Friday, December 2, 2011

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Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Grace to Listen to the Lord's Words

Advent is the time of the promise, not yet the fulfillment. We are still standing in the middle of the whole thing, in the logical relentlessness and inevitability of destiny. To captive eyes, it still appears that the ultimate throw of the dice indeed will be cast here below in these valleys, on these battlefields, in these camps, and prisons, and cellars. Once keeping vigil, though, senses the other powers at work and can await their hour.

The sounds of devastation and destruction, the cries of self-importance and arrogance, the weeping of despair and powerlessness still fill the world. Yet, standing silently, all along the horizon are the eternal realities with their age-old longing. The first gentle light of the glorious abundance to come is already shining above them. From out there, the first sounds are ringing out like shepherds' flutes and a boys' choir singing. They do not yet form a song or melody--it is all still too far off and only the first announcement and intimation. Still, it is happening. This is today. And tomorrow the angels will relate loudly and jubilantly what has happened, and we will know it and will be blesssed if we have believed and trusted in Advent.
I originally found this excerpt in today's Meditation of the Day from Magnificat, Vol 13. No. 10. The author's name was Father Alfred Delp, S.J., a German Jesuit priest executed February 2, 1945 by the Nazis after suffering torture and imprisonment for fearlessly speaking out against their regime. I felt compelled to find out more about him, and discovered that this excerpt is from Advent of the Heart, a book of Fr. Delp's Advent sermons along with meditations that he wrote while he was imprisoned by the Nazis.

What a magnificent find. I recommend it highly. CLICK HERE to get a copy for yourself.



Monday, October 17, 2011

A God of Order

In the first Chapter of Genesis, we read that God created, and created in order. Our God is a God of order; we, created in His image, must therefore be a people of order.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Pray For America

This was in my inbox this morning:
The way to cut short all the evils we suffer is to pray. (The Forge, 76)

Remember that prayer does not consist in making pretty speeches, or high‑sounding or consoling phrases. Prayer, at times, will be a glance at a picture of Our Lord or of his Mother; sometimes a petition, expressed in words; or offering good works, and the fruits of faithfulness. We have to be like a guard on sentry duty at the gate of God Our Lord: that's what prayer is. Or like a small dog that lies down at his master's feet. Do not mind telling him: Lord, here I am, like a faithful dog; or better still like a little donkey, which will not kick the one who loves him. (The Forge, 73)

Your prayer cannot stop at mere words. It has to lead to deeds and practical consequences. (The Forge, 75)

Heroism, sanctity, daring, require a constant spiritual preparation. You can only ever give to others what you already have. And in order to give God to them you yourself need to get to know him, to live his Life, to serve him. (The Forge, 78)

Source: www.opusdei.us

Join us in prayer for America
Saturday, October 15, 2011
CLICK HERE for more information

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Take 33 Minutes Out Of Your Day And Watch This.

"HE ALONE WHO OWNS THE YOUTH OWNS THE FUTURE." 


This film is why we need to pray for this country. 
JOIN US ON OCT 15.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Secular View of Work

Yesterday a group here at my workplace (including upper management--we don't mess around) got together for what we call our monthly devotional meeting.

We discussed the secular view of work and work's place in life:

The ultimate purpose of work is to fulfill yourself.  Success in life means success in work. Image counts more than substance. Do whatever it takes to get the job done. Success is measured by material wealth, professional recognition and positional status. Work is self-directed, defines the worker and is assigned whatever purpose or meaning to the worker's life by the worker. You set both the goals and the rules, and there is no authority or value system higher than yourself to which you will ultimately submit.

And we wonder why the world is going to hell in a fast car?  The secular view of life is ultimately self-defeating and makes work a form of idolatry. (thanks to Marketplace Solutions for inspiring this reflection.)

Take a hard look at the world today, governed by this secular view of work and it's place in life. Is it any wonder that our nation continues to suffer from so many social and economic ills?

When God is left out of the solution, the problems only get worse, because we were created by God, for God and His purpose, which is to love and serve HIM in this world, so we can be with Him in the next.


Pray for America.

Pray for a return to the true freedom from the chains of this world.


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Pro life meeting

Tomorrow night at 7pm Men and Women United for Life will be having a meeting open to the public at St Charles Catholic Church in Boardman, Ohio. The meeting will feature speakers and light refreshments!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Lies.

From the Gonzaga Bulletin article titled Homosexuality & Catholicism: Misconceptions addressed by students and University Ministry by Joseph Suttner:
"First and foremost, [the Church] doesn't say anything in particular about homosexuality, per se. It does say that we are created in God's image, male and female created in God's image," Hightower said.

Hightower said the only document the American Catholic Church has to guide it on the topic of homosexuals within the Church is a document from the United States Bishops' Conference called "Always Our Children."

"They're not meaning to be experts on sexuality, they're not meaning to be experts on orientation, but they are providing pastoral ministry to parents and students at a very difficult time in someone's life as they come to terms and come to the freedom of their orientation," Hightower said.

Thanks to RealCatholicTV.com for initially getting this article out there.

*SIGH.* WHERE TO BEGIN?

1. The Church actually says quite alot "in particular about homosexuality, per se". She says it here, here, here, here, and in so many other documents that I can't link them all.

2. The "American Catholic Church" is not an entity. There is ONE Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

3. The document referenced was produced by a committee, not by the Bishops' Conference directly, and neglected to obtain any input from the majority of our Bishops. (Read this article by Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz--again, thanks to RealCatholicTV for initially making it available.)

4. The Church's intent is singular: to provide for us the very means to our salvation, as Jesus Christ designed her to be. Thus Hightower's statement regarding the Church's "expertise" is laughable.

5. Homosexuality is, and has always been, considered DISORDERED, and therefore an obstacle to the grace of God and to our salvation which flows from His grace. Therefore, any member of the clergy either implying or outright stating otherwise is participating in the obstruction of God's saving grace and really needs to rethink his vocation.

Pray for our priests. Pray for Mother Church.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Fr. Frank Pavone Recalled To Amarillo

STATEN ISLAND, NY – Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, has issued the following statement:


“For the past several years, my Ordinary, the Most Reverend Patrick Zurek, Bishop of Amarillo, has given me permission to do the full-time pro-life work that I have done since 1993. In 2005, I made a public promise in a Church ceremony in Amarillo, presided over by a Vatican Cardinal, that this full-time pro-life work would be a lifetime commitment. That’s a commitment I promise to fulfill without wavering.

“This past week, however, I received a letter from the Bishop insisting that I report to the Diocese this Tuesday, September 13 and, for the time being, remain only there. 

Read Fr. Pavone's entire statement HERE.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Happy Birthday Queen of Heaven!

Today I give you a rosary, and the launch of my latest endeavor, Captaining a Rosary Rally. Stay Tuned...

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Saying It Doesn't Make It So

Actions speak louder than words. Cliche? sure, but still true. Take the following excerpt from CNS' Aug 31 news briefs:
The office of Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis includes images of Our Lady of Guadalupe, a glass crucifix and a sculpture of Mary and Jesus. Her Catholic faith, she said, "is a part of my life. My faith is what motivates me." The lessons her faith teaches about hope, about helping others, about seeking higher things is something woven into the fabric of her daily life, she said. "I do it in a quiet way," she said.
Thanks to RealCatholicTV and California Catholic Daily for bringing this buried item to the surface..and I do mean "buried". Though this brief appears dead-last on the page linked above, it's still problematic that CNS would print it at all. Why? Let's have a look at Ms. Solis' "quiet way" of being motivated by her faith:
  • She quietly acquired her 100% pro-choice rating from NARAL.
  • She quietly voted for national and international spending on providing contraception and abortion. 
  • She quietly voted against criminalizing harm to a wanted unborn child. 
  • She quietly voted against banning the atrocity of partial birth abortion. 
  • She quietly voted against preventing underage mothers from crossing state lines and obtaining abortions. 
  • She quietly voted for the use of human beings as science experiments such as human cloning and embryonic stem cell research.
(Click here for the details on Ms. Solis' voting record.)

