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

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Ciò è notizie? Quel gli italiani parlano italiano? Che altro parlerebbero, . . .? *

Greco, ebreo, Russo, inglese, tedesco, Irlandese, Spagnolo, cinese, giapponese, arabo, svedese, il Danese, fiammingo, o (orrore degli orrori) francese? * This is news? That the Italians speak Italian? What else would they speak, Greek, Hebrew, Russian, English, German, Irish, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Swedish, Danish, Flemish, or (horror of horrors) French?

According to a report from Reuters, Italia has finally made Italiano the official language of Italia. The Italiano Parliament just amended their constitution to read "The Italian language is the official language of the Republic". Amazingly enough 75 members of Parliament opposed it. Or maybe not. The facts of life about Italia is that it is even less a united country in some ways than the USA is.

Italia has only been united as a country for a little more than 140 years. & the region that the formers kings of Itakia are from (Savoy) is now a part of France. When it was united they chose the Tuscan dialect as the official language of the country. That dialect was the language Dante wrote in. Each of the 20 regions of Italia has its own dialect. Some of them are totally unintelligible to people from another region. In Northern Italia some areas even speak German. Technically, many Italians are bi-lingual even if they only speak Italian & their regional dialect.
Also, there is a huge gap between Northern & Southern Italia. Those from the North view the South as peasants (contadini). & Sicilia is totally seperate in a lot of ways. Regional identity has always been more important than nationality to the average Italiano. Back in the 60s Pat Cooper (Pasquali Caputo) used this fact as a part of his comedy routine. This regional identity also pops up in Lou Monte's song Pepino, the Italian Mouse. Pepino says to Lou: "Si, Siciliano?" He replies: "I'm Calabrese, you nut!"
So, maybe in a way, it is news.


Meanwhile, Moonbattery has a post about the negative reaction by some members of Parliament (Italian Becomes National Language of Italy: Moonbats Outraged). Yes, some of the reaction is that of moonbats. But a lot of it isn't. A lot of it comes from the reasons I pointed out above. Italia isn't as united a country as it often looks from the outside.
Yes, some of the people involved are the usual suspects. Franco Russo of the main Communist party is definitely 1 of those pazzo (crazy) leftists. (I can't help but think that if that dear Mrs. Russo from my hometown, if she were still alive, would concider him una disgrazia.) On the other hand Federico Bricolo from the Northern League party is 1 of those I talked about for whom region comes 1st. & he considers the Venezio dialect as his 1st language. "It's the language spoken in my family, in schools, at work. I am Venetian, Mr President, my language is that of Venice," Bricolo said in his dialect. (He may still be a moonbat for other reasons but not in this case.)
So, those like Sr. Bricoli opposed it for the right reasons. While Sr Russo is definitely doing it for the wrong reasons. Anyhow, as I said, maybe it isn't so surprizing 75 people opposed it. What may be surprizing to those of my Nonno's generation is how far most Italiani have come that they see themselves nationally more than regionally.

Map: Copyright holder allows unlimitted use of map.

Presidential Poll - Update #3

It is time to update the results of my presidential poll. At the end of February I had 523 votes for the various candidates. Since then there have been 167 more votes for a total of 690. Except for the top 2 the order remains the same for the top 10. What I find interesting is the positions of what the media considers the top 3 candidates. None are in the top 5, McCain is 6 & Romney 7, & Giuliani is in 11th place , slightly ahead of Condi Rice, who isn't running. 2 of the top 10, Watts & Santorum, have said they aren't running & another, Gingrich, hasn't decided yet. Like I've said before, I know this isn't scientific. But I do find it interesting to see how different my readers view the race, for whatever reasons, than what the polls, etc, show. I don't know if this says my readers are smarter, or are closer to the real heart of the Republican party, or what?
Anyhow here are the top 10 along with # of votes, % of votes & previous position(P).
Position --------- # --- % --- P
1. R. Smith ---- 206 -- 30 --- 2
2. Brownback - 161 --- 23 --- 1
3. Santorum ---- 59 --- 9 ---- 3
4. Hagel -------- 54 --- 8 ---- 4
6. Gingrich ----- 42 --- 6 ---- 5
7. McCain ------ 30 --- 4 ---- 6
8. Romney ----- 28 --- 4 ---- 7
9 (tie). Tancredo 18 --- 3 ---- 9
9 (tie). Watts --- 16 --- 2 ---- 9
The recent announcement by Fred Thompson that he may be entering the race, as well as the definite no by some of the people on my list means that I probably will be keeping this poll going for about another month or so. At that time I will probably take out all those definitely not running.

Hall of Shame 2007

While here in the USA & in Europe there is plenty of anti-Christian sentiment, we are still fortunate to not face the persecution that Christians do in many other parts of the world. There, if you practice your faith you can expect to be attacked , killed or imprisioned simply because of your faith. International Christian Concern (ICC), as a part of its mission, monitors the level of persecution throughout the world.
ICC has recently released The Hall of Shame 2007 - The World's 10 Worst Persecutors of Christians. This report looks at the 10 countries where Christians are experiencing the worst levels of persecution. As they so sadly point out, this persecution is "almost entirely ignored by the media". This report covers the period from December 2005 to 15 December 2006. While it will be no surprize that 3 of the 10 countries are Communist, 5 others are Islamic.
They divide the persecutions into 2 types, government sanctioned persecution & social/religious persecution (while not actually sanctioned by the government, the government policies tolerate its occurances for the most part). The report issued by the ICC gives the background of each country as well as documenting the persecutions that have occured.
So, what countries made the 1st Hall of Shame?
10. Pakistan
9. Vietnam
8. China
7. Eritrea
6. Iran
5. Somalia
4. Saudi Arabia
3. Ethiopia
2. Iraq
& the holder of the worst record for persecution of Christians in 2006 is (& should be no surprize to anyone):
1. North Korea
There are plenty of things we all can do to try & change this situation. Obviously the 1st & foremost is to pray. As I've pointed out before, prayer has to be the foundation of any efforts by Christians, whether it is fighting abortion, or helping our persecuted brothers & sisters.. Then there are several other things you can do. Get informed, write letters to the editor, elected official, embasies of the offending countries (again, these actions aremuch like the pro-Life efforts we need to be about). For more ideas & a list of who to contact check out ICC's What Can I Do? page.
Scripture tells us that when 1 member of the Body of Christ suffers we all suffer. & it also says that whatsoever we do to the least of our brethren, we do that to Christ. & while there will always be some form of persecution against Christians, that doesn't make us any less obliged to do what we can to help out. The Apostles & Christian martyrs were able to face persecution, imprisonment & death. It was through the prayers & support of other Christians that God worked to strengthen them to endure to the end. No less is expected of us. Someday we may be the ones facing persecution. I would hope that there will be others out there praying for us.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Gomez is 77!

Actually John Astin is 77 today. Long before he was responsible for siring a hobbit (Sean) he was best known for bringing to life Gomez Addams. OK, everyone sing along:

SNAP SNAP!!!!!!!!!!!!!

