Sunday, August 31, 2008

Quick Movie Reviews: When I Find the Ocean, Call of the Wild

Bill and I have been watching DVD’s at a reduced price from a local video store nearby. Here are two I believe that you and your family will enjoy.


When I Find the Ocean (2006) is the childhood drama of young Lily Strickland who sets out on the journey of a lifetime not out of her love for adventure but out of heartache. Longing for the father she lost to the ocean (a sailor lost at sea who was never found) and having no way to say goodbye, Lily strikes out on her own, beginning a journey of the spirit and of the heart.

The year is 1965: Lily Strickland lives in Alabama with her loving mother Jenny (Redford) and her caring grandparents (Lee Majors and Diane Ladd). Lily's father disappeared at sea years ago, yet his independent spirit lives on in the young girl who never lost her belief in dreams. Lily’s mother has now found a new man to share her life with and Lily is the bearer of unpleasant secrets in his life which only she knows. With her faith and belief that her father will guide her, Lily leaves her family home and sets out on her journey into the wilderness with her trusty dog. With the help of a friendly tugboat captain (Bernie Casey), she follows her dream to find the ocean and to finally set her heart at peace.

This is a poignant film which will touch the hearts of your family. However, since there is some violence in the film, I would not recommend this for very small children. It is rated PG.

Call of the Wild (Foxfire) is both enjoyable and entertaining, although it reminded me more of a TV show than a movie. While the scenery and photography were stunning, the editing was poor, and the black screen breaks between scenes were a little distracting.

Filmed in British Columbia, Call of the Wild stars Shane Meier as 15-year-old Miles Challenger, Nick Mancuso as his stepfather John Thornton, Rachel Hayward as his mother, and Kavic in the role of the legendary canine hero, Buck. Together, they are the protagonists in a drama that follows the Thornton family's efforts to make their way in the rough and untamed wilderness of the Yukon. Loosely based on the classic novel by Jack London, this film stakes its claim to being that rare breed of adventure series that parents and kids can watch together. It is not as dramatic nor as frightening as some versions I have seen of this film and contains some humor which lightens up the drama. This film is perfect for the entire family. It is not rated.

Abortionist Tiller Snaps, Runs His Jeep into Pro-lifer: DA Refuses to Charge Him

Nola Foulston


Wichita, KS -- On Wednesday, August 27, 2008, the Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office informed Mark Gietzen, Chairman of KCFL, (The Kansas Coalition for Life), that they would NOT bring any charges against Abortionist Tiller, in connection with the vehicular assault that occurred on April 5, 2006.


Sedgwick County District Attorney Nola Foulston is the close personal friend of Wichita's late-term abortionist George Tiller.

The decision was made in spite of the fact that Wichita Police obtained security camera images of the incident, which clearly show Tiller running his vehicle into Gietzen on the evening of April 5th, while Gietzen and a KCFL on-site volunteer, Randy Blasi, were standing at the edge of Tiller’s driveway, on the east gutter of Bleckley Street.


The District Attorney’s Office gave no logical explanation for their decision. However, Assistant District Attorney, Kim Parker, told Mark that she had no way of knowing whether Tiller hit him, or whether he hit Tiller’s vehicle.


This is a disingenuous concern, as the series of images, which were taken by Tiller’s security cameras, completely answer this question for Kim. There is no ambiguity whatsoever. Gietzen and Blasi are shown in a stationary position, in each frame, as Tiller’s vehicle approaches and hits Mark.


In spite of what the images show, Kim was unmoved after viewing the images, and maintained that Tiller will not be charged …regardless of what the evidence shows.


Gietzen and Blasi in the approximate position that they were in, when Tiller excessively accelerated his Jeep Grand Cherokee and aimed it directly at them, braking only at the last minute, hitting Mark, and nearly hitting the Truth-truck. Tiller never stopped.


In any case, there is a lot more to this story...


Tiller was angry with Mark and Randy, because on the day before the vehicular assault, Randy had been kneeling in prayer on the approximate one-square-foot block of concrete gutter that Mark is pointing to, in the photo above.


On that day, April 4, 2006, one of Tiller’s employees came out, and harassed Randy. She drove down the center of the driveway, (where no one normally drives, because they must turn either left or right when exiting), and stopped a foot or two in front of Randy. Randy was in a kneeling position, praying. She then repeatedly blew her car-horn, in long rude bursts. After awhile, seeing that Randy would not budge, she backed up, put her car back in its parking stall, and walked back inside.


Other background items that made Tiller so mad that he “snapped” are:


(1) Tiller had lost all of his legal attempts to get rid of the Crosses that we set every day at his facility. Our First Amendment Rights prevailed!


(2) Tiller failed in his attempt to prevent us from holding the overhead banner, (see homepage top photo, www.kcfl.net). And,


(3) Tiller lost in the battle over sidewalk chalk, i.e. we had a letter from the City Law Department ready and waiting when Tiller’s security guard called the police the first time we used the sidewalk chalk.


The point is that Tiller was in no mood to yield this one-foot-square of Bleckley Street gutter, for us to kneel and pray. He had enough! His patience had run out!


Nevertheless, if it had been Gietzen, who intentionally hit Tiller with a motor vehicle, (and in the Small Claims Court hearing Tiller did not deny that he intentionally hit Mark,) Gietzen would undoubtedly be sitting in jail today, serving time on an attempted murder charge.


For additional background information and more photos, see some of the details in the failed Small Claims Case on this matter: http://www.kcfl.net/kcfl/doc/newsr/07SC1015.pdf


For reference, the original Police Report is filed under Case Number: 06C024737.

The Small Claims Court case was dismissed due to the statute-of-limitations being one-year, and not two years as Mark had been advised. However, that limitation only applies to the civil damage claim, and not to the criminal aspects of this case.


The timing of this announcement, at the height of the Democrat National Convention, may have been designed to minimize media attention, or it could have been just a coincidence.


The citizens of Wichita are becoming increasingly aware that the Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office has two sets of standards; one set for friends with deep pockets, and another set of standards for everybody else.

Faith and Culture: Mulieris Dignitatem

Colleen Carroll Campbell interviews Teresa Tomeo, author Dale O'Leary, author Genevieve Kineke, author Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle, and former law professor of Notre Dame, Elizabeth Kirk all whom were delegates at the Rome Congress dedicated to the 20th anniversary of John Paul the Second's Letter to Women "Mulieris Dignitatem."

(1/3) Faith and Culture: 8/3/2008 Mulieris Dignitatem - Part 1



This video is split up into 3 parts. You can find the links to the other parts here.

New Directions in Christian Psychology

This is fascinating! If you have the time, be sure to watch this!

EWTN Original Production - Father Benedict Groeschel and Dr. Gladys Sweeny explore the recent efforts to bring Catholic and Christian values into the realm of professional psychology. View all three parts below.





Saturday, August 30, 2008

Sarah Palin: Energy, Biden, and National Security



Sarah Palin is interviewed on CNBC. Listen to what she has to say about Biden and Obama.

Related Posts:

John McCain Selects Sarah Palin as VP Running Mate

Sarah Palin's Edge: She's Exactly Who We Need!

Sarah Palin's Edge: She's Exactly Who We Need!

