Heavenly Eye Candy: The latest images from the Hubble Telescope

November 27, 2010 by  
Filed under Patrick's Blog

These are simply ineffable. Whenever I see this kind picture of the heavenly bodies, I think of the biblical exclamation of awe and wonder:

“O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is thy name in all the earth! Thou whose glory above the heavens is chanted by the mouth of babes and infants, thou hast founded a bulwark because of thy foes,
to still the enemy and the avenger. When I look at thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars which thou hast established; what is man that thou art mindful of him, and the son of man that thou dost care for him? Yet thou hast made him little less than God, and dost crown him with glory and honor. Thou hast given him dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet.”

(click here for more images, or click the stardust above)

Happy Thanksgiving! (and a bit of wise advice)

November 25, 2010 by  
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For all your TSA humor needs: new bumper stickers

November 25, 2010 by  
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Inspiring New Advent Meditations That Will Help You "Prepare The Way of the Lord"

November 22, 2010 by  
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This is really impressive, friends. Please check this out.
We can expand and nourish our minds through the power of words inspired by the Word, such as the meditations contained in Belmont Abbey College theology professor Dr. Ron Thomas’ new booklet and companion CD, Prepare the Way: Daily Meditations for Advent. It’s being offered, along with the companion CD of the meditations read by Dr. Thomas.

Please click here to sample the powerful words and beautiful images that await you when you receive your booklet.

Last year, Dr. Ron Thomas wrote a booklet and recorded a companion CD entitled Meditations on the Stations of the Cross, which was ordered by thousands of people all across America to enrich their Lent. In fact, EWTN found Dr. Thomas’ recorded Meditations on the Stations of the Cross to be so powerful and inspiring, they played his meditations on their worldwide radio network every day during Holy Week of 2010.

Imagine beginning each day during Advent by taking some quiet time and meditating on words that will bring you “the peace that surpasses all understanding,” and help you prepare your heart and mind like never before for the coming of Christ. That’s how powerful this new Advent meditation booklet is. (And with your new companion CD, you could also do this in your car, helping you maintain peace and calm, even in the midst of rush-hour traffic.)

To sample the audio of one of the daily meditations,
CLICK HERE. (File will open in QuickTime.)
To get all the info on this excellent new book of Advent meditations, please
click here or click the image above. You’re all in my prayers in a very special way for a peaceful and blessed Advent.

"How I Solved the Catholic Problem" — Confessions of a Protestant missionary to Guatemala

November 17, 2010 by  
Filed under Patrick's Blog

Guatemala is at a turning point. Historically it’s been a 100% Catholic country — but that’s changing — rapidly. Demographers predict that early in this century Guatemala will become the first mostly-Protestant Latin American country. This story shows a different side of that trend: How two Evangelical Protestant missionaries went there to convert Catholics and discovered something amazing and life-changing.

By Kristine L. Franklin
The jet made a careful descent between the three volcanoes that ring the sprawl of Guatemala City. It was April 19th, 1992. My husband, Marty, and I had reached the end of eight years of preparation to be Evangelical Protestant missionaries.

We were finally here, excited and eager to settle in Guatemala. We knew our faith would be challenged and stretched, but we were more than ready for it because above all else, we desired to serve God with everything we could offer. Our new life as missionaries had just begun.

I didn’t feel even a twinge of regret over what we’d left behind in the States: family, friends, a familiar language and culture, and amenities like clean water and good roads we Americans so often take for granted. In spite of the unknowns ahead, I knew we were being obedient, regardless of the cost. We were living smack in the middle of God’s will, and it gave us a great feeling of security. We had given ourselves fully to bringing Christ’s light to the darkness of this impoverished, Catholic country.

As the jet touched down onto the bumpy runway, tears welled in my eyes. “Thank you, Jesus,” I whispered as I reached over to squeeze my husband’s hand. Marty and I had come to the end of a long journey, but we were also beginning a new one. “Some day, Lord,” I prayed silently, “I hope this foreign place will feel like home.”

I was elated as we walked down the exit ramp from the plane and began the long-awaited adventure of being Protestant missionaries – missionaries sent to “rescue” Catholics from the darkness of their religion’s superstition and man-made traditions and bring them into the light of Protestantism.

There’s no way I could have known that three years later, almost to the day, my husband and my two children and I would stand holding hands again, elated again, waiting to be received into the Catholic Church. Let me explain what happened that led me, a staunch Evangelical, to become Catholic. . . . (continue reading)

A look at the unraveling of the "seamless garment" faction of U.S. bishops

November 17, 2010 by  
Filed under Patrick's Blog

The Catholic World Report has a good piece on what writer George Neumayr calls “Cardinal O’Conner’s Revenge.” It thoughtfully explores the underlying reasons why the liberal candidate for president of the USCCB, Bishop Gerald Kikanis, lost yesterday’s election to New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan. It’s a brief but good read. Here’s the best line: The irony of Bishop Kicanas’ defeat is that the fingerprints of dissenters are on the weapon that felled him . . .” 

I Would Like to Show You More Than This

November 16, 2010 by  
Filed under Patrick's Blog

A few thoughts are in order here:

1) The 80s gave us some truly excellent music and some truly lame music videos.
2) Bryan Ferry is a talented singer-songwriter.
3) The other members of Roxy Music, who are also talented, were (literally) overshadowed in this video.
4) That single note you hear when you see the saxophone player blow when he leans back for his “solo” is actually played on the synthesizer, not the saxophone.
5) Roxy Music’s “Avalon” is also a very cool song.
6) Men do not look good when wearing eye-liner and sporting pointy sideburns.
7) Feel free to add any additional thoughts you think are apropos of this.

Battle Toad

November 16, 2010 by  
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“A new toad species with striking red eyes, discovered in the cloud forests of Chocó, Colombia.” Photo credit: Robin Moore/iLCP

Quantitative Easing: So simple even kids can understand it

November 15, 2010 by  
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Courtesy of The Anchoress (And please excuse the couple of bad words spoken herein.)

What's wrong with this picture? A Catholic nun is frisked by a TSA worker

November 15, 2010 by  
Filed under Patrick's Blog

This is the main photo-story at the Drudge Report right now, accompanied by the headline: THE TERRORISTS HAVE WON.

I don’t know about that, but I do know that there’s something very disconcerting, indeed quite outrageous, to see a Catholic nun in her religious habit being ignominiously groped by an airport TSA worker. Note that the picture shows what appears to be a hijab (head scarf) being worn by the TSA worker. Think about the irony of that juxtaposition. How many Catholic nuns do you know of who have committed acts of terrorism against an airliner and its passengers & crew? Hmm . . . I can’t think of any. Can you? Of course, it’s quite possible that it is not a hijab that the worker is wearing. But the picture gives that impression. In itself, it’s an insignificant detail, but given the circumstances we’re living in these days, it’s certainly… remarkable, to say the least.

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