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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Have You Considered Your New Year's Resolution?

It's that time of year again. Will you make a resolution today and mess up tomorrow? If you really want to make progress in the spiritual life, follow the philosophy of St. Ignatius. Pick something very specific and keep a notebook where you record twice a day how you're doing -- at midday and bedtime. Then keep at it. If you have a problem with speaking uncharitably about a specific person, make eliminating that your goal. And when you've eliminated that sin or fault, move on to another. Picking broad goals like, "I'm going to be more charitable in 2012," will immediately be forgotten. Deciding to say nothing mean about your mother-in-law may be more challenging. As for me, I've decided I'm not buying any new clothes in 2012. I have enough to last me the rest of my life already and it will give us more disposable income to spend on replacing the roof and charity. Now...what will I do in my spiritual life? That's a little harder and requires more thought and prayer.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Newt the Crybaby for President

No more Mr. Nice Guy for Newt Gingrich. He has his limits. For example, he could NEVER vote for Ron Paul. Principled Newt, however, had no problemo endorsing a radical pro-abort Republican, Dede Scozzafava in New York. Remember her? She was running against a pro-lifer who won the nomination and Dede threw her support to the Democrat. That made sense, actually, since she is a liberal Democrat in philosophy and voted like one. But that didn't keep Newt from going to bat for her and act like the party hack he is -- support the Republican no matter how morally bankrupt or unprinicpled. No wonder columnist Joe Sobran always called Republicans the "stupid party." Not ony that, many, like Newt, seem incapable of learning.

But, as I said, Newt does have his limits and he absolutely would not vote for Ron Paul. Paul is just too...too... whatever...for him. (Personally, I don't agree with Ron Paul on a number of issues, but it would be refreshing to have a decent man in the White House for a change. Just think of it, somebody one who has been married to the same woman for over fifty years without a hint of scandal, delivered thousands of babies, believes in limited government, doesn't support the U.S. war machine, and refuses his government pension.)

Who has more integrity? Newt or Ron? Hmmm....is that a trick question or a no-brainer?

Mr. Newt sounds to me like a cry baby who has a tantrum when he doesn't get his way. How dare the Virginia Republican Party keep him off the state ballot? Why should his campaign be organized enough to meet the qualifications by getting 10,000 signatures on a petition? (I got a robo-call at the last minute with locations to sign the ballot petition.)

Look...everybody should just recognize that Newt is THE candidate and let him get on with the business of beating Obama. He realized it while he was on that cruise around the Greek islands. And how dare his home state expect him to meet their unreasonable requirements to make the ballot. Don't they know who he is?

All I can say is, "Get over it, Newt!" (And you too, Perry.) Do you really think whining is an attractive qualification for president?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Obama Dinner Lottery

It never ceases to amaze me how low presidents or presidential candidates can stoop to make a buck. It shows that they have absolutely no class. Bob Dole illustrated it with his disgusting ads for...well, you know. Then there were Bill and Hillary selling nights in the Lincoln bedrooom (seances included?) for high roller donors. And now the Obamas, who plan to spend a cool billion on Barack's reelection campaign, offer lottery tickets for a "casual meal" with them. Don't believe it? I'm on his mailing list and see what I got below (second or third invite to enter actually).  I removed the weblink because I have no intention of advertising for them. And if you believe all that nonsense about accepting no money from lobbyists and PACs, I have a nice covered bridge for sale in Shenandoah County. Check out this link for data on the union PAC money, over $7 million of it that Obama sucked in during his 2008 campaign. Anyway, here's the email complete with the info that no contribution is needed to enter. As for me, in view of the Obamas enthusiasm for killing little babies, I think eating with them would give me a severe case of indigestion.

Friend --
It's not all that often that Michelle and I get to host a casual meal with friends. That's one of the reasons we're both excited about the upcoming dinner with three supporters and your guests. It's the first one we've ever done like this together, and we'd love to have you and whoever you choose to join us. Chip in $3 or whatever you can today -- and you'll automatically be entered to be one of our dinner guests. I enjoy these dinners not just because they're a way to connect with supporters across the country.

They also say a lot about what kind of campaign we're running.

We don't take a dime from D.C. lobbyists or special-interest PACs -- never have and never will. Instead, we believe in the kind of politics that gives everyone a seat at the table -- so we're literally offering these seats at dinner to folks who are willing to step forward and be a part of it. There are just a few days left to add your name for a chance to be one of our guests at the next dinner, and help build this campaign before 2012 finally arrives.
Make a donation of $3 or whatever you can today -- and automatically enter to be there:

Thanks,

Barack

No purchase, payment, or contribution necessary to enter or win. Contributing will not improve chances of winning. Void where prohibited. Entries must be received by midnight on December 31st, 2011. You may enter by contributing to Sponsor here or click here to enter without contributing. Three winners will each receive the following prize package: up to $1200 towards round-trip tickets for winner and a guest from within the fifty U.S. States, DC, or Puerto Rico to a destination to be determined by the Sponsor; hotel accommodations; and dinner with President Obama on a date to be determined by the Sponsor (approximate retail value of all prizes $4,800). Odds of winning depend on number of entries received. Promotion open only to U.S. citizens, or lawful permanent U.S. residents who are legal residents of 50 United States, District of Columbia and Puerto Rico and 18 or older (or of majority under applicable law). Promotion subject to Official Rules and additional restrictions on eligibility. Sponsor: Obama for America, 130 E. Randolph St., Chicago, IL 60601.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Made in the USA

Check out the story here! 

Responding to the Grinch Squad: Virginia Congressman Scott Rigell Says "Merry Christmas!"

Virginia is really the birthplace of liberty despite all the attention given to those Boston yankees. It was two Virginians, George Mason and Thomas Jefferson, who were primarily responsible for our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution. Jefferson borrowed a lot from Mason's Virginia Declaration of Rights in drafting the documents. And among those rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights of the Constitution are freedom of religion and freedom of speech. What gives a politically correct Congressional committee the chutzpah to think they can ban Congressmen from wishin their constituents Merry Christmas and Happy Hannukah? Here's my opinion -- they're the Grinch Squad, the descendencts of Scrooge before his conversion.

As for Congressman Rigell, I don't think you will be surprised to learn that he is a completely pro-life conservative who recognizes that the family is the basic building block of society and who wants to strengthn marriage by offering tax credits to parents who stay together. He also opposes tax funding of abortion and wants to cut off funding to the killers at Planned Parenthood.

Let's hear it one more time for the great state of Virginia and all the good leaders raised up here. (This is where I give a plug for state delegate Bob Marshall, state senator Dick Black, and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. Go, guys! Now if we could just get rid of those pro-death, politically correct drones like Jim Moran in northern Virginia.)



Wish I'd Seen These Before Christmas!

Denver school creates action figures of saints for kids

What a great idea! When I saw these action toys, I immediately thought of the meditations of St. Ignatius Loyola and his spiritual exercise of the two standards. On the one hand, you have Jesus on the plains around Jerusalem gathering the saints to battle for souls. On the other hand, you have Satan and his minions gathered on a high place around Babylon, the wicked city, making their plans to seduce and destroy. May this company soon have figures of many of the saints to take the place of the Ninja Turtles and super heroes. The real superheroes children can look up to battle for souls in the Church Militant. You can order St. Michael here. St. Maximilian Kolbe and St. Therese of Lisieux are coming soon.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Wreaths Across America: Remembering the Fallen

What a lovely tradition: to honor those who have given their lives for their country. Whether you agree with our involvement in any particular war, honoring the dead is a corporal work of mercy which can also be a spiritual work if prayer is added. Think how much it must comfort the families left behind to know their loved ones are not forgotten.



