Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Critter passed away just a few minutes ago. He was our beloved pet and companion, who brought tremendous joy and happiness to our lives. He leaves a tremendous hole in his absence, as he was loved and cared for as a human being.

For give me if I don't post a picture of him. It's too difficult for me to look at him right now.

Thank you to all of you who prayed for his well being.

To all of you, from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU. You're kind words and empathy makes this so much more bearable. God bless.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

I went and saw that Critter this afternoon and you could tell he wasn't feeling very well. Yesterday he got a second transfusion after the progress he made after the first one diminished. His white blood cell count fell, his red blood cell count fell, as did his platelets. Now it's a matter of wait-and-see and hope this latest transfusion will make a difference.

I hope that all of you had a pleasant Christmas Day with your loved ones.

Thank you for your prayers and for your kinds thoughts about the Critter. I still haven't given up hope, so we continue to pray.

God bless all of you, and I wish you and your families a Merry Christmas and a blessed and peaceful New Year's.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas to all of you and your families- which includes your four-legged loved ones!


Critter Update

I went and saw the Critter today and he ate like a little pig! He scarfed down just about the entire bowl of chicken we brought him and managed to drink water several times. The doctor told us that his white blood cell count was slightly up, but that his platelets are very low. We now know for sure that his medulla is not working at all, and this malfunction is causing all the problems. They are giving him injections to try and get it to "awaken."

Please continue praying. That's all I can ask all you kind folks to do.

I would like to thank each and every single one of you for being so compassionate and so understanding throughout all this. I do apologize if I've failed to visit your blogs recently. Please be assured that it is NOT because I'm ignoring you, nor the result of losing interest in the subject matter you discuss.

Merry Christmas and, as I once read was the practice in a certain monastery to express (can't remember which one): May Christ be born in you.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Update

I went and saw the Critter today and he look completely different than he did on Sunday. He was walking about, wagging his tail, and even stood up on his hind paws so that he would be picked up. He was not as lethargic as he had been in the past four days, and much more awake and active.

The doctor said that there is a small chance for recovery. While the last transfusion did not elevate his white cell count to normal numbers, a second transfusion might do the trick. The vet explained to me that the second transfusion might kick-start his medulla a get it to start producing white blood cells again.

I want to thank all of you from the bottom of my heart for all your prayers and thoughts. The only thing we need from our end are those same prayers you've so kindly said on the Critter's behalf.

God bless you and Merry Christmas.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

No Safe Investment

“There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless -it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.”
~From the book The Four Loves by C.S.Lewis

I went and saw the Critter at the vet today. I learned (yesterday) that the first batch of plasma did not work. As a result, the doctor found a donor dog and completed a full transfusion (white blood cells, red blood cells, the whole works) and it seems to have stabilized him in that regard, despite the fact that his white blood cell count is still low. I spoke to the technicians that are guarding him at the vet's just a few minutes ago and he seems to be doing OK tonight.

When I saw him earlier today, it broke my heart. He was a bit lethargic and he wagged his tail as best as he could. Yesterday the doctor told me to bring him some boiled chicken so he could eat something solid, but in spite of my efforts he refused to eat. They currently have him hooked up to an i.v. Although I try my best to show none of the typical sentimentality that comes with these situations, it was impossible for me to keep a dry eye when I saw him. He seemed so frail, and so strained that I could not keep myself from becoming teary-eyed and anguished. This brings me to a point I would like to bring up to the skeptics and cynics who don't understand what it means to love a pet. Some of these sarcastic individuals out there might perceive love for an animal as superfluous, frivolous, and mawkish. And when our pets are sick or hurt, concern for their well being might acquire for the pet owner a "wimpy" characterisation. I can see where these critics are coming from. But to them I say that what you would point out as an inherently irrational sentiment on my part might simply elucidate a profound deficiency in you. Many of these critics have never experienced loving a pet in their entire lives, not to mention a possible pathologous condition that may prevent them from loving someone else more than they love themselves.

I think C.S. Lewis said it best in the above quote taken from the book The Four Loves. In this small paragraph he offers a warning, as well as a ray of hope, to those individuals who may be experiencing an excruciating emotional state that resulted from losing someone they deeply care for - even if this someone might be a "mere" animal. Not only does he point out that it it natural to be weakened when we love someone, but that REFUSING to love - in order to avoid the obvious perils that comes with it - is far more dangerous than the risks we take when we love someone. That is a warning to the coward in all of us. The hope in what he writes comes in the reassurance that the pain we endure over those we love is not meaningless and purposeless. There is an inexplicable and indescribable impression that tells me that in the end of all ends - whatever that is and whenever it may come - all will be healed and reconciled.

I want to thank all of you for your prayers and for your thoughts. The only think I ask is that you continue to pray for the Critter. Thank you and God bless all of you.

By the way, today December 19th is his birthday.

Friday, December 19, 2008

I can scarcely believe the differences between this latest post and the last one I wrote a little over a week ago.

The Critter is in critical condition. I took him to the vet this morning because yesterday he would not eat and he seemed very drowsy. I spoke to the vet a few minutes ago and apparently his body is destroying his own blood. He is getting a transfusion. Please keep him in your prayers.


Addendum
His condition is called Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation (DIC), and his chances are 50/50 right now. The last batch of plasma did not change his condition, so he will spend the night at the vet's and receive a second batch, followed by more blood work. The doctor said that if he makes it through this, he'll more than likely never have DIC again. That finish line, however, seems so far away and so unlikely. Again, I ask for your prayers.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Critter is Home

The Critter is home but a little dazed. I imagine the general anesthesia that was given to him for the surgery is the cause of that. Otherwise he seems just fine!

He is on pain medication (that too can cause drowsiness), anti-biotics, and is housebound at least until next week. He can go out to the lawn to do his business, but he's not allowed to venture beyond that.

I want to thank all of you for your prayers and thoughts. I feel guilty celebrating the Critter's good health when Elle and Monique McKenzie at Adrienne's Catholic Corner aren't doing so well. Please keep them in your prayers.

BTW, that couch on the picture above is going out the door next month. He's been jumping off it and on it so much that he's tore the fabric in a couple of places. Bad little Critter:0)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

How are Ya?

