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Monday, January 31, 2011

First Friday This Week: Have You Ever Made the 9 First Fridays?

Jesus told St. Margaret Mary, "I promise you in the excessive mercy of my Heart that its all-powerful love will grant to all those who receive Holy Communion on nine first Fridays of consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they will not die under my displeasure or without receiving their sacraments, my divine Heart making itself their assured refuge at the last moment."

Wow! Who wouldn't want that promise. So my new 2011 resolution is to make the Nine First Friday's this year and make them well. I may have done this as a child and, since we go to daily Mass almost every day of the year, I may have made them unconsciously, but I want to do it this year consciously and with heartfelt love.

What's required? Attending Mass on nine consecutive first Fridays out of love for the Sacred Heart of Jesus and in reparation for those who do not receive Him, live sinful lives, and do not give Him the love and honor due to Him.

Learn more here.

Some Are More Equal Than Others: Obama's buddies get waivers from health care regs!

You really, really thought Obama wanted a massive health plan to provide for all the poor little guys without insurance? The joke's on you. His plan is sooooooo great that lots of people want waivers from its regulations and if you happen to be an Obama buddy you just might get one. As of now about 733 special folks are exempt including Obama's old supporters at the SEIU. You know, the union thugs who turned up at numerous town hall meetings to keep the hoi poloi in line. Check it out here. Obama is paying them back now.

But if Obamacare is so great (as the Democrats keep telling us), why would anyone want a waiver? Could it be the 2000 page bill really is as bad as its critics say? And if it's so great maybe, just maybe Congress should prohibit exemptions from its regulations. After all, if Obamacare is good enough for the great unwashed - that's us (Harry Reid's stinky American tourists), it should be good enough for Obama's buddies.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Blessings of Grandchildren.... By birth and "adoption"

One of my favorite parts of the marriage ceremony is the blessing that you might see "your children and your children's children." Well...we are incredibly blessed to be expecting our 20th grandchild who is due next September. Most of 2011 will be a happy anticipation of that event with all the reports about progress and finding out whether the girls will advance their lead (currently 11-8) or whether the boys will begin to catch up.

The thing that got me thinking about grandchildren (It never takes much) was that, while browsing my bloglist, I was intrigued by "Old Bob's" post title. So I went and read about his "adopted" granddaughter. Actually, he is the adopted grandfather, since Maria initiated the honorary title. If you want to read a heartwarming message for Sunday (always a traditional family day) visit Bob's blog. And a big congratulations, Bob. Instant grandchildren are another blessing from the Lord and you aren't limited to one!

Pontifical Academy of Science Gets Pro-Gay, Pro-Abort Member!

Another head shaker comes to us from the Vatican with the appointment of pro-gay marriage, pro-abortion scientist, Dr. Miguel Nicolelis to the Pontifical Academy of Science. 

Pope names staunch pro-abortion and pro-"gay marriage" scientist to Pontifical Academy of Sciences

This comes on the heels of the appointment of a Protestant as head of the Academy.

Does any of this matter? Does appointing Protestants and those who diametrically oppose Catholic teaching to the Academy affect its deliberations and advice to the pope?

Well, the facetious question, "Is the pope Catholic?," pops into my head. How can it not? Jesus founded a Church where the fullness of the truth lies. That includes the fullness of the truth about the world that God made. Who is most able to carry out scientific inquiry? The man of faith and science like Louis Pasteur or the ridiculer of God and religion, Richard Dawkins? 

What's going on at the Academy implies that being Catholic and an adherent of Catholic truth is no asset to scientific inquiry and may, in fact, be an obstacle. That's exactly what many atheistic and irreligious scientists believe; thus they persecute and boycott those scientists who diverge from the party line -- evolution as the origin of life. As for "intelligent design" they deny it outright because they have decided, de facto, that there can be no intelligent designer. Many are true believers in their own god, the uncaused cause, better known as the primordial soup.

Obviously, science, using the scientific method cannot prove there is a God. Neither can science prove there is not a God. All it can do is observe, develop hypotheses and theories, test them, and draw conclusions about the material world. Believers know there can be no conflict between faith and science since the laws of science were made by the Lawgiver of Life.

As for the Pontifical Academy of Science, in 2004 Gerard Keane (since deceased) published a paper saying, "the Academy has deviated from its proper mission and contributed in no small measure to the current crisis of faith in the Catholic Church." After describing the history of the Academy and its makeup (about 80 scientists from varying specialties, many Nobel prize winners, most non-Catholic) Keane observes:
The idea of a Pontifical Academy of Sciences is praiseworthy but it contains inherent strengths and weaknesses. On one hand, the gaining of information from outstanding scientists and scholars can help Catholics to keep abreast of the latest scientific discoveries and any possible impact on doctrinal teachings....On the other hand, there is the possibility of theological error masquerading under the guise of science. As shocking as it may sound, I submit that there is a strong bias at work within the Academy which in its practical effect is opposed to official Catholic teachings concerning Origins. I contend that the heavily pro-evolution stance of the PAS has resulted in materialistic views being aired at PAS conferences and dissenting doctrinal views also being aired at such conferences....
When one looks at PAS Origins conferences, it is obvious that pro-evolution themes feature strongly. The Academy provides a vehicle for dissemination of evolutionary views, but wrapped in an aura of respectability as a scientific body which is highly regarded by each reigning Pontiff. I contend that the mostly non-Catholic Academy, through its prestigious position, has for many decades asserted effective and largely unchallenged domination of what is being taught regarding creation/evolution in Catholic centers of learning worldwide. Who dares oppose the Academy?

Why does the PAS have a pro-evolution stance when macroevolution has been shown to be impossible? Amazingly, it seems that no one among the PAS experts has even bothered to define exactly what they mean by the term “evolution”! Unless succinctly defined, the idea of evolution remains vague and endlessly elastic, giving rise to deep confusion. Biological evolution can be defined succinctly as “the natural gaining of higher genetic information not possessed by one’s ancestors.”
Keane ends his article with this conclusion about the Academy:
Why is the PAS allowed to conduct conferences in which speculation is made against declared Church doctrine? It’s not good enough for the PAS to issue a disclaimer for such views. The situation is not funny as ultimately the salvation of souls may be at stake. All around the world, the prestige enjoyed by the PAS means that Catholics who are poorly informed about Origins — whether they be clergy or laity — look trustingly to the Academy for guidance but instead receive biased and muddled pro-evolutionary views. The impact is much worse when you consider that many, many young Catholic children are being starved of truth about vital foundational doctrinal beliefs because of the effective and seemingly unchallenged domination exercised by the PAS over Catholic Education. I contend that the PAS is in fact facilitating the on-going crisis of faith within the Catholic Church, and is severely retarding the possible flowering of Catholic culture via evangelization with the truth of Special Creation in an increasingly post-Christian world. The obvious pro-evolution bias of the Academy has not only resulted in the exclusion from membership of Catholic scholars who oppose evolution but has also brought debilitating doctrinal confusion within the true Church founded by Jesus Christ.

It is about time that the functioning of the PAS was overhauled to ensure that it keeps within proper limits and within declared Catholic teachings. In the meantime, I urge you to fully support the Kolbe Center for the Study of Creation in whatever sphere of influence you may have within the Church and within society at large, and of course with your prayers as well. Let us re-evangelize anew with the truth of Special Creation!
From the recent appointment of Dr. Nicolelis, the "overhaul" sought by Keane seems farther away than ever. In fact, one can expect that the PAS will continue to promote a world view that, in some cases, is diametrically opposed to Church teaching. Catholics need to remember the global warming hoax and the emails that showed so-called reputable scientists falsifying data and conspiring to prevent publication of those with whom they disagreed. Having a long list of initials after one's name is no proof of honesty or integrity. And in fact, the views it articulates are ultimately those of the individual scientists who make them and not necessarily to be trusted.


Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Catholic Contraception Kit: Know the Moral Teachings on Sexuality and Defend Them.

One more example of why I love Real Catholic TV. Church teaching on sexual morality is part of the Good News. Learn it and share it!

Do You Ever Wonder How Many Priests Are Falsely Accused and Innocent?

There's something drastically wrong when a single fifty-year-old unsubstantiated accusation can get an 80 year old priest removed from ministry. The bishops' willingness to sacrifice their priests on the altar of expediency to cover up their own irresponsibility is shameful!

The Exile of Father F. Dominic Menna and Transparency at The Boston Globe

Friday, January 28, 2011

Stop the Speculation About Fr. Tom Euteneuer

In the scene in Hamlet where the young prince has just communicated with the ghost of his father,  he is reluctant to confide in his friends about what the ghost said and what he has seen. He makes Horatio and Marcellus swear that when they see him put on an "antic disposition" they will never "with arms encumbered thus, or this headshake, or by pronouncing of some doubtful phrase, as 'Well, well, we know,' or 'We could an if we would,' or 'If we list to speak,' or 'There be, an if they might,' or such ambiguous giving out, to note that you know aught of me. This not to do....swear!"

It is just such "doubtful phrases" and "ambiguous giving out" that is roiling around the internet about Fr. Tom Euteneuer, the former director of Human Life International who departed suddenly a few months ago. Jenn Giroux has written a timely article at Renew America urging people to stop the speculation. "Maybe, just maybe," she says,  "we don't need to know the whole story." I agree.

The character in Hamlet who has to know everything and be at the center of every intrigue is Polonius, an "opinionated donkey," according to my 16-year-old granddaughter. He ends up dead, stabbed by Hamlet in a case of mistaken identity while he's eavesdropping behind the tapestry in Gertrude's bedroom. Sometimes curiosity really does "kill the cat," or the donkey in this case.

Let's all just swear off idle speculation about Fr. Euteneuer. How many of us really have a need to know after all?

Question for the Day: Do You Ever Visit the Lonely in Nursing Homes?

“Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat.”

Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Biggest Sting of Kiddie Porn Implicates Thousands at DOD

When a culture is in moral meltdown the depravity grows more and more perverted. Operation Flicker uncovered tens of thousands of kiddie porn users downloading child rape of little ones as young as three years old. And most will get off. Keep close tabs on your little ones. As Reagan often said, "Trust but verify." We need to give our children enough freedom to grow up and become responsible adults, but not enough to let them become victims of the closet molester. See the complete article and other videos here.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

My latest blog discovery by a Catholic Mom: Visit and Enjoy

I love discovering new blogs and this one by a Catholic mom of seven who is also a lawyer and writer is a great find.  Words from Cana 

They Marched in the Belly of the Beast

The West Coast March for Life took place in San Francisco, the actual belly of the beast with an estimated attendance of 40,000. You'll note in the small counter protest that the homosexuals are out in drag. Why, you ask, do homosexuals care about abortion? Because for them it's all about doing whatever I want with MY body. If I want to abort the baby in it, sodomize with it, drug it, contracept it, kill it, etc. it's MY decision.

This is a spiritual war between those who kneel before the Lord who says, "This is my body, given up for you" and respond, "Thy will be done;" and those who scream, "This is MY body, and I can do whatever I want with it. MY will be done."

Pray for those enslaved by the concupiscence of their bodies, that they might recognize the danger of letting brother ass, as St. Francis called his body, be in charge.

More on the Sexulizing of Little Girls

Playing dress-up is one thing. Having a line of makeup targeting little girls is quite another. One more reason to avoid Walmart.

Walmart offers new makeup line for 8-12-year-olds

The Third Rail: Contraception

Years ago a friend of mine said the Lord never meant us to march for life during the cold winter, that we should be marching on the anniversary of Griswold v. Connecticut in June (June 7, 1965). Why? Because Griswold is the Supreme Court ruling that overthrew all the laws against selling contraceptives (the Comstock Laws) and established the "penumbra" right to privacy which is nowhere enumerated in the Constitution. Griswold was the Executive Director of the Planned Parenthood League of Connecticut. Like Roe, Griswold was a 7-2 decision that forbade all states in the U.S. from banning the sale of contraceptives. It's another example of the court legislating. It became the "privacy" decision used to overthrow all laws against abortion, which was always Planned Parenthood's not-so-hidden agenda.

Contraception is abortion's root. Anyone who claims to oppose abortion but supports contraception is foolish or a liar. Wherever contraception is promoted, abortions increase. More on that later. Michael Voris is absolutely right and it's high time we heard more preaching against contraception!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Mom Jailed For Sending Kids to Better School

Don't we live in an interesting culture? A woman can choose to kill her baby for no reason or any reason. But a mom who wants a better education for her children can't choose another school district. The only thing that would really improve public schools would be to give parents school choice. Let parents choose and if a school is oversubscribed hold a lottery. Any parent willing to drive their kids outside "their district" should be eligible to enroll their children in any public school they want. Why shouldn't those living in poor school districts have the "right to choose" a better education for their children?

Let's face it. The elitists don't care about the "right to choose" except for abortion. And abortion isn't really about choice; it's about money and genocide. Most abortion mills are located in the inner cities and minorities have a higher percentage of abortions than their representation in the population. Planned Parenthood wants abortion funded by the government both for the money and for the elimination of those they consider "unfit." It was one of Margaret Sanger's slogans. "More from the fit; less from the unfit."

And I have one more question. Has a single abortion mill employee who covered up the statutory rape of a minor who came for an abortion with a predatory boyfriend, coach, teacher, etc. been prosecuted and jailed? I sure haven't heard of any. But this mom who loves her children and wants a better life for them is in jail. Go figure!

Abortion Mill Butchers: Safe Legal Abortion is a Myth!

The pro-aborts talk a lot about "safe, legal abortion," but have always opposed any restrictions on abortionists even to protect the mothers. In recent days, it's become more and more obvious that abortion is a business loaded with bottom-feeding butchers who not only don't mind killing babies, but their moms as well. Here's a sampling of these "humanitarians" who are so loved by Planned Parenthood, NARAL, etc. Note that because abortion is unrestricted and the abortion movement fights regulation of any kind that unlicensed butchers, like Bertha Bugarin, can thrive. The back alley operates on main street with the complicity of the abortion movement that has never cared about the safety of women. "Safe, legal abortion" is a myth! And here's just a sample from the rogues' gallery of the abortion movement. But what can you expect? Anyone who is willing to kill a helpless baby, would hardly blanch at any other atrocity.

Nicola Riley

Andrew Rutland

Steven Brigham

George Shepherd

Kermit Gosnell

Eileen O'Neill

Rapin Osathanondh

Mila Means and Greg Linhardt

Nolan Jones

Bertha Bugarin

Romeo Ferrer

Arizona Law Challenges Obama to Pony Up the Docs for 2012

President Obama has spent millions to avoid being open and transparent about his birth, schooling, medical history, etc., but Arizaon is set to rain on his parade with a law that requires presidential candidates to prove their eligibility. Passage appears likely. Georgia, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Montana are proposing similar legislation. This is definitely a "game changer!" Read the complete article here.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Where Was the Media at the March? AWOL as usual!

