After the clinic we used to pray in front of decided to stop offering abortions, I took a few weeks off. Today, I decided to help stop abortions at another one. This is one of 3 remaining in Raleigh. Today, there was 6 of us, all of whom also prayed at the first clinic.
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Truth doesn't change.
Saturday, July 31, 2010
The Saint of the Day for July 31 is St. Ignatius of Loyola.
Ignatius, by nation a Spaniard, was born of a noble family at Loyola, in Cantabria. At first he attended the court of the Catholic king, and later on embraced a military career. Having been wounded at the siege of Pampeluna, he chanced in his illness to read some pious books, which kindled in his soul a wonderful eagerness to follow in the footsteps of Christ and the saints. He went to Montserrat, and hung up his arms before the altar of the Blessed Virgin; he then watched the whole night in prayer, and thus entered upon his knighthood in the army of Christ. Next he retired to Manresa, dressed as he was in sackcloth, for he had a short time before given his costly garments to a beggar. Here he stayed for a year, and during that time he lived on bread and water, given to him in alms; he fasted every day except Sunday, subdued his flesh with a sharp chain and a hair-shirt, slept on the ground, and scourged himself with iron disciplines. God favored and refreshed him with such wonderful spiritual lights, that afterwards he was wont to say that even if the Sacred Scriptures did not exist, he would be ready to die for the faith, on account of those revelations alone which the Lord had made to him at Manresa. It was at this time that he, a man without education, composed that admirable book of the Spiritual Exercises.
However, in order to make himself more fit for gaining souls, he determined to procure the advantages of education, and began by studying grammar among children. Meanwhile he relaxed nothing of his zeal for the salvation of others, and it is marvelous what sufferings and insults he patiently endured in every place, undergoing the hardest trials, even imprisonment and beatings almost to death. But he ever desired to suffer far more for the glory of his Lord. At Paris he was joined by nine companions from that University, men of different nations, who had taken their degrees in Arts and Theology; and there at Montmartre he laid the first foundations of the order, which he was later on to institute at Rome. He added to the three usual vows a fourth concerning missions, thus binding it closely to the Apostolic See. Paul III first welcomed and approved the Society, as did later other Pontiffs and the Council of Trent. Ignatius sent St. Francis Xavier to preach the Gospel in the Indies, and dispersed others of his children to spread the Christian faith in other parts of the world, thus declaring war against paganism, superstition, and heresy. This war he carried on with such success that it has always been the universal opinion, confirmed by the word of pontiffs, that God raised up Ignatius and the Society founded by him to oppose Luther and the heretics of his time, as formerly he had raised up other holy men to oppose other heretics.
He made the restoration of piety among Catholics his first care. He increased the beauty of the sacred buildings, the giving of catechetical instructions, the frequency of sermons and of the sacraments. He everywhere opened schools for the education of youth in piety and letters. He founded at Rome the German College, refuges for women of evil life, and for young girls who were in danger, houses for orphans and catechumens of both sexes, and many other pious works. He devoted himself unweariedly to gaining souls to God. Once he was heard saying that if he were given his choice he would rather live uncertain of attaining the Beatific Vision, and in the meanwhile devote himself to the service of God and the salvation of his neighbor, than die at once certain of eternal glory. His power over the demons was wonderful. St. Philip Neri and others saw his countenance shining with heavenly light. At length in the sixty-fifth year of his age he passed to the embrace of his Lord, whose greater glory he had ever preached and ever sought in all things. He was celebrated for miracles and for his great services to the Church, and Gregory XV enrolled him amongst the saints; while Pius XI, in response to the prayers of the episcopate, declared him heavenly patron of all Spiritual Exercises.
Friday, July 30, 2010
You can contact your representatives at www.house.gov to let them know you support this bill. Why should any taxpayer money be used for abortions?
On Thursday Reps. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) and Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.) were scheduled to introduce legislation which would establish a permanent government-wide prohibition on taxpayer funding for abortion. Pro-life leaders praised the comprehensiveness of the proposal.
The legislation, titled the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” also codifies conscience protections for health care providers who do not want to participate in an abortion.
At present, many funding restrictions such as the Hyde Amendment to the Health and Human Services Appropriations Bill must be re-approved by Congress each year. It is also uncertain whether President Barack Obama’s executive order which restricts abortion funds in the 2010 health care legislation will be effective.
In a March interview with Catholic News Agency, Rep. Lipinski had urged action to pass statutory laws to restrict abortion funding in the new health care law.
Dr. Charmaine Yoest, president and CEO of Americans United for Life Action, said that the Smith-Lipinski bill will “comprehensively end” taxpayer-funded abortion.
