Sunday, May 31, 2009

Fr. Barron on the Trinity

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Susan Boyle keeps her dream alive


Susan may have been runner-up in Britain's Got Talent, but she is a winner in my book! God bless her!

Holy Father visits Abbey of Monte Cassino


This video comes from Pope Benedict's visit to Monte Casino Monastery last Sunday. For the first time as pope, Benedict XVI prayed at the place where Saint Benedict is buried in/ at Abbey of Monte Cassino in central Italy. He spoke after at Vespers conducted in the Abbey itself.

Benedict said he had chosen to call himself Pope Benedict XVI to pay homage to St. Benedict, who he said was a "fundamental point of reference for European unity and a strong reminder of the undeniable Christian roots of her culture and civilization."

At Monte Cassino Pope Benedict challenged the world to seek peace and that Europe continue to seek the values put forth by Saint Benedict. Read more about the visit here.

Persecution of the Church in Iraq


This is an English and Arabic short movie on the persecution that Christians in Iraq have faced since the war began in 2003. Many Christians in Iraq have fled the country due to this persecution.  Let's pray that the Holy Spirit strengthens our persecuted brothers and sisters in Iraq and everywhere in the world where there is persecution.

Remembering Don Bosco's Dream of the Two Columns

Today is the anniversary of the famous dream of St. John Bosco! The dream was told to the boys of the Oratory on May 30, 1862. The short video summarizes the dream well.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Currents: A new Catholic Program from NET in Brooklyn


I found this on Deacon Greg's site and it looks really good! It is great to see this kind of programing being made and offered to the people of God! Let's pray for their success!

Currents, premiering June 1st at 7:30PM EST, is a half-hour news magazine program telling stories of people of faith from around the block and around the world. Founded in 2009 in Brooklyn, New York, we are the first daily Catholic news program. Currents combination of exclusive interviews and features provides unique insight to inform viewers and strengthen them in their faith.

Watch Net now!

Honoring Mary

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Rector Major of the Salesian Society meets with Novices

Thankfully we Salesians have over 500 novices this year! The Fr. Pascal Chavez, SDB, The Rector Major of our congregation met with a group of novices from Europe recently for the Feast of Mary, Help of Christians. The following comes from the Salesian News Agency in Rome:

There was as short but serious meeting on May 24 at Valdocco between the Rector Major and some novices from Europe who had gathered in Turin for the feast of Mary Help of Christians.

Taking part in the meeting were novices and formation personnel from the Salesian novitiates in Pinerolo and Genzano, Italy; Poprad, Slovakia; Lyon-Fourvière, France; and Czerwinsk, Poland. Also present was the community of the postnovitiate of San Tarcisio in Rome. It was organized for the feast of Mary Help of Christians, an important day also in view of the Salesians’ 150th anniversary, as the Rector Major pointed out in his letter about the anniversary.


“You are called to become like John Cagliero, who when faced with the prospect of giving his life to the Lord for the young, said: ‘Monk or no monk, I am staying with Don Bosco!’” the Rector Major told them.

Underlining the importance of the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Salesian Congregation, Fr. Chavez referred to the four fundamental elements mentioned in his last letter (ACG 404), which are at the basis of Don Bosco’s dream and apostolic plan.

Besides making the point that Salesians need to have special care for the young, those directly involved in the beginning and the development of the Congregation and for the Salesian Family, the Rector Major focused in particular on the consecration of the Salesian and on observance of the Constitutions.

“A Salesian is not a social worker nor a volunteer, but someone consecrated to God! He gives his whole life to the Lord,” Fr. Chavez pointed out. “Don Bosco asked his young men to sanctify their lives; you do the same!” Nowadays religious life is being called to give meaning to human life, which has lost its fundamental values.

Study, meditation, putting into practice the Salesian rule of life written in the Constitutions ought to be the constant and continuous activity of every Salesian. “Next December 18 we are all being called to renew our offering to the Lord, uniting ourselves in spirit to that first group of 18 young men who, a few steps from here, gave life to our Congregation. Dear young novices, you are the generation of 2009, the year of the 150th anniversary! Through the observance of the Constitutions, be also like Michael Rua, who knew how to incarnate to the full the spirit of Don Bosco.”

Before the end of the meeting the Rector Major greeted and thanked the masters of novices of the five novitiates present in the room: Frs. Vladimir Fekete (Slovakia), Daniel Federspiel (France), Adam Homoncik (Poland), and Carlo Maria Zanotti and Angelo Santorsola (Italy).

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Amazing: Six Year Old Piano Player Ethan Bortnick


This little guy is amazingly gifted!

Chris Tomlin: I Will Rise

Saint of the day: Augustine of Canterbury

Today we remember in the Church St. Augustine of Canterbury.  St. Augustine was the great Apostle of England and you can learn more from the following post I found at the Monastery of Christ in the Desert: 

The man who would become the first Archbishop of Canterbury and eventually be acclaimed as the "Apostle of England" was the prior of the Abbey of St. Andrew in Rome when, in AD 596 Pope St. Gregory I selected him to head a missionary effort aimed at converting the Anglo-Saxons. 

Although difficulties encountered in southern Gaul forced him to return to Rome, the pope promptly consecrated him a bishop and dispatched him again. This time the the endeavor met with success and the party reached Ebbsfleet on the Kentish coast in 597, to be warmly welcomed by King Ethelbert of Kent and his Christian wife. The monarch gave the monks permission to evangelize, and soon provided them with an old church in his city of Canterbury, as well as a place in which to live. Before long Ethelbert and many of his courtiers and subjects would be baptized.