Is CNS really serious about letting this woman get away with saying that her faith has shaped her? Solis can wallpaper her office with religious images and surround herself with dozens of crucifixes.  She can wax poetic about her parents' faith until the end of time. Material compliance with evil is as bad as the evil itself.

CNS, you may want to stop bragging on politicians such as Solis.They give Catholics a bad name.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

"The Question of Sex Education"

Lucetta Scaraffia provides answers in her editorial titled "Not Just Any Matter":
[F]or increasingly dysfunctional families it’s very difficult to teach a sexual morality that is not testified to by the parents and or the environment in which children live. So, it seems easier to renounce any kind of moral teaching and leave the problem to schools, which substitute moral education with technical information. If the results are disastrous, you pretend not to know it: it is much easier to ignore the problem, pretend to resolve it with useless, and even harmful, school courses, rather than address the issue which underlies it… that is, the resounding failed utopia of the sexual revolution and subsequent breakdown of the first institution of moral education, the family.
Well said, Lucetta.

CLICK HERE to read the entire editorial.

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Way

The Sound of Babies Crying

Nighttime Scares: Working at the Abortion Clinic After Dark
by Abby Johnson
When I was at Planned Parenthood, I used to work a lot…I mean, a lot. Sometimes, I would work as many as 80 hours in one week. In order to do that, I would have to go in at night. Lots of buildings are eerie at night…none are creepier than an abortion clinic.

I remember going into the clinic by myself for the first time in the morning. I used to go in with a group of employees. But I had gotten there before anyone else, so I went ahead and decided to make my way in. One of the guys that worked there had there had made a joke about being in the clinic alone. He said that when you there alone, you could hear babies crying. I always thought that was a weird joke…but we made lots of weird jokes there. I knew it certainly wasn’t true. Even still, this first day I went in alone, I was a little nervous about it.

I walked in and heard the heavy door slam behind me. It echoed as it closed. The clinic had high ceilings and every noise echoed like you were in a cave. It was silent…no creaks, no water dripping, nothing…totally silent. So silent in fact, I could almost hear something…and I’m telling you, it almost sounded like babies crying. I know that sounds crazy and I totally disregarded it at the time. I ran up to the front of the clinic, away from the freezer where the babies were kept until the medical waste came to pick them up. I didn’t want to be next to that freezer. Did I really hear that? Surely it was just my imagination.

Read the rest of the story by clicking HERE.

...and continue to pray for an end to the violence of abortion.

BELIEVE IN THE POWER OF PRAYER.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Another Planned Parenthood Convert

Planned Parenthood Closes ... Former Manager Speaks Out
Dallas, Texas – On August 23, 2011, Planned Parenthood in Sherman closed its doors. Four months earlier, former manager Ramona Trevino resigned her post at Planned Parenthood and is now speaking out about her pro-life conversion and resulting exodus from the organization responsible for the most abortions in the United States. Trevino explains that although this particular Planned Parenthood did not perform surgical abortions, she was struggling "with [her] conscience . . . on contraception, abortion and [her] role in it all."

See the rest of the press release here.

Let's all pray that more Planned Parenthood employees see that organization for what it is and follow in the footsteps of courageous women like Ramona Trevino and Abby Johnson.

LIFE FROM CONCEPTION TO NATURAL DEATH.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Planned Parenthood's Weak Link?

Listen to this compelling interview with Abby Johnson, former Planned Parenthood director and author of Unplanned: The Dramatic True Story of a Former Planned Parenthood Leader's Eye-Opening Journey Across the Life Line.




(If you haven't read her book, stop what you're doing right now, click here to buy it and read it immediately.)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Secular Media Not Trustworthy on Religion

Archbishop: New York Times, Newsweek, CNN, MSNBC Not ‘Trustworthy’ on Religion
By Michael W. Chapman
(CNSNews.com) – The news outlets CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times, and MSNBC do not “provide trustworthy information about religious faith,” said Philadelphia’s incoming Archbishop, Charles Chaput, at the Catholic World Youth Day ongoing this week in Madrid, Spain.

Chaput, the former Archbishop of Denver, made his remarks in an address on religious freedom to a group of more than 10,000 young pilgrims in Madrid on Wednesday. As initially reported in First Things, Chaput told the audience that, “In the United States, our battles over abortion, family life, same-sex ‘marriage,’ and other sensitive issues have led to ferocious public smears and legal threats not only against Catholics, but also against Mormons, evangelicals, and other religious believers.”

“And with relatively few exceptions,” he said, “the mass media tend to cover these disputed issues with a combination of ignorance, laziness, and bias against traditional Christian belief.”

The Archbishop continued: “We make a very serious mistake if we rely on media like the New York Times, Newsweek, CNN, or MSNBC for reliable news about religion. These news media simply don’t provide trustworthy information about religious faith -- and sometimes they can’t provide it, either because of limited resources or because of their own editorial prejudices.”

“These are secular operations focused on making a profit,” he said. “They have very little sympathy for the Catholic faith, and quite a lot of aggressive skepticism toward any religious community that claims to preach and teach God’s truth.”

Archbishop Chaput noted that the media gave a lot of coverage to the so-called “Arab Spring,” involving civil unrest in Egypt and other Middle Eastern countries. “But very little of that coverage has mentioned that the turmoil in Muslim countries has also created a very dangerous situation for Christians and other religious minorities across North Africa and the Middle East,” he said. “In Egypt, angry mobs have attacked Christian churches and monasteries, burning them to the ground and murdering the people inside.”

In addition, he said there has been widespread anti-Christian violence in Iraq, Syria, and Tunisia, but little news coverage of this in the U.S. media, adding that it is illegal to wear a crucifix or own a Bible in Saudi Arabia. Furthermore, said the Archbishop, in Pakistan, “Christians face frequent discrimination, slander, beatings and even murder.”

Archbishop Chaput also warned that it is dangerous for democracy to force religion out of the public square.

“Forcing religious faith out of a nation’s public square and out of a country’s public debates does not serve democracy,” said the Archbishop. “It doesn’t serve real tolerance or pluralism. What it does do is impose a kind of unofficial state atheism. To put it another way, if we ban Christian Churches or other religious communities from taking an active role in our nation’s civic life, we’re really just enforcing a new kind of state-sponsored intolerance -- a religion without God.”

Archbishop Chaput was named by Pope Benedict XVI to head the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, starting on Sept. 8, 2011.

Consecration

Please pray with Michael (Click Here for the prayer, or simply follow along with the screen).


Most sweet heart of Mary, be my salvation. Most sweet heart of Mary, be my salvation. Most sweet heart of Mary, be my salvation.

Our Story Finally Told


CLICK HERE and reserve yours today.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Courage In Faith

Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you and revile you, and cast out your name as evil, on account of the Son of man! Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven. Luke 6:22-23


(posted at www.CatholicVote.org)

Communion In The Hand



This program is from RealCatholicTV.com

Thursday, August 18, 2011

World Youth Day like 'pure and youthful breeze'

From CatholicCulture.org:
Pope Benedict XVI arrived in Madrid on August 18 to join in the World Youth Day (WYD) observances there, and immediately sent a message to the young participants: “Let nothing and no one take away your peace. Do not be ashamed of the Lord.”