I've been so busy this week with so many things that I've had no time to post. Next Monday finals begin, so I've got to hit the books this weekend if I want to be prepared for the mother-of-all-exams come class time. After the exams conclude, I will be allowed a few weeks of reprieve before spring semester begins, which, by the way, I'm REALLY looking forward to (can't believe I just wrote that). This spring semester I will be taking some art classes as well a pre-calculus/trigonometry class (yes, I know some of your kids may have taken this math course before, but as I wrote previously, I'm not that smart) that go towards fulfilling the class requirements of my major.

As far the art classes go, I've managed to stock up on some of the media that I will eventually dabble in as my education progresses. Here is a list of some of the stuff in my inventory. BTW, I'm doing this because my major requires that I take art classes, so it isn't my intention to become an artistic genius whose works are displayed at galleries in New York or Paris. Once I've completed my academic obligations for art, this exposure will continue as a hobby and as nothing more. I do, however, want to be exposed to as many media as I can just so I can have the product knowledge as well as the training on how to properly use them. Again, here are some of the media in my inventory:


1) Graphite pencil set - degrees raging from 8B to 6H

2) Charcoal pencils- different types: the kind you sharpen and the kind you unwrap; white charcoal pencils

3) Jumbo charcoal sticks- in both black and white colors

4) Chunky charcoal- [black, green earth tone, and sanguine light (light red)] these are thick, cylindrical charcoal sticks used to cover large areas on a substrate.

5) Sennelier 120 piece oil pastel set

6) Copic marker set

7) Acrylic paints. Has anyone heard of Golden Open Acrylics? The Open product seems to stay wet MUCH longer than regular acrylics. I've contacted Golden and requested some samples.

8) Rapidograph Pen Set

9) Brushes

10) Stumps for blending

11) Dip pens with multiple nibs

12) Mechanical pencils and lead holders- in just about every size, with multiple color leads.

13) Sharpie makers

14) Technical pens (disposable)


Have I missed anything? My next purchase will be pastels with a greater "chalkier" composition. Those oil-based pastels I currently have are very difficult to work with.


The Critter gets neutered on Tuesday. Poor little guy. But it's for the best.

Monday, December 1, 2008

I spoke to the veterinarian this afternoon, and I got the news: NO CANCER! Woo-hoo!!!

The doctor, however, insisted that the Critter must be neutered since the absence of this procedure might be causing all his prostate problems.

Now I want to thank all of you for your concern and for your prayers. It's amazing to see just how kind people are:0)

God bless all of you!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving and Prayer Request

Let me offer all of you a Blessed Thanksgiving, and hope that today, and everyday here after, brings you and your loved-ones something to be thankful for.

God bless all of you!




On a sad note, the Little Critter isn't doing so well. There were a couple of days last week which he refused to eat his food, so I took him to the vet on Monday. The doctor said the problem was his prostate, and that we had to perform an ultra-sound to evaluate his condition. We did the ultra-sound yesterday (Wednesday), and there is a possibility of cancer. The doctor took a few samples to conduct a biopsy, but those results wont be available until Monday.


Please say a prayer for the Critter. He's a FULL member of the family and I know you are all aware of how much he is loved.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Crossovers

Sometimes sacred music began not as an expression of our longing for the Devine or for the Christian Mystery. Instead, some had wholly irreligious origins but were then commandeered by someone who felt the music was appropriate for liturgical use. Here are a two pieces that went through a conversion of a sort, and made the crossover from secularism to religious.

The first one is an "Ave Maria" using the famous "Intermezzo" from Mascagni's Cavalleria Rusticana opera. You can't go wrong with Bocelli.

Before:

Cavalleria Rusticana (1987 Digital Remaster): Intermezzo from Cavalleria rusticana (1987 Digital Remaster) - Philharmonia Orchestra/Riccardo Muti

After:




The next one is "Lux Aeterna", taken from Edward Elgar's Enigma Variations.


Before:
You may want to turn up your volume for the next two since they're a bit low throughout their duration.

Nimrod from Enigma Variations - Edvard Elgar, composer. Vero Beach High School Orchestra. Matt Stott, director.

After:
Please ignore the poor quality of the video and concentrate on the music.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Augustine knew he was restless

"There is in man, a restlessness of ambition...a dissatisfaction
with the present, which never is appeased by all the world has
to offer...an unsated appetancy for something larger and better,
which he fancies in the perspective before him--to all which there
is nothing like among the inferior animals."
~Thomas Chalmers 1822 Bridgewater treatise


You're looking, but you cannot find. You long for those places and those things you dream about, and you think that fulfillment and happiness are there. You own things. Do you remember how happy you were when you bought that last gadget, that last item, that last whatever that you wanted most? You were happy then, and you thought you would be perfectly content with it and that nothing else would be necessary. But the novelty wore off, and you were restless again. You hunger, but for what? Even you can't put it into words.

You dream of success and acclamation. Colleagues shaking your hand for a job well done; soliciting your wisdom and your advice in matters that baffle their intellect. Yet, if that life was granted, the thirst for that something else would arise once again. You feel dissatisfied, so again you search for that something else that until you find, you will have no peace of mind. You will place your hopes in material goods only to experience, yet again, an erosion of emotion when it's no longer new, and you've grown tired of it.

So you search and you search and you search...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Miscellaneous Babble

Undefinable
Thomas Beatie, the man who bore a child earlier this year, is pregnant again - at least that seems to be the current chatter. Beatie, who was born female, had an operation to become a man but kept his original reproductive organs. He is currently married to his wife Nancy.

Is anyone else confused about this like I am?

Can this be characterized as a homosexual relationship, specifically a lesbian union? Is Nancy - Beatie's wife - gay, straight, bisexual, or something that is currently undefined? I'm really at a loss on this one.

Barack
President-elect Barack Obama is filling his administration with former Clinton advisers (and maybe even a real-life Clinton) and people who were, up until recently, actively lobbying for special interest groups. This after spending his two year campaign for the presidency caterwauling about how special interest groups had seized the current administration, and how John McCain was a puppet of the oil industry.

Busy Boy
I've been busy with school, school exams, and a slew of other stuff that has kept me from visiting the blogs of my blogger friends. Please forgive me if I've come across as apathetic or rude. I can assure you that is not my intention, nor does it reflect my opinion of those blogs I read the most.

