Saturday, September 30, 2006

What's Going On

Well I'm home for the weekend and I have a lot of errands to run and friends to catch up with so my blogging has been down. I'll be back full time this Monday, October 2nd though. With this new job taking me across the continent my interior life has gotten off track a bit. But I'm back on it and adjusting well. It sure is a challenge when your daily routine changes. The temptation to miss a prayer or skip a rosary recital is definitely there, but with perseverance and determination I'll be back on top of my prayer life. Currently I'll be heading out Sunday evening to the Midwestern US for work after a month in Canada. I'm not really sure how much information I should divulge but I'll play it by ear. I'm about to purchase a new digital camera and a friend of mine said that I'll only need a 3 or 4 megapixal camera if all I ever plan to do is create pictures no bigger than 8 1/2 X 11. I see a great deal on a Pentax at Wal-Mart for $129 with 6 megapixels but I also saw another great deal at Target for a Kodak at $70 but for 5 megapixels (or was it 4?). Anyways, I really need to take more pictures since it seems I only take pictures during Christmas. Plus I want to document all the Catholic activities I participate in to show other Catholic young adults there is a way to 'live in the world' as opposed to 'be of the world'. Anyways, hope this weekend treats you all well. GO EAGLES!
Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Lourdes Reports 53,912th Riot-Free Day

The Blessed Virgin Mary appeared, in person, on eighteen occasions to St. Bernadette Soubirous, a very poor 14-year-old girl from Lourdes. The first apparition took place on 11th February and the last took place on 16th July. The Virgin Mary told St. Bernadette "Go, tell the priests to have a chapel built here and bring people here in procession... ...I am the Immaculate Conception" Today each year 6 million people from across the globe come to Lourdes to venerate the Virgin Mother at the Grotto of the Apparitions. This is the exact spot that the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Bernadette spoke with each other. Many miracles occur at the Grotto of the Apparitions from the elimination of all traces of cancer to restored overall health. To learn more about Our Lady of Lourdes click here. In related news, Muslim youth continue their 3rd day of Ramadan rioting in Europe. For a previous posting on Our Lady of Lourdes this click here.

Muslims Continue Ramadan Rioting in Europe

An annual Muslim tradition in Brussels, Belgium continued this year as Muslim youths continue to riot each night of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month. Riots broke out around 8:30pm last night after a break from fasting after dinner which begins around 7:30pm when sunset sets. During Ramadan Muslims are required to fast during the day and then riot, I meant, then have dinner to break their daily fast, AND THEN RIOT. Amazingly none of the mainstream media outlets are reporting this either in Europe nor in the United States. Must be something about not representing the truth about the alleged Religion of Peace.

In other news, Lourdes experienced their 53,912 consecutive riot-free day.

For more on this story from The Brussels Journal click here.

Clinton vs. History

My love of history helped me on my path back to our beautiful faith that is Catholicism. Part of the reason was when I did my own independent research on history I was amazed by how much I missed out due to liberal revisionism. Liberal elites seem to be ashamed of the true history about their movement. So when former President Bill Clinton wagged his finger to Chris Wallace on Fox News trying to save his pathetic legacy in office I was perturbed and was able to see how liberal elites continue to push their lies on us all. (Hat Tip: Lucianne)

How Grace Saves

An excellent posting by Michael Joseph of Evangelical Catholicism on grace titled A Catholic understanding of how grace saves. Here's a snip:
The Christian is not saved by faith alone (Jas 2:14-26), but by grace alone (Eph 2:8-9) through a faith that is not mere belief, but through a faith that is completed by obedience (Rom 1:5, 16:26) and love (Gal 5:6), that is, by keeping the commandments of the Lord (Jn 15:6-10; Gal 5:17-21) and working out salvation in acts of charity and goodwill (Mt 25:31-46; Phil 2:12-13). Indeed, faith is never without works.
For the rest of this excellent posting click here.

Geography Meme

I've been tagged for this Geography Meme by Esther at A Catholic Mom in Hawaii. 1. A Place You've Visited and Your Favorite Thing there. Zacatecas, Mexico. A hotel and restaurant that was converted from a Spanish colonial bull-fighting ring. Simply beautiful. 2. A Country You'd Like to Visit and Why. Italy. So much Catholic history and culture to see. The great cathedrals, churches, and other architectual structures. 3. A Place From History You'd Like to Visit and Why. Jersusam. No explanation needed. 4. A Place You Know a Lot About. Hawaii. 5. A Place You'd Like to Learn More About. Western Europe. 6. A Fictional Place You'd Like to Visit. Nothing comes to mind.

Spain Slides Further Away from the Church

In the 1930's when the ultra-liberal 'Republican' forces won the Spanish elections in highly questionable circumstances the reign of terror in the name of Communism began. They were 'Republican' in name only and wanted to create a secular state with no religion, ie, eliminate the Catholic Church. Such began the massacre of priests, nuns, monks, and many religious, the destruction of churches, convents, seminaries, monasteries, and all other symbols of the Catholic Church. One of the first edicts was the seizure of most, if not all, Church property. In an unfavorable position the Catholic Church were forced to hand over property in exchange for government subsidies. Thus where we are today with Spanish government subsidies now being eliminated. The Socialist government of Zapatero, the inheritors of the 'Republican' forces that caused so many atrocities before and during the Spanish Civil War, have concluded another step in their long fight to secularize Spain and hand this Catholic nation into the hands of Lucipher. For more on this article click here. For an excellent analysis of the Spanish Civil War by Fidei Defensor at College Catholic click here and here.
Monday, September 25, 2006

New Catholic Converts

I love conversion stories. Convert to Catholicism young adult Stephanie of Austin, Texas has a blog, La Vie Catholique, to express her faith. She has a nice posting named The New Faithful explaining her yearning for the Truth which I advise my avid readers to peruse.
"...many of today’s young adults are not embracing the hippie ethos of their parents’ generation. Instead, they are embracing traditional morality and religion. Their choice arises not from fear, ignorance, or nostalgia. It springs from an intense and abiding hunger for God, and a deep disillusionment with what they view as the God-substitutes of our post-modern culture."


