Thursday, September 30, 2010

Breaking News: Scientists overcome hurdles to stem cell alternatives

September 30, 2010 12:07:33 PM

Scientists reported Thursday they had developed a technique that can quickly convert ordinary skin cells into cells that are virtually identical to embryonic stem cells, a major advance toward developing a less controversial approach for treating a host of medical problems.

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"Ignorance of Scripture

... is ignorance of Christ."

-- Saint Jerome, pray for us.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Operation Rescue Seeks Women Who Have Had Abortion Pill Complications

Sep 29, 2010 12:53 PM
Subject: Operation Rescue Seeks Women Who Have Had Abortion Pill Complications

Operation Rescue Seeks Women Who Have Had Abortion Pill Complications

  • September 29, 2010

Des Moines, IA - Ten years after the abortion pill, RU 486, also known as Mifeprex or Mifepristol, was approved by the FDA, questions about its safety remain, especially in Iowa, where Planned Parenthood of the Heartland is dispensing an abortion drug combination via a remote controlled vending machine scheme known as telemed abortions that prevents patients being examined physically by a licensed physician or receiving adequate follow-up care.

Because of this, Operation Rescue is asking women who have suffered complications from medical abortions, especially in Iowa, to tell their stories.

Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, which is the first in the nation to employ the remote-controlled abortion pill distribution system, incredibly has told media that after 1,900 telemed abortions, there have been no complications.

"We know that is simply impossible. All this statement shows is that Planned Parenthood supplies such abysmal follow-up care that they are completely ignorant about what happens to women after they load them up with abortion pills and send them out the door to deal with the aftermath on their own," said Operation Rescue spokesperson Cheryl Sullenger. "Planned Parenthood's emergency plan is to tell the women to go to the emergency room if complications arise, then wash their hands of them."

According to Planned Parenthood's own statistics, 3-4% of women taking the abortion pill will suffer incomplete abortions that require surgery. The UPI reported on September 28, 2010, that the abortion pill's incomplete abortion rate is actually eight percent.

That means out of 1,900 telemed abortions done by Planned Parenthood, there should be approximately 60-150 women who have suffered incomplete abortions requiring surgical intervention. Those numbers do not even take into consideration other known complications, such as excessive bleeding requiring surgery and serious infections that require immediate emergency care.

In addition, Planned Parenthood is prescribing Mifeprex through 9 weeks of pregnancy, two weeks beyond the safety limit set by the FDA. Along with Mifeprex, women are given a drug called Misoprostol, also known as Cytotec, a drug originally developed to treat ulcers. The manufacturer of Cytotec has warned women not to take the drug to induce abortions, a warning cavalierly disregarded by Planned Parenthood. These factors increase the risks of serious complications.

Operation Rescue has filed a complaint against Planned Parenthood's telemed abortion scheme with the Iowa Board of Medicine. An investigation is underway. The IBM is scheduled to discuss public policy on telemedicine at a meeting on October 22.

"It is time for women who have suffered these complications to come forward and tell their stories so other women won't have to suffer as they have. If necessary, we will protect the identity of anyone who wants to speak with us about their abortion pill experience," said Sullenger.

Contact Operation Rescue at 316-683-6790 ext. 112 or send an e-mail to contact(at)

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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. Click here to make a secure donation online.
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Operation Rescue | P.O. Box 782888 | Wichita | KS | 67278

Monday, September 27, 2010

An abortionist could be charged with murder in Maryland

Yes, you read that correctly.

Under Maryland law, abortionist Steven Chase Brigham, at the center of a huge Maryland-New Jersey abortion mill scandal, could possibly be charged with murder by Maryland authorities.

By now, you have probably heard about the botched abortion of an 18-year-old girl who had to be flown from the scene of the crime, in Elkton, to Johns Hopkins to repair the life-threatening injuries perpetrated on her at a secret Elkton late-term abortion clinic.

The Philadelphia Enquirer, the Baltimore Sun, the AP, Channel 13 and Fox News have already reported extensively on how the police raided the clinic and found the bodies of 35 late-term aborted babies in a chest freezer.

