Tuesday, February 27, 2007

In case your wondering . . .

Yeah, I know he won't win, but he is honestly the only candidate in any party, that I have the slightest respect for.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

O.C. Monk'in

Yes, my successful napkin signing tour, takes me to Orange County, California this week. I'll be staying in the town of Santa Ana, with a quick stop tonight at the Academy Awards (I am up for an Oscar in the "best non-Religious monk in a supporting blog"), and than over to Laguna Beach to do some late night surfing( sadly no other invites to Laguna Beach have been received, but I'm a prayin').

I will be trying to attend daily Mass at a different parish each day, as well as hoping to find one or two with Adoration times. Any suggestions are welcome, as this was a last minute trip scheduled by my publicist, and I have been quite with all the numerous blog and Picture Framing award shows.

I will of course be sporting my O.C. Supertones apparel, still a monkster favorite even if they have since disbanded (wacky Christians, they would rather be home with their wives and family, than leading the wild r'n'r lifestyle).

Hope to meet some of my Cali readers, as well as getting a little sand between the toes.

Please pray for a safe flight, a fruitful trip, and a lack of sunburn,
May you know His love today, tomorrow, and forever!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Starts Today

A $uccessful opening weekend for a Christian film, sends a much bigger message to Hollywood, than all our whining about "f" words on The Sopranos.

"the mischief arises not from our living in the world,
but from the world living in us"
Hannah More

Go Out and See a movie, and help change the World!

My other blog

Morning, I'll be too busy to write 'til this evening, but you can check out my other Blog here
God made you special,
and He loves you very much !

Thursday, February 22, 2007

God will ALWAYS take you back!

Jeremy Camp - Take You Back

The reason why I stand
The answer lies in you
You hung to make me strong
Though my praise was few
When I fall and bring your name down

But I have found in you
A heart that pleads forgiveness
Replacing all these thoughts
Of painful memories
But I know
That your response will always be

I'll take you back always
And even when your fight is over now
Even when your fight is over now
I'll take you back always
And even when the pain is coming through
Even when the pain is coming through
I'll take you back

You satisfy this cry
Of what I'm looking for
And I take all I can
And lay it down
Before the throne of endless grace, now
That radiates what's true

I'm in the only place
That erases all these faults
That have overtaken me
But I know
That your response will always be

(Repeat Chorus)

I can only speak
With a grateful heart
As I'm pierced by this gift
Of your love

I will always bring an offering
I can never thank you enough

You'll take me back always
And even when my fight is over now
Even when my fight is over now
You'll take me back always
And even when my pain is coming through
Even when my pain is coming through
You'll take me back always

Even when my fight is over now
Even when my fight is over now

You'll take me back always

Even when my pain is coming through
Even when my pain is coming through

You'll take me back

God will ALWAYS take you back!
You are His beloved child

The Light is On

"I know you understand it all
So why don't I get back on my feet again"
Understand - Jeremy Camp

The above lyric is from one of my favorite Jeremy Camp tunes, and until I became Catholic I couldn't answer his musical question either.

Why don't we just get up when we fall ?
Why don't we feel forgiven when we scream out "I'm sorry Lord!"?
Why do our secret sins seem to haunt us?

The answer came to me, along with a peace I had never known, after my first act of Confession, three days before the Church welcomed me in by the name "Rose of Lima"(that's another story).

My first confession, my life confession, was a "face to face" with the Priest sitting directly in front of me. I read my confession from a long list I had compiled - a list so terribly hard to write (and than speak), that the ink had mixed with tears on almost every line. The wonderful people (family and friends) I had hurt, the women I had used, the lies I had said with my lips and my body, the hate and anger for others (as well as myself), the words "I don't love you" to be the last I ever said to my mother before her Alzheimers (when she would no longer know who I was), the resentment I had for a father who I now understood did the best he knew how, etc....

Before the devoted servant of Christ absolved me of my sins, he reminded me how much God loves me, and how much joy it fills Him to hear a truly repentant "I'm sorry". Maybe it was from all the fluid I lost through my eye sockets, but I felt 10 pounds lighter as I left the Priest to go do my penance in the chapel.

When you are guilty, immediately confess the sin that you've committed
.... the priest will make atonement for your sin
Leviticus 5:5

Old Testament writing outlining confession to a Priest, who sacrifices a lamb as atonement for sins.The below was said by the very Lamb that God would sacrifice as atonement for ALL sin, as He gave Peter (and the Church) authority and power to forgive sins.

"Truly I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.
Matthew 18:18

But WWMM, I can't I just confess to a friend or my spouse?how's about my shrink?

Yes, and no. Of course having a partner when fighting off temptations is important, but think of the burden your sin is to you, and than think of giving to another (who already has their own) to help you carry. The Priest has been given supernatural graces that your friend doesn't. Also, often when we ask friends to pray for us, life gets in the way, and they forget. For the priest, praying for you is his life!

Yes, yes, you can, and should tell your shrink everything, but it stops at just the telling. The Priest has a God given power to absolve you of the sins you confess, not just listen to them.

WWMM, I've done some crazy stuff in my life, like that time at the farm with the goat, and...

Wooooo, I ain't a Priest,but I can assure you that most have heard just about everything, even your strange farm story (although along with absolution, they might recommend counseling). Another of the wonderful graces God seems to give His priests is forgetfulness, as most say that what they hear is generally erased from their minds once they have prayed for you.

So as I am no theologian, I can only tell you how much of of blessing it is to me to be able to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation (confession) - to know that with a contrite heart I can confess anything- to have complete confidence that my sins are forgiven - to have Jesus himself (speaking through the priest) say "I forgive you" - to also receive council on how to fight my temptations. All I can say is that I love confession, and it makes my heart ache to know that my non-Catholic friends and family might never experience this beautiful, and life giving, Sacrament that our Lord himself established. For my Catholic friends who are not partaking of this joyous gift Christ has given us, all I can say is "God loves you sooooo very much, and longs for you to return to him completely".

The Archdiocese of Washington has started a program, "The Light is On for You", to help Catholics understand and receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation. During Lent most parishes will have increased hours of confession, or you can always go to the Shrine (like me), as they offer the Sacrament morning til evening Mass.