(Hat Tip: Catholic and Enjoying It!) For the posting click here.

Largest Mosque To Be Built in London

Can anyone say "Londonistan"? Where the Home Secretary, a British minister of the English crown, was admonished for being "daring" by stepping foot in a predominantly Muslim section of London. Where the Tube bombings occurred. Where now a Mega-Mosque will be built near the 2012 Olympic village of London.
It will be the largest place of worship in Europe, a gigantic three-storey Islamic centre, with schools and other facilities, able to hold at least 40,000 worshippers and up to 70,000 if necessary.
You know, I don't mind my fellow Muslims building their mosques in our countries. What I do mind is when we aren't allowed to build our churches in their countries. For more on this story click here.

Archbishop Mahony Accused of Sexual Abuse Cover Up

Joaquin Aguilar Mendez, 25, filed a civil suit in Los Angeles accusing Archbishop Roger M. Mahony of negligence in aiding the plight of a homosexual predator Father Nicolas Aguilar Rivera. Cardinal Mahony, also the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, and Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera of Mexico City are accused of being partly responsible for sexual battery.

Aguilar alleged the cardinals transferred a Mexican priest to the United States in 1987 despite knowing that he had a record of molesting minors in Mexico.

The details are to disturbing to post on my blog. Of course Cardinal Mahony is denying the allegations. His high-priced Hollywood lawyers are seasoned veterans but in time they will pay the price either here on earth or when they meet their maker.

To read more of this story click here.

To read my previous postings of the disgraceful Archbishop of Los Angeles click here, here, and here.

To read a blog that keeps the worst bishop in America as honest as possible click here.

Germany's Persecution of Homeschoolers

The persecution of homeschoolers in Germany has been going on for years. The 'state' seems to think that they are the only ones capable of teaching and raising children in their disgustingly secular schools where they are indoctrinated with moral-relativism, socialism, and distorted and incorrect history. Raising young Germans that are hostile to Christianity and self-aborbed in worldly endeavors such as materialism. These homeschooling families should be allowed to raise their children without a hostile and secular government intervening or harassing how these children are raised.
The families are being heavily fined; the parents are being jailed; the children are being threatened with being seized and placed in the custody of the state; and families are being forced to flee to Austria and other surrounding countries.
(Hat Tip: The Brussels Journal) To read the Brussels Journal posting click here. To read the plight of one family fleeing imprisonment for homeschooling their children click here. UPDATED: European Human Rights Court Denies Appeal of German Homeschooling Family; says the right of the state supersedes that of the parents./LifeSite

New Catholic Station on SIRIUS Satellite Radio

A new station premiering on SIRIUS Satellite radio will be an all-Catholic format. SIRIUS satellite radio is a nationwide subscription based radio service that competes with XM satellite radio. The new all-Catholic format will be dubbed The Catholic Channel. It has a lifestyles format with call-in shows, live daily Mass, Notre Dame football, and reflections on current affairs.

The Archdiocese of New York is working in conjunction with SIRIUS satellite radio in establishing this new Catholic channel. EWTN Radio is free online, available in many stations across the United States, and is also part of the SIRIUS lineup of radio stations (available in both the US and Canada).

I do hope that The Catholic Channel does work, but doesn't the Archdiocese of New York need to get permission from the Vatican to use the term 'Catholic'? Maybe they did, but EWTN is named thusly specifically because of this reason.

Nonetheless, here are some programming highlights of The Catholic Channel:

  • The Catholic Guy, hosted by Lino Rulli (weekdays, 5-8pm). The 34-year-old Rulli is the Emmy award-winning host and executive producer of the popular TV show Generation Cross and a former TV reporter for the CBS affiliate in Minneapolis. With a master's degree in theology and a sometimes off-beat and humorous approach, Rulli has emerged a fan-favorite for younger generations of Catholics.
  • Speak Now with Dave and Sue Konig, hosted by Susan and David Konig (weekdays, 12-2pm). She is a former newspaper columnist. He is an award-winning actor and stand-up comedian. They are married with four children and together will focus on married life, parenting and the issues facing today's families.
  • Sleepless With SIRIUS, hosted by Father Paul Keenan (weekdays, 11pm-3am). Fr. Keenan, an experienced author and radio broadcaster, will help those who are seeking to add more meaning and purpose to their lives, and will be a comforting and understanding companion to those who are facing life's daily struggles and concerns.
  • Live daily Mass from St. Patrick's Cathedral (weekdays, 8-8:30am).
  • Notre Dame Athletics. SIRIUS is the Official Satellite Radio Partner of the University of Notre Dame and will air all Fighting Irish football and basketball broadcasts on The Catholic Channel.

