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Hunger and Thirst for God, St. Íte PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 19 January 2013 00:00

In a time where the idea of sacrament has been lost and women have been objectified beyond belief St. Íte is a real example that we can look to.  Her feast falls on January 15th just two weeks before the feast of another great woman saint of Ireland, St. Brigid.   Legend has it that both Brigid and Ite were given the vision of being wet nurses of the baby Jesus.  For me, this speaks of the intimate bond between mother and child and how these women gave life to the name of Jesus in the hearts of the Irish of their time.  She nurtured faith in Christ among many in Ireland including St. Brendan.  St. Íte is known as the foster mother of the Saints of Ireland. 

Tradition has it Íte received her name for her thirst for God.  I believe this example of holy living, to always thirst after God and to see in others the opportunity to nurture faith in Christ, is key to transforming our culture one soul at a time.  The following story from the Lives of the Irish Saints helps paint the picture. 

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Breakthrough in Pre-Natal Testing - Fetal Safety PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 12 January 2013 13:41

There has been a very exciting breakthrough in prenatal testing that is beneficial for the safety of the unborn child and mother.  Scientists from Tufts Medical center and Verinita Health Inc. have discovered a method for diagnosing fetal abnormalities in the womb without an invasive procedure such as amniocentesis.  Verinita has given no indication about when this new procedure will be available.  You may read the article at the link below.

DNA in Mother’s Blood Can Spot Genetic Mutations in Fetus

John Lauerman, Bloomberg.com, January 10, 2013.

From the article:

Fetal DNA circulating in a pregnant mother’s blood can be used to detect a wide variety of genetic abnormalities before birth, opening the door for noninvasive testing for more conditions.

By sequencing DNA that escapes into women’s bloodstreams, scientists were able to detect disease-causing mutations that are now normally found by piercing a mother’s womb with a needle to get amniotic fluid, according to a study in the American Journal of Human Genetics.

Amniocentesis, the standard procedure for prenatally testing for genetic conditions such as Down syndrome, carries a low risk of miscarriage. Obtaining DNA from a blood sample from the mother carries virtually no risk, and may enable doctors to expand their reach and accuracy as they look for genetic disease, said Cynthia Morton, a Harvard Medical School geneticist who performs prenatal tests at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston.

“This could largely replace invasive testing,” she said in a telephone interview, “and, no doubt, is an exciting next step in the future of prenatal testing.”

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Praying to Our Lady for the Fighting Irish PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 12 January 2013 07:09

This past Monday during the national championship game I was praying for a Fighting Irish victory.  A friend of mine questioned that idea, that God would help a football team.  Attitudes have definitely changed towards the idea that we can pray a Hail Mary for a football victory.  When we look at the bigger picture, I believe its reasonable to support the idea.  But Why Notre Dame?  The University of Notre Dame inspires higher values and this shows with their #1 academic ranking in college football.  Notre Dame has graduated 97% of their football players and finished #3 overall in football rankings with an undefeated regular season after a very difficult schedule.  Notre Dame's top star was Manti Te'o, a linebacker who was runner up to the Heisman Trophy. He had a 3.3 grade point average at Notre Dame as a design major (and it wasn't basket weaving design)  Lou Holtz's appearance in a Catholics Come Home commercial helps tell the story:

The key to winning is choosing to do God’s will and loving others with all you’ve got...Sacrifice, discipline and prayer are essential. We gain strength through God’s word. We receive grace from the sacrament. And when we fumble due to sin — and it’s gonna happen — confession puts us back on the field.

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Still Singing Christmas Carols PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 05 January 2013 13:29

Tomorrow is Epiphany and just as we started to get away from carols we're back singing them again.  Jingle Bells is a favorite with my young girls but we love "We Three Kings of Orient Are" for obvious reasons.  Today I found a carol I had never heard of, a Greek Epiphany Christmas carol.  Its in Greek, and I'll post a translation when I find one, but the blog Simply Orthodox shared these somments:

These carols talk about the Baptism of Jesus in Jordan river. It describes how Jesus came in the world and how he baptized, it describes the story in detail. There is also a dialogue between Jesus and St. John the Baptist, when St. John hesitates when he sees Jesus and sais “How can I baptise you oh Redeemer, my hand trembles, How dare I put my hand to the top of my Savior.

It’s truly amazing, and absolutely theological! :)

Dim lights

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China's New Law for the Eldelry PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 05 January 2013 11:54

        Our obligation to love and serve the elderly has garnered much attention in recent years.  Here in the US, there has been a big push to enable families to care for their elder parents at home.  Nursing homes have made great efforts to enable family visits and create an environment that feels and lives more like home.  China has taken this communitarian concern to a new level with a recent law.  From the New York Daily News:

Visit your parents. That's an order. So says China, whose national legislature on Friday amended its law on the elderly to require that adult children visit their aged parents "often" — or risk being sued by them.  The amendment does not specify how frequently such visits should occur.  State media say the new clause will allow elderly parents who feel neglected by their children to take them to court. The move comes as reports abound of elderly parents being abandoned or ignored by their children.

Research into the development that lead to this new law would make for an interesting study.  As I understand it, China has a tradition, as many native cultures do, of families caring for their elderly.  However, that culture is changing.  The Daily News points out that recent industrialization has helped to create this problem "Three decades of market reforms have accelerated the breakup of the traditional extended family in China, and there are few affordable alternatives, such as retirement or care homes, for the elderly or others unable to live on their own."  There's no doubt that the modern form of industrialization, which is more global than local, and the busier lifestyles associated with it tend to make caring for our elderly parents more difficult.  But this is also a government created problem; the one-child policy has built a culture without the resources to care for the elderly.  When a couple marries there are only two adults to tend to four parents and if the two sets of parents live a great distance apart, due to a modern economy, then the task of caring is that much more difficult. 

In the China situation you'll find two very defining aspects of the culture of death...
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