Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Donate for Nepal Relief



Please consider donating for Nepal's relief. Last week, Nepal suffered a devastating earthquake which killed over 2,000 people, injured many more and caused a lot of damage to the nation.  The people of Nepal need our help with basic needs and to get themselves back on their feet.

*NOTE: Do not donate to me, but directly to the organizations below.  I do not have any contacts in Nepal and cannot get them the funds so please donate directly to the links I have provided.  
Thank you and God bless + Mary keep!

You can donate to the links below.  



Caritas
http://www.caritas.org/



Catholic Relief Services
http://www.crs.org/countries/nepal

https://secure.crs.org/site/Donation2?1080.donation=form1&idb=1626309800&df_id=1080&DONATION_LEVEL_ID_SELECTED=1&1080.donation=root&df_id=1080



Red Cross:




Gofundme:
http://www.gofundme.com/Nepal-Earthquake-Relief/

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Baltimore Riots

Shortly after the funeral Freddie Gray who died while in police custody, all hell broke out in Baltimore. The police were even attacked.  Some news sources are claiming that the police even threw bricks at teenagers protesting.

Buildings, cars and other property were set on fire and several police officers and even journalists were hurt badly. Many businesses were even looting.  It seemed like a repeat of the Furguson riots during the fall when a jury exonerated former police officer Darren Wilson of charges against him.

Maryland Governor, Larry Hogan had to declare a state of emergency and brought in the National Guard to help restore order. Things seem to not have calmed down and may get worse.  Baltimore is much larger than Furguson and due to the funeral, many outsiders have come in among them, instigators.  Schools, business and other events were cancelled including the Baltimore Orioles baseball game.










Source:

http://news.yahoo.com/thousands-expected-mondays-funeral-freddie-gray-081844148.html

http://news.yahoo.com/latest-diplomat-speaks-her-background-baltimore-150041114.html

http://news.yahoo.com/mourners-line-baltimore-man-died-police-custody-151747654.html

http://news.yahoo.com/clashes-erupt-funeral-baltimore-man-died-custody-200822002.html



Monday, April 27, 2015

Supreme Court to Hear Same-Sex Marriage Arguments

Just days after the March for Marriage, the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear the oral arguments for and against so-called same-sex marriage.  Already many have set up campsites outside of the court believing the decision to be "history in the making."

The justices will decide if States have a right to prevent same-sex marriage based on their own constitutions and so forth. It is expected that many will show up at the court supporting same-sex marriage and traditional marriage. A decision by the court in favor of same-sex marriage can affect how a State views and exercises its own sovereignty as well as how Christians and other religious groups can exercise their faith privately and publicly.

In light of the decision of the SCOTUS to knock down DOMA & Prop 8 in 2013, it is believed that they will decide this time in favor for same-sex marriage. According to historians, it has been the trend of the SCOTUS to see where the public moves on an issue before deciding on it. Unfortunately, the media supports same-sex marriage and has fed the people false statistics claiming that a large majority of American favor same-sex marriage when, in fact, that is not true. As Christians, we know that the times will get worse before the final coming, so I will not hold my breath into thinking the SCOTUS will defend traditional marriage.  All we can do is hope, pray and endure the persecution that is to come.


"and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved." - Matthew 10:22

"I tell you, he will vindicate them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of man comes, will he find faith on earth?” - Luke 18:8

"Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!" - Isaiah 5:20


"If ever time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin." - Samuel Adams, USA Founding Father & Patriot (source: "Smoke & Mirrors" pg. 169; Paine, Stephen, http://www.madisonbrigade.com/s_adams.htm; accessed 4/27/15)




Join me tonight at 11:30 P.M. EST Sacerdotus Hangouts: Topic - Same Sex Marriage danger for society. NOTE: there may be a delayed start.   Link: https://plus.google.com/u/0/events/coj9bcklilcvs5f228o9js5adqg

You can also watch here:






Source:

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/04/26/supreme-court-set-to-hear-same-sex-marriage-arguments/

http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/supreme-court/supreme-courts-gay-marriage-debate-puts-ohio-man-jim-obergefell-n347836

http://www.wnd.com/2015/04/supreme-court-justices-warned-to-leave-marriage-alone/

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/apr/26/the-supreme-court-is-scheduled-to-hold-oral-argume/

http://www.al.com/news/birmingham/index.ssf/2015/04/us_supreme_court_takes_up_gay.html

http://www.usnews.com/news/politics/articles/2015/04/26/q-a-whats-at-stake-in-supreme-court-gay-marriage-arguments

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/26/supreme-court-gay-marriage_n_7145998.html

Sunday, April 26, 2015

4th Sunday of Easter - Holy Name & The Good Shepherd

In today's reading, we read of how Jesus takes care of His own.

The first reading takes place after Pentecost which we will be celebrating soon.  Peter the first Pope is filled with the Holy Spirit. This fisherman who can be called a big coward before receiving the Spirit, now has the nerve and courage to speak before a crowd and speak of Jesus.  He tells the people that the miracles they have seen are all done in the name of Jesus Christ. The name "Jesus" means savior and "Christ" means king or anointed one. It is in this name that salvation can only be reached (Acts 4:12).

This name was given by God so that all may come to Him and bend the knee asking for mercy and salvation (Philippians 2:9-11).  Using the name of someone shows that you have authority in that person. This is why the Apostles relied on Jesus' name.  It gave them credibility, power and authority (John 14:13, Acts 4:30). The name of Jesus is so powerful that even the demons of hell cry out and run in fear (Mark 16:17, Mark 3:11).  This speaks volumes especially at the time when the people rejected Christ.  The "stone rejected" did become the "cornerstone," as the reading tells us.  This name of Jesus was the Word that created the universe (John 1:3).

In the responsorial Psalm, we are reminded that the stone that was rejected became the corner stone. We recall how God's mercy endures forever.  Despite (all of us) putting Christ on the cross, God still has love and mercy for us. He welcomes us to repent and turn from our sinful ways in the name of Jesus (Acts 2:38). We recall how it is better to trust in God than in men because in the end, it is God who judges us all and God is the one in control, not man (Psalm 146:3, Matthew 10:28).

