Sunday, December 31, 2006

Like Twins

I came across an old picture of Dominic today, and thought, "Wow! Does that ever look like Nicolas!" (Hmmm a bit of the Moose Factory language coming through there...) So I thought I'd post these two pics and see what you think...


Dominic ....... and ........ Nicolas

Conclusion: These two definitely come from the same mould. Which means (as Marc would likely say), that we have the same milkman in Saint-Jean as we did in Prince George.

A perfect winter afternoon

I don't ask that my kids start playing hockey, or even learn to play hockey. I'm not that into hockey myself. Plus it costs a lot and one serious sport is enough. But I AM canadian enough to think that every Canadian should at least KNOW how to skate, especially when they have a frozen pond right in front of their house!!

We all went out this afternoon, (except for Marc, who was reparing the sink, and Jean-Alexandre whose skates no longer fit), to take advantage of the beautiful weather and the freshly frozen pond. (If you remember, just 5 days ago, the pond was open water, it was raining here and there was no snow to be seen anywhere.) The temperature hovered around zero today, so it wasn't melting, but it wasn't cold out either. Perfect weather for skating!



By the time these pictures were taken, Dominic was already back inside and so was Nicolas. Even Nicolas played outside for at least half an hour, running around the pond in his boots and having a great time. Toby also came out on few occasions, to run after us and generally be a huge pain in the butt.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

To all of my faithful readers,

Those I know read and those that lurk and never comment and even those I know read, but prefer to comment face to face instead of on the blog (sister-in-law and brother)...

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

O Emmanuel

Oops, this should have been posted yesterday:

“O Emmanuel, king and lawgiver, desire of the nations, Savior of all people, come and set us free, Lord our God.” Isaiah had prophesied, “The Lord himself will give you this sign: the Virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name him Emmanuel.” (7:14). Remember “Emmanuel” means “God is with us.”

Friday, December 22, 2006

Judy Rebick withdraws support for Elizabeth May

Judy Rebick writes this open letter, explaining why she is withdrawing all support of Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party, over her comments on abortion:
If you had said that you personally oppose abortion but you support a woman's right to choose, I would have been fine with that. Instead you said that a woman's right to choose, something tens of thousands of Canadian women fought for for decades, was trivializing an important issue. It felt like a slap in the face.
I think tens of thousands is a little exagerated. They'd like to think there were tens of thousands fighting for abortion, but they only actually think they represent tens of thousands. Well, they sure don't represent me.
There is no middle ground on the abortion issue as you are no doubt finding out. The organized opposition to abortion in this country as in the United States does not care if women die. Of course, there are many people who are opposed to abortion for religious reasons but here I am talking about the anti-choice activists.

I personally have debated right-to-lifers for 30 years. There is no dialogue here. They put the life of a foetus above the rights and even the lives of women. Whether or not you agree with this, by raising the issue in the way that you did, you contribute to their position.

Oh, so we don't care if women die? Now let me see, medically speaking here, what are the chances of a woman dying from this grave malady we call pregnancy? According to this, in the UK, it is about one chance in 20 000. Now let me see, just for fun, what are the chances of death from abortion? From abortionfacts.com:

What is the maternal mortality from childbirth?

Reported average maternal mortality 1979 through 1986 was 9.1 per 100,000 deliveries, having declined from 11 to 7.4. Morbidity & Mortality Report, July 1991, Cent. Dis. Cont., Vol. 40, No. 55-1

If all causes of maternal death, other than those associated with live birth i.e., abortion, tubal pregnancy, molar pregnancy, etc., were excluded. . . . "the maternal mortality for 1985 would be 4.7 deaths per 100,000 live births." "Induced Termination of Preg . . . ," Council on Scientific Affairs, AMA; JAMA, Dec. 9, ’92, Vol. 268, No. 22, p. 3231 147

And the rate has dropped further since the above, but the U.S. Center for Disease Control (see Chapter 17) does not break down their figures. It continues to report a figure for "maternal mortality" that includes abortion and other deaths.