How abortionists Nicola Riley and George Shepard, Jr., had their licenses suspended by the Maryland Board of Physicians for their involvement with the abortion and the secret clinic.

How notorious abortionist Brigham was ordered by the Maryland board to cease and desist his illegal practice of medicine in Maryland, and how New Jersey has suspended his license and is continuing its investigation of him.


When the police got a search and seizure warrant to go into the Elkton clinic on August 18, they did so under a little-known section of Maryland law.

In Maryland, abortions can be done legally at any gestational age, up to full-term.

BUT, Maryland law also states that if an unborn baby is past viability (generally considered to be 24 weeks), and the baby’s life is taken in an illegal act, THE PERPETRATOR CAN BE PROSECUTED FOR MURDER OR MANSLAUGHTER.(Md. Criminal Law Code Ann. 2-103)

The Elkton police warrant was based on the suspicion that a murder had committed at the clinic. As the frightened abortionist Nicola Riley told a Maryland Physicians Board investigator, “The basis of the warrant [to raid the Elkton clinic] is murder. . . this affidavit that I’m looking at uses that word, ‘murder.’”

New Jersey investigators are hot on Brigham’s trail. The latest Philadelphia Enquirer story says, “Brigham falsified recovery room records to make his Elkton abortions appear to have been performed by Shepard or Walker, authorities allege.”


We can’t let this mess get shoved under the rug, as so often happens in Maryland.

We need to contact the Cecil County State’s Attorney’s Office and demand that Brigham be charged with murder or manslaughter for the late-term abortions – some as late as 36 weeks – he allegedly committed in Maryland.


Call, write or email:

Carrie Flaugher
State’s Attorney’s Office
Cecil County Courthouse
129 East Main Street, Room 210
Elkton, MD 21921


Tell County State’s Attorney Flaugher that we demand ABORTIONIST BRIGHAM BE BROUGHT TO JUSTICE!

Long Live Christ Our King,

Jack Ames
Defend Life

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Sunday 26C. "Send Lazarus!": the dearly departed, the possibility of purgatory and the power of prayer

Everyone desires the reward of heaven for the dearly departed but sure and certain knowledge of their fate is not possible except in the case of canonization. That is where prayer comes in.

"Send Lazarus!" is the cry of the rich man of the parable in Luke chapter 16 who is able to communicate with Abraham from his place of torment so, as Pope Benedict has written, he is not in a place of permanent suffering, or hell. Hell is a final, full, and eternal state of separation from God, which precludes any possibility of communication with anyone who does not also share the state of eternal damnation.

"In the parable of the rich man and Lazarus (cf. Lk 16:19-31), Jesus admonishes us through the image of a soul destroyed by arrogance and opulence, who has created an impassable chasm between himself and the poor man; the chasm of being trapped within material pleasures; the chasm of forgetting the other, of incapacity to love, which then becomes a burning and unquenchable thirst. We must note that in this parable Jesus is not referring to the final destiny after the Last Judgement, but is taking up a notion found, inter alia, in early Judaism, namely that of an intermediate state between death and resurrection, a state in which the final sentence is yet to be pronounced. " (Benedict XVI, Spe Salvi, 44)

The Holy Father proposes the story of the rich man and Lazarus as a call to hope for all of us who seek life abundantly and thus should all the more urge those we leave behind to pray for us.

"This early Jewish idea of an intermediate state includes the view that these souls are not simply in a sort of temporary custody but, as the parable of the rich man illustrates, are already being punished or are experiencing a provisional form of bliss. There is also the idea that this state can involve purification and healing which mature the soul for communion with God. The early Church took up these concepts, and in the Western Church they gradually developed into the doctrine of Purgatory. We do not need to examine here the complex historical paths of this development; it is enough to ask what it actually means. With death, our life-choice becomes definitive—our life stands before the judge. Our choice, which in the course of an entire life takes on a certain shape, can have a variety of forms. There can be people who have totally destroyed their desire for truth and readiness to love, people for whom everything has become a lie, people who have lived for hatred and have suppressed all love within themselves. This is a terrifying thought, but alarming profiles of this type can be seen in certain figures of our own history. In such people all would be beyond remedy and the destruction of good would be irrevocable: this is what we mean by the word Hell[37]. On the other hand there can be people who are utterly pure, completely permeated by God, and thus fully open to their neighbours—people for whom communion with God even now gives direction to their entire being and whose journey towards God only brings to fulfilment what they already are[38]." (Benedict XVI, Spe Salvi 45)

Thus it is possible as a result of man's free will to turn so completely away from God and neighbor as to choose eternal separation from the possibility of love, which cannot be enjoyed apart from God.

