Monday, June 30, 2008

The Simple Woman's Daybook: June 30

A Simple Woman

FOR TODAY June 30th...

Outside My Window... it's dark, as it is no longer day, but is night. The black shimmering sky is decorated with diamonds. The air is cool and refreshing after today's heat.

I am thinking...about my new cat who is hiding under the bed. I hope she comes out so I can clean out her ears and put in her ear drops.

I am thankful for...Bill's good x-ray at the orthopedist's office today, which reveal that he will not need surgery on his arm. I'm also thankful for my two new customers -- both the answer to prayer. PTL! Thank you St. Joseph, St. Stanislaus, St. Amelia, and anyone else who prayed for this.

From the kitchen...the scent of pork chops, black-eyed peas, and brown rice pasta.

I am wearing...denim shorts and a sleeveless top.

I am creating...nothing special right now, other than this post.

I am going...to bed soon, as I have more training with my mentor tomorrow and have a long, busy day planned.

I am reading...my training manual and glanced through some children's books tonight. I need to get a new book to review. I read almost anything I can get my hands on, but for some odd reason I am between books right now, which rarely happens. I have been spending a lot of time caring for an injured husband and a sick cat.

I am hoping...that my dear sister-in-law and her son will be feeling better soon. They need prayer, as they are going through a rough time now. Lord, have mercy on them!

I am hearing... only the hum of the computer. It's very quiet here now.

Around the house...everyone is asleep. Did I mention that I tend to be a night owl?

One of my favorite things...taking long walks with my dh.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: training meeting tomorrow, rescheduled hair appointment, phone calls, more meetings, and then 4th of July festivities.

Here is a picture I'm sharing..... a branch from my butterfly bush, which is in bloom.

Quote of the Day: St. Vincent de Paul

"To rely on our talents is a cause of great loss. When someone places confidence in his own prudence, knowledge, and intelligence, God, to make him know and see his insufficiency, withdraws from him His help and leaves him to work by himself. This is often why our undertakings miserably fail. "

~ St Vincent de Paul

Preparing for the Sacrament of Marriage



Fr. Jeff Day discusses the Sacrament of Marriage with couples. Includes the Catholic understanding of marital sexuality.

Tribute to the Martyrs



It is good to recall that 'martyr' in ancient Greek means 'witness'. This is a tribute to the martyrs that tremendously inspired our faith and motivated us to be better Catholics.

The First Martyrs of the Church of Rome

The Coliseum
Rome, Italy
From My Personal Photo Collection
February, 2006

The holy men and women are also called the “Protomartyrs of Rome.” They were accused of burning Rome by Nero, who burned Rome to cover his own crimes. Some martyrs were burned as living torches at evening banquets, some crucified, others were fed to wild animals. These martyrs died before Sts. Peter and Paul, and are called “disciples of the Apostles. . . whom the Holy Roman church sent to their Lord before the Apostles’ death.”

Collect: Father, you sanctified the Church of Rome with the blood of its first martyrs. May we find strength from their courage and rejoice in their triumph. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Pro-gay Researchers Conceal Truth about Children of Same-Sex Parents

This November, California voters will be asked to decide by ballot if marriage in their state is to be defined as solely between one man and one woman. No doubt voters in other states will soon face that same decision. With such a radical cultural change hanging in the balance, it's more important than ever that voters be aware of important social-science research that sheds light on the issue.

Trayce L. Hansen, Ph.D., a licensed psychologist, recently reviewed the available research on homosexually parented children and reports findings relevant to the same-sex marriage debate: Children raised by openly homosexual parents are more likely to engage in homosexual behavior themselves. And some self-described pro-homosexual researchers who uncovered such results attempted to conceal them by declaring that no differences were found.

The findings of Dr. Hansen's review are revealed in a newly released article entitled, "Pro-Homosexual Researchers Conceal Findings: Children Raised by Openly Homosexual Parents More Likely To Engage in Homosexuality." This latest piece is the second in a series of articles concerning same-sex marriage, homosexuality, and children. The first article in the series is entitled, "Love Isn't Enough: Five Reasons Why Same-Sex Marriage Will Harm Children." Both articles, as well as information on the research Dr. Hansen reviewed for her current piece, are available on her website at http://www.drtraycehansen.com.

Source

Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Patriotic Rosary


Yestersday, we prayed the Patriotic Rosary in our parish, which I highly recommend. The Patriotic Rosary is a powerful prayer for divine protection and mercy for our Nation and its rebirth. It is a beautiful way of consecrating our nation to God and is especially appropriate for this time of year. We will be praying the Patriotic rosary again on July 4 -- Independence Day.

World Youth Day 2008: Catholic Olympic Torch is Coming



The Catholic equivalent to the Olympic Torch, the World Youth Day wooden cross, is arriving in Sydney tomorrow, after travelling across the world and throughout the host country, Australia. The cross was introduced by Pope John Paul II when he created WYD in 1984 to symbolise Christ's love for all people.

The cross which has an Icon of Our Lady and an Indigenous Message Stick arrives in Australia on 1 July for a 15 day walking pilgrimage around each Australian diocese. It will make various stops including cathedrals, the Great Barrier Reef, war memorials and even shopping centres and sports stadiums and the walk is expected to gather huge crowds.

WYD '08 Coordinator Bishop Anthony Fisher said: "The purpose of the WYD cross, Icon and Message Stick is to invite young people to World Youth Day and to spread a message of hope, peace and Christ's love for humanity."

Via The Independent Catholic News.

Is Having an Unplanned Birth Worse Than Having an Abortion?

Via The Elliot Institute News

The following article originally appeared in The Post-Abortion Review in 2006.

With the recent news of a rash of pregnancies among girls at a high school in Massachusetts, it seems everyone is agreeing that teen pregnancy is a problem. But are teens who abort better off than teens who carry an "unwanted" pregnancy to term?

Not according to a study published in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence. The study found that adolescent girls who abort unintended pregnancies are five times more likely to seek subsequent help for psychological and emotional problems compared to their peers who carry "unwanted" pregnancies to term.1

Dr. Priscilla Coleman, a research psychologist at Bowling Green State University, also found that adolescents who had abortions were over three times more likely to report subsequent trouble sleeping and nine times more likely to report subsequent marijuana use.

The results were compiled after examining 17 other control variables, like prior mental health history and family factors, that might also influence subsequent mental health.

The data was drawn from a federally-funded longitudinal study of adolescents from throughout the U.S. who participated in two series of interviews in 1995 and 1996. About 76 percent of girls who had abortions and 80 percent of girls who gave birth were between the ages of 15 and 19 during the survey, with the remainder being younger.

This study is particularly important because it examines pregnancy "wantedness," in addition to a large number of other control variables.

Over the last several years, numerous studies have conclusively linked higher rates of mental illness and behavioral problems associated with abortion compared to childbirth. But abortion advocates have generally dismissed these findings, insisting that while women who abort may fare worse than women who give birth to planned children, they may fare better than the important subgroup of women who carry unintended pregnancies to term. Coleman's study addresses this argument and shows that the facts don’t support abortion advocates’ speculations.

Higher Risk Factors for Teens
According to the Alan Guttmacher Institute, which tracks abortion statistics throughout the U.S., about a quarter of the abortions that take place each year are performed on girls younger than 20.