But some mothers do die?

In developed nations, almost never. The National Maternity Hospital in Dublin, Ireland, receives many complicated cases from around that nation and delivers 10% of all births in Ireland. In 10 years (1970-79) it delivered 74,317 births at more than 28 weeks gestation with only one woman dying from a cause related to her pregnancy. J. Murphy et al., Therapeutic Ab., The Medical Argument, Irish Med. J., Aug. ’82, Vol. 75, No. 8

Ed. note: And this report was from two decades ago. Since then medical care has improved substantially.

Abortion Deaths

These have been grossly under-reported. The expose’ on this is detailed in Lime 5 published by Life Dynamics. The author and his staff have verified 23 deaths from induced abortion in 1992-93. All were reported to state agencies. There is documentation from state health departments that 18 were reported to the Federal Center for Disease Control. However, the official report of the CDC listed only 2 deaths. "
From the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
Study authors from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) note that the annual death rate from legal abortion is extremely low. For the year 1996, for example, the number of deaths related to legal abortion in the US had dropped to seven out of nearly 1.2 million abortion procedures performed that year. Nevertheless, the authors estimate that for the years 1988 to 1997 up to 87% of the deaths in women whose pregnancies were terminated after 8 weeks of gestation might have been avoided if the women had obtained earlier abortions. The authors note that improving women's access to early abortion services -- such as early medical (non-surgical) abortions -- may further reduce the mortality rate.
Someone's not telling the whole truth here... But in any case, treating pregnancy like some incurable disease, that so many women supposedly die from every year, instead of the life-giving miracle that it is... only a ture hardened feminist could do that, and these are a minority. Sorry to disappoint you ladies, but you don't represent tens of thousands of women. And by the way, for the record, we DO value the life of the women too. We ask that doctors try to save both if a woman's life is in danger, but that if one dies in a procedure to save the other, (be it the baby or the mother) that is life. At least you tried. These kinds of life and death situations don't happen every day. That's not what this is all about. What this is all about is having the right to a "back-up plan" for failed contraception. All neatly wrapped up into a package called "Choice".

Elizabeth May's response here:
I did say that sloganeering gets in the way of dialogue. As a practicing Christian, I hate being told I am not “pro-life” because I support a legal right to abortion. I favour access to safe and legal abortions as an aspect of my respect for life. As we know and your letter notes, otherwise, women will die. The status of a foetus before birth is debatable in terms of when the potential for life crystallizes as human life.
What is it with all this talk about women dying? You know, I could go on and on just on the subject of how people (especially gynecologists and obstetricians) treat pregnancy like some kind of disease. Oh puh-lease!!! But that would be getting off topic...
If we could focus on what we want as a society, that might bring us closer together. We would want every pregnancy to be a wanted pregnancy and every child to be a wanted child. We would want to expand on the range of real choices a woman has as a right. We would want to build a society based on true gender equality with an appropriate balance of collective responsibilities and individual rights.
"We would want every pregnancy to be a wanted pregnancy and every child to be a wanted child." Yeah, would be nice wouldn't it? Unfortunately, you can't determine the value of a person's life by whether it's mother wants it or not. What about all the abused children? Shall we kill them off too? There is such a simple (and much more moral) option to abortion, it's called adoption. Ayone hear of it?

Some lady at breadnroses:
Crap! This is really starting to piss me off. Should our society be respectfully debating the pros and cons of slavery, apartheid, women's right to vote?!?!?!
No, exactly, noone would ever say; "Personally, I'm against slavery, but I believe in the right to choose to have a slave." On the other hand, when slavery was an issue in America, I'm willing to bet that there were debates on the pros and cons of slavery, right up until it was finally legally abolished. I say legally, because in practice, this is still not the case. There will continue to be debates on abortion, until that is legally abolished as well, because, like slavery, it is morally wrong.

