Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Beautiful Video: March for Life

Check out this beautiful youtube video created by causa nostrae laetitiae.

As you can see, there were many (hundreds of thousands) dedicated pro-lifers there defending the right to life. Isn't it interesting how the secular press underestimates our numbers and our strength or ignores it altogether? I was not at the March in D.C. this year, but have been told from others who were there that there were only a handful of pro-aborts who got a lot of attention from the media. Expected, but still ridiculous.

Some Fabulous Photos

There are some fabulous first baby photos over at Pro Ecclesia * Pro Familia * Pro Civitate. This post made my day. Thanks, Jay.

Today's Prayer Intentions


Today I am praying for the following prayer intentions:

this prayer request
from Dawn Eden and the Sisters of Life.

the success of Operation Rescue's
Cry for Justice May event to continue the public call For late-term abortionist Tiller's prosecution.

an end to abortion and the conversion of all abortionists and their staff.

the conversion of hearts of all those who are trapped in the culture of death.

the repose of the soul of
this priest.

Smockmama and the repose of the soul of her father as well as peace and comfort for the family.


T's grandbaby who died for healing and peace for the family.

an abundance of graces, holy boldness, strength, wisdom, optomism and energy for all those involved in pro-life work in any way.

all previous prayer intentions listed here.

Lord, hear our prayer.

Leading Scientist Charges Colleagues With “Misleading” Public on Humanity of Embryos

BOSTON, Massachusetts, January 31, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A leading U.S. researcher in adult stem cell technology has stated there is no legitimate scientific justification for questioning when human life begins

In an interview with Anita Crane for Celebrate Life magazine, Dr. James Sherley--recently denied tenure at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he says for his views on embryo research--accused some of his colleagues of deliberately misleading the public about the beginnings of human life in order to justify embryonic research.

“I am upset when I hear knowing scientists needlessly confuse and mislead people who look to them for objectivity and integrity,” he said. “The world is a complicated place and there is a vast amount that we do not know about how it works and how we in it work. [More]

Talk about discrimination! Here is another example of a pro-lifer being discriminated against for telling the truth. A human embryo is a human life. I like Doctor Shelly's response:
“Whether or not the embryo has yet developed spinal nerves or self-awareness is an irrelevant point made to distract and confuse. I challenge the promoters of human embryonic stem cell research to justify why another human embryonic life is lessworthy than their own was.”

Catholic Teen Honored for Commitment to Chastity Program Despite Obstacles

METUCHEN, N.J. (CNS) -- At a young age, Theresa Hanntz has already battled opposition to her pro-life activities, yet she remains undaunted.

Hanntz was honored by the Diocese of Metuchen with a Pro-Vita Award for fighting for her beliefs when the Girl Scouts initially rejected a chastity program she organized at her high school as a project to earn her the Scouts' Gold Award. A compromise was eventually reached and she received the Scouting honor.

She and three others were given Pro-Vita Awards during a presentation at St. Francis of Assisi Cathedral Jan. 21.

Last year, as a senior Girl Scout at Immaculata High School in Somerville and president of the Pro-Life Club, Hanntz wanted to earn her Gold Award by organizing a five-week True Love Waits program at her school.The program, aimed at freshmen and sophomores, educates students on issues such as chastity, abortion and understanding God's plan for sexuality. The Girl Scouts organization, however, did not feel that such a program was appropriate and denied Hanntz the Gold Award.

But Hanntz, now a freshman at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania, remained committed to the project.

"I just became so involved in that issue and it became such a passionate topic for me," Hanntz told The Catholic Spirit, newspaper of the Metuchen Diocese. "I really wanted to spread the word."

She appealed the Girl Scouts' decision, arguing that the program was voluntary and required parental consent, but the Girl Scouts still felt the topic itself was too controversial.

Eventually, a compromise was reached when Hanntz agreed to rename the project "Implementing a Long-Term Program." She restructured her proposal to focus on organizing a program rather than promoting pro-life issues and finally received the Gold Award.

The True Love Waits program was a success at Immaculata, with 30 students participating. Hanntz said that she received strong feedback from her classmates who took part. Everyone who participated then signed a purity pledge saying they would wait for marriage before engaging in intercourse. [More]

My Comments

What a heart-warming story! This young woman is truly a model for all of her peers as well as all of us in the pro-life movement to emulate. How many of us, as adults, would stand up to this kind of opposition in the secular world and not cave-in to peer pressure?

Catholic Carnival 104: The Second Anniversary Edition

The Catholic Carnival is up and here's what Jay has to say about it, "Over these two years I’ve hosted a lot of Catholic Carnivals, but this is clearly one of the best. Every post offers insight and thoughtful analysis of issues. Take a few minutes to explore – I believe you’ll really enjoy at least some of these posts!"

I agree with him - there are some powerful posts there, so be sure and check it out.

Feast of St. John Bosco, Patron Saint of Youth



Happy Feast of St. John Bosco! For Biographical information, go here. Here are a few of my favorite quotes from St. John Bosco.

"Do you want Our Lord to give you many graces? Visit Him often. Do you want Him to give you few graces? Visit him seldom. Visits to the Blessed Sacrament are powerful and indispensable means of overcoming the attacks of the devil. Make frequent visits to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and the devil will be powerless against you.”

“This was the method that Jesus used with the apostles. He put up with their ignorance and roughness and even their infidelity. He treated sinners with a kindness and affection that caused some to be shocked, others to be scandalized and still others to hope for God’s mercy. And so He bade us to be gentle and humble of heart.”