(Hat Tip: Whispers in the Loggia)

For the Whispers in the Loggia posting click here.

For the news release click here.

Updated: The Catholic Channel has suspended their launch until Cardinal Edward Egan recuperates from a recent knee replacement surgery, or so says his spokesman. This will be for a 'few weeks', until Cardinal Egan can actively participate like he wants to with The Catholic Channel./Whispers in the Loggia

Sister Leonella Sgorbati

Dieing from gunshot wounds to her back, abdomen, and face from a Muslim attacker, Sr. Leonella's last words were "I forgive, I forgive". The attack has been attributed to a misrepresented reading of Pope Benedict XVI's lecture at Regensburg University in Germany. Pope Benedict XVI paid tribute to this saintly religious Italian who died in Somalia outside a hospital for children where she worked. His Holiness stated that her death was the ultimate expression of 'Christian testimony'.
"the victory of love over hate and evil".
To read further click here.

Aznar: Islam Must Apologize for Conquest

Jose Maria Aznar, the former Prime Minister of Spain, told reporters on Saturday in reference to Muslims crying for the Pope to continue to apologize for exercising his free speech; and in a lecture in which he was taken out of context.
"It is interesting to note that while a lot of people in the world are asking the pope to apologise for his speech, I have never heard a Muslim say sorry for having conquered Spain and occupying it for eight centuries."
This is in reference to the Muslim invasion and occupation of Spain for approximately 700 years where forced conversions, second class citizenship, rape, and enslavement were implemented on the Christian, mostly Catholic, population of Spain. Mr. Aznar also added:
"We are living in a time of war... It's them or us. The West did not attack Islam, it was they who attacked us." "We must face up to an Islam that is ambitious, that is radical and that influences the Muslim world, a fundamentalist Islam that we must confront because we don't have any choice." "We are constantly under attack and we must defend ourselves,"
For more on this article click here. UPDATE: For a more comprehensive article on the Aznar statement click here.

Cardinal Pell's Questions on Islam

Cardinal George Pell of Australia brought up some interesting thoughts about a needed dialogue with Islam. Some of them touch on the connection between Islam and violence and the relationship between Islam and the state. Here a three excerpts from an excellent article in The Australian website:

The Pope and Pell articulate an emerging Catholic view about Islam. They believe the core issues are not being confronted: the link between Islam and the state and between Islam and violence. The test is whether Islam accepts religious tolerance and whether it rejects violence. They believe Islamic doctrine and practice in parts of the world today demands such a discussion... Turning to the pessimistic side, Pell says: "In my own reading of the Koran I began to note down the invocations to violence. There are so many of them, however, that I abandoned this exercise after 50 or 60 or 70 pages."

The more muscular stance of the Catholic Church can help if it encourages genuine dialogue. Yet it will be seriously counter-productive if it damages relations between two great religions...

To read more of Cardinal Pell and his concerns about Islam click here.
Friday, September 22, 2006

Houston Chronicle Editorial Redo

The following comes from the September 19 Houston Chronicle Editorial page concerning the recent Muslim rage against our Pope Benedict XVI.
'The ill-chosen words of Pope Benedict XVI and the deranged response of Muslim extremists occupy two different planes of reality. That world leaders and opinion writers have said fairly little about the latter reflects not the extremists' legitimacy but merely their predictability. Carried out by a tiny splinter of the world's billion Muslims, these events get little analysis only because there's not much to say.'
First of all, when well-educated, upper-middle class Pakistani Muslims in Karachi are ‘happy’ that 9/11 occurred and would be willing to die as suicide bombers, this is not a ‘tiny splinter’ of the world’s ‘billion’ Muslims. Not to mention that the 21 perpetrators of 9/11 were well educated Muslims from well-to-do Muslim families.
'With apparently unlimited free time on their hands, the fanatics greeted the pope's words with the equivalent of a small war. They may have murdered a nun caring for sick children in Somalia. They unquestionably firebombed five churches in the West Bank, burned a papal effigy in Iraq and inspired Gaza's "Army of Guidance" to vow vengeance upon Christian targets. Is it news that a cancerous Muslim minority commits crimes under the pretext of faith?'
‘Cancerous Muslim minority’ is wrong again. When a plurality of Muslims believe the Jews were behind the 9/11 bombings, then 'minority' is not the apt word to use here.
'Does it surprise anyone that irrational people answer ideas with violence? Finally, is there the slightest chance that fanatics care about the contempt they inspire in Westerners, including most Western Muslims? All this is why so much attention has flowed instead toward the less serious and more forgivable gaffe by the pope. As he's consistently shown, Pope Benedict reveres verbal dialogue. So while it may not be proportional, analysis of how Benedict erred is likely to be more fruitful. Plenty of other political and religious leaders, after all, may want to avoid his mistakes.'
Pope Benedict XVI’s lecture at the University of Regensburg was a philosophical and theological analysis of the risk the world takes of separating reason from faith.
'he pontiff erred in two ways: badly choosing his public words in a time of world conflict, and then possibly being disingenuous about why he chose them.'
Number one: let’s assume that the editor has been around for say 40-45 years. The Catholic Church has been dealing with Islam for roughly 1300 years since Mohammad’s Muslim hordes swept into the then Christian Middle-East. I believe 1300 years of Church history truncates 40-45 years of an unlearned editor in relation to Church history, theology, philosophy, and religious current affairs. Number two: Pope Benedict XVI is a gentle man with a heart of gold. A man of his stature doesn’t arrive at the Throne of St. Peter through lies and deceit. He was ‘sorry’ about the reaction to his lecture. Enough said.
'Within Benedict's long, cerebral speech to Bavarian academics, the quote that triggered the uproar indeed seems oddly aggressive. "Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman," it begins. The line fails to support any of the pope's later points. Theological tradition, meanwhile, does include the technique of making provocative statements by citing others — then safely distancing oneself from the words. That's what the pontiff said of the Byzantine quote in his speech.'
Um, what do you know of theological tradition. Since when is free speech only applicable to everything else on the planet except ‘theological tradition’?
'It's impossible to know what he really intended when he crowbarred an ancient indictment of all Islam into his dense, scholarly talk. Also unknowable is why he reportedly brushed off warnings about the quote from colleagues.'
Who, and when, and where did these ‘colleagues’ warn the Holy Father? Where do you get your information? Hearsay does not count as fact. Rumor mongering does not count as fact. Since when did anything but the facts become front page news and dissertation?
'At worst, Benedict is guilty of impolitic speech. It just doesn't compare to the blood and fear spread by those enraged by his words. Benedict, though, is a participant in the culture of free speech and conscience. Recognizing that he'd spoken badly, the pontiff chose to honor free speech's other side. He amended his words with a public apology.'

