04 December 2008
02 December 2008
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21 November 2008
NEW CANEY, Texas, NOV. 20, 2008 (Zenit.org).- St. Thérèse wrote that she wanted to be a missionary on every continent simultaneously and reach the most remote islands -- now her dream has extended to space flight.
The Carmelite community of New Caney, Texas, enjoys the friendship of Colonel Ron Garan, who was on the May 31-June 14 Discovery shuttle mission.
Before heading into space, Garan had called the women religious to request their prayer for the voyage, and he told them he could take some small item into space on behalf of the community.
The sisters reported that the words of St. Thérèse came to mind: "I have the vocation of an apostle. I would like to travel over the whole earth to preach your name and to plant your glorious cross on infidel soil. But oh, my beloved, one mission would not be enough for me, I would want to preach the Gospel on all five continents simultaneously and even to the most remote isles. I would be a missionary, not for a few years but from the beginning of creation until the consummation of the ages."
The Carmelites gave the astronaut a relic of St. Thérèse for his flight.
Now, they report, she has traveled 5,735,643 miles around the earth for 14 days at 17,057 miles an hour. Meanwhile, the sisters commended the world to her intercession.
The full text of this lecture titled, "Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II: Being True in Body and Soul," can be found in our Documents section or at the link: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/document.php?n=780
Commenting on the results of the recent presidential election, Cardinal Stafford said in his speech that on Election Day "America suffered a cultural earthquake." He went on to note that though Obama and Senator Joe Biden clearly stated their "anti-life agenda" prior to the election, Americans were too excited at the prospect of electing a Black President. Now that he has been chosen, the cardinal predicted, "I foresee the next several years as being among the most divisive in our nation's history."
Cardinal Stafford went on to recall Obama's promises regarding abortion issues. He mentioned July 17, 2007 when the Senator told supporters from Planned Parenthood that "We are not only going to win this election but also we are going to transform this nation...The first thing I will do as President is to sign The Freedom of Choice Act…I put Roe at the center of my lesson plan on reproductive freedom when I taught Constitutional Law...On this issue I will not yield."
"Catholics weep over Barack Obama's words," the cardinal lamented. "We weep over the violence concealed behind his rhetoric and that of Joseph Biden and what appears to be that of the majority of the incoming Congress."
The cardinal's address was hosted by the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family in Washington D.C.
Full Story Click Here
07 November 2008
Catholic News Agency
Young New Yorker leaves police force to become priest
New York, Nov 6, 2008 / 01:34 pm (CNA).- At the age of 25, Nicolas Fernandez had all of the qualities needed to be a great policeman and his future in the force looked promising. However, during his daily work he discovered he needed different weapons to help the “troubled souls” he encountered, so he decided to become a priest.
Born on Staten Island of an Irish mother and a Spanish father, Fernandez has begun his six year-long formation at St. Joseph’s Seminary in Yonkers. He had been serving as a police officer for two years when, inspired by the teachings of John Paul II and the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to New York, he decided to change careers and become a priest.
According to El Nuevo Diario, the young seminarian recalls that when he was a policeman, people went to him with their problems because of the uniform he wore. “Now, they will do so because I’ll be wearing a priest’s cassock,” he said.
Fernandez was a patrolman in Brooklyn and his partner always said he could easily rise to the rank of lieutenant. “But that was the last thing I wanted,” he said.
“My choice for the priesthood was influenced by the discourses and speeches of John Paul II on the culture of death, which includes thousands of murders, suicides, homicides and national situations in which children are being abandoned or are victims of abuse in their homes because of drugs,” Fernandez said.
“For these turbulent souls, I never had an external solution as a policeman. There has to be an interior change, a change of heart and therefore, being a priest is necessary,” he added.
05 November 2008
National Director, Priests for Life
Americans have made a grave mistake in electing Barack Obama to the presidency. Yet America herself remains great and is not a mistake, which is why so many of her citizens will continue, with even greater energy and determination, to defend her founding principles.
The man elected to the Presidency said during the campaign that he does not know when a human being starts to have human rights. How can one govern from that starting point of ignorance? Governing is about protecting human rights; to do it successfully, you have to know where they come from, and when they begin.
The President-elect has already failed that test miserably.
The American people do not share Barack Obama’s extreme and offensive views on abortion. They never have and they never will. The coming four years will see a widening gap between the people and their President on this fundamental issue. As Americans come to know how extreme his position is, the intensity of the struggle to protect these children will only increase.
The pro-life movement has made significant gains in the courts and in the law in these last eight years. For the next four, the movement will work to prevent the erosion of that progress.
It would be a serious mistake for people to think that this election means the pro-life movement has no political power. All politics is local. Political power is about people. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was once told that given the political realities, civil rights legislation would be impossible to pass. “We’ll just have to see about that,” he replied. And the civil rights movement was born, stirring the hearts of the people to lead the nation to the victory of justice.
So it is with our movement. The vast majority of Americans are pro-life. They will fight abortion on the local level, opening pregnancy centers and closing abortion mills, activating their Churches and educating their children, proclaiming the message in the media and demonstrating in the streets. The pro-life movement is winning this battle in the hearts and minds of the American people, as opinion polls show and as the shrinking number of abortion mills and abortion providers prove.
Political races are always a swinging of the pendulum. As soon as you win, you begin to lose, and as soon as you lose, you begin the ascent again to winning. In the next two election cycles (2010 and 2012) the pro-life movement will make up for political ground lost in this one.
It is all right to be disappointed at the end of an election season, but one must never walk away. Amidst disappointment is abiding hope in America, where everything remains possible, and where a new chapter of the pro-life movement has just begun. The efforts that were made, and the sacrifices endured in this election season made a difference, and we will build on that difference to see another day when the work and the ballots of pro-life people will dismantle the Culture of Death. We will keep marching toward that pro-life America we seek, and won’t stop until we get there.
29 October 2008
25 October 2008
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained” (John 20:21-23).
“Reconciliation or “confession” is a sacrament instituted by Jesus Christ in His love and mercy to offer sinners forgiveness for offenses committed against God. At the same time, sinners reconcile with the Church, because it also is wounded by our sins. We know this sacrament by various names: the Sacrament of Penance, Confession, or Reconciliation.
The Early Church Fathers on
The Early Church Fathers taught that Christ passed on His authority to forgive sins to His priests.
Confess your sins in church, and do not go up to your prayer with an evil conscience. This is the way of life. . . , On the Lord's Day gather together, break bread, and give thanks, after confessing your transgressions so that your sacrifice may be pure (Didache 4:14,14:1 [A.D.70]).
The Letter of Barnabas
You shall judge righteously. You shall not make a schism, but you shall pacify those that contend by bringing them together. You shall confess your sins. You shall not go to prayer with an evil conscience. This is the way of light (Letter of Barnabas 19 [A.D. 74]).
Ignatius of Antioch
For as many as are of God and of Jesus Christ are also with the bishop. And as many as shall, in the exercise of penance, return into the unity of the Church, these, too, shall belong to God, that they may live according to Jesus Christ (Letter to the Philadelphians 3 [A.D. 110]).
For where there is division and wrath, God does not dwell. To all them that repent, the Lord grants forgiveness, if they turn in penitence to the unity of God, and to communion with the bishop (ibid. 8).
