Thursday, January 31, 2008

10 Spiritual Tools for Coping with Chronic Pain

By Maureen Pratt

Chronic pain can make us feel isolated and helpless, especially if its cause is an illness or physical condition for which there's no cure or effective medical treatment. At times of deepest despair, finding ways to nurture our spirits can help us not only cope with the pain, but also discover nuggets of grace, comfort, and productivity that can move us through and beyond the helplessness and hopelessness we feel. Here are ten spiritual tools that can help you get started toward peace in spite of and in the midst of pain. MORE

Maureen Pratt is a Catholic speaker and author who focuses on spirituality, faith and wellness. Her most recent book is "Peace in the Storm: Meditations on Chronic Pain & Illness" Her website is www.maureenpratt.com.

Pro-life supporter & American Idol Winner Jordin Sparks to sing at Super Bowl

She's just a rookie, and already Jordin Sparks is going further in the NFL than her father. Only 2 1/2 months after the youngest "American Idol" winner released her debut album, the teen is set to perform the national anthem Sunday at the Super Bowl. In nine years as a pro cornerback, pop Phillippi Sparks never reached the big game.

"I said, 'Dad, I'm singing at the Super Bowl,'" she said Thursday. "He said, 'At least one of us made it.'"

No surprise about which team she'll root for when the New York Giants play the New England Patriots. Her dad spent all but one season with the Giants.

"There definitely is a tie with them," the 18-year-old Sparks said. "I got to go for the underdogs."

Sparks considers herself a "huge, humongous football fan."

Via AP Entertainment News.

Here's some more information about Jordin Sparks that you'll find interesting. Jordin is both a Christian and a pro-lifer, who wears a purity ring, which is her pledge that True Love Waits, or that she will remain pure and chaste for her husband on their wedding night. Jordin sang along with Alveta King at Arizona's Right to Life 2005 conference.

According to Wikipedia, "Sparks is a committed Christian and attends Calvary Community Church in Phoenix, Arizona. On her American Idol biography, she thanks her parents and God for her win. .. She endorsed Michelle Buckman's Christian novels for teens: Maggie Come Lately and My Beautiful Disaster."

Michelle Buckman is a talented Catholic writer and a member of Catholic Writers Online.

Related Posts:

Jordin Sparks: A Pro-life American Idol Winner

Jordin Sparks: A Pro-life American Idol

LifeSiteNews: A Pro-Life American Idol: Idol Winner Jordin Sparks Known for Pro-life Advocacy

Music and Roses: A Beautiful Way to Start Your Day


Rose Canon in C Minor - John Michael Talbot

Rose Photography - Jean Marion

St. John Bosco: Priest and Patron of Youth



Happy Feast of St. John Bosco!

St. John Bosco was the founder of the Salesian Society, named in honor of St. Francis de Sales, and of the Daughters of Mary, Help of Christians. His lifework was the welfare of young boys and girls, hence his title, "Apostle of Youth." He had no formal system or theory of education. His methods centered on persuasion, authentic religiosity, and love for young people. He was an enlightened educator and innovator. (Catholic Culture)

For complete Biographical information, go here.

Catholic Culture's library has a good article on Don Bosco, Seeker of Souls.

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."

"Everything and everyone is is won by the sweetness of our words and works."

"Every virtue in your soul is a precious ornament which makes you dear to God and to man. But holy purity, the queen of virtues, the angelic virtue, is a jewel so precious that those who possess it become like the angels of God in Heaven, even though clothed in mortal flesh."

Giuliani endorses McCain



Video: McCain receives Guiliani endorsement

Jill Stanek: Presidential race developments

Jay Anderson: McCain: Alito "Too Conservative"

Jan. 30 - A day after his big victory in the Florida Republican Primary, John McCain received the endorsement of rival Rudy Giuliani. Giuliani could be helpful to McCain on Super Tuesday-- when 22 states -- including New York, New Jersey and California hold their own Republican primaries.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Judge Orders That Abortion Records Must Be Given To Grand Jury

Wichita, KS – Judge Paul Buchanan ruled today that medical records must be handed over to a grand jury investigating illegal late-term abortions at George R. Tiller’s Women’s Health Care Services under the condition that identifying information about the patients be redacted. The records will then be provided to an independent attorney and physician appointed by the judge. They will screen the records to determine if there are irregularities before turning them over to the grand jury.

“Today’s ruling is a victory for truth and justice,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman, who was present during the court hearing.
MORE

Here is my favorite part of this story from Operation Rescue:

Tiller’s legal team was joined by Bonnie Scott Jones of New York’s Center for Reproductive Rights, who argued on behalf of three former Tiller patients that the records be denied or heavily redacted for privacy considerations.

“The privacy that they seem so worried about is just a red herring to deflect attention from any wrongdoing Tiller may be trying to hide. There will be no way to identify individual women from the redacted records, nor would there be any reason to do so. We find it shameful that Tiller would hide behind the skirts of his patients in an effort to protect himself from having to turn over potentially incriminating evidence,” said Newman.

Jones told the court of one of her clients, who had a late-term abortion by Tiller because her baby suffered from serious fetal anomalies. However, fetal anomaly is not a legal reason to obtain late abortion in Kansas.

“Bonnie Jones basically admitted in open court that Tiller gave one of her clients an illegal abortion,” said Newman. “I found it shocking that she could describe in detail her client’s reasons for having the abortion and not understand that. She is either grossly ignorant of Kansas law, or so arrogant that she does not flinch at admitting to the illegal abortion. Either way, it is obvious that the lawyers are more concerned with covering for Tiller than protecting patient privacy, or she would not have given so much medical detail in court.”

Wow, you'd think that with all the money Tiller has from doing those late-term abortions that he would at least find somebody who knows something about KS law! I know she's a NY attorney, but she's openly admitting her client is guilty of breaking Kansas law! This is hilarious!

Eucharistic Adoration Prayer Intentions

Today, during Eucharistic Adoration, I prayed for the following intentions:

For the Holy Father's special intentions.

For Bill -- for his health, for strength and perseverance during this time of trial.

For all those priests, Brothers, Sisters, and seminarians I have spiritually adopted.

For the special intentions of all the Oblates.

For healing for James.

For world peace and for the safety of all our military.

For the quick sale of our home and for a new home in the area where we plan to live.

For continued healing for Donna and her daughter.

For MM.'s special intentions.

For Al's special intentions.

For healing for J.

For a holy Lent.

For an end to abortion and all sins aganst human life.

For Tiller's conversion, the closing of his late-term abortion mill and for God's justice in his trial.

For all the special intentions at One Came Back.

For all previous prayer intentions mentioned here and for all those who are in need of my prayers.

Prayers of Thanksgiving

In thanksgiving and for blessings upon all those who are supporting us with prayer during this time of transition and adjustment.

In thanksgiving for Bill's new job.

What American City are you?

You Are Austin

A little bit country, a little bit rock and roll.
You're totally weird and very proud of it.
Artistic and freaky, you still seem to fit in... in your own strange way.

Famous Austin residents: Lance Armstrong, Sandra Bullock, Andy Roddick


Via Jackie.