By the way, the proper to refer to 'Benedict' is Pope Benedict XVI. Have some respect.

This is not the only time the Houston Chronicle editorial page has gotten mostly everything wrong about religion, Christianity in particular.

Muslim Religious Cleansing

Many liberal elites always bring up the Spanish inquisition, the Crusades, and the dark ages. Any thinking person understands that approximately 2300* people were prosecuted (most of them where in exile, so the executions were symbolic) in the Spanish inquisition, the Crusades were a reaction from Muslim aggression, ie, invading the Christian Middle-East, and the dark ages were a result of the collapse of the Roman Empire, not the growth of Christianity. Nevertheless, liberal elites constantly bring up incorrect, ad hominine history as if they were fact. What is ignored is the fact of present day Muslim cleansing of non-Muslim minorities, mostly Christians. From Indonesia to Algeria, the breadth of Muslim atrocities contains more deaths of Christians in a single day than the opposite in a year- if that. This is plainly seen in the Muslim reaction to Pope Benedict XVI's University of Regensburg lecture in Germany, the Danish cartoon riots, and the Muslim Intifada in France both earlier this year. Daniel Henninger wrote a fine article in RealClearPolitics this morning addressing this very issue:
"The pope has a Muslim problem all right. It is the hammering that Christian communities have been taking for years and are getting now in Islamic countries all over the world, but especially in the Middle East."
He goes further to state:
"Across the region (with some exceptions), non-Islamic minorities--which by and large means Christian minorities--are being driven out through physical abuse, legal discrimination, murder and the destruction or confiscation of homes, businesses and churches. Call it religious cleansing. It is a political strategy that would eventually give Iran, Iraq, Egypt and the Holy Lands of Palestine a cultural homogeneity that has never existed in human history, before or after Christ."
There is much more to read. The point is that the mainstream media (MSM) has hardly, if ever, reported on the thousands of Muslim atrocities toward non-Muslim minorities. Thanks to the growth of the new media, ie, talk radio, the internet, and podcasting, these issues are no longer reserved for small conservative and religious magazines stored away in the deep recesses of libraries everywhere. They are front and center and it is amazing how the MSM still ignores the obvious. Muslim religious cleansing has gone on for years among many religions, but not as prevalent, systematic, and destructive as the alleged 'religion of peace' has done throughout its history, ever more so in today's current affairs. To read more about this topic click here. *CORRECTION: Approximately 2300 people were prosecuted, not 100 as originally stated.
Thursday, September 21, 2006

The Popes Divisions

Reuel Marc Gerecht wrote a very good piece in the Wall Street Journal about true ecumenical dialogue as opposed to the 'I'm ok, you're ok, lets not discuss difficult subject matter' dialogue that is currently taking place. I personally call this 'false' dialogue when dialogue skips around the 500 pound guerrilla that is Jihad. Mr. Gerecht explains:
Is the pope wrong to imply--in a rather roundabout way--that there is today something amiss inside Islam, as a community of believers sharing one faith and a long, common cultural tradition? There probably isn't a single liberal editor at a major American or European paper who doesn't think that there is something a little dysfunctional--a disposition that tolerates, if not encourages and admires, violence as expression of religious outrage--among young Muslim males from Northern Europe to Indonesia... Many Muslims know it too, even if they are not inclined to say so publicly--it's often dangerous and always enormously difficult for believing and nonbelieving Muslims to aggressively critique their own when they know non-Muslims are listening. Self-described Muslim intellectuals (often meaning the traditionally devout, clerics) really have a hard time engaging in self-criticism that fortifies non-Muslim critiques of Islamic society... And self-confidence is a huge problem. Militarily triumphant in the past, traditional Muslims had an easier time being tolerant toward the minorities in their midst; they certainly were unperturbed by the theological arguments and invective put forth by practitioners of a superseded faith. As many believing Muslims have become less self-confident--and the world around them has become ever more incongruent with the imagined, pure world of early Islam, when the faithful were unceasingly victorious because they were more perfect in their submission to God's will--they have become more acutely conscious and aggressive about their Muslim identity. Clerics in London, Copenhagen, Cairo or Tehran dictating terms about the appropriate comportment of non-Muslims toward believers has naturally followed... Pope Benedict nailed two facts about Islam that are contributing factors to the faith's very rough entry into modernity. The prophet Muhammad, the model for all Muslims, established the faith through war and conquest. His immediate successors, the Rightly Guided Caliphs, whom traditional and radical Muslims cherish, reinforced Islam's identity as a victorious faith through the rapid creation of a world empire...
It would be wise to be forthright and sincere on both sides of the divide rather than let Muslims shut down dialogue with a childish reaction of vitriolic language and senseless violence. To read the WSJ article in full click here.

