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Thursday, April 13, 2006

Quote(s) of the Day
"You and I know and do not believe that life is so dear and peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery. If nothing is worth dying for, when did this begin? Should Moses have told the children of Israel to live in slavery under the pharaohs? Should Christ have refused the cross? Should the patriots of Concord Bridge have thrown down their guns and refused to fire the shot heard round the world?" —Ronald Reagan (1964)

"The very idea of freedom presupposes some objective moral law which overarches rulers and ruled alike. Subjectivism about values is eternally incompatible with democracy. We and our rulers are of one kind only so long as we are subject to one law. But if there is no Law of Nature, the ethos of any society is the creation of its rulers, educators and conditioners; and every creator stands above and outside his own creation." —C.S. Lewis

Martin Sheen turns down request to run for Senate
Mr. Sheen was offered an opportunity to see how his character's appeal would play in a real-life campaign. Not long ago, he said, he was approached by Democratic Party representatives from his native state, Ohio, to see if he would be interested in running for the United States Senate after he left the show. Though he would have had little trouble drafting a campaign platform — he is a fierce opponent of nuclear power and the war in Iraq, and a champion of human rights — he turned them down.

"I'm just not qualified," he said. "You're mistaking celebrity for credibility."
Martin Sheen does seem like a good person, although I find many of political stances loathsome. He's strongly pro-life, having once dropped out of an appearance at a pro-abortion rally he had been led to believe was for another issue.

WSBTV.com - News - Officer Considers Legal Action Against McKinney
Channel 2 Action News learned exclusively that the president of the largest police union in the U.S. met with the unidentified officer this morning to talk over possible legal action.

“We're going to make sure the officer won't be harassed. We want the officer to be able talk to experts, who can look at his legal recourses, if he needed to," says Chuck Canterbury, national president of the Fraternal Order of Police.
While McKinney should face some consequences for her action, this seems a little much. Unless he was injured in some way, this is jsut piling on and a little distasteful.

Link via Drudge Report.

JIMMY AKIN.ORG: I've Been Bible Memed
1. How many Bibles are in your home?

2. What rooms are they in?
My dining/living room.

3. What translations do you have?
New American, Douay-Rheims, RSV-Catholic Edition

4. Do you have a preference?
RSV-CE. The Douay-Rheims is old-school English, so I have trouble understanding it. I can't compare the authenticity of the RSV and New American, although I confident both are fine. I prefer the RSV-CE because it doesn't have footnotes on the page so I get less distracted and can focus more on the actual text. (Plus, the NAB's commentary sometimes makes me wonder if the authors of the commentary are even Christian. Some of the stuff they come up with, whoo boy... Essentially, the rely far too much on the historical-critical method of analysis.)

5. Nominate an interesting verse:
Revelation 3:16: "So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth."
(It's a common one, but the image is so strong it's very powerful.)

Throw in some Catholicism and baseball, and we'll have achieved Heaven on Earth!

Link via The Corner.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Reasons for Confession
Lent is an especially good season for Confession. It is also a good time to review the reasons why Catholics go to Confession.
First, a sacrament makes intangible things to be tangible. Our customary way of knowing things is through our senses.
Second, a sacrament provides a way for one to be reconciled with the whole community of the faithful.
Third, a sacrament provides a way for sinners to acknowledge their sins in front of another person in the flesh, to name their sins to another, and to renounce their sins before another.
Fourth, a sacrament of mercy provides a great way for one to become humble.
Finally, a sacrament of mercy has many wonderful side effects

BBTF's Baseball Primer Newsblog Discussion :: Daily Times: McCaffery: Manuel�s odd moves should trouble Gillick
When you have followed Philly sports all of your life, starting the season 1-6 is just a bad omen.

I think that what you meant to say was

"When you have followed Philly sports all of your life, starting the season is just a bad omen."
I was jest telling a friend today that I'm disappointed by the Phillies this year at all. I expect them to lose every game so wins like on Sunday are surprises. I'm never disappointed by them.

But seriously, Manuel doesn't see Memorial Day as the Phils manager.

Timotheos Prologizes: The Old Testament Gospels
Interesting post detailing four passages from the Old Testament the prefigure Christ's Passion particularly well. Fairly obvious if you're familiar with them, but still interesting as a reminder. (I guessed 3 of the four, and I haven't read Wisdom yet.)

Link via Dappled Things.

