Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I fail a hundred times a day to live a "saintly life" as many are well aware. But as Bruce McGregor says at KVSS, "we're saints in the making." One thing I do is to keep on trying, receiving the sacraments that are there to help us grow in the virtues of faith, hope, and love. Daily Mass or weekly is a gift (that in other countries they don't get to practice, unless underground) and when we go there with a desire to change, that is the 'effort' God sees and blesses. None of us walk out of Mass 100% perfect and dripping with humility. We still have to battle pride, and our selfishness. It's a hard road, but that's why this helps: "I confess to almighty God and to you my brothers and sisters, that I have sinned through my own fault. In my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done and what I have failed to do. And I ask the Blessed Mary, ever Virgin, all the angels and Saints, and you my brothers and sisters to pray for me to the Lord our God."

Sometimes, I think we in America forget that we are sinners in need of a Savior. We don't seek God because we're "educated" and "sophisticated" and our "daily bread" isn't something we have to search for or grow's right down the street at the Quickie Mart. Our real "daily bread" is the Eucharist, but too many don't find the Eucharist important enough to partake. So the need to rely on a power bigger than ourselves is rarely pondered, let alone sought after. Sophistication and wisdom aren't the same thing. I know a lot of people with a college degree and multiple degrees who aren't very wise at all, as is evident with their life choices. What really matters isn't on their radar screen, not even a tiny "blip." Regardless of who is elected to be President of this country, not one thing matters more than our souls and the souls of others, especially those who can't speak for themselves, the least and smallest and weakest of us, the unborn, the old and the very ill.

The economy and global warming (cooling it was when I was a kid) and alternative energy sources mean absolutely nothing if one isn't allowed to be born. That is why I'm Catholic. Because it's true. Because Truth isn't subjective, but is an objective reality. Truth is a Person. When I ask that Person about my life and what I should do, I think He's more than willing to let me know, if I only give Him the time to speak to my heart. If I'm too busy chasing after my own desires, degrees, possessions, etc. then one day, I'll wake up and find that everything that was good is now considered bad, everything that used to be bad is now considered to be good. The world will have turned "upside down." Like now.

We're getting a wake up call today during this election year. We had one on 9/11. We keep hitting snooze. America is snoozing and soon we'll be losing much more than we could ever imagine. 1/3 of my sons' generation isn't here because of the legalization of abortion. If "going green" and the economy is more important than a baby's life, we're doomed! It might be that here in America, the Church will have to go underground as it has had to do in China and other places. In the words of Bob Dylan ( a little dated but still timely):

God don't make promises that He don't keep
You got some big dreams baby, but in order to dream you gotta still be asleep.

When you gonna wake up, when you gonna wake up
When you gonna wake up strengthen the things that remain ?

Counterfeit philosophies have polluted all of your thoughts
Karl Marx has got ya by the throat, Henry Kissinger's got you tied up in knots.

When you gonna wake up, when you gonna wake up
When you gonna wake up strengthen the things that remain ?

You got innocent men in jail, your insane asylums are filled
You got unrighteous doctors dealing drugs that'll never cure your ills.

When you gonna wake up, when you gonna wake up
When you gonna wake up strengthen the things that remain ?

You got men who can't hold their peace and woman who can't control their tongues
The rich seduce the poor and the old are seduced by the young.

When you gonna wake up, when you gonna wake up
When you gonna wake up strengthen the things that remain ?

Adulterers in churches and pornography in the schools
You got gangsters in power and lawbreakers making rules.

When you gonna wake up, when you gonna wake up
When you gonna wake up strengthen the things that remain ?

Spiritual advisors and gurus to guide your every move
Instant inner peace and every step you take has got to be approved.

When you gonna wake up, when you gonna wake up
When you gonna wake up strengthen the things that remain ?

Do you ever wonder just what God requires ?
You think He's just an errand boy to satisfy your wandering desires.

When you gonna wake up, when you gonna wake up
When you gonna wake up and strengthen the things that remain ?

You can't take it with you and you know that it's too worthless to be sold
They tell you, 'Time is money' as if your life was worth its weight in gold.

When you gonna wake up, when you gonna wake up
When you gonna wake up and strengthen the things that remain ?

There's a man up on a cross and He's been crucified for you
Believe in His power that's about all you got to do.

When you gonna wake up, when you gonna wake up
When you gonna wake up and strengthen the things that remain ?

I disagree with the one line "Believe in His power that's about all you got to do"
No. Even the Devil believes in His power. You have to do have to cooperate with His grace calling you to Life. You have to repent and be baptized, St Peter said.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

An "older" Mary...