The Saint of the Day for July 30 is St. Peter Chrysologus.
In the fifth century, Ravenna, not Rome, was the capital of the Roman Empire in the West, and Ravenna itself became a metropolitan see. St. Peter Chrysologus was one of the most distinguished archbishops of that see.
Peter was born in Imola about the year 400 and studied under Cornelius, bishop of that city, who ordained him deacon. In 433, the archbishop of Ravenna died, and when a successor had been chosen by the clergy and people of Ravenna, they asked Bishop Cornelius to obtain confirmation of their choice from Pope Sixtus III. On his trip to Rome, Cornelius took his deacon, Peter, as his companion; upon seeing Peter, the pope chose him for the see of Ravenna instead of the one selected by the clergy and people of Ravenna.
Peter was consecrated and was accepted somewhat grudgingly at first by both the clergy and the people. Peter, however, soon became the favorite of Emperor Valentinian III, who resided at Ravenna and was also highly regarded by Pope St. Leo the Great, the successor of Pope Sixtus.
There were still traces of paganism in Peter's diocese, and his first effort was to establish the Catholic faith everywhere, rooting out abuses and carrying on a campaign of preaching and special care of the poor. Many of his sermons still survive, and it is on the basis of these that he came to be known as "the golden word."
In his concern for the unity of the Church, Peter Chrysologus opposed the teaching of Eutyches, condemned in the East, who asked for his support. Peter also received St. Germanus of Auxerre to his diocese and officiated at his funeral.
Knowing that his own death was near, Peter returned to his own city of Imola and after urging great care in the choice of his successor he died at Imola about the year 450 and was buried in the church of St. Cassian. In 1729, Pope Benedict XIII declared him a Doctor of the Church. — The One Year Book of Saints by Rev. Clifford Stevens
Familiar is his dictum: "If you jest with the devil, you cannot rejoice with Christ." Some of his sermons are read in the Breviary. Ravenna, his episcopal city, still harbors treasures of ancient Christian liturgical art dating to his day.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Dr. Kenneth Howell, the professor barred from teaching after a student complained about his explanation of the Catholic Church’s teaching on homosexuality, in a class on Catholicism, has been reinstated by the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC).
News spread rapidly of the censure earlier this month of Dr. Howell, whose scheduled classes next fall had been cancelled based on one student's (a student not even in the class, BTW) complaint that an email from the professor to students in the class explaining how homosexuality is incompatible with the natural moral law amounted to "hate speech."
The university was soon deluged with opposition from within UIUC and beyond. Even the school's Atheists, Agnostics, & Freethinkers group expressed outrage at the professor's silencing. Howell, who had taught "Introduction to Catholicism and Modern Catholic Thought" at the university's Department of Religion since 2001, had also taught at the school's diocesan-run Newman Center for 12 years.
The last thing (literally) anyone needs is another Planned Parenthood
Archbishop George Joseph Lucas of Omaha has released a statement asking "Catholics and all women and men of good will ... to oppose the opening" of a new Planned Parenthood facility in Omaha both by prayer and by petitioning their elected officials. It would be the first Omaha Planned Parenthood to provide abortion.
Planned Parenthood of the Heartland (PPH) has announced plans to open an abortuary at 3105 N. 93rd Street in Omaha, the archbishop explained, which "will include among its services the killing of unborn children through abortion."
The archbishop invited people to sign a petition, made by Nebraskans for Life and distributed to all Omaha parishes, expressing opposition to the new facility. Nebraskans for Life hopes to use the petition to demonstrate the need for City Council members and state lawmakers to intervene.
He also invited people to join him in prayer at the location of the planned abortuary on Saturday, July 31, 2010, at 1 p.m.
"Make your voice heard in opposition to the efforts of Planned Parenthood to expand the culture of violence and death in Omaha," he said.
The Saint of the Day for July 29 is St. Martha.
Martha was born of noble and wealthy parents, but she is still more illustrious for the hospitality she gave to Christ our Lord. After His Ascension into heaven, she was seized by the Jews, together with her brother and sister, Marcella her handmaid, and Maximin, one of the seventy two disciples of our Lord, who had baptized the whole family, and many other Christians. They were put on board a ship without sails or oars, and left helpless on the open sea, exposed to certain shipwreck. But God guided the ship, and they all arrived safely at Marseilles.
This miracle, together with their preaching, brought the people of Marseilles, of Aix, and of the neighborhood to believe in Christ. Lazarus was made Bishop of Marseilles and Maximin of Aix. Magdalen, who was accustomed to devote herself to prayer and to sit at our Lord's feet, in order to enjoy the better part which she had chosen, that is, contemplation of the joys of heaven, retired into a deserted cave on a very high mountain. There she lived for thirty years, separated from all human intercourse; and every day she was carried to heaven by the angels to hear their songs of praise.
