Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Papal Visit to England - Sanctuary Design Revision Idea



Papal Visit to England - Sanctuary Design

Cult of Feelings

From Our Lady's Tears:


"I just read my husband's excellent post on just one of the many current scourges upon the world in this time - what I have come to call the "cult of feelings" Far too many in our times have lost what so many in the past once took as a truth - that reason and the will must rule the emotions. The higher self must rule over the lower more base part of ourselves. Our will to live in virture must rule the physical desires of the body to wallow in passion. Emotions have their place, but they ought never to rule the soul.

Over my desk at work I have a list of things our Lord said to St. Faustina - one statement sums it up nicely:

"Do not be guided by feeling, because it is not always under your control; but all merit lies in the will."

~Our Lord Jesus Christ to St. Faustina."

Crocodile Dundee: I am not paying ... bugger them


Chelsea White
Herald Sun

PAUL Hogan has come out fighting against the tax man, declaring he will risk bankruptcy before he pays. 

Against his lawyer's advice, Hogan spoke for the first time last night - proving he hasn't lost his sense of humour despite being made a virtual prisoner in Australia.

The Aussie larrikin said he didn't owe the Australian Tax Office anything and couldn't afford to pay their bill anyway.

"I can't pay it, I can't pay 10 per cent of what they are asking for," Hogan said.

"But they don't want 10 per cent. I can't even pay 2 per cent - bugger them.

"I'm not as rich as people think I am."

Describing Tax Office officials as having "no class" and barely human, Hogan said he would not give in to their pressure...

Jim Traficant may yet be on Ohio ballot

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio, Aug. 30 (UPI) -- Jim Traficant, the ex-Ohio congressman convicted of taking bribes and cheating on his taxes, is close to getting the November ballot, officials said Monday.

The Mahoning County Board of Elections decided Monday night Traficant, 69, has enough signatures on his nominating petitions to get on the general election ballot as an independent candidate in Ohio's 17th Congressional District, WKBN-TV, Youngstown, reported.

Traficant, who represented the district as a Democrat from 1985 to 2002, had started out the day 20 signatures short. The board's review left him with 11 names to spare, WKBN-TV said.

"It's not always easy to tell who signed those petition forms," board member Mark Munroe told the TV station. "And through the work of our staff, and through the Traficant supporters and volunteers, we were able to clear 31 additional signatures."

All that remains between Traficant and a spot on the ballot is a vote by the Trumbull County Board of Elections, which is expected to give its stamp of approval Wednesday, the TV station said.

Traficant -- who was released in September 2009 after serving seven years of a federal prison sentence --would face Republican Jim Graham and incumbent Democrat Tim Ryan in November.

Liturgy at Hagia Sophia on Sept. 17, 2010

Hellenic News of America - Members of the “International Congregation of Agia Sophia” will make a pilgrimage to Agia Sofia in Istanbul in order to conduct divine liturgy on September 17, the day the Orthodox Church celebrates the holy feast day of Sophia, Faith, Hope and Love.

During a press conference in Thessaloniki, the President of the International Congregation, Chris Spirou, said that the Prime Minister of Turkey, Tayyip Erdoğan, has already been informed in writing.

“The purpose of our Congregation�s visit is to conduct Holy Liturgy Services in the the Great Church of Christianity, the Symbol of the Orthodox Christian Faith”, was written in the letter. After he was asked, whether the Greek Department of Foreign Affairs has been notified about this, Mr. Spirou said that it isn�t a political issue and that “no government has the right to interfere with religion and to appoint religious leaders”.
The “International Congregation of Agia Sophia” was founded in 2005 and is a USA-based non-profit organization. Its purpose is to restore the Agia Sophia as a place of worship.

The organisation�s thousands of members worldwide include followers of other religions and denominations.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Ron Paul questions whether there's gold at Fort Knox, NY Fed

File:Infantryman in 1942 with M1 Garand, Fort Knox, KY.jpg
  World War II Infantryman, kneeling in front of M3 Half-track, holds and sights an M1 Garand rifle. Fort Knox, Kentucky, June 1942.

By Michael O'Brien - 08/30/10 10:21 AM ET 
The Hill - Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) said he plans to introduce legislation next year to force an audit of U.S. holdings of gold.

Paul, a longtime critic of the Federal Reserve and U.S. monetary policy, said he believes it's "a possibility" that there might not actually be any gold in the vaults of Fort Knox or the New York Federal Reserve bank.

The libertarian lawmaker told Kitco News, a website tracking news about precious metals, that an audit was necessary to determine how much the U.S. maintains in gold reserves in case the government were to use gold to back the dollar.

U.S. Bullion Depository (Gold Vault) at Ft. Knox, KY, USA.

“If there was no question about the gold being there, you think they would be anxious to prove gold is there,” he said.

“Our Federal Reserve admits to nothing, and they should prove all the gold is there. There is a reason to be suspicious and even if you are not suspicious why wouldn’t you have an audit?

“I think it is a possibility," Paul said when asked if there was truth to rumors that there was actually no gold at Ft. Knox or the New York Fed...

Summer Snapshots


    Sunday, August 29, 2010

    Prayer Request for FReeper's Daughter

    08-29-10 | Freepmail to Salvation

    Posted on Sunday, August 29, 2010 7:58:35 PM by Salvation

    I received this FReepmail Request:
    Dear Salvation,

    Could you please start an anonymous prayer thread for my daughter, Mary. She took an overdose of Tylenol from which she has survived, but she and the rest of our family need prayers. She is still on the psych ward - was supposed to be discharged this weekend but it didn’t happen. Her Fall Semester begins tomorrow - We think it’s very important for her to get back in the saddle - she is a Dean’s List student getting ready to start her last semester.
    Thank you,


    Novena for Pope Benedict XVI

    Getty Images
    Lord, source of eternal life and truth,
    give to your shepherd, Benedict, a spirit
    of courage and right judgment, a spirit
    of knowledge and love. By governing
    with fidelity those entrusted to his care,
    may he, as successor to the Apostle
    Peter and Vicar of Christ, build your
    Church into a sacrament of unity, love
    and peace for all the world.

