September 27, 2011

Thought of the Day

If we possessed every virtue, but lacked humility, those virtues would be without root and would not last.
-- St. Vincent de Paul

September 26, 2011

180 the Movie: Go From Pro-Choice to Pro-Life in Six Seconds



While skeptics of 180 say they can't believe anyone would change his or her mind so quickly, Ray Comfort accepts and even understands their disbelief, stating that he could hardly believe it himself when he first viewed the footage in the editing room. Initially, 180 was not the film he meant to produce. At the time, Comfort was taping interviews for a DVD to go along with a book on Hitler and the holocaust. In the course of the interviews, one question led to another, and the discussion led to abortion. Comfort explains, "It began with two male university students completely changing their minds about abortion when we asked them this one question. We realized it wouldn't be convincing to have only males speaking on the subject, so we took to the streets, asking that one particular question, and found that six women changed their minds from pro-abortion to pro-life in a matter of seconds. It was amazing!"

Comfort quickly recognized the film's potential to open the doors of discussion. "I have held up pro-life signs. I have printed pro-life literature and spoken against abortion in pulpits and in my books, but I have felt that all my efforts were almost futile -- that is, up until now. In 180 we have a nation changer."

Comfort adds, "Most of us know that we should be doing something to stop this horror, but the thought of protesting is a little unnerving, especially with the demonization of those who do so. But here is something each of us can easily do -- we can give this DVD out. We can pass them out on the streets, leave copies on park benches or on seats in malls or give it to the checkout lady at the supermarket. This isn't hard to do, and it will save lives -- perhaps millions of lives."

A MORNING PRAYER WRITTEN BY ST. THERESE


O my God! I offer Thee all my actions of this day for the intentions and for the glory of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. I desire to sanctify every beat of my heart, my every thought, my simplest works, by uniting them to Its infinite merits; and I wish to make reparation for my sins by casting them into the furnace of Its Merciful Love.

O my God! I ask of Thee for myself and for those whom I hold dear, the grace to fulfill perfectly Thy Holy Will, to accept for love of Thee the joys and sorrows of this passing life, so that we may one day be united together in heaven for all Eternity.

Amen.

September 23, 2011

Prayer For Those with Profound Disabilities

Lord Jesus Christ,

You know the pain of brokenness, You took our weaknesses upon Your shoulders and bore it to the wood of the cross. Hear our prayers for our brothers and sisters whose bodies fail them and whose minds are crippled by the ravages of disease. Implant a love for them deep within our hearts, that we, disfigured and disabled by our sin, may treasure and nuture the gifts of their lives. May we find You in their weakness, and console You in our care for them. For You are Lord, forever and ever.

Amen

September 22, 2011

Thought of the Day


For me prayer is a surge of the heart, it is a simple look towards Heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy.

- Saint Therese of Lisieux

September 18, 2011

Parallels Between Abortion & Slavery

Slavery in centuries past and abortions in this century were defended and promoted by the same arguments. Consider the case in the USA: In 1857, in the Dred Scott case, the US Supreme Court decided, by a 7 to 2 majority, that according to the US Constitution, black people were not legal persons. They were the property of the owner. He could buy, or sell, or even kill them. Abolitionists had objected. The ruling was outrageous, they said. It was immoral and discriminated against an entire class of living persons solely on the basis of skin color. But those who supported slavery argued that if those who had a moral objection to slavery, didn't have to own slaves. No one was forcing them to own slaves. But they also said: "Don't force your morality on the slave owner. He has the right to choose to own slaves if he wishes."

In a very similar decision just over one hundred years later, in 1973, in the Roe vs Wade Decision, the US Supreme Court decided that according to the US Constitution, by the same 7 to 2 majority, that unborn people were not legal persons. They had no civil rights, no human rights and were therefore, legally the property of the owner (the mother). She had the absolute legal right to keep or destroy her unborn baby. Pro-life people objected. The ruling was outrageous, they said. It was immoral and discriminated against an entire class of living people solely on the basis of age (too young) and place of residence (the womb). But those who support abortion argue that those who have a moral objection to abortion, don't have to have abortions. The pro-abortionists say: "No one is fordcing you to have an abortion. But don't force your morality on the mother. She has a right to choose to kill her developing baby if she wishes."

Abraham Lincoln in the 19th century said: "No one has the right to do what is wrong."

This country has just ended discrimination based on race. Are we now going to start discrimination on the basis of age? Saying:"I'm older than you, I'm bigger than you, I have a voice - therefore I can kill you."

