Sunday, December 13, 2009

Tyrant State? Nelson - Hatch - Casey Pro-Life Amendment Rejected in U.S. Senate


An excerpt from Catholic Online:

What is called the “Nelson-Hatch-Casey Amendment” to the Senate Health Care Reform Bill was defeated Tuesday by a vote of 54 to 45. The Senate voted to table it, effectively ending the effort. If passed, it would have protected against the coerced use of taxpayer dollars to fund abortion. It was similar to the Pro-Life “Stupak Amendment” which was included in the House Version of the Health Reform Bill.

The Senate has now opened the door to the killing of children in the womb with Federal Tax Dollars. The late Pope warned of such tyranny noting that “When this happens, the process leading to the breakdown of a genuinely human co-existence and the disintegration of the State itself has already begun. To claim the right to abortion, infanticide and euthanasia, and to recognize that right in law, means to attribute to human freedom a perverse and evil significance: that of an absolute power over others and against others. This is the death of true freedom.” (See, Evangelium Vitae, Paragraphs #19,20)


The United States Catholic Bishops tried to protect our youngest neighbors in the first home of the whole human race, their mother’s womb. They insisted that the Senate pass the “Nelson-Hatch-Casey Amendment” to the Senate Health Care Reform Bill and lobbied for it. They asked all Catholics to help do everything possible to ensure that the amendment was passed. Sadly, the proponents of abortion on demand appear to have succeeded. The use of Federal Tax dollars to fund the taking of innocent human life through surgical strikes and chemical weapons in a continuing war on the womb may soon become "law". As the Bishops said when they began their courageous campaign “Abortion is not Health care because Killing is not healing." A majority of Senators do not seem to care.

See the entire article here.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops reports:

The Senate vote to table the Nelson-Hatch-Casey amendment is a grave mistake and a serious blow to genuine health care reform,” said Cardinal Francis George, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. “The Senate is ignoring the promise made by President Obama and the will of the American people in failing to incorporate longstanding prohibitions on federal funding for abortion and plans that include abortion....

Cardinal George concluded: “While we deplore the Senate’s refusal to adopt the Nelson-Hatch-Casey amendment, we remain hopeful that the protections overwhelmingly passed by the House will be incorporated into needed reform legislation. Failure to exclude abortion funding will turn allies into adversaries and require us and others to oppose this bill because it abandons both principle and precedent.

See the entire article here.

The Catholic Knight posts:

The U.S. Senate has just sealed the fate of the healthcare reform bill by refusing to attach pro-life protections to the legislation. As a result, the U.S. Catholic Bishops now have no choice but to oppose this legislation outright if some king of pro-life protection is not put back into the bill. This is the doing of the United States Senate. They brought the demise of healthcare reform upon themselves with their crazed pro-abortion zeal.

It is now the DUTY of every Catholic in the United States to call their U.S. Senators and tell them to vote AGAINST the healthcare reform bill. Failure to do this is to indicrectly cooperate with procuring abortions! Furthermore, it is now the duty of every U.S. Catholic bishop to formerly excommunicate every Catholic Senator who votes in favor of this legislation. Failure to do this is to neglect their duties as bishops and effectively a cooperation with procuring abortions.

We are now in crunch time! This is it! The faith and morality of every Catholic is tested, and there is no reason to believe that God himself is not keeping score. GOD IS WATCHING YOU. Will you live up to your Catholic faith today? Contact your U.S. Senator by clicking here, and forward this message to every Catholic you know.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

RIP Liam Clancy

H/T View from the Choir

Wonder

“Each year, God asks us to shed one more coat of awareness, one more dream state and come alive to the vision of God’s plan for each of us and the world-at-large.

“The older we get, the harder this is to do. As children we had a sense of wonder. Our eyes were wide open and drinking in the fascinating gifts we beheld…Our thirsty souls could not have enough of the wonders of creation.

“Then, somehow, we grew too old to dream. We tired of the abundance of the world, or at least grew weary of keeping up with the feast of life, and stepped away from the banquet of life.

“The natural gift of wonder God gave us as children was meant to be kept alive.…Instead we let wonder go to sleep. We entered the typical dream state of most humans.

“Why else does Jesus tell us today, ‘Stay awake!’…Advent says, ‘Wake up and realize the gifts of love you have received.’

“…Psychology says, ‘Let go.’ Spirituality says, ‘Wake up.’ In both cases there is a withdrawal from the busyness of daily life (our dream state) and a waking up to the subconscious and spiritual depths of ourselves.”


–Rev. Alfred McBride, O. Praem

H/T The Anchoress

Saint Nicholas

Ran across this short article on Saint Nicholas and thought I would share it.

Posted using ShareThis

Saturday, November 28, 2009

St. Cyprian - The Lord's Prayer


Yesterday's Office of Readings has a sermon on mortality by St. Cyprian. Not too familiar with St. Cyprian I did a Google search and found his work on the Lord's Prayer which I found interesting and rewarding. I thought I would share it, so I converted it into a Microsoft Word document.

St. Cyprian is an early Church Father, Bishop and Martyr, 200-258.

