Friday, July 31, 2009

What's Really in Obama's Health Care Bill?

What's really in Obama's health care reform bill? Almost no one knows, and here's why: It's 1,017 pages long and written in an alien form of bureaucratic English that can barely be decoded by earthlings.

And yet, astonishingly, a U.S. Army translator has been found who speaks "Washington Doublespeak" and he was kind enough to decode the bill and post his plain-language findings over at FreeRepublic.com (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f...).

Snip

From CMS at FreeRepublic.com:

• Page 16: States that if you have insurance at the time of the bill becoming law and change, you will be required to take a similar plan. If that is not available, you will be required to take the government option!
• Page 22: Mandates audits of all employers that self-insure!
• Page 29: Admission: your health care will be rationed!
• Page 30: A government committee will decide what treatments and benefits you get (and, unlike an insurer, there will be no appeals process)
• Page 42: The "Health Choices Commissioner" will decide health benefits for you. You will have no choice. None.
• Page 50: All non-US citizens, illegal or not, will be provided with free healthcare services.
• Page 58: Every person will be issued a National ID Healthcard.
• Page 59: The federal government will have direct, real-time access to all individual bank accounts for electronic funds transfer.
• Page 65: Taxpayers will subsidize all union retiree and community organizer health plans (example: SEIU, UAW and ACORN)
• Page 72: All private healthcare plans must conform to government rules to participate in a Healthcare Exchange.
• Page 84: All private healthcare plans must participate in the Healthcare Exchange (i.e., total government control of private plans)
• Page 91: Government mandates linguistic infrastructure for services; translation: illegal aliens
• Page 95: The Government will pay ACORN and Americorps to sign up individuals for Government-run Health Care plan.
• Page 102: Those eligible for Medicaid will be automatically enrolled: you have no choice in the matter.
• Page 124: No company can sue the government for price-fixing. No "judicial review" is permitted against the government monopoly. Put simply, private insurers will be crushed.
• Page 127: The AMA sold doctors out: the government will set wages.
• Page 145: An employer MUST auto-enroll employees into the government-run public plan. No alternatives.
• Page 126: Employers MUST pay healthcare bills for part-time employees AND their families.
• Page 149: Any employer with a payroll of $400K or more, who does not offer the public option, pays an 8% tax on payroll
• Page 150: Any employer with a payroll of $250K-400K or more, who does not offer the public option, pays a 2 to 6% tax on payroll
• Page 167: Any individual who doesn't have acceptable healthcare (according to the government) will be taxed 2.5% of income.
• Page 170: Any NON-RESIDENT alien is exempt from individual taxes (Americans will pay for them).
• Page 195: Officers and employees of Government Healthcare Bureaucracy will have access to ALL American financial and personal records.
• Page 203: "The tax imposed under this section shall not be treated as tax." Yes, it really says that.
• Page 239: Bill will reduce physician services for Medicaid. Seniors and the poor most affected."
• Page 241: Doctors: no matter what specialty you have, you'll all be paid the same (thanks, AMA!)
• Page 253: Government sets value of doctors' time, their professional judgment, etc.
• Page 265: Government mandates and controls productivity for private healthcare industries.
• Page 268: Government regulates rental and purchase of power-driven wheelchairs.
• Page 272: Cancer patients: welcome to the wonderful world of rationing!
• Page 280: Hospitals will be penalized for what the government deems preventable re-admissions.
• Page 298: Doctors: if you treat a patient during an initial admission that results in a readmission, you will be penalized by the government.
• Page 317: Doctors: you are now prohibited for owning and investing in healthcare companies!
• Page 318: Prohibition on hospital expansion. Hospitals cannot expand without government approval.
• Page 321: Hospital expansion hinges on "community" input: in other words, yet another payoff for ACORN.
• Page 335: Government mandates establishment of outcome-based measures: i.e., rationing.
• Page 341: Government has authority to disqualify Medicare Advantage Plans, HMOs, etc.
• Page 354: Government will restrict enrollment of SPECIAL NEEDS individuals.
• Page 379: More bureaucracy: Telehealth Advisory Committee (healthcare by phone).
• Page 425: More bureaucracy: Advance Care Planning Consult: Senior Citizens, assisted suicide, euthanasia?
• Page 425: Government will instruct and consult regarding living wills, durable powers of attorney, etc. Mandatory. Appears to lock in estate taxes ahead of time.
• Page 425: Government provides approved list of end-of-life resources, guiding you in death.
• Page 427: Government mandates program that orders end-of-life treatment; government dictates how your life ends.
• Page 429: Advance Care Planning Consult will be used to dictate treatment as patient's health deteriorates. This can include an ORDER for end-of-life plans. An ORDER from the GOVERNMENT.
• Page 430: Government will decide what level of treatments you may have at end-of-life.
• Page 469: Community-based Home Medical Services: more payoffs for ACORN.
• Page 472: Payments to Community-based organizations: more payoffs for ACORN.
• Page 489: Government will cover marriage and family therapy. Government intervenes in your marriage.
• Page 494: Government will cover mental health services: defining, creating and rationing those services.

