Cluster of wheat image Grapes and vines image Cluster of wheat image
December 28th, 2009


Jack LaLanne, born in 1914,  is world famous for body building, strength feats, and, at 95 is “extremely flexible, and has a mind and a wit as sharp as a tack.”  His wife says she has known him for 60 years and has never known him to be sick.   Why wouldn’t I want to read his new book, Live Young Forever: 12 Steps to Optimum Health, Fitness and Longevity?  He says, “We can refuse to let age run its plan of plummeting decline.”

Perhaps I can’t, by taking thought, add to my stature one cubit, but possibly – just possibly – I can make my remaining years healthier.

So I ordered this handsome  slick paper book with gorgeous photos of Jack’s perfect body.    His last famous feat was at the age of 65 when he swam Lake Oshinoko in Japan, shackled and cuffed, pulling 65 boats loaded with 6500 pounds of wood pulp. “At the age of 80 I could still perform hundreds of non-stop push-ups.  I felt no different than I had at 25.”  His waistline at 80 was 27-1/2 inches.

I looked forward to reading Jack LaLanne’s 12 steps to optimum health, hoping for some little nugget I didn’t know about, some word of wisdom to change my life for the better.  Briefly, here are his 12 steps:

1.  Motivation.  Figure out if you really want a healthy body — then go for it.  ”Seeing your own progress is the greatest motivator of all.”

2.  Keep away from killer habits – smoking, drugs, coffee and alcohol abuse, how to reduce stress.

3.  Personal care.  Hair care, skin care, dental care, eye care.

4.  Eating clean. Jack writes that  what you eat today is walking and talking tomorrow.  He says all the usual things about choosing foods that are  fresh and natural and gives sample meals.  Then came the surprise:   Jack eats out with his wife every night of the week except Monday.   And how do you get what you want when you eat out?  “Explain with gentleness that you want your fish without sauce, the vegetables have to be steamed, no butter added.  Take your baked potato without butter or sour cream.  No dressing on the salad…When you have soup it has to be broth-based as opposed to cream-based…Gravy is a no-no.  Want a dessert?  How about berries or a fresh fruit salad?”

It is clear this man is serious and disciplined!  He says he has always taken vitamins on a daily basis but makes no attempt to tell you what vitamins and/or supplements to take.   Jack  is well known for promoting juices for better health and selling his brand of juicer.  Fruit and vegetable juices are undoubtedly sources of many needed and vital nutrients.   My only question, is why not liquidize the whole item (except for peach pits, banana peels and the like) and drink the whole thing, getting all the fiber and other nutrients hiding out in the matrix surrounding the juice?  Need I add that I have written about my own Homemade V8 and kefir fruit smoothies previously.

5.  Maintain perfect posture.

6.  Do’s and Don’t of Water Drinking.  Drink lots of filtered water.

7.  The importance of stretching. LaLanne writes:  “I enjoy my stretching because I love the rewards of feeling flexible.  I’m as loose as a goose.”  He illustrates 12 stretches.   Stretch cautiously, don’t bounce, work on the more stubborn areas

8.  Find some energy.   How?   “I will take a mid-day nap of 30 minutes if I feel like it. ”

9.  Be in a steady relationship.  “My greatest joy has been loving, laughing and working alongside my beautiful Elaine for some 60 wonderful years.”  Dr. Laura Schlessinger  always says:   “Choose wisely; treat kindly.”    Jack LaLanne says the same thing: “Be kind to one another…..Choose your mate wisely…”  “If you have second thoughts about whether you could be loyal to your future spouse, then don’t get married.”

10. Work out. Jack says:  “If you are on my side of 50 you should probably start with a weight that allows you 20 reps.”  “There has to be a degree of gentleness with your first few workouts.”

11.  Never retire.

12.  Consume plenty of fruits and vegetables.  He talks in detail about various fruits and vegetables and their benefits.

The book closes  with a picture story of Jack’s life accomplishments.  I have decided this is the perfect Christmas gift for my grandson who shows some interest in body-building.   If Jack can’t inspire him, nobody can.

