Life is a journey; the choices you make now will determine your eternal destination.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Faith Freedom Fighters

I am starting a new series of posts with this one. The focus will be on those who are willing to defend our faith, to put themselves in the public eye and stand up for what they believe in. I believe that we need to have our voices heard in mainstream culture, for this seems to be a media based culture, and let's use the resources available to us. The news reports of those who do good are too often buried in favour of sensational reports of the evils being done today, so I would like to do my part to support those who stand up for our religous freedom.
There is a pro-life short film called Volition that is the subject of today's post.

Behind the Scenes of Volition: Coincidences and Startling Circumstances
By John Jalsevac
(
November 26, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The RED One has been described as the “Lamborghini” of digital film cameras; shooting in 4k resolution with a dynamic range close to that of traditional cameras, the RED prices at about $25,000, with all the necessary gadgets. And so, when a rented RED One was dropped on the second day of shooting the powerful pro-life short-film “Volition,” 22-year-old director Tim Morgan, and his younger brother and collaborator, Matthew, thought the game was up.
“At that point we thought we had to throw in the towel, because there was no way we could continue filming that day,” Tim Morgan told LifeSiteNews in a recent interview. And with only three days to shoot scenes in three different locations depicting three different historical periods, the film was already on a tight, if not impossible, schedule. It was beginning to look as if Volition was not meant to be after all.
Its circuit boards cracked, the camera refused to start up for ten minutes … at least, not until members of the cast and crew gathered around the camera and prayed over it. At that point it fired up, and the shoot was completed.
Tim says that in the whirlwind of post-production he and his brother completely forgot about the incident - until they sent the camera back to the manufacturer. The manufacturer, he relates, said that “all the circuit boards were cracked and there was no way this camera should have been able to work.”
This incident, which the young director posits may be a veritable miracle, is just one of a host of remarkable stories that surround the making of “Volition.” Indeed, the creation of the short film is steeped in coincidences and startling circumstances that hint that “Volition” yet has some definite purpose to serve.
Morgan relates, for instance, that for most of his life, while he had always been “pro-life,” he had never given much thought to the issue – that is, until last year when he attended the massive prayer rally, “The Call.” “That’s when it really hit me, hit my heart,” he says, “that there is a need for just some sort of voice in the arts, in the entertainment world, in defense of these unborn babies.”
At this point, however, Volition was, if anything, but a seed of a thought, without any definite form. It was one night, while doing some work in Israel, the birthplace of Christianity, of the Christ-child Himself, the ultimate proof and testament to the sanctity of human life, that Tim found himself in a fever and unable to sleep. “So I woke up and started a hot bath and pretty much wrote the whole outline for the movie that night,” he relates.
But with an elaborate script that called for scenes in Nazi Germany, the pre-Civil-War American South, and modern times, money was an issue. For six months after Tim wrote the script the brothers sought investors interested in making Volition a reality; but none were to be had. It was then, however, that they received an unexpected phone call from The Doorpost, an online film competition that they had entered some time back, and never thought twice about.
Now the representative from The Doorpost was telling Tim that the competition had selected the brothers as finalists and that they were offering them seventeen and a half thousand dollars to make any film of their choice on the theme of “hope.”
“It was like a door opening out of nowhere,” Tim says. “All of a sudden I have this budget for a movie I’ve been looking to get the budget for.”
The Morgan brothers promptly began to plan the shoot, advertising to find actors for the rolls and compiling a production team that involved numerous family and friends. Volition was beginning to take shape.
With only two weeks to go before production began, however, Tim was in Uganda filming a documentary for an NGO. Most of the other contestants in The Doorpost contest had already started shooting their films, Tim says, but he was halfway around the world, trying to finish shooting the promo for Show Mercy International (See the promo at:
http://www.showmercy.org).
It was in Uganda that Tim says he found the final inspiration for Volition. “We were working with these orphan kids who had these horrendous stories,” he relates. “One kid, for instance, he saw his father chop down his whole family with a machete before killing himself.
“And I’m listening to this kid, and this kid has had nothing. And I’m thinking to myself, ‘If there was any group of people on earth, that it would seem that they didn’t have a reason to live, it would be these kids. But these kids have been given a chance by the people at the orphanage.” Some of these orphans, he related, now had dreams that would before have been inconceivable, such as becoming an engineer.
This experience in Uganda, which Tim describes as “life altering,” gave him the final confirmation that he needed, filling him with a sense of urgency. “Just seeing the beauty of a human life given another chance inspired me, and really crossed over to the issue of, ‘OK, there’s this whole group of people in the US and North America - the unborn babies - that are not being given the same chance.’”
This epiphany, he says, “really crossed over and inspired me, as I was making this movie.”
Back in his hometown of Atlanta, Tim and his brother launched into a hectic schedule of pre-production (two-three weeks), shooting (three days), and post-production (10 days). Numerous friends and family stepped in, sometimes at great sacrifice, such as one friend who flew from Calgary at his own expense to do the art design, and another from Portland. “They’re not doing this for me,” Tim says he realized at the time, “they’re doing this because they believe in the message of the film.”
The end result of that month of work was Volition, a short film of startling beauty and rare poignancy that cuts to the very heart of the debate over abortion, and, indeed, the very meaning of what it is to be human.
The “thesis” of the film, explains the director, is “that throughout history there’s been groups of people that have tried to classify other groups of people as less than human, as sub-human, through scientific means or whatever means possible, so as to rationalize the mistreating and the suppressing of the other group.”
As far as the reception of the movie has been concerned, Tim states that, as expected for a film that tackles such a controversial subject, it has been “mixed.” On The Doorpost’s website, he says, “There was definitely a lively conversation that this film sparked, which was encouraging to me.”
As far as Tim and Matthew are concerned, however, Volition is only the beginning of much more to come. According to the young director, there is a great need for Christians to enter into and influence the art world, including the film world. He and his brother hope to be two of those who do exactly that.
The Christian community, he says, “has kind of left the art world on the back burner. My vision would be them treating the art world, the film world, with the same sense of urgency as they’re treating, for instance, an overseas mission.
“This is an emergency for our culture, to be able to influence our film, our arts, the American pop culture in this way.”
“I know there’s a lot of Christian investors out there,” he concludes. “My vision is kind of having the Church as passionate about the art world and the culture and film, and having people, kind of like in the old days of the Church, where they would sponsor the artist that would influence the modern pop culture. I guess my vision is of seeing that happen again, where the Church sees the urgency of influencing the film and entertainment world.”
To watch Volition, go to:
http://www.thedoorpost.com/hope/film/?film=420351f1aefa2b42b...
To find out more about Tim and Matthew Morgan and their film company, go to:
http://www.rockyfarmstudio.com/
The brothers can be reached at: info@rockyfarmstudio.com