The spirit of WYD is “like a pure and youthful breeze, with refreshing scents,” the Pope said on his arrival. The contact with so many spirited and dedicated young Catholics, he said, brings “confidence in the future of the Church and the world.”

Pope Benedict arrived in Madrid after a short morning flight from Rome. He was greeted at the airport by the apostolic nuncio in Spain, Archbishop Renzo Fratini, and by King Juan Carlos, who remarked that young Spaniards had been waiting for the Pontiff “with open arms.”

In his address at the airport ceremony, the Pope began by thanking King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia for their greeting, then going on to thank all those who had helped to plan the WYD festivities and to host the hundreds of thousands of visitors who have swarmed to Madrid.

These young people, the Pope said, have come to WYD to deepen their faith and learn how to communicate that faith to others. “Many of them,” he said, “have heard the voice of God, perhaps only as a little whisper, which has led them to search for him more diligently and to share with others the experience of the force which he has in their lives.”

The WYD participants, the Pope continued, recognize the challenge that they face in society, including a “prevailing superficiality, consumerism and hedonism, the widespread banalization of sexuality, the lack of solidarity, the corruption.” They are concerned about their societies’ economic future, the threats to world peace, the degradation of the environment. Among their contemporaries they can see the heavy toll taken by alienation, depression, and drug abuse.

There are some young people at WYD, the Pope continued, “who because of their faith in Christ, suffer discrimination which leads to contempt and persecution, open or hidden, which they endure in various regions and countries.” The Pope emphasized that today’s young Catholics are not seeking to impose their views on others by force, but insist on just treatment for their own views. Particularly in secularized societies, he said, they are “living together with other legitimate choices in a spirit of respect while at the same time demanding due respect for one’s own choices.”

At WYD, the Pope said, these young people “have a special opportunity to gather together their aspirations, to share the richness of their cultures and experiences, motivate each other along a journey of faith and life, in which some think they are alone or ignored in their daily existence.” Moreover, he said, they will realize that they are not alone—that many thousands of other young Catholics, who were not able to attend the festivities in Madrid—share their faith and their aspirations.

Teresa of Avila: hated in her own time.



The more powerful the evangelist, the more they are attacked, ridiculed, fought, derided and hated in their own day.

"Brother will deliver up brother to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death; and you will be hated by all for my name's sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved." Mt 10:21-22

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Shrines

I love 'em, and I love a Priest who loves 'em, too. Father Bill decided to build a shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe near the main entrance of the Church. When Our Lady is welcomed into the Church--especially by the Pastor--she blesses that Church abundantly, and so does her Son.

Just before the closing of Mass this morning, Fr. Bill introduced the shrine, and thanked the group celebrating a reunion for donating their beautiful roses to decorate the new shrine. He said, "Even when there isn't anything particularly mysterious that causes things to happen, we can still see things as signs. Of course the flowers came from the class of 1966. Nothing mysterious or magical there. Even so, I can't help but be amazed at how Our Lady still manages to make roses appear."

Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Contact Your Congressmen!

PROBLEM: The US Department of Health and Human Services is now dictating that insurance companies that they must cover birth control and sterilization. Yep, on August 1 of next year our insurance companies will by law be another accomplice to sin. (CLICK HERE to read one of my previous posts on this same subject.)

What do we do to stop it? Each of us has two choices.

1. We can do nothing and be part of the problem.

2. We can do something, like write our congressmen, and fight evil.
CLICK HERE to find your representative.

CLICK HERE to find your State's senators.

Here is a sample letter for your convenience.
Dear Rep./Senator __________,

The 2010 comprehensive health care reform law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), poses new risks to religious freedom and rights of conscience. Most recently, the US Department of Health and Human Services has accepted the recommendations of the Institute of Medicine (that contraception and sterilization should be covered under PPACA) and is now requiring that by August 1, 2012 these services must be made available through insurance companies without a co-pay.

I do not support this measure, as it is in direct violation of my right to medical coverage that does not violate my religious beliefs or my conscience.

I therefore urge you to support The Respect for Rights of Conscience Act (H.R. 1179). I believe this will correct this problem by ensuring that those who participate in the health care system retain the right to provide, purchase, or enroll in health coverage that is consistent with their religious beliefs and moral convictions, and will ensure that PPACA does not create new pressures to exclude these participants from PPACA’s plans or programs.

Sincerely,

(your name here)

Please take the next ten minutes and do this little something. Even one simple letter can make a difference.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Wisdom of Merton

A Meditation:
Why should I want to be rich, when You were poor? Why should I desire to be famous and powerful? Why should I cherish in my heart a hope that devours me—the hope for perfect happiness in this life—when such hope, doomed to frustration, is nothing but despair?   My hope is in what the eye has never seen. Therefore, let me not trust in visible rewards. My hope is in what the heart cannot feel. Therefore let me not trust in the feelings of my heart. My hope is in what the hand has never touched. Do not let me trust what I can grasp between my fingers. Death will loosen my grasp and my vain hope will be gone.
A Lesson:
We must devote ourselves with generosity and integrity to the real values: there is no time for falsity and compromise. But on the other hand we do not have to be greatly successful or even well known. It is enough for our integrity to be known to God. What we do that is pure in His sight will avail for the liberty, the enlightenment, and the salvation of His children everywhere.
Merton, Thomas; Kathleen Deignan; John Giuliani (2007-03-01). A Book of Hours (pp. 169-171). Sorin Books. Kindle Edition.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Priest Threatened and Subsequently Beaten

Still think the Church isn't in crisis around the world?

Priest attacked, guilty of celebrating the Latin Mass

"You have been tough, but we will smash your head. Signed, Your friend Satan". That was one of several threatening messages sent to Father Hernán García Pardo, parish priest of San Michele, in Ronta [Mugello region of the Province of Florence, Tuscany]. His fault [was] that of celebrating the Latin Mass, liberalized by Benedict XVI in September 2007.

San Michele, Ronta
The warnings, which had been recurrent for some time, had not made the priest, who despite everything has continued to say Mass according to the ancient rite, give up. The last chapter [took place] last Wednesday, when he was beaten up by a 'faithful' in the town's rectory in the presence of his aged mother. The beating led to bruising on his back; having been sent to the emergency room of Borgo San Lorenzo, he was medicated.

The news item was published today in the Giornale della Toscana; the accusations made against Father Hernán are those of scattering the flock; above all, he is not forgiven for distributing communion in the mouth [to the] kneeling [faithful], instead of on the hand, in the same manner as Benedict XVI. For others, the Italian-Argentine priest has only brought back some sacred austerity to the parish, excluding guitars from the functions and bringing back to within the walls of the church the ancient Gregorian chant.

Source: Rorate Caeli. Thanks to Catholic News Roundup at RealCatholicTV.com for providing this link to its viewers.

Now I've Heard it All

Get a load of this statement:
“The reason I perform abortions is because I’m a Christian...Personally, I believe in the strength, intellect and fortitude of women. When a woman says a fetus is a person, I think it is one. I believe the woman empowers the fetus.” (Dr. Richard Grossman, from Doc at Catholic hospital: ‘I perform abortions because I’m a Christian’ by Patrick B. Craine. Click here to read the entire article at LifeSiteNews.com.)

I didn't realize that being "A Christian" meant "believing in the fortitude of women." I thought it meant believing in and obeying Jesus Christ and the Church he founded.

