I Want to Live

Hall of Fame football coach Tony Dungy announced Wednesday on Twitter that he will be attending the March for Life in Washington, D.C., on Friday.

The two-time Super Bowl champion (one as a player, one as a coach) said he will attend “to support those unborn babies who don’t have a voice.” It will be his first time at the rally, and it has sparked criticism in the media.

Dave Zirin, sports editor for The Nation, said he is “done with Tony Dungy and the way the NFL and NBC coddle his right-wing extremism.”

Zirin says Dungy is “someone venerated throughout the NFL world as a man of character” but “has spent years as an anti-gay bigot.” – FOXNEWS

Until otherwise so altered by Congress, Dungy and Zirin each have a right to speak their mind and live their lives under the 1st Amendment to the Constitution. We as Americans live in a Free country, though most recently it is evident that some powers that be fancy America a police state where one’s conscience must be guarded and therefore compromised along with freedom.

There are two views on the unborn in the womb; one is that the fetus has potential to be a baby, the other is that the fetus IS a baby with potential.

From conception until birth the process is one of nature. It is the natural process governed by the law of inertia. And in that, the term of the unborn will come to completion unless some force beyond the process stops it. That force can be of a natural act or of an unnatural act.

Coach Dungy’s faith and belief impels him, as he said, “to support those unborn who don’t have a voice.”

Yet, the unborn do have a voice, but that voice has been ignored.

Sarah Cleveland is a board certification Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer. Fifteen years ago, she assisted in an amniocentesis that was done under ultrasound guidance. In an amniocentesis, a needle is inserted into a woman’s uterus to withdraw amniotic fluid, which is then tested to detect fetal abnormalities. It is not an abortion procedure, and the target of the needle is not the baby. Sarah describes what she witnessed happening in the mother’s uterus when the procedure began:

… I placed the transducer over the uterus and saw a baby approximately 18 weeks gestation on the screen. He was kicking, playful, and happy. Then the doc inserted the needle.

Immediately, the baby knew something was in his space. That something was different. As I held the transducer to guide the needle to a safe area away from the placenta and away from Baby, I saw Baby dart away from where we were in the uterus and move as far away as possible to the other side of the womb. He stopped kicking and playing… Then the heart rate. His little heart rate skyrocketed. He was scared. In fact, I am convinced he was terrified.

After only about 20 seconds of withdrawing fluid, the needle was out. … I watched Baby for a few minutes longer, while the parents conversed with one another. The Baby slowly, eventually, came out of the corner and the heart rate slowly decelerated.

“Actions speak louder than words.” This phrase in its earliest known appearance (with the exact wording it has today) is in a work called Melancholy State of Province, 1736.

In consideration of this phrase joined with the above eyewitness account it is confirmed that an action can and does exhibit an emotion, attitude or expression by reaction to what is perceived to be a threat by the baby. By the reaction to this foreign stimulus the observer must conclude that the baby, if unmuted, would be heard to say:

“I WANT TO LIVE”!

Posted in Catholic, charity, Christian, common sense, costitutional rights, democracy, due process, fair play, Faith, freedom, Hope, independence, inspirational, irony, justice, liberty, love, mom, paradox, persistence, prayer, purpose, reconciled, Religion, sacrifice, salvation, scientific verification, spiritual | 1 Comment

Of Truth and Reality

CROSSROADS-Right Choices

A reprise blog from:

March 16, 2014

Alonso Quixana (Don Quixote) is an aging gentleman who is enamored by and devours books about chivalry. He becomes so absorbed with the subject that he soon escapes reality as he fancies himself a knight, and travels about the countryside performing acts of imagined valor and good deeds. His world, as that of Cervantes, was anything but virtuous or chivalrous.

