Monday, March 30, 2009


Murray in is blog series Blogging Dante in Lent 2009 comes to Canto XVI, where Dante is speaking of the Wrathful. In his commentary Murray writes:

Now, we can stray from a virtue in various directions, and usually humans stray in one direction more than others (so that, for example, we most commonly divert from virtuous use of food and drink by over-indulgence, rather than by eating insufficient to meet our needs). In the case of anger, however, deviations from virtue in contrasting directions are seen more often. We commonly fall into ira, by ranting, saying things we later regret and so on. But there are also times when we are not angry, although we should be. St Thomas is clear that to fail to be angry when injustice should prompt us to be angry is a failure in living the good life. Anger has its proper place, it should move us to act against whatever injustice causes it. If our emotional capacity for anger has been blunted so that we see injustice, and are passive about it, then we need repentance and detachment from our complacency. The black fog of Dante’s poem is not just an image of irrational violent ira, but also of the darkness we have wrapped ourselves in when we are not moved to proper anger at injustice.

This is something that bothers me over and over - our complacency when in fact we should be shouting our objections to injustices especially when it comes to the issue of the defense for life. There are times when is is right and proper to show our anger. It should cause us to act; to write our legislators, to protest, to learn about the issue, and in common conversations to let others know our objections and the reasons for our position.

But for too many Catholics and Christians we turn our backs against these injustices and go about our lives without saying a word, without any action. As my masthead quotes Burke "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."

Sunday, March 29, 2009

He Threw It All Away

Just ran across an excellent article on Fr. Richard John Neuhaus over at First Things. It starts:

In the early 1970s, Lutheran pastor Richard John Neuhaus was poised to become the nation’s next great liberal public intellectual—the Reinhold Niebuhr of his generation. He had going for him everything he needed to be not merely accepted but lionized by the liberal establishment. First, of course, there were his natural gifts as a thinker, writer, and speaker. Then there was a set of left-liberal credentials that were second to none. He had been an outspoken and prominent civil rights campaigner, indeed, someone who had marched literally arm-in-arm with his friend Martin Luther King. He had founded one of the most visible anti-Vietnam war organizations. He moved easily in elite circles and was regarded by everyone as a “right-thinking” (i.e., left-thinking) intellectual-activist operating within the world of mainline Protestant religion.

Then something happened: Abortion. It became something it had never been before, namely, a contentious issue in American culture and politics. Neuhaus opposed abortion for the same reasons he had fought for civil rights and against the Vietnam War. At the root of his thinking was the conviction that human beings, as creatures fashioned in the image and likeness of God, possess a profound, inherent, and equal dignity. This dignity must be respected by all and protected by law. That, so far as Neuhaus was concerned, was not only a biblical mandate but also the bedrock principle of the American constitutional order. Respect for the dignity of human beings meant, among other things, not subjecting them to a system of racial oppression; not wasting their lives in futile wars; not slaughtering them in the womb.

Read the rest here.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

DUI Test Perfect Score


RealCatholicTV Slams Notre Dame Again

RealCatholicTV Slams Notre Dame - Great Video

H/T to for bringing this to my attention.

Defend the Conscience Clause

Defend the Conscience Clause

You have strong convictions, but President Obama says that doesn’t matter.  He’s ready to rescind the Conscience Clause.  The Conscience Clause was implemented by former President George W. Bush to give physicians and nurses the choice to act according to their conscience — to not participate in abortion procedures if it conflicts with their personal convictions.  If President Obama makes this damaging move, if he reverses the Conscience Clause, pro-life doctors and nurses will be forced into performing abortion procedures, despite their individual beliefs. Defend the Conscience Clause and stand for the freedom to act according to your moral convictions.  Please read the form below carefully and declare your membership with the ACLJ by adding your name to our Petition to Protect Pro-Life Doctors.


President of the United States, Barack Obama

As citizens of the United States of America, we enjoy the freedom to act according to our good conscience.  This is not a freedom or responsibility we take lightly, nor one which should be sacrificed on the altar of political correctness.

We strongly urge you today to uphold the personal convictions of America’s pro-life healthcare providers.  Do not use your hand to force them by law to act against their moral conscience when it comes to participating in abortion procedures.  Please continue to support and respect the personal convictions of the citizens of this nation and do not rescind the Conscience Clause.

