See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. - James 5:7

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Almost here...


And I've maintained silence for three days...  Unlike Larry.

What?




 

Waiting...

Waiting.

Our Lady of Solitude


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My soul waits for the Lord
more than sentinels wait for the dawn.
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Text: Psalm 130
Art: Our Lady of Sorrows on Holy Saturday with the penitent St. Peter.

Where have you hidden, my beloved?


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Where has your lover gone,
O most beautiful among women?
Where has your lover gone
that we may seek him with you?

My lover has come down to his garden,
to the beds of spice,
To browse in the garden
and to gather lilies...
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Text: Song of Songs
Art: No information available.

Friday, April 22, 2011

A Lone Young Shepherd


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After a long time he climbed a tree,
And spread his shining arms,
And hung by them, and died,
His heart an open wound with love.
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Text:  John of the Cross
Art:  No information available.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

One Dark Night...

The supper that refreshes, and
deepens love...
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Text, John of the Cross.
Art: Information unavailable.

Baptisms at the Easter Vigil...







I'm just glad I'm already baptized.

No sacraments during the Triduum?



Oh!  Oh!  And no foot washing for women?
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Really?
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Some priests - like my pastor - claim no sacraments may be celebrated during the Triduum - which is short hand for no confessions after Wednesday of Holy Week - but some priests do hear confessions through Holy Saturday - because they can.
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Some priests wash women's feet on Holy Thursday, some don't. 

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So why the discrepency?  Why the arguments about this stuff?  Why does this stuff vary from parish to parish, diocese to diocese?  Just thought I'd ask.  

The end of Lent.



How did you measure up? 

So, if we come to the end of Lent and congratulate ourselves for having 'done good' - we may have missed the point. 
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'We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.' - Luke 17:10
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Art: Sketch for Last Supper, Leonardo Da Vinci

What?




Photo:  PandaPoodle.  Poodles are cut and colored to look like Pandas.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

What's the difference between a rant and a whine?


I'm just not sure...
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Q: Why aren’t you going to the Vatican blogger meeting? Will you be at the beatification?




A: No. Why? I didn’t apply. And, No. Why? I have done the big beatification thing more than once.



Q: Will you translate this Latin (or English thing into Latin) for me? It won’t take you long.




A: No. And yes, it did take a long time. It took 30 years of reading and writing Latin, as a matter of fact.



Another Vatican cover-up? UFOs at the Crucifixion...




And more.
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What?
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Links:
Ancient Images of UFOs.
Hyperborean Vibrations
Where is Obama's Birth Certificate?!
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Photo:  Fresco: "Crucifixion" 1350. Visoki Decani Monastery, Kosovo, Yugoslavia. The two objects in the painting, which a couple of people consider UFO's, are enlarged above.

Spy Wednesday



I like images like this.  Though the photo is taken during a Holy Week procession, this detail reminds me that the Passion of Christ took place on an ordinary day.  While many people clamored about him, others went about their ordinary occupation...
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"Today there is “a certain callousness of the soul towards the power of evil, an insensitivity to all the evil in the world: we do not want to be disturbed by these things, we want to forget, perhaps, we think, it is not important. It is not only insensitivity to evil, but also insensitivity to God”, said Pope Benedict XVI Wednesday as he dedicated his last catechesis before Easter to the Holy Week Triduum." - Source

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Photo: Holy Week in Malaga, Spain.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

What?

The Catholic Remnant.