I was drawing this Mary from an image I found on line Sunday. She came out appearing somewhat older than the painting. The image on line was copyrighted so not being able to copy it for wallpaper, I decided I would attempt to draw it. I've not the talent of my brother, or a good friend of mine, Matt, but she's been "growing on me" the last couple of days, so I thought I'd share her on my blog. We don't often see images of Mary as a "middle-aged" woman, but yet she must have been 45-46-47 or so when Jesus died, so I wonder if my drawing came out this way by some 'divine design?' Not that I'm equating myself with gifted artists by any means, but there's "something about" this Mary that comforts me in a different way than other images, which are by far much more pulchritudinous. I have titled this, "Mary, pray for us" and now pray . . .

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us
sinners now, and at the hour or our death.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

"This above all: to thine own self be true"

Watching an encore presentation of EWTN's The World Over, I was delighted to see Joseph Pearce interviewed about his book, The Quest For Shakespeare. Prof. Pearce is engaging. So was the Bard of Avon Catholic?

Picture based on an engraving of the Chandos portrait

Looking for a good read to get through the dog days of summer?...

These are a few great ones to be found here.

City of God - Unabridged  - St. Augustine
15 Days of Prayer - Saint Catherine of Siena
Orthodoxy - SC - G. K. Chesterton

Where have all the Catholics gone?...

I was just thinking today at Mass how beautiful the Creed is, and all of the prayers we collectively pray at Mass. It struck me that it is such a beautiful collection of thoughts, aspiration and belief. Then I came across this just now, and had to share it. Father Hemrick is right as rain. We are fighting a culture "hellbent" on "living as I darn well please" and it also effects the Catholic Church, with dissidents of every type, trying to ordain women, change the Mass to be more politically correct with nonsensical inclusive language, etc. and of course in other faith persuasions in go where I can "worship as I darn well please." "I don't need an authority! I have my bible and that's all I need!" Thanks Father Hemrick. You've hit the nail on the head with this one. And I found the below post here, in a post by Fr. Rick at Mary's Anawim.

By Father Eugene Hemrick: found at The Tablet

“If everyone raised Catholic stayed (with their religious affiliation), Catholics would be one-third of the population.”

This observation was made by John Green, a senior research fellow and a principal author of the “U.S. Religious Landscape Survey” recently conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.

With Catholic adults presently comprising 25% of the American population when they should be 33% of it, we need to ask: Why are so many Catholics leaving?

Researchers found that the one reason the Catholic Church was so strong was because of the creed. Our clear-cut understanding of and commitment to what we believe not only attracts people to Catholicism, but keeps Catholics in the Church.

As much as we sometimes resisted being a dogmatic Church, our dogma was and is the ballast that keeps us balanced and strong.

If we focus on this finding alone, it gives us several reasons why we might be losing Catholics.

Could it be, as the last two popes have pointed out, our present age is becoming increasingly resistant to absolute truths and is moving toward greater relativism?
Applying this question to our Church, do we believe in the one true Catholic Church? Does this truth hold strong appeal for us? If not, why remain a Catholic since it then becomes relative to how a religion is seen?

Could it be our truths are watered-down and have weakened the beauty and strength of the Church? In the apostolic exhortation “On Evangelization in the Modern World,” Pope Paul VI points to the bite that truth must possess to be attractive:

“For the Church it is a question not only of preaching the Gospel in ever wider geographic areas or to ever greater numbers of people, but also of affecting and as it were upsetting, through the power of the Gospel, mankind’s criteria of judgment, determining values, points of interest, lines of thought, sources of inspiration and models of life, which are in contrast with the word of God and the plan of salvation.”

Here we learn that the truth of the Gospel must be upsetting, challenging people to rethink their present values and what inspires them most.

Could it be our people want to be challenged and it isn’t happening; that we aren’t making people stop, think and rethink; that the presentation of our beliefs don’t have bite, cutting-edge thinking, or that they don’t reveal deep commitment on the part of those presenting them?

No doubt many other reasons exist for the exit of Catholics. Whatever they may be, they come down to one question: “Are those who are leaving doing so because they never experienced the backbone of our creed?”


The Nicene Creed

We believe in God, the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
and all that is seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made, one in Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation
he came down from heaven:
by the power of the Holy Spirit
he was born of the Virgin Mary,
and became man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered, died, and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in fulfillment of the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory
to judge the living and the dead,
and His kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son
he is worshiped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come.