[The Gnostic disciples of Marcus] have deluded many women. . . Their consciences have been branded as with a hot iron. Some of these women make a public confession, but others are ashamed to do this, and in silence, as if withdrawing from themselves the hope of life of God, they either apostatize entirely or hesitate between two courses (Against Heresies 1:22 [A.D. 189]).
[Regarding confession, some] flee from this work as being an exposure of themselves, or they put it off from day to day. I presume they are more mindful of modesty than of salvation, like those who contract a disease in the more shameful parts of the body and shun making themselves known to the physicians; and thus they perish along with their own bashfulness (Repentance 10:1 [A.D. 203]).
The Church has the power of forgiving sins. This I acknowledge and adjudge (ibid. 21).
[The bishop conducting the ordination of the new bishop shall pray:] God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. . . pour forth now that power which comes from you, from your Royal Spirit, which you gave to your beloved Son, Jesus Christ, and which he bestowed upon his holy apostles. . . and grant this your servant, whom you have chosen for the episcopate, [the power] to feed your holy flock and to serve without blame as your high priest, ministering night and day to propitiate unceasingly before your face and to offer to you the gifts of your holy Church, and by the Spirit of the high priesthood to have the authority to forgive sins, in accord with your command (Apostolic Tradition 3 [A.D. 215]).
[A filial method of forgiveness], albeit hard and laborious [is] the remission of sins through penance, when the sinner . . . does not shrink from declaring his sin to a priest of the Lord and from seeking medicine, after the manner of him who say, "I said, to the Lord, I will accuse myself of my iniquity" (Homilies in Leviticus 2:4 [A.D. 248]).
The Apostle [Paul] likewise bears witness and says: "Whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord "[I Cor. 11:27]. But [the impenitent] spurn and despise all these warnings; before their sins are expiated, before they have made a confession of their crime, before their conscience has been purged in the ceremony and at: the hand of the priest . . . they do violence to his body and blood, and with their hands and mouth they sin against the Lord more than when they denied him (The Lapsed 15:1-3 (A.D. 251]).
Of how much greater faith and salutary fear are they who . . . confess their sins to the priests of God in a straightforward manner and in sorrow, making an open declaration of conscience. . . I beseech you, brethren; let everyone who has sinned confess his sin while he is still in this world, while his confession is still admissible, while the satisfaction and remission made through the priests are still pleasing before the Lord (ibid. 28).
Sinners may do penance For a set time, and according to the rules of discipline come to public confession, and by imposition of the hand of the bishop and clergy receive the right of Communion. [But now some] with their time [of penance] still unfulfilled . . . they are admitted to Communion, and their name is presented and while the penitence is not yet performed, confession is not yet made, the hands of the bishop and clergy are not yet laid upon them, the Eucharist is given to them; although it is written, "Whosoever shall eat the bread and drink the cup of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord" [I Cor. 11:27] (Letters 9:2 [A.D. 253])
Priests have received a power which God has given neither to angels nor to archangels. It was said to them: "Whatsoever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever you shall loose, shall be loosed." Temporal rulers have indeed the power of binding: but they can only bind the body. Priests, in contrast, can bind with a bond which pertains to the soul itself and transcends the very heavens. Did [God] not give them all the powers of heaven? "Whose sins you shall forgive," he says, "they are forgiven them; whose sins you shall retain, they are retained." The Father has given all judgment to the Son. And now I see the Son placing all this power in the hands of men [Matt. 10:40; John 20:21-23]. They are raised to this dignity as if they were already gathered up to heaven (The Priesthood 3:5 [A.D. 387]).
"Senator, thank you for your commitment to life… I'd like to give you something. Here is a Miraculous Medal blessed by Pope Benedict XVI."
October 18, 2008
Eduardo Verastegui, producer and lead actor of the 2007 American film Bella, endorsed Sen. John McCain on October 15th in Colorado.
On October 17th, Verastegui was invited to Miami to speak at a rally Senator John McCain, Florida Governor Charlie Crist, Sen. Mel Martinez, Florida’s former Governor Jeb Bush and Sen. Joe Lieberman.
Verastegui said, "I am endorsing Sen. McCain for President because of his commitments to end abortion, to protect traditional marriage, to select conservative judges and to pass a just immigration reform."
Verastegui reminded the audience that more than 45 million babies have been killed by abortion in America since Roe v. Wade in 1973.
"We need to put an end to abortion, and political candidates play a very important role in this matter. More than 200,000 Latino babies are killed by abortion each year in the USA. This holocaust must end. That's why we must elect Senator McCain. He will defend and protect the most innocent of his country, the beautiful babies in their mothers' wombs."
After the rally, Eduardo met with Sen. McCain, saying, "Senator, thank you for your commitment to life… I'd like to give you something. Here is a Miraculous Medal blessed by Pope Benedict XVI."
Sen. McCain said, "Thank you so much!" Then Sen. McCain reached into his pocket and took out a Blessed Mother Teresa medal that he always carries with him. He said, "Eduardo, now I am going to keep both of these with me everywhere I go." Verastegui also gave a Miraculous Medal to Mrs. McCain.
"I was touched when I found out that the McCains adopted one of their daughters from Mother Teresa's orphanage in India. I think there is nothing more beautiful than to give a child a home, but not only a home, but a family who will love them and sacrifice for them. I hope one day that I can do the same."
Verastegui believes that unless Americans elect a president who will defend fundamental human rights, no one can expect a sound economy, health care or national security… including immigration reform.
Verastegui said, "I can make hundreds of movies like Bella, and they will hopefully save many babies, but it's never going to be as powerful as a president nominating judges who observe constitutional law. After all, we are just one pro-life Supreme Court Justice away from overturning Roe v. Wade."
"We can never vote for any candidate that supports abortion."
Barack Hussein Obama is pro-abortion and he has promised to codify the Roe v. Wade decision by signing the proposed Freedom of Choice Act, which would strip Americans of their right to protect innocent human lives, even from the savagery of partial-birth abortion, during which the abortionist pulls a baby from his mother's womb, stabs his skull and vacuums out his brains. This is inhumane. (May God mercy on us.)
Verastegui also emphasizes McCain's commitment to protect traditional marriage. Unlike Obama, McCain supports the right of states to legally define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
Verastegui says, "I'm very grateful to this wonderful Country for opening the door to my dreams... this Nation has been such an amazing blessing in my life, this nation has been an amazing blessing to all immigrants - including the entire Latino community - precisely because of leaders like Senator John McCain who sacrificed his life to serve his Country so we can all enjoy the freedoms that make America so great."
Sen. McCain has spent his entire life fighting for a cause bigger than himself, since he was a prisoner in Vietnam, until today. He has always used his talents to serve others, "He always puts people first, and that is the first reason why I'm supporting him, he is a selfless leader who has incredible character and integrity, and that is the most important quality our next president should possess."
Another example of John McCain's strong character and leadership is his commitment to immigration reform. Senator McCain introduced a very important immigration bill called the "McCain- Kennedy" bill.
My question is this, "Where was Obama when this important bill was moving through the Congress?" Obama abandoned the Latino community because he did not want it to hurt his political career. On the contrary senator McCain did not run for political coverage, he risked his political career and stuck in there with us just like he did with his fellow Americans in Vietnam. This is one of many examples of his incredible character and this is a man who is willing to sacrifice his political career to put his country and others first.
