Thursday, August 31, 2006
True charity consists in putting up with all one's neighbor's faults, never being surprised by his weakness, and being inspired by the least of his virtues.
~ St Therese of Lisieux
~ 2 Thessalonians 5: 16 - 18
Today I am praising the Lord for...
my family, my Catholic faith, and all my friends.
the work He has given me to enable me to serve Him and to proclaim His glory.
His deep and abiding love which fills my heart with hope and peace.
I am praying for...
an end to the culture of death.
a renewal of life and love in our society -- a love of human life and a respect for the dignity and rights of all, especially for the unborn.
The closing of all abortion mills and the conversion of the abortionists and their staff.
renewed energy and vigor for all those working in the pro-life movement.
a special intention.
all previous prayer intentions listed here.
Thanks for praying with me for these special intentions. If you have a prayer need please leave a message in the comments or email me and I will be happy to pray for them at daily Mass and during my Holy Hour. God bless you!
~ Congressman Henry Hyde
The most important thing you can do is to become personally involved. Unless you do so, nothing will change.
Last Thursday, the FDA announced that it has approved over-the-counter sales for "Plan B," the morning-after pill, which is essentially a mega-dose of the drugs found in birth control pills.
Birth control pills require a doctor's prescription because they can cause life-threatening problems for women with certain health conditions. A prescription assures that a woman buying birth control pills has been screened to make sure that these pills don't harm her health or take her life. That is being responsible.
Making mega-doses of this drug available over-the-counter, without a prescription, is not only irresponsible; it is unconscionable!
How can anyone, especially acting FDA Commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach and President Bush, sign off on it?
The morning-after pill is touted as a dream come true for women. At last, a woman can be as free (and as irresponsible) as a man to jump into bed with no protection against pregnancy. In the morning, she can run down to the local pharmacy, buy this little pill and pop it into her mouth. No muss, no fuss, no pregnancy!
Not so fast! There are no long-term studies to show that repeated downing of mega-doses of this drug is safe – no, not one! There are long-term studies that show that repeated downing of small doses of this drug is unsafe for many women.
This dream will turn into a nightmare for many, as it has for the families of the young women who took the abortion drug RU-486 (approved by Clinton's FDA) and didn't live to tell the tale.
President Bush's motives are clear: He wants to see his friend Andy, a good ol' boy from Texas, confirmed as FDA commissioner. Has he no shame?
Dr. von Eschenbach's motives are clear: Sens. Hillary Clinton and Patty Murray promised to keep their hold on his nomination until Plan B was approved for over-the-counter sales. Von Eschenbach had the gall to have the FDA announced it would work out the problems with Plan B the day before his confirmation hearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. When that didn't satisfy Clinton and Murray, von Eschenbach simply ordered the FDA to approve the over-the-counter sale. Has he no shame?
Clinton and Murray's motives are clear: They are heavily financed by the abortion lobby and walk in lock step with the nation's pregnancy profiteers – women's health be damned! Have they no shame?
The abortion lobby's motives are clear: The more young people it can persuade that there are no consequences to having indiscriminate sex, the more unintended pregnancies. More unintended pregnancies means more abortions and more abortions means more money for the abortion industry.
The morning after pill is supposed to be about reducing unwanted pregnancies, but these people aren't dumb. Young people are, well, young … and irresponsible! For years, the pregnancy profiteers have been giving kids condoms with which to have sex, knowing very well that young people forget their lunches, their homework assignments and, yes, those condoms. They also will forget to buy – or have their 18-year-old friends buy – morning after pills. Therefore, the abortion industry will profit from the FDA's dastardly decision. Have they no shame?
America's largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood, has a secondary profit motive: It worked out a sweetheart deal with Barr Pharmaceuticals, Plan B's owner, to buy Plan B at bargain-basement prices for five years. Planned Parenthood will undercut local pharmacies and clear an average of $20 profit on every sale. Yes, technically Planned Parenthood is a nonprofit organization, but have you checked the salaries (profits) of those running the organization lately? Have they no shame?
The FDA approved the over-the-counter sale of Plan B for "adults only" to make it more palatable, thus creating a duel-marketing plan. This new type of FDA approval has not been authorized by Congress. Where is the outrage from our elected representatives?
I reviewed the websites of all GOP Senate leaders (Republicans control Congress) and all GOP members of the Health Education, Labor and Pensions Committee (the committee that has direct oversight of the FDA), and not one of these senators has made a statement condemning this decision by the FDA. Are they all that unconcerned about women's health or are they simply afraid of Clinton and Murray? Have they no shame?
Today millions of Americans will go about their daily chores without lifting their voices against this outrageous action by the FDA, which was supported by the president and the man he chose to safeguard the nation's health. Are Americans that ignorant, unconcerned or simply lazy? Have they no shame?