Image via The Patriot Post.

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

Prayers of St. Ignatius of Loyola

More Prayers

Litany In Honor of St. Ignatius of Loyola

Works of St. Ignatius Online:

Letter on Obedience, by Saint Ignatius of Loyola

Spiritual Exercises

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Obama Science Adviser: Trees Should be Allowed to Sue, Babies Not Yet “Human Beings”

Just when you thought that the high advisers to President Obama couldn’t get any more radical.

Obama's new science and technical czar, John Holdren, believes a fetus is not a human being even after birth.

He also at one time believed a tree had the right to sue a human being.

As I reported previously, this is also the czar who supports forced abortions and compulsory sterilization.

Where on earth does he find these sickos? And why isn't the MSM reporting on this?

Media Ignores Extreme Views of Obama Science Czar | NewsBusters.org

Second Hand Smoke at First Things

Bill O'Reilly to Be Honored at Values Voter Summit



Washington, D.C. - Today, FRC Action, the legislative lobbying arm of Family Research Council, announced that Bill O'Reilly, host of Fox News' "The O'Reilly Factor," will address FRC's fourth annual Values Voter Summit that will take place September 18-20 in Washington, D.C. O'Reilly is the author of eight best-selling books including Culture Warrior, Those Who Trespass and his most recent A Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity: A Memoir.

For being a voice of virtue in a culture of death, FRC Action will honor him with the first ever Media Courage Award. In the face of intense pressure, Bill O'Reilly has stood for truth during a tumultuous time in the pro-life debate. Despite a firestorm of unfair allegations, he has defended his position against late-term abortions and brought new light to a gruesome procedure. He has used a national platform to promote the dignity of life - no matter what the personal or professional risk.

O'Reilly will join an already impressive line-up of speakers at the Summit, including: Governors Rick Perry (R-Texas) and Tim Pawlenty (R-Minn.), former Governors Mitt Romney (R-Mass.) and Mike Huckabee (R-Ark), Reps. John Boehner (R-Ohio) Eric Cantor (R-Va.), Mike Pence (R-Ind.), and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), actor Stephen Baldwin, author Joel Rosenberg, Phyllis Schlafly, Ken Blackwell, Star Parker, and Lila Rose. Invited speakers include: Former Governor Sarah Palin (R-Alaska) and Governor Bobby Jindal (R-La.), Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Kirk Cameron, and many more.

FRC Action's Values Voter Summit is cosponsored by the American Family Association, Focus on the Family Action, American Values, Family Research Council, and the Heritage Foundation. The summit will be held September 18-20 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel. in Washington, D.C. A presidential straw poll, exhibit hall, book signings, new media row sponsored by the National Organization for Marriage, and much more will be packed into this three-day conference. On Saturday evening Phyllis Schlafly will be honored at a gala dinner and receive the third annual James C. Dobson Vision and Leadership Award.

Who are the uninsured? Is Obama Care the solution?



This video report by National Center for Policy Analysis President & CEO and Kellye Wright Fellow John C. Goodman in a Fox News story on the uninsured in America confirms what I thought about it. Most of the uninsured are illegal immigrants, those who have been laid off (as a result of the current economic crisis), and those who don't bother to get it because they feel they don't need it or don't bother to sign up for it (when they can get it for free!). Health insurance can be expensive for those on a fixed income -- I know this from my own experiences. My family has been without health insurance for long periods of time at different times in our lives when my husband was without work due to job cuts or layoffs in the manufacturing field, but we survived and God provided for us. Today, Cobra is now less expensive than it used to be and there are now more affordable health insurance programs available tailor-made to each family's needs. Continuing to provide better, more affordable health insurance programs in this country is important.

What we don't need now is a health care reform plan that totally bankrupts our economy, pays for abortions, encourages euthanasia, rations care to the handicapped, makes us wait months or years before we can see a doctor, gives the federal government access to our bank accounts, and encourages companies to layoff even more workers. Just say "No!" to Obama death care.

What Obama death care will do:


* Result in the biggest expansion of abortion since
the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision...

* Force YOU to pay for abortions through your tax
dollars -- something 71% of Americans oppose...

