Monday, December 27, 2010

December Recap

To all my readers: I thank you for sticking by me through my willy-nilly posts all month. I don't like to neglect you all, particularly during the month of December, a month of joyful hope and controlled chaos which generated a ton of bloggable stuff that never made its way into cyberspace.

Every year I'm surprised by how much weaker my dollars are than they were the year before, even though every year I have more of them to spend. I'm always amazed at how much faster the clock hands spin and the calendar pages flip--I feel like I just got used to writing 2010, only to start all over again next week with 2011. I consider how much simpler my Christmas wishes are, and how much more complicated they are. I contemplate how much I've grown in my faith, and how far away I am from the mountaintop.

I'll be home for Christmas, you can plan on me. A two-year project--restoring our dining room--finally came to an end. When my husband and I married, I moved into his 1924 2-story home, rolled up my sleeves and started working on it. "This house was waiting for you," he always tells me. This dining room was quite a project. We stripped the woodwork, de-wallpapered and repaired the walls, re-plastered the ceiling, restored the hardwood floor. The curtains came from K-mart; the corner curio from an antique store, the hutch from my dad, the table from a couple who wanted a brand-new thousand dollar table that pretty much looked just like the one we now have. The beige microfiber parsons chairs that I ordered at an unbelievable, rock-bottom, bargain-basement price of $50 each (including shipping) arrived in three shipments last week. Merry Christmas, Gina and Eddie Ray.

Our first dinner party in the newly-restored dining room was a culinary success; but never put a professor-turned-priest and a conservative corporate lawyer in the same room, unless you want a heated discussion to nearly come to blows. Thank God for my husband, whose calm authority (that comes with having been a Marine Corp. M.P. and a single father to two boys) put a stop to it. I still need to have a little chat with both of them regarding discussion etiquette in my home, where lively discussions on real issues are always welcome and encouraged, but expected to be held with charity using "inside voices".

What could we have possibly been discussing that could so effectively kill charity? What else but politics, more specifically, socialism? As it turns out, and as is the case all across the nation, our priest is an unwitting supporter of communism, thanks to his "liberation theology" training at seminary back in the day, compounded with those many years in the world of academia. (That's right, folks, they're NOT teaching Lenin and Stalin's successive campaigns of slaughter in American colleges; haven't been for years.) I suspect that he has not earnestly read the encyclical letters of the last 10 Popes, particularly those of Pope Leo XIII who warned us about the dangers of Socialism in all its forms. While I applaud his idealism motivated by a sincere concern for the poor and needy, Father really needs to supplement his education and revise his thinking.

As for the corporate lawyer, his thinking was right-on, no doubt about it. He pointed out the errors in Father's thinking quite effectively and used solid references to do so; but his delivery was too combative and his responses were too defensive to make any kind of headway. He forgot the number one rule when discussing matters of religion: the opponent in the discussion is not the enemy. If you go after your opponent with a desire to win the argument and prove them wrong you will do nothing but entrench them further in their errors. As I replay that argument in my mind, I wonder...what would have happened had he approached Father with charity?

Please have snow... And more snow. And still more snow. And more after that. It started here in Northeastern Ohio Thanksgiving weekend, and hasn't let up. According to the Farmer's Almanac (a gardener's best friend), we'd better just get used to the snow. This year I invested in a few pairs of boots that should last me a number of winters and keep our local cobbler busy with heel repairs and tip replacements, as opposed to BOGO-ing a couple of pairs that I'll wear out by March and ship off to the landfill.

The best boot I bought is this pair of knit booties. They are warm, cute, machine washable and go with anything from skirts to sweats. They were also $29.95 on Amazon when I bought them back in October. When I checked them out today to snag this picture, they were double the price.

I have mixed feelings about being able to buy several pairs of boots for just myself. I can rationalize that I "need" several pairs of boots, because you can't wear one pair of boots every day to work and not get some goofy looks; but then again, why should I care about goofy looks? Couldn't I have bought a couple more pairs of these cute booties when they were half price and donate them, rather than satisfying my vanity? This got me to thinking about something. Could I start a brand-new Paypal account, throw in $100 to start, stick a button on this blog and start collecting donations to purchase boots such as these for next winter and have them delivered to the Rescue Mission? Hmm. Readers, please give me feedback. Shoe sizes are certainly an issue, but other than that...

...And Presents On The Tree. My husband and I have a kind of Christmas gifting protocol: a few simple little gifties or stocking stuffers, and one big gift. I always get Eddie Ray some concert DVDs, a book, a Hallmark ornament and a wall calendar. Eddie Ray always gets me guitar strings & picks, a rip-a-day desk calendar, a DVD and Silly Putty. This year Eddie Ray's big gift was a Milwaukee grinder, and mine was a Kindle. Whether it's in the form of a kitchen appliance, a power tool or some electronic gadget, we dig technology.

Technology is one of those double-edged swords. For instance, on one hand, thanks to the World Wide Web we can now Skype with the kids across the country and see their beautiful faces. On the other hand, thanks to the World Wide Web I waste more time watching streaming video of dumb movies and TV shows on my laptop to the point of sleep deprivation. In September I watched all eight seasons of 24 in about 8 1/2 days. Aside from being totally delirious for the following week, the Economist in me sees all that time I'll never get back in terms of opportunity cost--time I could have spent reading...or writing...or praying.

Beside my bed is a pile of books covered with an embarrassing layer of dust. As I organize all the great books and documents I've been downloading onto my fabulous new Kindle, I am making a serious promise to myself that I'll read at least one of the dusty books I have in print, dusty with neglect thanks to my streaming video addiction, to every one book I read on my fancy-shmancy new Kindle--that is, if I can stop playing this stupid word game that I downloaded yesterday.

...Where The Love Light Gleams... A couple of weeks ago I was asked the following question: "What has God been showing and sharing with you lately?"

Here was my answer: If God actually talked with me in actual words and sentences, he would have been saying to me all year, "Gina! You are always so busy! You busy yourself doing work for Me, and I thank you and love you for it; but Gina, you are not spending enough time with ME! How else can you know what I want from you, and whether or not those things you're doing are My will?" If that don't say it, I don't know what does. I am definitely being called into a more focused life---focused prayer and contemplation.

Of all things, my inability to practice the First Saturday devotion is what has made my lack of focus so painfully obvious. I'd learned about First Saturday devotion while reading about the apparitions at Fatima, but as each first Saturday came I was either too tired, too busy or too distracted to observe it. This past Sunday we went to the Cathedral for Sunday Mass, and we discovered that even though here in my diocese, the Solemnity of Mary will not be obligatory because it falls on a Saturday this year, there will be a Feast Day Mass anyway for those of us who want to observe the Solemnity anyway. How fortunate that it's also a first Saturday. This week I am preparing myself to begin this long-awaited First Saturday devotion. Pray for me that I can stick it out all year.

