Mother Nature is One Unreliable Lady

08/11/2015 Comments (80)
Tobias Alt [GFDL ( or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons.

View from the Angels Landing trail looking northward to the Narrows, Zion National Park, Utah.

– Tobias Alt [GFDL ( or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons.

Conservation International has sponsored a series of videos that have become YouTube sensations, garnering millions of views. They feature famous actors - Harrison Ford, Kevin Spacey, Robert Redford, and others - voicing different aspects of the natural world, from the ocean, to the rain forest, to redwood trees. The most striking is the one that presents Mother Nature herself, given voice by Julia Roberts.

They all have more or less the same message, namely, that nature finally doesn't give a fig for human beings, that it is far greater than we, and will outlast us. Here are some highlights from the Mother's speech: "I've been here for over four and a half billion years, 22,500 times...READ MORE

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Vatican Announces Official Hymn for the Year of Mercy

08/11/2015 Comments (12)

The Vatican has just introduced the official hymn of the Holy Year Of Mercy.

The title is drawn from John 6:36, Misericordes sicut Pater (English: Be Merciful, As Your Father Is), by English composer Paul Inwood. Inwood's composition was the winner in an international competition sponsored by the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization. The hymn has now been released in Italian, French, and English, with a Latin antiphon and refrains.

Archbishop Rino Fisichella, first Prefect of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, explained in a press conference that the Year of Mercy is intended as an opportunity for the faithful to meet people's...READ MORE

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Abortion Is a Men's Issue

08/11/2015 Comments (60)

Guido Reni (1575-1642), "Saint Joseph"

When my son was a toddler, he spent an entire summer walking around with a caterpillar in each hand. Just about everything else he encountered was bigger and stronger than he, but caterpillars were small, soft, and helpless -- and, to his mind, desperately in need of his care. And so, with all the negligible strength of his two-year-old heart, mind, and strength, he took care of those caterpillars. 

He's a teenager now, and he's taller than I am. His shoulders are broad, and he spends as much time as any teenage boy in figuring out just how strong he is -- how much weight he can carry, how far he can throw things, how easy it is for him to knock things over.  

But he also spends a lot of...READ MORE

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GoFundMe Refused to Post Pic of Preemie

08/11/2015 Comments (13)

The fundraising site GoFundMe has mpw issued an apology for refusing to post a picture of a premature child because it was "too graphic" and could offend viewers.

Here's the picture of baby Jacob which, for a time, was deemed too offensive to view:

Isn't this baby-phobic? Has the issue of abortion become so paramount and sacrosanct that the picture of a premature child is not fit for public viewing? I mean, shame on those parents for not posting the picture of baby Jacob on a beach holding a margarita, right?

Look, there are many pictures on the internet every day that I might find offensive. A picture of a baby is not one of them. And let's face it, the fundraising site's reaction...READ MORE

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We Need Divine Mercy Now More Than Ever

Jesus promised us that he will refuse nothing to the soul who makes a request of him in virtue of his Passion. Do we even realize the magnitude of what he said?

08/10/2015 Comments (6)

By Wald-Burger8 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

When St. John Paul II canonized Sr. Faustina Kowalska on April 30, 2000, he surprised the world by declaring the second Sunday after Easter the feast of Divine Mercy. He described Divine Mercy the answer to the world’s problems and the message for the Third Millennium.

Ever since, I’ve fostered my devotion to Divine Mercy, striving as best I could to say the Divine Mercy Chaplet at 3 o’clock each day – the hour marking Jesus’ death on the Cross – as Jesus himself instructed St. Faustina:

“At three o’clock, implore My mercy, especially for sinners; and, if only for a brief moment, immerse yourself in My Passion, particularly in My abandonment at the moment of agony. This is the hour of...READ MORE

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08/09/2015 Comments (44)

James Tissot (1836-1902), "Les pharisiens questionnent Jésus"

Harry Potter. Pants on women. The size of your carbon footprint. Trick or Treating. Recycling. Supporting Public radio. The theology of the body. Smoking. Homeschooling. Rock music. What does the Church dogmatically define for us when it comes to these matters?

Answer: nothing. It’s up to you. And yet, depending on where you go in the Church, your views on these and many other matters will leave you a marked man or woman if they aren’t the “correct” views. You will be stamped and binned as anything from a “liberal Catholyc” to a member of the “Catholic Taliban” by somebody if you do not reply to the probing question on these and many other matters with the correct shibboleth.

What’s a...READ MORE

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Elijah’s journey: 40 days and 40 nights?

08/09/2015 Comments (13)

Elijah set off on a journey of "40 days and 40 nights." What does this mean?

Sunday’s readings contain an interesting illustration of the way that the Bible can use numbers.

In the Old Testament reading, Elijah is on the run from the evil queen Jezebel and he goes out into the wilderness and asks God to let him die.

Instead, God sends and angel who makes Elijah eat and drink two times in order to strengthen him for a journey.

Then we read:

He got up, ate, and drank; then strengthened by that food, he walked forty days and forty nights to the mountain of God, Horeb.

One of the first things that you learn about the geography of the Holy Land is that it’s tiny by American standards. From north to south, the modern state of Israel is only 290 miles long, and its...READ MORE

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Of Rip Currents, Our Lady, and a Crippled Troubadour

08/09/2015 Comments (3)

"Hermanus Contractus" by Th. Fink Veringen (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

You're the Queen of the slipstream with eyes that shine
You have crossed many waters to be here
Van Morrison

A friend arranged for my whole crew to spend some time in her family’s cottage at Lake Michigan – what a treat! Almost like an overnight at the ocean, but without the cross-country drive.

After arriving and unpacking the van, it was high noon and a bit risky for my fair skinned brood to hit the beach. Still, Katharine (my nine-year-old) and I couldn’t wait, and so we decided to put on caps and sunscreen to go explore.

We walked down the hill from the cottage toward the lake and spied a wooden staircase. The sandy steps were the first clue that we’d located the beach, but there...READ MORE

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