Watch these brief videos -- they convey who Governor Sarah Palin is -- she is exactly the person our country needs right now. She is a strong Christian mother of five who values and respects human life. She cares about this country and wants to change things for the better. Just watching these videos and listening to her makes me feel hopeful for our families and the future of our country. She is an authentic person - not a phony like so many politicians out there today who are only seeking money, power, and prestige. Unlike Barack Obama, she cares about our US troops, supports them, and has actually visited them in Iraq. In addition, her son who is in the National Guard will soon be deployed to Iraq. Check out this video: John McCain - Sarah Palin Visit Troops in Iraq.

Unlike Obama and Biden, who are entrenched in the culture of death, deception, and destruction, Sarah, a governor with executive experience (something Obama doesn't have), is a maverick, a woman with strong morals who will lift this country up and not drag it down.







Related Post: John McCain Selects Sarah Palin as VP Running Mate

9News coverage of huge pro-life sign protest at DNC



Denver NBC affiliate 9News gave fair and detailed coverage of the "Sheets of Shame" pro-life sign protest on a mountainside overlooking the Democrat National Convention on August 28.

For more info go to www.jillstanek.com.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Husband Test: Ladies, how well do you know your husband?

I found this test at Thoughts of a Regular Guy and decided to turn it into a meme. So here goes:

1. Sitting in front of the TV, what's on the screen?
The History Channel, Discovery, or a Cardinals Baseball game

2. You're out to eat; what kind of dressing does he get on his salad?
Ranch

3. What's one food he doesn't like?
He likes all foods.

4. You go out to the bar. What does he order?
Either a Michelob Ultra or a Bud Light

5. Where did he go to high school?
I know where, but prefer not to mention it online.

6. What size shoe does he wear?
12 DD

7. If he was to collect anything, what would it be?
German beer steins

8. What is his favorite type of sandwich?
Ham and Cheese on whole grain bread

9. What would this person eat every day if he could?
Pork and cabbage

10. What is his favorite cereal?
oatmeal

11. What would he never wear?
anything pink, a shirt with no pockets

12. What is his favorite sports team?
St. Louis Cardinals

13. Who will he vote for?
Not Obama - Biden, but the same candidates I will be voting for.

14. Who is his best friend? Me

15. What is something you do that he wishes you wouldn't do?
Wait until the last minute to put gas in my tank

16. How many states has he lived in? 3 -- IL, Texas, KS

17. What is his heritage? 100% German

18. You bake him a cake for his birthday; what kind of cake? strawberry cheesecake

19. Did he play sports in high school?

Is the Pope Catholic? At 6'7", he was on the basketball team and in junior college, was the MVP.

20. What could he spend hours doing? Playing cards (Euchre, Pinochle) and telling jokes

21. Does he belong to any men's organizations? Yes, he is a Knight of Columbus and belongs to 3rd and 4th degree groups

For this meme, I will tag:

1. Esther

2. Rosemary

3. Sarah

4. Ebeth

5. Elena

Anyone else who would like to do this meme is welcome -- please leave a message in my combox. Thanks!

John McCain Selects Sarah Palin as VP Running Mate

What a gutsy and wise move on McCain's part to select pro-life Sarah Palin, aka as "Sarah Barracuda" -- I love that nickname! Sarah has it all! Here is a quick overview of her qualifications:

  • 44 - year -old mom with five children
  • Strong Pro-life Christian who has a Down Syndrome baby
  • has challenged the influence of the big oil companies while fighting for the development of new energy resources
  • As Governor of Alaska, she has challenged a corrupt system and passed a landmark ethics reform bill.
  • has used her veto and cut budgetary spending
  • As the head of Alaska's National Guard and as the mother of a soldier herself who is about to be deployed to Iraq, Governor Palin understands what it takes to lead our nation and she understands the importance of supporting our troops.
  • has a record of bipartisan reform
  • A life-long member of the NRA who enjoys hunting, fishing, and Alaska history.
  • Sarah has served on numerous boards and commissions throughout the State, and stays active as a marathon runner, sports team mom, hockey manager and school volunteer.

My only question here is: Why isn't she running for President?

Not enough experience ... well... look at the inexperienced Barack Obama who has done nothing for the people of IL in his short span in office -- except to raise taxes, support baby killing, hang out with criminals and make deals with them, and lie through his teeth about what he's done to help the community. He's been a puppet, a "yes" man to the party of death and nothing more.

Sarah has served one month longer than Obama's been running for president and she has done more for this country than Obama has done in his lifetime. She's a winner!

And here is how she describes her husband, Todd Palin: "My husband was a lifelong commercial fisherman... [He is now] a production operator up in the oil fields up on Alaska's north slope, and he's a proud member of the United Steelworkers' Union. And he's a world champion snow machine racer."

You can learn more about Sarah here and here.

UPDATE: According to LifeNews.com, Palin is a member of Feminists for Life.


UPDATE: Americans United for Life has posted several of Palin's pro-life statements.

The Wall Sreet Journal: Anti-Abortion Activists Cheer McCain's V.P. Pick

Related Posts on Catholic Fire:

Sarah Palin's Edge: She's Exactly Who We Need!

Sarah Palin: Energy, Biden, and National Security

The Super Commenter Award



Therese from Aussie Coffee Shop has bestowed upon me the prestigious Super Commenter Award. Thanks so much, Therese! This is an honor, coming from you, dear lady, friend and advocate for human life.

The 'rules' of acceptance are that you nominate 7 other bloggers to receive the award.

My seven are:

1. Esther of A Catholic Mom in Hawaii

2. Marie of View from the Pews

3. Rosemary at A Catholic Mother's Thoughts

4. Owen at Luminous Mysteries

5. Leticia at Causas Nostra Laetitiae.

6 Sarah at Another Day of Catholic Pondering

7. Teófilo de Jesús at Vivificat!

MORE POLICE BRUTALITY IN DENVER AT DNC

ABC Reporter Arrested for taking Photo's of DNC top donors

Asa Eslocker Was Investigating the Role of Lobbyists and Top Donors at the Convention




DENVER -- Police in Denver arrested an ABC News producer as he and a camera crew were attempting to take pictures on a public sidewalk of Democratic senators and VIP donors leaving a private meeting at the Brown Palace Hotel. Police on the scene refused to tell ABC lawyers the charges against the producer, Asa Eslocker, who works with the ABC News investigative unit.

A cigar-smoking Denver police sergeant, accompanied by a team of five other officers, first put his hands on Eslocker's neck, then twisted the producer's arm behind him to put on handcuffs.

Get the story from ABC here.

Powerful: Alan Keyes in Denver



Alan Keyes addresses the crowd at "Power in the Park" in Denver, CO coinciding with the Democratic National Convention. I especially like the part where he talks about St. Thomas Aquinas.

This is powerful!

The Beheading of St. John the Baptist

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio
1608
Oil on canvas, 361 x 520 cm
Saint John Museum, La Valletta

Shortly after he had baptized Jesus, John the Baptist began to denounce Herod Antipas, the tetrarch of Galilee. Herod had divorced his own wife and taken Herodias, the wife of his half- brother Philip and also his own niece. John the Baptist declared, "It is not lawful for you to have her," so Herod threw him into prison.