Creating a culture of dissent.
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Or, how do you know if you are amongst the chosen? 
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I think you have to repudiate just about everything Vatican II stands for and every one who holds to the idea that it was a valid Council.  Likewise you need to espouse the belief (and practice) that the only true Mass is the Extraordinary Form, or the Traditional Latin Mass.  Although, even that may not be enough.  The latest litmus test may be that one must be against the beatification of Pope John Paul II.  Or so it seems.
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I rarely read The Wanderer - not that I think it's a bad newspaper - I don't.  I guess it is a fine publication, although sometimes I think the publishers could be more charitable.  On the other hand, The Remnant, published by relatives of those who publish The Wanderer,  often doesn't even pretend to have charity.  (Consider that my personal opinion.) 
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That said, Wanderer columnist John Dejak, in writing about Remnant columnist Robert Sungenis seems to confirm my intuition regarding those who consider themselves as The exclusive Roman Catholic remnant, and/or chosen.  I usually do not pay much attention to these trad fights, but I suspect we will be coming across more and more vitriol from a remnant of traditional Catholic faithful as we get closer to the beatification of the Holy Father this May 1 - a day otherwise known as May Day as some have already noted.
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The real object of Sungenis’ polemics is not John Paul II; it is Benedict XVI, now gloriously reigning.
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I thought of these things as I recently read some of the tendentious offerings of Robert Sungenis regarding the beatification of John Paul II. In what is a seeming crusade to stop the beatification of the late Pontiff, Sungenis seems to set himself up as the arbiter of Catholic orthodoxy and right judgment with regard to the last Pontificate and even the person of the Pope himself. With characteristic humility, he describes himself as a “ Jeremiah,” thus assigning himself the role of prophet to those of us whom he terms “papal idolaters.” His articles inThe Remnant and on his web site apparently are meant to be atour de forceof the supposed evils of John Paul II and his Pontificate. Indeed, the last few months have seen a plethora of commentary in The Remnant challenging the papal decision to beatify John Paul II. Yet this is not the place to address each of Sungenis’ and others’ contentious views; rather, I wish to focus on one of the false prophets that St. Paul warned us about — specifically,Sungenis. Sungenis has an interesting history which, while not dispositive of his current position, may explain some of his oddities. He rejected the Catholic faith of his youth to become a Protestant pastor and teacher for a number of years. He returned to the faith and for a time became an outstanding apologist. Yet, as so often attends to the brilliant of intellect where humility seems to be lacking, he began to espouse positions contrary to common sense and the faith of the Church. He became selective in his appeals to magisterial teaching, and, seemingly having never put-off the old man of his Protestantism, he has become fundamentalist in his approach to Scripture and his eccentric championing of such causes as geocentrism — an issue which, whether true or not, does not impact the truth of the faith and should be put in the “Who the Hell Cares” file.

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The real object of Sungenis’ polemics is not John Paul II; it is Benedict XVI, now gloriously reigning. In crusading against the beatification of John Paul II, Sungenis is challenging the Magisterium of the current Pontiff. He is charging Benedict with imprudence and deception. As a self- proclaimed prophet, he is presuming to assess a situation of which he has very little, if no, knowledge. Rather than placing his intelligence at the service of the Church, he has staked out a position that recent papacies are hopelessly infected with modernism. Instead of, in humility and faith, practicing the Catholic principle of religious submission of intellect and will to the decisions of the Supreme Pontiff, he has chosen rather to maintain his Protestantism and decide for himself what is worthy of assent. He and his fellow writers inThe Remnant and those others who would approve of their crusade against the beatification of John Paul II are: 1) challenging the authority of the current Roman Pontiff, 2) creating confusion among the faithful, and 3) like their Call-to-Action-type liberal counterparts, creating a culture of dissent. - Wanderer
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The real object of their polemics is not John Paul II; it is Benedict XVI, now gloriously reigning.
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It isn't just Sungenis either.  Pope Benedict has many enemies within and without the Church.  Not a few are traditional Catholics who pick apart just about every thing the Holy Father says or does.  Not just his defense of Vatican II, but his writings, such as his 'personal' Jesus of Nazareth, the beatification of JP II, claims he is not doing enough to reform the liturgy, the curia, or to call in some of the wild cards in the college of Cardinals.  Such spokesmen make Michael Voris look like a little lamb in comparison.  Dejak continues:
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One’s devotion or non-devotion to a particular saint does not make or break the Catholic faith. Yet what is required of all believers is the religious submission of intellect and will to the decisions of the Magisterium and, in particular, the Holy Father.
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Again, Sungenis and the arbiters of papal prudence at The Remnant need not have devotion to John Paul II. In fact, they are free to privately debate the decision of the Pope to beatify him. Nevertheless, they must reverence the Magisterium of Benedict XVI and sincerely adhere to his judgments according to his manifest mind and will; and they must acknowledge and honor John Paul II as befits a beatus of the Holy Roman Church.
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Sungenis and his fellow travelers would do well to recall these words of the First Vatican Council: “ We teach,… We declare that the Roman Church by the Providence of God holds the primacy of ordinary power over all others, and that this power of jurisdiction of the Roman Pontiff, which is truly episcopal, is immediate. Toward it, the pastors and the faithful of whatever rite and dignity, both individually and collectively, are bound by the duty of hierarchical subordination and true obedience, not only in matters which pertain to faith and morals, but also in those which concern the discipline and government of the Church spread throughout the whole world, in such a way that once the unity of communion and the profession of the same faith has been preserved with the Roman Pontiff, there is one flock of the Church of Christ under one supreme shepherd. This is the teaching of the Catholic truth from which no one can depart without loss of faith and salvation” - Wanderer

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Art: Duccio, di Buoninsegna

The drama of Holy Week.