The Apostles Creed

I believe in God the Father Almighty,
Creator of Heaven and earth;
I believe in Jesus Christ,
His only Son, our Lord,
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
and born of the Virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended to the dead.
On the third day He rose again.
He ascended into Heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Holy Catholic Church,
the communion of Saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.

We made our visit to Jesus on the prairie...

Well, we did go to the Schoenstatt Shrine, near Crete NE and it turned out to be more eventlful and efficacious than we imagined. We received a plenary indulgence from that little pilgrimage! The day was simply sublime. The prairie breeze was blowing nicely and the white clouds gliding across the broad blue almost seemed to get less muggy and even somewhat cooler as the day progressed. We got to the Shrine about 3:00....Divine Mercy hour. The sign they have on the highway might be more visitor friendly if it were turned perpendicular to the road however, because we did drive by it, but happily we had the address of 340 so turned around and proceeded to follow the gravel road to the serene surroundings. There's a little nunery and another building that appeared to be a chapel, too. Upon opening the door to the shrine, we saw a sister and greeted her and she us. We knelt and prayed and on her way out, she gave us prayer cards to pray, smiled graciously and asked where we were from and so sweetly told us to enjoy it saying "This is your shrine." Being the Year of St Paul, there's a prayer on the card to St Paul, and there is also a relic of St Paul on the altar with a relic also of St Cabrini.

We prayed a rosary for our family and friends. We were so blessed to be in the stillness, listening to the hearts of Mary and Jesus. As I was praying and looking at the statue of St Michael, it dawned on me that the spear that St Michael holds goes right through the mouth of the dragon/serpent. I pondered and thought, "Yes! This is so great! St Michael is wielding his spear right through the mouth of the father of lies! He's destroying his mouth first, so that all of the lies will cease, and as saints who one day will hopefully join St Michael, we'll never ever hear those lies again! Those lies will never touch our ears to tempt us ever again to sin, to doubt, to fear!" Saint Michael, thank you! Please pray for us!

If we remain IN CHRIST, we will one day not hear the lies of Satan any more. But if we don't, we could end up hearing his evil guile for eternity! So I prayed there in that holy place to press on and will continue to pray for perseverance, to remain in Jesus as a branch that will yield much fruit and not become a branch that withers and dries up, to be gathered and thrown into the fire. That is a sobering word we recently heard at Mass.

We didn't see the sister again. We hoped she'd have come out so we could ask her some questions. I will be going back again. It's a little gem and such a blessing to have it so near!

I'll get some pictures posted later today.


Saturday, July 26, 2008

Schoenstatt Shrine...Our Lady

Cor Mariae Schoenstatt Shrine
, Crete Ne. I think we're heading off to find this shrine soon. If not today, then maybe tomorrow. I posted back in 2006 about the one in Minnesota that we visited. Tracy, have you ever been to it? They are all built to exactly match the "mother shrine" in Germany. They are small, but so full of that "holy hush," the peaceful silence that is what we all need to "hear." The silence of this small structure, with such thick walls, out on the prairie of Nebraska. I am feeling like it's time to get away for a while. We've been needing a little change of scenery and I think this might just be where we should go. I'll post some pics later and maybe a "You Tube" video. It's cloudy here and pretty muggy. We both seem to be kind of "blah" today. Jesus, Mary we love you, save souls! Give us a spark and guide us on our mini pilgimage...To Jesus through Mary!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Let Tie-Dye Die already!...

To me, this is just sad. Bitter women, demanding to be ordained priests...dissident bishops, dissident's all sad. How it must grieve Our Lady's pure heart. She and the other women who were saved by Jesus didn't demand of our Lord anything, but were instead humble and full of gratitude for the gift of Life that Jesus gave giving them Himself. Can you see Mary Magdalene demanding of Jesus what these women are demanding?

H/T Fr. Philip for this one.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Heart of Jesus...

Hey all my blogger friends, I have good news to announce. Many callers to Catholic Radio programs have asked about Catholic Bible Studies/Prayer Groups and where there might be information or how to start a Catholic prayer group. My friend, Karen Dwyer, has now got a website up and running, with some valuable insight and information to assist Catholic women, (and men, too) in this endeavor. (Thank you to Carol Z., for your talent and expertise. It's a great site!)

Some Catholics are going to Protestant prayer groups and studies, and after a few times, or earlier in some cases, they find them not quite as "ecumenical" as they were told in the beginning. Many are good studies, but sometimes, if one isn't fully formed in their Catholic faith, they can become misled by misinformed evangelicals or other Protestants about their faith, and it could lead them out of the Church.