* Implement a cornerstone of FOCA -- the Freedom of
Choice Act -- that would lead to a massive,
taxpayer-subsidized abortion industry bailout...

* Force you and virtually all Americans into health
plans with mandatory abortion coverage (health
care reform legislation must explicitly exclude
abortion in writing or else abortion automatically
becomes a minimum required benefit.)

What can you do about it?

It is very important that you -- and record numbers
of people -- do 2 things RIGHT NOW:

1. E-MAIL your Representative and 2 Senators and
tell them in no uncertain terms: "Keep abortion
out of health care! Any health care reform bill
must include language that explicitly excludes
abortion." It's easy to do -- just go to:

http://www.stoptheabortionmandate.com/email

2. CALL the Washington office and the local office
of your Representative and 2 Senators to say:
"Keep abortion out of health care. I urge you to
oppose any health care bill unless abortion is
explicitly excluded." Get tips and look up your
elected officials at:

http://www.stoptheabortionmandate.com/call

If each of us does these two things today -- and
encourages others to do these things -- we can
make a powerful impact at a crucial moment.


Go to http://www.StopTheAbortionMandate.com now!

Why Does Evil Exist?

Fr. Joe Koterski explains how we sometimes suffer despite the fact that God is all loving. Presented by the Diocese of Charlotte, NC, USA.

St. Peter Chrysologus, Bishop and Doctor

Today is the optional memorial of St. Peter of Chrysologus, "the man of golden speech", who earned the title of Doctor of the Church for his eloquent sermons. Born at Imola, Italy in 406, St. Peter was baptized, educated, and ordained a deacon by Cornelius, Bishop of Imola. 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."

"Anyone who wishes to frolic with the devil cannot rejoice with Christ."

Learn more about St. Peter 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.


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Catholic Faith and Suffering

Fr. Joe Koterski describes the teaching of the Catholic Church as it relates to end of life suffering.

St. Augustine on Receiving God's Fullness


"Even though you possess plenty, you are still indigent. You abound in temporal possessions, but you need things eternal. You listen to the needs of a human beggar, yet yourself are a beggar of God. What you do with those who beg from you is what God will do with His beggar. You are filled and you are empty. Fill your empty neighbor with your fullness, so that your emptiness may be filled from God's fullness."

~ St. Augustine

After A Government Health Care Takeover



CATHOLIC CHARITIES, VINCENT DE PAUL SOCIETY SUPPORTING ABORTION-PROVIDING HEALTHCARE PLAN


Three of the top lay Catholic organizations have divorced themselves from Catholic teaching by supporting the Obama health-care plan, which would foster a culture of mandatory abortion coverage, contraceptive services, and permissive sex education, euthanasia and eugenics.

Catholic Charities USA, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and the Catholic Health Association are joining together to push the current version of the plan through Congress.

"There is no social justice in rationing charity," said Judie Brown, president of American Life League. "Millions of taxpayers will be forced to subsidize abortion, contraception, euthanasia and bureaucratic denial of health care to the poorest of the poor."

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul and Catholic Charities USA sent out an action alert asking members to contact their legislators immediately:

We must maintain momentum for health care reform efforts with calls and emails supporting health care reform immediately. ... Your members of Congress need to hear from you that you support health care reform, and that the system needs to be reformed now.
The Catholic Health Association put together a YouTube video showing people displaying messages such as “I can’t wait for health-care reform” and “We can’t wait until the signing ceremony.”

"All these organizations claim to be faithful to Catholic social teaching – which unambiguously and passionately puts respect for human personhood at the core of all other social and charitable works,” Brown pointed out. “Yet these same organizations are undermining the very foundation they exist to protect and foster the dignity of human persons and the sanctity of their right to life.'

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Catholic Health Association: I Can't Wait ... For Health Reform
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RYnhuSd6Uiw

Catholic Charities USA: Study Sheds Light on Role of Abortion Drug (16 June 2008)
http://capwiz.com/catholiccharitiesusa/issues/alert/?alertid=13746156

Society of St. Vincet de Paul: Link to Catholic Health Association YouTube
http://www.svdpusa.org/VoiceofthePoor/tabid/167/ItemId/164/language/en-US/Default.aspx



~ Via Katy Walker.

Putting the Health Back into Obama's Stealth Care

Congressman Jeff Fortenberry delivers a short, but powerful speech on the House Floor on putting the "health" back in health care.

Laws, Lies, and Videotape

A propaganda video against Personhood initiatives is making the pro-abortion rounds, and American Life League is right there to point out the omissions, inconsistencies, and outright lies being pushed by abortion advocates.

