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Friday, June 30, 2006

Arkansas OK's gay foster parents

Not the greatest day in the history of my home state.

Arkansas cannot ban homosexuals from becoming foster parents because there is no link between their sexual orientation and a child's well-being, the state's high court ruled Thursday.

The court agreed with a lower court judge that the state's child welfare board had improperly tried to regulate public morality. The ban also violated the separation of powers doctrine, the justices said. Read Entire Article

Thursday, June 29, 2006

A good news update on Baby Luukas

From Luukas' mom:
Dear Friends, we have more good news Smile We are still officially at the hospital, but we took Luukas home for several days and nights unless we need to go back there. Hopefully there will not be such a need and we can stay at home for good.

We see he is improving. He eats from the bottle (seldom the whole meal, but anyway), moves more, breathes better, and the doctor says his heart sounds better than a week ago. Perhaps we have even seen a few miracles? Like the fact that the doctors expected him to die twice and he survived. And the doctors expected him to have breathing problems due to his not being able to cough well and move strongly - and he has less breathing problems, coughs and is stronger than before. Slavo, I think he coughed for the first time after you came to the intensive care unit to give him the holy oil. Thank you, you are a great godfather.

Well, having said all this I still ask and beg you to pray for Luukas. He still doesn't breathe normally, there are some sounds at his heart, and most importantly, no doctor changed their opinion about his brain damage and the decision not to treat his potential major infections is still valid. I hope he will have brain activity, but since the doctors say what they say, it still seems it would have to be a miracle, and perhaps the biggest of all that we have already seen.

So please continue to pray and thank you very much for your prayers!
Search of "Luukas" in the search box in the sidebar for more about this amazing child.

Bishop Sartain

Moneybags a A Catholic Life has pictures from Bishop Sartain's installation mass in Jolliet, Ill.

See them here

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Bishop Sartain installed in Joliet, IL.

Peter J. Sartain, former Bishop of Little Rock was installed as Bishop of Joliet yesterday. Bishop Sartain will definately be missed in the Diocese of Little Rock.

Gerald has an interview with Bishop Sartian over at the Cafeteria is Closed.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Your letter has been received and filed appropriately.......trash

From RCFM by way of

Open Letter to Cardinal O’Malley and the Roman Catholic Bishops of Massachusetts

As ministers, rabbis and religious leaders of many faith traditions, we urge you to stop your political campaign to take away civil marriage rights from gay and lesbian citizens. At a time when the Roman Catholic Church says it is trying to promote tolerance and diversity it is lobbying the legislature and campaigning publicly to ban same-sex marriage in the Commonwealth.

The Roman Catholic magisterium teaches that homosexuality and gay unions are gravely immoral (not exactly correct, read CCC 2357-2359). We disagree with that doctrine (the esscence of protestantism and cafeteria catholicism . . . wait protestantism is sufficient), and we rejoice and celebrate marriage equality in Massachusetts. However, we honor your right to believe as you wish. We respect your right to practice your faith according to your laws.

We ask that you respect our faith traditions in return. Taking away civil marriage rights from committed, loving gay and lesbian couples would deny us the right to practice our beliefs. (so you want the Church to back off of promoting its position to society so that you can force yours on society through activist judges and radical politicians?) We would no longer be able to marry same-sex couples legally. The state would be in the position of granting full rights and protections to everyone married according to your beliefs, while denying those rights and protections to couples married according to ours.

You are promoting prejudice through your political campaign, intentionally or not.
By proclaiming homosexuality and same-sex unions to be universally immoral and worthy of second-class status under state law, you are sending a message that our faith communities are immoral. You are harming us and our families and your own faithful as well. Thousands of Roman Catholics have signed our Roman Catholic Statement in support of marriage equality. They have signed out of their pain and their love and concern for the Church. (You know you can't say that with a straight face!)

We all have a right to speak our minds and to vote according to our beliefs, but in the political realm, we also have a constitutional responsibility to protect minorities, including the gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual individuals and our minority religious communities. Our founding fathers understood the importance of protecting minorities and of preventing sectarian beliefs from becoming civil laws.

Worldwide, we can witness the unfortunate consequences when religious groups try to use government power to impose their will on multi-cultural societies.(and what are you doing? Homosexual marriage is not the norm, you are trying to force it on society.) Respecting and protecting the dignity of every soul, regardless of sexual orientation or religious beliefs, is the American way -- and the only way to protect the religious freedom and the democratic society we all cherish.

We urge you to stop trying to make your religious definition of marriage and family the law of our Commonwealth. Please stop trying to put personal faith up for a popular vote in 2008. Let’s return our focus to our common mission of promoting a socially just and tolerant society.

The Religious Coalition for the Freedom to Marry Board:

The Rev’d. Anne C. Fowler, President
Rabbi Howard Berman
Rabbi Devon A. Lerner, Executive Director
Rev. Quinn Caldwell
The Rev’d. George C. Welles, Jr.
Rev. Tiffany Steinwert
Rev. David Pettee
Rabbi Daniel Judson
Charles Martel, Roman Catholic Liaison
Rev. Irving Cummings
Constance Cervone, Roman Catholic Liaison
Rev. Maureen Reddington-Wilde
First of all. The right to marry comes from God, who established it for one man and one woman. As far as taking away any civil the overwhelming majority of states (all but Massachusetts) this civil right doesn't exist and therfore can't be "taken away".

But, I really want to address the fact that these "religious leaders" including thier "Roman Catholic" liaisons don't know diddly about the Catholic Church. This letter continually talks of the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church and the Roman Catholic magesterium. There is no "Roman Catholic Church". There is the one Catholic Church made up of several rites one of which (and the largest) happens to be the Roman or more appropriately Latin rite. There are over twenty rites, in 4 major groupings, in communion with the Bishop of Rome.

Read about the rites in communion with Rome at EWTN

Monday, June 26, 2006

Pope on music at Mass

In relation to my earlier post about Liturgical Music:

VATICAN: POPE AGAINST POP MUSIC DURING MASS Vatican City, 26 June (AKI) - Pope Benedict XVI has called for traditional sacred music to be played during mass, condemning the ongoing custom of contemporary music at religious celebrations. "Updating sacred music is possible, but this cannot happen unless it follows the tradition of Gregorian chants or sacred polyphony," the pontiff said on Sunday on the sidelines of a concert in the Sistine Chapel. A skilled pianist with a predilection for Bach and Mozart, Benedict XVI spoke against a custom reportedly appreciated by his more informal predecessor John Paul II, who worked very hard throughout his papacy to make the Church more appealing to the younger generations.

