Saturday, June 30, 2012

Fortnight for Freedom - Day 10

For Day 10, this morning, I went before the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament for some face to face conversation with the Lord, a Holy Hour, with the intention in mind for our religious freedoms in this country. Time well spent, for strength, resolution, and listening for guidance.

It would be terrific if more churches would bring Adoration and Holy Hours back. It is of great need and comfort to the faithful.

"In a world where there is so much noise, so much bewilderment, there is a need for silent adoration of Jesus concealed in the Host. Be assiduous in the prayer of adoration and teach it to the faithful. It is a source of comfort and light, particularly to those who are suffering." “With the Synod Assembly, therefore, I heartily recommend to the Church’s pastors and to the People of God the practice of Eucharistic Adoration, both individually and in community” 
Pope Benedict XVI, February 22, 2007, Sacramentum Caritatis, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation.

This afternoon I prayed the rosary asking for Mary's intercession to her Son, on our behalf, to defeat the HHS mandate, especially in light of the recent Supreme Court decision.

In a small effort for self-improvement, I ran across an article addressing willpower and discipline. Some points I made note of are: 

Willpower is limited. In a study it was learned, the mere struggle to resist lowered willpower reserves. Low blood sugar makes you more anxious, for example eating. Self-control starts with setting goals and monitoring behavior. Discipline strengthens your willpower. One form, like even financial discipline, helps in other areas as well providing self-control. Building up discipline in one area translates to more discipline in other areas. Remove temptations. Don't make decisions when you are hungry or lack sleep.

For Greater Glory (2012)

A very important movie to see in this time when the government is taking away our religious liberty. This is Mexico in 1926 when President Plutarco Elias Calles signs into law a provision that restricts religious freedom. The Cristeros fight against the government for their religious freedom. St. Anthony Messenger reports this is a well-crafted and finely acted film. It stays close to the historical record. Two of the central characters, José Luis Sánchez and Anacleto Gonzolas Flores were beatified by Pope Benedict XVI in 2005.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Fortnight for Freedom - Day 9

Today I made a donation to the Archdiocese for the Military Services. You will recall how Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio was stifled when he wrote to the Catholic Chaplains about the HHS Mandate by the head of the Chaplains. This was nothing short of censorship. The Archbishop had to change the wording of his letter.

Prayer of the Archdiocese for the Military Services:

Almighty God and Father, look with love upon our men and women in uniform and protect them in their time of need. Give them health and stability and allow them to return to their loved ones whole and unshaken. Be with their families and sustain them in these uncertain times.

Grant strength and peace of mind to the Veterans who have given their best for the country they love. Support them in infirmity and in the fragility of old age. Teach us to remember their sacrifices and to express our gratitude.

Manifest your tender care to those in the Military Academies who prepare for future service and to those who serve our Nation far from home. Teach us to remember the sacrifices of those whose efforts contribute to ensuring our way of life.

Bless and multiply the priests who minister to the faithful of the Archdiocese for the Military Services. Reward their generosity and keep them faithful.

Hear us as we present our prayers to You through Christ our Lord

I also downloaded Cardinal Timothy Dolan's booklet "True Freedom: On Protecting Human Dignity and Religious Liberty," from Amazon to my Kindle, 99 cents, only 37 pages, just published, 6/19/2012. A very good read especially at this time of concern for religious liberty and the secularization of our society.

From Amazon:

Are American liberties on the endangered species list? In this eBook original, the Archbishop of New York and president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops issues a plea for all citizens to reject the cynicism of the day and foster a culture in which religious freedom and all human life are infinitely valued.
Religion and the dignity of human life are under attack by a variety of threats in the modern world including abortion, infanticide, eugenics, misuse of artificial reproductive technologies, an unjust distribution of economic resources, war, the arms trade, drugs, and human trafficking. What can be done to stop this? Cardinal Timothy Dolan explains the need for all Americans to embrace a new culture rooted in what Blessed John Paul II called the Gospel of Life where the sacredness of all human life, and the freedoms that are their birthright, are upheld, respected and protected by law.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Fortnight for Freedom - Day 8

Busy at work today – like every day – I just heard the Supreme Court’s decision. I’m heartbroken. I need more time to digest it. But on a positive note, it will be a rallying cry: the only way to get rid of obamacare is to get him out of office. This is where our work comes in.

We must become familiar with the issues and come to know the facts. Doing so we will not hesitate from entering discussions on the topics, and that is the key, to talk about the issues with our family friends and acquaintances – we might change some hearts and minds. But we won’t if we shy from the issues because we don’t know the facts. The advancement of evil is largely due to the lack of being informed by good people and disinterest and apathy.

As a Catholic I believe everyone should have access to healthcare. But what is healthcare? It is not providing contraception, especially to career Harvard students who can surely afford to buy their own. Should my taxes pay for her pills? Healthcare is not elective sterilizations – being fertile is not a disease or an illness. And surely healthcare is not killing babies – so much for the health of the baby; and surely, not if it is for boy/girl sex selection. Healthcare is not euthanasia; it is disposing of people deemed to be a burden. Healthcare is not waiting in line, or taking months/years for a needed operation. Healthcare is not having a committee or a government employee deciding you can’t have a medication or an operation because you are too old. Healthcare is not killing babies to harvest stem-cells.

My brothers and sisters, two of my rules I follow in my life is one, not to pass on to the next generations what we, today, are responsible for. The generations to come will have their own problems to deal with. I am responsible for my bills, my children and grandchildren should not be burdened with my bills. Second, I have learned if you want to eat you must work (now where have I heard that?). Again, I have no trouble giving a helping hand when needed; I have seen disabled people, blind people going to work, and I have seen strong, healthy, young people refusing to work and living a life of Riley on the public dole.

Day 8

The direction I’m taking today is becoming more informed with the issues Fortnight for Freedom is addressing. First, I have re-read  the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ document  “Our First, Most Cherished Liberty.”

Here are some excerpts:

It is a sobering thing to contemplate our government enacting an unjust law. An unjust law cannot be obeyed. In the face of an unjust law, an accommodation is not to be sought, especially by resorting to equivocal words and deceptive practices. If we face today the prospect of unjust laws, then Catholics in America, in solidarity with our fellow citizens, must have the courage not to obey them. No American desires this. No Catholic welcomes it. But if it should fall upon us, we must discharge it as a duty of citizenship and an obligation of faith.
As Catholics, we are obliged to defend the right to religious liberty for ourselves and for others. We are happily joined in this by our fellow Christians and believers of other faiths.
In insisting that our liberties as Americans be respected, we know as bishops that what our Holy Father said is true. This work belongs to "an engaged, articulate and well-formed Catholic laity endowed with a strong critical sense vis-à-vis the dominant culture."
To our priests, especially those who have responsibility for parishes, university chaplaincies, and high schools, we ask for a catechesis on religious liberty suited to the souls in your care. As bishops we can provide guidance to assist you, but the courage and zeal for this task cannot be obtained from another—it must be rooted in your own concern for your flock and nourished by the graces you received at your ordination.
Almighty God, Father of all nations,For freedom you have set us free in Christ Jesus (Gal 5:1).We praise and bless you for the gift of religious liberty,the foundation of human rights, justice, and the common good.Grant to our leaders the wisdom to protect and promote our liberties;By your grace may we have the courage to defend them, for ourselves and for all those who live in this blessed land.We ask this through the intercession of Mary Immaculate, our patroness,and in the name of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit,with whom you live and reign, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

You can read the entire statement here, or get a .pdf of it.

