Naruto Cat & Balloon

Prayer Update

Dear Friends,

A few days ago I passed on an urgent prayer request on behalf of a young woman named Amanda. We have since discovered that the diagnosis may, in fact, not be so grim after all, perhaps better than that. It emerges that there may even be some question about the credentials and competence of the person who made the diagnosis.

So first of all, let me say that this is a great relief. Secondly, I want to thank everyone for their prayers thus far. Thirdly, you will understand that those most closely involved in that urgent prayer request feel not only relieved, but a bit sheepish over what appears to be a false diagnosis. (We are certainly happier with a false alarm.)

Therefore, until there is further medical confirmation of the actual condition, I'm asking everyone to let the matter rest, while still praying for those involved. Otherwise, until we we find out more, this need not be a matter of daily updates or for great outpourings of solicitude. Let's just be thankful and get some sleep. It's been a trying few days. If there is any further serious cause for concern, Andrew will be able to inform us and answer any questions. I very much appreciate his constant attention in all of this.

Thank you all again.
Naruto Cat & Balloon

Corporal works of mercy

"Corporal works of mercy are important because, as their name implies, they are a kind of prayer that you can do with your whole body — visiting the sick; giving food, drink, clothing, and shelter to the needy, and helping others who are unable to help themselves. While confession removes the stain of sin from your soul, I believe that any good works one does with one's body helps one heal from the lingering emotional effects of sins committed with the body."
-- Dawn Eden, "How do you heal the scars of sin?"
Naruto Cat & Balloon

A Very Important & Urgent Prayer Request

Update: It may not be as dire as we thought.

Dear Friends,

The following prayer request has been circulating among some of my friends, and it's urgent enough to warrant posting here as well:

I am writing this to you to pass on a very special prayer concern for a wonderful, young Christian woman, Amanda (19 years old). Amanda is a regular at our Friday night St. Titus fellowship; and she now carries a very heavy burden for her own health (her life actually) and for her concerned friends and family. This is all explained in the email from Andrew, another St. Titus regular and one of our fine R.I.T. men. I cannot express how much I esteem and respect both Andrew and Amanda. So, please read the following prayer request from Andrew and pray.

Brother and Sisters,

Many of you know Amanda from St. Titus on Friday nights. Amanda has been having problems with a heart condition known as pericardial disease. This disease is currently unable to be treated because it involves not only her pericardium, the membrane around the heart, but also her left ventricle.

She is able to get around well part of the time. At other times though, particularly at night time, she suffers from episodes of terrible muscle contractions all over her body, dizziness, an incredibly high heart rate, and bruising on her chest, arms, and neck. Because she can not hold down any food despite how hungry she is, she is also losing weight.

She has seen the cardiologist and other doctors at Strong Memorial Hospital and Rochester General. Last Wednesday (19 September), the doctors told her that there was nothing they could do except ease the pain with certain medication. Her condition is a terrible strain on her body, and her episodes are becoming more frequent, and they are expected to continue to become more frequent over the next few months.

That day, her doctor called her in. He told her that in her current condition, she has about six months to a year to live. Since then, she has been given an even shorter time frame of three months...

Amanda is in dire need of our prayers. There is always room for a miracle, yet at the same time we must acknowledge that none of us knows the Will of God in this, except that anything He permits is for a greater good to be accomplished. In His hands we have nothing to fear. A small ray of hope has come in the form of a potentially available medication. The doctors discovered that this medication was available this Friday (21 September), and hopefully, this medication will work. However, this medication will take about a month to get to her and the doctor is concerned lest it trigger a heart attack.

For our friend, Amanda, let us link our prayers together as the Christian community that we are, as she lifts up her prayers for all of us. Let us pray:

  • For her doctors, that they continue to search for alternative treatments and persevere in doing so;

  • For her medication, that it both arrives here swiftly and quickly and is effective;

  • For her family, that they hold up well, trusting in the Lord, and doing all that they can for Amanda; and

  • For Amanda herself, for her health, her spiritual fortitude, and for her to keep her eyes on our Lord, no matter the weight of this cross.