In an interview published in Turin-daily La Stampa on Monday, the former Archbishop of Ravenna, veteran Cardinal Ersilio Tonini also condemned the practice saying that "Benedict XVI is right, mass is a meeting with God and to meet God sacred music is better than the turmoil of electric guitars, hand clapping and the husstle and bustle of disorderly sounds."

Tonini said that 40 years ago after the Second Vatican Council "making mass more popular and inviting could be understood." However, the cardinal added, "we exaggerated and now I believe it is legitimate to consider as over this season of breaks with tradition."
Hat tip: Gerald at The Cafeteria is Closed

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Liturgical Music or "Let's Pat Ourselves on the Back in Song"

I can't help but notice how much of the music is focused on, "I'm so good, look at what I've done" or "Look at what Jesus did for us because we are such wonderful people"

It's amazing how often the words I, my, me, we, us, our, and you pop up in the "hymns" we sing at Mass. What is more disturbing is the hymns that don't make any reference to God or Christ at all. We are there to worship Him, not to pat ourselves on the back. Don't get me wrong, I don't think we should be self-loathing or anything. But when we are at Mass, before the Alter of God, our focus should be on worshiping him not telling each other how wonderful we are.

Articulation of the Faith

I have this standing debate with a friend about Apostolic succession and the Church's guardianship of the Truth and how that Truth has been passed down. I think some of what Cardinal Arinze says in God's Invisible Hand sheds some light onto this subject. Please bear with me as I quote at length with emphasis added.

O'Connell: We say we have the fullness of revelations, and yet at the end of time we know that there will be a full revelation in a way that we had never imagined.

Cardinal Arinze: When we say we have the fullness of revelation, we must go carefully. The fullness of revelation has been given to manking in Jesus Christ, and he has entrusted this to his Church. But that does not mean that every one of us in the Church knows God fully. We would not be so proud. We only know a little. We can grow.
It does not even mean that the Church as a whole does not grow. The Church grows in that knowledge of God, and in the knowledge of revelation, and as the ages role by, the Church -- by prayer, by reflection, by reading the lives of the saints and the early teachers or Fathers of the Church, and by the assistance of the Holy Spirit--comes to a better understanding of some parts of our Faith. So the whole Church grows; much more do individuals grow.

O'Connell: Thos who will read this will say your words speak to thier own experience, more so than documents that seem to affirm with great certainty adn clarity but, at times, do not reach the hearts of people.

Cardinal Arinze: To say that one individual can be nearer to God than another does not mean that the Church should abandon her duty to articulate the faith. We notice that from the early years of the Church, from the second, third, and fourth centuries, the bishops, coming together with the Pope or his delegate, felt it their duty to say, "This is what we believe, we believe, we believe." That is the origin of the Credo.
It is the duty of the teaching authority of the Church to articulate that faith, that is, to state it in human language, also using philosopical terms or concepts, because the faith has to be handed down. If we handed down the fiath only by silent witness, but not by a simple word, you would soon find that the child growing up does not know in what faith he is being initiated. That's why the credos were often tied to baptism. The person is being baptized into the faith of that community as articulated. The articulation of the faith retains its imporantce, otherwise we will soon become a type of spiritiual group in which nobody knows what he believes, nobody can articulate it, nobody knows what to hand down, and nobody can say to anyone, "You are not believing what our ancestors in the faith handed down to us."
Because in the days of the aposles, Saint Peter and Saint Paul, we are told that Saint Peter said, "There are several things Paul wrote that are difficult to understand and that some abuse to their own destruction." Saint Paul was very strict on what people were to believe. He told the Galatians, "If anyone preaces a Gospel to you different from the one we have preached to you, let him be anathema. So you are to believe what has been handed down to you, and not to believe anythign else." This means that they were also very careful about the articulation of the faith even in the days of Saint Paul.
How much more so, later one, when the Church had met Greek and Roman philosophy, and the faith had to be expressed in those terms. How much more so also when some began to say there are two persons in Christ, so the Church was compelled to express herself on this quesion; or again when people said Christ was not God, the the Councils of Nicaea and Constantinople had to say no: "He is God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten not made, one in substance with the Father, and through him all things were made." All that articulation came with time.
So to address a point raised recently, the Church is the guardian of the Truth revealed to us through Jesus Christ. But as humans, none of us posses the capability of completely understanding the Truth. We grow in our understanding through time. Likewise the Church, as a human institution, could not be expected to fully understand the Truth immediately. Trough time the Church gains a deeper understanding and knowledge of the Truth, with it then articulates as part of its duty. The Church doesn't make the Truth, it holds and articulates the Truth.

Without this central authority in the Church to hold and articulate the Truth we get exactly what Cardinal Arinze is speaking about when he says, "The articulation of the faith retains its imporantce, otherwise we will soon become a type of spiritiual group in which nobody knows what he believes, nobody can articulate it, nobody knows what to hand down, and nobody can say to anyone, 'You are not believing what our ancestors in the faith handed down to us.' " The Protestant churches today, and thier many disagreements in belief and doctrine, provide a perfect example of what happens when the teaching authority of the Church, established by Christ and given to the apostles, is rejected.

US amendments to new Mass translation

Gerald has them over at The Cafeteria is Closed

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Douay-Rheims Bible Online

I found this great resource lately. Searchable Douay-Rheims Bible and if you are into Latin Latin Vulgate. I'm adding it to the sidebar.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist

Luke 1:5-20, 36-44, 57-80

There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zachary, of the courese of Abia; and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name Elizabeth.

6 And they were both just before God, walking in all the commandments and justifications of the Lord without blame. 7 And they had no son, for that Elizabeth was barren, and they both were well advanced in years. 8 And it came to pass, when he executed the priestly function in the order of his course before God, 9 According to the custom of the priestly office, it was his lot to offer incense, going into the temple of the Lord. 10 And all the multitude of the people was praying without, at the hour of incense.

11 And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord, standing on the right side of the alter of incense. 12 And Zachary seeing him, was troubled, and fear fell upon him. 13 But the angel said to him: Fear not, Zachary, for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elizabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John: 14 And thou shalt have joy and gladness, and many shall rejoice in his nativity. 15 For he shall be great before the Lord; and shall drink no wine nor strong drink: and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb.

16 And he shall convert many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias; that he may turn the hearts of the fathers unto the children, and the incredulous to the wisdom of the just, to prepare unto the Lord a perfect people. 18 And Zachary said to the angel: Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years. 19 And the angel answering, said to him: I am Gabriel, who stand before God: and am sent to speak to thee, and to bring thee these good tidings. 20 And behold, thou shalt be dumb, and shalt not be able to speak until the day wherein these things shall come to pass, because thou hast not believed my words, which shall be fulfilled in their time.