Recollection amidst the tumult.
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When we really pray and think about the liturgical readings and psalm selections for this week, though we are entrenched in the activities of our daily life, which most likely includes an awareness of the upheavals taking place in the world today - I think we come quite close to knowing something of the  atmosphere Jesus experienced in Jerusalem as he approached his final hour.  Understanding this, I think the awareness of our misery can be the catalyst for us to fix our eyes upon him alone, without paying heed to the other voices that cry out against him - and ourselves - during these dark days, even when that means sharing his shame. 
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I doubt that Holy Week is a time for transports and consolations, as even the mystics have demonstrated, since this is the week many of them mystically participated in the sacred passion.  Their example suggests to me that recollection in suffering sometimes means remaining in the presence of God even though we may experience only dryness and difficulty and have absolutely no feelings of devotion or piety, or when the duties of our state in life keep us from the spiritual exercises we'd like to perform.  Though circumstances may prevent us from going to church for the Triduum, we can follow from a distance as it were, uniting ourselves and our prayer to the prayer of the Church as best we can.  The important thing is to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus whose presence may not be felt and circumstances attempt to obscure.  Recollection thus becomes an act of the will.
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Perhaps a person who has to work and is unable to follow the Triduum, who may feel harried by all the duties placed upon them this week, can find peace in recalling how Christ 'walked in peace through the midst' of all that tumult, and 'gave himself over into the hands of sinful men' to be mocked and beaten and finally, crucified.  Abandoned by his disciples, rejected by all, condemned and insulted to the end, he died.  
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If we can't do anything else, maybe we could try to take a moment from time to time just to 'sit alone and in silence' our eyes fixed on the Suffering Christ.
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Yes, I hear the whisperings of many: "Terror on every side! Denounce! let us denounce him!" All those who were my friends are on the watch for any misstep of mine. "Perhaps he will be trapped; then we can prevail, and take our vengeance on him." - Jeremiah 20:10


Monday, April 18, 2011

Please Help Crescat Lady!



Kat is among the chosen!

Kat was picked to go to Rome for the Catholic Blogger's Convention in the Vatican.  I believe it is an act of Divine Providence that she was chosen.  She needs funds - donationsKat feeder donations.  Get it?  She has to stay someplace in Rome, eat something, drink something, and buy souveniers and indulgences - oh wait - they don't sell indulgences.  Shut up, I said!  I mean the other kind.
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She's gonna make it after all.
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Seriously.  This is a big important deal.  She's been chosen.  Please go hit her donate button - especially if you are one of those who usually have your hand out for yourself.  Give until it hurts.  Go here to donate.
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Many were called but few were chosen.
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Oh shut up.
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Don't tell me to shut up!
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I will if I want to.
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Feeder Feed...


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More than a tuppence is needed!  DONATE

Suicide as performance art.



How cool is that?
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The audience didn't know it was real.  Although they cheered what they thought was a performance of suicide.
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The story.
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A troubled 19-year-old stabbed himself to death on stage at an open mic night after playing a song called Sorry For All the Mess.

