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Showing posts from July, 2007

Renew Your Commitment to Humane Vitae

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Tomorrow, July 25, marks 39th anniversary of the issuance of Humane Vitae by Pope Paul VI. Archbishop Rigali of Philadelphia takes this very seriously. He asked all the priests in the archdiocese to make this beautiful encyclical the topic of their homilies this past Sunday. His recent letter The Word Became Flesh: Married Love and the Gift of Lifewas included in every parish bulletin. I pray that someday every bishop sees importance of this landmark Church document.

It was not trivial for Pope Paul VI to issue Humane Vitae amidst the backdrop of the 1960’s. It ran counter to everything the pop culture of “free love” was promoting. Reading this document thirty-nine years later, the wisdom of Pope Paul VI is humbling. If only we as a society had heeded his words nearly four decades ago. His description of the consequences of contraception were prophetic:

7. Responsible men can become more deeply convinced of the truth of the doctrine laid down by the Church on this issue if t…

Division worse than heresy?!

If you have followed my blog for a while, you have read about the tribulations of the Anglican Communion. The Episcopal Church has the Communion in a quandary over many things, most especially over the ordination of a bishop who is living in an openly homosexual relationship. Part of the problem is the Anglican Communion has never really had a Catechism so there is no specific source to outline exactly what the Anglican Communion believes. They recite the Nicene Creed, but the Creed doesn’t cover everything. To remedy this, the Anglican Communion is working on an Anglican Covenant that will offer instruction on very specific issues, including issues of sexuality. This does not sit well with the Anglican Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, Alan Harper.

Speaking in his address on the Feast Day of St Mary Magdalene, he said he had come to believe that “division is a greater sin even than heresy”.

Specifically with regards to the Covenant he says:

Archbishop Harper said that unl…

Those who serve and Those who don't

I’ll be honest. When I saw the cover story for today’s Washington Post Magazine I wasn’t sure I had the stomach to read it. After all, the Washington Post is rarely a friend to the military. They ran the story the under the blazing title

US and THEM: As mistrust, resentment, and misunderstanding grow between the civilian and military communities, can America wage a just and effective war?

In reality, this article written by Kristin Henderson, a Navy chaplain’s wife, is amazingly balanced and well written. Please read the entire thing. There are many well-made points like this one:

Less than half the civilian population believes military leaders can be relied on to respect civilian control of the military, according to surveys by the Triangle Institute for Security Studies, an academic think tank in North Carolina. Never mind that 92 percent of military leaders still insist their civilian masters should have the final say on whether to use military force. And while nearly two-thirds of mi…

A rescued "Aggie" in the garden

My garden and deck plants survived my absence. It does look like a little weeding, deadheading of daisies, and watering are in order, but overall, it looks pretty good. I’ve been writing about my struggles with the wildlife as we battle in the garden. I bought a beautiful dianthus earlier this summer because it was the perfect maroon and white of Texas A&M. My son is a rising senior there. He proudly wears his senior boots in the Corps. In his honor I wanted this flower in my garden. I tried to pick a spot that had been relatively untouched by critters and it did survive for about three days. But then I walked into the garden and it was nibbled to a nubbin. I dug up the remaining plant and have been nursing it in a pot on my upstairs deck. Therefore, I am thrilled by the sight that awaited me as I returned from Texas yesterday. Two beautiful maroon and white blossoms stood proudly at attention and several buds looked like they would bloom any day now. Take that, Mr. Rabbit! I don’…

The Book

We arrived back in Virginia late last night and it was such a joy to be home. My youngest did not accompany us to Houston since he was at Boy Scout camp and I swear he grew a couple of inches in the ten days I was gone. Our trip home was much easier than our trip to Houston since we flew back instead of driving. My oldest son’s car is now waiting for him at my parent’s home when he returns to college from Army training.

Traversing airports yesterday convinced me that all of America has its nose in a book. Not just any book, but THE BOOK: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. It was everywhere. At a minimum, I think ten percent of the flying public was reading Harry Potter. I even saw airport security guards walking through the terminal, reading the book as they ambled along. I am hoping they were on their breaks and not supposed to be keeping an eye out for suspicious activity. My second son and my daughter were traveling with me and I offered to buy them a copy of the book that was re…

Bishop Morlino prompts thoughts on Obedience

Argent points out this response to the Summorum Pontificum by Bishop Morlino of the Diocese of Madison, Wisconsin.

