31 October 2021

Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for the blessing of creative decorations on our front yards, doors, and windows.

Msgr. Pope on the Real Jesus of Scripture

"If we could travel back in time to 30 A.D. and meet the Lord Jesus as He carried forth His public ministry, we might be quite surprised by what we saw. I say this because many of us are heirs to a rather filtered description of Him that is both Western and modern."

In a recent commentary, Monsignor Charles Pope (pastor of Holy Comforter-Saint Cyprian Parish, Washington, DC) reflected on the real Jesus, as described in Scripture, including His physical vigor and stamina, His loud and challenging preaching, His uncompromising stance, and His urgency.

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

Community in Mission: The Real Jesus of Scripture Might Surprise You (25 OCT 21)

Reflection Starter from Pope Francis

"The Word of God must be repeated, made one's own, safeguarded. It must reach every aspect of life, involve, as Jesus says in the Gospel of the Day, the entire heart, the entire soul, the entire mind, all of our strength (Mk 12:28). It must resound within us." - Pope Francis

30 October 2021

Cincinnati Pops Orchestra: "Rolling River (Sketches on 'Shenandoah')"

 As this blessed week draws to a close, I offer this version of the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra presenting "Rolling River (Sketches on 'Shenandoah')":

On Waiting for God's Best, True Origins of Halloween, and Other Catholic-related Topics

A number of articles/posts have recently been published on a variety of Catholic-related subjects worth considering.

To access some of these, please visit:

Crossroads Initiative: True Origins of Halloween - Pagan Druid or Christian?

Catholic News Agency: Catholics can get an indulgence for the dead by praying at a cemetery any day this November (28 OCT 21)

The Catholic Thing: Waiting for God's Best (29 AUG 21)

Crux: Pope tells nuns to spurn the Devil, don't become 'spinsters' (24 OCT 21)

Catholic Herald: Cardinal Dolan outlines 7 'non-negotiables' for the Synod on Synodality (20 OCT 21)

Public Discourse: How the Catholic Church Made Westerners the WEIRDest People in the World (28 OCT 21)

Denver Catholic: George Weigel: Pope Francis, 'estranged' Catholics, and holy communion (20 OCT 21)

National Catholic Register: Blogs: Deacon Steven D. Greydanus: The Sacred and the Profane: Religious Themes in Vampire Fiction (28 SEP 21)

Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for the gift of joy.

Sherry Antonetti on the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary

"The world would tell us that joy and peace are possible only when everything is perfect, when all tasks are finished. However, if we look at the lives of Jesus, Mary and Joseph reflected in the joyful mysteries of the Rosary, we know that the greatest joys came through struggle, through suffering, when everything was far from perfect. Through the joyful mysteries, God gives us a glimpse into how to weather the trials each of us faces in this world."

In a recent commentary, writer Sherry Antonetti reflected on how these Joyful Mysteries help us to live joy-filled lives in spite of the trials we face.

To access Ms. Antonetti's complete post, please visit:

National Catholic Register: Blogs: Sherry Antonetti: The Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary Inspire Joyful Witnesses to the Gospel (27 OCT 21)

Reflection Starter from Lewis Powell Jr.

"The really important thing is to be somebody and do something worthwhile in this one life each of us is given by God. This doesn't mean making the headlines or the most money. Many who succeed in both of these are actually quite contemptible.

"It does mean using your ability in some profession or calling in a way which contributes something to your generation. It also means being a man of honor, character, patriotism, civic consciousness - and some leadership of your fellow men" - Lewis F. Powell Jr.

29 October 2021

Johann Baptist Vanhal: Concerto for Double Bass

It's time for some classical music. This is a presentation of Johann Baptist Vanhal's Concerto for Double Bass, as presented by Jason Gekker on double bass and Ji Hong Adams-Park on piano:


Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for the blessing of sponsors who help one begin a new life's chapter.

Iranian Refugee Recalls Mom's Christian Conversion

All children want to fit in with their peers, but that was a larger-than-usual challenge for Daniel Nayeri.  As an Iranian refugee who was resettled in Oklahoma with his mother and sister, the youngster felt  scared and nervous because he was seen as an outsider. Having come from a culture with a rich  tradition of storytelling, Daniel came to see stories as a way to connect with others. Several decades later, he integrated the Persian myths from his childhood with details of his own life growing up - including his mother's conversion to Christianity, which led them to flee Iran - and turned them into the Christopher Award-winning young adult novel Everything Sad Is Untrue: (A True Story). We discussed it recently on Christopher Closeup.