St. Martha


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.


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

100,000+ Letters Sent Urging Congress to Keep Abortion Out of Health Care

Today the Susan B. Anthony List announced that pro-life activists nationwide have sent over 100,000 letters to Congress urging the exclusion of abortion from any national health care reform effort.

"As we approach the August recess, already tens of thousands of pro-life Americans have contacted Congress urging them to keep abortion out of health care," said Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser. "Americans are urging Members of Congress to preserve the real common ground, our long-standing tradition of limiting taxpayer funds for abortion. This is exactly the type of policy the President has sought to achieve, one that stands the test of time, has popular support and appeals to members on both sides of the aisle. Yet both the House and Senate versions of health care reform legislation seek to undo this commonsense policy. Without language to explicitly exclude an abortion mandate, the legislation will result in Americans footing the bill for abortion on-demand in the largest expansion of government-backed abortion since Roe v. Wade."

In an interview with CBS' Katie Couric last week, President Obama said, "What I think is important, at this stage, is not trying to micromanage what benefits are covered. [. . .] As you know, I'm pro choice. But I think we also have a tradition of, in this town, historically, of not financing abortions as part of government funded health care."

"Families are at the very heart of the health care issue," said Dannenfelser. "And with pregnancy there are always two patients, mother and baby. We must establish a health care system that respects, protects and cherishes both. Congress should explicitly exclude an abortion mandate and preserve the common ground policies supported by the growing majority of pro-life Americans."

To date this year, Susan B. Anthony List activists have sent nearly 400,000 letters urging Congress to keep taxpayer funds from supporting abortion on-demand, 112,000 of which called for the exclusion of abortion from health care. In a recent action alert, NARAL Pro-Choice America reported sending 12,500 letters to the Senate in support of an abortion mandate.

Who Will Tell Michael Fox He Needs to Die?


Should Michael J. Fox be put to death?

Celebrities and death. Now there's a potent cocktail.

Several parts fame, a few jiggers of Hollywood and a splash each for sports, business and journalism. Did I mention politics and government bureaucracy? Sorry. Without that essential element the mixture has no wallop. And a wallop this concoction surely will have, particularly if you believe actor Michael J. Fox has overstayed his welcome on the planet.

Read the rest at The American Spectator.

BREAKING NEWS: SOTOMAYOR APPROVED BY SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE

The Senate Judiciary Committee just approved the Sotomayor nomination to the Supreme Court on a 13-6 vote. Floor vote will be next week.

Catholic Nurse forced to perform abortion: "It felt like a horror film unfolding!"

"It felt like a horror film unfolding. I felt violated and betrayed. I couldn't believe that this could happen."

These are the words of a Catholic nurse who was forced to choose between her religious convictions and her job when her employer ordered her to assist in a late-term abortion against her will. Catherina Cenzon-DeCarlo, 35, reports that she has had gruesome nightmares and hasn't been able to sleep since the May 24 incident.

Read the entire story here.

This is outrageous! It is a clear-cut violation of her conscience rights. During her job interview, she told the administrator that she would not perform abortions. I hope and pray that she wins her lawsuit.

Also, if Congress passes the current Healthcare System Reform Package, the scenario in this article will be the norm for all healthcare workers, including doctors. We must act to defeat this horrific bill.

Here are some simple things you can do:

1. Pray

2. E-mail and write letters to your Representative and two Senators

3. Call the offices of your Representative and two Senators

4. Spread the word to everyone you know

5. Write a Letter to the Editor of your local newspaper

Go to http://stoptheabortionmandate.com/ to learn more.

Saint Samson

Today's saint is St. Samson, a Welsh bishop and confessor, who is considered to be one of the greatest missionaries to come from the Bristish Isles. He was born in Wales aound the year 485. At the age of seven, his parents dedicated him to the service of God in gratitude for his birth after a long period of childlessness. He became a disciple of St. Illtyd at the monastery of Lianwit in Glamorgan and then lived as a monk (and later abbot) of a community on Caldey Island (Ynys Byr). He was joined there by his uncle, Umbrafel, and his father, Amon. After a trip to Ireland, Samson became a hermit with Amon whom he cured of a mortal illness. During a trip to Cornwall, he was consecrated a bishop and appointed an abbot. He then departed England and went to Brittany where he spent the rest of his life as a missionary, even though he had long searched for solitude. Samson founded monasteries, including one at Dol and another at Pental, in Normandy. He was one of the foremost evangelizers of his century and has long been venerated with enthusiasm in Wales and Brittany.