Just imagine: dozens of politicians from Capitol Hill come out in the freezing cold to hail abortion on demand or same sex "marriage" and hundreds of enthusiastic supporters come out to hail them. Don't you think the story would make the front page above the fold in the national newspapers? I'm sure of it. Even beforehand, the Washington Post would be carrying the schedule, the parade route, and a list of speakers to encourage as big a crowd as possible to attend. (That's what they always do for the feminist and gay marches.)

What happens when hundreds of thousands of pro-lifers take to the streets to defend the right to life of the innocent?

Media AWOL...
You can almost hear the bored comments of the reporters, "Gosh, this happens every year so it's not news any more. Ho-hum (yawn).

Really? All those Congressmen on the podium, a large representation of the tea party freshmen class, and they aren't newsworthy? Women witnessing to their profound regret for abortion, dozens of them -- they aren't newsworthy? A growing black presence who recognize that abortion is genocide for their race which represents about 12% of the population but has almost 40% of the abortions? Not newsworthy?

No, it's not about news, it's about bias. The Washington Post had a short blog entry calling the enormous 38th March an "anti-abortion" rally in a photo caption of a girl with a few other people in the background. You can always identify the Post's pictures because they go out of their way to avoid showing the crowd. Wouldn't want people to see how many pro-lifers there really are out there.

What about the New York Times, you ask? What do you think the "paper of record" had to say? Nix, nada, nothing, no how, no way. At least I couldn't find a single entry in an internet search.

Then there was TV. We got home from the March in time for the national network news and the March was ignored. Of course, the regular networks had important news to cover like Oprah finding the sister her mom put up for adoption years ago. Now wouldn't that have fit nicely with the pro-life slogan, "adoption, not abortion?"

I have long stopped expecting anything but bias from the mainstream media. But that's why we in the alternative media need to be the trumpeters for the movement. We will not be silenced, we will never stop fighting, and God is on the side of the lives He creates. As I told the administrator of an abortion mill during a rescue in the 1970s. "Sharon, you can never win because those who support killing do not have the staying power of we who support life." Besides, liberals kill their babies at a pretty rapid clip. How will you fight when you have no arrows in your quiver? The most pro-life thing a family can do is have another baby, as Fr. Paul Marx frequently said. Can there ever be too many flowers in God's garden? The victory is ultimately ours because the culture of death cannot win against the kingdom of God. And when the victory comes it will be a glorious one because all the institutions of worldly power are on the other side. But the Holy Spirit is on ours and He cannot be defeated!

Praised be the Lord Jesus Christ. now and forever!

Hate America First! Chinese Pianist Played Anti-American Song at White House Dinner

We've seen Obama bow to other heads of state. We've heard him apologize over and over for America. And now, at the White House dinner for Chinese President Hu, a pianist was allowed to play an anti-American melody that, if sung, has the verse:

When friends are here, there is fine wine
But if the jackal (U.S. soldiers) comes
What greets it is the hunting rifle.
Wow! What a cool message for your hosts - especially when they buy all your junk. And remember, this is the country with a formal one-child policy and forced abortion. Not only that, their policy has created a lopsided culture with too many men and not enough women. Does anybody really think the Chinese government is our friend?

Read the labels and don't buy "made in China."
See the complete article here.

Pray for Students: Most College Campuses are the Devil's Workshop

Yesterday while marching I had a conversation with a gentleman, a Catholic from Baltimore, carrying a little boy on his shoulders. I commented on the number of young people at the march and the danger of them being perverted when they go to college. He agreed. Yes, sad to say, colleges today are hell holes where student dorms are more like brothels than homes and classrooms are indoctrination centers for liberalism and relativism. And they've been that way for a long time. I could tell some dicey stories from my oldest two's experience of dorm life at the University of VA! Even most Catholic colleges scandalize students and lead them down the "primrose path of dalliance."

One example: Next month The V-Monologues will be produced on many college campuses leading students to grunt and groan in simulated sex and fill their minds with filthy images under the masquerade of fighting violence against women. How a play that glorifies lesbian seduction can be seen as non-violent is beyond me. The play is about making young women animals in heat -- for each other. Psychological and spiritual violence can be more deadly than the physical kind. A soul alienated from God is a sad thing. (Read Dr. Faustus.)

The Cardinal Newman Society which addresses the problems on Catholic campuses solicits prayer warriors to support them in their battle to restore the faith on campuses darkened by the secular world's fascination with depravity. Go here to sign up and offer prayers and encouragement for their work. If you can make a donation all the better.  Pray for our young people. Those who embrace the culture of death mostly don't have children; they want yours. Don't make it easy for them!

Monday, January 24, 2011

The March for Life: Why We Will Win and Restore Protection to the Babies

Today was the 38th March for Life - can you hear the bells tolling for the millions of babies sacrificed on the altar of selfishness? But as I listened to the speakers today and marched down Constitution Ave and up to the Supreme Court I was excited and energized. And here are a few random observations and thoughts.

*This was one of the largest marches I've ever attended and I've been to all but four!

*The crowd was young and energized. In fact, the crowd was overflowing the mall and people spilled into the road from the sidewalks even ahead of the March banners.

*There were more Congressmmen and Senators on stage than ever and the freshmen included several doctors, one who has brought at least 5,000 babies into the world.

*The speeches from the politicians were laced with references to scripture, so that it was like a revival, something this country sorely needs. And the freshmen promised they will speak out for the babies.

*The crowd was more diverse than I've ever seen before with many "people of color." And, in fact, one of the freshmen congressmen, Tim Huelskamp, a Catholic farmer from the midwest, was there with his four adopted children who are black. See here.

*The pro-abortion group at the Supreme Court was the smallest ever. There couldn't have been more than a dozen, and that's a generous estimate. These are the people who call us violent, but aren't afraid to be among several hundred thousand of us knowing full well that they have nothing to fear.

*The Genocide Awareness Project (GAP) was there in a prominent location exposing the evil of abortion and other assaults against life with huge pictures. America, they said, won't stop abortion until they see abortion. Every social movement from abolition to civil rights to the Vietnam War to the genocide in Darfur have used gruesome photos to arouse the compassion and opposition of the citizens. Jesus Himself left us the image of His bloody sacrifice on the cross. We must tell the truth about abortion! Included in the display were pro-abortion quotes from President Obama who on January 22nd, the anniversary of Roe v. Wade promised his complete commitment to the killing of unborn babies.

*A big message from everyone on the podium was, "Go home and get back to work!" If the only pro-life activity you do is march once of year, you are not part of the solution. Pray and fight. Everyone can play a part. If you're a homeschooling mom, assign your children to write letters to your congressman. It's called teaching civics. They are future voters and need to know that they help shape the culture. Make a phone call, sign a petition, pray once a month at an abortion mill, hold a baby shower for a crisis pregnancy center, pray the spiritual adoption prayer of Fulton Sheen. Everyone has a role to play to protect and defend the innocent. Let us all be part of the solution.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Behold the Face of Jesus Christ

I love to look at the living face of Jesus, reconstructed from the image on the Shroud of Turin. The love in His eyes is unmistakable. Prayer doesn't need words. Meditate on the face of Jesus, the face of God. And see yourself reflected in His eyes as the image of God. Lord Jesus, Saviour of the World, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Meditation for Sunday: Give Glory to God!

Looks like some sanity may be returning to our Sunday worship when the new translation goes into effect at the beginning of Advent. Here is the new ICEL translation of the Gloria in Gregorian Chant. Sure beats the tambourine and foot tapping modern versions that would be more appropriate for the music hall dance concert. And Gregorian Chant is easy. I was singing it in the choir when I was in fourth grade. So, please, no more about how it will discourage participation. It brings dignity and ceremony back into our worship. Shouldn't the worship of God be different than our date-night entertainment?

