Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from May, 2006

Are "Slaughter Rules" a good thing?

Blogging will be light for the next week. I have out-of-town company arriving tomorrow and lots of family things going on. It will be a whirlwind of a time but should be fun.

Today’s Washington Times has a sports editorial by Tom Knott discussing a move by the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference to limit the point spread of a high school football game to fifty points.

If a coach allows his team to defeat an opponent by more than 50 points, he will receive a one-game suspension and perhaps be ordered to attend sensitivity-training class.
This is a poorly conceived rule on so many levels, starting with a coach having his backup quarterback take a knee on first down in the fourth quarter in order to prevent his team from exceeding the 50-point rule.
Does this leave intact the self-esteem of the players on the overwhelmed team?
Do they feel better about themselves if the winning team has been required to take pity on them?

I hate to see teams run up the score, but I also hate to te…

The Confidence of Paul

Perhaps because of or in light of my soccer sidelines observations this past weekend, today’s first reading and our priest’s homily about it had me squirming a little.

But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may accomplish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.
And now, behold, I know that all you among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom will see my face no more.
Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all of you,
for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God. (Acts 20: 24-27)

Paul is anticipating his martyrdom, yet he approaches his Final Judgment with confidence. He knows he has faithfully represented Christ to all he has encountered.

How well have I represented Christ? Have I been a model of Christian truth, charity and compassion as I drove the crazy freeways around Washington D.C.? How about as I interacted with other so…

Soccer Parenting Primer: Referees

The Spring Crunch is upon our household as school, sports, Scouts, etc. wind down. This past weekend we had nine soccer games on the family calendar. We ended up 8-1-0. If you love soccer (as I do) it was great fun.

Of course spending that much time at soccer field complexes with multiple games occurring simultaneously gives me ample opportunity to watch soccer parents as well as soccer games. This leads me to my next installment of the Soccer Parenting Primer: Soccer Parenting and Referees (You can read previous installments here and here.)

As a soccer parent, you are there to watch, encourage, and cheer. You are not there to coach. You are definitely not there to referee. The game of soccer is very fast and very fluid. There are rules. However, the referee has a great deal of latitude on whether he will enforce the rules. Fouls that endanger players are almost always called. On the other hand, pulling an opponent’s jersey is illegal. Yet if it would be more advantageous to the non-of…

They might have to turn off the TV!

Since when is cable television one of life’s necessities? The Wall Street Journal Opinion Journal directs us to this story from the ABC local affiliate in Texas City, Tx. It seems the local cable television company is charging customers an extra dollar is they pay their bill in person in cash.

Time Warner is charging more to folks who can least afford to pay. Geneva Hurst, 82, is upset because she had to pay a dollar extra when she paid her cable bill in person at a Texas City service center. She doesn't have a checking account or credit card and cashes her Social Security check to buy food and pay bills.

Geneva said, "I goes there. I don't have a checking account but I pays it in cash. And I walk in there one day and I paid it in cash and she says when I paid -- 'Oh, you know, we have to charge a dollar extra.' ... It's a sad thing. It's so sad, 'cause poor people, we just barely getting by with what we're already paying."

Of course consumer ze…

St. Thomas University joins the Club

St. Thomas University in Minnesota has joined Notre Dame, Villanova, Boston College, and a host of other “Catholic” Universities who don’t want to make their Catholic identity too obvious. It seems that graduating senior Ben Kessler received a “Tommie” award and was invited to speak at the commencement ceremonies. He used the opportunity to reflect on some of the controversies and issues that had marked their academic career at St. Thomas. He correctly pointed out that faithfully following Catholic teachings would have eliminated these controversies. He also pointed out that we are called to an attitude of selflessness rather than selfishness. I guess some of the graduates and their families were not in the mood for a sermon and took offense to this address. The president of the university, Fr. Dennis Dease apologized for the speech finding it “inappropriate”. Endorsing Catholic teachings at a Catholic university is inappropriate?

American Papist has a good summary of the events as we…

Save the Baby Humans!

“Save the Baby Humans!” I always have thought that is such a sad but poignant bumper sticker. Are our societal priorities so askew that we need a reminder to care about baby humans? Shouldn’t we instinctively want to protect baby humans more than we anguish over the plight of baby whales?