Not only did Herod fear John and his disciples, he also knew him to be a righteous man, so he did not kill him. Herodias was determined to bring about John's death. From prison John followed Jesus's ministry, and sent messengers to question him (Luke 7:19-29). One day Herod gave an eloquent banquet to celebrate his birthday. His entire court was present as well as other powerful and influential Palestinians. Herodias's daughter Salome so pleased Herod when she danced to entertain the company that he promised her whatever she would ask--even half of his kingdom. Salome asked her mother for counsel and was told to request the head of the Baptist (Matthew 14:1-12).

Because of his pride Herod, though deeply sorry, could not decline the request; as St. Augustine said, "an oath rashly taken was criminally kept." He sent a soldier of the guard to behead John in prison. Thus, the "voice crying in the wilderness" was silenced. The head was placed on a platter and taken to Salome, who gave it to her mother.

When John's disciples heard what had happened, they took away his body and laid it in a tomb, where he was venerated in the 4th century.

The Greatness of St. John the Baptist

John's holiness appears so great that the Jews come to ask him if he is the looked - for Christ. but he, forestalled as he is with divine favors, protests that he is but "the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, make straight the way of the Lord.

"The other prophets only saw the Messiah afar off; he points him out in person and in terms so clear that all sincere hearts understand them: "Behold the lamb of God," behold the one who is the object of all the desires of the human race, because he takes away the sins of the world; Ecce Agnus Dei. You do not yet know him, although he is in the midst of you: Medius vestrum stetit quem vos nescitis; he is greater than I, for he was before me; he is so great that I am not even worthy to loose the latchet of his shoe; so great that "I saw the Spirit coming down as a dove from heaven, and he remained upon him...and I saw, and I gave testimony that this is the Son of God.

"What more has he yet to say? "He that comes from above, is above all. He who God has seen heard that he testified...he whom God has sent, speaks the words of God; for God does not give the Spirit by measure. The father loves the Son; and he has given all things into his hand. He that believed in the Son, has life everlasting; but he that not believes in the Son, shall not see life; but the wrath of God abides on him.

"These are the last words of the Precursor. By them he achieves his work of preparing souls to receive the Messiah. Indeed, when the Incarnate Word, who alone can speak the words from on high because he is ever in sinu Patris, begins his public mission as the Savior, John will disappear; he will no longer bear testimony to the Truth save with the shedding of his blood.

The Christ, whom he announced, has come at last; he is that Light unto which John bore testimony, and all those who believe in that Light have everlasting life. It is to Him alone that it must be said: "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life."

~ Blessed Columba Marmion, O.S.B.

Blessed Columba Marmion was abbot of the Benedictine Abbey of Maredsous, Belgium.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Priests and Other Pro-lifers Arrested at DNC

Thirteen people (including two Catholic priests) were arrested for blocking access to the Democratic National Convention in Denver.The police begin issuing warnings and making arrests about two minutes into this raw video.(The arrestees include Randall Terry, Fr. Norman Weslin of Nebraska, and Fr. Joseph Klee of Ohio.)

Archbishop Chaput on FNC Cavuto Program on Pelosi, Biden



FNC's Neil Cavuto interviewed Catholic Archbishop Chaput of Denver on August 28, 2008 about Nancy Pelosi's misrepresentation of Catholic teaching on abortion and Joe Biden's reception of Communion.

Related Posts:

Denver archbishop slams Pelosi on Church teachings and abortion

"Ardent, Practising Catholic" Pelosi's Expert Comments on Human Life

Biden in the Confessional

After watching his speech on TV last night, Biden has many, many more sins to Confess as he told numerous lies. I couldn't believe the number of outrageous lies he told about both Obama and John McCain that slid so easily across his tongue. He certainly needs our prayers!


Aug 28 - Homily: St Augustine



Let us declare with the great St. Augustine that we have been late in loving God and yet we know that are hearts will be restless until they rest in HIm .
Ave Maria!

Mary, Lady of the prophecy of Simeon



This video is done as a decade of the rosary, ten statements, each to help you meditate on the mystery of the presentation of Jesus in the Temple. Here we find Mary listening to the prophecy of Simeon.

Abortion survivors protest the 2008 Democrat Convention



The group Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust (www.survivors.la) staged a protest at the 2008 Democrat National Convention in Denver on August 27, 2008.

They first replaced flowers on The Children's Wall as they have done every day of the convention. The flowers have remained untouched.

They then staged a "Die In," to emulate abortion deaths against a backdrop of large graphic photos of aborted babies with the caption, "Barack Obama Change This."

~ Via Jill Stanek.

Police Brutality at the DNC in Denver


Two young girls were brutally attacked by police Wednesday evening without warning as they were chalking the sidewalk with pro-life messages outside the Westin Hotel, where Democratic Presidential Nominee Barack Obama is staying. The girls were knocked to the ground, kneed in the back, handcuffed, and painfully dragged away.

Go here for the rest of the story.

MORE IMPORTANT THAN VOTING: NATIONWIDE PRO-LIFE SIGNATURE AD PETITION

Abortion is the most pressing moral issue of our time. Like slavery once did, abortion unjustifiably denies the legal personhood of an entire segment of human society, and again like slavery, abortion is intrinsically evil. Abortion always takes the innocent life of an unborn child, and it almost always degrades and demeans the life of the mother, long-term. Abortion is completely against human nature, particularly against the nurturing nature of most women. Abortion causes more societal problems than it solves. Every human being is created by God, and has an inherent right to life and liberty. Therefore, like William Wilberforce and those who signed the petition to stop the English Slave Trade 200 years ago, we the undersigned urge those in public office, or in any position of power and influence, to stop taxpayer funding of organizations that promote abortion, and to help build a world where all human life is treated with justice, dignity, and love.

Please help to stop abortion by signing the Pro-life Signature Ad. This petition will be going to the Supreme Court and the list will be published in the National Catholic Register. If you are a citizen of the U.S. you are qualified to sign this ad.

I recently received the following request from my friend, Mark Geitzen, Kansas Coaltion for Life, who is also a Truth Truck driver for Operation Rescue:

Please ask your contacts to sign the nationwide ProLife Signature-Ad Petition. To make it easier to read, people can isolate their own city and / or their own state, by going to the SHOW ONLY field on the top of the page here.

To show people why it is so important, have them read this.

Look over the full ad text, sign your name, and give as generous of a donation to the KCFL ad effort as you can. Any amount that you can give will be deeply appreciated and will be used to pay for the National Catholic Register two page ad. However, a donation is not a requirement for signing this ad.

St. Augustine: A saint who is dear to my heart


St. Augustine is one of my favorite saints. At age 12, I read his Confessions and was fascinated with his great love and passion for the Lord. Little did I realize at that time that eleven years later, I would stop practicing my Catholic faith and, like Augustine, it would be the long-suffering and persistent prayers of my mother that would draw me to the heart of Jesus and bring me home to my faith.

St. Augustine was a Western Father of the Church and his conversion to Christianity is well-known as one of the most important events in the history of the Church.

