Part of evangelization .. a significant part .. is being clear. it means nothing to wax eloquent on a given point if no one really 'gets' what you mean. It is also a very bad practice for Church leaders to deliberately muddy the waters with nuanced language and phrases. What's needed is a little clarity.
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Truth doesn't change.
Monday, January 31, 2011
You can't have it both ways 'Sister' Keehan...first you insisted Obamacare didn't include abortion (knowing full well that it does), and now you're applauding efforts to remove it? What a farce....at least Pitts supports life consistently.
After causing a major stir last year by claiming that President Obama’s health reform law did not fund abortion - in contradiction to position of the U.S. Bishops and every major pro-life group - the Catholic Health Association (CHA) has now backed a bill that would amend the law to prevent government-funded abortion in health care.
In a January 24th letter to Rep. Joe Pitts, who sponsored the Protect Life Act, CHA President and CEO Sr. Carol Keehan says she applauds his “efforts to ensure the protection of the unborn and of providers’ conscience rights.” You should try it sometime 'sister'.
Pitt’s legislation was unveiled last week along with the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” (HR 3), which would establish a permanent government-wide ban on federal funding of abortion.
For 13 years, the Kansas law banning abortions of viable unborn children has been thwarted by abortionists and the state Health department. With a new pro-life governor and pro-life dominated House, however, that situation is about to end.
Gov. Sam Brownback’s new Health (KDHE) Secretary, Dr. Robert Moser, told the Associated Press Monday that his department’s interpretation of a law requiring physicians to file late-term abortion reports is different than how the law has been enforced in the past.
Moser said doctors must spell out the medical reasons. “It’s pretty straightforward,” he said. “We’re not looking at changing the forms at all. They’re adequate. It’s just the information that needs to be provided in there needs to be accurate, just like any other reporting form. That’s all we’re looking for — accuracy.”
The Saint of the Day for January 31 is St. John Bosco.
John Bosco was born near Castelnuovo in the archdiocese of Turin, Italy, in 1815. His father died when John was only two years old and it was his mother Margaret who provided him with a good humanistic and Christian education. His early years were financially difficult but at the age of twenty he entered the major seminary, thanks to the financial help received from Louis Guala, founder and rector of the ecclesiastical residence St. Francis of Assisi in Turin. John Bosco was ordained a priest on June 5, 1846, and with the help of John Borel he founded the oratory of St. Francis de Sales.
At this time the city of Turin was on the threshold of the industrial revolution and as a result there were many challenges and problems, especially for young men. Gifted as he was as an educator and a leader, Don Bosco formulated a system of education based on "reason, religion and kindness." In spite of the criticism and violent attacks of the anti-clericals, he conducted workshops for the tradesmen and manual laborers, schools of arts and sciences for young workers, and schools of the liberal arts for those preparing for the priesthood. In 1868 there were 800 students involved in this educational system. To ensure the continuation of his work, Don Bosco founded the Society of St. Francis de Sales (Salesians), which was approved in 1869. Also, with the help of Sister Mary Dominic Mazzarello, he founded the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Auxiliatrix.
In 1875 a wave of emigration to Latin America began, and this prompted the inauguration of the Salesian missionary apostolate. Don Bosco became a traveller throughout Europe, seeking funds for the missions. Some of the reports referred to him as "the new St. Vincent de Paul." He also found time to write popular catechetical pamphlets, which were distributed throughout Italy, as was his Salesian Bulletin. This great apostle of youth died on January 31, 1888, and was canonized by Pope Pius XI in 1934. Pope John Paul II named him "teacher and father to the young."
Excerpted from Saints of the Roman Calendar by Enzo Lodi
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Based on a true story.
The central character is Michael Kovak, a seminarian student who questions his faith. But before he leaves the seminary, he agrees to attend an exorcism course in Rome. It is there that he meets Fr. Luca (Anthony Hopkins), an experienced exorcist. While working with Fr. Luca, Michael participates in several exorcisms and comes face to face with the devil. Michael is ultimately required to perform an exorcism on a most unexpected person and realizes that believing in God and His power over evil is necessary to overcome evil. Fr. Gary Thomas, upon whom Michael's character is based, is still an active exorcist in the Chicago area.
EWTN has been praising this film as being accurate about exorcisms. Indeed, it is a very good movie and there is no Catholic bashing. Anthony Hopkins is stellar as Fr. Luca.
Saturday, January 29, 2011
As clashes between anti-government protesters and Egyptian police intensified on Jan. 28, some Coptic Orthodox Christians disregarded their church's call for peaceful non-involvement – in hopes that the possible abdication of President Hosni Mubarak could advance the cause of their freedom.
