Sunday, October 31, 2010

Pope Benedict XVI: "God excludes no one!"

Commenting on this Sunday's Gospel story of the call of the sinner, Zacchaeus, with the faithful gathered beneath his window in St Peter's Square to pray the Angelus, Pope Benedict XVI said God excludes no one, neither rich nor poor, Zacchaeus.

God does not let himself be conditioned by our human prejudices, but sees in each one of us a soul to save -- and he is especially attracted by those, who are considered to be lost and who so consider themselves to be.

Jesus Christ, the incarnation of God, has shown this immense mercy, which does not diminish the gravity of sin, but always aims to save the sinner, to offer him the chance for redemption, for conversion. READ MORE

Benedict XV to young people; love Jesus, be open to others

Over 80 thousand children and young people from Catholic Action Italy gathered in St. Peter's Square on Saturday morning to meet and speak with the Pope. They asked questions such as How do we become an adult? How do we learn to love? How can we be true educators?. Benedict XVI, replied that growing means learning to love Jesus, encountering him in the Sacraments, getting to know him better and making him known to others. He told them love is not a commercial good or the selfishness sometimes by the media and the internet. Instead true love is a gift, dedication, sacrifice, openness to the transcendent. Education must be based on values and built in partnership with family and school. READ MORE


Sunday (October 31): "Zacchaeus made haste and received Jesus joyfully"

Meditation:  What would you do if Jesus knocked on your door and said, "I must stay at your house today"? Would you be excited or embarrassed? Jesus often "dropped-in" at unexpected times and he often visited the "uninvited" the poor, the lame, and even public sinners like Zacchaeus, the tax collector! Tax collectors were despised and treated as outcasts, no doubt because they over-charged people and accumulated great wealth at the expense of others. Zacchaeus was a chief tax collector and was much hated by all the people. Why would Jesus single him out for the honor of staying at his home?  Zacchaeus needed God's merciful love and in his encounter with Jesus he found more than he imagined possible. He shows the depth of his repentance by deciding to give half of his goods to the poor and to use the other half for making restitution for fraud. Zacchaeus' testimony included more than words. His change of heart resulted in a change of life, a change that the whole community could experience as genuine. The Lord is always ready to make his home with us.  Do you make room for him in your heart, your home, and in every area of your life? 

"Lord, come and stay with me.  Fill my home with your presence and fill my heart with your praise.  Help me to show kindness and mercy to all, even to those who cause me harm."

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Against Storms: Saints and Prayers

Caribbean Catholic posted this as we in the Southern Caribbean are pounded by Tropical Storm Tomas

There are several Patron Saints AGAINST STORMS listed by CATHOLICPATRONSAINT.COM. They are as follo3ws:

Gratus of Aosta
Henry of Upsalla
Our Lady of Zapopan
Thomas Aquinas
Urban of Langres

Here is a prayer for protection.

Jesus Christ a King of Glory has come in Peace. +
God became man, + and the Word was made flesh. +
Christ was born of a Virgin.+
Christ suffered.+
Christ was crucified.+
Christ died.+
Christ rose from the dead.+
Christ ascended into Heaven. +
Christ conquers. +
Christ reigns. +
Christ orders. +

May Christ protect us from all storms and lightning.+
Christ went through their midst in Peace, +
and the Word was made flesh. +
Christ is with us with Mary. +
Flee you enemy spirits because the Lion of the
Generation of Juda, the Root of David, has won. +

Holy God! + Holy Powerful God! + Holy Immortal God! +
Have mercy on us.


Friday, October 29, 2010

Pope will consecrate in Barcelona the most modern temple in Europe

The Pope will visit the Sagrada Familia by Gaudi in Barcelona, in order to consecrate the church and turn it into a basilica. The construction of this beautiful church began in 1882 and is expected to be completed by 2025. Catholics from around the world have funded the construction since its beginnings. 
Around 2.5 million people visit the site every year. But when the Pope holds Mass there, only 7,000 will be allowed to enter. Attendees will be made up of all the workers, the disabled, and city representatives. 

