

The event was Saturday, July 29, and in Litchfield; a town south and a bit east of here, about an hour and half away.

I saw the notice a day late to do anything by Saturday, but figure I could pass along what I learned.

She has cystic fibrosis, and needs new lungs. The clinic in her area wouldn't or couldn't do the procedure.

The good news is that an outfit in North Carolina will. However, getting a chance to keep her alive means raising money to move her, her two kids, and husband, to North Carolina. That's something like a thousand miles away.

My guess is that the family has above-average medical expenses, too....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Saint Ignatius of Loyola's Feast Day - A Soldier for Christ

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Today we celebrate the feast of Saint Ignatius of Loyola. Born in 1491, in Azpeitia, Spain, Ignatius grew up dreaming of becoming a knight in the Spanish army. With an affinity for the military, its structure and leadership, Ignatius followed through on his dream. However, in a battle against the French in 1521, Ignatius was struck by a cannon ball – between his legs! Ouch!

Saint Ignatius – Soldier for Christ
While recuperating, over an extended period, he grew restless. Therefore, to combat the boredom, the hospital staff brought him the only books they had available to read. One book was about Christ, and another about the saints. In reading these books, Ignatius recognized the obedience to Christ and the perfection of the saints as similar to the attributes of dedicated army personnel. The inspiration of Christ and the saints created... Read more...

Infallible Pope?

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Infallibility?

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The "most disturbing image" gag in Wiley Miller's Non Sequitur comic depends on a fairly common misunderstanding of Catholic belief. The important word in that sentence is misunderstanding. Papal infallibility doesn't mean that.

I'm none too pleased that Catholic beliefs are misunderstood by non-Catholics: and by some Catholics. But I can't fault a cartoonist for poking fun at cultural quirks I see as silly. Not reasonably.

Besides, strips featuring the Church of Danae's "so-called holy scriptures" have given me pretty good illustrations of what I don't believe....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Bells, Bells, Bells...

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Morning in the monastery:  it starts with a bell.  

Come to think of it, most activities in the monastery start with a bell.  Time to rise:  the bell rings.  Time to pray, eat, study, work, have recreation: the bell rings. Anyone who has spent time in a monastery knows the bell as at least a background.  

Monastics look upon it as the voice of God.

In the dark silence of our monastery morning, the bell calls.  It may not be all that welcome.  It shatters our darkness and our dreams.  If we don't live in a physical monastery, our bell might be a baby's cry.  Or the insistent bleep of an alarm clock.  And oh, our slumber has been so comfortable.  Go away, we think as we slap at the snooze button; give me just a few more minutes.  Let me have time with this dream.....(continue reading)

As the Morning Rising: Fatima - a personal reflection

As the Morning Rising: Fatima - a personal reflection: On entering the Basilica of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary at Fatima I found myself overcome with emotion. Having discovered ...

CONTRACEPTION OR NATURAL FAMILY PLANNING:TWO ROADS WITH OPPOSITE DESTINATIONS (SPANISH) ANTICONCEPCIÓN O PLANIFICACIÓN NATURAL:DOS CAMINOS QUE NO LLEVAN AL MISMO LUGAR

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The Epic Disappointments of Jane the Virgin

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I never wanted to write this post. What I wanted was to finish watching season 3 of “Jane the Virgin” on Netflix and go out on the inevitable cliffhanger, and at least be able to recommend the show with some reservations. Instead, I stopped after the 18th episode of the season and said enough is enough.
Actually, it is apparently NFP awareness week right now and a lot of Catholic bloggers are writing on the subject. So what better time to write about a show that epically fails at almost every of its frequent and rich opportunities to showcase Catholic sexual morality?... Continue Reading

Fukushima, Six Years Later

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The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster could have been much worse. But it may have been avoidable.

Meltdowns and non-nuclear explosions at the power plant didn't directly kill anyone.

More than 40 patients who were evacuated from a nearby hospital died later. They had been critically ill. Getting rushed away from a nuclear incident in progress wouldn't have been good for their health.

Three former power company executives now face criminal charges.

The earthquake, tsunami, and meltdowns in 2011 killed nearly 16,000 folks and left many others homeless. Many folks still can't return to their homes. Quakes happen. This one was nobody's fault.