Professor Emad Shahin, a political scientist at the University of Notre Dame, specializes in Islamic affairs and has been monitoring the Egyptian situation closely. He told CNA that many Coptic Christians were joining with Muslims to express their frustration with three decades of authoritarian rule.
“The different statements that called for today's demonstrations were calling on participants to come 'from the mosques and the churches,' to go to public squares,” Professor Shahin explained. “We have seen evidence that some Copts have been participating in the demonstrations.”
The protesters, he said, “need an end to corruption. They need the rule of law. They call for freedoms, and dignity – for social justice, and of course, for democracy.”
Officially, however, “the Egyptian Church is taking a separate side – it's not really participating, or encouraging its members to participate in the events.”
The Saint of the Day for January 29 is St. Gildas.
He was probably born about 517, provably in the North of England or Wales. His father's name was Cau (or Nau) and that he came from noble lineage. He probably had several brothers. It is likely that one of these, Cuil (or Hueil), was killed by King Arthur (who died in 537 AD). It also appears that he may have forgiven Arthur for this.
He lived in a time when the glory of Rome was faded from Britain. The permanent legions had been withdrawn by Maximus, who used them to sack Rome itself and make himself Emperor.
He was noted for his piety and well educated, and was not afraid of publicly rebuking contemporary monarchs, at a time when libel was answered by a sword, rather than a Court order.
Gildas lived for many years as a very ascetic hermit on Flatholm Island in the Bristol Channel. Here he established his reputation for that peculiar Celtic sort of holiness that consists of extreme self-denial and isolation. At around this time, according to the Welsh, he also preached to Nemata, the mother of St David, while she was pregnant with the Saint.
In about 547 he wrote a book De Excidio Britanniae (The Destruction of Britain). In this he writes a brief tale of the island from pre-Roman times and criticizes the rulers of the island for their lax morals and blames their sins (and those that follow them) for the destruction of civilization in Britain. The book was avowedly written as a moral tale.
He also wrote a longer work, the Epistle. This is a series of sermons on the moral laxity of rulers and of the clergy. In these Gildas shows that he has a wide reading of the Bible and of some other classical works.
He was also a very influential preacher, visiting Ireland and doing much missionary work. He was responsible for the conversion of much of the island and may be the one who introduced anchorite customs to the monks of that land.
He retired from Llancarfan to Rhuys, in Brittany, where he founded a monastery. Of his work on the running of a monastery (one of the earliest known in the Christian Church), only the so-called Penitential, a guide for Abbots in setting punishment, survives.
He died around 571, at Rhuys. The monastery that he had founded became the center of his cult.
He is regarded as being one of the most influential figures of the early English Church. The influence of his writing was felt until well into the middle ages, particularly in the Celtic Church. He is also important to us today as the first British writer whose works have survived fairly intact.
Friday, January 28, 2011
President Barack Obama has selected a pro-abortion activist from Minnesota to lead the multibillion dollar Global Health Initiative the State Department is sponsoring. The move adds to the pro-abortion record Obama has crafted since taking over the White House in January 2009.
According to the Associated Press, State Department officials confirmed Wednesday that Lois Quam will become the executive director of the GHI.
Quam is a former UnitedHealth Group executive who is married to Matt Entenza, a former state legislator who lost his bid to become the Democratic nominee for governor of Minnesota to Mark Dayton last year. Quam also was a senior adviser to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on her health care task force in the 1990s that promoted a government takeover of health care including taxpayer funding of abortions and rationing.
The Saint of the Day for January 28 is St. Thomas Aquinas.
St. Thomas ranks among the greatest writers and theologians of all time. His most important work, the Summa Theologiae, an explanation and summary of the entire body of Catholic teaching, has been standard for centuries, even to our own day. At the Council of Trent it was consulted after the Bible.
To a deeply speculative mind, he joined a remarkable life of prayer, a precious memento of which has been left to us in the Office of Corpus Christi. Reputed as great already in life, he nevertheless remained modest, a perfect model of childlike simplicity and goodness. He was mild in word and kind in deed. He believed everyone was as innocent as he himself was. When someone sinned through weakness, Thomas bemoaned the sin as if it were his own. The goodness of his heart shone in his face, no one could look upon him and remain disconsolate. How he suffered with the poor and the needy was most inspiring. Whatever clothing or other items he could give away, he gladly did. He kept nothing superfluous in his efforts to alleviate the needs of others.
After he died his lifelong companion and confessor testified, "I have always known him to be as innocent as a five-year-old child. Never did a carnal temptation soil his soul, never did he consent to a mortal sin." He cherished a most tender devotion to St. Agnes, constantly carrying relics of this virgin martyr on his person. He died in 1274, at the age of fifty, in the abbey of Fossa Nuova. He is the patron saint of schools and of sacred theology.
