Monday, December 21, 2009

The Importance of Being

The Moment of Conception
 
Take a moment and think of when God conceived you in his heart of Great Love.

It happened, You were conceived in God's love.  He 'knew you before you were born.'

Now consider a conceived child in the womb. Now the embryonic cells form the different parts to make a whole. Now the heart, mind, muscles, limbs form.  Now the mouth, eyes, ears, hands form.

Think of a human person conceived with an act of love moving and growing in the womb.  Now the child is born, straining to breath and cry and longing for love.

If I was conceived in God's love for me, before the beginning of time, it would make sense that God had also planned for me a soul at the moment of my conception. It is logical to assume that all persons conceived as embryonic stem-cells, whether through a loving or hateful or ambivalent acts, were conceived in the beginning by The Creator.  Thus, they have souls at the formation of DNA combining and developing to create a new person.

The Present Rational
 
Therefore, it is not rational for a nation of any people to serve themselves by denying the conceived person.

If the conceived person is recognized physically, then we must apply as a nation our national standard given by the constitution. "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

The general welfare would logically include the health of the unborn.

Then, if the conceived person is recognized as a creation of God and as one known before time, we must see that a conceived person falls under the domain of God before man. Humanae Vitae states: "Those who enjoy the gift of conjugal love, while respecting the laws of the generative process show that they acknowledge themselves to be not the masters of the sources of human life, but rather the ministers of the design established by the Creator."

The key portion, 'respecting the laws of the generative process.'

If we deny the conceived person physically and spiritually we harm not only that conceived person, but the many that surround him also.

The Modern Approach

The current discussions are a model of a state of disagreement. Take this portion of Plato's Republic and place it in the mouths of any rational politician.

"Is there anything worse for a state than to be split and fragmented, or anything better than cohesion and unity?" 
'No'
"And is not cohesion the result of the common feelings of pleasure and pain which you get when all members of a society are glad or sorry at the same successes and failures?"
'Certainly.'
"But cohesion is dissolved when feelings differ between individuals, and the same events, whether of public or individual concern, delight some and dismay others."
'Of course.' 
"And doesn't this happen when the members of society no longer agree in their use of the words "mine" and "not mine", "somebody else's" and "not somebody else's"?"
'That is very true.'
"So the best-ordered state is one in which as many people as possible use the words "mine" and "not mine" in the same sense of the same things."
'Much the best.'


Now, take a moment and think of when God conceived you in his heart of Great Love.

It happened, You were conceived in God's love.  He 'knew you before you were born.'

Now consider a conceived child in the womb. Now the embryonic cells form the different parts to make a whole. Now the heart, mind, muscles, limbs form.  Now the mouth, eyes, ears, hands form.

Think of a human person conceived with an act of love moving and growing in the womb.  Now the child is born, straining to breath and cry and longing for love.

Can you say, "Not Mine."  "Somebody Else's."


 

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Great Humility of the Manger

"When it is all over you will not regret having suffered; rather you will regret having suffered so little, and suffered that little so badly."
-- St. Sebastian Valfre

I may have written of it before, but I have had many Christmas Eve's where I was alone.

One in particular I remember, in search of Christ, I drove to the stables nearby. I knew there was a donkey that the owners were always mean too, but when I visited he always let me rub his forehead.

I thought that if I spent some time with him in the cold stable, I might be that much closer to Christ and die to my desires to be with family for Christmas Eve.

I don't know the donkey's name, but there he was and what a triumphant joy it brought to me to share some time with him. He was very smelly, as was everything at this stable, but I could always see in his eyes that he loved the love.

Christ looks with those infant eyes upon us from his crib of straw and invites all who suffer and are sorrowful to love. It is up to us to pray for those we love and join our suffering with Christ's as a small token of our gratitude for salvation through his living.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Most Divine Dessert

The last lecture my professor in Fundamental Theology gave us was on doctrine.  I have this great metaphor for apples and apple pie, apple tart, baked apples, well you get the idea.
The apples are the principles, always staying the same, the doctrine always developing into something wonderful for the people, with the right guidance of course!  I didn't get to share my theory, professor was a football fan as soon as class let out.

From Dei Verbum
"This tradition which comes from the Apostles develops in the Church with the help of the Holy Spirit. For there is a growth in the understanding of the realities and the words which have been handed down. This happens through the contemplation and study made by believers, who treasure these things in their hearts through a penetrating understanding of the spiritual realities which they experience, and through the preaching of those who have received through Episcopal succession the sure gift of truth. For as the centuries succeed one another, the Church constantly moves forward toward the fullness of divine truth until the words of God reach their complete fulfillment in her.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

This is Why I Love Jesuit Spirituality


Yes!  A New Jesuit Review disseminates what Ignatius intended.  This comes via WDTPRS, and I am so glad to have read it.

Please read the following article in it's full found on the New Jesuit Review.




Ignatian Spirituality and the Apostleship of Prayer by James Kubicki, S.J.

                 Saint Ignatius Loyola was not a monk who withdrew from the world in order to find God. Rather, he marked out a path by which active priests, religious, and lay people would find God in the midst of the world. Two phrases capture the essence of his approach....

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Celebration of Love in Advent


“Love is always patient and kind; it is never jealous; love is never boastful or conceited; it is never rude or selfish; it does not take offense, and is not resentful. Love takes no pleasure in other people’s sins but delights in the truth; it is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, and to endure whatever comes.” 1 Corinthians 13:4

I am laughing now at this last seen of one of my favorite movies.  The ladies are patient and the gentlemen always admit their foolishness.  I am thinking of the amazing way that Love trumps all things. It takes over every thought, almost making one a puppet to ones own desires.

It is funny and wonderful at the same time, because if you ever have the case to fall in love, then you might know Christ’s love.  The first time I fell in love, when I equated it with Christ’s love for us, wow! is all I can say.

So this consuming crazy feeling and thing with a mind of its own is only a small portion of the power of emotion Christ has for us.  Love is amazing too, because it cannot be turned off during hard times or even when you try.  Because God is Love, He can never turn off His love. 

Try to fall in love at least once, first it helps one to die to self, and second, one may be able to understand in a very small way the Love that God has for his people.  And whether you are watching Elizabeth Gaskell’s romances or Resident Evil:Extinction(my other favorite currently!) then you may see a trend for love no matter the circumstances.

Have a wonderful Advent.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Wonders in the Night Sky

Wow!  I just looked for the first time through a telescope at the moon.  It is sooooo amazing!  It's easy to look at the moon in pictures, but when you experience looking at it yourself it is beautiful!

 It is a great analogy for my experience learning about basic principles of theology this semester.  I found I have read a great number of things but I realized that I did not see it the way a theological thinker would see.  I have seen pictures and maps of the moon's craters but never have looked for myself.
  Another excellent consequence of my class is that I started to listen more closely to the priest's homilies.  I am still lacking the full background that I need, but that will come in time.  If I continue the analogy of my first site of the moon, I remember that currently there is research showing vast amounts of the elements that may have brought forth some types of living organisms.  I hope my further study of theology shows such spiritual life and connections for me.

One other realization I have had, among so many, is that I think my friends who have studied theology before me seem to have a greater understanding of human nature.  Some of them are priests, some are DREs, some campus ministers and some teachers.  I see it takes all kinds of theologians just as it takes many types of scientists and sciences to bring together a full knowledge of one idea.  I trust I will continue to look to my friends for their advice as I study theology and learn more of God's divine plan for man.

It is so exciting for me to know that as I have taken my first look at the moon, so shall I grow in theological knowledge (hopefully) to see the inner workings that give spiritual life to man.  The more I study and seek, the more I will see the elements necessary for my own spiritual life.