A Beautiful Way to Start Your Day




Andre Rieu and company playing the Blue Danube. Watch it to the end, as it just might make you laugh.

A Gaggle of Friends Meme

Esther tagged me for this meme.

Rules: Answer the questions! You can give a reason for the answer if you like. As for tagging people, you tag as many as you want or as little...minimum of one. There's no obligation to play. Last of all, have fun!

1.First Saint you "met"? I'm not exactly sure what this means, but the first saint I was introduced to as a child was St. Joseph.

2. Favorite Saint(s)? St. Joseph, St. John, St. Therese, St. Maximilian Kolbe, St. John Vianney, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, St. Dominic, St. Catherine of Siena, St. Bernadette of Lourdes, St. Pio of Pietrelcina, St. Gianna, St. Teresa of Avila, St. Margaret Mary, St. Joan of Arc, St. Joseph Cupertino, St. Augustine, St. Francis de Sales, & more.

3. Patron saint for the year? Saint Therese of Lisieux (pray for me!)

4. Favorite book by a saint? The Story of a Soul (St. Therese of Lisieux)

5. Saint book you are reading now? Butler's Saint of the Day and occasionally reread a story from Saintly Women of Modern Times by Joan Carol Cruz.

6. Favorite movie of a saint? The Song of Bernadette. (I also like The Reluctant Saint: St. Joseph Cupertino a lot. It always makes me laugh.)

7. Favorite Autobiography/Biography of a saint? Not a saint yet but Treasure of Clay by Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen -- This is such a wonderful book!

8. Favorite novel/book of a saint? It's difficult to pick just one, so here are a couple I like: A Holy Life: St. Bernadette of Lourdes; Edith Stein: A Biography/the Untold Story of the Philosopher and Mystic Who Lost Her Life in the Death Camps of Auschwitz.

9. Saint (besides your favorites) you'd want to meet? St. Louis de Montfort

10. Saint you look to for help? St. Anthony when we lose things; St. Therese to help me with her "little ways" and especially when I am in pain or suffering in any way. St. Joseph for the men in my family and for finances and employment. St. Francis de Sales for my writing. St. John Chrysostom when speaking in public or giving a talk. St. Joan of Arc when I need courage. St. Jude for difficult situations. St. Maria Goretti for forgiveness and healing of hurts inflicted by others. St. John of the Cross and St. Teresa of Avila when I am going through a dark night of the senses or the soul. St. Gianna for pro-life causes and for women in crisis pregnancies. St. Bernadette for detachment from material things. St. Benedict and St. Michael the Archangel when I am under spiritual attack. St. John and St. Therese for learning how to love selflessly, St. Therese for learning humility. Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen and Pope John Paul II for practically every need or concern I have. Whenever I am praying for someone, I pray to their patron saint(s).

11.Favorite saint quote?"My vocation is love." St. Therese of Lisieux

12. Favorite Holy Card? I have many I like, but I think probably my favorite is one that I use everyday. It is a picture of the Blessed Mother in red holding the Christ Child and on the back of it is our community "Consecration Prayer to Mary". I also have several of St. Therese of Lisieux that are very precious to me -- I carry them in my wallet.

13. Favorite story of a saint?

I have lots of them, but the story of St. Francis of Assisi and the wolf is one of my favorites. In the town where St. Francis lived, there was a ferocious wolf who devoured both men and animals. Francis had compassion upon the townsfolk, and went up into the hills to find the wolf. When he found the wolf he made the sign of the cross and commanded the wolf to come to him and hurt no one. Miraculously, the wolf closed his jaws and lay down at the feet of St. Francis. He scolded the wolf for behaving badly and told him that he wanted to make peace between him and the people. Then Francis led the wolf into the town, and made a pact between the stunned townspeople and the wolf. Because the wolf had “done evil out of hunger” the townsfolk were to feed the wolf regularly, and in return, the wolf would no longer prey upon them or their flocks.

14. If you could go anywhere on a pilgrimage to a saint's homeland, where would it be? Lourdes

15. Any Blesseds or Venerables that you would like to become canonized?
Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Pope John Paul II, Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, Marthe Robin, Pierre Toussaint, Dorothy Day, Louis and Zelle Martin (St. Therese's parents) Fr. Emil Kaupan

I will tag the following people (I apologize ahead of time if I have already tagged you -- I can't seem to keep track of all these memes.) I enjoy doing them and like to be tagged.

Ok, I will tag:

Deb

Jeff

Barb

Christine

Margaret Mary

Spiritual Helps from St. Paul of the Cross


"When you feel the assaults of passion and anger, then is the time to be silent as Jesus was silent in the midst of His ignominies and sufferings."

"Entrust yourself entirely to God. He is a Father, and a most loving Father at that, who would rather let heaven and earth collapse than abandon anyone who trusted in him."

~St. Paul of the Cross

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Today's Intercessory Prayers

Today I am lifting up my heart, to You, Lord, and am uniting it to Yours. I humbly come before you and pray for the following special intentions:

For Our Holy Father and all his special intentions.

For those priests, deacons, and seminarians I have spiritually adopted.

For Bill's special intentions. For good health, strength and perseverance to do all that You have asked of him at this time and the wisdom to know Your holy will.

For continued healing for Donna and her daughter.

For MM's special intentions and her health.

For good health, strength and perseverance to carry out Your holy will in my life.

For a new home in the area where we are locating and for the quick sale of our home.

In thanksgiving for all those who have been supportive during this difficult time.

For all those who are ensnared in the culture of death.

For an end to abortion and all sins against human life.

For healing for James.

For all the intentions at One Came Back.

For the closing of Tiller's late - term abortion mill and for his conversion.

For all previous prayer requests here and for all those who are in need of my prayers at this time.

Tiller Balks At Grand Jury Subpoenas Of 2,000 Abortion Records

Wichita, Kansas – Attorneys for abortionist George R. Tiller filed motions with Judge Paul Buchanan to quash two subpoenas issued by a grand jury asking for nearly 2,000 late-term abortion records. The subpoenas allow for the redaction of the patients’ names and other identifying information, making the privacy of the women a non-issue.

“Tiller’s effort to deny the grand jury necessary evidence in a criminal investigation is a last desperate act of a man who is destined to go to jail,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “Tiller expects the court to help him hide incriminating evidence from people who have the legal ability to indict him. This judge has already rejected a similar motion to deny other subpoenas issued by the grand jury. We are praying, for the sake of truth and justice, that this ploy is denied as well.”

The subpoenas were issued on January 22, just one week after Newman testified before the grand jury and presented over 200 pages of evidence gathered by Operation Rescue researchers, including photographs of women entering Tiller’s abortion clinic in the obvious latest stages of pregnancy.

The grand jury has asked that Tiller produce two kinds of records by February 1, including all records of abortions done after 21 weeks gestation between July 1, 2003, and January 18, 2007.

The grand jury also wants to see records in the same time frame of all women whose pregnancies were 22 weeks or more where the woman did not have an abortion “because there was not a determination that a continuation of the patient’s pregnancy would cause a substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function by two physicians who were not legally and financially affiliated.”

