The Desert Fathers on Blogging

Have I mentioned I love these folks lately? Here are five more reasons, from the perspective of a blogger.

A brother asked Abba Poemen, “How should I behave in my cell in the place where I am living?” [Read more…]

The Most Consistent, Pro-Freedom, Pro-Constitution, Pro-Life, Candidate in the Race UPDATED

There is definitely a “new top tier,” and the favorite of folks in the military, as well as one of the favorites of Catholic employees, is definitely in the race. Much to the chagrin of professional consultants and pollsters, I might add. [Read more…]

Happy Birthday Marines!

At Casa del Weathers, steak is on the menu tonight, like it will be in every clime and place where Marines serve. Today, see, is a High Holy Day for Marines like me. On this day, in the Year of Our Lord, 1775, the Continental Congress agreed to form two battalions of Marines. The committee that decided this met at Tun Tavern in Philadelphia, over beers of course, and the Continental Marines were born. [Read more…]

To Help Make A Movie, Part Deux!

Ian Higgins writes,

Hi Frank, 

I just wanted to personally thank you and all your readers who have so kindly donated and shown their support for our movie “All That Remains”. It has been overwhelming to witness such support in such a short space of time.

It is thanks to the kindness of all those who donated that we now have enough funds in place to film the crucial interviews in Japan. We’ve managed to raise enough funds to fly out to Japan and film the necessary interviews for the documentary aspects of the movie – thanks to everyone who rallied to our cause!

We didn’t reach our total, but we still consider our campaign a huge success and have decided to launch a second campaign – this time with the goal of raising the necessary funds for the drama sequences that will help bring this amazing story of a remarkable man to life with all the emotional power that a film has.

I would also like to add, to all those who chose to contribute anonymously on our previous campaign, remember to please get in touch with us at info@majoroakentertainment.com with your email addresses (that information is not given to us when you donate as anonymous) so we can send you the links to your perks as and when they become available. Your personal details will be treated as strictly confidential.

Thanks again for your kindness and support!

Huzzah! Ian and Dominic can wing it over to Nagasaki now and get some digital film in the flash drives! Very cool. Guess what else?

Frank, Dominic and I also would like to give you a producer credit on the movie. I know it’s not on the perk you purchased (Ed. a cheap one!), but I think as one of the job descriptions of a producer is to help raise funds for a production – that qualifies you.

Warmest regards,
Ian Higgins

Gulp. Know what that means? I’m now no longer just the chief fan boy or über cheerleader, but an honest-to-goodness movie producer now!? I gotta tell you, the Lord works in mysterious ways because I sure didn’t see that title landing beside my name EVER. No way, no how.

But this is a remarkable story that needs to be told, and told again. It never crossed my mind that I would be denominated with a title like producer on my résumé. And it never would have happened without the generosity of giving readers like you. Folks who live out the words penned by St. James (2:14-17) two thousand years ago,

What shall it profit, my brethren, if a man say he hath faith, but hath not works? Shall faith be able to save him? And if a brother or sister be naked, and want daily food: And one of you say to them: Go in peace, be ye warmed and filled; yet give them not those things that are necessary for the body, what shall it profit? So faith also, if it have not works, is dead in itself.

Know what else it means? That’s simple: I need to make some more rain for the project! And I’m a beggar-thy-neighbor type, long on faith and prayer, but short on cash. But God will provide, and of that I am sure. And it looks like I’ve got some new stuff to learn. Maybe Tom Cruise can help.

Takashi Nagai, praying the rosary

Remember that little post I shared with you about how Words Matter? Well they do. As I thanked you for your generosity before, I will thank you for it again and ask that you share the news on this project via Twitter, Facebook, e-mail, etc. Heck, by any means possible. And give, give, and give some more —in any amount!

But I won’t brow beat you about it either. Shakedowns? We don’t need no stinking shakedowns! Instead, you can keep track of the fundraising progress right here at YIMCatholic. If you have a gander at the right-hand sidebar (up topside), you’ll see I’ve added a little widget showing the All That Remains Phase-2 IndieGoGo page where you can easily share it, see how many shekels are in the jar, how much time is left to give, etc., etc. How neat is that? Here’s an idea: put it on your blog too!

With prayer, action, faith, hope, and love,  I’m sure that Phase-2 of fundraising for this project will be a rousing success. All it will take is the following…

10 Reasons Why I Won’t Publish Your Uncharitable Comments UPDATED

Another ironic sign.

“Dear Frank,

I wrote a comment on your blog and you didn’t publish it. May I ask why? I didn’t use any curse words or anything. What gives?”