School
Since I'll be going to school in the summer as well, I don't have to take a full twelve credit load during spring or fall semesters. Thank God for summer session. In the spring, I'll be taking three classes, two of which I've singed up for already: 1) Art and 2) Pre-calculus Trigonometry (yes, I know that some of you kids may have taken the pre-cal/ trig. class already. What can I say? I'm not that smart). The third class I have yet to select, but I better do it quickly. My finals begin two weeks from this Monday and in early January spring semester begins.

I'm really looking forward to this art class. I'm heavily stocked in just about every type of medium (charcoals, oils, acrylics, graphites, etc.) that any art class might encompass.

Male Mentality
I was having lunch with a friend this week at a local hotel when we noticed a group of cocktail waitresses making their way into the casino to make their rounds in the casino floor. He commented about their good looks to which I responded, "They're too skinny." He promptly rebuttaled with, "There's no such thing." This is the second time he has made this comment, and for the second time I'm perplexed. What on earth does he mean by that? Is his ideal mate a character from Schindler's List? Not only did I have to grapple with the there's-no-such-thing-as-too-skinny answer, but these cocktail waitresses were in their very early twenties.

Terribly young, and anorexic: two big turn offs for me.

And Finally...
My blogger pal Shirley has bestowed me with a blog award. Thanks Shirley!





In turn, I pass the award unto these great blogs. Please visit them and say hi!
1) A Catholic Mom in Minnesota - Tracy (again!)
2) Salve Regina - Paramedicgirl
3) Practicing God's Presence - Kirk
4) Chris and Co. - Chris
5) Our God is an Awesome God - Kimberly
6) The Recovering Dissident Catholic - Cathy
7) The Catholic Path - Jennifer

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Remember this poem/this book?


Where the Sidewalk Ends

There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.

Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.

Yes we'll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And we'll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
For the children, they mark, and the children, they know
The place where the sidewalk ends.

Shel Silverstein


I suppose I'm still a kid at heart since I've never forgotten the poems in this book, and how I used to recite them to get a laugh out of my fellow students in the third grade. The above poem to me is imbued with a sense of nostalgia. Not only because of the inherent nature of the poem, but because I remember the book from when I was a child. "Oh, to go back and relieve those" blah, blah, blah

If you've read this book, you must have a favorite poem in there somewhere. Let me know.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Repost

I had posted the following essay the day Obama was elected president. I was so disappointed by the results that I removed it, unable to appreciate its beauty and creativity. I suspected that some of you were equally distracted.

Although this is a lengthy post, it's quite worth the read.

"Genesis for the Third Millennium"


There was God. And God was All-That-Was. God's Love overflowed and God said: "Let Other be. And let it have the capacity to become what it might be--and let it explore its potentialities."

And there was Other in God, a field of energy, vibrating energy but no matter, space, time, or form. Obeying its given laws and with one intensely hot surge of energy--a hot Big Bang--this Other exploded as the universe from a point twelve or so billion years ago in our time, thereby making space.

Vibrating fundamental particle appeared, expanded, and expanded and cooled into clouds of gas, bathed in radiant light. Still the universe went on expanding and condensing into swirling whirlpools of matter and light--a billion galaxies.

Five billion years ago, one star in our galaxy--our Sun--attracted round it matter as planets. One of them was our Earth. On Earth, the assembly of atoms and the temperature became just right to allow water and solid rock to form. Continents and mountains grew and in some wet crevice, or pool, or deep in the sea, just over three billion years ago, some molecules became large and complex enough to make copies of themselves and so the first specks of life.

Life multiplied in the seas, diversifying and becoming more and more complex. Five hundred million years ago, creatures with solid skeletons, the vertebrates, appeared. On land, green plants changed the atmosphere by making oxygen. Then 300 million years ago, certain fish learned to crawl from the sea and live on the edge of land, breathing that oxygen from the air.

Now life burst into many forms--reptiles and mammals (and dinosaurs) on land, flying reptiles and birds in the air. Over millions of years, the mammals began to develop complex brains that enabled them to learn. Among these were creatures who lived in trees. From these our first ancestors derived and then--only 40,000 years ago--the first men and women appeared. They began to know about themselves and what they were doing--they were not only conscious, but also self-conscious. The first word, the first laugh was heard. The first paintings were made. The first sense of destiny beyond--with the first signs of hope, for they buried their dead with ritual. The first prayers were made to the One who made All-That-Is and All-That-Is-Becoming. The first experiences of goodness, beauty, and truth but also of their opposites, for human beings were now free.

The late Anglican priest, Arthur Peacocke, wrote this brilliant essay in which he recounted the story of Creation in modern-day phraseology. Dr. Peacocke was a devout Christian who also happened to be a man of science, and who saw no conflicts with his Christian faith and his scientific beliefs. Because he was both a scientist and a Christian, Dr. Peacocke would often torment to no end famed atheist Richard Dawkins with his writings.

Using the most up-to-date scientific data available to him at the time, Dr. Peacocke recapitulates the story of Creation as it is found in the book of Genesis, but with language that references modern-day scientific understanding of the universe. Some of you who have problems with evolution, or who prefer the archaic literature of the original book of Genesis are going to have some difficulty opening up to this type of presentation. But before you formulate a derogatory opinion about Reverend Peacocke, let me state unequivocally that the above essay is NOT an exercise in new-age spirituality. It it guided by sound theology based on verifiable scientific data, and reasonable scientific theory. This is not the kind of stuff you're going to hear Oprah talk about intelligently.

As I stated previously, the essay is both brilliant and beautiful.

Monday, November 10, 2008

New England Catholicism

I think I've bored all of you with my tautologous announcements of living someday in New England. One of the more beautiful places of New England is Nantucket island in Massachusetts. Recently, while scavenging for more information about the island, I watched a video that contained images from Our Lady of the Isle Catholic Church. This is a Catholic Church based in Nantucket with beautiful New England architecture. Doesn't the name sound beautiful?

Our Lady of the Isle. I could say the name forever and not get tired.

Anyway, it would be a beautiful thing if someday I found myself inside that Church giving thanks for the gift of living in New England.

Photo by Khoi Huynh-Dinh.

Sunday, November 9, 2008


"I believe that the universe
is an evolution.

I believe that evolution
proceeds towards spirit.

I believe that spirit is fully
realized in a form of personality.

I believe that the supremely
personal is the universal Christ."


