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Showing posts from June, 2011

Please stop whatever you are doing and pray

With my son deployed to Afghanistan it was very hard to read this article in yesterday's Washington Post. Then my son called from Afghanistan this morning. He sounded very tired. He had been at the helipad waiting to receive a delivery. Then a medivac helicopter arrived and a flag-draped body was off-loaded. He attended the memorial service for this soldier today. Right now, that soldier is everyone's son or brother. Please stop whatever you are doing and say a prayer, right now, for the repose of the soul of this soldier. Then say another prayer for all the men and women who are serving our country.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him . May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

O Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.
St. Michael, pray for us
Our Lady of Victory pray for us

Why does Terry Pratchett want to die?

Several nights ago, BBC aired a documentary by the immensely popular author Terry Pratchett. This was not a romp through Discworld. No. This was a much darker journey. Terry Pratchett explored the world of euthanasia and physician assisted suicide in "Choosing to Die". This is a very personal topic for Terry Pratchett. In 2007 he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. He has made no secret of his desire to have control of his own death. After his diagnosis was made public he said he would like to die in his, "own home, in a chair on the lawn, with a brandy in my hand to wash down whatever modern version of the 'Brompton cocktail' some helpful medic could supply. And with Thomas Tallis on my iPod, I would shake hands with Death."

I have not seen the program. From media reports I gleaned that Pratchett went to the Swiss clinic Dignitas to explore using its assisted suicide services and followed the course of two British men who did the same. The death of …

Conservative and Liberal are not the right words

Much can be said about the Roxanne Martino fiasco at Notre Dame. For those who have not heard, The University of Notre Dame Board of Trustees elected Ms. Martino as a member. The Cardinal Newman Society then revealed that Ms. Martino had donated $25,000 to Emily's List, a PAC dedicated to electing pro-abortion women to congress. Fr. Jenkins, president of Notre Dame, claimed that Ms. Martino is a strong supporter of all Catholic teachings and was unaware of the connection between Emily's List and the pro-abortion movement. Now there are two scenarios here. The first is that Fr. Jenkins is being less than truthful about what Ms. Martino knew and when she knew it. It is truly hard to believe that Ms. Martino could have been unaware of the purpose of Emily's List. Supporting abortion is not just a sideline cause. It is their raison d'etre! Of course, let us say that Fr. Jenkins is being completely truthful and Ms. Martino had no idea of the pro-abortion purpose of Emily…

To Err is Human...

Sometimes the fear of making a mistake or of failure can paralyze us. Inaction is preferable to imperfect action. Sometimes a mistake is just a coarse file that hones away our rough edges. Wrong decisions are part of the human condition. Redeem them by making them hard lessons on the road to holiness.

Life is simply time given to man to learn how to live. Mistakes are always part of learning. The real dignity of life consists in cultivating a fine attitude towards our own mistakes and those of others. It is the fine tolerance of a fine soul. Man becomes great, not through never making mistakes, but by profiting by those he does make; by being satisfied with a single rendition of a mistake, not encoring it into a continuous performance; by getting from it the honey of new, regenerating inspiration with no irritating sting of morbid regret; by building better to-day because of his poor yesterday; and by rising with renewed strength, finer purpose and freshened courage every tim…

Counting Blessings

When your son is deployed to Afghanistan, you take your blessings where you find them. Of course, one of the greatest blessings of my son's current deployment is that my daughter-in-law and my granddaughter are spending so much time with us. This is time I treasure. Another blessing is that my son is on a Polish base. That means there is a chapel staffed with two priests. He attends Mass every week. It is in Polish, but the Polish American Liturgical Center was kind enough to send him a missal with English translations of the Polish Mass. The post chapel is named in honor of Divine Mercy. This is also very special since my mother was very attached to the devotion of the Divine Mercy Chaplet. The Divine Mercy group that prays the Chaplet, the Rosary, and the Stations of the Cross at her parish every Friday is the fruit of her labor. So having my deployed son worship in a chapel dedicated to Divine Mercy so soon after my mother's death is somehow comforting. God is good.

You might need a Catholic refresher course if...

The religious education office in our parish has worked very hard in the last few years to increase the adult education opportunities. It is still a struggle to convince many of our parish adults that they need religious education. I like the current approach. There is a full color page in the bulletin that begins with:

The office of Religious Education would like to ask you a few questions about the Faith:

What are the 7 Sacraments? What is a simple definition of each one?Can you list the 10 order?How often is a Catholic obliged to go to Mass? to receive Holy Communion? to go to the sacrament of penance?What is the conscience?Can you list the 20 mysteries of the rosary?What is the role in the Church of the bishop? of the Pope?In what areas of teaching can the Church not err?What two conditions could keep a Catholic who is attending Mass from receiving Holy Communion?What is the Immaculate Conception?Missing any of the answers to these questions? Why not take one of ou…

Virtue: the habit of doing good

Yesterday was an extraordinarily trying and frustrating day. I worked very hard to prepare and be ready for it to run smoothly. Yet, no matter where I turned, there was a glitch in the system. I had all paperwork filled out and neatly organized for my son's camp physical. Yet when I went to pick him up from school I found that he had forgotten to carry his military ID so we had to return home and retrieve it. This resulted in an alternate route to the military base. Since we were short on time I decided to detour around the major construction projects. I trusted my GPS. This meant we followed a route that went straight through the middle of Washington D.C. and up Wisconsin Avenue to Bethesda. The GPS claimed we would be there in twenty-five minutes. I realized this route would take us an hour. I tried to call the clinic to alert them to my traffic woes. All phone calls were being routed to Walter Reed because of training. The recording said Bethesda would resume receiving calls at…

In the name of the Father, the Son, and The Holy Spirit

Never leave your house without making the sign of the cross. It will be to you a staff and a weapon...Let this sign teach you that you are a soldier, ready to combat against the demons, and ready to fight for the crown of justice. Are you ignorant of what the cross has done? It has vanquished death, destroyed sin, emptied hell, dethroned Satan, and restored the universe. Would you then doubt its power?-St. Chrysostom