Apr 23

Obama Protestors face water cannons.

No irony here, folks.  Move along.

Police armed with truncheons, shields and a fire hose clashed withactivists who rallied at the U.S. Embassy in Manila on Wednesday to oppose a visit by President Barack Obama and an expected security pact that would increase the American military presence in the Philippines.

Some of the protesters carried paper U.S. flags with the message: “Obama not welcome.”


Is it just me, or does history seem to be repeating itself?


Apr 21

How I work out.

Apr 14

And the Kermit Gosnell Award goes to . . .

Woman, 39, allegedly gave birth, then killed the infants and put their bodies in a garage.

Pleasant Grove police made a grisly discovery Saturday: seven dead infants, six of them in cardboard boxes.  Megan Huntsman, 39, was arrested early Sunday morning on suspicion of six counts of murder.

Police believe she gave birth to the babies then killed them over the past decade, according to a police news release.

On Saturday, police responded to a call from Huntsman’s ex-husband about a dead infant found inside a Pleasant Grove home that Huntsman lived in until 2011. Officers arrived and found the body of a newborn infant, who appeared to be full term, according to the release.

Police obtained a search warrant for the home and found six more babies packaged in separate cardboard boxes inside the garage, said police Capt. Michael Roberts.

Investigators learned that Huntsman allegedly gave birth to the infants, then killed them, over a 10 year period, the release adds. Her ex-husband is believed to be the father, but investigators are still working on DNA tests, Roberts said.

While the mainstream media largely ignored Gosnell’s crimes, Ms. Huntsman has not enjoyed the same sub-radar existence.

Her winning this award was a snip, I mean, snap.

Apr 05

He ain’t weeping anymore.

But, you, O LORD of hosts, O just Judge,

searcher of mind and heart,

Let me witness the vengeance you take on them,

for to you I have entrusted my cause!

Jeremiah 11:20

One of the biggest challenges of the Christian life is to keep our eyes on the big picture. We get caught up – indeed overwhelmed – by our various crises de jour be it family, financial, vocational. As important as our God-given obligations are, we are also reminded again and again and again to realize that we are only here for a moment. “In all you do, remember the end of your life, and then you will never sin.” (Sirach 7:36).

The prophet Jeremiah is referred to as “The Weeping Prophet.” He was called by God to speak to the Jews. For more than a quarter century he did that. He obeyed even though God told him that no one would listen to him. (How would you like to be a salesman for a living and KNOW that you would never make a sale!) He obeyed if though he was reviled, beaten, mistreated, and just all around humiliated.

Faithful followers of Jesus around the world are getting a taste of this growing persecution. Run afoul of the Sodomite mafia, display a small cross around an unwashed muslim crowd, serve the global Church, or refuse to participate in the intrinsically evil Obamacare and find out. (Yet the majority of those named after Christ won’t even disconnect their cable!)

Our Lord knew our sufferings for His sake before the foundations of the world. He also shares in them as in our sufferings we have a share of His. The millions who have suffered for righteousness sake bear witness to the truth of Eternal Life.

But there is a corollary that is also overlooked in modernity: Eternal Death. Hell. Sin has fallen from the English Lexicon (except, perhaps, when some democrat is referring to some republican). It is the loss of the notion of Hell – Eternal Death – that inevitably, unavoidably leads to the demise of civilization. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI noted the reality of this Eternal Death:

When one is not aware of the judgment of God, when one does not recognize the possibility of hell, of the radical and definitive failure of life, then one does not recognize the possibility and necessity for purification. Then man does not work well on behalf of the world, because in the end he loses his bearings, he no longer knows himself, not knowing God, and destroys the world. All of the great ideologies have promised: We will take things in hand, we will no longer overlook the world, we will create the new, just, correct, fraternal world. Instead, they destroyed the world. We see this with Nazism, and we also see it with communism, which promised to build the world the way it was supposed to have been, and instead destroyed the world.