"...If Only In My Dreams." What will 2011 hold for me? for my husband? my family and friends? I wait in joyful hope as it unfolds before me.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Putting The WHC of Phoenix, AZ, In Its Place

THANK YOU, BISHOP OLMSTEAD



This program is from RealCatholicTV.com

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Cooking and eating are the priority. A beautifully prepared meal is another sign of God's great love for us; but don't forget that Mass is the ultimate sign of God's great love for us. If you don't already, incorporate Mass into your Thanksgiving Day celebration.

Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Life is Worth Living



Servant of God Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

Worldwide Rosary


60 Catholics were brutally murdered while attending Mass in a Catholic Church in Bagdad, Iraq. They are glorious martyrs.

But 400,000 Catholics remain and are being persecuted for the faith. And we’re being asked to pray the Rosary to help them.

Click here to read more.

Rosaries at the ready.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Music! Music! Music!

They say that when St. Cecilia married the pagan Valerian she heard music in her heart; it is for this she's called upon by singers, musicians, instrument makers, composers and poets for her intercession as their patron.



Litany of St. Cecilia
 
Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, have mercy on us. Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ hear us. Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven, Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, Have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, Pray for us.
Saint Cecilia, Pray for us.
Saint Cecilia, wise virgin, Pray for us.
Saint Cecilia, whose heart burned with the fire of Divine love, Pray for us.
Saint Cecilia, apostle by thy zeal and charity, Pray for us.
Saint Cecilia, who converted thy spouse and procured for him the crown of Martyrdom, Pray for us.
Saint Cecilia, who by thy pleadings moved the hearts of pagans, and brought them into the true Church,
Pray for us.
Saint Cecilia, who didst unceasingly see thy guardian Angel by thy side, Pray for us.
Saint Cecilia, who didst mingle thy voice with the celestial harmonies of the virgins, Pray for us.
Saint Cecilia, who by thy melodious accents celebrated the praises of Jesus, Pray for us.
Saint Cecilia, illustrious Martyr of Jesus Christ, Pray for us.
Saint Cecilia, who during three days dist suffer most excruciating torments, Pray for us.
Saint Cecilia, consolation of the afflicted, Pray for us.
Saint Cecilia, protectress of all who invoke thee, Pray for us.
Saint Cecilia, patroness of holy canticles, Pray for us.
Saint Cecilia, special patroness and advocate of all singers, musicians, authors, and students, Pray for us.
We salute thee, O Virgin, who didst give thy blood for the defense and faith of Jesus Christ.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Have mercy on us.
God glorified Saint Cecilia,
And He crowned her virtues.
Let us pray: O Eternal God, Who didst give us, in the person of Saint Cecilia, a powerful protectress, grant that after having faithfully passed our days, like herself, in innocence and holiness, we may one day attain the land of beatitude, where in concert with her, we may praise Thee and bless Thee forevermore in eternity. Amen.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Faith of a Child


"This is the 3 year old boy, named Adam, who shouted against the extremists to stop shooting the people. As a result, the islamic extremist forced a gun into Adam's mouth and pulled the trigger." (from www.unheardcries.com)

I have no words.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Sneek Peek of The Catholicism Project

It's due out in Fall of 2011. I am trying to be patient. Really, I am.



CLICK HERE to learn more about this groundbreaking production from Word on Fire.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

WHC Cass County ND Chapter

They must be members, because they've basically told abortionist Dr. Lori Thorndike that she really doesn't need to follow the law. All an abortionist needs to do is slap her forehead and declare, "Whoops, I forgot to file the paperwork! Silly me."

Cheryl Sullenger from Operation Rescue puts it best: "...no one is saying that Thorndike did not break the law. They simply refuse to enforce the laws that were broken."

Read about it here.


Pray in reparation for the injuries to and deaths of women
because of Abortion and Birth Control.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Progressive Catholicism 101: The 4-Point Polemic

I was just reading a great post by Thomas Peters (the American Papist) at http://www.catholicvote.org/ about Abp. Dolan's election as President of the USCCB. Congrats, by the way, to the Archbishop. I decided to comment that his election is evidence that the Holy Spirit continues to guide the Church, and that Christ has certainly kept His promise that the gates of hell will not prevail against it.

I got sidetracked, though, by another comment to which I started composing a rebuttal, then decided instead to deal with it here in my own blog. So, I left my original comment and prepared the following public service to my dear friends and readers.

The comment that sidetracked me (color-coded for the discussion below):
I'm catholic. I do not agree and do not approve the more aggressive approach to publicly deny Holy Communion to Catholic politicians who support abortion rights, warn Catholic voters they should never vote for a candidate who supports abortion rights under any circumstances and reining in prominent dissenters in their dioceses. And I understand their reasons and justifications. But it's not something Jesus Christ would do. It's not worse than a priest giving mass and abuse children sexually. To then be forgiven for abusing children sexually without truly repenting to later abuse children sexually again. The church leadership has to take care of their own priests and superficial faithful corruption and the government has to take care of their own corruption. Yes I agree that abortion must be illegal. But not impose on others one sin over other. There are worst sins. The church makes a big mistake by focusing on the pro life agenda to protect the unborn child who does not have a voice or someone to defend him. And because of that focus they are indifferent to other negative influences or sin behaviors that occur that affect us and hurts much more. Peace & love.

This comment, despite its total desecration of the English language, is actually quite useful as an example of what I call "the 4-point polemic".
  1. Jesus Loves Dissenters, Too.
  2. Priest Scandal Trumps All
  3. Seamless Garment Theory Revisited--Badly
  4. I'm a Catholic; Peace & Love
Let's take a closer look at each point.

1. Jesus Loves Dissenters, Too. See, Jesus was really all about love, which means we don't judge, or tell people they're doing wrong. Forget that Christ is King, Lord of Heaven and Earth and Judge of all of humanity at the end of time. He just wants us all to get along. A Rodney King of the Ancient world, if you will; our buddy; our homie; our cosmic BFF.

2. Priest Scandal Trumps All. No priest anywhere can make any comment or statement ever about faith, morals, sin, right and wrong. All Catholic priests, no matter what anyone says, are exactly the same and must be strictly stereotyped as abusive and dangerous. Forget the actual statistics or facts about the scandal. This catch-all rebuttal can be thrown in anyone's face at any time, in any context.

