April 18, 2014

Positivity: Good Friday Gospel

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From The Gospel of Matthew 27:35-37, 45-53:

And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots. And sitting down they watched him there; And set up over his head his accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, This man calleth for Elias. And straightway one of them ran, and took a spunge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink.

The rest said, Let be, let us see whether Elias will come to save him. Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

April 17, 2014

Positivity: ‘I can’t leave my people’ — Priest killed in Syria hailed as martyr

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Vatican City, and Syria:

Apr 15, 2014 / 07:21 am

Days after Dutch priest Fr. Frans van der Lugt S.J. was murdered in Syria, a close young friend recalled his saintly life, noting both his personal holiness and extraordinary advances in Christian-Muslim relations.

Wael Salibi, 26, recalled how when the Christian area in Homs was taken over by rebels, 66,000 of the faithful “left their home, and just few of them stayed there. He was the only priest, he stayed in his church.”

“Just months before he died, he said ‘I can’t leave my people, I can’t leave my church, I am director of this church, how can I leave them?’” Salibi told CNA on April 11.

Salibi, who hails from the now-ravished city of Homs, grew up as a close friend and pupil of Fr. Frans, who was brutally killed on April 7. Days before his 76th birthday, an unknown gunman entered his church, beat him and shot him in the head.

For the past three years Syria has been embroiled in conflict which sprang up after citizens protested the rule of Bashar al-Assad, Syria’s president and leader the country’s Ba’ath Party.

Since then, the violence has morphed into a civil war which has claimed the lives of an estimated 140,000 people. There are currently 2.6 million Syrian refugees in nearby countries, most of them in Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey, and an additional 6.5 million Syrian people are believed to have been internally displaced by the war.

Currently a refugee living and studying in Rome, Salibi fled his city just a year and a half ago – following a two-week religious visit to Europe – after receiving a call from his mother telling him not to return.

Recalling his life growing up with the priest, Salibi explained that because Fr. Frans had been living and working in Syria since 1966, his family formed close ties with the priest, who would often visit after celebrating Christmas Mass in order to wish his father a happy birthday, and was at one point the spiritual director for his sister.

“This is what makes Fr. Frans special,” Salibi noted, “because he influenced thousands of people, and he remembered all people with little details, and he listened to others.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.

April 16, 2014

Positivity: Human life sacred and inviolable, Pope Francis affirms

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Vatican City:

Apr 12, 2014 / 12:54 am

At a meeting with Italy’s Pro-Life Movement, Pope Francis thanked members for their work to defend the right to life and promote the dignity of all human beings, from conception to natural death.

“Human life is sacred and inviolable. Every civil law is based on the recognition of the first and fundamental right, that of life, which is not subordinate to any condition, neither qualitative nor economic, much less ideological,” the Roman Pontiff said March 11.

“Thank you for your witness of promoting and defending human life from the moment of conception!”

The Holy Father’s words came in a meeting with Movimento per la Vita, an association of more than 600 local Italian movements. He greeted in particular the movement’s president, Carlo Casini, who is also a member of the European Parliament, where he represents the Union of Christian and Centre Democrats party.

Pope Francis thanked the organization particularly for two of its initiatives. The first is the Gemma Project, which “through a particular form of practical solidarity” – the adoption of children while still in the womb – has made possible “the birth of many babies who would otherwise have not seen the light.”

The second is “One of Us,” a European Union citizens’ initiative to ban the funding of policies that destroy human embryos. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

April 15, 2014

Positivity: Family Armed With Guns Did Exactly What You’d Expect After an Intruder Charged Into Their Kitchen

Filed under: 2nd Amendment,Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Florida:

Apr. 9, 2014 11:40am

Police told TheBlaze on Wednesday that no charges will be filed against a Florida father and mother who armed themselves after hearing an intruder breaking into their home and fired shots at the man, killing him.

