Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Amy Welborn at Open Book has blogged today on No Mass at the the events center in Phoenix, Arizona, where a Planned Parenthood event had been held. Lots of interesting comments and remarks there.
Julie at Happy Catholic has a novena, which begins today, posted for the feast of the Immaculate Conception. Here is the link.
Non Sum Dignus has some great quotes in The Quotable Chesterton.
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- As the number of people affected by HIV/AIDS continues to rise, Pope Benedict XVI urged the world to persevere in its fight against the disease and offer needed assistance to those hit by the virus.
On the eve of the Dec. 1 World AIDS Day, the pope made the special appeal at the end of his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square.
The U.N.-sponsored day "aims to draw attention to the scourge of AIDS and invite the international community to a renewed commitment in the field of prevention and supportive assistance for those" affected by the virus, said the pope.
Approximately 40 million people live with HIV, and nearly 5 million people were infected by the virus in 2004 alone, according to figures released by UNAIDS, the joint U.N. program on HIV/AIDS. More than 3 million people died last year because of AIDS, it said.
Calling the latest statistics alarming, the pope expressed his solidarity with those suffering from AIDS and their families.
He encouraged the people who worked through "the many initiatives dedicated to overcoming this disease," especially the work carried out by the church.
"Closely following Christ's example, the church has always considered healing the sick an integral part of its mission," he said.
The “celebrations,” which are not Mass, follow norms established by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in 1994 based on Vatican directives.
Bishop Braxton stressed that laity could only perform the celebrations in cases of absolute last resort and only with a written mandate from him.
Special instruction will be offered to those who wish to hold the responsibility, which includes a prayer service and distribution of communion.
In a letter to the diocese, the bishop cited John Paul II who wrote that, “the church draws her life from the Eucharist,” and so pointed out that the church “has a special pastoral concern for those who cannot attend Sunday Mass because a priest is not available.”
He wrote that “the norms that I am promulgating today are intended to do all we can to make it possible for Christ to come sacramentally to the Catholic people of God on Sunday, even if participating in the celebration of the Eucharist is not possible.”
The bishop closed his letter by strongly calling on the faithful to pray for vocations to the priesthood in order to solve the problem.
This is so sad. I know from my personal experience that the Belleville Diocese is a strong Catholic community, but that there were priests there who were not fit to be priests. Now, there is a shortage of vocations to the priesthood. Please join me in saying the following prayer for vocations:
Prayer for Vocations to the Priesthood
Lord Jesus, who in your pilgrimage along the roads of Palestine, chose and called the apostles and entrusted to them their task of preaching the Gospel, feeding the faithful and celebrating divine worship, ensure that today, too, your Church may not lack numerous holy priests, who can bring to all the fruits of your death and resurrection.
~Pope John Paul II , Message for Vocations Sunday 2001
Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz, who was personal secretary to John Paul, told reporters in Rome that ``there are no problems with miracles because there are many, but they have picked one because they don't need more.''
Pressed further, Dziwisz added: ``Maybe this I can say: they have picked (one in) France.''
The Vatican needs proof of a miracle before it can proclaim John Paul eligible for sainthood, and a church tribunal from the archdiocese of Krakow, Poland, has been gathering evidence from witnesses.
Dziwisz said the process was ``proceeding very well'' and could be over as soon as March, the ANSA news agency reported.
``There are many testimonies, we must choose the most accurate ones to show the personality of John Paul II,'' Dziwisz was quoted as saying.
Pope Benedict XVI paved the way for the swift opening of the process for the much-loved pontiff when he waived the customary five-year waiting period after John Paul's death on April 2.
Dziwisz said Poles were looking forward to Benedict's planned visit to Poland next year.
John Paul II, born Karol Wojtyla in Wadowice, Poland, served in Krakow as priest, bishop and archbishop for almost 40 years before being elected pope in 1978. Dziwisz was his personal secretary and most trusted aide from the mid-1960s until his death.
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!
~ Priests for Life
"There is a skit about lesbian nuns, and a song by “Our Lady of Perpetual Suffering Church Choir” about a hooker. But by far the most offensive part of the show is the monologue by Denis Leary on the origins of Christmas. Here is part of what he says:“Merry Christmas. Tonight we celebrate the birth of the baby Jesus, whose mom, Mary, just happens to be a virgin—even after she apparently gave birth to Jesus. At least that is what the Catholic Church would have you believe. “Tom Cruise is taking a lot of s--- for belonging to a religion, Scientology, that believes aliens came to this planet 75 million years ago. That is nothing. I was raised Catholic. We believe Mary was a virgin and Jesus ended up walking on water, creating a bottomless jug of wine and rising from the dead. Oh, yeah, and Tom Cruise is crazy. “Listen, Christmas is built on a line of bulls---. Do I believe there was a baby Jesus? You bet your ass I do. But I believe that nine months before he was born someone sure as s--- banged the hell out of his mom.”
And, as bad as that sounds, there is worse. (He watched the special, which was "not an enjoyable experience.") Anytime anyone says "I was raised Catholic," that usally means its time to pump the nearest shotgun just to ward off the BS that is about to come your way, in this case it was along the lines of, “Uncensored nun on nun action”or “Life begins at contraception.” Furthermore, there was also a plug for breast implants by Carmen Electra complete with some blasphemy just because enough Commandments weren't being broken. Even the opening credits contained a reference to a priest having an affair with Santa.
Even parts of the show that aren't explicitly anti-Catholic are still downright off color, offensive, rude, and make a mockery of the Birth of Our Lord. The Irish Potato famine, children suffering from war, people with dementia all took hits.
The Dennis Leary Christmas Special is re-airing on December 17th, we have to stop this from happening, if for no other reason, then to send the message that we aren’t going to take this lying down.
Catholic League urges you to email the head of Comedy Central and register your disgust, at Doug.Herzog@comedycentral.com and to also email the FCC, at email@example.com .
Fideli Defensor adds, Now those are pretty standard steps but then here is my idea... one of the advertisements during this show was for a videogame version of the Chronicles of Narnia made by Disney owned BV Games. I have a feeling CS Lewis is rolling over in his grave. It is no secret that Disney is trying to tap into the lucrative Christian movie going market with this film based on a book written by a great Catholic author. This might be the crack in the armor. Contact info was hard to find, the best I could come up with was this link for "non-technical comments," http://bvgsupport.go.com/techdocs/disney/agegate.do?type=nontech you will have to fill in a little info then can submit your comment there. (If anyone finds a better way to contact Disney or BG Games let me know!)If we all start contacting and informing them why Lewis literature doesn’t fit in with Leary’s special, maybe just maybe, Disney will at least pull their adds, aiding us in the ultimate goal of not giving Leary another chance to slap Catholics in the face.
