25 April, 2011

Did Canada's economy stall out in February?

Sure hope not! Times are here dire in Mattawa with a sharp decline in the local population because people are leaving town to find work. Long periods of separation with couples living in different regions of the country is hard to sustain in the long run and the stresses upon families lives is becoming all too clear. We need some enterprise to move into the town to offer at least a chance at long term employment for people living in the area to replace at least some of the jobs lost in the collapse of the forestry industry. That's not likely to happen if economic factors are pointing to another period of stagflation in our immediate and near term future. The folks of the Ottawa Valley are a resilient lot, but it's hard to defy the law of economics that states it takes a rising tide to lift all ships... even for the most tenacious and deeply rooted of people.

CTV News | Did Canada's economy stall out in February?

'God particle' rumour quelled - Technology & Science - CBC News

Does the existence of Higgs boson threaten the 'need' for God? I need to read more on this subject!

'God particle' rumour quelled - Technology & Science - CBC News

Has Quest for the Elusive 'God Particle' Succeeded? - FoxNews.com

Has Quest for the Elusive 'God Particle' Succeeded? - FoxNews.com

Raw video: Tornado rips through St. Louis airport - The Globe and Mail

Raw video: Tornado rips through St. Louis airport - The Globe and Mail

24 April, 2011

A John Paul II Beatification Catechism - George Weigel - National Review Online

An answer from the man who knew Pope John Paul II better than just about anyone else... his biographer, George Weigel, to those who are condemning JPII's beatification. NOTE: A beatification is NOT a declaration of 'sainthood'. It is the first step in the process that can lead to that outcome.

A John Paul II Beatification Catechism - George Weigel - National Review Online

Happy Easter to all who visit this page!

HAPPY EASTER!
HE IS RISEN... HE IS RISEN INDEED!

23 April, 2011

Why bother believing?

A reflection written by Fr. Fred Dolan, the vicar of Opus Dei in Canada. Well worth the read.

Why bother believing?

A Holy Saturday meditation from ancient times. A great read for all believers!

The Lord's descent into hell
 
"What is happening? Today there is a great silence over the earth, a great silence, and stillness, a great silence because the King sleeps; the earth was in terror and was still, because God slept in the flesh and raised up those who were sleeping from the ages. God has died in the flesh, and the underworld has trembled.

Truly he goes to seek out our first parent like a lost sheep; he wishes to visit those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death. He goes to free the prisoner Adam and his fellow-prisoner Eve from their pains, he who is God, and Adam's son.

The Lord goes in to them holding his victorious weapon, his cross. When Adam, the first created man, sees him, he strikes his breast in terror and calls out to all: 'My Lord be with you all.' And Christ in reply says to Adam: ‘And with your spirit.’ And grasping his hand he raises him up, saying: ‘Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light.

‘I am your God, who for your sake became your son, who for you and your descendants now speak and command with authority those in prison: Come forth, and those in darkness: Have light, and those who sleep: Rise.

‘I command you: Awake, sleeper, I have not made you to be held a prisoner in the underworld. Arise from the dead; I am the life of the dead. Arise, O man, work of my hands, arise, you who were fashioned in my image. Rise, let us go hence; for you in me and I in you, together we are one undivided person.

‘For you, I your God became your son; for you, I the Master took on your form; that of slave; for you, I who am above the heavens came on earth and under the earth; for you, man, I became as a man without help, free among the dead; for you, who left a garden, I was handed over to Jews from a garden and crucified in a garden.

‘Look at the spittle on my face, which I received because of you, in order to restore you to that first divine inbreathing at creation. See the blows on my cheeks, which I accepted in order to refashion your distorted form to my own image.

'See the scourging of my back, which I accepted in order to disperse the load of your sins which was laid upon your back. See my hands nailed to the tree for a good purpose, for you, who stretched out your hand to the tree for an evil one.

`I slept on the cross and a sword pierced my side, for you, who slept in paradise and brought forth Eve from your side. My side healed the pain of your side; my sleep will release you from your sleep in Hades; my sword has checked the sword which was turned against you.

