Saturday, July 31, 2010
We fail ourselves if we neglect or disdain to make the simple daily movement of prayer, the simple request once more, to be released from bondage to obsessive thoughts or desires or images.
God can purify us of every evil of imagination and memory and give us the pristine and joyful radiance of new life. He will give us back again the freedom through grace by which we dismiss as powerless over us the vain imaginings and thoughts which threaten to reduce us once again to bondage in fear.
But let us never fail to ask him! Let us never shrink from the radical outpouring of the most intense prayer and supplication! Let us flee from every malign influence and immerse ourselves in the sea of grace and holy influences and blessed companionship that are ours in abundance in holy mother Church. May Jesus Christ be praised! My Jesus mercy!
It is He who must be our wealth, our treasure.
This is what it means "to be rich in what matters to God".
Photo: Sanctuary crucifix, Saint Francis de Sales Catholic Church, Benedict, Maryland.
Friday, July 30, 2010
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Like grass which is renewed in the morning:
In the morning it flourishes and is renewed;
In the evening it fades and withers.
So teach us to number our days
That we may get a heart of wisdom.
Psalm 90. 5-6, 12
(Morning Glory thanks to the kindness of Sheila.)
Monday, July 26, 2010
That's how my Italian neighbors, Teresa and Enzo, used to call me down to their ground-floor apartment in the neighboring palazzo for dinner nearly every night of the week. Enzo is a true Italian cook with a passion for fresh Neapolitan cuisine. I may never cook as well as he does, but the memories come flooding back with pleasure every time I sit down to a meal of my own making in the Italian tradition.
I am doing more adapting now: having added the tomatoes I will continue to cook the sauce on low, uncovered, for 20 mins. This boils off excess liquid to bring out more flavor. The recipe calls for chopped fresh plum tomatoes and a cooking time on high heat for 6 to 8 mins with frequent stirring. Add salt and generous grindings of pepper to "balance the sweetness of the onion" as Marcella says. If using oil, the signal that the sauce is done is when the oil floats free of the tomatoes. Boil pasta al dente, toss together with the sauce and serve with grated parmiggiano cheese.
I'm adapting a recipe from "Marcella's Italian Kitchen". Next step, saute butter and finely chopped onions over medium heat, stirring well for one minute, then cover the pan, turning down to low. The onion must turn very pale gold, not brown. This recipe calls for 6 tbsps butter and 3 cups finely chopped onions. Marcella is from Venezia in northern Italy and this butter based sauce reflects her regional preference. Southern sauces tend to favor an oil base.
.... so little time! When your large yields start coming in make a sauce for pasta. Romas are recommended but use what you have because fresh is always best for flavor. Marcella Hazan says put them through a ricer first. Cut up big pieces and discard the skins that remain in the bowl of the ricer. This recipe calls for 2 pounds of tomatoes.
There should be no mosque near Ground Zero in New York so long as there are no churches or synagogues in Saudi Arabia. The time for double standards that allow Islamists to behave aggressively toward us while they demand our weakness and submission is over.
The proposed "Cordoba House" overlooking the World Trade Center site – where a group of jihadists killed over 3000 Americans and destroyed one of our most famous landmarks - is a test of the timidity, passivity and historic ignorance of American elites. For example, most of them don’t understand that “Cordoba House” is a deliberately insulting term. It refers to Cordoba, Spain – the capital of Muslim conquerors who symbolized their victory over the Christian Spaniards by transforming a church there into the world’s third-largest mosque complex.
Today, some of the Mosque’s backers insist this term is being used to "symbolize interfaith cooperation" when, in fact, every Islamist in the world recognizes Cordoba as a symbol of Islamic conquest. It is a sign of their contempt for Americans and their confidence in our historic ignorance that they would deliberately insult us this way.
Those Islamists and their apologists who argue for "religious toleration" are arrogantly dishonest. They ignore the fact that more than 100 mosques already exist in New York City. Meanwhile, there are no churches or synagogues in all of Saudi Arabia. In fact no Christian or Jew can even enter Mecca.
And they lecture us about tolerance.
If the people behind the Cordoba House were serious about religious toleration, they would be imploring the Saudis, as fellow Muslims, to immediately open up Mecca to all and immediately announce their intention to allow non-Muslim houses of worship in the Kingdom. They should be asked by the news media if they would be willing to lead such a campaign.
