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The Riots in Baltimore – An Opinion

27 Apr

The Baltimore Riots highlight something for me. America does not suffer as much from fiscal poverty as it does from Moral and Spiritual Poverty. So many have watched the changes in America in the last two decades with a sense of loss and shock that such anthropological regression could happen here. It is, but how do we stop it?

I think the solution lies in restoring a moral and spiritual base to the American people. You feed their bodies, but without feeding them morally and spiritually they will never feed themselves. You become and enabler of their anthropological regression which has enslaved them instead of leading them to freedom and self-respect by weaning them from government dependance. We must work to restore people dignity and their hope. What you are seeing in Baltimore is the incoherent misdirected rage of hopelessness. Their spirits are broken and shackled by their utter dependence on government, and their souls are lost from decades of progressive attacks on religion. Their bodies are broken by AIDS, drugs, violence, homelessness, and hunger. Most importantly, the very formation of these young men and women is damaged by the notable absence of stable two parent families. There needs to be a father in the home, or the thug culture that has captured so many young minds will be inextinguishable.

Today though, thanks to “Uncle Sugar,” a husband has become a disposable commodity. Enshrined into law by no-fault divorce, the marriage contract is only as good as the whim of one’s spouse. While women will say they take the brunt of the damage, I have seen too many men deeply financially damaged and emotionally shattered through no fault of their own to accept that women are the only ones hurt and the men are fine. In the inner cities, it has often been generations since the majority of households had a father and mother in a stable marriage in the home. This is possible because if a woman decides to leave her husband, no matter what her reason, the government offers support to her and any children. The husband gets a child support judgement and a shattered soul. It does not take long before this results in men unwilling to commit to marriage and women being used in a marital fashion and bearing children from multiple men without a husband. They raise these children on welfare at the taxpayers expense and receive larger payements for each child they bear out of wedlock. The Government, in effect, encourages immoral behavior. These children grow up in a multigenerational welfare family with no hope because the help they needed was not provided, nor did they have a successful role model to emulate. As Americans, we all too often get the idea that money can solve all problems, and, if it doesn’t turn out the way you expected, more money will make it better. That is arrogance. We all pay the price when these children grow up uneducated, violent, and socially disruptive just as we pay the price for the system that makes them that way.

How to fix it? What would I do? I’d bring back SHAME. Yes SHAME. Shame is a good thing. It reminds us when someone has broken the moral rules of our society, and a people without shame are a people without any moral compass. I would ban no-fault divorce because it is destructive to families and teach that civil marriage is a binding social contract, the breaking of which brings shame on the family. I would put the adultery criminal statutes back on the books. Too often, I have to read in the news about a man who catches his wife with another man and kills her or both of them. I read similar stories about women. On this issue there is no legal justice available to the aggrieved spouse. Civil and criminal penalties will offer a man recourse to restore his stolen honor and see the guilty punished. It will slow the rate of the murders of errant spouses, eventually seeing it end as people obey the morality requirements of the marital social contract. For those that find this reprehensible, I suggest never to marry and never to have sex with another person’s spouse. Society needs marriage as an anchor. Marriage is a crucible that forms men, creating a need in them to put their family before them, and focuses them on their home and family instead of what gets them the most pleasure for the least amount of effort.

Next, we need to give people hope. I worry less about wether it is Catholics, Sikhs, Buddhists, Protestants, or Mormons that bring spirituality, morality, and hope to these aggrieved people than that it is done. The churches must supplant the state in caring for the morally and spiritually poor. To truly give hope, we must teach them the value of work and help provide a viable path to self sufficiency.  This means education, apprenticeship, and job training programs instead of simple welfare payments. Anything less, is nothing more than continued slavery and subservience to the state. It robs them of their dignity, and we must help them get their dignity and hope back.

The stakes are too high to ignore this problem.  The alternatives are to help them in this way now, incarcerate them, or keep them on the dole for life. I would hope we chose to help.

Pax Christi –

Colin

Apologetics from a Non-Apologist

29 Jun

Teaching

Fair Warning – I am not an apologist, nor do I aspire to be one. However, a great many of the hateful emails I receive are from protestants upset by authentic Catholic teachings espoused in my blog. I present a Catholic perspective and make no apologies for being a speaker of uncomfortable truths for many. To demonstrate how horrible an apologist I am, I have laid out a 3 minute case for the Catholic Church below. Hopefully, you will be inspired to think deeply about your own beliefs if you are not Catholic.

3 Minute Apologetics 

Jesus was a Rabbi, he was literate. He did not sit in a cave and write us a book. He led by example, he instructed his disciples by example for several years. He left us a Church – not a book. He he told Simon that he was “Rock” (Petras) and that on this rock he would build his church. This set Peter as first among equals among the disciples whom he sent to all lands to found his church. Not to write a book,  not to record his actions or document his life – but to spread his teachings that as he taught them so that they might teach others. Christ specifically promised that his Church – not any book, would endure until the end of time and that the gates of hell would not prevail against it.

The Church assembled the Gospels and new testament incorporating it with the Old Testament Judaic cannon about 500 years after it’s founding as a teaching aid for the faith. Not as an all encompassing guide, nor as a replacement for the Church itself. The church has stood for over 2000 years and seen the rise and fall of nations and religions just as Christ promised. The Bible did not even survive the protestant reformation of the late 1600’s outside the church. Others co-opted it and used it to found their own man made religions so that they could reject aspects of Christs teachings they did not like. This trend continues to this day with thousands of denominations so split from the original splitters – each with different doctrines and beliefs unique to them. Such sowing of confusion is NOT the work of God.

Open your bible to Tobit if you don’t believe me (if you’re not Catholic you will find it missing). The Douay-Rheims is the only Vatican approved English translation and it was completed in 1582. It’s beautiful, pre-existed the 1611 King James Version – and oh yes – Tobit among many other books are present. Most of the books were removed by men outside the Church during the reformation because they contained ideas that ran contrary to protestant theology. Tobit sets a great case for sacramental marriage, and sexual relationships – it obviously had to go (It’s a favorite of mine if you cannot tell).

As for all the bible only “scholars” – name me one honest academic or scientist who would study only one book from a period and base their entire understanding on that one book, regardless of the fact that a myriad of other sources existed. Throwing away all the writings of the early church fathers, local historians, and Doctors of the Church? This was done because the writings of the early church fathers provided detailed understanding of the gospel messages as passed from Christ, to the apostles, to them, and now onto you through the Catholic Church in the Catechism. **Note that the USCCB has approved other translations for use in America – The King James however continues to be rejected by not only the Vatican, but even by the bishops conferences. One need go no further than the missing books and edited (shortened) version of Daniel to understand why.

As Christ taught the rich man, Salvation is an “All-In” proposition. When the rich man asked what more he should do and Jesus told him he walked away. Jesus did not soften his words. Jesus did not chase the man down. Jesus let him make his choice and walk away. Are you walking toward him or away from him because your fallen nature has blinded you to the truth?

In summary:

  • Christ left us a CHURCH
  • He Promised us it would endure until the end
  • He promised that The gates of Hell shall not prevail against it
  • He gave it Apostolic Authority to Bind and Loose on heaven and Earth
  • He Gave it Apostolic Authority to Forgive Sins
  • If you believe the Church to have fallen and the reformers correct, then Jesus’s promise was false – so how can you have any faith in anything else he taught?
  • If the church is fallen, then Christ is false and Christianity nothing but a lie
  • The bible is a book – the protestant version heavily edited by men (especially in the 1600’s by martin Luther and his compatriots), and often translated to change word meaning and semantics. The writings of the early church fathers and apostolic tradition are critical to properly understanding this tool of the faith created by the catholic church
  • If you reject the church – then you reject Christ, and God… Heaven help you

RCIA Classes are available at any Catholic Parish and you are welcome to attend even if you choose not to embrace the faith – Make an appointment today to learn more about the faith. If you are a Catholic who has never been confirmed, or never been to RCIA, you should sign up too – to be properly catechized and develop a deeper understanding and appreciation of the faith.

