Thursday, July 31, 2008

TAKE ACTION: PJ MYERS IN THE CLEAR

I haven't blogged on the PJ Myers case because the whole thing has sickened me to the max. I have however, linked to The Curt Jester and Jimmy Akin who have done a great job of reporting on the willful and violent desecration of the Holy Eucharist by this bigoted Professor at University of Minnesota. However, I believe I would be neglectful in my duties if I didn't say something about this unholy event. PJ Myers is obviously an attention-seeking individual who enjoys doing hurtful things to God and to others, especially Catholics. He is a spiritually and psychologically sick individual, who in his own words says, "Nothing must be held sacred." (This man is in desperate need of prayer! And I have been praying for him!) I wonder which religious group he will intentionally hurt next?

On another level, he has openly discriminated against and harassed Catholics for no other reason than he doesn't agree with the most sacred and fundamental belief of our faith -- that Jesus is truly present in the Holy Eucharist. He has taken that which is holy (that he shouldn't have had in the first place) and has treated it (Him) in the most vile manner possible. What gives Myers the right to do this?

To add injury to insult, on July 25, the University of Minnesota (UMN) at Morris issued a statement by its chancellor, Jacqueline Johnson, which began with the following paragraph: “I believe that behaviors that discriminate against or harass individuals or groups on the basis of their religious beliefs are reprehensible. The University of Minnesota Board of Regents Policy: [sic] Code of Conduct prohibits such behavior in the workplace—of course this includes the classroom—and I expect those who work and study here to comply with that policy.” She then proceeded to say that Professor Paul Z. Myers, who intentionally (and with malice) desecrated the Eucharist, was expressing his own views and not those of UMN.

That's it - no firing, no punishment of any sort for this outrageous behavior?

Catholic League president Bill Donohue issued a news release the same day, saying, “This is classic: Johnson admits Myers has violated the UMN’s Code of Conduct and then proceeds to tell us why he is being allowed to do so with impunity—it’s a matter of academic freedom.”

Discrimination and harrassment against Catholics is a matter of academic freedom? Immoral behavior and intentional desecration of the Holy Eucharist is a matter of academic freedom? Willful, intentional, violent acts are performed and the professor gets off scott-free?

Johnson faxed a letter to Donohue today saying she needed to address his “misunderstanding” of her statement. She makes it plain that because Myers posted his comments on his personal blog, he did not violate UMN’s Code of Conduct.

Donohue sent Johnson the following letter today:

“I am sorry for my generosity: I took it that the reason you began your statement of July 25 with a citation of UMN’s Code of Conduct as it applies to religious intolerance was your way of acknowledging Myers’ delinquency. I now stand corrected: Your comment was simply a ploy—a cute way of acknowledging that something was wrong, but certainly not anything that would demand your attention. And just so you don’t misunderstand me: You could have issued a statement saying that while UMN has no authority over what Myers says in his blog, it is morally indefensible for anyone to intentionally desecrate the Eucharist. But, no, you couldn’t even say that. Instead, you hide behind legalisms. We will let the Catholic community know of your decision.”

I agree with Jimmy Akin, this man must be fired!

To voice your opinion on this subject, contact the offices of the president and the chancellor:

President Robert H. Bruininks
202 Morrill Hall100 Church Street
S.E.University of Minnesota
Minneapolis, MN 55455
Via phone: 612-626-1616
Via fax: 612-625-3875
Via e-mail: upres@umn.edu

Chancellor Jacqueline Johnson
309 Behmler Hall
600 East 4th StreetMorris, MN 56267
320-589-6020
E-mail: grussing@morris.umn.edu

The Holy Father's Prayer Intentions for August

VATICAN CITY, 31 JUL 2008 (VIS) - Pope Benedict's general prayer intention for August is:

"That the human family may know how to respect God's design for the world and thus become ever more aware of the great gift of God which Creation represents for us".

His mission intention is: "That the answer of the entire people of God to the common vocation to sanctity and mission may be promoted and fostered, with careful discernment of the charisms and a constant commitment to spiritual and cultural formation".

St. Ignatius of Loyola: Brief Biography, Favorite Quotes, Prayers, and Works


St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus, was born in 1491 in the Basque Country of Northern Spain to parents of distinguished families in that area. He was the youngest of 13 children and was called was called Iñigo. At the age of 15, he served as a page in the court of a local nobleman and later embraced a military career and became a valiant soldier.

Wounded in battle by a cannonball, which broke one leg and injured the other, he was taken prisoner by the French, who set his leg and eventually allowed him to go home to Loyola. He spent his time recuperating at the home of his brother. Confined to his sick bed , he was given pious books to read, which he grudgingly accepted. To his surprise, he enjoyed them and began to dream of becoming a "knight for Christ", pursuing the ideals of St. Francis and St. Dominic. He eventually promised to devote his life to being a knight for St. Peter if he recovered, which he did after nine months of convalescence.

Ignatius noticed that after doing good deeds for the Lord, he felt peaceful -- which he termed as a "consolation", but when he thought of being a successful soldier or of impressing a beautiful woman where he had initially felt enthused, he later felt dry. Through this process of discernment, Ignatius was able to recognize that God was leading him to follow a path of service. Out of this experience he wrote his famous "Spiritual Exercises".

After traveling and studying in different schools, he finished in Paris, where he received his degree at the age of 43. Many initially hated St. Ignatius because of his humble and austere lifestyle. Despite this, he attracted many followers at the university, including St. Francis Xavier, and soon started his order, The Society of Jesus, or the Jesuits. He travelled to Europe and the Holy Land, then settled in Rome to direct the Jesuits. His health suffered in later years, and he was nearly blind at death. He died at the age of 65.

Favorite Quotes:
"If God causes you to suffer much, it is a sign that He has great designs for you, and that He certainly intends to make you a saint. And if you wish to become a great saint, entreat Him yourself to give you much opportunity for suffering; for there is no wood better to kindle the fire of holy love than the wood of the cross, which Christ used for His own great sacrifice of boundless charity."

"Few souls understand what God would accomplish in them if they were to abandon themselves unreservedly to Him and if they were to allow His grace to mold them accordingly."

~ Saint Ignatius of Loyola

Works of St. Ignatius Online:

Letter on Obedience
, by Saint Ignatius of Loyola

The Worldwide Rosary for Unborn Babies


The WORLDWIDE ROSARY FOR UNBORN BABIES prayer event is scheduled to take place on Saturday, October 18th, 2008.

Participants will pray the Rosary during the 9:00 a.m. hour for the following intention: For an end to the surgical and non-surgical killing of unborn babies. Because participants will be praying the Rosary during the 9:00 a.m. hour according to the particular time zone they are in, it is hoped that the earth will be circled with multiple waves of Rosaries within a 24-hour time period. (If a person needs to, he/she may pray the Rosary at another time on October 18th, 2008).

"This October 18th pro-life prayer event gives people throughout the world a great opportunity to unite in prayer for unborn babies," said Patrick Benedict, President of the Saint Michael the Archangel Organization, the organization that is coordinating the WORLDWIDE ROSARY FOR UNBORN BABIES prayer event. "

The primary way to stop the killing of unborn babies is by using spiritual weaponry. One of the greatest spiritual weapons is the Rosary, and I encourage everyone to pray the Rosary on October 18th for the unborn babies," concluded Benedict.

In addition to participating, people are also encouraged to promote the WORLDWIDE ROSARY FOR UNBORN BABIES prayer event.

The Saint Michael the Archangel Organization's website has a one page information sheet about the prayer event available in the following languages: English, Italian, Korean, Polish, and Spanish. (Translators are still needed for Chinese, German, Japanese, Latin, Portuguese, Russian, Tagalog, and Vietnamese. Any person willing to do a translation may write a letter or send an email to PatrickBenedict@rcin.net.)