We have not been able to rebuild the World Trade Center in nine years. Now we are being told a 13 story, $100 million megamosque will be built within a year overlooking the site of the most devastating surprise attack in American history.
Finally where is the money coming from? The people behind the Cordoba House refuse to reveal all their funding sources.
America is experiencing an Islamist cultural-political offensive designed to undermine and destroy our civilization. Sadly, too many of our elites are the willing apologists for those who would destroy them if they could.
No self deception.
The time to take a stand is now - at this site on this issue.
Gingrich: No Cordoba at Ground Zero
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Friday, July 23, 2010
17th Sunday of the Year. "Our Father": Prayer opens the vast realm of the journey from here to the hereafter
We are all on a journey and all experience the need for some knowledge of our destination. Some have a very firm sense of their place in life. Others feel themselves lost and do not know where they are on the journey because the road ahead is murky or shrouded in doubt. These persons experience an inertia that blocks them from making the first step that commences movement from the present to the future and a sense of sadness and even depression can set in. In the case of the spiritual life, the stakes are highest. From our very short existence here on earth we must make a journey in faith to the hereafter. But a sense of being lost, disconnected, sinful or unworthy of God or goodness can jeopardize and arrest our state of development in the life of faith.
God has a GPS: Jesus Christ. Because of His incarnation, His Passion on the cross, His death and Resurrection, Jesus Christ is the gift of grace that the Father makes available to us wherever we are so that we can go from lost to found, from confusion to clarity, and from inertia to calm and confident action as we make our first tentative steps on the path to eternity.
The interior life is the place where Jesus Christ helps us to first become "found". In the grace of faith we can learn that whatever it is that we are suffering, whether the effects of mortal sin, a dry and prayer-less spirit, anger or depression, because of Christ nothing on the earth, above the earth or below the earth can prevent God from affirming our goodness and worth, from convicting us that everything we are and experience can be used by God to find us, affirm us and get us back on the road to heaven.
But God will not do this task without us. And that is where prayer comes in. In the gospel we hear again about the lesson in prayer which Christ teaches to his closest co-workers in the Father's mission. The "Our Father" remains for us the blueprint or model not only for our prayers and our life of prayer, but also a road map for the interior life. Just as a navigator with the help of the GPS can help us escape from disorientation in our physical life, so prayer in Christ does the same for the life of the spirit.
The Catechism teaches us:
"When we pray to the Father, we are in communion with him and with his Son, Jesus Christ. Then we know and recognize him with an ever new sense of wonder. The first phrase of the Our Father is a blessing of adoration before it is a supplication. For it is the glory of God that we should recognize him as "Father," the true God. We give him thanks for having revealed his name to us, for the gift of believing in it, and for the indwelling of his Presence in us." (CCC 2781)
We are invited follow the instructions of God's "GPS" and to pray as Christ did, as he instructs us to do. Christ opens for us the limitless field of our journey in grace to the Father through the Spirit, but we must respond with our freedom and cooperate with Him. We do this through prayer. But our prayer must be in love and thus a gift of the whole person. How do we make our prayer a gift of love? Through various methods of prayer we grow in the ability to more and more give ourselves as a gift to the Father, through the Spirit, in Christ.
With the use of our voices in vocal prayer or song, with our bodies kneeling or standing, with attentive hearts and minds we can learn the joy of a more intense prayer and move forward in freedom on the path of salvation and eternal life. Reading Scripture with the practice of lectio divina, praying the Liturgy of the Hours or the Rosary, slowing down to meditate in silence or speak to the Father with the text of the prayer Christ gave us or choosing our own words, all of these express our love and desire for the Father and give expression to our journey and the knowledge of our goal of "life on high" with Christ Jesus.
Recognizing God as our Father in worship reaffirms our unbreakable bond with the One who is both ever with us but also ever before us as the heavenly and eternal goal of the whole of our lives. How does God accompany us? In Christ, who shares everything with us but sin, through the Spirit who teaches us to pray in love of the Father. Christ is the geographical positioning system that leads us from sin to mercy, from lost to found, from confusion to clarity. He does this now, clothed in flesh, seated at the right hand of the Father. He shares our weakness as one with us but we share in His grace that saves and leads us from here to the hereafter.