Praised be Jesus Christ! Both now and forever.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Pray and Fast to End Abortion - Pray the Rescue Rosary!

Today is designated as a day of prayer and fasting to end abortion. Let's all offer little sacrifices and extra prayers for an end to this horrible atrocity. I especially invite you to join in the "rescue rosary." When I was in jail in Buffalo during the Spring of Life in the early '90s, I met a fellow sidewalk counselor who had the idea of a rosary specifically to be prayed for all those involved at the killing centers. The rosary was even color-coded to remind the one praying of the intention for each decade.
First decade - Blessed Mother blue - to be prayed for the mothers who coming to the abortion mill to kill their children, that they will reconsider and have a true mother's heart toward the little ones in their wombs and accept the help so eagerly offered.

Second decade - gold, the color of treasure or white like the pearl of great price - to be prayed for the babies, God's great gift, that they might be saved and their mothers might welcome them as tiny treasures to enrich their families with God's love.

Third decade - red, the color of suffering - to be prayed for the pro-lifers present at the killing centers who risk arrest and persecution for trying to save God's precious little ones from death and their parents from lifelong suffering.

Fourth decade - dark blue - prayed for the "boys in blue," the police officers who are often put in the middle between life and death, called on to enforce evil laws that violate the right to life.

Fifth decade - black, the color of evil and death - prayed for all those in the abortion industry: abortionists, staff, "deathscorts," etc. that they might repent, leave the abortion business, and turn back to God.
The rescue rosary reminds us that abortion touches so many lives - not just the babies and their parents. Make the rescue rosary an integral part of your prayer to end the scourge of abortion.

Interesting follow-up to the Offensive Doritos Ad Submitted to the Super Bowl Contest

It didn't make the cut for top ten Super Bowl ads submitted and, according to this article, the producer pulled it when the fat hit the fan. I was interested to see that the actor who thought it up is a Catholic and a Notre Dame graduate. Perhaps that explains his being clueless that ridiculing Holy Communion could actually tick people off. Of course Notre Dame these days hardly deserves to be called Catholic so one can understand the confusion of one of its graduates. But at least he had the courtesy to apologize and recognize that some jokes aren't funny.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Hatred of the Catholic Church is always in Season!

A Toronto art museum is scheduled to display a bullet-riddled picture of the pope. The same exhibit shows Obama as a Christ figure, nailed to a cross, ``a victim, crucified in the wake of special and distorted interests" according to the museum. Do you suppose...Is it just possible that the exhibit was put together by liberals with an agenda? Do you notice the tolerance, compassion, and warm, fuzzy love of the liberal left once again?
Read the article here. What do you think?
Consider that in Canada, hate speech is illegal. Apparently depicting your wish that the pope be plugged in the head (like Congressperson Giffords?) is perfectly fine in the land of politically correct liberalism. Now if the picture depicted a nude gay draped in the rainbow flag that would be a different story and the museum would be draggled into the human rights court to answer for their crimes.
If you'd like to protest, here is the contact information for the museum. You can read my letter below the picture:
President Darrell Brown

Gallery Director Lyudmila Bezpala-Brown

Gallery Manager Fariz Kovalchuk

Dear Bezpala Brown Gallery: 

Wow! I thought hate speech in Canada was illegal. If you were portraying a homosexual draped in a rainbow flag riddled with bullets, I’m guessing you would immediately be dragged before the human rights commission to answer for your hate crime. In view of the fact that the pope is the leader of the Catholic Church and our spiritual father, you have attacked the entire family with this egregious piece.

As a Catholic I can almost imagine myself in the crosshairs of your (I hope) imaginary gun. The fact that the same exhibit portrays Obama as a persecuted Christ figure makes your political agenda as clear as glass. I wonder how much hatred against Catholics this exhibit will incite. It reminds me of the propaganda war against Jews at the rise of the Third Reich.

I’m sending this information far and wide and I hope that Canadian Catholics will report it as a hate crime!


Mary Ann Kreitzer

If you have daughters or granddaughters, this post is for you!

Prevent the Sexualization of Your Daughter by Vicki Courtney

Have you seen the "juicy" fashion line for little girls that makes them sound like a luscious piece of fruit to be tasted? Have you seen Victoria Secret's line that pastes messages on girls' bums to better attract the male eye to her crotch and on her underwear so she gets the message of exactly why she's of any value at all? Then there are celebrities like Paris Hilton who's gone under the plastic surgeon's knife so often, she's paid for his house, boat, and vacation cottage at the beach.

I haven't read Courtney's book yet, but she's definitely on to something. She reports on a study detailing the impact of sexualizing young girls. (The study defines sexualization as "occurring when a person's value comes only from her/his sexual appeal or behavior, to the exclusion of other characteristics, and when a person is sexually objectified, i.e., made into a thing for another's sexual use.")

Take a look at some of the fallout the study confirmed:

•Cognitive and Emotional Consequences: Sexualization and objectification undermine a person's confidence in and comfort with her own body, leading to emotional and self-image problems such as shame and anxiety.

•Mental and Physical Health: Research links sexualization with three of the most common mental health problems diagnosed in girls and women — eating disorders, low self-esteem, and depression or depressed mood.

•Sexual Development: Research suggests that the sexualization of girls has negative consequences on girls' ability to develop a healthy sexual self-image.
Parents can be a large part of the problem says Courtney:
According to the task force report, parents can play a major role in contributing to the sexualization of their daughters, or they can play a protective and educative role. The study acknowledges that parents may actually contribute to the sexualization of their daughters in a number of ways. One way is to convey the message that maintaining an attractive physical appearance is the most important goal for girls. As abhorrent as it is, we have all heard rumblings about parents who even go so far as to pay for plastic surgery for their daughters, whether it's a nose job at sixteen or a boob job for graduation. It certainly leaves their daughters clear on where mom and dad stand on the importance of vanity.
All of us are impacted when a culture emphasizes physical attractiveness as the be-all and end-all of life. That false value needs to be seen as a temptation and rejected. Mother Teresa had real beauty unlike most of the celebrities held up as role models for the young today. Children need to know that inner beauty and character are more important than the exterior package which may hide filth and corruption within.

Read the complete article here and the next time you walk the mall consider the messages those mannequins and fashion lines are sending to your daughters and granddaughters - not to mention the message they are giving the boys that girls are consumable sex objects!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Gender Identity Disorder in Children: Early Intervention Can Save a Lifetime of Heartache

Homosexuality is not inevitable and there is no evidence of a genetic or hormonal link. There is evidence, however, of very young children experiencing gender identity confusion. Early intervention can be the key to helping these youngsters. And there are important reasons to do so according to Joseph Nicolosi and Richard Fitzgibbons:

Boys who exhibit [feminine] symptoms before they enter school are more likely: to be unhappy, lonely and isolated in elementary school; to suffer from separation anxiety, depression, and behavior problems; to be victimized by bullies and targeted by pedophiles; and to experience same-sex attraction in adolescence. If they engage in homosexual activity as adolescents, they are more likely than boys who do not: to be involved in drug and alcohol abuse or prostitution; to attempt suicide; or to contract a sexually transmitted disease, such as HIV/AIDS; or to develop a serious psychological problem as an adult. A small number of these boys will become transvestites or transsexuals.
The good news is that counseling with the family can help.
The effeminacy in some boys is so pronounced that parents may assume the problem is genetic or hormonal, but no such factors have been scientifically proven. Experts report that children assumed to have a biological problem responded positively to therapeutic intervention: According to Rekers, Lovaas, and Low:

When we first saw him, the extent of his feminine identification was so profound (his mannerisms, gestures, fantasies, flirtations, etc., as shown in his "swishing" around the home and the clinic, fully dressed as a woman with a long dress, wig, nail polish, high screechy voice, slatternly, seductive eyes) that it suggested irreversible neurological and biochemical determinants. After 26 months follow-up, he looked and acted like any other boy. People who viewed the video taped recordings of him before and after treatment talk of him as "two different boys."[3]
Read the complete article here and pray that families will recognize gender confusion problems in their children and seek assistance.

