Monday, 27 February 2012

Best of Open Source Professional Programs

This website offers a list of the best open-source (for our purposes "open-source" = "FREE") programs for


...and more.

Scroll down to read the written articles.

Pardon the broken image thumbnails and the cache layout. The list at the top of the page is a useful compilation of award-winning open-source programs.

Sunday, 26 February 2012


Here is another open-source program that is used to create multimedia documents of various formats.

It is useful because it is easy to manipulate pictures and text on a page.



Here is an open-source program that is used for project management.

It is called "openproj".

2426797439 2536512098 Five Open Source or Free Applications to Use in Technical Writing

Saturday, 25 February 2012

James Stenson

James Stenson is an American Catholic author that specializes in parent leadership. In particular, Mr. Stenson has studied fathers.

His website contains many tips and information on everything from leadership to workplace savvy and etiquette.

Jim Stenson - click the image for a printer-friendly version

Friday, 24 February 2012

Spiritual Works of Mercy

The Spiritual Works of Mercy

1. Instruct the Ignorant
2. Counsel the Doubtful
3. Admonish Sinners
4. Bear wrongs patiently
5. Forgive offences willingly
6. Comfort the afflicted
7. Pray for the living and the dead

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Corporal Works of Mercy

The Corporal Works of Mercy

1. Feed the Hungry
2. Give drink to the Thirsty
3. Clothe the Naked
4. House the Homeless
5. Visit the Sick
6. Ransom the captive
7. Bury the Dead

The Gospel of Matthew 25:34-46 says

[34] Then shall the king say to them that shall be on his right hand: Come, ye blessed of my Father, possess you the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. [35] For I was hungry, and you gave me to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me to drink; I was a stranger, and you took me in:

[36] Naked, and you covered me: sick, and you visited me: I was in prison, and you came to me. [37]Then shall the just answer him, saying: Lord, when did we see thee hungry, and fed thee; thirsty, and gave thee drink? [38] And when did we see thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and covered thee?[39] Or when did we see thee sick or in prison, and came to thee? [40] And the king answering, shall say to them: Amen I say to you, as long as you did it to one of these my least brethren, you did it to me.

[41] Then he shall say to them also that shall be on his left hand: Depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels. [42] For I was hungry, and you gave me not to eat: I was thirsty, and you gave me not to drink. [43] I was a stranger, and you took me not in: naked, and you covered me not: sick and in prison, and you did not visit me. [44] Then they also shall answer him, saying: Lord, when did we see thee hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister to thee? [45] Then he shall answer them, saying: Amen I say to you, as long as you did it not to one of these least, neither did you do it to me.

[46] And these shall go into everlasting punishment: but the just, into life everlasting.

Formulas of Catholic Doctrine

The Formulas of Catholic Doctrine

Monday, 20 February 2012

The 4 Disciplines of Execution

The 4 Disciplines of Execution
By Stephen R. Covey, Chris McChesney & Jim Huling

1. Focus on the Wildly Important Goals
2. Act on the Lead Measures, not Lag Measures
3. Create a Compelling Scoreboard
4. Create a Cadence of Accountability

Click the video in the middle

The Beatitudes

The Beatitudes from Our Lord Jesus Christ's Sermon on the Mount

1. Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Verse 3)

2. Blessed are the meek: for they shall possess the land. (Verse 4)

3. Blessed are they who mourn: for they shall be comforted. (Verse 5)

4. Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall have their fill. (Verse 6)

5. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. (Verse 7)

6. Blessed are the clean of heart: for they shall see God. (Verse 8)

7. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. (Verse 9)

8. Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

The 5 Love Languages - Gary Chapman

Gary Chapman's The 5 Love Languages

1. Words of Affirmation
2. Quality Time
3. Receiving Gifts
4. Acts of Service
5. Physical Touch

10 Scrolls by Og Mandino

10 Scrolls of Wisdom

1. Today I begin a new life - I will form good habits and become their slaves
2. I will greet this day with love in my heart
3. I will persist until I succeed
4. I am nature's greatest miracle
5. I will live this day as if it is my last
6. Today I will be master of my emotions
7. I will laugh at the world
8. Today I will multiply my value a hundredfold
9. I will act now
10. I will pray for guidance

Saturday, 18 February 2012

The Heroic Minute

St. Josemaría Escrivá described the "heroic minute" as the very first battle against evil in a Catholic's day:
The battle against sloth. The moment you wake up from sleep, you can be tempted to linger: pressing snooze on the alarm clock, sleeping for just another 15 minutes!