Obedience opens door to freedom

The Motu Proprio of our Holy Father decrees a determination that he has made in his office as Supreme Teacher of the Church, and I have solemnly and publicly promised to be faithful in my obedience to the Successor of the Apostle Peter. Pope Benedict indicates that his judgment in this matter is designed to free bishops from constantly making such prudential judgments in frequently changing circumstances.

Pope Benedict clearly is wise; obedience according to the mind of Christ always opens the door to true freedom. I am joyful to act in obedience to the Motu Proprio of Pope Benedict, and I am grateful to have been freed from the limitation of my own judgment.

What an inspiring example of humble obedience Bishop Morlino has offered to his flock. Obedience is very difficult for us 21st century Catholics. We feel so intelligent, so advanced, so kn…

Children or Dogs?

Since I am visiting family in Houston this week I am reading the Houston Chronicle instead of the Washington Post. Not that I can really tell much difference. Both are reporting on the winning hometown soccer team and losing hometown baseball team. Both have editorial pages that swing to the far left. I will say the Houston Chronicle has a much better selection of daily comics than the Washington Post. Other than that, there is not much to distinguish the two papers. Consider this screed by Neal Pierce from today’s Chronicle:

BELLAGIO, Italy — Will Planet Earth be able to handle the mega-surge of people pouring into the cities of Africa, Asia and Latin America?

Back in 1950, there were 2.2 billion of us, mostly spread across the world's rural areas. Today the United Nations estimates world population at 6.6 billion. Half live in cities where an accelerating human flood of rural people — many desperately poor — generates slums, endangers water and sewage systems, and breeds local mis…

On This Rock

I joined my parents for daily Mass this morning. There was both a different feel and a sameness to attending Mass 1500 miles from my home parish. Their band of daily communicants gathered in the small Eucharistic adoration chapel instead of the larger sanctuary. The congregation was primarily composed of retirees instead of mothers with children. The altar server was an elderly gentleman in street clothes instead of young boys in cassock and surplice.

Yet the variations could not obscure the oneness. In both parishes we hear the same Word of God and make present the same Sacrifice of Christ. In both parishes we partake of the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ. It is very comforting to know that I can find Christ, truly present, in any Catholic Church.

This is the message promulgated by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in its most recent communication.

It is possible, according to Catholic doctrine, to affirm correctly that the Church of Christ is present and operati…

Going Back To Houston

Road trip to Houston starts tomorrow morning. Hopefully we will be paying a visit to Kitchen Madonna along the way. Blogging may be sparse for the next week or so. Keep us in your prayers as we traverse America's interstate highway system.

For the Love of Christ

Catholic Mom of 10 tagged me for this meme:

Those tagged will share 5 things they love about Jesus.
Those tagged will tag 5 other bloggers.
Those tagged will provide a link in the combox here with their name so that others can read them

1. Jesus’ Divine Mercy: He never gives up on me no matter how imperfectly I behave. He is always ready to forgive and let me start over…and over…and over….

2. Jesus taught us the perfect prayer:

Our Father, Who art in heaven
Hallowed be Thy Name;
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil. Amen.

For me “Thy will be done” is the most poignant phrase in this prayer.

3. Jesus lived perfect love. He emptied Himself completely on the cross for us out of His love for us.

4. Jesus lived in perfect obedience to the Father.

5. Jesus offers his healing power to anyone who had faith, no matter …

A Merciful Response

The first Spiritual Work of Mercy is to instruct the ignorant. This instruction must be done with charity and compassion but also with clarity. It should always be accompanied by prayer.

Here is a bit of evidence that prayer works.

Father Darrin Connall, rector of Bishop White Seminary in Spokane, is one of the priests who worked with the sisters as they made their journey home to the Catholic Church.

At first, he "was kind of shocked" the sisters were interested in talking to him, he said.

Mother Mary Katrina, head of the community at that time and one of the sisters who has left Mount St. Michael, "explained to me," he said, "that through studying the teachings of the church, and listening to" Sacred Heart Radio, operated in Spokane by the Poor Clare Sisters, several of the sisters realized that what they were reading and hearing "sounded incredibly Catholic."