And what nugget have I gleaned from Jack for myself?  Only that I should do what I know I should do.    Eat what is good for me, not what appeals to my sweet tooth.  Exercise even when I don’t feel like it.  It is all so simple — and so hard.

This Jack LaLanne video is dated March, 1997:

Jack LaLanne is discipline personified.  Discipline is where we are all slackers.  Jack inspired me to do 10 minutes of gentle stretching.   Try it – you’ll be amazed at the difference in the way you feel.   Just think what could happen if you went for the whole enchilada and followed all of his 12 steps!  It is never too late to improve.





They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall still be full of sap, still green.   – Psalm 92:14

December 23rd, 2009


That is the question, isn’t it?  What child is this?

Mary J Blige and Andrea Bocelli, on Oprah, November 30,2009

(Please be patient with the intro — this is truly a Christmas gift!)

Come, let us worship. signofcross[1]signofcross[1]

Click here for the beautiful song Mary, Did You Know?

This will be a sign to you, you will find a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.  — Luke 2:12

“Are you he who is to come, or shall we look for another?” — Matthew 11:3

At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth — Philippians 2:10

December 17th, 2009


Kids often know the meaning of the word “love” better than we adults. A group of professional people posed this question to a group of 4 to 8 year-olds:    ‘What does love mean?’

The answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined.   See what you think:

~~~ ‘When my grandmother got arthritis , she couldn’t bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That’s love.’

~~~ ‘When someone loves you , the way they say your name is different.. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.’

~~~ ‘Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other.’

~~~ ‘Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs.’

~~~ ‘Love is what makes you smile when you’re tired.’

~~~ ‘Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him , to make sure the taste is OK.’

~~~ ‘Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing , you still want to be together and you talk more. My Mommy and Daddy are like that. They look gross when they kiss.’

~~~ ‘Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.’

~~~ ‘If you want to learn to love better , you should start with a friend who you hate , ‘

~~~ ‘Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt , then he wears it everyday.’

~~~ ‘Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well.’

~~~ ‘During my piano recital , I was on a stage and I was scared. I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling. He was the only one doing that .  I wasn’t scared anymore.’

~~~ ‘My mommy loves me more than anybody. You don’t see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night.’

~~~ ‘Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken.’

~~~ ‘Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford .’

~~~ ‘Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day.’

~~~ ‘I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones.’

~~~ ‘When you love somebody , your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you.’ (what an image!)

~~~ ‘Love is when Mommy sees Daddy on the toilet and she doesn’t think it’s gross.’

