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Showing posts from 2010

Blessed New Year

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Wishing all of you a blessed and grace-filled new year. I don't know if you make New Year's Resolutions (i don't, tried it MANY times, just didn't work for me!) but if you do, that's great.

One thing I learned many years ago and something that I still do every year on New Year's Eve, is to entrust the coming year to Our Blessed Mother and commend the previous year to her heart as well.

I ask her to take care of me and all those who have asked me for prayers and  for whom I have promised to pray. I ask her to receive the graces that I didn't receive because of my failures in the previous year and I ask her to prepare me for the coming year as well.

Although we do not know what is on the horizon for us, for our country and for the world this coming year, this might be an opportune time for all of us to dig deeper into learning and living our faith.

Take a Bible study, join an adult education class at your parish or take up some spiritual reading on a regular …

Motherless by Brian Gail

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http://www.hli.org/store/motherless.html
Devouring the new book Motherless by Brian Gail was an amazing experience. The second book in this trilogy gripped me from the opening sentences and once again, the unexpected happens. I found the twists and turns surprising and magnetizing.

Set in the present day, the story divulges the latest endeavors of our friends from the first book. We learn where life has taken them, how they have suffered and where they have triumphed.

As we all face, these characters will make hard decisions between wealth and morality, notoriety and justice, life and death. And one of them will pay the ultimate price.

Its not just the story that is so interesting but what I found most gripping and disturbing was the reality of the issue of reproductive technology.

Much of this story deals with the dark side of reproductive technology and Mr. Gail has done an amazing job researching and writing about things that are indeed happening.

Technology that would have read wel…

Nuns Are Very Serious :0

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Here it is! Finally video footage that nuns must be serious at all times.

Click here to see it....if you dare.....(he he he....)

Sr. Miriam's January Speaking Schedule

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Saturday January 15th- Serra Club Fundraiser- St. Joseph's Parish, Vancouver, WA- 6pm

Friday January 28th-- Catholic Answers Live Radio Show- heard on your local Catholic radio station or stream live here- 4pm Pacific Time


A Thing of Beauty

Here is a video of Taylor Swift singing and playing the piano-- just because she is so lovely!

Dont Feel Sorry For Me!

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As I recently (5 minutes ago) wrote about joy- the gift of God that is contentment of the will (possessing a true good), I also wanted to share a little about one of the biggest robbers of joy (aside from anxiety- listen to our radio show for that one!) which is self-pity.

We all, from time to time, experience the feeling of self-pity, where something seemingly or truly unfortunate has happened, and we find ourselves a victim in need of sympathy. Many times this is a normal reaction to certain situations until we can gain since distance from them and assess them more closely. However, if we find we struggle with chronic self-pity, there are some things we might want to take a look at because as long as self-pity rules our emotions, thoughts and actions, we will never be able to fully embrace the gift of joy (because our spiritual "hands" will be full of negative things)

How do you know if you struggle with self-pity? Here is a definition: Self-pity or "feeling sorry for…

Pleasure Vs Joy

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During this Christmas season, we hear many songs and much talk about joy. "Joy to the World", we sing at Church and often people wish one another "joy and peace" during this time.

But often, I don't see too many people full of joy. People get upset if they didn't get "what they wanted" on Christmas day and trying to navigate through a big city during the Christmas season can be anything but "joyful."

and this got me thinking, "what is joy, anyway?"

As i dove further into this mystery, I realize that I often confuse pleasure with joy.

Let's investigate....

CatholicReference.net defines pleasure as: The satisfaction that accompanies the exercise of a human faculty. Depending on the faculty used, there are different kinds of pleasure, namely, sensuous or intellectual.

Is pleasure a bad thing? In and of itself, absolutely not. God gave us pleasure as a gift to enjoy the things of life. We enjoy reading a good book or seeing a …

Mama's Song

I came across this new song by country singer Carrie Underwood written to her mother. She calls it "Mama's Song" and the video features Carrie's mother, new husband and family photos. Very, very touching.

Enjoy :) (and grab a box of tissues ;) )

A Blessed Christmas...