And here's how Wreaths Across America all began:

St. Stephen the Martyr: A Reminder that it's not all About the Feast

The Christmas season is filled with joy and celebration, but the Church in her wisdom also gives us a sober reminder. Today is the feast of St. Stephen, the first Christian martyr. What is particularly interesting to me about its placement on the day after Christmas is the fact that St. Stephen suffered death as he experienced a vision of heaven, "the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God." (Acts 7:55)

So even as Stephen suffered a painful death by stoning, he was on the threshhold of the greatest party mankind will ever experience, the banquet of the Lamb. And it may very well have been Stephen's prayers and sacrifice that led to the conversion of St. Paul who "was consenting to his death." (Acts 7:59)

While we enjoy all the delights of the twelve days of Christmas, visiting with family and friends, reminiscing about Christmases past and looking forward to a new year with hope, let's remember the thorn upon the rose. This life will never be without suffering even in the midst of celebration. What a blessing if we all accept that suffering as Stephen did, particularly when it involves persecution, and call on Jesus saying, "Lord, lay not this sin to their charge."

Sunday, December 25, 2011

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT!



A friend sent me this as an email Christmas card and I pass it on to you. Be sure to curl up with Jesus sometime Christmas day. After all, He's the reason for the season.

A Nativity Scene was erected in a church yard. During the night, someone came across this. An abandoned dog was looking for a comfortable, protected place to sleep. He chose baby Jesus as his comfort. No one had the heart to send him away so he was there all night.

We should all have the good sense of this dog and curl up in Jesus' lap from time to time. This is too sweet not to share.

No one mentioned that the dog breed is a "shepherd!"

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Does the Archdiocese of Detroit have Jurisdiction over RealCatholicTV?

The Archdiocese of Detroit has instructed Mike Voris of RealCatholicTV to stop using the word "Catholic" in the title of the organization. Problem is -- the group is not actually owned or incorporated in the Archdiocese of Detroit. The owner is Marc Brammer who hires Voris to do his programming. He lives in the Diocese of South Bend under Bishop Kevin Rhoades who has NOT instructed RealCatholicTV to desist.

What's particularly ironic is that diocesan officials will apparently not meet with Voris and representatives of RealCatholicTV to discuss the matter. (Voris says he's requested a meeting seven times without response.) On the other hand, the archbishop has met with a group of dissenting priests in his diocese who openly advocate for women's ordination. Voris says the problem is not the archbishop, but staffers at the chancery. And that is certainly plausible since many chanceries across the country are staffed by "professional" Catholics who are often liberals first and Catholics second.

As for whether the Archdiocese of Detroit has the competence to demand anything from RealCatholicTV, time will tell. It's interesting to ponder that we've heard nothing about bishops demanding dissent groups like Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good or Catholics United or the heretics' mouthpiece, the National CATHOLIC Reporter, to stop using the word "Catholic" in their titles. But perhaps the bishops know they won't obey so they don't bother. It's easier to beat up on the orthodox who are more oriented toward obeying authority -- if it's lawful.

This will be an interesting battle to watch. It's clear that the liberals in AmChurch hate orthodox speakers like Voris. That means he's effective. So they will do whatever they can to muzzle him. Which means it's a good time to pray for RealCatholicTV and perhaps support them with a donation.

Archdiocese of Detroit asks Michael Voris to stop using the name ‘Catholic’

A Bit of Christmas Trivia for Christmas Eve

One of my favorite Christmas specials is A Charlie Brown Christmas. It was the first of the peanuts animations and Charles Schulz was instrumental in its production. Here are several trivia questions to test your Charlie Brown knowledge:

1) What company was instrumental in advertising the special and even had a sign with its name on it in the original version?

2) What did Charles Schulz refuse to allow in the cartoon even though it was considered mandatory in comedy shows of the day?

3) Where did Schulz get the voices for most of his characters?

4)  What mistake did the animators make that is readily seen?

5) Why did Snoopy get most of the action scenes?

6) What "controversial" element of the program made the producers think the show would only be shown once instead of becoming the annual hit it is?

7) And last -- What Christmas special always puts poor Charlie Brown in second place?

Check out the anwers at  10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’

Friday, December 23, 2011

Obama's Gifts to America

Makes you wonder what he can possibly do next year to outdo what he's already done. Maybe he'll give us the mine to go along with the shaft.

The Pro-Life Movement is Winning the Battle

It's interesting to have a three-decade history in the pro-life movement. I remember when the pro-aborts predicted that the battle was over after Roe v. Wade. They were convinced they could dust their hands off and get on with their grisly business of ripping babies apart with no unpleasant controversy. Those doing the devil's work never recognize the tenacity of the Church Militant. Soldiers of Christ filled with the Holy Spirit don't leave the field until the victory.

And so today, the pro-life movement is winning the battle for the hearts and minds of America as they continue their life-saving work -- in front of abortion mills and on college campuses. The baby in the womb is no longer invisible, but recognizable as a little person. And the survivor generation recognizes that they only live because they managed to run the gauntlet of nine months before birth.

With the anniversary of the birth of our little unborn Lord only days away, let us give thanks for the greatest gift --LIFE. We only celebrate with gifts under the tree because we were born. Praise God!


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Traditions

I love Christmas traditions. My favorite is the creche. It is always the first decoration to go up and the last to come down. The creche our children grew up with was a resin one that was impervious to being loved to death by children. Baby Jesus survived being dropped many times during our Christmas eve procession to place him in the manger and sing happy birthday. Somebody always carried the cake as we processed around the house singing carols. Mary and Joseph and all the other figures enjoyed many side-trips when little ones decided they needed adventures.

After my mom died in 2002 I passed our crib set on to our oldest child and replaced it with the one that had graced my parents' home for years. It too was not the original one I remembered from childhood. Perhaps it was my grandparents. At any rate, I'm sure my dad made the stable because he had rigged it up with artificial greens that attached to the back in an elaborate scheme with every branch coded to fit into its spot. Putting it together always reminds me of Daddy and his creative genius. He would not waste anything. (E.g, Old indvidual serving cans of juice were painted and crimped on one end to make building toys for the grandkids.)

One intermittent Christmas tradition at our house is making fruitcake. (Please spare me all the jokes about there being only one fruitcake in the world that just keeps getting passed around.) Larry and I think fruitcake is a real treat. I grew up with it. My mother always bought at least one Jane Parker cake from A &P and it didn't last long at our house. Larrry and I used to order ours from the famous Collin Street Bakery in Texas (A & P being long defunct) until I began making my own from a recipe in the Joy of Cooking cookbook. No citron in my fruitcake (yuck), but plenty of brown and gold raisins, candied pineapple and cherries, orange peel that I candy myself, dates, and lots and lots of pecans and walnuts. Sometimes I include dried apricots, but I forgot to buy them this year so I just added extra of the others. After the baking and cooling I warm up cream sherry, poke the cake with a skewer, and drizzle it on drop by drop until the cake is saturated. The last step is decorating with cherries and nuts to make it as appealing to the eye as to the taste. It is truly delicious and fit for the Christmas feast. One can forget the modern Scrooges for awhile and bask in the warmth of the Spirit of Christmas Present.

