Monday, April 29, 2013

Two Books by Thomas H. Green S.J..

Thanks to a recommended reading list from A Guide to Christian Meditation, by John Bartunek, LC, I've learned of the remarkable writing of the late Thomas H. Green, S.J..

I've just finished reading 2 of Fr. Green's books, Opening To God, and When the Well Runs Dry.

Opening To God might best be described as an introduction to prayer while When the Well Runs Dry goes beyond the beginnings for more serious pray-ers who might be experiencing what St John of the Cross called the "Dark Night of the Soul".

The two books draw from Catholic sources, - St. John of the Cross, St. Teresa of Avila and the author of The Cloud of Unknowing.

Both books are rather quick reads - particularly Opening To God and I'm quite certain I'll be re-reading the two again and again.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Another Faux Ordination.




The first paragraph of this news article pretty much sums it up:

"In defiance of Roman Catholic authority and doctrine, the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests ordained its first Louisville-area priest on Saturday."

What part of "In defiance of Roman Catholic authority and doctrine" is so difficult to understand?

"Despite the name, the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests is not an entity of the Roman Catholic Church or the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Louisville,” Louisville Archbishop Joseph Kurtz said in a statement. “Its action in carrying out a simulated ordination of Dr. Rosemarie Smead stands in direct opposition to the Roman Catholic Church’s teaching on the priesthood."

The Vatican insists that any woman who attempts ordination, and anyone seeking to confer the priesthood on her, faces automatic excommunication.
In another news article, the woman in question, Rosemarie Smead, was quoted as saying "I have no fear of excommunication."

Obviously not.

The Catholic Church teaches that it has no authority to allow women to be priests because Jesus Christ chose only men as his apostles. To this, supporters of women's ordination argue that Jesus was acting only according to the customs of his time.

So let me get this straight; the argument goes that the second person of the Holy Trinity, the Son of God, wanted to have women priests in His Church, but he was afraid of breaking a custom. That's the best they can come up with?

Christ certainly wasn't afraid of breaking customs or proclaiming truths which His disciples found difficult to accept - John 6:52 - "The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, 'How can this man give us [his] flesh to eat?' "

He was crucified for going against the customs of His day.

The "ordination" was performed in a Protestant church, St. Andrew United Church of Christ.  How appropriate - apostates performing an illegal ordination in an heretical church.

Smead plans on leading monthly services for Christ Sophia Inclusive Catholic Community, though the services will actually take place at St. Andrew.

Friday, April 26, 2013

A Female Dalai Lama?

In an interview with the 14th Dalai Lama, UK's channel 4 presenter, Cathy Newman had a number of odd questions for the Buddhist spiritual leader.

In an obvious dig at the Catholic Church, Newman asked the Dalai Lama if he'd be pleased if his successor as Dalai Lama was a woman.

The question itself reveals a total misunderstanding of Buddhism. According to Tibetan Buddhism, the 14th Dalai Lama's successor - the 15th Dalai Lama - would be his reincarnation. It just seems odd to me that she would ask if he'd be pleased if his next reincarnation was a woman. I don't think picking the gender of your next reincarnation is even an option. I suspect he'd be pleased that he came back as a human being and not a a lower life form.

The second odd question from Newman came when she asked "......if he could 'do a Pope', and quit when he gets too old and frail."

If number 15 is supposed to be his reincarnation, how in the Hell is he supposed to step down as Dalai Lama and be a sort of Dalai Lama emeritus?

Newman doesn't seem to realize that he'd have to off himself for that to happen.

I guess it doesn't really matter to Newman, however. The sole purpose of these questions was to criticise the Catholic Church for the Church's views on women in the priesthood.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Relax. It was Boxing, Not Radical Islam.



What a relief!

According to an article at ThinkProgress.org, we really don't have anything to worry about in regards to radical Islam. The article suggests that Boston Marthon Bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev did not plant bombs along the route of the Boston Marathon because of his renewed commitment to Islam; no, the author believes, Tsarnaev may have suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) resulting from his having been hit upside the head one too many times while boxing.

Is it possible that the writer of the ThinkProgress piece may have been hit upside the head one too many times as well?

French Gay Marriage Law Met with Violent Protests.

From Spiegel Online:

In Paris, protesters threw fireworks, bottles and stones at police officers. Security officials responded by deploying tear gas to push back the crowds, and at least 12 arrests were made late Tuesday night. Photos taken at the scene show emergency workers carrying out police officers apparently injured in the melee, but only one officer has been injured according to official statements.





Monday, April 22, 2013

Bumper Sticker Mentality.