Please go to the Be Heard Project to sign the petition.

The Psalms

From Fr. McBride's Guide to the Bible by Alfred McBride, P.Praem


The Psalms Are Songs of Faith


Psalms 1-150
Sing to the Lord a new song.

Psalm 96:1

For some reason, we don't ordinarily picture a soldier writing Church poetry. But that is exactly what the warrior King David did. He did not write all of the 150 psalms, but so great was his influence on the composition of psalms, that the book of Psalms has borne his name as the author ever since. The psalms are prayers, but people today sometimes find it hard to really think of them that way. Here are some considerations that might be helpful in understanding the psalms.

He Who Sings Prays Twice

St. Augustine says that he who sings prays twice. It is too bad that most people regard the psalms as a text to be read silently. The psalms are the "songs" of faith: war chants, victory songs, enthronement anthems, hymns about nature. In the shadow of the temple, fraternities of musicians gathered to compose melodies for the psalms.

There has been a revival in psalm singing, prompted by the work of Father Joseph Gelineau and Father Lucien Deiss, French priest-musicians and many other composers. The popularity of the guitar has an impact on the singing of psalms, not just because David used a stringed instrument, but because it suits the vigorous rhythm of the words and the excitement of the situation.

Israelite Poetry

The poetry of the Israelites is somewhat different from our ordinary idea of what poetry should be. There is no rhyme nor fixed rhythm in the sense we would normally expect. It's true that the free verse movement has given us a broad idea of what poetry can be. Israelite poetry might be summed up in the saying: never say anything once that you can say twice, and better still three times. The rhythm of the psalms is a rhythm of ideas. The psalms rhyme thoughts. In the following examples see how the second line parallels the idea of the first:


May God be gracious to us and bless us
and make his face to shine upon us.

Psalm 67:1

Thy solemn procession are seen, O God
the processions of my God, my Kind, into the sanctuary.

Psalm 68:24

How long, O Lord? Wilt thou be angry forever?
Will thy jealous wrath burn like fire?

Psalm 79:5

The rhythm of the poetry of the psalms is a rhythm (and rhyming) of ideas. An idea is stated and then repeated with different shades of meaning. It is the balanced drumming of a declaration that arises from the heart of one who has known the miracle of God and now speaks out of the ecstasy of response. Some psalms are the result of the experience of miracle and ecstasy. By miracle we mean the appearance of a mighty act of God, such as the Red Sea victory; by ecstasy we refer to the joyous, human faith-experience of God's work. Other psalms reflect the quiet presence of God experienced by a solitary shepherd, a religious experience when applied to God as the shepherd who protects us from harm even when we are in the valley of the shadow of death.


The Psalms Celebrate Events as Mighty Acts of God

It is true that we in the Western world love to reason, but this love need not exclude poetic experience. The psalms in deed revel in such vivid images as: mountains that dance, seas that howl like animals, clouds that ride in the sky as noble horsemen of God, and lightening that writes like a pencil God's presence into the hollows of the earth. When we can admit that these descriptions are real and not just fanciful ways of talking about God, we can accept the message of the psalms.

It was characteristic of the Israelites to find the presence of God in nature and history. It was the unique privilege of the Israelites to see and know that God was really doing something in this world. It has, after all, always been his world, but it takes a long time for many to admit it.

We owe a tribute to Israel for being perceptive enough to know that the events of nature and history are not just simple happenings, but the very acts of God. In the psalms we see that the Israelites had the original insight into God's presence in the movement of history. Put in another way, it was the Israelites who were really the first ones to see the divine purpose in history. As they saw the unfolding of historical events, they came to understand their history as salvation history. They learned to attribute these events to the presence of God.


H/T The Happy Catholic

Get the Full Flavor

To get the full flavor of an herb, it must be pressed between the fingers, so it is the same with the Scriptures; the more familiar they become, the more they reveal their hidden treasures and yield their indescribable riches.
St. John Chrysostom

Bishop D'Arcy will not attend Notre Dame Graduation

Here is his press release:

On Friday, March 21, Father John Jenkins, CSC, phoned to inform me that President Obama had accepted his invitation to speak to the graduating class at Notre Dame and receive an honorary degree. We spoke shortly before the announcement was made public at the White House press briefing. It was the first time that I had been informed that Notre Dame had issued this invitation. 