“Your reward in heaven will make up completely for all your pain and suffering.”

"All for God and for His Glory. In whatever you do, think of the Glory of God as your main goal."

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Video: For Educational and Entertainment Purposes

This video displays the slogans of both the pro-death and the pro-life movements as seen on bumper stickers and buttons.

Like Suzanne, I am posting this for educational purposes, as I believe we cannot communicate effectively with others without knowing what their thoughts and feelings about abortion are.

Caution: Some of these are funny, others are witty, while others are quite offensive.

Via Big Blue Wave.

Hillary Humor


HILLARY'S FIRST NIGHT AS PRESIDENT


Hillary Clinton was sworn in today as President.


She has disposed of Bill and is spending her first night alone in the White House.

She has waited several years for this.



Suddenly the ghost of George Washington appears to her, and Hillary says, "How can I best serve my country?"


Washington says, "Never tell a lie."


"Ouch!" Says Hillary, "I don't know about that."



SECOND NIGHT



The next night, the ghost of Thomas Jefferson appears...

Hillary says, "How can I best serve my country?"



Jefferson says, "Listen to the people." "Ohhh! I really don't want to do that."


Jefferson says, "Listen to the people." "Ohhh! I really don't want to do that."



THIRD NIGHT

On the third night, the ghost of Abe Lincoln appears... Hillary says, "How can I best serve my country?"


Lincoln says, "Go to the theater."

Today's Prayer Intentions - Updated


Today I am praying for...

the success of Operation Rescue's
Cry for Justice May event to continue the public call For late-term abortionist Tiller's prosecution.

an end to abortion and the conversion of all abortionists and their staff.


the conversion of hearts of all those who are trapped in the culture of death.


the repose of the soul of
this priest.

Smockmama and the repose of the soul of her father as well as peace and comfort for the family.

a
speedy recovery for Vir Speluncae Catholicus.


Kevin, who left today to go to Costa Rica for 6 months to attend college.


T's grandbaby who died today and for healing and peace for the family.

an abundance of graces, holy boldness, strength, wisdom, optomism and energy for all those involved in pro-life work in any way.

all previous prayer intentions listed here.

Lord, hear our prayer.


Answered Prayer:

Let us praise the Lord and give Him thanks for the hundreds of thousands of people involved in the Right to Life March in D.C.!

Cardinal Sean O'Malley calls Americans to announce the Gospel of Life with greater fervor

Washington DC, Jan 30, 2007 / 04:40 pm (CNA).- "We need to raise the volume in announcing the Gospel of Life," with these words Cardinal Sean O’Malley strongly urged Americans to join in building a civilization of life and love.

The Cardinal-Archbishop of Boston told a packed house of Pro-life demonstrators, gathered at a Mass in the Crypt of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington last week that while Gospel of Life must be announced with conviction, it must also be proclaimed with love.

The cardinal related the fictional story told in the film "Children of Men," which describes a world 20 years from now with no babies, an epidemic of infertility, and hopeless violence. A group of people resisting the culture of death form the Human Project.“

Finally, one baby is born in secret. During a battle scene, the baby cries and suddenly everyone stops fighting, women want to touch the baby, soldiers kneel and make the sign of the cross. In the midst of the violence and despair, the baby becomes a sign of hope,” the cardinal said, recounting the plot.

O'Malley noted that the fertility rate in Europe is 1.4, indicating that deaths will outnumber births within five years. The fertility rate in Italy and Spain is 1.2, which he says will halve their current population in 20 years time. The United States is apparently in better shape because more Americans are churchgoers and churchgoers get married and have families, he reported.

“The churches in the United States are family-friendly and nurture family life,” he said. “Church is a bastion of defense against the culture of death. In terms of the film 'Children of Men,' we are ‘the human project’ — the alternative is the culture of death. As the populations of the Western world age, we will see that the generation of parents that aborted their own children will be euthanized by the children who survived.

”The cardinal spoke about how western cultures have become desensitized to violence and to death.“We have come to embrace a new morality that is dehumanizing and dangerous. The new morality is: the ends justify the means,” he said, referring to unethical medical research. He pointed out that the stem-cell research that does not destroy human life has brought about many successes and cures.

“We all want the cures, but the ends do not justify the means. We need to raise the volume in announcing the Gospel of Life,” he said. “It must not be a strident and hateful scream but a courageous proclamation of the Gospel of Life by witnesses whose lives are transformed by faith, love and a desire to serve.”

“As a country we have become callous to the horrors of abortion to human life,” he continued. “The greatest parallel is with slavery in the antebellum period of our history. The people convinced themselves that slavery was necessary, justifiable for economic, social reasons. Today our society is turning a blind eye to abortion and saying that now the ends justify the means.” He said the losers in this type of a culture are the elderly, the poor, the disabled and the politically marginalized. [More]

My Comments:

Yes! So let's all get off our duffs and become even more pro-active than we already are - me, included. Let's show God how much we love Him and one another through our actions. Isn't is great to hear the Truth?

Saint of the Day: St. Martina,Virgin

Martina, a noble virgin of Rome, was the daughter of a Consul. Having lost her parents when quite a child, and being exceedingly fervent in the practice of the Christian religion, she was singularly charitable to the poor, and distributed among them her immense riches. During the reign of Alexander Severus, she was ordered to worship the false gods, but most courageously refused to commit so detestable a crime. Where upon she was several times scourged; her flesh was torn with iron hooks and nails, and with potsherds, and her whole body was cut with most sharp swords; she was scalded with boiling oil, and was at length condemned to be devoured by wild beasts in the amphitheatre; but being miraculously left untouched by them, she was thrown on a burning pile, from which she also escaped unhurt, by the same divine power. [More]

Spiritual Quote of the Day

"All our religion is but a false religion, and all our virtues are mere illusions and we ourselves are only hypocrites in the sight of God, if we have not that universal charity for everyone - for the good, and for the bad, for the poor and for the rich, and for all those who do us harm as much as those who do us good."

