What the Catholic Vote Looks Like

What Do Puss in Boots and Obama Have in Common?

Jonah Goldberg :

I knew Barack Obama was miserable when he tried to give debate moderator Jim Lehrer the Puss in Boots eyes. “You may want to move on to another topic,” Obama implored Lehrer, a bit like a motorcycle thief begging a cop to take him into custody rather than let him stay with the surly biker gang that caught him.

What’s Hot – What’s Not

Somebody stop me! or Obama Cures Insomnia: just ask him anything. ……..a la Wahington Post

How Hungry Can A Little Black Hole Be? – a question for Switzerland and the Large Hadron Collider folks……….a la Another Think

This One Cost Me

…..a la  Glenn Reynolds

No Time to Waste – Ah Youth!

H/T breitbart.tv

Ashley Klinger Stuck in Pittsburgh International Airport Overnight

“My adventures in the Pittsburgh International Airport during the worst snow storm of the century. After arriving late for a flight at 7:40 PM to LGA I decided to stick around my gate until my flight at 5:40 and had a BLAST!

I was on my way to New York City to attend an audition for the national tour of the wizard of oz (coming to pitt in April) when I missed my flight by 15 minutes due to the weather. I knew the only way to make it to the audition was if I spent the night and took the 5:40 AM flight the next morning. They told me to sleep in the kids area. I eventually made the US airways flight (although it was an hour late) and did well at the audition. I danced than had a callback to sing. :)”

Weight Training Family Style

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Ice Geysers in Space

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Monty Python – Philosophers' World Cup

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The Man and The Eagle

The Story

Extreme Shepherding

As I Am

Prayer by Fr. Raymond:

Because I am obnoxious, forgive me Lord.

Because I am dishonest, forgive me Lord.

Because I am egotistical , forgive me Lord.

Because I am undisciplined, forgive me Lord.

Because I am weak, forgive me Lord.

Because I am impure, forgive me Lord.

Because I am arrogant, forgive me Lord.

Because I am self-centered, forgive me Lord.

Because I am pompous, forgive me Lord.

Because I am insincere, forgive me Lord.

Because I am judgmental , forgive me Lord.

Because I am grasping, forgive me Lord.

Because I am shallow, forgive me Lord.

Because I am inconsistent, forgive me Lord.

Because I am unfaithful, forgive me Lord.

Because I am immoral, forgive me Lord.

Because I am disobedient, forgive me Lord.

Because I am selfish, forgive me Lord.

Because I am lukewarm, forgive me Lord.

Because I am slothful, forgive me Lord.

Because I am unloving, forgive me Lord.

Because I am uncommitted, forgive me Lord.

Because I am sinful, forgive me Lord.

Because I am loved by You, thank you Lord.

Nature Cries Out!

I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.’ Luke 19:40

Here is a photograph of a living tree which I pass almost everyday.  One day it stopped me in my tracks as an image emerged out of the noise of criss-crossing leaves and branches. This tree was struck by lightening and now bears a recogognizable image:

Scourging and Crucifixion

Scourging and Crucifixion of Christ.

I am an artist and that may make me sensitive to images camouflaged in the ordinary things around us.  Not only do I see the Scourging and Crucifixion of Christ in this living tree, but I can also see the Crown of Thorns. As a starting point for mediation, ask yourself, “Why a tree?”

Blazing Anger – Triumphant Day

The crew of Divine Office.org in a “chatter & cheese” segment (spontaneous sharing after prayer), brought up a certain delight in God’s burning anger that we have been hearing about in the readings from the Book of Revelation for the last week or so.  The delight springs from a desire for justice that has been long awaited by the saints, martyrs, and, now by us in this Age.  Finally, the raging anger and wrath of God lays low all His enemies who throughout time have set themselves against Him, and caused suffering for His People.

One prevalent thought that emerged in the discussion voiced the notion that this Day of Wrath was in fact the Day of the Cross-the Crucifixion and Death of our Lord Jesus- the Day an unsuspecting Satan was conquered for all time and Eternity by the bloody sacrifice on Calvary.

“Then I saw the heavens opened, and there was a white horse; its rider was (called) “Faithful and True.” He judges and wages war in righteousness. His eyes were (like) a fiery flame, and on his head were many diadems. He had a name  inscribed that no one knows except himself. He wore a cloak that had been dipped in  blood, and his name was called the Word of God.” Rev. 19:11-13

The discussion voiced another light, “The One on the Horse is Jesus.” Chris, said, “Maybe that battle was fought and won.” This Mystery, still unfolding in the world and in the Church in Time is one of triumph and exaltation of the King of Kings who is at hand and enthroned in Heaven and in His Church.

