years after Roe vs. Wade, Compelling Interest, by Roger Resler offers an
interesting look behind the scenes of the Supreme Court decision that made
abortion legal in the United States. From the appalling ignorance of the
attorneys handling the defense, to the twisting of language and history to
manipulate the court’s decision, Resler makes a convincing case for life.
In his interviews with experts and research into other historic court cases, the
author demonstrates that the justices and defense attorneys allowed the legal
team pursuing the “right” to legal abortion to bamboozle
Resler's reading of his audiobook, actual conversations with the founders of the
National Right to Life Committee, author and speaker Randy Alcorn, bioethics
professor Dr. Gerard Magill, and other experts add objectivity and
credence to a usually explosive topic. Doctors' descriptions of the
abortion process at every stage of pregnancy are graphic and
end, the key point I detected, was NOT whether the embryo, fetus, baby or
"tissue" (as the attorney for the plaintiff chose to refer to it), was a living,
human being. The question of life starting at fertilization/conception had
been scientifically and irrefutably proven long before this case came to
trial. The question before the court was whether this "tissue" had any
"Constitutional Rights or protection" due to it. Unfortunately, as no
precedent had been established, the best the defense could come up with was that
"natural born" citizens were due protection of life, liberty, etc. under the
Constitution of the United States. Sarah Weddington, attorney for the
plaintiff, argued that this meant that since the "tissue" was not yet born, it
had no rights. The Supreme Court justices fell for it.
ensuing arguments about how early a fetus could survive outside the womb,
"quality of life" issues were introduced. Now we have a disturbing
precedent. If the "quality of life" that a premature baby can enjoy is not
of the quality deemed necessary by the court, what about the "quality of life"
of the disabled, the elderly, the poor? It is frightening to see these
very issues beginning to be addressed 40 years later.
don't know about anyone else, but after giving birth to 4 children, I greatly
respect the life that grows inside a woman's womb, however conceived, and
however little "hope" there is for "quality" for that life. I also do not
want anyone but my God deciding when my "quality of life" has ended and so,
therefore, must my actual life.
narrator, the author has a deep, commanding presence and the interspersed voices
of experts he interviewed for the book offer a pleasant variety and help to keep
the reader's interest.
not recommend this book for anyone under the age of 16, due to the subject
matter and graphic descriptions of the abortion process.
Most of the world has been destroyed by a deadly virus, followed by a
nuclear war. Technology is useless without the utilities and infrastructure to
support it. Survivors are so widely dispersed that nearly all "modern" knowledge
and convenience has disappeared. 400 years later, groups of people have
organized into medieval style villages and countries, producing food on small
farms and manufacturing all their clothing, tools, and weapons by hand. If
you're a prepper, a survivalist, or just a fan of the fantasy genre like myself,
you will truly enjoy"The Sword",
by Bryan M Litfin.
To these future humans, we are "the ancients". Worship of idols and
corruption are not only rampant, but taught as the state religion. While trying
to escape from "outsiders", Teo, a royal guardsman for the king of Chiveis, and
Ana, a farm girl who saves his life, stumble upon an ancient book that turns out
to be the Holy Bible. As it is translated into their language, they come to know
a new God, the Creator, whom they come to understand as the One True God.
Meanwhile, the High Priestess of the common religion takes steps to eliminate
the new religion. The ending is a compelling set up for Book 2 in this
The deep, resonant voice of narrator Ray Porter captures and holds
the attention, while his softer, higher pitched female renditions are a bit
humorous, while the listener adjusts to them. Author Litfin succeeds in creating
a future world that stands on its own in a genre which includes some tough
competition. His characters play convincingly, with all their flaws, admirable
qualities, and inner struggles. Ana eagerly embraces the new God, but Teo,
accustomed to relying on his own strength and cunning, takes more than simple
persuasion. His road to conversion is fraught with disaster, and when he does
come to believe, it may be too late for the fledgling community.
This book does have some mature scenes (without being explicit), so I
would not recommend it for the family bookshelf, but I think it is appropriate
for a mature 16 year old, and older, use your discretion. It is entertaining,
suspenseful, and illustrates what Christians must sometimes endure, especially
in areas where the Word of God has never been heard.