‘But arise, let us go hence. The enemy brought you out of the land of paradise; I will reinstate you, no longer in paradise, but on the throne of heaven. I denied you the tree of life, which was a figure, but now I myself am united to you, I who am life. I posted the cherubim to guard you as they would slaves; now I make the cherubim worship you as they would God.

"The cherubim throne has been prepared, the bearers are ready and waiting, the bridal chamber is in order, the food is provided, the everlasting houses and rooms are in readiness; the treasures of good things have been opened; the kingdom of heaven has been prepared before the ages."

A reading from an ancient homily for Holy Saturday

Harper pledges to create watchdog office for global religious freedom - The Globe and Mail

Harper pledges to create watchdog office for global religious freedom - The Globe and Mail

Mysterium Paschale – Holy Saturday | The American Catholic

Mysterium Paschale – Holy Saturday | The American Catholic

14 Do s and Don ts for Blog Commenting | Blogs | NCRegister.com

Charles Lewis, religion editor of the Holy Post blog recently closed down the comment function of the blog because of a plethora of inappropriate comments. Perhaps he should post this article from the NC Register for all his readers and then pray that at least the majority of these rules might be respected. At the very least, this post is a reminder that just because people can post anonymous comments on line does not mean that they can violate the rules of civil discourse.

Since I moderate comments on this blog, this is not too much of an issue. It permits me to keep 'trolls' off the blog... although they do try. (eh, Johnny?) 

14 Do s and Don ts for Blog Commenting | Blogs | NCRegister.com

21 April, 2011

How the leaders view religion and politics - The Globe and Mail

How the leaders view religion and politics - The Globe and Mail

Baby Joseph Breathes on His Own, Returns Safe to Ontario Home - ABC News

Baby Joseph Breathes on His Own, Returns Safe to Ontario Home - ABC News

The priest who changed the way we treat the mentally ill | CatholicHerald.co.uk

The priest who changed the way we treat the mentally ill | CatholicHerald.co.uk

Was Easter originally a pagan holiday? | Holy Post | National Post

Was Easter originally a pagan holiday? | Holy Post | National Post

This side of Eden

The latest column from Fr. Raymond DeSouza, dealing with the fact that the advance poll for the Canadian election falls on Good Friday.

This side of Eden

An Easter Question

Someone suggested I post the following question during these Holy Days of the Easter Triduum:


Who wiped the face of Jesus on the way to Golgotha?


Know the answer?

Is Earth in an Age of Great Earthquakes? | LiveScience

Earthquakes & Megaquakes | Japan Earthquake & Tsunami, Natural Disasters | Is Earth in an Age of Great Earthquakes? | LiveScience

Video contest goes viral, causes huge confession turnout :: EWTN News

Video contest goes viral, causes huge confession turnout :: EWTN News

Just War Doctrine Question | Blogs | NCRegister.com

Just War Doctrine Question | Blogs | NCRegister.com

20 April, 2011

7 questions on the history of Easter

BBC News - 7 questions on the history of Easter

Companions On the Road to Easter | First Things

Here's the latest offering from my friend, George Weigel. He writes about his current project (which he is putting together with his son Stephen - an outstanding photographer) which is to be published in various formats within the next year or two.

Companions On the Road to Easter | First Things

The Quick 10: 10 Things You Didn’t Know Had Names

"Petrichor"... "zarf"..."glabella"  This is a great article to read if you like playing Scrabble!! 

mental_floss Blog » The Quick 10: 10 Things You Didn’t Know Had Names

Church ad warns motorists to pray before crossing bridge - CTV News

I thought we lived in a land where Church and State were separate. Now we have the Church involved in a Quebec infrastructure project?  (grin) 

Church ad warns motorists to pray before crossing bridge - CTV News

'There's Something About the Resurrection That Puts Everything Else in Perspective' | Daily News | NCRegister.com

'There's Something About the Resurrection That Puts Everything Else in Perspective' | Daily News | NCRegister.com

The Wackiest Holy Week Evah? | Blogs | NCRegister.com

The Wackiest Holy Week Evah? | Blogs | NCRegister.com

Dissenting priest goes to war against Archbishop Prendergast over D&P

Too bad the 'good Father' didn't remember his vow of obedience and RESPECT to the Bishops! It will be interesting to see if any consequences come to him for his outspokenness.  It seems that in Quebec it's OK to attack the Church from the left... just don't try doing it in the name of orthodoxy!