Our prayer also takes expression in our communal life as the Body of Christ in the celebration of the sacraments. These also are tangible signposts along our journey to the Father. God points our feet in the right direction for the first time through Baptism in Christ, sending the Church and our parents to support our first steps in the ways of faith. If we are lost in mortal sin, we can locate ourselves once again in Christ through sacramental confession. If we are confused because of pain or loss, He unites Himself to us through His Cross and death, giving meaning and purpose to what we are tempted to reject as senseless and wasteful. If we feel sometimes as though we are traveling alone on the journey of faith, He reminds us, "I am with you always, even until the end of the world".
Throughout our lives, in the Eucharistic Sacrifice of the Mass, the Lord reaches out to remind us of our beginning in Baptism and the gift of the Spirit of Love, His presence in Mercy and the goal on high with the Father opened for us by the perfect prayer of His Passion, Death and Resurrection. He does this not so much by saying something but rather by doing something. He keeps His promise to "be with us" as Risen God, victorious already over every power or force that threatens us to impede or to block our way forward. Our vade mecum, He goes with and in us to "Our Father" and, truly present Body, Blood Soul and Divinity in the Blessed Sacrament, walks with us every step of the way.
Praised be Jesus Christ!
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Saturday, July 17, 2010
"Jesus fulfilled the work of the Father completely; his prayer, like his sacrifice, extends until the end of time. The prayer of this hour fills the end-times and carries them toward their consummation. Jesus, the Son to whom the Father has given all things, has given himself wholly back to the Father, yet expresses himself with a sovereign freedom by virtue of the power the Father has given him over all flesh. The Son, who made himself Servant, is Lord, the Pantocrator. Our high priest who prays for us is also the one who prays in us and the God who hears our prayer." (CCC 2749)
And so work, in Christ, has become even a source of blessing despite the exertions and exhaustion that it sometimes brings into our lives along with the food, shelter and clothing which it enables us to have.
In the Gospel Martha is working very hard and for a very important guest: the Lord Himself. Martha loves the Lord very much and she shows this by taking care of his physical needs: making him comfortable, preparing a meal. But she feels overwhelmed and asks a favor of Christ in the midst of her chores, begging him, "please tell my sister to help me."
Mary is sitting down, and appears to be doing nothing. Mary's lack of activity seems to indicate that she does not care about her sister but we find that this is not in fact so. Mary is also doing a kind of work: she is listening in love. Although Mary loves Martha, her sister, she loves the Lord even more. In order to act on this love for Christ Mary needed to stop everything else and to look upon the Lord, so that she could truly listen well to His words, to dwell in His presence. This too, our Lord tells us, is something that we need. And, what's more, he tells us we need this kind of work even more than the kind of work we see Martha doing: Mary, he tells us, has chosen the "better portion".
All of us face the same necessity each day that confronted Martha and Mary: with all the work we have to do, how do we order our priorities so that "first things" remain "first". Is God not first? If so, do we make the effort to stop, to look and to listen so that we can do the work of loving God along with our daily tasks? And how do we find time for God if, for whatever reason, our other work, our lesser priorities, have crowded Him out of our lives, making it more difficult for us to see the evidence of our love for Him, the love that we are so often quick to claim for ourselves in words but which, sometimes, the evidence for which is lacking in our attitudes and actions.
Have you heard people say, "If they arrested you for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?" Here we are together engaged in the public prayer and witness of the Church, at Mass, and this is very good. There are diverse roles at Mass: the lector helps to proclaim the Word of God in sacred Scripture, the extraordinary minister helps the priest and deacon to give the people the Body of Christ in holy Communion, the servers assist the priest at the altar, and these are sometimes necessary. But they are not the most important roles, even for those who undertake them. No, the "better portion" for all of us is possessed only when we stop, look and listen, receiving God as He gives Himself to us in Word and Sacrament, being receptive and attentive to Him as was Mary.
And at home, too, we can also slow down, pause and pray the Rosary, read the Scriptures, go apart and pray so that this better portion becomes for us an attitude, a grace, a gift that we can take advantage of wherever we find ourselves, for whatever needs present themselves each day. The Catechism urges us to persevere in this prayer:
"The choice of the time and duration of the prayer arises from a determined will, revealing the secrets of the heart. One does not undertake contemplative prayer only when one has the time: one makes time for the Lord, with the firm determination not to give up, no matter what trials and dryness one may encounter. One cannot always meditate, but one can always enter into inner prayer, independently of the conditions of health, work, or emotional state. The heart is the place of this quest and encounter, in poverty and in faith." (CCC 2710)
The holy Mass is the most important way in which we act on our love for God, in which we stop, look and listen, seated at the feet of the Lord as Mary did, so that we also can enjoy the "better portion". For to listen to Christ as His holy Word in Scripture is proclaimed, to come before the altar where he offers His Body in the sacrifice of our redemption, this is to anticipate and enjoy already the wedding feast of heaven, where God will do all the work and we will be seated at His feet, adoring His everlasting beauty and rejoicing in His love, in eternal life, "where God will be all in all".
