Forget About That Corny Corner-Ribbon's Drivel! The Real Secret is HERE Indeed - not over there!

Thursday, March 17, 2005

clowning around isn't always well-advised...

Heck - simply making jokes to bring some levity into one's monotonous existence and lighten the atmosphere around is sometimes badly perceived... so... the following story should come as no shock at all really...

VANCOUVER (CP) - A Vancouver woman has filed a lawsuit against Cirque du Soleil alleging one of its clown's acts went terribly wrong.

Maria Miller had a stage-side seat at the July 2003 performance of Alegria Cirque du Soleil. Her lawyer, Val LeBlanc, said a clown tumbled across the stage towards the audience and was meant to stop. "It was supposed to thrill the audience, but a tether either broke or wasn't attached properly," he said Tuesday.
The lawsuit claims the burly performer tumbled into Miller, causing her numerous soft-tissue injuries.
She alleges negligence on the part of two performers and the circus.
Miller is suing for her personal injuries, income loss and expenses because of the incident.
The circus hasn't filed a statement of defence.

Let that be a lesson to a great many people today:
1) to the jokesters dressed up as leprechauns on this St-Paddy's Day...
2) to le Cirque Du Soleil - for hiring just any tumbler off the street...
3) to Maria Miller for seeking alegria (...) at the wrong place/wrong time... but hey, it is still much better than some of us seeking love in the wrong places/wrong times with the wrong choices for mates as well...
4) to funnymen like Jay Leno who will likely not resist making a funny about this one... (so, okay - I am sort of guilty too...) :(
5) to all the legal eagles who have profited from these type of cases - oh, damn... they will always have such cases to make names for themselves with... okay... carry on...

No Nostradamus this week -or ever again- as I am still not 100% here... I need St Uhro, St Patrick and St Joseph (celebrated on nearly... consecutive days as it is - March the 16th, the 17th and the 19th respectively) and then an extra dozen saints to help me it seems... *LOL*
And, in parting, this appropriate greeting...
Count your blessings instead of your crosses;
Count your gains instead of your losses.
Count your joys instead of your woes;
Count your friends instead of your foes.
Count your smiles instead of your tears;
Count your courage instead of your fears.
Count your full years instead of your lean;
Count your kind deeds instead of your mean.
Count your health instead of your wealth;
Love your neighbor as much as yourself


A little... background info, shall we say...? From

For all the visuals too:

Patricius: the True Story of St. Patrick
By David Kithcart
700 Club Producer - Before all the festivities focused on shamrocks and leprechauns and good luck wishes, there was truly something to celebrate: a man willing to stand in the gap for Jesus Christ. Reporter David Kithcart reveals the inspiring true story behind this courageous and fervent Irishman we all know as Saint Patrick.

It was an act of defiance that changed the course of a nation. Patrick lit a fire in pagan 5th century Ireland, ushering Christianity into the country. Who was this man who became the patron saint of Ireland?

Ireland was a beautiful island shrouded in terrible darkness. Warlords and druids ruled the land. But across the sea in Britain, a teen-ager was poised to bring this nation to God.

Patrick was born into a well-to-do Christian family. His father was a deacon; his grandfather a priest. The 16-year-old was living in a place called Bannavem Taburniae, somewhere on the mainland of Britain.

The Dark Ages were falling across Europe.

"The lights of the Greek and Roman civilizations, the Greek and Roman world, particularly the Western Roman Empire -- these lights were going out. Barbarian invasions from the North were sweeping down, and it looked as if it were a serious threat to two things: one, civilization itself; and, second, to Christianity and the Christian church," says Irish historian Harold Calvert.

Around 400 A.D., Patrick was abducted from his village and thrown onto a slave ship headed for Ireland.

Now enslaved, the frightened young Patrick landed on the Irish seacoast, not sure of what his fate would be. His thoughts turned to the faith he had once taken so lightly.

"He admits that he was a Christian, the son of a Roman decorio, deacon Corpornius," says Most Rev. Sean Brady, DCL Catholic Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of all Ireland. "He wasn't very strong in his faith; he was indifferent, lax. He saw that as God chastising him, first of all. That was his first view. He says we deserved what we got. We're carried of at 16 years of age over to this foreign land."

Patrick was sold to a druid chieftain named Milchu. He spent six years tending his master's flocks on the slopes of the Slemish Mountain. Patrick recounts his time as a slave in his memoir entitled The Confession.

" 'I prayed a hundred times in the day and almost as many at night,' " says Rev. Brady, quoting Patrick's Confession. "Through that experience of prayer and trial, he came to know another God -- God the Father, who was his protector. He came to know Jesus Christ in those sufferings, and he came to be united with Christ and he came to identify with Christ, and then of course, also the Holy Spirit, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God had walked in his life."

One night during a time of prayer and fasting, Patrick wrote: "I heard in my sleep a voice saying to me: 'It is well that you fast. Soon you will go to your own country.' And again, after a short while, I heard a voice saying to me: 'See, your ship is ready.' "

Patrick escaped and traveled 200 miles cross country to the west coast. He found a ship ready to sail, but was refused passage. After a desperate prayer, he was allowed aboard.

Patrick eventually returned to his home and family. His experience of God's grace and provision solidified his faith. He began to study for the ministry.

Says Calvert, "Now, sometimes people ask -- they certainly ask it here in Ireland -- 'Was Patrick a Roman Catholic or was he Protestant?' The short answer to that is he was neither. He was a 5th century Christian, a 5th century Christian bishop."