Up to 40,000 seats and several giant screens will be distributed around the basilica so that the throngs of people can watch the ceremony.

Possible first miracle of Gaudi: healing a retinal disease

The artist Antoni Gaudi has been called the “architect of God,” and his work is being put in the spotlight with the Pope's visit to Barcelona to consecrate the church of the Sagrada Familia. According to Gaudi biographer, Josep Maria Tarragona, there is a supposed miracle, which could lead him down the road to sainthood.
It is the unexplainable cure of a disease in a woman's retina, who was also from Reus, the hometown of Antoni Gaudí.

However, this is not the only supposed miracle by Gaudi. The Association for the Beatification of Antoni Gaudí received testimonies from people claiming he helped them to unify broken families, cure diseases, and convert people to Catholicism.

Conversions such as Etsuro Sotoo, a Japanese sculptor who is working on the Sagrada Familia and converted to Catholicism while researching Antoni Gaudi.

The association believes that the beatification could take place on June 10, 2016, to mark the 90th anniversary of the death of Antoni Gaudí.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

US Bishops head to Cuba for seminary opening

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops announced that it will send a delegation to attend the opening of a new seminary in Cuba. The island has not held a ceremony such as this in over 50 years. The USCCB delegation will be led by subcommittee member Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski of Miami. The group will travel to Cuba from November 3-6, visiting various churches.
John Paul II blessed the cornerstone of this seminary in his 1998 trip to Cuba. The project has been financed by a number of Catholic organizations, including the Knights of Columbus.

Ad For Nuns

Benedict XVI talked about St. Bridget, co-patron of Europe. She was married and had eight children. She and her husband lived with the spirit of the secular Franciscan, dedicating their lives to help the poor. Using the example of this saint, the Pope had some words for mothers and Christian couples. "My thanks to so many women who, day after day, still light up their families through their witness of Christian life. May the Spirit of the Lord inspire, even today, the sanctity of Christian couples to show the world the beauty of marriage lived according to Gospel values," said the Pope. READ MORE

Sts. Simon and Jude

Today the Church celebrates the feast of Sts. Simon and Jude whose names occur together in the Canon of the Mass and are also celebrated on the same day. Possibly this is because they both preached the Gospel in Mesopotamia and Persia where it is said they had both been sent, but in actual fact we know nothing for certain about them beyond what is told us of their being called as Apostles in the New Testament. St. Jude is the author of a short Epistle which forms part of the New Testament. 

St. Jude
Patron: Desperate situations; forgotten causes; hospital workers; hospitals; impossible causes; lost causes; diocese of Saint Petersburg, Florida.

Symbols: Bearded man holding an oar, a boat, boat hook, a club, an axe or a book; nearly every image depicts him wearing a medallion with a profile of Jesus, and usually with a small flame above his head; often carries a pen or sits at a writing location to make reference to the canonical Epistle; sailboat; inverted cross; square; halbert; club; loaves and fish; long cross; knotted club; boat hook; fuller's bat; lance; saw; flail; closed book; shield: red with sailboat with a cross on the mast. 

St. Simon
Patron: Curriers; sawmen; sawyers; tanners.

Symbols: Boat; fish; man being sawn in two longitudinally; fish and book; oar; saw; two fishes; lance; fuller's bat; axe; cross; saw and oar saltire; fish on a boat hood; sword; shield: red background with two oars and a hatchet.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

“God is Great!” Words of an 11 year old despite the tragic loss of his mother

The event below occurred on yesterday this week in our beloved country. It is a heartbreaking and tragic incident and I post this really to show to the love and bravery of an eleven year old boy who despite the tragic lost of his mother at the hands of his abusive father could still say "God is Great!." What incredible faith! I was moved to tears.
Eleven-year-old Seth Mitchell and his brother Shayden, ten, watched as the man repeatedly stabbed their mother after he confronted her at her workplace at Bavarian Motors, in San Fernando, where she was an assistant manager.

She was attacked at about 4 pm, shortly after her sons, had arrived with the man who took them to their mother’s workplace to meet her.