~ St. John Vianney

Monday, January 29, 2007

Today's Prayer Intentions

Today I am praying for the following intentions:

For the Holy Father and all his special intentions.

For all our priests, bishops and clergy - for the grace to lead holy lives and to be/remain obedient and faithful to the Holy Father and the Magesterium of the Church. I am also thanking the Lord for those holy priests who have helped all of us grow spiritually and continue to do so.

For the repose of the soul of this priest.

For the conversion of those living in the culture of death.

For our nation and those who are in positions of power and leadership that they will allow God to lead them in their actions and to make and uphold laws that are in accordance with His will.

This Catholic Caveman who had surgery for a blocked artery.

For all previous prayers listed here and those on my prayer list.

Lord, hear our prayer.

Thanks be to God for answered prayer!

Eli got the job he wanted.

U. who was suffering from cancer is now cancer-free.

Praise the Lord!

Portugal Anti-Abortion Demonstration Draws 18,000 Pro-Life Supporters

LISBON, Portugal, January 29, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Thousands of pro-life demonstrators marched through the capital city of Portugal yesterday, in anticipation of a national referendum on legalizing abortion scheduled in two weeks’ time.

A coalition of 40 pro-life associations participated in the protest, with organizers estimating more than 18,000 people attended the march. The demonstrators carried flags and banners representing all stages of life, from conception to old age. The route led from a maternity center in the center of Lisbon to the western section of the city, the Associated Press reported Sunday.
[More]

My Comment:

May Our Lady of Fatima be with you to spur on in all your pro-life efforts and lead you to victory!

Fr. Robert Drinan, SJ, dead at 86

Fr. Drinan's last public act of note was to celebrate Mass for Nancy Pelosi. They say one shouldn't speak ill of the dead. So, let's have his actions speak for him. He once defended Clinton's veto of a partial birth abortion (id est sucking the brains out of viable babies):

One of the president's strongest defenders was a Jesuit priest, Father Robert Drinan, who published articles in both the Reporter and the New York Times attacking the bill and praising the President for having vetoed it. In both articles he accepted at face value the claim--refuted by knowledgable people--that the brutal "dilation and extraction" method is sometimes medically necessary. He also demanded that Congress include an exception to allow the use of the partial-birth procedure if a doctor deemed it necessary to preserve the "health" of the mother--a vague phrase which pro-lifers long ago realized could be used to justify practically any abortion.

Drinan also attacked the bill as a mere political weapon to [be] used against the President, and in his Reporter article twice urged that the bill be rejected because it is likely to help Republicans in this year's presidential campaign. All in all the column was as blatantly partisan an argument as it would be possible to find. Such open partisanship is unusual among American priests, but it was not surprising in view of the fact that Father Drinan himself for ten years (l97l-8l) served in Congress, as a Democrat, and that while there was perhaps the single most reliable supporter of abortion "rights." [More]

Via Gerald.

My Comment:

Lord, have mercy on His soul!

PHILIPPINES PREPARE MONUMENT OF MARY SET TO BE TALLER THAN STATUE OF LIBERTY

A message from Our Lady of Medjugorge spoke of the Philippines to become the "global spiritual center." Will this become a reality soon?

The Philippines, the only Catholic nation in Asia, has a special devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Last January 7, two thousand people watched the groundbreaking of the Shrine of Montemaria dedicated to "Mary Mother of the Poor" at the Southern part of Batangas City Bay area facing the famous Verde Island.

The statue of the Shrine of Montemaria will be 102 meters high - higher than New York City's Statue of Liberty (96 meters high) and Rio de Janeiro has Statue of Jesus (100 meters high).
[More]

Via Spirit Daily.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

What's New in the Blogosphere?

Check out The Holy Vocations blog and learn about the Community 0f St. John.

Many of us are changing to the new look on blogger. Check out Esther's new look here. Stop by and let her know what you think about the changes.

AdoroTe has a great new look as well as an interesting post on St. Thomas Aquinas, the blog patron.

Fr. Nicholas has three great videos on the papacy, featuring the great Leo XIII, Pius XI, and John Paul I.

Suzanne's post The Culture of Me and Abortion is too good to pass up.

Marching for Life is a must read post from Cardinal Sean's Blog complete with some great photos.

If you haven't heard the news from Barbara Nicolsi yet, Act One is now accepting applications for 2007. She will be on EWTN on February 23rd to discuss the Oscars with Raymond Arroyo.

If you're interested in evaluating your Latin skills, Salve Regina has two challenging quizzes.

Be sure to sign up on Moneybags' new Frapper Map and read his responses to the Catholic Culture Meme.

People Magazine on Sex: Don't Stop, Get a Shot


The Feb. 5 issue of People magazine included a story about actress Marissa Jaret Winokur who, according to the teaser, "learned the cause of her cervical cancer and now makes sure other women know how to prevent it."

The sole cause of cervical cancer is human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted disease. Winokur contracted cervical cancer at age 27 due to previous sexual promiscuity, or to put it as ambiguously as possible, said Winokur, "I learned about a year ago that HPV, a common virus, causes cervical cancer. Now there is an HPV test that might have caught my precancerous cells earlier."

