Thursday, March 4, 2010

A few Lenten/recent links and commentary from my Facebook page

  • I urge everyone to pray for Democrat Representative Bart Stupak and his allies, that they hold firm in their promise not to vote for health care reform in its current bad form, for they may be all that is standing between us and a health bill that will ruin not only health care, but the economy in our nation -- and take many innocent lives, too. And, how would you like to go to jail for choosing not to/being unable to purchase health insurance?! Sometimes, doing something is WORSE than doing nothing, and this is one of those times. Let's hold-out for REAL reform of our nation's health care! (March 4, 2010)
  • I am thrilled that one of my all-time favorite saints will be discussed in Phoenix Bishop Olmsted's latest series of columns for The Catholic Sun. I have most of St. Francis de Sales' writings (Introduction to the Devout Life, and his homilies on Prayer, on Mary, on Advent, on Lent, etc.) and would recommend them to anyone: helpful and not too scholarly. (March 4, 2010)
  • I am more upset than I thought I would be at learning that searchers have found the body of Poway High student Chelsea King. At least her family will now be able to lay her body to rest with respect and, hopefully, there will be enough evidence to help the three (?!) families put this rapist/murderer away for the rest of his life. Why was this unrepentant convicted child rapist given a short sentence in the first place?! And, please Ladies (especially) think of your safety when in remote/dark areas -- no run is worth your life!
    I'll be at St. Michael's in spirit tonight as her candlelight vigil turns into a memorial. (March 2, 2010)//Our society needs to stop thinking of these crimes as "just" child molestation or "just" rape, and realize that not only are these devestating crimes, but they are also gateway crimes to other violence and murder! Please join this group, and let's not forget this issue when we go to the ballot box! (March 3, 2010)
  • I returned home a few minutes ago after seeing Rwandan genocide-survivor Immaculee ( in Visalia, thanks to a last-minute invitation from a friend. Her insight and humor were amazing; she held our attention for almost two hours straight. What a gift she is! Now, I definitely have to read her books...! :) And become a fan ( ...
  • This book arrived this weekend as part of my modest Lenten reading goal and, though I'm just starting into the guts of it, I've already found some meaningful insights. Hopefully I'll get through the main part by Easter (the supplemental material is almost half the book, so I'll have to tackle it later). (Feb. 23, 2010)
  • While I'm making essential blog reading recommendations (like the Archbold brothers at CMR in the previous status), even though I'm trying (and mostly failing) to limit my online time during Lent, I still make sure to at least glance at all blog posts by Liz Scalia (aka The Anchoress) -- insightful Catholic spirituality and some social commentary (, Jennifer Fulwiler ( -- amazingly perceptive and prolific Catholic mother of four little ones, Thomas Peters (aka American Papist) -- news and comment on the Church and American politics (, and Mark Shea -- edgier Catholic commentary ( (Feb. 21, 2010)
  • My take is that basically, like many mentally ill people, the Austin bomber convinced himself for years that the whole world had formed a coalition against him: organized religion (particularly the Catholic Church), the government, insurance companies, businesses and unions, accountants and the IRS (of course!) etc. -- and that these groups, not individuals (namely himself and perhaps his friends), were responsible for his personal failures (repeated financial wipe-outs, divorce, etc.). He also tacks-on quite a martyr (or perhaps patriot)-complex, looking for trouble and finding it, first playing some sort of game with tax laws that apply to churches, getting caught, and paying a high price. Then, he began agitating unsuccessfully against tax laws that he believed harmed his chosen profession of engineering. His manifesto ends with him offering himself as a holocaust, followed by a casual positive reference to communism. It seems to me that this man needed mental help for a long time and failed to get it, and that he could just have easily have flown his plane into any business highrise, government building, or even a church -- if he had found a way to obtain and fly multiple planes at the same time. I thank God that he could not, and that he failed to kill his wife, daughter, and any more than the one poor victim in the building! May God have mercy on his soul and that of his victim, and may his wife and daughter find healing. (Feb. 19, 2010)
  • Another awesome idea for Lent is to use this link that I just found today to start to pray at least one of the seven daily offices of the Liturgy of the Hours (Divine Office). It is second in importance only to the Mass in our Catholic tradition. You will find both free mp3s and text without some of the complexities that usually overwhelm one at first. God bless you! (Feb. 16, 2010)
  • Lent (several weeks of spiritual preparation for Easter) begins tomorrow with Ash Wednesday. For those who may be looking for daily bite-sized meditations doubling as an intro to St. Ignatius' Spiritual Exercises, I've heard good things about what the Jesuits linked here have prepared. May we all have a blessed Lent and emerge better than we were when we entered! (Feb. 16, 2010)

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