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving newsletter from Fr. Corapi

In his usual inimitable style, Fr, Corapi's latest newsletter tells it like it is!

Give Thanks to the Lord for He is Good
Every Thanksgiving we are reminded to do for at least one day what should be a constant dimension of our spiritual life: Give Thanks. The prayer of thanksgiving is one of the major forms of prayer, along with adoration, reparation, intercession, and impetration (asking for what we need) to name some of the major categories of prayer.
This year, as always, we should count our blessings whoever we are and wherever we are. In the United States of America we should carefully and clearly think of what makes this country great, the essentials that were there from the beginning and that define what we are. By the same token, we should carefully, clearly, and courageously define what is not part of the true fabric of our nation’s very essence. Things that have become an everyday part of American life threaten to destroy the real country, the one the Founding Fathers founded on Christian principles. Anti-human realities such as abortion, euthanasia, fetal stem cell research, human cloning, pornography, and homosexual sexual relations—all of these are foreign to what this country is about and always was about. We should thank God for this, for if this were not true we would have ceased to exist long ago. God has to be first in our lives, not economic prosperity. If you are right with God, the economic factor will fall into place. If not, then greed, fraud, deceit, and every vice under the sun will rule. No one will trust the government, the corporate world, the professions, etc. The moral unraveling precedes the ultimate unraveling of a nation or a world. Chaos is the inevitable result, and death follows close behind.
Immorality is un-American, and a threat to national security. I said that right after 911, and it is more true than ever. In my lifetime I have experienced the moral erosion of our national consciousness. It’s as if large segments of the population had some portion of their brain removed or their eyes blinded. We should recall that all of the “old ways” are not inferior to some of the “new ways.” We must likewise recall that “God’s ways are not our ways. God’s ways are as far above our ways as the heavens are above the earth.” God can’t indeed write straight with crooked lines. He can bring good out of the worst evil, not that the evil should be accepted or countenanced, but when we’ve done all we can do to fight the evil, know that we haven’t lost. Jesus Christ is the “Lamb of God,” and “Prince of Peace” to be sure, but don’t ever forget that He is also “the Lion of the Tribe of Judah.” The violence and power with which God himself will confront and destroy the evil that threatens us far surpasses anything we could do.
So, this Thanksgiving “thank God for God!” God is in charge! Don’t forget that. God is all-good, all-merciful, all-loving, and all-powerful. He will fight the enemies of what is true and good. “If God is for you, who can be against you!” Thank God for your faith and your family, your health and your wealth—no matter how large or small. The spirit of thanksgiving makes a heavy heart lighter. It’ll clear your head of a thousand worries and concerns. One thing alone is important: your personal relationship with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. If that is right you will be right. If that is right, the entire world can be sinking into hell under the weight of its sins and misery, you will fly above the turmoil, destined for the glory held in store for the sons and daughters of the Lord of the Universe.
Have a blessed and happy Thanksgiving!
Fr. John Corapi