The second reading tells us of something very powerful. We are told that God loves us so much that we are His children! Think about this for a minute. We are children of God - the God of the universe, the creator of all things seen and unseen!  If this does not ring of awesome, then I do not know what does.  We are the children of God and can call God, "father" because of Christ who became one of us through the womb of the Blessed Mother Mary and the Holy Spirit (Galatians 4:6, Romans 8:15, Hebrews 2:17, Hebrews 4:15). As children of God, we must be of the light, not darkness (1 Thessalonians 5:5). This means that we must be free from sin and live as God wants us to live (1 Peter 1:16). Jesus with His authority even taught us a prayer which begins with "Our Father" which should remind us that we are the children of God every time we recite it (Matthew 6:9, Luke 11:2). Unfortunately, our friends who share our belief in the Abrahamic God (Jews, Muslims) feel that calling God "father" is blasphemous.  With all respect to them, I find this argument silly. If we are to believe that God created us. Then logically speaking, how are we not going to call God "our Father?" But clearly today's second reading tells us that the world does not "know us."  The world thinks we are crazy many times.  This is because they do not understand yet. They have not accepted God's grace which will illumine their hearts and minds to understand the reason for the faith (1 Corinthians 2:14). This is why we thank God for the gift of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost which is coming up soon. The Holy Spirit teaches us and gives us understanding so that the "foolishness" that Christianity may come across as to those in the world can make sense to us (John 14:26, 1 John 2:27).

Finally in the Gospel, we read of the Good Shepherd.  Jesus describes Himself as this Good Shepherd who lays His life down for His sheep.  Jesus then tells His parable of a man hired who is not a shepherd. When a wolf comes, the man makes a run for it leaving the sheep at the mercy of the wolf. Jesus tells us that this hired man does this because he works for a salary and does not care for the sheep. He then proceeds to tell us that He is the good shepherd who will stick by His sheep even at the point of dying for them.  "Who is afraid of the big bad wolf?"  Well, not Jesus!  This is a very powerful parable. Here we see how God loves us so much that He is willing to go "through hell" to take us to heaven, metaphorically speaking (John 3:16, Hebrews 12:2).  Furthermore, I cannot help to reflect on our shepherds today in the Church.  It is sad that there are sometimes cardinals, bishops, and priests etc, who forsake God, the Church and the teachings for ulterior motives. They see the priesthood or religious life as a career or a step on the ladder of success and power.  Thank God Pope Francis has been addressing this strongly and condemning clericalism. It has no place in the Church or the priesthood/religious life.  Priests - all clergy - and religious must serve God and the people. They must not be in it for the money or "perks" (1 Timothy 6:11, Titus 1:7-8, 2 Timothy 2:24, 1 Timothy 3:2, 1 Peter 5:2).

Lastly, Jesus speaks of having other sheep that are not part of  this main fold. These are those outside of the Church. Those who have not become part of the Church are still the sheep of Christ. They hear His voice from a distance and reply. Christ calls out to them as well. As Catholics, we must avoid triumphalism or the idea that Catholicism is the best and other faiths are inferior.  This is a bad attitude and pride. Some in the so-called "traditionalist" faction of the Church often cite "extra Ecclesiam nulla salus" or "outside the Church there is no salvation," with the intention of shunning those outside of the Church as being condemned.  This is a complete misunderstanding of this phrase. This phrase does not mean, "hey world, we are Catholics and if you are not with us you are going to hell."  Instead, this phrase is a reminder that the Church (being the Body of Christ) is the ordinary means of salvation.  The catechism states:

Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it. (CCC 846)

It is not meant to attack Protestants, other Christians or even non-Christians. The catechism states:

This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church: Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience—those too may achieve eternal salvation. (CCC 847)
 

In paragraph 843, it says of the Church's respect for other faiths:

The Catholic Church recognizes in other religions that search, among shadows and images, for the God who is unknown yet near since he gives life and breath and all things and wants all men to be saved. Thus, the Church considers all goodness and truth found in these religions as "a preparation for the Gospel and given by him who enlightens all men that they may at length have life."332


So clearly, the Church sees the ideas of other faiths as a preparation for the Gospel. God is feeding these people "milk" before giving them the solid stuff (1 Corinthians 3:2).  Christ as the Good Shepherd is calling out to them. Since these sheep are not within His main fold, they hear Him from a distance, so the message may not get fully across which leaves them with the "shadows and images" they rely upon from which to look for God, as the above paragraph of the catechism states.

This shows the mercy of God. He is not a dictator in the sky demanding that we follow the rules or else.  He gives us many opportunities to change our ways and seek Him. We must trust in Jesus the Good Shepherd and remember that we are Catholics and live as such in His name, not our own.  We must not boast about our faith and scare others away (2 Corinthians 10:13, 1 Corinthians 9:16), nor should we believe that we are perfect, holy or "God's favorites" just because we are Catholic. Instead, we must be humble and share the faith with love; giving a reason for the hope that is in us (Philippians 1:16, 1 Corinthians 13:1-3, 1 Peter 3:15).  By doing this, we will win back our brother imitating the Good Shepherd and can proudly call God "Our Father" (Matthew 18:15, James 5:19). May the Holy Name of Jesus Christ be praised forever!



Readings:  http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/042615.cfm

Friday, April 24, 2015

March for Marriage 2015

Tomorrow the third annual March for Marriage will take place in our nation's capital, Washington D.C.  Religious leaders and others who support traditional marriage will be expected to participate.

See a post from last year's march here: http://www.sacerdotus.com/2014/06/march-for-marriage.html

I will update this as I learn more of what went on since I was not able to participate myself.


