Thursday, July 31, 2008

Ferry Cross the Mersey

Gerry and the Pacemakers, 1965:

Jeremiah 15:18

Jeremiah asks God: "Why is my pain continuous, my wound incurable, refusing to be healed?"

The Lord tells Jeremiah that if he repents and turns to Him, he shall be in God's presence and become God's mouthpiece. God will save him and deliver him and make him strong among the people.

God never specifically says to Jeremiah that He will heal his wound; rather, He asks Jeremiah to allow his sense of woundedness to become an occasion for humility, grace, and conversion.

I believe God can and does heal all wounds in His time - but sometimes He allows us to continue to experience certain forms of suffering so that we can become channels of grace for others and for ourselves...

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Good Reading

The Pope vs. the Pill by John L. Allen Jr., Op-Ed Contributor, New York Times
The Anniversary of Humanae Vitae by Joseph Bottum, Editor, First Things
The Vindication of Humanae Vitae by Mary Eberstadt, First Things

Paul VI, Pope & Prophet

Historia de un Letrero (The Story of a Sign)

The winner of the National Film Board of Canada's 4th Annual Cannes 2008 Online Competition is Alonso Alvarez Barreda for his following short film produced in Mexico/U.S.A. (h/t American Papist):

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Choruses from "the Rock"

Excerpt from Part IX:

The soul of Man must quicken to creation.
Out of the formless stone, when the artist united himself with stone,
Spring always new forms of life, from the soul of man that is joined to the soul of stone;
Out of the meaningless practical shapes of all that is living or lifeless
Joined with the artist’s eye, new life, new form, new colour.
Out of the sea of sound the life of music,
Out of the slimy mud of words, out of the sleet and hail of verbal imprecisions,
Approximate thoughts and feelings, words that have taken the place of thoughts and feelings,
There spring the perfect order of speech, and the beauty of incantation.

T.S. Eliot

Sunday, July 27, 2008

"Apple on Plate"

- a.k.a. "No More Exam!"

Today, after my exam, my favourite Professor (also one of my favourite people) guided me through a watercolouring lesson, and the painting on the right was the result.

Full disclosure: My Prof did some of the shading on the plate and stem, and some of the shine and shading on the apple.

What a difference it makes to be guided by someone who knows how to do this!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Hallelujah - It is Finished!

Thank you, God - My comps are over!!

Now I just hope I passed...

Friday, July 25, 2008

Father, forgive him...

Please pray for Professor Myers of the University of Minnesota Morris who deliberately desecrated the Eucharist (he says it's "just a cracker") as well as some pages from the Koran in his effort to prove that "Nothing is sacred".

This may have been done on the Professor's own time, and he publicized it on his personal blog which the University no longer links to (presumably because of the complaints they've received).

Still, I wonder how faithful Catholic and Muslim students will feel in the classroom of a Professor who has made it known publicly that he has no compunction about destroying what they consider to be sacred in order to emphasize his own view that "Nothing is sacred".

You can voice your concerns by writing to the University President, Robert H. Bruininks:
Most importantly, please pray for Professor Myers!

Randy Pausch, RIP

Just returned from the library, turned on my computer and read the sad news about Randy's passing. May his soul rest in God's mercy and peace, and may his family be consoled...

Watch Randy's "Last Lecture" on achieving your childhood dreams.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

One Week to Go!

As I enter my last week of studying and since today's Sunday, I thought this tune by Sam Cooke and the Soul Stirrers might be appropriate - The Last Mile of the Way (complete lyrics below video):

If I walk in the pathway of duty,
If I work till the close of the day,
I shall see the great King in His beauty,
When I’ve gone the last mile of the way.

When I’ve gone the last mile of the way,
I will rest at the close of the day;
And I know there are joys that await me,
When I’ve gone the last mile of the way.

If for Christ I proclaim the glad story,
If I seek for His sheep gone astray,
I am sure He will show me His glory,
When I’ve gone the last mile of the way.

Here the dearest of ties we must sever,
Tears of sorrow are seen every day;
But no sickness, no sighing forever,
When I’ve gone the last mile of the way.

And if here I have earnestly striven,
And have tried all His will to obey,
’Twill enhance all the rapture of heaven,
When I’ve gone the last mile of the way.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Quiz on Quirks

I once again have the privilege of being "tagged" by Seraphic :) and of course I will oblige, especially since it's an excuse to NOT have my head stuck in a book in preparation for my comps...

As always, we begin with "The Rules":

1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Mention the rules on your blog.
3. Tell about six unspectacular quirks of yours.
4. Tag six fellow bloggers by linking them.
5. Leave a comment on each of the six blogger's blogs letting them know they've been tagged.

6 Quirks:

1) I don't know if this is considered "quirky", but I DESPISE public speaking - I mean, I literally freeze up and turn into the proverbial "deer caught in the headlights"...

2) I'm usually neurotic about locking things - I check, I double-check, I triple-check - and yet, I frequently fear that I've left an appliance on and that the house is burning down in my absence!

3) I can handle two drinks, but if I dare to have a third, I amazingly overcome my fear of public speaking and become very much at ease socially and am quite prepared to express my opinion on just about any topic!

4) I usually think that when something goes wrong, it must be my fault. I tend to carry this to an extreme; i.e., if I could find a way of blaming myself for the fall of man, I'd probably do it.

5) I very easily pick up the moods of people around me; i.e., if someone around me is upbeat, I feel pretty happy - if someone is depressed, I start to feel down. This is probably normal, but I really think I'm like a sponge when it comes to absorbing the moods and emotions of those around me!

6) I'm a big-time procrastinator, which is why I'm complying with this meme request instead of studying for my exam! :)

OK, I tag:
(I don't know any other bloggers well enough to tag them...)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

An Unlikely Candidate...