Finally, he encourages us all the pray for repentance for Leary -- something I have been doing and plan to continue to do.
Here is one that Fideli Defensor offers: Oh my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell, lead all souls to Heaven, especially those who in most need of Thy mercy, like Dennis Leary, AMEN.
St. Andrew was born at Bethsaida in Galilee. He became one of the first to follow Jesus and introduced his brother, Simon Peter, to him. Both were fishermen and at the beginning of Our Lord's public life occupied the same house at Capharnaum.
As one of the twelve apostles, Andrew was very close to Our Lord during His public life; he was present at the Last Supper; beheld the risen Lord; witnessed the Ascension; shared in the graces and gifts of the first Pentecost, and helped, amid threats and persecution, to establish the Faith in Palestine.
He was crucified by order of the Roman Governor, Aegeas at Patrae in Achaia, and was bound, not nailed, to the cross, in order to prolong his sufferings. He was martyred during the reign of Nero, on November 30, 60 A.D.
St. Andrew's relics were transferred from Patrae to Constantinople, and deposited in the church of the Apostles there, about 357 A.D. When Constantinople was taken by the French, in the beginning of the thirteenth century, Cardinal Peter of Capua brought the relics to Italy and placed them in the cathedral of Amalfi, where most of them still remain. St. Andrew is honored as the chief patron saint of both Russia and Scotland.
Lord, in your kindness hear our petitions. You called Andrew the apostle to preach the gospel and guide your Church in faith. May he always be our friend in your presence to help us with his prayers. 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.
~from the Mass of Saint Andrew
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
A man and his wife are sitting in the living room and he says to her: "Just so you know, I never want to live in a vegetative state dependent on some machine. If that ever happens, just pull the plug."
His wife gets up and unplugs the TV.
Via laodicea .
Pope Declares Plenary Indulgence for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception -- the 30th Anniversary of the Community of St. John
Vatican, Nov. 29 (CWNews.com) - Pope Benedict XVI (bio - news) has declared a plenary indulgence for Catholics who honor the Virgin Mary on the feast of the Immaculate Conception, December 8.In a November 29 announcement, the Vatican said that Pope Benedict has declared the indulgence to mark the 40th anniversary of the conclusion of the Second Vatican Council. The announcement indicates that the Pope "when he renders public homage of praise to Mary Immaculate, has the heartfelt desire that the entire Church should join with him, so that all the faithful, united in the name of the common Mother, become ever stronger in the faith, adhere with greater devotion to Christ, and love their brothers with more fervent charity."
Get the details
I am really happy to hear this because December 8th is the 30th anniversary of my Community -- the Community of St. John -- and it is also the anniversary of my formal re-consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary. I made my original consecration on the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. To receive a plenary indulgence on this day would only add to the festivities and the many blessings of this special day.
Thanks for passing on this information, Rick.
Today is a special feast day for the Franciscans. It is the feast of all the Saints of the Seraphic Order.
St. Francis of Assisi prayed this simple prayer, "O Lord Jesus Christ, two favors I beg of you before I die. The first is that I may, as far as it is possible, feel in my soul and in my body the suffering in which you, O gentle Jesus, sustained in your bitter passion. And the second favor is that I, as far as it is possible, may receive in my heart that excessive charity by which you, the Son of God, were inflamed, and which actuated you willingly to suffer so much for us sinners."
Our Lord answered his prayer by appearing to him in the form of a seraph, a six-winged angel of love. As he knelt in the ecstasy, Christ imprinted the wounds of His person in the flesh of St. Francis. At once, in his hands and feet marks like nails began to appear; and, in his left side the image of a lance-thrust appeared, red and bleeding. St. Francis had been marked with the love of Christ- the Stigmata.
After bearing these wounds of Christ for two years, St. Francis died in the year 1226. He left the Church and the world a great legacy--the Franciscan Order. For more than seven hundred years, through the grace of God, this Order has produced many outstanding Saints. .
The Seraphim are usually considered the highest order of angelic beings, immediately above the Cherubim. Their special duty is to love God. Seraph wings and seraphs are symbolic of the Franciscan Order, which is often referred to as the Seraphic Order. At times, Franciscan and Seraphic are synonymous.
Today, we celebrate the many Franciscan saints -- St. Bonaventure, St. Pio of Pietrelcina, St. Anthony, and others who followed in the footsteps of St. Francis.
Let us pray today and ask the Lord to help us lead holy lives as the person He has created us to be in the small spot in the world where He has placed us. Let us no longer be content or satisfied with the way we are, but strive to be holy. As holy men and women of God, we will experience happiness both here on earth and for all eternity, for sanctification will lead us to live lives that are simple, less complicated, and focused on the things that really matter. Pray for metanoia this Advent -- an inner transformation -- to be drawn closer to the Heart of God and His Holy Mother.
"If seeds in the black earth can turn into such beautiful roses, what might the heart of man become in its journey toward the stars."
~ G.K. Chesterton
Prayer for the Feast of All Saints of the Seraphic (Franciscan) Order
Almighty, eternal God, you were pleased to make your Church illustrious through the varied splendor of the saints of the Seraphic Order. As we venerate their memory in one festival may we also follow such shining examples of virtue in earth and thus obtain merited crowns in heaven. Help us to be holy men and women, living our lives according to your will, shaping us into your instruments of love, peace, joy, and truth on this earth. Amen.
"Oh, God, doctor," the woman said. "I was hoping it was cancer."
This was in 1967. Harrison was a medical student and his wife was expecting their third child. It had never occurred to him that a woman would be anything but happy to learn she was pregnant.
The next year, he trained on a maternity ward. In a 24-hour shift, it was not unusual, he said, for four or five women to come in feverish or hemorrhaging from botched abortions.
Harrison opened an obstetrics and gynecology practice, but after the Supreme Court established abortion as a constitutional right in 1973, he decided to take on an additional specialty. Now 70, Harrison estimates he's terminated at least 20,000 pregnancies.
His clinic has not been picketed for years, but Harrison feels very much on the front lines these days.
Debate over President Bush's nominee for the Supreme Court, Samuel A. Alito Jr., has centered on abortion. Activists on both sides warn — or pray — that if Alito is confirmed, the court may one day reverse Roe vs. Wade.