"If duties are too high, they lessen the consumption; the collection is eluded; and the product to the treasury is not so great as when they are confined within proper and moderate bounds." —Alexander Hamilton

"Every time we talk about these taxes we get around to the idea of 'from each according to his capacity and to each according to his needs'. That's socialism. It's written into the Communist Manifesto. Maybe we ought to see that every person who gets a tax return receives a copy of the Communist Manifesto with it so he can see what's happening to him." —T. Coleman Andrews

"The power to tax involves the power to destroy." —Justice John Marshall

"Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it." —Ronald Reagan

"Like it or not, the pressure to raise your taxes will be enormous in coming years no matter who controls Congress. The amount of money government spends, borrows, and prints simply cannot be sustained." —Ron Paul

"It is ironic that some women, in the name of feminism, are attempting to emasculate the God of Western religious morality. For if their goal is achieved, it is women who will suffer most from lawless males. We have too many absent fathers on earth to begin to even entertain the thought of having no Father in heaven." —Dennis Prager

"You know we've come a long way when our idea of racism has moved from fire hoses and segregation to a black congresswoman's outrage at not being recognized by a Capitol Hill policeman." —Star Parker

"Seventy-three percent of Americans say that immigration is a serious problem. The other 27 percent said, 'No habla Ingles'." —Conan O'Brien

"Here's my immigration 'compromise': We need to regularize the situation of the 298 million non-undocumented residents of the United States. Right now, we get a lousy deal compared with the 15 million fine upstanding members of the Undocumented American community. I think the 298 million of us in the overdocumented segment of the population should get the chance to be undocumented. You know when President Bush talks about all those undocumented people 'living in the shadows'? Doesn't that sound kinda nice? Living in the shadows, no government agencies harassing you for taxes and numbers and paperwork." —Mark Steyn

Jay Leno: The deputy secretary for the Department of Homeland Security was arrested after he tried to seduce a 14-year-old girl online, who was actually an undercover detective. I think the terror alert has been raised to "Creepy."

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

New Member of Delaware Conservative Bloggers Alliance
We're welcome a new member: Anonymous Opinion's Politics. He's a good writer, and anyone who criticizes Castle from the right wins points in my book. I'll have to teach him a thing or two about the Pope, though.

He's been added to the blog roll on the left.

UPDATE: I've been informed that the "He's" above should be "She's". Everyone looks the same on the Internet, especially when they're "anonymous"....

JIMMY AKIN.ORG: A Stray Thought. . . .
Over at Jimmy Akin's blog, they're debating slogans to promote meat eating.

My favorites:
ANIMALS! Now With A Yummy, Meat-Filled Center!

If God didn't want us to eat animals, he wouldn't have made them out of meat. [Homer Simpson]

"Meat - you don't want to get beat up *all* the time, do you?"

"Meat - Ghandhi didn't eat meat, and he's dead."

"You don't make friends with salad" (Simpsons) [Although it was actually "you don't win friends with salad."]
One I would add:

God said, "Every creature that is alive shall be yours to eat..." (Genesis Ch 9, verse 3)

Monday, April 10, 2006

Reflections on the Divine Mercy
In the article linked above, I posted some excerpts from Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska's Diary "Divine mercy in My Soul." Since I have a long-running query I'm waiting on right now, I figured I'd write some reflections on them.
By obedience you give great glory to Me and gain merit for yourself."
Jesus said the above, and I've read saints speaking about obedience being the virtue most pleasing to God. And it makes sense that it is. After all, anyone can do God's will if it's something we want to do. I enjoy going to Sunday Mass, so it's not a big deal for me to do so. I hate abstaining from meat on Fridays, so for me to do so because God's Church commands it is more pleasing to Him since it's something I wouldn't do otherwise except for love for Him. This is true even though keeping the Sabbath holy is one of the Ten Commandments, while abstaining from meat is merely a discipline. Because I wouldn't abstain from meat other than the fact it pleases Him, this is much more pleasing to Him than my participation in the Sacrifice of the Mass.
My daughter, your heart is My heaven.
Jesus wants nothing more than to reside in our hearts so He can always be with us. When we welcome him into our hearts, we show much we love Him and want to act in ways pleasing to Him. This is His greatest pleasure, to reside with us always so closely that it's hard to tell where our will ends and His begins. That's Heaven for Him and for us.

Molecular Cloud
Does anyone else look at this picture (April 9th, 2006's Astronomy Picture of the Day):

and think, "Well, there's obviously a giant amoeba at the center of that cloud."

I'm embarassed to admit that it was my immediate thought.

Passion Sunday Mass Readings
Yesterday was, of course, Palm Sunday (aka Passion Suday). For those who don't know, in the Catholic Church the congregation participates in the proclamation of the Gospel. (To the best of my knowledge, it's the only time of the year that is allowed.) As a kid, I always felt uncomfortable when it came time for us to say "Crucify him!" because who wants to crucify Jesus?

