Saturday, December 30, 2006
As we get ready to begin a new year - the Year of OUR LORD 2007, let us remember that there are many among us who still need the light of HIS TRUTH to shine through their darkness. A darkness that has befallen many through many means of communication. The Internet, conferences, meetings, groups, and media have allowed this darkness to permeate the minds and hearts of many of God's children and thereby allowing it to propagate and do harm to ALL HIS children. It has been allowed to fester and WE ALL have the responsibility to teach HIS truth to all we come in contact. ALL of us have to honor our baptismal vows! What joy we should all have in honoring this vow. What blessings have been bestowed upon each of in proclaiming HIS truth to all. We don't even have to leave our warm homes. We don't have to wear sandals and cross barren deserts to proclaim that truth! Oh, how blessed we are in these most troubling times. It is so very exciting knowing this in my heart.
I pray that all will receive, accept, internalize, and utilize all gifts bestowed upon them by OUR LORD to do HIS will in all things making this coming new year a most HOLY YEAR - A Year of OUR LORD 2007!
Lord help us!
It is a reality that the Christian community is leaving the West Bank and the Gaza Strip at a rapid pace - and it seems that nothing can be done to stop this reality," said Rev. Alex Awad, dean of students at Bethlehem Bible College. "Within 15 years Christians in the Holy Land will be a totally insignificant minority, with just people running the churches and the institutions and no viable Christian community in the Holy Land."
Friday, December 29, 2006
Yesterday was the Feast of the Holy Innocents in the liturgical calendar of the Roman Catholic Church. This feast celebrates the deaths of innocent children who literally died for (in place of) Christ and whom the Church has venerated as martyrs officially since about the sixth century. Their feast day has always been located in the Octave of Christmas to emphasize their intimate connection with the baby Jesus. We are reminded on this day of both the fragility of new life and our obligation to protect it and so it is fitting that as we enter this new year I challenge each of you to renew your commitment to the defense of innocent life.
First, contemplate. The Holy Innocents' feast day serves both as a reminder of a tragic historical event and as a grim reality check for those of us who live in this society where abortion is practiced as casually as shopping! A short moment of reflection on this scriptural passage will help us to discern the parallels to the abortion industry in our society: the irrational command of a powerful person to kill, the executioners with blood on their hands, the suffering of the innocent victims and the secondary victims who were scarred forever by the deaths of their children. We also contemplate the truth that "where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more," (Rom 5:20) in order to see how God brings good out of so much evil.
Second, pray. Pray for those who are blinded to this reality and ask God to grant them the grace of conversion. Remember that we are all tainted by this massacre of innocents because our lives are intertwined with the culture of death, so we must pray with humility for the gift of perseverance to bring it to an end. Prayer will bring the power of Christ to bear on this sinful institution of death. He alone can transform the world.
Third, act. God does not work through prayers only. We are His hands and feet in this world so our pro-life resolutions for 2007 have to be very direct and specific; if you are not sure what to do, I have given some suggestions below on how to meet the challenges set before us:
- Find the local abortion clinic in your community and make a promise to pray there at least three times in 2007—minimum.
- While you're at it, find the local pregnancy care center and make contact with them. It is likely they are in need of volunteers. Be one of them! They all operate on shoe-string budgets too so support them!
- Speak up in some forum and defend life, be it on the internet, in a letter to the editor, or in conversations with friends, family and co-workers. Of course they will call you a fanatic! It does not matter. You must think of that Day when the Lord will ask you what you did to defend His precious little ones. You must be able to say you spoke out on their behalf.
- Boycott the businesses that fund the death industry. These groups don't deserve one dollar of our hard-earned money if they are material cooperators in the killing of innocents. The most reputable boycott group that I know of is Life Decisions International whose detailed corporate boycott list you can order from their website (www.fightpp.org) and who provide ongoing insight into the activities of Planned Parenthood.
I'm sure there's much more we can all do, but these things are good for starters! I will be praying for you and your families as we finish this year of pro-life election losses and enter into a year full of hope and promise. May the Holy Innocents guide our commitment to be more active in saving their innocent brothers and sisters!
Fr.'s third directive is quite important. Most of us sit on the sidelines watching and allowing others to do the work. (btw...under Fr.'s #3-3 "Speak up in some forum and defend life, be it on the internet, in a letter to the editor, or in conversations with friends, family and co-workers." It's quite easy to blog. Once you set up your blog, you can email/inform family & friends a pro-life spot/bulletin board of information for them to share with others too!)