Pax Christi,

Colin

Let your Wife Drive…

15 Jun

photo 1

Let’s be realistic here. Too many men think Leading = doing everything for people. This can be especially disastrous in marriage, especially for wives – but also for families should you become ill or incapacitated. It has more localized effects and benefits as well, but the overall benefits to your relationship with you wife are the really important ones.

Have you ever been out fishing on a boat? I have spent an inordinate amount of my life on the water, and I noticed something different about our boat from the others for the first time yesterday. It was the only fishing boat with a woman driving. Why is that important you ask? Well I’ll ask you a few questions. If something happens to you can she pick you up safely and get the boat back to shore even if you’re unconscious? Could she do it in the same adverse conditions you could? In short, how can you truly function as a team if you can’t carry the other when necessary?

Stop for a minute and think how this lesson applies to your life together – everything from finances to basic property maintenance. To work as a team you need to help each other get the work done, not have one person helpless and dependent on the other for everything. A wife is not a thing to be kept, she is a fully capable human being ordained by God to stand beside you and be your helpmate. Don’t cripple her capabilities because of your insecurity and thwart God’s plan. You might even discover your wife is better than you at critical skills – this is a gift and makes you a better team. Never forget that you are on the same team, just as God himself ordained – and act accordingly.

Leadership in the family is not about doing for them and keeping them dependent. Leadership in the family is in loving them and making them fully self-sufficient, and not fully dependent on you. Make sure that you are never in a position where your wife thinks she couldn’t do something without you. Think about this, do you want her bound to you by need or by choice. Me personally – I want my wife to be with me because she wants to be with me more than anything else, not because she feels insecure and incapable of caring for herself. In fact, I have seen a number of relationships experience great difficulties when wives began to explore self-reliance much to the chagrin and disparagement, rather than than the active participation and encouragement, of their husbands.

If you lead your wife and family well, you will never question why your wife is with you, nor what binds you together. Fail to lead them and you will always wonder.

Pax Christi,

Colin

 

 

Why the Latin Mass – A serious Answer from a Catholic Wife

21 May

20130518-112422.jpgI’ve got it! I finally get it! I mean… From the very beginning, I fell in love with the traditional Latin liturgy. There’s just something so incredible, awesome, and beautiful about it, but I couldn’t explain it aside from a handful of somewhat cosmetic things that I like about it. I think I finally fully understand it now, and I’d like to share.

First: The pomp and circumstance inherent to the Latin Mass is something to behold. Like the medieval churches that were built with vaulted ceilings, magnificent stained glass, and awesome spectacles of artistic wonder in sculpture above the altar were intended to inspire the soul and draw our thoughts up to God and heaven, the ceremony of the Latin liturgy was designed to do the same. There are many elements in this symphony of spirit such as the priest leading us in prayer facing God with us and humbling himself in prayer and worship on our behalf to the meticulous and continuous acts of reverence, but the ultimate effect is to remind us that God is God, and while we are certainly not, we’ve been invited into His glory, and Holy Mass is a bit of heaven here on earth.

Second: The language–I will be the first to admit that learning enough Latin, not having been raised Catholic or taken any in school, was a serious learning curve for me in participating in the Latin Mass. 110% worth it! No, that’s not a typo–I mean 110%. Latin is our Church’s heritage and many of her greatest traditional treasures are found in it. No, it’s not the only traditional language used for Mass–eastern rites celebrate in others such as Greek. But there’s something about learning an older traditional language for the worship of God. It makes that worship something special, a concerted effort of mind and will and spirit that we don’t find in our common daily language. Yes, I know–Latin wasn’t always the official language of the Church, nor was it always a formal tradition from history. It was once the vernacular for a great many people. In fact, the Latin Vulgate translation of the scriptures is so named because at the time, the scholarly language was Greek and Latin was considered common or vulgar. But it became the official language of the church precisely because it was no longer in use in common speech anymore, and would therefore no longer be subject to the steady march of adaptation across time. That’s, quite frankly, pretty cool! It means the same thing now as it meant 1000 years ago! Meanwhile, in English, that idiomatic expression you used five minutes ago may not mean the same thing or make any sense whatsoever by the time your grandchildren become high school grads.

Third: the active participation–in the documents of Vatican II, a reform of the liturgy was suggested with an eye to the allowing of the vernacular in some instances to increase active participation. See, fewer of us were learning Latin in school anymore and it was feared not enough of us knew what was going on. This is a valid concern, of course. When the reform came, active participation was the first and foremost thought. But what is active participation in the Mass? For centuries, the Magisterium, priests, theologians, religious brothers and sisters, and our Saints talked about this. They said things like “offer yourself up as sacrifice with The Lord at the Holy Mass.” Now this, as you might expect, is not so much something you physically do. No–it is an act of interior will done quietly and prayerfully at your pew. Active participation then was an act of the interior life of a Christian in a manner similar to reaching for contemplative prayer. The deeper we allow our minds to plunge into the great mysteries of the faith, and in particular, the mystery of the Eucharist and Christ’s salvific act on Calvary, as the Mass unfolds, the more successfully we have actively participated. Yes, it’s challenging, and your success at this spiritual exercise may well vary widely across time. But in the reformed liturgy? Active participation suddenly became singing along with the hymns, engaging in a banter of verses and responses, and mimicking the priest’s gestures (whether such was liturgically instructed or not). This is not to say we aren’t still supposed to participate interiorly, but fully participating becomes much more an external exercise. You may rightly suspect that the latter makes success at the former somewhat more difficult for some of us. It certainly does for me.

Now, mind you, I don’t want this to be about which is better. Each of us is different and are in different places along our journey. But I can’t count how many times I’ve been asked, “Latin Mass? Why the heck would you want to do that?” Well… I finally can give you a serious answer. 

Debra –

A Valid Marriage

18 May

couple-fighting-on-couchI know a man who is divorced with a child and just cannot let go of his ex-wife. The facts are simple: she left him, the marriage has been adjudicated invalid, there was a child produced by the marriage, former wife is now remarried with another new baby, he is now alone and paying child support for his child.

I’ve been pretty dry about all this emotionally. However, It is nothing if not: messy, sloppy, heartbreaking, fist-clenching, and gut wrenching. That said there is a distinct lesson to be learned from this persons experience. Take steps to ensure you enter only a valid marriage. This means you attend the Pre-Cana sessions and tell the truth. Expose yourself up front fully so that your heart will not be rent later. Choose wisely – you only get one shot at this, don’t allow your hormones to make a choice you’ll regret later.

Most of our friends who are long married started as we did: friends, best friends, more than friends, then married. In this progression all secrets and warts get shared up front, we learn to forgive, and we know them intimately in a way that allows us to truly asses our ability to get along, function as a team, and collaborate on things long before sex and other considerations can skew our viewpoint. We see our spouses as people, and not objects. The trick to long term marriage is to stay best friends always – the friendship provides a firm foundation for true love when the mutual feeling love is there, and provides a safety net in marriage for those times when we let that love die down or even go out for a time. When there aren’t any secrets or hidden pasts to fear in a relationship there is a real freedom. It comes from being loved for yourself, not the persona you donned to woo your wife but couldn’t maintain forever.