"The teaching of the Church affirms the existence of hell and its eternity. Immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell, ‘eternal fire.’ The chief punishment of hell is eternal separation from God, in whom alone man can possess the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs." (CCC 1035)

So the rich man, rather, is in a state of purgation or purification, commonly known by the name of purgatory in Church teaching.

"The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned. The Church formulated her doctrine of faith on Purgatory especially at the Councils of Florence and Trent. The tradition of the Church, by reference to certain texts of Scripture, speaks of a cleansing fire:

"As for certain lesser faults, we must believe that, before the Final Judgment, there is a purifying fire. He who is truth says that whoever utters blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will be pardoned neither in this age nor in the age to come. From this sentence we understand that certain offenses can be forgiven in this age, but certain others in the age to come. (CCC 1031)

Purgatory results from two interpenetrating realities: God's mercy for those who have truly repented of sin before death and the temporal punishment, or attachment, to sin that makes it impossible for some who have died to immediately enter into a state of beatitude in heaven.

"The forgiveness of sin and restoration of communion with God entail the remission of the eternal punishment of sin, but temporal punishment of sin remains. While patiently bearing sufferings and trials of all kinds and, when the day comes, serenely facing death, the Christian must strive to accept this temporal punishment of sin as a grace. He should strive by works of mercy and charity, as well as by prayer and the various practices of penance, to put off completely the 'old man' and to put on the 'new man.'” (CCC 1473)

If death intervenes between repentance and completion of the process of putting on the "new man" then the grace of God's mercy must complete the work before the soul of the faithful departed is prepared for the beatific vision, or full communion with God in heaven.

Abraham describes the reality we know well: many do not believe in Christ even though He rose from the dead. But because He did intercessory prayer becomes possible. Abraham and the saints intercede for those who do not already share perfect beatitude with God. We on earth are able to share in the perfect prayer of Christ in holy Mass with the power of His saving grace which hastens the day of full communion with God for the departed who yet lack it.

"In the communion of saints, 'a perennial link of charity exists between the faithful who have already reached their heavenly home, those who are expiating their sins in purgatory and those who are still pilgrims on earth. Between them there is, too, an abundant exchange of all good things.' In this wonderful exchange, the holiness of one profits others, well beyond the harm that the sin of one could cause others. Thus recourse to the communion of saints lets the contrite sinner be more promptly and efficaciously purified of the punishments for sin." (CCC 1475)

It is a duty, a privilege and a joy to know that we can pray for the dead with whom we still enjoy communion or life in Christ. We can send relief, be as a Lazarus who dips his finger into the water of life and shares it with those who have gone before us, easing their suffering and hastening their eternal happiness with God.

" ’In full consciousness of this communion of the whole Mystical Body of Jesus Christ, the Church in its pilgrim members, from the very earliest days of the Christian religion, has honored with great respect the memory of the dead; and 'because it is a holy and a wholesome thought to pray for the dead that they may be loosed from their sins' she offers her suffrages for them.’ Our prayer for them is capable not only of helping them, but also of making their intercession for us effective.” (CCC 958)

The Church at all times and in all places commends the souls of all the faithful departed to the mercy of God.

