Is Anybody There?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says Yahweh Sabaoth" Zach 4:6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dio di Signore, nella Sua volontà è nostra pace!" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin 1759

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Look at me, I'm Sandra Dee

Anyone who has seen Grease recognizes that song from it. It made a reference to Sandra Dee's reputation. She was considered a symbol of innocense & purity in the 50s. She died today, 20 Feb 2005. Today, she has been forgotten by most. She was married to Bobby Darin. When the marriage ended in divorce it also effectively ended her career. She died of kidney failure.

Also, Hunter S. Thompson died today. He was a symbol of the late 60s, early 70s, drugs immorality etc. The total opposite in some ways to Sandra Dee. He was the creator of Gonzo journalism as well as the inspiration for Duke in Doonesbury. His death was a suicide, a sad end to what was often a sadly wasted life due to abusing drugs & alcohol.

Each of these persons has had an influence on our culture, for better or worse. Each was given talents by God. Each will have to answer to God for how they were used.

Fame & fortune didn't bring either of them happiness. It brought pain & sufferring in different ways. There is a lesson to be learned from this, unfortunately, it rarely is since there are so many talented people out there who's stories are very similar. May they rest in peace.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

St. Scholastica

St. Scholastica was the twin sister of St. Benedict. 10 Feb is her feast day. This story about her is from the Dialogues of St. Gregory the Great (Pope). It shows the power of prayer.

Scholastica, the sister of Saint Benedict, had been consecrated to God from her earliest years. She was accustomed to visiting her brother once a year. He would come down to meet her at a place on the monastery property, not far outside the gate. One day she came as usual and her saintly brother went with some of his disciples; they spent the whole day praising God and talking of sacred things. As night fell they had supper together. Their spiritual conversation went on and the hour grew late. The holy nun said to her brother, "Please do not leave me tonight; let us go on until morning talking about the delights of the spiritual life." "Sister," he replied, "What are you saying? I simply cannot stay outside my cell." When she heard her brother refuse her request, the holy woman joined her hands on the table, laid her head on them and began to pray. As she raised her head from the table, there were such brilliant flashes of lightning, such great peals of thunder and such a heavy downpour of rain that neither Benedict nor his brethren could stir across the threshold of the place where they had been seated. Sadly, he began to complain. "May God forgive you, sister. What have you done?" "Well, she answered, "I asked you and you would not listen; so I asked my God and he did listen. So now go off, if you can, leave me and return to your monastery." So it came about that they stayed awake the whole night, engrossed in their conversation about the spiritual life. Three days later, Benedict was in his cell. Looking up to the sky, he saw his sister's soul leave her body in the form of a dove, and fly up to the secret places of heaven. Rejoicing in her great glory, he thanked almighty God with hymns and words of praise. He then sent his brethren to bring her body to the monastery and lay it in the tomb he had prepared for himself.

Ash Wednesday

Remember man that you are dust & unto dust you shall return.

With those words the Church reminds us of our mortality. That leads to reminding us that someday we will have to give a full accounting of our lives to God. The fact is that without the death & resurrection of Jesus we would fall far short of being able to make atonement for our sins & failings. The Church calls us to repent & turn to Jesus in a special ways during Lent. The Office of Readings in the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church has the following from St. Clement. It sets the tone well for what Lent should be about.

From a letter to the Corinthians by Saint Clement, pope


Let us fix our attention on the blood of Christ and recognise how precious it is to God his Father, since it was shed for our salvation and brought the grace of repentance to all the world.If we review the various ages of history, we will see that in every generation the Lord has offered the opportunity of repentance to any who were willing to turn to him. When Noah preached God’s message of repentance, all who listened to him were saved. Jonah told the Ninevites they were going to be destroyed, but when they repented, their prayers gained God’s forgiveness for their sins, and they were saved, even though they were not of God’s people.Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the ministers of God’s grace have spoken of repentance; indeed, the Master of the whole universe himself spoke of repentance with an oath: As I live, says the Lord, I do not wish the death of the sinner but his repentance. He added this evidence of his goodness: House of Israel, repent of your wickedness. Tell the sons of my people: If their sins should reach from earth to heaven, if they are brighter than scarlet and blacker than sackcloth, you need only turn to me with your whole heart and say, “Father”, and I will listen to you as a holy people. In other words, God wanted all his beloved ones to have the opportunity to repent and he confirmed this desire by his own almighty will. That is why we should obey his sovereign and glorious will and prayerfully entreat his mercy and kindness. We should be suppliant before him and turn to his compassion, rejecting empty works and quarrelling and jealousy which only lead to death.Brothers, we should be humble in mind, putting aside all arrogance, pride and foolish anger. Rather, we should act in accordance with the Scriptures, as the Holy Spirit says: The wise man must not glory in his wisdom nor the strong man in his strength nor the rich man in his riches. Rather, let him who glories glory in the Lord by seeking him and doing what is right and just. Recall especially what the Lord Jesus said when he taught gentleness and forbearance. Be merciful, he said, so that you may have mercy shown to you. Forgive, so that you may be forgiven. As you treat others, so you will be treated. As you give, so you will receive. As you judge, so you will be judged. As you are kind to others, so you will be treated kindly. The measure of your giving will be the measure of your receiving. Let these commandments and precepts strengthen us to live in humble obedience to his sacred words. As Scripture asks: Whom shall I look upon with favour except the humble, peaceful man who trembles at my words? Sharing then in the heritage of so many vast and glorious achievements, let us hasten toward the goal of peace, set before us from the beginning. Let us keep our eyes firmly fixed on the Father and Creator of the whole universe, and hold fast to his splendid and transcendent gifts of peace and all his blessings.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Wither? Christianity

