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How rapidly is the universe expanding? The growing crisis in cosmology…..

ADVERTISEMENT Sign Up for Our free email newsletters How rapidly is the universe expanding? Since Edwin Hubble first discovered in 1929 that galaxies are getting farther apart over time, allowing scientists to trace the evolution of the universe back to an initial Big Bang, astronomers have struggled to measure the exact rate of this expansion. In particular, astronomers want to determine a number called the Hubble parameter, a measurement of how fast the cosmos is expanding as we speak. The Hubble parameter tells us the age of the universe, so measuring it was a major goal for many astronomers in the latter half of the 20th century. The problem, however, is that measuring the Hubble parameter is, perhaps unsurprisingly, quite difficult. There are multiple methods for doing so, and modern ...

Do not underestimate the power of your love to do something real in the people you love…

“The beloved is said to be in the lover, inasmuch as the beloved is in the lover’s affections… [even] in the absence of the beloved, because of the lover’s longing towards…the good he wills to the beloved with a love of friendship.”“… in the love of friendship, the lover is in the beloved, inasmuch as he reckons what is good or evil to his friend, as being so to himself.”Thomas Aquinas The power of will is astounding in what it can effect in us, and in others, every day. Human life is always about presence. And presence cannot be taken for granted. As Thomas Aquinas notes, absence is opposed to presence. Often we are separated in some way or absent from those that we love. Certain kinds of absence we cannot remove, at least not completely, but rather we need to endure. For instance, if a l...

Assisted suicide bills are driven by contempt for disabled people…

NH is again considering passing a physician assisted suicide bill. HB1659 will get a hearing on March 4. It says: “This bill allows a mentally competent person who is 18 years of age or older and who has been diagnosed as having a terminal disease by the patient’s attending physician and a consulting physician to request a prescription for medication which will enable the patient to control the time, place, and manner of such patient’s death.” Sounds compassionate. Those who argue for physician assisted suicide often paint an emotional picture of a dying patient who’s unable to escape immense pain, and who’s simply looking for release and relief. But statistically, that’s not what happens. Rehumanize International reports: From a study of the results of Oregon’s 2013 Death with Dignity Act...

Storms over the Emerald Isle…

On the weekend of February 8, 2020, a storm ripped through Ireland. Storm Ciara was one of the worst of its kind for many years. Its winds, snows, and driving rains caused havoc with landslides and flooding. At the same time, a political storm ripped through the Irish political landscape. Sinn Féin up-ended the political consensus and sent shock waves through the political establishment by winning the most first-preference votes in the 2020 general election. The party almost won the most seats, too, and would have done so if it had put up more candidates, as even Sinn Féin was not able to forecast correctly last weekend’s political tempest. In the end, Sinn Féin won 37 seats; before the election it had 22. By all accounts, given the votes the party was piling up in constituency after const...

A test for pridefulness…

None of us likes to think we are prideful. It’s always someone else; that guy over there is the arrogant one. One way of gauging is to ponder how well we accept being corrected. Consider the following verses from Proverbs: He who corrects an arrogant man earns insult; and he who reproves a wicked man incurs opprobrium. Reprove not an arrogant man, lest he hate you; reprove a wise man, and he will love you. Instruct a wise man, and he becomes still wiser; teach a just man, and he advances in learning (Proverbs 9:7-12). Which one are you?Do you bristle when someone corrects you or do you grow wiser from the input you receive? It’s not easy to accept criticism or correction without feeling some degree of humiliation, particularly when it is public in some manner. Of course, the...

Diocese of Harrisburg files for bankruptcy amid new sex abuse lawsuits…

Harrisburg, Pa., Feb 19, 2020 / 05:30 pm (CNA).- The Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania announced Wednesday that it is filing for bankruptcy. A landslide of clergy abuse lawsuits have been filed against the diocese after a watershed Pennsylvania grand jury report on clerical sexual abuse was released in August 2018 and a change to state law allowed new litigation on old cases. “This decision was made after countless hours of prayer and careful deliberation with our financial experts, attorneys, and our Diocesan Consultative Bodies,” Bishop Ronald W. Gainer said in an announcement on the diocese’s website. “Despite the success of the Survivor Compensation Program, which helped 111 survivors of clergy child sexual abuse, or 96% of those who participated in the program, we already a...