You can download it here.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Economy of Life

Caritas et Veritas has a good post entitled The Economy of Life. It starts:

The economy is in the spotlight daily. It is discussed frequently on the news, on blogs, and around water coolers. There is a sense of anxiety and worry among many. We have tightened our wallets, reexamined our budgets, and many have had to look for new jobs. On a national level we have bailed out banks and companies at unprecedented levels. Perhaps one of the areas that has not been discussed is the impact the economy is having on life issues and is there a type of economy that protects life over another.

First, according to the Associated Press, there is an increase in abortions due to lack of money to pay for an abortion. Stephanie Poggi of the National Network of Abortion Funds, which helps women in need pay for abortions, said calls to the network’s national helpline have nearly quadrupled from a year ago. “A lot of women who never thought they’d need help are turning to us,” Poggi said. “They’re telling us, ‘I’ve already put off paying my rent, my electric bill. I’m cutting back on my food.’ They’ve run through all the options.”

Babies are viewed as too expensive and too big a burden on the women, and thus the reasoning goes their best option is abortion. Planned Parenthood and other such groups prey on the anxieties and fears that these women and couples are experiencing. Instead of trying to help the couple get on their feet financially, they instead fund the abortion.

Read the rest here.

Happy Thanksgiving


Now Thank We All Our God - Performance Artist
H/T The Deacon's Bench

10 Reasons Why Modernist Christianity Will Die

Fr. Longenecker has a great article. It starts:

Modernist Christianity must eventually die or cease to be Christian. At this time modernism still wears Christian clothes in the mainstream Protestant churches and in parts of the Catholic Church. This cannot last much longer for some very simple reasons:

1. Modernists deny supernaturalism and therefore they are not really religious. Now by 'religion' I mean a transacton with the supernatural. Religion (whether it is primitive people jumping around a campfire or a Solemn High Mass in a Catholic Cathedral) is about an interchange with the other world. It is about salvation of souls, redemption of sin, heaven, hell damnation, the afterlife, angels and demons and all that stuff.

Modernists don't deal in all that. For them religion is a matter of fighting for equal rights, making the world a better place, being kind to everyone and 'spirituality'. It doesn't take very long for people to realize that you don't have to go to church for all that. So people stop going, and that eventually means the death of modernist Christianity. The first generation of modernist Christians will attend church regularly. The second will attend church sometimes. The third almost never. The fourth and fifth will not see any need for worship. They will conclude that if religion is no more than good works, then the religious ritual is redundant.

See the rest here:
10 Reasons Why Modernist Christianity Will Die

Posted using ShareThis

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Rescuing baby ducks from a pool

H/T JillStanek.com

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Manhattan Declaration

Have you heard of the Manhattan Declaration?

Christians, when they have lived up to the highest ideals of their faith, have defended the weak and vulnerable and worked tirelessly to protect and strengthen vital institutions of civil society, beginning with the family.

We are Orthodox, Catholic, and evangelical Christians who have united at this hour to reaffirm fundamental truths about justice and the common good, and to call upon our fellow citizens, believers and non-believers alike, to join us in defending them. These truths are:

  1. the sanctity of human life
  2. the dignity of marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife
  3. the rights of conscience and religious liberty.

Inasmuch as these truths are foundational to human dignity and the well-being of society, they are inviolable and non-negotiable. Because they are increasingly under assault from powerful forces in our culture, we are compelled today to speak out forcefully in their defense, and to commit ourselves to honoring them fully no matter what pressures are brought upon us and our institutions to abandon or compromise them. We make this commitment not as partisans of any political group but as followers of Jesus Christ, the crucified and risen Lord, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

Please go here to see the complete text.


What is Everlasting Life?

In the second reading in today's Office of Readings we find a selection from St. Thomas Acquinas in Credo in Deum speaking of everlasting life and the fullness of desire. I found this same passage doing a google search and thought I would share it, this being the last week of the church year we turn our attention on the last things.

WHAT IS EVERLASTING LIFE?

We must first consider in this Article what is everlasting life. And in
this we must know that in everlasting life man is united to God. God
Himself is the reward and the end of all our labors: "I am thy protector,
and thy reward exceeding great."[3] This union with God consists, firstly, in
a perfect vision: "We see now through a glass in a dark manner; but then
face to face."[4] Secondly, in a most fervent love; for the better one is
known, the more perfectly is one loved: "The Lord hath said it, whose fire
is in Sion, and His furnace in Jerusalem."[5] Thirdly, in the highest praise.
"We shall see, we shall love, and we shall praise," as says St. Augustine.[6]
"Joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving and the voice of
praise."[7]

Then, too, in everlasting life is the full and perfect satisfying of every
desire; for there every blessed soul will have to overflowing what he hoped
for and desired. The reason is that in this life no one can fulfill all his
desires, nor can any created thing fully satisfy the craving of man. God
only satisfies and infinitely exceeds man's desires; and, therefore,
perfect satiety is found in God alone. As St. Augustine says: "Thou hast
made us for Thee, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in
Thee."[8] Because the blessed in the Fatherland will possess God perfectly,
it is evident that their desires will be abundantly filled, and their glory
will exceed their hopes. The Lord has said: "Enter thou into the joy of the
Lord."[9] And as St. Augustine says: "Complete joy will not enter into those
who rejoice, but all those who rejoice will enter into joy." "I shall be
satisfied when Thy glory shall appear."[10] And again: "Who satisfieth thy
desire with good things."[11]