"I did not even get to hug or kiss my mummy. She was the world to me and look at what happened. She’s gone,"

Seth, who is a Standard Four student, said the man asked him to call out to his mother and insisted he needed to speak to her.

"I was watching them from a distance because, I don’t know, I was feeling something was wrong because his face was looking kind of angry but I did not say anything. I was just watching and then I saw him pull out a knife from his pocket," Seth said. "I run fast from where I was, faster than a jet, I pushed everything that was in my sight. My shoes flung off, I wanted to save mummy so bad but he began to stab her. And I tried pulling him off her but he just continued stabbing and everybody was there in the room."

Seth said his mother struggled to push the man away and screamed but he continued to stab her.

"I even tried talking to him and told him, ‘Don’t kill mummy’ but he said mummy did not want to make back up with him so he had to kill her and then kill himself."

Seth said he tried to pull the man off of his mother and to convince him to stop stabbing her. "I tried to tell him if mummy’s dead who would look after us and he stopped and watched me but mummy was already on the floor and covered in a pool of blood and my school-clothes were covered in blood."

Holding photographs of his mother, Seth said the man threatened to kill anyone if they got close to him. "Everyone was just so afraid but I wanted to save mummy but he already stabbed her so many times and he left. I went to her on the floor and she was half dead. She would not get to see me grow up, to write SEA. It was so frightening, my heart wants to burst out of my chest, but God is great."
cried Seth
May Sabrina Lalla rest is peace and may the good Lord continue to look after her children.

Wordless Wednesday {think pink}

Treehouse Envy...

Baby in Parliment

This September, Licia Ronzulli, Italy's MEP, attended a voting session of European Parliament with her baby girl in order to draw attention to women's rights.

Photo by Reuters/Vincent Kessler, via Capucha.

40 Days for Life - Day 36 - October 27, 2010

We are the defenders of true freedom. May our witness unveil the deception of the "pro-choice" slogan.

Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
--2 Corinthians 3:17

Norma McCorvey (the former Jane Roe of Roe v. Wade) used to work at an abortion mill named "A Choice for Women." She now realizes what a cruel irony that title was. She saw first hand, just as pregnancy resource center counselors see, that women don't get abortions because of freedom of choice, but rather because they feel they have no freedom and no choice. They feel trapped, abandoned, desperate and afraid, and have been led to believe that abortion is their only option.

As Frederica Mathewes-Green has written, no want wants an abortion like she wants a Porsche or an ice cream; rather, she wants it like an animal caught in a trap wants to gnaw off its own leg.

"Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." That doesn't mean that the Spirit allows us to do whatever we want or to decide for ourselves what's right and wrong.

Rather, it means that the Spirit gives us the freedom to do what is right, the power to choose what is good, when we see it before us and yet feel pulled in the opposite direction. Liberty means that we no longer have to feel doomed to do what we know is wrong.

We are the people of the Spirit of the Lord, and when we take action on behalf of life, especially by being present at abortion mills, we are acting on behalf of true freedom, and imparting to those who are in bondage the power to do what is right.

Come, Holy Spirit. You are the Spirit of freedom, the source of all that is good, the power to do what is right. Fill us, and fill those who are in bondage today, feeling doomed to do what is wrong. Set them free, and help us to hasten them on the road to freedom, where your grace overcomes every temptation. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life and President, National Pro-life Religious Council

Work for God

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

40 Days for Life - Day 35 - October 26, 2010

Pray for post-abortive women who cannot forgive themselves; may they understand that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sin is covered. Blessed is the one to whom the Lord shall not impute sin.

-- Romans 4:7-8

In the passage above, the Apostle Paul making a point about justification by faith, refers back to David's words in Psalm 32:1-2. In spite of the enormity of David's sin -- adultery with Bathsheba and his murder of her husband -- and the utter absence of any personal merit, David in his brokenness, understood the imputed righteousness of God. David's response was not continued guilt over his sins, but praise for his freedom from guilt, and God's power to live life differently.

