Is Bill Gates Tip-toeing His Way Towards Catholicism? Is Westboro Baptist’s Fred Phelps?

This photo was taken by Kjetil Ree.

I don’t know the answer to either question, actually. Only they, and God, know. I mention it only because in a recent interview in Rolling Stone, Gates mentioned that he attends a Catholic Church with his wife Melinda, and that they have raised their children in the Church. As for Westboro Baptist’s founder, I learned that he is on his deathbed AND has been “excommunicated” from the church he started.

Let’s look at what the founder of Microsoft said first. [Read more...]

My Favorite Psalm

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King David and Joe Six-Pack have something in common. A number of things, actually. He was a soldier, while I was a Marine. He was a repentant sinner, and I am one still. He was a bit of an extrovert, and according to Myers-Briggs (all characters in the Bible took the test. No, really.), he and I share the same personality type. He wrote poems with verve, which are the kind of poems I like to read.

But the real reason I know we have a lot in common? That’s easy. Just take a look at Psalm 131. [Read more...]

To Pray For the Victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines

Today we pray especially for those killed or injured in the devastating storm named Typhoon Haiyan.  Reports are that as many as 10,000 people have died, and widespread damage has occurred with thousands of homes, businesses, and buildings completely destroyed. Have a look at the before and after photographs of one city to get a sense of the destructive power of this storm. We’ve even sent some Marines in to help. [Read more...]

Why The Seven-Headed Dragon of Lying Will Never Be Slain

And another portent appeared in heaven; behold, a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems upon his heads. –Revelation 12:3

Because Satan!

Just look at the image above, and note that one of the creatures represents the Father of Lies while the other represents Our Mother unstained by sin. She is in heaven now.

And the beast? [Read more...]

Losing Our Religion? Or Have We Forgotten It? Thoughts on an NPR Series from the Crucifixion of Our Lord UPDATED

I don’t know if you listen to NPR but they’ve been doing a little series this week called “Losing Our Religion.” It is about the group of folks who when asked what their religion is, they state “none.” Noting that many people turn towards religion when they encounter difficulties and tragedies, this series has been about people who have often times done the exact opposite.

They’ve left their religions, but not necessarily their belief in God (though some have), for various reasons. [Read more...]

A Prayer For A Friend In Need

 Psalm 42, of David

As the deer longs for streams of water,
so my soul longs for you, O God.

My soul thirsts for God, the living God.
When can I enter and see the face of God? [Read more...]

For Something Old and Something New (Thoughts for Thursday)

On Thursdays I serve as lector at the parish near my office. I’ve been the Thursday reader for a couple of years now and these days, I don’t even look ahead at the readings beforehand. There are two reasons for this. A) I like to be surprised and B) I found that I was often surprised anyway, as the readings for the day are often changed by the pastor to reflect the memorials for saints that the Daily Readings I found at the USSCB weren’t picking up on.

So now, I just say a prayer that I will read well, and then I head on up and dive in. Today, I was happily surprised to read aloud the words from my favorite Old Testament book, Ecclesiastes. I hope I wasn’t grinning too much as I launched into the classic beginning of Qoheleth’s riddle of life, [Read more...]

Quote of the Week

Everything depends on the unforseeable ways of God and his secret graces, together with human liberty, comprised as it is in his eternal plan. What is certain is that the Church will emerge from this crises wonderfully purified; error will not have got the better of her. —Jacques Maritain, The Peasant of the Garrone, 1966

True then, and true now. For as the Psalmist reminds us,

For the LORD will not forsake his people,

nor abandon his inheritance.

Judgment shall again be just,

and all the upright of heart will follow it.

Amen.

Thoughts on How Christ Prayed Under Duress

Once when Jesus was praying in solitude…

Is it wrong for me to wonder to myself this question: What would Jesus pray? What would God, as the Son of Man, pray to God the Father?  I read a Psalm of David today that makes me believe a) perhaps this is how Our Lord prayed for strength while he was undergoing his trial, and b) David “saw” this and again prophesied events that have been fulfilled. [Read more...]

Psalm 52 (A Few Words for Wednesday)

Thankfully, the scriptures are not one dimensional, like say the characters in an Ayn Rand novel. I’ve mentioned before how uncanny the readings can be, as well as the timing of selections that are in the Liturgy of the Hours. That is where I ran across today’s poetry selection.

Are their inconvenient scriptures? Of course there are.

Otherwise, you would just pick and choose what you liked from the Bible and toss everything else. Thankfully, we have a Magisterium that prevents such a travesty.

Given the events of the past few days, this particular selection from the Office of Readings today sort of stood out like a sore thumb.

Psalm 52
For the leader. A maskil of David,when Doeg the Edomite went and told Saul, “David went to the house of Ahimelech.”

Why do you glory in evil, you scandalous liar?
All day long you plot destruction;
your tongue is like a sharpened razor, you skillful deceiver.
You love evil rather than good,
lies rather than honest speech. Selah
You love any word that destroys, you deceitful tongue.

Now God will strike you down, leave you crushed forever,
Pluck you from your tent, uproot you from the land of the living. Selah
The righteous will look on with awe; they will jeer and say:
“That one did not take God as a refuge,
but trusted in great wealth,
relied on devious plots.”

But I, like an olive tree in the house of God,
trust in God’s faithful love forever.
I will praise you always for what you have done.
I will proclaim before the faithful that your name is good.

Image credit: Linda Robb.


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