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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Resisting sin

From today's Mass readings:

Heb. 12: 1-4

Brothers and sisters:
Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses,
let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us
and persevere in running the race that lies before us
while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus,
the leader and perfecter of faith.
For the sake of the joy that lay before him
Jesus endured the cross, despising its shame,
and has taken his seat at the right of the throne of God.
Consider how he endured such opposition from sinners,
in order that you may not grow weary and lose heart.
In your struggle against sin
you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood.

The last sentence of this reading jumped right off the page at me. Christ resisted sin to the point of giving up his own life to defeat it. I am afraid that I all to often give in to sin without much of a fight. By virtue of our fallen human nature we are bound to fall to the temptations of sin from time to time. However, by the Grace of God we are given the ability to fight off temptations to some degree. It is my thought that some may be able to fight off a higher degree of tempation than others. The reasons for this are too vast and numerous to list I'm sure. My fear is that I all to often do not use the full potential of the Grace that God has granted me in fighting tempation. It seems that I sometimes give up too soon, allowing myself to be swept away in a tide of sinfulness. I say that because it always seems that one thing lead to another which leads to something else.

I have often thought, "I should pray the rosary until this tempation passes." It has rarely worked. Not because the rosary wasn't effective but because I never started praying it. It think this is an example of giving up to easily. Instead of going head first into the fight armed in prayer, I let the temptation over come me. One thing that I have had success with is praying the Jesus prayer, "Lord Jesus have mercy on me, a sinner" during times of temptation. This simple prayer is very powerful. Maybe simpler is better for me right now. Lord Jesus, have mercy on me a sinner. Give me strength in the face of temptation.

Monday, January 29, 2007

and now, the rest of the story

Part 3 of my conversion story is now posted over on Catholic Converts

One more step towards Frankensteinism

Israeli court: Family can have dead soldier's sperm
In a precedent-setting decision, an Israeli court has ruled that a dead soldier's family can have his sperm impregnated into the body of a woman he never met.

Keivan Cohen, 20, was shot dead in 2002 by a Palestinian sniper in the Gaza Strip. He was single and left no will. But at the urging of his parents, a sample of his sperm was taken two hours after his death and has been stored in a hospital since.
I honestly have sympathy for the family in the loss of their son. However, I am seriously disturbed by this case. If you read the rest of the article you will see that it has become common practice for soldiers, including Americans, to leave sperm samples or extraction orders before deploying into war zones so that they may be able to father children after death.

This seems to raise several legal and moral issues. The Catechism of the Catholic Church speaks strongly on the area of artificial insemination. See CCC 2376 - 2378. This could also cloud the waters of heredity with the ability to create legal heirs after death. I believe that man's "god compex" is coming to a dangerous peak and we are going to start seeing a lot of really bad consequences.

Catholic adoption agencies in Britian must allow gay couples to adopt or close

British PM ~ No Religious Exemption Forcing Provision of Goods and Services to Gays
British Prime Minister Tony Blair has announced today that there will be no exemptions possible for Catholic adoption agencies who attempt to refuse services to homosexual partners.

“I start from a very firm foundation. There is no place in our society for discrimination,” Blair said. “That's why I support the right of gay couples to apply to adopt like any other couple.”

“While views obviously differ, everyone is agreed that above all the interests of the children and particularly the most vulnerable children must come first,” he added.

And to add insult to injury:
Official Anti-Catholic Bigotry Returns to British Parliament
British Catholics heard a flurry of naked anti-Catholic sentiments expressed last week by some government Members and Cabinet Ministers in the “row” over the government’s decision to force Churches to adopt children to homosexuals.

Anti-Catholic, anti-clerical and anti-papal slurs had been, until as recently as fifty years ago, standard fare in Britain’s political discourse where the established state Protestant religion is officially anti-Catholic, but most British people, both Catholics and Anglicans, were grateful to assign them to history’s waste bin.

