Wednesday, January 30, 2008

If I were a better Catholic...

... I might have more confidence in the power of my prayers.

I'm not sure how prayers works, nor how it gets around obstacles like free will. But I imagine it is some kind of spiritual energy. We don't have power of thought like God does obviously. Maybe some people have learned to channel mind power to bend spoons, that remains to be seen. But that hardly compares to what God has done with creation. I imagine prayer is not limited to simple conversation with God.

On the other hand, perhaps it is, and all God waits for is for someone to ask Him for a certain thing, in order for him to use his all-mighty thought to do it or suggest it.

Either way, I used to be much more positive about prayer 15 years ago. I have grown cynical. Perhaps I am walking the desert. I know God exists, because I have felt His presence in my life, seen his influence in how things turned out, although I have a hard time seeing it now. I know He exists because of those signs from Heaven Sam and I were talking about the other day. But I have prayed and prayed for certain things, and I see no change. I have no confidence that things will change.

Perhaps that is my problem? That I pray yet expect nothing? How does one force oneself to hope without setting oneself up for disappointment?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Nellie Fairies

Just wanted to link to another blog, where you can find the eulogy of an amazing person, Nellie Fairies, who passed away recently in Moose Factory, where I grew up. The eulogy was written by my brother and you can listen to a conversation he had with her last summer there too.

http://thomaschurch.squarespace.com/saints/

Sunday, January 20, 2008

If I weren't Catholic, I couldn't be anything else

I drove to Ottawa today, and had a lot of time on the road to think about things. As often happens while entertaining myself, I get on a subject, and have no idea how I got there, but suddenly I'm practically giving myself a university course in theology. I love chatting with myself. It can be so edifying. Okay, so maybe it was a chat with my guardian angel, and he's the one who is edifying. Sam is my guardian angel, and he and I have some very interesting conversations. Sam is short for something. I don't know what. I just call him Sam because I bet I wouldn't be able to pronounce whatever it is that it is short for.

We got to talking about Catholicism and more specifically all the paranormal stuff that goes on within the Catholic Church. I mentioned that all those paranormal shows that Marc watches don't seem to be aware of this stuff, or else they are just ignoring it. "Proof," Sam told me, "that there is a special relationship between the Catholic Church and Heaven. What other religion has stigmatics, religious statues that leak tears and blood, visionaries, incorruptibles, saints who levitate while praying, communion hosts that actually take on the physical aspect of flesh in someone's mouth,... etc.? The proof is there, if you are willing to see it."

"Mmm hmm" I replied, (wisely) nodding my head. "But if you refuse to believe, you can dismiss it all. Visionaries are crazy people who hear voices and hallucinate. Stigmatics are people who self-mutilate, the religious statues are in humid places, or some other logical scientific reason is causing something looking like blood to pour out of them non-stop. The perfectly preserved bodies of saints are pure coincidence, some freak accident of nature caused them to be preserved. Where's the proof that anyone levitated? People will believe anything. Catholics are a bunch of lunatics."

"You know," I said, "When I was young, I used to wonder why God only talked to people in the Old Testament. I wondered what was wrong with the world today that He no longer appeared to people. It's just that you have to know where to look and you will see that there are still prophets today, to whom God speaks or send messengers from Heaven."

"Yes." Sam replied, "In fact, there are an amazing number of people today who receive messages in one form or another from Heaven. Miracles happen everyday. People have forgotten that a miracle happens at every mass on that altar. Mass has become banalized. People do not realize WHO it is they are eating."

"I know," I sighed. "I do it too. I cannot imagine Sunday without mass. It's my drug. My spiritual food. I need my "fix". Sunday would not be Sunday if I didn't go to mass. But I should be going EVERY day. Imagine what a good Catholic I could be if I went everyday."

Sam remained pointedly silent at that.

"I would complain a lot less." I added. "I am guilty too, of not recognizing what a gift God has given us, what a miracle takes place everytime mass is said. I need to find some way to get there more often."

