Adult Stem Cells Restoring Sight

Before and After Stem Cell Treatment/Photo AP (Via)This is fantastic news:Dozens of people who were blinded or otherwise suffered severe eye damage when they were splashed with caustic chemicals had their sight restored with transplants of their own stem cells — a stunning success for the burgeoning cell-therapy field, Italian researchers reported Wednesday.The treatment worked completely in 82 of 107 eyes and partially in 14 others, with benefits lasting up to a decade so far. One man w … [Read more...]

"I cannot mistrust the grace of God." – UPDATED

Today brings us the feasts of three great saints, a bishop, Paulinus of Nola, and two martyrs, St. John Fisher, and St. Thomas More.Therefore, the day gives us a wealth of choices in the Office of Readings. After the scriptural reading from the first book of Samuel, we can peruse an edifying letter by Paulinus, ("only recently have I begun to breathe in the air of life; only recently have I put my hand to the plough and taken up the cross of Christ. I need to be helped by your prayers to … [Read more...]

SWYPE?

This is why aliens like ET have one exceptionally long finger.We're evolving! … [Read more...]

Derivative Lady Gaga – UPDATED

Lady Gaga, reclining on a slant board in her underwear and a shawl, casts off a wire-mesh face mask that has begun to bore her. As the closing strains of the Alejandro playback fade out, she addresses her nameless flunkies and bodyguardsDarlings! Why aren't you looking at me? I am in my underwear again. Doesn't that stimulate you and shock you? Are you not provoked? Be provoked, damn you! I am a f*****g genius, am I not? Give me that Groucho nose and glasses, I can't stand my face. … [Read more...]

Dwelling in Possibilities of Life & Death – UPDATED

We have recently seen pro-life conservatives like Sarah Palin and Ed Morrissey admit that fear of the unknown, and the possibility of complicated outcomes, were brief temptations toward abortion, an option which they rejected, and rejections they pointedly do not regret.Their acknowledged temptations are something most of us would understand. People want to feel sure of themselves and what is going on in their lives; they want an illusion of control.An abortion performed at a Catholic … [Read more...]

Life of Faith, Power of Prayer

The life of faith, in truth, is -like Jumpin’ Jack Flash, a g-g-gas; it is a mind-blower. We humans tend to try to put everything, including God, and love and life, into manageable compartments, and we hide in them. We hide inside our frameworks, our structures, our plans, our narratives, our willful and our unintentional bigotries.But God -who created a world of order- points cannons at those tidy compartments and goes ba-boom! And when we ask, repeatedly, “why did you do that, when I had it a … [Read more...]

The New Celibates

How ironic that in a year where religious, and especially priestly, celibacy has been put under a microscope, debated and often excoriated, the secular hipsters in New York City are discovering the power that comes with celibacy:“I had man whiplash,” [Julia Allison] says. “I needed to put my neck in a brace.”She issued a proclamation, writing on her Web site last week, “I decided to codify my unofficial gut reaction of ‘I really don’t feel like dating’ into an official ‘No Dating, No Sex’ sta … [Read more...]

Retreat Day Rerun

From September 2009Mariette in EcstasyAnd Christ still sends me roses. We try to be formed and held and kept by him, but instead he offers us freedom. And now when I try to know his will, his kindness floods me, his great love overwhelms me, and I hear him whisper, Surprise me. --Mariette Baptiste, Mariette in EcstasyIt has been a long time since I first read it, but last night I found within this wonderful and strange novel by Ron Hansen (who Deacon Greg reminds us is a permanent … [Read more...]

"No, we're fearless and edgy. Really." – UPDATES

This is both funny and a bit pathetic:Comedy Central might censor every image of the Prophet Muhammad on "South Park," yet the network is developing a whole animated series around Jesus Christ.As part of the network's upfront presentation to advertisers (full slate here), the network is set to announce "JC," a half-hour show about Christ wanting to escape the shadow of his "powerful but apathetic father" and live a regular life in New York City.In the show, God is preoccupied with playing … [Read more...]

The Paradoxes of Christianity -UPDATED

***It seems that Bill Maher, who has never demonstrated more than an adolescent understanding of religion, wrote recently in Newsweek, “The problem with faith ... is it kind of screws up your priorities. Your priorities shouldn’t be about saving your own (butt), which is the focus of Christianity.”Over at the National Catholic Register, radio host Tony Rossi writes:Is [Maher] right?Of course we Christians do want our souls saved so we can spend eternity in heaven. The concept Maher ignor … [Read more...]


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