"This teaching is also based on the practice of prayer for the dead, already mentioned in Sacred Scripture: ‘Therefore [Judas Maccabeus] made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin.’ From the beginning the Church has honored the memory of the dead and offered prayers in suffrage for them, above all the Eucharistic sacrifice, so that, thus purified, they may attain the beatific vision of God. The Church also commends almsgiving, indulgences, and works of penance undertaken on behalf of the dead:

‘Let us help and commemorate them. If Job's sons were purified by their father's sacrifice, why would we doubt that our offerings for the dead bring them some consolation? Let us not hesitate to help those who have died and to offer our prayers for them.’ "

(CCC 1032)


Art: South Portal from the Church of Saint Pierre, Moissac, c. 1115-30.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Maria Benassai is a child of God

Her family and friends at Saint Mary's in Annapolis today following her reception of the sacrament of baptism. 

Seen in Annapolis

Where is he now?  And is he "fuzzy" because he has facial hair or because of a lack of fundamental openness to doctrinal orthodoxy?

Wondering ...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

"The heavens proclaim the glory of God"

... and the firmament proclaims His handiwork.

-- Psalm 19

Have a blessed feast day of Saint Matthew from APL.

Monday, September 20, 2010

New Report Reveals Suspended Severna Park Abortionist's Replacement Is Worse

September 20, 2010

Severna Park, MD - Operation Rescue has uncovered information that the notorious Ghevont W. Wartanian is doing abortions at Gynecare Center in Severna Park, Maryland, in the place of suspended abortionist Romeo Ferrer, whose medical license was suspended last week for his part in the abortion-related death of Denise Crowe.

"We thought that Ferrer's abortion mill would close with his suspension, but as far as we know, it never missed a day of business," said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. "In fact, as bad as Ferrer was, it looks like he replaced himself with someone even worse, if that is even possible."

The Gynecare abortion mill is an affiliate of the National Abortion Federation, a cartel of notoriously troubled abortion clinics that attempt to persuade the public they are safe by publishing so-called "guidelines" for abortion clinics. Apparently those standards do not include competent licensed physicians that have not killed people with their substandard and negligent practices.

Wartanian has a long and sordid history of malpractice suits and wrongful deaths reaching back decades, and was involved in a 2001 Maryland scandal that led to reforms in the way the Board of Physicians disciplines doctors. But through it all, Wartanian has escaped discipline.

Operation Rescue's new report details Wartanian's legal woes and his history of incompetence that has led to the deaths of at least two wanted babies.

The Gynecare abortion mill is an affiliate of the National Abortion Federation, a cartel of notoriously troubled abortion clinics that attempt to persuade the public they are safe by publishing so-called "guidelines" for abortion clinics. Apparently those standards do not include competent licensed physicians that have not killed people with their substandard and negligent practices.

"If it is too dangerous for Ferrer to be practicing medicine, why is this guy still in business?" asked Newman. "Today, with the release of our special report, we are sending a letter to the Maryland Board of Physicians asking them to conduct a new review of Wartanian's competency and take appropriate action to protect the public from him. Enough people have died at the hands of Ferrer and Wartanian. The public needs the peace of mind that these quacks will not be allowed by the state to hurt anyone else."

Read OR's special report: "My life has been ruined because of him".

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.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Sunday, 25C. "Make friends for yourselves": Befriend Christ in love through all the elements of sacred worship

Christ is the friend we love in and need above all friends. He alone grants to us in the love of friendship that gift we need above all other gifts: eternal life.

Here and now, in the sacred liturgy, he introduces Himself to us in loving friendship. And we are called to respond to Him in holy listening, in prayer and praise, in song and in all of the elements of sacred worship. Our gestures indicate acceptance of Him whether through kneeling, bowing, standing or in the movement of the Communion procession where we anticipate the moment when we will receive our divine Friend with all of the reverential love of which we are capable.

Tragically some have lost their faith in Christ's Eucharistic gift of Himself and what can result is sacrilege, where Christ is treated as a thing only, to be thrown away, to be trampled underfoot.

The world's goods that serve only human friendship will "fail us" at the end of our lives. If these have served our friendship with Christ then indeed a "lasting reception" will be ours.