Source: WorldNet Daily
My Comments: I have written and posted several stories about Plan B on my blog, written President Bush, phoned the White House comment line, signed a petition against Plan B, and written both of my congressmen and have had heard nothing in response to all my efforts, and I have to conclude that no, most people have no shame about this. Our government leaders certainly don't or they would fight this. Clinton and Murray have been pushing for Plan B -- they don't give a d---- about women's health! They are both looking out after their own self-interests. Dr. Andrew Dr. von Eschenbach, too, is only concerned about his own personal advancement and not about women. I don't know what's going on with President George Bush -- he is certainly a disappointment -- behaving so inconsistently in his pro-life actions. We can expect Planned Parenthood and the abortionists to have no shame -- they are profiteers -- always out to make a buck at the expense of human lives. I believe that most other people are simply burying their heads in the sand and letting it slide - just like they did with RU-486 and with the birth control pill many years ago.
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Today I am praying for...
a good, Catholic future husband for Maria (preferably someone who models himself after St. Joseph).
an end to abortion and the culture of death.
the November elections -- that all the leaders elected will be pro-life.
strength, guidance, and protection for all those working in the pro-life movement.
a special intention.
all previous prayer requests listed here.
Thanks for praying for these special intentions. If you have a special need, please list it below in the comments or email me and I will be happy to pray for it during daily Mass and also during my Holy Hour. God bless you!
~Pope John Paul II
Benedict, who taught theology at four German universities before rising in the Catholic Church hierarchy, has pondered weighty ideas with his former Ph.D students at annual meetings since the late 1970s without any media fuss.
But his election as pope last year and controversies over teaching evolution in the United States have aroused lively interest in this year's reunion on September 1-3 at the papal summer residence of Castel Gondolfo outside Rome.
Religion and science blogs are buzzing about whether it means the Vatican will take a more critical view of evolution and possibly embrace "Intelligent Design," which claims to have scientific proof that human life could not have simply evolved. [Entire Story]
The former executive director of the Death with Dignity National Center who is dedicated to advancing assisted suicide, Chairwoman Estelle Rogers, is a pro-abortion activist having been the legislative director for Planned Parenthood Federation of America and worked on the American Civil Liberties Union Reproductive Freedom Project is going to be the head of the American Bar Association's (ABA) Special Committee on Bioethics.
Estelle has a definite perspective that is contrary to the culture of life. The ABA's voice on key bioethics issues will be anti-life and anti-marriage. The ABA may adopt even more aggressive positions as it files briefs or testifies before Congress on important life and bioethical issues to the point of possible plans of creating a federal constitutional right to research -- including human cloning -- that could not be reversed by any state body - society is increasingly dealing with the legal implications of bioethics issues, including physician-assisted suicide, euthanasia and health-care professionals' rights of conscience. In the past year, the ABA's program, 'Making the Perfect Baby,' looked specifically at the question of assisted reproductive technology and genetic enhancement.
Let the leadership at the ABA know your opinion concerning the appointment of Estelle Rogers to head the Special Committee on Bioethics, you may contact them here:
American Bar Association,
740 15th Street, NW,
Washington, DC, 20005-1019
It's official! This past Thursday, August 24, Bishop John Yanta of the Diocese of Amarillo received my profession of promises into the Society he gave me permission to found, the Missionaries of the Gospel of Life. In a Mass celebrated by Cardinal Renato Martino, president of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, and concelebrated by eight other bishops, I became the first "Moderator General" of this new community of priests and lay persons dedicated exclusively to ending abortion and euthanasia. This means that I am no longer incardinated in a diocese, but rather into this new Society of Apostolic Life.
After the Mass, we had a groundbreaking ceremony on the 60 acres of land on which the new headquarters for Priests for Life and the Missionaries of the Gospel of Life will be built. Cardinal Martino blessed the land in a ceremony attended by numerous dignitaries, special guests, and members of the local community, as well as by the six men whom we have accepted as our first seminarians. Among our special guests were Norma McCorvey (the former "Jane Roe" of Roe vs. Wade), Bob and Mary Schindler (the parents of Terri Schiavo) and their son Bobby, Dr. Alveda King (niece of Martin Luther King, Jr.), and Mary Ward (sister of the late Cardinal John O'Connor, who ordained me and gave me permission to lead Priests for Life and explore the idea of a community of priests dedicated to ending abortion).
Some video footage of these events can be seen at www.priestsforlife.org/video, and more will be prepared in the days ahead.
During those days in Amarillo, we also had an historic meeting of priests from several different ministries who are involved in full-time pro-life work. We prayed together and discussed strategic initiatives by which we can collaborate more closely. The next day, we had a similar meeting of pro-life leaders from a wide range of groups. Cardinal Martino participated in both meetings.