Excerpted from The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch
Thursday, January 27, 2011
It is very sad that it would be necessary to describe a Bishop as pro-life....that should be a unanimous position of ALL bishops.
Unabashed pro-life Bishop Robert Vasa of Baker, Oregon, has been appointed as Coadjutor Bishop of Santa Rosa, California by Pope Benedict XVI. Fittingly, the appointment was announced in Washington, D.C. on Monday, the day of the National March for Life.
Bishop Vasa (pronounced Vasha) will be installed as coadjutor bishop to Bishop Daniel F. Walsh, and will automatically replace Walsh upon his retirement, which is expected to happen within the year.
Whereas the diocese of Baker, where he has been since January 2000, has a Catholic population of about 36,000, his new diocese currently has about 170,000 faithful.
The bishop is well known not only for his strong pro-life stance, but also for demanding that Catholics uphold moral standards in all areas of public life.
In 2004, Vasa began requiring all lay volunteers in his diocese to make an affirmation of fidelity to the Church. He has been known to deny communion to pro-abortion politicians and uphold the Church’s right to excommunicate.
I am so sick of the ACLU attacking peoples' right to worship. It's even more sad that so many groups just give in to them.
Fearing a possible court challenge, Hawaii's state Senate has voted to silence the daily prayer offered before each session began — making it the first state legislative body in the nation to halt the practice.
A citizen's complaint had prompted the American Civil Liberties Union last summer to send the Senate a letter noting that its invocations often referenced Jesus Christ, contravening the separation of church and state.
That prompted the state attorney general's office to advise the Senate that their handling of prayers — by inviting speakers from various religions to preach before every session — wouldn't survive a likely court challenge, said Democratic Majority Leader Brickwood Galuteria.
"Above all, our responsibility is to adhere to the Constitution," Galuteria said after Thursday's vote to halt the daily blessings. Agreed...so let's review the 1st amendment:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
It says NOTHING about people not being able to freely worship. In fact, it says clearly that they should NOT be prohibited from doing so.
The Saint of the Day for January 27 is St. Angela Merici.
The saint was born in 1474 in the diocese of Verona. Early in life she dedicated herself to Christ as His bride. After the death of her parents, she desired to live solely for God in quiet and solitude, but her uncle insisted that she manage his household. She renounced her patrimony in order to observe most perfectly the rule for Franciscan Tertiaries.
During a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 1524, she lost her eyesight temporarily. Pope Clement VII, whom she visited in Rome, desired her to remain in the Holy City. Later she founded a society for girls, under the protection of St. Ursula; this was the beginning of the Ursuline Order. St. Angela was almost seventy when she died; her body remained incorrupt for thirty days. Remarkable phenomena occurred at her burial in the Church of St. Afra.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
President Barack Obama delivered a State of the Union speech last night that was long on political rhetoric on other political topics but essentially ignored pro-life issues at a time when they are prominent on the minds of Americans.
Just one day after hundreds of thousands of people participated in the March for Life in the nation’s capital and on the heels of the national controversy surrounding the arrest of grisly abortion practitioner Kermit Gosnell and his staffers — who killed and injured women in abortions and killed babies via infanticide shortly after their purposeful premature birth — Obama mentioned nothing about abortion.
Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, a pro-life advocate, delivered the Republican response and he mentioned that protecting human life is part of the proper role of the federal government.
“We believe government’s role is both vital and limited — to defend the nation from attack and provide for the common defense … to secure our borders … to protect innocent life,” he said.
The Saints of the Day for January 26 are Sts. Timothy and Titus.
Timothy was Paul's dearest disciple, his most steadfast associate. He was converted during the apostle's first missionary journey. When Paul revisited Lystra, Timothy, though still very young (about twenty) joined him as a co-worker and companion. Thereafter, there existed between them a most intimate bond, as between father and son. St. Paul calls him his beloved child, devoted to him "like a son to his father" (Phil. 2:22). Of a kindly disposition, unselfish, prudent, zealous, he was a great consolation to Paul, particularly in the sufferings of his later years. He also assisted the apostle in the establishment of all the major Christian communities and was entrusted with missions of highest importance. Timothy was with Paul during his first Roman imprisonment. Paul made his self-sacrificing companion bishop of Ephesus, but the finest monument left him by his master are the two canonical Epistles bearing his name.
St. Titus, a pagan by birth, became one of St. Paul's most illustrious disciples. He accompanied the apostle on several of his missionary journeys and was entrusted with important missions. Finally he came with St. Paul to the island of Crete, where he was appointed bishop. He performed this duty in accordance with the admonition given him, ". . . in all things show yourself an example of good works" (Tit. 2:7).