Restoration of the sacred in worship and in life, reverence for God and for others is not a gift only for God, accepting it as He does with love, pleased as He is with all of us, His dear children in Christ. Restoring the authentic spirit of worship, whereby we fall down in adoration before God present here in holy Mass, through the love and obedience of intellect and will, is the only way in which we will ever be truly restored to ourselves and given once again the gift of loving ourselves and others, of "making friends" and thus, in love, begining already the joy of God's eternal friendship in His kingdom without end. Amen.

More on our use of this world's goods:

"Make friends for yourselves through your use of this worlds goods, so that when they fail you, a lasting reception may be yours." The gifts God bestows upon us in this world come with a responsibility to be good stewards of all he has made. These are the little matters he entrusts to us now, so that we may prepare for the far greater good of eternal life.

The Church holds in a crucial balance both the universal destination of goods as well as the right to private property. Both reflect Gods providence, and neither excuse us from sincere and generous charity. The Church draws her social teaching from the Lord's instructions in the Gospel parables and other expressions of his law of love.

We are not permitted to reduce our use of earthly goods to the pursuit of profit alone irregardless of other factors. A theory that makes profit the exclusive norm and ultimate end of economic activity is morally unacceptable.

"The disordered desire for money cannot but produce perverse effects. It is one of the causes of the many conflicts which disturb the social order. (Cf. Gaudium et spes, art. 3; Laborem Exercens 7; 20; Centesimus Annus 35.) A system that 'subordinates the basic rights of individuals and of groups to the collective organization of production' is contrary to human dignity. (Gaudium et spes 65, art. 2.) Every practice that reduces persons to nothing more than a means of profit enslaves man, leads to idolizing money, and contributes to the spread of atheism. 'You cannot serve God and mammon.'(Mt 6:24; Lk 16:13.)" (CCC 2424)

All that God gives is to be shared, but in a collaborative and voluntary way, in accord with the human dignity both of the giver and the receiver of the gift. "The goods of creation are destined for the entire human race. The right to private property does not abolish the universal destination of goods." (CCC 2452)

"Those blessed with wealth or economic power, whether individuals or nations, are called at the same time to stewardship and active solicitude for the poor, unemployed and dispossessed. Goods of production - material or immaterial - such as land, factories, practical or artistic skills, oblige their possessors to employ them in ways that will benefit the greatest number. Those who hold goods for use and consumption should use them with moderation, reserving the better part for guests, for the sick and the poor." (CCC 2405)

A principal divine foundation for the right to private property is enshrined in the Decalogue itself: "You shall not steal".

"The seventh commandment forbids unjustly taking or keeping the goods of one's neighbor and wronging him in any way with respect to his goods. It commands justice and charity in the care of earthly goods and the fruits of men's labor. For the sake of the common good, it requires respect for the universal destination of goods and respect for the right to private property. Christian life strives to order this world's goods to God and to fraternal charity." (CCC 2401)

There are situations, however, when the individual is not committing grave sin where, by appropriating some amount of the private property of an unjust employer, he is merely providing for the basic sustenance of his family or those in his care. This is traditionally called occult compensation.

The Church advocates a living wage for all workers. Withholding just wages can be stealing as well and can put the lives of others in danger. The basic goods to maintain life, shelter and health are a fundamental human right.

"The seventh commandment forbids theft, that is, usurping another's property against the reasonable will of the owner. There is no theft if consent can be presumed or if refusal is contrary to reason and the universal destination of goods. This is the case in obvious and urgent necessity when the only way to provide for immediate, essential needs (food, shelter, clothing . . .) is to put at one's disposal and use the property of others." (CCC 2408)

Social justice on earth anticipates the perfect justice and love of the Kingdom. We are trusted with these little matters now that our heavenly Father may prepare us to inherit, as true sons and daughters of his, the treasure beyond all price: the reign of heaven.

Praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever. Amen.


(See also Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph numbers 952, 2425. Publish with permission.

Monday, September 13, 2010

We've tried everything

... except continuity to attract our young people back to faithful, regular attendance at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass on Sundays.

Guitars and every kind of instrument except organ. Every kind of music but classic Catholic hymns. Every kind of ministry except that targeting men and vocations. Every kind of language except Latin. Every kind of option except that of noble custom.

