Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The days of yore....

I love this pic of little William and Stella. Truly delightful!

It seems like we long for the days of innocent childhood, when the world was much more simple...perhaps little gifts from God remind us of the better things to come....

Kung Fu Panda 2

I really am not venturing into the foray of movie critquing, I just like to pass good stuff on to people when I come across it.

If you haven't seen the continuing journey of Po the Panda and his friends in the the movie, Kung Fu Panda 2, I would highly (highly!) recommend it.

Not usually being a big fan of animated movies, I loved the first movie and this one is excellent as well. It touches on some deep truths of our journey to who we really are.

We meet Po again as the humorous and squishy "Dragon Warrior" but Po has some deep questions about himself. His dad is a goose who owns a noodle shop. He is a panda.

Where did he come from?

We get to experience Po's journey for the truth of who he really is. His journey is similar to the one we must make and the battles we must face.

Should we believe what others tell us? How do we combat the lies that the evil one constantly whispers in our ears? What do we do when we find our truth?

This movie had me laughing out loud and shedding a few tears as well.

The 3D effects are AWESOME.

loved it, loved it.

Hope you do too....

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Confusing Pampers Commercial....

This is very interesting. I had seen a really cute Pampers commercial that talks about the miracle of life- and I wanted to post the commercial here, but when I went to look for the commercial-- all I found was this full version that is NOT the one that airs on TV.

In this full version (seen below) it adds in parts about children being born via surrogate (a woman whose womb hosts a child not genetic to her but the combination of a sperm/egg from a donor) and also IVF-- (a sperm/egg joined outside the womb and implanted in the woman) and I found that very off putting.

It's a confusing mix of things, and I think it ruins the commercial. Children are always a miracle, true, no matter how they are conceived, for in the end, God alone creates life and allows life to come to creation.

but we as adults, is having children, when we want and how we want, a right? Is it a right to do whatever we want to get the end result we want? Is it right to take eggs from a woman and join them with a sperm in a science lab, thereby creating a person, and then freeze them for later use? Is it right to place several of these embryos in a woman knowing full well that most of them will die and only one or two will survive, all for the conquest of having our "own children" ?

absolutely not.

God help us all.

We cannot do whatever we want and think there will be no consequences.

I know there is a deep anguish of couples who cannot naturally have children but violating moral and natural law to satisfy a longing will never fix the problem. It only creates further destruction.

I applaud Pampers for celebrating the miracle of life. But what about the right for all children to be born and conceived within the womb of a woman, the safest place on earth?

For an excellent description of this moral dilemma, check out this explanation

Adventures in Alabama...

I had the awesome and distinct joy of visiting EWTN studios a few weeks ago and recording a Life on the Rock episode. It was simply amazing to see the studios in Irondale and the monastary of the Sisters in Hanceville. God bless all of the people who work for EWTN, you guys are doing GREAT and NOBLE things.

A special thanks to Fr. Mark, Doug, Emily and Jill for your hospitality and kindness and also a thank you to the Sisters who spoke with us for a few minutes at the Monastary, it was a sheer delight to meet you.

Arriving in Atlanta on my way to Alabama, I almost didn't make the flight. We were late leaving Seattle and so I had to, of course, catch my next flight from the opposite end of the airport. When you hear, "this is the final boarding call, doors will close in three minutes", you know you need to step on it- so, uh, I ended up sprinting down the corridor to the flight.

Thank God my little carry on has four wheels (four wheel drive?). For an accurate depiction of my mental state at this time, see picture above-

Anyhoo- made the flight and had an awesome time.

The devastation from the recent tornadoes in area was astounding. I have never seen light posts on the freeway bent in half and 100 foot trees laid on their side with the roots literally pulled out of the ground. Our prayers go out to all those who have suffered in the devastating natural distasters that have plagued the midwest and south in the past few weeks. I cannot imagine what that must have been like.

I took some pics at Mother Angelica's Monastary in Hanceville- the Monastary setting and a beautiful statue of Our Lady of Sorrows. It was so wonderful to have been there and walked the grounds on a sunny and pleasant day.


The Life on the Rock episode will air on Thursday June 2nd at 10pm Eastern time.

It will also replay several times and be archived at http://www.ewtn.com/tv/live/lifeontherock.asp

Thank you so much to all of you who prayed for me during this time, I can honestly say that I felt your prayers and I am deeply grateful. God bless you. 

Friday, May 27, 2011

Last Dance with Mary Jane...

I came across this old song by Tom Petty, "Last Dance With Mary Jane" and I remember watching the video in high school and thinking, "that is a weird video" and watching it again, I still think it's a weird video but I think it's also a metaphor for something deeper.