“If this guy would’ve stayed home, he’d have been alive right now,” Denver Kemp, a neighbor of the family, told WTVT-TV in Tampa Bay.

Public Information Officer Jamie Brown told TheBlaze on Wednesday that a son who was armed along with his mom and dad “fumbled around with the weapon and did not fire.”

Luis A. Pena, 54, told police when he investigated the noises he saw a man trying to open the French doors leading off his back porch, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

Pena fired a warning shot above the back door to deter the burglar, but the man continued to work his way inside the home in Winter Haven, which is about 50 miles east of Tampa.

“That warning shot did not deter the intruder,” Police Chief Gary Hester told WTVT about the Monday morning incident. “The intruder didn’t retreat.”

But by the time Mitchell G. Large, 40, made it into the kitchen just before 7 a.m., Pena’s wife and son had also armed themselves and the three of them were waiting for the intruder. When Large charged at Pena, he shot the man in the torso at least once, police said, noted the Sentinel.

“It appears at least two of the family members fired in defense of themselves and their property,” Hester told WTVT.

While investigators don’t believe Large was armed, Hester said it appears as though the mother and father were within their rights to fire their weapons. …

Of course they were.

Go here for the rest of the story.

April 14, 2014

Positivity: The Toddler Who Survived, and the Cop Who Became Her Mom

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From New York City:

APRIL 13, 2014

The bodies were discovered throughout the first-floor railroad flat in Brooklyn, a bizarre still-life of death. Many of the victims remained seated in chairs or couches; one woman’s hands still held a spoon and a small can of pudding.

It came to be known as the Palm Sunday Massacre, the largest mass shooting in the New York area in decades. Ten people were killed that day 30 years ago, including eight children. Only one survivor was found: a crying toddler covered in blood, crawling at the feet of the dead.

The tiny girl was handed to one of the first police officers to arrive. A front-page photograph in The New York Post, under the headline “The Only Survivor,” shows the officer clutching Christina Rivera, 13 months old, a pacifier in the child’s mouth.

The officer was assigned to the toddler through the night, taking her to the hospital and then watching over her at a police station in East New York. Since that day, the officer has never really let go.

The officer became the girl’s benefactor, then a surrogate parent. At age 14, Christina moved in with the officer and her new husband. And then last year, the officer adopted Christina, now 31. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

April 13, 2014

Positivity: The Palm Sunday Story

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From About.com:

Scripture References:

Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:28-44; John 12:12-19.

Palm Sunday Story – Triumphal Entry Story Summary:

Jesus Christ1 was on his way to Jerusalem, knowing full well that this trip would end in his sacrificial death2 for the sin of humanity3. He sent two disciples ahead to the village of Bethphage, about a mile away from the city at the foot of the Mount of Olives. He told them to look for a donkey tied by a house, with its unbroken colt next to it. Jesus instructed the disciples4 to tell the owners of the animal that “The Lord has need of it.” (Luke 19:31, ESV5)

The men found the donkey, brought it and its colt to Jesus, and placed their cloaks on the colt. Jesus sat on the young donkey and slowly, humbly, made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem. In his path, people threw their cloaks on the ground and put palm branches6 on the road before him. Others waved palm branches in the air.

Large Passover7 crowds surrounded Jesus, shouting “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” (Matthew 21:9, ESV8)

By that time the commotion was spreading through the entire city. Many of the Galilean disciples had earlier seen Jesus raise Lazarus9 from the dead. Undoubtedly they were spreading the news of that miracle.

The Pharisees, who were jealous of Jesus and afraid of the Romans, said: “‘Teacher, rebuke your disciples.’ He answered, ‘I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.’” (Luke 19:39-40, ESV10)

Point of Interest from the Triumphal Entry Story:

• When he told the disciples to get the donkey, Jesus referred to himself as ‘The Lord,’ a definite proclamation of his divinity. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

April 12, 2014

Positivity: 911 operator saves her own father’s life on first day of work

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From DeKalb County, Georgia (HT Daryn Kagan):

Posted: Mar 31, 2014 5:42 PM EDT Updated: Apr 03, 2014 5:17 PM EDT

… A DeKalb County 911 Operator spent months training, but never imagined she would get a call from her own family just four hours into her first day working alone.