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God

Please remember this verse, and remember that along with it comes forgiveness for All, even a self confessed butt-head like your favorite monkster.
But I have found in you
A heart that bleeds forgiveness
Take You Back - Jeremy Camp

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Lent Begins

As Lent begins, I can't help but secretly want all us wacky Christians
to greet each other with

"Aslan is on the Move!"

Mike (No) Teevee

Sorry, I had to make the above image Widescreen, as the monkster is a movie geek as well as a geek o' music.

Today begins the Lenten season, and I first want to ask all my non-Catholic readers to look at the ash marked foreheads of your Catholic friends and co-workers with love,reverence, and
respect. I still have the image of a young office worker with tears streaming down her face, after she was openly mocked at her "tolerant" DC government job, all because of the cross of ashes she wore.

That said, today, Ash Wednesday, begins Lent, the 40 days of fasting, alms giving and prayer; that lead us to the Easter Season. Everyone has heard someone say "I am giving up ------ for Lent", whether or not you actually knew what that exactly means.

For Catholics, the Forty Days represent the time our Savior spent in the wilderness. Luke 4:1-13,
Matthew 4:1-11, Mark 1:12-13, and so we take this time of fasting to reflect, and in part experience, the sacrifice of Christ.

Our fasting should partly be a time of mortification -
a means of curing bad habits and implanting good ones - bad habits that take us away from God to good ones where we experience Him more (prayer, charity work, daily readings,etc.). This truly is an important thing, that of replacing the act we are giving up, with something more beneficial.

O.K., Monkster, enough of the theology lesson, inquiring minds want to know what your are going to give up?

Well I'm glad you asked, although ya may have figured out from my headline, that yes, I will not be watching any TV until Easter. I have piled a list of (mostly) spiritual books to read over the next two months, as well as determining to pray a complete Rosary every night.

Last year I gave up music, and for anyone who knows me, it was not easy. I did learn soooo much in that time, as I substituted music for lectures/spoken word/audio books. It was during this time that I first heard of Father Larry Richards, from a couple of free CDs I received from the Mary Foundation. I received a letter from him today, and thought I would include a part as I think you'll agree, it is rather fitting.

"Most people give up something they like. You know, chocolate, soft drinks, etc. And that is OK, but not enough. I think I can hear Jesus sometimes saying, "I gave up My life for them and they give up chocolate for Me!" When it comes to fasting, we need to look at what our sins are, and then give up something that will help us deal with those sins. For instance, let's say that we are lazy and that we waste a lot of time watching TV instead of doing what we need to be doing. Then give up TV! You get the picture. Fasting should help us to die to self and sin so we can live more fully for God and others".

I love that man!, and only hope one day to be half as Godly as he. Please pray for Father Larry, please pray for me, and ya know, really just pray for everyone and anyone, as we prepare for the celebration of our Lord's Passion.

Oh yeah, God made you special, and loves you very much!


Where's the TV?

Monday, February 19, 2007

Fixing health , not health care

Bush: fixing health care is "urgent priority"

Someone please remind me again why I voted for this guy? oh yeah, the new bi-partisan mantra heard loudly outside voting booths "wacka dacka dess, who sucks less?". If the Pres wants to suddenly get domestic, he could put on a maid outfit and clean my house - not try to fix an unfixable system.

We don't need more money for prescription drugs, we just need less drug pushing doctors who have their own catchy mantra "if your ill, take a pill", especially as there definition of ill has gotten a little hazy.

How many of your healthy family or friends are on some form of daily medication? When was the last time you watched TV, and DIDN'T see some kind of drug ad? How many prescriptions do you have?

More scary is the amount of children now adding more chemicals to their already junk food polluted bodies. Many school systems now require teachers to have some education in pharmaceuticals, just as school nurses beginning to make more than some administrators.

Now switch to what passes as food today, especially for our kids. Most school lunches are as loaded with chemicals, as they are devoid of nutritional value. Food that leaves children so off balance that their pill happy pediatricians load'em up some more, and so continues the vicious chemical cycle.

Sadly, the President does not address any of this, but instead gives in to prevalent societal view that we can treat our bodies like garbage heaps as long as we have good enough Health Care. Worse, this type of more tax mentality causes those who take care of their bodies, to pay for those who don't.

Naturally as a Christian, I do want us to offer assistance to those who are seriously ill, or who have been involved in tragic accidents. I don't really want my bank account pilfered to pay for people who continue to smoke, continue to eat two Big Macs and fries daily at lunch, or increase the toxicity of their body with a Diet Coke addiction (an addiction I have been "mostly" freed from). Should a careful person be asked to pay for the broken leg of a drunken buffoon who staged dived at a Slipknot show?. . .and you know how I feel about the Gov taking my money to pay for contraception or worse, abortion (and when is Planned Parenthood going to start telling women of the health risks to killing their child?).

O.K., WWMM, you've whined enough, what would you have us do?

I have a really drastic way to change Health Care. Eat Better, stop taking drugs (prescription or in your food), and exercise. World changing,but in no way new. Every health book I had read (religious or secular), talk of us taking care of our bodies exactly like Old Testament Jews. This is in what we do and don't eat, as well as having a weekly day of fasting (cleansing). It is also in our moderation of things like sun exposure (which DOES have benefits) and alcohol (one glass of beer or wine a day has numerous positive aspects).

You folks with Anxiety or Depression (like me), I suggest this even more so, as I have found a profound decrease in my mood swings after giving up sugar, flour, and wheat (working on the coffee thing, but no longer use any sweetener). An incredible book, Potatoes Not Prozac, outlines this beautifully, but most "healthy foods" health books cover the positive affects of proper nutrition on mind as well as body.

The Great Physicians Rx,
Jordan Rubin, is also a worth while read, so much so that my boss has bought cases of the book, and regularly gives them to just about anyone....maybe the Pres might try this approach. Educate not Medicate!

From a Biblical perspective, the phrase "Body AND Spirit" is found numerously in both the New and Old Testaments.

As Catholics, we of course have a greater benefit, that we are invited daily to take the Lord as our nutrition in the Eucharist.