Once your relationship with God has been restored, your guilt has served its purpose and should no longer be given place in your life. This is true regardless of the sin, including the sin of abortion. As a post-abortive woman, I too struggled with this issue until I realized that punishing and hating myself after receiving God's forgiveness was an insult to God.

It was as though I were minimizing Christ's work on the cross as insufficient to cover my sin. I was denying Him the opportunity to bring glory to His name for the healing and restoration He wanted to do in my life. I was giving victory to the enemy who having lost the battle for my soul, was bent on destroying my testimony as I accepted the continual guilt he heaped on my mind.

It is my joy to continually sing of God's grace rather than give the devil a foothold in my life. Don't waste God's mercy! Accept His forgiveness and forgive yourself as testimony of His amazing grace.

Our Most Gracious Heavenly Father, thank you for your amazing grace that saved a wretch like me. I come against the enemy of my soul who would have me feel cast down and dejected. Lord, keep your children from falling prey to the accusations of the father of lies. Turn our mourning into dancing and may we bring praise to you as we give testimony of Your healing and restoration in our lives. For by His grace we are saved, amen.

Carmen Pate
Co-host, "Point of View" Talk Show

Wisdom Story - Fable of the porcupine

A friend sent me this via e-mail which I thought was cute and wise and worth sharing.

Fable of the porcupine 

It was the coldest winter ever - many animals died because of the cold. The porcupines, realizing the situation, decided to group together. This way they covered and protected themselves. But the quills of each one wounded their closest companions even though they gave off heat to each other.
After awhile they decided to distance themselves one from the other and they began to die, alone and frozen.
So they had to make a choice: either accept the quills of their companions or disappear from the Earth.
Wisely, they decided to go back to being together. This way they learned to live with the little wounds that were caused by the close relationship with their companion, but the most important part of it, was the heat that came from the others.
This way they were able to survive.
Moral of the story:
The best relationship is not the one that brings together perfect people but, rather, the one when each individual learns to live with the imperfections of others and can admire the other person's good qualities.

Catholic man adopts 50 children to save them from abortion

An amazing story of Faith and great generosity!


"Nature is an infinite sphere of which the center is everywhere and the circumference nowhere.”

Quote by Blaise Pascal - a French mathematician, physicist, inventor, writer and Catholic philosopher

Weekend Tidbits

 Fun bed tents made by the kids

Silly bands make kids unreasonably happy

Peppers for sale - Beautiful and delicious bottles of pepper sauce were bought this weekend.

Family time - Movietowne to see Special Edition of Avatar in 3D

Mel Gibson may be an alcoholic; but he has my sympathy

I really like this post by Stuart Reid of the Catholic Herald as it speak to me personally. While not an alcoholic, I have/had several member of my family who were and became recovering alcoholic and the sober individuals were always loving, God fearing people. Here is a clip from the article.

The case against Mel is that he is anti-Semitic, homophobic, violent and alcoholic, and, to add insult to injury, a Roman Catholic. That’s a bad combination in Hollywood. Most Hollywood types can forgive alcoholism and a little domestic violence, but they draw the line at anti-Semitism and homophobia, and they don’t like Catholicism unless it comes from Bing Crosby and is wrapped in tinsel. No one would ever accuse Mel of wrapping his Catholicism in tinsel. READ FULL ARTICLE

Monday, October 25, 2010

Pope announces next Synod on the new evangelization

At mid-day every Sunday it is customary for the Pope to appear at the window of his study to give the Angelus prayer. He was greeted by a large crowd of pilgrims and onlookers in St. Peter's Square. After the prayer he announced the next synod to take place in 2012 with the theme: “new evangelization.”  READ MORE

40 Days for Life - Day 34 - October 25, 2010

Day 34 - October 25

May we come to know that divine life, in relationship, creates human life.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.
--John 1:1-3

"In the beginning" was God. Always, before all times, there was God. This particular God -- the God of the Bible, the God of St. John's Gospel -- is different from all other gods. This God is alive and full of life. This God is not the picture of deadness and death, aloneness and isolation. This God is the picture of life, relationship, and unity. For within this God, within this one God, there are three divine persons who live, who love, and who work -- together. This is the glorious mystery of the Trinity. The Trinity means divine life. The Trinity means three, living Persons -- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit -- who relate to each other. The Trinity means mutual love and service among three Persons.