How often do we do this! How much would this help our personal and professional lives!

The "heroic minute" is the moment when you muster up your courage, do not linger in bed and spring up into the day crying to God, "Serviam! I will serve!"

And rising very early, going out, he went into a desert place: and there he prayed. (Mark 1:35)

St. Josemaría Escrivá, pray for us!

"Stand Tall Steve" - Steve Bollar

This past weekend, I had the privilege to hear Mr. Steve Bollar speak.
"Stand Tall Steve" is a principal and motivational speaker from New Jersey, US. He focuses on helping schools build and maintain a climate. He also has a lot of tips for little things that you can do to spread appreciation and love in a school. What I noticed is that his approach is completely character-based and it focuses on the little things! Little things done with love. When a method is character-based, you can bet that it has a foundation in the virtues.

His webpage can be found here:

His very useful blog can be found here:

Friday, 17 February 2012

The Greatest Salesman in the World

The Greatest Salesman in the World is a best-seller by an author named Og Mandino.
This book chronicles the story of a Middle-Eastern stable boy named Hafid who wishes to be a great salesman. His boss takes him under his wing and bequeaths to him 10 scrolls of wisdom. The contents of the scrolls are contained in the book. The information contained in the scrolls is based on love, which differs it from most self-help books out there.

Surely, the first scroll talks about forming good habits and becoming their slaves, but the essence of the scrolls is love of self, neighbour, and God. This book mentions God.

Mandino's book digs deeper than simply building habits; it goes to the very core of our being and the meaning of life for us. It operates on the premise that we have the power to make our life something great or something not great. Mandino urges us to consciously choose to make our life great at each moment. We need to feed ourselves with good things and essentially "clean out" our souls by becoming obsessed with love and goodness. Likewise, we need to consciously choose starve our souls of bad things, evil, negativity, vice, and sin. You need to want to shed your old skin and become a new person in order for this book to have an effect on you. Conversion, conversion, conversion.

I give it 9.5/10

St. Francis of Assisi

"The rule and life of the Minor Brothers is this,
namely, to observe the holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ
by living in obedience, without property and in chastity."

First line of the Rule of St. Francis c. 1233

Litany of Humility

O Jesus! meek and humble of heart,Hear me.
Fromthe desire of being esteemed,

Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being loved...
From the desire of being extolled ...
From the desire of being honored ...
From the desire of being praised ...
From the desire of being preferred to others...
From the desire of being consulted ...
From the desire of being approved ...
From the fear of being humiliated ...
Fromthe fear of being despised...
From the fear of suffering rebukes ...
From the fear of being calumniated ...
From the fear of being forgotten ...
From the fear of being ridiculed ...
From the fear of being wronged ...
From the fear of being suspected ...

That others may be loved more than I,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may be esteemed more than I ...
That, in the opinion of the world,
others may increase and I may decrease ...
That others may be chosen and I set aside ...
That others may be praised and I unnoticed ...
That others may be preferred to me in everything...
That others may become holier than I,
provided that I may become as holy as I should…

Read more:

Mother Teresa on Humility

A blogger named Katie Sciba mentioned this list of Blessed Mother Teresa's:

1. Speak as little as possible about yourself.

2. Keep busy with your own affairs and not those of others.

3. Avoid curiosity.

4. Do not interfere in the affairs of others.

5. Accept small irritations with good humor.

6. Do not dwell on the faults of others.

7. Accept censures even if unmerited.

8. Give in to the will of others.

9. Accept insults and injuries.

10. Accept contempt, being forgotten and disregarded.

11. Accept injuries and insults.

12. Be courteous and delicate even when provoked by someone.

13. Do not seek to be admired and loved.

14. Do not protect yourself behind your own dignity.

15. Give in, in discussions, even when you are right.

16. Always choose the more difficult task.

Ten Rules of Life of Nguyễn Văn Thuận

Ten Rules of Life of Nguyễn Văn Thuận

I will live the present moment to the fullest.

I will discern between God and God’s works.

I will hold firmly to one secret: prayer.

I will see in the Holy Eucharist my only power.

I will have only one wisdom: the science of the Cross.

I will remain faithful to my mission in the Church and for the Church as a witness of Jesus Christ.

I will seek the peace the world cannot give.

I will carry out a revolution by renewal in the Holy Spirit.

I will speak one language and wear one uniform: Charity.

I will have one very special love: The Blessed Virgin Mary.