What are your favorite Christmas traditions?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Technology to Create Shroud Image Not Available to Science

To see this on the liberal Huffington Post is interesting. The more science learns, the more it can't explain. How do atheists like Richard Dawkins explain the creation of the image on the shroud? They can't, so they mostly ignore it. Twenty years ago (at least) when DNA findings indicated we all descended from an original set of parents, the fact was pretty much buried and disappeared into oblivian. The tactic of those with faith in their god Chance is to ignore and ridicule what points to biblical reality. They would rather hypothesize that life began on the back of a crystal (perhaps a giant turtle named Crystal?) or that aliens brought it, than admit even the possibility of intelligent design. The game they play reminds me of something a wise friend of mine said once. You can wake up a sleeping man, but you can't wake up a man pretending to be asleep. There are many pretenders today who are so dedicated to their fundamental disbelief they would rather believe something ridiculous than even consider a truth that dethrones them as tinpot gods.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Miracles Still Happen!

Ferndale-area boy's recovery from flesh-eating bacteria linked to Blessed Kateri's sainthood

Who's Looking at all that Information on Facebook?

I received the e-mail below and share some of the same concerns as the writer. I get nervous when someone wants to know who and how I'm related to people. Why do they want that information? Why do they want to know every little nitty gritty detail of my life? And why would I want to tell them? We live in a culture where privacy is considered a weird concept. Why wouldn't you want everybody to know everything about you -- and then the zinger -- UNLESS YOU HAVE SOMETHING TO HIDE.

Frankly, I have lots to hide. I don't want people to know all my personal sins. Some things are between me and God. I don't want people to know every one of my physical, mental, and emotional flaws. Some things are between me and my husband and he doesn't know all of them. I don't want people to know every injury I've inflicted on others or the injuries they've inflicted on me. Some things are between me and my family and my real friends, the people I have REAL relationships with instead of the superficial "friendships" of Facebook.

Currently, I'm off Facebook although I haven't deleted my account permanently -- yet. But the more I think about it, the more prudent it seems. There are a lot of things that are nobody's business -- much less the business of millions of people I don't even know including the administrators of Facebook.

Besides, I have this little nagging knowledge from history. One of the reasons it was so easy for the Nazis to round up the Dutch Jews, was the extensive records Holland had started keeping on all their citizens. If that makes me sound like a conspiracy nut, so be it. History has some warnings to teach us and volunteering too much information about ourselves is one of them.

Subject: I have written this to protect the people I care about. Please read, and share.
Dear Friend,

I AM LEAVING FACEBOOK. YOU SHOULD CONSIDER DOING THE SAME: READ ON.

They Can't Kill them Fast Eough in the Netherlands!

Killing the Sick in their Beds: Europe's progress in euthanasia

I'm never surprised at the advanced culture of death in Holland. Why? Because that's one of the places the faith collapsed early on undermined by the evil and false "spirit of Vatican II." The Dutch catechism, published in 1966, (which I have on my bookshelf for reference with a stern warning in the front about its heretical nature) was used to undermine the faith after the council. The Catholic Church in Holland, which had one of the highest rates of vocations in the world, collapsed quickly as small discussion groups formed to spread the catechetical dissent and destroy the faith of the people. Vocations dried up and so did the authentic faith. The catechism wasn't the only reason, but it played a significant role in spreading heretical ideas and promoting indifferentism. Deadly ideas quickly took root and grew into the poisonous culture that kills so many of the helpless sick and elderly today. Ideas have consequences. Sin is first conceived in the mind before it is acted on by the will.

It's hard to remember the courage of Dutch Christians seen during World War II. Their acts of heroism are unimaginable in the country's current death-dealing climate. When the Nazis occupied the country it was Catholics who supported Anne Frank, her family, and the other jews hiding in the attic with them. How many would be willing to risk their lives today for a handful of "useless eaters?"

The imprimatur was removed from the English edition of the Dutch catechism and no wonder. The faith is entirely muddled throughout, lost in a mish-mash of ecumenical doublespeak, religious indifferentism, and misleading emphasis on the primacy of conscience. You can read about the failed "Dutch experiment" here.

And so today, Holland is the capitol of killing for the helpless sick and elderly. The Dutch who enable the murders are more like the Nazis they resisted during the occupation than the defenders of freedom who risked their own lives to save their Jewish neighbors. Reading the history of the collapse of faith in Holland is a warning. When the faith disappears the spirit of the age runs rampant through a culture. And the spirit of our age is a spirit of murder.

The picture is grim, but we must never lose hope. Remember God's promise: resist the devil and he will flee. Satan especially hates the rosary and the Eucharist. If we all pray the rosary daily as Mary asked at Fatima we can help bring about the conversion of the world Mary promised. What a blessed resolution it would be to commit to the daily rosary in 2012, attend daily Mass as often as possible, and frequent the confessional. What a hope for the world that would be.

Why Would a Parent Pay to Send a Kid to a Jesuit College?

The Jesuits can be relied on for one thing -- to undermine the faith and scandalize their students. They champion all things weird and wicked. And here's an "art" show at Santa Clara University that demonstrates just that (e.g., Latina sex workers who embrace belief in a pagan goddess?).

Mothers, don't let your children grow up to go to Jesuit institutions. They are the schools Fulton Sheen warned parents against, saying not to send their children to Catholic schools where their faith would be taken from them. God forgive them.

“A study of otherness”

Monday, December 19, 2011

Homosexual Public School Teacher Engages in Psychological Abuse of Student

How would you feel if your teenage son or daughter was held up to ridicule and psychological abuse for defending his Catholic faith? That's what happened to a student in Howell, Michigan school district. What's even more outrageous than the teacher's behavior is the school district backing him up. Public schools are now so corrupt that while they discriminate against all things religious, they celebrate a lifestyle that leads to drug and alcohol abuse, life-threatening illness, and an increased likelihood of suicide. More and more frequently Christian students are being attacked in the classroom as "bigots" and "hatemongers" for having the courage to defend moral standards recognized for thousands of years. Sodomy isn't a lifestyle; it's a deathstyle.

BRAVE NEW SCHOOLS
Catholic student 'bullied, humiliated' by teacher: Instructor 'promoted' homosexuality rather than economics class material

Sunday, December 18, 2011

An Advent Baptism

Our 20th grandchild was baptized today. What a glorious celebration on the 4th Sunday of Advent when we turn our thoughts to Our Lady and her important role in salvation history. A mother, Mary, brought her Son into the world to save mankind from sin. Another mother, our daughter, brought her baby to the Church today to save her little soul from the doom inflicted on the the human race by Adam's sin.

Little Bianca cried through most of her baptism. She didn't like her christening hat and cried almost as soon as it was on her head. We took it off. She cried while her godmother held her as Father began the service. She cried when Father anointed her on the chest and she wailed when he poured the water over her head. Then all afternoon she was happy as a lark -- full of smiles and cooing up a storm. We all laughed and said the devil had been driven out of her.

but is that so fantastical a statement? Is it possible that being "full of grace" can have a real physical impact on someone?

Priests I know have related stories about the anointing of the sick, where an immediate change takes place in the injured or ill person. One priest described a doctor running down the hall to ask him what he did after he anointed an accident victim on his big toe, the only part of the man's body he could reach as the emergency room team worked on him. The physical improvement was immediate.

