31 agosto 2006

Galatians 6:7-8
Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption; but he who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.

In this verse, we have encapsulated the entire Catholic teaching concerning the idea of "merit." Many people think that when the Church speaks of "merit" she means "extra good deeds you do to make up for Jesus' inadequate efforts at atonement for sin." But this is to completely misunderstand the Church's teaching.

In reality, everything that we do that contributes to our salvation is the result of the grace of Christ, not a supplement to or a cause of grace. And such "things we do" are exactly what St. Paul means by "sowing to the Spirit".

Such "sowing to the Spirit" (for example, seeking God consistently in prayer, or doing the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, or faithfully approaching the sacraments) is not a thing we do to put God in our debt.

It is a thing we do because God is at work in us already and inspiring us to obey him. When we do obey him (of our own free will) we mysteriously discover that we have gotten "bigger inside" and have a greater capacity for his grace. That is, we "from the Spirit reap eternal life".

And so the process continues throughout our lives, growing in grace, responding to grace, receiving more grace till we are fully conformed to the image of Christ. Today, sow to the Spirit. You will reap eternal life.

~ Jeff Cavins & Mark Shea

21 agosto 2006

If Milan wins Thursday.... we could be in for a treat!

Progress for AC Milan in Europe will lead to Ronaldo bid

August 21, 2006
ROME (AFP) - AC Milan will officially bid for Real Madrid's Brazilian striker Ronaldo if they reach the group stages of the Champions League.

According to Monday's Gazzetta dello Sport, Milan officials will fly directly to Madrid from Serbia to start negotiations for the 29-year-old former Inter Milan forward if the club overcome Red Star Belgrade in Tuesday's third round qualifier.

Milan, who have been allowed to participate in European competition despite being found guilty last month of match-fixing, lead the Serbs 1-0 after the first leg at the San Siro a fortnight ago.

The Gazzetta reports that the 10 million euro (13 million dollar) windfall that Milan will receive if they qualify for the Champions League's first phase will help finance the move for Ronaldo.

Real Madrid have made no secret of the fact they would like to sign Kaka from Milan, but Ronaldo's Brazil international team-mate is unlikely to be part of any eventual deal, the paper said.

Kaka is one of Milan's most prized assets and the club have repeatedly stated that the player is staying put.

Ronaldo, who joined Real Madrid from Inter Milan four years ago, was a World Cup winner with Brazil in 1994 and 2002.

In 1994 he was a non-playing squad member, but he scored both goals in the 2002 final victory over Germany.

Ronaldo has won three FIFA World Player of the Year award three times, in 1996, 1997 and 2002).


18 agosto 2006

More liberal nonsense at the U.N.

Sexual and Reproductive Health Roils UN Conference on the Disabled

By Susan Yoshihara PhD

(NEW YORK — C-FAM) The government of Nicaragua led a charge of 23 nations at UN headquarters this week objecting to the inclusion of “sexual and reproductive health services” in what will become a treaty on the rights of the disabled. Nicaragua’s UN Ambassador objected to the phrase because he said it was vague and undefined. He also called the phrase too controversial to include in the document.

Negotiators are meeting in New York for what they hope will be the final two weeks of a multi-year negotiation that will lead to a hard-law treaty protecting the rights of the disabled. Following Nicaragua’s objection was a wide range of governments including United States, Honduras, Egypt, Costa Rica, Bangladesh, Tanzania, Tunisia, Qatar, Kenya, and the Philippines. In a move that surprised everyone in the room even usually liberal Norway joined in the objection to including “sexual and reproductive health services” into the document.

The controversial nature of the phrase is that though the UN has never defined the phrase, it has been used by radical non-governmental organizations and by some UN committees to get governments to legalize abortion. “Reproductive health” has only ever been defined once as including abortion and that was in the non-binding document produced by the Cairo Conference on Population and Development. It has never been defined in a hard-law treaty which would be binding on nations that ratify.

Despite the overwhelming opposition, the committee chair, Ambassador Donald McKay of New Zealand, insisted that nations continue to negotiate the matter. Peter Smith, UN representative of the London based Society for the Protection of Unborn Children remarked “even the chairman seems to be negotiating.” Traditionally in UN meetings if even a few countries object to certain language it is removed since the UN works by consensus. It was clear as the afternoon progressed that the chairman wanted to retain the controversial language even though so many countries objected. At one point he was even admonished by the Egyptian delegate for not remaining impartial.

A number of governments spoke in favor of the language, including the European Union, Canada, Peru, Cuba, and Brazil.