A person without internet access who wants more information about the WORLDWIDE ROSARY FOR UNBORN BABIES prayer event may send a stamped, self-addressed envelope to: Saint Michael the Archangel Organization; P. O. Box 41257; Memphis, Tennessee 38174; United States of America.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Quotes on Abortion From a Former Abortionist

"We claimed that between five and ten thousand women a year died of botched abortions. The actual figure was closer to 200 to 300 and we also claimed that there were a million illegal abortions a year in the United States and the actual figure was close to 200,000. So, we were guilty of massive deception."

"One of the myths that was fed to the public through the media was that legalizing abortion would only mean that abortions taking place illegally, would be done legally. But in fact, abortion is now being used primarily as a method of birth control all over the world and in the USA. too."

~ Former Abortionist Bernard Nathanson, On July 9, 2008, in an interview with CFRB talk show host, Spider Jones

Catholic Carnival 183: A Treasure Chest of Goodies

This week's Catholic Carnival is up at Organ-ic Chemist and she did a great job of organizing the many posts there. This week has been a crazy one for me so I neglected to enter.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Marcel's post entitled Humanae Vitae and The Catholic Church, is an extensive discussion on Mary Eberstadt's article The Vindication of Humanae Vitae. He presents a very interesting and extensive discussion in his well-researched post.

Heidi at the Extraordinary Moms Network gave a list of posts she made on her other blog, Mommy Monsters Inc. which reflects what she considers to be the highlights of Humanae Vitae.

Heidi also posted a beautiful reflection at Behold Your Mother on St. Joseph and the sacrifices he may have made being the husband of Mary.

Elena at My Domestic Church reflects on the trials and tribulations of pregnancy and childbirth.

Jane at Building the Ark writes on how she managed to find God in the garbage.

There are many more great posts at the Catholic Carnival this week, so be sure to check them all out!

Carnival art print by Catherine Jones, at AllPosters.com via Organ-ic Chemist.

The Bragelina - fication of the Obamas

They look like an average American family, don't they? Just like you and me, right? NO WAY!

You couldn't pass a grocery store line this weekend without seeing the picture-perfect smiles of the Obama family. There were Barack Obama's young daughters (whose privacy their parents so sanctimoniously claim to want to protect) flashing their pearly whites on the cover of People magazine. Malia and Sasha competed for attention right next to Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's toddler daughter, Shiloh, whose cherubic face was splashed on the cover of another celebrity tabloid. Next to them beamed basket-case starlet Lindsay Lohan and her new lesbian lover -- oh, and that formerly pregnant "man" who just gave birth to a baby girl.

The Obamas blended seamlessly into this Hollyweird pop culture galaxy.

The spread in People, which earlier this year fawned over a photo of the bare-chested Obama in his swimsuit, was supposed to be an "exclusive" first and last look at life at home with the Obamas. Knowing what we know about the Obama we know now, it probably won't be the last.
They've hawked the kids to TV gossip show "Access Hollywood," blabbed about their romance to Us Weekly magazine, and plopped Michelle O -- the purported "civilian" whom the Obamessiah declares immune from public criticism -- in front of the cameras to schmooze effortlessly for "The Colbert Report" and "The View" demographics. They believe their two-faced tabloid strategy (show their true elitist colors behind closed doors, but play the Every Family for the Obamedia sycophants) is working. Given our dumbed-down, celebrity-obsessed culture, they are probably right.

Who cares about Barack's perilous lack of foreign policy experience, his longtime associations with left-wing radicals and domestic terrorists, and his business dealings with Chicago corruptocrats? People magazine brings you the scoop on what really matters in this critical presidential campaign: Michelle hula-hoops with her daughters. They're just like you and me! The kids have slumber parties. They're just like you and me! Barack does laundry, but he doesn't fold it. They're just like you and me! The kids get small allowances. They're just like you and me! The Obamas wear normal clothes while doing normal things.

THEY'RE JUST LIKE YOU AND ME!
There's a popular feature in most gossip magazines that rates celebrities as "normal" vs. "not normal" or "diva" vs. "down to earth." This is supposed to humanize the stars and make celebrity followers feel better about their empty idol worship. Paparazzi catch "normal" famous people in candid moments -- taking out the trash, scarfing down hot dogs, goofing around with their kids at the playground -- and magazine editors compare them to photos of "not normal" celebs in elitist repose -- walking with their umbrella carriers, surrounded by seven bodyguards and three nannies, boarding their Gulfstreams, etc.

The fatal flaw in the tabloids' Obamas-as-next-door-neighbors propaganda, of course, is that unlike the candid shots of normal, down-to-earth celebrities without makeup or entourages, the photos of the Obamas in "normal" mode are all carefully choreographed fauxtographs.

While Snobama complains about "bitter" rural voters who "cling" to their guns and religion and moans about the price of arugula in his candid unscripted moments, JustLikeYou&Me Michelle cunningly brags about buying her sundresses at discount retailer H&M and, with studied casualness, tells reporters that she doesn't mind if the kids' beds aren't perfectly made. Uh-huh.

The Obamas do everything but pick their noses for the cameras to mimic Real People bona fides. The Obamedia stenographers in the celebrity press -- and the mainstream press, for that matter -- eat it up. And so do the American people. Former Star magazine editor Bonnie Fuller, citing a poll showing that more adults would like to invite Obama to a summer barbecue than McCain, hailed the Obamas in Advertising Age as the "Brangelina of the political world."

Obama and his political paparazzi are banking on people's stupidity and his cult of personality to carry him to the White House. Unfortunately, the odds are in his favor. Just try talking to one of the millions of people with their noses buried in People or Us about Obama's relationship with Jeremiah Wright or Bill Ayers, his flip-flops on the Iraq war surge and his reckless naivete regarding Iran, and you'll see what I mean.

The exclamation of a journalist at the UNITY minority news media gathering this weekend sums up the star-struck reverence that fuels the Obama phenomenon: "He touched me!" And yet, he's sooo "down to earth."

Hurtling toward a government of the stupid, by the stupid, for the stupid we go.

__________

Please don't be stupid. Don't vote for the Obamanation -- the culture of death advocate --the baby killer, the criminal pleaser, the gay marriage advocate this primary. Vote NOBAMA!

Inspirational Words From Alan Keyes

I love this video -- Alan Keyes talks frankly about his trials and his strong Catholic faith. What a winner this man is!



This video is an exerpt of Alan Keyes speaking to his friends and supporters following his defeat at the Constitution Party Convention 2008.

Government to Test Moms for Baby Blues

Bill pushes mental screening, dangerous antidepressant drugs

Pregnant and new mothers may be required to submit to government screening and treatment for depression if Democrats in Congress have their way.

The Melanie Blocker Stokes Mother's Act, or S. 1375, is named after a pharmaceutical sales manager who killed herself by jumping out of a window after receiving four cocktails of antidepressants, anti-anxiety and antipsychotic drugs and electroshock therapy following the birth of her child.

The Mother's Act would provide federal funding for a program to test women for depression, mood and anxiety disorders and postpartum psychosis. It would also supply government-determined "at-risk" mothers with antidepressant drugs. READ AMY'S SHOCKING STORY

Obama Tied to Iraqi Government Fraud?

Hundreds of millions in deals with candidate's associates

JERUSALEM – Sen. Barack Obama's office engaged in six months of negotiations with a company controlled by convicted criminal Tony Rezko to lobby the U.S. government to push through a nixed $50 million contact to train Iraqi security personnel at a site in Chicago.