"Barack Hussein Obama speaks about 'change,' but what change are we talking about? Fidel Castro spoke about change in Cuba. Hugo Chavez talks about change in Venezuela, and other charismatic, well-spoken dictators promised change, but look what happened to their countries."
Obama doesn't represent the values of our Latino community. He has never done anything for us. He doesn't know who we are.
Senator McCain, however, not only knows who we are but he cares about us. Senator McCain is the real change, a real American hero and he is the leader we need to change and improve the direction of this incredible country. "I ask all of you to give him your vote because we all know he has, and he will, give his life for us and this great nation."
"Senator McCain, our Latino community is very grateful for everything you have done for us. We trust in you and we will support you. You cared about us, and you have proven it. Thank you!"
In closing, Verastegui says, "The right to life is the most important thing to me, so I want to do whatever I can to support the best candidates. That's why I support John McCain and Sarah Palin."
For more information, see Eduardo Verastegui's new English and Spanish videos about the sanctity of life, and Obama's pro-abortion agenda at:
21 October 2008
"Judgment Day is on its way," the bishop wrote in the St. Louis Review. "We cannot stop it. We don't know when it will come, but just as surely as the sun rises daily, the Son of Man will come when we least expect."
"For many, this coming election may very well be judgment day, for this election will measure us," he continued, referencing Christ's words of judgment in Matthew 10:32-33:
"Everyone who acknowledges Me before others, I will acknowledge before My heavenly Father. But whoever denies Me before others, I will deny before my heavenly Father."
Bishop Herman asked the faithful to consider what kind of witness they give to God when they enter the voting booth on Election Day.
"The decision I make in the voting booth will reflect my value system. If I value the good of the economy and my current lifestyle more than I do the right to life itself, then I am in trouble," the bishop wrote.
He cited Pope John Paul II's apostolic exhortation Christifideles laici, which said outcry on human rights is "false and illusory" if the right to life is not defended to the maximum.
"The right of our children to be protected from destruction is greater than my right to a thriving economy," Bishop Herman continued.
"My desire for a good economy cannot justify my voting to remove all current restrictions on abortion. My desire to end the war in Iraq cannot justify my voting to remove all current restrictions on abortion."
Bishop Herman looked to the spiritual dimension as well.
"Those 47 million children our nation destroyed are still living. We have destroyed their bodies, but their souls are still alive. When our Lord comes again, they may very well be there to judge us. Even worse, Jesus tells us that whatever we do to the least of our brethren, we do to Him. We would truly shudder if we heard the words, 'I was in my mother's womb but you took my life!'
"It is quite possible that we might see these children, but, depending upon the choices we have made, we may very well be separated from them by a great chasm which cannot be crossed, much as the rich man who ignored Lazarus, the poor man, during his lifetime here on earth but was separated from him after death."
Bishop Herman said the "deepest problem" with many Catholics is that they have become accustomed to rationalizing away a "life of sinful actions" headed in the wrong direction.
"My goal is not to engage you in some political party way but to engage you with our Savior and His teachings. We need to constantly challenge our accustomed behaviors in the light of the Gospel," he wrote.
He said the issues of the coming election could help people learn about the teachings of the Catholic Church and to use the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
"When we do this, both we and the heavens will be filled with joy!" he asserted.
"Judgment Day is on its way," he repeated, encouraging people to pray the family Rosary daily between now and Election Day.
In a previous column for the St. Louis Review, Bishop Herman urged Catholics not to put politics ahead of the Fifth commandment, "Thou shalt not kill."
"Save our children!" he wrote. "More than anything else, this election is about saving our children or killing our children. This life issue is the overriding issue facing each of us in this coming election. All other issues, including the economy, have to take second place to the issue of life."
29 August 2008
Three Quotes from Sarah Palin that I love:
"We've both been very vocal about being pro-life, we understand that every innocent life has wonderful potential."
WND, August 29, 2008
"Children are the most precious and promising ingredient in this mixed-up world you live in down there on Earth. Trig is no different, except he has one extra chromosome."
MSNBC, August 29, 2008
"I'm looking at him right now, and I see perfection," Palin said. "Yeah, he has an extra chromosome. I keep thinking, in our world, what is normal and what is perfect?"
Dakota Voice, August 29, 2008
Palin a ‘Natural Choice for Catholics’
Fidelis Urges Catholic Support for Pro-Life, Pro-Marriage Ticket
August 29, 2008
CHICAGO – John McCain’s decision to pick a pro-family and pro-life running mate will make the McCain-Palin ticket a ‘natural’ for Catholic voters, said Brian Burch, President of Fidelis Political Action.
“A presidential candidate’s first major executive decision is selecting a running mate and John McCain’s unexpected choice of Sarah Palin inspires real confidence that a McCain Administration will be a strong ally in the pro-life and pro-family cause,” said Burch. “Governor Palin is the most pro-life vice presidential candidate ever to run. We are thrilled with this choice.”
“John McCain and Sarah Palin have matched their public defense of life with their own personal commitment to life,” said Burch.
Burch noted that earlier this year Palin made news with the birth of her fifth child, whom she welcomed into life despite a pre-natal diagnosis that revealed the child had Down Syndrome. The governor made national headlines when she proclaimed: “I’m looking at him right now, and I see perfection. Yeah, he has an extra chromosome. I keep thinking, in our world, what is normal and what is perfect?”
John McCain also matched his 20-year pro-life voting record with his family’s own commitment to life. John and Cindy McCain brought two orphaned girls from Bangladesh to receive medical treatment in the United States. The McCain family adopted one of them, Bridget. McCain’s friend adopted the other girl.
“In both cases, we see true pro-family leaders. They stand up strong for life in the halls of power but also live the message of life in their families,” said Burch.
“The inspired choice of Sarah Palin highlights the radical views of Obama-Biden on life and marriage. Catholic voters couldn’t have a starker contrast this November,’” said Burch.
“Catholics, like most Americans, are cautiously optimistic that the troop surge has calmed Iraq. Catholics will naturally turn their attention to which candidate will stand strong on behalf of families,” said Burch.
“Barack Obama is not that candidate. Barack Obama wants to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. His first act as President has nothing to do with energy or Iraq. He wants to enshrine the right to abortion in federal law by signing the Freedom of Choice Act,” said Burch.
“Barack Obama is so extreme on abortion that he thinks that babies who survive an abortion and are miraculously born alive should be refused food and water and be left to die,” said Burch.
“John McCain, together with Sarah Palin, is a natural choice for Catholics. McCain has a strong pro-life record and he has made a commitment to selecting judges who will respect the Constitution. McCain has even bucked his own party on immigration and torture. We think these positions align John McCain closer to Catholic teaching and we are proud to stand with him as he prepares for a very difficult election ahead,” said Burch.
“The stakes of this election are too large to ignore. Abortion supporters are awaiting the opportunity to eliminate years of progress on pro-life legislation by electing a President who supports abortion. There are six justices on the Supreme Court over the age of 68, and granting President Obama the opportunity to fill possible vacancies would be disastrous. America needs the experienced leadership of John McCain and Sarah Palin.