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Wishing all of you a very blessed and holy Christmas season and also a joy-filled New Year.

As a new adventure dawns with the rising sun every day, may you know the love of Jesus and Mary. May they grant you peace and hope, now and always.

Joseph's Lullaby

This is a VERY beautiful song by Mercy Me entitled, Joseph's Lullaby.

Wow, it moved me to tears.

I think so often we relegate the personhood of St. Joseph, as if he wasn't a real man with real desires and a real love as a father to Jesus. This is a delightful song- a song of a father singing to his baby son.

More Installation Excerpts

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Here is an article that appeared in The Progress, the Archdiocese of Seattle's newspaper. It features more details about Archbishop Sartain's Installation Mass and some excerpts from his amazing homily.

Human Beings With Bar Codes?

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ok, this is just WRONG! (I would say that it's just getting "wronger" but that's not a word...)

Why are we as humans so arrogant as to think we can play with human life, categorize it, separate it from its natural environment, mix and match it and then bar code it and think it's ok? Yikes. Scary stuff.

This ending quote of this article says it all-
“The embryos develop normally and once we’ve perfected everything, they will lose the code after implantation," she told FoxNews.com.
"So you won’t be producing a baby with code on it,” she said.


Read about it: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2010/12/13/tag-human-embryos-bar-codes/#ixzz183UXW3zI

How Many Kings?

I heard this BEAUTIFUL Christmas song on the radio and wanted to post it for you. The lyrics are deep and meaningful and the person who made this video uses some powerful imagery.

This song is called How Many Kings and is written and performed by a group named Downhere

Breathe this one in......

Words from Our Mother

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I just wanted to post the words of Our Lady of Guadalupe to Juan Diego, as he was concerned about many things when she appeared to him.

Please allow these words to sink into your heart and soul, because she is speaking to all of us, all of her children.

“Listen and let it penetrate your heart…do not be troubled or weighed down with grief. Do not fear any illness or vexation, anxiety or pain. Am I not here who am your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection? Am I not your fountain of life? Are you not in the folds of my mantle? In the crossing of my arms? Is there anything else you need?” 

How she loves us! :)



Our Lady of Guadalupe

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Happy Feast Day to our beautiful Mother and Patroness of the Americas, Our Lady of Guadalupe.

If you don't know much about the image of Our Lady or how it came to be, please READ about it here. 

It is no coincidence that in this time in history, when the skies are growing dark and truth is being challenged on ever increasing levels, that we have been given a Mother to protect us.

The name Guadalupe, as she referred to herself,  is a shrine in Spain but it also sounds very much like the phrase "she who crushes the serpent" in the native dialect of Juan Diego, the simple man whom Our Lady appeared to in 1531.

Sometimes people relegate this special love for Our Lady of Guadalupe as a Hispanic devotion, since she appeared in Mexico but this not a geographical affection. Our Mother has been declared by two Popes as the Patroness of the Americas and she is very, very powerful.

There are so many amazing things within the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, so many profound things.�…

"Tangled" Up

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Looking for a good movie to see over the Christmas season? I don't usually do movie reviews and I am not always a fan of animated movies but I recently saw a movie that might be worth your while.

I am going to talk about the plot within this blog post so I am giving you a SPOILER ALERT! :) if you don't want to know what happens...well, maybe I will just talk about the beautiful themes of the movie without revealing everything, so you can go and experience it for yourself.

Disney just released an animated movie entitled "Rapunzel." Perhaps we all know that traditional story of the girl with the long hair who locked in a tower, awaiting her rescue-- but Disney gives it just a little different flavor and perhaps without realizing it, they creators of the movie delve into realities that speak deeply to the heart of every human being.

So the story goes that as a little girl, born to the King and Queen, Rapunzel has the gift of magic, healing hair. Whenever she sings a cert…

Installation Mass of Archbishop J. Peter Sartain

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Today, we received a new Shepherd of the Church in Seattle, WA. Archbishop J. Peter Sartain was officially installed during a beautiful two hour Mass at St. James Cathedral in downtown Seattle.