Daniel noted that women are often viewed as being repressed in Iran, but his mother had a good life there. "She had a medical practice, she was a doctor," he explained. "She had her whole family, she had a beautiful house, she had friends." She was also a woman devoted to her Muslim faith and "a scholar of its texts." That's why what came next was such a surprise.

The family traveled to the United Kingdom for his mother's sister's wedding. "During that time," Daniel recalled, "my mom came into contact with Christianity, with the Bible, reading it and seeing those distinctions [with Islam] that, for her, were distinctions that made a difference. So her conversion happened there. Then we returned to Iran where she joined an underground church."

In Iran, however, it is a capital crime to convert to Christianity. Due to her evangelization efforts, Mrs. Nayeri soon "ran afoul" of her city's secret police force, The Committee. Her life, and her family's life, were threatened, so she, Daniel (then age five), and his sister escaped from the country. (Daniel's father stayed behind.) The Nayeris wound up in a refugee camp in Italy, and eventually received asylum in Oklahoma, where their lives became starkly different - and poorer - than the comfort they experienced in Iran. Because Mrs. Nayeri's medical license wasn't recognized in the U.S., she was forced to work low-paying jobs to earn money.

Despite the hardships his mother's conversion brought on, Daniel never resented his mother's choice. Once she accepted Jesus, he observed, "there's something here that she sincerely saw the value in, greater than money, prestige, safety, stability, family, and everything else." Daniel is also grateful for the "generous and kind" people who helped them, including Jim and Jean Dawson, the elderly Christian couple who sponsored and co-signed the Nayeris to come to America.

Daniel recalled, "This was sacrificial love. Imagine someone coming to you, a clerical individual, saying, 'Look, in our files for finding homes for refugees across the planet, there's this single mom, and she has two kids under the age of 10. She doesn't yet speak English, but she's quite smart, so we hope she will. And if you co-sign for them, they'll fly here. They are absolutely endangered and quite traumatized. And if for some reason, things go sour, that's going to wreck your entire credit. And they're going to live in your house.' . . . Would you say yes or no to that? I think a lot of people would say, 'It's not for us right now.' For some reason, [the Dawsons said yes]. I think that level of sacrifice has always been something that touched me, in so far as it clearly saved us."

This essay is this week's "Light One Candle" column written by Tony Rossi, Director of Communications, 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

Reflection Starter from the Bookj of Proverbs

"Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what any day may bring forth." - Proverbs 27:1

28 October 2021

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October is being observed as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. It is designed to be a time of raising awareness of domestic violence throughout the United States and its devastating effects on families and communities. It is also a time to remember those who have died because of domestic violence and to recommit to efforts to end violence within homes and communities.

Domestic violence refers to a violent confrontation between family or household members involving physical harm, sexual assault, and/or fear of physical harm. Family or household members include spouses, former spouses, those in (or formerly in) a dating relationship, adults related by blood or marriage, and those who have a biological or legal parent-child relationship.

Domestic violence may include acts of violence intimidation, threats, psychological abuse, and/or isolation to coerce and to control the other person. Violence itself may not happen often, but it may remain a hidden and constant terrorizing factor. Domestic violence may also include psychological violence, such as intense and repetitive degradation, creating isolation, and controlling the actions or behaviors of the spouse or other individual through intimidation or manipulation to the detriment of that individual.

Although a look at statistics indicates that domestic violence is a major problem, we don’t really know how common it is because people often do not report it. Domestic violence occurs among women and men of all ages and all levels of income and education. Many times victims of violence suffer in silence because they do not know where to turn, where to find guidance and support.

In a related initiative, a number of celebrities, athletes, corporate leaders, and advocates are collaborating, via a series of public service announcements, to generate awareness for domestic violence and sexual assault and encourage bystanders to help. This NO MORE campaign is designed to galvanize greater awareness and action to end domestic violence and sexual assault.

For more information about this initiative, please visit:


Background information and resources:

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

National Network to End Domestic Violence

National Resource Center on Domestic Violence

National Domestic Violence Hotline

Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Maine Coalition To End Domestic Violence

Massachusetts Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence

New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence

Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Vermont Network Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault

The Cadets: "Heaven Help Me"

It's time for some more doo wop. Here is a presentation of  "Heaven Help Me" by The Cadets:


Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for the building blocks You place in our lives.

Marlon De La Torre on How We Can Know It's God's Voice

"There is a seductive voice that lurks amongst us as a result of the sin of our first parents. When faced with a choice, Adam and Eve preferred to live in a world without God. The original sin opened a door where we encounter a battle between good and evil. This spiritual battle is ongoing because the Devil will not cease in his desire to destroy any relationship you and I may have with Jesus Christ. Even though the Devil and his fallen angels were originally created naturally good, they made a choice to be like God and thus banished themselves from the Kingdom of Heaven.