Crystal Morrow says she had answered about 40 calls that Monday including a burglary in progress and a house fire. Morrow was surprised when she heard a familiar voice on the other end of a call.

Morrow’s aunt dialed 911 and Morrow picked up. Her father had gone into diabetic shock.

“I did freeze, my hands froze over the keyboard, but I knew I had to get the call in,” says Morrow.

Morrow walked her aunt through what she had to do and got an ambulance to her father. Her colleague, Danielle Harvey says she handled the call well.

“She took the entire call and then she got up after the call and stepped outside,” says Harvey. “I went to check on her and told her to go see about her family.”

Morrow says she owes her calm reaction to Harvey’s training. The training Morrow received played a large role in Harvey’s nomination for a national award. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

April 11, 2014

Positivity: Pro-life congressman, wife honored with Notre Dame award

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 6:00 am

From South Bend, Indiana:

Apr 9, 2014 / 02:22 am

In an April 5 ceremony, Notre Dame University honored prominent U.S. pro-life congressman Chris Smith (R-N.J.), and his wife, Marie, who is also a pro-life advocate, with its 2014 Evangelium Vitae Medal.

In a speech thanking the university for the recognition, Rep. Smith said that pro-life individuals have the responsibility to “speak truth to power, no matter the sacrifice or cost.”

Real change “will only be achieved by persevering prayer, fasting and hard work,” he said. “It falls to us to promote and establish a sustainable culture of life both here and overseas.”

Since 2011, the Evangelium Vitae Medal has been awarded annually by Notre Dame’s Center for Ethics and Culture. The medal was inspired by Bl. Pope John Paul II’s papal encyclical, “Evangelium Vitae.”

The award is given to those who have worked to help build a culture of life and respect for the sanctity of life from its earliest stages. Previous recipients have included the Sisters of Life, George Mason University law professor Helen M. Alvaré, and the U.S. bishops’ conference associate director of pro-life activities, Richard Doerflinger.

The 2014 award was given to the Smiths at an April 5 dinner and Mass, celebrated at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart at Notre Dame by Archbishop Allen Vigneron of Detroit.

“In their work and in their persons, Congressman Chris and Marie Smith are extraordinary witnesses to the inalienable dignity and matchless worth of every member of the human family, born and unborn,” said Carter Snead, director of Notre Dame’s Center for Ethics and Culture. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

April 10, 2014

Positivity: More young women choosing health over birth control

Filed under: Health Care,Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Rome:

Apr 8, 2014 / 02:01 am

Brianna Heldt was 20 years-old when she first started taking the birth control pill. As an Evangelical Protestant, she believed in saving sex for marriage, but the young college student was planning her wedding and wanted to delay having children for a few years.

Like many young women, Heldt visited her college’s campus health clinic and got a prescription.

What followed was an unexpected and “horribly difficult” time for Heldt and her husband.

“From the time I began taking it I had severe headaches,” she recounted. “I was constantly bloated and hungry, and worst of all, I became an emotional wreck. Things that would never have bothered me before made me cry uncontrollably. Kevin (my husband) and I had always gotten along so well but we began arguing, and I was perpetually frustrated with him.”

“Intercourse was painful,” she added. “I even saw an OB/GYN about this problem who never once connected those dots for me, and just tried to tell me that it was some sort of psychological problem. But it was not.”

It turns out that Heldt’s experience was not unique. This January, 90s talk show host Ricki Lake opted to make a documentary exploring the dangers of hormonal contraceptives.