Troy Polamalu's Christian Faith

Troy Polamalu a strong safety for the defending Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers prays the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Memorare once a day, carries a Rosary with him everywhere everyday, and believes that being a Christian is not just a Sunday exercise. Raised in Oregon in the Catholic faith, Mr. Polamalu always reminds himself that through good and bad he offers everything to Jesus. He is a gentle soul with a Christian aura around him that has also inspired other friends and colleaguees to become better Christians. Mr. Polamalu is a permanent fixture at Mass at St. Bartholomew and calls last years Super Bowl victory "really beautiful and a blessing". He gives every effort on and off the field of carrying his faith as a "way to glorify God".

Troy Polamalu, a brother in Christ, alter christus. To read the rest of the article click here.

Updated (2-2-2009 A.D.): Mr. Troy Polamalu converted to Greek Orthodox two years ago. His wife is a Greek Orthodox and he is just as devout, if not more so!

For more click here.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Bill Gates Idea of AIDS Prevention

Funding for poor young women who HAVE to marry unfaithful husbands. Hmmm, why not abstain from sex altogether. And if you can figure that out, you can also figure out to marry a practicing AND chaste Christian husband. Bill Gates has NOTHING on the teachings of Jesus Christ and his Gospel of Life. To learn more about abstinence click here. To learn more about chastity click here. For Bill Gates promotion of a less effective method of preventing AIDS click here.


I've been gaining some insight and wisdom from several of my reading selections. One of my favorites is Furrow by St. Josemaría Escrivá

I read a proverb which is very popular in some countries: “God owns the world, but he rents it out to the brave”, and it made me think.

What are you waiting for? The difficulties you have met have made you shrink back, and you have become “prudent, moderate, and objective”.

Remember that you have always despised those terms, when they became synonyms for cowardly, fainthearted, and comfort-seeking. --St. Josemaría Escrivá (Furrow #99, 101)

20th Century Fox to Create Christian Film Unit

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.’s Fox Film Entertainment has created a new entertainment unit that will cater toChristian audiences called FoxFaith. FoxFaith plans to release 12 movies a year, six for theatrical release and the remaining six films will be direct to DVD. The first film that will be released nationwide in theatre’s is “Love’s Abiding Joy” which is scheduled for October 6. Yes, the same 20th Century Fox company has created a division for ‘Family and Christian Films’ under the FoxFaith banner. After the immensely successful “The Passion of the Christ” revealing a hungry Christian audience for Christian films, FoxFaith hopes to tap into an extensive network of Churches that they created when Fox picked up the DVD distribution rights for “The Passion of the Christ”. For the rest of the article click here. For the FoxFaith link click here.

John Kerry is No St. Thomas More

John Kerry, the junior senator from Massachusetts, has received publicity from the liberal Boston Globe and the liberal Washington Post touching on his renewed Catholic faith. According to Mr. Kerry, he returned to our Catholic faith after “wandering in the wilderness” from his return of from active duty in Vietnam. It is a touching story and one I am able to sympathize with.
"For 12 years I wandered in the wilderness, went through a divorce and struggled with questions about my direction. Then suddenly and movingly, I had a revelation about the connection between the work I was doing as a public servant and my formative teachings,"
Unfortunately he doesn’t practice his faith in public office. The article says:
"The pickle that some of these liberal policymakers find themselves in is, they know that faith is important to people, but when they get pinned down on their policy positions that are inconsistent with the tenets of their faith, they start hedging and talking about other factors in their decision."
St. Thomas More was beheaded by King Henry VIII because he would not acknowledge the wedding between the King and his mistress Anne Boleyn and indirectly for not recognizing King Henry VIII as ‘supreme head’ of the Church in England. St. Thomas More was a brilliant lawyer, former Chancellor of England, a knight, author, was fluent in Latin and Greek, and a martyr for his Catholic faith. St. Thomas More refused to compromise his faith for public favor. Unlike John Kerry who would rather ‘abort’ the pro-life teachings of Catholicism for public favor. To read Kerry’s renewal of faith click
here. To read Kerry’s compromise of faith click here. To read more about St. Thomas More click here.
Monday, September 18, 2006

