Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Abortion Fight Complicates Debate on Health Care
Monday, September 28, 2009
Talk by Fr. Roach, Mount St. Mary's Seminary; 11 am Mass; lunch; 1:30 talk by Fr. Lawrence Hennessey, Mundelein Seminary; 2:30 talk by Fr. Edward Fride, Diocese of Lansing - followed by the 4 pm play "Vianney" in Knott Auditorium.
Attendence is free, however if planning to attend, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org so we know how many to expect.
For more information on the Symposium for Year of Priests to be hosted by Mount Saint Mary's Seminary on Saturday, October 3, click here.
Thank you, Pope Benedict. We love you!
For an excellent meditation on the dying of Europe, read "Bohemian thoughts" at Rorate Caeli. You will find it among the posts for Sunday, 27 September 2009.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
See more photos of the Pilgrimage here.
God pours out the Holy Spirit in the teaching authority He gives to His Church. Thus we know that the "hand", the "foot" or the "eye" that we need to "cut out" if we would enter into Life are the near occasions of sin. What are these "near occasions"? These are the people, places and things that have led us into sin in the past.
We answer God's call in the Spirit to enter into life abundant and eternal, we live in hope, as we grow in the strength of God for conversion, to say "no" to "the world, the flesh and the devil".
God gives the gift of hope to which we are called each time we make an act of contrition. This is especially so after a good confession when, through sincere sorrow for sin, we promise to avoid the near occasions of sin in the future.
Called to cut away all that is not holy, true or good. Called to "enter into life".
Thank you, Aristotle.
Find the recordings here.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
You can read more about the book and order it here at Jeffrey Pinyan's website "Praying the Mass".
Father Tim Finigan of The Hermeneutic of Continuity has written a review of the book which you can find here.
If you wish to go directly to the page for ordering the book at Create Space click here.
Jeffrey Pinyan sent the following note:
For people who went to the chant pilgrimage (and anyone else reading this post), there's a 15% discount code you can use: UJESP7FG
Friday, September 25, 2009
The Church has only one officially endorsed music: Gregorian chant. As the wide representation at this year's Chant Pilgrimage in Washington, D.C. demonstrates, Gregorian chant continues to promise pastors and musicians effectiveness in not only bringing the whole parish family into a unity around the Lord's presence in the Eucharistic Sacrifice of the Mass; this ancient music of the Church also promises more effective encouragement to active participation in the music of holy Mass for men and women, young and old and members of every cultural and ethnic group.
Arlene Oost-Zinner, one of the organizers of the Chant Pilgrimage, of The New Liturgical Movement (right).
Thursday, September 24, 2009
As opposed to when it is NOT okay to kill another human being? Hmm...I may have to think about this for a minute...
For more on the story, read on:
Monday, September 21, 2009
Saturday, September 19, 2009
No more kisses for San Gennaro
A ban on kissing San Gennaro's relic was confirmed by Naples church authorities Monday.
A vessel said to contain the saint's dried blood is generally held up after the substance liquefies on the anniversary of his martyrdom on September 19, when it is sometimes offered to authorities for a good-luck kiss.
Naples church authorities were said to be keen to stress the ban was in force again this year after Italy's first victim of the new H1N1 flu died in the city last week.
Pallbearers wore surgical masks as they carried the man's coffin to a cemetery at the weekend as unfounded fears about the new flu spread through the southern Italian city, which is famous for a popular belief in magic and beyond-the-grave intercessions for problems and betting tips.
The 'miracle' of San Gennaro (Saint Januarius) takes place three times a year but celebrations on his September 19 feast day are usually the most festive, apart from the odd occasion in which the blood does not turn to liquid.
The city's archbishop holds up the vessel, containing two phials of the blood of the 3rd-century saint, while a traditional white handkerchief is waved to crowds packing the cathedral and the piazza outside.
Aside from the faithful, leading local politicians attend the ceremony which is also broadcast live by a host of national and international TV networks.
Aside from the anniversary of the saint's beheading in 305 AD, the miracle also takes place on December 16 to commemorate the 1631 eruption of Mt. Vesuvius, believed to have been halted by the saint's intervention, and again on the Saturday before the first Sunday in May.
On this occasion, there is a procession through the city's streets to recall the many times the relics have been moved over the centuries.
The liquefaction process sometimes takes hours, even days, and on occasions fails to happen at all.
For the faithful and superstitious, the ritual's success is a good omen for the city while its failure is a sign of impending disaster.
In fact, disaster has struck on at least five occasions when the blood failed to liquefy, including in 1527 when tens of thousands of people died from the plague and in 1980 when 3,000 people were killed in an earthquake which devastated much of southern Italy.
The first historical reference to the liquefaction of the martyr's blood dates to 1389.