3. Seamless Garment Theory Revisited--Badly. One sin isn't any worse than another, and the worst sins are putting one sin over another as being worse. When we try to fight one type of sin, we're really not fighting sin at all, because we're taking one sin and focusing on it and not focusing on it in light of all sins, which are the worst sins than the worst sins that are worse than the sins of the worst kind.

4. I'm a Catholic; Peace & Love. Because I said it, it is true. All that matters is that I say the words. I don't have to actually believe, or even know, what Catholicism teaches. I don't actually have to be peaceful or loving, either. My post, comment or article can be as inaccurate, uninformed, vitriolic, insulting, rebellious, nonsensical or ungrammatical as I feel like, as long as I say I'm a Catholic and get those words "peace & love" in there. I'm a Catholic not because of what I believe, but because I say I am. Peace & love don't hinge on my propagating truth, logic, morality and compassion, but on my simply saying or writing the words.

For all faithful Catholic bloggers, directly refuting the 4-point polemic would be a total waste of time. Instead pray for the 4-point commenter/writer/blogger. Pray especially that he or she is freed from the shackles of irrational thinking born of secular idealism, and is given the wisdom of God, and a deep desire to learn the faith that Christ gave to us. Also pray for those who continue to fight the good fight, like Abp. Dolan, and all those who preach the real good news.

Then put on the Armor of God and fight the good fight yourself through constant, diligent dedication to the truth in all you say and do.

MVH: Show Your Support

CLICK HERE to read the latest update from Mahoning Valley Health.  Please keep them in your prayers.

Pray in reparation for the injuries to and deaths of women
because of Abortion and Birth Control.

Proving Saints

Saturday, November 13, 2010

St. Silvan: Mysterious Incorruptible

We know very little about him, except what we can see. St. Silvan was a Roman, possibly a priest, and was martyred around the year 350. His body can be viewed at the Church of St. Blaise at Dubrovnik, Croatia.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veteran's Day


Heavenly Father,

In every age, You call certain persons to defend the human family from oppression, tyranny, and evil. Since our founding as a nation "conceived in liberty," countless American men and women have stepped forward to defend our country and many others from aggressors, and to liberate those held captive.

Today we revere all our veterans: those who rest in honored glory, those who still suffer from the wounds of war, and those who, with us, enjoy the blessing of living in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

O God, thank You for the selfless sacrifice of these veterans and of their families. Help us to remember them, to pray for them, and to care for them. Please bring all our departed veterans into Your Kingdom, and console their families with Your unfailing love. Please heal our wounded veterans through the power of Your Holy Spirit, and give to all our veterans the satisfaction of having served You even as they have served us.

Thank You for Your gifts of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. May we fight to keep these rights available to all. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

(Originally posted at Literary Compass, Nov 9, 2007.)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Anti-Christian Violence

CatholicCulture.org Latest Headlines...

from Bishop Urges Christians to leave Iraq:

“I say clearly and now-- the Christian people should leave their beloved land of our ancestors and escape the premeditated ethnic cleansing,” said Archbishop Athanasios Dawood, one week after a massacre at the Syrian Catholic cathedral in Baghdad. “This is better than having them killed one by one.”

(Watch an interview with Archbishop Dawood here.)


and from Iraqi priest, torture victim leads school esteemed by Muslim neighbors:

Father Douglas al-Bazi, a Chaldean Catholic priest...has decided to stay in his Baghdad neighborhood despite being kidnapped and tortured in 2006. “It’s not that I’m a hero-- I don’t care about that,” the priest says. “I care about staying with my people. My people never asked me to be a hero, they just want to see me here with them.”

Genocidal violence in Iraq has been escalating against Christians since 2003.

MORE:
Iraqi Christians' long history
Wave of anti-Christian violence spreading in Iraq
Baghdad church hostage drama ends in bloodbath
Death toll rises to 58 in Iraq church standoff
All Christians 'targets,' Iraqi militant group says

Two Loves

The following is an excerpt from one of Pope St. Leo the Great's sermons.  (Click here to read the entire text of Sermon 90).


"(T)here are two loves from which proceed all wishes, as different in quality as they are different in their sources. For the reasonable soul, which cannot exist without love, is the lover either of God or the world. In the love of God there is no excess, but in the love of the world all is hurtful.

"And therefore we must cling inseparably to eternal treasures, but things temporal we must use like passers-by, that as we are sojourners hastening to return to our own land, all the good things of this world which meet us may be as aids on the way, not snares to detain us. Therefore the blessed Apostle makes this proclamation, "the time is short: it remains that those who have wives be as though they had none; and those who weep, as though they wept not; and those who rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and those who buy, as though they possessed not; and those that use this world, as though they used it not. For the fashion of this world passes away (1 Cor 7:29-31).

"But as the world attracts us with its appearance, and abundance and variety, it is not easy to turn away from it unless in the beauty of things visible the Creator rather than the creature is loved; for, when He says, "you shall love the Lord your God from all your heart, and from all your mind, and from all your strength (Mt 22:37),"  He wishes us in noticing to loosen ourselves from the bonds of His love. And when He links the love of our neighbour also to this command, He enjoins on us the imitation of His own goodness, that we should love what He loves and do what He does.

"For although we be "God's husbandry and God's building," and "neither is he that plants anything, nor he that waters, but God that gives the increase," yet in all things He requires our ministry and service, and wishes us to be the stewards of His gifts, that he who bears God's image may do God's will. For this reason, in the Lord's prayer we say most devoutly, "Your Kingdom come, Your will be done as in heaven, so also on earth." For what else do we ask for in these words but that God may subdue those whom He has not yet subdued, and as in heaven He makes the angels ministers of His will, so also on earth He may make men? And in seeking this we love God, we love also our neighbour: and the love within us has but one Object, since we desire the bond-servant to serve and the Lord to have rule."


(On the Fast of Seventh Month, V.; III. The love of God contrasted with the love of the world. All paragraph breaks are mine to facilitate reading.)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Temple of God

You are God’s building.
According to the grace of God 
given to me,
like a wise master builder 
I laid a foundation,
and another is building upon it.
But each one must be careful how 
he builds upon it,
for no one can lay a foundation 
other than the one that is there,
namely, Jesus Christ.
1 Cor 3:9c-11

The Lateran Basilica has been through wars, fires, earthquakes, vandalism, the changing times--and throughout history the faithful has rebuilt her again and again.

As we should. After all, she is the Cathedral of the Holy Father, and thus the Cathedral of each one of us, the faithful around the world. We truly are one body in Christ.