~~~ ‘You really shouldn’t say ‘I love you’ unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget.’

~~~ And the final one: The winner was a four year old child whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife. Upon seeing the man cry , the little boy went into the old gentleman’s yard, climbed onto his lap , and just sat there.

When his Mother asked what he had said to the neighbor , the little boy said, ‘Nothing , I just helped him cry.’

Whether it’s from the mouths of babes or from the world’s great religions, the message of love is the same.  

The Universality of the Golden Rule in the World Religions

Christianity All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye so to them; for this is the law and the prophets.
Matthew 7:1
Confucianism Do not do to others what you would not like yourself. Then there will be no resentment against you, either in the family or in the state.
Analects 12:2
Buddhism Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.
Udana-Varga 5,1
Hinduism This is the sum of duty; do naught onto others what you would not have them do unto you.
Mahabharata 5,1517
Islam No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself.
Judaism What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellowman. This is the entire Law; all the rest is commentary.
Talmud, Shabbat 3id
Taoism Regard your neighbor’s gain as your gain, and your neighbor’s loss as your own loss.
Tai Shang Kan Yin P’ien
Zoroastrianism That nature alone is good which refrains from doing another whatsoever is not good for itself.
Dadisten-I-dinik, 94,5

Adapted from “The Christopher Newsletter”

Heavenly Father , please bless all my friends in whatever it is that You know they may be needing this day! And may their life be full of Your peace , prosperity and power as he/she seeks to have a closer relationship with You. Amen .

Thanks to an anonymous e-mailer for these insights on love and the closing prayer.   God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God and God in him.

December 14th, 2009


“We’re having a baby, my baby and me,”  Ricky Ricardo sang to his wife, Lucy.  That was over 60 years ago and Lucy (in I Love Lucy) was having a baby, as was I.  We both knew there was a baby growing  inside of us, however small.

Mary, in Bethlehem, was “with child.”   When she visited her cousin Elizabeth, Elizabeth said, “the child in my womb leapt for joy.” Until this past generation, women were pregnant with babies.  No one but medics used the term fetus until the spinsters on the left decided they wanted to kill it and it sounds terrible to kill a baby.   Fetus in Latin simply means “offspring” but they won’t use that, either.  Who would kill their own “offspring?”  As with the word “marriage” they have deliberately set about morphing the language to suit their agenda.

In the following undercover video we have a Planned Parenthood  abortionist telling a pregnant woman  that she doesn’t have a baby inside of her.

So, it’s not a baby until it’s born?   What about the day before it’s born?  Is it a baby then?  They might agree it is.  A month before it’s due date?  Is it cute, viable — and killable?

Shades of George Orwell’s 1984 and Newspeak!  Among the truths of  Newspeak were:




We can now add to that:




Can a mother forget her baby, Or a woman the child within her womb?

Yet even if these forget, Yes, even if these forget,

I will never forget my own.

–Song – Isaiah 49

December 13th, 2009


I swear I must have half my brain tied behind my back.   Rush Limbaugh seems to function quite well like that, but I need my whole brain — and then some.

As I relate this tale, you have to remember that I’ve only had my Jeep for about nine months.  In all that time I’ve never opened it with my key; I always use the little electronic thing on my keychain.  Well, two days ago it rained, and then it snowed and it got really cold at night.  I awoke the next  morning and even in the dark the car was clearly covered with  snow.  About six o’clock I decided to clean off the snow and warm the car up, planning to attend 7 AM mass.

The door was frozen shut!  The door on the passenger side was also frozen shut!  What to do?  I’ve heard about sprays that will de-freeze the lock but didn’t have one of those.  Google is the answer!   The best idea I got from Google was to heat my key and insert it into the lock.   Doesn’t that sound clever?  So – out to the car  – still dark – with key and cigarette lighter in hand.  Believe it or not, I didn’t know where the keyhole was, having never used it.  It turns out to be some six inches below the doorlatch.  It was then I realized the problem wasn’t with the keyhole  but with the latch.   It was somehow frozen so I couldn’t push in the button.   That was quickly solved by pouring hot water on it.  Free at last!

During mass I pondered the situation and decided that next time this problem occurred I would put my neck warmer in the microwave and de-thaw that way.   Solved — I thought.

The latch was frozen again after mass.  A nice man with stronger thumbs than mine pushed on the latch button and opened the door for me.

This morning – 6:30 AM – the latches on both the driver and passenger sides are  frozen again.   I used the warm water solution to defrost the latch,  got on my way, but stopped at the mailbox to mail a letter.  Again, when I tried to get back into the car, the driver’s door was frozen shut.  Fortunately, this time the latch on the passenger side worked and I got in, then tried to wiggle into the driver’s seat.   I just couldn’t manage it with the seat so far forward, the steering wheel up close,  all that console stuff in the middle, and my hips not as flexible as in days or yore. But I could unlatch the door from inside and, once more, I was on my way.

