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

Monday, December 31, 2012

My Last Post

for 2012 that is.
God willing I will be doing many more of them in the year ahead.


Since it is not officially the New Year without Guy Lombardo & His Royal Canadians playing Auld Lang here it is:

For those of you who are unfamiliar with my paisan, here is a short video:

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Thought for the Day - 30 December 2012

Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Timing of Publishing My Latest Letter in the TH Seems a Little Fishy

On Tuesday, 11 December 2012, I put up a post about Bishop Morlino of Madison banning 2 Sinsinawa Dominicans who are big promoters of New Age heresies from speaking in the diocese. The next day I wrote a letter to the editor of the Telegraph Herald via their website. That same day, I received a call from a TH employee to confirm it. But since I wasn't at home at the time she called I had to wait until Thursday (13 Dec) to reply.
Normally, when a letter is written it appears within a few days (3-4) after they confirm you wrote it. So when the letter didn't appear by the 17th December, I figured they weren't going to publish it.
Meanwhile, on 19 December, lo & behold, an article on the Bishop's ban appeared in the TH. Unlike the original article in the Madison paper, said almost nothing about why they were banned. The TH article also fails to mention that the ban was promulgated 27 November 2012 & that it was made public more than a week before the TH reported the story.
I am not saying that this is any more than the usual poor reporting done by the paper to make it looks like they are providing good coverage. But then something else happenned to make me suspicious that the TH was trying to cover-up their lack of timeliness on the coverage of the story, that the TH article was mostly a rewrite of the Madison story & the fact that I scooped them by a whole week.
The event I am refering to is that my letter was finally published in the paper yesterday (28 December 2012). You can read the text below.
Now why did they sit on this letter for over 2 weeks? I suspect that part of the reason was to make it look like my letter was in response to their article. If they had published before their story appeared, I would have made them look bad as I said. Also, it would have given my view of the events the chance to be heard 1st. The TH article clearly tries to build up the sisters as just being good Catholics.
Another reason for not publishing it before or soon after the story would be that my letter makes it clear that there was a careful investigation. The TH article makes it seem like this ban was more arbitrary than anything. It could have reported specifics about the Bishop's concerns since both the Vicar General's letter to the pastors & the synopis of concerns document explaining the exact concerns were available. This is in addition to a statement issued after the story broke. The article shows that they were aware of those documents. Yet they chose to ignore the whole story of the Diocese's reasons & actions. My letter goes into greater detail, in the 250 word limit, as to why they were banned. The TH mentions only 2 programs, one on centering prayer, that both sound like they are well within orthodox Catholicism. they totally fail to mention any of the other programs/talks that the Diocese points out are New Age. Or the fact that there are concerns about the teachings the Centering Prayer  program is based on promotes the New Age idea of transforming consciousness.
Besides that, my letter applauds Bishop Morlino for doing what he is required to do as a good Bishop. Clearly the TH didn't want the fact that they weren't making it look that way to have attention drawn to it. As an aside, I am sure that this wasn't too welcome is some parts of the DBQ Archdiocesan chancery as well, since it points out the Archbishop's silence on many New Age activities in this area.
Interestingly, this isn't the 1st time I have seen a long delay from the time I wrote a letter, was contacted & it was finally published. Also of interest is the fact that it also involved the Sinsinawa Dominicans & Sr. Donna, their infamous abortion mill escort. That letter was published 9 days after I sent it & 8 days after they contacted me to see if I sent it. At that time, I had made the TH & the Sinsinawa Dominicans look bad. 1st of all by showing how the TH had totally ignored the story. Additionally I had forced the Sinsinawa Domincans to respond locally, something it is clear they had hoped to avoid. (Whole post about that here)
As another aside, I have to laugh at 1 of the comments made accusing me of being dramatic in calling any failure to correct these sisters by their order as scandalous. Clearly this person doesn't understand the Catholic Church's teaching about scandal as a sin against the 5th Commandment, Thou Shalt Not Kill!
Also, I plan on putting a link to this post on the Sinsinawa Dominicans Facebook page challenging them to reject the New Age doctrines. I suspect it will be taken down in short order.

Posted: Friday, December 28, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 5:02 am, Fri Dec 28, 2012.           
Bravo to Bishop Robert Morlino, of the Madison Diocese, for forbidding those involved with Wisdom's Well Interfaith Spirituality Center to be "allowed to preach, catechize, lead spiritual or prayer instructions or exercises, or to provide spiritual direction or guidance at churches, oratories, or chapels within the Diocese of Madison, whether as individuals or as official representatives of Wisdom's Well.Why? Concerns about what they taught, "certain views flowing from New Ageism, panentheism and indifferentism, and may not share an authentic view of the Catholic Church's approach to interreligious dialogue. These views are often associated with a spirit of relativism that can be an extreme result emanating from the 'hermeneutic of rupture' as a misinterpretation of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council."
As the diocesan spokesman made clear, this came about after careful investigation. So, there is solid basis for Bishop Morlino's actions. He was doing what a good bishop should do, protecting his flock from wolves attempting to harm the sheep he is spiritually in charge of.
Two of those involved are members of the Sinsinawa Dominicans, Sisters Maureen McDonnell (co-founder) and Lynn Lisbeth.
It seems the Sinsinawa Dominicans endorse their teachings. They issued a statement, saying they "wholeheartedly support our sisters" who are "preaching and teaching Gospel values."
Those so-called gospel values are a false gospel St. Paul warned about that would bring God's curse on them (Galatians 1:8).
Sinsinawa should take their lead from Bishop Morlino, correcting them for their errors in Christian charity.
To not do so is scandalous!