Update**  April 26, 2015

An estimated 10,000 + people participated in the march.  Attendees were mostly of African American and Hispanic descent which speaks much as to which ethnic group is concerned with marriage and which one is not.  African Americans and Hispanic Americans, for the most part, adhere strongly to their religious upbringing which is mainly Catholicism and Protestantism. Moreover, their cultures put great emphasis on the family and values.  Unfortunately, some of them get pontificated to with liberal Caucasian views which force them to adopt these progressive ideas in order to "fit in."  Their culture is seen as archaic, misogynistic and homophobic.

The march had people holding up signs that read "A Child Needs a Father and a Mother" as well as "March for Truth." This march is special this year because on Tuesday the Supreme Court of the nation will begin hearing a case that may make same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states.  The stakes are high which the LGBT lobbying strongly for their agenda.  Marchers at the march were met with LGBT supports some of which actually ran on stage to disrupt the event.  D.C. police stood idle and did nothing.

This disruption shows clearly how the LGBT claim to want freedom for themselves but at the expense of the freedom of others.  They cry "bigotry" and "hate" when those who defend marriage speak out, but then go and attack marchers who were merely exercising their freedom of speech.  The lack of response by police is disturbing.  I believe the time will come when they will deny permits to the March for Marriage.  This may be soon if the Supreme Court rules in favor of same-sex marriage.  As expected, there was a media blackout on the event. To my knowledge, none of the major networks even mentioned the march. Online publications chose to mislead readers on the intention of the march by calling marchers "anti-gay."  None of the marchers are "anti-gay," they are pro-marriage.  The march is FOR MARRIAGE, not anti-gay.  

On Monday April 27, 2015 at 11:30 P.M. I will be holding a live Sacerdotus Hangouts event where I will discuss why same-sex marriage is dangerous for society.  Note* there may be a delayed start due to my schedule.  event: https://plus.google.com/u/0/events/coj9bcklilcvs5f228o9js5adqg



Source:
http://www.marriagemarch.org/schedule/

http://news.yahoo.com/thousands-march-us-capital-against-gay-marriage-220241483.html

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/04/26/lgbt-activists-rush-onto-stage-to-disrupt-march-for-marriage-rally/

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/thousands-voice-support-of-state-laws-against-same-sex-marriage/2015/04/25/c4e3821a-eb84-11e4-aae1-d642717d8afa_story.html

http://www.rawstory.com/2015/04/thousands-march-in-washington-d-c-against-same-sex-marriage/

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Vicarious Learning & #kyliejennerchallenge

Just when you think you have seen every stupid thing out there, something new comes along. The hash tag #kyliejennerchallenge has been trending on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I must be honest, out of curiosity I clicked it to see what was the buzz.

I have never heard of this "Kylie Jenner" and thought it was something to raise money like that ice bucket challenge-thing that was popular last year.  Well... after clicking it, I found  myself viewing selfies of people with bloated lips. Apparently, this "Jenner" character is known for her pouty lips. Someone on the internet decided to start some stupid thing of using shot glasses or bottles to make the lips swell.  They insert their lips into these objects and create a suction so strong that it causes trauma to the lips and swells them up.

Doctors are advising against this as it does cause damage to the lips. The pressure causes bruising,
tissue scarring and possibly cuts that may need stitches.  The "pouty" effect only lasts about a week. This challenge is being taken mostly by teenage girls, but some boys as well have joined in on the stupidity.

Why do people do these stupid things?

Vicarious Learning
This type of learning is also called Observational learning. Human beings learn via many means. One of those means is by mirroring the behavior they have experienced. Have you every wonder why sometimes you may start to sound or say things like your friend?  This is vicarious learning. It is part of how human beings learned to adapt to their environment.  Psychologist Alber Bandura provided evidence of this learning ability via his "Bobo doll" experiment. In this experiment, adults were told to beat the heck out of a doll while children watch in another room. The children were then left alone with the doll and within a few minutes, they too began to beat up the doll.   I am sure my CUNY psychology of learning professor, Vincent is probably using this in his class now as a discussion starter!







It is no wonder why the people taking this "challenge" with the lips are children or young people. They are extremely impressionable and taught from an early age to look up to authority figures. Since in today's world celebrities have an authoritative presence via their popularity, abilities and money, they are often imitated by people, especially young people. This can prove to be dangerous as some people can harm themselves and others.














In light of this, parents must instill in their children strong values and an appreciation for themselves.  Whoever started this challenge clearly has self-esteem issues.  He or she believes that having a certain form of lips is what is "sexy."  That is not true. To quote a phrase often used by religious African American women, "ya'll need Jesus."  How true are these words!?  The youth today need Jesus.  Only Jesus can help restore the image of God in these people who are damaging their lips just to imitate someone they look up to.  The only one we should look up to is God, no one else.  I applaud Jenner for taking to social media to condemn this challenge and remind people to be themselves and love the skin they are in.











Source:

http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/girls-plumping-lips-kylie-jenner-challenge-article-1.2193107

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/04/21/kylie-jenner-challenge-the-dangers-of-plumping-that-pout/

http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/people/2015/04/21/kylie-jenner-challenge-teens-bruised-plumped-lips/26114555/

http://qpolitical.com/when-kylie-jenner-challenged-sadie-her-response-was-brutally-honest/

http://www.eonline.com/news/648827/kylie-jenner-reveals-the-exact-way-she-makes-her-lips-look-plump-and-pouty-watch-now

https://www.facebook.com/topic/kyliejennerchallenge

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3047484/Disturbing-new-Kylie-Jenner-challenge-sees-teens-suck-shot-glasses-blow-lips-double-size-disastrous-results.html#ixzz3XxuBdyWq

http://www.eonline.com/news/648827/kylie-jenner-reveals-the-exact-way-she-makes-her-lips-look-plump-and-pouty-watch-now

http://qpolitical.com/when-kylie-jenner-challenged-sadie-her-response-was-brutally-honest/

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Earth Day - Save Our Home

Happy Earth day! Today we remember our great and beautiful home. Our "spaceship" flying around in the solar system 365 days a year.

The above is a photo of our home. Isn't she a beauty? Just looking at this picture puts me in to a contemplative mood.

The Earth is so small, so fragile in a sense, yet so important to us all.

