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Showing posts from February, 2012

Off the cuff?--Amazing!

The Vatican Information Service reports that Pope Benedict XVI gave an "off-the-cuff" commentary on the letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians. It is amazing teaching. And to know that it was unplanned--just what came off the top of Pope Benedict's head make it all the more impressive. Do read the whole thing but enjoy a little snippet here:
According to St. Paul, the primary virtue which must accompany vocation is humility. This is the virtue of the followers of Christ Who, "being equal to God, humbled Himself, accepting the status of servant, and obeying even unto the cross. This was the Son's journey of humility, which we must imitate. ... The opposite of humility is pride, the root of all sin. Pride means arrogance, which above all seeks power and appearance. ... It has no intention of pleasing God; rather of pleasing itself, of being accepted, even venerated, by others. The 'self' becomes the centre of the world; the prideful self which knows e…

Hope

Why we continue to hope:

The Father resurrected Him through the power of His Holy Spirit and Jesus, the new Adam, became the spirit who gives us life, the first fruits of the new creation.

The same spirit that resurrected Jesus from the dead can transform our hearts from hearts of stone to hearts of flesh. We said as much in the psalm: “A pure heart create for me O God, put a steadfast spirit within me, do not cast me away from your presence, nor deprive me of your holy spirit.” That the same God that exiled our first parents from Eden, sent His own Son to this Earth devastated by sin, without sparing Him, so that we, prodigal children, can return, penitent and redeemed through His mercy, to our true homeland. So it be for all of us, and for all believers, and for all those who humbly recognize their need to be saved. Amen.--Pope Benedict XVI, Ash Wednesday 2012

Holiness

This Lent I am reading Fr. Larry Richards' book, Surrender. Fr. Richards is not speaking of a passive giving up. Rather, he is speaking about an active life that lives the prayer Christ taught us: Thy will be done.

It is very easy to say, "I am a good person. I follow the Ten Commandments. I try to be nice to everyone. I help the poor." But God doesn't want us to just be nice. He created each of us for Heaven. He wants each of us to be holy. He calls each of us to be a saint.

Holiness requires that we seek the will of God in all things. How often do I  map out my plan for life and forget to compare it to God's plan for me? Figuring out God's will can be challenging since God does not send us a Powerpoint presentation with bullet statements for our vocation and mission. But He does give us the Church. He does  give us Scripture. And he does speak to us through prayer if we are patient enough to listen.

Fr. Richards ended the first chapter of his book with a p…

Humility

Over the last few weeks, I along with many others have been sounding the alarm and readying for battle. Our religious freedom in this country is at risk. And while our actions are right and just, they are in vain if we do not first turn our trials and tribulations over to God. All that we do must be seen as serving Him. Without God, we can do nothing. With God, all is possible.

Therefore, I invite you to join me in this Novena for Religious Freedom. If you have not used the praymorenovenas.com service before, I encourage you to register. You will receive the daily novena prayers in your inbox as a daily reminder to pray. You will also have the support of thousands who are praying this novena with you.

I like to think that I am doing great things and accomplishing a great deal. Lent is a good time to remember that I accomplish nothing. God accomplishes good things if I allow Him to use me as his instrument. I put our struggles for religious liberty in His hands. I offer my work for His…

More on the HHS mandate

My latest piece for HLI America was first published at CNSNEWS.COM. It is great to see these points being made in a secular news venue.

It is time to do some fact checking about President Obama’s “compromise” on attacking religious liberty.
First of all, telling Catholics to just close their eyes and keep paying their insurance premiums that will ultimately cover morally objectionable services is not addressing respect for conscience and religious liberty. No matter how you spin it, Catholic institutions will be paying for contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs. The end result is no different than the original Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate, since insurance companies are not going to just throw these services in for free. Continue reading here or here

My Congressional Representative --How Embarrassing

My Congressional Representative, Gerry Connolly, confirming I was right not to vote for him.

A Catholic bishop, a Jewish rabbi, as well as Protestant clergy testified before Congress because of their concern that the HHS mandate would trample their religious freedom. This is their right as US citizens. What does Rep. Connolly do? He scolds them for taking part in the political process and calls them shameful! He was rude, arrogant, and mocking to these men of the cloth.

Now here is the kicker. This man claims to be Catholic. Calling Bishop Loverde. This man resides within your diocese and is publicly insulting Catholic clergy. He is promoting the infringement on our religious liberties. I believe this deserves a personal response.

Where are all those who profess to be so concerned about women's health?

Today, a huge multi-billion dollar industry is exploiting America's young women. Where is the outrage? Where are all those voices who claim they care about women's health? Here is a snippet:
The screening process begins the dehumanization of the egg supplier. Infertile couples specify the ethnicity, height, weight, IQ, test scores, and medical history desired in their egg supplier. A potential oocyte supplier is evaluated like a farm animal against these criteria and matched with a buyer. It is ironic that many of these buyers probably seek hormone-free meat and eggs for their dinner table yet have no compunction about treating a woman like an industrial farm chicken and pumping her full of hormones to make her produce more eggs.Read the whole article at HLI America

Connecting the dots between old style feminism and abortion

As a woman of a certain age, I can offer a little perspective as to why the pro-abortion crowd gets so hysterical.

Those of us of who still remember when both the Huntley-Brinkley Report and Walter Cronkite were on television also remember the reports of the women’s liberation movement. Bras were burned in defiance of “male chauvinist pigs”. Virginia Slims cigarettes told us, “You’ve come a long way, Baby!”  Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs played out the “Battle of the Sexes” on the tennis court. And amidst all of this, the United States Supreme Court ruled that a woman had the right to destroy the child within her womb.Continue reading at HLI America

The HHS mandate is only one reason Obamacare has to go!

Can we take a step back here? Clearly the HHS mandate that requires the Catholic Church to pay for contraception, sterilization, and abortifacients is an affront to religious liberty. This is being acknowledged from both ends of the political spectrum. At least 92% of the bishops who head a diocese in the United States have spoken out forcefully in opposition to the mandate. They have been joined by leaders of many other religious communities. Even the secular press is presenting this as a religious freedom issue. So how did we get here?
This issue is before us because the Secretary of HHS declared that contraception, sterilization, and the use of abortifacients (morning-after pill) are preventive medicine. This is an error as I argued here. Contraception, sterilization, and abortifacients are elective medical interventions. They are lifestyle choices. Preventive medicine prevents disease and maintains health. Contraception, sterilization, and abortifacients take a perfectly healthy re…

Part of something bigger

For those who went to Mass this weekend (and I do hope all my Catholic readers went to Mass!) we recited the Nicene Creed and said, "I believe in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church." Catholicism is not ours to design and shape to our individual preferences. The Mass is not ours to personalize. As members of this Mystical Body of Christ, we humbly submit our own will to God's will as revealed through this one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. That is why Bishop Braxton, of Bellville, IL had to fire a priest:

For 18 years, the Rev. William Rowe has done a little improvising while celebrating Mass on Sunday mornings at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Mount Carmel, Ill.
Now those deviations have led to his resignation in an incident that may be tied to global changes to the Catholic liturgy. Last Sunday, instead of saying "Lord our God that we may honor you with all our mind and love everyone in truth of heart…