Sunday, September 30, 2007

Bishops and Plan B

If you read my previous post, or any news items recently, about the Bishops of Conn. that are allowing Catholic hospitals to use Plan B for rape victims, then you should do yourself a favor and read Jimmy Akin's post about the situation. His disclaimer is good as well:
THE BIG RED DISCLAIMER: What I am about to write is not indicative of my own view. I'm trying to explain the apparent reasoning of the Connecticut bishops. I'm not saying that they are correct or incorrect. Rome could rule either way on this, and it may well get involved. What I'm trying to do is explain a position, not defend it.
I think that Rome will be clarifying this one, but probably not as quick as many would like.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Chimps are humans too?

When we lose the truth about the human person and where we get our dignity (not in what we do, but who we are), the truth gets tossed into the air and is apparently up for debate.

Some groups want unborn babies to be declared non-human.
Other groups want chimps to be declared human.

Seems both are a perversion of the dignity of humanity and are making the same error.
(ap image)

Coming To Doctor's Office Near You Soon

The General Medical Council of England has now stated that Doctors should keep sex advice they give to children private. This means that the parents do not need to know when a parent gives a child contraception, advises an abortion, etc.
Children aged 13 who consult a doctor for advice about contraception, abortion or sexually transmitted diseases are entitled to be treated without the knowledge of their parents, the General Medical Council (GMC) will say today.
This is scary. As a parent I have the right to know what any doctor tells my child and not have them keep something of this nature from me.

Trouble brewing

This isn't the end of this issue. It will be problematic for a long time.

American Papist has a very good summation of the issue and the problems involved.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Catholic Broadcasting

If you like good Catholic podcasting (both audio and video) and want to see a nice collection of some, then check out this website.

John Paul II Euthanized?

Alright, I am not buying what this doctor is selling. Nope. Never.

She has an agenda and is using the Pope's death to further it.

UPDATE: Vatican answers the accusations.

UPDATE #2: Apparently since her argument is full of holes, she changes her story.
Confronted with evidence that the nasal tube had been inserted sooner, she then changed her core accusation, charging that John Paul should have been given a stomach feeding tube, since it has been proven to be more effective for longer periods of time.
Sometimes persistence isn't quite as virtuous as it should be.

Morning After Pill

I don't understand how a 16 year old girl can be given the morning after pill without having to notify her parents when the same girl can't be given an aspirin without telling them.

This is insane. I pray the Supreme Court will review this decision of an appeals court who ruled it is perfectly legal.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Pope Benedict's Approval Rating

It is good to see that PBXVI has largely smashed the bad image that many had about him.

More here, including some interesting stats on Mormons and perceptions. I will write more later on this.

Blogging Scholarship

FYI - If you are a college student who blogs - then consider applying for a $10k scholarship for bloggers.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Life is Precious

Hug those you love! Tell them you love them. You never know what might happen.

Here is an inspirational and sad story of a very accomplished man who is going to die very soon and leave behind a wife and small children. Yet, he wants us to know that life isn't about being accomplished. The picture to the right is from a Wall Street Journal article.

If you want to see the video of his final speech where he talks about his experience, I highly recommend it.

Tip o' the Hat to Amy Welborn for the story.

Pray for our Troops

Don't forget to pray for the men and women who put their lives on the line every day. This video of one close call is a reminder of how every moment in a war zone is a threat to their lives. Warning - the language of war appears and in my opinion, rightfully so.

Pope: "life is always a choice"

Good stuff from the Pope:

In truth, life is always a choice: between faithfulness and unfaithfulness, between selfishness and altruism, between good and evil. The end of this particular Gospel passage is incisive and authoritative: no servant can serve two masters, you cannot serve God and wealth.
He continues:
A fundamental decision is then necessary, the choice between the logic of profit as the ultimate criteria for our actions and the logic of sharing and solidarity. If the logic of profit prevails, the imbalance between poor and rich increases, as does the ruinous exploitation of the planet. When, on the other hand, the logic of sharing and solidarity prevails it is possible to alter and redirect our course towards equal development and the common good of everyone. Ultimately it is a decision between selfishness and love, between justice and dishonesty, ... between God and Satan.
Then wraps it up with the best stuff yet:
If loving Christ and our fellow man is not considered as a superficial accessory, but rather as the real and ultimate aim of our entire life, we must know how to take fundamental decisions, to be ready to make radical sacrifices, if necessary even unto martyrdom. Today, as yesterday, the life of Christians calls for the courage to swim against the tide, to love like Jesus Who went so far as to sacrifice Himself upon the cross.

