Saturday, May 31, 2008


Rather liked this from the movie Shrek. Enjoy!

Solemnity of Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

Friday, May 30, 2008

To Seek God in the Spirit of Truth

A very good article found in First Things from a commencement address delivered on May 16, 2008, to the students of the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio.

Please find the article here.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Discovery Channel: I Love the World

H/T to The Deacon's Bench

"If this doesn't lift your spirits, nothing will. It's short and sweet.

Go ahead.

Shut the door and turn up the speakers and enjoy."

Fr. Corapi's Conversion Story - Condensed Version

Thanks to Deacon Greg Kandra, The Deacons Bench for bringing this to my attention.

Peace begins in the Womb

Just ran across a good bumper sticker in the Web...

Peace begins in the Womb!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Why Do Catholics Have a Pope

With a H/T to Crossed the Tiber who brought this article to my attention, I found it to be an interesting article on the Pope from a Protestant site written by a Protestant. Why do Catholics have Pope by Sarah Jennings.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Hand that Touched the World

It is said that a baby is not human until it passes through the birth canal and is born. I beg to differ. Little Samuel had to have an in utero operation. He reached out and grasped the doctor's finger. Here is the photo. Obviously Samuel was interacting with the doctor. Here is the story from NRLC News in it's entirety.
From National Right to Life News

Photo of Unborn Baby’s Hand Continues to Change Hearts and Lives
By Liz Townsend
One moment can change your life. That’s what Michael Clancy has discovered in the eight and a half years since he snapped the groundbreaking photo of an unborn baby clutching his doctor’s hand during fetal surgery.

Clancy is now a fervent pro-lifer, spreading the message that unborn babies are precious human beings and deserve protection. He will be a featured speaker at the upcoming NRL Convention in Washington, D.C., July 3–5.

“It was the earliest human interaction ever recorded,” Clancy told NRL News. “It proved that the child at 21 weeks in utero is a reactive human being.”

When he took the photo in August 1999, Clancy was a freelance photographer filming the fetal surgery procedure for USA Today. Unborn baby Samuel Armas had been diagnosed with spina bifida and hydrocephalus, which occur when the spinal column fails to fuse properly, leaving a lesion (or opening) that is highly susceptible to infection. Dr. Joseph Bruner and his team at Vanderbilt University were operating to close the lesion.

After the incision was made in mother Julie Armas’s abdomen, her uterus was removed and laid on her thighs. An opening was made in the uterus, and the surgeons were supposed to operate on Samuel without any part of his body emerging from inside.

However, as Clancy eloquently describes on his web site,, “out of the corner of my eye I saw the uterus shake, but no one’s hands were near it. It was shaking from within. Suddenly, an entire arm thrust out of the opening, then pulled back until just a little hand was showing.

“The doctor reached over and lifted the hand, which reacted and squeezed the doctor’s finger. As if testing for strength, the doctor shook the tiny fist. Samuel held firm. I took the picture! Wow! It happened so fast that the nurse standing next to me asked, ‘What happened?’ ‘The child reached out,’ I said. ‘Oh. They do that all the time,’ she responded.”

The amazing photograph of Samuel reaching out to his doctor appeared in USA Today and The Tennessean September 7, 1999. Although Clancy never sought notoriety, his work immediately caught the attention of the media and of people around the world.

Clancy was shocked, however, when fetal surgeon Joseph Bruner told USA Today in May 2000 that the photo did not show purposeful movement by Samuel. Bruner claimed that he saw the hand near the incision and he “reached over and picked it up. … The baby did not reach out. The baby was anesthetized. The baby was not aware of what was going on.”

But Clancy posted on his web site the series of frames that depict the moment of contact between Samuel and Dr. Bruner, and they show that Samuel is moving his own hand, grasping the doctor.

“The doctor questioned my credibility,” Clancy told NRL News. “But Samuel punched out, and even damaged the surgical opening. That 21-week-old child reacted to the touch of his surgeon.”
Clancy went on to testify at a congressional hearing in 2003 along with then-three-year-old Samuel, who was born 15 weeks after his surgery. During the hearing, as reported in National Review, Sen. Sam Brownback pointed to a large copy of Clancy’s photo and asked Samuel who it was. “Baby Samuel,” he answered. Brownback then asked what was happening. “They fixed my boo-boo,” said Samuel.