O Rex Gentium

“O King of all the nations, the only joy of every human heart; O Keystone of the mighty arch of man, come and save the creature you fashioned from the dust.” Isaiah had prophesied, “For a child is born to us, a son is given us; upon his shoulder dominion rests. They name him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace.” (9:5), and “He shall judge between the nations, and impose terms on many peoples. They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; one nation shall not raise the sword against another, nor shall they train for war again.” (2:4) .

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Eragon - the Movie

If you have never read the book, go ahead and see the movie. It's not that bad. It's nowhere near as good as the Lords of the Rings, but it's not bad.

If you've read the book however, be prepared for disappointment. The movie isn't long, only an hour and a half, and in my opinion, could have profited from an extention into a three hour long movie like what was done for the Lord of the Rings. Then maybe it wouldn't feel so much like a short resume of the book.

So much was cut out in fact, that MORE was left out than was put in. When you are cutting out that much, it just isn't worth it to make the movie anymore. You don't get the same sense of character development. What took months to achieve seems to take place in a matter of a few weeks. Many characters are missing or extremely underdeveloped. Whole subplots are missing. Heck, for the sake of the movie, they must have cut out almost 10 chapters in a row at times.

This is just one of those cases where the book is way, way better than the movie.

O Oriens

“O Radiant Dawn, splendor of eternal light, sun of justice: come, shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.” Isaiah had prophesied, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shown.” (9:1).

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

O Clavis David

“O Key of David, O royal Power of Israel controlling at your will the gate of Heaven: Come, break down the prison walls of death for those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death; and lead your captive people into freedom.” Isaiah had prophesied, AI will place the Key of the House of David on His shoulder; when he opens, no one will shut, when he shuts, no one will open.” (22:22), and “His dominion is vast and forever peaceful, from David’s throne, and over His kingdom, which he confirms and sustains by judgment and justice, both now and forever.” (9:6).

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Getting rid of Christmas = intolerant

If you like to travel, when you pick your destination, pay for the tickets, research things to do and see, and plan how long you'll be away, do you normally pick the place that will be the most like your own? Do you plan to hit every McDonald's on the itinerary and avoid at all costs the local cuisine? Do you expect them to cancel their carnavals and festivals if they are not like your own? Or do you pick a place because it is different? New? Exciting? Do you try out all the local eateries to get a taste of their cuisine? Do you attend the festivals and shows?

If now, you were to move to a new country, would you expect them to get rid of any and all public displays of religion and anything even remotely linked to religion, just to accomodate you? Or would you get to know the customs, attend their parties, even if you weren't of the same religious affiliations, and respect their culture?

So why is it that here in Canada, we want to erase any trace of Christmas, all in the name of "tolerance"? Only a very small minority actually wants to get rid of it, and unfortunately they must be in the elite, becasue they are starting to get their own way, forcing their ideals on the majority. Whatever happened to democracy? This small minority is doing this in the name of a much larger, yet nonetheless, minority who is not of Christian background, in the name of tolerance. But get this: this small minority is in fact NOT comprised of (for the most part) members of the minority they claim to be "tolerating". In fact, talk to immigrants of different cultures and faiths and they will tell you that they came to Canada knowing that Canada is mostly of Christian background and that many of our holidays have to do with Christianity, and this does not bother them. I had muslim friends in Prince George. They came to our Christmas parties and invited us to their Eid al Fihr parties. There was never any talk of "tolerance", in fact I was not tolerating them, I actually enjoyed their company a lot, thank you very much.

No, this minority who would like to get rid of Christmas so much, and proposes we "tolerate" people, is in fact mostly comprised of people of christian background. People who, for some reason, are completely disillusioned by christianity, and would dearly love to get rid of anything that reminds them of it. Naturally, one must have a good reason for attempting to deprive a whole country of its very culture, and therefore they have invented tolerance. Ironically, these same people would likely never expect the "favour" to be returned, were they to sojourn in a foreign country. The following conclusion might therefore be made: Christian things are intolerant. That Christmas tree there? It's a sign of intolerance. It's like spraypainting a svastika on a wall. Having a Christmas party or any kind of Christmas school concert is right up there with riding around covered in white bed-sheets and burning crosses. Any other religion? Acceptable. Christianity? Not.