The contract was awarded to Rezko's company while Aiham Alsammarae, a long-time, close Rezko friend and a contributor to Obama's campaign, served as Iraq's U.S.-appointed electricity minister.

Rezko was a major Obama fundraiser and associate for two decades.

Alsammarae also awarded another Rezko-controlled operation as part of a $150 million contract to construct a 250-megawatt electricity plant in Iraq.

Alsammarae later was arrested by Iraqi authorities for bilking the coalition government out of some $650 million. He was sprung from prison under questionable circumstances in 2006 and escaped from Iraq, where he is still wanted for questioning with regard to major financial crimes.

The information raises questions into the nature of Obama's relationship with multiple deals made by Iraq's Electricity Ministry while Alsammarae was in charge. Obama has ties to Alsammarae and to the recipients of several of the massive contracts Alsammarae handed out. MORE

Saint of the Day: St. Peter Chrysologus, Bishop and Doctor

Born at Imola, Italy in 406, St. Peter was baptized, educated, and ordained a deacon by Cornelius, Bishop of Imola. St. Peter "Chrysologus" (the man of golden speech) earned the title of Doctor of the Church for his eloquent sermons, of which some two hundred remain. Made Archbishop of Ravenna by miraculous intervention of St. Peter in 433, he rooted out all remaining traces of paganism, as well as a number of abuses among the Christians. In his sermons he strongly urged frequent Communion. He is supposed to have given us the saying: "He who wants to laugh with the devil cannot rejoice with Christ." He practiced many corporal and spiritual works of mercy, and ruled his flock with diligence and care. He died about the year 450 in his native city of Imola.

My Favorite Quotes from St. Peter Chrysologus

"He is The Bread sown in the virgin, leavened in the Flesh, molded in His Passion, baked in the furnace of the Sepulchre, placed in the Churches, and set upon the Altars, which daily supplies Heavenly Food to the faithful."

"Today Christ works the first of his signs from heaven by turning water into wine. But water [mixed with wine] has still to be changed into the sacrament of his blood, so that Christ may offer spiritual drink from the chalice of his body, to fulfill the psalmist's prophecy: How excellent is my chalice, warming my spirit."

Learn more about St. Peter here, here, and here.

Collect

Father, you made Peter Chrysologus an outstanding preacher of your Incarnate Word. May the prayers of St. Peter help us to cherish the mystery of our salvation and make its meaning clear in our love for others. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Choirboys: Pie Jesu (Stereo)



Heavenly Voices!

A Prayer To Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament

The Blind Monk..Who Sees-

Only in complete silence, one starts to hear. Only when language resigns, one starts to see.

Trial Date Set for Tiller

Wichita, KS – Judge Clark Owens denied a motion filed by attorneys for abortionist George R. Tiller that challenged the constitutionality of the state statute mandating a jury of six for misdemeanor cases.

Tiller had asked for a jury of twelve to hear his 19 misdemeanor charges of illegal late-term abortions.

“We appreciate Judge Owen’s ruling that Tiller will have to have a jury of six, like every other person who faces misdemeanor charges in the State of Kansas. Maybe some day Tiller will understand that he is not above the law nor is he entitled to special privileges,” said Operation Rescue spokesperson Cheryl Sullenger, who was present at the hearing.

The jury pool will be sent a special juror questionnaire at least four weeks ahead of trial. Judge Owens agreed to the request, usually reserved for capital murder cases, because of the complex issues involved in Tiller’s case and because of the high emotions and strongly held opinions that surround the abortion issue.

A trial date was set for March 16, 2009.

MORE

Mandles

Federal Children's Health Program Partners with Planned Parenthood

Washington, D.C. (29 July 2008) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Women, Infants and Children program, designed to provide needy moms and young children with nutritious foods and health care referrals, is referring those same moms and kids to Planned Parenthood.

"It is absolutely outrageous that the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program that WIC sponsors would refer mothers to the nation's largest abortion chain for health care," Jim Sedlak, vice president of American Life League said.

"Planned Parenthood kills more children than any other single organization in the country. How can a program for children associate with it?"

The WIC Learning Online Web site links to Planned Parenthood Federation of America as a "participant referral." Planned Parenthood received over $336 million in taxpayer funding in 2007 alone, with an overall profit of $115 million. Sedlak says this Planned Parenthood partnership with a program designed for children is just one of the ways in which the government subsidizes Planned Parenthood's push to sexualize kids.

"The American taxpayer is simply fed up with Planned Parenthood feeding at the trough of government largesse," Sedlak said. "It is time we ended all association between government organizations and Planned Parenthood – a billion-dollar giant in the sex industry."

Via Katie Walker at American Life League.

Contraceptives affect environment too

Mark W. LeChevallier agrees with Dr. Lester Ruppersberger, a pro-life obstetrician and gynecologist, that natural family planning is safe, healthy and effective. But he would add one more characteristic: It's environmentally responsible. LeChevallier is director of innovation and environmental stewardship at American Water, the largest water and wastewater provider in North America. Along with his wife, he also has been a certified instructor of natural family planning for the past 25 years. MORE

44 - Year - Old Mom Gives Birth to 18th Child



Abbotsford, B.C. woman gives birth to 18th child

Alexandru Ionce and his wife never planned to have 18 children in 23 years but when they welcomed little Abigail Ionce into the world, that's just what happened.

Abigail weighed in at seven pounds, 12 ounces last Tuesday, making her the 18th child for 44-year-old Livia Ionce and her husband Alexandru, 51.

The couple immigrated to Canada from Romania in 1990 and now live in Abbotsford, B.C. Their 17 other children range in age from 20 months to 23 years old.

Alexandru Ionce does not know if the couple will be having more children.

"We never planned how many children to have," he said. "We just let God guide our lives, you know, because we strongly believe life comes from God and that's the reason we did not stop the life.

"We let life come."

The family now has 10 girls and eight boys.

"We would have liked a boy to be even," he said. "We thank God all of them are healthy and happy."

He said the birth was not an overly difficult one and that mother and child are doing well.

"It's amazing. We are very happy with the newborn," he said "We love her. She is surrounded with love and joy from everyone in our family."

Alexandru Ionce works in the construction industry in the city 60 kilometres southeast of Vancouver.

"Right now, I am not worried about the job. I'm going to stay beside her and help. I have to take care (of) my wife and baby." MORE .

Colorado Medical Professionals Attest Personhood Beginning at Conception

Denver, Jul 29, 2008 (CNA).- Colorado for Equal Rights, an organization backing a measure on the Colorado ballot that would define a person in the state’s Constitution as “any human being from the moment of fertilization,” has released a list of over 70 physicians and pharmacists from around the United States who agree that a person includes any human from the moment of conception.

"We are honored to have received these endorsements from such respected physicians," stated Kristi Burton, head of Colorado for Equal Rights. "Science clearly proves that life begins at the time of fertilization. We are secure in the fact that we have science and reason on our side, and we are pleased to have the medical community supporting our efforts."

"As support for Amendment 48 accumulates, we are very encouraged as we get closer to November's election," Burton said. "Every human life should be protected, and the endorsements we continue to receive prove that our easy to understand amendment is one that all Coloradans can support."

The group needed to collect 76,000 signatures to put the amendment on the ballot in November and succeeded in doing so on May 31 with 103,000 signatures.

PRI: Female Infanticide in the US Ignored by Feminists

In many Asian cultures, little girls are considered a burden rather than a blessing. This has led to all manner of atrocities like sex-selective abortion and even infanticide of infant girls in favor of boys. Steven W. Mosher talks about how this practice is coming to the United States, and how feminist groups are doing nothing about it.