Pray for Correction to the Abuses Following Vatican II

G.K. Chesterton: Brilliant Witness to the Truth

I've been reading my Sept/Oct edition of Gilbert, the Chesterton Society's magazine and came across this interesting statement in an interview with Shakespeare expert Fr. Peter Milward, S.J. The interviewer asked him, "As a Shakespearean scholar, what would you say is Chesterton's most interesting insight into Shakespeare?" His response:
Well, to begin with, Chesterton remarks in his book on Chaucer that the fact of Shakespeare's being a Catholic is "something that every Catholic by every sort of convergent common sense knows to be true." He proves this by emphasizing the indebtedness of the dramatist to Catholic tradition, or the ideal of Christendom, which was the very ideal of Chesterton shared with Belloc. Shakespeare isn't just himself alone, nor can he be understood by himself alone, as so many Shakespeare scholars try to do. He can only be understood in relation to the Christian past, and for him the Christian past was the Catholic past; there was no other.
I found this intriguing so I went to Joseph Pearce's book, The Quest for Shakespeare, to refresh my memory of what he says about Chesterton and Shakespeare. Chesterton believed there was a "chasm of difference" (Pearce's words) between Milton, the Protestant, and Shakespeare, the Catholic, and I think this emphasizes Fr. Milward's statement about the Catholic's connection to the past.  But let Chesterton explain:
Milton is possessed with what is, I suppose, the first and finest idea of Protestantism -- the idea of the individual soul actually testing and tasting all the truth there is, and calling that truth which it has not tested or tasted truth of a less valuable and vivid kind. But Shakespeare is possessed through and through with the feeling which is the first and finest idea of Catholicism that truth exists whether we like it or not, and that it is for us to accommodate ourselves to it....But I really do not know how this indescribable matter can be better described than by simply saying this; that Milton's religion was Milton's religion, and that Shakespeare's religion was not Shakespeare's.
Ah.....Catholics are connected to the truth from the very beginning -- the truths of the natural law from man's first footstep on the earth, through the search for truth by pagan philosophers like Socrates and the good doctor Hippocrates, through the chosen people of Israel, to the epitome of truth found in Jesus Christ and the Church he founded. We are not adrift on a sea of individualism, lost in our own egos, but are integrally connected to the truth throughout history as a baby is connected to his mother through the umbilical cord.

I thank God today for being a Catholic and for all my dear ancestors who passed on the faith so that I could rejoice in the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament today. And thanks be to God for Catholic apologists like Chesterton who speaks as clearly as ever to our modern age if it cares to listen. He reminds us that truth, no matter how ancient, is ever new.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

When they call it "safe," they mean it's safe for the abortionist's pocketbook!

Another abortionist is in trouble with the law. Dr. Kermit Gosnell is being charged in the death of a woman and the deliberate murder of seven babies born alive after abortion. Pro-abortion shills love to talk about "safe" abortion, but they turn their backs on the women, mostly poor, who are butchered by the front alley killers. Well, here's one who may be brought to justice. Let's pray so. Some people still consider it infanticide to kill a baby born alive who's moving, breathing, crying. It's hard to even imagine the callousness of a person who can pick up that living infant of six, seven, or eight gestational months and deliberately cut the child's spinal cord with a scissors to guarantee a dead baby. Investigators suspect the "doctor" of killing hundreds of babies that way in the course of his 30 year practice. The "clinic" was described as a "house of horrors" with floors covered by blood and animals roaming the offices and using litter boxes in the same rooms where surgeries are performed. He even had a 15-year-old high school student serving as an anesthesiologist. There must be a special place in the depths of hell for folks like this if they die unrepentant.

Philadelphia Abortion Doctor Facing 8 Counts Of Murder

Fr. Jenkins Continues Attack on Notre Dame 88

After Mass this morning, I came home and read an appeal letter from Ann Scheidler for the Thomas More Society, the group defending the Notre Dame 88, the dear ones who stood in for the voiceless unborn to protest the university's love fest for Barack Obama at their 2009 commencement. Since those arrests Fr. John Jenkins, ND's president,  has shown a determined resolve to see these people prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. (The charges carry a maximum fine of $5,000 and a year in jail.) His vengeance against peaceful protesters who pushed baby strollers, sang hymns, and prayed the rosary reminds me of the Pharisees in today's gospel (Mark 3:1-6).
Jesus entered the synagogue. There was a man there who had a withered hand. They watched Jesus closely to see if he would cure him on the sabbath so that they might accuse him. He said to the man with the withered hand, "Come pu here before us." Then he said to the Pharisees, "Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it?" But they remained silent. Looking around at them with anger and grieved at their hardness of heart, Jesus said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." He stretched it out and his hand was restored. The Pharisees went out and immediately took counsel with the Herodians against him to put him to death.
Fr. Jenkins, indeed, is guilty of "hardness of heart." Many have begged him to drop the charges, but he seems absolutely determined to punish these protestors for raining on his parade. He appears to figuratively want to "put them to death" as far as ND is concerned, to make sure they never, ever, ever come back to sully his campus. His actions certainly remind me of the Pharisees' reaction to Jesus curing the man with the withered arm. And I think Jesus' reaction would be the same too.

The stress of fighting this battle may already have contributed to the death of one of the pro-life witnesses to truth. She was fighting cancer and lost her battle. Several others also have serious health problems including Fr. Norman Weslyn an 80-year-old priest arrested while singing Immaculate Mary. What a threat!

Fr. Jenkins claims to be pro-life. If that doesn't make you laugh it should. Jesus said we would know people by their fruits. Fr. Jenkins' are scandal and persecution. I've already talked about the persecution, but the scandals at ND are legion. The filthy play, The Vagina Monologues, is a staple at ND. The gay group is not only welcome on campus, last year the university paid for five students to attend a homosexual march in D.C. lobbying for "gay marriage." And when militant "gays" invaded the Golden Dome where Mary stands looking over the campus, university security stood aside and allowed them to go right on in. Did Fr. Jenkins have them arrested? Not at all. He sent one of his lackeys to accept their petition and THANK THEM FOR BEING THERE. Anti-ROTC protestors were also immune from punishment. Politically correct protestors get the velvet glove from Fr. Jenkins; pro-lifers get the back of his mailed fist. 

Fr. Jenkins' attitude toward the pro-lifers is "viewpoint discrimination." None of those milling around campus with pro-Obama signs on commencement day was arrested, but a friend of mine who attempted to join the sidewalk demonstraters with a pro-life sign was ordered to the "back of the bus" before being arrested for daring to talk about her first-amendment right and question why she was being treated differently. The case against her was dropped later, no doubt because it was so clearly "viewpoint discrimination" which is unconstitutional. But it's the same discrimination that the rest of the protestors experienced as well. The only difference was that they were together when they were arrested.