Purgatory blog

One of my readers, Owen, has a blog started to pray one month for the souls in Purgatory. If you have someone you would like him and his family to pray for, go here.
Thanks, Owen; may our Lady of Mercy bless you.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Christmas Challenge

Christmas and charity should go hand in hand. At a time when our thoughts turn to the joyful birth of our Savior, we may also think of those who do not feel joy because of hunger, lack of shelter and clothing, lack of the necessities of life, oppression, abuse, addictions, and so on. There is a reputable Catholic organisation called Chalice; here is their Mission Statement:
Sharing with our Children.
Our Mission:
Chalice proclaims Christ's loving care for the poor and suffering by inspiring our Catholic community to support local initiatives in developing countries primarily through the sponsorship of children and elderly in need.
Our Values:
We are rooted in Catholic social teachings that affirm the sacredness of life, and dignity of all people regardless of colour, nationality, age, gender or creed.
We believe that community members are fully capable of identifying the social conditions that impact their communities and are the best agents to address those conditions and effect positive changes.
We are guided by Christ's example of loving care in all our relationships with one another.
Our Goals:
To alleviate the effects of poverty, by offering an effective and trustworthy sponsorship programme that reflects God's love and mercy in our world. "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me (us) to bring the Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free." (Luke 4:18)
To increase awareness and mobilize support in our Catholic community for the many children and elderly in developing countries facing conditions of extreme poverty and lack of opportunity. "For I have set you an example, that you should also do as I have done to you." (John 13:15)
Our Objectives:
To establish and maintain sponsor sites that respond to the needs of people struggling with the effects of poverty, particularly the lack of basic education, food, clothing, housing and health.
To support community initiatives of people who share our mission and values.
To monitor all Chalice sponsor sites in order to ensure that those sponsored are properly benefiting from the funds given by our sponsors and other donors, according to our goals.
To provide programme and sponsor site information regularly about Chalice that will be of interest to sponsors and other benefactors.
To provide maximum financial support to our sponsor sites by keeping overhead and administrative costs to a minimum.
To offer presentations and make appeals to Catholic parishes and other interested groups who wish to support the work of Chalice.

Here is the link to their gift catalogue
I am challenging all my blog readers to support them. You can give as little as $10, which will buy chickens or seeds to provide a family with an income; you can sponsor a child for $33 a month, or specify your gift to go towards anything from household needs to education to health needs. Their gift catalogue has many choices. You can even send $5, to go where most needed,which is a good way to get children involved in helping other children- some of our children get more than that in daily spending money!
I am not asking you to tell what you have done or how much you spent, just to help others this Christmas. No matter how little we have in these hard times, there are always others who are more in need than we are.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Wake up call from the Vatican

