Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Don Ross

From the title of this post, I bet you were hoping to see the afro'd painter drawing up some happy trees.  Rest assured that this video will not disappoint you.  Don Ross (not Bob Ross) is a gifted guitarist with a very percussive sound.  He has released several solo albums and I find many of his songs to be spiritually uplifting.  This video is him performing "Klimbim".  Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Occupy Wall Street is a disgrace to America

Creative Minority Report: Other than the Arrests and Rapes... Occupy Wall Street continues to be a disgrace to America. Despite having no idea what they are even protesting, this pretty much sums it up.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Pope Pius Clock

This may be the greatest idea ever.  There have been 12 popes throughout the Church's history that have taken the name of Pius.  I recently ran across this website:  I gotta get me one of these clocks!

Out of all the popes that have ever lived, the popes that have taken the name Pius have been my favorite of all time.  Two of our most important Marian dogmas were defined by a pope named Pius.  Blessed Pius IX had one of the longest reigns ever from 1846-1878 and dogmatically defined the Immaculate Conception of Mary in 1854.  Pius XII reigned from 1939-1958 and dogmatically defined the Assumption of Mary in 1950.

St. Pius V reigned from 1566-1572 and enforced the observance of the discipline of the Council of Trent, raised the standard of morality for the clergy, and imposed uniformity in the liturgy.  At the time of the Council of Trent, the traditions preserved in printed and manuscript missals varied considerably, and standardization was sought both within individual dioceses and throughout the Latin West. Standardization was required also in order to prevent the introduction into the liturgy of Protestant ideas in the wake of the Protestant Reformation.  His Roman Missal of 1570 became the standard for the Tridentine Mass that is still used today in the Extraordinary Form of the Latin Rite in its latest version of 1962 by Blessed John XXIII.  

St. Pius V was the last pope to be canonized a saint up until the canonization of St. Pius X who reigned from 1903-1914.  St. Pius X is the last pope to be canonized and is hands down my all time favorite pope.  He promoted frequent reception of Holy Communion, ordered authentic use of Gregorian Chant, and released a short catechism with questions and answers regarding the essentials of Catholic faith and doctrine.  In 1910, he issued his famous Oath Against Modernism.  St. Pius X was a very orthodox and traditional pope and he deplored modernism.  He sets up the oath with this opening statement:
It seems to Us that it has not been ignored by none of the holy Bishops [Sacrorum Antistitum] that the class of men, the modernists, whose personality was described in the encyclical letter Pascendi dominici gregis, have not refrained from working in order to disturb the peace of the Church. They have not ceased to attract followers, either, by forming a clandestine group; by these means, they inject in the very veins of the Christian Republic the virus of their doctrine, by editing books and publishing articles in anonymity or with pseudonyms. By reading anew Our aforementioned letter, and considering it carefully, it is clearly seen that this deliberate movement is the work of the men that we described in it, enemies that are the more dangerous the closer they are; that abuse their ministry by offering poisoned nourishment and by surprising the less cautious; by handing a false doctrine in which the sum of all errors is enclosed.
Here is the actual text of the Oath Against Modernism which pretty much sums up what St. Pius X was all about:

To be sworn to by all clergy, pastors, confessors, preachers, religious superiors, and professors in philosophical-theological seminaries.
I . . . . firmly embrace and accept each and every definition that has been set forth and declared by the unerring teaching authority of the Church, especially those principal truths which are directly opposed to the errors of this day. And first of all, I profess that God, the origin and end of all things, can be known with certainty by the natural light of reason from the created world, that is, from the visible works of creation, as a cause from its effects, and that, therefore, his existence can also be demonstrated: Secondly, I accept and acknowledge the external proofs of revelation, that is, divine acts and especially miracles and prophecies as the surest signs of the divine origin of the Christian religion and I hold that these same proofs are well adapted to the understanding of all eras and all men, even of this time. Thirdly, I believe with equally firm faith that the Church, the guardian and teacher of the revealed word, was personally instituted by the real and historical Christ when he lived among us, and that the Church was built upon Peter, the prince of the apostolic hierarchy, and his successors for the duration of time. Fourthly, I sincerely hold that the doctrine of faith was handed down to us from the apostles through the orthodox Fathers in exactly the same meaning and always in the same purport. Therefore, I entirely reject the heretical' misrepresentation that dogmas evolve and change from one meaning to another different from the one which the Church held previously. I also condemn every error according to which, in place of the divine deposit which has been given to the spouse of Christ to be carefully guarded by her, there is put a philosophical figment or product of a human conscience that has gradually been developed by human effort and will continue to develop indefinitely. Fifthly, I hold with certainty and sincerely confess that faith is not a blind sentiment of religion welling up from the depths of the subconscious under the impulse of the heart and the motion of a will trained to morality; but faith is a genuine assent of the intellect to truth received by hearing from an external source. By this assent, because of the authority of the supremely truthful God, we believe to be true that which has been revealed and attested to by a personal God, our creator and lord.
Furthermore, with due reverence, I submit and adhere with my whole heart to the condemnations, declarations, and all the prescripts contained in the encyclical Pascendi and in the decree Lamentabili,especially those concerning what is known as the history of dogmas. I also reject the error of those who say that the faith held by the Church can contradict history, and that Catholic dogmas, in the sense in which they are now understood, are irreconcilable with a more realistic view of the origins of the Christian religion. I also condemn and reject the opinion of those who say that a well-educated Christian assumes a dual personality-that of a believer and at the same time of a historian, as if it were permissible for a historian to hold things that contradict the faith of the believer, or to establish premises which, provided there be no direct denial of dogmas, would lead to the conclusion that dogmas are either false or doubtful. Likewise, I reject that method of judging and interpreting Sacred Scripture which, departing from the tradition of the Church, the analogy of faith, and the norms of the Apostolic See, embraces the misrepresentations of the rationalists and with no prudence or restraint adopts textual criticism as the one and supreme norm. Furthermore, I reject the opinion of those who hold that a professor lecturing or writing on a historico-theological subject should first put aside any preconceived opinion about the supernatural origin of Catholic tradition or about the divine promise of help to preserve all revealed truth forever; and that they should then interpret the writings of each of the Fathers solely by scientific principles, excluding all sacred authority, and with the same liberty of judgment that is common in the investigation of all ordinary historical documents.
Finally, I declare that I am completely opposed to the error of the modernists who hold that there is nothing divine in sacred tradition; or what is far worse, say that there is, but in a pantheistic sense, with the result that there would remain nothing but this plain simple fact-one to be put on a par with the ordinary facts of history-the fact, namely, that a group of men by their own labor, skill, and talent have continued through subsequent ages a school begun by Christ and his apostles. I firmly hold, then, and shall hold to my dying breath the belief of the Fathers in the charism of truth, which certainly is, was, and always will be in the succession of the episcopacy from the apostles. The purpose of this is, then, not that dogma may be tailored according to what seems better and more suited to the culture of each age; rather, that the absolute and immutable truth preached by the apostles from the beginning may never be believed to be different, may never be understood in any other way.
I promise that I shall keep all these articles faithfully, entirely, and sincerely, and guard them inviolate, in no way deviating from them in teaching or in any way in word or in writing. Thus I promise, this I swear, so help me God.
Too bad the professors in our Catholic universities today do not have to take this oath.  That is a whole other story for another day....

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Extraordinary Form of the Latin Rite

Below are some great resources on the Extraordinary Form of the Latin Rite.  In July 2007, Pope Benedict issued his Apostolic Letter Summorum Pontificum which loosened previous restrictions on celebrating the ancient traditional mass (now called the Extraordinary Form of the mass).  The missal used for the Extraordinary Form is the 1962 missal of Blessed John XXIII.  Earlier this year in May 2011, a further instruction called Universae Ecclesiae was released which clarifies some of the finer points concerning the implementation of Summorum Pontificum.

Many of the resources that you read online about the traditional mass come from groups that are not in full communion with Rome (most notably, the SSPX), and you can bet that there will be plenty of bashing of the so called "Novus Ordo (New Order)" Church on these websites.  They will not have anything to do with the Ordinary Form of the Latin Rite (which is the normal form of mass that most Catholics celebrate) and claim that it is somehow inferior to the traditional form of mass (now called the Extraordinary Form) that was celebrated for centuries prior to Vatican 2.  You have to watch out for these so called "traditional" Catholics that are sedevacantists or in schism who fail to recognize that being in communion with the Holy Father of Rome is one of the tenants of being a "traditional" Catholic.  A traditional Catholic that denies the Holy Father is an oxymoron.  Although I can sympathize with their sentiments, I don't think that bashing the Catholic Church or going into schism is the appropriate way to handle things.  So never fear!  There is a plethora of traditional Catholics like myself out there who enjoy learning about the ancient traditions of our faith without abandoning the Holy Father and our bishops.  

Despite the arguments and politics over these issues, it is important to remember that the Church has definitely been through worse times and has always survived as the good Lord promised it would.  Just read about the state of Rome and the papacy from the 12th through 14th centuries and it will make your head spin.  But then again, Jesus chose 12 apostles who weren't much better.  One betrayed him, one denied him three times, nine others abandoned him in his greatest time of need on Good Friday.  Only the blessed St. John stood at the cross.  

I became interested in the Extraordinary Form once I started attending St. John Cantius in downtown Chicago.  Check out their website here if you are interested in learning more about this phenomenal parish.  So if anyone out there is looking for some good resources on the Extraordinary Form of the Latin Rite and is interested in learning more, check out the video and links below.  

