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

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Some thoughts to start the New Year off

As we begin another year, many folks look back on everything that happened to them over the passing year. Sometimes it's easy to focus on the things that made us unhappy or sad, and the good things get lost. Dwelling on misery is not good for the soul; but our human nature cries out for solace- a loving word, a sympathetic listener, anything that validates our emotional turmoil.
Spiritual reading and attending daily Mass are the best ways I know of to turn your mind away from your own woes. Lift yourself up to God, and he will make your burdens light.
These excerpts from "The Imitation of Christ" (in red) put it well:

When thou art troubled and afflicted then is the time to merit.
Thou must pass through fire and water before thou comest to refreshment.(Ps. LXV 12)
Unless thou do violence to thyself thou wilt not overcome vice.
As long as we carry about this frail body we cannot be without sin nor live without uneasiness and sorrow.
We would fain be at rest from all misery, but because we have lost innocence by sin we have also lost true happiness.

Even,and especially, our woes can work to our spiritual advancement if we do not dwell on them. It is a hard thing to think that God gives us burdens because He loves us and wants our eternal happiness.

Many follow Jesus to the breaking of the bread, but few to the drinking of the chalice of His Passion.
Many reverence His miracles, but few the ignominy of His Cross.
Many love Jesus as long as they meet with no adversity.
Many praise Him and bless Him as long as they receive consolation from Him.
But if Jesus hide Himself, and leave them for a little while, they either fall into complaints or excessive dejection.
But they that love Jesus for Jesus' sake and not for any comfort of their own, bless Him no less in tribulation and anguish of heart than in the greatest consolation.
And if He should never give them His comfort, yet would they always praise Him and always give Him thanks.

It helps me if I meditate on the Agony in the Garden - how little my burdens become when I think of Our Lord suffering so much for us. I have a little booklet by Padre Pio, The Agony of Jesus - that is a great help.

As we start this new year, I pray that we all love God more deeply, strive to do His Will in our daily life, and offer our joys and our tribulations for His greater glory.


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Goals


Have you attained the goals you set for yourself this year? As I look back, I can see that I failed miserably in some, and attained others. Ah, well, I am only human and weak, and so I will continue to struggle. The unattained goals, I will focus on again this year.
One goal that I did accomplish was my increase of devotion to St. Joseph, who I took for my patron Saint of this year. I read a book on his life, and pray to him every day for help in various matters, especially for help in devotion to Mary. I have done Prime and Compline of the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin all year, and sometimes the other Hours as well.
I recently acquired this print of Our Lady, which I love; it's the same as the one my mom had. I imagine Mary holding the love of God close within her, oblivious to the world and all that would take that Love away.
So this coming year, I will work again on increasing my devotion to our Blessed Mother, and I place all of you, my readers, within her Immaculate Heart, and under the shelter of her Mantle.
May 2010 be a year filled with blessings for you and your families.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas


From our house to yours, may the light of Christ shine always in your life.

May the Child Jesus inspire you throughout the year to walk in humility.

And a special greeting from my two faithful companions, who truly are a gift from God:


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Chritmas Carol videos



The only thing I don't like about this one is the line "most highly favored Lady" which is a poor translation of "Hail full of grace".







Friday, December 18, 2009

A giveaway at Deis Irae

If you have never visited the blog Deis Irae, you might want to pop over there; he is giving away a Catholic calendar to one commenter. This blog is informative about the lives of saints, and I really appreciate the effort Smiley puts into bringing us the stories of the saints - some of which are quite obscure. Their stories are inspiring, and we all need some inspiration in our Catholic journey!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

For our soldiers and their families

I first heard this song at a Christmas Concert in Turner Valley, Alberta, performed by pastor Paul Rumbolt, and it silenced the noisy, drinking crowd; there was not a dry eye in the place when he was done. This video is performed by the man who wrote it, John McCutcheon. I send this out to all the families who have sons and daughters who are serving their country, far away from home, and for all the soldiers who won't be home for Christmas.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord......

It was a month ago today that my mother passed away. This picture was taken on her 79th birthday, just 2 months before her death. We had just come from Mass, and the flowers she is holding had been placed at the Tabernacle during Mass. I would like to share with you something she wrote on Nov. 1st, a week and a half before she entered into eternal rest; this is from her daily journal:

"I love having a happy heart. When I have a miserable day, I can still pray for a happy heart. When I am having a good day, I enjoy it with a happy heart. Whether my day is good, or whether it is miserable, I can still have a happy heart."

I love you and miss you, mom.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

How much longer can this go on?

This guy is starting to seriously piss me off. If he keeps denying Christ, he might just get what he gives and it will be a sad day for the USA.


Obamas Wanted a Non-Religious Christmas: White House Social Secretary

By James Tillman

WASHINGTON, DC, December 7, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- The Obamas were planning a "non-religious Christmas" and intended not to put the traditional White House créche scene on display.

White House Social Secretary Desirée Rogers reportedly told a meeting of former secretaries that the Obamas did not intend to put the manger scene on display - a suggestion that was greeted by an "audible gasp" from her audience. The White House confirmed that there had been discussion regarding whether to make Christmas more "inclusive."

Despite such discussions, the White House eventually bowed to tradition, reports the NY Times; the creche scene is now on display.

In an email to Fox News' Todd Starnes regarding the issue, the First Lady's office quoted a speech given by President Obama at the lighting of the National Christmas Tree. The President's remarks emphasized that Christmas has a lesson for all, not merely Christians, and that it represents, "a tradition that we celebrate as a country - a tradition that has come to represent more than any one holiday or religion."

Catholic League President Bill Donohue said that it should be no surprise that President Obama and "his wife would like to neuter Christmas in the White House."

He continued: "That's their natural step - to ban the public display of Christian symbols. Have any doubts? Last April, Georgetown University was ordered to put a drape over the name of Jesus as a condition of the president speaking there."