- "How I Believe" by Teilhard de Chardin


"I speak to you,
my fellow priests...if
there be any among
you who are at a loss
in so unforeseen a
situation - with
your mass unsaid
and your ministry
unaccomplished -
remember that over
and above the
administration of the
sacraments, as
a higher duty than
the care of individual
souls, you have a
universal function to
fulfil: the offering to God of the
entire
world."

- "The Priest" by Teilhard de Chardin

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Venting

I don't think it takes one of these pompous panelists who circulate through Meet the Press or Charlie Rose to recognize what cost John McCain the election. Two words: George Bush. President Bush, despite having admirable qualities, made several catastrophic and inexcusable mistakes during his administration that served to stigmatize John McCain. The single biggest miscalculation is, of coarse, the war in Iraq. What a tremendous blow to the gut of the American people when it was concluded that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq; that there were never any definitive ties between Iraqi diplomats and elements from Al qaeda. Can anyone put a mental grip around the price this nation has dished out, in terms of American lives and taxpayer money, in funding a war over falsified data?

Then came the economy meltdown. Hundreds of billions of dollars were procured to bail-out white collar crooks that drove this country to near financial demise. While Democrats contributed to this economic condition, the most visible branch of government to the American people - the Executive branch - will invariably be assigned culpability.

So what were voters looking for? They were looking for anything that wasn't George Bush. They were looking for someone who was not involved in initiating the Iraq war as appose to someone with the necessary leadership that could remove American forces prudently out of there. They were looking for someone who was not in the Oval Office when the economic meltdown occurred, despite the fact that the President is not the one who should be assigned the bulk of the blame for that fiasco. They were looking for a president who was not directly linked to over four-thousand dead Americans in Iraq for reasons that were completely frivolous. Basically, Obama is the embodiment of the absence of Bush, while McCain was tragically stigmatized by the President.

In a sense, Barack Obama remains very distant from this presidential election, since who and what he is remains, to some degree, undefinable and obscured. With George Bush's tremendous unpopularity, this election is a case of voters who were driven away from one candidate as oppose to being drawn to another. Can you imagine how Hilary feels? She might never again see a political climate that could have been so conducive to her victory as this last one.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Vote for John McCain!
Vote for John McCain!
Vote for John McCain!
Vote for John McCain!
Vote for John McCain!
Vote for John McCain!
Vote for John McCain!
Vote for John McCain!
Vote for John McCain!
Vote for John McCain!
Vote for John McCain!
Vote for John McCain!
Vote for John McCain!


New Virus Announced by the C.D.C.!!!

The Centers for Disease Control issued a warning via all media outlets this morning for a highly contagious (airborne) pathogen. It operates similarly to the SARS virus, but with potentially immediate consequences upon infection. Please read the following.

Ballistic Organ Syndrome (Ballistitis)
Country of Origin
Java (Indonesia)

First Known Case
Ballistic Organ Syndrome, although rare, has been known since prehistoric times. In Australia and Micronesia, cave paintings have been found depicting humans and animals with internal organs erupting from their bodies.

Symptoms
Ballistic Organ Syndrome manifests as a sudden, explosive discharge of one or more bodily organs at high velocity; this exit may be accompanied by some pain. There are two known variants: subsonic Ballistitis, in which the organ exists the body by the path of least resistance, breaking free directly through muscle, tendon, bone and skin tissue.

Supersonic Ballistitis is the more dangerous manifestation, as the ejecta exceed the speed of sound and therefore strike without warning. Surprisingly, however, the high energy of supersonic Ballistitis discharge cauterizes the surface of the organ and sterilizes the ejected bodily contents, so that the overall risk of infection is less than that of subsonic Ballistitis. In rare cases, the Ballistitis virus infects the patients entire body. Eventually, some event causes one or more cells to rupture, after which the patients body is disrupted in an explosive ejection of all bodily organs. This manifestation of the syndrome frequently occasions the death of the patient; at best, the loss of all bodily organs will cause considerable inconvenience and distress.

The Ballistitis is known to be caused by a retrovirus that reprograms body cells to concentrate water at extremely high pressures. It may be transmitted through direct contact with organic ejecta or through inhalation of atomized bodily content. Medical personnel dealing with infected patients are strongly recommended to seek the advice of military fortification engineers to assist in deploying sandbagging, and overhead protection, as ejected organs can travel a considerable distance and explode with some force on impact.

Chameleon



Saturday, November 1, 2008

Learning from bees & Lewis (Long post but worth it)

This is one of my all-time favorite poems. It was composed by the late-great C.S.Lewis, and I've been wanting to share it with all of you since I started blogging. Unfortunately, I've tried looking for it everywhere on the web and found, at best, only fragments of it. The books I own which contain this poem were placed in storage, and since my house is getting revamped, I had the opportunity to retrieve them when some of the materials for the renovation were warehoused in the same area.

This poem is about you. It's about me, my friends, your friends, your significant others, and anyone else who has had to endure the uncertainty of the trials and tribulations that life throws at us. It's about those trails in life which many of us are forced to walk, and reflect with anxiety and exasperation at those other paths we wish we had taken. But fear not the road you walk. Those paths that forces beyond our control sweep us into might be nothing more than God tweaking us in the right direction. The bee in this poem found her way to the laden flowers, but not before anguishing a change in direction.


Of this we are certain; no one who dares knock
At heaven's door for earthly comfort found
Even a door- only smooth endless rock,
And save the echo of his cry no sound.
It's dangerous to listen; you'll begin
To Fancy that those echoes (hope can play
Pitiful tricks) are answers from within;
Far better to turn, grimly sane, away.
Heaven cannot thus, Earth cannot ever, give
The thing we want. We ask what isn't there
And by our asking water and make live
That very part of love which must despair
And die and go down cold into the earth
Before there's talk of springtime and rebirth.

Pitch your demands heaven-high and they'll be met.
Ask the Morning Star and take (thrown in)
Your earthly love. Why, yes; but how to set
One's foot on the rung, how to begin?
The silence of one voice upon our ears
Beats like the waves; the coloured morning seem
A lying brag; the face we loved appears
Fainter each night, or ghastlier, in our dreams.
'That long way round which Dante trod was meant
For mighty saints and mystics not for me,'
So Nature cries. Yet if we once assent
To Nature's voice, we shall be like the bee
That booms against the window-pane for hours
Thinking that way to reach the laden flowers.