Of course, these people do not stop to think that in fact, in the name of tolerance, they are promoting the suppression of a whole culture, by an elite minority. Doesn't quite sound just now, does it? Doesn't quite sound tolerant either does it? In order to be "tolerant" should we all think, act and speak the same way? Since when does tolerance mean that two people suppress their individuality to become clones? This doesn't work for couples, how can it work for anything else? Suddenly it all begins to sound a lot like communism. Isn't tolerance really all about letting all individual cultures thrive?

Sounds to me more like the rebellious blabbering of adolescents who think that their parents are the most uncool, unfair, unjust, ridiculous, and intolerant of all parents, and can't wait to move out. Well, I have news for you. You don't choose the parents you get. You might move out of their house one day, but you can never really totally get away from them, nor from the influence they've had on you and it is useless to try to do so.

O Radix Jesse

“O Flower of Jesse’s stem, you have been raised up as a sign for all peoples; kings stand silent in your presence; the nations bow down in worship before you. Come, let nothing keep you from coming to our aid.” Isaiah had prophesied, “But a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom.” (11:1), and A On that day, the root of Jesse, set up as a signal for the nations, the Gentiles shall seek out, for his dwelling shall be glorious.” (11:10). Remember also that Jesse was the father of King David, and Micah had prophesied that the Messiah would be of the house and lineage of David and be born in David’s city, Bethlehem (Micah 5:1).

Monday, December 18, 2006

O Adonai

“O sacred Lord of ancient Israel, who showed yourself to Moses in the burning bush, who gave him the holy law on Sinai mountain: come, stretch out your mighty hand to set us free.” Isaiah had prophesied, “But He shall judge the poor with justice, and decide aright for the land’s afflicted. He shall strike the ruthless with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked. Justice shall be the band around his waist, and faithfulness a belt upon his hips.” (11:4-5); and “Indeed the Lord will be there with us, majestic; yes the Lord our judge, the Lord our lawgiver, the Lord our king, he it is who will save us.” (33:22).

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Five Factor Values Test

Your Values Profile

Loyalty:

You value loyalty highly.
You're completely devoted to your friends and family.
Even if they totally screw up, you're still there for them.
Just make sure they're equally loyal to you!

Honesty:

You value honesty highly.
You're unflinchingly honest, even when it's not easy.
For you, integrity is very important - in yourself and others.
People may not always like what you say, but they know they can trust it.

Generosity:

You value generosity a fair amount.
You are all about giving, as long as there's some give and take.
Supportive and kind, you don't mind helping out a friend in need.
But you know when you've given too much. You have no problem saying "no"!

Humility:

You value humility highly.
You have the self-confidence to be happy with who you are.
And you don't need to seek praise to make yourself feel better.
You're very modest, and you're keep the drama factor low.

Tolerance:

You value tolerance a fair amount.
You are open to new cultures, beliefs, and ideas.
You have very few prejudices that you're aware of.
And while you are tolerant, you do stand true to what you believe.

O Sapientia

"O wisdom, O holy word of God you govern all creation with your strong yet tender care. Come and show your people the way to salvation." Isaiah had prophesied, "The spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him: a spirit of wisdom and of understanding, a spirit of council and of strength, a spirit of knowledge and fear of the Lord, and his delight shall be the fear of the Lord." (11:2-8) and "Wonderful is his council and great is his wisdom." (28:29)

Third Sunday of Advent, the Joyful week

And since the 24 th is the fourth Sunday AND Christmas Eve, it is already the 17th and time to do the O antiphons.

