May 31, 2009
The story is recounted in the Acts of the Apostles, (Acts 2:1 – 4) "On the day of Pentecost all the Lord’s followers were together in one place. Suddenly there was a noise from heaven like the sound of a mighty wind! It filled the house where they were meeting. Then they saw what looked like fiery tongues moving in all directions, and a tongue came and settled on each person there. The Holy Spirit took control of everyone, and they began speaking whatever languages the Spirit let them speak."
The apostles received the Holy Spirit and were miraculously enabled to go out into Jerusalem prophesying and speaking in languages that all the visitors there could understand ("God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven... each one heard them speaking in his own language.") The noise and activity attracted a huge crowd and the Apostle Peter preached a sermon to the crowd with some effectiveness, as Acts reports: "Those who believed what Peter said were baptized and added to the church that day—about 3,000 in all." Acts 2:41.
May 30, 2009
May 29, 2009
References to the fields of natural science, biology, geology, and anthropology show how the wisdom and insights contained in Genesis about the origins of mankind, human nature, human sexuality, and more have, if anything, grown more relevant with time. Insightful commentaries, contemporary examples of biblical principles, relevant reflections from some of the Church’s greatest minds, and study questions bring the ancient text into focus.
Although designed for groups, this book will profit individuals as well. Some of the contemporary examples used to prompt reflection and discussion are, in my opinion, a little overdone. This in no way detracts from Come and See’s usefulness, however. I would use it in my classroom and would recommend it to students and to families.
Lúcia described seeing the lady as "brighter than the sun, shedding rays of light clearer and stronger than a crystal ball filled with the most sparkling water and pierced by the burning rays of the sun." According to Lúcia's account, the lady confided to the children three secrets, known as the Three Secrets of Fátima. She exhorted the children to do penance and to make sacrifices to save sinners. The children wore tight cords around their waists to cause pain, abstained from drinking water on hot days, and performed other works of penance. Most important, Lúcia said that the lady asked them to say the Rosary every day, reiterating many times that the Rosary was the key to personal and world peace. Many young Portuguese men, including relatives of the visionaries, were then fighting in World War I.
May 28, 2009
Staten Island, NY – Fr. Victor Salomon, Director of Hispanic Outreach for Priests for Life, said today that the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor does not merit automatic support from Latinos; rather, Latinos and all Americans should carefully scrutinize her views on abortion.
“What would be the value of having a Latina Supreme Court justice who wants to uphold rulings that have taken the lives of millions of Latino children?” asked Fr. Salomón. “My fear is that this nomination may be great news to those who think it’s OK to abort babies at any time for any reason, but not for those of us who want to share the positive values of Latino culture.
”Fr. Salomon, originally from Venezuela and a priest since 1998, works with Rachel’s Vineyard Ministries to assist women suffering from the spiritual and emotional effects of abortion.
Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, added, “The fact that we know little of Judge Sotomayor’s positions on abortion means we need to find out soon. There are enough people in government, including the President, who are all too willing to let this holocaust continue. It’s time to put more people in government who will work to see this holocaust end.
Priests for Life is the nation's largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit http://www.priestsforlife.org/.
May 27, 2009
Fr. Rene Butler
We seem to have a similar confusion about the Holy Spirit, presented in the New Testament as a dove, wind, fire, and called “Paraclete,” which in turn is translated sometimes as Comforter and sometimes as Advocate. The hymn “Veni Sancte Spiritus” calls on the Spirit to “melt the frozen, warm the chill,” just after describing the Spirit as “Grateful coolness in the heat.”
But all this isn’t so strange as it might at first appear. The key lies in John 3:8, “The wind blows where it wills… but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes.” (See 1 Corinthians 12, Galatians 5:22-23 for just a few examples.) The Spirit is “spontaneous,” unpredictable, bestowing extraordinary gifts, often on unsuspecting, unlikely persons, precisely to meet a particular need in the Church or the world.
Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist
Song of Zechariah, which speaks of the Messiah and his forerunner (John the Baptist).