“Where are the feminists when you need them?” Mosher asks, alleging that American feminists’ dedication to permissive abortion laws makes them unwilling to oppose sex-selective abortion.

“I challenge the National Organization of Women,” says Mosher, “and other feminist groups, to join us in the battle to ban this terrible form of sex discrimination that is killing so many unborn baby girls. Their continued silence only facilitates the killing.”

Saint Quote of the Day: St. Peter Julian Eymard

As the result of sin, the virtues have become painful to us; we shrink from them because they mean humiliation and suffering. " You do not want to be humiliated?" Humilation is an honor, suffering a joy, because Jesus Christ has placed in them true honor and true joy.

~ St. Peter Julian Eymard

EWTN Specials

There are some wonderful specials coming up on EWTN. One I am really looking forward to watching is this one:

DEDICATION OF THE SHRINE OF OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE LA CROSSE, WI LIVE 3 hrs.The Dedication Mass of The Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe live from La Crosse, Wisconsin, featuring commentary by EWTNews Director Raymond Arroyo. Thur 7/31/08 1:00 PM ET & 10 AM PTFri 8/01/08 12:00 AM ET & 9 PM PT (Thur)

Paul VI versus Playboy

By Donald DeMarco

In 1986, Brother Don Fleischhacker of the University of Notre Dame wrote a letter to Playboy protesting that magazine's fragmented view of human sexuality.

Citing "Humanae Vitae," this intrepid Holy Cross religious reasoned that once "the contraceptive mentality is accepted, there can be no coherent objective ground for opposition to homosexual activity." If the unitive aspect of sex becomes an end in itself, he went on to explain, "There is no essential reason why sex should be restricted to couples of different sexes."

Recent events have proven that Brother Don was as prophetic as was Pope Paul VI when he penned "Humane Vitae" back in 1968. For Playboy, however, the letter was treated as an object of ridicule and its content irreverently dismissed: "Brother, you sound like St. Thomas' lawyer," wrote the Playboy editor, who went on to bless "both kinds" of sexual relations.

This holier-than-thou posture of Playboy explains why its founder, Hugh Hefner, has declared that he is the most moral human being he has ever met. From the perspective of Playboy, it is far ahead of the church in the sheer number of wonderful things it deems good, including marriage for same-sex partners. Playboy has surpassed Genesis in its generosity, and outdistanced mother church in its magnanimity.

Why is the church apparently so stingy in its blessings, so confused about good and evil? And how did Hefner get to be so much wiser and more beneficent than anyone in the long Judeo-Christian tradition?

Two problems here warrant attention. One is the difficulty in recognizing evil. The second is the assumption that more is better.

The main problem in identifying the essence of evil is precisely that it does not have an essence, anything solid or substantial that would reveal its malefic nature to an empirical examiner. Hence, evil is not an object at which anyone can point. Evil lies in what is missing.

In order to know what is missing, one must first know what should be there in the first place. Ten football players on the field may look perfectly fine to the casual observer, but to the referee, it constitutes an infraction that warrants a penalty. There is nothing wrong with any of the 10 men on the field. It is the one who is missing that creates the problem.

The realistic basis of "Humanae Vitae" is what Paul VI refers to as a "total" or "integral vision of man." Two people who are having sex with each other apart from marriage may believe that they are behaving very morally. But if they have willfully excluded love, any concern for conception or any responsibility for the consequences their act might have on themselves and others, it becomes clear that what they are doing is deprived of the very factors that are needed to realize this "total vision" of the human being. Moral good does not exist in isolation.

The God of Genesis, after proclaiming that everything he created is good, declared that "it is not good for man to be alone." The reason "it is not good for man to be alone" is that he cannot be good unless he has love for other human beings. Man's nature demands a communal existence. Hell is where man is truly and finally alone, deprived of love, hope and happiness.
For the same reason, it is not good for sex to be alone.

The key to moral goodness is that it not be isolated from the factors that give it its wholeness and therefore its total good. Moral goods are always organic. Moral evils are always deprived.

The second problem is associated with the assumption that restricting sex to married couples deprives others of meaningful sexual experiences. Or, in the words of a popular comedian, "Restricting sex to one married spouse is like buying a cable package that provides just one channel."

"Humanae Vitae" urges a certain "asceticism" in order to "dominate instinct by means of one's reason and free will." Sex must pass from instinct to institution so that it can conform to the "total vision of man."

Pope Benedict XVI, in his 2002 work, "On the Way to Jesus Christ," draws important insights from a passage in the Book of Amos, where the eponymous prophet refers to himself as "a dresser of sycamore trees."

Citing a number of scholars, the Holy Father explains that the abundant fruit of the sycamore tree is tasteless until it is cut to let the sap run out, whereby it becomes flavorful. This image can be taken to symbolize the transition from the pagan world of excess to the Christian world of purification and moderation.

The Holy Father writes: "Ultimately only the Logos himself can guide our cultures to their purity and maturity, but the Logos makes us his servants, the 'dresser of sycamore trees.'"

The application to human sexuality here is easy enough to see. Because Hefner and his playboys see all forms of sex in the flat perspective of equality, they see no one particular form of sex in its sublimity. They promote the tasteless fruit of unseasoned, indiscriminate sex, while criticizing those who understand something about its purity and passion.

"Humanae Vitae" reminds us that our true destiny is to be whole persons, and that we must discipline ourselves in order to reach that end.

The humanitarian claims of Hefner are bogus since they are based neither on a proper understanding of the human person nor on a recognition of the practical necessity for virtue.

Donald DeMarco is an adjunct professor at Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, Conn.

Saint of the Day: St. Martha, Virgin


Mary and Martha lived with their brother Lazarus at Bethany, a village not far from Jerusalem. They are mentioned in several episodes in the Gospels.

On one occasion, when Jesus and His disciples were their guests (Luke 10:38-42), Mary sat at Jesus' feet and listened to Him while her sister Martha busied herself with preparing food and waiting on the guests, and when Martha complained, Jesus said that Mary had chosen the better part.

When Lazarus, the brother of Mary and Martha, had died, Jesus came to Bethany. Martha, upon being told that He was approaching, went out to meet Him, while Mary sat still in the house until He sent for her. It was to Martha that Jesus said: "I am the Resurrection and the Life." (John 11:1-44)

Again, about a week before the crucifixion, as Jesus reclined at table, Mary poured a flask of expensive perfume over Jesus' feet. Mary was criticized for wasting what might have been sold to raise money for the poor, and again Jesus spoke on her behalf. (John 12:1-8)

On the basis of these incidents, many Christian writers have seen Mary as representing Contemplation (prayer and devotion), and Martha as representing Action (good works, helping others); or love of God and love of neighbor respectively.

Martha and Mary were sisters, related not only by blood but also by religious aspirations. They stayed close to our Lord and both served him harmoniously when he was among them. Martha welcomed him as travelers are welcomed. But in her case, the maidservant received her Lord, the creature her Creator, to serve him bodily food while she was to be fed by the Spirit.

No one of you should say, "Blessed are they who have deserved to receive Christ into their homes!" Do not grieve or complain that you were born in a time when you can no longer see God in the flesh. He did not in fact take this privilege from you. As he says, "Whatever you have done to the least of my brothers, you did to me."

~ from a sermon by Saint Augustine

Patronage: Butlers; cooks; dietitians; domestic servants; homemakers; hotel-keepers; housemaids; housewives; innkeepers; laundry workers; maids; manservants; servants; servers; single laywomen; travellers.