Robert Araujo addresses this at Mirror of Justice in his post entitled, They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?

A few years ago I found myself on the periphery of a controversy involving the applications of several student groups that were seeking recognition by the student government so that they could qualify for campus funding and other university benefits. One group was “Law Students for Choice.” The University administration correctly stepped in and noted that it would be a problem for the institution which asserts a Catholic identity to recognize this group as a qualifying student organization. In response, some members of the university community then began to raise questions about a student pro-life gr…

Immigration Should not be a Racial Issue

I really don’t mean to keep coming back to the immigration debate. I guess it keeps coming to me. I wrote about a reasonable discussion of the issues here. This issue presents really tough questions with no easy ansers. Today’s Washington Times highlights voices that smack so loudly of racism that it is difficult to take their concerns seriously.

BLACK LEADERS OPPOSE ALIEN ‘AMNESTY’ PLAN

"We're on the cusp of very critical legislation that centers on immigration -- both legal and illegal," Frank Morris Sr., chairman of Choose Black America, a new coalition of black Americans opposed to illegal entry, told reporters at the National Press Club in Northwest. "African Americans are going to be hurt if this legislation moves forward, [and] we are here to sound the alarm."

… Area residents attending the press conference said that black students are held back in already poor school districts by peers who don't speak English, and that monies for improved educational …

Introduction to the Didache

Among the many things the brouhaha over the Da Vinci Code did, was to highlight the abysmal state of adult Catholic catechesis. In particular, knowledge of Church history is negligible. I am really hoping that bishops, priests, and directors of religious education see this and spring into action. Or maybe us folks sitting in the pews will spring into action to seek the true history of our Faith. For while our faith stems from the Divine, it has a very real earthly legacy. It is important to appreciate this legacy and understand its relevance to our faith today.

Fathers of the Church blog has a good introduction to the Didache. This first century document brings into focus the Church at near apostolic times.

Twenty-first century Christians tend to romanticize those founding years of the Church as a golden age of unity, when believers absorbed sound doctrine by osmosis, and when Christians couldn’t help but love one another, and bless their persecutors, and feed the poor.

But that’s n…

Thoughts from Fr. Neuhaus

Zenit has a wonderful interview with Father Richard Neuhaus. Do read the whole interview but a few excerpts really stand out for me:

Q: Your book seems to echo G.K. Chesterton's statement that there was never anything so exciting or perilous as orthodoxy. Why do you believe this is the case?

Father Neuhaus: I am always honored to be associated with Chesterton, one of the great Catholic spirits of modern times.

Yes, orthodoxy is a high adventure -- intellectually, spiritually, aesthetically and morally. It is ever so much more interesting than the smelly conventions that so many, viewing orthodoxy as a burden, embrace in the dismal ambition to be considered progressive.

In the encyclical "Redemptoris Missio," John Paul II said that the Church imposes nothing; she only proposes. But what she proposes is an astonishment beyond the reach of human imagining -- the coming of the promised Kingdom of God, and our anticipation of that promise in the life of the Church.

It is a great p…

An Exciting Medical Possibility!

After all the publicity about Terry Schiavo the label Persistent Vegetative State is ubiquitous. However, it is also very poorly understood. How does one define Persistent Vegetative State? According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke:
A persistent vegetative state (commonly, but incorrectly, referred to as "brain-death") sometimes follows a coma. Individuals in such a state have lost their thinking abilities and awareness of their surroundings, but retain non-cognitive function and normal sleep patterns. Even though those in a persistent vegetative state lose their higher brain functions, other key functions such as breathing and circulation remain relatively intact. Spontaneous movements may occur, and the eyes may open in response to external stimuli. They may even occasionally grimace, cry, or laugh. Although individuals in a persistent vegetative state may appear somewhat normal, they do not speak and they are unable to respond to commands.

Of…

Have it His Way!

Tony at Catholic Pillow Fight posts a rant from one of his readers, Andrew. In addition to horrendous spelling Andrew puts forth all sorts of accusations and allegations about Christianity. He states openness to truth yet spouts debunked myths about the Church as if they were fact. (Perhaps he is distantly related to Dan Brown) However he does ask an interesting question: With so many unanswered prayers, why do you think God exists?