Kansas law prohibits abortions after 21 week except to save the mother’s life or if the continuation of the pregnancy will result in a “substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function” of the woman. Each abortion must be approved by the two physicians not legally or financially affiliated with the abortionist. There has never been a reported abortion in Kansas to save the life of the mother.

Tiller already faces 19 criminal charges of illegal late-term abortions for allowing abortions in 2003, using the second signature of abortionist Ann Kristin Neuhaus, who had apparent legal and financial ties to Tiller.

Read the subpoenas

My Comment:

I'm continuing to pray for Tiller's conversion and for God's justice in this trial.

St. Therese of Lisieux on Suffering

"Life is only a dream: soon, we shall awaken. And what joy! The greater our sufferings, the more limitless our glory. Oh! do not let us waste the trial that Jesus sends."

"Life passes. Eternity comes with great strides. Soon, we shall be living with the very life of Jesus. Having drunk deep at the source of all bitterness, we shall be defied in the very source of all joys, of all delights."

~ St. Therese of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church

Catholic Carnival 157: Feast Before the Famine


This week it is being hosted by Kate at Kate Wicker.

There are lots of great posts there, but here are a few of my favorites:

Just Another Day of Catholic Pondering reminds us through this touching exchange between a mom and a child at It's No Wonder Jesus Loved Kids, Jesus wants us all to embrace a childlike faith.

Leticia's Here's one you haven't heard before: Hillary is Pro-life at causa nostrae laetitiae separates fact from fiction.

Be sure and read Heidi's post On Golden Pens and Empty Pockets at Silent Canticle. It is a must read for bloggers and writers.

Still not sure of who to vote for in the primaries?

Check out Esther's post Candidate Calculator.

You can find some assistance here:

A Prayer for Discerning Voters

Voter's Guide for Serious Catholics by Father Frank Pavone

A Brief Catechism for Catholic Voters by Fr. Stephen F. Torraco, PhD

U.S. Bishops Address Catholic Politicians and Voters

Voting - A Guide For Making Moral Choices At The Voting Booth

An Election Prayer To Mary

Some other helpful posts:

Grading the GOP on Family Value Issues

National Right to Life: Huckabee has "Strongest Pro-Life Position" Among Candidates at LifeSiteNews.com

Abortion: $50
Romney's Health Care Plan provides Taxpayer-Funded Abortions

McCain plays politics with embryos and us

Things You Didn’t Know About The Presidential Candidates

Right to Life Groups Endorse Huckabee

Tennessee Right to Life Next Pro-Life Group to Endorse Mike Huckabee

Tennessee Right to Life, on Monday, became the next pro-life group to issue an endorsement for Mike Huckabee -- the former Arkansas governor many pro-life advocates consider the strongest pro-life candidate on the GOP side. As LifeNews.com has reported, Tennessee joins its sister affiliates in Missouri, Arizona, Georgia and Montana. Tennessee is one of the states with a primary election on Super Tuesday and Tennessee Right to Life officials told LifeNews.com on Monday they hope Republicans will side with Huckabee. The strength of Governor Huckabee’s public record on matters concerning the protection of human life and strong support among the organization’s grassroots members were key to making the decision, they said.

“The beauty of a grassroots organization is that your members set the priorities,” the group's president Brian Harris said. “For pro-life Tennesseans, the election of a sincere, proven pro-life president is paramount." “Our members recognize Mike Huckabee as ‘one of us’ and that enthusiasm is driven by his demonstrated record of leadership and sacrifice toward the shared cause of protecting life,” Harris added.

Full story at LifeNews.com.

Previous posts:

The Wit, Wisdom, and Vision of Mike Huckabee

Grading the GOP on Family Value Issues

Things You Didn’t Know About The Presidential Candidates

NOW SUPPORTS PRO-DEATH OBAMA

Huckabee: Merry CHRISTmas and I approve this message

Huckabee: The Most Reagan - Like Candidate?

Mike Huckabee's First TV Ad: "Chuck Norris Approved"

Mike Huckabee Says Pro-Life Background Makes it Easy to Oppose Abortion

Huckabee on Immigration

Republican Candidates Respond to Pro-life Issues At Tonight's Debate

Monday, January 28, 2008

"Planned Barrenhood" tries to get pro-life ads booted from radio

Planned Parenthood Tries to Get U.S. Pro-Life Ads Booted From Radio Stations

Pro-life activists strongly encouraged to write in to thank stations for running ads

Listen to the ads here.

The two radio stations in San Francisco that ran the ads are:
KCBS and KFRC.

Obama is really in a pickle!

Pro-death, partial birth abortion supporter Barack Obama is really in quite a bit of trouble. Check out the details below. Having lived in IL most of my life -- this doesn't surprise me one bit. Criminal support is the way most of the Chicago democrats get into office in the first place.


Obama 'Backer' Rezko Ordered to Jail
Rezko Violated Parole With Series of Secret Financial Transactions With Mideast Banks

Obama Kept Contributions From Accused Fixer's Wife And Others

Despite claims over the weekend from Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama that his campaign had given away all the donations connected to accused fixer Antoin "Tony" Rezko, the campaign has not returned more than $100,000 in donations from Rezko's wife and 20 other Rezko-linked donors, according to an ABCNews.com review.

Obama's 17-Year Relationship With Alleged Fixer

Obama's Relationship With Alleged Fixer Goes Back 17 Years

What Did Obama Know? When Did He Know It?

Here are a few more links on Obama:

Insight Scoop: Like I was saying about that Barack Obama fellow

The Cafeteria is Closed: Ted Kennedy endorses Obama

The Wit, Wisdom, and Vision of Mike Huckabee

Check out the great quotes, photos, and music here. You'll be glad you did.

H/T: The UmBlog.

Catholics for Hukabee.

A Beautiful Way to Start your Day!




A beautiful dedication to Roman Catholic Monks is presented here - mostly Benedictine with a bit of Carthusian thrown in. Photos were taken in France, England, USA, Italy, and Canada.

What do you say?



A home made pro-life music video with a song by Catholic seminarian Robert Galea. Visit http://www.thatsworship.com/ for more from Robert.
It shows images of the baby in the mother's uterus.

St. Thomas Aquinas: My Favorite Quotes and A Spiritual Meditation


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."

Priests defend, commend Archbishop Raymond Burke

By Matt C. Abbot
Op/Ed

I like Fathers Tom Euteneuer, James Farfaglia, and John Trigilio. They’re not afraid to speak out on controversial matters.

So I was happy that they responded to my request for a statement on the current Rick Majerus, Archbishop Raymond Burke controversy.

As you may have heard or read, Mr. Majerus, coach of the St. Louis University basketball team, voiced support for abortion “rights” at a recent rally for pro-abortion presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Archbishop Burke wants the university – a nominally Catholic one, by the way – to discipline the defiant, pro-abortion coach.

Father Tom Euteneuer, president of Human Life International, issued this statement: “Rick Majerus is more of a basket case than a basketball coach. His sicknesses all fit so neatly together: He has a modern anti-Catholic ‘Jesuit’ education; he embraces superficial, undigested rhetoric about the issues; he is a jock pretending to be a scientist; and he exhibits a defiant disobedience to religious authority. Dante would have a field day -- no pun intended --putting this guy in the pit of hell. He should be excommunicated along with all the Jesuits who ‘educated’ him.”