THE FULLNESS OF DESIRES

Whatever is delightful will be there in abundant fullness. Thus, if
pleasures are desired, there will be the highest and most perfect pleasure,
for it derives from the highest good, namely, God: "Then shalt thou abound
in delights in the Almighty."[12] "At the right hand are delights even to the
end."[13] Likewise, if honors are desired, there too will be all honor. Men
wish particularly to be kings, if they be laymen; and to be bishops, if
they be clerics. Both these honors will be there: "And hath made us a
kingdom and priests."[14] "Behold how they are numbered among the children of
God."[15] If knowledge is desired, it will be there most perfectly, because
we shall possess in the life everlasting knowledge of all the natures of
things and all truth, and whatever we desire we shall know. And whatever we
desire to possess, that we shall have, even life eternal: "Now, all good
things come to me together with her."[16] "To the just their desire shall be
given."[17]

Again, most perfect security is there. In this world there is no perfect
security; for in so far as one has many things, and the higher one's
position, the more one has to fear and the more one wants. But in the life
everlasting there is no anxiety, no labor, no fear.

"And My people shall sit in the beauty of peace,"[18] and "shall enjoy
abundance, without fear of evils."[19]

Finally, in heaven there will be the happy society of all the blessed, and
this society will be especially delightful. Since each one will possess all
good together with the blessed, and they will love one another as
themselves, and they will rejoice in the others' good as their own. It will
also happen that, as the pleasure and enjoyment of one increases, so will
it be for all: "The dwelling in thee is as it were of all rejoicing."[20]

4. I Cor., xiii. 12. "The blessed always see God present, and by this
greatest and most exalted of gifts, 'being made partakers of the divine
nature' (II Peter, i. 4), they enjoy true and solid happiness" ("Roman
Catechism," Twelfth Article, 9)

5. Isa., xxxi. 9. Note: This second consideration is found in the vives
edition Chapter XV

6. "Ibi vacabimus, et videbimus: videbimus, et amabimus: amabimus, et
laudabimus" ("There we shall rest and we shall see; we shall see and we
shall love; we shall love and we shall praise," in "The city of God," Book
XXII, Chapter xxx).

7. Isa., li. 3.

8. "Confessions," Book I, 1.

9. Matt., xxv. 21.

10. Ps. xvi. 15.

11. Ps. cii. 5.

12. Job, xxii. 26.

13. Ps. xv. 11. "To enumerate all the delights with which the souls of the
blessed will be filled, would be an endless task. We cannot even conceive
them in thought. The happiness of the Saints is filled to overflowing of
all those pleasures which can be enjoyed or even desired in this life,
whether they pertain to the powers of the mind or the perfection of the
body" ("Roman Catechism," "loc. cit.," 12).

14. Apoc., v. 10

15. Wis., v. 5. "How distinguished that honor must be which is conferred by
God Himself, who no longer calls them servants, but friends, brethren, and
sons of God. Hence, the Redeemer will address His elect in these infinitely
loving and highly honorable words: 'Come, ye blessed of My Father, possess
you the kingdom prepared for you' " ("Roman Catechism." "loc. cit.," 11).

16. Wis.. vii. 11.

17. Prov., x. 24.

18. Isa., xxxii. 10. This is in the Vives edition, Chapter XV.

19. Prov., i. 33.

20. Ps. lxxxvi. 7.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Rush Interviews Sarah Palin


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Bishop Tell It Like It Is

Bishop Tobin publicly calls Rep. Kennedy to ‘conversion and
repentance’ November 10, 2009

By a mutual decision, Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence and
Representative Patrick Kennedy-- the son of the late Senator Edward
Kennedy-- have postponed their meeting to discuss the Catholic
congressman’s support of abortion. Over the weekend, the Rhode Island
congressman sided with abortion advocates in voting against the Stupak
amendment, which barred the use of federal funds from paying for most
abortions in the House’s health care reform legislation.

Following the vote, Bishop Tobin issued a public letter to
Representative Kennedy in which he ripped the congressman’s statement
that “the fact that I disagree with the hierarchy on some issues does
not make me any less of a Catholic.”

“That sentence certainly caught my attention and deserves a public
response, lest it go unchallenged and lead others to believe it’s
true,” wrote Bishop Tobin in the letter, which will appear in the
November 12 edition of his diocesan newspaper. “And it raises an
important question: What does it mean to be a Catholic?”

The bishop continued:


[W]hen someone rejects the teachings of the Church, especially on a
grave matter, a life-and-death issue like abortion, it certainly does
diminish their ecclesial communion, their unity with the Church. This
principle is based on the Sacred Scripture and Tradition of the Church
and is made more explicit in recent documents …

But let’s get down to a more practical question; let’s approach it
this way: What does it mean, really, to be a Catholic? After all,
being a Catholic has to mean something, right?

