October 28, 2014

Misunderstandings about Catholicism

There are many misunderstandings about Catholicism, including among Catholics themselves.  This dynamic is true for just about any belief system - religious, political, social, etc. It's a reflection of our imperfect humanity.

Marcus Guevara put a list together called 7 Things Every Protestant Should Know About Catholicism. He prepared it in December 2013, and it is still worth passing along. I just learned of it. The author focuses on Protestants, but with a minor number of edits, similar lists could be prepared for other sects, like Jew, Atheist, Muslim -- and then they could all be combined for the general public, or so I believe.

Here is the link.

image - http://kevinmartineau.ca/wp-content/uploads/How-our-perceptions-can-lead-to-misunderstanding-and-conflict.jpg

August 27, 2014

Robin Williams and My Father: They Ended Up In The Same Sad Place

Using a belt and some structural part of a door, both Robin Williams and my father died from asphyxia by hanging.  My father died by suicide in 1983. Robin Williams died by suicide in 2014.  Thirty one years between their selfish acts and not much has changed in terms of technique.  And I guess that is the point.  It's not about advances in technique.  It's about lack of advances in mental health.

Robin Williams was rich and famous; my father was destitute poor and known only to the riff raff crowd and police in his home city.  Suicide knows no boundaries. It is selfish with the rich and the poor, the fair-skinned and dark skinned, the younger and the older.  I don't mean that in a judgmental way. It's just fact.  Me me me is the only thing a suicidal person can think about. It's like them hitting their thumb while hammering away at something. The only thing they can think about is the throbbing pain.  They just cannot think beyond it.


They aren't purposely selfish.  They just can't be any other way.  It's like asking a knife to be a fork. It's just not going to happen, unless our mental health system improves suicide prevention.

Edited 8/28/14 - Lest this sounded short-sighted, when I mentioned our mental health system, I was thinking more holistically, i.e., It includes the psychological world, the spiritual and religious worlds, nutrition and staying fit, and widespread education. They all affect mental health.

Also - I failed to mention hope. We can always pray and hope for the salvation of the souls who have taken their lives, those contemplating it, those who will contemplate it, and their families.

To follow my book, Unraveling My Father's Suicide, click here.

image - http://images.clipartof.com/thumbnails/438651-Royalty-Free-RF-Clip-Art-Illustration-Of-A-Cartoon-Black-And-White-Outline-Design-Of-A-Man-Holding-His-Throbbing-Thumb-After-Hitting-It-With-A-Hammer.jpg

August 05, 2014

Premarital Sex or Fornication?

I say all this from a simple place.  That is, I didn't do anything like research the etymologies of the words involved.

I like to call "it" premarital sex rather than fornication. (Just check my labels for this blog.)  First, most people I know do not have the word, fornication, in their every day vocabulary, so it's definition is not second nature to most of the world (most of the world I know, anyhow.  ;) Second, premarital sex is a more direct reminder that sex is tied to marriage, marriage of the two people involved, who may already be married to someone else.

Having said that, I recently read a blog post you will want to read:

I will not teach my kids about safe sex because there is no such thing
by Matt Walsh

It's a little on the long side, but it's worth reading the whole thing, and then forwarding it to others you know, even those that participate in premarital sex while living together, or not. Use your best judgment.

This is my favorite way to respond in these situations:

image - http://www.bible.ca/oral-birth-control-NO.gif

June 23, 2014

Ever Wonder Why It Takes 6 or More Years for a Person to Write/Publish a Book?

Reflections While Writing My First Book, Unraveling My Father's Suicide

"Ever wonder why it sometimes takes people 6 or 9 years to write/publish their book? Well, I'm learning why.

The process of writing a book is full of surprises, especially when it is one's first book ever written. My lawyer wants to introduce a new contract between me and my editor. Copyright stuff. Sounds like a good idea. Sounds easy. I give the go ahead. I get the draft of the contract and it has mucho legalese. I am not keen on legalese and my guess is that my editor isn't either.

With so many other things going on, I don't have time to think through this right now, but I imagine you can see that addressing this would interrupt the schedule, especially a schedule that has been written by a novice writer. Add a 'zillion' of these surprises, and you can see how the publication date gets pushed out.

Still hanging in there,

- Unraveling My Father's Suicide, Facebook Post

Photos from my book:
My father with the first five of us six children.

Statue of Mary with Jesus at the Foot of the 
Cross after His Crucifixion.  At Mount Calvary 

images - personal files

June 16, 2014

Spread the Good News

I have seen a string of articles and blog entries with a positive spin.  It's been refreshing because not too long ago, it seemed like all there was was bad news.  Here are some of the articles I have read lately.  Enjoy!

1) I Am in the Same Week of Pregnancy as My Birthmom, Who Tried to Abort Me  

3) Pro-Life Miss USA Contestant Was Conceived in Brutal Rape, Glad She Wasn't Aborted

4) Seven Famous People Who Were Almost Aborted

5) H.S. Salutatorian Defies School Administration, Speaks of His Christian Faith  

7) Abortion Survivor Finds Doctor Who Aborted Her Twin Brother – You Won’t Believe What Happened

Let's end with a quote from Saint John Chrysostom:
"Your children will always be sufficiently wealthy if they receive from you a good upbringing that is able to order their moral life and behavior.  Thus, strive not to make them rich, but rather to make them pious masters of their passions - rich in virtues."

image - http://www.upbeatcontemporarychoir.com/resources/upbeat%20logo.JPG

April 16, 2014

Most Reverend Samuel J. Aquila, Archbishop of Denver, Beseeches ProLifers to Take Action This Weekend

Most Reverend Samuel J. Aquila
Archbishop of Denver

"To all people of goodwill in Colorado:

 I am writing to you today with a very important request. Weekends are busy for all of us, but I am asking you, as a believer in the sanctity of human life, to pray for 10 minutes and take one of the actions that I will mention at the conclusion of this letter.

