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Sunday, April 12, 2015

Culture Hypocrisy

Within the last couple weeks, we have heard of some Christian business owners blackballed and heckled for refusing to offer their services to lesbian/gay persons and/or to their events. American culture screams tolerance towards these alternative lifestyles. While these "groups" maintain their "right" to free-speech and to other "implied freedoms", this debacle is hypocritical in nature. Whenever a Catholic politician, Christian business owner, citizen, etc... upholds their Godly convictions publicly, they are blasted as being hate-mongering, racist, a bigot, intolerant, and the list of ill-famed words continue, all the while LGBTs cry total tolerance.
Courteously speaking, if they practiced what they preached, there wouldn't be a catch to this issue. But, as Catholics and other God-fearing peoples know, the war upon morality is at an all time high.

*Lastly and more importantly, intolerance and hatred towards God is really the agenda for these liberal progressives. They even will go so far as to bypass their hypocrisy to further their agenda. Create fear, intolerance, racism, hatred and paranoia, you then have some of the building blocks for which to control the masses- the aim and end is ultimately demonic. 

During this Easter season and joyful time in the Church's year, Jesus is here with us once again.  He is always with us, "even until the consummation of the world." Thomas' once faithless belief, but now believes when he touches the wounds of Christ. Fide et amore, sacrifice and penance is our only hope in this world. Let us not forget this, even when those in power and in persuasion say otherwise.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Vice Vs. Virtue

I found this little info-graphic on Pinterest. It shows the vice and its respective counterpart. We all need to be reminded sometimes.

7 Lively Virtues that BATTLE the 7 Deadly Sins

Monday, February 9, 2015

American Sniper: Movie Review

Today, I saw the critically-acclaimed war movie, American Sniper, directed by Clint Eastwood. To date, it remains the 3rd highest grossing film of 2014, and the highest grossing war film in North America(Source: Wikipedia). Those who like war movies won't be disappointed.

The movie begins with his family as a young boy. The family is portrayed as being rather conservative and "religious." The years go by, and Chris [Bradley Cooper] is making his living as a cowboy in Texas until the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings. He then enlisted in the U.S. Navy as a Navy Seal. He undergoes rigorous training, eventually becoming a U.S. Navy SEAL sniper.

After the attacks of 9/11, he is sent to the Middle East (Iraq). His first kills were of a woman and of a young boy. He was considerably shaken by that experience, but earns the nickname "Legend" for his many sniper kills (160 recorded/255 probable).
Chris sees much savagery among the Iraqis, not only towards the Americans, but towards each other. With each kill and with each barbarous event he is witnessing, it pangs him and he is in constant anguish. He can't help but to bring it home with him. War-it is not a happy sight, nor is it an easy thing to forget.
In the movie, there are many gruesome depictions of soldiers and insurgents being shot and killed, as well some bloody torture scenes. I have seen war movies before, but this was in the category of it-being-too-real-to-be-a-movie.
Despite his respite from each Tour of Duty, he had trouble readjusting to civilian life. He had simply changed. His family suffered as a result of his absence during each Tour and even more so when he came home. He was in denial that he was being affected by the countless atrocities that he witnessed while being over in the Middle East. He ends up serving 4 Tours of Duty before retiring.
He finally comes to terms when telling a VA psychiatrist that he is "haunted by all the guys he couldn't save." The psychiatrist recommends that he should help "save" the surviving veterans back here at home.

In 2013, Chris and his family have moved back to Texas. The family life has drastically improved. Chris has improved. In his time, he gives back by helping veterans, like himself.
One day, when he was out on the local gun range, he and his friend were killed by the veteran he was trying to help. The movie ends with stock footage of the funeral motorcade.

The themes in this movie are God, family, brother-hood, war, torture, PTSD, guilt, military life, choice, life, death.   

All in all, I'd rate the movie a solid B+. If it wasn't for the incessant swearing and a few scenes with provocative innuendo, it would've been A+. The movie is rated -R- and certainly is not for kids.

I really enjoyed the movie overall. Just block out all the sub-par story lines and you have an all-American movie.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

The Hand of God

I haven't written much in the last few weeks.
Last night, when I came home from work, I was greeted with this stunning, orphic sunset.
Photography hasn't been my strong suit as of late. Our winter here in Southern and Eastern Oregon has been quite mild and dry, which doesn't really (for me anyways) inspire inspiration for photography, much less producing spectacular sunsets. I have always thought the sharp cold and pale snow has a hand in producing such natural entertainments, but I was wrong.

As I write this, an allegory comes to mind: Too often we expect grand results from extraordinary things, what we don't look for is the simplicity of an exhibition in the most seemingly typical and quaint affairs. God works in many ways as it is described above. We think that since He is Lord of the Universe and King of all Kings, that His actions are effected on a grand scale. It is natural for us to assume this. God can show His goodness and power by way of a simple sunset, which I like to say, "His Handwriting in the sky."
These sunsets of His, an elaborate poster of His majesty and simplicity, gives me immense delight in knowing that He is always there, even in places we don't think of.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Tamales Tradition, and God

 The title may seem a bit vague. Almost every year around Christmas, my family partakes in making tamales, a Mexican dish of masa, corn husk and pork saturated in red chili sauce, stuffed, and then steamed.

 As I was shredding the pork, it reminded me of how God works on us if we let Him. This shredding is the purifying of our lives, so that by our humility and docility, we can let God be the center-focus of our existence, whether it is best achieved through the religious, or married state.

On the web, there are many different recipes on making tamales. They can be made with pork, chicken or turkey, candy, and even fruit. 

There you have it, the Maly family's tamales.

Above are the ingredients. The red chili pods are optional, unless you really want to make your own chili sauce. We chose not to use them this time.

Shredding of the pork.


Pre-made chili sauce. Season with garlic, onion, and some other spices if your prefer it "hotter."

Add the chili sauce to the shredded pork and let sit a while.

Meanwhile, soak corn husks in warm water until flexible.

The masa mix. It is gluten free.

Take the corn husk.

Spread masa on it.

Add enough chili-pork suited for the size of the corn husk.

Fold one side inwards.

Fold the other side inwards.

Take the "tail" and fold it up.

Microwave for about 6-8 minutes.
Enjoy with sriracha sauce or salsa, and also top with home made beans.

Monday, December 22, 2014

2014: Year in Visual Review

As Christmas is just several days away, and the New Year is right around the corner I would like to provide a visual recap of this last year. To all intents and purposes, the year 2014 has been a whirlwind for sure.

 The photography of 2014 and in review:

The Labyrinth of Chartres

Veneration of the Crown of Thorns at Notre Dame de Paris

Mt. Scott


Salt Lake City, UT

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Llao Rock, Crater Lake NP

The Lake at dusk

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At the Lagoon

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St. Bernadette