Today we are used to thinking: what is sin? God is great, he understands us, so sin does not count, in the end God will be good toward all. It’s a nice hope. But there is justice, and there is real blame. Those who have destroyed man and the earth cannot sit immediately at the table of God, together with their victims.

We have the same imperative mission that Jeremiah. Urgency should grip our hearts for our friends, family, neighbors, and nation. And ourselves. We should press on to the prize of the high calling in Jesus, declaring the love of Heaven; the despair of Hell.

Like Jeremiah, to God we should entrust our cause. And celebrate both His mercy and His vengeance.

Apr 04

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished.

And this is the false argument they use, ‘Our life is short and dreary, there is no remedy when our end comes, no one is known to have come back from Hades. Let us lay traps for the upright man, since he annoys us and opposes our way of life, reproaches us for our sins against the Law, and accuses us of sins against our upbringing.

He claims to have knowledge of God, and calls himself a child of the Lord. We see him as a reproof to our way of thinking, the very sight of him weighs our spirits down; for his kind of life is not like other people’s, and his ways are quite different.

In his opinion we are counterfeit; he avoids our ways as he would filth; he proclaims the final end of the upright as blessed and boasts of having God for his father.  Let us see if what he says is true, and test him to see what sort of end he will have.  For if the upright man is God’s son, God will help him and rescue him from the clutches of his enemies.

Let us test him with cruelty and with torture, and thus explore this gentleness of his and put his patience to the test.  Let us condemn him to a shameful death since God will rescue him — or so he claims.’

This is the way they reason, but they are misled, since their malice makes them blind.  They do not know the hidden things of God, they do not hope for the reward of holiness, they do not believe in a reward for blameless souls.

Wisdom 2:1, 12-22

It’s kind of amazing that we can look at words written thousands of years ago and feel like they could have been written this afternoon.

Not only does the world seem to be in the grip of the dark forces of Sodomites and the political system – and pseudo-religion – of Islam (to name a couple), but anyone who makes a peep expressing a Christian sentiment is vilified.

On Friday, March 28, in Ain Shams, a suburb of Cairo, Muslim Brotherhood supporters attacked the Virgin Mary and Archangel Michael Coptic Orthodox Church, including by opening fire on it and setting parked cars aflame. Four people died. One of the slain, a young Coptic woman, was savagely mauled and molested before being murdered—simply because her cross identified her as a Christian to the Brotherhood rioters (taxonomically known as minus infesta vermis canis). The murdered woman, Mary Sameh George, was parking by the church to deliver medicine to a sickly, elderly woman.

On the enlightened side of the pond, the Brendan Eich, CEO of Mozilla (Slogan: Your web, the way you like it.) was forced from his position because something as prestigious as a dating site (OKCupid; Slogan: Never leave you buddy’s behind.) called for a boycott of Mozilla. Mr. Eich’s “crime” was that he gave a thousand bucks of his own money to support California’s Proposition 8, which won in the statewide popular vote, by the way.

As today’s Old Testament reading shows, there’s nothing new under the sun. The workers of darkness are not content to engage in their sin and tolerate those with whom they disagree. It is the mere existence of Christianity – and I suggest, especially the Catholic Church – that annoys and enrages the enemies of God:

Let us lay traps for the upright man, since he annoys us and opposes our way of life, reproaches us for our sins against the Law, and accuses us of sins against our upbringing.

Feeding the beast only makes it hungrier. Fear is not an option. Fear is a snare. “The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe.” Proverbs 29:25. Is Mary Sameh George safe? Safer than anyone reading this.

While I don’t pretend to know the details (I’m in sales, not management), I do know that the Lord hears and rescues the upright. I know that to the wicked evil brings death and those that hate the upright will pay the penalty (Psalm 34).

I also know we’re in good company. In today’s Gospel (John 7) we Jesus restricted in his ability to travel “because the Jews were seeking to kill him.” Yet the people marveled as he spoke openly (“Can it be true the authorities have recognized that he is the Christ?”). Jesus knew – what we all should embrace – that the safest place on the planet is doing the will of God. “They wanted to arrest him then, but because his hour had not yet come no one laid a hand on him.