There is not much material support that she needs right now; our prayers are most important.

Thank you all for your support and prayers for Amanda.

In Christ,

"The Earth could exist more easily without the Sun, than without the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass." -Padre Pio
Naruto Cat & Balloon

"Conversation of the Merciful God with a soul striving for perfection"

Jesus: "I am pleased with your efforts, O soul aspiring for perfection, but why do I see you so often sad and depressed? Tell Me, My child, what is the meaning of this sadness, and what is its cause?"

Soul: "Lord, the reason for my sadness is that, in spite of my sincere resolutions. I fall again into the same faults. I make resolutions in the morning, but in the evening I see how much I have departed from them."

Jesus: "You see, My child, what you are of yourself. The cause of your falls is that you rely too much upon yourself and too little on Me. But let this not sadden you so much. You are dealing with the God of mercy, which your misery cannot exhaust. Remember, I did not allot only a certain number of pardons."

Soul: "Yes I know all that, but great temptations assail me, and various doubts awaken within me and moreover everything irritates and discourages me."

Jesus: "My child, know that the greatest obstacles to holiness are discouragement and an exaggerated anxiety. These will not deprive you of the ability to practice virtue. All temptations united together ought not disturb your interior peace, not even momentarily. Sensitiveness and discouragement are fruits of self-love. Have confidence, My child. Do not lose heart in coming for pardon, for I am always ready to forgive you. As often as you beg for it, you glorify My mercy."

Soul: "I understand what is the better thing to do, what pleases You more, but I encounter great obstacles in acting on this understanding."

Jesus: My child, life on earth is a struggle indeed; a great struggle for My Kingdom. But fear not, because you are not alone. I am always supporting you, so lean on Me as you struggle, fearing nothing. Take the vessel of trust and draw from the fountain of life—for yourself, but also for other souls, especially such as are distrustful of My goodness."

Soul: "O Lord, I feel my heart being filled with Your love and the rays of Your mercy and love piercing my soul. I go, Lord at Your command. I go to conquer souls. Sustained by Your grace, I am ready to follow You Lord, not only to Tabor, but also to Calvary. I desire to lead souls to the fount of Your mercy so that the splendor of Your mercy maybe reflected in all souls, and the home of Our Father be filled to overflowing. And when the enemy begins to attack me, I shall take refuge behind the shield of Your mercy."
Naruto Cat & Balloon

I need to complain less.

Stressful as my job has been, I still -- and probably always will -- need more humility, and habitual complaints are poisonous.

"Many who would willingly let themselves be nailed to a Cross before the astonished gaze of a thousand onlookers cannot bear with a Christian spirit the pinpricks of each day! Think, then, which is the more heroic."

— St. Josemaria Escriva, The Way
Naruto Cat & Balloon

Running (almost) anything on my Mac

So, I've been using the free Parallels Desktop trial for a few days.

I don't know if it would be worthwhile to regular people, but as a developer it's awesome.

I've been trying to get this Jython program to work in Windows, but it was failing mysteriously.

Then I realized I don't have Java installed (Jython is Python for the JVM) -- but if I'm right, I'll want to see that the error message gets better for non-java users.

So, I just finished making a "pre-java" clone of my Windows VM.

I could have 5 different configurations of Windows (and Linux) on this thing, and the only limiting factor is disk space! I can actually test programs on multiple platforms without having several computers -- without even having to reboot!
Naruto Cat & Balloon

An Act of Contrition

O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven, and the pains of hell; but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, Who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life.


I used to pray this every night... but I fell out of that habit for a while. Time to get back into it.
Naruto Cat & Balloon

Freebie for a Mac user


The other day, I bought a promising CD burning app called Disco from MacZot. They also offered some sort of special bonus.

It turns out that bonus was a second license. Now I need to fill out a form for two Disco licenses, and I don't know what to do with the other one.

So if you have a mac and burn CDs, give it a try and leave me a comment with your name and email address if you want my second license.

(Comments are screened.)

Update: The license is gone. Enjoy.