Belated Happy Birthday To Blaise Pascal, Unofficial Saint and Mystic

By Français : anonyme; une copie d’une peinture de François II Quesnel gravée par Gérard Edelinck en 1691. English: unknown; a copy of the painture of François II Quesnel, which was made for Gérard Edelinck en 1691. Polski: nieznany; kopia obrazu Françoisa II Quesnela wykonanego dla Gérarda Edelincka w 1691. (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Blaise Pascal, from the collection at the Palace of Versailles; a copy of the painture of François II Quesnel, which was made for Gérard Edelinck in 1691.   CC BY 3.0  via Wikimedia Commons.

Over at Aleteia, they’re remembering the birthday of a friend of mine. He’s one of the fellows who helped bring me into the Church.

My buddy Blaise Pascal is a lot like me. That is, excepting the obvious fact that he was a mathematical genius, inventor of a calculator, etc., and though I enjoy mathematics, I am a mere admirer of genius in this and many other departments. No, I mean that just like me, he needed something to constantly remind him of why he remains a Christian.

Something that he could turn to for strengthening his resolve to leave his earlier life and pursuits, and recall why he decided to give his all to Christ and His Church. Something he could turn to that would remind him of his calling when he was in “the world” but away from his Bible, his breviary, or his rosary.

You see, Blaise had a mystical vision.

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Because My Brother Imran Yousef Is An American Hero

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Back when he was a freshly minted United States Marine. Photo: Courtesy of Imran Yousuf

Another kid from New York was in the nightclub that turned into a killing zone early Sunday morning. His name is Yousef, and he saved a lot of lives.

The Marine Corps Times published his story, but his New York connections are fleshed out in this article by the Times Union, out of Albany. Also, this person is related to me. Have a look, [Read more…]

Joe Six-Pack, USMC, With A Few Post-Terrorist Attack Thoughts…

Our Lady of the Rosary

It’s been close to 40 hours since we learned of the horrific slaughter that took place in an Orlando night club. Shortly after learning about it, I offered up prayers for the victims, and for their families. The amount of grieving going on in Orlando, as well as the positive responses of the community rallying to aide their fellows, is incredible.

In no way am I qualified to try and unpack the events that occurred early on a Sunday morning. Like you, I just want to mourn this loss. My inner anti-terrorist has a few things to say, though, and I can’t bottle them up. [Read more…]

This Is Why God Invented YouTube…

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All shiny, and new. But when the old ones are rusted on, see…

 

Sure, the kitten videos are cute, and watching re-runs of MTV is bitchin’, and all,  but the video below is proof that God loves us, and wants us to help each other.

Behold! The rusted brake disc removal hack. Roll tape, and enjoy the soundtrack.  [Read more…]

Because Pious Nonsense Is Not the Good News

“Sure, I said that. But do you know what I really meant by that?”

Yesterday, I was taking my afternoon break from work. I wandered through the little park near my office, and on to a little bench that had WiFi reception from one of the little restaurants in the square. I was checking in with the world, see, and wanted to send a picture of some flowers to my wife.

That’s when Caleb showed up with his heavily highlighted Bible, and asked me if I had a few minutes to talk about Jesus.

I reckon the other folks around weren’t as engrossed in their smartphones as I was, so I was the better target? Maybe. I said, “sure,” interested in where this encounter was going to go. [Read more…]

“Where Do We Get Such Men?”

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That’s the last line from the Korean War film, The Bridges At Toko-Ri. Over at Christopher Closeup, Tony Rossi shares a true story about the seemingly unlikely friendship between the two Navy pilots pictured above. Tony asks, “What kind of man intentionally crashes his airplane behind enemy lines during wartime to save a friend?”

Jesse Brown would crash, see, due to ground fire he encountered while providing close air support to the Marines during their fighting retreat from Chosin Reservoir. Tom Hudner would intentionally crash land his plane in a bid to save his downed friend’s life.