Within the cathedral it was standing room only as people watched and listened attentively to their new shepherd proclaim the word of God. As he officially accepted his new position and took his seat on the cathedra (the Bishop's chair) every person in the cathedral stood and applauded for nearly 5 minutes. It was a beautiful sight to behold. There was such joy within those walls today.

I am including a link to the Seattle Times article about the Mass, which features video portions of the celebration. 

(Please note as you read the article that is written for a secular audience so consider that accordingly)

Archbishop Sartain, you are in our prayers!!  :)

Archbishop J. Peter Sartain

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Tonight was the Rite of Installation and Vespers with new Archbishop of Seattle, J. Peter Sartain. It was a very powerful and symbolic Rite, which began with the Archbishop knocking on the door outside the Cathedral, as a symbol of his desire to be accepted as Shepherd of the people.

After entering and being welcomed by retiring Archbishop Alex Brunett, Archbishop Sartain venerated the processional cross of the Cathedral and received a blessing with Holy Water from Archbishop Brunett.

The two archbishops sprinkled the entire congregation with Holy Water and Archbishop Sartain greeted representatives from various communities and organizations within the Seattle Archdiocese.

Within the recitation of Vespers (evening prayer) Archbishop Sartain gave an amazing and moving homily. This man brings with him a powerful presence. Not a presence of domination and self-importance but a presence of holiness, kindness, truth and love. He bear a weight within, the weight of the Cross.

As I sat there…

Debussy's Arabesque #1

Tonight is a full moon :) and I posted some time ago a work by Claude Debussy entitled "Clare de Lune" but tonight i post another of Debussy's works "Arabesque #1"


Its such a beautiful piece, one of his earlier works, written while he was still in his 20s. It's amazing how talented people usually suffer with some deep struggle. Wikipedia states that "Debussy was often depressed and unable to compose, but he was inspired by Franz Liszt, whose command of the keyboard he found admirable."

Beauty often resurrects from darkness. I hope you enjoy this piece.

A blessed solemnity of Christ the King to all of you. May Jesus truly be the King of our hearts and the Divine Lover of our souls.


Condom Clarification

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For those of you who have read that astounding news "headlines" that the Holy Father has "changed the Church's stance on the use of condoms" PLEASE read this great commentary by Catholic Apologist Jimmy Aiken.

He explains what the Holy Father said and DID NOT say and the context in which the comments took place (and were taken out of place!)

Be informed and spread the word!

What Should I Do?

Perhaps this the perennial question we face during many phases of our life- the question of "What should I do?" What is life about anyway? Should we live our lives to please others? Should we be who others want us to be? Should we listen to our friends? the media?

Or shall we follow our destiny and become the people we were born to be by allowing God to reveal Himself and our destiny to us? Who knows best? our little finite selves or the infinite, beautiful creator of the universe?

Tomorrow in the Gospel at daily Mass, we see Jesus weeping over Jerusalem. As He looks out over Jerusalem, knowing it will be the place of His death and the ultimate betrayal by some of His closest friends, He weeps. Jesus knows that peace is not found in self-righteousness and power, He knows that peace is found in surrender to God and the turning away from sin.

But even as He looks over the city, He does not curse the city, He longs to heal it.

He sees us in the same way. Jesus longs to heal us…

Happy Campfire Song

Happy Autumn Wednesday to you! Here's a happy little song by Christian artist Chris August, called The Campfire Song. It's a peaceful little song about the love between a man and a woman.

Enjoy!



Lyrics:

When it's cold outside count on me to keep you warm
And when we arrive there I'll be to hold the door
When we talk at night I promise I'm all ears
I will turn into your prince if you kiss me here

You love music and the smell of summer rain
Well, I have this old guitar and a pocket full of change
So, I might be what you're looking for
What you're looking for

When your day goes blue I'll find a way to make it bright
When you need a laugh I'll bring a smile right to you, to you
When we're all alone I'll be the sweetest man
You will fall into my arms or at least that's my plan

You love sweaters and the feel of linen sheets
Well, I'm not begging you, no I'm not that hard to please
So, I might be what you're looking for

At night, I …

What is it with men and commitment, anyway?

