Miraculous Spiral Staircase of Lorreto

Snopes says it is "false," but doesn't really lay out a strong case for such a definitive judgment.  While they do raise some cause for concern or doubt, nothing in the Snopes article conclusively disproves the alleged miraculous nature of the spiral staircase at Lorreto, NM.
As the story goes, when the chapel was built it was left with no access to the choir loft.  The nuns were going to just use a ladder to access the loft, but seeking a better solution they did a novena (nine days of prayers) to St. Joseph.  On the ninth day, a man on a donkey with a toolbox showed up looking for work.  He designed and built the spiral staircase, alone, and without the use of nails OR a central support!  The railing was not part of the original staircase.  When the carpenter finished, he left without receiving payment.  It remains a mystery as to who the craftsman was - some surmise it was St. Joseph himself who answered the prayers of the nuns - others say it may have been Jesus who would have acquired the trade from St. Joseph as He was growing up, and prior to His public ministry which didn't start until He was 30. 

Again, even though Snopes says this is "false," there really isn't ANY evidence to disprove the miraculous explanation to this staircase.  Yes, they explain some of the technical aspects, but not who this carpenter was and the fact he did it alone and the matter of no visible means of support (the side support they mention does not give vertical support, only horizontal stability).  The "honest" assessment from Snopes SHOULD be that it is "inconclusive" to prove one way or the other.

Fourth Sunday of Advent

The Fourth Sunday of Advent!  The Christ Mass is almost here!  With the first Mass of Christmas beings the REAL Christmas Season!  Most consider the Advent Season to be the Christmas Season, but in reality Christmas is from that first Mass of Christmas and lasts through Epiphany in many traditions, or through Candlemas in others.  So, don't be in too much of a hurry, to take down your decorations!

Gaude Sunday, Third Sunday of Advent

Similar to the Lenten season's Lautare Sunday, Gaude Sunday is "Joyful" during our Advent time of penance and anticipation.  The joy of the Lord is our strength (Neh. 8:10) and this Sunday and week of Advent we look to that strength and joy with confidence in the coming of our Lord and Savior.  We light the third candle, the pink one, with joy in our hearts.  Again, Advent is a time of preparation for the coming of the Lord.  We celebrate the culmination of Advent in the Christ Mass and at the same time our readings and teachings are about the Second Coming of Christ.  Let us not lose sight of the true meaning of Christ Mass.

Jesus Christ came to us in a manger and just before He died on the Cross for our sins, He gave us the Mass.

Jesus Christ comes to us still, in every valid Mass.

Jesus Christ will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead.

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Person of the Year

Time Magazine names Pope Francis "Person of the Year."

The Principle

Well, Robert Sungenis is Executive Producer of a new documentary...  watch the video, and then I will continue with my thoughts below it...
First of all, I'm rather impressed with the panel of commentators he's assembled for this documentary.  The narrator is Kate Mulgrew (Captain Janeway from "Voyager").
One of the commentators is noted scientist, often seen on The Science Channel, Michio Kaku:
I'm sure some of you will recognize others in the trailer as well.

So, what's this documentary all about?  Geocentricism.  Bob has long been a proponent of geocentrism, which "physically" is a non-science.  The universe does not physically revolve around the Earth, however it seems in this new documentary (slated for release in Spring of 2014) the approach does not seem to be quite so much on the literally physical center of the universe - as in everything revolving around our little Earth; rather it appears they are saying that all things in the universe appear to point toward Earth.  The Earth is in a rather unique spot in all the universe, the only spot which can sustain life.

My first thought?  I'm impressed.  Now, I would really like to see the rest of the documentary.  What are these scientists saying, in context?  What is Bob saying, in context?

Feel free to leave your comments here, I'm sure Bob is watching too.  Bob also has a Facebook page for this documentary:  https://www.facebook.com/theprinciplemovie and he has a website for it too:

ARSH Notation

I don't know if you've seen it yet, but some out there are actively combating the date notation of "CE" (Common Era) and not wishing to stick with "AD" (Anno Domini - the Year of our Lord).  So a different notation is being used, "ARSH" (Anno Reparatae Salutis Humanae - which means "In The Year Of The Reparation Of Human Salvation").

One blogger I found is approaching this as a more "in your face" approach to the pagan "CE" notation, his article can be found here:  http://brass-and-lead.blogspot.com/2013/06/june-6th-arsh-2013.html
Addendum:  I just realized that William (brass-and-lead.blogspot.com) reposted from the following blog  by Ann Barnhardt:   
So, what do you think?  AD or ARSH?  Will or could or should "ARSH" catch on?