For more information, see the Catholic Encylopedia.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Pope Benedict on Bringing The Truth of God Back Into The World

"We must bring the truth of God back into the world, make Him known. Evangelization consists precisely in the distant God becoming close, in God no longer being far off but near, in this 'known-unknown' finally making Himself known and revealing His face. ... He shows us His face, He enters our world. There is no longer any need to use other powers because He is the true power, the Almighty".

~ Pope Benedict XVI


H/T: Ignatius Insight Scoop.

Exciting Job Opportunity

From my inbox:

Interested in a part-time job doing something FUN!?...

Would you like to help further the mission of Epiphany Studio Productions?...

Do you have education/experience in the theater (acting, directing or technical) - or know someone who does?...

PLEASE check out the current job opportunities that we have available OR pass the word along to those who you think might be interested!

http://www.epiphanystudio.com/job_opportunities

Thank you and God bless!
Jeremy D. Stanbary
Founder & Director

The Real Solution to our Problems

Our Lady of Fatima

"There is no problem, I tell you, no matter how difficult it is, that we cannot solve by the prayer of the Holy Rosary."


~ Sister Lucia, the last survivor at Fatima

Iraq: A Soldier's Story of Faith




Prayer For the Safety of Soldiers

Almighty and eternal God, those who take refuge in you will be glad and forever will shout for joy. Protect these soldiers as they discharge their duties. Protect them with the shield of your strength and keep them safe from all evil and harm. May the power of your love enable them to return home in safety, that with all who love them, they may ever praise you for your loving care. We ask this through Christ our Lord.


Prayers for our Military Men & Women -- from the Franciscans

What does the Eucharist mean to you?



~ Via Steve Silvia.

St. Pantaleon, Martyr


St. Pantaleon was born in Nicomedia, near the Black Sea in Asia. He was the son of a rich pagan, Eustorgius of Nicomedia, and a Christian mother, Saint Eubula, who instructed him in the faith, but died while he was still a child.

Pantaleon studied medicine with such great success that he was appointed as one of the court physicians to the Emperor Galerius Maximianus. The bad influence of the pagan court caused him to fall away from his Faith. A holy and zealous priest named Hermolaos helped him realize the error of his sinful ways by pointing out the example of his virtuous mother. Pantaleon returned to the Faith once more and imitated Our Lord's charity by distributing his goods among the poor and caring for the poor and the sick without charge.

When the Emperor Diocletian began his persecution, Pantaleon was accused of being a Christian. He was given the choice of denying his faith or being put to death, but no torture could force Pantaleon to deny his Faith. Pantaleon, openly confessed his Faith, and to prove that Christ is the true God, he healed a paralytic. However, the emperor viewed the miracle as a display of magic.

According to legend, Pantaleon's flesh was first burned with torches, but Christ was present with him, giving him the strength to withstand the torture. After this, when a bath of liquid lead was prepared, the fire went out and the lead became cold. He was now thrown into the sea, but the stone with which he was loaded floated. He was thrown to the wild beasts but these fawned upon him and could not be forced away until he had blessed them. He was bound on the wheel, but the ropes snapped, and the wheel broke. An attempt was made to behead him, but the sword bent, and the executioners were converted. Pantaleon implored heaven to forgive them, for which reason he also received the name of Panteleimon ("mercy for everyone" or "all-compassionate"). It was not until he himself desired it that it was possible to behead him. St. Pantaleon died around 305 A.D. He is the patron of physicians and belongs to the "Fourteen Holy Helpers." In the East, St. Pantaleon is called the "Great Marytr and Wonder-worker.

Patronage: bachelors; consumption; doctors; midwives; physicians; torture victims; tuberculosis; protection of domestic animals.

Image:

Conversion of St Pantaleon 1587-88
Oil on canvas, 277 x 160 cm
San Pantaleone, Venice

Sunday, July 26, 2009

St. Anne and St. Joachim, Parents 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. Joachim (whose name means Yahweh prepares), was the father of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Both were the 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.

Patronage

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.


Childhood Memories

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 remember being 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 children 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.

Give Him What You Have!

Pope Benedict: True Power is Mercy and Forgiveness



CNS: During Alpine prayer service, pope says real power is love, mercy

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Is there a co-pay with forced abortion?

Did you know that "science czar" John Holdren -- another one of Obama's great picks - supports forced abortions and compulsory sterilization? Read on.

Via WND:

The president has more "czars" running around than Mother Russia. It's mondo bizarro. Kind of fitting, though; must be a communist thing.