Based on Holly Grigg-Spall’s book, “Sweetening The Pill: or How We Became Hooked On Hormonal Birth Control,” the full-length film will consider the dangers of the birth control pill, as well as other contraceptives such as Yaz and Nuvaring.

“In the 50 years since its release, the pill has become synonymous with women’s liberation and has been thought of as some sort of miracle drug,” said Lake and her co-producer, Abby Epstein. “But now it’s making women sick and so our goal with this film is to wake women up to the unexposed side effects of these powerful medications and the unforeseen consequences of repressing women’s natural cycles.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.

April 9, 2014

Positivity: Our lives should have the flavor of the Gospel, Pope observes

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Vatican City:

Apr 9, 2014 / 04:14 am

During his general audience Pope Francis began a new catechesis on the gifts of the Holy Spirit, drawing specific attention to wisdom and noting that it illuminates our actions and draws us closer to God.

“We need to ask ourselves if our lives have the flavor of the Gospel; if others perceive that we are men and women of God; if it is the Holy Spirit that moves our lives,” the Pope insisted in his April 5 General Audience address.

Speaking to the thousands of pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square to hear the weekly discourse, the pontiff announced initially that “Today we begin a series of catechesis on the gifts of the Holy Spirit.”

Observing how “The Spirit is himself the ‘gift of God,’” the Pope emphasized that he is also “the presence of God’s love in the Church and in our hearts.”

“Based on a messianic prophecy of Isaiah, the Church has traditionally distinguished seven gifts of the Spirit: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord,” he continued, noting that “the first of these is wisdom.”

Highlighting how “This is not the fruit of knowledge and human experience,” the Roman Pontiff explained that it “consists of an interior light that only the Holy Spirit can give and that enables us to recognize the imprint of God in our lives and history.”

It is a grace, he said, “enabling us to contemplate all things with the eyes of God and a heart docile to the promptings of the Spirit.”

Born out of “intimacy with God” and a closeness to him “in prayer and loving communion,” this gift “makes a Christian contemplative” and “helps us to recognize with joyful gratitude his providential plan for all things,” the Pope went on to say.

“Everything speaks of God and everything is seen as a sign of his love and a reason to give thanks.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.

April 8, 2014

Positivity: US Navy ‘game-changer’ — converting seawater into fuel

Filed under: Marvels,Positivity,US & Allied Military — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Washington:

The US Navy believes it has finally worked out the solution to a problem that has intrigued scientists for decades: how to take seawater and use it as fuel.

The development of a liquid hydrocarbon fuel is being hailed as “a game-changer” because it would signficantly shorten the supply chain, a weak link that makes any force easier to attack.

The US has a fleet of 15 military oil tankers, and only aircraft carriers and some submarines are equipped with nuclear propulsion.

All other vessels must frequently abandon their mission for a few hours to navigate in parallel with the tanker, a delicate operation, especially in bad weather.

The ultimate goal is to eventually get away from the dependence on oil altogether, which would also mean the navy is no longer hostage to potential shortages of oil or fluctuations in its cost.

Vice Admiral Philip Cullom declared: “It’s a huge milestone for us.”

View galleryDr. Heather Willauer explains how scientists at the …
Dr. Heather Willauer explains how scientists at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, DC can …
“We are in very challenging times where we really do have to think in pretty innovative ways to look at how we create energy, how we value energy and how we consume it.

“We need to challenge the results of the assumptions that are the result of the last six decades of constant access to cheap, unlimited amounts of fuel,” added Cullom.

“Basically, we’ve treated energy like air, something that’s always there and that we don’t worry about too much. But the reality is that we do have to worry about it.”

US experts have found out how to extract carbon dioxide and hydrogen gas from seawater.

Then, using a catalytic converter, they transformed them into a fuel by a gas-to-liquids process. They hope the fuel will not only be able to power ships, but also planes.

