Thursday, April 28, 2011

What now?

I was thinking today "I wonder what it was like on the Thursday after that first Easter"?

I randomly thought of the ending scene in Finding Nemo, where all the fish land in plastic bags in the ocean, having escaped from the tank back at the Dentist's office, only to have one ask "now what?"

I wonder if it were like that with the apostles.  As more and more apparitions of the Risen Christ happen, what did they think?  As their trepidatious fear was replaced with overwhelming joy, did it give them courage in this new-found Faith.  As they sat together and began to recount Christ's walk among them, slowly piecing his life back together through their narrative, did they begin to recognize the Sacred?

I believe, and I trust that there was a rekindled excitement.  A dance in the heart that thrilled the soul.  A base recognition of an encounter with the Divine.  There came a moment when the apostles just knew, without even a cognitive acceptance of that knowledge, that they had been in the presence of their Messiah.

This hope, this Faith, this joy, this same fire of love is lit and continues to burn in each of us.

For as He died, He rose from the dead.

And He goes even one more mile for us.

Travelling in the form of the simplest of bread.  Bread made in a hurry, for there are Passover feasts to be seen to.  Flat, wafer like bread.  Simple, thoughtless almost in its construction.  It becomes the most sacred, the most profound, the most weighted with the human presence.  With Him.

Now are you thrilled?  Good.

Leave the room, go into the streets, proclaim His name.  Don't be scared by those Roman soldiers, by those cynics, by those who wish for political expediency or personal comfort to silence you.  Your faith and your joy will overwhelm them.  That is why He came.  That is why He is here.

For we will know Him in the breaking of the bread.

And that is what is now.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Chinese Food for thought...

A dire prediction hit the news yesterday: A date has been set for the end of the "Age of America," — i.e., when China's economy will overtake the United States. The news comes by way of an International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecast that shows China's economy surpassing America's by 2016. Though there are reasons to question the IMF's conclusions, it is true that if the U.S. does not get its fiscal house in order, the era of American leadership will be over.

Columnist Brett Arends writes in MarketWatch that China's evolution into an economic superpower will spell the end of America's economic dominance on the global stage:
The actual date when China surpasses the U.S. might come even earlier than the IMF predicts, or somewhat later. If the great Chinese juggernaut blows a tire, as a growing number fear it might, it could even delay things by several years. But the outcome is scarcely in doubt.

This is more than a statistical story. It is the end of the Age of America. As a bond strategist in Europe told me two weeks ago, “We are witnessing the end of America’s economic hegemony.”

The Heritage Foundation's Derek Scissors, Ph.D., notes that the IMF's prediction that China will surpass the U.S. by 2016 might be a bit early, given that it is based on trends, whereas economic performance is all about a nation's resources and policies. China's economic growth could stall, or the U.S.'s could speed up. What's more, like many predictions about the growth of China's economy, the IMF uses "purchasing power parity" to try to compare the United States and China -- resulting in potentially misleading conclusions. However, Scissors says that there is an overarching lesson to be learned from the IMF forecast:
The IMF's assumption that our economy will be weak indefinitely is all too reasonable. China might run its economy into the ground, but we are running our economy into the ground. Reasonable people can sharply disagree over what to do, but what's killing U.S. leadership is obvious to the IMF and anyone looking at the global picture: our budget deficit.

The picture of America's economic house is a dismal one, with its escalating debt and out-of-control entitlement spending. There is a silver lining for America, though. Scissors points out that China has considerable economic weaknesses like low income levels, resource depletion and high unemployment, whereas the U.S. has comparable strengths and is poised to remain a global leader:
If we do get our act together, we will stay far ahead of China where it counts most: in wealth, in employment, in technology, and so on. The United States is richer, has far more productive workers, and far more in the way of natural resources than China. The only way we stop being the global economic leader is if we blow it.

And that's why the next few months are so vitally important. As Congress begins debate on whether to raise the debt limit and how to curb spending, Members must realize that their actions have serious implications for America on the global stage.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday Homily

I heard the most interesting point made in a Good Friday homily ever, and I know you are all probably super saturated at this point in your journey towards Easter...So I'll leave you with this brief synopsis.

The Passion narrative begins with a scene in a garden.  The scene of Christ's agony acted out in supplication to His Heavenly Father.  The narrative ends with another scene in a garden.  Christ's corpse being placed in the garden of the empty tomb. 