Prayer

O God, heavenly Father, whose Son Jesus Christ enjoyed rest and refreshment in the home of Mary and Martha of Bethany: Give us the will to love you, open our hearts to hear you, and strengthen our hands to serve you in others for his sake; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Saint Quote of the Day

"It is better for us to reach eternal bliss after a few difficulties than to go down into the depths of hell after brief joy."

~Saint Caesarius of Arles

Culture of Death Quote of the Day

“Abortion would be a sacrament if women were in charge. Abortion should be a sacrament even today. I suspect that for many women today, and for their spouses, lovers, families and communities, abortion is celebrated as such, an occasion of deep and serious and sacred meaning.”

~ Episcopal priestess Carter Hayward

Operation Rescue to Tiller: "See you in court!"

Judge Owens denies Tiller's motion to dismiss criminal charges. Upholds constitutionality of Kansas post-viability abortion ban

Wichita, KS - District Court Judge Clark V. Owens released a 35-page opinion today on the constitutional challenge to the Kansas post-viability abortion ban, saying that "K.S.A. 65-6703 survives all of the constitutional challenges" presented by Tiller. His motion to dismiss the 19 criminal charges against him was denied.

This ruling will send Tiller to trial to face allegations that he illegally aborted 19 viable babies without first having obtained the second concurring opinion from an unaffiliated Kansas physician. If convicted, Tiller faces the possibility of 19 years in jail.

"We have just one thing to say to Tiller today and that is, 'See you in court!'" said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. "Today's ruling by Judge Owens vindicates our efforts to bring Tiller to justice. All along, we knew that it wasn't the law that was faulty, but it was Tiller's interpretation of the law that was faulty. This gives us a glimmer of hope that we could eventually see some shred of justice."

Will you join me as I continue to pray for this case?

Will She Be Britain's Next Saint?

Known as a "Victorian Mother Teresa", Sister Elizabeth Prout opened schools and provided a lifeline to thousands during the industrial revolution. Sister Elizabeth Prout is seen as a pioneer of women's rights for her work in teaching the poor during the 19th century, and helping them find jobs. A dossier on Sister Elizabeth Prout will be sent to the Vatican after a Mass at her tomb in the Church of St Anne and Blessed Dominic.

A WOMAN WHO SAID 'YES'
THE STORY OF ELIZABETH PROUT (1820-1864)
FOUNDRESS OF THE SISTERS OF THE CROSS AND PASSION

Seven Facts Meme

I was tagged by Alexandra at Happy Hearts at Home for the following meme.

Here are the rules:

1. List these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog.

My 7 Facts:

1. I have lived in the US all my life, but the few times I have been outside of this country were when I traveled to: Canada, Italy, France, and Aruba.

2. I love it here in Kansas! Believe it or not, there are actually hills, lakes, and waterfalls in this state. They have the most beautiful sunsets here in God's Country aka "Catholicland."

3. One of the first concerts I attended featured The Rolling Stones and Chuck Berry at the Amphitheatre in Chicago.

4. My parents were of French-Canadian heritage.

5. I speak English and a little Latin, a little Spanish, and a little French, but no German -- my husband's family grew up speaking German. My parents spoke French in their childhood homes.

6. I am a cradle Catholic who drifted away from my faith in the early 70's and returned in the late 80's. I was taught by nuns in habits and attended the Latin Mass as a child. Like most Catholic girls at the time, I had a strong desire to become a nun when I was in grade school and high school. I also first became interested in becoming a writer at age nine, when I composed my first poem.

7. I am a cat lover and have had cats for pets all my life. At age 10, I contracted cat scratch fever after trying to nurse a sickly stray cat back to good health. The poor thing got better, while I ended up developing an abscess on my jaw which had to be surgically removed.

Anyone who would like to do this meme, please be my guest. I would appreciate it if you would let me know in my combox. Thanks!

The Simple Woman's Daybook: July 28


Go visit Peggy's to see what the other women are doing and thinking today.

For Today...

Outside my Window...the sky is dark, it's in the upper 90's and has been raining a little. I'm thankful for the rain, which reminds me that God is always pouring out His graces upon us.

I am thinking...how happy I am that Bill only has two weeks to go before his cast comes off.

I am thankful for...the good report we received from his doctor today. I'm also thankful that he will be receiving Physical Therapy.

From the kitchen...baked chicken, cole slaw, and potatoes au gratin.

I am creating...nothing special at the moment, but had fun with the shields and watergun props I created and used this past weekend at my Wellness Workshop.

I am wearing...taupe jeans with a turquoise cotton top and earrrings to match. I'm bare foot.

I am reading... a new book I received in the mail today for review and am awaiting another one.

I am hoping...that we have a good turn-out at the Midwest Catholic Family Conference in Wichita this coming weekend.

I am hearing...the TV in the background-- Bill is watching the History channel.

Around the house...the cats are napping and things are pretty low key here.

One of my favorite things...is the fresh scent in the air after a rainfall.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...lots of reading and writing projects, phone calls and emails to customers, and then the Midwest Catholic Family Conference.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...



Planned Parenthood's Latest Outrage

American Life League's Warning: Planned Parenthood's latest outreach website to teens and pre-teens, called TakeCareDownThere.org, is absolutely VILE! While our report does NOT present the nasty stuff, please use great discretion when viewing the contents of the site, and be sure not to watch any of the videos with kids around. While the videos themselves are not entirely visually offensive, the verbal content is absolute FILTH!

Warning: Adult Content

I am showing this to make people aware of where their tax money is going.





Who is Planned Parenthood's new spokesman? Planned Parenthood attempts to use sick humor to normalize sexual behavior.

Related Post:

Please Help Protect Life: Defund Planned Parenthood.

Obama for President . . . of Europe?

Apparently the Junior Senator from Illinois, Barack Obama, has decided that his prospects for winning an election are better in Europe, and he has begun campaigning among his new constituents.

Learn more at Obama’s Trip: No Bounce, No Flags, No Wounded GIs. He didn't want the American flag shown at his speech in Germany and at his press conference in Paris. He canceled a trip to visit wounded soldiers when he was told the press couldn't take pictures of him. And the American public thought the press coverage of his trip was simply "excessive." Get the Full Story — Go Here Now

Saint of the Day: St. Leopold Bogdan Mandic



St. Leopold Bogdan Mandic (1866-1942) was a Croatian-born Franciscan priest and noted confessor who spent most of his priestly life in Padua, Italy and was canonized in 1983.

On May 12, 1866, in Croatia, a twelfth child was born to Peter and Caroline Mandic. He was named and baptised Bogdan, 'the God-given-one'.
Although physically frail, from his youth he showed signs of great spiritual strength and integrity. At the age of 16 years, Bogdan left home for Italy to attend the Seraphic School where he was taught by the Capuchins at Udine and was also an aspirant to the order. Life was not easy for him there, since he was physically malformed and still delicate in health.

At the age of 18, Bogdan entered the Capuchin Order as a novice at Bassano del Grappa and took the religious name of Brother Leopold. After his Profession of Vows at 23, he embarked on a course of clerical studies first at Padua and then at Venice. Finally, he was ordained in Venice at the age of 28.

In the mid-1880s, Bishop Joseph Juraj Strossmayer began an ecumenical movement which focused on unity in diversity, consecrating the cathedral of Djakovo i Srijem (Bosnia) "for the glory of God, church ecumenism, and the peace and love of my people."Father Leopold dedicated himself to the same end.

Refusing to renounce his Croatian nationality during World War I, Leopold was forced to go to southern Italy, where he spent one year in an Italian prison. He wanted to be a missionary in Eastern Europe, torn apart by much religious strife, but was denied by his superiors because of his frailty and general ill-health (In addition to physical deformities, Father Leopold suffered from stomach ailments, poor eyesight, and arthritis.)