Blessings and prayers,
Fr. Frank Pavone, MEV
BOGOTA, Colombia, August 30, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Cardinal Alfonso Llopez Trujillo announced Tuesday that the Colombian Catholic Church has excommunicated all persons involved in obtaining an abortion for an 11-year-old girl, who became pregnant after she was raped.
The order includes the judges, politicians and legislators involved in the decision, as well as the doctors, nurses and the girl’s parents, the Manila Bulletin Online reported today.
Under excommunication, all those involved in the abortion are banned from receiving the sacraments, except the sacrament of confession, and may not perform a ministerial role in the Liturgy or other worship ceremony.
Participating in abortion carries the automatic penalty of full excommunication, under the Catholic Code of Canon Law.
Cardinal Trujillo, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, has been very clear on the application of excommunication in cases of abortion. In a June interview with Famiglia Christiana magazine, Cardinal Trujillo said the doctors, nurses and the mother involved in abortion all incur excommunication, as would the father if he supported the abortion decision.
Colombia bowed to internal and international pressure earlier this year by allowing abortion in cases of rape or incest, in a Constitutional Court decision. Bogota’s Achbishop, Cardinal Pedro Rubiano Saenz responded to the decision by stating, in an interview with El Tiempo newspaper, “All those who commit the crime, the sin of abortion, will be excommunicated immediately. This applies as well to those who foster or assist abortion.”
Archishop Luis Augusto Castro, president of the Bishops’ Conference of Colombia, spoke out against the Court’s decision to accept abortion in difficult cases involving rape or incest, saying “The child is innocent…the criminal should be punished and put in jail for a long time, but the child should not have to pay for the sins of another. He is an innocent baby.”
1:00 a.m. Eastern
By Jill Stanek
So what if minor girls can't buy emergency contraceptives without a prescription?
Their rapists can.
When last week the FDA authorized over-the-counter access of ECs to women 18 and older, it also authorized over-the-counter access to men 18 and older.
Why would men buy ECs?
Ask Thailand, where ECs have been marketed for 20 years.
In Thailand, ECs are advertised in men's magazines.
In Thailand, several studies corroborate what researchers for the Program for Appropriate Technology in Health found, that "the majority of purchasers are men buying EC for women. … Women, especially adolescents, said that they feel ashamed to purchase EC themselves."
Recall Thailand is where pedophile John Mark Karr was recently nabbed on suspicion of murdering JonBenet Ramsey. The spotlight on Karr exposed Thailand as a haven for child sex predators. ECs must come in handy.
The U.S. is not yet a child sex toy land like Thailand. But authorities and investigative journalists have recently warned that child porn and sex predation are on the rise here, particularly due to the Internet.
Thanks to the FDA's approval of easy access to emergency contraceptives, expect a spike.
What about women over 18?
The Bangkok Post reported, "[Men] buy the pills for their girlfriends or wives … so that they don't have to wear condoms and feel they're at no risk of becoming a father afterwards. Some women … said that they didn't even know what they were taking; that the guy just said it was a health supplement.''
Yes, we have here a real advancement for women – increased exposure to STDs by ingesting mega-doses of female steroids (for which no long-term research has been done) – sometimes without even knowing it.
I don't know whether acting FDA Commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach was caving to or cavorting with radical feminists when making his decision, but it was irresponsible and dangerous.
For starters, have you ever heard of the FDA making the high dose of any drug available on the store shelf while locking the lower dose in the pharmacy?
Here's the magnitude of difference between prescription-only birth control pills and now nonprescription ECs: Planned Parenthood recommends taking 40 Ovrette brand birth control pills at one time to equal the dosage of the EC.
Meanwhile, feminist groups – and politicians like Hillary Clinton whom they pay off (who held up von Eschenbach's confirmation pending his Plan B concession) – stand now to make a killing from it.
Planned Parenthood struck a deal with Barr Pharmaceuticals in 2004 to purchase Plan B for "special pricing at $4.50 and $4.25, respectively," according to a confidential memo written by Planned Parenthood's president of medical affairs, Vanessa Cullen, which was forced public during a court case.
Planned Parenthood has been selling Plan B for $20-$30, with a scheme already in place to undercut pharmacies.
Continue reading Jill's column today, "Babes in Thailand needn't leave U.S.," on WND.com.
Via Jill Stanek and Pro-life Blogs.
SPRINGFIELD, IL, August 29, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A new survey has found that women want to be thoroughly informed of all possible risks associated with elective medical procedures, and they generally want as much or more information when it comes to abortion.
The survey of 187 women seeking obstetric and gynecological services at a Wisconsin women's health clinic was published in the Journal of Medical Ethics in July. The women were given a short survey in which they were asked to state their preferences for information about elective medical procedures. They ranked the degree of information they preferred regarding alternative treatments and complication rates, and rated the severity of different types of complications, ranging in severity from headaches to death.