I pray today for the Church that is the Body of Christ; for those who continue to struggle against forces of darkness that desire nothing but the destruction of Christ's people; for those who suffer at the hands of the world, who continue to hope in Christ Jesus who promised to be with us until the end of time, and find the courage to rebuild again and again.

Here is one such group of believers:

(from GOD IN CHINA: The Struggle for Religious Freedom, produced and distributed by Rome Reports.)

 
The stairs upon which stood our Lord as he was judged by Pilate and condemned to death.  These stairs now lead to the Sancta Sanctorum in the Lateran Palace, the personal chapel of the Popes of the Early Church.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Buy This Book! Between Allah & Jesus: What Christians Can Learn from Muslims

I know, it's a touchy subject. Islam has a pretty nasty reputation here in the West, thanks to the political realities of our times. These political realities, however, shouldn't stop us from seeking out peace, and finding ways to dialogue with Muslims, and to better understand their beliefs and culture. How else will we ever succeed in evangelizing them?

Between Allah & Jesus: What Christians Can Learn from Muslims by Peter Kreeft (IVP Books, 2010) is a series of fictionalized conversations between a Muslim, a Secular Humanist, a fundamentalist Christian and a Catholic priest (and a few other minor "characters"), designed to discuss the broader philosophies and thinking behind the Muslim belief system. Within the conversations, Kreeft is able to discuss how these belief systems clash with the West, and where we all go wrong in our assumptions about each other.

If you happen to be looking for political commentary, look elsewhere. Between Allah and Jesus is about theology and spirituality, and how these are meant to be lived in practice. He does discuss politics, but only in a very narrow, controlled context of where religion and religious beliefs have a direct effect on politics. The point Kreeft is making here is a pretty gutsy one--every side is right in some ways, but very wrong in others.  For example, in his introduction Kreeft makes the following point:

There are two Islams in the world today. (1) There is the Islam of the Qur'an, which is one of the great religions of the world. It is a religion of peace (not of pacifism nor of aggression) and of divine justice (not of divine tyranny nor of divine intimacy). (2) There is also the Islam of the terrorists, who are murderers and assassins, especially murderers of their fellow Muslims.  Shiites and Sunnis hate each other for their "heresies" more intensely than either hates the West. (The London bombings deliberately targeted Muslim neighborhoods.)

 ...It is very tempting, if you see either if these two things, to ignore the other one. (Kindle Edition, Loc 118-120, 125)

Kreeft deals with these two points very effectively in the narrative as well by building some flaws and prejudices into each of the western characters, and giving his Muslim character, 'Isa, a chance to discuss them. He admittedly idealized 'Isa in both his knowledge and his practice of Islam, which is a smart approach, particularly because Kreeft in no way idealizes Islam. He presents Islam honestly, including those areas where it is fundamentally incorrect according to the truth of Jesus Christ.  At the same time he's taking on Islam's theological inadequacies, he also takes on Christians, who have become weak and ineffective in the material traps of Western culture.

One of Kreeft's strengths across his body of work is his ability to boil down what could be difficult theological ideas and lengthy psychological assessments into very accessible text. This work is no different. By using the context of conversation he was able to deliver complex information concisely without sounding too elementary, while at the same time delivered the harder truths without sounding too combative. He did use a few forced colloquialisms, and some of the conversations seemed a little unnatural, but as Kreeft explains in his introduction, this is not a novel, but a means of information delivery.

As to what exactly it is that we have to learn from Muslim spirituality, well, you'll have to read the book to find that one out for yourself.  I will tell you this much: it made me really think about just how well I practice my own Catholic faith, and what kind of reflection of my Catholic faith I am on the rest of the world.

You can purchase this book here.

I wrote this review of Between Allah and Jesus for the Tiber River Blogger Review program, created by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods, your source for Oplatki and Advent Calendars. For more information and to purchase, please visit Aquinas and More Catholic Goods.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Brick By Brick

"A lifelong conversion consists of many reasons and arguments, much study and discerning," writes J.W. Blakely in his conversion story for the Word On Fire blog.
"Despite what the modern world tells us, conversions are not simply some irrational process by which we leap blindly and flailing into the dark. They are rather an act of construction, of care and of building, of change and of practice. Like the building of a solid church they are slow and methodical, brought up brick by brick, the cracks patched and kept up through bad weather. But unlike the construction of a church, the building itself is invisible, its materials the extension of our own lives through time."

(click here to read more at Fr. Robert Barron's Word On Fire, and click here for Blakely's entire conversion story.)

I venture to guess that many of us would use a similar description when considering our own conversion stories. I know it's true of mine. It would take years to find the words for all I've come to know (which when considered amid the wonders of all of creation, is practically nothing). We need the metaphors because what we have come to know about our God cannot possibly be funneled into a cleverly turned phrase or slogan for which the world has been conditioned. As Thomas Aquinas said, "To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible." Yet we are compelled to explain it, because what we've found is what everyone seeks from within their inmost being whether they know it or not, whether they believe it or not.

We often refer to our life as a journey--a trek up a mountain, or through great mansions, or on pathways straight and narrow or long and winding, or as Blakely has in his conversion story, as a process of building something. Conversion isn't an overnight thing--we don't just wake up one day and "get it", and we don't find answers through intellectual exercises around Scripture, the Doctors of the Church, the Catechism or any other resource.

      The Truth Speaks To Us Without Noise Of Words
      "Speak, Lord, for Thy servant heareth." 1 Kings 3:9

      ...Let not Moses nor any of the prophets speak to me, but speak Thou rather, 
                 O Lord God, who art the inspirer and enlightener of all the prophets, 
                 for Thou alone without them canst perfectly instruct me, but they 
                 without Thee will avail me nothing.
      They may indeed sound forth words, but they give not the spirit.
      They speak well, but if Thou be silent they do not set the heart on fire.
      They deliver the letter, but Thou discloseth the sense. They publish mysteries, 
                  but Thou explainest the meaning of the thing signified.
      They declare the commandments, but Thou enablest us to keep them.
      They show the way, but Thou givest strength to walk in it.
      They work only outwardly, but Thou instructest and enlightenest the heart.
      They water exteriorly, but Thou givest the increase.
      They cry out with words, but Thou givest understanding to the hearing.

- from My Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis
Book III Chapter 2: How Truth Speaks

It took Blakely being almost incapacitated with an undiagnosed illness to finally be in a state of mind where he could actually discern the voice of God, and begin to know the truth that God so desperately wants us all to know. You will be thoroughly enriched by his conversion story.