Father James Farfaglia, of the Corpus Christi, Tex., Catholic diocese, had this to say in defense of Archbishop Burke:

“I applaud Archbishop Raymond Burke's courage. He is always speaking out with clarity regarding pro-life issues. If every bishop in America were to follow his example, the horror of legalized abortion would be over with. Too many bishops hide behind the walls of their cathedrals and do not speak out. Too many of our bishops will not take a stand against Catholics who openly defy Church teaching. The scandal of our times is the hierarchy who are not speaking out. Let us pray for the few bishops that do have the courage to take a stand.”

MORE

Sunday, January 27, 2008

A New Book Meme

I found this at Tigerish Waters.

1) Which book do you irrationally cringe away from reading, despite seeing only positive reviews?
Henry Nouwen -- My Spiritual Father has steered me away from his books.

2) If you could bring three characters to life for a social event (afternoon tea, a night of clubbing, perhaps a world cruise), who would they be and what would the event be?
I would like to join St. Therese and her sisters, Pauline and Celine, for an afternoon tea at Carmel, and also have the opportunity to watch Therese act in the play, St. Joan of Arc.

3) (Borrowing shamelessly from the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde): you are told you can’t die until you read the most boring novel on the planet. While this immortality is great for awhile, eventually you realize it’s past time to die. Which book would you expect to get you a nice grave? I have yet to read a boring novel -- most likely because I would have closed the book and returned it to the library if I did and then have forgotten all about it. Anything really long (500+ pages) tends to turn me off. I think I started War and Peace once but was intimidated by its lenghth and stopped reading it.

4) Come on, we’ve all been there. Which book have you pretended, or at least hinted, that you’ve read, when in fact you’ve been nowhere near it? I don't pretend to read about something I haven't.

5) You’re interviewing for the post of Official Book Advisor to some VIP (who’s not a big reader). What’s the first book you’d recommend and why? (If you feel like you’d have to know the person, go ahead and personalize the VIP).

If he/she hasn't read the Bible, that's the first book I would recommend. If he or she has already read that then I would recommend Modern Day Saints by Ann Ball.

6) A good fairy comes and grants you one wish: you will have perfect reading comprehension in the foreign language of your choice. Which language do you go with? I have taken Latin and Spanish, but would like to have perfect reading comprehension in Latin.

7) A mischievous fairy comes and says that you must choose one book that you will reread once a year for the rest of your life (you can read other books as well). Which book would you pick?
The Bible

8. What’s one bookish thing you ‘discovered’ from book blogging (maybe a new genre, or author, or new appreciation for cover art-anything)?G. K. Chesterton

9) That good fairy is back for one final visit. Now, she’s granting you your dream library! Describe it. Is everything leather bound? Is it full of first edition hardcovers? Pristine trade paperbacks? Perhaps a few favorite authors have inscribed their works? Go ahead-let your imagination run free.

It would a large sunlit room overlooking the rose garden and the lilac bushes and would contain thousands of leather bound first editions with each of the authors personal words to me plus their autograph. All the chairs would be either cloth or leather Lazyboys in blues, greens, and beige colors and a plush carpet containing those colors. The library would also contain a beautiful gas fireplace for cool days/nights. And, of course, part of the library would be a snack room with a refrigerator containing fresh organic fruit, raspberry and cherry scones, my favorite herbal teas, and bottles of spring water. The library would also contain my own oak table and chair, my Dell computer and printer with ergonomically designed chair, a print on demand machine like the one you see here. The room would also contain a wide variety of CD's to listen to in a smaller sound proof room within the library and DVD's to watch in another sound proof room on a huge screen, while sitting in the auditorium seats. My library would have to have one of those secret passages like Zorro had in his and this secret passage would lead to the cellar, containing all of my favorite wines and those of my guests.

I will tag the following people for this meme:

1. Alexandra
2. Jackie
3. Kathleen
4. Ginny
5. Ebeth
6. Marie
7. Marilena

Plus anyone else would like to do this, please be my guest. Just please leave a note in the comment section and link to me.

Another Fun Meme

Esther tagged me for this one. I'm still under the weather today (although I did make it to Mass and also to Generations of Faith in our parish this evening) and fun memes like this tend to cheer me up.

If you HAD to choose one or the other would you choose...

1. Thai or Mexican

Mexican - I'm not a big fan of Thai.

2. Bubble bath or back massage
Both are nice -- but my dh gives the BEST back massages.

3. boots or sandals
Sandals

4. the 90% "pro-life" good chance or the 100% pro-life long shot?
The 90% good chance, but fortunately we have one and only one candidate in this election who is 100% pro-life who has a good chance of winning.

5. a cruise ship or a mountain cabin
Cruise ship

6. Rome or Paris
I have been to Rome and had a private audience with the Holy Father (Pope Benedict XVI). I have never been to Paris, so I would like to go there, especially since my ancestors were French.

7. Ordinary or Extraordinary
Extraordinary

8. Rosary or Stations
Rosary

9. surf or hang glide
surf

10. Regal Cinemas or Netflix
Regal Cinemas

11. sweet or salty
Salty

12. pen or pencil
Pen

13. how-to book or fantasy novel (This is tough because I enjoy both.)
How-to-Book

14. crossword or sudoku
Crossword

15. lose a leg or lose your sight
Neither

16. North or South
South

17. a power outage at home or a dead car battery at Costco
No thanks!

18. classic rock or country
Classic rock! However, I do like some country.

19. wool or linen
Linen - it's cooler than wool and it gets pretty warm here.

20. lots of good friends or a few great friends
A few great friends

21. soup or salad
Fall & Winter - soup, Spring & Summer - salad

22. Merlot or Chardonnay
White Merlot, although Red Merlot isn't bad either.

23. Picasso or Da Vinci
Definitely Da Vinci

24. charades or trivial pursuit
Trivial Pursuit

25. Evangelical Protestantism or Orthodox Judaism
Neither -- Go for the gold: Catholicism

26. stone age or dark age
Dark age

27. Steven Spielberg or Ken Burns
Spielberg

28. Thermopylae or Alamo
Alamo

29. Big Foot or Loch Ness Monster
Loch Ness Monster

30. babies or teenagers
babies

Anyone who sees this and would like to do it, go right ahead, but would please let me know in the comment section and leave a link to your post. Thanks!

Pope releases two doves to end the month for peace


Accompanied by two children, Pope Benedict XVI released two small white doves from the window of the Apostolic Palace, to end the “Month for Peace”.

At the end of the Angelus, the Pope greeted the children and youth of the Catholic Action Rome, which annually concludes the "Month for Peace" in St. Peter's Square.

The Pope addressed the children, "Dear little friends…Follow the path that Jesus has shown us to build true peace!"