Obviously the term "Mary Jane" is another name for marijuana and although the Tom Petty's band denies the correlation, the video and the lyrics of the song remind me of the pattern of addiction, whatever addiction we may have.

It struck me in the lyrics that Tom sings about a girl who comes to town and blows everyone away, and then later on he talks about how tired he is with the town he is on, how summer is coming around and the desire to take a "last dance with Mary Jane, one more time to kill the pain"

"Mary Jane" is very beautiful, and you can see how Tom relishes in her beauty- even though she is dead. That's how addiction can look to the addict- although the addiction is deadly and leads to death, it can look so beautiful as a way to numb the pain of reality.

How many addicts, leaving the addiction for dead (another symbol in the video), return to it, "just one more time" and they promise to leave the addiction when finished-- symbolized by Tom casting Mary Jane in the sea, only to have her open her eyes at the end, showing she is indeed, not dead.

That's so the pattern of addiction-- that if we don't continually journey in healing and honesty and fellowship, we will see our addictions open their eyes when we thought them long dead. How interesting.

I don't recommend this video for kids, and you may not like it yourself, that's cool too, I just found the symbols to be very true and want to encourage all those out there with addictions to "keep on keeping on", one day at a time...freedom is possible.

(you may have to watch an advertisement first before the video)

"Calling Common Sense; Come In, Common Sense....."

Wow. Has it really come to this? A couple in Canada is raising their third child as "genderless." 

 Anyone seen some common sense around here? Yikes.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Michael O' Brien...

Catholic author and artist, Michael O'Brien posted some thoughts and his story about sexual abuse in the Church.

He has some very beautiful and deep insights about the Church and the purification She is undergoing.

It's not easy to read about but it's true and authentic.

God bless him.

MTV Cancels Pro-Life Commericial....

What a surprise, MTV yanks pro-life ads from airing on their station. 

MTV blamed a "controversial billboard" as the reason for the removal of the ads.

Gee, I thought MTV was all about controversy, what with underage actors in compromising situations starring in their shows and all.....

I guess the "controversy" for life is just too hot to handle..

Friday, May 20, 2011

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Tyler Hamilton Speaks Out About Lance Armstrong

Tyler Hamilton, another ex-teammate of cyclist Lance Armstrong has come out accusing the 7-time Tour de France winner of using performance enhancing drugs.

I don't know whether Lance did or did not use them but if you read his two autobiographies, both Tyler Hamilton (seen on right, cycling behind Lance in 2003) and Floyd Landis are mentioned by Lance as being friends and confidants of his

It's just too bad that friendships have to be ruined over stuff like this.

Here's the kicker of this article, an excerpt, that speaks to the ridiculousness that many levels of sports have become:

"The  "60 Minutes"  segment, which will air in its entirety Sunday at 7 p.m. Eastern, also includes an interview with another former Armstrong teammate, Frankie Andreu.

Now one of the race directors at the Tour of California, Andreu told Pelley he took banned substances because lesser riders he believed were doping were passing him. "Training alone wasn't doing it and I think that's how ... many of the other riders during that era felt, I mean, you kind of didn't have a choice," he is quoted as saying."

"Training alone wasn't doing it....." that one gets me. This is insane. So being in the most incredible shape of one's life isn't enough to win because other people are using drugs, so everyone has to use drugs and then the whole thing is fake. 

For what? All this destruction, for what?

All of us have a desire to succeed and do well in life, and that is a good thing. but when our desires, for whatever it is we long for, are not moderated and exposed to truth and light, they can easily become deformed and destructive.

I wonder if you asked these guys- would they do it all again?


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

In Spite Of Me....

I woke up with this song in my heart. I haven't heard it in a long time-- but I like the line, "you've already won me over, in spite of me".

It reminds me how God continually woos us and if we are open, He eventually wins our hearts, in spite of ourselves, in spite of all the obstacles we put in the way- He still woos us and wins our hearts with the Truth of who He really is and who we really are.

We aren't used to being treated so well, like royalty. We say, "this is too good to be true, it cant be true" because we are not used to true love.  We don't think we are worthy or worth it. But we are.

I love that....

I had no choice but to hear you
You stated your case time and again
I thought about it

You treat me like I'm a princess
I'm not used to liking that
You ask how my day was

You've already won me over in spite of me
And don't be alarmed if I fall head over feet
Don't be surprised if I love you for all that you are
I couldn't help it
It's all your fault

Your love is thick and it swallowed me whole
You're so much braver than I gave you credit for
That's not lip service

You've already won me over in spite of me
And don't be alarmed if I fall head over feet
Don't be surprised if I love you for all that you are
I couldn't help it
It's all your fault

You are the bearer of unconditional things
You held your breath and the door for me
Thanks for your patience

You're the best listener that I've ever met
You're my best friend
Best friend with benefits
What took me so long

I've never felt this healthy before
I've never wanted something rational
I am aware now
I am aware now

You've already won me over in spite of me
And don't be alarmed if I fall head over feet
Don't be surprised if I love you for all that you are
I couldn't help it
It's all your fault

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Katy Perry Opines About Christianity...