36 And behold thy cousin Elizabeth, she also hath conceived a son in her old age; and this is the sixth month with her that is called barren: 37 Because no word shall be impossible with God. 38 And Mary said: Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her. 39 And Mary rising up in those days, went into the hill country with haste into a city of Juda. 40 And she entered into the house of Zachary, and saluted Elizabeth.

41 And it came to pass, that when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the infant leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: 42 And she cried out with a loud voice, and said: Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. 43 And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For behold as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy.

57 Now Elizabeth's full time of being delivered was come, and she brought forth a son. 58 And her neighbours and kinsfolks heard that the Lord had shewed his great mercy towards her, and they congratulated with her. 59 And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they called him by his father's name Zachary. 60 And his mother answering, said: Not so; but he shall be called John.

61 And they said to her: There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name. 62 And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called. 63 And demanding a writing table, he wrote, saying: John is his name. And they all wondered. 64 And immediately his mouth was opened, and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, blessing God. 65 And fear came upon all their neighbours; and all these things were noised abroad over all the hill country of Judea.

66 And all they that had heard them laid them up in their heart, saying: What an one, think ye, shall this child be? For the hand of the Lord was with him. 67 And Zachary his father was filled with the Holy Ghost; and he prophesied, saying: 68 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; because he hath visited and wrought the redemption of his people: 69 And hath raised up an horn of salvation to us, in the house of David his servant: 70 As he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets, who are from the beginning:

71 Salvation from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us: 72 To perform mercy to our fathers, and to remember his holy testament, 73 The oath, which he swore to Abraham our father, that he would grant to us, 74 That being delivered from the hand of our enemies, we may serve him without fear, 75 In holiness and justice before him, all our days.

76 And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways: 77 To give knowledge of salvation to his people, unto the remission of their sins: 78 Through the bowels of the mercy of our God, in which the Orient from on high hath visited us: 79 To enlighten them that sit in darkness, and in the shadow of death: to direct our feet into the way of peace. 80 And the child grew, and was strengthened in spirit; and was in the deserts until the day of his manifestation to Israel.

God's Invisible Hand

I am currently reading God's Invisible Hand: The Life and Work of Francis Cardinal Arinze. Gerald O'Connell presents the transcripts of several interviews he conducted with Cardinal Arinze over four years. The content of the interviews is arranged in chronological order from 1932 to 2002. I'm about halfway through it and already I'm confident in recommending it as a worthy read.

As I read what Cardinal Arinze has to say about "God's Invisible Hand" I can't help but think about the workings of God's hand in my own life. It's amazing to look back and see what events, as insignificant as they seemed at time, have shaped your journey through life.

For instance, I had no intentions of attending the University that I did. It was only a few months before classes started that a new teacher introduced me to the idea of attending this particular school. There I met someone who invited me to my first Mass at St. Joseph's. Over a few years I attended Mass sporadically at St. Joseph's until someone I worked with happened to see me at church one Sunday and invite me to the University parish, St. Thomas Aquinas. Soon after I was attending Mass every Sunday and two years later I'm Catholic!

Along the way there are several key people that had I never met I may not be where I am right now. You never know when the smallest event is going to have a big and long lasting impact.
Litany of the Sacred Heart

Lord, have mercy
Christ, have mercy
Lord, have mercy

God our Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us.

Response: have mercy of us

Heart of Jesus, Son of the Eternal Father,
Heart of Jesus, formed by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mother,
Heart of Jesus, one with the eternal Word,
Heart of Jesus, Infinite in Majesty,
Heart of Jesus, holy Temple of God,
Heart of Jesus, Tabernacle of the Most High,
Heart of Jesus, House of God and Gate of Heaven,
Heart of Jesus, aflame with love for us,
Heart of Jesus, source of justice and love,
Heart of Jesus, full of goodness and love,
Heart of Jesus, well-spring of all virtue,
Heart of Jesus, most worthy of all praise,
Heart of Jesus, king and center of all hearts,
Heart of Jesus, treasure-house of wisdom and knowledge,
Heart of Jesus, in Whom there dwells the fullness of God,
Heart of Jesus, in Whom the Father is well pleased,
Heart of Jesus, from Whose fullness we have all received,
Heart of Jesus, desire of the eternal hills,
Heart of Jesus, patient and full of mercy,
Heart of Jesus, generous to all who turn to you,
Heart of Jesus, fountain of life and holiness,
Heart of Jesus, atonement for our sins,
Heart of Jesus, overwhelmed with insults,
Heart of Jesus, broken for our sins,
Heart of Jesus, obedient even to death,
Heart of Jesus, pierced by a lance,
Heart of Jesus, source of all consolation,
Heart of Jesus, our life and resurrection,
Heart of Jesus, our peace and reconciliation,
Heart of Jesus, victim of our sins,
Heart of Jesus, salvation of all who trust in you,
Heart of Jesus, hope of all who die in you,
Heart of Jesus, delight of all the Saints,

Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

V. Jesus, gentle and humble of heart.
R. Touch our hearts and make them like Your own.

Let us pray:
Father, we rejoice in the gifts of love we have received from the heart of Jesus Your Son. Open our hearts to share His life and continue to bless us with His love. We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord.

Source: Catholic Youth Networking

World Day of Prayer for Priests

John Paul II has established that on the solemnity of the Sacred Heart the Church will observe the World Day of prayer for the Sanctification of Priests.

St. Thérèse’s Prayer for Priests
‘O Holy Father, may the torrents of love flowing from the sacred wounds of Thy Divine Son bring forth priests like unto the beloved disciple John who stood at the foot of the Cross; priests: who as a pledge of Thine own most tender love will lovingly give Thy Divine Son to the souls of men.

May Thy priests be faithful guardians of Thy Church, as John was of Mary, whom he received into his house. Taught by this loving Mother who suffered so much on Calvary, may they display a mother’s care and thoughtfulness towards Thy children. May they teach souls to enter into close union with Thee through Mary who, as the Gate of Heaven, is specially the guardian of the treasures of Thy Divine Heart.

Give us priests who are on fire, and who are true children of Mary, priests who will give Jesus to souls with the same tenderness and care with which Mary carried the Little Child of Bethlehem.

Mother of sorrows and of love, out of compassion for Thy beloved Son, open in our hearts deep wells of love, so that we may console Him and give Him a generation of priests formed in thy school and having all the tender thoughtfulness of thine own spotless love.’