View galleryThis April 2, 2014 US Navy handout image shows a beaker …
This April 2, 2014 US Navy handout image shows a beaker of fuel(right) made from seawater by scienti …
That means instead of relying on tankers, ships will be able to produce fuel at sea.

- ‘Game-changing’ technology -

The predicted cost of jet fuel using the technology is in the range of three to six dollars per gallon, say experts at the US Naval Research Laboratory, who have already flown a model airplane with fuel produced from seawater. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

April 7, 2014

Positivity: Those who follow Christ will face persecution, Pope observes

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Vatican City:

Apr 4, 2014 / 07:08 am

Pope Francis dedicated his April 4 homily to the theme of persecution, noting that although many of the trials saints have endured still happen today, there is always hope because “Jesus is Lord.”

“All the people whom the Holy Spirit chooses to tell the truth to the People of God suffer persecution,” the Pope expressed to those present in the Vatican’s Saint Martha guesthouse chapel, noting that Jesus “is precisely the model, the icon.”

The pontiff began his reflections by returning to the day’s Gospel, taken from John, in which Jesus alludes to his heavenly origin, for which the people attempt to arrest him.

Emphasizing that “today’s Gospel is clear, no?” Pope Francis pointed out that “Jesus hid, in those last days, because his hour had yet to come – but he knew what end he would make, and how he would make it.”

“Jesus is persecuted from the beginning: when we remember the beginning of his preaching, he returns to his country, goes to the synagogue and preaches,” but that after great praise, people begin to whisper, saying “‘But, we know where he comes from … he is one of us…with that authority comes he to teach us? Where did he study?’”

“It is the same old thing,” he observed, noting that “they … write the Lord off, write off the prophet in order to take away his authority.”

Highlighting how the prophets “are all persecuted or misunderstood,” the Pope went on to describe how history repeats itself in the Church, from the moment of Jesus’ crucifixion until today. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

April 6, 2014

Positivity: Care for poor rooted in Gospel, not communism, Pope affirms

Filed under: Positivity,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 6:01 am

From Rome:

Apr 4, 2014 / 10:35 am

In a March 31 interview with communications students, Pope Francis responded to previous accusations of being a communist, explaining that his preference for the poor is in fact based in the Gospel.

“I heard two months ago that a person referred to my preference for speaking about the poor, saying: ‘This Pope is a communist, no?’ And no, this is the banner of the Gospel, not of communism, of the Gospel,” the Pope explained during the encounter.

Given to three Belgian youth who are studying communications sciences, the interview was broadcast on the evening of April 3 on the Belgium website deredactie.be., and was later picked up by Italian news agency ReppublicaTV.

During the interview, one student asked the Pope where his preference for the poor and most needy comes from, to which the pontiff responded: “Because this is the heart of the Gospel, and I am a believer, I believe in God, I believe in Christ, I believe in the Gospel, and the heart of the Gospel is the poor.”

“And because of this I believe that the poor are the center of the Gospel of Jesus. This is clear if we read it,” he affirmed. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

April 5, 2014

Positivity: Danny Ferguson ‘Sacrificed His Life’ and Prevented Massacre

Filed under: Positivity,US & Allied Military — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Ft. Hood:

Sgt. First Class Danny Ferguson just returned from Afghanistan. The movement specialist was working at Ft. Hood when 34-year-old Ivan Lopez snapped and opened fire.

Danny’s fiancée, Kristen Haley is a soldier too and she was nearby when it all went down. In an exclusive interview with 10 News Thursday night, she described how Danny sacrificed his life to keep the gunman out of a packed room of military personnel.

“He held that door shut because it wouldn’t lock. It seems the doors would be bullet proof, but apparently they’re not,” Haley explained . “If he wasn’t the one standing there holding those doors closed, that shooter would have been able to get through and shoot everyone else.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.

April 4, 2014

Positivity: 12-year-old speaks out on the issue of abortion

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 6:00 am

Watch:

God bless Lia Mills’ daughter.