We are called to courage and obedience. We all know “our hour” will come. Until it does, no one can touch us. When it does, no one can save us.

What do you want to be doing when your hour comes?

Apr 04

Sola Scriptura not spoken here.

“I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge; and my judgment is just, because I seek to do not my own will but the will of him who sent me.”  

“If I testify about myself, my testimony is not true.There is another who testifies on my behalf, and I know that his testimony to me is true. You sent messengers to John, and he testified to the truth. Not that I accept such human testimony, but I say these things so that you may be saved. He was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light. But I have a testimony greater than John’s.”

The works that the Father has given me to complete, the very works that I am doing, testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me. And the Father who sent me has himself testified on my behalf. You have never heard his voice or seen his form, and you do not have his word abiding in you, because you do not believe him whom he has sent.”

“You search the scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that testify on my behalf. Yet you refuse to come to me to have life.”

“I do not accept glory from human beings. But I know that you do not have the love of God in you. I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; if another comes in his own name, you will accept him. How can you believe when you accept glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the one who alone is God?  Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father; your accuser is Moses, on whom you have set your hope. If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. But if you do not believe what he wrote, how will you believe what I say?”

John 5:30-47

No one section of Scripture was more instrumental to me coming into the One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church than this one. If the Catholic Church was wrong about everything else she taught but was right about this, I wanted in. Of course it took me a decade and a half of internal wrangling to finally submit.

I was a hard-core protestant with plenty of venom and vinegar for all things Catholic. One of the chief accusations leveled by protestants against Catholics is that Catholics don’t believe the Bible. Yet it precisely at the point where Catholics take the words of Christ literally that the sharpest divide between Roman Catholics and our Separated Brethren exits.

In today’s Gospel, our Lord speaks, “You search the scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that testify on my behalf. Yet you refeuse to come to me to have life.”

It is no divine accident that just a few verses later Christ says what it takes to have life: Very truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. If he wanted to repulse a Jewish audience, images of touching a dead body and cannibalism was a sure-fire way to do it.

This was no parable. Jesus didn’t wait for a moment alone with the apostles to tell them what this riddle really meant. In fact, most of the gathered crowd left in disgust. Jesus turns to Peter and asks if he is going to leave as well.

Peter rightly answered: “Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.”

Living the Christian life is hard. Some would say impossible. But where else can we go? The Israelites were walking a difficult road. They were told in many places in a variety of ways to choose which side they were on. As in today’s Old Testament reading, thousands chose a path of death and destruction.

Do you want to leave Jesus? Where else will you go?

Apr 04

What Love Looks Like.

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go down, because your people, whom you brought up out of Egypt, have become corrupt.They have been quick to turn away from what I commanded them and have made themselves an idol cast in the shape of a calf. They have bowed down to it and sacrificed to it and have said, ‘These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.’

“I have seen these people,” the Lord said to Moses, “and they are a stiff-necked people. Now leave me alone so that my anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them. Then I will make you into a great nation.”

But Moses sought the favor of the Lord his God. “Lord,” he said, “why should your anger burn against your people, whom you brought out of Egypt with great power and a mighty hand? Why should the Egyptians say, ‘It was with evil intent that he brought them out, to kill them in the mountains and to wipe them off the face of the earth’? Turn from your fierce anger; relent and do not bring disaster on your people. Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Israel, to whom you swore by your own self: ‘I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and I will give your descendants all this land I promised them, and it will be their inheritance forever.’” Then the Lord relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened.

Exodus 32:7-14

Today’s Old Testament reading finds God’s people eating, drinking, and indulging in revelry. Actually, it was debauchery unmatched until America in the 1960′s. Unlike the children of the drug culture, who were lost in a purple-hazed search for God, the children of Israel literally had God in the midst.