Ignorance is bliss?

I would disagree that this kind of ignorance is bliss.

Taking a "swipe" at the Catholic Church. Why? To sell more coffee and records. Oh well, I don't go to Starbucks anyway.

Unity with Russian Orthodox

If it helps foster true unity it is a good move.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Article

Here is the article about receiving Communion that George Weigel referred to on Saturday morning for those interested.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Weigel

The presentation by George Weigel was a great success. We had a full auditorium of about 600 people and all were very enthusiastic about having him come speak.

His presentation centered on Pope Benedict XVI and both the external and internal challenges that he, and the Catholic Church, must deal with. The relationships that he has been privileged to have with both JPII and PBXVI have enabled him to give a unique perspective to the situation of the Church in the world today.

He is very hopeful that there are many positive developments that the Holy Spirit is working on. But, he is also realistic that many of the challenges, especially in battling the prevailing culture, will not be easy to overcome.

Pray for our young people, because they are the ones who must be the ones to provide the concrete realities of this positive dream.

Friday, September 21, 2007

George Weigel

We are blessed to have George Weigel come and talk to at St. Mary's (the Bush Presidential Library once and St. Mary's once) this weekend. I am very much looking forward to having the opportunity to pick his brain and ask him some questions.

Not only is he John Paul the Great's biographer, but he is very good with public policy issues as well as philosophy. On top of all that, he is a very accomplished theological writer. I consider him one of the most brilliant Catholics in the USA.

I don't necessarily agree with him, especially on his just war writings that he has done in First Things, but he always makes me think.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Rabbi Reveals Name of Messiah

A very prominent 108-year-old Rabbi in Israel wrote the name of the Messiah down and had it sealed until after he died. It is now been revealed...want to know the name?

Click here.

Interesting to say the least.

Another lesson from my dog.

I have a St. Bernard. It is not surprising that she loves long walks in the cold of winter and can sniff out any critter through inches of snow (we tested this skill last winter on a family vacation).

What is surprising though is how much she enjoys sunning herself in the midst of summer heat waves.

Each day she finds a spot in the middle of the yard (far from the shade trees) and suns herself for about 15 minutes. Sometimes she holds her head up to the sky as if to even out some tans lines. Sometimes she sprawls out and stretches in the grass. Toward the end of her session she always begins to pant. I can tell that she is hot (fur coats were not made for Texas heat), but she stays to absorb a few more rays. Eventually she’ll retreat inside to rest on the cool entryway tile.

I’ve come to realize that my dog’s love for fresh air and sunlight must somehow outweigh the discomfort of rising temperatures with a thick fur coat.

This makes me question: How willing am I to endure a little discomfort for something I love? Or should I say for Someone I love?

I sometimes find myself retreating from God: from prayer, from the hard work of building virtue, from daily and deliberately striving for (not just talking about or dreaming of) holiness . . . when things get a little toasty.

Just like I dash from the blasting air conditioner in my car to the 76 degree oasis of my house, I find myself trying to skip from happy encounter to happy encounter with God, avoiding the heat at all cost.

But being purified requires a little heat, a little discomfort.

Today may we have the determination and the love to let God purify us. May we remain in his presence even when we don’t feel like it and stay close to him despite the rising temperatures. Face the hurts. Heal the wounds. Change the bad habits.

If a St. Bernard can enjoy the Texas heat I am convinced we can all learn to look “to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God."

Lets all go soak up some rays.

Fr. Stan Fortuna

I am not a big fan of Fr. Stan's free-styling rap. But, I am a fan of his free-styling jazz.