Tradition tells us that he died a natural death at the age of 94, having lived in the state of virginity during his whole life. St. Paul left a worthy monument to Titus, his faithful disciple, in the beautiful pastoral letter which forms part of the New Testament. Today's feast in his honor was introduced in 1854.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Pope Benedict XVI strongly condemned the Jan. 24 terrorist attack at a Moscow airport, which took the lives of 35 people. He also sent his deep condolences to the families of the victims.
The Pope joined with the Russian people and others mourning the loss of their loved ones by sending a telegram to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. In Moscow, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin declared Wednesday, Jan. 26 to be a day of mourning for the city.
The telegram, sent by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone in the Pope's name, said that the attack has caused Pope Benedict “profound suffering” and that he firmly condemns this “serious act of violence.”
The Pope asked Medvedev “to transmit his sentiments of spiritual closeness and deep condolences” to the relatives of the 35 people who were killed and 180 who were injured in what authorities believe to be a terrorist attack by Islamic separatists at Moscow's Domodedovo Airport.
He prayed to God that he would give “heavenly comfort to those who mourn their tragic loss,” including those who were injured.
And I bet you didn't hear a word about it in the "main stream media". But you would have if it were a pro-abort march.
Hundreds of thousands of people packed the National Mall in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 24 to show their support for the human rights of the unborn at the annual March for Life.
This year's march marked the 38th anniversary of the Supreme Court's decision in Roe v. Wade.
For the first time ever, the morning rally events that preceded the March for Life took place at two locations – the Verizon Center and D.C. Armory – to accommodate larger-than-usual crowds. Growing youth participation, possibly assisted by online social media, has nearly quadrupled the size of the march during the past decade.
Fr. Mark Ivany, a priest from Bethesda, Md., told the crowd at the Verizon center on the morning of the march that they were speaking on behalf of those who would never be able to speak for themselves.
"The greatest difference between other civil rights movements and this one,” Fr. Ivany reflected solemnly, “is that most of the people affected by Roe v. Wade can't march on Washington. They can't give great speeches.”
January 25 is the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul.
St. Paul was born at Tarsus, Cilicia, of Jewish parents who were descended from the tribe of Benjamin. He was a Roman citizen from birth. As he was "a young man" at the stoning of Stephen and "an old man" when writing to Philemon, about the year 63, he was probably born around the beginning of the Christian era.
To complete his schooling, St. Paul was sent to Jerusalem, where he sat at the feet of the learned Gamaliel and was educated in the strict observance of the ancestral Law. Here he also acquired a good knowledge of exegesis and was trained in the practice of disputation. As a convinced and zealous Pharisee, he returned to Tarsus before the public life of Christ opened in Palestine.
Some time after the death of Our Lord, St. Paul returned to Palestine. His profound conviction made his zeal develop to a religious fanaticism against the infant Church. He took part in the stoning of the first martyr, St. Stephen, and in the fierce persecution of the Christians that followed.
Entrusted with a formal mission from the high priest, he departed for Damascus to arrest the Christians there and bring them bound to Jerusalem. As he was nearing Damascus, about noon, a light from heaven suddenly blazed round him. Jesus with His glorified body appeared to him and addressed him, turning him away from his apparently successful career.
An immediate transformation was wrought in the soul of St. Paul. He was suddenly converted to the Christian Faith. He was baptized, changed his name from Saul to Paul, and began travelling and preaching the Faith. He was martyred as an Apostle in Rome around 65 AD.
Monday, January 24, 2011
The Annual March for Life is taking place today in Washington D.C.
Thousands are expected to mark the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Thousands are expected to participate.
In 2011 and 2012, the anniversary date of the Roe v. Wade decision will fall on a weekend, a time when lawmakers are typically away from Washington. We want to make sure that our pro-life pilgrimage to our nation’s capitol has maximum impact on our elected leaders; and that our Marchers have an opportunity to visit with their Congressional delegations in order to press their pro-life message. For those reasons, we have scheduled the March for Life to be held on Monday, January 24, 2011, and Monday, January 23, 2012. As usual, EWTN is providing full coverage.
On the 38th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton Supreme Court decisions that allowed virtually unlimited abortion, President Barack Obama released a statement celebrating them, despite the 53 million abortions taking place since then.
Obama said the decisions offer protection for women’s health even though significant medical research and millions of personal experiences of women show abortions pose major medical and mental health risks for women, sometimes including death. The real irony is that Barry and the pro-aborts pretend to be "for women".
The statement has Obama, who has crafted a lengthy pro-abortion record, saying he is committed to protecting the so-called right to abortion and he claimed he would promote abortion despite his administration doing nothing to promote abortion alternatives and de-funding abstinence education programs preventing unplanned pregnancies and abortions.
The Saint of the Day for January 24 is St. Francis de Sales.