Augustine was born in Tagaste, Africa in 354 to Patrcius, a pagan Roman official, and to Monica, a devout Christian. Monica raised Augustine in the Christian faith, but when he went to study law in Carthage, he turned away from his Christian beliefs and led a life of immorality and hedonism.

At age 15, he took a took a mistress who bore him a son, Adoedatus, which means “the gift of God,” and at age 18, he and his friend, Honoratus became members of the Manichaean heretical sect, which accepted the dual principle of good and evil.

The late Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen explained his attraction to the heresy: “The conflict between flesh and spirit in him was resolved by the heresy of Manichæanism because it enabled him to pursue a voluptuous life without ever being held accountable for it. He could say that the evil principle within him was so strong, so deep, and intense that the good principle could not operate.”

Augustine turned away from his pursuit of law to literary endeavors and won poetic tournaments and made a name for himself in the world of philosophy. Augustine made plans to teach in Rome, but instead went to Milan.

“Monica prayed that her son would never go to Italy because she feared that there would be more evil companionship there than in Northern Africa. Her prayers seemed to go unanswered, but at the same time, they were answered in a mysterious way.

In the year 384, Augustine told his mother to go to visit the Church of St. Cyprian the Martyr while he went to visit friends. He slipped away from Africa that night and went to Rome, against his mother's wishes. His reputation as an orator and rhetorician preceded him and he was recognized as one of the most learned men of his time.

When Augustine went to Milan, to plead for the restoration of paganism to the City, he heard of the scholarship and the oratorical powers of Ambrose, the Bishop. Many days he would sit under the pulpit in veneration of Ambrose. Later, he spent many hours in his company, discussing philosophy and he took manuscripts from Ambrose's library to read.

All the while, the chains of habit were strong in Augustine and his carnal nature was resisting his spiritual birth. In August, 386, he met Pontitianus who told Augustine the story of St. Anthony of the Desert. St. Anthony spent more than seventy years in the desert.

After hearing the story, Augustine said: "Manes is an impostor. The Almighty calls me. Christ is the only way and Paul is my guide.

"If Anthony has conquered the libido and sex, why could not he, Augustine asked himself.

Augustine eager to be alone went into the garden. There he underwent a conflict between the old ego and the new one that was being born.

Casting himself at the foot of a spreading fig tree, he cried hot and bitter tears, which overflowed and bathed his spirit. He cried aloud:

"When shall I achieve salvation, when shall I cast off my fetters? Tomorrow perhaps, or the day after? Why not this very hour?"

Suddenly he became aware of the voice of a child, a boy or girl, he knew not, speaking in a neighboring house.

"Take up and read," said the sweet voice.

He hurried back into the room. He found a copy of the epistles of St. Paul, which Pontitianus had been fingering. Seizing it, and opening it at random, his eyes fell upon the words of St. Paul to the Romans 13:13:

"Not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying; but put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ and make not provision for the flesh."

In that one moment, the carnal passions, which had for sixteen years appeared invincible, were annihilated.

Augustine cries out in deep regret:

"Too late, O Ancient Beauty, have I loved Thee."

On Holy Thursday, which fell on April 22, 387 AD, he recited the Credo aloud in the presence of an assembled congregation. He fasted until Holy Saturday and in the evening he went to the Basilica, where Bishop Ambrose pronounced the last exorcisms over him, made the sign of the Cross upon his forehead and breast, and poured the baptismal waters.

Then, in accordance with the custom used only in the church in Milan, Ambrose got on his knees and washed the feet of Augustine. The two saints were united for perhaps the last time on earth. The elder humbled himself before the younger, the more famous before the more obscure.

Adeodatus, the carnal son of his sinning, received Baptism at the same time.

The nameless woman whom Augustine lived with, and mother of Adeodatus, returned to Carthage and spent her remaining days in penance.

One of the effects of Augustine's conversion was a return to joviality, and a deep sense of inner peace. There was also a great increase of literary productiveness. Between the years 380 and 386, before his conversion, he had not written a single page. Now, in a short space of time, he composed four brief books in succession.

In 397, or twelve years after his conversion, Augustine wrote his Confessions, the greatest spiritual autobiography ever written. It is the work of a teacher who explains, a philosopher who thinks, and a theologian who instructs. It is the work of a poet who achieves chaste beauty in the writing, and a mystic who pours out thanks for having found himself in peace.

"Too late have I loved You, O Beauty so ancient and so new, too late have I loved You. You have called to me, and have cried out, and have shattered my deafness. You have blazed forth with light and have put my blindness to flight! You have sent forth fragrance, and I have drawn in my breath, and I pant after You. I have taste You, and I hunger and thirst after You. You have touched me, and I have burned for Your peace" (Confessions 10,27).

None of the Freuds or Jungs or Adlers of our 20th century has ever pierced the conscious and the unconscious mind with a rapier as keen as Augustine's. No man can say he has ever understood himself if he has not read the 'Confessions' of Augustine.”


St. Monica died in Ostia (modern Italy) and St. Augustine remained in Italy, for a time, praying, studying and writing, before returning to Tagaste, Africa, where he sold all his possessions and distributed the money to the poor. He was ordained as a priest in 391. He was later made bishop of Hippo at the age of 41 and became one of the four great founders of religious orders and a Doctor of the universal Church. He died on August 30, 430.

Patron: Brewers; diocese of Bridgeport, Connecticut; Cagayan de Oro, Philippines; diocese of Kalamazoo, Michigan; printers; city of Saint Augustine, Florida; diocese of Saint Augustine, Florida; sore eyes; diocese of Superior, Wisconsin; theologians; diocese of Tucson, Arizona.

Symbols: flaming heart pierced by two arrows; eagle; child with shell and spoon; word Veritas with rays of light from Heaven; chalice; dove; pen and book; scroll; scourge; model of a church; Bible opened to Romans xiii; child; shell.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Barack Obama Cartoon: It's Never too late to Choose!

~ John Francis Borra, SFO veritatis@eaglecom.net
Used with permission

Related Posts on Catholic Fire:

Obama's Twisted Mind: His Sick Voting Record

Barack Obama's Mad World

Barack Obama and The Comfort Room

Barack Obama: The Most Anti-Catholic Presidential Candidate

Jill Stanek: Obama's Worst Nightmare

A Must See: Jill Stanek on Hannity and Colmes TONIGHT

Hannity, Colmes, Coulter, panel debate: Obama/Born Alive

Activist Group Launches Campaign and Web Site To Expose Obama’s Abortion Extremism

Obama: Lies, Lies, Lies!

Hannity, Colmes, Corsi debate Obama's support of infanticide

Breaking News: Obama Cover-up Revealed on Born Alive Survivors Bill

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

Stanek response to Obama's Relevant interview lies

Jill Stanek -- CNN: Obama's opposition to Born Alive Act

Obama warns stations not to air radical ad

Sen. Barack Obama is warning TV stations and asking the Justice Department to intervene in an attempt to block the airing of an ad by a non-profit group that links him to an unrepentant domestic terrorist.