I believe Catholic women all across the country will find this website helpful. You don't need to reside here in Omaha, thanks to the Internet. Karen does have the imprimatur of our Archbishop, Elden Curtiss for her studies in Scripture and this format she and her husband Larry developed.

We all need to minister to the "heart of Jesus" and then minister His heart of Mercy to all of our brothers and sisters, Catholic and non Catholic alike. The Heart of Jesus Prayer Group is a wonderful way to invite your evangelical or Protestant friends to meet devout, kind Catholics and also to learn about the Catholic faith. The Heart of Jesus Prayer Group I'm familiar with welcomes all who want to grow in their love of God and faith. I think it's a great place help us "tear down the walls" that divide us, heart by loving heart.

Find out more about the Heart of Jesus Prayer Group and how to start one in your parish. God bless you.

Blessed silence...

I am reading Seek That Which Is Above, by Pope Benedict XVI. It is so very good. The chapters are short and with such depth and clarity. I love our Papa! The sentence I read which has caused me to ponder, is this one. He quotes St Ignatius of Antioch, and of course, it's wonderful, but what Pope B says after is the one that I thought most profound. It got me to thinking how grateful I am to be back in the Catholic Church, where true appreciation for silence does exist. Silence is golden...and I cherish it. I've never had trouble being alone and still, enjoying just the sounds of nature without an ipod or music in my ears. Sometimes I even drive in silence, although there are days when Tom Petty or John Hiatt or the Beatles are great road trip companions!

When I go into the Sanctuary at our parish, I am impressed at the silence. We go to early Mass on Sundays, so it is more silent and I do wish there was more silence in the sanctuary at other masses. But that's not really what I"m talking about here. What I find so beautiful is the adoration chapel where TRUE silence is. In the sanctuary between Mass, is also still and quiet. To sit with God, with Jesus in that stillness is soothing and calms me. In our former "mega church" fellowship there was hardly ever silence, unless you went in to the 'sanctuary' during the day but the during a service there was rarely any silence. Yes, at Mass babies cry and little tots make some noise, but that's life, and it's not that distracting to me. (cell phones are another story...don't get me started!)

At the interdenom fellowship, you didn't have those sounds because they "split the family" even more, and all the different ages of children are sent off to their Sunday school classes to learn, and once again, even Sunday, a "family day" was divided up and rarely if ever "quiet." Then the band would begin and the service was loud, and boisterous, the sermon good, but non stop talk for 45 minutes. Then the last songs and *poof* after an hour and a half it was done and then you went out to the day and stayed "busy" and either shopped or just did normal stuff without a thought to "be still." How I now LOVE the Catholic Church. She KNOWS we need to be still, to sit in silence, to contemplate, to ponder as Mary can teach us to do. The Saints can teach us the wonder of the moment in silence with our God, our Daddy. To sit in Adoration, and just "be."

So back to St Ignatius and then our Papa: St Ignatius: "Anyone who truly possesses the words of Jesus will also be able to hear his silence. . . that he may act through his word and be known through his silence." Pope BXVI - page 143: "When theology no longer hears the silence of Jesus, it can even less discern the depth of his words."

Yes. How true. How we need to 'be still and know' God is God and we are not.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Real Jan Roe... God bless her

As seen on The Curt Jester...

"Liturgical Dance detected"

Come back to Mass more at ease and pray with both eyes closed again! Nope, you can't go wrong hiring a Liturgical Referee to monitor Mass.

Ok, this is old, it's made the blog rounds, but it still makes me laugh. Check it out here.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Sarah's Law...

As heard on Open Line today with Barbara McGuigan. A caller from California gave this website and it's worth a look and a read. We need to keep California in prayer that this will pass...and that the insane courts won't over-rule the people and legislate from the bench!

Who is Sarah?

Sarah was a 15 year old girl who became pregnant. Without her parent’s consent or notice, Sarah visited a clinic and the abortionist performed an abortion on Sarah, unknowingly tearing the right side of her cervix. Unaware of this complication, Sarah suffered blood poisoning, fever, chills, abdominal pain and nausea for four days before finally being admitted to the hospital. When hospital personnel discovered the tear and post-abortion infection, they placed Sarah in the Intensive Care Unit, but the infection was too far advanced and Sarah died. Hospital physicians reported that had Sarah received prompt medical care, she would still be alive today.