Thursday, July 15, 2010
03:47 PM EDT Thursday, July 15, 2010
BP says oil has stopped leaking into the Gulf for the first time since April.
BP has been slowly dialing down the flow as part of a test on a new cap. Engineers are now monitoring the pressure to see if the busted well holds.
For more information, visit washingtonpost.com:
We do have troubles, some which come as a result of our own choices and some which do not.
But, no matter the source, all of the things which weigh us down, the concerns of the present, the memories and detritus of the past, the unforeseeable future, all of these are called to be joined to the yoke of Christ which is His glorious and saving Cross. And then, all which threatened at one time to drag us backward instead becomes a spur to propel us forward, for only His burdensome Cross can truly become light, in the promised Resurrection.
Praised be Jesus Christ!
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Obama Violates Own Executive Order, Funds AbortionsJuly 14, 2010Operation Rescue: Heath care bill was passed under false pretenses and should be repealedWashington, DC - The Department of Health and Human Services under radical abortion promoter Kathleen Sebelius has approved the first disbursement of federal tax dollars to pay for abortions, despite an Executive Order that promised the American people such abortion funding would not be permitted.As part of Obama's health care plan, Pennsylvania will receive $160 million to fund a "high risk" insurance pool. Those in the pool will qualify to have any abortion legal in the State of Pennsylvania paid for by taxpayers."We knew when Obama signed the Executive Order that would have allegedly blocked tax funding of abortion that it wasn't worth the paper it was printed on. Now that has been proven to be true," said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman."It is shocking and disturbing to see the ease at which Obama and Sebelius can flat-out lie to the American people and apparently get away with it. This kind of dishonest treatment of the American people and disregard for agreements made and signed shows that the word of both Obama and Sebelius cannot be trusted, which makes them unfit to serve - something we have been saying all along."Over 70 percent of the American people oppose tax funded abortion in the national health care system. Several Senators and Congressmen voted for the health care bill only on the condition that tax money would not go to fund abortion. Now that Obama has reneged on the agreement and violated his own Executive Order, Operation Rescue urges Congress to repeal the heath care legislation that was enacted under false pretenses last March.
About Operation Rescue®Operation Rescue is one of the leading pro-life Christian activist organizations in the nation and has become a strong voice for the pro-life movement in America. Operation Rescue is now headquartered in a former abortion clinic that it bought and closed in 2006. From there, Operation Rescue launches its innovative new strategies across the nation, exposing and closing abortion clinics through peaceful, legal means. Its activities are on the cutting edge of the abortion issue, taking direct action to stop abortion and ultimately restore legal personhood to the pre-born in obedience to biblical mandates. Click here to support Operation Rescue.
Web site: www.operationrescue.org
Operation RescueTroy NewmanPresident316-841-1700
Operation RescueCheryl SullengerSenior Policy Advisor316-516-3034
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Monday, July 12, 2010
West's TOB has for years been widely promoted despite some glaring inadequacies such as a refusal of the Church's longstanding advocacy of avoiding the near occasions of sin as a means of growing in virtue. Eden also points out factors in West's background which feed his erroneous understanding of Church teaching on chastity and marriage. Dawn Eden is currently doing doctoral work and in the process has produced this long needed service to Church teaching on marriage and family life. You can read more about her critique here.
Blog post thanks to Patrick.
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Thursday, July 8, 2010
If you receive an email such as the one following this note do not answer it. The only proper response: DELETE.
This the email I received this evening:
"Due to the congestion in our servers, We have come to realize that your account information on our database system are out of date, as a result of that we require you to verify your Information. Failure to verify your information will result in account suspension. If you are still interested in using our email service, Please click the reply button and fill the below spaces as requested. Learn more
Note: This email is only for Account owner.
Thank you for using Gmail !
The Gmail Team"
After a 29 January fire at the church of Saint Francis de Sales the church and all its furnishings had to be cleaned and restored, including the church's Allen organ. Today a crew used a lift to reinstall the organ back to its place in the loft.
