Please pray for me and my brother priests!

Friday, February 22, 2008

The Front Fell Off

This interview with Australian politician "Senator Collins" is classic politico speak. Honest, wordy, to the point, but saying absolutely nothing! Funny, funny video. Check it out!

Comments are, as usual, welcome!

God love you

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Sweet Mystery of Life

When I was a kid, my father would often play music in the house. His favorite singer was (and still is) Mario Lanza, the great tenor from the 50's. I learned to love opera listening to him sing arias, and through him I also came to love the American Standard Songbook. While my favorite singer is Frank Sinatra, Mario Lanza still ranks up in the top 5. Lanza's song, "Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life", a great piece of music from the American Standard Songbook, ranks in my top ten favorite songs of all time, and it was that song that came into my head as I read the below article.

The mystery of life is just that: a mystery. We don't understand it, and we can't. Sure, there are the mechanics of the body that we have a rudimentary understanding of. But life it self: why it is, how it is, what it is, is beyond the realm of science and belongs to Faith. Science can tell us how (to a certain extent), only the Faith can tell us why. What is good and true in one only serves what is good and true in the other.

Why? All truth compliments truth. Truth is One, and everything good and true (with a small 't') points to the One Truth (capital 'T') who is Jesus Christ. He is the Word through whom God made the Universe, the Word that the Father spoke to pronounce creation Good, the Word who was there in the beginning with the Father bringing and breathing life into creation. The prologue of St. John's Gospel, which speaks of this, reads like poetry:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him: and without him was made nothing that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

Why? Because out of nothing but love God made us for life, and even when we introduced death though sin, He was not content to let us wallow in it. The darkness that is sin cannot fathom or overcome the light that is Christ. God the Father sent His only Son to bear the burden of our sin, so that again we might have life through Christ. "In Him was life, and the life was the light of men." This is the mystery of life, this is the mystery of faith. We were created for life, we are made for life, and Christ came to carry us out of this vale of tears into eternal life.

Questions and comments are always welcome!

God love you!

Woman Diagnosed as "Brain Dead"
Walks and Talks after Awakening
By Hilary White

LAKE ELMO, Minnesota
February 15, 2008 (

65-year-old Raleane "Rae" Kupferschmidt's relatives were told by doctors that she was "brain dead" after she had suffered a massive cerebral haemorrhage in mid-January. Her family had taken her home to die and were in the process of grieving and planning her funeral when she awoke and was rushed back to hospital.

In accordance with her own wishes, doctors had removed Rae's breathing tube and were waiting for her to die. She was taken home from the hospital, and while friends and family gathered to say a last good bye, Kupferschmidt's daughter Lisa Sturm used an ice cube to wet her mother's dry lips. When her mother sucked on the ice cube, she thought it was only an instinctive reaction. She said, "I knew suckling is a very basic brain stem function, so I didn't get real excited. But when I did it again she just about sucked the ice cube out of my hand, and I looked at my aunt and said, 'Did you see that?'"

"So I leaned down and asked, 'Mom... Mom, are you in there?'" Sturm said. "And when she shook her head and mouthed, 'Yes,' we all just about fell over.

"Rae was rushed back to the hospital and underwent surgery to drain the blood clot from her skull. After surgery, she recovered her strength and is now undergoing physical therapy and can walk with the aid of a walker. Doctors expect her to be walking on her own within weeks. Rae says she does not remember anything during her coma.

"I still don't know what my task is here on this Earth, but I know God's not done with me yet. How else could you explain everything that has happened to me?" Rae said.

She told family that she had seen angels in her room. "I said these angels are not here to take me home to my father. They're here to help me, to help me get over this."

"Brain death" or "death by neurological criteria," is a common diagnosis of patients who are said to be in an irreversible coma, sometimes referred to as a "persistent vegetative state" (PVS). Physicians and bioethicists who support the brain death criteria claim that such a diagnosis is reliable and means that a patient is beyond any hope of recovery.

Under new bioethics criteria, "brain death" can be used as a condition under which organs are removed from a patient while his heart is kept beating. Organ transplant requires that tissue be recovered from donors as close to physical death as possible and physicians are under heavy pressure to procure more organs.

The fact that in many cases patients who have been unconscious, semi-conscious or severely neurologically disabled, such as Terri Schiavo, have been declared "brain dead" or "PVS" only to recover, has undermined public confidence in the medical system.