The results showed that 95 percent of patients wished to be informed of all the risks of a procedure and 69 percent wanted to be informed of all alternative treatments, not just the alternatives preferred by their doctor.
Moreover, in their ranking of the seriousness of complications, mental health complications ranked as very serious, only slightly below the risk of death or heart disease. This finding may be especially important to the abortion debate since recent peer-reviewed studies have linked abortion to increased rates of mental health problems, such as suicidal behavior, clinical depression, anxiety disorders, substance abuse, and sleep disorders. [Entire Story]
As a result, Catholics must be proactive in providing young people with the right resources, support and formation on campuses, says the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS). The group, founded in 1998, currently offers Bible studies, leadership training, and mentoring on 29 secular and Catholic campuses in 15 states.
In a press release issued yesterday, FOCUS says college students today face a number of challenges, such as dealing with relationships, promiscuous sex, binge drinking, drug use, credit card debt, depression, and gambling. New students, especially, who are away from their parents for the first time in many cases are particularly vulnerable.Studies seem to back up their claims. 56.5% of students told a recent Zogby International poll that they consider themselves, “sexually active.”
And, according to the Alan Guttmacher institute, one in every five of the approximately 1,370,000 abortions occurring in the U.S. each year is performed on a college student. [Entire Story]
Thank God for FOCUS! May God continue to bless their apostolate!
Within hours of taking possession of the building that had housed an abortion clinic since 1983, OR President Troy Newman guided LDI’s Mark Crutcher and his production team on a tour of the facility, where they filmed and documented the shocking conditions that existed there. The mill was a member of the National Abortion Federation, an association of shoddy abortion mills around the country, some of which have recently been closed for their unsafe conditions and practices by the states of Florida and Alabama.The documentary was originally part of LDI’s monthly video magazine, LifeTalk, but has been edited to include only the segment on the conditions at Central Women’s Services. (To obtain a full copy of LifeTalk, please click here.)
Operation Rescue has plans to renovate the building to include a memorial to the estimated 50,000 pre-born babies who lost their lives there. It will also serve as OR’s national headquarters, where they plan to continue their work to close more abortion mills across the country.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW VIDEO
I have viewed this documentary and the conditions are so unsafe and unsanitary that I would not even bring an animal there. You have to see it to believe it -- it is unreal!
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
(Photos taken by the Community 0f St. John on the 30th anniversary of its founding February, 2006 in Rome, Italy)
Father Marie-Dominique Philippe Dies at 93
VATICAN CITY, AUG. 28, 2006 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI sent a message to the Family of St. John in which he thanked God for the life of their founder, Father Marie-Dominique Philippe, who died Saturday. He was 93.
In a telegram sent in his name by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican secretary of state, the Pope "prays that the Lord will receive him in his kingdom, who for years guided and formed numerous people in the school of Christ, in the spirit of the 'beloved disciple,' rooting them in a profound love for the Church and in fidelity to the Successor of Peter.
"The Bishop of Rome "gives thanks for the life of Father Marie-Dominique, totally given to the Lord and his brothers, rooted in meditation of the Word of God, in search of passionate contemplation of truth."Benedict XVI hopes that "his testimony will infuse in all those he has guided the necessary drive so that the Gospel of Christ will always be proclaimed, accepted and lived," and he ends by offering his apostolic blessing to the Family of St. John."According to a communiqué issued by the community, Father Philippe died at the priory of St. Jodard, France. He was going to be 94 on Sept. 8.
The Community of St. John is comprised of 930 men, half of whom are priests or deacons, and active and contemplative women religious, as well as more than 3,000 lay oblates of more than 34 nationalities. It is present in 21 countries.The Brothers of St. John are recognized as a religious congregation, under the bishop of the Autun Diocese, in France, where their motherhouse is located.
Message from Sr Nirmala, the Superior General of the Missionaries of Charity, on the occasion of Fr Philippe's death:
"It is wonderful to hear that Fr Marie-Dominique Philippe returned to God on Aug 26, which is the Feast of Our Lady of Czestochowa, the link with our beloved Holy Father John Paul II, and which is also the birthday of our Mother, Blessed Teresa of Calcutta. With these three in Heaven, we can expect great things for the Church!"
My Comments: Thanks be to God for Fr. Philippe! I am so happy that I was privilleged to meet him, to hear his homilies, and to receive Holy Communion from him before he left for his eternal home.
Thank you for joining me in prayer for Fr. Philippe. I pray that the canonization process for him will begin soon.
Which famous person would you most like to learn that you are descended from? the family of St. Therese of Lisieux -- the Martin family
Which famous person would you hate to learn that you are descended from? Adolph Hitler
If you could be ancestor to any living famous person, who would it be and why? Pope Benedict ... I have met him and he is wonderful! What a holy, saintly Papa he is!