"It is the business of the public to hold [the Obamas] accountable for the way they celebrate Christmas in the White House. We know one thing for sure: no other administration ever entertained internal discussions on whether to display a nativity scene in the White House."

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Sunday, December 6, 2009

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Take time to listen

It isn't Christmas music, but it suits my mood.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Add to your Christmas card list

From LifeSite News:


Send Jailed Pro-Life Heroine Linda Gibbons a Christmas Card

November 30, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Supporters of Linda Gibbons are disseminating the following information to encourage support for the Canadian pro-life sidewalk counsellor:

Linda Gibbons has been a “common criminal” for many years now. For fifteen years, since 1994, this grandmother has been in and out of Ontario prisons. Her totally accumulated jail time is seven years. What is her crime? Linda prayerfully and quietly witnesses in front of Ontario abortion clinics, in violation of an unjust "bubble zone" law.

This past session has been particularly onerous - she has been behind bars since last January, and this will be her second consecutive Christmas in jail.

Please consider sending Linda a Christmas card this year. She will be encouraged and uplifted by your thoughtfulness. To maximize the effectiveness of this initiative, why not talk to your pastor and see if you can put this message in your church bulletin? Why not pass this message along to family and friends?

Her address is:

Attention: Linda Gibbons
Vanier Center for Women
655 Martin Street, Box 1040,
Milton, Ontario
L9T 5E6, Canada

There are some mailing guidelines because the Detention Centre mailing department reads everything sent to the inmates:

1. Don't use stickers (address, return address, pro-life) on the envelope or card.
2. Don't send any laminated cards, bookmarks, prayer cards, pro-life pamphlets. Non-laminated items will get to her.
3. Don't ask direct questions about daily activity of the detention centre.
4. Put your address directly in the card or letter. (Sometimes the mail sorter keeps the envelope and Linda feels badly if she can't write back.)
5. If you would like to send a little monetary gift to Linda it must be a money order made out to “Linda Gibbons.” The detention centre will deposit the money directly to her account. She uses any donations for envelopes and stamps.
6. Many people add a variety of Christian reading material in their mailings to her. She often shares articles with others in the Centre. She can receive pro-life material that show the development of the baby but not post abortion photos. She can't receive books. Try to stick to one or two pages of reading materials or pamphlets.

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

More from The Life of Christ

There is part of a chapter in The Life of Christ which really reminded me of the New Age movement and love of spirituality for its own sake; its denial of the need for "organised" religion, as though religion is a free-form art.
Bishop Sheen writes:
Holiness must have a philosophical and theological foundation, namely, Divine Truth; otherwise it is sentimentality and emotionalism. Many would say later on, "We want religion, but no creeds". This is like saying we want healing, but no science of medicine; music, but no rules of music; history, but no documents. Religion is indeed a life, but it grows out of truth, not away from it. It has been said it makes no difference what you believe; it all depends on how you act. This is psychological nonsense, for a man acts out of his beliefs.
To those who are not Catholic and don't understand Apostolic succession , there is a chapter on The Divine Mandate, chapter 58 which is too lengthy to include here, but which clearly examines the mission Christ gave to the Apostles, with references to Matthew 28:19,20.
I have finished reading this book now, so I will give you one more glimpse into it with these quotes:

When evil is revealed in the light, it does not always repent; sometimes it becomes more evil.

As life must be nourished, defended and preserved, so freedom must be repurchased in each generation.

Peace is in the soul, and comes from union with Him, though the body may feel pain.

And yet, knowing all, the Son of God made Peter and not John, the Rock upon which He built His Church that sinners and the weak might not despair.

Broadmindedness, when it means indifference to right and wrong, ends in a hatred of what is right.

Religion is not to be given to everyone, but only to those who are "of the truth". Matthew 7:6

It is the failure of those within that provides opportunities for enemies who are still without. The enemies will do the bloody work of the Crucifixion, but those who have had the faith and lost it and who are anxious to salve their conscience by destroying the root of morality commit the greater evil.

The fruits of sin never compensate for the loss of grace.

When a democracy loses its moral sense, it can vote itself right out of democracy.

Suffering does not necessarily make men better; it can sear and burn the soul, unless men are purified by seeing its redemptive value.

The soul that despairs never cries to God.

What the Resurrection offered was not immunity from evil in the physical worldd, but immunity from sin in the soul.

......there is never the Cross without the Resurrection.

I highly reccomend this book; it should be available at your local library. Any time one spends time contemplating the life of Christ, it can only serve to bring you closer to Him.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

An Old Rugged Cross



My husband did something very special for me today. First - a little family history. In the 1930's my mother's family homesteaded over 50 acres on the Slocan River, where they raised mom and her brothers and sisters. Over the years everyone moved away, and the property, called "The Old Ranch"was, on the death of my grandparents, inherited by all the siblings. It went delinquent in land taxes, and my mom ended up buying it from the surviving family members in the 1970's. She lived on it for the last few years of her life- I think she was over 70 when she moved out there. Now, this property has no electricity, running water, or dwellings. She lived in camper trailers, with propane heat and kerosene lanterns. Mom didn't drive, so one of my sisters and one of my brothers, God bless them, looked after her every need.
There are the remnants of two old hand-hewn cabins there that mom lived in as a child. One of them is almost on the edge of the river bank now, as the flooding river eats away a little of the land every spring. After mom died, the Old Ranch was put up for sale, so some of the men went out to do some clean up. While they were there, Ted gathered bits of wood from the old cabins, mostly the cedar chinking.
This is what my thoughtful, caring husband had in mind:
He wanted to make an old rugged Cross for me, as a momento of my family history, and my family's faith that my mother loved so much. He even included a nail that came from the cabin, and made it so that there are no fresh-cut ends.