I was silent for a minute. Then, "God is truely amazing." I said.

"Amen." replied Sam.


Just a drop in the bucket:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Stigmatics
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incorruptibility
http://www.marianland.com/queenship/marian_apparitions.html
http://www.crystalinks.com/weepingstatues.html
http://www.paranormality.com/levitating_saints.shtml
http://www.medjugorje.org/

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Weddington's Betrayal of Women

Serrin M. Foster
President
Feminists for Life of America

On the thirty-fifth anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion, many will focus on the undeniable humanity of the unborn child now seen clearly by millions through sophisticated sonograms on Oprah as well as in Life and Newsweek cover stories.

Meanwhile, I will be reflecting on the impact of the choice made by attorney Sarah Weddington in 1973.

As her arguments for abortion before the Supreme Court made clear, Weddington saw the discrimination and other injustices faced by pregnant women. But she did not demand that these injustices be remedied. Instead, she demanded for women the “right” to submit to these injustices by destroying their pregnancies.

Weddington rightly pointed out the unmet needs of students: “…there are many schools where a woman is forced to quit if she becomes pregnant.” But Weddington didn’t argue against pregnancy discrimination or even for alternate solutions for a pregnant student.

Weddington did no better for women in the workplace. “In the matter of employment, she often is forced to quit at an early point in her pregnancy. She has no provision for maternity leave… She cannot get unemployment compensation under our laws, because the laws hold that she is not eligible for employment, being pregnant, and therefore is eligible for no unemployment compensation.”

For women with serious medical needs, she further noted: “There is no duty for employers to rehire women if they must drop out to carry a pregnancy to term. And, of course, this is especially hard on the many women in Texas who are heads of their own households and must provide for their already existing children.”

Weddington clearly saw the bind low-income women face when experiencing unplanned pregnancy: “At the same time, she can get no welfare to help her at a time when she has no unemployment compensation and she's not eligible for any help in getting a job to provide for herself.”

Weddington repeatedly said that women need “relief” from pregnancy, instead of arguing that women need relief from these injustices.

What if Weddington had used her legal acumen to challenge the system and address women’s needs?

By accepting pregnancy discrimination in school and workplace and the lack of support in society for pregnant women and parents, especially the poor, Weddington and the Supreme Court betrayed women and undermined the support women need and deserve.

Since then, millions of women have paid the price, struggling in school and the workplace without societal support. After all, when “it’s her body, it’s her choice,” it’s her problem.

According to the Guttmacher Institute, the research arm of Planned Parenthood, the largest provider of abortion in America, half of all abortions are performed on college-age women.

Since 1994, Feminists for Life has worked to address the unmet needs of pregnant and parenting students and staff on college campuses. For the past decade FFL’s Pregnancy Resource Forums on campuses across the country have revealed the still-unmet needs of pregnant and parenting students — especially a lack of housing, child care, telecommuting options, maternity coverage and medical riders for additional children. FFL found there is rarely a central place on campus for pregnancy and parenting resources. Even when resources are available, they are often not publicized. For pregnant and parenting students kept in the dark about the help they need and deserve, perception is their reality.

This March, which is Women’s History Month, Feminists for Life is helping college students make history for women by hosting Rallies for Resources on campuses across the country — so that women don’t feel driven to choose between sacrificing their children or their education and career plans.

The proposed Elizabeth Cady Stanton Pregnant and Parenting Student Services Act, a bipartisan effort led by Senators Elizabeth Dole and Ben Nelson and Representatives Marcy Kaptur and Sue Myrick, would make grants available for up to 200 colleges and universities to host pregnancy resource forums, create resource centers on campus, and communicate available support on and off campus.

There was one thing Weddington got right. “Whether she's unmarried; whether she's pursuing an education; whether she's pursuing a career; whether she has family problems; all of the problems of personal and family life, for a woman, are bound up in the problem of abortion.”

Abortion is a reflection that we have not met the needs of women.