Now let me see what else I can get into….

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Fortnight for Freedom - Day 7

Today I wrote to my congressman Adam Kinzinger about the government's infringement on our religious freedoms and the HHS mandate, and urged him to do all he can to overturn this mandate and the government's disregard of all our rights.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Fortnight for Freedom - Days 5 and 6

I did not have a chance yesterday to post anything.

For Day 5 I attended a presentation and Q&A period by Michael Cacchione, Executive Director of the Illinois Catholic Health Organization, at my parish who spoke on the Fortnight for Freedom, the HHS Mandate, and Religious Liberty.

Getting home I learned that one of my email accounts was hacked, so I spent the rest of the evening notifying my contacts, changing the password and opening a new account.

So for today, Day 6, I’m praying litanies and prayers, especially to St. Michael the Archangel, Defender of the Church, for the intercession of our church and religious freedom. Following is a litany to St. Michael. Please join me:

Litany of St. Michael the Archangel

Lord, have mercy on us.

Christ, have mercy on us.

Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us.

Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father of Heaven,

Have mercy on us.

God the Son, Redeemer of the world,

Have mercy on us.

God the Holy Spirit,

Have mercy on us.

Holy Trinity, One God,

Have mercy on us.

Holy Mary, Queen of the Angels, pray for us.

St. Michael the Archangel, pray for us.

Most glorious attendant of the Triune Divinity,

*Pray for us is repeated after each invocation

Standing at the right of the Altar of Incense,

Ambassador of Paradise,

Glorious Prince of the heavenly armies,

Leader of the angelic hosts,

Warrior who thrust Satan into Hell,

Defender against the wickedness and snares of the devil,

Standard-bearer of God’s armies,

Defender of divine glory,

First defender of the Kingship of Christ,

Strength of God,

Invincible prince and warrior,

Angel of peace,

Guardian of the Christian Faith,

Guardian of the Legion of St. Michael,

Champion of God’s people,

Champion of the Legion of St. Michael,

Guardian angel of the Eucharist,

Defender of the Church,

Defender of the Legion of St. Michael,

Protector of the Sovereign Pontiff,

Protector of the Legion of St. Michael,

Angel of Catholic Action,

Powerful intercessor of Christians,

Bravest defender of those who hope in God,

Guardian of our souls and bodies,

Healer of the sick,

Help of those in their agony,

Consoler of the souls in Purgatory,

God’s messenger for the souls of the just,

Terror of the evil spirits,

Victorious in battle against evil,

Guardian and Patron of the Universal Church

Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world,

Spare us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world,

Graciously hear us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world,

Have mercy on us.

Pray for us, O glorious St. Michael,

That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let Us Pray

Sanctify us, we beseech Thee, O Lord, with Thy holy blessing, and grant us, by the intercession of St. Michael, that wisdom which teaches us to lay up treasures in Heaven by exchanging the goods of this world for those of eternity, Thou Who lives and reigns, world without end. Amen.

Relying, O Lord, upon the intercession of Thy blessed Archangel Michael, we humbly beg of Thee, that the Holy Eucharist in whose presence we kneel, may make our soul holy and pleasing to Thee. Through Christ Our Lord. R. Amen.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Fortnight for Freedom - Bishop John Carroll, First Catholic Bishop in the U.S.

I ran across a good article in The American Catholic it speaks of John Carroll first bishop of the United States and patriot.

It quotes George Washington in his Farewell Address, which I quite here, as it is something to think about:

The last act of his supreme magistracy was to inculcate in most impressive language on his countrymen, or rather on his dearest children, this, his deliberate and solemn advice; to bear incessantly in their minds, that nations and individuals are under the moral government of an infinitely wise and just providence; that the foundations of their happiness are morality and religion; and their union amongst themselves their rock of safety: that to venerate their constitution and its laws is to ensure their liberty.
 You can read the entire article here, it includes a short video on John Carroll.

Fortnight for Freedom - Day 4

My efforts for Fortnight for Freedom continues. Today, I helped at most Masses at my parish to encourage our parishioners to sign up for I-CAN, The Catholic Conference of Illinois Catholic Advocacy Network. Sending them your email address, they will keep you informed of state and federal issues affecting the Catholic Church. You can contact them at and sign up on-line.

I will also spend a considerable time reading/studying/meditating Scripture. Today’s Office of Readings for the Liturgy of the Hours included the passage from Jeremiah 1:4-10, 17-19 – The Call of the Prophet in conjunction with today’s nativity of St. John the Baptist. Read it slowly, it will hit you. The second reading was from a sermon by St. Augustine relating to John the Baptist – very poignant at this time concerning our religious liberty – should we not also be voices crying out in the wilderness proclaiming the Word and the Truth?

I also contacted my U.S. Senator as in my previous post.

Open Letter to U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (IL) - Religious Freedom

Dear Senator Kirk,
I have refrained from contacting you as I am fully aware of your medical concerns, and I am not sure how deeply your staff is able to carry your workload. But today, in consonance with the "Fortnight for Freedom", I find I must contact you as I am very concerned the direction our country is taking regarding religious freedom, freedom of conscience, and the protection of marriage. As a Catholic I am appalled the government has infringed on our liberties over and over again and now they are forcing Catholic Institutions to pay for contraception and abortifacients. If I were a Catholic employer I must pay, my staff must pay, for things that are morally objectionable to us; just like we will be forced to by health insurance even if we decide not to. This is the first time that I know that the government will force us to buy something, and that something which is against my moral conscious.
Senator Kirk, I will not, I should not, I cannot comply. These fourteen days of "Fortnight for Freedom", I have been and I will pray, make known this issue in my circle of relatives, friends and acquaintances - I will catechize them of the Church's teachings, I will fast, and do works of mercy to bombard heaven with my plea. As my Senator I beg you, on my knees if necessary, to reverse this mandate, return our freedoms, and do all you can to bring Christian morality and values back to our government and country.
And I ask, sir, why have the Muslims been exempted from this mandate and not all people of faith?
With deep respect and with continued prayers for you and your family.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Hey! Neat! Fly with an Eagle

I'm speechless. Praise God!

Fortnight for Freedom - Day 4

I will be working at my parish handing out sign-up cards and encouraging our community to sign a card to join the Catholic Conference of Illinois's Catholic Advocacy Network, I-CAN, so they may be kept informed on issues affecting the church and her mission at the state and federal levels.