December 10, ARSH 2013

Second Sunday in Advent

Preparing the way of the Lord
John the Baptist could be the central figure in today’s homily. He prepared the way for the people of his time to understand the good news of their salvation. That is the way God normally works; He sends the message of salvation to us through each other. As St Paul once put it, how can people know the truth about God if they have never heard it; and how can they hear if nobody is sent to them?
Jesus found his first disciples among those who were influenced by the preaching of John the Baptist. He had showed them the value of self-control and of prayer; he urged them to listen to the inner voice of God, with repentance and a faithful heart. The high point of John’s short ministry was his meeting with Jesus. Not only did he get to baptise Our Lord but he also helped some of his own followers to go with Jesus and become the first Christian disciples. Through him, Andrew and his brother Peter, and Philip and Nathanael became apostles of Jesus.
Clearly, God wishes us Christians also to help help other people to know and love him. If in the first place, we were more committed to our own Christian calling, we would be more effective in influencing others towards religious commitment. Parents have the first opportunity to point their children towards God. But their words will only be effective when backed up by the actual example of their own faith and prayer.
People can influence others, for good or ill, in all sorts of ways. A special kind of influence rests with the journalists and opinion-formers who work in the media, press, radio and television and through the internet. But ordinary people outside the media can also influence the views and values of those with whom they talk and live. When looked at in light of today’s Gospel, does our way of speaking and behaving in any way help others to share our values, or do we confirm their suspicion that this world is a selfish and cynical place?
And what about fostering vocations to the priesthood and religious life, or to some active form of church service? The ability of our Church to go on as a visible, organised community continuing in the prayer-life and values of Jesus is under serious question today. But if enough people open their hearts to God’s work, as did John the Baptist and those first disciples, Andrew and Philip and Peter, then a way will be found to keep the world aware of the saving message of Christ.

Happy Santa Day!

So, is it harmful to let your children grow up believing there is a Santa Claus?  Those who have been following this blog for a number of years know that I do not have a problem with this!  Why?  Because Santa Claus was a REAL person!  No, he was not the commercialized Coca-Cola Santa, or the Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer Santa, but he was the Catholic Bishop of Myra - and he did give gifts!  If we wipe away the commercialism of Santa, the "spirit of giving" or the "Christmas spirit" is the "Spirit of St. Nicholas!"  We keep that spirit going in giving gifts.

Then there's the story of the "Kneeling Santa" - which is an interesting spin on this, you can find that here:  http://www.catholiccompany.com/emails/111009Kneeling%20Santa.html

Patrick Madrid did his "Right Here, Right Now" podcast on December 4, 2013 on this topic too, give it a listen:

And don't forget!  TODAY (Dec. 6th) is the Feast of St. Nicholas!  Bring your children home a gift in honor of St. Nicholas!

TBN Founder, Paul Crouch, Dies

Paul Crouch, along with his wife, Jan, founded TBN back in 1973.  One of their first branches out from their home-base in California was in Phoenix, Arizona.  "Channel 21" on UHF was a favorite channel for me to watch back then (I was a Protestant until 1988).  I liked most of the programming on their channel, though some of the programs were a bit far-fetched, and even seemed fraudulent in their alleged "healing" services.  But watching Praise the Lord with Paul and Jan was always a favorite for me.

As I entered into adulthood in the late 70's and early 80's, I even financially supported their ministry.  After hearing about people like Jim Bakker, etc. who squandered money and lived a lavish life-style - the Crouch family seemed to be a breath of fresh air.  After my conversion to Catholicism in 1988 I rarely watched them anymore and now with Paul's death I am reading about 13 mansions, private jets and even the cover-up of a sexual assault within the family.  I am saddened even more by this.

First Week of Advent

Happy New Year!  It is the liturgical New Year for the Church! 

For Advent we begin the preparation of the season of the Incarnation.  During this season we are reminded that Christ not only came in history, but also comes in mystery - at every validly celebrated Mass - and will come again in majesty.  

We are reminded that the world will end, and Christ - in majesty - will come to judge the living and the dead.  No man knows the hour, or even the day, month or year of this coming - but we know He will come again as He promised.  While we do not know the exact timing of His coming, we were told to watch for the signs - and we may be seeing them.  We are not to be overly anxious for knowing the day, we should live each day as if it is today.  Be prepared, as the 5 wise virgins - and not ill-prepared as the 5 foolish virgins (Matthew 25:1-13).  Keep in mind, the 5 foolish virgins were "believers" but were not ready for the time when the Bridegroom came.  While they were gone to get more oil, the Bridegroom came and they found themselves locked out of the Wedding Feast.

This week we look forward in HOPE of his coming.  The season is in anticipation of both His first and second comings.  I recently posted on Faith, Hope and Charity - and that Hope tends to be the weakest of the three, not getting exercised as much.  In this week of the liturgical year we are especially reminded to have HOPE and exercise that hope!

Feast of the Assumption

 The Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary - another example of "not-so-ordinary" days! These are COUNTING days - and...