Well, in simple terms – and here I refer only to those more visible,
structural elements of Church membership – being a Catholic means that
you’re part of a faith community that possesses a clearly defined
authority and doctrine, obligations and expectations. It means that
you believe and accept the teachings of the Church, especially on
essential matters of faith and morals; that you belong to a local
Catholic community, a parish; that you attend Mass on Sundays and
receive the sacraments regularly; that you support the Church,
personally, publicly, spiritually and financially.

Congressman, I’m not sure whether or not you fulfill the basic
requirements of being a Catholic, so let me ask: Do you accept the
teachings of the Church on essential matters of faith and morals,
including our stance on abortion? Do you belong to a local Catholic
community, a parish? Do you attend Mass on Sundays and receive the
sacraments regularly? Do you support the Church, personally, publicly,
spiritually and financially?

In your letter you say that you “embrace your faith.” Terrific. But if
you don’t fulfill the basic requirements of membership, what is it
exactly that makes you a Catholic? Your baptism as an infant? Your
family ties? Your cultural heritage?
The prelate concluded:


[I]n confronting your rejection of the Church’s teaching, we’re not
dealing just with “an imperfect humanity” – as we do when we wrestle
with sins such as anger, pride, greed, impurity or dishonesty. We all
struggle with those things, and often fail.

Your rejection of the Church’s teaching on abortion falls into a
different category – it’s a deliberate and obstinate act of the will;
a conscious decision that you’ve re-affirmed on many occasions. Sorry,
you can’t chalk it up to an “imperfect humanity.” Your position is
unacceptable to the Church and scandalous to many of our members. It
absolutely diminishes your communion with the Church.

Congressman Kennedy, I write these words not to embarrass you or to
judge the state of your conscience or soul. That’s ultimately between
you and God. But your description of your relationship with the Church
is now a matter of public record, and it needs to be challenged. I
invite you, as your bishop and brother in Christ, to enter into a
sincere process of discernment, conversion and repentance. It’s not
too late for you to repair your relationship with the Church, redeem
your public image, and emerge as an authentic “profile in courage,”
especially by defending the sanctity of human life for all people,
including unborn children. And if I can ever be of assistance as you
travel the road of faith, I would be honored and happy to do so.

From an email received.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Mike Lester Cartoon

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Grassfire org ResistNet com Part 2 10 27 09

Chairman Tom Price Says This is a Health Care Bill We Can't Afford

Is Obama Poised to Cede US Sovereignty?

I thought this important to share. H/T The Catholic Knight.

An Open Letter to My Congresswoman Debbie Halvorson

Dear Debbie, I find that I must implore you to vote against H.R. 3962. First, I doubt you will have time to read 1990 pages and I understand that this is not a final version. Can you really know what your voting for having only 72 hours to read the bill? What is the hurry? Second, I understand abortion is included in the bill. I do not want my tax dollars to pay for the killing of unborn babies. Abortion is NOT health care. Third, I do not want the federal government to run health care. I do not want a single-payor system. Fourth, There is no way you can do this without raising my taxes. I cannot handle any more taxes. Instead I urge you to vote for H.R. 3970. This bill will fix what we now have. 1) The government should not interfere with my health care. It is between me and my doctor. 2) We need to eliminate the waste and fraud in the system. Why are we not addressing this now? 3) We need tort reform. I know I have had many test because me doctors fear law suits. 4) We need better competition with the private sector insurance companies. I should be able to buy health insurance from any state. Debbie, this is a very important issue for me. With all due respect I urge you to vote against H.R. 3962. Thank you.

7 Lies In Under 2 Minutes

Abortion is NOT Health Care

A message from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:

USCCB NATIONWIDE BULLETIN INSERT
Tell Congress: Remove Abortion Funding & Mandates from Needed Health Care Reform Congress is preparing to debate health care reform legislation on the House and Senate floors.
Genuine health care reform should protect the life and dignity of all people from the moment of
conception until natural death. The U.S. bishops’ conference has concluded that all committee approved
bills are seriously deficient on the issues of abortion and conscience, and do not provide
adequate access to health care for immigrants and the poor. The bills will have to change or the
bishops have pledged to oppose them.
Our nation is at a crossroads. Policies adopted in health care reform will have an impact for good or
ill for years to come. None of the bills retains longstanding current policies against abortion funding
or abortion coverage mandates, and none fully protects conscience rights in health care.
As the U.S. bishops’ letter of October 8 states:
“No one should be required to pay for or participate in abortion. It is essential that the
legislation clearly apply to this new program longstanding and widely supported federal
restrictions on abortion funding and mandates, and protections for rights of conscience.
No current bill meets this test…. If acceptable language in these areas cannot be found,
we will have to oppose the health care bill vigorously.”
For the full text of this letter and more information on proposed legislation and the bishops’ advocacy
for authentic health care reform, visit: www.usccb.org/healthcare.
Congressional leaders are attempting to put together final bills for floor consideration. Please contact
your Representative and Senators today and urge them to fix these bills with the pro-life amendments
noted below. Otherwise much needed health care reform will have to be opposed. Health care reform
should be about saving lives, not destroying them.
ACTION: Contact Members through e-mail, phone calls or FAX letters.
 To send a pre-written, instant e-mail to Congress go to www.usccb.org/action.
 Call the U.S. Capitol switchboard at: 202-224-3121, or call your Members’ local offices.
 Full contact info can be found on Members’ web sites at www.house.gov & www.senate.gov.
MESSAGE to SENATE:
“During floor debate on the health care reform bill, please support an amendment to
incorporate longstanding policies against abortion funding and in favor of conscience rights.
If these serious concerns are not addressed, the final bill should be opposed.”
MESSAGE to HOUSE:
“Please support the Stupak Amendment that addresses essential pro-life concerns on abortion
funding and conscience rights in the health care reform bill. Help ensure that the Rule for the
bill allows a vote on this amendment. If these serious concerns are not addressed, the final bill
should be opposed.”
WHEN: Both House and Senate are preparing for floor votes now. Act today! Thank you!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Archbishop Chaput - Remarks to Phoenix Catholic Physicians' Guild