Years later, Patrick wrote of another dream, a dream that would shape a nation.

"He said he heard the voice of the Irish calling him back," says Rev. Brady about Patrick's mission. "But basically, it was that he believed that he had something good, the message of life to bring back to the Irish. That's what took him back, this vocation, God's grace working in him calling him back."

Patrick convinced his church that he was called to be a missionary to Ireland.

Patrick landed at the mouth of the Slaney River, a river that is strong enough to take a ship the size of Patrick and run it aground. When Patrick set foot on this shore, a new era dawned on this island.

"The Ireland of his day really wasn't much different from the Ireland of a few years ago here where we are sitting here at this moment," notes Most Reverend Dr. Robert Eames, Church of Ireland Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of all Ireland. "It was an Ireland of tribalism, an Ireland of war, an Ireland of suspicion, an Ireland of violence and death. Here he came as a virtual stranger to this country of warring factions."

Patrick came face to face with the chieftains and their druid priests. The showdown came on the morning of his first Easter in Ireland.

Monsignor Raymond Murray, parish priest of Cookstown in Northern Ireland explains further: "You had many kingdoms in Ireland, but you had a high king who dwelt at Tara. And part of the pagan worship of fall to spring, from the beginning of the summer, was that a fire was lit, and first of all, the fire on the hill of Tara and no other lights at all in Ireland. So this gave a great symbolism of the sun rising. And, of course, he was a 'sun king,' if you like."

This monastery on the hill of Slane is where Patrick -- in direct defiance of the high king of Tara -- lit a forbidden fire.

"The druids looked out and saw this fire," notes Rev. Brady. "Who dared to break the law of the king? He was summoned before the king, and he explained that he wasn't a threat, because he was bringing the new light, the light of Christ, the Savior of the world, the Light of the world. And he was not punished. He was allowed to go his way and continue his ministry."

"The first light of Easter day was dawning. Patrick brought the hope of Easter day to Ireland," says Rev. Eames.

The weather can be absolutely brutal here in Ireland. But just imagine how it must've been for Patrick in the 5th century as he trekked across the countryside bringing the Gospel to the pagan Celts.

"The dangers he faced from wild animals and sometimes from bans of men, violent men, he mentions in The Confession. He mentions how he was put in chains in various occasions, brutally treated, and so on," notes Calvert. "He did suffer a great deal for his faith as a Christian as he carried on his work."

"You might say, here in Ireland you had the old death, destruction, and combat and fight. And here comes a man of peace with a new message," says Monsignor Murray.

"Preaching the Gospel, of course, baptizing converts, confirming them, appointing clergy, and training young men who would become leaders in Christian mission work, training them for ordination," continues Calvert.

In 432 A.D., Patrick built a church on the site of the present day St. Patrick's Memorial Church in Saul -- the first ever Christian church in all of Ireland. It's considered the cradle of Irish Christianity.

Celtic Christians believe that God is interwoven with all aspects of life and that He is at the heart of it all. Just look at part of Patrick's poem "The Breastplate" in paraphrase:

"Christ be within me, Christ behind me, Christ before me, Christ beside me, Christ to win me, Christ to comfort and restore me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ inquired, Christ in danger, Christ in hearts of all that love me, Christ in mouth of friend and stranger."

Myths and legends have grown up around this hero of Ireland.

As Monsignor Murray explains, it is sometimes difficult to describe the triune aspect of God. So, according to the story, to better illustrate the central teaching of the trinity, Patrick took a shamrock and pointed out the three leaves on it. Interestingly, it is only in Ireland that you find this shamrock. Therefore, the people believed.

This is not the only legend born from Patrick's ministry.

"One of the famous legends, of course, is that Patrick drove all the snakes out of Ireland," says Calvert. In fact, any snakes in Ireland had disappeared during the Ice Age. "The legend about the driving of the snakes may, in fact, really symbolize the driving out of evil spirits, evil powers, and so on," says Calvert.

Patrick's ministry lasted 29 years. He baptized over 120,000 Irishmen and planted 300 churches. Ireland had been won to Christ.

To this day, no one knows where Patrick is buried, but many believe that it is somewhere beneath the church on the hill at Down Cathedral.

"People, I think, are aware of the debt which we owe to Patrick. We need to reflect more upon that, that he was a man who came to face and help his former enemies, for example, those who had enslaved him. He came back to help them and to do them a great favor, the greatest favor he possibly could," says Rev. Brady.

"I honestly feel that what Patrick taught Ireland was that there is a cost to discipleship, but it's a cost worth paying. And I believe, to bring this right up to date, the church of St. Patrick must be constantly saying to people, 'Discipleship demands of you, but it's a cost that Christ will help you to pay,' " says Rev. Eames.

© Copyright 2005. The Christian Broadcasting Network.
Oh, Luc, I'm so sorry to hear that you're still not feeling well. What is it that you're dealing with? Some kind of super-flu bug? A bad cold? What?

And why no more Nostradamus? I enjoy reading those Quatrains! In fact, I look forward to Thursdays, because of that!

Please get better soon, Luc. You are missed...

Wolf Singer


There is a certain demand then... okay... in that case, this week was a short hiatus and next Thursday, rain-snow-or-hail, the quatrains will be back... *lol*

Anything for a faithful one! :)

Ah - join the luminous team - won't you? ;)

As for my health - the flu was only the tip of the iceberg really... aches (head & ear) are the really downers... especially when combined!!! Not much writing for me can be achieved when THAT double-fisted attack hits me... :(

But (knock on wood) I'm better now - thanks! :)
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