Is it time to restore the sacred? Benedict XVI thinks so. What about you? Time to tear down the "golden calf" of innovation, experimentation and worldly lust for endless change for change's sake?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Sunday, 24C. "I will arise and return to my Father": at holy Mass He lifts me from the mire of sin and shame and clothes me in the grace of His love

Who is the "prodigal son" of the Gospel parable? Is he the child who has abandoned the Faith and is living in what is cloaked deceptively as an "alternate lifestyle"? Is he the man and woman living together without marriage in the state of adultery or fornication? Is he the college student drinking on weekends and skipping holy Mass on Sunday? Yes, he is all of these and more.

But is not the prodigal son or daughter also the Catholic who neglects the Sacrament of Confession while guilty of mortal sin and yet comes forward for holy Communion every week? Is he the Catholic who uses the Sacraments as social events only, bringing a child to the Lord for Baptism at the beginning of the child's life and then refusing to practice the Faith every week and obey the Commandments by attending Mass with the family? He is all of these persons and every person who has abandoned a life in love and communion with God through Christ, the grace He offers in the holy Church.

But what about the parents who are watching the evil of cancer rapidly consume the body of their young son? What of the mother grieving endlessly for a stillborn daughter who feels alone and abandoned in her sadness? What of the parents of a child who refuses to understand and reacts with anger when they decline to attend that child's invalid marriage or marital-simulation ceremony? When good people are suffering and when they pray and pray for healing or relief and feel as though they are neglected and left without answers to their questions, is this not also experienced as a kind of "distance" from the Father? It is like the experience of the son who, raised in the dignity of the Father's home, now lives in the filth of pigs and yet is no longer considered worthy even to share their meager food.

The "good son" reacts to the Father's generous love of the younger son by making an accusation: "Look, all these years I served you and not once did I disobey your orders; yet you never gave me even a young goat to feast on with my friends." This is the frustration of a good person, obedient and close to God through a life of faithfulness in the Church, yet who is still struggling to understand what it means to be close to the Father, to truly share one's life with the Father, and that unanswered wants or needs do not mean the Father has stopped loving us.

The mystery of freedom, God's freedom and ours, is at work here. The Father did not cease to love the younger son even in his prodigal sin. But the Father did not run after the son and kidnap him, forcing him to return home to the shared love and holy life of the family. The son had first to accept the truth of his freedom, accepting the gift and then using it in an upright way, to decide freely to "get up" out of the mire of sin, and all the lies and deceit that prop up a sinful life, and to use his own energy and love to walk back to the Father whose love for him was never in doubt.

But what of the older son: did he not also lack love? Yes, he shared the house of the Father and complied with the Father's commands, but yet lacked the love that is the reason for obeying and which enables one to fully and authentically share the life of the Father. He lacked joy because he measured the value of his life only by what he could get, mired in his poverty as he was by listing all of the demands that were never met on his terms.

Every one of us is a son or daughter of God. Every one of us needs to know and to experience the dignity of grace which is the robe the Father places over our shoulders in love. We need the shoes placed on our feet for perseverance in the journey of faith. We need the ring of committed love which the Father places on our fingers as He espouses Himself to us as our God. And all of this is ours in Christ. And Christ is ours here in holy Mass, through the gifts of Word and Sacrament.

But each of us must begin from wherever we find ourselves and in freedom "get up and return to the Father" in particular each week at Sunday Mass. If we have fallen into the mire of grave sin the Father waits to meet us with love in the sacrament of Confession, ready to spread the cloak of grace over our shoulders once again. If we have been measuring our life in terms of unanswered prayers or if we have been thinking that our suffering does not include God or doubting God's presence or caring in our experience of tragedy or death, we need to return and submit ourselves to His loving plan for us no matter how mysterious or uncertain it may seem to our human limitations.

Only God's Word in sacred Scripture, handed down and proclaimed in the Church in particular here at holy Mass, can begin to give context to sin and suffering, to console us with grace and reassure us of God's power and saving love in Christ. Only the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, who truly suffered and died in faithfulness to the Father, can be for us the fullest embrace of the Father in grace, here in His house which is the Church.

