Monday, October 31, 2011

Jesus "declines our penalty"

Being football season, we have seen many plays and many penalties as well. Every now and then, a team will "decline the penalty." At first I was like, "hey! you can't go around declining penalties" or "I wanna decline some penalties too" but then I realized I didn't really understand the rule. So being the nerd that I am, I did some investigative work.

In football, an opposing team can decline the penalty of the other team.

For example, if Team A is called for pass interference and receives a 15 yard penalty, Team B can decline that penalty and let the play stand as and where it ended, if they feel that it benefits them more than that penalty would. So the referee gets on the mic and says "pass interference, defense, the penalty is declined" and the game goes on. (okay, football experts, I know it's a bit more complicated than that, but go with me here)

And I was thinking about how Jesus declines our penalty. We know that the evil one is the accuser who ceaselessly accuses us before God (Rev 12:10). And so the evil one stands before God and watches us, bringing to Him all of our faults and "penalties". But Jesus has already paid the price for our penalties, He paid it with His blood. The new and everlasting covenant was made in and with His blood.

He took on our penalties- our pass interference, our roughing the passer, our offsides and He declines the penalty because He wants to be with us. He doesn't want our penalties to separate us from Him.

Amazing. I love that.

We receive this mercy by confessing our faults and turning away from darkness and sin toward the Light.We enter most deeply into Him when we receive the Eucharist.

I don't think I will look at football quite the same ever again :)

Garden- Matt Maher

LOVE this song by Matt Maher. It takes my breath away. SO lovely.

George Weigel On Tim Tebow...

I like both George Weigel and Tim Tebow.

Mr. Weigel writes an excellent article about Tim and Christophobia. It's very true and relevant. God bless both of these men.

A Heavy Pricetag...

Kim Kardashian's engagement ring: 2 million dollars

A lavish wedding ceremony with over 400 people in attendance: 10 million dollars

A 72 day "marriage" that is ending because "sometimes things don't work out as planned": Loveless and sorrowful

Steve Jobs Last Words.....

I found this article about Steve Jobs last words on earth to be piercing and telling. I have been pondering all day what he might have seen over the shoulders of his loved ones that would elicit that response.

Did he see angels? Jesus? Eternal Beauty? Perhaps one day we will know....

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Braxton Miller Is Amazing

Check out this AWESOME play by freshman quarterback Braxton Miller. With 30 seconds left in the game, he scrambles to stay alive and then gets off this game winning pass to his freshman teammate, giving Ohio State the upset win over Wisconsin yesterday. It was incredible to see it as it happened and still makes me shake my head as i watch the replay.

This is why I love sports-- when all seems lost, one heroic play can change everything.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Cool Pumpkin

check out this pic of an amazing pumpkin featured by the people over at the Susan B. Anthony List.

Let the little babies stay in the wombs!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Adele...

I love Adele's voice, so soulful and beautiful. Here is a video of her singing her latest hit, Someone Like You, in her home with only a piano to accompany her. She is lovely indeed, God bless her and her beauty.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Playing With The Big Boys...

Played some volleyball yesterday, haven't had the chance of doing that since the summer. The team I play on is awesome because they are awesome people, truly a joy to be around. And while we are easily the oldest team out on the court, I think we laugh the most and have the most fun.

But sometimes the competition we face is rather daunting. The volleyball league we compete in plays on men's height nets, which are eight feet tall (and I SWEAR that they are more like nine feet tall at times). My league is co-ed so we regularly face young men who can jump like they are in the NBA and they hit so hard that I wonder if we should have tourniquets readily available in case of limb-removal-by-force-of-volleyball tragedies. Needless to say, it can be pretty overwhelming.

At these times I can:
A) whine that it's not fair and that these guys should be playing in the league above ours (popular and common option)
B) become resentful that I am not young anymore and have had knee surgery and now have a chronic shoulder injury (occurs in my mind often)
C) lay on the court in the fetal position and beg for mercy (never happens but is a tantalizing temptation when we are losing the game severely and i am stinking up the court)
D) play with the big boys and tell them to bring on the heat because I can take it, or at least try (usually what happens)

There's a saying: "If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen" and I ponder that often.