The spot by the American Issues Project questions Obama's ties to William Ayers, a founder of the Weather Underground organization who boasted of a series of bomb attacks at the Pentagon and U.S. Capitol four decades ago. MORE



My Comments: This video has been going around for awhile now -- I believe that most people have seen it. There were 175,993 views on You Tube alone when I last checked and it's been in the email. Once again, Obama is trying to cover up the truth about his past and who he really is.

August 27 - Homily: Purity of Intention



We must do all things well and in order to do all things well we must have the right intention - purity of intention, and we must look to the Blessed Virgin Mary who had the purest of intentions and ask Her for this gift.
Ave Maria!

Reflection on St. Monica



For more information on getting your family back to the Catholic faith, go to the Marian Mantle Group here.

St. Monica, Patron of Married Women and Mothers


Today is the memorial of St. Monica, one of my favorite saints. She was a tenacious, patient and persistent prayer warrior who never gave up on her son, Augustine, a great sinner, who later became so strongly drawn to the faith that he was eventually canonized, as one of the Church's greatest teachers and philosophers and was designated as a doctor of the Church.

Monica was born in 332 to Christian parents in present day Algeria to Christian parents and married at the age 13 or 14 to an older man named Patricius, who was neither wealthy nor Christian. He has also been described as an ill tempered man who was unfaithful to her. In addition, she had to deal with a live-in mother-in-law who was constantly criticizing her. She sought refuge in God through an intimate prayer life and in her three children: Augustine, Navigius, and Perpetua. (It is believed that two other children died in infancy.) In answer to her constant prayers, both her mother-in-law and her husband Patricius converted to Christianity. Monica had been praying for the two of them for 20 years. Patricius died the following year.

At the time of his father’s death, Augustine was 17 and a student in Carthage. Augustine kept bad company and was immersed in “a cauldron of illicit loves.” He took a Carthaginian woman as his mistress and lived with her for fifteen years. Monica prayed constantly for his faith, but the faith he adopted was as a Manichean. For a while, Monica banned him from her house. In her sorrow a certain bishop consoled her: "Don't worry, it is impossible that a son of so many tears should be lost." Then one night she had a vision that assured her Augustine would return to the faith. From that time on she stayed close to her son, praying and fasting for him.

When he was 29, Augustine left North Africa for a teaching position in Italy and Monica tried to follow him, but he was determined to go alone, so he tricked her into believing that he was only visiting the port to say goodbye to a friend, when he was actually leaving. Monica followed him anyway and found him seriously depressed and tried to arrange a wealthy marriage for him. The faithful mistress had left their son with him and had returned to Carthage. Augustine took another mistress and then became engaged to wealthy young woman, whom he later abandoned when he decided to take a vow of celibacy. Augustine had met Ambrose, the archbishop of Milan, and was influenced greatly by him.

For a while, Monica lived with Augustine and her grandson in a country cottage in Milan, where where they lived in community with friends and his brother, Navigus and she served as the housekeeper. Here she found St. Ambrose, who became her spiritual director, and through him, she ultimately had the joy of seeing Augustine convert to Christianity, after seventeen years of resistance. Augustine was baptized by Ambrose in 387 in the church of St. John the Baptist at Milan.

Augustine tired of teaching and resolved to return to North Africa. The family set out on their journey, stopping at Cività Vecchia and then at Ostia. Here Monica died in peace and the finest pages of Augustine’s "Confessions" were penned as the result of the emotion he then experienced.

Monica is the patron of:
abuse victims, alcoholics, alcoholism, Bevilacqua, Italy, difficult marriages, disappointing children, homemakers, housewives, Mabini, Bohol, Philippines, married women, mothers, victims of adultery, victims of unfaithfulness, victims of verbal abuse, widows, wives

Quotes of St. Monica

“Nothing is far from God.”

“Son, nothing in this world now affords me delight. I do not know what there is now for me to do or why I am still here, all my hopes in this world being now fulfilled.”

~ About the conversion to St. Augustine


Prayer to St. Monica


Dear St. Monica, troubled wife and mother, many sorrows pierced your heart during your lifetime. Yet, you never despaired or lost faith. With confidence, persistence, and profound faith, you prayed daily for the conversion of your beloved husband, Patricius, and your beloved son, Augustine; your prayers were answered. Grant me that same fortitude, patience, and trust in the Lord. Intercede for me, dear St. Monica, that God may favorably hear my plea for(mention request here...)and grant me the grace to accept His Will in all things, through Jesus Christ, our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.

Collect:

God of mercy, comfort those in sorrow, the tears of Saint Monica moved you to convert her son Saint Augustine to the faith of Christ. By their prayers, help us to turn from our sins and to find your loving forgiveness. Grant 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.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Instruments of Peace (Prayer)

The prayer I recite daily set to music...



Though St. Francis-a thoroughly Roman Catholic man, did not actually compose this prayer, which first appeared in France around the year 1915 A.D., still,it embodies his spirit and vocation.

"Jesus Christ, the Liberator of mankind, is the everlasting and ever flowing source of all the good things that come to us from the infinite bounty of God; so that He who has once saved the world is He who will save it throughout all ages; "for there is no other name under heaven given to men whereby we must be saved."(Acts 4:12) If then the human race fall into sin, either through its natural propensities or through the faults of men,it is absolutely indispensable to have recourse to Jesus Christ and to recognize in Him the most powerful and the most sure means of salvation. For so great and so efficacious is the divine virtue of Christ's teachings that it is at once a refuge from all dangers and a remedy for all evils.And the cure is certain, if mankind returns to the profession of Christian doctrine and to the rules of life laid down by the Gospel." - (Pope Leo XIII,1897 ad.) -- It was with this great truth in mind and heart that St. Francis founded the Order of Friars Minor, the Poor Clares, and the Third Order of Penance, almost 800 years ago.

~ The Franciscan archive via Catholiques.

Catholic Carnival 187 is up!

It's being hosted once again by Ebeth at Catholic Mom Climbing the Pillars. There are a wide variety of interesting posts there.

Here are just a few of my favorites:

1. Lionel's "Lord, How do I serve you?"

2. Jane Marcoux's The Cat Who Came To Bible Study posted at Building the Ark.

3. Sarah's post, "Difficult People at Just Another Day of Catholic Pondering.

4. Christine's post "Nancy Pelosi denies Catholicism Opposes Abortion."

5. Michelle's Grace In the Dust at Quantum Theology.

Archbishop Chaput and Alveda King Lead Vigil at New Denver PP Clinic

Vigil held at new Planned Parenthood clinic

About 2,500 people circled the new Planned Parenthood clinic Monday night as part of a vigil organized by the Archdiocese of Denver.

A niece of the late Marin Luther King. Jr., Alveda King, and Denver's Roman Catholic Archbishop Charles Chaput led the marchers in calling for an end to abortion and the closing of the clinic. Some of the marchers recited the rosary while others marched silently on sidewalks that had been previously chalked with anti-abortion messages. MORE

Best of the Blogosphere: The Democratic Convention

Jill Stanek: Breaking news: Pro-lifers unfurl world's largest sign at DNC


Go here for photos and commentary.

Amy Proctor reports: At the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado, Barack Obama’s wife Michelle gave a moving speech to kick off the week long political event. She brought grown women to tears. It was great, although many political analysts thought the entire day, not only Mrs. Obama’s speech, failed to accomplish the task of healing the many fractures created in the Obama campaign over the last 19 months. Read the rest of Michelle Obama Makes the Women Cry with DNC Speech.