Thirty-five years after Weddington capitulated to inherently unfair practices against pregnant and parenting women, those on both sides of the abortion debate should unite and say “no” to the status quo. Clearly women deserve better.

© 2008, Feminists for Life of America. This article may be reprinted in its entirety, including the author’s name and title, the organization name, and a link to www.feministsforlife.org.

Like the early American feminists who opposed abortion, Feminists for Life works to systematically eliminate the coercive factors that drive women to abortion by facilitating practical solutions. FFL is a non-sectarian, nonpartisan grassroots organization dedicated to empowering women through progressive, non-violent choices for themselves and their children.

............................................
www.feministsforlife.org
............................................
"Abortion is a reflection that we have not met the needs of women. Women deserve better than abortion."
REFUSE TO CHOOSE® WOMEN DESERVE BETTER®
............................................
Feminists for Life is a 501(c)3 organization.
All donations and membership contributions are tax deductible to the extent allowed to law.

Refuse to Choose and Women Deserve Better are registered trademarks of Feminists for Life of America.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

From the Lost Island

I believe that if I had a scale on my island, it would tell me that I have lost weight again this Christmas season, in spite of the fact that Gypsy Queen brought goodies with her. Nothing like a little seasonal depression to make one lose interest in food. It's the rainy season, and besides, Christmas with no family does tend to make one feel a bit lonely, and who wants to go fishing in a downpour?

Men...

I've gotten this too, from the endearing but clueless husband...


That really does look like me though, when I go bolistic, for much the same reason.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

For Better or for Worse Again

This would be me... kinda...

Except that I do know who and what I am, and the things I couldn't wait for are part of that... but I could use some extra time and space of my own... especially space...

If there are any fairy godmothers out there, I could really use a studio ajacent to the house... If you could build a garage for my husband as well, right above that would be nice. A nice middle-sized room with lots of cupboards, counters and working space, that I could lock when it is not in use. It would have to come equipped with some kind of computer so I could also write in there and use msn and e-mail and play music. So it would need a decent set of speakers too. It would also need to have plenty of windows to let light in for painting, drawing, crafts and stuff.

What I really need, is a winning lottery ticket... sigh... but I guess I would actually have to go out and buy one in order to win...

Saturday, January 12, 2008

I do not understand a world which makes such a fuss over fleeting things. We are spiritual as well as physical beings but we have forgotten the spiritual. That emptiness, that void inside us, it cannot be filled with physical things.

On one hand, I am a physical being. I take pleasure in simple things, coffee that tastes just right, raindrops on my nose, the sound of waves crashing on the beach, the feel of sand between my toes.

On the other hand I am a spiritual being. I need spirit to spirit contact. Long talks with close friends, philosophy, a song whose lyrics mean something, a poem, a conversation with God.

There is balance to be had. A life filled with carnal pleasure alone is a very lonely, empty life indeed. On the other hand, a life empty of carnal pleasure is a very sad, boring life. One cannot replace the other.

In the same way, a mariage based on only one or the other of these two poles is an incomplete mariage.

I wonder sometimes, just how does prayer work? How can you ask God for the conversion of another person when God leaves us all free? If prayer is so strong, how can God give us our freedom? Or is praying for someone actually kind of like your soul appealing to the soul of the other person. Is it in a way, a silent calling of one soul to another? Does the other soul hear even when the person does not?

Friday, January 11, 2008

My Resilient cheerfulness

Probably one of the best compliments I have ever received in my life comes from a card written to me from my brother, just hours before he got married:
... you, as big sister, have always looked out for me, and in many things, you've been a role model, especially your resilient cheerfulness which I know is rooted in the faith we share,...
I don't know about always having looked out for him, I seem to remember a bit of fighting back in the good old days. I also know that acting happy when one does not feel happy is by no means something that I have always done, nor do all the time now. But I came to realize quite a few years ago that people don't tend to enjoy being around a self-pitying person and have since then worked on at least seeming happy.

And you know, when you joke about things that are going wrong, it makes them easier to deal with. So, if someone thinks that I have resilient cheerfulness, to me that is a great compliment and some kind of sign that yes, I am perhaps slowly becoming a better person.

