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HERE AND THERE AND EVERYWHERE: IN THE MAILBAG ARE LITTLE MIRACLES AND BIG WORDS

Let's jump around a number of issues that have cropped up in the mail. Best quote on that recent controversy over the remarks by the owner of a fast-food restaurant, Chick-fil-A, who publicly opposes homosexual marriage and was lambasted by libertine groups (but greatly backed by many thousands who turned out for "Support Chick-fil-A Day"): "Either you side with Chick-fil-A or you don't but one thing is for certain: if you want chicken, you need a hen and a rooster."

Isn't it a bit astonishing that whether a businessman can state his moral views is even an issue?

We also have had articles about genetically-modified crops, which are largely untested for safety and have become amazingly widespread; here is a list of some of them; it has led to a question: are Communion hosts made from wheat that has been so modified? If nothing else, there would be symbolism there (it would be sort of a sign). Meanwhile, a viewer quotes an expert who says that Canada imports Communion hosts from China. (China? Let us know what you know. Well, yes, here: from Hunchun Chenchen Ltd. -- or Nanjing Jialuo International).

Some have asked about the photographs to the left and right, which we displayed on Monday (8/20/12) and seemed to show Shroud-like images to the right of a curtain on a website that displays the Blessed Sacrament. They were taken with an iPhone by Andrea Vanessa Hill of Austin, Texas, on the Feast of Saint Ann, which was July 26, 2012. "I logged on and saw it immediately," she wrote. "Our Lord stayed that way over thirty minutes and would face forward then look to diagonal again. There is a reason that occurred that night as it relates to my life experience and purpose -- another affirmation you could say of what He wants."

Little signs in our lives? Wrote June Klins who operates a splendid Marian newsletter: "Last night I received a signal grace that I would like to share to give God glory. I was working on the computer with nothing opened except Microsoft Word and a speech-recognition program. I was dictating the transcription of a powerful testimony I recorded in Medjugorje in June. As I dictated the words that the man said, 'Help me, Our Lady,' a video of Our Lady of Fatima popped up playing Ave Maria! I had no other programs opened no internet and no email! I had no DVD in the computer and I had pop-ups blocked. I have no idea how that happened. It is not a video I had ever seen before. I grabbed my camcorder and recorded it because it was so awesome. Unfortunately, I did not get the whole video recorded. By the time I found my camcorder and turned it on, the video was half over."

Jumping around: quotes? How about this, in our loquacious technocratic time, from a physician named Martin H. Fischer: "You must learn to talk clearly. The jargon of scientific terminology which rolls off your tongues is mental garbage."

How we try to impress ourselves!

And what about e-mail? One viewer, Mike Lovett, offers a "prayer for the computer age" to do with sending electronic messages, since so many vicious ones are sailing through cyberspace. Did you ever notice how much miscommunication comes by way of e-mail and how many times messages are taken the wrong way? (Families and friends, beware.) Anyway, wrote Michael, "If you are about to e-mail God's Word to a group of people, pause before hitting the send button and quietly pray this prayer:

"Good and gentle Jesus, may these words touch the hearts of those that read them.

"May they be moved to a time of quietness to open themselves to Your loving Heart.

"May these words bring them comfort.

"And may they draw these Your children from the turmoil of their daily lives, to be held in Your loving arms.

"Lord, let them feel your love. The Lord bless you and keep you: The Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you: the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace. Amen."


And amen.

Now, on the topic of sports idolatry, in the wake of the news about the statue of a football coach that was unceremoniously removed (at Penn State), wrote viewer Bob Dwyer: "What about those who only attend Mass on Saturdays so they can be free to attend Sunday sports games? What about priests who wear vestments colored in their city's 'team colors'? It seems the worldly profane has entered the sanctuary and takes worshippers' minds off of God."

How many things do! (Let's start to put sports and entertainment -- so wildly out of control -- in perspective.)

Now here's a last e-mail -- nominated For "Best Email Of The Year 2011."

"After being interviewed by the school administration, the prospective teacher said: 'Let me see if I've got this right. You want me to go into that room with all those kids, correct their disruptive behavior, observe them for signs of abuse, monitor their dress habits, censor their t-shirt messages, and instill in them a love for learning. You want me to check their backpacks for weapons, wage war on drugs and sexually-transmitted diseases, and raise their sense of self esteem and personal pride. You want me to teach them patriotism and good citizenship, sportsmanship and fair play, and how to register to vote, balance a checkbook, and apply for a job. You want me to check their heads for lice, recognize signs of anti-social behavior, and make sure that they all pass the final exams. You also want me to provide them with an equal education regardless of their handicaps, and communicate regularly with their parents in English, Spanish or any other language, by letter, telephone, newsletter, and report card. You want me to do all this with a piece of chalk, a blackboard, a bulletin board, a few books, a big smile, and a starting salary that qualifies me for food stamps.

"You want me to do all this and then you tell me .... I Can't Pray!"

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