Previous studies have found that younger abortion patients may be more likely to experience difficulties coping after abortion compared to older women. One reason behind this may be that teens are more likely to be pressured into unwanted abortions or to undergo abortions later in pregnancy, which carry a greater risk of physical and psychological complications.

A 2004 Medical Science Monitor study of women who had abortions found that 64 percent of American women reported that they felt pressured into abortion.2 Coleman said that for teens, the pressure probably comes from the fact that they are more likely to be perceived as unready to be parents and that abortion is often seen by those around them as the best solution.
"When women feel forced into abortion by others or by life circumstances, negative post-abortion outcomes become more common," she wrote. "Adolescents are generally much less prepared to assume the responsibility of parenthood and are [therefore] the recipients of pressure to abort."

Coleman pointed out that, while having a child as a teen may be problematic, "the risks of terminating seem to be even more pronounced."

Other studies comparing outcomes for abortion versus delivery of unintended pregnancies have found higher rates of clinical depression, anxiety, and substance abuse among women who abort, while studies that did not look only at unplanned pregnancies also found that women who aborted are at increased risk for suicidal behavior, psychiatric problems, symptoms of post-traumatic stress, and sleep disorders, which are often linked to trauma.

While previous studies have often been criticized for methodological shortcomings, studies that have come out in the last several years have been designed to address those problems and have gone through vigorous scrutiny from peer-review panels before publication.

"The scientific evidence is now strong and compelling," Coleman stated. "Abortion poses more risks to women than giving birth."

While there has been a long-standing assumption that such problems are related to mental health problems that existed before abortion, a large-scale study conducted in New Zealand last year found that this wasn’t the case.3

The standard theory has been that women who have problems coping after abortion were probably already mentally unstable and therefore more likely to be even worse off if they continued the pregnancy.

The researchers in New Zealand thought that their study would confirm this theory, so they specifically controlled for pre-existing mental health problems. What they found, however, was that women who were mentally stable before abortion were still more likely to experience mental health problems after abortion.

More Research Needed
Although the pregnancy rate among American teens has dropped steadily in the past few decades, among developed countries the U.S. still has the highest rates of teen pregnancy and childbirth.

In her paper, Coleman highlighted a need for additional research on this issue. She pointed out that while "hundreds of thousands" of teens experience an unintended pregnancy each year, her study is one of only a few to examine the impact of abortion on women versus the impact of carrying to term, all of which have indicated worse outcomes associated with abortion.
Coleman and other researchers in this area have pointed out that medical and mental health professionals need to be attuned to the risks of abortion and present women and teens with accurate information about the physical and psychological effects of the procedure.