    V/ Let us pray for Benedict, the Pope.
    R/ May the Lord preserve him, give him a long life, make him blessed upon the earth, and not hand him over to the power of his enemies.
    V/ May your hand be upon your holy servant.
    R/ And upon your son, whom you have anointed.

    Our Father…
    Hail Mary…
    Glory Be


    Becoming Mother Teresa's Collaborator

    Twoey: Being in Mother Teresa’s presence was a very stark judgment that she was everything that I was not. She was focused; she was prayerful; her life had such clear purpose. Even though I was a successful lawyer and legislative director of the chairman of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, and had more money and influence than I’d ever had in my life, it was empty. Meeting Mother made me realize that. So, at first I was reintroduced to Catholic practice, which I had lost interest in. I rediscovered praying, adoration, and most of all a beautiful rediscovery of the riches of the Eucharist...

    Nazareth Priest's Groove Thang

    Trapped miners to set up make-shift chapel to pray for rescue

    .- The 33 miners trapped in the San Jose Mine in Atacama, Chile have requested that statues and religious pictures be sent down to them as they wait to be rescued, reports CNN.

    Chilean officials say the rescue could take months but that they hope to reach the miners by Christmas. The copper mine collapsed on August 5, and the 33 miners have been trapped in a space nearly half a mile underground ever since.

    A small passageway has already been put in place so messages and supplies can be sent to the trapped miners.
    Although a crucifix has already been sent down, the miners are continuing to request more statues of Mary and the saints – as well as a Chilean flag to construct a make-shift chapel. “The miners want to set up a section of the chamber they are in as a shrine,” Chilean’s Minister of Health, Jaime Manalich told CNN.

    This week, President Sebastian Pinera spoke with the miners by phone and then placed a statue of St. Lorenzo, the patron of miners, in the presidential palace together with 32 Chilean flags and one Bolivian flag to represent each of the miners trapped since August 5.

    Saturday, August 28, 2010

    Humility Opens Doors - (Why the Meek Shall Inherit the Earth)

    Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio

    http://catholicipod.stblogs.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/116/files//2008/02/ambrosio.jpg“Nice guys finish last,” says the world.   “The last will be first,” replies Jesus.

    My guess is that the Lord of creation knows best who really wins in the end.  And he says “whoever exalts himself will be humbled and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted” (Gospel of Luke 14:11).

    To understand why the humble get ahead and why the meek shall inherit the earth, we need to be sure that we understand what humility and meekness really are. 
    Humility does not mean looking down on oneself or thinking ill of oneself.  It really means not thinking of oneself very much at all.
    The humble are free to forget themselves because they are secure.  They accept the fact that, as creatures, they are small, vulnerable, and not ultimately in control.  But they know there is a Creator who is great, omnipotent, and totally in control.  And they know that they’ve been made in the image and likeness of that Creator.  That makes gives them a dignity that they don’t have to earn and can never be taken away.  Though they’ve tarnished the divine likeness through sin, they know that the Creator came down from the heights of heaven to become human and fix what they couldn’t fix...

    Pope Benedict XVI: Theologian of the Bible

    By Fr. Joseph T. Lienhard, S.J. at Homiletic & Pastoral Review:

    The twentieth century was a tumultuous time in the Catholic Church for all concerned with the interpretation of the Bible. For the past few decades, this topic has been a principal concern of one prominent theologian. His interest in the topic arose at the time of the Second Vatican Council, when he was a promising young theologian from Germany who served at the Council as the theological adviser to Joseph Cardinal Frings, the archbishop of Cologne—Fr. Joseph Ratzinger. This interest has continued unabated into his reign as Pope Benedict XVI.

    Ratzinger’s career as a theologian had begun well before the Council. He taught successively at four universities in Germany: Bonn (1959–63), Münster (1963–66), Tübingen (1966–69) and Regensburg (1969–77). In March of 1977 he was named archbishop of Munich-Freising, the archdiocese for which he had been ordained. In 1981, after only four years as archbishop of Munich, Pope John Paul II called Cardinal Ratzinger to Rome, where he served as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for more than two decades. On April 19, 2005, he was elected pope on the fourth ballot, and assumed the name Benedict XVI. In the course of more than forty years, Pope Benedict has written often and at length about the theology of the Bible.

    What is meant by the theology of the Bible? If theology is faith seeking understanding, then the theology of the Bible must be the act of a Christian believer seeking to understand the revealed word of God recorded in the Bible. “Biblical theology refers to a unified understanding of the saving truths of the inspired Scripture as they have been handed down in the tradition of the Church. This understanding is based on the unity of the Old and New Testaments, on Christ as the interpretive key of the Scriptures, and on the Church’s divine liturgy as the fulfillment and actualization of Scripture’s saving truths.”1

    The vicissitudes of Catholic biblical scholarship

    The history of biblical scholarship in the Catholic Church during the past century and a half has been told and retold, even taking on the qualities of a saga or an epic. The era began in an embattled atmosphere in the Church, in which the great enemy was the “modern mind.” It began, Ratzinger writes, with Pius IX’s promulgation of the Syllabus of Errors in 1864, and extended to Humani Generis, issued in 1950 by Pius XII.2 Within this century, the embattled atmosphere reached its zenith under Pius X. Around the year 1900, a movement designated “Modernism” arose in the Catholic Church. Modernism displayed three principal tendencies: (1) religion was a product of the subconscious; (2) theology was a matter of subjective feeling; and (3) revelation was reduced to nothing more than a religious need. Tradition and dogma were dismissed as mere objectifications of those feelings and needs. Furthermore, since neither tradition nor dogma contained objective or unchanging truth, they should then be adapted to contemporary needs. In this way Modernists used subjective biblical criticism or “historicism” to locate truths (biblical, philosophical or creedal) so firmly in the irretrievable past that any claim to an unassailable or universal truth became impossible.

