Tuesday, November 30, 2004

St. Therese, Apostle of Hope
St. Therese of Lisieux, "Apostle of Hope"

St. Therese had a simple, child-like trust in the mercy and love of Jesus and, therefore, is known as the "Apostle of Hope and Confidence". During this Advent season of hope, let us ponder on her inspiring words.

"The knowledge that it was impossible to do anything of myself greatly simplified my task. Confident that the rest would be given me over and above, the one aim of my interior life was to unite myself more and more closely with God."

"My hope has never been deceived. Each time I needed food for the souls in my charge, I have found my hands filled. Had I acted otherwise and relied on my own strength, I should very soon have been forced to surrender."

"We can never have too much confidence in the good God who is so powerful and so merciful. We obtain from Him as much as we hope for."

Scripture Passage

"I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare, not for woe! plans to give you a future full of hope. When you call me, when you go to pray to me, I will listen to you. When you look for me, you will find me. Yes, when you seek me with all your heart, you will find me with you, says the Lord, and I will change your lot; I will gather you together from all the nations and all the places to which I have banished you, says the Lord, and bring you back to the place from which I have exiled you."
~ Jeremiah 29: 11-14

Prayer:

Lord, I lift up all those who are hurting today—those who are lonely, sick, uncertain, anxious, troubled, depressed, those whose hearts are filled with despair. I pray especially for those who do not know You or who have turned away from You. I pray that You will reveal Yourself to them, rekindle within their hearts the fire of Your love, and help them find their peace in You. I pray for all those who are apathetic in their faith, Lord. Stir up the flame within their hearts and help them to return to that first love they had for You. Restore the simple child-like faith, hope, and love they once had and make it stronger than ever before. I ask this in Your Precious name, Jesus, through the intercession of Your Blessed Mother Mary and St. Therese. Amen.

Monday, November 29, 2004

FIBROMYALGIA SYNDROME

I found the following article on the Canadian Health Network. Although fibromyalgia has been around for some time, the medical community has only recently acknowledged its existence, mainly because it is a complicated chronic disease with many symptoms and they were unaware of how to diagnose and treat it. I present this article to help educate and instruct those who may have it and be unaware of it and to aid those who may have friends, family, co-workers, or others in their lives who must deal with the chronic pain of this devastating disease. The list of symptoms below represents only a partial list of the many maladies associated with this disease. Let us pray for all those who struggle daily with chronic pain.


What is fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia, also known as fibromyositis and fibrositis, is a common chronic disease, characterized by widespread, constant pain throughout the body, sleeping disturbances, and abnormal exhaustion. The majority of people with fibromyalgia are women, in whom the initial symptoms appear between the ages of 20 and 50. However, fibromyalgia can also affect men, teenagers and children.

What causes fibromyalgia?

In some people, fibromyalgia develops with no apparent cause. In others, the disease appears after a traumatic experience such as an accident, an emotional trauma, overworking, hormonal changes, sexual or physical abuse during childhood, or a viral disease. The real cause of fibromyalgia is still unknown. Research is being done to identify the probable cause(s) of this syndrome.

What are the symptoms of fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is characterized by a variety of symptoms which vary from one person to the next and may change on an hourly or daily basis.

The following is a list of the primary symptoms:

non-restoring sleep (feeling of fatigue on awaking and morning stiffness that may persist during the day)
gastrointestinal problems (stomach or intestinal spasms, constipation, diarrhea, etc.)
headaches and migraines
increased symptoms during times of stress
increased pain due to changes in temperature (humidity, cold and air-conditioning)
feeling of swelling, numbness
pain increased by too little or too much physical activity
tendency to feel depressed, anxious and sad
lack of concentration and memory loss
fatigue and muscle weakness.

Is it true that fibromyalgia "is all in the head"?

Until recently, it was very difficult for people with fibromyalgia to be diagnosed. There was no clear medical definition of the syndrome, and doctors often failed to acknowledge that the pain and fatigue were real. People with fibromyalgia were often told that their symptoms were "all in their imaginations".

However, there is good news for individuals awaiting diagnosis and recognition of their suffering. The National Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Action Network recently announced there is now a consensus in Canada regarding the clinical definition and treatment of fibromyalgia. This means that all general practitioners and rheumatologists in the country have access to the tools necessary for making an official diagnosis and treating fibromyalgia, as well as chronic fatigue syndrome and myalgic encephalomyelitis.

How is fibromyalgia diagnosed?

Since the symptoms of fibromyalgia are also found in other diseases (including chronic fatigue syndrome and myalgic encephalomyelitis), it is sometimes difficult to diagnose.
The doctor must do the patient's medical history and a physical examination before suggesting a diagnosis. Once the possibility of other diseases has been eliminated, the diagnosis is made on the basis of these two main symptoms:

generalized pain lasting more than three months (both above and below the waist and on both the left and right side of the body, as well as on both the front and back of the body); AND
pain when pressure is applied to at least 11 of the 18 tender points. The patient rarely experiences these points as painful until a doctor (or rheumatologist) familiar with the disease applies slight pressure to those sites with her thumb or a dolorimeter.

How can I locate a fibromyalgia specialist?

If you have or think you have fibromyalgia, it is very important to select a doctor who knows this syndrome. She may refer you to a rheumatologist, the acknowledged fibromyalgia specialist. However, not all rheumatologists are familiar with fibromyalgia. It may be helpful to contact a regional association to obtain the name of a doctor or rheumatologist who has worked with fibromyalgia patients.

How can fibromyalgia affect my daily life?
You may have difficulty doing some of your daily activities such as work, housekeeping, childcare, or hobbies, because of the pain or lack of energy. You may feel you have to limit them.
For some individuals, these changes are very stressful, and make them feel anxious and depressed. Participation in a self-help group can help fibromyalgia sufferers to feel less isolated, to share their experience with others who are in the same situation and who can listen and provide support and encouragement. Contact your regional association to find out about the group nearest you.

Are there treatments that can cure fibromyalgia?

At this time, fibromyalgia is incurable. However, the symptoms can be treated.
If you have fibromyalgia, the best way to treat the disease is to learn how to manage your lifestyle. Listen to what your body is telling you and adjust your life accordingly. Heat, rest, exercise and reducing or eliminating sources of stress can improve your quality of life. Associations of fibromyalgia sufferers can play an important role in treating the disease, by providing information on the topic and by giving you the opportunity to meet other fibromyalgia sufferers through self-help groups.

Here are some suggestions to help you alleviate some of the symptoms of fibromyalgia:
Do exercises such as walking, bicycling, or swimming to reduce pain and other symptoms.
Use a relaxation or breathing technique to manage your stress and/or promote better sleep.
Heat and massage can help relieve some muscular pain.

In some individuals, moderate doses of analgesics (such as Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Tylenol, Advil, etc.) may provide some relief from pain and muscle stiffness.

Many doctors prescribe antidepressants because they do not understand this syndrome. Tricyclic antidepressants may help some individuals by reducing their pain and relieving the symptoms of depression caused by the impact of fibromyalgia on their lives. Some individuals may also find this type of antidepressant useful in combating sleep disturbances. However, individuals who prefer NOT to take these medications may use relaxation techniques to improve their sleep.

Alternative therapies may also relieve fibromyalgia symptoms that cannot always be treated by traditional medicine. Here are the primary types of alternative medicine that may provide relief to fibromyalgia sufferers:

acupuncture
biofeedback
chiropractic
homeopathy
hypnotherapy
mental imaging
naturopathy, and
osteopathy.


How can we help persons with fibromyalgia?

Since individuals suffering from fibromyalgia appear to be healthy, they are often misunderstood by their employers or their families. This can worsen their stress and anxiety. However, this is not an imaginary disease; the pain and fatigue associated with fibromyalgia are real. To help people with fibromyalgia face their daily lives, friends and family can listen, understand, and show respect and compassion. An offer to help with an ordinary task may also be very much appreciated.

Where can I get more information?
Web sites
British Columbia Fibromyalgia Society
Canadian Pain Society
FibroMyalgia Support - Ottawa West
National ME/FM Action Network
Online References:
Fibromyalgia - The Arthritis Society
Fibromyalgia - Women's Health Matters

Books:
Alternative Treatments for Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Insights From Practitioners and Patients. Mari Skelly and Andrea Helen, 1999.
The Fibromyalgia Advocate: Getting the Support You Need to Cope With Fibromyalgia and Myofascial Pain Syndrome. Devin J. Starlanyl, 1999.
Fibromyalgia and Chronic Myofascial Pain Syndrome: A Survival Manual. Devin J. Staranyl, 1996.
The Fibromyalgia Help Book: Practical Guide to Living Better With Fibromyalgia. Jerry Fransen & I. Jon Russell, 1996.
Last Modified Date: May 2004Created for the Canadian Health Network by the Canadian Women’s Health Network.
Advent Wreath

Sunday, November 28, 2004

ADVENT

The Advent wreath is a special symbol composed of a wreath of evergreen, in a circle, with 4 candles, 3 purple and one rose colored.

One candle is lit every night during Advent. One purple one during the first week of Advent, the second purple one nightly during the second week, and so on, until during the fourth week all four candles are lit. Some people also place a large white candle in the center to be lit on Christmas Day. In our home, we keep a bright red candle in the center of the wreath, which we light on Christmas, following midnight Mass.

Each of the four candles represents 1000 years that the people waited for the coming of the Messiah.

The purple candles are for the sorrow we feel for not loving Jesus enough. Purple is composed of two colors -- red and blue--red representing the Passion of Christ and blue representing the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The rose candle is for the joy surrounding the impending birth of Jesus. The rose color is a combination of red, symbolizing the Passion of Christ and white, symbolizing purity.
The evergreen symbolizes God is with us always and will never change.
The berries in the evergreen symbolize the drops of blood in Christ's Passion.
The circle symbolizes that God is eternal, with no beginning and no end.
The light of the candles reminds us that Jesus is the light of the world, and soon we will celebrate the day of His birth.

The Advent Candle

Like the gleaming tongue of fire
that whispers whims on a wick,
and flickers in expectant desire
the tiny flame within my heart burns brightly,
raising up gentle, unspoken pleas to You,
as I longingly await Your arrival.

You came so many years ago, Lord.
A tiny Babe born in the darkness of the night.
You lit up the world with Your fire.
In watchful hope, we wait once again,
For Love to be reborn in darkness,
For the reign of Light to return,
For the world to be set aglow,
to transform Your people into You.

~ 2004 copyright Jean M. Heimann


Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Have a Blessed Thanksgiving!
Happy Thanksgiving!

It is the day before Thanksgiving and I am starting the preparations for a veritable feast tomorrow -- turkey, dressing, cranberries, sweet potatoes, broccoli and cauliflower with cheese, pumpkin pie, and more. The weather outside looks more like Christmas as it is snowing quite heavily and we are predicted to have six to eight inches of the white stuff today. My husband, Bill, must have been singing "Let it Snow" again, as it usually does whenever he utters those words. Perhaps, he should have been a weatherman, rather than an industrial engineer.

A Scripture Passage for Thanksgiving

"Give thanks to the Lord for he is good,
for his kindness endures forever.
Who can tell the mighty deeds of the Lord,
or proclaim all His praises?"

-- Psalm 106: 1-2



Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Blessed Miguel Augustin Pro

Miguel Augstin Pro was born January 13, 1891, in Mexico. From his childhood, he was known for his high spirits and happy personality. The son of an affluent mining engineer and a pious and charitable mother, Miguel had a special affinity for the working classes.

At 20, he became a Jesuit novice and shortly afterwards was exiled due to the Mexican revolution. He traveled to the United States, Spain, Nicaragua and Belgium, where he was ordained in 1925. Father Pro suffered greatly from a severe stomach disorder. When his health did not improve after several surgeries, his superiors permitted him to return to Mexico in 1926.

At this time, the revolutionary government in Mexico had banned all religious practice. The churches were closed and priests were in hiding. The government was particularly focused on finding and persecuting priests. Father Pro became a great master of disguise and spent the remainder of his life in a secret ministry to the Mexican Catholics who helped hide him from the authorities. In addition to fulfilling their spiritual needs, Fr. Pro also assisted the poor of Mexico City with their temporal needs. In all that he did, he remained filled with the joy of serving Christ, his King.

Falsely accused in a bombing attempt on the President-elect, Pro became a wanted man. On November 18, 1927, he was arrested and sentenced to death without the benefit of any legal process.

On November 23, the day of his death, Father Pro prayed, forgave his executioners, bravely refused a blindfold, and faced the firing squad with his arms extended in the form of a cross, proclaiming, "Viva Christo Rey!" (Long Live Christ the King)!

Pope John Paul II beatified him on September 25, 1988.

Quote

Does our life become from day to day more painful, more oppressive, more replete with sufferings? Blessed be he a thousand times who desires it so. If life be harder, love makes it also stronger, and only this love, grounded on suffering, can carry the Cross of my Lord, Jesus Christ.

-- Blessed Miguel Augustin Pro
Blessed Miguel Augustin Pro, S.J.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Symbol of Life
Rachel Network Healing After Abortion Evening of Prayer

A healing after abortion prayer service sponsored by the Rachel Network of the Catholic Diocese of Peoria, IL will take place at St. Edward Catholic Church in Chillicothe on Wednesday, December 1st at 7:00 p.m.

This prayer service is open to anyone touched by abortion in any way -- husbands, friends, parents, grandparents, counselors -- as well as women who have experienced abortion themselves. No pre-registration is required. An anonymous atmosphere with subdued lighting, scripture reading and prayer, counseling, and the opportunity to receive the sacrament of Reconciliation is available. The evening of prayer is open to those of all denominations.
St. Cecilia
St. Cecilia

St. Cecilia, the daughter of a patrician, was the only Christian in her family. Her parents permitted her to meet with other Christians in the catacombs, despite their indifference to her faith. She continually kept a copy of the holy Gospel hidden under her clothing over her heart. Her parents obliged her, however, despite her vow of virginity, to marry the young Valerian, whom she thought of as noble and good, but who was still pagan.

During the evening of the wedding day, Cecilia, an intelligent, beautiful, and noble Roman maiden, renewed her vow. When the new couple were alone, she gently told Valerian, "Dear friend, I have a secret to confide to you, but will you promise me to keep it?" He promised her solemnly that nothing would ever make him reveal it, and she continued, "Listen: an Angel of God watches over me, for I belong to God. If he sees that you would approach me under the influence of a sensual love, his anger will be inflamed, and you will succumb to the blows of his vengeance. But if you love me with a perfect love and conserve my virginity inviolable, he will love you as he loves me, and will lavish on you, too, his favors." Valerian replied that if he might see this Angel, he would certainly comply with her wishes. Cecilia answered, "Valerian, if you consent to be purified in the fountain which wells up eternally; if you will believe in the unique, living and true God who reigns in heaven, you will be able to see the Angel." When he asked questions about this water and who might bestow it, she directed him to a holy old man named Urban.

The Holy Pontiff rejoiced exceedingly when Valerian came to him the same night, to be instructed in the faith and baptized; his long prayer touched the young man greatly, and he too rejoiced with an entirely new joy in his new-found faith, so far above the religion of the pagans. He returned to his house, and on entering the room where Cecilia had continued to pray for the remainder of the night, he saw the Angel waiting, with two crowns of roses and lilies, which he would place on the head of each of them. Cecilia understood at once that if the lilies symbolized their virginity, the roses foretold for them both the grace of martyrdom. Valerian was told he might ask any grace at all of God, who was very pleased with him; and he requested that his brother Tiburtius might also receive the grace he had obtained. Tiburtius converted soon afterwards.

The two brothers, who were very wealthy, began to aid the families, who had lost their support through the martyrdom of the fathers, spouses, and sons; they saw to the burial of the Christians, and continually braved the same fate as these victims. They were soon captured, and their testimony was such as to convert a young officer chosen to conduct them to the site of their martyrdom. He succeeded in delaying it for a day, and took them to his house, where before the day was ended he had decided to receive Baptism with his entire family and household. The two brothers offered their heads to the sword; and soon afterward the officer they had won for Christ followed them to the eternal divine kingdom. It was Cecilia who saw to the burial of all three martyrs. She then distributed to the poor all the valuable objects of her house, in order that the property of Valerian might not be confiscated according to current Roman law, and knowing that her own time was close at hand.

She was soon arrested and arraigned, but having asked a delay after her interrogation, she assembled those who had heard her with admiration and instructed them in the faith; the Pontiff Urban baptized a large number of them. The death appointed for her was suffocation by steam. Saint Cecilia remained unharmed and calm, for a day and a night, in the calderium, or place of hot baths, in her own palace, despite a fire heated to seven times its ordinary violence. Finally, an executioner was sent to dispatch her by the sword; he struck with trembling hand the three blows, which the law allowed, and left her still alive. For two days and nights Cecilia would lie with her head half-severed, on the pavement of her bath, fully sensible and joyfully awaiting her crown.

When her neophytes came to bury her after the departure of the executioner, they found her alive and smiling. They surrounded her there, not daring to touch her, for three days, having collected the precious blood from her wounds. On the third day, after the holy Pontiff Urban had come to bless her, the agony ended, and in the year 177 the virgin Saint gave back her glorious soul to Christ. It was the Supreme Pontiff who presided at her funeral; she was placed in a coffin in the position in which she had lain, as we often see her pictured, and interred in the vault prepared by Saint Callixtus for the Church’s pontiffs.

Pope Anteros prepared the authentic acts of her life and martyrdom in the year 235. When the tomb was opened in 1599 her body was entirely intact still.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Christ the King
Prayer to Christ The King

O Christ Jesus, I acknowledge You to be King of the Universe; all that has been made is created by You. Exercise over me all Your sovereign rights. I hereby renew the promises of my baptism, renouncing Satan and all his pomps and works and I dedicate myself to lead henceforth a truly Christian life. I will try to bring about the triumph of the rights of God and Your Church. Sacred Heart of Jesus, I offer You my poor actions to obtain the acknowledgment by every heart of Your sacred kingly power so that the kingdom of Your peace be firmly established throughout the earth. Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Your Kingdom come through Mary, Your Mother. Sacred Heart of Jesus, protect our families. Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of Heaven and of our homes, pray for us. St. Joseph, friend of the Sacred Heart, pray for us. St. Michael the Archangel, pray for us. Guardian Angels of our families, pray for us.

("Prayer to Christ the King" taken and adapted from "Enthronement of the Sacred Heart," Rev. Francis Larkin, SS.CC., Daughters of St. Paul: Boston, 1978)
LET'S STOP THE ANTI-CHRISTIAN FORCES

Christians are continuing to stand up and take action against the atheistic ACLU. The latest movement to fight the good fight is StopThe ACLU.org .

((WorldNetDaily Exclusive, November 20, 2004) The ACLU, says the website StopThe ACLU.org, is "relentlessly and fiercely assaulting America's foundations by feverishly working through activist court systems to impose same-sex marriage and remove all vestiges of the Ten Commandments wherever they may be posted."

Nedd Kareiva says his two main goals are to send 1 million letters to the ACLU's headquarters in New York and to coordinate a march of 1 million Americans at each ACLU office in the nation. As WorldNetDaily reported, an ACLU lawsuit against the Pentagon resulted in an agreement announced this week to ensure military bases do not sponsor Boy Scout troops.

Kereiva told WorldNetDaily in an e-mail that while there are public-interest law groups such as the American Center for Law and Justice and the Alliance Defense Fund standing up to the ACLU in court, citizens can do little apart from making financial contributions.

"In this past election," he says on his website, "the ACLU and its activist allies were sent a clear message not to tamper with the institution of marriage" with the passage of 11 out of 11 amendments defending traditional marriage.

But that didn't matter to the ACLU, Kereiva says, as litigation already is challenging measures passed in Georgia and Oklahoma.

"The ACLU wants same-sex marriage imposed upon America through radical activist judges," he says.

His website exists for one purpose, he said, "to mobilize millions of God-fearing, patriotic Americans to stand up to the ACLU agenda and consigning it to the ash heap of history (or export it to Communist regions)."

Kereiva's site shows "how the ACLU is reconstructing civilization" and outlines the agenda with information from the group itself.

Source: http://worldnetdaily.com/

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Holy Pet of the Day Becomes Celebrity

Moonshadow, a 19-year-old shaded silver Persian from Illinois, reached the pinnacle of his career today, achieving celebrity status when he appeared on Catholic - Cards Pet Cards as one of the pets of the day for November 19, 2004.
http://franciscancards.com/pet.html

His past career highlights include: therapist in long-term care facilities, professional nurse -- cuddling up to sick and moody adults -- treating them to purring sessions, and professional model -- posing for all boring and personally invasive photo sessions. He continues to volunteer as chair warmer, food tester, and lap warmer.

Moonshadow with his winter coat
Moonshadow performing his lap warming duties
MISSOURI COURT UPHOLDS PARTIAL BIRTH ABORTION

'life or health of the mother' myth prevails again

ST. LOUIS, November 20, 2002 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A Missouri appeals court has ruled against a state law banning partial-birth abortions because it does not make exceptions for the so-called "life or health of the mother", a requirement imposed two years ago by the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on a Nebraska case and a familiar liberal canard in upholding partial-birth abortion. It now remains for the federal court to rule if the law is unconstitutional.

Planned Parenthood welcomed the ruling and is pressing the higher court to declare the state law unconstitutional, according to Paula Gianino of Planned Parenthood in St. Louis. "We had great concerns because the bill never included an exception for women getting an abortion if they needed one for a serious or dire health condition," she claimed."We're still very much alive constitutionally when it comes to this law," said Missouri Campaign Life spokesman Sam Lee. "This ruling does not determine the constitutionality -- that is up the federal court."For local coverage

see:http://www.fortwayne.com/mld/newssentinel/4563914....

Friday, November 19, 2004

Silent No More Awareness

"Absolutely I regret my abortion, but I am also so very grateful that God has turned it around and has used it to hopefully help another woman."

From the pamphlet Silent No More Awareness.

http://www.silentnomoreawareness.org/
Holy Pet of the Day - Moonshadow in the arms of Jesus

Thursday, November 18, 2004

A Victory for Pro-lifers

House Bill 3589 (Stem Cell Research "Clone and Kill Bill") did not pass with amendments in the Illinois Senate, the vote was 28 yea, to 29 nay with one voting present. This is a victory for pro-lifers in Illinois. For more on this bill visit the IFRL webpage at: http://ifrl.org

Quote for the Day

The greatest destroyer of peace is abortion because if a mother can kill her own child what is left for me to kill you and you to kill me? There is nothing between.

~ Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta
Saint Rose Philippine Duschene

Saint Rose was born on August 29, 1769 at Grenoble, France to a family of wealth and political connections. When she was eight years old, she heard a Jesuit missionary speak of his missionary work in America, which sparked a strong desire within her to evangelize. She was educated at home until she was 12 years old, when she was sent to the convent of the Visitation nuns in Grenoble to continue her studies. She joined them when she was 19 without the permission or knowledge of her family.

Her convent closed quite abruptly during the Reign of Terror of the French Revolution. She spent the next ten years living as a laywoman, but continued to live as if she were still with her Order. She established a school for poor children, cared for the sick and hid priests from the Revolutionaries. When the Reign of Terror ended, she reclaimed her convent and attempted to reestablish it with a small group of sisters. However, most were long gone, and in 1804, the group merged with the Society of the Sacred Heart under Saint Madeline Sophie Barat. They then reopened their convent as the second house of Sacred Heart nuns. Rose became a postulant in December 1804, and made her final vows in 1805.

In 1815, Mother Duschene was assigned to found a Sacred Heart convent in Paris. At age 49, she and four sisters were sent as missionaries to the Louisiana Territory to establish the Society's presence in America. Diseases contracted during the trip to America nearly killed her, and after she recovered in New Orleans, the trip up the Mississippi nearly killed her again. She established her first mission at Saint Charles, Missouri, a log cabin that was the first free school west of the Mississippi River. She eventually opened six other houses in America, which included schools and orphanages. She experienced some opposition as her teaching methods were based on French models, and her English was terrible; her students, however, received a good education. She was constantly concerned about the plight of Native Americans, and much of her work was devoted to educating them, caring for their sick, and working against alcohol abuse.

Finally able to retire from her administrative duties, Mother Duchesne evangelized the Pottawatomies and in the Rocky Mountains at age 71, and taught young girls of the tribe. This work, however, lasted but a year, as she was unable to master the Pottawatomie language. She was known to the tribe as "Woman-Who-Prays-Always". She spent her last ten years in retirement in a tiny shack at the convent in Saint Charles, Missouri where she lived a life of poverty and penance, in constant prayer.

We cultivate a very small field for Christ, but we love it, knowing that God does not require great achievements but a heart that holds back nothing for self.

~ Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne
St. Rose Phillipine Duschene

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

MATTERS OF LIFE AND DEATH

Safety warnings added to abortion pill
Pro-life groups insist labels for potentially lethal drug not enough

November 17, 2004 1:00 a.m. Eastern
2000 WorldNetDaily.com

Pro-life groups say the Food and Drug Administration's new warning label on the "morning after" abortion pill is a small step in the right direction but not enough.

"Women's lives are at stake, while the FDA is fretting over political correctness," said Kurt Entsminger, president of Care Net, a group that supports a network of 800 crisis pregnancy centers in the U.S. and Canada.

The pill, RU-486, was implicated in the death of 18-year-old Holly Patterson of California last year, who died of septic shock caused by inflammation of the uterus.

Danco Laboratories' product, Mifeprex, now requires an expanded warning, informing consumers of rare, but potentially life-threatening complications that can follow any abortion.
But that is not enough for Entsminger and other opponents, who have urged Congress to pass the RU-486 Suspension and Review Act, introduced in the House and Senate.

The measure would remove the drug from the market and require review of the FDA's approval process for the drug.
"If consumers are suffering and even dying, additional small print on a piece of paper is not the answer," Entsminger said.

Concerned Women for America called RU-486 "a dangerous drug that deserves to be pulled off the market immediately.''

Entsminger contends that in addition to hundreds of adverse effects reported to the FDA about the drug, some abortion providers are violating agency guidelines.

Some will administer RU-486 at up to nine weeks of gestation, instead of the seven-week limit set by the FDA, said Entsminger. Some also are allowing women to take the second drug, misoprostol, at home.

Misoprostol actually terminates the pregnancy when followed by RU-486, which blocks a pregnancy-sustaining hormone called progesterone.

"The FDA must answer as to why these violations are occurring, and an additional review must take place as to whether or not the drug is truly safe for women," he said.

Entsminger points out that despite assurances by RU-486's manufacturer that the drug is safe, the FDA has received 676 reports of negative side effects, including three deaths, 17 ectopic pregnancies, 72 cases of severe blood loss requiring transfusion and seven cases of serious infection.

Common side effects include painful contractions, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, pelvic pain and spasms, dizziness and headaches and the emotional trauma of potentially seeing the fetal remains.

"The FDA's casual approach to a potentially deadly drug is an affront to women," Entsminger said. "We urge them to immediately suspend the drug and require a thorough review of its safety and long-term impact on women's health and future fertility."

In defense of its product, Danco Laboratories has stated that 200,000 American women and more than 1 million women worldwide have used the pill since it was invented in France in the 1980s.

A local "Christian" hospital in Peoria, IL distributes RU-486 to its patients. It is quite ironic because as soon as pro-lifers began to make the public aware of this, they began displaying huge signs with photos of smiling babies, calling themselves the "wonder baby" hospital.
St. Elizabeth of Hungary
St. Elizabeth of Hungary

St. Elizabeth was born in 1207 A.D., the daughter of King Andrew of Hungary. At age 14, Elizabeth was married to Louis of Thuringia, whom she loved deeply; she bore three children. She led a simple life of prayer, sacrifice and service to the poor and sick. Seeking to become one with the poor, she wore simple clothing. Daily she distributed bread to hundreds of the poorest in the land.

After six years of marriage, her husband died in the Crusades. She became a Third Order Franciscan and dedicated her life to serving the poor. St. Elizabeth died at the age of 24 in 1231 A.D.

St. Elizabeth is the patron saint of bakers, countesses, death of children, falsely accused, the homeless, nursing services, Catholic charities, tertiaries, widows, and young brides. Her symbols are alms, flowers, bread, the poor, and a pitcher.

The New Doctor in Town

Just recently, a physician from New York relocated to Illinois to replace another doctor in his thriving medical practice. This is how the new doctor describes her "work":

"As I went through medical school, I knew that I wanted to work with women in ways that would empower them. My introduction to reproductive health was when I worked with B. H. as a fourth-year medical student, which was an amazing experience for me. On this rotation, I was surprised, however, to see that abortions were performed in the operating room, where the experience for the patients seemed so lonely, impersonal, and detached. As a family physician, I wanted to offer this procedure in ways that were more personal, caring, and supportive for the patient. I chose to do a fellowship in reproductive health so that I could learn not only how to perform terminations but also other aspects of family planning. I wanted to have training with which I could afford all women the right to control their fertility so that having children could be a choice."

I think it is interesting to analyze the deceptive language and the terms that abortion advocates use. When you hear the word "empower" that is a dead give-away that something is truly amiss. As women, most of us neither require nor desire the type of "empowerment" that this well-educated, award winning doctor of reproductive health would like to give us. Most of us would gladly do without the damage to our emotions, the mutilation of our bodies, and the destruction of our souls.

Lie # 1 – "Empowerment" in this situation does not give the woman more power or freedom, but it actually "enslaves" her.

"Reproductive health" is another suspicious term. It is synonymous with "reproductive death" as it results in the death of the child and may also render the mother infertile.

Lie #2 – The "reproductive health" described by abortion advocates does not provide healthful benefits for either the mother or the child, but often results in unhealthy consequences for the mother (e.g. strokes, breast cancer, high blood pressure, depression, post-traumatic stress syndrome, infertility) and death for the child.

"Terminations" is the "sterile" substitute for "murders". The word "terminations" is synonymous with "conclusions", but in this case, the "conclusions" tend to be pre-meditated acts of murder committed by desperate women and devious "doctors" out to cash in on their vulnerability under the pretense of "women’s rights".

Lie #3 – An abortion is not simply an ending, it is murder to the child, a means of escape for the mother and a mode of profit for the abortionist.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Saint Gertrude the Great

Today, is the feast of two special saints – St. Margaret of Scotland and St. Gertrude the Great. I chose to write about St. Gertrude, who has a special place in my heart because my mother (who went to her Eternal Reward not long ago) selected Gertrude as her Confirmation name and, when she shared this with me, as a child, I wondered why she had chosen this particular saint’s name. I learned that both she and my mother had many things in common – a strong devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a fervent love for the Eucharist, and much compassion for the poor souls in Purgatory.

St. Gertrude was born in born in Germany, January 6, 1256. We know nothing of her family background. We do know, however, that she was educated at the Abbey at Halfta from the age of five. She was an intellectually gifted student and a gentle, sensitive person. She had a charming personality and others drew to her like a magnet, yet she maintained a deep sense of humility.

She later joined the Benedictine Community, and, as a young nun, continued her studies, but was an avid reader of non-religious literature. Then, one evening in 1281, Jesus appeared to her, took her hand, and said, "I will save and deliver you. Fear not." From that day on, Sister Gertrude was "converted" from a life of religious mediocrity to one of impassioned pursuit of union with God.

She had many mystical experiences, which she wrote of in her book, "Revelations of St. Gertrude." Her holiness was centered on her love for Jesus Christ and she developed a strong devotion to the Sacred Heart as well as a deep, fervent love for the Eucharist. Her writings have been greatly praised by Saint Teresa and Saint Francis de Sales, and continue in print today. St. Gertrude’s most important books are "The Herald of Divine Love" and the "Spiritual Exercises."

Prayer of St. Gertrude the Great

"Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Most Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the Holy Souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal church, those in my own home and within my family. Amen."

Our Lord told St. Gertrude the Great that this prayer would release 1000 souls from purgatory every time it is said. The prayer was extended to include living sinners as well.

Eucharistic Quote

As St. Gertrude was about to receive the Sacred Host, she asked, "O Lord, what gift are You going to grant me?" And Jesus answered, "The gift of My Whole Being with My Divine nature, as formerly my Virgin Mother received it."
St. Gertrude the Great

Monday, November 15, 2004

St. Albert the Great and St. Thomas Aquinas


St. Albert the Great

St. Albert the Great, a Doctor of the Church, and brilliant scientist, was born in Germany in the early 1200’s. He was educated at the University of Padua, a scientific center, and joined the Dominicans as a young man. He taught theology at several schools, including the University of Paris, where he also earned his doctorate. He was teacher, guide, and mentor to St. Thomas Aquinas and became a defender of Thomas’s writings.

Albert had a reputation for possessing a broad range of knowledge and expertise in several areas of learning; hence, he was known as "Albert the Great". In addition to theology and biblical studies, he excelled in biology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, geography, metaphysics, and mathematics. It was in Cologne that he became a famous scientist. There, he conducted experiments in chemistry and physics in his laboratory and built up a collection of plants, insects, and chemical compounds that gave substance to his reputation.

Albert died at the age of seventy-three among his religious brothers in Cologne on November 15. On December 16, 1941, near the beginning of the nuclear age, Pope Pius XII proclaimed Saint Albert the Great to be the Patron of all Students and Researchers of the Natural Sciences.

A Meditation on the Precious Blood of Jesus from the Writings of St. Albert the Great

I adore You, O Precious Blood of Jesus, flower of creation, fruit of virginity, ineffable instrument of the Holy Spirit, and I rejoice at the thought that You came from the drop of virginal blood on which eternal Love impressed its movement; You were assumed by the Word and deified in His person. I am overcome with emotion when I think of Your passing from the Blessed Virgin's heart into the heart of the Word, and, being vivified by the breath of the Divinity, becoming adorable because You became the Blood of God.

I adore You enclosed in the veins of Jesus, preserved in His humanity like the manna in the golden urn, the memorial of the eternal Redemption, which He accomplished during the days of His earthly life. I adore You, Blood of the new, eternal Testament, flowing from the veins of Jesus in Gethsemane, from the flesh torn by scourges in the Praetorium, from His pierced hands and feet and from His opened side on Golgotha. I adore You in the Sacraments, in the Eucharist, where I know You are substantially present....

I place my trust in You, O adorable Blood, our Redemption, our regeneration. Fall, drop by drop, into the hearts that have wandered from You and soften their hardness.

O adorable Blood of Jesus, wash our stains, save us from the anger of the avenging angel. Irrigate the Church; make her fruitful with Apostles and miracle-workers, enrich her with souls that are holy, pure and radiant with divine beauty.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Scott Peterson Proclaims His Own "Death" Sentence

There seems to be much misplaced sympathy for a man who cheated on his wife, lied to her, lied to his girlfriend, lied to his mother, was an avid addict of pornography, and murdered his wife and his unborn son.

The people I have sympathy for are his family, Laci's family, Amber Frey, and all those whom he has deceived and hurt through his evil behavior. How outrageous that he put them through this horrible tragedy! Why did it happen? Was it pure selfishness? Is he a sociopath? Is he remorseful? What caused him to "lose it"?

I don't have answers to any of these questions, but I have been praying daily, asking God for His justice to prevail in this trial. Whether or not Scott gets the death sentence will be determined by the people on that jury and I pray that the Holy Spirit will guide them in making this difficult decision.

Either way, Scott Peterson has proclaimed his own death sentence. He was a man who sought freedom -- the freedom to lie, cheat, do whatever he wanted, but now he must face the consequences of that "false freedom". He must face the Truth -- that he chose death rather than life; he chose slavery rather than freedom; he chose to follow the path of evil rather than that of goodness. Whether he is confined to prison for the rest of his life or whether he is given the death sentence until he confesses and repents of his sins, he will always remain a prisoner in the darkness of his soul. I pray that he will repent of this terrible atrocity and seek the mercy of the Lord.


Peterson Faces Tough Road in Penalty Phase

Scott Peterson Faces Difficult Tasks in Sentencing: Asking for Life, While Maintaining Innocence

The Associated Press


Nov. 14, 2004 - The jury that convicted Scott Peterson saw a man with two faces: in public, a loving father-to-be with a steady job and stable home, and in private a cheating husband who yearned for bachelorhood and was willing to kill for it. Convicted Friday of murdering his pregnant wife and her fetus, Peterson must now present a unified image on two fronts he must convince jurors that his life is worth sparing while arguing to the courts that he was wrongly convicted.

Some experts said he might have a chance to win an appeal, given the dismissal of two jurors during deliberations. After his sentencing, defense investigators are likely to interview panelists, looking for any signs of misconduct.

"These jurors are about to go under the microscope," said Loyola Law School professor Laurie Levenson.

Peterson faces life in prison or the death penalty for the first-degree murder of his wife, Laci, and second-degree murder of the fetus.

While the first part of the trial focused on evidence, the penalty phase, beginning Nov. 22, will be laced with raw emotion as rules of evidence that prohibit inflaming jurors are cast aside.
Blockbuster testimony is expected from Laci Peterson's mother, Sharon Rocha, who will testify about losing a 27-year-old daughter and the grandson she was waiting for.

"She's going to get up there and she's going to break down. Her voice is going to crack," said Daniel Horowitz, a criminal defense attorney and regular trial observer.

Peterson is unlikely to take the stand and beg for mercy doing that would require him to admit to the murders, and throw away any chance of arguing his innocence. Instead, testimony will likely include pleas from his parents to spare his life.

Jury consultant Ed Bronson said Peterson's defense attorney, Mark Geragos, will try to tap any lingering doubt over whether Peterson was a calculated killer. The defense is expected to remind jurors that the 32-year-old former fertilizer salesman has no criminal record or history of violence.

"Are you so sure that you are willing to kill this man?" Bronson said.

But even if jurors unanimously vote for death, Peterson might not be executed for decades, if ever. Only 10 executions have been carried out since California brought back capital punishment in 1978. None of the 650 current condemned some of whom have been awaiting death for decades have completed their appeals.

"You're more likely to die of natural causes on death row than be executed," Levenson said.
On appeal, Peterson's attorneys will likely focus on two key issues during the jury's deliberations, said former San Francisco prosecutor and trial observer Jim Hammer.

"The biggest issue is juror removals," Hammer said. "Kicking someone off the jury is one of the riskiest things you can do in a trial. ... Two jurors in two days? I've never heard of that happening before."

One juror was ousted after performing her own research on the case outside of the evidence presented at trial. Violating the gag order, the juror said Friday night that she supported the verdict. Another, the jury foreman, was removed a day later. The reasons for his ousting remain sealed by the court.

The second point of appeal is the viewing of the boat prosecutors allege Peterson used to dump his wife's body into San Francisco Bay.

Jurors climbed inside the boat, parked in a garage near the courthouse, rocking it from side to side. Defense attorneys had argued it would have been nearly impossible for Peterson to have heaved his wife overboard without capsizing.

Geragos sought a mistrial after the viewing, claiming jurors violated the law by conducting an experiment. The motion was quickly denied.

"If the court of appeals finds that to be an experiment, that could lead to a reversal," Hammer said.

The judge said he expects the jury to begin deliberating Peterson's sentence by Nov 30. The jury then will be sequestered again while deciding Peterson's fate.

Regardless of any appeals, expected motions for a new trial, or the ultimate sentence, Peterson must prepare himself for prison. He remains in county jail until sentencing.

"It will be a hard time for him. Initially, he may be segregated. But life segregation can be difficult," Levenson said. "It's more likely he'll end up in general population. He's going to have to learn how to survive. As far as the inmates are concerned, he's a wife killer and a baby killer."
Associated Press Writer David Kravets contributed to this story.

Copyright 2004 The Associated Press
Laci Peterson with her dog
Pro-Life Groups Applaud Guilty Verdict in Scott Peterson Murder Trial

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
November 12, 2004

Redwood City, CA (LifeNews.com) -- Pro-life groups on Friday applauded the guilty verdict that convicted Scott Peterson of double murder in the trial over the deaths of his wife and unborn son, Laci and Conner Peterson. The Peterson case and controversy generated additional support for laws that protect pregnant women from acts of violence.

Carrie Gordon Earll of Focus on the Family said the Peterson verdict, "is further evidence of the growing shift in U.S. law regarding protection for all human life, including young humans who still reside in their mother's wombs."

California has an unborn victims law that allows prosecutors to charge criminals with two crimes when they kill or injure an unborn child in the course of an attack against the pregnant mother.

The outcry over the deaths of Laci and Conner also prompted Congress to pass the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, also known as Laci and Conner's Law. The measure, which protects mothers and their babies throughout pregnancy, was signed into law by President Bush in April.

Sharon Rocha, Laci Peterson's mother, became a strong advocate for unborn victims laws and lobbied Congress to pass the federal version of it.

Susan Armacost, legislative director of Wisconsin Right to Life, says she can understand why Laci's family so strongly supported the passage of these kind of protective laws.

"In states where the law does not recognize the unborn baby as a second victim of a crime, the family's grief is unnecessarily compounded by the fact that there is no legal recourse for the loss of the baby," Armacost said.

Denise Burke, an attorney with Americans United for Life, said the Peterson verdict underscored the importance of such laws.

"This very public case shows that juries are certainly willing to convict those who kill unborn children," Burke explained. "Fetal homicide laws are important to the social fabric of our society. No one should get away with killing another human being just because they haven't been born yet."

Thirty-one states have some sort of unborn victims laws further protecting violence against pregnant women. Some protect women and unborn children during all nine months of pregnancy, but others don't.

Pro-life groups agreed that the Peterson verdict should hopefully send a message to state legislatures to place such laws on their books or strengthen existing ones.

"Violence against pregnant women and their children is all too common, and we hope that the Peterson jury verdict will send a message affirming a woman's legal right to choose to be pregnant and have her preborn children protected under the law," Focus on the Family's Earll concluded.

Source: http://www.lifenews.com/nat957c.html

Friday, November 12, 2004

St. Josaphat
St. Josaphat

St. Josaphat, an Eastern Rite bishop, is held up as a martyr to church unity because he died trying to bring part of the Orthodox Church into union with Rome.

St. Josaphat was born in Lithuania about 1580 into a Catholic family and early promoted Catholic unity in a country divided between Orthodox and Catholic. He entered the Byzantine monastery of Holy Trinity in Vilna in 1604 and was elected Catholic archbishop of Polotsk in 1614. While clinging firmly to unity with Rome, he firmly opposed those Latins who saw unity only in Latin terms and would suppress Byzantine traditions in the name of Catholic unity. He firmly opposed the Latinization of his people and made enemies and severe critics among the Latin clergy of Poland.

Politically, the Catholic and Orthodox clergy were rivals in Lithuania, and the archbishopric of Polotsk was one of the contested sees. An Orthodox archbishop of Polotsk was appointed, and Josaphat was accused of taking office invalidly. Many of his Byzantine Catholics were won over to allegiance to Orthodoxy. Even the king of Poland wavered in his support of Josaphat, especially when Polish bishops accused him of betraying his faith by not Latinizing his diocese.

One of the hotbeds of trouble in Josaphat's diocese was Witebsk, and in November of 1623 he went there to bring about peace in his flock, preaching in the churches and trying to reconcile differences. On November 12, a mob broke into the house where he was staying, shouting hatred and violence. When he confronted them, he was struck in the head with a halberd and shot. His mangled body was dragged out and thrown into the river. He was canonized by Pope Pius IX in 1867.

Taken in part from "The One Year Book of Saints" published by Our Sunday Visitor

Prayer

Dear St. Josaphat,
Help us to imitate you as peacemakers in our home, family, and workplace today. Help us to work for truth, justice, and reconcilliation in our Church and in our world to promote unity among your people. Amen.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Bishop Doran Speaks out For Life

Bishop Doran from the Diocese of Rockford, IL is someone I can relate to when it comes to sharing his thoughts on abortion. Wouldn’t it be great if all our Bishops and priests would give a homily like this on Sundays? I have a little trouble understanding why they can’t. Is it out of fear of losing their parishioners or of losing their tithe? All I can say is that I am glad there are clergy out there who do speak up for life and I am especially thankful for Father Frank Pavone, Director of Priests for Life, and for Msgr. Reilly, Founder of the Helpers of God’s Precious Infants. Both have taught me what it means to stand at the foot of the Cross. Both have saved countless lives and souls. I pray that one day they will be united with those souls in Heaven.

The Observer
(Rockford, IL, November5, 2004)

Bishop Doran's Column

The disconnects plummet us into an unreal state

One of the regional newspapers in the diocese recently had an article about an increase in domestic violence in one of our diocese’s major cities. The following day it celebrated a signal event in the abortion culture of the same community. It struck me as I looked at both headlines how much unreality befalls us in a world in which we are so well-informed.

I remember being in Helena, Mont., some years ago and reading a letter to the editor in a local newspaper there. It was from a woman who berated a local television station for televising an abortion in progress. She said that she was in the kitchen and her baby daughter was watching the television, the universal babysitter in this 21st century, and all of a sudden the daughter screamed. The mother ran into the living room and asked, "What is the matter?" The child said, "Look what they are doing to that baby!" The mother was very upset about this incident and said in her letter, "My child could not understand what was happening."

Au contraire! The child understood very well what was happening on the television screen in front of her. In fact, the child understood perfectly even though she did not have the words to express her horror. It is the mother who didn’t know what was happening.

At one level, I agreed with that mother that abortion is not something that should be shown on television, especially not at an hour when children might reasonably be expected to be viewing. But I submit that the reality of abortion itself is much more dreadful than any video recording of it.

We bemoan domestic violence — and well we should. Nearly all of it involves the victimization of helpless adults and innocent children, who are likely scarred for life. Domestic violence robs its victims of their God-given dignity and their right to expect a safe harbor in their own homes. It also puts our police officers at risk when they respond to these calls, which represent a drain on our civil resources and the officers’ personal resources.

It should go without saying that I am vehemently opposed to each and every instance of domestic violence of any kind — but because these are strange times, I say it anyway.

Obviously, I also support every good effort to prevent and, failing that, halt domestic violence in all its forms. Moreover, I remember our police officers and other government employees who respond to these calls in my prayers.

But now I must ask you: What is more violent than the cold-blooded and calculated smashing of an infant’s head in order to kill it? What could be more violent than that?

I still remember with dread when I was a very young child and we were being told by war propagandists that in the conquest of Shanghai the soldiers of the conquering army threw infant children up in the air and speared them with their bayonets. Dabbling in history over the years I have tried to determine if these reports were true. The evidence seems to show that while it probably was not the practice of every Japanese soldier, it did happen and, I am told, some records of it exist on film.

Needless to say, I believed the stories uncritically when I first heard them as a small child going to St. James School in Rockford, and these stories convinced me of the wickedness of our enemies and the virtue of our cause. We all knew then, as some of us still know today, that violence against children is the ultimate violence.

Thus, I submit that when we say there is domestic violence in a country that has killed more than 40 million of its tiniest citizens over the course of the last 30 years, we should be shocked and chagrined — but we cannot be surprised.

Compared to the domestic violence that abortion has caused in this society, other things that happen in that category seem relatively less serious. And I submit that this is precisely the problem we face as a society today. Cruelty to children, born or unborn, is an abomination in any society.

But violence begets violence, and our children pick up the signals given off and the values practiced by the culture in which they live. When a school teacher runs across a child who likes to torture lower creatures, pull the legs off flies or torment or injure small animals or pets, the teacher is told to make that known to higher authorities because it is a sign that the child has special problems and needs special help. Often the child is modeling abuse in his or her own life, and it’s a matter that deserves attention for the child’s welfare and the long-term good of society.

What can we say to these obviously troubled children and to all the other children in our society who grow up knowing that adults in that same society have snuffed out the lives of 40 million innocent children — and that our society’s legal structures permit this wanton bloodshed? Now, what can we say to them when they see in the media a sort of consecration of the public will that this is somehow okay?

The message the children hear is that those who provide abortions, who take innocent human life, are heroes. Perhaps we can say, "I am not touched by that directly and so I can live with it." But what we cannot do is ignore the fact that so many can and do live easily with this tragic state of affairs. That truly disturbs me, and I hope it disturbs you too.

http://www.rockforddiocese.org/observer/observer.asp
Prayer to Continue to Fight for God

Lord, if your people still have need of my services, I will not avoid the toil. Your will be done. I have fought the good fight long enough. Yet if you bid me continue to hold the battle line in defense of your camp, I will never beg to be excused from failing strength. I will do the work you entrust to me. While you command, I will fight beneath your banner.

~ St Martin of Tours, Italian Soldier, Hermit, Bishop

Wednesday, November 10, 2004



The Sad Consequences of Submitting to the Culture of Death

Not long ago, I received an unusual email from a homosexual male who was living with his "partner" who, for some strange reason, felt he had to justify his relationship to me. I suppose all my talk about the Bible, my Catholic pro-life views on the election, and my support of pro-life candidate Alan Keyes, made him feel a bit uneasy about his lifestyle. I also told him that the Christian hates the sin but loves the sinner, which he found difficult to grasp.

In response to my comments, he wrote me an email a couple of weeks later, explaining that his relationship with his partner was based on "love", that they shared "love". His comments made me feel ill and I immediately said a prayer for him. I must be honest in saying that I feel sorry for someone who believes this lie and lives out this "sad" and "sinful" lifestyle which is so devoid of the beauty and sanctity of the covenant bond of marriage which exists between and a man and a woman that mirrors Christ's love for His Church. I thought about all this young man was missing out on in this life and the next. I prayed that he would turn his life around.


Today, I came across an article which reminded me of him (I served on a community voting issues panel with him for a brief period of time.) and I believe that this was the Lord's reminder to me to persevere in prayer for him and others like him who permit themselves to be consumed by the "culture of death". Not only are there terrible consequences to a homosexual lifestyle here on earth, but unless there is conversion now, there will be even worse consequences in the afterlife for all eternity.


CDC Warns Doctors About Rare STD Spreading Among Men Who Have Sex With Men in Europe; Disease Could Threaten U.S.
[Nov 09, 2004]

CDC officials have warned doctors about a rare sexually transmitted disease that has been spreading among men who have unprotected sex with men in the Netherlands and other European countries and could appear among such men in the United States, the New York Times reports (Tuller, New York Times, 11/9). Lymphogranuloma venereum -- LGV -- has been diagnosed in about 90 MSM in the Netherlands, and other cases have been reported in Belgium, France, Sweden and Britain, Reuters/CNN.com reports. The infection is caused by a strain of the bacteria that causes chlamydia and can be cured with antibiotics. LGV is associated with genital ulcers and flu-like symptoms and can cause severe gastrointestinal distress, according to Reuters/CNN.com (Reuters/CNN.com, 10/29). Because most U.S. doctors have never seen a case of LGV, CDC officials are worried that physicians might incorrectly diagnose the symptoms and fail to provide necessary treatment, which could cause the STD to become worse, according to the Times. LGV usually is seen in developing countries -- such as those in Africa, Southeast Asia and Latin America -- and most often is diagnosed among heterosexuals, in whom it causes genital lesions and swelling in the lymph glands in the groin. Men who experience rectal symptoms -- including bleeding of the rectum and colon -- most likely contract LGV through unprotected anal intercourse, according to Dr. Stuart Berman, chief of the epidemiology and surveillance branch in the STD prevention division at CDC. Health professionals also are concerned because the rectal inflammation and ulceration sometimes caused by LGV could increase the risk of transmitting or contracting HIV and other bloodborne diseases (New York Times, 11/9).


I really don’t understand why a man would do this to himself and call it "love." (Unfortunately, as a retired psychologist, I can produce some hypotheses.) You would think that someone who works in the medical field just might have a glimmer of insight into the natural, physical consequences of his behavior. However, I do know that "wise" people often behave foolishly and give in to temptation.


There are many factors that enter into play here, I am sure, but today I give him to you, Lord, for You are the Divine Physician and the Healer of both his body and his soul. Lord, protect Him and place Him in the palm of your hand, warm him with the light of Your love. Open His eyes that He may see the brilliance of Your beauty. Shine Your light into his soul, purify it, and make it glow with a bright white radiance. Cleanse him, heal him, and set his heart on fire for You. Open his ears that he may hear Your Word and consume it, that it will become a living, breathing part of his being. Pour out your abundant graces upon him and grant him wisdom, knowledge, and discernment. Open his heart that he may accept all the love you have for him in your Sacred Heart. Melt his heart and mold it, Lord, into the image of Yours. Help him to discover the great miracle and meaning of true Love and remain with You for all eternity. I ask this in Your Precious Name, Jesus, through the intercession of our Holy Mother Mary, and all the saints. Amen.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

St. Theodore Tyro
St. Theodore Tyro

St. Theodore was a Roman soldier who converted to Christianity. Exposed as a Christian, the military tribunal decided he was a good soldier who had made a mistake, asked him to reconsider, and then set him free.

Theodore then promptly set fire to the pagan temple of the mother-goddess Cybele at Amasea (303 A.D.). When arrested again, he was ordered to renounce his Christian faith, but refused and persevered bravely; accordingly he was cast into a dungeon and his flesh ripped by iron hooks so that his ribs were exposed.

Here, during prayer one night, he was consoled by a miraculous appearance of the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus reassured Him, "Take courage, my servant Theodore, because I am with you." Our Lord also told Theodore that He Himself would nourish him invisibly. This visit filled him with such joy that he began to sing; and at the same moment, Angels in white robes appeared in his prison, to sing hymns of joy with him. The jailers and guardians all witnessed this miracle, as did also the judge who had condemned him, but none of them were touched by it. They gave him an ounce of bread and a flask of water every day, only to prolong his martyrdom. The Saint refused these offerings. In the midst of the terrible torture, Theodore sang joyfully, "I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise will ever be in my mouth" (Psalm 33).

Praying and singing the glories of the Lord through the Psalms, he was burned alive on November 9, 319 at Heraclea, Thrace. Theodore's head has been venerated at Cajeta since the Middle Ages. In ancient times, particularly among the Greeks, this soldier-martyr was honored as patron of armies. During the seventh century a church was dedicated to him in Rome, and his picture appears upon the apse mosaic in the church of Sts. Cosmas and Damian.

Symbols: Post and iron hooks; white horse; temple of Cybele in flames; crown of thorns; cross; Roman armor; sword.

Meaning of His Name: God's gift

St. Theodore demonstrated great courage in the midst of pain. In the midst of horrific pain, he sang songs of praise to the Lord! Many of us endure pain and heartaches in the trials of our daily life and it is difficult to keep our minds off the suffering, especially when we endure chronic pain that seems unending. Let us offer up our pain and our trials today for a good cause -- an end to abortion, world peace, or the conversion of sinners. Although we may not feel like singing God's praises, let us focus on His goodness by reading the Psalms or meditating on His Holy Face, His Sacred Heart, Christ dying on the cross, and other holy images that show us His love and help us to remember that He is with us. He is with us and nourishes us with His own strength through the Holy Eucharist and through His sacraments. We experience His presence through His Word and through prayer. Let us thank the Lord for the many blessings and gifts He has given us. If we only knew what a blessing our sufferings are, we would be thanking and praising God for them night and day.

Today, let us intercede for our soldiers, who are enduring many hardships so that we may enjoy our many freedoms.

~ Copyright 2004 Jean M. Heimann, Adapted from "Gold in the Furnace".

Monday, November 08, 2004

Human Cloning
IFRL ACTION ALERT! BILL PROMOTES THE KILLING OF NEW HUMAN LIVES AND HUMAN CLONING!

Please contact your state senator, today and throughout the veto session and urge her/him to vote NO on HB 3589 - a bill to create the Stem Cell Research Act. This bill would set a state public policy to support the killing of new human embryos for research and in support of human cloning. As you may know, research from adult stem cells and newborn umbilical cord blood stem cells currently is helping treat dozens of diseases without destroying human lives and should be promoted instead!Call your State Senator at their Springfield office. You can reach your Senator by calling the State Operator at (217) 782-2000 and asking to be connected to their office or by going to this web address: www.legis.state.il.us/senate

Again, urge her/him to vote NO on HB 3589. Tell her/him you oppose the killing of live human embryos and the promotion of human cloning in Illinois. With the elections over, the Illinois Senate begins work during the fall veto session. This is a dangerous time where last attempts to pass bad bills like HB3589 are tried. The session goes from November 8th through November 10th and from November 16th through November 18th.

PLEASE ACT TODAY! -- YOUR CALL WILL BE IMPORTANT!

For more on Cloning, visit: http://www.ifrl.org/topic/bioethics
Jesus wounded by the pain of abortion.
Priests for Life Prayer To End Abortion

Although the election is over, the battle for life continues and we continue to pray and fast to end abortion in our world.


Prayer to End Abortion

Lord God, I thank you today for the gift of my life, And for the lives of all my brothers and sisters. I know there is nothing that destroys more life than abortion, Yet I rejoice that you have conquered death by the Resurrection of Your Son. I am ready to do my part in ending abortion. Today I commit myself Never to be silent, Never to be passive, Never to be forgetful of the unborn. I commit myself to be active in the pro-life movement, And never to stop defending life Until all my brothers and sisters are protected, And our nation once again becomes A nation with liberty and justice Not just for some, but for all, Through Christ our Lord. Amen!

St. Therese of Lisieux

Quotes in Time of Trial

"O Jesus, Your little bird is happy to be weak and little."
-- St. Therese of Lisieux

"We must remember that all incapacity and distress is sent to us by God. Life and death, health and sickness are all ordered by Him; and in whatever form they come, it is always to help us and for our own good."
-- St. John Vianney

"A time of sickness is a time of grace. It is then that we reap a harvest for an eternity."
-- St. Marguerite Bourgeoys

~ Posted by Jean M. Heimann

Thursday, November 04, 2004

ABORTION LINKED TO LATER ANXIETY PROBLEMS, NEW STUDY SHOWS WOMEN GIVING BIRTH TO UNINTENDED PREGNANCIES DO BETTER

Springfield, IL (Nov 4, 2004) -- Women who abort unintended pregnancies are more likely to experience subsequent problems with anxiety compared to women who deliver their unintended pregnancies, according to a study published in the latest edition of Journal of Anxiety Disorders.

Using data collected from the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG), researchers examined a nationally representative sample of 10,847 women aged 15-34 who had experienced an unintended first pregnancy and had no prior history of anxiety. After controlling for race and age at the time of the survey, researchers found that compared to women who carried the unintended pregnancy to term, women who aborted were 30 percent more likely to subsequently report all the symptoms associated with a diagnosis for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).

If the excess cases found in the study are projected onto the entire population of women having abortions, there may be as many as 40,000 or more GAD cases per year attributable to abortion. Since many women participating in the NSFG do not report their past abortions, the results may underestimate the full impact of abortion reactions.

"Our study suggests that clinicians treating women with anxiety problems may find it useful to inquire about their clients' reproductive histories," said Jesse Cougle, M.Sc., the lead author of the study. "Women struggling with unresolved issues related to a past abortion may benefit significantly from counseling that addresses this problem."

Abortion advocates have frequently asserted that carrying an unintended pregnancy to term is more emotionally harmful to women than abortion. But this new study linking abortion to general anxiety disorder comes on the heels of nearly a dozen other studies published in the last three years linking abortion to increased risk of depression, substance abuse, suicidal behavior, and death from heart disease. Because of the increasing concern about the mental health effects of abortion on women, legislation has been introduced in Congress to expand funding for treatment programs and research in this area.

In their examination of data, Cougle and his colleagues considered women as being at risk for GAD if they reported feeling worried and anxious for a period of at least six months about things that were not serious or were unlikely to happen. They also had to experience other symptoms required for a diagnosis of GAD, such as irritability, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, a pounding or racing heart, or feelings of unreality.

Researchers excluded women who reported having experienced a period of prolonged anxiety prior to or at the same time as their first pregnancy. Women who aborted a pregnancy after delivering their first pregnancy were also excluded from the study. There were also greater differences in rates of generalized anxiety between aborting and delivering women who were under the age of 20 than there were for women who were older at the time of the pregnancy. This may be explained, researchers said, by other studies that show that older women are more likely to conceal past abortions in surveys and that abortion is a more stressful experience for younger women.

"Some studies have found that younger women are more likely to experience emotional distress following abortion than older women," Cougle said. "Younger women may feel less control over their decision and may abort under pressure from their parents and partner."

# # # CITING: Jesse R. Cougle, David C. Reardon, Priscilla K. Coleman. "Generalized Anxiety Following Unintended Pregnancies Resolved Through Childbirth and Abortion: A Cohort Study of the 1995 National Survey of Family Growth," Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 2005, 19:137-142.

CONTACT: Interviews may be arranged through Amy Sobie, Elliot Institute: (217) 525-8202.

Source: www.afterabortion.info/news

~ Posted by Jean M. Heimann

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

PRAISE THE LORD -- A VICTORY FOR PRESIDENT BUSH AND ALL GOD'S CHILDREN!

Rejoice in God, all the earth. Break forth in triumph and song!Sing to the Lord on the lyre, with the lyre and with music.With trumpets and the sound of the horn, sound jubilation to the Lord, our king.

-- Taken from Today's Morning Prayer

Thank you, Abba Father, for hearing the desires of our heart and for pouring out your tender love and mercy upon us. Help our President as he continues to lead our country. Give him strength and wisdom for the difficult tasks that lie ahead.

Thank you, Mother Mary, Our Lady of Guadalupe, sweet Mother of Victory, for your intercession in our humble request.

Thank you, St. Therese, St. John, St. Dominic, St. Jude, St. Joan of Arc, Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, and Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen. Amen.

~ Posted by Jean M. Heimann


Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Election Day

Today, I did as Fr. Frank Pavone suggested. I took the day off with the intention of working to get the vote out. All my campaign fliers were passed out, all the debates and rallies were attended, and all the phone calls, talks, emails, were completed. The editorials were written and published.

Today was judgment day, so what did I do? I woke up in pain, took some pain medication, and went back to bed. Initially, I felt like a failure, but then realized this was a blessing in disguise. I united my pain with our Savior's for the pro-life candidates and for an end to abortion.

When the pain subsided somewhat, I went to the polling place and voted, went to Eucharistic Adoration, offered to give someone a ride to the polls, and went to Mass. I served as a lector at Mass and when I came home, performed all my usual chores. I accomplished nothing outstanding, but was obedient to God's will.

I am at peace and thank you, Lord, for the grace to pray and to perform the tasks you asked me to do.

Thank you for giving me the wisdom to support and to vote for the pro-life candidates who serve you.

I continue to pray for the conversion of our pro-death candidates Barack Obama and John Kerry. May they come to know and love You with all their hearts, minds, and souls. I pray that John Kerry will return to his Catholic faith and realize what a precious gem it is. Help him to profess it not only with his mouth, but to live it out in every thought, word, and deed he performs on this earth. I pray that he change his voting patterns, so that they reflect his obedience to Your will and Your desires.

Lord, have mercy on all those who voted for the baby killers and help each one them to repent of being accomplices in murder.

Lord, remove the scales that cover the eyes of the blind and bring them into the light of your love. Give them the grace to see You and to do Your holy will in all things -- to turn away from evil and their own selfish desires and to return to You with their whole heart, their whole mind, and their whole soul. Amen.

Mother Mary, I pray for your intercession in these requests and ask you to place all of your children in your Immaculate Heart and to cleanse and purify them there.

Remember O most gracious Virgin Mary that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help, or sought your intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, we fly unto you O Virgin of Virgins, Our Mother. To you do we come, before you we stand, sinful and sorrowful. Turn then, O most Gracious Advocate, your eyes of mercy towards us and after this our exile, show unto us the most Blessed Fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O Sweet Virgin Mary. Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. Amen.

Monday, November 01, 2004

A MESSAGE FROM FATHER FRANK PAVONE

Tomorrow is "Judgment Day" in America

Tomorrow is "Judgment Day" in America. God does not normally judge nations by sending down fire and brimstone. Rather, He judges them by allowing them to live with the consequences of their own choices. As our bishops have written, "We get the public officials we deserve. Their virtue -- or lack thereof -- is a judgment not only on them, but on us. Because of this, we urge our fellow citizens to see beyond party politics, to analyze campaign rhetoric critically, and to choose their political leaders according to principle, not party affiliation or mere self-interest" (Living the Gospel of Life, 34).

You may have worked very hard to prepare for this year's elections, and I thank you for that. But today and tomorrow are the days we have to work the hardest! I encourage you to make a fervent, prayerful, energetic final push, and get as many people as possible to vote for those who will advance the culture of life.

On this eve of Election Day, I remind you of a theme I have preached constantly throughout this season: If a candidate who supported terrorism asked for your vote, would you say, "I disagree with you on terrorism, but where do you stand on other issues?" No. If a terrorism sympathizer presented him/herself for your vote, you would immediately know that such a position disqualifies the candidate for public office -- no matter how good he or she may be on other issues. The horror of terrorism dwarfs whatever good might be found in the candidate's plan for housing, education, or health care. Regarding those plans, you wouldn't even ask.

My friends, both common sense and Church teaching tell us that abortion is just as bad as terrorism. Nothing takes more lives, and nothing more completely destroys the moral fabric of America. In fact, Mother Teresa is the one who told us all that "the greatest destroyer of peace is abortion."

Tomorrow, let's vote in such a way that will advance the culture of life!

God bless you!
Fr. Frank Pavone

~ Posted by Jean M. Heimann