The findings that are emerging show that abortion leads to negative outcomes for many women, regardless of whether the pregnancy was planned or wanted. In fact, not a single study has ever shown statistically significant benefits associated with abortion compared to birth. In terms of maximizing women’s health and well-being, the scientific evidence overwhelmingly indicates that birth is preferable to abortion.
~~~

This article originally appeared in The Post-Abortion Review, Vol. 14(3), July-Sept. 2006.

For more information on teens and abortion, including a free downloadable fact sheet, click here.

Citations

1. PK Coleman, “Resolution of Unwanted Pregnancy During Adolescence Through Abortion Versus Childbirth: Individual and Family Predictors and Psychological Consequences,” Journal of Youth and Adolescence (2006).

2. VM Rue, et. al., "Induced abortion and traumatic stress: A preliminary comparison of American and Russian women" Medical Science Monitor 10(10): SR5-16 (2004).

3. DM.Fergusson, et. al., “Abortion in young women and subsequent mental health,” Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 47(1): 16-24 (2006).

Interior Design Personality Quizzes


What is Your Design Style?

Here's mine: By the Seaside

Colors in this palette are reminiscent of a sunny seaside. These combinations are refreshing and invigorating. They provide sparkle with lightness while also imbuing a sense of soothing calm. Oceanic hues are ideal for making a bathroom, bedroom or study an oasis. These colors provide a balance for those with a hectic life. The person who decorates with these colors is looking for their home to be their escape.

Take the Quiz here.

Here's another quiz from HGTV. My style here was classy.

Four, Four, Four, Four Meme

I was tagged by Esther for this Meme.

A) Four places that I go to over and over:
Church
the Supermarket
the Hairdresser's
the Farmer's Market

B) Four people who e-mail me (regularly):
Esther
Marie
Leticia
Ebeth

C) My favorite 4 places to eat:
The Monterrey Mexican Restaurant
Bella Luna
Timberline Steakhouse and Grill
Bonefish Grill

D) Four places I would rather be right now:
On a vacation in anyone of the following places -
Hawaii
Australia/New Zealand
the Carribean Islands
Belize

E) Four people I think will respond:
Therese
Paul
Leticia
Ebeth

F) Four TV shows I watch all the time:
EWTN's The World Over
TCM's classic movies
Fox News
EWTN specials

G) Four words that best describe you:
generous
thoughtful
caring
introspective

H) Four favorite "old school" Hollywood Actors/Actressess:
Gregory Peck
Jimmy Stewart
Loretta Young
Sonja Hennie

I)Four favorite "old school" television game shows:
The Match Game
Jeopardy
Let's Make a Deal
The Price is Right

J)Four favorite "old school" television shows:
I Love Lucy
Father Knows Best
The Beverly Hillbillies
My Little Margie

K) List four things you liked best about Christmas when you were a child:
Singing carols
Jesus coming at Christmas
Santa coming on Christmas Eve
being an angel in the Christmas procession at Midnight Mass

L) List four things you liked best about Halloween when you were a child:
the costume
trick or treating
buying candy for the trick or treaters
eating candy and homemade popcorn balls

M) List four things you did not like about growing up:
being the middle child of five
having other kids make fun of my last name
being shy
getting up so early in the morning to go to school

N) List four events that impacted your life (can by anytime throughout your lifetime):
returning to my faith
meeting my dh
the death of my younger sister
Jill Stanek's talk in 2002

I am tagging those bloggers mentioned in Question E.

The Jubilee Year: Links from the Catholic Blogosphere

Today, on this Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, the beginning of the Jubilee Year, as proclaimed by Our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, there are a number of high quality posts in the Catholic blogosphere.

Here is just a sampling that I recommend:

Peter and Paul, Unity and Pallia by Rocco Palmo at Whispers in the Loggia

Steve’s Brief Story of St. Paul’s Life by Steve Ray

Solemnity of the Apostles Peter and Paul by Elena Maria Vidal at Tea at Trianon

WE WELCOME THE YEAR OF ST PAUL – “CHRIST IS ALL, AND IN ALL”! at Unborn Word of the Day

Quotes on St. Paul by Esther at A Catholic Mom in Hawaii

Sharing the Mystery of the Faith by Father Fox at Bonfire of the Vanities

Feast of St. Peter and Paul..........June 29th by Easter at Holy Cards for Your Inspiration

Sts. Peter & Paul: Papal Mass - images and sermons by Father Z. at What Does the Prayer Really Say?

Papal Mass for St. Peter and St. Paul by by Gregor Kollmorgen At at The New Liturgical Movement

Anno Paolino by Amy Wellborn at Charlotte is Both contains a number of links.

Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, Martyrs and Co-Founders of the Church


Sts. Peter and Paul are the co-founders of the Church - the solid rock on which it was founded.

St. Peter

Peter's original name was Simon. He was a fisherman and the brother of Saint Andrew, the apostle who led him to Christ. As an apostle of Christ, Simon was renamed "Peter" (in Hebrew Kephas) or "rock" by Jesus to indicate that Peter would be the rock-like foundation on which the Church would be built.

Peter's house often became the scene of miracles, since Jesus would stay there whenever He was teaching in that locality. Together with his brothers John and Andrew, Peter belonged to the first of Jesus' disciples.

After the Ascension, Peter took the leading role that Christ had assigned to him and became the first Pope. He served as the first Bishop of Rome and died there as a martyr in 64 a.d. crucified with his head downward, as he was not worthy to die in the same manner as Christ.

Peter is the author of two letters, the first encyclicals. St. Peter is buried beneath the high altar of St. Peter's Basilica on the Vatican Hill in Rome. A visitor to the Vatican Basilica can go into the crypt, which is the floor of the original church built by the Emperor Constantine.

St. Paul

Paul, known as Saul (his Roman name) before his conversion, was the son of Jewish parents who belonged to the tribe of Benjamin, was raised as a Pharisee. A tent-maker by trade, Saul hated and persecuted Christians as heretics and even participated in the stoning of Stephen the martyr.

On his way to Damascus to persecute another group of Christians, Saul was knocked to the ground and struck by a heavenly light, when God gave him the message that in persecuting Christians, he was also persecuting Christ Himself. This profound experience led to his conversion to Christianity. He was baptized, changed his name to Paul, and became traveling and preaching. He met Peter in Jerusalem and was introduced to the Christian Community by Barnabus.

Paul was eventually seized by the Jews and accused of condemning the Law. After being held as a prisoner for two years at Caesarea, he appealed to Caesar and was sent by sea to Rome (60 A.D.). Shipwrecked and delayed on the island of Malta, he arrived at Rome in the spring of 61 and passed the next two years in confinement before being released.The last years of the saint's life were devoted to missionary work. In 66 he returned to Rome, was taken prisoner, and beheaded a year later. His fourteen letters are a precious legacy.

We learn through the selection of these men to lead the Church, Christ teaches us that he chooses ordinary men and women to do his work and to be His leaders. Peter was a simple fisherman whom he chose in an official way, while Paul was a tent maker chosen in a very unconventional manner. Both men were imperfect - Peter denied Jesus three times; Saul persecuted Christians before his conversion. Neither of the men were trained in their work for the Lord, but the Lord provided them with all the graces necessary to spread the Good News. Christ works in a powerful way through weak, imperfect people, if we come to him with humble hearts and surrender to His will. "For when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Cor. 12, 10)

Related Posts:

St. Paul's Year Begins

The Jubilee Year: Links from the Catholic Blogosphere

A Treat for the Pauline Year: The Life of Saint Paul

Friday, June 27, 2008

Are You Yankee or Dixie?




You Are 60% Yankee, 40% Dixie



You're a pretty even split of Yankee and Dixie. You've probably traveled around a lot in your life.

Let's hear your answer to this one, Obama

Obama, if fatherhood begins at conception...

Just up on YouTube by Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, this is absolutely fabulous...




Via Jill Stanek.

Archbishop Burke To Head Apostolic Signatura



I'm happy for Archbishop Burke, but am sad to see him leaving St. Louis. Congratulations, Archbishop Burke!

The Archdiocese Press Release can be read here.

†Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam†

The Dominican Contemplative Sisters of the Monastery of the Heart of Jesus




Video portion from secular news report,2006.

The Dominican Contemplative Sisters of the Monastery of the Heart of Jesus, located in Lockport, Louisiana, belong to a world-wide religious order which was founded by Saint Dominic Guzman in 1206.

The cloistered Sisters live a penitential life of prayer, study, community and work. They are consecrated to God by public vows through the profession of the evangelical counsels of chastity, poverty and obedience. They have retained the full Habit, monastic customs and regular observances of the Nuns of the Order of Preachers. They accept and follow all the teachings and directives of the Church.