THIS is News? Preaching Hellfire & Damnation Edition

Let's see now, when Jesus was on Earth He talked about Hell (using the term Gehena). The Bible talks about the last judgement & Hell. The Church has taught tha Hell exists for 2000 years. When the Catechism came out in the 1990s it had a section on what the Church teaches on Hell. Pope J0hn Paul the Great spoke on the reality of Hell. So, why this sudden uproar in the secular media about a mention of Hell in a homily given by Papa Benedetto on 25 March 2007?
Papa Benedetto, as Bishop of Rome was making a Pastoral visit to the Parish of "Santa Felicita e Figli martiri", Rome. As a part of the homily (Vatican website currently has Italian only) he said: "Jesus does not start a theological debate about the law of Moses; he is not interested in winning an academic dispute on an interpretation of the Mosaic laws. His objective is to save a soul and reveal that salvation can be found only in the love of God."
"Jesus came to tell us that he wants us all in heaven and that hell, of which so little is said in our time, exists and is eternal for those who close their hearts to his love. (E’ venuto Gesù per dirci che ci vuole tutti in Paradiso e che l’inferno, del quale poco si parla in questo nostro tempo, esiste ed è eterno per quanti chiudono il cuore al suo amore.)"
"Therefore even in this episode, we understand that our true enemy is our attachment to sin, which can lead us to failing our existence." (Zenit article)
Sounds like He is continuing with his ongoing theme of God's love. So, again, why the uproar?
I can think of a good reason why. There are those who are still trying to paint the Pope as this horrible, out of touch man who is holding back the Catholic Church from shedding its outdated teachings & coming into the 21st Century. How better to do it than by focusing in on his mentioning Hell in a homily & totally taking it out of context.
As Carl Olson, in his Ingantius Insight Scoop post The Pope believes in what?! says about how a London Times article views the Pope: "But, not surprisingly, this is treated as yet more evidence of how out of touch and fearful Benedict is. " He is right. The Times article takes a very condescending attitude: "The Pope is evidently rattled that people today are not as fearful as they ought to be of ending up in Hell, prompting his reminder to them that if they fail to “admit blame and promise to sin no more” they risk “eternal damnation”.
One problem is that this just doesn’t seem as scary as it once did. Compared with spending a week locked in the Big Brother house with Jade Goody, “eternal damnation” sounds almost mild." Terrible, isn't it, that the Pope actually takes his role as Head Shepherd of the Church seriously enough to be concerned about the souls of those in his care? Terrible that he loves them so much that he calls them to repentance rather than risk eternal damnation? Oh, NO! The Pope actually believes in something so out of date. What a joke! Only someone out of touch with the world, with reality could even say that anyone risk eternal damnation in this day & age. That is exactly what the Times is saying.
The Scotsman isn't any better. Here is how it describes the Pope in an article about the homily: "A furious Pope Benedict unleashed a bitter attack during a sermon while on a visit to a parish church.". . . . "Pope Benedict unleashed his fury during a visit to the tiny parish church of St Felicity and the Martyr Children at Fidene on the outskirts of Rome, in his capacity as bishop of the Italian capital." As Jeff Miller (The Curt Jester) said: "They forgot to say that "smoke was coming out of his ears" as he said this and that he was shaking his fist for emphasis."
If caring enough about those souls in his care to call them to repentance is seen by the media as being bitter then this world has really turned it's back on God. The Pope isn't out of touch with reality, the people at these papers are. The Pope is talking about what is real, the consequences of our willful sinning & turning our backs on God. God doesn't want a single soul to go to hell. As Papa Benedetto said in the homily: "If it is true that God is justice, then we should not forget that he is above all love; if he hates sin it is because he has an infinite love for all human beings." & as he pointed out, it is this love that motivated Jesus to tell the woman caught in adultery to sin no more after He extended His forgiveness to her. "Only God's forgiveness and his love, received with an open and sincere heart, give us the strength to resist evil and to sin no more, to let us be touched by God's love which becomes our strength." Funny, but none of this sounds bitter to me. Just the opposite.
Then there is 1 more fact to consider. The New York Post has an article that seems to be trying to make it sound like the Pope's statements weren't actually ment to say that Hell is real. Rather they were hyperbole to get across the fact that Hell is a symbol of the eternal seperation caused by sin & rejection of God. In fact the article refers to Vatican officials as its source for that claim. They are quoted as saying: "He had wanted to reinforce the new Catholic catechism, which holds that Hell is a "state of eternal separation from God," to be understood "symbolically rather than physically." "
OK, sounds to me like the picture is this, an out of touch old man, angry & bitter, is telling everyone they are going to Hell, but only in a symbolic way. They are painting a picture of someone who is not worth listenning to or following. After all, we all know the truth, there is no such thing as sin. & there is no suc thing as Hell. How can there be where everything is RELATIVE.

There it is. Remember what Cardinal Ratzinger had to say 2 years ago about the dangers of relativism?
It is simple. We have a Pope who was chosen 2 years ago to do exactly what he is doing, calling sin sin. Calling people to repent, stop sinning & receive the forgiveness God desires to give them. He is doing that, the world hates it. Just as it hated Jesus, it hates anyone who proclaims His message. (Remember, Jesus said this would be.) No wonder they are attacking Papa Benedetto. He is forcing them to face the truth. & they don't want to.

So, they deride him, they make fun of him. The sad part, someday the person who said that eternal damnation "just doesn’t seem as scary as it once did. Compared with spending a week locked in the Big Brother house with Jade Goody, “eternal damnation” sounds almost mild," may find out how scary it really is.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Now THAT Would Be a MIRACLE!!!!!

As I was working on another post I had on the streaming video of EWTN. The program was an old Mother Angelica Live. Fr Benedict Groeschel was on as co-host with Mother. They were talking about public figures turning to Christ. In the midst of the discussion Fr. Groeschel said the following to Mother:

"I'm waiting for the day when we can get Madonna on the air with you & get her to make her public confession."
That WOULD be a MIRACLE!!!!!
Mother did end the program with a loving call to Madonna to repent. & given the fact that I know Mother is praying for her (& my) fellow Italiano-American to REPENT all I can say is: "Knowing Mother's track record for getting the impossible done, it will happen."
Let us pray for the day that Madonna does appear on EWTN Live!

Is It Blasphemy?