This planet unfortunately has gone through a lot of abuse, not from earthquakes, storms, asteroids or solar flares, but from a creature that lives on it that sometimes thinks it is God. This creature is the Human being. The reality of the harm caused by human beings along with the Christian views of John McConnell led him to begin Earth day.

McConnell was born on March 22, 1915 and died on October 20, 2012.  He was the son of a Pentecostal traveling preacher.  His Christian faith inspired him greatly. As a peace activist, he fought for peace, the promotion of science and the environment. He believed we all have a God given duty to protect the Earth and each other.  McConnell is correct.  

We must care for our home. We must stop polluting it and destroying it. Numbers 35:33 says, "Do not pollute the land where you live..." The book of Jeremiah has a few more verses that speak about humans defiling the Earth.  In Genesis 1:26 God commands man to care for the Earth and all living things and in Psalm 115:16 we read how God gives His children (us) the Earth.


  • We must develop technology that does not destroy the environment. 
  • We must throw garbage not on the streets or fields, but in their right place. 
  • We must recycle items so that they won't end up in landfills. 
  • We must conserve water and not let it run without use.
  • We must find better energy sources such as solar power which is what powers the solar system. 
It is not news that the global temperature is rising.  While some believe this to be a hoax, it is not. Studies clearly show that the ice caps are melting at an extraordinary rate.  This is causing an increase of ocean levels as well as the temperature, PH and salt balance of the worlds ocean. While this may not seem like a big deal on paper, in reality it is a big deal.  These gradual changes effect the food chain which in turn effects the many species that reside in the oceans of the world.  Moreover, the change of water temperature interferes with weather patterns since temperature is part of the system that regulates the pressure in the atmosphere.  The carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere trap UV rays causing more fluctuations in temperature which bring about storms that may be catastrophic as we have seen recently.    


I hope you take this time to pledge to save our planet not only for us now but for future generations to enjoy.

May God bless and protect His planet Earth. We Thank Him for creating it and us.

God is quite an artist I must say. :)



source:

http://www.earthday.org/

Twitter Going After Abusers

Finally, it seems like Twitter, Inc. is waking up to the abuse on its network.  For far too long there have been people creating several accounts for the sole purpose to troll, harass, bully, defame and threaten people.  I myself am a target of some of these deranged people.  However, every time I notified Twitter's support of these abusers, the reports were mostly ignored.  On several occasions, I was the one suspended instead of the abusers.  Well, now Twitter is updating its system to be more efficient in stopping abuse.

Accounts engaging in abuse will be locked and will have to provide a phone number.  Moreover, they may be asked to delete a tweet before being allowed to return to Twitter.  While this is a good step, there is still more to be done.  I think Twitter should start showing location and IP information in the tweets of users.  If location information is given, then most likely abusers will refrain from engaging in abusive behavior because they can be located. I hope Twitter does more and actually bans abusive people from their network who only use Twitter to harass and defame others.







Source:

https://blog.twitter.com/2015/policy-and-product-updates-aimed-at-combating-abuse

http://techcrunch.com/2015/04/21/twitter-makes-tweaks-to-limit-abuse-and-abusers/

http://www.cnet.com/news/twitter-announces-policy-change-new-feature-to-limit-abuse/


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Asteroid 2015 HDI Passing by Earth

Asteroid 2015 HDI is expected to pass by Earth today at 3:11 a.m.  There is no cause for alarm. The asteroid is not expected to hit us.  Asteroid 2015 HDI is about 50 feet wide and will pass by at 0.2 lunar distances or about 46,000 miles over us.

If it was on a collision course with Earth, then there will be no life ending catastrophe occurring.  The asteroid is too small and would lose its battle with Earth's atmosphere and gravity as it is pulled in.

The force around the asteroid will tear it apart into smaller meteorites that will just light up the sky. Asteroids like 2015 HDI pass by Earth all the time granted not as close.  While Earth's gravity is strong, it cannot compensate for the speed at with these asteroids travel.  Moreover, the outer planets Jupiter, Saturn etc actually protect the Earth by "hurling" these space rocks away from us.

Amateur astronomers can view astroid 2015 HDI with an 8 inch or bigger telescope as it passes by the constellations Hydra, Antlia and Puppis with a magnitude of +13.2.  Enjoy the cosmic wonders if the weather in your area permits it.  




Source:



http://www.universetoday.com/119938/close-encounter-of-the-asteroid-kind-2015-hd1-skims-by-earth-tonight/

http://astronomynow.com/2015/01/17/asteroid-to-fly-close-by-earth-safely-on-26thjanuary/

"Star Talk" Debut

I have just finished watching the premier episode of the podcast StarTalk now on the National Geographic channel. It was much better than I expected.  Host Neil deGrasse Tyson had guests George Takei, Leighann Lord, Bill Nye and Charles Liu, an astrophysics professor at my alma mater CUNY.  They spoke on Star Trek and how the show foreshadowed many of the technological advances we see today.

The show was filmed at the Hayden Planetarium in Manhattan; a place I remember very well going as a child on trips.  Tyson sat with Leighan Lord and Charles Liu and discussed Star Trek and at certain segments, turned to a flat screen off to the side to view interviews with George Takei aka "Sulu" from the Star Trek original series and towards the end of the program, Bill Nye "The Science Guy."

During commercial breaks, I was surprised to see that Fr. James Martin of the Jesuit order was shown in a recorded episode which will probably air in the future. This should be an interesting episode indeed. So far, "StarTalk" seems to be a show that will catch on with "nerds" and those who love late night casual talk shows.  It is not heavily scientific, but more of a casual discussion among friends.  I am hoping to get tickets to attend a taping!

You can learn more here: http://www.sacerdotus.com/2015/03/degrasse-to-host-startalk-on-television.html

Monday, April 20, 2015

Happy 92nd Birthday Mother Angelica

Today 92 years ago on April 20th a woman would be born who would do much good for the Catholic Church in regards to evangelization via the media.