Here is a video by Jimmy Akin at Catholic Answers giving a good summary of the Extraordinary Form:

Click here for a copy of the Apostolic Letter Summorum Pontificum by Pope Benedict. 

Click here for an article on Father Z's blog about Universae Ecclesiae released earlier this year.

Click here for a listing of masses celebrated in the Extraordinary Form near you.

Click here for a tutorial on the Extraordinary Form by St. John Cantius parish in Chicago.  St. John Cantius parish is often recognized as the leading authority in the country on teaching the Extraordinary Form.  The EWTN website even references them for learning about the traditional mass.  I'm lucky enough to have them close to where I live!

Click here for information about the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (often called the FSSP which is the initials of their Latin title).  They are often called upon to celebrate the Extraordinary Form in parishes that want the old mass, but have pastors who do not know how to say the old mass.  The FSSP is trained for this very purpose.  They have a presence at Saints Peter and Paul in Naperville, IL and celebrate the Extraordinary Form there every day. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Plenary Indulgence For All Souls Day

2 November indulgences coming up. Have a plan? | Fr. Z's Blog – What Does The Prayer Really Say?

Holy souls in Purgatory

Check out Father Z's blog post above about gaining a plenary indulgence for All Souls Day (November 2).  Before doing so, I suggest you click here for a New Advent article if you don't really understand what an indulgence is and the difference between a plenary indulgence and partial indulgence.  Fulton Sheen explained confession and indulgences by the analogy of driving a nail into a piece of wood.  A sacramental confession takes that nail out, but the hole in the wood remains.  The indulgence fills in that hole.  In other words, God forgives our eternal punishment through confession so that we don't end up in hell for our mortal sins, but the indulgence helps us to erase the temporal punishment that we would otherwise go through in Purgatory.  We either pay for it now or we will pay for it later when we are saved "as by fire" (1 Corinthians 3:15).  

In order to make the indulgence qualify as a plenary indulgence, the acts must be accompanied by a sacramental confession, reception of holy communion, prayers for the intentions of the Pope, and you must be free from all attachment to sin (even venial sin).  If you perform the works of the indulgence, but do not meet all of the criteria for a plenary indulgence, it will only be a partial indulgence.  The indulgences granted for All Souls Day are very fitting indulgences since we celebrate All Souls Day to offer our prayers and sacrifices for the holy souls who are suffering in Purgatory.  The indulgence we receive may help us to never end up in Purgatory ourselves.  To use a loose analogy, we should all aim for the non-stop flight to heaven instead of having to go through a connecting flight in Purgatory.  Indulgences offered by the Church along with prayers, fasting, and almsgiving will help us on that journey.

If you really want to be a spiritual warrior, you can gain multiple indulgences and offer those up to God to be applied to souls in Purgatory so that they can be released from the bondage of Purgatory and enjoy the beatific vision of heaven.  Offering up an indulgence to be applied to a soul in Purgatory is a great spiritual work of mercy recognized by the Church.  Who knows....that soul may then return the favor and pray for you.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Marc Martel - Somebody to Love

Queen's Roger Taylor launched a North American talent search that offers vocalists and musicians the opportunity to star in the Queen Extravaganza, which is a live touring show celebrating and paying tribute to the songs, style and vision of the band Queen.  Many auditions came in, but this video below stands out.

Marc Martel states that he has had no formal training and a knack for mimicry.  Martel stated, “I’ve been in a band full-time over the past ten years (called Downhere) and it’s been a pretty great time with my best friends. But as far as 2012, our touring schedule is looking kind of sparse. A friend of mine emailed me the link to the Queen Extravaganza and I thought ‘I don’t know if I have the strength to not do this.’ As it stands right now, my schedule is pretty open – I don’t know if there’s money or not but my wife said ‘This is an opportunity that doesn’t come along very often.’”

With no expectations, Martel decided to sing the song simply and without theatrics.  Martel’s band, by the way, is a Christian rock band.  I'm rooting for him to make it big some day.

The story of an atheist

An atheist was walking through the woods.
"What majestic trees!  What powerful rivers!  What beautiful animals!" he said to himself. As he was walking alongside the river, he heard a rustling in the bushes behind him. He turned to look. He saw a 7-foot grizzly bear charge towards him.

He ran as fast as he could up the path.
He looked over his shoulder and saw that the bear was closing in on him….He looked over his shoulder again, and the bear was even closer.  He tripped and fell on the ground.  He rolled over to pick himself up but saw that the bear was right on top of him, reaching for him with his left paw and raising his right paw to strike him.  At that instant, the atheist cried out:

"Oh my God!"
Time stopped.  The bear froze.  The forest was silent.  As a bright light shone upon the man, a voice came out of the sky: "You deny My existence for all these years, teach others I don’t exist, and even credit creation to cosmic accident.  Do you expect me to help you out of this predicament? Am I to count you as a believer?" The atheist looked directly into the light, "It would be hypocritical of me to suddenly ask you to treat me as a Christian now, but perhaps you could make the BEAR a Christian?"  "Very well," said the voice.  The light went out.  The sounds of the forest resumed.  And the bear dropped his right paw, brought both paws together, bowed his head and spoke:

"Lord bless this food, which I am about to receive from Thy bounty through Christ our Lord, Amen."