Jesus Christ is the Perfect Self-Knowledge of the Father

God’s perfection is to exist. This doesn’t sound very impressive until we consider the opposite of existence. Something that exists is more perfect than the mere conceptualization of that thing. Before Leonardo da Vinci painted the Mona Lisa he envisioned it in his mind. What resulted from his creative powers and artistry continues to fascinate, inspiring legions of impersonators, and bring joy to beholders. Had he not painted it his masterpiece would have disappeared along with his imagination. The Mona Lisa hanging in the Louvre is superior in every way to the unrealized concept.

As the perfection of all that is, God the Father’s knowledge of Himself is perfect. The perfect self-knowledge of the Father exists. It is God the Son. Since Jesus is the perfect self-knowledge of the Father, the Person of Christ has always existed. God the Father and God the Son have no beginning and no end, a truth acknowledged in the Nicene Creed:
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.

Top Ten Reasons to be Catholic


This is my top ten reasons to be Catholic list. There are of course many more reasons which you are free to add in the comments section.

1. the Eucharist
2. the Trinity - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
3  the other sacraments - Baptism, Confession, Confirmation, Marriage, Holy Orders,   Annointing of the Sick
4. the Communion of Saints
5. the Pope
6. the Magisterium
7. the Blessed Virgin Mary
8. Purgatory
9. Guardian Angels
10. Divine Mercy, the rosary, and other sacramentals

Thought of the Day

"Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness;" (Isaiah 5:20)

September 16, 2011

Amarillo Diocese Affirms Fr. Pavone’s Good Standing and Character

In case you were wondering, here's the latest on the Fr. Pavone situation including a letter from the Vicar of clergy from the diocese of Amarillo.

September 15, 2011

September 13, 2011

Thought of the Day


Christianity is a religion of the Word, not of a book. The Word is a Person - Jesus Christ. He is God’s "final word" on everything.

Father Pavone suspended from ministry outside Amarillo Diocese

Catholic News Agency has all the details.

A Day in the Life of the Pope

Have you ever wondered what a typical day is like for Pope Benedict XVI? Andrea Tornielli provides us with a basic run through his typical day, complete with what he generally eats for breakfast.

H/T Servant and Steward

What is the difference between contraception and natural family planning?

Contraception causes a lie with the body, a departure from the gift of self, damaging the intimacy of husband and wife. No method of contraception is 100% effective to date. Different forms of contraception can invite selfish behaviour into the marital act and opens the door to greater infidelity. The real problem behind women's oppression is the failure of men to treat them with dignity and respect. In this light, contraception is a sure way to keep women in chains.

Contraception interrupts, sterilizes and works against conception whereas NFP respects the body as God designed it and works with this plan. NFP is a method that is highly reliable, medically safe and inexpensive. The discovery of understanding how the body works is a marvellous act of self-discovery. NFP treats fertility not as something to be suppressed of manipulated, but as a normal bodily function. NFP encourages a shared responsibility for fertility. This normally leads to a deeper level of care and respect in a relationship.

NFP also respects the design of the human body, leading to deeper communication and intimacy. This helps to build self-respect and self-worth. In the words of Pope Paul VI, NFP, "Favours attention for one's partner, helps both parties to drive out selfishness, the enemy of true love, and deepens their sense of responsibility." (Encyclical Letter, Humanae Vitae n. 21). NFP couples are less likely to divorce, be more receptive to children and they renew their wedding vows each time they practice the marital act.

September 11, 2011

Ten Years After...

O God of love, compassion, and healing,
look on us, people of many different faiths and traditions,
who gather today at this site,
the scene of incredible violence and pain.

We ask you in your goodness
to give eternal light and peace
to all who died here—
the heroic first-responders:
our fire fighters, police officers,
emergency service workers, and Port Authority personnel,
along with all the innocent men and women
who were victims of this tragedy
simply because their work or service
brought them here on September 11, 2001.

We ask you, in your compassion
to bring healing to those
who, because of their presence here that day,
suffer from injuries and illness.
Heal, too, the pain of still-grieving families
and all who lost loved ones in this tragedy.
Give them strength to continue their lives with courage and hope.

We are mindful as well
of those who suffered death, injury, and loss
on the same day at the Pentagon and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Our hearts are one with theirs
as our prayer embraces their pain and suffering.

God of peace, bring your peace to our violent world:
peace in the hearts of all men and women
and peace among the nations of the earth.
Turn to your way of love
those whose hearts and minds
are consumed with hatred.