Although now a headline-making saint, little is known about San Gennaro except that he was bishop of Benevento to the south of Naples and was martyred during the persecution of Christians spearheaded by the Roman Emperor Diocletian.
The bishop was beheaded for refusing to bow down to his 'pagan' persecutors.
According to legend, his body and head, still dripping blood, were gathered up by an old man and taken to a safe place while a local woman filled up a phial.
A group of Italian scientists has analysed the contents of todays' two phials, establishing that they do contain blood, but have been unable to explain the phenomenon.
Some sceptics believe it is due to the shaking of the containers or the penetration of warmth from the holder's hands.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
For some years now, Catholics have become habituated to referring to the abortion- infanticide- euthanasia- contraceptive agents and movements in our culture under the label “ culture of death.” This phrase found its way into the parlance of the Church in great part because of the very effective leadership of Pope John Paul II who galvanized and strengthened the forces for family and marriage within the Church and among those in the wider culture who share the scriptural teachings and Christian Revelation about the dignity and rights of the human person.
Pope Benedict, also, has been known to share a preference for this phrase as a way to categorize all the elements in our culture aligned against the dignity and sanctity of the human person from the moment of conception until natural death, in all its stages and conditions.
I could not and would not question the wisdom of those far wiser and more experienced. I do, however, think that the agents and elements in society, the academy, and the government aligned against life would be better labeled a “cult” and not a “culture.” I argue so because the word “culture” itself is a pro-life term.
The word “ culture” originates from the Latin cultura stemming from colere, meaning “ to cultivate.” One cannot cultivate dead beings — only living things can be nourished, fed, and guided toward their natural end. The word “ cult” better denotes what we mean when we refer to the death movement. Cult is defined as “ a religion or religious sect generally considered to be extremist or false, with its followers often living in an unconventional manner.” This is true of the death movement because of its adherence to the taking of innocent, unborn human life and its aggressive pursuit of abortion on demand, no matter the dangers to and damaging effects on the mother of the aborted child, including the risk of breast cancer. Cult, the worship of a false god and the offering of sacrifices to appease the false deity, applies very well to the motivation and mission of the agents of death.
The idea that the anti- life proponents better deserve designation as a “cult” rather than as a “culture” is reflected in a 2004 article at MelaniePhillips. com. Writing in the Daily Mail, Phillips employed the phrase “ cult of death” to describe the extremist doctrine of Baroness Warnock, in which this public philosopher “ went far beyond even euthanasia, commonly thought of as a ‘right’ to expect doctors to end a life. It was instead, she said, the duty of people to kill themselves — not only if they were terminally ill, but merely frail — in order not to be a burden to others.” This lends credence to a belief in the growing banality of evil and the power of the cult of death that such unhinged advocacy for killing no longer shocks people, even though it is a page lifted right out of Hitler’s doctrine.
Margaret Sanger, also, reflected this “worship” of death, so characteristic of cult behavior, in her advocacy of killing those human persons whom she designated the “ unwanted undergrowth.” Few would need a philology lesson in order to understand that this vague phraseology could quickly be twisted to justify ending any life for any reason whatsoever, simply through the hegemony of the strong over the weak. It is, however, the orientation toward death as a good in itself for those individuals judged useless or undesired that best shows the cultic nature of the death movement.
The culture of life draws upon all the forces for good to provide a societal and family life that respects the dignity of every human person and seeks in justice to defend every life. These elements are necessary for any environment or society that nourishes life, at the heart of which must be enshrined true “ cult”: the worship of the one, true God. This the Church offers as a service to every human person, to the family, and to the world. It is only necessary that the Church begin by engaging those who would reason together and recognize the right to life as fundamental, the precondition for every other right and responsibility.
Mary Ann Glendon, the former U. S. ambassador to the Vatican, gave a very public witness to the culture of life, as founded upon basic principles of justice, when she explained her reason for declining the Laetare Medal at Notre Dame, when the university hosted President Barack Obama. She witnessed, as we all must do, that the right to life is not “ marginal” as the world defines matters of religious faith. Rather, human life is the foundation of, and starting point for, every other condition for the flourishing of human persons and belongs at the heart of the culture of the world, which must be a culture of life and for life at the service of the good of every human person without distinction.
(Visit Meeting Christ in the Liturgy which offers teachings from the Catechism of the Catholic Church paired with the Scriptures of the liturgy for every day of the week.)
Monday, September 14, 2009
Viva il Papa Benedetto XVI: The servant of Jesus Christ "does not seek to adjust the faith to the fashions of the time"
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Some people want everything EXCEPT priests. Plain old priests as Jesus made and always makes them and always will make them. Priests in communion with Peter, the first vicar of priests, who confess that Jesus is "the Christ".