Pope John Paul II on Peace


"The world will never be the dwelling place of peace till peace has found a home in the heart of each and every person, till every person preserves in himself the order ordained by God to be preserved." (Pacem in Terris)

The Peace Prayer

Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;

Where there is hatred, let me sow love;

Where there is injury, pardon;

Where there is error, the truth;

Where there is doubt, the faith;

Where there is despair, hope;

Where there is darkness, light;

And where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,

Grant that I may not so much seek

To be consoled, as to console;

To be understood, as to understand;

To be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;

It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;

And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

What Kind of Rose Are You?

You are a Lavender Rose

You represent love at first sight and enchantment.

Your vibe: intense and intriguing

Falling in love with you is: deep and meaningful

Who is your Jane Austin Husband/Boyfriend?


You scored (100%) as Edmund Bertram. Your husband/boyfriend is Edmund Bertram from Mansfield Park. Most likely he has taught you many things and acted as your guide or protector. Though he is quite principled, he has learned to detect the faults of others. Most likely the two of you were friends for a long time before you were lovers. As a couple, you delight in learning and conversing together and remain consistently loyal to each other.

created with QuizFarm.com

I'm Tweety

You are Tweety.
You are cute, and everyone loves you. You are a best friend that no one takes the chance of losing. You never hurt feelings and seldom have your own feelings hurt. Life is a breeze. You are witty, and calm most of the time. Just keep clear of back stabbers, and you are worry-free.

Which cartoon character are you?

A Beautiful Way to Start your Day

A Catholic Perspective on Prayer and Suffering: Part I

"Christian prayer is not an exercise in self-contemplation, stillness and self-emptying, but a dialogue of love, one which "implies an attitude of conversion, a flight from 'self' to the 'You' of God". It leads to an increasingly complete surrender to God's will, whereby we are invited to a deep, genuine solidarity with our brothers and sisters."

~ From "Jesus Christ, the Bearer of the Water of Life", Pontifical Council for Culture, Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue

Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta would do nothing without first praying and adoring God in the Blessed Sacrament. She was the contemplative active, which Pope John Paul II called us to be to spread the gospel message in our world. Prayer for the grace to know and to do God's will in our lives must precede all our actions.

Many other saints have instructed us to do the same. The power of prayer and offering up one's daily sufferings and trials can be just as, if not more, powerful than action, especially during times of illness. It provides a leverage which helps others carry their burdens or removes the burden entirely. Oftentimes, it results in miracles for others -- including the conversion of the hardest hearts.

Some of the saints suffered from chronic pain or terminal illness which prevented them from leading a physically active life, but offered up their sufferings as a prayer to God. Much of St. Teresa of Avila's life was plagued with pain, particularly at the age of 23, when she contracted a mysterious illness (later thought to be malaria), fell into a coma for four days, and was paralyzed and bedridden for three years prior to her miraculous healing. She ceased her vocal prayer at this time and later explained, "Prayer is an act of love, words are not needed. Even if sickness distracts from thoughts, all that is needed is the will to love."

During her time of illness, St. Teresa was fortunate to be surrounded by family to care for her. Just think of how many poor souls there are today without friends and family in hospitals, nursing homes, or alone in their own homes -- those who are alienated by our society -- those who feel abandoned and unloved?

Loneliness is the sickness of our western culture and those who are ill and helpless are often treated as useless and told that their lives have no meaning or purpose, when nothing could be further from the truth.

Many people suffer often from invisible illnesses and excruciating chronic pain for which there is no real cure (there may be pills to slightly numb the pain, which are dangerous and addictive, have damaging side effects, and may even be potentially lethal, but often there is little or no relief.)Nevertheless, they have powerful opportunities to offer up their pain for God's purposes -- especially for an end to abortion and euthanasia and all sins against human life. They have hope because God offers them a special and a powerful way to serve Him. In fact, a few years back, when I worked as a sidewalk counselor and prayer warrior at the abortion mill, I asked friends who were dealing with chronic pain/illness to serve as prayer warriors for the precious pre-born infants, the mothers, the families, and the abortionists and workers at the abortion mill. Such beautiful acts of (behind the scenes) suffering combined with the activities of those sidewalk counselors and prayer intercessors at the abortion mill resulted in turn - arounds and saved lives.

This is what members of my own family did on their death beds as their time to return Home to the Father drew near. They offered their sufferings in union with those of Christ, and, as each one of them drew nearer to death and slipped into unconsciousness, I prayed not only for them, but with them, reminding God of the purposes of their suffering, as they had earlier reminded me. You see, while they were alive, both of my parents were chronically ill senior citizens living in Texas at the time, nothing could keep them away from their prayer time at the abortion mill, which was just as important to them as their Bible Study. They prayed daily for the conversion of the souls of all those who were trapped in the culture of death, especially for their own family members.

Sacrifice and suffering are not just for the elderly, but there are many children, teenagers, and young adults who suffer from a wide variety of painful diseases which prevent them from leading a "normal" life. They, too, have an important purpose in this life. They, too, have been called by God to live a life of holiness in their own special way -- to do His work of conversion, as they unite their sufferings with His.

Although not all of us are called to live a life filled with pain and physical suffering, we are all called by God to do penance and prayer for the conversion of souls. The best way we can fulfill this in our lives is to perform each one of our vocational duties to the best of our ability everyday and present this priceless gift to God.

Here are some of my favorite saint quotes on the importance of prayer and uniting our suffering with His:

" Prayer is the best weapon we have. It is a key opening God’s Heart."

~ St. Padre Pio

How often I failed in my duty to God, because I was not leaning on the strong pillar of prayer.

~St. Teresa of Avila

Let him never cease from prayer who has once begun it, be his life ever so wicked; for prayer is the way to amend it, and without prayer such amendment will be much more difficult.

~St. Teresa of Avila

One must not think that a person who is suffering is not praying. He is offering up his sufferings to God, and many a time he is praying much more truly than one who goes away by himself and meditates his head off, and, if he has squeezed out a few tears, thinks that is prayer.

~St. Teresa of Avila

The Following Quotes are from Blessed Mother Teresa:

"On the Cross Jesus said: ‘I thirst.’ From the Blessed Sacrament Jesus continues to say to each of us: ‘I thirst.’ He thirsts for our personal love, our intimacy, our union with Him in the Blessed Sacrament. His longing for us to be with Him in the Blessed Sacrament is infinitely greater than our longing to be with Him."

"Without prayer I could not work for even half an hour. I get my strength from God through prayer."

"God speaks in the silence of the heart, and we listen. And then we speak to God from the fullness of our heart, and God listens. And this listening and this speaking is what prayer is meant to be: oneness with God, oneness with Jesus."

"Perpetual adoration is the most beautiful thing you could ever think of doing. People are hungry for God."

"Work cannot substitute for prayer."

"We need to be able to pray.We need prayer just like we need air.Without prayer, we can do nothing."

"The Cross will be for us as it was for Christ: proof of the greatest love."

"Prayer is powerful beyond limits when we turn to the Immaculata who is queen even of God's heart."

~ St. Maximillian Kolbe

See also The Necessity of Prayer, by St. Alphonsus. This is essential reading for all those who wish to develop their prayer life and it is not long.