Here's another article about a famous celebrity, voicing her discontent with Christianity. Katy Perry is a well-known singer who grew up with a father who was a Pastor.

Reading this article about her makes me sad- it makes me sad that she feels that Christianity "stole" her childhood and that she learned about sexuality from Planned Parenthood. Yikes.

I wonder what went wrong?

Brad Pitt Opines on Christianity...

It's always interesting to hear celebrities voice their decided opinions on Christianity...in this article, Brad Pitt shares that it was when he was "untethered" from the "comfort of religion" that he made a "discovery of self"

I wonder what he would define as "self"....

Monday, May 16, 2011

School Helps Obtain Secret Abortions

Are you kidding me? In a world where school administrators cant even give out Advil without the consent of a parent, this school in New Zealand is arranging for secret abortions for their students. 

What a detriment to all involved....

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Broken Angel.....

This is a very beautiful and piercing song. Wow. (he begins to sing about a minute into the video)

You showed him all the best of you
But I'm afraid your best
Wasn't good enough
And know he never wanted you
At least not the way
You wanted yourself to be loved
And you feel like you were a mistake
He's not worth all those tears that won't go away

I wish you could see that
Still you try to impress him
But he never will listen
Oh broken angel
Were you sad when he crushed all your dreams
Oh broken angel
Inside you're dying 'cause you can't believe

And now you've grown up
With this notion that you were to blame
And you seem so strong sometimes
But I know that you still feel the same
As that little girl who shined like an angel
Even after his lazy heart put you through hell

I wish you could see that
Still you try to impress him
But he never will listen

Oh broken angel
Were you sad when he crushed all your dreams?
Oh broken angel
Inside you're dying 'cause you can't believe
He would leave you alone
And leave you so cold
When you were his daughter
But the blood in your veins
As you carry his name
Turns thinner than water
You're just a broken angel

And I promise that it's not your fault
It was never your fault

Friday, May 13, 2011

Handy Travel Tip #2

When traveling, make sure to have an adequate amount of toothpaste with you to last the entire duration of your stay.
(this will prevent you from having to embark on undercover stealth missions to retrieve supplemental supplies...not that that happened to me, per se......i'm just saying....)

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Honey Bee....

I heard this country song called Honey Bee by Blake Shelton and it made me laugh, it's just really sweet. I like his play between the masculine and feminine characteristics. Very "country" and cute.


I found this picture of little William and the family dog (furry thing on the left ;)  ) so captivating and delightful. There is something so beautiful and powerful within a little child.

Little children have the innocence to disarm even the most tough and "mature" among us. I was at a gathering last week where a little child was being walked by his mom and dad, and as the little guy toddled along, every person in the near vicinity was watching him and smiling at him so sweetly. It was touching to behold that moment in time.

Every child that is conceived is a great light in this world.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Steven Tyler of Aerosmith Shares His Abortion Sorrow...

The well-known Aerosmith front man Steven Tyler spoke very honestly and candidly in a memoir about the pain he suffered and still suffers over the decision to abort his first child, a baby boy.

Read the article about it here.

How profound the truth that no matter how much money, fame, drugs or promiscuity a person has, it still does not erase the sorrow and truth of a harm done.

Not only are women lied to by abortion providers, who tell them that it's a simple "procedure" that will have no ill or lasting effects but the fathers of the children are told the same thing as well-- and men are often given less space to grieves, especially over an aborted child.

For every woman who suffers an abortion, there is a father left childless as well. This is a gaping hole in both their lives.

May Steven and the woman find peace and mercy.

Beautiful Brides....

I was watching a story the other day that touched me deeply.

A young woman and man were about to be married and were working on some final details of their wedding.

The bride was expressing her struggle with low self-esteem and how much she had suffered over the years from disliking herself. She began to weep as she spoke about it and how her fiance has been such a big support to her.

The tender part was watching how her fiance, the groom, related to her. He spoke of how beautiful he thought she was and that his desire for her was to know her beauty and be a stunning vision of beauty on their wedding day.

As I sat there and watched this story, it really pierced my heart that love makes the Beloved beautiful.