Augustine then journeyed to Arles to be invested with the pallium as bishop of the English by St. Virgilius. Thus empowered, he set about establishing bishoprics in London and Rochester. Pope Gregory had desired that the principal See be situated in London with a second in York, both of which would have twelve suffragens. But Augustine thought otherwise, electing instead to remain in Canterbury, a city which he felt to be not only the most culturally sophisticated but also the most important for the Church, since it happened to be the capital of the only Christian Anglo-Saxon kingdom. It was there he built the Cathedral of Christ Church. Outside the walls, King Ethelbert erected the Abbey of SS. Peter and Paul, later to be renamed after the kingdom's first archbishop.

Gregory instructed Augustine carefully on matters pertaining to the integration of this new territory into the Roman Church. Extant letters show that as long as his actions remained canonically correct he was given a certain latitude on decisions concerning the adoption of Gallican liturgical practices. Gregory forbade the outright destruction of pagan temples, and his bishop was strongly encouraged to absorb popular religious rites into Christian feasts whenever possible.

In 603, Augustine tried to united the Celtic Church with Rome, but without much success. In fact, there had been little in the way of cooperation along these lines during the whole of his time in England. Old attachments to provincial customs and practices were simply too engrained. However, with Canterbury firmly established as the ecclesiastical center of England, use of the Roman Rite and calendar would, after his death be universally accepted.

Shortly before his death in 604 he consecrated Lawrence of Canterbury as his successor. Augustine was buried in the Abbey Church of SS. Peter and Paul.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Jesus Smiles: More on St. Philip Neri

Maggie Simpson as Maggie "Roark" of The Fountainhead


This is pretty funny as Maggie has been enrolled at the 'Ayn Rand School For Tots'. Does our culture set mediocrity as the standard?

Monday, May 25, 2009

ELDERLY WOMAN FIGHTS OFF ATTACKER WITH THE WORD OF GOD: MUST SEE!!!


This is pretty amazing! This 90 year old woman from Tennessee guards herself with the Word of God!

Hebrews 4:12

"For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."

Gingrich, Conservatism and Catholic Conversion


The following comes from an article on the Newsmax.com site:

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich has opened up about his March 2009 conversion to Catholicism, revealing: “The whole effort to create a ruthless, amoral, situational ethics culture has probably driven me toward a more overt Christianity,” according to a report in U.S. News & World Report.

Last month on “Fox News Sunday,” Gingrich, whose third wife Callista is Catholic, told Chris Wallace, “I’m not talking about this much publicly, but let me just say that I found over the course of the last decade, attending the basilica ... reading the literature, that there was a peace in my soul and a sense of wellbeing in the Catholic Church, and I found the Mass of conversion last Sunday one of the most powerful moments of my life.”

Gingrich, who was baptized in a Baptist church, converted on March 29 -- confirming formally in the faith at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church on Capitol Hill and following up with a celebration of the event at the Cafe Milano, a trendy Washington eatery, according to a report in The Hill.

The backdrop for the most candid revelations to date about Gingrich’s conversion is the latest joint project of him and his wife -- a documentary on Pope John Paul II’s 1979 trip to Poland and how it helped to pave the way for the collapse of the Soviet Union. The film is titled “Nine Days That Changed the World.”

In filming their part in the documentary, Gingrich and his wife will be journeying, among other places, to Rome -- for the first time since he converted.

What changed Gingrich’s world, he reveals, is one particular trip to the Eternal City with his wife and a moment of epiphany in Rome’s most famous church. As he recounted to U.S News:

“[P]art of what led to my conversion is the first time we [he and his wife] went to St. Peter’s together. It’s St. Peter’s. I mean, you stand there and you think this is where St. Peter was crucified. This is where Paul preached. You think to yourself, two thousand years ago the apostles set out to create a worldwide movement by witnessing to the historic truth they had experienced. And there it is. The last time we were there we were allowed to walk in the papal gardens and you get this sense that is almost mystical.”

A Final Moment of Truth

“The moment that finally convinced me [to convert] was when Benedict XVI came here [to the United States] and Callista in the church choir sang for him at the vespers service and all the bishops in the country were there,” Gingrich continued. “As a spouse, I got to sit in the upper church and I very briefly saw [Benedict] and I was just struck with how happy he was and how fundamentally different he was from the news media’s portrait of him. This guy’s not a Rottweiler. He’s a very loving, engaged, happy person.

“I’d first seen Pope John Paul II when he came to the U.S. when Carter was president and I was a freshman congressman. And I [later] met him as Speaker.

“The other sense is that the church has had two of its most powerful popes back to back, in their intellectual ability to engage the secular world on behalf of Christ. And the weight of all that -- and going with [Callista] to church every Sunday to the Basilica [in Washington, D.C.], a magnificent church with a wonderful mass. In that sense I felt differently a long time ago, which is why I converted,” Gingrich revealed.

He added, “And part of me is inherently medieval. I resonate to Gothic churches and the sense of the cross in a way that is really pre-modern.”

However, his wife Callista told U.S. News that perhaps her husband’s conversion was more of a process than a revelation. It was “10 years in the making,” she said -- commencing around the time Gingrich left the House in 1999.

Gingrich recalled for U.S. News an anecdote from his youth

“As a college student at Emory when the Supreme Court ruled that school prayer was unconstitutional [in 1963] after 170 years of American history, I didn’t notice it,” he recalled. “As a graduate student at Tulane I probably would have said it’s a good decision.

“I’ve now had an additional 40 years to think about it. And I think about the world of my grandchildren. I don’t think American children are healthier, safer, and better off today than they were in 1963. So I have actually become more conservative in response to the failure of the liberal ethos to solve problems.”


