Saturday, December 31, 2011

Pink Unicorns, Rainbows, and Pasta


One of my beta readers pointed out there is religious satire built around an invisible pink unicorn. Apparently it's something like the flying spaghetti monster--a fabled deity one of my atheist friends enjoys tossing at me via Facebook. I finally had to figure out what the heck she was going on about. If I'm to be ridiculed, I may as well understand the finer points of the taunt. It seems the belief in God is like believing in the spaghetti monster. The invisible pink unicorn is in the same vein.

One of the characters in my wip is a pink unicorn, albeit quite visible. So what? Does this mean readers will assume I'm doing a religious parody? What if my characters consume spaghetti with said unicorn? And heaven forbid if they should do so under a rainbow, because you know who has tried to hijack that symbol. A Biblical symbol going back to the Old Testament when God promised not to flood the world again. Now it's flown by cross-dressers in gay pride parades, as if they were taunting Him to let loose the flood. Lord have mercy. And just to clarify, I've no problem with people with same sex attraction issues. I encourage you to check out COURAGE for help with that.

But pink unicorns, rainbows, and spaghetti have been around before atheists and others took them as their symbols. And they are all things I love. Why shouldn't I enjoy them as they were meant to be enjoyed? How dare they snatch these things from innocence! Allow the pink unicorns to romp in the green fields under rainbows, slurping spaghetti. Hmm, I'm not altogether sure if they do eat spaghetti. Guess I should consult my youngest daughters on that point.

Or maybe I should give in and color my Unicorn blue.


Want proof in God's existance so you can refute the claims of the pink unicorn hijackers? Check out Robert Spitzer's book, New Proofs for the Existence of God: Contributions of Contemporary Physics and Philosophy.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Catholic Blogs, Resolutions, and Hugo Movie Review

Blog Hopping

I went blog hopping at some of the blogs participating in The Conversion Diary's Quick Takes Friday thing. Now I wish I'd been doing it. Maybe I shall this Friday. It might get me blogging more regularly. Maybe that could be one of my New Year's Resolutions- to blog more.

Resolutions

Speaking of resolutions, I'd like to direct you to a post by The Licensed Fool on "Baggage and Belonging"  I felt it inspirational. He talks about taking ownership for one's choices so that you can fully surrender to the Lord. Well, he explains it better. It's worth the trip over there to read his insight.

HUGO

I brought the twins to see Hugo. The movie was as wonderful as the book The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick, about a boy in the 1930's living in the clockworks at a Paris train station. I can't remember when I've said that. It's different because the book had pages and pages of amazing drawings mixed with the narration. But they both have a place.



We didn't see it in 3D, but there was still that feel of movement through the train station and the clockworks. I think 3D glasses would have been inconvenient, actually, because I had tears in my eyes so often. It's such a bittersweet story.

The other nice thing about the story in film form- you get to see some original footage of the old old films such as A Trip to the Moon. I've watched it on YouTube, but something about seeing it on the big screen made it magical.



On the moral meter- this film is nearly perfect. There's no sex or nudity. No bad language. There is minimal violence. One character smokes and drinks too much, but he's not a central character, we don't like him, and he's eventually found dead in the river. (No yuckiness is shown.)

There's a tiny side story that they could have done without. You hear minor adult characters discussing whether or not a man's wife's baby is his or not.

One couple in the movie have a crucifix over their bed. Not that it makes it a Catholic film, but it's nice to see.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A New Look

I've created a new banner and set up a new look for my Catholic Once Again blog. I thought it needed updating.  It's the same blog with the same topics- Catholic faith, history, books, music, pro-life issues, and all that good stuff. 

Hopefully it's cool to look at as well as easy on the eyes. I tried a black background for the posts but I went crazy trying to read the white type. Let me know if this one doesn't do it for you.

I hope my bloggy friends have a Merry Christmas! :)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Catholic Rock- A free download from The Thirsting

Howdy,

I've blogged about The Thirsting before (here) and I'll do it again. In fact, I'll do it right now. :) 

They're a cool Catholic rock band and if you go check out The Thirsting Facebook page, you can find out how to download their new song, "Universal Youth", for free. At this moment, it's about the 6th post down. While you're there, click on the link to their web page so you can buy their album--either the physical cd or mp3 if you want it instantly. Makes a great last minute gift, that way. You can send it right to somebody's computer.

No, I'm not getting paid to say any of this. I don't know them personally. I've just been listening to their album as I ready the house for Christmas. Sitting down for a rest, I clicked on their Facebook page and got a nice suprise I wanted to share.

Hanukkah as Part of Christian History

Happy Hanukkah to My Jewish brothers and sisters!

I was thinking about what this festival means in the Christian story.