The Authentic Thanksgiving List

I like this idea of thank yous and thank you lists.  I have been forgetting to be thankful lately I must admit.

I am thankful for...

1. Having a work break and a thinking break.  I don't know how people with electronics around them all the time survive.  I NEED wilderness.

2. Visiting mom and dad in the country.  Can't wait for Mom's home cooked meal Thursday.

3. Visiting my mom's friendly rescued kitty.  He is so sweet. Although I jhnm (<---he jumped on the keyboard!)  Although I am very allergic, I miss having a kitty cat.  They are really nice, but I love my little boston terrier the most!

4. Finishing my first real class in theology.  Though I have taken some classes before religious in nature, they weren't high end academic type classes.  Definitely was challenged, hope I passed!!

5. Living in a country, where as of now, I still have options about my life, religion, freedoms, health, job.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Truth Was Always in the Research

Oh Snap!.  This is from Zenit:

Science Proves Adult Stem Cells More Promising than Embryonic, Says Vatican Official

Rome, Italy, Nov 22, 2009 (CNA).- The president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, Archbishop Rino Fisichella, said this week that the work by two scientists has shown adult stem cells to be much more promising for medical treatment than embryonic stem cells. The use of adult stem cells poses no ethical difficulties and has already contributed to advancing treatments for degenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s.

In an article published by L’Osservatore Romano, the archbishop cited the work of two scientists, James Thomson of the United States and Shinya Yamanaka of Japan. Yamanaka was able to create adult stem cells in rats and later using human skin, which he called induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, constituting a significant scientific development.

Read on at the link in the title...

What are Embryonic Stem-cells?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Greatest Inspiration Getters

There are many types of people who can inspire you for various reasons. Sometimes you are inspired for a moment, and sometimes for a lifetime of duty and ambition. Inspiration can be defined as coming from within or without. Inspiration can be recognized as coming from the supernatural or the natural. In the Catholic Church the Saints inspire in their words passed on and their actions lived and recorded by someone, sometimes themselves. But always they act and write out of a desire to do God's will.

In this life sometimes we come across Saints and sometimes we come across those men and women who act Saintly. Either way the acts that they do show God and His loving nature.

When man is able to express God's loving nature well, we are all closer to the Kingdom of Heaven. That is why marriage is so important so that the two people can inspire the love of God in each other and exude that love outward to their children and others.

Thank goodness for inspiration from others and from the Holy Spirit. I can say I have been inspired by many people, especially those that I have and do love, like family and friends. The hope and joy that come from their simple acts of love for God have a much greater power to inspire than they will ever know.

Sometimes when I feel fear or doubt, I rush mentally to look to the saints. St. Louis de Montfort always inspires me because he had a temper and unfilled missionary dreams. St. Therese of Lisieux inspires me in her youth and vitality in daily prayer and thankfulness. St. Francis de Borgia inspires me in his fasting and piety. And they all always lead me back to the Cross of Christ and the knowledge that one drop of His blood is salvation of man for all time.

It is important though to see Christ in those you love so that you are daily, hourly inspired to be better and exude that love of Christ that compels man to act on God's will for their lives.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Apostolic Exhortation

"I think immediately of the great possibilities offered by the means of social communication and the means of group communication: television, radio, the press, records, tape recordings - the whole series of audio-visual means. The achievements in these spheres are such as to encourage the greatest hope. Experience shows, for example, the effect had by instruction given on radio or television, when it combines a high aesthetic level and rigorous fidelity to the magisterium." from Catechesis in Our Time

John Paul II specifies the many electronic means we have to advocate Christ toward those who need him most. It is also our duty as faithful Catholics to disseminate the teachings of the Church to the faithful. The reprinted Novus Ordo is an exciting event that will lead to varied interpretation, but the faithful will be depended upon to decipher truth in words.

In Baton Rouge, the current annointing is a desire for 24/7 Catholic radio. The cable stations have bumped out local Catholic channels on the television, so this means of media is a great opportunity to reach many souls. Baton Rouge Catholic Radio is located at this website: http://blog.brcatholicradio.com/

This opportunity cannot pass us by. With the message of Christ in one city, it can be passed throughout the world on the internet and podcast into the hands and thus the hearts of men. The opportunity to support any means that will uphold the rightful teaching of Christ's established Church, is an opportunity worth supporting.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Biblical Theologian to Read

Cool, just found this via facebook via Jeff Miller/Splendor of Truth via The Sacred Page.

http://www.thesacredpage.com/2009/10/scott-hahns-new-book-on-pope-benedicts.html

New Book by Scott Hahn

The Super Scientist

Super Scientists are about one in a million, but they most likely run in families. Like Dean Venture of the Venture Brothers on adultswim.net, I sometimes need a wet wipe.  Handy dandy little lemony things.

I don't have a speed suit like the ultra 'cool' Rusty Venture, but if I did boy would I be struttin it.  Just think if we could all invent cool things and be attacked by the guild of calamitous intent, life might lead us all closer to Christ.

I would like to admit here: that I watch a cartoon on the internet.  If it helps, my brother got me into it, but it is not for people who are offended by any little ole blasphemas thing.  It has it's interesting points.  My favorite episode so far is when they try to raise money by having a kids camp and one of the kids gets torn up by an experimental ape man that hasn't seen the light of day for 30 years.  They send a juicy clone home with the parents.

Okay, maybe your thinking my sense of humor is a little morbid. Well, it is.  But I am a true optimist in seeing the joy of the super scientist is not the scary robots or the mutilated humanoids, but it is the knowledge that God created Science-Fiction.  And thank goodness for that.  Dr. Venture lovingly offers a wet wipe to his son,(the 17th clone I believe) to wipe away the fear he has thrown up on his polyester speed suit.  Pretty close to the prodigal son, because now the super scientist son can enter his profession with knowledge that there is someone loving who really gets him.

I used to think my dad was like superman, then I became a certain age and started to understand life a little better.  Now I think he is totally a super scientist and I hope it runs in the family.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Prayers of a Mother

I always doubt my own prayers when it comes to something I want.  I know my prayers for others, even around the world, work excellently. But when it comes to me, I rarely get the things I most desire.

So I asked my Mom to pray for me.  She said, "I pray for God's blessings on you every day."  And then today, she called me just to tell me she prayed for something specific for me that I want.  I think this is the first step to get in good with Jesus, because how can he refuse a mother?

When my parents were Brasil for several years working, I was in college and I missed my Mother's hugs the most.  I worked one job until very late at night.  Sometimes at midnight I would get to the perpetual adoration chapel in Kenner and just sit by the statue of Our Lady of Fatima.  One night, I just needed a hug from my mom and I hugged the statue.  Our Lady hugged me right back and it felt like my Mom's hugs! The best!

Our Lady always watches over us all and even though I ask her to pray for me for many things, she knows what is best just as well as Christ.  I pray that she continues to draw people to Christ and maybe one day I'll get to receive a hug from Her in Heaven!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Waking Vision

"Every little star, it starts somewhere"  a line from one of my current favorite songs by Marry a Thief.  You may have noticed a change on my site if you read it at all.  I recently am having a waking image repeated in my head of being surrounded by a brilliant blue and in front of me stands Our Lady in the image of Our Lady of Medjugorje. Pretty cool eh?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Demographic Catholic

Just found a cool new website called Argent by the Tiber.  The link is located in the Web Nebulas section of this site.  Hope I get a chance to read it more extensively soon.