God of understanding,
overwhelmed by the magnitude of this tragedy,
we seek your light and guidance
as we confront such terrible events.
Grant that those whose lives were spared
may live so that the lives lost here
may not have been lost in vain.
Comfort and console us,
strengthen us in hope,
and give us the wisdom and courage
to work tirelessly for a world
where true peace and love reign
among nations and in the hearts of all.

- Pope Benedict XVI
20 April 2008, at Ground Zero

Why does the Church teach that contraception is wrong?

Contraception is not considered wrong by the Church because of its artificial nature. After all, there is nothing morally illicit about paracetamol or vitamins. The purpose of medicine is to help the body work in the correct way. Contraception does not help the body to function properly: It does exactly the opposite. Some methods of contraception, such as the oral contraceptive pill, are also an abortifacient. This means that they can cause early induced abortion at the beginning of a pregnancy. The God given purpose of sex is babies and bonding. Contraception divides these purposes in two.

Why save sex until marriage?

Sexual intercourse is so marvellous, beautiful and sacred that it is worth saving this incredible gift for the purpose that it was intended: for babies and bonding within marriage.

For those who will be married one day, it’s captivating to know your future spouse is somewhere out there. What would you want that person to be doing? Would you want them to be waiting to give you themselves and their love? To embrace purity and save sex until marriage enhances the ultimate “yes” to sex when married. If it was not possible to say “no,” how valuable would our “yes” be worth?

Purity can bring self-respect, shows your respect to others and also brings a clear conscience. It enhances your chances of experiencing romance without regret, avoiding sexually transmitted diseases and unintended pregnancies. The decision to wait means not being haunted by past sexual relationships when you are physically intimate with your spouse.

The decision to live a pure life strongly reduces the chances of experiencing the emotional pain of being used, rejected or discarded by a person you have given the most intimate part of yourself. Abstinence decreases the chances of divorce later in life. It helps you know that you are giving your spouse the total gift of self, something that has never been given to another. Real love desires what is best for the other. Abstinence proves commitment to your future spouse and helps you to live in integrity and joy.

September 9, 2011

Act of Dedication of the Human Race to Jesus Christ King

A partial indulgence is granted to the faithful, who piously recite the Act of Dedication of the Human Race to Jesus Christ King. A plenary indulgence is granted, if it is recited publicly on the feast of our Lord Jesus Christ King.

Most sweet Jesus, Redeemer of the human race, look down upon us humbly prostrate before you. We are yours, and yours we wish to be; but to be more surely united with you, behold each one of us freely consecrates himself today to your Most Sacred Heart.

Many indeed have never known you; many, too, despising your precepts, have rejected you. Have mercy on them all, most merciful Jesus, and draw them to your Sacred Heart.

Be King, O Lord, not only of the faithful who have never forsaken you, but also of the prodigal children who have abandoned you; grant that they may quickly return to their Father’s house, lest they die of wretchedness and hunger.

Be King of those who are deceived by erroneous opinions, or whom discord keeps aloof, and call them back to the harbor of truth and the unity of faith, so that soon there may be but one flock and one Shepherd.

Grant, O Lord, to your Church assurance of freedom and immunity from harm; give tranquility of order to all nations; make the earth resound from pole to pole with one cry: Praise to the divine Heart that wrought our salvation; to it be glory and honor for ever. Amen.

Prayer Source: Enchiridion of Indulgences , June 29, 1968

September 8, 2011

Overcoming Anxiety With Christ

Do you often deal with anxiety? Are you consumed with worry? You can learn to manage these emotions by understanding what the Bible says about them. In his book, Truth Seeker-Straight Talk from the Bible, Warren Mueller studies the keys in God’s Word to overcoming your struggles with anxiety and worry.

Anxiety (Worry)

All of one’s lives are full of many concerns stemming from the absence of certainty and control over our future. While we can never be completely free from worry, the Bible shows us how to minimize worry and anxiety in our lives. Philippians 4:6-7 says don not worry about anything, but with prayer and supplication and thanksgiving make your requests known to God and then the peace of God will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Believers are commanded to pray about life’s worries. These prayers are to be more than requests for favorable answers. They are to include thanksgiving and praise along with the needs. Praying in this way reminds us of the many blessings God continually gives us whether we ask or not. This reminds us of God’s great love for us and that He knows and does what is best for us.