Magic Trick Gone Wrong

I remember when I once put on a magic show for my brother's birthday party when I was a little kid.  None of my tricks were working and everything was going horribly wrong.  At least the end result was not as bad as these two kids.......

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Fulton Sheen on Atheism

If you are familiar with my previous posts, you probably know already that I have a great admiration for G.K. Chesterton.  In my opinion, he was the best writer of the 20th century.  But who was the greatest speaker of the 20th century?  I think it would be hard to argue against Fulton Sheen.  Above is an audio clip of Fulton Sheen dealing with atheism.

Sheen was born in El Paso, Illinois in 1895. After his family moved to Peoria, Illinois, Sheen's first role in the Church was as an altar boy at St. Mary's Cathedral. While proving to be a popular professor, Sheen's interests were primarily off-campus. After writing two scholarly books, he began publishing a lengthy list of more or less popular books and articles that would earn him honors and praise throughout the country. In 1928, he went on the “Catholic Hour,” a nationally broadcast radio program. He quickly became the program's most popular preacher and for more than two decades was asked to preach during Lent and at Holy Days. Vast quantities of letters and financial donations poured in on “Catholic Hour” officials whenever Sheen spoke.

Sheen was soon in demand throughout the country and Western Europe as a preacher, retreat leader, and teacher. He preached annually at St. Patrick's Cathedral, where he packed the huge church and received much attention in the press. When, in 1951, the Archdiocese of New York decided to enter the world of television, Sheen was a natural choice to appear on screen. The initial half-hour lectures were broadcast on the tiny Dumont Network, opposite big budget programs by comedian Milton Berle, "Mr. Television," and singer-actor Frank Sinatra. No one gave Sheen a chance to compete effectively. In its second year, Sheen's program "Life Is Worth Living" moved to the ABC Network and had a sponsor, the Admiral Corporation.

Airing opposite NBC's highly popular Milton Berle show on Tuesday nights, Sheen was the only person ever to give "Mr. Television", also known as "Uncle Miltie", a run for his money. Sheen drew as many as 10 million viewers each week.  Sheen and Berle enjoyed a friendly rivalry. Berle is reported to have joked, "We both work for the same boss, 'Sky Chief Supreme'", making reference to a grade of gasoline produced by Texaco, his sponsor. Later, when Sheen won an Emmy, Berle quipped, "He's got better writers - Matthew, Mark, Luke and John!" As a take-off on Berle's popular nickname with the public, Sheen once opened his program by saying "Good evening, this is Uncle Fultie." The charismatic Sheen became one of television's earliest and most unlikely superstars, winning an Emmy Award for "Most Outstanding Television Personality" in 1952, appearing on the cover of Time magazine, and entering the "most admired" list of Americans. During his Emmy Award acceptance speech he happily borrowed Berle's line, crediting his four writers - Matthew, Mark, Luke and John - for his success.

Sheen often made bold statements against communism and socialism. In 1953, an episode of Life Is Worth Living consisted of a reading of the burial scene from Julius Caesar, with Sheen substituting the names of Stalin, Beria, Malenkov and Vishinsky for Caesar, Cassius, Marc Antony and Brutus. Sheen dramatically stated "Stalin must one day meet his judgment." One week later, Russian dictator Joseph Stalin was dead from a stroke.

Sheen's talks, delivered in the full regalia of a bishop, were masterful. He worked on each presentation for 35 hours, delivering it in Italian and French to clarify his thoughts before going on television. He at no time used notes or cue cards, and always ended on time. The set was a study with a desk, a few chairs, and some books; the only prop was a blackboard. A four-foot statue of Madonna and Child on a pedestal was clearly visible. Sheen's humor, charm, intelligence, and considerable acting skill radiated throughout the "Life Is Worth Living" series, captivating millions eager to hear Christian answers to life's common problems.

Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen died in 1979 at the age of 84. Now, decades later, the Catholic world is beginning to look at him again, not just because he was a great orator and communicator, but because his public evangelising helps us understand how to face the serious situation in which the Church finds herself today, in an increasingly secularised society.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Soaking in a fudge tub

How to Make a Chocolate Bubble Bath - wikiHow

This is a great idea!! Although it probably would not be a good idea in our bath tub since it might clog up the jets.....

Saturday, May 21, 2011

IVF Children Suffer More Over-All Health Problems Than Naturally-Conceived Children

IVF Children Suffer More Over-All Health Problems Than Naturally-Conceived Children

Well this is not shocking news. Anytime we try to play God, the results may not turn out in our favor. I ran across a website recently that promotes prayers for couples trying to conceive. It seemed like a good website and allows people to register to join support groups, but unfortunately there are many couples on the site that are admittedly trying to conceive through IVF. Since I couldn't play the "that's against church teaching" card because chances are many of the people on the website were non-Catholics (and even the Catholics on the site could probably care less since the majority of Catholics in the US don't obey church teaching on these issues anyway - e.g., Humanae Vitae).

So the best I could do was offer prayers and support, and also provide them with information about NaProTechnology ( and the Pope Paul VI Institute ( for those that were looking for alternatives to IVF. I have not received any comments back yet on my post, but I'm just waiting for someone to claim that I'm somehow "judging" them for using IVF, or that I may have "offended" someone on the site who has already conceived through IVF. The words "are you judging me?" and "I'm offended" are like nails on a chalk board for me. Anytime someone tries to shed some light on a subject and explain the reasons for their beliefs or positions, it is automatically assumed that you are judging people, which is simply not the case. For example, if someone was addicted to cocaine and sat on their couch with a crack pipe all day, I would tell that person that smoking crack will probably kill them at some point. If the person responded with "are you judging me?", I would respond with "No. I am not judging you. Only God will be your judge at the end of your earthly life. I am simply helping you, which is a big difference."

The same goes for issues concerning the spirit. All humans are made up of body and soul. We take care of our bodies and we should also take care of our souls.  So when I throw out moral advice based on sound, Catholic doctrine and the reasoning of the natural law, I am in no way trying to judge the person, but simply offering my advice and trying to help the person (the same way we would help someone who smokes crack all day).

The first step to re-identifying the Christian roots of Western Civilization and counteracting the neo-pagan society that we live in is to avoid the pride of being "offended" everytime someone looks at us wrong.  This rhetoric of being "offended" is simply a way to avoid looking in the mirror and facing reality.  It is definitely one of the most difficult things to do.  I admit struggling with pride when someone points out my errors or my flawed logic on a particular subject.  The best thing to do is listen with open ears and an open heart and put all of the political correctness aside.  We need to embrace humility by recognizing that we don't have control over our lives, but God does.  We want to control when and how we have a child through IVF instead of letting God's will be done. 

Some people argue that the church's stance against IVF contradicts the church's stance on birth control and abortion because they believe that we should be open to life (i.e., the argument that God wouldn't want to deny a child to anyone, therefore IVF is acceptable).  They are missing the boat completely and deflecting the real issue at hand.  It is instead the concept of gaining control by trying to "play God" (through scientific measures in some cases).  We want to control the number of children we have through "birth control".  Unwanted pregnancies make us feel like we've lost control since our future plans will have to change with a bady.  Feminists use the argument that women should have control over their bodies, so they should have the right to an abortion, which is nonsense because common sense, moral law, and scientific evidence illustrates that the real issue is whether we should have control over the life of an independent human baby with his/her own set of rights and his/her own dignity as an individual human person.  It circles back to the whole "judging" thing, which is a misnomer because the argument has nothing to do with the rights of the woman, but the rights of the innocent baby!  That is why I emphasize that sometimes it isn't about you (remember that whole humility thing??). 

Don't believe the lies that contraception leads to less abortions.  It is statistically not true.  Besides, birth control lays the foundation for an anti-life culture that leads to a more accepting mentality of abortion.  If we can prevent pregnancies on the front end, why not terminate pregnancies on the back end?  The end result is the same.  The means are just different.  (This whole topic is another subject for another blog post, so I digress). 

G.K. Chesterton
Below is an excerpt about birth control by the great G.K. Chesterton from his book The Well and the Shallows.  This book was published in 1935 soon after the Anglican Church broke with constant, universal Christian teaching and began to sanction artificial birth control (which is a nice little tidbit of history you can point out to Protestants and liberal cafeteria Catholics who don't realize that birth control was condemned throughout all major forms of Christendom prior to the revolution started by the Anglicans in the early 20th century). 

"But there is one type of person for whom I feel what I can only call contempt. And that is the popular propagandist of what he or she absurdly describes as Birth-Control. I despise Birth-Control first because it is a weak and wobbly and cowardly word. It is also an entirely meaningless word; and is used so as to curry favour even with those who would at first recoil from its real meaning. The proceeding these quack doctors recommend does not control any birth. It only makes sure that there shall never be any birth to control......Normal people can only act so as to produce birth; and these people can only act so as to prevent birth. But these people know perfectly well as I do that the very word Birth-Prevention would strike a chill into the public, the instant it was blazoned on headlines, or proclaimed on platforms, or scattered in advertisements like any other quack medicine. They dare not call it by its name, because its name is very bad advertising. Therefore they use a conventional and unmeaning word, which may make the quack medicine sound more innocuous."

Do you think Chesterton was worried about "offending" anyone with these words?  No.  As with all good debators, he wants us to put down the gloves, quit hiding behind political correctness and the fear of judging/offending others, and speak honestly and openly about the issues at hand with an open ear and an open heart.  When we humbly open ourselves up to the truth, the natural law written on the hearts of all men and women will do its job and we will hopefully be able to convert more souls by the grace of God. 

Ad Jesum Per Mariam,


Friday, May 20, 2011

Three Is A Magic Number - Blind Melon Version

Here is a classic School House Rock song to kick the weekend off to a good start!!!  This is the Blind Melon version of the song.  There is no audio for the first 15 seconds of the video.  No worries though.  The song starts when the music video starts. 

Bad Forecast

I found this rather disturbing report on the weather channel.....

This would make a great cartoon

The Rapture On The Morrow

Geographic Travels: When Will the Supposed Rapture of 2011 Start?

Above is an entertaining article that I discovered about the supposed rapture to take place tomorrow (March 21, 2011) according to Harold Campman of Family Radio. There are plenty of other blog posts all over the internet about this, so it is not worth wasting more time discussing it. I just found this little article to be enjoyable :).

If you are looking for a good book to combat the errors of premillennial dispensationalism (fancy words.....I know......) and the rapture, I would suggest checking out Carl Olson's book titled "Will Catholics Be Left Behind?".  You can get it at Amazon through the link on the left.  I have personally read this book and I think it does a very good job of combating the errors of modern rapture theory, which was a pure invention of John Nelson Darby, who was a leader of the Fundamentalist movement in the 1800s.  Premillennialists teach that the rapture will occur before a period of persecution. This position, now known as the "pre-tribulational" view, became known as Dispensationalism. Darby’s pre-tribulational view of the rapture was then picked up by a man named C.I. Scofield, who taught the view in the footnotes of his Scofield Reference Bible, which was widely distributed in England and America. Many Protestants who read the Scofield Reference Bible uncritically accepted what its footnotes said and adopted the pre-tribulational view, even though no Christian had heard of it in the previous 1800 years of Church history.

Another good book on the subject is Paul Thigpen's "The Rapture Trap".  I have not read this book, but have heard and read wonderful things about it from reliable Catholic apologists.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

I LOL'ed

Catholic Resources Page Has Arrived

You will notice a link for "Catholic Resources" at the top of my blog.  Check it out and let me know what you think.  I will continue updating it as I discover more sources that I think are worth adding.  I have accumulated these web resources over the past several years and thought they would be worth sharing.  I hope someone is able to make use of it, but if not, at least I have these resources backed up to the Blogger server in case my computer ever crashes.  Enjoy!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Nine hour novena to the Infant Jesus of Prague

Infant Jesus of Prague

Read about the Infant Jesus of Prague at this website.

The feast day for the Infant Jesus of Prague was traditionally celebrated on the third Sunday of May (which would be this coming May 15, 2011).  This feast is not part of the current Roman Missal or the Missal of 1962 celebrated in the Western Church, but this is still a great devotion when you have an urgent prayer request.  We can use this "storm novena" or "flying novena" by praying it on nine consecutive hours in one day.  For instance, you could pray it at 8:00 a.m., 9:00 a.m., etc. until you have completed nine prayers.  This novena is very similar to the "Efficacious Novena to the Sacred Heart" which is a prayer that St. Padre Pio prayed every day.

O Jesus, Who has said,
ask and you shall receive,
seek and you shall find,
knock and it shall be opened to you,
through the intercession of Mary,
Your Most Holy Mother, I knock,
I seek, I ask that my prayer be granted.
(Make your request)

O Jesus, Who has said,
all that you ask of the Father in My Name,
He will grant you through the intercession of Mary.
Your Most Holy Mother.
I humbly and urgently ask Your Father
in Your Name that my prayer be granted.
(Make your request)

O Jesus, Who has said,
"Heaven and earth shall pass away
but My word shall not pass",
through the intercession of Mary,
Your Most Holy Mother,
I feel confident that my prayer will be granted.
(Make your request)

Novena to St. Rita of Cascia

St. Rita of Cascia (1381-1457)
Read about St. Rita of Cascia at this New Advent link.

St. Rita of Cascia's feast day is May 22, although she is currently removed from both the current Roman Missal and the Missal of 1962 (extraordinary form).  Many miracles have been attributed to her intercession.  She is sometimes referred to as the patron saint of the impossible.

In order to commemorate her feast on May 22, I invite you to a nine day novena from May 13 (today) through May 21. 

O holy protectress of those who art in greatest need, thou who shineth as a star of hope in the midst of darkness, blessed Saint Rita, bright mirror of God's grace, in patience and fortitude thou art a model of all the states in life. I unite my will with the will of God through the merits of my Savior Jesus Christ, and in particular through his patient wearing of the crown of thorns, which with tender devotion thou didst daily contemplate. Through the merits of the holy Virgin Mary and thine own graces and virtues, I ask thee to obtain my earnest petition, provided it be for the greater glory of God and my own sanctification. Guide and purify my intention, O holy protectress and advocate, so that I may obtain the pardon of all my sins and the grace to persevere daily, as thou didst in walking with courage, generosity, and fidelity down the path of life. (Mention your intentions here)

Saint Rita, advocate of the impossible, pray for us.
Saint Rita, advocate of the helpless, pray for us.

Recite the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be three times.

We can only pray for the virtue of temperance in times like these

As some of you fellow Bloggers may already know, Google's Blogger has been down for the last 20 hours.  Any changes to your blog that you made during that time were in "read only" mode and were probably lost.  During this time, I made some changes to the blog which were lost, but I was fortunately able to restore those changes since I backed them up.  However, I created a new page which has now been completely lost.  It was called "Catholic Resources" and I was going to include a link at the top of the blog.  It took me quite a while to put together, but now it is gone.....completely gone.....and I can't recover it.

The page included a wealth of links and resources for fellow Catholics.  It should not take me too long to put the page back together, but unfortunately I've lost all of the comments and side notes that I included with each link.  There is a chance that Blogger will restore this page in the next couple of days (as I read on some other blog), but I'm not keeping my fingers crossed.  Therefore, I'm going to proceed with re-creating this page and I'll re-post it when it is ready.  I probably won't include all of the side notes though (or at least I'll make them much shorter).

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Veni Creator Spiritus (Come, Holy Ghost)

Veni Creator Spiritus (Come, Holy Ghost) is a famous Catholic Gregorian chant traditionally used for Vespers (Evening Prayer) for the feast of Pentecost. This hymn is also traditionally sung during ordinations to the priesthood, while the Bishop imposes his hands on each of the ordinands and actually imprints the priestly character on their souls. It is sung on the occasion of the sacrament of Confirmation either as the entrance or exit hymn, or during the ceremony itself. The hymn was written by Rabanus Maurus (776-856).

If you have a few minutes, stop what you are doing, turn off all lights except for a small light/candle, make sure it is completely silent, click play above, and then close your eyes....Just as incense symbolizes our prayers rising up to God (see Rev. 8: 3-4), Gregorian chant is a beutiful way to lift our voices and our souls up to God.

Below is the English translation of Veni Creator Spiritus if you are interested in following along with the chant:

Come, Holy Ghost, Creator blest,
and in our hearts take up Thy rest;
come with Thy grace and heav'nly aid,
To fill the hearts which Thou hast made.

O Comforter, to Thee we cry,
Thou heav'nly gift of God most high,
Thou Fount of life, and Fire of love,
and sweet anointing from above.

O Finger of the hand divine,
the sevenfold gifts of grace are thine;
true promise of the Father thou,
who dost the tongue with power endow.

Thy light to every sense impart,
and shed thy love in every heart;
thine own unfailing might supply
to strengthen our infirmity.

Drive far away our ghostly foe,
and thine abiding peace bestow;
if thou be our preventing Guide,
no evil can our steps betide.

Praise we the Father and the Son
and Holy Spirit with them One;
and may the Son on us bestow
the gifts that from the Spirit flow.

V. Send forth Thy Spirit, and they shall be created.
R. And Thou shalt renew the face of the earth.

Let us Pray
O God, Who didst instruct the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Ghost: give to us, in the same Spirit, to know what is right, and ever rejoice in His consolation. Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, Who with Thee livest and reignest in the unity of the same Holy Spirit, God. World without end. Amen.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Friday, March 4, 2011

Mayor Lucy Lou

Mayor Lucy Lou
of Rabbit Hash, KY

Only in the great state of Kentucky can a town elect a dog as mayor. This is precisely what happened in Rabbit Hash, KY. Mayor Lucy Lou (left), a red and white border collie, was elected mayor back on November 5, 2008. Mayor Lucy Lou is taking over for Junior Cochran, also a fellow canine, who was elected mayor in November 2004. Unfortunately, Mayor Cochran died on May 17, 2008. Here is a link to their website where you can keep up with all the happenings in Rabbit Hash: What's Goin' on in Rabbit Hash. The election race in 2008 consisted of several dogs, 1 cat, 1 opossum, 1 donkey, and 1 human (yes that's right.....a human actually thought he stood a chance in this race). An estimated 215% of local registered and unregistered voters turned out to swarm the polls.

