Daily Archives: September 23, 2010

Obama says babies are a punishment

Remember this when it comes time for election day. Vote Pro-Life!

St. Therese Novena, Day 2

A Treasury of Prayers to St. Therese of Lisieux

Thou, servant of God, St. Therese of the Child Jesus, who in thy dying moments didst say: I will spend my heaven in doing good upon earth, hasten to let fall upon me a shower of roses that I too may be inflamed with that fire of love which burned so brilliantly in thy breast and which brought thee so gloriously to the arms of Jesus, my Lord and my God. Amen.

St. Therese, the Little Flower, please pick me a rose from the heavently garden and sent it to me with a message of love. Ask God to grant me the favor I thee implore and tell Him I will love Him each day more and more:
[State Request. I am asking this Novena for the ongoing intentions of our job and housing situations, the repair of my van, and the intentions of my friends, especially Jim and Ruby, Sharon, Lorelei, Leslie and Lynne]

O God, who have said, “Unless you change and become as little children, you shall not enter the the kingdom of Heaven,” grant, we beseech thee, that we may walk in the footsteps of Thy blessed virgin Therese, with humility and singleness of heart, so as to attain the reward you have promised to little children. We ask this through Our Lord, Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Flos Carmeli

Obeautiful Flower of Carmel, Most fruitful vine, Splendor of Heaven, Holy and Singular, Who brought forth
the Son of God, still ever remaining a pure Virgin, Assist us in our necessities. O Star of the Sea, Help and protect us. Show us that you are our Mother. Amen.

Mother and Ornament of Carmel, pray for us!
Patroness of all who wear the Scapular, pray for us!
Hope of all who die wearing the Scapular, pray for us!
St. Joseph, Chaste Spouse of Mary, pray for us!
St. Joseph, our Patron, pray for us!
O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!

Novena to Child Jesus

O Jesus, Who hast said,
ask and you shall receive,
seek and you shall find,
knock and it shall be opened to you,
through the intercession of Mary,
Thy Most Holy Mother,
I knock, I seek,
I ask that my prayer be granted.

(Make your request)

O Jesus, Who hast said,
all that you ask of the Father in My Name,
He will grant you.
Through the intercession of Mary,
Thy most Holy Mother,
I humbly and urgently ask Thy Father
in Thy Name that my prayer be granted.

(Make your request)

O Jesus, Who hast said,
“Heaven and earth shall pass away
but My word shall not pass”,
through the intercession of Mary,
Thy Most Holy Mother,
I feel confident that my prayer will be granted.

(Make your request)

Wisdom of Bishop Myriel: the Hospital

The episcopal palace was a huge and beautiful house, built of stone at the beginning of the last century by M. Henri Puget, Doctor of Theology of the Faculty of Paris, Abbé of Simore, who had been Bishop of D—— in 1712. This palace was a genuine seignorial residence. Everything about it had a grand air,—the apartments of the Bishop, the drawing-rooms, the chambers, the principal courtyard, which was very large, with walks encircling it under arcades in the old Florentine fashion, and gardens planted with magnificent trees. In the dining-room, a long and superb gallery which was situated on the ground-floor and opened on the gardens, M. Henri Puget had entertained in state, on July 29, 1714, My Lords Charles Brulart de Genlis, archbishop; Prince d’Embrun; Antoine de Mesgrigny, the capuchin, Bishop of Grasse; Philippe de Vendome, Grand Prior of France, Abbé of Saint Honore de Lerins; Francois de Berton de Crillon, bishop, Baron de Vence; Cesar de Sabran de Forcalquier, bishop, Seignor of Glandeve; and Jean Soanen, Priest of the Oratory, preacher in ordinary to the king, bishop, Seignor of Senez. The portraits of these seven reverend personages decorated this apartment; and this memorable date, the 29th of July, 1714, was there engraved in letters of gold on a table of white marble.

The hospital was a low and narrow building of a single story, with a small garden.

Three days after his arrival, the Bishop visited the hospital. The visit ended, he had the director requested to be so good as to come to his house.

“Monsieur the director of the hospital,” said he to him, “how many sick people have you at the present moment?”

“Twenty-six, Monseigneur.”

“That was the number which I counted,” said the Bishop.

“The beds,” pursued the director, “are very much crowded against each other.”

“That is what I observed.”

“The halls are nothing but rooms, and it is with difficulty that the air can be changed in them.”

“So it seems to me.”

“And then, when there is a ray of sun, the garden is very small for the convalescents.”

“That was what I said to myself.”

“In case of epidemics,—we have had the typhus fever this year; we had the sweating sickness two years ago, and a hundred patients at times,—we know not what to do.”

“That is the thought which occurred to me.”

“What would you have, Monseigneur?” said the director. “One must resign one’s self.”

This conversation took place in the gallery dining-room on the ground-floor.

