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Arizona storm: Phoenix-area hit with rain, snow in high country

Michael Brandon, a friend of this blog has just moved down to their winter abode in anticipation of his wife's arrival. While he is wet and cold in Arizona, today was sunny and temp's into the plus territory for the first time in a couple of months. The next couple of days are promised to bring temperatures up into into the low 50's F (albeit with rain). I hope that we are spared either bouts of freezing rain or heavy rains as they tend to make for treacherous driving conditions as people are returning to their homes after the holidays come to an end. Arizona storm: Phoenix-area hit with rain, snow in high country

Freedom Through Truth: Of Christians and Atheists

Michael Brandon over at Freedom Through Truth comments on my recent discussion with numerous atheists here and on the Holy Post in which he offers the following: Atheists are people who CLAIM not to believe in the existence of God. Theists, on the other hand CLAIM that God believes in ALL of us. Christians take this further, and claim, with historical support, that God believes in us so much, and loves us so much that even though many CLAIM not to believe in Him that would not stop Him from making himself known to them, and offer himself up to save them from themselves. Although God sent His Son Jesus to earth to show us what He wants from us, and to prove His love for us, many of us do not believe in Him still. Proving the existence of God to one who does not want to believe is like taking a blind man to the zoo, and trying to prove to him that elephants exist, when he refuses to get up off the bench he parked himself on. He can hear the elephant trumpeting, but consi

Fr. Thomas Doyle: the Vatican’s most critical insider | Holy Post | National Post

John Allen offers a comparison of assessments of the Church's handling of the sex abuse scandal between Pope B16 and Fr. Thomas Doyle - the Vatican priest who deals with the victims and their lawyers. I fear that Fr. Doyle has a point - one that I've written about here many times: the principal scandal is that children have been sexually abused by clerics, and then abused by the hierarchy's response to their allegations. Essentially, the Church is on fire. The faith of generations is turning to ash in front of our eyes as neglect and a perceived ongoing disrespect for victims rights (with the aim of 'preventing scandal' that would 'damage the faith' - a worthy end but morally fatally flawed means). I acknowledge that the fires have burned down in North America as Bishops are finally beginning to understand the moral carnage their predecessors have wrecked upon the Church and the faithful. Generations of savings from Catholics have been sacrificed thanks

Merry Christmas to everyone!

Friends, It is now a few hours before I am privileged to celebrate the first of two vigil Christmas masses and I am spending a few minutes with quiet Christmas music playing on the TV and giving thanks for the blessings I have received through this blog in particular and via this internet 'ministry' of mine in general. It has brought me untold blessings. The people who have made contact with me either on the blog or via my personal email have (for the most part) inspired, challenged, and led me to look deep within my mind and heart to see not only what I believe to be 'true' but why it is that I so believe. Wisdom shared from regulars like Lady Janus, Small Town Guy, Martin and Michael Brandon has helped me to see many sides of these questions we discuss; sides I had not ever taken note of before. You have all been the most precious of gifts that I give thanks for you this Christmas eve.  You offer the light of charity and the voice of your life's convictions

Graphic: Who gives? Canadians’ charitable donations | Posted | National Post

Note that it is the younger generation that seems to be the most generous donors to charity. That seem to fly in the face of those of us who have despaired the values of the younger generation. This is a wonderful Christmas gift - to know that the generation that follows us is generous in heart and spirit in meeting the needs of others. Graphic: Who gives? Canadians’ charitable donations | Posted | National Post

Here's the best Santa letter I've ever seen!

I should have sent this letter to Santa when I was a kid!!