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Luukas is not doing well

From his mom by way of Defenders of the Catholic Faith forum

The doctors don't know how long he will live. He is not conscious and in a couple of months strong epilepsy might come as an addition to the whole situation. Within time things will only get worse. He is more likely to get infections and they are not going to treat them not to make him suffer longer. How will we live? We want to have more children, go to church and other places...'
Things aren't looking good for Baby Luukas. However, God does work miracles and we should never give up on the power of prayer. This family is going through an unimaginably difficult time right now. Please pray for Luukas' family that they find comfort in the love of Christ and understanding in the acceptance of His will.

Optional Memorial

St. Paulinus, Bishop of Nola: Born at Bordeaux about 354; died 22 June, 431. He sprang from a distinguished family of Aquitania and his education was entrusted to the poet Ausonius. He became governor of the Province of Campania, but he soon realized that he could not find in public life the happiness he sought. From 380 to 390 he lived almost entirely in his native land. He married a Spanish lady, a Christian named Therasia. To her, to Bishop Delphinus of Bordeaux and his successor the Presbyter Amandus, and to St. Martin of Tours, who had cured him of some disease of the eye, he owed his conversion. He and his brother were baptized at the same time by Delphinus. When Paulinus lost his only child eight days after birth, and when he was threatened with the charge of having murdered his brother, he and his wife decided to withdraw from the world, and to enter the monastic life. They went to Spain about 390. More from the Catholic Encyclopedia on New Advent

St. John Fisher: Cardinal, Bishop of Rochester, and martyr; born at Beverley, Yorkshire, England, 1459 (?1469); died 22 June, 1535. John was the eldest son of Robert Fisher, merchant of Beverley, and Agnes his wife. His early education was probably received in the school attached to the collegiate church in his native town, whence in 1484 he removed to Michaelhouse, Cambridge. He took the degree of B.A. in 1487, proceeded M.A. in 1491, in which year he was elected a fellow of his college, and was made Vicar of Northallerton, Yorkshire. In 1494 he resigned his benefice to become proctor of his university, and three years later was appointed Master of Michaelhouse, about which date he became chaplain and confessor to Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond and Derby, mother of King Henry VII. In 1501 he received the degree of D.D., and was elected Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge University. Under Fisher's guidance, the Lady Margaret founded St. John's and Christ's Colleges at Cambridge, and also the two "Lady Margaret" professorships of divinity at Oxford and Cambridge respectively, Fisher himself being the first occupant of the Cambridge chair. More from the Catholic Encyclopedia on New Advent

St. Thomas More: He was the sole surviving son of Sir John More, barrister and later judge, by his first wife Agnes, daughter of Thomas Graunger. While still a child Thomas was sent to St. Anthony's School in Threadneedle Street, kept by Nicholas Holt, and when thirteen years old was placed in the household of Cardinal Morton, Archbishop of Canterbury, and Lord Chancellor. Here his merry character and brilliant intellect attracted the notice of the archbishop, who sent him to Oxford, where he entered at Canterbury Hall (subsequently absorbed by Christ Church) about 1492. His father made him an allowance barely sufficient to supply the necessaries of life and, in consequence, he had no opportunity to indulge in "vain or hurtful amusements" to the detriment of his studies. At Oxford he made friends with William Grocyn and Thomas Linacre, the latter becoming his first instructor in Greek. Without ever becoming an exact scholar he mastered Greek "by an instinct of genius" as witnessed by Pace (De fructu qui ex doctrina percipitur, 1517), who adds "his eloquence is incomparable and twofold, for he speaks with the same facility in Latin as in his own language". Besides the classics he studied French, history, and mathematics, and also learned to play the flute and the viol. After two years' residence at Oxford, More was recalled to London and entered as a law student at New Inn about 1494. In February, 1496, he was admitted to Lincoln's Inn as a student, and in due course was called to the outer bar and subsequently made a bencher. His great abilities now began to attract attention and the governors of Lincoln's Inn appointed him "reader" or lecturer on law at Furnival's Inn, his lectures being esteemed so highly that the appointment was renewed for three successive years. More from the Catholic Encyclopedia on New Advent

I think it is worthwhile to note that Saints John Fisher and Thomas More both defied Henry VIII as Supreme Head of the Church in England, remaining loyal to the Church in Rome and the papacy even to thier own executions. With all that is going on in the Anglican Communion, especially in the Episcopal Church in the US, this may be a good time to ask these Saints for their intercessions for the return of many of our seperated Christians home to the Catholic Church.

Memorial of St. Aloysius Gonzaga

St. Aloysius was born in Castiglione, Italy. The first words St. Aloysius spoke were the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary. He was destined for the military by his father (who was in service to Philip II), but by the age of 9 Aloysius had decided on a religious life, and made a vow of perpetual virginity. To safeguard himself from possible temptation, he would keep his eyes persistently downcast in the presence of women. St. Charles Borromeo gave him his first Holy Communion. A kidney disease prevented St. Aloysius from a full social life for a while, so he spent his time in prayer and reading the lives of the saints. Although he was appointed a page in Spain, St. Aloysius kept up his many devotions and austerities, and was quite resolved to become a Jesuit. His family eventually moved back to Italy, where he taught catechism to the poor. When he was 18, he joined the Jesuits, after finally breaking down his father, who had refused his entrance into the order. He served in a hospital during the plague of 1587 in Milan, and died from it at the age of 23, after receiving the last rites from St. Robert Bellarmine. The last word he spoke was the Holy Name of Jesus. St. Robert wrote the Life of St. Aloysius. From: Catholic Online

It was revealed to him that he would pass on the Octave of Corpus Christi, and though he appeared much better in the days preceeding the Feast, Saint Aloysius Gonzaga did in fact turn and die on the Octave of Corpus Christi, June 21st, 1591.

Saint Aloysius Gonzaga is the Patron of Catholic youth.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Compendium to the Catechism of the Catholic Church

I received my copy yesterday. I recommend that everyone get a copy. It is in an easy to follow question and answer format that will be very beneficial for personal study and discussing the Catholic faith with others. As an added bonus the appendix contains many of the common prayers of the Church in both English and Latin.


The little guy is having trouble swallowing and is showing signs of pneumonia. Please take time to pray for Luukas and his family, as well as all children both born and unborn.