The gift inside

Every once in awhile, she comes up with a good one like this one... that says it all:

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Voilà ce qui est encore très actuel aujourd'hui

Du lecture du jour : Première lettre de saint Jean 4,11-18

(...) Dieu, personne ne l'a jamais vu. Mais si nous nous aimons les uns les autres, Dieu demeure en nous, et son amour atteint en nous sa perfection. (...) Dieu est amour : celui qui demeure dans l'amour demeure en Dieu, et Dieu en lui. (...) Il n'y a pas de crainte dans l'amour, l'amour parfait chasse la crainte ; car la crainte est liée au châtiment, et celui qui reste dans la crainte n'a pas atteint la perfection de l'amour.

Pour recevoir l'Évangile au quotidien : http://www.levangileauquotidien.org/

Monday, January 07, 2008

I'm a miracle worker now...

The other day, I was at my neighbour's place and he gave me some old snowsuits of his son's for Nicolas. They were hanging on the doornob and he mentioned that one of the hangers was broken. His son said, "Yeah, but she can probably fix it."

It's nice to know that someone has such a high opinion of my abilites.

Friday, January 04, 2008

El Problema - Ricardo Arjona

Me gusta mucho esta cancion. Ricardo Arjona tiene un... perspectivo muy original.

Letras de Canciones de Ricardo Arjona
Artista: Ricardo Arjona
Album: Santo Pecado
Canción: El problema

El Problema no fue hallarte
El Problema es olvidarte
El Problema no es tu ausencia
El Problema es que te espero
El Problema no es Problema
El Problema es que me duele
El Problema no es que mientas
El Problema es que te creo..


El Problema no es que juegues
El Problema es que es conmigo
Si me gustaste por ser libre
Quien soy yo para cambiarte
Si me quede queriendo solo
Como hacer para obligarte
El problema no es quererte
es que tu no sientas lo mismo..


Y como deshacerme de ti si no te tengo
Como alejarme de ti si estás tan lejos
Como encontrarle una pestaña
A lo que nunca tuvo ojos
Como encontrarle plataformas
A lo que siempre fue un barranco
Como encontrar en la alacena
Los besos que no me diste
Y como deshacerme de ti si no te tengo
Como alejarme de ti si estás tan lejos
Y es que el problema no es cambiarte.
El Problema es que no quiero


El Problema no es que duela
El Problema es que me gusta
El Problema no es el daño
El Problema son las huellas
El Problema no es lo que haces
El Problema es que lo olvido
El Problema no es que digas
El Problema es lo que callas.


Y como deshacerme de ti si no te tengo
Como alejarme de ti si estás tan lejos
Como encontrarle una pestaña
A lo que nunca tuvo ojos
Como encontrarle plataformas
A lo que siempre fue un barranco
Como encontrar en la lacena
Los besos que no me diste
Y como deshacerme de ti si no te tengo
Como alejarme de ti si estas tan lejos
Como encontrarle una pestaña
A lo que nunca tuvo ojos
Como encontrarle plataformas
A lo que siempre fue un barranco
Como encontrar en la lacena
Los besos que no me diste
Y como deshacerme de ti si no te tengo
Como alejarme de ti si estas tan lejos


El Problema no fue hallarte
El Problema es olvidarte
El Problema no es que mientas
El Problema es que te creo
El Problema no es cambiarte
El Problema es que no quiero
El Problema no es quererte
Es que no sientas lo mismo
El Problema no es que juegues
El Problema es que es conmigo

Si hay errores, (y encontré algunos) no son mios.