Socon or Bust » Blog Archive » Dissenting priest goes to war against Archbishop Prendergast over D&P

18 April, 2011

What the Internet has done to religion | Holy Post | National Post

What the Internet has done to religion | Holy Post | National Post

Can U.S. fix its fiscal mess as Canada did in the 1990s? - The Globe and Mail

Can U.S. fix its fiscal mess as Canada did in the 1990s? - The Globe and Mail

Long-serving employee under investigation for displaying palm cross in van | Christian Concern

Long-serving employee under investigation for displaying palm cross in van | Christian Concern

Neutrons could test Newton's gravity and string theory

Lively District Secondary School
Mr. Tom Corrigan was my Physics teacher in high school. He was one of a few teachers during that phase of my life who planted within me a life-long interest in a subject... a gift I will always be grateful to him for. Even though I didn't choose that discipline as a career (never good enough at the math) I'm always on the search for any articles from the field. Science texts also have always figured prominently among my reading materials throughout the years.


As dedicated as I am to serve and worship the God who created all that exists, I've had a concomitant zeal for learning how creation works. Rather than serving to diminish my belief in a super-natural creator, I've found the laws and patterns that exist within creation a wondrous testimony to the exquisite beauty of his handiwork. 


If you share this passion, here are a few other articles on this same subject from the past couple of years. Enjoy!




http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8081058.stm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8570836.stm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8363934.stm

BBC News - Neutrons could test Newton's gravity and string theory

A little levity for a Monday morning

See What the End Shall Be – A Meditation on the Gospel of Passion Sunday | Archdiocese of Washington

See What the End Shall Be – A Meditation on the Gospel of Passion Sunday | Archdiocese of Washington

Controversial proposal would diagnose grief a mental disorder

This is a ridiculous proposal.

Grief is the emotional and psychological equivalent to the Measles. It makes you feel miserable, but it's rarely fatal. With the application of  support from family, friends (and if necessary from professionals) it can even become an experience that helps us to grow and mature both individually and as a society.

Death is a universal human experience. Everyone who lives into adulthood will lose people close to them; family, friends, acquaintances. To recast the experience of grief as a mental illness will only serve to deepen our current societal difficulties in dealing with death. We live in a society that strives to deny this reality. We've created an entire industry to separate families from the intimate experience of waking and burying the dead. Where once family members died and were waked in their own home, we now have transferred these events into hospitals and funeral homes. We spend billions on an endless variety of cosmetics, medical procedures and pharmaceuticals to help us maintain the illusion of youth. Further facilitating this vanity by re-defining grief from a universal experience into something that requires medication is a BIG mistake.  Reality needs to be addressed 'head-on', especially when it is something that is so common an occurrence as grief and loss.

What the Internet has done to religion | Holy Post | National Post

What the Internet has done to religion | Holy Post | National Post

14 April, 2011

Kresta In The Afternoon: SNAP Psychiatrist Sent to Prison

Kresta In The Afternoon: SNAP Psychiatrist Sent to Prison

Surrogate who kept baby gets $785 a month from would-be parents - The Globe and Mail

Surrogate who kept baby gets $785 a month from would-be parents - The Globe and Mail

Rome's station churches revive ancient tradition

CW56 - World News - Rome's station churches revive ancient tradition

A note of dissonance in Richard Dawkins’ atheistic song | Holy Post | National Post

A note of dissonance in Richard Dawkins’ atheistic song | Holy Post | National Post