Also, my home parish has just placed in a small alcove a number of 1st class relics.  St. Augustine of Hippo, St. Pio of Pietralina, St. Faustina, A True Relic of the Cross, St Therese of the Infant Jesus and some other awesome saints I can't recall now.  I asked all of them to pray for me so that I might not repeat the many faults I have!

It is nice to see so many faces from so many places in my parish, which is what originally led me to the Tiber site.  I came across this interesting image.  I know some may have seen it before, but I hadn't and I am a sucker for any kind of map.


I am one who can't wait to see the new demographics for Louisiana in 2010 as a reflection of hurricane Katrina.  But I came across this map because I like to dream about moving to some other state, but I can never bring myself to endure too much cold. Besides, who would want to live anywhere beyond 100 miles of New Orleans anyway?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Genuine Baby Killers


It's not even funny what is going down right now.

Have any of these people read the Bill of Rights? Or do they all interpret Freedom as relative only to their determinations?

Find out about what health care bills are up in CON-gress.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Affect of Time Changing

I am affected by time changing, but not in all the ways I want. Duty and work never cease, and love is hard to forget. The first chimney fire of winter lights the dark areas of weariness and poetry emotes warmth for the soul.





by Emily Dickinson
On Nature...


Like mighty footlights burned the red
At bases of the trees-
The far theatricals of day
Exhibiting to these.

'Twas universe that did applaud
While chiefest of the crowd,
Enabled by his royal dress,
Myself distinguished God.

On Love...


It's all I have to bring today,
This, and my heart beside,
This, and my heart, and all the fields,
And all the meadows wide.
Be sure you count, should I forget-
Some one the sum could tell,-
This, and my heart, and all the bees
Which in the clover dwell.



I held a jewel in my fingers
And went to sleep.
The day was warm, and winds were prosy;
I said: "Twill keep."

I woke and chid my honest fingers,-
The gem was gone;
And now an amethyst remembrance
Is all I own.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Lady dressed in Stars

Our Lady of Guadalupe, I believe, drew me back toward the Holy Catholic Church. So I treated myself to her portrait for my birthday, and doesn't she look smart on my newly painted wall.

The fascinating facts behind the constellations on her cloak tell a continuing tale of God's divine inclination to let humans participate in a world that has the thrill of perseverance, courage and freedom of will. Our Lady lived these virtues.

To model her is my highest goal. To be loved by her is my greatest gift second to only Christ, Our Lord.

"Live in the world as if only God and your soul were alone in it. Then your heart will never be made captive by anything earthly thing."

-- St. John of the Cross

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Winter Wonderland in Louisiana (I hope it comes again!)

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Fall Cometh


     I have to place a note about how excited I am about fall weather.  The first wind has started to ring my new wind chime and my puppies were especially excited playing with me outside this afternoon.

   I hope it snows again for Louisiana.  Even though I have seen snow several times, I was never in a place where I could listen to it fall over an extended period.  It was so peaceful.  Fall and early winter are my favorite times of year because first, I get to wear sweaters and second, all the best feast days happen. 

   One more note, and one of the inspirations for this blog, the constellation Orion.  I can always find it in fall and winter, and it always shines out of the sky when I need a sign of God's loving omnipotence.   

   So as the moon is waxing at this time, and I am savoring my hot pots of tea, I watch with excitement the changes Earth brings.  The seasons are healing.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Augustinian Call

Things are stressful, but there is nothing like a good ole fashioned talk about Saint Augustine to put you into perspective.  

He said lots of cool stuff that I could try to repeat, but there is too much that really hits home with me, so I won't start.

One person that I do keep in mind is Saint Monica and her relationship with her husband.  She put up with hardship faithfully and I wish I could be a better person and not complain about the usual abusers out there.

Augustine reminds me that God loves me no matter how far I could fall, but he also convicts me that I am called to the greater sainthood.  It is not an easy road to love and not receive too much in return, but at least children see your convictions well.

"The retreat in question is to be taken to mean, not only the careful avoidance of occasions of sin, but still more that, when engaged with the enemy, we lift up our minds and hearts to the things of God, fastening our eyes above all on the One to whom we have pledged our virginity. 'Gaze upon the excellence of your Lover,' St. Augustine reminds us."

Pope Pius XII Sacra Virginitas quotes from St. Augustine's De Sancta Virginitate


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Year of the Priest

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Upcoming Ember Days


This is cool, check it out on Fr. Z's page.




Monday, September 21, 2009

The Best Wedding Pictures Ever!!






I had to upload some of my favorite pictures that I took from this weekend of a friend's wedding. I am so happy for her, everything was beautiful. My pictures always come out great when it's perfectly cloudy like it was for her wedding. The last is a second line parade to the Irish Pub Finn McCool's in NewOrleans.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Smallest Greatest Gift

Well, the bobble heads talking off their head again. Check out the Curt Jester's article here.

Link of my Stem Cells for Idiots video here.


Random information:
I found St. Cyril in an antique store yesterday on his feast day!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Opinion of a Healthy Taxpayer

I received in the mail recently my first health insurance card. Because I obtained a job at a public school this year, individuals are provided with free (is it called premiums?) plans, minus the copays.

I don't like doctors and I must admit I haven't visited one in about maybe 10 years, minus the dentist and the optometrist. I don't get sick very often either, if I do, then it doesn't last very long. I attribute this health to being aware of the things that make people ill these days, living a Christian lifestyle, and good genes. I feel this allows me a certain perspective in the health care proposals set forth.

Though I am happy to have the option now to go to a doctor, I am closely following the current debate. I recognize today, that yes, of course my money pays for illegal immigrant care. I recognize that tomorrow, no matter what the outcome of the current reform, I will probably be paying for health care for immigrants and poverty stricken peoples who don't pay taxes. Capitalism demands I fight to get ahead, or at least I have that choice to protect my wealth. Whereas, social justice within our church doctrine calls communities to fend for those who do not have means and cannot find the means on their own.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church sums up the argument in one sentence in regard to the freedoms of a capitalistic society where it states, "Regulating the economy solely by centralized planning perverts the basis of social bonds; regulating it solely by the law of the marketplace fails social justice, for there are many human needs which cannot be satisfied by the market."(CCC2425)

There are gray areas in this debate if we are to follow the same guidance from Faith in God that the American fore fathers believed in. My opinion is that I agree whole heartedly with the teaching of the Catholic Church, but that I do not want to pay taxes for services that I do not use now. I am not naive about health care, I know I may need it soon, but I'd rather pay out of pocket.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Best Kind of Thankfulness


There are plenty of things to comment on in the news lately, but I would like to follow the idea of another blogger and author, Mary and Me, and write my own list of thank yous.

1. I am thankful that Christ has only brought upon me about 2 days of 'dryness' in the Spirit. (They were quite horrible)

2. I am thankful that I live in a state and community and family that works, prays,plays, loves each other together.

3. I am thankful that even though I work at a public school this year, some of my coworkers and I have already prayed together for things at work. (thus annointing the workplace)

4. I am so grateful that I have many faults that compel me to call on Jesus Christ.

5. I am most grateful, thankful, awed, that I may still be allowed into the Kingdom of Heaven despite myself because of the Sacred Blood spilled from Jesus Christ the Son of God, and that I am allowed to die into Him when I receive the Eucharist.

I'll stop here, and think of something scientific to write about next time. But truly, the cognitive capability of gratitude and memory of the miracles worked on our behalf, is the very essence of an exercise in the unknown.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Joy of New Life

Yesterday my older brother named his first child.

