Archives For News

The Journey Continues

March 20, 2013 — 1 Comment

Hi folks. This will be brief.

I have a new job in Northern California and I’m very excited about this next stage of life. I also can’t begin to tell you how thankful I am for all the wonderful people who have prayed for me. It’s been a tough road but a necessary one.

It will take me a bit of time to get acclimated but I will start-up my regular blogging shortly. See you soon.

May God bless all of you!

My Papal Prediction

March 10, 2013 — 2 Comments

Ah, that moment when the new Pope walks out on the balcony–Habemus Papam (“We have a Pope”) still echoing in the Roman hills. Looking out on all those expectant faces, what will he be thinking? Or feeling?

Papal RingWill he have already decided on his second act as Pontiff (the first being his name)? Will he want nothing more than chapel time to pray? Will he want to huddle with confidants? Will he even have any in Rome? Or will he crave solitude?

His exterior might be serene. But inside? I remember landing aboard an aircraft carrier, very calm, in control. But I was pure adrenaline. I could have dunked a basketball with two hands. The same with our new Pope?

If I look outside the Vatican gates however, over the heads of the exuberant believers, my pondering stops. What I see is definitive. Indisputable. As in previous centuries, there are forces aligned outside the gates who want to destroy the Catholic Church. But now they seem larger, more threatening, diabolical.

In the center of a phalanx formation–the battering rams painted black–you can see secularism, relativism and atheism. Righteous in their belief that their time has come, they’re intent on killing all and taking no prisoners.

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Fanaticism In The Name Of God

February 19, 2013 — 1 Comment

Believe it or not, as I begin to get ready for the Papal Conclave–yep, Super Bowl-like preparation except with less beer–I’ve been thinking about fanaticism in the name of God.

fanaticismI love the trajectory of the Church under JP2 and B16 but I wonder if the dark forces, using fanatics as proxies, will be successful in derailing their work. Am I suggesting that the Conclave will be infiltrated by evil? Not at all. But can evil disguise and exercise its influence in some other way? To an unsuspecting but powerful dupe? Always a possibility. Let’s see how events unfold.

I’ve talked before about my foray into screenwriting. Creative process – good. Earning no money – bad. Most recently, an acquaintance volunteered to send my latest spec screenplay to someone who might be helpful. It deals with fanaticism. So far, I haven’t heard anything in reply. Not surprising. I’ve reached out before without results. Add to that, I just read an article in Vanity Fair that talked about the state of affairs for spec scripts (a speculative script is not owned or commissioned by a studio). Not good.

So, I’m reminded of a time, not so long ago …

*****

My beautiful, perfect dog made me smile today; as she does every day. I lay on the couch reading about Mao. There’s a piece of work. One man, a classic megalomaniac, responsible for seventy million dead Chinese. I wonder what his tombstone reads.

Lani came over and put her paw on my chest. Can I ask you a favor?

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The Walk for Life is this weekend in San Francisco. In thinking about the holocaust of babies, I came across a picture of four doctors posing together at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival; Doctors LeRoy Carhart, Warren Hern, Susan Robinson and Shelley Sella.

unbornThree out of the four seem to be having a nice time. They were the subjects of the documentary After Tiller. (Dr. George Tiller, a late-term abortion provider, was murdered in 2009.) The doctors were most likely standing on a red carpet, a place of honor. Dubious distinction I would suggest.

They are the only four physicians in the U.S. who perform third-trimester abortions.

Please take a moment and look at the faces in the picture. If you’re like me, a flood of thoughts and emotions will pour over mind and body. Clearly, they are dedicated. They know the personal risks. Is care or even love for their pregnant patient their overriding concern? Or something else? I don’t know these people but I would like to—so that we could talk. Individually would be best. I would listen with as much compassion as I could muster then I’d pray that the Holy Spirit guide me. So that I could convince them to stop.

Dr. Robinson, who worked with Dr. Tiller, said, “We learned at his knee. Kindness, courtesy, justice, love and respect are the hallmarks of a good doctor-patient relationship.”

The irony of that statement doesn’t need my amplification.

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Mary And The Killer

January 16, 2013 — 16 Comments

Not so long ago, I entered the Catholic Church on my hands and knees. Humbled by an atheistic life that was propelled by selfishness, materialism and lousy steering, I crashed into a wall. So groveling for God’s favor is an apt metaphor.

electric chairIn time, I was able to find a direction for my life–and stand–because the teachings of the Church became my true bearing. Buttressed by crystalline religious truths that melted away my cynicism and doubts, I eventually learned to walk in faith.

The path has been wondrous.

However, there’s an aspect to the Catholic perspective that draws me back to my knees–in a good way. Like a wide-eyed child who sees a butterfly for the first time, I’m in awe of the mysterious interplay between the natural and the spiritual, where mystics and saints have supporting roles in humanity’s epic drama. Directed by God, of course. It’s faith reaffirming.