Still, as the debate over Obama's multi-trillion dollar pet experiment in socialized health care reaches terminal velocity, one of his newest czars underscores – in permanent marker – the true depth of BHO's deep-seated radicalism. His choice of Harvard professor and self-styled "neo-Malthusian" John Holdren as "science czar" provides the latest and perhaps most troubling example of just how bad America really muffed it last November. It could give us a sneak-peak into the not-so-distant future should this Obamacare-health-scare become reality.

In the name of population control, Holdren has advocated both forced abortion and compulsory sterilization through government-administered tainting of the water supply. In a book he co-authored, entitled "Ecoscience: Population, Resources, Environment," Holdren calls for a "Planetary Regime" to enforce mandatory abortions and limit the use of natural resources.

Click here to read the full story.

More Information:

WORLD Magazine: Reformed radical?

Family Research News: Science Czar or Bizarre? by Tony Perkins

Fox News: Obama's Science Czar Considered Forced Abortions, Sterilization as Population Growth Solutions

St. James the Greater

Today is the feast of St. James the Greater. St. James, known as the Greater, in order to distinguish him from the other Apostle St. James, our Lord's cousin, was St. John's brother, 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.

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.

~ Excerpted, in part, from the Universalis.

To learn more about St. James go here and here. Be sure to watch the video below-- it is excellent and goes so well with the theme and title of this blog.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Saint Sharbel (Charbel) Makhloof

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. He celebrated Mass close to noon so as to devote the morning to preparation, and the rest of the day to thanksgiving. 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 further information on St. Sharbel go here.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Dr. Alveda King to Join Other African American Leaders to Demand Abortion be Excluded from Health Care Bill

Dr. Alveda King, Pastoral Associate of Priests for Life and niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., will join with other African American leaders Monday at 10:00 AM in front of the Cannon House Office Building to demand that abortion and Planned Parenthood be excluded from any health care reform legislation.

"Our message is clear – abortion is neither health care nor a benefit. It's genocide," said Dr. King. "Give us procreative reproductive rights. Repair our communities with life affirming programs. My fellow civil rights workers and I will be on Capitol Hill to say that if President Obama, Speaker Pelosi, or anyone else truly wants to reduce the number of abortions, they will not coerce Americans to pay for them and they will not subsidize Planned Parenthood, the billion-dollar business that has killed more black children than the KKK."

~ Via Christian Newswire.

The Sanctity of the Sacrament of Matrimony

Marriage is like a beautiful gilded bird cage. All the Little birds on the outside want to get in, while all the Little birds on the inside want to get out!


This saying, by an author unknown to me, summarizes accurately the state of marriage today. Marriage is still an attractive and useful institution, and millions of couples each year begin the journey. At the same time, however, at least half of those who enter the “gilded bird cage” find themselves wanting to get out, their marriage ending in separation and divorce.


Check out the rest of this wonderful article at CNA: Matrimony: Is it Still Holy? by Bishop Thomas J. Tobin
.

Sam Brownback: Trashed Job Market Follows Obama’s Health Plan

From my inbox today -- Senator Sam Brownback's response to Obama's health care reform plan:

We need to get more Americans covered with health insurance. But any proposed “solution” to the problem of the uninsured that has the effect of getting people laid off from their jobs is not the way to do it.


As unemployment reaches a 26-year high and our economy continues to shed 500,000 jobs a month
, it would not seem to be the best time to enact new mandates on business likely to accelerate the rate of job loss.

This is precisely what President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats are proposing with the “pay or play” mandates in health-care legislation making its way through Congress. Read the rest here.

ObamaCare in Trouble

From The Wall Street Journal:

Polls are turning against President Barack Obama’s health-care plan. The political calendar is, too.

On Monday, the Washington Post/ABC poll reported that 49% of Americans approve of his handling of health care while 44% disapprove. What many people missed is that those who strongly disapprove of the president’s approach on health care now outnumber those who strongly approve by 33% to 25%. That presages further decline. Already, 49% of independents disapprove of the president’s approach, up from 30% in April, a staggering shift in 11 weeks.

Mr. Obama is also slipping on the economy. Those who strongly disapprove now outnumber those who strongly approve of his handling of the economy (35% to 29%), of deficits (38% to 19%), and of unemployment (31% to 26%). On Tuesday, Gallup showed Mr. Obama’s personal approval was 55%, down from more than 60% a few weeks ago and lower than the 56% George W. Bush had at this point in his first term.

The polls are crumbling because of a flood of bad news about Mr. Obama’s health-care proposals. One batch of such news came from a July 17 study by the Lewin Group that was commissioned by the Heritage Foundation. It projects that if the House bill becomes law, 83.4 million people—nearly half of those with private coverage—will lose private insurance as employers drop their plans. Mr. Obama’s promise that you can keep your plan is being left on the cutting room floor with nary a peep from the president. Read the entire article here.