The Bishop remained silent for a moment; then he turned abruptly to the director of the hospital.

“Monsieur,” said he, “how many beds do you think this hall alone would hold?”

“Monseigneur’s dining-room?” exclaimed the stupefied director.

The Bishop cast a glance round the apartment, and seemed to be taking measures and calculations with his eyes.

“It would hold full twenty beds,” said he, as though speaking to himself. Then, raising his voice:—

“Hold, Monsieur the director of the hospital, I will tell you something. There is evidently a mistake here. There are thirty-six of you, in five or six small rooms. There are three of us here, and we have room for sixty. There is some mistake, I tell you; you have my house, and I have yours. Give me back my house; you are at home here.”

On the following day the thirty-six patients were installed in the Bishop’s palace, and the Bishop was settled in the hospital.

-Victor Hugo
When Karol Woytyla was appointed Archbishop of Krakow, he did not turn his episcopal palace over to the poor completely. However, he *did* choose for his bedroom a storage closet (now kept in his honor), and he *did* open his doors to the poor to come share his meals.

Hour of Mercy: St. Pio Deliverance Prayer

St. Michael Prayer

St. Michael, the archangel, defend us in battle. Be our defense against the malice and snares of the Devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray. And do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the Power of God, cast into Hell Satan, and all the evil spirits, who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

Remember, O Most Gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known, that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help, or sought your intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly you, O Virgin of Virgins, my Mother. To you I come, before you I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despite not my petitions, but in you mercy, hear and answer me. Amen.

St. Padre Pio Deliverance Prayer

I claim the full victory that my Lord Jesus Christ won on the Cross for me.  Having disarmed the powers and authorities, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the Cross (Col. 2:15).  His victory for me is my victory.

In the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ I renounce all the workings of Satan in my life in all its forms, whether brought into my life by my actions or by others.  I break all attachments, ground, curses, spells, and rights Satan may have in my life, whether such ground was gained through my actions or through others.  Strengthened by the intercession of the Immaculate Virgin Mary, Mother of God, of Blessed Michael the Archangel, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and all the Saints and Angels of Heaven, and powerful in the holy authority of the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I ask you Lord to command Satan and all his minions, whomever they may be, to get out of my life and stay out.  With that authority I now take back the ground in my life gained by Satan through my sins.  I reclaim this ground and my life for Christ.  I now dedicate myself to the Lord Jesus Christ; I belong to Him alone.  Amen.

Where are all the headlines about the 5 Muslims arrested for plotting to kill the Pope?

Where are the Facebook groups of Muslims saying, “We protest this”? Where are all the “interfaith” organizations issuing statements? Where are the statements from Obama and Clinton and the Vatican Interreligious Affairs office??

One looney threatens to burn some Korans in his front yard, and the whole world erupts in protest.

5 guys plot to kill the Pope? Big whoop!
And if those 5 guys were arrested for plotting to kill Barack “You don’t have any evidence this is really even my name” Obama, there would be uproar somewhere short of the uproar over the would-be Koran burner.

Obama “Reports” Arizona to the UN

Says he’s doing his best to tell this wayward state who’s boss.

_Lone Star_: _Dallas_ for Today? Yes and No

The idea of a _Dallas_ revival or reboot, either in film or television, has been batted around since at least 1998, but it’s had an important cultural reason since 2002. Given the parallels between our society today and the late 70s, given the fact that half of the storylines of _Dallas_ were taken from the life of Ken Lay, _Dallas_ would have been the perfect venue for addressing the corporate scandals of the last decade. Indeed, when a movie was being seriously considered, that was the objective: to treat the Enron Issue. A focus group found the script too serious. Entertainment executives are infamous for completely misreading focus groups, and rather than inserting humor into the script, they decided to make the movie a parody. The project floundered and eventually died.

And for the past year, there have been rumors, recently reignited, that the Turner division of Warner Bros. is working on a pilot for a _Dallas The Next Generation_ series either for TNT or TBS.

In the meantime, FOX has jumped into the bandwagon, sort of, with a show called _Lone Star_, but the “ripped from the headlines” premise is more Bernie Madoff than Ken Lay. Bob Allen is a con man, the son of a con man, who makes his living on Ponzi schemes. He also lives a double life. In Houston, he’s married to the daughter of Clint Thatcher (Jon Voight), a self-made oil millionaire.

Now, there are reasons why _Dallas_ was the second-longest running drama in history at the time of its cancellation (the reason why other dramas like _Law and Order_ have surpassed it in the past 20 years, of course, was their ability to withstand cast changes). _Lone Star_ is missing everything that made _Dallas_ work.