Sarah’s parents did not know that she was pregnant. Sarah’s parents didn’t know that Sarah had an abortion. Her parents could have saved her….if they had known.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Let your "yes" be "yes" and your "no" be "no." Isn't that in the bible? Yes, it is. It is found in St. Matthew 5:37 Simply let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No'; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.

That got me to thinking...what does "anything beyond" mean? Could it mean keeping someone 'hanging' who's not gotten a reply or an acknowledgment regarding a questioin after 6 days?...

I have been somewhat annoyed lately at being "blown off" (I doubt it's intentional) by good friends, a couple in particular. I have sometimes forgotten (genuinely forgotten, because I am 53 and post menopausal) to return a call, but rarely if ever, an email, since I'm on line every day checking my mail unless we're out of town. BTW, I know this friend is not out of town.

However, when one says "I'll get back to you tomorrow" and doesn't, what do you do about it? What I did was send an email, after a day went by and she'd not gotten back to me. I sent her the phone # of my other friend who'd asked me to contact this friend for a possible position in the archdiocese for her daughter.

I think some women are way too busy with work these days (could be I'm just a slug.) I then begin to wonder as days go by things like, "Hmm, if I was so & so, I'm sure she would have "gotten back" to HER by now. " What am I, chopped liver after all? Yeah, that is silly, childish thinking on my part. It's also prideful, so I need to go to confession again. I know this particular friend is extremely busy with two very demanding jobs, many books to read, many "irons in the fire." But might there be too MANY irons in her fire? So then what? She herself has told me many times that she's tired of being so busy and stressed and working so much. Is this what she does to every one or just those of her friends that she knows will 'understand.' I do understand, to a point, but...I'm probably over reacting stupidly, but again....

I think we would do well not to give the standard "I'll get back to you tomorrow" if when tomorrow comes we don't, and the next day, after an email comes, we still don't. Maybe it would be better to simply say something like this: "IF I don't call you back or get back to you in a day or two, call me again, ok?" At least then, the one left hanging or being " blown off" and not necessarily intentionally, wouldn't feel the "burden" of being stuck or being a mere pest having to again email or call. Does that make any sense?

I have sent her another reminder e-mail this a.m. to my friend. It was not whiny, or "out of sorts," as I am not 'mad' but I am perturbed. It was forthright and laced with a touch of humor: I signed off with the above picture. I'm guessing a reply will probably come today. Men, you're lucky. You never have to deal with things like this. Your 'yeses' and 'nos' are direct. I wish womens' were. I don't mean to sound so whiny. Maybe it's the hot flashes and the crappy sleep (if you can call it "sleep") over the last 5 years that could be taking its toll? Hoo Nose? But if any of you have some suggestions, I'm up for them... most of the night, I might add. I know I'd have been one of those who would have been swallowed by the ground for complaining on that trek across the desert. God help me and forgive me.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

What is love?...

"...for love is strong as death..." (Song of Solomon 8:6) Yes, "love is strong as death", in fact stronger as has been demonstrated definitively.

For on one occasion Love was betrayed with a kiss, accused falsely, scourged and mocked, led by a tether like an animal, but Love endured and remained strong.

On that day, Love was beaten and knocked down, spit upon, stripped and humiliated, but Love endured and remained strong.

Love fell under a burdensome weight, more than once, Love even trembled as its trial drew more severe, but Love endured and remained strong.

Nails were driven through Love's limbs and blood drained from Love's numerous wounds. Then death set upon Love a kiss complete and final, Love succumbed for a time.

A spear was thrust in Love's unfathomable Heart, to empty it further, of all Hope. Then Love's shame was hidden within Life's tomb of rock.

But Love endured, revived, and proved for all time, that Love is strong as death and stronger yet unto Life eternal.

One of Love's greatest admirers cried it out for all ages to hear: "I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified" (I Cor 2:2).

George A. Peate, July 19, 2008

Visit the website: Unborn Word Alliance
Visit the blog version of: Unborn Word of the day