"The free choice of the Devil and his fallen legion of demons is the same choice-temptation we face every day and one that the Devil will try to entice us to choose something other than Jesus Christ. At the heart of the fall of our first parents is the complete rejection of God. The Devil's seductive proposition or temptation was that Adam and Eve would be like God if they ate of the fruit of the tree of the garden that God had forbidden them to eat. . . ."

In a recent commentary, Marlon De La Torre, Director of Catechesis for the Diocese of Fort Worth, reflected on how to discern whether the inner voice we are hearing is from God or from the Devil.

To access Mr. De La Torre's complete post, please visit:

Knowing Is Doing: How do I know its God's voice? (25 OCT 21)

Reflection Starter from William Arthur Ward

"We can throw stones, complain about them, stumble on them, climb over them, or build with them." - William Arthur Ward

27 October 2021

Dizzy Gillespie: "Tin Tin Deo"

It's time for some jazz, a genre of music I enjoy. Here is a presentation of "Tin Tin Deo" by Dizzy Gillespie:


Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for the blessing of holy water and other sacramentals.

Fr. Patrick Briscoe, O.P., on Steps of Prayer from Recent Gospel Reading

". . . Zacchaeus famously climbed a tree to get a glimpse of Jesus. The woman suffering from a flow of blood desired only to touch the hem of Jesus' cloak, so she struggled through the crowd just to be near him. And today, Bartimaeus calls out, trying to attract the Lord, to get his attention.

"So how are we called to be like Bartimaeus?"

In a recent commentary, Father Patrick Briscoe, O.P., reflected on Bartimaeus as a model for prayer.

To access Fr Patrick's complete post, please visit: 

Aleteia: Fr. Patrick Briscoe, OP: 4 Steps of prayer to learn from today's Gospel (24 OCT 21)

Reflection Starter from C. S. Lewis

"When you are arguing against God you are arguing against the very power that makes you able to argue at all." - C. S. Lewis

26 October 2021

National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week

This week, the week of 24-30 October, is being observed as National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week.

This year HUD, EPA, and CDC will be posting social media messages corresponding to daily themes:

  • Monday: Why Should I Be Concerned About Lead?
  • Tuesday: How Do I Know if There is Lead in My Home?
  • Wednesday: How Do I Know if There is Lead in My Drinking Water?
  • Thursday: How Do I Know if My Child Has Been Exposed to Lead?
  • Friday: How Can I Make Sure My Child Has Safe Crawls?

Childhood lead poisoning is considered one of the most preventable environmental disease among young children. However, an estimated 250,000 U.S. children have elevated blood-lead levels. A simple blood test can prevent permanent damage that will last a lifetime.

During National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week , the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) strives to:

  • raise awareness about lead poisoning,
  • stress the importance of screening the highest risk children younger than six years of age (preferably by ages one and two) if they have not been tested yet,
  • highlight efforts to prevent childhood lead poisoning, and
  • urge people to take steps to reduce lead exposure.

During this week, a number of states and communities offer free blood-lead testing and conduct various education and awareness events.

Background information:

National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week

CDC: Lead Poisoning Prevention Tips

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development: Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes

Belated Birthday Blessings, Chris!!!

Belated birthday greetings to Christopher Medeiros, husband of Myrna's daughter Mimi, whose recently celebrated his birthday!!! May each day of the upcoming year be filled with the Lord's choicest blessings!!!

The Canadian Tenors: "Hallelujah"

As we continue to live this week, I offer this version of The Canadian Tenors and accompanying young musicians presenting "Hallelujah":

Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for the blessing of community newspapers.

Br. Luke Mary Neitzke, O.P., on When God Approaches

"God drawing near to us can sometimes be a rather unpleasant experience. 

"The Old Testament is filled with stories of God visiting his chosen people or a particular prophet and not doing so very quietly. . . .

"The New Testament continues with this theme. While the disciples were on the Sea of Galilee without Christ, a great storm arose that battered against the boat. When they saw Christ drawing near them, they were not consoled at first. Instead, they grew even more afraid and believed that they were seeing a ghost. The disciples were afraid because they did not understand that God himself was drawing near them.

"These . . . stories all have two things in common: as God drew near to those he loved, chaos preceded him. But God was not in the chaos; he was in the peace that followed it."