In sports, giving up is not an option. On days where my game just isn't flowing and i can't seem to do much that is helpful, I feel like giving up and running away, but this is not an option. If I gave up, my teammates would surely kill me and it would be a huge letdown to everyone.


Team sports remind me that it's not all about me (thank God) and that I have a role and a job to do no matter if I am playing well or not playing well. If something in my game isn't working, then I can switch skills to something that is.

If I am not hitting well then I can support and set my teammates who are. If I am not passing well, then I can move out of the rotation so those who are passing well can do that job. If I am serving well, then I can continue to do so and score some points that way. At any rate, everyone on a team has a job and a role and we depend upon each other.

In sports as well, we are taught that we have to let go of past mistakes and move on to the present play at hand. When we make a mistake, we can look at our fundamentals and what went wrong, try to incorporate that information and then we try to apply it in the next situation.

One of the surest ways to lose a game is to harp on past bad plays in your mind so much that they affect your present and future plays. If you do that too often, you will find a nice spot on the bench, where you can dwell entirely upon yourself. Whee! (not so much...)

Anyway, I often appreciated John Paul II's words on athletics, that sports can indeed be an avenue and training ground for virtue.

I couldn't agree more.. (that is, when I am not reattaching my arm after being hit with a leather missile.....)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Kermit's Pivotal Moment

Thought you all might enjoy this, thank you to the person who sent it to me! Happy Friday :)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Bishop Fulton Sheen on War and Suffering...

This is powerful and timely. Bishop Fulton Sheen writes as though he is still alive on this earth today. If I were to read this excerpt on the internet, not knowing who the author was, I would assume it was written by a current Bishop imploring his flock and fellow Americans. Incredible.

From Bishop Fulton Sheen's address on War and Providence, December 29th, 1940

"Our Declaration of Independence affirms that this country trusts in God. Let us Americans take it literally and never relinquish an absolute trust in the Providence of God even in adversity, sorrow, depression, catastrophe, and war. With Job we cry out : "Although he should kill me, I will trust in him: but yet I will reprove my ways in his sight” (Job 13 :15) .
 

Starting from this basic trust in God, certain conclusions follow:
We will not start with the assumption that we are innocent, and therefore assert that all our misfortune is undeserved.

Henceforth, instead of asking, "On whose side is God?" we shall look into our own souls and say: ”On whose side are we?"

We shall constantly keep before our minds that the greatest tragedy of war is not economic loss or physical suffering but acquiescence in evil: ”And fear ye not them that kill the body, and are not able to kill the soul : but rather fear him that can destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10 :28) .

The unbeliever can explain the tormentor in war, but he cannot explain the sacrifice of the soldier or the martyr. The believer in God can explain both.
 

Suffering in all forms is, for the Christian, a mystery not a problem. To get a square peg into a round hole is a problem because one fact does not fit the other fact. Suffering is not like that. It fulfills a purpose; even sin may be a "happy fault” if it brings Redemption.

Given the spectacle of the Son of God Incarnate stretched on a Cross through the corporate evil of men, and yet conquering their hate and sin by rising to a new life and pouring out forgiveness and pardon — I say, given that vision on Calvary, suffering and war and evil can be faced without losing hope either in humanity or in God. It was the prosperous Solomon who complained of the emptiness of life, not the suffering Job. The Cross could once more marry us to God.

Thus we are brought back to the general theme of this series of broadcasts: America must return to God humbly and penitently, or if we forsake God, God will forsake us. He is not only the God of Mercy, but the God of Justice, and though He suffers some to sneer, "Where is your God now?", He in His turn will answer, "Where are their gods, in whom they trusted . . . let them arise and help you” (Deut. 32:37-28). We will be under Providence either by free response to His love or by submission to His Justice."