How do solving mysteries and restoring vintage quilts go
together? Like needles and thread! Kidding aside, when Guideposts
Books puts together a series, you can bet it will be uplifting, inspirational
and always interesting. Sarah Hart is a vintage quilt restoration expert,
and an avid quilter herself, who tends to get tangled up in one mystery after
another. In "The Price of Truth", Sarah's in Boston with her
daughter-in-law, Maggie, an antique dealer, for an antique auction. The
Maple Hill Historical Society has asked Sarah to bid on a quilt they believe was
owned by one of the town's founders. But there's something fishy going on
with the quilts at this auction. Sarah has to find out if the desired
quilt is even authentic, then discover why other quilts are selling for way
above their value, before it goes up for bid. Meanwhile, an elusive
stranger keeps having secret meetings with the auction manager and Maggie's best
friend is having marital problems. Read on as Sarah uncovers the mysteries
of the quilts, helps Maggie's friend rethink her divorce plans and saves an
auction house's reputation.
I don't normally care for romances but I chose this
one because of the Amish twist. The Amish fascinate and inspire me.
Ms. Woodsmall does an excellent job of introducing and acquainting us with
her main characters. She is generous with information about them and their
backgrounds. She paints pictures of landscapes and situations that play
like a movie in the imagination.
Annie comes from a broken Old Order Mennonite home in
which her mother has struggled to raise several children amid the shame of her
husband abandoning the family. Aden's Old Order Amish father and brother,
Roman, were injured in a farming accident which left them unable to continue to
provide for the family in quite the same way as before. Annie's struggles
with her mother are emotionally charged. Roman's struggle to come to terms
with his disability rings very true. The way these people of faith handle
their challenges and ultimately turn to their Creator to help and heal them is
inspiring. The problem of forbidden love between childhood friends Aden
and Annie is resolved amid surprising twists and conflicts.
This is just a good old story, with characters who are
real people with real problems, which today's Old Order families are not immune
to. They have their warts and their roses (or should I say cherry
blossoms?) and it is inspiring to see them grow and improve in the course of
resolving their problems. I really enjoyed this book. It's a pleasant
escape to Amish country and a "simpler" life.
Cindy Woodsmallis an
award-winning and New York Times Bestselling author. She has written
several other books, including When the Soul Mends and Plain Wisdom. Her
friendships with Amish and Mennonites began in childhood and continue to this
day. She homeschooled her children as they were growing
Campbell has recorded
over 100 audiobooks and is an accomplished actress and high school teacher.
Her narration is clear and expressive without distracting from the
As a prisoner in a Nazi death camp, Corrie Ten Boom, a
Dutch watchmaker, saw many of her family and friends die. A fateful
mistake caused her release only one day before all women her age were to be
killed. She had every reason for despair and revenge. Instead, a few
years later, she brought the Gospel of Jesus to the very women who were her
guards in that concentration camp. The same women who had hated and
despised her, were now imprisoned, and hungry for hope. With some
difficulty, the grace of God and a box of chocolates, Corrie won these women to
Amazing Love is the story of Corrie Ten Boom's life of
evangelization after surviving the Nazis in World War II. Originally
published in 1953, the audio version is well read by Nadia May, (c) 2010 by
Christian Audio. Ms. May's reading gives a personal quality to the
narrative. I almost believed I was listening to the author herself. Corrie
travels all over the world bringing the Gospel to movie stars in Hollywood,
communists in Russia, and the poor in developing countries. Her courage
and confidence are inspiring. She even admits to bouts of arrogance, when
relying on her own talent and strength fails her, until she remembers to pray,
and turn her will over to Jesus once again. Time and again, she is called
upon to perform the impossible. Exorcizing demons, healing the sick,
flying across the world to spread the gospel, with no money for plane tickets
all demonstrate the power of God, manifested in the weakness of this woman.
Relying only on her faith and trust in Jesus, Corrie does all that is
asked of her, and many souls are converted to Christianity.
This is a very thought provoking, as well as entertaining
account of Ms. Ten Boom's adventures. As Christians we are called to
evangelize. To spread the Gospel to the ends of the earth. Do we
really know how to do this? Can we even spread it around us in our current
every day lives? I am left with much to ponder, and a thirst to learn more
about how to do what I can to lead others to the love and peace I find with
China is a Communist country. Christianity is
illegal and those who preach it are cruelly treated. If a family has one
child already and is found to be expecting another, the mother is detained and
the developing baby aborted. If the mother manages to escape and have her
baby, enormous fines and other punishments are imposed. Bibles are
confiscated and those who possess them are beaten.
When Brother Yun got his first Bible, he read it hungrily,
memorizing everything he could, even sleeping with it. He immediately
began proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ in small villages across
China. From that moment on, he experienced persecution, torture and
imprisonment by the Chinese government. Brother Yun recounts his
imprisonments, tortures and escapes in graphic detail. Although there are
those who question the extent of his reported tortures, his message is clear:
Jesus is love. Jesus is everything. Jesus' love is worth dying
for. The way he handles his tormenters, never losing faith, is truly
inspiring and heartrending.