If you could go back in time and meet any known ancestor(s) of yours, who would it be? An ancestor of mine who is a candidate for sainthood. I also have an ancestor who is a French poet, but the saint to be wins out.
Anyone who hasn't had a crack at this meme yet, consider yourself tagged.
Speaking at a rally organized by opponents of a statewide ballot initiative that would ease legal limits on stem-cell research in Missouri, the archbishop said that embryonic research of the sort being proposed would constitute "the legalized destruction of human life."
The key issue in dispute in the Missouri debate is the meaning of the term "therapeutic cloning." Proponents of the embryo research say that although human embryos may be reproduced, there is no danger of human cloning because no children will be born through the process. Opponents point out that the embryos that are created and harvested for their stem cells are already human beings.
The baby killers just won't give up will they? They are determined to destroy human life in exchange for money. How sad and sick!
Click here to watch!
Total Time: 1 minute, 6 seconds
Kline said his investigation was not a part of a political agenda but a legitimate effort to protect girls in Kansas.
“When I have a 10-year-old who gets pregnant and gets a late-term abortion and was impregnated at the age of 9, and no one calls the police, I don't consider it a narrow agenda to try and bring her rapist to justice,” he told the Dodge City Daily Globe.
Kline sought the records of girls in 90 abortion cases from two abortion businesses, who sued to stop the investigation from continuing.
A Shawnee County District judge subpoenaed the records and backed Kline's probe, but the abortion centers appealed the decision, refusing to cooperate. The Kansas Supreme Court eventually ruled that Kline could get access to the records as long as the privacy of the girls was protected.
Morrison, the Johnson County District Attorney, is attempting to make the effort to protect Kansas girls an issue in the race. He told the Globe newspaper he disagreed with the probe.
“It is disingenuous for Mr. Kline to try to justify his serious violation of privacy by claiming to investigate child rape, because three-quarters of the records belong to adult women,” he claimed.
That's because part of the investigation involved whether the abortion centers were doing illegal late-term abortions.
The state pro-life group Kansans for Life worries that Morrison will benefit from another last-minute infusion of hundreds of thousands of dollars of campaign cash from infamous late-term abortion practitioner George Tiller.
Tiller, who escaped prosecution in the abortion death of mentally disabled 19 year-old Cristin Gilbert, owns one of the two abortion centers in Kline's probe.
Tiller's ProKanDo PAC funneled $150,000 to Kline's opponent in 2002. The web site for his abortion business asks women who have had abortions to donate to the political group.
Money talks, but so do prayers. Let's pray that God will be in control of this election, and not "Tiller the Killer."
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.
Monday, August 28, 2006
Visit Patty at Why Have You Forsaken Me? and read her latest sidewalk counseling post.
Learn about the Right to Life Act in the works at pro-life blogs.
CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI said parents worried about the waywardness of their children should take heart in the circuitous spiritual path of St. Augustine.
After a youth spent in pleasure-seeking and self-indulgence, St. Augustine embraced the faith and went on to become one of the most important figures in the development of Christianity, the pope said Aug. 27.
Much of the credit belongs to his mother, St. Monica, who despite her son's "rebellious temperament" never gave up on him and accompanied him for years with "prayers and tears," he said.
"How many problems there are today in family relations, and how many mothers are anguished because their children take the wrong road," the pope said.
"Monica, a wise woman and solid in her faith, invites them not to be discouraged, but to persevere in the mission of wife and mother, keeping firm trust in God and holding with perseverance to prayer," he said.
The pope made the comments to several hundred pilgrims inside the courtyard of his summer villa outside Rome. The church celebrates the feast days of St. Monica Aug. 27 and St. Augustine Aug. 28.
I apologize for not posting this past weekend, but I had a pressing matter to attend to and there was no postponing it. Pictures speak louder than words, so I will let the photos do the talking.
Today I am praising the Lord and thanking Him for...
the wonderful weekend I spent with family in St. Louis.
Birgitta, who has passed the second comprehensive exam for her Ph.D. and has advanced to candidacy.
I am praying for...
the repose of the soul of Fr Marie-Dominique Philippe, the founder of the Community of St. Jean (St. John), who went to the Father's house Friday night (4 am Sat morning in France). May Our Lord grant him everlasting rest, and may the Virgin Mary, for whom he had such a tender love, intercede for him!
Requiescat in pace. Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him.
the repose of the soul of Kenneth Burbine.
the repose of the souls of the victims of the airplane crash in Kentucky and for peace and healing for their families.
Our Holy Father and our bishops, that the Holy Spirit will guide and strenghten them.
a change in laws, which discriminate against the unborn.
an increase in vocations to the priesthood and to the consecrated life.
an end to abortion, the conversion of the abortionists and their staff, and the closing of all abortion mills.
a special intention.
all previous intentions listed here.