It is in the revelation and wonder of God that we realize we have to travel from one garden to another.  To come the road that goes full circle.  And the only way to go from one garden to the other is through...The cross.

It restores us to that Garden we had lost so long ago.

I was greatly touched by that, and I just thought I'd share.

God Bless you all as we trudge on to Easter.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Prayer Before a Crucifix

Behold, O kind and most sweet Jesus, I cast myself upon my knees in Thy sight and with the most fervent desire of my soul I pray and beseech Thee that Thou wouldst impress upon my heart lively sentiments of Faith, Hope, and Charity, with true repentance for my sins, and a firm purpose of amendment, whilst with deep affection and grief of soul I ponder within myself and mentally contemplate Thy five most precious Wounds; having before my eyes the words which David in prophecy spoke concerning Thyself, O good Jesus: "They have pierced my hands and feet; they have numbered all my bones."

Wishing all of you, my dear readers, a very Holy and meritorious Triduum.

Senator Blumenthal Responds...

*Blah, blah, blah...*

Dear Mrs. (PattyinCT),
     Thank you for your thoughtful message regarding funding for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. I appreciate hearing from you.
     As you may know, the House of Representatives recently considered legislation to fund the federal government for the remainder of the fiscal year. During the debate over the Continuing Resolution, the House approved an amendment to eliminate funding for Title X, the only federal grant program dedicated solely to providing individuals with preventive health services and comprehensive family planning.
In addition, the House approved an amendment that would deny all federal funding to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and its affiliates for the rest of this fiscal year, because some Planned Parenthood health centers provide abortion services. Although long-standing federal law already prohibits federal funds from being used to pay for abortions and an estimated 90 percent of the services provided at Planned Parenthood clinics are preventive, the House-passed Continuing Resolution would eliminate all federal funding for important health care services used by millions of Americans.
     It is through the support of these federal funds that Planned Parenthood health centers offer, on an annual basis, nearly one million lifesaving screenings for cervical cancer, 830,000 breast exams, contraception to nearly 2.5 million patients, nearly four million tests and treatments for sexually transmitted infections including HIV, and education programs for nearly 1.2 million individuals. If federal funding for Planned Parenthood were eliminated, in Connecticut alone nearly 63,000 women, many of whom are uninsured, would lose access to the sole health care provider they see with any regularity.
     I have been a lifelong advocate for women's health. It is vitally important that Title X continue to be fully funded and that all health clinics, including Planned Parenthood, serving our nation’s most vulnerable women continue to have access to the funds they need to survive.
     As your Senator, I will fight to make sure that women’s health is a top priority in Congress. Even on issues where we do not agree, I will keep your thoughts in mind while reviewing legislation and voting during the 112th Congress. Please do not hesitate to continue sharing your thoughts with me.


Richard Blumenthal
United States Senator

Monday, April 11, 2011

Defund Planned Parenthood vote on Thursday

I know...I know...We lost a battle on Friday...But my friends, we have not lost the war.  Please contact your senators today and urge them to vote against funding Planned Parenthood. The vote is this coming Thursday.  Time is of the essence!

Here is my letter to Senator Blumenthal:

Dear Senator Blumenthal,
I am writing to respectfully request that you vote to defund Planned Parenthood.  Not only do they provide a majority of all abortions done here in the United States and throughout the world, they are a corrupt organization that is unfit to receive any funding.  A woman's "right to choose" has been proven a gag order on the failure of Planned Parenthood and her affiliates to cover up racism, sex trafficking of minors, services they claim to provide that indeed they do not.  Over 97% of all women who enter Planned Parenthood pregnant will have left only after having an abortion.  Only 2% of pregnant women give their babies up for adoption through Planned Parenthood.  They are only aided and abetted by our tax monies, and this laundering has to cease.
Thank you for your time in this matter.  For more information on the corruptions I cited above, please visit:
Sincerely Yours,

I am hoping that enough people write so that we can end the madness that is allowed to continue under the guise of "choice".  Please write today. The link is here (and located above!)

Monday, April 4, 2011

When the Going Gets Tough

Praise God for His Amazing Love

Warning: This video show some of the more graphic moments of The Passion of the Christ.  Not suitable for children.