Born Rita Antoinette Rizzo in 1923, she would join the Franciscan order as a Poor Clare of Perpetual Adoration in 1944 and would take the name Mary Angelica of the Annunciation.

In the 60's, she would move to Irondale, Alabama and found a community of sisters there.  Mother Angelica would tape programs for television networks in the 1970s.  However, when one of the networks refused to air a controversial program, Mother decided to stop producing her a program and founded her own network.

On August 15, 1981 EWTN or the Eternal Word Television Network was founded in a garage with the budget of only $200.  Many thought that this network would not last, but it did and grew in such a way that defies the normal growth of a television network.  By the late 80's, the network was broadcasting for 24 hours.  In the 90's, the network would go global and would have WEWN, its short-wave radio version.

As the internet became more accessible to the general public, EWTN went online with www.ewtn.com.  It began to broadcast on there as well and provided more resources for those interested in the Catholic faith.  Many people have joined or returned to the Catholic Church because of EWTN.  EWTN provided a channel where people can learn on the Catholic faith, call in to have questions answered and have a sense of connection with the global Church since secular media hardly covers Papal events.

EWTN and Mother Angelica did face some controversies due to fallen human nature in the Church.  Some bishops, in particular, Cardinal Mahony of Los Angeles took to heart Mother Angelica's blunt attitude.  They saw her as trying to overthrow the bishops.  Cardinal Mahony tried to get Mother Angelica off the air but failed to do so.  Mother Angelica would then hand over authority and possession of the network to lay people after an attempt was made to take over the network because as a religious, Angelica falls under the authority of the Church.

Some have accused EWTN of being pre-Vatican II orientated and teaching errors; however, Pope Benedict XVI awarded the network and Mother Angelica the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Award.  Others claim Mother is rude, arrogant, uncharitable and condescending.  Mother Angelica has battled health issues since her days as a novice.  She had a back brace for a while until she was cured when a visionary visited EWTN.  Mother would then suffer a stroke which would take away her voice.  She eventually retired from the network and is recovering the best she can after suffering a stroke and having brain surgery.

I want to wish Mother Angelica a happy 92nd birthday. She is a blessing to the Catholic Church.  In my opinion, if more cardinals, bishops, priests, deacons, and laity were more like her, we would not have the problems we have today in regards to the lack of faith and low Mass attendance.  Abortion, same-sex marriage, radical feminism, relativism, gender theory, atheism, secularism etc would not be so popular today.  I remember watching one of her episodes where she described what is going on today. This episode originally aired when I was just a kid.  In this episode, she spoke of how people are resorting to "misguided compassion."  They excuse the sins of others out of a false sense of compassion.  How true was Mother Angelica!  Today so many support same-sex marriage out of this misguided compassion.  They are afraid to admonish the sinner and become an accomplice to another'rs sin.  Mother is a true evangelical in the sense of evangelizing the world, not the denomination.  The fruit of many conversions and vocations is a testament to this religious sister's faith, prayers, and hard work.



Sunday, April 19, 2015

3rd Sunday of Easter - Jesus Saves

It is now the third Sunday of Easter. Today's readings focus on the person of Jesus. Catholicism is all about Jesus. We often mention His Mother Mary, the Angels, biblical personalities, and saints, but each of these focus on Christ and are relevant in Him.

The first reading is from the Acts of the Apostles or the New Testament. Typically, the first reading is from the Old Testament. The reason why it is structured this way is to tell the story of Christ. We read from the Old Testament as a preparation for Christ who we await for during Advent and receive on Christmas.

Then we read how the words of the Old Testament are fulfilled during Jesus' ministry as we enter Ordinary time.  During Lent and Holy Week, we read of how these same Scriptures fulfill the mission of Christ to suffer, die and rise from the dead.  Finally, during Eastertide, we read from Acts which tells the story of the new covenant founded on the passion, death and resurrection of Christ (Matthew 26:28).  This new covenant is us, the Catholic Church!

In this first reading from Acts, we see Peter taking leadership once again demonstrating his primacy as the first of the Apostles or the Pope. He tells the people before him and us today hearing the word that the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob and the God of our fathers glorified His servant Jesus. Here, Peter is making it clear that there is one God and that this God has been preparing the world for Christ (Romans 10:4). Christ was indeed the Messiah the Jews were waiting for (Micah 5:2).  However, most of the Jews at the time (especially temple officials) did not see this (John 4:22, John 9:18).  In their ignorance, they mocked Christ and preferred that a murderer named Barabas be released rather than the "author of life" who is Christ (Mark 15:7, John 18:40). Peter clarifies that they did this out of ignorance recalling Jesus' words on the Cross (Luke 23:34). He continues by telling the people that the things that happened to Christ had to happen (Acts 17:3, Luke 24:26). They fulfilled what the prophets had announced centuries before.  Now that the people have witnessed that Christ was indeed the real deal, Peter calls them to repent and convert. This reading leads into the Psalm which calls for God to shine His face upon us.

In the responsorial Psalm, we ask God to be there for us when we call upon Him. We ask God to have mercy and pity on us.  This Psalm calls on God to reside in us and bring us peace of mind and heart which can only come from God.  It echoes the blessing found in Numbers 6:24-26. This Psalm brings us to the second reading which is also from the New Testament.