But Martha, after having won the love and admiration of the people of Marseilles by the sanctity of her life and her wonderful charity, withdrew in the company of several virtuous women to a spot remote from men, where she lived for a long time, greatly renowned for her piety and prudence. She foretold her death long before it occurred; and at length, famous for miracles, she passed to our Lord on the fourth of the Kalends of August. Her body which lies at Tarascon is held in great veneration.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Unbelievable. Are the Arizona Bishops actually saying they support illegal activity?
After a federal judge blocked certain parts of the controversial Arizona immigration law – which is slated to go into effect tomorrow – the Catholic bishops of Arizona lauded the move, saying they “commend” the judge for prohibiting the “more problematic provisions” of the law.
The immigration law, otherwise known as SB 1070, has been a source of contention and debate among citizens across the U.S. because of media reports that the law made it a crime to be in the state illegally and allowed police to arrest and question suspected individuals about their status without a warrant. The law also reportedly criminalized transporting illegal immigrants anywhere in Arizona, even if by family members.
The Associated Press (AP) reported on July 28 that one day before SB 1070 took effect, Federal Judge Susan Bolton blocked the more controversial aspects of the law, such as sections that required officers to check a person's immigration status while enforcing other laws. The judge also removed mandates that required immigrants to carry their papers at all times and others that made it illegal for undocumented workers to seek employment in public places. Bolton additionally prevented officers without warrants from making arrests of suspected illegal immigrants.
Why do universities get away with ignoring the 1st amendment?
Attorneys will appeal a federal court decision issued Monday in a lawsuit filed on behalf of student Julea Ward against Eastern Michigan University (EMU) after it kicked out the Christian student for holding to her beliefs on homosexual conduct.
EMU dismissed Ward from its graduate counseling program in March 2009 for not affirming homosexual behavior as morally acceptable. Ward would not agree to change her religious beliefs about homosexual behavior or express a message contrary to them during counseling sessions as a condition to receiving a degree.
“Christian students shouldn’t be expelled for holding to and abiding by their beliefs,” said Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) Senior Counsel David French, who argued before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan last month. “To reach its decision, the court had to do something that’s never been done in federal court: uphold an extremely broad and vague university speech code.”
Excellent News. This was nothing but an attempt by Libs and Pro-aborts to silence any opposing opinions.
Democrat leaders in the U.S. Senate failed Tuesday afternoon to overcome a Republican filibuster on a campaign finance disclosure bill that critics say threatens the ability of grassroots political organizations, and the pro-life movement, to communicate effectively with voters during election cycles.
Democrats in the Senate could not muster all 60 "yes" votes they needed to break the GOP’s filibuster on the “Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections (DISCLOSE) Act” (S.3628). The Senate voted 57 – 41 for cloture, giving the bill its first defeat and making it very unlikely the measure will be resurrected before the Senate goes into recess.
Democrats’ hopes were dashed earlier in the day, when they learned today that their attempt to break the filibuster was all but doomed. Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) announced that he had to attend a family member’s funeral on the day of the vote, and Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), the one member of the GOP caucus Democrats were aggressively courting to break the filibuster, announced she would vote against cloture.
According to FOX News, Snowe described current Senate routine as a “ram and jam” process, and criticized the lack of hearings and attempts at building legislative consensus on the DISCLOSE Act.
With “overwhelming support,” a recent meeting of leaders in the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada (ACCC) voted to unite with the Roman Catholic Church through the Apostolic Constitution created by Pope Benedict XVI.
The ACCC, part of the Continuing Anglican Movement, is made up of more than two dozen congregations. Its Eighth Provincial Synod and Thirteenth Diocesan Synod were held simultaneously at the Rosemary Heights Retreat Center in Surrey, British Columbia.
The website VirtueOnline.org published a letter from Dean Shane B. Janzen detailing the event.
The meeting was attended by four ACCC bishops, including Bishop Peter Wilkinson, the communion’s Metropolitan and Ordinary. Archbishop John Hepworth, the Australia-based Primate of the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC), was also present.
The discussion included the House of Clergy and the House of Laity and focused on the implementation of a proposed Canadian Anglican Catholic Ordinariate under the Apostolic Constitution “Anglicanorum Coetibus.”
The Saint of the Day for July 28 is St. Victor I.
Date of birth unknown; pope from 189 to 199; died in 199, possibly martyrdom.
Victor was a native African and his father's name was Felix. He is known for having obtained the release of Christians who had been deported to the mines of Sardinia and for being the first Pope to celebrate the liturgy and write Church documents in Latin rather than Greek.