The Word was always with God the Father. This Word was, is, and will be the Trinity's second person. The Word is also the Son of God or, as revealed in time, Jesus Christ. God the Father and God the Son live, love, and work for each other. As one, they create "all things" together: the Father creates all things, including all human life, through the Son.

So the Father, through the Son, creates all human lives. The little one swimming in his mother's womb, the infant smiling in his father's arms, the child crying in pain in a hospital bed, the energetic teen running another mile, the old man gasping for his last breath -- all were created, at their beginning, by the Father through the Son. No exceptions. Divine life creates human life.

O God, may we always be quick to call you Father. And when we call you father, let your Spirit remind us that we, and all people, from their beginning to their last day, are your children. We praise you, Father, that you sent your Son to reveal to the world that all people are His brothers and sisters, that all people are your children. Through Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.

Rev. Paul Stallsworth
President, Lifewatch (United Methodist Church)

Mass marking the conclusion of the synod of bishops from the Middle East

Benedict XVI said that peace is both urgent and possible at a Mass ending the Synod of Bishops for the Middle East yesterday (full text, video)

Pope Benedict XVI waves after celebrating a mass marking the conclusion of the synod of bishops from the Middle East in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican October 24, 2010.

Bishops attend a mass lead by Pope Benedict XVI marking the conclusion of the synod of bishops from the Middle East in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican.

Pope Benedict called on Islamic countries in the Middle East on Sunday to guarantee freedom of worship to non-Muslims and said peace in the region was the best remedy for a worrying exodus of Christians.

 Cardinals attend a Mass celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI on the occasion of the conclusion of the synod of bishops from the Middle East in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican.

Pope Benedict XVI  blesses a child as he leaves St.Peter's Basilica at the Vatican after leading a procession by 180 members of the clergy from the Middle East.

Forty Martyrs of England & Wales

Today in England is the feast of the Forty Holy Martyrs of England and Wales (in Wales this is a memorial), a group of forty men, women, religious, priests, and lay people who were canonized by Pope Paul VI on October 25, 1970. These people were executed for their Faith during a period of anti-Catholicism from 1535 to 1679. The Martyrs who were canonized were among more than two hundred martyrs who had been beatified by various earlier popes. 

Some of the common "crimes" of these people were being priests, harboring priests, or refusing to take the Oath of Supremacy. This group of saints includes some well-known saints, such as St. Alban Roe, and St. Edmund Campion. Many of these saints are recognized on the days of their martyrdom, but as a group, they are recognized on the day they were canonized. — Al Bushra

According to the 1962 Missal of Bl. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, today is the feast of Sts. Chrysanthus and Daria, a husband and wife who carried on an active apostolate among the noble families of Rome during the third century. When they were denounced as Christians, they underwent various tortures with great constancy, and they were buried alive in a sandpit in the year 283.

Today the Roman Martyrology remembers the martyrs Crispin and Crispinian, who died in the persecution of Diocletian by the sword. They were brothers, possibly twins, and cobblers. St. Crispin's day has been immortalized by Shakespeare's Henry V speech before the Battle of Agincourt in 1415.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Paintings from the German Renaissance Artist Cranach Arrive in Rome

These pictures belong to an artist that largely personifies the Renaissance and yet is relatively unknown. Lucas Cranach was born in Germany in 1472 and later became the court painter of Frederick III of Saxony.

He is also famous for painting the official portrait of Martin Luther. The father of the Protestant Reformation was painted many times by Cranach.

Now the Borghese Gallery has some of his best works in Rome.

Besides these portraits, his most popular paintings are representations of the Virgin Mary and the Baby Jesus located in the Thyssen Museum in Madrid and the Museum Kunstsammlungen der Veste in Coburg, Germany.