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Check out the text of this talk about men and commitment, aptly titled "What is it with men and commitment, anyway?" 

The prevailing thought of many is that men never want to commit and that living together before marriage is a good way to see if "two people are compatible".

Both of these thoughts are seriously flawed and Scott Stanley, PhD, explains why.

Some awesome resources for you

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Check out this link to a page from the Family Life Center website. This organization is dedicated to strengthening marriage and family life and this page lists resources to help or give information on a variety of topics.

With links about topics on various issues from alcoholism to end of life decisions, from, homeschooling to help for hurting marriages, check this out. it's great stuff. sometimes we struggle or wonder about certain things but don't know where to turn for solid info or help, this is a great resource.

Wanted: Exorcists in the US

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WHAT!?!

There are only 5 or 6 exorcists in the entire United States!

eeek!

Bring back the exorcists. Heaven knows we need em'

You Live, You Learn...

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I came across a song by Alanis Morissette that I hadn't heard in many years. The song is called, "You Learn, (Jagged Little Pill)" and it was very popular in the 90's. But as with many things in our lives, we revisit themes on deeper levels as we grow older.

Here are some of the lyrics-
I recommend biting off more then you can chew to anyone
I certainly do
I recommend sticking your foot in your mouth at any time
Feel free

Throw it down (the caution blocks you from the wind)
Hold it up (to the rays)
You wait and see when the smoke clears

You live, you learn
You love, you learn
You cry, you learn
You lose, you learn
You bleed, you learn
You scream, you learn


There is a very famous saying that goes, "live and learn" and isnt' that the truth? Perhaps for those of us perfectionists out there, we would rather just "know everything" without having to make mistakes and live through things, but that's not reality.

Here's another saying for you, &…

Archbishop-elect Peter J. Sartain

Check out this great article about our Archbishop-elect Peter J. Sartain, set to be installed here in the Archdiocese of Seattle on December 1st.

Brings much hope to us here in the Northwest.

Rock on! :)

Surfer Andy Irons 1978-2010

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Surfing legend Andy Irons passed away on November 2nd in Dallas, TX. He was 32 years old.

Read the story of his amazing life and untimely death here.

Andy was much beloved and respected in his home of Hawaii and across the world. A man who was very human in spite of being wildly popular.

When I read the article posted above, I was filled with a sense of sorrow and an immense sense of awe for the sacredness and gift of life.

Why things happen the way they do may not be known in this life.

All we do know is that God makes sense of our confusion and accompanies us in our deepest sorrows and mysteries.

My prayers go out to his family, especially his wife, due to give birth to their first child next month.

May he rest in peace and may perpetual light shine upon him.

God bless you, Andy.

Sr. Mary MacKillop

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Australia's first Saint-

One tough woman.....


Amen!

Masculinity in Question Part 2

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I wrote some time ago about the struggle in society today with the question of manhood and what it means to be a man. Just as women question themselves, men do as well.

And perhaps for men it's more difficult because in many arenas they are not allowed to question, to ask themselves what it really means to be a man, they are just supposed to "know" and so for many men, they swallow the stereotypes that the measure of a man is money, power and women.

A deep lie.

I also mentioned in that previous post about a celebrity couple, in which the husband admitted to having an affair and he mentioned on a nationally known radio show that the affair "made him feel very manly" (his words).

Well, it seems that the truth has come out. The affair did not make him feel manly. It broke my heart to read these words that he spoke concerning this very thing a couple of days ago.

The article about this celebrity man stated that he admitted that he cried when sleeping with someone ot…

The Only Girl In The World...

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The number 5 song on iTunes most downloaded singles is the new song by Rihanna called Only Girl In The World.