A Short Catechism on Prayer

Suffering:

God has made human beings so noble that every suffering which purifies us and every effort which raises us up gladdens us while making us better.

~St. Augustine

Let us understand that God is a physician, and that suffering is a medicine for salvation, not a punishment for damnation.

~St. Augustine

If we suffer with Christ, we will be glorified with Him. The fulfillment of the promised happiness is certain for those who share in the Lord's Passion.

~St. Leo the Great

Let us strive to face suffering with Christian courage. Then all difficulties will vanish and pain itself will become transformed into joy.

~St. Teresa of Avila

The cross is the greatest gift God could bestow on His Elect on earth. There is nothing so necessary, so beneficial, so sweet, or so glorious as to suffer something for Jesus. If you suffer as you ought, the cross will become a precious yoke that Jesus will carry with you.

~St. Louis de Montfort

Suffering is like a kiss that Jesus hanging from the cross bestows on persons whom He loves in a special way. Because of this love He wants to associate them in the work of the redemption.

~St. Bonaventure

To suffer and not to suffer for God is torment.

~St. Gerard Majella

Let us lose nothing of what God bestows on us. Difficulties and sufferings will disappear, but the merit we acquire through our fidelity will remain forever. Let us therefore build our eternity through all the things that pass away.

~St. Jane Frances de Chantal

Suffering is a great favor. Remember that everything soon comes to an end . . . and take courage. Think of how our gain is eternal.

~St. Teresa of Avila

In Part II, we will take a look at what Scriptures tell us about prayer and the importance of prayer in Our Lord's life.

~ Jean M. Heimann, copyright 2008

Friday, January 25, 2008

A Call for Pro-life Films: Cinema Vita Film Festival


There's a new kid in town . . . opening in San Francisco on March 7, 2008: the Cinema Vita Film Festival. "

The Cinema Vita Film Festival has been established to encourage young, emerging filmmakers and to showcase movies about contemporary issues concerning the meaning and value of life. Coordinated by the San Francisco Archdiocesan Office of Public Policy, the Oakland Diocesan Respect Life Ministry, Marriage for Life, and Ignatius Press, the festival is based on the recognition that art, especially the medium of film, shapes the popular imagination and has a tremendous influence on culture." (read more)

Inspired by the success of Bella, the organizers are putting their money where their hearts are and have established three categories for submission of 3-5 minute, original "visionary works that focus on the dignity of the human person from conception to natural death". The categories are (1) high school (2) college and (3) open classification. EVEN BETTER the prize in each category is $250 AND a Canon HG10 High Definition Camcorder (value $1100). You can read the submission criteria here. Entries must be postmarked by February 14.

The winning films will be shown at the festival on March 7, 2008 at the Delancy Street Theater in downtown San Francisco, along with the award-winning feature film After the Truth, a provocative look at a fictional trial of Dr. Josef Mengele, the notorious Angel of Death at Auschwitz.

Cross-posted at Catholic Media Review.

One of My Favorites

I found this on a wonderful new blog A Song A Day , by Catherine. It features a song a day -- 366 songs every American should recognize. Be sure and check out all the music there.

The Conversion of St. Paul, the Apostle

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 commemorate 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.

This is such a touching miracle and each time I think of Paul, who had previously persecuted the Christians I think of those today who persecute Christians for their beliefs. I think of all the Christian pro-lifers out there and the sufferings and trials they are going through for the conversion of the abortionists and those who are trapped in the culture of death.
Mysteriously, God often opens their hearts and through his life-giving graces transforms their hearts, drawing them to Him. He never gives up on them, but waits patiently for them to come to Him and accept His love. Then there are others whom he knocks right off their horse, humbles them, shows Him the amazing power of His love that their hearts are transformed almost overnight. What an awesome God we have!

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

We don't have to be Christian doormats

What do you do when you feel that another Christian has taken advantage of you or mistreated you in some way? Do you keep it to yourself and bury it within and hold a grudge against that person? Do you deny your feelings and let the hurt get buried in your subconscious? What is the Christian thing to do in this situation? Do we put up with the abusive and bullying personalities? What does the gospel instruct us to do? I think many of us know the answer to this question.

In Matthew 18:15a, the Gospel tells us: "If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone." This famous passage goes on to tell us in further detail how to resolve conflicts within the Christian community. If you are sinned against, raise the issue! Don't just put up with it. Don't just ignore it. Don't just "accept" it. Rather, confront it, raise it, bring matters to a head. We do no one, least of all the offender, any favors if we just swallow our injury. Never make assumptions as to why a person acted in a certain way. Allow them to tell you.

Many of us seem to be under the misconception that Christians are called to be "doormats." Yes, treat others as you would like to be treated, but you certainly don't have to "like everybody" nor have "everybody like you." If we are hurting someone, don't we want others to bring it to our attention so that we can change our behavior? Some will say "no" because they don't want to deal with confrontation or discomfort.

The Christian way of approaching someone who has offended us is not to be rude, insulting or uncharitable, but to state our feelings in an honest, diplomatic, compassionate but forceful way to correct the problem. It is then up to us to reflect seriously and with humility on the validity of the correction and respond to it maturely. I repeat: we do no one a favor by looking the other way and enabling bad behavior. No one does us a favor by ignoring our own bad behavior. Our faith is one that requires boldness, courage, and frankness, not the dysfunctional denial that we feel most comfortable with in so many settings. In other words, the gospel prescribes Christian assertiveness. It is not necessary to beat the person over the head with criticism, but be as clear as you can in stating your concern and the consequences of the inappropriate behavior.

We should always pray for those who have hurt us. The prayers will heal the gap that exists between us and draw both of us closer to God.

Saint Quote of the Day: Inner Peace

Never be hurried by anything whatever - nothing can be more pressing than the necessity for your peace before God. You will help others more by the peace and tranquility of your heart than by any eagerness or care you can bestow on them.

~Saint Elizabeth Seton

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Tiller's Attempt to Stifle Grand Jury's Request for Medical Records Denied by Judge!

Tiller once again tries to obstruct justice, but judge insists he show evidence

Mary Kay Culp, Executive Director of Kansans for Life said:"Although we are disappointed that Nola Foulston's assistant is still in charge of this grand jury, we are elated that the judge stopped Tiller's attempt to deny the grand jury evidence they requested. "And it is our most fervent hope that the records requested go beyond the 2003 records due (because of the five year statute of limitations) to time out this year!"

The following story came exclusively from the KAKE Television Station in Wichita, KS. See the video of the story below, and the written story below that.

Judge Denies Request in Tiller Grand Jury

A judge ruled against attorneys for local abortion provider Dr. George Tiller Thursday. They wanted to halt a grand jury's request for sensitive clinic documents.

Tiller is under investigation for possibly performing illegal late term abortions. The grand jury's findings would determine whether formal charges are filed. A grand jury has looked into alleged wrong-doings by the doctor in the past, and cleared him of any crimes.

Grand jury proceedings are typically kept secret, but in an open courtroom Thursday, attorneys on both sides argued just how much authority a grand jury should have when it subpoenas evidence. In this case, members of the jury have requested documents containing what Tiller says is private employee information that, if leaked, would jeopardize their safety and well-being.