It seems that my take on the world in my post, Fight or Fade, is echoed in this story out of the Vatican:
Vatican Cardinal: "A New World Order is Gaining Ground"
By John-Henry Westen
ROME, November 20, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Speaking at the opening of the 23rd plenary assembly for the Pontifical Council for the Laity, the president of the Council, Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, warned, "The idea of creating a 'new man' completely detached from the Judeo-Christian tradition, a new 'world order,' a new 'global ethic,' is gaining ground."
According to the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, the cardinal denounced the "dictatorship of relativism," rampant in Western societies, in which there is a growing "anti-Christian attitude" that makes "attacks on Christians, and particular on Catholics, pass off as politically correct."
Speaking of Christians today he said, "Our true problem is not being a minority, but rather having voluntarily become marginal, irrelevant, because of our lack of courage, so that we will be left alone, because of our mediocrity." "For Christians," Cardinal Rylko added, "the moment has arrived to free themselves from a false inferiority complex … to be valiant witnesses of Christ."
This is, he said, the "hour of the laity," to take on their "responsibility in the diverse fields of public life, from politics to the promotion of life and family, from work to the economy, from education to the formation of youth."
He warned, however, that such faithfulness would come at a personal cost. "Whoever wants to live and act according to the Gospel of Christ has to pay a price, even in the highly liberal societies of the West," he said.
This is exactly what I was talking about. In his editorial, John-Henry Weston has this to say:
LifeSiteNews is placing a lot of emphasis on the reporting of religious developments because we see a return to traditional religious belief and practise as the only answer to the overwhelming problems that the world faces at this time in history. As well, the decline of such belief and practise seems to be the root cause of most of the current problems, including the huge economic crisis. When will we learn?
We don't need to fear defending our faith; we can take our strength in these words of our Savior:
Blessed shall you be when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of Man's sake.
Be glad in that day, and rejoice, for behold, your reward is great in heaven. (Luke6-22-23)
Christians, and especially Catholics, are under attack throughout the world; from death at the hands of Muslim extremists to being urinated on by homosexuals in California. I pray that we don't weaken under the onslaught of evil that is determined to undermine our faith, that we can stand up to the lawmakers and make our voices heard, that we receive strong leadership from the Vatican and our bishops and priests, and that we, at the grassroots level, can help to implement a return to the strong morals and values that are the foundation of the Catholic Church. Dig in. It's going to be a long, hard battle.

The Presentation


Thursday, November 20, 2008

What freedom?

First the University of Calgary is trying to squelch the pro-life display featuring photos of aborted babies, now the Queens University in Ontario is trying to tell people how to speak! Gimme a break! What are we, a facist ,or dictatorship, or Communist country? What about our right to free speech? What about our freedom of religion??


Speech Police Hired to Roam Queens University Campus
By Tim Waggoner
KINGSTON, ON, November 19, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Queens University in Kingston, ON is coming under criticism for hiring six "dialogue facilitators" to roam its campus and intervene in student conversations in order to promote “diversity” and deal with what they deem to be any “offensive" material.
The six graduate students from diverse backgrounds have been hired to encourage discussion on race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity and other social issues, as well as step-in when they hear conversations that could be deemed "offensive." Each facilitator went through an 11-day training course to prepare them for their roles and have been granted free room and board as well as a yearly stipend as payment.
Critics of the program are questioning what constitutes offensive language, and are worried this initiative will be a step towards effectively squashing free speech rights on the Canadian university.
Social conservatives in Canada have in the last several years expressed increasing alarm at escalating efforts to silence “offensive” speech – efforts that, in practice, have led primarily to the targeting of those with politically incorrect views, particularly Christians with traditional views on sexual morality.
"As Catholics we are very concerned about this because the Church teaches that practicing homosexuality is sinful and homosexual sexual orientation is disordered," said Suresh Dominic, spokesman for Campaign Life Catholic, about the university’s program. "I am wondering now if Catholics at Queens are going to be discriminated against for openly stating their faith."
Dominic's comments are especially significant in light of the number of Canadians who have been brought before the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) in the last 5-10 years for having defended Christian teaching on homosexuality.
Section 13-1 of the Human Rights Act gives the CHRC authorities the power to deem some speech "hate speech" and has been used quite liberally in attempts to charge many outspoken commentators for committing "hate crimes." These include Christian pastor Steve Boissoin, who was fined and ordered to apologize by a human rights tribunal after publishing a letter to the editor in a local newspaper, expressing his disagreement with homosexual “marriage,” and Scott Brockie, a Christian printer who was fined for refusing to print materials for a homosexual organization.
In a LifeSiteNews.com interview, Theresa Gilbert, executive director of National Campus Life Network, echoed Dominic's concerns, questioning what the "facilitators" might deem to be "offensive."
"We have already had clubs across Canada opposed, banned or discriminated against regardless of what they do but merely because of the fact that they are pro-life," said Gilbert. "Will pro-life students at Queens be discriminated against for their perfectly legitimate pro-live views?"
Other opponents of the Queens program have made jabs at the fact that students are being paid to eavesdrop on other students' conversations – a factor that could suffocate rather than promote constructive conversation on social issues.
"Having a program like this in place could stifle public discussion if people are worried their private conversations are being monitored," said Angela Hickman, managing editor of the Queen's Journal, as reported by the Globe and Mail. "For a lot of people, their opinions get formed in conversations and so stifling that is dangerous."
An editorial in the Queen's Journal said the program "seems to be an inadequate, lacklustre attempt to deal with social inequalities—and especially racism—on campus."
"It's unlikely six facilitators in a crowd of thousands will have much impact on fostering dialogue in residences," it reads.
"On the other hand, if they do become regularly involved in conversations, they risk hostility from students who don't want to be approached in what they consider private social settings. The resulting dialogue likely won't be productive or effective if students feel they're being cornered and become defensive."