In the US in 2006, Terry Wallis, who experienced a car wreck in 1984, woke unexpectedly and began to recover after 19 years in a minimally conscious state. In 2005 in Italy, Salvatore Crisafulli woke from a coma he had suffered for two years. He had been declared "nearly dead" by doctors after a serious auto accident that left him unresponsive. In Poland in 2007, a railway worker astonished his family and doctors when he awoke spontaneously after 19 years.

Doctors at United Hospital said they are amazed by Rae Kupferschmidt's recovery. One told Good Morning America, "I've been here for ten years and I've never seen anything quite like this."

Rae told Good Morning America, "God's got something for me to do. When I learn it, I'll unfold it and follow it."

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Ash Wednesday: Mourning our Fallen Humanity

I wanted to write something on Ash Wednesday, about Ash Wednesday. I preached yesterday on the days of Lent, and how we are not simply walking with Christ towards His death on that Good Friday afternoon, but allowing Him to accomapany us on our journey towards death as well. The ashes imposed on our foreheads are the remanent of something dead, something that once was that no longer is.

Our bodies too will return to that state, mixing again with the dust of the earth from which the first of our race was created. We will stand before God in judgement with simply our soul, marked with His indeliable seal given us in Baptism. We will either kneel in adoration and ask for His mercy (and be sure of receiving it), or we will turn from His glory, seeking to hide ourself from Him who knows and sees all.

How do we know which path we choose? By looking at the path we have walked thus far. We were told that, (ontological change aside,) the man we were the day before ordination to the priesthood, is the man we would be the day after ordination to the priesthood. The person you are the day before your wedding will be the person you are the day after.

In the same way, the person you are the day before you die will, most likely, be the person you are the day after you die. Have you served God in every moment? Have you followed His commandments? Have you loved Him as He made you to love Him? Or, have you declined His invitation to grace and holiness time and time again? Have you rejected the unique help He offers through His Church and her Sacraments? Have you broken the commandments without a second thought to going to Him for forgiveness? Have you loved Him as you wanted instead of as He made you to love Him; or very honestly, have you loved Him at all?

If we refuse to kneel before God asking Him mercy in life, we will not kneel before Him asking for His mercy in Judgement. And this is the paradox: those who kneel are invited to stand with Him in the Father's house sharing in the Father's glory for all eternity. Those who refuse to kneel for a moment of penance before the Lord find that they kneel for all eternity under the weight of their pride, lust, greed, anger, envy, gluttony and sloth.

As Chesterton said while dying, "the issue is now clear, it is between light and darkness and everyone must choose their side." Ash Wednesday reminds us of exactly who we are: sinners in need of a savior, sinners who will die and stand before the Lord in Judgement, and sinners that God loved so much He sent His only Son to die for.

We are all making our way either to Heaven or to Hell, and Lent provides us with the reminder that we can change course. We can drop all the burdens of our life, the sins we have accumulated, the garbage we hold in our hands in order to reach out and take the one gift God wants to give us: joy, peace, and life with Him forever in Heaven. We can serve God, and find the happiness that He offers, the happiness that only He can give, the happiness that we are made for.

The below article is taken from the Catholic Education resource center, and a very good reflection on our fallen human condition and the need for universal mourning.

God love you

Ash Wednesday

Today is an international day of mourning, and it is because we are fully human that we need to wear the ashes on our brow.

Only forty non-shopping days to Easter, one recalls, on this, the most solemn fast of the Christian year, except Good Friday. The thought being: What would happen to the economy if, by some miracle of repentance, all the descendants of Christians were suddenly recalled to faith?
This is the flip side of an argument I have often made in conversation, when learning of millions of dollars of receipts from some gross horrible vicious obscene and cynical product, often as not from the entertainment industry. “We never thought the collapse of Western civilization would be good for the economy.” It would be dishonest to continue repeating this remark: for by now, the thought is perfectly familiar.

Familiar, and of course, bitter in the mouth, as befits Ash Wednesday.