I am hopeful the ND 88 will be exonerated, but fighting this battle is expensive. I'm sending a check today to the Thomas More Society specifically for the ND 88 case. I hope you will too. The address is:
Thomas More Society
29 S. LaSalle St., Ste. 440
Chicago, IL 60603
And pray for Fr. Jenkins and the other Pharisees at Catholic-in-name-only schools where students are losing their faith in droves. Killing souls is a lot more serious than killing bodies! And there will be a reckoning, Fr. Jenkins. Somehow, I don't think it's the ND 88 who will be in the punishment line.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Warning: X-Rated Liberal Hate Speech Targeting Sarah Palin

The thing I love about the liberal left is that they consistently set down rules for other people. But they are exempt. Take their call for civility. The video below exemplifies exactly how civil they are. Oh...maybe it was made by some conservatives trying to make liberals look bad.  We all know they are kind, considerate, compassionate...oh and warm, and fuzzy. Say a prayer for a liberal today -- that their moms will wash their mouths out with soap.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Leon Podles on the Beatification of Pope John Paul II

The point of canonizing someone a saint in the Church is to offer them as a role model for the faithful. As Podles says, JP II failed to carry out the duties of his state in life. So how can he be a role model to others even if he was personally holy? Good question. Read the article here and pray for our poor Church. Will the beatification of John Paul encourage others to cover up evils in the Church? It's a hard time to be a Catholic when so many shepherds, even the pope, fail to protect the flock. Remember, it was Pope John Paul II who raised most of the bad bishops to the episcopacy. God help us!

The Beatification I'd Like to See

We've heard a lot about the upcoming beatification of Pope John Paul II, the shepherd who oversaw the destruction of the faith for three decades. While I have no doubt he was personally holy, his actions during his pontificate were often baffling and imprudent. He rewarded dissenters and instituted policies (altar girls and Communion in the hand) that were rooted in disobedience. Why the rush to declare him a saint? But enough about that.

Pray for a miracle for this courageous woman who gives us an edifying example of forgiving your enemies and doing good to those who persecute you. Sr. Maria Seiquer is an example for our time. With more Christian martyrs in the last 100 years than in any other time in history, we need her spirit of love and forgiveness. Please pray for her intercession and especially that the Lord will grant the miracle to raise her to beatitude.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Two Archdioceses, Two Policies; Which One Upholds the Catholic Faith?

"One will see cardinals opposing cardinals, bishops against bishops."
                                 The Blessed Mother to Sr. Agnes Sasagawa at Akita, Japan

The battle is joined with some bishops defending the faith and others undermining it. I blogged recently about Cardinal O'Malley's policy to normalize same-sex parenting, implicitly recognizing gay marriage and families as equal to heterosexual families. It's a disaster for the faith in Catholic schools that has wideranging implications.

Another bishop came to an opposite conclusion, one more in keeping with the truth. Archbishop Chaput of Denver will NOT allow the children of same-sex parents in Denver's Catholic schools. Archbishop Chaput explained his reasons that are self-evident to any real Catholic:
Most parents who send their children to Catholic schools want an environment where the Catholic faith is fully taught and practiced.  That simply can’t be done if teachers need to worry about wounding the feelings of their students or about alienating students from their parents.
Can the problems related to admitting the children of homosexuals be stated any more clearly? And why would lesbian and gay parents want to put their children in such a situation of conflict except to demand that their lifestyle is just as good as any other? For homosexual couples this isn't about the children; it's about legitimizing their lifestyle. Read the complete article here.

Tim Huelskamp: A Real Catholic in Congress - Thanks be to God!

World Magazine recently featured an article about Tim Huelskamp called Congressman Contra Mundum. It's an appropriate title. Like St. Athanasius before him, this Catholic midwest farmer, husband, adoptive father of four and former state senator isn't afraid to stand up for the faith and family against today's heresy of modernism. The Republican establishment isn't crazy about him, (Surprise!) but that doesn't worry Huelskamp a bit. He's a maverick who isn't afraid to be unpopular. What a breath of fresh air in the Congressional cloakroom!

Check out the man who calls his fellow freshmen to plant the flag on their principles. (Of course, that presumes they have some!) Oh...and for folks like me ... one more endearing fact. He and his wife worked together at a crisis pregnancy center in Washington, D.C. after they married while he got his Ph.D. at American University.

Welcome to Washington, Mr. Congressman! I've adopted you for special prayer support. May God use you powerfully to bring this country back to its moral roots!  I hope lots of other prayer warriors will join me in praying for Tim Huelskamp!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Real Presence in the Eucharist and the real presence in the Womb.

A number of years ago while contemplating Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament during adoration, I reflected on the similarity between the host and the fertilized ovum from the Life Magazine article with the famous pictures by Lennart Nilsson. During that reflection I considered how many fail to see the reality of the baby hidden in the womb.

I had always believed that the pro-life movement was close to the heart of God, but at that moment I saw distinctly how closely the two were connected. Jesus came to earth, not as Adam, a fully grown man, but the new Adam, a tiny baby hidden in the womb/tabernacle of His mother Mary. Jesus, the God-man, is not too big to humble Himself to become one with us in our weakest moment. How can we not recognize Him, then, in His babies? When we defend them we defend Him.

American Life League has produced a powerful video that links the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist to the little image of God carried in the womb. Lord, teach us to see You in our littlest brothers and sisters.

And thanks to Janet for posting the video and catching my attention. Let all men seek Him! Pass it on.

Resources for Blog Watchers

Thanks to fellow blogger Dymphna I've found a new resource, Traditional Latin Mass in MD, which I've linked at my local blogs list on the right. I've been browsing a little this morning and particularly enjoy the "roundup." I hope you enjoy visiting Dymphna's blog and the TLM-MD site. It's much more rewarding than Facebook!

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Death of Catholic Parochial Education in Boston and the Message of Akita

If Boston area laymen are correct, real Catholic education is dead in the Catholic archdiocese with the imminent release of a policy mandating the admittance of children of same sex parents. The most recent draft of the Diocesan policy available is dated September 16th. It mandates non-discrimination: "We do not discriminate against or exclude any categories of students." If this draft policy is close to the one adopted, the scandal will be severe. One local Boston blog itemized the problems of the policy in this list:
1. Identity and Purpose of Catholic Education is Never Stated

2. Cardinal O’Malley’s Direction of Non-Discrimination is Flawed

3. Issues of Partnering with Gay Parents are Ignored

4. Protecting Innocence of Children is Impossible

5. Inherent Contradiction: Catholic School Education for Kids of Gay Parents is Ignored

6. Policy Mandates Implicit or explicit recognition of the gay/lesbian relationship as valid

7. Policy Creates Scandal of Giving Implicit Recognition to Gay Partnerships

8. Policy Creates Slippery Slope for Future Undermining of Catholic Identity

9. Policy Enables False Compassion on the Sinner

10. Use of Holy Father’s Quote is Deceptive
11. Draft Policy Violates Principle of Subsidiarity
If, in fact, the blogger is correct and the policy is implemented Cardinal O'Malley has recognized by implication the legitimacy of gay "marriage" and ordered pastors, principals, teachers, band directors, janitors, etc. to play along. The policy itself doesn't say one word about gay parenting. It doesn't have to. The controversy grew out of a pastor refusing admittance to the child of lesbian "parents." The pastors will be instructed and, once gay students begin attending, silence will be imposed out of fear of lawsuits.

The policy claims that Catholic teaching will be upheld. Nonsense! Can you imagine homosexuals tolerating the school teaching that their relationships are immoral and sinful? What are the practical implications when same-sex parents attend school events and parent-teacher conferences? Will anyone say a word if they are holding hands or meet and greet after school with a kiss on the mouth? Is anyone going to challenge the parents for their immoral lifestyle? Can anyone imagine a teacher saying a word of criticism about a situation that they've been mandated to accept? How about other parents? What happens to the Catholic identity of the school when the homosexual parents are heading committees and even running for PTO president?