And the way of death is this: First of all it is evil and accursed: murders, adultery, lust, fornication, thefts, idolatries, magic arts, witchcrafts, rape, false witness, hypocrisy, double-heartedness, deceit, haughtiness, depravity, self-will, greediness, filthy talking, jealousy, over-confidence, loftiness, boastfulness; persecutors of the good, hating truth, loving a lie, not knowing a reward for righteousness, not cleaving to good nor to righteous judgment, watching not for that which is good, but for that which is evil; from whom meekness and endurance are far, loving vanities, persuing revenge, not pitying a poor man, not laboring for the afflicted, not knowing Him Who made them, murderers of children, destroyers of the handiwork of God, turning away from him who is in want, afflicting him who is distressed, advocates of the rich, lawless judges of the poor, utter sinners. Be delivered, children, from all these.
(From The Didache, The Lord's Teaching Through the Twelve Apostles to the Nations, Chapter 5: The Way of Death)

Buenos Aires Eucharistic Miracle

"I make miracles for the blind and deaf;
but I would love not to make any miracles
and you would believe because of Faith."


Said by Our Lord Jesus Christ
(source unknown) 
 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Murderous "Ground E" Rule

"E" is for Eugenics, the diabolical philosophy that inspired both Planned Parenthood and the Third Reich.

UK eugenic abortion stats released – thousands killed for Downs, cleft lip, club foot, etc.
by Hilary White, Rome Correspondent

LONDON, July 21, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – After a five-year legal battle, a pro-life group in the United Kingdom has succeeded in obtaining detailed statistics about eugenic abortions from the UK’s Department of Health (DoH).
26 unborn babies in the last nine years have been killed for having cleft lip or palate.

The statistics reveal that thousands of babies have been killed for eugenic reasons, some of them (26 in the last nine years) for as minor a condition as cleft lip or palate, seven of them in 2010. These abortions were conducted under “Ground E,” the rule that allows any child at any gestational age to be killed whom doctors believe have a “substantial risk” of having a “serious” disability.

The UK’s Department of Health has refused since 2003 to reveal details about the eugenic abortions that are being committed in the country, arguing that the women involved could possibly be identified. However, the campaign group ProLife Alliance went to court in 2005 demanding that the figures be released. The High Court ruled against the department in April this year, but the figures were only released earlier this month.

In total, nearly 18,000 babies were aborted between 2002 and 2010 on the grounds of suspected disability. 1,189 were killed after the upper legal gestational age limit of 24 weeks. The figures show that these include 482 killed for Down’s syndrome in 2010 alone. In the same year, 181 abortions were attributed to musculoskeletal problems such as club foot, while 189 unborn children killed for anencephaly and 128 for spina bifida.

“The Pro-life Alliance is opposed to all abortion at any stage in pregnancy, but terminating the lives of babies at gestational ages when they could survive is always particularly horrifying,” said a spokesman for ProLife Alliance, Julia Millington.

“We have always argued that if these abortions are permitted under law, there should be no attempt whatsoever to hide details of the numbers or justifications.”

Click here to read the entire article.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Pregnancy Not a Disease, Fertility Not a Pathological Condition

Still, the Institute of Medicine is treating them as such. The ramifications of this, if the federal government follows their recommendation, will mean that you, simply by paying for your insurance, will be an abortion provider by default.

From CatholicCulture.org's latest news:
Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston has denounced the Institute of Medicine’s recommendation that the federal government require all private insurers to provide coverage for birth control and sterilization, without any co-payments on the part of the insured.

“I strongly oppose the Institute of Medicine's recommendation today that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate coverage of three particular practices in almost all private health plans: surgical sterilization; all FDA-approved birth control (including the IUD, ‘morning-after’ pills, and the abortion-inducing drug Ella); and ‘education and counseling’ promoting these among all ‘women of reproductive capacity,’” said the chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

“Pregnancy is not a disease, and fertility is not a pathological condition to be suppressed by any means technically possible,” the cardinal added. “The IOM report claims it would have good reason to recommend mandatory coverage for surgical abortions as well, if such a mandate were not prevented by law. But most Americans surely see that abortion is not healthy or therapeutic for unborn children, and has physical and mental health risks for women which can be extremely serious.”
Click here to read the rest of the press release. I don't know about anyone else, but I think this calls for some action...stay tuned.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Aborted Babies and Food Production--Hiding the Truth from Consumers!

Yes, you read that headline right. (I hope you've already read about this before in my post titled Senomyx: A Brand New Reason to Go Organic) Now Senomyx, a San Diego-based biomedical firm, is not just using the cells of aborted babies to develop flavor products that are found in processed foods, but is now hiding exactly who is using their Soylent Green.
Flavor company that uses embryo cells hides partner company names
by Kathleen Gilbert

LifeSiteNews.com) – A biomedical firm that uses fetal cell lines in flavor technology has removed from its website the names of organizations that use their products, according to the pro-life group Children of God for Life (COGFL).

Senomyx has been called out by the organization for using HEK-293 (human embryonic kidney) cells in the research and development of their artificial flavor enhancers, despite a pro-life consumer backlash.

Among Senomyx’s partnering companies is PepsiCo, which has been targeted for boycott based on its use of the flavor technology. In a recent response to customer letters, PepsiCo noted, “With respect to the flavor discovery research with Senomyx, we utilize techniques that have been the gold standard for several decades.”

COGFL responded, however, that the statement only further inflamed the public’s moral concerns.

“If this ‘gold standard’ is no big deal, then why are they trying so hard to hide the truth?” asked COGFL Executive Director, Debi Vinnedge. “PepsiCo and Senomyx have done everything in their power to trivialize what they are doing, when in fact what they are doing is only further damaging their public image.”

Click here to read the entire article.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Glorious Mysteries for Freedom from Addiction: The 5th Mystery

5th Glorious Mystery: The Coronation of Mary

A reading from the book of Revelation.
And a great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; she was with child and she cried out in her pangs of birth, in anguish for delivery.

And another portent appeared in heaven; behold, a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems upon his heads. His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven, and cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to bear a child, that he might devour her child when she brought it forth; she brought forth a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne. Rv 12:1-5
We, the creation in God’s image, are the stars that twinkle in the sky; and the dragon destroys us with a swat of its tail. We are so attached to this world—to our things, our drugs, our sensations, our desires—and the more we get, the more we want. How can we hope rise with You to the throne of the Most High when the objects of our additions hold us in chains? It’s our queen, your mother, wearing the crown of total freedom from the chains of this world. She teaches us how to be free from the addictions that will destroy us—by never taking her eyes off of you.

Please pray an Our Father, 10 Hail Mary’s, a Gloria and the Fatima Prayer.


To start this rosary at the beginning, click here.

Pray for the Church in China

Eugenics returns to Germany

controversial ‘pre-implantation’ genetic testing approved
by Rebecca Millette

BERLIN, Germany, July 11, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A controversial form of “pre-implantation” embryonic testing for genetic disorders was approved by German parliament last Thursday. Members of Parliament voted 326-260 in favor of the bill, with eight MPs abstaining.

Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) extracts up to two cells from a human embryo obtained through in vitro fertilization for testing for severe genetic disorders that could result in stillbirth or miscarriage. Such testing is a highly sensitive subject in Germany, where the memory of the atrocities committed in the name of eugenics under the Nazis remains fresh in the national consciousness.

The testing will only be permitted in cases where one or both of the parents have a history of serious genetic illness, and only after their case has been approved by an ethics panel. The testing is expected to be used in up to a few hundred cases yearly, according to AFP.

The German parliament took up the debate after a federal court ruled last year in favor of the testing. Many MPs expressed concern that the procedure would be used to obtain “designer babies.”