Another surprising development at this negotiation was the active participation of non-governmental organizations in the actual governmental negotiation. Traditionally, NGOs are allowed into the room and are allowed to press their case with delegates between sessions. In this meeting, however, the chairman is allowing NGOs to speak during negotiations on the specific paragraph being negotiated, just like governments.

The other controversial language the negotiators have to decide by the end of next week is whether the disabled have to the right to “experience their sexuality.” Though one knows what this phrase really means, it is being supported by the European Union and other liberal governments. In negotiations Thursday afternoon, 21 countries objected to this phrase.

It is likely that the debate on these phrases will continue into next week and will likely not be decided until the wee hours on the final day.

17 agosto 2006

The common denominator of Soteriology

Something to think about..

You know, Catholics and Protestants, in many respects, are not as different as one might suppose. In other respects, they are worlds apart. But this is one of those similarities.

Coming from an evangelical Protestant background I have come to see this on a practical level in this way; God can be trusted to keep up His end, and so if at anytime I find myself away from God, it was me who moved, not God. Thus I have an absolute assurance with respect to God. He will always be there. This same principle applies with respect to the grace of the sacraments. The grace is always available but our disposition to receive determines the grace that we do receive.

Balthasar's concept of the dynamic relationship is very useful as well in avoiding the problem Luther had, ie. scrupulosity. It may be truthful and accurate to say that no Catholic knows absolutely that he is in a state of grace, such that if he died this moment he would be saved, but practically speaking, if one dwells on that too much, one could go as crazy as Luther.

That doctrine is really saying that only God truly knows the heart and when push comes to shove even a Protestant proponent of eternal security will avoid being cornered by giving God the ultimate judgement as to someone's salvation, if only to explain some high profile apostates and those who have lived a sinful life after conversion.

That being said, it is the uncertainty that motivates us to re-examine our conscience regularly, seek the graces available to us through Holy Mother Church, make every effort to live a holy life of charity. And we usually know, if we are spending any time in prayer and meditation, if we have crossed the line into sin that can jeopardize our salvation.

Posted on IgnatiusInsight Blog by "Les" Thursday, August 17, 2006 at 12:42 AM

16 agosto 2006

Racial profiling

Great statement I read from a British writer, discussing the idiocy of banning all forms of profiling when protecting planes from terrorism.

The anti-profiling argument is like saying if the police keep pulling in fat, shaven-headed, white troglodytes covered in tattoos, England’s football hooligans will cleverly start recruiting from the ranks of hip, urbane black people who are all itching to get hopelessly pissed, sing “No surrender to the IRA” and be tear-gassed by the Carabinieri. Nonsense. In the event of racial profiling, there will be no Mid-Surrey Branch of al-Qaeda forming on the hoof. As for cunning disguises, we know them. There are two looks: beard on and beard off. Call me fanciful, but when Mohammed Atta imagined his meeting with the Almighty and his many virgins, he did not picture himself done up like Mrs Doubtfire. The quicker we can get the white matrons through, the more thoroughly we can check those that by age, race, behaviour or appearance fit what is becoming not so much a profile as a cliché.

~ Martin Samuels www.timesonline.co.uk

Squadra Azzurra

Update on the world's best players!

Italy's World Cup players still enjoying summer break

By ANDREW ROBERTS, Associated Press Writer
August 16, 2006

LIVORNO, Italy (AP) -- Summer break probably never felt so good for Italy's World Cup players, and it isn't over yet.

Despite international soccer's return this week, almost all the players who helped Italy win its fourth World Cup title will still be enjoying the warm weather before rejoining the squad for 2008 European Championship qualifying early next month.

"It was an incredible year, but also tiresome," Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro said. "The joy of winning the World Cup certainly made the dedication worthwhile, though."

Several players, including Cannavaro, Andrea Pirlo and Fabio Grosso, spent some of their vacation on the island of Sardinia, the haunt of many of Italy's rich and famous.

Marcello Lippi, who stepped down as coach after the tournament in Germany, went to Valencia, Spain, to mull over his next challenge. He spent most of his time fishing on the Mediterranean, however.

Others traveled around the globe, some to Australia, others to French Polynesia. Mauro Camoranesi, born in Argentina, returned to the South American country to spend his free time.

One player, defender Marco Materazzi, traveled to the Maldives, his usual vacation spot. But the man who was on the receiving end of Zinedine Zidane's head butt won't have to worry about returning to Italy's camp soon -- he's been suspended for the first two matches of the qualifying campaign for what he said to Zidane.