From Operation Rescue: Denver, CO – Operation Rescue’s Truth Truck fleet continues to roll through the congested streets of Denver, garnering reaction from media celebrities, delegates, and the “man on the street.”

Operation Rescue President Troy Newman reports that he saw reactions from Democratic Commentator James Carville and television reporter Sam Donaldson, among others. Newman also joined up with Pro-Life columist Jill Stanek out on the streets of Denver.

“Security has made it very difficult to get near the DNC venues, but the Truth Trucks just can’t be ignored,” said Newman. Read the rest here.

Jack Yoest's The DNC Convention, Day 1: Did It Sell? is enlightening and a little shocking, particularly since I didn't have the stomach to watch the Party of Death's convention.

TAKE ACTION: PROTECT THE RIGHTS OF HEALTH CARE WORKERS

The United States Department of Health and Human Services has publicized new proposed regulations to protect the conscience rights of health care providers. They are inviting comments from the public from now through September 19. Go there today!

The HHS press release announcing can be found here.

Comments can be submitted at http://www.regulations.gov/ or via e-mail to consciencecomment@hhs.gov.

Related Posts:

Catholic Fire: Cardinal Rigali Defends conscience protections for pro-life health workers

Jill Stanek: Action needed NOW on DHHS conscience protection regs

Christian Newswire: Proposed Regulation Would Protect Health Care Workers' Rights Says Fr. Pavone

Stop Pro-abortionists Obama and Biden: Prayer Novena for the Elections

Please join in the daily Novena Prayer for our Nation as we Prepare to Elect our Leaders at Priests for Life which begins on Monday, September 1 and lasts for nine weeks, until election day, Tuesday, November 4. The prayer is available in both English and Spanish.

Fr. Frank Pavone: "Above My Pay Grade"



We were recently treated to the remark by Barack Obama that the question of when a baby receives human rights was beyond his pay grade. At the public forum at Saddleback Church, he said: “… whether you’re looking at it from a theological perspective or a scientific perspective, answering that question with specificity … is above my pay grade.”

That, of course, is exactly what the Supreme Court said in Roe vs. Wade, the decision that legalized abortion in American throughout all nine months of pregnancy. Faced with a question it found too uncomfortable, the majority said the following:

“We need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins. When those trained in the respective disciplines of medicine, philosophy, and theology are unable to arrive at any consensus, the judiciary, at this point in the development of man's knowledge, is not in a position to speculate as to the answer” [410 U.S. 113, 159].

So what are we to think of those who speak this way? Is it vice or virtue? Do they display a careful effort not to play God, or a cowardly unwillingness to assert the rights of their fellow human beings?

Some say that the government should not be involved in the personal, private decision of abortion. They don’t know how right they are. The government got “too involved” in the abortion decision when it legalized it. Despite its profession of ignorance about whether what is aborted is in fact a human life that has already begun, the Court nevertheless declared, “the word ‘person,’ as used in the Fourteenth Amendment, does not include the unborn” [410 U.S. 113, 158]. What part of the pay grade of government is the right to define the boundaries of human rights or the limits of protection for the human family? Since when does the government get involved in deciding who qualifies for human rights?

Claiming ignorance about who has human rights is a frightening abandonment of responsibility. Some may think it’s an effort not to “play God,” but it is actually just the opposite: the claim to be God. We may claim not to decide, but in practice, we cannot escape deciding: either every human being will be protected, or we will start deciding whom to exclude.

This gives rise to two thoughts, one from common sense and one from Scripture. Common sense tells us that if someone is hunting and doesn’t know whether what’s moving behind the bush is a bear or a man, he should refrain from shooting until he is sure. Doubt, in other words, leads to an abundance of caution, not an abandonment of it.

Scripture, moreover, tells us that the man who committed the first murder claimed ignorance about the one he had killed. “Where is your brother?” God asked Cain. “I don’t know” was his answer. It was a lie, and it doesn’t allow either Cain or the Supreme Court or anyone else to escape their responsibility to protect their vulnerable brothers and sisters.

Via Priests for Life.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Best of the Blogosphere: Faith and Politics


The Curt Jester's Responding to Nancy Pelosi provides some satisfaction to the confusion she created on Meet The Press.

American Papist asks the question we want to know: How will Pelosi respond?

(I'm wondering what crazy story she'll concoct next? As long as it corresponds to the Democratic pro-death agenda, she'll be OK with it. Who cares how ridiculous and outlandish it is? No one has the expert knowledge about the faith that she does after studying it so diligently.)

Pro-life activists from everywhere have descended upon Denver to remind Democrats what their party stands for.

"...a Planned Parenthood rep gave me my own "Protect Yourself from John McCain" condom, 1 of 10 varieties listing the "10 things everyone should know about John McCain"..."

Catholic and GOP's
Biden and Abortion
gives us the scoop on his abortion record.

Blessed Jacob Gapp, S.M., may well be considered another patron of the Catholic press as well as a patron of justice and peace advocates.

Pill Goggles



A scientific report from the University of Liverpool suggests birth control pills alter a woman's perception of who she finds attractive.

~ Via American Life League.

Denver archbishop slams Pelosi on Church teachings and abortion

In a statement eloquently titled “On the Separation of Sense and State,” the Archbishop of Denver, Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., and his Auxiliary Bishop James D. Conley harshly criticized Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, for giving a confusing view of the Catholic Church’s teaching on abortion, during a Sunday interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“Catholic public leaders inconvenienced by the abortion debate” –says the statement- “tend to take a hard line in talking about the ‘separation of Church and state.’ But their idea of separation often seems to work one way.”

“In fact, some officials also seem comfortable in the role of theologian. And that warrants some interest, not as a ‘political’ issue, but as a matter of accuracy and justice.” Archbishop Chaput’s statement recognizes Pelosi as “a gifted public servant of strong convictions and many professional skills” but adds that “regrettably, knowledge of Catholic history and teaching does not seem to be one of them.” MORE

Read the full statement here.

Related Post: "Ardent, Practising Catholic" Pelosi's Expert Comments on Human Life

Saint Quote of the Day: St. Louis IX

"Be kindhearted to the poor, the unfortunate and the afflicted. Give them as much help and consolation as you can. Thank God for all the benefits he has bestowed upon you, that you may be worthy to receive greater. Always side with the poor rather than with the rich, until you are certain of the truth."

~ St. Louis IX

"Ardent, Practising Catholic" Pelosi's Expert Comments on Human Life




On yesterday’s NBC-TV show, “Meet the Press,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was asked to comment on when life begins. Here is what she said: “I would say that as an ardent, practicing Catholic, this is an issue that I have studied for a long time. And what I know is, over the centuries, the doctors of the Church have not been able to make that definition.”

When Tom Brokaw told her that the Catholic Church “feels very strongly” that life begins at conception, Pelosi said, “I understand. And this is like maybe 50 years or something like that. So again, over the history of the Church, this is an issue of controversy.”