Saturday, July 19, 2008

"Gonna take a Sacramental Journey..." No I'm not doing my Doris Day impression. I'm going to go to confession. It's been a whopping month and a half...or so. I wish we had confession more often at our parish. They have it daily at another parish a few miles from here, and I might start taking advantage of that gift! Believe me...when this talapia is cooked and eaten, and our stomachs are digesting this meal that I'm cooking, I'll be there, with Fr. Shane, pouring out my crud. You know the song...the Good the Bad and the Ugly, that's what reconciliation is. It's good to go, bad to not go, and ugly to stare at your sins staring you back in the face, but it's great to hear Jesus speaking through the priest that "your sins are forgiven you. Go in peace." My crud isn't quite what it used to be, as mortal sins aren't too common these days, but boy, those venial ones add up don't they?! YIPES! How I LOVE the Catholic Church! How I love the way God gave us this sacrament to keep us growing ever so slowly toward the holiness He desires, and to what the Saints obtained. Yes, we're called to be saints. Only saints reside in Heaven. Yepper, I wanna be a saint and no devil in Hell is gonna get make me stay away tonight from the grace of this holy and blessed sacrament! Pray for me. It's a rough road, and rough roads lead to Rome, and if we don't travel the rough road, the smooth one, the broad highway will lure us and we all know where that road leads.

Here's an examination of conscience that I find helpful.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Let's hear it for Archbishop Chaput!

Read his Theology on Tap talk in Australia here. WOW!

Did we wacky Catholics add books to the bible?

Call us wacky, call us weird...but we Catholics sure know how to have fun, don't we? :) Thanks to TJ for his wit and wisdom. Visit his blog and find more videos and cool stuff.

Rest in Peace, Tony...

In the words of Rev. David M. O'Connell, who told mourners gathered at Tony's funeral: "The measure of this man's life can be found in his character, in his optimism, in his joy and humor, in his courage, in his passion for what was good and right, and in his love for God and family and neighbor and country. Tony Snow did not need a long life for us to measure. It was, rather, we who needed his life to be longer."

I will miss Tony Snow. He was a "class act" as was Tim Russert. God rest both their souls.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Hey, did any of you bloggers watch EWTN LIVE last night? I just watched it at 3:30 a.m. Yeah, I wake up early. I grinned the entire hour. Steve Ray (above) was Fr. Pacwa's guest and is he ever phenomenal! I love his passion, his zeal, his humor and the hour just flew! If any one isn't familiar with Steve Ray, he's a Catholic convert of 14 years. He was brought up Baptist fundamentalist and very anti Catholic. (He thought Catholics were 'going to hell.') What is that line? If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans? Anyway, he married a Presbyterian, Janet, and they both converted at the same time. We watched a couple dvd's of his video series, Footprints of God, in our first apologetics class at our parish in the Fall of 2005.

Watching him on EWTN Live was just so great, because I know exactly how he feels being a convert, too. I never knew the fullness of Truth was in the Catholic Church. I thought it was a "man made" religious institution that was or had been corrupted by man. I thought the Catholic Church was 'stodgy' and too "old fashioned" to be where anyone could possibly come to know Christ as their personal Savior. (what a little presumptuous ignoramus I was!) I married my husband, a Catholic, in 1976 and then joined the Church in or around 1979-80. But after reading some anti Catholic propaganda, (God rest Keith Green's [ignorant about the CC] soul) it wasn't long before I wanted to stop going to Mass and start going where the "real truth" was, and where the music was better and the sermons more "alive."

So for 26 years, we were bleating out in the wide open evangelical/pentecostal/fundamentalist fray. Yep, we were sheep w/out a shepherd. Doing our own thing in little "independent flocks." Worshiping how and where "we" wanted to worship. So Christianity became dull and lifeless because it was all about "me" and what floated my "spiritual boat." Though there was some truth preached, mostly it was just a pastor's opinion or interpretation of a couple of verses. Since there was so much disagreement among even those of us in the same congregation, it was not long before some would just leave or I'd become bored and disillusioned and just stop going to church for weeks or even months sometimes longer. We'd been in 3 different fellowships. All of us being "led" by the Holy Spirit, which to think about that now gives me shivers.

As an aside: You know, Jim Jones was a bible believing man. He grew up on the "word of God" like a good pentecostal. He was "led" by the Holy Spirit, too, wasn't he???? So how would the doctrine of Sola Scriptura ever conclude he was wrong?
If someone claiming to be taught by the bible only, the bible being someone's only "authority" then NO ONE can say Jim Jones went off the rails and was wrong, by what authority would one claim to correct him? See what a slippery slope Sola Scriptura is?