A sacrament is an outward sign instituted by Christ to give grace. But sometimes it gives other gifts as well. Today, I like to think it gave us an afternoon of baby smiles and happy little noises. Not too surprising, I think, for one who is surrounded by angels and filled with supernatural grace.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

No One Can Sing it Like Judy Collins: Send in the Clowns

My brother posted a version of Send in the Clowns on his Political Brambles Blog and it reminded me that Judy Collins did it as well. I've heard it sung by Barbra Streisand and Frank Sinatra. Bernadette Peters did it in the original Broadway production of A Little Night Music. But nobody sings it like Judy and I love this version where she invites the audience to join in. Very sweet. She may be a political liberal, but God gifted her with an angelic voice. So I'm praying for her today and hoping that she one day sings in the heavenly choir.

Sidewalk Conversion: Abortion Mill on the Road to Damascus

This conversion story gave me goosebumps. Saving lives at the abortion mills is a miracle, but an even more important miracle is conversion of heart. After all, the Lord tells us not to fear the one who can kill the body, but the one who can thrust a soul into hell. Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and to hear about an "aha" moment when a soul recognizes the truth --- well, how beautiful to witness such a miracle. Praise God for the event described here and pray for all involved especially the young man who saw the light.

Hi folks,
Today was my last day at the abortuary on Commonwealth Drive just around the corner from the Pregnancy Center in Charlottesville, Virginia. This particular clinic had fallen under the radar and been ignored for far too long until this year. Even the accountant who lives next door was shocked to see pro lifers standing vigil. I thought it was going to be an uneventful final day where I would get to say goodbye to all the wonderful pro lifers who have been sacrificing their Weds evenings from 5 pm to 8 pm to defend the unborn and be a living example of God's never ending love for moms and dads in need of spiritual rescue.

Many familiar faces and some new faces were there and I was glad to see them all -- but sad that it was going to be the last time.

It turned out to be the busiest day I had ever seen at the Commonwealth abortuary -- the cars kept coming and coming. Most of the pro life volunteers were in the drive way ministering to their spiritual brothers and sisters that were there to abort their babies. A couple other pro lifers were standing on the sidewalk in front of the abortuary holding signs and I decided to join them.

Fasting From Facebook

I feel liberated today. I deactivated my Facebook account -- perhaps only temporarily; time will tell. With Christmas only a week away, however, I decided to focus my mind on the real world instead of the social networking virtual world where everybody and his brother is your "friend" and people often forget the rules of civility and common courtesy. I plan to stay off Facebook at least through the Christmas season to celebrate the birth of Jesus and enjoy real and deep face-to-face friendships instead of the faux, flip "friendships" of Facebook.

Once before I dumped my account when I got sick of the drama and narcissism and only went back after I decided to create a Les Femmes page. Since the Facebook world is so large, it's a good place to disseminate news and to offer counter cultural ideas and comments. But it's also an easy environment for gossips and snipers. I've seen too many relationships damaged through Facebook to be easy with it. My oldest child calls Facebook a tool of the devil, a tongue-in-cheek comment since she is a user, but I know what she means. People seem to lose their inhibitions and will publicly post nasty things they would be unlikely to say to someone "face to face." Perhaps that is inevitable in a world where people spill their guts everywhere with no apparent guard over their thoughts or tongues.

Personally, I see Facebook as a tool which can be used (like a hammer) for a legitimate purpose (like building a house) or for a wrong purpose (like clobbering someone). As a mom and gramma, I love keeping up with the day-to-day events of my children who live far away and with extended family we seldom see. Facebook can be valuable and legitmate tool in that respect. But I've also seen Facebook used as a weapon to pound someone into the dirt and humiliate them by doing it in front of the Facebook world. 

I know someone reading this will say, "Physician, heal thyself." I'm often accused of being mean and evil for speaking the truth about issues like homosexuality and abortion. But there's a big difference between discussing issues -- either privately or publicly -- and taking someone to task publicly over something that is a prudential matter. The only time I publicly criticize someone is when he or she commits a public scandal. A Catholic pro-abortion politician, like Nancy Pelosi, must be confronted in public to minimize the likelihood that her public actions will lead others into sin. If, on the other hand, I don't like someone's tone, or think they are sharing more than is prudent, or I don't like a personality defect they exhibit, that's a matter for private discussion. And I might add, that private discussion is useless unless the person being corrected knows they are truly loved by the person making the correction. The older I get, the more I realize that the only people I can impact in that way are the ones closest to my heart. And, let's face it, how many of those people exist in anyone's life?

St. Francis de Sales is the patron of authors, journalists, and writers. Everyone on Facebook fits into the "writer" category so it would behoove us all to consider St. Francis' philosophy. He said we should always be most critical of our own actions and most charitable about the actions of others. Imagine how different Facebook would be if people took that admonition to heart.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Are You Still Supporting Susan G. Komen? I Hope Not!

Komen Gave $569K to Planned Parenthood Abortion Biz in 2010

Are Nuisance Abatement Teams Part of the U.N.'s Agenda 21?

Now why would a county bother people living out in the middle of nowhere, much less send armed teams out to harrass them? This reminds me of what happened to the people who lived in the mountains of Virginia when the government forcibly removed them to form the Shenandoah National Park. Don't get me wrong -- I love to go hiking in the park, but who gives the government to forcibly take people's property? This could happen to anyone. They begin by intimidating those with little support. But who's next? I suspect this is all about money as the video below suggests. It's almost always about greed. If this were you or your family, what would you do?



Read more:

Nuisance abatement teams and agenda 21

Forcing property owners to destroy homes, leave land all part of UN's Agenda 21

Thug Rule in California
Documents of Agenda 21

Support a Worthy Charity for Christmas and Fight the Culture of Death

Most babies afflicted with Down Syndrome are murdered before birth. But there is one organization committed to finding ways to improve and even cure children with this genetic disorder -- The Michael Fund. If you want to support a solid and life-affirming organization this Christmas, give to the Michael Fund. And celebrate the lives of these very special children created in God's image.

Please Circulate
International Foundation for Genetic Research
4371 Northern Pike, Pittsburgh, PA 15146
http://www.michaefund.org/
Christmas 2011
Dear Friends of the Michael Fund,

At the request of Randy Engel, Director of the Michael Fund, I am writing you a brief letter to bring you up to date on preparations for the up coming IFGR/MF clinical trials.

My name is Dr. Paddy Jim Baggot and, as many of you know, I have been conducting the IFGR/MF’s United States-based research program on cures and treatments for Down syndrome since 1996. In addition, I am currently part of the prolife medical staff of the Guadalupe Medical Center in Los Angeles situated in the epicenter of the city’s abortion industry. Last year alone, 200 babies were saved at the clinic.
Much of my Michael Fund research over the last 15 years has centered on the biochemistry of fetuses with Down syndrome. The results of this important research have been published in the prestigious medical journal, Fetal Diagnosis and Therapy.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Virtual Reality of the Homosexual Universe

Homosexual activists live in their own dream world -- a world of virtual reality where they create the entire universe in their own disordered image. So, as the video below shows, they claim that anyone and everyone is really a lesbian or homosexual including saints of the Catholic Church. Those of us who deny it are just closeted "queers" (their word) who don't want to admit the truth. They demand that everyone join in their game of let's pretend or prepare to be the target of their hate-filled "jamming."