In a country such as ours, where so many of us who call
ourselves "Christian" are lukewarm at best, the mere thought of suffering
torture, blood, pain and death for the sake of Jesus Christ gives pause.
Would I? Could I? Or would I deny Him and hide, gradually
losing what little faith I had? Not a dilemma I want to be faced with.
However, Brother Yun's story causes me to question whether I am witnessing
to Jesus Christ in my everyday life. Do I hunger for the Eucharist and the
Word? When presented with the opportunity to attend Mass or read the Bible
do I respond with enthusiasm? Out of duty? Turn my back? Is my
faith and hope contagious? Do I radiate peace and love? Good
questions to keep in the front of my mind on a daily basis. In the end,
don't we all want to be greeted with those precious words, "well done, good and
faithful servant. Now enter in and claim your reward."? Brother Yun
concludes by challenging the Western Church to return to basics. As the
theme of this blog suggests, I think that's a wonderful idea.
Christopher Jean gives a compelling reading as Brother
Yun, with Jeannie Park as Yun's faithful wife Deling. The readers lend
warmth and truth to their characters and the audiobook (copyright 2008 by Hovel
Audio) is a joy to listen to. The Heavenly Man, by Brother Yun,
with Paul Hattaway, (c) 2002, was originally published by Monarch
I would like to thankChristian Audio, for providing me
with a free review copy of this audiobook. No other compensation was
received for this review.
by Randall Wallace, (c) 2011, published by Mission
"The Touch" is that rare, life affirming sensitivity that a few medical
professionals and others posses. Doctor Andrew Jones is one of them.
After a tragic accident in which his fiancee is killed, he abandons his gift and
loses himself in teaching instead. Lara Blair is the billionaire heiress
of a medical research and equipment company. For years her firm has been
trying to perfect a surgical instrument that will duplicate a surgeon's
movements and allow never-before-possible deep brain surgeries to succeed.
When one of Lara's executives stumbles across an exhibit containing a highly
detailed micro-miniature sculpture of the Lincoln Memorial, and discovers the
identity of its creator, Blair Pharmaceuticals begins a relentless pursuit of
the talents of Dr. Jones.
There is a higher power at work, however, as Lara and Jones find themselves
facing old fears, and questioning whether their lives should continue on their
current paths. The most compelling question is, will Andrew be able to
defeat the demons that have tormented him since the death of his fiancee, in
order to save his new love?
This audiobook contains a powerful message about the dignity of life at all
stages, as well as the healing power of God's grace. It is a touching
romance, without vulgarity, though one brief passage is probably not suitable
for young ears. Paul Mitchell delivers an exceptional reading, his voice
resonating with the different emotions conveyed throughout the story.
Available for $12.98 from http://christianaudio.com/the-touch-randall-wallace.
I had trouble loading the MP3 files onto my ipod directly from the website,
but no problem whatsoever downloading it to the computer and then transferring
it to my ipod from there. The complete zip file loads really fast and
Not just another homesteading book, Extreme Simplicity gives real life,
practical tips for living simply in the city. The Nyerges lived in the
heart of Los Angeles, California for many years and actually practiced their
lifestyle right there, in the midst of restrictive city rules and
I actually skipped the first few chapters and went right to the meaty
chapters on recycling, gardening, water and alternative
energy. I took copious notes and got so many new ideas to
implement in my own country home, and to suggest to some of my city dwelling
friends, that I did go back and read the chapters I had skipped.
Some very practical suggestions for city folk to increase their self-reliance
include: where to obtain low and no cost materials to improve soil for
gardening, either in a small yard or containers; installing a wood stove and
where to acquire the wood to burn; natural cooling; rainwater and gray water
collection, storage and use; solar hot tub, water heating and cooking.
Though I am fortunate to be living my dream in the country now, I found the
book most encouraging and informative, in case I should have to spend a length
of time in the city again at some point.
Hopi Summer -
by Carolyn O'Bagy Davis, Copyright 2007
The 2011 winner of the OneBookAZ award, enthralled our book club with
the tale of a Massachussetts professor who took a sabbatical from teaching to
tour the United States with his family, just before the Great Depression.
When they reached the Hopi mesas in Arizona, the Melville family fell in love
with the Hopi people, in particular the Muchvos. A lifetime of photographs
and correspondence followed, the result being a slice of Hopi life, when
Christian missionaries and big government were only beginning to intrude upon
it, is preserved.