What happened in Fukushima is another matter. I'll be looking at the disaster, what's happened since, and why questioning authority can be a good idea.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

'It is the Eucharist, the Christ who died and is risen, that gives us life.' Sunday Reflections, 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A

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Religious pendant showing Christ blessing, framed with rubies and pearls [Wikipedia]

The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls; on finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it (Matthew 13:45).

For Readings and Reflections for the 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A, click on the following:
Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A

Chaldean Catholic Cathedral of Our Lady of Sorrows, Baghdad, Iraq [Wikipedia]
In Sunday Reflections for this Sunday three years ago I highlighted the situation of Christians in Iraq and Syria and included a statement by Patriarch Louis Raphael I of the Chaldean Catholic Church dated 17 July 2014. Below is a video of the Patriarch reopening a Catholic Church in Tel Kaif (Tel Keppe), about 12 kms north of Mosul, in January of this year. This area is historically the centre of the Chaldean Catholic community in Iraq. Please pray for all of the Christians of Iraq and Syria, all of them Arabs whose anc…

What Kind of Pearls Do You Search For?

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As a child, I wore necklaces made of pop beads, which resembled pearls but were plastic.  Jesus compared the kingdom of God to a real pearl—so valuable that a man trades everything he owns to possess it. This is an apt comparison. Pearls were expensive. Most of them came from the Persian Gulf, where men risked their lives to collect them from oyster beds. A diver, nose clipped closed with turtle shell and ears plugged with wax, sank to the bottom, weighted with a stone. Using fingers protected by leather caps, he filled a basket and then tugged on a rope to signal he was ready to be pulled up. Pearling was the chief industry of the United Arab Emirates until the Japanese invented cultured pearls.  Click to continue

As the Morning Rising: What is a parish?

As the Morning Rising: What is a parish?: What is a parish but a tall and noble tree that flourishes regardless of season, that breathes deep, that sends out shoots, that allows shel...

Prenatal Memories and Ancient Hebrew Wisdom

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A young child, who knows enough words to communicate, can describe their prenatal memories and their birth from their own unique perspective, not as an observer. Most of my nine children were able to verbalize their womb and birth experiences if my husband and I posed questions before they were three and a half or four years old because most children can no longer remember after that age. Although my claims about prenatal memories might strike many modern readers as fanciful stories exaggerated by a proud mother, the truth is even the ancient Hebrews understood that prenatal infants were capable of interacting, not only with people but with God Himself. Jeremiah 1:5 tells us, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,/ before you were born I dedicated you.” The preverbal, prenatal Jeremiah sensed the voice of God and was capable of receiving a call and appointment to be a prophet. Psalm 139 also describes a relationship between the Holy Spirit and an unborn baby. “You formed my inm…

ABC's Lost: The Good, the Bad, and the Super Confusing

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I never watched any of ABC's popular drama “Lost” when it was still airing weekly, but I definitely remember the buzz and excitement over the last couple seasons. I especially remember hearing people discuss and speculate on what the last season meant, on whether the characters were actually in purgatory or something like it.
Years later, when we finally started watching it on Netflix, I began to understand what all the buzz was about... Continue Reading

As the Morning Rising: The visible and hidden works of God

As the Morning Rising: The visible and hidden works of God: The visible and hidden works of God. It looked so still and motionless on the surface, like nothing was happening. I was stand...

Saint Magnus: The Last Viking, by Susan Peek - Book Review

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I must admit that I had never heard of Saint Magnus, until I read Saint Magnus: The Last Viking, by Susan Peek. With this action-packed novel, set around 1,000 A.D., we find a dual hierarchy established on the deathbed of the monarch Thorfinn. Rather than leaving his throne to his eldest son, he creates a dual hierarchy, where both of his sons, Erland and Paal, are to rule over the Orkney homeland together. Tensions rise as the brother’s descendants seethe in animosity for each other. Hakon, the son of Paal is a troublemaker; whereas Aerling, the son of Erland, is hot-tempered. Hakon and Aerling are competitive, and do not wish to rule jointly, as their fathers successfully did. However, before that can happen, circumstances come to pass that make Hakon vow revenge.

From this point, early within the book, the story becomes mesmerizing. What will Hakon do to get revenge? How will Aerling respond? And what role will Magnus play, given that Magnus becomes the protagonist of this novel?

