Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Saturday, April 18, 2009
As for Saint Peter Julian Eymard, he was scarcely eleven years old when by repeated insistence he obtained permission to make a sixty kilometer pilgrimage on foot while begging for his bread. He spent nine days at the holy shrine in preparation for his First Communion. Later he wrote, "That is where I first came to know and love Mary." He had a great devotion for his "Good Mother of Laus" all his life. In times of crushing fatigue, he loved to retire to that shrine.
Our Lady of Laus, Refuge of sinners, look down with kindness and compassion upon the physical and moral miseries of our age! Have mercy on thy children and deign to convert us all entirely to the love of thy Divine Son! Adapted from Magnificat Vol. XL, No. 5 and Vol. XXXVI, No. 5
Friday, April 17, 2009
As many of you know, the nomination of pro-abortion Secretary of Health and Human Services-designate Kathleen Sebelius has been delayed in the Senate. This extra time has allowed for a new revelation to emerge! In a written answer to a question by Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ) about her relationship with late-term abortionist George Tiller, Sebelius conveniently “overlooked” mentioning campaign contributions from Tiller. Can we afford to have a Secretary of Health and Human Services who not only forgets to pay her taxes, but forgets to mention how much money she took from a controversial abortionist?
Time is of the essence, tell your Senators to oppose Kathleen Sebelius’ nomination today! Sebelius initially mentioned that she received $14,450 from George Tiller from 1994-2001. However she failed to tell the Senate about an additional $23,000 Tiller gave to Sebelius’ Political Action Committee (PAC) from 2000-2002, despite the fact that Senator Kyl directly asked her about Tiller’s contributions to her PAC.As conservative commentator Michelle Malkin pointed out, this was the second time in her confirmation process that Sebelius has had to explain a financial “oversight” to the Senate.
Prior to this latest revelation, she corrected three years’ worth of tax returns and paid more than $7,000 in back taxes to fix improper deductions.We need public officials who will stand up for Life, not join hands with partial-birth abortionists like George Tiller! Please be sure to write to your Senators again and tell them that you have had enough of Kathleen Sebelius’ “oversights".For Life,
Marjorie DannenfelserSusan B. Anthony List President
Check out the SBA blog: www.suzyb.org
P.S. Thank you for caring enough to get involved. Would you please consider giving a small gift to the Susan B. Anthony List to support our efforts to stop President Obama's pro-abortion nominees? With your help, we can make a difference for Life!
P.P.S. Don't miss a thing -- add firstname.lastname@example.org to your safe senders list.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
We also had a joyous reunion with our friend, Sarah Park, postulant at School Sisters of St. Francis in Panhandle, Texas. We arrived there last Wed. afternoon,the 8th, and were welcomed most warmly by all the Sisters. They accomodated Rich and I and our little "Tigger" there for the night. We took Sarah out for her favorite Ialian angel hair pasta dinner at Corinos in Amarillo. Before dinner, we got to see the Largest Cross in the Western Hemisphere on I-40 at Groom, Texas! Impressive and powerful display of large sculptures of the Stations of the Cross. We enjoyed our visit with her and the Sisters and do hope to go back sometime when we can stay a little longer! It's a beautiful convent and newly renovated chapel.
I hope you all had a glorious Easter Triduum. Isn't it great that it still goes on for 7 more days!!?!! I LOVE THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, because no Holy Season is rushed, but celebrated in all it's glory and fullness! Thank you all for our prayers! We so appreciate them and you!
What a GOOD FRIDAY gift!!
Tuesday, April 07, 2009
Sunday, April 05, 2009
Friday, April 03, 2009
A Catholic friend asked me:
Hey, I've got an apologetics question that I've been trying to answer for months (from my wife). She has trouble identifying with Mary because of Mary's Immaculate Conception. In my wife's mind, the special graces given to Mary through the perfect relationship she had (has) with God, make it impossible for the rest of us to emulate/imitate her. She keeps repeating the assertion that "it would have been more of a miracle if God chose a normal woman by which to enter the world."My answer:
I am a convert from Evangelical Protestantism. She was raised in that environment and is now attending Mass, but not yet Catholic. The Marian doctrines seem to be her final stumbling stone (which I can fully understand, since they were mine also).
Well, this is a good question. I'll do my best to take a crack at it. All of us miserable sinners find ourselves in an awkward position when it comes to God and perfect people like the Blessed Virgin Mary. I would come at this from several different angles:
First, we need to distinguish between relating to Mary and emulating her. Since she was indeed without sin (both original and actual), in that sense it is of course difficult to "walk in her shoes," so to speak. Yet, when it comes to imitation, it is a fact of life that in our better moments we all strive to emulate people who are "superior" to us, whom we admire and look up to - those who have succeeded in areas we still yearn for and dream about. That's what all the talk about "role models" is about. If we didn't have a high goal to strive for, how could we improve and become the type of people we want to be? More on this later.