'If we could speak to her,' my doctor said,
'And told her, "Not that way! All, all in vain
You weary out wings and bruise your head,"
Might she not answer, buzzing at the at the pane,
"Let queens and mystics and religious bees
Talk of such inconceivables as glass;
The blunt lay worker flies at what she sees,
Look there--ahead, ahead--the flowers, the grass!
We catch her in a handkerchief (who knows
What rage she feels, what terror, what despair?)
And shake her out--and gaily out she goes
Where quivering flowers stand thick in summer air,
To drink their hearts. But left to her own will
She would have died upon the wind-sill.'
Would you like to sign this petition?


International Call for the Rights and Dignity of the Human Person and the Family


We, the citizens of UN member states, in this year of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted and proclaimed by the UN General Assembly resolution 217 A (III) of 10 December 1948,

Recalling that:

The Universal Declaration is a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all Nations,
Bearing in mind that:
Human rights, dignity, freedom, equality, solidarity and justice constitute the spiritual and moral patrimony on which the union of Nations is based,
Stress that:
Proper consideration must be given to
The right to life of every human being, from conception to natural death, each child having the right to be conceived, born and educated within the family, based on marriage between a woman and a man, the family being the natural and fundamental group unit of society,
The right of every child to be educated by his or her parents, who have a prior and fundamental right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.
Therefore, we call upon:
All governments to interpret the Universal Declaration of Human Rights properly such that:
Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person (Article 3)
Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family (Article 16).
The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State (Article 16).
Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance (Article 25).
Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children (Article 26).

If you agree with this, please sign up here.
Almighty and Everlasting God,
who dost enkindle the flame of Thy love in the hearts of the saints,
grant unto us the same faith and power of love;
that, as we rejoice in their triumphs
we may profit by their examples, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Happy Halloween!!

Stay safe, folks. If you have little ones who are going to go out trick or treating, needless to say, GO WITH THEM. Too many weirdos out there who see this night as an opportunity.





I shall leave you now with one of the greatest opening paragraphs to a short story in the history of literature.

"DURING the whole of a dull, dark, and soundless day in the autumn of the year, when the clouds hung oppressively low in the heavens, I had been passing alone, on horseback, through a singularly dreary tract of country; and at length found myself, as the shades of the evening drew on, within view of the melancholy House of Usher."



By the way, I saw this image of this crazy kitty and I couldn't stop laughing. Doesn't he look psychotic?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Choice is Clear



"I think that whether you are looking at it from a theological perspective or a scientific perspective, answering that questions with specificity is above my pay grade."

Coward. He couldn't even commit himself to a clear answer.

The above quote was Obama's response to the question as to when an unborn child acquires rights. Yet if he is in favor of destroying unborn human life, hasn't he answered that question while making the same $?



Self-explanatory.


Self-explanatory.




Thanks to Paramedicgirl for the video.



I should mention, if I had my way absolutely, this is the man I would have on the presidential Republican ticket this 2008 election year.

Dr. Alan Keyes

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Drawing the best stick figures

In the upcoming semesters, I will probably start taking art-related courses in school. I've always had an interest in drawing with pastels, but this interest never fully materialized as anything significant. While these courses may involve handling several materials, I cannot let the opportunity to work with pastels pass me by.

I've been thinking about this for quite some time, and, after evaluating my motives, I've concluded that this is not just a passing fancy that will fade away over time. Needless to say, this hobby will inevitably expose me to other types of media, so this sphere of interest will probably increase to include oil paints, acrylics, charcoals, graphites, etc. But one thing at a time.

Recently, I purchased the Sennelier 120 count Oil Pastel box. These are some of the best pastels in the market, and are recognized for the rich colors and smooth textures, albeit difficult to work with. I'm also eyeing the Holbien pastels, which many prefer over the Sennelier. This is the Sennelier box:

Do any of you use pastels or other types of media? I'd love to hear - even SEE! - some of the stuff you've done. Again, this is just a hobby for me, and I've no intentions of becoming the next Picasso, Matisse, or Terry Nelson.

On a different note, I'm changing the title of this dump - my blog. Let's face it, folks, there is very little discussion about science here since most you, my blogger friends, don't care for it. So, I have to come up with a different name that incorporates the many things I babble about, while at the same time implying the religious component of my personal interests. While I haven't come up with anything yet, I've decided that the new blog title should be twice as long as the current one (just kidding!).

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Cashing in on Oprah

Somebody we ALL love is in trouble, folks. Ogre Winfrey is being sued for allegedly fabricating false accusations that led to the incarceration of a Louisiana man. The man seeks damages that top 180 million dollars.

You know, I don't take it lying down when someone picks on my favorite yeti. Sure the Oprah isn't perfect, but who is? The notion that she would fabricate lies to put an innocent man behind bars is an accusation without merit. I know my Oprah!

By the way, did you guys know that Oprah and her significant other, Stedman, had a HUGE falling out not too long ago while on vacation? Apparently, Stedman got up in the middle of the night groggy and sleepy-eyed and called the front desk of his hotel room to report a broken cooler when he mistook Oprah for the fridge.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Crick in the Neck Pic

Now, why can't I get this picture to post right-side up? I've tried flipping it every which way you can think of but horizontally is the ONLY position that it will NOT post. It must be the Critter. Anything remotely associated with him becomes cantankerous and difficult to manage.

Oh, and I almost forgot. The Critter, thanks to the folks at ACORN, gets to vote for the first time this year. Isn't it wonderful! He says he likes Obama because his leg seems fit enough to pee on. I explained to him that was no way of casting his vote, especially in this year's historic elections. So I convinced him that we could have it both ways. He could pee on Obama and still vote for McCain.

He wagged his tail.

Bad Critter. Bad Little Critter.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Mystical Experience

"That you are here--that life exists, and identity;
That the powerful play goes on, and you will contribute a verse."
~~ From "O Me! O Life!" by Walt Whitman

I remember being at work a few years ago and being jolted by an experience that thrust me into discerning a possible vocation to the priesthood. It was not the type of mystical experience that is characterized by the serenity and ecstasy that so many mystics recount, but rather it was an acute, and profound awareness that I existed, that the universe existed, and that the words from Scripture were not mere symbols on paper, but living, inexorable testamentations of the existence of God. I automatically associated this experience with the image of Jesus Christ, and his mother Mary.