It is now hanging on the wall in my office, a reminder of my mother, and also a reminder of my beloved husband. I hope to find a Corpus to fit it, and have it blessed.


Sunday, November 22, 2009

More quotes from the good Bishop

I am over halfway through The life of Christ by Fulton J. Sheen now, and I am really enjoying the way it is written. Gives you a more personal take on Our Lord's life, and explains well the political structure of the times.
Here are some more great one-liners from it to get you thinking:

As men love God they will also love their country.

When our responsive love melts into obedience, then God makes His dwelling within us.

All false beatitudes which make happiness depend on self-expression, license, having a good time, or "eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow you die" He scorns because they bring mental disorders, unhappiness, false hopes, and anxieties.

The wicked fear the good, because the good are a constant reproach to their consciences.

Belief in immortality dies easily in those who live in such a way that they cannot face the prospect of judgement.

Whenever man attempts to do what he knows to be the Masters Will, a power will be given to him equal to the duty.

The instinct of justice in the human heart is so deep that, even in great deeds of injustice the villains wear the mantle of justice.


That last one sure does hit the nail on the head for all the "rights" groups out there doesn't it?


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thank you

Thank you to all who sent their well wishes. My mom is laid to rest now; we had a traditional Requiem Mass in Latin for her as she would have wished, and what's a funeral without rain? The family gathered from across the country, and I had the pleasure of spending some time with my daughter, who is a lawyer in Ontario- I only get to see her about once a year.
My mom was a very prayerful person, and she made great spiritual progress in the last couple of years of her life. She will always be an inspiration to me to persevere in prayer. I am fortunate to inherit her Missal, and a few other books, the chief treasure of which is Thomas A Kempis's The Imitation of Christ; a book that I was intending to buy.
My computer crashed the night mom died, and is still giving me trouble, but I am working on another post of quotes from Bishop Fulton J. Sheen from his book The Life of Christ, which I recommend to all. It is better than any Bible Study session.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

In the arms of Jesus


My mother passed away peacefully last night. She received the Last Rites and Communion a few hours before her death, and had family with her. She wore her brown scapular, and died with her Rosary in her hand. Please pray for her soul. There will be a Traditional Requiem Mass for her on Monday.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Pray for our fallen soldiers.


In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders Fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders Fields.

- John McCrae


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Attacking Christianity


The European Union is trying to eradicate all presence of Christianity.
ROME, November 9, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The recent decision by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) condemning the display of crucifixes in Italian public schools could result in the removal of all public displays of a Christian origin in all public buildings of Europe under the newly passed Lisbon Treaty, a British legal expert has warned.

You can read more here. Let us pray that the Italian people are courageous and successful in fighting this tyranny which denies their heritage and their faith. This is just the tip of the iceberg in the attempt to replace religion with government.
Our schools have become a battleground. The forces of evil know that children are our future; something that pro life people also know and that men and women who are so self-absorbed that they choose to abort their children seem to have forgotten. The children of the world are under attack in their schools and parents are being stripped of their power to protect them by the laws of their country. Home schooling has been outlawed in at least one European country, and is under attack in others. Why? Because government wants to control children, to force them into accepting their version of the world. The sad thing is that most governments are elected, most laws voted on. People who have an agenda make the most noise and get the most attention, as is evident by the progress made by the homosexualist and pro abortion activists. We cannot fight evil by shrugging our shoulders and expecting someone else to fight the battle. We must speak up and fight for our faith and our beliefs. I am happy that the US Bishops are speaking up on the health care bill, but so much more needs to be done. I hope and pray that more parents will take their children out of State run schools, and either home school or start schools where they are allowed to teach their children the morals and values of a society that values faith and life according to God's plan. We are under attack, as Fr. Corapi says, this is spiritual warfare. Tomorrow we give honor to those who gave their life to protect our country from tyranny, are we going to let tyranny sneak in the back door, one little law at a time?


Monday, November 9, 2009

Fr.Corapi Veteran's Day Message

Give pause this week to pray for the souls of all the soldiers who have given their lives for you.
As usual, Fr. Corapi says it best:

Veterans' Day Message from Fr. Corapi

Every year in the United States of America we celebrate “Veterans’ Day” on November 11th, which historically marked the armistice (originally Armistice Day) ending World War I. If you are interested in the history of this American holiday, you can easily find it using Google, or any web search engine.

We should all be very thankful for the service of our veterans. Our country and the freedoms we sometimes take for granted were won by, and constantly protected by, the veterans of our Armed Forces. My grandfather served in the US Army during World War I; my father in the Navy Seabees in the South Pacific, some of my uncles served in the Marines, the Navy, and the Air Force during the Korean War. I enlisted in the Army in the late 1960s myself.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church, “a sure norm for teaching the faith,” as Pope John Paul II asserted, says this about military service in paragraph #2310, quoting “Gaudium et Spes”: “Those who are sworn to serve their country in the armed forces are servants of the security and freedom of nations. If they carry out their duty honorably, they truly contribute to the common good of the nation and the maintenance of peace.”

It is the obligation of all of us, individuals and governments alike, to work assiduously for peace. As my Grandmother often said to me, “war is hell.” She knew as she had a husband and son that fought in both world wars, had nephews and a grandson go off to faraway places. She prayed, worried, and suffered because of war. Nonetheless, she knew, like so many of us do, that without the sacrifices of themselves and their loved ones, there would be no enduring freedom.

There is always something to be learned from the natural order that can be applied to the spiritual and moral life. One of the most common underlying misconceptions and fallacious presuppositions is that there is no evil in the world, that no one will hurt you if you just don’t hurt them. Wrong! There is evil in the world, there has been since darkness entered into Eden, and there will be until Jesus comes again in glory.

There is good and there is evil; there is truth and there are lies; there is life and there is death. Being neutral is a myth. Sitting on a fence is an accident waiting to happen. In the end you will be “for me or against me,” as Jesus says.