15 August 2008
THE ASSUMPTION OF MARY: A BELIEF SINCE APOSTOLIC TIMES
Father Clifford Stevens
The Assumption is the oldest feast day of Our Lady, but we don't know how it first came to be celebrated.
Its origin is lost in those days when Jerusalem was restored as a sacred city, at the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine (c. 285-337). By then it had been a pagan city for two centuries, ever since Emperor Hadrian (76-138) had leveled it around the year 135 and rebuilt it as
For 200 years, every memory of Jesus was obliterated from the city, and the sites made holy by His life, death and Resurrection became pagan temples.
After the building of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in 336, the sacred sites began to be restored and memories of the life of Our Lord began to be celebrated by the people of Jerusalem. One of the memories about his mother centered around the "Tomb of Mary," close to Mount Zion, where the early Christian community had lived.
On the hill itself was the "Place of Dormition," the spot of Mary's "falling asleep," where she had died. The "Tomb of Mary" was where she was buried.
At this time, the "Memory of Mary" was being celebrated. Later it was to become our feast of the Assumption.
For a time, the "Memory of Mary" was marked only in Palestine, but then it was extended by the emperor to all the churches of the East. In the seventh century, it began to be celebrated in Rome under the title of the "Falling Asleep" ("Dormitio") of the Mother of God.
Soon the name was changed to the "Assumption of Mary," since there was more to the feast than her dying. It also proclaimed that she had been taken up, body and soul, into heaven.
That belief was ancient, dating back to the apostles themselves. What was clear from the beginning was that there were no relics of Mary to be venerated, and that an empty tomb stood on the edge of Jerusalem near the site of her death. That location also soon became a place of pilgrimage. (Today, the Benedictine Abbey of the Dormition of Mary stands on the spot.)
At the Council of Chalcedon in 451, when bishops from throughout the Mediterranean world gathered in Constantinople, Emperor Marcian asked the Patriarch of Jerusalem to bring the relics of Mary to Constantinople to be enshrined in the capitol. The patriarch explained to the emperor that there were no relics of Mary in Jerusalem, that "Mary had died in the presence of the apostles; but her tomb, when opened later . . . was found empty and so the apostles concluded that the body was taken up into heaven."
In the eighth century, St. John Damascene was known for giving sermons at the holy places in Jerusalem. At the Tomb of Mary, he expressed the belief of the Church on the meaning of the feast: "Although the body was duly buried, it did not remain in the state of death, neither was it dissolved by decay. . . . You were transferred to your heavenly home, O Lady, Queen and Mother of God in truth."
All the feast days of Mary mark the great mysteries of her life and her part in the work of redemption. The central mystery of her life and person is her divine motherhood, celebrated both at Christmas and a week later (Jan. 1) on the feast of the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. The Immaculate Conception (Dec. 8) marks the preparation for that motherhood, so that she had the fullness of grace from the first moment of her existence, completely untouched by sin. Her whole being throbbed with divine life from the very beginning, readying her for the exalted role of mother of the Savior.
The Assumption completes God's work in her since it was not fitting that the flesh that had given life to God himself should ever undergo corruption. The Assumption is God's crowning of His work as Mary ends her earthly life and enters eternity. The feast turns our eyes in that direction, where we will follow when our earthly life is over.
The feast days of the Church are not just the commemoration of historical events; they do not look only to the past. They look to the present and to the future and give us an insight into our own relationship with God. The Assumption looks to eternity and gives us hope that we, too, will follow Our Lady when our life is ended.
The prayer for the feast reads: "All-powerful and ever-living God: You raised the sinless Virgin Mary, mother of your Son, body and soul, to the glory of heaven. May we see heaven as our final goal and come to share her glory."
In 1950, in the Apostolic Constitution
With that, an ancient belief became Catholic doctrine and the Assumption was declared a truth revealed by God.
Father Clifford Stevens writes from Tintern Monastery in Oakdale, Neb.
This article was taken from the July-August 1996 issue of "Catholic Heritage". To subscribe write Our Sunday Visitor, Inc., 200 Noll Plaza, Huntington, IN 46750-9957 or call 1-800-348-2440. Published bimonthly at a charge of $18.00 per year.
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09 August 2008
18 July 2008
13 July 2008
DARWIN, Australia (AP) -- Pope Benedict XVI has arrived in Sydney to lead hundreds of thousands of pilgrims at the Roman Catholic church's youth festival.
Pope Benedict XVI is introduced to members of Australia Catholic Church by Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.
The pope was greeted Sunday by officials including Prime Minister Kevin Rudd on the tarmac of a military air base on Sydney's outskirts, after a flight from the Vatican of more than 20 hours and a refueling stop in the northern city of Darwin.
Benedict, 81, will rest for three days at a retreat in Sydney before joining the World Youth Day festival starting Thursday.
Benedict told reporters during the flight that while in Australia he wants to help heal wounds caused by the clergy sexual abuse scandal.
He was also asked during his flight about climate change following discussions on the environment during this month's Group of Eight summit in Japan.
There is a need to "wake up consciences," Benedict responded. "We have to give impulse to rediscovering our responsibility and to finding an ethical way to change our way of life."
Benedict said politicians and experts must be "capable of responding to the great ecological challenge and to be up to the task of this challenge."
"We have our responsibilities toward creation," Benedict said, stressing, however, that he had no intention of weighing in on technical or political questions swirling around climate change.
Benedict said he would also address the problem of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy. He reiterated his view that sexual abuse is "incompatible with the behavior" required of priests.
At the start of his U.S. pilgrimage, Benedict had said he was "deeply ashamed" of the abuse scandal and pledged to work to make sure pedophiles do not become priests.
Benedict said that during the 10-day visit to Australia he would work for "healing and reconciliation with the victims" of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy there "just as I did in the United States" earlier this year.
Clergy abuse support groups in Australia have demanded that Benedict apologize during his visit for the abuse they suffered. The exact number of victims of clergy abuse in Australia is not known, though activists say they number in the thousands.
Benedict acknowledged that the Church in the West was "in crisis" but insisted it was not in decline. "I am an optimist" about its future, he said.
The Australia pilgrimage is the longest in his three-year-old papacy and will test the pontiff's stamina.
Although aides say the pope is in fine health, the Vatican appeared to be taking no chances to ensure Benedict is fit for World Youth Day, canceling a weekly public audience this past Wednesday and most other meetings to give him as much rest as possible.
After he succeeded John Paul three years ago, Benedict said he doubted he would make many long trips. But invitations keep coming in from world leaders and officials of his global 1-billion member flock.
He visited Brazil last year, made a pilgrimage to the United States in April and will travel to France in September.
Benedict will be greeted at Sydney Harbor Thursday by a group of Aborigines and other young people from the Pacific Basin and deliver what is expected to be an important address. In 2001, John Paul issued a formal apology to the indigenous peoples of Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific islands for injustices perpetrated by Catholic missionaries.
Australia's senior Catholic leader, Cardinal George Pell has been accused of badly handling a sexual abuse claim and this week agreed to reopen investigations into the 25-year-old case.
27 June 2008
Governor Schwarzenegger, who was introduced by former San Francisco mayor Willie Brown, addressed the CHA audience to congratulate Lloyd Dean's assumption of the association's chairmanship, the California Catholic Daily reports.