At least a dozen states, and perhaps as many as 30, would probably continue to allow most abortions. But abortion rights activists predict that terminating a pregnancy would become a criminal act across much of the South, the Midwest and the Rocky Mountain region.
In Arkansas, for instance, the state constitution sets out "to protect the life of every unborn child from conception until birth." At least 10 other states — including Illinois, Louisiana, Pennsylvania and Utah — have similar language in their constitutions or legal codes.
Harrison warns every patient he sees that abortion may be illegal one day. He wants to stir them to activism, but most women respond mildly.
"I can't imagine the country coming to that," says Kim, 35, in for her second abortion in two years.
A high school senior says the issue won't weigh heavily when she evaluates candidates. "There's other issues I see as more important," she says, "like whether they'll raise taxes."Patients asked to be identified only by their first names or, in some cases, by their ages to protect their privacy. Harrison is beyond such concerns. For several years in the 1980s, his clinic was picketed, vandalized and once firebombed. Protesters marched outside his home and death threats became routine. Harrison responded by making his case.
He answered every phone call, replied to every letter in the newspaper and appeared at public forums to defend abortion rights. Eventually, the protesters in this college town left him alone. (Arkansas Right to Life focuses instead on educating women about alternatives to abortion, Executive Director Rose Mimms said.)In the years since, Harrison has become more outspoken.
He calls himself an "abortionist" and says, "I am destroying life."
But he also feels he's giving life: He calls his patients "born again."
"When you end what the woman considers a disastrous pregnancy, she has literally been given her life back," he says.
Before giving up obstetrics in 1991, Harrison delivered 6,000 babies.
Childbirth, he says, should be joyous; a woman should never consider it a punishment or an obligation."We try to make sure she doesn't ever feel guilty," he says, "for what she feels she has to do."
I wanted to post this article because I think it gives us some insight into the distorted perceptions of those who cling to the culture of death. Your comments on this are welcome.
As Jill reports, "Earlier this year, Gov. Rod Blagojevich, during a fit of legislative fiatitis, issued an executive order mandating that IL pharmacists dole out these sometimes abortion-causing pills whether or not they had moral or religious misgivings."
You don't have to be an attorney to know that is a violation of their civil rights. I am no longer a resident of IL, yet I believe that as a Christian it is my duty to pray for all my brothers and sisters in this world -- to pray for their salvation, their healing, to pray for an end to abortion -- which is one of the greatest injustices in this world.
There are potentially 25 days before Christmas when we as Catholics can offer up our prayers, sacrifices, and Holy Communions for some special intention. Let us make Governor Blagojevich's conversion one of them. Then we will be one step closer to ending abortion.
The Holy Spirit just whispered in my ear. I spotted this in one of the comments on Jill Stanek's post:
For anyone interested in contacting Walgreens corporate:
David Bernauer,Chairman and CEO
200 Wilmot Road
Deerfield, IL 60015 (847) 914-2500
Let's all write Mr. Bernauer a letter and tell him what we think of this and how we feel about the firing of these pharmacists. (Of course, doing it in a polite, respectable way.) I personally have been boycotting Walgreen's ever since I heard that they had threatened to fire pharmacists who didn't comply with the governor's new ruling.
For Jon Voight, the actor who shot to fame 36 years ago as an aspiring gigolo in “Midnight Cowboy,” playing Pope John Paul II was like a personal coming home.
“I’ve gone through a lot of stuff in my life,” Voight said in a recent telephone interview, adding that as he has grown older he has developed a greater sense of “God’s importance in our lives.”
The 66-year-old Oscar-winner plays the late pope in a two-part CBS mini-series to be aired on December 4th and 7th on CBS.
Voight, who won an Oscar for best actor playing a handicapped Vietnam War veteran in the 1978 film “Coming Home,” said his Catholic upbringing helped him prepare for his role as John Paul.
“I had a wonderful time doing the pope, maybe because I understood more than most what he was since I had a Catholic background,” he said. “I was not intimidated to take this role because I did not have to go to school from scratch to be comfortable with the surroundings of the Church. I’d been there before.”
Voight said he could not have done the film without having lived a long and sometimes troubled life himself.
“I think I had to live a life. For some reason I have had success playing the suffering souls so that the last stages (of the pope’s life) were comfortable for me,” Voight said.
He said that looking back on his own life he realized that one of the most important lessons was learning how to use freedom wisely -- one of the late pope’s recurring themes.
“Free love -- what a poison that was,” he said, recalling the 1960s. “Free love, the destruction of family life and loyalties and the responsibilities of parents, and I’ve gone through that, so I know,” he said.
Voight has very strained relations with his daughter, actress Angelina Jolie, whom he had by his first marriage. He left his wife when Jolie was less than a year old.
The four-hour mini-series on CBS is one of several television films that have been made since the pope died. Competing network ABC will air its own TV movie about the pope on Dec. 1.
For a synopsis of the CBS mini-series, go here. Time magazine presents information about both the CBS and ABC films here. For Pope Benedict XVI's reaction to the CBS mini-series, go here.
Monday, November 28, 2005
ROME (CNS) -- A Brazilian pop singer has been dropped from the Vatican's annual Christmas concert because church officials feared she would use the occasion to promote the use of condoms.
Daniela Mercury was invited to sing in the Vatican's audience hall Dec. 3, in a program to be taped and aired in Italy Dec. 24. The performers were expected to meet with Pope Benedict XVI.
Continue reading "Chief Justice Roberts to Hear First Abortion Related Case"
Via Tim at Pro-life Blogs.
Doctors are increasingly uneasy about aborting babies who could be born alive. “If viability is the basis on which they set the 24-week limit for abortion, then the simplest answer is to change the law and reduce the upper limit to 18 weeks,” said Campbell, who last year published a book showing images of foetuses’ facial expressions and “walking” movements taken with a form of 3-D ultrasound.
“If a baby is born alive following a failed abortion and then dies (because of lack of care), you could potentially be charged with murder,” said Shantala Vadeyar, a consultant obstetrician at South Manchester University Hospitals NHS Trust, who led the study.
Such kind, compassionate men these "doctors" are.
What do they think they're doing to begin with? Now their hands are caught in the cookie jar and there might be some negative consequences to their behavior. Watch out -- the _ _ _ _ has hit the fan and it's decorating them.
