Cluster of wheat image Grapes and vines image Cluster of wheat image
February 27th, 2009


Some years back we had a Catholic parish priest who said that as long as he had anything to say about it, we were not going receive Communion under both species.  It was my understanding that he did not think it healthy for all those people to be drinking from  the same cup.

In those churches where the cup was offered to the people,   extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist  were taught that they were to turn the cup a bit so the next communicant drank from a different side, and after each sip they were to wipe the rim of the cup with the napkin.   It is obvious that after four or five people had received Communion the rest  were drinking from a side of the cup that had already been used, and possibly the napkin had acquired a variety of germs from the wiping.

Nevertheless, Jesus did say, “Eat my body and drink my blood,”  and “Take and drink.”   Let me explain the way I think about it.  Even 2000 years ago, before Louis Pasteur and microscopes and nanotechnology, Jesus would have known about microorganisms – bacteria, viruses, and the like – and their potential for causing disease.  In fact, he may very well have spoken the Word that brought their DNA into existence so that they could multiply ad infinitum and do whatever it was they were supposed to do. Read the rest of this entry »

February 24th, 2009


I’m fit to be tied.

Dr. Neil Clark Warren, a clinical psychologist with a Divinity degree, author of Falling in Love for All the Right Reasons, started the very successful dating service,, because he knew from experience that many marriages failed because people did not really know each other before they married. He came up with a series of questions for men and women to answer in order to learn if they might be compatible before they even started dating.

Along came Eric McKinley, a gay man, who thought the site should work for him. He told the Pasadena Weekly, “So I went to their website but couldn’t pass the initial screen. There was no option for man seeking man.”  What to do? Why sue, of course!

How dare eHarmony cater only to heterosexuals!  eHarmony does not accept married applicants, and rejects 16% of those who take their patented personality test as “poor marriage prospects.” It is totally reasonable to think a gay person might not be a good marriage prospect for a person of the opposite sex.  Nevertheless, in 2005 McKinley filed suit against eHarmony for violating New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. And what did eHarmony do? Instead of going to trial, they settled! Read the rest of this entry »

February 15th, 2009


At about 3:30 PM on January 15 Flight 1549 set down in the Hudson River with 155 people aboard.  One of them was Fred Beretta.   Fred had recently read 7 Secrets of the Eucharist by Vinny Flynn and he wrote the following letter to Vinny about what has been called the Miracle on the Hudson.


I sincerely hope this email finds its way to you. I was a passenger on flight 1549 and my name is Fred Berretta. You might have caught a glimpse of me or heard me on CNN or Fox the night of the crash. I interviewed with Lou Dobbs, Wolf Blitzer and Bill O’Reilly and discussed the crash that night.

I had been on a one day business trip to NY and sat in seat 16A just behind the left engine. My trip was a last minute decision the day before. I finished my meetings early on Thursday and realized I had time to attend the 12 noon mass at St. Patrick Cathedral. It was unusual for me to have the extra time, but that day I did. After Mass, I stopped by the gift shop just across from the cathedral and purchased your book, 7 Secrets of the Eucharist. As I waited to board flight 1549 bound for Charlotte, where I live, I began reading your book. I continued reading while we taxied until just after take off. Read the rest of this entry »

February 10th, 2009


Usually I think of novels as a pleasant way to while away (meaning waste) some time.  So, when I was given The Shack by a friend I was willing to read it, so we could discuss it, but I didn’t expect too much.  Twenty-four hours later I have not only finished reading The Shack but feel the need to blog about it and tell the world that this is an unusual and worthwhile book.

The Shack is a New York Times best-seller by Wm. Paul Young (Windblown Media, July 2008).  The subtitle, Where Tragedy Confronts Eternity capsulizes the plot:   Mack’s beloved daughter Missy is abducted, brutalized and killed and he lives under The Great Sadness, mad at God and the world.  Then God (aka Papa) writes him a note and invites him for a weekend to The Shack where Missy’s red dress and blood had been found on the floor.

This is a book that attempts to clarify imaginatively the way God works in the world – how he brings good from evil (though he doesn’t cause evil), how we have free will to follow God, or not – difficult questions that folks have grappled with for ages.  At one point Mack awoke from a dream and remembered:   “He was still at the shack with those three interesting characters, all of whom thought they were God.”   The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit were present at The Shack in human form.  While many people think of God, the Father, as an old white man with a beard, Wm. Young prefers to present the human manifestation of God as a young black woman.  After all, we are all — young, old, male, female, black, white — made in the image of God.  Why not?  As God herself says to Mack:  “I am holy and wholly other than you.” Read the rest of this entry »