He is most famous, however, for decreeing that Easter be universally celebrated on a Sunday, a practice already common in the West, but not so in the East.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Women who rejected the “choice” to abort their babies will be bringing their children to Washington D.C. this week to tell Congress how thankful they are for the life-saving work of pregnancy help centers.
Babies Go to Congress, a Heartbeat International project, provides an opportunity for women to speak publicly, on Capitol Hill, about their gratitude for the support they received when faced with an unexpected pregnancy. Heartbeat International, founded in 1971, is a Christ-centered association of more than 1,100 pregnancy help centers, maternity homes, non-profit adoption agencies, pregnancy help medical clinics and abortion recovery programs in 50 countries.
One of the testifying moms, Danica Fountain of Arizona, says she felt pressured to abort her baby before she arrived at the Women’s Center of Tucson, a local pregnancy resource center. “I was absolutely shocked to see that this so called ‘blob of tissue,’ the term I so commonly heard people use when referencing a pregnancy this early on, was in fact a fully formed baby! She had a head, arms and legs," says Fountain.
“When I saw my baby’s heart beating I knew I would do anything to protect my child."
The Saint of the Day for July 27 is St. Panteleon.
St. Panteleon is the patron saint of bachelors and physicians. A lifelong layperson and single person, he was the physician to the emperor Maximian. At one point, he had abandoned his faith, but he eventually returned to the Church, giving his fortune to the poor and treating them medically without charge. Some of his cures were accomplished by prayer.
Other physicians eventually denounced him to the anti-Christian authorities. At his trial, he offered a contest between himself and the pagan priests. He challenged the pagan priests to heal a paralyzed man with their prayers, but they were unable. Pantaleon cured the man by simply mentioning the name of Jesus. As a result, many of those who witnessed the miracle converted.
The authorities remained resolute in trying to get him to denounce his faith with bribes, threat and torture, but they did not succeed. He was then nailed to a tree and beheaded in c.305.
Monday, July 26, 2010
The reclusive order, based near Avignon, were deemed to have the finest Gregorian Chant singers.
They have signed a deal with Decca Records, part of Universal Music, which counts Lady Gaga and U2 among its acts.
The nuns' ancient order dates back to the 6th Century and they follow a tradition of leading a hidden life behind closed doors.
I passed the contract through the grille, they signed it and passed it back”
End Quote Dickon Stainer Decca Records
The Reverend Mother Abbess said: "We never sought this, it came looking for us.
h/t Catholic Fire
The Saints of the Day for July 26 are Sts. Joachim and Anne.
Who does not know about the great shrine of Ste. Anne de Beaupre in Canada, where miracles abound, where cured cripples leave their crutches, and where people come from thousands of miles to pray to the grandmother of Jesus? At one time, July 26 was the feast of St. Anne only, but with the new calendar the two feasts of the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary have been joined and are celebrated today. Our information about Mary's parents comes from an apocryphal Christian writing, the Protoevangelium Jacobi (or Gospel of James), written about the year 170. According to this story, Joachim was a prominent and respected man who had no children, and he and his wife, Anne, looked upon this as a punishment from God. In answer to their prayers, Mary was born and was dedicated to God at a very early age.
From this early Christian writing have come several of the feast days of Mary, particularly the Immaculate Conception, the Nativity of Mary, and her Assumption into Heaven. Very early also came feast days in honor of SS. Joachim and Anne, and in the Middle Ages numerous churches, chapels, and confraternities were dedicated to St. Anne. The couple early became models of Christian marriage, and their meeting at the Golden Gate in Jerusalem has been a favorite subject of Christian artists.
Anne is often shown in paintings with Jesus and Mary and is considered a subject that attracts attention, since Anne is the grandmother of Jesus. Her two great shrines — that of Ste. Anne d'Auray in Britanny, France, and that of Ste. Anne de Beaupre near Quebec in Canada — are very popular. We know little else about the lives of Mary's parents, but considering the person of Mary, they must have been two very remarkable people to have been given such a daughter and to have played so important a part in the work of the Redemption.