Devotion

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Lunch

I think the world would be a better place if everyone felt like this:

Twelve Traits of Jesus Christ

Last night Deacon Ron Bunofsky of St. John the Baptist Parish, Campbell, OH, presented Spiritual Direction on a practical imitation of Christ. It couldn't have come at a better time for me, as I've been in a little dry spell in my Christian formation. Spiritual direction is one of those things that you don't really think about until you get some, and then you wonder how you ever lived without it.

"As Christians", he said, "we know how important it is to use Jesus Christ as our model. There have been many books written on the subject. We've all probably heard of My Imitation Of Christ by Thomas à Kempis." Many early Christians, he explained, thought that Jesus was only God, and wasn't really human, but He was fully human, and lived a fully human life.  It's why the Christian walk begins with imitating Christ.  "The more we are like him," he went on, "the more human we will be. To be fully human is to imitate Christ, and NOT to give excuses as to why we're "messing up"."

Until last night, I forgot that I had a copy of this book, one of those pocket-sized books with the super-thin tissue pages that you have to highlight with a colored pencil. I'll be locating that book rightly. Deacon provided us with a list twelve traits of Jesus and some scripture verses for our private study and reflection during the next few weeks, along with these questions to consider:

Which of these traits do I admire in others?
The lack of which traits in others upsets me?
Which of these traits do I need more?
Which of these is my strongest trait?

Twelve Traits of Jesus Christ
  1. Forgiveness: Lk 6:37, Mt 6:14
  2. Authority: Mt 1:22; Jn 16
  3. Humility: Mt 18:4
  4. Compassion: Stands out in Christ's ministry
  5. Generosity: A loving response to others needs
  6. Love: Jn 13:34; Jn 15:9; Jn 23:34
  7. Purpose: Jn 10:10
  8. Patience: Poise, inner calmness, confidence, quiet endurance
  9. Prayerfulness: Lk 18:1
  10. Faith: Mk 5:34, Lk 7:50; Mt 8:12; Mt 21:22
  11. Courage: Ro 8:31
  12. Receptivity: Like Jesus, Mary, Joseph, the Magi, the Shepherds

Monday, November 1, 2010

Becoming A Saint


"Our ultimate goal is to be a saint. It is our greatest calling and what is desired for us by our Creator. Father Robert Barron paints a beautiful and mysterious image of what it takes to be a follower of, 'the One who is, Jesus Christ.'" Read more about Untold Blessing: Three Paths To Holiness at the Word On Fire online store.

I bought Untold Blessing in the Viewer's Choice DVD Pack, and I think it was some of the best money I ever spent. I've purchased quite a few of Fr. Barron's videos, and have loaned them all out over the last few months to friends and family for a variety of reasons and applications.

I think what makes Fr. Barron's media so compelling is his ability to hold our culture up against the truth, and to explain how our culture measures up against it in a way that everyone can understand. He doesn't shy away from those harder truths, either. In Untold Blessing: Three Paths To Holiness, Fr. Barron lays out for us what it means to have a properly ordered life and how to achieve it, in a way that inspires the viewer to strive for the prize.

Today as we honor all the saints in Heaven, may we each rededicate ourselves toward achieving our places with them.

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Government-Funded Arm of the WHC

In 2007-2008 The Planned Parenthood Federation of America received $349,600,000 from government grants and contracts according to their own Annual Report. That's a pretty big chunk of our tax money, which is why Angela Franz's article titled The Ethic of Control: Margaret Sanger, Eugenics, and Planned Parenthood should be an eye opener.

From the article: "One would expect that the aims and agenda of such a huge organization would come under severe scrutiny, but Planned Parenthood has been immune from such questions, largely because its stated goals of population control and family planning are supposedly in agreement with America's interests at home and abroad. But is PPFA's stated agenda the whole story?"

Of course it's not. Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood and eugenicist, was known to have said, "The most merciful thing a large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it.". Nice, eh?  Here's more from Franz's article:
Sanger's involvement with eugenics was extensive. In her essay, "The Need of Birth Control in America," published in Birth Control: Facts and Responsibilities, Sanger defines "what we mean by birth control today: hygienic, scientific, and harmless control of procreative powers [italics hers]. Thus comprehended, birth control places in our hands the key to that greatest of all human problems -- how to reconcile individual freedom with the necessities of race hygiene.This was indeed the central dilemma for Sanger, and she solved it by determining who was and was not worthy of "individual freedom," in light of the race's needs. Contemporary family planning advocates, under the rallying cry of "choice," insist that they are only interested in the freedom part of the equation, but it seems the second factor weighs as heavily as ever, albeit under new names, such as the need to protect "society" or "the environment" or, more recently, "public genetic accountability."

Sanger is responsible for such reasoning. In Woman and the New Race, she argues that women incur a "debt to society" through their thoughtless reproducing, "unknowingly creating slums, filling asylums with the insane, and institutions with other defectives." Drawing on the pseudoscientific eugenic studies of her day, she compares "typical" small and large families in "The Need of Birth Control," concluding that the latter group "is correlated for the most part with poverty, distress, tuberculosis, delinquency, mental defect, and crime. Poverty and the large family generally go hand in hand," she concludes. "[T]his type is pari passu multiplying and perpetuating those direst evils which we must, if civilization is to survive, extirpate by the very roots.

The phrase "this type" shows the ideology at work. A large family is the sign of being unfit. In Sanger's world, the poor are poor because they are unfit, and they have large families because they are unfit. In the June 1917 issue of the Birth Control Review (which Sanger edited), she refers contemptuously to "the great horde of unwanted" that lacks the "courage to control its own destiny." The real problem, she notes in The Pivot of Civilization, arises when "the incurably defective are permitted to procreate and thus increase their numbers." At this point the state should interfere "either by force or persuasion."
Enter Planned Parenthood, now a government-subsidized birth control dispensary and abortion clinic. Sure, its tried to put space between themselves and the diabolical beliefs of its founder, but just a few minutes at their Website tells me that nothing has changed. The emphasis is on body image, sexuality and how to end a pregnancy which is described as a disease, a burden, or as President Barack Obama has said, a punishment,  rather than on the dignity of the human being, and on the natural result of a loving relationship between a man and a woman.

See, ladies, you're nothing more than a walking sex object, and you should hate yourself for your reproductive capabilities. Your looks and your sexuality are so much more important than your biology, which gets in the way of having the productive life that PPFA wants you to have, which obviously revolves around body image and sexuality. If you don't reproduce, all the better, and if you're one of the smart people, than you will believe this.