God bless,

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Who in the world is Franciszek Gajowniczek?

Franciszek Gajowniczek is the name of the man who had 53 years added to his life, by the sacrifice of a ragged Polish priest during WWII - in the infamous Nazi killing centre Auschwitz-Birkenhau.

The story : a prisoner escapes from the camp, the Nazis selected 10 others to be killed by starvation in reprisal for the escape. One of the 10 selected to die, Franciszek Gajowniczek, began to cry: "My wife! My children! I will never see them again!" At this, St. Maximilian stepped forward and asked to die in his place. His request was granted ...

Being a new Catholic, I of course had read of St. Maximilian Kolbe, even considering taking him as my confirmation Saint (St. Rose my chosen saint, I will write of in another entry). It was only today that I found the name, and photo, of the man the Polish saint exchanged his life for.

Franciszek Gajowniczek

Although he died in 1995, he was never to forget the ragged monk .After his release from Auschwitz, Gajowniczek spent the next five decades paying homage to Father Kolbe, honoring the man who died on his behalf.

In December 1994, the 94-year-old Pole visited St. Maximilian Kolbe Catholic Church of Houston. His translator on that trip, Chaplain Thaddeus Horbowy, said: "He told me that as long as he has breath in his lungs, he would consider it his duty to tell people about the heroic act of love by Maximilian Kolbe."
Jesus Loves
I picture them now reunited, and joined in prayer for us left in this "Valley of tears".

St Maximilian Maria Kolbe pray for us!


This is one of my favorite framing jobs of late. I took a $7 poster from a Pauline bookstore, and presented it in a way, so as it could hang at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception - instead of my humble abode (O:

Framing is fun!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Hey Hon, meet the WWMM

Yes my loyal readers, the WWMM will be signing napkins at Cafe Hon this afternoon. The actual times aren't set, as we are still having the Secret Service secure the area, and those beehives are a pain to search (O:

To go with Today's Blog

Seven Places - Landslide

I feel crazy, hope is hazy right now
But I won't freak out, I won't freak out
at the
Sound of the . .

Landslide inside,
fear wants to
take my peace of mind,
won't run, won't hide

I will lift my hands up high

In my trouble I have doubled my prayers
Because I need them, I need them like I need
The air

landslide inside, fear wants to

Take my peace of mine, won't run, won't hide
I wil lift my hands up high

Here's to the Name above all names
I will trust you Jesus, I'll be brave
I will live my life day by day
Because You're the only Truth,
the only Way out
Of this . .

landslilde inside, fear wants to

Take my peace of mind, won't run, won't hide
I will lift my hands up high
Here's to the Name above all names
Here's to the only one who saves

I will trust you Jesus, I'll be brave


. . .commit a suicide

"it's wrong to commit a suicide
It's only in self-defense"
Paul Westerberg -

Unless a grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies,
it remains just a grain of wheat;
but if it dies, it produces much fruit.
John 12:24

I love my life, not so much for the pieces that make it up, but because I cherish it now and forever as a wonderful gift from our Father in heaven. Good days, bad days, "no lunch 'cause my jeans don't fit days" . . .all gifts of a loving God, who walks every moment with me.

One of the accompanying blessings to the gift of life, is the gift of purpose, of knowing that the Creator of the universe wants us as part of His plans - that we are in fact included in God's A-team. We need never worry or be anxious about a single second of our life, because He truly is in control, and will always bring good out of bad (although we might not always see it). We can take to heart that even the stuff of our darkest days, may be the source material for another persons blessing, that God can and will bring beauty from pain,
. . .and I say AMEN!

reader: Woo WWMM, get back to the suicide opening line, ya got me worried

Oh yeah, that, well let me start by stating I am a baby Christian, and have only known our Savior (and my life as a gift) for about nine years. The old, perpetually anxious, Mike, carried around the idea of suicide as the eventual escape route, so naturally ingrained in my thought process that I never bothered to plan for a future, just going through life waiting for the "day" when I could be at peace.

As an atheist, life was kinda meaningless, just a series of events that lead to other events - some good - some bad - all basically empty. Sadly, after I became a Christian, the twisted suicide survival instinct did not just fall away - but for the first time I wanted it to!

I would love to say, after all these years, that those thoughts and ideas were gone, but by God's grace they have faded much, and seem like stolen memories of some other person. I have found that in part, that initial self dying instinct to be part of being a Christian, that of my decreasing, so that Christ may increase - of dying to self, and living for God, and His children (my brothers and sisters). In God's usual magnificence, I feel more vital and alive, the less I live for myself.

I learned to ac-cent-chu-ate the positive (Christ living in me), eliminate the negative (bad thoughts), latched on to the affirmative (God's view), and said goodbye to Mister inbetween (the Worlds view). With thanks to modern day prophet Dr.John (O:

Instead of jumping off a bridge, I took a leap of faith and was caught in the ever waiting hands of my loving Father - who will never, ever let me go. Instead of taking my life, I now daily give it up to the only One who truly knows it's purpose and meaning, and who I can trust completely.

With God's grace, I have found a way to end my "old" life, and to live a "new" life , and live it abundantly.
I thank You my love, my God!

Sing along hold my life
A Good day is any day that you're alive
Yeah, a Good day is any day that you're Alive!

Paul Westerberg - Good Day

And for the monkster, a good day is a God day

Friday, February 16, 2007

Do I Oh'fend?

I confess, Ducky is my Hero, but that's another blog (O:

"Do I oh'fend" is not only a cherished line from the 80's classic Pretty in Pink, but also kind of a mantra playing in the back of my noggin when discussing "the reason for our hope".

1 Peter 3:15-16 gives us three important things to remember as we walk as Christians

a) sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts

Christ as Lord, as He is the one you are to be exalting. Too often when we in sharing our faith we can fall in to pride or self righteousness, and are often more excited by the debate, by the sound of our own voice, our own masterful dialogue - and we end up exalting ourselves (Matthew 23:12 ). It isn't about winning, but sharing; and it matters not how we look,at end, but Who our friend is left looking to.

Words may sway for a moment, but a humble heart makes a lasting impression. Speak passionately of your love for the One who loves us all with a great passion.
Ya can't argue with Love (yes, I meant that to have multiple meanings)

Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope.

