Sin is wicked, but when recognized as sin, man can repent, seek and receive redemption. But if the worldview fails to recognize sin for what it is, or worse, celebrates the sin as some form of grotesque virtue, repentance is not sought and redemption is lost. Even more concerning, this worldview does not limit itself to a solitary sin which hurts the perpetrator alone. Instead, it eagerly embraces and encourages a multitude of other sins which visit their wicked results upon others. ( Roman Catholic Bishop Stanislav Shyrokoradiuk of Kharkiv-Zaporizha)

Monday, October 12, 2015

Chiara Luce Badano: A Saint for Generation X

From YouTube:
Chiara Badano, called Chiara "Luce" (which means "Light"), (Sassello, October 29, 1971 - Sassello, October 7, 1990) was an Italian teenager who has been declared "Blessed" within the Catholic Church. She belonged to the Focolare Movement and died prematurely at eighteen after succumbing to osteosarcoma, an aggressive and painful form of bone cancer. She was beatified on September 25, 2010 in the Sanctuary of "Our Lady of Divine Love" in Rome.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Sundays are for Beauty: J.S Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue in d minor”

That's the Oklahoma State University's Small Trumpet Ensemble. On March 21 of this year, they won the National Trumpet Competition at Messiah College, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. 

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Mark J. Perry on Wasteful Recycling

Mark J. Perry, who holds two graduate degrees in Economics, is a professor of economics and finance at the University of Michigan's Flint campus, and a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.  His popular economics Blog is called: Carpe Diem.
 Last Sunday, he published a post discussing the wasteful activity of recycling, which has become a pseudo religion for folks who more than anything want to feel good about themselves.
Here's just the opening paragraph of the post:
In 1996, New York Times science columnist John Tierney wrote an article that appeared in the New York Times Magazine about compulsory recycling titled “Recycling is Garbage.”  Tierney’s controversial argument in that article can be summarized as follows: Recycling may be the most wasteful activity in modern America. Tierney wrote, “Rinsing out tuna cans and tying up newspapers may make you feel virtuous, but it’s a waste of time and money, a waste of human and natural resources. Americans have embraced recycling as a transcendental experience, an act of moral redemption. We’re not just reusing our garbage; we’re performing a rite of atonement for the sin of excess.” Now you can understand why Tierney’s recycling article set the all-time record for the greatest volume of hate mail ever recorded in the history of the New York Times Magazine.

You can read the entire post of Professor Perry by clicking HERE.

To read the 1996 piece by John Tierney, go HERE.

Overpopulation: The Making of a Myth

Thursday, October 8, 2015

John Quincy Adams on Immigration

John Quincy Adams, when he was U.S. secretary of state, in 1819, wrote to a German citizen who was considering moving to the United States, and asked Adams for a job.  Those were the days when a politician could speak the truth without political consequences.  Such a letter today from a U.S. secretary of state would be cause for impeachment to appease the outcry from the Left.  Here are excerpts from the letter as published in today's Wall Street Journal:

Notable & Quotable: John Quincy Adams
‘This is a land, not of privileges, but of equal rights.’
Neither the general government of the union, nor those of the individual states, are ignorant or unobservant of the additional strength and wealth, which accrues to the nation, by the accession of a mass of healthy, industrious, and frugal laborers, nor are they in any manner insensible to the great benefits which this country has derived, and continues to derive, from the influx of such adoptive children from Germany.
But there is one principle which pervades all the institutions of this country, and which must always operate as an obstacle to the granting of favors to new comers. This is a land, not of privileges, but of equal rights. Privileges are granted by European sovereigns to particular classes of individuals, for purposes of general policy; but the general impression here is that privileges granted to one denomination of people, can very seldom be discriminated from erosions of the rights of others.
Emigrants from Germany, therefore, or from elsewhere, coming here, are not to expect favors from the governments. They are to expect, if they choose to become citizens, equal rights with those of the natives of the country. They are to expect, if affluent, to possess the means of making their property productive, with moderation, and with safety;—if indigent, but industrious, honest and frugal, the means of obtaining easy and comfortable subsistence for themselves and their families. . . .
To one thing they must make up their minds, or, they will be disappointed in every expectation of happiness as Americans. They must cast off the European skin, never to resume it. They must look forward to their posterity, rather than backward to their ancestors; they must be sure that whatever their own feelings may be, those of their children will cling to the prejudices of this country, and will partake of that proud spirit.
"Every officer impeachable by the laws of the country, is as liable, twenty years after his office has expired, as he is whilst he continues in office, and if such is not the case, if an officer could thus ward off the pains of impeachment, what would be the value of the provision… ?” 

 John Quincy Adams

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Yo Yo MA is 60: Happy BIrthday!

With Diana Krall and John Clayton.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Dr. Ben Carson 1: Whoopie Goldberg 0

You might ask yourself what Whoopie Goldberg has accomplished in her life to benefit society that would make her feel qualified and competent to take on Dr. Ben Carson.  I can't come up with anything.