There is a church of St. Anne in Jerusalem and it is believed to be built on the site of the home of SS. Joachim and Anne, when they lived in Jerusalem.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Angelina Jolie is CIA agent Evelyn Salt. One day, a Russian defector walks into the CIA and identifies Salt as a Russian agent. I was a bit surprised at how readily the CIA believed him, because she immediately becomes a fugitive. Even Ted Winter, her supervisor is pursuing her. It is soon revealed that she does indeed have an assignment, and the two questions are: will she carry out her assignment? and where do her loyalties lie? There a couple of unexpected twists that add to the suspense, and there is non-stop action. I very much enjoyed the movie, which was excellent, but I am undecided as to the ending. It is pretty open-ended and inconclusive, but leaves it almost a certainty that there will be a sequel, which is exactly what I'm hoping for :)
A documentary on the life of Archbishop Fulton Sheen is being shown in pre-release screenings across the country, as part of an effort to raise awareness of the late archbishop, whose cause for sainthood is currently underway.
The hour-long documentary, entitled, “Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen: Servant of All,” offers both entertainment and a powerful message of evangelization as it follows the life of the famous archbishop (1895-1979). The video includes the testimonies of dozens of individuals who were touched by the life of the archbishop. It also shows footage from his popular television program, “Life is Worth Living.” In his day, his show was one of the top shows on television.
Gaining a reputation as both a scholar and a man of God from a young age, Archbishop Sheen committed to praying a daily Holy Hour before the Eucharist after he was ordained a priest in 1919. It was a practice that he maintained for the remaining 60 years of his life, and it was to this daily Holy Hour that he attributed his success in spreading the Gospel.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Pope Benedict XVI's vacation time is now being dedicated to writing the third volume in what could safely be called the "Jesus of Nazareth" series. The new work will seek to shed light on the story of Jesus' childhood from the Gospels.
Fr. Federico Lombardi "broke" the official news in his weekly "Octava dies" editorial program for Vatican television although news had already spread that the Holy Father was working on an addition to the first two books. Some Italian journalists had reported that it would be a book, others a mere appendix to the previous two volumes. Fr. Lombardi referred to it as a "volume."
Following a first book on Jesus' public ministry and a second on the Passion and Resurrection, the Vatican spokesman said that "Benedict XVI has now laid his hands on the third and final part, dedicated to the 'Gospels of childhood'."
This is the same dissenter group that helped Barry get elected.
The pro-Obama group Catholics United has announced it is trying to raise $500,000 to support Democratic Congressional candidates who backed the health care legislation passed earlier this year. It aims to fund the monitoring of the activities of “the religious right” and to defend the candidates from campaigns by “Republican-affiliated” pro-life groups.
The group will support Democratic Reps. John Boccieri of Ohio, Kathy Dahlkemper of Pennsylvania, Steve Driehaus of Ohio and Tom Perriello of Virginia. Perriello was a co-founder of the group Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, which has shared connections and personnel with Catholics United.
The Saint of the Day for July 24 is St. Sharbel
Joseph Makhlouf was born in 1828 at Beqa-Kafra, Lebanon. His peasant family lived a strong faith, were attentive to the Divine Liturgy, and had a great devotion to the Mother of God.
At the age of 23, Charbel (the name he chose when entering Novitiate) left his closely knit family to enter the Lebanese-Maronite Monastery called Notre-Dame de Mayfouk. Following studies and profession at St. Cyprian de Kfifane Monastery, he was ordained in 1859.
For the next seven years, Charbel lived in the mountainous community of Anaya. After that he spent the next twenty-three years in complete solitude at Sts. Peter and Paul Hermitage near Anaya. He died there on Christmas Eve, 1898.
Charbel had a reputation for his austerity, penances, obedience, and chastity. At times, Charbel was gifted with levitations during prayer, and he had great devotion to the Most Blessed Sacrament.
In all things, Charbel maintained perfect serenity. He was beatified in 1965 by Pope Paul VI and canonized by Pope John Paul II in 1977.
On May 8, 1828 in a mountain village of Beka'kafra, the highest village in the near-east, Charbel was born to a poor Maronite family. From childhood his life revealed a calling to "bear fruit as a noble Cedar of Lebanon". Charbel "grew in age and wisdom before God and men." At 23 years old he entered the monastery of Our Lady of Mayfouk (north of Byblos) where he became a novice. After two years of novitiate, in 1853, he was sent to St. Maron monastery where he pronounced the monastic vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. Charbel was then transferred to the monastery of Kfeifan where he studied philosophy and theology. His ordination to the priesthood took place in 1859, after which he was sent back to St. Maron monastery. His teachers provided him with good education and nurtured within him a deep love for monastic life.
During his 19 years at St. Maron monastery, Charbel performed his priestly ministry and his monastic duties in an edifying way. He totally dedicated himself to Christ with undivided heart to live in silence before Nameless One. In 1875 Charbel was granted permission to live as a hermit nearby the monastery at St. Peter and Paul hermitage. His 23 years of solitary life were lived in a spirit of total abandonment to God.