    Modernism was condemned in 1907, under Pope Pius X. In July of that year, the Holy Office published the decree Lamentabili sane, and two months later, Pius X promulgated the encyclical Pascendi dominici gregis. Lamentabili, which condemned sixty-five propositions attributed to Modernists, rejected, in proposition after proposition, any thesis that questioned the historicity of the Bible, especially of the gospels, and any thesis that appeared to sever the continuity between the Scriptures and the Church’s dogmatic teaching. The encyclical Pascendi repeated these themes and attacked any theory that divided the Jesus of history from the Christ of faith—that is, as the pope phased it, the humanly knowable objective facts about Jesus that can be extracted from the gospels from the idealized Christ who exists only in the pious meditations of the believer and in the Church’s dogmas.3 After Lamentabili and Pascendi, the Pontifical Biblical Commission issued response after response that rejected the results of historical criticism, and Catholic scholarship sank into biblical winter...

    Rampant Unreality

    From Bishop Williamson, SSPX:

    http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2237/2233599309_bfec1f8d9c.jpg?v=0"On a private visit two weeks ago to the USA, my first since 2008, I was able to enter and leave the country with no personal problems, but on a two-hour tour which a friend gave me of a major American city, devastated by the recent economic downturn, I observed some daunting social problems:--

    As we drove towards the city past a handsome housing estate in the country, he said, "You see all these expensive-looking houses ? They are in fact poorly built, cookie-cutter houses, way over-priced, bought with money out of nowhere from the Clinton era (1992-2000), by people living in a dream, from paycheck to paycheck, in a false paradise of high credit, materialism and excessive spending. If they lose their jobs, as many are doing, they will be lucky to get half their money back on their houses. The men have no real skill or trade. Theirs is a world of slick tongue nonsense...

    "They are mostly white people who have fled from the inner city suburbs where we are now arriving. Look around you at all the houses boarded up, abandoned, dilapidated, with huge gaps in between where the housing has been destroyed to give the illusion of prosperity. But the lost jobs will not come back, so there is no real basis for a return to prosperity. The neat houses you do see have been repaired or re-built with Government money borrowed by the broke city in accordance with unreal housing projects, because the neat houses will not usually be cared for, but will soon be dilapidated again. There is a kind of Government aid which can do more harm than good to the people it is supposed to help, by trapping them in their dependence on it...

    "Now we are coming into the downtown where you see tall handsome buildings, but also few people circulating. The buildings go back to the 1920's when this city was a great industrial centre, but after World War II the USA began to lose its industrial pre-eminence. Around the Reagan years (1980-1988) began, as I see it, a false stimulus by the credit card being made available to the common man. In the 1990's a non-white mayor was elected here who did his serious best to bring business back to the city, and some of these handsome buildings are due to him, but he was voted out by his own people because he was not like one of them...

    "The economy is hanging on a thread, yet most people think everything will be fine in a year's time. They think it is lovely if the Government just prints or digitalizes more and more money. Five per cent of the people, or less, understand just how grave the situation is, and less than one per cent see religion as playing any part in their country's downfall. People look only for band-aids, not for deep or real solutions. The whites have allowed themselves to be given a huge guilt complex, and they have caved in without admitting it. There is a huge problem that everybody senses and knows, but they are too afraid to talk about it..."

    Yet within 50 miles of this city thrives an SSPX parish and school, unknown or disdained, yet embodying the one true solution: God.

    Kyrie eleison."

    Br. Martin Mary, F.SS.R. Makes His Final Vows



    In the USA is it against the law to kneel for Communion?


    From WDTPRS:

    A reader:

    "I know this may seem a bit odd, but  I was hoping to get your perspective on the U.S. GIRM 160, which states:  "The norm for reception of holy Communion in the dioceses of the United States is standing. Communicants should not be denied holy Communion because they kneel. Rather, such instances should be addressed pastorally, by providing the faithful with proper catechesis on the reasons for this norm."
    There are people, including the popular and much visited website, Catholic Answers who have spoken that kneeling for communion is inappropriate as it goes against the norm in the United States, and that one is disobedient if one still chooses to kneel even after having been "pastorally" corrected as to the proper norm in the country. 

    Can you provide further clarification according to your knowledge as to whether or not it is "licit" for one to kneel in the U.S. even though it may not be the U.S. norm, and whether or not one is disobedient after being "pastorally" corrected according to U.S. GIRM 160."
    Father Z replies:

    "Since this veered into the technical, I consulted a canon lawyer before answering.  I will adapt his response with my own.

    Part of a response must involve what "norm" means.  I admit that I use the term "norm" rather loosely when writing and talking, and often morph it into "laws", and vice versa.

    A norm is not the same as a law.
    The "norm" for the U.S., in accordance with GIRM 160, is that communicants stand when receiving Holy Communion.

    http://www.cmri.org/pictures/tacoma-1stcom.jpgOne thing we have learned from post-modernists, is also to read a text for what it doesn’t say.  GIRM 160 doesn’t say, "In the United States, Holy Communion must be received while standing."   That would be a disciplinary liturgical law.   It would require a dispensation to do something different (i.e., to kneel).

    Rather, GIRM 160 in the USA is a norm.   That is to say it points to a normative thing, the usual practice, the custom.  In 25 years we can have a discussion on what legal force this custom has, but now is not the time.  

    What the U.S. bishops did in including this norm, with the approval of the Holy See, is state that the normal manner of receiving Holy Communion, in the United States, is standing.   The usual way… it is customary now.

    The addition of the second statement (communicants "should not be denied Holy Communion because they kneel") shows that the norm is not some sort of enforceable law.

    The situation is to be addressed "pastorally", with explanations, catechesis, etc.  Once people have been provided with this, if they chose to continue to kneel they are not being disobedient. They do not do something illicit.  They have chosen to follow a practice that differs from the norm.  That does not violate a law..."