I have five children and have been married to the same man for 42 years. Both of us have lived faithfully according to the vows we made on our wedding day.  And, believe it or not, we still enjoy each other's company. We found out just how much when we took a seven week cross-country trip last fall camping in a 30 foot pop-up. We were together 24/7 hiking, biking, visiting churches, and stopping to see friends and family. It was great fun! I don't think we had a cross word the entire trip. Yes, I am a happily married woman who believes that marriage is a sacred covenant between a man and a woman made before God "until death do us part." Homosexual hookups can never be marriage.

On a number of occasions, some brilliant homosexual propagandist has commented on my blog that I must really be a closeted lesbian because I write about homosexuality. The fact is, I write about it because the activist homosexual movement, which is bitter and hate-filled, is targeting everything I hold dear as good and holy. Traditional marriage must go because gays want to play house. Children in the schools must be indoctrinated because gays don't propagate and new homosexuals must be recruited from among the young. Christians must be muzzled and their free speech rights denied because gays demand the entire world say that sodomy is holy and equal to the marital embrace.

Hogwash! I have sympathy for those afflicted with same-sex attraction and I pray for them. It is a heavy cross to bear. But it is no less disordered than any other temptation to evil. Does one really think that sexual attraction to children is normal and good? Yes, actually, the homosexual movement wants to lower the age of consent and some of their "experts" claim that child-adult sex doesn't hurt children but can actually benefit them. Tell that to the parents dealing with the sex abuse of their little ones. Thank God, most Americans have not yet swallowed that bilge as reaction to the Penn State scandal shows.

During the years when the "red peril" caused serious concern about the possibility of nuclear war, some people said they would "rather be red than dead." But for those who love the truth there are values worth fighting, and even dying, for. Joan of Arc, who is being slandered by the gays, stood for those values. Doing the will of God trumps everything, and Jesus, the beloved Son, is our model. He is the way, He is the truth, and He is the life. When we stand for the Truth we stand for Him. Sometimes the truth hurts and sometimes it makes people want to kill you. That's why Joan died as a matter of fact. She was a martyr to the politics of her day.

It is the same in every age when people call good evil and evil good. But the truth remains and must be spoken as charitably as possible. Some will dismiss it and continue to tread the primrose path of dalliance to their destruction, but some will listen and their hearts will be touched and converted. Let us pray through the intercession of Joan of Arc, who lifted the siege against Orleans, that many enslaved by homosexual lust will be freed from their chains.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Kathleen Sebelius Shreds Documents to Protect Planned Parenthood and Child Rapists

Liberals talk about how much they care about children (born children, of course), but do they? Under former governor Kathleen Sebelius, Kansas human services protected child rapists who impregnated minors and then took them for abortions to Planned Parenthood (PP). It's long been known that PP, a mandatory reporter, looks the other way and even counsels girls to lie about their ages so they can abort their babies and send the minors back for more sexual abuse by adult men. Sebelius, a faux Catholic, was willing, not only to look the other way as long as PP kept the campaign donations rolling in, but to illegally destroy evidence that implicated her supporters.

It's time for Congress to put a stop the cover up of child rape by PP and their political allies. A good start would be to kick Sebelius out of government. No doubt she can get a job teaching at Trinity.

Kathleen Sebelius: Cheerleader of Child-Killing

Kathleen Sebelius is a Catholic, at least nominally, as most people know. Sebelius recently spoke at a NARAL fundraiser saying, "We are in a war." And she is...with the targeted population being babies in the womb. What she meant, however, was that, despite the fact that most employers provide coverage for contraception and abortifacient drugs, she will not rest until the rebels are brought under the dictatorial heel of the federal hobnailed boot. The Planned Parenthood/NARAL lobby demands it and Sebelius is their lacky. Conscience must bend to their evil agenda. (See Wall Street Journal.)

Where did Sebelius learn to separate her Catholic faith from her public "service?" Where did she learn the kind of "integrity" that allows killing children to be the centerpiece of her politics? Sad to say, at a "Catholic" school. Sebelius was a sophomore at Trinity College in Washington, D.C. when I was a senior there. And how Trinity loves her. She and her fellow pro-abort, Nancy Pelosi, are the darlings of their alma mater. Trinity has a banner in their main hall hailing Pelosi and often speak aout the "Trinity women among Washington's most powerful." Trinity, alas, has no shame.

Pelosi and Sebelius aren't the only grads putting their politics above integrity. Margaret Williams was Hillary Clinton's chief of staff. Previous to the police release of details about Vince Foster's suspicious death, Williams was seen by a secret service agent removing files from Foster's office. She later denied it. Another Trinity grad, Maisha Leek, who spoke at Cap and Gown Sunday last fall, is chief of staff for Democrat Congressman Chaka Fattah of Pennsylvania who is about as rabid a pro-abort as you can find. He favors abortion, even late-term, embryonic stem cell research, opposes making it illegal to transport minors across state lines to kill their babies, etc. ad nauseum. Another pro-abort former congresswoman Barbara Kennelly was recently hired by Trinity to teach politicial science. And to cap off Trinity's liberalism, President Patricia McGuire is now blogging for the ultra liberal Huffington Post. There is little at Trinity except a facade to show that Catholics believe there is immutable truth.

As for Sebelius, she demands not only that tax dollars pay for abortion, but that citizens must use their private funds to support them as well. Liberals like Sebelius talk a lot about "freedom " using the vocabulary of the brave new world. They will only allow citizens the "freedom" to do exactly what they tell you to do.

Ya Just Gotta Love Bob Marshall, the Brightest Bulb in the Legislature!

Bob Marshall may not represent me in the Virginia legislature, but I can't help thinking of him as MY delegate. He sure is my KIND of delegate. One of his latest actions is to have a bill ready to defend the Edison lightbulb. As of January 1, 2012 the incandescent bulb that has served us so well for over 100 years, will disappear from store shelves, a victim of the radical environmental movement. It's being replaced with a mercury light that requires several pages worth of disposal instructions and potential danger to the environment because of its toxicity.

If Congress fails in its attempt to overturn the ridiculous ban on incandescent lights which is currently being waged, Bob will introduce a bill to make it legal to manufacture and sell incandescent bulbs in Virginia. Now wouldn't that be an absolute hoot. People will drive from neighboring states (like Marylanders do to buy cigarettes without paying the onerous MD tax) to buy the bulbs that aren't available because of the federal ban.

It is really high time that the states took back their sovereignty from the power-hungry control freaks in Washington, D.C. Let's hear a hoo-rah for Thomas Edison and his incandescent bulb! We have one of those dim bulbs in our kitchen and I hate-hate-hate them. In the land where "freedom of choice" let's women kill their babies, can't I have the freedom to choose whatever light bulb I want?

There's also a petition you can sign on the Eagle Forum website along with links to articles you might find interesting.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Get ready to snoop on your neighbor!

As if we don't have enough busy-body snoops already, Congress is considering a bill (S. 1877) to make every adult in the country a mandatory reporter of child abuse and neglect. This puts the feds smack in the middle of a child abuse industry that is already completely out of control. Does anyone really think that having the Department of Health and Human Services involved will improve things? Is this really about protecting the children or about creating massive new authority for HHS? And how many false charges will be applied by people who don't happen to like their neighbors?