Charbel's companions in the hermitage were the Sons of God, as encountered in the Scriptures and in the Eucharist, and the Blessed Mother. The Eucharist became the center of his life. He consumed the Bread of his Life and was consumed by it. Though this hermit did not have a place in the world, the world had a great place in his heart. Through prayer and penance he offered himself as a sacrifice so that the world would return to God. It is in this light that one sees the importance of the following Eucharistic prayer in his life:
"Father of Truth, behold Your Son a sacrifice pleasing to You, accept this offering of Him who died for me..."
On December 16, 1898 while reciting the "Father of Truth" prayer at the Holy Liturgy Charbel suffered a stroke. He died on Christmas Eve at the age of 70. Through faith this hermit received the Word of God and through love he continued the Ministry of Incarnation.
On the evening of his funeral, his superior wrote: "Because of what he will do after his death, I need not talk about his behavior". A few months after his death a bright light was seen surrounding his tomb. The superiors opened it to find his body still intact. Since that day a blood-like liquid flows from his body. Experts and doctors are unable to give medical explanations for the incorruptibility and flexibility. In the years 1950 and 1952 his tomb was opened and his body still had the appearance of a living one.
The spirit of Charbel still lives in many people. His miracles include numerous healings of the body and of the spirit. Thomas Merton, the American Hermit, wrote in his journal: "Charbel lived as a hermit in Lebanon—he was a Maronite. He died. Everyone forgot about him. Fifty years later, his body was discovered incorrupt and in short time he worked over 600 miracles. He is my new companion. My road has taken a new turning. It seems to me that I have been asleep for 9 years—and before that I was dead."
At the closing of the Second Vatican Council, on December 5, 1965 Charbel was beatified by Pope Paul VI who said:
"...a hermit of the Lebanese mountain is inscribed in the number of the blessed...a new eminent member of monastic sanctity is enriching, by his example and his intercession, the entire Christian people... May he make us understand, in a world largely fascinated by wealth and comfort, the paramount value of poverty, penance, and asceticism, to liberate the soul in its ascent to God..."
On October 9, 1977 during the World Synod of Bishops, Pope Paul VI canonized Blessed Charbel among the ranks of the Saints.
Friday, July 23, 2010
The magazine Panorama published this article to attack the Church, but I am glad that this behavior is being exposed, because it will give us a chance to get rid of this small percentage of priests that is smearing the Church and all priests.
After an Italian media report exposed sexual activity by gay priests in Rome, the Vicariate of Rome responded quickly by calling on all priests who are leading such "double lives" to come out and leave the priesthood for the good of the Church community.
The Italian weekly magazine Panorama ran a feature story on Friday morning titled, "The wild nights of gay priests." The article tracks three supposed priests, monitoring their behavior in gay nightclubs and soliciting them for sexual encounters by way of male prostitutes hired by the magazine.
The author, Carmelo Abbate, claims to have everything on tape, including the sexual acts and the same priests celebrating Mass. Panorama, considered a socialist magazine, has set up priests before using false requests for the Sacrament of Confession to "poll" what they teach on moral or political issues and then publish the results.
Mikael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander are back in the third story of the Millenium trilogy. Elizabeth is accused of 3 murders. She is currently in the hospital under guard, and will then be transferred to jail to await trial. As she recovers, Mikael tries to prove her innocence. He enlists help from Amansky, his Millenium staff, and a couple of police (the ones he can trust). It is no understatement that there was, and is, a conspiracy against Lisbeth and it leads higher than anyone expected, to a secret group called "the Section" within the Swedish secret police.
Lisbeth and Mikael also get some help from Plague and Trinity, a couple of hacker friends of Lisbeth. Ultimately, to clear her name, she must again face the people and events of her past... for the final time.
Larsson does an excellent job of building suspense. The "Section" will do anything to stop Mikael and Lisbeth, but it is evident that this time, Mikael is well prepared because he knows what they're up against. I love the way that bits of Swedish culture are mentioned throughout the story. Once again, someone is drinking coffee in almost every scene :) This was clearly the best of the trilogy.
There are numerous content warnings: objectionable language (the F word is used throughout), a few sex scenes are mentioned but not described in any detail and scenes of violence.
It has been a year in the making, but the first 1,000 MP3 players prepared by the host of a Catholic radio program are making their way to Catholic troops and wounded soldiers.
They're not just any MP3 players, though. They're "filled with Catholic content," according to Cheri Lomonte, host of the Gabriel Award-winning radio program "Mary's Touch" and the force behind a project she calls "Frontline Faith."
The intent of the distribution program is to provide Catholic inspirational messages and recordings to tide Catholic soldiers over between the infrequent visits of a Catholic chaplain to battle zones in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Saint of the Day for July 23 is St. Bridget of Sweden.