How can we make our week more joyful? Christmas is coming. It's almost here. The long awaited messiah is about to be re-born into our hearts again. It is a week to do those last minute preparations for Christmas. Finish the crafts and cookies and things for the stockings. Time to start sing "O come o come Emmanuel" a little louder each day... I wish I had a cd of Advent hymns.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Populus, qui ambulabat in tenebris, vidit lucem magnam

Christmas is coming. I am waiting for it. Advent is a time of waiting, of hoping, of dreaming, like the people of Israel, long before the promised Messiah came. I too, walk in darkness, I dream, I imagine things different from what they are, I even dare to hope a little. Christmas is a time for rejoicing, a time of fulfillment. Christmas is light banishing the darkness, happiness banishing sorrow, a promise kept. I wait patiently for Christmas to come on my island.
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light, Upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shone. Isaiah 9:1

Christmas Concert

Dominic and grades 2 and 3 (for more photos go here) :

It was Dominic and Maryssas' school Christmas concert last night. It was directed by the music teacher and the choir did most of the singing, but each class also had a song or two. The choir sings beee-eau-tifully.

To my Niece/Nephew

A note to that little one growing in my sister-in-law's belly.

I am the most important of all your aunties, and don't you forget it. I am the only one with any cousins for you to come and play with. In fact, I may very well be the only auntie that you will ever need. But I'll understand if you still want to keep the other ones anyway.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

When Mass is stressful

So, I went to mass at St-Patrick's Basilica in Montreal today. (In English for a change) And the whole time I was there, this guy, whom I see every time I go there (which isn't that often), and whom I presume to be the usher (or something), stood on the other side of the aisle and stared at us for maybe 10 minutes at a time. He would then thankfully leave, only to come back and stare at us some more. Like he had to make sure that I was making sure that my kids were behaving, or something. Would you be surprised if I told you my nerves were on overdrive by the time mass was over? Of course, it was 5:00 pm mass, which means the kids are more tired and rambunctious, but just the stress made their behaviour seem so horrible to me, when normally, I think I would not have been so irritated.

I have to say, the priest was very nice. We were not far from the door, and he was saying goodbye to parishionners and came over to do some high-fives with the kids.

But I won't be back unless I really have to. Today, I had no choice either. There was (exceptionally) soccer this morning and there are no afternoon or evening masses in St-Jean.

Still a happy person...

On November 7, I was a happy person, but I couldn't tell anyone about it. Now I can. For the very first time, I am an auntie. My brother Cecil is going to be a Dad. Now he will have to give up his perfect house and live in chaos. Well, maybe not right away.... but soon.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Memed! the birthday edition

I was tagged by Peony at Two Sleepy Mamas. Here are the rules:

1) Go to Wikipedia.
2) In the search box, type your birth month and day but not the year.
3) List three events that happened on your birthday.
4) List two important birthdays and one death.
5) One holiday or observance (if any).


Three events:

-- 1643 - Four-year-old Louis XIV becomes King of France upon the death of his father, Louis XIII.
-- 1811 - Paraguay gains independence from Spain.
-- 2005 - Pope Benedict XVI observes his first beatification, elevating Blessed Marianne of Molokai on the road to canonization into sainthood.

Two important birthdays...

-- 1316 - Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor
-- 1953 - Tom Cochrane, Canadian musician (Red Rider)

...and one death:

-- 1847 - Fanny Mendelssohn, German composer and pianist

One holiday or observance:

-- Paraguay - Flag Day
-- St. Engelmund

TAG:

Jess at Days go by, Deo Gratias at Deus in aditorium meum intende, and if anyone else wants to participate, get yourself a blog, participate and come back and tell me about it.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Nicky's Birthday Bash

I posted a few photos on flickr, take a look.

Nicolas playing with the toy truck Jean-Alexandre bought for him with his own money.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Look who's one today!!!