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Blog award!

Therese at Aussie Coffee Shop sent me this award: (Thank you, Therese!)
The rules for this award are:
1. Pick ten people and pass this award to them.
2. Then contact them and let them know that you have chosen them and their blog for the award.
3. Also link back to the person who gave you the award.

I haven't had time lately to follow a lot of blogs, so I will pass it on to a few:
Tom in Vegas
Ask Sister Mary Martha
The Inn at The End of The World
The Classic Canadian
Te Deum Laudamus

Monday, November 17, 2008

My Journey, Continued

For me to be able to defend my faith, I must first be at peace with myself. Then I will be able to speak to others in a loving and charitable manner, and be an example to others. Being Catholic is something that I want other people to long for, so that they can experience the joy and peace of heart that comes from living our faith. This is from The Imitation of Christ, and lays it out beautifully:

Goodness and Peace in Man
FIRST keep peace with yourself; then you will be able to bring peace to others. A peaceful man does more good than a learned man. Whereas a passionate man turns even good to evil and is quick to believe evil, the peaceful man, being good himself, turns all things to good.
The man who is at perfect ease is never suspicious, but the disturbed and discontented spirit is upset by many a suspicion. He neither rests himself nor permits others to do so. He often says what ought not to be said and leaves undone what ought to be done. He is concerned with the duties of others but neglects his own.
Direct your zeal, therefore, first upon yourself; then you may with justice exercise it upon those about you. You are well versed in coloring your own actions with excuses which you will not accept from others, though it would be more just to accuse yourself and excuse your brother. If you wish men to bear with you, you must bear with them. Behold, how far you are from true charity and humility which does not know how to be angry with anyone, or to be indignant save only against self!
It is no great thing to associate with the good and gentle, for such association is naturally pleasing. Everyone enjoys a peaceful life and prefers persons of congenial habits. But to be able to live at peace with harsh and perverse men, or with the undisciplined and those who irritate us, is a great grace, a praiseworthy and manly thing.
Some people live at peace with themselves and with their fellow men, but others are never at peace with themselves nor do they bring it to anyone else. These latter are a burden to everyone, but they are more of a burden to themselves. A few, finally, live at peace with themselves and try to restore it to others.
Now, all our peace in this miserable life is found in humbly enduring suffering rather than in being free from it. He who knows best how to suffer will enjoy the greater peace, because he is the conqueror of himself, the master of the world, a friend of Christ, and an heir of heaven.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Another new blog

There is another new blog on the block, this one by Steve, the husband of Therese at Aussie Coffee shop. Welcome to Secular Heretic! It's always good when a Catholic dad makes his voice heard.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Bravo to the US Bishops!