For 34 years he heard confessions. He was always quick, serene, affable, available for any sacrifice for the good and service of others. Wherever he was assigned over the years, Leopold was greatly admired and loved by the people. Father Leopold gave tremendous encouragement to many people, especially those despairing of hope because of an enslavement to sin.

Father Leopold also had a deep devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary whom he referred to as "my holy boss". He was known to pray the rosary quite often, and celebrated the Eucharist daily at the side altar in the Little Office of the Virgin Mary. He would then visit the sick in nursing homes, hospitals and homes all over Padua. He visited the Capuchin infirmary to comfort the sick friars, giving them words of advice and reminding them to have faith. He was an outspoken on issues with children, and being pro-life and especially fond of expectant mothers and young children. He did great work in setting up orphanages for children without parents.

Father Leopold suffered from esophagus cancer, which would ultimately lead to his death at age 76. On July 30, 1942, while preparing for the liturgy, he collapsed on the floor. He was then brought to his cell, where he was given the last rites. Friars that had gathered at his bed sang "Salve Regina," and when they got to the words, "O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary," Leopold died.

During the bombing of World War II the church and part of the friary where Leopold lived were demolished, but Leopold's cell and confessional were left unharmed. Leopold had predicted this before his death, saying, "The church and the friary will be hit by the bombs, but not this little cell. Here God exercised so much mercy for people, it must remain as a monument to God's goodness." Paul VI beatified Leopold on May 2, 1976. He was canonized by Pope John Paul II during the Synod of Bishops on October 16, 1983. Leopold is hailed as the "Apostle of Unity."

Quotes

Early in his Capuchin life, Leopold Mandic was asked to surrender his missionary aspirations and personal preference, and to work as Confessor and Spiritual Advisor. Looking back on this decision, he once said: "I am like a bird in a cage, but my heart is beyond the seas."

"We have in heaven the heart of a mother, The Virgin, our Mother, who at the foot of the Cross suffered as much as possible for a human creature, understands our troubles and consoles us."

Prayer

O God, source of life and love, you gave Saint Leopold a tremendous compassion for sinners and a desire for church unity. Through his prayers, grant that we may acknowledge our need of forgiveness, show love to others, and strive to bring about a living unity among Christians. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.

~Saint Leopold Bogdan Mandic

Below is a short (2 minute) very interesting video clip from Bob and Penny Lord's program on the life of St. Leopold Mandic.


Sunday, July 27, 2008

Papal Quote of the Day

"Jesus proclaims that a new age has begun, in which the Holy Spirit will be poured out upon all humanity...Empowered by the Spirit, and drawing upon faith’s rich vision, a new generation of Christians is being called to help build a world in which God’s gift of life is welcomed, respected and cherished -- not rejected, feared as a threat and destroyed."

~ Pope Benedict XVI in his homily, during the World Youth Day closing Mass on Sunday, July 20 at Randwick Racecourse, Sydney, Australia

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Barack Obama: A Pressing Immediate Need for Prayer

"Duh?... Present."

Barack Obama tries to convey that he is a man of character who will cross party lines to work with Republicans and is not the radical left "extremist" that some portray him to be. Of course, this is another one of his lies. The reality is that Obama has a history of voting “present” on most bills, rather than supporting or opposing them. In fact, he voted "present" 130 times as a state senator. A really decisive guy who would make a great President, right?

Let's project this behavior into the future....

"Mr. President, the terrorists have just bombed the Pentagon, what should we do?"

"Duh?...present."

Seriously, the man is spineless! He can't talk on his own nor can he think for himself. He doesn't know how to respond in complete sentences when he's not been spoon-fed and groomed for a canned speech. He can't think on his feet. Please don't tell me what an "articulate" guy he is -- I have seen and heard him up close and personal -- and followed his campaign in IL. In the face of truth, he stammers and stutters and looks like the "village idiot" when he's anywhere near Alan Keyes. He struggles with his expressive language skills and is unable to present any kind of defense when he is confronted with the truth. And, in spite of what I have heard from mindless women (and I will be the first to admit that such creatures of my own sex do inhabit the earth and unfortunately are registered voters) say about his outward appearance and charisma, this "man" is seriously lacking in character and morals.

How in the heck did he ever get elected you ask? He was the "sweetheart" of the liberal media in IL and continues to be the "darling" of the U.S. liberal press who love him because he supports gay marriage, abortion, Planned Parenthood, and black genocide, destroying US weapons, and every other far left extremist position that exists. He thinks in a perverted, destructive manner -- for example, children are considered "a punishment" and babies born alive should be left to die without medical assistance.

The other day I was with a group of intelligent Catholic Christians and I was amazed at how little most of them really knew about Obama. Some of these people are leaders in our community and they are also registered voters. I am not singling out this group to criticize them but to emphasize the point that I believe many voters are still unaware of who Obama really is and that you and I have to keep blogging about him and sharing the truth with others. We also need to continue our prayers and sacrifices for this upcoming election. Our primary election here is coming up in less than two weeks and the pressing need we have at this time is for prayer -- that people will show up in the primaries and vote against Obama. NObama!

Must Read Posts:

Barack Obama: The Most Anti-Catholic Presidential Candidate

Alan Keyes on Barack Obama

Barack Obama Promotes Abortion, Slams Abstinence in Iowa Speech

Obama: One of the greatest performers of all time

It's All About Obama

Obama Wants This Woman Dead from Some Have Hats

Is Obama a Cult? from First Things

What Planet is This Guy on? By Mary Kay Hastings

WHY JESUS WOULD NOT VOTE FOR BARACK OBAMA by Jill Stanek

"Born Alive Veterans for Truth" by Jill Stanek

Sts. Joachim and Anne, Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary


Joachim (whose name means Yahweh prepares), was the father of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Anne (Hebrew, Hannah, grace; also spelled Ann, Anne, Anna) is the traditional name of the mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary. St. Anne and St. Joachim were parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary and grandparents of Jesus. Tradition has it they first lived in Galilee and later settled in Jerusalem where the Blessed Virgin Mary was born and raised.

Joachim and Anne were a rich and pious couple who had been married for a long time, but found themselves childless. The couple prayed fervently for a child and promised to dedicate their first born to the service of God. An angel appeared to Anne and told her, "The Lord has looked upon thy tears; thou shalt conceive and give birth and the fruit of thy womb shall be blessed by all the world". Joachim also received the same message from the angel. Anne gave birth to a daughter whom she called Miriam (Mary), who was conceived without sin. As a child, Mary was taken to the temple and her parents suffered great sorrow but at the same time joy for fulfilling the vows they had made to the Lord.

We know very little about the lives of Joachim and Anne, but we do know that they must have been outstanding people to have been entrusted with raising the Mother of God.

St. Anne is the patron saint of the province of Quebec, where the well-known shrine of St. Anne de Beaupre, (the site of many miracles) is located. She is patroness of women in labor and those who have difficulty conceiving; she is represented holding the Blessed Virgin Mary in her lap, who again carries on her arm the Both Joachim and Anne are the patron saints of grandparents.

Devotion to St. Anne dates back to the sixth century in the Church of Constantinople and the eighth century in Rome. St. Joachim was honored very early by the Greeks, who celebrate his feast on the day following the Blessed Virgin's birthday.