Who do you think will end up being reported? Will it be large families? After all, they can't possibly be caring responsibly for all those children and didn't you see one of them outside in their pajamas at noon? What about Christian families? There have already been cases where judges told parents they take their children to church too much and have to stop. Just read some of the cases on the HSLDA (Home School Legal Defense Association) website.

To read more and to contact the committee members and your own senators go here. HSLDA has written a great summary on the dangers inherent in this latest federal attempt to usurp the rights of the states and create a new federal mandate that calls every adult in the country to snoop on his neighbors.

Did God Make a Mistake?

Do you ever feel like you are living in an X-rated Wonderland? I wonder what would have happened if the parents in the article below had found a doctor who dealt with this child's sexual confusion early on. I also wonder how much of this article is true and how much is spin. And, frankly, I wonder whether this child was molested.

Led by the child who simply knew

Monday, December 12, 2011

Interesting exchange on Fast and Furious

Is this an example of "transparent" government? A federal agent is dead, killed with guns supplied to his murderer by the feds. If you were the agent's widow how would you feel?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sunday Meditation: The Unkindness of Friends

I was reflecting today about those who really have the power to hurt us. It isn't strangers, goodness knows. Most of us couldn't care less about what they think. But when someone close to us, a family member or someone we thought of as a friend, hurts us, says cutting or unkind words or judges us in the most negative light...well, that's when words cut like a knife. And that's when relationships break down sometimes never to be mended.

How often do we say mean things to someone, sometimes in front of others which adds to the humiliation. How often do we feel justified because we believe our assessment is the true one?

For the rest of Advent I want to keep close guard over my tongue and examine my conscience to see where I have used that "little member" to hurt instead of heal. God gave us the gift of speech to uplift and build up the body of Christ. May we never use it like St. James warns as "a restless evil, full of deadly poison." One of the first obligations of the Christian is control over the tongue. God help us if we fail in that and use our tongue instead to see "how great a fire it kindles."

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Agenda 21 and Sustainable Development

The first time I watched the video below I thought, "This can't be true." But I've been doing some research on it and it's certainly looking more chillingly real all the time. Is it possible? Can the government move large masses of people off of their land? Think about it. They've already done it on a small scale. When Shenandoah National Park was formed, the government took the land of everyone on the mountain and moved them into the valley claiming it was for their own good. Remember the homes taken by "eminent domain" to build a shopping center?...and Bush's plan to build a highway from Mexico to Canada grabbing land all along the way? Fortunately that was stopped (for now). The one world globalists are eating away at our rights one bit at a time. We better fight while we still can.  

Importance of Prayer

I was talking to my spiritual director yesterday about prayer. Since I'm praying for a miracle of healing for my brother John through the intercession of Blessed Vincenza Maria Poloni (I blogged about it here.), I've been thinking a lot about the prayer of petition. Father said something interesting. God responds to our needs and our prayers in one of three ways.
  • First, there are some things He will NOT give us no matter how hard we pray for them.
  • Second, some things He will give us whether we pray for them or not.
  • And, third, some things He will only give us IF we pray for them.
That sounds pretty simple on its face, but I think it offers serious material for reflection. During this coming third week of Advent, when my husband and I will end our novena to Blessed Vincenza (And probably begin another of thanksgiving.), I plan to reflect on what Father said about prayer. I know how much I want John's healing, but I have also seen the powerful impact of John's situation on the lives of those around Him. What if God's will is not John's physical healing, but his spiritual? How will I respond? How will John respond? I call him every night to pray the novena prayer with him and I know God will use those prayers powerfully. I hope it is to give John a miraculous healing and provide the miraculous cure that Blessed Vincenza needs for her canonization. But God is not a vending machine who must answer the prayers in the way I want. So these last two weeks of Advent invite me to watch and wait in prayer with eyes wide open to see how the Savior will come to bring the good news to our family.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Two Thumbs Up to Fr. Michael Taylor of Corpus Christi Mission

The Les Femmes Autumn newsletter is going to the Post Office today, and we generally don't post it on the website for several weeks. But in view of the current debate over altar girls in Arlington, I'm making an exception and putting it on the blog. The entire Autumn newsletter will go up on the website later, but for now we join the debate and thank those priests who have restored the age-old practice of boys only at the altar. Two thumbs up to Fr. Michael Taylor and his confreres who sustain the practice of using boys as "little clerics" at the altar.

 Back to the Future: Revisiting Girl Altar Boys
When Bishop Paul Loverde approved girl altar boys in 2006, he ensured that the fight over maintaining
the Church's long-term practice of male servers would be a perpetual one, at least in Arlington. Call to Action (CTA), a notorious dissent group demanding women's ordination, anything-goes sexual ethics, and other heretical positions, led the original fight in the mid 1990s with their "Let the lasses serve at Masses" mantra. Today, the issue is simmering again. A handful of disgruntled parishioners and ex-parishioners from Corpus Christi Mission in South Riding, VA, whose administrator, Fr. Michael Taylor, is phasing out altar girls, organized a letter campaign and a November 20th vigil at the chancery demanding "equity" for the girls. Not surprisingly, the issue is closely tied to dissent, as CTA joined the fray and sent out a press release advertising the chancery protest.1
Before discussing the current controversy, however, a recap of the history puts the issue in perspective. The previous bishop of Arlington, John Keating, was one of only two in the United States (Bishop Bruskewitz of Lincoln, NE being the other) to opt for boys-only when the Vatican first permitted girls to serve in 1994. Keating called the altar boys his "farm team" for the priesthood and, under his leadership and that of Vocations Director Fr. James Gould, Arlington was the envy of most dioceses in the country. Between 1993 and 1998, the year of Keating's death, while many dioceses ordained at most one or two men a year (sometimes none), Arlington welcomed at least 35 new priests.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

How Many Priests Are Living Under a Cloud of False Accusations?

The hatred for the Church is widespread and vicious. While some priests did deplorable things and should be punished, what about the priests falsely accused for a single alleged act 30 years ago? Can anyone seriously doubt that there are false accusations? David Pierre, Jr. certainly doesn't and he's written a book to connect the dots between venal lawyers who hate the Church and are looking for an easy cash cow and false sex abuse allegation. You can read more about it by clicking on the link below. And pray for priests, both the guilty and the innocent.

A Book Every Priest Needs to Read: Catholic Priests Falsely Accused

Cross Macy's Off Your Shopping List!

Earlier today I blogged about a Macy's in Texas firing a female clerk because she told a cross-dressing man he couldn't use the women's dressing room. Well, it's been bothering me all morning and I decided just talking about it wasn't enough. After all, consumers still have the power of the purse. Even if homosexuals have more disposable income than most people, there aren't that many of them. If Macey's didn't have Mom and Dad, their kids, and Grandma and Pap-pap buying for themselves and others, they couldn't survive. So let's give Macy's a big Christmas wake up call. If you have a Macy's charge cancel it and let them know why. If you bought something recently, return it. And let's send lots and lots and lots of emails saying we won't be shopping at the store on 34th Street or any of the other Macy's this Christmas season. You can read my email below and send your own here:
Dear Mr. Lundgren:

I just heard about a Macy's in Texas firing a female clerk for telling a man he couldn't use the women's dressing room. I suspect that most of your shoppers are women. I know I would feel uncomfortable and intimidated going into a dressing room where cross-dressing men were engaging in their strange fantasies -- especially if I were accompanied by children.