Bad diagnosis : Pharyngula

Another blog article discussing my National Post column. Thanks to 'Rebecca65' for the link! The whole purpose of this blog and my National Post columns are to get people talking about these issues. It is heartwarming to see that my desire is coming to fruition, even when the remarks and comments do not agree with what I hold to be true. Bad diagnosis : Pharyngula

Churches halt decline, new research shows - Telegraph

Humm... I thought that the atheists were trying to convince us that not only was the Catholic Church on an inexorable slide into oblivion, (especially in today's Britain) but that B16 was thought to be the very epitome of what the English detested: German, conservative, dogmatic, homophobic etc. Yet the evidence shows that in the wake of his visit to the British Isles, religious practice was on the rise throughout the Christian Churches. Maybe the forces of faith are more resilient that our opponents have given us credit for. I do not deny that the church stands bloodied and battered before the world this day, and that there is a great deal of work to be done to repair the Barque of Peter. This news should give hope to believers everywhere for it is evident that the boat will stay afloat despite the sinfulness of a few and the animus of its enemies. Churches halt decline, new research shows - Telegraph

Heroic, Female and Muslim - NYTimes.com

"Part Mother Teresa, part Rambo." Any woman who could be so described is worth reading about! Heroic, Female and Muslim - NYTimes.com

Your Monday smile

Q. What is a dyslexic agnostic insomniac? A.  Someone who lies awake all night wondering if there really is a dog. =========================================== I'd never "heard" this before, but it's too good not to be old.

Good will to all men? Not from the grumpy atheists! (Thank God not all atheists are grumpy but there sure seems to be a lot of them)

Why is it that so many in the atheist community cannot bring  themselves to get past their anger whenever they engage in discussions? The language of many of their contributions in public debate is laced with invective and dripping with sarcasm and bile. There are exceptions of course, but they tend to fall more into the category of being the 'exception that proves the rule' when compared to the hostility of many of today's atheist posters. Comment offered by the theists in the public square is often depicted as being 'malicious' or 'venomous' and intended to enslave the 'feeble minded and weak' by those who post. Nothing could be further from the truth. Venom is something that is oriented to death. Christians are oriented in a 180 degree different direction. We speak not to the culture of death  that grips our world but rather for the culture of life and light which ends with the gift of eternal life. For example, the Catholic Church in its hum

An opinion on the relationships between atheists and theists from the National Post

Charlie Lewis of the Holy Post has offered another opinion piece on the relationship between atheists and believers. You can read it here . Among the numerous comments that have been generated, Charlie responds to one poster in a manner that succinctly brings a light to the reason why we believers demand that our voices be heard in the public square. I share it in the hopes that it might generate a discussion here on his assessment. A thoughtful reader wrote that atheists would stop getting angry at religious people when we "stopping trying to cram things down his throat." I took the time to respond to him even though I'm pretty certain nothing would ever change his mind. Here's what I wrote: "Please take the time to read what I'm writing to you. And then tell me what you think. Your idea is that religious people are trying to jam views down your throat. Who are these people? I know they're not most mainstream Protestants and not Catholics

A Christmas letter from Jesus: An oldie but a goodie none the less for the message it communicates

Letter from Jesus about Christmas -- It has come to my attention that many of you are upset that folks are taking My name out of the season. How I personally feel about this celebration can probably be most easily understood by those of you who have been blessed with children of your own. I don't care what you call the day. If you want to celebrate My birth, just GET ALONG AND LOVE ONE ANOTHER. Now, having said that let Me go on. If it bothers you that the town in which you live doesn't allow a scene depicting My birth, then just get rid of a couple of Santas and snowmen and put in a small Nativity scene on your own front lawn If all My followers did that there wouldn't be any need for such a scene on the town square because there would be many of them all around town. Stop worrying about the fact that people are calling the tree a holiday tree, instead of a Christmas tree. It was I who made all trees. You can remember Me anytime you see any tree. Decorate a grape v

The mystery of Mona Lisa and Amelia Earhart solved?