"So far, as a direct result of the commitment, action and prayers of pro-family people, a minimum of 122 corporations have agreed to stop funding the abortion-committing goliath," said Thomas Strobhar, chairman of LDI's Board of Directors. It is estimated that the boycott has cost Planned Parenthood more than $35 million since the Corporate Funding Project (CFP) began nearly 14 years ago. "This should be a testament to those who believe it is impossible to change corporate philanthropic behavior."
Corporations slated to appear on The Boycott List for the first time include: AIG (financial/insurance), Altria (Phillip Morris, Nabisco, and Kraft products, Post cereals, etc.), Circuit City (retail electronics outlet), Cost Plus World Market (retail stores), Price Chopper/Mini Chopper (supermarkets/convenience stores), New World Restaurant Group (Chesapeake Bagel Bakery, Einstein Bros Bagels, Manhattan Bagel, etc.), Nike (apparel/footwear, etc.), Tommy Hilfiger (apparel, etc.), and SBC Communications (AT&T, Cingular Wireless, Southwestern Bell, etc.), among others.
The new Boycott List will include a revised "Dishonorable Mention" section, which identifies charitable groups that are associated with Planned Parenthood and/or its agenda. Among the groups to be named in the section are The American Cancer Society, Camp Fire, The Dr. Phil Foundation, Girls Inc., Girl Scouts, Rotary Clubs, The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, and the YWCA.
LDI has intensified its research into companies that operate in a limited area. A revised list of local/regional boycott targets may be found at: http://fightpp.org/show.cfm?page=regional.
"We ask all people who care about life to visit this page and determine which businesses in their area are supporting Planned Parenthood," Strobhar said. "We urge picketing, letter-writing, and personal visits to these establishments. It's important for pro-family people to let these entrepreneurs know how they feel."
"As LDI President Douglas R. Scott said in his book, Bad Choices: A Look Inside Planned Parenthood, 'The Pro-Life Movement will succeed only to the extent that pro-life people are willing to be inconvenienced.' As for me, the very lives of children are worth that much effort and a whole lot more," Strobhar said.
Go here for information about the CFP.
Christ the Lord, Son of the living God, light from light, will lead us into the light of his justice. Trusting in Him, we pray:- Come, Lord Jesus.
Inexhaustible light, dawning to remove the shadows that surround us,
wake our faith from its slumber.
Let us walk safely all the day
happy in the brightness of your presence.
Teach us to serve you perfectly
so that all men may see it, and know.
Come to create a new Earth for us
where justice and peace may reign.
~ Taken From the Morning Prayer, Liturgy of the Hours
Dear Jesus, help me to spread Thy fragrance everywhere I go. Flood my soul with Thy spirit and life. Penetrate and possess my whole being so utterly that all my life may only be a radiance of Thine. Shine through me, and be so in me that every soul I come in contact with may feel Thy presence in my soul. Let them look up and see no longer me but only Jesus! Stay with me, and then I shall begin to shine as Thou shinest, so to shine as to be a light to others; the light, O Jesus, will be all from Thee; none of it will be mine; it will be Thou shining on others through me. Let me thus praise Thee in the way Thou dost love best by shining on those around me. Let me preach Thee without preaching, not by words but by my example, by the catching force of the sympathetic influence of what I do, the evident fullness of the love my heart bears to Thee. Amen.
~ Cardinal Newman
1. Split a large combination pizza with thirty friends.
2. Replace the gourmet fudge and truffles in candy dishes with paper clips.
3. Substitue carrot and celery sticks as in between meal snacks for cherry cheesecake slices.
4. When you go out to eat, order a side salad and eat half; save the leftovers for another meal. Croutons make an excellent dessert.
5. Talk and sing incessantly at parties and social gatherings. The more you move your mouth for these activities, the less energy you will have for chewing. Also, you can't eat and talk or sing at the same time.
6. Bring two cookies into the TV room instead of a box. Give the rest of the box to your kids or your spouse.
7. Prepare your smoothie with skim milk instead of Hagen Daas.
" Advent is a special time to train ourselves in vigilance as preparation for our Christmas encounter with Christ, who has shown himself to be king and lord in the glory of heaven."
"Advent is concerned with that very connection between memory and hope which is so necessary to man. Advent’s intention is to awaken the most profound and basic emotional memory within us, namely, the memory of the God who became a child. This is a healing memory; it brings hope. The purpose of the Church’s year is continually to rehearse her great history of memories, to awaken the heart’s memory so that it can discern the star of hope.…"
"It is the beautiful task of Advent to awaken in all of us memories of goodness and thus to open doors of hope."
~ Pope Benedict XVI
"Advent is a time of fervent hope. But it also proposes to us, above all in the first weeks, the need to avoid succumbing to the torpor of mediocrity and lukewarmness. "Take heed, watch and pray," says Jesus in today's Gospel, "for you do not know when the time will come" (Mark 13:33). That time is the moment when the Lord will ask of us an account of our life, of how we have used the gifts we have received. Are we conscious that God expects us to love and serve others no matter what situation we are in? "
~ Bishop Javier Echevarría
"Though our society has made it (Advent) a season of indulgence, it is meant to be a season of training. It’s time to blow on the spark of spiritual desire within us till it bursts into flame. Christmas lights are nice, but it is we who are supposed to be the light of the world."
~ Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio
Sunday, November 27, 2005
Most merciful Father, this Advent I desire to rededicate myself to the pursuit of holiness. May I live these days of grace united with the Blessed Virgin Mary in loving awareness of the presence of the One who changes us -- Jesus your Son. In my vigiliant expectation of Christ's coming, make me especially attentive to the wisdom of Sacred Scripture proclaimed in the liturgies of this holy season. May this blessed time of preparation be for me an occasion of conversion and spiritual rebirth. May each moment of my Advent bring me closer to You in faith, hope, and love through Emmanuel -- Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.
President Clinton died and knocked at the Pearly Gates. "Who goes there?" inquired St. Peter.
"It's me, Bill Clinton".
"What bad things did you do on earth?" Clinton thought a bit and answered, "Well, I smoked marijuana, but you shouldn't hold that against me because I didn't inhale. And I lied, but I didn't commit perjury."
After several moments of deliberation St. Peter replied, "OK, here's the deal. We'll send you someplace where it is very hot, but we won't call it 'Hell.' You'll be there for an indefinite period of time, but we won't call it 'eternity.' And don't 'abandon all hope' upon entering, just don't hold your breath waiting for it to freeze over."