February 5th, 2009


There are well over 3000 surgical abortions performed in the United States every day of the year, as well as countless non-surgical abortions brought about by drugs designed to interrupt a very early pregnancy.  With all these babies being cut off at the start, it is small wonder that there are literally millions of women walking about with the pain of knowing that once there was a baby on the way that never made it.  Some initially feel relieved  — it was not a “planned” pregnancy — but the thought of the “child that could have been” crops up in the future and haunts them.  Others grieve from the very beginning – they feel a terrible loss, they become depressed, they try various things to soothe the pain. If they aborted because of pressure from the boyfriend they often feel an animosity toward him and the relationship comes undone.   Through the years they notice children of the age their child might have been.  Some learn, much to their despair, that they have rid themselves of the only child they would ever conceive.   Or when they eventually do bear a child they appreciate more fully what they ended in the past.  The pro-life signs are spot-on when they say ABORTION  =  ONE DEAD,  ONE WOUNDED

Most women are naturally nurturers.   Most women have a kind of built-in desire to mother.  But on top of their normal womanly feeling of loss, those who have aborted often experience a kind of spiritual despair.  If they ever believed that abortion is morally wrong, if they ever believed in the commandment, “thou shalt not kill,”  they know in their heart that something, someone, has died and they feel responsible.    They may think they can’t go to church any more, they can’t tell anyone what they’ve done.  It is just too awful.  In short, they cannot forgive themselves and doubt that anyone else can.

Last month following the annual March for Life in Washington DC a group of 100 woman from Silent No More told their stories of healing and forgiveness after abortion from the steps of the Supreme Court building.    Their page of resources on their website for women after abortion is impressive.    Some of these groups have been around, serving post-abortive women, for years.

Another newer group I recently learned of, which actually prompted this post, is PATH (which stands for Post Abortion Treatment and Healing)

Many millions of women have felt the pain of abortion.  Years later they are still suffering.  They need to know that countless others have not only suffered but have learned and grown and healed.   Because these women  have been there, raw and suffering,  they want to help others who are still there, still unhealed.    There is a path to healing, wholeness, and peace.  To any woman with an abortion in her past I would urge that she click on one of the above websites.  Read the testimonies.   Be aware of the groups that exist for no other reason than to help you.  Look at the books that have been written about post-abortion syndrome and finding wholeness.   Know that even if you can’t forgive yourself, if perhaps others may not forgive, God always forgives……and is waiting to do just that.   It is never too late.


For of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these, “It might have been.”  —  Whittier

February 3rd, 2009



In 2006, Time Magazine included Ted Haggard in their list of the 25 Most Influential Evangelicals in America. The Wall Street Journal called him one “of the nation’s most politically influential” clergy, and Harper’s Magazine stated that, “No pastor in America holds more sway over the political direction of evangelicalism than does Pastor Ted.”   Last week Ted Haggard appeared on the Oprah show to talk about his crisis in 2006 when it was discovered he was seeing a gay man.  He was made to give up his pastorship at New Life church in Colorado Springs and was even  told to leave Colorado.  I do not intend to rehash his story now but for those who saw him on Oprah and would like further insight into Ted Haggard, the fall, the struggle, and the current state of affairs.   I cannot too highly recommend that you listen to his heart-wrenching story as he brings you up to date here.


Jennifer Fulwiler, former atheist,  of Conversion Diary has just posted her reflections on  Life on Death Row, telling  how she could identify with a “lifer” in prison as he contemplated  his forthcoming execution.     Wow!  What a thought-provoker!  Don’t miss it.  Go there now.


Mercatornet, a wonderful publication out of Australia, has  informed me that they have  posted  on their website my article formerly titled God, Eyes, and Evolution.   They have retitled  it Consider the Peacock’s Tail and it is accompanied by a very colorful (of course) peacock tail in full display.  Mercatornet is marking the 200th anniversary of Darwin’s birth and my piece is a pretty decent overview of thoughts about Darwin, if I do say so myself. This is another “don’t miss it.”  Go there now.

February 1st, 2009


Imagine, if you can, what happens when an 85-year-old grammy goes overnight from driving a 30-year-old Oldsmobile Delta 88 to driving a 12-year-old Jeep Grand Cherokee! What a test of whether old dogs can learn new tricks. I have to say I wasn’t enthusiastic about the change-over. When I bought my Olds about ten years ago it was pristine and had led a very sheltered life. The body and upholstery were perfect. Actually, it had been advertised as a “cream puff,” and indeed it was. But after years of living outdoors and serving as a respite place for freezing pro-lifers, it had lost its lustre, both inside and out. And it needed its brake lines replaced. It was somewhat  dented and its pretty blue color was quite faded. Etc. etc. As my mechanic said, “It’s 30 years old, no matter how you look at it.”

Along came the opportunity to buy this Jeep from the friend of a friend – and I got talked into it. Especially since I have a steep driveway and live in the Northeast and the Jeep had four-wheel-drive. I didn’t want to go through the DMV registration process at all. I didn’t want to spend the money when I already had a car that would probably last the rest of my life. But the deed was done and I had to cope. Read the rest of this entry »