Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Blinding of a New Saul

Not very often do you see a secular newspaper give props to a convert, but the Toledo Blade has done just such a thing. And it is by the author of Basic Instinct, nonetheless.

Apparently, he was a man of wild living, but after Joe Eszterhas was diagnosed with throat cancer, he did something that he had never done before: he cried out to God. According to the article, it was something he had never done before and didn't understand why he did it in the first place.

It is completely understandable, for when we are faced with odds that are bigger than a mountain, and have seemingly no where else to turn, it is then we are in the perfect position to be open to the grace of God. And the fact that this is the author of a major novel that really kicked off the modern era of soft porn as "R" rated movies is nothing less than a miracle. Now if only Sharon Stone would be blinded by the light...

We have to keep this in mind as we look at the pornified world and think that there is no hope. God is definitely working, wanting to bring His children home, and it is only the true Banquet of the Lord's Supper that is going to satisfy our longings for love. Let us persevere in prayer, praying for these men and women who have no clue about the meaning of their bodies and what they're really looking for.

And, as close to my heart, he gives major cudos to the long suffering Cleveland Indians, who are my team. It certainly is a lesson in patience and faith....One day...I'm not saying that they are necessarily going to the playoffs this year, but they have won 9 games in a row, so the season isn't over yet....Here's to praying for a miracle....

Article published Saturday, August 23, 2008
'Basic Instinct' author writes book about faith

Joe Eszterhas, who has written the screenplays for movie thrillers, now is the author of a book on faith.