A diagram of the 100 most-spoken languages in the world…

Hello! Nĭ hăo! Namaste! Hola! Bonjour! There are so many ways we as human beings can express ourselves, as one can see in our list of most-spoken languages. Around the world, there are more than 7,000 regularly spoken vernaculars, but we decided to show off the top 100 most common languages in our linguistic infographic. World languages list varied origins, with some branching off from the same ancient roots and some having a history all their own. We’ve illustrated each one with its language origin tree, so you can trace their roots. Beautiful and ever-evolving, like a forest, the sheer variety of common languages spoken around the globe has been charted here in one world language map. Check out the top 100 most popular languages and their origins. What Is the Most Popular Language in the...

Bari trip gives Pope a chance to help save Christianity in the Middle East…

ROME – During the Roman Empire, the entire Mediterranean region was known as Mare Nostrum, “Our Sea.” It was an imperial assertion of dominance, of course, but it also reflected the idea that the peoples of the Mediterranean are linked by geography and destiny, sharing a common fate. In a nutshell, that’s the same intuition that will carry Pope Francis to the Italian costal city of Bari on Sunday, to wrap up a Feb. 19-23 assembly of more than 50 Catholic bishops from 19 Mediterranean nations, hosted by the über-powerful Italian bishops’ conference. (As an aside, one could make the case that after the Vatican, the two most powerful Catholic entities in Europe are the German and Italian bishops’ conferences, both of which benefit from Church tax collections in their countries that allow them...

Pope’s Wednesday Audience: ‘Blessed are the meek’ is not ‘Blessed are the weak’…

Vatican City, Feb 19, 2020 / 04:00 am (CNA).- Pope Francis said Wednesday that a meek Christian is not weak, but defends his faith and controls his temper. “The meek person is not accommodating, but is a disciple of Christ who has learned to defend another land well. He defends his peace, defends his relationship with God, and defends his gifts, preserving mercy, fraternity, trust, and hope,” Pope Francis said Feb. 19 in Paul VI Hall. The pope reflected on the third beatitude from Christ’s Sermon on the Mount: “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” “Meekness manifests itself in moments of conflict, you can see how you react to a hostile situation. Anyone might seem meek when everything is calm, but how does he react ‘under pressure’ if he is attacked, offended, assaulted?...

The story of John Adams’ perilous transatlantic voyage…

In 1778, two decades before he became the second president of the United States, John Adams nearly died at sea. Actually, by his own count, he came close to dying six different times. I discovered this while researching my new book, Author in Chief, which traces the history of U.S. presidents and the books they wrote. Adams, it turns out, wrote America’s first presidential memoir shortly after leaving office. Autobiography has always been popular in this country. Of the first five presidents, three others besides Adams tried writing their life stories, though they usually focused on their public roles and refused to share anything too personal. Adams’s book was different because Adams was different. He was emotional and impulsive, and those traits pushed him to write an autobiography that ...

We need this virtue because screens are changing us…

Will you make it through this article? You have been re-programmed in the media-saturated age of consumerism and internet galloping to skim this article.  You’re here to grab enough of it to sense a completion after reading, perhaps gaining a sense of gained knowledge, maybe feeling part of a tribe or something. I’ve been trained as a “content” writer to keep this article skimmable (shallow), but with a feel of depth and wisdom, but in a form that – if we’re honest – will pass quickly as you move on to the next site.  Writing for the internet is a specific gig and has very specific (and effective) rubrics.  I believe in the power of the written word, naturally, but I know what’s going on here too. I use very short paragraphs to allow enough white space to accommodate your sk...

First Mass since Reformation to be offered in Swiss cathedral…

Geneva, Switzerland, Feb 17, 2020 / 07:00 pm (CNA).- The first Catholic Mass in nearly five hundred years will be celebrated at a cathedral in Geneva later this month. Mass will be said in the Cathedral of Saint-Pierre de Genève on Feb. 29, in a decision announced by the Diocese of Lausanne, Geneva and Fribourg’s episcopal vicariate for the city. The cathedral was the seat of the Catholic bishops of Geneva from the fourth century until the Protestant Reformation. The last Mass celebrated at the cathedral took place in 1535. After the Reformation, the building was taken over by John Calvin’s Reformed Protestant Church, which destroyed the cathedral’s statues and paintings, and banned Catholic worship. Fr. Pascal Desthieux, the Catholic episcopal vicar for Geneva, described the cathedral as ...