St. Mary's Catholic Center - College Station, TX

Court Decides Marriage is for Men & Women

We really didn't need a court to tell us this - or did we?

Amnesty International...again

Looks like Amnesty International has completely gotten away from their once-upon-a-time admirable mission.

I give it 5 years before it basically loses all moral authority.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

40 days For Life

40 Days for life started here in College Station. It is now a national pro-life movement. Bishop Aquila is encouraging the priests of his diocese to follow his example. Thank you Bishop Aquila for being a great example to us all.

Go Poland

While blocking the death penalty is a good thing, the fact that Poland wants something much stronger (banning killing the innocent) is wonderful. Go Poland!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Everything Skit

Nicely done.

Saggy Pants Illegal?

We have all seen them - the kids wearing their pants almost to their knees with their unmentionables showing.

Is it crass? Yes.
Is it bad fashion? Yes.
Is it just kinda silly? Absolutely.
But, illegal? In some parts of the country it is.

I have to disagree with making it illegal. We shouldn't legislate everything that bothers us.

So, now you get to chime in on the poll to the right. Let me know what you would do. --->

Chinese Bishops

The Chinese Government and the Vatican have been doing a dance about episcopal appointments for a long time. At least this time they agreed on someone.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Presidential Race

Another Catholic, Alan Keyes, has announced he is running for president.
Read more.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Friday Fun - Colbert on Mother Teresa

Colbert is a devout Catholic and he has a good time with the stupid comments some have made about Blessed Teresa lately:


I like the "you did ask a Jesuit on the show" comment.

"Made In His Image"

Yes - we are all made in God's image.


Tip o' the hat to Mark Shea.

JPII relics available

Want a relic of JPII or a holy card for his intercession? Visit here.

More.

PRAYER FOR ASKING GRACES THROUGH THE INTERCESSION OF THE SERVANT OF GOD THE POPE JOHN PAUL II
O Blessed Trinity
We thank You for having graced the Church
with Pope John Paul II
and for allowing the tenderness of your Fatherly care,
the glory of the cross of Christ,
and the splendor of the Holy Spirit,
to shine through him.
Trusting fully in Your infinite mercy
and in the maternal intercession of Mary,
he has given us a living image of Jesus the Good Shepherd,
and has shown us that holiness
is the necessary measure of ordinary Christian life
and is the way of achieving eternal communion with you.
Grant us, by his intercession, and according to Your will,
the graces we implore,
hoping that he will soon be numbered
among your saints.
Amen.

Beautiful

Here are some amazing pictures of a Mass in Vienna. Everything from the vestments to the church is striking.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

A lesson from my dog

My friends who have kids might cringe at this reflection. I know that dogs are not children, but sometimes I love mine as if she were. Despite her often messiness and sometimes stubbornness, she is so sweet and fun and always happy to see me. She adds much joy to my life.

Often my dog, Ellie, will come and sit on my feet (yes, “on” not “at” which at 90 lbs took some getting used to). I’ll pet her soft ears, scratch under her neck, and if and when I try to stop she’ll turn her head around and rest it on my knee as if to say, “Mommy, don’t stop! I’m still here! Keep petting!” So I continue. If I talk to her (in a sing-songy sweet voice) she’ll wag her tail. It is cute.

We usually do this once a day. I cherish these moments. (Yes, I said cherish.)

Last night in adoration I found myself somewhat distracted. I had a lot to say, but no means to say it. The words wouldn’t come and if they did they felt empty. I longed to hear certain words (perhaps in a sing-songy sweet voice telling me it was going to be okay), but I just heard my co-adorer's rustling noises from a few pews back.

Eventually I resigned to just sitting there. Sitting at the feet of my Lord. Simply being in his presence and trying to let him love on me.

This morning as I was petting Ellie it dawned on me. Perhaps my resignation to just sit there in stillness made God happy. I think he likes it when we simply come and sit at his feet. Not barking orders or venting complaints. Not spouting words or solving problems. Simply being in his presence and letting him love on us. That is what he longs to do.