Another thought reflected the idea of transformation, transformation through the sacraments, through Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Matrimony, Holy Orders.  “Burning anger is transformative, purifying.” We are transformed, become new creatures and are yet being fit for the Kingdom, here and yet to come, already but not yet, ”Yesterday, today and tomorrow.”

I image the Mystery of it in this way: it is as a block buster movie being made; when complete, the movie is presented as a whole, but in the process of becoming, it is made up of bits and pieces filmed at different times and different places, yet all part of the complete work and necessary to it.  We are being spliced into the triumphant victory of the Day of the Lord, so to speak, as each of us contributes her/his part.

Maranatha!

Race to Digitize Ancient Manuscripts

Wall St. Journal writes,

Improved technology is allowing researchers to scan ancient texts that were once unreadable — blackened in fires or by chemical erosion, painted over or simply too fragile to unroll. Now, scholars are studying these works with X-ray fluorescence, multispectral imaging used by NASA to photograph Mars and CAT scans used by medical technicians.

One of the most ambitious digital preservation projects is being led, fittingly, by a Benedictine monk. Father Columba Stewart, executive director of the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library at St. John’s Abbey and University in Minnesota, cites his monastic order’s long tradition of copying texts to ensure their survival as inspiration.

His mission: digitizing some 30,000 endangered manuscripts within the Eastern Christian traditions, a canon that includes liturgical texts, Biblical commentaries and historical accounts in half a dozen languages, including Arabic, Coptic and Syriac, the written form of Aramaic. Rev. Stewart has expanded the library’s work to 23 sites, including collections in Syria, Lebanon and Turkey, up from two in 2003. He has overseen the digital preservation of some 16,500 manuscripts, some of which date to the 10th and 11th centuries. Some works photographed by the monastery have since turned up on the black market or eBay, he says.

Read full story here.

Pizza Dilemma

Hot Air supplies this audio). It should make you feel very superior.

Now that you’re in the pizza mood:

Research Confirms Rhythmic Cockatoo

LA times says  research confirms cockatoo  has rhythm.  Something  over 2 1/2 million people had already guessed, but it’s nice to know it’s official:

Wonder if they care about a dog with inflection and good diction?

Totus en Espanol

Totus (Teleprompter of the US) could have used a teleprompter in a pre-Cinco de Mayo bash.  He celebrated Cinco de Mayo at the White House with Cinco de Cuatro panach, whatever that is (five of four, anyone?)  Oh well, he’s trying…..though Ed Morrissey muses otherwise in Obamateurism of the Day:

¡Hola, amigos! ¿Que pasa? Maybe Barack Obama should have just stuck with that when trying to use his Spanish to offer a holiday greeting to White House visitors

Michelle Malkin gives us the Gaffetastic-o video, saying, “How many times over the last year have we said “If George Bush said what Barack Obama said…”

Larcency and Decadence of Coffee Addictions

My fair daughter found this must read and calls the gleaming icon of decadence “a coffee altar.” It was this same daughter that introduced me to the coffee machine vs coffee maker during an afternoon demo she conducted at William Sonoma with the wordless salesperson unable to get a word in edgewise.  Now she allures and entices me with levels of pleasure yet to be experienced.

The Anchoress is on the Move

Good things happening to good people and a great writer.  So you can better track her down here she is; same ole, same ole, in classy new digs.

The Anchoress: http://www.firstthings.com/theanchoress/

I’m having a problem reaching her for the moment, working on a dramatic entrance not doubt.

Right Brain? Left Brain?

This is old fun from the Daily Telegraph but just right for an easy going Sunday afternoon.

The Right Brain vs Left Brain test … do you see the dancer turning clockwise or anti-clockwise?

If clockwise, then you use more of the right side of the brain and vice versa.

I found out I’m bossy and controlling, spinning her in one direction and then the other (presumably by crunching numbers or humming tunes or simply by being whacky.)

LEFT BRAIN FUNCTIONS
uses logic
detail oriented
facts rule
words and language
present and past
math and science
can comprehend
knowing
acknowledges
order/pattern perception
knows object name
reality based
forms strategies
practical
safe

RIGHT BRAIN FUNCTIONS
uses feeling
“big picture” oriented
imagination rules
symbols and images
present and future
philosophy & religion
can “get it” (i.e. meaning)
believes
appreciates
spatial perception
knows object function
fantasy based
presents possibilities
impetuous
risk taking

Hard Rock Bombardment Poised Against Crickets

Who’d have ever dreamt hard rock music could serve a divine purpose. The Wall Street Journal says it will deter the advance of the Mormon crickets.

Rock music blaring from boomboxes has proved one of the best defenses against an annual invasion of Mormon crickets. The huge flightless insects are a fearsome sight as they advance across the desert in armies of millions that march over, under or into anything in their way.