Via Pro-life News
Check out After Abortion's article "It was only a matter of time. ORTHO EVRA® ALERT" for further discussion and comments. I thank God that someone is coming their senses before it is too late. Like Annie, at After Abortion, if I was one of those duped and who'd suffered from these effects of this Patch, I, too, would probably be giving at least a local law firm a call to discuss my options. Or at least, I'd hope my surviving relatives would be.
Saturday, November 26, 2005
As Peter from marchTogether.com mentions in his article, Her Life is Done, Ortho Evra makes birth control products which guarantee death and other life complications for women who take their products, yet they are allowed to continue selling them anyway.
I know someone within my extended family who was young, healthy, and energetic in her early twenties who used this patch; within a short period of time she developed a huge tumor located close to her heart as a result of using the patch and had to undergo major surgery to have it removed. She still has reduced strength in the arm and in the muscles on that side of her body and the surgery took place several years ago.
Just because a drug is legal and approved by the FDA does not mean it is safe to use. Many physicians prescribe drugs without explaining the dangers of using them or the adverse consequences to the patient -- physically, emotionally, or psychologically. We all need to be managers of our own health care and question our doctors and pharmacists, asking them to give us the complete truth about any medications prescribed. Over 5 million women are taking the patch -- a product which guarantees death and blood clots "at a higher rate than women taking the pill". In addition, it can cause an abortion. How many more babies and women will have to die before people open their eyes to the truth?
Advent reminds us that God took flesh in Jesus Christ through Mary's "Yes" and He came to live among us as one of us on this earth. He was like us in all ways but for one -- He was without sin. He dealt with the sinfulness of the people He encountered in the marketplace -- the hypocrisy and judgmental nature of the Pharisees, the adulterous behavior of Mary Magdalene and those who wanted her stoned for her sins, while they most likely were the ones who were her accomplices in serious sin. Like us, He dealt with people who refused to believe the truth when it hit them in the face. And what did He do to convert them? He continued to speak the truth to them and above all, He loved them. Can we do the same? Can we love fallen away Catholics like John Kerry, Senator Durbin, and Senator Ted Kennedy enough to pray for them daily? Can we love them enough to do penance for them? Our Lord died for them. Let us unite our prayers and sacrifices with His this Advent as we prepare for His coming. This Advent, let us wait in eager anticipation with hope-filled hearts for the coming of a new day -- a new time when there will be no tears shed for aborted babies, for grief-stricken families, for the sick and elderly who are killed by their relatives.
More than just being a fact in history that is celebrated year after year, Christ's birth is a way of salvation meant to realize God's dream for us and the world.
This Advent is a time when the hope the coming of the Savior brings is rekindled in our hearts. We wait and welcome God's offer of salvation to us by preparing a room for our Savior in our hearts where the change from darkness to light begins.
During Advent, Jesus is reborn and alive in our hearts and it is that inner transformation that transform us into a people of light. Enlightened by Jesus Christ, we will reconcile with God and neighbor, restore peace and rebuild this culture of darkness into a new culture of life.
The Catholic Church established guidelines which do exactly that.
The American Life League posted the guidelines at http://www.all.org/hp5.htm.
Titled "Catholic Leadership Conference Statement on political action", moral guidelines are presented. The topic of abortion is addressed with the following statements:
# The first obligation of government is the protection of innocent human life from conception to natural death. The Church teaches that justice requires this protection. This truth can also be known through reason unaided by revelation. On the specific "life issues" in law and public policy – direct abortion, euthanasia, and the killing of unborn life for medical research, Catholic teaching is unequivocal; the defense of innocent human life is an imperative.
# Catholic voters must first make decisions about their votes based on the moral issues that are non-negotiable. First among these are the life issues.# A similar distinction was made by the then Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, His Eminence Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, to the American bishops when he stated: “There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.”
# Catholic priests and bishops first and foremost are shepherds of souls. The role of these shepherds is to instruct and to remind voters, candidates and public officials of the moral obligations and social principles that should guide their political action.
No ambiguity there. The big question is, what will the church do with those who refuse to accept these guidelines?
John Kerry and many other Catholics are openly pro-abortion and believe that it is the right of a woman to choose what to do with human life. If women decide to kill their children, they are okay with that.
So what is the Catholic Church going to do with these openly pro-abortion individuals?
Should they excommunicate their parishioners?
In Christianity the Roman Catholic Church especially retains excommunication; the church maintains that the spiritual separation of the offender from the body of the faithful takes place by the nature of the act when the offense is committed, and the decree of excommunication (or anathema ) is a warning and formal proclamation of exclusion from Christian society. Those who die excommunicate are not publicly prayed for; but excommunication is not equivalent to damnation.
Excommunications vary in gravity, and in grave cases readmission may be possible only by action of the Holy See. Excommunicates are always free to return to the church on repentance. Protestant churches have generally abandoned excommunication.
Refuse communion perhaps?
We're not talking about a pornography problem here, we're talking about the killing of innocent human beings. What should happen to people who sanction the killing of innocent human beings?
Click here to take part in the online poll on this topic.
United we stand - Divided they die - Pass it on.
Pope Benedict Insists Catholic Universities Remain Faithful to Church Teaching: Pruning To Occur Soon
Pope Benedict XVI paid a visit to Rome's Sacred Heart Catholic University on Friday to address students on the occasion of the beginning of the academic year. The Pope, knowing the devastation to the faith of millions of Catholic students which has taken place in Catholic universities, asked pointedly of students at Catholic Universities "How do they leave? What culture did they find, assimilate, develop?"
Even if young people survive with their faith intact until university or college age, statistics show they will lose their faith in so-called Catholic higher education.
A large study which gained massive attention in 2003 found that by the time they graduate, students at many Catholic colleges are significantly more opposed to Church teachings, pray less, and are in many ways less religious than when they were freshmen. The study, based on annual surveys by UCLA's Higher Education Research Institute (HERI), surveyed students at 38 Catholic colleges finding that:
· Whereas a majority of students entered Catholic colleges pro-life (55% opposed to legal abortion, 45% in support), many graduated pro-abortion (57% pro-abortion, 43% pro-life).
· Support for legalizing homosexual "marriages" increased from 55% to 71% by senior year.
· Approval of having sex with someone known "for only a very short time" increased from 30% to 49% by senior year.
· Although 15% of seniors reported much stronger religious beliefs and convictions than when they were freshmen, the same growth was reported by 12% of seniors at nonsectarian colleges and 24% of seniors at other religious colleges (mostly Protestant).
· Only 37% of seniors prayed more than one hour a week; 31% didn't pray at all.