Saint of the Day: St. Bridget of Sweden

St. Bridget of Sweden, Widow, Third Order Franciscan (1303 – 1373)

Bridget was born in Finista in Sweden. From childhood, the Lord granted her special graces, visions and an extraordinary understanding of divine mysteries. At age seven, she had a vision of the crucified Jesus in all the suffering and sorrow of his Passion, which enkindled within her a deep devotion for our Savior.

The daughter of a provincial governor and judge, at age 13, Bridget married Ulf Gudmarsson, a prince, who was then eighteen; they lived happily together for twenty-eight years and had eight children, among them St. Catherine of Sweden. Bridget convinced her husband, by her own example, to live a life of piety and to strive for holiness.

At age 32, Bridget became the lady in waiting to Queen Blanche of Namur and King Magnus II of Sweden. She was known for her charitable acts, especially caring for the sick, but the royalty appeared more content to admire her piety rather than to follow her example.

After her youngest son died in 1340, she and her husband went on pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostella. On the return trip, Ulf became quite ill, and they returned home soon afterwards. Upon their return, Ulf' entered the Cistercian monastery and died there at the age of 46. Bridget was a widow at age 41. She continued to live in the world, but became a member of the Third Order of St. Francis, spending much of her time in prayer and penance.

At this time, Bridget’s visions became more frequent and intense and she began to wonder if they were from the devil; however, God assured her that they were not, but that she was to become His bride and His mouthpiece.

It was His voice in her visions that dictated to her to found a new religious order, even specifying the details of the Rule for that order. She then founded The Order of the Most Holy Savior, or Bridgettines, which consisted of a double monastery for both men and women at Vadstena. King Magnus and his queen generously supported the monastery. Any surplus of money they received was given to the poor and used to provide books for study. Through Bridget, Christ reprimanded the popes for not returning to Rome from Avignon; but even calling Clement VI (1342-52) “a destroyer of souls, worse than Lucifer, more unjust than Pilate, and more merciless than Judas” failed to change his mind. She also delivered several messages to Pope Innocent VI, Urban V, and Gregory XI.

Directed by God to go the Holy Land in 1371, Bridget set out on pilgrimage with her daughter, Catherine, two of her sons, and other pilgrims. Her son Charles died in Naples on the way there, and they were nearly shipwrecked, but once they made it there, Bridget was blessed with extraordinary graces. In the Holy Land, she received detailed visions of episodes in the life of Jesus in the places where they were said to have occurred. She also admonished the people of Cyprus and Naples for their immoral ways, with little effect. She arrived back in Rome early already ill and died on July 23, 1373, at the age of seventy – one. Her remains were taken back to the monastery at Sweden. She was canonized in 1391 Pope Boniface IX. She is the patron saint of: Sweden and widows. She is the co-patroness of Europe, along with St. Catherine of Siena, and St. Teresa Benedicta (Edith Stein).

Revelations:

St Bridget’s works that can be found online include:

The Revelations of Saint Birgitta, Book 1 - microsoft reader / mobipocket

Medieval Sourcebook: St. Bridget: Revelation to the Popes, 14th Century

Prayers and Promises:

Fifteen Prayers and Twenty-One Promises to St. Bridget

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Palin to Feds: Alaska is Sovereign State


Gov. Sarah Palin has signed a joint resolution declaring Alaska's sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution – and now 36 other states have introduced similar resolutions as part of a growing resistance to the federal government.

Just weeks before she plans to step down from her position as Alaska governor, Palin signed House Joint Resolution 27 sponsored by state Rep. Mike Kelly on July 10, according to a Tenth Amendment Center report. The resolution "claims sovereignty for the state under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States over all powers not otherwise enumerated and granted to the federal government by the Constitution of the United States."

Alaska's House passed HJR 27 by a vote of 37-0, and the Senate passed it by a vote of 40-0. Go here to read the rest.

Sarah is one smart lady! With Obama in office, I'm surprised more states aren't following her lead. While seven states – Tennessee, Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Alaska and Louisiana – have had both houses of their legislatures pass similar decrees, Alaska Gov. Palin and Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen are currently the only governors to have signed their states' sovereignty resolutions.

Pro-lifers Fight Back as Obama and PP Push Congress to Pass Obama Death Care

On “Fox News Sunday” this past weekend, budget director Peter Orszag said he is “not prepared to rule ... out” taxpayer financing for abortions.

This video accurately and concisely summarizes what Obama's disastrous health care reform legislation is trying to do -- force US citizens to pay for all abortions that will be financed by both public funds and private insurance.



