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13 Year Old Falconer Hunts With Golden Eagle…

... I love birds. I always have. They're funny little creatures that God gifted with flight. I imagine they're one of His favorite creations. To me they represent total detachment from the world. Birds possess a freedom we'll never attain until death -- a complete dependency on God to care for their needs. Matthew 6:26 "Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them." That and they can fly. Flying's pretty cool. The above image is of 13 year old Ashol-Pan, the world's youngest female huntress with her golden eagle. Her father is a celebrated Kazakh hunter in the Altai mountain … [Read More...]

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Belated Birthday Wishes…

... Yesterday marked the 87th birthday of Pope Benedict XVI. I sure do miss him. … [Read More...]

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Blah blah blah-biddy blah…

... When I went to my old church my lack of enthusiasm could be blamed on the environment -- a church that didn't look like a church, no ornamentation, terrible music, and those horrible stand up comily acts (comedy + homily). All that has changed now. I'm at the perfect parish. Beautiful church-y ornamentation. Check. Fantastic and relevant homilies. Check. Lovely chant. Check. So what gives? Why the feeling that it's all joyless and perfunctory? It's like I'm in a constant struggle with my inner protestant. My inner prot tells me that faith is supposed to make me feel all good and happy and junk, like an overly sentimental Christian pop song. My inner Catholic … [Read More...]

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Palm Sunday…

Readings, about Palm Sunday, and Pope Francis on Palm Sunday. … [Read More...]

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Stephen Colbert Replaces David Letterman — Catholic Takeover Complete…

... Joe Heschmeyer writes, Stephen Colbert and the Death of Protestant America: Late-night host David Letterman recently announced his retirement: his ratings have not been faring well in the face of two new rivals, Jimmy Kimmel and now Jimmy Fallon. Today, CBS announced his replacement: Stephen Colbert. Deacon Greg Kandra was quick to point out one reason that this was significant, with the headline: “The Catholic takeover of late night TV is complete.” Letterman was the Protestant hold-out in late night. Once Colbert replaces him, networks will be hosted by Catholics. What we're seeing is not necessarily a resurgence of Catholicism, at least in any meaningful … [Read More...]

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The Unsung Hero…

... another beautiful commercial from Thai Good Stories. The Thai text posted with the clip asks the viewer, “Why do some people have plenty of money … still no joy? This clip is not the answer. But it may be a starting point for you to do something …To find the answer yourself.” … [Read More...]

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UPDATED — The Mob Gets What The Mob Wants – Sister Jane Dominic Laurel Takes Sabbatical…

*Scroll down for updates posted 4/9/14 @ 1 p.m and for Bishop Jugis's statement 4/10/14. ... One final update on the shameful incident here in Charlotte. Sr. Jane Dominic Laurel is on sabbatical and all her future talks have been cancelled. Some have speculated she's been thrown under a bus and shipped off to a re-education camp, and it certainly sounds like it. Well maybe not the re-education camp part, but it doesn't appear she's getting much support from Aquinas College. Aquinas College's statement, In her presentation, Sister Jane Dominic spoke clearly on matters of faith and morals. Her deviation into realms of sociology and anthropology was beyond the scope … [Read More...]

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Starving For Silence…

... You know what I miss? Silence. There have been relatively few moments in my life where I've had the luxury of pure silence. This morning, in the final stretches of spiritually exhausting Lent, I was awarded a small moment of utter silence and stillness. Lord knows, I desperately needed it. Just last week I was complaining that I didn't want to be Catholic anymore. Like a child throwing an tantrum. Catholicism is hard. I don't wanna anymore! And then I found myself in an empty church this morning and all was right with the world. Silence is so important to our emotional and spiritual well being yet most of us never get a quiet moment to be alone with … [Read More...]

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Meet the Papal Peace Dove Bodyguard…

... Via Fr. Z, Vatican introduces new security measure in St Peter’s Square. Vatican officials today are introducing a new measure to keep St Peter’s Square clear of marauding birds. A team in the Swiss Guards has been assigned the task of supervising a Sharris Hawk, [sic - should read Harris's Hawk] which will be brought out during the Weekly Audiences and the Angelus – on Wednesdays and Sundays. You know, to protect them from all those viscous crow and seagull aerial attacks. Meet the Vatican's new falconer... Blue Steel optional, hawk required. And now for some gratuitous Swiss Guard. APRIL FOOLS. … [Read More...]

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UPDATE — Charlotte Catholic High School’s Parent Meeting…

... Last night, according to the Charlotte Observer, nearly 1,000 people showed up at Charlotte Catholic High School's parent meeting to "air complaints" regarding the talk given by Sr. Jane Dominic Laurel. The event was closed to the media and supposed to be for currently enrolled students and their parents only. Though the Observer and local TV stations were told to leave the campus during the meeting, a reporter from the Catholic News Herald, the diocese’s newspaper, was allowed in the meeting to cover it. Before being ordered off the high school property, some Charlotte Catholic High School alumni and parents of former students passed out wristbands critical of … [Read More...]

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A Catholic High School Teaches Catholic Doctrine and Everyone Loses Their Minds…

... This past Friday news broke about a local Catholic high school here in Charlotte, NC. Apparently the students at Charlotte Catholic High School had a bit of a problem with a nun teaching *gasp* Catholic doctrine. Psst. It's a Catholic school. Says so right in the name. From the Catholic News Herald, CHARLOTTE — An online petition started by a student at Charlotte Catholic High School is questioning the views of a speaker at a recent assembly who spoke on human sexuality. Parents have been invited to a meeting at the school at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 2. The petition began after a talk by Sister Jane Dominic Laurel, a Dominican from Nashville, Tenn., and a … [Read More...]