Prayer isn’t about producing results. It is about spending time with the one we love and the one who longs to shower his love on us.

Today may we find some time to simply sit at the feet of our Lord. Let him love on you. Let him cherish you. Be grateful for your time with him and receive the love he offers.

I think I’ll go give Ellie one more scratch before I head out for the day.

John Chrysostom's Feast

Today is the feast of John Chrysostom. He is one of my favorite Church Fathers and one of the most revered of the Eastern Church Fathers. I thought I might share some of the great writings he has done.

Beloved even if we should have mounted to the very pinnacle of virtue, let us consider ourselves last of all; having learned that pride is able to cast down even from the heavens themselves him who takes not heed, and humbleness of mind to bear up on high from the very abyss of sins him who knows how to be sober. For this it was that placed the publican before the Pharisee; whereas that, pride I mean and an overweening spirit, surpassed even an incorporeal power, that of the devil; while humbleness of mind and the acknowledgment of his own sins committed brought the robber into Paradise before the Apostles. Now if the confidence which they who confess their own sins effect for themselves is so great, they who are conscious to themselves of many good qualities, yet humble their own souls, how great crowns will they not win.

For when sinfulness be put together with humbleness of mind it runs with such ease as to pass and out-strip righteousness combined with pride. If therefore thou have put it to with righteousness, whither will it not reach? through how many heavens will it not pass? By the throne of God itself surely it will stay its course; in the midst of the angels, with much confidence. On the other hand if pride, having been yoked with righteousness, by the excess and weight of its own wickedness had strength enough to drag down its confidence; if it be put together with sinfulness, into how deep a hell will it not be able to precipitate him who has it? These things I say, not in order that we should be careless of righteousness, but that we should avoid pride; not that we should sin, but that we should be sober-minded. For humbleness of mind is the foundation of the love of wisdom which pertains to us. Even if thou shouldest have built a superstructure of things innumerable; even if almsgiving, even if prayers, even if fastings, even if all virtue; unless this have first been laid as a foundation, all will be built upon it to no purpose and in vain; and it will fall down easily, like that building which had been placed on the sand.

For there is no one, no one of our good deeds, which does not need this; there is no one which separate from this will be able to stand. But even if thou shouldest mention temperance, even if virginity, even if despising of money, even if anything whatever, all are unclean and accursed and loathsome, humbleness of mind being absent. Everywhere therefore let us take her with us, in words, in deeds, in thoughts, and with this let us build these (graces). (Concerning lowliness of mind)


How delightful and lovable is our band of young brethren! For brethren I call you, even now before you have been brought forth, and before your birth I welcome this relationship with you: For I know, I know clearly, to how great an honour you are about to be led, and to how great a dignity; and those who are about to receive dignity, all are wont to honor, even before the dignity is conferred, laying up for themselves beforehand by their attention good will for the future. And this also I myself now do. For ye are not about to be led to an empty dignity, but to an actual kingdom: and not simply to a kingdom, but to the kingdom of the Heavens itself. (First Instruction to Catechumens)

What inspiration! What preaching! St. John Chrysostom pray for us!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

1st Amendment

The 1st Amendment of the US Constitution says:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
We need to make sure that these rights are guaranteed. Many people in this country and others are fighting to erode religious freedom. Here are two instances of such erosion in other countries:
  1. Catholic Bishops in the UK fear that the government will try and force the Church to allow transsexuals to become either priests or nuns.
  2. In Switzerland a court ruled that a Catholic Bishop could not remove a rebel priest from his parish.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

PP lies revealed

This video says it all:

Pray For the USA

Don't forget extra prayers on the anniversary of 9/11.

As Catholics we are the only ones who pray for the souls of the faithfully departed. But, I also challenge you to pray for those that hate us so much they would teach their children to play with the kind of toys like this. They sell these in Palestine.

God have mercy on us all.

Did You Miss Confession

From this LA times article, apparently so did every other Catholic for the last 30 years. But, if you disagree, you might want to read Fr. David's response.

