View this Blog in espanol Italiano Francais Deutsch
Truth doesn't change.
Saturday, December 31, 2011
The search takes them halfway around the world, and there is a lot more adventure than you'd expect in an animated film.
The animation is superb, and it's easy to forget the characters are not real people.
The story is more complex than expected, but not too much so for kids to enjoy. My nephews, ages 11-14. really enjoyed it.
A very good, enjoyable family film.
The Saint of the Day for December 31 is St. Sylvester.
St. Sylvester, a native Roman, was chosen by God to govern His holy Church during the first years of Her temporal prosperity and triumph over Her persecuting enemies. Pope Melchiades died in January, 314. St. Sylvester was chosen as his successor. He governed the Church for more than twenty-one years, ably organizing the discipline of the Roman Church, and taking part in the negotiations concerning Arianism and the Council of Nicaea. He also sent Legates to the first Ecumenical Council.
During his Pontificate were built the great churches founded at Rome by Constantine — the Basilica and baptistery of the Lateran, the Basilica of the Sessorian palace (Santa Croce), the Church of St. Peter in the Vatican, and several cemeterial churches over the graves of martyrs. No doubt St. Sylvester helped towards the construction of these churches. He was a friend of Emperor Constantine, confirmed the first General Council of Nicaea (325), and gave the Church a new discipline for the new era of peace. He might be called the first "peace Pope" after centuries of bloody persecution. He also established the Roman school of singing. On the Via Salaria he built a cemeterial church over the Catacomb of St. Priscilla, and it was in this church that he was buried when he died on December 31, 335.
Numerous legends dramatize his life and work, e.g., how he freed Constantine from leprosy by baptism; how he killed a ferocious dragon that was contaminating the air with his poisonous breath. Such legends were meant to portray the effects of baptism and Christianity's triumph over idolatry. For a long time the feast of St. Sylvester was a holyday of obligation. The Divine Office notes: He called the weekdays feria, because for the Christian every day is a "free day" (the term is still in use; thus Monday is feria secunda.).
Friday, December 30, 2011
December 30 is the Feast of the Holy Family.
Marriage is too often conceived as the sacrament which unites a man and a woman to form a couple. In reality, marriage establishes a family, and its purpose is to increase the number of the elect, through the bodily and spiritual fecundity of the Christian spouses.
1. Every marriage intends children. Although Mary and Joseph were not united in a carnal way, their marriage is a true marriage: an indissoluble, exclusive union, wholly subordinated to the child. Mary and Joseph are united only in order to bring Jesus into the world, to protect and raise him. They have only one child, but he contains the whole of mankind, even as Isaac, an only child, fulfilled the promise made to Abraham of a countless progeny.
2. The purpose of every marriage is to establish a Christian family. The Holy Family observed the religious laws of Israel; it went in pilgrimage to Jerusalem every year with other Jewish families (Lk. 2:41). Jesus saddens and amazes his father and his mother because to their will and company he prefers "to be in his Father's house". Thus it may happen that God's will obliges the family to make disconcerting sacrifices. Yet every Christian family must live in harmony and in prayer, which are the pledges of joy and union.
3. "He remained obedient to them." Jesus was God. And through the fullness of grace Mary stood above Joseph. Nevertheless — if we except the event in the Temple — Joseph remained the head of the family; he took the initiative (as when the Holy Family fled to Egypt), and in Nazareth Jesus obeyed his parents.
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Just when I thought Planned Parenthood couldn't be any more disgusting....
How many of you parents out there want your child to become sexually active as early as possible?
Parents, do you know who is texting your kids? Anyone who has seen Planned Parenthood’s disgusting websites for teens and its sex education programs will be devastated to learn that a one-on-one chat between a child and a Planned Parenthood operative is now only a text message away. The perverse, sex-belching abortion giant announced recently its “In Case You’re Curious” texting program specifically targeting Denver area youth.
Adding fuel to the fire of the “sexting” craze, Planned Parenthood stands to do more one-on-one damage to adolescents through its sex message texting service than through any form of communication it has yet bridged. Totally unchecked and readily available only to the eyes of the child and the Planned Parenthood operative texting the young person, those who should be encouraged to abstain from sex will instead be schooled by the nation’s largest abortion chain—on cell phones provided by their parents.
The person texting your child or grandchild will be a sex “educator” employed by Planned Parenthood—the organization that works constantly to drive a wedge between children and their parents.
The Saint of the Day for December 29 is St. Thomas Becket.
Thomas Becket was born in 1118 of a merchant family. He studied in London and Paris, entered the service of Archbishop Theobald of Canterbury, became Lord Chancellor under King Henry II in 1155, and in 1162 Archbishop of Canterbury. Till then a submissive courtier, he now initiated a fearless struggle against the king for the freedom of the Church and the inviolability of ecclesiastical property, occasioning his imprisonment, exile, and finally martyrdom (December 29, 1170). Canonization came quickly (1173); in 1539 King Henry VIII ordered his remains burned.
Formerly the Breviary included this summary of the saint's last days: "Calumniators informed the king that the bishop was agitating against him and the peace of the realm; and the king retorted that with one such priest he could not live in peace. Hearing the royal displeasure, several godless courtiers agreed to do their sovereign a favor by assassinating Thomas. Secretly they traveled to Canterbury and fell upon the bishop while he was attending Vespers. His priests rushed to his aid and tried to bar the church door; Thomas opened it himself with these words: The house of God may not be defended like a fortress. I gladly face death for the Church of God. Then to the soldiers: I command it in the Name of God: No harm may be done to any of mine. Thereupon he cast himself on his knees, commended his flock and himself to God, to the Blessed Virgin Mary, to St. Denis and other holy patrons of his church, and with the same heroic courage with which he had withstood the king's laws, he bowed his holy head to the sacrilegious sword on December 29, 1170."
With all the strength that is given us for the defense of God's rights, we must resist those who seek to subject the Church to their power, even if they are those to whom on other grounds we owe service. In St. Thomas of Canterbury the Church celebrates one of her great bishops; by applying to him the Gospel of the Good Shepherd she venerates in him the true pastor of Christ's flock who gave his life for his sheep.
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
I hope Pope Benedict XVI gets to appoint many of the cardinals who will elect our next Pope.
Pope Benedict XVI will convene a consistory in February and elevate as many as 15 new members to the College of Cardinals, according to a report from the I Media news agency.
The Vatican has not confirmed the report. The Pope usually announces a consistory, and names the new cardinals, roughly one month before the meeting takes place. According to the I Media report, the next consistory will be held on February 18 or 19.
Vatican-watchers have been expecting a consistory sometime in 2012. There are currently 192 cardinals, of whom 109 are below the age of 80 and thus eligible to participate in a papal election. Thus Pope Benedict could name 11 new cardinals without breaching the limit of 120 cardinal-electors.
December 28 is the Feast of the Holy Innocents.
Today, dearest brethren, we celebrate the birthday of those children who were slaughtered, as the Gospel tells us, by that exceedingly cruel king, Herod. Let the earth, therefore, rejoice and the Church exult — she, the fruitful mother of so many heavenly champions and of such glorious virtues. Never, in fact, would that impious tyrant have been able to benefit these children by the sweetest kindness as much as he has done by his hatred. For as today's feast reveals, in the measure with which malice in all its fury was poured out upon the holy children, did heaven's blessing stream down upon them.
"Blessed are you, Bethlehem in the land of Judah! You suffered the inhumanity of King Herod in the murder of your babes and thereby have become worthy to offer to the Lord a pure host of infants. In full right do we celebrate the heavenly birthday of these children whom the world caused to be born unto an eternally blessed life rather than that from their mothers' womb, for they attained the grace of everlasting life before the enjoyment of the present. The precious death of any martyr deserves high praise because of his heroic confession; the death of these children is precious in the sight of God because of the beatitude they gained so quickly. For already at the beginning of their lives they pass on. The end of the present life is for them the beginning of glory. These then, whom Herod's cruelty tore as sucklings from their mothers' bosom, are justly hailed as "infant martyr flowers"; they were the Church's first blossoms, matured by the frost of persecution during the cold winter of unbelief.
— St. Augustine
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Ethan Hunt and the IMF are framed for a bombing of the Kremlin and disavowed by the President, who invokes "ghost protocol". Now they have a dual mission: to clear their name, and stop a madman terrorist from launching a nuclear missile and starting a war.
The acting is top motch, especially Tom Cruise and Michael Nyqvist (who is quickly becoming a favorite of mine).
A very engaging plot and intense action scenes. Several plot twists add to the excitement.
Warnings include some language and violence.
A very engaging plot and intense action scenes. Several plot twists add to the excitement.
Warnings include some language and violence.
2 words: SEE IT!
Pope Benedict XVI's popemobile may be getting an ecological upgrade.
Young car designers participating in an annual auto style competition are being asked to design a low-emission popemobile that meets the Vatican's high security standards.
The Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano announced details of the competition Friday, saying the green popemobile will be one of the proposed projects of the 2012 edition of Autostyle International Design Competition.
Italian auto parts maker Berman organizes the competition each year, selecting 12 students from universities and auto design schools from around the world to submit designs for particular projects.
Winners are selected each October at the Autostyle show held in a monastery in the tiny town of San Benedetto Po, near Mantua, where top automakers like Nissan, Ferrari, Bentley and Toyota show off their wares.
The best eco-popemobile designs will be compiled in a book published by the Vatican publishing house, L'Osservatore said.
The Saint of the Day for December 27 is St. John.
St. John, the Evangelist, who is styled in the Gospel, "the beloved disciple", was a Galilean, son of Zebedee and Salome, and brother to St. James the Greater, both of whom were fishermen. The two were called by Jesus to be disciples as they were mending their nets by the Sea of Galilee.
Jesus showed St. John particular instances of kindness and affection above all the rest. He had the happiness to be present with Peter and James at the Transfiguration of Christ, and was permitted to witness His agony in the Garden. He was allowed to rest on Our Savior's bosom at the Last Supper, and to him Jesus confided the care of His holy Mother as He hung dying on the Cross.
St. John was the only one of the Apostles who did not forsake the Savior in the hour of His Passion and Death.
It seems that St. John remained for a long time in Jerusalem, but that his later years were spent at Ephesus, whence he founded many churches in Asia Minor. St. John wrote his Gospel after the other Evangelists, about sixty-three years after the Ascension of Christ; also three Epistles, and the wonderful and mysterious Book of the Apocalypse or Revelation. He was brought to Rome and, according to tradition, was cast into a caldron of boiling oil by order of Emperor Domitian. Like the Three Children in the fiery furnace of Babylon, he was miraculously preserved unhurt.
He was later exiled to the Island of Patmos, where he wrote the Apocalypse, but afterwards returned to Ephesus.
In his extreme old age he continued to visit the churches of Asia. St. Jerome relates that when age and weakness grew upon him so that he was no longer able to preach to the people, he would be carried to the assembly of the faithful by his disciples, with great difficulty; and every time said to his flock only these words: "My dear children, love one another."
St. John died in peace at Ephesus in the third year of Trajan (as seems to be gathered from Eusebius' history of the Saint); that is, the hundredth of the Christian era, or the sixty-sixth from the crucifixion of Christ, St. John then being about ninety-four years old, according to St. Epiphanus.
Monday, December 26, 2011
The Saint of the Day for December 26 is St. Stephen.
The deacon Stephen, stoned in Jerusalem two years after the death of Christ, has always been the object of very special veneration by the faithful. He is the first martyr. The account in the Acts of the Apostles relating his arrest and the accusations brought against him emphasize the parallel with our Saviour's trial; he was stoned outside the city wall and died, like his Master, praying for his executioners.
Stephen belongs to the group of seven deacons whom the Apostles associated with their work in order to lighten their load. He was "filled with faith and with the Holy Spirit," "full of grace and strength" he showed himself as a man of God, radiating divine grace and apostolic zeal. As the first witness to Christ he confronted his opponents with quiet courage and the promise made by Jesus (Mark 13.11) was fulfilled: ". . .Disputing with Stephen they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit that spoke."
In St. Stephen, the first martyr, the liturgy emphasizes the imitator of Christ even to the extent of the complete gift of self, to the extent of that great charity which made him pray in his suffering for his executioners. By establishing the feast on the day after Christmas the Church draws an even closer comparison between the disciple and the Master and thus extends his witness to the whole mission of the redeeming Messiah.
Friday, December 23, 2011
An excellent decision (just in time for Christmas :)
No one should be forced to participate in killing babies.
A federal court late Thursday gave pro-life advocates a huge victory in the case of 12 nurses being forced to assist with abortions at a New Jersey hospital.
The court held a hearing concerning a motion filed by Alliance Defense Fund attorneys on behalf of the nurses that asks the court to issue a preliminary injunction that would halt any efforts by the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey to coerce the nurses in violation of federal law while their lawsuit moves forward.
Under an agreement UMDNJ agreed to the nurses can remain in their current positions and not be pressured to assist in any part of an abortion procedure. The nurses are only required to help if a life-threatening emergency materializes with the mother involved in the abortion and no other non-objecting staff are available to assist and only until such a time as other can be called up on to relive them.
Fe Esperanza Racpan Vinoya, one of the plaintiffs in the case, told AP she was delighted by the decision but nurse Racpan Vinoya said she was still concerned the hospital would retaliate against her by transferring her or cutting hours.
“I’m still scared about the part of them having four nurses brought in and we might become the surpluses,” Racpan Vinoya said.
Matt Bowman, an attorney with the Alliance Defense Fund, said he was pleased with the agreement.
The Saint of the Day for December 23 is St. John of Kanty.
John Cantius was born in the year 1397 in the Polish town of Kanty (whence his surname). He became a professor of theology, then parish priest; soon, however, he returned to the professor's chair at the University of Cracow. On foot he visited the holy places of Rome and Palestine. One day, after robbers had deprived him of all his effects, they asked him whether he had anything more. The saint said no, but hardly had they gone when he remembered having sewn some gold pieces inside his clothing; immediately he followed and overtook them. The robbers, astonished at the man's sense of truthfulness, refused to accept the money and returned to him the stolen luggage.
To guard himself and his household from evil gossip he wrote upon the wall of his room (after the example of St. Augustine): Conturbare cave, non est placare suave, diffamare cave, nam revocare grave, i.e. "Guard against causing trouble and slandering others, for it is difficult to right the evil done." His love of neighbor was most edifying. Often he gave away his own clothing and shoes; then, not to appear barefoot, he lowered his cassock so as to have it drag along the ground. Sensing that his death was near at hand, he distributed whatever he still had to the poor and died peacefully in the Lord at an advanced age. He is honored as one of the principal patrons of Poland.
Thursday, December 22, 2011
The Saint of the Day for December 22 is St. Chaeromon.
St. Chaeromon was a bishop of Nilopolis in Egypt who was advanced in age when Emperor Trajanus Decius began the intense persecution of Christians. Chaeromon and his companions fled to Arabia and are believed to have been martyred.
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
The Saint of the Day for December 21 is St. Peter Canisius.
Peter Canisius, the remarkable Jesuit who almost single-handedly reevangelized Central Europe, founded dozens of colleges, contributed to the rebirth of Catholicism by his prodigious writings, and laid the groundwork for the Catholic Reformation north of the Alps. He was born at Nijmegen, Holland, in 1521, and his father was an instructor to princes in the court of the duke of Lorraine. St. Peter Canisius was part of a movement for religious reform as a very young man and in 1543, after attending a retreat given by Blessed Peter Favre, joined the Jesuits and was the eighth professed member of the Society of Jesus.
He worked first in the city of Cologne, becoming a spokesman for the Catholic party. He became a consultor to the cardinal of Augsburg at the Council of Trent and in 1547 was called by St. Ignatius to Rome. He was sent to Sicily to teach, then, after his solemn profession in Rome, was sent back to Germany as the first superior of the German province of the Jesuits.
Peter next began to restore and found colleges, first in Vienna and Prague, and then in Munich, Innsbruck, and throughout northern Germany. He attracted vocations to the Jesuits, and the society began to flourish in Central Europe. He organized the Jesuits into a compact unit and made the society a leading force in the Counter-Reformation. He was in contact with all the Catholic leaders in Germany, and wrote fourteen hundred letters giving support to those laboring for reform. He was the adviser of the emperor and the confidante of three popes. He was consulted by papal legates and nunciatures and was a severe critic of religious and clerical life in post-Reformation Germany.
He recommended far-reaching reforms and had a profound effect upon the education and spiritual life of the clergy. Through his efforts, seminaries were founded, and the popes sent him on important diplomatic missions. In the midst of his many labors, he edited and published editions of the Fathers of the Church, catechisms, spiritual manuals, and textbooks that went into countless editions even in his own lifetime.
He died on December 21, 1597, at Fribourg, Switzerland, and was canonized and declared a Doctor of the Church in 1925.
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Two new saints :)
Pope Benedict XVI formally recognized miracles attributed to Bl. Marianne Cope and Bl. Kateri Tekakwitha on Dec. 19, clearing the way for both women to be canonized.
The two women, who both lived in the United States, were among numerous individuals whose sainthood causes were advanced by decrees authorized by Pope Benedict XVI on Monday.
Sister Grace Anne Dillenschneider, vice postulator for the Cause for the Diocese of Syracuse, told CNA on Dec. 19 that the date for Bl. Cope’s canonization has not yet been confirmed.
The Congregation for the Causes of Saints had already approved Bl. Cope’s second official miracle, which involved the medical recovery of a woman in Syracuse who was cured of a fatal and irreversible health condition.
Born in western Germany in 1838, Bl. Marianne Cope entered religious life in Syracuse, N.Y., where she served as a teacher and principal and established two hospitals before traveling to Hawaii, where she spent several years caring for lepers.
She died in 1918 and was beatified in 2005.
Bl. Kateri Tekakwitha, known as "the Lily of the Mohawks," was born in 1656 in upstate New York.
Her father was a Mohawk chief and her mother was an Algonquin who was raised Catholic.
A smallpox epidemic killed both of her parents and left her with poor eyesight and a badly disfigured face at a young age.
Despite objections from her relatives, she was baptized at age 20, after meeting several Catholic priests.
The death of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il may be the beginning of a turning point for the path of reunification of the Koreas, Catholic leaders said after his passing.
“We hope that the Lord gives light and strength to the North Korean brothers so that there is a return (to) a policy focused on dialogue, peace, reconciliation,” Bishop Peter Jeng of Cheju, president of the South Korean bishops’ conference, told Fides news agency.
Kim Jong Il, 69, died of a reported heart attack during a train trip. He had led the isolated communist state since 1994. His third son, Kim Jong Un, is his expected successor.
His death caused much grief among North Koreans who lamented the “great leader’s” death. State television urged North Koreans to unite behind his successor.
The Saint of the Day for December 20 is St.Dominic of Silos
Saint Dominic was born in 1000 in Cañas, Navarre, Spain. He was born a peasant and as a youth worked as a shepherd until he entered the Benedictine monastery in Navarre. When Dominic refused to hand over the monastery’s lands upon the King of Navarre’s demands, he was forced to leave the house with two other monks.
He fled to Old Castile and was welcomed by the king, he entered the monastery of San Sebastian in Silos, an almost dilapidated abbey with a mediocre physical and spiritual regimen.
Within very little time Dominic, who had been elected abbot, renewed the spirit of the monastery, and rebuilt it’s structure, it’s finances, and it’s works of charity. Dominic was known for miracles of healing which he obtained through prayer and for his work of ransoming Christian prisoners from the moors. He died on December 10, 1073 in Silos, Spain.
Monday, December 19, 2011
North Korea is putting South Korea on notice, warning of “unexpected consequences” if Seoul displays Christmas lights near the border. In China last week, government officials and the police smashed the sound equipment of Christians who were about to celebrate Christmas in a village outside Beijing.
Our atheists share the same mindset, if not the same means.
In a South Carolina cancer center, a 67-year-old volunteer Santa was evicted because of the “different cultures and beliefs of the patients we care for”; it later reversed its decision. In an elementary school in Stockton, California, poinsettias were banned but somehow snowmen were permitted; they justified their censorship by saying there was a Sikh temple in the city (note: there is no evidence that Sikhs suffer apoplexy when they see poinsettias, but there is plenty of evidence that cultural fascists enjoy using them as a foil to justify their own intolerance).
A homosexual group on the campus of Washington and Jefferson College succeeded in getting the Dean to approve a condom-decorated Christmas tree. A skeleton St. Nick was found hanging from a cross on the grounds of the Loudoun County Courthouse in Leesburg, Virginia.
Most atheists are not intolerant, but rare is the atheist qua activist who is not. Unfortunately, we don’t have to look overseas to Communist nations to witness this verity. That they show up
The Saint of the Day for December 19 is Blessed Pope Urban V.
Blessed Pope Urban V was born Guillaume de Grimoard at Grisac in Languedoc, 1310. He studied canon law and theology in Avignon and became a Benedictine monk. He was named abbot of his monastery in 1352, served as a papal diplomat and was sent as an ambassodor to various locations. He also served as a bishops around Italy and throughout Europe.
He was elected pope in 1362 while on diplomatic business, even though he was not a cardinal. His reign was blessed by his peacekeeping activity between the French and Italian kings, the founding of many universities, his zeal for the crusades and his decision to return the papacy to Rome and end the Avignon exile of the popes.
However, the breakout of war between England and France, forced him to return to Avignon on a peacekeeping mission. On his return to Avignon he died, and his body, which had been buried at Avignon was then transferred to Marseille according to his own wishes, and his tomb became the site of many miracles. He died on December 19, 1370.
He always had a Benedictine spirit and even wore his monk’s habit as pope. His virtue and honesty were noted, especially in a Europe plagued by scandal and corruption.
It is said that as he lay dying he called the people to surround his deathbed saying “the people must see how popes die.”
Saturday, December 17, 2011
Unfortunately, our Bishops are not over-stating things when they warn about the erosion of our religious freedom.
Looks like the PC police have threatened members of the House of Representatives against wishing constituents a "Merry Christmas," if they want to do so in a mailing paid for with tax dollars.
Members who submit official mailings for review by the congressional franking commission that reviews all congressional mail to determine if it can be "franked," or paid for with tax dollars, are being told that no holiday greetings, including "Merry Christmas," can be sent in official mail.
"I called the commission to ask for clarification and was told no 'Merry Christmas.' Also told cannot say 'Happy New Year' but can say 'have a happy new year' – referencing the time period of a new year, but not the holiday," said a Hill staffer who requested anonymity.
Another Hill staffer told The Washington Examiner that "we were given that advice after submitting" a draft mailing.
Members of Congress send millions of dollars worth of mail to constituents every year but there are official rules that govern what can and cannot be said in those mailings. Members are barred, for example, from saying anything that might be construed as advocating their re-election.
But saying "Merry Christmas" is also not permitted, according to a Dec. 12 memo from the "Franking Commission Staff" concerning "Holiday Messaging." The memo explains:
The Saint of the Day for December 17 is St. Olympias.
Born 360-5; died 25 July, 408, probably at Nicomedia. This pious, charitable, and wealthy disciple of St. John Chrysostom came from an illustrious family in Constantinople. Her father (called by the sources Secundus or Selencus) was a "Count" of the empire; one of her ancestors, Ablabius, filled in 331 the consular office, and was also praetorian prefect of the East.
As Olympias was not thirty years of age in 390, she cannot have been born before 361. Her parents died when she was quite young, and left her an immense fortune. In 384 or 385 she married Nebridius, Prefect of Constantinople. St. Gregory of Nazianzus, who had left Constantinople in 381, was invited to the wedding, but wrote a letter excusing his absence (Ep. cxciii, in P.G., XXXVI, 315), and sent the bride a poem (P.G., loc. cit., 1542 sqq.). Within a short time Nebridius died, and Olympias was left a childless widow. She steadfastly rejected all new proposals of marriage, determining to devote herself to the service of God and to works of charity. Nectarius, Bishop of Constantinople (381-97), consecrated her deaconess. On the death of her husband the emperor had appointed the urban prefect administrator of her property, but in 391 (after the war against Maximus) restored her the administration of her large fortune. She built beside the principal church of Constantinople a convent, into which three relatives and a large number of maidens withdrew with her to consecrate themselves to the service of God. When St. John Chrysostom became Bishop of Constantinople (398), he acted as spiritual guide of Olympias and her companions, and, as many undeserving approached the kind-hearted deaconess for support, he advised her as to the proper manner of utilizing her vast fortune in the service of the poor (Sozomen, "Hist. eccl.", VIII, ix; P.G., LXVII, 1540). Olympias resigned herself wholly to Chrysostom's direction, and placed at his disposal ample sums for religious and charitable objects. Even to the most distant regions of the empire extended her benefactions to churches and the poor.
When Chrysostom was exiled, Olympias supported him in every possible way, and remained a faithful disciple, refusing to enter into communion with his unlawfully appointed successor. Chrysostom encouraged and guided her through his letters, of which seventeen are extant (P.G., LII, 549 sqq.); these are a beautiful memorial of the noble-hearted, spiritual daughter of the great bishop. Olympias was also exiled, and died a few months after Chrysostom. After her death she was venerated as a saint. A biography dating from the second half of the fifth century, which gives particulars concerning her from the "Historia Lausiaca" of Palladius and from the "Dialogus de vita Joh. Chrysostomi", proves the great veneration she enjoyed. During he riot of Constantinople in 532 the convent of St. Olympias and the adjacent church were destroyed.
Emperor Justinian had it rebuilt, and the prioress, Sergia, transferred thither the remains of the foundress from the ruined church of St. Thomas in Brokhthes, where she had been buried. We possess an account of this translation by Sergia herself. The feast of St. Olympias is celebrated in the Greek Church on 24 July, and in the Roman Church on 17 December.
Friday, December 16, 2011
Today we erected a life-size nativity scene in Central Park, on the corner of 59th and 5th; it will be up until January 3. Moreover, we did not surround it with secular symbols.
Every year we get a permit from the New York City Parks Department to display our nativity scene. We choose Central Park because it is a public forum, a place where concerts, marathons and all sorts of festivities take place. We do not seek to display our crèche on public property adjacent to City Hall, because that is the seat of government.
This needs to be said because there is considerable ignorance about this issue. For example, the New Jersey State League of Municipalities recently released a statement offering guidance to local officials planning holiday displays. “A purely religious display, especially one related to a single religion, is almost certainly unconstitutional.”
There is nothing “almost certain” about my response—they don’t know what they are talking about. If they were right, then we wouldn’t have been able to put our crèche up in Central Park. There is a difference between a public forum and a state capitol building, etc.
KUDO's to Christian for acting on his beliefs.
Famed Batman star Christian Bale is making headlines after he traveled nine hours from Beijing to visit blind forced abortion opponent Chen Guangcheng.
The actor never got the chance, however, as he was roughed up and forced away from Chen’s village by Chinese government officials, according to a CNN report.
“What I really wanted to do was shake the man’s hand and say ‘thank you,’ and tell him what an inspiration he is,” he said.
Bale was in Beijing for the premiere of “The Flowers of War,” a drama about the 1937 Rape of Nanjing. About his attempt to visit Chen, Bale stated, “I’m not brave doing this . . . This was just a situation – I can’t look the other way.”
According to Reggie Littlejohn, president of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, “Christian Bale is a hero. He is starring in the most expensive film ever made in China, which China hopes will win an Academy Award. Nevertheless, he has the courage to stand against official injustice and has greatly raised the visibility of Chen’s case.”
KUDO's to the Knights :)
The Knights of Columbus' annual campaign reminding millions of Americans to “Keep Christ in Christmas” is in full swing with radio ads, signs, billboards, Nativity scenes and Christmas cards.
“In a society where Christmas has often become shorthand for shopping, many who celebrate Christmas can lose sight of its true meaning,” Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson said Dec. 15.
“Those who celebrate Christmas give gifts to each other because it is the day on which we celebrate the greatest gift: God’s gift of his son to the world,” he explained.
“Christmas is about 'peace on earth toward people of good will' and we think that’s a message worth remembering.”
The campaign's list of initiatives this year include English and Spanish-language radio spots encouraging people to remember Christmas in various ways, such as helping those less fortunate. The Knights of Columbus have also sent a public service announcement to television networks and hundreds of local broadcast stations and cable systems.
The global Catholic fraternal order has led the “Keep Christ in Christmas” program since the early 1960s. It was originally organized by the Christian Mothers of Milwaukee, which later became the Council of Catholic Women.
Last year, the public service announcements reached more than 38 million television viewers and 34 million radio listeners.
Locally, Knights of Columbus councils have been busy placing billboards and signs, sponsoring Nativity displays or selling religious Christmas cards.
How much does Barry want to promote abortion?
Answer: He's willing to jeopardize people's health to support it.
The Obama Administration says it will refuse to fund a massive Texas health program unless the state agrees to pass some of the money along to Planned Parenthood.
Gov. Rick Perry signed legislation this past summer that stripped the national abortion organization of all state funds and prompted the closure of multiple abortuaries. But when the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) submitted a request for federal funding of the state’s Medicaid Women’s Health Program, the Commission was told that it would have to defy the new law if it wanted the money.
According to the Texas Tribune, Cindy Mann, director of the federal Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services, sent a letter to Texas officials claiming that attempting to block Planned Parenthood from receiving Medicaid funds violated the Social Security Act.
Gov. Perry accused the Obama Administration of “holding women's health care hostage because of Texas' pro-life policies.”
“We want to be very clear [that] Medicaid does not pay for abortions and will not pay for abortions,” Mann told the Tribune in a phone interview. “The issue here is not whether Medicaid funding is involved but whether the state can restrict access to a qualified health provider simply because they provide other services Medicaid doesn’t pay for.”
The Saint of the Day for December 16 is St. Adelaide.
Born c.931 at Burgundy, France ; died 999 at the monastery of Seltz, Alsace; canonized in 1097 by Pope Urban II.
The daughter of King Rudolph II of Burgundy she was promised in marriage when she was only two years old, to Lothaire, the son and heir of his enemy, Hugh of Provence.
Lothaire was killed when still young and Adelaide was to have a tumultuous life that paralleled the struggle for political power of the times, something she had come to symbolize.
Having been sought after by various kings and nobles, after Lothaire’s death, she was finally married by Otho the Great of Germany who had invaded Italy.
When Adelaide and Otho’s son, the Emperor Otho II died, his son Otho III, a child, became emperor. In 991, Adelaide was invested as the Regent of the Empire and she used her power as the effective empress to increase evangelization efforts, especially in northern Europe, built many monasteries and churches, and aided the poor.
Thursday, December 15, 2011
They are sooo pathetic. The pro-aborts still can't get over the fact that Tebow made a pro-life ad almost a year ago, and they can't stand that he's not afraid to speak his faith. Of course the pro-aborts are not going to follow this advice, but the suggestion shows how pathetic and desperate they are.
A blogger with a popular pro-abortion blog is urging readers to “support” vocally pro-life NFL quarterback Tim Tebow by donating to a pro-abortion group every time he scores a touchdown this Sunday against the New England Patriots.
“For every touchdown Tebow throws next week … donate $5 or $10 to your local pro-choice organization,” urges ‘Sophia’ of the Abortion Gang blog.
“I figure this is indeed the best way to enjoy football, support Tim Tebow (more touchdowns, mannn!!!), and give, give, give to pro-choice organizations earning little to no glory, yet desperately in need of funds,” she adds.
Despite receiving criticism for his Christian and pro-life beliefs, which has only increased since he took over as starting quarterback with the Broncos this fall, Tebow has remained unapologetic for his outspokenness.
In a radio interview last month, former Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer had complained that the overtly Christian football sensation should tone it down. But in response Tebow told ESPN that he wasn’t about to back off his faith.
This is why I never donate to any event that benefits Komen. I would like to be able to donate to breast cancer research without supporting abortion.
After reports from some pro-life corners claiming Komen affiliates were considering stopping grants to Planned Parenthood, at the same time a local California affiliate gave another grant to the abortion business, Komen has made it appear the grants will continue.
Susan Tyrrell of the pro-life group Bound4Life has been following the claims closely that years of opposition to Komen from pro-life advocates might be able to be put aside.
Although the pro-life group Life Decisions International, which tracks corporations that fund Planned Parenthood, recently said Komen had agreed to stop funding [a statement it has since withdrawn pending further investigation], a local affiliate in Orange County California gave more than $1.5 million in grants to 15 nonprofit organizations on December 2, including Planned Parenthood.
Tyrrell contacted Komen officials about Planned Parenthood grants and received this response:
Komen provides funding for local community health programs through our network of more than 120 affiliates across the United States. Each affiliate is responsible for assessing the breast health service needs—including education, screening, treatment and support—for the residents within its region as well as identifying and providing funding to organizations that can meet those needs. Annually, Komen Affiliates fund programs that provide breast health education and breast screenings for hundreds of thousands of low-income, uninsured, or medically under-served women via nearly 2,000 local organizations, including 19 Planned Parenthood programs.
The decision to fund any breast health and screening program is based on a thorough assessment of a community’s breast health needs and resources. In some areas of the U.S., our affiliates have determined a Planned Parenthood clinic to be the best or only local place where women can receive breast health care. Too bad they don't even do mammograms.
The Saint of the Day for December 15 is St. Virginia Centurione Bracelli.
Born in Genoa, Italy April 2, 1587; died in Genoa on December 15, 1651; canonized by Pope John Paul II on May 18, 2003.
Born and raised in an aristocratic family which was nonetheless pious, she longed to consecrate herself to God in the religious life, but she was pressured into an arranged marriage at the age of 15 on account of her social status, and had two daughters.
Her husband, a drinker and gambler, died after five years of marriage and Virginia dedicated her time to raising her children and prayer and works of charity, which she devoted herself to entirely once her children had grown up, caring for the sick, elderly and abandoned.
She founded a refuge center in Genoa in 1625 which soon became overrun with the needy and she rented an empty convent in 1631 where she cared for the sick with the help of other women, and she instructed the women in the faith.
She constructed a church dedicated to Our Lady of Refuge, and soon the women who worked with her in the hospital were formed into two congregations Sisters of Our Lady of Refuge in Mount Calvary, and Daughters of Our Lady on Mount Calvary.
Victoria retired from the administration of the orders and performed manual labour and begged for alms, but was called back to administrative duties soon after.
She began to receive visions and locutions in the latter years of her life.
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Who says Bill doesn't have a sense of humor? :)
There is no shortage of advice on how to throw an office Christmas party. For example, Helene Wasserman, a Los Angeles labor-law attorney, warns it is important to call the Christmas party a “holiday party.” Human Relations specialist Suzan Sturholm is even more sensitive: she suggests naming it an “end-of-the-year celebration” (good idea—that way no one will know what they are celebrating). LOL Attorney Duane Morris advises, “Assign certain managers to keep their eyes and ears open for individuals who appear intoxicated at the party.”
We demur. Here’s what the Catholic League counsels:
Have an open bar
Start with Champagne laced with Chambord
Assign managers to keep their eyes and ears open for individuals who don’t drink
Assign bouncers to keep an eye on the managers
Sing “Joy to the World”
Put a nativity scene in one corner for Christians; a Christmas tree in another for recovering Christians; a menorah in the third corner for Jews; and leave one corner empty. The latter is for atheists.
Invite everyone to join the Catholic League’s “Adopt An Atheist” campaign
Regarding our timely campaign, I couldn’t help noticing that a writer at Salon.com, Tommi Avicolli Mecca, found our initiative to be puzzling. “It’s uncertain whether it’s an attempt at satire or a real call to arms. Donohue is not known for his sense of humor about these things.”
Don’t you just love these guys? Can’t make it up! Let’s keep him guessing again about our Christmas Party rules. Maybe he’ll see that as a “real call to arms” as well.
Chalk one up for religious freedom...
and KUDO's to Bishop Nienstedt for doing the right thing.
The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis did not violate state campaign laws by mailing a DVD on marriage to 400,000 Catholics before the 2010 election, Minnesota’s Campaign Finance Board ruled Dec. 8.
Kurt Anderson, an attorney from Minneapolis who received the DVD, filed a complaint with the board alleging that the archdiocese failed to register as a lobbyist, political fund or a principal as required by state law.
The state board rejected the complaint on the grounds that the marriage issue was not on the ballot at the time of the mailing and was not an issue before the legislature.
“There is a sufficient basis on which to reasonably conclude that the archdiocese's communications were for a purpose other than to influence legislative action,” the board said.
The archdiocese provided its initial response to the complaint in May 2011. It characterized the DVD and letter packet as a message from the archbishop to Catholics about an important matter of public concern in which the archbishop explains his position.
The archdiocese emphasized that the packet was not sent to legislators or to the general public. Rather, it was “a private message to church members.” It did not request or instruct Church members to contact their legislators.
The Saint of the Day for December 14 is St. John of the Cross.
Juan de Yepes was the Castilian son of a poor silk weaver of Fontiberos, Toledo, Spain and was born in 1542. His father was of noble birth; he had married much beneath him, and for that offense had been entirely cut off by his family. He had taken to silk weaving as a means of livelihood, but had never been able to make much of it. Soon after the birth of Juan he died, worn out with the effort to keep his wife and three children. The family was left in direst poverty; the children grew up always underfed, so that to the end of his life Juan remained dwarfed in stature.
Unable to learn a trade, he became the servant of the poor in the hospital of Medina, while still pursuing his sacred studies. In 1563, being then twenty-one, he humbly offered himself as a lay-brother to the Carmelite friars, who, however, knowing his talents, had him ordained priest. He would now have exchanged to the severe Carthusian Order, had not St. Teresa of Avila, with the instinct of a saint, persuaded him to remain and help her in the reform of his own Order.
Thus he became the first prior of the Discalced (meaning "barefoot") Carmelites. His reform, though approved by the general, was rejected by the elder friars, who condemned the saint as a fugitive and apostate, and cast him into prison, whence he only escaped, after nine months' suffering, at the risk of his life. Twice again, before his death, he was shamefully persecuted by his brethren, and publicly disgraced. But his complete abandonment by creatures only deepened his interior peace and devout longing for heaven.
St. John was a great contemplative and spiritual writer. He was proclaimed Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius XI on August 24, 1926. He is the patron of contemplative life, mystical theology, mystics, and Spanish poets.
Excerpted from Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints © 1878 and Saints for Sinners by Alban Goodier, S.J.