December 6, 2006
Aussi, Bonne Fête à Grandmaman Thérèse qui était si contente que Nicolas naisse le jour de sa fête.
And Happy Birthday to Pansy at Two Sleepy Mommies

Recuerdos de Areguá

Asunción, Paraguay, Miércoles 06 de Diciembre de 2006
NIÑOS Y ADULTOS MOLDEAN Y PINTAN EL BARRO
Familias aregüeñas preparan atractivos pesebres navideños

En la ciudad de Areguá, a 28 km de Asunción, todos los integrantes de la familia participan activamente de la preparación, moldeado, cocción y pinturas de atractivas imágenes de barro, que luego formarán parte de las piezas del tradicional pesebre navideño. Conversamos con tres familias de sus trabajos. (Leer más)

En 1993, quedaba en una casa con 11 compañeros canadienses, al limite de Luque, unos diez minutos de Areguá, situado al lado del lago Ipacarai, donde se hace tan lindas cosas. En mi casa ahora, en Canada, todavía se puede admirar algunas obras de Areguá. Como ésta:

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

My Christmas is most like...

Your Christmas is Most Like: A Very Brady Christmas

For you, it's all about sharing times with family.
Even if you all get a bit cheesy at times.


Got this from Peony and Pansy at Two Sleepy Mamas

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Mary's Lamb

Mary's Lamb
(got this from an e-mail)

Mary had a little Lamb,
His fleece was white as snow.
And everywhere that Mary went,
The Lamb was sure to go.

He followed her to school each day,
T'wasn't even in the rule.
It made the children laugh and play,
To have a Lamb at school.

And then the rules all changed one day,
Illegal it became;
To bring the Lamb of God to school,
Or even speak His Name!

Every day got worse and worse,
And days turned into years.
Instead of hearing children laugh,
We heard gun shots and tears.

What must we do to stop the crime,
That's in our schools today?
Let's let the Lamb come back to school,
And teach our kids to pray!

It is said that 86% of Canadian, American & British people believe in God. The other 14% can just sit down and quietly not participate.* If we were to go live in a country where the majority was hindu or muslim, would they take God out of the schools because we don't worship in the same way? Atheists not allowing people to have bible studies (when said atheists don't even have to attend) isn't that another case of the minority imposing their beliefs on the majority? That's even worse than the majority imposing their beliefs on the minority. Think about it.

*(Got the stats in the same e-mail, I wrote the rest.)

Friday, December 01, 2006

Holiday Meme

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Egg nog
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Wraps them and sits them under the tree.
3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?White.
4. Do you hang mistletoe? No
5. When do you put your decorations up? I put advent decorations up all over my house on the first Sunday of advent (pink and purple with greenery) and on the 24th, I switch the decorations for Christmas ones. (Red and gold) I hang up the stockings on the first Sunday of Advent too, so the kids can have fun filling up each others stockings in preparation for Christmas.
6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? Tourtière
7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child: Hoiday memories seem to blend, I don't remember what happened when, and I don't remember any one event that stands out more than another...
8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I have always believed that St Nicolas really was a bishop that lived long ago, and,... etc,... (I only found out about Santa at school, my parents never told us about Santa)
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Christmas Eve is when it all happens in French-Canadian culture!! Most people go to mass (if they go at all anymore) and then the party commences and all the gifts are opened. We go to mass, and then the kids can look in their stockings, and then we have the Reveillon (dinner) with Turkey and trimmings or whatever (the last two Christmases we had fondu instead). Before going to bed, we open one gift each. On christmas morning, we open some more, before breakfast, and keep some for later. If there are enough, we might even be still opening some the next day. (I like to make the excitement last longer, my parents did it that way too. I remember still opening gifts 2 or 3 days later).
10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree? I go to Sears and dream of a designer tree, with only one or two colours and one main theme, and then I go home and decorate with all the stuff I already have,... things I had as a child, stuff I have collected since, stuff I have made, stuff my kids have made... And I tell myself, someday... someday I will have that designer tree, but not this year.
11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? I love snow. I grew up in the north remember? I grew up playing all sorts of games in the snow. Making snow forts, sliding, skating, stamping out trails on which to play complicated games of tag... building tunnels to connect the different network of snowforts, crossing frozen rivers on foot, building fires in the bush and roast hotdogs and weiners, then trekking home again... Building networks of tunnels down the side of the bank beside the river to slide through...
12. Can you ice skate? You are not a true Moose factory Islander if you do not know how to skate. I remember crossing the river from the Island to the mainland on the ice-road, 4 miles, on skates. Do I know how to ice-skate? You better believe it. Can I skate like Jonathan Cheechoo? Probably not.
13. Do you remember your favorite gift? No
14. What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you? The birth of Jesus.
15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? Mincemeat pie, which I haven't had since I left home...
16. What is your favorite holiday tradition as a kid? Midnight mass and reveillon.
17. What tops your tree? Angel
18. Which do you prefer giving or Receiving? Giving
19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? Minuit Chrétien
20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yummy? Um they were yummy when I was a child. I don't eat them much now.
21. Missing anyone for the coming holidays? Umm not really. I'm used to being far away from the rest of my family
22. What would be your ideal christmas tradition? I don't know... I don't think I'd change anything... except maybe for having an even more spiritual advent