I wrote the author directly and we had a friendly exchange. My point was not that the practice of confession has decreased markedly since Vatican II (that is very true), but that the younger generations are coming back to the Sacrament quickly, which is reversing the trend. She is considering writing another article in the future after our exchange.

I have to say that I find the online confession idea mentioned in the article goofy.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Are you in a holding pattern?

I’ve been staring at blue painters tape for weeks. Over a month ago I taped off every piece of molding in the house and have slowly and painfully been painting it. Saturday I bit the bullet and made a big dent in finishing the job. (Not quite done, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.)

After successfully (and rather painlessly) finishing one window I found myself in a holding pattern. I was ready to quit, but knew I shouldn’t. I stood there staring at the next door frame deliberating. I knew the steps in the process, but for about 10 minutes I stood there and tried to convince myself either 1) I could skip steps (sanding, taping hinges, moving drop cloths) or 2) I should quit for the day.

Finally I said to myself, “Sarah, just do it.”

In life we often find ourselves in “holding patterns”. (Especially if we are prone to procrastination!) We want more time to think about what to say to the friend who hurt us. We want more time to pray about a decision. Whether it is a financial hurdle or a health issue, we want more time to read, learn, and understand the problem before we tackle it. We want to buy another book on the subject, consult another expert, before we implement change. So we stall.

But often times we are just looking for an easier way out. If I don’t know (years later) what to say to that friend who hurt me, I just need to start the conversation. If it is decision time, I need to trust God and make it. If I’ve made a concerted effort to understand the situation, I should act. I don’t need another book, more advice, more time, or more deliberation. I just need more courage, and sometimes more self discipline.

I am notorious for hitting snooze on my morning alarm. Sometimes I find myself hitting it in life too. But hitting snooze only delays the inevitable. I still have to get up and face the morning. I still need to confront, converse, forgive, confess, act, trust, and move forward.

Is there something you’ve been stalling on? Do you feel like you’re in a holding pattern? Say a (brief) prayer, take courage, and act!

Today may we all end the holding pattern, abandon the snooze button and surrender the stalling tactics. Let us live the life God calls us to right now.

Now I need to get back to taking my own advice (ouch!). It is time to act.

Catholic Spirit Column

My first article from the Catholic Spirit, the Diocese of Austin paper.

Pope's Homily

Warning - This will be a long post. But, I urge you to read it through. It is worth more than the sound bites you might get from a summary of it. This is PBXVI's Sunday homily.
Homily of the Holy Father
Solemn Eucharist
Vienna, Saint Stephen’s Cathedral
Sunday, 9 September 2007


Dear Brothers and Sisters,

“Sine dominico non possumus!” Without the gift of the Lord, without the Lord’s day, we cannot live: That was the answer given in the year 304 by Christians from Abitene in present-day Tunisia, when they were caught celebrating the forbidden Sunday Eucharist and brought before the judge. They were asked why they were celebrating the Christian Sunday Eucharist, even though they knew it was a capital offence. “Sine dominico non possumus”: in the word dominico two meanings are inextricably intertwined, and we must once more learn to recognize their unity. First of all there is the gift of the Lord – this gift is the Lord himself: the Risen one, whom the Christians simply need to have close and accessible to them, if they are to be themselves. Yet this accessibility is not merely something spiritual, inward and subjective: the encounter with the Lord is inscribed in time on a specific day. And so it is inscribed in our everyday, corporal and communal existence, in temporality. It gives a focus, an inner order to our time and thus to the whole of our lives. For these Christians, the Sunday Eucharist was not a commandment, but an inner necessity. Without him who sustains our lives with his love, life itself is empty. To do without or to betray this focus would deprive life of its very foundation, would take away its inner dignity and beauty.

Does this attitude of the Christians of that time apply also to us who are Christians today? Yes, it does, we too need a relationship that sustains us, that gives direction and content to our lives. We too need access to the Risen one, who sustains us through and beyond death. We need this encounter which brings us together, which gives us space for freedom, which lets us see beyond the bustle of everyday life to God’s creative love, from which we come and towards which we are travelling.