Simple: it was glaringly uncharitable. Here’s a little list for you to consider if you ever posted a comment to this blog and it was never published. Call it my Top Ten reasons why your brilliant comment won’t ever see the light of day on YIMCatholic.

1. Because, they are, ahem, uncharitable. Duh! Perhaps this will help.

2. Because they do nothing to further the Kingdom of God.

3. Because they show a misanthropic mindset that flys in the face of
“I give you a new commandment: love one another, as I have loved you.”

4. Because words matter and uncharitable comments show a lack of understanding of Commander’s Intent. Oh, you don’t know the definition of that phrase? Here you go.

5. Because they are the leaven of the Pharisees, and thus a total eclipse of the Son.

6. Because they break the Golden Rule and thus suck all of the life out of the combox, therefore becoming an exercise in resuscitation of zombie narcissists. Get over yourself and “love your neighbor as yourself.”

7. Because they show a basic misunderstanding of the reason why Christ came into the world. He didn’t come just to be worshipped, but to save the world from itself. “I came so that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” He has left this mission in our admittedly flawed hands. Amazing, isn’t it?

8. Because if you can’t make your point without resorting to mind reading skills you don’t have, and tearing down the other person, then your position is very weak and cannot stand on its own merits. Therefore it ain’t worth readin’!

9. Because in my charity for you, I won’t allow you to look like an uncharitable lout. Call me crazy.

10. Because life is too short.

Diane over at Te Deum Laudamus has an upcoming series of posts you might want to consider looking at as well. Here’s a promo for the series. Have a great day.

Update: Father Barron of Word on Fire on St. Thomas Aquinas, and ad hominem attacks today vs. the intellectual tradition of the Church,

Because Love Went to Madrid, And Its Cup Runneth Over

May it find its way through to all the corners of the world. Thanks to Marc Barnes, you can see for yourself.

For the Verses on the YIMCatholic Bookshelf Icon

Patricia Cornell, proprietor of St. Theodosia’s Icon Shop writes,

The Pantocrator on your website is one of my favorites! The text in the Book Jesus is holding is a combination of two Biblical texts on “judge not lest you be judged in the same way” (my paraphrase). It is one of my favorites and I handcraft this image, as well.

In Christ,

Patricia

Thanks Patricia! Actually, when Christ holds an open book, this is a variant of the Pantocrator and is called “Christ the Teacher.” I went to the link she provided to see her work and found the following information on the scripture verses on the icon(which whisks readers to the treasures contained on the YIMCatholic Bookshelf in the right sidebar),

John 7:24–“Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgement.” Matthew 7:2–“For with the judgement you pronounce, you will be judged and the measure you give will be the measure you get.”

I knew I liked it for multiple reasons!

Coming Soon to a PBS Channel Near You

Catholicism. And you thought Ken Burns’ documentaries are good? This is going to be best series shown on PBS ever!

“I want the series to go out beyond the walls of the Church,” he said in an Aug. 10 interview. “That’s why we’re so happy it’s going to be on public television.”

Set in 50 locations in over 16 countries, the series examines major themes within the Church such as the person of Christ, the mystery of God, the Virgin Mary, Saints Peter and Paul, the “missionary thrust of the Church,” the liturgy and the Eucharist, prayer and spirituality and the saints, Fr. Barron said.

In the episode on the Virgin Mary, for instance, the crew traveled to the Holy Land, France, Mexico and “around the world to see where the Marian faith shows up.”

“The approach I used,” he said, “was just to go to places around the world that visually show the themes I’m talking about.”

Fr. Barron said that the series comes at time when the U.S. is going through what he believes to be “the darkest period in the history of the American Catholic Church,” and that the “wrong” people are telling the story of what the Church actually is.

He pointed to the secular media’s depiction of the Church “as the place where the sex abuse scandal happened,” a narrative that he finds “so tiresome and counterproductive.”

“I think Catholics from the inside have to tell a much richer, broader, fascinating story,” Fr. Barron said, stressing the importance of not allowing the Church to be “reduced to the sex abuse scandal.”

He noted that during challenging times in Church history, the saints “tended to come forward in the times of crisis and bring things back to their evangelical basics.” Go read the rest.

Check your local listings, and set your DVR’s! Here’s a teaser for you too,

Episode One is about a dangerous man, indeed. A Savior for all mankind!

There is also a book as well as DVD’s.