While most of the players had time to relish their run to the title in Germany just a few weeks ago, they also had to worry about their professional future.

A match-fixing scandal in Italy forced the demotion of Juventus, and penalties to AC Milan, Lazio and Fiorentina. Only Milan will be allowed to play in European competitions this season.

All four teams will start the season with negative points.

Cannavaro and Juventus teammate Gianluca Zambrotta both decided to leave Italy for Spain. Cannavaro will play for Real Madrid under former Juventus coach Fabio Capello, while Zambrotta will take the field for FC Barcelona.

Cannavaro is already ready to hoist another cup: the Champions League.

"I'm 33 years old and I've only gone so far as the semifinals," Cannavaro said. "My goal is to play the final with Real Madrid and win the cup."

Camoranesi called his agent to say he didn't want to play in Serie B, but he apparently changed his mind.

Both Alessandro Del Piero and Gianluigi Buffon committed themselves to Juventus before the team was demoted. Del Piero, mostly used as a substitute last season, should get more playing time this year.

Fiorentina striker Luca Toni, the league's leading scorer last season, also considered leaving his team, but decided to stay in Florence after speaking to team owner Diego Della Valle on his return from Thailand.

Lazio also managed to hold on to goalkeeper Angelo Peruzzi and defender Massimo Oddo.

AC Milan, playing in the Champions League and docked only eight points for next season, kept Pirlo, Alessandro Nesta, Gennaro Gattuso, Alberto Gilardino and Filippo Inzaghi.

Grosso moved from Palermo to Inter Milan before the World Cup started.


Milan fans, are you kidding me?

OK, I am not a longtime tifoso di Milano, ma non lo capisco.... Sheva plays on a different team now. He is part of that team and no longer Milan. And they are "offended" and demand an apology? I think that is absurd, and THIS Milan fan wishes Shevchenko the best with his new team.

Shevchenko sorry he offended Milan fans
By Timothy Collings

LONDON, Aug 14 (Reuters) - Chelsea striker Andrei Shevchenko said on Monday he had no intention of upsetting AC Milan fans when he kissed his new club's badge after scoring against Liverpool in Sunday's Community Shield fixture.

The Ukrainian told reporters at a news conference that he had no idea of what he was doing when he celebrated after equalising in the match Chelsea lost 2-1. Milan fans were reported to have been offended by his gesture.

"Really, I am telling you the truth that the only shirt I kiss is the one of my country," he said. "That is the one that matters for me.

"I don't know what I am doing when I celebrate a goal. It was not my intention to upset anyone at all.

"In Milan, it was like my family. I won over the supporters with the quality of my game, my football, and I was there for seven years.

"I won them over not with my celebrations or with any gestures at all, but with hard work and my ability on the pitch and I want to do the same thing at Chelsea," he said at a Reebok sponsorship event.

Shevchenko, who will be 30 next month, joined Chelsea from Milan in a 30 million pound ($56.65 million) transfer before the World Cup in Germany where he was captain of Ukraine in their first appearance in the finals.

He said he was delighted to score in Sunday's match.

"I am relieved to have scored my first (Chelsea) goal, but I am sorry it was not enough for Chelsea to win," he said.

He said he was impressed with the crowd. "The fans here showed great respect for the players and the atmosphere was really great."


15 agosto 2006

Tutti i goal italia!

Best video ever!

Italian triumph rekindles love affair
14 July 2006
by FIFAworldcup.com

Over the last few days, while Italy has been recovering from its collective FIFA World Cup™ hangover, an advert has been running on Italian TV with the slogan 'The World Cup is like meeting someone special: it happens once every four years'.
In fact, Germany 2006 was rather like the renewal of a friendship with an old flame which quite unexpectedly became a love affair all over again. For Italians everywhere, after 24 years the butterflies of an unforgettable Spanish summer returned.

On the eve of the 2006 FIFA World Cup, the Nazionale unwittingly found itself the subject of worldwide attention for all the wrong reasons. Four of Italy's leading clubs were implicated in the calciopoli scandal, which was rocking the domestic game to its core. Captain Fabio Cannavaro, goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon and even coach Marcello Lippi were brought in for questioning by the authorities in relation to the ever-widening investigation into corruption in the game.

These events prompted the Azzurri squad to close ranks. Lippi, strengthened by his seasons of top-class experience with Juventus, had laid the foundations of a strong squad during his two years in charge, and the unfortunate off-field developments only served to strengthen the group further.