Since Saturday, I have been intending to write about a passing event, of no great significance to the history of the world. A friend said I should use it to grab people's attention. It was the latest successful suicide bombing in Iraq — “successful,” in the sense that a hundred people were killed, enough to earn mention in the world press. Bombs went off in two crowded markets, scattering heads and limbs all over the stalls. What made this any different from the standard Islamist atrocity in New York, Madrid, Bali, London, Kabul, Jerusalem, Baghdad, or anywhere? Certainly not the final total of corpses, or the number of mutilated survivors (more than twice that hundred).

I have a list before me of confirmed Islamist terror attacks since 9/11/01, in Iraq and all over the world. More than ten thousand of them. In Iraq, the number peaked at 478 bombings in 2005 — an understatement, because multiple bombings in a single approximate location were counted as one event. With point-form brevity, the list goes on like a telephone directory.

Two bombs went off, last Friday morning in Baghdad. The first was at the al-Ghazil pet market, the second, 20 minutes later, at the bird market in New Baghdad. Friday is the Muslim holiday, and with people in Iraq feeling, lately, much more secure, these markets were crowded. They are, according to one of my Iraqi correspondents, especially popular among the poor, who take their children to look at the animals. And indeed, part of the confusion after the large explosions was sorting through the remains to distinguish parts of the children, from parts of their mothers and fathers and aunts, from parts of the animals.

Still, nothing special in that, for the Koran-reciting zealots choose the defenceless by preference, not only in Iraq but all over the world. It is so much easier to kill defenceless people — as psychopaths of non-Muslim persuasion realize, even when hitting campuses and shopping malls in North America. For the big death tolls are invariably achieved at locations where guns have been publicly banned, and they know they'll have the leisure to continue the massacre until armed police finally arrive. (That is why crime rates suddenly climb wherever “gun control” triumphs.)

Not that any armed affiliate of the NRA could have prevented what happened last Friday in Baghdad. For the bombs were concealed on the persons of two exceptionally innocent-looking ladies.

Both were Down's Syndrome. Quite obviously, they did not know what they were carrying, or why. They were detonated by remote control, using cellphones. The detached head of one of these ladies was among the first of the body parts that Baghdad police were able to identify.

Down's people can be extremely suggestible. They are like children, in many respects, and especially, trusting like small children, even as adults. As the father of a Down's child myself, I can tell you just how innocent they are, and how loving. God made them without guile, and utterly in need of our protection. And in return for that demand upon our decency (Down's children in Canada today are usually aborted), He made them a light in this world. O Lord.

My friend, who told me to write about this, is himself a man with long experience working for people with mental disabilities. He told me I had to write about this case, because it was the final abomination. He said, “we should have an international day of mourning.” He said, “I give up my membership in the human race if these Al Qaeda terrorists are human.”

Yet the truth is, that the use of the mentally disabled to carry explosives — and of children, too — is a standard Islamist practice in Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel, and elsewhere. So in this respect, too, the bombings at al-Ghazil and New Baghdad were nothing new. An even stranger truth, is that the Al Qaeda terrorists are human, like us. Like their victims. Like the two Down's ladies.
Today is an international day of mourning, and it is because we are fully human that we need to wear the ashes on our brow.

David Warren. "Ash Wednesday." Ottawa Citizen (February 6, 2008). This article reprinted with permission from David Warren.

David Warren, once editor of the Idler Magazine, is widely travelled — especially in the Middle and Far East. He has been writing for the Ottawa Citizen since 1996. His commentaries on international affairs appear Wednesdays & Saturdays; on Sundays he writes a general essay on the editorial page. Read more from David Warren at David Warren Online.Copyright © 2008 Ottawa Citizen

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Persecution of Christians in Atheist Soviet Union

I have been an absentee blogger, and for this I apologize! I have been blogging for more than two years, and I may be running out of steam (or just getting busier!)

I am going to try to post at least one blog a week, so be patient with me! Thank you to all my readers.

This video shows the fruits of the Communist regime in Russia, the destruction of a great Orthodox Cathedral in order to kill faith in the Russian people. They persevered, and this grand Cathedral was rebuilt in the year 2000. The footage is sad, and a bit disturbing, but worth watching. Remember the millions killed by this "enlightened" regime in the name of progress. Think of this video the next time you hear the "Communism is good, it just hasn't been put done by the right people" argument.

Any regime or government, that denies God denies as well the inalienable rights that God has given His people, life first and foremost among them. The 20th century is proof enough.

May God have mercy on Stalin's victims, and may God have mercy on Stalin.

God love you