Of course, if we listen to today’s Gospel, if we listen to what the Lord is saying to us, it frightens us: “Whoever of you does not renounce all that he has and all links with his family cannot be my disciple.” We would like to object: What are you saying, Lord? Isn’t the family just what the world needs? Doesn’t it need the love of father and mother, the love between parents and children, between husband and wife? Don’t we need love for life, the joy of life? And don’t we also need people who invest in the good things of this world and build up the earth we have received, so that everyone can share in its gifts? Isn’t the development of the earth and its goods another charge laid upon us? If we listen to the Lord more closely, if we listen to him in the context of everything he is saying to us, then we understand that Jesus does not demand the same from everyone. Each person has a specific task, to each is assigned a particular way of discipleship. In today’s Gospel, Jesus is speaking directly of the specific vocation of the Twelve, a vocation not shared by the many who accompanied Jesus on his journey to Jerusalem. The Twelve must first of all overcome the scandal of the Cross, and then they must be prepared truly to leave everything behind; they must be prepared to assume the seemingly absurd task of travelling to the ends of the earth and, with their minimal education, proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ to a world filled with claims to erudition and with real or apparent education – and naturally also to the poor and the simple. They must themselves be prepared to suffer martyrdom in the course of their journey into the vast world, and thus to bear witness to the Gospel of the Crucified and Risen Lord. If Jesus’s words apply in the first instance to the Twelve, his call naturally extends beyond the historical moment into all subsequent centuries. He calls people of all times to count exclusively on him, to leave everything else behind, so as to be totally available for him, and hence totally available for others: to create oases of selfless love in a world where so often only power and wealth seem to count for anything. Let us thank the Lord for giving us men and women in every century who have left all else behind for his sake, and have thus become radiant signs of his love. We need only think of people like Benedict and Scholastica, Francis and Clare, Elizabeth of Hungary and Hedwig of Silesia, Ignatius of Loyola, Teresa of Avila, and in our own day, Mother Teresa and Padre Pio. With their whole lives, these people have become a living interpretation of Jesus’s teaching, which through their lives becomes close and intelligible to us. Let us ask the Lord to grant to people in our own day the courage to leave everything behind and so to be available to everyone.

Yet if we now turn once more to the Gospel, we realize that the Lord is not speaking merely of a few individuals and their specific task; the essence of what he says applies to everyone. The heart of the matter he expresses elsewhere in these words: “For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake, he will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?” (Lk 9:24f.). Whoever wants to keep his life just for himself will lose it. Only by giving ourselves do we receive our life. In other words: only the one who loves discovers life. And love always demands going out of oneself, it demands leaving oneself. Anyone who looks just to himself, who wants the other only for himself, will lose both himself and the other. Without this profound losing of oneself, there is no life. The restless craving for life, so widespread among people today, leads to the barrenness of a lost life. “Whoever loses his life for my sake … ”, says the Lord: a radical letting-go of our self is only possible if in the process we end up, not by falling into the void, but into the hands of Love eternal. Only the love of God, who loses himself for us and gives himself to us, makes it possible for us also to become free, to let go, and so truly to find life. This is the heart of what the Lord wants to say to us in the seemingly hard words of this Sunday’s Gospel. With his teaching he gives us the certainty that we can build on his love, the love of the incarnate God. Recognition of this is the wisdom of which today’s reading speaks. Once again, we find that all the world’s learning profits us nothing unless we learn to live, unless we discover what truly matters in life.

“Sine dominico non possumus!” Without the Lord and without the day that belongs to him, life does not flourish. Sunday has been transformed in our Western societies into the week-end, into leisure time. Leisure time is certainly something good and necessary, especially amid the mad rush of the modern world. Yet if leisure time lacks an inner focus, an overall sense of direction, then ultimately it becomes wasted time that neither strengthens nor builds us up. Leisure time requires a focus – the encounter with him who is our origin and goal. My great predecessor in the see of Munich and Freising, Cardinal Faulhaber, once put it like this: Give the soul its Sunday, give Sunday its soul.