His Italy team was built on a superb goalkeeper and defence, complemented by a well-organised midfield and an attack which despite lacking one out-and-out star boasted six very good players. Francesco Totti, Alessandro Del Piero, Alberto Gilardino, Vincenzo Iaquinta and Filippo Inzaghi all scored once during the course of the campaign, with Luca Toni finding the net twice.

There were various turning points in the tournament, the most important of which, in Lippi’s view, was finishing top of a difficult Group E, thanks to the win against the Czech Republic in Hamburg. The victory came late on in a game which began badly for Italy.
Pavel Nedved caused them all sorts of problems early on and Buffon was called upon to perform miracles in goal before Alessandro Nesta was forced off injured (he would play no further part in the tournament). But his replacement Marco Materazzi proved to be the difference, scoring the opening goal which paved the way for an all-important win.

Having earned four points from their first two group matches against Ghana in Hannover and the USA in Kaiserslautern, the Italians now progressed to the knockout phase aware that reaching the Final was not beyond them. The slow-starting French had finished second behind Switzerland in their section, leaving an undaunting-looking path to the latter stages.

The Round of 16 match against Australia at Kaiserslautern was a dramatic affair decided by a last-gasp penalty won by Fabio Grosso. Totti provided the cool finish in the 93rd minute of a game that had seen Italy reduced to ten men 40 minutes earlier. Fortunately for the Azzurri, the quarter-final against Ukraine in Hamburg was a much more comfortable ride, ending 3-0 to Lippi’s men.

The stage was thus set for the semi-final against Germany in Dortmund, and what would turn out to be one of the most memorable matches in recent FIFA World Cup history. Italy played well in the first half, but the Germans got back into the game after the break. The tie moved into extra time with both sides moving like heavyweight boxers no longer able to think clearly enough to keep their guard up.
Whoever could land the first punch would win, and Grosso was the one to deliver the knockout blow. The dashing wing-back found space inside the area and after Andrea Pirlo had cleverly played him in, he curled the ball home. Del Piero then ended the contest by finishing off a superb counterattack.

France had been avoided at the quarter-final stage but had to be faced in the Final. Zinedine Zidane scored almost straight away from the penalty spot but Italy dominated the first half and deservedly equalised through Materazzi. The second half and then extra time were a real test of Italian resolve but Gennaro Gattuso worked relentlessly to keep his side in the game.

Their attack was showing little sign of life, so it was up to the defence to resist the impressive French and hold out for penalties. And so it was that everything came down to those very spot-kicks that had shattered Italian dreams so many times in the past.

For once, each of Italy’s penalties was perfectly dispatched. Even Daniele De Rossi, returning to the side after a four-match suspension, made no mistake. Pirlo and Materazzi both scored, while Del Piero kept his nerve for the fourth. Then it was Grosso’s turn and somehow you could just tell he was going to score. It is always easy to say in hindsight but by now it was obvious that, after all this time, it was time for Italy to embrace football again. It was clear, as Cannavaro lifted that famous Trophy flanked by his team-mates, that Italy’s love affair with football had been rekindled.

After the celebrations at the Circus Maximus in Rome, Lippi decided to hand over his legacy and the Italian Football Federation chose Roberto Donadoni as his successor. A former Azzurri midfielder himself and veteran of the 1990 and 1994 FIFA World Cups, Donadoni has a hard act to live up to.

14 agosto 2006

Pope Benedict XVI on Beauty

An excerpt from The Feeling of Things, the Contemplation of Beauty, his 2002 Message to the Communion and Liberation community, back when he was known as Cardinal Ratzinger:

The experience of the beautiful has received new depth and new realism. The One who is the Beauty itself let himself be slapped in the face, spat upon, crowned with thorns; the Shroud of Turin can help us imagine this in a realistic way. However, in his Face that is so disfigured, there appears the genuine, extreme beauty: the beauty of love that goes "to the very end"; for this reason it is revealed as greater than falsehood and violence. Whoever has perceived this beauty knows that truth, and not falsehood, is the real aspiration of the world. It is not the false that is "true," but indeed, the Truth.

It is, as it were, a new trick of what is false to present itself as "truth" and to say to us: over and above me there is basically nothing, stop seeking or even loving the truth; in doing so you are on the wrong track. The icon of the crucified Christ sets us free from this deception that is so widespread today. However it imposes a condition: that we let ourselves be wounded by him, and that we believe in the Love who can risk setting aside his external beauty to proclaim, in this way, the truth of the beautiful.