The hardships of life on the mesas, with little water and less money, is
weighed against the preservation of a very close-knit, traditional culture, rich
in ceremony and community. The very idea of a family with three children
taking this kind of an adventure in an old Model T Ford and trailer which, by
today's standards, would not even hold an ATV, is very humbling to one such as
myself, who professes to so love camping. It is also inspiring to me as a
homeschooler, that this university professor and his socialite wife,
agreed "that any teaching that the children missed in school would be more than
compensated for in the education they would get on the road, seeing the
landscape of America and learning about people and history along the way." (p.
28, Hopi Summer).
This is truly a "living" book. Those who don't care for
non-fiction will be drawn in by the personal stories of Ethel and Maud, their
hopes, dreams and heartaches, as well as the dozens of pictures of the Melville
and Muchvo families in the Hopi village. The letters also give an insight
into daily life in that moment of history, during the Depression but before
the Second World War, both on the Hopi mesas, and in urban Massachussetts.
The Story of the Trapp Family Singers - by Maria Augusta
Trapp, Copyright 1949
The Trapp Family is probably one of the most famous immigrant families to
have arrived in the United States in the last century thanks to the 1965 movie
musical "The Sound of Music". The only problem is that it didn't happen
that way. Well, mostly not. Hollywood got some things right, like
Maria being a novice in the convent when she was sent to the Trapp family, and
the family's great musical talent, and the fact that they left Austria to get
away from Nazi tyranny. But the real story is far more gripping and
complex than the movie (as usual).
The Story of the Trapp Family Singers details the backgrounds of both Georg
and Maria Von Trapp, and then tells the story of their meeting, marriage and
family life, first as wealthy Austrian aristocrats, and after the loss of their
fortune, as working musicians. Some of the best humor and drama in the
book centers around the family's immigration to America. More than once
they were refused entry due to Maria's impulsiveness, and even after they
settled in Stowe, Vermont the family would frequently find itself in financial
straights due to uninformed business decisions.
The unifying factor throughout the story is the family's deep and abiding
faith. Their daily practice of family prayer, regular attendance as a
family at Mass and Communion, and the regular exercise of Confession, keeps the
family strong and helps them weather all their storms. Their farm in
Vermont begins to supply all their needs and they open a music camp nearby to
pass on the gift of family music to others. Though the music camp is no
longer in operation, the farm continues as The Trapp Family Lodge http://www.trappfamily.com/, with many other interesting
activities to choose from.
CapeRefuge- by Terri
Blackstock, Copyright 2002, published by Zondervan
I've only jut discovered Terri Blackstock. I mentioned my interest in
murder/suspense/mystery novels to a couple of friends and they enthusiastically
recommended her. Cape Refuge is the beginning of a whole new chapter in my
reading life. Subtle references to Christian faith and the conspicuous
absence of mainstream publishing ploys make Cape Refuge a breath of fresh air
for those of us who just want a good mystery read and have enough imagination to
fill in the blanks.
Cape Refuge is a fictional small island off the coast of Georgia where Thelma
and Wayne Owens run a halfway house and a small church, ministering to ex-cons
and others trying o get their lives back on track. When Thelma and Wayne
are found murdered, their daughters, Morgan Cleary and Blair Owens team up with
police chief Matthew Cade to bring the murderer to justice, and clear Morgan's
husband of suspicion!
There are more books in this new series by Terri Blackstock, and she has
written other mystery series as well. http://www.zondervan.com/
newsletter of The Catholic Worker movement, Price 1 cent, one year subscription
The Catholic Worker newspaper was started by Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin
during the Great Depression of the 1930's as an answer to the communist Worker
papers that were being circulated on the streets of New York at that time.
It still promotes social justice and the works of mercy all over the world, as
well providing updates on happenings at Worker houses and farms. The
content is thought provoking and deep, always pushing for a greater social
equality among all people, rich and poor, immigrants and citizens, and
especially the homeless, sick and oppressed. www.catholicworker.org
DutyofDelight - The
Diaries of Dorothy Day (c) 2008 by Marquette University, edited by Robert
Dorothy Day, cofounder of the Catholic Worker movement, is a most fascinating
woman. Her early years were spent in radical literary circles as she
struggled to establish herself as a journalist. In the 1920's she went
through many struggles which ultimately led to her conversion to the Catholic
faith. The diaries chronicle the establishment of the Catholic Worker all
the way up to her death in 1980. In reading her personal thoughts and
struggles she becomes so human, so very unremarkable, that it is even more
inspiring to imitate her efforts to live out the gospel message in her own
life. She examines her failings in patience with her coworkers, her
rejection of government interference and war policies, and her questioning of
church administrative policies. She shares her hopes, joys, frustrations;
she talks about her devotion to her daughter and grandchildren.