Quixana recruits a good-natured and keen-witted farmer, Sancho Panza, to be his squire (actually more of a protector), and onward they go. Windmills are seen as menacing giants to be vanquished, and ladies of the evening are seen as simply ladies, as beheld through the refined eyes of the brave and good knight. One woman in particular, Aldonza, he chastely adores. He chooses to call her by another name, Dulcinea, and envisions herhislady. Of course theuprightworld, which he battles to uphold…

View original post 807 more words

Posted in Religion | 1 Comment

Jack Frost

        

“…art cries out for an artist. It is plainly impossible that so standard a work as the Universe should remain anonymous.” – G.K. Chesterton

One morning my sister-in-law captured a photo of the top image that was left on her windshield following a below freezing night. Before scraping the windshield clear, the photo was taken from inside the vehicle and preserved. Jack Frost, depicted on the left, in using my sister-in-law’s windshield as his canvass, had left this awe-inspiring wintry portrait for us all to enjoy and marvel. Until the windowpane came into practical use, Jack Frost had no medium on which to share his divine gift.

Starting in late 19th century literature, more developed characterizations of Jack Frost depict him as a sprite-like character, sometimes appearing as a sinister mischief-maker or as a hero. He is traditionally said to leave the frosty, fern-like patterns on windows on cold winter mornings and nipping the extremities in cold weather. Over time, however, frost has become far less prevalent in the modern world due to the advance of double-glazing, but Jack Frost remains a well-known figure in popular culture. He is sometimes described or depicted with paint brush and bucket coloring the autumnal foliage red, yellow, brown, and orange.

As a retired high school mathematics teacher of Algebra and Geometry, the frozen design caught my eye and brought to mind a special branch of mathematics; fractal geometry.

Benoit B.Mandelbrot (20 November 1924 – 14 October 2010) was a Polish-born, French and American mathematician with broad interests in the practical sciences, especially regarding what he labeled as “the art of roughness” of physical phenomena and “the uncontrolled element in life.” He referred to himself as a “fractalist”. He is recognized for his contribution to the field of fractal geometry, which included coining the word “fractal”(see the image to the right of Jack Frost), as well as developing a theory of “roughness and self-similarity” in nature. Mandelbrot was one of the first to use computer graphics to create and display fractal geometric images(see the complex colorful image furthest to the right of Jack Frost), leading to his discovering the Mandelbrot Set in 1979. He showed how visual complexity can be created from simple rules. He said that things typically considered to be “rough”, a “mess” or “chaotic”, like clouds, shorelines or mountains, actually had a “degree of order.” Our frost-fern, since a part of nature, in like manner, does not satisfy the rules of classical geometry.

The frost-fern would be found by most to be a thing of beauty. An inquisitive child without cynicism would believe that it was fashioned by an impish fellow named Jack Frost. Mandelbrot, through fractal-geometry, brings order to the chaos of the image. In so doing provides an explanation and purpose behind its beauty.

While everyone is delighted by beauty, and the more alive among us are positively fascinated by it, few are explicitly aware that we can recognize truth by its beauty and simplicity. Most eminent physicists of the twentieth century agree that beauty is the primary standard for scientific truth. Likewise, the best of contemporary theologians is also exploring with renewed vigor the aesthetic dimensions of divine revelation. Honest searchers after truth can hardly fail to be impressed that these two disciplines, science and theology, so different in methods, approaches and aims, are yet meeting in this and other surprising and gratifying ways. – Thomas Dubay (The Evidential Power of Truth and Beauty)

The fern-frost design on the windshield is evidence of both truth and beauty. Truth in the sense that it IS, and that some action formed it. And beauty in that it impels appreciation from the witness. Jack frost, in the imaginative and wondering mind of the child, is seen as a marvelous impish instrument of the Divine Artist in His own creation. A finished novel proves an author. An existing building proves an architect. A rescued damsel proves a hero. The forgiven sinner proves a savior. And our frozen art proves an artist.

A child, again in the frost-fern, sees the artist as magical. But, by the premise that beauty is truth we can see the artist as mystical. As the pencil is the medium by which we lay down our thoughts; so, too, our universal natural environment is the medium by which God conveys His one all-inclusive thought. Whether this chaotic yet ordered incident of nature is believed to be the work of fairyland, or of scientific cause, the certainty is this; that it catches the imagination, compels inquiry, inspires human wonder and inclines the practical thinker toward the impractical.

