Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Happy Birthday Mr. Friedman

Milton Friedman

July 31, 1912 – November 16, 2006

“Well first of all, tell me: Is there some society you know that doesn’t run on greed? You think Russia doesn’t run on greed? You think China doesn’t run on greed? What is greed? Of course, none of us are greedy, it’s only the other fellow who’s greedy. The world runs on individuals pursuing their separate interests. The great achievements of civilization have not come from government bureaus. Einstein didn’t construct his theory under order from a bureaucrat. Henry Ford didn’t revolutionize the automobile industry that way. In the only cases in which the masses have escaped from the kind of grinding poverty you’re talking about, the only cases in recorded history, are where they have had capitalism and largely free trade. If you want to know where the masses are worse off, worst off, it’s exactly in the kinds of societies that depart from that. So that the record of history is absolutely crystal clear, that there is no alternative way so far discovered of improving the lot of the ordinary people that can hold a candle to the productive activities that are unleashed by the free-enterprise system.”
Milton Friedman

Monday, July 30, 2012

Net Mender

My friend Mary Ann sent me this picture of a fisherman mending his nets in the town of Maiori, on the Amalfi Coast of Italy.

I am reminded of this well known story...

As Jesus was walking along the sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon and his brother Andrew, fishing with nets in the sea.

Jesus said to them:

Come follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.

They followed Jesus.

As Jesus went a little farther he saw two more brothers fishing, James, son of Zebedee, and his brother, John. They were both in the fishing boat with their father, mending their nets. Jesus called to them.

Great crowds had gathered around Jesus to hear him teach and preach the word of God as he was standing by the Sea of Galilee.

Jesus saw a couple of empty boats near the shore. He got into one of the boats, which belonged to Simon, and asked him to shove the boat a little ways from the shore. Jesus sat in the boat and began teaching to the crowd.

When Jesus was done teaching, he told Simon to get into the boat with his nets and head for deeper waters to put out his nets.

Simon said:

Master we have worked hard all night and have been unable to catch any fish, but if you say so I will put the nets down as you wish.

As soon as Peter did as Jesus had requested, they were filled with many fish, so many that the nets started to tear. They called for their partners in a nearby boat to help. They came and filled up both boats with so many fish that the boats began to sink.

When Simon Peter saw this, he fell down at Jesus’ knees and said:

Go away from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.

He was filled with amazement, as was everyone else who saw all the fish that filled the boats. James and John were partners with Simon in the fishing business.

Jesus said to Simon:

Don’t be afraid: From now on you will catch men.

And as soon as they got the boats to shore, they immediately left their nets and their boats and their father and followed Jesus.

A Few of my Favorite Things !

Dalmatics on deacons and cassocks on priests,

habits on nuns and immovable feasts,

bishops in soutanes with big, gaudy rings -

these are a few of my favorite things.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Jasper looking into the lens

“The whole idea of compassion is based on a keen awareness of the interdependence of all these living beings, which are all part of one another, and all involved in one another.” Thomas Merton

* Above image - my son's dog Jasper - surely a contemplative.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Henry David Thoreau - Quote of the Day

“If the machine of government is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law”

― Henry David Thoreau

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Right Kind of Woman Champions Life

Jennifer Hartline has written an important article in Catholic Online called "Memo to Debbie Wasserman-Schultz: The Right Kind of Woman Champions Life, Not Contraception." It concerns the ridiculous tactic of our current administration, that the Republicans purport a "war on women." This is a complete joke. The real war here is against the unborn - the most vulnerable in our society. It seems that this administration has no problem with the fact that over 50 million children have been killed since Roe vs. Wade. I think a good question for us to consider when we enter the voting booth is "What would Jesus do."

WASHINGTON, D.C. - I'm the wrong kind of woman. I guess I always knew it, and now it's official. According to the decree of Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, if ever I were to run for public office and be elected, it would not be a victory for women because I'm not the right kind of woman. Women like me don't count at all. For anything. In fact, women like me are a detriment to the cause and must be kept out of public influence.

