my vision of the world.

Archive for August, 2010

Actor Neal McDonough fired for not turning sex scene plays the role of a priest

Neal McDonough, who was reportedly fired from ABC’s ‘Scoundrels’ for refusing to film sex scenes because of his religious beliefs, has found a new role in ‘Vigilante Priest’ on Starz.

According to Deadline Hollywood, McDonough, of ‘Desperate Housewives’ and ‘Band of Brothers’ fame, was sacked from ABC’s summer series ‘Scoundrels’ for his refusal to act out sex scenes. Now, the Catholic actor is taking his religious beliefs to Starz for ‘Vigilante Priest,’ a series he co-created with ‘Law and Order’ veteran Walon Green.

McDonough will play, well, a vigilante priest — a former police officer-turned-man of the cloth who takes law enforcement into his own hands.

On past shows such as ‘Boomtown’ and ‘Desperate Housewives,’ McDonough has not acted in sex scenes. When he signed on for ‘Scoundrels,’ ABC reportedly knew of his beliefs.

McDonough will also serve as an executive producer on the new series, along with Green and John Avnet. The actor is currently filming Marvel’s ‘Captain America’ flick in London.

Tell me: Do you applaud Neal McDonough for standing by his beliefs?

From tvsquad

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The sign of the cross

In the beginning it was just a sing for Christians to recognize each other in the streets, but after it became a gesture of prayer.

We have no concience of the power of this sign.

This is a small story I’ve heard when I was a Kid. It helped me to figure out the importance of making it not only to start prayers but in every moment I feel that I need.

Once upon a time (I couldn’t help to start this way!) there was a man called Cyprian and a girl called Justina.

Cyprian was a pagan magician of Antioch who had dealing with demons. By their aid he sought to bring St. Justina, a Christian virgin, to fall in love to some man who payed him for this task; but every time the devils tried to approach her she made the sign of the cross chasing the demons away.

Brought to despair, Cyprian asked them why they weren’t able to conquer her heart to the man. They told him: “We can’t tell you”. “why?” asked Cyprian, “Because if you know you won’t ask our help anymore.” Cyprian replied: “If you tell me I’ll bow before you and adore you right here right now!” With this promise of worship the demons couldn’t resit their own vanity and told him: “Because of the sign of the cross”, “What?” the poor Cyprian was in awe. “Just a small gesture have a greater power than everything you have shown me all this years?” He made the sign of the cross himself and in this way was freed from the toils of Satan. He wanted to serve a greater Lord.

He was received into the Catholic Church, and became in succession deacon, priest, and finally bishop, while Justina became the head of a convent.

You can read more at the Catholic Encyclopedia .

For those who don’t know how to make it here you see two French kids doing it (in French of course).

Say (touching with your right hand): In the name of the Father (forehead) and of the Son (chest) and of the Holy (left shoulder) Spirit (right shoulder). Amen.

Peace be with you!


Christ has never let me lack of anything

Christ has never let me lack of anything! Nor of dreams, or truth! Neither friendship nor love! Neither beauty nor wealth! My life was never a forced resignation and filled of hardship. Never was a “no” to myself and my to desires. I was never far from the best of  feelings and relationships. I chose something different, bigger than the proposal offered and best known. I loved and was beloved. I knew the power of forgiveness. I disappointed and I was disappointed. I fell  and stood up. I made friends. I met many places. I found a direction and I got tired for something worthwhile. I was afraid, I cried. I was comforted, and someone believed in me .. and found myself lost and I was founded again. I’ve got a lot more than I gave. I entered the lives of people I made ties stronger than blood and saw God weave a story with strong and soft hands. I have witnessed miracles. I have always been free, even giving my freedom to Someone else. I smiled the smile of purity and sang the anthem of chastity. What I have not tried? I did not meet. Today I only miss what makes my heart beat, what I really am and who I am for. To the contrary to what one may think, choose to discover God is a fountain that never runs dry, a novelty that always delights and a path full of happiness.

