Thursday, February 28, 2002

Brutally cold here this morning. I'll be working at home the next few days while my vehicle receives repairs.

Wednesday, February 27, 2002

Two quotes for today, both taken from the same book on Prayer by Jean Danielou.



The first:

Give Christ to others and save the cross for yourself.

Said by a Father Huvelin.



Too often most of us are intent on giving the cross to each other.



The Second quote:

For this world the great temptation is being sufficient unto itself; through a form of collective pride, humanity claims to be capable of solving its problems on its own.

Jean Danielou



This second quote, I believe explains all of the problems that exist in the Church today. No one preaches our utter dependence upon God in all things. Sometimes, I get the sense that it doesn't even cross anyone's mind to think that God might be able to do anything for us. When we rely on ourselves we are doomed to fail, something that is as old as original sin. A spiritual life requires constant prayer and thanksgiving at every moment of life. When we are open to God and his power, some "problems" cease to even be problems and others are solved in ways that are humanly unexplainable.

Tuesday, February 26, 2002

I meant to post this quote yesterday:

The Lord himself will fight for you; you have only to keep still.

Exodus 14:14



It takes a lot of faith to put this into practice but I have seen it work over and over again. Defying all logic.
Scripture Quote of the Day:

I have seen the wicked triumphant,

towering like a cedar of Lebanon.

I passed by again; he was gone.

I searched; he was nowhere to be found.


Psalm 37: 35-46



Psalm 37 is an interesting Psalm. In some translations you will find the Hebrew alphabet transliterated above each stanza. Essentially it is the ABC's of the problem of evil in the world. I have always been struck by this one verse which often has come to mind when the "great" of one day, seem to "disappear" the next. Often we can fixate on the apparent triumph of the evil doers, but it is only for a time.
A live shot of Fort Wayne. You can check to see if it snowed here, or is snowing here..WeatherCam 15

Monday, February 25, 2002

We are supposed to have a significant snow storm tomorrow for the first time this year. Up to 8" is possible.
My new book is listed on Amazon. I have not idea who the Michael Swhartz is that is listed as the co-author. That is a mistake. Amazon.com: buying info: Praying in the Presence of Our Lord with Fulton J. Sheen

Sunday, February 24, 2002

Very nice here today, but it is supposed to get real cold on Tuesday.

Saturday, February 23, 2002

Here it is..., the reliquary and Chair of St. Peter. I'm sure many, like me, have seen this backdrop at St. Peter's and never noticed the "chair" that is the central piece of this work of art (and said to contain a simple wooden chair actually used by St. Peter.)
The internet connection was downall day yesterday at work, so there was no posting here. There were serveral things I wanted to post yesterday, one about the relic of the Chair of St. Peter which was yesterday's Feast. I'll have to look up and see if I can find a picture of it online.



Today is the Feast of St. Polycarp. Amy read me an account of his life from Butler's Lives of the Saints this mornign with a rather amusing quote from God who spoke from the heavens at the martyrdom of Polycarp, "Play the man! Polycarp." Somehow, that statement portrays God in a different way than we are used to, I think.

Thursday, February 21, 2002

Posted on the Geoff Bodine Fanclub site, The Curse is over!



Anyone who has followed Geoff Bodine's career over the past six or seven years would have to conclude that someone had placed a curse on him. Everything that could go wrong with him--did, including nearly losing his life in a horrific crash at Daytona two year ago. Sunday's Daytona 500 was the first good thing that has happened to him in some time. Then the women win the gold medal in the bobsled designed by him on Tuesday night!
I heard a reporter, present at this news conference this morning present this story and it is interesting to see how it is reported here. Jiang was asked a question about the Catholic Bishops and said nothing. Next a Chinese reporter asked him a scripted question about some internal matter and he responded. Another American asked him about the Catholic Bishops who were imprisoned. Again, he did not answer. Another Chinese reporter asked a scripted question. Finally when the news conference was over, he made the remarks listed below.



I'm not sure why we cooperate with regimes that have no regard for human rights.

FOXNews.com Jiang stonewalled queries from two American reporters about his government's repression of religion — particularly the detention of Catholic bishops — and his opinion of Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq. Jiang refused at first to answer either question, but returned to them at the end of the news conference.