ATTENTION PRIESTS! How Well Are You Doing Your Job? | Blogs | NCRegister.com

ATTENTION PRIESTS! How Well Are You Doing Your Job? | Blogs | NCRegister.com

Most Catholics use birth control: study | Holy Post | National Post

Most Catholics use birth control: study | Holy Post | National Post

11 April, 2011

New Missal translation called ‘archaic, sexist’ | Holy Post | National Post

New Missal translation called ‘archaic, sexist’ | Holy Post | National Post

China: nearly 200 Christians arrested for public prayer

Catholic Culture : Latest Headlines : China: nearly 200 Christians arrested for public prayer

Parenthood is bad for your health: study - The Globe and Mail

Parenthood is bad for your health: study - The Globe and Mail

Romney considers another run for U.S. presidency - The Globe and Mail


Gee... do you really think he'll run?? (sarcasm intended)

Romney considers another run for U.S. presidency - The Globe and Mail

An Improbable Alliance | Christianity Today | A Magazine of Evangelical Conviction

An Improbable Alliance | Christianity Today | A Magazine of Evangelical Conviction

Je me souvien: Is English Canada destined to follow Quebec's decline?

Working as I do within the beauty of the Ottawa Valley, I see many cars pass by from “la belle province” emblazoned with the phrase “je me souviens” imprinted on each license plate. These words are a testament to the desire of this francophone people to always “remember” the struggles of “la révolution tranquille” (the Quiet Revolution) which transformed the Quebec society into a modern secular state. Under  vigorous new secular leadership, and faced with a wholesale ecclesiastical retreat from public affairs, the francophone population of the past 50 years, seemingly all at once, turned a deaf ear to the voice of the Quebec Church within their culture. They've chosen instead to consider only the siren cry of the  secularist project and modern consumerism. The church's counsel is no longer welcome in the public square. This sudden shift rendered the Catholic Church  both impotent and irrelevant in the minds of the overwhelming majority of the Quebec population. In just one generation almost 400 years of Catholic tradition was scrubbed out of the public square.

The parallel to the situation within the English Canadian Catholic Church of today might be difficult to see. Then it was young academics and labour leaders such as Pierre Trudeau and Jean Marchand, educated in church run colleges, who led the drive towards the “modernization” of the French project within Quebec. Having drunk deeply from the chalice of philosophy and reason that they studied in catholic schools, they stepped forward as leaders who took unto themselves the responsibilities and services once offered through the offices of the Church. One by one, institutions were  seconded from the care of the church into the hands of the state on a permanent basis.

Perhaps like any parent who sees their child begin to make a name for themselves, the Bishops, religious and clergy of Quebec sat back in silence, marveling at the success of their efforts to create a genuine francophone corps of leaders who could ensure the survival of the French fact in North America. Alas, their  progeny  did not share the faith of their mothers and fathers.

With an amazing rapidity, the church found that the majority of the people had rejected the moral authority of the church to speak to the issues of the day, dooming the church to relegation on the sidelines for the foreseeable future. The most graphic illustration of this shift can be seen in church attendance from before and after the 'révolution': from a high of  80% or more in 1960's to approximately 5%-10% today. The Quebec society is also  advanced in implementing a modern secular agenda: legalization of same-sex marriages, abortion on demand, and the stripping of religion from the public square.

This same process is happening again, only this time it is not a societal debate about the virtues of secularism or the role of Catholic institutions. Nor is it as it was in Quebec, an expression of a collective, pent up anger in the face of centuries of ecclesiastical control of culture and daily life. Rather, the moral suasion of the church is being rapidly eroded by the litany of sex abuse scandals that today confronts the Catholic Church. The unwillingness of church leaders to engage  effectively  in the societal debate that has erupted in the wake of these scandals  seems destined to ensure that history will repeat itself in English Canada. English Bishops seem to be following  the same tactics and strategies that failed so spectacularly not so long ago in Quebec.