Yetserday I posted about a satire that was aimed at stopping liturgical abuse. With Holy Week coming up I am cringing at what some parishes in DBQ will be doing to the various liturgies. The other day I even made the comment that I thought that some of what was done was "blasphemous & an insult to God". Later I began thinking about what I said. I decided to look up what the Church taught about blasphemy & went to the most logical source, The Catechism of the Catholic Church (2nd Edition-1997). I looked up the definition in the glossary & found 2 specific paragraphs that were applicable. Here is what I found:
Definition from glossary for Blasphemy:
Speech, thought or actions involving contempt for God or the Church or person or things dedicated to God. Blasphemy is directly opposed to the 2nd Commandment.
Blasphemy is directly opposed to the second commandment. It consists in uttering against God - inwardly or outwardly - words of hatred, reproach, or defiance; in speaking ill of God; in failing in respect toward him in one's speech; in misusing God's name. St. James condemns those "who blaspheme that honorable name [of Jesus] by which you are called." The prohibition of blasphemy extends to language against Christ's Church, the saints, and sacred things. It is also blasphemous to make use of God's name to cover up criminal practices, to reduce peoples to servitude, to torture persons or put them to death. the misuse of God's name to commit a crime can provoke others to repudiate religion. Blasphemy is contrary to the respect due God and his holy name. It is in itself a grave sin.

It is therefore an error to judge the morality of human acts by considering only the intention that inspires them or the circumstances (environment, social pressure, duress or emergency, etc.) which supply their context. There are acts which, in and of themselves, independently of circumstances and intentions, are always gravely illicit by reason of their object; such as blasphemy and perjury, murder and adultery. One may not do evil so that good may result from it.
(Note: Emphasis mine to point to what I consider key parts.)
From this, I am convinced that what they are doing is blasphemous. My reasoning is simple. 1st of all, how many documents have been put out by the Vatican from the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments esp the GIRM, books, writings, etc (including his newly released Apostolic Exhortation) by Papa Benedetto, writings by Cardinal Arinze, etc are out there saying how the liturgy is supposed to be done?
2nd, these liturgists are aware of them & yet still are actively doing things they know are wrong. & when confronted the speak with contempt about those documents, the regulations &/or those who are issuing & or calling for their being followed. This clearly shows a lack of respect towards God & those whom He has put into positions of lawful authority in the Church to regulate the liturgy. Some of those words express hatred & defiance. I know that they would say they are doing good, but the above shows that what they are doing isn't. I could go on, but I think there is enough evidence out there (which I won't even dignify by repeating specific actions they do, we all know them well enough) to prove my point.
& while I am not a theologian, I think that the teaching of the Church on this is clear enough. & that I am right in my interpretation of it. What they are doing is blasphemy & an insult to God! I am willing to admit that I am wrong, if someone who is on solid ground theologically (read a Fr. Mitch Pacwa, Fr. John Trigillio & the like) can show me where I am off in my thinking.)
What saddens me is that what these rebelious liturgist are doing is causing grave spiritual harm to those in the pews. It also saddens me to see the spiritual harm they are doing to themselves. May the Holy Spirit convict them & lead them to repentance & a willingness to see that the liturgy is done reverantly. That it is done in the way it should be to truly give God the honor & glory He deserves. May they realize the truth that when we participate in liturgy we are truly partaking in what is going on in Heaven as the saints & angels worship God.

Monday, March 26, 2007

What a Day for Talent to be Born On. . . .

Besides Leonard Nimoy, a large number of talented people were born this day:

Kenny Chesney (39)

Martin Short (59)

(Sorry the quality is nae any better.)

Vicki Lawrence Schultz (58 she's now almost old enough to be Mama)

Steven Tyler (59 his age is finally reaching his looks)

Johnny Crawford (61 M-I-C see you real soon)

(Yup, he also played The Rifleman's son.)

Diana Ross (63)

James Caan (67)

(Probably 1 of the best death scenes ever.)

Alan Arkin (73 Guess where Adam got his talent from?)

Bob Elliot (84 & where Chris got his talent from)

Live Long & Prosper

Apparently he has & he did. Leonard Nimoy (aka Spock) is 76 today. What a lot of people don't know is that he also had a recording career arround the time of Star Trek. He actually made 3 albums. 1 of the songs he made was about a certain little hobbit The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins. (1 of many songs in the late 60s, early 70s to have Lord of the Rings references.) Anyway here it is:

Maybe that is why he was eventually reduced to this:


(aka Spock, Paris [Mission Impossible],etc)
Don't down too many Romulan Ales as you celebrate.

More on Eucharistic Miracles

The other day I talked in a post about Eucharistic Miracles & the Vatican Exhibit that is coming to our area. I'd like to add a little more by putting in a plug for a couple of excellent books written by Bob & Penny Lord about many of the Eucharistic Miracles that have occurred over the centuries. & to also plug their DVD that contains the series they did on some of these miracles for EWTN. The 2 books as well as the DVD (also on VHS) are entitled This Is My Body, This Is My Blood; Miracles of the Eucharist. (The DVD page also has info on several other programs about specific Eucharistic Miracles that they have done.)
Clearly, by the fact that I am telling you that I am plugging these books, I am also heartily endorsing these books. (& no, I am not getting any renumeration for doing so.) I have to also admit that I don't (yet) own a copy of any of them, although I do have another book on the martyrs that they wrote (& also did as a series on EWTN.). A friend loaned me the books to read & I saw the series on EWTN. That caveat being said on to the plug.
The books & DVD are all well researched. & the Lords' deep love & devotion to the Eucharist shines throughout (but esp in the shows). They enable you to understand the circumstances surrounding the various miracles. The Eucharistic Miracles occured for a purpose. Obviously, the prime purpose is always to bring God more glory. But, most of these miracles occured to deal with a specific doubt or heresy that was occuring at the time of the miracle. (Some. like the 1 involving St Clare also served to protect God's people from harm.) These doubts & heresies are still floating arround making the need for the information of these miracles just as pertanent today as when they 1st occured.
I enjoyed the books because they are written in a way (like all the books of theirs I've read) that is intimate & friend to friend. That style keeps what could be a long discourse on each miracle from becoming boring. You know how you share with a friend when something special happens? That is how they come across in the books (& shows). They have found something great & they want everyone to know about it. & the fact is, what they have found is great. It is "the pearl of great price" that they are sharing. They may be talking about a specific miracle but what they are ultimately doing is sharing the good news of the Gospel, the message of God's love & the Way of Salvation He provided for us through Jesus.
The books have plenty of pictures of the miracles. But, the shows bring them alive in a way that a still picture can usually only hint at. On the other hand, the books can often go into greater detail about specifics. So, the books & shows compliment each other perfectly.
I've said it before, the Catholic Church doesn't require you to believe in any of these miracles, any more than it requires belief in any approved apparition or private revelation. However, the virtue of prudence would say that, since the Church did OK them, the message they have to present does have something to say to us. They are a means to help us to grow in our faith, to deepen & strengthen it. They are signs that God still cares about us & is concerned about each & every one of us being able to live as He intends us to.
If you have ever seen any of the shows that Bob & Penny Lord have done you know how deep their love for Christ is. You also know how this love motivates them in all they do. They want the Gospel message out there. They also deeply love the Church that Jesus founded 2000 yrs ago. & much of what they do is, in part, a strong defense of that Church. There is a gentleness in them that I suspect is a visible reflection of the gentleness of Christ when He walked among us.
In addition to the above items I would highly recommend anything they have produced.

Remember, Only YOU Can Prevent Liturgical Abuse!