His little wife was in labor a long time and she lost lots of blood during the process. Luckily, I was caught behind a wreck in completely stopped traffic and I texted both my brother and my friend who teaches at a Catholic high school. She was able to pray with her classes all day. I am so grateful for it, now that I find out more information about the hard birth and surgery my sister-in-law experienced afterward. You'd almost think where they were was a third world country. (But it was America)

I am glad to hear she is doing okay. And her experience only makes me desire to have children one day even more. I could tell today that my brother is a proud father when I received an email announcing the news of the baby. He's always been quite allergic to initiating emails.

In praying for them, I hope to know that all things depend on God's Grace, and that our actions are only an extension of God's Grace. She needs healing safely and to be out of pain. Please pray for Natasha.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Queen of Angels and the Amphibian

Exercise time for this Burmese Python is being let lose in the activity room with the doors closed. Her name is Hera and she currently lives at BREC's Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center where I worked this summer.

While I did gain an appreciation for this type of wildlife, I didn't use extra time to 'play' with the snakes. Hera is actually getting too big to handle and will soon be moved to Florida at a preserve area that specializes in big snakes.

Snakes, interesting as they are, are still feared immediately by people who are not familiar with wildlife. Even the program aides mentioned to me after I left that children say they are taught that snakes are evil. When I was there this summer sometimes the visitors from other places surprised me with their fear or indifference for snakes that are healthly for the environment. Where I grew up, there was a large swamp that backed up to a levee and canal. In the neighborhood, we often had visitors of the no leg sort crawl up in cars or on porches, and then they'd had to be delt with. But Kingsnakes, garter snakes and grass snakes help the flow of the food chain when they visit the neighborhood.

All of these creatures are part of God's grand design. The second day at work I held a ball python named Deuce. He stayed curled up and cold. It was a little creepy at first, but the animal was very calming after I relaxed. In my mind I was trying to think of the references in scripture to snakes and why the perception is what it is. The main one I think of is Our Lady crushing the head. This image is the most visible in Catholic churches where I live in the Marion statues of the Queen of Angels.

These constrictor amphibians squeeze the last life out of their prey after the initial strike. Then they swallow it whole. Much like the capacity of addiction and sin in the life of man. But in the natural world, the prey can sometimes fight back during the struggle by clawing or knawing out the flesh or eyes of the snake. In the spiritual realm, coming up from a recurring sin can be a similar struggle.

Even though I didn't 'play' with the snakes while I was working, and I am obviously not interested in studying herpetology, I did try to educate the children and people that came in about the watershed area and pollution that effects it. I couldn't really educate about the grace of God at a state funded program, but I was educated and reflective about the role of the serpent in the foundation of the world and the image of sin.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Best Jerusalem Bible is a Well Loved One


I have been looking at a Jerusalem Bible on the shelf of my favorite used book store for about , oh... 2-3 years. Hoping each time I go in that it's still there and I will feel like having a reason to spend the 25 dollars all at once.

I bought it today! Along with a new Swann's Way by Proust. It has a two fold purpose for me, get back into knowing every nook and cranny of scripture and remembering those wonderful college years attending noon mass at LSU with Father Jacques Seynaeve. I loved it when he was serving for mass. In that time period, most of the time there would only be about five or so of us attending daily masses. Another girl and I would almost rush to see who could help him the most in the sacristy. He could never remember our names, and almost every time I mentioned my last name: Schmitt, he'd say "Oh, (something in German)" and I would say, Father I don't speak German. But I was always, always completely charmed by him, and the fact that he looked like an angel in only his alb.

I decided to take his class on the Gospel of John. I think at that time, I wasn't experiencing the power of scripture yet. But one day I opened up the gospels and they came alive in a moment. Then I took his class.

He slowly and carefully dissected the words for all of us to understand. He loved his large Jerusalem bible and touted that it was the 'best' bible to use for study. (Probably because it had originally been written in French, his native language.) He is Belgian. I still have my notes for the final oral exam. I will always remember I forgot to use the word shema.

When I loned the bible I used for that class to my brother, and then he moved to CA, I wanted it back for a long time just to read my notes and marks written amongst the pages of John. I finally received it back when I flew there a year or two ago after several years. Inside were all the trappings of a wonderful Catholic experience helped by a scholar of the scripture.

I don't know where Fr. Jacque is today, but I hope he is well. I know Father Jacque must be charming all the young people in Belgium! And today I would love to tell him I purchased a Jerusalem Bible of my own and hope to use it in a Theology program this semester, God willing.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Exciting Education Experiment

Oppositional Defiant Behavior is not new to me as a teacher. The one or two behaviorial issues I've had in the past diagnosed in my classes were only considered behavior issues because I worked at Catholic schools without a full support staff.

At my new school, one taken over by the state and given to a charter system, I am teaching the same grades I taught last year at a Catholic school. It is a mostly impoverished area, but people generally have jobs. I don't think I have any students that are officially oppositional defiant, but the signs are telling.

Here's the rub, I feel oddly challenged and fulfilled in this position. Children who live in a culture of poverty only know what they know. Because I finally finished my master's and received the 'official' teaching certificate, I can finally go and work where plenty of other certified teachers have quit before.

While it was sometimes boring to study all of the educational theory and science, it comes in handy while modifying My behavior, to show love to students who do not experience caring on a daily basis.

It has only been a full week of school and tomorrow is Friday, always a Yea! from me on that one no matter the past week! But I don't think I have ever put so much effort into a first week of school before. I didn't have too. I like it and I like the students, they are very real, like me.

I don't have grand ideas for my position, I'm only hoping to use some technology and show them lots of love. Which is the key, I hope, for great success and desire to do well.

Education is true Freedom after all!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Case of the Missing Morality

My favorite thing to do in the summer is visit the library and borrow all of the mystery and crime series DVDs that I can find.

Agatha Christie’s Poirot ranks at the top followed by Miss Marple, Foyle’s War, Inspector Morse and Prime Suspect. The murder and mystery is great and sometimes I get lucky and get a good peek at a dead body in the show, but morality of the main characters glares amidst the mystery.

This summer I decided to branch out and go beyond Christie’s timeless approach. Inspector Morse was supposed to be educated and smart, but he seemed somewhat crass and flirty toward anything that resembled a female. I couldn’t even finish Inspector Lynley Mysteries, not enough murder and too much soap opera ‘life’ happening.

Today I was finishing up my borrowed Prime Suspect series 3 and 5. I saw the last series when it came on television. The murder and degradation interwoven between societal classes is compelling and Helen Mirren is magnificent, but her character…

Detective Superintendent Jane Tennison is a lesson on how NOT to seek happiness in life. Throughout the series she says ‘she loves her job’ and ‘she’s doing what she always wanted’, but she goes about it in the worst ways.

In her search for meaning and happiness in life she chooses abortion of a fetus conceived with a married man. This happens after she is dealing with a pedophile case. Understandably the case is affecting her decision, but not in a way that might complement what her character says about every person deserving justice.

What is revealed (spoiler alert) in the last series is that she became a police woman to please her father and make him proud. While this is noble, it is made less so by the character’s portrayal of a woman who avoids intimacy and trust with other people. The detectives she has on her teams are almost always immediately put off by this character’s idealized superiority.

The balance of the show I think must be the ferocious fight for justice in public while the vulnerable woman makes poor, poor decisions in her private life. This must make good television, but it does little for me other than to help me try to understand motives for sin and practicing mercy.

This is the only other series I have seen, next to Law and Order, where bad guys get off the hook. But I think that is another article for another summer. In the mean time, I am fascinated by the criminal mystery stuff and will continue watching it.