Here are a couple of interesting stories about long held mysteries. The first one deals with an announcement in Italy that they may have discovered a 'code' painted by Leonardo Da Vinci. (click here for link) The second story deals with human remains found in the Pacific which may belong to Amelia Earhart! (click here for link) Two mysteries 'solved' by science... COOL

Clergy shortage affecting all denominations in Canada - The Globe and Mail

I guess all those folks who claim that Catholic clergy are the only ones suffering from lack of numbers (due of course to the great 'demon' of 'unatural' celibacy) are wrong. Even denominations with married clergy are facing the same shortfall in their personnel. Clergy shortage affecting all denominations in Canada - The Globe and Mail

The Pink Candle and Other Musings

This Sunday we light the third candle of the Advent wreath: the pink one. Here's a posting that explains why this unique candle is a part of this traditional advent decoration. The Pink Candle and Other Musings

NASA announcement will 'impact the search' for life - CTV News

COOL! Can't wait to see what they will announce! NASA announcement will 'impact the search' for life - CTV News

From the Web Site: Voice of the Copts: http://voiceofthecopts.org/en

From the Web Site:  Voice of the Copts:  http://voiceofthecopts.org/en Update on Muslims celebrate Al- Adah fest by attacking Copts 16 November, 2010 06:39:00 PM AKI A group of Islamic set fire to 10 houses belonging to Christians in a village approximately 500 kilometres south of Cairo, less than a month after Al-Qaeda said it would target the northern African country's religious minority. Local security forces said the assailants would have caused far more damage had they not been arrested. Following an October attack on a Baghdad church that killed at least 58 people, Al-Qaeda said it would target Christians in the Middle East and northern Africa and singled out those in Egypt. Attacks on Christians have increased despite announcements of support by Muslim leaders. Coptic Christians make up around 10 percent of Egypt's population of 80 million. Exposing the true face of Islam, Egyptian Muslims Celebrate Eid- ul-Adha (feast of the sacrifice) by burning and torch

The blog is intended to be a place where all voices are heard with respect. Below is the text of an email sent to me which I received with her signature. I post her heartwrenching question here in the hope that you might have something to offer her as well.

Dear Barbara, My apologies for taking so long to post your message to me. I've been ill and away from my computer. As you can see, I have now posted it below. You'll also no doubt will note that I have removed any personal or geographic identifiers so as to preserve and present the essence of your argument without calumniating other institutions or persons.  The tenor of your message and that of the Youtube video prove that you are a mother whose heart has been broken - and to a very significant degree found life itself rendered heavy and burdensome by the cross that has been laid upon your shoulders - and you need, desire, want and demand that someone hear and acknowledge the truth and pain of your experience. I have heard your song sung by mothers of all ages, faiths (or not) and stations in life before and you offer a powerful counterpoint to those who do not want to believe that pain and grief is a reality in everyone's life. I thank you for sharing your message a

An except from 1972 CBC series 'Man Alive' that deals with the question of when a 'fetus' becomes a 'person'

At what point is a baby considered to be a living human, and not a fetus? What is the "viability" age, meaning the point when an infant can survive outside the womb? And what are the philosophical and moral implications of the answers to these questions? In this excerpt from a 1972 episode of Man Alive , Canadian pediatric specialist Robert Usher ponders these issues, illustrating his points by showing a fragile premature two-pound baby who was born at 26 weeks gestation.  I wish to add that my brothers Michael and James were each just over 1.2 lbs each when they were born as identical twins at 23 weeks of gestation. Even though Mike is 18 months older than I am, we arrived home from hospital a few scant months apart as he faced many major health crises, crises that his twin did not survive and which kept Mike in hospital for the first year of his life.  I also point out that at the time, there were dire predictions about his long term capacities. My parents were to

I need prayers!

Folks, I've been discharged from the hospital after a sudden illness that befell me on Sunday evening. I feel like death warmed over and have been ordered to keep myself isolated for the next 7-10 days (with 4 X daily trips back to the hospital for Ventolin treatments).  PLEASE remember me in your prayers as I struggle to get back on my feet. Thank you. Fr. Tim