From Life Site News:

US Bishops Issue Stark Warning to Obama over Abortion
By John-Henry Westen BALTIMORE, November 12, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - In a stark warning to President-Elect Barack Obama, Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), today warned the Obama Administration, on behalf of all the US bishops, that "aggressive pro-abortion policies, legislation and executive orders will permanently alienate tens of millions of Americans, and would be seen by many as an attack on the free exercise of their religion."
The statement, which was "written at the request and direction of all the Bishops," was released today at the end of the annual fall assembly of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.

While the message begins on a conciliatory note, the vast majority is directed at the issue of the rights of the unborn. "The bishops of the Catholic Church in the United States welcome this moment of historic transition and look forward to working with President-elect Obama and the members of the new Congress for the common good of all," begins the statement. From there, however, it notes that the 1973 Roe v Wade decision was "bad law" and that the Freedom of Choice Act which Obama has promised to sign is even "more radical."
Cardinal George writes that "the unity desired by President-elect Obama and all Americans at this moment of crisis will be impossible to achieve," if the administration's policies increase abortions.
The full statement follows:
STATEMENT of the President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
"If the Lord does not build the house, in vain do its builders labor; if the Lord does not watch over the city, in vain does the watchman keep vigil." (Psalm 127, vs. 1)
The Bishops of the Catholic Church in the United States welcome this moment of historic transition and look forward to working with President-elect Obama and the members of the new Congress for the common good of all. Because of the Church's history and the scope of her ministries in this country, we want to continue our work for economic justice and opportunity for all; our efforts to reform laws around immigration and the situation of the undocumented; our provision of better education and adequate health care for all, especially for women and children; our desire to safeguard religious freedom and foster peace at home and abroad. The Church is intent on doing good and will continue to cooperate gladly with the government and all others working for these goods.
The fundamental good is life itself, a gift from God and our parents. A good state protects the lives of all. Legal protection for those members of the human family waiting to be born in this country was removed when the Supreme Court decided Roe vs. Wade in 1973. This was bad law. The danger the Bishops see at this moment is that a bad court decision will be enshrined in bad legislation that is more radical than the 1973 Supreme Court decision itself.
In the last Congress, a Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) was introduced that would, if brought forward in the same form today, outlaw any "interference" in providing abortion at will. It would deprive the American people in all fifty states of the freedom they now have to enact modest restraints and regulations on the abortion industry. FOCA would coerce all Americans into subsidizing and promoting abortion with their tax dollars. It would counteract any and all sincere efforts by government and others of good will to reduce the number of abortions in our country.
Parental notification and informed consent precautions would be outlawed, as would be laws banning procedures such as partial-birth abortion and protecting infants born alive after a failed abortion. Abortion clinics would be deregulated. The Hyde Amendment restricting the federal funding of abortions would be abrogated. FOCA would have lethal consequences for prenatal human life.
FOCA would have an equally destructive effect on the freedom of conscience of doctors, nurses and health care workers whose personal convictions do not permit them to cooperate in the private killing of unborn children. It would threaten Catholic health care institutions and Catholic Charities. It would be an evil law that would further divide our country, and the Church should be intent on opposing evil.
On this issue, the legal protection of the unborn, the bishops are of one mind with Catholics and others of good will. They are also pastors who have listened to women whose lives have been diminished because they believed they had no choice but to abort a baby. Abortion is a medical procedure that kills, and the psychological and spiritual consequences are written in the sorrow and depression of many women and men. The bishops are single-minded because they are, first of all, single-hearted.
The recent election was principally decided out of concern for the economy, for the loss of jobs and homes and financial security for families, here and around the world. If the election is misinterpreted ideologically as a referendum on abortion, the unity desired by President-elect Obama and all Americans at this moment of crisis will be impossible to achieve. Abortion kills not only unborn children; it destroys constitutional order and the common good, which is assured only when the life of every human being is legally protected. Aggressively pro-abortion policies, legislation and executive orders will permanently alienate tens of millions of Americans, and would be seen by many as an attack on the free exercise of their religion.
This statement is written at the request and direction of all the Bishops, who also want to thank all those in politics who work with good will to protect the lives of the most vulnerable among us. Those in public life do so, sometimes, at the cost of great sacrifice to themselves and their families; and we are grateful. We express again our great desire to work with all those who cherish the common good of our nation. The common good is not the sum total of individual desires and interests; it is achieved in the working out of a common life based upon good reason and good will for all.
Our prayers accompany President-elect Obama and his family and those who are cooperating with him to assure a smooth transition in government. Many issues demand immediate attention on the part of our elected "watchman." (Psalm 127) May God bless him and our country.