Churches Could Lose Property Tax Exemption

There's a meeting happening in Brampton, Ontario today - a meeting involving the leaders of a number of religious faiths including Christians, Jews, Buddhists, and Sikhs. The meeting is to formulate a response to a plan by the City of Brampton to start levying property taxes on places of worship. A study done by the City of Brampton last summer recommended some major changes to the way churches, temples, and mosques are treated by the municipal government. Right now all of those properties are exempt from property taxes. The City of Brampton, on the western edge of Toronto, wants to change that, leaving only the worship space itself as tax exempt. That means, in the case of Christian churches, that the floor space occupied by a sanctuary would be tax exempt. But even the stage or pulpit area might not be. And certainly the church offices, fellowship hall, kitchen, or nursery space would become taxable........

The City also wants to impose some severe restrictions on smaller, so-called "house churches". Under that part of the plan, regularly-scheduled weekly gatherings of more than 20 people - children included - would be banned from residential areas..........

More information at www.noapologies.ca/daily-news

Algo interesante - un mboi jagua o anaconda

Asunción, Paraguay, Viernes 04 de Enero de 2008

Interior


SEGUN EXPERTA, ES UN MBOI JAGUA EN VIA DE EXTINCION

“Pescaron” una anaconda de siete metros y 90 kilos

Una anaconda de siete metros y 90 kilos fue capturada por un grupo de pescadores en el río Aguaray Guazú, en la colonia Jaguarete Forest, departamento de San Pedro. Una experta afirma que se trata de un ejemplar de mbói jagua (en vía de extinción), de la especie de las boas. Sus captores la pusieron en venta.


La anaconda tiene siete metros y 90 kilos. Los pescadores que la hallaron quieren venderla por G. 15 millones. En la Seam aseguran que rescatarán al animal.

COLONIA JAGUARETE FOREST, Santa Rosa del Aguaray (Sergio Escobar Rober, corresponsal). La enorme anaconda, de la especie de las boas (Boidae), pertenece a la misma familia de la curiyú. Fue capturada por pescadores de la colonia Yaguareté Forest, ubicada en la Calle 3.000 de esta jurisdicción.

El animal, a 22 días de su captura, aparenta estar en buen estado de salud.

En guaraní, el animal tiene la denominación de mbói jagua y está en vías de extinción, según la experta en reptiles, Lucy Aquino.

La serpiente es mantenida viva en una fosa preparada a mano por sus captores, quienes pretenden venderla por G. 15 millones.

Los pescadores relataron que fueron al río Aguaray Guazú y extendieron una red con intención de cosechar peces. Sin embargo, cuando intentaron sacarla del agua, el equipo de trabajo quedó trancado en la profundidad y tuvieron que pedir auxilio a otros vecinos.

Con la ayuda de los pobladores de la zona, los pescadores intentaron nuevamente recoger la red, momento en que se percataron de que algo raro y muy pesado se movía en el agua, pero no parecía un pez. Este hecho causó gran susto a los protagonistas quienes seguían estirando lentamente la red de pesca para evitar que se dañe con el peso del extraño animal que se mostraba por momentos. Tras arduo trabajo, lograron sacar la enorme serpiente, que fue transportada en una carreta hasta la propiedad de la familia González.

EN UNA FOSA

En el patio de la vivienda construyeron rápidamente una fosa para resguardar al nuevo “miembro” de la misma. El animal parece haberse adaptado a su nuevo hábitat y se muestra muy tranquilo.


En la víspera, Pablo González con la ayuda de un grupo de vecinos sacó a la curiyú de la fosa, y comenzó a arrastrarse en el patio causando asombro en los curiosos.

González comentó que se alimenta muy poco y que solamente quiere patos y gallinas. En dos oportunidades logró salir sola de su fosa, pero fue recapturada.

Esta es la primera vez que una serpiente de este tamaño es obtenida en la zona.

Los cazadores indicaron que a orillas de río Aguaray Guazú existirían muchos ejemplares de la especie, pero antes nadie pudo lograr una de igual tamaño.

SEAM DEBE PROCEDER

La Dra. Marlene Jacquet, directora de Vida Silvestre de la Secretaría del Ambiente (Seam), explicó que en hallazgos como este, la institución debe proceder, en primer lugar, con la búsqueda de un refugio para el animal. Comentó que es difícil que decidan trasladar a la serpiente a un zoológico, pues la limitación de espacio podría tener consecuencias fatales. Por lo tanto, una reserva forestal sería la indicada para llevar al reptil.


