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Showing posts from November, 2010

Marcello's Mischief: A Wonderful Milestone

Yesterday I had the wonderful privilege of celebrating my brudder (yes that's the way I pronounce it.) Marcello's 28th birthday. (Yes, the same Marcello as from the famous Marcello's Mischief blogs.) It was a strangely uneventful evening; uneventful in the sense that no mischievous acts were caused, just plain old fun with family and friends, digesting tons of food, drinking endless coffee, topped off with shots of Grapa and Sambuca.

Marcello and I have a rare, unique, and baffling relationship.  He is my third favorite human being in the world, after God and my wife of course. He is my best friend, my most honest critic. ( I have implemented many of his suggestions for this blog) He also knows most of my deepest, darkest secrets, the good, the bad, and especially the ugly.  He has stood by me through all of these challenges, mostly encouraging, sometimes destroying, and always providing much needed mischief in my life. Best of all he is my brother, my flesh and blood. …

Catholics affected by recent North Korean bombings

Like most people I was outraged when on Nov 23 North Korea decided to arbitrarily bomb the tiny South Korean Island of Yeonpyeong-do.  What I didn't know was that the island's only Catholic church was also damaged.  To read the actual article click here.

My prayer is that there be a peaceful resolution to this conflict and that the parishioners affected by this brazen bombing can return to their parish soon.

Anna Karenina: Looking at Ourselves And Others through Jaded Eyes

"The chief reason why the prince was so disagreeable to Vronsky was that he could not help seeing himself in him.  And what he saw in this mirror did not gratify his self esteem.  He was a very stupid and very self satisfied and very healthy and very well washed man, and nothing else.  He was a gentleman-that was true, and Vronsky could not deny it.  He was equable and not cringing with his superiors, was free and ingratiating in his behavior with his equals, and was contemptuously indulgent with his inferiors.  Vronsky was himself the same, and regarded it as a great merit to be so.  But for this prince he was inferior, and his contemptuous and indulgent attitude to him revolted him.  "Brainless beef! can I be like that?" he thought."  Leo Tolstoy from Anna Karenina, pg. 420

In this moving reflection Alexei Vronsky reflects upon his own self hatred as is embodied by his feelings against a prince whom he is entertaining. The dramatic backdrop of this scene is the …

11.21.10 Pt. II Lessons Learned

Here are some of the lessons that I have learned in my first year as a husband:

 The saying "that the woman is always right" definitely applies and is a great way to prevent or curtail an argumentPraying together is truly the most powerful form of communication, the more you do it, the betterFor all the men out there always, always clean up under the toilet seat after going  #1Buy fresh flowers at least once a month.  Not even expensive ones. Even grocery store ones. Flowers are tangible evidence that u love her.Make time regularly to be alone with her.Sleeping with my wife definitely beats sleeping alone. I'm a spooner. I admit it. Proudly.When stressed watching The Office and Seinfeld can be very helpfulFor all the guys again, making the bed can be sexy. They actually think its sexy when u make the bed! Do it! Easy points! (Read my blog that I wrote about this very thing)When angry, strive to never refuse the olive branch that is offered by the other personSinging songs…

11.21.10 One Year Later

Last Sunday Renee and I had the sublime privilege of celebrating our first wedding anniversary. Wow I can't believe it, it has been a great year, the best year of my life.  Just a year ago we became one flesh in the Lord, forming a mystical, physical bond which transcended all earthly meaning.  A year ago I married the woman of my dreams,  my soul mate, my best friend, the greatest gift from God.  Here were some of the highlights of this awesome milestone:

We began our day very early at 2 AM exact and we spent our usual holy hour thanking the Lord for bringing us together at the Adoration Chapel.  This was the most important step for us, last year right after we got married we went to the chapel fully attired in our bride and groom wear. After sleeping in a little we opened our presents.  Renee gave me as a gift Decision Points the latest book written by former president George W. Bush and a beautiful card.  ( I love the fact that my wife is conservative)  I bought her some flowers…

Vladimir Putin and Rocky IV

It all occurred when I came back from my mother's on Thanksgiving,  I went to bed, closed my eyes and this is what happened: I was in my childhood room at my mother's home.  Several of my relatives were there, my brothers, my uncle Joe, and my mother.  We were all talking until I saw an strange but distinguished guest.  There in standing in the corner of my room was Russian president, Vladimir Putin.  It was so weird, so random, but despite my initial misgivings I made my way over to the Russian president.  We began talking and our conversation went really well.  We talked about a variety of matters, I even succeeded at making him laugh.  I remember how he spoke about the greatness and grandeur of Russia.   After speaking for a while I made my way back to the dining room where we commenced our dinner.  After eating our dinner Mr. Putin called me back into my room.  We spoke briefly until the unexpected happened.  As he began to walk away he suddenly...spat at my face!  I remem…

So what are we thankful for?