A Sense of Security in Jesus

Worry is proportional to our sense of security. When life is going as planned and we feel safe in our life routines, then worries subside. Likewise, worry increases when we feel threatened, insecure or are overly focused on and committed to the result. 1 Peter 5:7 says cast your cares upon Jesus because He cares for you. The practice of believers is to take our worries to Jesus in prayer and leave them with Him. This reinforces our dependence on, and faith in Jesus.

Recognize a Wrong Focus

Worries increase when we become focused on the things of this world. Jesus said the treasures of this world are subject to decay and can be taken away but heavenly treasures are secure (Matthew 6:19). Therefore, set your priorities on God and not on money (Matthew 6:24). Man worries about such things as having food and clothes but is given life by God. God provides life, without which the concerns of life are meaningless.

Worry can cause ulcers and mental problems that can have destructive health effects that shorten life. No amount of worry will add even one hour to one’s life (Matthew 6:27) Therefore, why worry? The Bible teaches that we should deal with each day’s problems when they occur and not be obsessed with future concerns that man not happen (Matthew 6:34).

Focus on Jesus

In Luke 10:38-42, Jesus visits the house of the sisters Martha and Mary. Martha was busy with many details regarding making Jesus and his disciples comfortable. Mary, on the other hand, was sitting at the feet of Jesus listening to what he said. Martha complained to Jesus that Mary should be busy helping but Jesus told Martha that “…your are worried and anxious about many things , but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42)

What is this one thing that freed Mary from the business and worries experienced by her sister? Mary chose to focus on Jesus, listen to Him and ignore the immediate demands of hospitality. I do not believe that Mary was being irresponsible, rather she wanted to experience and learn from Jesus first and later, when He was done speaking, she would fulfill her duties. Mary had her priorities straight. Put God first and He will free us from worries and take care of the rest of our concerns.

Support the National Organization for Marriage

Here's the NOM blog with all the info:
Here are their Facebook and Twitter pages:

Here's the scoop:

NOM gets a $1 donation for every like on Facebook, Follow on Twitter,
or text message signup.

Step 1. Like NOM on Facebook! and earn NOM $1.
Step 2. Follow NOM on Twitter!
Step 3. Sign up for NOM's SMS Text Alerts, becoming a part of our
instant action army! Just text "1M1W" to 96362.
Step 4.Tell your friends! By sharing this email with just 10 friends,
you can help raise up to $30 to protect marriage across the nation.

H/T Mark Shea

We Are Catholic


Inspiring video. Check it out.

September 6, 2011

F.Y.I. Ave Maria Radio

There is an excellent radio station streeming online at http://www.avemariaradio.net/ for faithful Catholics and seeking Christians. I highly recommend this site and the programing it offers. Listen today and support it financally if you can.

September 4, 2011

Living the Gospel of Life

How does one live the gospel of life in the hussel and bussel of everyday life? Was it easier for Mary and Joseph who had Christ in their midst? I think if we contemplate the life of the Holy Family we find that the answer is no. They had their own crosses and sufferings as much because of Jesus.

As with the Holy Family, we suffer difficulties and challenges of all types. The first thing to remember is that suffering redounds to our eternal good. Just as Christ's passion and death produced a weight of incomparable glory for all humanity. We can unite our suffering with Christ's on the cross, as members of his body here on earth. Thus, even our sufferings and misfortune can advance the Kingdom of God and give glory to his name.

But as we all know, life is more than suffering. Living the gospel of life means keeping God first and foremost. We must never forget that in body and mind we are temples of the Holy Spirit. Everyone we interact with is a child of God as are we. In everything we say and do we must be a light to the world. This means acting as Christ would act.

Speaking of Christ, being with Him had its pitfalls but it had to have its joys as well. Do we radiate joy to others in our lives? Do we inspire hope and love in others? These are just a few thoughts to contemplate.  

Prayer of John Paul II for Life

O Mary,
bright dawn of the new world,
Mother of the living,
to you do we entrust the cause of life:
Look down, O Mother,
upon the vast numbers
of babies to be born,
of the poor whose lives are made difficult,
of men and women
who are victims of brutal violence,
of the elderly and the sick killed
by indifference or out of misguided mercy.
Grant that all who believe in your Son
may proclaim the Gospel of life
with honesty and love
to the people of our time.
Obtain for them the grace
to accept that Gospel
as a gift ever new,
the joy of celebrating it with gratitude
throughout their lives
and the courage to bear witness to it
resolutely, in order to build,
together with all people of good will,
the civilization of truth and love,
to the praise and glory of God,
the Creator and lover of life.


Pope John Paul II
Encyclical Letter "The Gospel of Life"
Given in Rome, on March 25, the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, in the year 1995.