It occurs to me the Church has us do that to remind us that when we sin, we are crucifying and rejecting Jesus just as those who shouted it originally did. It's our sins that put Him on the cross, and when we sin again we put him back there by choosing sin over Him, just as the people then chose Barabbas over Jesus.

We need to remember that when we are presented with temptation, or virtually any choice, there is the choice between what God wants us to do and and what God doesn't want us to. (Obviously, not every choice involves a potential for sin. The choice between pasta and seafood for dinner is unlikely to involve sin unless you took a vow to God to avoid one fo the other.) But we need to be careful when making choices that could lead to sin; we need to make sure that what we are doing is is accord with God's will so we don't put his Son right back on that Cross.

UPDATE: I forgot yesterday that the congregation also participates during the Gospel on good Friday. It's also the account of the Passion, but from John's Gospel.

"It should be the highest ambition of every American...to bear in mind that his conduct will not only affect himself, his country, and his immediate posterity; but that its influence may be co-extensive with the world, and stamp political happiness or misery on ages yet unborn." —George Washington

"We all want progress, but if you're on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive." —C. S. Lewis

"When our lives are focused on God, awe and wonder lead us to worship God, filling our inner being with a fullness we would never have thought possible. Awe prepares the way in us for the power of God to transform us and this transformation of our inner attitudes can only take place when awe leads us in turn to wonder, admiration, reverence, surrender, and obedience toward God." —James Houston

"The war, this clash of civilizations, is a war that will last for generations. Your grandkids will have to deal with it. It isn't going to go away. All the solutions to it are long-term solutions. All the solutions are painful and will require incredible perseverance... We Christians can understand that, because we can take a longer view of history. But today's instant-gratification culture doesn't get it [and] doesn't want to get it..." —Chuck Colson

"Some in Washington want to rein in 527's with greater government control and regulation, and that is certainly their right and a path that is consistent with the letter and spirit of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act. However, I believe instead of greater government control of political speech, more freedom is the answer and that is why I could not support this bill. And while this liberty may be a bit more chaotic and inconvenient for some in the political class, as Thomas Jefferson said, 'I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it.' The answer to problems in politics in a free society is more freedom, not less." —Rep. Mike Pence, Chairman of the Republican Study Committee

"For the past four years Republicans have won elections by tagging Democrats as the 'anti' party—as in antiwar, anti-tax-cuts, antijudges or just plain anti-Bush. The theme was clear: If Democrats want to be trusted to govern, they have to be for something. That's sound advice that Republicans themselves might want to heed. This year the GOP is becoming the 'anti' party that is against more ideas than it is for... Ask a Republican official why the GOP should hold onto control of Congress this year and the answer will invariably fall to one of two responses—either the generic (Democrats would spend more money, abandon the war or otherwise do a worse job running the country) or the more specific, which one top Republican said to us recently: 'Speaker Nancy Pelosi.' Regardless of what voters think of the San Francisco Democrat and House minority leader, this isn't a positive, forward-looking reason to turn out and vote for the GOP... Republicans need to put a few forward-looking ideas on the table of what they would like to do for the country. Look what we're stopping from happening isn't a winning strategy for a majority party." —Brendan Miniter

My Current Reading
The Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in My Soul

I've had this book for a while, even started it once and didn't get back to it. I figured with Divine Mercy Sunday (the Sunday after Easter) approaching and this being Holy Week (which is all about God's mercy), this was an appropriate time to finally read it.

It's truly a diary, often describing her daily activities in the convents in which she resided. There are, however, a number of records of Jesus and the Virgin Mary speaking to her.

Some of the interesting things I've read so far:
* Jesus said: "By obedience you give great glory to Me and gain merit for yourself." (28)
* Saint Faustina records a vision: "One day, I saw two roads. One was broad, covered with sand and flowers, full of joy, music and all sorts of pleasures. People walked along it, dancing and enjoying themselves. They reached the end without realizing it. And at the end of the road there was a horrible precipice; that is, the abyss of hell. The souls fell blindly into it; as they walked, so they fell. And their number was so great that it was impossible to count them. And I saw the other road, or rather, a path, for it was narrow and strewn with thorns and rocks; and the people who walked along it had tears in their eyes, and all kinds of suffering befell them. Some fell down upon the rocks, but stood up immediately and went on. At the end of the road there was a magnificent garden filled with all sorts of happiness, and all these souls entered there. At the very first instant they forgot all their sufferings" (153)
* Jesus tells her: "My daughter, your heart is My heaven." (238)

I'll have more to say about those quotes hopefully later today.

It's a good read so far. Definitely a good deal to reflect on.

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