I was outside in the open when this experience occurred, and the sky was clear and blue. Having always possessed an interest in the dialogue between science and religion, I looked up at the sky began to ponder the vast, incomprehensible immensity of all Creation. The idea that I should travel this universe until the end of time, for eons and eons and eons and find no end to it was both mesmerizing and terrifying, for I became cognizant of the fact that I was dealing with qualities infinitely more powerful than I was. I know this is going to sounds silly and exaggerated, but for sometime after this initial experience I was unable to look up at the sky without apprehension.

I have never shared this story with anyone before, not even with my vocations' director, Father Tony. Although the sensation of the experience eludes me, off and on the experience returns but with a variation of the original experience, and maybe not quite as powerful. But these "openings" (to paraphrase Reynolds Price) can surge at any given moment, even while doing the most medial of tasks, and they no longer have to happen in the outdoors.

Today, one of these similar experiences surfaced while I was at a bookstore reaching for a book. It was like waking from a deep sleep. These words rang profoundly in me and left me semi-concussed: "I am here. He exists. Life is not a dream."

If you've ever had an experience that you would describe as mystical, please share.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

More than just Halloween


Now that Halloween is coming up, I see more of this film on the DVD racks of department stores than at any other time of the year. While I admit that I like to watch a horror flick late at night with a bag of popcorn in my hand or some other kind of junk food, I think this film goes a little beyond mere entertainment. I like the priests in it, and I like how they are portrayed. The ending has two scenes - for those of you who remember it - that are quite powerful. Father Karras frees Regan of the demon and allows himself to be possessed. Before harming the child, he jumps out the window and takes the demon with him. The next powerful scene comes at the finale when Regan and her mom, Chris, are moving away from the house and are met by Father Dyer, Father Karras' good friend. Chris explains to Father Dyer the Regan has no recollection of what transpired, but Regan, nonetheless, has some idea of what saved her. She glances momentarily at the Roman Collar Father Dyer is wearing, then proceeds to give him a kiss on the cheek.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Don't Hide

I sometimes wonder about the authenticity of the things people write on their blogs. I also find myself doubting the ferocity of their convictions, easily imagining them forsaking the side they defend and adopting the cause of the opposing majority when out numbered. Some people write about stuff other people want to hear and write it in a way those same people want to hear it. This reveals how politically correct their sensitivities are. That's not a good thing. You can state your convictions sternly but politely, without the need for vulgarities and other inflammatory phraseology, or by sugar coating the facts as you see them. To me, people like these are intellectually and morally feeble, and their claims can't be trusted by either side of an issue.

After last night's debate, I'm in a serious mood to thrash Obama (politically speaking) and say a few things about his judgement that some people may find offensive. I shall refrain from doing that until the right words come to me.

Now guess who's being politically correct?

Saturday, October 4, 2008

To All the Critters Great and Small

Blessing of the Animals

God Our Heavenly Father, You created the world to serve humanity's needs and to lead them to You. By our own fault we have lost the beautiful relationship which we once had with all your creation. Help us to see that by estoring our relationship with You we will also restore it
with all Your creation. Give us the grace to see all animals as gifts from You and to treat them with respect for they are Your creation.

We pray for all animals
who are suffering as a result of our neglect.
May the order You originally established
be once again restored to the whole world
through the intercession of the Glorious Virgin Mary,
the prayers of Saint Francis
and the merits of Your Son,
Our Lord Jesus Christ
Who lives and reigns with You
now and forever. Amen.



May the Lord bless all those small, big, furry, flabby, lazy, mischievous, four-legged members of your family!

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

On a sepparate note, no, you ears are not playing tricks on you. I've added Christmas music to my blog which shall remain there till at least Epiphany- m'kay, grumpy? :0)

Friday, October 3, 2008

Guilty

Guilty of all 12 counts, including criminal conspiracy, kidnapping, assault, robbery, and use of a deadly weapon. Can you imagine how Nicole Brown's family and Ron Goldman's family feel tonight? Simpson is going to jail for a very, very long time. As a matter of fact, his last days might be spent there.

Where was this jury in 1995?

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The best of both worlds?

I know that there are people out there who are going to skeptical over this.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

How did they get so liberal?

I often think about how things got to be what they currently are now. The origins and evolutionary period of institutions, cultures, phrases, and methodologies can be fascinating to study and understand. Because this is an election year and celebrity presidential endorsements are a cause célèbre, my curiosity has turned to Hollywood and how it became so leftist in its political lineaments.

Are Hollywood celebrities, writers, designers and creators liberal because they simply have a "rebellious" or counter-cultural streak to their artistic character, or is an up-and-coming actor merely trying to "do as the Romans" do by observing the status quo that is projected by his peers?

This is indeed something worth pondering considerably.

I ask again, are the majority of Hollywood celebrities liberal as a result of their natural way of thinking, or is it a "culture of thought" an outsider working his way in assimilates in order to blend in and get ahead in the film industry?

This brings me to my next question: did you know that Senator Joseph McCarthy - the leading figure in blacklisting and destroying the careers of many Americans over the mere suspicion of communist party affiliation - was a Roman Catholic? This is the same right-wing Joseph McCarthy who, in the 1950's, held hearings and made paranoid accusations of communist and Soviet spies infiltrating American government agencies, military branches, and film industry for the purposes of overthrowing the government of the United States. He is the same individual whose techniques gave rise to the derogatory term "McCarthyism", which can be described as a process that utilizes investigatory methods analogous to those used in the Salem Witch Trials. McCarthy was unable to substantiate his many sensational accusations, and on December 2, 1954 he was condemned by his Senate colleagues for serious misdeeds during his political witch hunt for threats that did not exist.

Either Hollywood has always been as liberal as it is today, but closeted such tendencies because of the overwhelming conservative mindset of most Americans in the 1950's, or it liberalized as a backlash to McCarthyism and other societal taboos that are identified as bearing some likeness to McCarthyism.

If Joseph McCarthy's demagoguery was instrumental in shaping the American film industry into what it is today, then we can attribute, in part, two of Hollywood's cultural conditions to him. Number one is the celebrity commitment to liberal social issues and to the equally left-of-center politicians who advance them; and, number two, the inherent, and widely accepted anti-Catholic vitriol gushing from the mouths (and fingers) of some of Hollywood's leading residents.