The Conversion to Catholicism of several other conservative folks in the culture is worth noting as well. The following comes from the USNews site:

Newt Gingrich's weekend conversion to Roman Catholicism got me thinking about how many Catholic converts from the worlds of politics and political commentary have been in the news in recent years. Here's a quick list I came up with:

Robert Bork
Sam Brownback
Jeb Bush
Laura Ingraham
Bobby Jindal
Lawrence Kudlow
Robert Novak
Ramesh Ponnuru


Notice that they're all conservative? A few of the influential opinion shapers on the right who died recently also were Catholic converts:

Richard John Neuhaus
Tony Snow
Paul Weyrich


The one high-profile Catholic convert on the left who occurred to me is former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

At first blush, this wild political imbalance is none too surprising. Religious converts tend to be more orthodox, which means hewing closely to the church's conservative positions on social issues. But in the case of the Catholic Church, once so solidly identified with the Democratic Party, it's a reminder of just how a tradition's politics can shift.

Anyone I'm leaving off any of these lists?

Elvis: An American Trilogy


This is one of my favorites from the King! Another tribute to America on a day when we remember her brave soldiers who gave all for our freedom!

Another Memorial Day Tribute


Carlos at Let's Get it Right has some great videos posted in honor of those who gave all for our freedom.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Update: Susan Boyle advances on Britain's Got Talent

Your remember Susan Boyle I'm sure:

The following comes from Breitbart:

Britain's unlikely singing sensation Susan Boyle, the frumpy church volunteer who wowed the world with her angelic voice, was on Saturday voted into the next round of a TV talent show that propelled her to global fame.

The 47 year old, who lives alone with her cat Pebbles in one of Scotland's poorest regions, will now perform in a live show on Sunday, weeks after her surprising performance of "I Dreamed a Dream" from the musical "Les Miserables" shocked judges and charmed tens of millions of people worldwide.

Boyle's performance last month on the "American Idol"-style show "Britain's Got Talent" has been viewed almost 60 million times on You Tube, and saw the shy Scot feted by celebrities, including Oprah Winfrey and Demi Moore.

The awkward looking Boyle, who says she's never been kissed, was greeted with giggles from a skeptical audience and eye rolls from the show's famously sardonic judge Simon Cowell when she appeared in April—but startled viewers with her soaring voice.

In an update on her Twitter Web site, Moore wrote that Boyle's voice had "made me teary!"

Cowell and his fellow judges said Saturday that Boyle is among 40 performers they've selected to advance in the competition.

Bookmaker William Hill makes Boyle a runaway favorite to win the final on May 30.

"She had a tremendous reaction because of the phenomenon that is YouTube—it's now all over the world and she's coping rather well," said the singer's brother, Gerry Boyle. "But I think some of the reality is now starting to sink in."

The youngest of nine children, Boyle grew up in Blackburn, a community of 4,750 people 20 miles (32 kilometers) west of Edinburgh, in Scotland—a district blighted by unemployment and crime. Boyle had learning difficulties as a child and was bullied by other children.

As an adult, she's struggled for work but had been a regular on her local karaoke circuit and performed in church choirs.

In an interview with The Associated Press at her home last month, she said the death of her mother had inspired her to enter the TV talent show. "I wanted to show her I could do something with my life," Boyle said.

Since then, she's appeared on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" and had a makeover, to tame her frizzy gray-tinged hair.

"I think she is coping very well at the moment, she is just Susan. Just as calm as you like. Just carrying on as normal," said Jackie Russell, manager of Boyle's local pub The Happy Valley Hotel, in Blackburn.

Sara Lee, a spokeswoman for "Britain's Got Talent" said that Boyle's performance on Sunday will be available almost instantly on Internet, allowing her international fans a chance to watch the singer's latest appearance.

But she refused to say what song Boyle will perform in the broadcast, which will be screened live in Britain.

Hat Tip to Gateway Pundit on this one!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Parents, kids, and citizens turn out to save a successful and embattled program for low-income students.



On May 6, 2009, concerned parents, students, and others gathered in Washington, D.C.'s Freedom Plaza. They came to voice support for the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, a school-voucher program authorized by Congress in 2004 (as the seat of the federal government, the District is overseen by Congress). The program gives 1,700 students up to $7,500 to attend whatever school their parents choose.

The program is wildly popular with parents and children—there are four applicants for every available slot—and a recent Department of Education study found that participants do significantly better than their public school peers.

Yet working with congressional Democrats and despite President Barack Obama's pledge to put politics and ideology aside in education, the Obama administration effectively killed the program through a backdoor legislative move. "[Education] Secretary [Arne] Duncan will use only one test in what ideas to support with your precious tax dollars," says the president. "It's not whether it's liberal or conservative, but whether it works."

Shortly after last week's rally, President Obama said that he would allow students currently enrolled in the program to finish up through high school, but that no new students would be allowed to enter the program. Thus, a president who exercises school choice himself, has consigned thousands of low-income students to attend massively underperforming D.C. public schools.

Former Polish President Lech Walesa: I would have resigned the presidency rather than legalize abortion



Lech Wałęsa is a Polish politician and a former trade union and human rights activist. He co-founded Solidarity, the Soviet bloc's first independent trade union, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983, and served as President of Poland from 1990 to 1995. It also seems he is a strong pro-life advocate!

The following comes from CNA:

Nobel Peace Prize laureate and ex-president of Poland, Lech Walesa, said in Spain this week he would have resigned as president “twenty times” before signing a law that would allow abortion in his country.

Walesa made his statements during the Europe Forum together with Miguel Duran of Spain, who is running for a spot in the European Parliament.

The former Polish president explained he would “never” agree with a law that allows abortion because he cannot accept “the killing of innocents,” although he did recognize that no woman ever wants to “kill her child,” but rather is usually motivated by “other situations.”

For his part, Duran criticized the Spanish Socialist government for its political “opportunism” with regards to these issues, especially in a time of crisis. “It would be more important to devote our energies to resolving the problem of the four million unemployed,” he underscored.