Blessed be the Lord the God of Israel
He has come to his people and set them free.
He has raised up for us a mighty Saviour,
born of the house of his servant David.
Through his holy prophets he promised of old
that He would save us from our enemies,
from the hands of all who hate us.
He promised to show mercy to our fathers
and to remember his holy covenant.
This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham:
to set us free from the hands of our enemies,
free to worship him without fear,
holy and righteous in his sight
all the days of our life.
You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High;
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,
to give his people knowledge of salvation
by the forgiveness of their sins.
In the tender compassion of our God
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death,
and to guide our feet into the way of peace - Amen
May 26, 2009
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Pope John Paul II restores man firmly at the center of reality, making moral absolutes essential. Like Augustine and Aquinas before him, he confirms the fundamental harmony between faith and reason. Using phenomenology and Sacred Scripture, the pontiff affirmed objective moral truth and the dignity of persons, who are shaped by and responsible for their actions.
The fruit of this synthesis, John Paul’s Theology of the Body, is a reflection on our nature and life as persons made in the image and likeness of God, conjugal love, the meaning of celibacy, and the beatitude to which every human being is called. This is the Holy Father’s catechesis for a culture where sex is an obsession, marriage and families are endangered, and the dignity of persons is denied. Teaching about human sexuality using language subjective, inductive, experimental minds can understand, the Theology of the Body is a light in darkness guiding us toward an authentic vision of the person as divine gift.
I highly recommend this translation. The preface and introductory essays are themselves illuminating. This is not summer reading, however, or for the theologically faint of heart. For those unfamiliar with it, I recommend reading and reflecting on one or two catecheses a day to get the most out of this book.
At the temple in Jerusalem the offering of incense was one of the most solemn aspects of daily worship. This honor was determined by lot, due to the sheer number of priests. Zechariah was chosen by lot to preform the incense offering, a great privilege.
At the golden altar of incense, the angel Gabrielle announced to Zechariah that Elisabeth would give birth to a son, who he was to name John. This son would be the forerunner of the long-awaited Messiah (Luke 1:12-17). In disbelief, Zechariah asked for a sign authenticating the prophecy. The angel identified himself as the Archangel Gabriel, sent by God. Because of Zechariah's doubt he was made mute and was not able to speak until the day the prophesy was fulfilled. Consequently, when Zechariah went out to the worshipers in the temple's outer court, he was unable to say the blessing (Luke 1:18-22).
Compare this to the Virgin Mary’s response when the angel Gabrielle appeared to her during the Annunciation. Gabrielle reveals to Mary that she is too be the mother of the Anointed One. She does not express disbelief but instead asks a question. Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?" And the angel said to her in reply, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God (Luke 1:34-35).
Zechariah and Mary each respond to grace. Mary displays faith. Zechariah demands proof
In Church tradition, a person that is seen as exceptionally holy can be declared a saint by a formal process, called canonization. This particular form of recognition formally allows the person so canonized to be listed in the official Litany of the Saints during Mass. Formal canonization is a lengthy process often taking many years, even centuries.
The first step in this process is an investigation of the candidate's life, undertaken by an expert. After this, the report on the candidate is given to the bishop of the area and more studying is done. It is then sent to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in Rome.
If they approve it, then the person may be granted the title of "Venerable," further investigations may lead to the candidate's beatification and given title of "Blessed." At a minimum, two important miracles are required to be formally declared a saint. The Church, however, places special weight on those miracles or instances of intercession that happened after the individual died and which are seen to demonstrate the saint's continued special relationship with God after death. Finally, when all of this is done the Pope canonizes the saint.
May 25, 2009
May 24, 2009
I'm fighting to make sure that our schools are adequately funded all across the country. With the inequities of relying on property taxes and people who are born in wealthy districts getting better schools than folks born in poor districts and that's now how it's supposed to be. That's not the American way. but I'll tell you what -- even as I fight on behalf of more education funding, more equity, I have to also say that , if parents don't turn off the television set when the child comes home from school and make sure they sit down and do their homework and go talk to the teachers and find out how they're doing, and if we don't start instilling a sense in our young children that there is nothing to be ashamed about in educational achievement, I don't know who taught them that reading and writing and conjugating your verbs was something white.