Catholic League president Bill Donohue responded as follows:
“Here is what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says: ‘Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception.’ It also says, ‘Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable.’ Looks like Pelosi didn’t study the subject long enough. But not to worry: We are sending her a copy of Catholicism for Dummies today (the Catechism is like maybe a bit advanced).

“Whether Joe Biden is as ignorant of what his religion teaches remains to be seen. What is not in doubt is the enthusiasm which NARAL showed when he was selected to join the ticket. The radical pro-abortion group was delighted, as were the radical pro-abortion delegates to the Democratic convention: as reported in today’s New York Times, 64 percent of Americans reject abortion-on-demand, yet only 23 percent of the delegates do. It is only fitting, then, that NARAL’s president will speak today at the Convention and Planned Parenthood’s president will speak tomorrow.

“So there we have it: the man running for president on the Democratic ticket supports selective infanticide, his running mate is a pro-abortion Catholic, the delegates are wildly out of step with Americans on abortion and the Speaker of the House hasn’t a clue what her religion teaches on the subject.”

My Comments: I can't believe how stupid this woman is! First, she expects the public to believe that she is "an ardent, practicising Catholic" when she doesn't even know the basic Catholic teachings on human life and when she has excommunicated herself from the Church by supporting abortion and the pro-death agenda. She is an embarassment to the faith! She creates public scandal and has no business calling herself "Catholic" -- she's a phony! She expects people to believe her idiotic lies -- which means she must think they are even more stupid than she is! What a joke!

St. Louis IX, Confessor, King of France



Louis IX, King of France, son of Louis VIII and Blanche of Castile, was born at Poissy, April 25, 1215. Louis was eleven years old when his father's death made him king.

At that time, his mother Queen Blanche of Castile, was declared regent and remained an important influence in his life.

Louis had tutors who made him a master of Latin, taught him to speak easily in public and write with dignity and grace. But Blanche's primary concern was to implant in him a deep regard and awe for everything related to religion. She used often to say to him as he was growing up, "I love you my dear son, as much as a mother can love her child; but I would rather see you dead at my feet than that you should commit a mortal sin."

At nineteen, he married Marguerite of Provence and the couple had eleven children. Louis was a model father and his children received careful instruction from him in the Christian life.

Louis brought justice to France. When, for example, a baron hanged three students for poaching rabbits, the King's response was firm. He forced the Baron to surrender his forest, imprisoned him for a time, fined him heavily, made him build a chapel in memory of each student, and ordered him to crusade for three years in Palestine.

Louis was a loving and generous king. The poorest of the poor were recipients of his charity and alms everyday. Beggars were fed from his table, he ate their leavings, washed their feet, and ministered to the needs of the lepers. Daily, he fed 120 poor people. He founded many hospitals and houses: the House of the Felles-Dieu for reformed prostitutes; the Quinze-Vingt for 300 blind men (1254), and hospitals at Pontoise, Vernon, Compiégne.

Louis was a faithful Christian sovereign. One of his first acts as King was to build the famous monastery of Royaumont, with funds left for the purpose by his father. Louis gave encouragement to the religious orders, placing the Carthusians in the palace of Vauvert in Paris, and assisting his mother in founding the convent of Maubuisson.

Louis led an exemplary life, secretly spending long hours in prayer, fasting, and penance. He attended Holy Mass twice daily, and was surrounded, even while traveling, with priests chanting the hours.

Louis was a patron of architecture. The Sainte Chappelle was constructed in his reign, and it was under his patronage that Robert of Sorbonne founded the "College de la Sorbonne," which became the seat of the theological faculty of Paris.

Louis died near Tunis, August 25, 1270 and was canonized in Orvieto in 1297, by Boniface VIII.

Quotes:

"If God send thee adversity, receive it in patience and give thanks to our Saviour and bethink thee that thou hast deserved it, and that He will make it turn to thine advantage. If He send thee prosperity, then thank Him humbly, so that thou becomest not worse from pride or any other cause, when thou oughtest to be better. For we should not fight against God with his own gifts."

"In prosperity, give thanks to God with humility and fear lest by pride you abuse God's benefits and so offend him."

~ This is a revision of an earlier post.

August 25: The Simple Woman's Daybook


Please visit Peggy to learn what the other women are thinking and feeling today.

For Today...

Outside my Window...it's very warm and humid...sunny skies... subtle signs of autumn approaching...the chrysanthemums are up and it won't be long until they're in bloom. A pumpkin plant in the backyard has blooms...

I am thinking...that it would be nice to take a cruise to Mexico and lay on the beach and do nothing. Perhaps I can escape for a daydream or a brief nap later on today -- there's too much to do right now.

I am thankful for...my husband Bill, who is so helpful to me at home and in my business. I am so thankful that the Lord provides for us in so many ways.

From the kitchen...pork chops and stir fry from fresh veggies we purchased at the farmer's market.

I am wearing...a light blue sleeveless dress and am barefoot while sitting here... sandals otherwise.

I am reading...a new book to be reviewed soon.

I am creating...a new invitation list for my Juice Plus+ wellness presentations.

I am hearing...the hum of the dryer spinning my towels around.

Around the house...floors need washing and a little vacuuming needs to be done. It's quiet...the cats are napping and not sitting on the computer desk today.

One of my favorite things...is picking fresh veggies or fruits from the plants in our small garden. There's another ripe tomato today.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...phone calls, emails, and planning for another wellness presentation, appointments to be made, lots of reading and writing to do -- a busy week ahead.

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

delicate flowers with a beautiful aroma from a bush in the backyard

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Catholics Against Joe Biden

I have added a new blog to my sidebar -- one that is crucially important at this time in our history. I encourage all Catholics to join and to add Catholics Against Joe Biden to their blogroll.

We all know that Joe Biden -- Obama's VP running mate is not a true Catholic -- but is a strong pro-abort who received a 100% approval rating from NARAL and a 0% rating from the National Right to Life. We need to strongly oppose him and to pray for his conversion as well.

Be sure to read: Why should Catholics oppose Senator Joe Biden?

Related posts on Catholic Fire:

Joe Biden Should Be Excommunicated

Obama Selects Fake Catholic Biden as VP Mate

A Beauty Contest for Nuns?

An Italian priest who says Sophia Loren is his ideal woman is launching a beauty contest for nuns to prove that there are pretty nuns.

The Times Online reports Fr Antonio Rungi, from Mondragone in the province of Caserta, near Naples, said he expected at least a thousand nuns to enter the "Sister Italia" contest. It would at first run online, but he hoped it would then become a "real pageant" on the lines of the annual Miss Italy contest, complete with a parade and interviews.

Fr Rungi, a moral theologian, said the nuns would not wear swimsuits or revealing outfits. He said what he valued most in a woman was "inner beauty".

Asked for his feminine ideal however, he replied "Well, I would say Sophia Loren". MORE

Via CathNews. H/T to Esther.

It's Gold!


Esther has honored me by awarding me with the GOLD. Thank you so much Esther!! I'm so happy you received this award because you truly deserve it. Your blog is so warm and welcoming! I enjoy reading all your uplifting spiritual and inspirational posts, and particularly enjoy your Fine Art Fridays, which contain such beautiful art and wonderful commentary. Please drop by and visit A Catholic Mom in Hawaii and see if what I say isn't true.

