1. Psalm 127 describes our life pretty well: Thy wife as a fruitful vine, on the sides of thy house. Thy children as olive plants, round about thy table. The psalmist is here describing the blessings of the man who fears the Lord. I do not say that I am the example of that man, but rather that God indeed is the never-ending fountain of merciful blessings. The delivery of our son was somewhat touch-and-go, but in the end everyone came through in good health. God's plan for each of us is unique, and I think that children are just one of an infinite multitude of possible blessings. For others, God may not send many, or any, children. But His blessings to us are still beyond measure, and I pray for all who are yearning for children to be blessed in the way He desires.
I am very grateful for all of your kind prayers and congratulations. Thank you!
2. If you think that taking a nice refreshing swim in a relaxing environment is the best way to beat the summer heat, you may want to drop to your knees and thank God you don't live in China, as this photo from a pool in the Sichuan province of that country suggests:
3. Our friends in the United Kingdom have once again proven they are the leaders in tyrannical "democracy". The government can see you; listen to you; monitor your behavior, purchases, trash disposal, and living habits; test your children for evil tendencies; and prevent you from saying bad things. All that's left, really, are the microchips that can allow them to kill you remotely when they like, saving that valuable taxpayer money.
4. Finally, further to the ICRSP Ordinations last week, Rorate Caeli has posted a survey of the current state and recent growth of Extraordinary Form Masses throughout the world. This is relevant as we approach the third anniversary of Summorum Pontificum. You will recall Pope Benedict XVI indicated that he wanted an update of the issues of its implementation at the three year mark. The worldwide numbers are at the post, but here are the US numbers:
2005 - Regularised: 112 sees
2008 - Regularised: 295 Masses in 137 sees
S.S.P.X: 108 Masses in 64 sees
2010 - Regularised: 358 Masses in 149 sees
S.S.P.X: 116 Masses in 62 dioceses