It mystifies and intrigues me how in our own modern day she embraced a life
of radical poverty, as a lay person, not unlike Sts. Clare and Francis.
She established houses of hospitality for the homeless, soup kitchens, and a
newspaper that is still in circulation - with only 97 cents in her pocket!
And these houses are still going.
Dorothy frequently contemplated upon a quote by a Fr. Hugo, who
gave several retreats that she attended, "You love God only as much as the one
you love the least." These words can be very hard for me to contemplate at
The autobiography of Maria von Trapp, matriarch of the Von Trapp Family
Singers. I could not put this book down! Orphaned at a young age and
raised by relatives in a small mountain village in Austria, Maria recounts
her mischeivous childhood, rebellious teens, and socialist leanings as a
young adult. Maria did nothing by halves, and upon rediscovering her
Catholic faith, she entered a Benedictine Monastery. Before being allowed
to take her final vows, she was sent to tutor the Baron von Trapp's youngest
child for a year, and most of us know the general story from there.
The rest of the book continues the family's adventures after their escape
from Nazi Germany. Shortly after moving to America, Baron von Trapp passed
away, but the family carried on singing and touring, then did some
missionary work in the Pacific Islands, finally returning to open the
Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vermont.
After reading this book I realized what great artistic license was used
in the making of "The Sound of Music". Although relatively factual, the
movie really left out alot of important details in the name of
entertainment. Not to mention the fact that the Von Trapp family received
only a few hundred dollars out of the whole deal, while the studios, actors and
producers are still getting royalties.
This is an easy, quick and worthwhile read, in Maria's friendly voice.
Further info on the Trapp family and the Lodge is available at: http://www.trappfamily.com/
AlltheWomen oftheBible, by M.L. del Mastro, copyright
Endeavoring to answer the questions "Who was she? What did she do? and How
was her life changed by the Lord?", del Mastro presents a volume in two
parts: The Book of Names and The Book of Stories. The Book of Names
is an encyclopedia of women and female entities named in the Bible, with
references to each woman's account in the Bible and if included in the
accompanying Book of Stories.
The Book of Stories is a selection of these womens' narratives, with
sometimes fanciful portrayals of each woman telling her side of the
tale. The author's choices include Bathsheba and the Rising of the Spring,
Delilah and the Deadly Lure, Mary and the Mothering of God, and several
interpretations of the woman who washed Jesus' feet with her tears and dried
them with her hair. Of the fifty-six women's lives examined, all have
relevance to the lives and emotional, mental and spiritual struggles of women
today. Whether victims of the good-old-boy network, or formidable in their
own right, these women faced difficult decisions and situations and made history
with their responses. Good girls and bad, their stories make for good
reading, and some of the author's versions are great food for thought.
Published by Castle Books, a division of Book Sales, Inc., 114 Northfield
Ave., Edison, NJ 08837
by Hugh Feiss,OSB, copyright 1999
Subtitled - Writings on the Contemplative Life, in this book Father Hugh
brings together writings from many of the monastic fathers and mothers
throughout the ages. From Anthony and Syncletica, Benedict and
Scholastica, Hildegard and Gertrude, Thomas Merton and Esther de Waal, he gleans
spiritual direction for prayer, work and hospitality, silence and speech,
humility, simplicity and patience, obedience and authority. Quotes are
prefaced with a little bit of history and education about the contemplative life
and those who have and still do live it. The book concludes with
biographical sketches of its contributors and notes on the texts used.
Take it in chunks for a personal retreat, or read it straight through for a
look at monastic life and its' saints. Published by Harper Collins
http://www.harpercollins.com/ but I did not find it on
their website. I did find several available on http://www.amazon.com/.
CatholicsinthePublicSquare, by the Most Reverend Thomas J.
Olmstead, copyright 2006
This first in a series of pamphlets by the Bishop of the Diocese of Phoenix,
Arizona, addresses such questions as separation of church and state,
responsibilities of Catholics in the public square, and "What line should an
elected official draw between his faith and his political commitments?"
Bishop Olmstead states that "Catholics are especially called to contribute to
the common good, to defend the dignity of every human person..." p. 15. He
affirms "non-negotiable" issues as stated by Pope Benedict XVI, for all
Catholics, including those in politics: the right to life, protection of
the family unit as consisting of husband, wife and children, and the right of
parents to educate their children.
Catholic Apologetics and Evangelization - published by Catholic Answers, this
magazine is meaty and informative about the Catholic Faith. Not so much
for entertainment or advertising dollars, the articles provide real world
answers to disputes and misconceptions which circulate among protestants and
fallen away Catholics. A real boost to anyone looking for affirmation and
continuing education in the Catholic Faith.
