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The Idolatry of Contemporary Times PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 30 May 2013 20:11

It seems that everywhere I look there are forms of idolatry but little attention is given to the problem.  In a recent homily Pope Francis gave this problem its due attention:

We have to empty ourselves of the many small or great idols that we have and in which we take refuge, on which we often seek to base our security

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The Mafia Martyr Saint PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 25 May 2013 22:11

This is an amazing story.  I remember hearing about the murder of a priest who spoke out against the mafia in Sicily.  At the time I found it disheartening that such pressure still existed on priests in areas such as Sicily.  To speak out against mafia crime should not be a death sentence.  Apparently, the six mafia responsible for the murder are paying the price but more importantly the Vatican is sebding a bigger and mor eimportant message by recognizing a modern day saint Blessed Giuseppe Puglisi.  Here's the story from BBC News:

Code of silence

Born in Palermo, Father Puglisi was the son of a shoemaker and seamstress, and was ordained at the age of 22.

He taught mathematics and religion in several schools, served as the chaplain in an institute for orphans, and went on to work in run-down areas of Palermo.

But he became a target as he grew increasingly outspoken in denouncing crime and alleging collusion between politicians and mafia figures.

Don Giuseppe Puglisi has been declared a martyr of the church, murdered "in hatred of the faith".

He was famous for a rhetorical question, which he used as a catch phrase in order to encourage Sicilians to stand up and fight organised crime: "And what if somebody did something?"

The BBC's David Willey in Rome says the Catholic Church has been accused in the past of an ambiguous relationship towards Cosa Nostra, the men who for decades have controlled organised crime on the Mediterranean island.

By beatifying Father Puglisi, the Church is making a strong stand against mafia crime - which has been protected by a code of silence - our correspondent says.

Earlier this month, Pope Francis proclaimed the first saints of his pontificate in a ceremony at the Vatican - a list which includes 800 victims of an atrocity carried out by Ottoman soldiers in 1480.

These meant that, within two months of taking office, he had proclaimed more saints than any previous Pope, although his predecessor Pope Benedict had given the go ahead for their canonisations.

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The Spiritual Answer, Turn to The Lord Not Their Categories PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 17 May 2013 22:18

The new edition of the DSM, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, will be coming out soon and there's some very interesting dialogue on this manual and the very nature of psychiatric diagnosis.  Diagnosis for mental disorders is largely based on syndromal classifications.  Diagnosis is made based upon the association of several different factors such as signs, symptoms and phenomena.  A patient may have a certain set of symptoms and some characteristic traits that lead the physiatric clinician to a diagnosis.  This leads to a diagnosis without a strong physiological foundation.  It also leads to an unusual form of philosophical determinism.  The determinism of psychiatry, which is the belief that all phenomena can be explained by psychiatric causes, is to some degree based upon a set of criteria that is rooted in a philosophical psychology of the human person.  Or to put it more simply, since psychiatry can not explain the underlying causes of apparent disorders, it must theorize that there is some chemical imbalance causing the problem.  The role of spirituality and sin on the developing psyche has little relevance in this worldview.  There can be no spiritual causes but just a psychological affect related to spiritual practices. 

The director of the National Institute of Mental health has questioned the significance of the psychiatry profession's dependence on the D.S.M.:

While the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or D.S.M., is the best tool now available for clinicians treating patients and should not be tossed out, he said, it does not reflect the complexity of many disorders, and its way of categorizing mental illnesses should not guide research.  “As long as the research community takes the D.S.M. to be a bible, we’ll never make progress,” Dr. Insel said, adding, “People think that everything has to match D.S.M. criteria, but you know what? Biology never read that book.”

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A Daughters Love for Her Father PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 17 May 2013 21:16

One of the great blessings of being a married father of three girls is to know and experience the love of a daughter.  Its one of those things that is impossible to describe without experiencing it.  Every time I come home from work or from a short trip away from our area, my girls are unbelievably happy to see me.  Their love and enthusiasm is amazing.  It touches the heart like nothing else.  That's why I Love the military father surprises daughter videos.  There's nothing like watching these girls respond to their father's presence after months away amidst worries for the father's safety. 

Recently a father surprised his daughter at a baseball game in Tampa, Florida.  It was fun to follow and read up on that story.  The girl shows up to throw out the first pitch at a Tampa Rays game to a catcher that, to her surprise, is her father.  Beautiful! 

My favorite all time was the father that showed up at class.  The girls expression is priceless.

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Loving Others, Prom King with Down Syndrome PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 11 May 2013 06:32

Justin Bychowski's campaign to be prom king turned into a beautiful story with a video to document it.  There are many ways to show our love and respect for people with Downs Syndrome but this story stands out as unique.  The prom king competition apparently turned into a different kind of popularity contest, one focused on the heart.  Here's the notes on the video from Justin's brother:

This tells the story of my brother with Down Syndrome, Justin, who won Prom King at Zion-Benton High School. It documents his prom experience as he campaigned to win prom king by making shirts, buttons, and getting the word out, and as he asked Sara, a girl with Down syndrome in his class,to prom. All of the faculty and especially the students were genuinely supportive of him and made his dreams come true.

 

 

ht to Jill Stanek

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