Thank you for praying for all these special intentions with me. If you have a prayer need please let me know in the comment section below or email me and I will be happy to pray for your special need. God bless you!
St. Augustine is one of my favorite saints. At age 12, I read his Confessions and was fascinated with his great love and passion for the Lord. Little did I realize at that time that eleven years later, I would stop practicing my Catholic faith and, like Augustine, it would be the long-suffering and persistent prayers of my mother that would draw me to the heart of Jesus and bring me home to my faith.
St. Augustine was a Western Father of the Church and his conversion to Christianity is well-known as one of the most important events in the history of the Church.
Augustine was born in Tagaste, Africa in 354 to Patrcius, a pagan Roman official, and to Monica, a devout Christian. Monica raised Augustine in the Christian faith, but when he went to study law in Carthage, he turned away from his Christian beliefs and led a life of immorality and hedonism.
At age 15, he took a took a mistress who bore him a son, Adoedatus, which means “the gift of God,” and at age 18, he and his friend, Honoratus became members of the Manichaean heretical sect, which accepted the dual principle of good and evil. The late Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen explained his attraction to the heresy: “The conflict between flesh and spirit in him was resolved by the heresy of Manichæanism because it enabled him to pursue a voluptuous life without ever being held accountable for it. He could say that the evil principle within him was so strong, so deep, and intense that the good principle could not operate.”
Augustine turned away from his pursuit of law to literary endeavors and won poetic tournaments and made a name for himself in the world of philosophy. Augustine made plans to teach in Rome, but instead went to Milan.
Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen describes St. Augustine’s conversion so beautifully.
“Monica prayed that her son would never go to Italy because she feared that there would be more evil companionship there than in Northern Africa. Her prayers seemed to go unanswered, but at the same time, they were answered in a mysterious way.
In the year 384, Augustine told his mother to go to visit the Church of St. Cyprian the Martyr while he went to visit friends. He slipped away from Africa that night and went to Rome, against his mother's wishes. His reputation as an orator and rhetorician preceded him and he was recognized as one of the most learned men of his time.
When Augustine went to Milan, to plead for the restoration of paganism to the City, he heard of the scholarship and the oratorical powers of Ambrose, the Bishop. Many days he would sit under the pulpit in veneration of Ambrose. Later, he spent many hours in his company, discussing philosophy and he took manuscripts from Ambrose's library to read.
All the while, the chains of habit were strong in Augustine and his carnal nature was resisting his spiritual birth. In August, 386, he met Pontitianus who told Augustine the story of St. Anthony of the Desert. St. Anthony spent more than seventy years in the desert.
After hearing the story, Augustine said: "Manes is an impostor. The Almighty calls me. Christ is the only way and Paul is my guide."
If Anthony has conquered the libido and sex, why could not he, Augustine asked himself.
Augustine eager to be alone went into the garden. There he underwent a conflict between the old ego and the new one that was being born. Casting himself at the foot of a spreading fig tree, he cried hot and bitter tears, which overflowed and bathed his spirit. He cried aloud:
"When shall I achieve salvation, when shall I cast off my fetters? Tomorrow perhaps, or the day after? Why not this very hour?"
Suddenly he became aware of the voice of a child, a boy or girl, he knew not, speaking in a neighboring house.
"Take up and read," said the sweet voice.
He hurried back into the room. He found a copy of the epistles of St. Paul, which Pontitianus had been fingering. Seizing it, and opening it at random, his eyes fell upon the words of St. Paul to the Romans 13:13:
"Not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying; but put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ and make not provision for the flesh."
In that one moment, the carnal passions, which had for sixteen years appeared invincible, were annihilated.
Augustine cries out in deep regret:
"Too late, O Ancient Beauty, have I loved Thee."
On Holy Thursday, which fell on April 22, 387 AD, he recited the Credo aloud in the presence of an assembled congregation. He fasted until Holy Saturday and in the evening he went to the Basilica, where Bishop Ambrose pronounced the last exorcisms over him, made the sign of the Cross upon his forehead and breast, and poured the baptismal waters.
Then, in accordance with the custom used only in the church in Milan, Ambrose got on his knees and washed the feet of Augustine. The two saints were united for perhaps the last time on earth. The elder humbled himself before the younger, the more famous before the more obscure.
Adeodatus, the carnal son of his sinning, received Baptism at the same time.
The nameless woman whom Augustine lived with, and mother of Adeodatus, returned to Carthage and spent her remaining days in penance.
One of the effects of Augustine's conversion was a return to joviality, and a deep sense of inner peace. There was also a great increase of literary productiveness. Between the years 380 and 386, before his conversion, he had not written a single page. Now, in a short space of time, he composed four brief books in succession.
In 397, or twelve years after his conversion, Augustine wrote his Confessions, the greatest spiritual autobiography ever written. It is the work of a teacher who explains, a philosopher who thinks, and a theologian who instructs. It is the work of a poet who achieves chaste beauty in the writing, and a mystic who pours out thanks for having found himself in peace.
