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NBA Season begins 2018-19

Well, it is that time once again for the final sport season to begin. The biggest change from last season is that LeBron James has brought his talents to LA and joined the Lakers. This is a bit strange since it seems like he won’t be making it to the finals for the first time in awhile since to get it to the Finals they will have to get past the Golden State Warriors in the West. Over in the East the field is open to just about anyone. If you want to put money on any team go with the Warriors.

West: It looks like the Warriors are the team to beat and they hope to close out playing in Oakland with a Championship, they are moving across the Bay to San Francisco next season. The Lakers will be better, making it to the playoffs, but not going that far. As for the rest of the West it seems like several other teams that made the playoffs last year will be making it back.

East: Cleveland is going to fail to make the playoffs since the team without LeBron isn’t that great. Many have thought that Toronto will be the one to take over but only time will tell. The rest of the East that made the playoffs last year seem likely to make it again but with over half the teams making it to the playoffs this is a rather easy prediction.

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New Saints

On Sunday, Pope Francis named seven new Saint this was the first Canonization ceremony this year and it has been a year since the last Canonization.  Those named Saints were the headliners Pope Paul VI, the Pope after John XXIII and before John Paul I and Oscar Romero, Archbishop of San Salvador, who was assassinated while saying Mass. There were five others as well Francesco Spinelli was an Italian Priest who founded the Sisters Adorers of the Blessed Sacrament; Vincent Romano another Italian Priest known as “The Worker Priest” due to his work with the poor and for his commitment to the social needs of all people he is noted for his simplistic and frugal manner of living and for his great care of orphans; Nunzio Sulprizo another Italian, he was an apprentice blacksmith and had poor health throughout his life Pope Leo XIII proposed him as a model for all workers. The other two are women Maria Katharina Kasper, a German nun and founder of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ; and Nazaria Ignacia March Mesa, a Spanish nun and founder of the Missionary Crusades of the Church, she was born in Spain moved to Mexico, served in Bolivia and Argentina.

Pope Francis noted in his homily that “Jesus is radical. He gives all and he asks all: he gives a love that is total and asks for an undivided heart.” and that “All these saints, in different contexts, put today’s word into practice in their lives, without lukewarmness, without calculation, with the passion to risk everything and to leave it all behind.” Let us try to keep this in our minds are we go about our lives as we in society today tend to be divided on some of these things.

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Championship Series 2018

Every series is now set. In the American League it’s a rematch of last year ALDS where the Astros beat the Red Sox in four games, this was the only time they have met in the postseason. During the Regular season Houston took four of the seven games similar to last year. Boston and Houston are the top two teams in the league so this should be an exciting series.  Over in the National League we have a first time meeting of two team who had tie breaker games to win their divisions in the Brewers and Dodgers. This is also the first time that these two team will play each other in the post season. Dodgers won the regular season series four games to three. The National League Championship Series begins on Friday and the American League Championship Series begins on Saturday.

Quick  Predictions: The Brewers are the hottest team having won the past about dozen games and I fully expect them to make it to the World Series by beating the Dodgers. In the other series it seems like you could flip a coin to determine the winner but with Houston having swept the Indians haven’t really faced a challenge so I’m not sure who to back I’d like Boston but it be a great story with Houston being there again.

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Native American Mascots controversy part 12

Big news as the Cleveland Indians have being blown out of the playoffs by the Astros, Chief Wahoo is retired. He will no longer be worn on the Indian uniforms starting in 2019. I believe this is one of the stipulations for them to be able to host the All Star Game in 2019. Now this is a step in the right direction but it’s not like the Chief is totally going away as there will still be merchandise for fans to buy. Some have pointed out that Monday was Indigenous Peoples’ Day and there was a team called the Indians wearing Chief Wahoo hats and a stadium full of Braves fans doing the tomahawk chop, no better way to honor all the Indigenous People. Atlanta, you’ve got to do something about that tomahawk chop

It is a step forward but it’s not like it’s going really solve the problem as fans still can wear whatever they want and even buy more things as the years go by. While it is nice to see it go will we have to wait and see if all the networks remember that Wahoo is no longer active. Good-ish job Cleveland, although let’s wait and see what the spring training uniforms look like.