The governor said he was excited that Dean had become CHA chairman, praising his "tremendous work" in California as leader of Catholic Healthcare West (CHW).
"And, man, he's an action hero, I can tell you that," said Schwarzenegger, a former action movie star, who said Dean had balanced the deeply troubled finances of CHW after only two years.
Lloyd Dean, the governor said, had helped assemble "an unprecedented and historic coalition of hospitals, doctors, insurers, patients' groups, business groups, and labor groups" to support Schwarzenegger's health care plan, which he said is based upon shared responsibility among employers, healthcare providers, insurers, individuals, and government.
Schwarzenegger said that California's uninsured population is a "moral crisis," saying 6.7 Californians are uninsured, including one million children.
The governor said he can implement his health care program with the help of CHA members.
"And I know that, with your help, we can do it," he said. "And even if it takes praying 20 rosaries every day, I will be on my knees praying the 20 rosaries – but we are going to get the job done!"
23 June 2008
22 June 2008
By Nancy Badertscher
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 06/22/08
Nearby parking lots were overflowing, and the corridors of the Georgia International Convention Center in College Park were jammed Saturday as about 30,000 Roman Catholics gathered for the second and final day of the 13th Eucharistic Congress.
The two days of teaching, preaching, music and worship were a hallmark event for the Archdiocese of Atlanta and the 750,000 Catholics who attend its 100 missions and churches.
John Mbuinga, a lifelong Catholic who lives in Decatur, was attending for the first time and was glad to be with others who share his devotion to the Eucharist, Mass and the Virgin Mary. "We [Catholics] don't make a big noise, but we have big numbers," he said.
Started by the archdiocese in 1996, the congress seeks to ensure that Catholics don't lose their respect for the Eucharist, an ecclesiastic term for Holy Communion.
The theme of this year's event, which brought together converts, so-called cradle Catholics, scholars and clergy, was, "I Am the Living Bread." Programs were offered to participants in multiple languages, a recognition of the church's growing diversity.
On the issues facing the Catholic Church and all faiths in America, Helen M. Alvare said, "A big challenge is the marriage and family crisis —- not just because it's internal, but it's also external to the United States. It has what I call tentacles.
"Without a solid marriage and family culture, society really is in big trouble," said Alvare, an associate professor at George Mason University School of Law in Arlington, Va. "And particularly among the poor and among immigrants, their marriage and family life is falling apart at a faster rate than people with more money.
"It's not just a sex issue. It's not a 'This is where you follow Catholic doctrine' issue. It's more, are you going to be able to fulfill the meaning and purpose of your life, which is loving care for other persons who are given to you? And are we going to be able to build a strong society, not just for Catholics, but for the whole country?"
Tom Peterson, president of the nonprofit organization Catholics Come Home, said, "The biggest problem facing the Church, and Christianity in general, is the world doesn't think we need God. We have become too smart for our own britches.
"We believe with our intellect and our money, we can do what we want. We are happy. We are wealthy, and we don't need God. Isn't that the same as the original sin of Adam and Eve, where through our pride we become our own gods?" Peterson asked.
"I think it's very important that not only Catholics, but the larger Christian community as a whole, focus on becoming more humble, praying for humility and praying to know and do God's will," he said. "We don't know what we're missing.
"So many people are starving for Jesus in their life. They just don't know they're starving for it. They've been deceived. The world has gotten in their face, and it's distracted them. But they know they're not happy down deep. As St. Augustine said: 'Our hearts are restless until they rest in God.'"
Last Edited: Saturday, 21 Jun 2008, 10:49 PM EDT
Created: Saturday, 21 Jun 2008, 10:49 PM EDT
ATLANTA (MyFox Atlanta) – Metro Atlanta Catholics celebrated a spiritual recharge Saturday after the Atlanta Archdiocese's annual Eucharistic Congress.
Atlanta Catholics were also rejoicing over their numbers while dealing with changing times.
Church leaders said this weekend's events meant good news as they pointed to huge turnouts, which keep getting bigger and more diverse.
Two days of enthusiastic celebration weren't enough to overwhelm Catholics like Terry Fontaine of McDonough.
"Seeing the body of Christ come in and people realizing what it all means, it's just amazing," Fontaine said.
Leaders of the Archdiocese of Atlanta were also rejoicing over the numbers. They reported that over 30,000 people attended the 13th annual Eucharistic Congress, a sign of a following that has become robust in Georgia, but one that is also changing.
"Other dioceses in the North, they are shrinking. The numbers are less now, but we are growing," said Monsignor Luis Zaramaia, Vicar General Archdiocese of Atlanta.
A series of talks and meetings were set up for the metro area's growing population of Spanish and Vietnamese speakers and was very conscious of the concentration of young people.
"I really felt a connection there, even though I am a teen," said Anna Fontaine.
The celebration will continue Sunday after the congress wraps and the Catholic New Media celebration will focus on the role new media is playing in faith.
"There's hundreds of blogs. There's hundreds of Catholic podcasts and there's this huge community," said Greg Willits of Starquest Production Network.
Catholic leaders said they are getting a big boost from the area's large immigrant population and from Catholics who have simply relocated from other states into Georgia.
This story content provided by FOX 5 Atlanta WAGA
15 June 2008
By Wolf Blitzer
It was back in April when Pope Benedict XVI came to Washington. The Rev. David O'Connell, the president of The Catholic University of America, was hosting the pope for a large meeting with bishops.
In April, Tim Russert, right, was a guest of Pope Benedict XVI, along with Wolf Blitzer, at left in blue tie.
Before that meeting, the Vatican said O'Connell could invite 10 guests to a small session with Benedict. Tim Russert and I were the only journalists on that special guest list. We were both thrilled, but Tim, a devout Catholic with deep roots in the Church, was very excited.
While we were waiting for the pope to arrive, he was like a little boy. He had his rosaries in his hand, ready for the pope to bless them. This was not the Tim Russert whom we all saw and admired as he grilled presidents, prime ministers, kings and mere politicians. When the pope finally approached him, he could barely utter a word. This was a special moment, and he knew it.
For those of us who knew him for a long time, we certainly could appreciate what he was enjoying. His roots in Buffalo, New York, were deep and very humble. His dad, "Big Russ," was a sanitation worker who had often worked two shifts to make ends meet. Russert knew where he was coming from, and as a result never complained about his own hard work for NBC News.
The same passion that he brought to covering politics and to his religious faith, he also brought to sports. He loved the Washington Wizards and the Washington Nationals, but he really loved the Buffalo Bills. How often would he end "Meet the Press" with the words "Go Bills." All of us Bills fans had to endure four straight Super Bowl losses in the early 1990s, but few suffered as deeply as Tim. We often spoke about those days. I think he remembered every play of every game.
He was a unique talent and a wonderful man. I feel especially sad that he died during this Father's Day weekend. It was such a special time for him, given his close relationship with Luke, his son, who just graduated from Boston College, and with "Big Russ."
We will miss him. My deepest condolences to Luke, Big Russ, his wife, Marueen, and his entire family.
14 June 2008
The Sydney archbishop today launched a global Catholic social networking website based on the models of MySpace and Facebook.