The shame and revulsion resulting from sin, which threaten the dignity of the human person, are removed only by the Father, whose embrace of love in Christ is ours every time we arise and return from the experience of self-revulsion resulting from the rejection of human dignity in sin. He waits for us, runs to meet us in Christ and, because He can forgive our sins, restores completely to us once again what was lost through the abuse of our freedom.

The poverty of suffering or of feeling our prayers are unanswered also meets the comfort and faithful love of the Father who gives us the Savior, Christ His Son, to lift us out of doubt and sadness, and to walk with us the road of faith with courage and persevering love.

Praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever. Amen.


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Get Over It

The only person who is ever going to truly be your best friend is a Divine Person, Jesus Christ.

Stop condemning yourself to perpetual disappointment by searching all over the world for something that does not exist in the world.

Only Jesus Christ, Divine Savior, has overcome the world.  Only He can satisfy your desire for a love which cannot be taken away or destroyed by other sinners like you.

Go to Him.  He is waiting patiently for you in Divine love which does not use, or dominate or control.  He will accept you with all your sins and faults and scars.  But He will never leave you the same as He finds you.  He brings change which is new life and light and love.

Praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever.  Amen.


Monday, September 6, 2010

Go Tech! Hello from Suite 214 at FedEx Field

I'm a guest of Bay Electric and Erik Doye, a Navy friend who pilots the company SAAB 340.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Sunday 23C. “Be My Disciple”: At holy Mass we “sit down” and “calculate the cost” of a discipleship which puts the Lord and heaven first

Did you ever meet someone who seemed as if he was constantly saying, “I’m going to do this”, I’m going to do that”, or “I want to do this”, “I want to do that” but when the time came for action he was nowhere to be found? He was probably with a different group of people saying, all over again, “I”ll do this” and I”ll do that”. We call this superficiality. And the consequences can be disastrous for relationships.

When a man and woman say “I do” on their wedding day, they can say so only with the complete trust and love of God that comes through Faith, because it is impossible for them to know on that day just what exactly the future will bring and what will be the demands it will place upon their love and fidelity. But they say “I do” all the same with hearts full of the love and hope that also comes with the grace and gift of faith. But if the day comes that “I do” no longer means coming home at night to the one we have chosen above all others then we place ourselves in an occasion of infidelity to the promise. If the day comes that a spouse is no longer able, as a matter of the will, to say “I love you” and to act on that love then the relationship is in danger of failure.

No human being has ever been happy merely going through the motions of love with an empty and broken heart, although for some this burden has been endured for many years. We have been made for love and a life lived in denial of that truth is a life which does violence to its very self. The God of infinite love and compassion, fully revealed in Christ, knows us best and knows what we truly need to be happy. And He is also Truth itself, and will not tolerate a lie, a falsehood, a sham, a paltry substitute for real love.

God is telling us today that He will not tolerate superficiality because to say one thing and do another is not honest. Actions which do not match words are lacking in integrity. He will not call our lives in love of Him if we say “yes” on the day of our child’s baptism, but then fail to raise that child in the Faith by bringing her to Sunday Mass in accord with God’s command. He will not call it love if we commit a mortal sin and then present ourselves for Holy Communion on Sunday morning without first telling Him we are sorry in the Sacrament of Confession. And he will not call it love if we remain aloof from the communion of life and love with Him in the holy Catholic Church by rejecting His teaching on the sacredness of human life, the truth about marriage, and the dignity of every human person.

But He will never withdraw His love from us. He remains committed in Christ, espousing Himself to us through the life, death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ who, now raised up, continues to draw every human person to Himself. God will never stop loving us, and in that love will always beckon us with the truth, for He cannot deny Himself. God’s love is not superficial: one look at the broken Body of the Lord Jesus Christ, remaining committed on the Cross for us until His last drop of Blood and His last breath, easily silences that erroneous notion.