He had brought them through ten devastating plagues in Egypt. He gave them the riches of Egypt on their way out. He had promised them a land “flowing with milk and honey.” He guided them through the desert with a pillar of fire at night; a pillar of cloud in the day. When the Egyptians pursued, God covered Pharaoh and his troops in a fog so thick they couldn’t move. When the Israelites had no apparent way out, with their backs against the Red Sea, God parted the waters and they all walked through on dry land. When the Egyptians attempted the same path, they were wiped out. The same water that had been salvation for the Jews was destruction to the Egyptians.

Just a short time later, God summons Moses to the top of Mt. Sinai. Because of His profound love for His people, God is going to give Moses an autographed copy – actually it was the original – of the Ten Commandments. Moses ascends; the Israelites take off their clothes, get drunk, and dance around a golden calf. You’d think the Jews would have gotten the picture that God was not one to be trifled with. If there’s anything worse than a bunch of ingrates its a bunch of ingrates with short term memory loss.

He tells Moses to “leave me alone so that my anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them.” He even promises Moses to make him into a great nation.

If I allow myself to stand in Moses’ sandals for a moment, my first thought is “I didn’t want this job in the first place. Do whatever you want. And you’re gonna make lil ole me a great nation! Hmmm. Consider yourself left alone, God. Call me when you’re done.” But Moses didn’t do that. In fact, he did the exact opposite.

He didn’t leave God alone. Moses argued with God. Moses won: “the Lord relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened.”

As is often the case with Scripture, there is so much in so little space. Our prayers move God. Moses was bold in the face of God. And God moved, changed His mind. That’s a head full right there. Moses appealed to God, raising various arguments. God said OK. And this is not just an Old Testament kind of thing. Indeed, the writer of Hebrews directs that we should “boldly approach the Throne of Grace to find help in time of need. So pray like you mean it. And watch God move.

Sin is rebellion against God and it always – always – ends disastrously. God is a jealous God. The whole golden calf thing was a really, really bad idea. And it ended disastrously. Not as disastrously as God was planning, but bad. Even after Moses came down from Sinai and after he made the people drink some pretty bitter water, some were still standing in opposition to the true God. Thousands died at the edge of the sword, swords wielded by their own brethren. Then a plague fell on the Israelites. At least we don’t have a golden calf. Or do we? “Sin is pleasant for a season, but the end is as bitter as wormwood.” And there is always and afterward.

Moses held back the waters of the Red Sea. Moses also held back the incinerating wrath of a holy God. Can you imagine telling God if He wouldn’t forgive someone else, He would have to kill you first. Moses did. And a few thousand years later Christ, pleasingly offered by his own Eternal Father, did the same thing. Christ inserted himself, took our place, gave us a way out of the wilderness of our own idolatry and rebellion.

Maybe not literally, but we’ve been delivered from bondage, brought through the desert, and carried through the sea on dry land. We know what God’s love for us looks like. What does our love for Him look like. You know, if there’s anything worse than a bunch of ingrates its a bunch of ingrates with short term memory loss.

Mar 19

Amazing colorized photos.

Must watch.


Mar 11

Dolan’s Great Ecclesiastical Balancing Act.

Sure.  You might go to hell.  But at least Cardinal Dolan didn’t judge you.

I expect you’ll get a chance to thank him.  In person.

H/T to Creative Minority Report


Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York praised University of Missouri football star Michael Sam for coming out as gay, saying he would not judge the athlete for his sexual orientation.

“Good for him,” Dolan said in an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press” airing Sunday.

“I would have no sense of judgment on him,” Dolan continued. “God bless ya. I don’t think, look, the same Bible that tells us, that teaches us well about the virtues of chastity and the virtue of fidelity and marriage also tells us not to judge people. So I would say, ‘Bravo.’”

Yeah.  I get bogged down in that whole Chastity/Fidelity/Marriage/Not Judging balancing act myself.

But, heck, Confession just got a little easier:  Instead of Penance, I can now get a high five.

God have mercy.



Mar 03

Beware the Matte Gray Crown Vic

Just because you’re not paranoid, doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you.


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