From the Philadelphia Bulletin:

The nation’s largest provider of abortions laid siege to Capitol Hill Thursday lobbying lawmakers to include “women’s health” issues in the massive Obama health care plan. The health care push came on the same day Planned Parenthood, along with other foster care/adoption organizations, launched a new effort Thursday to reduce teen pregnancy among foster care youth. Read the entire article.

Here's what Pro-lifers are doing to fight back:

The largest pro-life webcast in history will take place tomorrow (7/23 @ 9 pm) to mobilize on fighting mandate of taxpayer funded abortion – www.stoptheabortionmandate.com --1300+ are currently registered for this conference

Letter from 50+ leaders to Congress has been sent out

Letter from AUL to Obama was sent out today asking him to meet to talk about how abortion does not belong in healthcare

19 pro-life Democrats recently warned Pelosi they will NOT vote for a bill unless it expressly takes abortion OUT of healthcare

Previous Posts on Catholic Fire:

Culture of Life Quote of the Day: US Bishop William Murphy on "Life - Protecting" Health Care

Oppose Tax Funded Abortion (Obama Death Care)

Representative Chris Smith on Obama's Health Care Program

Pro-Life Organizations Announce Efforts to Stop Taxpayer Funded Abortions in the Obama/Pelosi Health Care Plan


Related Information:

LifeSiteNews --Obama: "Let's Not Get Distracted" over Taxpayer-Funded Abortion Coverage in Healthcare

LifeSiteNews -- More Pro-Life House Democrats Stand against Healthcare Abortion Funding

Inside Catholic -- Bishops Blast Obama Health Care Plan

Culture of Life Quote of the Day: US Bishop William Murphy on "Life - Protecting" Health Care

Bishop William Murphy


“Genuine health care reform that protects the life and dignity of all is a moral imperative and a vital national obligation.”

Bishop of Rockville Centre, New York William F. Murphy, comments in a July 17 letter to Congress on behalf of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

~ More information from the CNA article.

Saint of the Day: St. Mary Magdalene

The feast of St. Mary Magdalene is considered one of the most mystical of feasts, and it is said that of all the songs of the saints, that of Mary Magdalene is the sweetest and strongest because her love was so great. That love was praised by Jesus Himself who said that because much was forgiven her, she loved much. Where she is buried, no one knows. Legend has her dying in Provence, France, in a cavern where she spent her last days, and her body resting in the chapel of St. Maximin in the Maritime Alps. Another has her buried in Ephesus where she went with St. John after the Resurrection. This latter view is more likely, and St. Willibald, the English pilgrim to the Holy Land in the eighth century, was shown her tomb there.

She was the first witness to the resurrection of Jesus, His most devoted and loving follower. She had stood with Mary at the foot of the Cross on that brutal Good Friday afternoon and had been by the side of Mary during these difficult hours. On Easter morning, she went with the other women to the tomb and it was there, in the garden near the tomb, that Jesus appeared to her. It was she who brought the news of the Resurrection to the Apostles, and Peter and John raced to the tomb to see what had happened.

She was from Magadala, a small fishing town on the Sea of Galilee, between Capernaum and Tiberias. She was known to be a "great sinner," who heard Jesus speak of the mercy and forgiveness of God and changed her life completely. She was a model of penitence. Her matter-of-fact witness to the Resurrection moved Peter and John to go and see for themselves: "I have seen the Lord and these things he said to me." Jesus had chosen her to bring the news to them and she simply told them what had happened.

She has always been the example of great love and great forgiveness, one of those close to Jesus who grasped the truth of God's love for human beings and spent her life bearing witness to that love.

~Excerpted from The One Year Book of Saints by Rev. Clifford Stevens

Patron: Apothecaries; Casamicciola, Italy; contemplative life; contemplatives; converts; druggists; glove makers; hairdressers; hairstylists; penitent sinners; penitent women; people ridiculed for their piety; perfumeries; perfumers; pharmacists; reformed prostitutes; sexual temptation; tanners; women.


Prayer to St. Mary Magdalene

Saint Mary Magdalene,
woman of many sins, who by conversion
became the beloved of Jesus,
thank you for your witness
that Jesus forgives
through the miracle of love
You, who already possess eternal happiness
in His glorious presence,
please intercede for me, so that someday
I may share in the same everlasting joy.


Inspirational Quote & Video

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts."

~Winston Churchill

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Oppose Tax Funded Abortion (Obama Death Care)



Read Not One Dime For Tax-Funded Abortion in Obama’s Health Care Plan for more information.