Here's one ironic fact you might not know about. The Kennedy clan (Democrats)befriended Joseph McCarthy (Republican) and were even intimidated by the political influence he exercised over John F. Kennedy's constituency in Massachusetts.

Friday, September 26, 2008

I have received a very kind award from three of my fellow blogger-pals: Auntie A at Adrienne's Catholic Corner, Tracy at A Catholic Mom in Minnesota, and Kimberly at Our God is an Awesome God. Auntie A, Tracy, and Kimberly- I thank you very much! With this award also comes the One Word Answer Meme.





1. Where is your cell phone? Shelf
2. Where is your significant other? Past ;0)
3. Your hair color? Black
4. Your mother? Store
5. Your father? Home
6. Your favorite thing? Music
7. Your dream last night? Rapidograph
8. Your dream/goal? Architecture
9. The room you're in? Office
10. Your hobby? Computers
11. Your fear? Claustrophobia
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Architect
13. Where were you last night? School
14. What you're not? Patient :0(
15. One of your wish-list items? New England
16. Where you grew up? Las Vegas
17. The last thing you did? Drive
18. What are you wearing? Clothes :0)
19. Your TV? Replacing
20. Your pet? Grumpy
21. Your computer? Replacing
22. Your mood? Great!
23. Missing someone? Ex
24. Your car? Truck
25. Something you're not wearing? Skirt :0)
26. Favorite store? Blick's
27. Your summer? Hot!
28. Love someone? Family
29. Your favorite color? "Parrish blue"
30. When is the last time you laughed? Question#25
31. Last time you cried? ????

I know, I cheated on a couple of these by including two words instead of one.

I've been slow to respond to comments as well as to catching up on the reading of those favorite blogs I frequently visit. I've been busy with school, work, and host of miscellaneous chores. I have not forgotten, nor will I forget you. Just busy, that's all.

Now, here's the deal. If you have read this post all the way down to here, you can consider yourself awarded and tagged, and now you must play along with the rest of us. Failure to comply will bring your presidential candidate great scandal and will cost him the elections. LOL.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

How Much Could You Get Away With?

Whether you are a supporter or not, we are currently fighting a war in Iraq that is tremendously unpopular with the American people. The biggest inequity for some individuals is not just the war itself, but the justifications that were used to rationalize the invasion. The allegations of WMD's and secret meetings involving Iraqi agents and Al qaeda elements - which have been thoroughly discredited - have resulted in vast expenditures of American resources, the most important of which are the lives of our servicemen and women. Those are irreplaceable. Now we face the difficult task of stabilizing Iraq and fortifying its government, military and infrastructure - amid waves of insurgent assaults - before withdrawing our forces. Has there been any serious consequences for those individuals who ill-advised President Bush?

Then, in 2005 came Katrina - one of the deadliest and most expensive hurricanes in the history of the United States. After the levees failed in New Orleans, the bodies floated, and the size and magnitude of this disaster materialized in every television set for everyone around the world to see. After the incomprehensible aftermath of Katrina, came the investigations and the finger pointing between federal, state and local authorities over culpability. The subsequent investigations revealed that the levee system in New Orleans was in decrepit condition, and poised for inevitable collapse. It is estimated that over 1800 people died when Katrina slammed into the U.S., causing damage that topped $100 billion dollars, with New Orleans suffering the bulk of the damage. Out of all the parties that can take responsibility for this catastrophe, how many were actually held accountable? Just the FEMA director?

Do you recall this from January 26, 1998:


He was lying then and also lied under oath when asked that same question. His deceptiveness initiated an impeachment process that consumed and distracted both the House of Representatives and the Senate for nearly two months, not to mention his own Executive office. In the end, President Clinton admitted to having a "relationship with Ms. Lewinsky that was not appropriate" but was nonetheless acquitted of all charges - perjury, obstruction of justice, etc. - along party lines.



On the last day of his administration, President Clinton pardoned Roger Clinton, Jr., his own half-brother, who had been convicted of selling cocaine in Arkansas in 1984. Within a month of his presidential pardon, Clinton Junior was back in jail for driving under the influence.

Now we face the possible collapse of global financial markets unless the United States Congress authorizes a $700 billion dollar bailout plan. This because some very greedy individuals - salivating over the prospect of making a quick buck - initiated transactions that were wholly unstable and reckless. You, the taxpayer, the moms and dads, grandmas and grandpas living on a fixed incomes, who are already feeling the sting of higher food prices and energy bills, are going to flip the bill for this whopper of a blunder, the likes of which have not been seen in history. And despite the fact that the FBI is investigating the major institutions whose collapse lead to this meltdown, there is no way of either incarcerating or in some way punishing all the parties that contributed to this mess. We'll be lucky to see these companies pay back the majority of this bailout.

Hundreds of billions of dollars lost and thousands of lives destroyed because key personnel - in both the public and private sectors - were too wrapped up in their own political agendas, or were blinded by limitless greed, or were completely derelict with responsibilities that fell well within their province. How many of our government leaders will ever be held accountable for involving our country in a quagmire over baseless and fabricated accusations? Nine times out of ten the most any of these individuals will face is some kind of public castigation or forced resignation over failures of unimaginable proportions. And, get this: there is probably some poor schmuck in jail right now, somewhere in the U.S., for unpaid parking tickets.

No, I'm not arguing that people who break the law should continue living their lives unpunished if someone guilty of something worse escapes justice. But I'm asking, how can so many people in our country commit offenses of extraordinary severity and operate with impunity, while other individuals guilty of much, much lesser offenses face their consequences?

How many of us could go on to spend seven full terms in the senate after a Chappaquiddick?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Today is the first day of fall and you know what that means...

Christmas is just a mere 94 days away!! Oh stop your whining you grumpy headed, beetle-browed, bellyaching, love muffin. You know you like Christmas, so why be grouchy about it? If anyone here wants to complain, let it be me. I'm the one who has to spend his Christmas in a desert with ubiquitous road construction, fake lakes, and palm tress that were shipped from other parts of the country. In the end, I have neither the splendour of a big cosmopolitan city, nor the natural winter habitat of a frosty, Christmastime desert. Boo-hoo.

Take me to New England, I say! Where the hills are adorned with color-shifting trees; where the streets are narrow and cobble-stoned; where cottages and houses with English motifs make a fireplace all the more cozy and enticing. Yes, I'll take the snow, too.