No one wants to see children harmed, but the children living with same sex "parents" are already in harm's way by living in perverted situations. The children are further harmed by being put in a situation of conflict in school where, if the truth is told, they are constantly confronted with choosing between the truth or their parents. Children love their families no matter how dysfunctional. To put them in a continual situation of stress sounds to me like a recipe for psychological disaster.

So is the alternative for everyone from the principal to the parents to accept and be silent? That's the likely outcome, but it's hard to claim it has no consequences. In fact, it hurts everyone. The entire school must live the lie that homosexuality and homosexual parenting is normal and good and must be respected. Anyone who refuses to play the game and confronts the situation will be accused of homophobia and bullying. Unfortunately, most Catholics today, raised with almost no understanding of the faith, would probably accept the situation without batting an eye. Tolerance of everything, except intolerance, is the modern mantra.

Children are the most innocent victims of the gay lifestyle. You see them at gay pride parades exposed to all kinds of perversion including men masturbating in the streets. You see them shouting profanities on gay YouTube videos. There are many who exploit children for their own perverse purposes. Gays use children to pretend their playing house is real.

At Akita, an approved apparition, Our Lady told Sr. Agnes Sasagawa that a time would come when bishop would fight against bishop and cardinal against cardinal:
The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, bishops against other bishops. The priests who venerate me will be scorned and opposed by their confreres (other priests). Churches and altars will be sacked. The Church will be full of those who accept compromises and the demon will press many priests and consecrated souls to leave the service of the Lord.
We have already seen too much of this prophecy fulfilled. Another part of it offers a terrifying warning:
if men do not repent and better themselves, the Father will inflict a terrible punishment on all humanity. It will be a punishment greater than the deluge, such as one will never have seen before. Fire will fall from the sky and will wipe out a great part of humanity, the good as well as the bad, sparing neither priests nor faithful. The survivors will find themselves so desolate that they will envy the dead. The only arms which will remain for you will be the Rosary and the Sign left by my Son. Each day recite the prayers of the Rosary. With the Rosary, pray for the Pope, the bishops and the priests.
Must we see this part of the prophecy fulfilled before we wake up? I pray not, but the actions of so many of our bishops are leading us to disaster. They appear to have no faith in or fear of God. Those of us who do must do all we can through prayer and penance to hold back the wrath the world so richly deserves. I'm saying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy tonight as my bedtime prayer.

Pope John Paul II to be Beatified on Divine Mercy Sunday

Healing of French nun is the miracle for Pope John Paul II's beatification. See here.

Novena of Reparation for Abortion Begins Today

Priests for Life is calling for a novena of reparation for the sin of abortion. It begins today and ends on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, January 22nd. Joining the novena is a great preparation for those planning to attend one of the marches around the country. It is also a great way to spiritually march. If you want to make your prayers even more powerful back them up with sacrifice.

Prayer of Reparation
God and Father of Life,
You have created every human person,
And have opened the way for each to have eternal life.

We live in the shadow of death.
Tens of millions of your children have been killed because of the Roe vs. Wade decision legalizing abortion.

Father, have mercy on us.
Heal our land
And accept our offering of prayer and penance.
In your love for us,
Turn back the scourge of abortion.

May each of us exult in hearts full of hope
And hands full of mercy
And work together to build a culture of life.

We pray through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Why the Left Blamed the Right for What Happened in Tucson

"What happened in November has to be stopped by whatever means possible."  Daniel Henninger

The elections that swept out so many liberals and decisively changed the House of Representatives is described by Henninger as "Armageddon" in the eyes of the political Left. He attributes the Left's haste to blame the Right to "political calculation and personal belief." Like Saul Alinsky, in his Rules for Radicals, the Left's true believers think the end justifies the means; the truth be damned. And so they are willing to flame anyone who disagrees with them regardless of the facts. Read the Wall Street Journal article here

The reality is that sin makes people blind, stupid, and crazy. When you look at the lives of those who commit these atrocities they are usually involved in serious sin (the occult, lust, etc.). Those who use these tragic events to slander the innocent for the crimes of the crazy are irresponsible at best, malicious at worst. Let's hope the wild-eyed Lefties calm down. They've been sounding so much like mad dogs, that the saner members in their own ranks are trying to muzzle them. Let's hope they're successful.

See here how one group of monks responded to the killings.

Thought for the Day: The "Hound of Heaven" is Your Friend

"The two greatest dramas of life are the soul in pursuit of God and God in pursuit of the soul."   Fulton Sheen 

One of my favorite poems is Francis Thompson's The Hound of Heaven.  I memorized the first stanza a number of years ago and often recite it to myself.
I fled Him, down the nights and down the days;
I fled Him, down the arches of the years;
I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways
    Of my own mind; And in the midst of tears
I hid from Him, and under running laughter....
I love the cadence which sounds the beat of the pursuing hound who follows "with unhurrying chase, And unperturbed pace." The poem fills me with wonder. The God of the universe pursues ME. In my youth when I was running away from God, he set the hound loose and he has been my friend ever since I stopped running and surrendered to the truth and listened in earnest to the voice of God. He loved me in my tragic state of rebellion and loved me into faithfulness; not a perfect faithfulness, unfortunately, but a striving one.
Alack! Thou knowest not
How little worthy of any love thou art.
Whom wilt thou find to love ignoble thee,
Save me, save only me?
All which I took from thee, I did'st but take,
Not for thy harms,
But just that thou might'st seek it in my arms.
All which thy childs mistake fancies as lost,
I have stored for thee at Home.
Rise, clasp my hand, and come.
I am still unworthy of His love, but he loves me anyway! And then comes that oh-so-personal message to Me, a creature, who is literally less to Him than a grasshopper is to me:
Halts by me that Footfall.
Is my gloom, after all,
Shade of His hand, outstretched caressingly?
Ah, Fondest, Blindest, Weakest,
I am He whom thou seekest.
Thou dravest Love from thee who dravest Me.
If only all men would know that when they drive God away, they drive away Love Incarnate. He is all in all, but he loves each of us, as St. Augustine says, as if there were just one of us. Any suffering he allows in our lives is only the "Shade of His hand, outstretched caressingly." Oh, if only we could see it!

The hound of heaven is, indeed, man's best friend.

Know Yourself and Recognize the Seven Pallbearers that Kill a Man's Character

Fulton Sheen wrote a wonderful book called Lift Up Your Hearts. In it he provides practical guidelines for knowing oneself, an absolute necessity for growing in the spiritual life. He introduces the book by discussing the "ego" and the "I." The ego is who each one of us thinks he is. The I is who I actually am. Because of our fallen natures, self-knowledge is difficult and self-delusion is easy. It's essential to understand where our personalities sink into egotism because, "Egotism - an inordinate love of self - is the basic cause of all sins and of all unhappiness which lacks a rational cause."

Egotism, Bishop Sheen says, leads to self hatred. "A man can hate himself in two ways: either by hating the vanity, conceit, and self glorification which do injury to his soul - and this is the way of purification - or by hating whatever in him interferes with his pretense of being God - and this is the way of self-destruction, one of hell that exists on earth." We need to know the difference. How? By growth in self knowledge through self examination. One way he offers is by examining what he calls the "Pallbearers of character," the seven deadly sins that make us egotists and destroy our integrity. By recognizing the signs and symptoms of the seven deadly sins, one can recognize his own greatest temptations and work to develop the opposing virtues. Bishop Sheen says that "Character grows by leaps and bounds as soon as one has ferreted out the master egotisms....As we depress the ego and face our own predominant fault, the neighbor who before seemed hateful takes on a new lovableness. By losing our own pride and vanity, we gain a world of friends."