IN the second reading, John is telling us not to sin.  He reminds us that we have an Advocate or a mediator with the Father.  This mediator is Jesus Christ (1 Tim. 2:5-6).  Some of our separated friends in the Protestant faith often cry foul when they see us praying to Mary or referring to her as a mediator. However, they do not understand that Mary intercedes on our behalf to her Son Christ, not the Father (John 2:1-12). Mary does not take the place of Christ, nor would she want to do so since she clearly stated that she is the "handmaid of the Lord," not the Lord's Lord (Luke 1:38).  Moreover, John tells us that Christ is expiation for our sins, or reparation personified. In his book, "Jesus of Nazareth," Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI writes of expiation:

"The Greek word that is here translated as 'expiation' is hilasterion, of which the Hebrew equivalent is kapporet.  This word designated the covering of the Ark of the Covenant.  This is the place over which YHWH appears in a cloud, the place of the mysterious presence of God.  This holy place is sprinkled with the blood of the bull killed as a sin-offering on the Day of Atonement --the Yom ha Kippurim. The thinking here is that the blood of the victim, into which all human sins are absorbed, actually touches the Divinity and is thereby cleansed -- and in the process, human beings, represented by the blood, are also purified through this contact with God.." (Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth, p. 39)  

The Pope Emeritus  continues to describe how St. Paul uses the same word, "hilasterion" to describe Christ and His sacrifice on the Cross (Romans 3:25). Jesus in His passion and death took on the sins of the entire world and of all peoples in every time from Adam until the last person to be born in the future before the final judgment (2 Corinthians 5:15).  According to Pope Benedict XVI who cites from Origen, the remains; particularly the skull of Adam was buried where Christ was crucified:

"Concerning the place of the skull, it came to me that Hebrews hand down [the tradition that] the body of Adam has been buried there; in order that 'as in Adam all die' both Adam would be raised and 'in Christ all will be made alive'. (Origen - Commentary on Matthew, 27.32)"

Christ's blood would then seep down and "wash" the skull or remains of Adam as a sign of expiation. Moreover, John tells us that in our observance of the commandments, we know Christ (Matthew 19:17, John 14:15).  If we do not keep the commandments, then we are just liars and the truth is not in us.

Finally in the Gospel, we read of Christ once again appearing to His disciples.  They are startled at His presence which brought Him to ask them "Why are you troubled?  And why do questions arise in your hearts?"  The disciples did not have the Holy Spirit at the time. That being said, despite Christ walking among them, they still did not truly comprehend this or anything else (Luke 18:34). Doubts and anxiety were always present.  Once again, Christ shows them that He was really the one who was Crucified and offers them to see and feel his flesh since the disciples apparently had a fear of ghosts and ghosts do not have flesh and bone.  Meanwhile, as they looked in amazement, Christ asks them if they have anything to eat.

They bring Him a piece of baked fish. This is an allusory to the fact that the disciples are called to be fishers of men and must bring the catch back to Christ (Matthew 4:19).  This "piece of baked fish" represents the people the disciples "fish from the deep" (Luke 5:4).  Christ eats this fish showing that the catch becomes part of His body (Colossians 1:18, 1 Corinthians 12:27).  Lastly, Christ reminds them that everything that was written by Moses, the prophets, Psalms etc had to be fulfilled.  Christ them opens their minds so that they can understand the Scriptures and put two and two together, so to speak.  He reminds them that His suffering and resurrection had a major purpose; namely, the repentance of sins and the forgiveness of them.  The disciples are to begin their journey of faith by spreading the Gospel everywhere.  We too are called to do the same.  May Jesus Christ be praised!


Readings:  http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/041915.cfm  





Message to readers:
Please help fund this work. Hosting this site and running this work is not free. I have to pay for the domain name, materials I mail people, postage etc.  Moreover, I want to expand Sacerdotus Radio hosted on blogtalkradio which costs money and also want to publish some writings.  Without your generosity, I will not be able to continue this on my $70 a month stipend. Please donate and help me raise the funds necessary to run and expand.   I will probably have to stop this work if I am not able to keep up with costs.  Please go to this site to make your donation which you can report on taxes as a gift, thanks and God bless: 
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Saturday, April 18, 2015

Help Friend's Mom





Dear friends:  I know that it can be difficult to help others financially, but we are called by our faith to do so with the hope of receiving more than what we gave (Mark 10:29-30).  
Please consider helping a friend who wants to assist his ill mother in trying times to help her with a new home where she can breathe better and hopefully recuperate.  

This friend is not Christian and I am trying to bring him into the Catholic fold.  I am hoping that my readers can demonstrate to him what Christianity is really about (love of neighbor/giving) by helping him, a complete stranger.  
Hopefully this will bring him closer to conversion after he realizes that Christians are not what Dawkins and others claim they are.  
Any amount will truly help.  

Please view the gofundme.com/momhouse campaign and read the reasons why he is trying crowdfunding to help his mother.  I hope you can help him with this by donating and show to him that Christianity does work and makes us into loving, selfless and generous people who give to others without asking for identification or giving a litmus test.  
Thanks, God bless + Mary keep!




Friday, April 17, 2015

Chicago's Cardinal Francis George, dead at 78

I am sad to report that His Eminence, Francis Cardinal George has passed away at the age of 78 after a long battle with cancer.    Eternal rest grant to him oh Lord and let perpetual light shine upon him.  May he rest in peace. 

More to come later.. 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Happy 88th Birthday Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI!

Today is April 16, 2014 and it is the 88th birthday of His Holiness Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, Bishop of Rome Emeritus. I want to offer my congratulations and prayers to the Holy Father on his special day.

It has been two years since Pope Benedict XVI retired.  Pope Emeritus is an awesome man. He is an intellectual and I am a fan of his books. One can tell from his writings that he is indeed a professor and intellectual at heart.
 He has a gift of presenting his thoughts, Church teachings, and research so eloquently and rationally. He does not water anything down and I love that about him.

Pope Benedict XVI is the Missionary Pope - the Professor Pope; the Pope of Reason. He loves to write and teach. One can see this in his demeanor, tone and writing style. Moreover, he has done a lot to bring closer to Rome our separated brethren (Eastern, Protestant, Traditionalists). We have seen more fruits in Christian unity under Pope Benedict XVI than in prior centuries.

Not only has he engaged those Christians who separated themselves from Rome, but he has also engaged Atheists and Agnostics opening up dialog with them. While polemicists such as Richard Dawkins and the late Christopher Hitchens love to separate and spread hate; Pope Benedict did the opposite. He stretched out the Olive Branch to the "Gentiles." Reason and Faith are not enemies. He showed the religious world that Faith has nothing to fear from Science because Science merely makes the glory of God in nature demonstrable to us all.

Pope Benedict XVI has also engaged the Muslims truthfully and in charity. He is a man of courage and zeal. He has worked hard on the New Evangelization which is working to re-Christianize Europe and the rest of the world.