Since it is Thanksgiving today I decided that I would create a gratitude list for all the things that I am grateful for this year.  Before I begin my gratitude list I wanted to attach Abraham Lincoln's Thanksgiving address of 1863.  What makes this address so moving is the fact that it took place while our country was mired in the Civil War.  But despite the terrible sufferings of the nation Lincoln still found compelling reasons to remain grateful.  It is a must read. Here it goes:
"The year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added which are of so extraordinary a nature that they can not fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever-watchful providence of Almighty God.
In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity,…

Hold On!: The Truth about Pope Benedict's Statement about Condoms Pt.II

I published a post yesterday explaining the Pope's statement about condoms.  (To read my post click here.)  Since publishing the post yesterday I have come across a number of other, well written articles that I feel could be of good use.   Here are the links to the 6 articles accompanied with a brief summary:

This article was from Fr. Barron's awesome blog, Word on Fire.  This article titled, Media: The "C" wordwaswritten by Father Steve Grunow.  This article was written by Cardinal Raymond Burke.  It is a well written and cogent response.This is the New York Times article from the interview with New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan. This article is interesting in that it does not only speak about the Pope controversy, it also introduces this great archbishop to the world.  A definite must read.This article is written by Charles Chaput former Archbishop of Denver.  This article explains effectively the entire context of the pope's upcoming book, Light of The World. T…

Hold On! : The Truth about Pope Benedict's Statement about Condoms

Like most Catholics I was shocked this past Sunday when I found out that the pope issued a statement condoning condom use in certain extraordinary cases.  When I first heard this I scratched my head it just did not make any sense.  I even began thinking the worst that our beloved pope was caving in to the pressures of the international community regarding condom use as a way of preventing AIDS.  But upon reading the actual statements of the pope I was reassured that he was in no way advocating the use of condoms.  I will explain the Pope's statement with the following four points:

Context is everything.  This past Sunday the pope conducted an interview with a German Journalist in light of the scheduled release of his new book titled,  Light of the World.  In the interview the Pope used the hypothetical example of a male prostitute who decided to use condoms as a way of stopping the spread of AIDS.  The Pope's point was that this choice by the male prostitute was “a first step i…

A Dramatic Retelling of "The Woman Caught in Adultery Pt. II: The birth of a new disciple

Before you read this click here.

After reading Jesus' writing on the sand Abner began to walk his way back home.  On the way towards his home Abner saw two men talking animatedly about something. Judging by their appearances they looked liked prosperous merchants or tax collectors because of their stylish and colorful tunics. Both of the their tunics were decorated in different, intricate patterns of blue, purple, and red.  Their beards although long were neatly trimmed so that they would not extend further than their upper necks. As Abner walked nearer to the men he heard them discussing amongst themselves,   "How could Jesus forgive that woman?" " Does not he believe in the sacred law of our father Moses?",  The other man answered, " I believe that this Jesus is a fraud, a hack, a great danger to our faith. He needs to be removed or put to death"  "The true Messiah will not be a friend of the gentile"  "This so called Jesus exonerate…

A Dramatic Retelling of the "Woman Caught In Adultery"

Early in the morning he came again to the temple; all the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them. The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst they said to him, "Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such. What do you say about her?" This they said to test him,  that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground.  And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, "Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her."  And once more he bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground.  But when they heard it, they went away, one by one, beginning with the eldest, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him.  Jesus looked up and said to her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?"  She said, "…

Are Catholic Bloggers the Taliban?

Last week my brother called me and told me to read an article that he had found on Fr. Robert Barron's website, Word on FireThe post was titled, No Urge to Purge and it spoke about the Washington Times article titled, Catholic Bloggers aim to Purge Dissenters.  Fr. Barron in his post was seeking to defend the sensational claim made by the article which characterized Orthodox Catholic bloggers as being guilty of, "Taliban Catholicism"

First off I was excited when I read both the articles because it helped to affirm one of my biggest motivations of starting this blog of defending the teachings of the Catholic Faith.  The subtitle of my blog even reads, Fighting the Good Fight One Minute at a time.  However, I was not thrilled by the characterization made by the article that compared Orthodox Catholic bloggers to the Taliban. This alleged claim is simply not true as Fr. Baron correctly elaborates.  (To read Fr. Barron's article click here, to read The Washington Post…

The Red Light Test

Food for thought.....................