Fiction reflects that there are many evil things in the real world. Discovering the truth doesn’t always happen in so poignantly a way in real life, but morality in the form of modesty, prudence, charity and justice will always shine forth from the page, screen and present actions of people who chose to practice it.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Job Hunt

I am sooo preoccupied trying to find a teaching job in Louisiana. I have worked for Catholic schools for a while now and it has made me penniless, so I am holding out for a nice, resources abundunt public school job. If it's God's will maybe I'll get something decent and nearby. So if you read this, Pray for me!!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Dialogue in Honduras

A friend is in Honduras as a missionary. Please read her blog Witnessing Hope linked here and to the right of this posting.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The ACLU Fights for the Rights of Catholic Inmates

An inmate at Angola Prison in Louisiana called in the ACLU to fight for the right to view the Roman Catholic Mass on television. They fought for him and he won the right to the mass, the holy eucharist and personal meetings with a priest. Read the story here: Death row inmate, ACLU win fight to have Catholic Masses shown in cells

This type of activism that allows prisoners dignity is freedom fighting in its true form. I would say that for the fight for members of Islam to have prayer carpets also, and members of Protestant churchs to have bibles.

The beauty of the story is that it allows for the individual, no matter what they have done, to repent in the fullest way they know how. As the prisoner who kissed the crucifix three times before he died in the story of St. Therese of Lisieux, inmates have the opportunity to recieve Christ's full mercy.

I had no idea that prisoners in Louisiana weren't allowed to view the Catholic mass. I am not sure how that is in the southern area of LA, but I know Angola just touches the Bible Belt of the US and I have lived on that edge where most people practice a protestant faith. I want to take a moment to suggest everyone read A Saint on Death Row: The Story of Dominique Green by Thomas Cahill. It was so amazing to see this man changed by love he experienced while on death row that he had never recieved in the outside world. So many, many people do not know love, therefore to allow the fullness of God's love, the Holy Eucharist, into one man's life is one step closer to Christ's Kingdom Come.

Monday, June 29, 2009

The Hands of Humility


Recently, I moved back to the city. The one thing I will miss about my former home is one of the priests at the church parish I attended. I remember when I first saw him give a homily. His sincerity struck me more than any homilist I have seen.

This priest is from Vietnam and was sent to the parish as an associate pastor. He barely spoke english, and still forgets to pronounce the 'th' sound when reading the gospel. After I heard that first homily, I found myself listening intently everytime I next heard him in masses.

The most humble aspect shown through when he spoke of his home in Vietnam and the many Catholics there that need good priests. He is older now and was a priest who escaped the communist regime. But his sincerity shines through as he asks the body of parishoners to pray for him.

One last thing, I don't mention his name, because I don't want to massacre the spelling. But I also noticed his hands and the way they were shaped like those on the Shroud of Turin. I will miss hearing his enthusiam and sincerity for the Gospel.

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Sacred Heart

Dinoscopus has a short article on the Sacred Heart and Josefa Menendez. Please read it. I discovered this blog on the Catholic New Media Awards website in Best Blog by a Cleric.

When I look upon the Sacred Heart, sometimes it is hard to understand the capacity of Christ's mercy. I'll pray to try, and give the same mercy to others.

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Science of Scarcity and the Will of God

Manically thumbing through the pages of an economics college textbook before my recent ‘materials interpretation’ certification test, I came to the conclusion that economics is yet another science that expresses the infinite beauty of God’s creation.

The physical and spiritual aspects of man directly relate to micro and macroeconomics. Microeconomics has a singularity that is most involved with the affective nature of man, whereas macroeconomics encompasses the effect of the world community upon standards set for man. The micro economy of a man’s spirituality is his company that can be run down or become amazingly successful. The macro economy is the level of spirituality that man is held too according to God’s law.

Scarcity, in particular, is the mover and shaker of the science of economics. Scarcity is when our wants are greater than the resources available to satisfy them. (Microeconomics 7th ed., Arnold) The science of scarcity is then broken down into: infinite want versus finite means and how the individual and community deal with it.

Imagine then, that the will of man is a desire to attain perfection. Men desire at different levels, but all to the same end. The imitation of human saints is a finite resource, where the imitation of Christ is infinite with God’s will. The infinite desire and will of God, who satisfies completely, has no ceiling as far as human knowledge extends. But, God has set the high standard for the community of man as the life and sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Using our definition of scarcity, man’s desire to be like Christ, is limited by his formed will and knowledge, both finite resources. After God’s grace takes over, man’s will meets at a higher place with God’s will. Fig. 1 is an imagined attainable region and slope of desire for man to succeed in his endeavor to be holy.



Unfortunately, man does not always know his true wants, knowledge of God.
Consider a quote from Tanquerey’s The Spiritual Life that examines the value of the knowledge of God. “All creatures, according to their degree of perfection, are an image, a likeness of God; all proclaim God for their Maker and bid us join in praise of Him, since their own being, all their beauty and goodness, is but a created and finite participation in the divine essence.”

Man’s participation, or desire to participate, is limiting to himself. Thus he defines his slope to perfection pre-empted by Jesus Christ. The weakly formed will of man is a slower slope to the full will of God for man to seek Christ. Where the greater will, or desire to be like Christ is the faster slope to attain saintly perfection. Fig. 2 is too simple to show that God’s will is ingrained in men no matter if they acknowledge Him or not. But it does allow for varying degrees of man’s desire.



This is only a limited interpretation of an exact science with abstract infinites. But God’s complex creation of man and Earth, for me, is easily seen in various forms of science that reflect physical attributes of perfection and organization. In the same way that economics depends on scarcity, God’s 'Kingdom Come' is seen in man’s desires. We are limited so far as what grace God provides and what level of desire we have for God's grace.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Rights of Man and Media Inter-woven

Who says media is living in the past? Don't blink, you may miss the next internet trend as media is transitioning into a dynamic force for America's Freedom of Speech. This is clearly seen in the individuals who are rallied by social networks and instant feed sites in other countries who are beginning to share the basic 'rights of man' mentality.

Media, though currently evolving, has become the moniker for people's rights. Around the world we see that an electronic rally has complex effects on the society. People, governments, land, language and economies are effected to name a few examples. Where do people get such ideas?

Rights of the rational man, stemming from Locke, Hobbes, & Paine have long been parts of a more complete truth that Man has free will. Thus ideas become cross-cultural in an inter-society where mutual understanding of freedom of voice has become the the momentum for a new definition of civilized.

Media has become the 'new' definition of civilized. Ideal rights of man are the underpinnings of this freedom of voice which all classes of society seek. This is exciting news, because any advocate of the un-thought-of peoples of the world may make a way for them.

One small voice is multiplied if it is spoken for the Truth. I pray that more people use the current media to speak for freedom and the dignity of man. If we wouldn't have had muckrakers such as Ida Tarbell and Upton Sinclair, the truth may have continued to be smeared over. Media is a means of communication for the masses and hopefully it will continue to find ways to show truth in content from the many individuals that explore it's past and future.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Arc of the Covenant

I took pictures for a friend's wedding. I like this one the best, probably because Our Lady rocks.



So then, the great Mother of God, so mysteriously united to Jesus Christ from all eternity by the same decree of predestination, immaculately conceived, an intact virgin throughout her divine motherhood, a noble associate of our Redeemer as he defeated sin and its consequences, received, as it were, the final crowning privilege of being preserved from the corruption of the grave and, following her Son in his victory over death, was brought, body and soul, to the highest glory of heaven, to shine as Queen at the right hand of that same Son, the immortal King of Ages.

-- St. Pope Pius XII

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Call to Vocation

Vocation is a call that every person hears in different ways. I always find it a little funny that I feel called, compelled to prayer for priestly vocations. Funny, because I am a single young woman and "God gets the best, women get the rest!" That's what the guys like to say in Louisiana.