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."
Hackers are paying 10 euros each for the privilege of hanging special homebrew RFID tags around their necks or slapping them on their laptop bags. Every few seconds, each of these "CCC Sputnik" badges reports its owner's position to an array of 35 monitoring stations, and spits out the guinea-pigs' every move over a public XML feed.
Why is the CCC, a venue more commonly associated with RFID cracks and spychip destruction devices, supporting such an invasion of its members' privacy? One of the project's leaders, Milosch Meriac, explains the motivation to create the system was to make obvious what is normally hidden in how our technology tracks us.
"The idea was that most of this surveillance technology slowly faded into our lives, and we accepted them," Meriac says. "(We want to) make it possible to bring it into people's heads."
What's the point if it's not cost-effective? Maybe to continue to desensitize the public to the whole concept? I think that's what it's about. We're asking for trouble if we continue down this slippery slope. Scratch that. We're down it and about to hit rock bottom!
It costs about $15,000 to clone a cow, compared to $2,000 for natural breeding. Meanwhile, recent polls show more than half of Americans say they wouldn't buy cloned meat even if they could.
In an International Food Information Council poll (.pdf) in 2006, 58 percent of Americans surveyed said they would be unlikely to buy meat or milk from animal clones even if the FDA deemed the products safe. And earlier this month, a Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology poll found that "animal cloning causes great discomfort among American consumers."
The FDA says meat and milk from clones should be subject to the same safety regulations as any other food product, but it sees no need for any special labeling -- a recommendation that's already stirring controversy.
"This is a lose-lose decision by the FDA," said Andrew Kimbrell, executive director at the Center for Food Safety. "People lose, the animals lose, the meat and dairy industry loses because they will lose confidence in their products."
Without special labeling for cloned food, the meat and dairy industry stands to lose up to 15 percent in sales, Kimbrell said,because some people will avoid all meat and dairy if there's a chance some of it could come from clones. "You know Europe and the organic market will refuse (cloned products)," Kimbrell said.
This is good information to pass along to others.
The priests had gathered together to study. The reason for their arrest is unknown. For some time now, the Patriotic Association has been conducting a harsh campaign to clamp down on unofficial communities.
Do you take it for granted that you can get up on Sunday morning or weekday mornings and attend your local parish Mass, with your local parish priest - a U.S. citizen - as celebrant? without any fear?
Prayers for these priests. Oh, Dear Blessed Mother please I beg your intercession for the protection of your sons-priests around the world, most especially these. Oh, St. Maxmilian Kobe please intercede as well on their behalf. Ask our Almighty Father that they please be protected from all harm and to please provide the courage and strength they need to endure their imprisonment.
Thursday, December 28, 2006
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
H.R. 501, The MEDIA Act (Meaningful Expression of Democracy in America)
Democrats will be working hard on this bill...get ready as they are going to try and shut down all Conservative Talk Radio. Example.
"When asked whether television and radio stations that use public airwaves should be required to present the sides of an issue in a reasonably balanced way -- including giving time to opposing points of view -- fully 77% say that they should, and only 17% say that they should not."
WHAT THIS LEGISLATION WOULD DO
The MEDIA Act would reinstate the Fairness Doctrine for broadcasters holding licenses from the Federal Communications Commission. This change would ensure that broadcasters present discussions of conflicting views on issues of public importance.
Baking (holiday) in the Seattle area is harmful to the environment?! Gosh. So, not only is it harmful to my waistline but harmful to fish and wildlife.
...tests of treated sewage sent into the sound from the West Point treatment plant in Magnolia showed cinnamon, vanilla and artificial vanilla levels rose between Nov. 14 and Dec. 9, with the biggest spike right after Thanksgiving.
I'll have to remind my family and friends not to bake so as not to disturb the eco-systems where they live and I guess this could be used as an excuse to politely refuse grandma's fruitcakes.
Sunday, December 24, 2006
A child's definition of love...
“Love is what is in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.”
May each of you have hearts so full of listening that, like Mary, you may be aware of the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior who has
appeared, become completely at home with the Word of the God who is Love, move in and out of it with ease, and let it form the basis of all your doings. (cf.Pope Benedict XVI, “Deus Caritas Est”)