Recently I came across a post on another blog entitled New Efforts to End Liturgical Abuses. It talked about the new Pontifical Office of the Liturgical Police. The Office is starting a flyer campaign to encourage parishoners to stop the wide array of Liturgical abuses that occur in way too many parishes across the world. They are designing this campaign to "speak not to a person's reasoning mind but to persuade and beckon a person's heart to end Liturgical Abuses."
Being that, like Papa Benedetto, I am a cat lover, this poster is my favorite:

Allright, I know that the whole article is a parody, but it is done to make a valid point, Liturgical abuse is wrong. It is willfull disobedience to the lawful authority established by Christ in the Catholic Church. What the blogger said in the post is absolutely true: "Abuse of any sort is a grave evil. There are people in this world who can't receive valid sacraments because of these abuses. There are people whose souls are being murdered by bad liturgists and priests." He may have been using humor to make his point. But that doesn't make the point any less valid.
That is why Papa Benedetto as well as Cardinal Arinze have called for an end of these abuses over & over again. they understand that these abuses water down, or at times even deny the truths that the Church teaches through the Liturgy. Some people may be doing the abuses innocent of the real harm, at other times, those involved know exactly what they are doing. & the harm in their actions. Those of us who know better need to speak out in a loving manner. We also need to pray that God will change their hearts so that they will stop. Pray for the Bishops to do their job as shepherds.
As long as there is a Church, there will be people who will be out to deny the truth (history proves that). Yet, even if it seems that those who are on the wrong side are winning, in the end God will fulfill His promise that "The gates of Hell will not prevail". (Again, history proves that. Remember at 1 point over half the Bishops were Arians, yet, in the end the heresy lost out & was condemned by the Church.) Scripture promises in many places that God will raise up a people to sing His pure praises & offer pure worship. Fustrating as it is, & believe me I am often fustrated myself, there is hope. I see it happenning in so many places where there are priests who say the Mass reverently, there are liturgists who want things done right, the new, more accurate, translation of the Novus Ordo is on its way. There are plenty of us lay members of the Church who are faithful & working for good liturgy & praying. God will hear & answer our prayers.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Happy 60th, Sir Reg!

Sir Reginald Kenneth Dwight CBE aka Elton Hercules John is celebrating his 60th birthday today. If he digs out any of his old costumes from the 70s to wear he won't have to to have any candles on his cake. I wonder if he will try to "rock arround the clock to the crocodile rock" to celebrate?

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Looking for a Miracle?

Supposing I could guarentee you a miracle, intersted? How about not just 1 miracle but 126 would you be interested now? I thought you might. I noticed that you didn't ask what kind of miracle. Well, I'm talking about a very special kind of miracle. I'm not talking about the little coincidence type. They type that I am talking about contain certified, bona fide, scientifically examined miracles like no other. The type I am talking about have been going on for centuries (at least since the 3rd Century AD) all over the world. I am talking about Eucharistic Miracles. In fact they are still occuring. The most recent approved miracle occured in 2001.

From the start, the Catholic Church has taken Jesus at His word when he said that the bread & wine at Mass became His Body & Blood. In post the other day I talked about St. Cyril & what he had to say about the Real Presence in his Jerusalem Catecheses. As he said in Lecture 22: "Since then He Himself (Jesus) declared and said of the Bread, This is My Body, who shall dare to doubt any longer? And since He has Himself affirmed and said, This is My Blood, who shall ever hesitate, saying, that it is not His blood?"
The sad fact is, that human nature being what it is, men & women often fail to take Jesus at His Word. So, over the years God has allowed miracles to take place that confirm what Jesus said when He walked on the Earth. The Catholic Church has approved over 150 of this Eucharistic Miracles. Each of the miracles has been approved by the local bishop & at times also by the Pope. Like private revelations approved by the Church, a person is not required to believe in any of the miracles. But it does hold them up for us as an aide in the strengthening of our faith.
(Photo of Miracle of Lanciano)
Whenever Eucharistic Miracles are mentioned, 1 of the 1st that comes to mind is usually the miracle at Lanciano, Italia. A Basilian Monk was struggling with doubts about whether or not the bread & wine became the Body & Blood of Christ (transubstantiation) at the consecration during the Mass. 1 day as he said the words "This is My Body" the host he was holding turned into a piece of human flesh. Then as he said "This is My Blood" over the chalice the wine turned into blood which coagulated into 5 different sized globules. After a few moments of awe he turned towards the congregation, & with tears of joy said: "0 fortunate witnesses to whom the Blessed God, to confound my disbelief, has wished to reveal Himself in this Most Blessed Sacrament and to render Himself visible to our eves. Come, brethren, and marvel at our God so close to us. Behold the Flesh and Blood of our most beloved Christ." The people rushed forward & moved to tears by what happenned began to cry out to God for mercy. Soon the story spread & people came from all over to see the miracle. The transformed Host was put into a silver Monstrance & the globules of blood are in a crystal chalice.
Now, for "the rest of the story". In 1970 the Archbishop of Lanciano & the Franciscan Provincial Superior (Franciscans now care for the Church where the miracle is kept), with the approval of Rome, allowed a rigorous scientific examanation of the miracle. The examination was conducted by Professor Odoardo Linoli, eminent Professor in Anatomy and Pathological Histology and in Chemistry and Clinical Microscopy, and Professor Ruggero Berteli of the University of Siena. Their findings:
  1. The Flesh of the miracle is real Flesh and the Blood is real Blood.
  2. The Flesh and the Blood belong to the human species.
  3. The Flesh consists of the muscular tissue of the heart, which would be impossible to obtain through dissection.
  4. In the Flesh we see present in section: the myocardium, the endocardium, the vagus nerve and also the left ventricle of the heart for the large thickness of the myocardium. The Flesh is a heart complete in its essential structure.
  5. The Flesh and the Blood have the same blood type, AB, which is also the same blood type found on the Shroud of Turin and all other Eucharistic Miracles.
  6. In the Blood there were found proteins in the same normal proportions (percentage-wise) as are found in the sero-proteic make-up of the fresh normal blood.
  7. In the Blood there were also found these minerals: chlorides, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, sodium and calcium.
  8. There is no trace whatsoever of any materials or agents used to preserve the Flesh or Blood.

Another interesting fact about the blood is that if 1 globule is weighed it weighs the same as when they are weighed together. You can see some of the slides from the exam & what they mean here. You can also read a Zenit interview with Dr. Linoli.