La profesional resaltó que de producirse alguna resistencia de las personas que tienen en su poder al animal, recurrirán a la fiscalía zonal para proceder al retiro de la serpiente mediante una orden judicial. La funcionaria expresó que hasta ayer en la institución no tenían conocimiento del caso y que de inmediato iniciarían los trámites para rescatar a la serpiente.


Comentó que la salida de las serpientes podría deberse a la pérdida de su hábitat tras los últimos incendios que afectaron en el segundo departamento.


-EXPERTA SUGIERE TRASLADARLA AL PARQUE NACIONAL CERRO CORÁ

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Dear God

If you are listening, I would like to talk to you about the weather we have been having. Do you remember back when I was young and I thought I would like to live in a place that had milder winters? I was wrong. I want a real winter again.

Please don't get me wrong. I do appreciate mild weather every once in awhile, but God, I don't know if you have noticed, but I have this pond in front of my house that I have been shovelling off everytime you send a big load of snow, which has been a lot recently, but I have never once yet this season been able to skate on it.

I shovelled for 2 or 3 hours just before Christmas, right before it rained, to get that dumpload off the ice just in time for it to rain. I knew it was going to rain, and I was glad, because that was going to make the uneven ice smooth, so I could skate on it. It rained, and then it was really mild, and then it froze. For one whole day.

I was looking forward to the next day, when it would be frozen enough to skate on. I rubbed my hands with glee God, and then you played a trick on me. You sent warm weather. And then snow again, before it froze. So now I had slush. And then you sent another snow storm.

It has been nice and cold the past two days God, and I thank you for this, but when I went out to shovel my pond this afternoon, I was deeply disappointed to discover all kinds of water and slush under the snow. Slush that should not have been there. I am not blaming you for this, as it is probably high water from the river backing into the pond through the pipes, or something.

I am sure that you understand that with all the effort we have put into trying to be able to use this pond again, the hours shovelling, the water Marc put on the ice pailfull by pailfull because we couldn't use the outside tap and therefore the hose was out of question,... that I am going to ask your cooperation in this.

I have heard through the grapevine that it is going to be quite mild on Sunday. God, could you make it just mild enough to melt all the footprints that are wrecking up the ice out there right now and make everything even, and then God, PLEASE could you freeze everything up for a nice long time without sending any snow? PLEASE?!

Thank you.

PS. Please let St Nicolas know that I appreciated the gifts this year and that next year a good idea would be an electronic agenda, the kind that gives you an electric shock about 1/2 hour before you are about to forget stuff. I'm a very forgetful person. It's not my fault God, I try to remember, but those 5 children that you sent me,... well... there are advantages and disadvantages to having five children. But I guess you would understand all about that, having more than a few hundred billion trillion yourself.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

I love this:

A New Year...

It has been three years now since that boating accident that took the life of my husband and stuck me on this island. I still miss him, in spite of enjoying the solitude. One does not care for a person and forget them so easily. It was on New Years Day three years ago that I ended up here, the result of a carribean holiday gone wrong.

It is funny how a person can be lonely, yet not alone and then turn around and be alone but not lonely. Perhaps it is because in my solitude I feel the presence of God even more and I am never alone. When life is reduced to the basics, gathering food, making shelter, getting fire, it puts life into perspective. Everyting else is superfluous.

I have become more effective in gather food in the past years and now I have time to dedicate to such things as weaving. I have tried weaving different grasses, and I have gotten so good that I have invented different patterns of weaving. The floor of my hut is full of grass mats. It is art, it is creative, but most of all it is useful.

I sing all the time out here, because there is noone to hear me but the monkeys. I sing to hear my own voice, any voice, a human voice. I sing to praise God for the beauty of this creation that I can no longer ignore.

Yes, some persons do stop by from time to time, and I am mostly glad to see them, but I am more often alone than not.