From all the talk that is heard, you would think that orthodox Christianity was dying out, gasping its last ineffectual breath. At the least you would think it was a dinosaur due for extinction any day now. But it isn't, & never will.

There are certain groups out there like The Jesus Seminar who think they are doing us all a favor by "demythologizing" the Bible to get at what they call "The Historical Jesus". Their goal is to change Christianity into something new to survive in the future. They are failing miserably.

The kind of religion they end up with is that of a so-called god who is so weak & powerless that it is anything but a real god. In trying to make things relevant, they have made god irrelevant.

When faced with facts that "liberal christianity" really what is becoming irrelevent & dying out they refuse to face reality. Instead, they reply with a denial mechanism that should give years of employment to many a psychiatrist/psychologist for years to come.

There have been almost 2000 yrs of attempts to kill off orthodox Christianiy. It has failed miserably. & never will.

I recently read an article in Crisis magazine that looks at Episopal Bishop (Ret) John Shelby Spong. The article goes in to much greater depth about him & what is going on with those who are out to change Christianity from what God ment it to be to this garbage they are pushing. It can be found at their website:

As a Catholic, I have seen many attempts to do to the Church what Bishop Spong & others propose. Like the others, most of them are in denial. They think they are winning, what Pope John Paul II & the othere in Rome have done to stop them will die out when he dies. Wait for the next Pope. They forget over 25 yrs ago, he was that next pope who they thought would do what they wanted. He didn't. They fail to see that more & more of the faithful are demanding the end of the experimentation etc. They want the Novus Ordo Mass to be celebrated as it should. Let's get rid of this feelgood, nicey nicey garbage that focuses on us. Let's return the Liturgy to what it is supposed to be, the people's work which to WORSHIP GOD. (Note: This has been more of a problem in the Roman Church than in most of the Eastern Churches of the Catholic Church.)

I am a realist, the Church is filled with humans who sometimes fall short. There have always been people who have failed to be faithful to their calling. But, the Church's mission is to be a hospital for those who are spiritually ill, in need of healing, forgiveness & the gift of the Holy Spirit to enable him/her to live as he/she should. Over the centuries God has raised up great saints to renew, restore, rebuild His Church. People like St. Francis of Assisi, St. Claire, St. Benedict, St. Scholastica, St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, St. Therese of Liseaux. & God is a merciful God who extends His Mercy to all who will receive it. 1 of the greatest signs of God's Mercy is the sacrament of Reconciliation (Penance) Jesus instituted. God promised He will never leave, never abandon His Church. & despite any attacks, the Church will continue to proclaim the message of God's love & forgiveness of our sins. The gift of reconciliation with God that is available for all who will receive it.

God doesn't want to see anyone go to hell. But, His Justice requires Him to respect the free will of those who have rejected His gift of Jesus & let them bear the fruit of that choice. God doesn't condemn anyone to hell. He lets us decide. Each of us can chose to go to hell. He loves each & everyone of us & is waiting for us to come to Him. He is making us the best offer there is. If you haven't made that choice yet, please do now, before it is too late. Lent begins Wed. God is waiting.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Don (Fr.) John Bosco

Yesterday was the feast of Don Bosco, Catholic priest & founder of the Salesians. His father died when he was 2. As a priest he had great concern for the orphans of Torino, IT. He did everything he could to care for them, spiritually & physically.

In a letter to those in his order about how they are to act toward those orphans they cared for he said the following: "Let us regard those boys over whom we have some authority as our own sons. Let us place ourselves in their service. Let us be ashamed to assume an attitude of superiority. Let us not rule over them except for the purpose of serving them better."

In this day & age when the focus is on those small percentage of priests who have been unfaithful to their vows & done harm to young boys it is good for us to remember that most priests have not harmed any children. & even more important to honor the memory of Don Bosco who did all they could to make their lives better. He is a shining example of what an ideal priest should be like. May Jesus raise up a legion of priests like him.

Here are a couple other quotes from Don Bosco to ponder:

Enjoy yourself as much as you like -- if only you keep from sin.

Do you want our Lord to give you many graces? Visit him often. Do you want him to give you few graces? Visit him seldom. Visits to the Blessed Sacrament are powerful and indispensable means of overcoming the attacks of the devil. Make frequent visits to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and the devil will be powerless against you. Headlines

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