While Bush listened intently, Jiang said he has read the Bible, the Koran and the scriptures of Buddhism, even though he said he ascribes to no religion himself. Those who were imprisoned, he said, were detained "because they broke the law, not because of their religious beliefs. I have no right interfering in judicial affairs."

Wednesday, February 20, 2002

19,000 people are wrongly declared dead every year in the United States! The latest case happened in Long Island:



A Long Island man was wrongly reported dead after another man by the same name died at a hospital and records were mixed up, according to a published report.



A man named Ramon Cruz died in July, according to the Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip, N.Y., which then forwarded Cruz's records to Medicare and other government agencies, Newsday reported Tuesday.



Ramon Cruz, 81, who had not even been hospitalized, discovered the mistake last month when his wife, Noris Cruz, received a letter from the government about his death. The couple found the error humorous until Ramon Cruz's monthly $732 Social Security checks were cut off, his bank account emptied and his Medicare benefits terminated.




Read the full account here.
The request for the bookplates continue to roll in....no idea where they are coming from.
Raining here today and close to 50 degrees this morning, in the middle of February! Go figure.
This story of a man who was buried alive in Alabama (not far from the corpses they're finding at the crematorium in Georgia), is unique. He rose from the grave and led police to his attackers.

Tuesday, February 19, 2002

I've updated links in the left hand column.
I'm still receiving requests for bookplates. This offer must be posted on some other site to merit the sudden influx of requests.

Monday, February 18, 2002

Quote of the Day from St. Therese:

O my God, the more you want to give, the more you make us desire!
The relics of St. Therese are currently traveling throughout Australia. There is a very interesting web site dedicated to their pilgrimage. One of the more interesting items contained within is the diet that was followed by the Carmelites at Liseux:



a) Summer diet, without fasting

- After Mass (around 8 AM) : thick soup, eaten standing at one's place

in front of the table.


- Midday meal (10 AM, actually): fish or eggs, vegetables (generous serving),

dessert (cheese or fruit); the portions were dished out in advance on

earthenware plates.


- In the evening (at 6 PM): soup, a vegetable, dessert.


Nothing between meals, but Sisters had permission to take a drink of water

at 3 PM and after Matins.


Some Sisters found this regime, of two morning meals two hours apart,

more painful than the fast.





b) Fast of the Order (Sept 14-Easter)


- Nothing in the morning.


- Main meal at 11:00 AM: soup and the rest as usual.


- Collation at 6:00 P.m.: bread weighed out (average of seven ounces,

around 215g), butter or cheese, fruit, sometimes jam. No broth or soup:

nothing hot.





c) Ecclesiastical Fast (Lent, Forty Hours, and Vigils)


- Nothing in the morning.


- Main meal at 11:30 AM: same as during the fast of the Order, but eggs

and all milk products entirely excluded from the diet; the food boiled

or prepared with oil.


- Collation at 6:00 PM: six ounces of bread, no jam, fresh or dried fruit

(apples, figs, nuts, etc.).




You can also make an Lenten Journey with St. Therese at this web site.
For some reason I'm suddenly receiving a bunch of requests for autographed bookplates. I'm wondering if someone has posted my offer on some other site--other than the site that I've been advertising this offer for about seven months here. I noticed that the mandatory ad that Tripod runs on my pages was advertising the Vagina Monologues, I guess they don't consider that an "adult" ad. Go figure!



I also have a Shrine site that I'm still working on and a Catholic Authors site that is always a work in process.
Well I think my prediction yesterday was pretty good. No one was picking Ward Burton to win and Geoff Bodine was a 300:1 shot to win (the absolute lowest chance of anyone), yet he was running second with a few laps to go and finished an amazing 3rd after starting 35th. Overall it was a good race!



Sunday, February 17, 2002

Today is the Daytona 500. I think there will be a surprise winner, someone who could win because of a pit stop or because of gas mileage. I don't think any of the favorites will win it.
We awoke to a snow covered landscape. Although with the sun out and the temperature barely at freezing it will be a memory by lunch time.