And Jesus rebukes us as he did Peter: "Get behind me, Satan". Awful words, fearful words. But true.
Is the lack of priestly vocations in the Church today perhaps a rebuking from the Lord? Have we begun to think as the world does, and not as does God?
Until we obey the Lord Jesus and beg for the grace to think as God thinks, to love as God loves, to accept the truth of God, we will get what we deserve.
Now, what are you going to do?
Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum!
Friday, September 11, 2009
- for the victims of 9-11
- for those killed in action in Iraq and Afghanistan
- for the many victims of hatred at work in terrorism and in every act of violence and injustice against human life, from the moment of conception until natural death.
Checking the Vatican web site to plan for an upcoming trip to Rome and found this cool new item:
Vai al visitare e videre una visita "virtuale" alla Tomba di Pietro sotro il Basilica di San Pietro a Roma. Clicka aqui.
Take a virtual "tour" of the necropolis, or city of the dead where Saint Peter id buried below the Basilica that bears his name in Rome. Click here.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
The following four principles are offered as a guide to Catholics when considering whether or not to support any proposed government health care reform initiatives:
1. a truly universal health policy with respect for human life and dignity;
2. access for all with a special concern for the poor and inclusion of legal immigrants;
3. pursuing the common good and preserving pluralism, including freedom of conscience and variety of options; and
4. costs and applying them equitably across the spectrum of payers.
Read the entire NC Register story on the bishops' statement here.
John L. Allen, Jr., does his usual excellent job of clearing away the confusing fog surrounding the complexities at the heart of this event shaking the life of the Church in Italy. Pay particular attention to his application of the "power-distance" analysis to the Church.
Find his column here:
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Yale Press bowed to criticism and removed cartoons about a certain founder of a certain monotheistic religion in a text book. You can read about it here.
I don't remember hearing anything except that people generally rush to print books which ridicule the Lord, our Lady, and nearly everything held dear by Catholic Christians.
I'm all for respecting the religion of others, but can we do that for everybody, please?
BTW: As displayed at right, the motto at Yale is "light and truth". Huh?
Monday, September 7, 2009
Ever happen to you: Altar boy keels over like a sack of lead onto the sanctuary floor? We celebrated Labor Day Mass this way today.
He broke fast this morning. Must have been dehydration. I helped him up and he helped himself to some water in the sacristy.
Happy Labor Day! And thanks for visiting APL.
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Training for Archdiocese of Washington's "Run for Vocations" team for this year's USMC Marathon. More info here.
Saturday, September 5, 2009
I have another question:
when I click to watch birds feeding on your "Z-cam", I noticed that I also am choosing to watch an advertisement video for "The Office".
Undoubtedly you are benefiting financially by advertising this television series. Congratulations. I hope that it will help to cover part of the cost of the birdseed. But does the presence of such a "plug" mean that, as a priest, you are recommending the show?
Also, since your invitation to watch the "Z-cam" does not reveal the presence of the advertisement and, thus, I do not find out until I click to choose your Z-cam that I am indeed watching such an advertisement, does it mean that there is some deception involved?
- The ex-spouse can receive Social Security benefits on the other ex’s records if the marriage lasted at least 10 years. I had said 11 years. Suggest you include this link for official info on divorced spouse SS benefits:
- Link to UK story about a study on how women end up poorer after divorce (refutes the myth that men end up worse off): www.independent.co.uk/news/
- Link to San Diego Union Tribune story about how women (especially homemakers) end up worse off because when the courts split the assets 50/50, they don’t take into account the value of the husband’s career (article includes advice to women about getting the right financial settlement): www.signonsandiego.com/
- Good info from Government Executive magazine about federal retirement benefits for divorced spouses: www.govexec.com/dailyfed/
But unlike Social Security, these benefits are not automatic; they have to be part of the settlement. However, once the court has granted the benefits, the Office of Personnel Management & the Thrift Savings Plan takes care of making the payments (no need to go to court to garnish the former spouse’s retirement check).
Check to make sure your attorney is informed on these issues.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Meanwhile, Mommy’s crying, frustrated, angry, but Dad gets to play Santa. So when the family court judge asks the kids who they want to live with, the answer is “Daddy.” Of course, sometimes the family is back in court two weeks later when the kids want to move back in with Mommy. But meanwhile, Daddy has leverage over Mommy: I’ll let you have the kids if you drop your demand for half of my retirement savings & benefits.
Also, I’m surprised when lawyers are okay with the woman moving out of the house; the courts generally don’t like it when the woman leaves and takes the kids, unless she has a formal charge of abuse against the husband. I know this doesn’t sound fair, but it’s not a fair process. “Fairness” in divorce is the first fantasy you have to give up. One person will come out better off than the other.