For a large part of the day I plan on reading/studying/meditating Scripture.

An Election Prayer to Mary

O Most Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Mercy, at this most critical time, we entrust the United States of America to your loving care.

Most Holy Mother, We beg you to reclaim this land for the glory of your Son. Overwhelmed with the burden of the sins of our nation, we cry to you from the depths of our hearts and seek refuge in your motherly protection.

Look down with mercy upon us and touch the hearts of our people. Open to the great worth of human life and to the responsibilities that accompany human freedom.

Free us from the falsehoods that lead to the evil of abortion and threaten the sanctity of family life. Grant our country the wisdom to proclaim that God's law is the foundation on which this nation was founded, and that He alone is the True Source of our cherished rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

O Merciful Mother, give us the courage to reject the culture of death and the strength to build a new Culture of Life.

Friday, June 22, 2012

This is What You Will Get with Government Healthcare!

As reported on World Over on 6/21/2012, doctors in England are prematurely ending the lives of thousands of the elderly by withdrawing food and water. This has become routine. 130,000 have died by euthanasia in Great Britain under their government healthcare plan, this represents 29% of all hospital deaths. The reasons they give are a need for beds and the elderly bringing "nursing challenges." Do you REALLY think this will not happen under obamacare?

You can watch the entire video here. Also featured in this program is a Fortnight for Freedom Special with interviews with Cardinals George & Wuerl, Bishop Morlino.

Fortnight for Freedom - Day 3

Day 3 - The full Rosary, 5 decades in the morning, 5 at noon, and 5 in the evening, for the intention of religious freedom.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Fortnight for Freedom - Day 2

This one for Friday is quite simple - I commit to fasting on bread and water.

Fortnight for Freedom - Day 1

As promised, I have written to my U.S. Senator, Dick Durbin.

Yes, I know you are a Democrat and you identify yourself as a Roman Catholic. But not a Catholic in my book, as you do not share any values or morals that I do. I only need to mention abortion.

Today begins the Catholic Church’s effort called Fortnight for Freedom; an effort to protect our religious freedoms which your party has taken away from us through the HHS mandate. Rather than you doing something to protect my, your, our religious freedoms - incredibly - you are worried about criminals in solitary confinement - may I remind you that they put themselves there through their criminal acts and violence.

On the other hand, I have been a good citizen all my life and what does your party do? but take my liberty away, my God given right, my First Amendment. I will not, I can not, I should not comply.

You may continue calling yourself a Catholic, but one day you will meet your maker and will have to explain your actions.

You have made a career of being a politician, while you should be a statesman. Your party’s policies, your votes, have destroyed our nation. We are borrowing 40 cents on every dollar you spend - your grandchildren, my grandchildren will have to pay all this back with interest. One cannot even comprehend the enormity of the debt caused by your tax and spend policies and purchasing votes and thereby creating a government dependant society. How many more cell phones will you give away? Shame on you.

As a Catholic I will pray for you, but I hope after you are up again for re-election you never spend another day in office. You have done enough evil and injury to America. But then again you are set for life on the taxpayers dollar.

Jerusalem Aerial View

A terrific video of a flyover of Jerusalem. Gotta watch it.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Archbishop Lori highlights role of laity in Fortnight for Freedom

The Fortnight of Freedom begins tomorrow. I pray and hope all Catholics, all Christians, and all people of faith join me in these efforts of education, prayer and advocacy. The church militant must awaken, we must rise to the occasion.

Below is an article by Catholic Neews Agency about the role of the laity. To get the word out I except a large portion, but please due visit the CNS site here.

Washington D.C., Jun 12, 2012 / 02:19 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore stressed the importance of laity involvement in efforts to defend religious freedom from the ongoing threats in the U.S.

“It’s important, of course, for bishops to be teachers and leaders.” But “it is crucial for lay men and women, mothers and fathers of families, lay leaders in all walks of life to advocate for freedom and justice in our society,” Archbishop Lori told CNA on June 9.

“Without those voices and without the involvement of the laity, we just won’t get very far,” he added.

“In the Church’s understanding,” he explained, “it is the laity who are the ones that bring about the just and tranquil society. It is the laity who are the forefront of creating what Pope Paul VI called the ‘civilization of love.’”

Archbishop Lori, who leads the U.S. bishops’ religious freedom committee, encouraged the laity to get involved in the June 21 to July 4 “Fortnight for Freedom” event through education, prayer and advocacy.

The U.S. bishops have called for the fortnight in response to growing threats to religious liberty, most notably a federal mandate that will require employers to offer health insurance plans that cover contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs, even if doing so violates their consciences.

The mandate includes a very narrow exemption, but it excludes the majority of religious institutions, such as Catholic hospitals, schools and charitable agencies.
Religious leaders and individuals around the country have spoken out against the mandate and the threat it poses to religious liberty. They have urged the Obama administration to broaden the exemption so that religious organizations are not forced to choose between violating their beliefs and shutting their doors.

Despite widespread objection, the Obama administration finalized the mandate without change, while offering promises of a future “accommodation” for other organizations – a move that has already been criticized as inadequate.

The mandate is currently being challenged by lawsuits filed by more than 50 plaintiffs, including colleges, U.S. states, dioceses, nonprofit organizations and private business owners.

In addition, Archbishop Lori said, the laity can become involved in other key ways, including educational efforts regarding religious freedom.

He noted that one of the main objectives of the Fortnight for Freedom is “to make sure that all of us, but especially our young, understand and accept what the Church teaches on religious liberty, and that we understand and accept gratefully our heritage as Americans.”

This type of education is critical, and it is best done “in the home,” he said, explaining that families must work to educate the young on the importance of religious freedom.

Prayer is also a significant way in which the laity can participate in the fortnight, the archbishop observed.

“While we will have a lot of coverage of the large Masses, we’re also encouraging family prayer and private prayer by distributing prayer cards,” he explained.

The bishops are urging Catholics to pray the Rosary and calling for “moments when both families and individuals would simply pray for the restoration and protection of our religious freedoms,” he noted.

He added that study guides for families and children have been developed and are available online, as well as through the Catholic school system.

Archbishop Lori also encouraged “advocacy” with public officials.
“It’s very important that elected politicians hear, not so much from the bishops, but rather from Catholics and from all people of good will who are participating in this fortnight with us,” he said.

Fortnight for Freedom - A Quote from Fr. Z

The First Gay President, Pres. Obama, and his administration have been eroding our first liberties.  He is attacking the First Amendment, this time through the Dept of Health and Human Services (HHS).  The most aggressive pro-abortion president in history is bent on forcing us to pay for things that are morally objectionable not only on religious grounds, but also according to natural law.  We must resist these attempts to diminish our first freedoms.  We will not and we cannot comply with Pres. Obama’s attacks on the religious freedom of all Catholic institutions.
Visit Fr. Z here.