So let's examine the seven deadly pallbearers of character that threaten to kill our integrity.

The first pallbearer: Pride
Definition: "too great admiration for oneself. The ultimate stage of pride is to make oneself his own law, his own judge, his own morality, his own god."

Signs of pride: boasting, love of publicity (conceit), hypocrisy (pretending to be what you are not), hardheadedness (stubborn adherence to one's own opinions), quarrelling when challenged, discord (refusing to give up your own will), and disobedience (not accepting any authority other than self).

The second pallbearer: Avarice
Definition: "Perversion of the natural right of every man...[to own] things which minister to the needs of his body and his soul.] desiring wealth as an end rather than a means, disregarding the rights of others in the way wealth is acquired and used."

Signs of avarice: harshness, indifference to the suffering and needs of others, anxiety and restlessness of soul, excessive love of luxury, always wanting more, acquiring and protecting possessions through dishonest means.

The third pallbearer: Envy
Definition: sadness at another's good

Signs of envy: snobbishness, jealousy, possessiveness, backbiting, gossip, tale-bearing, seeking to lower the reputation of another, resentment.

The fourth pallbearer: Lust
Definition: Inordinate love of the pleasures of the flesh. "No passion...more quickly produces slavery than lust [because its] perversions more quickly destroy the power of the intellect and the will."

Signs of lust: selfishness, narcissism, boredom, divorce, infidelity,intellectual blindness, inability to see the truth, imprudence, rashness, inconstancy, thoughtlessness, hatred of God and religion, denial of immortality

The fifth pallbearer: Anger
Definition: A violent desire to punish others (distinct from righteous anger)

Signs of anger: lowest degree - touchiness, undue sensitivity, impatience at small slights, grumbling; 2nd degree - flaring up, violent gestures, throwing things, redness of face; 3rd state - physical violence against another, hatred that seeks to "get even," doing physical harm to others.

The sixth pallbearer: Gluttony
Definition: abuse of lawful pleasure attached to eating and drinking

Signs of gluttony: taking more than necessary, too luxurious a manner of consumption, using food or drink at inappropriate times. Moral effects of gluttony are "despair, a weakening of the will, and the materialization of life."

The seventh pallbearer: Sloth
Definition: "Malady of the will which causes neglect of one's duty...a distaste of the spiritual."

Signs of sloth: procrastination, laziness, idleness, lukewarmness in prayer, contempt for self-discipline, careless execution of work, listlessness, aversion for effort, negligence in works of piety.

Do you recognize yourself among these "pallbearers?" If you do, you are making progress toward self-knowledge. Once a person recognizes his root vice, he can work on developing the corresponding virtue. He can begin to put the ego in its place and let the I, the image of the great I AM, shine forth.

A number of years ago I used Lift Up Your Heart for a two-day personal retreat. I found it a time of self-awakening and challenge. It was a grace that left a few important points stamped on my mind and heart. Bishop Sheen himself once said that, "Any book which inspires us to lead a better life, is a good book." I can't think of a better description for this one.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

St. Maria Goretti, Jared Loughner, and Judge John Roll

All day I've been thinking about St. Maria Goretti. If you don't know her story I'll recap it briefly here. Maria was born in 1890, the third child in a family of poor Italian peasants. Maria's parents lost their farm and were forced to move and work for other farmers. When Maria was nine her father died of malaria and her mother had to work in the fields with her brothers. Maria was a pius little girl. On her first Communion day in 1901, Maria's special request of God was to allow her to receive Communion again soon. This was in the days before Pope Pius X encouraged the practice of frequent, even daily Communion.

Maria's family was so poor, to help make ends meet, they shared their house with a father and son, Giovanni and Alessandro Serenelli, a teenager. One day when she was alone in the house tending her baby sister, Alessandro, who had sexually harrassed Maria numerous times approached her and demanded she have relations with him. When Maria refused, saying, "No, Alessandro, it is a sin," he stabbed her numerous times. She was eleven years old. Maria died the next day after unspeakable suffering but not before she forgave Alessandro for his cruel actions.

For three years Alessandro was unrepentant in jail, but he began to have a change of heart after a local bishop visited him. He also dreamed of Maria who brought him lilies which burned up in his hands. Alessandro repented and when he was released from jail went to Maria's mother and begged her forgiveness which she freely gave. They both attended Maria's canonization in 1950. Alessandro prayed every day to Maria and called her "my little saint." She is one of the youngest saints of the Church.

So what does Maria Goretti have to do with Jared Loughner and the murder of Judge John Roll? As Fr. John Hardon often said, there are no coincedences, nothing "just happens." Judge Roll, a daily Communicant and devout Catholic, was present at that event for a reason. Is he to be the catalyst for the conversion of a murderer? When Alessandro went to Assunta, Maria's mother, shortly after his release from prison and asked for forgiveness she replied that if Maria could forgive him on her deathbed, she could do no less. Did Judge Roll have a chance to think about what was happening before he died? Did he see his assailant? We will never know, but we do know that he went to Communion shortly before those fateful moments at the shopping center. Jesus was present and crucified again in the suffering and death of His faithful servant. I'm asking the intercession of John Roll for the conversion of his murderer. Imagine the power of him praying for his killer. May his ultimate sacrifice become the hope of salvation for a poor lost soul in the service of Satan.

Arizona Shooter Story Gets Crazier All the Time

The latest bizarre element of the Arizona shooting story is this: Jared Loughner had a tent shrine in the back that held elements used in occult worship. (See here.) As more evidence comes out, I'm more convinced than ever that the guy is insane, even possessed. In his mug shot (on left) he looks possessed. Look at the eyes...and the smile. This is a guy who just killed and wounded a lot of people and he's thrilled. Is he reflecting the image of Satan?

Comedians used to say "the devil made him do it." Now the radical left says, "conservatives made him do it." I suppose that's not surprising. To them, the right and the devil (if they believed in him) are the same thing.

Pray for all the victims, but also for Jared Loughner and his family. This family apparently has been dealing with Jared's mental illness for a long time, coping in isolation. (See here.) It is a human tragedy for everyone involved. But no one is irredeemable. Let's pray this story has a good ending. I urge readers to pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy for the deceased victims and for Loughner. The only final disaster is eternal damnation. Please pray for him and his parents. Can you imagine the suffering of knowing that your son committed this terrible act?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Lest We Forget: Michelle Malkin Documents Liberal Hate Speech and Violence

As liberals continue to work for political points by attacking conservatives as violent hate mongers following the Arizona shooting, conservatives are responding with proof of liberals' hate speech. And there's plenty of it. Michelle Malkin documents just a sample of liberal hate from the past decade. Check it out. Liberals are experts when it comes to wishing violence and evil against their opponents. Here's just one example - a comedian wishing for Sarah Palin to be "gang raped":

So all you mindless clones out there claiming there is no such thing as liberal hate and violence, please get real. No one spews hatred like a liberal...(take your pick): rapper, movie star, comedian, college student, feminist, union thug, eco-extremist, homosexual activist, abortion mill deathscort, etc.

Murdered Judge was Pro-Life Catholic

While liberals continue to politicize the Arizona shooting blaming conservatives for the violence, more is coming out about Judge John Roll, one of the victims. He was a pro-life Catholic, member of the Knights of Columbus, and was invited to participate in the meet and greet. He dropped by on the way home from Saturday morning Mass. Read about him here. And please continue to pray for the victims and family members traumatized by this terrible event. Also pray for all the strident voices using this tragedy to attack those who embrace traditional values.