“I am bewildered that a government that calls itself progressive would play around with these issues. The government is unfortunately throwing a curtain of blood over the true problem,” Duran charged.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Mystery of the Rosary and the Real Presence

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Soulwow.com

Forget that ShamWow guy, Father Vic, from SoulWow shows what we really need to do to get clean from the inside out. Visit SoulWow.com and get that almost baptized feeling! Do it Today!

This offer is extended! Contact your local Roman Catholic Church today for times.

Go to Soulwow.com. Do it Today!

Nation of Whiners to Adam Shepherd A Self-Made Winner



Check out his book Scratch Beginnings.

Pledge of Allegiance Pastor dies at age 97


I never knew the story of how the phrase "under God" became part of our Pledge of Allegiance, but here it is.  The following comes from the AP:

The Rev. George M. Docherty, credited with helping to push Congress to insert the phrase "under God" into the Pledge of Allegiance, has died at 97. Docherty died on Thanksgiving at his home in central Pennsylvania, according to his wife, Sue Docherty.  She said her husband of 36 years had been in failing health for about three years. "George said he was going to live to be a hundred and he was determined," she said in a telephone interview Saturday. "It's amazing that he was with us this long." Docherty, then pastor of the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church in Washington, just blocks from the White House, gave a sermon in 1952 saying the pledge should acknowledge God. He was born in Glasgow, Scotland, and was unfamiliar with the pledge until he heard it recited by his 7-year-old son, Garth. "I didn't know that the Pledge of Allegiance was, and he recited it, 'one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all,'" he recalled in an interview with The Associated Press in 2004. "I came from Scotland, where we said 'God save our gracious queen,' 'God save our gracious king.' Here was the Pledge of Allegiance, and God wasn't in it at all." There was little effect from that initial sermon, but he delivered it again on Feb. 7, 1954, after learning that President Dwight Eisenhower would be at the church. The next day, Rep. Charles G. Oakman, R-Mich., introduced a bill to add the phrase "under God" to the pledge, and a companion bill was introduced in the Senate. Eisenhower signed the law on Flag Day that year.


More May Feelings

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Laura Ingraham tells it like it is!

Laura Ingraham tells it like it is! Thanks to Gateway Pundit for this one.
I don't much care if President Obama can turn a phrase or co-opt a word or read from a TelePrompter well and get some standing ovations from what we now know is not a significant or even meaningful Catholic institution. Notre Dame when it decided to confer that honorary degree of Doctorate in the Law to Obama just confirmed that it is no longer a viable Catholic institution. Seventy-plus bishops spoke out vociferously against the ardently and virulently pro-abortion policies of President Obama. The pope has been very clear as he was in his visit to the United States with Catholic University heads that you are not to honor pro-abortion politicians. Notre Dame went ahead and did that. So Notre Dame has taken itself out of the Catholic teaching business. That's a fact.
Sadly... Less than 48 hours after Obama left Notre Dame it was reported that his budget will use taxpayer money to fund abortions in Washington DC.

Hasta La Vista, Arnold!: What California's Budget Mess Means for America


He was the perfect political superhero, sent to rescue California from spend-happy politicians at just the right time. And yet Arnold Schwarzeneggers reign as governor has turned into a disaster flick that could spell catastrophe for the Golden State—and the whole nation.

New Orleans is awarded the Super Bowl in 2013!

Awesome!  I am happy for the City of New Orleans!  This will be our 10th time hosting the Superbowl... Maybe the Saints will get there before then!?

Archbishop Chaput on Notre Dame

If you were wondering what Archbishop Chaput had to say on the Notre Dame mess here it is from the Archdiocese of Denver site:

"I have found that even among those who did not go to Notre Dame, even among those who do not share the Catholic faith, there is a special expectation, a special hope, for what Notre Dame can accomplish in the world."

~ Reverend John Jenkins, C.S.C., May 17, 2009

Most graduation speeches are a mix of piety and optimism designed to ease students smoothly into real life. The best have humor. Some genuinely inspire. But only a rare few manage to be pious, optimistic, evasive, sad and damaging all at the same time. Father John Jenkins, C.S.C., Notre Dame’s president, is a man of substantial intellect and ability. This makes his introductory comments to President Obama’s Notre Dame commencement speech on May 17 all the more embarrassing.

Let’s remember that the debate over President Obama’s appearance at Notre Dame was never about whether he is a good or bad man. The president is clearly a sincere and able man. By his own words, religion has had a major influence in his life. We owe him the respect Scripture calls us to show all public officials. We have a duty to pray for his wisdom and for the success of his service to the common good -- insofar as it is guided by right moral reasoning.

We also have the duty to oppose him when he’s wrong on foundational issues like abortion, embryonic stem cell research and similar matters. And we also have the duty to avoid prostituting our Catholic identity by appeals to phony dialogue that mask an abdication of our moral witness. Notre Dame did not merely invite the president to speak at its commencement. It also conferred an unnecessary and unearned honorary law degree on a man committed to upholding one of the worst Supreme Court decisions in our nation’s history: Roe v. Wade.

In doing so, Notre Dame ignored the U.S. bishops’ guidance in their 2004 statement, Catholics in Political Life. It ignored the concerns of Ambassador Mary Ann Glendon, Notre Dame’s 2009 Laetare Medal honoree – who, unlike the president, certainly did deserve her award, but finally declined it in frustration with the university’s action. It ignored appeals from the university’s local bishop, the president of the U.S. Catholic bishops’ conference, more than 70 other bishops, many thousands of Notre Dame alumni and hundreds of thousands of other American Catholics. Even here in Colorado, I’ve heard from too many to count.

There was no excuse – none, except intellectual vanity – for the university to persist in its course. And Father Jenkins compounded a bad original decision with evasive and disingenuous explanations to subsequently justify it.