Pope Benedict XVI Electrifies the West

Pope Benedict XVI, the gentle, philosophical, and theological Pope has inadvertently electrified the West by his recent lecture at Regensburg University. By wanting to remind the West about the dangers of separating reason from God and quoting a medieval text as an example, the Holy Father received unnecessary attention from the Muslim world. The unprecedented backlash by an insecure Islamic community has brought attention to Pope Benedict XVI beyond what was expected. Western intellectuals, scholars, journalists, and lay people, Christian and non-Christian, have dissected the Pope's remarks in amazement of his sincerity and bewilderment towards Muslims everywhere. Our German shepherd only wanted to remind the West of a world without God, what he got was heralded attention and respect the world over for his genuine Christian humility. The Islamic world in response only reinforced their image of a faith insecure with itself and bogged down in violence and hatred. Let us all pray that we as Christians can walk the path of Christ as our Holy Father with humility and fortitude. For the latest news roundup for Monday, September 18 on the Pope's remarks and Islams reaction read the following: For the latest response by the Muslim world to the Pope's remarks click here. For the complete text of Pope Benedict XVI's lecture at Regensurg University click here. Why are American Muslims silent? For the Chicago Sun-Times article click here. To read why liberals don't get the latest Muslim overreaction by the L.A. Times click here. To read about 'The Pope's Challenge' by the New York Sun click here. For Muslims to learn how to protest properly click here. For Muslims to learn not how to get bent out of shape click here. For proving Emperor Manual II Paleologus right click here.
Sunday, September 17, 2006

Pope Benedict XVI Publicly Apologizes in Person

Our Pope Benedict XVI publicly issued an apology at Castel Gandolfo this morning.
"At this time I wish also to add that I am deeply sorry for the reactions in some countries to a few passages of my address at the University of Regensburg, which were considered offensive to the sensibility of Muslims,"
Christian charity as practiced by the vicar of Christ. And now for the Muslim response.

The Religion of Peace Responds

By taking a statement out of context from a gentle man wanting a dialogue. I can't say enough how irresponsible Muslims the world over are reacting. Yes, Muslims the world over. If there are 'peaceful' or 'true' Muslims who make up the majority of Islam where are they? Here is a snippet of the latest news for Sunday, September 17, and commentary on the childish Muslim response: Bret Stephens of the Wall Street Journal explains that liberals, who are the least patriotic and enthusiastic about the threat of Islam, have the most to lose in militant Islams rise. For the article click here. Tunku Varadarajan of the Wall Street Journal reflects on the passing away of Oriana Fallaci and ties it into the threat of Islam. For the article click here. For my posting on Miss Fallaci's passing click here. Jeff Miller of The Curt Jester has his unique point of view on the latest Church burnings by Muslims. For the posting click here. James Maldonado-Berry's article in Catholic Exchange asks the question about the multiple verses in the Koran and Sura's about violence and how do Islamic scholars explain this. For the article click here.
Friday, September 15, 2006

Oriana Fallaci (1930-2006)

Oriana Fallaci, a self-avowed atheist, passed away today in a Florence hospital. A former Italian leftist resistance fighter and a hard-as-nails journalist gained more popularity in Europe when she published her famous book months after 9/11, "The Rage and The Pride", contrasting America's and Europe’s reaction to the rise of militant Islam. The book was condemned by European elites and Muslims the world over. Despite this, the book became a best seller all over Europe and the United States. Quite a feet in Europe where best sellers rarely cross over into other European countries due to cultural and language differences. Her book, "The Rage and The Pride", may have been her seminal book and Europe’s last great hope to awaken from their death spiral of negative population growth. Miss Fallaci was an admirer of the late Pope John Paul II and our current president George W. Bush. She saw hope in Pope Benedict XVI's election to the papacy as the possible catalyst to reviving dying Europe's culture. She received a rare private meeting with Pope Benedict XVI which is unprecedented considering how precious our pontiff's time is. I also have her book on my sidebar as a must-read because that is how impressed I am of her passion for her homeland in Europe. May God have mercy on her soul. My original posting on Oriana Fallaci can be read here. To read the article on her death click here. My posting on Miss Fallaci's latest book can be read here. Update: Oriana Fallaci was born in 1929, not 1930.

Muslims Angry at Our Pope

Pope Benedict XVI's discussion at a University in Regensburg was about the differences between Christianity and Islam using various examples has drawn the ire of the Muslim community, a very insecure, theologically immature, and base community of clerics and scholars to say the least. What caused the Muslim community to get upset with our gentle Pope? His holiness' reciting a quote made by Byzantine Emperor Manual II Paleologos. Twice our Pope emphasized that he was quoting from Emperor Manual II before he recited the following passage:
"Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached."
The Muslim community's reaction is as follows:
Religious leader Ali Badda Kolu said the Pope's comments represented what he called an "abhorrent, hostile and prejudiced point of view".
So are they now going to riot in the streets? Burn our churches? Behead our children? Rape our mothers and daughters? Oh, they already do all that. When will the Muslim community begin to engage with the rest of us in a civilized manner? When will they stop reacting and start addressing the many problems within their faith? It may have already started with this brave woman discussing the many issues prevalent in the Islamic world, ie, Muslim community. To read more about the Muslim reaction to our Popes speech click here. To view the video of the Muslim community discussing their problems click here. For the Catholic League's response to unwarranted Muslim anger click here. To read an example of American appeasement to Muslim rage click here.