· Among Catholic students, 9% left the faith by graduation. Although 11% of non-Catholic students converted to the Church, their actual numbers were smaller and still left Catholic colleges with a net 4% loss of Catholics.
· Among Catholic seniors, 13% did not attend a religious service in the past year (a four-fold increase since their freshman year), and about half attended only occasionally.
Last year, the Cardinal Newman Society, an organization established to hold Catholic universities true to the faith they profess, issued a report summarizing such scandals at U.S. Catholic colleges and universities. The 56-page report, "The Culture of Death on Catholic Campuses: A Five-Year Review," documented inroads made by advocates of abortion, contraception, premarital sexual activity, and physician-assisted suicide on Catholic college campuses since 1999. The report cited nearly 200 instances of campus speakers and honorees who have been public advocates of abortion or otherwise contributors to the "Culture of Death". College officials and faculty with ties to pro-abortion and pro-euthanasia organizations and some even providing abortifacient drugs to students. (see coverage http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2004/apr/04042903.html )
In 2003 alone, the Cardinal Newman Society reported that 42 U.S. Catholic Colleges were scheduled to present the "Vagina Monologues" play, which includes an approved reminiscence about a lesbian seduction of a 16-year-old girl.
For comment on the Pope's remarks, LifeSiteNews.com spoke with Professor John Paul Meenan who heads one of the few Canadian Catholic colleges which prides itself on being fully adherent to the faith it professes. "As the Church has emphasized, the Catholic university is called in a particular way to provide a solid, clear grounding in truth, both natural and revealed," said Meenan, Dean of Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Academy in Barry's Bay, Ontario. "The purpose of Catholic education should not simply be to impart knowledge, but to immerse young people in a truly Catholic culture, to provide an integral, well-rounded education. Students should leave firm in their faith, able to enter into dialogue with a world that is not always friendly to the truth." (See the Academy website: http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/ )
High-placed Vatican officials have hinted recently that Pope Benedict is ready to act on the matter of Catholic colleges and their adherence to the faith. Earlier this month, the Vatican's number two education official, Archbishop Michael Miller, secretary of the Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education, predicted that Pope Benedict XVI will follow a path of "evangelical pruning" of secularized Catholic colleges and universities, declaring them no longer Catholic. (see coverage: http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/ )
I hope that Loyola University in Chicago, which defied Cardinal Francis George by honoring pro-death advocate IL Attorney General Lisa Madigan will be one of the first to be pruned.
Here is the letter I wrote to protest this act of disobedience:
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
I was so incensed by this act of immorality that it was difficult for me to write the above letter, so I prayed about it. I also prayed for both the administration and the students. Today, I am continuing to pray for all our Catholic colleges -- that they will teach the Truth and live the Truth.
You are Woodstock!
Which Peanuts Character are You?
brought to you by Quizilla.
I had to take this quiz -- I love Charlie Brown.
Via Emergent PDX.
|You are a |
You are best described as a:
I learned from taking this that Pope John Paul II and I are one in our way of thinking, which is good to know.
Friday, November 25, 2005
I am proud of these bishops in Missouri who have decided to speak out about the evils of embryonic stem cell research and are encouraging their parishioners to become involved in this issue. I pray that other Catholic clergy throughout the world will emulate them.
Thursday, November 24, 2005
This is the classic tale of love and misunderstanding, which unfolds in class-conscious England near the end of the 18th century. The five Bennet sisters – Elizabeth, or Lizzie, Jane, Lydia, Mary, and Kitty – have been raised well aware of their mother’s obsession with finding them all husbands, thus, securing their futures. The feisty and intelligent Elizabeth, however, strives to live her life in a more independent manner, as encouraged by her father. When wealthy bachelor Mr. Bingley takes up residence in a nearby mansion, the Bennets are in a flurry of excitement over the new, prospective mate for one of the girls.
Eldest daughter Jane, quiet, poised, and beautiful, is intent on winning Mr. Bingley’s heart. Bingley has come to town with his wealthy friend, Mr. Darcy, a tall, handsome young man, who encounters second-eldest daughter Elizabeth at a ball, and the first meeting, has Darcy refusing an invitation to dance with Lizzie. From then on, there are many misunderstandings between the two, but their dislike for one another masks a growing attraction. Lizzie views Darcy as an arrogant and cruel person and this opinion is reinforced when she learns that he caused the end of a promising relationship between her sister, Jane, and Bingley, and apparently mistreated a soldier, Wickham, years earlier.
When Lizzie and Darcy meet, which seems to be quite often, there is a spirited exchange between them as they match words and wits, which is quite comical. Much to her mother’s shock and dismay, Lizzie declines a proposal of marriage from her distant cousin, Mr. Collins. However, a crisis involving the youngest sister, Lydia, opens Lizzie’s eyes to the real Mr. Bennet and the true nature of their relationship.
Although dramatized for television several times, Jane Austen's classic Pride and Prejudice has been a feature film only once before, in 1940, directed by Robert Z. Leonard and starring Laurence Olivier and Greer Garson. Of all these adaptations (I have viewed most of them.); this is the best one I have seen. The story is not new, but this film is a refreshingly new portrayal with exciting, new actors who capture the audience’s attention by strongly appealing to their minds, senses, and emotions.
Keira Knightely does a top-notch job of portraying the intelligent, independent, and beautiful (though in an understated way in comparison to her older sister Jane) Elizabeth. A lively wit and a great sense of humor draws one to this character and this was exceptionally well-done by Keira. The chemistry between Elizabeth (Keira Knightely) and Darcy (Matthew Macfadyen) seems so natural, it adds to the authenticity and beauty of this film. All of the supporting actors and actresses do an excellent job in their respective roles. I loved Brenda Blethyn as the neurotic, obsessed mother and Donald Sutherland as the doting, protective father. Both will make you laugh.
The photography in this film is stunning – especially the scenes of the English countryside. Seeing this movie is like having a beautiful dream with the most romantic ending you can imagine. I give it five of five stars. Yes, do take the children – there is nothing objectionable in this classic, which is what makes it so good – nearly everything is left up to the imagination.
~ Jean M. Heimann, November 24, 2005
Anyway, there is a wonderful recipe for Roast Lamb with Port Wine Sauce at Speculative Catholic. I love lamb and it is one of the best foods for building up your immune system due to the amount of zinc in it. Zinc is critical not only to immune function, but for wound healing, and normal cell division. Zinc also helps stabilize blood sugar levels and the body's metabolic rate, and is necessary for an optimal sense of smell and taste.