“Parents should not have to apologize if they do not have a so-called perfect baby,” said Deputy Wolfgang Zoeller of the conservative Christian Social Union.

Roman Catholic Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, the chairman of the Episcopal Conference, called the law “a violation of the principle of respecting human dignity.”

Wolfgang Thierse, of the opposition Social Democrats, also said the screening would “violate a person’s right to life.”

IVF critics point out that while the procedure produces its “miracle babies,” it is only through a process that results in the death of many human embryos.

Additionally, there are many concerns about the long-term health complications for IVF babies. Studies in the UK in recent years revealed that children conceived through IVF suffer from nearly twice as many health problems as those conceived naturally. Evidence also exists that IVF is more likely to cause birth defects and genetic abnormalities.

(Source: LifeSiteNews.com)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Glorious Mysteries for Freedom from Addiction: The 4th Mystery

4th Glorious Mystery: The Assumption
“Hail, [Mary], full of grace, the Lord is with you!”
"Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!" Lk 1:28, 42

Arise, O LORD, and go to thy resting place, thou and the ark of thy might. Let thy priests be clothed with righteousness, and let thy saints shout for joy. For thy servant David's sake do not turn away the face of thy anointed one. Ps 132:8-10

For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the archangel's call, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first; then we who are alive, who are left, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so we shall always be with the Lord. 1 Th 4:16-17
A just reward for the greatest one among us. Even the angels sing her praises, for they know her perfection, and her worthiness of the greatest honor bestowed upon her by You, Lord Jesus, her most Holy Son. As our bodies and minds reel with pain in this process of letting go of our addictions, we look to her: your pure, sinless mother, and we begin to believe that the resurrection of the body is possible even for us. Now hope glimmers within us as suffer the pains of withdrawl.

Please pray an Our Father, 10 Hail Mary’s, a Gloria and the Fatima Prayer.


Click here for the 5th Glorious Mystery.
To start this rosary at the beginning, click here.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Gov. Quinn cuts foster-care contracts with Catholic Charities

Question: When a Catholic refuses to uphold Catholic teaching regardless the situation, should that person continue to call himself/herself a Catholic? To quote my friend Judi, "I can't know what's in a person's heart, but I can sure see his actions." Illinois Governor Pat Quinn is certainly acting like a hypocrite by publically going against an organization built by his own Church. CLICK HERE for the full story.

My favorite quote from the article is by Chicago Rep. Greg Harris:
“They’re totally within their rights to determine who can or cannot be married under their church law or who can be married by a priest or rabbi or in their facilities, but this is different...But here, they’re coming to the state to get contracts to provide government services on behalf of the state. They can’t pick and choose which Illinoisans they think are worthy of those services. (emphasis mine)"

Can you also see the flaw in his argument here?

I thought it was the children who were receiving services, Rep. Harris, not homosexual couples. Since it's your government deciding to cancel the contracts, wouldn't it, therefore, be your government determining who is worthy of the services Catholic Charities provides in your state?

Does the word "SCAPEGOATING" mean anything to you, Mr. Harris?

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Glorious Mysteries for Freedom from Addiction: The 3rd Mystery

3rd Glorious Mystery: The Descent of the Holy Spirit

A Reading from the Acts of the Apostles.
And suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

And Peter said to them: "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children and to all that are far off, every one whom the Lord our God calls to him." And he testified with many other words and exhorted them, saying, "Save yourselves from this crooked generation." So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls. Acts 2:2-5, 38-41

As the Spirit descends upon us, so many things about ourselves become clear—how easily we rationalize and lie, not just to others, but to ourselves; the depth of our denial, and our need for repentance. Now more than ever we depend on Your Spirit to guide us from the pitfalls of denial and rationalization; to give us the strength to break the habit of self-deception that keeps us from hearing your call upon our hearts.

Please pray an Our Father, 10 Hail Mary’s, a Gloria and the Fatima Prayer.


Click here for the 4th Glorious Mystery.
To start this rosary at the beginning, click here.

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Glorious Mysteries for Freedom from Addiction: The 2nd Mystery

2nd Glorious Mystery: The Ascension

A Reading from the Acts of the Apostles.
So when they had come together, they asked [Jesus], "Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?"

He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Sama'ria and to the end of the earth."

And when he had said this, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven." Acts 1:6-11
We stand here exposed, stripped of our addictions, unable to tear our eyes from you as you return to heaven. If we look away from You will we fall back into the pit? Our willpower wavers, uncertainty creeps into our minds, despair breathes down our necks; still we wait. We trust in You. We trust in You, Jesus, in your promise to send the Holy Spirit to come upon us and lead us away from the edge of the cliff.

Please pray an Our Father, 10 Hail Mary’s, a Gloria and the Fatima Prayer.


Click here for the 3rd Glorious Mystery.
To start this rosary at the beginning, click here.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Glorious Mysteries for Freedom from Addiction: The 1st Mystery

1st Glorious Mystery: The Resurrection

A reading from the Gospel according to Luke.
[O]n the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices which they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body.

While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel; and as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, "Why do you seek the living among the dead? Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and on the third day rise."

And they remembered his words, and returning from the tomb they told all this to the eleven and to all the rest. Lk 24:1-9

Through Your resurrection, Jesus, you teach us that life itself transcends the confines of even the tomb.Through Your resurrection, You conquered death. You alone have the power to roll away the stone of addiction that entombs us.

Now, as Your light pours in we feel Your warmth like never before, and can see clearly the path before us. We now want to live, and You are the only source of life. Only now do we begin to understand ourselves--that our desires and addictions will never satisfy us, because our true desire, the desire that burns in the soul, can only be satisfied by You.

Please pray an Our Father, 10 Hail Mary’s, a Gloria and the Fatima Prayer.



Click here for the 2nd Glorious Mystery.
To start this Rosary at the beginning, click here.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Glorious Mysteries for Freedom from Addiction

Just as Jesus carried the cross to His death for our salvation, we, in imitation of Him, carry the guilt of addiction for addicts, because in their illness they cannot carry it themselves.

Introductory Meditation

A reading from the Gospel according to John.
Mary Magdalene stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet.

They said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping?" She said to them, "Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him."

Saying this, she turned round and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom do you seek?"

Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away." Jn 20:11-15

Sometimes everything appears hopeless. Sometimes we lose our ability to see truth, to see reality—to see anything. Before we know it, we become distorted by the conventions of a world that no longer recognizes You; we can’t see Your hand reaching out to us from inside our darkness. We forget that it was You who spoke light into being, and You who breathed life into all mankind.

Open our eyes to Your light; illuminate our minds and our hearts with Your truth, and breathe life into us once again; give us both the knowledge and the courage to break the cycle of addiction that prevents us from living a life of freedom and peace.

Please pray an Apostle's Creed, an Our Father, three Hail Marys and a Glory Be.



Click here for the 1st Glorious Mystery.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Sex, Drugs, Money, Those Nasty Little Desires...They Catch Up To Everyone

If you clicked this headline looking for a story about someone's recently exposed behavior, look elsewhere (and shame on you).  In an age where we're becoming more and more immune to the drinking, drugging, cheating, stealing, philandering, backstabbing, partying, and the ever-increasing shamelessness of the general population, I think we all need a bit of a reality check.

Catholics especially need to check themselves, and stop themselves from participating in the spreading of dirt and the smearing of our brothers and sisters who are suffering and need prayer. To quote our Lord, "you who is without sin cast the first stone."