Falsehood however has another strategem. A beauty that is deceptive and false, a dazzling beauty that does not bring human beings out of themselves to open them to the ecstasy of rising to the heights, but indeed locks them entirely into themselves. Such beauty does not reawaken a longing for the Ineffable, readiness for sacrifice, the abandonment of self, but instead stirs up the desire, the will for power, possession and pleasure. It is that type of experience of beauty of which Genesis speaks in the account of the Original Sin. Eve saw that the fruit of the tree was "beautiful" to eat and was "delightful to the eyes."

The beautiful, as she experienced it, aroused in her a desire for possession, making her, as it were, turn in upon herself. Who would not recognize, for example, in advertising, the images made with supreme skill that are created to tempt the human being irresistibly, to make him want to grab everything and seek the passing satisfaction rather than be open to others.

So it is that Christian art today is caught between two fires (as perhaps it always has been): It must oppose the cult of the ugly, which says that everything beautiful is a deception and only the representation of what is crude, low and vulgar is the truth, the true illumination of knowledge. Or it has to counter the deceptive beauty that makes the human being seem diminished instead of making him great, and for this reason is false.

Is there anyone who does not know Dostoyevsky's often-quoted sentence: "The Beautiful will save us"? However, people usually forget that Dostoyevsky is referring here to the redeeming Beauty of Christ. We must learn to see him. If we know him, not only in words, but if we are struck by the arrow of his paradoxical beauty, then we will truly know him, and know him not only because we have heard others speak about him. Then we will have found the beauty of Truth, of the Truth that redeems. Nothing can bring us into close contact with the beauty of Christ himself other than the world of beauty created by faith and light that shines out from the faces of the saints, through whom his own light becomes visible.

10 agosto 2006

New UN Human Rights Treaty Threatens to Include Abortion

As always, the culture of death of modern liberalism is trying to legislate it's own morality through euphemismtic "rights." (Like, right to kill your children). This time though, it is at the international treaty level, which is DANGEROUS.

New UN Human Rights Treaty Threatens to Include Abortion

By Susan Yoshihara PhD

(NEW YORK - C-FAM) United Nations delegates will assemble in New York on Monday to finalize a new human rights treaty. The International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities will be “hard” international law, joining other human rights instruments which are binding on the countries that ratify them. Most documents negotiated at the UN are non-binding. Treaties, such as this one, require governments to change their domestic laws based on the treaty.

Conservative legal experts have complained that the draft text contains ambiguous and undefined language – such as “reproductive health,” the right to “experience sexuality,” and the right to “have sexual and other intimate relationships” -- that has never before appeared in a treaty-level document. They note that the current text provides virtually no protection for the disabled from euthanasia due to a perceived diminishment in their quality of life. These experts caution that if delegates do not challenge the current text, there will be no safeguards against the worst outcomes – including the creation of new and enforceable rights such as the right to death and an unrestricted right to abortion.

The UN meeting from August 14-25 will be the eighth session in a process that began in December 2001 when the UN General Assembly established an ad hoc committee for the convention. The Chairman of the meeting, former UN ambassador Donald McKay of New Zealand, has announced that it may be the last session. Even though many of the most contentious issues in the convention have been left unresolved.

Some delegations have questioned why the meeting should rush to make a law in the 8th session out of something, in this case "reproductive health", that has not yet been defined. They argue that it is dangerous to include poorly defined or undefined language that will become international human rights law, and the phrase therefore should be defined as excluding abortion or deleted all together.

One governmental delegate told the Friday Fax that delegates have gotten so used to seeing these undefined terms in lower level documents that they have come to ascribe their own meaning to the terms in accordance with their national laws or personal understanding. For that reason, there are various interpretations of the terms – some that include abortion and others that do not.

In the past, nations have gotten around the issue by making reservations when the term appeared in the non-binding declarations, such as the Cairo and Beijing conferences on population and women or their follow-up sessions. Because the treaty will be binding upon states parties, however, there is no reason to expect that national definitions will provide protection for nations who disagree with interpretations that run counter to their own when the treaty enters the compliance and implementation phase.

Red Star out to settle score with AC Milan

The Rossineri better watch out in Belgrade!

Red Star out to settle score with AC Milan

By Zoran Milosavljevic

BELGRADE, Aug 10 (Reuters) - Club president Dragan Stojkovic believes Red Star Belgrade can knock AC Milan out of the Champions League qualifiers when the Italians face the "inferno" of the Serbians' Marakana ground.