While I totally agree with "Preach the Gospel at all times. Use words if necessary" idea (attributed to St. Francis of Assisi), some forget to have the words ready "when necessary".

Why are you a Christian?, and why do you, and should anyone else, believe?

I have found the best presentation to be a mixture of personal testimony and scripture, while relying fully on the Holy Spirit to guide my words - always, always, rely on the Holy Spirit.

c) but do it with
gentleness and reverence, keeping your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who defame your good conduct in Christ may themselves be put to shame.

Love, love, love...with charity to all (the word charity is often found in place of love in differing Bible translations). The message may or may not offend, but ours is to ONLY worry if our delivery is offensive or hurtful. We are called to do everything in love, not as the world calls it, but in truth and spirit.

The truth is
intolerant and offensive, it does not bend to whim or fashion, it is not based on the views of The View (nor will speaking it likely to get you invited on Ms Walters show) - it is, was , and will be (kinda sounds like I'm talking 'bout God, huh?) Truth is truth.

Jesus not only promised that speaking it would not garner you much popularity, but in addition we have the promise that
"Everyone on the side of truth listens to me." If we are speaking the Truth, with meekness and consistency, those who can hear - will hear. Some who may not hear one day, may be open to truth another day. I know that I personlly was told the Truth for years before I HEARD the truth.

Ok, So God First, be prepared, be loving and compassionate, and don't give up...

easy as pie . . .mmmmm pie . . .gotta go

God bless

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Beyond Hope

Well, I hope all my single brothers and sisters survived Valentines day, and held on to the hope we all share . . . that of 1/2 price V-day candy (O:

1 Corinthians 13:13

But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation:
Trust steadily in God,
hope unswervingly,
love extravagantly.
And the best of the three is love

Until we studied this passage in Bible study, I always assumed that it was saying that we should have more Love, than we do Faith or Hope. Reading the whole of Cor 13, we realized that Love is the greatest, in that it is never ending, it will last forever.

Faith and Hope, are very important virtues, but ones that will fade to nothingness once Christ comes back. Faith is trusting that which is unseen, and Hope is the joyful waiting to see that which we trust in . . .and of course Love will stay, because God is Love, and He is forever.

But for now I live in the Faith that God has an incorruptible love for us all (and wants me to love that way); I Hope in the day that the shackles of the sins I still cling to will be dust and memory; and I Love in a way that surely is a gift of the Holy Spirit, from the Sacred heart of Christ living in my own.

Below is the lyrics to one of my favorite songs, which perfect describes the reason for our Hope.

After the Last Tear Falls - Andrew Peterson

After the last tear falls
After the last secret's told
After the last bullet tears through flesh and bone
After the last child starves
And the last girl walks the boulevard
After the last year that's just too hard

There is love
Love, love, love
There is love
Love, love, love
There is love

After the last disgrace
After the last lie to save some face
After the last brutal jab from a poison tongue
After the last dirty politician
After the last meal down at the mission
After the last lonely night in prison

There is love
Love, love, love
There is love
Love, love, love
There is love

And in the end, the end is
Oceans and oceans
Of love and love again
We'll see how the tears that have fallen
Were caught in the palms
Of the Giver of love and the Lover of all
And we'll look back on these tears as old tales

'Cause after the last plan fails
After the last siren wails
After the last young husband sails off to join the war
After the last "this marriage is over"
After the last young girl's innocence is stolen
After the last years of silence that won't let a heart open

There is love
Love, love, love
There is love

And in the end, the end is
Oceans and oceans
Of love and love again
We'll see how the tears that have fallen
Were caught in the palms
Of the Giver of love and the Lover of all
And we'll look back on these tears as old tales

'Cause after the last tear falls
There is love

God is Love, perfect incorruptible Love

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Your True and Perfect Valentine

Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow,
the Lover of your Soul
the Only Perfect Love
asks you
dare I say, begs you

Be Mine !

Rest in His arms - in His Sacred Heart

Loving my Work

One of the things I most enjoy about my industry, is the fact that we can enhance a simple artist's 5x7 card to National Gallery level.

I stacked these two mouldings, along with a matching
filet (filet is kinda like a little baby frame. that often goes inside the mat), to create an elegant showplace for the art.

Don't settle for the Michael's Crafts "School of Framing", you, and your art, deserve so much more! (Plus, your local Custom Framer is usually cheaper)

Framing is Fun !

a Real Love song

Love Song - Third Day

I've heard it said that a man would climb a mountain
Just to be with the one he loves
How many times has he broken that promise
It has never been done.
I've never climbed the highest mountain
But I walked the hill of calvary

Just to be with you, I'd do anything
There's no price I would not pay
Just to be with you, I'd give anything
I would give my life away.

I've heard it said that a man would swim the ocean
Just to be with the one he loves
How may times has he broken that promise
It can never be done
I've never swam the deepest ocean
But I walked upon the raging sea

Repeat chorus

(Bridge) I know that you don't understand
the fullness of My love
How I died upon the cross for your sins
And I know that you don't realize
how much that I gave you
But I promise, I would do it all again.

Just to be with you, I've done everything
There's no price I did not pay
Just to be with you, I gave everything
Yes, I gave my life away.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

A little snow, a little Hawk

Coopers Hawk

I heard a little thud to my window, and looked out to see this beauty (the thud most likely a startled smaller bird, also known as breakfast)

Monday, February 12, 2007

Little Pink Houses

As a popster, I am more likely to be found listening to the sixties psychedelic Syd Barret era Pink Floyd, than the later progressive rock of the Pinkertons. After recently hearing of David Gilmour's charitable work for the worlds homeless, I may just have to dust off my collectors version of Dark Side of the Moon . . .and sell it, donating the proceeds to the homeless in my own area.

LONDON (AP) - Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour is giving the proceeds from the sale of his London house to a charity.

Gilmour sold the home to Earl Spencer - brother of the late Princess Diana - for $6.48 million, and gave the money to Crisis, which helps homeless people, The Sunday Telegraph reported.