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Love Awakened By Beauty...

"Love is awakened by beauty, in the first instance by the beauty of  another person; but then it proceeds by stages to higher levels so that the soul appreciates beauty of character, of thought, of all goodness and all things perfect. Finally, having come so far, the virtuous person will find supreme beauty, the source from which all other beauties flow. Love is thus the catalyst and binder of the universe: in a manner of speaking, Love is God. And since beauty is the initiator of love, it follows that those who create and encourage beauty, such as artists and philosophers, are acolytes in the divine mystery. By seeking beauty, they seek God."
Robert Coughlan from the book, The World of Michelangelo

Monday, October 17, 2011

A Modern Hosea

I was reading the Book of the Prophet Hosea yesterday and doing some deep thinking about the words of God. I think God often shocks us with His honesty. We get uncomfortable with his straightforward truth and passion, so instead of opening ourselves to Him, we distance ourselves and create a "sanitized" and "safe" version of God.

Check out His words to the prophet Hosea regarding the infidelity of the nation of Israel, " 2 “Rebuke your mother, rebuke her,
   for she is not my wife,
   and I am not her husband.
Let her remove the adulterous look from her face
   and the unfaithfulness from between her breasts.
3 Otherwise I will strip her naked
   and make her as bare as on the day she was born;
I will make her like a desert,
   turn her into a parched land,
   and slay her with thirst.
4 I will not show my love to her children,
   because they are the children of adultery.
5 Their mother has been unfaithful
   and has conceived them in disgrace.
She said, ‘I will go after my lovers,
   who give me my food and my water,
   my wool and my linen, my olive oil and my drink.’
6 Therefore I will block her path with thornbushes;
   I will wall her in so that she cannot find her way.
7 She will chase after her lovers but not catch them;
   she will look for them but not find them.
Then she will say,
   ‘I will go back to my husband as at first,
   for then I was better off than now.’
8 She has not acknowledged that I was the one
   who gave her the grain, the new wine and oil,
who lavished on her the silver and gold—
   which they used for Baal.

 9 “Therefore I will take away my grain when it ripens,
   and my new wine when it is ready.
I will take back my wool and my linen,
   intended to cover her naked body.
10 So now I will expose her lewdness
   before the eyes of her lovers;
   no one will take her out of my hands.
11 I will stop all her celebrations:
   her yearly festivals, her New Moons,
   her Sabbath days—all her appointed festivals.
12 I will ruin her vines and her fig trees,
   which she said were her pay from her lovers;
I will make them a thicket,
   and wild animals will devour them.
13 I will punish her for the days
   she burned incense to the Baals;
she decked herself with rings and jewelry,
   and went after her lovers,
   but me she forgot,”
            declares the LORD."


Wow. pretty intense, huh? But within this description is powerful beauty and restoration. God knows that He is the ONLY one who will fully satisfy us. He gives us all these amazing gifts and instead of seeing them as a gift from His hand, we grasp at the gifts and make them our idols.


We begin to think that it's the gifts that will satisfy us and that give us our dignity but it's only God who delightfully does that. So out of His love, concern and kindness to us, He often hedges in our ways and tries to remove our idols from us. It is here that we often fight against Him and feel stripped and empty.

But this removal of idols from our hearts is a deep mercy of God. And He doesn't leave us naked or shame us. Because in the next part of Hosea, God says this--" “Therefore I am now going to allure her;
   I will lead her into the wilderness
   and speak tenderly to her.
15 There I will give her back her vineyards,
   and will make the Valley of Achor[b] a door of hope.
There she will respond[c] as in the days of her youth,
   as in the day she came up out of Egypt.

 16 “In that day,” declares the LORD,
   “you will call me ‘my husband’;
   you will no longer call me ‘my master.[d]
17 I will remove the names of the Baals from her lips;
   no longer will their names be invoked.
18 In that day I will make a covenant for them
   with the beasts of the field, the birds in the sky
   and the creatures that move along the ground.
Bow and sword and battle
   I will abolish from the land,
   so that all may lie down in safety.
19 I will betroth you to me forever;
   I will betroth you in[e] righteousness and justice,
   in[f] love and compassion.
20 I will betroth you in[g] faithfulness,
   and you will acknowledge the LORD. 