Another miracle involved St. Anthony of Padua. Unlike the other miracle, this 1 doesn't have any relics for evidience. It relies on the testimony of witnesses. & as often occurs when it is passed down before being written down sometimes a few of the details get muddied. But the basic story remains true. In this case St. Anthony was challenged by a man to prove that the teaching about the Real Presence was true. St. Anthony agreed & a test was devised. A donkey would be starved for 3 days. At the same time St. Anthony went off to fast & pray. When the time came, St. Anthony went to the town's Catholic Church & got the Blessed Sacrament. The people of the town gathered in the town square to watch the test. There the man brought the donkey & tied it down 20 feet away from a bale of hay. When St. Anthony arrived the donkey was untied & headed toward the hay. St. Anthony spoke. "Mule, in the name of the Lord our God, I command you to come here and adore your Creator!" At that point the donkey turned & approached toward St. Anthony. When it neared where St. Anthony was holding the Blessed Sacrament it bent its foreknees & bowed it's head to the ground. (Depicted in the picture at the right.) The man was convinced & became a Catholic.

As I said earlier, the Catholic Church has authenticated over 150 such miracles. Recently the Pontifical Academy Cultorum Martyrum, together with the Real Presence Association has made available in English the Vatican International Exhibit, The Eucharistic Miracles of the World. This exhibit is a series of plasticized panels that show information about many of the miracles world wide. Each of the 142 panels has informational text as well as many color pictures. This exhibit has already toured Italy & elswhere, being translated into many languages. It is now touring the USA.

The exhibit will be coming to St. Mary's Catholic Church, East Dubuque, Il from 19-22 April 2007. The parochial administrator, Fr. James W. Parker, was able to arrange for it to be brought to our area. He scheduled it for that weekend because that will be when the parish is celebrating 1st Holy Communion. (As a special personal aside, it was on 19 April 1962 that I made my 1st Holy Communion, so this is a sort of 45th Anniversary gift for me.)

This exhibition is an excellent opportunity to have your faith in God's promises strenghtened. “Eucharistic miracles can encourage us to understand, appreciate and love the Eucharist…They can help a person discover the mystery, the beauty and the riches of the Eucharist…We must never forget nor fail to mention that the Eucharist is the true, great, inexhaustible daily miracle…It is indeed true that the most important and astounding miracle is the one that takes place whenever the Eucharist is celebrated, during which Jesus Christ is present in a ‘unique and incomparable way’. He is present, in a true, real, substantial way, with his Body and Blood, with his Soul and Divinity. In the Eucharist, therefore, there is present in a sacramental way, that is, under the Eucharistic species of bread and wine, Christ whole and entire, God and Man’ (Compendium, n. 282). In making his Sacrifice of the Cross present and actual, he becomes our food and drink, with his Body and Blood, uniting us with him and with each other, becoming our viaticum on our earthly pilgrimage toward our eternal homeland.” (Monsignor Raffaelo Martinelli, Vatican International Exhibition Brochure)

If you are in our area at this time I would recomend contacting St. Mary's (815-747-3221) for the exact times & location. If not you can check out the schedule of other locations here to see when it will be near you.

Elementary, My Dear Watson

Sorry to disappoint any fans of Sherlock Holmes (or as Sigerson calls his brother "Sheer luck") but this doesn't have anything to do with THAT ICONIC DETECTIVE.

Actually, this has to do with another American icon, Tom Lehrer. & in particular a specific song that he wrong called The Elements. The song is exactly what you think, a song about the elements, at least the 102 known at the time he wrote it. It is a parody of Gilbert & Sullivan's The Major-General's Song from The Pirates of Penzance. Since he wrote it the news has "come to Harvard" about the 15 more since "discavard".

What this is leading up to is that I was doing a bit of checking up on where the Periodic Table was currently at & saw a link to the song. So via YouTube I eventually got to a selection of video versions & thought it might be fun ot be a wee bit educational. So here it is, all 102 elements at the time:

If you want to sing along here are the lyrics:

There's antimony, arsenic, aluminum, selenium,

And hydrogen and oxygen and nitrogen and rhenium,

And nickel, neodymium, neptunium, germanium,

And iron, americium, ruthenium, uranium,

Europium, zirconium, lutetium, vanadium,

And lanthanum and osmium and astatine and radium,

And gold and protactinium and indium and gallium,

And iodine and thorium and thulium and thallium.

There's yttrium, ytterbium, actinium, rubidium,

And boron, gadolinium, niobium, iridium,

And strontium and silicon and silver and samarium,

And bismuth, bromine, lithium, beryllium, and barium.

There's holmium and helium and hafnium and erbium,

And phosphorus and francium and fluorine and terbium,

And manganese and mercury, molybdenum, magnesium,

Dysprosium and scandium and cerium and cesium.

And lead, praseodymium, and platinum, plutonium,

Palladium, promethium, potassium, polonium,

And tantalum, technetium, titanium, tellurium,

And cadmium and calcium and chromium and curium.

There's sulfur, californium, and fermium, berkelium,

And also mendelevium, einsteinium, nobelium,

And argon, krypton, neon, radon, xenon, zinc, and rhodium,

And chlorine, carbon, cobalt, copper, tungsten, tin, and sodium.

These are the only ones of which the news has come to Ha'vard,

And there may be many others, but they haven't been discavard.

Here are the since discovered 15 (& actually in order from 103 0n): lawrencium, rutherfordium, dubnium, seaborgium, bohrium, hassium, meitnerium, darmstadtium, and roentgenium. But you say that only take us up to element 111`. That's because the others, elements 112-116 & 118 have yet to be given an official name.

(The above periodic table is 1 designed by Theodore W. Gray. It is a creative way of showing the actual elements as far as possible. For the recent discoveries where there is no sizable quantity available to photograph he used pictures of the elements namesake if it was named after a person. Or the coat of arms/city seal in the other cases.. It is available for sale by the creator as a poster of various sizes. This poster is copyrighted (2006) & is used under fair use without any prejudice to the creator's rights.)

Friday, March 23, 2007

Pro-Life Calls to Prayer

Every year on 25 March the Church celebrates the Feast of the Annunciation. We remember the day when the archangel Gabriel appeared to The Blessed Virgin Mary to ask her to become the Theotokis, the Mother of God. (Luke 1:26-38) She said yes & as a result "the Word became Flesh & dwelt among us." (John 1:14) Because it falls on a Sunday during Lent this year it is transfered to the 26th of March this year.
This Feast marks the beginning of the ultimate fulfillment of the promise God made to Adam & Eve in the Garden of Eden. (Gen 3:15)
2 Pro-Life groups have called for a special period of prayer starting on 25 March, American Life League (ALL), & Human Life International (HLI). Each of them is calling for a prayer novena. ALL's will be a 9 day novena & HLI's is a 9 month novena.
ALL & HLI both believe that any success the Pro-Life movement has had is because of a foundation of prayer on which all their actions are built. They are grateful for the financial donations but it is prayer is what keeps them (& other Pro-Life Groups) going. & that is why they have called for this time of prayer.
As Judie Brown says: "The fight to save these preborn children is not a worldly battle, Our Novena for the Preborn Children reminds us who the real opponants are: It's NOT intellect vs. ignoprance. Its NOT the powwerful vs. the weak. It's NOT rich vs. poor.
It's GOOD vs. EVIL!
Our Lord vs. the devil!!!
The novena is an outgrowth of the recent development to celebrate 25 March as The Day of the Unborn Child. Several countries have officially recognized this day. The 1st was Argentina in 1998. (Check out the website for more on this Day, its history, why this day is so symbolic as a Pro-Life feast & what to do to spread the word.)
The prayer selected to pray for the ALL novena is 1 that was written by Pope John Paul the Great. He wrote the prayer to close his encyclical Evangelium Vitae. The encyclical was released in 1995 of the Feast of the Annunciation.
O Mary,
bright dawn of the new world,
Mother of the living,
to you do we entrust the cause of life
Look down, O Mother,
upon the vast numbers
of babies not allowed to be born,
of the poor whose lives are made difficult,
of men and women
who are victims of brutal violence,
of the elderly and the sick killed
by indifference or out of misguided mercy.
Grant that all who believe in your Son
may proclaim the Gospel of life
with honesty and love
to the people of our time.
Obtain for them the grace
to accept that Gospel
as a gift ever new,
the joy of celebrating it with gratitude
throughout their lives
and the courage to bear witness to it
resolutely, in order to build,
together with all people of good will,
the civilization of truth and love,
to the praise and glory of God,
the Creator and lover of life.
The Day of the Unborn Child website has 2 other prayers that can be prayed year round. They are:
Prayer to Christ Unborn