Labels: ,

Friday, December 28, 2012

166 Years Old Today - & Still the Best State in the Union

Today marks the 166th Anniversary of Iowa becoming a state. I know, not 1 of those glamorous anniversaries, but still worth celebrating.
Iowa was a part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. It was originally part of the Louisiana Territory, later renamed the Missouri Territory. From 1821 when Missouri became a state until 1834 it was not a part of any organized territory & was closed to white settlers. In 1834 it was attached to the Michigan Territory. In 1836 all of the territory that was not to become a part of the new state of Michigan became the Wisconsin Territory. In 1838 the area known as the Iowa District became a seperate territory.
As you can see, it included parts of Minnesota & the Dakotas. Then in 1846, Iowa became the 29th state in the Union. Proudly, it was always a free state.
But before it became a state, there was a huge debate between Iowa & the US Congress about its boundaries. The original proposal to Congress in 1845 included parts of Minnesota. Congress replied with a plan that cut off what is now the Western 1/3 of the state. Because of those imposed boundaries, the original constitution was rejected. Finally boundaries that are basicly the current ones were proposed & passed at the Constitutional Convention in May 1846.  (More on this here @ IPTV) It was on this day in 1846 that President Polk signed the bill making Iowa a state.
You will notice that I said basicly about the boundries. because even before statehood there was a huge disagreement about the Northern border of Missouri & thus what would be the Southern border of Iowa. This disgareement was known as the Honey War. The debate was over a 9.5 mile wide strip that ran from the Des Moines River to the Missouri  River. In 1839 the dispute was sent to the US Supreme Court. They finally issued a decision in 1849 (State of Missouri v State of Iowa ) saying the Sullivan Line with small adjustments for some quirks was the boundary, creating the current Southern boundary of Iowa. Iowa is the only state whose east and west borders are formed entirely by rivers.
The state got its names from the Iowa also known as the Báxoje people. They are part of the Sioux Nation. They speak Chiwere (also called Iowa-Otoe-Missouria or Báxoje-Jíwere-Ñút’achi), a Siouian language. Sadly the last fluent speaker died in 1996 & there only about 40 semi-fluent speakers.
Iowa's flag wasn't adopted until 1921.
The state seal was adopted in 1847 has an interesting part of its description in the state code: "the citizen soldier, with a plow in his rear". Obviously they meant right behind him as you see, not literally in his rear.
Both the seal & flag have an eagle carrying a banner with the state motto, "Our Liberties We Prize and Our Rights We Will Maintain."
The state flower is the Wild Rose; the state tree is the Oak; the state bird is the Eastern Goldfinch,aka the American Goldfinch; & the state rock is the Geode. The state song is The Song of Iowa, sung to the tune of Der Tannenbaum.
According to the US Census Bureau, the state grass is Bluebunch Wheatgrass. But I can't find anything about that in the Iowa Official Register, aka the Iowa Red Book.
 Technically, Iowa has 2 state Capitals, in Des Moines & Iowa City. "The seat of government is hereby permanently established, as now fixed by law, at the city of Des Moines, in the county of Polk; and the state university, at Iowa City, in the county of Johnson." (Iowa Constitution, Article XI, Section 8)
I could go on & on about all Iowa has done for the country. President Herbert Hoover was born in Iowa. Presidents Richard M. Nixon & Ronald Reagan lived in Iowa for a time. Henry Wallace was Vice President onder FDR. Two 1st ladies hailed from Iowa, Lou Henry Hoover & Mamie Dowd Eisenhower.
There are way to many other famous Iowans to mention them all. Some of them include Carry Chapman Catt, Buffalo Bill Cody, Grant Wood, Johnny Carson, John Wayne, Bill Baird, Le De Forrest (Vacuum tube), William Frawley, Donna Reed, Glen Miller, Andy Williams, The Everly Brothers,  Elijah Wood, Simon Estes, Norman Bourlag, Bix Beiderbeck, Cloris Leachmen, John L. Lewis, Roger Williams, Dr. James Van Allen, Wyatt Earp Simon Estes & Meredith Willson. Others lived for a while in Iowa, working or attending school. They include Don Ameche (buried in Asbury), George Washington Carver, Gary Cooper, Harry Reasoner, the Wright Brothers & Herbie Hancock. (See here for a more incvlusive list) In addition the 1st digital computer was invented in Iowa in 1942.
I could go on, but you get the point. I am using this date to do a little bragging about what is the, unarguably, best state in the Union. & why the USA would be much the poorer without us.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Buon Natale!

Tu Scendi Dalle Stelle

In 2006 I started what has become a tradition for this blog, posting videos of my favorite Italiano Christmas carol, Tu Scendi Dalle Stelle. It was written by St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori, a doctor of the Catholic Church in 1744. It is sung every year at the end of Midnight Mass at the Vatican as the Pope processes out. It never fails to tug at my heart each time I hear it. After sharing a few versions I will print the lyrics as well as the translation.
I have to always start out with the video that started it out. This version is a lighthearted version by a paisan of mine.


Next up is an instrumental version of the carol.

Yes, playing an accordian is acceptable for Italianos. However, for those of you who are into a little more classical style of music

Here is a version done by a boys' choir in Brazil

Finally, I repeat the video of the Pope at the 2009 Midnight Mass processing out with some children to the precipio with Il Bambino Gesu.


Tu scendi dalle stelle

Tu scendi dalle stelle
O Re del Cielo
E vieni in una grotta
Al freddo al gelo
E vieni in una grotta
Al freddo al gelo.

O Bambino mio Divino
Io ti vedo qui a tremar,
O Dio Beato!
Ah, quanto ti costò
L’avermi amato.
Ah, quanto ti costò
L’avermi amato.

A te che sei del mondo,
Il creatore,
Mancano panni e fuoco,
O mio Signore.
Mancano panni e fuoco,
O mio Signore.

Caro eletto pargoletto,
Quanto questa povertà
Più mi innamora,
Giacchè ti fece amor
Povero ancora.
Giacchè ti fece amor
Povero ancora.

You Come Down from the Stars
(English Translation)

You come down from the stars
Oh King of Heavens,
And you come in a cave
In the cold, in the frost.
And you come in a cave
In the cold, in the frost.

Oh my Divine Baby
I see you trembling here,
Oh Blessed God
Ah, how much it cost you,
Your loving me.
Ah, how much it cost you,
Your loving me.