Catholic Blogging's 15 Minutes of Fame on NPR

Whispers in the Loggia a Catholic blog by Rocco Palmo has gained a bit of popularity with his insider information on the Vatican and the Catholic Church that many others can't find. In an interview by National Public Radio (NPR), Rocco explains that he is enamored with the institution that is the Catholic Church, more so the politics and intrigue inside the Vatican. At 23 years of age coming from three generations of large Italian families, Rocco lives with his parents where he blogs away in the basement of their house while receiving endless cell phone calls from insiders, friends, and acquaintances on the inner happenings of the Vatican. The interview doesn't state whether Rocco is a Catholic in name only (CINO) or if he actually follows the teachings of Jesus Christ via the Catholic Church. But he does have an affinity for news and information about the Vatican. At one point in the interview he points out that he has been accused of being a right-winger and a 'pinko', thusly being attacked by both sides of the political spectrum within Catholicism. By virtue of his even-handed yet glowing interview from NPR can we surmise that he is a CINO? NPR of course being accused many a time of being liberal. Just some friendly ribbing. Regardless, the interview was very interesting and fascinating to listen to of getting an insiders peak of the Catholic blogosphere. (Hat Tip: Built on a Rock) To listen to the NPR interview click here.
Thursday, September 14, 2006

Pope Finds His Style

Pope Benedict XVI's visit to his home country of Germany is revealing that our pontiff has found a definitive style more to his comfort. He is beginning to develop a reputation of charity and firmness as the 'theological Pope'. Our German shepherd spoke on the rift between rational thought and God at a University lecture in Regensburg. Basically our Pope said that this ever widening gulf has contributed to the Culture of Death that Europe has embraced these past 40 years. Of separating God from reason. This point is emphasized in a recent interview by Compass Points Blog with Mark Steyn stating in no uncertain terms the demise of Europe to Islam because of Europes lack of population growth. This drop in population correlates with the lack of finding meaning in life since the end all is to fulfill ones own pleasures rather than pursuing the higher ideal of pleasing God. Though as dour as this seems the Pope is highly charitable in his actions by meeting with Catholic dissident Hans Kueng. The pontiff also likes to press the flesh so to speak as he darted out into a crowd of onlookers while in his hometown of Marktl-am-Inn. To those that know the Pope he is described as "humor, modesty and warmth." Clearly Pope Benedict XVI has gained the confidence of Catholics the world over with his own style that comforted the disaffected and strengthened the faithful. To read TIME magazines September 13 article on the Pope's University lecture click here. To read the September 13 interview with Mark Steyn click here. To read the International Herald Tribune September 13 article on the Pope's hometown visit click here.
Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Blogrolling Spotlight

It's been quite awhile since I’ve done a spotlight but I wanted to point out to you all, my avid readers, some blogs of note that I frequent. My prayer life has helped me be more contemplative. Especially after reading books such as ‘The Way’ by St. Josemaría Escrivá and ‘The Imitation of Christ’ by Thomas À Kempis. A Catholic Life by Moneybags has some excellent devotions and quotes from saints that really hit their mark on the liturgical calendar. Moneybags is also entering a seminary to continue discerning the priesthood. Another fine theological blog is Evangelical Catholicism by Katerina Marie and Michael Joseph. Both are Catholic young adults who are courting and blogging together. They offer excellent theological postings on Catholic current affairs, especially by Michael Joseph. Katerina Marie is a very talented young lady that put together a fine music video celebrating our Catholic faith called ‘Why I Am Catholic’. To view this Catholic music video click here. To download it click here and for the YouTube link click here. She also wrote an excellent series on dating. Katerina Marie posts from Lake Charles and Michael Joseph posts from Houston. Speaking of another fine Catholic Houston blog we come to Built On A Rock by Bill Cork. He reviews film and books and comments on Catholic current affairs. Crisp, clean, and simple, the way I like to read (and write) my blogs! And on the theme of crisp, clean, and simple, or more like, direct to the point we come to The Curt Jester by Jeff Miller. Punditry, parody, polemics, politics, puns from a Papist perspective, or so that is the running title of The Curt Jester. Jeff Miller’s postings are like a crash course in Catholic catechesis… with a sledgehammer instead of a ruler. Comically light yet theologically strong, a great way to teach the faith and make light of it without offense. Another blog that I read that easily exploded onto the Catholic blogosphere like lightening is The Cafeteria Is Closed by Gerald Augustinas. His postings are mostly on Catholic current affairs with excellent commentary. Throw in a few family vacation pics and you have a fine blog that is a must on any practicing Catholic’s bookmark. Now we come to Catholic And Enjoying It! By Mark Shea. This and the previous two blogs that I just mentioned make up what I call the blogging trinity of Catholicism. These three are a definite must on any good Catholic bookmark, or for that matter non-Catholic Christians bookmark. Mark Shea has excellent analysis on the issues of the day with strong theological observations to boot. On a side note Mark looks like the actor Philip Seymour Hoffman. Oh, no, no, no, we are not finished yet. L.A. Catholic by Quintero is a fine blog emanating from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Quintero points out the obvious in Archbishop Mahony’s archdiocese of liturgical abuse, heretical statements, and Catholic moral contradictions. Any blogger wanting to know how to shed light on a terrible Cardinal or bishop should take a look at L.A. Catholic and follow the intricate details of an archdiocese falling into heresy. Este vato Catolico es un hermano en Cristo. We now come to College Catholic by Fidei Defensor. This is a great blog to read for you Catholics in college. Follow the adventures of this defender of the faith as he blogs on radical campus libertines, frothy professors, his dating life, and his hobby of collecting old fashion rifles. Finally we come to the corner of blogs that we only show for adults or better yet, well formed Catholics. When the kids are asleep or when your cafeteria Catholic friends are not around, these are the blogs you peruse at your leisure and pleasure: The Lair Of The Catholic Cavemen, Relapsed Catholic, Off The Record, and Thoughts Of A Regular Guy. These are guilty pleasures that should not be revealed to the faint hearted. One last blog of note is that called Ad Altare Dei by Alan Phipps, who just recently moved to Houston. Yes, I’m blatantly being a homer, but hey who will?