In addition to supporting the kids, the woman needs to think about her own future, especially retirement. If she’s been married at least 11 years to "that guy", then she will be able to collect Social Security retirement payments on his Social Security record. Go to www.ssa.gov for more info. If she hasn’t been married for 11 years, she should time the final decree so that she will get this benefit. But of course she will need more money than what she’ll get from Social Security, unless she enjoys eating cat food.
Fortunately, if the court grants her some of her husband’s federal retirement benefits, the decree goes to the Office of Personnel Management, and they will garnish his retirement pay (he won’t have control over that). If he has money in the Thrift Savings Plan and the court awards her some of that money, her lawyer would send the court decree to the TSP administrator; again, the husband would have no control over that.
The next big thing is health insurance. Once the decree is final, the kids could stay on their father’s health insurance plan (part of the settlement should be that he pays for that), but the woman does not. She could have (as part of the settlement) him pay for her health insurance for "X" number of years or until she turns 65 and is eligible for Medicare.
I know of one divorce lawyer in the Maryland suburbs who would con the other side into allowing the case to be moved to a rural county in Western MD. He would then tell them that the rural court had a smaller docket and would get the proceedings over faster. He wouldn’t tell them that he was good buddies with all the judges in that county. Typical.
That the husband is willing to spend $15k on a divorce lawyer signals that he wants to pound the woman into the ground, and get off supporting his kids and repaying the woman for her homemaking sacrifice as cheaply as possible. If the woman's lawyer isn’t aggressive, because he or she makes their money on volume, not by intensively working cases, then the woman will get hurt financially for the rest of her life.
A good book is “The Dollars and Sense of Divorce” by Briles, Schilling & Wilson. You can get it at Borders. It is very dispassionate as the title indicates.
Last note: the woman should consider going back to school and getting the ex-husband to pay for it. She could become a Registered Nurse rather quickly, and begin earning good pay as nursing seems to be recession-proof; plus hospitals having signing bonuses. You don’t need a 4-year degree to become a nurse; she could become an RN in about 18 months, and then get the credits for a 4 year nursing degree later. Most hospitals pay for the tuition. It would do her a lot of good to have something totally different and positive to occupy her mind.
Even if the ex-husband won’t pay, I think there are programs for ‘displaced homemakers’ that might pay for some of the tuition. The college/university financial aid office should know about that.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
saving for the kids' college tuitions either; wife's retirement savings don't look so good either. Wife is poorer; so are the kids.
Meanwhile, ex-husband finds new wife, starts 2nd family (no matter how big a creep* the guy is, this ALWAYS seems to happen, mainly because, again, he's in his peak earning years). He tells the family court judge that his child support payments need to be reduced because: (1) he's got babies at home; and (2) ex-wife has a college education, her kids are older now, and she should be earning good money herself if only she wasn't so lazy about getting a real job.
(* Editors' note: Yes, there is a lack of objectivity on the part of the editor, at least at the present time...praying about this ((((..)))) )
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
I've been through a divorce, although very amicable. Sadly, many women are not in that situation. Statistically, women come off poorer in a divorce, especially if they've been homemakers. As in, women often feel that it's somehow their fault that the marriage failed, and
they don't put up a fight for their financial security. Typical situation: woman settles for half of the house, and some specified child support amount, and half of the savings. But American families don't have much in savings, and a house may have low equity (due to home equity loans, 2nd mortgages, interest-only mortgage, etc.), and even if the woman gets the house, she may not be able to afford to live in it. Bottom line for husband: he's in his peak earning years, and he's
keeping most of his paycheck, and slow-walking the child support payments (sadly, most men slow-walk the payments)...
Church news sources, priest blogs, sources on the priesthood
- American Papist
- Anna Arco's Diary
- Annus Sacerdotalis
- Apostles of Jesus Christ, Priest and Victim
- Archdiocese of Washington Blog
- Clerical Reform
- Damian Thompson
- Daughters of Mary, Spiritual Mothers of The Priesthood
- Father Jason Worthley
- Father Joe
- Father Joe: Blogger Priest
- Father Raymond DeSouza
- Forest Murmurs
- From the Inside: James Dean enters the Benedictine Order
- John L. Allen, Jr.
- Offerimus tibi Domine
- Opus Bono Sacerdotii: "Work for the Good of the Priesthood"
- Overheard in the Sacristy
- Priests' Secretary
- Roman Miscellany
- Rome Reports
- Rosary for the Bishop: Pray for our bishops
- Saint Mary Magdalene
- Sandro Magister in Rome: News, analysis, and documents on the Catholic Church
- The Heart of the Matter
- The Hermeneutic of Continuity
- Valle Adurni
- Voice in the Areopagus / Father Bill Stetson
- Vultus Christi
- Yorkshire Shepherd