The March 2008 issue refutes atheistic claims in "Are the Gospels Myth?";
clarifies the need for more than simply taking Jesus as your personal savior in
"Baptism Saves You"; and proves that the Catholic church actually promoted the
education of women, whereas the Protestants suppressed it, with "Is The
Education of Women a Modern Idea?". Some articles in each issue can be
viewed online at www.catholic.com/magazines/thisrock.asp.
Raven'sBread - The
international newsletter for Hermits and anyone interested in the eremitical
life. Website offers a short version of their print newsletter affirming
and supporting the hermit way of life. Worth checking out for anyone who
enjoys solitude or cannot fathom why anyone would. Lots of encouragement
for deepening one's spiritual life and practical advice for living apart from
the world according to one's circumstances. "If one desires a space of
solitude in an otherwise very busy and social life, a significant block of time,
daily or weekly, must be claimed when one can totally close oneself away from
the world. " Taken from Solitude and Connection, by Dusty Reed, Raven's
Bread Vol. 12 No. 3 August 2008. www.op.org/ravensbread/
Is There a Hole in the Boat? Tales of Travel in Panama Without a
Car, by Darrin DuFord
This is a sometimes crude, frequently humorous look at travelling in third
world countries. The author pulls together incidents from his several
trips to Panama to present a picture of the daily life of the real people
living there. Definitely not a view from a cruise ship DuFord uses his
legs and public transportation - be it a dugout canoe, the back of a
pick-up truck or a reconditioned American school bus - to meet the country and
the people that tour groups dare not.
No five star hotels here, the lodgings include converted army barracks and
cinder block rooms with dirt floors; cuisine is often prepared out in the
open from freshly caught ingredients such as barbequed jungle rodent or fried
palm hearts. Locals ply DuFord with their homebrews and offer guide
service through the jungle. The majority of villages have no electricity
or running water and some have no drinkable water at all. Meager incomes
are derived from small scale farming, catering to the occasional tourist, and
Is There a Hole in the Boat? does contain quite a bit of profanity (in quotes
from natives the author interacts with), but is an eye opener to real life in an
underdeveloped country and a good read especially if you're considering mission
work in such areas.
We need more books like this. Modest dress seems to have been greatly
ignored by the church since the seventies. Doctrinal guidelines do still
exist, however, and Mrs. Hammond guides us through them. She presents
common sense and spiritually sound reasons for dressing modestly - for both men
and women. Muslims, Jews and our brothers and sisters in other Christian
churches seem to "get" modesty; we as Catholics need to get back to it.
Some of the church writings Mrs. Hammond cites on this subject may
be hard to swallow, even for Catholics who really want to dress more
appropriately. Her research rings true, unfortunately, and even
though her presentation of modesty being almost solely the responsibility of the
woman may be offensive to some (like me), when viewed from the perspective of a
person doing what he or she can to live out their personal vocation (single,
married, religious), that particular slant of opinion can be overlooked.
Finally, the book provides extensive resources, mostly websites, for modest
clothing and further reading on the subject of modest dress. Many of the
websites are interesting in and of themselves. These links, as well as the
book, are also available from her website: http://www.colleenhammond.com/.
The Singing Revolution - a
film by James and Maureen Tusty, Copyright 2006
The Singing Revolution is a powerful story about Estonia's courageous break
from the USSR in 1991. With a history rich in culture, especially music,
Estonia had withstood numerous foreign occupations prior to the Communist regime
which established itself after WWII. By persistently holding their yearly
music festivals, bravely continuing to perform forbidden patriotic songs and
staging massive singing protests, Estonians nurtured a national spirit that
finally overcame the Soviet Union, without firing a shot, reestablishing
themselves as an independent nation. The story of hundreds of thousands of
Estonians joining hands and singing along the Estonian/Russian border is
especially touching. Available at: http://www.singingrevolution.com/cgi-local/content.cgi?pg=1
Patrick - The Irish Legend, (c)2000 Saban Entertainment
This dramatization of the life of St. Patrick stars Patrick Bergin as the
saint, Malcolm McDowell as his nemesis, the bishop of England, and Alan Bates
and Susannah York as Patrick's parents. Celtic music is provided by
Clannad, Solas, Anune and Maire Brennan.
The movie chronicles Patrick's life from his priviledged upbringing in
England, and kidnapping by Celtic raiders, his years of slavery and subsequent
conversion in Ireland, and his escape back to England, only to be plagued by
visions of the Irish people begging him to return and help them. Patrick
enters a monastery, becomes a monk, and is ultimately anointed Bishop of
Upon his return, he steps onto Irish soil, and snakes flee into the
sea. He works many miracles to demonstrate the power of God over the
feeble magic of the druid priests. He converts the Irish king and thereby
all the people, all the while living in poverty and simplicity. He and his
companions build churches with their own hands, working right
alongside the people growing their food, raising livestock and caring for the
poor and sick.