Stojkovic, who scored both Red Star's goals against Milan in a 1988 European Cup tie, was upbeat despite his side losing Wednesday's third round, first leg 1-0 at San Siro.

"We have every reason to hope we can defy the odds and qualify for the Champions League," he was quoted as telling popular daily Sportski Zurnal on Thursday.

"Milan know very well that an inferno awaits them at our Marakana ground, they've been there before."

Stojkovic, whose 1988 side were knocked out on penalties by future trophy winners Milan after two 1-1 draws, was not the only one relishing the second leg in Belgrade on Aug. 22.

Right back Dusan Basta said it was "payback time" for the Serbian club, adding: "I wasn't at all impressed by the six-times European champions although they had more chances.

"We have a good result for the return leg in Belgrade and I am confident our fans will be the extra man we need to achieve our dream of knocking Milan out.

"No one gave us a chance in hell when we were drawn against this European giant, but we showed a lot of heart."

Only a string of superb saves by goalkeeper keeper Ivan Randjelovic kept Red Star's hopes alive on Wednesday after Filippo Inzaghi hit a 22nd minute winner on his 33rd birthday.

Coach Dusan Bajevic was more cautious, saying: "Milan will be even stronger and much more dangerous in two weeks' time because they have just started preparing for the new season and this will make our job very difficult.

"On the other hand, we have two weeks to get some rest and brace ourselves for another titanic clash with them. We'll do our best to get the result we want."

Red Star, who won the European Cup in 1991, have never qualified for the lucrative group stage of Europe's premier club competition.


09 agosto 2006

AC Milan defeats Red Star Belgrade

After going crazy for Italia in WC 2006 (for the record, I've been a fan since 1994, but this was the best one, as I actually had the time and discipline to watch all of the games), I have decided to follow a team in Serie A, the premier Italian league where most Italians play.

Deciding on a team was pretty tough. I had a Juventus shirt from when I was 15, but they got demoted to Serie B, so, no. Also there is Inter Milan, who has cool uniforms. And AS Roma, who is not as good, but if I go to Rome next year, it would be cool to root for the home team. Also, there was AC Milan. This team has awesome players in their lineup, especially a few who I really got to like in WC 2006: Gilardino, Nesta, Pirlo and Gattuso from Italia. They also have Inzaghi, Maldini, and Costacurta who I remembered from past world cups. And then, 3 amazing Brazilians: Dida in goal, Cafu on defense, and Kaka in midfield.

The deal was cemented when I was down at Bush Gardens in VA a few weeks ago, and found them selling Italian Soccer Jerseys (how random?!), which I really wanted. They had Inter, Juve, and Milan. The only XXL (Euro sizes) jersey with an Italian player (others were Adriano, Ibrahimovic, Schevchenko, etc) was that of Gilardino, #11 on AC Milan. I bought the jersey and the team got a new tifoso.

So, I'll be keeping my site updated with AC Milan's progress. Right now they are qualifyign for the Champion's League tourney in Europe, and they won their first game. Filippo Inzaghi scored the game's only goal, and it was his 33rd birthday! How cool! :)

Anyway, to the recap:

Inzaghi birthday strike gives Milan narrow lead
By Simon Evans

MILAN, Aug 9 (Reuters) - AC Milan striker Filippo Inzaghi celebrated his 33rd birthday with the goal that secured a 1-0 win over Red Star Belgrade in their Champions League third qualifying round, first leg match on Wednesday.

Despite Inzaghi's 22nd minute strike the six-times European champions still have a lot of work to do in the return match in two weeks' time in the Serbian capital.

Milan, who originally finished runners-up in Serie A last season, found themselves in the Champions League qualifying round after being demoted to third place by an Italian sports tribunal that examined a match-rigging scandal.

UEFA cleared Milan to face Red Star due to a lack of legal grounds to exclude them but European soccer's governing body scolded the Italian club in a statement that spoke of the damage they had "already caused to European football".

Red Star gave the home side an early scare when Blagoj Georgiev was picked out unmarked inside the area but Milan's Brazilian goalkeeper Dida saved well.

Brazilian Kaka then went close for Milan before providing the pass that allowed Inzaghi to confidently strike home from inside the area to put Carlo Ancelotti's side ahead.

Milan had chances after the break but Red Star keeper Ivan Randjelovic was in top form as he twice foiled Alberto Gilardino and kept out an effort from Dutchman Clarence Seedorf to ensure the Serbians have everything to play for in the second leg.