    From Belinda:

    "I dreamt about a little girl who sees demons in the forms of witches in her home and they taunt and terrify her. Her parents not only don't believe her but  scoff  and scold her without mercy. Once when their family was outside and standing on the front lawn, the little girl looked  up toward the house and pointing to an upstairs window  said to her parents, 'There they are, can't you see them?!' Of course the room which she had pointed to was her own  and the poor little soul gets little relief..."

    The People's Court

    Father Thomas Euteneuer Called Back to Diocese by Bishop - Leaving Human Life International

    From Human Life International:

    Dear Friends of Life,

    http://ih.constantcontact.com/fs006/1102788387271/img/9.jpgNearly ten years ago I answered the call of the Lord to come to Human Life International and work full-time in pro-life work with the permission of my bishop. I have been utterly privileged to serve this great mission for a decade, and now I am called back to my diocese to continue my priestly service in parish work, which was the original calling of my vocation. A priest is a soldier of Christ and the Church, and obedience is the primary virtue of his state in life, but for my part, my discernment about this decision tells me that this is the right thing for me to do and at the right time. I have great peace about the road that lies ahead and about all that has been accomplished up to this point.

    Our international mission remains in good hands with my departure. HLI's Board of Directors has asked Msgr. Ignacio Barreiro of our Rome office to assume my responsibilities until such a time as a permanent replacement is named. Our tremendously competent staff and generous supporters are looking to the future with great hope despite the many challenges of the death peddlers on a global scale which are only increasing. There is more need of our mission now than ever! HLI's network of affiliates and associates is more than 100 countries strong, and our international leaders, so often highlighted in our publications, are literally the best in the world! Our dear founder, Fr. Paul Marx would be extremely proud of what we have accomplished in the past decade. I am sure he is smiling on us from where he is now.

    I do not have a parish assignment in my diocese as of yet, but I hope to take some time out before I go back into full-time parish work. I expect that some time of rest and renewal will help me to make the transition. It has been 15 years since I last had any significant time for renewal, and after traveling more than 1.1 million miles, authoring two books, visiting 58 countries and making thousands of public appearances, I am ready for a break! I intend to continue to do pro-life work wherever I may be called to serve, and my bishop agrees that this is a vital charism of my priestly life. A true pro-lifer is not oriented to a job so much as to the daily task of fighting the culture of death and building the culture of life!

    I ask for your kind prayers as I move forward and for your continued support of HLI and the new leadership that will come soon. I will not be a stranger to HLI's mission or life but I promise that I will remember each of you every day in the Eucharistic Sacrifice, the font of all unity and LIFE!

    Blessings in Christ,

    Fr. Tom Signature

    Rev. Thomas J. Euteneuer
    President, Human Life International

    Link to original:

    Friday, August 27, 2010

    Pater Noster prayed by Pope Pius XII

    h/t to J.P. Sonnen

    Bikini-clad strippers protest church in rural Ohio

    By JEANNIE NUSS, Associated Press Writer 

    WARSAW, Ohio – Strippers dressed in bikinis sunbathe in lawn chairs, their backs turned toward the gray clapboard church where men in ties and women in full-length skirts flock to Sunday morning services.

    The strippers, fueled by Cheetos and nicotine, are protesting a fundamentalist Christian church whose Bible-brandishing congregants have picketed the club where they work. The dancers roll up with signs carrying messages adapted from Scripture, such as "Do unto others as you would have done unto you," to counter church members who for four years have photographed license plates of patrons and asked them if their mothers and wives know their whereabouts.

    The dueling demonstrations play out in central Ohio, where nine miles of cornfields and Amish-buggy crossing signs separate The Fox Hole strip club from New Beginnings Ministries... (more)


    Contraception: The Bacteria Devouring America’s Soul

    Judie Brown 

    Having seen an inordinate number of eloquent commentaries delineating the moral evils of the recent United States District Court decision nullifying the will of California voters on Proposition 8,  which banned same-sex marriage, I am nonetheless left wondering why none of the commentators was able to connect the dots.
    Obviously, same-sex “marriage” or even same-sex “civil unions” are a bad idea, particularly if legitimized by a court system that previously put its stamp of approval on contraception and abortion. But why isn’t anyone pointing out the obvious root cause of this latest moral and legal debacle? Why isn’t anyone hammering on contraception?

    In April of this year, months before this decision, Jenn Giroux, executive director of HLI America, explained to readers that the public acceptance of contraception has led to (among other things) “[s]maller and more broken families, rampant homosexuality, pornography, and China’s coercive one-child policy.”

    Earlier, wise teachers such as Professor Janet Smith emphatically linked a rejection of Pope Paul VI’s profoundly wise encyclical Humanae Vitae to a wide acceptance of homosexuality. In her 2003 comments, she pointed out what I believe is the real problem—one that very few will admit: “Rather than holding to the Christian and common sense view that sex belongs within marriage between a male and a female committed to each other for life and open to children, our culture thinks that sex is quite simply for pleasure—and that almost any combination of consenting individuals may morally seek that pleasure without any commitment, without an openness to children.”

    In 1998, Father John Hardon, SJ, who is sorely missed by many of us who were his students, pointed out in “Contraception: Fatal to the Faith and to Eternal Life,” “The spectacle of broken families, broken homes, divorce and annulments, abortion and the mania of homosexuality—all of this has its roots in the acceptance of contraception on a wide scale in what only two generations ago was a professed Catholic population.”
    Clearly, many wise people have understood—and warned us about —the cost of contraception. But not everyone is on this page.

    For example, rather than setting forth facts regarding the nature of sexual sin and its tragic consequences, many members of the Catholic clergy have either been totally silent or have said things that not only confuse fact with fiction but further marginalize Catholic teaching. This, in turn, makes Church doctrine less palatable to a sexually saturated culture, even though Catholic teaching is now and always will be worthy of belief and obedience—because it contains the fullness of truth.

    During their November 2006 meeting, for example, the U.S. Catholic bishops “acknowledged that most married Catholics—96 percent, according to their own estimate—use birth control, and the bishops said they recognize that the [C]hurch’s teachings on homosexuality are contested in American society.”