The "prevention," according to Winokur? No, not a chaste lifestyle. "There's a vaccine, which can be given to women before they're sexually active," she said in People. "It makes sense to take these precautions. I'll encourage my friends' teenage daughters to get vaccinated."

Aside from the fact Winokur has no business telling other people's children "precautions" to avoid the pitfalls of promiscuous sex, her advice stinks. Let's not address the real cause. Let's try to avoid the ramifications of the cause.

Now Winokur cannot have children because she had to have a hysterectomy. Not to worry. She plans to harvest eggs from her remaining ovaries. To do so she will have to inject megadoses of steroids into her body over a prolonged period of time. That should keep her on a healthy track - not. Winokur is currently looking for a surrogate.

Winokur and People only fuel the exploitation and health demise of women by refusing to acknowledge the only full proof way to avoid HPV or cervical cancer: abstinence.


Pathetic State of American Catholicism on Abortion

My thanks go out to †Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam† for sharing this:

It is an area that once saw the great Isaac Jogues sacrifice his life for his Faith based on unselfish service to others and passion to save souls. It is a parish named after the great St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of The Church and student of salvation and truth. Beyond those two icons of Catholic courage and example, however, all that remains of true Catholic courage in the state of New York are the pockets of devoted faithful who know a modern John the Baptist when they see one.

If the primary foe of Catholicism in the days of Jogues in the new world were those pagan Indians who saw his faith as a threat to their beliefs and social order, then its main enemy today is political correctness and betrayal of Catholic beliefs for political expediency. If Aquinas sought to educate and preach about salvation and truth, then this Buffalo parish named after him epitomizes the unnecessary struggle between convenience and courage, heresy and devotion and hypocrisy and truth. I say unnecessary because there would be no struggle if all Catholic leadership and clergy defended and demanded obedience to true Catholic doctrine and teaching. Instead of being soldiers of the Faith, these so-called leaders, models and shepherds fold like cheap suits and wave the white flags of political correctness, modernism and cafeteria Catholicism at the slightest whiff of heat.

If anyone wants to see the sad state of the American Catholic Church on the issue of abortion, let him look to the parish of St. Thomas Aquinas in Buffalo, where a courageous deacon named Thomas McDonnell stood up for his faith only to be betrayed by precisely those who were supposed to lead him into battle.

Instead of receiving complete support, as he deserved, McDonnell was criticized by both Church leadership and enough clueless congregants to make one wonder just what passes for Catholicism in this country.. . .Despite the clear horror of [the] barbaric act [of abortion], the American Catholic Church has failed to stand up and denounce those who dare to call themselves Catholic yet support and defend this wanton murder of innocents. While some courageous clerics do stand up against these Catholic frauds, most provide pathetic lip service, preferring to utter wimpy expressions of "pastoral ministry", "open dialogue" and "proper channels of debate".. . .The American Catholic Church is quickly becoming a sea of compromise, appeasement, surrender and even betrayal of core Catholic beliefs and doctrine, like a moral Titanic sinking under the weight of its own ambivalent doctrinal inconsistency and rampant political correctness. It has hit the iceberg of a society's watered-down moral chaos, and is taking on water from all sides.

Even as it sinks further into oblivion, its so-called leaders offer further compromise and appeasement as the lifeboats for its survival. Rather than standing firm against the storm as Christ did, these leaders bow to evil and sin out of political and social practicality, greed, cowardice or even agreement with that evil and sin itself.... . .May God Almighty grant us more courageous shepherds like Deacon Thomas McDonnell who dare to walk in the footsteps of Isaac Jogues and Thomas Aquinas as servants of truth, courage and salvation!

This article is too good to pass up...read it in its entirety here.

My Favorite St. Thomas Aquinas Quotes


Saint Thomas Aquinas was a 13th century Dominican priest, philosopher, and theologican. As a Doctor of the Church, he has been given the title "Angelic Doctor" and is the patron of Catholic universities and schools. St. Thomas reflected the Dominican ideal. He was a true contemplative who shared the fruits of contemplation with others.


Here are some of my favorite St. Thomas of Aquinas quotes:


"The Eucharist is the Sacrament of Love; It signifies Love, It produces love. The Eucharist is the consummation of the whole spiritual life."


"Friendship is the source of the greatest pleasures, and without friends even the most agreeable pursuits become tedious. "


"A man has free choice to the extent that he is rational."


"To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary.

To one without faith, no explanation is possible."


"To convert somebody, go and take them by the hand and guide them."



"Peace is the work of justice indirectly, in so far as justice removes the obstacles to peace; but it is the work of charity (love) directly, since charity, according to its very notion, causes peace."



"In order for a war to be just, three things are necessary. First, the authority of the sovereign. Secondly, a just cause. Thirdly, a rightful intention."


"Beware the man of one book."


"The things that we love tell us what we are."


"Good can exist without evil, whereas evil cannot exist without good."


"Human salvation demands the divine disclosure of truths surpassing reason."


"The end of all my labors has come. All that I have written appears to me as much straw after the things that have been revealed to me."


"A person is disposed to an act of choice by an angel ... in two ways: Sometimes, a man's understanding is enlightened by an angel to know what is good, but it is not instructed as to the reason why ... But sometimes he is instructed by angelic illumination, both that this act is good and as to the reason why it is good."


"Happiness is secured through virtue; it is a good attained by man's own will."


"Most men seem to live according to sense rather than reason."