God redeems and restores everything and gives us what we truly seek, His very Self. This is piercingly beautiful and hopeful. He just wants to love us.

If I could put this book in the form of a modern song-- I think God could sing this to us (it's one of my favorite songs)

Rest In Peace, Dan Wheldon

Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon died yesterday in a horrific IndyCar pile up at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

The 33 year old car racing champion leaves behind a wife (pictured here) and two young sons. Makes you wonder if the pursuit of excellence in this manner was really worth the ultimate cost.

May he rest in peace.

The Destruction Of Innocence...

This article breaks my heart about a lesbian couple who is giving their 11 year old son hormone blockers so he can "choose his gender" should he want to become a girl.

Where the heck is common sense? This is crazy stuff. We need to know who we are and where we came from.

God help us all....

Beary Lonesome.....

I went to Canada this weekend and returned to find a forlorn Beary waiting for me at the front door, complete with his do-rag and sorrowful expression. I think he had been waiting for some time....

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Bishop Fulton Sheen on Beauty.....

In light of the earlier post on fashion models and what the world considers beautiful.....

From the book, "The Quotable Fulton Sheen"--

"Beauty without virtue is like a fair flower that has an offensive odor. But true beauty bathes in that light without which nothing is beautiful. Beauty is a gift of God, like the rain. He allows the rain to fall upon the just and the wicked, and He gives beauty not only to the good, but even to the wicked. Wicked beauty strikes the eye, but the inner beauty of grace wins the soul."

180 Documentary.....

I saw this documentary yesterday and its well worth watching. It is NOT for young children and it shows an honest evaluation and link between Hitler, abortion and our personal decisions.

The documentary is about 30 minutes long and if you know someone in your life who is "pro-choice", you might want to pass the link on to them.

It's very thought provoking....

Fashion Models Begin To Speak Out....

Check out this honest article about fashion models who are beginning to speak out more and more against the dark side of the "glamorous" modeling industry. Wow, it's pretty sad.

Monday, October 10, 2011

How Do You Know?

This song came to my heart this morning. I usually only hear it on the easy listening station in the dentist office waiting room but today perhaps it deserves a closer look. It's actually a very beautiful song with deep lyrics.

Men, tell your Beloved how much you love her :)

Enjoy!

Friday, October 07, 2011

Daily Reflection....

From a 12-Step Daily Reflection....

Continued to take personal inventory. . . . . TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 88

The spiritual axiom referred to in the Tenth Step–”every time we are disturbed, no matter what the cause, there is something wrong with us”–also tells me that there are no exceptions to it. No matter how unreasonable others may seem, I am responsible for not reacting negatively. Regardless of what is happening around me I will always have the prerogative, and the responsibility, of choosing what happens within me. I am the creator of my own reality. When I take my daily inventory, I know that I must stop judging others. If I judge others, I am probably judging myself. Whoever is upsetting me most is my best teacher. I have much to learn from him or her, and in my heart, I should thank that person.

This is good stuff!

October Speaking Schedule Update...

A 3rd talk has been added to the schedule of next weekend's event in Abbotsford, BC Canada

On Sunday October 16th at 2pm I will be giving a talk to a general audience at St. Anne's Church.

Perhaps I will see you there!

The enigma of Steve Jobs..

check out this interesting article about Steve Jobs. There is truth in there is his rejection of a pornography app for the iPhone. It's almost like he was trying to "quell" his conscience by donating to gay "marriage" propositions. It must have been an interesting quandary for him.....

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Rest In Peace, Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs, the co- founder of the Apple Corporation, passed away today after a lengthy battle with cancer. May his soul rest in peace. This man was an entrepreneur who truly changed the world through innovative technology.