The frost-fern is not an accident of nature. But, rather, is the intent of a loving God, whose purpose is to instill in the hearts of those who are captivated by such natural events that they need not fear any feeling of being lost, alone or abandoned. For what they see before them is in reality a divine gesture communicating the most desired comforting reassurance; “I AM here!”

The mercy of God has provided the tools of science and study of theology to once again allow fallen man to re-discover his Creator through understanding that which His creation reveals.

Posted in Catholic, Christian, common sense, Faith, freedom, inspirational, irony, love, paradox, Religion | Leave a comment

All Is Calm, All Is Bright

This word Hope can be extended to the following meaning in referencing Christ; He Offers Peace Eternal.

The unlikely source of this hope is found in the infant so humbly born yet marked by a star. The infant empowered by God, with and in him, to make all things new.

Christmas goes on though the world seems bleak, dark and lost. So, on this Christmas most needed abandon the world as it is for now and celebrate. Share with family and those held dear the love, joy, light and hope of Christmas and let Him make all things new.

CROSSROADS-Right Choices

Before 2019 Christmas was as it always was. The hustle and bustle of gift shopping, tree and house decorations, cards coming and going, the anticipation of children as they looked forward to the Christmas break from school. Packed Churches in celebration of the Nativity of Christ attended by family adorned in their better that Sunday best. The opening of Christmas morning gifts by excited children as they awaited grandma, grandpa and other family members to share a Christmas feast.

Fast forward to the Christmas that lay before us clouded over by the pandemic that invaded our land and the entire world just after Christmas 2019. We shopped for gifts online. Children looked forward to returning to in person classes with friends, that they have been attending virtually alone. Though we decorated and still sent cards, many were not able to share them with others as had been true in the…

View original post 653 more words

Posted in Religion | Leave a comment

The Good Christmas Thief

“The Thief Who Understood Value”

I was disappointed to find that the life-size Nativity was not on display in the Danielson town green some years ago. My first thought, knowing our times, was that some objection to the display might have convinced the town leaders to remove it. Although when I inquired a town parks and recreation representative informed me that the display organizers had arranged to have it moved to a church near the park. Reason being, that the baby Jesus which had been taken from the display, but returned in recent years, was not returned last year.

The thief must have been a good thief. Because only a good thief would know the greatest value of something. That is why he or she chose to take the central figure of the display; which so happens to be the central figure of Christmas. The baby Jesus always draws the most attention. Especially the attention of those who need him most.

Two thousand years ago, another thief was not in a park but on a hill. In his darkest moment, he too was drawn to Jesus. And as a good thief himself, saw great value in the man who hung from the cross next to his. His last act on earth was that of a thief; for he stole heaven.

Posted in Catholic, Christian, Faith, Hope, inspirational, irony, justice, love, paradox, Religion, salvation, truth, victory | 3 Comments

Where Advent Leads

CROSSROADS-Right Choices

xmas manger

Let’s go back and think of all the repercussions of the sin of Adam.There isn’t an Arab; there isn’t an American;there isn’t a European; there isn’t an Asiatic in the world who does not feel within himself something of the complexes, the contradictions, the contrarieties, the civil wars, the rebellions inside of his human nature which he has inherited from Adam. We all struggle against temptation. Why? Simply because our human nature was disordered in the beginning. There is a terrific monotony about human nature. You must not think that you are the only one in the world who has a tortured soul. Now if the sin of Adam hashad so many repercussions in every human being that has ever lived, shall we deny that the Incarnation of our Blessed Lord has had a greater repercussion? Can it be that the sin of one man can have greater effects and…

View original post 314 more words

Posted in Religion | Leave a comment

Why Advent? Revisited.

Advent is a season observed in many Western Christian churches. It is the beginning of the liturgical year in the Catholic Church, as well. It is a time of both anticipation and preparation for the celebration of the Birth of Jesus at Christmas.
But, why? Why the need for the Incarnation? Why did God find it necessary to come to man as a man; while maintaining His divine nature?

I believe the Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen explains it best in the following.