Fortnight for Freedom - Day 1

The fourteen days from June 21—the vigil of the Feasts of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More—to July 4, Independence Day, are dedicated to this “fortnight for freedom”—a great hymn of prayer for our country. Our liturgical calendar celebrates a series of great martyrs who remained faithful in the face of persecution by political power—St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More, St. John the Baptist, SS. Peter and Paul, and the First Martyrs of the Church of Rome. Culminating on Independence Day, this special period of prayer, study, catechesis, and public action will emphasize both our Christian and American heritage of liberty. Dioceses and parishes around the country have scheduled special events that support a great national campaign of teaching and witness for religious liberty.

Day 1 - Thursday June 21, 2012
I commit myself to extra prayers for my country, the rise of the church militant, my elected officials. I will write Senator Dick Durban - useless I know - but he will hear from me.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Disability Going Crazy

So I hear that in the last five years disability claims have increased by 22% Claims are going crazy, now costing us $75 billion, with a "B". a year. The government doesn't investigate these claims, but Workmen's Compensation (private entities) do. The investigators find 72% are fraudulent. Can you imagine then the fraud in the government claims?
Annual Social Security taxes per person are eight times higher in constant dollars than the maximum limit that the government promised would never be exceeded when President Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act in 1935. Liar, liar, pants on fire. The lies about Social Security have never ceased. For example, in 2001 the government projected that in 2009, it would collect 13.2 percent more in payroll taxes than needed to cover the costs of the program. The actual figure turned out to be 0.5 percent. Shame, shame, pants aflame. It’s a little-known fact that a major cause of skyrocketing Social Security spending is Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments for supposed disabilities. SSI was added to Social Security in 1956. Between 1965 and 2009, the U.S. population grew by 54 percent. During the same period, the number of people receiving disability benefits increased by 458 percent.
See the full article here.

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson

This is amazing. There are two parts. Be sure to read the 2nd part (in RED).

Thomas Jefferson was a very remarkable man who started learning very early in life and never stopped.

At 5, began studying under his cousin's tutor.

At 9, studied Latin, Greek and French.

At 14, studied classical literature and additional languages.

At 16, entered the College of William and Mary.

At 19, studied Law for 5 years starting under George Wythe.

At 23, started his own law practice.

At 25, was elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses.

At 31, wrote the widely circulated "Summary View of the Rights of British America " and retired from his law practice.

At 32, was a Delegate to the Second Continental Congress.

At 33, wrote the Declaration of Independence .

At 33, took three years to revise Virginia ?s legal code and wrote a Public Education bill and a statute for Religious Freedom.

At 36, was elected the second Governor of Virginia succeeding Patrick Henry.

At 40, served in Congress for two years.

At 41, was the American minister to France and negotiated commercial treaties with European nations along with Ben Franklin and John Adams.

At 46, served as the first Secretary of State under George Washington.

At 53, served as Vice President and was elected president of the American Philosophical Society.

At 55, drafted the Kentucky Resolutions and became the active head of Republican Party.

At 57, was elected the third president of the United States .

At 60, obtained the Louisiana Purchase doubling the nation's size.

At 61, was elected to a second term as President.

At 65, retired to Monticello .

At 80, helped President Monroe shape the Monroe Doctrine.

At 81, almost single-handedly created the University of Virginia and served as its first president.

At 83, died on the 50th anniversary of the Signing of the Declaration of Independence along with John Adams

Thomas Jefferson knew because he himself studied the previous failed attempts at government. He understood actual history, the nature of God, his laws and the nature of man. That happens to be way more than what most understand today. Jefferson really knew his stuff. A voice from the past to lead us in the future:

John F. Kennedy held a dinner in the white House for a group of the brightest minds in the nation at that time. He made this statement: "This is perhaps the assembly of the most intelligence ever to gather at one time in the White House with the exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone."

"When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe ." -- Thomas Jefferson

"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not."

-- Thomas Jefferson

"It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world."

-- Thomas Jefferson

"I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them." -- Thomas Jefferson

"My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government." -- Thomas Jefferson

"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." -- Thomas Jefferson

"The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government."

-- Thomas Jefferson

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." -- Thomas Jefferson

"To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical."

-- Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson said in 1802:

"I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies.

If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property - until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered."

I wish we could get this out to everyone!!!

I'm doing my part. Please do yours.

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Truth about the LCWR You Won't See in the Media

Te Deum

Feast of the Sacred Heart - Office of Readings

From a work by Saint Bonaventure, bishop
With you is the source of life

Take thought now, redeemed man, and consider how great and worthy is he who hangs on the cross for you. His death brings the dead to life, but at his passing heaven and earth are plunged into mourning and hard rocks are split asunder.

It was a divine decree that permitted one of the soldiers to open his sacred side with a lance. This was done so that the Church might be formed from the side of Christ as he slept the sleep of death on the cross, and so that the Scripture might be fulfilled: They shall look on him whom they pierced. The blood and water which poured out at that moment were the price of our salvation. Flowing from the secret abyss of our Lord’s heart as from a fountain, this stream gave the sacraments of the Church the power to confer the life of grace, while for those already living in Christ it became a spring of living water welling up to life everlasting.

Arise, then, beloved of Christ! Imitate the dove that nests in a hole in the cliff, keeping watch at the entrance like the sparrow that finds a home. There like the turtledove hide your little ones, the fruit of your chaste love. Press your lips to the fountain, draw water from the wells of your Savior; for this is the spring flowing out of the middle of paradise, dividing into four rivers, inundating devout hearts, watering the whole earth and making it fertile.

Run with eager desire to this source of life and light, all you who are vowed to God’s service. Come, whoever you may be, and cry out to him with all the strength of your heart. “O indescribable beauty of the most high God and purest radiance of eternal light! Life that gives all life, light that is the source of every other light, preserving in everlasting splendor the myriad flames that have shone before the throne of your divinity from the dawn of time! Eternal and inaccessible fountain, clear and sweet stream flowing from a hidden spring, unseen by mortal eye! None can fathom your depths nor survey your boundaries, none can measure your breadth, nothing can sully your purity. From you flows the river which gladdens the city of God and makes us cry out with joy and thanksgiving in hymns of praise to you, for we know by our own experience that with you is the source of life, and in your light we see light.