Second, what Catholics have most revered about Mary through the centuries (I think) is her humility and willingness to be mightily used by God as the Theotokos ("God-bearer"). In this sense she is like us: a mere human being who said yes to God, thus reversing the no of Eve (hence her designation as the Second Eve in the Fathers). This is the Mary of the Annunciation (Lk 1:38; cf 1:48).
Now, one might counter with the objection that she had to say yes, being sinless, yet Catholics would not hold to that assertion, since we also believe in free will. It is true of all of us that we must agree to accept and cooperate with the graces that always originate from God (e.g., 1 Cor 3:8-9, 15:10, 2 Cor 6:1). We are, in a sense, "co-laborers" with God. We do not adhere to fatalism or determinism (even Calvinists deny that they hold such a view). If we take the logic that she "had to do it," therefore it wasn't meritorious, to its logical conclusion, we would also have to say that God's voluntary good actions are not good, since He is unable - by the nature of things - to sin. So we assert that Mary did the right thing, and that she was a created human being like the rest of us, even though without sin, and that this is both her glory and her commonality with us.
Third, Mary is not intrinsically superior in essence to the rest of us. She received from God all of the grace which she possessed in abundance (Lk 1:28 - "full of grace" in some translations). She was merely given more of it at one time, and earlier, than us. All human beings who are to be saved for eternity in heaven will one day be without sin, unstained, immaculate, just as Mary was from conception, and just as all of us were meant to be, but for the Fall of Adam and Eve. That's why Cardinal Newman said it was easier to believe in the Immaculate Conception than it was to accept the fact that all human beings are conceived in original sin, since it was one mere exception to the universal rule.
Fourth, while it is appealing in a sense to ponder a sinful Mary whom God could have used as well (which is indeed not an impossible hypothetical scenario - and one I used to argue also), God chose, rather, to make her sinless since this was appropriate for the ark of the new covenant who carried God incarnate and shared even her own blood with Him in utero. So God chose to act in a special way to preserve Mary from sin. I don't think it is unreasonable at all to believe that He would do that, given that He will eventually cleanse totally all saved persons so that they will be fit for heaven. If we must be clean to enter heaven and stand in God's presence (Rev 21:27), then it seems only proper for the Mother of God to possess a commensurate righteousness for that unfathomable task, privilege, and honor. In fact, if I were her, I would much rather have been granted that special grace than to have to face that awesome situation as a sinner!
Fifth, there are plenty of other sinful, "weak" models in Scripture that we can relate to as like us in that sense: vacillating, overzealous Peter, perhaps proud, tempestuous Paul, stuttering Moses and his wimpy brother Aaron, blame-shifting Adam, murderous and adulterous David, doubting Thomas, deceptive Jacob, sexually-weak Samson, drunken, incestuous Noah, etc. I don't think it is implausible for God to spare one, lone human being (His earthly mother at that) from the onslaught of original sin. In fact, I wonder myself why He didn't make more people sinless!
Finally, getting back to the first point, I think this objection fails in the final analysis because it is unscriptural, for the following reasons: we are commanded to imitate the Apostle Paul and other saints (1 Cor 4:16, Phil 3:17, 2 Thess 3:7-9; cf. Jas. 5:10-11, Heb 6:12 and ch. 11), which is difficult enough. Paul sinned as we do, but he also did extraordinary things that in all likelihood we will never accomplish. He was an Apostle! Yet we are called to "imitate" him. Christianity is filled with this sort of striving for what in fact is virtually unattainable in this lifetime. That's one of the many paradoxes of our faith. We may not achieve a 100% grade, but we can shoot for a 90%, or 80% (speaking of sanctification, not the grounds of salvation), as God allows, and as we are faithful in allowing Him to do His work in us. The ideals are always there to shoot for.
Now, the rub is that Paul in turn, imitates Christ, and calls for us to do that as well (1 Cor 11:1, 1 Thess 1:6). Here we are in the same boat as with Mary, and much more so, since this is God Incarnate. Obviously we will not "imitate" Him perfectly, but we are called to do our best, and live by His example. And in our Lord Jesus we find the same humility (of course even more profound) that we find in Mary: He humbled Himself first by giving up divine prerogatives and becoming man (Phil 2:5-7) and then dying on the cross (Phil 2:8). And that is the glory of the Incarnation itself: the fact that God would so humble Himself out of love for us, as to become one of us - like His own creatures. C.S. Lewis compared that act to a person becoming an ant. We don't say that we can't relate to Christ because He is God, but that we can relate to Him since He is a man:
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin.Therefore, since we are expressly informed in Scripture that Jesus our Lord and God, who did not and could not sin, can nevertheless relate to us, "sympathize with our weaknesses," and has been tested like us "in every respect," we can relate all the more so to Mary, who is a creature as we are, yet without sin. In other words, it is not sinlessness which is inherently opposed to human nature, as if sin and concupiscence were the "normal" state. Rather, it is sin which is "unhuman," since it stands in the way of what God intended for the human race, and what will one day indeed be accomplished among the saved and the elect. Thus, Mary is more "human" than all of us, and therefore can help us (by example and intercession) to be what we should be: more like Jesus, her beloved Son, and less in bondage to sin. She is the example of what all of us can be more and more in this life, and what we assuredly will essentially be in the next if we persevere in the faith.