Previous posts about Luukas

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Corpus Christi Homily

Very good homily from White Around the Collar

4 to 59 in four years

Interesting article about theDominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Founded by Cardinal O'Connor, invited to Michigan by Bishop Mengeling, and funded initially by Monaghan, the Dominican Sisters now number 59, a growth rate of 1400 percent. They are expected to be 70 in all by 2007. Sr. Joseph Andrew, speaking at the luncheon afterward, remarked that, "We are growing so fast we cannot assume a roof over our heads." She added that this was a "good problem" to have.

The average age of the professed Sisters is 28, and the average age of those in the novitiate is 24. Astoundingly, 173 young women attended their vocations retreat in February of this year. I'm sure I wasn't the only person in the room who compared this community to all of the religious orders that are dying because of a lack of vocations.

Mother Assumpta Long, the driving force behind the community, has a simple explanation for their success: "It all begins in the chapel. If it doesn't happen there, it's not going to happen. The most important thing is our religious life."

Hat tip to Matt at Absolutely No Spin

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Update on Luukas . . . not good

From his godfather:

The situation is that Luukas breaths himself without ventilator. He looked awake when I have seen him 2 days ago. He is also not anymore in the intensive care. The doctors are however very pesimistic about the brain condotion as on Thursday there was not activity (EEG). So from this point of view there is almost no hope that baby will recover and live conscious life and i am affraid that parents also takes this as fact. I would say they would need now our prayers to recover their hope and trust in the miracle that we are all praying for. So far I understood they are tired but now it is up to us help we have to really believe and really hope instead of them. I personally dont give up and i hope that Luukas will be fine. I thank you also on behalf of parents for your prayers , but continue, we are praying for big miracle
Please remember to keep Baby Luukas and his family in your prayers.

More on Baby Luukas:

June 14
Juen 13
June 12
June 10

The Episcopalians are losing it . . .

From VirtueOnline:

The 75th General Convention of the Episcopal Church today passed a resolution essentially condemning the Bible as an "anti-Jewish" document. Not only does the resolution aim to address perceptions of anti-Jewish prejudice in the Bible and Episcopal liturgy, but it suggests that such prejudice is actually "expressed in...Christian Scriptures and liturgical texts."Originated in the Committee on Prayer Book, Liturgy and Music, Resolution C001 directs the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music to "collect and develop materials to assist members of the Church to address anti-Jewish prejudice expressed in and stirred by portions of Christian scriptures and liturgical texts, with suggestions for preaching, congregational education, and lectionary use, and to report to the 76th General Convention." Read Entire Article.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

From Northwest Arkansas Times:

The recent ban on abortion in South Dakota is a victory for the "pro-life" movement — and thus, anti-abortionists claim, a victory for "the sanctity of human life." But is it? The South Dakota law bans abortions in all cases except saving the life of the mother. Consider what this would mean for human life — not the "lives" of embryos or primitive fetuses, but the lives of real, living, breathing, thinking women. It would mean that women who wanted to terminate a pregnancy because it resulted from rape or contraceptive failure — or because the would-be father has abandoned her — or because the fetus is malformed — would be forbidden from doing so. It would mean that they would be forced to endure the misery of unwanted pregnancy and the incredible burdens of child rearing. It would mean that women would be sentenced to 18-year terms of enslavement to unwanted children — thereby suffocating their hopes, their dreams, their personal ambitions, their chance of happiness.Read Entire Article

This bit of garbage appeared in one of my local papers, and several others across the country, on Friday. Mr. Beenfeldt, offers one of the most distasteful commentaries I have ever read. Here are a few of my favorite examples with emphasis added.

Consider what this would mean for human life — not the "lives" of embryos or primitive fetuses, but the lives of real, living, breathing, thinking women. It would mean that women who wanted to terminate a pregnancy because it resulted from rape or contraceptive failure — or because the would-be father has abandoned her — or because the fetus is malformed — would be forbidden from doing so.
The quotations around the word lives are Mr. Beenfeldt's. Would-be father? Biologically someone is the father whether they stick around or not. But I think he is using the term "would-be" because he doesn't few, in his words "embryos or primitive fetuses" as real and human.

It would mean that they would be forced to endure the misery of unwanted pregnancy and the incredible burdens of child rearing. It would mean that women would be sentenced to 18-year terms of enslavement to unwanted children — thereby suffocating their hopes, their dreams, their personal ambitions, their chance of happiness.
If this guy has or ever does father children, I wonder how they would feel readying how daddy thinks they are an "incredible burden" and equatable to "18-year terms of enslavement"?

According to a World Health Organization estimate, 110,000 women worldwide die each year from such illegal abortions and up to six times as many suffer injury from them. Clearly, anti-abortionists believe that such women’s lives are an unimportant consideration in the issue of abortion. Why?

Yes, I am rejoice when mother's die and their children grow up without knowing them. Don't critique that which you are ignorant of. And Mr. Beenfeldt, you are clearly ignorant.

Because, they claim, the embryo or fetus is a human being — and thus to abort it is murder. But an embryo is not a human being, and abortion is not murder. There is no scientific reason to characterize a raisinsize lump of cells as a human being.

This comes from a man with a degree in philosophy. Calling it an embryo is a clear indicator of trying to dehumanize and therefore justify your stance. It is a HUMAN embryo. It comes from humans, shares the DNA pattern of humans, and is in fact human.

Biologically speaking, such an embryo is far more primitive than a fish or a bird.

Analogously, seeds can become mature plants — but that hardly makes a pile of acorns equal to a forest.

You're kidding me right? Did he really just compare a human baby to a fish, bird, or pile of acorns? These two sentences alone make this one of most poorly written things I have ever read. I don't profess to be a great mind or a great writer, as evidenced by this blog, but I'm sure that I could have come up with something more intelligent that that. By far my vote getter for most moronic statement of the year.

The ultimate "justification" of the "pro-life" position is religious dogma. Led by the American Roman Catholic Church and Protestant fundamentalists, the movement’s basic tenet, in the words of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, is that an embryo must be treated "from conception as a person" created by the "action of God."
Let's just get one thing straight. There is one Catholic Church to which some if its members happen to live in America.

The article goes on with more rubbish writing by Mr. Beenfeldt expressing his view that a child isn't human while in the womb. I would like to be there one day when one of his children asks, "where you excited when mommy found out she was expecting me?" What is he going to say, "No, not really, I didn't think you where actually a human until you were five years old and would have preferred a fish or pile of acorns."