We Are Fallen
“God certainly did not create us this way. We are fallen. All the facts support this view. There is a voice inside our moral conscience that tells us that our immoral and unmoral acts are abnormal. They ought not be there. There’s something wrong in us, something dislocated. God did not make us one way. Or rather, he did make us one way. And we have made ourselves, by virtue of our freedom, in other ways. He wrote the drama and we changed the plot. We are not just animals that have failed to evolve into humans. We are humans who have rebelled against the divine. If we are riddles to ourselves, we are not to put the blame on God or on evolution. But we are to put the blame on ourselves. We are not just a mass of corruption, but we bear within ourselves the image of God. We are very much like a man who has fallen into a well. We ought not be there, and yet we cannot get out. We are sick; we need healing; we need deliverance; we need liberation, and we know very well that we cannot give this liberation and this freedom to ourselves. We are like fish on top of the Empire State Building. Somehow or other we are outside of our environment. We cannot swim back into the stream. Someone has to put us back.” 

We cannot in and of ourselves fix ourselves, as Archbishop Sheen says. And what needs repair is beyond the means which the world can provide. For it is through worldliness that we have become broken. If our watch is not operating properly, then it is not fulfilling its purpose. In order for it to be made right, the malfunctioning watch must be taken to a watchmaker. For as the maker of watches he can best diagnose and restore the damaged watch to its proper operation. So too, God, as our maker, knows best what is needed to free us of our brokenness and restore us to the rightful purpose for which we were intended. And the consequence of fulfilling that purpose is that one day the obedient will return home to Him.

We could not bring our illness to God as we can take our broken watch to the watchmaker. So God made a house call. He could only heal us by coming to us. And in a wonderfully strange contradiction, by an exchange of the exalted for the humbled, God, the creator of all things, chose to enter His own creation as an innocent child. For it is in the restoration of innocence that our cure is found. God, being God, could have come to man in any manner He chose. Yet, by entering the world through the portal of the womb, as anyone of us has, He impresses the importance and sanctity of life.

The king of kings would not be welcomed by prominent men and women with pageantry, replete with fine trappings befitting royalty. Instead, among those who would receive and pay Him homage were domestic beasts, and men and women of meager means. He was not born of a woman favored among the worldly elite, nor surrounded by comparable wealth. Rather, He would be loved and nurtured by a common and sinless woman of His own choosing; not to be cradled in a regal estate, but the humblest of accommodations; a stable beneath the Earth.

“Bethlehem is emphatically a place where extremes meet. All the eyes of wonder and worship which had been turned outwards to the largest thing were now turned inward to the smallest…paradox of the divine being in the cradle.” – G. K. Chesterton (“The Everlasting Man”)

Posted in Catholic, Christian, common sense, Faith, freedom, Hope, inspirational, justice, love, paradox, prayer, purpose, reconciled, Religion, salvation, spiritual, supernatural, truth, victory | Tagged | Leave a comment

Signs of the Times

Advent is now upon us. May we prepare for His coming in straightening out our house. By that, straighten out our hearts.

CROSSROADS-Right Choices

The Pharisees and Sadducees came, and to test Jesusthey asked him to show them a sign from heaven.He answered them, “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’And in the morning, ‘It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.An evil and adulterous generation asks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.” Then he left them and went away. – Matthew 16: 1-4

In watching a baseball game from a distance when the pitch is hit, first is seen the flight of the ball and then the awaited crack of the bat when it meets the ball. There is a definite delay between the flight and the sound. Why is…

View original post 861 more words

Posted in Religion | Leave a comment

“My All Hallows Eve”

An excerpt from “A View From The Quiet Corner”.

An autumn eve has fallen. Through my window I gazed entranced. Wisps of gossamer clouds propelled by gentle winds intermittently mask the features of a harvest moon. These passing veils are perceived as ghostly apparitions to the active imagination.

A lone passerby with hurried gait comes into view, directing my thoughts from the moment to a past experience. My senses are triggered by the sound of dried fallen leaves compressed between foot and ground. The rustle of the same, stampeding, rushing along the earthen surface powered by an Indian summer breeze.