Because Sunday is ultimately about encountering the risen Christ in word and sacrament, its span extends through the whole of reality. The early Christians celebrated the first day of the week as the Lord’s day, because it was the day of the resurrection. Yet very soon, the Church also came to realize that the first day of the week is the day of the dawning of creation, the day on which God said: “Let there be light” (Gen 1:3). Therefore Sunday is also the Church’s weekly feast of creation – the feast of thanksgiving and joy over God’s creation. At a time when creation seems to be endangered in so many ways through human activity, we should consciously advert to this dimension of Sunday too. Then, for the early Church, the first day increasingly assimilated the traditional meaning of the seventh day, the Sabbath. We participate in God’s rest, which embraces all of humanity. Thus we sense on this day something of the freedom and equality of all God’s creatures.

In this Sunday’s Opening Prayer we call to mind firstly that through his Son God has redeemed us and made us his beloved children. Then we ask him to look down with loving-kindness upon all who believe in Christ and to give us true freedom and eternal life. We ask God to look down with loving-kindness. We ourselves need this look of loving-kindness not only on Sunday but beyond, reaching into our everyday lives. As we ask, we know that this loving gaze has already been granted to us. What is more, we know that God has adopted us as his children, he has truly welcomed us into communion with himself. To be someone’s child means, as the early Church knew, to be a free person, not a slave but a member of the family. And it means being an heir. If we belong to God, who is the power above all powers, then we are fearless and free. And we are heirs. The inheritance he has bequeathed to us is himself, his love. Yes, Lord, may this inheritance enter deep within our souls so that we come to know the joy of being redeemed. Amen.
AMEN!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

I Only Hope It Works...

Pope Benedict XVI on calling Europe back to it's Christian roots:

Europe cannot and must not deny her Christian roots. These represent a dynamic component of our civilization as we move forward into the third millennium.

European model of life' ... refers to a social order marked by a sound economy combined with social justice, by political pluralism combined with tolerance, generosity and openness, and at the same time the preservation of the values which have made this continent what it is.

The oft-cited process of globalization cannot be halted, yet it is an urgent task and a great responsibility of politics to regulate and limit globalization, so that it will not occur at the expense of the poorer nations and of the poor in wealthier nations, and prove detrimental to future generations.


Full article.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

3 Words - Again

Why post them? It shows the breadth and width of humanity. Some sad, some happy, some nice, some not.

3 Words

Sliding Down The Slope

It makes perfect sense that Canada is struggling to come to grips with polygamy. Since they have allowed homosexual persons to marry and this "freedom" is enshrined into their law, they now must let others decide what constitutes the definition of "marriage" also. This includes those that want to have multiple spouses. If we rationally follow the logic, we can also see that someone who wants to marry anyone who can consent to it, should be allowed to. Why put any limits on marriages at all?

Of course, they were warned by many that this would happen, but it is easier to ignore the warning signs than to listen to the truth sometimes - and that goes for all of us. This quote says it all:

“During the debate on same-sex ‘marriage,’ when Liberal Minister of Justice Irwin Cotler adamantly testified that polygamy would not be an issue, everyone knew very well that it would be,” Canadian lawyer Gwen Landolt, national director of REAL Women of Canada, told Lifesite News Service Aug. 2.

“If you can break down the laws guarding heterosexual marriage between a man and a woman, then anything can happen,” said Landolt. “If you can have a partner of the same sex, then logically you can have two or three of the opposite sex.”

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Top 10 Lessons

I recently bought a house and spent the last few months honing my home repair skills. In the process I learned a lot about carpentry, painting, and plumbing. I also learned a lot about myself and, interestingly enough, spiritual growth.

Here are the top 10 things I learned about home repair that fascinatingly apply to the journey of faith:

#10 Always make a list and reward yourself by scratching things off. Maybe you think this is silly, but whether it is a mental list or an actual one (which I prefer) it helps you see where you’re going and where you have been. We make meeting agendas, chore list and even Christmas wish lists. When is the last time you made a nice-things-to-do-for-people-today-list or a vices-to-weed-out-list? Set spiritual goals. They motivate.