It’s a suggestion I hope more men will heed for the sake of their children and the sake of their hearts, as well as love and concern for their spouses future happiness. Nobody should ever feel cheated by their spouses lack of disclosure 2 years into a marriage.

Please take a moment and pray for this man, and all persons who find themselves in this position or affected by one like it.

Pax Christi,

Colin

Father Charles’ Reflections

14 Apr

Compline – A Reflection on a major problem in the contemporary Church: “Because each person presumes that he or she knows what best, disobedience and disrespect for Church authority prevails. We should all step back and remind ourselves the reason we are members of the Church; it is to save our souls through prayers and reception of the sacraments.”A major problem in the Church today is the profusion of people who, with neither study nor formation, presume expertise in theological, liturgical, and miscellaneous Church matters. We read one or two blogs on the internet and we presume on having a better understanding of the Church and spiritual matters than the Pope. Everybody has an opinion on how best to govern the Church; on what the liturgy should be or not. At a recent committee meeting someone even suggested that we should include catechumens and first communicants among those whose feet are to be washed on Holy Thursday. But in the Roman Missal it is clearly stated that “MEN” should be invited. In celebrating the liturgy, we priests are bound to do what is typed in red in the Roman Missal and say what is in black; the laity is expected to participate actively, reverentially and prayerfully. Any other thing becomes an innovation or distraction. Today, many Catholics seem to forget that the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church is not utilitarian; it is not a Church of opinion polls. Because each person presumes that he or she knows what best, disobedience and disrespect for Church authority prevails. We should all step back and remind ourselves the reason we are members of the Church; it is to save our souls through prayers and reception of the sacraments. If we fail to attain this purpose then we have truly failed in life, and it would be better that we were never born. And the Lord in His perfect wisdom, and knowing the brokenness of man, has made is such that the efficacy of the sacraments is not affected by the sinfulness of the minister. So we have no reason to fail.

What are You Doing for Lent?

6 Mar

This is my wife’s maiden blog, her first voyage into putting fingers to keyboard to express her thoughts on life and Catholicism – Given that it is Lent – Her first post is a MUST READ 🙂

Enjoy,
-Colin

An Ordinary Catholic Life

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What are You Doing for Lent?

This question gets asked a lot among Catholics this time of year.  It is something worth putting some thought and prayer into.  Lent is a time to draw ourselves closer to the Lord.  We use it as a season of penance and repentance to prepare ourselves for the joy of celebrating Easter, Christ’s triumph over death, anew. This is the pinnacle of the Christian life, our holiest day, the very reason for our faith, and we cannot fully enter into this joy of resurrection if our souls are not properly prepared. There is a long list of ideas about how to handle this, but there really isn’t a one right way so long as we at least obediently keep the Church’s minimum prescribed penances.  They are simple enough:  fast and abstinence from meat on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, and abstinence from meat on…

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Some Thoughts on Religious Freedom

1 Mar

A touching and poignant exploration of the erosion of freedom of religion in this country. As Catholics we need to support others who fight the battle of religion vs. progressivism. It is the David and Goliath battle of our time.

reinkat

Years ago, when I was an illustrator collaborating with an author in another city, we travelled to a central meeting place to work.  My route passed through beautiful rural areas, going by a small wooden church–Church of Christ the First Born, or something like that, on my way.  A tiny church with a few shade trees, a tiny parking lot, out among the fields.  What a surprise it was to one day hear about this little congregation on the news.

It seems that they believe in faith healing, in the laying on of hands for healing as in Scripture.  They trust in God alone, in a most literal and specific way.

A couple there brought their sick baby to be prayed over by the elders and congregation. But the baby died.

The government authorities were furious and took immediate action.

The case went all the way to the Supreme Court…

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Love is Never Wrong? Not Exactly –

3 Feb

Love is Never Wrong“Love is never Wrong” – I keep seeing and hearing this slogan a lot, and it’s being used to justify morally a plethora of belief systems and deviant sexual practices which are immoral according to the Catholic Church. It’s simple, catchy, and even hard to argue about if you don’t think too much in the process. After all, who could stand against “Love” since Christ himself said it was the greatest commandment. However, what constitutes “Love”? When you understand that, then it is simple to love a person while rejecting their perversion of a core teaching of Christ himself. You see, the Greeks know all about “Love” – They even had 4 different words for it – each denoting a kind of “Love”. Jesus never used “Eros”, or intended it’s use, in His greatest commandment..

This brings me to my second point – “Love is always a CHOICE”. Humans have free will and control their actions. If  love were not a choice then Jesus’s admonishment to “Love one another as I have loved you” would have to be pure nonsense – yet it is the very verse which people like to quote the most. I have said this many times before and people still like to disagree on that point. Maybe this will put that disagreement to rest. When Jesus speaks of Loving, he speaks of Agape (Spiritual) Love – Not Eros (Erotic). This post will not even stop to take on the two other Greek words for “Love” Philia (Brotherly) and Storge (Offspring/Familial) – I can handle that in another blog.

So where did this catchy, but incorrect, slogan and de facto excuse for immoral behavior come from? You’ve likely seen it most commonly seen it used in banners, internet memes, and signs promoting gay marriage. However, it also makes appearances from time to time in support the following: Adultery, Pedophilia, Fornication, Bestiality, Divorce and Remarriage, etc… Before you accept this “Slogan” as a moral truth – ask yourself if you think it would be wrong for your wife of 20 years to run off abandoning you and the children to have sex with the milkman because she is in “Love”, a teacher to have sex with your underage daughter because they are in “Love”, if you were a farmer – is it ok to have a naked man with “Wellingtons” on to be out in the fields molesting your sheep? All because he is in “Love”.  Next the same line of thinking will be used to defend a rapist who couldn’t control himself because he was in “Love” with his victim, and since “Love is never wrong” how can we revile his actions or judge them?

You need to keep asking the same question when it comes to homosexual unions, polygamous unions, and  other perversions of the Sacrament of Matrimony. They too are morally wrong. If you allow this ridiculous justification to poison your mind, it opens a Pandora’s box of logical consequences that lead to “Love” being used to justify everything from immoral behaviour between consenting adults – all the way to the unspeakable horrors of pedophilia and rape.

Don’t be deceived – Love is a choice. Choices, by definition, can be wrong. Ergo “Love” is NOT always morally right. Deal with it – and stop pandering to that despicable slogan, while praying very hard for the deceived.

Yours in Christ,

Colin

Basic Catholic Cryptography

30 Jan

Basic Cipher Puzzle

The image about is a puzzle, it’s a very basic exercise in cryptography. I thought some might enjoy the challenge of uncovering an authentically Catholic message for our times by solving a puzzle. While I can’t promise money or even fleeting worldwide fame. I will blog the name of the first person to post the correct answer along with the solution, in the comments section of this post – I will also tweet that they were the first to solve the puzzle from my Twitter account (@cc70458) where you can also follow the Catholic Husband. Happy decrypting!

Good Luck and God Bless You,

-Colin

Morally Speaking

29 Jan

pius-x

There comes a time in each of our lives when we must choose between being faithful to God, and being rejected or abandoned by those we once called friends. We must understand that we are not the ones making this decision – the people who would reject us for not jettisoning our faith to appease their conscience are walking away from us, we are not walking away from them. You see, it’s very hard for those enmeshed in darkness to tolerate the light of truth. Their dark lies are warm and comfortable, like a narcotic high – and just as seductively addictive. The bright light of truth is like a ray of sunshine in the eyes of a man recovering from a hangover. They will wince, and squirm, and even turn away. They will either to return to the bottle or sober up. When you shield that light by denying the example of Christ in confronting wrong then you deny Him. Think about it – every time you say the politically correct thing, rather than the faithful thing, you do nothing more than enable evil. People in darkness want it to feel normal, they want to feel approved of because they know in their hearts what they are doing is wrong. When you tell them what they are doing is not wrong, or that it is not your place to judge their actions (Not their person – Just the actions) then you are acting as an agent against God and helping them into perdition.