Maybe someday.

For now, I'll have to settle for a city that - despite having lost much of its small town intimacy - is still my home.

I wrote this post a few weeks ago anticipating the autumn season. However, despite the fact that I had scheduled it to post automatically for today, Blogger made sure it got posted on September 7th, so some of you with "Reader" or RSS feed might have gotten an unauthorized look ahead of schedule. Is there something wrong with Blogger that I don't know about? Do they need a loan or bailout to get them to function properly?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A Minor Muse Out Of Season

"Simon Peter said to him, 'Master, then not only my feet, but my hands and head as well.' "

No matter what part of the year we're in liturgically, I come back those words of St. Peter. I find his surrender to Christ so poignant and so telling of a man who, in his heart, wants to inherit the kingdom Jesus often preached to his followers about. Peter does not want a destiny that will separate him from his Master, despite the fact that he will have denied Jesus three times at a crucial moment in his life.

Jesus braved Peter's denial just as he did the subsequent events that would begin to unfold later that same night - with the Resurrection. What captures my attention is, once again, Peter's albeit imperfect love for Jesus. Peter's love falters when confronted by people who accuse him of associating with the "Nazarene, Jesus." He repudiates Jesus a total of three times, and after the third denial, the cock crowed a second time and he recalled the sequence his Master prophesied before breaking down to "cry profusely." Peter loved Jesus. He just happened to be, like most of us, a man of little faith.

Also, have you noticed that after the Resurrection Jesus does not come after his wrongdoers for vengeance or violence? None of them faced immediate retribution from God ("Forgive them, for they know not what they do") nor did they suddenly drop dead at the second Jesus was Resurrected. There is a great moral lesson to be learned here. Instead of applying the eye for an eye tradition, or seeking retaliation against those who do us harm and injustice, it might be better to patiently bear those moments to the end and let God have the final say, just as he did with the Resurrection.

I know. Easier said than done.

Love those Canadians!

We all have that song or songs that when listened to make us nostalgic for either our childhood or for some period in our lives we wish we could go back and revisit. Even if you are not prone to bouts of sentimentality you can still find yourself reflecting on the chronicles of your life, revisiting the memories of a distant friend, departed loved-one, or scenes from your childhood with bittersweetness. It could be a slow tune or a fast tune - it's how we make the connection between the sound and the recollection.

Although debuted before I was born, these are two of my favorite early 1970's hits by their Canadian artists.





Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Airplane!

I LOVED this movie when I was a kid, despite the fact I had to sneak behind my parent's back to see it. There are so many funny parts to this film that I know I'm omitting a few you feel should be here.









Sunday, September 14, 2008

Inhaling and No One Cares

How much should we be willing to forgive in terms of politics? How much of questionable practices on behalf of a public figure or elected official that may have taken place many years ago is relevant and worth mentioning in present-day political campaigns? During the Reagan administration Judge Douglas H.Ginsburg's nomination to the Supreme Court was shot down by a Democratic-controlled senate after it was revealed that he had used marijuana as a student in the 1960's. In a resent interview Senator Obama shamelessly admitted to "I inhaled...frequently" when he was a kid. Has the recreational marijuana use that stigmatized Judge Douglas H.Ginsburg and undermined his nomination to the Supreme Court become just one of those things crazy kids do?

Currently, many regular folks as well as famous celebrities unabashedly confess, with impunity, that they are regular marijuana users. If the current societal reaction is to let this type of thing go by without an uproar, does this not mean we are that much closer to legalizing pot here in America? In the political circuit, it has almost become politically incorrect to say you've never smoked marijuana.


Thursday, September 11, 2008

9-11-2001

For the events that transpired on September 11, 2001. I think this one - which I posted a few days ago - unites our anguish with Him who also suffered.

Wojciech Kilar: Agnus Dei - Choir of Versija


Paramedicgirl, Kilar's Agnus Dei is the one I wrote to you about in a previous email.

An Error in Pro-life Tactics

Perhaps the single biggest folly the pro-life side of the abortion debate has committed is to religionize the abortion issue. Yes, a great many of us are motivated and influenced by our Catholic teaching - that's actually something wonderful. But can you be a committed atheist and maintain a pro-life perspective? Absolutely. The problem is that we have alienated people who are not religious or who hold religion in contempt by attaching words and customs that are inherently religious in nature. Subsequently, those individuals who dislike religion are catapulted to the pro-abortion side not because of a shared ideology, but because they instinctively follow the "befriend my enemy's enemy" doctrine. Like I commented on another blog with a post of similar subject matter, it's like voting for Obama not because you like Obama, but because you hate George Bush (or McCain).

This is why I think it's foolish for anyone in the pro-choice camp to claim they've won over a majority of Americans through more appealing and robust philosophical presentations. That just simply isn't true. A substantial number of those who camp at the "choice" side of the argument are not actually there because of homogeneous ideologies, but rather because of significant and wedging differences between themselves and religious institutions over issues that have nothing to do with abortion.

The irreligious have never even had a chance to consider the pro-life argument as logically humane without the distraction of religious symbols and comportment. Until we change that strategy, we will inadvertently be working to increase the number of followers of the culture of death .

Sadly, even if we were to completely secularize the pro-life argument, it would still be "above the pay grade" of certain individuals to understand.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Medjugorje Deception?

Are the Medjugorje apparitions a complete fabrication? Sources at close proximity to the manifestations - as well as to the visionaries - seem to think so. Allegations that the Medjugorje apparitions are a hoax have circulated for quite sometime, but now there seems a to be Vatican crackdown on the unsanctioned shrine of Medjugorje, beginning with the suspension of two of the priests who acted as spiritual advisers to the recipients of the Marian messages. Father Jozo Zovko was suspended by Bishop Peric in 2004, and Father Tomislav Vlasic, who is facing a host of accusations based on misconduct that also include the fathering of a child, has been removed to a Franciscan monastery under the pains of excommunication. (source)

Outside the sphere of clerical misconduct, the apparitions themselves have been under scrutiny for quite a while. You can find both laity and clergy supporting and attempting to debunk the statements made by the seers who claim they have experienced Marian visitations since 1981. Some of the reported messages by the six visionaries have simply been too outlandish to win over any of their detractors. (source)