“I’m not going to have some bloody reactionary German Pope dictate the law of our land,” said one minister quoted by Mary Ann Sieghart.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Sisters of Mercy artifacts uncovered in Arkansas

This is an interesting article talking about artifacts that were found on the grounds of Immaculate Conception church in Fort Smith, Arkansas. The artifacts belonged to the Sister's of Mercy who occupied the grounds from 1853 when five Sisters of Mercy came to Arkansas from Ireland until 2001. The article also talks about the Sister's role in caring for wounded soldiers, both Union and Confederate, during the civil war.

‘Landscaping’ yields wealth of artifacts from Mercy Sisters

My conversion story

I have posted part of my conversion story over on my other blog Catholic Converts. So far I have posted Parts 1 and 2 of an undetermined number of parts.

My Story: Part 1

Chris' MEME "5 Random Things"

Matt at Absolutely No Spin has tagged me for a MEME "5 Random Things About Me" so here goes.

1. I started college as a music education major planning to be a band director. I changed my major to marketing in the middle of my 3rd year. I finished my master's degree in sport management this past spring and now work in the athletic marketing office of a major public university. I'm living proof that you don't have to have your mind made up when you start college.

2. My parents gave me a sister for my fourth birthday. My birthday party was in the hospital waiting room just a few hours after my sister was born.

3. I'm left handed and HATE those left handed desks they always tried to put me in at school. I always opted for the right handed desk.

4. I grew up in a town of less than 1200 people where you knew everybody and were related to half of them.

5. I am probably one of the most patient people you will ever meet. That doesn't mean that I'm not easily annoyed. Trust me I am. However, it is very difficult to bring me to the point of visible anger. Very few people have ever done so.

I will tag un-Muted Mumblings and My Journey into the Catholic Faith

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Meet Sister Pimp

Hospice helped dying man lose his virginity

A young disabled man who receives care for his life-limiting illness at a hospice run by a nun spoke yesterday of his decision to use a prostitute to experience sex before he dies.

Sister Frances Dominica gave her support to 22-year-old Nick Wallis, who was born with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Sufferers usually die by their thirties.
"I know that some people will say 'You are a Christian foundation. What are you thinking about?'. But we are here for all faiths and none," she said.

"It is not our job to make moral decisions for our guests. We came to the conclusion that it was our duty of care to support Nick emotionally and to help ensure his physical safety."

Let's see what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says:
Sin is a personal act. Moreover, we have a responsibility for the sins committed by others when we cooperate in them:
- by participating directly and voluntarily in them;
- by ordering, advising, praising, or approving them;
- by not disclosing or not hindering them when we have an obligation to do so;
- by protecting evil-does. CCC 1868

Thus sin makes men accomplices of one another and causes concupiscense, violence, and injustice to reign among them. Sins give reise to social situations and institutions tht are contrary to the divine goodness. "Structures of sin" are the expression and effect of personal sings. They lead their victims to do evil in thier turn. In an analogous sense, they constitute a "social sing." CCC 1869

By cooperating and giving our support of other's sins we ouselves sin. Our duty as Christians is to uphold the moral law of God. St. Frances Dominica may not have been able to stop this man from bringing a prostitute to his home but she should in least have not lended her support if not attempt to advise him of the sinful nature of the act.

Friday, January 26, 2007

I wish he would

I'm a big fan of Cardinal Arinze.


"God's Invisible Hand"
Cardinal Arinze is the man
Articulation of the Faith

Catholic Cartoon Blog

Archbishop Burke vs. Cardinal Egan

Take a look at these articles from

Archbishop Burke Warns US Legal Infanticide, Euthanasia areNext
Burke began his address reminding his listeners that another crucial front has arisen in the battle against the culture of death. “Given the legalization of procured abortion in our nation, we should really not be surprised that now the agents of the culture of death seek a constitutional guarantee of the right to generate artificially and destroy embryonic human life. A nation that permits abortion at any stage, including the practice of partially delivering a baby into the world in order to destroy it brutally, has so deadened its conscience that it is no longer horrified at the thought of embryonic stem cell research, which has rightly been called Frankensteinien.”

Pro-Abort Politicians "Friends of Mine" says New York Cardinal Egan
The NBC interviewer, David Ushery, asked for the Cardinal's response to the pro-abortion stance of three of the most prominent politicians in New York, presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Rudolph Giuliani, and ex-governor of New York George Pataki.

Cardinal Egan responded, "They're all friends of mine."

Am I the only one thinking that the wrong man may be wearing the red hat?

Catholic Converts blog

Several months ago I started another blog called Catholic Converts. I never did much with it but am now making an effort at getting it off the ground. Check it out!

Catholic Converts

very interesting article

Moscow’s Assault on the Vatican: The KGB made corrupting the Church a priority.

Interesting details of the KGB's smear campaign against Pope Pius XII

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Murder Week

As we all know this week has marked the 34th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. It looks like some students at Yale decided to throw a week long party.

“Roe v. Wade Week” at Yale Features Do It Yourself Abortions
Celebrations for “Roe v. Wade Week” at Yale University on Thursday featured a workshop sponsored by pro-abortion clubs teaching students about the “simple procedure” of abortion; a procedure made complicated and “emotionally traumatic” by “media attention.”

The Yale Daily News reports that The Yale Medical Students for Choice invited medical students and other Yale undergraduates to a demonstration on abortion via manual vacuum aspiration - a surgical abortion method using a syringe to remove an aborted or miscarried baby or miscarriage from a woman’s womb - using papaya as a model uterus.

Merritt Evans MED ’09, a coordinator for the abortion workshop, told the Yale Daily News that she wanted to show students that abortion is “a simple procedure, but the media attention around it … makes this an emotionally traumatic and a complicated thing.”

Well that sounds like fun! Let's all get some papayas and straws and see just how much fun abortion can be. Shame on the media and pro-lifers for making it look "emotionally traumatic" and "complicated"! I mean it's easy: create life, destroy life. Who would ever get emotional over such a thing?

And now this! How dare a member of the Catholic clergy chastize a politician for his record o f pro-death voting? Good thing we have politically correct and accomodating priests and bishops to keep these types in line.

Bishop and Priest Hasten to Apologize to Pro-Abortion Politician for Homily Calling Him to Account
A Catholic deacon has been reprimanded for taking a pro-abortion Congressman to task on his voting record during a homily on “Respect Life Sunday.”

Deacon Tom McDonnell pointed out that Democrat Rep. Brian Higgins, in attendance with his family, had voted in favour of legislation allowing federal funding for embryonic stem cell research and suggested that parishioners could talk to him about his vote. The Congressman and his family walked out of the church.

Rep. Brian Higgins was endorsed in 2006 by the National Abortion Rights Action League and Planned Parenthood for his support of abortion and related legislation.

He complained that the homily was a “cheap shot” and designed to “drive a wedge” between him and the Church and implied that the Church, after the clergy sex abuse scandals, ought to remain silent on any political issue.
Shame on Deacon McDonnell. Good thing his bishop and priests were there to make sure that wedge didn't get driven too deep between Rep. Higgins and the Church. Obviously we need Rep. Higgins around to be a moral authority for the Faithful. Oh wait a minute......the Church teaches that those who actively support abortion drive thier own wedge between themselves and the Church.

And finally, the city of Santa Cruz is taking a stand!

Historically Catholic Santa Cruz Self-Declared “Pro-Choice” City
The City Council of Santa Cruz wants the city to be know as a pro-abortion center, passing a resolution earlier this week to join the Pro-Choice City Campaign, Focus on the Family’s CitizenLink reported yesterday.

In a 5-2 vote, the council adopted the “pro-choice” title Tuesday, aligning the once-Catholic city with a network of US cities dedicated to abortion activism under the banner of “reproductive health choices.”

Council member Ryan Coonerty, who supported the measure, said the council had to take a stand in response to the growing anti-abortion challenge in the country.

That a way councilman Coonerty! Show those baby huggers who's boss. If you are in need of a new slogan for you city: "Santa Cruz - Proudly supporting the murder of millions of unborn children since 2007!" Yep that should start the tourism dollars rolling in.

Have mercy on us Lord and welcome those who never had a chance at life on this earth into your kingdom.

Articles courtesy of

Luukas update

From his dad on Jan. 21:

Luukas had a new EEG done yesterday and will have a magnetic brain scan next Monday. We will hear the results on February 5th. He has turned into the happiest of babies lately, talking and laughing most of the time he is awake. He has also got two teeth.

And now then: On February 23rd, we will pack ourselves into a plane and fly to Lourdes with him . This is because a priest friend of ours had been praying the rosary for him and received the idea during prayer. He says he would not say it was his idea in any way. And he isn't one that would be talking things like that all the time. So we hope it was a true sign from heaven, and at least it certainly cannot hurt to go there and pray.

good read from Fr. Neuhaus

Worth the read:

Ambivalance and Resolve About Roe

Hat tip to Gerald at The Cafeteria is Closed

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Catholic Carnival #103

Catholic Carnival #103

Vatican = crime capital of the world

Apparently, the Vatican has a per capita crime rate of 1.5!!! Okay, even though the numbers may be correct they aren't really all that representative. However, the story behind the numbers is interesting. Be sure to pay attention to the last paragraph.

From Spiegel Online:
Is the Vatican a Rogue State?

in the name of Cruise?

From The Sun Online

Cruise 'is Christ' of Scientology

TOM Cruise is the new “Christ” of Scientology, according to leaders of the cult-like religion.

The Mission: Impossible star has been told he has been “chosen” to spread the word of his faith throughout the world.

And leader David Miscavige believes that in future, Cruise, 44, will be worshipped like Jesus for his work to raise awareness of the religion.

Click above to read the rest.

I shudder think of the kind of pain this type of blasphemy brings to the Sacred Hearts of Christ and his Blessed Mother. I've always enjoyed most of Tom Cruise's movies but I don't know that I can in good conscience watch them anymore.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

2007 Catholic Blog Awards

Nominations for the 2007 Catholic Blog Awards will be held Feb. 4 - 9.

Voting will be Feb. 12 - 16

Catholic Blog Awards

Thank God for good priests

"Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained." John 20: 23

I have been blessed to find a parish with great priests. Going into confession knowing that Fr. Steven or Fr. Zachary will be there with understanding and good advice is wonderful. Some of my first confession experiences lacked any sort of advice from the priest. I pray that more men like Fr. Steven and Fr. Zachary enter the priesthood.

St. Charbel Makhlouf

As I told you about here St. Charbel Makhlouf chose to be my Saint of the Year for 2007. This is the first of several posts to come about this saint's life. I hope you enjoy learning about St. Charbel with me.

From Lives of the Saints

Youssef Makhlouf was born in 1828 in Bika’Kafra, the highest village of Lebanon, near the grove of the still-conserved famous cedars of Lebanon. The youngest of five children, he became a little shepherd. Their pious mother lived almost as a religious in her family home. She would pray with outstretched arms, telling her family to allow no one to see her at those moments. The children’s father also possessed the genuine piety which recommends a Christian to his brethren, but the little Youssef never knew him, for he died when the youngest son was only two years old. An uncle took upon himself the support of the family, which was thereby maintained intact. The child was profoundly affected by the example of two other maternal uncles, who were monks of the Maronite Lebanese Order, living in a hermitage only three miles away, and whom he often visited, at first with his mother, later on his own. They would say to him: “All here below is nothing, the world is vanity, life is short. The true beauty is God, near Him there is true happiness. Wisdom is to not find oneself with empty hands at the supreme hour.”

Friday, January 12, 2007

new Rocky movie

I admit it. I have not seen any of the Rocky movies. But, I might have to watch them with the release of the lastest installment. Especially after coming across this article.

Actor Sylvester Stallone Returns to Christian Faith, Includes Conversion in New Movie"

Sylvester Stallone, of “Rocky” and “Rambo” fame, has come back to his Christian roots, in a conversion experience that he says has released him from the pressures of the world.

“The more I go to church,” Stallone said, reported Focus on the Family’s CitizenLink, “and the more I turn myself over to the process of believing in Jesus and listening to His Word and having Him guide my hand, I feel as though the pressure is off me now.”

Stallone’s new movie, Rocky Balboa, is the latest and final chapter in the ‘Rocky’ series, reflecting the star’s conviction that life is about following Christ, not battling it out alone.