Some time ago, my husband and I were hit by a series of tragedies brought on by the horror that is addiction. Finding a book titled Addiction and Grace by the late Dr. Gerald May was a true Godsend for us, and a real eye-opener. I recommend it highly. Dr. May defined addiction as "any compulsive, habitual behavior that limits the freedom of human desire". According to Dr. May, no human being is above being addicted, everyone is addicted to something, and no one addiction or addict is any better or worse than another. Every human being struggles with compulsions, aversions, dependencies of all kinds, and every one blocks us to the grace of God.

I have a gazillion addictions, compulsions and aversions that interfere with my life of grace every minute of every day. Thank God that no one finds me important enough to smear me based on them, either, because I could very easily be portrayed as a hot mess. Mine may not be drugs or alcohol, but I have to fight them as hard as any drug addict or alcoholic must fight theirs.

Sometimes we all lose our fights, don't we?

In his book, Dr. May listed five fundamental characteristics of all forms and types of addiction:

  • Tolerance: wanting or needing more to feel satisfied.
  • Withdrawal symptoms: physical or emotional effects when addictive substance is removed.
  • Self-deception: denial and rationalization, invented to counter attempts to control the addiction.
  • Loss of willpower: an inability to conquer the addiction despite the illusion of control.
  • Distortion of attention: a preoccupation with the addiction that usurps our concern for the true priorities of life, especially God. For this reason, addiction can be viewed as idolatry.
St. Paul writes in Galatians Chapter 6: “even if a person is caught in some transgression, you who are spiritual should correct that one in a gentle spirit, looking to yourself, so that you also may not be tempted. Bear one another's burdens, and so you will fulfill the law of Christ.” (Gal 6:1-2) Just as He carried the cross to His death for our salvation, we in imitation of Him can carry the guilt of addiction for these addicts, because in their illness they cannot carry it themselves.

Over the next several days I will be posting a special Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary that I wrote for my friend who lost her son to heroin addiction. I hope you will all join me in prayer for everyone who suffers as a result of their addictions.

Friday, July 1, 2011

The Commandment is "Thou Shalt Not Steal"

...and it applies to every human being, regardless your job, social status or other station in life. Yes, it even applies to the president.

Only a few moments ago I read an Associated Press article by Stephen Ohlemacher titled Obama picks fight on taxes, big or just symbolic. Actually, I only read until this paragraph:
"If we choose to keep those tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires, if we choose to keep a tax break for corporate jet owners, if we choose to keep tax breaks for oil and natural gas companies that are making hundreds of billions of dollars," Obama said this week, "then that means we've got to cut some kids off from getting a college scholarship, that means we've got to stop funding certain grants for medical research, that means that food safety may be compromised, that means that Medicare has to bear a greater part of the burden."

Set aside the partisan political rhetoric for a moment. Reread that paragraph, particularly the statement following then.

Do you see it? It should jump off the page at you.

If not, allow me paraphrase what the President of the United States is saying here: If you don't do things the way I want them done, American citizens will have to suffer.

Extort: to obtain from a person by force, intimidation, or undue or illegal power. (www.m-w.com. Underscore mine.)


Keep something in mind: the US government is "non-productive", meaning it does not produce or sell a product in order to gain revenue; it must raise funds by either borrowing it or by levying taxes upon its citizens, directly or indirectly. Roughly 75% of the $4.5 trillion in revenue raised by the federal government of the United States is through taxes.

$4.5 trillion. Let that number sink in. $4,500,000,000,000. That's a lot of zeroes, eh?

Let this number sink in as well: $3.75 trillion. That's how much the federal government collects in taxes. That's right, $3.75 TRILLION. If this amount were divided equally among the citizens of the US, we're talking roughly $12,000 per citizen, per year. Of course this is not how it really works, as many Americans pay far more than this; but the general principals I'm illustrating here would still apply, so just humor me for the sake of the exercise.

Think about what you could do with $12,000 per year. Catch up on your mortgage payment? Pay for your child's college tuition? Pay off a loan?

Donate it to charity? Feed the hungry, maybe?

Now think about this: this president just threatened to basically extort his nation's citizens, those same citizens that hand over their homes, their children's futures, their good credit, and so many other things that they're forced to sacrifice, because the federal government can't seem to make it on $4.5 TRILLION.

I urge everyone to take a look at these two websites:
Federal State Local Government Revenue
USA Spending

It will give you some perspective as to how the government obtains money and how that money is being used.

I also urge everyone this Independence Day weekend to pray for our president, for our elected officials, and for our country. Pray hard. They-we-all need it very, very badly.

A Bishop Speaks

“Can there be any doubt that Almighty God will, in His own time and way, pass judgment upon our state, its leaders and citizens, for abandoning His commands and embracing public immorality?” --Bishop Thomas Tobin

There's nothing more to add.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Babies!

Lots of love going out to Robin Marie, who only a few weeks ago gave birth to twins.

Michael Josef and Maria Isabel, born June 6, 2011.  
Aren't they just beautiful?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Political Responsibility

Can't say it better than Fr. Frank Pavone.

I'll give it to the parish priest, he at least mentioned the feast of Corpus Christi yesterday.

He gave it back when he tried to legitimize Sr. Gimme U. Money's prattling on about missions instead of giving a homily.

"In the spirit of knowing that we are the body of Christ," he droned, "we warmly welcome Sister by giving her our full attention."

I leaned over to my husband and whispered, "don't put one dime in that second collection basket."

"Are you kidding?" he replied, "I'm thinking about skipping the first collection as well."

During the little spiel, I discovered that it's our Diocese that plans these little mission talks. There are two every year: one on the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, the other on the Feast of Christ the King.

Needless to say, I'm devistated.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Flash Mob---Now That's Evangelization


Come and kneel before Him now.

Finally!!!

The latest whip mark to hit the back of the Church is everything surrounding Fr. John Corapi--Father's suspension and alleged resignation, the coverage surrounding it, the concerns, the opinions, the condemnations, the cheap shots.

Few could respond better than Mr. Voris:


Pray for Fr. Corapi and for those with whom he's surrounded himself; pray for his opponents, and most of all, pray for the Church as she carries her cross to her own inevitable Calvary.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Discipline

As a guitar teacher, nothing is more gratifying than seeing a student dedicated enough to practice daily in order to really learn what I'm teaching and excel at the instrument. I had one of those students a few years back, and she's done quite a lot with it. I think just a few months ago she was in a show and brought her audience to tears with her performance. There's nothing like knowing that I had a little something to do with her success. I am so happy for her as well, because she knows what I know--having the ability to make music is one of this life's greatest joys. I'm also very sad, because she is quite rare.

Many of my students (and I'm sure I'm not the only teacher with this problem) do not progress very quickly. They have a basic desire to make music and are very enthusiastic in the beginning. They also have expectations as high as the sky--of me. After some time, the student doesn't progress into the kind of music he or she wants to play right away, gets very frustrated, and eventually quits, laying the blame at the feet of the teacher.

Ask these students how much they practice.

What they fail to admit to themselves--and to me, most of the time--is that they don't practice nearly as much as I require, if at all. Sure, they might practice a couple of chords, or a song they like, but they don't practice the scales or the exercises, which are what advance the musician beyond the limits of 4 or 5 cowboy chords.

Playing a musical instrument is one of life's greatest joys, but also one of life's greatest challenges. Having musical ability or raw talent is just not enough. It requires developing a skill, and developing a skill requires exercises and repetition. It's really that simple. A teacher can only provide the path. The rest is entirely up to the student. There is no magic wand, no secret formula, no fast track. There are exercises and repetition.


Exercises and repetition--DISCIPLINE.