Another great talk by Archbishop Chaput. Here is a taste:


Here’s what that means. Catholic public officials who take God seriously cannot support laws that attack human dignity without lying to themselves, misleading others and abusing the faith of their fellow Catholics. God will demand an accounting. Catholic doctors who take God seriously cannot do procedures, prescribe drugs or support health policies that attack the sanctity of unborn children or the elderly; or that undermine the dignity of human sexuality and the family. God will demand an accounting. And Catholic citizens who take God seriously cannot claim to love their Church, and then ignore her counsel on vital public issues that shape our nation’s life. God will demand an accounting. As individuals, we can claim to be or believe whatever we want. We can posture, and rationalize our choices, and make alibis with each other all day long -- but no excuse for our lack of honesty and zeal will work with the God who made us. God knows our hearts better than we do. If we don’t conform our hearts and actions to the faith we claim to believe, we’re only fooling ourselves.

We live in a culture where our marketers and entertainment media compulsively mislead us about the sustainability of youth; the indignity of old age; the avoidance of suffering; the denial of death; the meaning of real beauty; the impermanence of every human love; the dysfunctions of children and family; the silliness of virtue; and the cynicism of religious faith. It’s a culture of fantasy, selfishness and illness that we’ve brought upon ourselves. And we’ve done it by misusing the freedom that other -- and greater -- generations than our own worked for, bled for and bequeathed to our safe-keeping.


For the full text please go here.

St. Caesarius of Arles - Sermon 15

The Fathers of the Church

St. Caesarius of Arles

Sermon 15

AN ADMONITION ADDRESSED TO THOSE WHO THINK THAT IT Is ENOUGH FOR THEIR ETERNAL WELFARE IF THEY Do No EVIL, EVEN IF THEY Do NOT ACCOMPLISH GOOD

(1) There are many people, dearly beloved, who think that this alone is sufficient for eternal life, that they do no evil. Therefore, all who, perchance, deceive themselves with this false assurance should clearly understand that the mere avoidance of evil is not enough for any Christian unless he does as much good as he can. He who said ‘Turn away from evil,’ also said ‘and do good’1 The Gospel gives us the same advice in terrible words: ‘Every tree that is not bringing forth good fruit is to be cut down and thrown into the fire.’2 It does not say the tree that brings forth evil fruit, but ‘that is not bringing forth good fruit.’ From this you can realize what hope the man who does evil will have, since the one who does no good will be cut down and cast into the fire. Therefore, the Lord says: ‘He who has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me’; and: ‘What does it avail that you call me, “Lord, Lord” and do not practice the things that I say?’3

(2) Someone may say: Although I have given nothing of my possessions, I have not taken the goods of another; I will be secure on the day of judgment. Listen carefully, and do not deceive yourself with false assurance. What did the Lord say? ‘When the Son of Man shall come in his majesty, before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. Then he will say to those on his right hand, "Come, blessed, take possession of the kingdom; for I was hungry and you gave me to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me to drink." But to those on his left hand he will say, "Depart from me, accursed ones, into everlasting fire; for I was hungry and you did not give me to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink." ‘4 Carefully heed what He said. He does not say: Come, ye blessed, take possession of the kingdom because you did not take the goods of another, but because you gave alms of your possessions. Likewise, He will not say to those on His left: Depart from me, accursed ones, into everlasting fire because you cheated another, but because you did not give of your earthly substance to the poor. I beseech you, brethren, carefully note that sentence and, as I have advised, retain it in your memory. If one who has not given his wealth to the poor is cast into the fire, where do you think the man who attacks the property of another by fraud will be cast? If the man who has not clothed the naked is thrown into the fire, imagine the fate of one who has robbed clothing. Therefore, I would like the man who believes it is sufficient not to have done evil, even if he has done no good, to tell me whether he would like to be treated by his servant the way he treats his Lord? Is he willing to have his servant do no good at all, as well as no wrong? We all desire our servants not only to avoid the evil we forbid, but also to fulfill the good we command. Now, although your servant will be seriously guilty if he steals your animals, he will not be without fault if he wills to care for them but negligently. It is not right that we do to our Lord what we are unwilling to suffer from our servant. We have not created our slaves nor do we feed them as with our substance, but God both created and feeds us; nevertheless, we want the servants we have not created to obey us with great diligence. Therefore, it is just that we who exercise dominion over our subjects should recognize our legitimate Lord. We have mentioned all this, brethren, in order that we may realize from the example of our servants that it is not enough for us to avoid evil if we are unwilling to do good.

