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Sunday, December 30, 2012

It all starts with US

Many of us wonder how just one person can make any impact at all in the seemingly monumental Culture of Death. lt is easy for us to believe we are small and insignificant voices compared to the complex marketing machinery that comprises the opposing viewpoint. But let's reconsider this idea. In fact, as this video demonstrates, we must reconsider this idea if we are to combat despair with hope.

During this Year of Faith, we must radiate like Mary whose single soul magnified the Lord.
We must think like Paul who saw his weakness as strength.  We must fight like Joan of Arc who courageously delivered France during one of history's darkest ages. We must collapse our pride like Therese of Lisieux and become like little children, for it is in truth of innocence that we will win the most stubborn and calloused souls.

What one thing can you do in the coming year to spread Christ's fragrance?
Create Hope? Defend Life?
Let us be about His business.
La Chaim!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you! You were within me, but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for you. In my unloveliness I plunged into the lovely things which you created. You were with me, but I was not with you. Created things kept me from you; yet if they had not been in you they would have not been at all. You called, you shouted, and you broke through my deafness. You flashed, you shone, and you dispelled my blindness. You breathed your fragrance on me; I drew in breath and now I pant for you. I have tasted you, now I hunger and thirst for more. You touched me, and I burned for your peace.

-Confessions, St. Augustine

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Sounds of heaven

See what the human voice can do?  This is heavenly.  And no instruments to weight or ground the musical exercise is free to soar to the purposeful heights of this wonder of architecture.  See how we are so drawn to beauty?  God knows how to charm us.  This is a magnficent of my favorites.

I am so struck with wonder that God should come to earth as a baby...something inconceivable in the form of something to so tiny and vulnerable.  Yet He was conceived. He was sent to save us. How happy that angel to deliver the news to a world so desperately in need.

I hope you are able to take some time today and tomorrow to sit in wonder (something that sets us apart from the rest of the animals) and ponder the miracle that is Christ's Mass.

O magnum mysterium
et admirabile sacramentum,
ut animalia viderent Dominum natum,
jacentem in præsepio.
Beata virgo, cujus viscera meruerunt
portare Dominum Christum, Alleluia!

O great mystery
and wondrous sacrament,
that animals should see the newborn Lord
lying in their manger.
Blessed is the Virgin whose womb was worthy
to bear the Lord Jesus Christ. Alleluia!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Karen's Top Shopping Pick for Advent

okay, I love craft stores, I'll admit it.  I can spend hours in them.  Just ask my teenager. So what's weird is that I've never visited a Hobby Lobby....until yesterday!  Now I'm hooked.  I went in for some pink and purple ribbon.  I emerged 90 minutes later with STUFF!  Oh the joys.

Some things you should know about Hobby Lobby:
1.  They have struggled because of their FAITH.  Read CEO letter below.
2.  They are NOT violating the 1st commandment by being open on Sundays.  Hooray!
3.  Their merchandise is suspiciously VIRTUOUS. They are the only game in town that sells a life-size nativity set.  Something I could not find in any retail establishment last year. Oh, sure, I could spend a few grand on an online version, but I want to actually see something non-pixilated before I spend that kind of money.
4.  There was an amazing 50% off sale yesterday.  The prices are really good.
5.  The workers are, stunningly, happy to help you. I was met with respect and courtesy, not glazed-over snarky-ness.
6.  So...if you're reading this post:  Go Shop The Hobby Lobby! (Just not's Sunday after all.)

A Letter from Hobby Lobby Stores CEO
By David Green, the founder and CEO of Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.

When my family and I started our company 40 years ago, we were working out of a garage on a $600 bank loan, assembling miniature picture frames. Our first retail store wasn't much bigger than most people's living rooms, but we had faith that we would succeed if we lived and worked according to God's word. From there,Hobby Lobby has become one of the nation's largest arts and crafts retailers, with more than 500 locations in 41 states. Our children grew up into fine business leaders, and today we run Hobby Lobby together, as a family.

We're Christians, and we run our business on Christian principles. I've always said that the first two goals of our business are (1) to run our business in harmony with God's laws, and (2) to focus on people more than money. And that's what we've tried to do. We close early so our employees can see their families at night. We keep our stores closed on Sundays, one of the week's biggest shopping days, so that our workers and their families can enjoy a day of rest. We believe that it is by God's grace that Hobby Lobby has endured, and he has blessed us and our employees. We've not only added jobs in a weak economy, we've raised wages for the past four years in a row. Our full-time employees start at 80% above minimum wage.

But now, our government threatens to change all of that. A new government health care mandate says that our family business MUST provide what I believe are abortion-causing drugs as part of our health insurance. Being Christians, we don't pay for drugs that might cause abortions, which means that we don't cover emergency contraception, the morning-after pill or the week-after pill. We believe doing so might end a life after the moment of conception, something that is contrary to our most important beliefs. It goes against the Biblical principles on which we have run this company since day one. If we refuse to comply, we could face $1.3 million PER DAY in government fines.

Our government threatens to fine job creators in a bad economy. Our government threatens to fine a company that's raised wages four years running. Our government threatens to fine a family for running its business according to its beliefs. It's not right. I know people will say we ought to follow the rules; that it's the same for everybody. But that's not true. The government has exempted thousands of companies from this mandate, for reasons of convenience or cost. But it won't exempt them for reasons of religious belief.

So, Hobby Lobby and my family are forced to make a choice. With great reluctance, we filed a lawsuit today, represented by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, asking a federal court to stop this mandate before it hurts our business. We don't like to go running into court, but we no longer have a choice. We believe people are more important than the bottom line and that honoring God is more important than turning a profit.

My family has lived the American dream. We want to continue growing our company and providing great jobs for thousands of employees, but the government is going to make that much more difficult. The government is forcing us to choose between following our faith and following the law. I say that's a choice no American and no American business should have to make.
The government cannot force you to follow laws that go against your fundamental religious belief. They have exempted thousands of companies but will not except Christian organizations including the Catholic church.

Since you will not see this covered in any of the liberal media, pass this on to all your contacts.

David Green, CEO and Founder of Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.