When this man looked at this woman, he didn't see the flaws that the world loves to impose upon us all. He saw his beautiful bride to be, a woman who captivated him and a woman whom he wanted to know the truth about herself.

What a beautiful example of the longing of love.

On a much deeper level, that's how Jesus loves us. We can look at ourselves, see our faults and failings, our past and our struggles, our "ugliness" and say to ourselves, "I am so broken and sinful, how can Jesus truly love me and find me delightful?"

But Jesus doesn't look at us through our eyes, He looks at us through His eyes and His eyes are eyes of love. We are beautiful because of His love for us, not because we are perfect or "holy" or great achievers.

As the fiance in this story looked at his bride to be and saw her beauty and her potential, so Jesus, in an eternal and whole way, sees our beauty and potential.

We don't have to act or put on "make up" to be found beautiful and desirable and worthy by Him.

We need only go to Him, reveal our "ugliness" and He takes it and makes us clean, revealing our beauty to us, the beauty He already sees.

This kind of love, on earth and in heaven, truly sets us free.....

Monday, May 02, 2011

More Lifehouse For You...

Here is another awesome song by the group Lifehouse called Everything

Enjoy :) 

Ground Zero Crowd....

This is an amazing video of the crowd that gathered near Ground Zero after the news reported that Osama bin Laden was indeed dead. Lead by men in uniform, the crowd recites the Pledge of Allegiance. Very moving.

it was reported that the military respected Muslim tradition of burying the body within 24 hours after death, and buried bin Laden at sea. Although bin Laden was a terrorist who killed many people, it is testament to our soldiers in the military of the United States of America, who not only tirelessly persevered in capturing this man but that they still did the honorable thing and buried bin Laden with respect.

God bless all those who serve in the military, you are beloved and noble.

Happy Monday

Happy Rainy Monday (deja vu, I know! it's like i live in Seattle or something.....)

Here is a fun little song for you on this day!

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Ninja Nuns...

This is the 400th post of the Nunessential blog. Whee! What better day than Divine Mercy Sunday, the Beatification of Pope John Paul II and May 1st- Feast of St. Joseph the Worker, to post a 400th entry.

So, of course I would have to post about the Ninja Nuns who were present at the Royal Wedding. I laughed out loud, really LOL, when I read the thoughts of people who determined that the nuns in gray and white who were seated in the Sanctuary of Westminster Abbey next to Prince William and Catherine Middleton, were actually secret service "ninja nuns" on security detail. Ha Ha!!!!! i loved that very much. read the article here

(my friend Sr. Mary Paul just commented about it, "people must really have nothing else to do in their lives")

I was immediately intrigued when I saw the Sisters, but not because I thought they were from Secret Ninja Security (although that would be really cool)

When I first saw them, I was struck by the dichotomy of the bride of William, Catherine Middleton, and the brides of Jesus, the two nuns.

Here we see the lovely Catherine on her wedding day- a gorgeous gown, over 2 billion wedding viewers worldwide, the future Queen of England, replete with diamond tiara and designer handmade shoes. Her make up and hair is perfect and she is trim, elegant and lovely.

What a surface difference the nuns are and their lives on earth-- the live poor, chaste and obedient. Their treasure is in heaven where they will realize the fullness of their marriage and identity to the King of the Universe. They wear no makeup, no jewels, no lace and one of the nuns is sporting a pair of black Reebok athletic shoes.

The three of them are brides. One known, the other two hidden and quiet. One is envied and admired by women all over the world. The other two are unnoticed and seen by many as old fashioned and irrelevant.

Yet, time will tell the truth of life. For life is far more than what is seen and cherished by the world.

We all want to believe and experience true love. Perhaps that's why the romance and wedding of William and Kate captivated so many people. We want to see young love that is beautiful and strong. We want to believe in an everlasting love. Women long to be the Princess and men the Prince. It's an echo of eternity and the deepest longings of communion within our hearts.

I wish William and Kate well, I pray that their love and union because a light to England and the world. They have a tough road ahead of them.

But love is worth the sacrifice it entails.

The beloved Blessed John Paul II wrote about this love in his book Crossing the Threshold of Hope, he said that young people, both boys and girls, long for their love to be beautiful, and even if they have followed worldly models of "love", they still long for love to be beautiful and know that ultimately it's only Jesus who will give them this kind of love and so they will follow Him in spite of the sacrifices it may entail.

How true this is.

The two nuns at the Royal Wedding are seeking a beautiful love as well. It won't be a love that most people on earth will notice or deem as "worthy" but it's an eternal love and is indeed beautiful for they are married to the Beautiful One. It is true and lasting, lovely and eternal.

It's the desire of our hearts-- whether we are Secret Ninjas or not ;)

Happy Easter.