R…

As the Morning Rising: Under the Eucalyptus Tree

As the Morning Rising: Under the Eucalyptus Tree: It was the eve of the feast day of St James. Two friends and I were chatting, enjoying the weather, and catching up on news. We were ...

The View of Self That Does Not Lead to Pride

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Especially as Catholics, many of us have been taught not to think too highly of ourselves or we will fall into pride. I myself have fallen into spiritual pride.


You see, when I first started following Jesus at the age of 19, I ran way ahead of him. A lot of what I was doing however ended up being in my own effort and strength. This led to spiritual pride. Continue Reading @ Beautifulthorns>

Interview with my Brain

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Ha !!! THIS ONE WILL MAKE YOU THINK. I THINK ... JUST CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT

A Non-Sci-Fi Nerd's Perspective on Rogue One

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The most recent Star Wars movie, Rogue One, is already on Netflix streaming. My husband is a fairly big fan of sci-fi in general and Star Wars in particular. He had already seen the movie when it was in theaters, but he was excited to watch it again, with me.
Sometimes when I watch action, or especially sci-fi, movies with him, I have a hard time staying interested and following along. Don't get me wrong, there are times I am quite entertained. But occasionally, it's a struggle. When I watched the first six Star Wars movies with him years ago, I was as least mildly entertained (more with the original three than the prequels...), so I had hopes that this latest movie would keep my interest... Continue Reading

Fashioned

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Adam and the Animals

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I think pursuing knowledge and truth is a good idea. That's probably why Tennyson's "Ulysses" is one of my favorite poems.

It's the source of my Google Plus tagline: "To follow knowledge like a sinking star, Beyond the utmost bound of human thought." (March 26, 2017)

I'll be talking about science, faith, and why I see no problem with admiring God's work. Also the Flat Earth Society's origin, and my own silly notion: a doughnut-shaped Earth.

But first, an excerpt from Apollodorus that reminded me of the pottery metaphor in Genesis 2:7:
"...Prometheus moulded men out of water and earth and gave them also fire...." (Apollodorus, The Library, Book 1, 1.7.1; via The Theoi Classical Texts Library) Bible translations I grew up with often called the material in Genesis 2:7 "clay." The Hebrew the word is אדמה, adamah/adama. It means ground, land, or earth — dirt.

I use the The New American Bible these days, where Genesis 2:7 says…

As the Morning Rising: Wheat

As the Morning Rising: Wheat: Wheat Today I will be the grain That will fall to the ground And be the cause of new growth. A shoot will rise from dark...

Old Henry's Sin

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How to Find Lost Things and St. Anthony's Help

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A picture appeared on Facebook showing St. Anthony of Padua saying “Seriously? You lost them again?” As the patron of lost things, this saint is possibly the one most prayed to other than our Blessed Mother. How did he acquire this reputation? According to a legend, St. Anthony, as the novice director for the Franciscans, taught the novices about the psalms. His book of psalms was marked with his class notes. One day a novice decided to leave the community and took with him St. Anthony’s psalter. Naturally, St. Anthony was distressed and prayed for the return of the novice and his valuable book.  The novice came back, repentant, and returned the psalter. Click to continue

Using Vaccines Wisely

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Using drones to deliver vaccines seems reasonable for places like Vanuatu.

But vaccines won't help if folks don't know how to use them correctly, or can't.

Others avoid vaccines because they believe warnings from dubious sources.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

JESUS MARY AND JOSEPH

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As the Morning Rising: The Listener

As the Morning Rising: The Listener: The Listener God's ear is the wall, the bush, the flower or tree God's ear is close to you and me He listens for...

' . . . but gather the wheat into my barn.' Sunday Reflections, 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A

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Sheaves of Wheat, Van Gogh [Web Gallery of Art]
For Readings and Reflections for the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A,  click on the following: Sixteenth  Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A The HarvestÉmile Bernard [Web Gallery of Art] When our weeping’s over, He will bid us welcome, We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves. An old Protestant hymn from the USA,Bringing in the Sheaves, performed in Cape Town (Kapstadt), South Africa.
 The hymn is based on Psalm 126 [125]:6. They go out, they go out, full of tears,  carrying seed for the sowing;  they come back, they come back, full of song,  carrying their sheaves.