    Excuse me, but those percentages do not change truth. In fact, they should drive more bishops back to boldly teaching their people instead of gauging the content of their message on public acceptance of what they have to say. It’s the type of posturing that perhaps led to Cardinal Francis George, current U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops president, saying (in response to the judge’s decision allowing same-sex marriage), “Marriage between a man and a woman is the bedrock of any society. The misuse of law to change the nature of marriage undermines the common good.”

    He did not say nor did he make reference to the obvious fact that this very sad state of affairs would not exist in the first place if contraception had been rejected long ago. He was simply silent on the point.

    This is why I recommend that rather than dialoguing, as a whole, every Catholic bishop and every Catholic priest should be teaching, preaching and exhorting. Nobody really knows what America or its court decisions would look like today if the Catholics of this nation had been properly catechized for the past 42 years on matters pertaining to human sexuality.

    What we do know is that today America and, most importantly, Catholics, are sliding toward a moral hell.
    It’s high time many more Catholic leaders in the U.S. stood up and clarified the difference between good and evil, right and wrong, sinfulness and sinlessness. Why? Because the only treatment for the deadly bacteria raging through the veins of this society is a very strong dose of the same message Christ gave to His disciples a very long time ago: “Try your hardest to enter by the narrow door, because, I tell you, many will try to enter and will not succeed” (Luke 13: 24).

    The narrow door is always open, and frankly, anything less than fighting tooth and nail to get there will not heal this ailing body politic we know as America.

    Douglas Kmiec, U.S. Ambassador to Malta Crashes Car, Nun Killed

    http://www.pbs.org/newshour/images/politics/jan-june07/kniec1_3-21.jpgCALABASAS, Calif. -- Authorities say a car driven by the U.S. ambassador to Malta crashed in Southern California, killing a nun and injuring a 94-year-old pastor.

    The California Highway Patrol says the nun and pastor were passengers in the car driver by Ambassador Douglas Kmiec. Kmiec also received moderate injuries in Wednesday's one-vehicle crash.

    CHP Officer Leland Tang says Kmiec was driving a Hyundai Accent on Mulholland Highway near Calabasas when the car veered into a drainage ditch and wrecked.

    Tang says Sister Mary Campbell of Our Lady of Malibu Catholic Church died at the scene. Pastor Emeritus Monsignor John Sheridan received moderate injuries.

    Kmiec was sworn in as U.S. Ambassador to the island nation of Malta in September 2009. He is a professor of law at Pepperdine University.

    Chef Cooks 'Dream Omelet' That Came To Him In A Dream

    Thursday, August 26, 2010

    Each of us should have a special saint



    Pope Benedict encourages everyone to have devotion to a particular saint, maybe our namesake.

    The Holy Father said that it is important "to have 'travel companions' on the journey of our Christian life: I am thinking of a spiritual director, a confessor, persons with whom we can share the experience of faith, but I am also thinking of the Virgin Mary and of the saints."

    "Each one," he said, "should have a saint that is familiar to him, to whom he feels close with prayer and intercession, but also to imitate him or her. Hence, I would like to invite you to know the saints better, beginning with the one whose name you bear, by reading his life, his writings. You can be certain that they will become good guides to love the Lord ever more and valid aids for your human and Christian growth."
    (See Zenit for further details.)

    [Fr+John+web.jpg]Many people now do not have names that have any reference to saints. It used to be the case that Christians were given a saint's name or names at Baptism, and would take another saint at Confirmation. But names like 'Autumn', 'Bristol', 'Chelsea' while not being in any way anti-Christian and therefore not contrary to the provisions concerning batismal names contained in the Code of Canon Law, do not, I feel, help children to grow up with the idea of seeking the protection of a particular saint, or seeking to imitate the example of that saint.

    I happen to know that I was named after St John the Evangelist and I therefore have particular devotion to the Beloved Disciple. My second baptismal name is Joseph, and therefore St Joseph is a particular friend of mine. I chose Francis of Assisi to be my confirmation patron. I have no doubt that these saints have helped me considerably throughout my life.

    Maybe parents should be encouraged to always give a saint's name to their child immediately when they are born and these names be registered on the birth certificate. It's always a bit awkward suggesting a saint's name when the birth certificate has already been issued.

    "Doing His Job!" - The Vortex With Michael Voris - Real Catholic TV

    With this stamp, the U.S. Postal Service recognizes Mother Teresa

    With this stamp, the U.S. Postal Service recognizes Mother Teresa, who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 for her humanitarian work. Noted for her compassion toward the poor and suffering, Mother Teresa, a diminutive Roman Catholic nun and honorary U.S. citizen, served the sick and destitute of India and the world for nearly 50 years. Her humility and compassion, as well as her respect for the innate worth and dignity of humankind, inspired people of all ages and backgrounds to work on behalf of the world’s poorest populations.

    Mother Teresa, an ethnic Albanian, was born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu on Aug. 26, 1910, in Skopje in what is now the Republic of Macedonia. Drawn to the religious life as a young girl, she left her home at the age of 18 to serve as a Roman Catholic missionary in India. “By then I realized my vocation was towards the poor,” she later said. “From then on, I have never had the least doubt of my decision.” Having adopted the name of Sister Mary Teresa, she arrived in India in 1929 and underwent initial training in religious life at a convent in Darjeeling, north of Calcutta. Two years later, she took temporary vows as a nun before transferring to a convent in Calcutta. She became known as Mother Teresa in 1937, when she took her final vows.

    Following a divine inspiration and deeply moved by the poverty and suffering she saw in the streets of Calcutta, Mother Teresa left her teaching post at the convent in 1948 to devote herself completely to the city’s indigent residents. Two years later, she founded her own congregation, the Missionaries of Charity. Like Mother Teresa, the nuns of the new order wore white saris with a blue border rather than traditional nuns’ habits. In addition to the traditional vows of chastity, obedience, and poverty, they took a fourth vow of wholehearted free service to the poorest of the poor. “In order to understand and help those who have nothing,” Mother Teresa told the young women, “we must live like them.”