The choir and congregation sang a capella last weekend but will once again enjoy the accompaniment of the organ, one of the three "jewels" of the Roman rite as taught by the document Sacrosanctum Concilium No. 22 of the Second Vatican Council.
With upcoming installment of the final touches on the sound system the church should soon be restored to full operations.
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Sunday, July 4, 2010
Saturday, July 3, 2010
Friday, July 2, 2010
Just in time for Independence Day.This weekend will mark the occasion when 50 years ago the 50-star national ensign was flown at Fort McHenry for the first time anywhere.
The flag you see in this photo was raised at the fort today and will be flown at St Francis de Sales Church in Benedict beginning on July 4th weekend.
God bless America!
Photo kindness of Ranger Genna White.
Mother Teresa relics at St Leo Church, Basilica of the Assumption, Gift of Hope Convent in Baltimore today
8 a.m. Mass today, Friday, at St. Leo in Little Italy, followed by a holy hour, rosary and veneration until 11 a.m.
12:10 p.m. Mass, today, at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary followed by a holy hour and veneration until 3 p.m.
Then until 8:30 p.m. this evening at Gift of Hope Convent and AIDS Hospice, 818 N. Collington Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21205. Phone: 410-732-6056.
Fourteen years after Mother Teresa's last visit to Baltimore, her blood, her hair and several of her personal effects returned to the city Wednesday.
The items, which also include a rosary and sandals worn by the candidate for Catholic sainthood, were displayed for several hours at the hospice for AIDS patients she opened in East Baltimore in 1992.
In the chapel at the Gift of Hope hospice on Ashland Avenue, operated by Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity, Shirley Sapp paused before the frayed shoes.
"Mother Teresa is such a holy woman. Just to see her sandals — she wore those when she served so many people," said Sapp, 58, her eyes filling with tears as she stood before the items arranged on the diaphanous fabric.
The relics are passing through Baltimore as part of a North American tour organized by the Missionaries of Charity in honor of the 100th anniversary of Mother Teresa's birth.
Famed for her work with the poor of Calcutta, India, the Albanian nun died in 1997. She was beatified, a step toward sainthood, by Pope John Paul II in 2003.
Another city resident to get one of the first glimpses of the relics was Mary Alice Moore, a teacher at Baltimore City Community College.
She said she missed seeing Mother Teresa when she visited in 1996, but the "relics are the next best thing."
Moore said she has read several books written about Mother Teresa. She said that just seeing the shoes she walked in and the rosary beads she held so tightly is an important reminder of the inspiring woman.
Mass will be celebrated at 8 a.m. Thursday at St. Wenceslaus, followed by a holy hour and veneration of relics until noon.
The relics are then to be transported to Our Lady of Pompei in Highlandtown, where a Mass will be celebrated in Spanish at 5:30 p.m., followed by a holy hour, rosary and veneration until 8:30 p.m.
Mass will be celebrated at 8 a.m. Friday at St. Leo in Little Italy, followed by a holy hour, rosary and veneration until 11 a.m.
The relics will then be exhibited at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary beginning with a 12:10 p.m. Mass celebrated by Auxiliary Bishop Denis J. Madden, followed by a holy hour and veneration until 3 p.m. The relics will return to the Gift of Hope Convent that afternoon, where they will be available for veneration until 8:30 p.m. Bishop Denis Madden will celebrate a Mass at 12:10 p.m. at the Baltimore Basilica, which Mother Teresa visited in May 1996.
That was her second visit to the city.
"Any man, woman or child feeling unloved with nowhere to go is welcome to come here," she said at the time. "I have no gold or silver to give you, but I'm giving you my sisters."
Thursday, July 1, 2010
"This, of course, would be a disaster," she wrote.
So, Elena agrees with most doctors that allowing the baby to naturally exit the mother's womb is the healthiest option for pregnant women? Good news! She just disagrees that greeting the child aborning with a pair of scissors and a death-dealing stab into her brain is ever justifiable as anything other than an injustice, child abuse of the most horrific kind imaginable, a grave moral evil, an abominable crime which cries out to God for justice and a mortal sin which can put the malefactor's soul in hell forever.
Is this the kind of "justice" she intends to "mete out" should she be confirmed to sit on the highest bench in the land? Give me the inquisition over her tender mercies any day!
Sent by a friend of APL…
Why is killing babies by shoving scissors into their heads so important to Kagan that that she has to alter documents? Bizarre...
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