So now I'm just part of a very elaborate brainwashing scheme?

I googled "meme" to find a fun questionnaire to fill out, and discovered a site that gives the true meaning of meme. (Which quite obviously has its roots in the French word même.)
meme: (pron. 'meem') A contagious idea that replicates like a virus, passed on from mind to mind. Memes function the same way genes and viruses do, propagating
through communication networks and face-to-face contact between people. The root
of the word "memetics," a field of study which postulates that the meme is the basic unit of cultural evolution. Examples of memes include melodies, icons, fashion statements and phrases.

Memes on the internet are all those jokes, prayers, pleas for help urgent warnings of virus that people endlessely send to your e-mail inbox all day... Which you have to watch out for and you can check out at snopes.com to see if whatever is being said actually has any truth to it. That wasn't exactly what I was looking for.

Neither was this: http://www.christianitymeme.org/

Christianity is a meme--a mind virus that lives in the minds of people and is spread through proselytization and other means.

Christianity is a meme about God, but it has no other connection to God.

The Christianity Meme has been shaped purely by natural selection--the law of survival of the fittest--as it has played out in human minds. It is a sophisticated product of cultural evolution.

Being a "true Christian" infected by the Christianity Meme will subject you to aid its survival through its adaptations that allow it to exert control over human behavior. As a consequence, the more Christian you are the more you are prone to certain kinds of immoral behavior.

The Christianity Meme is not bound by the moral principles it carries. We seek to expose Christianity for what it is and we advocate a conscious and rational approach to morality in its place.


As a consequence, the more Christian you are the more you are prone to certain kinds of immoral behavior. Hunh?! Immoral? So christians are immoral now? I see what's happening here. Some guy who didn't get the candy he wanted, has decided, in true adolescent fashion, to justify his actions/beliefs by calling ours immoral. You can't physically prove God exists. You can't physically prove that your mind exists either. "I think therefore I am" But who can prove we actually think? We know we do because we've experienced it, and we know other people do too because we have experienced the output of their thinking. Use your mind and you develop it. Let it lie dormant and you will lose it. Children who are not in contact with other humans and do not learn to speak when they are young will never think either. Your soul is not so different. If you want proof that God exists, pray. Pray hard. Pray sincerely. Use your soul. You can only know God through your soul, not your body, because God is spirit, not physical. Use it or lose it. The above is what happens when you lose it.

Help Sophia Institute

God knocked St. Paul off his horse
but He chose to convert me with a gruff man,a severed foot, and the face of a little child.
It was 1962. I was fifteen, an atheist, and a first-time Red Cross volunteer. With bag lunch in hand, I stepped into the hospital's tiny pathology lab and introduced myself to the stern-faced man who ran it.He could have been the twin brother of Sonny Liston,the soon-to-be heavyweight champion of the world.