08 agosto 2006

Early Christian view on abortion

The view of Abortion being wrong, stems not from the bible, but from Western Philosophy during the time of the enlightenment.
~Some misguided soul on a message board

Not so. These early Christian writings make it clear that since the inception of the Christian faith, abortion has always been considered a sin.

The Didache(1st/2nd century AD)
Thou shall not slay thy child by causing abortion, nor kill that which is begotten; for everything that is shaped, and has received a soul from God, if it be slain, shall be avenged, as being unjustly destroyed.

Epistle of Barnabas (dated 70-138 AD) :
Thou shalt not slay the child by procuring abortion; nor, again, shalt thou destroy it after it is born.

Tertullian(155-230), Treatise on the Soul, Chapter XXXVII.
The embryo therefore becomes a human being in the womb from the moment that its form is completed. The law of Moses, indeed, punishes with due penalties the man who shall cause abortion, inasmuch as there exists already the rudiment of a human being.

Athenagoras the Athenian, 2nd Century:
What man of sound mind, therefore, will affirm, while such is our character, that we are murderers?.... For when they know that we cannot endure even to see a man put to death, though justly; who of them can accuse us of murder or cannibalism? Who does not reckon among the things of greatest interest the contests of gladiators and wild beasts, especially those which are given by you? But we, deeming that to see a man put to death is much the same as killing him, have abjured such spectacles. How, then, when we do not even look on, lest we should contract guilt and pollution, can we put people to death? And when we say that those women who use drugs to bring on abortion commit murder, and will have to give an account to God for the abortion, on what principle should we commit murder? For it does not belong to the same person to regard the very foetus in the womb as a created being, and therefore an object of God's care, and when it has passed into life, to kill it; and not to expose an infant, because those who expose them are chargeable with child-murder, and on the other hand, when it has been reared to destroy it. But we are in all things always alike and the same, submitting ourselves to reason, and not ruling over it.

St. Augustine, On Marriage and Concupiscence Ch. 17:
This infliction of cruelty on their offspring so reluctantly begotten, unmasks the sin which they had practised in darkness, and drags it clearly into the light of day. The open cruelty reproves the concealed sin. Sometimes, indeed, this lustful cruelty, or; if you please, cruel lust, resorts to such extravagant methods as to use poisonous drugs to secure barrenness; or else, if unsuccessful in this, to destroy the conceived seed by some means previous to birth, preferring that its offspring should rather perish than receive vitality; or if it was advancing to life within the womb, should be slain before it was born. Well, if both parties alike are so flagitious, they are not husband and wife; and if such were their character from the beginning, they have not come together by wedlock but by debauchery. But if the two are not alike in such sin, I boldly declare either that the woman is, so to say, the husband's harlot; or the man the wife's adulterer.

St. Jerome, Letter to Eustochium, (384 AD) Some, when they find themselves with child through their sin, use drugs to procure abortion, and when (as often happens) they die with their offspring, they enter the lower world laden with the guilt not only of adultery against Christ but also of suicide and child murder.
Online: Link

07 agosto 2006

Reuters makes a boo-boo....

Lebanese photo doctoring

Is there a photo editor?

If so, does he care about the quality of photos, or is he just incompetent?

This is pathetic.

Check this out: http://www.aish.com/movies/PhotoFraud.asp

CT Senate race prediction

If Joe Lieberman wins on Tuesday, I guarantee that Ned Lamont's campaign team will demand a recount!

But I really hope Lieberman wins because he is a principled man who follows his conscience, not some millionaire exec whose extremism sets people's emotions aflame and shuts down their rational faculties.

Extreme, I know, but I am in a poetic mood tonight!

06 agosto 2006

The original name of the city of Los Angeles

This is awesome:

El pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Angeles del Río de Porciúncula

04 agosto 2006

Why does mankind need saving?

Nice. Next question – this is one I never get.

Why did mankind need saving?

It’s totally acceptable to say that this is partially a mystery.

The basic answer is: We are created good, in general. But each one of us has a bad streak inside us that rebels against, and consequently alienates us from, God - the source of all good, love, truth.

The Creator is perfect, yet we are imperfect. Saving means making us perfect.

Perfection cannot abide imperfection (there is no sin in Heaven) and in order to wipe out that sinful streak that we all have... that is where God comes in and helps us.

If the will of God is perfect, and imperfection cannot exist in Heaven, then for us to get to Heaven, our wills must be made in line with that of the source of all that is good and perfect. That is "saving."