I buy a lot of gifts for my five children, their spouses, and our 21 grandchildren. But Macy's is certainly off my list of stores for the Christmas season and the rest of the year as well.

As for Macy's being the "friendly store" of Miracle on 34th Street, you sure aren't friendly for Christian families who want to protect their children from bizarre and disordered behavior.

Merry Christmas and may your bottom line fall into the abyss.

Good News at Catholic University

“Same-sex dormitories do not constitute unlawful discrimination”:
Human rights agency dismisses complaint against Catholic University of America

See if you have this straight.... Macy's let's a guy, who lives in a virtual world where he's a girl, use the Ladies dressing room. (See previous post.) The D.C. human rights agency says same sex dorms are not discriminatory and points out the ludicrous results such a ruling would have, i.e., requiring same-sex bathrooms, locker rooms, sports teams, (dressing rooms?), etc. What's going to rule here? Common sense or politically correct nonsense?

It's not Kris Kringle's Macy's Anymore!

What do you think of this scenario? Your teenage daughters go shopping at Macy's for dresses for a special occasion. They take their little sister with them. When they go to the dressing room with their selections, lo and behold, a group of "transgender" guys are using the rooms and coming out to show each other their frilly selections.

Sound crazy? I agree. But that is the new reality at the LGBT friendly store. Macy's just fired a female clerk who told a man he couldn't use the female dressing room. Macy's says a "transgender" male can use any dressing rooms he wants.

This, of course, will end up in court. Now whose "rights" do you think will be upheld?

Macy's clerk fired for booting man from women's dressing room

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Looks like a good movie for the Christmas season

My friend Martin Barillas at Spero Forum has put together a video review of Steven Spielberg's new film Tintin. It looks like loads of fun. Maybe this should be on your Christmas list for entertaining grandkids.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

We Need More of These Flash Mobs

"May we see You one day face to face in heaven."

Pray for the Imprisoned: It's a Spiritual Work of Mercy

One of the spiritual works of mercy is to "pray for the imprisoned." A reader asked me a question about Corey Clagett, a soldier who killed two Iraqi prisoners following an unlawful order. He pled guilty and was sentenced in 2007 to 18 years as a result, a severe sentence compared to the officer who ordered the murders and the other two soldiers invovled who are all out. One of the soldiers returned to active duty. If you want to see more about Corey's case go here. But you really don't need to read about it to understand that this young man, who was 21 at the time of the incident and has mostly served in solitary confinement since then, is suffering severely for his lapse in judgment and his terrible act. He was abused in prison and his mental health has been affected by what happened.

We hear during Advent that "those in darkness have seen a great light." Corey is in darkness and needs the light of our prayers and encouragement. Will you send him a note or a Christmas card today? His Address is:

Corey Clagett 82477
1300 N. Warehouse Rd.
Ft. Leavenworth, KS 66027

All of us are sinners and would despair without the light of Christ. Be a light for Corey during this Advent season. When you light your wreath don't forget to remember him and all those serving in war zones (and all prisoners) who are languishing in prison cells, especially missionaries and those suffering unjustly out of religious persecution.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Reflection on Duty

I just read an article in Chronicles, one of my favorite magazines, and was shocked by it because of the audience the author was addressing. I'm not easily shocked I might add. But Jeff Minick described teaching a seminar for homeschoolers on the Civil War. They were discussing Robert E. Lee and he brought up Lee's commitment to duty. "For Lee duty was a sort of eighth virtue," he told the young people. They responded by expressing their dislike of the word for being "harsh" and "heavy" and "old fashioned." Minick was surprised by their antipathy, but says he missed a teaching moment by not pursuing the discussion. He went on to describe how the word duty has almost disappeared from our vocabulary, replaced by the word "responsibility" which has a different connation. Duty implies control from the outside; responsibility implies personal acceptance. Minarick believes the "semantic shift has consequences," not positive ones, both for individuals and the culture.

Minarick is a college professor. He tells us that "In my 25 years of teaching, I have never once heard anyone explain to students that learning is a duty. Parents and teachers extol the value of study...but to tell students they have the duty to study, just as soldiers have the duty of defendingt their country, never enters the discussion." And he goes on to describe how he is incorporating the idea of duty into his classes including Emerson's poem:
So nigh is grandeur to our dust,
So near is God to man,
When Duty whispers low, Thou must,
The youth replies, I can!

On reflection, I'm not all that surprised at the antipathy our modern society has toward duty. My generation grew up in the aftermath of World War II. Our fathers and uncles and neighbors had responded to the call to duty and fought at great personal cost. In a Catholic family, I often heard about our obligation to "do the duties of our state in life." And I told my husband I should have this epitaph on my gravestone. "She did her duty with gritted teeth."

Perhaps that explains why our entitlement culture would rather not think about duty. It's hard and sometimes even unpleasant. They would rather apply it to others than themselves. The government, in particular, has a duty to provide for them from cradle to grave. They, on the other hand, have no duties, only rights. Certainly, the Occupy movement reflects that as the spoiled kids with their I-phones, I-pods, and I-pads (Did you ever notice the narcissistic emphasis of those names?) call society to pour out more goodies into their open arms and mouths. In one humorous discussion on YouTube, a reporter asks a young man if he will share his I-pad with others and he says, no because it's his personal property. When she points out that he is demanding that others share their property, he goes through hoops justifying his inconsistent position. Greed, it seems, is in the eye of the beholder. Recognizing and doing one's duty takes grownups. Is it any wonder that a dependent generation of adolescent crybabies hates the word?

Reflecting on duty seems to me to be a good Advent preparation. Our Lord spoke to Sr. Lucy of Fatima in 1943 saying, The sacrifice required of every person is the fulfillment of his duties in life and the observance of My Law. This is the penance that I now seek and require.” We would do well to listen and obey Our Lord. What are the duties of your state in life? Are you fulfilling them to the best of your ability? We would all do well to examine our consciences this Advent on what God expects of us. We have moral duties and, like it or not, we will answer for the way we fulfill or  fail to fulfill them. Let us try to instill in our children and grandchildren the sense that doing your duty is a question of honor. Emerson's poem goes well with the final lines of Richard Lovelace's poem To Lucasta, Going to the Wars.
I could not love thee, dear, so much,
Lov'd I not honour more.

Duty and honor are closely linked and both are pretty much ignored by our narcissistic culture that puts personal pleasure above all. A truly Catholic world view, however, values both, seeking to live a virtuous life where faithfulness to duty helps define an individual's honor and integrity. One would expect homeschoolers to get this even if the larger culture doesn't. But, like the plant growing in an acid soil, students, even homeschoolers, are impacted by the cultural soil. In view of that, one important duty of Catholic parents is to emphasize and instill a sense of duty in their children: duty to God, to family, and to our neighbor. It isn't just a responsibility but a sacred duty. God help us if we fail to perform it.


Friday, December 2, 2011

A Novena for Healing: To Christ the Great Physician through the intercession of Blessed Vincenza Maria Poloni

I have a personal request for all my readers today. Will you please pray for my brother John? John is a retired Baltimore County police officer who had a stroke two years ago at age 54. It left him with an almost useless left side and his condition was complicated further when he contracted a disease called transverse myelitis. John is in constant pain and so far little has helped to relieve it. Doctors at Johns Hopkins pain clinic tried a temporary implant to send electric stimuli to block the pain, but it didn't work so they scrapped plans for a permanent implant. Meanwhile, John continues to suffer.