"We are dealing with requests from citizens who are unregulated by any code of conduct," said defense attorney Laura Shaney felt on Thursday afternoon. "It is one thing to ask questions, but is far different and far more invasive... to turn over files to a group of unregulated and untrained citizens."

Dr. Tiller's attorneys contend the grand jury should not have access to information typically limited even to prosecutors and law enforcement officials. Tiller's defense also argues any evidence contained in such documents would be used against him in a case filed last summer by Attorney General Paul Morrison. In that case, Tiller faces 19 misdemeanor charges for not consulting with a second, unaffiliated physicians before performing abortions.

But prosecutors say the two cases have no bearing on each other.
"This is designed to allow ... a grand jury to better understand the information they are asking for," said deputy District Attorney Anne Swegle.

Swegle says a grand jury's right to subpoena evidence should go as far as necessary to determine if a crime has been committed.
The judge in the case agreed, ruling Dr. Tiller must hand over the requested documentation.

No deadline was set at the hearing, though the grand jury has 90 days to request and review evidence before making a decision.

Via Kansans for Life.

NOW SUPPORTS PRO-DEATH OBAMA



And why shouldn't they? He's worse than Hillary! He is the strongest pro-death candidate out there. The democrats stand out as the party of death; there are some Republicans who support human life and others who don't. Duncan Hunter was my pick in the past, but now that he has bowed out of the race and endorsed Michael Huckabee, I, too, believe that Huckabee is the best choice for the presidential nomination. Hunter has stated that he believes that Mike Huckabee is the most committed of the GOP Presidential nominees to strengthening national defense, getting a fence built along the U.S.-Mexico border and dealing with China's role as an emerging economic and military superpower. He is certainly the strongest pro-life candidate (aside from Alan Keyes, who is a candidate, but really isn't.)

Alan Keyes would definitely make a great president, but it is not realistic to think that he could ever be nominated or elected at this point in time. Neither McCain nor Romney are pro-life. And, we all know about Guiliani.

Those who have concerns that Huckabee might be anti-Catholic, read this.

Related Posts:

Alan Keyes on Barack Obama

Obama: One of the greatest performers of all time

Grading the GOP on Family Value Issues

Things You Didn’t Know About The Presidential Candidates

Barack Obama Promotes Abortion, Slams Abstinence in Iowa Speech

Hillary and Obama Slam Supreme Court on Abortion Ruling

Day Gardner: Obama and the Epidemic of Violence

Barack Obama: A Very Confused Man

Huckabee: Merry CHRISTmas and I approve this message

Huckabee: The Most Reagan - Like Candidate?

Mike Huckabee's First TV Ad: "Chuck Norris Approved"

Mike Huckabee Says Pro-Life Background Makes it Easy to Oppose Abortion

Huckabee on Immigration

Republican Candidates Respond to Pro-life Issues At Tonight's Debate

Cartoon of the Day


Mexican cardinal slams UN for supporting abortion

The Archbishop of Guadalajara, Cardinal Juan Sandoval Iniguez, called on Catholics this week to reject the legalization of abortion and especially its spread across Mexico under pressure from international organizations such as the United Nations.

In his weekly column, the cardinal underscored that “the media reported a few days ago that a high official of the United Nations praised the two states and the Federal District for having legalized abortion.”

“She praised them and at the same time urged all the states of the country to do the same, so that throughout Mexico killing could go unpunished,” the cardinal said.

“It must be said first of all that abortion is a crime; that should be clear. It goes against the human being and life, which is sacred. God our Lord left us a commandment: ‘Thou shalt not kill,’ and therefore we should respect the lives of others, as well as the lives of the unborn, who are human beings and have the right to life,” he explained.

However, he warned, some people can be convinced by the reasons put forth by abortion supporters. “Therefore, I want to speak about them.”

“Among the reasons they put forth, the most popular one right now is the right of the woman to decide about her own body,” Cardinal Sandoval said. “The appendix will be there throughout one’s life, unless it is removed; the same thing with the kidneys, the liver, these things are indeed part of the body,” he went on. “The child in the womb is another human being who also has the right to life and is there only temporarily. He dwells in the womb of the mother for several months in order to come into the world and fulfill his destiny. He does not belong to the mother, so she does not have the right to do what she wants with her body,” the cardinal continued.

“Abortion is also justified for reasons of deformation,” he said. “This would be to return to the barbaric times of Sparta where, in order to preserve the purity of the race, those who were born deformed, sick or weak were killed. Hitler not only tried to kill the Jews, he also tried to ‘purify’ the German race, and he unscrupulously did away with many sick and handicapped people.”

“Those without physical defects are not the only ones who have the right to life; so do those who have a physical deficiency, as they too are human beings. There are extraordinary examples in this world of people with some kind of handicap who are very productive, who excel in many things, because they have the drive and great talent,” Cardinal Sandoval explained.

“Let us remain, then, with the fundamental idea: abortion is killing, killing is a crime condemned by God’s, by man’s law and by the Constitution of Mexico.

American Idol's Anti-Virgin Bias

By Jean M. Heimann

I am not much of a TV watcher. Other than EWTN and an occasional classical movie, the only program I really enjoy watching is American Idol. I am a music lover and like listening to the different genres of music presented on Idol, as well as having the opportunity to vote for the contestants. Recently, however, I was irritated by the Idol judges' reactions to 19 - year - old contestant Bruce Dixon.

Dickson, a contestant from Bostrop, Texas, at the American Idol Dallas auditions was asked to share something interesting about himself. He told the judges he had never kissed a girl. Catholic News Agency shares the dialogue:

"What?" Randy Jackson asked. "On purpose?"

“On purpose," Dickson said.

"On my wedding day, that will be my first kiss."

Jackson's advice to Dickson after the judges sent him packing: "Go kiss some girls."

Simon Cowell, eyebrows raised, told him: "Avoid Ryan (Seacrest) on the way out."

Seacrest himself ended the segment featuring Dickson with these words: "Maybe next year he'll come back less a boy and more a man."

Dickson told Cybercast News Service "A real man would rather wait than just do whatever with whoever."

Sarah Preston, a writer and editor for Playboy’s web site, spoke about Dickson’s decision on Thursday on the “Fox Report” television show, asking how he could compete in the contest without “sex appeal.”

"I'm not belittling Bruce's Christian beliefs, but I do think being in tune with one's own sexuality goes a long way in being confident with yourself," Preston said.

"Confidence is key, especially for 'American Idol.'” ”These kids become sex objects, thrust into the spotlight," she continued.

"And while I know they're all trying to stand out, especially during the audition period, using your Christian beliefs and the fact that you've never kissed a girl is not going to bode well for you while trying out to be America's next big sex object,” Preston said.

Dickson responded to some of the criticisms. "I respect women and don't think of them as a sexual object, and I'm the freak?" Dickson said to Cybercast News Service.

Dickson, the second eldest of six children, said his parents had challenged their children to practice abstinence. "It wasn't anything they forced on us," Dickson said. "It was something they talked to us about. Something they taught us the importance of."