"I think we have to be cautious about who is, you know, just celebrating that a woman got elected to a particular office and make sure that we have women who are running and winning who are going to champion the causes of women - who are going to make the agenda that is important to women like equal pay for equal work and making sure that when it comes to fighting for middle class families and ensuring access to birth control and making sure that health care is a priority and that it's affordable, making sure that access to education and higher education is a priority."

"So, electing just any woman shouldn't be the goal. Electing a woman who is going to make the issues important to women and families is really should be the focus and I don't know if we made as much progress on that as we should."

"It's just so hard for me to grasp how they [Republicans] can be as anti-woman as they are," she said, according to the Weekly Standard. "I think that the pushback and the guttural reaction from women against the Republicans' agenda out of the gate, the war on women that the Republicans have been waging since they took over the House, I think is not only going to restore but help us exceed the president's margin of victory in the next election

(At this point, I must attempt to restrain myself because believe me, I have some choice words for Ms. Schultz.)

Cut the crap, Ms. Schultz. This isn't about fighting for middle class families or higher education. It's about abortion and contraception, period. The code embedded in your little speech is about as subtle as a flashing neon sign: the only woman you want on Capitol Hill or any hill anywhere is a pro-abortion, Pill-pushing woman. The "feminist" agenda demands perfect worship at the altar of abortion. You know it and I know it. Planned Parenthood is your clubhouse.

The "progress" you seek is quite simply the reduction of women to available vaginas and sterile uteruses that welcome knives, scissors, forceps and vacuums as instruments of "freedom" when the obligatory prevention fails.

You don't speak for me, Ms. Schultz. Your agenda is repugnant to me, and your ideas of progress for women are insulting to me. There are many, many women who feel as I do, and we are deserving of representation in Congress and state governments, and we vote. We are not a hindrance to women's success or growth or rights. We think the girl in the womb is deserving of life and liberty, too. Why don't you?

Equal pay for equal work has absolutely nothing to do with propping up Planned Parenthood and forcing people to subsidize contraception for every woman in America. Guess what? I don't need your Pills or your condoms or your sterilizations. And I refuse to pay for any of that for anyone else. How ironic that while you're stomping your foot demanding "choices" for women you want to deprive me of mine by mandating that I buy someone else's birth control and pay for abortions.

Why must women's sexual choices be subsidized by everyone else? How does that promote women's independence? What happened to freedom? Didn't anyone ever tell you that freedom isn't free?

Read the rest HERE

Jennifer Hartline is a grateful Catholic, a proud Army wife and homeschooling mother of three children. She is a contributing writer for Catholic Online. Visit her at Wake Up, Deborah!

Friday, July 20, 2012

The USA is Mission Territory ?

Who would have ever thought that the United States would become "mission territory"? Timothy Cardinal Dolan thinks it is. Here are some words from the Cardinal's blog "The Gospel in the Digital Age."

As you are probably aware, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia is going through a very rough time. Those good people, our family members in the “Household of the Faith,” and their brave archbishop, Charles Chaput, deserve our love and prayers.

In his courageous and inspired efforts to bring hope and renewal to that Church in crisis, Archbishop Chaput recently made a statement that stopped me cold: “The Archdiocese of Philadelphia . . . is now really a mission territory.’’

Yes, I had to read it twice, too.

Uganda a mission territory? Sure . . .

Peru a mission territory? Yes . . .

Alaska a mission territory? Okay . . .

But Philadelphia? Come on now! That archdiocese in a way was the model of a robust, intact, cohesive Catholic infrastructure! Parishes, schools, apostolates, ministries galore! A huge Catholic population, with cardinals as past archbishops, vocations abounding, close to a million–and–a–half Catholics proud of and fervent in their faith, right?

What do you mean a mission territory? Is Archbishop Chaput bluffing?

No! I’m afraid he’s right on target.

And, guess what? Our beloved Archdiocese of New York is also mission territory!

True, thank God, we sure do not face the tsunami of current problems Philadelphia does. Our financial picture is tight but solvent, our Catholic population actually growing, and extensive layoffs, shut-down of parishes, schools, and services, hardly anticipated.

But, we are a mission territory, too. Every diocese is. And every committed Catholic is a missionary.