Sr. Miriam's October Speaking Schedule

I will be speaking at two different locations (thus far) in October-


Wednesday October 12th, Youth For Life Meeting, 7pm


Saturday October 15th, Theology of the Body:
2-4pm, talk to teens, St. Anne's Church Abbotsford, BC Canada,
7-9pm, talk to young adults (ages 19+), The Phoenix Restaurant, Abbotsford, BC Canada

Criminal

Check out this secular song by Fiona Apple. The song is called Criminal and its about a woman who has broken the heart of a man and she knows she has done wrong and wants forgiveness and redemption from this man.

She doesn't want people to tell her that redemption is not needed, for she knows it is. This is amazing-- truly the natural law written in our hearts (and to a catchy tune!)

Who couldn't sing this song to Jesus? I know I could....

Monday, October 03, 2011

St. Therese Speaks On Her Feast Day

SEATTLE- (SMJ)--- Shock and awe came over a crowd of nuns when a picture of St. Therese spoke to one of the novices in the form of a dialogue bubble on her feast day.

"We have had this picture of St. Therese for years, " one Sister commented "but she has never spoken to us before, this is truly unprecedented."

The Sisters awoke on the morning of October 1st to witness the dialogue bubble that appeared some time during the night.

"Many statues and icons have displayed supernatural characteristics in Church history" said a Church historian.

He went on to say, "We have seen statues weep but we have never seen a dialogue bubble before. Perhaps this is the Saints way of embracing a new means of social communication."

Rumors flew about the crowd that St. John Bosco will begin texting on his feast day and that St. Anthony would probably establish a Facebook page. However, no one could confirm the authenticity of the rumors.

St. Therese could not be reached for comment and the Vatican has not returned our phone calls.

____________________________________________________________________________

No one credible contributed to this ridiculous story

Gardasil's Toxic Effects....

There is has been a lot of push these past couple of years by the Merck drug company and certain organizations to administer a vaccine, targeting young girls, called Gardasil.

Gardasil supposedly "protects" young women from acquiring the human papillomavirus (HPV) virus, the most common sexually transmitted disease, that can cause cervical cancer.

 Keep in mind that HPV is an STD, acquired from skin to skin contact. Keep in mind that this vaccine is completely unnecessary because one cannot contract an STD without being sexually intimate with someone. Keep in the mind the message we are giving to 12 year old girls when we vaccinate them.

Now read the truth about the vaccine here. Not only does the vaccine not protect against all forms of cervical cancer, it has seriously harmed and killed some of the young women who received this "safe and harmless" vaccine.

This path of "vaccination" and "safe sex" as a cure for moral errancy is NOT the answer. This is a cheap counterfeit and we are literally killing our kids with lies. We are selling them out. They deserve better from us adults.

Soundgarden on Monday Morning.....

Here's a little old school alternative music for you on this Monday morning. I have been thinking of this song by Soundgarden for the past couple of days. Perhaps it's the rain in Seattle.....



Fell On Black Days..

Whatsoever I've feared has come to life
Whatsoever I've fought off became my life
Just when everyday seemed to greet me with a smile
Sunspots have faded
And now I'm doing time
And now I'm doing time

Cause I fell on black days
I fell on black days

Whomsoever I've cured I've sickened now
Whomsoever I've cradled I've put you down
I'm a search light soul they say
But I can't see it in the night
I'm only faking when I get it right
When I get it right

Well I fell on black days
I fell on black days
How would I know
That this could be my fate
How would I know
That this could be my fate

So what you wanted to see good has made you blind
And what you wanted to be yours has made it mine
So don't you lock up something that you wanted to see fly
Hands are for shaking
No, not tying
No, not tying

I sure don't mind a change
I sure don't mind a change
Yeah I sure don't mind sure don't mind a change
I sure don't mind a change

But I fell on black days
I fell on black days
How would I know
That this could be my fate

How would I know
That this could be my fate

How would I know
That this could be my fate

How would I know
That this could be my fate

I sure don't mind a change....