Even though Mark Steyn and I may look at things in a similar way, he is much better at expressing himself. - The ‘Co-exist’ Bombers :

".......the fatuities of the 'Co-exist' bumper sticker are not real. The disaffected young Muslim on the lam in a car with a 'Co-exist' sticker is."

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Photos from the Denver 420 Shooting.

OK, I know this a serious matter and I know I really shouldn't make light of the shootings at the Denver 420 marijuana festival, but I came across some photos of events following the shootings posted on the Denver Post website.

I couldn't resist posting a few of those photos here.

All Quiet on the Left Front.

In spite of my Conservative views, I do have a number of Left-leaning Facebook "friends".....yes, there are some who haven't defriended me.(yet)

I couldn't help but notice that my Left-leaning Facebook "friends" have been strangely quiet today.

I thought, at first, that perhaps they were simply devastated by the news that the Boston marathon bombers turned out to be Muslims.

After giving it some thought, it occurred to me that perhaps my Left-leaning Facebook "friends" are too busy attending their local April 20 marijuana smoking festival to post their opinions of the recent updates in Boston onto Facebook.

Immediately after the terrible bombing in Boston Monday, some on the Left began their speculation as to reason the bombers had chosen April 15th to unleash their terror. Some put 2 and 2 together and came up with 5.

April 15th? - Tax Day? - Right wing extremists.
Some on the Left had even noted (incorrectly, it turns out) that April 15th was the anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing. Actually, the Oklahoma City bombing happened on April 19th, as did the FBI assault of the Branch Davidan compound in Waco.

Following the Left's lead, I could speculate as to the reason why April 20th was chosen as the date for the annual marijuana smoking festival.

April 20th is Adolph Hitler's birthday.

Coincidence?

I'm certainly not the first to see a connection.

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20110420042140AA32IKb

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20081221024355AAoGg7s

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Did_Hitler_smoke_marijuana



If the Left can pull wild ideas out of their ......um, hats, then why can't I?

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Latest News Devastates Progressives.




Progressives across the United States were devastated Friday upon learning that the two suspects wanted for the Boston Marathon bombing were Muslims. Liberal's hopes that the perpatrators would be right-wing domestic terrorists had been buoyed Thursday evening when photos released by police revealed that the two were a couple of white guys.

Viewing the world through a racial prism, the Progressives had failed to take into account that not all Islamic extremists are "dark-skinned".

Even after it was proven that the Boston bombing wasn't carried out by anti-tax, Tea Party supporters, Michael Moore celebrated the fact that he had correctly predicted the bombers would not be women.

No word so far on the Tsarnaev brother's views on abortion or same-sex marriage.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Statue Provides Opportunity for Catholic-Bashing.



The headline was certainly provocative - Sculpture of Jesus the Homeless rejected by two prominent churches .

According to an article from thestar.com, Canadian sculpture Timothy Schmalz's statue entitled Homeless Jesus was "rejected" by two prominent Catholic churches, St. Michael’s Cathedral in Toronto and St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York.

The artist claims that, while loved by the cathedral rectors, the work was rejected by "higher-ups in the New York and Toronto archdiocese".

Although the face of the figure is covered by a blanket, we're told that it's obviously Jesus because of the wounds in the feet. I suppose it could just as likely be a statue of St. Francis after he had received the stigmata....but I digress.

Naturally, anti-Catholic Progressives had a field day when news of the rejections hit the Internet; the implication being that the two cathedrals found the work too controversial, and of course, the Catholic Church doesn't really  care about the homeless.

This was the perfect opportunity for non-Christian to post "Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me." in com-boxes, although one such commentor mistakenly claimed the quotation comes from Matthew 24:25 instead of Matthew 25:45. I suppose there's not always enough time to do your homework when engaged in Catholic bashing.

With a little effort, the real reason for the rejection of the statue by St.Patrick's Cathedral can be found in an article from the New York Daily News,

" Kate Monaghan, a spokesperson for St. Patrick’s told the New York Daily News that the cathedral had to refuse because the building is undergoing extensive restorations.
'But we loved the statue,' Monaghan said. 'When the time comes, we’ll certainly take another look.'
"

This isn't the first time one of Schmalz's sculptures was rejected. Schmalz had planned to build a 100ft tall statue of St. Patrick atop Ireland's Croagh Patrick mountain. Plans were aborted after 70 percent of respondents to an online poll said they were not in favor of the statue being placed on the 2,510-foot-high pyramidal peak of the mountain, where the St. Patrick is said to have spent 40 days and nights fasting in 441AD.

I suppose it's because the Irish actually hate St. Patrick.