Bridget was born in Sweden of noble and pious parents, and led a most holy life. While she was yet unborn, her mother was saved from shipwreck for her sake. At ten years of age, Bridget heard a sermon on the Passion of our Lord; and the next night she saw Jesus on the cross, covered with fresh blood, and speaking to her about his Passion. Thenceforward meditation on that subject affected her to such a degree, that she could never think of our Lord's sufferings without tears.
She was given in marriage to Ulfo prince of Nericia; and won him, by example and persuasion, to a life of piety. She devoted herself with maternal love to the education of her children. She was most zealous in serving the poor, especially the sick; and set apart a house for their reception, where she would often wash and kiss their feet. Together with her husband, she went on pilgrimage to Compostella, to visit the tomb of the apostle St. James. On their return journey, Ulfo fell dangerously ill at Arras; but St. Dionysius, appearing to Bridget at night, foretold the restoration of her husband's health, and other future events.
Ulfo became a Cistercian monk, but died soon afterwards. Whereupon Bridget, having heard the voice of Christ calling her in a dream, embraced a more austere manner of life. Many secrets were then revealed to her by God. She founded the monastery of Vadstena under the rule of our Savior, which was given her by our Lord himself. At his command, she went to Rome, where she kindled the love of God in very many hearts. She made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem; but on her return to Rome she was attacked by fever, and suffered severely from sickness during a whole year. On the day she had foretold, she passed to heaven, laden with merits. Her body was translated to her monastery of Vadstena; and becoming illustrious for miracles, she was enrolled among the saints by Boniface IX.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Why have universities become so anti-Christian?
Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) filed suit against Augusta State University Wednesday on behalf of a counseling student who was allegedly told that her Christian beliefs are unethical and incompatible with the prevailing views of the counseling profession. The student, Jennifer Keeton, says she has been told to stop communicating her beliefs and that she must undergo "training" to accept homosexuality in order to graduate from the counseling program.
Augusta State ordered Keeton to undergo a re-education plan, in which she must attend “diversity sensitivity training,” complete additional remedial reading, and write papers to describe their impact on her beliefs. If she does not change her beliefs or agree to the plan, the university says it will expel her from the Counselor Education Program.
In response to a lawsuit filed on behalf of a Catholic professor who was barred from teaching after he explained Catholic teaching on homosexuality to the students in a class on Catholicism, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) has defended the decision by saying that the professor was not actually "fired" - he's just not allowed to teach any more classes.
UIUC administration has reportedly been deluged with outraged emails and phone calls after news broke that Dr. Kenneth Howell was abruptly disallowed to teach after a student complained about an e-mail in which Howell outlined the arguments for how homosexual behavior is contrary to natural moral law - words the student deemed "hate speech." The remarks were made in the context of an email to students in a class on Catholicism; Howell had taught classes on Catholicism at the school and its Catholic Newman Center for several years.
Chris Smith is a true pro-life hero.
Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) is planning to introduce the "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act" on July 29. If passed, this bill would establish as permanent many of the pro-life policies that currently rely on regular congressional re-approval, and which are attached as riders to annual appropriations bills.
"This 'as needed' approach," wrote Rep. Smith in a letter to his colleagues, "usually results in a debate over abortion funding anytime Congress considers health-related legislation."
Smith’s proposed legislation would make permanent the Hyde amendment, which prohibits funding for elective abortions through any program funded by the annual Labor, Health, and Human Services Appropriations Act.
The Saint of the Day for July 22 is St. Mary Magdalene.
The feast of St. Mary Magdalene is considered one of the most mystical of feasts, and it is said that of all the songs of the saints, that of Mary Magdalene is the sweetest and strongest because her love was so great. That love was praised by Jesus Himself who said that because much was forgiven her, she loved much. Where she is buried, no one knows. Legend has her dying in Provence, France, in a cavern where she spent her last days, and her body resting in the chapel of St. Maximin in the Maritime Alps. Another has her buried in Ephesus where she went with St. John after the Resurrection. This latter view is more likely, and St. Willibald, the English pilgrim to the Holy Land in the eighth century, was shown her tomb there.
She was the first witness to the resurrection of Jesus, His most ardent and loving follower. She had stood with Mary at the foot of the Cross on that brutal Good Friday afternoon and had been by the side of Mary during these difficult hours. On Easter morning, she went with the other women to the tomb and it was there, in the garden near the tomb, that Jesus appeared to her. It was she who brought the news of the Resurrection to the Apostles, and Peter and John raced to the tomb to see what had happened.