Just what are you afraid of ???? I mean how do you reconcile the Holocaust in world war 2, praying didnt(sic) do much good then did it, same for the Killing fields in Cambodia and all these Hurricanes last year, I could go on and on.

The fallacy that guides this poor soul is that our prayers control God. God does not run a Burger King style prayer outlet with the slogan “Have it Your Way”. Rather, God invites us to “Have it His Way”. In the Lord’s Prayer we pray “Thy will be done”. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus prayed “Thy will, not mine”.

Jesus invi…

There but for the Grace of God...

Right now the Episcopal Church is suffering a great deal of pain and anguish. As I have loved ones affiliated with this church, I grieve with them as they see their church travel down a path that seems contrary to the Gospel.

Catholics watch the Episcopal Church closely. Episcopal foibles are well detailed here, here, and here. (I’m not picking on Gerald. He just had several recent posts addressing the issue so it was an easy link.) We watch not with prideful gloating but with guarded caution. Many in the American Catholic Church want to lead us down this same path. In the Episcopal Church’s woes, we see our future if we ever allow the foes of orthodoxy to gain the upper hand. Seeing the Episcopal Church keeps me on my knees praying for the Pope, the Cardinals, the Bishops, and the Priests of our Catholic Church. It takes strong shepherds to keep the flock from straying.

We must continually trust that for every dark spot in the Church hierarchy there is an even brighter light. For eve…

Ironic Immigration News

Here is a bit of irony in the immigration debate:

If Arnold Schwarzenegger had migrated to Mexico instead of the United States, he couldn't be a governor. If Argentina native Sergio Villanueva, firefighter hero of the Sept. 11 attacks, had moved to Tecate instead of New York, he wouldn't have been allowed on the force.
Even as Mexico presses the United States to grant unrestricted citizenship to millions of undocumented Mexican migrants, its officials at times calling U.S. policies "xenophobic," Mexico places daunting limitations on anyone born outside its territory.

So Many Books....

I am a hopeless bibliophile married to another hopeless bibliophile and raising a whole passel of bibliophiles. Needless to say, bookshelves are the most important pieces of furniture in our home. Our family reading list ranges through popular fiction, literary classics, religious and spiritual works, and history. I know the economically prudent thing to do is to make use of the library cards that each of us has possessed since our toddler years. However, there is something distinctly unsatisfying about savoring a book that will not someday reside on my bookshelf. When the children were younger and were devouring picture books by the dozen, the library was perfect. The library is also a wonderful source for the junk food of literary endeavors that get us through an airplane trip or a day at the beach. But I covet ownership of any book that has nurtured my heart, mind, or soul.

For this reason, Fr. James V. Schall’s essay, Reading Without Learning, sang to me. Please read the entire e…

Lead Your Spouse to Heaven

Saturday morning’s Mass was attended by at least 50 couples participating in the marriage preparation conference. Each couple snuggled up in the pew and they were all so much in “luv”. Eyes and engagement rings sparkled. I wanted so much to believe that each of these couples were the perfect match. Yet the statistics say otherwise. The divorce rate hovers around 50%. It is no different for Catholics vs. non-Catholics though this statistic may be skewed by self-identification as “Catholic”. Many who label themselves as Catholic never attend Mass or other religious activities yet keep the Catholic label due to their childhood affiliation with the Church.

Father’s homily was addressed to these couples. He described Mary as the perfect disciple of Christ. We should each model our own discipleship after Mary’s. If we follow her lead, she will lead us to Jesus and to eternal life. Then Father spoke of the vocation of marriage. By accepting this vocation, you accept the duty to lead your spou…

A Voice of Reason in the Immigration Debate

Finally, a voice of reason in the immigration debate. Mary Ann Glendon tries to move beyond the political pandering in the debate on immigration and look at both sides of the issues. Her essay in First Things looks at the potential benefits and the potential costs of immigration. One issue that is often not addressed by either side in the discussion is the decreasing number of workers in relationship to pensioners. The declining birth rates of Europe and the United States are making the sustainability of government social service programs questionable.

Now that the dependent population in affluent countries includes a much smaller proportion of children than ever before, increased pressure on social resources is already provoking generational conflict in the ambitious welfare states of northern Europe. If political deliberation about the impending welfare crisis remains within a framework based primarily on the idea of competition for scarce resources, the outlook for the most vulne…

Fell victim to the Othercott!

