August 19, 2006

In practice and in attitude, are we forgetting that the Eucharist is a covenant?

Another good question came in.

I've tried to answer.
Click HERE for it.

Tsunami victims still in need ... and now also Palestinians, Israelis and Lebanese

You can donate through the website of Catholic Relief Services which is responding to the immediate and long-term needs of the victims of natural disasters and man-made misfortunes throughout the world.
Click HERE for it.

The family that BRAYS together stays together ... while getting evicted.

A family in an east Berlin apartment engages in raucous nocturnal praying that keeps the whole building awake.

Residents of the apartment building say the family's singing and shouting inside their second-floor dwelling sometimes starts at 2:30 in the morning and can be heard even on the building's fifth floor.

On many occasions during the ten months since the family moved in, neighbors have asked them to quiet down, but the family has never complied.

The father of the family says, "I really don't want to disturb the neighbors but the high volume is needed in the battle against the devil."

The family is now fighting an eviction order in court.

- - - -
I got the details from the Deutsche-Welle website.
Click HERE for it.

August 18, 2006

"Smoke now, burn later." Mortal sin alert: ALL tobacco exposure is bad, not just for the lungs, but also for the heart ... and the soul.

It affects lethally the body of one who smokes or chews it.

Lung cancer, oral cancer, heart attacks....

Tobacco smoke also compromises the health of those who are near a smoker.

Because tobacco is proven to be harmful to one's health and life— and also to that of others nearby— using tobacco can be a sin, even a mortal sin.

"Thou shalt not kill!"

Smoke now, burn later.
"Researchers at McMaster University in Ontario found that any form of tobacco increased the risk of heart attack. For example in heavy smokers the risk of heart attack tripled as compared to non-smokers. In light smokers, who smoked 8-10 cigarettes a day, the risk of heart attack doubled."
Read the complete article online.
Click HERE for it.

St. Roque, Patron Saint of Dogs

I spotted a news video about a Mass in Bolivia attended by dogs on the feast of St. Roque.

In the interview with the priest, he states that love for God comes first. Second, love for one's children and spouse. Third, love for neighbors. Fourth, love for animals.

I don't know if the following link for the news video will work for everyone.
Click HERE for it.

The Chocolate Lady

One of my readers, Kevin, from India, alerted me to this.

A candymaker found a peculiar chocolate formation on Monday when cleaning drippings beneath a vat of chocolate.

It does not look like the Blessed Virgin Mary to me.

Workers have been leaving rose petals and praying in the presence of the piece of chocolate.

I'd like to suggest the following prayer.

Bless us, O Lord, and these thy gifts....

CNN has the story online.
Click HERE for it.

August 17, 2006

The ADDITIONAL outrage by Madonna

We all know she's been touring the world with a concert that includes her number "Live to Tell," in which she stages a " mock crucifixion of herself on a glittering cross and wearing a crown of thorns. Despite objections from Catholic, Muslim and Jewish leaders she performed it in Rome, only two miles from the Vatican.

However, I just learned today that during the number in Rome she included background video in which she mixed images of Pope Benedict XVI with those of Hitler and Mussolini.

I read it in a report published today by Elizabeth Lev who writes from Rome for

Washington's Monument to Anti-Catholicism

The monument is 555 feet tall.

In 1852, construction on the Washington Monument had reached about 150 feet in height.

That year, the Vatican sent word that Pope Pius IX would send a stone for the monument’s interior wall.

The anti-Catholic “Know Nothing” political organization reacted to the news with furious objections.

The Pope’s stone arrived, but due to the controversy it was stored in a shed on the construction grounds.

On 6 March 1854, intruders broke into the shed and stole the Pope’s stone.

As a result, contributions for building the monument slowed down to a trickle.

By the end of the same year the project ran out of money.

Construction had reached 152 feet in height, but now came to a complete stop.

The work did not resume until after the Civil War.

However, stone for the monument now came from a different quarry, and was not the same color as before.

Look at the pictures, and notice that the difference in color is visible.

Pope Pius IX

August 16, 2006

German authorities will monitor Madonna’s “crucifixion” to see if she warrants prosecution for illegally insulting religion

Madonna is scheduled to perform next Sunday in Düsseldorf, Germany. Her current international concert tour includes a mock crucifixion scene that she performed earlier this month near the Vatican.