Because World Youth Day is a Fertile Field for Vocations

A fortnight ago, I wrote a post about the coolest blog to add YIMCatholic to their blog roll. The blog is written by TingTing Tse, whose photograph you see here. Her blog is written in Chinese, though search me if it is in Cantonese or Mandarin. After I posted about her blog, which appeared to be coming out of Emmaus in the Holy Land, she wrote me a note.

Dear Frank,

Thanks for your kind words and friendship in Christ.  And thanks for your kindness of mentioning me in your blog- you gave me the same warm feelings and smiles!

In fact,  I just left Israel a few weeks ago. I’m a Postulant in the Catholic Community of the Beatitudes. Our community’s mission in the Holy Land is to take care of the site of Emmaus-Nicopolis. Therefore I had the chance, and indeed the honour, of living in the Holy Land for one year.

Right now I’m staying in France, to complete my Religious Formation. This journey is my “exile,” as I am really, really, really in love with the Holy Land! The recent posts in my blog are all bubbling over with the Love of Jerusalem!

Thanks for the great work of writing your blog. Indeed, it is a very important tool to spread God’s Words! I pray for your ministry, and I feel blessed to “meet” you in this “small big internet world!”

And I am especially grateful to you for introducing me to Dom Lou Tseng-Tsiang. I did not know of him yet! For sure I will spend the time to get to know this new friend. I’m quite sure he’s already praying for me!

I come from Hong Kong and lived there all my life (well, we belonged to Britain until 1997 —that explains my English.) The persecuted Church in mainland China geographically is very near to us but we Christians from Hong Kong actually know very little about Catholics in mainland China, and we bear too little of the Cross with our Brothers and Sisters there.

My Mother got baptised in her teens (many schools in Hong Kong are founded by missionaries: Salesians, Canossians, for example). She married my Dad, who was a Buddist. Mixed-marriages are very typical for Hong Kong Christians, even to this day). She brought me to be baptised when I was 3. This was because, after 3 years of age, I would have needed to attend Catechism Class before baptism. She didn’t want to “miss the chance”, a typically “realistic” calculation of Hong Kong people (smile). But indeed I give thanks to God every day for this. If not, I don’t know where I would fall religiously now.

My conversion was in 2005 at World Youth Day. During the overnight vigil, Pope Benedict XVI raised the Blessed Sacrament, and 1 million of us were kneeling down. It was the first time in my life that I realised what it means by the phrase “we are one body.” 

My parish in Hong Kong is taken care of by some missionaries from Argentina, the IVE Priests and Sisters. They are full of fire and loyal love for the Catholic Church. Therefore I received very good formation with other youths in the years after.

In 2006, somehow, I felt “called” to join a pilgrimage to Medjugorje. That was my second, and real,  conversion to prayer and it changed many bad habits in my life. Also, I began to seek my Vocation. Well little by little, very slowly, I began following God’s call step by step. I was constantly falling and forgiven and renewing and moving on, while struggling along this path.

And then I joined the Community of the Beatitudes, and I was sent to Israel for the first year of experiencing their spirituality. Now, I have arrived in France to complete my formation, and if God is willing, I want to be a consecrated Sister.

I have written long enough for now, just an ordinary love story in our Father’s infinite Mercy.

I’d love to write and share an article for your blog. On August 8th, I’m departing for World Youth Day, and then I will go to Rome for a week long pilgrimage (it will be the first time in my life going to Rome, and I’m so excited!). I’ll need to write for you around 1 month after, ok?

I’ll keep you, your family and readers in my prayers during my coming pilgrimage.

Love in Christ,

TingTing


I look forward to your guest post TingTing! We’ll keep the prayers flowing for you through your travels and witnessing for Christ and the Church. And prayers for all of the youths who will be traveling to Madrid for this years celebration of World Youth Day as well. Truly, it is a font for vocations.

Thanks be to God.

Check Out This Balloon Ride (Because Catholics Can Dig Science)

My wife knows my interests. She sent me this little clip this morning and I just had to share it with you. Suppose you were given the opportunity to help test the atmosphere for radiation drifting our way from the melted down nuclear reactor in Fukushima, Japan. Suppose you mounted some cameras on that balloon. What would you see?

This is what Colin Rich came up with. Check out the video as he builds and launches the Pacific Star 3. Talk about “wow!”

Pacific Star 3 from Colin Rich on Vimeo.

Wasn’t that just the neatest thing you’ve seen all year? Read more about the mission, and see the still photographs obtained on it, here.  Aslo, have a look at the Pacific Star  website. And remember the 5th Dimension? Head back down memory lane.