Francis was born on August 21, 1567, and ordained to the priesthood in 1593. From 1594 to 1598 he labored at the difficult and dangerous task of preaching to the Protestants of Chablais and effected the return of some 70,000 souls to the Catholic faith. In 1602 he became bishop of Genf. His zeal for souls is attested in 21,000 extant letters and 4,000 sermons which exemplify how he applied St. Paul's words: "I have become all things to all men." You may epitomize his character in two words, kindliness and lovableness — virtues that were the secret of his success. His writings reflect his kindheartedness and sweet disposition.
Most widely known is the saint's Introduction to the Devout Life, which, with the Imitation of Christ, is rightly considered the finest outline of Christian perfection. Francis' Introduction proves to the world that true piety makes persons amiable, lovable and happy. A renowned and holy friendship existed between him and St. Frances de Chantal. In cooperation with her he founded the Visitation Nuns in 1610. Out of love for his own poor diocese, he refused opportunities for advancement, including the cardinalate. In recognition of the Introduction and his other writings, Francis has been declared a doctor of the Church.
How Francis developed a gentle and amiable disposition is a story in itself; he was not born a saint. By nature his temperament was choleric, fiery; little was needed to throw him into a state of violent anger. It took years before he mastered his impatience, his unruly temper. Even after he became bishop, there were slips, as for instance, when someone rang a bell before he had finished preaching. The important point, of course, is that by constant perseverance he did in time attain perfect self-mastery. Wherein lies a lesson.
Saturday, January 22, 2011
Father Gary Thomas, whose real life experience as an exorcist-in-training is chronicled in the highly anticipated movie “The Rite,” praised the film for its positive portrayal of the Church and for its witness to the power of faith.
The movie, starring Oscar winner Anthony Hopkins and newcomer Colin O’Donoghue, is loosely based on Fr. Thomas' experience traveling to Rome and studying under an Italian exorcist in 2005.
Set to hit screens on Jan 28., “The Rite” follows skeptical seminary student Michael Kovak (O’Donoghue), who is sent to study exorcism at the Vatican in spite of his own doubts. Anthony Hopkins plays a character by the name of Fr. Lucas – an Italian priest and veteran exorcist – who befriends Michael and helps open his eyes to reality of demon possession and the need for rite in the modern world.
The Saint of the Day for January 22 is St. Vincent of Saragossa.
Vincent of Saragossa was one of the Church's three most illustrious deacons, the other two being Stephen and Lawrence. He is also Spain's most renowned martyr. Ordained deacon by Bishop Valerius of Saragossa, he was taken in chains to Valencia during the Diocletian persecution and put to death. From legend we have the following details of his martyrdom. After brutal scourging in the presence of many witnesses, he was stretched on the rack; but neither torture nor blandishments nor threats could undermine the strength and courage of his faith. Next, he was cast on a heated grating, lacerated with iron hooks, and seared with hot metal plates. Then he was returned to prison, where the floor was heavily strewn with pieces of broken glass. A heavenly brightness flooded the entire dungeon, filling all who saw it with greatest awe.
After this he was placed on a soft bed in the hope that lenient treatment would induce apostasy, since torture had proven ineffective. But strengthened by faith in Christ Jesus and the hope of everlasting life, Vincent maintained an invincible spirit and overcame all efforts, whether by fire, sword, rack, or torture to induce defection. He persevered to the end and gained the heavenly crown of martyrdom. —The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch
Friday, January 21, 2011
Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to pack the National Mall in Washington, D.C. to declare their commitment to the unborn at the 38th annual March for Life.
This year's march will be held Monday, Jan. 24. Nellie Gray, the March for Life's 85-year-old founder and organizer, is expecting 400,000 demonstrators to attend the event.
The march has occurred every January since 1974. It originated in October of 1973, among a group of citizens who were convinced that the Supreme Court's decision in Roe v. Wade – handed down on Jan. 22 of that year – was a grievous violation of both constitutional and moral principles.
That decision by the high court found that an implicit legal “right to privacy” prevented the states from outlawing abortion, although they had commonly done so throughout U.S. history. There have been, by many estimates, approximately 50 million abortions in the United States since the Roe decision.
These must be some of those "safe and legal" abortions the pro-aborts keep telling us about.
One word: inhuman
A massive, photograph-laden Grand Jury Report released Wednesday has detailed the bone-chilling practices of a Philadelphia abortionist, who clinic workers testified had delivered “hundreds” of living, breathing newborn children before severing their spinal cords or slitting their necks to complete the abortions.
Abortionist Kermit Gosnell was arrested Wednesday for eight counts of murder. One of the charges was for the botched-abortion death of 41-year-old Karnamaya Mongar, a Nepalese refugee. The other seven were for children who police had discovered, by examining their remains, had been born alive and then killed.