The Lockport Dominicans as they are commonly known, are in the process of re-founding their community.

In late 2004 using the internet, the Nuns began to interest young women in their way of life .As of January 2006, about 100 young women have been in contact with the nuns, and many have visited or will visit. Over twelve have applied to enter the monastery in the past few months. The Sisters hope to construct a new monastery soon. They hope it will be more conducive to prayer and quiet, as their current building was a former convent for active sisters.


http://www.xanga.com/ldominican

Our Lady of Perpetual Help


The Message of the Icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help

The child Jesus has just seen the angels who have shown him the instruments of his passion. St. Michael the Archangel holds the lance and gall-sop. St. Gabriel the Archangel holds the Cross and the nails. Frightened by the sight, Jesus has run to his mother’s arms so quickly that he almost lost one of His tiny sandals. It dangles from his foot. Mary holds Him lovingly but her eyes look at us - pleading with us to avoid sin and love Her Son.

His hands are in hers to show that, as a child, Jesus placed Himself in Mary’s hands for protection and to remind us that He now has placed into Her hands all graces, to be given to those who turn to His mother and ask.

The star on Mary’s veil shows her to be the one who brought the light of Christ to the darkened world - the beacon that leads the way to Heaven.

The falling sandal symbolizes a soul clinging to Christ by one last thread--devotion to Mary.

The golden background is symbolic of Heaven and shines to show the heavenly joy Jesus and His mother can bring to tired human
hearts.

Prayer to Our Lady of Perpetual Help

O Mother of Perpetual Help, grant that I may ever invoke thy most powerful name, which is the safeguard of the living and the salvation of the dying. O Purest Mary, O Sweetest Mary, let thy name henceforth be ever on my lips. Delay not, O Blessed Lady, to help me whenever I call on thee, for, in all my needs, in all my temptations I shall never cease to call on thee, ever repeating thy sacred name, Mary, Mary.

O what consolation, what sweetness, what confidence, what emotion fill my soul when I pronounce thy sacred name, or even only think of thee. I thank God for having given thee, for my good, so sweet, so powerful, so lovely a name. But I will not be content with merely pronouncing thy name: let my love for thee prompt me ever to hail thee, Mother of Perpetual Help.

In The Mood for Romance?



I love this video of one of my favorite films Pride and Prejudice with Josh Groban's "When You Say You Love Me".

It's Our 16th Wedding Anniversary!




This one's for you, Bill!

Happy Anniversary!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Today's Pro-life News Links

The Case Against Barack Obama by Deal W. Hudson at Inside Catholic

*CNN: Stanek on Obama by Jill Stanek Be sure to watch Jill tomorrow on The Situation Room 5-6p EST.

Obama Attacks Dr. Dobson by Leticia at Causa Nostrae Laetitiae

James Dobson and Obama's Theory of Abortion Relativity by Lee Cary at American Thinker

How To Vote Catholic by The Catholic Knight

Marriage Protection Act at Some Have Hats

Pfizer gives adult stem cell research a chance by Thomas Peters at American Papist

Study Finds Casual Sex is Emotionally Harmful to Women at LifeSiteNews

Black Pro-Life Advocates Hope Candidates Refuse Planned Parenthood Funds

HLI: Why a Pledge on Humanae Vitae?

To [Christian married couples] the Lord entrusts the task of making visible to men the holiness and sweetness of the law which unites the mutual love of husband and wife with their cooperation with the love of God the author of human life. [Pope Paul VI, Humanae vitae, ¶25].

It may seem odd to take a pledge to do what we are supposed to do anyway - follow the teachings of the Church. By our baptism and confirmation we are already vowed, at least implicitly, to do so. But we are living under special circumstances in a secular society where many Catholics have, knowingly or unknowingly supplanted their faith with another code by which they live, deeming it more "realistic." But nothing is more realistic or "practical" than eternal salvation and living this life in accord with God's designs.

So why do we pledge to assent to something as beautiful as God's natural designs? Something, which in a less darkened world that ought to go without saying? For two reasons, at least:

First, as an act of reparation for forty years of public dissent that led so many people astray by treating this ignorance of our Church as some kind of "enlightenment" or "liberation."

Second as an act of witness and assent to counter the anti-witness of this dissent, which brought so much incalculable damage to our Church and world, and indeed the witness of the Church. We stand up as confessors of the Faith. In the ancient Church, after the great martyrdoms ceased, those who stood for the Faith in a hostile climate were known as confessors of the Faith.In taking this pledge we stand with the martyrs and confessors of the past in giving public witness not only to the Truth of our Church but her beauty.

Human Life International has an ongoing campaign of collecting this Pledge from clergy members and seminarians. This week we announce and offer a similar pledge to members of the lay faithful.To sign the Pledge electronically, click here. To download a pdf copy of the Pledge to sign and distribute to others to sign please go here. [Laity Pledge in PDF]

We recommend pastors include it as a bulletin insert and lay people distribute it among friends and family.

Sincerely Yours in Christ,
Rev. Thomas J. Euteneuer,
President, Human Life International

Sebelius Calls VP Talk Flattering

Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius said suggestions that she could be Barack Obama's running mate are "flattering and a little surreal.'' But she isn't saying whether she would accept.

Sebelius is one of several people whose names have been floated as possible vice presidential candidates for Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee.

Former Sens. John Edwards and Sam Nunn have also been mentioned.

Sebelius, co-chairwoman of the Democratic National Convention, made her comments Thursday on a visit to Denver, where the convention will be held Aug. 25-28.

Via Kake News.

Related Posts:

Governor Sebelius Fabricates Story to Cover for Tiller Party

Governor Sebelius' Response to Secret Tiller Party Called Laughable by OR

Corruption in KS under Governor Kathleen Sebelius Revealed at Last!

Kansas City's Archbishop Naumann on Governor Kathleen Sebelius

Governor Sebelius continues to protect Tiller by vetoing CARA

Late - Term Abortionist George Tiller's Governor: Kathleen Sebelius

Kansas City Archbishop Naumann Speaks out on Governor Kathleen Sebelius and Abortion

Saint of the Day: St. Jose Maria Escriva

You can read his biography here.

A Few of My Favorite Quotes:

"You go to pray; to become a bonfire, a living flame, giving light and heat."

"We are children of God, bearers of the only flame that can light up the paths of the earth for souls, of the only brightness which can never be darkened, dimmed or overshadowed. The Lord uses us as torches, to make that light shine out. Much depends on us; if we respond many people will remain in darkness no longer, but will walk instead along paths that lead to eternal life."

"No Christian married couple can want to block the well-springs of life. For their love is based on the love of Christ, which entails dedication and sacrifice. . . Moreover, as Tobias reminded Sara, a husband and wife know that 'we are children of saints, and we cannot come together in the way of the gentiles, who do not know God.'"

"...to live the virtue of chastity, one doesn´t have to wait until they are old, or without strength. Purity is born of love, and for a pure/clean love the robustness and joy of youth aren´t obstacles..."

"Whoever gives himself to work for Christ cannot expect to have a free moment, for even to rest is not to do nothing: it is to relax with activities that require less effort."

"We live poverty by filling the hours of the day usefully, doing everything as well as we can, and living little details of order, punctuality and good humor."

~ St. Jose Maria Escriva

Conference to discuss promotion of human life and dignity in the 'New Evangelization'

Pro-life leaders will join physicians, ethicists and experts in family life and social justice issues for a July convocation in Camden, New Jersey to discuss new ways to promote human life and dignity.

A press release for the convocation, which is titled "Life, Justice & Family: Partners in the New Evangelization," says the meeting will "take up John Paul II's call for creativity and deeper unity in crafting a 'new evangelization' — new in ardor, methods and expression."

The three-day convocation, which is open to the public, will begin on July 28, 2008, the fortieth anniversary of Pope Paul VI's encyclical "Humanae Vitae."

Plenary sessions at the convocation, which is the first national gathering of its kind, will explore human rights, the environment, bioethics, family life, and the relationships between science, technology, and religion.

Speakers include Bishop Joseph A. Galante of the Diocese of Camden, Bishop William E. Lori of the Diocese of Bridgeport, Helen Alvaré, J.D., associate professor at George Mason University School of Law, John Brehany, Ph.D., S.T.L., executive director of the Catholic Medical Association, and Fr. Tadeusz Pacholczyk, Ph.D., from the National Catholic Bioethics Center.