#9 Success is all about having the right tools. A paint can opener works better than a screwdriver. A screwdriver works better than a pair of scissors (even the ones conveniently within reach). A pair of scissors works better than your teeth. Promise. Seek out and use the proper tools – someone invented them for a reason. We have an awesome Church with awesome gifts of grace – embrace them!

#8 Everybody needs a drop cloth. Even pros make mistakes. Be humble enough to expect (and accept) mistakes. Mistakes can either set you back (if you keep worrying about and focusing on them) or spur you on (to do better next time). The latter is much more productive.

#7 Always over-estimate the amount of time it will take you. Chances are you’ll still be wrong (it will take longer) but if you finish “in time” you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Take your time. Don’t try to be Mother Teresa by noon tomorrow. Be a better you each day and you’ll get where you want to be eventually.

#6 Prep work is the hardest, but most important, work you’ll ever do. It saves you the time, energy, and frustrations that will come later. Think about this one on the eternal level. Our preparations now (frequenting the sacraments, growing in virtue) save us from a torturous eternal existence without God in hell. Wow. That is prep work worth doing.

#5 Pace yourself. Home repair never ends. Neither does our need to grow spiritually. If you start out in a sprint (convinced you can complete everything in one weekend, one month, even one year) you’ll drop speed, lose hope and maybe even quit. Make peace with where you are, but look hopefully towards progress.

#4 Never be ashamed to ask for help. Even if it is the same guy at Home Depot (or the same priest in confession) you asked for help that morning during the first trip of the day. This is the toughest one for me. I want to know how to do everything and do it well. But I can’t and I don’t. Even worse, I don’t want others to know this (yes, I know, they actually already know this, but I like to pretend they don’t)! Ah, pride. Just ask.

#3 Everything requires effort. Whether it is painting the walls, installing the toilet, tackling bad habits or making time for daily prayer, it won’t get done unless you do it. You can make lists (# 10) and prepare (#6) and ask for help (#4) but you have to put out real effort to move forward.

#2 Impatience NEVER speeds up progress. It usually derails you or sends you spiraling into despair. Impatience causes you to skip or ignore numbers 10 through 3 above. It gives you a bad attitude and causes stupid mistakes. It turns all things (and all people) into obstacles and puts all things out of focus (I mean, is painting all the trim before school starts really that important? Clearly not since I did not and I’m just fine.) Take a deep breath, reign in your “need for speed” and calmly begin.

#1 Take a break to enjoy the fruits of your labor . . .even if you’re not completely “done”. Life can’t be all about doing. We need time to just be. Take time to celebrate how far you have come and how much God has done in and for you. This is not a waste of time. It is an admittance that life is not just about what you accomplish. It is about who you are, Whose you are, and all He has done.

I like my house. There is still a lot of work to be done, but if I can learn to enjoy the process, I have a lot of fun ahead. And, no doubt, many more spiritual lessons to learn.

Science Playing God

Yes, technology is moving fast.
Yes, we are able to do amazing things.
But, we need to stop and ask the question "ought we do it?" many times. This is one of those times. It is clear, in my opinion, that we ought NOT do it.

It is very wrong to take humans and use them as if they are just another object at the disposal of science.

This quote gets me:
The HFEA's consultation reveals welcome recognition of the potential of this research, [with] 61% of the general public agreeing with the creation of human-animal embryos, if it may help understand diseases, with only a quarter opposed to this research.
I don't care what the outcome or the public opinion is. It is wrong.

Monday, September 3, 2007

The "green" Pope

This is pretty funny.

I especially like this quote:
Intentionally wearing green vestments, [Pope Benedict] spoke to a vast crowd of mostly young people...
Of course he is wearing green in ordinary time. Why can't the media just write an article and not spin it?

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Abortions Without a Dr.

The UK is now looking at providing abortions without needing a Doctor. They will offer many reasons including ease, access, etc. The real reasons they don't speak on.
  • Fewer and fewer doctors want anything to do with abortion.
  • Abortion by non-doctors mean bigger profits.
  • Easier access means more abortions.