If your child was reaching for a hot stove would you not warn them away out of love, would you not comfort them if they failed to heed your warnings and got burned touching the side of a hot stovetop? One thing you would never do is tell them that it was OK to endanger themselves in that way. You would not be judging the child, only their actions. Just as this very basic principle applies to your family, in order to live your faith you need to practice it with those outside your family who you care about. Our priests, and especially our Bishops have this sacred responsibility in a most solemn manner for all humanity – as they must serve as an example of heroic virtue to others – Pope Francis has continually done this despite the media spin doctors attempts to paint him otherwise.

Mark 6:11
And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, leave that place and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.

The internet can be befuddling for many Christians, too many voices all throbbing together in a confusing cacophony. However, just like in life – any real friend will accept you or reject you as you are. If you have to pretend to be something you are not, or to put your faith in check to avoid offending them; Well it is time for you to realize that they are NOT your friend. They are your captor, and you have just betrayed God for nothing more than the approval of a person stuck in the same tar pit you are. The person whose approval you need to worry about is God. He is the only person who can get you out of your predicament. However, you must reach out to him and accept his hand – just as they must do. To know what to do, they need to see your example of escape. They do not need to watch you drown in sin with them so that they can think that it is normal or OK to be swallowed up by the inky black tar and lost forever.

Jesus did not instruct that we should be overly persistent in trying to bring them to the truth as evidence by the quote above which is repeated in Matthew 10:14 and Acts 13:51. That said, Jesus also gave us from his personal example that we were not to let wrongs go unchallenged. He did not tell the adulteress that it was her body to do with as she pleased, he did not tell the money changers he respected their choices, and he most certainly did not tell his followers to keep on in their immoral ways and do what thou wilt. He offered mercy to the repentant, remember what he told the adulteress – “Go forth and sin no more”. Yet we have done so in our society, in the misguided sense that we can coexist with those who violate God’s law without upsetting them by calling out sin. Our children have fallen away from the churches because they hear our words, but they do not see any real conviction in our actions. In fact they see the opposite – and instead of 30 pieces of silver, we sell out our faith for the approval of others. We invite unrepentant perpetrators of evil actions into our lives and act surprised when it is we who are corrupted by allowing ourselves to tell the lie that “it does not really matter” so many times we make others and ourselves believe it. We are always called to love the sinner, but also to rebuke the sin. This is one of the Church’s hardest teachings. Hold firm to Church Doctrine. Pray for guidance. Love and know that it may never be returned. Accept that you will be scorned and rejected for doing so, but also know that you are following in His footsteps – and that means that you are surely on the right path.

St. Michael the Archangel, Pray for us all.

Sáncte Míchael Archángele,
defénde nos in proélio,
cóntra nequítiam et insídias diáboli ésto præsídium.
Ímperet ílli Déus,
súpplices deprecámur: tuque, prínceps milítiæ cæléstis,
Sátanam aliósque spíritus malígnos,
qui ad perditiónem animárum pervagántur in múndo,
divína virtúte, in inférnum detrúde.
Ámen. 

-Colin

Kathryn’s Family Makes a Request

28 Jan

Kathryn

Kathryn’s latest status is below – I understand first hand just how much those cards, letters, and notes can mean. This is a child facing immense physical suffering, and a family faced with watching the child suffer and potentially die. The anguish for both parties is beyond description. It is a time when people feel helpless, afraid, and crushing grief at both the suffering and their inability to alleviate it. If you have a moment – please do send a card, if you have a minute write her a short note, and in you have a few minutes please write her a letter. You might also send a card or note to the whole family – letting them know that others care deeply about what is happening to them and offering what compassion and prayer that we can. No matter what the outcome, the most important things are to make sure that Katheryn feels loved and cared about, and that the family never forgets they are loved and not just held in the bosom of God – but by the arms of the Body of Christ. That last one means you and me.

Prayerfully,

Colin

*** REMINDER*****

A lot of you have asked to be called if we need your help in anyway!

HERE IS WHAT WE NEED FROM ALL OF YOU!!
Please do not count on someone else doing it!
I believe in the motto:

***** “IF IT IS GOING TO BE, IT IS UP TO ME!” *****

Please send NOTES, CARDS, HAND WRITTEN MESSAGES, and anything else that you think would help the family to the address below:

***** LETTERS/CARDS ********
All mail for Kathryn should be mailed to the following address:
KATHRYN GARDNER
857 Brownswitch PMB # 335
Slidell, Louisiana 70458

THANK YOU IN ADVANCE!!!

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UPDATE POSTED 01.27.2014 @ 11:30 PM

Kathryn and her mom Kathy arrived at the hospital this morning for her chemo treatment. Over the weekend she developed a cold and so was placed in a small isolation room for her treatment. Her Ferritin level last week had risen to 3200, they are down to 1800 but it is because she is back on the steroids.

Because HLH is so rare, it is very difficult to treat and doctors are having to come up with different ways to attack it. The family has asked you to join them in praying for her doctors that they will think “out of the box”. Today they were told she will be started on 2 new medicines.

The first she will start today. The doctor told Kathy the pharmacy may have to order it since most pharmacies don’t keep it in stock. But as soon as they get it, Kathryn should start it immediately. The second medicine is extremely expensive and has never been approved for HLH patients. The doctors have contacted the insurance company for approval.

The way Kathy explained it was that it is a spectrum disorder with many different levels that range from juvenile onset arthritis to MAS to HLH (roughly).The second medicine has been approved for MAS patients and Kathryn’s doctors are hoping that she will get the approval since HLH is in the spectrum of the disorder. It will take 2 weeks to get the approval.

Another blow today was that they found sugar in her urine and it”s most likely steroid induced diabetes. She will have to start a strict diet and possibly even insulin. Those of you who are bringing dinners, please take this into account and prepare meals accordingly.

Doctors also officially requested approval from the insurance company to have all 4 of the Gardner girls tested by a simple DNA mouth swab. This is the first of several steps in preparation, should Kathryn need a bone marrow transplant in the future.

Kathy says they are emotionally spent and feel like they hit a wall today with this new information. We must not stop praying. Kathryn did not receive this horrific diagnosis alone, the whole family is affected by it. In many ways that we can’t even imagine, they are all suffering. Let’s lift them up daily, all of them. Kyle, Kathy, Kassidy, Brayden, Kathryn, Kymberly, Kristine and Karlie. This beautiful family needs our prayers.

As I write this, we are facing another winter freeze. Many of us will honker down for the next couple of days. If you haven’t done so yet, take some time to write them a letter. Have the kids draw a picture or jot a note. It will let Kathryn and her family know they are not alone, we are all here for them.

REMINDERS:

***** LETTERS/CARDS ********
All mail for Kathryn should be mailed to the following address:
KATHRYN GARDNER
857 Brownswitch PMB # 335
Slidell, Louisiana 70458

A Catholic Wife Responds

27 Jan

My beloved wife came across this article on Facebook, and had no trouble expressing her feelings about it. I’m quoting her here straight from her facebook post with her permission. Like and share if you agree with her. In the meantime, I’ll be praying for the author of the article with her.

This article might be better entitled “Arrogant, Angry, Ultra Feminist Fool Goes Off Half Cocked in a Flurry of Presumption and Cluelessness.”