``I don't need the money and I just thought it would be a good thing to do,'' the paper quoted him as saying. ``I've had that house for nearly 20 years. It's made a fat profit and I've scarcely used it for the last six or seven years.''

Gilmour, 54, lives in a farmhouse in West Sussex and owns a house in Greece.

The Independent newspaper reported that he'd originally bought the London home for $430,000. But Gilmour said he'd grown tired of having too many expensive possessions.

``You collect Ferraris and then you've got to collect people to look after your Ferraris, and you've got to collect buildings to house the Ferraris,'' The Sunday Telegraph quoted him as saying. ``Life gets very complicated. And eventually, at least in my case, you think 'I don't need this stuff.' And suddenly life gets simpler.''

Gilmour is a regular donor to Crisis through his foundation, the DG Charitable Trust.

Gilmour's gift will fund an "urban village" project that will house 400 people, including the homeless and public service workers.

"Go and do likewise"

Sunday, February 11, 2007

The Twelve Steps - The Sixth Century

I have been attending the eating disorder Twelve Step support group OA for several years, but only recently found out it's possible 1500 year old Catholic background. St. Benedict of Nursia (480-547), called the "Father of Western Monasticism", wrote a 12 step guide to humility that is still popular today. The guide is a chapter within Benedict's Rule, which set forth a blueprint for the life of the monks within his monasteries.

The following excerpt summarizes this ladder to humility.

From "Steps to Humility":

Brethren, the Holy Scripture cries to us saying: "Every one that exalts himself shall be humbled; and he that humbles himself shall be exalted."

"The first degree of humility, then, is that a man always have the fear of God before his eyes shunning all forgetfulness and that he be ever mindful of all that God hath commanded… .

"The second degree of humility is, when a man loveth not his own will, nor is pleased to fulfill his own desires but by his deeds carrieth out that word of the Lord which saith: 'I came not to do My own will but the will of Him that sent Me.'

"The third degree of humility is, that for the love of God a man subject himself to a Superior in all obedience, imitating the Lord, of whom the Apostle saith: 'He became obedient unto death.'

"The fourth degree of humility is, that, if hard and distasteful things are commanded, nay, even though injuries are inflicted, he accept them with patience and even temper, and not grow weary or give up… .

"The fifth degree of humility is, when one hideth from his Abbot none of the evil thoughts which rise in his heart or the evils committed by him in secret, but humbly confesseth them.

"The sixth degree of humility is, when a monk is content with the meanest and worst of everything, and in all that is enjoined him holdeth himself as a bad and worthless workman, saying with the Prophet: 'I am brought to nothing and I knew it not; I am become as a beast before Thee, and I am always with Thee.'

"The seventh degree of humility is, when, not only with his tongue he declareth, but also in his inmost soul believeth, that he is the lowest and vilest of men, humbling himself and saying with the Prophet: 'But I am a worm and no man, the reproach of men and the outcast of the people.'

"The eighth degree of humility is, when a monk doeth nothing but what is sanctioned by the common rule of the monastery and the example of his elders.

"The ninth degree of humility is, when a monk withholdeth his tongue from speaking, and keeping silence doth not speak until he is asked; for the Scripture showeth that 'in a multitude of words there shall not want sin.'

"The tenth degree of humility is, when a monk is not easily moved and quick for laughter, for it is written: 'The fool exalteth his voice in laughter.'

"The eleventh degree of humility is, that, when a monk speaketh, he speak gently and without laughter, humbly and with gravity, with few and sensible words, and that he be not loud of voice, as it is written: 'The wise man is known by the fewness of his words.'

"The twelfth degree of humility is, when a monk is not only humble of heart, but always letteth it appear also in his whole exterior to all that see him; namely, at the Work of God, in the garden, on a journey, in the field, or wherever he may be, sitting, walking, or standing, let him always have his head bowed down, his eyes fixed on the ground, ever holding himself guilty of his sins, thinking that he is already standing before the dread judgment seat of God, and always saying to himself in his heart what the publican in the Gospel said, with his eyes fixed on the ground: 'Lord, I am a sinner and not worthy to lift up mine eyes to heaven'; and again with the Prophet: 'I am bowed down and humbled exceedingly.'

"Having, therefore, ascended all these degrees of humility, the monk will presently arrive at that love of God, which being perfect, casteth out fear. In virtue of this love all things which at first he observed not without fear, he will now begin to keep without any effort, and as it were, naturally by force of habit, no longer from the fear of hell, but from the love of Christ, from the very habit of good and the pleasure in virtue. May the Lord be pleased to manifest all this by His Holy Spirit in His laborer now cleansed from vice and sin."

The strange thing for me is finding that the more I strive to be humble, the more confident God seems to make me, which I guess is a fulfilment of His above promise "and he that humbles himself shall be exalted"

God is good....all the time!



from Crisis Magazine

1. "There's no such thing as absolute truth. What's true for you may not be true for me."

People use this argument a lot when they disagree with a statement and have no other way to support their idea. After all, if nothing is true for everyone, then they can believe whatever they want and there's nothing you can say to make them change their minds.

But look at that statement again: "There's no such thing as absolute truth." Isn't that, in itself, a statement that's being made absolutely? In other words, it applies some rule or standard to everyone across the board -- exactly what the relativists say is impossible. They have undone their own argument simply by stating their case.

The other problem with this statement is that no relativist actually believes it. If someone said to you, "There is no absolute truth," and you punched him in the stomach, he'd probably get upset. But by his own creed, he'd have to accept that while punching someone in the stomach may be wrong for him, it might not be wrong for you.

This is when they'll come back with an amendment to the original statement by saying, "As long as you're not hurting others, you're free to do and believe what you like." But this is an arbitrary distinction (as well as another absolute statement). Who says I can't hurt others? What constitutes "hurt"? Where does this rule come from?

If this statement is made based on personal preference, it means nothing for anyone else. "Do no harm" is in itself an appeal to something greater -- a sort of universal dignity for the human person. But again, the question is where does this dignity come from?

As you can see, the further you delve into these questions, the closer you come to understanding that our concepts of right and truth are not arbitrary but are based in some greater, universal truth outside ourselves -- a truth written in the very nature of our being. We may not know it in its entirety, but it can't be denied that this truth exists.