We are at war and “our battle is not against flesh and blood,” as St. Paul asserts in his letter to the Ephesians. A good soldier is ready to shed his blood, sweat, and tears for the cause of freedom. Jesus tells us, “I’ve come to set the captives free.” The servant is no better, no different, than his Master. The bottom line of war is victory, and this war is for an eternal prize.

We honor our veterans this week, and rightly so. Let their sacrifices for our country inspire you to even higher things. You and I are called to fight the good fight and run the race to the finish line. Performing our mission as good Catholics and Christians affects countless other souls, some we know, some we don’t. So, as St. Paul cautions us, “Don’t shadow box. Fight so as to win.” Don’t imagine there is not a moral and spiritual war either. This fight results in victory or defeat, Heaven or hell, forever.

God bless you,

Fr. John Corapi

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Life of Christ- Quotes from Bishop Fulton J. Sheen

One of the books I am currently reading is The Life of Christ, by Bishop Fulton J. Sheen. It is full of little sentences that give one pause, food for meditation and prayer.

God writes His name on the soul of every man.

We need a Christ who will restore moral indignation, Who will make us hate evil with a passionate intensity, and love goodness to a point where we can drink death like water.

The nearer Christ comes to a heart, the more it becomes conscious of its guilt; it will then either ask for His mercy and find peace, or else it will turn against Him because it is not yet ready to give up its sinfulness.

It is part of the discipline of God to make His loved ones perfect through trial and suffering. Only by carrying the Cross can one reach the Resurrection.

The sun no sooner rises than it shines; the fire is no sooner kindled than it burns; so grace acts as soon as the soul cooperates.

As I read further I will share more of these gems of Wisdom with you.

Monday, November 2, 2009

For the Holy Souls

Perhaps it's a little late in the day for an All Souls Day post, but because of my devotion to the Holy Souls in Purgatory, I have something to share with you. To all those who got to attend a traditional requiem Mass today, bless you; wish I could have too!


Friday, October 30, 2009

This is why...

Big Pharmaceutical companies are at the head of my list of the most evil, corrupt, scamming etc. etc. In the self-interest of making millions of dollars with unnecessary vaccines, they don't really care about the health of people, and play on our fears and slick marketing to con us into buying their products. You really should read this story on the Gardasil vaccine.
They are finally admitting......

A researcher with Merck Pharmaceutical who helped develop the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccines, Gardasil and Cervarix, has revealed that the controversial drugs will do little to reduce cervical cancer rates and may cause more illness than the disease they are intended to prevent.

I particularly like the closing paragraph of the article:

"After all, the proponents of sexual liberation are determined not to let mere disease - or even death - stand in the way of their pleasures. They believe that there must be technological solutions to the diseases that have arisen from their relentless promotion of promiscuity. After all, the alternative is too horrible to contemplate: They might have to learn to control their appetites. And they might have to teach abstinence."

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Ladies, check your labels!

I personally don't use any of these products, so please check your products for this brand. Hat tip to LifeSite News.

Aborted Fetal Material Used in Anti-Wrinkle Creams
TENNESSEE, Oct. 27, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Children of God for Life announced today that Neocutis, a bio-pharmaceutical company focused on dermatology and skin care, is using aborted fetal cell lines to produce several of their anti-aging skin creams.


For years Children of God for Life has been a watchdog on pharmaceutical companies using aborted fetal cell lines in medical products and they have received thousands of inquiries from the public on the use of aborted fetal material in cosmetics.

However, the group says that this is the first time they have encountered any company bold enough to put the information right on their own website and product literature.

"It is absolutely deplorable that Neocutis would resort to exploiting the remains of a deliberately slaughtered baby for nothing other than pure vanity and financial gain," stated Executive Director Debi Vinnedge. "There is simply no moral justification for this."

Neocutis' key ingredient, known as "Processed Skin Proteins," was developed at the University of Luasanne from the skin tissue of a 14-week gestation electively-aborted male baby donated by the University Hospital in Switzerland. Subsequently, a working cell bank was established, containing several billion cultured skin cells to produce the human growth factor needed to restore aging skin. The list of products using the cell line include: Bio-Gel, Journee, Bio-Serum, Prevedem, Bio Restorative Skin Cream and Lumiere.

Vinnedge is calling for a full boycott of all Neocutis products, regardless of their source.

"There is absolutely no reason to use aborted babies for such selfish motives," Vinnedge said. "It is anti-life, anti-woman and counter-productive as Neocutis is about to find out!"

Children of God for Life is advising women who are using Neocutis products to throw them in the garbage and to contact the company to express their concerns.

The pro-life group has also said that they will give free publicity to cosmetic companies who are not using immoral ingredients in their products.

"We know there are companies using moral sources for collagen and skin proteins. We intend to publicly promote these other cosmetic companies competing with Neocutis that are willing to step forward and contact us."

Contact Neocutis:
Neocutis Inc.
3053 Fillmore Street # 140
San Francisco CA 94123
Phone: 1-866-636-288

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

At last!


I am so pleased that mainstream media finally has the courage to present abortion for what it is, even if it did anger a lot of people who think it is a right to kill helpless, unborn children.

"Law & Order" Abortion Episode Outrages Pro-Abortion Groups

By James Tillman

WASHINGTON, DC, October 26, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- Last Friday's episode of Law & Order on NBC, entitled "Dignity," has infuriated pro-abortionists while pleasantly surprising pro-lifers with an unexpectedly even-handed treatment of the issue of abortion.

Ripping its plot from recent headlines, "Dignity" begins with the murder of late-term abortionist Dr. Walter Benning (Matthew Boston) during a church service. Although the episode has a disclaimer stating that the story is fictional, its initial outline closely matches the case of the late-term abortionist Dr. George Tiller, who was shot and killed in a church in Wichita, Kansas, on May 31st.