If you haven't seen the full video, make sure to order it from Grassroots Films. I got five copies when they came out a couple years ago and passed them out! It's a really awesome video to show upper level high school students, men and women to help understand the Holy Catholic Priesthood.

Fishers of Men - United State Conference of Catholic Bishops

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

It isn't a complex Science to love the Sacred Heart of Jesus. I pray for fidelity to the Sacred Heart when I remember.

Fill in the blank for yourself:

Lord, please allow me the grace of _________ the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
A. supernatural love for
B. acknowledging my sins to
C. reverant praise for
D. complete trust in

Thank you EWTN for posting such a great
SACRED HEART NOVENA

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Journey

I like to think I am poet sometimes. Here is a sample, good or not.

The Journey

My journey is weak like a twig.
It bends and wants to grow.
My journey is strong like a rock.
Faith shining with an igneous glow.

There is undiscovered beauty, unfathomable depths,
of Mother Church at Christ's behest.
Now I wade in a shallow stream
While ahead the deepness gleams.

She is gentle as leaves
gathering the sun's life.
She is the living Earth,
Inside burning bright.

Let me float on this journey,
Let me swim for the deep.
My vocation pulls onward,
Father, what you will, will be.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

The Fight Against Cloning

An email from the Louisiana Right to Life Federation brought exciting news.Senator Danny Martiny of Louisiana wrote a bill to ban human animal hybrids. The bill is called SB 115 Human Animal Hybrid Ban.

The bill uses key terms
to establish various scenarios. Terms such as fertilization, introduction, engineered, and nonhuman are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to ways these types of scientists might manipulate an embryo or embryonic cells. It may seem like the movies when you have to prevent someone from inserting human brain matter into a rat.

Hands down, my favorite part of the bill is straight forward and says the following:

(2)Human embryo means an organism of the species Homo sapiens during the earliest stages of development, from one cell up to eight weeks.


The Bioethics Defense Fund is naturally following this bill closely which only has to pass the hands of the Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. The Bioethics Defense Fund is a pro-life organization governed by local leaders from across the United States from various areas of study. You can read their information here. Two of the points their website makes is that this bill does not prevent federal funding or use of animals in research or for parts for valves or organs for human transplant.

Louisiana is clearly ahead of the game when it comes to fighting sick and twisted science. I hope that our governor signs this bill and that our state continues to be a leader in life legislation.

Friday, June 5, 2009

The Exciting Realm of Science!

Nominations are up at www.catholicnewmediaawards.com and I just cast my vote! Finding great Catholic blogs to read is almost as good as finding new music!

If you read this, definitely check out the interesting blogs, my daily favorites are under my Web Nebulas section. I originally started my blog just so I could have a great homepage with great links, and it's working great for me. I am just about to add a couple more cool sites. I did notice there were none about science.

Science is very cool people. I look at Natural Science, Social Science and Formal Sciences. They are all interesting and all created by the omnipotent Father God.

So take a moment and read, and I bet you'll wish like me that blogs would have been invented before television!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Most Interesting Foods Designed by God

Nutrition as a science continues to evolve and demand to be noticed.I was delighted to see calories on the side of my McDonald’s box the other day! Mainstream has started to act on a problem after the burgers have been eaten. So while the topic is fresh, here are a few wonderful foods designed by God not sold at fast food chains. The nutritional information comes from www.whfoods.com

Quinoa
One of the crops grown by the Incans is a grain called quinoa, pronounced ‘keen-wah.’ Quinoa is high in manganese. Many people don’t realize that there is a desert area surrounding some of the mountains near Bolivia and Peru. The native peoples valued it as food of the gods. This wonderfully designed grain was the main food before the Spanish conquistadors phased it out as they also phased out the native peoples there.



If you ever get to visit anywhere near the equator, you will realize how hot it is. It’s not just hot, but one hour out in the sun will make you melt if you aren’t native. Quinoa provides the vitamins to counteract the effects of the heat draining the energy.

Miso
Miso is a type of paste that can be made from many types of beans and rices mixed together and fermented. Soy and adzuki beans are only two of the types but are a great example of how God has created for all the needs of man. Adzuki beans are high in protein and come from around the ancient kingdom of Persia. Soy beans are an ancient crop of the Chinese civilization. Both can be fermented into the mainstay of miso paste that is used plainly as soup and as a seasoning. The fermenting creates good enzymes for digestion.



Today miso is served in palaces and on street-side curbs. This simple soup sustains many in a country of many.

God provides for all the needs of man in small details like magnesium and protein. The science of nutrition is worth studying to be healthy and discover the greatness of God's design.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Logical Argument

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The 5 Scientific Questions Every Catholic Should Ask


Question 1:
How does science fit in with going to Mass every Sunday?


Answer:
Sunday mass provides your soul with weekly sustenance! In two parts, human and spirit, the tradition of the holy mass feeds the brain and soul.

On the human level, the more we know about the meta-cognitive processes that explain the way we learn and think, the more likely we are to be successful at problem-solving. The human experience is comparable to the scientific method. We see an issue in any instance and usually seek to take an action. Several forces may interact with the collection of data, but the exercise of conscience, helps people to choose right and wrong. The human learning experience is at its height as we try to understand through scripture what the Perfect man chose to do.

On the spiritual level, the mass is digestive. People need spiritual food. The scientific viewpoint for feeding of the soul is like the way in which chemical reactions take place. For example, the breaking down of physical food in the stomach is unseen, but often directly felt. The soul is directly affected by the Word of God and the Body and Blood of Christ. If you do not feed your soul, you will die. If you do not feed your body you will die. The exercise of following traditions that God the Father has established through Jesus Christ brings people that much closer to fullness.

Jesus says to Nicodemus, “If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe, if I tell you heavenly things?” (John 3:12)

Read more at:
Sunday’s Reading

Question 2:
Where does Ida the dinosaur fit in with Christian teaching?

Answer:

“Nothing exists that does not owe its existence to God the Creator.” (CCC 338) This quote comes from the Catechism of the Catholic Church which acknowledges Scripture as divinely inspired by God. Ida is one of the many creatures that God has created. The more scientists study past creatures, the more they see the interdependence of creatures. (CCC 340) The fact that man was made as authority over all creatures is visible and exercisable. Also, man is dependent upon creatures under his authority. These types of scientists iron out the details and hopefully recognize that the beauty of creation found in evolutionary species is the foresight of God the Father.

Read more at:
The Big Bad Biology Lesson

Question 3:
Why is it wrong to use Embryonic Stem-cells?


Answer:

Embryo is the base word for embryonic, which means the ‘beginning before birth’. This biological field of science reveals the very physical limits and abilities of human cells. In the same way that “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” (John 1:1) the beginning of man is part of the plan of salvation instituted by Christ. When someone interrupts the beginning, they interrupt the plan of God. Embryonic stem-cells are the beginning of all parts of a human life, which is very different from adult stem-cells which are singular in nature.

See more at:
Fun with Stem-cells: A .GIF Animation

Question 4:
Did God create life in another universe?

Answer:

Scientists have established that the same chemicals that make up the Earth’s atmosphere are present in the ice shelves of Mars. There are many undiscovered galaxies and some nearby enough to view through a telescope. The limitless possibilities of life in various forms located on other planets boggles the mind. But does this limit a God who created a universe so varied as our own? The answer is God is infinite. Remember an elementary teaching, ‘God cannot stop loving you.’ “And a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Holy Way” (Isaiah 35:8) We can presume that any being presented before Jesus Christ will be judged righteous or not. Therefore, God has infinite mercy for all beings, and all beings have the ability to receive God’s infinite mercy. As scientists continue to find diversity of creation in this universe, they continue to build our knowledge of the power of God the Father. (Rev. Benedict Ashley, O.P.)