I recently came across a Blessed who is in need of a miracle for canonization and whose story is so full of providential connections to John that I decided to make a novena for his miraculous healing through her intercession. My husband and I will begin it this Sunday, the second Sunday of Advent. We will pray the daily rosary and the Prayer below asking Blessed Vincenza to intercede for John's complete healing. What a grace if through her prayers John could have his left side restored like the man with the withered arm.

In case you're interested in why I chose this Blessed, her name in religious life was the first attention-getter because John lives on Vincenza Dr. But there are other similarities. Blessed Vincenza Maria Poloni was one of twelve children, only three of whom lived to adulthood. We also come from a large family. My mom had eleven full term pregnancies and several miscarriages with ten children living to adulthood. Blessed Vincenza founded an order to care for the sick and infirm and devoted her adult life to praying for and serving them. I know she would be touched by my brother's difficult circumstances because she chose to found an order to help people like him. Finally, Blessed Vincenza was found dead November 11, 1855. I wonder if she too was the victim of a stroke. She was 53 almost the same age as John when he was struck down, and her death year was 100 years before John’s birth. John, like Blessed Vincenza was found in his room, not dead, but too late for the clot-busting drugs that might have prevented so much damage.

I wondered when I read Blessed Vincenza's story in my Magnificat whether all these connections with John could be just random coincidences or was Blessed Vincenza inviting us to seek her intercession? I determined to ask my family to begin praying for John’s cure through this Blessed’s prayers before the throne of God. What a grace if his cure should be the miracle needed for her canonization. Please join us in this prayer for John from December 3 to December 11, the vigil of the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. If you can add the daily rosary or at least one Hail Mary, I would be so grateful.

Here is a healing prayer approved by the church for those seeking a miracle. Since it's written in the first person I've put the original words in parentheses, and included the proper third person construction.

Prayer for a Creative Miracle
(Through the intercession of Blessed Vincenza Maria Poloni we pray):

God of all creation, you who spoke a simple command and brought forth light from the darkness, I call upon you now to send forth your miracle-working power into every aspect of (my) John's being. In the same way that you spoke unto the dust of the ground when you created humankind in your own image, I ask you to send forth your healing power into (my) John's body. Send forth your word and command every cell, electrical and chemical impulse, tissue, joint, ligament, organ, gland, muscle, bone and every molecule in (my) his body to come under complete and perfect health, strength, alignment, balance and harmony.

It is through you that (I) John lives and moves and (have my) has his being. With every breath (I) he takes, (I) he lives under your life-giving grace. I ask you to touch (me) him now with the same miracle-working power that you used when you fashioned (me) him inside (my) his mother’s womb. As surely as you have created (me) him in your image and likeness, you can also recreate (me) him now and restore (me) him to health.

Please fill (me) John with your healing power. Cast out all that should not be inside of (me) him. I ask you to mend all that is broken, root out every sickness and disease, open all blocked arteries and veins, restore (my) his internal organs, rebuild (my) his damaged tissues, remove all inflammation and cleanse (me) him of all infections, viruses and destructive forms of bacteria.

Let the warmth of your healing love flood (my) his entire being, so that (my) his body will function the way it was created to be, whole and complete, renewed in your perfect health. I ask this through (the intercession of Blessed Vincenza Maria Poloni)  to my Lord, Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Once Upon a Time a Brave Council of the K of C Suspended a Pro-Abortion Knight!

The Knights of Columbus is a Catholic fraternal men's group that must be admired for its high-profile, pro-life work. They serve as marshals for the March for Life in January, fund a number of pro-life projects including the purchase of sonogram machines for pregnancy help centers, and distribute masses of pro-life literature. All of this pro-life work, however, is compromised by their utter refusal to address the problem of allowing publicly pro-abortion politicians to remain in their midst and commit grave public scandal without consequence. In many cases, the passage of pro-abortion legislation at the state and national levels can be laid directly at the feet of pro-abortion Knights. Their brother Knights who object and call for implementation of the by-laws requiring suspension or explulsion for scandal are often treated as the enemy by officers at the local, state, and national levels. Those leaders claim that the Knights can only expel a member if he is excommunicated by his bishop. But now there is a short and compelling little book that challenges that red-herring and calls on the Knights to practice what they preach.

James G. Bruen in Errant Knight: the Scandal of ProChoice Knights, recounts the only case I'm aware of where a pro-choice politician was disciplined for publicly and blatantly promoting abortion during a political campaign. It took place in 1991 when Catholic Mike Dwyre  ran for the Virginia House of Delegates on a pro-abortion platform against a pro-life non-Catholic. This short work clearly describes the charitable efforts of a group of Knights to urge their brother to repent and call on the Knights' leadership to walk the pro-life walk when it requires difficult decisions.

A particularly compelling element of the book is an exchange of letters between the author and John Cardinal O'Connor who was head of the bishops' pro-life committee at the time, although he did not respond in that capacity. In his letter the cardinal called the argument often put forth that the Knights can't do anything unless the hierarchy excommunicates the member a "red herring." He supported the actions of the local council and repudiated the use of his name to imply his approval for protecting Dwyre. Cardinal O'Connor ended his  letter to Bruen saying, "I admire your courage, your concern and your highly professional statement of the case as you see it. My very warmest thanks for sending it to me."

All Catholics are called to fight against evil in the Church Militant. And so it is encouraging to know that, once upon a time, a courageous group of Knights from a local council took action against an treacherous Knight in their midst. They defended the faith and successfully called their errant brother to account. St. Paul would have approved. Sadly, the K of C bureaucracy did not. They responded in a shameful way by changing the rules to make it more difficult to discipline scandalous Knights. Bruen concludes, accurately I believe, that the Knight's leadership "seem more interested in selling insurance or in claiming prominent politicians as members than they are in giving unblemished witness to the sanctity of human life." Sadly, the scandal of enabling pro-abortion Knights has continued for the two decades since Mike Dwyre was indefinitely suspended from his local council in Chantilly, VA. And there's no sign of change at National despite the accelerating moral disintegration of our culture with the assault on traditional marriage, also advanced by Knight-politicians.

As a Knight's lady, I believe it is high time the Knights acted like men and defended the least ones, the tiny babies in the wombs of their mothers waiting to be born. They are the images of the little infant Jesus and His cousin John meeting with such joy at Mary's visitation to Elizabeth. Obviously, any action taken against a pro-abortion Knight must occur at the local level. But the national and state leadership should encourage such action rather than throw up roadblocks. To treat those who love the least ones as enemies while coddling those whose souls are in danger is a cowardly action that makes a mockery of the very name "Knight." Until such time as national and state leaders encourage local councils to take action against pro-abortion Knights, I believe entire councils should withdraw from the Knights of Columbus. They can work as local parish men's groups until the Knights' leadership takes seriously their obligation to protect the babies from errant Knights who work to slay them on the altar of political expediency. 

Bruen's e-book is available at Amazon for $1.49. If you don't have a Kindle or Nook you can get a free app for your computer at http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html/ref=sa_menu_karl3?ie=UTF8&docId=1000493771). Make this book a best-seller and send it to every Knight in your parish. It's encouraging to know that once upon a time, there was a courageous group of chivalrous Knights who went into battle for the little ones who can't fight for themselves.