I lived intensely and fully, and best the best of it: I remained whole. My heart is not in pieces. It was not offered for sale and it was not eaten. I’m not afraid to say I have known true love. I know I’ve never seen anyone regret having given everything to God. I never saw anyone die of sadness or depression because he or she loved God too much. Something I can not say about the one who chose to follow oneself. I put my life in the hands of the One who knows me, and I experiment sleeping the sleep of friends, as the psalmist says. Tranquility and protection are not empty words. And all this is just the beginning of something that will live forever. I always have lived love with no expiration date. And I can say without fear that Christ was and is the “joy of my youth”!

To finish, I echo the words of Pope: “If we let Christ into our life we lose nothing, nothing, absolutely nothing of what makes life free, beautiful and great. No! Only in this friendship are open wide the doors of life. Only in this friendship is truly revealed the great potential of the human condition. Only in this friendship we do experience beauty and liberation. Be fully convinced: Christ takes nothing away from what is beautiful and great in you, but He brings everything to perfection for the glory of God, the happiness of men and the salvation of the world “(Benedict XVI)
Posted by Denise Landim in Portuguese in “Margaridas do inverno” translated by me.


Little prayers for everyday

I felt like sharing with you some short prayers I pray every now and then. Some of them are in Portuguese but I chose to translate them all to English. If you find anything weird is because of the bad translation… sorry about that.

“Sweet Jesus stay with me because everything is good at your side”. I’ve learned when I was a kid from a carmelite. I had just hurt my foot  and I was crying when she came and taught me this prayer. It helped me trough some tough times…

“Jesus have mercy on me sinner”. The prayer from the blind man in Jericho sometimes is the only prayer that comes out of my heart. The man had the opportunity to ask whatever he wanted from Jesus after this phrase.

“Don’t take your Holy Spirit from me”. (Ps 51,13) This is also my cry for help… specially before confessions.

“Come Holy Spirit”. It’s a constant prayer before each and every decision. When I don’t know what to do or even  which way to take to go to college. I’ve learned from the Mount Zion community from Michigan.

“Hide me in the shadow of your wings” (Ps 17,8) To ask protection I remember the whole psaume 91 too but sometimes it is just the verse. There are several mentions of the “Wings of God” I love this image, makes me feel protected and loved by God.

I hope I could help.

Peace.


No pain no gain.

Everybody has heard this motivation  from Arnold Schwarzenegger probably not from his mouth for the younger ones.
The idea of pain or suffering is something we always want to get out of your mind, isn’t it?
But still we can never get all the sufferings out of our lives. Even the very little thing like waiting someone can be a source of suffering. Of course some people get into some serious sorrowful situations  and some others can’t deal with a simple toothache. The reality is we can’t escape some sort of sufferings or pain in our lives and we must deal with it.
Here abide the difference between Christianity and a lot of other religions. we don’t try to pretend suffering doesn’t exists or it is not here or pretend to deal with it as it is nothing. We find our consolation in someone who knows what suffering is, because He’s passed trough it. We suffer even the small things of life in His passion. We know each and every mark caused by pain in our soul and in our flesh will be transformed in His resurrection. Like His marks ours will be glorious too. We can witness to others that in His wounds we are healed from ours. I can say that all the marks of suffering caused by life or by others in my life were transformed and I am still a free man.
There is a lot to speak about when the theme is suffering. My goal wasn’t to end up the subject but only to bring up some reflections to the heart.
For those christians reading the blog I want to dedicate this song:
Have a nice prayer.
Peace!

Living as a Christian in a non Christian world

Well the title says already a lot of what I want to talk about.

We live in a world becoming every day less christian, in some places it is rare to see one of us. In some societies like here in Brazil we’re forgetting how to be Christians because we live in a christian country.

Let me explain:  I see very often people taking everything  as an attack to the church even the movie Avatar was taken as a “menace” to the faith.

Sincerely: We have more interesting things to do…

I think about the first christians, imagine if they didn’t buy something in a store because the store was consecrated to a god; they would starve, or go around naked… go out for a dinner would be a nightmare.  More than that I don’t remember reading any of the fathers of the church speaking about how unfair was martyrdom, or that it was against freedom of conscience.