I thought about the problem  during mass this morning.    I am almost ashamed to admit it, but light has dawned.   My old Oldsmobile was a two-door car.  BUT  MY JEEP HAS FOUR DOORS!  Glory Hallelujah!  Once again  after mass the latch on the driver’s door was frozen but the other three doors opened readily.

Much ado about nothing!   Will I be too mortified to publish this idiocy?   Probably not.   That’s how it all happened.

Lord, have mercy.


You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. — John 8:32

December 11th, 2009


Just this past week I’ve come across three Catholics trying to explain why they believe what they believe.   I’ve been so impressed with the reasoning and the intelligence they exhibit in  their thinking that I am happy to be in their camp and I invite others to listen in.    Here three writers look at their faith from entirely different vantage points.

On her blog Conversion Diary former atheist Jennifer Fulwiler tries to explain briefly how she researched her way into the Catholic Church.  She has done a pretty good job of cutting to the chase.  Read this post for a bare-bones description of her journey, but feel free to delve further — it is, after all, a Conversion Diary.

Dinesh D’Souza has a new book out, Life After Death:  The Evidence.  Here is D’Souza’s  take on the historical  evidence for the resurrection.

Francis Cardinal George of Chicago,   head of the Conference of Catholic Bishops, has written his first book, The Difference God Makes: A Catholic Vision of Faith, Communion and Culture.   Cardinal George has been described as “one of the most thoughtful men in the American hierarchy.”   It was a pleasure  to make his acquaintance in this video clip.


He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry; when he hears it, he will answer you. And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore. And your ears shall hear a word behind you saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or turn to the left. — Isaiah 30:19-21

December 10th, 2009


Christmas is the most popular holiday in our United States and the celebration of Christmas has been part of the very fabric of our nation as long as anyone can remember. Of late the spectre of political correctness has made everyone wary of expressing themselves in any way that might possibly offend even one non-Christian.     The attorneys at Rutherford Institute have made available the following guidelines for Americans who want to be both Christian and constitutional.

The Twelve Rules of Christmas®

Unfortunately, Christmas has become a time of controversy over what can or cannot be done in terms of celebrating the holiday. In order to clear up much of the misunderstanding, the following twelve rules are offered:

1. Public school students’ written or spoken personal expressions concerning the religious significance of Christmas (e.g., T-shirts with the slogan, “Jesus Is the Reason for the Season”) may not be censored by school officials absent evidence that the speech would cause a substantial disruption.  [1]

2. So long as teachers are generally permitted to wear clothing or jewelry or have personal items expressing their views about the holidays, Christian teachers may not be prohibited from similarly expressing their views by wearing Christmas-related clothing or jewelry or carrying Christmas-related personal items.  [2]

3. Public schools may teach students about the Christmas holiday, including its religious significance, so long as it is taught objectively for secular purposes such as its historical or cultural importance, and not for the purpose of promoting Christianity.  [3]

4. Public school teachers may send Christmas cards to the families of their students so long as they do so on their own time, outside of school hours.  [4]

5. Public schools may include Christmas music, including those with religious themes, in their choral programs if the songs are included for a secular purpose such as their musical quality or cultural value or if the songs are part of an overall performance including other holiday songs relating to Chanukah, Kwanzaa, or other similar holidays.  [5]

6. Public schools may not require students to sing Christmas songs whose messages conflict with the students’ own religious or nonreligious beliefs.  [6]

7. Public school students may not be prohibited from distributing literature to fellow students concerning the Christmas holiday or invitations to church Christmas events on the same terms that they would be allowed to distribute other literature that is not related to schoolwork. [7]

8. Private citizens or groups may display crèches or other Christmas symbols in public parks subject to the same reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions that would apply to other similar displays.  [8]

9. Government entities may erect and maintain celebrations of the Christmas holiday, such as Christmas trees and Christmas light displays, and may include crèches in their displays at least so long as the purpose for including the crèche is not to promote its religious content and it is placed in context with other symbols of the Holiday season as part of an effort to celebrate the public Christmas holiday through its traditional symbols.  [9]

10. Neither public nor private employers may prevent employees from decorating their offices for Christmas, playing Christmas music, or wearing clothing related to Christmas merely because of their religious content so long as these activities are not used to harass or intimidate others.  [10]