These paintings were commissioned by Cardinal Albrecht of Brandenburg to decorate churches in Halle and Berlin. He painted 142 pictures alone, for the church in Halle.


Today is World Mission Sunday, for which we have been praying this month with the Holy Father. Also today the Synod of Bishops of the Middle East will conclude in Rome. Let us pray for our brothers and sisters in the Middle East, that they may remain strong in the faith in difficult circumstances. Let us also pray for the success of this World Mission Day by reflecting on part of Pope Benedict’s Message for this day.

In fact, awareness of the call to proclaim the Gospel not only encourages every individual member of the faithful but also all diocesan and parish communities to integral renewal and ever greater openness to missionary cooperation among the Churches, to promote the proclamation of the Gospel in the heart of every person, of every people, culture, race and nationality in every place. ...

The Church becomes "communion" on the basis of the Eucharist in which Christ, present in bread and in wine with his sacrifice of love builds the Church as his Body, uniting us with the Triune God and with one another (cf. 1 Cor 10: 16ff.). In the Apostolic Exhortation Sacramentum caritatis I wrote, "The love that we celebrate in the sacrament is not something we can keep to ourselves. By its very nature it demands to be shared with everyone. What the world needs is God's love; it needs to encounter Christ and to believe in him" (n. 84). For this reason the Eucharist is not only the source and summit of the Church's life, but also of her mission: "an authentically Eucharistic Church is a missionary Church" (ibid.), which can bring all to communion with God, proclaiming with conviction "that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you may have fellowship with us" (1 Jn 1: 3).

Dear friends, on this World Mission Sunday in which the heart's gaze extends to the immense spaces of mission, let us all be protagonists of the Church's commitment to proclaim the Gospel. The missionary impulse has always been a sign of vitality for our Churches, with their cooperation and their unique witness of unity, brotherhood and solidarity that gives credibility to heralds of the Love that saves! I therefore renew to everyone the invitation to pray and, despite financial difficulties, to offer fraternal and concrete help to support the young Churches. This act of love and sharing, which the precious service of the Pontifical Missionary Societies to which I express my gratitude will see to allocating, will support the formation of priests, seminarians and catechists in the most distant mission lands and will encourage the young ecclesial communities. 

Saturday, October 23, 2010

40 Days for Life - Day 32 - October 32, 2010

Pray that we display an attitude of humility as we stand in peaceful vigil, as we fast, as we knock on doors in our communities. Though we proudly proclaim Christ's truth, may our boasting be only in His grace.

These six things the Lord hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, a false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren.
-- Proverbs 6:16-19

The Lord who made us knows us well. I can't help but think that perhaps as He inspired these words, He knew that our tendency might be to make the judgment call on which sins should be labeled as detestable. He wants us to be absolutely clear, however, that the sinfulness of man encompasses much more than the external sins that we easily identify.

Lest we assign a particular sin as that of an abortionist, or a worker in an abortion facility, or an abortion activist, the Holy Spirit insured that our sin of pride would be listed first. In this passage that speaks of eyes, tongue, hands, heart, and feet we realize than every part of our being is subject to the curse of sin.

We all need Jesus Christ who saved us from the penalty of sin, saves us from the practice of sin as we abide in Him, and will one day remove us from the presence of sin. Praise His Holy name!

Proper self-esteem in a follower of Christ is a matter of recognizing and confronting yourself in your humanity, including the tendency to sin. It is also a matter of embracing Jesus' work on the cross --- His grace that covers a multitude of sins. The Apostle Paul sums it up best in 2 Corinthians 10:17-18: "But he who glories let him glory in the Lord. For not he who commends himself is approved, but whom the Lord commends."

Dear Father, Guard my heart. Prick my conscience and may I be receptive to your rebuke at any moment I drift towards pride. May I remember in fear and trembling that You cause the proud to fall, but the humble You raise up. Lord, may I never forget my true identity is in Christ and that apart from Him I am nothing. By His grace, I pray, amen.