Here is the scene:  It is 2 o' clock in the morning and you are driving alone.  You are tired and you are coming home from a friend's house.  You approach this intersection in the middle of nowhere, when you are stopped by a red light.  There is no one there: no cops, no cars, no pedestrians.  It is just you, yourself, and your conscience.  So what do you do?  Do you wait until the light turns green?  Or do you just pass this light and continue on your way, knowing that you probably will never be caught?

Here are some other similar situations:

Your boss never shows up before you. You are expected to be there at 8am each day. Do you come in 5 or 10 minutes late, or do you still come on time even if you know for sure that you will never be caught?Nobody will ever know.  The supply closet at the office houses hundreds of pens. Do you take one for home?Your husband has specifically requested that you not throw away anything of his unless he k…

Fall Foliage Trip to New Paltz, NY

In my previous post about our first Fall foliage trip, Yes this is really New Jersey I briefly highlighted our tour of Western New Jersey.  In a similar vein yesterday Renee and I took a much needed leisurely afternoon drive to upstate New York to the scenic town of New Paltz. New Paltz was the ideal location since it was between the Catskill Mountains and the stunningly beautiful Mohonk Preserve.  These were the highlights of our trip:

Harvest Cafe, New Paltz.  For our first stop we decided to have a late lunch at the famous Harvest Cafe which was located in the charming Water Market. A great part of the allure of this Cafe was that the second floor possessed a fantastic view of the Mohonk House and Preserve.  Renee and I decided to brave the frigid cold by eating outside so that we could fully take in the view. (given Renee's cough and cold that she is sporting today, we may have wanted to re think that eating outside thing).  I had the Roasted Chicken Sandwich while Renee had Ro…

Forgiveness: How Far Would You Go?

Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him. 2 And the Pharisees and the scribes murmured, saying, "This man receives sinners and eats with them." 3 So he told them this parable: 4 "What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? 5 And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, `Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost.' 7 Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. 8 "Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it? 9 And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, say…

The ACLU and Obama are at it again.

Today as I was preparing to write my post I discovered this disturbing article about how the Obama administration is considering the ACLU's request to force Catholic Hospitals to offer emergency abortion services. This proposition would seek to remove federal funding for Catholic hospitals who do not agree to perform the abortions.   Read these three disturbing articles for greater context:  ACLU Tries to Force Abortions on Catholic Hospitals,  , Obama administration considering ACLU’s request to mandate ‘emergency’ abortions at Catholic hospitals  and A reckless liberal attack on nation's religious hospitals

What makes this chilling is the fact that this is still being considered 2 days after the election.  Now imagine if the Republicans would not have gained the house, this past Tuesday?   The fact that the Obama administration is even considering this preposterous request by the ACLU is troubling.  It is a clear signal that the Democratic party, particularly Obama's cabi…

Election Day: The mostly good news and the bad

Unfortunately this past Tuesday Anna Little lost her bid to unseat 11 term incumbent Frank Pallone.   In this post I intend to highlight the mostly good news and the bad news of this Tuesday's past election.

Bad news:

Anna Little lost the election:  despite a very spirited and inspiring campaign Little fell short and lost to incumbent Frank Pallone by 11 points.

Republican Congressional candidate Anna Little admits defeatPallone is a radical liberal who supports massive government spending,  tax payer funded abortions, raising taxes especially for small businesses, Obama care, etc. The media will spin this loss as an indictment against the Tea Party, labeling the Tea Partiers as extreme and out of touch with the values of NJ's 6th Congressional district. Good News:

Despite the discouraging loss Anna Little was able to challenge Frank Pallone more than any other candidate in his 22 year tenureThe Tea Party movement has come to New Jersey, and is here to stay.  (Watch this awesome…

Election Day: True Change is approaching NJ's 6th Congressional District

After nearly 2 years of the failed policies of Obama/Reid/Pelosi we have an excellent opportunity tomorrow for true change.  In the center of this pivotal election is the 6th Congressional District in New Jersey. (To view a map of this district click here.) This district is traditionally very liberal. This is the same district that voted overwhelmingly for Obama is 08'  This district is represented by 11 term incumbent, congressman, Frank Pallone.  Pallone is a typical, Pelosi/ Reid liberal.  He voted to support Obama care, cap and trade, and the raising of taxes. But more importantly for Catholics he is a unflinching supporter of Abortion legislature with a 100 percent NARAL rating.  The choice is clear we need to get rid of Frank Pallone.  Tomorrow night we have that opportunity; the candidate for this change is Anna Little.  Here are 10 reasons that I compiled why one should vote for Anna Little:

1) She will vow to cut taxes and to curb out of control government spending.

2) As…