(3) Those who think it sufficient for them to avoid evil usually say: If only I would merit to be found at the day of my death the same as I was when I went forth from the sacrament of baptism! Indeed, it is a fine thing for a man to be found cleansed from all evil on the day of judgment, but it is a grave wrong if he has not progressed in good works. To be as he was when he went from the sacrament of baptism is sufficient only for the man who departs from this life immediately after receiving the sacrament, for he has not had time to perform good works. However, for the man who has had a lifetime, and a long one, to be able to do good, it is not enough to be without evil if he also wills to be without good works. I would like to question the man who wants to be found at his death the same as he was the time he merited to receive the sacrament of baptism (although it is good to be always cleansed from evil, still it is a grave wrong not to advance in virtue). If he has planted a vine in his field, would he want it to be the same after ten years as it was the day he planted it? If he has planted an olive tree, let us see whether it would please him if after several years it is the same as when he planted it. If a son is born to him, let him consider whether he wants him after five years to continue in the smallness and age of infancy. Since no one is pleased with such things, just as a man grieves over a vineyard or olive tree or son that shows no growth, so he should grieve if he recognizes that he has made no progress since the time he was reborn in Christ. We ought to know most surely that just as we want our possessions, whether in flocks or fruits of the field, to increase and grow in good qualities, so our God doubtless desires and expects of us that as His own special vine the Christian people should bear grapes rather than thorns. Then there will not be said of it what you often sing in the canticle: ‘I planted a vineyard, and I looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes.’5 Since, as the Apostle says, although we were wild olives we were grafted into the good olive tree, we should with God’s help persist in good works, so that we may say with the Prophet: ‘But I, as a fruitful olive tree in the house of the Lord, have hoped in the mercy of my God.’6

(4) Therefore, I implore what we mentioned above, brethren, that none of you think it sufficient for him to avoid evil. With all the strength he has, each one should turn aside from evil in order that he may do good, and hear the Lord say in the Gospel: ‘What does it avail that you call me, "Lord, Lord," and do not practice the things that I say?’ and: ‘If you love me, keep my commandments.’7 Through the goodness of God you know very well what Christ commanded in the Gospel: ‘Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, so that you may be children of your Father’;8 moreover: ‘nevertheless give alms; and behold, all things are clean to you.’9 Let us also hear blessed James freely proclaim on this subject: Tor just as the body without the soul is dead, so faith also without works is dead.’10 Therefore, with all our strength, dearly beloved, let us do what is good; let us not be satisfied to be as we were at the time we received the sacrament of baptism. By baptism we were freed from all evils, but with God’s grace we ought to be filled with all virtues by a good life. If we rely on the sacrament of baptism alone, without good works, the unclean spirit who was driven out of us by the grace of Christ may return. Then, when he finds us without good works, he may bring with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and our last state will become worse than our first. Therefore, dearly beloved, in conformity with your usual pious custom willingly accept these words and reflect upon them rather carefully. If you do not trust in faith alone but also in good works, you will be able to refrain from evil deeds in such a way that with Christ’s help you may continually exercise yourself in good works. Then you will happily merit to hear with joy and exultation that blessed, desirable word: ‘Come, blessed, take possession of the kingdom which was prepared for you from the foundation of the world.’11 May He deign to grant this, who lives and reigns world without end. Amen.

1 Ps. 33.15.

2 Matt. 3.10.

3 John 14.21; Luke 6.46.

4 Matt. 25.31,32,34,35,41,42.

5 Isa. 5.2.

6 Ps. 51.10.

7 Luke 6.46; John 14.15.

8 Matt. 5.44,45.

9 Luke 11.41.

10 James 2.26.

11 Matt. 25.34.

Secular Franciscan Order - An Introduction

Big Government Health Care PSA

Friday, October 16, 2009

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Nobel Prizes 2009

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

GoD And DoG by WJ Francisco

h/t The Deacon's Bench

Sunday, September 27, 2009

A Catholic Perspective in Health Care

I've just read an excellent homily/article on Health Care from a Catholic perspective, and thought I would share it. With a h/t to Crossed the Tiber and Mary's Anawim here is a concluding quote:

Think about this: what area of human life involves more moral decision making than the human body and it’s health? In the end, beyond the questions of whether or not the bill passed by Congress will provide taxpayer support of abortion or euthanasia, we have to ask ourselves a much more profound question.

That is, are we turning over all the vast numbers of moral questions and decisions involved in health care to a government that will make the right moral decisions for us? Can we entrust our health care, and our family’s health care to a government presently dominated by people who don’t understand the dignity of life from conception until death, or that it’s wrong to experiment on embryonic human beings, or to clone human beings? or even the very meaning of the words “family” and “marriage”?

