The occasional, often ill-considered thoughts of a Roman Catholic permanent deacon who is ever grateful to God for his existence. Despite the strangeness we encounter in this life, all the suffering we witness and endure, being is good, so good I am sometimes unable to contain my joy. Deo gratias!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


I haven't posted much recently, but I have an excuse. Two of my grandsons are visiting Diane and me here in Florida and my time is now their time. We've been enjoying ourselves though, despite the soggy presence of tropical storm Debby who, like our grandchildren, wants to hang out here in Florida as long as possible. Oh, yes, our daughter, Siobhan, and son-in-law, Jeffrey, have also been visiting, but they must take a distant second place to the grandchildren.

Ezekiel (left) & Phineas (right) and parents
Despite the rain we've been determined to have a good time. We spent two days at Legoland, a rather odd (to me) theme park located at the site of the old Cypress Gardens in Winter Haven, Florida. We dodged the thunderstorms enough to enjoy every ride several times and even spent a morning at Legoland's water park where the boys, aged four and six, proved to me that merely watching children have fun can be exhausting. The boys loved every moment of their time there.

Since Phineas, the younger of the two, has a real fondness for trains we also took a ride on the Orange Blossom Cannonball, an ancient train that runs out of nearby Tavares, Florida. The ride also included a train robbery complete with nasty outlaws, the local sheriff, dance hall girls, lots of shooting, and a strong box filled with cash. It was all very exciting.

Then Debby got serious and started dumping huge amounts of water on us. This will continue through the remainder of their visit, so we've been doing inside stuff to keep busy. Fortunately, we have a Wii game system here, which we use only when grandchildren visit. Yesterday we flew airplanes, bowled, engaged in exciting sword fights, and played a few rounds of golf -- all in our living room.
Train Robbery in Progress

Ezekiel, who has a fondness for tractors and all kinds of other heavy equipment that dig and move earth, will get a treat today since there is an International Harvester tractor museum only a few miles away in Leesburg, Florida. Since everything is indoors the rain will present no obstacle.

And so...that's why I haven't been very active. Sadly, however, the world has continued to spin out of control. A few interesting events have caught my attention:

Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood. Back when the so-called "Arab Spring" hit Egypt, most observers were proclaiming the events as nothing less than a victory for democracy over tyranny. Although the revolution in Egypt may have been led originally by young secularists, I always anticipated that the Islamists would end up in charge. Read my posts from January, February and May 2011 on the emerging events in Egypt:

Egypt on the Brink (Jan 28, 2011)

The Plight of Christians in Egypt (Feb 4, 2011)

The New Egypt: Islamist or Secular (May 17, 2011)

And now Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood has just won the country's presidency. I find it particularly interesting that a nation which has never had a free election in its long and varied history should elect those who will quite likely ensure any future elections will not be free.

Pray for the Christians of Egypt. They make up 10% of the population, but are under constant threat of persecution. With the Muslim Brotherhood assuming control, persecution will likely increase.

Fortnight for Freedom. Our U.S. bishops have finally come together to challenge the obvious attack on religious freedom represented by the Obama administration's Health and Human Services mandate. You can read more about it here on the bishops' website. We are now in the midst of their "Fortnight for Freedom" which extends to Independence Day, July 4, and urges all parishes to take part through prayer and efforts to increase awareness of the threat among parishioners.

The following video, made by Bishop John Noonan, the Bishop of Orlando, was shown at all Masses this past Sunday throughout the diocese.

Pray for our country.

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