"They began to have questions about their theological position," he said.


An Episcopal Leader Speaks out about a Pregnant Colleague

Talk about hostility! Chris Johnson at Midwest Conservative Journal points out this post by Elizabeth Kaeton of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark. Rev. Elizabeth Kaeton is an Episcopal priest and the president of the standing committee of the Diocese of Newark. She is a lesbian who has a partner referred to as her spouse on some websites. She apparently has six children and four grandchildren, but does not endorse heterosexual couples following suit as you can see from this excerpt from her post:

There is one woman, an Episcopal priest married to an Episcopal priest, whose writing sometimes flat out scares the BeJesus out of me. She is pregnant with their fourth child, the youngest of whom is not yet one year old. They are using "Natural Family Planning" - letting "God decide" on how many children they will be blessed with and resigning themselves to gladly take whatever God gives them, giving God the praise and glory.

She gets lots of support from women who have made …

Proper Music

In light of my recent little rant, please read the following interview from the Adoremus Bulletin. Here is an excerpt:

Adoremus: Tell us about the Communio Project and why it is important.

Tucker: The idea is to put the Mass Propers back into liturgical circulation in Catholic liturgy, starting with the Communion chant. Let me explain what I mean.

Every Catholic knows the problem, but not everyone knows its source or solution. During Communion, the most contemplative and introspective time of the Mass, we are often confronted with the demand that we sing a hymn, usually a contemporary standard like “One Bread, One Body”. Music directors have some sense that they are supposed to do this. Seminars leaders have told them this for decades. The General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) seems to provide support in referring to a Communion song.

Now, in the usual experience, no one sings. Certainly no one wants to slog a hymnal up to Communion. Mostly, the demand that we sing during Communi…

Accepting Rather than Extending the Invitation

I often struggle with the vice of pride and the virtue of humility. I can try to assume complete control of my life because I know I am really quite competent. Of course, I do graciously invite God to come along. It is the proper thing to do, you know. How arrogant I can be! It is not up to me to invite God. He has already extended the invitation. It is up to me to accept. That is why this post really resonated with me.

One idea stuck with me from a conference I attended. The speaker talked about two ways of looking at life. First, you can see that God is a part of my story. He might be a big part or a little part but He is out there. Conferences are when a speaker challenges you to make God a bigger part of you story when he starts to get crowded out be regular life. The second way of looking at life is not where God is not a part of the story. That really comes back to the first case because removing God completely from our thinking is really just something we do for a while. Somethi…

Marriage is not the Purview of the Human Resources Department

I keep hearing this radio ad that makes me so sad. It begins with a woman citing all her positive attributes. She is physically fit and attractive, intelligent, financially secure, and professionally successful. But, alas, she has not found the right life partner. Who has time to seek out a relationship with all the demands of a career? The ad answers this dilemma with a plug for a national matchmaker service. It is not an ordinary online dating service. Think of this company as your “recruiting firm for your personal life”.

This makes me sad because it reduces the concept of marriage to the equivalent of finding a good accountant. If you can’t take time away from your job to find a relationship, what makes you think you will make time to nurture a relationship? Careers are wonderful pursuits, but careers will not get you to Heaven. Discerning God’s call for your personal vocation leads you to Heaven. Your career must fit within that vocation.

The divorce rate among Catholics mirrors th…

Welcome Home!

I just returned from three days of soccer in Virginia Beach. As manager of my daughter’s soccer team I have some responsibilities on these soccer trips that are above the usual parental duties. Keeping track of the team player documents and making sure everyone knows when and where they are supposed to meet can be a little stressful. This weekend we had two players who managed to arrive in Virginia Beach without their uniforms so that was an additional little crisis to manage. However, I managed to keep a pretty even keel throughout the weekend.

This morning, however, I am back into the domestic fray. I am afraid the keel is not quite so even. I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that we currently have five drivers at home and only three vehicles. Normally, I take my husband to his carpool pick up site and I keep the car. This week his carpool is down to two people so he asked to take our Prius so he could use the HOV lane. Fine. We can manage for a few days. I arrived home from Virginia …