Isn't our faith much the same? Every human being may be hard wired for God, but it's just not enough to think that's enough. We need the discipline gained in practicing our faith to really overcome our sinful condition and grow into the person that God intended. There is no fast-track to heaven, no secret handshake that gets you past St. Peter.  The way is not easy, but the rewards are countless.

How sad that so few people find any value in taking that harder road.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Watchfulness; the Coming of the Lord

Watch for your life's sake. Let not your lamps be quenched, nor your loins unloosed; but be ready, for you know not the hour in which our Lord will come. But come together often, seeking the things which are befitting to your souls: for the whole time of your faith will not profit you, if you are not made perfect in the last time. For in the last days false prophets and corrupters shall be multiplied, and the sheep shall be turned into wolves, and love shall be turned into hate; for when lawlessness increases, they shall hate and persecute and betray one another, and then shall appear the world-deceiver as Son of God, and shall do signs and wonders, and the earth shall be delivered into his hands, and he shall do iniquitous things which have never yet come to pass since the beginning. Then shall the creation of men come into the fire of trial, and many shall be made to stumble and shall perish; but those who endure in their faith shall be saved from under the curse itself. And then shall appear the signs of the truth: first, the sign of an outspreading in heaven, then the sign of the sound of the trumpet. And third, the resurrection of the dead -- yet not of all, but as it is said: "The Lord shall come and all His saints with Him." Then shall the world see the Lord coming upon the clouds of heaven.

the Twelve Apostles Early Christians (2009). The Didache (Kindle Locations 171-181). BooksAndSuch. Kindle Edition.


Kindle reader? Email me at ginamarie9143@gmail.com to swap titles.

Work is a Blessing from God

Work is man's original vocation. It is a blessing from God, and those who consider it a punishment are sadly mistaken. The Lord, who is the best of fathers, placed the first man in Paradise ut operaretur, so that he would work. (Josemaria Escriva, Furrow, 482)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Papal Authority

One of the better explanations regarding Papal Authority.


Check out Fr. Barron's body of work at www.wordonfire.org.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Moses' Prayer Is an Expression of God's Desire for His People


Dear Brothers and Sisters, continuing our catechesis on Christian Prayer, we now turn to the great prophetic figure of Moses. As the mediator between God and Israel, Moses is a model of intercessory prayer. We see this clearly in the episode of the golden calf. As Moses descends from Mount Sinai where he has spoken to God and received the gift of the law, he confronts both the infidelity of the people who now worship an idol of gold, and the god's powers.

Moses intercedes for his people, fully acknowledging the gravity of their sin. He also pleads with God to remember his mercy, to forgive their sin, and thus to reveal His saving power.

Moses' prayer of petition is an expression of God's own desire for the salvation of His people and His fidelity to the covenant. Through his intercessory prayer, Moses grows in deeper knowledge of the Lord and His mercy, and becomes capable of a life which extends to the total gift of self.

In this prayer Moses points beyond himself to the perfect intercessor who is Jesus, the Son of God, who brings about the new and eternal covenant in his blood, shed for the forgiveness of sin, and the reconciliation of all God's children.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Fight the Good Fight


Dear Brothers and Sisters, In our catechesis on Christian prayer, we now turn to the biblical account of the Patriarch Jacob’s struggle with God at the ford of the Jabbok. This mysterious encounter takes place at night, when Jacob is alone and unarmed; the identity of his assailant and the winner of the contest is not at first clear. Jacob is wounded and must reveal his name to his rival, suggesting his defeat, yet he receives a new name "Israel", and is given a blessing. At daybreak Jacob recognizes that his opponent is God; limping from his wound, he now crosses the ford.

The Church’s spiritual tradition has seen in this story a symbol of prayer as a faith-filled struggle which takes place at times in darkness, calls for perseverance, and is crowned by interior renewal and God’s blessing. This struggle demands our unremitting effort, yet ends by surrender to God’s mercy and gift. At daybreak, Jacob called the place of his struggle Peniel, which means “face of God”, for he said: “I have seen God face to face, and yet my life is preserved.” In our prayers, let us ask the Lord to help us as we fight the good fight of faith, and to bless us as we long to see his face.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Back Soon!

All my faithful readers,

Please forgive my abscence; I have been handling a personal family matter for the past week.  Keep us in your prayers.  I will be posting something new within the next few days--don't go too far now!

God Bless You,

Gina

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Foxgloves In My Garden

Last year I decided to plant perennial foxgloves in my garden. I planted what appeared to be two healthy and green plants last summer; but as with all of my perennials in my garden, I don't know if they will make it until the following spring.

NOT my foxgloves...yet!
I watch my garden with great attention. I know every plant and watch each one carefully. They each have special needs, not just from variety to variety, but from plant to plant. They all get fertilizer, water and sun as required, and regular hands-on care (shaping, pruning, deadheading, etc.). These new foxgloves are no different.

One overwintered beautifully. It awoke in early April with a lovely sprout in the center of the spent leaves from last year, the way it's supposed to grow, and has been growing quite perfectly. Right now it's wide, lush, green and beautiful. I'm confident it will flower beautifully.

The other didn't overwinter well at all. More than half of it was damaged by the rain and snow this past winter and spring. It's center sprout rotted and died off after only a few days. I really thought it was a goner; but then on one side of the plant I saw a little wisp of green peeking out from under the spent leaves.

Have you noticed how hard nature fights to live?

It's a good thing I spotted the leaves, as the damage might kill this poor little guy's chances. I cut away the dead leaves on the damaged side, careful to remove anything that appeared to be rotting. It continued to grow, and now a month later my damaged foxglove appears to be growing nicely. It's a little bit lopsided at the moment, but I'm pretty confident that in spite of its late start and tougher road back to life, this foxglove will flower beautifully.

Isn't this what God does with us?

When we finally hear His call upon our hearts and find the courage to reach out to Him from under the damage that we've done to ourselves through sin and despair--no matter how bad we think it is--He knows exactly what to do for each of us. He knows how to cut away all that damage. As we fight our desire to sin which we know will lead us back to death, He feeds us with His Word and with His Body, and He tends us through the sacraments. As we continue to reach for Him through prayer He reaches back with grace, and we grow strong in Him.

It doesn't matter how or when we start our new life in Christ; if we reach out for Him we, too, will flower beautifully.

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Need for Spiritual Direction

Today the Holy Father addressed the Pontifical Theological Faculty Teresianum, celebrating its 75th anniversary, founded by the Discalced Carmelites to serve the church in its scientific study of anthropology and spirituality. I recommend reading his address in its entirety to get a better understanding of the Teresianum, but I want to zero in on the following excerpt:
As she has never failed to do, again today the Church continues to recommend the practice of spiritual direction, not only to all those who wish to follow the Lord up close, but to every Christian who wishes to live responsibly his baptism, that is, the new life in Christ. Everyone, in fact...needs to be supported personally by a sure guide in doctrine and expert in the things of God. A guide can help defend oneself from facile subjectivist interpretations, making available his own supply of knowledge and experiences in following Jesus. [Spiritual direction] is a matter of establishing that same personal relationship that the Lord had with his disciples, that special bond with which he led them, following him, to embrace the will of the Father (cf. Luke 22:42), that is, to embrace the cross.
Papal Address to the Teresianum, Zenit. Emphasis
In case anyone's wondering, I do not accept the idea that scripture is self-interpreting. The rapture is a great example of this. Now, I don't know any of the details on the background of the rapture; nor do I have the desire to go looking for said details.

Suffice it to say that someone read 1 Thessalonians 4:17 and, through the picking and choosing various scripture verses that supported their idea, developed the concept that is now a favorite subject for many a person who hopes for deliverance from this increasingly hostile world. When May 21, 2011 comes and goes and again there is no rapture, faith will take another hard kick to the ribs.