I am so pleased that the Church is getting a backbone over this issue. Better late than never!

My Journey, Continued

For those who choose to fight and not fade, here is a reminder from Thomas A Kempis about the One who will help us to live our faith, living in love with Jesus.


The Intimate Friendship of Jesus
WHEN Jesus is near, all is well and nothing seems difficult. When He is absent, all is hard. When Jesus does not speak within, all other comfort is empty, but if He says only a word, it brings great consolation.
Did not Mary Magdalen rise at once from her weeping when Martha said to her: "The Master is come, and calleth for thee"?
[6] Happy is the hour when Jesus calls one from tears to joy of spirit.
How dry and hard you are without Jesus! How foolish and vain if you desire anything but Him! Is it not a greater loss than losing the whole world? For what, without Jesus, can the world give you? Life without Him is a relentless hell, but living with Him is a sweet paradise. If Jesus be with you, no enemy can harm you.
He who finds Jesus finds a rare treasure, indeed, a good above every good, whereas he who loses Him loses more than the whole world. The man who lives without Jesus is the poorest of the poor, whereas no one is so rich as the man who lives in His grace.
It is a great art to know how to converse with Jesus, and great wisdom to know how to keep Him. Be humble and peaceful, and Jesus will be with you. Be devout and calm, and He will remain with you. You may quickly drive Him away and lose His grace, if you turn back to the outside world. And, if you drive Him away and lose Him, to whom will you go and whom will you then seek as a friend? You cannot live well without a friend, and if Jesus be not your friend above all else, you will be very sad and desolate. Thus, you are acting foolishly if you trust or rejoice in any other. Choose the opposition of the whole world rather than offend Jesus. Of all those who are dear to you, let Him be your special love. Let all things be loved for the sake of Jesus, but Jesus for His own sake.
Jesus Christ must be loved alone with a special love for He alone, of all friends, is good and faithful. For Him and in Him you must love friends and foes alike, and pray to Him that all may know and love Him.
Never desire special praise or love, for that belongs to God alone Who has no equal. Never wish that anyone's affection be centered in you, nor let yourself be taken up with the love of anyone, but let Jesus be in you and in every good man. Be pure and free within, unentangled with any creature.
You must bring to God a clean and open heart if you wish to attend and see how sweet the Lord is. Truly you will never attain this happiness unless His grace prepares you and draws you on so that you may forsake all things to be united with Him alone.
When the grace of God comes to a man he can do all things, but when it leaves him he becomes poor and weak, abandoned, as it were, to affliction. Yet, in this condition he should not become dejected or despair. On the contrary, he should calmly await the will of God and bear whatever befalls him in praise of Jesus Christ, for after winter comes summer, after night, the day, and after the storm, a great calm.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Biden gets told

I was pleased to see that there is a Bishop who is standing up to the power-to-be, in this article from LifeSite News:

Bishop of Diocese Where Biden Received Communion Calls Him to Account over Abortion
By Kathleen Gilbert
TALLAHASSEE, Florida, November 7, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - In a rare show of episcopal mettle, the bishop of Pensacola-Tallahassee swiftly sent VP-elect Joseph Biden a letter after he received communion on Sunday in the diocese, chastising him with "urgency" to examine his conscience carefully before receiving communion again.
Biden, who calls himself a devout Catholic, is an outspoken abortion proponent and as such has incurred automatic excommunication from the Church according to Canon Law.
The bishop witnessed to the Church's teaching that "human life is to be respected from the moment of conception until natural death," a principle of reason and of the common good that he called "knowable to all even beyond the categories of faith."
While not explicitly condemning the VP-Elect's reception of Holy Communion, Bishop John Richard of the Pensacola-Tallahassee diocese reminded Biden that his policies reflect "a profound disconnection" from his obligation as a Catholic "to protect the weakest and most innocent among us: the child in the womb."
Quoting the U.S. bishops' 2004 document Catholics in Public Life, Bishop Richard recalled the words of St. Paul to warn that, "'Whoever ... eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the Body and Blood of the Lord.'”
The U.S. bishops had explained, using St. Paul's admonition as a reference, that "all must examine their consciences as to their worthiness to receive the Body and Blood of our Lord.
"This examination includes fidelity to the moral teaching of the Church in personal and public life ... Respect for the Holy Eucharist, in particular, demands that it be received worthily.”
Bishop Richard concluded his letter with the words, "I pray that the Catholic faith you have been raised in, the faith by which you pray, and the life of virtue which flows from both may strengthen you so that you may have the strength to ... live by the virtue of fortitude as you proclaim your support to the Person of Christ in the most vulnerable of his members: the pre-born child."
Sen. Biden has come under fire from Church leaders on several occasions during the election season for misrepresenting Church teaching as compatible with his pro-abortion agenda.
To read Bishop John Richard's full letter to Sen. Biden, go to:
http://www.ptdiocese.org/documents/Ricard%20to%20Biden%2011_04_08.pdf