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Kipp Rusty Walker repeatedly plunged the six-inch blade into his chest as the audience clapped and cheered in the mistaken belief it was piece of performance art.
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But when he collapsed in a pool of his own blood they started screaming in horror and rushed to help him, but his wounds were too severe and he died soon after.  Read more MailOnline
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"All life is precious."
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The audience was shocked and horrified after they realized the kid was really committing suicide before their eyes.  As one of his friends tried to explain it, ‘It was almost like he wanted to prove a point, like there's no point in being scared of death because it's going to happen to us anyway.’  Or as a doctor noted, the act can ‘demonstrate to others who are "normal" that there are others suffering to the point of suicide.'
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I don't know if the kid was bullied in school - I highly doubt it.  He was 19 years old and on his own.  I've said it before, I think there is a sort of suicide chic in our culture.  I think amongst 'youthful artists' and wanna-be-legends, there is a certain dark nobility in suicide.  A comment to the news article on Walker's death said that the kid 'did not have the right to do this in front of an audience.'  Really?  So did he have the right to do it privately?  The same writer also stated, '‘It is always a tragic act for someone to take their own life since all life is precious.'  Yet assisted suicide is legal in Oregon.  How precious is that?
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What's the point? That's it!  What's the point?
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A Columbia University psychologist and researcher recently published his study claiming, "Suicide attempts by gay teens - and even straight kids - are more common in politically conservative areas where schools don't have programs supporting gay rights, a study involving nearly 32,000 high school students found." - Source
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Perhaps, although Oregon is by no means conservative.  Nevertheless such studies are sure to be used to squash any religious teaching or traditional morality which condemns homosexual behavior.  Well intentioned studies with the intent to save young people from suicide, usually fail to acknowledge the consequences generated by a pro-choice society in a culture of moral nihilism.
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Again, experts will continue to debate these things while a certain percentage of kids choose to take destiny in their own hands and euthanize themselves.
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Pray for the suicides.
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"I am sorry, friends and brothers, that I cannot express this clearly. But woe to those who have slain themselves on earth, woe to the suicides! I believe that there can be none more miserable than they. They tell us that it is a sin to pray for them and outwardly the Church, as it were, renounces them, but in my secret heart I believe that we may pray even for them. Love can never be an offence to Christ. For such as those I have prayed inwardly all my life, I confess it, fathers and teachers, and even now I pray for them every day." - Fr. Zosima, Brother Karamazov, Part II, Book 6, Chapter 3

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Photo: Kipp Rusty Walker

Christ Mounting the Cross




A song of ascents...
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During the night of Palm Sunday, St. Clare stole away from her family to follow Christ Crucified.  According to plan, that night St. Francis received her into his order, clothed her in the habit of penance, and secured refuge for her in a monastery of Benedictine nuns.  Trained in the monastic life, Clare founded the first monastery of Poor Clares at San Damiano in Assisi.
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May the blessed virgin Clare help us to follow Christ closely this Holy Week and by her prayers obtain for us a singular love of Jesus and Him crucified.  Amen.
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 I raise my eyes toward the mountains. From where will my help come?
My help comes from the LORD, the maker of heaven and earth.
God will not allow your foot to slip; your guardian does not sleep.
Truly, the guardian of Israel never slumbers nor sleeps. Ps. 121

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Art: Christ Mounting the Cross and the Funeral of Saint Clare, ca. 1290, Tuscan/Umbrian?
Termpera and silver leaf on panel
overall: 31 1/4 x 20 3/8 in. (79.4 x 51.8 cm)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Television Shows EWTN refused to air...


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As you all know EWTN decided not to air Fr. Corapi's programs until the investigation into the allegations against him is concluded and his name is cleared. 
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That said, many Catholics have submitted program ideas for the network to air.  Talk of a Catholic View, based on Barbara Walter's The View is in the works, as are other programming innovations.  Posted here are a couple of ideas they rejected.
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The Larry D and the Deee Lite Variety Hour.  Few people realize what the D in Larry D stands for - but now you know.  His wife is an entertainer - Deee Lite is their stage name.  Based on the Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour, this Branson style family entertainment offering may have been just a little too off beat.  Unfortunately, the program wasn't approved for cloistered audiences.
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Dancing With the Catholic Stars. Featuring former Arthur Murray dance instructor and Prom Center dancing Queen, Adriennne.  The format is somewhat different from the show which inspired it.  Staged in a lovely ballroom setting, all glammed up Adrienne waltzes with her guests as she interviews such noted priests and theologians such as Cardinal Burke, Fr. Z and Scott Hann.  The show never aired after Adriennne tripped over the Cardinal's cappa magna and threw out her back.
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Real Desperate Housewives.  A weekly live, Edward R. Murrow 1950's style interview program, hosted by Angela Messenger was set to go into homes via Skype to interview Catholic Women who blog.  Lot's of drama - maybe too much.  One subject never left her closet while being interviewed, claiming she was in her pajamas or not in make-up.  Another kept begging for money throughout the interview and refused to answer personal questions.  The first episode was about a mid-western housewife* living out her Ma and Pa Kettle dream, but her husband threatened to sue the network if it aired - claiming the man playing the wife was in reality his farm hand.  A good idea - failed.
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*I'd link but I don't want to get sued. 
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What to do for Earth Day this year?