Friday, February 15, 2002

It was supposed to snow here this morning, but it is 45 degrees and the sun is out. However, I now here that it is supposed to snow tomorrow all day (flurries).

Thursday, February 14, 2002

Wednesday, February 13, 2002

An interesting item on the Spirit Daily page:



A new book by two Italian authors asserts that the Pope's mother, Emilia Wojtyla, ignored advice to terminate the pregnancy that led to John Paul II's birth.



The assertion appears in Fatima: The Story Behind the Miracles, by Renzo Allegri, a prize-winning journalist and biographer, and his brother, Roberto Allegri, who is also a journalist. "In 1906, at the age of 23, she became the mother of a baby boy, Edmund," they write of the Pope's mother, who was very frail in health. "She had a difficult pregnancy, and the doctors forbade her to have any other children. In the autumn of 1919, when she was 35, she learned that she was pregnant. The doctors told her she should have an abortion. She did not listen to them."



It was then that Karol Wojtyla was born. The date was May 18, 1920. We are currently trying to corroborate this striking claim -- that a man who would later become the leading defender of the unborn, who would revive the papacy, who would lead to the fall of Communism as the Church's supreme pontiff, and who as such would change the world -- appeared on the scene only because his mother had the courage to forsake termination of a pregnancy that medical experts said could harm her.



While we have not yet been able to verify the Allegris' reportage, a review of major papal biographies confirms the tenuous nature of Emilia's health. After a daughter died in 1914, Emilia's health deteriorated, according to His Holiness by Carl Bernstein and Marco Politi. "She never complained about the way her pregnancies had undermined her health." This book goes on to say that during the pregnancy "her weakened body was tested almost beyond endurance."



Just six years earlier Emilia had lost a daughter, Olga, either in infancy or stillborn. But she went on to give birth to Karol Wojtyla, and when she did, it is said that she asked the midwife to open the window "so that the first sounds her newborn son heard would be the singing in honor of Mary, Mother of God," write Politi and Bernstein. "And so the midwife sprang from the foot of the bed to the window and threw back the shutters. Suddenly the little bedroom was flooded with light and with the intonations of May vespers to the Blessed Virgin, from the Church of Our Lady, in the very month dedicated to her."
Today is Ash Wednesday, the following reflection is taken from a reflection posted on the EWTN web site:



The liturgical use of ashes originated in the Old Testament times. Ashes symbolized mourning, mortality and penance. In the Book of Esther, Mordecai put on sackcloth and ashes when he heard of the decree of King Ahasuerus to kill all of the Jewish people in the Persian Empire (Esther 4:1). Job repented in sackcloth and ashes (Job 42:6). Prophesying the Babylonian captivity of Jerusalem, Daniel wrote, "I turned to the Lord God, pleading in earnest prayer, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes" (Daniel 9:3).

Jesus made reference to ashes, "If the miracles worked in you had taken place in Tyre and Sidon, they would have reformed in sackcloth and ashes long ago" (Matthew 11:21).

In the Middle Ages, the priest would bless the dying person with holy water, saying, "Remember that thou art dust and to dust thou shalt return."

The Church adapted the use of ashes to mark the beginning of the penitential season of Lent, when we remember our mortality and mourn for our sins. In our present liturgy for Ash Wednesday, we use ashes made from the burned palm branches distributed on the Palm Sunday of the previous year. The priest blesses the ashes and imposes them on the foreheads of the faithful, making the sign of the cross and saying, "Remember, man you are dust and to dust you shall return," or "Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel." As we begin this holy season of Lent in preparation for Easter, we must remember the significance of the ashes we have received: We mourn and do penance for our sins. We again convert our hearts to the Lord, who suffered, died, and rose for our salvation. We renew the promises made at our baptism, when we died to an old life and rose to a new life with Christ. Finally, mindful that the kingdom of this world passes away, we strive to live the kingdom of God now and look forward to its fulfillment in heaven.



Lenten Question

Q: What is Lent?