(Hebrews 4:15 [NRSV]; cf. 4:16, 5:7-8, 2:17-18, Is 53:3, 2 Cor 5:21, 1 Pet 2:19-21)
Catholic Christianity recognizes and venerates the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Immaculate Mother of God, as the exemplar of what redeemed humanity will one day be: the forerunner, the quintessential Christian and symbol of the Church itself, our Spiritual Mother and Queen of Heaven, who was spared by God's grace the curse of death and immediately received her glorious resurrected body after her earthly sojourn had come to an end. And that's why we and others have fulfilled the prophecy that Mary gave concerning herself:
. . . from now on all generations will call me blessed.And why is she blessed?:
for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.Mary is always glorifying God the Father and Jesus, never herself, for this is her purpose and calling. All of the Marian doctrines are Christocentric. They were promulgated in the first place so that Jesus Christ would be glorified, not Mary. And this is why Catholics have venerated her above all creatures, and why any Christian can indeed "relate to" and "identify with" her, because she glorifies and imitates God, and that is what all serious Christians want to do (and are commanded to do) too.
Thursday, April 02, 2009
What is so powerful toward the latter part of the interview, is the description Rush gives on "LIFE"...and his 'conception' of an analogy that threw the pro-aborts into a panic. I'd never heard it explained this way, and I can only say "DITTO"...it's really a brilliant 'bit' and THANK YOU, RUSH for standing up for the unborn babies, citizens of America being expunged from any and all rights,now more than ever under a regime that is brutally against 'life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness' except of course for their sorry, miserable, narcissist entourage. Wonder if they'll ever require electric limos to haul their sorry behinds around the country? That's you "Hollywood" and you, D.C. and yes, you, Pres. Obama. You point that finger toward the American people telling us how much we need to sacrifice, and that finger is dripping with INNOCENT blood! God have mercy! I really mean it. I pray for your hard heart and all those in congress and senators who're still scheming under the cover of darkness and in broad daylight how to make abortions more plentious! It's a downright outrage and despicable and horrific to think that our own government can 'suck the life of a baby' from the womb and yap their clap trap about how WE are supposed to sacrifice for the Common good! You don't know the meaning of GOOD, sir. Until you change your heart, and stop the murder of innocent babies who have every single right to be born, you have not any power over me and will not ever control me!
GIVE ME LIBERTY that GOD GAVE ME - keep your 'hope' and 'change!!'
Wednesday, April 01, 2009
Now his brothers, Ray and Jim, have created a beautiful website to honor their brother, Father Kevin Fete. God rest your soul and bring peace, comfort and joy to your family while separated by the 'veil.' One day, I pray we'll all be together in heaven, thanking the Lord together, and thanking you in person, Father, for all you've done so far in my life, for my family, and friends.
As Father Kevin was known to say, "Don't make the minimum requirement your maximum responsibility."
Radical Feminism on the March
March 31, 2009
You simply won’t believe these outrageous quotes until you read them yourself:
Mothers are Losers
“The argument that women who become pregnant have in some sense consented to the pregnancy belies reality…and others who are the inevitable losers in the contraceptive lottery no more ‘consent’ to pregnancy than pedestrians ‘consent’ to being struck by drunk drivers.’”
Pregnant Women are Fetal Containers
“The woman is constantly aware for nine months that her body is not wholly her own: the state has conscripted her body for its own ends. Thus, abortion restrictions ‘reduce pregnant women to no more than fetal containers.’”
Pregnancy equals Slavery
“Statutes that curtail her abortion choice are disturbingly suggestive of involuntary servitude, prohibited by the Thirteenth Amendment, in that forced pregnancy requires a woman to provide continuous physical service to the fetus in order to further the state’s asserted interest.”
All of these outrageous statements were made by Dawn Johnsen, who has been appointed by President Obama to head the Office of Legal Counsel in the Department of Justice.
Donate today to help stop her!
Her nomination will be up for a vote any day now in the Senate. With your help, we can continue to send thousands of letters to Senators demanding that they say NO to Dawn Johnsen. Already, we have sent over 26,000 letters to the Senate! And just today I did three radio interviews about Dawn Johnsen, including one on former Senator Fred Thompson’s radio show. The word about her extreme position is spreading, now help us reach even more folks.
Please support our efforts to defeat Dawn Johnsen and her radical abortion agenda.
I will be sure to keep you updated on this fight and all the other fights we are facing. With your help, I know we can win this one.
Susan B. Anthony List President
P.S. Be sure to check the SBA blog for all the latest pro-life news: www.suzyb.org
P.P.S. The Susan B. Anthony List is working harder than ever to fight the extreme pro-abortion agenda in the White House and in Congress. Please help us today by giving any amount you can so we can continue to stand up for the protection of women and children. Thank you for your partnership in defense of Life!