1. A good television or movie premise starts with a good idea. _Dallas_ started as “Romeo and Juliet” update. Then they worked in some other Shakespearean archetypes. _Lone Star_ very blatantly borrows from the echetypes of _Dallas_ without going back to the archetypes.
2. One of my constant complaints about TV and movies these days is the lack of multi-generational casts. Roles that traditionally went to people in their 30s or 40s now go to people in their 20s or early 30s. Roles that even *should* be middle-aged people are being played by young adults. And 20 year old medical doctors abound.
3. It is one thing to depict evil–that’s what makes literature and drama interesting–but it must be depicted in a context that is balanced.

There is character on this show, at least based upon the pilot, who’s sympathetic. The most sympathetic characters were the “hero’s” victims, and that includes the women he loves.

The show opens with a sexy scene where “Robert” is leaving his girlfriend Lindsey in her small house in Midland to go on a business trip. He’s all domestic with her. We see him going around getting checks from people to invest in “Oil Wells.” Then he calls Lindsey on a cell to tell her he’s arrived at his hotel. He puts away one cell phone, pulls out another, and walks into a huge mansion where he greets his wife Cat.

So, we’ve established in the opening sequence that the “hero” is a slimeball. Contrast to the earlier series’ opening of a bright eyed bride and her new husband driving home to tell his family of their elopement.

Again, America wants a show depicting Bernie Madoff and Ken Lay as bad guys. We don’t want a show where Bernie Madoff is the guy we’re supposed to be rooting for. I had expected it to at least be some kind of “Robin Hood” thing, where the guy was going around cheating *rich* people.

In one scene, Bob goes to an oil rig and claims to be working on research for a film. He gets permission to tour. He goes around with his con artist father and a kindly old man in a hat. When they finish their tour, we learn that the kindly old man is one of their “investors,” who has gotten cold feet. They’ve told this guy that the well they’ve toured is *their* well. And Bob offers to return his investment in cash if he still wants to pull out, showing him a suitcase of bills. Instead, the poor old man buys two more “shares.” The audience is supposed to be cheering for this??

In another scene, at a “down home” picnic in Midland, he talks to his girlfriend Lindsey’s parents, who think the world of him and his fake company they’ve put their life savings into. We know he’s cheating them, and our hearts ache for the fact that this creep is conning them.

The critics are baffled why America has not accepted another “flawed” hero, especially coming off of _House_ as a lead-in.

I never understand why execs can’t discern the difference between “characters you love to hate” and characters you just hate.

1) The concept of the anti-hero. We like somebody who does bad things to get people who are worse. J. R. Ewing is, within his family, the bad guy. However, many of his schemes involve bringing down people who are worse than he is. When he hurts innocent people, or poor people, he has his father, or his brother, or Cliff Barnes to bring him down a peg, and the audience cheers for that. Or else the reason people root for him is not so much that he wins as that he doesn’t bring his family down with him.
Dr. Gregory House is a kind of anti-hero in that, like a modern day Socrates or Diogenes, he picks at people’s arrogances and falsehoods. House is a jerk, but he exposes other people for being jerks. The _House_ writers realize this, and that’s why they insert the occasional story arch (most of which haven’t worked well) where House has to confront someone who’s an even bigger jerk.

By contrast, Bob Allen is no anti-hero. He’s just a slimeball. The anti-hero is the dangerous-seeming father in law, Clint, or the scheming brother in law “Trammell” (what kind of name is that??).

2) Humor. Most great villains have a level of comedy to them–it keeps their edge off. That’s why the Joker is one of the greatest comic book villains of all time. Larry Hagman and Hugh Laurie were both known as comic actors before taking on their iconic roles. Both actors have a sense of fun that takes the edge off their characters’ faults. Newcomer James Wolk, who is being compared to “a young George Clooney”, plays his part way too straight. He comes off as callous.

3) Sympathy. House may be a jerk. House may be a drug addict. But he really *is* disabled. Even “ol’ J.R.” had an edge of sympathy in that a) if he went down, his family went down with him and b) he was conflicted by his own sense of never meeting either of his parents’ approval. The only sympathy angle with Bob Allen, established in the opening scene, is that his father has raised him this way and roped him into this lifestyle. We’re supposed to sympathize him for the fact that he “loves” both these women, but that’s hardly a sympathetic trait. He has a clear choice in the show to be faithful to his wife and accept the high-paying job her father has offered him.

His conflict comes from wanting to maintain his relationship with Lindsey and the lower-middle-class lifestyle in Midland. He’s cheated a lot of people in the town, and some of them have started to ask questions, questions that are being investigated by the local DA. So he cooks up a scheme to embezzle from his father in law’s company to pay off his debts in Midland. This isn’t sympathetic. This is just stupid.

4) Lastly, “flawed heroes” have some admirable qualities to them. House can be an arrogant jerk and get away with it because he’s the smartest guy in the room, and he gets the job done.

Our society needs a good drama series to address the various corporate, economic and political crises of our times. Hopefully, the total failure of this show to do so will not prevent further ventures to fill this void.