Sweden a Social Welfare Nightmare

Long lines at the hospitals, no job growth, angry immigrants, and falling test scores in schools are just a few of the problems that American liberal elites fail to provide when singling out Sweden as America’s prototypical social welfare state. It is amazing in a country of exorbitant high taxes that the government has failed in providing sufficient and adequate welfare programs for its citizenry. Who would of thunk it that government is inept? To read my previous posting on Sweden click here. To read the rest of the article click here.

Rosie O'Donnel Equates 'Radical Christianity' With Radical Islam

It would be too outrageous if it wasn't true, but on the television program "The View" yesterday, Rosie O'Donnel said that "radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam in a country like America". Wow, she is quite the polemicist. To equate the destruction of the twin towers on 9/11 to the evangelical Christianity of President Bush is both irresponsible and ridiculous. You have to read it for yourself to get the full-frontal polemic that Miss O'Donnel espouses. To read more of Miss O'Donnel's ignorant outburst on click here.

Christian Mother Imprisoned for Homeschooling

In Germany Katharina Plett was arrested and imprisoned for homeschooling her twelve children. During her arrest, which was covert, she was able to phone her husband in which he took their twelve children and fled into Austria. The Plett family are Baptists who homeschool their children. Homeschooling is illegal in Germany since Adolph Hitler banned it; it seems to control his volk. The arrest was eerily Gestapo-like when a plain-clothes policewoman rang the bell to the home of the Plett family. As soon as Katharina Plett answered the door, hidden police officers jumped from behind bushes and trees to ambush Mrs. Plett. She requested to change her clothes into something more appropriate but a police officer was in the bedroom with her in case "she would arm herself and shoot us all." Nice. If I am blessed with children I hope to homeschool them myself. I hope this never happens here in the United States. To read a detailed posting of this account by the Brussels Journal click here.

Bishops Push EU to Include Christianity Reference

A group of bishops met this past Monday to discuss 'ethical values for European unification'. This comes on the recent meeting between German Chancellor Angela Merkel, a protestant, and Pope Benedict XVI to discuss raising the issue of an explicit reference to Christianity in the European constitution. Chancellor Merkel said:
"I believe this treaty should be linked to Christianity and God because Christianity was decisive in the formation of Europe."
Recently referendums in the Netherlands and France sent the new constitution down into defeat for various reasons, one minor reason being that there is no reference to Christianity at all in the new European Union (EU) constitution. Pope John Paul II and the Catholic Church lobbied greatly for inclusion of a reference to the Christian heritage of Europe and the EU only referred to Christianity as "inspiration from the cultural, religious and humanist inheritance of Europe". Germany now joins Poland, Italy, Malta, Portugal, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Lithuania, and Ireland as countries wanting an explicit reference to the 1600 years of Christianity that helped form modern Europe today. Only the United Kingdom, Sweden, and of course France oppose such a measure. Let us pray that the EU will allow this to be enshrined in their new constitution. Words and symbols carry powerful meanings, and to deny 1600 years of Christianity is historically wrong. To read this article click here.
Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The Quotable Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

"If you are humble, nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know what you are. If you are blamed, you won´t be discouraged; if anyone calls you a saint, you won´t put yourself on a pedestal. If you are a saint, thank God; if you are a sinner, don´t remain one. Christ tells us to aim very high, not to be like Abraham or David or any of the Saints, but to be like our Heavenly Father." --Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta (Hat Tip: A Catholic Life)

Thomas À Kempis – The Imitation of Christ

I have been reading The Imitation of Christ by Thomas À Kempis for quite awhile and I am amazed by how simply our Catholic faith has been put into words in explaining on how to live a holy life. Since starting my new job contract about six weeks ago my frantic reading appetite has gone to almost nil. I started back up again wanting to finish reading The Imitation of Christ and I couldn't wait to post about it before I finished reading it. I have heard from many of my friends that this particular book is the second most bought, read, and quoted book after the Holy Bible. Many saints have referenced this book as their most important inspiration in attaining a holy and saintly life. Here's a short bio on Thomas À Kempis:
Thomas À Kempis (1380-1471) had a wide knowledge of the Scriptures and classical philosophy, and although most of his life was spent in a Dutch monastery, he also possessed a deep understanding of human nature. His acquired wisdom convinced him of man's complete dependence on God's love and the empty futility of life without it.
There are too many passages that I want to share, so I'll just quote the following since this struck me because of its sheer simplicity:
There are two wings that raise a man above earthly things – simplicity and purity. Simplicity must inspire his purpose, and purity his affection. Simplicity reaches out after God; purity discovers and enjoys Him. No good deed will prove an obstacle to you if you are inwardly free from uncontrolled desire. And if you are free from uncontrolled desires, and seek nothing but the Will of God and the good of your neighbor, you will enjoy this inner freedom. If your heart be right, the every created thing will become for you a mirror of life and a book of holy teaching. For there is nothing created so small and mean that it does not reflect the goodness of God.
For a soft copy of the book I am reading click here.

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