177 Mental Toughness Secrets of the World Class

While the lessons contained in Steve Siebold's book 177 Mental Toughness Secrets of the World Class are for the most part very good, the book approaches "world-class" from a "worldly" perspective. Let your journey to mental toughness be driven by faith, hope, and charity.
Siebold begins with mental toughness secrets that we can all adopt. It is absolutely necessary that you, as a Catholic, use every means you can in your human powers to help yourself achieve holiness. God will give you his grace to make up for what you cannot achieve. Siebold's book gives 177 great hints for becoming much tougher, but the goal for Siebold is simply worldly success.

As Catholics, we do not strive for worldly success: we strive for heaven. Nevertheless, in our striving for heaven, sometimes we are given the gift of worldly success. It is tough to gain worldly success, but even tougher to gain sanctity. The motive behind us achieving worldly success must always be a strong faith, strong hope, and strong love for God and for others.

177 Mental Toughness Secrets of the World Class contains many resources for further reading, insightful quotes, and some very helpful tips and goals to push yourself to be better each day. Some of the quotes Siebold uses are shallow, and some resources he proposes seem too focussed on business success. Siebold avoids using reference to "God", but at times comes very close.

All in all, Siebold's book is very useful for developing mental toughness. It seems that his list is not exhaustive. The secrets he proposes are from a worldly perspective and are to be used in order to gain worldly success. Although Catholics do not see worldly success as evil, it can be evil if it serves to take us away from God.

I give it 7/10

God bless you
Pray for me

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People - One of the best!

You may have heard of Stephen R. Covey.

In 1996, he was named one of TIME Magazine's top 25 most influential Americans and his best-selling book is entitled The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
Covey distills the foundations of personal excellence into seven (good) habits. These habits are directly related to the human virtues we read about in the Catechism 1803-1811. In fact, Covey's 7 habits can be seen as mixtures and applications of the four cardinal virtues: Prudence, Fortitude, Temperance, and Justice.

The graphic below, drawn from his work, describes the connection between the 7 habits.

1. "Be proactive" directly relates to temperance: it involves choosing to control one's emotions and not be reactive. When you are this way, you are also giving justice to others.
2. "Begin with the end in mind" relates directly to prudence: it involves directing the choices you make each moment toward the final goal so that you are useful and moving toward your goals. For Catholics, our main goal is heaven.
3. "Put first things first" relates to justice: it involves giving the most important tasks their due, and the least important task theirs. This results in you finishing the most important things first, leaving time for leisure later.

As one masters the first three habits, one moves from dependence to independence. This takes fortitude!

Habits 4, 5, and 6 are habits that increase the strength of relationships between people. These habits involve all the virtues. Let's take a look at them.

4. "Think win-win" firstly relates to justice: it simultaneously gives to others and yourself what you both deserve--a new and more effective alternative solution to a problem. Everyone deserves to have their problems solved in creative and powerful ways.
Thinking win-win relates to temperance because it takes a lot of self-control to take focus off our own problems and attempt to find a common solution to ours and theirs.

5. "Seek first to understand, then to be understood" relates, once again, to justice: it does not expect others to be just in return, rather you give the attention the other deserves first, then you speak. Often, people simply wish to be heard. Therefore, why not listen first? For most of us, this also involves temperance.

6. "Synergize" is a very complex habit. You might say, it's in "realtime". As such, I feel it relates mostly to prudence, the most practical of the virtues by its very nature. Synergy occurs when groups of people come together and achieve a new level of creativity and productivity that could never have happened. It involves justice in action, but also elements of temperance and fortitude.

7. "Sharpen the saw" is the last habit and it refers to keeping your body, mind, heart, and spirit healthy so that you have enough energy to go out and practice the other 6 habits!

It must be noted that the 7 habits are human virtues of behaviour and attitude, not theological virtues. A book like the 7 habits provides a fertile soil for growth in the theological virtues--faith, hope, and love. We must not stop at private and public victory--we must have Christ live in us in order to have victory over death itself.

As Catholics, we also place importance on the theological habits of receiving the sacraments, praying, and doing corporal and spiritual works of mercy. We must be perfect as our heavenly father is perfect (cf. Mat 5:48).

Do you find the 7 habits difficult to live? If you do, offer up your pain and difficulty for the souls in purgatory, the souls still on earth, and for those you love. Having immense humility makes the habits much easier. Sanctity is a long haul.

I give it 9.5/10

God bless you
Pray for me