Joe Eszterhas' latest book is a shocker, but not the kind that made him rich and famous.
The upcoming release from the man who penned dark thrillers such as Basic Instinct and Jagged Edge tells the story of his spiritual conversion and his newfound devotion to God and family.
In Crossbearer: A Memoir of Faith, to be published Sept. 2 by St. Martin's Press, Mr. Eszterhas describes how his life got turned around during the summer of 2001.
He and his second wife, Naomi, had just moved from Malibu to a suburb of Cleveland - where he had grown up; she was from nearby Mansfield. They felt Ohio would be a better, more wholesome place to raise their four boys (he had two grown children from his first marriage).
A month after the move, Mr. Eszterhas was diagnosed with throat cancer. Doctors at the Cleveland Clinic removed 80 percent of his larynx, put a tracheotomy tube in his throat, and told him he must quit drinking and smoking immediately.
At age 56, after a lifetime of wild living, Mr. Eszterhas knew it would be a struggle to change his ways.
One hot summer day after his surgery, walking through his tree-lined neighborhood in Bainbridge Township, Mr. Eszterhas reached a breaking point.
"I was going crazy. I was jittery. I twitched. I trembled. I had no patience for anything. … Every single nerve ending was demanding a drink and a cigarette," he wrote.
He plopped down on a curb and cried. Sobbed, even. And for the first time since he was a child, he prayed: "Please God, help me."
Mr. Eszterhas was shocked by his own prayer.
"I couldn't believe I'd said it. I didn't know why I'd said it. I'd never said it before," he wrote.
But he felt an overwhelming peace. His heart stopped pounding. His hands stopped twitching. He saw a "shimmering, dazzling, nearly blinding brightness that made me cover my eyes with my hands."
Like Saul on the road to Damascus, Mr. Eszterhas had been blinded by God. He stood up, wiped his eyes, and walked back home a new man.
In a phone interview this week, Mr. Eszterhas said it was "an absolutely overwhelming experience."
He went from doubting if he could make it through life without tobacco and alcohol, to knowing that he could "defeat myself and win."
He and Naomi have been faithfully attending Catholic Mass on Sundays ever since, and as the book title states, Joe carries the cross down the aisle. He asserts his nonconformity, however, by wearing jeans and Rolling Stones T-shirts when he does it. Despite the rebel attire, he says he carries the cross with more reverence than most.
Although he is a devout Catholic, Mr. Eszterhas writes bluntly of his disgust for priests who are pedophiles and bishops who have covered up for them. He and Naomi decided they could not, in good conscience, donate a dime to the church because of the clerical sexual abuse scandal.
He also writes about the inner turmoil he felt when he took his boys to catechism classes or other church events and kept a protective eye on them the whole time, making sure they were never alone with a priest.
And he complains about priests' homilies being boring and pointless.
When Mr. Eszterhas visited a nondenominational megachurch, he heard a sensational sermon. But he felt empty afterward, missing Holy Communion and the Catholic liturgy.
"It may have been a church full of pedophiles and criminals covering up other criminals' sins … it may have been a church riddled with hypocrisy, deceit, and corruption … but our megachurch experience taught us that we were captive Catholics," he wrote.
Mr. Eszterhas told The Blade that despite his mixed feelings over the church and the abuse scandal, the power of the Mass trumps his doubts and misgivings.
"The Eucharist and the presence of the body and blood of Christ is, in my mind, an overwhelming experience for me. I find that Communion for me is empowering. It's almost a feeling of a kind of high."
He said that living in the heartland, he sees how much Hollywood producers are out of touch with most Americans.
"I find it mind boggling that with nearly 70 percent of Americans describing themselves as Christians, and witnessing the success of The Passion of The Christ and The Chronicles of Narnia, that Hollywood still doesn't do the kinds of faith-based and family-value entertainment that people are desperate to see," Mr. Eszterhas said.
He has turned down hefty offers to write scripts for movies with sinister plots and dark themes like the 16 other ones he wrote that made it to the screen- some paying as much as $3 million a script.
Mr. Eszterhas said he spent too much of his life exploring the dark side of humanity and does not want to go there anymore.
He was born in Hungary during World War II, grew up in refugee camps, and then moved to the United States and lived in an impoverished neighborhood in Cleveland.
He worked as a police reporter in Cleveland and "was always fascinated with the darkness. I covered countless shootings, urban riots, and in several situations I was there before police were because I had a police radio and used to drift around the city until something happened," he said.
But after his spiritual transformation, he said, he had had enough of death, murder, blood, and chaos.
"Frankly my life changed from the moment God entered my heart. I'm not interested in the darkness anymore," he said. "I've got four gorgeous boys, a wife I adore, I love being alive, and I love and enjoy every moment of my life. My view has brightened and I don't want to go back into that dark place."
Mr. Eszterhas' love and appreciation for life was magnified even more last year when his surgeon told him he didn't need to schedule another visit.
"He used the word 'cured,' a word that oncologists generally don't use," Mr. Eszterhas said. "He said I didn't have to come back for any checks, that my tissue had regenerated to the point where you cannot only not tell that there was ever any cancer there, but you can't tell that there had been any surgery there.
"Naomi and I were, of course, overwhelmed when he told us. I think it's truly a miraculous blessing."
One miracle Mr. Eszterhas has hoped for but not seen since returning to Ohio is to see his beloved Cleveland Indians win the World Series. But he is using the Tribe's woes as a lesson in faith and patience for his children.
"I think that our deity may have a pretty nasty sense of humor," he said with a laugh.
His new book is evidence of Mr. Eszterhas' victory over writer's block, something that struck him after going sober. It was a difficult adjustment to write for the first time in his life without sipping wine or cognac.
But he was compelled to write Crossbearer as "a thank you to God" and "to tell the world what he has done for me."
When his wife finished the book, he said, she gave it a hug. "That's how I feel. I'm very proud of it."
- David Yonke


Monday, August 25, 2008

The New Evangelization Strikes Again!

Anyone who has been bitten by the TOB bug knows just how drastically it can impact one’s life. The itching, burning, cracking….oh, wait, that’s my poison oak rash….Seriously, when one comes to know of the love of God in a such a personal way, realizing that there is an intimate plan for them, and that they are able to experience redemption from the wounds they have experienced within their sexuality, it changes everything. We come to realize that our lives are not forfeited, but the Jesus Christ is truly working within us, changing us from the inside out. I have seen it happen time and again, and it is always a remarkable site.

I would like to share the following story from a list serve that I am on with Yahoo Groups, about a woman who has discovered a unique way to evangelize with TOB. People are so very thirsty for the Truth, and in a culture that wants to suck dry our ability to love, this is such a welcome oasis.

Our friend Ellen writes:

Took my car in to the mechanics last week & wound up being there much longer than anticipated. My daughter and I decided to go for a walk while waiting. We left our pile of books on the table in the waiting room (her math workbook & Nancy Drew & my copy of TOTB).