"I'm Tyler," he said. "Put your lunch in that refrigerator." I opened the refrigerator, leaned forward, and gasped. There, just where I was about to place my lunch, lay a severed human foot!Tyler guffawed.
Most days Tyler joked around as we prepared polyps, cysts, appendices, tumors, and other surgically-removed bits and pieces for examination by the staff pathologist. One morning, however, he cracked no jokes. Just before the pathologist arrived, he said "John, I don't want you here this morning. The doctor's got to do an autopsy."
"Tyler, it's part of my job, too. Please let me stay."
A few minutes later, he brought into the lab a small gauze-wrapped bundle which he placed carefully on the examining table. With hands nearly as large as the package, Tyler carefully removed the gauze until I gazed on the immobile but beautiful face of a tiny baby boy, four months premature.
Tyler stood silent, looking at the child.
Then he leaned down, placing his face close to the baby's face and said softly, as if trying not to wake the child, "Little one, your face is dirty. Your hair's mussed up. We can't let the doctor see you this way. Let's make you pretty."
With a damp cloth, Tyler gently wiped clean the baby's face. Then he reached into his back pocket, pulled out his own comb, and, very carefully, combed and parted the baby's thick, dark hair.
"There," he said. "Now you look better."
* * *
With a gesture,Tyler showed me the truth of Psalm 139:
"You formed my inmost being; You knit me in my mother's womb.Wonderfully You made me; wonderful are Your works!"
* * *
That Psalm continues:
"When I was being made in secret,fashioned as in the depths of the earth,Your eyes foresaw my actions;my days were shaped before even one of them came to be."
Before I was made, God foresaw that I would devote my life to publishing. He sent Tyler and that baby to me "to shape my days" so that when finally I published, I would be a Catholic publisher -- a pro-life Catholic publisher.
As I was rendered instantly pro-life by Tyler and that baby, God has permitted me to render instantly pro-life tens of thousands of others by means of a tiny, unborn baby.

You can meet that child online at www.angelinthewaters.com.
* * *
Now we may have to close our doors.
Slow sales and weak responses to my recent fundraising letters have left us with an empty checkbook and more debt than we can manage. Our overdue bills are still more than $50,000.
If I don't pay this soon, we'll have to cease publishing. Catholics will no longer have access to Angel in the Waters and the hundreds of other books we have published by St. Francis de Sales, St. Thomas Aquinas, Bishop Fulton Sheen, St. Robert Bellarmine, Fr. Lawrence Lovasik, and many other good Catholics.(See them all at www.sophiainstitute.com.)
That's why I've just borrowed enough money to pay for e-mailing this appeal to 250,000 Catholics. I'm confident that had He wanted our non-profit apostolate to fail, God would not have placed me there in the lab that day with Tyler and the baby; He wouldn't have inspired me to tell you of this incident that remains so fresh in my mind; and He wouldn't have inspired you to read this far.
Can you help? I don't ask much.
Could you buy a copy of Angel in the Waters, and perhaps a second to give to a child this Christmas? If you can't afford that, could you contribute just one dollar?
With just $1, you can keep us in existence.
If you buy a copy of Angel in the Waters or give a dollar, and everyone else who receives this does the same, our doors will stay open; Angel in the Waters will stay in print; and we'll have enough to publish many more Catholic books!
* * *
Remember how, in less than half-a-minute in a small hospital lab four decades ago, God used Tyler's kind gesture to make me pro-life forever?
Today, Angel in the Waters is having that same effect on thousands of people. If we can survive this financial crisis, it will continue to do so year after year.
With just one dollar, you can help us to ensure that happens.
So please use Paypal or your credit card to contribute one dollar at our website (www.sophiainstitute.com/donate.htm) or print the form there and send your dollar by snail mail.
Thank you. And please pray for us.
Sincerely yours,

John L. Barger, PublisherSophia Institute Press
1-800-888-9344
Box 5284,Manchester, NH 03108 USA 1-603-641-9344

Bella

http://www.bellathemovie.com/

Got this from Big Blue Wave. It looks like a very interesting movie.