She was from Magadala, a small fishing town on the Sea of Galilee, between Capernaum and Tiberias. She was known to be a "great sinner," a woman of the streets who heard Jesus speak of the mercy and forgiveness of God and changed her life completely. Her matter-of-fact witness to the Resurrection moved Peter and John to go and see for themselves: "I have seen the Lord and these things he said to me." Jesus had chosen her to bring the news to them and she simply told them what had happened.
She has always been the example of great love and great forgiveness, one of those close to Jesus who grasped the truth of God's love for human beings and spent her life bearing witness to that love.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
A Mexican man is claiming responsibility for the cyber attack that made Google direct any search using the word “vaticano” to the website pedofilo.com. In what some might call a publicity stunt, Efrain Ibarra Ibarra of the technology company Guion Bajo in Monterrey, Mexico admitted he was the one behind the “Google bombing.”
Ibarra admitted in a blog posting that he was responsible for the attacks and said his “purpose was to denounce the church, and that was one way using many websites that I have. Greetings from Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico.”
CNA’s IT director, Jose Zapata, said the Holy See was not “technically hacked,” but rather was the target of what is known as “Google bombing,” which consists of manipulating the search results of a particular word.
I'm a real fan of Lino and his "Catholic Guy" show.
Climbing the Holy Stairs on one's knees, getting a blessing from Pope Benedict XVI, visiting dark catacombs and downing green Sambuca and mounds of pasta carbonara well past midnight.
That's just a small sampling from the itinerary of a new and rather novel Italian pilgrimage led by U.S. radio talk show host, "The Catholic Guy," Lino Rulli.
Rulli and 40 listeners of his nationally broadcast radio show traveled with Father Rob Keighron of St. Helen Church, Howard Beach, N.Y., to have what Rulli called "the best and the worst pilgrimage in the world."
Disappointing, but not unexpected
The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee has approved the nomination of Elena Kagan to the U.S. Supreme Court by a vote of 13-6, after two hours of further debate. The full Senate will now have to take up the task of confirming Kagan, President Obama’s choice to succeed the retiring Associate Justice John Paul Stevens.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) broke ranks with fellow Republicans on the committee to cast the only GOP vote in favor of Kagan. Graham had sent signals that he would support Kagan, despite her leftist ideological leanings. Committee Democrats were unanimous in their support.
"What's in Elena Kagan's heart is that of a good person who adopts a philosophy I disagree with," Graham said. However, he said that Kagan showed him she was “qualified” to fill the vacancy on the court.
"She will serve this nation honorably, and it would not have been someone I would have chosen, but the person who did choose, President Obama, I think chose wisely," said Graham.
However, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) disagreed, and said to his colleagues that Kagan’s judicial philosophy was a serious issue, because it would inform how she interprets and respects the laws and Constitution of the United States.
The Saint of the Day for July 21 is St. Lawrence of Brindisi.
His name was Julius Caesar, and he was born at Brindisi in the kingdom of Naples in 1559. Educated in Venice at the College of St. Mark, he entered the Capuchins and was given the name Lawrence. Finishing his studies at the University of Padua, he showed a flair for languages, mastering Hebrew, Greek, German, Bohemian, Spanish, and French, and showed an extraordinary knowledge of the text of the Bible.
While still a deacon, St. Lawrence of Brindisi became known as an excellent preacher and after his ordination startled the whole of northern Italy with his amazing sermons. Sent into Germany by the pope to establish Capuchin houses, he became chaplain to Emperor Rudolf II and had a remarkable influence on the Christian soldiers fighting the Muslims when they were threatening Hungary in 1601. Through his efforts, the Catholic League was formed to give solidarity to the Catholic cause in Europe. Sent by the emperor to persuade Philip III of Spain to join the League, he established a Capuchin friary in Madrid. He also brought peace between Spain and the kingdom of Savoy.
His compassion for the poor, the needy, and the sick was legendary. Elected minister-general of his order in 1602, he made the Capuchins a major force in the Catholic Restoration, visiting every friary in the thirty-four provinces of the order and directing the work of nine thousand friars. He himself was a dominant figure in carrying out the work of the Council of Trent and was described by Pope Benedict XV as having earned "a truly distinguished place among the most outstanding men ever raised up by Divine Providence to assist the Church in time of distress."
In 1619, he undertook a journey to see King Philip III of Spain on behalf of the oppressed people of Naples who were ruled by a tyrannical governor. Lawrence reached Lisbon where the king was residing, and it was there that his last illness overtook him. His body was carried back to Spain and buried in the church of the Poor Clares at Villafranca del Bierzo.
Lawrence was canonized by Pope Leo XIII in 1881 and declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope John XXIII in 1959.