Dear Lord Jesus in the womb
of Blessed Virgin Mary,
before your birth You filled
the unborn Baptist
with the joy of the Holy Spirit.
Inspire us to see You
in every unborn child.
Grant us the perseverance
to defend vulnerable human life
from abortion, abandonment,
experimentation, and all violations.
Fill us with reverence for the moment
of your Incarnation in Nazareth
when the Word became flesh.
Prayer to Christ
In His Hidden and Public Life

Christ in the womb of Mary,
save the unborn and bless their defenders.
Christ the child, shield the innocent
and uphold those who guide them.
Christ the adolescent, lead our impressionable
youth and sanctify their role models.
Christ the worker, strengthen all who toil for subsistence
and inspire fairness and honesty in the workplace.
Christ the teacher, help us learn charity,
gratitude, and forgiveness in place of
indulgence, ignorance, and arrogance.
Christ the healer, imbue the medical and scientific
community with a full respect for every human life.
Christ crucified, comfort the afflicted
and soften hardened hearts.
Christ resurrected, save us all.
They have a page on their website where you can order copies of these prayers in English & Spanish. It also has more about these prayers as well as links to downloadable versions of the prayer.
As Papa Benedetto said: "God sees embryos as "full and complete" humans." As such they are clearly deserving of all the unalienable rights including the right to life. None of us can be involved in every Pro-Life activity, except 1, prayer. Here is an excellent opportunity to help make a powerful difference between LIFE & death.
You can check out my previous post St. Michael the Archangel - Defend Us in Our Battle Against Abortion for more on HLI's novena.
ALL also has some suggestions on how to celebrate the Feast of the Annunciation in a Pro-Life way on their Celebrate the Feast of the Annunciation page.
Another site to check out is that of The Association for The Arch of Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and International Shrine of the Holy Innocents. The orginization is working to build a memorial to the untold victims of abortion & has the endorsement of a wide number of Pro-Life & other Catholic leaders. Their advisory board includes Frs. Thomas Euteneuer & Frank Pavone as well as Bernard M. Nathanson, M. D.. The group is The Day of the Unborn Prayer Cards in their fundraising efforts.


This was the 2nd reading Wednesday for the Office of Readings in the Liturgy of the Hours. It was written by Saint Maximus the Confessor, abbot:
"God’s will is to save us, and nothing pleases him more than our coming back to him with true repentance. The heralds of truth and the ministers of divine grace have told us this from the beginning, repeating it in every age. Indeed, God’s desire for our salvation is the primary and pre-eminent sign of his infinite goodness. Precisely in order to show that there is nothing closer to God’s heart than this, the divine Word of God the Father, with untold condescension, lived among us in the flesh, and did, suffered, and said all that was necessary to reconcile us to God the Father, when we were at enmity with him, and to restore us to the life of blessedness from which we had been exiled. He healed our physical infirmities by miracles; he freed us from our sins, many and grievous as they were, by suffering and dying, taking them upon himself as if he were answerable for them, sinless though he was. He also taught us in many different ways that we should wish to imitate him by our own kindness and genuine love for one another.
So it was that Christ proclaimed that he had come to call sinners to repentance, not the righteous, and that it was not the healthy who required a doctor, but the sick. He declared that he had come to look for the sheep that was lost, and that it was to the lost sheep of the house of Israel that he had been sent. Speaking more obscurely in the parable of the silver coin, he tells us that the purpose of his coming was to reclaim the royal image, which had been coated with the filth of sin. “You can be sure there is joy in heaven’, he said, over one sinner who repents. To give the same lesson he revived the man who, having fallen into the hands of the brigands, had been left stripped and half-dead from his wounds; he poured wine and oil on the wounds, bandaged them, placed the man on his own mule and brought him to an inn, where he left sufficient money to have him cared for, and promised to repay any further expense on his return.
Again, he told of how that Father, who is goodness itself, was moved with pity for his profligate son who returned and made amends by repentance; how he embraced him, dressed him once more in the fine garments that befitted his own dignity, and did not reproach him for any of his sins.So too, when he found wandering in the mountains and hills the one sheep that had strayed from God’s flock of a hundred, he brought it back to the fold, but he did not exhaust it by driving it ahead of him. Instead, he placed it on his own shoulders and so, compassionately, he restored it safely to the flock.So also he cried out: Come to me, all you that toil and are heavy of heart. Accept my yoke’, he said, by which he meant his commands, or rather, the whole way of life that he taught us in the Gospel. He then speaks of a burden, but that is only because repentance seems difficult. In fact, however, my yoke is easy, he assures us, and my burden is light.
Then again he instructs us in divine justice and goodness, telling us to be like our heavenly Father, holy, perfect and merciful. Forgive, he says, and you will be forgiven. Behave toward other people as you would wish them to behave toward you."
St. Maximus suffered much for his defense of the orthodox faith against the heresy of his time, Monothelitism (that while Jesus had 2 natures, human & divine, he had only 1 will). At age 82 he was falsely accused of treason by some of those who supported the heresy, he was tried & convicted. His punishment was to have his tongue cut out & his right hand cut off. After being paraded through the streets of Constantinople he was exiled to Skhemeris on the Black Sea where he died shortly thereafter (13 August 662 AD).

I Guess This Proves It

I love taking those quizes that try & prove you are someone or something. Pop psychiatry is basically what it is. Sometimes there are 2 diifernt ways I could possibly go. So, for this quiz I changed the answer & the result, depending n the answer I am either Pope Pius XII (shades of a joke I made in a talk about piety in a CEW talk 20some yrs ago) or Pope John Paul the Great.
In the end I guess this proves the fact that I am papabili. ;)

The question is, which am I?

Am I Pius?

Which Twentieth Century Pope Are You?