Carl A. Anderson, Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus, will also speak at the conference.
Prayer will be integrated throughout the convocation, with Masses celebrated by Cardinal Justin Regali, Archbishop of Philadelphia and chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Pro-life Activities and Bishop Joseph Galante of Camden, among others.

The convocation is co-sponsored by the Knights of Columbus, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, the Diocese of Camden, and the USCCB Pro-Life Secretariat.

Registration information is available at www.usccb.org/prolife.

Source

Will New KSBHA Director Be Another Abortion Industry Shill?

A new executive director has been appointed to the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts to replace Larry Buening, who resigned amid criticism of Board foot-dragging on processing complaints against physicians.

Jack Confer, Executive Director of the Arizona Board of Osteopathy, will assume his duties with the KSBHA on July 14. Confer will serve on an interim basis pending confirmation by the State Senate.

"The Board, under Buening's leadership, did not do its job of protecting patients, especially from exploitation by shoddy abortionists," said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman, who often called for Buening's resignation. "Confer certainly has his work cut out for him if he is to restore public confidence in the Board's ability to protect the public. He can start by leaving any political posturing at home. He must look at the complaints on their merits, not on what will please Gov. Sebelius."

"There are currently four complaints pending against abortionist George Tiller, one dating back to 2006," said Operation Rescue Senior Policy Advisor Cheryl Sullenger. "In fact, the basis of that 2006 complaint involved allegations that Tiller committed illegal abortions by violating the second unaffiliated physician requirement in Kansas law, something with which he has since been criminally charged. Yet, Tiller continues to operate without restriction. This is putting viable babies who should have legal protection at grave risk."

In addition, Sullenger recently filed a complaint against Tiller and his employee, abortionist Shelley Sella, who is alleged by an eyewitness to have stabbed to death a 35-week old baby that was born alive during an abortion.

"The extreme seriousness of the allegations against Tiller demand swift action in the interest of public safety," said Sullenger.

"We call Mr. Confer to make it his first priority, upon assuming his new position, to do his duty to protect the most innocent and vulnerable among us by immediately closing Tiller's abortion mill and suspending the medical licenses of Tiller and Sella," said Newman. "We certainly will not hesitate to voice our opinion during the Senate confirmation process, if it appears that Confer is just another abortion industry shill."

Via Operation Rescue.

Infertility Resources

Church Documents

Donum Vitae (The Gift of Life), Instruction on Respect for Human Life in its Origin and on the Dignity of Procreation: Replies to Certain Questions of the Day, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

Reproductive Technology (Evaluation & Treatment of Infertility) Guidelines for Catholic Couples , USCCB

Pope Paul VI Institute Press

In Their Own Words: Women Healed - This book is filled with the testimonies of 50 women (and their husbands) whose lives have been enriched by the medical care, education and research efforts of Pope Paul VI Institute for the Study of Human Reproduction. The anecdotes draw the reader into the lives of women and men who have received help through the Creighton Model FertilityCare System and NaProTECHNOLOGY.

The Medical and Surgical Practice of NaProTECHNOLOGY
Reproductive Anatomy & Physiology: A Primer for FertilityCare Professionals
Brochures

Download a version of our brochure to distribute. All our brochures are done in Microsoft Word to enable you to modify it to better represent your area.

Color brochure

Black/White brochure


Links

From Spirit Catholic Radio audio shows with Dr. Thomas Hilgers, founder of the Pope Paul VI Institute for The Study of Human Reproduction.

Agents of Change, A Catholic World Report feature story about the Pope Paul VI Institute and one couple's journey from IVF to NaProTECHNOLOGY. A must read!

The World Over, an EWTN radio show featuring a Raymond Arroyo interview of Dr. Thomas Hilgers, MD and founder of the Pope Paul VI Institute (scroll down to #52 for the correct program)

A Zenit Daily Dispatch interview with Dr. Thomas Hilgers of the Pope Paul VI

InstituteNaProTECHNOLOGY DVD and News Release from Saint Max Worldwide

In vitro fertilization undermines human dignity, American Life League

Artificial fertilization and the Christian response, Chris Kahlenborn, M.D.

Frozen embryo adoptions, American Life League

Where Do Frozen embryos Belong?, Thought provoking article on frozen embryo adoption

In vitro fertilization undermines human dignity, American Life League

Artificial fertilization and the Christian response, Chris Kahlenborn, M.D.

Frozen embryo adoptions, American Life League

Blogs

All You Who Hope

... and not by sight

This Cross I Embrace

The Apostolate of Hannah's Tears


Prayers, Infertility in Scripture

Source

Healing Prayers for Infertility

For many couples, getting pregnant and preparing to welcome a child into the world is a joyous experience. But if you are among the the millions who struggle with infertility, you might find yourself instead in a dizzying monthly cycle of careful planning, nervous anticipation, and wrenching disappointment at not having conceived. Prayer can be a refuge as you cope with the stress and depression that often accompany the journey through infertility. Knowing that you are in the company of biblical heroines including Sarah, Rebecca, Hannah, and Elizabeth, let the healing power of these 10 prayers soothe your worried mind, strengthen your faith, and renew your hope.

St. David's Infertility Prayer

Thank you, Lord, for all the blessings in my life. Help me to remember them as I face the challenges of infertility. I pray that I can surrender myself into your hands. Let me accept the reality of this situation and have the wisdom and courage to take action where I can. Strengthen my body, mind and spirit to endure the trials of infertility. Keep me ever mindful of the needs of others and grant us your peace. Amen.

Source

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Miracle of Life




Life begins at conception, which is when parenting begins for both the mother and father. Destroying a human life at any stage of development is murder.

To find a crisis pregnancy center, go here. If you have had an abortion and need help, go here.

Poll - What will it take to end abortion in America?


Poll - What will it take to end abortion in America?

Saint of the Day: St. William of Vercelli, Abbot


Saint William of Monte Vergine was born in Vercelli, Italy in 1085. He lost his father and mother in his infancy and was raised by a relative. At age fifteen, he made a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, Spain. When he returned, he became a hermit in Naples and lived there in an uninhabited mountain.

After a miracle was obtained by his prayers, he was discovered and his contemplation interrupted, so he decided to move to another mountain, where he built a beautiful church in honor of Our Lady. His holiness attracted many followers and, in 1119, he established the Congregation of Monte Vergine, or Mount of the Virgin. These sons of Our Lady lived in great poverty. Saint William founded several more monasteries, both for men and women, in various places in the kingdom of Naples. He assisted the king of Naples in practicing all the Christian virtues of a worthy sovereign, and in gratitude, the king had a house of the Order built at Salerno directly across from his palace, to have him near for spiritual advice.

When Saint William died on the June 25, 1142, he had not yet written a Rule for his religious; his second successor, Robert, fearing the dissolution of a community without constitutions, placed them under that of Saint Benedict, and is regarded as the first abbot of the Benedictine Congregation of Monte-Vergine. Although his other foundations did not survive, the monastery at Monte Vergine still exists today.

Quote of the Day: St. John Chrysostom


"Those who wage war against the truth are powerless to win; rather they wound themselves, like those who kick against spikes. "

~ St. John Chrysostom

Dr. Dobson Rips Obama For Deliberately Distorting the Bible




From the AP:

As Barack Obama broadens his outreach to evangelical voters, one of the movement's biggest names, James Dobson, accuses the likely Democratic presidential nominee of distorting the Bible and pushing a "fruitcake interpretation" of the Constitution.

The criticism was aired on Dobson's Focus on the Family show.

From CNA:

As Dobson kicked off the radio segment, he explained that it was being paid for by Focus on the Family’s Action, an affiliate whose donations are taxed, so it is able to address political issues.

After discussing the number of Christians that make up the America’s population, Obama said, "Even if we did have only Christians in our midst, if we expelled every non-Christian from the United States of America, whose Christianity would we teach in the schools?" Obama said. “Would we go with James Dobson's or Al Sharpton's?" referring to the controversial civil rights advocate.