2. "Christianity is no better than any other faith. All religions lead to God."

If you haven't heard this one a dozen times, you don't get out much. Sadly enough, the person making this claim is often himself a Christian (at least, in name).

The problems with this view are pretty straightforward. Christianity makes a series of claims about God and man: That Jesus of Nazareth was God Himself, and that he died and was resurrected -- all so that we might be free from our sins. Every other religion in the world denies each of these points. So, if Christianity is correct, then it speaks a vital truth to the world -- a truth that all other religions reject.

This alone makes Christianity unique.

But it doesn't end there. Recall Jesus' statement in John's Gospel: "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me." In Christianity, we have God's full revelation to humanity. It's true that all religions contain some measure of truth -- the amount varying with the religion. Nevertheless, if we earnestly want to follow and worship God, shouldn't we do it in the way He prescribed?

If Jesus is indeed God, then only Christianity contains the fullness of this truth.


3. "The Old and New Testaments contradict one another in numerous places. If an omnipotent God inspired the Bible, He would never have allowed these errors."

This is a common claim, one found all over the internet (especially on atheist and free-thought websites). An article on the American Atheists website notes that "What is incredible about the Bible is not its divine authorship; it's that such a concoction of contradictory nonsense could be believed by anyone to have been written by an omniscient God."

Such a statement is generally followed by a list of Biblical "contradictions." However, claims of contradictions make a few simple errors. For example, critics fail to read the various books of the Bible in line with the genre in which they were written. The Bible is, after all, a collection of several kinds of writing...history, theology, poetry, apocalyptic material, etc. If we try to read these books in the same wooden way in which we approach a modern newspaper, we're going to be awfully confused.

And the list of Bible "contradictions" bears this out. Take, for example, the first item on the American Atheist's list:

"Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy." Exodus 20:8


"One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind." Romans 14:5

There! the atheist cries, A clear contradiction. But what the critic neglects to mention is something every Christian knows: When Christ instituted the New Covenant, the ceremonial requirements of the Old Covenant were fulfilled (and passed away). And so it makes perfect sense that Old Testament ceremonial rules would no longer stand for the people of the New Covenant.

If the critic had understood this simple tenet of Christianity, he wouldn't have fallen into so basic an error.

The next item on the American Atheist list is similarly flawed:

"...the earth abideth for ever." Ecclesiastes 1:4


"...the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up."

So, the Old Testament claims that the earth will last forever, while the New says it will eventually be destroyed. How do we harmonize these? Actually, it's pretty easy, and it again comes from understanding the genre in which these two books were written.

Ecclesiastes, for example, contrasts secular and religious worldviews -- and most of it is written from a secular viewpoint. That's why we find lines like, "Bread is made for laughter, and wine gladdens life, and money answers everything." (Ecclesiastes 10:19)

However, at the end of the book, the writer throws us a twist, dispensing with all the "wisdom" he'd offered and telling us to "Fear God, and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man." (12:13)

If a reader stops before the end, he'll be as confused as the critic at American Atheists. However, since the viewpoint that gave birth to the notion of an eternal earth is rejected in the last lines of the book, there's obviously no contradiction with what was later revealed in the New Testament. (And this is just one way to answer this alleged discrepancy.)

The other "contradictions" between the Old and New Testaments can be answered similarly. Almost to an item, the critics who use them confuse context, ignore genre, and refuse to allow room for reasonable interpretation.

No thinking Christian should be disturbed by these lists.


4. "I don't need to go to Church. As long as I'm a good person, that's all that really matters."

This argument is used often, and is pretty disingenuous. When someone says he's a "good person," what he really means is that he's "not a bad person" -- bad people being those who murder, rape, and steal. Most people don't have to extend a lot of effort to avoid these sins, and that's the idea: We want to do the least amount of work necessary just to get us by. Not very Christ-like, is it?

But that mentality aside, there's a much more important reason why Catholics go to Church other than just as an exercise in going the extra mile. Mass is the cornerstone of our faith life because of what lies at its heart: the Eucharist. It's the source of all life for Catholics, who believe that bread and wine become the real body and blood of Christ. It's not just a symbol of God, but God made physically present to us in a way we don't experience through prayer alone.

Jesus said, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day" (John 6:53-54). We're honoring Jesus' command and trusting in that promise every time we go to Mass.

What's more, the Eucharist -- along with all the other Sacraments -- is only available to those in the Church. As members of the Church, Christ's visible body here on earth, our lives are intimately tied up with the lives of others in that Church. Our personal relationship with God is vital, but we also have a responsibility to live as faithful members of Christ's body. Just being a "good person" isn't enough.


5. "You don't need to confess your sins to a priest. You can go straight to God."

As one who returned to the Faith after time spent apart from it, I can understand the Protestant objection to confession (they have a different understanding of priesthood). But for a Catholic to say something like this...it's disappointing. I suspect that, human nature being what it is, people just don't like telling other people their sins, and so they come up with justifications for not doing so.

The Sacrament of Confession has been with us from the beginning, coming from the words of Christ Himself:

"Jesus said to them again, 'Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.' And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, 'Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.'" (John 20:21-23)

Notice that Jesus gives His apostles the power to forgive sins. Of course, they wouldn't know which sins to forgive if they weren't TOLD what sins were involved.

The practice of confession is also evident in the Letter Of James:

"Is any among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer of faith will save the sick man, and the Lord will raise him up; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed." (James 5:14-16)

It's interesting that nowhere does James (or Jesus) tell us to confess our sins to God alone. Rather, they seem to think that forgiveness comes through some means of public confession.

And it's not difficult to understand why. You see, when we sin, we rupture our relationship not just with God, but with His Body, the Church (since all Catholics are interconnected as children of a common Father). So when we apologize, we need to do so to all parties involved -- God AND the Church.

Think of it this way. Imagine you walk into a store and steal some of their merchandise. Later, you feel remorse and regret the sinful act. Now, you can pray to God to forgive you for breaking His commandment. But there's still another party involved; you'll need to return the merchandise and make restitution for your action.

It's the same way with the Church. In the confessional, the priest represents God AND the Church, since we've sinned against both. And when he pronounces the words of absolution, our forgiveness is complete.