People have the right to the truth, if someone is directly attacking the church we have to defend ourselves and tell the truth, but lets just stop finding persecution in every new movie that comes out. If its against the law to tell someone not to interrupt her pregnancy lets go against the law, or whatever goes against our faith. I’ve heard that in china some christians went out in the morning to evangelize with their bibles and a blanket because the knew they were going to spend the night in prison.

Lets get the example of Avatar (the movie): People (christians) were saying that it was clearly proselytism for a religion I don’t remember the name but kind of worships the nature. Well as a human being I wasn’t at all convinced nature was worth worshiping. For me it was a story as any other, I had a lot of fun watching it, I’ve found amazing the 3D effects but once I left the theater all that “connect-with-the-nature” thing stood there and I went to the mass the following day. Point! The movie was cool and that was it. End of story. Is it only me? You go out of a violent movie wiling to kill everyone you hate? Because I don’t get influenced by a movie easily like that. Even Matrix, I’ve watched a dozen times maybe more (each one of the tree !) and I don’t think we’re in the matrix or there is any “Deus ex machina” controlling us.

Let’s live our faith as good christians, forgiving 70 times 7, praying for those who persecute us, giving the other cheek but also asking those who hit us without reason as the Lord did: Why do you hit me?

I remember a story of a martyr who was smiling and praying for his torturer. When the man asked him why wasn’t he angry with him the saint just said: “Your obligation is to torture me but mine is to forgive you.”

The best way to evangelize is to live our faith and to give the reasons of that for those who ask about it. It doesn’t mean we can’t go out to the streets announcing the Name of Jesus but this is going to be an extension of our life of faith. and that examples are more powerful than words.


Lectio Divina (divine reading)

It’s my second post in a row I speak about prayer but how can I make it different if this is one of the most important things in my life?
Last post I wrote about prayer in a more general matter. Now I’d like to talk about a way of praying with the Word of God I discovered a long time ago.
I was 14 yers old and the bible wans’t a source of prayer for me, because I couldn’t find a way of praying with it. It was always more a study, or trying to understand… Than I’ve found the “method”. Which consists in four steps.

Lectio (reading)

to answer the question: “What does the Word says?”. To read it several times (at least 4) get into the spirit, into the context to perceive what is going on in the text.

Meditatio (meditation)

To answer the question: “What does the Word is saying to me?”. What comes out to me of what I’m reading? What ring a bell in my heart? What pushes me to change?

Oratio (prayer)

To answer the question: “What do I say to the Word?” What decisions I’m taking based on the words I’ve read? Is a moment to repent or to praise, to be happy for His promises or to just be quiet and feed the hope. As you can see it is a very personal moment.

Contemplatio (contemplation)

It is an even more personal moment. There is no questions or even answers. This step is a moment of a dialog heart to heart between you and your friend.

Enough with the theories!

We can take for example the passage of Mathew (chapter 8 verse 23) where we see Jesus calming the storm.
On the first step of our method we’re supposed to find what the word says, lets take the elements. There are in the boat at least three experienced sailors: Peter, Andrew and John (and probably James, John’s Brother was a fisher too). They have probably been through several storms. It wasn’t a little one this storm to make all the disciples scary and still Jesus was asleep. The only theory to explain this slumber of Jesus’s part is the stress; He had probably passed the night before in prayer and had a full day as we know His days were. Back to the passage we cans see that Jesus waking up just give the storm a big “shush” to the wind and the rain.( You know when we’re kids and we’re playing just under our dad’s window on summer Sundays during his sleep after lunch and out of a sudden a big “shush” comes out the window, the calm is immediate among us and slowly, and silently,  we move to another spot. Probably you have another story like this to tell, with your grandfather or a teacher but I think you can see my point .  I see this moment of Jesus’s live a bit like that).
Than Jesus turns and says to his disciples “Where the @%# is your faith?” The poor guys just stood there astonished.. Who is this man? …
This is where we get into the second step what does the word is telling me?
How great is our God! Our God is an awesome God! This is what the word is telling me!
I’m feeling like kneeling and praising his power. I want to sing his power and thank him for He is greater than any storm in my life. This is already the third step.
The fourth step has already begun because God is acting in our hearts as we open up to him and let the trust we have in Him grow and we abandon our lives to him.

Fell free to ask me more about prayer and Christian life.

Peace!