21 August 2014

Everfound: "God of the Impossible"

As we continue to live this week, I offer this version of Everfound presenting "God of the Impossible":

Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for the gift of Your most precious Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity in the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist.

Msgr. Pope on Telling Time in Jesus’ Day

"The modern person, especially in the West, thinks of time in a very mechanistic way. We watch the clock, which is in itself a mechanical device without intrinsic meaning. We look to the clock rather than watch the sun, or watch our children grow, or we look to the crops, or even more broadly to the rise and fall of nations. For most of us time is not the unfolding of eternity or the cycle of life; time is simply a neutral span to be reckoned by its length, by the number of ticks on a device we have invented. We also tend to reckon time by what we can do with it. If we have a lot of time we can get a lot done; if we don’t have much time we can’t get things done."

In a recent commentary, Monsignor Charles Pope (pastor of Holy Comforter-Saint Cyprian Parish, Washington, DC) reflected on the measurement of time in ancient societies vis-à-vis in modern society and on the lessons we in this milieu may learn from this lesson.

To access Msgr. Pope’s complete post, please visit:

Msgr. Charles Pope: How did People Tell Time in Jesus’ Day? (11 AUG 14)

Reflection Starter from St. Pius X

"My hope is in Christ, who strengthens the weakest by His Divine help. I can do all in Him who strengthens me. His Power is infinite, and if I lean on him, it will be mine. His Wisdom is infinite, and if I look to Him counsel, I shall not be deceived. His Goodness is infinite, and if my trust is stayed in Him, I shall not be abandoned." - Pope Saint Pius X (whose memory the Church celebrates today)

20 August 2014

NFPA Urges Students to Be Mindful of Fire Safety

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recently reminded students to be mindful of fire safety. September and October are peak months for fires in college housing, according to NFPA research, and the Center for Campus Safety has designated September as Campus Fire Safety Month.

NFPA’s report, “Structure Fires in Dormitories, Fraternities, Sororities and Barracks” notes that U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 3,810 structure fires in college housing between 2007 and 2011. Roughly 70 percent of fires began in the kitchen or cooking area, and cooking equipment caused about three-quarters of these fires. Seven percent of fires started in the bedroom, but were responsible for 27 percent of injuries and 21 percent of property damage. The report also states that fires are most common in the evening hours between 5 p.m. and 11 p.m., and on weekends.

The following are additional fire safety tips from NFPA that can help college students living in on- or off-campus housing:

• Look for fully sprinklered housing when choosing a dorm or off-campus housing.
• Make sure your dormitory or apartment has smoke alarms inside each bedroom, outside every sleeping area and on each level. For the best protection, all smoke alarms should be interconnected so that when one sounds, they all sound.
• Test all smoke alarms at least monthly, and never remove batteries or disable smoke alarms.
• Cook only where it is permitted (and stay in the kitchen and keep alert while preparing meals).
• Learn your building’s evacuation plan and practice all drills as if they were the real thing. If you live off campus, have a fire escape plan with two ways out of every room.

Background information:

National Fire Protection Association

Antonín Dvorák: Symphony No.8 in G major

It’s time for some classical music. This is a presentation of Antonín Dvorák’s "Symphony No.8 in G major" as played by the Cleveland Orchestra, conducted by Christoph von Dohnányi:

Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for gentle, cooling breezes.

Thank You for Saving My Life

Almost no one was surprised last May when Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder was designated the Most Valuable Player in the National Basketball Association. He had led the league in scoring by a comfortable margin, and even his most likely competitors argued for his selection. The surprise came a couple of days later, when he gave his acceptance speech. It was a masterpiece of raw emotion, a triumph that matched the original award. If you haven’t seen it already on your home computer, catch it as soon as you can. It’s well worth watching.

Durant began, refreshingly enough, by thanking God “for saving my life.” It’s a little unusual to hear God’s name at all in a talk of this sort, and Durant made it a point to open his acceptance that way. Next he spoke of his upbringing near Washington, D.C., and his plan to “stay home” and become a coach - but his own career was already on the move.

“Along the way I’ve had so much help,” he said. “People believed in me when I didn’t do well, when I didn’t believe in myself. I fell so many times but I got back up. And I’m still standing.”

Next he turned to his teammates, all of whom were present. Durant wept real tears as unapologetically he thanked them, one by one: “Late-night calls after tough games”...”When I needed an extra push, you were there”... “Words can’t explain how I feel about you.” For Russell Westbrook, a star in his own right, he saved a special mention. “You would run through a wall for me,” he said. “You set the tone.”

Nor did he forget the Oklahoma City fans. That was fitting, since the city has welcomed the franchise to an extraordinary degree. As part of its official greeting, it even made sure that team members saw some of the local sights, including Bricktown, the now-restored factory district full of parks and restaurants, and the Memorial at the site of the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, where 168 Oklahomans lost their lives.

Finally the tears flowed freely as Durant paid tribute to his Mom (who was also there for the presentation). In the emotional highlight of an emotional speech, he chose his words carefully:

“I don’t know how you did what you did. You were a single parent with two boys by the time you were 21. We moved from one apartment to another by ourselves. One of my best memories I have is when we moved into our first apartment. No bed, no furniture...We all sat in the living room, on the floor, and just hugged each other. We thought we had made it.

“When you didn’t eat, you made sure we ate. You went to sleep hungry. You sacrificed for us. You’re the real MVP.”

Durant closed as he began, by thanking God again through his tears. “He is the beginning and the end, the Alpha and Omega,” he said. The final phrase of the speech, directed to God, was simple indeed: “Thank you for saving my life.”

He didn’t explain it, nor did he have to. The eloquence of his words saw to that.

(This essay is a recent “Light One Candle” column, written by Jerry Costello, of The Christophers; it is one of a series of weekly columns that deal with a variety of topics and current events.)

Background information:

The Christophers