6. "If the Church truly followed Jesus, they'd sell their lavish art, property, and architecture, and give the money to the poor."

When some people think of Vatican City , what they immediately picture is something like a wealthy kingdom, complete with palatial living accommodations for the pope and chests of gold tucked away in every corner, not to mention the fabulous collection of priceless art and artifacts. Looking at it that way, it's easy to see how some people would become indignant at what they think is an ostentatious and wasteful show of wealth.

But the truth is something quite different. While the main buildings are called the " Vatican Palace ," it wasn't built to be the lavish living quarters of the pope. In fact, the residential part of the Vatican is relatively small. The greater portion of the Vatican is given over to purposes of art and science, administration of the Church's official business, and management of the Palace in general. Quite a number of Church and administrative officials live in the Vatican with the pope, making it more like the Church's main headquarters.

As for the impressive art collection, truly one of the finest in the world, the Vatican views it as "an irreplaceable treasure," but not in monetary terms. The pope doesn't "own" these works of art and couldn't sell them if he wanted to; they're merely in the care of the Holy See. The art doesn't even provide the Church with wealth; actually, it's just the opposite. The Holy See invests quite a bit of its resources into the upkeep of the collection.

The truth of the matter is that the See has a fairly tight financial budget. So why keep the art? It goes back to a belief in the Church's mission (one of many) as a civilizing force in the world. Just like the medieval monks who carefully transcribed ancient texts so they would be available to future generations -- texts that otherwise would have been lost forever -- the Church continues to care for the arts so they will not be forgotten over time. In today's culture of death where the term "civilization" can only be used loosely, the Church's civilizing mission is as important today as it ever was.


7. "Dissent is actually a positive thing, since we should all keep our minds open to new ideas."

You might hear this argument a lot today, especially in the wake of the abuse scandal in the Church. Everyone wants to find a solution to the problem, and in doing so some people are advocating ideas that are outside the pale of our Catholic faith (i.e., women priests, being open to homosexuality, etc). A lot of people blame the Church for being too rigid in its beliefs and not wanting to try anything new.

The truth is, a lot of the ideas for reform that are floating around today aren't new. They've been around for a while, and the Church has already considered them. In fact, the Church has spent its entire life carefully examining ideas and determining which ones are in line with God's law and which aren't. It has discarded heresy after heresy while carefully building up the tenets of the Faith. It should come as no surprise that there are thousands of other Christian churches in existence today -- all of them had "new ideas" at one point that the Church had decided were outside the deposit of faith.

The Church has an important responsibility in protecting the integrity of our Faith. It never rejects ideas out of hand, as some dissenters would claim, but has two thousand years of prayer and study behind the beliefs it holds to be true.

This doesn't mean that we can never disagree on anything. There's always room to discuss how best to deepen our understanding of the truth -- for example, how we can improve our seminaries or clergy/lay interactions -- all within the guidelines of our Faith.


8. "Properly interpreted, the Bible does not condemn homosexuality. Rather, it weighs against promiscuity -- whether homosexual or heterosexual. Therefore, we have no reason to oppose loving homosexual relationships."

As homosexual activity gains greater acceptance in our culture, there'll be more pressure among Christians to explain away the Bible's clear prohibition against it. It's now the standard liberal party line to claim that the Bible -- when understood correctly -- doesn't disallow homosexual activity.

But this claim flies in the face of clear passages in both the Old and New Testaments. The first, of course, is the famous story of Sodom and Gomorrah . If you recall, two angels were sent by God to Sodom to visit Lot :

"But before [the angels] lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both young and old, all the people to the last man, surrounded the house; and they called to Lot, 'Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, that we may know them.' Lot went out of the door to the men, shut the door after him, and said, 'I beg you, my brothers, do not act so wickedly. Behold, I have two daughters who have not known man; let me bring them out to you, and do to them as you please; only do nothing to these men, for they have come under the shelter of my roof.' But they said, 'Stand back!' And they said, 'This fellow came to sojourn, and he would play the judge! Now we will deal worse with you than with them.' Then they pressed hard against the man Lot , and drew near to break the door. But the men put forth their hands and brought Lot into the house to them, and shut the door." (Genesis 19:4-10)

The message of this passage is pretty clear. The men of Sodom were homosexuals who wanted to have relations with the men inside the house. Lot offered them his daughters, but they weren't interested. Shortly thereafter, Sodom was destroyed by God in payment for the sins of its people -- namely, their homosexual acts. This fact is confirmed in the New Testament:

"Just as Sodom and Gomor'rah and the surrounding cities, which likewise acted immorally and indulged in unnatural lust, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire." (Jude 7)

But these certainly aren't the only passages in the Bible that condemn gay activity. The Old Testament contains another unambiguous condemnation: "You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination." (Leviticus 18:22).

And these statements aren't reserved to the Old Testament alone.

"For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. Their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in their own persons the due penalty for their error." (Romans 1:26-27)

It's awfully hard for a liberal Christian to explain this away. There's simply no mention here merely of gay promiscuity or rape; rather, Paul is weighing against ANY homosexual relations (which he describes as "unnatural," "shameless" and "dishonorable").

Liberal Christians are in a bind. How, after all, does one harmonize homosexuality with the Bible? Their solution, it appears, is to strip the Bible of its moral power, and run in rhetorical circles trying to escape its clear message.


9. "Catholics should follow their conscience in all things...whether it's abortion, birth control, or women's ordination."

It's true -- the Catechism says quite plainly, "Man has the right to act in conscience and in freedom so as personally to make moral decisions. 'He must not be forced to act contrary to his conscience. Nor must he be prevented from acting according to his conscience, especially in religious matters'" (1782). This teaching is at the heart of what it means to have free will.

But that doesn't mean that our conscience is free from all responsibility or can be ignorant of God's law. This is what the Catechism refers to as having a "well-formed conscience."

The Catechism assigns great responsibility to a person's conscience: "Moral conscience, present at the heart of the person, enjoins him at the appropriate moment to do good and to avoid evil.... It bears witness to the authority of truth in reference to the supreme Good to which the human person is drawn, and it welcomes the commandments. When he listens to his conscience, the prudent man can hear God speaking" (1777).