Carmen Pate
Co-host, "Point of View" Talk Show

Process of beatification has begun for Vietnamese Cardinal Van Thuan

The Catholic Church is collecting evidence showing that the Vietnamese Cardinal Francois-Xavier Van Thuan was holy.  The former bishop of Saigon was imprisoned for 13 years for religious reasons and was victimized by the communist regime of Ho Chi Minh.

Film “Of Gods and Men” makes a splash in religious circles

“Of Gods and Men” is a drama that follows the story of eight French monks living in the mountains of North Africa in the 1990's.  The acclaimed French director Xavier Beauvois delivers another stirring film based on the real events of a clash of religions.

Algeria is being swept up in a civil war and the monks are forced to make a decision, flee Algeria and live, or stay with their monastery where they will most certainly die.

The film received high praise from critics at this years Cannes Film Festival and has since been the source of discussion in many religious circles.  

“Of Gods and Men” begins by showing how the monks lived alongside the local Muslim community in peace.  However, the camaraderie quickly vanishes as Muslim fundamentalists begin to make their presence felt.  

In Cannes the picture won the Ecumenical Jury Prize, awarded to films for expressing faith and  humanism in their films.  Since then Sony Pictures Classics has acquired the rights to the film for production in the US, New Zealand, and Australia.  

It will also be France's Oscar submission this year for the foreign language category.  The finalists will be announced in January and the ceremony will be held the following month.  

Hope – Pass It On

A video from the Foundation for A Better Life/, the production values are amazingly high and some of the imagery is gorgeous.


Today’s saint was a lawyer who became governor of his city-state in Italy. During hostilities with another city he was imprisoned and underwent a deep conversion, becoming a Franciscan and the most famous preacher of his time. He became the chaplain for the Christian army that assembled to protect Europe after the fall of Constantinople and he rallied the troops at the Battle of Belgrade. Pope John Paul II named him the patron saint of military chaplains. Let us pray that Christians may realize that the task of witnessing to Christ in all they say and do is a work that the Church is called to do in service of all humanity. Our reflection is from part of Pope John Paul’s homily at the 2000 Jubilee celebration for military personnel and police.

Who better than you, dear soldiers and members of the police, young men and women, can testify to the violence and to the disruptive forces of evil present in the world? You fight against them every day: indeed, you are called to defend the weak, to protect the honest, to foster the peaceful coexistence of peoples. … Your daily experience brings you face to face with difficult and sometimes dramatic situations, which jeopardize human security. However the Gospel comforts us, presenting the victorious figure of Christ, the judge of history. With his presence, he brightens the darkness and even man's despair, and offers those who trust in him the comforting certainty of his constant assistance. …

However complex and difficult situations may be, do not lose trust. In the human heart, the seed of hope must never die. Indeed, always be attentive to discovering and encouraging every positive sign of personal and social renewal. Be prepared to further the courageous building of justice and peace with every possible means. Peace is a fundamental right of every man and woman, which should be continuously promoted taking into account that "insofar as men are sinners, the threat of war hangs over them and will so continue until the coming of Christ" (Gaudium et spes, n. 78). At times this duty, as recent experience has also shown, involves concrete initiatives to disarm the aggressor. …

Thank you, dear friends, for your courageous work of peacemaking in countries devastated by senseless wars. … Be men and women of peace. And to be so to the full, welcome into your hearts Christ, the author and guarantor of true peace. He will enable you to exert that evangelical strength that overcomes the alluring temptations of violence. He will help you to put force at the service of the important values of life, of justice, of forgiveness and of freedom.

Friday, October 22, 2010


As we prepare for World Mission Day, let us reflect on part of Pope Benedict’s Message for this year, asking that our celebrations on Sunday may help the Church’s work of proclaiming Christ to the world.

Only on the basis of this encounter with the Love of God that changes life can we live in communion with him and with one another and offer our brothers and sisters a credible witness, accounting for the hope that is in us (cf. 1 Pt 3: 15). An adult faith, capable of entrusting itself totally to God with a filial attitude fostered by prayer, meditation on the word of God and study of the truth of the faith, is a prerequisite for furthering a new humanism founded on the Gospel of Jesus. ... Indeed, the Father calls us to be sons and daughters loved in the beloved Son, and to recognize that we are all brothers and sisters in him who is the gift of salvation for humanity divided by discord and sin, and the revealer of the true face of God who "so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life" (Jn 3: 16).