We were all believing such different things and having such conflicting interpretations of the bible. Is God a God of order or chaos? It ended up weighing me down. But I still couldn't put my finger on why, or where to go and I was seeing myself falling into a scary pattern that I'd been in before. Drifting back into being a happy little heathen and hoping for the best in the end. Well, God and his grace took care of that. Read the first post of my blog May 2006 for more details. I am now IN LOVE with the Catholic faith and the Catholic Church! I absolutely love the authority and safety of Holy Mother Church. She is the ONE TRUE CHURCH Jesus established to keep us SAFE and growing in virtue and where all the grace of all of the sacraments is there to help us on our way to becoming saints. God's protection and safety net is IN HIS CHURCH. The Holy Spirit leads docile folk into the complete Truth, not partial Truth where chaos reigns. God, I thank you for such a gift!!! I am so grateful to be HOME!!! ROME SWEET HOME!!! Hey, if you're a Catholic that's wandered away from the Church come home, your Mother's waiting and she has much love and grace to give!

Check out Steve's website It's wonderful.

The Acceptable Time...

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Saint Paul speaks of "working with" Christ, then:

"...we entreat you not to accept the grace of God in vain. For he says,
'At the acceptable time I have listened to you,
and helped you on the day of salvation.
'Behold, now is the acceptable time;
behold, now is the day of salvation." (2 Cor 6:1-2)

And so is today the acceptable time, even when humanity's moral compass is spinning wildly out of control - especially when it is spinning thus - this is the appropriate time to trust in God and seek His will with all our hearts. Paul is telling us that "the acceptable time" is the same time as "the day of salvation". In other words, it is a time to act, to live by faith.

The day of salvation, if anything, is a day of spiritual opportunities, that is, it is a day full of promise.

But the world around us is shifting like the sand, blowing hither and thither, aimlessly destroying the moral order that had been constructed over the centuries according to the Judaeo-Christian heritage we perhaps took for granted for too long. Now it is disappearing. To be replaced by a false morality with new false gods and creeds of false tolerance which erode the true tolerance born of mercy which God taught us through the millennia.

But now, the Church is to be purified - is now being purified - has been undergoing purification for some time now, but did we notice? Did we understand?

The Christian must turn to God in union with the body of the Church and "accept the (purifying) grace of God", not "in vain", but with docility, in order to move the Church forward and his/her own relationship with God forward. Within this present cultural upheaval, one discovery the Church must make and the Christian must accept, is that God desires to purify His people.

So it was with the martyrs in prior turbulent times, so it is now in our own privileged time. The logic of Christian daily living is shifting a little bit now. Acts we once took for granted, must now be seen for what they are. To kneel and worship God, for example, is a privilege. Take advantage of it! And know that it is pleasing to God.

To offer thanks to God before a meal is a privilege. To sit in a chapel and pray quietly is a privilege. To take an evening walk and speak softly to God in Heaven is a privilege. Even to be purified - as hard as it might be - is a privilege.

The privileges multiply as grace abounds all the more, all around. But "the acceptable time" is also a time of responsibility. Listen to the question Jesus posed after one of His parables:

"...when the Son of man comes, will he find faith on earth?" (Lk 18: 8)

Let him who has ears hear this question. Let each Christian reply as one New Testament parent did: "I believe; help my unbelief!" The Son of man wants to find faith on earth when He returns! Will He have to hunt forever to uncover our faith or will He immediately see it, perhaps flickering like a candle 'midst breezes, but lit nonetheless?

Now let's go back to the parable which preceded the foregoing question from Jesus. It was a parable about persistence in prayer (about the widow and the "judge who neither feared God nor regarded man" Lk 18:1-8). Perseverance in prayer provides stability in times of upheaval and faithlessness

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Thriving, not just surviving!...

I receive these from Unborn Word Alliance and thought I should post it. Very sobering. My friend, Mary and I have been discussing these things for some weeks at work. Also Mark Mallett has had some incredible posts so check his blog out, too. ~ susie

In 1968, the inhabitants of the city of Prague, Czechoslovakia, were bracing for the impending Soviet invasion of their city. In order to make things as difficult as possible for the invading army, the Czechs took down street signs and removed house numbers and door nameplates throughout the city. When the Soviet tanks and troops stormed into the city and demanded directions they received cooperative but baffling instructions that invariably led them someplace they did not want to go.

In 1968, the Czechs were the victims and the Soviet troops were the aggressors. Today, we see a role reversal where it is the impious aggressors who are taking down the 'street signs' leaving the masses in confusion. In our present time of cultural upheaval, not only have the old familiar cultural and moral signposts been torn down but now new unreliable and unintelligible signposts have been put up in their place by those promoting a new relativistic morality without God. Confusion reigns supreme amongst an overwhelming majority of the populace. A common way of coping with confusion seems to be to choose "the path of least resistance". But the Christian has another path, a superior path: "I am the Way, and the Truth and the Life..." Jesus told His disciples (Jn 14:6). Christ is the path for the Christian, the road for Christianity.