Another passage of the discourse that Dobson took issue with involved Obama’s questioning of how Christianity and the Bible should guide public policy.

“Which passages of Scripture should guide our public policy? Should we go with Leviticus,” which Obama said suggests slavery is OK and eating shellfish is an abomination. “Or should we just stick to the Sermon on the Mount?—a passage that is so radical that it's doubtful that our own Defense Department would survive its application."

“So before we get carried away, let’s start reading our Bibles now. Folks haven't been reading their Bibles," Obama said.

Both radio show hosts were upset that Obama seemed to be intentionally fusing the teachings of the Old Testament with Jesus' teachings in the New Testament, contrary to the Christian belief that many of the Old Testament laws and practices were rendered obsolete by Jesus’ teachings.

“I think he's deliberately distorting the traditional understanding of the Bible to fit his own worldview, his own confused theology," Dobson said.

“He is vastly confused about the details of biblical exposition; that he’s painting himself in this highly religious aura,” Minnery added. “And then says go read the Bible, as if he’s some kind of biblical authority,” Dobson interjected.

Dobson also pointed to another comment Obama made, which Dobson says means the presidential contender believes, “it is anti-democratic to believe or fight for moral principals from the Bible that are not supported by people of all faiths.”

In the audio clip, Sen. Obama says, “Democracy demands that the religiously motivated translate their concern into universal, rather than religion-specific values. What do I mean by this? It requires that their proposals be subject to argument and amenable to reason. …”

According to Dobson, this means that “I can’t seek to pass legislation that bans partial-birth abortion because there are people in the culture who don’t see that as a moral issue. And if I can’t get everyone to agree with me, it is undemocratic to try to pass legislation that I find offensive to the Scripture. Now that is a fruitcake interpretation of the Constitution. … We don’t have to go to the lowest common denominator of morality, which is what he’s suggesting.”

"Am I required in a democracy to conform my efforts in the political arena to his bloody notion of what is right with regard to the lives of tiny babies?" Dobson said. “What he's trying to say here is unless everybody agrees, we have no right to fight for what we believe."

Joshua DuBois, director of religious affairs for Obama's campaign, reacted to the criticism by saying that a full reading of Obama's speech shows he is committed to reaching out to people of faith and standing up for families. "Obama is proud to have the support of millions of Americans of faith and looks forward to working across religious lines to bring our country together," DuBois said.

Dr. Dobson is in a unique position since he previously stated that he could not in good conscience vote for McCain. His main concern about the Republican contender is that he is not a true conservative. Dobson has said he will vote in November but has suggested he might not vote for president.

Obama has been mobilizing religious leaders lately, including conservative evangelicals. His campaign has plans for thousands of "American Values House Parties," where participants discuss Obama and religion, as well as a presence on Christian radio and blogs. The radio show can be accessed here.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

For Parents of Autistic Kids

Great Posts:

Raising a Child With Autism: The Basics at Beliefnet

Autism at Simply Catholic

Autism: The Musical at Wheelie Catholic

Ask Dr. Sears: Coping With Asperger Syndrome

The Autism Gap by Gail Robinson June 2008

Can Higher Expectations Improve Outcomes for Kids with Autism? June 24, 2008

Autism Resources:

AutismLink - Support and Information for Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism, PDD, Hyperlexia, Asperger's: treatment, therapy, special education

Autism Online

Autism For Parents: Blogs by parents

Autism FreeZone

Autism Research Institute

Autism Society of America

Autism Solution Center

Autism United - Fighting Autism Together

Defeat Autism Now!

The National Autism Association

US Autism and Asperger Association

Catholic Carnival 178

This week's Catholic Carnival is up at Ebeth's A Catholic Mom Climbing the Pillars.

Here are a few of my favorite posts there:

Sarah's book review of In This House of Brede.

Matthew's "Preparing for the nativity of St. John the Baptist."

Jay's "Pro-life Pharmacies" at Living Catholicism.

Leticia's Disabled Teach us About the Eucharist.

Be sure to check out all the great posts at this week's Catholic Carnival. Thanks, Ebeth!

Shocking Eyewitness Confession: Live Infant Stabbed To Death By Tiller Abortionist Shelley Sella

Operation Rescue calls for immediate suspension of Sella’s medical license and for an emergency closure of Tiller’s late-term abortion mill in light of this shocking audio-taped admission.

Wichita, KS – A murder investigation has been opened involving Shelley Sella, a California abortionist employed by George Tiller, who is reported to have intentionally stabbed to death an infant born alive during an abortion at Tiller’s Women’s Health Care Services abortion clinic in Wichita, Kansas.

Listen to the interview excerpt (1 min. 38 sec.)

On the advice of an attorney, Operation Rescue reported the incident to the Wichita Police Department after a former Tiller employee, Tina Davis, told Troy Newman and Cheryl Sullenger of the stabbing in April. It is believed that the alleged infanticide took place sometime in the past two years.

In addition, the incident has been reported to the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts, which has confirmed that the case has been assigned to an investigator.

Ms. Davis is a Licensed Practical Nurse, and was the only licensed medical person in Tiller’s employment at that time, except for his three out-of-state abortionists, who work at WHCS on a three-week rotating schedule.

Abortionist Shelley Sella is a “circuit rider” who splits her time between Tiller’s Wichita clinic, a California Planned Parenthood clinic, and other, smaller abortion mills.

“Ms. Davis gave us a very specific eye-witness account about the incident,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “We were told that the baby was 35 weeks gestation at the time of the abortion. The baby came out and was moving. Sella looked up at Ms. Davis, then picked up a utensil and stabbed the baby in the left ribcage, twisting the utensil until the baby quit moving. At 35 weeks, there is no doubt about viability. This is murder in anybody’s book.”

Ms. Davis could not explain why the baby was born alive since abortions that late in the pregnancy usually begin with a fatal injection into the baby’s heart. However, Operation Rescue has been told by former abortion patients that sometimes the first injection is not always successful. (Read how these abortions are done.)

In fact, Sella was involved in the abortion of Michelle Armesto-Berge, who testified before a Kansas legislative committee last September of her horrific late-term abortion experience at WHCS. According to her medical records, which she released to Operation Rescue, Armesto-Berge received the digoxin injection at the beginning of her abortion process, and was forced to receive a second injection by Sella when it was discoverd that her baby was still alive the following day.

“The digoxin injection into the baby’s heart is a difficult and risky procedure,” said Newman. “Sella doesn’t appear to be very good at it.”

Ms. Davis also told Operation Rescue that on four occasions of which she was aware, women received the digoxin injection into their babies’ hearts, and were sent home to their primary physician for “delivery of the stillborn.”

“This practice has extreme risks, because the women, who come from all over the Western Hemisphere, could go into labor or experience a number of other dangerous complications before they are able to get to their own doctors,” said Newman. “It is shocking that this is allowed.”

“We understand there are unique challenges to getting charges filed in this case since the body would have been cremated at Tiller’s on-site crematorium. Without a body, any murder case becomes more difficult,” said Newman. “However, because of the brutality of this murder and the gravity of this charge, we are compelled to demand that Tiller’s clinic be closed by the State until a full inspection and investigation can take place, and that the medical licenses of Sella and her boss, Tiller, be immediately suspended.”

“We also understand that because Ms. Davis’ employment at WHCS was terminated, that damages her credibility,” Newman continued. “But we have every reason to believe that the story she told us was true. We have been able to confirm many of the other things she told us. Ms. Davis came forward because she was troubled by what went on at the abortion clinic, and was seeking peace. We pray she finds it. ”

In March, 2008, Students for Life in America released an undercover video where Tiller told them that if a baby is born alive during an abortion, “It’s just sloppy technique. It is just technique that is reprehensible.” He added, “The guy that did that ought to have his head beat up.”

Listen to the interview excerpt (1 min. 38 sec.)Read the transcript