Nuns = Modernist a.k.a. Nuns on the Run

Another good article about our "religious women" by Fr. Longenecker at Standing on my Head. It starts:

What I mean is that the problem with the modernist nuns–and this includes all the modernist Catholics–is not the superficial problems the Vatican has identified like their being pro homosexual, pro abortion, feminist, neo pagan, pro contraception, etc. These are just the outward and visible signs of the inward and spiritual lack of grace. The real problem is far deeper than the surface issues. This post on modernism in the Church explains the problem.
The real problem with modernism in the American Church is the same problem of Protestantism. The Protestant Revolution was not just about the sale of indulgences, corruption in the hierarchy and whether Henry VIII wanted a divorce. Protestantism and Modernism are both revolutionary movements. As such they blame their problems, and the problems of the whole world on the status quo, and the only way to solve the problems is to overthrow the status quo.
What is telling about Protestantism and Modernism, is that the need for revolution is deep in their genetic make up, and the lust for revolution and destruction of the status quo will never be satisfied. Witness the never ending waves of “restorationsim” within Protestantism. Every generation of Protestants feels obliged to come along and turn over what the previous generation established. It’s the same with Modernism. The need to blame someone else and overthrow the ancien regime will always be part of the Protest movement. Try as you might, you will never be able to appease these people.
You cannot appease the Protestants or Modernists because they see the world in terms of conflict. The must have an enemy, and the enemy must be the establishment. For them the establishment (by definition) must be corrupt, venal, oppressive and just plain wrong. When the establishment seems to be conciliatory, innocent of corruption, patiently open to dialogue and seeking to pacify and appease they are “only playing a game” or are “being especially devious” or are “covering up their true intentions”. Therefore Cardinal Levada is being somewhat optimistic and complimentary in saying this is a “dialogue of the deaf” it is more like a “dialogue with conspiracy theorists”.
In all of this there is the mark of the everlasting adolescent. The nuns on the run and the other modernists are like petulant teenagers who cry and stomp and slam the door when they don’t get their own way. For them the parent is always the enemy, and their identity is soon determined by their constant, self righteous, immature stance of rebellion and insolence.
Read the rest here.

The Church and Our "Religious Sisters"

Father Martin Fox at Bonfire of the Vanities has a very good post about the Vatican's Doctrinal Assessment of the Leadership Conference of Women Religions (LCWR). I have addressed this topic previously in a personal light. But I think Fr. Fox covers this matter much better than I as it is addressed without hurt or emotion taking his necessarily priestly perspective. I encourage you to read it in its entirety. It begins:

This isn't a subject I want to write about--but I think it's important that I say something.

As you probably know, there have been several stories involving some sort of disagreement between Church authorities and some of our religious sisters. What's that about, you may wonder?

Well, one story has to do with a series of concerns with a group called the "Leadership Conference of Women Religious"; the other has to do with a book authored by Sister Margaret Farley. In both cases, the concerns are being expressed by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith--i.e., the office in Rome that seeks to ensure that those charged with teaching the faith, do so faithfully.

So what's this about? To put it simply, some of the decisions and statements of the LCWR have, over the years, sure seemed to deviate from what we believe as Catholics. The CDF folks have cited a number of concerns, such as speakers at public events, statements about "moving beyond" the Church, and other ways that Church teaching and practice have been contradicted or called into question.

Now, of course, if the folks at the LCWR believe that's not true, they have been invited to respond. Some of their leaders just met, yesterday I believe, with officials in Rome. This has yet to work itself out completely. And it isn't just about direct challenges to the Faith, but also how these religious orders might best go forward, so that they flourish, rather than shrink--as, sadly, many of them are.

But let's not beat around the bush. This didn't come out of nowhere. There have, indeed, been very real causes for concern over many years. So serious were these concerns that in the 1990s, a group of women religious in the country sought, and received, from Rome permission to form a new leadership group to represent them--because they grew unsatisfied with the LCWR.

Now, just to be clear, the issue is not with all religious--although that's how it's being framed. My understanding is the LCWR has a membership of about 1,500--as it's name makes clear, it's made up of leaders; those leaders may, or may not, accurately reflect the views of all the thousands of women religious in this country.

By point of comparison, there are two groups that might be taken as representing priests in this country: the longer-established "National Federation of Priests Councils," based in Chicago, and the recently established, "Association of U.S. Catholic Priests." I have no particular issue with either group--but I am not a member of either one. Many of the priests of the Archdiocese are affiliated with the first group, and one of our priests is part of the leadership. If any of our priests are part of the second, I'm not aware of it. The thing is, if someone--either in Rome or elsewhere--were to find fault with either group, I might agree, or disagree, or have no opinion; but why would I take that as a criticism of me?

The other question that comes to mind is this. For those folks who are up in arms about Rome calling for changes in the LCWR, is it their position that Rome isn't allowed to exercise this oversight?

Go here to read his entire post.

Stand Up for Religious Freedom

I cannot!
I must not!
I will not!

Father Jeffrey Keyes' compelling speech at a religious freedom rally.

Benedict XVI -Reject a Culture Where Truth Does Not Matter

Pope Benedict XVI on Monday night met with the people of his Diocese in the Cathedral Basilica of Saint John Lateran. The annual ecclesial conference of the Diocese of Rome is discussing the Sacrament of Baptism in the Church

“Renouncing the glamour of Satan in today’s age means rejecting a culture where truth does not matter,” the Pope said, referring to a part of the Baptismal Rite.

The Holy Father began his remarks by reflecting on the fact the Baptismal formula is “in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,” as opposed to “on the behalf of.”

He said with Baptism, we are now in the life of the Trinity: “uniquely united to God, with a new life that belongs to God, we are immersed in God Himself.”

This being true, the Pope said this means God is not some distant reality, but “we are in God, and God is in us.”

He said we also must keep in mind that this relationship begins with God.

“Yes, my decision is necessary, but ultimately, it is an act of God within me,” he explained. “I do not decide to become a Christian. I am … chosen by God, and by saying “yes” to this action of God, I become a Christian.”

In the Baptismal Rite, the catechumen must reject Satan and all his works. Pope Benedict said this means rejecting a “culture that does not seek goodness, whose morality is only a mask, which covers confusion and destruction...that seeks only material wealth and denies God”

He said the decision of Baptism lasts for the all our lives, with its rejection of evil, even if it means sacrifices.

The Pope then pointed out that becoming a Christian is not just saying ‘no’, but also saying ‘yes’ to the truths about Christ expressed in the Creed.

Because of this, Christians are “in communion with the truth.”

“We are grateful to God who gave us this gift [of Baptism], and our challenge is to live out our post-baptismal renunciations and affirmations and always live in the great cause of God, and so live well,” he concluded.

via Vatican Radio

The Anchoress on Amanpour's Interview with LCWR/John Chittister

The Anchoress has some good comments on the interview Christiane Amanpour and Sister Joan Chittister (read LCWR). These religious sisters, er, radical feminists, are in another world - their own world. Here is a blip:

First off — this whole brouhaha re the LCWR leadership is based on an 8 page document, quickly read, and more than a quarter of it is spent quite rightly praising the work religious sisters have done. When Sister Joan gets passionate about the ministry the sisters have embraced, she is right to be passionate, but since neither she nor Amanpour mention it, it seems only fair to acknowledge that the document recognizes all of that.

The assessment worries about a “radical feminist” turn taken by the leadership of the LCWR. Amanpour asks what that could mean. Sister Joan answers by defining radical feminism, rather narrowly, I think, as a mindset of extreme separatism; an idea that menfolk were irrelevant to women in the world.