These are hard words, but they’re deserved precisely because of Father Jenkins’ own remarks on May 17: Until now, American Catholics have indeed had “a special expectation, a special hope for what Notre Dame can accomplish in the world.” For many faithful Catholics – and not just a “small but vocal group” described with such inexcusable disdain and ignorance in journals like Time magazine -- that changed Sunday.

The May 17 events do have some fitting irony, though. Almost exactly 25 years ago, Notre Dame provided the forum for Gov. Mario Cuomo to outline the “Catholic” case for “pro-choice” public service. At the time, Cuomo’s speech was hailed in the media as a masterpiece of American Catholic legal and moral reasoning. In retrospect, it’s clearly adroit. It’s also, just as clearly, an illogical and intellectually shabby exercise in the manufacture of excuses. Father Jenkins’ explanations, and President Obama’s honorary degree, are a fitting national bookend to a quarter century of softening Catholic witness in Catholic higher education. Together, they’ve given the next generation of Catholic leadership all the excuses they need to baptize their personal conveniences and ignore what it really demands to be “Catholic” in the public square.

Chicago’s Cardinal Francis George has suggested that Notre Dame “didn’t understand” what it means to be Catholic before these events began. He's correct, and Notre Dame is hardly alone in its institutional confusion. That's the heart of the matter. Notre Dame’s leadership has done a real disservice to the Church, and now seeks to ride out the criticism by treating it as an expression of fringe anger. But the damage remains, and Notre Dame’s critics are right. The most vital thing faithful Catholics can do now is to insist – by their words, actions and financial support – that institutions claiming to be “Catholic” actually live the faith with courage and consistency. If that happens, Notre Dame’s failure may yet do some unintended good.

May Feelings

Monday, May 18, 2009

John Stossel: Bailouts and Bull


Pope Benedict: The family, place of faith, prayer and loving concern

Happy Birthday to Pope John Paul II!!


Happy Birthday Pope John Paul II!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Laura Ingraham on the Notre Dame Mess


I think Laura says it all here in a just a minute. What does it mean today to be a Catholic University?

The President Speaks at ND: Ronald Reagan


I thought I would get a look at what a great American President said at ND not that long ago! Hat tip to Opinionated Catholic for this one!

Phil Vassar: Prayer of a Common Man



Daddy put in his 40 years
Got his gold watch and then they sent him home
I never knew what his struggle was like
'Til I cried tears on his stone
He was just a cog in their wheel
Lived and died on the layaway plan
But Lord, hear the prayer of a common man

Chorus:
Hallelujah, is anybody up there
Hallelujah, does anybody care
Life takes it's toll on the heart and soul
But I'm doing the best I can
But, Lord, hear the prayer of a common man

My little girl needs braces, man
And it costs a couple thousand bucks
She's got a beautiful smile but it'll be a while
On my new, used pick-up truck
This house of cards I built is mortgaged to the hilt
And it's sinking in the sand
Now Lord, hear the prayer of a common man

Chorus:
Hallelujah, is anybody up there
Hallelujah, does anybody care
Life takes it's toll on the heart and soul
But I'm doing the best I can
But, Lord, hear the prayer of a common man

I'm not looking for charity
I just need some clarity
I've got people counting on me
And I'm tired, that's all
And I'm up against the wall
Lord, hear me when I call
Hallelujah, I know you're up there
Hallelujah, I know you care
Life taked it's toll on the heart and soul
But I'm doing the best that I can
Oh Lord, hear the prayer of a common man
Lord, hear the prayer of this common man

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Fr. Robert Barron on "Angels and Demons"

Fr. Robert Barron: The Case for Priestly Celebacy

I was surprised to see this at CNN, but I knew Fr. Barron would have good things to say. Check out his site also!

The scandal surrounding the Rev. Alberto Cutie has raised questions in the minds of many concerning the Catholic Church's discipline of priestly celibacy. Why does the church continue to defend a practice that seems so unnatural and so unnecessary?

There is a very bad argument for celibacy, which has appeared throughout the tradition and which is, even today, defended by some. It goes something like this: Married life is spiritually suspect; priests, as religious leaders, should be spiritual athletes above reproach; therefore, priests shouldn't be married

This approach to the question is, in my judgment, not just stupid but dangerous, for it rests on presumptions that are repugnant to solid Christian doctrine. The biblical teaching on creation implies the essential integrity of the world and everything in it.

Genesis tells us that God found each thing he had made good and that he found the ensemble of creatures very good. Catholic theology, at its best, has always been resolutely, anti-dualist -- and this means that matter, the body, marriage and sexual activity are never, in themselves, to be despised.

But there is more to the doctrine of creation than an affirmation of the goodness of the world. To say that the finite realm in its entirety is created is to imply that nothing in the universe is God. All aspects of created reality reflect God and bear traces of the divine goodness -- just as every detail of a building gives evidence of the mind of the architect -- but no creature and no collectivity of creatures is divine, just as no part of a structure is the architect.

This distinction between God and the world is the ground for the anti-idolatry principle that is reiterated from the beginning to the end of the Bible: Do not turn something less than God into God.

Isaiah the prophet put it thus: "As high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are my thoughts above your thoughts and my ways above your ways, says the Lord." And it is at the heart of the First Commandment: "I am the Lord your God; you shall have no other gods besides me." The Bible thus holds off all the attempts of human beings to divinize or render ultimate some worldly reality. The doctrine of creation, in a word, involves both a great "yes" and a great "no" to the universe.

Now there is a behavioral concomitant to the anti-idolatry principle, and it is called detachment. Detachment is the refusal to make anything less than God the organizing principle or center of one's life.