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Star Wars: The Mandalorian

This is some big news as  details about the Jon Favreau live action series have been revealed.  It will be on the Disney Streaming service since everyone is going to have to own several streaming services to exist in the world.  As you can guess from the title it’s about a Mandalorian, hopefully before the series everyone watches/re-watches the Mandalorian arcs in Clone Wars and Rebels. The Mandalorian are a very unique culture and it really hasn’t been explored that much so it is a good place to explore the next big thing is that it will take place three years after Return of the Jedi. It is just one image but it looks pretty cool.

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Synod on Young People

The Fifteenth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishop began yesterday the focus of this synod is “Young People, Faith, and Vocational Discernment” with “the aim to accompany young people on their way of life towards maturity so that, through a process of discernment, they can discover their life project and realize it with joy, opening the encounter with God and with men, and actively participating in the building up of the Church and society.” Now this is an interesting topic since this is a difficult time for young people in the Church as it seems that so many have been leaving and they want this to stop or at least ebb. This is the first time that the focus will be on young people and it sort of pick up the theme from the last Synod which was on the Family.  Pope Francis said to open the Synod that “the church needs to listen, including to those young people who often do not feel understood by the church in their originality and therefore not accepted for who they really are and sometimes even rejected.” and that “A church that does not listen…cannot be credible, especially for the young who will inevitably turn away rather than approach.”

It seems that next year we will get an Apostolic Exhortation and there is bound to be some dissent about what’s in it since there will be talk about sexuality and pornography along with hopefully some discussion of the sexual abuse crisis that is still around. Well, this will be happen throughout the month of October.

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NHL Season Begins

It’s that time of year already the National Hockey League drops the puck tonight in Washington as the Capitals raise their Stanley Cup Championship Banner. It will be a long season with some cool games with the Winter Classic being played at Notre Dame and the stadium game in Philly. I would like to see these games without the Blackhawks and Penguins for a change as they have been in the most of these games, how about a Minnesota or Colorado hosted game? As for who is going to make the playoffs it seems likely that most of the same teams from last year will make it yet again. Although the Red Wings should be back in the playoffs where they belong. As the season begins there are talks about a new team coming to Seattle. As for real predictions wait until the season is over and the Stanley Cup Playoffs are around the corner.

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Baseball Playoffs 2018

After a long regular season a whole extra game was added as there were two tiebreakers necessary to determine the NL Central and West winners. It is once again time for playoff baseball.  Looking back at those predictions I made at the beginning of the season I did great in the American League but miss two in the National League, although the Cubs did make it to the playoffs. Atlanta is the biggest surprise of the team with the emergence of Ronald Acuna Jr. and all those other young kids showed up to play. In the National League we’ve got some exciting games starting with the wild card between the Cubs and Rockies this game is today, this is the second time for both teams in this game, the winner of this game will get to play the Brew Crew as they beat the Cubs on Monday. The other game is the Braves against the Dodgers. The winner of these two game will meet in the NLCS.

Over in the American League we start with the Wild card with the Yankees facing off with the Oakland Athletics this is the third appearance in the Wild Card for the Yankees and the second for that A’s. The home team has won this game the past two years so it is looking like we might have another Yankees-Red Sox Series. In the other game we have the Astros facing the Indians. These two winner will meet up in the ALCS.

Time for some predictions

in the National League I am hoping that either the Brewers or Rockies make it out as neither has won the World Series yet and it would be awesome if the Brewers could make it and follow the Houston Astros in winning both AL and NL Pennants. In the American League it would be great to see the Athletics or Indians win for the first time in forever. Although, there is the ever so unlikely chance of an Indians/Braves World Series that would be great for those who want to complain about the Native American Mascot/name. Sure I’m going to be changing these as get to the Division series.