We've got to get over that mentality. That is part of what the Moses generation teaches us, not saying to ourselves we can't do something, but telling ourselves that we can achieve. We can do that. We got power in our hands. Folks are complaining about the quality of our government, I understand there's something to be complaining about. I'm in Washington. I see what's going on. I see those powers and principalities have snuck back in there, that they're writing the energy bills and the drug laws.
We understand that, but I'll tell you what. I also know that, if cousin Pookie would vote, get off the couch and register some folks and go to the polls, we might have a different kind of politics. That's what the Moses generation teaches us. Take off your bedroom slippers. Put on your marching shoes. Go do some politics. Change this country! That's what we need. We have too many children in poverty in this country and everybody should be ashamed, but don't tell me it doesn't have a little to do with the fact that we got too many daddies not acting like daddies. Don’t think that fatherhood ends at conception. I know something about that because my father wasn't around when I was young and I struggled.
Sundays: SUNDAY NIGHT LIVE WITH FR. GROESCHEL 7PM,
CATHOLIC COMPASS 10PM
Mondays: THE JOURNEY HOME 8PM
Tuesdays: MOTHER ANGELICA LIVE CLASSICS 8PM,
THRESHOLD OF HOPE 10PM
Wednesdays: EWTN LIVE 8PM
Thursdays: LIFE ON THE ROCK 8PM
Fridays: THE WORLD OVER 8PM
Saturdays: EWTN GLOBAL SHOWCASE 8PM
May 26th, Dumb Ox will reflect one last time on the Notre Dame controvesy.
May 28th, "Exigesis for Everyone," will begin to discuss the book of Genesis.
Updated Daily - commentary and information about anti-Catholicism and religious libertyThe Ethics and Public Policy Center
Updated Daily - clarifying and reinforcing the bond between the Judeo-Christian moral tradition and the public debate over domestic and foreign policy issues
May 23, 2009
[ ... ]
When we Catholics repent during this “new Advent” preceding the Jubilee, it is not because our sins are more shameful than those of others, but because we and our pilgrim Church are on a trajectory—we are climbing Jacob’s ladder, striving to “put on the new man,” trying to be better Christians today than we were yesterday.
So far as the public face of the new Advent is concerned, I would suggest that the best way to show that we are moving forward on our trajectory is not by abasing ourselves in front of those who are only too eager to help the Church rend her garments and to pour more ashes on her head. Our best course is simply to demonstrate in concrete ways that the members of the mystical body of Christ are constantly growing in love and service to God and neighbor.
Finally, and most importantly—let us remember what these millennial apologies are not: they are not apologies for being Catholic! That we need never do. That we must never do.
May 22, 2009
In time, Langdon becomes convinced that the Illuminati have returned. According to Brown, the organization, which numbered Galileo among its members, was founded to assert the superiority of science over the irrationality of religion, especially Roman Catholicism. It now seeks revenge, having captured anti- matter, a dangerous substance discovered by the scientist who was assassinated. Langdon’s mission is to stop the Illuminati before it blows up the Vatican with a time bomb procured from the antimatter.
The book, if read purely for entertainment purposes, has its merits. Most of the characters that are pure fiction—like the young priest who before he became pope fell in love with a nun (they wanted a child, but also wanted to remain chaste, so they settled for artificial insemination)—are so absurd as to be unbelievable. But, as with The Da Vinci Code, the real problem lay in Brown’s deceit. He takes real life characters, like Copernicus and Galileo; and real life organizations, like the Illuminati; and real life issues, like science and religion, and blows them to smithereens...
May 21, 2009
Available in English and Spanish Magnificat is well worth the $44.95 subscription price.
To purchase a subscription click here or visit the Catholic Company for similar items.