He has spoken strongly and taken action against pedophiles, homosexuals and dissidents in the Catholic Church who have been causing much scandal. He has restored dignity to the rich Liturgies of the Roman Rite which has been toyed with since Vatican II by progressives hoping to create some "kumbaya" atmosphere in our prayer.

Pope Benedict XVI was the right Pope for the time when he was elected, in my opinion. I miss him a lot and wish him the best during his retirement.

Pope Benedict XVI's resignation shows that he was never in it for the power, fame, or papal perks.
Despite receiving criticism for restoring the regal presence of the Papacy, he did the right thing in reminding us all about the Primacy of Peter. In my opinion, while praying at a monastery he is more powerful there than going about in a "Popemobile." I hope Pope Emeritus will continue writing books. Reading his books, you can tell he knows a lot, not only about theology.  He made a public appearance at Pope Francis' first consistory.

I made a video as a tribute to this great Pope and as a thank you for his contribution to the Church. May God continue to bless us with his presence, thoughts, words, wisdom and prayers.

Pluto & Charon in Color

NASA's probe, "New Horizons" has is on a mission to study the demoted planet Pluto and its moons.  It is about three months from sending us close up images of the dwarf planet and its satellites. However, it has sent us a tease of the dwarf planet and its moon Charon.  This image is the first color image of the dwarf planet and its moon.  Previous images were in black and white.

This new image is making scientists and other science enthusiasts excited about what is to come. The image was taken at about 72 million miles.  As New Horizons approaches the dwarf planet, it will take high-resolution photos of about 400 meters per pixel as it travels 30,000 mph.  These images are the equivalent of Google maps satellite images. Finally, we will get to learn more of this mysterious icy world that was once a planet.  Some astronomers theorize that Pluto may be in fact the moon of a larger planet.  This flyby and its data will hopefully clear things up regarding this hypothesis.


NASA Tweeted this:








Source:

http://time.com/3822294/pluto-first-color-image-nasa-new-horizons-charon/

http://www.wfla.com/story/28812196/new-horizons-probe-dishes-up-its-first-color-view-of-pluto-and-charon

http://www.cnn.com/2015/04/15/tech/pluto-nasa-new-horizons-first-color-picture/index.html?sr=fb041515pluto1030aStoryLink

http://www.nbcnews.com/science/space/new-horizons-probe-dishes-colorful-view-pluto-n341606

http://www.nasa.gov/press/2015/april/nasa-s-new-horizons-spacecraft-nears-historic-july-14-encounter-with-pluto/index.html?linkId=13549574

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Tax Fraud Atheists?



Today is tax day in America.  Atheists are not known for their honesty.  Because of this, I quickly notice red flags when I see atheist bloggers or advocates ask for money or make themselves middlemen in order to collect money for charities.  So far I have found two suspicious individuals.  One of them was banned from Twitter and was recently outed for scamming people with Oxfam, see: http://www.sacerdotus.com/2013/10/atheist-scam-alert.html.

The other one was asking for money online, but we are not told where the money went and if it was reported to the IRS as the law asks of US citizens.  I brought up the question in this post: http://www.sacerdotus.com/2014/10/atheist-hangouts-david-viviano-scared.html.

I have already notified the Tax agencies of both the United Kingdom and the American IRS regarding these individuals and ask readers of this site to do the same. 

*It is against the law to withhold information about ANY kind of income.



To report them, go to these links:

PERSON A
David Viviano, Florida resident. 

Uses these services:
  1. https://twitter.com/gammaatheist 
  2. www.youtube.com/user/GammaAtheist
  3. https://plus.google.com/+DavidViviano
  4. www.patreon.com/GammaAtheist

Evidence showing request for and recipient of side income:
  1. www.patreon.com/GammaAtheist
  2. jdbrucker.com/2014/02/03/an-appeal-for-david-viviano-gammaatheist/






















Write to:
Internal Revenue Service
Fresno, CA 93888

You can also fill out the IRS' form: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f3949a.pdf

_____________________________________________________________________________

PERSON B
Esther Harrison, blogs using alias "Rosa Rubicondior"

Resides in:
6 Thistlecroft Close
Oxford England


Solicits money via ads here:
                                                       rosarubicondior.blogspot.com



twitter.com/rosarubicondior


Report at:
https://online.hmrc.gov.uk/shortforms/form/TEH_IRF?dept-name=TEH&sub-dept-name=&location=39&origin=http://www.hmrc.gov.uk
http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/reportingfraud/
https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/hm-revenue-customs/contact/reporting-tax-evasion



UPDATE 6/24/16
I found another scammer using the label of atheism on gofundme to get money from naive atheists. She got defensive when I asked. This lady is clearly able-bodied and can work.  Why does she need to ask for money?  Moreover, she told me that she has an attorney.

If she can afford an attorney, why does she need to ask for money? She later claimed that this attorney is her ex-husband, if so, why does he not help her?  I then asked for his information to confirm and she got really vulgar and defensive. Things do not add up.  I sense a scam artist...




















Write to:
Internal Revenue Service
Fresno, CA 93888

You can also fill out the IRS' form: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f3949a.pdf


Report her campaign (https://www.gofundme.com/SaveHome4Sis) as fraudulent to Gofundme here:

https://www.gofundme.com/mvc.php?route=contact/form&t=donation_page_report&pid=941_Reporting_From_Campaign_Page

Aaron Hernandez Found Guilty-Life Without Parole


Former NFL Patriot's player Aaron Hernandez, 25 was found guilty of first-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison without parole for the murder of Odin Lloyd.

I will update this as I learn more, stay tuned**

UPDATE*

Stemming from Bristol, Connecticut; Aaron Hernandez came from a family of sports.  His  father, uncle and older brother all participated sports. After the loss of his father due to complications from hernia surgery, it seemed Hernandez was seriously affected.  Nevertheless, he made it big in football being signed by the New England patriots for a whopping $40 million dollars.