"At that time the festival of the Dedication took place in Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the temple in the portico of Solomon." Jn. 10:22
 Church in Zabludow

This is a reference to Hanukkah (sometimes spelled Chanukah), the eight day Festival of Lights.

If you have a Catholic Bible*, you'll have the book of Maccabees in it and you can read about the origin of this festival. Look at 1 Mac. 4 and 2 Mac. 10. I'll just quote a bit. Here's 1 Mac. 4: 52-56. "Early in the morning on the twenty-fifth day of the ninth month, which is the month of Chis'lev, in the one hundred forty-eighth year, they rose and offered sacrifice, as the law directs, on the new altar of burnt offering that they had built. At the very season and on the very day that the Gentiles had profaned it... So they celebrated the dedication of the altar for eight days..."

The Talmud adds that they had not enough oil, yet the lamps burned for eight days.


* To learn more about why Catholics have more books than Protestant Bibles, check out this YouTube video about a book by Gary Michutacalled Why Catholic Bibles are Bigger.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

In This Last Week of Advent, Don't Do Like Martha

It's the final Sunday of Advent. You may go here to review today's Mass readings.

As the final rush hits, and you're traveling or preparing for guests, buying and wrapping gifts, putting the finishing touches on your house, please take the time to remember the reason for the season.
I have this on my car! :)

The best gift for any of us is Christ Himself! :)  

Taking the time to pray is more important than an extra batch of cookies. Slowing down to sit and read a Christ centered Christmas story with your family is more loving than making sure the ornaments are hanging just so on the tree. And you'll probably find everyone is a little bit happier for it. My advice- reduce stress and increase your focus on Jesus this year.

Remember Jesus's advice to Martha, the sister of Mary and Lazarus, when she was upset that Mary was sitting and listening to Jesus, while she was so busy with household tasks.

"Martha, Martha, you are anxious and upset about many things; one thing only is required. Mary has chosen the better portion..." Luke 10: 41-42

I don't mean to belittle Martha, and goodness knows our Lord loves her. But He was pointing out that there are more important things than having a perfect household. And if I may be playful-- Although she's amazingly creative, there are more important things than having a Martha Stewart Christmas. ;-)

Hmm, but I wouldn't mind if she came by and gave me a hand this week.

Martha Stewart

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Super Pro Life Fetal Development Video

Because I get many hits on this blog by people searching for prenatal development terms such as "15 week fetus," "9th week of pregnancy," and "abortion in first trimester," I decided to post a link to a video I discovered on YouTube. It's packed with information on the development of an unborn baby.

The video is, "The Case Against Abortion:Prenatal Development." I found the music jarring and turned it down, but the information is good. The video shows pictures of embryos and fetuses and discusses information such as when the heart begins beating, brain development, thumb sucking, and more.

Quick Quiz - What's the difference between an embryo and a fetus? A baby is called an embryo up until the eighth week after conception. From then on, he or she is a fetus. (That fact's not in the vid. That's just my little courtesy aside.)

Most people watching this will be surprised to see that this new little embryo is not just a "clump of cells."

Anyway- do watch, and show it to anyone wondering what a baby in the womb looks like at 28 days, 39 days, 46 days, 7 weeks, and 9 weeks. I hope you'll read the facts presented and think about them. It's good to be informed.


Now, I'm interjecting myself. Getting away from the film content.

I've heard the argument- "Women should have the right to do what they want with their bodies."

No- That doesn't fly.

The baby is a distinct human being.

He's an organism distinct from his mother. (Separate DNA than hers. Separate heart, arms, legs, etc. He's not part of her body.)

He's human. (He has human DNA.  Humans produce other humans. We learned that in kindergarten science.)

He's alive. (He's growing and developing. So we know he's not dead.)

And I haven't even gotten into the religious arguments.

No photo today, because I'm encouraging you to go watch the video. :)

Okay, maybe just one little photo.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Jesse Tree Advent Project

The girls and I are doing a Jesse Tree this year. Basically, you make ornaments that match readings in the Old Testament. There are a number of web sites that can help you with the project. I'll give you links to three that I found: 
1 You can find Jesse Tree instructions at CatholicCulture.org
2 Or this site, which has  everything you need for the Jesse Tree project.
3 Here's a super nice one with instructions to make a Jesse tree with the ornaments on wooden disks.

It's quite the devotional because you journey through the old Old Testament.

We get to color and cut out the ornaments. I have each girl take turns looking up and reading the Bible passage that matches the particular ornament. (Good practice finding the chapter and verse.)

And of course we discuss the passages.

We do the Jesse Tree every couple of years at Advent and each time they get a little more out of it. It's nice this time of year because Advent is a time of waiting for Christ and, in a way, the Old Testament was a very long Advent--the people of God waiting for the Savior.
Working on the Jesse Tree Project