Indeed I do feel I am just as well off as “women who take care of themselves.” I left a successful career to stay home and raise my children because I believe it is the most important thing I could be doing with my time right now. There is no reason why I cannot resume my career later or even start an entirely new one when the time comes. I am more than capable of thinking, choosing, and taking care of myself, thank you. I simply don’t measure success by money, affluence, or influence alone. I can think of no greater contribution to make of my life than raising my children to be independent, well educated, responsible adults of good character. This is a woman filled with anger and bitterness, and I simply refuse to live my life that way. She has every right to make her own choices. She has no right to make mine.

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/01/26/feminist-blogger-titles-post-i-look-down-on-young-women-with-husbands-and-kids-and-im-not-sorry/

– Debra & Colin

PS: If you’d like to hear more from my wife – leave a comment and let her know.

Pray for the Ukrainian Priests and People

26 Jan

Priests of different faiths pray during clashes with police in central Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014. Thick black smoke from burning tires engulfed parts of downtown Kiev as an ultimatum issued by the opposition to the president to call early elections or face street rage was set to expire with no sign of a compromise on Thursday. (AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov)

This is not getting any press attention in our own media. While we are obsessed with Justin Bieber’s latest escapade, people are dying. The situation is dire and is sparking displays of heroism by both Catholic clergy and the laity. When you see the picture of the priests standing between the armed soldiers and protesters praying, remember that these are priests who are acting with heroic virtue. They deserve our prayers of support and our admiration. Take a moment to pray for the priests and the people of Ukraine during this time of turmoil.

Read the Vatican Radio article here (or Listen to it – there’s an Audio link)
http://en.radiovaticana.va/articolo.asp?c=767406

Click any picture on this page to take you to the source and relevant article for it’s original poster. Please take a moment to read some of the articles.

Ukrainian priests stand between protesters and riot police during an anti-government protest Monday in Kiev.

An Ukrainian priest speaks to riot police as they block Pro-European Union activists camping out in their tents on the Independence Square in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Dec. 11, 2013.

The Dignity of Work – “Work is for man, not man for work.”

24 Jan

Dignity of Work

I saw some interviews with Mike Rowe of “Dirty Jobs” fame recently. Apparently he has developed quite a deep understanding of the dignity of work. Over the years I too learned to appreciate the dignity of work and the rewards of a job well done. I think it was in the military that I had the biggest impression made on me. You see in a military unit – every single piece is important. If any one piece falls down on the job people die. It’s not a joke or a game, it literally is life and death. You might think a the drudgery of standing a firewatch is intolerable until you are the nozzleman on the firefighting team because someone else didn’t do their job and people are now dead and injured, property is destroyed, and the entire unit is exhausted all because one person did not think his job was important enough to pay attention and do it well. The Captain of a ship may be the “Quarterback” of the team, but he is also master and commander under God. You learn quickly that you work together or you die together – and make no mistake, people die in the military in peacetime as well as war. This means everybody – even the seaman recruit standing the fire watch is critical. There is no unimportant job.

Well that’s great you say, this isn’t the military and I’m not in the military. True for some of you. However, you could still take away a lesson from my experience. Treat every worker with dignity, their job is important whether you see it or not. Treat every job you do with the care, dignity, and love due it. Imagine how many would go hungry if there were no cashiers at the grocery store, or how many would starve if there were no more farmers, the sanitation disaster if there were no trash people, and so forth. We all labor together to make our society function and no person’s labor should be considered less than another person’s, in short we need to bring pride and dignity back to work, rather than glorify those who manage to avoid it or live off the labors of others without laboring themselves.

If you don’t believe me then here is what the Catechism of the Catholic Church has to say on the subject:

2426 The development of economic activity and growth in production are meant to provide for the needs of human beings. Economic life is not meant solely to multiply goods produced and increase profit or power; it is ordered first of all to the service of persons, of the whole man, and of the entire human community. Economic activity, conducted according to its own proper methods, is to be exercised within the limits of the moral order, in keeping with social justice so as to correspond to God’s plan for man. 209

2427 Human work proceeds directly from persons created in the image of God and called to prolong the work of creation by subduing the earth, both with and for one another. 210Hence work is a duty: “If any one will not work, let him not eat.” 211 Work honors the Creator’s gifts and the talents received from him. It can also be redemptive. By enduring the hardship of work 212 in union with Jesus, the carpenter of Nazareth and the one crucified on Calvary, man collaborates in a certain fashion with the Son of God in his redemptive work. He shows himself to be a disciple of Christ by carrying the cross, daily, in the work he is called to accomplish. 213 Work can be a means of sanctification and a way of animating earthly realities with the Spirit of Christ.

2428 In work, the person exercises and fulfills in part the potential inscribed in his nature. The primordial value of labor stems from man himself, its author and its beneficiary. Work is for man, not man for work. 214 Everyone should be able to draw from work the means of providing for his life and that of his family, and of serving the human community.

I’m especially enamored with that second to last part – “Work is for man, not man for work”.  There is a serious misunderstanding about providing for a family in America today. They need to have food, a roof over their heads, a warm and safe place to sleep, healthcare, transportation as necessary, and the ability to pursue their dreams. What they do not need is a plethora of useless things, faster cars, million dollar houses, etc… All provided by money which is earned by sacrificing yourself to your job. You see, the most important thing your family needs is YOU. I suspect a great many marriages fail because people don’t get this one simple fact, money is not a substitute for “being there”. You can only take love, memories, and regrets when you leave this life – don’t let your love die because you mistakenly thought that all that “stuff” was making up for it. Don’t miss out on memories just to get more “stuff” which will end up going to a landfill someday, or a taxman if you don’t spend it all. Most importantly, remember this life can end at any time – find a job that you love to do, that provides so that you can live without need without having to violate your family time, personal goals, or most importantly you relationship with your wife. Remember your wedding vows to Love, Honor, and Cherish did not include getting filthy rich while destroying your marriage in the process. Do something you enjoy. Not only will you do better at it, but you will enjoy it more and your work will be a joy instead of a burden to share with your beloved.

This is one I had to learn the hard way; Please avoid that path for your sake, your wife’s sake, and the sake of your children. They need YOU as a father, not the just the money you generate as only a provider. Your marital responsibilities cannot be abrogated by a check. Please think about it. Nobody has “He worked really hard and ignored his family” on their tombstone. What do you want yours to say?

Prayerfully Yours,

Colin

Shakespeare Understood

22 Jan

William Shakespeare

My favorite sonnet from her favorite poet for my beloved wife.

Sonnet CXVI (116)

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O, no! it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

– William Shakespeare

“Just read and think private… Read and think…” – Penguins of Madagascar

Colin

Kathryn Suffers a Major Setback (Jan 21, 2014)

21 Jan

Maria_Magdalene_praying
Kathryn has taken a turn for the worse. I know from personal experience just how dangerous and damaging the steroids are, which is why the doctors are desperately trying to cut them back  – but her body is also failing without them. Please consider sending a card or note to help bolster her spirits, and pray for the whole family. I have been both the one who was so sick and one of the family of someone so deathly ill. I promise you from personal experience that it is equally hard to be in either position as both leave you feeling helpless, frightened, and overwhelmed.  As a parent I can tell you , would be far easier for me if I could simply exchange places with that child – but alas we cannot. It is in these dark times that the only real comfort we have is our faith. When faced with darkness, it provides the light and hope from God that our souls need to find their way.  That faith is reinforced strongly by your cards, letters, and notes of support – they are candles in the darkness for this family and  they let this family know that they are not alone in their faith and that others are praying both with them and for them. Please take a moment from your day to say a short prayer for the comfort of the whole family – as Kathryn cannot help but to see the anguish in their eyes as they witness her suffering. Just a small act of compassion, done with great love, can do more to change the world than you may ever know.

