Monday, December 30, 2013

Year-end Bubble round-up!

I've seen some fun wrap-ups on other blogs, so here's my recap of the top three Bubble posts from 2013 (which reached the #3, #5, and #8 spots of all time, respectively):

Those are pretty much my personal favorites as well.

Another article that got a big response in 2013 is one that never appeared on this site. It ran at Catholic Exchange, and caused just a bit of controversy (and over 500 comments):

Three Things People Don't Know About Same-Sex "Marriage"

I kept up with comments on that one for a while, but then I had to let it go to tend to life and stuff.

Thanks for a great year in the Little Catholic Bubble, my dear friends, and I wish you all a very blessed 2014!

See you in just a bit!

(And, Catholics, don't forget that New Year's Day is the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God -- a Holy Day of Obligation!)

Monday, December 23, 2013

Which one do you like best?

My favorite Christmas song is "O Holy Night", hands down. I cannot get through it without having my soul affected -- or without goosebumps.

So, I thought it would be fun to ask you all which version of "O Holy Night" gives you the most goosebumps.

I've picked four singers, two male and two female, and I ask that you listen to the entirety of each video in order to give these extraordinarily talented mega-stars a fair shot at winning this enormously important Bubble contest, which will clearly impact their careers/legacies!

Here they are, in no particular order (and not always the best quality, sorry)...

1) Josh Groban

2) Celine Dion


3) Nat King Cole

4) Mariah Carey

Leave your vote in the comment box, and I will tally things up later this week.

And from my family to yours, we wish you a most blessed Christ's Mass (i.e., Christmas)!

Monday, December 16, 2013

But isn't Christmas a government holiday?

This seems so crazy to me. Am I missing something? Atheist "freedom from religion" groups have been systematically bullying towns, schools, and even the military* into removing Nativity scenes from public spaces.

For various reasons (no funds to litigate, lack of nerve, misunderstanding of the law), the public entities usually cave and remove Baby Jesus from the scene.

The atheists base their case on bogus "separation of church and state" arguments, which make no sense because of something crazy obvious:


Someone correct me if I am wrong, but I am pretty sure that means the commemoration of Christ's birth is a federal (government) holiday.

Therefore, a depiction of Christ's birthday is a perfectly acceptable way to commemorate Christ's birthday. (That's, like, a no-brainer, right kids?)

Sooooooo…in redundant other words...

As long as there is a GOVERNMENT, FEDERAL holiday for Christmas, then representations of Christmas (a government holiday) surely must be allowable, no?

I mean, can you imagine the state declaring Presidents Day and then saying it's illegal to display images of Washington and Lincoln? Or what if the nation celebrated the federal holiday called Veterans Day, while criminalizing the memorials of said veterans?

It's nuts! Makes no logical sense.

I'm not sure how the atheists can legally get away with what they do as long as Christmas is on the government calendar. How are they winning any cases?

If they had integrity (or a lick of sense) they would be challenging the federal holiday itself, which is the root of the "problem".

So, why don't they go that route? My guess is that either they are having too much success this way and will gain nothing by switching to legitimate tactics (except the wrath of the American people), or they really like having Christmas Day off so they can skip work.

It's all so very high-minded, isn't it?

As in days of old, this scene causes some modern folks grave emotional distress.

*An update from a military wife on the base is included in the comments.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Personal prayer request

My dear cousin, who is also one of my best friends, has just been diagnosed with lung cancer in both lungs, spread to the liver. She is a non-smoker.

This beautiful young woman is a devout Catholic, and the single mother to three school-aged children. It is a complete shock. I am asking everyone who reads this to please storm heaven for her. Bring out the big intercessors if you have them. I cannot thank you enough.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Pope Francis is Time's Person of the Year

Not bad for a "dying", "irrelevant" institution stuck in the 10th century.

Heck, when Time Magazine itself is lost in the dustbin of history, the papacy will still be going strong.


Update: To find out what the Time article got all wrong, read Fr. Robert Barron's excellent piece, HERE.

Monday, December 9, 2013

From the two women I'd idolize if I were an idolator.

We've had many vigorous debates on this blog about the relationship between Catholicism and science. If the topic is of interest to you, my friend Dr. Stacy Trasancos has written and published an academic thesis (short and easy to read) that should be in your digital library. It's affordable ($5), and proceeds will go to a needy family.

From Stacy ("So I'm Publishing a Book"):
[I set out] to master Fr. Stanley L. Jaki’s claim that “science was born of Christianity” but “stillborn” in other cultures. The birth and stillbirth analogies resonated; I’m a mother who knows the fullness of life and the barrenness of loss. To my surprise, many people asked to read it, so I had an idea. 
There’s a single mother who is a U. S. Military Veteran. She and her two daughters have no heat, not much food, no transportation. They have little materially, but they have each other. I figured out how to publish a less formal version of my thesis digitally and then I contacted this woman … My new friend has agreed to accept all of the royalties.

For more information about what you'll get, go here for Stacy's summary.

If you've heard enough and are already sold, click HERE to get your copy.


Also, for those of you who have been following Karen Pullano's story in these past months and are wondering how she is coping during the first holiday season without her daughter, Anna (the second child she has lost), you must read her latest amazing post:

Karen's grace, peace, wisdom and insight always leave me a little bit breathless. She is an example of Catholicism lived out. I want to sit at her feet and learn, pretty much for the rest of my life. 