You are Pope Pius XII. You're efficient and dedicated, but not very approachable.
Take this quiz!


Make A Quiz More Quizzes Grab Code


Which Twentieth Century Pope Are You?

You are Pope John Paul II. You are a force to be reckoned with.
Take this quiz!


Make A Quiz More Quizzes Grab Code

Either way, I doubt if I will be getting fitted for my white zuchetto any time soon.

This Is Probably the Closest I'll Ever Get to It Really Happenning

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Spring Has Sprung! *

* Or will later today (7:07 pm CDT to be exact)!

Sorry, it isn't Senorita Cucaracha (AKA Curly of the 3 Stooges), but here to welcome Spring in is Johann Strauss' Voices of Spring:

(Vocal - Sumi Jo (Coloratura Soprano)
Conductor - Alfredo Silipigni
1993, Soul, South Korea.)

OK, if you insist:

And now for a word from our sponsor:

Moe: Use Gritto, radio friends, the soap that gives your hands that dishpan look. How will the old man know you've been working... if your hands -don't- have that dishpan look, hmm
Moe: Put a box of Gritto in a glass of water, then listen to it fizz...
[Larry and Curly honk a large horn. Moe is irked]
Moe: Dopes. Remember, Gritto spelled sideways, is 'ot-tri-gruh-guh-guhhh'.
(from Micro-Phonies 1945)

THIS is News?

Hokah man centers his life around prayer

The above is an actual headline from an article in the 9 March 2007 edition of The LaCrosse Tribune. The headline strikes me as a little sad as it makes it sound like a person centering his life arround prayer is something that is not normal. Remember the old joke about the headline: Dog Bites Man isn't news, but Man Bites Dog is? This sort of reminds me like that. People who are in the habit of Christian prayer shouldn't be news. Unfortunately, with the way so much of America has cut God out of everyday life, what should be the norm has become the unusual, & thus newsworthy. What was normal, a person's life centered arround Christ & a daily prayer schedule, now isn't.
What this article is about isn't just that he prays. In this case it is about a person's experiences with monastic-style prayer. & in that sense, it is actually different from the average Christian's prayer life. The person in this case is 1 of my oldest friends, Dan McKenzie. We met long ago, in a galaxy far away when we were both students at Loras College. Dan was from Sioux City. He came originally as a seminarian from the Sioux City Diocese. Eventually he met his future wife, LuAnn (something I helped played a part in bringing about) & was married (& yes, I was in the wedding). A few years later their son Jon came along. In the mid 80s he moved up to the LaCrosse area to work. & for as long as I've known him, he has been anything but average. These days we usually get together when he is down here at New Melleray Abbey in Peosta. Otherwise we communicate via the internet.
The article is quite interesting. & for the secular media, it does well in catching what Dan's prayer life is all about. Monastic prayer is centered arround setting aside certain periods of time during the day for prayer, Bible & Spiritual reading as well as meditating & contemplating on what is read. The idea is that by doing so you sanctify the entire day. Western Monasticism owes its form to St. Benedict & the Rule that he wrote.
A part of this daily prayer is the use of The Divine Liturgy (Liturgy of the Hours) that is prayed in various forms in both the Eastern & Western Catholic Churches that make up the Catholic Church by priests, religious & many of the laity. This Liturgy uses the Psalms & the various Old & New Testament Canticles in a cycle ( usually a 2 or 4 week cycle depending on the form). The hour known as Vigils or The Office of Readings has a longer reading from Scripture after the Psalms as well as a reading from the Church Fathers, Church documents, or a hagiographic reading for a saint's feast. On Sundays (Lent excepted) & feast days the Te Deum is also included. There is also an option to extend it with additional canticles & a reading from the Gospel in some situations. The 2 hinge hours are Lauds (Morning Prayer) & Vespers (Evening Prayer). These 2 hours have a shorter reading followed by The Canticle of Zechariah for Lauds & The Canticle of Mary for Vespers. During the day there are 3 other hours, Terce, Sext & None. These are much shorter prayers &, depending on who is saying them, not always required. The final part is Compline (Night Prayer). This short hour includes the Nunc Dimittis (the prayer said by Simeon in the Temple).
The Divine Office can be & for most people usually is prayed by the individual alone. But there is something special when you can participate in it with at least a friend & esp at a place like New Melleray where you can participate in it at its fullest. As Dan says: "Once you’ve been with these guys, prayed with them and experienced the depth of spirituality like that, it just never goes away. You have something concrete in your heart."
While I don't pray all the Hours (I don't pray the 3 short mid day Hours), The Divine Office is at the heart of my prayer life also. What the article says about how Dan feels if he misses prayer: "he has ignored the most important part of his life. " is asolutely true.
In the article Dan shares a little of what his experience of God is as a result of his times in prayer & contemplation: “Sitting there in his presence, you feel his presence all around you and with you and it’s something that stays with you the rest of the day.
You still feel like you’ve got this warm blanket around you because that unity in contemplation just stays with you. And if you skip it for a few days it shows, just like any loving couple, married couple, if they don’t spend time with each other like that, the relationship just goes to pieces.
Dan's son Jon has been going along since he was 12. Jon was married last Fall & is now on his own. In my opinion, taking Jon along over the years has helped Dan to give him the best foundation for married life that he could have, a living faith in Jesus.
The type of contemplative prayer that Dan is talking about isn't the "New Agey" type that is so popular today. This is the type of contemplative prayer called for in the Psalms, practiced by Jesus, Peter, Paul, Mary & the Church down through the ages. Contemplative prayer is meditating on Scripture, hearing what God is saying to you doing as Mary is described as doing in Luke 2:15 "And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart." Another translation uses the word "pondered".
As Dan put it: “We can read all about God, but experiencing God is a whole different thing. said. Contemplation is about experiencing God, not just learning about him.” It “teaches you that there is more to life than this hectic monster of a world that I get up to every day. It is possible to live a peaceful, prayerful life in a wild world.” I couldn't agree more.
(Photo: Dan McKenzie, basement of his home, by Erik Daily for The LaCrosse Tribune)

Monday, March 19, 2007

Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen on St. Joseph


A Meditation on St. Joseph from Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

As Joseph had a mind to put Mary away secretly, the Gospel lifts the veil of the mystery to him: "But hardly had the thought come to his mind, when an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, and said, 'Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take thy wife Mary to thyself, for it is by the power of the Holy Ghost that she has conceived this child; and she will bear a son, whom thou shalt call Jesus, for he is to save his people from their sins' " (Mt I:20-21).

Joseph's worries were overcome by a revelation of the dignity of Christ's Virgin Birth and of the nature of His mission-- namely, to save us from our sins. The very words of the angel: "Do not be afraid to take thy wife Mary to thyself" seem to support the view that Joseph already believed that miracle had taken place in Mary and that that was why he "feared" to bring her into his own house. It is unlikely that any man told of a Virgin Birth would ever have credited it if there had not already been in his heart a belief in the Messias, Christ, Who was to come. Joseph knew that the Messias would be born of the family of David, and he himself was of that family. He also knew of the prophecies concerning the Child, even the one of Isaias that He would be born of a Virgin. If Joseph had not already been described as a just man, the message of the angel and the honor that was to come to Mary would have been enough to have inspired great purity in him. For if a modern father were told that one day his son would be President of the United States, it would inspire a changed attitude toward his wife, the mother of the child. In like manner, all anxiety and anguish now leave Joseph, as his soul is filled with reverence and awe for the love of Mary's secret.