Here were the official results:
Lucy Lou (dog) - 8,085 votes
Toby (dog) - 4,596 votes
Travis (cat) - 3,721 votes
Higgins (donkey) - 2,229 votes
Macy (dog) - 1,182 votes
Isabella Pearl (dog) - 580 votes
Pike (dog) - 557 votes
Rembrandt (dog) - 494 votes
Noggin (dog) - 184 votes
Molly C. Urso (dog) - 150 votes
Peggy Lee (dog) - 73 votes
Cletus (dog) - 54 votes
Manson Mayer (dog) - 8 votes
Paulette (species unknown) - 5 votes
Alex (human) - 2 votes (I would assume this has crushed any future political aspirations of his)
Ruby (species unknown) - 1 vote

While you're at the site, I definitely suggest checking out the links to "Herb's Thoughts", one of the locals. It's actually quite impressive that Herb can phonetically type out the way that he talks. Here is a sample paragraph from Herb's post titled "Herb on Elections" (Notice how Herb is able to construct a perfect sentence in English in the very last line of the paragraph):

"You know now, there’s a day comin’ up nex month, the very first Tuesday that you ain’t a-gonna be able to buy beer or likker. And that’s cause it’s a-votin’ day. Now, c’mon….most of yous is outa work, so I knows you have the time to come down to the General Store to vote. Besides, there’ll be plenty of fellership and libations down there to the Scalded Hog resterant. I heered the Scalded Hog has damn-near 30 er 40 years experience in cookin’ up ribs and fried cabbage and such. Leastways, the sign is thet old fer sure. Started out some wheres in the Carolinas and was brot here to Rabbit Hash one night by none other than Crazy Clifford. After some serious improvements to the recipe, the pulled pork and the baby back ribs have been voted number one in the Ohio River Valley from Pittsburgh to Cairo."
Although Rabbit Hash seems like it could be the setting for the movie Deliverance, it also seems like it would be a fun place to visit.  I may have to check out Rabbit Hash next time I head south.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Who Was The Mysterious Melchizedek?

The St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology has a wonderful website at I go to this site regularly to find reliable resources on apologetics and scripture. The St. Paul Center is a non-profit research and educational institute founded by Dr. Scott and Kimberly Hahn in 2002 and is located in Steubenville, OH.    
One of the great resources that the site offers is online bible studies. I stumbled across their most recent study titled Covenant Love: Introducing the Biblical Worldview. The study covers all of the major covenants of the bible and shows how the culmination of all the covenants is finalized in Jesus. All six major covenants of the bible are studied as follows:
1. Adam and Eve (Genesis 1:26-2:3)
2. Noah and his family (
Genesis 9:8-17)
3. Abraham and his descendants (
Genesis 12:1-3; 17:1-14; 22:16-18)
4. Moses and the Israelites (
Exodus 19:5-6; 3:4-10; 6:7)
5. David and the Kingdom of Israel (
2 Samuel 7:8-19)
6. Jesus and the Church (
Matthew 26:28; 16:17-19)

Monday, February 28, 2011

Homemade Sodie Pop

I was watching the Food Network recently and there was a show about the history of soda pop. Some call it soda, some call pop, some call it sodie pop. Nevertheless, most people have enjoyed a refreshing soda at one time or another. The show started discussing the history of old-fashioned soda shops that used to sell coca-cola for a nickel. A soda siphon was used to distribute CO2 into a glass of cold water (turning it into "soda water") and then a flavored fountain syrup was squirted into the soda water to make a delicious treat. Our new home has a bar in the basement, and I immediately thought how great it would be to come up with some sort of old-fashioned soda bar.

A search on the internet showed that a mini keg can run several hundreds of dollars, so I decided to keep my eye out for something cheaper and more practical for my bar. Then I ran across the Soda Stream while walking through Bed, Bath, & Beyond with the wife one day. I stopped dead in my tracks when I saw it. I knew it would be the perfect addition for the bar! There are many different models of the Soda Stream, but the Genesis model is the one exclusively sold by Bed, Bath, & Beyond and it has definitely done the trick for me. The package comes with the Genesis machine, a CO2 cartridge that screws into the machine allowing you to carbonate the water, two 1-liter bottles that fit onto the machine, and a variety pack of soda syrups that you can test out. Although some of the syrups that I tried out from the variety pack were pretty good (like the fake Dr. Pepper for instance), I decided to branch out and try making my own soda pop.

Back From Hibernation

So it has been 287 days since my last blog post. Inexcusable really.....I checked my blog stats and it appears that I still have some subscribers to the blog despite my long hiatus from the blogging world. You people are in for a surprise when this post pops up in your email!

The biggest event since my time off from writing (besides birthdays and holidays of course) was that the wife and I have bought a new house!! We have finally made the big purchase and we're moving out to Tinley Park, IL on March 25th. I will provide pictures in another post.

Since my mind is going wild thinking of all the new things that I can blog about since taking a break, I will give myself some time to collect my thoughts and come up with a game plan for my next series of posts. In the meantime, here is a stupid little video that gave me a chuckle. Hope you enjoy....