Despite constant tension with the Bishop of England, Patrick finally obtains
the approval of the pope to stay in Ireland. He subsequently works his way
across Ireland, converting the entire nation, ordaining many priests and
building many churches.
Two young men from Brooklyn, New York set out to find out what it means to
live the gospel in misery and poverty. From the homeless in New York, to
the forgotten orphans of Peru, to modern day leper colonies in Africa, we are
presented with the powerful drama that is "the rest of the world". The
masses living on the outskirts of the comfort zone that we know as modern daily
The creators of The Human Experience attempt "By spotlighting
heartwarming stories from around the world, (to) show viewers that every
single person, no matter his or her lot in life, is beautiful."
This award winning documentary is brought to us by Grassroot Films, which also produced Fishers of Men, to inspire vocations to priestly
service and God in the Streets of New York
City. Grassroots Films strives to "make great films that
inspire true change". The Human Experience has won over 30 awards since
its release last year and emphasizes this year's Catholic Campaign for Human
Development theme: Fight Poverty. Defend Human Dignity.
Based on a play written by Pope John Paul II when he was known as Karol
Wojtyla, The Jeweller's Shop stars Burt Lancaster as a Polish jeweller on the
eve of World War II. Two young Polish couples buy their wedding rings from
him, and the war and life bring them through many trials. They end up in
Canada, but will reunite in Poland for the wedding of yet another young couple
whose lives are also blessed by the jeweller.
Based on the life of Dorothy Day, co-founder of The Catholic Worker movement,
the movie starts with Dorothy's early career as an activist and
journalist. With 97 cents in her pocket, Day rents a building to offer
food and shelter to the poor and homeless in New York City. She and Peter
Maurin launch The Catholic Worker newspaper in answer to the vigorous communist
movement during the Great Depression. Both the movement and the newspaper
continue to this day. Stars Moira Kelly and Martin Sheen. Available
A very inspiring version of the lives of Sts. Clare and Francis of
Assisi. Francis, son of a wealthy fabric merchant and an aspiring knight,
experiences a profound conversion and abandons his life of self-indulgence
and luxury to embrace one of radical poverty, service and adherence to the
Clare, also from a wealthy family, refuses to marry, yet does not
understand the leadings of her heart to a life of service to Jesus until she
witnesses Francis' own courage and commitment to his new life.
The film touches on the struggles of the rapidly growing communities,
as they find the simplicity of following the gospel must be expanded into a set
of rules, to more clearly guide and direct the lives of their many
followers. Also dramatized are Francis' mission to the Holy Land, and his
recreation of the Nativity in Grecchio.
My young son enjoyed watching this movie over and over with me,
which I can only attribute to the joy exuded by Ettore Bassi and Maria P.
Petruolo as they portrayed the saints. And I suppose the medieval sword
fights didn't hurt either. I, myself, was inspired to walk my 10 acres
with my rosary the other evening. On the way back, I removed my sandals to
see if I could handle the rocky, stickery ground like Francis and Clare.
About 2 Hail Marys later I sighed, brushed the rocks off my feet and put them
back on, telling myself that even Jesus wore sandals...
Monasteries, A Stressed Out American's Search for Solitude
1998, Wild Canary; documentary by Jim Murphy; 60 min.
From the medieval archabbey of St. Meinrad's in Indiana, to the adobe mission
and strutting peacocks of Holy Trinity in Arizona, world-weary Christians are
offered retreat and respite by the monks and nuns of seven U.S. and one Canadian
monastery. Travellers are invited to join in the prayer and work routine
of the communities, or encouraged just to relax and slow down for a bit.
Jim Murphy, popular Catholic speaker and trainer, presents an inside look
at each of the monasteries, and interviews those who reside there, as well as
visitors. Contact info is provided for each, so that prospective visitors
can obtain further information. This DVD is available from most Christian
book and video sources or directly from Jim's website http://www.veracruzcm.com/.
This movie starts out with Mother Theresa teaching in a private Catholic
girls' school in Calcutta, India. It portrays events leading up to her
decision to leave the convent to work in the streets, and the opposition her
actions aroused in the church and the local government. Armed only with
her unshakeable faith in God and His mission for her, she courageously defends
the rights of orphans and the dying to have the dignity of a roof over
their heads and food to eat.
Not everyone is called to work with the poorest of the poor in the streets,
but we are all called to serve Jesus where we are to the best of our
ability. This movie got me thinking about how and whether I'm seeing
and serving Jesus in those around me.
Filmed on location in Poland and the Vatican, this film tells the story of
Pope John Paul II's younger years, from his experience of the invasion of Cracow
in September 1939 while he was still a university student, to his decision to
enter the priesthood and his eventual, though reluctant, rise to the
papacy. Piotr Adamczyk is convincing as Karol Wojtyla, a man of deep
feeling and great tenderness, who had a passion for helping people and
interacting with them.
Based on the book "Stories of Karol: The Unknown Life of John Paul II", by
Gian Franco Svidercoschi, the movie conveys the evil of the Nazi occupation and
the terror of communist rule of Poland as experienced by Karol and his friends,
many of whom died in the resistance during World War II. This film
contains alot of action and some violent scenes, a caution for viewing with
young children, but also romance and fantastic scenery.
This CD represents the first collaboration of the St. Louis Jesuits in twenty
years. In the 1970's and 80's this group of Jesuit seminarians helped
revolutionize liturgical music with their passionate and inspirational melodies,
the uplifting "Sing a New Song", powerful "Here I Am Lord", and heart
rending "Be Not Afraid".
Morning Light showcases their mature, thriving spirituality, tempered by the
twists and turns their lives have taken. "O Beauty, Ever Ancient"
proclaims a prodigal returning home to live a life renewed by grace. "Well
of Tears" is a cry from the depths of sorrow and loneliness for the
healing presence of God. "These Alone are Enough" brings the group full
circle, as it echoes the message of "Take Lord Receive" which they recorded in
1975, 'your love and your grace...are enough for me'.
Copyright 2005, available from OCP Publications, 5536 NE Hassalo, Portland,
We've reviewed Kurt and Julie's music before in our newsletter. Now
they've come out with an inspiring collection of holiday music just in time for
Christmas. Julie's rendition of "The Christmas Song" (Chestnuts
roasting...) has now replaced my favorite Nat King Cole version in my
holiday lineup. This wonderful collection of Advent and Christmas music
features a Polish carol sung as a tribute to our beloved and late Holy
Father, John Paul II, in his native language. Also, in honor of Pope
Benedict XVI, Silent Night, sung in its original German.
This CD is availabe from Carrick Ministries Foundation. To hear clips
from this album and check out their other beautiful collections of Catholic
contemporary music go to: http://www.juliecarrick.com/
Sedona, Arizona based theatre troupe puts on several productions a year,
including a summer teen theatre workshop. "Pilgrimage to Bethlehem" during
December and "Journey to Jerusalem" on Easter weekend both take place on the
streets of Tlaquepaque, the charming Sedona artists' colony. Both events
are free, well produced reenactments involving over 130 actors, singers, dancers
and expert technicians of all ages. Potters Hand Productions is a
non-profit community theatre company. For more information on these and
other productions and to make a tax-deductible donation call executive director
Jane Alden at 928-300-3968 or visit their website at www.pottershandproductions.com.
2006, Sr. Julie and Sr. Maxine have been answering questions about living life
as a consecrated religious, as well as helping others to discern what their
individual vocation in life is. The Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate
Heart of Mary, started A Nun's Life online ministry to provide information
and encourage vocations to religious life. Their excellent blog,
entertaining podcasts, forums and other resources, including
how to become a nun, offer lots of food for thought for anyone who's ever
wondered why women become nuns and what a religious woman's life is like.
In addition to the website, the sisters maintain a presence on Twitter, Facebook
and You Tube. http://www.anunslife.org/
http://www.osb.org/ - The Benedictine order is noted for
its life of simplicity and contemplation. Many monasteries run their own
farms and practice sustainable living. Guided by the Rule of Benedict,
written in the 6th century A.D. these men and women exude a peace and joy that
stems from their immersion in "ora et labora", prayer and work. Yet, where
can the layperson start who wishes to emulate thier pursuit of holiness in the
real world? I almost wish there was a "Rule of Benedict for Dummies" that
would sort through the more difficult language and give a simple outline of life
for dense minds such as mine. Since I have not yet discovered this
instruction manual, I have been finding it very helpful to peruse the Daily
Reading from the Rule on www.osb.org,
underneath which is a link to St. John's Abbey's Daily Reflection on the
Rule. Taking the Rule in tiny bites and applying it to my life just may
help me get a little more on track with the way God wants me to live.
Please note: all content on this website,
unless otherwise noted, is Copyright 2003-2013 by Robyn Dolan. Content is
intended for educational and entertainment purposes only.
Help keep this site going - contributions in any amount are greatly