Monday, April 15, 2013

The Buddha Abandoning His Family.

I love the picture posted to the left. It is, to the best of my recollection, the only painting I've seen of a rarely discussed episode in the life of Siddhartha Gautama - AKA the Supreme Buddha -. This image depicts the Buddha, darling of Progressives everywhere, as he abandons his wife and infant son.

I've been told, by one American Buddhist-wannbe, that we can't really call the Buddha a deadbeat dad because, being a Prince, he left his family financially well off when he wandered off into the forest to seek Enlightenment.



Tell that to children whose fathers left them when they were babies.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

The New Me.

Continuing along the path I started on yesterday, I'll write a little on my plan to take myself off my current medications - meds for high blood pressure, high triglycerides, and cholesterol. To do that, I'll need to make small mention of our plans to eventually leave the USA for good and live near my wife's family in Philippines.

Without going into great detail now about our decision to emigrate, it was that decision which lead to my plan to get off the meds.

Currently all my maintenance medication is provided to me through my health insurance - with no cost to me, other than my insurance premiums, of course. When the day arrives when I've retired and said my fond farewell to my employer, I'll no longer have the free maintenance medication. Being retired and living on a fixed retirement income in Philippines, it will be difficult to provide myself with these medicines.

The plan has been for some time now to return to a regular meditation schedule - which will lower my blood pressure to acceptable levels - get back on the treadmill - which will help lower my triglycerides - and stop eating the food which I know is not doing me a bit of good.

Returning to a regular meditation schedule should be the easiest of the three to accomplish. After all, it's something I've been doing - off and on - for more than half my life. I'll get out of the habit from time to time but will return to it again and again. Finding the time for the afternoon meditation is slightly more difficult than fitting it into my morning schedule. It's easier to find peace and quiet in the house when everyone else is sound asleep.

There was a time when doing strenuous exercise played a more central place in my life. Weight training, and treadmill, that sort of thing; didn't spend much time running, however. Now, the nerve damage which prevents me from playing the guitar as I once did also prevents me from weight training. I just can't get a proper grip on free weights. I tried Yoga for awhile, but I finally settled on getting my workout on the treadmill. Sadly, I've fallen behind on that. I'm not fat by any means, but it wouldn't hurt to tone up a bit and the exercise will help with my triglyceride levels.

It goes without saying that changing my diet will be the most difficult of the three. Being a typical 21st century American, convenience is my curse. All the wrong foods are too easily within reach.

My plan to go med free may have started with the plan to retire, but it was still too convenient to continue as I have been. The proverbial slap in the face came when I noticed some unusual hair loss. I've lost hair on my arms and on the back of my hands; my beard seems to be getting sparser and my eyebrows, which were once notoriously, bushy have become thinner.

It turns out that the culprit for this unusual hair loss is one of my current medications. If I want to keep the little I have left, I'll have to get away from the convenience of daily pill popping and make a few inconvenient lifestyle changes.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

I've Returned....for What it's Worth.

Yesterday being my birthday, I thought today would be the appropriate day to give myself the proverbial kick in the pants and write something in this long neglected blog. Today is the 103th day of the year and this will be only the 4th post.

Yikes.

The easiest place to start would be to give a general run down of how I've been occupying my time since my last post. I wish I could say that I've been spending time on the list but, sadly, I've only read 3 of the 100 books; Watcher from the Shore and No Reason for Murder by Ayako Sono and The Betrothed by Alessandro Manzoni. I've read two other books not on the list - A Guide to Christian Meditation, by John Bartunek and Carmen, by Prosper Mérimée.

During these past few months, I've spend an inordinate amount of time watching movies and reruns of T.V. programs on Netflix. The T.V. programs being, Columbo, Dr. Who, Agatha Christie's Poirot and Miss Marple, along with reruns of Inspector Lewis and Wallander. ( Have I forgotten any?.....surely not).

In my view , the best movie movie I've seen so far this year is U-Carmen eKhayelitsha. The movie is a 2005 South African remake of Bizet's Carmen sung entirely in the African language of Xhosa . Hearing songs sung in Xhosa has lead me to discover Click Songs, but discussion of that is for another time.

Coming back to this blog has opened up the flood gate of inspiration regarding the events and ideas I want to write about; obviously, it would be impossible to put down everything in this particular post. I will, however, list a few things that I'll be writing on in the coming weeks:

1) My plan to take myself off my current medications.....returning to a regular meditation schedule, a change of diet and more time on the treadmill.
2) Our upcoming trip to Philippines.
3) Our plan to eventually leave the United States for good.
I might even spend a bit of time writing on current events.