Wednesday, August 31, 2005

In the Wake of Katrina, Calls for Prayer

"We Are Overwhelmed," Says New Orleans Archbishop Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Archbishop Alfred Hughes of New Orleans gathered with the governor of Louisiana and religious leaders to pray for the survivors and victims of Hurricane Katrina today.

"We are so overwhelmed, we do not know how to respond,'' Archbishop Hughes said today in Baton Rouge, according to the Times-Picayune newspaper. The prelate did offer a suggestion: Turn to prayer. The archbishop read from the Letter of St. Paul to the Romans: "We know that all things work for the good of God ... if God is for us, who can be against us?'' Governor Kathleen Blanco concurred. "We need a higher power right now," she said. "There are a lot of people to pray for." The governor asked residents to spend the day in prayer. "That would be the best thing to calm our spirits and thank Our Lord that we are survivors," she said. "Slowly, gradually, we will recover; we will survive; we will rebuild."

The mayor of New Orleans, Ray Nagin, meanwhile, warned that the hurricane probably killed thousands of people in the city. Two levees were breached a day after the hurricane struck the region, leading to the flooding of the below-sea-level city. At least 100 people were reported dead in the neighboring state of Mississippi.

Catholic Charities USA is preparing to help in the rebuilding process in the Gulf Coast. " Catholic Charities USA has a Web site for relief aid at www.catholiccharitiesusa.org/news/katrina.cfm

The U.S. bishops have asked that dioceses make a special collection for the hurricane victims to be distributed through Catholic Charities USA.

Meanwhile, the Connecticut-based Supreme Council of the Knights of Columbus provided initial relief funds for the victims of Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida today.

Knights of Columbus members and the general public are asked to donate to a disaster relief fund administered by Knights of Columbus Charities.

Donors in the United States should make checks payable to Knights of Columbus Charities USA and send them to: Knights of Columbus Charities USA Inc. Gift Processing Center PO Box 9028 Pittsfield, MA 01202-9028 Attn: Hurricane Katrina Relief.

Donors in Canada should make checks payable to Knights of Columbus Canada Charities and send them to: Knights of Columbus Canada Charities Inc. Gift Processing Center PO Box 7252 Station A Toronto, ON, M5W 1X9 Attn: Hurricane Katrina Relief.

The Knights, the world's largest Catholic lay organization, says that 100% of contributions will go directly to hurricane relief, and all donations to Knights of Columbus Charities are tax-deductible.

My personal preference for charitable donations is the Knights of Columbus because I believe they are a group of Catholic men of the utmost integrity who are very generous and self-giving of their time, talent, and individual finances to help those in dire need.

Other Online Charities that are Providing Help:

•Episcopal Relief and Development:www.er-d.org

• United Methodist Committee on Relief: gbgm-umc.org/umcor/emergency/hurricanes/2005

•Salvation Army:www.salvationarmyusa.org

•National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster:www.nvoad.org

•Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals:www.la-spca.org
Most Recent Letters from Senator Durbin

Since Senator Barack Obama has not replied to my letters on either of these issues, I can only think that he has just been way too busy with his duties and responsibilities in Washington to care what his constituents opinions or concerns are. If the fire is too hot for you, Senator O., perhaps you should get out of the kitchen or wherever it is that you are hiding these days.

Although I seldom agree with Durbin responses, at least he has the courtesy to reply. Barack Obama has been in office for several months now and still has not responded even once to the more than 30 letters I have written him.

August 31, 2005

Mrs. Jean Heimann
(Address)

Dear Mrs. Jean Heimann:

Thank you for your message regarding the nomination of John Roberts to the United States Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court is our nation's ultimate authority in interpreting the Constitution. Its decisions are made by nine justices appointed for life by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate.

The appointment of a Supreme Court Justice is an infrequent and momentous event. Over the course of its history, the Senate has confirmed 120 of the 154 Supreme Court nominations it has received, and 11 years have passed since the last nomination and confirmation.

As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I carefully review the merits of the judicial nominees presented to us. During this process, I evaluate the nominee's past record, professional competence, integrity, temperament, and judicial philosophy; his or her commitment to upholding the rights and protections established by the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and subsequent laws; and the background information and testimony collected in the course of the candidate's confirmation hearings.

As the Senate conducts hearings regarding Judge Roberts' nomination, he carries the burden of demonstrating that he deserves a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court. Important questions will be raised about his writings while working for the government and the light they shed on his commitment to constitutional principles such as equal rights, privacy, and the appropriate use of Executive power by the President.

It is essential that Judge Roberts clearly and candidly discuss his views on these critical matters, to ensure that they reflect the values embodied in our Constitution. If he is confirmed, Judge Roberts will be making crucial decisions regarding civil rights, workers' rights, women's rights, the environment, and many issues that haven't yet even reached the courts. It is important to ensure that the next member of the Supreme Court will protect our freedoms, preserve our privacy rights, pursue justice, and be fair,open-minded, and independent.

I hope the confirmation process will show clearly whether Judge Roberts is such a person. Thanks again for your message.

Sincerely,
Richard J. Durbin
United States Senator
RJD/el

P.S. If you are ever visiting Washington, please feel free to join Senator Obama and me at our weekly constituent coffee. When the Senate is in session, we provide coffee and donuts every Thursday at 8:30 a.m. as we hear what is on the minds of Illinoisans and respond to your questions. We would welcome your participation. Please call my D.C. office for more details.

August 31, 2005
Mrs. Jean Heimann
(Address)

Mrs. Jean Heimann:

Thank you for your message regarding the taking of private property through the use of eminent domain. I appreciate hearing from you.

I understand your concerns regarding the need to protect property rights.

On June 23, 2005, the Supreme Court handed down a 5-4 decision in Kelo v.City of New London. The Court held that the city's condemnation of private property, to implement a redevelopment plan aimed at invigorating a depressed economy, was a "public use" satisfying constitutional requirements - even though the property might be turned over to private developers. The opinion is based on a century of Supreme Court decisions holding that "public use" must be read broadly to mean "for a public purpose.

"The New London decision attempted to strike a balance between property rights and the economic development goals of local governments. The true effect of the case will not be known until the lower courts have time to interpret and apply it.

However, several options have been raised to address the decision through Congressional action. Legislation has been introduced that would prohibit the use of federal funds for state and local projects that impose eminent domain for the purpose of economic development. Another proposal would amend the Constitution to prohibit condemnation for the purpose of economic development. I will keep your thoughts in mind as this matter is considered further by Congress.

Thanks again for your message.

Sincerely,
Richard J. Durbin
United States Senator
RJD/el

P.S. If you are ever visiting Washington, please feel free to join Senator Obama and me at our weekly constituent coffee. When the Senate is in session, we provide coffee and donuts every Thursday at 8:30 a.m. as we hear what is on the minds of Illinoisans and respond to your questions. We would welcome your participation. Please call my D.C. office for more details.

Mad Madigan Strikes Again

In 2004, Loyola University Chicago School of Law, a Catholic institution, gave an award to strongly pro-abortion Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan. Despite pleas from concerned Christians and even from Francis Cardinal George, Loyola refused to cancel the award. History is once again repeating itself. The Women's Council of St. Ignatius College Prep, located in the city of Chicago, will have Madigan as their featured speaker at their 7th Annual Women's Council Dinner on September 22, 2005.

This article explains what you can help do to prevent this or to at least draw attention to the fact that you do not approve.

My letter to Loyola University:

Dear Mr. Paulson:

I am shocked and appalled that a Catholic educational institution would honor Lisa Madigan -- a person who lives a life that strongly opposes Catholic teachings and who advocates and embraces the culture of death. To me, she is the epitome of all that our secular, humanistic culture of death society represents -- someone who worships and abuses all the gifts that God has given her for her own selfish desires and prides herself in the perpetuation of the culture of death. It is not surprising that so many of our youth are unable to stand firm in their faith and to cling to Catholic truths when "Catholic" educators like you are so weak and teach heresy. May God have mercy on your souls and forgive you for this sinful act.

Jean M. Heimann

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

NARAL Pro-Choice America Releases Ad on Roberts' Record

You can view NARAL's new attack ad on John Roberts here. He must be a highly qualified candidate for them to be this combative.

I agree with Jill that it is very interesting that there are so many happy families with children in this clip.

Hat Tip: Jill Stanek
Quote for the Day

"Many people are concerned with children of India, with the children of Africa where quite a few die of hunger, and so on. Many people are also concerned about the violence in this great country of the United States. These concerns are very good. But often these same people are not concerned with the millions being killed by the deliberate decision of their own mothers. And this is the greatest destroyer of peace today- abortion which brings people to such blindness."

~ Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta
How You can help victims of Katrina

Wal-Mart donated $1,000,000 to the Salvation Army Monday to be used for disaster relief. You can go to the store's website at http://www.walmartstores.com/ for more information on how you can donate to the Salvation Army.

Or, and you can make your donation in person at any Wal-Mart or Sam's Club store.
* * * * * *
The Federal Emergency Management Agency is commandeering the clean up of Katrina's aftermath, and also has some information on their website about other charities accepting donations on behalf of the victims. If you'd like to check it out, or if you've been affected by the storm and need help, go to http://www.fema.gov/
Joke for the Day

The new priest is nervous about hearing confessions . . .

. . . so he asks the older priest to sit in on his sessions.

The new priest hears a couple confessions, then the old priest asks him to step out of the confessional for a few suggestions. The old priest suggests, "Cross you arms over your chest, and rub your chin with one hand."

The new priest tries this.

The old priest suggests, "Try saying things like, 'I see, yes, go on,' and 'I understand. How did you feel about that?'"

The new priest says those things.

The old priest says, "Now, don't you think that's a little better than slapping your knee and saying, "Cool Man! What happened next?"
Governor Blanco Requests a Day of Prayer

Governor Blanco has requested that August 31, 2005 be set aside as a day of prayer for Louisianna in the wake of hurricane Katrina. Let's join in praying for the following requests:

"Pray for the victims and the rescuers. Please pray that God give us all the physical and spiritual strength to work through this crisis and rebuild. Please pray for patience for those anxiously waiting to hear from family members or to get word about their homes. Pray for the safety of our hard-working rescuers and those they are bringing to safety. I know, by praying together on Wednesday, that we can pull together and draw strength we need; strength, that only God can give us.In my prayers, I will also thank God for the strong and resilient people of this state and how they are working to meet this challenge."

Life Chain

The Life Chain is on October 2nd Annually, on the first Sunday in October. LIFE CHAIN invites the churches in each city and town across North America to stand on a designated local sidewalk and pray for one hour, while holding one of the following approved pro-life sign messages: * ABORTION KILLS CHILDREN * JESUS FORGIVES AND HEALS * ADOPTION: THE LOVING OPTION * LORD, FORGIVE US AND OUR NATION * ABORTION HURTS WOMEN * PRAY TO END ABORTION * LIFE-THE FIRST INALIENABLE RIGHT

For more information about the Life Chain in IL, go here. For more information about the National Life Chain, go here.

This is an annual activity for Bill and me and it is one that is very personally gratifying. The National Life Chain website effectively describes its purpose: "LIFE CHAIN is not chiefly a demonstration, and its witness is not intended for the viewing public only. Instead, its first goal is to minister to its own participants—to those who call Christ their Lord and hold pro-life messages that declare abortion a grave evil that defames the name and holiness of God (Leviticus 18:21). Indeed the Church that Christ founded has drifted into cold indifference toward the sacredness of human life, and the result has been the mindless surgical killing and mutilation of over 45 million preborn Americans, plus untold millions who have fallen victim to abortive chemicals and medical neglect. "

" It is purposeful to note that LIFE CHAIN is church oriented and pastor focused and that the key to a successful Chain is for local pastors to educate their congregations about abortion and then lead them to the sidewalk where their Chain is to be held. Without firm pastoral support, a Life Chain will not fulfill its potential for saving lives and changing hearts."


Does your cat do this?

I awoke this morning to find my bed filled with cat toys -- the soft yellow ball, with the shiny Easter-grass like fuzz fibers hanging from it (ripped off of a newly purchased cat mobile) and the soft velevety blue mouse that resembles a dog were laying on my husband's vacated side of the bed. In the meantime, someone was batting at my toes with her claws and nibbling on them through the sheets, while purring loudly. Who needs an alarm clock when you can be awakened in such a pleasantly seductive manner?

As soon as Bill leaves in the morning, she plops herself down in his spot laying on top of the comforter after kneading it with her paws for about a half an hour and pretends to be sleeping, but all the while she is plotting her next clandestine attack.
Let us pray for the victims of our tsunami

Here are some fast facts about Katrina. Let us pray for the repose of the souls of the victims of our tsunami and for those who are without homes and power at this time. My heart goes out to them.
Christian Yoga?

Yoga is part of the New Age movement and the term "Christian yoga" is definitely an oxymoron, so why are so many Christians -- particularly Catholics -- seeking it out today? Exercise? Why not take a walk or go swimming? To attain inner peace? Why not go to Eucharistic Adoration and pour your heart out to Him -- the One who loves you? Contemplation, meditation? Why not read the scriptures and ponder on them? Why not dwell on the sacred mysteries of the rosary or the stations of the cross? Or if that's too advanced, how about viewing Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ and reflecting on Our Savior's love for you? It takes no effort when one views this film. Why dabble in a New Age religion that can be destructive to the soul?

Fr. John Hardon, SJ, has written an excellent article which explains why yoga is incompatible with Catholicism.

I recently came across a pamphlet put out by a religious order that pictured a young woman in a clinging low cut leotard performing her yoga
exercises. There was no mention of God on the cover of this pamphlet. When I showed it to a well-educated, seasoned priest, solid in the faith,
he was quite shocked that material like this would be displayed in a Catholic church.

Johnette Benkovich's latest series of interviews with a former yoga teacher who previously dabbled in the New Age Movement on EWTN's The Abundant Life has been eye-opening and enlightening to me and has validated what my own suspicions about yoga have been.

A few years ago, upon the advice of my doctor, I enrolled in a yoga class to stretch my tight muscles and to learn to relax. It was supposed to be effective in relieving some of the pain of fibromyalgia, which I had been struggling with for many years.

When I met the teacher of the small daytime class, she was very pleasant and seemed quite down to earth to me. The first few classes seemed initially harmless, but when she began speaking about God and seeking out God in the middle of the exercises, something didn't seem quite right. I began to wonder who her god was. Was he the same God that I worshipped? Why did she attempt to subtly equate God with feeling so good about oneself during stretching exercises? Why did God seem to suddenly appear when one began to feel in control of her body? Where had he been prior to that?

When I spoke with her about my concerns after class, she assured me that I had nothing to worry about as she held classes of 150 students or more in a Christian Church located in a nearby town. Now, that really freaked me out! After consulting with my Spiritual Father (A priest who was my Spiritual Director) on this, I discontinued this class. The Lord had answered my prayers for discernment in this matter but how many other Christians are duped by this subtle manipulation of their soul?

Monday, August 29, 2005

Joke for the Day

Three couples drowned in a boat accident. They were lined up to see if St. Peter would let them in. Penny and her husband were first. St. Peter says to the husband, "I'm sorry I can't let you in. During your life you only cared about money. Why, you even married a woman named Penny!" Candy and her husband were next. "I'm sorry, I can't let you in either", says St. Peter says to the next guy. "While you were on earth, all you cared about was eating. You even married a woman named Candy!"After that, the third guy looks at his wife and says, "Well, it doesn't look too good for us, Fanny!"
Quote of the Day

Humility must accompany all our actions, must be with us everywhere; for as soon as we glory in our good works they are of no further value to our advancement in virtue.

~ St. Augustine

READING & BOOK SIGNING

At the Catholic Information Center, 1501 K Street NW, Washington DC

202-783-2062

Poetry Reading and Book Signing:

Mysteries and Stations in the Manner of Ignatius

Presented by Pavel Chichikov

Date/Time: Sep. 15, 5:30 PM.
ABORTION E-CARDS

I just came across an interesting site to share with you. It contains pro-life e-cards. This message is posted on the Life Dynamics site: "Life Dynamics’ new Pro-life eCards are the perfect way to help spread the pro-life message to friends and family. Whether you’re staying in touch with fellow pro-lifers or looking to change the heart and mind of a friend Pro-life eCards are a great tool. With 46 different designs to choose from these cards will help to get people thinking about abortion and its effect on babies and their moms."

And, there are some really good ones here. For example, one that I chose to send to family and friends contains a photo image along with the following message: "Weapons of Mass Destruction -- cannula- 1. a cheap plastic tube used to kill and dismember unborn children during elective abortions. 2. a device that has killed more innocent human beings than all other methods of mass destruction combined. STOP ABORTION NOW".

Others warn of the dangers of abortion to the mother and child as well as to our society. The back of my car contains some educational and helpful pro-life stickers and I sometimes wear pro-life t-shirts, but how novel -- pro-life ecards. What a wonderful way to spread the message of life!
The Beheading of St. John the Baptist

Shortly after he had baptized Jesus, John the Baptist began to denounce Herod Antipas, the tetrarch of Galilee. Herod had divorced his own wife and taken Herodias, the wife of his half- brother Philip and also his own niece. John the Baptist declared, "It is not lawful for you to have her," so Herod threw him into prison.

Not only did Herod fear John and his disciples, he also knew him to be a righteous man, so he did not kill him. Herodias was determined to bring about John's death. From prison John followed Jesus's ministry, and sent messengers to question him (Luke 7:19-29). One day Herod gave an eloquent banquet to celebrate his birthday. His entire court was present as well as other powerful and influential Palestinians. Herodias's daughter Salome so pleased Herod when she danced to entertain the company that he promised her whatever she would ask--even half of his kingdom. Salome asked her mother for counsel and was told to request the head of the Baptist (Matthew 14:1-12).

Because of his pride Herod, though deeply sorry, could not decline the request; as St. Augustine said, "an oath rashly taken was criminally kept." He sent a soldier of the guard to behead John in prison. Thus, the "voice crying in the wilderness" was silenced. The head was placed on a platter and taken to Salome, who gave it to her mother.

When John's disciples heard what had happened, they took away his body and laid it in a tomb, where he was venerated in the 4th century.

The Greatness of St. John the Baptist

John's holiness appears so great that the Jews come to ask him if he is the looked - for Christ. but he, forestalled as he is with divine favors, protests that he is but "the voice of one crying out in the wildnerness, make straight the way of the Lord."

The other prophets only saw the Messiah afar off; he points him out in person and in terms so clear that all sincere hearts understand them: "Behold the lamb of God," behold the one who is the object of all the desires of the human race, because he takes away the sins of the world; Ecce Agnus Dei. You do not yet know him, although he is in the midst of you: Medius vestrum stetit quem vos nescitis; he is greater than I, for he was before me; he is so great that I am not even worthy to loose the latchet of his shoe; so great that "I saw the Spirit coming down as a dove from heaven, and he remained upon him...and I saw, and I gave testimony that this is the Son of God."

What more has he yet to say? "He that comes from above, is above all. He who God has seen heard that he testified...he whom God has sent, speaks the words of God; for God does not give the Spirit by measure. The father loves the Son; and he has given all things into his hand. He that believed in the Son, has life everlasting; but he that not believes in the Son, shall not see life; but the wrath of God abides on him."

These are the last words of the Precursor. By them he achieves his work of preparing souls to receive the Messiah. Indeed, when the Incarnate Word, who alone can speak the words from on high because he is ever in sinu Patris, begins his public mission as the Savior, John will disappear; he will no longer bear testimony to the Truth save with the shedding of his blood.

The Christ, whom he announced, has come at last; he is that Light unto which John bore testimony, and all those who believe in that Light have everlasting life. It is to Him alone that it must be said: "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life."

~ Blessed Columba Marmion, O.S.B.

Blessed Columba Marmion was abbot of the Benedictine Abbey of Maredsous, Belgium.



Litany of St. John the Baptist

Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us. Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven, Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost, Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, Have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, pray for us.
Queen of Prophets, pray for us.
Queen of Martyrs, pray for us.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.
St. John the Baptist, precursor of Christ, pray for us.
St. John the Baptist, glorious forerunner of the Sun of Justice, pray for us. St. John the Baptist, minister of baptism to Jesus, pray for us.
St. John the Baptist, burning and shining lamp of the world, pray for us. St. John the Baptist, angel of purity before thy birth, pray for us.
St. John the Baptist, special friend and favorite of Christ, pray for us.
St. John the Baptist, heavenly contemplative, whose element was prayer, pray for us.
St. John the Baptist, intrepid preacher of truth, pray for us.
St. John the Baptist, voice crying in the wilderness, pray for us.
St. John the Baptist, miracle of mortification and penance, pray for us.
St. John the Baptist, example of profound humility, pray for us.
St. John the Baptist, glorious martyr of zeal for God's holy law, pray for us.
St. John the Baptist, gloriously fulfilling thy mission, pray for us.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us. Christ, graciously hear us.
V. Pray for us, O glorious St. John the Baptist, R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us Pray:
O God, Who hast honored this world by the birth of Saint John the Baptist, grant that Thy faithful people may rejoice in the way of eternal salvation, through Jesus Christ Our Lord.
R. Amen.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Converting A Bear

A priest, a Pentecostal preacher and a Rabbi all would get together two or three times a week for coffee and to talk shop. One day, someone made the comment that preaching to people isn't really all that hard. A real challenge would be to preach to a bear.

One thing led to another and they decided to do an experiment. They would all go out into the woods, find a bear, preach to it, and attempt to convert it.

Seven days later, they're all together to discuss the experience.

Father Flannery, who has his arm in a sling, is on crutches, and has various bandages, goes first. "Well," he says, "I went into the woods to find me a bear. And when I found him I began to read to him from the Catechism.Well, that bear wanted nothing to do with me and began to slap me around. So I quickly grabbed my holy water, sprinkled him and, Holy Mary Mother of God, he became as gentle a lamb. The bishop is coming out next week to give him first communion and confirmation."

Reverend Billy Bob spoke next. He was in a wheelchair, with an arm and both legs in casts, and an IV drip. In his best fire and brimstone oratory he claimed, "WELL brothers, you KNOW that we don't sprinkle! I went out and I FOUND me a bear. And then I began to read to him from God's HOLY WORD! But that bear wanted nothing to do with me. So I took HOLD of him and we began to rassle. We rassled down one hill, UP another and DOWN another until we came to a crick. So I quick DUNKED him and BAPTIZED his hairy soul and just like you said, he became as gentle as a lamb. We spent the rest of the week in fellowship, feasting on God's Holy Word, and praising Jesus."

They both looked down at the rabbi, who was lying in a hospital bed. He was in a body cast and traction with IV's and monitors running in and out of him. He was in bad shape. The rabbi looks up and says, "You fellows don't even know what trouble is until you try to circumcise a bear.

Saturday, August 27, 2005


Why the Chicken Crossed the Road

KINDERGARTEN TEACHER: To get to the other side.

PLATO: For the greater good.

ARISTOTLE: It is the nature of chickens to cross roads.

KARL MARX: It was a historical inevitability.

TIMOTHY LEARY: Because that's the only trip the establishment would let it take.

SADDAM HUSSEIN: This was an unprovoked act of rebellion and we were quite justified in dropping 50 tons of nerve gas on it.

CAPTAIN JAMES T. KIRK: To boldly go where no chicken has gone before.

HIPPOCRATES: Because of an excess of phlegm in its pancreas.

ARTHUR ANDERSEN: Deregulation of the chicken's side of the road was threatening its dominant market position. The chicken was faced with significant challenges to create and develop the competencies required for the newly competitive market.

LOUIS FARRAKHAN: The road, you see, represents the black man. The chicken 'crossed' the black man in order to trample him and keep him down.

MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.: I envision a world where all chickens will be free to cross roads without having their motives called into question.

MOSES: And God came down from the Heavens, and He said unto the chicken,"Thou shalt cross the road." And the chicken crossed the road, and there was much rejoicing.

FOX MULDER: You saw it cross the road with your own eyes. How many more chickens have to cross the road before you believe it?

RICHARD M. NIXON: The chicken did not cross the road. I repeat, the chicken did NOT cross the road.

MACHIAVELLI: The point is that the chicken crossed the road. Who cares why? The end of crossing the road justifies whatever motive there was.

JERRY SEINFELD: Why does anyone cross a road? I mean, why doesn't anyone ever think to ask, What the heck was this chicken doing walking around all over the place, anyway?"

FREUD: The fact that you are at all concerned that the chicken crossed the road reveals your underlying sexual insecurity.

BILL GATES: I have just released the new Chicken Office 2005, which will not only cross roads, but will lay eggs, file your important documents, and balance your check book.

OLIVER STONE: The question is not, "Why did the chicken cross the road?" Rather, it is, "Who was crossing the road at the same time, whom we overlooked in our haste to observe the chicken crossing?"

DARWIN: Chickens, over great periods of time, have been naturally selected in such a way that they are now genetically disposed to cross roads.

EINSTEIN: Whether the chicken crossed the road or the road moved beneath the chicken depends upon your frame of reference.

BUDDHA: Asking this question denies your own chicken nature.

RALPH WALDO EMERSON: The chicken did not cross the road . It transcended it.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY: To die. In the rain.

COLONEL SANDERS: I missed one?

HILLARY CLINTON: I'm not going to have some chicken clawing through our papers. You tell him to get back on the other side of the road. We are the president!

MICHAEL SCHUMACHER; it was an instinctive maneuver, the chicken obviously didn't see the road until he had already started to cross.

PAT BUCHANAN: To steal a job from a decent, hard-working American.

JOHN LOCKE: Because he was exercising his natural right to liberty.

ALBERT CAMUS: It doesn't matter; the chicken's actions have no meaning except to him.

THE POPE: That is only for God to know.

IMMANUAL KANT: The chicken, being an autonomous being, chose to cross the road of his own free will.

GRANDPA: In my day, we didn't ask why the chicken crossed the road. Someone told us that the chicken had crossed the road, and that was good enough for us.

ERICH MARIA REMARQUE: The chicken crossed the road because, after his experience with war, he no longer felt at home in his home.

M.C. ESCHERr: That depends on which plane of reality the chicken was on at the time.

BARACK OBAMA(NATION): If you're walking down the right path and you're willing to keep walking, eventually you'll make progress. That chicken is making progress. He's on his way to vote for me a second time and he'll achieve his goal because if I don't get his vote the first time, I'm going to get his vote the next time. And, in this country, there are no liberals or conservatives, only constitutents who are paid to vote for good old home boys like me, right Governor B.? Did I read it right this time, Kerry? I 've been practising this speech for the past year so I could appear on National TV and look smart. Duh...did I do it?

GEORGE ORWELL: Because the government had fooled him into thinking that he was crossing the road of his own free will, when he was really only serving their interests.

NIETZSCHE: Because if you gaze too long across the Road, the Road gazes also across you.

JULIA CHILD: So I could whack the h--- out of him! Bring on the coq au vin! Bon Appetite!

BILL CLINTON: You know, if I were a single man, I might ask that chicken out. That's a good-looking chicken!

B.F SKINNER: Because the external influences, which had pervaded its sensorium from birth, had caused it to develop in such a fashion that it would tend to cross roads, even while believing these actions to be of its own free will.

JEAN-PAUL SARTRE: In order to act in good faith and be true to itself, the chicken found it necessary to cross the road.

PYRRHO THE SKEPTIC: What road?

THE SPHINX: You tell me.

EMILY DICKINSON: Because it could not stop for death.

St. Monica, Widow, Mother of St. Augustine

St. Monica was born of a Christian family in Tagaste in Africa in 331. She was married to an ill-tempered, adulterous pagan, Patricius. One of their children was St. Augustine. She shed many tears and prayed constantly for the conversion of her husband (who converted on his death bed), and of her son (who converted after a living a wild, sinful life). Monica was a virtuous mother whose perseverance in prayer and strong faith brought those whom she loved to the Heart of Jesus.
She died in Ostia in 387.

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"The day was now approaching when my mother Monica would depart from this life; you know that day, Lord, though we did not. She and I happened to be standing by ourselves at a window that overlooked the garden in the courtyard of the house. At the time we were in Ostia on the Tiber. And so the two of us, all alone, were enjoying a very pleasant conversation, "forgetting the past and pushing on to what is ahead.." We were asking one another in the presence of the Truth - for you are the Truth - what it would be like to share the eternal life enjoyed by the saints, which "eye has not seen, nor ear heard, which has not even entered into the heart of man." We desired with all our hearts to drink from the streams of your heavenly fountain, the fountain of life.

That was the substance of our talk, though not the exact words. But you know, O Lord, that in the course of our conversation that day, the world and its pleasures lost all their attraction for us. My mother said, "Son, as far as I am concerned, nothing in this life now gives me any pleasure. I do not know why I am still here, since I have no further hopes in this world. I did have one reason for wanting to live a little longer: to see you become a Catholic Christian before I died. God has lavished his gifts on me in that respect, for I know that you have even renounced earthly happiness to be his servant. So what am I doing here?"

I do not really remember how I answered her. Shortly, within five days or thereabouts, she fell sick with a fever. Then one day during the course of her illness she became unconscious and for a while she was unaware of her surroundings. My brother and I rushed to her side, but she regained consciousness quickly. She looked at us as we stood there and asked in a puzzled voice: "Where was I?"

We were overwhelmed with grief, but she held her gaze steadily upon us, and spoke further: "Here you shall bury your mother." I remained silent as I held back my tears. However, my brother haltingly expressed his hope that she might not die in a strange country but in her own land, since her end would be happier there. When she heard this, her face was filled with anxiety, and she reproached him with a glance because he had entertained such earthly thoughts. Then she looked at me and spoke: "Look what he is saying." Thereupon she said to both of us, "Bury my body wherever you will; let not care of it cause you any concern. One thing only I ask you, that you remember me at the altar of the Lord wherever you may be." Once our mother had expressed this desire as best she could, she fell silent as the pain of her illness increased."

~ from the Confessions of Saint Augustine of Hippo

***********************************************************************

Prayer to St. Monica

Eternal and merciful Father, I give You thanks for the gift of Your Divine Son Who suffered, died and rose for all mankind. I thank You also for my Catholic Faith and ask Your help that I may grow in fidelity by prayer, by works of charity and penance, by reflection on Your Word, and by regular participation in the Sacraments of Penance and the Holy Eucharist.

You gave Saint Monica a spirit of selfless love manifested in her constant prayer for the conversion of her son Augustine. Inspired by boundless confidence in Your power to move hearts, and by the success of her prayer. I ask the grace to imitate her constancy in my prayer for [name(s)] who no longer share(s) in the intimate life of Your Catholic family. Grant through my prayer and witness that (he/she/they) may be open to the promptings of Your Holy Spirit, and return to loving union with Your Church. Grant also that my prayer be ever hopeful and that I may never judge another, for You alone can read hearts. I ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Communication with Blogger Support

Since I am at the mercy of my limited techincal knowledge (I am self-taught on the computer and am technologically challenged), I am once again appealing to my readers for help. With no one young enough around here to assist me with high tech stuff (We are still trying to figure out VCR's here -- no kidding!) I have been relying on Blogger Support. In another month or so, I should be getting another (enigmatic) response to the questions and concerns I mention below.

In the meantime, if anyone out there has any answers to the questions or concerns I have here, please email me at IPS14@mchsi.com (Please put a clear identifier in the subject of your email.) or comment here. I desperately need help. (Seriously!)

************************************************************************
Dear Blogger Support,

I have been attempting to update my blog and add atom and RSS site feeds. However, there have been no changes to my blog although I did exactly what your instructions told me to do.

Do I need to pay money for this service? Is this considered a premium service? I have searched your site for information about this, but could find none. What do I need to do to be able to add this information to my site?

Also I want to add Post pages, but have had difficulty doing this following your instructions. Please tell in simple terms how to do this.

Why is that Javascript does not work properly on my blog? Is there anything I can do to change this?

Sometime ago I contacted you for help regarding the Navbar covering up the top of my blog and added style="margin-top:40px;" to the top element in my design,which resulted in completely covering up my blog name. Do you have any other suggestions on what I can do to remedy this? Do I need to delete other margin directives from my template? I have not done this and am wondering if this might resolve the problem.

Thank you for your help. I appreciate it.

Jean

Friday, August 26, 2005

A Joke to Brighten Your Day

A young priest, in the first days of his first parish, was obliged to call upon the widow of a very eccentric man who had just died. Standing before the open casket and consoling the widow, he said, "I know this must be a very hard blow, Mrs. Vernon. But we must remember that what we see here is the husk only, the shell...the nut has gone to heaven."

To Sing You Must Exhale

This is the title of Katherine Mulderink's golden collection of poems. You can find my book review here at St. Anthony Messenger. This is a must-have book for all poetry lovers.

Mysteries and Stations in the Manner of Ignatius

This is the title of Pavel Chichikov's latest book. This book contains beautiful Christian poems of meditation. To learn more, go here. In addition to being a gifted poet, Pavel is an outstanding photographer. You can view his Catholic Images here.
NRL: "Gullible treatment of trumped up 'study' on fetal pain issue should embarrass JAMA and some journalists"

National Right to Life has just released a comprehensive and informative rebuttal regarding the article "Fetal Pain: A Systematic Multidisciplinary Review of the Evidence," published in the August 24 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

See the update at
http://www.jillstanek.com/archives/2005/08/nrl_gullible_tr.html#more, complete with hyperlinks to articles and substantiation referred to by NRL.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Updating Blog

Please Pardon the Mess

I am in the process of updating my blog -- changing my site feed settings and attempting to add RSS feed or atom. I have no idea what I'm doing, but that didn't stop me from blogging when I started. I am also attempting to introduce Post Pages to replace my daily/weekly/monthly archive pages.
If anyone with expertise in these areas (If you have a blog which includes these) has any suggestions or advice as to how to accomplsh this and what to include, I would greatly appreciate it. Feel free to comment here or email me at ips14@mchsi.com .

Since it's almost 4 a.m. this night owl will call it a night.
Joke of the Day

A man has three sons who entered three different religious orders: the oldest became a Dominican, the second a Franciscan, and the youngest a Jesuit. On his deathbed, the father tells his sons, "I know you all have vows of poverty, but as a sign of your love for me, I want each of you to place one thousand dollars into my casket to be buried with me."

On the day of the funeral, the Dominican son steps up, places $1000 in the casket, and says, "This seems like a waste of money, since you can't take it with you, Dad. But with the special permission of my superiors, I'm doing as you requested, as a sign of my love."

Next, the Franciscan son approaches the casket and says, "You know I love you, Dad, but the needs of the poor are so great, I just can't let $1000 be buried with you. I hope you understand, now that you are in heaven. Please forgive me."

Finally, the Jesuit son comes forward and says to his brother, "Don't worry, Frank. I'll pay your share." Then he reaches into the casket, takes the cash left by his eldest brother, and puts in a check for $3000.
Saint Louis IX, King of France

Louis IX, King of France, son of Louis VIII and Blanche of Castile, was born at Poissy, April 25, 1215.

Louis was eleven years old when his father's death made him king. At that time, his mother Queen Blanche of Castile, was declared regent and remained an important influence in his life. At nineteen, he married Marguerite of Provence and the couple had eleven children.

Louis brought justice to France. When, for example, a baron hanged three students for poaching rabbits, the King's response was firm. He forced the Baron to surrender his forest, imprisoned him for a time, fined him heavily, made him build a chapel in memory of each student, and ordered him to crusade for three years in Palestine.

Louis was a loving and generous king. The poorest of the poor were recipients of his charity and alms everyday. Beggars were fed from his table, he ate their leavings, washed their feet, and ministered to the needs of the lepers. Daily, he fed 120 poor people. He founded many hospitals and houses: the House of the Felles-Dieu for reformed prostitutes; the Quinze-Vingt for 300 blind men (1254), and hospitals at Pontoise, Vernon, Compiégne.

Louis was a faithful Christian sovereign. One of his first acts as King was to build the famous monastery of Royaumont, with funds left for the purpose by his father. Louis gave encouragement to the religious orders, placing the Carthusians in the palace of Vauvert in Paris, and assisting his mother in founding the convent of Maubuisson. Louis secretly spent long hours in prayer, fasting, and penance.

Louis was a patron of architecture. The Sainte Chappelle was constructed in his reign, and it was under his patronage that Robert of Sorbonne founded the "College de la Sorbonne," which became the seat of the theological faculty of Paris.

He died near Tunis, August 25, 1270 and was cannonized in Orvieto in 1297, by Boniface VIII.

Quotes:

"If God send thee adversity, receive it in patience and give thanks to our Saviour and bethink thee that thou hast deserved it, and that He will make it turn to thine advantage. If He send thee prosperity, then thank Him humbly, so that thou becomest not worse from pride or any other cause, when thou oughtest to be better. For we should not fight against God with his own gifts."

"In prosperity, give thanks to God with humility and fear lest by pride you abuse God's benefits and so offend him."

Source

Wednesday, August 24, 2005


FETAL PAIN

The news media are today reporting on a "study" (actually, an interpretation of existing medical literature) published in this week's Journal of the American Medical Association. The authors argue that there is no good evidence that unborn humans feel pain before the third trimester (after 29 weeks gestational age). Most of these stories have failed to report important information on the origins of this "study." The lead author, Susan J. Lee, is a medical student and former NARAL employee, and one of the physician authors, Eleanor Drey, is the director of the largest abortion clinic in San Francisco. Dr. Drey is also on the staff of the Center for Reproductive Health Research and Policy, a pro-abortion advocacy center at the University of California-San Francisco. Jill Stanek has more details on this in her blog Pro-life pulse today.

I have a real problem with pro-death people analyzing existing studies that have already been performed by someone else and then arriving at different conclusions that "validate" their views. Their analysis of existing studies is obviously biased and therefore, invalid. However, no matter what their conclusions are, the heart of the issue lies elsewhere. As Truth and Action has pointed out, fetal pain does not really matter in discussing the morality of abortion, because the ability to feel pain does not make a person a human being. The fetus is a human life, whether or not he or she feels pain.

St. Bartholomew, Apostle

St. Bartholomew was born in Cana. He was brought to Jesus by the apostle Phillip. After the Ascension of the Lord, he preached the gospel in India where he was martyred in 79 A.D. The exact manner of his death is uncertain, but according to some, he was whipped severely and crucified with his head downward. He is often depicted in art as being whipped and holding in his hand his own skin.
Joke for the Day

A man is driving down the road and breaks down near a monastery. He goes to the monastery, knocks on the door, and says, "My car broke down. Do you think I could stay the night?"

The monks graciously accept him, feed him dinner, even fix his car. As the man tries to fall asleep, he hears a strange sound. The next morning, he asks the monks what the sound was, but they say, "We can't tell you. You're not a monk.

"The man is disappointed but thanks them anyway and goes about his merry way.

Some years later, the same man breaks down in front of the same monastery.The monks again accept him, feed him, even fix his car.
That night, he hears the same strange noise that he had heard years earlier.

The next morning, he asks what it is, but the monks reply, "We can't tell you. You're not a monk."The man says, "All right, all right. I'm dying to know. If the only way I can find out what that sound was is to become a monk, how do I become a monk?"

The monks reply, "You must travel the earth and tell us how many blades of grass there are and the exact number of sand pebbles. When you find these numbers, you will become a monk."

The man sets about his task. Some forty-five years later, he returns and knocks on the door of the monastery. He says, "I have traveled the earth and have found what you have asked for. There are 145,236,284,232 blades of grass and 231,281,219,999,129,382 sand pebbles on the earth."

The monks reply, "Congratulations. You are now a monk. We shall now show you the way to the sound."

The monks lead the man to a wooden door, where the head monk says, "The sound is right behind that door."

The man reaches for the knob, but the door is locked. He says, "Real funny. May I have the key?"

The monks give him the key, and he opens the door. Behind the wooden door is another door made of stone. The man demands the key to the stone door. The monks give him the key, and he opens it, only to find a door made of ruby. He demands another key from the monks, who provide it. Behind that door is another door, this one made of sapphire. So it went until the man had gone through doors of emerald, silver, topaz, amethyst.

Finally, the monks say, "This is the last key to the last door." The man is relieved to no end. He unlocks the door, turns the knob, and behind that door he is amazed to find the source of that strange sound.........



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But I can't tell you what it is, because you're not a monk.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005


True Knights

I have just discovered an awesome website for Christian men. You can check it out here.

Hat Tip: Colleen Hammond
Joke for the Day

Two guys are painting the ceiling of a church when they notice a little old Italian lady praying to Mary. One of the guys decides to have some fun so he calls down, "Little old lady!' She does not answer so he calls again, "Little old lady!' She still does not answer. The third time he calls, "Little old lady, this is Jesus calling you." She looks up and and says, "Shuta you mouth, I'm a talka to you Mother!"
RUFFINI'S AUGUST STRAW POLL OF LIKELY 2008 GOP CONTENDERS -- Vote Here!

Here's yet another "Straw Poll" (go ahead and vote via this link) from Patrick Ruffini on your preference among likely GOP candidates for the 2008 presidential campaign.The poll not only expands the list of likely candidates, but it adds a second vote -- a vote to determine if you'd change your initial vote if any of four unlikely candidates to enter the race. The results are tracked by blog, so I encourage all readers of my site, both regular and those of you visiting for the first time, who are registered Republicans, to vote here, please!

Hat Tip: A Certain Slant of Light
Blagojevich: only governor who has forced pharmacists' hands

Illinois Druggists Pledge To Defy Rule

Metro East pharmacists Peggy Pace, John Menges and Gaylord Richard Quayle say they will not compromise their religious beliefs by filling emergency contraception prescriptions - something Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich says they must do. Rep. Ron Stephens, a Republican from Greenville and a pharmacist, said he, too, will defy the governor's emergency rule that a legislative committee made permanent last week, forcing morning-after pill prescriptions to be filled.
Delay Embryonic Stem Cell Vote

Alternative sources of stem cells have led some to call for a delay in the vote on federal legislation that would allow tax dollars to be used for research involving the destruction of human life.

Christian Coalition of America, among others, is urging Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist to delay the Senate vote on the Castle-DeGette bill passed earlier this summer in the U.S. House of Representatives because of promising exciting breakthroughs in production of large amounts of embryonic like stem cells from umbilical cord blood.

"Now there is no reason for the Senate leadership to schedule a vote this year, or ever, on the bill forcing taxpayers to pay for the immoral destruction of human embryos, after the exciting announcement of promising cord blood research," said Roberta Combs, President of the Christian Coalition of America.

Dr. Randall Urban, an endocrinologist at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and researchers at Kingston University in England described in a report in the journal "Cell Proliferation" how they turned CBEs into human liver tissue. Such ability to replicate tissue, in a way, which does not destroy life, could lead to the development of ways to replace organs as well as treat life-threatening diseases such as diabetes, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

Source: Christian Coalition Press Release

St. Rose of Lima, Virgin

Isabella de Flores was born April 20, 1586. At her Confirmation, she took the name of Rose, because, when an infant, her face had been seen transformed by a mystical rose.

She had a strong devotion for Jesus and His Holy Mother and spent long hours praying before the Blessed Sacrament. With St. Catherine of Siena as her model, Rose fasted three times a week, offered up severe penances, and when her vanity was attacked, she cut off her beautiful hair, and wore coarse clothing.

Rose worked hard to support her poor parents and she humbly obeyed them, except when they tried to get her to marry. That she would not do. For ten years she fought them on this issue as she was determined to take a vow of virginity At the same time, she experienced great temptations which resulted in excruciating mental anguish and loneliness.

At age 20, she took the Dominican habit and thereafter increased her penances wearing constantly a metal spiked crown, concealed by roses, and an iron chain about her waist. Our Lord frequently manifested Himself to her, filling her heart with peace and joy, leaving her in ecstasy for hours.

In her last long, painful sickness, this heroic young woman prayed: "Lord, increase my sufferings, and with them increase Your love in my heart." Her austere lifestyle and rigorous penances led to her early death at age 31. She was canonized in 1671. She is the Patroness of America and the Philippine Islands.

Quotes:

“Apart from the cross, there is no other ladder by which we may get to heaven.”


“When we serve the poor and the sick we serve Jesus. We must not fail to help our neighbors, because in them we serve Jesus.”

“Would that mortal men might know how wonderful is divine grace, how beautiful, how precious; what riches are hidden therein, what treasures, what joys, what delights. If they but knew, surely they would direct their energy with all care and diligence to procuring sufferings and afflictions for themselves. Instead of good fortune all men everywhere would seek out troubles, illness and suffering that they might obtain the inestimable treasure of grace. This is the final profit to be gained from patient endurance. No one would complain about the cross or about hardships coming seemingly by chance upon him, if he realized in what balance they are weighed before being distributed to men.”

Monday, August 22, 2005

To Sing You Must Exhale

This is the title of Katherine Mulderink's golden collection of poems. You can find my book review here at St. Anthony Messenger. This is a must-have book for all poetry lovers.
Joke for the Day

A Jesuit, a Franciscan, and a Dominican were arguing about which was the greatest order. Suddenly, a letter dropped from the sky. It read:
Dear Children, Please stop quibbling over trivial matters.

Sincerely,
God, O.C.D.
Illinois Boycott Threatened if FDA Approves Over the Counter 'Morning After' Sales

CHICAGO, Aug. 22 /Christian Wire Service/ -- In advance of the impending decision the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on over-the-counter sales of Plan B (the "morning after" pill), Illinois Pro-Family and Christian leaders have posed the threat of a statewide economic boycott of any major drug chain that decides to sell Plan B over-the-counter.
The FDA has made a public commitment to announce a decision one way or the other by September 1.

Paul Caprio, Director of Family-Pac Federal, stressed the health dangers of selling the drug, without a physician's approval.

"The idea of selling dangerous emergency contraceptives such as Plan B like cough drops when traditional contraceptives require a doctor's prescription would be to abandon long standing safety precautions and place many women at great health risk unnecessarily," Caprio said.

A Chicago-based pro-family organization, Family-Pac Federal has led a national health awareness campaign in an effort to block the FDA from approving over-the-counter sales of Plan B.

The Director of Concerned Christian Americans, Rev. Robert D. Vanden Bosch, said the pro-family movement must unite in opposing this policy by all legitimate means available to us.

"Approval of Plan B for over-the-counter purchase would greatly contribute to the increase in sexually transmitted diseases among women who would take this pill," Vanden Bosch said.

Joseph Scheidler, President of the Chicago-based Pro-Life Action League, described Plan B as "an abortifacient which takes the life of a woman's child."

"FDA approval of this lethal drug would turn Illinois pharmacies intro chemical abortion mills," Scheidler said. "If we need to take to the streets, we will."

Karl Maurer of Catholic Citizens of Illinois added, "It's sadly ironic if the FDA were to become a partner to politically connected pharmaceutical companies in careless distribution of drugs like this that have such harmful consequences for women. Illinois Catholics must stand up to this abuse in every way possible if over-the-counter sales of Plan B were to be approved."

Caprio noted that in recent weeks public sentiment against over-the-counter sales of Plan B has increased, pointing to vetoes of legislation by two moderate major-state governors, George Pataki of New York and Massachusetts' Mitt Romney. In addition, 46 members of congress, including Donald Manzullo (R-IL), signed a letter to FDA Commissioner Lewis Crawford, pointing out the Plan B pill has never met the safety requirements for younger age groups required by law. On August 17, Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum asked its members nationwide to call the White House hotline to protest the approval of Plan B over-the-counter sales.

Feast of the Queenship of Mary

What a glorious day! Today is the feast of Mary, the Mother of the King of the Universe -- the Mother of us all who was chosen by God to be His Mother and to be the Queen of both Heaven and earth.

This special Liturgical Feast was proclaimed by Pope Pius XII on October 11, 1954 through his Encyclical Letter "Ad Caeli Reginam." The Holy Catholic Church made this proclamation based upon the fact that whether in time of peace or in time of war, the faithful have incessantly offered prayers of petition and hymns of praise and veneration to the Queen of Heaven.

Following the tremendous destruction that occurred during World War II and considering the reality that the threat of a similar catastrophe filled the faithful with a great anguish, the Church turned its eyes towards Mary, the Heavenly Queen, in the hope of her protection. Mary has never failed those who have sought her intercession in prayer, placing their total trust in her.

Mary’s queenship has roots in Scripture. At the Annunciation, Gabriel announced that Mary’s Son would receive the throne of David and rule forever. (Luke 1:32 -33) At the Visitation, Elizabeth calls Mary “Mother of my Lord.” (Luke 1:43) As in all the mysteries of Mary’s life, Mary is closely associated with Jesus: Her queenship is a share in Jesus’ kingship. We can also recall that in the Old Testament the mother of the king has great influence in court.

Pius XII established this feast in 1954. But Mary’s queenship has roots in Scripture. At the Annunciation Gabriel announced that Mary’s Son would receive the throne of David and rule forever. At the Visitation, Elizabeth calls Mary “mother of my Lord.” As in all the mysteries of Mary’s life, Mary is closely associated with Jesus: Her queenship is a share in Jesus’ kingship. We can also recall that in the Old Testament the mother of the king has great influence in court.

In the fourth century, St. Ephrem called Mary “Lady” and “Queen” and Church Fathers and Doctors continued to use the title. Hymns of the eleventh to thirteenth centuries address Mary as queen: “Hail, Holy Queen,” “Hail, Queen of Heaven,” “Queen of Heaven.” The Dominican rosary and the Franciscan crown as well as numerous invocations in Mary’s litany celebrate her queenship.

Let us kneel at Mary's feet today and confidently place all our concerns into the hands of our Mother, Mary the Queen of Heaven and earth.

Collect: Father, you have given us the Mother of your Son to be our queen and mother. With the support of her prayers may we come to share the glory of your children in the kingdom of heaven. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Jung Typology Test

Well, I could hardly resist taking this test when I saw it on a-sdf. Show me a personality test of any type and I'll take it for amusement. It turned out that I am his long-lost fraternal twin -- only about 30 years apart in age. Anyway, this was fun and these are my results:

Jung Typology Test Results

Your Type is ISFJ

Introverted 78
Sensing 25
Feeling 50
Judging 67

Qualitative analysis of your type formula You are:
very expressed introvert
moderately expressed sensing personality
moderately expressed feeling personality
distinctively expressed judging personality

Go here to take the test.

Joke

A Jesuit, a Dominican and a Franciscan were walking along an old road, debating the greatness of their orders. Suddenly, an apparition of the Holy Family appeared in front of them, with Jesus in a manger and Mary and Joseph praying over him. The Franciscan fell on his face, over come with awe at the of sight God born in such poverty. The Dominican fell to his knees, Adoring the beautiful reflection of the Trinity and the Holy Family. The Jesuit walked up to Joseph, put his arm around his shoulder, and said, "So, where ya thinking of sending the kid for school?

St. John Eudes, Priest (1601 -- 1680



John Eudes was born at Ri, Normandy, France, on November 14, 1601, the son of a farmer. He went to the Jesuit college at Caen when he was 14, and despite his parents' wish that he marry, joined the Congregation of the Oratory of France in 1623. He studied at Paris and at Aubervilliers, was ordained in 1625, and worked as a volunteer, caring for the victims of the plagues that struck Normandy in 1625 and 1631, and spent the next decade giving Missions, building a reputation as an outstanding preacher and confessor and for his opposition to Jansenism.

He became interested in helping fallen women, and in 1641, with Madeleine Lamy, founded a refuge for them in Caen under the direction of the Visitandines. He resigned from the Oratorians in 1643 and founded the Congregation of Jesus and Mary (the Eudists) at Caen, composed of secular priests not bound by vows but dedicated to upgrading the clergy by establishing effective seminaries and to preaching missions.

His foundation was opposed by the Oratorians and the Jansenists, and he was unable to obtain Papal approval for it, but in 1650, the Bishop of Coutances invited him to establish a seminary in that diocese. The same year the sisters at his refuge in Caen left the Visitandines and were recognized by the Bishop of Bayeux as a new congregation under the name of Sisters of Our Lady of Charity of the Refuge.

John founded seminaries at Lisieux in 1653 and Rouen in 1659 and was unsuccessful in another attempt to secure Papal approval of his congregation, but in 1666 the Refuge sisters received Pope Alexander III's approval as an institute to reclaim and care for penitent wayward women. John continued giving missions and established new seminaries at Evreux in 1666 and Rennes in 1670.

He shared with St. Mary Margaret Alacoque the honor of initiating devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus (he composed the Mass for the Sacred Heart in 1668) and the Holy Heart of Mary, popularizing the devotions with his "The Devotion to the Adorable Heart of Jesus" (1670) and "The Admirable Heart of the Most Holy Mother of God", which he finished a month before his death at Caen on August 19th. He was canonized in 1925.

Quotes

"He belongs to you, but more than that, He longs to be in you, living and ruling in you, as the head lives and rules in the body. He wants His breath to be in your breath, His heart in your heart, and His soul in your soul."

“Our wish, our object, our chief preoccupation must be to form Jesus in ourselves, to make his spirit, his devotion, his affections, his desires and his disposition live and reign there. All our religious exercises should be directed to this end. It is the work which God has given us to do unceasingly.”

"I ask you to consider that our Lord Jesus Christ is our true head, and that you are one of his members. He belongs to you as the head belongs to its members; all that is his is yours. . . . You must make use of all these as of your own, to serve, praise, love, and glorify God."


TOP 7 SIGNS YOUR PASTOR NEEDS A VACATION

7. His first words to the congregation on Sunday morning are "Alright, listen up you heathens..."

6. He falls asleep during his own homily.

5. He shows up for Sunday Mass wearing bermuda shorts and a tank top.

4. Every time his personal cell phone rings, he shouts, "Why can't they just leave me alone?!"

3. Announces baptisms will take place at the Grand Canyon.

2. You go to his office for counseling and pour your heart out to him and he says, "Sounds like a personal problem to me."

AND THE NUMBER ONE SIGN YOUR PASTOR NEEDS A VACATION

1. For the past two months he has preached the same homily every Sunday.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Disabled Child Penalized for Laughing too Loud

A seven year old boy with cerebral palsy and autism who is wheelchair bound is entitled to have some fun, isn't he? Apparently, the manager of one Connecticut theatre doesn't seem to think so. The manager told the child's parents he had to leave the theatre because he was laughing too loud.

The family's money was refunded, but I would think the least this business could do would be to offer an apology to the family and arrange a private showing for them. In addition to the apology, movie gift certificates and special showings for the young man and his friends and family might also be an option.

I don't like disruptions in the movies either, but his mom reports that he wasn't laughing any louder than the rest of the kids. And, let's face it, when you go to the theatre and children are present, you're going to have disruptions -- kids getting up half a dozen times to visit the refreshment stand and use the bathroom, laughing. talking, etc. If you don't want these distractions, don't attend the matinees.

However, I sense that is not the real reason he was asked to leave. Some people just feel ill at ease around the disabled. There are people who cannot relate, feel threatened or frightened. They are different. Get used to it. The disabled will always be with us -- just like the poor, the elderly, the unborn. Some feel frightened and threatened by them, as well. We are all different, but we're all the same, too. We're all God's children.

What City Am I?

You're Vatican City!

You're pretty sure that you're infallible in all that you do or say, and it's hard to say whether you're right. You have a lot of followers, most of whom will do whatever you say without question, or line up to see you ride around in your spiffy car. Religious and reserved, you have some wisdom, but also a bit much contempt for everyone around you. You're also fabulously wealthy, no matter what you say to the contrary.

Believe me -- I am definitely not infallible. My cat is my main follower -- she trails behind me everywhere. I am religious and sometimes reserved, and have some wisdom -- it usually comes with age. I have a lot of contempt for the sins of men and the culture of death, but for no one person I can think of at the moment. I am wealthy in the gifts God has given me.

For some reason, the html text and image for this wouldn't copy onto my page, so I will refer you to Southern Catholic Convert whom I think of subconsciously as Southern Comfort, as her words, poems and prayers are peaceful and comforting to me. She seems like a genteel and refined lady, for sure!

WORLD YOUTH DAY INFORMATION

Amy Welborn at Open Book has compiled a nice list of media sites, blogs and other sites related to World Youth Day 2005.
WYD Blogging

Check out Ad Limina for WYD blogging.
The Vow Of Silence

A guy joins a monastery and takes a vow of silence: he’s allowed to say two words every seven years.

After the first seven years, the elders bring him in and ask for his two words. "Cold floors," he says. They nod and send him away.

Seven more years pass. They bring him back in and ask for his two words. He clears his throats and says, "Bad food." They nod and send him away.

Seven more years pass. They bring him in for his two words. "I quit," he says. "That’s not surprising," the elders say. "You’ve done nothing but complain since you got here."

ST. JANE FRANCES DE CHANTAL

Jane Frances Fremiot was born on January 23, 1572, into a prominent and prosperous family of Dijon, in France. Her father was the president of the parliament and a wealthy landowner; her mother, who died in childbirth when Jane was about eighteen months old, was a descendant of St. Bernard of Clairvaux.

By the time she was twenty, Jane was a beautiful, lively, charming young woman, not only rich and clever, but also possessing high ethical standards of service and a capacity for hard work. In 1592, she was wed to Baron Christophe Rabutin-Chantal, a member of the aristocracy and a soldier in the king’s service, who did not hesitate to leave the care of his neglected estate to Jane. As result of her diligent efforts, the family lived comfortably.

In spite of the fact that her first two children died in infancy, Jane was supremely happy in her role as wife and mother and administrator of a large property which gave her a chance to practice great charity toward the poor. She set up soup kitchens and ovens to bake bread to feed the hungry of the neighborhood, she went to the homes of the sick to serve them as nurse and housekeeper, she organized a sort of relief work on a large scale, involving her servants and friends in her charitable interests.

About two weeks after the birth of her sixth child, Christophe was fatally wounded in a hunting accident. Jane made a vow of chastity and gave her husband’s and her own elaborate state clothing and jewelry to neighboring churches for vestments and revenue; she reduced her household staff and devoted her spare time to prayer and works of service to the poor. Within a few months her father-in-law demanded that she and her children come to live at his estate at Monthelon, which also needed a capable and firm management.

Jane submitted to this demand, and, typically enough, turned this unhappy period of her life into a means of growth. Not only did she succeed in bringing order out of the domestic chaos, but did so in spite of the hindrances of a disagreeable housekeeper who resented her presence and who used her influence with the old baron to make life as difficult as possible for Jane. At the same time Jane continued to carry on her works for the poor and sick, and undertook the care and education of the housekeeper’s children along with that of her own.

It was during this time that she met the Bishop of Geneva, the future St. Francis de Sales, who became her spiritual director. Under his guidance she learned to live a life of constant prayer in the midst of action, and to profit from the insults and arrogance she endured by increasing her patience, charity, forgiveness, and compliance with God’s will.

St. Francis de Sales confirmed her calling to live a consecrated life and invited her to join him in establishing a new type of religious life, one open to older women and those of delicate constitution, one that would stress the hidden, inner virtues of humility, obedience, poverty, even-tempered charity, and patience, one disciplined enough to be quite ordinary in the eyes of men, but quite extraordinary in the practice of love for God and others, one founded on the example of Mary in her journey of mercy to her cousin Elizabeth.

Over the strenuous objections of her family, Jane readily agreed to accept this challenge, and spent the remainder of her life, another thirty years, bringing the Bishop’s project to fruition. She traveled extensively throughout France and into Italy establishing foundations of the new Order.

In December of 1641 when Jane fell ill during a visit to the monastery in Moulins, she was more than ready to answer the summons of the Bridegroom. After dictating a circular letter to all the monasteries and making a firm act of faith, she received Holy Viaticum with great fervor. Slowly and distinctly she pronounced the name of Jesus three times and died.

At that moment in Paris, St. Vincent de Paul, her director after St. Francis de Sales, had a vision of a small globe of fire rising to join a more luminous globe, and the two rising higher to blend with an infinitely larger and more splendid sphere, and he knew that the souls of the two saints that he had known on earth had been reunited in death and had together returned to God, their first and last end.

Source: Madame de Chantal – Portrait of a Saint, Elisabeth Stopp, Newman Press, 1963.

Quotes

"When shall it be that we shall taste the sweetness of the Divine Will in all that happens to us, considering in everything only His good pleasure, by whom it is certain that adversity is sent with as much love as prosperity, and as much for our good? When shall we cast ourselves undeservedly into the arms of our most loving Father in Heaven, leaving to Him the care of ourselves and of our affairs, and reserving only the desire of pleasing Him, and of serving Him well in all that we can?"

"Hold your eyes on God and leave the doing to him. That is all the doing you have to worry about."

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Pro-aborts are forcing pro-lifers to stop dodging the contraception issue

Jill Stanek offers her insights on IL Gov. Blagojevich's now permanent rule requiring pharmacists to fill prescriptions for all legal drugs, including the morning after pill.

Hurrah for Sister Mary Michael!

If I could have, I would have been protesting right along with Sister Mary Michael as they filmed that stack of lies. Way to go, Sister!

Prayer for Our Armed Forces

Lord God, we ask you to bless the members of our armed forces. Give them courage, hope and strength. May they ever experience your firm support, gentle love and compassionate healing.


—U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
The Pope vs. Moishe

About a century or two ago, the Pope challenged the Jewish community of Rome to a debate. The Jews looked around for a champion who could defend their faith, but no one wanted to volunteer. It was too risky. So they finally picked an old man named Moishe who spent his life sweeping up after people to represent them. Being old and poor, he had less to lose, so he agreed. He asked only for one addition to the rules of debate. Not being used to saying very much, he asked that neither side be allowed to talk. The Pope agreed.

The day of the great debate came. Moishe and the Pope sat opposite each other for a full minute before the Pope raised his hand and showed three fingers. Moishe looked back at him and raised one finger. The Pope waved his fingers in a circle around his head. Moishe pointed to the ground where he sat. The Pope pulled out a wafer and a glass of wine. Moishe pulled out an apple. The Pope stood up and said, "I give up. This man is too good. The Jews win."

An hour later, the Cardinals were all around the Pope asking him what happened. The Pope said, "First I held up three fingers to represent the Trinity. He responded by holding up one finger, to remind me that there was still one God common to both our religions. Then I waved my finger around me to show him, that God was all around us. He responded by pointing to the ground, showing that God was also right here with us. I pulled out the wine and the wafer to show that God absolves us from our sins. He pulled out an apple to remind me of original sin. He had an answer for everything. What could I do?"

Meanwhile, the Jewish community had crowded around Moishe; amazed that this old, almost feeble-minded man had done what all their scholars had insisted was impossible. "What happened?" they asked. "Well," said Moishe, "first he said to me that the Jews had three days to get out of here. I told him that not one of us was leaving. Then he told me that this whole city would be cleared of Jews. I let him know that we were staying right here." "And then?" asked a woman. "I don't know," said Moishe. "He took out his lunch and I took out mine."
Movie Reviews

Bill and I watched two movies this past weekend -- Because of Winn Dixie and Racing Stripes. Both were really good!

Because of Winn Dixie was a heart-warming movie about a Baptist preacher and his little girl, Opal, who move to a small town in Florida, and the dog they take in (Winn Dixie) which becomes the catalyst for Opal to make friends with several of the town's outcasts: a ex - alcoholic recluse who is referred to as the town “witch”, a frightened, spinsterish librarian, a tough – skinned, lonely landlord, and a slow-witted guitar-strumming pet store manager with a prison record. The movie is beautifully acted and pulls at your heartstrings as it imparts a simple, but genuine message about people's loneliness and their need to connect with one another. Opal teaches them to “share the joy” and to come out of their shells and open up their hearts to one another as they have to her.

This movie touched something deep inside of me and I liked the depth of meaning and the message of love that this movie imparts. It was a “feel good” movie that appealed to me because of the simple truth it conveyed.

Racing Stripes
is a fun family comedy about a zebra named Stripes who is adopted by a young woman and her father. Stripes grows up believing that he is a racehorse and proves he has the heart of a champion by finding his inner thoroughbred and -- with a little help from the father, who is a former horse trainer, his daughter, and some barnyard buddies (voiced by Whoopi Goldberg and Dustin Hoffman, among others) -- competes for top racing honors in an illustrious derby (the race is held in Kentucky). It is a wonderful allegorical tale about the power of believing in yourself. It is not animated, but both animals and people alike are live characters. Computer generating talking effects are used for the animals, which makes it appear as if they are really talking. It was sweet, fun, and held my interest. The animals, especially Whoopi Goldberg’s character (a goat) were really hilarious.

Both movies are rated PG.