Anthony de Mello looked at it from the other side and said "an attachment is anything in this world -- including your own life -- that you are convinced you cannot live without." Even as we reverence everything that God has made, we must let go of everything that God has made, precisely for the sake of God.

This is why, as G.K. Chesterton noted, there is a tension to Christian life. In accord with its affirmation of the world, the Church loves color, pageantry, music and rich decoration (as in the liturgy and papal ceremonials), even as, in accord with its detachment from the world, it loves the poverty of St. Francis and the simplicity of Mother Teresa.

The same tension governs its attitude toward sex and family. Again, in Chesterton's language, the Church is "fiercely for having children" (through marriage) even as it remains "fiercely against having them" (in religious celibacy).

Everything in this world -- including sex and intimate friendship -- is good, but impermanently so; all finite reality is beautiful, but its beauty, if I can put it in explicitly Catholic terms, is sacramental, not ultimate.

In the biblical narratives, when God wanted to make a certain truth vividly known to his people, he would, from time to time, choose a prophet and command him to act out that truth, to embody it concretely.

For example, he told Hosea to marry the unfaithful Gomer in order to sacramentalize God's fidelity to wavering Israel. Thus, the truth of the non-ultimacy of sex, family and worldly relationship can and should be proclaimed through words, but it will be believed only when people can see it.

This is why, the Church is convinced, God chooses certain people to be celibate. Their mission is to witness to a transcendent form of love, the way that we will love in heaven. In God's realm, we will experience a communion (bodily as well as spiritual) compared to which even the most intense forms of communion here below pale into insignificance, and celibates make this truth viscerally real for us now. Though one can present practical reasons for it, I believe that celibacy only finally makes sense in this eschatological context.

For years, the Rev. Andrew Greeley argued -- quite rightly in my view -- that the priest is fascinating and that a large part of the fascination comes from celibacy. The compelling quality of the priest is not a matter of superficial celebrity or charm. It is something much stranger, deeper, more mystical. It is the fascination for another world.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Pope Benedict: Jesus is the peace the Holy Land longs for

The following comes from the Catholic News Agency:

Before he departs for Rome later this afternoon, Pope Benedict made sure to visit Christianity's holiest site—the Church of the Holy Sepulchre—where Jesus died, was buried and rose from the dead. The Pope urged the people of the Holy Land to bury their sufferings in the empty tomb, since their “strife-torn land” can find the peace it yearns for in Jesus, the person who rose from it.

A delegation comprised of the numerous Christian traditions that care for the church accompanied Pope Benedict as he stopped at the place where Jesus was prepared for burial (Stone of the Unction) and the tomb in which Jesus was buried. As he paused at each place, he kissed the stone and then prayed for several minutes.

Upon leaving the Tomb of Christ, the Pope was welcomed by the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Archbishop Fouad Twal, who gave thanks for Benedict XVI's visit. The patriarch noted that the congregation had just sung the “Te Deum”--a hymn of thanks to God—and that they sang it “first of all for your presence in our midst, during these days.”

“We sing this 'Te Deum' in joy, despite the complications of the situation today,” said Twal referencing the tensions in the Holy Land.

Archbishop Twal also noted the exhaustion the Pope endured to make the trip, and encouraged him, saying, “You guide Peter's boat with courage and joy, despite the personal attacks launched against you.”

“The distance between the tomb and Golgotha, as you have seen Holy Father, is very short,” noted Twal. “In this sense, so too may this distance between the time of conflict and peace be short. Neither the conflict, nor the occupation, nor the culture of death, nor the emigration of Christians, will succeed in bringing us down or prevent us from proclaiming Christ is Risen! Resurrexit sicut dixit!”

Pope Benedict then thank the patriarch for his welcome and invoked the symbolism of the Successor of Peter visiting the place where St. Peter had discovered with St. John that Jesus had risen from the dead.

“I wish to proclaim anew, to the men and women of our time, the Church’s firm faith that Jesus Christ 'was crucified, died and was buried,' and that 'on the third day he rose from the dead.' Exalted at the right hand of the Father, he has sent us his Spirit for the forgiveness of sins. Apart from him, whom God has made Lord and Christ, 'there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we are to be saved,' the Pope proclaimed.

With the people of the Holy Land's frequent experience of the “dark mystery of Golgotha” in mind, Pope Benedict said that he wished to leave the message with them: “the empty tomb speaks to us of hope, the hope that does not disappoint because it is the gift of the Spirit of life.”

Noting that this visit concludes his pilgrimage, Pope Benedict prayed that “the Church in the Holy Land will always draw new strength from its contemplation of the empty tomb of the Savior. In that tomb it is called to bury all its anxieties and fears, in order to rise again each day and continue its journey through the streets of Jerusalem, Galilee and beyond, proclaiming the triumph of Christ’s forgiveness and the promise of new life.”

“As Christians,” he reminded, “we know that the peace for which this strife-torn land yearns has a name: Jesus Christ. 'He is our peace,' who reconciled us to God in one body through the Cross, bringing an end to hostility. Into his hands, then, let us entrust all our hope for the future, just as in the hour of darkness he entrusted his spirit into the Father’s hands.”

Benedict XVI concluded by inviting his brother bishops and the priests and religious in the Holy Land to “rekindle the enthusiasm of your consecration to Christ and your commitment to loving service of his mystical Body” and called on them to bring Christ's “healing presence and reconciling love” to all those who live in the Holy Land.

Pope Benedict Visits the Church of the Holy Sepulchre

Gone With The Wind from The Carol Burnett Show!


I thought we all needed some comic relief!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Pope Benedcit XVI in Israel

States Rights: let's bring them back!


Watch this video if you are interested in State's Rights. I found it at the Ms. Underestimated site. It’s a self-styled guide as to how we, as individuals, can take our country back and reclaim our individual states’ sovereignty.