We returned about an hour later to find a gentlemen perusing TOTB. I sat down & picked up the rest of our books without saying anything. The gentleman looked up, clearly startled.

"I'm so sorry. Is this your book? I thought it was waiting room material." he stammered.

I'm thinking to myself "sure -- it fits right in with the old copies of Newsweek, Good Housekeeping, and Entertainment Weekly that are strewn about..."

"Not a problem. You're welcome to read it." I respond.

He continues reading. After a few minutes, he exclaims, "It's just that I've never heard anything like this. It's amazing. It's like God has directed me to every page that I've read!"

I laughed.

He continued reading, clearly not wanting a discussion.

After a few more minutes, he asked "Where can I buy this?"

So I sent him home with his very own copy of TOTB, and he was so excited! It reminded me of when I first started studying it -- amazing how it brings that reaction of "Yes! This is what I have been waiting for."

So... the moral is... start carrying TOB around with you everywhere!

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Bishops are Finally Standing Up!

I don’t know about you, but it is really exciting when I see our bishops stand up and proclaim the Truth. There are many within the Church who are fed up with the apparent lack of leadership that is coming from the successors of St. Peter. I admit, at times I have been frustrated with the apparent deafening silence on certain issues, especially in speaking out to defend the rights of our unborn.

Well, I think the bishops are hitting a homerun here by rallying the troops and encouraging their Bride to get out and speak up for the truth about marriage. Yes, the other side may have the rich billionaires on their side, but we have God. If the people of God would only make their fiat and stand up for the truth, we would see life and love flourish in the country like never before.

CA Bishops Strongly Encourage Catholics to Volunteer for Prop 8

SACRAMENTO, August 7, 2008-- California Bishops have issued a
statement supporting Prop 8, a measure to define marriage in CA
constitution as only between a man and a woman, and encouraging all
Catholics to provide financial support and volunteer to help pass the

In their statement, the bishops listed the effects on society of the
Supreme Court ruling of May 15 which found the current law defining
marriage as between a man and a woman unconstitutional.

The bishops pointed out that the ruling "discounts the biological and
organic reality of marriage" and diminishes the term merely to a
partnership where children are no longer central to it.

The Bishops recalled the Catechism teaching on marriage:
God himself is the author of marriage. The vocation to marriage is
written in the very nature of man and woman as they came from the hand
of the Creator. Marriage is not a purely human institution despite the
many variations it may have undergone through the centuries in
different cultures, social structures, and spiritual attitudes. The
well-being of the individual person and of both human and Christian
society is closely bound up with the healthy state of conjugal and
family life. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1603-1604)

With these considerations in mind, the Bishops offered counsel on how
Catholics should respond to the current situation. They pointed out
that same-sex unions are NOT the same as the marriage of a man and a
woman, which embraces their sexual complementarity and includes the
ability to procreate. They also stressed that being raised by both a
mother and a father id ideal for the wellbeing of children. The
bishops reminded us that marriage, as mirroring God's relationship
with us, "completes, enriches and perpetuates humanity" and as such
must be supported as "the source of our civilization, the foundation
for a society that can be home to all human beings, and the reflection
of our relationship with God."

We are all God's children, the bishops continue, and in our efforts to
protect marriage we need to be mindful of the dignity of those who
disagree with us and not disparage them in any way.

The bishops are strongly encouraging everyone to work and pray for the
resolution of this issue, and specifically to suport efforts to pass
Prop 8 financially and through volunteer participation. They also
pointed out the importance of voting in November.

http://www.ccgactio protectionofmarr iage/CABishopsSu pportProp8

Read the Whole Statement of CA Bishops in Support of Prop 8:
http://www.cacathol statements/ a-statement- of-the-catholic- bishops-of- california- in-support- of-proposition- 8.html

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Well, I've been gone for a little more than a month and there will be plenty to share about that journey, but it is right back into the frying pan with what is going to go down in November. With Hillary threatening to challenge in Denver, Obama is not the complete shoe-in for the Democratic nominee, but one thing is assured: no Catholic in good conscience can vote for either of these two candidates. They both want to see the end of innocent human life and make us pay for it. Please continue to pray and get the word out to Catholics about who these "supporters of every American life" really are, for if just 50 percent of Catholics vote the way they should, that will be more than enough to make sure that we have an anti-abortion president (McCain definitely needs to work on becoming more pro-life).