Friday, November 7, 2008

Fight or Fade

It is time for every Catholic, indeed, every Christian, to take a stand on our faith. We are being assaulted on every front, from our babes in the womb to our elderly and sick; from our work places to our churches, our hospitals, and schools. Everywhere there is an anti-Christian, and especially anti-Catholic, agenda. We have a choice: You can say, it doesn't concern me; I am a good Catholic- I go to Church, receive the Sacraments, I pray every day. You can fade into the background and just live out your life. Or you can choose to fight. That is the hardest choice. It means facing ridicule and scorn. It means speaking up against all the evil that is being forced on us by politicians and people with culture of death agendas. It means setting an example for others. It means financially supporting those who are fighting the good fight. It means taking a stand with your children and not letting them fall prey to the undermining of fashion trends and peer pressure. It means taking the time to make your voice heard by your political representative on issues that are being voted on in Parliament or the Senate. It means inspiring others in your family and friends to renew their religious faith so that they too will not be steamrolled by a society hellbent on destruction. It means getting up off your couch and your comfort zone. It means the salvation of your soul.
I would dearly love to become a hermit at this time; just fade away to a cabin in the wilderness and spend the rest of my life in prayer, as my 78 year old mother is doing. ( God Bless her!) But I am certain that God gave me this outspoken and tenacious personality for another reason. So I am going to stand up and be counted, no matter the cost. After all, I have a good example to follow:


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

What have you done?

I am sad that our Rosary novena wasn't powerful enough to prevent Obama -Bi(n La)den from getting elected and it breaks my heart to think of the countless unborn souls whose mothers will legally murder them once Obama signs more abortion laws into being. For those souls, Obama is a terrorist. He is known to support killing babies who survive partial birth abortion. To condone a sin and encourage it makes you guilty of that sin too.Here is my take on why they refuse to admit that a person is human until after it's born: if they do, then they have legalised murder through legalising abortion, and if they do that, then killing of any person will be legal. Of course, the euthanasia laws they are trying to ram through are doing just that. It is the beginning of the fall of the US Empire. The devil is grinning. He is dancing with glee.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Our Duty to the Holy Souls

We all have loved ones who have died, and most of us as Catholics know to pray for their souls. Here is what St. Alphonsus Ligouri says in my little book, Purgatorian Manual:

"The practice of recommending to God the souls in Purgatory, that He may mitigate the great pains they suffer, and that He may soon bring them to His glory, is most pleasing to the Lord and most profitable to us. For these blessed souls are His eternal spouses, and most grateful are they to those who obtain their deliverance from prison, or even a mitigation of their torments. When, therefore, they arrive in Heaven, they will be sure to remember all who have prayed for them. It is a pious belief that God manifests to them our prayers in their behalf, that they may also pray for us. It is true that these blessed souls are not in a state to pray for themselves, because they are, so to speak, criminals atoning for their faults. However, because they are dear to God, they can pray for us, and obtain for us the divine graces. St. Catherine of Bologna, when she wished to obtain any grace, had recourse to the souls in Purgatory, and her prayers were heard immediately. She declared that, by praying to these Holy Souls, she obtained many favours which she had sought through the intersession of the saints without obtaining them. The graces which devout persons are said to have received through these holy souls are innumerable."
He goes on to say that it is our Christian duty to relieve them by our suffrages, for they cannot help themselves and so are in need of our assistance.