Thank you ALL for your support,

-Colin

UPDATE POSTED 01.20.14 @ 10:57 PM

Prayer Warriors please join us in walking this journey with Kathryn and her family. It seems as though her body is not responding very well to the decreased doses of steroids.

Kathryn had a bad night last night. She has a low grade fever, which has to be watched very closely because it can spike very quickly. She has hip, knee, back and shoulder pain and needs help walking.

Kathryn was doing so well with her chemo treatments. She took a trip to Walmart and was even fixing her own snacks. Kathy told us she even had the strength to help straighten her room. The family was looking forward to spending some time together for the MLK holiday. After a rough night Kyle and Kathy brought her for her Chemo treatment this morning and received the news that her Ferritin levels are rising once again.

Kathryn did receive chemo today but with this news about the Ferritin, they were told not to come back for the Thursday treatment. Also, because the Ferritin levels are going up again and the fact that her body is reacting to the decreased steroids, the doctors decided to increase her steroids again until the Ferritin levels go down.

Kathy says that the cards and prayers Kathryn has received have truly lifted her spirits. She and Kyle are very grateful.

REMINDERS:

***** DONATIONS ******
KATHRYN GARDNER BENEFIT ACCOUNT
at any WHITNEY/HANCOCK Bank

***** LETTERS/CARDS ********
All mail for Kathryn should be mailed to the following address:
KATHRYN GARDNER
857 Brownswitch PMB # 335
Slidell, Louisiana 70458

THANK YOU AND KEEP THE PRAYERS COMING!!

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Abortion within Marriage (Reblog from Biltrix)

16 Jan


Abortion is a holocaust of untold proportions, the damage it does to families and marriages every year is beyond measure. In this post I think Biltrix managed to transcend the biological and legalistic issues and get straight to the heart of the matter. There is a 5 minute video here, and it had me teared up, but not why you might think (No Gore, dead fetuses, religious ranting, or other assaults of that type – just one womans short story. Simple, to the heart of the matter, and well made). It was the callous indifference of the husband and anguish of the wife that really touched my heart. To the mother it was a child, to the father an inconvenience. What have we come to that a human should even think like that? Please give it a read and watch the video. It opens with some mind numbing but well documented and shocking statistics on Abortion you probably never knew. Like These:

A survey of post-abortive women found that:

  • 28% attempted suicide
  • 31% experienced suicidal feelings
  • 60% commented that the decision to abort made their lives worse
  • 94% regretted the decision to abort

Tell me how you can love a woman, and do this to her? Not about her rights, not about laws or legalities – just basic human decency and compassion. Tell me that you think it’s OK to do this to a woman or even encourage her to do it to herself. Now imagine trying to do it to your wife! Whatever you do to her, you also do to yourself – you are one flesh! After watching the video, I promise you will have a new perspective on abortion.

Please pass this on, especially if you know of someone considering an abortion.

Read all about it here: http://biltrix.com/2014/01/16/why-do-94-of-women-who-had-abortions-say-they-regretted-the-decision-to-abort/

Biltrix posted this one – if you like this then please check out the whole Blog, authored by REAL Catholic Priests and Theologians.

Keep them in your prayers and bookmark their blog – they are truly doing the Lords work on a variety of fronts.

-Colin

What’s Going on with Kathryn?

14 Jan

kathrynAll,

I have been deluged with requests for an updated status. Don’t think I’ve forgotten, she stays in my prayers every night and every day. Here is the latest as of this evening. She is far from out of the woods, but then again the doctors never thought she would make it this far! Prayer Works! Praise God!

Can I get an AMEN! – Then you keep right on prayin’ she still needs your prayers. Yes YOUR prayers.

Please SHARE this as WIDELY AS POSSIBLE – and keep those cards and letters coming! Words of encouragement are very important – and they let her know just how many are thinking of her and praying for her. Send her a postcard with a short note, have your kids draw her pictures, write get well on a napkin and put it in the mail to her.

-Colin

UPDATED POSTED 01.13.14 @ 10:58 PM.

Kathryn has done well so far with her chemo treatments. She had a chemo treatment today. They checked her blood levels again.

GREAT NEWS, her Ferritin level in her blood has come down to 2,500, it had gotten as high as 40,000. This level should be less than 200.

The doctors are very excited to see this improvement and explained that if at her next chemo treatment which will be this Thursday, January 16, 2013 it is below 1000, they will be able to cut down the chemo treatments to only one treatment a week instead of two chemo treatments a week.

The doctors have been slowly lowering the dosage of steroids she had been receiving. This will start to cause Kathryn to start feeling more of the effects of the chemo treatments. They have to start lowering the dosage, because there are negative long term effects if you stay on steroids too long.

Kathryn was able to attend noon MASS this past Sunday. She has been stir crazy being stuck inside all this time. It was great for her to be able to get out of the house for a little while, but she was exhausted afterwards.

As far as her schooling is concerned, Kathy (her mother) has contacted the school board and has gotten the ball rolling on that issue, she is waiting on a call back tomorrow with details as to how this will work.

The family needs your PRAYERS now more than ever. We pray that these treatments work and that GOD will grant her a COMPLETE FREEDOM from this disease!!

Things are definitely looking better now, but the doctors have warned the family that as they take her off the steroids, things may get worse before they get better. The doctors DO NOT want any of us to get a false sense of security. Kathryn is NOT out of the woods on this matter. SO CONTINUED PRAYERS ARE NEEDED.

REMINDERS:

***** DONATIONS ******
KATHRYN GARDNER BENEFIT ACCOUNT
at any WHITNEY/HANCOCK Bank

***** LETTERS/CARDS ********
All mail for Kathryn should be mailed to the following address:
KATHRYN GARDNER
857 Brownswitch PMB # 335
Slidell, Louisiana 70458

THANK YOU AND KEEP THE PRAYERS COMING!!

Kathryn Finally Home – On Outpatient Chemo

6 Jan

Kathryn

All,

I wanted to make sure I passed on this latest update that Kathryn is finally home and doing outpatient Chemotherapy. It is truly a wonder to watch prayer work in the lives of others around you. It is a reminder of God’s love ,and in the inherent goodness of humanity. I hope that those of you who have prayed for her find great joy and reinforcement in of your faith in her recovery, as I do. When so many pray together the heavens are stormed, and when they pray in humility and God chooses to grant their request it is an amazing thing. Please continue to pray for her and her family, and remember that each of you had a part in both her survival and her recovery. Whatsoever you have done for the least of his people – THAT you have done for him.

PLEASE REPOST OR REBLOG AS WIDELY AS POSSIBLE  TO SPREAD THE WORD TO ALL WHO HAVE BEEN PRAYING.

With the Greatest Love – and Deepest Faith –

-Colin

POSTED 01.06.14 @ 8:29 PM.

Kathryn went back to the hospital for her two hour chemo treatment today and her body handled the treatment without any complications and she was able to come back home tonight. Her blood levels continue to improve. Kathryn will be doing these two hour chemo treatment twice a week for the next eight weeks.

Kathy will be meeting with Kathryn’s school teachers tomorrow to start setting up the home study program for Kathryn so that she can get back on track with her education.

If anyone can help with dinner for the family on Monday’s and Thursday’s That would be AWESOME. These are the two days each week that Kathryn has to go to her chemo treatment and it is an all day affair.

PLEASE CONTACT MARIANNE BELL @ 985.285.5359 SHE WILL BE COORDINATING THE MEAL SCHEDULE FOR THESE TWO DAYS.