"Because philosophy arises from awe, a philosopher is bound in his way to be a lover of myths and poetic fables."


"Poets and philosophers are alike in being big with wonder."


"Well-ordered self-love is right and natural."

"It is requisite for the relaxation of the mind that we make use, from time to time, of playful deeds and jokes."



"There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship."


"Almighty and Eternal God, behold I come to the Sacrament of Your only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. As one sick, I come to the Physician of life; unclean, to the Fountain of mercy; blind, to the Light of eternal splendor; poor and needy, to the Lord of heaven and earth. Therefore, I beg of You, through Your infinite mercy and generosity, heal my weakness, wash my uncleanness, give light to my blindness, enrich my poverty, and clothe my nakedness. May I thus receive the Bread of Angels, the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, with such reverence and humility, contrition and devotion, purity and faith, purpose and intention, as shall aid my soul's salvation ..."


"To love God is something greater than to know Him."


"Grant me, O Lord my God, a mind to know you, a heart to seek you, wisdom to find you, conduct pleasing to you, faithful perseverance in waiting for you, and a hope of finally embracing you."
Tom and Jerry - The Cat Concerto (1946)

Saturday, January 27, 2007

January Catholic Bestsellers

From the Catholic Book Publishers Association:

Hardcovers

1. Perfectly Yourself: 9 Lessons for Enduring Happiness Matthew
Kelly. Beacon Publishing/Ballantine

2. The Rhythm of Life Matthew Kelly. Beacon Publishing/Fireside

3. Celebration of Discipline, 25th Anniversary Edition Richard Foster. Harper San Francisco

4. The Seven Levels of Intimacy Matthew Kelly. Beacon Publishing/Fireside

5. Rediscovering CatholicismMatthew Kelly. Beacon Publishing


6. Catechism of the Catholic Church Doubleday/Our Sunday Visitor/USCCB Publishing

7. The Book of Courage Matthew Kelly. Beacon Publishing/Fireside

8. My Life With the Saints James Martin. Loyola Press

9. Mother Angelica Raymond Arroyo. Doubleday

10. Gospels and Acts, The Saint John’s Bible Donald Jackson. Liturgical Press

Paperbacks


1. Catechism of the Catholic Church Doubleday/Our Sunday Visitor/USCCB Publishing


2. United States Catholic Catechism for Adults USCCB Publishing

3. Mere Christianity C.S. Lewis. Harper San Francisco

4. Not By Bread Alone: Daily Reflections for Lent 2007 Sherri L. Valee. Liturgical Press

5. The Great Divorce C.S. Lewis. Harper San Francisco

6. The Screwtape Letters C.S. Lewis. Harper San Francisco


7. Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church Libreria Editrice Vaticana, USCCB Publishing

8. The Return of the Prodigal Son Henri J.M. Nouwen. Image

9. Becoming Who You Are James Martin. Hidden Spring

10. In the Name of Jesus Henri J.M. Nouwen. Crossroad

Via People of the Book.

Optional Memorial of St. Angela Merici, Virgin


Today is the feast day of St. Angela Merici, the foundress of the Ursulines. Angela was born on March 21, 1474 at Desenzano, Lake Garda, Italy and died on January 27, 1540 in Brescia.


Angela’s parents died when she was only ten years old. Together, with her older sister, she moved to the nearby town of Salo, to live with her uncle. When her sister died quite suddenly without receiving the last sacraments, Angela was deeply upset.

At the age of 15, she became a Franciscan tertiary and greatly increased her prayers and sacrifices for the repose of her sister's soul. She asked God to reveal to her the condition of her deceased sister and He answered her prayer by showing her through a vision that her sister was in Heaven.

When her uncle died, she returned to live at Desenzano to make a life for herself. She was convinced of the need for women to be educated in their faith and converted her home into a school where she daily gathered all the girls of Desenzano and taught them the basics of Christianity. It was at this time that she received a vision, which led her to found a religious order who were to devote their lives to the spiritual education of young women. The school she established at Desenzano was so successful that she was invited to the nearby city of Brescia, to establish a school there, which she accepted.

During a pilgrimage to Holy Land, while visiting Crete, Angela was struck blind. This did not interrupt her trip, however, but she continued on the journey, visiting the shrines with as much devotion and enthusiasm as if she still had her sight. On the way home, while praying before a crucifix, her sight was miraculously restored at the same place where it had been lost.

In 1525, Pope Clement VII, who had heard of her great holiness and her success as a religious teacher of young girls, invited her to remain in Rome; however, Angela returned to Brescia to live a quiet life, away from the limelight.

In 1535, Angela selected twelve women and laid the foundation of the order of the Ursulines in a small house near the Church of St. Afra in Brescia.

She died only five years later. St. Angela's body is incorrupt. She was beatified in 1768 by Pope Clement XIII and canonized in 1807 by Pope Pius VII.

She is the patron saint of physically challenged people, sick people, and of those who have lost their parents.

"Mothers of children, even if they have a thousand, carry each and every one fixed in their hearts, and because of the strength of their love they do not forget any of them. In fact, it seems that the more children they have the more their love and care for each one is increased. "

~ St. Angela Merici

Bullet - Proof Bra?

Via Jayne.

Wonder Bra Stops Bullet

This is an incredible story! I'd love to know where this woman buys her bras!

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.

One woman discovered on New Year's Eve that her bra could do more than lift and support when a falling bullet was halted by the bra strap on her left shoulder.