After the murderer, Wayne Grogan is captured and confesses to the crime, while his defense attorney, Roger Jenkins (Richard Thomas), argues that the killing was justified because Grogan was acting in defense of someone else - namely, an unborn infant whom Benning was going to abort.

In the end Grogan is found guilty of the murder; but over the course of the episode a host of the arguments and issues surrounding abortion are covered in a manner unusually sympathetic to the pro-life cause.

As Dave Andrusko writes on the NRLC's website: "What makes the Law & Order episode so riveting is that virtually every pro-life argument you knew you would never hear on a network program is a part of 'Dignity.'"

"More important, it occurred to me as I listened in utter astonishment that each of these observations could have been presented in a way that was artificial, forced, or (as so often is the case with network portraits of pro-lifers) something that you would expect from an idiot. None of that was the case. These were real flesh-and-blood people, not caricatures."

Early in the episode, for instance, Detectives Lupo and Bernard argue with each other over abortion. Lupo says that forcing an 11-year old rape victim to give birth is unthinkable, to which Bernard responds: "You got it backwards, man! The horrible thing is the rape! Not the bringing of a life into the world."

He continues by pointing out that he himself was born to an unwed mother, and that Lupo very nearly had another partner.

Similarly, when Executive Assistant District Attorney, Michael Cutter argues with District Attorney Jack McCoy about whether they should give Grogan a plea bargain, Cutter compares abortion to slavery and Grogan to John Brown. He continues by arguing that Roe v. Wade conformed but to the science of its day, and that it deserves another look.

When witnesses begin to take the stand, however, the contrast between the pro-abortion and pro-life position only grows.

One abortionist, called as witness for the prosecution, says that the life of the disabled child Benning was going to abort would be without dignity. He continues to say that even if politicians make abortion illegal and "bow to the hypocrites and fools" of the pro-life movement, he would continue to perform abortions despite the law.

Perhaps the most surprising issue the episode raised is the connection of abortion with infanticide. Over the course of the case, the defense, desiring to show that Benning was a murderer, calls a witness to testify how a breathing, born-alive infant was killed by Dr. Benning.

"The boy was crying a little cry, moving his arms and legs," she says. "Dr. Benning cut the umbilical cord; then he took the surgical scissors and inserted it into the base of the baby's skull."

Several similarly gruesome, real-life cases of infanticide involving abortionists have occurred in recent years. In one case that drives close to home, an abortionist working for George Tiller, Shelley Sella, was accused of stabbing a born-alive infant in the ribcage until the baby died. In addition, former nurse turned pro-life activist Jill Stanek has also related that while working at a hospital in Illinois, numerous babies born alive after failed abortions were simply left to die in the "soiled utility room."

Pro-abortion groups have responded to the Law & Order episode with outrage that the show would feature an abortionist modeled on Dr. Tiller in a less than beatific light.

Charlotte Taft writes that "NBC cannot hide behind the words" by stating that the story is fictitious. For the media to make a negative story so blatantly ripped off the death of "St. George," as she dubs Tiller, is to murder him again. "There is no balance here," she says.

Kate Harding complained on Salon.com that the episode features only two groups: "Anti-choicers, who believe fetuses' rights trump women's, and the pseudo-pro-choicers, who are conveniently persuaded to agree with them by the end of the episode."

"Dignity" may be watched on iTunes.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Honouring St. Joseph


I have chosen to do my 300th post on St. Joseph, to help increase devotion to him, and to give him the honour that is his due as the Spouse of the Virgin, Foster-father of Jesus, and role model for all who seek to do God's Will.
From the book by Gorman, Life with Joseph: As St. Peter Julian Eymard pointed out: "Devotion to St. Joseph is one of the choicest graces that God can give to a soul, for it is tantamount to revealing the entire treasury of Our Lord's graces. When God wishes to raise a soul to greater heights, He unites it to St. Joseph by giving it a strong love for the good Saint."
Four fundamental virtues of St. Joseph should be applied to our own spiritual life:
1. Fidelity to grace- doing the Father's Will as perfectly as possible; keeping all God's laws.
2. Fidelity to the interior life- constant awareness of the Presence of God dwelling within the soul; striving to know, love and serve God.
3. Devotion to Mary- commitment to Mary leads Her to obtain in return an abundance of the choicest graces and favours for her devotees.
4. Devotion to Jesus- union with, love for, and total commitment to Christ.

Consider the things we know about this great Saint. First, there is no record of him saying anything in the Bible; just silently he goes about doing what God asks of him through the Angels. Therefore we can invoke him to help us in our interior life, that we may follow his example and unhesitatingly do the Will of God, even though it may mean hardship, as it did for Joseph on the flight to Egypt. We know that he lived with Jesus and Mary, and so must have been filled with great graces, moreso than any other human that ever lived. And, as the head of the Holy Family, Jesus obeyed him, we know that Jesus will still listen to him and grant his wishes in Heaven, moreso than any other Saint except the Blessed Virgin. So we can turn to him with confidence, and ask his intercession , in all our temporal matters, as he looked after the temporal well being of his Divine Child and holy Spouse, and in our spiritual needs as well, for he is an excellent example of one who conforms to the Will of God, the foundation for all spiritual well being.
As the Bible says; "Go to Joseph!"

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

America's future hope

As a Canadian, I can only hope that things change for the better in the US, as the agenda of the President scares the crap outta me. I may not be qualified to comment on the need for government run health care there, but after reading the following article on LifeSite News, I can only hope that US Senator Rick Santorum runs for President in the next election. I urge Catholics everywhere to pray for him, as it may well mean the survival of the family, and of the freedom to practice your faith, indeed to live your faith.