My memories of celebrating today's feast as a child are very vivid. My home parish held a novena to St. Anne nine days prior to her feast day and I remember going to church every evening with mom to the devotions. I was always in awe of how my mom and the other women in our small French community were so devoted to St. Anne. When mom asked which of us kids wished to accompany her, I always volunteered -- it was a special treat and a privilege to participate in this summer evening novena praying the beautiful devotions in the quiet, candle lit church that smelled of incense and sweet perfume. It was so meditative and mystical --at times I could almost feel her holy presence in the contemplative setting. I also remember feeling a sense of joy and accomplishment when it was over -- I felt as if I had helped mom in achieving something special for our family and for the Lord.

PRAYER TO ST JOACHIM AND ST ANNE

Great and glorious patriarch, St Joachim, and good St Anne, what joy is mine when I consider that you were chosen among all God’s holy ones to assist in the fulfillment of the mysteries of God, and to enrich our earth with the great Mother of God, Mary most holy. By this singular privilege, you have become most powerful with both the Mother and her Son, so as to be able to obtain for us the graces that are needful to us.

With great confidence I have recourse to your mighty protection, and I commend to you all my needs, both spiritual and temporal, and those of my family. Especially do I entrust to your keeping the particular favour that I desire and look for from your intercession.

And since you were a perfect pattern of the interior life, obtain for me the grace to pray earnestly, and never to set m heart on the passing goods of this life. Give me a lively and enduring love for Jesus and Mary. Obtain for me also a sincere devotion and obedience to Holy church and the sovereign pontiff who rules over her, in order that I may live an die in faith and hope and perfect charity. Let me ever invoke the holy Names of Jesus and Mary. And may I thus be saved. Amen.

Why Are Pro-Lifers Forced To Pay Taxes To Planned Parenthood?


Courtesy of ProlifeNews.tv and ProlifeUnity.com.

Please visit:

http://defundplannedparenthood.org/

"Please read and sign the petition intended to end ALL tax payers money that is given to Planned Parenthood by our elected officials at the local, state and federal level of government. We welcome your comments, stories, and first hand experiences to tell the real story of what Planned Parenthood really is. After all, shouldn't we all be held accountable to the same standard of law?"

Citizen's Petition to Defund Planned Parenthood

We, the people of the United States, are calling upon our local, state, and federal elected officials to stop our tax dollars from going to Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood is an organization that, according to their own 2007 financial report, boasts about being a one billion dollar organization. Yet, this same group has clinics facing:

107 criminal charges, which includes 23 felony charges of late-term abortions and falsifying documents, at the Comprehensive Health of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid Missouri;

Allegations of targeting minority communities across the country by willfully and in some cases, excitedly, taking donations earmarked towards aborting black babies;

Defrauding the State of California of $180 million in taxpayer funds;
Lawsuits alleging they shelter child rapists by not reporting underage rape and abuse;

Allegations of advising teenagers to experiment with pornography and sex without telling parents through their website for teens at www.teenwire.com (Caution: explicit content)

They received over $350 million from taxpayers last year. Any other government contractor, business or industry facing any one of the above allegations would have been subjected to Congressional oversight hearings and investigations.

We respectfully demand that our representatives stop our tax dollars from supporting this industry immediately. Every individual and corporation should be held to the same standard of law. Our mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts, and future children deserve better.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Feast of St. James the Apostle

He was the brother of St John and, like him, a fisherman. He was one of the witnesses of the Transfiguration and one of those who slept through most of the Agony in the Garden. He was the first of the apostles to be martyred, being beheaded by King Herod Agrippa I to please the Jewish opponents of Christianity. He was buried in Jerusalem, and nothing more is known about him until the ninth century.

At this time we learn of a tradition that the relics of St James were brought to Spain some time after his martyrdom, (perhaps early, perhaps as late as 830), and his shrine at Compostela in Galicia grew in importance until it became the greatest pilgrimage center in western Europe. In every country there are churches of St James and known, well-trodden pilgrim routes. In Paris, the Tour St Jacques marks the start of the route and the Rue St Jacques points straight towards Compostela. In England, pilgrim routes lead from all parts of the country to the major ports that were used on the pilgrimage.

This network of routes is a vital witness to the fact that the Middle Ages were not the static stay-at-home time that we often think them to be: everyone must have known someone, or known someone who knew someone, who had made the pilgrimage.The scallop-shell, the emblem of St James, has become the emblem of pilgrims generally. In 1987 the pilgrimage routes to Compostela have been designated by the Council of Europe as historical cultural routes of international importance; and the Confraternity of St James is working to restore and upgrade the refuges on a route which is still in active pilgrim use today.

St. James Appears to St. Gertrude

On the Feast of St. James the Greater, the Apostle appeared to St. Gertrude; adorned with the merits of those pilgrims who had visited his shrine....she asked Our Lord why this Apostle was so honored by pilgrimages that his relics appeared even more revered than those of the holy Apostles Peter and Paul.

Our Lord replied, "The fervor of his zeal for the salvation of souls has obtained this special privilege for him. As I took him away from the world so soon according to the decrees of my providence, that he was unable to convert many persons, which he most ardently desired to do, his desire still remains before me, fresh and flourishing. What he was unable to do during his life I permit him to accomplish after his death, by bringing an immense number of pilgrims to his shrine, absolving them from their sins and strengthening them in the Catholic faith."

Source: The Revelations of St. Gertrude, Monsignor William J. Doheny

Patron: Against arthritis; against rheumatism; Antigua, Guatemala; apothecaries; blacksmiths; Chile; Compostela, Spain; druggists; equestrians; furriers; Galicia, Spain; Guatemala; horsemen; knights; laborers; Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina; Nicaragua; pharmacists; pilgrims; Pistoia, Italy; rheumatoid sufferers; riders; soldiers; Spain; Spanish conquistadors; tanners; veterinarians.

For More Information, see the Catholic Encyclopedia.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Catholic Carnival 182 ...

is now up and ready for your reading pleasure! Joe at Ho Kai Paulos has created a beautiful theme, so please join me on my trek there.

Here are just a few of my favorite posts:

Worship in the Shadowlands by Heidi at Mommy Monsters, in which she discusses Humanae Vita and the meaning of true love. She makes a profound discovery about conjugal love when she watches Shadowlands, the love story of C.S. Lewis and his wife.


In How to Be a Man, Jane at Building the Ark, reminds us that we can all strive to be heroes.

At Behold Your Mother, Heidi introduces us to Christine Trollinger and an example of divinely answered prayer - When the Lost is Found.

When Things Turn Out...Differently by Sarah at Another Day of Catholic Pondering reminds us that God has every hair on our heads counted and keeps our best interests in mind, even when they aren't how WE planned things.

Don't stop at reading these inspirational and well-written posts, but be sure to check out all the great posts there!

Please Help Protect Life; Defund Planned Parenthood!

Washington, DC (24 July 2008) – We need YOU to protect a new proposal that would defund Planned Parenthood, protect medical workers and save countless lives – and we need it TODAY!

The Bush administration is considering a regulation that would not only ensure freedom of conscience for pro-life medical workers, but also recognize abortion as including the birth control pill or any other contraceptive method that results in the death of a human being before or after implantation.

Pro-abortion lawmakers, fueled by an irate Planned Parenthood Federation of America and supported by the pro-abortion mainstream media are on the warpath. They know how important this regulation could be to protect preborn children, so they want to make sure it gets quashed ASAP. Led by Sen. Hillary Clinton, pro-aborts are circulating a letter signed by more than 105 members of Congress pledging their opposition to the regulation and vowing to fight it.
But pro-lifers are fighting back. Reps. Dave Feldon and Lincoln Davis are cosponsoring a letter in support of the regulation and are asking other lawmakers to co-sign. The deadline is the end of the day today.

Here’s how you can help:- Call your congressional representatives and tell them what you think of President Bush’s protection of freedom of conscience. - Call the White House at (202) 456-1414 (ask the switchboard operator to be put through to the public comment line), and tell President Bush how you feel about protection of pro-life medical workers.