Please continue to pray that Kathryn’s body can continue to handled all the chemo treatments over the course of the next eight weeks. The treatments are making her weak, but she is in good spirits, so your prayers are definitely working!!

THANK YOU FOR YOUR LOVE, SUPPORT, AND PRAYERS!!

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UPDATE POSTED 01.05.14 @ 9:38 pm.

GREAT NEWS!!!
The doctors have allowed Kathryn to come home today. Her blood level and her liver indicators are all starting to get down to normal levels.

She will have to go back tomorrow, Monday, January 6 ,2014 for a two hour chemo treatment again, but they are hoping that it will be as an outpatient only and that she will not have to stay in the hospital. She will then have to go back again on Thursday for another chemo treatment. For now the doctors are thinking she will have two chemo treatments a week for eight weeks.

During this time period her immune system will be very weak and vulnerable to any sickness, so please call the house before you just pop in for a visit, as the chemo treatment will be very exhausting for Kathryn.

PLEASE CONTINUE TO PRAY THAT KATHRYN CAN HANDLE THE CHEMO TREATMENTS AND THAT THEY WORK!!

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UPDATE 1.4.14 @ 9:18pm

The Gardner Family, want to thank all of you who were able to attend the prayer service last night as well as those who prayed with us from home. Kathy was overjoyed to hear us recount the details of the evening. Today Father Rareshide visited Kathryn! What a blessing! She was also visited by her sisters and cousins. I am sure that wore her out.

Kathy told us the most recent blood tests revealed that the liver enzymes are still going down and are now at 98!That is almost normal.
Her Ferritin level is down to 15,000 from 40,000.

Because these numbers continue to go down, it looks good that she will be able to go home tomorrow. Then she will have to return for outpatient chemotherapy treatments on Monday.

Prayer Warriors, she is not out of the woods yet. Kathryn still has a long way to go. We do know that GOD is on our side and He is definitely walking with Kathryn on this difficult path. Please continue to pray that Kathryn stays strong and her body will handle these treatments.

I encourage each of you to write her a letter or have your little ones draw a picture (her favorite color is purple) and mail it to her at the following address:

KATHRYN GARDNER
857 Brownswitch PMB # 335
Slidell, Louisiana 70458

Kathryn Gets a Horrific Diagnosis – and Needs a Miracle!

31 Dec

katheryn

Everyone –

Kathryn has had some major setbacks in treatment – Please pray with us.

-Colin

UPDATED 01.01.14 @ 2:06pm.

Kathryn started the chemo treatment late yesterday afternoon. It was suppose to take 9 hours for first treatment. 40 minutes into the treatment Kathryn had an adverse reaction. Her fever spiked, her hands and fingers turned purple and her heart rate went up to 230 beats per minute. She yelled out in pain which awakened Kathy. The doctors immediately stopped the treatment. They got her settled down and were about to restart the chemo, when some of the results came in from an earlier spinal tap, indicating that she had a fungus growing on her brain. The Doctors had to stop all chemo treatments and immediately and start her on a round of antibiotics, which took 1.5 hours. After the antibiotics were administered, they re-started the chemo treatment at a lower rate late last night. The problem with the lower rate is that it will take 22 hours to administer rather than the initial 9 hours. She will have to go through 5 days of this type of treatment in the hospital.

As for the fungus issue, the doctors think it was in very early stages and it has been rectified.

The doctors have decided to do a liver biopsy today to identify what is happening with the liver.

The family is VERY STRESSED!! It seems that there is an obstacle at every turn and it is getting to them. PLEASE PRAY FOR STRENGTH AND COURAGE FOR THE FAMILY!!

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Everyone,

Katheryn has a diagnosis. I have included the infor from the family below. The news is heartbreaking – but in Christ there is always hope. Please keep her in your prayers. Have masses offered, send cards or notes of support, include her in your rosaries and novenas, and/or stop to remember her and that she is fighting for her life each day. Even the smallest actions done with great love will have a positive effect. Please do not forget her family – I know in their position I my suffering would be just as great watching the child suffer (I have been the one suffering in the hospital). I promise that every prayer matters – even small short ones. For many of us Christmas is not over – please continue Christmas by remembering her each day and offering a prayer on behalf of Kathryn and her Family with great love and compassion. Pray for her doctors as well.

Mark Shea offered the most eloquent prayer I think I have seen yet, and I am reposting it here for everyone:

Father, hear our prayer for her complete healing in body, soul, and spirit.  Give her caregivers grace, peace, wisdom, knowledge, understanding, skill, creativity, and the proper technology to assist in your healing work.  Give her and all who love her grace, peace, strength, consolation, faith, hope and love.  We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Mother Mary and St. Luke, pray for them all.

To everyone who has been praying, sent cards, notes, and even just kept her in their thoughts – thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Please Share or Repost this anywhere you see fit, church bulletin boards, prayer groups on social media, facebook friends, etc…

Yours in Christ –

Colin

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REMINDER FOR EVERYONE THAT WANTED TO SEND CARDS:

All mail for Kathryn should be mailed to the following address:

KATHRYN GARDNER
857 Brownswitch Road
PMB # 335
Slidell, Louisiana 70458

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UPDATE POSTED 12.31.13 @ 2:03 PM.

HELLO EVERYONE

The final diagnosis is that Kathryn has a very rare blood disorder. It is NOT Cancer, but it is treated in a similar matter.
She has Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH)

Here is some info on HLH and a link for you to read more about the disorder:

“Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) is a rare but potentially fatal condition in which certain white blood cells (histiocytes and lymphocytes) build up in organs including the skin, spleen, and liver, and destroy other blood cells. This causes fever and damages the liver and spleen, resulting in enlargement of these organs. HLH may be inherited or it may be caused by certain conditions or diseases including infections and immunodeficiency (inability of the body to fight infections). It most commonly affects young infants and children.[1][2] Treatment includes antibiotics or antiviral medications to treat or prevent infections, and chemotherapy and immunotherapy prior to allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation”

LINK: http://www.histio.org/document.doc?id=243

The good news is that Kathryn’s doctor Dr.Rishikesh Chavan, MD was a resident in Houston and worked under two doctors that wrote the treatment protocol for HLH patients.He is the one that finally identified the disorder when all the other doctors were stumped.

Kyle and Kathy are seeing GOD’s hand in all of this, because if they had not gone to Tulane Hospital, they would never have had Dr. Chavan as Kathryn’s doctor.

Starting today, Kathryn will be treated with chemo over the course of the next eight weeks. The doctors will monitor her progress and how she handles this first treatment. then the decision will be made on how the following treatments will be handled. Whether they will require additional hospital stays or not during the eight weeks of treatment.

One of the biggest concerns, that the doctors have is that her liver enzmes are at 2,000 and they should be at 35.

SO PLEASE PRAY THAT THE LIVER STARTS TO REPAIR ITSELF TO AVOID PERMANENT DAMAGE OR THE NEED FOR A TRANSPLANT.

Also, we have been asked by many people if they can send donations in for the family. I am currently setting up a special benefit account at a local bank for Kathryn. I will update everyone once I have this done.

PLEASE GOD, ALLOW YOUR HEALING MERCY TO FLOW THROUGHOUT KATHRYN’S BODY!!!

Kyle and Kathy Gardner have asked us to continue posting updates for them on this event page to answer the questions that many of us have. This allows them not to have to field so many phone calls.

So I will be posting updates as they call us with any new information. If you would like, please contact us directly via FACEBOOK messaging and we will answer any questions of their behalf for now.