    When Mother Teresa accepted the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize—one of her numerous honors and distinctions—she did so “in the name of the poor, the hungry, the sick and the lonely,” and convinced the organizers to donate to the needy the money normally used to fund the awards banquet. Well respected worldwide, she successfully urged many of the world’s business and political leaders to give their time and resources to help those in need. President Ronald Reagan presented Mother Teresa with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1985, the same year she began work on behalf of AIDS sufferers in the U.S. and other countries. In 1997, Congress awarded Mother Teresa the Congressional Gold Medal for her “outstanding and enduring contributions through humanitarian and charitable activities.”

    Mother Teresa died in Calcutta on September 5, 1997, and is buried there. She had been a citizen of India since 1948.

    In 1996, President Bill Clinton and the U.S. Congress awarded Mother Teresa honorary U.S. citizenship. As of February 2009, the honor has only been bestowed on five others. Winston Churchill received it in 1963, Raoul Wallenberg in 1981, William Penn and Hannah Callowhill Penn in 1984, and the Marquis de Lafayette in 2002. With the exception of Hannah Callowhill Penn, each of these figures has also appeared on a U.S. postage stamp: the Marquis de Lafayette four times (1952, 1957, 1976, and 1977), William Penn in 1932, Churchill in 1965, and Wallenberg in 1997.

    The stamp features a portrait of Mother Teresa painted by award-winning artist Thomas Blackshear II of Colorado Springs, CO.


    "So I'm leaving to join The Adorers of the Royal Heart on October 22. :) :) :)  Please pray for me!" - Rachel

    Archbishop Dolan and Gov. Paterson have 'productive conversation' about NYC mosque

    .- Days after Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York offered to moderate discussions in the heated debate over a planned mosque near Ground Zero in New York City, Gov. David Paterson met with the prelate on Tuesday for a “productive conversation,” according to a spokesman for the governor.

    The proposed mosque and Islamic center near the site of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks have drawn numerous criticisms from citizens across the U.S. as well as from politicians of both parties. President Obama added to the national debate on Aug. 13 when he appeared to condone the planned complex, known as Park51, in remarks to Muslims at the White House during a Ramadan celebration.

    Commenting briefly to reporters during an impromptu news conference on Aug. 18 at a Catholic facility in Manhattan for homeless youth, the archbishop said “My major prayer is that what has turned into somewhat of a divisive issue might develop into an occasion of very civil, rational, loving, respectful discussion.”

    Archbishop Dolan then praised both New York Mayor Bloomberg and Gov. David Paterson for their contributions to the debate, though both are on different sides of the issue.

    Bloomberg supports the plans for the mosque and Islamic center, and according to ABC News, has said it would be a  "sad day" if the project is canceled. Governor Paterson, however, has offered to hold discussions with the imam and mosque developers in order to find another suitable location.

    After reports from the Associated Press and other media outlets announced a planned meeting between Gov. Paterson and Archbishop Dolan on Aug. 24, CNA contacted the Archdiocese of New York for information on the meeting but none was forthcoming.

    At the New York governor's office, Morgan Hook, director of communications, confirmed that the meeting took place on Tuesday.

    “Yesterday, Governor Paterson met with Archbishop Timothy Dolan to discuss a variety of topics, including the proposed building of an Islamic community center near the World Trade Center site,” Hook said in an e-mail to CNA. “The Governor and the Archbishop had a very productive conversation and will continue to do everything in their power to facilitate and promote a positive public dialogue that unites New Yorkers.”

    “Both the Governor and Archbishop agreed that fostering this respectful dialogue could be achieved by involving the leaders of other faiths,” Hook added. “As the Governor has said, he fully supports the rights of the Park51 developers and he will only engage in a discussion of relocating the proposed site if the developers seek the Governor's assistance in this matter.”

    Wednesday, August 25, 2010

    Archbishop Chaput: "Systematic Discrimination Against Church Now Seems Inevitable"

    SPISSKE, PODHRADIE, Slovakia, August 25, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - MUST READ Excerpts from Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput's address to the 15th symposium for the Canon Law Association of Slovakia on Tuesday:

    Today's secularizers have learned from the past.  They are more adroit in their bigotry; more elegant in their public relations; more intelligent in their work to exclude the Church and individual believers from influencing the moral life of society. Over the next several decades, Christianity will become a faith that can speak in the public square less and less freely.  A society where faith is prevented from vigorous public expression is a society that has fashioned the state into an idol. And when the state becomes an idol, men and women become the sacrificial offering.

    We face an aggressively secular political vision and a consumerist economic model that result - in practice, if not in explicit intent -- in a new kind of state-encouraged atheism.

    To put it another way:  The Enlightenment-derived worldview that gave rise to the great murder ideologies of the last century remains very much alive.  Its language is softer, its intentions seem kinder, and its face is friendlier.  But its underlying impulse hasn't changed -- i.e., the dream of building a society apart from God; a world where men and women might live wholly sufficient unto themselves, satisfying their needs and desires through their own ingenuity.

    This vision presumes a frankly "post-Christian" world ruled by rationality, technology and good social engineering.  Religion has a place in this worldview, but only as an individual lifestyle accessory.  People are free to worship and believe whatever they want, so long as they keep their beliefs to themselves and do not presume to intrude their religious idiosyncrasies on the workings of government, the economy, or culture.
    Now, at first hearing, this might sound like a reasonable way to organize a modern society that includes a wide range of ethnic, religious and cultural traditions, different philosophies of life and approaches to living.
    … how does the rhetoric of enlightened, secular tolerance square with the actual experience of faithful Catholics in Europe and North America in recent years?

    In the United States, a nation that is still 80 percent Christian with a high degree of religious practice, government agencies now increasingly seek to dictate how Church ministries should operate, and to force them into practices that would destroy their Catholic identity.  Efforts have been made to discourage or criminalize the expression of certain Catholic beliefs as "hate speech."  Our courts and legislatures now routinely take actions that undermine marriage and family life, and seek to scrub our public life of Christian symbolism and signs of influence...