This is at the heart of what Blessed John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI call the New Evangelization.

I was raised – - as were most of you – - to think of the missions as “way far away” – - and, to be sure, we can never forget our sacred duty to the foreign missions.

In fact, when wonderful Sisters of Mercy from Drogheda, Ireland, came to my home parish, Holy Infant, in Ballwin, Missouri, fifty-five years ago, we smiled when they humbly called themselves “missionaries.”

Couldn’t be, we chuckled: we’ve been Catholic for generations; we’ve got a parish church and school; the Catholic Church is strong, proud, growing, standing tall! We’re not Africa! We’re not mission territory!

Yes we were! Yes we are! The sisters were right! Archbishop Chaput is correct! Blessed John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI are on target!

Maybe, we have gotten way too smug. We have taken our Catholic faith for granted. As Archbishop Chaput observed, the big problem is a dullness that has “seeped into church life, and the cynicism and resentment that naturally follow it . . .These problems kill a Christian love . . . they choke off a real life of faith.”

As my friend Greg Erlandson commented in Our Sunday Visitor, the archbishop’s sobering point was echoed by the President of the Catholic University of America, John Garvey, in his recent splendid address to us bishops. What we’ve got, according to Mr. Garvey and paraphrased by Mr. Erlandson, is a societal crisis of faith. “More and more residents of the Western World [you and me!] are simply wandering away from their faith, which means that what is happening in Philadelphia is but a microcosm of a much more disturbing erosion.”

Have I depressed you yet? I sure hope not!

Have I awakened you and challenged you! I sure hope so.

Because, guess where we’re at: We’re with the apostles on Pentecost Sunday as we embrace the New Evangelization.

You can read the rest HERE

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Blue Marble, Our Home

Here is a new image of our home, Mother Earth. Some call it "The Blue Marble."

This image, released by NASA in January, has been viewed nearly four million times on Flickr, making it one of that site's most-viewed images ever. Remarkable for its fine detail and beauty, the image is a manifestation of NASA's most advanced satellite imagery and visualization technologies.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


***MLK Jr. praised, tragically, Planned Parenthood in 1966 when ABORTION WASN'T LEGAL--BEFORE they started slaughtering over 300,000 innocent lives each year. In fact, Planned Parenthood did not perform abortions while MLK was alive. There's no greater injustice today, than the slaughter of over 1.21 million defenseless unborn children. Abortion occurs at 5 times the rate in the black population as the white population; this has been by historical design. This Civil Rights crisis is the result of nearly a century of Planned Parenthood's propaganda and targeting of the poorer black community for population control. Exponentially high STD/HIV rates, over 70% fatherlessness, and increasing poverty join the unspeakable tragedy of over 300,000 annual African-American aborted lives. This is not freedom. ©2011 The Radiance Foundation

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

St. Benedict

St. Benedict delivering his Rule to St. Maurus and other monks of his order in France, Monastery of St. Gilles, Nimes, 1129

* Thanks Deacon Greg

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Independence Day

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights - that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

The Declaration was the birth certificate of the United States of America. The principles have informed our history and inspired our neighbors in other parts of the world to stand up against all forms of tyranny.

We should remember that our forebears were not declaring their independence from Divine Providence. Rather, they were trusting in the Governance of God.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A Dog Contemplates the Sunset

Such a beautiful evening. Here at Peck's Lake - Jasper is sitting on a floating dock, enjoying this glorious sunset. God is Good.

What more can this dog ask for...?

Well, maybe a milk bone...

Sunday, July 1, 2012

A Tree gives Glory to God by Being a Tree

A tree gives glory to God by being a tree. For in being what God means it to be it is obeying Him. It "consents" so to speak, to His creative love. It is expressing an idea which is in God and which is not distinct from the essence of God, and therefore a tree imitates God by being a tree.

The more a tree is like itself, the more it is like Him. If it tried to be like something else which it was never intended to be, it would be less like God and therefore it would give Him less glory.

Thomas Merton/New Seeds of Contemplation

Image of Peck Lake, NY ©Brian Murphy