A request for your prayers

To all the friends of this blog: A dear friend of mine, Mr. Gilbert Vaillancourt of Kipawa, Quebec has died suddenly of a heart attack. He leaves behind his three children, seven grandchildren and a partner, Gisele Sauvé. I ask you please to keep them all in your thoughts and prayers. I will be away for a few days as he left the responsibility for his estate to me to handle, but I will check in here as often as possible in the coming few days. It would be an honor to pass along any prayers and well wishes to his family. Thank you for any kindness in thought or action on behalf of a very good man and his family. Sincerely, Fr. Tim

AWESOME VIDEO!! The miracle of conception

This is a video posted on Facebook by Tiery Maderia which depicts the process of conception and implantation in a way different than you have ever seen before. It takes more than a few minutes but the imagery and music is incredible. No matter what your take on the pro-life/pro-choice debate, you will appreciate the artistry of this video. Click here to see the video

Co-Workers in the Truth

Taken from an American Bishop's blog. It is a reminder that all Catholics share in the work of building the Kingdom of God. It is NOT a job left to just the clergy alone! So, what have you done to help the cause lately? Co-Workers in the Truth

Wonderful ad on Vancouver bus

What a neat message! I can't make out who the ad has been purchased by, but it makes a profound pro-life statement. Thanks to Cristina Alarcon (a Vancouver pharmacist) for sending it along.

CBC News - Technology & Science - Dark matter hunt deepens at Ont. mine

More scientific work coming out of my birthplace! Go Sudbury!!! CBC News - Technology & Science - Dark matter hunt deepens at Ont. mine

How high will gold go? There are some scary visions out there

Don't you wish you had a gold brick tucked away for a 'rainy day'? If the premise of this article is correct, we might be headed for a financial monsoon season! CTV News | How high will gold go? There are some scary visions out there

Why the Roman Collar?

The Anchoress | A First Things Blog

MacIntyre on Money « The American Catholic

Alasdair MacIntyre was someone that I studied in the seminary. I have always enjoyed his writings and musings. These thoughts on 'money' are well worth reading. MacIntyre on Money « The American Catholic

Muslim demonstration inside cathedral was not offensive to Catholics, Spanish court rules

I pray that Canada and the USA will heed these lesson being offered in Europe and will be more demanding of Muslims to respect the rules of our cultures. If we follow the path of pure appeasement as Europe has done (although France is trying if not yet succeeding in this struggle) we will face these same crises here. Religious tolerance is key in our countries... tolerance tied to respect for the law (including property laws).  Catholic Culture : Latest Headlines : Muslim demonstration inside cathedral was not offensive to Catholics, Spanish court rules

A question for your consideration

There are a few questions that my recent scientific readings have brought to the surface that I'd appreciate your comments on. One of the fundamental laws of Physics is called the Law of Conservation of Energy. Wikapedia describes it as follows: The law of conservation of energy is an empirical law of physics. It states that the total amount of energy in an isolated system remains constant over time (is said to be conserved over time). A consequence of this law is that energy can neither be created nor destroyed: it can only be transformed from one state to another. The only thing that can happen to energy in a closed system is that it can change form: for instance chemical energy can become kinetic energy. Albert Einstein's theory of relativity shows that energy and mass are the same thing, and that neither one appears without the other. Thus in closed systems, both mass and energy are conserved separately, just as was understood in pre-relativistic physics. The new

In culture of confusion, Church the only reliable guide :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

In culture of confusion, Church the only reliable guide :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

Radical Amazement: Dancing with God & Einstein

“Science does not seek to “prove” that there is or is not a God - that falls into the realm of theology. But those who do believe are not looking for proof, only for images that more accurately reflect reality so that we can live in greater fidelity to what we already know to be true. At the same time, science does not contradict what our faith teaches. While the discoveries may be new, the truths that we will reflect upon are timeless, found in the depths of Christian tradition and its spiritual practice.” These words by Judy Cannato from her recent book “ Radical Amazement: Contemplative Lessons from Black Holes, Supernovas, and Other Wonders of the Universe ”, are reflective of opinions offered in a variety of current books by experts as diverse as the Dalai Lama, Michael Novak and John Polkinghorne.  Each of these authors points to a remarkable convergence emerging from the many threads of modern science in which mirrors the truths taught in Judeo-Christian scriptures. This is

Pope summons cardinals over abuse: Vatican

Pope summons cardinals over abuse: Vatican

“The New Evangelization”? « The American Catholic

Reminds me a song... "Drinking a Beer with Jesus" by Roy Payne “The New Evangelization”? « The American Catholic

A real shot in the arm -- a holistic and holy approach to health

A real shot in the arm -- a holistic and holy approach to health For The Calgary Herald Published: Saturday, November 06, 2010   Re: HPV decision show Catholic school trustees should be appointed by the bishop, by Juliet Guichon, Nov. 2. One of the few things that Juliet Guichon and I agree upon is that society ought to embrace the means available to prevent diseases like the human papillomavirus (HPV). The Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada in its recommendations regarding HPV prevention states as its first recommendation: "1. Counselling and other educational activities should stress (a) that abstinence is the most efficient way to prevent HPV infection but must include avoidance of not only penetration of the vagina or the anus but also any anogenital contact and the sharing of sex toys." In Catholic education, we take that very seriously and we seek to teach students about the beauty and nature of human sexuality, marriage and conjugal love, abstinence a

34 warships to accompany president at Mumbai visit - Politics & Policy - Catholic Online

What's the use of having a 'big stick' if you don't 'air it out' every now and then? 34 warships definitely scores pretty high on the 'testosterone scale'. Unless of course he's brought them as collateral on some loan the US government is about to sign with India! They've got the jobs America (and Canada) outsourced. Maybe they got the cash to keep the Americans out of hock! 34 warships to accompany president at Mumbai visit - Politics & Policy - Catholic Online

God and Evolution: A New Proposal - ABC Religion & Ethics - Opinion

"I want to examine what I see as the three most profound problems for Christian theism since the advent of Darwinism, so profound as to cause many to see Darwinism as a "defeater" of Christian belief. These problems were certainly not absent before the discovery of evolution - indeed, they are classic inheritances from Christian philosophical theology which have exercised Christian thinkers at least since the third century. But evolutionary theory has certainly sharpened them in particular ways that, I would insist, responsible contemporary Christians cannot now avoid confronting. What then are the three problems that confront us when we try to see a coherent relation between a good, providential deity and the unfolding created process?" Click on the link below to read entire article. God and Evolution: A New Proposal - ABC Religion & Ethics - Opinion

NASA spacecraft to get rare up-close view of comet - CTV News

Watch the video. The expert describes comets as being "fossils of the creation of the solar system" - great line! NASA spacecraft to get rare up-close view of comet - CTV News

Catholics to learn new wording for Mass – CNN Belief Blog - CNN.com Blogs

The more things change, the more they stay the same! These changes in the English liturgy will bring the text closer to the original Latin, as is evidenced by the fact that it will finally match the French text. As a priest who celebrates in both of Canada's official languages I've often wondered by the two texts were so variant. As of Advent next year, the differences will be gone. Catholics to learn new wording for Mass – CNN Belief Blog - CNN.com Blogs

The costs to victims of suing for compensation in clergy sex abuse cases

Taken from the Justice For the Victims of Bernard Prince website. I post it here to make clear that the victims in these abuse scandals are not getting rich through the legal process as their lawyers will receive approximately 30% of the settlements.  As in many of these sad tales, the only ones getting rich are the lawyers! No wonder Mr. Talach (who represents the majority of victims in Ontario) is trolling for more victims. The more he finds... the richer he gets!!!   And the victims get screwed again. Civil suit reality check. Independent investigations and outside legal advise makes us believe that at the end of the day the Diocese of Pembroke will pay out approximately  13.5% - 15.5% of  the civil suit amount to the actual victims. That amount could be significantly higher if they end up having to pay some victims court costs and certainly if more victims come forward. If  more evidence of their negligence surface that to could increase the percentages. These estimat

Cannon condemns planned execution in Iran - CTV News

Cannon condemns planned execution in Iran - CTV News