"We wish to see Jesus" (Jn 12: 21), is the request in John's Gospel that some Greeks, who had arrived in Jerusalem for the paschal pilgrimage, address to the Apostle Philip. It also resonates in our hearts during this month of October which reminds us that the commitment to, and task of, Gospel proclamation is a duty of the whole Church, "by her very nature missionary" (Ad gentes, n. 2), and invites us to become champions of the newness of life made up of authentic relationships in communities founded on the Gospel. In a multiethnic society that is experiencing increasingly disturbing forms of loneliness and indifference, Christians must learn to offer signs of hope and to become universal brethren, cultivating the great ideals that transform history and, without false illusions or useless fears, must strive to make the planet a home for all peoples.

Like the Greek pilgrims of two thousand years ago, the people of our time too, even perhaps unbeknown to them, ask believers not only to "speak" of Jesus, but to "make Jesus seen", to make the face of the Redeemer shine out in every corner of the earth before the generations of the new millennium and especially before the young people of every continent, the privileged ones to whom the Gospel proclamation is intended. They must perceive that Christians bring Christ's word because he is the truth, because they have found in him the meaning and the truth for their own lives.

7 Quick Takes Friday 22,October 2010


This great kid's room idea I found in the September 2010 issue of Martha Stewart Living. I love the simple way of displaying kid's artwork, and the ease with which the paintings could be rotated frequently simply by changing out what's in the bulldog clips. Genius! Get some behind-the-scenes info on how this room was created, here.

Game of cat and mouse with the weather over the weekend and I was the mouse. All day, looking for a chance to work in the garden but – the skies clouded over at speed and the rain tumbled down in buckets – but never for long, just for long enough to prevent me from weeding. Should I be glad or mad? Perhaps,the answer is to let it take over the house in truth. Then, instead of vacuuming three times a week inside, I’ll only have to mow once.

THE HOUSEHOLD POPULATION has gone up again with the addition of five puppies and I am not very thrilled. Hopefully we will find 5 new homes for them soon. 
It’s becoming slanderous to tell my bickering children every morning that they’re acting like cat-and-dog. If our cats and dogs ever do have a fight,  I’ll have to try to remember to shout at them that they’re acting like humans. On the up side, the cats and dogs are getting along very well indeed. Patience is certainly a virtue and I needed the patience of Job this week to deal with the kids.
 What do you do when you have a sore throat and a cold coming on? Any advice?

I was feeling under the weather earlier this week. It all started with a sore throat on Sunday night. I thought perhaps I was just tired. But when Monday rolled around, I realized it was more than that. Luckily I am much better now.

Standing over the dustbin in the kitchen, small plastic container in one hand, spoon in the other, foot on the dustin pedal, my daughter wrinkled her nose in disgust. "Yuck!" she said, "the sour cream's gone sour!' So. Sour cream can go sour. Well, well, well. How does she tell?

Scarfed my husband's Cadbury's fruit & nut milk chocolate late last night, while watching television. (Dancing with the Stars - quite good, but the chocolate was better).It has begun, it can only end in tears (and flab). It's the Chocolate Wars and I'm taking no hostages. Any chocolate found undefended after dark shall receive not just summary but instant justice.

7 Quick Takes Friday is hosted by Jennifer at Conversion Diary.  

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Pope Culture Goes From Facebook to Twitter

( Following on the success of their "Pope culture" campaign on Facebook, the U.S. bishops are planning something similar for Twitter.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is "encouraging Catholics to learn about the Pope -- in 140 characters or less," a statement reported.

Starting Monday and through Friday, Oct. 29, the USCCB will post one question a day to their Twitter followers (using the hashtag #popeculture) on the life and teachings of Benedict XVI.

The first person to provide the correct answer as an @reply will receive a free copy of the book, "Benedict XVI: Essays and Reflections on His Papacy."