Let's look at this Christian Way in Christ. A lot has changed in our perception of walking this Way now that traditional moral signs imbedded within the very fabric of society have been pulled out from under us. What was once bad is now called good. Crimes of old are now common practice and enjoy the blessing of secular society. Many sins of the past are now, well...laughed at.

What is a Christian to do? Hold fast to those traditional moral teachings and precepts enshrined within the Christian tradition precisely because they were important moral principles worthy of attentive respect. Civilization - no longer as we knew it - has become a dangerous battleground of ideas. The Christian should follow Christ's guideline:

"Behold I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves" (Mt 10:16)

Many Christians have neglected this advice and have let go of many core Christian beliefs as a result. Pray for them. Pray always!


George A. Peate, July 16, 2008

Visit the website: Unborn Word Alliance
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Friday, July 11, 2008

As heard on Laura Ingraham...

Right along the same lines as the previous post reads this from Laura's daily e-blast.
Yessiree, if we live like dogs, we die like dogs. This my friends, is just sick.

ANIMAL-RIGHTS TERRORISM: Today's interview with the spokesman of the Animal Liberation Front, which the FBI's designated as a terrorist group, was utterly surreal. Contending that it's "morally justifiable" to kill human beings who conduct scientific research with animals, Dr. Jerry Vlasak sounded legitimately surprised when his views ran into opposition. Laura, an animal lover herself, struggled heroically to contain herself. This guy actually maintained that one human being's life held no greater value than that of a fruit fly! Question of the day: Were he on life support and needed an animal-derived miracle cure - would he say no?

a baby...a lobster, what's the difference?

This is a very powerfully disconcerting article Mark Mallett posted.

I was reading last night on pages 48,49,50 of "Seek That Which Is Above" Pope Benedict XVI, and find it coincides with Mark's blog post. This sounds like what is the current paradigm of the Leftists/animal rights/radical environmental extremist groups or what I've dubbed the "Greenmunist" Party.

"Looking at the world, we may well wonder whether we actually have time to think of God and divine things, or whether we should not rather apply all our energies to improving the lot of people on earth. This was the attitude of Bertolt Brecht when he wrote:

Do not delude yourselves with lies,
Like the beasts man simply dies,
and after that comes nothing.

He regarded belief in a world beyond, in the Resurrection, as a deception that hinders man from fully laying hold of this world, of life. But if we stress man's similarity to the animals and oppose this to his likeness to God, we shall very soon regard man simply as an animal. And if, as another modern poet has said, we die like dogs, we shall very soon live like dogs, too, treating one another like dogs or rather as no dog should ever be treated.

The Jewish philosopher, Theodore Adorno had a more profound view of things. In the passionate, messianic yearning of his people, he continually asked how a just world, how justice in the world, could be created. Ultimately he arrived at this insight: if there is to be real justice in the world, it must be for all and for all time, and that means justice for the dead as well. It would have to be a justice that retroactively heals all past suffering. And this would imply the resurrection of the dead. Against this background I think we can hear the message of Easter in a new way. Christ is risen! There is justice for the world! There is complete justice for all, which is able retroactively to make good all past sufferings, and this is because God exists, and he has the power to do it. As Saint Bernard of Claivaux once put it, although God cannot suffer, he can be compassionate. And he can be compassionate because he can love. It is this power of compassion, springing from the power of love, which is able to make good the past and create justice. Christ is risen: this means that there is a power that is able to creat justice and that is actively creating it. That is why the message of the Resurrection is not only a hymn to God, but a hymn to mand, to earth and to matter. The whole is saved. God does not allow any part of his creation to sink silently into a past that has gone for ever. He has created everything so that it should exist, as the Book of Wisdom says. He has created everything so that all should be one and should belong to him, so that "God shall be all in all."

My thoughts: With abortion, partial birth abortion, infanticide and euthanasia running rampant, we have lost our collective soul and our individual souls and our faith in the Good God. We have been blinded by the world and it's lies. I can only concur with the words Mark wrote at the end of his post:

I believe the personhood and dignity of the unborn child must be respected from conception until natural death. Anesthesia is not an option to make the pain of our conscience go away. Ending abortion is the only option. It is coming… whether we end it, or God ends it, the end of it is coming.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

The Year of St Paul....

I pray to have a deep conversion of heart, be "knocked off my horse" so to speak, so God can speak to me. Read about this new ecclesiastical year here.