...and PPFA can quite effectively distance themselves from Sanger's and her eugenicist colleagues' shtick, because Americans already buy the lie...the names are now irrelevant.

(Please not that I have not provided a link to PPFA's website. If you want to see it, Google it, as I do not want my site showing up as a link to theirs.)

Pray in reparation for the injuries to and deaths of women 
because of Abortion and Birth Control.

ALWAYS VOTE FOR LIFE

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Voting Smart

We as Catholics must vote according to our faith, and according to our consciences. We need to know our candidates for public office, but commercials tell us nothing, and candidate websites tell us less.  How can we know who stands for what this election? 

By clicking here: PROJECT VOTE SMART


Before you cast your ballot, learn everything you can about your candidates:
  • Voting Records
  • Issue Positions
  • Interest Group Ratings
  • Public Statements
  • Campaign Finances
I think this is a much better way to learn about your candidates than those ridiculous commercials.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Because...


You Catholics

"Why do you Catholics focus on the cross so much?" YOU CATHOLICS. Nothing makes me bristle more than a heartily declared YOU CATHOLICS. "You'll notice," my "friend" continued with her blindsiding discourse accompanied by her haughtily pointing at the walls of her living room, "that there isn't a single crucifix in my house. See, we don’t really need to focus on Jesus’ death so much. We Protestants realize that we are really sharing in the resurrection. So why do you Catholics always focus on death?"

I knew it was coming sooner or later. Because I'm so outwardly Catholic, whenever I reach out and make new friends, specifically with protestants, the topic of religion eventually comes up, and it always comes up the same way: a glorious picture of protestant sensibility starkly contrasting the depressing blood and suffering to which we as Catholics so foolishly cling, sometimes followed by a “YOU CATHOLICS" statement depending upon how bold my "friend" happens to be.

This friend was pretty bold. I really wasn’t surprised that it was coming, though, as she had repeatedly insulted my faith in a number of conversations prior to this, the last real conversation we would ever have. After the hair on the back of my neck settled back down, I managed to give her an answer.

"We focus on the cross,” I replied, “because it's by his cross that we are saved. It was because of his sacrifice, through his suffering and his death that we achieve resurrection with Him. But without his death, without that sacrifice, there would be no resurrection.”

How do you know when someone really loves you? Let's turn to the Gospel to answer this question: “This is my commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends, if you do the things that I command you.” Jn 15:12-14

To lay down his life for his friends.


It's by their sacrifice that we know someone really loves us. This is what Jesus said, then it's what he did by his death on a cross.

We Catholics, in our reverence for the crucifix, in our focus on Christ's suffering and death, are entering into the most incredible love that anyone could possibly experience. Michael Pakaluk wrote in his article, “Avoiding the Crucifix” first published in Crisis Magazine’s December 1990 issue:
"According to tradition St. Thomas Aquinas once asked St. Bonaventure how he had acquired the deep theological wisdom he displayed in his writings. St. Bonaventure pointed to a crucifix and said that he had learned all he knew from contemplating it."
(Click here to read the entire article, found at www.catholicliturgy.com.)

There are I think a dozen crucifixes hanging on the walls of our home. Quite a few of them were there before I married my husband. We’ll never take them down, except maybe to dust them, or paint the wall behind them. I look at the image of my Lord nailed to the cross, blood rivering down his arms and his side, and I enter into prayer, even if just for a moment as I’m walking by. Those crucifixes are much-needed reminders for when the world becomes hopeless, when work gets unbearable, when we're caught up in distractions and problems, of what's really important in this life, and in the next.

We can hope for ourselves when we encounter the beaten, brutalized body of Jesus, ruthlessly executed through the violence of crucifixion. Not just His physical suffering as he was scourged, crowned with thorns and forced to carry his cross to his death; but the isolation at being utterly rejected by His people; by the humiliation of being spat upon, of falling, being stripped and nailed to a cross, meant to be left for wild animals to devour. Crucifixion is a punishment meant to utterly dehumanize. He took all of the sins that we lash out into the world upon himself, and when he laid down His own life for our sakes, he took all of that sin and let it die with Him. It's from this horrible suffering and death that Jesus rose, conquering sin and death, and He lives.

If I am unwilling to contemplate His death, how can I really comprehend the glory of His Resurrection? How can I understand what He meant when he said to love one another? How can I call myself a disciple if I am not kneeling at the foot of the Cross, the single place where I learn what it means to lay down my life as Christ commands?

More from Michael Pakaluk’s article:
"Perhaps having supposed that the elimination of suffering is the aim of life and of morality, we are confused by the suggestion that Christ desires to suffer, that His purpose in life was to die for us. That Jesus loves us is a consoling thought, but that He loves us that much disturbs as well as consoles. A God Who gives that much might in fact ask that much."

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Separation of Church and State

With the next election right around the corner, this homily given by Fr. Greg Maturi, O.P. on the feast of Christ the King in 2009 couldn't be more relevant.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

We Urgently Need To Christianize Society

Every day in my Inbox I receive daily meditations from Opus Dei--meditations written by St. Josemaría Escrivá, Opus Dei's founder. Today's was particularly inspirational:

Following the Master's wishes, you are to be salt and light while being fully immersed in this world we were made to live in, sharing in all human activities. Light illumines the hearts and minds of men. Salt gives flavor and preserves from corruption. That is why if you lack apostolic zeal you will become insipid and useless. You will be letting other people down and your life will be absurd. (The Forge, 22)

God did not create us to build a lasting city here on earth, because ‘this world is the way to that other, a dwelling place free from care’. Nevertheless, we children of God ought not to remain aloof from earthly endeavors, for God has placed us here to sanctify them and make them fruitful with our blessed faith, which alone is capable of bringing true peace and joy to all men wherever they may be. Since 1928 I have constantly preached that we urgently need to christianize society. We must imbue all levels of mankind with a supernatural outlook, and each of us must strive to raise his daily duties, his job or profession, to the order of supernatural grace. In this way all human occupations will be lit up by a new hope that transcends time and the inherent transience of earthly realities. (Friends of God, 210)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Rosary Rally 2010

From the America Needs Fatima Blog October 16, 2010, America Needs Fatima’s (ANF) successfully carried out 5,963 Rosary rallies all over America including far-off Alaska, Hawaii and Guam, and in some other countries.