Many might argue that extreme feminism is an outlook that is suspicious of men and their motives, oriented and agendized toward promoting superior feminine sensibilities throughout the culture, among both women and men. I was amused, though, I have to admit, when right after saying that no nun, no sister would ever speak badly of men as a whole, she immediately cites the real problem as being one of radical patriarchy.

Yes, yes, I know what she “meant.” But it came off as an ironic self-contradiction.

Amanpour then characterizes Benedict’s tenure — quite unfairly, or perhaps simply in ignorance, as “no more Vatican II”.

Oh, puleeze! If only the council recommendations had been implemented as written, rather than filtered through an amorphous “Spirit of Vatican II” that brooked no opposition and sometimes sowed a great deal of confusion, perhaps as a church we would all be in better shape, now. It disappoints me that Chittister allows Amanpour to get away with it, but I suspect it’s because she does believe it to be true.

Still, I found it amusing that Chittister describes the tension within the church as being between a “medieval” absolutism — that there is only one right or wrong answer to anything (“and [the damn patriarchy will] tell you what it is”) and then makes a big song and dance about the wisdom of modern relativism. And she’s absolute about it: “The modern mind, born in the scientific age, says there are many answers to many things.”

Until, of course, we’re told “the science is settled.” Then we’re not supposed to question it. It’s just a different sort of patriarchy, I guess.

I’m sorry, but I find so much of this to be prideful boomer conceit; everything that came before us is wrong, unenlightened and stupid. As Vizzini would say, Aquinas? Augustine? Ambrose? Morons!

Chittister also allows Amanpour to get away with the easiest and laziest of arguments: these men didn’t handle the sex abuse scandals well, so they have no credibility, anyway; “it hasn’t been nuns that have been responsible,” Amanpour blubbers. It’s a subject completely irrelevant to this issue, but since Chittister allowed it — and nods in agreement — I have to call her on it; she knows perfectly well that religious orders of sisters have made huge payouts after accusations of abuse and have not always been quick to co-operate with investigations, which is a story the American press hasn’t liked to cover. The subject didn’t even belong in the interview, but once it’s broached, it’s a pretty bad moment, all around, for Amanpour who took the cheap route, for Sister Joan, who let her, and of course, the church, who may do penance for it all throughout all our lifetimes.

Amanpour then gets into the “life issues” and Sister Joan, bristles with offense and says she wants to laugh in irony, or something. She starts off fairly well, but I think she’s a bit disingenuous to say that the reason abortion is not specifically addressed by so many of the LCWR leadership is because they want to treat “everything” as a life issue, and that she doesn’t want to call social justice “social justice” because everything is a life issue.

Okay. Fair enough. But neither woman addresses what has upset Rome, which are instances — admittedly not widespread — where sisters have acted as escorts to abortion centers or suggested that abortion cannot be defined as really evil, because you know…everything is relative; marriage cannot be defined as being solely between a man and a woman because, you know…everything is relative....

Read the rest here.

Fr. Robert Barron and Dr. Scott Hahn on Biblical Interpretation and The Liturgy

Interesting conversation between Fr. Barron and Scott Hahn

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Why go to Mass?

God In The Streets of New York City

Take four minutes and watch this. It brought a tear to my eyes. It shows the power of the Real Presence.

H/T/ Deacon Greg Kandra

An Open Letter to My Brothers of the Franciscan First Order and to My Sisters in the Third Order Regular

I am scandalized by the presumptiveness of the leaders of the various First Order American Provinces in their recent press release of their support for the leadership of the Leadership Conference of Women Religions (LCWR) in light of the recent Doctrinal Assessment. I must ask, have you read the assessment? Had you, I cannot fathom how you could privately, let alone publicly, support these wayward ladies. Your support denigrates your own Order.

I approach you with as much humility as I can notwithstanding the extreme agitation and anxiety I am feeling over your leaders support contrary to the assessment. My own formation has taught me that when a brother or sister errors to approach them, in my love for you, so that you may amend yourselves.

In so an elementary foundation of our charism, the very teaching of Francis himself and by his example, by an expression of our humility and obedience and love, we are to be in union with the Magisterium of the Church. From where, in your vowed humility did this elitistism come? You put yourself before the Magisterium in support for the LCWR. Having the least compunction in scandalizing your brothers and sisters in the Orders, I must question your ability to properly lead them. You have fallen prey to the culture in which you live; one of hedonism and individualism.

We are called to be in conformity and give allegiance to the soul and heart of the Magisterium, as the assessment indicates.

Before I go further I extend my heartfelt appreciation for the instruction the nuns provided me, in concert with my parents, in establishing within me a love for God and my Faith. I would probably be a candidate for hell if it were not for them. I also extend my thanks to all the religious who have worked so tirelessly to bring to the world peace, charity, and social justice.

But Franciscanism, Father Francis, was not only about creation and peace and love – important as they are – but he was Christocentric and faithful to the Church and its teachings. Should we be anything less?

The assessment’s reports on the addresses given at the LCWR assemblies present a pattern of obstinacy to Church teaching. They dismiss their responsibility by saying they did not know the content of the presentations, but the pattern indicates their – if not spoken, their hidden – agenda. In addition, even if they were ill-informed as to the content of the talks, they remained unchallenged as brought to light in the assessment.

Their policies prove a corporate dissent of Church teaching: they protest the inability of the Church to ordain women; they embrace homosexuality, they continually take positions against the Church’s teachings on human sexuality. They present radical feminism and undermine our doctrines of the Holy Trinity, the divinity of Christ and the inspiration of Holy Scripture. They’re silent on right to life and natural death; they challenge positions taken by our Bishops who are our authentic teachers of faith and morals. To grant their wishes would mean to discard the essence of the Catholic Church’s Tradition. These are all serious concerns and I can only wonder and pray for the friars and religious who support the LCRW.

I understand on all our Orders there appear individuals with unorthodox ideas, opinions and agendas. But it seems these errors are pervasive. Part of the failure is in the formation process, the weeding out in the inquiry process. The infiltration of the radical liberalism in the Orders is an extremely dangerous situation. Rather than turning to Scripture and Teachings, our Rule, they are led by dissident voices who are not happy with the Church, the Order, or themselves. We are called to build the Church, not destroy it. If you are short of vocations ask yourself, why? Have you not seen the communities that are in-line with Church teaching, wear traditional values as well as their habit are thriving, while the others are dying?

My brothers and sisters need to turn back to our basic tenants of humility, obedience, and discipline. My love and prayers for them continues.

If you would like to read for yourself the Dogmatic Assessment, please go here.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

2012 Transit of Venus

Did you miss it? I did. But here is a much better look.

State Department Purges Religious Freedom Section from Its Human Rights Reports

from What Does The Prayer Really Say? (Fr. John Zuhlsdorf)

Maybe religious liberty is not a human right after all?