[A Mormon cricket crosses a highway north of Sparks, Nev., in a recent spring. The 2-inch-long insects often carpet the arid landscape in the spring and summer, devouring vegetation and driving residents to distraction.] Associated Press

A Mormon cricket crosses a highway north of Sparks, Nev., in a recent spring. The 2-inch-long insects often carpet the arid landscape in the spring and summer, devouring vegetation and driving residents to distraction….

…. In columns that in peak years can be two miles long and a mile across, swarms move across the badlands in search of food. Starting in about May, they march through August or so, before stopping to lay eggs for next year and die.

In between, they make an awful mess. They destroy crops and lots of the other leafy vegetation. They crawl all over houses, and some get inside. “You’ll wake up and there’ll be one sitting on your forehead, looking at you,” says Ms. Moore.

But the crickets don’t much fancy Led Zeppelin or the Rolling Stones, the townspeople figured out three years ago. So next month, Tuscarorans are preparing once again to get out their extension cords, array their stereos in a quarter-circle and tune them to rock station KHIX, full blast, from dawn to dusk. “It is part of our arsenal,” says Laura Moore, an unemployed college professor and one of the town’s 13 residents.

Susan Boyle Demo

My hope is that everyone who hears Susan Boyle sing says a silent prayer for her.  The real blessing to hope for amidst all the media attention and popularity is the survival of her smile and the twinkle in her eyes.

Susan Boyle recording of Killing Me Softly and Cry Me A River unearthed by Telegraph.co.uk

The 48-year-old recorded two songs ten years ago and distributed them to only a handful of her closest friends in the village of Blackburn, West Lothian, where she lives alone with her cat.

The recording, which was unearthed by Telegraph.co.uk, features two songs – an early version of the blues ballad Cry Me a River and Killing Me Softly with His Song, the track immortalized by Roberta Flack in 1973.

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Boyle Shocks Britain but Not Her Priest

Amazing as it is  Father Basil Clark, who watched the show from Broxburn, Scotland, was not surprised when Susan Boyle amazed all of England and the world . As reported by the Catholic News Service:

“He has seen the situation unfold many times before, having regularly accompanied Boyle, 47, on the annual Legion of Mary pilgrimage to the Marian shrine in Knock, Ireland. “When I watched the judges’ faces it reminded me of what I was like when I first saw Susan singing — absolutely blown away by the quality of the singing and by that fantastic voice,” said Father Clark, dean of West Lothian, the district that covers Boyle’s home village of Blackburn.”

CNS said that in a interview on CBS’s The EarlyShow, Susan said,that because her mother had encouraged her to sing, she wanted to make her performance

“a tribute to my mother.”

“I knew it was something I had to do,” she said. “I had to get on with it. That’s where the courage came from, my mother.

“The ones who made fun of me are now nice to me,” she said. “So, I think I may have won them ’round.”

Susan Boyle singing I Dreamed a Dream on “Britain’s Got Talent 2009”

ver 40 million people

The Anchoress says it so beautifully:

We are fascinated with Susan Boyle, because she reveals to us the world of possibilities we too often leave unexplored, within ourselves. We dare to think…has God kissed me, too?

Let us seek out what that kiss may have wrought, uncover it, celebrate it, thank God for it, even if the world finds those gifts less fascinating than the duckling/swan story of Susan Boyle. Small greatnesses add up, and they support whole worlds.

Mother Teresa of Calcutta – the Beginning

Before Mother Teresa’s mission began, she wrote a letter to Archbishop Perier in April of 1947, explaining God’s  insistent call as she was experiencing it.  “Come Be My Light” the Private Writings of the “Saint of Calcutta”, contains that letter.  In it are these words that Jesus spoke to Mother Teresa:

“The thirst you had for souls brought you so far. Are you afraid to take one more step for your Spouse, for Me, for Souls?  Is your generosity grown cold? Am I a second to you? You did not die for souls – that is why you don’t care what happens to them.  Your heart has never drowned in sorrow as it was My Mother’s. We both gave our all for souls… and you?”

I am relieved Jesus hasn’t addressed these words to me.  They break my heart. Then I think, oh, but He has.  Each day, we are all challenged to be Christ for someone, “I give you a new commandment. Love one another. As I have loved you, so you should love one another.”  John 13: 34  Taking one more step for my Spouse – for Jesus – for souls…what would that be for me – in my life?

The Subtle Art of Latte

Not your ordinary latte or barista.

Natural Enemies At Peace

Here’s a treat for animal lovers.


Intense Hunger for God – Purgatory

Since these Easter days lead up to Mercy Sunday, I read a little from Divine Mercy in My Soul, St. Faustina’s diary.  Here’s what got my attention. It has to do with purgatory.

1185 July 9.1937. This evening, one of the deceased sisters came and asked me for one day of fasting and to offer all my [spiritual] exercises on that day for her. I answered that I would.