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Opposition to the Church

In the encyclical letter Humanae Vitae Pope Paul VI says:
It can be foreseen that this teaching will perhaps not be easily received by all. Too numerous are those voices - amplified by the modern means of propaganda - which are contrary to the voice of the Church. To tell the truth, the Church is not surprised to be made, like her divine founder, a "sign of contradiciton," yet she does not because of this cease to proclaim with humble firmness theentire moral law, both natural and evangelica. Of such laws the Church is not the author, nor consequently can she be their arbiter; she is only their depositary and the interpreter, whithout ever being able to declare to be licit that which is not so by reason of its intimate and unchangeable opposition to the true good of man.
Pope Paul VI is of course speaking about human sexuality and artificial birth control, but this caught my eye in context of the seemingly unending flood of rhetoric calling for the Church to change it's teachings on abortion, contraception, homosexuality, ordination of women, etc. I see so many of these people saying that they really do know and love thier Faith and that is why they are advocating change in order to make the Catholic Faith better. I wonder how many of them really do know the Faith? How many love the Faith enough to pick up the writings of the popes and and Church Fathers?

I think this will be a good quote to keep in mind when having "discussions" on various topics with some of my peers.

New Mass translation approved

AP Wire | 06/15/2006 | U.S. bishops approve new Mass translation

nation's Roman Catholic bishops signed off Thursday on a new English translation for the Mass that would change prayers ingrained in the memories of millions of American parishioners.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops voted at its biannual meeting for a new translation after a brief but vigorous debate overseveral small changes in wording. The 173-29 vote on the Order of theMass was aimed at satisfying Vatican calls for a translation that's closer to the Latin version.

Before Mass changes at the parish level, the Americans' version must go to offices in the Holy See for final approval. The bishops' leader on the issue said that process could take years.

"Without a doubt, this is the most significant liturgical action to come before this body for many years," said Bishop Donald Trautman, chairman of the conference's Committee on Liturgy.

"It will take some adapting, but it is not earth-shattering when you think of the changes we went through 40 years ago," he said, referring to the Second Vatican Council, where the Latin Mass was replaced by the vernacular languages in each country.

The new translation alters the wording of key texts spoken byCatholics during worship, including the Nicene Creed, the Gloria, thePenitential Rite, the Sanctus and Communion.

Worst design for a church ever...

... or at least worst one I've seen so far.

Check out this Dick Vosko creation.
The Cafeteria Is Closed: Dinner and a...Mass?
Hat tip: Gerald

What is the purpose of this? It makes no sense at all.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Update on Baby Luukas

The Catholic Message Board - View topic - Luukas' brain scan
From Luukas' dad:

We have now received the results of the brain scan. Unfortunately, it shows great damage in his little brain. He will be on anti-epileptic medication, and the doctors expect him to develop very slowly and have problems with both movement and intellect. He will most likely get off the breathing machine tomorrow, and leave the intensive care unit shortly. The doctors did not see any reason to keep him in the hospital very long, so it seems he is coming home in a few weeks, with periodic checkups and treatments in the hospital, as well as physiotherapy at home. It seems that his sight is OK, but they will run an EEG to check his brain and its reactions more tomorrow.
Please continue to pray for a miracle in the complete healing of Luukas.

Excuse the rant - FEMA hurricane cards bought jewelry, erotica - Jun 14, 2006
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A $200 bottle of champagne from Hooters and $300 worth of "Girls Gone Wild" videos were among items bought with debit cards handed out by FEMA to help hurricane victims, auditors probing $1 billion in potential waste and fraud have found.

The cards -- given to people displaced by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita -- also bought diamond jewelry and a vacation in the Dominican Republic, according to the Government Accountability Office audit.

The GAO uncovered records showing that $1,000 from a FEMA debit card went to a Houston divorce lawyer; $600 was spent in a strip club and $400 was spent on "adult erotica products," all of which auditors concluded were "not necessary to satisfy legitimate disaster needs."
The rest of the article talks about the failings of FEMA in verifying and tracking claims.  I will concede that it was an emergency of unparalled proportions and the need to act quickly was great. 

But, my rant is not about FEMA.  It is about people who have no more respect for themselves and their fellow man than to use such underhanded, deceitful, cowardly, and shamful tactics. 

I'm going to expand this a little bit to talk about social welfare.  I am all for governmental assistance and social welfare programs.  I think we all have a responsiblity to stretch out a hand and lift up our fellow man.  However, by receiving said assistance I think individuals assume a responsibility to match or exceed those efforts to better their own situation.  I have known people my entire life who took advantage of the system.  People with no impediment to finding a job other than their own laziness who reach for every handout available drive me up the wall. 

I'm all for a matching type system.  You need $1000 a month to support your family.  Fine, do $500 worth a work and we'll give you the rest.  Can't get a job because you lack educational training? Fine, enroll in one of our educational training programs and put in $500 worth of education and we'll give you $1000 (of course, this requires some sort of competent educational training program).  Deal doesn't sound good to you?  Fine, better call your momma because you aren't getting money from us.

Of course, I'm not talking about people that need assistance due to an inability to work due to disability, age, ect.  I'd even go as far as to count actually being a parent and raising your children (something not near common enough today) as your work contribution in situations like suddenly widowed individuals who had been in a single income family.  I don't mind giving you money as long as you do SOMETHING to EARN it.

Anyway, not necessarily in with the theme of this blog.  But, I haven't had a good rant in a while.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The news is good today

FDA Rejects Abortion Group Petition to Have Morning After Pill Over the Counter
For five years, the radically pro-abortion lobby group, the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR), has been petitioning the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to allow the abortifacient morning after pill, Plan B, to be dispensed as an over-the-counter drug without a doctor’s prescription or supervision. Now the FDA has announced that the petition has been rejected.
Elsewhere in the article the CRR staff attorney accuses the FDA of putting is mission to promote public health aside.  Last time I checked involuntary, imposed death wasn't very healthy for a child.

Comission Says Its OK for Christian Businessman to Refuse to Duplicate Gay Videos
The Commission has now rescinded its initial order against Bono and dismissed Ms. Vincenz’s complaint. There is no evidence that Bono ever discriminated against Ms. Vincenz based upon her sexual orientation, since Vincenz admits that she never actually discussed her orientation with Bono, reports ABC 7 News. Liberty Counsel, Mr. Bono’s legal counsel, will, however, proceed with a suit that challenges the Commission's authority to recognize "sexual orientation" as a civil right. Virginia law prohibits local government from passing or enforcing nondiscrimination laws that are not authorized by the state. The state does not list "sexual orientation" as a protected civil right or class. The Virginia Attorney General’s Office has already expressed its concern that local governments are stepping over the line by interpreting anti-discrimination laws as including “sexual orientation,” reports ABC 7 News.
At least they got it right the second time.

Australia Strikes Down Law Recognizing Same-Sex Unions
The Australian government has followed through on its pledge to quash a law recognizing same-sex unions in the Australian Capital Territory.

Atheist's Challenge to "In God We Trust" National Motto Dismissed by Federal Judge
A California federal trial judge has dismissed the lawsuit filed by Michael Newdow challenging the constitutionality of the American national motto, "In God We Trust." Newdow is the atheist who achieved national attention in his previous unsuccessful attempt to remove the Pledge of Allegiance from public schools because it includes the words "one nation under God."
Newdow, give it up already.  I saw something recently where someone stated that the agenda of GLBT activists isn't really equality in society but domination of society.  I won't go as far to say that applies to all homosexual people or athiests.  But, I do think it describes this guy pretty nicely.

Pro-life Groups Allowed to Defend Right To Refuse Abortion Says Court of Appeals
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled Friday that California healthcare professionals must be allowed to intervene in a lawsuit to defend their right to refuse to provide abortions and abortion referrals. Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund and the Christian Legal Society represent members of the Christian Medical Association, American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the Fellowship of Christian Physicians Assistants.

Update on Baby Luukas

From his dad:

Today's word: Luukas is showing great signs of progress. He breathes himself most of the time, and reacts to touching by moving his mouth, eyelids, fingers and legs. He even moved his eyes a bit today, though they do not react to light yet. These new signs of life almost invariably seem to start when his mother is touching him. The doctor said today that he still has a high content of thiopentane in his blood, and that it might take a week (from last Sunday) before he is fully awake. She estimated to have him breathe without the machine the day after tomorrow. Luukas has also been taken off almost all medication and his heart and kidneys are doing just fine. It seems that in a few days, he will be able to leave the intensive care unit. Tomorrow they are planning to run a magnetic scan of his brain (which was initially scheduled for Monday). Please continue praying that the results would be good and the recovery complete.
This little guy has been faced with the fight of his life, for his life, in his first week of life. Continue to pray that he continues to improve to a full recovery.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Spanish Government Funds Anti-Catholic Rally for Pope’s Visit

From LifeSite News:

VALENCIA, June 12, 2006 ( – The socialist government of Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero will be staging a homosexual conference on the day before the expected arrival of Pope Benedict XVI. The pope is to arrive in Spain July 8-9 to attend the 5th meeting of the World Family Forum in order to explore ways to bolster the integrity of the family, which the pope has said is under assault across the world.

A consortium of homosexuals and leftist anti-Catholic groups, with the help of €17,000 from the Employment and Social Affairs ministry, and the University of Valencia, have organized the conference to counter the Family Forum meeting organized by Spanish family supporters and the Vatican. Read Entire Article.
From the same article:

The pope will greet Premier Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero at the headquarters of the Valencia archdiocese, and not at any official government location. The move, some have speculated, is a signal by the gesture-sensitive Vatican to show the socialists and Zapatero where they stand in Benedict’s estimation.

To be the proverbial fly on the wall when Pope Benedict XVI detailed his estimation.....

Oh Canada. . .

From LifeSite News:

A telephone poll of 1,508 Canadian adults conducted in April found the following results.

Question: "Do you consider the following behaviour as immoral?"

Pedophilia: 81% yes, 11% no, 8% don't know or refused to respond.
Marital infidelity: 74% yes, 23% no
Divorce: 17% yes, 78% no
Prostitution: 68% yes, 29% no
Sexual activity before age 16: 65% yes, 31% no
Alchohol abuse: 65% yes, 33% no
Homosexuality: 31% yes, 63% no (the survey doesn't indicate if this is a perception of homosexual orientation or activity or if any distinction is made)

8% considered contraception immoral.

Interestingly, 51% considered blashpemy immoral, ranking it above abortion, homosexuality, divorce and contraception.

Read Entire Article.

Liturgical dance . . .

. . . brought to you by Stephen Colbert

update on Baby Luukas

Keep praying for Luukas and his family. I'm not sure what time it is in Finland but as of 5 minutes ago his mother says that he was able to breath on his own for most of the morning. But he's not out of the woods yet. Please remember this child who is barely a week old and fighting for his life in your prayers.

Who God calls us to be

Yesterday during Father Andy's homily he refered to T.S. Elliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, the work on which the Broadway musical Cats is based. At first I thought that maybe Fr. Andy had gone off his rocker. He then spoke about The Naming of Cats in which Elliot informs us that cats have three names. Fr. went on to explain that like T.S. Elliot's cats, we in fact have three names. We have our proper name as given to us by our parents, our common name in everyday usage. For example though my proper name is Christopher I commonly am called Chris. Then, we have our third name. The one given to us by God. This is our call in life. It is who God has called us to be. It is the name that we spend our entire lives trying to discover.

So a homily that started with my wondering about my priest's state of mind left me asking two questions.

1. Who am I?
2. Who does God want me to be?

These are questions that we should ask ourselves everyday. Actually, I think they are best asked like this. Who has God called me to be and how does who I am today relate to that call?

I am at a stage where I'm not sure what the next step is. I don't know what the future holds and I'm unsure about who God is calling me to be. In reflection, I can see that I was in much the same situation not long ago when I was tossing around the idea of converting to the Catholic Faith. When asked by people how I came to accept the Catholic Church I've often recounted "reading myself into it". But that's not really it at all. Through grace, God led me to become more of who He has called me to be. We have to open our hearts to listen to God and to be willing to follow where He leads. We will spend our lives searching in vain for who God wants us to be unless we listen for His voice. He has called us to Himself, the Father through the Son in the Holy Spirit. We must listen and follow what we hear to find our true self, our true name as called by God.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Prayer for baby Luukas

Please say a prayer for baby Luukas. He is a very sick newborn in Finland. You can read about Luukas and his family and join others in prayer at Defenders of the Catholic Faith forum .

For Luukas and all children both born and unborn:

Hail Mary, full of Grace,
the Lord is with you.
Blessed are you among women
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners
now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Planned Parenthood


The massive organization reported a record income of $882 million dollars and a profit of $63 million, reported PipeLineNews on Monday. Profits have nearly doubled since 2003, when the 2002-2003 annual report indicated a profit of over $36 million dollars.

Planned Parenthood aborted more babies last year than in any previous year, ending the lives of more than 255,015 children by surgical abortion. That number doesn’t include the vast number of deaths caused by the sale of chemical abortion drugs, the morning after pill and abortifacient contraceptives, a major source of Planned Parenthood’s income.

Despite continuing to promote itself as an adoption referral service, the organization also set a new record in the ratio of abortions to adoption referrals it carried out in the past year, at 180 abortions per 1 referral for adoption.