A: Lent is the forty day period before Easter, excluding Sundays, which begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday (the day before Easter Sunday). [This traditional ennumeration does not precisely coincide with the calendar according to the liturgical reform. In order to give special prominence to the Sacred Triduum (Mass of the Lord's Supper, Good Friday, Easter Vigil) the current calendar counts Lent as only from Ash Wednesday to Holy Thursday, up to the Mass of the Lord's Supper. Even so, Lenten practices are properly maintained up to the Easter Vigil, excluding Sundays, as before.]




The only caveat that I would add which is implicit in the above but not stated clearly is that Lent is a season to recall our utter dependence upon God--without God we are as good as dead. Focusing on our weakness, our inability to save ourselves--while at the same time meditating on the life of the Son of God we should be brought to a fuller appreciation for what God has done for us and Easter should be even more meaningful when we realize that because of Jesus--we too can live!

Tuesday, February 12, 2002

Mary-Louis Kurey is on Politically Incorrect either tonight or tomorrow night and will talk about the book that I worked with her on and that we just published entitled Standing with Courage: Confronting Tough Decisions About Sex.



Mary-Louise was Miss Wisconsin 1999 and a top ten Miss America finalist the same year.



Looks like it is tonight according to their web site:

February 12

Actress/comedienne Caroline Rhea; Motivational speaker Mary-Louise Kurey; Author Carl Djerassi; Actor Kevin Sorbo
I finished Bernard Bro's "The Little Way of St. Therese." I really liked the first part but thought it faded toward the end. I'm now reading Guy Gaucher's "The Passion of St. Therese," it is a lighter read than Bro and very interesting.
We are under a severe weather alert today for high winds and snow tonight. I watched the weather yesterday and saw nothing predicted about either of these "events."
Our auxiliary bishop, Bishop Jenky has been named the new bishop of Peoria. Bishop Jenky is 50 something, bearded and a rather calm gent. He will have his hands full with the crowd in Peoria and of course inherits the drug dealing priest over there. He also will be in charge of the Fulton Sheen's cause for canonization.

Monday, February 11, 2002

Geoff Bodine was fasted in practice for the Daytona 500 today. There is also a story about his design for the US Olympic Bobsled team. The design is called the BO-DYN design.
My Canon Law professor, John (Jack) Finnegan is quoted in the Boston Herald today. I was one of his favorites. He retired a few years ago due to chronic health problems but he still has a great mind. When you read his quotes read them with a very thick Boston accent.
They changed the FORD rules at Daytona, so now we'll see what happens on Thursday.
We or I should say "I" saw "In the Bedroom" on Saturday. I wasn't that impressed, neither was Joseph who got agitated fairly early on and after a brief stint with me in the hall, Amy took over. Then some old guy who was too lazy to move to a seat not near the hall, but not too lazy to walk down a flight of stairs told Amy that the baby's fairly mild cooing was bothering him. JERK! I had my own confrontation with him, such as it was, beside him at the urinals in the men's room. Who knows what his personal history was, I doubt any of his kids (if he has any) are speaking to him.



Back to the movie. I liked the story but I thought the screenplay was just way toooo slow. When I tried to recap the part that Amy missed, I realized that it had only been about four scenes that each must have been about 10-15 minutes long.
I've been fighting a cold over the past few days and it appears that the cold has won. I woke up with a lot of coughing of the chest variety.

Sunday, February 10, 2002

Well Geoff Bodine did okay, not great but okay. He finished 13th, his brother Todd finished 10th. Both drive Fords and no one driving a Ford was a factor. Look for a rule change soon.

Friday, February 8, 2002

It was cold here this morning, with frost covering everything. But that is a lot easier to dispense with than snow.

Thursday, February 7, 2002

In a new book by Geza Vermes called The Changing Faces of Jesus, Vermes says that like a typical hick Galilean, Jesus is revealed in the Scriptures as having horrible grammar and pronunciation. To support this he says that the statement of Jesus' "Talitha kum" (Little lamb {often translated "girl"} get up), he is using the masculine form of "kum" rather than the correct feminine form "kumi", which Vermes notes some later translators noting, tried to change.



An interesting note for those who continue to look for God to manifest himself to them in perfection--both in others and themselves.



Of course, on the flip side is the whole thesis of Vermes book which tries to convince us that this uncouth charismatic galilean could change the face of the earth. This is always the problem with the search for the historical Jesus, namely that the historians accept usually one source as valid, while rejecting many others as simple myth.