All those folks will be crushed when they hear I'm not American... ;)

P.S. If you have trouble viewing this with Internet Explorer, try Firefox instead!

Monday, July 14, 2008

WYD Events & News!

To keep up with the latest on World Youth Day in Sydney, Australia, please visit!

Okay, back to my hiatus...

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Blogging Hiatus

Ok - I REALLY have to buckle down and concentrate on studying for my exam (July 26th), so I will be taking a break from blogging for the next two weeks (except maybe to post something light or frivolous, OR if some major world event occurs - although you have about five billion other news sources if something huge happens!)

Please pray that I'll be able to really focus and that I'll remember all the stuff I'm studying, at least long enough to put it down on paper!

To keep the spirit of summer alive, here's Chicago with Saturday In The Park (even though it's Sunday):

Saturday, July 12, 2008

More from Damian Thompson...

...on traditional Church of England members turning to Rome.

Mr. Tony Snow, RIP

Tony Snow, former White House Press Secretary and Fox News Anchor died this morning from colon cancer. He was 53 years old.

Last July Tony wrote an article for Christianity Today reflecting on the spiritual lessons he was learning through his struggle with cancer. Here's an excerpt:

"I don't know why I have cancer, and I don't much care. It is what it is—a plain and indisputable fact. Yet even while staring into a mirror darkly, great and stunning truths begin to take shape. Our maladies define a central feature of our existence: We are fallen. We are imperfect. Our bodies give out.

"But despite this—because of it—God offers the possibility of salvation and grace. We don't know how the narrative of our lives will end, but we get to choose how to use the interval between now and the moment we meet our Creator face-to-face."

(Read the whole article here.)

May Tony's soul rest in peace, and may his family be comforted...

Here's Tony performing with his band at the National Press Club (h/t Michelle Malkin):

Friday, July 11, 2008

Pun Time!

A group of friars were behind on their belfry payments, so they opened a small florist shop to raise funds. Since everyone liked to buy flowers from the men of God, a rival florist across town thought the competition was unfair. He asked the good fathers to close down, but they would not. He went back and begged the friars to close. They ignored him. So, the rival florist hired Hugh MacTaggart, the roughest and most vicious thug in town to 'persuade' them to close. Hugh beat up the friars and trashed their store, saying he'd be back if they didn't close up shop. Terrified, they did so, thereby proving that....

...only Hugh can prevent florist friars!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Musical Interlude

Here's a song that takes me back to my teen years and puts me in that laid-back, "life is great, enjoy your summer" mood: "Biggest Part of Me" by Ambrosia, released in 1980.

And here it is again, re-released in 1994 by Take 6, with slightly revised lyrics making God the subject of the song:

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Interesting Article...

... by Damian Thompson, lead writer for the Daily Telegraph in the U.K.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Hill & Water

For today's watercolouring exercise, I watched a YouTube video of Gordon Bruce painting a Scottish Loch (Loch Torridon). I tried to imitate what he was doing for the most part, but my end result is nowhere near as detailed or as colourful as his. I have so much to learn yet (sigh...) - but getting there is still fun! :)

Click on the image to see it large.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Case Dismissed!!

The Canadian Human Rights Commission has dismissed the complaint against Catholic Insight! The magazine was being investigated because of a complaint alleging that the magazine's articles opposing homosexual activity and 'gay marriage' promoted "extreme hatred and contempt" against persons with same-sex attractions. It is possible the complainant may appeal the CHRC's decision within the next 30 days.

Meanwhile, the magazine is still liable for $20,000 in legal expenses incurred in defending themselves. To donate to their defence fund, please click here. Also, do read this letter written by Fr. Alphonse de Valk, founder and editor of Catholic Insight, on the importance of continuing to seek reform of "the Human Rights Act, related provincial legislation, and the Commissions themselves".

Just for fun!

Presenting...The Art of Coffee, aka Latte Art:

Independence Day, USA!

Happy 4th of July to my American friends! Thank you, America, for your generosity and your support of freedom around the world!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Nightly Examination of Conscience

Thank You, Lord, for today's many blessings. Help me to remember all the things I have to be thankful for.

Give me the grace to see the ways I've missed the mark today, and the firm resolution to do better with Your help. May Your light bring to my recollection my thoughts, words, and deeds since I awoke this morning.

Please forgive me, Lord, for any faults I've committed today. If I've committed grave sin, help me to get to confession as soon as possible. Help me, Lord, to amend my ways with Your grace. Please let me sleep tonight surrounded by Your mercy and peace.

Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

More on the Nightly Examination of Conscience here:

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Tap Legends!

From the movie "Stormy Weather" - Cab Calloway and his orchestra perform Jumpin' Jive, and the Nicholas Brothers join in (at about 1:35) with an amazing dance performance!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Oh, Canada....(Tsk, tsk, tsk)

Today, July 1st, Canada Day, Henry Morgentaler - Canada's most prominent abortionist - has been named to the Order of Canada, the country's highest honour, “for his commitment to increased health care options for women, his determined efforts to influence Canadian public policy and his leadership in humanist and civil liberties organization.”

Oy vey!

His Grace, Thomas Collins, Archbishop of Toronto has written a letter asking "the faithful of the Archdiocese of Toronto, and all people of good will, to protest this act of dishonour". The Archbishop says, "Write, phone, or e-mail the Governor General, the Prime Minister, and your Member of Parliament. Ask that this action be revoked."

I absolutely will.

Happy Canada (Dominion) Day!

Here's a fun slice of Canadiana, Log Driver's Waltz - 1979 animated short film by the National Film Board of Canada; the animation begins about 45 seconds in. (h/t - SDA)