For you, who are of all the world
The creator,
No robes and fire,
Oh my Lord,
No robes and fire,
Oh my Lord.

Dear chosen one, little infant,
This dire poverty,
Makes me love you more,
Since Love made you
Poor now,
Since Love made you
Poor now.


Thought for the Day - 25 December 2012

Monday, December 24, 2012

Ray Stevens' Nightmare Before Christmas

Padre Pio's Christmas Meditation

Padre Pio's Christmas Meditation
Appearing in volume four of the Italian-language edition of Padre Pio's letters, this essay was taken from Padre Pio's hand-written notebooks.
Translated by Frank M. Rega, December 2005.
"Padre Pio da Pietrelcina: Epistolario IV," Edizioni Padre Pio, San Giovanni Rotondo, 2002, pages 1007-1009.

Far into the night, at the coldest time of the year, in a chilly grotto, more suitable for a flock of beasts than for humans, the promised Messiah – Jesus – the savior of mankind, comes into the world in the fullness of time. There are none who clamor around him: only an ox and an ass lending their warmth to the newborn infant; with a humble woman, and a poor and tired man, in adoration beside him.
Nothing can be heard except the sobs and whimpers of the infant God. And by means of his crying and weeping he offers to the Divine justice the first ransom for our redemption.
He had been expected for forty centuries; with longing sighs the ancient Fathers had implored his arrival. The sacred scriptures clearly prophesy the time and the place of his birth, and yet the world is silent and no one seems aware of the great event. Only some shepherds, who had been busy watching over their sheep in the meadows, come to visit him. Heavenly visitors had alerted them to the wondrous event, inviting them to approach his cave.
PPInfantJesus.jpg (17808 bytes)
So plentiful, O Christians, are the lessons that shine forth from the grotto of Bethlehem! Oh how our hearts should be on fire with love for the one who with such tenderness was made flesh for our sakes! Oh how we should burn with desire to lead the whole world to this lowly cave, refuge of the King of kings, greater than any worldly palace, because it is the throne and dwelling place of God! Let us ask this Divine child to clothe us with humility, because only by means of this virtue can we taste the fullness of this mystery of Divine tenderness.
Glittering were the palaces of the proud Hebrews. Yet, the light of the world did not appear in one of them. Ostentatious with worldly grandeur, swimming in gold and in delights, were the great ones of the Hebrew nation; filled with vain knowledge and pride were the priests of the sanctuary. In opposition to the true meaning of Divine revelation, they awaited an officious savoir, who would come into the world with human renown and power.
But God, always ready to confound the wisdom of the world, shatters their plans. Contrary to the expectations of those lacking in Divine wisdom, he appears among us in the greatest abjection, renouncing even birth in St. Joseph’s humble home, denying himself a modest abode among relatives and friends in a city of Palestine. Refused lodging among men, he seeks refuge and comfort among mere animals, choosing their habitation as the place of his birth, allowing their breath to give warmth to his tender body. He permits simple and rustic shepherds to be the first to pay their respects to him, after he himself informed them, by means of his angels, of the wonderful mystery.
Oh wisdom and power of God, we are constrained to exclaim – enraptured along with your Apostle – how incomprehensible are your judgments and unsearchable your ways! Poverty, humility, abjection, contempt, all surround the Word made flesh. But we, out of the darkness that envelops the incarnate Word, understand one thing, hear one voice, perceive one sublime truth: you have done everything out of love, you invite us to nothing else but love, speak of nothing except love, give us naught except proofs of love.
Padre_Pio_a_Natale.jpg (68654 bytes)
The heavenly babe suffers and cries in the crib so that for us suffering would be sweet, meritorious and accepted. He deprives himself of everything, in order that we may learn from him the renunciation of worldly goods and comforts. He is satisfied with humble and poor adorers, to encourage us to love poverty, and to prefer the company of the little and simple rather than the great ones of the world.
This celestial child, all meekness and sweetness, wishes to impress in our hearts by his example these sublime virtues, so that from a world that is torn and devastated an era of peace and love may spring forth. Even from the moment of his birth he reveals to us our mission, which is to scorn that which the world loves and seeks.
Oh let us prostrate ourselves before the manger, and along with the great St. Jerome, who was enflamed with the love of the infant Jesus, let us offer him all our hearts without reserve. Let us promise to follow the precepts which come to us from the grotto of Bethlehem, which teach us that everything here below is vanity of vanities, nothing but vanity.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Thought for the Day - 23 December 2012

A Unique, All-Star Version of "A Christmas Carol"

As I have pointed out in other posts, my favorite version of  A Christmas Carol is the 1951 version with Alastair Sim, aka Scrooge. Some of the others, like the Mr. Magooversion for TV also rank up there.
Then there is the 1979 version starring Rich Little that was done by him for HBO.In it he, naturally, played every part, except for the extras. Only with Rich Little could you still have an All-Star cast like this.
It stars:
W. C. Fields as Ebenezer Scrooge

Paul Lynde as Bob Cratchit
Johnny Carson as Fred
Laurel and Hardy as the two solicitors
Richard Nixon as Jacob Marley
Humphrey Bogart as the Ghost of Christmas Past
Groucho Marx as Fezziwig
James Stewart as Dick Wilkins
Peter Falk as Columbo as the Ghost of Christmas Present
Jean Stapleton as Edith Bunker as Mrs. Cratchit
Truman Capote as Tiny Tim
Peter Sellers as Inspector Clouseau as the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come
James Mason, George Burns &John Wayne as the three businessmen
Jack Benny as a boy

Since it is rarely seen, I offer you this chance to watch it  (Note: there are some plugs for other shows at the beginning of part 1, it starts about 3 minutes and 30 seconds in)

Saturday, December 22, 2012

"A Christmas Carol" Was Scrooge a Liberal turned Conservative?

My favorte Christmas movie is, was & likely always will be the 1951 version of A Christmas Carol (aka Scrooge) starring Alastair Sim. I grew up watching it rerun every year on KCRG-TV on the Sunday afternoon before Christmas. There have been many other versions but this remains the definitive version.
I say this because, more than the others it captures the solid Christian message that Dickens includes when he wrote it in 1843. (More on that here)
Unfortunately KCRG no longer has the rights to air it, but thank to DVD I can dig it out any time I want. I will admit I also having & watching several other versions as well. Each has their strengths & weaknesses. But I still enjoy them. (No, the recent Jim Carrey version is not among them. & based on the trailer, not 1 I care to add to the collection.)
So naturally, I have been watching those various versions the past few days, as well as reading the book. This year as I started watching them, I noticed something interesting, how contemporary Scrooge is despite this taking place in 1843.  Scrooge at the start of the book would fit in today among the liberal elites & support their agenda. By the end of the book he would be more like the modern conservative.
Why do I say this? For several reasons.
1st of all, Scrooge hated Christmas. He wanted to stop people from saying "Merry Christmas!" or publicly celebrating it. Remember what he told his nephew Fred " Merry Christmas! Out upon merry Christmas! . . .   If I could work my will, every idiot who goes about with 'Merry Christmas' on his lips, should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart. He should!" Don't we see that today with the way saying Merry Christmas is condemned as being insensative as well as all the attempts to keep even schools from celebrating Christmas because it isn't PC to do so?
Next up, let us look at his view on who should be responsible for the poor. We see this it what he said to the 2 gentlemen from a private charity seeking donations to help the poor with their needs, like food & fuel.
"Are there no prisons?" asked Scrooge.
"Plenty of prisons," said the gentleman, laying down the pen again.
"And the Union workhouses?" demanded Scrooge. "Are they still in operation?"
"They are. Still," returned the gentleman, "I wish I could say they were not."
"The Treadmill and the Poor Law are in full vigour, then?" said Scrooge.
"Both very busy, sir."
"Oh! I was afraid, from what you said at first, that something had occurred to stop them in their useful course," said Scrooge. "I'm very glad to hear it."
"Under the impression that they scarcely furnish Christian cheer of mind or body to the multitude," returned the gentleman, "a few of us are endeavouring to raise a fund to buy the Poor some meat and drink and means of warmth. We choose this time, because it is a time, of all others, when Want is keenly felt, and Abundance rejoices. What shall I put you down for?"
"Nothing!" Scrooge replied.
"You wish to be anonymous?"
"I wish to be left alone," said Scrooge. "Since you ask me what I wish, gentlemen, that is my answer. I don't make merry myself at Christmas and I can't afford to make idle people merry. I help to support the establishments I have mentioned -- they cost enough; and those who are badly off must go there." (emphasis mine)
In other words, Scrooge believed that it was the responsibility of government to deal with the poor & their needs.
Next up we have what he said next to the 2 gentlemen about "the surplus population."
"If they would rather die," said Scrooge, "they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population." (emphasis mine)
That quote was  reference to the Malthusian view that we can only sustain a certain number of people on Earth. Thus, there need to be checks on the number of people born. This theory is the basis for the promoters of population control, especially in the 3rd world, that we see today. They use this much discredited idea to justify artificial birth control as well as abortion.
Malthus would also have been at home with Peter Singer's idea that a person has to earn the right to live as well.
It is also clear that Scrooge doesn't believe in God. Or at best, denied the existance of Hell? Remember how, at 1st, he doubted that Marley's ghost was real?
It wasn't until he admitted that he believed Marley's ghost was real that his conversion could begin.
It is also clear that despite the fact that he was "a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous, old sinner!" he didn't see what he, or Marley did, by not caring for the least of his brethren, was wrong. I'll get back to this later.
But, before I go on, I have to point out 1 other thing Dicken's criticizes, using Scrooge to point it out. In the 3rd Stave Scrooge tells the Spirit of Christmas Present that in his name the liberal elite of thier time were trying to pass laws that would shut down the bakeries where the poor brought their Sunday meat to be roasted as well as put limits on their recreation. These laws, sponsored by Sir Andrew Agnew would have left the elite unaffected.
I can hear some people saying "Wasn't Dickens attacking capitalism?" To that I say "NO!" What he was doing was attacking the abuses done in the name of capitalism. In fact, after his repentance we see Scrooge living out what we find in the Catholic Church's social teachings beginning with those by Pope Leo XIII especiallyRerum Novarum. I am going to make a few references from the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church here, but I recommending reading the complete teaching as found in the Compendium as well as the Catechism. 1st of all, the Catholic Church condemns socialism in all forms (par 89 & 267). It also points out the "value of private property" (par 92) It calls for the right use of private property as well as profit.(Par 330-349) "The social doctrine of the Church recognizes the proper role of profit as the first indicator that a business is functioning well: “when a firm makes a profit, this means that productive factors have been properly employed”. " . . . . "It is essential that within a business the legitimate pursuit of profit should be in harmony with the irrenounceable protection of the dignity of the people who work at different levels in the same company. These two goals are not in the least contrary to one another, since, on the one hand, it would not be realistic to try to guarantee the firm's future without the production of useful goods and services and without making a profit, which is the fruit of the economic activity undertaken. On the other hand, allowing workers to develop themselves fosters increased productivity and efficiency in the very work undertaken. " (par 340)
As an aside I would like to have people look at par 291. It says "The duty of the State does not consist so much in directly guaranteeing the right to work of every citizen, making the whole of economic life very rigid and restricting individual free initiative, as much as (instead it consists) in the duty to “sustain business activities by creating conditions which will ensure job opportunities, by stimulating those activities where they are lacking or by supporting them in moments of crisis”." (emphasis & comment mine) Dicken's clearly opposed government efforts to control everything, just to ensure that workers would be treated fairly & justly, just like the Catholic Church does.
As I pointed out, Scrooge was a sinner. & Marley was allowed to return to Scrooge as the start of bringing about his conversion. In desribing the punishment of Marley & the other sinners of his ilk, we see echoes of Dante's Inferno.
Their punishment is based on their sins. We see that in the chains they wear that they "forged in life." We see that in how Marley's "hair, and skirts, and tassels, were still agitated as by the hot vapour from an oven." & we see it especially in what Scrooge was shown by Marley from his window. "The air was filled with phantoms, wandering hither and thither in restless haste, and moaning as they went. Every one of them wore chains like Marley's Ghost; some few (they might be guilty governments) were linked together; none were free. Many had been personally known to Scrooge in their lives. He had been quite familiar with one old ghost, in a white waistcoat, with a monstrous iron safe attached to its ankle, who cried piteously at being unable to assist a wretched woman with an infant, whom it saw below, upon a door-step. The misery with them all was, clearly, that they sought to interfere, for good, in human matters, and had lost the power for ever."
The change in Scrooge began with Marley's visit. But it should be seen as only the door openning to the working of God's Spirit in his life. God then uses the 3 spirits to show Scrooge the path he took, the wide path to destruction & where it will lead in the end, to hell. These Spirits could be considered 3 angels or messengers from God. They are able to show Scrooge what he needs to know so that God's Spirit will lead him to repentance & conversion. That is what we see happen. We see Scrooge make right the wrongs he did. He reconciles himself to his nephew Fred & Fred's wife as well. We see him help Cratchit by giving him a raise. We see him improve Cratchit's working conditions. Scrooge also provides for Tiny Tim's medical care, without a governement mandate like we see today. IMHO, under what I see of ObamaCare, Tiny Tim would be told he wasn't worth the cost by the death panels. Scrooge makes up for his lack of support of private charity. We see Scrooge going to Church to celebrate Christmas. He now shouts out "Merry Christmas" rather than trying to stop the public expression of the holiday & what it stands for.
The main theme of A Christmas Carol was, & is, that Christmas is the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. It is the constant theme throughout the book. & while most movie versions downplay it, it is especially seen in the 1951 version as well.
I suggest that you read the book to your family & watch the 1951 version of the movie as well.
I conclude with what Dicken's wrote to end the book. This is my wish & prayer as well for all of you. (& is used in the movie as well) that, "it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God Bless Us, Every One!"


Friday, December 21, 2012

Sadly, He Probably Does Think Something Like This

Don't forget, he opposed the Illinois "Born Alive Onfant Protection Act"  that would require doctors to do what they can to save the life of a baby if it is born alive after an abortion.

Dashing Through the Snow In a 1 Horse Open Sleigh

would be a lot easier for getting arround than it is driving a car in Dubuque today.

Ok, not all the roads are quite that bad after the 14.2 inches of snow, most streets have been plowed. But how clear they are depends on how much traffic they have gotten.
All this was just in time for the Winter Solstice. It arrived at 5:12 AM CST, the earliest since 1896, the year my maternal grandfather was born in Italia.
Since it won't be getting warm enough to melt it all the next few days, it looks like we won't have to dream of a white Christmas.

& don't forget, Santa Claus IS watching you, so you better be good.


Thursday, December 20, 2012

What If Obama Was Pro-Life?

Obama may not realize it, but his speech about the Newtown tragedy states the Pro-life arguments for defending the unborn.

Source: VIDEO: Imagine if Obama were pro-life

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Something for You Classical Music Lovers Who Also Love Cats

A Field Trip Like No Other

This afternoon when I arrived at the Power of Prayer Adoration Chapel in DBQ for a visit before Mass, I found out that the students from all of the grades at the nearby St Anthony Grade School & Our Lady of Guadelupe Spanish Immersion Program were coming over to visit both the Gabriel Project room in the upper part of the building as well being given an explanation about Eucharistic Adoration as well as a short visit in the Adoration Chapel itself. The explanation/Q&A session was held in the other chapel where a Pro-life Mass is said every Wednesday afternoon.

In this day & age it was very refreshing & filled my heart with joy to see that a Catholic School was educating their students about the importance of providing women with an alternative to abortion as well as the importance of Eucharistic Adoration as a part of living out our faith.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Thought for the Day - 18 December 2012

Monday, December 17, 2012

Somebody Beat Me to the Punch on Obama's Crocodile Tears

Well, sort of.
Last Saturday, when I saw the picture of Obama shedding tears when speaking about the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, I had the thought, crocodile tears. I also said so in a comment on a friend's post about the way the media vultures were out.
Later, the thought crossed my mind about the hypocricy of Obama. Yes, this tragedy is horrible, very horrible. But where are those same tears over the 1.2 million unborn babies that get murdered every year by abortion?
I also said in that comment that this would be milked as well, refering to pushing for more gun control. Well that has happenned as well.
Saturday, I also decided to do a post on the abortion hypocricy as well.
To prepare, I also talked to several pro-life friends to get their feel.. Everyone, to some degree or another thought the same as I did. When I checked back today, so did those who replied to my comments on the afore mentioned post.
I was going to mention how I felt that not only was Obama insincere, but that when we build a "culture of death" rather than a "Culture of Life" we shouldn't be surprized when things like this happen.
Part of what I planned on saying included the following quote from Mother Teresa:
So, what happens Sunday? Fr. Parker in his homily at Mass uses this very quote. I took that as a sign from God that I was on the right track with what I planned to say today.
Another thing I was going to share was a comment made by a friend that if these children had been about 6-7 years younger & in their mothers' wombs, he would be applauding their deaths.
Today, before I started the post, I decided to look arround & see what was the focus (left & right) of the story. Of course, the main stream media (MSM) & many liberals in & out of Congress were milking this as a way to push for more gun-control rather than admitting the real problem was that Adam Lanza had mental problems & that he fell through the system because of the way it is set up. (See Is Media Giving Adam Lanza the Saint Skittles Treatment? & Baltimore Sun's Zurawik Notes Media Malfeasance at the Outset of Newtown Shooting for examples of how the MSM is misdirecting the public on the real issues)
Another article I came across today had the following poster at the end that summarized some of what I planned on saying:
I repeat once more that this whole incident was a horrible tragedy. But rather than deal with the real problem, the MSM is using the tragedy to push for more gun-control & to make Obama look like a saint rather than the horrific accomplice to the hugest mass murder in this country, that of the unborn via abortion.
We need to look at what could have been done to help Adam Lanza before he reached this point, not blame it on the ready access of guns that allowed him to do what he would have found a way to do even without them being at his mother's home. Mental health is a primary issue, not a secondary one as CNN’s Don Lemon told his viewers
We also need to face up to the demonic root of  the "culture of death" that encourages people to justify violence against their fellow human beings as a way to deal with their problems. As long as we tell children that a woman hs the right to kill a preborn child because it is inconvenient for her, or that getting rid of the child is the solution to the problems in her life, we are telling them that it is OK to kill another human being who is a problem in his or her life.
As 1 article ponts out, "Twenty innocent children were killed in Newton on Friday while more than 3,500 innocent children were also killed on Friday at abortion clinics." You don't hear a call for stricter control on scalpals & suction machines. Instead, even the call for basic regulations on abortion to treat it like any other surgical proceedure that abortion supporters claim is all the proceedure is, they scream that even those minimal regulations are meant to stop abortion, not prevent women from being subjected to conditions that you wouldn't even allow a Veteranarian to have in his clinic.
As I said, the truth is that at the root, this is a spiritual problem. We buy into evil by allowing abortion. So why should we be surprized when this same sort of demonic evil rears its ugly head at a place like Newtown?
I pray that God will reach out & bring His healing mercy to those who have lost family & friends in this horrific tragedy. I also pray that God will open up our eyes to the truth about the "culture of death" so that this country will repent from the sins that are the fruit of building this demonic "culture". Those of us who know the truth must continue to pray as well are make reperation (penance) for the sins of our nation. We should take the example of Daniel in our prayers "I set my face to the Lord my God, to pray and make supplication with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes.and I prayed unto Jehovah my God, and made my confession, and said, Alas Lord! the great and terrible God, keeping covenant and loving-kindness with them that love him, and that keep his commandments: we have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even turning aside from thy commandments and from thine ordinances. . . . O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our princes, and to our fathers that have sinned. But to thee, the Lord our God, mercy and forgiveness, for we have departed from thee: And we have not hearkened to the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in his law, which he set before us by his servants the prophets."   (Daniel 9: 3-5, 8-10) Daniel goes on to mention the fruit of this rebellion, fruit that we could very well face as well if we continue the whole-hearted "culture of death" our country has been doing.

Question of the Day - 17 December 2012

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Thought for the Day - 16 December 2012

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Doesn't the Bible Warn About Adding or Subtracting From What Is Written Within

"This is my solemn attestation to all who hear the prophecies in this book: if anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him every plague mentioned in the book; f anyone cuts anything out of the prophecies in this book, God will cut off his share of the tree of life and of the holy city, which are described in the book." (Revelation 22:18*)

Bible Rewritten to Comply With Homosexual Agenda
No sacrilege is off limits when it comes to chopping or stretching all aspects of Western Civilization to fit the Procrustean bed of political correctness — not even rewriting the Bible so that it does not conflict with the liberal agenda by condemning homosexual depravity (as the real Bible does repeatedly in the strongest possible terms):
The King James version of the Bible has been hijacked by gay activists who want to rewrite history. Anonymous editors have published a Bible “friendly to gays,” and have edited eight major verses to fit their narrative. The “Queen James Bible” is available on Amazon and is described as, “A Gay Bible. The Queen James Bible is based on The King James Bible, edited to prevent homophobic misinterpretation.”
You’re probably asking, “Is nothing sacred?” The answer is yes; in a world run by liberals, sodomy is sacred.

See also: Recently Released 'Queen James' Purports to Be First-Ever 'Gay Bible'
* Technically, this quote applies only to the Book of Revelation, but the idea is still the same. People are not supposed to rewrite the Bible because they don't like the truth in it that exposes what they are doing as sin. Vatican II says that "the books of Scripture must be acknowledged as teaching firmly, faithfully, and without error that truth which God wanted put into the sacred writings for the sake of our salvation" (Dei Verbum, 11). That includes what it teaching on homosexual acts as well as gay marriage, both of which the Catholic Church teaches are intrinsicly evil. The Church makes it clear that homosexual orientation is a different matter & that those struggling with it need to strive to live a life of chastity.
"Basing itself on sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered. They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved" (Catechism of the Catholic Church 2357).
"Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection" (CCC 2357– 2359).
Also, notice they used a translation that wasn't protected by copyright. 

Friday, December 14, 2012

Thought for the Day - 14 December 2012

Thursday, December 13, 2012

5 Top Pro-Life Videos of 2012

1. Think Fast

2. Baby Yawning in the Womb

3 Silent No More

4. The Final Frontier of the Civil Rights Movement

5. Aaron

The true story behind this video.

Here are 3 others that are also up there.

How Will You Answer?  This video was done by abortion survivor Melissa Ohden from Sioux City, IA. I met her when she spoke in DBQ last Spring.

Perfect The story of a man who wanted to abort his daughter when she was diagnosed with Down's syndrome. & how he was glad his wife refused to go along.

I Heart Adoption This comercial tells the facts about adoption as the real choice that the abortion industry doesn't want women  to know about.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Bishop Morlino Bans New Age Nuns From Operating In Diocese

Today the Wisconsin State Journal printed a article based on a leaked letter to the priests of the Diocese of Madison dated 27 November 2012. The letter to the priests informed them that there were grave concerns about what Wisdom’s Well Interfaith Spirituality Center (aka “Wisdom’s Well”) taught, as well the "animating spirit of the center, namely that the center and its members may espouse certain views flowing from New Ageism, panentheism, and indifferentism, and may not share anauthentic view of the Catholic Church’s approach to interreligious dialogue. These views are often associated with a spirit of relativism that can be an extreme result emanating from the “hermeneutic of rupture” as a misinterpretation of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council."
Because of these concerns, on behalf of Bishop Morlino,  Msgr. James Bartylla, Vicar General, issued this statement "Until further notice, based upon ongoing investigation into this matter of grave concern, any past, present, or future staff or members of Wisdom’s Well Interfaith Spirituality Center, including at this time, Paula Hirschboeck, Ph.D., Sr. Maureen McDonnell, O.P., Sr. Lynn Lisbeth, O.P. and Ms. Beth O’Brien, Oblate of Holy Wisdom Monastery, are not to be invited or allowed to preach, catechize, lead spiritual or prayer instructions or exercises, or to provide spiritual direction or guidance at churches, oratories, or chapels within the Diocese of Madison, whether as individuals or as official representatives of Wisdom’s Well Interfaith Spirituality Center." (emphasis in original)
The Diocese has been monitoring the situtation of the speakers from Wisdom's Well for several years. So, it clearly is not a sudden slap down on the group, including the 2 Sinsinawa Dominicans.
The article focused on the Nuns, which is no surprize. Of course the article brought up the Vatican crackdown as well. That is no surprize either as it subtly paints this crackdown as a part of what the main stream media has painted as a persecution of nuns just trying to live out their faith rather than the dissidents they really are.
After the story broke today Msgr Bartylla replied with a statement that pointed out how the article was misleading. In it he said "The headline provocatively attempts to sensationalize the ordinary operations of the Catholic Church. The real issue is about the permissibility of members of Wisdom’s Well to speak at parishes, not about religious sisters. Contrary to the impression of the article’s headline, the prohibited group at this specific time is Wisdom’s Well, which includes not only religious sisters, but also others, and the “group” not being corrected at this time is religious sisters in general in the Diocese of Madison, including the Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa. The Diocese of Madison is aware of and grateful for the charitable work of many religious sisters over the years.
The article also fails to address sufficiently the risk that materials and methods of the members of Wisdom’s Well may appear to promote opinions that are contrary to the Church faith. The Diocese of Madison pursued this matter with utmost confidentiality to protect the reputations of all parties. The specific limitation of this issue to members of Wisdom’s Well and the confidential documents sent to the priests were also communicated personally, confidentially, and directly by me to the Prioress of the Sinsinawa Dominican Congregation at the time of the confidential communication to the priests in the Diocese of Madison."
It was at this time the diocese also put up the confidential letter on their website so that what was actually said would be available to all, not just the way the WSJ wanted to present it.
This is not the 1st time a confidential letter sent to priests has been leaked by dissident priests attempting to undermine the Bishop. A few years ago the Bishop sent out a confidential letter warning priests that if they said anything from the pulpit to undermine his teaching, they would face serious consequences. Bishop Morlino has also come under attack many other times for his attempts to clean things up in the Diocese.
As I pointed out, 2 of those banned are Dominicans from Sinsinawa. You may remember that this is the same group of Dominicans that produced the infamous Sr. Donna Quinn, who was outed as an escort at an abortion facility. This was in part due to a letter to the editor of the TH I wrote After my letter appeared, I got a call from 1 of her fellow Sinsinawa Dominicans trying to justify her actions. The motherhouse also issued a weak statement about how they were pro-life & would work with Sr. Donna to resolve the matter.
Additionally I pointed out how Sinsinawa wasn't exactly supporting authentic Catholic teaching in many other areas.
So it comes as no surprize to me that rather than admitting these nuns were wrong the spokesperson issued a statement in support of them. In it Tricia Buxtonsaid that McDonnell & Lisbeth are "respected and valued members" of the order. Also it said that both women "have been dedicated to religious life and preaching and teaching Gospel values for nearly 50 years." It went on to say that the Sinsinawa Dominicans "wholeheartedly support our sisters and hold them in prayer as we continue our mission of participating in the building of a holy and just church and society."
As I said, that they support them is no surprize. But in doing so, they are admitting they support dissent from authentic Catholic teaching as well as giving more evidence that the Vatican was right in saying that things need to be cleaned up at the Leadership Conference of Women Religious & their member religious orders.
I applaud Bishop Morlino for his efforts & boo the Wisconsin State Journal in their efforts to create a huge scandal & undemine the Bishop.

Labels: ,

Monday, December 10, 2012

Yesterday Was the 33rd Anniversary of Venerable Fulton J. Sheen's Death

I had the blessing of seeing Venerable Archbishop Fulton J Sheen in person twice. Since I didn't get a chance to honor his memory yesterday I would like to do so today.

Here is a short video where he recited a poem he loved to share, Lovely Lady Dressed in Blue:

Here is his appearance on What's My Line?:

There are way too many videos to chose from, so I will leave you to go to You Tube & watch them.

May God soon grant us the blessing of his being raised to the honors of the altar.

Prayer for Canonization

Heavenly Father, source of all holiness, You raise up within the Church in every age men and women who serve with heroic love and dedication. You have blessed Your Church through the life and ministry of Your faithful servant, Archbishop Fulton J Sheen. He has written and spoken well of Your Divine Son, Jesus Christ, and was a true instrument of the Holy Spirit in touching the hearts of countless people.
If it be according to Your Will, for the honor and glory of the Most Holy Trinity and for the salvation of souls, we ask You to move the Church to proclaim him a saint. We ask this prayer through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Thought for the Day - 10 December 2012

Saturday, December 08, 2012

A Reminder - Tonite is the 32nd Annual Night of Prayer for Life

1 of the things that I constantly remind people of is the importance of prayer in our battle to defeat the demonic "culture of death" that has murdered about 55 million preborn babies in the USA since 1973. In addition it has pushed euthanasia & assisted suicide as an acceptable way to end your life. & with the advent of ObamaCare we will definitely see death panels as well.
So the need for prayer is more urgent than ever as a frontline weapon against this attack on life.
Just a quick explanation about the demonic spirit behind the "culture of death". I would remind you that every human being is created in the image & likeness of God, no exceptions. We all are made in His image from the moment of conception (fertilization). Satan & his demons know that they can't attack God directly, so they go after those of us made in His image. The attack is 2 pronged. 1st, Satan gets people to sign on to his agenda, often through deception, using lies to convinve people that what the "culture of death" is promoting is good, not the evil it really is. In this way he works to snare people into putting their souls at risk for eternal damnation in Hell.
2nd, he uses those lies to destroy as many humans as possible.
As St Paul reminds us "For it is not against human enemies that we have to struggle, but against the principalities and the ruling forces who are masters of the darkness in this world, the spirits of evil in the heavens." (Ephesians 6:12) So we must us spiritual weapons. That means prayer. Prayer is a part of putting on the full Armor of God mentioned in Ephesians 6. Another part of the armor is truth. Which means we are also called to proclaim the truth, call people to repentance, sharing the message of God's forgiveness, love & mercy with all.
But back to prayer.
Tonite is the 32nd annual Night of Prayer for Life.
This event takes place  from 9 pm EST Dec. 8th to 1 am EST Dec. 9th. (Starting 8 Central, 7 Mountain & 6 Pacific) It is held in Catholic Churches across the land. It is a pro-life prayer service consisting of exposition & adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, 20 decades of the Rosary, prayer to St. Michael, silent prayer & hymns.
This date was chosen because it "was on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (then celebrated on December 9th) that Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the Americas and the unborn, first appeared to St. Juan Diego. The National Night of Prayer for Life bridges these two feasts to honor Our Blessed Mother and to pray for the sanctity of all human life."
If your parish, or 1 in your community, is not sponsoring a Night of Prayer, you can still participate. The 1st is to find an adoration chapel. Go there to pray. You can use the prayers for the night, praying them silently, so as to not disturb the others gathered there. Otherwise, you & your family can pray at home. You do not have to spend all 4 hours in prayer either. But pray.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Something to Ponder - 7 December 2012

Judge Slaps Down Obama Administration Attempts to Stop Archdiocese of New York Lawsuit

In what is being called a  “landmark ruling against the HHS Mandate,” US District Court Judge Brian Cogan ruled yesterday that the Obama Administration was wrong when it claimed that since the administration may still make adjustments to the mandate that would stop it from having any effect on the Archdiocese of New York that any lawsuit is premature. The administration based this on what it called  a “safe harbor” that would prevent the mandate from applying to certain religious employers until August 2013.
Instead Judge Cogan said  “the First Amendment does not require citizens to accept assurances from the government that, if the government later determines it has made a misstep, it will take ameliorative action.”
He added “There is no, ‘Trust us, changes are coming’ clause in the Constitution. To the contrary, the Bill of Rights itself, and the First Amendment in particular, reflect a degree of skepticism towards governmental self-restraint and self-correction.”
He also said that “ignoring the speeding train that is coming toward plaintiffs in the hope that it will stop might well be inconsistent with the fiduciary duties that plaintiffs’ directors or officers owe to their members.”
He also pointed out that the rule was announced 10 months ago and that “the Departments have had ample opportunity to enact a meaningful change to the Coverage Mandate. The fact that they have not further suggests the likelihood of injuries to plaintiffs.”
Eric Baxter, Senior Counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, who is representing the archdiocese, welcomed the decision. “We are pleased the court recognized the significant harm that the mandate is causing right now.”
It is refreshing to see a judge who is willing to correctly understand the Constitution & the limits it intends to put on government.
I suspect that the Obama Administration had hoped the courts would shut down all lawsuits. & while they have done so in some cases, the have let them go on in others. (See list here) I suspect the reason they wanted the courts to let the mandate go into effect before there were any ruling was so that they could then claim it was too late since they were already (hopefully) all complying. Or at least enough of the "Catholic in Name Only" Hospitals etc were so they could say, why is the Church & others claiming this is a burden or infringement? Clearly it isn't if these "Catholic" employeers are going along.
I also hope that the Catholic dioceses of Pittsburgh and Nashville will again file appeals with this new ruling. Their previous lawsuits were dismissed recently after judges agreed with the Obama administration that the suits were premature. However, the courts did not preclude the possibility that the dioceses could bring forward lawsuits after the mandate takes effect. With the fact that another judge has said they aren't premature could allow them to appeal to the Supreme Court to overrule those rulings forcing them to wait.
The battle is still far from over. & it will end up in the Supreme Court eventually. Hopefully, they will throw the mandate out not only for the Catholic Church but for any Christian business or college, like Hobby Lobby, Tyndale or Wheaton College.
I conclude with what Bill Donohue of the Catholic League had to say about the decision. “Not only did the Obama administration lose, it got a well deserved lecture from the bench: it was taken to task for misrepresenting the current burdens that the HHS mandate has placed on the New York Archdiocese.
The Obama team tried to have it both ways, and it failed. On the one hand, it ordered Catholic entities to get ready to implement the mandate, and on the other hand it said that because some modifications may yet be made, complaints that the mandate has already burdened the archdiocese are baseless. But U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan wasn’t buying it.
Judge Cogan said the Obama administration’s arguments “ring hollow.” He quoted the HHS Interim Final Rules back to the Obama lawyers; they hung themselves with their own wording. The Rules made clear that “these interim final regulations require significant lead time to implement,” emphasizing that “in order to allow plans and health insurance coverage to be designed and implemented on a timely basis, regulations must be published and available to the public well in advance of the effective date of the requirements.”
It is impossible to improve on Judge Cogan’s ruling when he said “the First Amendment does not require citizens to accept assurances from the government that, if the government later determines it has made a misstep, it will take ameliorative action. There is no ‘Trust us, changes are coming’ clause in the Constitution. To the contrary, the Bill of Rights itself, and the First Amendment in particular, reflect a degree of skepticism towards government self-restraint and self-correction.”
The battle over the HHS mandate is not over, but what happened yesterday bodes well for those who believe in religious liberty."

Sources: Court Rules Obama HHS Mandate Doesn’t Protect Religious Liberty

Labels: Headlines

↑ Grab this Headline Animator

Get this widget!
Visit the Widget Gallery