The whole family including College Son who is home for the summer went to Mass this evening with plans to see Over the Hedge afterwards. The theater was packed. Over the Hedge was sold out until the 10:05 pm showing. Interestingly, The Da Vinci Code was not sold out. I am afraid I am past the stage of taking in a movie after 10:00 pm. We went out for Mexican food instead and the older kids are off to rent a movie. Maybe the Othercott is working!

Immigration: More Questions than Answers

I haven't broached the immigration debate in my blog before today. That is probably because I feel conflicted. I want to welcome the immigrants and offer support as they embark on a new life in America. But, I want to know who they are. I want them to be contributing members of our American community. I resent being told the corruption and incompetence of their home country governments obligate my government to assume responsibility for their livlihood.

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse has some interesting words about the immigration debate. To me, the striking words in her essay deal less with the specifics of immigration policy and more with the way the debate is being conducted.

We have a set of immigration laws that are not being enforced. We also, obviously, are not enforcing our labor laws. The employers who hire illegal workers are almost certainly not in compliance with every aspect of our labor laws governing hours, wages, benefits and working conditions.

Both the immigration and …

Economic Power?

Rick Garnett at Mirror of Justice pointed me to this interesting site for the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty. The article Be Wary of Power by Rev. Robert A. Sirico caught my eye. He warns against turning to government programs to cure economic ills.

Some people imagine that there is a third way between the market economy and socialism, and in a sense they are right. But the way to it does not lie with government programs. Before I explain that, let us consider the unseen effects of substituting government means for voluntary human energies.

We often use the word voluntary to identify charitable actions taken in society that do not result in profit. But consider that profit in a market economy also results from voluntary actions. They involve willing buyers and willing sellers, willing workers and willing capital owners. All “capitalist” acts result from volitional choice, a decision by individuals to make exchange based on the forecast that doing so will improve t…

Hazing and Athletes

Dan Daly has an important commentary in today’s Washington Times about college athletes and team hazing. This is in response to the suspension of the Northwestern University women’s soccer team after pictures of its initiation rituals showed up online. Unfortunately, this is not a unique situation. As Dan Daly asks, “Why do athletes stand for hazing?”

I must be culturally deprived, because on none of the high school and college teams I played -- basketball, baseball, football, even tennis for a season -- was anyone blindfolded, stripped down to his jockey shorts and asked to wait for further instructions. Nor were women hired to gyrate in our presence.

You see, back then, in the dark ages of the late 20th century, athletes didn't need such adventures to properly "bond." They spent more than enough time inhaling one another's body odors, more than enough time gasping for air and cursing the coach who kept asking for "one more" -- one more lap, one more line dr…

Duck and Cover at the EEOC?

The WSJ Opinion Journal runs an intriguing piece by Roger Clegg. Mr. Clegg is the president and general counsel for the Center for Equal Opportunity in Sterling, Virginia. He was invited to speak about affirmative action before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). He submitted his remarks ahead of time as requested. He states that once his remarks were reviewed, his invitation to speak was withdrawn because his remarks would criticize the EEOC.

Last month, I received an invitation to testify before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission about affirmative action and diversity in U.S. companies. The testimony was scheduled for today, and I was asked to share my written statement to the commission beforehand, last Thursday, which I did. Late Friday afternoon I received a phone call from the commission, telling me that because of what I had to say, my invitation had been withdrawn by its chairman, Cari M. Dominguez.
I urged the commission to reconsider this decision …

Loyalist Bishop

The Mainstream Media just doesn’t get the Church. Today’s Washington Times headlined its article about the choice of Bishop Donald Wuerl as the new archbishop of Washington with, “Vatican appoints loyalist for D.C.”. Loyalist? Is there any other kind of Catholic? The Catholic Church is not a democracy. There are no political parties within the Church. To be a Catholic means to accept Church authority. Yes, there are those who try to parse Church doctrine to fit their own personal point of view. There are also those who openly reject the authority of the Magisterium. Once one rejects the authority of the Church, one ceases to be Catholic.