When I first heard the song, I liked it a lot, its a fun song but it was the lyrics that really got me. In the chorus she sings the cry of the human heart- the longing for exclusive love-- she sings (and it's yet another example that the desire for lasting and exclusive love is written in the heart of every person)


"Want you to make me feel like I’m the only girl in the world
Like I’m the only one that you’ll ever love
Like I’m the only one who knows your heart
Only girl in the world…
Like I’m the only one that’s in command
Cuz I’m the only one who understands, like I’m the only one who knows your heart, only one…"


Please notice that, contrary to what society tells us- (that we can be with many people in many ways and it doesn't matter because we have no deeper yearnings), Rihanna is singing about wanting to be the only woman in the heart of this man. She wan…

Beautiful Girls Part 2...

Good morning :) A friend of mine sent this to me and I thought it was very beautiful and holy. We live in a world that tells us to hate ourselves, what we look like, and our very being. We are told that we are "too much" or "not enough" but that is untrue.

The antidote for this worldly poison is not more plastic surgery or yet another diet. The antidote is the receiving the truth of who we really are in the eyes of God, the only eyes that matter.....

Bless you, enjoy your day.- Happy Friday

Life is Sweet and Short

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We went to the Seattle Art Museum today to see the Picasso exhibit. There is much to say about that in and of itself but another painting by an entirely different artist from a different era truly caught my eye and captured my heart.


One of the galleries in the museum is entitled Darkness Into Light and it features several paintings done in a sort of  "Caravaggio-style", dramatic uses of light and darkness within the painting.

This painting that caught my eye is not one of Caravaggio but of a Flemish woman (exceeding rare at the time to be a working female artist) named Michaelina Woutiers.

The name of this work is Boys Blowing Bubbles (seen here at right) and I stood there before the painting for quite some time just looking at it. The painting is quiet and deep and peaceful.

Obviously posting it on this small space does not do it justice.

And as I read the explanation of the symbolism of the painting, I pondered it for the rest of the day.

At first glance perhaps the pain…

Conspiracy Theory

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con·spir·a·cy<a href="http://dictionary.reference.com/audio.html/lunaWAV/C07/C0776400" target="_blank"><img src="http://sp.dictionary.com/dictstatic/g/d/speaker.gif" border="0" alt="conspiracy pronunciatio/kənˈspɪrəsi/Show Sp [kuhn-spir-uh-see] –noun,plural-cies.1. theactofconspiring. 2. anevil,unlawful,treacherous,orsurreptitiousplanformulatedinsecretbytwoormorepersons;plot.  I just finished reading Dr. Bernard Nathanson's book, The Hand of God, A Journey from Death to Life by the Abortion Doctor Who Changed His Mind.
One word: Wow. 
I don't think I have enough space (or enough reader interest) to share all of my thoughts on this amazing and brutally honest work. But I must tell you one thing:
Read this book.
I was astounded at the conspiracy that took place to bring about the legalization of abortion in this country. I deeply commend Dr. Nathanson for his honest reflection of his life leading up to his aggressive promotion and pr…

Sr. Miriam's November Speaking Schedule *Updated*

Howdy folks, here is the November speaking schedule-


Thursday November 4th- Kennedy High School, Vocations Panel, AM

Saturday November 6th- Holy Family Kirkland, Family Life Conference, afternoon TOB Presentations to Junior and Senior High School students

Sunday November 7th- Bellevue Community College, Archdiocesan Youth Conference, 9am Keynote Address on Transformation in Christ, 10:15am Mega Workshop on Discernment

Saturday November 20th- Monroe, WA, Discernment Retreat for UW, afternoon

Puffy Taco Trauma

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You may have heard (okay, you probably haven't) that in the history of the San Antonio Missions minor league baseball team, there has been only one child, ONE, who has ever failed to take down their mascot, Henry the Puffy Taco (seen here in deep thought)


At every game, a young, bright eyed youth is chosen among the screaming throng to RACE THE PUFFY TACO to home plate.

Alas, every child but one, ONE, has tackled the seemingly helpless taco along the third base line before Henry the Puffy Taco reaches home.

Who knows what happened that fateful night when a young Randolph Neuenfeldt failed to pounce upon the squishy entree. Were dreams shattered? Was hope lost?


No longer.

Now as a grown man, Mr. Neuenfeldt was invited back to conquer the one serving he let pass by....would he prevail?