President Obama has recently reaffirmed, and has now placed in public policy, his long-stated unwillingness to hold human life as sacred. While claiming to separate politics from science, he has in fact separated science from ethics and has brought the American government, for the first time in history, into supporting direct destruction of innocent human life.

This will be the 25th Notre Dame graduation during my time as bishop. After much prayer, I have decided not to attend the graduation. I wish no disrespect to our president, I pray for him and wish him well. I have always revered the Office of the Presidency. But a bishop must teach the Catholic faith “in season and out of season,” and he teaches not only by his words — but by his actions. 

My decision is not an attack on anyone, but is in defense of the truth about human life. 

I have in mind also the statement of the U.S. Catholic Bishops in 2004. “The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.” Indeed, the measure of any Catholic institution is not only what it stands for, but also what it will not stand for.

I have spoken with Professor Mary Ann Glendon, who is to receive the Laetare Medal. I have known her for many years and hold her in high esteem. We are both teachers, but in different ways. I have encouraged her to accept this award and take the opportunity such an award gives her to teach. 

Even as I continue to ponder in prayer these events, which many have found shocking, so must Notre Dame. Indeed, as a Catholic University, Notre Dame must ask itself, if by this decision it has chosen prestige over truth. 

Tomorrow, we celebrate as Catholics the moment when our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, became a child in the womb of his most holy mother. Let us ask Our Lady to intercede for the university named in her honor, that it may recommit itself to the primacy of truth over prestige.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Stop Illinois FOCA

Illinois residents - Please contact Governor Quinn and ask him to veto this bill if it gets to his desk. Also contact your State Reps and ask them to vote no to this legislation.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

"Too many Catholics just don't really care."

“Too many Catholics just don’t really care. That’s the truth of it. If they cared, our political environment would be different. If 65 million Catholics really cared about their faith and cared about what it teaches, neither political party could ignore what we believe about justice for the poor, or the homeless, or immigrants, or the unborn child. If 65 million American Catholics really understood their faith, we wouldn’t need to waste each other’s time arguing about whether the legalized killing of an unborn child is somehow ‘balanced out’ or excused by three other good social policies.”

-- Archbishop Charles Chaput, March 21, 2009,
delivering the keynote address at a conference marking the Year of St. Paul in Detroit.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Cardinal George - Keep Conscience Protections for Health Care Workers

Protest Notre Dame Invite to Obama

Fr Jenkins, the President of Notre Dame University, has invited President Obama to deliver the commencement address and receive an honorary doctorate from NDU.

Obama, the extreme pro-abortionist, has no business speaking at a Catholic University.

If you would like to protest this action go here:

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Bizkit the Sleep Walking Dog

Sometimes I have a bad dream too.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

"Spirit of Adulation" Surrounding Obama

Found this news post on and thought it very important to repost here.

24-February-2009 -- Catholic News Agency
Denver Archbishop Warns against "Spirit of Adulation" Surrounding Obama

Toronto, Canada, Feb 23, 2009 (CNA).- Canadians packed St. Basil’s Church in Toronto on Monday evening to hear Archbishop Charles Chaput speak about how Catholics should live out their faith in the public square. He warned that in the U.S., Catholics need to act on their faith and be on guard against "a spirit of adulation bordering on servility" that exists towards the Obama administration.

The public lecture by Archbishop Chaput took place on the campus of the University of Toronto at St. Basil’s Church and was attended by an overflow crowd of more than 700 people.

After giving a sketch of the basic principles in his New York Times Bestseller "Render Unto Caesar," the archbishop offered his insights on the need for an honest assessment of the situation of the Church in the public square.

"I like clarity, and there’s a reason why," began the archbishop. "I think modern life, including life in the Church, suffers from a phony unwillingness to offend that poses as prudence and good manners, but too often turns out to be cowardice. Human beings owe each other respect and appropriate courtesy. But we also owe each other the truth -- which means candor."

The Denver prelate then provided his critique of President Obama.