From CNS:

State Department Purges Religious Freedom Section from Its Human Rights Reports By Pete Winn June 7, 2012

( – The U.S. State Department removed the sections covering religious freedom from the Country Reports on Human Rights that it released on May 24, three months past the statutory deadline Congress set for the release of these reports. [Comment Fr. Z.: Hey! If they don't report on it, I guess it isn't happening, right?]

The new human rights reports–purged of the sections that discuss the status of religious freedom in each of the countries covered–are also the human rights reports that include the period that covered the Arab Spring and its aftermath.

Thus, the reports do not provide in-depth coverage of what has happened to Christians and other religious minorities in predominantly Muslim countries in the Middle East that saw the rise of revolutionary movements in 2011 in which Islamist forces played an instrumental role.

For the first time ever, the State Department simply eliminated the section of religious freedom in its reports covering 2011 and instead referred the public to the 2010 International Religious Freedom Report – a full two years behind the times – or to the annual report of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), which was released last September and covers events in 2010 but not 2011....

Read the whole article here. And please visit Fr. Z.'s blog here.

Pope Benedict's Corpus Christi Homily

A good homily, an important read.

"It is a mistake to oppose celebration and adoration, as if they were in competition"

ROME, JUNE 7, 2012 ( This evening in Rome, Benedict XVI celebrated Mass for the feast of Corpus Christi at the Basilica of St. John Lateran. He then led the traditional procession to the Basilica of Saint Mary Major.

Here is a translation of the Pope's homily.

Dear Brothers and Sisters!

This evening I would like to meditate with you on two interconnected aspects of the Eucharistic Mystery: the worship of the Eucharist and its sacredness. It is important to take it up again to preserve it from incomplete visions of the Mystery itself, such as those which were proposed in the recent past. First of all, a reflection on the value of Eucharistic worship, in particular adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament. It is the experience that we will also live after the Mass, before the procession, during its development and at its end. A unilateral interpretation of Vatican Council II has penalized this dimension, restricting the Eucharist in practice to the celebratory moment. In fact, it was very important to recognize the centrality of the celebration, in which the Lord convokes his people, gathers them around the twofold table of the Word and the Bread of life, nourishes them and unites them to Himself in the offering of the Sacrifice. This assessment of the liturgical assembly, in which the Lord works and realizes his mystery of communion, remains of course valid, but it must be placed in the right balance. In fact – as often happens – the stressing of one aspect ends up by sacrificing another. In this case, the accentuation placed on the celebration of the Eucharist has been to the detriment of adoration, as act of faith and prayer addressed to the Lord Jesus, really present in the Sacrament of the altar. This imbalance has also had repercussions on the spiritual life of the faithful. In fact, concentrating the whole relationship with the Eucharistic Jesus only at the moment of Holy Mass risks removing his presence from the rest of time and the existential space. And thus, perceived less is the sense of the constant presence of Jesus in our midst and with us, a concrete, close presence among our homes, as “beating Heart” of the city, of the country, of the territory with its various expressions and activities. The Sacrament of the Charity of Christ must permeate the whole of daily life.

In reality, it is a mistake to oppose celebration and adoration, as if they were in competition with one another. It is precisely the contrary: the worship of the Most Blessed Sacrament is as the spiritual “environment” in which the community can celebrate the Eucharist well and in truth. Only if it is preceded, accompanied and followed by this interior attitude of faith and adoration, can the liturgical action express its full meaning and value. The encounter with Jesus in the Holy Mass is truly and fully acted when the community is able to recognize that, in the Sacrament, He dwells in his house, waits for us, invites us to his table, then, after the assembly is dismissed, stays with us, with his discreet and silent presence, and accompanies us with his intercession, continuing to gather our spiritual sacrifices and offering them to the Father.

In this connection, I am pleased to stress the experience we will also live together this evening. At the moment of adoration, we are all on the same plane, kneeling before the Sacrament of Love. The common and ministerial priesthoods are united in Eucharistic worship. It is a very beautiful and significant experience, which we have experienced several times in Saint Peter’s Basilica, and also in the unforgettable vigils with young people – I recall, for example, those of Cologne, London, Zagreb, Madrid. It is evident to all that these moments of Eucharistic vigil prepare the celebration of the Holy Mass, prepare hearts for the encounter, so that it is more fruitful. To be all together in prolonged silence before the Lord present in his Sacrament, is one of the most genuine experiences of our being Church, which is accompanied in a complementary way with the celebration of the Eucharist, listening to the Word of God, singing, approaching together the table of the Bread of life. Communion and contemplation cannot be separated, they go together. To really communicate with another person I must know him, I must be able to be in silence close to him, to hear him and to look at him with love. True love and true friendship always live of the reciprocity of looks, of intense, eloquent silences full of respect and veneration, so that the encounter is lived profoundly, in a personal not a superficial way. And, unfortunately, if this dimension is lacking, even sacramental communion itself can become, on our part, a superficial gesture. Instead, in true communion, prepared by the colloquy of prayer and of life, we can say to the Lord words of confidence as those that resounded a short while ago in the Responsorial Psalm: “O Lord, I am thy servant; I am thy servant, the son of thy handmaid. / Thou hast loosed my bonds./ I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving /and call on the name of the Lord” (Psalm 115:16-17).

Now I would like to pass briefly to the second aspect: the sacredness of the Eucharist. Also here we heard in the recent past of a certain misunderstanding of the authentic message of Sacred Scripture. The Christian novelty in regard to worship was influenced by a certain secularist mentality of the 60s and 70s of the past century. It is true, and it remains always valid, that the center of worship is now no longer in the rites and ancient sacrifices, but in Christ himself, in his person, in his life, in his paschal mystery. And yet, from this fundamental novelty it must not be concluded that the sacred no longer exists, but that it has found its fulfillment in Jesus Christ, incarnate divine Love. The Letter to the Hebrews, which we heard this evening in the Second Reading, speaks to us precisely of the novelty of the priesthood of Christ, “high priest of the good things that have come” (Hebrews 9:11), but it does not say that the priesthood is finished. Christ “is the mediator of a new covenant” (Hebrews 9:15), established in his blood, which purifies our “conscience from dead works” (Hebrews 9:14). He did not abolish the sacred, but brought it to fulfillment, inaugurating a new worship, which is, yes, fully spiritual but which however, so long as we are journeying in time, makes use again of signs and rites, of which there will be no need only at the end, in the heavenly Jerusalem, where there will no longer be a temple (cf. Revelation 21:22). Thanks to Christ, the sacred is more true, more intense and, as happens with the Commandments, also more exacting! Ritual observance is not enough, but what is required is the purification of the heart and the involvement of life.