Debbie Bingham, 46, an Atlanta resident visiting family in St. Petersburg, said her gold bra slowed the falling bullet during the holiday celebrations. Read More

The 2007 Catholic Blog Awards Coming Soon

Via Julie D.:

The 2007 Catholic Blog Awards are soon approaching, so its time to start thinking about your favorite blogs and who you want to nominate! The nomination process will begin on Sunday, February 4 at noon CST and end on Friday, February 9 at noon CST. Voting will be held the week on February 12-16. This year’s categories have been refined to help remove some of the redundancy that was seen in years past. The listing of the categories is as follows:

Best Overall Catholic Blog
Best Designed Catholic Blog
Best Written Catholic Blog
Best New Catholic Blog
Best Individual Catholic Blog
Best Group Blog
Best Blog by Clergy/Religious/Seminarian
Funniest Catholic Blog
Smartest Catholic Blog
Most Informative & Insightful Catholic Blog
Best Apologetic Blog
Best Political/Social Commentary Catholic Blog
Best Insider News Catholic Blog
Most Spiritual Blog


Also, stay tuned because this Fall cyberCatholics.com will feature the all new Catholic Podcast Awards!

Check out the nifty new layout at CyberCatholics ... as well as the new categories for the blog awards!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Poll: Most Americans want to prohibit abortions

A majority want abortions greatly restricted, if not prohibited

WASHINGTON DC, January 26 (CNA) - A new CBS News poll has found that a majority of Americans want to prohibit abortions in all or most cases or want greater restrictions. The poll results are consistent with the results of a 2006 poll, reported by LifeNews.com.

According to the poll, 47 percent of Americans want to prohibit all or most abortions and 16 percent want them to be greatly restricted.About 30 percent of those polled want to limit abortions to the very rare cases of rape, incest or danger to the life of the mother. Twelve percent want abortions allowed only when the pregnancy threatens the mother's life. Five percent said abortions should always be illegal. Only 31 percent of those polls want to permit abortion in all cases.

The poll was conducted from Jan. 18 to 21 and it surveyed 1,168 adults nationwide.The CBS poll is backed-up by other recent polls, such as one by Zogby, which found that 69 percent of voters think that federal funds should not be used for abortions. 69 percent also support parental notification for girls 16 or younger and 55 percent say the notification law should apply to girls 18 and younger. [More]

My comments:

So the truth comes out. Are you listening Hillary, Barack Obama and all you other loyal pro-death politicians or are you still determined to push your personal pro-death agenda off on others?
Lectio Divina

St. Paula, Patron Saint of Widows

Thomas Craughwell, author of Saints Behaving Badly (Doubleday, 2006), has a fascinating post today on St. Paula the Patron saint of widows and the patroness of biblical studies over at Catholic Exchange.
Best Catholic Books for Lent

Saints Timothy and Titus: Bishops

St. Paul was so influential and attractive a personality that he was able to draw such different types of men as Timothy and Titus and to make them his collaborators. Timothy and Titus were converted to Christianity by St Paul, and became his companions and helpers. They were were two of the most beloved and trusted disciples of St. Paul, whom they accompanied in many of his journeys.

Paul made both men bishops and entrusted Timothy with the care of the Christians in Ephesus, and sent Titus to Crete to look after the Christians there. He wrote them “pastoral” epistles, giving advice for pastors and people alike.Timothy was St. Paul's confidant.

St. Timothy has been regarded by some as the "angel of the church of Ephesus", Rev 2:1-17. Titus was the negotiator, the one St. Paul sent to clear up misunderstandings, reconcile differences, and the one who would organize a new Church. He received a letter from St. Paul which encouraged Christians to live temperate, just, and devout lives, while awaiting the coming of Christ.

St. Timothy was stoned to death thirty years after St. Paul's martyrdom for having denounced the worship of the goddess Diana.Tradition tells us that St. Titus died a natural death at the age of 94, having lived in the state of virginity during his whole life

Prayer

January 26 (partnership)

God Our Father, Saints Timothy and Titus were Paul's disciples, as well as his close personal friends and partners in evangelization. I offer up to You my calling to share the salvation of Jesus. Help me to grow in courage to evangelize boldly and confidently. Bring into my life friends who will partner with me in spreading the Good News, and bless for this purpose the friends I already have. Help us to be Christ's witnesses by the way we love and serve each other. Teach us to show by our own lives the way to holiness. Bless us and the people who will hear and see our testimony. Saints Timothy and Titus, pray for us. Amen.

~ Taken from Daily Prayers with the Saints for the New Millenium by Terry Ann Modica

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Pro-life Media: Video Interview with Phill Kline on "Tiller the Killer"

Multimedia Pro-Life News has an excellent and very revealing video interview with Phil Kline - the former Attorney General in KS (now District Attorney of Johnson County) who went after late - term abortionist "Tiller the Killer" who was charged (but not convicted) with violating KS law. Make sure you watch and listen to the whole interview.

Excerpt from the interview:

"...as often happens with the issue of abortion, the true is not told. You know that issue starts with a lie, as all evil does, and to perpetuate itself, it layers lie upon lie upon lie upon lie, until it ends in destruction. What we have witnessed in Kansas is, really the permeation of Roe into Judicial thinking, such that, as we stand here, there is a case in Kansas filed against me when I was attorney general, arguing that it is unconstitutional for abortion clinics to be required to report child rape, because it invades the privacy of the child...even though all of us know that the child’s privacy was invaded by the rapist, not those who seek to help her. "

There is much, much more....check it out here. Video at the bottom of the page.

Today's Prayer Intentions



Today I am praying for the following prayer intentions:

For Mary Claire.