And even if all 537 elected federal officials were 100% pro-life and pro-marriage, subsidiarity forces us to pause and remember the huge government bureaucracy, full of lots of unelected people. With all due respect for the many good and hard working federal employees, a lot of federal employees have many strange ideas about morality that are very different from Christ’s.

Today we remember Christ’s power and desire to heal and care for the sick, and the serious responsibility that places on us as Christians. We cannot lightly shift this responsibility to others —whether they are our neighbor, or an insurance company or a government official. Let us pray that God will guide our nation in the debate over health care reform. And let us pray that all Catholics may be led by the wisdom of Christ, so wonderfully laid before us in the richness and fullness of the social doctrines of His Holy Catholic Church.

You can read the whole homily here.

Prayer to St. Joseph for the Unemployed

O Saint Joseph, we pray to you for those who are out of work, for those who want to earn their living or support their families. You who are the patron of workers; grant that unemployment may vanish from our ranks; that all those who are ready to work may put their strength and abilities in serving their fellowmen and earn a just salary. You are the patron of families; do not let those who have children to support and raise lack the necessary means. Have pity on our brothers and sisters held down in unemployment and poverty because of sickness or social disorders. Help our political leaders and captains of industry find new and just solutions. May each and every one have the joy of contributing, according to his abilities, to the common prosperity by an honorable livelihood. Grant that we may all share together in the abundant goods God has given us and that we may help underprivileged countries. Amen.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Contact your representatives

Our time is mostly filled with day to day activities. We are mostly concerned with work, family matters, driving here and there and then catching a few minutes rest when we can. Then of course there is the boob tube which seems to demand a lot of out time. We have responsibilities: work, family, friends and hopefully church.

One responsibility often forgotten and readily pushed aside is that of being a citizen. Many of us are disenchanted with politics. I surely can understand why. But the responsibility still clearly rests upon us. So many of us don't even bother to vote let alone know who the candidates are and what they stand for. When we do vote we often vote on party lines; not bothering to know the issues. We often dismiss our core values without a second thought. One example is so many good Catholics voted for pro-abortion candidates. What causes us to do that?

I think back on that prior generation, the Great Generation. So many fought, so many died so that we can enjoy our freedoms. Yet this current generation can't bother to vote or make an informed vote.

When is the last time you practiced your citizenship? When is the last time you read the constitution - have you ever read it? It you think that Washington stinks what have you done about it? When was the last time you contacted your representatives?

We just can't sit and let things happen. We are responsible as citizens as to where this country is going. First we must be informed. We need to know what is going on in Washington and our state legislatures. I dare say, most of us have no idea what issues congress or the senate are debating and voting on. To be informed we need to actively seek out information. That might be difficult as most of the news media is more interested in their ratings and their agenda than bringing us honest news. Most news time or print space is wasted on trashy tabloid stuff. So spend a little time to find a good news source, and I'm surely not referring to the "mainstream" (that is liberal) media or most newspapers. There are some good blogs out there. Just do a little searching.

Second, form your opinion. Here is an issue that interests me (most should). Gather information about it. Now check it out against your core values.

Third, let your opinion be known. Don't be afraid of offending anyone. Your informed opinion is just as valid as anyone else's. At times there are those who don't agree with me, but I find I'm respected because I am firm in my beliefs and not wishy-washy. More often then not you will find that your family and friends and acquaintances will agree with you. When they don't, being informed will help you have a constructive conversation about the issue and perhaps, just perhaps, you will convince them.

Letting your opinion be known includes contacting your senators and representative and state legislators. Being informed, gathering information, forming your opinion and letting your opinion be known can take, really, less than one hour a week. I don't think that is too much to give to become an active citizen.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Sarah Palin and the Health Care Debate

Pajamas Media has a good article, it starts:

Palin’s Advocacy: The Turning Point in Health Care Reform Debate

It was her timely intervention that put the Democrats off their game and turned the debate around.

September 18, 2009- by Mark Impomeni

For an uneducated, unsophisticated rube and former governor from a backwater state, Sarah Palin sure can drive a debate. With prospects for passage of his sweeping overhaul of the American health care delivery system fading with every speech, President Barack Obama is making it increasingly clear that Palin will be recognized, for good or ill, as perhaps the most prominent single political figure responsible for stopping it in its tracks.

It’s a remarkable story. A failedvice-presidential candidate and resigned governor — unfairly viewed by many as a cruel joke – reached from beyond the political grave her elitist critics prematurely dug for her and her political future to thwart a popular president prematurely regarded by the same elite that shunned her as perhaps the most gifted politician this nation has ever produced. If Sarah Palin were a sitting governor, a failed presidential candidate, or even a state legislator, her influence in the health care debate would not be as unexpected. It is the fact that she is a private citizen, completely out of politics save for a small political action committee, that makes this story unique.

How did she do it? That’s where the story gets even more remarkable.

Read the rest here.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Prayer and Renunciation

"a minor friar" had a good post today. See below. Be sure to visit his blog here.

Some strong words today on prayer and renunciation:

When in the Our Father we pray, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven, we must take the words on earth as first of all applying to ourselves. Even on the natural level we have enough incentive to reject our own will in favor of God's will--for we have spent enough time carrying our own selves as a burden to know that our own will is neither trustworthy nor directed to genuine joy, freedom, and perfection.