If you haven’t yet heard, there is a very troubling bill being debated in the Colorado State Senate next week. Senate Bill 175, touted as the “Reproductive Health Freedom Act,” passed on a party line vote in committee this past Thursday. I am grateful to every person who showed up to oppose the radical bill.

This over-reaching piece of legislation would essentially shut down any attempt to pass life-affirming legislation in Colorado ever again. More than that, it enshrines the “right to abortion” into Colorado law. It’s being praised by anti-life organizations such as NARAL and ThinkProgress as “the first of its kind” in the country and “ambitious.” It enshrines the culture of death into law and ignores science.

This bill would prevent lawmakers from enacting laws such as ultrasound requirements, which we all know—particularly from the work of the Knights of Columbus Ultrasound Initiative here in Colorado—have done so much to give mothers vital information about their pregnancy, and thus save countless children from imminent death.

It prevents common-sense regulations like waiting periods, restrictions on abortion pills (particularly for minors), and parental notification policies. Advocates of this bill seek the absolute “right to abortion” for girls as young as 10 or 11 without a parent’s knowledge, guidance or advice. Parents are seen as unfit in the moral guidance of their children.

Pope Francis affirmed on April 11, support for parents to decide their children’s moral and religious education, while he rejected “any kind of educational experimentation with children.”

He further stated, “The horrors of the manipulation of education that we experienced in the great genocidal dictatorships of the 20th century have not disappeared; they have retained a current relevance under various guises and proposals and, with the pretense of modernity, push children and young people to walk on the dictatorial path of ‘only one form of thought.’”

This bill would protect the “only one form of thought” that Pope Francis warns against and undermine the freedom of one’s conscience to promote the dignity of human life and the unborn child.

Finally, this bill would eliminate abortion clinic health code regulations, which pro-abortion advocates label as “burdensome.” Remember Kermit Gosnell in Philadelphia, and the horrific images and stories of women dying on the abortionist’s table? That is what an unregulated abortion clinic looks like! This bill is not good for the women and girls of Colorado!

I am prayerfully asking every person of good will to spend 10 minutes this weekend in prayer. Plead to Our Lord for His intercession on behalf of life in Colorado. Also, pray for our politicians on both sides of this issue, particularly for those who work tirelessly and often without recognition to promote life-affirming legislation in our State Capitol. Pray for the conversion of the heart and mind of those who support such irrational, unscientific, and a denial of conscience legislation.

But don’t stop there. As a conclusion of your prayer, ask Our Lord what action he wants from you. You are called to be a leaven for good and for life in society.

Here are some concrete actions you can take this weekend:

Contact your Senator. It would be a beautiful testimony on the part of the people of Colorado who support life if each senator in Colorado would wake up on Monday morning with hundreds of emails asking them to oppose SB175.

Please contact the Colorado Catholic Conference to learn more about this bill or to get contact information for your Senator. Call 303-894-8808 or visit their website:www.cocatholicconference.org.

Contact the media. Call your newspaper, your television station and your radio station. Ask them to cover this bill. Let them know that they are letting down the people of Colorado by allowing this bill to pass without a true public debate!

Spread the word. If you have a blog, or are active on Facebook, Twitter or one of the other social networks, spread the word! Invite others who may not have received this letter to pray and act!
Be people of hope! Many of you have lost faith in politics, but remember that attitude is not of God and is of the evil one. The devil confuses people and discourages them. Pope Francis in his April 11 daily homily reminded us, “The devil is here…even in the 21st century! And we mustn’t be naïve, right? We must learn from the Gospel how to fight against Satan.”

Christians are a people of hope! No action taken in defense of life is meaningless, particularly if it comes from a place of prayer and the Gospel.

I leave you with some thoughts on the importance of Christian witness in our times. Remember that Vatican II called every Catholic to serve as leaven in society and “work for the sanctification of the world from within.”

“Since they are tightly bound up in all types of temporal affairs,” the document Lumen Gentium states, “it is their [the laity’s] special task to order and to throw light upon these affairs in such a way that they may … continually increase according to Christ to the praise of the Creator and the Redeemer” (LG, 31).

My brother bishops and I have sent a joint letter to all Colorado Senators, now I ask you all to do your part to sanctify society. Together we can make a stand for life here in Colorado!

May God bless each one of you abundantly!
Most Reverend Samuel J. Aquila
Archbishop of Denver"

image -

April 06, 2014

Spreading the Word

I thought it was a good time to let more people know about my book-to-be, so I created a Facebook page for it. Here are some excerpts.
Unraveling My Father's Suicide

In this captivating & hope-filled story, Kathleen intimately discusses her struggles & eventual acceptance of her father's suicide. Release Date = Q1 2015.
Profile Photo: My father with five of us six children. My younger brother was not born yet.
I am in the stroller.

Cover Photo

Cover Photo:  Mary with Jesus at the foot of the Cross, i.e., La Pietà (1498–1499). The original is a Renaissance sculpture by Michelangelo Buonarroti.  It resides in St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City. The statue shown here is in the Mausoleum where my father is reposed.

Click here to see the page in its entirety.

Of course, I would like it if you Liked the page and followed its progression from here to publication and beyond.  :)  More importantly, I would like it if you became more aware of the whole problem of suicide, in your neighborhood (there is probably someone), and throughout the world.  Here is one reason:
Every 40 seconds someone in the world dies by suicide

image - http://overnightwalk.blogspot.com/2012/09/where-money-goes.html