In a recent commentary, Brother Luke Mary Neitzke, O.P., reflected on how, as God draws near to us, "it may seem like every part of our lives is being overturned, but this is because God is turning our hearts over to him."

To access Br. Luke Mary's complete post, please visit:

Dominicana: When God Approaches… (25 OCT 21)

Reflection Starter from R. Buckminster Fuller

"Never forget that you are one of a kind. Never forget that if there weren't any need for you in all your uniqueness to be on this earth, you wouldn't be here in the first place. And never forget, no matter how overwhelming life's challenges and problems seem to be, that one person can make a difference in the world. In fact, it is always because of one person that all the changes that matter in the world come about. So be that one person." - R. Buckminster Fuller

25 October 2021

Acoustix: Worrld War I Era Medley

It's time for some barbershop harmony, a genre of music I enjoy. Here is a presentation of a medley of World War I era songs by Acoustix:


Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for the blessing of each person You put in our path.

Bishop Tobin on the Word Of God Being Our Light

"One of my favorite verses about the Word of God comes from Psalm 119: 'Your word, O Lord, is a lamp for my steps and a light for my path.' The Word of God as a lamp to light our path - it's a very useful image for us, isn't it?

"I wonder - have you ever found yourself in absolute, total darkness, perhaps after a storm when the power's out, or while exploring a cave, or in a forest at night? Can be a pretty scary experience, right?

"Sometimes it seems that our world is in moral darkness too, filled with so much sin, division, anger and confusion. . . ."

In a recent commentary, Bishop Thomas J. Tobin, of the Diocese of Providence (RI), reflected on how the Word of God provides light for us amidst the turmoil in the world.

To access Bishop Tobin's complete essay, please visit: 

The Imitation of Christ: The Word Of God Is Our Light (21 OCT 21)

Reflection Starter from Fr. Henri Nouwen

"'Pay attention to the people God puts in your path if you want to discern what God is up to in your life." - Father Henri Nouwen

24 October 2021

Marsha Hansen: "The Blind Man Stood On The Road and Cried"

As we continue our Sunday celebration, I offer this version of Marsha Hansen presenting "The Blind Man Stood On The Road and Cried":

Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Today the Church celebrates the Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time. The assigned readings are Jerimiah 31:7-9, Hebrews 5:1-6, and Mark 10:46-52. The Responsorial Psalm is from Psalm 126 (Psalm 126:1-6). 

For one version of the Responsorial Psalm set to music, please visit:

YouTube: Responsorial Psalm October 24, 2021 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time

The Gospel reading is as follows: 

As Jesus was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a sizable crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind man, the son of Timaeus, sat by the roadside begging. On hearing that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, "Jesus, son of David, have pity on me."
And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he kept calling out all the more, "Son of David, have pity on me."
Jesus stopped and said, "Call him."
So they called the blind man, saying to him, "Take courage; get up, Jesus is calling you." He threw aside his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus.
Jesus said to him in reply, "What do you want me to do for you?"
The blind man replied to him, "Master, I want to see."
Jesus told him, "Go your way; your faith has saved you."
Immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way.

Reflections on these readings:

Oblates of St. Francis de Sales: Salesian Sunday Reflections: The Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time October 24, 2021

Oblates of St. Francis de Sales: Sundays Salesian: Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time (October 24, 2021)

Community in Mission: A Man Who Saw by Hearing - A Meditation on the Gospel of the 30th Sunday of the Year (24 OCT 21)

The Quiet Corner: Following the road to true discipleship (21 OCT 21)

Saint John's Seminary: Fr. Joseph Briody: Sunday Reflection: 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time

St. Paul Center: Seeing the Son of David: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Magis Center for Catholic Spirituality: Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Word on Fire: Are You Blinded by Cities of Sin? (Cycle B * Ordinary Time * Week 30)

Spirituality of the Readings: Keep on Asking (30th Sunday of Ordinary Time - Year B)

In Exile: Holy And Unholy Fear (30th Sunday of Ordinary Time - Year B)

Glancing Thoughts: What Do You Want? (30th Sunday of Ordinary Time - Year B)

The Perspective of Justice: Justice Will Abide (30th Sunday of Ordinary Time - Year B)

The Word Embodied: The Terror of Love (30th Sunday of Ordinary Time - Year B)

Let the Scriptures Speak: Seeing (30th Sunday of Ordinary Time - Year B) 

Historical Cultural Context: The Blind Beggar (30th Sunday of Ordinary Time - Year B) 

Thoughts from the Early Church: Commentary by Clement of Alexandria (30th Sunday of Ordinary Time - Year B)