Forget for a moment the theological or apologetic discussions regarding the end times. Right now there are people who, having convinced themselves that tomorrow is their last day on earth, have said their goodbyes and are waiting to be delivered. When they're still here on Sunday, how many will abandon their faith?

Right now many people are recklessly--and, by the way, very uncharitably--mocking those who have bought into the most recent rapture prediction. How much more entrenched in their disbelief will result?

What of those who, in spite of being proven wrong again and again, don't want to let go of the faulty concept of the Rapture? Will they dig into the scripture further, continuing their futile search for the supporting evidence of their own ideology?

It's a vicious cycle, and it will be humanity's downfall, because it all boils down to this: we must embrace the Cross, every one of us, no exceptions. This is why, if we don't already have a spiritual director (mine's my regular confessor), we should all take the Holy Father's very timely advice and find ourselves one.

[T]he Spirit said to Philip, "Go up and join this chariot."
So Philip ran to him, and heard [a eunuch] 
reading Isaiah the prophet, and asked, 
"Do you understand what you are reading?"
And he said, "How can I, unless some one guides me?" 
And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Christianophobia

Human rights activist sees face of fascism at EU human rights conference
by Austin Ruse

VIENNA, May 13 (C-FAM) - Not even the seasoned culture war professional was prepared for the hectoring she received at an official European Union human rights meeting. Neither was she prepared for the cheering among homosexual activists for violent behavior against Christians.

Dr. Gudrun Kugler runs a Vienna-based human rights group called the Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination Against Christians in Europe, which monitors and reports on what some call “Christianophobia.” Professor Joseph Weiler of New York University School of Law coined the term after Rocco Buttiglione was rejected in 2004 for a high-ranking position in the European Commission for his Christian beliefs on homosexuality.

Discrimination against Christians for their beliefs is on the rise all over the world, including in what some consider to be tolerant Europe. A few months ago a Christian couple were told they could no longer act as foster parents because they held the Christian view of homosexuality. A state electrician in the United Kingdom recently faced dismissal for showing a crucifix on the dashboard of his company van. A crowd in Belgium cheered when an archbishop was attacked with cream pies.

Last year Kugler was accepted onto the Advisory Panel of the Fundamental Rights Agency’s Fundamental Rights Platform, a gathering of non-governmental organizations concerned with human rights. Her acceptance was not without controversy. Kugler is on record opposing homosexual adoption. She was investigated by an Agency staff member for three months to ensure her “opposition to adoption of children by gay couples is not a violation of fundamental rights.”

What Kugler knows is that much of the discrimination against Christians in Europe comes from the homosexual lobby and that in many sometimes official quarters freedom of religion is trumped by the homosexual agenda.

Last month Kugler presented her group’s Five-Year Report on Intolerance against Christians in Europe at the agency’s conference on civil society. In an account on MercatorNet.com Kugler said she “was aware that my audience would not be favorable, as combating homophobia is always a main issue at these meetings.”

Kugler nevertheless suggested to the group that holding a “kiss-in” at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris was not respectful of Christians. She said anti-Christian images at homosexual parades, including mock-crucifixions, was likewise not respectful.

Kugler suggested, “no one should go to prison for respectfully stating an opinion which does not advocate violence.” The human rights crowd shouted “No!” Someone responded, “People should go to prison for what they say if it is a negative comment against a vulnerable minority group…” Kugler said a staff member of the Fundamental Rights Agency nodded in agreement.

Kugler also reported to the group how a Berlin pharmacy was vandalized for refusing to sell the sometimes-abortifacient morning after pill. The pharmacist’s windows were smashed and his pharmacy wrecked. One participant shouted, “Quite right!”

Kugler wrote in MercatorNet that she “love(s) human rights, and I am glad they hold such a prominent place in today’s society. But they are vulnerable to fundamentalism and ideologies. As long as fundamental rights are used for some radical groups’ agenda, they will never be fully respected.”

source: LifeSiteNews.com

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

God Himself Becomes The Just Man


Dear brothers and sisters, continuing our catechesis on Christian prayer, we now turn to sacred scripture and its witness to the dialogue between God and man in history; a dialogue culminating in Jesus Christ, the Word Made Flesh.

We can begin with the prayer with which Abraham, the father of all believers, implores God not to destroy the sinful city of Sodom. Abraham's prayer of intercession pleads to Gods justice, begging him not to destroy the innocent with the guilty; but it also pleads to God's mercy, which is capable of transforming evil into good through forgiveness and reconciliation.

God does not desire the death of the sinner but his conversion and liberation from sin. In reply to Abraham's prayer God is willing to spare Sodom if ten righteous men can be found there. Later, through the prophet Jeremiah, he promises to pardon Jerusalem if one just man can be found.

In the end God Himself becomes the just man. In the mystery of His incarnation Christ's prayer of intercession on the cross brings salvation to the world. Through Him let us pray with unfailing trust in God's merciful love for all mankind, conscious that our prayers will be heard and answered.

Happy Birthday, Blessed JPII!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Way of Love

From The Forge:
The way of Love is called Sacrifice.

The Cross, the Holy Cross, is heavy. First there are my sins. Then the sad truth of our Mother the Church’s suffering; the apathy of so many Catholics who want without really wanting; the separation—for all kinds of reasons—from those we love; the sufferings and trials of ourselves and of others… The Cross, the Holy Cross, is heavy. Fiat, adimpleatur…! “May the most just, the most lovable Will of God be done, be fulfilled, be praised and exalted above all things for ever! Amen. Amen.”

When you walk where Christ walked; when you are no longer just resigned to the Cross, but your whole soul takes on its form—takes on its very shape; when you love the Will of God; when you actually love the Cross… then, only then, is it He who carries it.

Join your suffering, your Cross that comes from within or without, to the Will of God, by saying a generous Fiat! And you will be filled with joy and peace.

Escriva, Josemaria (2011). The Forge #768-771. Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Table Manners

You've spent hours preparing a fabulous meal especially for your guests. You used the finest ingredients, and presented each delicious, nutritious dish on a beautifully set table. You've thought of everything, and tended to every last detail, including the garnish. You are exhausted, but also exhilarated at the idea of watching your guests joyfully eat the fruits of your labor.

Then in walk your guests. Most of them have a seat for a moment to be polite, but are oblivious to the beautiful table; some express concern that the table setting is "too old-fashioned", that you should provide some snappy music, or even a television to accompany their meal. Some of your guests don't even bother to sit down. Most have a plastic bag with them so they can take their share with them. They stab at the meats and ignore most of the sides. They turn their noses up at the vegetables; they shove a hunk of dessert in their mouths with their hands. They tromp out the door, some with a half-wave, some without bothering with a simple "thank you". Only a handful of guests remain to sadly dine on the pilfered remains.

Welcome to the Church in the US.

"This is a HUGE CHURCH, far flung all over the globe; hundreds of cultures, scores of languages..."

A huge Church--an important point. Here in the US we tend to think that we're the center of the Universe, and that our way is the only way. The fact is, there are 1.1 billion Catholics in this world, and only 6% of us live in America. Perhaps we don't realize this, but were it not for immigration the Church in America would not be growing; whereas the Church in many other parts of the world (parts of the world that adhere to Catholic teaching and tradition wholly, I might add) is growing exponentially.

If you were seeking spiritual sustenance, and you saw Catholics treating their Church like those guests treated the dinner party I described above, would you want to join it?

Put the bag away and brush up on your table manners, US Catholics; it's time to have a seat at the banquet.

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