Santorum: The Triumph of Socialism in U.S. Requires Destruction of Family and Church

By Peter J. Smith

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 16, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Both the family and the Church stand in the way of socialism's triumph, former US Senator Rick Santorum told Christians gathered for the 17th International Week of Prayer and Fasting last week. The pro-life champion warned attendees, however, that both institutions are under heavy attack from Obama-administration policies.

"We are under a great assault with this President and this Congress on the issue of life. We are under a great assault, maybe even greater assault, on the foundational issue of the family," Santorum told those gathered for the October 11 dinner at the Omni Shoreham Hotel.

Santorum said that the left's policies, especially those policies aggressively set forward by the Obama administration, target the family and Christian churches for "destruction," because these institutions provide local social networks and support for individuals that take away the need for total dependence on central government. To eliminate these social networks means the triumph of socialism, and that means attacking marriage and Christian churches.

"There will be an assault on the institution of marriage," Santorum promised his audience. "Why? Because the left knows that they can't really have government come in and take control of everything unless they destroy the family. Unless you destroy the family and destroy the Church they cannot ultimately be successful in getting socialism to be accepted in this country and that's what their objective is."

Santorum asked everyone to pray in these times for those in public office, for those discerning whether to run for office in 2010, as well as "for those who are out protesting and understand that there is something foundationally wrong with what's been going on here."

But Santorum added that Christians must pray hard for the United States in the current battle over health-care, because the proposed reform has grave problems that go beyond the "major issues" of abortion coverage and the lack of conscience protection clauses.

"There is another huge issue out there and that's just the whole concept of socialized medicine," said Santorum.

Santorum argued that Obama's reforms will transform health-care into "an account in the federal government" in which "accountants" or Congress will determine how much healthcare an individual gets "as part of our budgetary process."

Once the health-care of individuals is totally dependent on the central government, the left has secured power, Santorum explained.

"You say, 'well the Catholic bishops are for that,'" continued Santorum. "Well, I'd say a couple of things. Number one, shame on them."

At that moment, a round of applause erupted from the dinner guests.

Although a handful of Catholic bishops have taught that the government reform violates Catholic social teaching for the reasons Santorum mentioned, the US Catholic bishops conference in general has indicated that it would be willing to support government-run health-care, so long as the reform does not subsidize abortion or violate conscience protections for health-care workers.

But the former Pennsylvania senator concluded that the individual - when covered by government insurance - loses real health-care, the treatment he needs, in the name of cutting costs.

Santorum pointed out that the course of socialized medicine in Europe, and the Netherlands in particular, give an opportunity to "see what happens to the value of human life in those countries."

In particular, those who suffer denial of treatment or rationing of care under socialized medicine are "those on the margins of life." These include those born "premature with disabilities … those who are at the end of life" and "those who have complex diseases or chronic care."

"These people, their lives are not valued," stated Santorum. "Why? Because of agencies that determine how much money is spent and based on how long you're going to live or the quality of life you are going to live. That's how accountants do these things. That's how members of Congress will have to do these things. Is this a good expenditure of our money or not? This happens every day in Europe."

Santorum explained that Americans need to wake up to the fact that nothing in the American DNA insulates them from committing the same moral evils as the Europeans.

The Netherlands, "the most liberal country in Europe" today, Santorum said, is the only country that "did not go along with the Nazi doctors in doing sterilizations and abortions" and suffered persecution for it.

"And yet, within two generations, as a result of socialized medicine and the government's attempt to contain costs, doctors were turned into accountants," said Santorum.

Now in the name of cutting costs, Dutch doctors counsel assisted suicide, deny care to premature-born babies under 25 weeks, and euthanize children born disabled.

"This is the custom and the practice in socialized medicine countries, who have limits on budgets. It is simply too expensive to do it any other way," reiterated Santorum.

"And so I say again to the Catholic Bishops: 'what are you thinking when you support government medicine?'"

Earlier in the evening, Santorum accepted on behalf of him, his wife Karen, and his family the "Family for Life Award."

Santorum is no stranger to fighting for the right-to-life and for these rights in health-care: both on political and personal levels. Last year, he and his wife welcomed into their family their now 17-month-old daughter "Bella," who was born with Trisomy 18, a genetic disorder which is fatal before birth in 90 per cent of cases. Along the way, the Santorums fought to guarantee Bella's health-care against health-care providers hostile to her right to life, because she was born with a disability.

Santorum was asked recently if he would consider seriously a run for US President in 2012. Santorum revealed that while he was indeed "thinking about it," he was "not sure" and asked for continued prayers while he discerns.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

My Patron Saint


Today is the feast day of my patron saint, Teresa of Avila. I wish I could say that I knew a lot about her, but there are only a few things I have learned. She was a Carmelite., a Doctor of the Church, devoted to St. Joseph, a contemporary of St. John of the Cross and St. Peter of Alcantra, and developed a method of mental prayer. I have read a book by William Thomas Walsh about her; she was certainly outspoken and not afraid to stand up to authority figures. I am blessed to have her on my side! I pray often to her, usually at the conclusion of my daily rosary I ask her to pray for me. Do you pray to your patron saint? What influence has your patron saint had on you? I firmly believe that my growing devotion to St. Joseph is all her doing! Her two books, The Way of Perfection, and The Interior Castle, are on my wish list of books to read.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Now peace means supporting killing children.

With apologies to my followers from the beautiful USA, I have to weigh in on the Nobel peace prize being awarded to Obama. My first thought was that it was on the same level as awarding the Order of Canada to Morgentaler; it debases the award, and renders it meaningless; it is an affront to those who have received and deserved this award.
There is an excellent report from LifeSite News here.
Here is an excerpt that makes my point. (Bold letter emphasis mine).

Joe Scheidler of the Pro-Life Action League called Obama's receiving the award "tokenism," agreeing with others that he has not done anything to merit the prize. "It cheapens the award to the point that it means nothing, it's just a token," he said. "He hasn't done a thing except talk. ... So it demeans the prize to the point that it has no significance. And it's a shame because it belittles all those people that went before."