Xt3.com - representing "Christ in the third millennium" - aims to connect young Catholics before, during and after next month's World Youth Day (WYD) in Sydney.
Cardinal Pell showed off his personal Xt3.com page to WYD participants and media.
He admitted to being a latecomer to the internet but said there was a need for the church to have a serious web presence.
"Whatever about my ignorance on this area (the internet), it's more than balanced by my recognition of its importance, and my determination that representatives of the church be actively presented in this area," Cardinal Pell said.
He said the site had given him a fresh perspective on the internet.
One of the site's founders, Robert Toone, said Xt3.com could also provide a useful tool for dialogue between faiths - one of the stated aims of Pope Benedict XVI's upcoming visit to Australia.
"I think it's a wonderful opportunity to break down some of the barriers that may exist," he said.
WYD co-ordinator Bishop Anthony Fisher also highlighted this potential.
"All sorts of young people will come in and out of this site ... they won't necessarily be Catholics or high-octane Catholics," he said.
"I'm pleased too that I have been persuaded to come online," he said.
"Of course, I invite you all to come online and become one of my friends."
Via The Australian.
31 May 2008
26 May 2008
Sydney, May 23, 2008 / 04:07 pm (CNA).- Her name is Sophie Delezio, and at eight years old she has already miraculously survived two serious accidents. In spite of suffering burns over 85% of her body, losing both her legs, several fingers and her right ear, she never stopped fighting. This Australian girl has been chosen to be one of World Youth Day 2008’s ambassadors.
At the young age of 3, Sophie was badly injured when a car crashed into her pre-school, trapping her under the burning vehicle. Then in 2006 she was hit by a car as she was crossing the road in her wheelchair.
The story of Sophie is known throughout Australia, as her two accidents led to several national campaigns and the entire country followed her condition for several months.
The Delezio family is convinced that Sophie overcame her grave condition thanks to the intercession of Blessed Mary MacKillop, the Australian nun who is one of the ten patrons of WYD Sydney 2008.
The organizers of WYD have named Sophie ambassador of the event that will take place July 15-20.
“It’s a pleasure for us to be a part of WYD. It’s a way of thanking God and the Church. We have lived through difficult times. Our child was in the hands of doctors and we couldn’t do anything else but pray. We knew there were millions of people praying in Australia for Sophie and for other children,” said Ron, Sophie’s father.
“Faith in Christ and in the Church has given us the strength to keep going and gave Sophie hope in the future” he added.
22 May 2008
O Holy Patroness of those in need, St. Rita, whose pleadings before thy Divine Lord are almost irresistible, who for thy lavishness in granting favors hast been called the Advocate of the Hopeless and even of the Impossible; St. Rita, so humble, so pure, so mortified, so patient and of such compassionate love for thy Crucified Jesus that thou couldst obtain from Him whatsoever thou askest, on account of which all confidently have recourse to thee, expecting, if not alwavs relief, at least comfort; be propitious to our petition, showing thy power with God on behalf of thy suppliant; be lavish to us, as thou hast been in so many wonderful cases, for the greater glory of God, for the spreading of thine own devotion, and for the consolation of those who trust in thee. We promise, if our petition is granted, to glorify, thee by making known thy favor, to bless and sing thy praises forever. Relying then upon thy merits and power before the Sacred Heart of Jesus, we pray: (here mention your request).
Obtain for us our request
By the singular merits of thy childhood,
Bv thy perfect union with the Divine Will,
By thy heroic sufferings during thy married life,
By the consolation thou didst experience at the conversion of thy husband,
By the sacrifice of thy children rather than see them grievously offend God,
By thy miraculous entrance into the convent,
By thy severe penances and thrice daily bloody scourgings,
By the suffering caused by the wound thou didst receive from the thorn of thy Crucified Savior,
By the divine love which consumed thy heart,
By that remarkable devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, on which alone thou didst exist for 4 years,
By the happiness with which thou didst part from thy trials to join thy Divine Spouse,
By the perfect example thou gavest to people of every state of life.
Pray for us, 0 holy St. Rita,
that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray: O God, Who in Thine infinite tenderness hast vouchsafed to regard the prayer of Thy servant, Blessed Rita, and dost grant to her supplication that which is impossible to human foresight, skill and efforts, in reward of her compassionate love and firm reliance on Thy promise, have pity on our adversity and succor us in our calamities, that the unbeliever may know Thou art the recompense of the humble, the defense of the helpless, and the strength of those who trust in Thee, through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.
13 May 2008
Pastor John Hagee sent a letter today [click here] to Catholic League president Bill Donohue that effectively ends the dispute the two men have had. Donohue comments as follows:
“After weeks of meeting with various Catholic leaders, and accessing scholarly literature on Catholic-Jewish relations, Pastor John Hagee has demonstrated an improved understanding of the Catholic Church and its history. In his letter to me, Hagee says, ‘I want to express my deep regret for any comments that Catholics have found hurtful.’ He specifically cites his emphasis of ‘the darkest chapters in the history of Catholic and Protestant relations with the Jews,’ and has pledged to provide a more complete and balanced portrayal going forward that will not reinforce mischaracterizations of the Catholic Church. And while he stresses that his invocation of terms like ‘apostate church’ and the ‘great whore’ were never meant by him to describe the Catholic Church, he acknowledges that anti-Catholics have long employed such language.
“The tone of Hagee’s letter is sincere. He wants reconciliation and he has achieved it. Indeed, the Catholic League welcomes his apology. What Hagee has done takes courage and quite frankly I never expected him to demonstrate such sensitivity to our concerns. But he has done just that. Now Catholics, along with Jews, can work with Pastor Hagee in making interfaith relations stronger than ever. Whatever problems we had before are now history. This case is closed.”
Taken from AmericanCatholic.org
Between May 13 and October 13, 1917, three Portuguese children received apparitions of Our Lady at Cova da Iria, near Fatima, a city 110 miles north of Lisbon. (See February 20 entry for Blessed Jacinta and Francisco Marto). Mary asked the children to pray the rosary for world peace, for the end of World War I, for sinners and for the conversion of Russia.
Mary gave the children three secrets. Since Francisco died in 1919 and Jacinta the following year, Lucia, who later became a Carmelite nun, revealed the first secret in 1927, concerning devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The second secret was a vision of hell.
Pope John Paul II directed the Holy See's Secretary of State to reveal the third secret in 2000; it spoke of a 'bishop in white' who was shot by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows into him. Many people linked this to the assassination attempt against Pope John Paul II in St. Peter's Square on May 13, 1981.
The feast of Our Lady of Fatima was approved by the local bishop in 1930; it was added to the Church's worldwide calendar in 2002. Sister Lucia died in 2005 at the age of 97.
The message of Fatima is simple: Pray. Unfortunately, some people—not Sister Lucia—have distorted these revelations, making them into an apocalyptic event for which they are now the only reliable interpreters. They have, for example, claimed that Mary's request that the world be consecrated to her has been ignored. Sister Lucia has agreed that Pope John Paul II's public consecration in St. Peter's Square on March 25, 1984, fulfilled Mary's request. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith prepared a June 26, 2000, document explaining the “third secret” (available at www.vatican.va).
Mary is perfectly honored when people generously imitate her response “Let it be done to me as you say” (Luke 1:38). Mary can never be seen as a rival to Jesus or to the Church's teaching authority, as exercised by the college of bishops united with the bishop of Rome.