He now will be in prison for life without any possibility of parole for the first-degree murder of Odin Lloyd, unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition. Both Hernandez and Lloyd had gone out clubbing in June of 2013.  The story goes that Hernandez was upset at Lloyd because the latter may have overheard a conversation about a double murder in Boston which Hernandez may have been involved in as well.  At 2:29 a.m. on the 17th of June, Hernandez picked up Lloyd from his home in Dorchester in the city of Boston in a rented silver Nissan Altima along with other friends, Carlos Ortiz, and Ernest Wallace  and that was the last time anyone would see him.  Lloyd had texted his sister with the following:

“Did you see who I was with?”

“Who,” she answered.

“NFL,just so you know.”

This text seemed to indicate that Lloyd was concerned and wanted to let his sister know who he was with for her information. Lloyd then was found in an industrial field with gunshots to his back and torso. While there was no murder weapon found, home surveillance shows Hernandez with a gun in his hand on the night of the shooting death of Lloyd. Moreover, evidence of his footprint and the rented silver Nissan Altima.

Lloyd was presented as a hard working son who rode his bike every day to his job.














Source
http://sports.yahoo.com/news/aaron-hernandez-found-guilty-of-first-degree-murder-173924220.html

http://www.cnn.com/2015/04/15/us/aaron-hernandez-verdict/

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2015/04/15/399803729/former-nfl-player-aaron-hernandez-found-guilty-of-murder

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/16/sports/football/aaron-hernandez-guilty-of-murder-shed-tackles-but-not-his-past.html?partner=socialflow&smid=tw-nytimes&_r=0

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Water on Mars

Good news!  The Mars rover Curiosity has discovered that there may be evidence for water on Mars. Data collected and presented in the paper, "Transient liquid water and water activity at Gale crater on Mars" shows the possibility of liquid brine or a salt water solution.

For decades, it was thought that Mars was too cold to have liquid water. However, it makes sense that brine would allow water to remain in its liquid for as salt effects the temperature of water such as with salt used to melt snow or ice.  This salt is not sodium chloride, but instead is calcium perchlorate. Perchlorate salt attracts water molecules and prevents it from freezing.

While no brines were detected, there is the possibility that they may exist in the Gale Crater, especially during the night time. Alfred McEwen of the University of Arizona said,

"Gale Crater is one of the least likely places on Mars to have conditions for brines to form, compared to sites at higher latitudes or with more shading. So if brines can exist there, that strengthens the case they could form and persist even longer at many other locations, perhaps enough to explain RSL activity."

Life as we know it needs water in order to begin. If we, in fact, find it on Mars, then this can open up the door to even more discoveries, including microbial life. It is speculated that Mars had a vast ocean and an atmosphere similar to that found on Earth. Evidence of water on Mars would help expand on this hypothesis. In the meantime, we must wait and see to know more of Mars as Curiosity travels about the planet and gathers information.



 


Source:
http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ngeo2412.html

http://www.nasa.gov/jpl/msl/nasa-mars-rovers-weather-data-bolster-case-for-brine/index.html?linkId=13511495

http://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/apr/13/nasas-curiosity-rover-finds-water-below-surface-of-mars

http://mashable.com/2015/04/13/mars-liquid-water-curiosity/

http://www.examiner.com/article/curiosity-rover-finds-liquid-water-mars-soil?cid=sm-ip-facebook-041315-9.00pm-RoverFindsLiquidH20

http://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/apr/13/nasas-curiosity-rover-finds-water-below-surface-of-mars

http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=4549

http://news.discovery.com/space/briny-water-may-pool-in-mars-equatorial-soil-150413.htm?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=DNewsSocial

Monday, April 13, 2015

The Presidential Race Begins



The presidential race for 2016 is underway. First Ted Cruz announced his candidacy last month with the platform that we have to "restore the constitution," now Rand Paul, Hillary Clinton, and Marco Rubio have also joined.  Like Ted Cruz, Rand Paul is also running on the platform of "bringing America back."  Hillary Clinton is running for a second time after dropping out in 2008. She announced her candidacy via her website using a video that featured mostly women and LGBT couples.  It is clear that she is running on progressive issues.  Marco Rubio spoke in a general way mentioning that politicians have been stuck in the 20th century and putting emphasis on the economy, immigration and foreign policy. Jeb Bush who was a mentor to Rubio has yet to officially announce his candidacy.  It will be interesting to see if Rubio attacks him during the campaign.

This presidential race should prove interesting. There can be a first Latino president, first female president and the first time a former first lady may become president. While the debate will rage on regarding economics, foreign policy, education and the like, I think social issues will be heavily discussed in this election; particularly, same-sex marriage, religious freedom and abortion.










Source:
http://www.wndu.com/home/headlines/Sen-Rand-Paul-enters-race-for-Republican-presidential-nomination-298927081.html

http://www.baynews9.com/content/news/baynews9/news/article.html/content/news/articles/bn9/2015/4/7/rand_paul_ready_to_j.html

http://wbay.com/2015/04/07/republican-rand-paul-enters-race-for-white-house/

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/apr/7/rand-paul-enters-presidential-race-vows-take-ameri/

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2015/03/23/a-time-to-reclaim-the-constitution-of-the-united-states-ted-cruz-enters-the-race/

http://www.france24.com/en/20150323-republican-senator-ted-cruz-announces-2016-presidential-bid/

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/24/us/politics/ted-cruz-2016-presidential-race.html

http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/lara-brown/2015/04/13/hillary-clintons-2016-announcement-video-shows-shes-her-own-worst-enemy

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/13/hillary-clinton-video_n_7055324.html

http://time.com/3819137/hillary-clinton-2016-video/

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/meet-gay-couple-featured-hillary-clintons-presidential-announcement/story?id=30275674

http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics/2015/04/13/399233906/hillary-clinton-is-back-but-will-there-be-a-return-of-the-rodham

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/14/us/politics/on-the-road-hillary-clinton-stops-for-lunch-at-chipotle-and-goes-unrecognized.html?_r=0

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