That is why I hate to see the labels “liberal” or “conservative” applied to Catholics, though I admit I find myself falling into that speech pattern at times. “Liberal” and “Conservative” are such political terms. A Catholic’s loyalty to Rome is not a political allegiance. The Church is not about politics. The Church is about Truth. And not just any…

Gardening for Lent

“Grow! Grow! Grow!” That is Youngest Son talking to the many pots of basil on our deck. Why is an 11-year-old boy worried about the growth rate of basil? Because where there is basil, there is pesto sauce. And where there is pesto sauce there is “pesto pasta”. And that is one of his favorites.

All summer long I pinch the basil to keep it bushy and producing lots of leaves. I keep making pesto sauce that we enjoy on pasta, as a pizza sauce, as a sandwich spread, or any other way I think to use it. As the supply allows, I put an aliquot in the freezer to get us through the months when the basil is out of season. Most importantly it has to get us through Lent. Friday Lenten meals are often a pot of pasta with pesto sauce and a little grated Parmesan cheese. I ration the frozen reserves during the fall and early winter. I have to make sure I keep enough available for Lent. That is why my son is out on the deck exhorting the basil plants to grow. He wants plenty of pesto sauce in the freez…

Writers Write about Writers

Garrison Keillor has a terrific essay about writers. (H/T to Summa Mamas for the link)

The fact of the matter is that the people who struggle most with writing are drunks. They get hammered at night and in the morning their heads are full of pain and adverbs. Writing is hard for them, but so would golf be, or planting alfalfa, or assembling parts in a factory.

The biggest whiners are the writers who get prizes and fellowships for writing stuff that's painful to read, and so they accumulate long résumés and few readers and wind up teaching in universities where they inflict their gloomy pretensions on the young. Writers who write for a living don't complain about the difficulty of it. It does nothing for the reader to know you went through 14 drafts of a book, so why mention it…

Clarity is hard. Honesty can be hard. Comedy is always chancy, but then so is profundity. Sometimes one winds up as the other. Illness is, of course, to be avoided, and also megamalls and meetings involvi…

Catholic MLS Standings

In light of the post below, I thought it was time to update the Catholic MLS standings. Please note DC United will soon have a new bishop. Bishop Donald Wuerl of Pittsburgh will be moving to DC.


Eastern Conference Standings

McCarrick’s DC United (4-1-2)
Finn’s Kansas City Wizards (4-2-1)
O’Malley’s New England Revolution (3-2-1)
Campbell’s Columbus Crew (3-3-1)
George’s Chicago Fire (1-1-4)
Meyer’s New York Red Bulls (0-1-5)

Western Conference Standings

Grahmann’s FC Dallas (4-1-3)
DiNardo’s Houston Dynamo (4-2-1)
Chaput’s Colorado Rapid’s (2-3-1)
Mahony’s Los Angeles Galaxy (2-5-1)
Mahony’s Chivas USA (1-3-1)
Nierderhaur’s Real Salt Lake (1-5-1)

UPDATE: Standings as of June 9, 2006 are here

Looking for Priests in Cleats?

If you have read this blog for a while, you know I love the game of soccer. So I am really impressed with the soccer themed vocations campaign by the Catholic Bishops Conference of England in Wales. Catholic Online has the full story by Simon Caldwell of Catholic News Service:

The Gregorian chant sung in churches and soccer anthems that resound through Britain's soccer stadiums may seem a world apart, but those venues are often the only two places where people sing together, said a church official.

With this in mind, the Catholic Church is drawing on the "beautiful game" as part of a new campaign to attract "single, practicing Catholics in their 20s" to the priesthood….

"Football plays a major part in many young men's lives," Father Embery said in a statement April 28. "The 'beautiful game' is not just a job, it becomes a whole way of life.

"It takes many years of training, dedication and perseverance to get to a professional standar…

Oh! It is one of those kinds of Catholic Universities

Last week my daughter received a brochure for John Carroll University in the mail. I really didn’t know much about the school so I didn’t pay attention to it. My daughter is at that stage in her high school career where our mailbox is cluttered with all kinds of “fan mail” asking her to consider one college or another. My husband sure noticed it. He picked up the brochure from the kitchen counter and exclaimed, “You would want your daughter to go to this school?” Taking a closer look at the brochure, I realized their cover girl student was dressed in low-slung jeans, midriff baring top, and striking a sexy pose. No, I don’t think I want my daughter there. The brochure went straight into the trash.

Today, I read Dom’s blog, with its comments about John Carroll University.