District Attorney R. Seth Williams released the 281-page report that was the basis for the murder charges against Gosnell and nine of his associates. Included in that report were photos of some of Gosnell’s victims.
The Saint of the Day for January 21 is St. Agnes.
Agnes is one of the most glorious saints in the calendar of the Roman Church. The greatest Church Fathers vie with one another in sounding her praise and glory. St. Jerome writes: "All nations, especially their Christian communities, praise in word and writing the life of St. Agnes. She triumphed over her tender age as well as over the merciless tyrant. To the crown of spotless innocence she added the glory of martyrdom."
Our saint's name should be traced to the Greek hagne - the pure, rather than to the Latin agna - lamb. But the Latin derivation prevailed in the early Church. The reason may have been that eight days after her death Agnes appeared to her parents with a train of virgins, and a lamb at her side. St. Augustine knew both derivations. "Agnes", he writes, "means 'lamb' in Latin, but in Greek it denotes 'the pure one'". The Latin interpretation occasioned the yearly blessing of the St. Agnes lambs; it takes place on this day in the Church of which she is patron, and the wool is used in weaving the palliums worn by archbishops and, through privilege, by some bishops. In the church built by the Emperor Constantine over the saint's grave, Pope Gregory the Great preached a number of homilies. Reliable details concerning the life of St. Agnes are very few. The oldest material occurs in St. Ambrose's De Virginibus, parts of which are read today at Matins. The value of the later (definitely unauthentic) "Passion" of the saint is enhanced by the fact that various antiphons and responsories in the Office are derived from it.
From such liturgical sources we may construct the following "life of St. Agnes". One day when Agnes, then thirteen years old, was returning home from school, she happened to meet Symphronius, a son of the city prefect. At once he became passionately attracted to her and tried to win her by precious gifts. Agnes repelled him, saying: "Away from me, food of death, for I have already found another lover" (r. Ant.). "With His ring my Lord Jesus Christ has betrothed me, and He has adorned me with the bridal crown" (3. Ant., Lauds). "My right hand and my neck He has encircled with precious stones, and has given me earrings with priceless pearls; He has decked me with lovely, glittering gems" (2. Ant.). "The Lord has clothed me with a robe of gold, He has adorned me with priceless jewels" (4. Ant.). "Honey and milk have I received from His mouth, and His blood has reddened my cheeks" (5. Ant.). "I love Christ, into whose chamber I shall enter, whose Mother is a virgin, whose Father knows not woman, whose music and melody are sweet to my ears. When I love Him, I remain chaste; when I touch Him, I remain pure; when I possess Him, I remain a virgin" (2. Resp.). "I am betrothed to Him whom the angels serve, whose beauty the sun and moon admire" (9. Ant.). "For Him alone I keep my troth, to Him I surrender with all my heart" (6. Ant.).
Incensed by her rebuff, Symphronius denounced Agnes to his father, the city prefect. When he threatened her with commitment to a house of ill fame, Agnes replied: "At my side I have a protector of my body, an angel of the Lord" (2. Ant., Lauds). "When Agnes entered the house of shame, she found an angel of the Lord ready to protect her" (1. Ant., Lauds). A light enveloped her and blinded all who tried to approach. Then another judge condemned her to the stake because the pagan priests accused her of sorcery.
Surrounded by flames she prayed with outstretched arms: "I beseech You, Father almighty, most worthy of awe and adoration. Through Your most holy Son I escaped the threats of the impious tyrant and passed through Satan's filth with feet unsullied. Behold, I now come to You, whom I have loved, whom I have sought, whom I have always desired." She gave thanks as follows: "O You, the almighty One, who must be adored, worshipped, feared - I praise You because through Your only begotten Son I have escaped the threats of wicked men and have walked through the filth of sin with feet unsullied. I extol You with my lips, and I desire You with all my heart and strength."
After the flames died out, she continued: "I praise You, Father of my Lord Jesus Christ, because by Your Son the fire around me was extinguished" (4. Ant., Lauds). And now she longed for union with Christ: "Behold, what I yearned for, I already see; what I hoped for, I already hold in embrace; with Him I am united in heaven whom on earth I loved with all my heart" (Ben. Ant.). Her wish was granted; the judge ordered her beheaded. —The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch
Thursday, January 20, 2011
This is how the radical left advances its agenda against the will of the people...by forcing it on society. What's wrong with letting citizens vote on it? Is it because every time it is put to a vote same-sex marriage loses?
The U.S. Supreme Court rejected an appeal by traditional marriage supporters to allow residents of Washington, D.C. to actually vote on legally recognizing same-sex “marriage.” The legalization of same-sex “marriage” in the city was approved by a 13-member council in late 2009.