Would he finally conquer the Puffy Taco Test?

OR

Would he suffer Puffy Taco Trauma forever?

Watch with anticipation.......




Dream big, folks. Dream big.

National Catholic Register Article

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I would like to thank my friend Trent Beattie for writing such a kind and gracious article about yours truly that appears in this week's National Catholic Register. 




You're My Beloved...

I LOVE this song by 10th Avenue North entitled, "Beloved". It brings tears to my eyes whenever i hear it. This is the love we are all longing for and it tells me that the person who wrote this song has a very deep interior life.

You are beloved, forever and always.

10th Avenue North will be performing live in Seattle tomorrow night at the Mars Hill Church, Ballard.

Drink this truth in and live!!

Who Said Slavery Was Dead?

Another jarring reminder that slavery is alive and well in the world. In the year 2000, the buying and selling of humans was the 3rd largest money maker in the world, following drugs and guns.

If there was ever a time for Theology of the Body, that time is now.

N.Y. Sex Traffickers Branding Girls, D.A. Says

Empty...

Here is a deep song by Ray Lamontagne. It's a song for the mature and it's called "Empty."

He sings of the yearning for "more." Many times in life we can be "full" of everything we think we will satisfy us and we still feel something lacking within. This "ache", this yearning, is for God. We yearn for more than this world can give us, and that's how it's supposed to be. We only reap frustration and pain when we continually try to stuff ourselves with things of the world, expecting them to quench the "fire inside."

Will we always feel this way? Only temporarily.

Eternal satisfaction is close at hand.




Empty

She lifts her skirt up to her knees,
walks through the garden rows with her bare feet, laughing.
I never learned to count my blessings,
I choose instead to dwell in my disasters.
I walk on down the hill,
through grass, grown tall and brown
and still its hard somehow to let go of my pain.
On past the busted back of that …

The Lover Seeks the Beloved

I came across this song a couple of days ago. Yet another secular example of the deep desire to find the Beloved and please the Beloved. We may continually fall short, but we desire an all consuming love and knowledge of the Beloved, a small spark of the THE perfect love we yearn for. Love it!




"I Wanna Know"

Yeah, oh yeah
Alright, oh, oh, oh

It's amazing how you knock me off my feet, hmm
Everytime you come around me I get weak, oh yeah
Nobody ever made me feel this way, oh
You kiss my lips and then you take my breath away
So I wanna know

[1] - I wanna know what turns you on
So I can be all that and more
I'd like to know what makes you cry
So I can be the one who always makes you smile

Girl he never understood what you were worth, hmm no
And he never took the time to make it work
(You deserve more loving, girl)
Baby I'm the kind of man who shows concern, yes I do, oh
Anyway that I can please you let me learn
So I wanna know

[Repeat 1]

[2] - Tell me what I gotta do to…

Seen on the Streets....

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Seen on the billboards of Seattle:
Planned Parenthood adspace soliciting MONEY (because $1 billion in revenues at the cost of millions of human lives apparently isn't enough) featuring a picture of two young, smiling women- one a "doctor", the other a supposed "patient" together with HUGE WORDS:

OUR PATIENTS NEED YOUR HELP!

For once, I couldn't agree more.


Read more about the truth of racism and planned parenthood at www.toomanyaborted.com

Beautiful Girls...

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What is beauty?

It's scientifically proven that beauty, symmetry, holds our attention longer than asymmetry. Babies stare at pictures of beautiful people longer than they look pictures of "unattractive" people. And perhaps when we think of beauty, the crown of beauty on earth is the beauty of a woman.

Jason Evert, in his book Theology of His/Her Body, explains this reality when he says that women are the earthly reflection of Divine Beauty. He says that one day we will meet God, Eternal Beauty, face to face but until that time, women are the visible creation of Divine Beauty, so it's no wonder that we find women so attractive.

Bishop Fulton Sheen would often encourage young women to practice what he called an "Apostolate of Beauty". He told young women that they have a very powerful gift of beauty that has been given to them by God and that they can use that gift to bring people to God.

And it is, just as with any other gift, women can use their beauty to he…