-From World's First Love (pages 90-91)

Protector of Holy Church, pray for us.
Light of Patriarchs, pray for us.
Pillar of families, pray for us.

Good Saint Joseph, your faithful love protected and nourished the Mother of God and Jesus Christ, her son.Your fatherly care led to maturity he through whom all creation began. Through your intercession, may God guide and protect all human life from conception to natural death, and lead this nation in the ways of truth and of love. Pray for us, good Saint Joseph, that joined with Christ Jesus, we might give praise to God forever. Amen.

Labels: ,

Is That Mango Tree Still Available?

She's 71 today & she is still the standard by which all the other Bond Girls are judged.


(AKA Honey Rider in Dr. No & Vesper Lynd in Casino Royale [1967])

The Future is Nearer Than You Think

I grew up in a family that was always politically active. The 1st campaign I was involved with was the 1964 election. I worked for President Johnson as well as other local candidates by helping my Mom out at the local Dem HQ. I was 8 years old at the time (9 by the day of the election). Over the years I continued to be active in the various levels of politics from local to federal & all levels in-between. & while I have since migrated from the Democratic to the Republican Party, because the Democratic Party moved at near light speed far to the left of what I have & STILL DO believe in, I am always happy to see it when young people are politically aware & active.

That is why I enjoy being advisor to the Loras College Republicans. Over the years I have met a lot of hard working young men & women (even some from Clarke & UD as well as an occasional HS student) who care about our country, as a result of being their advisor. Being on the DBQ Co. Republican Central Committee has also allowed me similar experiences with the youth of the area.

Recently the blog-o-sphere has allowed me to expand my experiences of seeing young people who are politically active. 2 of these tyros are 16 yr old Daniel Myers from Tennessee & 14 yr old Asher Heimermann of Sheboygan. WI. These young men have opportunities to use tools that I couldn't even dream of when I was their age. & they ARE using them.

Daniel Myers has a blog called Politics One. He started the blog in Oct 2006. The reason: to "discuss REAL politics One on One or as a group." The blog "discusses what you want to hear not what the publisher wants to talk about." The blog allows discussion of candidates from any & all sides of the political spectrum, liberal, conservative, libertarian & even vampire (Yes, there is actually someone running as a vampire.). Recently he started his own talk show on Blog Talk Radio on the internet (See what I mean about tools I never had.) called Politics One (naturally). He has already interviewed some of the 2008 presidential candidates. They are not just Democratic or Republican candidates but some of the other political parties' candidates also. & while he hasn't yet gotten any of what would be considered the 1st tier candidates to appear on his show, I wouldn't be surprized if he does eventually succeed in doing so. In fact I will be surprized, & disappointed, if he doesn't.

The other young man is Asher Heimermann. He has officially announced his candidacy for president in 2032. (Reminds me of me at that age.) & even though there isn't much on it, yes he does have an Asher for President website. He is actively involved in local politics in his area, being a pain in the neck at times (not a bad thing). He also has a blog called The Official Asher Heimermann Blog naturally. In addition he also has The Official Website of Asher Heimermann. He has a contest going for a tagline & a theme song for the website. No idea what the winner gets for a prize though. & of course he has his own talk radio show: Asher Talk Radio. He is also trying to get other teens in the Sheyboygan area active in the political arena by providing an internet forum for them to discuss their concerns. The site is called Sheboygan Teen Talk. I like what he said about the reason for starting it: "Some people say that teenagers or kids dont need a voice at all. That is just sad. Teenagers some day will vote and pay taxes. They should have a voice and there is no law saying that that they can't. They should know whats going on in there government and that what will lead into politics."
These are just 2 examples of what I am sure are plenty of young people from all parts of the political spectrum who are out there doing similar activities. I wish both of these young men well in their efforts. It will be interesting to see what effect they have in the short as well as the long run. I wonder what they will be saying 30 yrs from now about the next generation & what tools that generation will have that we can't even dream of today.
Update: Asher Heimermann has moved his blog. You can now view The Official Asher Heimermann Blog <--here. (23 March 2007)
(Photos: Daniel Myers from his Blog Talk Radio site
Asher Heimermann The Official Photo of Asher for The Official Website of Asher Heimermann website as well as his blog)

San Giuseppe

Padrone mio
Prayer to Saint Joseph for the Whole Church
O Glorious Saint Joseph, you were chosen by God to be the foster father of Jesus, the most pure spouse of Mary, ever Virgin, and the head of the Holy Family. You have been chosen by Christ's Vicar as the heavenly Patron and Protector of the Church founded by Christ.
Protect the Sovereign Pontiff and all bishops and priests united with him. Be the protector of all who labor for souls amid the trials and tribulations of this life; and grant that all peoples of the world may be docile to the Church without which there is no salvation.
Dear Saint Joseph, accept the offering I make to you. Be my father, protector, and guide in the way of salvation. Obtain for me purity of heart and a love for the spiritual life. After you example, let all my actions be directed to the greater glory of God, in union with the Divine Heart of Jesus, the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and your own paternal heart. Finally, pray for me that I may share in the peace and joy of your holy death. Amen.
From a sermon by Saint Bernardine of Siena:
"He was chosen by the eternal Father as the trustworthy guardian and protector of his greatest treasures, namely, his divine Son and Mary, Joseph's wife. He carried out this vocation with complete fidelity until at last God called him, saying 'Good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord.' "
" There is a general rule concerning all special graces granted to any human being. Whenever the divine favor chooses someone to receive a special grace, or to accept a lofty vocation, God adorns the person chosen with all the gifts of the Spirit needed to fulfill the task at hand.
This general rule is especially verified in the case of Saint Joseph, the foster-father of our Lord, and the husband of the Queen of our world, enthroned above the angels. He was chosen by the eternal Father as the trustworthy guardian and protector of his greatest treasures, namely, his divine Son and Mary, Joseph's wife. He carried out this vocation with complete fidelity until at last God called him, saying "Good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord."
Remember us, Saint Joseph, and plead for us to your foster child. Ask your most holy bride, the Virgin Mary, to look kindly upon us, since she is the mother of him who with the Father and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns eternally. Amen "
Papal Writings:
Quamquam Pluries: On Devotion to Saint Joseph, Encyclical by Pope Leo XIII, 15 August 1889
Redemptoris Custos: Guardian of the Redeemer, Apostolic Exhortation by Pope John Paul II, 15 August 1989

Labels: Headlines

↑ Grab this Headline Animator

Get this widget!
Visit the Widget Gallery