Marriage is a sacred mystery that symbolizes the covenantal love between Christ and His Church (cf. Eph. 5:21-32). It is a primordial blessing that goes back to the creation of the human race. The dynamics of this blessing should be obvious: love, intimacy, communion, and fruitfulness. So precious are these gifts that God preserved them for humanity even after the fall.Father, You have made the union of man and wife so holy a mystery that it symbolizes the marriage of Christ and His Church.Father, by your plan man and woman are united, and married life has been established as the one blessing that was not forfeited by original sin or washed away by the flood.
If we have any natural defect, either in mind or body, let us not grieve and feel sorry for ourselves. Who can tell whether, if we had been given a larger share of ability or stronger health, or greater wealth, we would have possessed them to the destruction of our soul!-- St. Alphonsus Liguori
May 19, 2009
O Holy Trinity, we thank you for having given to the Church Pope John Paul II, and for having made him shine with your fatherly tenderness, the glory of the Cross of Christ, and the splendor of the Spirit of love.
He, trusting completely in your infinite mercy and in the maternal intercession of Mary, has shown himself in the likeness of Jesus the Good Shepherd and has pointed out to us holiness as the path to reach eternal communion with You.
Grant us, through his intercession, according to your will, the grace that we implore, in the hope that he will soon be numbered among your saints. Amen.
May 18, 2009
This is the speech given by Judge John Noonan (above on right) -- the 1984 Laetare Medal winner asked by Notre Dame to fill in at the commencement after its intended recipient for 2009, Mary Ann Glendon, refused the prize. It is a moving adress and is printed in full for that reason (h/t Whispers in the Loggia):
Mr. President, Father President, Distinguished Faculty and Guests, Members of the Class of 2009, Families and Friends.
Graduates, you know today is a great day. It is a great day not only for you but for your parents and grandparents. They celebrate the completion of a passage – a passage you have made and they have made possible. The values they imparted to you have been tended here, intertwined with your increasingly independent lives as you face the urgent moral matters of the turbulent modern world.
For me, today brings me back to my own beginnings at Notre Dame. Recruited by Father Ted, I rejoiced in the ambience of Notre Dame – an ambience created by the love brought to it by faculty, staff, students, loyal alumni and the priests of Holy Cross. This love sustains a specially American institution situated as an integral part of an ancient, global institution, the Catholic Church. At the conclusion of the Second Vatican Council – Vatican II – we used to say of the next council, “On to Notre Dame I.” It’s still a valid hope.
I turn to issues before you as Americans prepared to participate in our urgent moral matters. Some things we have in common. Some things all of us know are wrong. Genocide is wrong. Torture is wrong. Slavery is wrong.
In these matters, our moral vision is clear. Our moral vision has had a voice to vindicate those unable to speak. Our moral vision is shared by the civilized world.
It was not so always. The clarity of our moral vision has come out of clashes. It has come by experience, by suffering, by strenuous debate. It has come from the insight and courage of gifted leaders. It has come from the light radiating from the Gospel.
The hesitations, the doubts, the qualifications, the outright opposition of others delayed the day of victory for each of the great moral causes where the truth ultimately prevailed. The champions of the cause were frustrated – frustrated most of all by those who should have been their friends.
Consider, for example, the relations of two men rightly called giants, Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. As late as August 14, 1862, the President advised emancipated slaves to emigrate – to emigrate, as the President vaguely put it, to “somewhere in Central America.” The President’s advice, Douglass wrote, was “ridiculous.” The President’s comments confirmed Douglass’s conviction that the President did not get two facts fundamental to a just solution – first, that black Americans were Americans; second, that Americans did not want to live somewhere else. Little over one month later, enlightenment began to dawn. The President issued the Emancipation Proclamation.
For half a century now, a great debate has gone on in this country about a matter touching the inviolability of human life in a mother’s womb, the rights of a woman with respect to her own body, the duties of doctors, the obligations of parents, and the role of government in a decision that is patently personal and significantly social.