Planned Parenthood received a record amount of money in federal funding this year, with a total of $272.7 million dollars in government grants and contracts.Read Entire Article

A rate of 180 murders to 1 adoption referral with 255,015 murders = 1,416 adoption referrals. 63 million dollars in profit from killing babies and they get 272.7 million dollars in government funding (OUR TAX DOLLARS!)?

From the Planned Parenthood website:


It is the policy of Planned Parenthood Federation of America to advance understanding of the interrelationship between population growth and the quality of human life.

Voluntary family planning programs and sound population policies contribute to the process of socioeconomic development and to family health, particularly in countries where rapid population growth hinders development efforts. Therefore, the Federation is committed to providing education in the communities it serves to enable people to understand the scope of world population growth and its impact on the economic, political, social, and physical environment we all must share.
Sounds like some Chinese communist ideology to me.

Prayer to Mary from Evangelium Vitae
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 not allowed 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.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Catholic League

Check out the Catholic League's New York Times ad. Gerald has the image over at Closed Cafeteria.

I agree that the media has gone a bit overboard at times with the sex-abuse scandal. I also agree with the ad's statement that one victim is too many.

June 23, The Solemnity of The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, is World Day of Prayer for the Santification of Priests. Personally, I think this should be part of our daily prayer intentions.

Perpetual Rosary for Life

The Catholics United for Life website contains a perpetual web rosary. Stop by and say a few decades for the unborn.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Check out this homily . . .

. . . it will make you think about some things.

Click Here to Read Homily

iPadre podcast

Search in iTunes or log on to for Father Jay Finelli's podcast. Be sure to look for the two part podcast on the Mass.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Guided by the Holy Spirit

Yesterday, a friend and I had a lengthy conversation about the Catholic Church. We discussed many issues, one of which was papal infallibility. We discussed how the authority of the Church comes from Christ and that the Pope and the Bishops in conference may speak infallibily through the guidance of the Holy Spirit in matters of faith and morals.

In no way am I any type of authority on the Church but I tried to explain these parts of the Catholic Faith as best I could. Even thought he didn't say it I got a sense of "it isn't in the Bible and I'm not believing it"

Today's Gospel reading stood out to me in light of this conversation:

Jesus said to his disciples: “When the Advocate comes whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth that proceeds from the Father, he will testify to me. And you also testify, because you have been with me from the beginning.

“I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth. He will not speak on his own, but he will speak what he hears, and will declare to you the things that are coming. He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you. Everything that the Father has is mine; for this reason I told you that he will take from what is mine and declare it to you.” Jn 15:26-27, 16:12-15

“I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth."

Throughout the ages, the one Truth of Christ has been revealed to the Church thought the guidance of the Holy Spirit as the Father saw fit. As I pointed out in the conversation is seems like infallible statements from the pope or bishops are rare today. Yet we can still rely on the Holy Spirit to reveal truths to us as they are needed, when we are ready to accept and bear them if you will. In times of trial, confusion, or even error we can rely on the Holy Spirit to reveal the Truth to us through the authority of the Church as established by Christ.


This photo is of one of the many murals in the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis (see post below for more photos from my trip to St. Louis, MO).
click photo for larger view

St. Louis, MO

Yesterday I was in Saint Louis, MO for a baseball game. There was an 8:00 am Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis. After Mass I was able to take a few pictures of the inside. The interior photo is a little out of focus because the lighting wasn't great and my camera just couldn't handle it (or at least I don't know enough about the settings to adjust them). Anyway, afterwards we decided to visit the Basilica of Saint Louis, King of France, also known as the "Old Cathredral". Along the way we passed Saint Francis Xavier Church on the campus of Saint Louis University. It was open but fairly dark inside and I wasn't able to get any good shots of this amazing church. If you are ever in Saint Louis, I would suggest taking some time to visit the city's churches.

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis

Basilica of Saint Louis, King of France (Old Cathedral)

Saint Francis Xavier Church

Thursday, June 01, 2006

The Flaming Heart

From Fort Worth Weekly:

On the recent April night when I became a Catholic, my feet hurt like hell.
It must be the brand-new shoes, I told myself while standing at the lectern in front of a packed congregation at Dallas’ Holy Trinity Catholic Church. I had been selected from among the conversion students to serve as a lector at the same Holy Saturday service at which I was to receive my baptism, confirmation, and first communion. I was reading everyone’s favorite “family values” tale from the Old Testament — the story of God asking Abraham to kill his son Isaac to prove his faith.
Another part of my brain wondered if the gay genes in my body were rebelling, punishing me with aching feet. Yep, that’s right — they picked the sodomite to read from Holy Scripture. This won’t surprise anyone familiar with Holy Trinity, which is located in the gay and lesbian neighborhood of Oak Lawn. This church is listed on national web sites for gay Christians as one of the more tolerant, even welcoming, parishes in the city. Their homosexual congregants are legion. (Just how gay is Holy Trinity? Well, the church choir is scheduled to perform a Cole Porter revue this month, so you be the judge.)
Let me summarize the rest of the article for you:
  • He loves the Church's pageantry, mysticism, and iconography
  • As a kid he got a big kick out of horror films when the hero drove back the demon, vampire, whatever with a cross
  • He has a crush on Jesus (yes THAT kind of crush)
  • He figured out, with the help of some so-called Catholic writers, that it would be edifying to go ahead and enter the Church and "forgive" it of it's sin of persecuting homosexuals.

Oh, and this:

So there I was, the newly minted and very conflicted gay Catholic, reading to the congregation the story of a very stern and bloody god indeed. It forced me to wonder if God would ask me to kill a special part of myself — my capacity for loving another man — in order to prove my faith.

It occurred to me that the main point of the story might not be that Abraham was willing to cut his child’s throat, but that God stopped him from doing it. The story illustrates a God that does not require sacrifice — especially of one’s fullest humanity — in order to prove allegiance. I can let myself live whole, and that includes my sexuality.

Well, there's an interpretation I've never heard before. Very disturbing article that shows a total contempt for AND lack of understanding of the teaching of the Church.

Read Entire Article

Faure Requiem

It got my ipod today. Yeah, I know I'm way behind the times. Anyway, one of the first albums I bought was the Faure and Durufle requiems recorded by the Atlanta Symphony. I was privileged enough to perform the Faure requiem while in the university choir. It quite possibly could of been my first true introduction to the Church. If you've never heard this piece of, I highly recommend it.

Who is the Bread of Life? II

I found this discussion today that addresses the song that I was talking about in my original post. It's a worthy read.