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