The matter of this debate was too serious to be settled by pollsters and pundits; too delicate to be decided by physical force or by banners and slogans, pickets and placards; too basic for settlement to be based on a vote by judges. The matter was settled – so it seemed – thirty-six years ago. The settlement was still-born. Debate intensified. Debate is not now about to close. At its center are the claims of conflicting consciences.
By conscience, as you graduates of 2009 know, we apprehend what God asks of us and what the love of our neighbor requires. More than the voice of your mother, more than an emotional impulse, this mysterious, impalpable, imprescriptible, indestructible, and indispensable guide governs our moral life. Each one is different. You may suggest what my conscience should say, but you cannot tell me what my conscience must say.
That’s the rub when your moral vision is clear and the other fellow’s is cloudy. You become impatient, the more frustrated if the other fellow is a friend – an old friend or a potential friend. Why can’t he or she see it? To satisfy that frustration by shunning or denouncing your unseeing companion will accomplish little beyond expressing your own exasperation.
Help your cause by hurting your friends? No. What does work is prayer, patience, empathy, and the love that encircles the other person, a fellow creature attempting to do what he or she sees as right.
One friend is not here today, whose absence I regret. By a lonely, courageous, and conscientious choice she declined the honor she deserved. I respect her decision. At the same time, I am here to confirm that all consciences are not the same; that we can recognize great goodness in our nation’s president without defending all of his multitudinous decisions; and that we can rejoice on this wholly happy occasion.
We can rejoice that we live in a country where dialogue, however difficult, is doable; where the resolution of our differences is done in peaceful ways; where our president is a man of conscience. We can rejoice with you, members of the Class of ‘09, as your voices join the dialogue and declare your own consciences on the urgent moral matters that will be settled only when they are settled right.
“Great is truth. It will prevail.” This scriptural text is inscribed on the Laetare Medal. Believing the Bible, sustained by this message taken from it, we can work together. Yes! We can work together, serenely secure in that trust that the truth will win out.
May 17, 2009
JERUSALEM (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI's eight-day visit to the Holy Land was a biblical pilgrimage, an interfaith mission and a political balancing act all rolled into one.
Wrapped in an exciting story of mystery and intrigue, Angels & Demons has a clear agenda. Pretending the Church to be a murderous institution bent on eliminating those who would foster scientific progress, this story paints a picture of our Catholic heritage that denies even the most basic facts of history.
As a response, Ascension Press has teamed up with Mark Shea to set the record straight in the book Answering Angels & Demons. Available at AnsweringAngelsAndDemons.com, this resource contains thirty-three questions and answers that dispel the outrageous claims made in the story.
We hope you will download this free book, read it for yourself, share it with your friends, and spread the word.
May 16, 2009
Tom Hoops for Priests for Life
May 15, 2009
To harbor no envy, no anger, no resentment against an offender is still not to have charity for him. It is possible, without any charity, to avoid rendering evil for evil. But to render, spontaneously, good for evil -- such belongs to a perfect spiritual love.-- St Maximus the Confessor
May I ask you to give me your opinion in our monthly online poll hosted at PriestsForLife.org regarding the Notre Dame situation.
Secondly, may I invite you to pledge prayer support for the students who will boycott their own commencement and have invited me to join them on Sunday, May 17 at Notre Dame to lead an alternate commencement ceremony. See PrayerCampaign.org.
Third, may I draw your attention to this media appearance. I will be interviewed about the Notre Dame situation on Fox News Sunday on the morning of Sunday, May 17. This show airs on your local Fox Channel and times vary. Check your local listing for time and channel. The show will re-air at 6pm ET on Cable TV's Fox News Channel. For more information see FoxNews.com.
God bless you and thank you,
Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life
May 14, 2009
May 13, 2009
Continuing with our Marian theme for the month of May, this is the Dumb Ox's favorite prayer the Hail Holy Queen better known as the Salve Regina. Here is the prayer in English and in Latin:
Hail Holy Queen
Hail, holy Queen, Mother of Mercy,
our life, our sweetness and our hope.