- Call Michael Leavitt, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services at (202) 690-7000 and voice your opinion on this critical issue

Via American Life League.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Medical News Today: 104 Reps Send Letter Asking Bush to Halt Rule that Could Limit Birth Control (24 July 2008)

US News and World Report: Contraception: Is it Sometimes Abortion? (23 July 2008)

The Oregonian: Agency Skips Congress in Bid to Block Birth Control Access (24 July 2008)

The Christian Post: Lawmakers Protest Bush Proposal to Protect Pro-Life Health Care Workers (23 July 2008)

Jesus Christ in the Eucharist - The Real Presence

Donna Cori Gibson talks about the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. Contains scenes from the film The Passion of the Christ.

Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist. He is waiting for you. Go spend an hour with Jesus. He asked Peter, James & John to watch one hour with Him and pray. Can you do the same please? Jesus is so thirsty for your faith.

Saint of the Day: St. Sharbel (Charbel) Makhloof, Priest

Saint Sharbel was born in 1828 in the small mountain village of Beqa-Kafra, Lebanon. His peasant family lived a strong faith, were attentive to the Divine Liturgy, and had a great devotion to the Mother of God.

At the age of twenty-three, he left his family to enter the Lebanese-Maronite Monastery called Notre-Dame de Mayfouk. Following studies and perpetual profession at St. Cyprian de Kfifane Monastery, he was ordained in 1859.

For the next seven years, Sharbel lived in the mountainous community of Anaya. He then spent the next twenty-three years of his life in complete solitude at Sts. Peter and Paul Hermitage near Anaya. He died there on Christmas Eve, 1898.

Sharbel had a reputation for his austerity, penances, obedience, and chastity. At times, Sharbel was gifted with levitations during prayer, and he had great devotion to the Most Blessed Sacrament. In all things, Sharbel maintained perfect serenity. He was beatified in 1965 by Pope Paul VI and canonized by Pope John Paul II in 1977."

May he make us understand, in a world largely fascinated by wealth and comfort, the paramount value of poverty, penance and asceticism, to liberate the soul in its ascent to God..."

~Pope Paul VI, October 9, 1977

For futher information on St. Sharbel go here.

Happy Birthday!



Have a beautiful and blessed day, Maureen!

Others who share your birthday today include:

1725 - John Newton, English cleric and hymnist (d. 1807)

1802 - Alexandre Dumas, père, French writer, author of Three Musketeers (d. 1870)

1936 - Ruth Buzzi, American actress and comedian

1942 - Chris Sarandon, American actor

1951 - Lynda Carter, American actress ("Wonder Woman")

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Don't Support Death: Just Say "Nobama!"

I have been blogging on Barack Obama and Jill Stanek since 2004, when I had the privillege of serving as one of Jill Stanek's prayer intercessors. At that time, Jill was dismissed from her position as an R.N. at Christ Hospital in Oak Brook, IL for telling the truth about the infanticide occuring there. Babies that were meant to be aborted at this so-called "Christian" hospital who were born alive were left to die, without receiving any medical assistance whatsoever.

Jill's testimony can be found here at Priests for Life.

Jill also appeared on O'Reilly to share her story.




Jill fought back to protect these infants and, the Born Alive Infants Protection Act was introduced into the IL legislature as a result of her efforts. Barack Obama was serving in the IL legislature at that time and worked to ensure that this horrifying procedure continue. Obama not only voted against Born Alive, but he was the sole senator to speak against it on the senate floor - 2 years in a row.

The federal version of Born Alive passed unanimously 98-0 in the US Senate with Sens. Kennedy and Boxer speaking in support of it on the senate floor. It passed overwhelmingly by voice vote in the US House. President Bush signed it into law on August 5, 2002. As chairman of the IL Senate Health & Human Services Committee, Obama singlehandedly stopped the identical wording of the federal bill from being introduced in IL in 2003. Barack Obama is so radical in his support of abortion, he supports infanticide. He supports the killing of babies in his own "backyard" -- babies who are of his own race!

As I have said before: Barack Obama has no business running for the office of President -- he is indeed a baby killer and places no value on human life. He is a dangerous man. There is no proof that he is even a cititizen of this country and he befriends radicals and terrorists. Both he and his wife hate this country! He is a puppet of the Democratic party and is being used to promote their radical pro-homosexual, pro-abortion, anti-marriage, anti-family agenda.

Obama's multi-millionaire criminal friends -- George Soros and others -- have provided the funds he needs to spread his outrageous messianic messages (There is only one Jesus Christ and it's not him!) -- his phony campaign of bringing"hope" to the American people. The truth is that there is no hope for us nor for our generation if this man is elected President. He is a strong advocate of the culture of death -- he is the pawn in the game of politics-- present in our time as a "false prophet" to stir up false messages in the hearts of the people only to bring disappointment, destruction, and death to our families and to our country. Do not fall prey to his "false prophecies". His words tickle the ears of many, and he charms people with his outward appearances, but do not let yourselves be deceived by him. Repeat after me: NOBAMA!

For further reading, check out Diane's detailed post Obama and the "Born Alive Infant Protection Act" at Te Deum laudamus!

Related Posts from Catholic Fire:

HYPE: The Obama Effect

Little Tin god, Obama

Jill Stanek: Will Sebelius Abortion Stance Abort Her Chance as Obama VP?

Where The Presidential Candidates Really Stand on the Issues

Planned Parenthood Endorses Barrack Obama for President

Obama Wants You to Pay For Abortions!

Jill Stanek: CNN -- Obama's Opposition to the Born Alive Infant's Protection Act

Obama: One of the Greatest Performers of all Time

Alan Keyes on Barack Obama

Barack Obama Promotes Abortion, Slams Abstinence in Iowa Speech

It's All About Obama

In the Light of Sts. Peter and Paul: How We Handle Our Failures

An excellent reflection by Fr. Leo Clifford, O.F.M. on handling our failures. He uses St. Peter and St. Paul as examples and also includes G.K. Chesterton, Francis Thompson, St. Margaret of Cortona, St. Augustine in his brief inspirational talk. Includes Psalm 63.



Tune in to EWTN TV and radio for more of Fr. Clifford's "Reflections".

You can also find 36 of Fr. Clifford's reflections online here.

Testimony to a Miracle of Life

Derika Testimony (Portuguese with English subtitles XL)



HYPE: The Obama Effect

30 Second Television Ad




The official Movie Trailer for Citizens United's upcoming feature length documentary on Barack Obama.




About the Movie

Citizens United Productions examines the phenomenon that is Barack Obama. HYPE: The Obama Effect examines the Junior Senator from Illinois and his record. Is he the new Kennedy or recycled Jimmy Carter? Is he the one who will finally change Washington, or will challenges like the Tony Rezko trial reveal politics as usual? Is he the uniter the country begs for, or a liberal divider? HYPE: The Obama Effect seeks the answers.

Including interviews with political leaders, media experts, and social commentators, HYPE provides the in-depth analysis that can only occur in a full-length feature documentary. HYPE goes to Illinois and interviews those who know the Senator's record as a state legislator. Go on the road with the campaign and experience the enthralled crowds as they are consumed by the HYPE. Washington insiders analyze Senator Obama's Senate record, his views on abortion, his statements on the second amendment, his plan for a troubled economy, and his foreign policy-will the US be safer or will the US become a bigger target? Will Senator Obama's actions match his eloquence in the toughest job in the world, or will his rapt and motivated crowds be left with little substance at the end of the day? HYPE: The Obama Effect lays out the truth.