For Ukok's prayer list.

For Julie D's prayer list, which I include in my daily prayers.

For the conversion of all those who are living in the culture of death.

For J's uncle who just had cancer surgery.

For Eli's job situation.

For a quick recovery and healing for Barbara following her surgery.

For a 14 yr. old girl who is pregnant and her family - that they will agree to life for the baby.

For those who are suffering from the trauma of post-abortion syndrome.

For Frank's job opportunity and for his family.

For a safe and healthy pregnancy and delivery for Mary and for T. and her babies.

For an end to contraception, abortion, euthanasia, same sex relationships, cloning, and embryonic stem cell research.

For an increase in vocations to the priesthood and the consecrated life.

For a special intention.

For all previous intentions listed here.

Lord, hear our prayer.

Culture of Death: Vatican official condemns “self-genocide” of human race

Bishop says continued attacks on human life will lead to self-destruction

Abuja, Jan 25, 2007 / 11:59 am (CNA).- The president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, Bishop Elio Sgreccia, denounced this week the different attacks on human life in all its stages, saying mankind is “marching towards a self-genocide of the human race.”

“The weakness of the Christian community and the strength of secular society could spell disaster,” Bishop Sgreccia warned, and he urged all European citizens to work at reversing the trend.

“Up to now the culture of death has been accepted and this path leads to self-destruction.”

He also noted the “widespread mentality that trusts in bio-technological power.”

Such powers, Sgreccia said aim “to change the order of the human species” and to create “men in the image and likeness of other men who have power.”

Society is embracing this mentality and, “it now defends the selecting of children so that each one is perfect, without defect, and the eliminating of those that do not fulfill these conditions,” he explained during a meeting with local journalists at the University of Saint Paul.

Bishop Sgreccia called this nothing more than “a craving for power” that stems from “a false perception of the origins of man,” since “no human being can state that he was born of his own choice, nor that he made himself.”

“This is the great lie upon which some seek to build this bio-technological omnipotence that aims to transform the very structure of human nature and in this way liberate it from all cultural precedent,” he stressed.

Regarding euthanasia, Bishop Sgreccia warned that “due to the profound secularization” man no longer has “the spiritual energy to confront suffering,” and he has lost “the sense of the transcendent.”

The bishop also recalled the case of Terri Schiavo, emphasizing that the notion of “extraordinary treatment” for patients should never include the fundamental needs of food, hydration and hygiene.

My Comments:

It is so good to hear this from the Vatican, yet why aren't more people in the world getting it? All clergy and laity need to be actively involved in educating themselves in the Truth and in sharing it with others, just as St. Paul did following his conversion. Each one of us needs to become actively involved in spreading the truth. We cannot be or remain lukewarm or Christ tells us he will spit us out of his mouth (Revelations 3:16). But many say "It's not my ministry", or "It's not my apostolate", "I am involved in the Altar and Rosary Society" or "I don't have any gifts in that area".

That's bunk! We are all responsible for putting an end to the slaughter of the innocents. Sam Brownback told us at the March to Life in D.C. on Monday that nearly 80% of Down Syndrome babies are aborted. Why is that? Is it because they are not perrfect? How many of us who were not aborted are perfect? Who do we think we are that we can take the life of another human being who is made by God in His likeness and image?

I am not just talking about the innocent, imperfect babies but also those helpless ones in hospitals and nursing homes who are routinely being sentenced to early deaths. You and I may have been spared from the tragedy of abortion, but when we are old and sick and helpless, who will be there to see that we aren't being deprived of the fundamental needs of food, water, and basic hygeine or neglected because we are no longer considered useful or functional by our secular society's standards?

Even if we have family members who are responsible and caring, there is no guarantee that those in charge of our care will be in control of the situation. Who can say that the legal procedures that seem to work for today will be equally effective in the situation tomorrow with the rapid advances that are being made in science and technology? Our laws change daily and the legislative branch of our government seems to become weaker and weaker everyday. Today it is our judicial branch that seems to have the most control and power in these situations. Depending on the state in which you live, your doctor may be the primary decision maker for your fundamental needs and the determiner of whether you live or die.

There are many things that need to be changed in our society both in terms of our laws as well as our hearts before human life can be treated with the reverence and respect it deserves. We are all responsible for one another and must all stand up for life if this genocide is to end.

Go here to take your pro-life examination of conscience - questions to help you defend life more effectively.

Sofia: The Miracle Baby

Judie Brown shares the heart-warming story of baby Sofia with us:

"Sofia's mother, Yvonne Alomia, told a reporter, that although her pregnancy was difficult she knew that everything would be all right."

Alomia feels that her difficult pregnancy was planned by God so she and her husband would "reach out to people who have had abortions and convince them of God's infinite mercy and to let people know it is wrong to abort."

Sofia was born on the 33rd anniversary of Roe v. Wade/Doe v. Bolton.

Christian Poll: Life Begins at Conception

A new poll conducted by a leading Christian web site finds that an overwhelming majority of Christians believe that life begins at conception.

ChristiaNet.com recently surveyed 500 members of its web site and asked: "Does life start at conception, first heart beat, second trimester, or birth?"

Of the 500 participants, 440 (88 percent) believe that life begins at conception; nearly 7 percent believe that life begins at birth. Only two respondents selected the option that life begins at the second trimester and 24 respondents believe that life begins at the first heart beat, reported LifeNews.com.

“The Bible is clear about life," said ChristiaNet president Bill Cooper. "But many people, even some Christians, are unclear on this fact because our society accepts abortion procedures. The truth has become skewed in order to ease the social conscience."