A Catholic Case Against Barack

In the Pennsylvania primary, Barack Obama rolled up more than 90 percent of the African-American vote. Among Catholics, he lost by 40 points. The cool liberal Harvard Law grad was not a good fit for the socially conservative ethnics of Altoona, Aliquippa and Johnstown.

But if Barack had a problem with Catholics then, he has a far higher hurdle to surmount in the fall, with those millions of Catholics who still take their faith and moral code seriously.

For not only is Barack the most pro-abortion member of the Senate, with his straight A+ report card from the National Abortion Rights Action League and Planned Parenthood. He supports the late-term procedure known as partial-birth abortion, where the baby's skull is stabbed with scissors in the birth canal and the brains are sucked out to end its life swiftly and ease passage of the corpse into the pan.

Partial-birth abortion, said the late Sen. Pat Moynihan, "comes as close to infanticide as anything I have seen in our judiciary."

Yet, when Congress was voting to ban this terrible form of death for a mature fetus, Michelle Obama was signing fundraising letters pledging that, if elected, Barack would be "tireless" in keeping legal this "legitimate medical procedure."

And Barack did not let the militants down. When the Supreme Court upheld the congressional ban on this barbaric procedure, Barack denounced the court for denying "equal rights for women."

As David Freddoso reports in his new best-seller, "The Case Against Barack Obama," the Illinois senator goes further than any U.S. senator has dared go in defending what John Paul II called the "culture of death."

Thrice in the Illinois legislature, Obama helped block a bill that was designed solely to protect the life of infants already born, and outside the womb, who had miraculously survived the attempt to kill them during an abortion. Thrice, Obama voted to let doctors and nurses allow these tiny human beings die of neglect and be tossed out with the medical waste.

How can a man who purports to be a Christian justify this?

If, as its advocates contend, abortion has to remain legal to protect the life and health, mental and physical, of the mother, how is a mother's life or health in the least threatened by a baby no longer inside her -- but lying on a table or in a pan fighting for life and breath?

How is it essential for the life or health of a woman that her baby, who somehow survived the horrible ordeal of abortion, be left to die or put to death? Yet, that is what Obama voted for, thrice, in the Illinois Senate.

When a bill almost identical to the one Barack fought in Illinois, the Born Alive Infants Protection Act, came to the floor of the U.S. Senate in 2001, the vote was 98 to 0 in favor. Barbara Boxer, the most pro-abortion member of the Senate before Barack came, spoke out on its behalf:

"Of course, we believe everyone should deserve the protection of this bill. ... Who could be more vulnerable than a newborn baby? So, of course, we agree with that. ... We join with an 'aye' vote on this. I hope it will, in fact, be unanimous."

Obama says he opposed the Born Alive Infants Protection Act because he feared it might imperil Roe v. Wade. But if Roe v. Wade did allow infanticide or murder, which is what letting a tiny baby die of neglect or killing it outright amounts to, why would he not want that court decision reviewed and amended to outlaw infanticide?

Is the right to an abortion so sacrosanct to Obama that killing by neglect or snuffing out of the life of tiny babies outside the womb must be protected if necessary to preserve that right?
Obama is an abortion absolutist. "I could find no instance in his entire career," writes Freddoso, "in which he voted for any regulation or restriction on the practice of abortion."

In 2007, Barack pledged that, in his first act as president, he will sign the Freedom of Choice Act, which would cancel every federal, state or local regulation or restriction on abortion. The National Organization for Women says it would abolish all restrictions on government funding of abortion.

What we once called God's Country would become the nation on earth most zealously committed to an unrestricted right of abortion from conception to birth.

Before any devout Catholic, Evangelical Christian or Orthodox Jew votes for Obama, he or she might spend 15 minutes in Chapter 10 of Freddoso's "Case Against Barack." For if, as Catholics believe, abortion is the killing of an unborn child, and participation in an abortion entails automatic excommunication, how can a good Catholic support a candidate who will appoint justices to make Roe v. Wade eternal and eliminate all restrictions on a practice Catholics legislators have fought for three decades to curtail?

And which Catholic priests and prelates will it be who give invocations at Obama rallies, even as Mother Church fights to save the lives of unborn children whom Obama believes have no right to life and no rights at all?