Included are Utah State Representative Carl Wimmer, Texas State Representative Leo Berman, and a story about Montana’s new law stating that firearms, ammo, etc., manufactured in Montana will NOT be subject to federal laws, and these states, as well as Oklahoma are all drafting legislation to overtly re-emphasize STATES’ RIGHTS (10th Amendment) over the Federal Government!

Utah’s Representative, Carl Wimmer, is a retired police officer. Imagine his surprise that during the time of the interview, the story passed the wires that the Obama Administration is cutting benefits by 50% for families of police officers who have died in the line of duty!

Pope Benedict to visit the Shrine of the Annunciation

The Pope visits Palestine and asks for peace

The Monks of Le Barroux

video

The monks of Saint Mary Magdalene Monastery in Le Barroux, France are traditional Benedictines in full communion with the Holy See. I found this video at Fr. Z's WDTPRS and thought it was pretty amazing. Enjoy the French practice as well! Let's continue to pray for more good and holy vocations of all kinds to the Church!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Fatima 1917

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Holy Father to grant plenary indulgences for the Year of Priests

The following is from the Catholic News Agency:

The Vatican has announced that during the Year for Priests, which will run June 19, 2009 – June 19, 2010, the Pope Benedict will grant plenary indulgences to priests and the faithful.

The year will begin with the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, “a day of priestly sanctification,” according to a press release from the Vatican. On that day, the Holy Father “will celebrate Vespers before relics” of St. Jean Marie Vianney, patron saint of priests.

The Year will end in St. Peter's Square, in the presence of priests from all over the world "who will renew their faithfulness to Christ and their bonds of fraternity."

The means to obtain the indulgence are as follows:

(A) All truly penitent priests who, on any day, devotedly pray Lauds or Vespers before the Blessed Sacrament exposed to public adoration or in the tabernacle, and ... offer themselves with a ready and generous heart for the celebration of the Sacraments, especially the Sacrament of Penance, will be granted a Plenary Indulgence, which they can also apply to their deceased confreres, if in accordance with current norms they take Sacramental Confession and the Eucharist and pray in accordance with the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff. Priests are furthermore granted a Partial Indulgence, also applicable to deceased confreres, every time they devotedly recite the prayers duly approved to lead a saintly life and to carry out the duties entrusted to them.

(B) All truly penitent Christian faithful who, in church or oratory, devotedly attend Holy Mass and offer prayers to Jesus Christ, supreme and eternal Priest, for the priests of the Church, or perform any good work to sanctify and mold them to His Heart, are granted a Plenary Indulgence, on the condition that they have expiated their sins through Sacramental Confession and prayed in accordance with the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff. This may be done on the opening and closing days of the Year of Priests, on the 150th anniversary of the death of St. Jean Marie Vianney, on the first Thursday of the month, or on any other day established by the ordinaries of particular places for the good of the faithful.

The elderly, the sick and all those who for any legitimate reason are unable to leave their homes, may still obtain a plenary indulgence if, with the soul completely removed from attachment to any form of sin and with the intention of observing, as soon as they can, the usual three conditions, "on the days concerned, they pray for the sanctification of priests and offer their sickness and suffering to God through Mary, Queen of the Apostles."

Additionally, a partial indulgence will be offered to the faithful each time they pray five “Our Father,” “Hail Mary” and “Glory Be,” or any other duly approved prayer "in honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, to ask that priests maintain purity and sanctity of life."

Update: Pope Benedict at Yad Vashem



It was only in the year 2000 that Pope John Paul II visited Yad Vashem and today Pope Benedict XVI will do the same.

Pope Benedict's Pilgrimage to Jerusalem

Craig Morgan : God Must Really Love Me


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Imagine: Happy Mother's Day!

Pope Benedict in Jordan

Shenandoah: Sunday in the South

Happy Mother's Day!


I want to wish my mom a happy Mother's Day! Happy Mother's Day to all the mom's out there!

Pope Benedict's Pilgrimage Via CatholicTV

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Pope Benedict in Jordan as Pilgrim of Peace




This is My Body


A prolife song by Dana depicting the words "This is my body" and the contrast between the pro-abortion mentality and the sacrifice of Jesus.

Archbishop Chaput warns of religious freedom loss

The following comes from the Catholic News Agency:

Upon receiving a medal from a group dedicated to religious freedom, Denver Archbishop Charles J. Chaput said that God the Creator is the foundation to beliefs about the sanctity and “infinite value” of human life. He also warned that American religious liberty will be lost if it is not defended and if an increasing disdain for faith and religious believers is underestimated.

The archbishop delivered his remarks on Thursday in New York City after being awarded the Becket Fund’s Canterbury Medal, which is given to persons who “most resolutely refused to render to Caesar that which is God's.”

Past Canterbury Medalists include Nobel Peace Prize recipient Elie Wiesel, Prison Fellowship founder Chuck Colson, Gov. and Mrs. Mitt Romney, financiers Foster Friess and Ted Forstmann, and former U.S. Ambassadors to the Vatican James R. Nicholson and Mary Ann Glendon.

Beginning his remarks about the importance of religious freedom, the archbishop said that the United States is “a nation that only really makes sense in a religion-friendly context.”

He said the nation’s Founders had “a tragic sense of history” and “few illusions about human perfectibility” because of the “world of faith” that shaped their experience.

“The Founders certainly had hope in their ability to build a ‘new order of things’ -- but only under the judgment of a Creator. In other words, they had a sane kind of hope; the biblical kind that’s grounded in realism, because they also believed in sin,” the archbishop remarked.

Their grasp of the nobility and weaknesses of human nature meant that American ideals require “a certain kind of citizen to make them work.” Archbishop Chaput then cited a John Adams quotation about the U.S. Constitution being made “only for a moral and religious people” and being “wholly inadequate” for any other.