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October Rosary request from Pope Francis

On Saturday, the Vatican (Holy See) Press Office released an official communique about the upcoming month of October. In it Pope Francis expresses his wishes that all the faithful, of all the world, pray the Holy Rosary every day, during the entire Marian month of October. This is a regular request so it wasn’t really that much of surprise. His Holiness also added that we add at the end of the recitation of the Rosary with the ancient invocation “Sub tuum praesídium”, and with the prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel. The Sub Tuum is one of the most ancient prayers to Mary, it was originally in Greek and it dates to the fourth century.  The hymn is still used in modern time in both East (mostly during Great Lent or on the Eve of Theophany) and West (Little Office of Mary or Liturgy of Hours), the Marists and Salesians hold it a special place. The Latin version has been set to music numerous times.

The prayer is nice I’m putting the Greek translation and the Latin one here Greek first.

Beneath your compassion, We take refuge, O Mother of God:
do not despise our petitions in time of trouble:
but rescue us from dangers, only pure, only blessed one.
the Latin one
We fly to Thy protection, O Holy Mother of God;
Do not despise our petitions in our necessities,
but deliver us always from all dangers, O Glorious and Blessed Virgin. Amen

The Prayer to St. Michael was written by Pope Leo XIII in 1886. It used to be recited at the end of Low Mass, although depending where you are it might be recited at the end of like Daily Mass and in some dioceses it has has re-emerged in light of the recent scandal have reintroduced it to all masses.

Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle,
be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil;
may God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
by the power of God, cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

 

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The Jeweller’s Shop (1988)

The Jeweller’s Shop is a film based on the play written by Karol Wotyja before he became Pope John Paul II. This is sort of a rough draft or companion piece to Love and Responsibility which eventually  led to Theology of the Body. At least that’s what it seems like I haven’t read either of them. If you have the time I am sure that there are several productions and the film can be found on YouTube

The Jeweler’s Shop was written in 1960 and it is a Meditation on the Sacrament of Matrimony, Passing on Occasion into a Drama. The story follows pairs of couples, each couple in their own story: the first happily planning their wedding, the second long-married and unhappy, the third about to marry but full of doubts. We begin on a hiking trip where Andrew and Teresa along with Stefan and Anna are out with their friend Father Adam. Andrew and Teresa have been friend a long time and for Stefan and Anna it’s love at first sight. Andrew and Teresa stop by a Jeweler’s Shop where Andrew proposes they buy rings, at the shop they meet the Jeweler who is the best character in the film, as he pops us in all three couples stories.  The second part take us a couple of year later and meet up with Stefan and Anna who have moved to Canada to escape World War II they have kids but their life is filled with emptiness and disillusion. They both it seems to have given up on their relationship Anna visits a jeweler to sell her ring, but they say that it’s worthless since her husband is still alive. Anna runs into Father Adam one day in Canada and he reminds Anna about the Parable of the Ten Virgins (five came prepared with extra oil and five didn’t and had their light go out while waiting for the Bridegroom). Anna is reminded that they can still love one another. The last story is sort of intertwined with Anna and Stefan, and the focus is on the Son and Daughter of the couples  Christopher is the son of Andrew and Teresa and Monica is the daughter of Stefan and Anna as they contemplate marriage. Both of these children have ideas of what love is based on their parents, Christopher fears losing love as his father died when he was young and Monica is afraid that her marriage will end up like her parents. They too go to a jeweler’s shop and buy wedding rings.

It’s a decent film and offers some general ideas that we should all reflect upon like what is the worth of mankind. If you want a nice film to watch with the family or with a spouse to reflect on your marriage or a fiance as you prepare for your wedding day. While the film isn’t the best or worst film that I’ve ever seen it the story is the key and it is pretty decent. I wouldn’t recommend everyone picking  us this movie but theme seem to be universal but it does have a bit of Catholicism in there as well since the writer was the Auxiliary Bishop of Krakow.