Although he considers himself “shy,” Clancy agreed to speak at the annual banquet of a local crisis pregnancy center about two and a half years ago. After he spoke, “they gave me the first standing ovation I ever had,” Clancy recalled. “Afterwards, 20 to 30 people were lined up to speak with me, and told me I need to continue telling my story.”

Clancy listened to their advice, and is now telling people about his first-hand witness to the humanity of the unborn. He also encourages people to download the photo from his web site and distribute it far and wide.

“It changes one heart at a time, that’s what this picture does,” he said. “This is God’s work. This is the youngest interaction with a child inside the womb ever recorded. As long as it keeps being put where people can see it, it can save lives.”

The Holy Spirit and His Gifts

I appreciated an article entitled The Holy Spirit and His Gifts by Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D. found at the Catholic Exchange. It is not long and I recomment it.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Poverty of Spirit

The spiritual fruit of the second joyful mystery of the Rosary is Poverty of Spirit. Being a Secular Franciscan I am fully aware that St. Francis was all about poverty. But what does it mean to have poverty of spirit. I ran across this article by Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J. Archives on the Beatitudes, Poverty in the Modern World and thought I would share it with you.

Joshua Bell playing Ave Maria.

Speaking of Joshua Bell here he is performing Ave Maria. EEnjoy!

Pearls before Breakfast

With a H/T to Deacon Greg Kandra for bringing this to my attention, I would recommend you read an article in the Washington Post entitled Pearls Before Breakfast by Gene Weingarten, April 8, 2007. It is a rather long article but you will find it interesting and rewarding.

The gist: What if an internationally reknown classical violinist played as a streetplayer during rush hour?

The article won a Pulitzer Prize.

And don't miss Deacon Greg's homily on the same subject.

“What is this life if, full of care,We have no time to stand and stare?” from "Leisure" written by W.H. Davies, a hobo.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Illusionist - Trailer #1

Just watched this movie. Found it very interesting and intriguing. Strongly recommend.

Hebrews 12

Hebrews 12

Exhortation to constancy under their crosses. The danger of abusing the graces of the New Testament.
Douay-Rheims version
[My comments in red]

1 And therefore we also having so great a cloud of witnesses over our head, laying aside every weight and sin which surrounds us, let us run by patience to the fight proposed to us: [An analogy is being made of living our faith life as that of a race. There are many looking on who have run the race before us, the Saints for instance. We are given advice to get rid of everything that would weigh us down and slow us up. Forget our past sins and material things.] 2 Looking on Jesus, the author and finisher of faith, who having joy set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and now sitteth on the right hand of the throne of God. [We are to focus on Jesus who is the runner par excellence. We learn from Him that there is suffering and pain to be endured during the race, but there is glory to the finisher.] 3 For think diligently upon him that endured such opposition from sinners against himself; that you be not wearied, fainting in your minds. [Be strong in your faith, your race. Do not let others deminish your endurance.] 4 For you have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin: 5 And you have forgotten the consolation, which speaketh to you, as unto children, saying: My son, neglect not the discipline of the Lord; neither be thou wearied whilst thou art rebuked by him. [The Lord disciplines us during this life of faith. Discipline is important to achive any effort.] 6 For whom the Lord loveth, he chastiseth; and he scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. [I see an anology here of getting a spanking; for God loves us and as any parent should corrects us as it is needed but it is done with love.] 7 Persevere under discipline. God dealeth with you as with his sons; for what son is there, whom the father doth not correct? 8 But if you be without chastisement, whereof all are made partakers, then are you bastards, and not sons. [We are God's children and so He cares enough to correct us. If He is indifferent to us then we would not be His children.] 9 Moreover we have had fathers of our flesh, for instructors, and we reverenced them: shall we not much more obey the Father of spirits, and live? 10 And they indeed for a few days, according to their own pleasure, instructed us: but he, for our profit, that we might receive his sanctification. [We have our biological fathers and for their correction we respected them. God instructs us so that we may be holy.]
11 Now all chastisement for the present indeed seemeth not to bring with it joy, but sorrow: but afterwards it will yield, to them that are exercised by it, the most peaceable fruit of justice. [When we are corrected we are not happy about it, but in retrospect we know it was for our benefit.]

