Silent Reflection

On December 12th, the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications called for live moments of silence during these days of Advent.

The encounter with the Lord has many facets. Being personal, it is always also of the community; it happens in solitude and silence, but also in a privileged way in liturgical celebrations and in family life. It is nourished by dialogue and community prayer, expressed in song, in catechesis and ends in action and service.

I am taking the next two weeks to reflect, contemplate, and pray.

I am going to reflect on this past year. A lot has happened in the past 365 days. A lot of it was bad, really bad, but the good parts were extraordinarily good. It’s time to reflect, in silence, and be thankful for everything that’s happened, the good as well as the bad.

I am going to contemplate the year to come. With all the adversity of the previous year behind us, it’s time to contemplate the days ahead. The blessings in our life are enormous and it’s time to get my head in the game so to speak. It never hurts to sit back, relax, and listen to God for a while. I know if I listen more, I won’t be prone to make mistakes or be more likely to fall victim to the evils of this world.

I am going to pray about the future which is yet to come. I have grown closer to God, and I can feel the change within me. It’s good for me, my wife, my children, and my entire family. I pray that my future, as well as yours, is filled with God’s grace.

That is why, on this feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, I would like to invite you, precisely as men and women communicators, to enjoy once more the experience of encountering Christ. I invite you to live moments of silence during these days of Advent, to hear Jesus’ voice who speaks to our heart.

I’ll be back January 1. I hope you and yours have a very Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year. I hope to see you when I return.

I Told You So (Again)

I hate to say it, but I did. I told you so! Again.

On November 30th, when it was reported that unemployment dropped, I said, “These local officials who are in awe that the unemployment numbers are “dropping” are going to be the ones who are shocked on the day the news breaks that unemployment has “unexpectedly” risen again.”

On December 3rd I said, “When you remove people from the unemployment rolls and you remove people from the workplace, the numbers have to show it. Period.”

And what happens today?

Georgia’s unemployment rate went up to 10.1 percent in November due to more rounds of layoffs and the increase in the number of long-term unemployed.

Wow. I bet they didn’t see that one coming.

Security, Sensibility, & Singers

Thought #1

This makes no sense.

The Iraqi government is building concrete walls around churches in Baghdad and Mosul to provide security for worshippers.

When terrorists attacked Our Lady Of Deliverance Catholic Church in Baghdad on November 1st they stormed into the church on foot. I don’t think concrete walls will stop foot traffic. If so, how will anyone get inside the church to worship?

While the appearance of the wall will make worshippers feel more secure, it will be a false sense of security when the next terrorist walks through the front door.

Thought #2

The “tax cut” deal is going to cost us approximately $857 billion dollars. What deals were cut to get this on the table?

Check this out:

Business, Investment and Other Tax Extensions: $77.2 Billion
Includes:

– Depreciation and other business incentives, through 2012: $22 Billion
– Research and experimentation tax credit, through 2011: $13.3 Billion
– State and local sales tax deduction, through 2011: $5.5 Billion
– Ethanol tax credit extension, through 2011: $4.8 Billion
– Restaurant and retail tax credit for capital improvement, through 2011: $3.6 Billion
– Biodiesel and renewable diesel tax credit, through 2011: $2 Billion
– Tuition tax deduction, through 2011: $1.2 Billion
– Railroad track maintenance tax credit, through 2011: $330 Million
– Rum excise tax change, to increase the tax floor on rum from Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands:
$262 Million
– Washington DC investment tax credit, through 2011: $138 Million
– NASCAR and other race tracks, credit for capital improvement. Through 2011: $36 Million
– Mine rescue team training credit, extend through 2011: $5 Million

Wow. And that’s just part of it. Check out Jamie Dupree’s blog for all the details.

Mo’ Money, Mo’ Money, Mo’ Money

Thought #3