Agreeing with Mother Teresa that abortion is "the greatest destroyer of peace today," he said, "That's right. That's right. And this man is one of biggest promoters of abortion. Consequently, ... it's just an aberration.

"I am utterly shocked," said Judie Brown of American Life League. "It just seems to me this is one of the most political moves ever made and that it justifies the fact that Obama can be pro-abortion, in favour of killing millions of people, and still be recognized as a leader of peace, which is simply ridiculous."

"In awarding the prize to Obama, the Nobel Committee is announcing that abortion is the cornerstone of a hellish 'peace'," she said, "- the damning silence of 51 million aborted children in the United States alone. The Nobel Committee has bestowed the 'Peace Prize' on a man dedicated to war in the womb."

Last year, after it was announced that Canada's highest civic award was to be awarded to the nation's leading abortionist, Henry Morgentaler, ten previous recipients of the award eventually returned their medals to the Governor General of Canada. In their comments, it was indicated that the award had become debased by the presentation of the same high recognition to a prolific abortionist.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Reflections on St. Joseph


Do you ever reflect on what it must have been like for St. Joseph, married to the Virgin Mother of God, and responsible for the well-being of the Son of God? Imagine being in their Presence for thirty years, watching Jesus grow into manhood, loving them, working for them, sitting down to meals with them, providing for them, praying with them, living a life of grace with them. Oh most blessed of men! What graces God must have given him!
Chorpenning says, " St. Joseph is a role model who teaches that the contemplative and active life must be blended and harmonized, and that love is not the same as romantic daydreams, but must be enfleshed in a life of self-sacrifice and service to others that unfolds in the circumstances of the real world and in the profoundly human context of marriage and family."
Families are under attack by the secular world, which is doing it's best to do away with marriage and children. (Abortion, same-sex "marriage") We would do well to pray to St. Joseph for our own marriages and for our children, and to help us in our daily battles against worldly influences.
St. Joseph looked after the Body of Christ while He lived among us, and St. Joseph continues to look after the Body of Christ now, His Church on earth. He is the patron saint of Canada too, and we really need his help for our country.
Please pray this, the October Prayer to St. Joseph, after your daily Rosary:

To thee, O blessed Joseph, do we have recourse in our tribulation, and after having implored the help of thy thrice holy Spouse, we confidently invoke thy patronage also. By that charity wherewith thou wast united to the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God ,and by that fatherly affection with which thou didst embrace the Child Jesus, we beseech thee and we humbly pray, that thou wouldst look graciously on the inheritance which Jesus Christ hath purchased by His Blood, and assist us in our needs by thy power and strength.
Most watchful guardian of the Holy Family, protect the chosen people of Jesus Christ; keep far from us, most loving father, all blight of error and corruption: mercifully assist us from heaven, most mighty defender, in this our conflict with the powers of darkness; and even as of old thou didst rescue the Child Jesus from the supreme peril of His life, so now defend God's Holy Church from the snares of the enemy and from all adversity; keep us one and all under thy continual protection, that we may be able to lead a holy life, die a happy death, and come at last to the possession of everlasting blessedness in heaven. Amen.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A Worthy Cause

Here is something we can all join in; if we can't get up off our couches to stand in front of an abortion clinic, or if we are too self absorbed to speak out about our faith, the least we can do is pray and fast. Starts Friday, folks.

The 17th International Week of Prayer and Fasting to begin October 2

Washington D.C., September 29, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - For the seventeenth year, a pro-life coalition is encouraging all Christians to join in a week of prayer for an end to the culture of death from October 2-12.

The International Week of Prayer and Fasting Coalition hopes that by mobilizing Christians all over the world to pray, it will achieve its goals of "the conversion of nations, an end to abortion, and peace."

The week of prayer and fasting this year focuses on an increased threat from terrorism across the United States. In a press release, Milagros Callao, one of the coalitions leaders, says, "As problems have accelerated in the world especially with global terrorism, and economic and moral decline, this global movement has grown."

The Coalition is specifically focused on the end to abortion, which it says is one of the worst forms of terrorism. "In the past 37 years, we have allowed another form of terrorism, the killing of the innocent unborn child … Globally, we have allowed the killing of the Innocents and we now have US leaders who support infanticide."

The Coalition, which is a grassroots movement that has worked together for over 17 years, encourages Christians to make time during this one week to perform spiritual acts for an end to the culture of death. Some suggestions the Coalition makes include fasting from the hours of 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., turning off the television for one week, and attending holy hour prayer vigils.

However, it has also organized a series of larger events across the nation to promote prayer. In Chicago the Coalition has set up prayer vigils at the Sanctuary of Divine Mercy at St. Stanislaus Kostka Catholic parish.

Also, the group plans to hold a number of talks and times of prayer in the Washington D.C. area. Events for the weekend include:

- Saturday, October 10: Journey: God's Plan for Life and Love Conference at the John Paul II Cultural Center, 9am to 6pm. Speakers include Chris Horn, Chris Padgett, Christina Condit, Kristan Hawkins, and Fr. Clement Machado. For more info,www.journeydc.org
- Sunday, October 11: God's Plan for Life and Love Awards Banquet at the Omni Shoreham Hotel, 5:30pm. Reception and dinner with renowned speaker former US Senator Rick Santorum.
- Monday, October 12: Eucharistic Prayer Vigil at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, 9am to 5pm. Speakers include Jennifer O'Neill, Dr. John Jackson, Fr. Clement Machado, Fr. Frank Pavone, Patty Fason, Melissa Ohden, and Dan Lynch.