##############################################################################

UPDATE*** POSTED ON 12.31.13 @ 8:56am,

The Gardner family is meeting with the Doctors this morning to go over the treatment plan.

PLEASE PRAY FOR THEIR DISCERNMENT THIS MORNING!!

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Emergency Update on Kathryn 12/30 7:48 pm CDT

30 Dec

Kathryn

I Just received this. For everyone praying for Kathryn – thought you should know ASAP.

EMERGENCY UPDATE!!!!!!!!!!!!
POSTED ON 12.30.13 @ 7:48 pm

The Gardner’s received a call from the doctor about an hour ago and were told to immediately bring Kathryn back to the hospital. Her liver enzyme levels are elevated from the test they ran on some of the blood that was drawn earlier today. They want to get her back on IV medication and prep her for treatment immediately.

THE FAMILY IS VERY CONCERNED, PLEASE PRAY THAT KATHRYN WILL GET THROUGH THIS BATTLE!!!

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POSTED ON 12.30.13 @ 5:16 pm

Today the Gardner Family went back to the hospital to review the diagnosis and discuss the plan of action for Kathryn and here are the results of that meeting.

The doctor’s have identified want she has as:
Systemic Onset – Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (SO-JIA).

This is the umbrella diagnosis under which they are classifying this disease. There are a spectrum of different symptoms and additional diseases under this diagnosis, so the doctors took more blood today and are sending it off to Cincinnati, Ohio for some additional testing to confirm their findings as to what phase/stage Kathryn is in to start the proper treatment. They want her to return in 10 days once those results are in.

This disease has attacked Kathryn’s immune system and muscular system making her weak and susceptible to sickness, therefore she will not be able to attend regular school, so the family is setting up a home study plan with the school system for Kathryn to continue her education, this maybe for approximately four weeks and then maybe she can start back to school on a part-time basis.

PLEASE CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR KATHRYN!!

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REMINDER FOR EVERYONE THAT WANTED TO SEND CARDS:

All mail for Kathryn should be mailed to the following address:

KATHRYN GARDNER
857 Brownswitch Road
PMB # 335
Slidell, Louisiana 70458

-Colin

Anniversaries and What They Mean

30 Dec

Anniversary Watch

Anniversaries. What do they really mean? Another year has passed and a sacrament has survived?

Let’s be honest we take great pride in hitting milestones like 1, 3, 5, 7, 10, 15, 20, 25 years. We do this because so many marriages do not make these numbers. Too often we place far too much stock in the celebration and recognition of these events – to the point that if one partner forgets the date or does not provide some token of affection a fight ensues and recriminations begin.

I love presents, a nice dinner out, and mind blowing sex as much as the next guy – and likely more. However, these things are not what an anniversary is about for me. Given they joyous effects of neurosurgery on long term memories – our early years are somewhat patchy. Please indulge me while I explain what I have thought of for the last 15 anniversaries.

Yesterday was our 22nd anniversary, and it’s funny that it is a gift I received on my 7th anniversary from my beloved wife that I still wear every day is a continual reminder of her selfless love. It’s a watch, that never needs batteries (Kinetic), like our love it is powered just by being ourselves. To understand I have to explain about me and watches – I kill them. Wind up or digital is no matter – on my wrist they all quit ticking and tocking or beeping in hours – days if I’m lucky. The wind up ones often ended up with hands bent inside the cases. Call it an occupational hazard of sorts. She wanted me so badly to have a watch that she searched high and low. She knew I had pinned a very small ad for this particular watch by the side of my desk among other papers for some years. Sapphire crystal, plain and simple – no “bling” at all, kinetic (No battery – powered by a slow leak capacitor), made of pure titanium (non-ferrous so no magnetic field issues), and more expensive than a used car. The Service Merchandise chain or Jewelers was still going in those days and she went in to look at after Christmas sales – they had one left and it was on clearance, cheap – under $1000 (This was 15 years ago!). It was still very expensive, but she was sure it was for me – her heart told her so. She carefully explained my history with watches, the salesman brought out that very watch and included a promise in writing that they would take it back unconditionally if I managed to kill it. She wanted to have it engraved but the back was sapphire crystal as well so the inner workings could be viewed if one desired and the crystal could not even be scratched by their engraver. She bought the watch and brought it to our dinner out that night.

While we waited for our food I could see fear or trepidation in her eyes. She was nervous and scared, I got nervous – it was the 7th year after all – and things had been rocky at times that year, but I thought we had really grown and bonded more deeply through the adversity. Now I wondered. She turned to me and said “I got you something special, I spent way too much money – please don’t be angry” and passed the box over. I about fell out of my chair when I opened it and the outrageously expensive watch I had admired, but never thought I would own, was in the box. You could have knocked me over with a feather, I was speechless. She was worried and hurriedly explained that she had gotten it on super sale, she could take it back, that it couldn’t be engraved to her disappointment, and that it came with a money back guarantee my body could not kill it. I’ll never forget the look in her eyes. They were truly windows to the soul for her that night. She had done something beyond selfless to make me feel loved and wanted, to let me know that she was not just listening to me – but noting and absorbing every detail of my being and though I had never said a word to anyone – she knew about the watch. She wanted more than anything to make me happy, to know that I was loved, and that she cared very deeply about those things I wanted in the depths of my heart that I had put aside to take care of her and our daughter. Tears welled up, I was touched in a place I had never been touched before – this feeling was new and joyous, and heartrending at the same time. I had no equivalent gift to offer. I looked into my heart, painfully aware that I was lacking and did not deserve this kind of love. I resolved that moment to keep trying to be the husband she deserved – not that I ever was, or have been successful in that endeavor.

I still keep trying. To this very day I still keep trying to match her in just that one moment. I know her moods, her body language, her smell, her eyes to the point I can often know whats she is thinking by a flash or glimmer in her eyes – and just as often as if by telepathy. I have tried my best to return that gift, but nothing will ever be enough. While the watch is a symbol as important to me as my wedding band because of the turning point in our marriage it represents – the gift was knowing unequivocally just how loved I was. Knowing that nobody deserves that kind of love, and that it is a gift to be accepted graciously and returned of the best of your ability. I am still trying to return a gift given 15 years ago – one that opened my eyes and my heart, everyday. She deserves it. In fact, she still deserves better.

That is what anniversaries mean to me. Like New Years they are an opportunity to reflect objectively on our marriages and identify those things we could do better – then resolve to make it so. That doesn’t mean that the other accoutrements are not nice or important – but that we should always use them to look ahead and not behind.

Yours in Christ,

Colin

St. Stephen, the First Martyr

26 Dec

On the feast of St. Stephen (On of my favorites) The First Deacon and Martyr of the Church, a short review of history and faith is always a good thing. I think Fr. Francis hit the nail so squarely on the head it went right on through the board. I hope this sings to your soul too 🙂

– Colin

Catholicism Pure & Simple

By Fr. Francis Xavier Weninger

St. Stephen, whom Holy Scripture calls a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, full of grace and strength, was the first who had the happiness to give his blood and life for the Gospel of Christ; hence he is called “Proto-martyr.” He is also called Archdeacon, because he was the first of those seven men, who were chosen by the Christian community and ordained deacons by the Apostles.

All present at his martyrdom looked fixedly into the face of the accused to notice any change which fear or apprehension might work in it; but, contrary to their expectation, the countenance of the holy Archdeacon was so illuminated by God, as a sign of his innocence, that they deemed it the face of an Angel. And in truth, he might have been called an Angel, not only on account of his angelic…

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Miracle Please?

23 Dec

I think Bishop Tatro got his one dead on. Delighted to reblog him.
-Colin

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