Via Operation Rescue.

Personal Comment:

I was doing sidewalk counseling and praying at Tiller's while this particular abortionist was there. She flies in from California to perform murder at Tiller's then flies back home to her lesbian partner. She has quite a reputation, but I wasn't aware of this incident until today. I remember being out there and smelling burning flesh from Tiller's crematorium and feeling like I was at Auschwitz.

Yes, Obama voted twice, as a state senator, against the “Born Alive Infants Protection Act.” As an IL resident at the time, I wrote him about this -- it's funny-- but he never once replied to any of my correspondence. Even culture of death Dick Durbin took the time to provide lame excuses for voting the way he did. But not Obama! Obama also voted for partial - birth abortion. Under his administration, murders like this could become legal and commonplace.

Listen to Troy Newman Live

Operation Rescue President Troy Newman will be the guest today at 1:30 (CDT) on Janet Folger's radio show, Faith2Action. The topic will be the recent arrest of Bertha Bugarin, the Southern California abortion mill owner who faces a total of 28 felony charges of committing abortion without a license. You can listen at faith2action.org.

Troy will also be Dick Bott's guest on "The Complete Story," which airs at 2:00 pm Wednesday, June 25, 2008, across the Bott Radio Network. They will be discussing the Bugarin arrests, the breaking story of infanticide at George Tiller's abortion clinic, and the Planned Parenthood criminal case. For stations in your area, visit bottradionetwork.com.
Please tune in and hear the latest pro-life news!

Via Operation Rescue.

The Birth of Saint John the Baptist

The Birth of St. John the Baptist
1540's
Oil on canvas, 181 x 266 cm
The Hermitage, St. Petersburg

Jesus called John the greatest of all those who had preceded him: “I tell you, among those born of women, no one is greater than John....” But John would have agreed completely with what Jesus added: “[Y]et the least in the kingdom of God is greater than he” (Luke 7:28).

John spent his time in the desert, an ascetic. He began to announce the coming of the Kingdom, and to call everyone to a fundamental reformation of life.

His purpose was to prepare the way for Jesus. His Baptism, he said, was for repentance. But One would come who would baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire. John is not worthy even to carry his sandals. His attitude toward Jesus was: “He must increase; I must decrease” (John 3:30)
.
John was humbled to find among the crowd of sinners who came to be baptized the one whom he already knew to be the Messiah. “I need to be baptized by you” (Matthew 3:14b). But Jesus insisted, “Allow it now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness” (Matthew 3:15b). Jesus, true and humble human as well as eternal God, was eager to do what was required of any good Jew. John thus publicly entered the community of those awaiting the Messiah. But making himself part of that community, he made it truly messianic.

The greatness of John, his pivotal place in the history of salvation, is seen in the great emphasis Luke gives to the announcement of his birth and the event itself—both made prominently parallel to the same occurrences in the life of Jesus. John attracted countless people (“all Judea”) to the banks of the Jordan, and it occurred to some people that he might be the Messiah. But he constantly deferred to Jesus, even to sending away some of his followers to become the first disciples of Jesus.

Perhaps John’s idea of the coming of the Kingdom of God was not being perfectly fulfilled in the public ministry of Jesus. For whatever reason, he sent his disciples (when he was in prison) to ask Jesus if he was the Messiah. Jesus’ answer showed that the Messiah was to be a figure like that of the Suffering Servant in Isaiah. John himself would share in the pattern of messianic suffering, losing his life to the revenge of Herodias.

"And you, child, will be called prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways" (Lk 1,76)

Rightly, then, did the birth of this child make many rejoice then and does make many rejoice today: born in the old age of his parents he was to preach the grace of rebirth to an aging world. Rightly does the Church solemnly venerate this birth, which is wonderfully brought about by grace and at which nature wonders. To me certainly the birth of the world's Lamp (Jn 5,35) brings fresh joy, for it enabled me to recognize the true Light shining in the darkness but not mastered by the darkness, (Jn1,5.9). His birth brings me a joy utterly unspeakable, for so many outstanding benefits accrue to the world through it. He is the first to give the Church instruction, to initiate it by penance, to prepare it by baptism. When it is prepared he delivers it to Christ and unites it with him, (Jn 3,29). He both trains it to live temperately and, by his own death, gives it the strength to die with fortitude. In all these ways he prepares for the Lord a perfect people, (Lk 1,17).

~Blessed Guerric of Igny (c.1080-1157), Cistercian abbot, Sermon 1 for Saint John the Baptist, §4 (©Cistercian publications)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Planned Parenthood Hits Suburbia

Abortion Provider Goes Upscale; Aid For Poor Questioned


By STEPHANIE SIMON

Flush with cash, Planned Parenthood affiliates nationwide are aggressively expanding their reach, seeking to woo more affluent patients with a network of suburban clinics and huge new health centers that project a decidedly upscale image.

The nonprofit, which traces its roots to 1916, has long focused on providing birth control, sexual-health care and abortions to teens and low-income women. While those groups still make up the majority of Planned Parenthood's patients, executives say they are "rebranding" their clinics to appeal to women of means -- a move that opens new avenues for boosting revenue and, they hope, political clout.

Two elegant new health centers have been built, and at least five more are on the way; the largest, in Houston, will be 75,000 square feet. They feature touches such as muted lighting, hardwood floors and airy waiting rooms in colors selected by marketing experts -- as well as walls designed to withstand a car's impact should an antiabortion protest turn violent. MORE

Source: The Wall Street Journal

AMA vs. Pro-life Pharmacies



This report is on the latest statement from the AMA, who is attacking pharmacists for refusing to dispense abortive and contraceptive drugs. Interesting how the "pro-choice" crowd is pro-"Choice," just as long as you choose abortion and contraception. But if you want to "choose" to go along with your conscience ... well, too bad, so sad.

Saint of the Day: St. John Fisher, Bishop and Martyr


John Fisher was born at Beverly, Yorkshire, England in 1469. He was chaplain to the mother of Henry VIII and chancellor of Cambridge University before being elevated to the bishopric of Rochester in 1504. He counted Thomas More among his friends. John Fisher and his friend Saint Thomas More gave up their lives in testimony to the unity of the Church and to the indissolubility of marriage. John Fisher opposed the divorce between Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon and the constitution of the so-called Anglican Church. Because he refused to swear an oath affirming the supremacy of the king as Supreme Head of the church of England, he was imprisoned in the Tower of London. There he received the title of Cardinal granted him by Pope Paul III. He was condemned to death by torture, but this penalty was changed to beheading because the 66-year-old Cardinal was ill and too weak to endure torture. He was martyred on June 22, 1535 and buried in the churchyard of All Hallows, Barking, without rites or a shroud. His head was exhibited on London Bridge for two weeks as an example, then thrown into the River Thames. His relics are kept in Saint Peter's Church in the Tower of London. He was beatified in 1888 and canonized in 1935 by Pope Pius XI.

Quote:

"I condemn no other man’s conscience: their conscience may save them, and mine must save me. We should remember, in all the controversies in which we engage, to treat our opponents as if they were acting in good faith, even if they seem to us to be acting out of spite or self-interest."

~ Saint John Fisher

The Prodigal Son

This is a beautiful video on the Prodigal Son, based on a homily by Pope Benedict to a group of youth in a juvenile detention center in Rome on March 18, 2007. It is narrated and set to music with classic religious art.

Dr Mark Miravalle - Mary: Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix, & Advocate



Working off the foundation he laid last week from the Fathers of the Church and the Old Testament, Dr. Mark now enters the New Testament to outline the biblical basis of Mary's title, Advocate. He goes over the visitation of Mary to St. Elizabeth, the feast at Cana and Revelation 12, the Woman Clothed with the Sun and so shows that Mary is the New Ark of the Covenant. and the New Queen Mother.

The Holy Father Pledges "Special Prayer" for Phillipine Ferry Victims

The Holy Father pledged Sunday to say a "special prayer to God" after a typhoon-stricken ferry sank with more than 700 people on board in the Philippines, a mainly Roman Catholic nation.

"It is with deep emotion that I learn this morning of the sinking in the Philippines of a ferry hit by Typhoon Fengshen (Philippine codename: Frank)," the pope said after reciting the Angelus prayer following his Sunday mass at the Vatican.