There have been exceptions. Archbishop Anthony Mancini (Halifax) addressed this issue forcefully with an emotionally charged letter to Catholics in his Diocese in the wake of the 2009 Lahey pornography scandal. Others sometimes use the levers afforded them within both modern and traditional media forums  to offer the Catholic voice on key questions of the day. When called upon, Bishop Fred Henry (Calgary) has used these media to remarkable success in offering Episcopal instruction and teaching to his diocese and beyond. His clear and faithful writings on the issues facing the Canadian Church are mirrored today south of the border by Bishops like +Charles Chaput (Denver) and +Tim Dolan (NY) who have demonstrated an impressive mastery of the print (Chaput) and digital media (Dolan's recent 60 Minutes interview was a tour de force). Archbishops +Prendergast (Ottawa), +Collins (Toronto) and +Smith (Edmonton) among others also offer hope that the 'Catholic proposition' will be effectively presented in Canada from coast to coast for years to come. Alas there are too many gaps in their ranks and too few voices to  confront  those who are relentlessly attacking the church.

Too often today in Canada, episcopal teaching is relegated to theological pronouncements issued by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), speaking as it does  as the Bishops’ collective voice, teachings that are almost incomprehensible to a society which no longer understands religious language and imagery. I am reminded of wisdom well expressed by a couple of posters that were popular in the 70’s: “A Camel is a horse designed by a committee”, and, “God so loved the world that he did not send a committee”.   It is not a matter of desire that so many bishops are failing to communicate/teach their charges. To a man they genuinely want to fulfill their vocational calling as leaders, teachers and pastors. It is a matter of their methods not being effective in accomplishing that goal. By ceding to the CCCB the sole authoritative 'national voice' in explaining the Church's beliefs, the Bishops are open to the accusation by some Catholics of “passing the buck”; of not fulfilling their obligations to preach, teach and protect the faithful. Seemingly afraid to stand out from amongst their brothers, some Bishops have rendered themselves ineffective in guiding the faithful through  today's difficult waters.

The Bishops of English speaking Canada should consider the experience of their Quebec brethren, lest “je me souviens” become a lament of the English Catholic Church as well,squandering  the work and witness of generations past. Canadian Catholics need much more from all of today's religious leaders. It is time for Canadian clergy of all ranks to find within themselves whatever is needed to  engage forcefully in the questions of the day. The must us every lever at their disposal to defend the faith before all we have left of a once vibrant Church is memories.

Kindling favour with an Internet gadget I actually like | Afterword | National Post

My Kindle is my favorite electronic toy. I use it everyday to read everything from the Bible and biographies to 'who done it?' to 'how does it work?' books of science, philosophy and theology. Not only are ebooks more convenient to purchase, but they have the added benefit of being much cheaper than their print editions. Given the substantial economies of savings with the elimination of the production costs associated with having to publish on paper, shipping and handling costs, (not to mention the fact that bookstores will become superfluous if ebooks become the norm) it is understandable that cost savings would be expected by the consumer.


I've taken it everywhere: on fishing trips into the bush or 8 - 10 days (without exhausting a fully charged battery even though I read 8-12 hrs a day) and visits to the doctors office (great way to kill time waiting). Unlike ipads and smart phones, it is not 'backlit' and is no harder on the eyes than a paper edition - a common problem with any LCD screen. eInk doesn't fatigue the eyes and can be read in bright sun or with normal reading light. For me, it's a 'Win-Win' scenario... the one electronic device I would never want to be without.

Kindling favour with an Internet gadget I actually like | Afterword | National Post

North Korea Uncovered - Google Sightseeing

North Korea Uncovered - Google Sightseeing

09 April, 2011

Life and liturgies in north west Quebec!

Fr. Michael Smith, a brother priest of the Diocese of Pembroke and my 'next door neighbor', even though he is an hours drive away on the other side of the Ottawa River. He posted this morning that there was a commotion during one of his masses. When the mass came to an end and he inquired about the source of agitation, he was told that a groundhog had wondered in the door and decided to partake in the liturgy, much to the consternation of the denizen's of those precious pews closest to the exit. He mused that there was probably a joke in there someplace and someone on Facebook gave it a shot.


A groundhog walks into a church on Ash Wednesday. "How long until Easter, Father?" he asks the Priest. "After six weeks of Lent," says the Priest. "And if you had seen your shadow?" asks the groundhog.
It reminded me of the last mass I celebrated as the assistant at our Diocesan cathedral. A bat had awoken in the dead of winter and made his way into the church during the last mass of the weekend. After a number of shrieks and swings, somebody finally connected with the poor bat, knocking him to the ground. With an obviously broken wing, he tried to drag himself along the central aisle deeper and deeper into the Church. As a usher moved to corral the poor critter and give it a quick end outside, I exclaimed in an attempt to bring calm to the situation (and to keep this one particular lady from trying to stomp on the bat so hard that its form would have been imprinted on the rug forever)...


"Be kind and leave the poor bat alone! He's only trying to get into Church because here he believes can he fly again on a wing and a prayer!"

The Lessons of human suffering

Viktor Frankl, M.D. Ph.D, in his seminal work, 'Man's Search for Meaning' shines a light onto the role of human suffering as a path to discover the meaning of anyone's life. He was certainly  qualified to write on the field as he wrote the book soon after being liberated from a WWII German concentration camp. As well as being a Holocaust survivor, he was the founder of logotherapy, which is a form of Existential Analysis, the "Third Viennese School of Psychotherapy".


His best-selling book, chronicles his experiences as a concentration camp inmate and describes his psychotherapeutic method of finding meaning in all forms of existence, even the most sordid ones, and thus a reason to continue living. Frankl was one of the key figures in existential therapy and a prominent source of inspiration for humanistic psychologists. He wrote: “If there is a meaning in life at all, then there must be a meaning in suffering. Suffering is an ineradicable part of life, even as fate and death.” Frankl goes on to say that, “without suffering and death human life cannot be complete.”


During the season of Lent, as Christians prepare for the Holy celebrations of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Christ, it is an appropriate time to reflect upon the role of suffering in their personal lives as well as within their faith communities. Frankl was not a Christian, but the meaning he found in suffering has spoken to million of all beliefs.


This was powerfully brought home to me at the recent celebration of a brother priest who burned to death in a house fire. He was a man who understood that life was difficult, and the manner of his passing proved it to be true in death too. Yet by reflecting upon the manner in which he willingly accepted his earthly sufferings without revealing its cost to others, the witness of his life and death strengthened and inspired  me (and many others) at his final liturgy.


As suffering is an integral part of the life of individuals, so too is it true for those institutions that bring believers together, the Church, the 'Bride of Christ'.


It’s certainly beyond dispute  that Churches are suffering in these times. Many polls show the decline in attendance at weekly religious liturgies. Christian values and virtues, previously  enshrined in civil law, are today eroded by the courts, guided only by the rubric of 'personal choice trumps common good'. This has become the Polaris star by which today’s social morality is  oriented. Voices raised in alarm at these changes are now shouted down as being discriminatory and oppressive. To argue today for the Christian proposition is to be ridiculed and marginalized by a world that seems to have closed their ears to traditional Christian teaching and values. Even the most ardent opponent of the faith would have to admit that the tide is not running with traditional Churches these days.

The answer to understanding the place of suffering Frankl proposes is to be found in the power of love to overcome the consequences of man’s suffering, and there by discovering life's essential meaning. He is speaking of a form of love that is best expressed in its Hebraic ‘agape’ form, and not as ‘eros’ or sexual love. Man’s sexual desire vanishes under the conditions of a Concentration camp. Yet his remembrances of his wife as his ‘Beloved,’ transported him to a place where sufferings could not touch him: a private sanctuary that could not be sullied by the depravities of man.


So too must churches turn again to their self-understanding as being intimately related to Christ: to seek again that euphoria that floods the heart of a bride catching a first glimpse of her Beloved on her wedding day. This is the imagery which both scripture and Tradition use to express the reward awaiting the faithful. By reminding themselves of this, Christians can remember what it was that motivated them to participate in the life of the Church in the first place: to seek again that relationship between Christ and his believers which lifted us up in times past. To see behind the soil and dirt that the keepers of the trust of faith have spread upon their wedding clothes, and to rejoice  at knowing that the stain of sin cannot ultimately ruin the joyous celebration when Christ returns to reward his faithful.

On the Dignity of Dogs and Glory of God | Archdiocese of Washington

My canine companion - Mateo





On the Dignity of Dogs and Glory of God | Archdiocese of Washington

How social conservatives could get their groove back | Holy Post | National Post

Charles Lewis: How social conservatives could get their groove back | Holy Post | National Post

Is the death penalty and Church teaching compatible? | Holy Post | National Post

Is the death penalty and Church teaching compatible? | Holy Post | National Post

05 April, 2011

Greatest commercial ever! (H/T New Advent RRS feed)

Go For Launch! Space Shuttle The Time-Lapse Movie

Awesome time lapse movie of the shuttle being readied for launch

Canadian Paediatric approves the dehydration of infants who may not be otherwise dying | LifeSiteNews.com

Gee... at least the Spartans were charitable enough to kill defective infants quickly. Somehow killing kids by starving them of food and water is supposed to be an advancement in our 'civilization'?


VERY, VERY, SAD comment on our society today. Kill them in the womb... starve them after birth. It seems that the challenges facing the most innocent among us are more dangerous than for the men and women who take up arms in our defense. This is not progress. We are regressing back to some of our more base activities from millennial ages past.

Canadian Paediatric approves the dehydration of infants who may not be otherwise dying | LifeSiteNews.com

Florida Quran burning: Hamid Karzai encourages a mob mentality in Afghanistan. - By Christopher Hitchens - Slate Magazine

Florida Quran burning: Hamid Karzai encourages a mob mentality in Afghanistan. - By Christopher Hitchens - Slate Magazine

04 April, 2011

BBC News - Gravity satellite yields 'Potato Earth' view

WAY COOL!!

BBC News - Gravity satellite yields 'Potato Earth' view

Exit Visa: Iraqi Christians Look for Safe Haven | Christianity Today | A Magazine of Evangelical Conviction

Exit Visa: Iraqi Christians Look for Safe Haven | Christianity Today | A Magazine of Evangelical Conviction

Hate-filled pastor should be shunned by the world | Holy Post | National Post

There's a neat email that made the rounds in recent years. I suspect it springs from the pool of urban legends that besot the virtual world, but it carries an appropriate message for idiots like Terry Jones. (I won't dignify him by calling him a 'Pastor'.) He recently burned a Koran in a public event covered by the media in Florida. From there the news spread  across the globe faster, than a rumor of some misdeed by a neighbor fires across a village's old time 'social network' system.


It's set in a university lecture hall and involves a challenge that an atheist professor puts to God to 'knock him off his feet' if he actually exists. He then gives the Almighty 15 minutes to effect his punishment. As the clock ticks by & the lecture continues, he glances at his watch and reminds God that his time is running out to prove that he exists. As the final few moments approach, and the professor prepares to launch into his usual boastful gloating at once again 'proving' God to be a fraud, a man stands up and decks the prof, sending him sprawling to the ground.


"Why did you do that?" sputtered the professor from the floor, preparing in his mind the report he's submit to have the student expelled. "Well," said the student, "God was busy keeping my brother/father/sister/mother (add significant other here) safe in Iraq (or Afghanistan, or...). I promised him I'd watch his back here so that he can take care of business there and keep them safe, so that idiots like you can mouth off back here in freedom."


I certainly don't countenance anyone to presume to 'speak' for God in such a violent manner, but the lesson that our words here can have harmful consequences elsewhere should be experienced 'first hand' by those who'd endanger others through their own recklessness. Such a lesson might hurt them a a bit, but it would be a life lesson they obviously need to learn. Evidently common sense and charity wasn't part of Jone's upbringing and others are now suffering because of that deficit.


Fr. Tim


Read Charles Lewis' opinion piece from today's National Post Religion blog, The Holy Post. Click on the link below.