"President Obama is a man of intelligence and some remarkable gifts. He has a great ability to inspire, as we saw from his very popular visit to Canada just this past week. But whatever his strengths, there’s no way to reinvent his record on abortion and related issues with rosy marketing about unity, hope and change. Of course, that can change. Some things really do change when a person reaches the White House. Power ennobles some men. It diminishes others. Bad policy ideas can be improved. Good policy ideas can find a way to flourish. But as Catholics, we at least need to be honest with ourselves and each other about the political facts we start with."

Yet this will be "very hard for Catholics in the United States," Chaput warned.

According to the archbishop, the political situation for Catholics is difficult to discern because a "spirit of adulation bordering on servility already exists among some of the same Democratic-friendly Catholic writers, scholars, editors and activists who once accused pro-lifers of being too cozy with Republicans. It turns out that Caesar is an equal opportunity employer."

Looking ahead to the coming months and years, Chaput offered four "simple things" to remember.

"First," he said, "all political leaders draw their authority from God. We owe no leader any submission or cooperation in the pursuit of grave evil."

"In fact, we have the duty to change bad laws and resist grave evil in our public life, both by our words and our non-violent actions. The truest respect we can show to civil authority is the witness of our Catholic faith and our moral convictions, without excuses or apologies."

In a reference to the messianic treatment the Barack Obama received from some Americans during the presidential primaries, Archbishop Chaput delivered his second point: "in democracies, we elect public servants, not messiahs."

Noting that Obama actually trailed in the weeks just before the election, the Denver archbishop said that this places some of today’s talk about a "new American mandate" in perspective.

"Americans, including many Catholics, elected a gifted man to fix an economic crisis. That’s the mandate. They gave nobody a mandate to retool American culture on the issues of marriage and the family, sexuality, bioethics, religion in public life and abortion. That retooling could easily happen, and it clearly will happen -- but only if Catholics and other religious believers allow it."

The third point to focus on when the beliefs of Catholics are challenged is that "it doesn’t matter what we claim to believe if we’re unwilling to act on our beliefs," Chaput counseled.

"The fourth and final thing to remember, and there’s no easy way to say it," remarked Archbishop Chaput, is that the "Church in the United States has done a poor job of forming the faith and conscience of Catholics for more than 40 years."

"And now we’re harvesting the results -- in the public square, in our families and in the confusion of our personal lives. I could name many good people and programs that seem to disprove what I just said. But I could name many more that do prove it, and some of them work in Washington."

American Catholics need to realize that many in the current generation haven’t just been "assimilated" into the American culture, but have in fact been "absorbed and bleached and digested by it," Archbishop Chaput asserted.

If this realization doesn’t happen, the coming generations will continue on the same path and "a real Catholic presence in American life will continue to weaken and disappear," said Chaput.

Citing the example of "unhappy, self-described Catholics who complain that abortion is too much of a litmus test," he stated, "We can’t claim to be ‘Catholic’ and ‘pro-choice’ at the same time without owning the responsibility for where the choice leads – to a dead unborn child."

The archbishop also addressed the "abortion reduction" argument being made by some in politics.

"We can’t talk piously about programs to reduce the abortion body count without also working vigorously to change the laws that make the killing possible. If we’re Catholic, then we believe in the sanctity of developing human life. And if we don’t really believe in the humanity of the unborn child from the moment life begins, then we should stop lying to ourselves and others, and even to God, by claiming we’re something we’re not."

"Catholic social teaching goes well beyond abortion," Chaput noted. "In America we have many urgent issues that beg for our attention, from immigration reform to health care to poverty to homelessness."

Winding his talk down, the Archbishop of Denver remarked on the misunderstanding of the word "hope."

"For Christians," he explained, "hope is a virtue, not an emotional crutch or a political slogan. Virtus, the Latin root of virtue, means strength or courage. Real hope is unsentimental. It has nothing to do with the cheesy optimism of election campaigns. Hope assumes and demands a spine in believers. And that’s why – at least for a Christian -- hope sustains us when the real answer to the problems or hard choices in life is ‘no, we can’t,’ instead of ‘yes, we can.’"

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Everyone Against Abortion Please Raise Your Hand

H/T to the Deacon's Bench for bringing this to my attention.