"Too late have I loved You, O Beauty so ancient and so new, too late have I loved You. You have called to me, and have cried out, and have shattered my deafness. You have blazed forth with light and have put my blindness to flight! You have sent forth fragrance, and I have drawn in my breath, and I pant after You. I have taste You, and I hunger and thirst after You. You have touched me, and I have burned for Your peace" (Confessions 10,27).
None of the Freuds or Jungs or Adlers of our 20th century has ever pierced the conscious and the unconscious mind with a rapier as keen as Augustine's. No man can say he has ever understood himself if he has not read the 'Confessions' of Augustine.”
~ St. Augustine of Hippo, Bishop Fulton J. Sheen.
St. Monica died in Ostia (modern Italy) and St. Augustine remained in Italy, for a time, praying, studying and writing, before returning to Tagaste, Africa, where he sold all his possessions and distributed the money to the poor. He was ordained as a priest in 391. He was later made bishop of Hippo at the age of 41 and became one of the four great founders of religious orders and a Doctor of the universal Church. He died on August 30, 430.
Patron: Brewers; diocese of Bridgeport, Connecticut; Cagayan de Oro, Philippines; diocese of Kalamazoo, Michigan; printers; city of Saint Augustine, Florida; diocese of Saint Augustine, Florida; sore eyes; diocese of Superior, Wisconsin; theologians; diocese of Tucson, Arizona.
Symbols: flaming heart pierced by two arrows; eagle; child with shell and spoon; word Veritas with rays of light from Heaven; chalice; dove; pen and book; scroll; scourge; model of a church; Bible opened to Romans xiii; child; shell.
Friday, August 25, 2006
Today I am praying for...
our leaders that the Lord will direct their hearts and minds in all their decision making.
all mothers and fathers of aborted children that the Lord will lead them on the road to healing.
Birgitta who takes oral comps for her Ph.D. today.
P.'s mom who enters an assisted living facility today.
a special intention.
all previous intentions listed here.
Thank you for praying with me for these special intentions. If you have a prayer need, please mention it in the comments below or email me and I will pray for you during daily Mass and my Holy Hour.
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 was a model father and his children received careful instruction from him in the Christian life.
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."
Thursday, August 24, 2006
"Protect the health of all Americans?" Killing babies and endangering women's lives is protecting the health of all Americans? What an outright lie! The sad part is that some people actually fall for these lies and end up as victims.
My plan of attack has been writing President Bush and phoning the White House comment line, blogging about this and informing everyone I know via email and word of mouth. I have contacted my Senators to inform them of my views on this. I have also spent time praying in the presence of the Lord in Eucharist Adoration. I am at peace knowing that I have done everything in my power to prevent this.
Babies will be killed and women will die. And, I will continue to listen to His voice to determine what He wants me to do next.
Lord, I pray that Plan B be stopped and this drug be removed from the market. Open the eyes of all our leaders and help them understand the evil and the dangers involved in this drug. Help them see things through Your eyes and treat their brothers and sisters who are created in Your image with dignity and love. I ask this in Your name, Jesus, and in union with Your holy will through the intercession of Our Holy Mother. Amen.
~ Johnnette S. Benkovic in Full of Grace: Women and the Abundant Life
St. Bartholomew was born in Cana. His name means "son of Tolomai" and scholars believe he is the same person as Nathanael mentioned in John. 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.
Bartholomew is the patron of bookbinders, butchers, corn-chandlers, dyers, glovers, furriers, leather-workers, plasterers, shoemakers, tailors, tanners, vine-growers, and Florentine salt and cheese merchants. He is invoked against nervous disorders and twitchings.
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
This interactive movie follows three siblings from the North family – Benjamin, Christa, and Marco -- on an adventure to rescue their Uncle Rudy, who is missing in the Himalayan region of Nepal after he sets out on a search to find the mythical abominable snowman. The viewer's choices determine what will happen next in the story. Will they rescue their Uncle? Will they discover the secret of the mythical Yeti creature? Or will dangerous avalanches, evil poachers, and hungry tigers foil their plans? With over 11 possible endings, the viewer determines the outcome of the adventure.
As I watched this DVD, I thought of the younger children in my own extended family and the elementary school age children I have worked with over the years and how much they would enjoy this fast – paced, intriguing adventure story which keeps them involved with a hands – on approach. This DVD is actually a high interest teaching tool which guides the child in making choices and in learning the consequences of those choices. In addition to developing eye - hand coordination skills, this DVD also helps the child acquire higher level conceptual skills requiring him/her to analyze situations and to react quickly, sharpening his/her decision making skills with each new choice. The time element is also just right for youngsters with short attention spans, as they must stay involved in the movie in order to make their next decision 3 – 6 minutes later. Depending on the choice that is made, each story can last up to 22 minutes.