In other words, our conscience isn't just "what we feel is right" - it's what we judge to be right based on what we know of the teachings of God and the Church. And in order to make that judgment, we have a responsibility to study and pray over these teachings very carefully. The Catechism has a section dedicated entirely to the careful formation of our conscience -- that's how important it is in making right decisions.

And in the end, whether right or wrong, we're still held accountable for our actions: "Conscience enables one to assume responsibility for the acts performed" (1781). When properly formed, it helps us to see when we've done wrong and require forgiveness of our sins.

By seeking a fully-formed conscience, we actually experience great freedom, because we're drawing closer to God's infinite Truth. It's not a burden or something that keeps us from doing what we want; it's a guide to help us do what is right. "The education of the conscience guarantees freedom and engenders peace of heart" (1784).


10. "Natural Family Planning is just the Catholic version of birth control."

Natural Family Planning (NFP) has enemies on all sides. Some believe that it's an unrealistic alternative to birth control (which they don't think is sinful anyway) while others think that it's just as bad as birth control. NFP has had to walk a fine line between both extremes.

First of all, the main problem with birth control is that it works against the nature of our bodies -- and nature in general. It aims to sever the act (sex) from its consequence (pregnancy), basically reducing the sacredness of sex to the mere pursuit of pleasure.

NFP, when used for the right reason, is more of a tool used for discerning whether a couple has the means (whether financially, physically, or emotionally) to accept a child into their lives. It involves understanding your own body, taking careful stock of your situation in life, discussing the issue with your spouse, and, above all, prayer. Rather than cutting yourself off from the full reality of sex, you are entering into it with a better understanding of all aspects involved.

People who favor birth control point to those people who can't afford more children, or whose health might be at risk from further pregnancies. But these are perfectly legitimate reasons to use NFP -- situations where it would be perfectly effective -- and the Church allows its use.

Other people think that taking any sort of control over the size of your family is like playing God, rather than letting Him provide for us as He sees fit. It's true that we must trust God and always accept the lives He sends us, but we don't need to be completely hands-off in that regard.

For example, rather than throwing money around and saying that "God will provide," families carefully budget their finances and try not to overextend their means. NFP is like that budget, helping us prayerfully consider our situation in life and act accordingly. It's part of our nature as humans to understand ourselves and use our intellect and free will, rather than passively expecting God to take care of everything. We're called to be good stewards of the gifts we're given; we must be careful never to treat those gifts carelessly.


11. "Someone can be pro-choice and Catholic at the same time."

While this may be one of the most common myths Catholics hold regarding their faith, it's also one of the most easily dispelled. The Catechism minces no words when talking about abortion: It's listed with homicide under crimes against the fifth commandment, "Thou shalt not kill."

The following passages make this clear: "Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception" (2270). "Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable" (2271). "Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life" (2272).

It can't be stated more plainly than that. Some people might argue, however, that being "pro-choice" doesn't mean being in favor of abortion; lots of people think abortion is wrong but don't want to force that opinion on others.

There's that "what's true for you might not be true for me" argument again. The Church has an answer to that, too: "'The inalienable rights of the person must be recognized and respected by civil society and the political authority. These human rights depend neither on single individuals nor on parents; nor do they represent a concession made by society and the state; they belong to human nature and are inherent in the person by virtue of the creative act from which the person took his origin'" (2273).

The sanctity of life is a universal truth that can never be ignored. Advising someone to get an abortion, or even voting for a politician who would advance the cause of abortion, is a grave sin, because it leads others to mortal sin -- what the Catechism calls giving scandal (2284).

The Church stands forcefully and clearly against abortion, and we as Catholics must take our stand as well.


12. "People's memories of their past lives prove that reincarnation is

true...and that the Christian view of Heaven and Hell is not."

As society becomes increasingly fascinated with the paranormal, we can expect to see claims of "past life memories" increase. Indeed, there are now organizations who will help take you through your previous lives using hypnosis.

While this may be convincing to some, it certainly isn't to anyone familiar with the mechanics of hypnosis. Almost since the beginning, researchers have noted that patients in deep hypnosis frequently weave elaborate stories and memories...which later turn out to be utterly untrue. Reputable therapists are well aware of this phenomenon, and weigh carefully what the patient says under hypnosis.

Sadly, though, this isn't the case with those interested in finding "proof" for reincarnation. Perhaps the greatest example of this carelessness is the famous Bridey Murphy case. If you're not familiar with it, here's a quick outline: In 1952, a Colorado housewife named Virginia Tighe was put under hypnosis. She began speaking in an Irish brogue and claimed to once have been a woman named Bridey Murphy who had lived in Cork , Ireland .

Her story was turned into a bestselling book, "The Search For Bridey Murphy," and received much popular attention. Journalists combed Ireland , looking for any person or detail that might confirm the truth of this past-life regression. While nothing ever turned up, the case of Bridey Murphy continues to be used to buttress claims of reincarnation.

That's a shame, since Virginia Tighe was exposed as a fraud decades ago. Consider: Virginia 's childhood friends recalled her active imagination, and ability to concoct complex stories (often centered around the imitation brogue she had perfected). Not only that, but she had a great fondness for Ireland, due in part to a friendship with an Irish woman whose maiden name was -- you guessed it -- Bridie.

What's more, Virginia filled her hypnosis narratives with numerous elements from her own life (without revealing the parallels to the hypnotist). For example, Bridey described an "uncle Plazz," which eager researchers took to be a corruption of the Gaelic, "uncle Blaise." Their enthusiasm ran out though when it was discovered that Virginia had a childhood friend she called Uncle Plazz.

When a hypnotized Virginia began dancing an Irish jig, researchers were astounded. How, after all, would a Colorado housewife have learned the jig? The mystery was solved, when it was revealed that Virginia learned the dance as a child.

As the Bridey Murphy case shows, the claims of past-life regression are always more impressive than the reality. To this day, not a single verifiable example exists of a person being regressed to a former life. Certainly, many tales have been told under the control of a hypnotist, but nevertheless, evidence for reincarnation (like that for the Tooth Fairy) continues to elude us.