German legal authorities will monitor Madonna's upcoming concert on Sunday to see if legal action is warranted. Prosecutors could construe the crucifixion scene as an illegal insult to religious beliefs, but it might also be permitted under German laws protecting artistic freedom.

[Speaking of an insult to religious beliefs: see the following post.]

“Liturgical smoke-potters” . . . or “Liturgical pot-smokers”?

Here they are (with their lavender color-scheme) — ready to do their Tiptoe dance.

Okay, you dancers!

Wave your pots and tip your toes!

Wave your pots and tip your toes!

Remember to smile like real entertainers!

You want to encourage the congregation to sit back and just watch YOU.

It's high time that Catholics settle into PASSIVE participation in the liturgy.

Now, here is your Tiptoe soundtrack. Click on the image below to listen.

Tiptoe . . .
through the pot-smoke,
through the pot-smoke,
through the pot-smoke, pot-smoke!
Tiptoe . . .
through the pot-smoke
with me!

The experience of the priest who ministered to Timothy McVeigh on death row

[Excerpt from an August 15, 2006, Catholic News Service article.]

When he ministered to Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, Divine Word Father Charles Smith found that his faith, instilled in him by loving parents despite the childhood pain of discrimination, enabled him to be Christ's representative even as the inmate verbally assaulted him. "When I first came in (to see him) I thought 'God is the owner of my life,' and I went to him and he threw his feces on me and called me all types of names and said, 'You can't be a priest because I've never seen a you-know-what as a priest,'" Father Smith said Aug. 5. "The devil was messin' with me." He made the comments in a workshop he led during the 2006 Interregional African-American Catholic Evangelization Conference, which was held Aug. 4-6 in Atlanta. Other priests and Southern Baptist ministers had previously worked— unsuccessfully— with the man found guilty of bombing the Oklahoma City federal building in 1995 and murdering the 168 people who died from the blast. But Father Smith persevered in his ministry to McVeigh and the convicted murderer, who was a baptized Catholic, began to repent. "He did a lot of things, but in the end we had confession, reconciliation. In the end he asked me a question a lot of people ask me. He asked, 'Father Charles, can I still get to heaven?'"

The priest said he responded, "I am not your judge," but reminded McVeigh that he had told him, "You must submit your will and ask God for true forgiveness.... You knew there were a lot of innocent people and children in that building."

McVeigh asked Father Smith to walk with him to his June 11, 2001, execution. "And the tears came running down. He was crying, I was crying because he did something that changed my life, too.

= = =

Catholic News Service has the complete article online.
Click HERE for it.

August 15, 2006

August 15: the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

I have posted a homily for the occasion.
Click HERE for it.

August 14, 2006

meChurch . . . where it’s all about me . . .

. . . me . . .

. . . me . . .

. . . me . . .

Click on the following image to view a short video.

I saw it on Fanatholic's blog.
Click HERE for it.

August 13, 2006

Vatican Radio has published its translation of the recent historic interview of Pope Benedict XVI with journalists.

Click HERE for it.

The liturgy of the Church acclaims John 6 (the "Eucharistic Chapter") as the heart of the entire Bible.

The thirty-four "ordinary" Sundays of the Church year have a repeating three-year calendar cycle of readings: Year A, Year B and Year C.

The three-year cycle allows the Church to read through nearly the entire Bible at Sunday Mass.

We are presently in the middle of Year B, during which we read through the Gospel of Mark more or less from beginning to end.

However, on the seventeenth ordinary Sunday of Year B (that is, exactly halfway through the thirty-four ordinary Sundays), the Church interrupts her reading of the Gospel of Mark, and she inserts the sixth chapter of the Gospel of John, dividing that chapter into five consecutive sections.

We begin reading John 6 on the seventeenth Sunday, and we finish reading it on the twenty-first Sunday; then we return to the Gospel of Mark.

That interruption puts John 6 in the middle of our three-year course through the Bible.

Because of this fact, we can say that the liturgy of the Church celebrates John 6 (the "Eucharistic Chapter") as the center of the entire Bible.

I have posted a homily on John 6:41-51 (which is the section for today, the nineteenth ordinary Sunday of year B).

The homily underscores how Jesus presents his Eucharistic Flesh and Blood as the "bottom line" or the "be all and end all" of faith for those who authentically believe in him.
Click HERE for it.