Friday, December 6, 2013

Quick Takes, on time!

1) Advent reminder! The Church's new liturgical year began last Sunday, on the First Sunday of Advent. There are four Sundays in Advent, after which the Christmas season begins at the Vigil Mass on December 24.

So, remember that we are not in the Christmas season yet, and we need to spend these weeks in preparation for the coming of the Lord. (Easier said than done, I know!)

I posted this fun two-minute video last year (on the differences between Advent and Christmas), but it's worth another look:

My only caveat is that the liturgical color is not technically pink, it's rose. (As priests in pink vestments like to remind us, ha!)


Oh, and today is St. Nicholas' Feast Day. Happy Feast of Saint Nick! Which is simply another way of saying "The kids ate candy for breakfast today."

2) Un-freaking-believable. Look at this, from those trying to socially engineer African families (for their own good, of course):

“The demand for children [among Kenyan families] is still high and is unlikely to change unless substantial changes in desired family sizes are achieved among the poor in general….Thus the challenge is how to reduce further the continued high demand for children.” (Kenyan Population Situation Analysis)

Put it in context by reading this:

You know how it is. Those Africans, they like their children. Heck, they love their children. They want big families and they see those big families as a great good. The western elites cannot have that, no sir-ee!

I showed this article to our dear sister in Christ, Obianuju (Uju) Ekeocha, and she (the great crusader for maintaining a pro-life Africa) said this:
They want us to have a birth rate of 2.1!!! In a continent were there is NO pension plan at all and no old people's home. 
We are 6 kids in my family and my parents depend on us for everything Leila, how can we have 2.1 kids? 
That is a brilliant question, Uju. I guess they don't have an answer, because I doubt they ever thought of the question in the first place. Or cared, frankly.

By the way, if you have never heard Uju's melodious, elegant voice, please listen to her Catholic Answers radio interview just this week:

Poor Patrick Coffin (my new best friend, by the way) had the flu so could not conduct the interview as planned. But the stand-in host was wonderful.

3) I may be losing the facebook war with myself. I made my daughter give me the new password to my account, and I'm sort of back on. I need to find a way to moderate, maybe go on only M-W-F? Or something. I don't know. Sigh.

I missed all the "Omgosh Pope Francis is a Commie Marxist!!" facebook discussions (thankfully), so here are some links that will be helpful for anyone who needs to be talked off a ledge.

George Weigel had a great one (if you can only get the partial story by clicking due to lack of subscription, just google the title and George's name and it will get you to the full article):

Tom Hoopes (in response to the unfortunate Adam Shaw piece):

And from my friend Trent Horn:

Honestly, everyone needs to calm down. There is nothing said by this pope that has not been said by his predecessors.

Can we please begin to focus on our own holiness, and rejoice that this "irrelevant" institution of the papacy is the talk of the world, and that folks are returning to the Sacraments? God is at work here, people! Count on it.

4) So, I've been meaning to get a post out about the devil. It will come. In the meantime, I saw a few articles about this beyond-disturbing incident at a Catholic cathedral in Argentina recently:

I cannot bring myself to actually watch the video of these topless, raging women assaulting the praying young men who were trying to protect their church, but there is something of the demonic that exists in such a confrontation. No doubt about it. Look at the glee on their faces as they violate and vandalize and try to dehumanize the men, who look so sad but dignified.

God bless those wonderful gentlemen, and (I truly mean this) God have mercy on those women who attacked them violently and sought their humiliation.

5) Comic relief. This made me laugh!

And since it's his feast day, some Nicholas humor!


If you don't get the joke, go here to Brandon's post and learn some remarkable Christian history:

6)  Arizona residents, save the date: February 7, 2014.

One of my very closest friends, Bridget, conceived an idea to help families in crisis in our area by putting on a night of family-friendly stand-up comedy. Laugh 4 Hope is going to be SO.MUCH.FUN, and it's clean laughs, so you can bring your teens and older children!

It will be held at Grand Canyon University's 5,000 seat arena, so let's pack 'em in. I cannot wait. I love good stand-up comedy, and I hope to see you all there. I also know the emcee personally, and trust me he is awesome. Put it on your calendar, and find out more, here:

Tickets go on sale 12/16, and all proceeds go to the charities designated (check the site). Please spread the word on facebook and blogs if you can. Who doesn't love to laugh, and help people in crisis at the same time?

7) Do you remember when Carla lost her son Henry? It was a heartbreak beyond telling. But today, she is back in Henry's country and has adopted a sibling group (three!) in need of a home. Read about this amazing redemption on her blog.

And Kara, who lost Nico when the Russian ban on American adoptions was imposed, will soon be back from Eastern Europe after adopting Maks! They live here in town, so I can't wait to meet him! Read more about that wonderful story, here.

I love telling the happy endings. :)

Now, let's get a happy ending for Shaw:

This little cutie, abandoned at 6 months old, just turned three. If you cannot resist his face, then click his image for more info!

God bless you all, and thanks to Jen for hosting Quick Takes!

Monday, December 2, 2013

This is the Catholic Mass

A breathtaking three minutes. 

Watch and read along with the words of the saints. I never really understood any of this growing up, and now that I know, I've never once in 19 years willfully missed Mass. How could I?

When we assist at (i.e., attend) the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, we are at the foot of the Cross, at Calvary. Two thousand years melt away. Time and space are meaningless. We are there. 

Praise God. He loves us that much!

Anton Raphael Mengs