Understand more at:
Man, Mars, and Methane

Question 5:
What impact do I really have on my Environment?

Answer:

“The beauty of creation reflects the infinite beauty of the Creator and ought to inspire the respect and submission of man’s intellect and will.” (CCC 341) The scientific and political debate on global warming has heated up as we see more drastic natural events. On a planet scale, it is hard to see major long term effects given the changing climate in the history of the world. On the local scale, the long term effects are very easily seen because the dependence of man on the local species, landscape and weather. The fact is that God created this Earth for man to be authority; it is then the duty of man to take care of it.
Small and large living things are affected by human choice. When sins of greed, avarice and sloth become the choice, the Earth suffers and so does man.

See the beauty of God's Earth at:
Galactic Catholic Photo Stream

These questions form a very basic background of some topics relevant to today. There is always room for more scientific discovery in faith!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Star named for Cardinal John Newman



The poll winner to name a star after an up and coming Saint, Cardinal John Newman. I should have realized, I was so hoping for de Veuster!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Science of Speech

Pope Pius called him the second Paul. Saint Bernardine of Siena's words read like fire of the Holy Spirit. If only I could get my hands in the Fransican library and find a book of his writings.

Saint Bernardine of Siena, words were very important to you. You spent most of your life speaking the golden words of Jesus' mercy and his Holy Name. And you abhorred words that were shameful. Pray for us that we may always choose to speak Jesus' name with reverence and choose words of love over words of shame. Amen

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Cognitive rational for tolerance

Last fall, I conducted some fun action research in a third grade classroom. It had to do with the cognitive thought patterns that appear through concept mapping. The linking words are the key components which show the cognitive pattern of the map designer.

I have related the idea to methods of assessing theological studies in a secondary classroom. Let's say we break down the idea of tolerance to college bound seniors. Here is a schema they may come up with.



If students were to write a reflection on the given concept map, would they determine that 'to be tolerant, is to allow anything as defined by one person's own learned principles'?

(It already seems like tolerance is a child's game where the kid in charge makes the rules, but let's continue.)

It's possible that top percentage and low percentage students would come to that conclusion. But what if we throw in an application question?

1. Using the concept map of tolerance, determine the answer to the following. Mr. X has decided he does not want legs anymore and tells the amputating surgeon his reasons. According to tolerance, what should the surgeon say and do?

2. Using the concept map of tolerance, determine the answer to the following. Miss So-in-so has been pregnant for 6 months and has decided that she doesn't like the idea of a baby and wants to get rid of it. She 'dialogues' with the local doctor who does not believe in abortion. According to tolerance, what should the doctor say and do?

3. Using the concept map of tolerance, determine the answer to the following. You have decided to talk about your faith priciples and act on what you believe are right choices that are rational and reasonable. The neighborhood home owners association has decided that there is a 'tolerance' policy in the neighborhood you live in and you are violating it because you have spoken out about your reasonable faith principles to a neighbor who does not care for faith solicitation. Explain how the HOA came to their decision.
________________________________________________________

If we are rational Americans, then we cannot TOLERATE all things. Toleration is the twisted term for temperance. One definition I looked up for tolerance included the words 'undogmatic viewpoint.' That should give a very large red flag for anyone spouting tolerance as a replacement for truth.

All I can say is, What a load of crap the country is being fed.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Graduation

I graduated today. So exciting to finally get a Master's degree in Teaching. I have few fancy dreams, but one was always to get a PhD. So on to being piled higher and deeper, HERE I COME!!


Right after I get a Master's in Theology!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Haiku

The children were writing haikus today, so I thought I'd give it a try for Our Lady.

Midnight Moon
Star of the night sky
Theotokos for all time
New covenant arc

Tower of Ivory
Crowned high in glory
Ascended queen of heaven
For eternity

Arabian Virgin
Desert by the shore
Dry and barren she was not
Ever catalyst

Most Beautiful Morals


What type of criteria do you think Catholic Americans would use to choose a winner of the lady with the 'Most Beautiful Morals'?

Possibly: Integrity, Compassion, Charity, Temperence, Piety, Patience, Chastity

Today I heard someone describe piety as meaning= people who act like they pray but just want to look good

It's kind of sad they never met a pious person in their church before.

Check out this article: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,519193,00.html

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

May Crowning

Our crowned Mary from last year. Don't mind the green moss, it's Louisiana, it never goes away.



Oh Sweet Lady, make speed to befriend me, from the wiles of my enemies, readily defend me. Amen.

Unrequited Love

“The story assumes God’s determination to reward the just. When they suffer, there is a limit to that suffering. Once the limit occurs, God will intervene, sometimes miraculously.” The Catholic Bible: Personal Study Edition

The Book of Tobit draws my interest every time I read it. Every time I read it, I read it in its entirety. The most compelling part for me is not the love story between Tobias and Sarah, though that part is good too, but the man Tobit. Particularly I contemplate him burying the dead as his duty.

Duty, I believe, is foundational in drawing man together as one church. Tobit represents the faithful church of his time in his actions and character. Tobit is a Jewish servant of God who is persecuted by Gentiles and afflicted by blindness. His duty to God the Father is instinctive. He has built within his conscience the will to serve in the way he knows will serve his community. “I used to take their bodies by stealth and bury them” 1:18 He does not exhibit pride in these instances, rather he shows an internal desire to be part of the ongoing fulfillment of God’s covenant. I believe this is not a false humility either on his part, but a fire within to act justly for Israel.

Another aspect of his character is that of his selflessness. Tobit readily seeks to do right by his kinsmen under a ruthless authority. This action strikes me as having the flavor of supernatural courage. Tobit is also mocked for his actions by his neighbors. But his testimony is greater than they see. Tobit fulfills the covenant made with Abraham by obeying the sense of duty within him. Obedience is hard to fulfill at first, as Abraham is a witness. I believe Tobit knows that you cannot fight a call within your heart from God, because he recognizes consciously that that would be the greatest injustice he could do to himself. Therefore, even with threat of death, “Will this man never learn!” 2:8, Tobit buries the dead.

The faithfulness of Tobit contrasts with the image of God’s unrequited love of Israel. Yet, God loves on for people like Tobit. But then, Tobit becomes blind and lashes out in his brokenness. His wife calls him on it. I can see Tobit questioning his anger at life at this moment. He probably was more worried about offending God than his wife. Thus he is brought to the purest poverty of spirit in his true blindness. He wills himself to die. “So now, deal with me as you please, and command my life breathe to be taken from me, that I may go from the face of the earth into dust.”

Who can fault Tobit for this prayer? He praises more than he asks. But I understand his call to die because his purpose, to serve God, has been taken from him. The great thing about this man though, is that he continues to fulfill his duty to others even after he has given up. His duty is to his God, family and tribe. I admire his perseverance and desire to do right by others in the best way he can. The story of Tobias afterwards is a side story. Tobit’s redemption from trial is made sweeter though, by his son’s joy.

Tobit’s praises to God in his sorrow remind me of Christ’s weariness as he approaches the passion. For me, Tobit is a real example of duty and of one with supernatural will to be faithful. Christ is the perfect example of course, but Tobit helps me take baby steps to that level of love.

Tobit does not just represent himself in this book. We could see him as one of the faithful waiting for various wars and battles that the prophets predicted, but as one nation always viewing the end goal. Tobit calls us to fulfill God’s will with action and response to duty. Our obedience will be rewarded in the very real kingdom that Christ has prepared. Tobit represents a strong heart and will to serve God and receive just rewards; therefore it is possible for someone like me to work around my ignorance with duty and obedience to respond to God’s love with supernatural courage.