Thanks to the zealous efforts of rosary captains around the nation, thousands of faithful Catholics armed with their rosaries and banners trooped to the public square to pray for America’s conversion and heed the message of Our Lady of Fatima. 
(photo:Rally in New York City courtesy of America Needs Fatima Blog)

Msgr. Cariglio, Poland Twp., OH
Here in the Mahoning Valley, over 100 Catholics of all ages gathered at 3 different sites to pray for our nation. America today is under the grave influence of a secular idealism that would kick God and His law to the curb. Said Msgr. Michael Cariglio of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish in Youngstown, OH, who led the Rally in Poland Twp., OH: "We gather today to pray for our country, to make a stand against the darkness that plagues our nation."  It's the same darkness that was tearing Portugal apart during the early 1900s.

Our Lady of Fatima told the three children to whom she appeared in 1917 that the Rosary is the solution to the many problems that not only faced their society, but that faced all the nations of the world, and promised: "My Immaculate Heart Will Triumph."

We believe her promise even today. At the Poland Twp. Rally, Msgr. Cariglio led a small but diverse group of faithful Catholics in the Luminous Mysteries, that the light of the Gospel would inspire our leaders. We sang, we prayed, and we consecrated ourselves to the Queen of Heaven. Many of us were strangers; yet there was a profound spirit of Christian love and unity among all of us, and we left united under Our Lady's mantle. It was an experience that I will not soon forget.

Many thanks to America Needs Fatima, and to our Rally Captain.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Hail, Holy Queen




Pew Forum Quiz

I just finished taking a 15 question quiz at The Pew Forum, where those infamous test scores embarrassed the Christian world by their lack of basic knowledge.

I gotta admit, I have mixed feelings about the results.  I got a 93%, 14 out of 15.  (Yea, I don't know what the heck "The First Great Awakening" is.)  I'm glad I did quite well--I outperformed 97% of the tested sample. I'm not impressed with myself because the questions were very elementary. I'm discouraged because this means that on average, many Americans, regardless what they believe, don't know basic facts about religion. I'm not that discouraged, because the questions were so general they don't really indicate anything, other than maybe people don't know much about religions other than their own.

Click here to take the quiz yourself...and let me know how you did!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Bloodmoney...Don't miss this documentary!



Bloodmoney is out! This is a sure film to put on your must see list. At the end of the film, my husband and I were still watching the screen as the credits rolled up. This film will leave you invigorated to do more to stop the evil of abortion. It will leave you wondering how abortion is legal in this country as it discusses the flawed rulings of Roe v Wade and Doe v Bolton. It dispels the myths and shows how abortion always hurts women, is never a viable "choice", and undercovers the disturbing logic of how abortionist scheme to get more women to abort. You will see women talk about their tragic decisions to abort and the aftermath and women who were encouraged to abort but chose life. With names like Father Pavone, Father Euteneuer, Norma McCorvey, Flip Benham, Troy Newman, Georgette Forney, Sandra Cano, Dr Nathanson, and Alveeda King you know that the film is a sure win. Wake up America! You can order it here....www.bloodmoneyfilm.com

It's A New Day

In the tender compassion of our God
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
to shine on those who dwell in darkness
      and the shadow of death,
and guide our feet in the way of peace.

                        -from The Canticle of Zechariah
                          (Lk 1:78-79)


Glory to the Father, and to the Son,
      and to the Holy Spirit,
As it was in the beginning, is now,
     and will be forever. Amen.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Headlines from the WHC

I snuck into their secret clubhouse while they were out terrorizing the neighborhood and discovered that they're holding out on American women. For years abortion rights advocates have been denying that the rise in breast cancer is actually linked to birth control & abortion. I'd read about this link in Fatherless by Brian Gail, and a woman I met on Respect Life Sunday gave me some pretty horrible statistics about it as well.

There are so many articles, studies and abstracts about the link between breast cancer and abortion it's mind-boggling. I have no doubt that those who advocate abortion rights for women are card-carrying members of the Women Haters Club. Here is some of what I've read:

New Study Pinpoints Oral Contraceptive-Breast Cancer Link (OCBC link); Resurrects Abortion-Breast Cancer Link (ABC link) By Joel Brind, Ph.D. "The real dramatic new finding was a strong association between TNBC [an aggressive, treatment-resistant strain of cancer] and OC (oral contraceptives) use; particularly among those whose first OC use was under age 18: odds ratio (OR) = 3.7, and those who had gone between 1 and 5 years since last use: OR = 4.2. (OR is a measure of relative risk. Hence, OR = 4.2 means a 320% risk increase over those who never used OCs). Importantly, this strong association with OC use did not appear for non-TNBC cancers, which were very weakly related (20% - 30% risk increase) to OC use."

The Breast Cancer Epidemic: Modeling and Forecasts Based on Abortion and Other Risk Factors by Patrick S. Carroll, M.A.: "Using national cancer registration data for female breast cancer incidence in eight European countries...for which there is also comprehensive data on abortion incidence, trends are examined and future trends predicted...induced abortion is found to be the best predictor." The conclusion: "The increase in breast cancer incidence appears to be best explained by an increase in abortion rates, especially nulliparous abortions, and lower fertility."

Abortion Boosts Breast Cancer Risk 193% Study Finds, Giving Birth Lowers It by Steven Ertelt: "Researchers in Iran have published the results of a new study showing women who have an abortion face a 193% increased risk of breast cancer. On the other hand, women who carry a pregnancy to term find a lowered breast cancer risk compared with women who have never been pregnant. The study folllows on the heels of new reports indicating Komen for the Cure gave $7.5 million to the Planned Parenthood abortion business in 2009. The findings were reported in the April 3, 2010 issue of Medical Oncology but are coming to the public's attention only now.

Komen for the Cure Donated $7.5M to Planned Parenthood Abortion Biz in 2009 by Steven Ertelt: The Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation has long denied that abortion plays any role in elevating the risk for women of contracting the deadly disease. That's despite a wealth of research over decades showing an average increased risk of about 40 percent for women having abortions compared to those who carry their pregnancy to term.

Pray in reparation for the injuries to and deaths of women because of Abortion and Birth Control.

(for more information on any of the above, visit www.lifenews.com)

Dominion and Powers Fall

...and become subjects to the one Lord Jesus Christ."  --Pope Benedict XVI


Click here for more from Rome Reports.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A Lie of Omission

I have three email accounts and all three are a junk mail nightmare. I know why, too. I shop online, I read books and periodicals online, I watch television and movies online, I pay bills online, I blog, etc. All that exposure to the World Wide Web, you're bound to get some unsolicited emails.

Like the one I got this morning from a group called Catholics For Equality.

