Been a long time since I’ve posted here. Yes, I’m still alive. Yes, the blog is still alive. In my mind, anyway, even if I haven’t posted in a while. A death in the family and tending to family matters left me with not much time or energy for writing here or anywhere else. But things are getting better and I hope to be back to at least semi-regular writing and blogging soon.

The Battle of Lepanto

In the meantime tomorrow is a very special day for me: the feast day of Our Lady of the Rosary. If you aren’t familiar with the story of the Battle of Lepanto and the role of the rosary and the Blessed Virgin Mary in that battle, you can read more here and here.

Thank you for reading. I hope you’ll enjoy your visit. God bless you! :)

[A post for the Year of Faith.] Was I surprised by what happened on Election Day? Nope. Am I depressed or in deep despair over the results? No way. I saw it coming in 2008 and I saw it coming in 2012. Do I think we have a huge and serious problem? Oh, yeah, I do. But I think our problem stems more from the fact that we live in a fallen world and the fact that we are a stiff-necked people, much like the ancient Hebrews of the Bible, than the failing of one political party or another. No, the failure was ours. We the people. More particularly, we the Catholic people.

“Praise the Lord, O my soul, in my life I will praise the Lord: I will sing to my God as long as I shall be. Put not your trust in princes: in the children of men, in whom there is no salvation” (Ps 146: 2-3, Douay-Rheims Bible).

We have forgotten who we are. We have forgotten Whom we serve. We have forgotten that we are here, not to be comfortable and in control, but to suffer, sacrifice and serve.

May God forgive us for forgetting what we are about. May we take this reproval to heart. May we repent and change our ways and be truly converted, truly turn back to our One Only Lord and Savior. May we get down on our knees this time before we are brought any lower next time…and then by force. May we remember that Yours are the heavens and the earth, O Lord, and all that exists does so by Your command.

Two ways He set before us and as for me, I still choose to serve the Lord.

Peace be with you. And, please, do not despair and do not be afraid. Put on the full armor of God and get ready, warriors. We lost one skirmish but the battle has only just barely begun!

For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and power, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places.“Finally, brethren, be strengthened in the Lord, and in the might of his power. Put you on the armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the deceits of the devil. For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and power, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places. Therefore take unto you the armour of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and to stand in all things perfect. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of justice, And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace: In all things taking the shield of faith, wherewith you may be able to extinguish all the fiery darts of the most wicked one. And take unto you the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit (which is the word of God)” (Eph 6:10-17, Douay-Rheims Bible).

Stand up to bullies...and eat mor chikinChick-fil-A Appreciation Day is going well at the store the next town over. I live in a small town that doesn’t have its own Chick-fil-A; so, even though I threw my back out Saturday over a week ago and even though I hadn’t been out of the house since then until yesterday afternoon, I did manage to hobble out to the car and drive over here to show my support — both moral support and financial — for a company that is not afraid to speak out and stand up for Christian values amidst a firestorm of very vocal opposition. The fact that they aren’t afraid attracts me immensely. Like I always say, the only way to handle a bully is to stand up to him.

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear: but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (2 Tim 1:7)”

And for more on what the verse means by sound mind (sobriety in some versions):

“and of a sound mind: in the principles and doctrines of the Gospel; and which shows itself in a prudent conduct and behaviour; in sobriety, moderation, temperance, purity, and honesty; all which may be signified by the word here used: and these who have such dispositions and qualities from God, will not easily give way to the enemies of religion, or decline their duty for fear of them (Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible, quoted on the page containing the quoted Bible verse).”

I hope you’ll show your support today, too. God bless you.

[Note: This page has several photos on it, so I’m not posting the whole thing on the front page of the blog. See the post page for all the photos. Thanks!] I’ve been sitting in a cafe downloading and editing photos from the Stand Up For Religious Freedom Rally in Birmingham, AL, that took place from noon until around 1 p.m. today.

CEC For Life Director, Fr. Terry Gensemer
CEC For Life Director, Fr. Terry Gensemer

Didn’t realize that today is Fr. Coyle’s birthday. Who’s Fr. Coyle? He was a Catholic priest at St. Paul’s in downtown Birmingham, back before St. Paul’s was made the cathedral. He worked very hard to bring people together, used to pray the Divine Office on the steps outside the St. Paul’s so he could be close to those passing by. He was threatened many times for the audacity of true hope, for taking Christ’s prayer that we all be one seriously and doing something about it.

Hey, check it out! News cameras! Local news coverage! Maybe...
Hey, check it out! News cameras! Local news coverage! Maybe...

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I had to read these lines twice. And then I had to read them again. The L.A. Times thinks this is, yes, that’s the word they used, “dangerous”. Dangerous, as in, scary dangerous? As in, pull out the big guns to protect us from them, dangerous?

The signers of the new Manhattan Declaration put pen to paper to articulate their concerns about conscience issues for medical professionals. What they regard as a right — making sure doctors and nurses aren’t forced to participate in abortions — the Los Angeles Times is calling “dangerous.”

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Since conversion is one of the main topics of this site, I thought I’d spend some time reflecting on what that that process or journey really means. As Scott Hahn says, conversion cannot be reduced to merely changing religions or denominations, but refers, rather, to change of heart. (I believe it was in his series on the Gospel According to Saint Paul. The link takes you to the audio files and some PDF’s at the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology.) Jesus begins His public ministry echoing the words of John the Baptist: Continue reading