    Harvard Valedictorian Mary Anne Marks Joins Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist

    From Creative Minority Report:

    "Here is your awesome story of the day!

    The 2010 Harvard Valedictorian, Mary Anne Marks, who delivered her valedictory speech in Latin is joining the awesome Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist in Ann Arbor. Boy I love those nuns!

    Kathryn Jean Lopez interviews Miss Marks in "God and Woman at Harvard "

    Perhaps this is becoming a trend:

    LOPEZ: I don’t know Harvard to be a great incubator or beacon of religious vocations. Am I wrong?

    MARKS: Yes, Deo gratias! A couple of years ago, a young man who finished Harvard in three years entered the seminary in St. Louis. A little further back, a young woman who attended Harvard and lived in the same women’s residence that I did joined the Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal. One of my friends, whom I met while she was pursuing a degree at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, joined the Religious Sisters of Mercy two years ago. This July 25, two young men from Harvard joined the Eastern Province of the Dominicans.
    This is wonderful news!

    Go read the full interview here!

    And Just for fun, here is her valedictory speech."

    Times Square ("Longacre Square" at the time) in New York - 1904


    Hump Day Haiku

    From Swissmiss:

    Old Dog, New Tricks

    "And with your Spirit"
    for me, a post Vat II kid
    relearn responses

    Tuesday, August 24, 2010

    England, the Pope, and Marriage

    Interview With Westminster Diocese Pastoral Affairs Director

    By Genevieve Pollock

    LONDON, AUG. 23, 2010 (Zenit.org).- England, the destination of Benedict XVI's Sept. 16-19 trip, is the geopolitical epicenter of the culture of death, says Edmund Adamus, but it is also the "Dowry of Mary."

    Adamus, director of Pastoral Affairs for the Diocese of Westminster, explained to ZENIT how England's unique Christian heritage and its present vanguard anti-Catholic culture make it a highly significant place for the Pope's upcoming visit.

    Adamus noted that marriage has been a focal point in both the original evangelization of the nation and the present cultural wars.

    Thus, he has been actively working to promote the Church's teaching on marriage through initiatives such as a nationwide tour of an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe surrounding the Papal visit, a Mass to honor some 600 married couples, the creation of a natural fertility awareness resource, and an annual lecture series on the theology of the body.

    This year's lecture will take place Sept. 14 to lead into Benedict XVI's visit by featuring Brian Gail, author of "Fatherless," who give an address titled "In the Service of Women -- Men Are Called to Greatness."

    In this interview with ZENIT, Adamus spoke about the state of the Church and marriages in the United Kingdom, the hopes of local Catholics for the Papal visit, and the role of England in evangelizing the greater global culture.

    ZENIT: What is the environment like as England prepares for Benedict XVI's visit?

    Adamus: If one was to accept what one sees and hears in the mainstream media, you would imagine that the Holy Father is about to step into a vortex of controversy and belligerent attitudes against him personally.

    There's no doubting that there is an aggressive anti-Catholic bias toward the Church and the Pontiff here, but by and large many people appreciate and value the witness of the Holy Father on fundamental moral issues (though they rarely find a voice) and more recently on pressing social issues triggered by the era of austerity threatened by the new Coalition Government.

    On the whole I think many people, especially Catholics, of which a recent survey shows there are more than were imagined, anticipate the Papal visit with hope and expectation that his presence and words will be a "kindly light" (to borrow Cardinal Newman's words) in a time of shadows especially threatening to the fundamental cell of society -- the family -- and the rights of parents.

    ZENIT: Could you say something about what you are hoping for as a result of the Papal visit?

    Adamus: I personally hope for a fresh sense of purpose and clarity about what we as Catholics understand in terms of mission, for the authentic dignity of the person.

    I hope that this real, very real and personal love of Christ for each member of British society is somehow manifested in a better understanding in the wider public's perception of who the Church is (as the Mystical Body of Christ) rather than what it is politically (as a hierarchical institution).

    The late Archbishop Fulton Sheen used to say that there are not more than 200 people in the whole nation who really hate the Catholic Church, but there are millions who hate what they think the Catholic Church teaches.

    I pray that Pope Benedict's visit will do something miraculously significant to address this level of false perception.

    ZENIT: What role do you see England playing in the more global scene of evangelizing the culture?

    Adamus: The media focus on the Pope, his message and the Catholic Church becomes frenetic for the people of a nation where he visits.

    Great Britain is no different, but there is a certain frisson about the nature of the attention the visit will generate in the media here and in the public consciousness.

    Why? Because whether we like it or not as British citizens and residents of this country -- and whether we are even prepared as Catholics to accept this reality and all it implies -- the fact is that historically, and continuing right now, Britain, and in particular London, has been and is the geopolitical epicenter of the culture of death.

    Our laws and lawmakers for over 50 years or more have been the most permissively anti-life and progressively anti-family and marriage, in essence one of the most anti-Catholic landscapes culturally speaking than even those places where Catholics suffer open persecution.

    England itself nevertheless has a unique Christian heritage: St. Augustine, the apostle to the English appointed by Pope Gregory, defied the temptation to despair of ever converting the pagan Britons by reminding the degenerate race of the beauty, truth and dignity of marriage.

    St. Bede's chronicle of English Christianity recounts this strategy, and, as he put it, "England recovered."

    England is also the "Dowry of Mary," an ancient title going back to the 14th century and even further in the spiritual language of the people.

    This title signified the fact that from the earliest times English Catholic Christians revered the person of the Mother of Christ with such a singular and wholehearted devotion that the very nation itself was attributed with having a supernatural role (metaphorically-speaking) in the "marriage" between the Holy Spirit and his spouse -- the Virgin of Nazareth.

    That is to say, English Christianity, in the plan of God, has a unique role to play in being a secure foundation (like a dowry in a marriage) to the work of redemption and salvation history globally.