Tobit, man of faith, man of action, man of duty. Not your average biblical hero.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Honor Our Lady in May



Fun round I made up last year to honor my mother, Our Lady of Medjugorje. Excuse the singing!

Sweet Mary

I loved reading about the month of May memories of the Mary and Me blogger. I went to public school so I was not so lucky to have those. But my very first memory of any knowledge of God or Our Lady, was when I was about 5 or 6 and I went into the kitchen at what seemed like midnight, to find my mom.

"Momma," I said, "I keep having nightmares and I don't know what to do."

She said, "Pray to Sweet Mary that they go away."

I did pray that small prayer from a small person and Our Lady certainly heard me, because I didn't have another nightmare type dream until I was 10. I remember because I was keeping track at the time, being so amazed that my prayer had worked.

So I was delighted tonight to go to adoration and see Our Lady! The last time I went to the chapel I sat on the right side in the afternoon. The monstrance is on a somewhat large wooden altar. I noticed for the first time when I just happened to look up, an image of Our Lady in the shadows of the wood grain. I kind of looked around at other people praying, as I do when these things happen. No one noticed, but I loved the image of Our Lady right beneath the monstrance. She seemed as if she was hugging a six year old Jesus who had just leapt into her arms.

Tonight I went late. I sat on the left side. I hadn't been since the last time and I forgot I had seen that image. I remembered after an hour and looked for it, but it wasn't really visible from where I was. I stayed for a while and eventually the room cleared out and the appointed parishinor for that hour turned down some of the lights, and there She was! So I sketched what I saw in the back of my bible. I love Sweet Mary, even in wood grains. Enjoy!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Understanding

"Understanding is the reward of faith. Therefore, don't seek to understand so that you may believe, but believe so that you may understand."

-- St. Augustine

Quote above, officially nabbed from EWTN.org. I prayed for the gift of understanding at my confirmation. You definitly don't always know what your getting into when you pray these things, because the fruit of understanding is the ability to forgive over and over again.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Pro-Life or Pro-Pluto?

The vote is in. An overwhelming number of voters (if you multiple by 10000) voted that to be 'Pro-Life' is to be 'Pro-Pluto'. To those who are purists on pro-life issues, I choose to take the Democratic party's view of biparitsanship and yell at you while I don't listen to a word you say. Pro-Life, Pro-Pluto it is.

The Story of St. Therese

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Theoretical Catholic Tribes of America




I went to a lecture on African Art last night at the New Orleans Museum of Art. Very interesting stuff. It made me wonder though, what would the Catholic tribes of America be today if we were to name them?

Each tribe had its own customs, and there were hundreds and hundreds of tribes across the continent of Africa. If we counted the customs of a faithful people what would be the corner stone that might bond us? The scripture perhaps. Enter in traditions of our faith. Might the true peoples of the Catholic faith be labeled so easily? I would like to hope my state would be far up on the faihtful list. I didn't even realize Latin mass was not practiced in so many places until it was 'allowed' again.

One way we could determine some tribes, would be by which sacraments and devotions they practice. But I know there would be some definitely labeled as extinct. Our Catholic America seems to want to pick and choose which traditions it practices. I know this is not all Catholics, there are smatterings of solid hearts throughout some crazy places. It is almost as if, similar to the tribal nations allowing the slavery of other tribes, our fellow Catholics have let themselves become slaves.

Which brings me to another option of theorectical tribal derivement, individual faith. A Catholic, that practices the teaching of Christ, recognizes the differences that are so vast between each man. Would it be valid to place any man in one tribe? Or to call our one tribe Catholic, Universal. We call our one nation, United. We call our one planet, Earth. Is it so hard for Catholics to all practice the teachings of our chief? Or should we cut the dissenters heads off and place them on a pike?

Well, there will be no chopping of heads. Christ has taught us differently. But there are distinctive masks that have been put in to place in the same manner as the ancient and not so ancient tribal Africans. In contrast though, American masks are in two colors only: black and white. Christ leaves no gray area when he speaks to our Catholic tribe in scripture.

Luckily, our universal tribe is being led back to the uniform traditions in the vessage of Pope Benedict XVI. In no way can we possibly see him as only a peace keeper as the name implies. Like St. Bernardine of Siena, Benedict speaks as if he is shining a light on the most compelling catalyst that ever walked this Earth. The unchanging logos commands as a chief and loves as a father should.

One thing about the tribes the lecturer discussed, there is a very real sense of the spiritual realm in all places and things for tribal peoples. African tribes were divided by animistic rituals practiced away from eyes of other tribes or tourists. Catholic traditions are practiced for all to see. There is no deception, only transparency. Transparent walls are easily attacked, especially when what is on the inside is so infinitly the most precious treasure in existence.

What would the Catholic tribes of America be today if we were to name them? I really don't know. I could call California the Pelosi peoples and make some funny little piece of art depicting posadas in Texas, but really we are all One Body. That is the richness of our tribe. It's just a matter of time, because there is no place like home.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Maxium Spiritual Entropy

On Friday evening I was lucky enough to attend a discussion entitled The Aquinas Lecture Series at Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans. The topic was “How Natural Theology can enrich Theology” by Rev. Benedict Ashley, O.P. If the speaker doesn’t tell you something about how comprehensive this discussion was, I’ll let you know now that I plan to write four articles on all of the components of what Father Ashley spoke about. His knowledge of physics and science in the universe and the blatant love of Christ that came through was a combination of wisdom gifted and spirituality lived. “God loves each and every one of you and you are unique,” he said.

Father Ashley has lived an interesting discipleship of Christ, writing books and continuing to lecture in St. Louis where he now resides. He mentioned that the talk he gave was an opening discussion for his next book, thus the variety of the topics in this one lecture.

Here is a basic outline of the four major areas that I picked up in his lecture. The main topic was the view of modern scientists and their denial/struggle/refusal to use the natural forces as a clear reflection of something greater than the ‘nature of man.’

The first article I would like to present to you revolves around the analytical tendencies of both modern scientists and theologians. This was actually an answer to an audience member’s question, but the thought struck me so deeply, I am determined to define it. Consider the process a scientist goes through, gathering data, taking small steps, and many times failing miserably. The successful scientist is decisive and driven to succeed in this one discovery/goal what have you. Consider the way of the theologian, who many times is called to the job by taking small steps, and who uses his physical research as spiritual based findings. There are interesting and clear parallels that I intend to decipher further between these two inner missions.

The second topic Father Ashley spoke of was the information that the study of the universe reveals about God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. His main question for us is a revelation of how science reveals the manner of the Trinity.

The third topic I am interested in developing for you is the part of the discussion on the historical aspects of man’s view of heaven and how God has revealed to us through the medium of man, these things. And as in the New Testament, the Gospel of John tells us that there are so many things that were not revealed to us. Father Ashley discussed both heaven and hell and an analogy of cause and effect.

The fourth topic is an article delving into the reasons for a change from natural science to historical science. Father Ashley suggested that modern science does not see the constants in the natural world so well as it used too. Maybe I can find some of those scientists by the time I write the article. He mentioned the physical versus the natural often during his talk which I will explain in this article.

Two more weeks of graduate school! How tickled am I! I am excited just to be able to do the reading to write about these topics. Father Ashley suggested an author named Anthony Rizzo who has a few books on physics and theology out now, I didn’t catch the whole name but google, “The Science of Science.”

(Found it: http://www.amazon.com/Science-Before-Guide-Thinking-Century/dp/1418465046/ref=sr_1_1/182-9344770-1258546?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1240891306&sr=1-1 )