I also liked Choose Your Own Adventure The Abominable Snowman because it is family – oriented and contains no sex, violence, drugs, nudity, or occult. It is squeaky clean and fun. The movie itself seems to be geared toward elementary school age children, but would be appropriate for viewing by the whole family. It has been approved for Family viewing by the Dove Foundation, and has received the following awards: 2006 iParenting Media Award Winner, Kids First! All Star Award, and the Film Advisory Board Seal of Approval.
I give it 4 **** out of a possible 5 *****.
“The Theology of the Body: A New Translation Based on the John Paul II Archives” will be available in September. This new edition was translated from the Pope’s original Polish text. In addition, John Paul II’s original system of chapter headings has been translated from Polish for the first time.
The Theology of the Body was shared with the faithful of the Church in a series of inspirational lectures the Pope delivered at his weekly general audiences between 1979 and 1984. The short lectures were given in Italian and then translated into English by various translators in the editorial offices of L’Osservatore Romano.
What can you do?
1. Call your Senators and ask them to reject the nomination of Dr. von Eschenbach.
2. Call the White House: (202) 456-1111, tell the President to say "NO to Plan B".
Praise You, Lord!
Today I am praying for...
M.'s uncle diagnosed with cancer months ago who has given up on life. He refuses all treatment and nutrition. The doctors give him approximately 3-4 days to live. Lord, have mercy!
M.'s mom who is the caretaker of her dying uncle. May Our Lady of Compassion give her comfort and peace.
peace and healing for J., a young mother of 4 who is struggling after the recent death of her father, and for the repose of his soul.
a young mother, pregnant with twins, who is having a difficult pregnancy -- for their safety and hers.
wisdom and knowledge and a change of heart for all those who are involved in making the morning after pill an OTC drug.
a respect for all human life from the moment of conception to natural death.
a special intention.
all previous prayer requests listed here.
Lord hear our prayer.
Thanks for praying with me for these special intentions. If you have a special need please leave a message in the comment section below or email me.
God bless you!
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. She frequently deprived herself of food, water, and sleep. As a result of her exterior mortification, she had interior mystical experiences as well as long periods of darkness and desolation. For fifteen years, she went through the "dark night of the soul."
Rose worked hard to support her poor parents (by embroidering and gardening) 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 had secretly taken a vow of virginity with the permission of her confessor at the age of five. At the same time, she experienced great temptations which resulted in excruciating mental anguish and loneliness.
At age 20, Rose joined the Third Order of St. Dominic and and thereafter increased her penances wearing constantly a metal spiked crown, concealed by roses, and an iron chain about her waist. She moved into a small hut in her parents' garden and served the poor and the sick in a makeshift infirmary.
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 patron of: the Americas; Central America; embroiderers; florists; gardeners; India; Latin America; needle workers; New World; people ridiculed for their piety; Peru; Phillipines; diocese of Santa Rosa, California; South America; vanity; Villareal Samar, Phillipines; West Indies.
“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.”
Link: Dominican Third Order Website
Even the uneducated realize that if a sexual predator desires to obtain the "emergency" contraceptive for his underage victim this is his free license to continue abusing her. There is nothing preventing minors from obtaining this life-threatening drug -- ask any minor if he/she has difficulty obtaining alcohol.
CWA President Wendy Wright offers a plausible explanation. Wright believes Von Eschenbach is now supporting easier access to the drug in order to gain the favor of Senate Democrats.
"We've been extremely disturbed that the acting FDA commissioner would put women's health at risk for his own advancement in order to gain a permanent seat at the FDA," Wright offers.
"There is a reason why the low dose requires medical oversight, because it can have serious complications to women. So it makes no sense that a high dose could be easily attainable," Wright said.
Concerned Women for America is asking the White House to withdraw his nomination to head the FDA permanently. We all need to make this request by contacting the comment line at the White House and emailing VP Dick Cheney.
Vice President Richard Cheney: firstname.lastname@example.org
Request that the acting FDA Commissioner withdraw his nomination to head the FDA permanently.
Ask that the President say "no" to Plan B.
Judie at ALL: Bush's Comments on Plan B Contradicts His Pro-life Stance
URGENT! ACTION ALERT! PHONE OR WRITE NOW!
President Bush Approves Over the Counter Early Abortion Pill, Pro-Life Base Decries Move - Updated
Morning After Pill Will Do More Harm Than Good, Doesn't Lessen Abortions
What's So Risky About the Morning After Pill?
URGENT PRO-LIFE ACTION ALERT! CALL UPON PRESIDENT BUSH TO STOP PLAN B!
FDA to OK Abortion Pill Sales?
US BISHOPS' SPOKESMAN DECRIES FDA STEP ON "MORNING-AFTER" PILL