11. Public or private employees whose sincerely held religious beliefs require that they not work on Christmas must be reasonably accommodated by their employers unless granting the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the employer.  [11]

12. Government recognition of Christmas as a public holiday and granting government employees a paid holiday for Christmas does not violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment .  [12]

(The referenced sources are available here.)

It all  means I can still wish you MERRY CHRISTMAS!


Everyone who will acknowledge me before men, I will acknowledge him before my Father who is in heaven; and whoever will disown me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.  – Matthew 10:32-32

December 7th, 2009



They say that babies are used to being confined in a warm liquid. These tykes in their Tummy Tubs are in IJmuiden, Netherlands, relaxing after their massages. They certainly look contented and ‘at home’.

December 5th, 2009


I had to assume when my recent letter to the Editor of my local liberal newspaper (Gay Priest Cover-Up) was not published that they were operating from a position of anti-Catholic bias.   How right that turned out to be!   Today they have devoted three full pages, six very large photographs, plus an editorial on the opinion page to this story.    The editorial reads:  “Supporters of the diocese…have argued that release is unfair because it deals with decades old claims, and decisions made by officials who have long since left town.  They have a point.”

And yet – yet – it is SPLASHED all over their teeny newspaper and, as I’ve written before, the misdeeds of a few are magnified and perpetuated until it seems the church is full of bad bishops who deliberately  coddle pedophiles.   I might add that their coverage gave serious input to the Voice of the Faithful, a small group of disaffected Catholics who are anything but faithful.

Well, anyway, since I could not get my Letter to the Editor published locally, I sent it to the next town (a bigger town) and it was published in their paper (a bigger paper).

Waterbury Republican-American

I would urge anyone who would like to see beyond the bias of the mainstream media to read Archbishop Dolan’s  very comprehensive appraisal of anti-Catholic bias on his blog.   Of course the New York Times wouldn’t publish his letter, either.  He’s only the Archbishop of New York!

December 2nd, 2009


“I’ve never seen anything like it,”  says McCain in the video below.  And McCain has been around.  He knows the ways of politics and campaigns.   Most of us have never seen anything like it, and it is a cause for wonderment.  Why is Sarah Palin so hated?

It began right away, when she first burst onto the scene one Friday.   By Saturday, about 80 reporters had flown to Alaska, driven to Wasilla, found the home of the Heaths (Sarah’s parents) and knocked on the door.  Sarah had hit a home run with her first speech and their mission was to destroy her.  They were looking for something, anything, to take her down.   What must it be like to have that as your mission, to search out and destroy someone who had done you no harm?

How had she hurt them?  She had appeared as a fresh face on the scene, a breath of  air from the boonies of Alaska,  a strong woman with a natural charm, an achiever, a loving mother, a faithful wife, and a Christian.   How bad is that?  She was not a member of the beltway elite, she did not abort her Downs baby, she could catch a fish and dress a moose.  How bad is that?  Apparently  Sarah threatened everything the left stood for — which  makes you wonder what the left really stands for.

She came as a lamb to the slaughter and we were all amazed as we watched them go to work on her.   She was one of us and I think that is why we rallied around her.   They did shameful photoshopping of her family and son, Trig (see my previous post.)   Words like ‘vitriol’ and ‘vicious’ were  used to describe the media treatment.   When a little girl is quoted as saying, “I think she’s mean,” we know she has been brainwashed for, of course, she has never met Sarah.

Sarah’s book, Going Rogue, has been parodied and trashed, but as I write it is  #1 on the New York Times hard-cover non-fiction list.    The comment of some on reading it  and really getting to know Sarah for the first time is,  “What’s not to like?”

Hello, out there.  Help me to understand.   You who hate Sarah.  Please tell me why.

It remains a mystery why Palin so enrages the left.  From one side of their mouth they attempt to marginalize her as an inconsequential moron, some Alaskan redneck former beauty pageant breeder of too many children.  At the same time, they declare her dangerous, cunning, a too-powerful figure corrupting the minds of mainstream America.  The many contradictions contained within the liberals’ hatred (yes, I am using that word – because it is appropriate) of Sarah Palin willfully goes unnoticed by them.  They simply march on, gleeful in their collective and repeated attacks against the former governor of Alaska.  Sarah Palin is a woman.  Sarah Palin is a conservative. Sarah Palin is Pro-Life.  Sarah Palin is pro-gun rights.  Sarah Palin talks of her love of God and country. Sarah Palin has the audacity to openly (and effectively) mock liberalismWe must destroy her.  — The Ulsterman Report


If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.  If you were of the world, the world would love its own, but because you are not of the world , therefore the world hates you.  —  John 15:18-19