Monday, June 30, 2008

Prayer & Support Needed!

Fr. Alphonse de Valk, founder and editor of Catholic Insight needs our prayers and support. The magazine is being investigated by the Canadian Human Rights Commission because a complainant has claimed that the magazine's articles opposing homosexual activity and 'gay marriage' promote "extreme hatred and contempt" against persons with same-sex attractions. Read about it here and here.

Please pray too for the gentleman who filed the complaint...

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Jazz Vespers

This evening, M. and I attended Jazz Vespers at an Anglican church. I'd never been to something like this before and I was looking forward to it as I like evening prayer, and I enjoy light jazz. I was hoping that the combination of the two would be pleasant, relaxing and conducive to meditation. I'm happy to say I wasn't disappointed.

The service combined candlelight, prayer, reflection, hymn-singing and the smooth sounds of the Robi Botos Trio, all in the lovely setting of a traditional-looking Anglican church (stone building, stained-glass windows, central altar, wooden pews, etc.). The overall experience of being in this setting, hearing this music, and praying with everyone was enjoyable for me - I'd be happy to attend another session of Jazz Vespers when they resume in September.

Sea & Sky

I did a little more water-colouring yesterday. I first watched a video by Alex Krylow on YouTube, to get me started. Of course, my end result doesn't look anything like Alex's finished product...

But, the important thing is I had fun, right? :)

Click on the image to see it large on your screen (if you want to).

Prayers for my Nana

My Nana's been in a lot of pain lately with her arthritis. I give her neck and back massages, and she takes Tylenol and sometimes aspirin. Today she seems a little better. The Eucharistic Minister came by with Holy Communion for her.

Thirteen years ago, my Nana saw a big golden cross in the sky. She said it looked like it was on fire. This image appeared to her for about twenty minutes and she prayed the whole time. She took it as a sign of encouragement to unite her sufferings to Christ's sufferings on the cross, and she trusts that the cross will one day bring her everlasting joy.

Please keep my Nana in your prayers - she's 95!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Update on Maclean's CHRC Battle

The Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) has dismissed the complaint brought against Maclean's magazine by the Canadian Islamic Congress. Great, except that defending themselves cost Maclean's hundreds of thousands of dollars, and the Human Rights Act still makes provision for penalizing so-called "hate speech" - How do poor people defend themselves when hauled before one of these commissions or tribunals?

P.S. Note that this was the CHRC that dismissed the case, as did the OHRC (Ontario Humans Right Commission), although the OHRC expressed a lengthy opinion even while dismissing the claim. We're still waiting to hear from the BCHRC (British Columbia Human Rights Commission).

Afternoon Reflection

We must be still and still moving
Into another intensity
For a further union, a deeper communion
Through the dark cold and the empty desolation,
The wave cry, the wind cry, the vast waters
Of the petrel and the porpoise. In my end is my beginning.

from T.S. Eliot's "East Coker", second of Four Quartets

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

This & That

This morning, my sweet little Mom headed off to the library and returned with the first five books in the Mitford series! I'm very grateful and plan to get started on them today. Hopefully, I'll also squeeze in some studying in-between reading (just kidding...I mean, I really will try to keep studying for my exam as the top priority!).

My current freelance assignment is mostly completed - just a few odds and ends to take care of as we get closer to the printing date.

I've started sending out a number of resumes. It would be ideal to have a full-time job lined up for August after I complete my exam at the end of July, but I'll trust everything to God's timing as I continue to apply - please feel free to keep my job search in your prayers - thanks!

Also, please pray for Mr. George Carlin who passed away yesterday, and for his family.

Monday, June 23, 2008

You tell 'em, Bishop!

Bishop Fred Henry, Shepherd of the Catholic Diocese of Calgary, Alberta has written a letter to Alberta's Premier, Edward Stelmach (also a Catholic).

Sunday, June 22, 2008

To Sir With Love - Lulu, 1967

I've always loved this song - I remember my Mom singing it when I was a wee one! :)

Rediscovering my creative side

On Friday, Mom & I went out and bought some watercolours, brushes, a palette, and paper. We've spent a good chunk of the weekend painting. A few weeks ago, when I went to visit my friend in Ottawa, she encouraged me to purchase a sketch pad and pencils, to get back into drawing too. I haven't been drawing and painting since high school, but I'm enjoying this very much.

At present, most of what I produce looks rather cartoonish - but I'm having fun! :)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Mitford Series

I'm hoping to get started on Jan Karon's Mitford series soon - I've contacted the public library and put a hold on the first novel in the series, At Home In Mitford.