As far as the nutritional value of the port goes, highly publicized studies of the French, particularly in Lyons, claim that a moderate consumption of red wine might help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. After boiling the port wine, the alcohol content is removed, but the flavor of the meat is enhanced. I haven't tried this recipe, but in addition to being nutritious, it sounds very tasty. Australia is well-known for its milk-fed lamb, which is served in top restaurants there. Thanks, Steve, for sharing this.
Saint Bonaventure is praying for you! To learn more
about this eloquent saint go to the Patron
Saint Index at http://www.catholic-forum.com
Which Saint Would You Be?
brought to you by Quizilla
What can I say? It's Thanksgiving and I'm on a quiz frenzy -- I'm just not into football. This is a lot more fun.
Find out more about St. Bonaventure here and here. A Seraphic Doctor of the Church (because he revealed a certain warmth toward others as a divine fire), a friend of St. Thomas Aquinas, a restorer of perfect calm and peace within his order, filled with the virtue of charity, possessing a strong devotion to Our Blessed Virgin Mary (He describes Mary as the Mirror of God through which we see Jesus.), and a love for the Eucharist -- not too shabby. I'll assume his identity -- better yet, he is someone I can emulate and ask his intercession for assistance in my own feeble attempts to be holy and to abandon my will to the will of God.
Prayer of St. Bonaventure
Pierce, O most sweet Lord Jesus, my inmost soul with the most joyous and healthful wound of Thy love, and with true, calm and most holy apostolic charity, that my soul may ever languish and melt with entire love and longing for Thee, may yearn for Thee and for thy courts, may long to be dissolved and to be with Thee. Grant that my soul may hunger after Thee, the Bread of Angels, the refreshment of holy souls, our daily and super substantial bread, having all sweetness and savor and every delightful taste. May my heart ever hunger after and feed upon Thee, Whom the angels desire to look upon, and may my inmost soul be filled with the sweetness of Thy savor; may it ever thirst for Thee, the fountain of life, the fountain of wisdom and knowledge, the fountain of eternal light, the torrent of pleasure, the fullness of the house of God; may it ever compass Thee, seek Thee, find Thee, run to Thee, come up to Thee, meditate on Thee, speak of Thee, and do all for the praise and glory of Thy name, with humility and discretion, with love and delight, with ease and affection, with perseverance to the end; and be Thou alone ever my hope, my entire confidence, my riches, my delight, my pleasure, my joy, my rest and tranquility, my peace, my sweetness, my food, my refreshment, my refuge, my help, my wisdom, my portion, my possession, my treasure; in Whom may my mind and my heart be ever fixed and firm and rooted immovably. Amen.
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
|Your Eyes Should Be Gray|
Your eyes reflect: Intensity and drive
What's hidden behind your eyes: A sensitive soul
|You Are The Stuffing|
You're complicated and complex, yet all your pieces fit together.
People miss you if you're gone - but they're not sure why.
Here are some excerpts from that post.
The groups that are pushing for pharmacists like me to "shut up and fill the prescription" argue that no matter what I believe about birth control, the decision occurs between a woman and her physician and I should not push my "morality" into the situation. I should not councel any patient about how this drug works (by the way, when was the last time your doctor told you how any drug works?) so that she can reconsider her decision, I should not warn her that birth control has been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer or can cause life-threatening thromboembolic events (blood clots) including stroke, I should not tell her about other side effects such as peripheral edema (swelling mainly of the ankles), severe nausea, decreased glucose tolerance (which can lead to diabetes), depression, anxiety, etc., and I most certainly should NOT be able to refuse to fill it. To me this is the same as forcing an OB/GYN to perform an abortion.
Why, then, does my profession exist? Why did I spend six years earning a doctorate in order to be told I play no part in the decision of what is appropriate drug therapy? Let me turn the situation around. Let's say a young woman is trying to get pregnant and succeeds but is not yet aware of the pregnancy. Unfortunately, she comes down with pneumonia. When she goes to the doctor, she tells him/her that she is allergic to penicillins. Said doctor prescribes doxycycline, but in haste forgets to ask if she may be pregnant and/or give the simple urine test to confirm such diagnosis. She brings me a prescription which is the right dose, duration and frequency, is perfectly legal, and seems to make sense for her infection. According to the above mentality, I should be required to fill it with no questions asked, since this treatment decision was already finalized between her and her physician. Indeed, I should not even bother mentioning whether the prescription was appropriate or not since it was legal - after all, that's all that counts, right? However, doxycycline is listed as pregnancy category D, meaning that it is known to be harmful to developing fetuses, and her baby is born with severe birth defects, or worse yet, does not survive. When her lawyer is making the list of health professionals to sue for malpractice, my name will be on it and I will have my license suspended if not revoked.
This is great stuff. You can learn more here.
I have found some real life inspirational stories for Thanksgiving that I hope will lift your spirits.. Here is one about some Catholic students in Garnerville, New York who are learning lessons of charity this holiday season. I liked this one about the teenager who is suffering from a rare form of cancer and is getting a break from his chemotherapy to come home to Newark, Ohio to be with family and friends at his Catholic high school. The last story is about a family in Salina, KS who are thankful for their adoptive son.
Wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgving!
This Thanksgving Day I will be thanking God for the blessing each one of you has been to me.
God bless you!
The Pro-Life Action League will lead a picket by parents and their daughters at American Girl Place in Chicago on Friday, November 25, from 10:00 a.m. to noon, in protest of American Girl's ties to the pro-abortion advocacy group, Girls Incorporated.
"The day after Thanksgiving is the busiest shopping day of the year," said League Executive Director Ann Scheidler. "Our picket will reach thousands of shoppers on Chicago's Magnificent Mile with the unfortunate news that American Girl is funding Girls Inc., a group that strongly advocates abortion."
Continue reading "Pro-Life Group to Picket American Girl Place in Chicago"
Source: Pro-life Action League Press Release.
NOVELS and similar literature. The good news is
that you're one of the smart few who don't
swallow obvious smears and who actually know a
bit of history. The bad news is that even
though it may take a genius to pull the wool
over your eyes, your eyes can still be fooled.
Just remember that even the most intelligent
satire ever written is only one argument in the
debate. It is also often an argument more
convincing for its rhetoric or artistry than
for its substance, regardless of the quality of
the substance. The first rule, therefore, is to
make sure you have separated the satire's
points from its spin; while the second rule is
to hear out both sides before you decide which
has won the debate.