Dickson wears a key around his neck, while his father wears a matching heart, which he wears for Dickson’s future wife. The jewelry signifies Dickson’s promise to remain abstinent until marriage.

The American Idol contestant won admiration from Jason Burtt, national director of the teen abstinence organization Silver Ring Thing. The organization promotes events and distributes rings for children to wear to symbolize their commitment to chastity.

"What we are all about is supporting kids like Bruce," Burtt told Cybercast News Service. "Most kids are mentally pushed through the media and pop culture that everyone is doing it. "

Bruce has said he's going to walk the hard walk, and instead of lifting him up and praising him, we're mocking him," Burtt said. "I think that's because when someone is up on a chair, it's easier for people to pull him down than to pull everyone else up off the floor. Maybe they feel bad they couldn't do it themselves.”

Dickson is working on a demo album and could return to audition for the next season of American Idol.

I certainly hope this young man does return next year (or that he is successful on his own) and I also believe that judges Randy Jackson and Simon Cowell should apologize to him for their rude remarks. I would like to add that there are many young women who would be happy to marry a man who saves himself for her and values the gift of chastity. As for Sarah Preston's remarks about being confident in yourself -- having sex before marriage has nothing to do with confidence. In fact, it's those teens who have low self esteem who tend to be sexually active before marriage. Getting pregnant or acquiring a sexually transmitted disease does little for improving one's self-esteem.

cross - posted at Catholic Media Review.

St. Francis de Sales: Bio, Favorite Quotes, and a Prayer

Francis was born on August 21, 1567, at the Chateau de Sales in Geneva, Switzerland to a noble family. He was a frail and delicate child, but very intelligent, humble, kind, loving, patient and gentle. He was educated in some of the best schools of that time period. At the age of thirteen, he attended the University of Paris where he studied theology. He then attended the University of Padua, where he earned his doctorate in law. His father desired that he become a lawyer and politician, but Francis desired to become a priest. In 1593, he was ordained.

The Catholic Church at this time was losing many of its parishioners to the new churches of the Protestant Reformation. Francis set out to restore Catholicism to the area around Lake Geneva known as Chablais. For three years, he trudged through the countryside, his feet frozen and bleeding, as he trampled through the snow. No one would listen to him, so he wrote out his sermons, copying them by hand in the form of leaflets, and placed them under doors. It is said that he converted 40,000 people by the time he left to return home.

In 1602, he was made Bishop of Geneva. He led and organized his diocese from his new residence at Annecy. His words of inspiration and wise counsel led many people to live out the gospel message in their lives. In 1610, he founded the Order of the Visitation with St. Jane Francis de Chantal, a good friend, with whom he shared his spiritual beliefs. Francis was overworked and often ill due to his heavy workload. However, he remained active, particularly using his talent for writing to assist him in ministering to others.

Francis died at Lyons on December 28, 1622 and was buried at Annecy on January 24. He was canonized in 1665 and declared a Doctor of the Church in 1877 and Patron of the Catholic Press in 1923.

Quotes From St. Francis de Sales

"Keep your heart very wide to receive in it all sorts of crosses and resignations or abnegations, for the love of Him who has received so many of them for us."

"Faithfully attend to your obligations, but know that you have no greater obligation than that of your salvation and of the saving progress of your soul on the way to true devotion."

" When you are sick, offer to Christ our Lord all your pains suffering, and your languor, and beseech Him to unite them to those He bore for you."

Prayer for Writers (taken from Saintly Support: A Prayer for Every Problem)

May the Lord guide me and all those who write for a living. Through your prayers, St. Frances de Sales, I ask for your intercession as I attempt to bring the written word to the world. Let us pray that God takes me in the palm of His hand and inspires my creativity and inspires my success. St. Francis de Sales, you understand the dedication required in this profession. Pray for God to inspire and allow ideas to flow. In His name, let my words reflect my faith for others to read. Amen.

~ Taken from Gold in the Furnace, copyright 2004, Jean M. Heimann

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Special Prayer Intentions

Today was my day for Eucharistic Adoration and the Sacrament of Reconciliation as well as my usual daily Mass.

During my Holy Hour, I prayed for the following special intentions:

My dh Bill's adjustment to his new job in a new community. (This was his first day of work.)

For the quick sale of our home.

For N.G. and his wife who has been having many difficulties in his marriage. Lord, please heal this couple and renew their love for one another. Help them to forgive one another for past hurts and fill their hearts and home with peace.

For peace in our world and an end to all war.

For the safety, protection, and well-being of all our military.

For the presidential election -- that someone who abides by your laws and lives out his faith in his life be nominated and win the election.

For a good job for B.

For E.'s brother to return to his Catholic faith.

For all the intentions at One Came Back.

For God's justice in the upcoming trial for late-term abortionist George Tiller.

For healing for all those who have had an abortion or who have been involved in the abortion procedure in any way.

For all previous intentions mentioned here.

Tiller’s Bold-Faced Lie Insults Community, Victims (Updated)


An Opinion by Cheryl Sullenger, Senior Policy Advisor for Operation Rescue

On the 35th memorial of Roe v. Wade, late-term abortionist George R. Tiller defiantly posted a self-promoting banner on the fence surrounding his infamous abortion mill, Women’s Health Care Services, which stated, “Wichita Stands with Dr. Tiller, 35 years of saving women’s lives.”

But according to information collected by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDH&E), there has never been a reported abortion since reporting was mandated that was done for the purpose of saving the life of a woman.

It is obvious from state records that Tiller has never saved the life of a single woman by giving her an abortion. Frankly, his statement is insulting to the family of Christin Gilbert, a Tiller patient who died from complications of a botched third-trimester abortion two years ago.

The absurdity of Tiller’s claim at life-saving becomes tragically evident when we couple Gilbert’s avoidable death with the fact that Tiller currently faces 19 criminal charges for illegally taking the lives of 19 viable babies that should have had the protection of law. A grand jury is also in the process of investigating allegations that Tiller committed hundreds more illegal abortions beyond viability – about half of which would have been done on girl babies.

And as far as community support goes, over 15,000 citizens of Sedgwick County who signed petitions calling for two grand juries to investigate Tiller might differ with the abortionist’s boast that Wichita stands with him. In fact, nearly 70% of Wichita households oppose abortion and Tiller’s abortion business, according to a poll commissioned by Operation Rescue.

Tiller’s banner would have more accurately read: “George Tiller: 35 years of exploiting women and taking lives.”

If he is going to lie about this, what else is he lying about?

My Comments: Most likely everything! Unbelievable! He has murdered thousands of babies, endangered the lives of women, murdering at least one we know of and claims he "saves women's lives??????" How many female babies has he murdered? He has also intentionally injured at least one sidewalk counselor with his vehicle and has committed other crimes that no one in the press has ever reported on.
He thinks he can hurt people, destroy lives and families, and do whatever he pleases because he is above the law. He's paid off all the politicians with his blood money. Tiller, your time has come.
Update: Just to clarify things to new readers or to those who may be coming here to read this article only, I do not hate Tiller -- I hate no one. I only hate his evil actions. Let's continue to pray for Tiller's conversion daily. God bless you!