The Vortex—"Failed’ Marriages": No Such Thing!

The Vortex—‘Failed’ Marriages | The Vortex


There's a lot of talk going on in Rome during this synod about failed marriages. But that's the kind of talk that's not really all that helpful. It's exclusionary. It's unwelcoming. In fact, it sends the message that not all are welcome.

And exactly who is it that's being excluded, being not welcomed? Well, God — that's Who. See, to speak of a sacramental marriage as having failed is not welcoming to God. A sacrament that is valid and licit, cannot fail. It is an insult to Almighty God to even mention that. That's because it has the imprint of God on it — so everything Our Lord has promised in connection with that sacrament remains; it succeeds, it does not fail. It cannot fail.

Sure, the human component can fail and fail spectacularly, but not the divine part. We would never imagine speaking of a failed baptism, or a failed ordination, or a failed anointing of the sick. And if we did, many Church leaders should look out, because we could certainly start reeling off zillions of examples where the sacrament of ordination clearly looks like it failed. But Catholics don't speak in these terms.  

We speak in terms of individuals failing to live in such a manner so as to cooperate with the grace given through the sacrament — but we cannot speak in terms of the sacrament itself failing. Impossible. The term of marriage is for life — until death us do part. That is the amount of time that God has bound Himself to that particular sacrament — until one of the spouses dies. In the instance of ordination, God has bound Himself to that sacrament forever. You are a priest forever, a priest like Melchizedek of old. Once a priest always a priest. As the Irish say: A priest in Heaven, a priest in Hell; you are a priest forever. Same with baptism. The term for baptism is forever. You are never without baptism once baptized. 

So sacraments, depending on which ones they are, each have a term, a length of "time" in which their effects remain operative. The same applies to marriage. The graces available to a husband and wife are sufficient to them for them to cooperate with and merit Heaven — so to speak of the possibility of failure is not Catholic vocabulary.

We can speak of the failure of the husband or wife to live a life or lives corresponding to those graces, but we can never speak of the graces themselves failing. Yet this is exactly the tone, the undercurrent you hear around Rome from various prelates at the Synod. And they are wrong, perhaps even heretical. They are campaigning for an unCatholic interpretation of marriage — the sacrament itself. That is not possible.

When the human relationship fails, that is not the fault of the marriage sacrament. It is the fault of the human beings involved. Granted, there could be outside situations that bring great stress on the human relationship, like a psychological illness that develops only after the wedding, or a physical condition along with the emotional stress that makes the relationship very difficult to endure on a daily basis. It may in very rare circumstances even be necessary to separate for a while, but none of this undoes the sacrament of the marriage. It means necessity of clinging even more tightly to the graces of the sacrament.

But let's be honest, shall we? While these issues do happen, they are not the primary cause of so-called failed marriages. Lust is the primary cause. One or both spouses simply get "bored" physically with the other and get a roaming eye. They might have personality issues that precondition them to get bored. They could be going through the infamous second childhood or menopause, or the new secretary is just very attractive. Whatever.

Things are unhappy at home and one or both spouses is not cooperating with the graces to endure and work through the unhappiness, so instead of turning to God and His sacramental graces, they turn their eye to someone else, and adultery soon occurs. And this is the reason most marriages "fail." The other woman, or the other man, comes strolling in right at the perfect moment. So divorce eventually happens, then civil remarriage — and then exclusion from confession and Holy Communion.

It is preposterous and spiritually monstrous to consider granting the Most Blessed Sacrament to those who have failed to cooperate with graces from another sacrament and call it "mercy." It is not mercy or compassion — it is condoning adultery, the very opposite of marriage. Marriage is fidelity, through thick and thin. Adultery is lack of fidelity.

The idea that a sacrament can fail is a horrible thing to ponder. We simply cannot live in an existence where we do not have the guarantee of the fidelity of Our Lord to the sacraments. Imagine what would happen to the idea of confession. What if we could not be certain that the graces or effects from absolution "stuck"? First they are there, then they fail. How about confirmation, or baptism, or for that fact, Holy Communion itself?  

This kind of discussion is totally off-base, missing the mark, unCatholic to the extreme. The failure is on the part of the humans to not live up to the sacrament. This is how this must be spoken of — not in terms of a "failed marriage." No such animal exists, nor is it even possible for it to exist. Moreover, to turn around and reconstruct the Church's vocabulary, or try to smuggle in a new one, so as to essentially reward adultery is beyond the pale. It is wicked and diabolical. People living in adultery cannot be admitted to Holy Communion any more than two men or two women in a civil same-sex marriage — which a number of people here in Rome say is the real goal — with heterosexual couples in adultery simply being used as guinea pigs.

Stay with us all this month as we continue to bring you news from Rome about the Synod and the drastic approaches being discussed.