Yet, there are extraordinary moments–supernatural private revelations–when Mary, the Mother of God herself intercedes in a person’s life and graces them with a glimpse of the Divine. Is the following story such an instance?

Claude Newman, an illiterate African-American man born in 1923, murdered his beloved grandmother’s abusive husband in 1942. Stealing the man’s money, Claude fled but was captured in a short amount of time. He was returned to Mississippi, found guilty by a jury and sentenced to die in the electric chair. [Note – As to motive, Claude may have murdered this man because he was caught raping Claude’s wife.]

Awaiting execution, Claude passes the time in his cell block with four other men. One night, he notices a “trinket” around another prisoner’s neck, he asks about it, there’s an argument, and the trinket is thrown to the floor. “Take the thing,” the man says. Strangely compelled, Claude places it around his neck. He has no idea that it’s the Miraculous Medal of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

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What If

January 14, 2013 — Leave a comment

I did a bit of verbal riffing today?

ponderingGetting closer to God is one of my preoccupations––building a relationship wherein I’m strengthened by Him to meet the myriad trials of the day.

Of course, embracing all aspects of love is preeminent to closeness because without love in one’s life, we distance ourselves from God. It’s tantamount to watching a flower drift away with the ebb tide.

When it comes to friendship with God, something else besides love comes to mind. He has given us the gift of creation––most properly, man and woman lovingly united in marriage becoming one flesh to create new life––so that we are grafted to Him and joyfully participate in His plan and the world.

However, there is another facet of creation that I find fascinating. The creative process. As a writer, it’s plain fun to ponder the deep questions of man as well as the trivial. You never know where the exploration will take you. Moreover, the great rewards are those moments when thinking is interrupted––when inspiration takes control and you write something better than good. And you know those special words aren’t yours but that they came from somewhere else. The Gospel writers could shed some spectacular insight on this very subject.

So where am I going with today’s post? Today I feel like thinking. Let’s wander through the cracks and crevasses of my brain and see what’s written on the walls.

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Or, 50 Ways To Kill Your Baby – The Sequel. The following screenshot from this morning deserves a comment or two. It’s a very important issue.

Embryonic stem cell headlines

I decided to read a few of these links, and others, to see how this news was reported. My comments are in red.

From CNN – “The field of embryonic stem cell research has been highly controversial, because in most cases, the research process involves destroying the embryo, typically four or five days old, after removing stem cells. These cells are blank and can become any cell in the body. Because of the destruction of embryos, most opponents believe this is a moral issue. Supporters of the research point to the potential for saving lives.” [Seems reasonable. We can save lives and the destroyed embryos are only four or five days old. How can this be a moral issue? Just a microscopic mini-hunk of tissue at risk. Right? Maybe not.]

From NBC – “Embryonic stem cells have been the focus of fierce debate since the mid-1990s. Many scientists see them as a watershed in the treatment of serious ailments because they have the potential to grow into any of the body’s cell types, promising the eventual generation of replacement nerve lines and vital organs, including the brain and the heart.

“But anti-abortion activists vigorously oppose the research because the cells come from human embryos and days-old human fetuses, which they contend [my emphasis] are fully human. Many of them want to limit research to stem cells derived from adult tissue, which most researchers contend have less potential to transform into other types of cells.” [Contending that these cells are fully human is a bold statement from the anti-abortion activists. And contending that adult stem cells have less potential? I would have expected the reporter to dig into these two points a bit. If we get this wrong, aren’t we talking about the murder of humans?––not potential humans but humans with potential.]

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A Marine In Trouble

December 20, 2012 — 1 Comment

The first week of Recruit Training is exceptionally tough. Sensory overload. Conflicting emotions and thoughts run rampant. This is what transformation is all about.

Marine EmblemJon Hammar wanted to be a Marine and now he would be tested as never before. A lot of guys quit or break or give-up. He didn’t. He became a United States Marine.

I don’t know Mr. Hammer but as a former Marine I have a sense of him.

Over the twelve weeks of initial training, his every waking moment as a recruit was focused on the pursuit of the Eagle, Globe and Anchor––the great emblem of the Corps. Someday he hoped, or prayed, that he’d overcome his fears, endure the discipline, meet the challenges and find the warrior within and be awarded the Marine Corps Emblem. Then, for the very first time, he’d be addressed as Marine.

He would take an oath to support and defend the Constitution, to obey the orders of his superior officers, the President specifically mentioned, and undertake to serve a purpose greater than himself. He would be guided by the values of honor, courage and commitment and be bonded to a motto. Semper Fidelis. To always be faithful to his mission, his fellow Marines, the Corps and his country, no matter what.

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