    England was the first Christian nation to bestow upon the Church the formal solemnizing of marriages, which found expression in the Sarum Rite of Marriage.

    Here in this ancient rite the words "and with my body I thee worship" (still used by our Anglican brethren) became, if you like, in medieval times onwards the primordial theology of the body.

    For if spouses are called by God to honor one another bodily, then it is certain that our utmost respect for the presence of the divine in the physicality of all of us is beyond question, since all of us by virtue of baptism are as men married to the Church and as women wedded to Christ the Bridegroom.

    Above the main door of Westminster Catholic Cathedral of the Most Precious Blood, there is a mosaic dedicated to the triumphant reigning Christ. He is flanked by his mother and foster father, Mary and Joseph, who in turn are next to St. Peter and St. Edward the Confessor.

    Peter and Edward kneel before this scene. Both of them in their symbolic roles: one as visible head of the Church, the other as king, who personifies the realm of England. They kneel before the triptych of the Holy Family.

    I pray that the Papal visit will inspire all here, both Church and state, to interiorly kneel before that inestimable icon of the Trinity: marriage and the family.

    ZENIT: The lecture that you have planned as a lead-in to the Papal visit focuses primarily on the identity and role of men and women, particularly the former. Why is it important to highlight this theme at this time?

    Adamus: There is a fundamental truth underpinning John Paul II's adequate anthropology -- one might call it theology of the body in shorthand. It goes something like: the calling of every man is the dignity of every woman; the vocation of every woman is the integrity of every man.

    In other words -- beset as we have been over many decades but more recently since the global onset of gender theory -- more and more people are beginning to realize that the feminization of masculinity and the laddish culture that haunts the development of young girls and women is not providing the answers to life's deepest questions.

    John Paul II, as we know, in his catechesis invites us to 'go back to the beginning' to seek in the truth of the order of creation, something of what we dare to say is the "Divine imagination."

    That dream of God the Father Creator is that his daughters and sons in all relationships, but especially the marital, sexual one, be infused with the serenity and tranquility of our first parents.

    This is not just being open to life in procreation, but respecting the expression of God's life in each other -- seeing one another with the eyes of God himself.

    The interior gaze, as John Paul II called it, is crucial to male-female relating, especially for men because our DNA means that we are wired to remember the beauty and goodness of what we see and look upon first before we are captivated by what we hear, sense or feel.

    So it is incumbent upon men to rejoice in this very masculine charism to see in women their intrinsic worth and beauty, precisely because they are women and no other reason.

    Thereby in small actions and greater ones they exhibit countercultural signals against the selfish, hedonistic wasteland that is the objectification of women for sexual gratification.

    Britain in particular, with its ever-increasing commercialization of sex, not to mention its permissive laws advancing the "gay" agenda, is such a wasteland.

    The evil of pornography is something that must be addressed urgently, pastorally here, as elsewhere, as its levels of use by men and women is slowly being accepted as normative.

    In short it is incumbent upon men, in paying due honor and respect to all women in all circumstances (especially our wives and daughters if we are married and are blessed with them), and thus we as men grow towards the fullness of our manhood in Christ, we become heroes, and we become of great service of the feminine.

    ZENIT: How has the lecture series and the teaching of the theology of the body in general helped in your work with marriage preparation and enhancement?

    Adamus: It has enabled me (at least once a year) to draw significant attention to how great the need is to skillfully integrate an authentic reading of the theology of the body into all catechesis, but most especially that concerning the formation we give engaged couples, those already married and indeed those whose marriages are in difficulty.

    I think one of the most underappreciated pieces of recent Papal teaching on this was that of paragraph 27 of "Sacramentum Caritatis" in 2007:

    "Given the complex cultural context which the Church today encounters in many countries, the Synod also recommended devoting maximum pastoral attention to training couples preparing for marriage. [...] The good that the Church and society as a whole expect from marriage and from the family founded upon marriage is so great as to call for full pastoral commitment to this particular area. Marriage and the family are institutions that must be promoted and defended from every possible misrepresentation of their true nature, since whatever is injurious to them is injurious to society itself."

    The lecture series in which we have been honored with some highly distinguished theologians in the field of marriage and family has enabled my work to stay focused on what I consider to be the optimum standard for marriage preparation set out by John Paul II himself when he said:

    "Continue to place strong emphasis on marriage as a Christian vocation to which couples are called and to give them the means to live it fully through marital preparation programs which are serious in purpose, excellent in content, sufficient in length and obligatory in nature."

    In my experience there is not enough marriage preparation complying with this standard.

    God willing, the current nationwide survey of marriage preparation being conducted on behalf of the bishops will challenge this along with a forthcoming vademecum on the subject from the Pontifical Council for the Family.

    Its urgency cannot be overstated.

    ZENIT: What do you see as the greatest challenges facing marriages today?

    Adamus: Some of the greatest challenges are those false 'fruits' of cohabitation.

    There is a mountain of evidence now pointing to the massive risks to future marriages preceded by cohabitation.

    Multiple sexual partners before and outside of marriage, facilitated as it were by contraception and abortion, is having massive, long-term, damaging effects on the human capacity (designed by the Creator) to bond permanently.

    This poses enormous challenges to spouses to sustain emotional, psychological, and sexual bonding.

    The rising levels of sub-fertility and chronic infertility due to long-term use of hormonal contraception is a key factor to address, because the pain of being childless can put such a huge strain on a marriage.

    This is why it is so important to empower couples with a sense of matrimonial sacramentality, to help them understand that the grace of the sacrament is always at work particularly when they are open to life.

    We want them to have that "Cana" mentality if you like, where the "water" of their conviction to get married is transformed in to the "wine" of their lifelong certitude of being one in Christ.

    --- --- ---

    On the Net:

    Westminster Diocese Pastoral Affairs: http://www.rcdow.org.uk/pastoralaffairs/

    Papal U.K. visit: http://thepapalvisit.org.uk/