Saturday, September 26, 2009

Mother of Mercy, continued

There is a good example and explanation in The glories of Mary that, without the explanation, would have all the Protestants saying "Aha! See! You elevate Mary higher than Jesus!" But it is not so, as you will see:
Example.
The Franciscan Chronicles relate that a certain Brother Leo saw in a vision two ladders the one red, the other white. On the upper end of the red ladder stood Jesus and on the other stood His holy Mother. The brother saw that some tried to climb the red ladder; but scarcely had they mounted some rungs when they fell back, they tried again but with no better success. Then they were advised to try the white ladder and to their surprise they succeeded for the blessed Virgin stretched out her hand and with her aid they reached heaven.
Explanation.
This apparition is by no means incredible ; nor is it right to say that it makes the power of Mary superior to that of Christ. The symbolic significance of the vision must be borne in mind. The idea has been expressed repeatedly in the words of St. Bernard and more recently by Popes Leo XIII and Benedict XV : " As we have no access to the Father except through the Son, so no one can come to the Son except through the Mother. As the Son is all powerful by nature, the Mother is all powerful in so far that by the merciful disposition of God she is our mediatrix of graces with Christ. Therefore says Eadmer: :Frequently our petitions are heeded sooner when we address ourselves to Mary the Queen of Mercy and Compassion than when we go directly to Jesus who as King of Justice is our Judge."

Doesn't get any clearer than that, does it?

I just found a link on Spirit Daily that also illustrates my point in the post below this one:

WE NEED MARY IN ORDER TO DIE TO OURSELVES

“Thoroughly recognize, by the light of the Holy Ghost, our inward corruption, our incapacity for every good thing useful for salvation, our weakness in all things, our inconstancy at all times, our unworthiness of every grace, and our iniquity in every position. The sin of our first father has spoilt us all, soured us, puffed us up and corrupted the dough into which it is put. The actual sins which we have committed, whether mortal or venial, pardoned though they may be, have nevertheless increased our concupiscence, our weakness, our inconstancy and our corruption, and have left evil remains in our soul” (de Montfort, pp 48-49).

Christ spoke of dying to self, using the grain of wheat as a metaphor. “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless the grain of wheat falling into the ground die, itself remaineth alone. But if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit” (Jn. 12:25-26). Paul, likewise said, “I die daily, I protest by your glory, brethren, which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord “1 Cor. 15:31).

There is no purer way to be drawn to this death than through Mary. It is she who holds the secret of grace that will most easily free us of our bondage to self.

WE NEED MARY AS OUR MEDIATRIX WITH OUR MEDIATOR, JESUS CHRIST

“It is more perfect, because it is more humble, not to approach God of ourselves without taking a mediator. Our nature, as I have just shown, is so corrupted that if we rely on our own works, efforts and preparations in order to reach God and please Him, it is certain that our good works will be defiled or be of little weight before God in inducing Him to unite Himself to us and to hear us. It is not without reason that God has given us mediators with His Majesty” (de Montfort, p. 51).

Undoubtedly, there are many who can recall—as a child—wanting to ask for (or admit to) something of his or her father, but feared imminent rejection or wrath. How many of us turned, instead, to our mothers to ask for her intervention? Because of her special relationship with the father, a child feels more confident of success if a mediator presents the request.

. . .and in order to give us access to His mercies, He has provided us with powerful intercessors with His Grandeur, so that to neglect these mediators, and to draw near to His Holiness directly, and without an recommendation, is to fail in humility. It is to fail in respect toward God, so high and so holy. It is to make less account of that King of Kings than we should make of a king or prince of this earth, whom we would not willingly approach without some friend to speak for us (de Montfort, pp 51-52).

Jesus is our Mediator to God the Father and Mary is our mediator to the majestic Mediator. He came to us through her and it is only fitting that we go to Him through her. Like our own mothers, Mary is perfect charity and will refuse no one who seeks her intercession.

. . . we have three steps to mount to go to God: the first, which is nearest to us and the most suited to our capacity, is Mary; the second is Jesus Christ; and the third is God the Father. To go to Jesus, we must go to Mary; she is our mediatrix of intercession. To go to God the Father, we must go to Jesus; for He is our Mediator of redemption (de Montfort, p. 53).

Mother of Mercy

When my Evangelical sister commented to me a while ago that she prays to Jesus only, and that Catholics have to pray to Mary, as if that was a silly and lowly thing to do, it kinda got my dander up that she couldn't understand the great benefits of praying to Mary. So I found this paragraph in The Glories of Mary, by the great St. Alphonsus Ligouri, who explains things much better than I'll ever be able to.
"....we more easily find salvation by having recourse to the Mother than by going to the Son- not as if Mary was more powerful than her Son to save us, for we know that Jesus Christ is our only Saviour, and that He alone by His merits has obtained and obtains salvation for us;but it is for this reason:that when we have recourse to Jesus, we consider Him at the same time as our judge, to whom it belongs also to chastise ungrateful souls and therefore the confidence necessary to be heard may fail us; but when we go to Mary, who has no other office than to compassionate us as Mother of Mercy and to defend us as our advocate, our confidence is more easily established and is often greater. "
How often little children turn to their mother when they have done something wrong, rather than going at once to their father; for they know that their mother's love will deflect the wrath of the father, just as Mary can present out pleas to her Son and present us to Him as her loving children, as long as we have confidence in her and a good intention of amending our ways.
We must remember also that the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are one God, and although Jesus is our Saviour, full of mercy, love, and compassion for our sorry selves, He is also our just judge and sees our innermost thoughts and desires. Surely He can see our attachment to sin, even the little venial ones. An examination of conscience will reveal to us our sins, and it is a humbling thought that we must stand before Him on judgement day, all the imperfections of our soul exposed, and how consoling it is to know that we may ask the Blessed Virgin to shelter us beneath her mantle, to say to Jesus, "I love this soul, who loved me, and had recourse to me". We can be sure that Jesus will listen to the pleas of his Mother, and be merciful to us for her sake.