Are you perplexed too?
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I can't believe it is almost here!  This year the children and I will be coloring Earth Eggs!  I know.  What a cosmic convergence of events!  The perfect syncretization of Earth Day, Passover, and Easter.  (There is still time to tell your pastor so your weekend Spring services can be inclusive of Earth Day!)  Here are the instructions for coloring your Earth Eggs.  (And a beautiful song suggestion for your at home or church and synagogue services: Earth Angel.)
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What you will need:


•hard boiled eggs

•blue, green and yellow food coloring

•vegetable oil

•white vinegar

•water

•coffee mugs or other containers

•3 spoons

•paper towels

•newspaper or a plastic disposable tablecloth
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Directions:


1.Put one tablespoon of oil and one tablespoon of vinegar in each coffee mug. In one mug, add a teaspoon of blue food coloring. In another add a teaspoon of green, and in the third add a teaspoon of yellow. Add water to each cup to make them 3/4 full. This allows room for adding the egg so that it will not overflow.

2.Cover work surface with tablecloth or newspaper. Lay out some paper towels to lay wet eggs on to dry. Place a spoon in each mug of food coloring mixture.

3.Hold egg in one hand at the ready. Choose a color, then stir the mixture with the spoon to create a whirlpool type motion. Once swirling, quickly lift the spoon out of the mixture and place the egg on the spoon. Dip immediately into the mixture, holding in the mixture for only a few seconds, then remove. Place on a paper towel. Repeat this process for each egg.

4.Once all eggs have been dipped in the blue mixture, move on to the green. Start with the egg you did first and repeat the process as above with green mixture. Again, lay on paper towels until done with all eggs.

5.At this point, you may choose to add more green or blue to individual eggs depending on how they look. Repeat with yellow if you desire. We did yellow on some but not all.

6.Carefully dry all eggs with paper towels, the oil makes them slippery! The oil will also give them a nice shiny coating.

These Earth Day eggs are a beautiful way to make your kids aware of Earth Day while preparing them for Easter (if you celebrate it). - Eco-friendly Crafts
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What?

Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion


Holy Week

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Following at a distance with Our Lady.
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Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz of Lincoln, Nebraska on the need for clear teaching.

This is good...
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Priests should not use concerns over “prudence” as an excuse to avoid speaking boldly on the immorality of homosexual acts, says Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz of Lincoln, Nebraska.

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“Caution and prudence are important, but I don’t think they should be excuses for not properly speaking when speaking is necessary or extremely important pastorally,” the bishop told LifeSiteNews this week.
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He said priests may be reluctant to address homosexuality because “there’s a lot of intimidation in various places,” but he stressed that the wide promotion of openness to homosexuality in our culture demands that they present the Catholic Church’s teachings clearly. “In a culture in which this kind of activity is broadcast all over, I think it’s important that the teaching of the Church be clear and precise,” he said.
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“Homosexual acts are intrinsically evil, and if one does them with full knowledge and consent, they’re mortal sins and place one’s eternal salvation in the gravest of jeopardy,” he added.
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Those who experience same-sex attractions must “resist that inclination,” he said. “People who have such an inclination, however they obtained it, must maintain what God wants us to do in regard to the way human sexual activity and human reproductive activity takes place.”

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Bishop Bruskewitz lamented that “in recent times things that were unspoken, or basically unspeakable, are now broadcast all over the media.” “We have a proliferation of every sort of pornography on the internet, and there’s a general cultural deterioration in that direction,” he said.
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While there’s a need to present the Church’s sexual teachings clearly, the bishop also stressed that priests must make a “pastoral judgment” in determining the appropriate context for these discussions. “I think there’s a time and place to do these things. Sometimes there’s a certain delicacy, I think, and modesty in speaking and referring to sexual matters that has to observed,” he explained. - Source
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Unfortunately, because there is a proliferation of every sort of pornography in media - more like an inundation - Church teaching needs to be reiterated again and again.