1186 From early morning on the following day, I offered everything for her intention.  During Holy Mass, I had a brief experience of her torment, I experienced such intense hunger for God that I seemed to be dying of the desire to become united with Him.  This lasted only a short time, but I understood what the longing of the souls in purgatory was like.

Praying for the souls in purgatory is, of course, a good work and a good habit, but sometimes I lose track of who they actually are. They can seem a homogenous mass of unknown people, like the “huddled masses yearning to breathe free” on our Statue of Liberty.  Who are they to me personally.  For me, they are my mother and father, my husband’s mother and father, sister and brother, my aunts, uncles, cousins and friends who have preceded me in death, intimate loved ones awaiting my prayers. Somehow it makes a difference to how I pray and that I pray.

Painting With Stars

Hubble’s photo of the Crown of Thorns Galaxy posted by Sam Sloane: Slice of SciFi.  Thank you Anchoress and Hubble, of course.

He is Risen! – Alleluia!

Happy Easter Everyone!  Alleluia!

Homily of Pope Benedict XVI  – Easter Sunday 2009

“Christ, our Paschal lamb, has been sacrificed!” (1 Cor 5:7).  On this day, Saint Paul’s triumphant words ring forth, words that we have just heard in the second reading, taken from his First Letter to the Corinthians.  It is a text which originated barely twenty years after the death and resurrection of Jesus, and yet – like many Pauline passages – it already contains, in an impressive synthesis, a full awareness of the newness of life in Christ.  The central symbol of salvation history – the Paschal lamb – is here identified with Jesus, who is called “our Paschal lamb”.  The Hebrew Passover, commemorating the liberation from slavery in Egypt, provided for the ritual sacrifice of a lamb every year, one for each family, as prescribed by the Mosaic Law.  In his passion and death, Jesus reveals himself as the Lamb of God, “sacrificed” on the Cross, to take away the sins of the world.  He was killed at the very hour when it was customary to sacrifice the lambs in the Temple of Jerusalem.  The meaning of his sacrifice he himself had anticipated during the Last Supper, substituting himself – under the signs of bread and wine – for the ritual food of the Hebrew Passover meal.  Thus we can truly say that Jesus brought to fulfilment the tradition of the ancient Passover, and transformed it into his Passover.

On the basis of this new meaning of the Paschal feast, we can also understand Saint Paul’s interpretation of the “leaven”.  The Apostle is referring to an ancient Hebrew usage:  according to which, on the occasion of the Passover, it was necessary to remove from the household every tiny scrap of leavened bread.  On the one hand, this served to recall what had happened to their forefathers at the time of the flight from Egypt:  leaving the country in haste, they had brought with them only unleavened bread.  At the same time, though, the “unleavened bread” was a symbol of purification:  removing the old to make space for the new.  Now, Saint Paul explains, this ancient tradition likewise acquires a new meaning, once more derived from the new “Exodus”, which is Jesus’ passage from death to eternal life.  And since Christ, as the true Lamb, sacrificed himself for us, we too, his disciples – thanks to him and through him – can and must be the “new dough”, the “unleavened bread”, liberated from every residual element of the old yeast of sin:  no more evil and wickedness in our heart.

“Let us celebrate the feast … with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth”.  This exhortation from Saint Paul, which concludes the short reading that was proclaimed a few moments ago, resounds even more powerfully in the context of the Pauline Year.  Dear brothers and sisters, let us accept the Apostle’s invitation;  let us open our spirit to Christ, who has died and is risen in order to renew us, in order to remove from our hearts the poison of sin and death, and to pour in the life-blood of the Holy Spirit:  divine and eternal life.  In the Easter Sequence, in what seems almost like a response to the Apostle’s words, we sang:  “Scimus Christum surrexisse a mortuis vere” – we know that Christ has truly risen from the dead.  Yes, indeed!  This is the fundamental core of our profession of faith;  this is the cry of victory that unites us all today.  And if Jesus is risen, and is therefore alive, who will ever be able to separate us from him?  Who will ever be able to deprive us of the love of him who has conquered hatred and overcome death?

The Easter proclamation spreads throughout the world with the joyful song of the Alleluia.  Let us sing it with our lips, and let us sing it above all with our hearts and our lives, with a manner of life that is “unleavened”, that is to say, simple, humble, and fruitful in good works.  “Surrexit Christus spes mea:  precedet suos in Galileam” – Christ my hope is risen, and he goes before you into Galilee.  The Risen One goes before us and he accompanies us along the paths of the world.  He is our hope, He is the true peace of the world.  Amen!

Good Friday

Happy Passover – Seder Primer

This is a learning experience for me, you might as well come along.

Ever since the night before the Exodus Jews have celebrated a Seder, a supper before the Lord and a story told, the Haggadah.

More Happy Passover from the Anchoress

Happy Passover!