Finally, they also want to know what he will do about John Carroll University, which according to the Cardinal Newman Society, refers students to a pro-abortion counseling center, which sanctioned a performance of the “…

Da Vinci Code a Blessing?

Fr. Jim Tucker comments on the Da Vinci Code as a “blessing in disguise”.

Sure the book's silly, and people with immature faith can be harmed by it, and the movie will probably be even sillier. But it seems to me that anytime that religion and the secular culture come together, there is an opportunity for evangelization…

I don’t welcome this blessing. I agree that rather than just rant about the movie and how it offends us we need to make the best of a bad situation and use it as an opportunity to evangelize. However, this is very similar to the situation our Episcopal brethren faced when NBC was airing the dreadful series, “The Book of Daniel”. The national Episcoal church leaders welcomed the series as an opportunity for evangelization.

You only get one chance to make a first impression. (See post below) If that impression is bad, you are starting at a disadvantage. The book and movie, The Da Vinci Code, will provide a first impression of Catholicism for many people. I cannot r…

Soccer Lessons for Life

How did I spend my Mother’s Day weekend? Of course I went to Mass. Passing on the Faith is my first priority of motherhood. We also grilled flank steak. Yum! We eschew eating out on Mother’s Day. Why fight the crowds when we can put together a feast in the comfort of our home? The perfect Mother’s Day present was to have my oldest son return home from college. Now I have all my chicks back in the nest. I will enjoy this for the next few weeks. Like any good Soccer Mom, I spent the weekend on the sidelines cheering my kids. Four games this weekend. We were 3-1-0. Yea!!

We had one of those teachable soccer moments this weekend. My daughter’s club team is one of the top teams in the region. They are just starting the college recruitment process. We are used to having college coaches watch the tournament games, but you don’t expect college coaches to be watching the league games. Our girls took the field as the previous game finished up. They began their disciplined warm up. Most of them…

Man refused hip replacement surgery because of anti-abortion protest

Here is an interesting item from London’s Times. It seems Edward Atkinson is a 75-year-old gentleman in need of a hip replacement. He was in the queue to have this procedure done when he aroused the ire of the National Health Service. Mr. Atkinson is an anti-abortion activist. He recently mailed pictures of aborted fetuses to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn, Norfolk. For this he was jailed for 28 days and banned from receiving the hip replacement operation. Times commentator Mike Hume writes:

It is bad enough that you can be refused medical treatment on the NHS for eating, drinking or smoking too much. Now it seems that you can be denied an operation for protesting too much in support of your religious or political beliefs.


Obviously freedom of speech standards in Great Britain are a bit different than they are here.

Spouse of a Soldier

Today is Military Spouse Appreciation Day. The following is an essay I wrote not too long after September 11, 2001. It is published in Chicken Soup for the Military Wife's Soul. Please keep all military members and their spouses in your prayers today.



SPOUSE OF A SOLDIER


It was 1990. The winds of war were swirling fiercely. My husband was an F-16 pilot. I knew he would be leaving soon. I had received many words of support and comfort for which I was very grateful. Still, terror gripped me. I knelt in church on Thanksgiving Day and felt the warm stream of tears flow. A small age-worn hand grasped mine. This tiny, frail woman next to me understood. She had sent her husband to World War II, her son to Vietnam, and now her grandson, my husband, to Desert Shield. From this diminutive form I drew great strength. For the sake of my husband, my children, and my country, I could now hold back the tears.

Not long after the new year dawned my husband and his comrades strapped on …

Motherly Love with Conditions

I listened to a woman talk about wanting to adopt a child. Normally, I am very supportive of those who want to adopt. However, as I listened, the motivation behind her desire to adopt troubled me. She never spoke about what she could do for the child. It was all about what the child was going to do for her. She was physically unable to have children of her own. However, she had always pictured herself with a little girl that was dressed in ribbons and ruffles. Therefore, she only wanted to adopt a girl. She couldn’t wait to be able to send out photo Christmas cards like all her friends did and have her little girl posed by the Christmas tree. She would feel like a more complete woman once she was a mother. She definitely did not want a foreign child because she didn’t want it to appear obvious that her child was adopted. As far as I know, this woman and her husband have not adopted a child yet. I hope whoever does the screening for adoptive couples sees this woman may not be ready t…

Mother's Day Draws Near!