Here’s the Medal of Honor citation for the man who was more willing than usual to lay down his life for his friend, [Read more…]

For What Happens To Our Bodies When We Die, And Rise Again…

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St. Bartholomew’s Church, in Czermna, Poland. By Merlin (Own work), GFDL or CC BY 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

 

“And he said to me: Son of man, dost thou think these bones shall live? And I answered: O Lord God, thou knowest.”—Ezekiel xxxvii, 3

I’ll be the first to admit that I have the faith of a child. I don’t have the faith of a novelist, or of a science-fiction writer. Nor do I have the faith of a philosopher, or a poet, or one blessed with flights of imagination that lead me to probe the heavenly mysteries exhaustively.

Have I been blessed with visions of the 7th heaven?  Ridden on the wings of angels to mystical union with God, who supplies my need for specifics on how we will be when eternity arrives for me?

Nope. [Read more…]

On the HHS Mandate, We’re Approaching the Line of Departure REVISITED

Crossing the LD, the old fashioned way…

I didn’t know it at the time this was originally written, but the Little Sisters of the Poor were our other secret weapon, aside from prayer. Their stand against the Administration was the ultimate “soft tactic” in a hard war.  In a nutshell, see,  of all of the groups that filed suit against the HHS Mandate, they were the target that could fell the giant.

Here’s the post published on June 4, 2012 in which I described the way that we could win the day against the HHS Mandate. As I recall, it wasn’t very popular among the armchair Catholic warrior types. C’est le guerre.

Here’s the original post. It’s long, so you might want to linger over it with your favorite adult beverage…

Currently, the bulk of our forces are  still in the Assembly Area, marshalling troops, building logistics trains, and communication networks, etc.  The dozen lawsuits that were launched a few weeks ago? Probes, really, looking for areas of strength and weakness. They crossed the line of departure a few weeks back as a reconnaissance-in-force.

Over at NRO Online, Mark L. Rienzi gives a recap of what we know so far. Basically, it’s the tale of a media blackout, which we are all familiar with, [Read more…]

President Obama Embraces the Fait Accompli He Wasn’t Looking For UPDATED

"I don't know what I was thinking, Your Holiness..."

“I don’t know what I was thinking, Your Holiness…” Photograph paid for with our tax dollars.

What a difference 4 and 1/2 years makes. Wait. It’s been 5 1/2 years? Has it really only been that long since I wrote the post saying that the HHS Mandate struck at the heart of religious freedom?

Has it really been that long since I climbed into a cockpit, strapped on a White House Petition, and rocketed toward the very edge of the atmosphere, hoping to send a message to the POTUS to let religious liberty be what it always has been?

Has it really been that long since, in his hubris, President Obama had his Press Secretary (poor Jay Carney) proclaim that the HHS Mandate would be a fait accompli? He had his HHS Secretary (poor Kathleen Sebelius) working for months, and months, on an accommodation that would have financially destroyed all those “not quite churchy enough” religious non-profits who refused to bow to Caesar? [Read more…]

BREAKING: SCOTUS Decides Not To Decide On The HHS Mandate UPDATED

Perhaps it’s a positive development. The Becket Fund is calling it a win for the Little Sisters of the Poor. First, the news from CNN,

Washington (CNN) The Supreme Court on Monday avoided issuing a major ruling on a challenge brought by religiously affiliated non-profit groups to the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate.

The justices, in a unanimous decision, wrote that they were not deciding the case on the merits but instead sent the case back down to the lower courts for opposing parties to work out a compromise.

The decision to send the case back to the appellate level appears to be a direct impact of Justice Antonin Scalia’s death in February. Scalia, a stalwart conservative, would likely have ruled against the Obama administration.

In its ruling Monday, the court said it is not deciding whether the religious exercise of the challengers has been substantially “burdened.”

“When all is said and done, the challengers may well get what they want — not having to directly provide contraceptive coverage against their religious beliefs,” Vladeck said. “But if the court gets its way, that will be the result of a pragmatic compromise, not a legal ruling about the balance between individual rights and religious freedom.”

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