If our goal is heavenly glory, the happiness that will never end, then God tells us today that we must sit down and calculate the cost to us of choosing that goal. The means of reaching that goal is a way of life which we call “discipleship” and the evidence that we are disciples is the Cross that we carry each day out love for Christ who carried His Cross to the very end for love of us.

Every week, especially at holy Mass each Sunday, we “sit down” with the Lord and with the help of His loving Word and the grace of His Eucharistic Body offered to the end on the Cross and raised up to heaven, we “calculate the cost” once again of placing Him first in our lives, so that, having sought the Kingdom first, we continue to trust that He will surely give us all other things besides. God bless you.

Praised be Jesus Christ.


Friday, September 3, 2010

"I was raised a Catholic "

You have probably heard it said also. And what usually follows a statement like that is "but now I go to such and such 'church' ".

I met a man recently who finished the first statement by saying " ... the Catholic Church has so much tradition" and also admitted that he is aware of the truth claim that Christ founded what we today commonly call "the Catholic Church." But he did not use the word "tradition" in a positive sense. Perhaps he sees it as a weight, a burden, clutter that would confuse or somehow hamper his life of Faith in Christ.

But I would answer that tradition is simply more evidence that Christ truly founded the Church over 2,000 years ago. There simply has to be some effect of being around for that long.

Then also there is need to distinguish, always distinguish. What is meant by tradition? Those things handed by the Apostles from Christ as essential for a life in Christ here and now that leads to salvation on the one hand are surrounded by and handed on by the Church, alive in the Holy Spirit. And the Church is made of people all of whom have made their contributions in the handing on of the graces of the Sacraments, the life of prayer in sacred Liturgy, sacred writings on the Holy Scriptures. And these are all good although some may be non-essential.

In every age there has been a temptation to do what is thought to be a "clearing of the cobwebs" giving vent to the what is a good impulse to get back to the essentials. But it would be a big mistake to fail to understand that the essentials have been with us all along and will never be lost and that we can "get back" to them any time that we like without throwing out in a fit of caprice what we decide has no right to stay.

And the most essential reason for the Church is the One who is the most Essential of all gifts: Jesus Christ who made and keeps this divine promise to His holy Church: "I will be with you always, even until the end of the world". Amen. Alleluia.

Praised be Jesus Christ. Now and forever.


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Benedict Sunday Morning: "O Esca Viatorum"

Our choir is preparing this hymn for the Missa Cantata next Sunday.


Anonymous Seventeenth Century Hymn. Translation: W.H. Shewring.

O esca viatórum,

O panis angelórum, O manna coélitum,

Esuriéntes ciba, Dulcédine non priva

Corda quæréntium, Corda quæréntium.

O lympha, fons amóris,

Qui puro Salvatóris, E corde prófluis

Te sitiéntes pota, Hæc sola nostra vota,

His una súfficis, His una súfficis.

O Jesu, Tuum vultum,

Quem cólimus occúltum, Sub panis spécie,

Fac, ut remóto velo, Post líbera in cælo

Cernámus fácie, Cernámus fácie.

English translation:

O Food of travellers, angels' Bread,

Manna wherewith the blest are fed,

Come nigh, and with Thy sweetness fill

The hungry hearts that seek Thee still.

O fount of love, O well unpriced,

Outpouring from the heart of Christ,

Give us to drink of very Thee,

And all we pray shall answered be.

And bring us to that time and place

When this Thy dear and veiled face

Blissful and glorious shall be seen -

Ah Jesus, with no veil between.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The fallacy of common law or "free" unions.

In a so-called free union, a man and a woman refuse to give juridical and public form to a liaison involving sexual intimacy.

The expression "free union" is fallacious: what can "union" mean when the partners make no commitment to one another, each exhibiting a lack of trust in the other, in himself, or in the future?

The expression covers a number of different situations: concubinage, rejection of marriage as such, or inability to make long-term commitments. All these situations offend against the dignity of marriage; they destroy the very idea of the family; they weaken the sense of fidelity. They are contrary to the moral law. The sexual act must take place exclusively within marriage. Outside of marriage it always constitutes a grave sin and excludes one from sacramental communion.
-- CCC 2390

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