The archbishop said “the bedrock” of our common moral heritage was the First Commandment, “I am the Lord your God; you will not have foreign gods before me.”

“All of our Western beliefs about the sanctity of life, human dignity and human rights ultimately depend on a Creator who guarantees them. In other words, we have infinite value because God made us. No human being or political authority can revoke that infinite value. Only God is God.”

Any other pretention to answering human suffering and hope is “finally an impostor and a road away from God’s light.”

Archbishop Chaput said this view of the value of human life was in direct contrast to a contemporary American spirit in which science can “comfortably” coexist alongside “superstition or barbarism.” As the Western moral consensus weakened alongside the progress of science, people did not become more ethically mature.

“The 20th century was the bloodiest in history, and today the occult is flourishing right alongside our computers and Blackberries,” he said.

“Knowledge is merely knowledge. Power is merely power. Nothing inherent to knowledge or power guarantees that it will translate into wisdom or justice or mercy.”

He quoted a passage from President Barack Obama’s inaugural speech about restoring science to “its rightful place,” contrasting this with a passage from the 2008 Vatican document Dignitas Personae:

“The dignity of a person must be recognized in every human being from conception to natural death. This fundamental principle expresses a great ‘yes’ to human life, and must be at the center of ethical reflections on biomedical research, which has an ever greater importance in today’s world.”

Archbishop Chaput said that the rightful place of science is “in the service of human dignity, and under the judgment of God’s justice.”

“Science can never stand outside or above moral judgment. And people of faith can never be neutral or silent about its uses. Otherwise, sooner or later -- but unavoidably – human beings, their rights and their dignity pay the price.”

America cannot survive without being predisposed and welcoming to religious faith, the archbishop insisted.

“[W]e were founded as a religious people, but with public institutions that avoid religious tests. American public life depends for its life on Jews and Protestants and Latter Day Saints and Catholics and all religious believers vigorously advancing their convictions in public debate. We need to do that peacefully and respectfully, but we need to do it -- without evasions or apologies or alibis. Otherwise we’re stealing the most precious things we have – our religious faith and our moral character – from the struggle for the common good. And the God who loves us will nonetheless hold us accountable for that cowardice.”

Noting that freedom of religion is “woven” into foundational U.S. documents and “hardwired” into Americans’ assumptions, the archbishop explained he had not truly understood this religious freedom until he served on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. There, he said, he witnessed “the systematic abuse of religious believers” in foreign countries.

“Some of that same contempt for religious faith and disdain for serious religious believers is now part of our own national dialogue. And we underestimate it at our own great cost,” he warned.

While Americans take religious freedom seriously, the archbishop said “times change, and nations change.”

“The freedom of faith we all enjoy in this country needs to be earned and defended by all of us, again and again, or we’ll lose it… Freedom needs to be purchased with a constant witness of courage, intelligence and action.”

The archbishop closed by saying the Canterbury Award matters because the Becket Fund and its work for religious liberty matter “for every American religious believer and for all our citizens, whether they know it or not.”

Friday, May 8, 2009

Pope Benedict departs for the Middle East

Living the Real Simple Life



The Dervaes Family have created the original modern urban homestead that has yielded an entirely new, revolutionary alternative lifestyle. What do you think? Are the Dervaes Family odd or are they geniuses? Here is the family website to learn more. Also, here is their youtube page for more videos.

Fr. Benedict Groeschel: Media and Culture


Fr. Benedict always manages to to tell it like it is!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Fr. Corapi Speaks on the Notre Dame Scandal


Fr. Corapi speaks out on behalf of the Cardinal Newman Society on the Notre Dame Scandal. The following is a letter from the President of the Newman Society on the May 17 scandal at ND:

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

As May 17 approches, it is now almost certain that the University of Notre Dame will violate the Bishops' clear prohibition against honoring pro-abortion leaders at Catholic institutions - ignoring the pleas of nearly 70 Catholic bishops and more than 350,000 of you!

So what are we to do? Right now, as Bishop Wenski, of Orlando said in his Mass of reparation, "I am not going to send upset Catholics to storm Notre Dame with pitchforks, I am going to tell them to pray." In that same spirit let us pray for the graduating seniors, Notre Dame and the renewal of faithful Catholic higher education in our country.

If you are near South Bend, graduates of Notre Dame who oppose the commencement honor have invited others to join them in adoration, Mass and prayer at Notre Dame's Campus. For details please visit their website: NDResponse.com

With gratitude for your witness of the Catholic faith, Fr. John Corapi has taped the following message about what the scandal at Notre Dame means for our faith and the importance of not giving up the fight.

CLICK HERE for the Video Message from Fr. John Corapi

Please forward this to your friends and remember to pray for Notre Dame. For ongoing updates or if you are unable to view the video in this message please go to NotreDameScandal.com

In Christ,

Patrick J. Reilly

President

The Cardinal Newman Society

Medjugorje seer Mirijana distressed, May 2, 2009


I was blessed to be able to visit Medjugorje with my family back in 1987. The apparitions continue to this day for some of the visionaries. Marijana (the oldest of the visionaries) has a monthy vision on the 2nd of the month. I found this video at the In God's Company 2 blog:

For the benefit of non-Catholics receiving this---Marijana was the first visionary to receive all ten secrets. She is also the one who will release the secrets to a priest she has chosen, (one at a time) ten days in advance of the fulfillment of the prophecy (secret). The priest will fast and pray for seven days and then will make known (to the world) the event that is to take place. Marijana, as far as I have ever been told, is the only one who knows the timetable.

For the millions who have been to Medjugorje and who stay abreast of events there, this video will raise serious questions in the minds of the viewers. Next month marks the 28th anniversary of Medjugorje...video taken from Spirit Daily.