This bad streak is called original sin. No matter what you call it, or how you think it came to be like that, no one can deny that people have problems. Everyone idealizes about a world where people love and respect each other, one where people are not selfish, and one with peace always. But all the systems that try and accomplish this inevitably fail. Because a part of human nature is selfish, it gets a rush out of doing illegal or forbidden, that type of stuff. That doesn't fly in Heaven, but Heaven is where God is. God, being the Creator, loves all of His creation, and desires to have a mutual relationship of love with all creation. And to do that He needs to “save” us.

I hope that is a decent explanation.

03 agosto 2006

Psalm 111:10

Psalm 111:10
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have all those who practice it.

"The fear of the Lord" is one of those phrases that get tossed around quite a bit. To Christians it is often almost content-free. It is one of those "religious things" we are supposed to say. To non-believers, it is Exhibit A in the claim that belief in God is really just a sort of bargain for sucking up to the universe with flattery in the superstitious hope that, if we cringe and scrape enough, the Great and Terrible Oz in the Sky will have his vanity appeased sufficiently to let us pass another day of miserable existence before he capriciously smashes us for his sport. In fact, however, the phrase is neither a buzzword, nor a squeak of servile terror. Rather, it is the sane assessment of a man or a woman standing in the presence of the Love that hurled all the galaxies. Before such love, we say, with Rat in _The Wind and Willows_, "Afraid? Of him? Oh no! Never! And yet… Oh I am afraid!" Indeed, a God who did not inspire something like fear in us is no God. But a God who inspired only fear is no God either. That is why the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom—-but not the end.

~ Just a 'Word of Encouragement' from Mark Shea & Jeff Cavins

02 agosto 2006

The fruit of relativism

G.K. Chesterton once observed that tolerance is the one virtue we have left when we have abandoned all our principles. That diagnosis goes rather far in explaining what is wrong with our culture at the present hour. Where God calls us to hate evil and love good, we have opted to make the insane attempt at calling good and evil pretty much the same thing. Hey! Who's to judge? The difficulty with this attempt is that what inevitably follows is not a world free of guilt and judgment, but merely world that insanely fixates on certain minor no-no's like smoking as mortal sins, that persecutes and condemns the innocent (like people attempting speak out on behalf of the unborn) and that turns a blind eye to real evil ("Dr. Kevorkian is a 'nice man'". "'Piss Christ' is 'daring art'. An unborn child having its brain sucked out in the very moment of birth is 'fetal material'".) The call of the Christian is to make real judgments, not of a person's eternal standing before God, but of the goodness or evil, truth or falsehood, of the things said and done in the world and to exercise our office as prophets, priests and kings in Christ to mend the world and preserve what is of him in it. "It may be that the LORD, the God of hosts, will be gracious" to us yet. But for that to happen we must receive his gracious gift of the Spirit, of truth, and of love to exercise our birthright as children of God in this fallen world. ~ Mark Shea and Jeff Cavins

01 agosto 2006

"Changes" ~ by me.

When I was young and naive,
A curious little boy
I loved to run and play
When once I found this coin.

It was old and tarnished
But an image could be made out
It was a stoic Indian chief
Full of pride and clout.

I looked at him and said
“I wonder who this is?”
So I looked him up in a book
And this is what it said:

“The noble savage roams about
well trained in the arts of war,
He knows his plants and animals
and is versed in ancient lore.”

This person peaked my interest,
I desperately wanted to be like him.
I told my friends and they agreed;
We formed our tribe upon this whim.

Each day as the clock stroked three,
We’d run off in the woods.
Decked out in our regalia
We’d do everything we could

We practiced with arrows every day
Till our fingers became quite numb.
We mapped the woods of Mother Earth
And knew the time had come.

A warrior cannot exist
If he cannot make war.
So, we found an enemy to play against,,
We beat them and our spirits soared.

When the enemy had been subdued
We could do nothing but pretend.
Little did we warriors know
This beginning was our very end.

We’d make up games and run around,
We played in the woods till it was cold.
When spring came and the sun shined through,
Our routine quickly became old.

For here was a new enemy,
Whom we’d never encountered before.
They liked us but they thought our life
Was a wee bit immature

We took off the feathers and dropped our axe,
We washed paint off our face.
These beings, these women, these beautiful creatures,
Had put us in our place.

We were young boys but not for long,
Each day we were becoming men.
The girls transformed us into adults,
We could never play like Indians again.

As I grew up into a man,
I forgot my days near the streams.
But now, more mature, I often look back
On my boyish desires and dreams.