Since I was privileged to receive this award, there are also responsibilities that come with it. One must share the "wealth." I will be awarding this prestigious award to the following bloggers:

2. Deb

The Blogging Friends Forever Rules are:

1. Only five people allowed.

2. Four have to be dedicated followers of your blog.

3. One has to be someone new, or recently new to your blog, or live in another part of the world.

4. You must link back to whoever gave you the 'Blogging Friends Forever' award.

Monastic Brothers of Bethlehem... part 1

The 'Monastic Family of Bethlehem and the Assumption of the Virgin Mary'took birth in 1950, following the promulgation of the dogma of the Assumption of the Virgin. The Sisters were founded on France, soon after, and the Brothers in France in 1976. They are 2 geographically distinct Lavras of Hermits,one Congregation men, the other of women, though with similar charism lifestyle and foundation.

The life of the Monks is to love Jesus through Mary, and adore the Blessed Trinity in silence and solitude . It is Saint Bruno that the religious confide in to guide them toward the hermit life. The life of the monastic family of Bethlehem is inspired by the model lauras or skites in Egyptian beginnings of Christian monasticism, where the monks lived in solitude through the week and gathered for the Holy Synaxis on Sunday.

The monks (and nuns) of Bethlehem pray, work, study, eat and sleep in their cells and hermitages. The monastic day begins with evening vespers celebrated in common in the chapel. Then, the Religious stand Vigil during the night "where they mount a holy and persevering watch, awaiting the return of their Master, in opening when he knocks" (San Bruno).They then go to the oratory for Matins, followed by Lauds and the Eucharist. They are the only two times liturgical celebration lived together daily; the little hours of the divine office are celebrated in their cells. Monday is a Desert day, of complete solitude, except for a simple Celebration of the Holy Eucharist in Common.Their offices are greatly inspired by Byzantine-Slav/Middle Eastern traditions as well as the simplicity of Latin Carthusian Chant. Sundays and great Feasts are fraternal, marked by a meal in Common ,and a fraternal walk, and recreation.

The worldwide Communities counts 500 Members. (Primarily French speaking)Monasteries of Monks are in France, Italy, Spain and Israel.

You can find the YouTube version here.

~ Via Catholiques.

Joe Scheidler: The Father of Pro-Life



Ave Maria! Fra Roderic recently caught up with Joe Scheidler in Chicago, the National Director of the Pro-Life Action League. In this interview, Joe speaks about his heroic fight against Planned Parenthood and the RICO laws. Ave Maria!

Who is Joe Scheidler?
Joseph M. Scheidler is National Director of the Pro-Life Action League, a national pro-life educational and activist organization headquartered in Chicago. The League is dedicated to saving lives through activism and to bringing the abortion issue to the public via the media. It has been said that Joseph Scheidler defined pro-life direct action.

Father of Pro-Life Activism
Joe Scheidler was called the Green Beret of the pro-life movement by syndicated columnist Patrick Buchanan. His book on his methods of fighting abortion, CLOSED: 99 Ways to Stop Abortion, was updated in 1993, and he has produced the videos Meet the Abortion Providers and Abortion: The Inside Story, featuring former abortionists who are now telling the truth about what goes on in the abortion clinics.

Joe also produced the definitive video on sidewalk counseling, No Greater Joy, and Face the Truth, an 11-minute video on a unique, highly visible pro-life demonstration using large graphic abortion posters to bring the truth about abortion to the American public. To celebrate the League's 25th Anniversary, Joe produced the video, Action Speaks Louder Than Words, a chronicle of the Pro-Life Action League's activities and the importance of pro-life activism.

NOW v Scheidler
Joe Scheidler has been featured in the national media as the chief defendant in a RICO lawsuit brought against him, the League and other pro-life activists by the National Organization for Women and two abortion clinics.

The RICO case, NOW v. Scheidler, was filed in 1986. He originally won in the lower courts, but the case was sent back to the Federal Court by the Supreme Court in January, 1994. It went to trial March 2, 1998. Scheidler and the other defendants were found guilty of racketeering by a six-member jury. That finding was finally overturned by the Supreme Court in February 2003.
Unwilling to concede defeat, NOW appealed to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals to undo the Supreme Court's mandate. The U.S. Supreme Court heard the case again in November 2005 and issued a unanimous decision in favor of Scheidler in February 2006. However, NOW has continued to wrangle over the details of the final judgment in district court and the case remains open.

A Dynamic Speaker and Media Guest
Joe Scheidler is a stimulating and controversial guest on radio and TV interviews and talk shows and has appeared on more than a thousand programs including: ABC News Nightline, Donahue, Crossfire, Face the Nation, Good Morning America, MacNeil/Lehrer Report, The O'Reilly Factor and others. He has written many guest columns for newspapers such as USA Today and The Wanderer and has published articles in several national publications.

Joe is a dynamic speaker on the moral dimensions of the abortion issue and the effectiveness of direct action. Nationwide, he has spoken in more than 1000 towns and cities since 1980 and has conducted on-site workshops and lectures in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Canada, and Italy.

Joe Scheidler is a recognized expert on the abortion culture, sidewalk counseling, the spiritual dimension of pro-life activism, fetal experimentation, working with the media, the responsibility of the church to fight abortion, battling the courts and the need for a return to morality.

Pro-Life Action News Hotline
Joe Scheidler offers pro-life news and commentary three times a week through his Action News Hotline. Call 773-777-2525 24 hours a day, or read the Hotline online.

Joe lives in Chicago with his wife, Ann, the Executive Director of the Pro-Life Action League. The couple have seven children and eighteen grandchildren.

Related Posts on Catholic Fire: Joe Scheidler interview at Aurora, IL PP protest -- August 26, 2007

Scheidler Confident After Supreme Court Hearing -- December 10, 2005

From LifeSite News:

Joe Scheidler Wins Unanimous Supreme Court Ruling against N.O.W. -- February 28, 2006

Prolifeaction.org: NOW v Sheidler

Love for Love



St. Therese of the Child Jesus has said, "Love is repaid by love alone." Elsewhere it is said in simpler form: Love for love, meaning God first offers us His love in the hope that we will respond by giving Him ours. This principle of action and reaction is the heart of Bl. John Duns Scotus' teaching. God first acts by willing Christ, the God-man, and the God-man responds with His Heart aflame for the love and glory of the Father. We also see God's principle of action and reaction in the predestination of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Listen now as Father explains this eye-opening principle of Love for love, action and reaction, and how it plays out in all of creation, and in our lives. Ave Maria!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Laurel and Hardy: Pack up Your Troubles



Stan & Ollie attempt to reunite a young orphaned girl with her grandparents. Be sure to watch until the end.

Catholic Conversion Story



Anna Dickey relates how Jesus Christ led her to the Catholic Church. She started out with many misconceptions about the Church and in this video she explains how God revealed Himself and showed the misconceptions to be false.

Joe Biden Should Be Excommunicated



Biden Should Be Excommunicated For Abortion-On-Demand Record.

Via rosaryfilms, Secret of the Rosary Films.

Related Post: Obama Selects Fake Catholic Biden as VP Mate