I'm thinking this will be nice, relaxing evening reading during the next few weeks as I study for my comprehensive exams. Mom and a friend both recommended these books to me a while back...

Friday, June 13, 2008

Tim Russert, R.I.P.

Mr. Russert, host of NBC's Meet the Press, died suddenly today of a heart attack. I liked him...

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Truth Shall Set You Free

...although you may be fined or imprisoned first for speaking it, at least here in Canada.

Here are two more important articles on the freedom of speech and freedom of religion issues as they're playing out in this country:

Fr. Raymond J. de Souza, National Post
David Warren, Ottawa Citizen

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


"Only in the context of grace can we face our sin; only in the place of healing do we dare to show our wounds; only with a single-minded attention to Christ can we give up our clinging fears and face our own true nature. As we come to realize that it is not we who live, but Christ who lives in us, that He is our true self, we can slowly let our compulsions melt away and begin to experience the freedom of the children of God."

Henri J.M. Nouwen, The Way of the Heart

God Speaks In The Desert

I am going to lure her and lead her out into the wilderness and speak to her heart...
There she will respond to me as she did when she was young...
I will betroth you to myself forever...
with tenderness and love;...
and you will come to know Yahweh

(Hosea 2:16-22)

Scripture verses from Soundings: A Thematic Guide for Daily Scripture Prayer by
Rev. Chris Aridas

Photo by Frank W. Houck

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A Great Save by CTV!

I'm probably one of the few Canadians on the planet who doesn't pay attention to the NHL, unless the Leafs make it to the playoffs, and even then I confess I'm still rather indifferent; nevertheless, I enjoy the enthusiasm of my die-hard, hockey fan friends, and have occasionally watched a play-off game on TV with them just for the fun of being around them at such times. I also grew up in a home where my father and his friends were big-time sports fans, and "The Hockey Theme" song was heard playing in our home, many an evening.

Thus, I was happy to read this morning that CTV saved "The Hockey Theme" song (which reminds me a little of the theme from Hawaii Five 0) from being forever lost. Last week, the CBC didn't renew their contract with the rights-holder of the song, and Canadians mourned the prospect of losing their "second national anthem". Fortunately, CTV stepped in and acquired the rights to the theme in perpetuity.

Accordingly, Canadian hockey fans will continue to hear the following tune when they gather round the T.V. set with beer and pretzels to follow their favourite sport. Update: the original video I posted is no longer available on YouTube, so I've replaced it with this one which shows how early in life some Canadians get excited about "The Hockey Theme" - LOL! :)

Sunday, June 8, 2008

A quote from von Balthasar:

“God is the 'last thing' of the creature. Gained, He is heaven; lost, He is hell; examining, He is judgement; purifying, He is purgatory.”

Friday, June 6, 2008

The True North, Strong and...Free?

Pete Vere, JCL, a canon lawyer and Catholic journalist writing in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario recently wrote this article for Catholic Exchange.

Update: Yet another "wise and wonderful" judgement issued by a Human Rights Commission (Alberta). I'm sending this pastor money to help him with his appeal.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

And there he was, this young boy...

After staying up till 1:30 a.m. listening to Sungha Jung's guitar playing, I thought this tune might be a good follow-up (even though Sungha doesn't sing while playing). Here's Roberta Flack singing Killing Me Softly:

Introducing Sungha Jung!

Just came across this talented 11 year old while looking for some Skeeter Davis on YouTube. His name is Sungha Jung. He plays “The End of the World” and just about everything else, but here he is playing “Yesterday Once More”:

Wow! His parents must be so proud…

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Another God-Incidence

Can't let today go by without remembering St. Charles Lwanga and companions. Also, can't forget to congratulate Fr. John Harvey, OSFS, on the 64th anniversary of his ordination! Just think - 36 years before Father was called to start the Courage ministry, God had chosen the feast day of St. Charles Lwanga to be John Harvey's ordination date! Is that God or what? :)

Watching & Waiting

I got home from Ottawa yesterday afternoon (thanks for a great weekend, D.D. and family!), and I've spent the last day catching up on work and keeping an eye on the news coming out of B.C., specifically the Maclean's/Mark Steyn trial before the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal. Andrew Coyne is live-blogging and so is Ezra.

It bothers me to think that articulating the Catholic position on various moral issues or quoting Hilaire Belloc on one’s blog could also result in censorious actions, but this is where the Canadian HRCs appear to be headed.

I think now would be a good time for me to buy Mark's book America Alone.