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Indiana Jones is not impressed…

... Shattering the dreams of archaeologist everywhere, Two historians claim the search for the Holy Grail is over. The famous cup used by Jesus Christ during the Last Supper was identified in a book written by Margarita Torres Jose Manuel Ortega del Rio, titled “Kings of the Grail” and published last week, as the jewel-encrusted goblet on display at the San Isidro Basilica in the northwestern Spanish city of Leon. [H/T Deacon's Bench] If ya ask me, the whole thing sounds like a book selling ploy. Especially since everyone knows the Grail is in Valencia. Duh! … [Read More...]

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Unicorns Poop Magic Rainbows…

... That's it. That's all I got. Unicorns poop magic rainbows. For ten days I've been unable to write a single thing. Ten days! Ten long, miserable days of nothing. Desperate times calling for desperate measure, I locked myself in my bedroom till I have written something of worth. I've been here 5 hours 12 minutes and 7 second. Eight seconds. Nine seconds. Like any normal person locked in a room with a computer and a stalled creative process... I started binging on kitten videos. Naturally. I mean, who doesn't? I then I found it! This glorious and magical thing that raised me from the depths of literary deadness. A thing so purely stupid and … [Read More...]

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Finding the motivation to go to mass…

... This past Sunday morning was abysmal. Cold, grey, and rainy. The kind of morning that begs for sleeping late. I laid there for awhile trying to will myself to get up out of bed and push past the beginnings of a migraine. I had almost convinced myself that this little act of willful laziness was completely harmless and perfectly understandable. It was a headache, for crying out loud. Can't go to mass with a headache. And then I remembered him. The man at church that sometimes catches my eye. He's hard to miss and ever so dashing in his impeccable suit. Just the kind of motivation a girl needs to drag her listless body from the covers. The gentleman I refer to is … [Read More...]

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Geekery…

It's a robot. Made of Legos. Solving a Rubik's Cube. … [Read More...]

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Trinitarian Heresies and Analogies Behaving Badly…

H/T Gretchen at She Thomist. … [Read More...]

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Listen to Him…

Andrea Previtali, the Transfiguration Oil on panel Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan From today's Gospel reading... MT 17:1-9 Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them; his face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, conversing with him. Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, “Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud cast a shadow over them, then from the cloud came a voice that said, … [Read More...]

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Typical Misconceptions Single People Have About Married Life…

... I am often amused by the question “how do you do it alone?” The answer is, I don’t. I have my faith, family, and friends that help me get through the more difficult and overwhelming times. Same as anybody else. It’s funny how people assume just because you aren’t married you are alone. On the flip side of that coin is the inaccurate assumption made by single people that married individuals are immune to loneliness. The truth no one is completely immune from bouts of loneliness in their lifetime. I think this fear of loneliness is what drives so many woman to look for a spouse before they are clearly ready. As if finding a husband will end all their … [Read More...]

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Ecce Homo..

Mateo Cerezo, the Younger c. 1665 Oil on Canvas Located in the Szépmûvészeti Múzeum, Budapest … [Read More...]

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Don’t want your photo to end up as the “before” picture in an online diet ad, don’t post your photo online to begin with…

... What did I just say about nothing being private on online? So this blogger posts a picture of herself in a bikini and, horror among horrors, her image is taken and used for a dieting advertisement. As the before photo. Yes, it's highly insulting and ego bruising, but I am perplexed by her shock and outrage. Kudos to her for rocking a bikini in public and writing about it to help fat women with body issues. Her heart's in the right place. Not sure where her mind was though. “It made me feel exposed and not in control of my own image,” Cateyes tells Yahoo Shine. Yes. That is exactly what happens every time you share an image online. You lose control over … [Read More...]

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It’s Time To Take Down The Dating Profile, Because Clearly You Shouldn’t Be Dating…

From my inbox, a reader's question. Published with permission ... Dear Crescat, I just started dating again after my divorce three years ago. My friends suggested I try Match.com. I signed up for it and met a really nice guy who seems decent. We exchanged a few emails and he asked for my number to call me. We exchanged flirty text messages for a couple of days and then he finally called. I was in class (I go to school at night) when he called so I couldn't answer. I called him back the next morning and wasn't able to reach him so I left a message and sent a text later in the afternoon apologizing for not being available. He texted back that it was fine and asked when would … [Read More...]

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Sunday, I’ve taken you for granted. I’m sorry…

... Dear Sunday, It's not you. It's me. I completely understand why you left and I don't blame you, Sunday. I treated you terribly, like you were no different than the other days of the week. You used to be special to me and than I started to take you for granted. I would have left too. It's no secret that our relationship soured when I began seeing Saturday. Saturday was casual and effortless. I didn't have too try hard for Saturday. Saturday was conveniently there whenever I needed it. Saturday fit right into my schedule. No muss, no fuss. Once I started seeing Saturday I started to resent you, Sunday. Why couldn't be more laid back like Saturday? Why … [Read More...]

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The First Anniversary of Pope Francis’ Pontificate…

... To celebrate, the Vatican released an online publication of homilies and photos. … [Read More...]

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Venerable Fulton Sheen Closer To Sainthood…

A seven-member team of medical experts convoked by the Vatican reported there is no natural explanation for the survival of a child delivered stillborn and whose heart did not start beating until 61 minutes after his birth. The survival of the child, James Fulton Engstrom, now three years old and developing normally, was credited by his parents to a miracle attributable to the intercession of Archbishop Fulton Sheen, who gained fame for his 1950s television show Life Is Worth Living and his 16 years at the helm of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith. The medical experts’ report was announced in the Diocese of Peoria, Illinois, by the Archbishop Fulton Sheen … [Read More...]

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Lenten Fine Art Fridays…

Giovanni Battista Caracciolo, The Agony Of Christ c. 1615 … [Read More...]