Expressing "spiritual closeness" with islanders living in the typhoon's path, he said he would be making "a special prayer to God for the victims of a new tragedy at sea, in which it appears many children were involved".

The M/V Princess of the Stars listed and sank in just 15 terrifying minutes Saturday in the typhoon-battered seas of the central Philippines, leaving only four survivors so far.

Pope Benedict was invited to visit the Philippines, where eight out of 10 people are Roman Catholics, by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo last year. The last papal visit to the southeast Asian nation was by the late John Paul II in 1995.

Source

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Atlanta Eucharistic Congress

Steve Ray's Blog: Atlanta Eucharistic Congress Video, Part I & 2

Maior autem his est caritas: The Eucharistic Congress

Fox News, Atlanta: Thousands of Atlanta Catholics Gather in Celebration

DailyIndia.Com: Eucharistic Congress draws 30,000 people

You're Gonna Love This One!


A Miracle!



These are some photos of our neighbor's vehicle the day after a thunderstorm split the tree in their front yard, which came toppling down on their SUV. Would you believe their vehicle didn't even have a scratch on it? Now I call that a miracle!

I've Had Enough, Lord!

Do you ever feel like “OK, God, I can deal with what I have on my plate right now, but please don’t give me any more? I’m stretched to my limits.”

This is the way I was feeling this past week with a number of pressing work activities from both of my businesses scheduled and our budget having gone a little askew due to some unexpected, but necessary expenses. Then, Friday, when we were looking forward to getting my husband’s paycheck and perhaps celebrating with an inexpensive meal out to relax from all the stresses of the past week, the call came while I was just beginning my weekly errands.

“Your husband’s been in an accident at work. The ambulance is taking him to the emergency room.”

Since the hospital he was taken to is located in a part of the city that I am completely unfamiliar with, I had no idea of how to get there. I asked someone for directions, but you have to understand that I am directionally challenged and even when I get directions from others, I still have a tendency to get lost. Here I was lost and running on fumes, so I stopped to ask a car dealer where the nearest gas station was and also for directions to the hospital. The gas station was located just a few blocks away in a bad part of town, but I desperately needed gas. I remembered my guardian angel was with me to protect me and said a little prayer. The gas was pre-pay, and when I went to put in my debit card, the machine swallowed my card, and wouldn’t give it back. I began praying and finally was able to yank the card out. I pulled around to another island and the same thing happened. Finally, I went inside and was able to purchase $10 worth of gas with my credit card (The price of gas at this station was exceptionally high, so I decided to get more later at my usual discount station on the “safe” side of town.)

I called the owner of the company my husband works for who had accompanied my husband to the emergency room and he verbally guided me (street by street) to the hospital over the phone and met me at the entrance. He led me to a private room where Bill was lying in a small bed, his legs dangling over the edge. Both of his arms were elevated – the left wrist was obviously broken and the rest of his arm was badly bruised; his right hand was bruised, scraped, bleeding, and swollen. He was waiting to be x-rayed and treated. The x-ray technicians came on six separate occasions to x-ray both hands. He was also seen by a nurse practitioner, two doctors, and a nurse in the course of the seven hours we spent there. He was injected with a narcotic to alleviate the pain. After two of his fingers were squeezed into Chinese finger cuffs, and his left arm stretched, using a five pound weight, he had two splints put on his arm. (The first one was less than perfect and needed to be redone.) The doctor warned him this part would be very painful. As the procedure began, Bill winced and groaned in a low tone, and then, I heard him say in almost a whisper, “Even John Wayne got a bullet.” That’s when we all burst out laughing. Yes, that’s right – even the macho man John Wayne got a bullet to bite when they performed surgery on him in the movies.

For at least the next few weeks, Bill will be dependent on me to assist him in many of the activities that he normally does on his own each day. It’s not easy – depending on others in this way – but it is sometimes necessary. In the same way, it’s not easy surrendering to God – letting Him take care of the things in our lives which seem to overwhelm us. But, we need to put our trust in Him each day, relying on His strength and the power of His love when we face these challenges. Prayer, a sense of humor, and the power of His love will help us get through each and every trial that comes our way in this life.

As a 1930's Wife ...

90

As a 1930s wife, I am
Very Superior

Take the test!



Via Esther.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

St. Aloysius Gonzaga, Patron Saint of Teenagers


The people who mass-produce statues and holy cards have done St. Aloysius Gonzaga no favors. The standard image of the saint as a frail, doe-eyed novice has given us the wrong impression. It may even be responsible for the decline in devotion to St. Aloysius. Yet Aloysius deserves a revival, especially as the patron saint of teenagers.

The time and place where he grew up — 16th-century Italy — is not very different from 21st century America. It was a lax, morally careless, self-indulgent age. Aloysius saw the decadence around him and vowed not to be part of it. He did not, however, become a kill-joy. Like any teenage boy, he wanted to have a good time, and as a member of an aristocratic family he had plenty of opportunities for amusement. He enjoyed horse races, banquets and the elaborate parties held in palace gardens. But if Aloysius found himself at a social function that took a turn to the lascivious, he left.

Aloysius did not just want to be good, he wanted to be holy; and on this point he could be tough and uncompromising. He came by these qualities naturally: among the great families of Renaissance Italy, the Medici were famous as patrons of the arts, and the Borgias as schemers, but the Gonzagas were a warrior clan. While most Gonzaga men aspired to conquer others, Aloysius was determined to conquer himself.

Aloysius wanted to be a priest. When he was 12 or 13, he invented for himself a program he thought would prepare him for the religious life. He climbed out of bed in the middle of the night to put in extra hours kneeling on the cold stone floor of his room. Occasionally, he even beat himself with a leather dog leash. Aloysius was trying to become a saint by sheer willpower. It was not until he entered the Jesuit novitiate in Rome that he had a spiritual director — St. Robert Bellarmine — to guide him. Bellarmine put a stop to Aloysius’ boot camp approach to sanctity, commanding him to follow the Jesuit rule of regular hours of prayer and simple acts of self-control and self-denial. Aloysius thought the Jesuits were too lenient, but he obeyed. Such over-the-top zeal may have exasperated Bellarmine, but he believed that Aloysius’ fervor was genuine and that with proper guidance the boy might be a saint.

To his credit, Aloysius recognized that his bullheadedness was a problem. From the novitiate he wrote to his brother, "I am a piece of twisted iron. I entered the religious life to get twisted straight."Then, in January 1591, the plague struck Rome. With the city’s hospitals overflowing with the sick and the dying, the Jesuits sent every priest and novice to work in the wards. This was a difficult assignment for the squeamish Aloysius. Once he started working with the sick, however, fear and disgust gave way to compassion. He went into the streets of Rome and carried the ill and the dying to the hospital on his back. There he washed them, found them a bed, or at least a pallet, and fed them. Such close contact with the sick was risky. Within a few weeks, Aloysius contracted the plague himself and died. He was 23 years old.

In the sick, the helpless, the dying, St. Aloysius saw the crucified Christ. The man of the iron will who thought he could take Heaven by sheer determination surrendered at last to divine grace.

~ Excerpted from Saints for Every Occasion, Thomas J. Craughwell.

Patron

AIDS care-givers; AIDS patients; Catholic youth; Jesuit students; relief from pestilence; sore eyes; teenage children; teenagers; young people; youth.

Symbols

cross or crucifix; lilies; crown at his feet; rosary; Often portrayed as a Jesuit with a cross, lily, and skull

Quote

"There is no more evident sign that anyone is a saint and of the number of the elect, than to see him leading a good life and at the same time a prey to desolation, suffering, and trials."

Prayer of Self-Commendation to Mary

O Holy Mary, my Lady, into your blessed trust and safe keeping and into the depths of your mercy, I commend my soul and body this day, every day of my life, and at the hour of my death. To you I entrust all my hopes and consolations, all my trials and miseries, my life and the end of my life. By your most holy intercession and by your merits, may all my actions be directed and disposed according to your will and the Will of your divine Son. Amen.

~ Saint Aloysius Gonzaga