Mother’s Day is just three days away so those of you who still need to do some shopping had better hop to it! I am blessed to have my own mother and my mother-in-law still alive and well. Presents to them were put in the mail yesterday. I did find some interesting references to Mother’s Day around the blogosphere.

Dawn Eden reports that Planned Parenthood has turned Mother’s Day into a fund raiser. Give an online donation to Planned Parenthood and an e-card will be sent to your honoree informing them of your donation. How precious! One of the cards says, “Every child a wanted child”. How true, Every child is wanted by God. The folks at Planned Parenthood just think God’s will isn’t nearly as important as a woman’s “right to choose”.

Not to pick on lawyers today, but someone is suing over a Mother’s Day promotion because it discriminates against men. Rob Vischer at Mirror of Justice points out this lawsuit against the Los Angeles Angels baseball team. It seems last year the team ran a …

Malpractice Suits Never Feel Trivial

Today’s Associated Press news offered an interesting study from Harvard that found 40% of all medical malpractice cases filed were groundless. There was no evidence of medical error or no evidence of patient injury. What I found puzzling was the response of the researchers.

The vast majority of those dubious cases were dismissed with no payout to the patient. However, groundless lawsuits still accounted for 15 percent of the money paid out in settlements or verdicts.

The study's lead researcher, David Studdert of the Harvard School of Public Health, said the findings challenge the view among tort reform supporters that the legal system is riddled with frivolous claims that lead to exorbitant payouts.

I am just having a hard time understanding why Mr. Studdert thinks this is evidence those supporting tort reform are in error. Even if a groundless lawsuit does not generate a payout for the patient, it does generate substantial legal fees for the physician, insurance company, hospital, …

Bishop Finn: Now that is a Bishop!

Jimmy Akin and many others have been covering the National Catholic Reporter’s piece about Bishop Robert Finn, bishop of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph. He took over the diocese one year ago and has made sweeping changes. The National Catholic Reporter is highly critical of the new bishop and these changes. Well, that figures. All of these changes are moves towards orthodoxy. It sounds like the flock he inherited was more like a herd of cats than a flock of sheep. It took decisive action to round them all up.

Of course, rounding them all up is what the National Catholic Reporter and some heterodox elements of the diocese object to. They were used to being able to create their own vintage of Catholicism with little regard for the Magisterium or the universal Church. What really irked National Catholic Reporter, was Bishop Finn’s control of the diocesan newspaper. The previous bishop, Bishop Raymod Boland, had never meddled in the publication of The Catholic Key, the diocesan ne…

May is Military Appreciation Month

May is Military Appreciation Month. May 12 is Military Spouse Appreciation Day. May 14 is Mother’s day.

If you know of a Military Wife or Mother, let me suggest a gift idea: Chicken Soup for the Military Wife’s Soul. I do have two essays in the book (Spouse of a Soldier and Patriotic Women Bake Cookies ).

Proceeds from the book sales go to the non-profit group Militarysoul.org. From their web site:

The mission of The MilitarySoul Foundation is to make a positive difference in the lives of military families, military personnel and patriots by uniting and supporting kindred spirits.

To facilitate emotional and financial support to troops and their families.

To increase public awareness of the sacrifices made by our Armed Forces and their families.

To sponsor or participate in projects that improve the quality of life for troops and their families as deemed appropriate.

To document and preserve the esprit de corps of military personnel and families.

To maintain an interactive portal that will e…

Apologetics or Catechesis?

What do Catholics really believe? In spite of its brevity, this is not a simple question to answer. I recently began attending an apologetics discussion group that I thoroughly enjoy. Each meeting we have the opportunity to explore the depths and roots of an aspect of Catholic doctrine and prepare ourselves to explain this doctrine to others.

Karen Hall wrote something on her blog today that reminded me of my apologetics group.

I love Cardinal Arinze. I do. I'm thrilled at his statements about the Da Vinci Code. I just wish he'd do something about all the blasphemy within the Church while he's on his anti-blasphemy campaign.

When I first began attending the apologetics discussions I realized there are two foci. Some are very intent on answering the allegations and myths propagated by non-Catholics. Some are interested in answering the concerns and misconceptions of those Catholics who have lapsed from the Faith. I realized there is a very fine line between apologetics and…