To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve;
to thee do we send up our sighs,
mourning and weeping in this valley of tears.
Turn then, most gracious advocate,
thine eyes of mercy toward us;
and after this our exile,
show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.
V./ Pray for us O holy Mother of God,
R./ that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Salve Regina, Mater misericordiae,
vita, dulcedo, et spes nostra, salve.
ad te clamamus
exsules filii Hevae,
ad te suspiramus, gementes et flentes
in hac lacrimarum valle.
Eia, ergo, advocata nostra, illos tuos
misericordes oculos ad nos converte;
et Jesum, benedictum fructum ventris tui,
nobis post hoc exsilium ostende.
O clemens, O pia, O dulcis
V./ Ora pro nobis sancta Dei Genetrix.
R./ Ut digni efficiamur promissionibus Christi.
It has come to our attention that the University of Notre Dame will honor President Barack Obama as its commencement speaker on May 17.
It is an outrage and a scandal that “Our Lady’s University,” one of the premier Catholic universities in the United States, would bestow such an honor on President Obama given his clear support for policies and laws that directly contradict fundamental Catholic teachings on life and marriage.
This nation has many thousands of accomplished leaders in the Catholic Church, in business, in law, in education, in politics, in medicine, in social services, and in many other fields who would be far more appropriate choices to receive such an honor from the University of Notre Dame.
Instead Notre Dame has chosen prestige over principles, popularity over morality. Whatever may be President Obama’s admirable qualities, this honor comes on the heels of some of the most anti-life actions of any American president, including expanding federal funding for abortions and inviting taxpayer-funded research on stem cells from human embryos.
The honor also comes amid great concern among Catholics nationwide about President Obama’s future impact on American society, the family, and the Catholic Church on issues such as traditional marriage, conscience protections for Catholic doctors and nurses, and expansion of abortion “rights.”
This honor is clearly a direct violation of the U.S. bishops’ 2004 mandate in “Catholics in Political Life”: “The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.”
We prayerfully implore you to halt this travesty immediately. We do so with the hope that Catholics nationwide will likewise call on you to uphold the sacred mission of your Catholic university. May God grant you the courage and wisdom to do what is right.
It not too late to sign the petition. For those who have not already done so go here.
Thought of the Day
As iron is fashioned by the fire on an anvil, so in the fire of suffering and under the weight of trials, our souls receive the form that our Lord desires for them to have.
May 12, 2009
The dignity of man rests above all on the fact that he is called to communion with God. This invitation to converse with God is addressed to man as soon as he comes into being. For if man exists it is because God has created him through love, and through love continues to hold him in existence. He cannot live fully according to truth unless he freely acknowledges that love and entrusts himself to his creator. (Vatican Council II, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World 19 § 1.)
In many ways, throughout history down to the present day, men have given expression to their quest for God in their religious beliefs and behavior: in their prayers, sacrifices, rituals, meditations, and so forth. These forms of religious expression, despite the ambiguities they often bring with them, are so universal that one may well call man a religious being:
JERUSALEM (CNS) -- Passing the midpoint of his Holy Land pilgrimage, Pope Benedict XVI celebrated an open-air Mass in Jerusalem, prayed at the Western Wall and visited one of Islam's most sacred shrines.
May 11, 2009
Remember, O Most Gracious Virgin Mary,
that never was it known that anyone who fled to Thy protection, implored Thy help or sought Thy intercession,
was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence,
I fly unto Thee, O Virgin of Virgins, my Mother;
to Thee do I come, before thee I kneel, sinful and sorrowful.
O Mother of the Word Incarnate,
despise not my petitions,
but in Thy clemency, hear and answer me - Amen.
May 10, 2009
AMMAN, Jordan – Walking a pilgrim's path in Jordan, Pope Benedict XVI energized its minority Christian population and built bridges to the moderate Muslim world.
In a wider message to the troubled region, he insisted that religious values must have a decisive role in the societies of the Middle East, especially when it comes to healing divisions and promoting peace.