Charles Lewis: hate-filled pastor should be shunned by the world | Holy Post | National Post

Experts ponder 'playing God' to tweak climate - CTV News

Nature always 'bats last' in creation. Something to remember!








Experts ponder 'playing God' to tweak climate - CTV News

01 April, 2011

Here's a quote from John Allen Jr. on why Baseball is to sports what Catholicism is to Religion. A cute read for any baseball fan!

Yesterday marked the opening of the 2011 campaign, so in honor of the occasion, I’ll roll out my personal list of the “Top Nine Reasons why Baseball is to Sports what Catholicism is to Religion.” Why nine? It’s a key number in both traditions -- nine players on a diamond, nine innings in a game, and nine days to a novena.
The following are nine reasons why Catholicism and baseball are, quite literally, a match made in Heaven:
  1. Both baseball and Catholicism venerate the past. Both have a Communion of Saints, all the way down to popular shrines and holy cards.
  2. Both feature obscure rules that make sense only to initiates. (Think the Infield Fly rule for baseball fans and the Pauline privilege for Catholics.)
  3. Both have a keen sense of ritual, in which pace is critically important. (As a footnote, that’s why basketball is more akin to Pentecostalism; both are breathless affairs premised largely on ecstatic experience.)
  4. Both generate oceans of statistics, arcana, and lore. For entry-level examples, try: Who has the highest lifetime batting average, with a minimum of 1,000 at-bats? (Ty Cobb). Which popes had the longest and the shortest reigns? (Pius IX and Urban VII).
  5. In both baseball and Catholicism, you can dip in and out, but for serious devotees the liturgy is a daily affair.
  6. Both are global games which are especially big right now in Latin America. (Though I’m principally a Yankees fan, I live in Denver, where the Rockies’ starting rotation is composed of two pitchers from the Dominican Republic, a Venezuelan, a Mexican, and a guy from South Carolina. In a lot of dioceses, that’s not unlike the makeup of the presbyterate these days.)
  7. Both baseball and Catholicism have been badly tainted by scandal, with the legacies of erstwhile superstars utterly ruined. Yet both have proved surprisingly resilient -- perhaps demonstrating that the game is great enough to survive even the best efforts of those in charge at any given moment to ruin it.
  8. Both have a complex farm system, and fans love to speculate about who the next hot commodity will be in “The Show.”
  9. Both reward patience. If you’re the kind of person who needs immediate results, neither baseball nor Catholicism is really your game.
As an “extra innings” bonus, I’ll toss in my theory as to why the American League represents the Catholic instinct in baseball, while the National League is more Protestant.
Famously, the National League does not permit the designated hitter, reflecting a sort of fundamentalist Puritanism. It’s not the way the game was originally played, and no power on earth has the authority to add or subtract to scripture. The American League, however, has adopted the designated hitter, striking a balance between scripture and tradition. The designated hitter rule, in fact, is arguably an athletic analogue of what Pope Benedict XVI talks about as a “hermeneutics of continuity,” of reform without rupture.
By the way, if I’m right about that, a great irony presents itself: Both the Cardinals and the Padres play in the more “Protestant” National League!

In Paris the Dispute Was about God, But about Man First

As I've been saying here since I began this blog, the Church needs to learn and apply the lessons of a modern communications strategy. We have an excellent message to promote. Yet the Church continues to struggle to bring its instruments of communication into the 21st century. Sandro Magister, one of the most important commentators on all things Catholic who writes from Rome takes up this very point in this recent column.

In Paris the Dispute Was about God, But about Man First

Knights of Columbus - Catechism


Want to find a reference in the Catholic Church Catechism? Here's the link for you! It is hosted by the Knights of Columbus.

Knights of Columbus - Catechism

Behold The World’s Largest Photo Ever Taken Indoors: 40 Gigapixels Of Awesome

A little something to marvel!

Behold The World’s Largest Photo Ever Taken Indoors: 40 Gigapixels Of Awesome

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