Preachers of the Word within the world (Spanish) Apóstoles de la verdad en el mundo

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Ante ti, Señor, unavez más.
Me gusta recordar esas palabras que quedaron marcadas como con fuego en tus apóstoles, en tus amigos, cuando aquí en la Tierra eras su Maestro, su Señor.
Les ibas enseñando poco a poco tu Doctrina, a veces les reprendías como buen padre a sus hijos, otras con parábolas poniendo ejemplos y siempre lleno de amor y paciencia.
Hoy medito en lo que en tu despedida dijiste. ¿ Cuál podía ser tu último mensaje, un instante antes de elevarte y ocultarte en una nube en tu Ascensión a la Casa del Padre? Estas fueron tus últimaspalabra Jesús : -" Me ha sido dado todo el poder en el Cielo y en la Tierra. Id, pues, y haced discípulos a todas las gentes, bautizándolas en el nombre del Padre, y del Hijo y del Espíritu Santo y enseñándolas a guardar todo lo que os he mandado. Y sabedque yo estoy con vosotros todos los días hasta el fin del mundo." Mt. 28,18-20.

Chasing Liberty, by Theresa Linden – Finding Authentic Freedom

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Chasing Liberty, by Theresa Linden, is the first in a dystopian trilogy of books centered around a young woman. Liberty resides in futuristic Aldonia; a city where authentic freedom, familial love and objective truth have been squashed by government forces aimed at controlling the population. Without the freedom to grow up in a family with a mother and father, Liberty tries to make her own way in a society that allows little choice.

As Liberty approaches adulthood, she is told by the government what her vocation will be: that of breeder. Apparently, she has exquisite genes and intelligence; so great, that the government decided that she would spend her fertile years giving birth to as many children as possible, via in vitro fertilization. She would never know if the children she carried were her own. In addition, she would be the nanny for groups of them for the first five years of their lives. Once the children reach the age of five, they relocate to another facility (like orphans) f…

So, HOW Do We Live in the Love of Christ?

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To the casual observer, I appear to be a devoted Catholic mother who has lived a sacrificial life worthy of a modern saint. Little do people realize that although I did pour out my life struggling to raise nine kids on a small farm with little disposable income, I actually missed the core of Christ’s message; I tried too hard to be a perfect Christian rather than allowing myself to be loved by God.

The stress of my lifestyle brought me low, low enough to finally realize I was not as Christian as I had once supposed. In fact, I realized I was actually a verified Pharisee, striving to please God. When I confessed this devastating insight about fifteen years ago, the priest told me he had never heard a better confession but I had missed the next step after my brutal self-examination, the most important step for a disciple of Jesus. I was refusing to accept the forgiveness and love of God.

continue reading

Netflix Original Movie "War Machine" is a Compelling but Strange Film

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I'll be the first to admit that I know very little when it comes things like modern warfare or the intricacies of the recent Middle Eastern conflicts that the U.S. has taken part in.

I'd like to say that it was the prospect of learning something new about what went on in Afghanistan that drew me to watch the Netflix Original movie War Machine. But I'll be honest, I was really just wondering why Brad Pitt was starring in a Netflix Original – isn't that only for the likes of Adam Sandler?...Continue Reading

The Life-Changing Marriage Advice That Really Works

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You know what gets my goat more than anything else in marriage?
When I expect something and receive zero follow-through from someone else.
I know that is the 100% most hypocritical thing I do, and 100% what I do wrong on a regular basis. I expect certain things from others, yet let them down in the exact same ways.

Honey, why don't you... take me on a date here? Buy me roses every week? Give me beautiful presents?
Well, when was the last time I left a note on his car windshield, paid for his vacation, bought him a nice mug or other gift? I expect so much, yet I'm apathetic in the same ways. But I can only see what *he* is doing wrong 95% of the time.

Someone (Namely, my counselor) recently told me that instead of fighting (when things don't go my way), instead I should affirm and encourage my husband. I know that for some of you, that's easy. It's obvious. You're lucky. #verylucky #moneyinthebank
For me, I have had to fight against negativity and my own big mouth for…

Beauty Tuesday Link Up

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Come help spread the beauty, truth, goodness, and joy of Our Lord.  Share your post on the link-up to spread a bit of light in this world!

Read more at Veils and Vocations.

Natural Law: What is It? What Role Does It Play? Inquiring Minds Want to Know.

