29 August 2008

McCain's choice is brilliant! Just BRILLIANT, I tell you!



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


Fidelis
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

Happy Feast Day! The Assumption of Mary


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 in honor of Jupiter.

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 , Pope Pius XII proclaimed the Assumption of Mary a dogma of the Catholic Church in these words: "The Immaculate Mother of God, the ever-virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heaven."

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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