“Throughout history there have been supernatural apparitions and signs which go to the heart of human events and which, to the surprise of believers and non-believers alike, play their part in the unfolding of history. These manifestations can never contradict the content of faith, and must therefore have their focus in the core of Christ's proclamation: the Father's love which leads men and women to conversion and bestows the grace required to abandon oneself to him with filial devotion. This too is the message of Fatima which, with its urgent call to conversion and penance, draws us to the heart of the Gospel” (The Message of Fatima, Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, June 26, 2000).
12 May 2008
May 11, 2008 at 12:37 pm · Filed under Family and Kids, Holidays/Feast Days
Pentecost is our anniversary into the Catholic Church. Today I wept again as I remembered God's mercy and faithfulness as he brought us into the fullness of the Catholic Church. Our past as Protestants was like a nursemaid that brought us all the way home to the Church. As a Jew is considered a fullfilled Jew by becoming a Christian, I am now a fulfilled Christian by becoming a Catholic.
At the altar of a Catholic Church 14 years ago some of us were baptized, all of us received confirmation (except little Emily who was only 2 years old at the time), and we received the Body and Blood of our Lord for the first time. Needless to say we were all in tears. We still have the same priest and he gave us his blessing again today on our "birthday" and I was again in tears. Thanks Fr. Ed Fride.
Today as I walked up the isle with my faithful wife Janet and our daughter Emily (now 15) I was again overcome with emotion. "Thank you Lord for making me a Catholic — and my whole family! As I present this bread and wine to you and it is placed on your altar as an offering, so I give all my life, my thoughts, my family, my time, my talents, my failings, my achievement, my ALL to you. Please take it and turn it into yourself. Mold us into saints and a family that brings glory to you!"
When we came into the Church our family numbered six (Janet, myself, Cindy, Jesse, Charlotte and little Emily). Today our family numbers fourteen (son-in-law Ben with Dominic, Damian, and Gianna; daughter-in-law Anna with Joshua, Maria Faustina, and Samuel)–and we just found out another one on the way for Ben and Cindy. Look what God got started :-) and what a great day to celebrate.
Steve Ray will be one of the featured speakers at this year's Eucharistic Congress in Atlanta, Georgia - click here for more information.
07 May 2008
The month of May is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. May 1 through May 11 fall within the liturgical season of Easter, which is represented by the liturgical color white — the color of light, a symbol of joy, purity and innocence (absolute or restored). The last three weeks of the month (beginning the Monday after Pentecost) are in Ordinary Time which is represented by the liturgical color green. This symbol of hope is the color of the sprouting seed and arouses in the faithful the hope of reaping the eternal harvest of heaven, especially the hope of a glorious resurrection.
May 13 - Our Lady of Fatima
May 24 - Our Lady, Help of Christians
May 31 - Mary, Mediatrix of All Graces
May 31 - Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
06 May 2008
Bishop John M. Quinn
Detroit, May 3, 2008 / 06:16 am (CNA).- On Saturday Bishop John Quinn of Detroit will offer a funeral Mass for twenty-five babies whose bodies were recovered from garbage dumpsters behind an abortion clinic.
In March Dr. Monica Migliorino Miller, who heads the group Citizens for a Pro-Life Society, videotaped the contents of several bags of trash removed from the back of a Lathrup Village abortion clinic named Womancare of Southfield. The graphic video shows bloody surgical materials, hypodermic needles, private medical records, and the remains of aborted human babies.
“This is no ordinary funeral,” said Father Frank Pavone, head of Priests for Life, writing in his column on priestsforlife.org. “There are still too many of our fellow citizens who don’t even acknowledge that the people who will be buried this Saturday are people at all. To mourn their deaths publicly, therefore, is not just to honor them, but to sound a wake-up call to our nation that we are living amidst the biggest holocaust of all time.”
He called upon priests to alert their congregations of the burial of these children who were “brutally, legally killed.”
“Abortion has become too abstract,” Father Pavone continued. “The word has lost its meaning. The conceptual knowledge that children are being killed is no longer enough to awaken many people to action. We need the funerals, we need to see the bodies, we need to hear the disgusting details of the abortions in order to be roused out of our moral slumber and end this killing once and for all.”
According to Father Pavone, Alberto Hodari, the head of the abortion clinic where the bodies were found, also threw patient medical records into the dumpster. “Sadly, that is the only issue on which he may get into trouble,” he said.
“When society will punish a man for the pieces of paper he threw in the garbage but excuse him for throwing babies into that same garbage, we have become guilty of straining the gnat and swallowing the camel,” Father Pavone said.
Father Pavone said that two weeks after the funeral, pro-life advocates in Dallas will pray at a grave of 1,300 babies. They have prayed at the grave there for 25 years in a row.
Click here for his whole speech
03 May 2008
For those of you who've been wondering how my mom is doing...she's finally home from the hospital! Doing much, much better and resting comfortably in her own bed. We are still waiting on results from the celiac disease test but her colonoscopy checked out fine. She had endoscopy and the findings so far reveal #1 she has a watermelon stomach or GAVE syndrome. #2 her blood pressure medicines were totally wrong. They were counteracting each other. #3 All of the arthritis meds have damaged her stomach.
While she was in the hospital she received 2 pints of blood and at least 2 bags of potassium. She was horribly anemic. That is what was causing the fatigue and inability to breathe. After months of horrible water retention (elephant legs) she received a lot of Lasix and her legs and stomach are now normal. Praise God! Someone finally helped her with that.
I've come to realize now more than ever that doctors are just humans - they make some big mistakes with people. They should not be trusted like they know everything or are perfect. While we won't be pointing any fingers or raising any hell, it is my advice to you to make sure you get second and third opinions when seeking medical help. There are doctors out there who just want to get you in and out and will write prescription after prescription without care or foresight into what drugs work with what and what drugs will actually make you sick. We are lucky that ONE cardiologist noticed that the blood pressure meds she was on in combination with each other were killing her. Try seeing your mom wake up with a BP of 200 over something, seeing her legs ballooned up and knowing that she needed help but no one was helping. They'd just keep putting her on something else. Never knowing what they were doing. (THIS IS ALL MY OPINION) This has gone on for months. She's been tracking her blood pressures for months and sending them into her doctors and they've been seeing her swelling for months NEVER becoming alarmed - just placating her. Pretty sad. Get second and third opinions! Unfortunately all of this micky mouse with Blood Pressure Meds and all the arthritis drugs NSAIDS have pretty much landed her in the hospital. Drugs that are supposed to help her...So sad.
I'll keep you updated on her condition - thank you so much for praying! You are all very special to our family and we know the power of prayer!
02 May 2008
Caviezel, best known in Christian circles for his role as Jesus in Mel Gibson's movie, "The Passion of the Christ", has been committed to his Catholic and pro-life beliefs for a while. When he was challenged to prove his faith by adopting a disabled child, he and his wife, Kerri, traveled to China where they adopted a five-year old boy who was living in an orphanage.
Caviezel recalled that he was "completely terrified" at the possibility of adopting a child with a disability, but deep within his soul, he knew that God wanted him to do it.