This is why it is critical for us to take advantage of as many of the small opportunities to renounce our own will in the course of a day. Not that these miserable little penances really matter--and we shouldn't dwell on them as it is too much an occasion of vainglory--but they are what can train our spoiled minds and intentionality. They are the little acts that tone our spirit for the greater renunciations, the ones that really matter.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Betraying our dead

Ralph Peters, New York Post, has a really good column. It starts:


Betraying our dead

Last Updated: 10:39 AM, September 11, 2009

Posted: 1:13 AM, September 11, 2009

Eight years ago today, our homeland was attacked by fanatical Muslims inspired by Saudi Arabian bigotry. Three thousand American citizens and residents died.

We resolved that we, the People, would never forget. Then we forgot.

We've learned nothing.

Instead of cracking down on Islamist extremism, we've excused it.

Instead of killing terrorists, we free them.

Instead of relentlessly hunting Islamist madmen, we seek to appease them.

Instead of acknowledging that radical Islam is the problem, we elected a president who blames America, whose idea of freedom is the right for women to suffer in silence behind a veil -- and who counts among his mentors and friends those who damn our country or believe that our own government staged the tragedy of September 11, 2001.

Instead of insisting that freedom will not be infringed by terrorist threats, we censor works that might offend mass murderers. Radical Muslims around the world can indulge in viral lies about us, but we dare not even publish cartoons mocking them.

Instead of protecting law-abiding Americans, we reject profiling to avoid offending terrorists. So we confiscate granny's shampoo at the airport because the half-empty container could hold 3.5 ounces of liquid.

Instead of insisting that Islamist hatred and religious apartheid have no place in our country, we permit the Saudis to continue funding mosques and madrassahs where hating Jews and Christians is preached as essential to Islam.

Instead of confronting Saudi hate-mongers, our president bows down to the Saudi king.

Instead of recognizing the Saudi-sponsored Wahhabi cult as the core of the problem, our president blames Israel.

Instead of asking why Middle Eastern civilization has failed so abjectly, our president suggests that we're the failures.

Instead of taking every effective measure to cull information from terrorists, the current administration threatens CIA agents with prosecution for keeping us safe.

Instead of proudly and promptly rebuilding on the site of the Twin Towers, we've committed ourselves to the hopeless, useless task of rebuilding Afghanistan. (Perhaps we should have built a mosque at Ground Zero -- the Saudis would've funded it.)

Instead of taking a firm stand against Islamist fanaticism, we've made a cult of negotiations -- as our enemies pursue nuclear weapons; sponsor terrorism; torture, imprison, rape and murder their own citizens -- and laugh at us.

Instead of insisting that Islam must become a religion of responsibility, our leaders in both parties continue to bleat that "Islam's a religion of peace," ignoring the curious absence of Baptist suicide bombers.

Instead of requiring new immigrants to integrate into our society and conform to its public values, we encourage and subsidize anti-American, woman-hating, freedom-denying bigotry in the name of toleration.

Instead of pursuing our enemies to the ends of the earth, we help them sue us.

Read the rest of it here.

Rasmussen Reports - Healthcare

A Review of Public Opinion on Health Care Reform Prior to the President's Speech

Posted using ShareThis

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Admonitions

It is not lawful to take the things of others to give to the poor. It is a sin worthy of punishment, not an act deserving a reward, to give away what belongs to others.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Admonitions to the Brethren

Ephesians 6:12 (NAB)

For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens.

If Aesop were alive today


It is not widely known that Aesop (floruit circa 550 B.C.), a visionary writer if there ever was one, composed two versions of the story of the Ant and the Grasshopper. The traditional version used to be very widely known — you’ll see in a moment why it is out of favor today — and it can be outlined briefly:

The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.

Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed.

The grasshopper has no food or shelter, so he dies out in the cold.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Be responsible for yourself

Now read the current version of the story here.

Friday, September 11, 2009

9-11 - No Words Needed

Samuel Barber - Adagio for Strings, op.11

Remember

Monday, September 7, 2009

Saturday, September 5, 2009

ABC's John Stossel Destroys/Pulverizes/Crushes Obama's anti-American 'Health Care' Plan

Thanks to The Intellectual Redneck for bringing this video to my attention.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Secular Franciscan Order...come and see..

A good introduction to the Secular Franciscan Order. Come and see...

For more information contact: http://www.nafra-sfo.org/

Saturday, August 29, 2009

League Of American Voters - Protect America Healthcare

Why has ABC and NBC refused to run this ad?

We need to stop Obamacare

Pajamas Media has a good article entitled "The Top Ten Reasons We Must Oppose Obamacare". Go read it here.

Health care and the common good

Archbishop Charles Chaput has a good article on health care. Please see his column:
Archbishop's Column

Shared via AddThis

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Text Cloud - St. Caesarius - Sermon 1

Just for fun, I thought I would do a text cloud of St. Caesarius' Sermon 1 to see what words appear most often. Here it is:
created at TagCrowd.com
If you would like to read this sermon go to my previous post here.