I am also pleased to stress that the sacred has an educational function, and its disappearance inevitably impoverishes the culture, in particular, the formation of the new generations. If, for example, in the name of a secularized faith, no longer in need of sacred signs, this citizens' processions of the Corpus Domini were abolished, the spiritual profile of Rome would be “leveled,” and our personal and community conscience would be weakened. Or let us think of a mother or a father that, in the name of a de-sacralized faith, deprived their children of all religious rituals: in reality they would end up by leaving a free field to so many surrogates present in the consumer society, to other rites and other signs, which could more easily become idols. God, our Father, has not acted thus with humanity: he has sent his Son into the world not to abolish, but to give fulfillment also to the sacred. At the height of this mission, in the Last Supper, Jesus instituted the Sacrament of his Body and his Blood, the Memorial of his Paschal Sacrifice. By so doing, he put himself in the place of the ancient sacrifices, but he did so within a rite, which he commanded the Apostles to perpetuate, as the supreme sign of the true sacred, which is Himself. With this faith, dear brothers and sisters, we celebrate today and every day the Eucharistic Mystery and we adore it as the center of our life and heart of the world. Amen.

[Translation by ZENIT]

Friday, June 8, 2012

Wayward Ladies

Perhaps I will loose some friends with this one. But I must express my dismay of the following press release:

Franciscan Leadership Declares Solidarity With Catholic Sisters

American Provinces Release Letter to the LCWR

NEW YORK — June 7, 2012 — As follow-up to the recent Vatican assessment of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), the leaders of seven entities of Franciscan friars have released a letter to the Catholic sisters expressing their strong support.

Several weeks ago, the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) released its assessment of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the support system and public voice of some 1500 leaders of women’s congregations, representing over 80% of the women religious in the United States. This assessment was highly critical of the LCWR and demanded changes in its organization and activities. Like many American Catholics, Franciscan friars across the country have been deeply concerned by this document, especially its impact on their sisters in religious life, many of whom belong to Franciscan congregations.

The provincial ministers of the seven provinces of the Order of Friars Minor in the United States, representing more than 1250 religious men, released the following statement to express their appreciation of the invaluable ministry of American religious women and to extend their support to the members of the LCWR, as they attempt to respond to the concerns expressed in the Vatican directives.

My response is this:

All Franciscans are to follow the Magisterium of the Church, as Francis taught, not make Catholicism what they want it to be.

o·be·di·ence: Noun: 1. Compliance with someone's wishes or orders or acknowledgment of their authority. 2. Submission to a law or rule.

I made a promise, a profession, the Friars, and the Sisters made a vow.

I am scandalized, I am appalled, when I see Catholic nuns, in public, supporting abortion and taking other positions contrary to the basic teachings of the Church.

It is sad the Friars choose to publicly side with these wayward ladies.

I have just unsubscribed to two Franciscan Friar blogs because of this.

Stand Up for Religious Freedom

Too short not to post in its entirety. But do visit Father Dwight's blog.

Fr Longenecker speaking at the Greenville Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally. If they violate religious freedom of Catholics they will be able to violate everyone else’s, and they cannot suppress religious freedom without also suppressing freedom of speech and freedom to gather and freedom to protest. “We had better stand together or we will all hang separately.”

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Islamic Immigration or Let's Make Babies - Quick!

A couple of months ago I was at a community expo representing my parish, handing out information, and answering questions. The booth next to us happened to represent the area's Islamic mosques. I was quite surprised, toward the end of the day when there were less people about, one of the Islamic men can over to me and tried to convert me on the spot. He was a little pushy and insistent. We discussed some points back and forth and I was surprised he knew the Holy Bible quite well, at least chapter and verse supporting what he was attempting to get across to me. I could see how some people weak in their faith might listen to their arguments. I conclude Muslims are trying very hard to convert Christians. We know what is unsaid is that if you are not a Muslim you should be dead. Shortly after this I boned up a bit on Muslims, reading some Catholic apologetics about the Muslim faith. The Koran has never been studied as our Bible has been. It has never undergone any exegesis. There has never been independent corroboration that Muhammad even existed. It is postulated that it was written by a Jew. Today, someone sent me a video on Islamic immigration into Europe and America (see below) I was mildly surprised of its content, as I have known from various sources in the past that Europeans and Americans have a very low birth rate, so low, that we are not replacing ourselves, though our population stays up due to an enormous amount of legal and illegal immigration. I did a little research and found an article disputing some of the numbers, though it was posted by an interfaith organization which indicates a desire to show the Muslims in a positive light. But the fact remains that their birth rate is a lot higher than ours or the Europeans. So it is not wrong to acknowledge the shifting demographics. The video is about three years old. I also found a report on the same topic in an interview with a writer,(below). which is two years old. Now, what happens when Muslims become the majority? Will they be as tolerant of us as we are of them now? I think not, knowing their various stances and history. Their history from they very start was to conquer and convert, or else! By coincidence, also today, I ran across the picture below. I apologize for it being graphic, but at times visualizations are necessary. I had not seen this before and I tried to validate it. Have you heard of the Armenian genocide? You only need to do a Google search for images and see the Wikipedia article. (Below: A line of naked crucified Armenian girls). I am not saying the sky is falling, but the facts are disturbing, and I fear and wonder what is going to happen. You can surmise the future yourself. We are killing our culture from abortion and contraception. We need to evangelize those of our faith who are un-churched, and yes, we need to start making babies.

Friday, June 1, 2012

June is the Month Dedicated to the Sacred Heart

O most holy heart of Jesus, fountain of every blessing, I adore you, I love you, and with lively sorrow for my sins I offer you this poor heart of mine. Make me humble, patient, pure and wholly obedient to your will. Grant, Good Jesus, that I may live in you and for you. Protect me in the midst of danger. Comfort me in my afflictions. Give me health of body, assistance in my temporal needs, your blessing on all that I do, and the grace of a holy death. Amen.

Catholics Care. Catholics Vote: Keeping Love in the Debate

Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, the bishops' call to political responsibility, is a high-profile document. One reason is that it deals with issues that have major ramifications for the lives and well being of people everywhere. Another is that it provides a guide for the intersection of the values of faith and the world of politics, certainly a tall and delicate order. But another reason it draws so much attention is probably the fact that it covers an area--politics--that everyone likes to fight about.

People like having their arguments validated. And what greater validation is there than to be able to say that the bishops--and by extension, God--agree with this political view or that? This gives rise to regarding Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship not as a guiding tool for understanding Church teaching and forming one's conscience by it but like a Catholic Rubik's Cube with a secret code to crack, a code that provides the definitive Catholic ideological view. And from such a vantage point, of course, a person is then free to attack every other ideological view and the people holding them.

And therein lies a problem. Catholics have a duty to be advocates for issues affecting the common good, both at the ballot box and year round. But they also have a duty to carry out this advocacy in a way that's worthy of their faith. This means not giving into the cultural mentality that it's okay to engage in the scorched earth, zero sum game that American politics have become. In Catholic teaching, ends do not justify means.

from USCCB Blog. Read the rest here.