The bad feeling welled up about 2 seconds after the site loaded. It wasn't so much their agenda as the manner in which they twist Catholic teaching to mislead the public and advance their agenda that made my stomach churn. Here's an example. They list on their Website five "freedoms" to which the LGBT community is entitled: to work, to serve, to become American, to create family, and to marry. They provide a number of quotations to support their overall position.

One of their quotations comes from the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition. (CCC, 2358)
It's no wonder recent polls show that a large number of Catholics support gay marriage. If this is what groups such as this tell Catholics that the Church teaches about homosexuality, then really, why is gay marriage such a big deal?

The problem is that they don't provide the entire teaching. In the Catechism, here's what appears before the aforementioned quotation:
Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered." They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved. (CCC, 2357)
...and here's what appears after:
Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection. (CCC, 2259)
All of this appears in a larger section under a heading titled "The Vocation To Chastity". (Funny, Catholics for Equality used "The Catechism of the Catholic Church, Article 6, The Sixth Commandment" as their little byline, but conveniently left off this heading, as well as the subheading "Chastity and Homosexuality") This entire section of the Catechism on the virtue chastity teaches about human integrity, self-mastery and the dignity with which all humans are created equally. So is it equality that Catholics For Equality is after; or is this group really trying to get some kind of preferential treatment?

Consider that of the five "freedoms" they've listed, two are diametrically opposed to the complete Catholic teaching on homosexuality. As Catholics, if we find ourselves in disagreement with the Church's teaching (which is the truth of Christ, by the way), then we prayerfully consider where we are going wrong by examining Her teachings and honestly looking at ourselves in Her light. We do not simply omit that which we find inconvenient. Truth is eternal and not subject to public opinion, and a lie of omission is a lie nonetheless.

The following video expresses the very heart of why Catholics really need to start earnestly learning their faith--NOW.



This program is from RealCatholicTV.com

Humanity At Its Best

"If all goes well, everything will be in place at midnight Tuesday to begin rescuing 33 Chilean miners who have been trapped below ground for two months."  (source: CBS4.com)



Pray for a successful rescue operation.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

No Pressure?

Rather than contribute to the spread of No Pressure, a pretty horrifying short film produced by a group of climate change activists kicking off a carbon footprint reduction campaign today, I posted Friday's Catholic News Roundup from RealCatholicTV.com instead.



This program is from RealCatholicTV.com

RealCatholicTV.com has the decency to cut the rest of the scene, which is of the two children deciding not to do anything about climate change literally exploding. (The producers of No Pressure billed their little project as "comical", by the way.)

From the embedded video: "Some have actually chosen to defend the offensive presentations, perhaps revealing the dark underbelly of a movement bent on global political change, and controlling individuals who disagree at any cost."

Dark underbelly indeed. RealCatholicTV.com produced a real eye-opener titled Global Warming Unmasked: The Hidden Agenda, uncovering "climate change" advocates as little more than population reduction eugenicists.

*     *     *

The whole issue reminds me of this:

It's a giant granite monument in Elbert County, Georgia, inscribed with 10 principles for humanity.  The first principle: "Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature."  Very scary, since the global population is nearly 15 times this number, and the people behind building it remain a complete mystery.

Friday, October 8, 2010

O clemens, O pia, O dulcis Virgo Maria


Salve, Regina, Mater misericordiae,
vita, dulcedo, et spes nostra, salve.

Ad te clamamus exsules filii Evae,
ad te suspiramus, gementes et flentes
in hac lacrimarum valle.

Eia, ergo, advocata nostra, illos tuos
misericordes oculos ad nos converte;
et Iesum, benedictum fructum ventris tui,
nobis post hoc exsilium ostende.

O clemens, O pia, O dulcis Virgo Maria.
Amen, Alleluia!


Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy,
our life, our sweetness and our hope.

To thee do we cry, poor banished children of eve;
to thee do we send up our sighs,
mourning and weeping in this valley of tears.

Turn then, most gracious advocate, 
thine eyes of mercy toward us;
and after this our exile show unto us 
the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.
Amen, Alleluia!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Our Lady of the Rosary

The south of France in the 12th century found itself in religious conflict with the rise of a new religion called Albigensianism. When the Church failed at overcoming this new philosophy through the exercise of ecclesiastical authority or forcible repression, St. Dominic in 1208 turned to Our Lady in prayer. She told him the following:

"Wonder not that you have obtained so little fruit by your labors, you have spent them on barren soil, not yet watered with the dew of Divine grace. When God willed to renew the face of the earth, He began by sending down on it the fertilizing rain of the Angelic Salutation. Therefore preach my Psalter composed of 150 Angelic Salutations and 15 Our Fathers, and you will obtain an abundant harvest." (from The history of St. Dominic, founder of the Friars Preachers by Augusta Theodosia Drane)

As devotion to the Rosary through St. Dominic's extraordinary efforts spread, Albigensianism faded throughout the region.

What is Albigensianism? Like so many "new" religions that come onto the scene throughout history, Albigensianism is actually rooted in a much older (3rd Century) Persian religion called Manichæism, which is "purported to be the true synthesis of all the religious systems then known, and actually consisted of Zoroastrian Dualism, Babylonian folklore, Buddhist ethics, and some small and superficial, additions of Christian elements.(www.newadvent.org.)"

Take a look at some key Manichæan principles:
  • The co-existence of two mutually opposed forces: "good", the source of the spiritual; and "evil", the source of the physical. Because the physical is innately evil, the body is evil, all of creation is a prison and liberation of the spirit, which is divine, comes with death.

  • Because a "good" god could not come to earth in a body else be imprisoned himself by evil, he created Jesus Christ, whose teachings were redemptive, not his suffering and death. The Holy Spirit is also a creature.

  • Man is a living contradiction, thus liberating the spirit from the body is a righteous end to life. Both marriage and procreation are abhorred and believers discouraged from marrying and having children, because this world is a punishment, and freedom from this world returns humanity to his divine nature.

  • There are two classes: perfect and hearer. The perfect, possessing all knowledge essential to achieve divinity, were bound by every "moral law", whereas the hearer could pick and choose until ready to undergo initiation, at which time they must either bind themselves to the moral law or die. (Death bead initiations among Albigensian "believers", the Manichæan "hearer" equivalent, very common, as was suicide by starvation or assisted with poison.)
A casual observer can easily see how these ancient, erroneous principles have taken root today. Environmentalism, the New Age, secular humanism and various other contemporary philosophies share in the idealism behind these same principles. The specifics may be different, but the foundation is the same.

So is the remedy.

CLICK HERE to pray a rosary with people from all around the world.


Our Lady of the Rosary, Pray for us.
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