Via CNA.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul

Happy Feast day of the Conversion of St. Paul! The conversion of Saul, persecutor of the early church, was of pivotal importance for the worldwide development of Christianity. Paul means much for our faith and for the New Testament. Today we commemerate that significant event on the road to Damascus when Saul, fallen to amazement at a great light from heaven, spoke with the risen Savior and arose as Paul, to become the Apostle to the Gentiles.

"Go out into the world and tell the good news."
~ Mark 16:15

Prayer

God our Father,
You taught the gospel to all the world
through the preaching of Paul your apostle.
May we who celebrate his conversion to the faith follow him in bearing your witness to the truth.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.

Which Classic Heroine are you?

Jo March
Josephine March, from Little Women, is a tomboy who loves writing, acting, and her family. She dreams of seeing the world and publishing her book.
Which Classic Heroine are You?

Via Esther.

Here's a Little Women quiz for you.

What's New in the Blogosphere?

The Catholic Homeschooling Carnival is up at The Thinking Mother.

The Catholic Carnival 103 is up at DeoOmnisGloria.com.

Catholic Teen Event: WOW Weekend In IL

Dear Teens,

As Winter stretches on before us, I have some good news for you! The Brothers of St. John in Princeville, IL are happy to announce another WOW (Weekend of Wisdom!) event at Princeville from February 16th (at 7:45 p.m.) to February 18th (after lunch). It should be very exciting -- chance to meet new friends, pray with the Brothers and strive to go deeper in our Faith.

This WOW topic -- Being Happy and Being Good -- is it possible to be both? It is going to be great -- trying to understand better what it means to be happy, what it means to be truly excellent in life, and how we can kindle our desires to get there!

Please feel free to spread the word to all your friends! To register, please contact Angela at
eagle_eye_institute@yahoo.com. Do it soon, though, since space will be limited! Plus, there are forms to be filled out, so we have set our deadline for February 10th.

This is going to be super! See you all there!

Brother Nathan
Da Pacem Domine/Give Peace, Lord

Tiller, This is Far From Over: OR Plans May Event

Wichita, KS - Jan 24, 2007 Operation Rescue announces that it will hold another 4-day event on May 17-22, 2007, to continue to pray and call for the prosecution of George R. Tiller for committing criminal late-term abortions. Christians from across the nation will again be called to come to Wichita, Kansas, to “Pray In May” for justice to be served and abortion to end in what has become known as the nation’s “Abortion Capital.”

“This is far from over,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “Viable babies who should have the protection of Kansas law continue to be illegally killed at George R. Tiller’s infamous late-term abortion mill. We must continue to seek justice, as our Christian faith demands, as long as this gross injustice continues.”

Tiller was charged in January with 30 criminal counts relating to illegal late-term abortions, but District Attorney Nola Foulston intervened in the case and persuaded a judge who had not read the complaint to drop the charges on jurisdictional grounds.

Operation Rescue has attempted to “petition the government for a redress of grievances,” a right protected by the First Amendment, but was notified last week that such action could violate a Kansas law.

Leaders of A Cry For Justice are flying to Washington, DC to request a federal investigation into concerns that Kansas law is being selectively enforced. Other legal options are being weighed.

“The situation here is Kansas is outrageous in the extreme and is one that simply cannot and will not be tolerated. We have some of the finest attorneys in the nation seeking a remedy for this injustice,” Newman said.


“Even if Tiller was to have the charges reinstated against him today, the case would still be ongoing in May, and would still require our attention and prayers,” said Newman.

“We expect that most of the attendees from A Cry For Justice will be back in May, and most have promised to bring their friends,” said Newman. “We are leaving the event open-ended right now and are ready for the possibility that it could be extended past May 20th, depending on the situation at that time.”

Via
Operation Rescue.

Tiller, you are being held accountable for all your actions and like those criminals at the Nuremberg trials you will receive your just punishment - whether it be in this life or the next. If you think you are suffering now, you had better prepare yourself because it's going to get much worse. God doesn't accept blood money.

Watch it Dissenting Dioceses or Risk This

I saw this on Esther's blog and couldn't resist putting it here.
Abortion: The Unknown Souls
Henry Hyde on Abortion

CWA at the March for Life

CWA has quite an impressive array of photos and videos of many of the speakers at the March for Life. Check it out here.

Today's Prayer Intentions



Today I am praying for the following intentions:

For Barbara, who is having major surgery today. (There are complications involved.)

For Harry, who is suffering from lung cancer and undergoing chemotherapy and has been given only a short time left to live. Strength for Harry and peace for his family.

For DM and his family.

For Chani Nicholas.

For strength, stamina, courage, and perseverance for my niece Heidi, a mom and wife, who is a first year teacher in a public school.

For Charles and his wife.

For Patti's Mom and her family.

For Jennifer.

For Christian unity during this special week of prayer.

For a Catholic friend who is having trouble in his marriage.

For the fruitfulness of all the sanctity of life activities that will be taking place this week.

For this priest.

For a 14 yr. old girl who is pregnant and her family - that they will agree to life for the baby.

For those who are suffering from the trauma of post-abortion syndrome.

For Frank's job opportunity and for his family.

For a safe and healthy pregnancy and delivery for Mary and for T. and her babies.

For an end to contraception, abortion, euthanasia, same sex relationships, cloning, and embryonic stem cell research.

For a special intention.

For all previous intentions listed here.

Lord, hear our prayer.