Vermes is an interesting myth in his own right. Born in Hungary a Jew. He converted to Catholicism, was ordained a priest. Educated by the Church, he later left the priesthood to once again embrace his "Jewishness".



It seems there is a parallel here which "his" historical Jesus. Jesus born a Jew, and in Vermes opinion was converted into a Christian creation and now Vermes seeks to restore the original Jewish Jesus. But I think when it is all said and done what we have is an autobiography of Vermes' view of Jesus.



Having said all of that, he does help us to understand the Gospels that he accepts as historical.
Evidently Florida's recruiting day wasn't all that great. Although when you consider what a bust most of the top rated high school recruits usually end up being, who cares? No one had Rex Grossman on their top list a few years ago, but they did have Brock Berlin--who would you choose today?

Wednesday, February 6, 2002

Working on a new idea...a simple prayer that was prayed by Jesus' disciples. One word, easy to remember and by repeating the prayer throughout the day it will change your life.



Interested in reading more about this...look for a short easy to read book on the subject coming soon.
Reading some great stuff right now...



The Little Way, by Bernard Bro, O.P.



Prayer: The Mission of the Church, by Jean Danielou



From the Holy Mountain by William Dalrymple
The snow that fell the other morning is gone, in fact where I was involved in an accident it was gone the same day.
Florida managed a win last night in basketball. They still look like they haven't quite put it together as a team to me and it is getting late in the season. But other years they have looked like they have had it together and faltered so who knows...we'll see.



Stock Car racing revs up again this weekend with qualifying and the Bud Shootout at Daytona.

Tuesday, February 5, 2002

I like this quote.

"We have only to see how that which makes up the reality of our lives relates to our vocation; we have only to hear the call God makes to us to work with him. Quite often it is not a matter of doing something different, but doing it differently."

--Jean Danielou--

Monday, February 4, 2002

I've enjoyed listening to the new Webb Pierce tribute album called "Caught in the Webb:Tribute to Webb Pierce." You can listen to some of the cuts by clicking on the title.
I was glad New England won, more because they were the underdog--not because I'm from there. I never watched football growing up in New England, I did that once I moved to Florida, and hence all of my favorite teams are located in the Sunshine State. However, I am from New England so I was very glad that they won.
It is snowing here and the roads are very icy. As a result I had a little fender bender this morning due to the fact that another driver doesn't understand the laws of nature. Going the speed limit isn't always a good idea when the road is nothing but ice. My left front turn signal glass was broken, he had a dent over the rear wheel well of the driver's side. While the State Trooper was taking down the information (in 16 degree weather), three more accidents occurred. The cars were lined up waiting for their turn.

Friday, February 1, 2002

I'm not a fan of big corporations, but it seems that the little guy no longer cares to compete. Gas prices here fluctuate about .30 a gallon depending on the day of the week and the time of the day. What is remarkable is that every gas station in town changes there prices at the same time, save one--Wal*Mart. Yesterday, down to a 1/4 of a tank, I noticed the price of gas in Fort Wayne was .99 cents a gallon. Good, I thought, they are coming down (since it was a 1.00 a gallon the previous day). Looking out of my window at noon, I noticed the price of gas had gone up to $1.19 a gallon. Driving into town, I hedged my bets (with my fuel gauge now teetering below a 1/4 tank). Driving through the fog and rain, I passed gas station after gas station of every imaginable company all with the same price. Finally arriving at the Wal*Mart, I looked up in anticipation as I read the price--.95.9 a gallon! Plus, with a Wal*Mart card, I save another .03 a gallon, paying only .92 a gallon.



I have come to notice that Wal*Mart does not play the lets do as everyone else does. That is why when Forbes list of the richest people in America comes out next that the Wal*Mart heirs will be at the top of the list. As far as I'm concerned they deserve to be--the little guy has sold out, only in the end to have to shut down.
From the things could always be worst department, comes the story of a man who beat out 56 other applicants to be paid less than $18,000 a year to pick up roadkill. Read about it here...Pocono Record Online: Roadkill remover has 'strong stomach'