On Jan. 18, the Supreme Court dismissed an attempt headed by the Alliance Defense Fund, Stand4MarriageDC and other traditional marriage supporters to place a measure on the ballot that would have let D.C. citizens vote on whether or not marriage should be defined as between a man and a woman.
The Supreme Court did not issue comment explaining its rejection of the appeal.
The group filed a lawsuit against the district's Board of Elections and Ethics after it refused to put that initiative on the ballot. The board explained that it rejected the ballot initiative because a referendum on the issue would allow discrimination.
In December of 2009, the D.C. Council passed a bill legalizing same-sex “marriage” by an 11-2 margin, despite the objections of many American clergy, the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington and others.
In a 245-189 vote Wednesday evening, the US House of Representatives voted to repeal President Obama’s massive health care reform law.
A Quinnipiac University poll released last year found that more than two thirds of Americans (67%) oppose government funding of abortion under health care reform. And according to a recent Gallup/USA Today survey, only 13 percent of Americans want the law to remain on the books as written.
Family Research Council (FRC) praised the House of Representatives for overturning the health care law, decried by pro-life groups as the biggest expansion of abortion since Roe v. Wade.
While momentum for repealing the bill was strong in the House ever since the November elections that handed the chamber to the GOP, the repeal is not expected to pass the Democrat-controlled Senate. Nonetheless, FRC president Tony Perkins noted that the House vote sent a message of the bill’s widespread unpopularity that the Obama administration should listen to.
“The American people, the House of Representatives and 26 states have sent a message that President Obama and the U.S. Senate would be unwise to ignore: ‘Repeal’ is the only response to the incompetence found throughout the health care takeover law,” stated Perkins.
The Saint of the Day for January 20 is St. Sebastian
Son of a wealthy roman family. He was educated in milan. He became officer of the imperial roman army, and captain of the guard. favorite of Emperor Diocletian. During Diocletian's persecution of the Christians, Sebastian visited them in prison, bringing supplies and comfort. reported to have healed the wife of a brother soldier by making the sign of the cross over her. converted soldiers and a governor.
Charged as a Christian in 288 in Rome, Sebastian was tied to a tree, shot with arrows, and left for dead. he survived, recovered, and returned to preach to diocletian. the emperor then had him beaten to death.
During the 14th century, the random nature of infection with the black death caused people to liken the plague to their villages being shot by an army of nature's archers. in desparation they prayed for the intercession of a saint associated with archers, and saint sebastian became associated with the plague.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
President Hu Jintao appeared at a joint press conference today with President Barack Obama and did his best to ignore questions about human rights from American reporters.
The press conference carried live on most networks such as CNN, which indicated today on Twitter that Chinese officials in mainland China blocked its feed of the proceedings as Hu and Obama discussed issues of the day.
The big question for the Chinese leader is China’s terrible track record on human rights — including massive forced abortions, sterilizations and other abuses coming as a result of its one-child policy as well as female infanticide that has produced a staggeringly lopsided gender ratio with many more boys than girls.
Hu originally appeared uninterested in answering any questions from the American press but eventually agreed to four questions.
I think this is an excellent match. Both EWTN and the National Catholic Register are orthodox and are faithful to true Church teachings.
The Eternal Word Television Network has announced plans to acquire one of the most prominent Catholic publications in the United States, the National Catholic Register.
“The Register is a perfect addition to our teaching apostolate,” said EWTN's President and CEO Michael Warsaw as he made the move public. “I am very pleased and excited that the Register will now be a part of the EWTN family.”
The change in ownership was announced in Birmingham, Ala. on the morning of Jan. 19, and will be finalized at the end of January.
EWTN has signed a letter of intent to acquire the publication from its current owners, the Legion of Christ. Under the terms of the agreement, no cash will be exchanged. EWTN will take over the ongoing operational expenses of the Register and will assume its future subscription liabilities effective on February 1st.
Warsaw said that EWTN intends to continue the Register's tradition of providing “faithful Catholic reporting on the issues of the day,” while also expanding the publication's reach. “It's a tremendous legacy that deserves not only to be preserved, but also to grow and to flourish,” he stated.
How ridiculous...this man calls himself a Christian and makes an un-Christian-like statement like this?
Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley told a church crowd just moments into his new administration that those who have not accepted Jesus as their savior are not his brothers and sisters, shocking some critics who questioned Tuesday whether he can be fair to non-Christians. I question whether he knows what it means to be a Christian.
"Anybody here today who has not accepted Jesus Christ as their savior, I'm telling you, you're not my brother and you're not my sister, and I want to be your brother," Bentley said Monday, his inauguration day, according to The Birmingham News.
The Anti-Defamation League on Tuesday called Bentley's remarks shocking.
The Saint of the Day for January 19 is Saint Canutus
Saint Canutus, King of Denmark, succeeded his elder brother Harold on the throne of Denmark in the year 1080. He began his reign by a successful war against the enemies of the state, and by planting the faith in the conquered provinces. Amid the glory of his victories he humbly prostrated himself at the foot of the crucifix, laying there his diadem, and offering himself and his kingdom to the King of kings. After having provided for the peace and safety of his country, he married Eltha, daughter of Robert, Earl of Flanders, who proved herself a spouse worthy of him.
The justice of Saint Canutus as sovereign was well known. He applied himself to the reform of all internal abuses. For this purpose he enacted severe but necessary laws for the strict administration of justice, the repression of violence and tyranny by the powerful, without respect to persons. He favored and honored holy men, and granted many privileges and immunities to the clergy. His charity and tenderness towards his subjects made him study all possible ways to make them a happy people.
During a rebellion in his kingdom, the king was surprised at church by the rebels. He confessed his sins and received Holy Communion. Stretching out his arms before the altar, he was struck down on his knees by the enemies of his Christian reign.
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Almost immediately after he was ordained a Catholic priest along with two other former Anglican bishops, Father Keith Newton was named head of the new ordinariate for former Anglicans in England and Wales.
The Vatican announced Jan. 15 that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith had erected the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham "for those groups of Anglican clergy and faithful who have expressed their desire to enter into full visible communion with the Catholic Church."
Father Newton, who is a 58-year-old married man and former Anglican bishop of Richborough, was ordained to the Catholic priesthood earlier Jan. 15 by Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster. Also ordained Catholic priests during the Mass in Westminster Cathedral were former Anglican Bishop John Broadhurst of Fulham and former Anglican Bishop Andrew Burnham of Ebbsfleet.
Many of you are aware of Abby's story. She was with Planned Parenthood for 8 years, the last 2 as a clinic Director. She left Planned Parenthood after viewing an ultrasound-guided abortion. That was BIG news for pro-lifers. I blogged about it at the time.
Although I am ecstatic when a pro-abort becomes pro-life, I must admit I approached Abby's story with a great deal of skepticism: How could someone work at Planned Parenthood for 8 years and not be fully aware of, and horrified by, the reality of what abortion does?
Abby's desire was to help women and reduce abortions. The fact that she wanted to reduce them is indicative that she knew abortion is wrong. In order to keep working at Planned Parenthood, she had to ignore her conscience. It was a gradual process, but eventually she was able to leave Planned Parenthood.
The part that most caught my attention was the pro-lifers who prayed outside the clinic. At first, there were a couple of extremists such as someone dressed as the grim reaper and others with large graphic pictures of aborted babies. I pray outside an abortion clinic and I know how some well-intentioned people like this can actually hinder the pro-life cause. It was the Coalition for Life that made the pro-life witness there more effective by making it more prayerful. They also helped Abby when she made the decision to leave Planned Parenthood.
Abby left a Christian church that was pro-life because of her position at Planned Parenthood. She found a pro-choice Christian church to attend, but later had to leave there when she became pro-life. The BIG hole in this story is that there is no discussion of when/how Abby became Catholic.
Abby left a Christian church that was pro-life because of her position at Planned Parenthood. She found a pro-choice Christian church to attend, but later had to leave there when she became pro-life. The BIG hole in this story is that there is no discussion of when/how Abby became Catholic.
The Saint of the Day for January 18 is St. Charles Sezze
Saint Charles was born John Charles Marchioni in Sezze Italy on October 19,1613. His family was extremely pious, they lived in a rural area and as a child Saint Charles worked as a shepherd. Due to his lack of education, it is said he learned only the basics and could barely read and write, he joined the Franciscans as a lay brother in Naziano. He served as a cook, porter, and a gardener.
Saint Charles was known for his holiness, simplicity, and charity. He was generous to travellers and sought out for spiritual advice. In 1656 he worked tirelessly with victims of the plague. He also worte several mystical works including his autobiography titled, The Grandeurs of the Mercies of God. Tradition states he was called to the bedside of the dying Pope Clement IX for a blessing.
Saint Charles died on January 6, 1670 in Rome of natural causes, he is buried in Rome in the Church of Saint Francis. He was Canonized by Pope John XXIII on April 12, 1959.
Monday, January 17, 2011
As the nation pauses today to remember the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., black Americans face a racial threat from a much different source than the ones King confronted: abortion.
The Guttmacher Institute recently released a new report on abortion statistics nationwide that confirms the abortion industry continues to target black Americans. Abortions on black women still occur at a much higher rated than compared with the percentage of African-Americans in society as a whole.
The Census Bureau, as of 2009, indicates black Americans comprise 12.4 percent of the total population of the United States, but Guttmacher’s new numbers reveal approximately 30 percent of the abortions in the United States are done on black women.