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How is it that we innately always seem to know right from wrong, even when we freely choose to move in the direction of wrong? For example, how is it that I innately know that it is wrong to take a life of another? I don’t need to refer to the Fifth Commandment; nor do I need to have a civil law on the books to know that taking the life of another human being is just flat out wrong. The answer lies in God’s Natural Law, a law that is infused into the hearts of every man at birth.

Natural Law: What is it?
Natural law is the participation of man in the plan of God. It is the objective order established by God that determines the requirements for people to thrive and reach fulfillment, enabling man to ‘discern by reason the good and the evil, the truth and the lie.’1 God is all good. He wants only what is best for each of us. He has a plan and calls us to participate in His plan. God, as our Creator, established what is acceptable versus unacceptable behavior; what is good and what is ev…

Calling Us

13th Sunday in Ordinary Time, 2017

By Deacon Lawrence N. Kaas July 2, 2017

What a week this has been, a Deacons Retreat at the Abbey of the Hills, resulting in thoughts, reflections, and stories to share....

...His theme for the weekend became known as old books. Besides the Bible, obviously an old book, he spoke extensively on G.K. Chesterton, C.S. Lewis, and a bit on Tolkien....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

"A Writer Who is Catholic"

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My #3 daughter has some of my qualities, and attitudes.

About four years back now, she vented frustration about writers, faith, and assumptions. She wasn't nearly as loud as I've often been during 'vents.'

When folks learned she's a writer, they'd often say something like 'oh, good: we need more Catholic writers.'

She'd say something like "I'm a writer who is Catholic, not a 'Catholic writer.'"

I know what she means. She isn't writing another 'lives of the Saints,' or book of prayers. She's a Catholic who writes....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

As the Morning Rising: Was that the man who carried the Cross?

As the Morning Rising: Was that the man who carried the Cross?: A well-loved parishioner recently passed away. I met a woman while out walking who was trying to put a face to the name. ' Was that...

Little Conversations

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Practice Makes Prefect in Life and Prayer

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Although we do not like to admit it, even to ourselves, we still believe that prayer  happens suddenly, or never happens at all. We kid ourselves that saints are born, or created by an arbitrary decision of God who every now and then suddenly decides to top up humanity’s quota. This is a comforting idea that we harbour at the back of our minds because it absolves us from any serious effort to live in union with God. The predicament of the alcoholic is but a dramatic ‘blown-up picture of all of us. The fact that our perilous plight is not so obviously dramatic is a mixed blessing. If it were, it would at least force us without undue delay to see ourselves stripped naked of all falsity and pretension, to face stark reality. Then we might come to a moment of decision that we might otherwise cowardly evade, drifting into a life of superficiality, merely existing on the surface of human experience. Often when an alcoholic hits ‘rock bottom’, they become serious about changing their lives …

What Makes Netflix Original "The Crown" So Good?

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When I was about 32 weeks pregnant with my now 7-month old son, my husband and I had just finished the show we'd been watching nightly on Netflix and needed something new to try. This was right as the antsy baby inside me was continually tricking me with pre-term contractions. Needless to say, I needed a distraction.

Kind of on a whim, we started the Netflix original historical drama “The Crown,” a biopic about a young Queen Elizabeth II of England. I'd seen the trailer and was intrigued myself, though I wasn't sure if it would be too chick-flick-y for my husband to really get into. But we decided to give it a go... Continue Reading



FINALLY A Catholic Modesty Website That Makes Sense!

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I've been searching everywhere for information on Catholic Modesty that didn't just incorporate the opinions and feelings of the writer involved, but that actually had to do with Catholic Teaching and quotes from Saints, Doctors of the Church, and proofs.  I FOUND IT!

www.Catholic-Modesty.com has literally everything one needs to inform themselves on Catholic Modesty. It looms from quotes from Saints, Doctors and Fathers of the Church, Papal Documents (including infallible encyclicals), helpful videos, tips and tricks, common sense answers to the crazy questions (for example is it immodest to wear makeup and so on!) and so much more! But the biggest thing that attracted me to this particular website is the MIDDLE GROUND MINDSET. 

 This is from their "about the site":
"This website is dedicated to the promulgation and education of Catholic Modesty. Everything is connected to the Teachings of the Faith, and the learning of what is means to be “modest“, and all that f…

Climate Change, Attitudes

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I'll be talking about Earth's climate, China's pollution problems, and icebergs: including one the size of Delaware. The big berg broke off from Antarctica this week.