How gullible are you? What kind of anti-Catholic novel would be most likely to reel you in?
brought to you by Quizilla
Via Sancta Sanctis.
Born a Roman in a fading Empire, Augustine spent
his life trying to figure out what it was all
about. He asked questions and investigated
many possibilities but in the middle of his
life he was called by God and became a
Christian. He was a powerful thinker about
varied moral and metaphysical issues.
Augustine is the kind of philosopher you might
turn to in a time of doubt for comfort and
Which Philosopher are you?
brought to you by Quizililla
Via Sancta Santis.
The centurion said in reply, "Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed."
They ate and were satisfied. They picked up the fragments left over -- seven baskets.
And some seed fell on good soil, and when it grew, it produced fruit a hundredfold.
Again he bent down and wrote on the ground.
Matthew and Luke are my favorites here.
I will tag
Catholic Pillow Fight
By Jill Stanek
State and local pro-life organizations form the political and educational nucleus of our movement. The importance of these groups cannot be overstated. Our one strength with politicians is our grassroots. Our one way around liberals and the mainstream press is by direct education.
In my opinion, the foremost state pro-life organization is Right to Life of Michigan. I give thanks for this group today and want to spotlight its inner workings to assist other groups.
One proof of RTL's success is the state's abortion statistics. In 2004, Michigan reported 26,269 abortions, a 46.5 percent decrease from a high in 1987 of 49,098.
In addition, Michigan enjoys pro-life majorities in both its state house and senate political parties.
But what I think sets RTL apart is its generous outreach to other states, from hosting pro-life events such as the recent Urban Outreach Seminar to offering its top-notch pro-life TV commercials to outside groups.
RTL has 45 paid staff, 41 of which are full-time. It has seven offices throughout Michigan.
Of that staff, six are field representatives, appointed to certain sections of the state to help affiliates grow and raise funds. In a state with a population of 10 million in 83 counties, RTL has 108 affiliates.
In addition, RTL has a 12-station, in-house telemarketing center, where 20 fund-raisers work in shifts, Monday through Saturday.
RTL's current annual budget is about $4 million. It spends heavily on media outreach, funding Yellow Page and TV ads throughout the state. It also rents billboards and radio spots, hosts a website, and funds its own resource and printing center for pro-life materials.
But RTL's president, Barb Listing reminds people, "This didn't happen overnight. I think sometimes groups visit us and get overwhelmed."
How did RTL get from there to here? I interviewed Barb last week to find out.
RTL began taking shape in 1972, when pro-aborts introduced a referendum to legalize abortion. Pro-life groups formed around the state and defeated the referendum that November. [Entire Story]
Jill Stanek fought to stop "live-birth abortion" after witnessing one as a registered nurse at Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, Ill. In 2002, President Bush asked Jill to attend his signing of the Born Alive Infants Protection Act. In January 2003, World Magazine named Jill one of the 30 most prominent pro-life leaders of the past 30 years. To learn more, visit Jill's blog, Pro-life Pulse.
This Thanksgiving, I will be giving thanks to God for Jill, who lit the spark of pro-life activism within me in 2001 through her powerful witness that changed my life. God bless you, Jill, for all the work you do for the Lord!
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.
A Prayer Composed by Blessed Miguel Pro, S.J.
According to one of Fr. Pro’s biographers, Rec. M.D. Forrest, M.S.C., the following was composed shortly before his death:
Does our life become from day to day more painful, more oppressive, more replete with afflictions? 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. Love without egotism, without relying on self, but enkindling in the depth of the heart an ardent thirst to love and suffer for all those around us: a thirst that neither misfortune nor contempt can extinguish... I believe, O Lord; but strengthen my faith... Heart of Jesus, I love Thee; but increase my love. Heart of Jesus, I trust in Thee; but give greater vigor to my confidence. Heart of Jesus, I give my heart to Thee; but so enclose it in Thee that it may never be separated from Thee. Heart of Jesus, I am all Thine; but take care of my promise so that I may be able to put it in practice even unto the complete sacrifice of my life.
Delivering a speech at a banquet on the night of his arrival in a large city, a visiting priest told several anecdotes he expected to repeat at meetings the next day.
Because he wanted to use the jokes again, he requested the reporters to omit them from any accounts they might turn in to their newspapers.
A cub reporter, in commenting on the speech, ended his piece with the following: "The priest told a number of stories that cannot be published."
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
National Director, Priests for Life
(Click here for Spanish Version)
“Teacher,” said John, “we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.” “Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “No one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, for whoever is not against us is for us” (Mark 9:38-40).
To minister in the Lord’s vineyard is a privilege, and we are used to hearing that the vineyard belongs to him. It is his work, his people, his Church, and his “turf.” But, of course, that means that it isn’t ours, and sometimes we forget that. We like to “own” our work, and are all too ready to “defend our turf” against those who, in our view, are intruding upon it.
This all too common tendency of fallen human nature is evident in the Scripture quoted above. John and the other apostles tried to stop someone from casting out demons. Why on earth did they do that? Isn’t casting out demons a good thing, and don’t we want as many demons cast out as possible? Sure we do.
But the problem was that this unnamed man didn’t work in the same office as John and the other apostles. He belonged to a different organization. The apostles fell into the “turf wars” trap. They forgot that God is sovereign, that the Spirit moves where he wills, and that you cannot imprison the Word of the Lord. We are called to do God’s work; we don’t control God’s work.
The same “turf wars” temptation arose in the Old Testament.
“Moses … brought together seventy of their elders and had them stand around the Tent. Then the Lord came down in the cloud and spoke with him, and he took of the Spirit that was on him and put the Spirit on the seventy elders. When the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied,…However, two men, whose names were Eldad and Medad, had remained in the camp. They were listed among the elders, but did not go out to the Tent. Yet the Spirit also rested on them, and they prophesied in the camp. A young man ran and told Moses, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.” Joshua son of Nun, who had been Moses’ aide since youth, spoke up and said, “Moses, my lord, stop them!” But Moses replied, ‘Are you jealous for my sake? I wish that all the Lord’s people were prophets and that the Lord would put his Spirit on them!’” (Numbers 11:24-29).
Jesus and Moses both teach us that true leadership means we are humble enough to affirm God’s work when it’s done through structures and channels other than the ones we control. True leaders do not feel threatened when those not under their direct authority are doing the same kind of work. Instead, they rejoice, because they want the work done more than they want the credit. And they trust that God knows better than they do.