12 Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, [Strengthen yourself.] 13 And make straight steps with your feet: that no one, halting, may go out of the way; but rather be healed. [Stay on a straight path, don't stop.]

14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness: without which no man shall see God. [Be at peace with all and be holy.] 15 Looking diligently, lest any man be wanting to the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up do hinder, and by it many be defiled. [Look ahead digilently and don't look back on your past so as to receive God's grace in your journey of faith.] 16 Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau; who for one mess, sold his first birthright. [Don't be sexually immoral or think of material thing rather than spiritual thinds as Esau traded his blessing for a meal.] 17 For know ye that afterwards, when he desired to inherit the benediction, he was rejected; for he found no place of repentance, although with tears he had sought it. [Though Esau later realized what he had given up, he could not regain it even over his tears.]

18 For you are not come to a mountain that might be touched, and a burning fire, and a whirlwind, and darkness, and storm, [I believe a comparison is being made here between Mt. Siani of the Old Testament and Mt. Zion, the heavenly mountain.] 19 And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words, which they that heard excused themselves, that the word might not be spoken to them: 20 For they did not endure that which was said: And if so much as a beast shall touch the mount, it shall be stoned. 21 And so terrible was that which was seen, Moses said: I am frighted, and tremble. 22 But you are come to mount Sion, and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to the company of many thousands of angels, 23 And to the church of the firstborn, who are written in the heavens, and to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of the just made perfect, 24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new testament, and to the sprinkling of blood which speaketh better than that of Abel.

25 See that you refuse him not that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spoke upon the earth, much more shall not we, that turn away from him that speaketh to us from heaven. 26 Whose voice then moved the earth; but now he promiseth, saying: Yet once more, and I will move not only the earth, but heaven also. 27 And in that he saith, Yet once more, he signifieth the translation of the moveable things as made, that those things may remain which are immoveable. 28 Therefore receiving an immoveable kingdom, we have grace; whereby let us serve, pleasing God, with fear and reverence. 29 For our God is a consuming fire.

[So I see in this chapter an exhortation to run a good race of our faith life. We need to limber up, lighten our load, focusing on Jesus, not looking back. We also need to train by reading Scripture, learning our faith more deeply - read the Catechism of the Catholic Church. This is our responsibility. We need more catechesis than what we received as children, and more that what we hear during Sunday homilies. And we need to pray. We need to make time to do this for there are countless distractions in our daily lives.]

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Gifts of the Holy Spirit

With the approach of Pentecost, I thought I would post a ...
"O Lord Jesus Christ Who, before ascending into heaven did promise to send the Holy Spirit to finish Your work in the souls of Your Apostles and Disciples, deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me that He may perfect in my soul, the work of Your grace and Your love. Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal, the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of Your divine truth, the Spirit of Counsel that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining heaven, the Spirit of Fortitude that I may bear my cross with You and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation, the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know God and know myself and grow perfect in the science of the Saints, the Spirit of Piety that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable, and the Spirit of Fear that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God and may dread in any way to displease Him. Mark me, dear Lord, with the sign of Your true disciples and animate me in all things with Your Spirit. Amen."

99 Balloons

Thanks to Deacon Greg and The Anchoress for bringing this to my attention.

How very special and valuable each and every life is no matter how long they are with us.

Saturday, May 3, 2008


I ran across this short note on Relevant Radio's page for their Morning Air program. One of their contributors is Dave Durand. Here is what I found:

The value and make up of personal happiness

Happiness is made up of

Freedom. Freedom is paradoxically gained from limits
Freedom’s value is only real if your freedom draws you closer to goodness and ultimately to God

Growth. Growth is part of happiness because it is liberating. It is liberating because growth gives up hope. We are all aware that we must change at some level in life. If we stop growing we lose hope that things can get better.
Growth’s value can be measured by the rate in which we grow as it relates to what we have work with

Commitment. Commitment is necessary for happiness because you cannot truly love without commitment.
Commitment’s value is only related to the object of the commitment

Giving and receiving. To give without accepting = sadness and visa versa
Giving and Receiving value is determined by how you receive and the spirit in which you give