He compared the fear he felt at the prospect of adopting a child to other "fearful" times in his life. Caviezel explained that in some of the "most important decisions" in his life, he has experienced a "huge fear" and found that he needed to trust God through his faith.
The boy, Bo, had been abandoned on a train as an infant and was raised in the orphanage where they children were told that they did not have a mother. Instead, orphanage workers told them they were born out of the dirt.
Bo also struggled with a brain tumor that threatened his life. Though surgery has not been able to remove the tumor, the Caviezels have been by Bo's side throughout the procedures.
Though there have been difficult times, Caviezel notes that the adoption has been a blessing from God. "The joy that we have from this child, he's like our own…"
Later, the couple decided to adopt another child, a healthy newborn girl. However, before the adoption took place, they met a five year-old girl – also with a brain tumor.
The couple stated that they knew the healthy baby would find a good home, however it was likely that the sick girl would not. They decided to adopt the five year-old and have been blessed ever since.
Caviezel continued by discussing the courage it takes to do the will of Christ and encouraging those who may be scared to do what God is asking. "When you have great fear, that is when you are a Christian…you have no idea the blessings you have coming to you if you take a chance on faith."
Reflecting on his earlier years, Caviezel stated that he has been a coward in the past – one who would run away from the will of Christ that seemed so difficult. "I never want to do that again."
Caviezel added that he prays every day that to have the courage to do the right thing and when considering whether or not to do the will of God, to never take for granted the sacrifices that He made for us.
13 April 2008
The Great Adventure - A Journey Through The Bible
Genesis (Early World & Patriarchs)
Exodus (Egypt and Exodus)
Numbers (Desert Wanderings)
Joshua (Conquest & Judges)
Judges (Conquest & Judges)
1 Samuel (Royal Kingdom)
2 Samuel (Royal Kingdom)
1 Kings (Royal Kingdom & Divided Kingdom)
2 Kings (Divided Kingdom & Exile)
1 Maccabees (Maccabean Revolt)
Luke (Messianic Fulfillment)
Acts (The Church)
Please pray for vocations to the priesthood and religious life!
Acts 2:14a, 36-41
Then Peter stood up with the Eleven,
raised his voice, and proclaimed:
“Let the whole house of Israel know for certain
that God has made both Lord and Christ,
this Jesus whom you crucified.”
Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart,
and they asked Peter and the other apostles,
“What are we to do, my brothers?”
Peter said to them,
“Repent and be baptized, every one of you,
in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins;
and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
For the promise is made to you and to your children and to all those far off,
whomever the Lord our God will call.”
He testified with many other arguments, and was exhorting them,
“Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.”
Those who accepted his message were baptized,
and about three thousand persons were added that day.
23: 1-3a, 3b4, 5, 6
R. (1) The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
In verdant pastures he gives me repose;
beside restful waters he leads me;
he refreshes my soul.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
He guides me in right paths
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk in the dark valley
I fear no evil; for you are at my side.
With your rod and your staff
that give me courage.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
You spread the table before me
in the sight of my foes;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
Only goodness and kindness follow me
all the days of my life;
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
for years to come.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
1 Pt 2:20b-25
If you are patient when you suffer for doing what is good,
this is a grace before God.
For to this you have been called,
because Christ also suffered for you,
leaving you an example that you should follow in his footsteps.
He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.
When he was insulted, he returned no insult;
when he suffered, he did not threaten;
instead, he handed himself over to the one who judges justly.
He himself bore our sins in his body upon the cross,
so that, free from sin, we might live for righteousness.
By his wounds you have been healed.
For you had gone astray like sheep,
but you have now returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever does not enter a sheepfold through the gate
but climbs over elsewhere is a thief and a robber.
But whoever enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.
The gatekeeper opens it for him, and the sheep hear his voice,
as the shepherd calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
When he has driven out all his own,
he walks ahead of them, and the sheep follow him,
because they recognize his voice.
But they will not follow a stranger;
they will run away from him,
because they do not recognize the voice of strangers.”
Although Jesus used this figure of speech,
the Pharisees did not realize what he was trying to tell them.
So Jesus said again, “Amen, amen, I say to you,
I am the gate for the sheep.
All who came before me are thieves and robbers,
but the sheep did not listen to them.
I am the gate.
Whoever enters through me will be saved,
and will come in and go out and find pasture.
A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy;
I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.”
"When tempted to despair, I have only one resource: to throw myself at the foot of the tabernacle like a little dog at the foot of his master."
St. John Vianney
How does St. John Vianney recommend we find the grace we need to make it through a trial with right intention, fervency, courage, and trust in God? How much time a week do you spend before the Blessed Sacrament?
St. John Vianney
09 April 2008
Vatican City, Apr 8, 2008 / 10:16 am (CNA).- Pope Benedict XVI is just days away from arriving in the U.S. for his first visit. In anticipation of his arrival he released a video message today saying he is coming to share the message of hope in Christ with all those living in the U.S.
As the Pope began his message, he offered his “heartfelt greeting and an invitation to prayer. “As you know", he continues, "I shall only be able to visit two cities: Washington and New York. The intention behind my visit, though, is to reach out spiritually to all Catholics in the United States".
After thanking the people working to organize his trip and those who are praying for its success, Benedict XVI also mentioned his conviction that prayer is the most powerful way to prepare for his visit. “Dear friends, I say this because I am convinced that without the power of prayer, without that intimate union with the Lord, our human endeavors would achieve very little. Indeed this is what our faith teaches us. It is God who saves us, he saves the world, and all of history. He is the Shepherd of his people. I am coming, sent by Jesus Christ, to bring you his word of life.”
“Christ our hope”, the theme for the Pope’s visit was also central to the Pope’s address. "Together with your bishops, I have chosen as the theme of my journey three simple but essential words: 'Christ our hope'. ... Jesus Christ is hope for men and women of every language, race, culture and social condition. ... Through him, our lives reach fullness, and together, both as individuals and peoples, we can become a family united by fraternal love, according to the eternal plan of God the Father. I know how deeply rooted this Gospel message is in your country. I am coming to share it with you, in a series of celebrations and gatherings.”
"I shall also bring the message of Christian hope to the great Assembly of the United Nations", the Pope continued, "to the representatives of all the peoples of the world. Indeed, the world has greater need of hope than ever: hope for peace, for justice, and for freedom, but this hope can never be fulfilled without obedience to the law of God, which Christ brought to fulfillment in the commandment to love one another. Do to others as you would have them do to you, and avoid doing what you would not want them to do. This 'golden rule' is given in the Bible, but it is valid for all people, including non-believers. It is the law written on the human heart; on this we can all agree, so that when we come to address other matters we can do so in a positive and constructive manner for the entire human community".
Pope Benedict also took care to address Spanish-speaking U.S. Catholics in their own language, invoking the Blessed Mother’s protection and the blessing of God upon them.
Benedict XVI concludes his message by saying, “Dear brothers and sisters, dear friends in the United States, I am very much looking forward to being with you. I want you to know that, even if my itinerary is short, with just a few engagements, my heart is close to all of you, especially to the sick, the weak, and the lonely. I thank you once again for your prayerful support of my mission. I reach out to every one of you with affection, and I invoke upon you the maternal protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary.”
To watch the video message go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=me8whJa4p9g