The recent G20 meeting was mostly about economics, not climate change; but that didn't deter the usual colorful protestors.

I'm not complaining about folks at the fancy-dress street party in Hamburg. If nothing else, they added a touch of human interest to an otherwise-dry international business meeting....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

'. . . and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold . . .' Sunday Reflections, 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A

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The Sower (November 1888, Arles) Vincent van Gogh [Web Gallery of Art] Listen! A sower went out to sow . . . For Readings and Reflections for the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A,  click on the following: Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A
Green Wheat Fields, Van Gogh [Web Gallery of Art] Other seeds fell on good soil . . . 
Wheatfield with Reaper at Sunrise, Van Gogh [Web Gallery of Art] . . . and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Let anyone with ears listen! (Matthew 13:1-9)

Mystical Realm

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Youtube video on the mystical realm.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JCoJW7byusI

As the Morning Rising: Open Letter to Archbishop Eamon Martin Primate of ...

As the Morning Rising: Open Letter to Archbishop Eamon Martin Primate of ...: Friends, here is my letter to Archbishop Eamon Martin, Primate of All Ireland  Any views expressed therein are entirely my own and writ...

Moral Behavior: Are We Losing Sight of Objective Truth?

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I am an adjunct professor of Theology, who specifically teaches a morality course at the undergraduate level. Given the recent shooting at a Republican baseball practice, and the ensuing remarks from Congressional representatives that “we are on one team,” I was encouraged by the willingness of both parties to place vitriol commentary into the history books; to reset, so to speak, and begin toning down the rhetoric. However strong this intention may be, the spirit is weak. It will take more than mere effort to be more civil to one another. There is an underlying concern that must be addressed to allow civility to flourish. As a society, we must face objective truth, together.

Objective Truth
The belief in objective truth seems to have taken a back seat to such erroneous concepts of morality as situation ethics, proportionalism and consequentialism. But before I get ahead of myself here, by diving too deep into these topics, let’s first define objective truth, as it is my greatest con…

Why Covenant Theology Matters (And Why Catholics *Should* Take Note)

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If  we hold fast to the confession of our faith, we will be outcasts.
In fact, if we're sell-outs, we're definitely doing something wrong.
We need to understand the *purpose* of faithfulness, or "empty" doctrine falls on our deaf ears and remains empty doctrine.

People won't go to Mass, and they don't go to Mass. Father Robert Barron has said that only 31% of American Catholics attend Mass every Sunday.  Faithfulness, as departing from the deadly sin of sloth, matters because I believe Heaven matters.

Right now, Christianity, as it is known in most modern, popular circles, is a dumbed down, watered down "love to all," with a vague notion of Jesus + a lot of false and horrible views on marriage, the Church, and authority...
Let's take marriage for starters.
Listen to the news. Pay attention to the lyrics in any popular song. Watch some of the new shows coming out on Netflix or Amazon Prime.

We're too bitter as a culture to value the purpose, nature,…

Jumpstarting Your Prayer Life

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This chapter (abridged) called Priming the Pumpfrom my book “Praying on Empty” was reprinted in a daily devotional . . .

Grant, O our God, that we may know you, love you, and rejoice in you; and if in this life we cannot do these things fully, grant that we may at the least progress in them from day to day, for Christ’s sake. Amen. ~ St. Anselm
My family used to spend weekends on land my father purchased in the country. Next to the house, Dad had dug a well that operated with a hand pump. Each week when we arrived, one of the first things he did was to pour a little water down the well. This “priming the pump” caused water to flow when we needed it. Similarly, there are “priming” acts you can try in order to fill your parched, empty soul and slake your thirst for God. (Remember, however, that your dryness might be a gift from God and out of your control.) Click to continue

Why Most of Us Are Scapegoats, Not Saintly Martyrs

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When we suffer in isolation for our own failings or act like a scapegoat who suffers as the result of others who sin against us, we like to think of ourselves as saintly martyrs, but our suffering is anything but holy and especially not redemptive.
 In fact, there is no act filled with more pride because we are in fact stealing Christ’s job. It takes humility to realize our miserable, self-inflicted suffering does not save anyone, least of all ourselves. The only way to become humble is to trust in God to save us because we realized our own efforts have failed.
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