As I release the latch, the portal opens on creaking hinges, giving evidence of inattention. I’m startled by this eventful eve’s reminder. There before me are assembled a variety of the unworldly. Each one individual, yet common in their pursuit of confectionary delights.

As my satisfied visitors depart, I slowly close the door. Giving pause, I reluctantly let go of this eerie yet pleasant silence and serenity that is unique to this magical night.

A brief origin of Halloween

Halloween as it is celebrated these days is but a pale representation of its rich and multicultural history. It is not, as some would call it, a celebration of the Devil or of Hell or of the Damned, but rather a blending of the celebrations marking the end of the growing season, a heralding of the coming of the winter months and folk traditions that told of the day when the veil between the living and the dead, ever a transparent, gossamer veil at that, would lift and ghosts and ghouls would walk among the living. From those many traditions, coming to us from the Celts, the Roman rituals and even Catholic tradition, we get the stirrings of what would eventually become Halloween. – Halloween.com

What made this holiday unique in comparison to others is that it was community centered in its celebration as opposed to family centered. The large number of families in my neighborhood as a youth provided a multitude of youthful trick-or-treaters. All sorts of costumed ghosts, goblins, princesses, clowns hobos, and yes, even a smattering of saints roamed the neighborhood from dusk until midnight with candy sacks in hand.

What a great time it was. And chronologically as well. A time in our personal histories allowing a magical evening for youngsters with imaginative wonderings to briefly role-play a hero, a hope or a dream free from fears of reprisal. It was a refreshing time, encouraged by a commonality of hard-working families, consideration and respect for one another and simple pleasures uncomplicated by stifling secular causes.

Posted in Religion | 2 Comments

The Challenge for Christ

Christ’s challenge was not Satan, but, rather, human weakness. He experienced all that we do except He never gave in to the inherent abuse of the senses.

Hunger, thirst, unfulfilled can acquiesce to some threat or reward. Satan is not in our senses but in the abuse of them.

Chris was tempted during His fasting with the fulfillment of hunger through the offer of bread. The sin would not be in satiating that hunger but in the reason for satiating it. Was his fast complete? No, it was not. Here is where Satan offers the opportunity to sin. The condition is right for temptation. All we need do is give in. Satan can never make us sin, as we see in Job, without God’s permission he could not even tempt or set the circumstances. But, when the time is right, he will give a nudge, with a word or a seemingly innocent just a little can do no harm. But once the threshold is passed, he has you. As a dog returns to its own vomit, so, too, does the sinner return to the sin. And ahead is an arduous journey to amend and right one’s ship.

The Cross was the final earthy confrontation between Christ and Satan. Having been beaten, humiliated, disparaged by Pharisees and shunned by the people, abandoned by his disciples He is then pinned to the Cross at both wrists and feet. Raised up in the view of all present to witness roman justice and the rejection of those whom he loved and was commissioned to save. And he would do so. For, Satan using every sense of man and abuse thereof awaited the cry of mercy to be taken down. As the partaking of bread during His fast or acceptance of the promises of Satan should Christ bow to him, Christ in coming down off the cross would have accomplished the same for Satan. He would have won had the Son of Man and the Son of God come down. But what separates divinity from humanity and principalities is what Christ did for us all. For Satan would have won and mankind lost if not for Christ’s adherence to his own words: no greater love is there than to give up one’s life for his friend. Sacrifice, the essence of love, is what saved our eternity, and ended Satan’s hope of ever being victorious in his hate. For it is human to come down off that cross. But it is divine to hang there. That rejection of temptation is a rejection of Satan.

No one should fear Satan nor death who gives not into temptation. For in succumbing to it is the greatest regret of all; offending God whose love is like none found in this world. It is given freely to all whether deserved or not. It need only be accepted. Though weakness may have its way in the cause of one’s sins, the Salvation won on the cross is the greatest acknowledgement of God’s mercy graced to the contrite pardoning heart.

Posted in Catholic, charity, Christian, common sense, Faith, freedom, Hope, independence, inspirational, irony, justice, love, paradox, persistence, prayer, purpose, reconciled, Religion, Religious, resurrection, sacrifice, salvation, spiritual, success, tradition, truth, victory | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment