Is Anybody There?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says Yahweh Sabaoth" Zach 4:6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dio di Signore, nella Sua volontà è nostra pace!" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin 1759

Monday, March 31, 2008

This Day in Musical History - 31 March 1964

The Beatles held the top 5 spots on the Billboard charts:

(5) Please Please Me

(4) I Want To Hold Your Hand

(3) She Loves You
(In color even)

(2) Twist and Shout
(w/ a bit of Baby's in Black
At Shea Stadium
Home of my beloved Mets)

(1) Can't Buy Me Love

Planned Parenthood - Non-Profit Murder Inc. Reaches New Heights

Of profit that is. Despite its claims & legal status, Planned Parenthood is a business, plain & simple. & like any business they want to make a profit not break even. Yet they claim year after year they need Federal & State money to keep them going.
They make it sound horrible when they have to close a clinic, claiming it is because the orginization doesn't have the money to run them. To go back to the business model, this claim is especially a BIG LIE. The reality is, like a retail chain, when a location contiunually loses money, you close it. & you open at new locations where you think you will make money. That is how PP operates. But, you keep hearing how poor they are.
So, PP explain your Fiscal Year 2006-2007 revenue over expense of $112 million. To put that in plain English, during that period they made a profit of $112 million. & they don't have to pay a cent of income tax on that. Instead they get huge grants of our tax money to enable them to turn a profit.
Just so you know, the amount is taken directly from Planned Parenthood's annual report found on their website. & no, I will not provide a direct link to them. But, I did check it out myself. & guess what, it reminds me of every annual report I get from the companies I get stock from. As I said, they are a business.
Just to put this in perspective, for the 2005-2006 year they made $55.7 million. So in 1 year they doubled their profits. I don't know of any other corporation that can make that claim while helping to murder over 3200 people every day.
Wait, there is still more. 2006-7 saw PP also set several other records. This year saw PP's income cross the $1 Billion mark for the 1st time, $1.017 billion to be exact.
Next, they also set a record for the amount of Federal & State monies that they received. The total: over $336 million. & remember, they use a portion of that money to lobby for more money as well as to give donations to candidates who support their murderous efforts. (CAUTION: SUPER ULTRA-EXTREME MAXIMUM HYPER-SARCASM AHEAD) YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I want my money back. This use of our tax dolars is an INFAMIA!!!, plain & simple.
Next up is the saddest record they set. They reached a new high in the number of abortions they provided. they went from 264,943 in 2005-6 to 289,650 in 2006-7. I find it interesting that according to their buddies at the Alan Guttmacher Institute the number of total abortions has gone down, while the number they are doing is going up.
If this were Wal-Mart the liberals would be screaming "MONOPOLY!" & don't forget how much these same liberals scream about the record profits the oil companies are making.
Apparently if that monopoly is an abortion provider it is OK. & if an abortion provider makes obscene profits off of murder I guess that is OK by liberal standards also.. Just don't harm the environment.
But, for the utimate in חֻצְפָּה (chutzpah), there is this. On their website PP claims that the report: "highlights our advancements in providing and protecting trusted health care services and medically accurate sexuality education." If I didn't know that this claim was serious, I'd say that it was a sick joke.
In 1984 former abortionist, Dr. Bernard Nathanson, made a film that showed us exactly what happens during an abortion. Here is the portion of Silent Scream that shows us exactly what it is that PP does to make its obscene profits:
(While this is graphic & horrible enough & does get the point across, I'm sure that no abortionist would allow any ultrasound done during an abortion. Why? Because of the fact we now have 4-D ability that would make abortion even clearer & more horrific if anyone saw it.)
We can't lessen our efforts to bring about an end to abortion. We MUST keep praying, keep supporting Pro-Life orginizations, get involved in local efforts & work to elect Pro-Life candidates to every office, including city councils. Now, even more than ever we must keep up the fight!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Long Wave The Queen!!!!!

Your Majesty, could we have your reaction to this news report?

Off with their heads!!!!!!!
Thank you, Your Majesty!

Day of the Unborn - 2008 & Terri's Day

A few years ago, the Feast of the Annunciation was declared to also be the "Day of the Unborn Child". This day was chosen because this day commemorates the day Jesus was conceived in the womb of Mary.
The purpose of the day is to remind us that life begins at conception, not 9 months later at birth. It is also to be a special day to pray for an end to abortion & that life would be respected at all stages.
In the USA, the Knights of Columbus have taken a lead in sponsoring events on this day.
Normally, the Feast of teh Annunciation falls on 25 March, but because of when Easter occurs this year it is moved to Mon, 31 March. Many places have scheduled Rosaries for Life, special Masses & other events. Many of these are listed on the Day of the Unborn website. If you cannot find anything in your area contact you local Diocesan Chancery or Knights of Columbus to see if there is something going on. If there isn't than consider spearheading the start of such an event in your area for next year.
Here in DBQ there will be several events at St. Raphael's Cathederal. Monday (31 Mar) at 6:30 pm there will be a Rachel Rosary. At 7:00 pm Archbishop Jerome Hanus, O.S.B will be the main celebrant for the Mass. The area KC Councils are spearheading the event.
This year it coincides with Terri's Day (International Day of Prayer and Remembrance for Terri Schindler Schiavo, and All of Our Vulnerable Brothers and Sisters). This is the date that Terri died after the courts ordered her to be starved to death. This day is sponsored by Priests for Life & The Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation.
Life is being attacked from all sides. & we cannot be silent. Pray, pray, pray. But also get involved. There are many good Pro-Life groups that need your support, financial & physical. Join in at prayer protests at abortion clinics. Work for Pro-Life candidates. I cannot emphasis enough how we must do so as a part of our prophetic role as Christians.
Terri was murdered 3 years ago. Many others in similar condition are facing the same threat. Over 3200 babies are killed each day by abortion in the USA alone. Every life has a purpose & has an intrinsic value that doesn't depend, despite what so-called ethicists like Peter Singer claim, on what the life can or cannot contribute. All life is from God & thus MUST be respected.
I know I go on a lot. & at times my words are very inadequate to the task I have set before myself to speak out for the "least of Christ's brethren". But, I have learned through events in my own life of how valuable every life is. & that is why I am so passionate about it. I do what little I can & support those who can do more with prayer & financial gifts. Please, please get involved!!!!!

Friday, March 28, 2008

If They Deny Christ, How Can They Claim to Be Christian?

"But the one who disowns me in the presence of human beings, I will disown in the presence of my Father in heaven." Matthew 10:33
"Anyone who disowns me in the presence of human beings will be disowned in the presence of God's angels Everyone who says a word against the Son of man will be forgiven, but no one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will be forgiven." Luke 12:9-10
Or, in this case, they have not only denied Jesus, they have denied the Holy Spirit, God & Scripture. In other words, at this Church they have called 2000 yrs of Christianity a lie.
Who, or what am I refering to? In this case it is the Rev. Gretta Vosper & the Toronto parish she leads, West Hill United Church. Before, I go into details, I have got to say that if it wasn't so sad, everything they are claiming would be funny. I also realize that they would disagree with everything I am saying about how wrong they are. But, I will say it here & now, unless they repent & stop denying the tenets of Christianity, they WILL find out how real (as well as eternal) HELL is? They will find out that they have commited the same sins as Satan, pride & attempting to make themselves God instead of the real God. The word that most comes to mind in seeing what they believe is "heretic". & I don't use that word lightly. It also highly reeks of "New Age" updates of these heresies.
The Church has completely removed anything even hinting of divinity. For Easter it was hope that is declared to be resurrected – an expression of renewal of optimism and the human spirit. Yup hope, not Jesus. It is all about us.
According to the article I read: "There is no authoritative Big-Godism, as Rev. Gretta Vosper, West Hill's minister for the past 10 years, puts it. No petitionary prayers (“Dear God, step into the world and do good things about global warming and the poor”). No miracles-performing magic Jesus given birth by a virgin and coming back to life. No references to salvation, Christianity's teaching of the final victory over death through belief in Jesus's death as an atonement for sin and the omnipotent love of God. For that matter, no omnipotent God, or god."
Ms. Vosper has just written a book, With or Without God: Why the Way We Live is More Important than What We Believe. In it " she argues that the Christian church, in the form in which it exists today, has outlived its viability and either it sheds its no-longer credible myths, doctrines and dogmas, or it's toast."
What she, & a lot of others today forget is that all their claims are the same that have been made for 2000 yrs, & continually proven wrong. The Church can never outlive its viability. The doctrines & dogmas as well as the truths she calls myths are still credible, & still just as true. OK for those that deny they choice to reject their credibility. But the truth is still the same truth Jesus proclaimed 2000 yrs ago when He declared HE was the Truth.
I esp have to take issue with 1 of her claims, that "there's been virtually a consensus among scholars for the past 30 years that the Bible is not some divine emanation . . . . but a human project filled with contradictions and the conflicting worldviews and political perspectives of its authors." Funny, but I haven't seen that consensus in any way shape or form. What she is claiming is a lie, plain & simple. I suspect that we need to look at her definition of scholar. I highly suspect that by her definition you are only a scholor if you agree with her point of view. I suspect she would say that people like Papa Benedetto, etc, who uphold Orthodox Christianity have betrayed scholorship & thus don't count.
I checked out the (alledged) Church's website. It is a hotbed of selfish secular humanism. &, not surprizingly their latest book they are studying is by Peter Singer, the notorious Princeton ethicist who says even after a person is born that person doesn't automatically have a right to live. Recently, the reading was a writing by the creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
This Church's entire doctrine is straight out of Hell. & they are providing people with an express ticket to Hell.
Another claim on the website is "We're just like you." No your not, not in the sense you mean. I belive in Jesus. I believe He died & rose again, & sits at the right hand of the Father. I believe all the doctrines of the Nicene & Apostles creeds. I believe "Sacred Scripture is the speech of God as it is put down in writing under the breath of the Holy Spirit." (Dei Verbum 9) I accept all the Catholic Church teaches as revealed in "Sacred Tradition" also. So no, I am not like you. I accept the TRUTH (aka JESUS), I don't reject it like you do.
I pray that God will have mercy on each & everyone of them at their church & lead them to the truth before it is too late. Not a single 1 of them is outside of God's mercy, unless he or she chooses to place him/herself outside of it. & even then, God will continue to reach out. I know they may resent this, despite claims of being non-judgemental, but I don't care. What I care about is their immortal souls. What I care about is the fact that everything they are promoting is ensuring their eternal damnation. I want them to realize the truth, before it is eternally too late.
I pray they stop listening to the false prophecies that they promote & listen to the true prophecies found in Scripture.
West Hill, despite your claims you are NOT meeting their needs. You are giving them false hope. You are ensuring eternal hurt. Please, turn away from your path & turn to the 1 sure means of salvation Jesus Christ who diedfor you sins. It is still not too late.

The Denver Post Has Egg on Its Face

Esp since it doesn't know the difference between an egg & an unborn human being.

Am I Out Cavemanning The Cavemen?

I'm not 100% sure yet. But, it looks like I am giving The Catholic Cavemen a run for their money. At least according to the test I took. I would have expected to be a Novus Ordo Conservative. Esp since I rarely attend a TLM. I suspect it was the question about the Vatican & nuclear weapons that put me ahead. Now whether I outdo the Cavemen will depend on how they do on the test. We shall see!

Are You A Catholic Caveman?
created with
You scored as You ARE a Catholic Caveman!

You made it! You attend the Traditional Latin Mass, and have no problem with puttin' a righteous ass-whuppin' on heathen scum.

You ARE a Catholic Caveman!


You are a Conservative Novus Ordo type


You worship dirt


Novus Ordo through and through


You're the Anti-Christ


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Terry Schiavo - Why Obama's Stand on This Issue IS Wrong

H/T Paul the Regular Guy

I may not always agree with Nat Hentoff's political views. But he gets it correct more often than not. & when it comes to Pro-Life he usually does get it right. He is a strong advocate for 1st Amendment rights.
He is a self described "Jewish, atheist, civil-libertarian, pro-lifer." So, given this, tell me how being Pro-Life is a religious/Catholic thing only?????
Anyhow, in a recent column he takes on Obama & tells Mr. O why his views on Terry Schiavo are wrong.

By Nat Hentoff
Jewish World Review In none of the endless presidential candidates' debates has there been a meaningful discussion of the rights of disabled Americans. However, in the Feb. 26 debate in Cleveland, Barack Obama casually and ignorantly revealed his misunderstanding of the basic issue in the highly visible and still-resonating official death sentence of a disabled woman, Terri Schiavo. I have repeatedly called her death the result of "the longest public execution in American history."
When moderator Tim Russert asked Hillary Clinton and Obama if "there are any words or votes that you'd like to take back ... in your careers in public service," Obama answered that in his first year in the Senate, he joined an agreement "that allowed Congress to interject itself (in the Schiavo case) into the decision-making process of the families."
Obama added: 'I think that was a mistake, and I think the American people understood that was a mistake. And as a constitutional law professor, I knew better."
When he was a professor of constitutional law, Obama probably instructed his students to research and know all the facts of a case. The reason Congress asked the federal courts to review the Schiavo case was that the 41-year-old woman about to be dehydrated and starved to death was breathing normally on her own, was not terminal, and there was medical evidence that she was responsive, not in a persistent vegetative state.
One of the leading congressional advocates of judicial review was staunchly liberal Democratic Tom Harkin of Iowa, because he is deeply informed about disability rights. By contrast, in all of this inflamed controversy, the mainstream media performed miserably, copying each other's errors instead of doing their own investigations of what Terri's wishes actually were. Consequently, most Americans did not know that 29 major national disability-rights organizations filed legal briefs and lobbied Congress to understand that this was not a right-to-die case, but about the right to continue living.
Among them were:
The National Spinal Cord Injury Association; the National Down Syndrome Congress; the World Association of Persons with Disabilities; Not Dead Yet; and the largest American assembly of disability-rights activists, the American Association of People with Disabilities. AAPD's head, Andrew J. Imparato, has testified before the Senate that: "When we start devaluing the lives of people with disabilities, we don't know where that's going to stop. You also need to take into account the financial implications of all of this. We have an economy that is not doing as well as it once was and ... one way to save money is to make it easier for people with disabilities to die."
I recommend to Obama — if he wants to make amends — that he consult the disability-rights experts at Not Dead Yet for the facts of the Terri Schiavo case and its acute relevance to many Americans in similar situations.
Not Dead Yet is about 12 miles from Chicago at 7521 Madison St., Forest Park, Ill. If this presidential contender and former law professor had bothered to do his own research, he would have discovered — as I did in four years of covering this story and interviewing participants, including neurologists, on both sides, that:
The husband of the brain-damaged Terri Schiavo, Michael Schiavo, had stopped testing and rehabilitation for her in 1993, 12 years before her death. Moreover, for years he had been living with another woman, with whom he had two children, and whom he has since married. Michael Schiavo has continually insisted that he finally succeeded in having Terri's feeding tube removed because he was respecting Terri's wishes — which she could no longer communicate — that she did not want to be kept alive by artificial means.
But at a January 2000 trial — as reported by Notre Dame law school professor O. Carter Snead in "Constitutional Quarterly" (published by the University of Minnesota Law School) in its winter 2005 issue:
Five witnesses testified on whether Terri would have refused artificial nutrition, including water, in the condition she was in. Her mother and a close friend of Terri testified she had said clearly she would want these essential life needs. The other three witnesses said Terri would have approved the removal of her feeding tube.
These last three were in alliance on what became a death penalty: Michael Schiavo, his brother and his sister-in-law!
It was on the basis of that 3-to-2 vote that Florida state judge George Greer ruled that "clear and convincing evidence" allowed him to remove her from life — and then 19 judges in six courts, including federal courts — agreed. Like the press, those judges did no independent investigations of their own. And those careless judges are now joined by the equally irresponsible robot-like judgment of Sen. Barack Obama. He should be proud of the Senate vote he now recants — and learn a lot more about the disabled.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

What IS the Real Greater Tragedy?

This past weekend the number of US troops to die in Iraq reached 4000. That comes to about 2.1 deaths a day since the war in Iraq started 5 years ago. Over the next few days you will hear a lot of people claiming that this number is horrible. That is is 1 of the worst tragedies we are currently facing as Americans.

I have to disagree.

1st of all, it would have been nice if we hadn't lost a single life over there. But, that isn't true. We have. & for me each of these people is a hero who did his or her best to make the world a safer place. Unlike Vietnam, none of them were drafted. Unlike the 2974 killed on 9-11 (a definite tragedy), they had a choice. Everyone of them signed up knowing this fate was a possibility. & they still said yes. That makes them heroes for me.

My question to all those screaming about how horrible this is is why are you being silent about a greater holocaust that is going on every day? Over 3200 innocent children are being murdered every day in the USA. & that is just the number of unborn children killed by surgical abortion. That doesn't include the many more that die due to the pill or the morning after pill or an IUD. & that doesn't count those created in-vitro for embryonic stem cell research either.

2.1 a day IS sad. But, despite what some people want to claim, things are getting better in Iraq. & will get much better if we stick it out. (Given the recent info that has come out of Vietnam about how we really were winning, despite Walter Cronkite & the rest, are we missing the lesson? Or do those who want to leave really hate America & what it stands for that much that they will do all they can to destroy us?)

But isn't over 3200 deaths a day an even greater tragedy? & that is just in the USA (& remember, this number is based on the pro-Abort Guttmacher Institute data.

So, why are we OK with that number but not the number in Iraq that resuklted in so many more lives being saved from the villiany of Saddam?

I'm not OK with that fact. War is to be avoided when possible. But there are times when it is inevitable, & just under Catholic teaching. (History will determine that in this case. I can see valid arguements for both sides.) No abortion IS EVER NECESSARY! 3200 deaths a day cannot ever in any way, shape or form be justified.
So, why are we letting it still happen?

It's The HYPOCRICY Stupido!!!!

I hate to disagree with you Neil, but חֻצְפָּה (chutzpah) is an understatement. Even for Shrillary. Desperation, the usual dirty tricks are more in line with what this is all about. But my paisan does make a good point:

by Neil Cavuto
It's the electoral vote, stupid.
No, for me right now, it's the hypocrisy stupid.
In an incredible case of political chutzpah, a key Clinton backer points to a new measure of Hillary Clinton's strength.
She's won states with more electoral votes than Barack Obama has.
Indiana Senator Evan Bayh explaining over the weekend that Senator Clinton has won states with a total of 219 Electoral College votes, while Senator Obama has won states with a total of 202 electoral votes.
And that's not even counting Michigan and Florida.
So, let me cut to the electoral chase: Even though Senator Clinton trails Barack Obama in the popular vote, she's the most convincing candidate because she leads in the electoral vote.
Weren't they arguing just the opposite back in 2000 when George Bush was arguing pretty much the same.
Back then he was "stealing" the election?
What then are the Clinton forces doing this time?
Of course, the difference is electoral votes don't count until a general election. And there's no automatic guarantees that states won in a party contest are the same states won in a general contest.
But the argument is fascinating.
Suddenly electoral votes matter before they're even tallied.
Even before the popular votes, which already have.
The total number of Electoral Votes in the states she won in is only 17 more than the total of the states Obama won in.
17 potential ones at best.
Is she that desperate?
Now they count, THIS from someone who wants to do away with the Electoral College & have the top vote getter win instead? INCREDIBILE!!!!
She must be that desperate!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Urbi et Orbi - Easter 2008


Resurrexi, et adhuc tecum sum. Alleluia! - I have risen, I am still with you. Alleluia! Dear brothers and sisters, Jesus, crucified and risen, repeats this joyful proclamation to us today: the Easter proclamation. Let us welcome it with deep wonder and gratitude!
Resurrexi et adhuc tecum sum – I have risen, I am still with you, for ever. These words, taken from an ancient version of Psalm 138 (v. 18b), were sung at the beginning of today’s Mass. In them, at the rising of the Easter sun, the Church recognizes the voice of Jesus himself who, on rising from death, turns to the Father filled with gladness and love, and exclaims: My Father, here I am! I have risen, I am still with you, and so I shall be for ever; your Spirit never abandoned me. In this way we can also come to a new understanding of other passages from the psalm: “If I climb the heavens, you are there; if I descend into the underworld, you are there … Even darkness is not dark for you, and the night is as clear as day; for you, darkness is like light” (Ps 138:8,12). It is true: in the solemn Easter vigil, darkness becomes light, night gives way to the day that knows no sunset. The death and resurrection of the Word of God incarnate is an event of invincible love, it is the victory of that Love which has delivered us from the slavery of sin and death. It has changed the course of history, giving to human life an indestructible and renewed meaning and value.
“I have risen and I am still with you, for ever.” These words invite us to contemplate the risen Christ, letting his voice resound in our heart. With his redeeming sacrifice, Jesus of Nazareth has made us adopted children of God, so that we too can now take our place in the mysterious dialogue between him and the Father. We are reminded of what he once said to those who were listening: “All things have been delivered to me by my Father; and no one knows the Father except the Son and any one to whom the Son chooses to reveal him” (Mt 11:27). In this perspective, we note that the words addressed by the risen Jesus to the Father on this day – “I am still with you, for ever” – apply indirectly to us as well, “children of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him” (cf. Rom 8:17). Through the death and resurrection of Christ, we too rise to new life today, and uniting our voice with his, we proclaim that we wish to remain for ever with God, our infinitely good and merciful Father.
In this way we enter the depths of the Paschal mystery. The astonishing event of the resurrection of Jesus is essentially an event of love: the Father’s love in handing over his Son for the salvation of the world; the Son’s love in abandoning himself to the Father’s will for us all; the Spirit’s love in raising Jesus from the dead in his transfigured body. And there is more: the Father’s love which “newly embraces” the Son, enfolding him in glory; the Son’s love returning to the Father in the power of the Spirit, robed in our transfigured humanity. From today’s solemnity, in which we relive the absolute, once-and-for-all experience of Jesus’s resurrection, we receive an appeal to be converted to Love; we receive an invitation to live by rejecting hatred and selfishness, and to follow with docility in the footsteps of the Lamb that was slain for our salvation, to imitate the Redeemer who is “gentle and lowly in heart”, who is “rest for our souls” (cf. Mt 11:29).
Dear Christian brothers and sisters in every part of the world, dear men and women whose spirit is sincerely open to the truth, let no heart be closed to the omnipotence of this redeeming love! Jesus Christ died and rose for all; he is our hope – true hope for every human being. Today, just as he did with his disciples in Galilee before returning to the Father, the risen Jesus now sends us everywhere as witnesses of his hope, and he reassures us: I am with you always, all days, until the end of the world (cf. Mt 28:20). Fixing the gaze of our spirit on the glorious wounds of his transfigured body, we can understand the meaning and value of suffering, we can tend the many wounds that continue to disfigure humanity in our own day. In his glorious wounds we recognize the indestructible signs of the infinite mercy of the God of whom the prophet says: it is he who heals the wounds of broken hearts, who defends the weak and proclaims the freedom of slaves, who consoles all the afflicted and bestows upon them the oil of gladness instead of a mourning robe, a song of praise instead of a sorrowful heart (cf. Is 61:1,2,3). If with humble trust we draw near to him, we encounter in his gaze the response to the deepest longings of our heart: to know God and to establish with him a living relationship in an authentic communion of love, which can fill our lives, our interpersonal and social relations with that same love. For this reason, humanity needs Christ: in him, our hope, “we have been saved” (cf. Rom 8:24).
How often relations between individuals, between groups and between peoples are marked not by love but by selfishness, injustice, hatred and violence! These are the scourges of humanity, open and festering in every corner of the planet, although they are often ignored and sometimes deliberately concealed; wounds that torture the souls and bodies of countless of our brothers and sisters. They are waiting to be tended and healed by the glorious wounds of our Risen Lord (cf. 1 Pet 2:24-25) and by the solidarity of people who, following in his footsteps, perform deeds of charity in his name, make an active commitment to justice, and spread luminous signs of hope in areas bloodied by conflict and wherever the dignity of the human person continues to be scorned and trampled. It is hoped that these are precisely the places where gestures of moderation and forgiveness will increase!
Dear brothers and sisters! Let us allow the light that streams forth from this solemn day to enlighten us; let us open ourselves in sincere trust to the risen Christ, so that his victory over evil and death may also triumph in each one of us, in our families, in our cities and in our nations. Let it shine forth in every part of the world. In particular, how can we fail to remember certain African regions, such as Dafur and Somalia, the tormented Middle East, especially the Holy Land, Iraq, Lebanon, and finally Tibet, all of whom I encourage to seek solutions that will safeguard peace and the common good! Let us invoke the fullness of his Paschal gifts, through the intercession of Mary who, after sharing the sufferings of the passion and crucifixion of her innocent Son, also experienced the inexpressible joy of his resurrection. Sharing in the glory of Christ, may she be the one to protect us and guide us along the path of fraternal solidarity and peace. These are my Easter greetings, which I address to all who are present here, and to men and women of every nation and continent united with us through radio and television. Happy Easter!

© Copyright 2008 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Not That This Is News, But the Press Just Does Nae Get IT!

While FoxNews is often good at getting things right, even they missed it today. On their 1 minute radio newscast this is what they had to say about Papa Benedetto's Urbi et Orbi message, that the Pope denounced selfishness, injustice, hatred and violence in his Easter Message. Nothing else, just that. Their website article does is a little better. It still misses the whole point of the message. That not only does Il Papa decry these problems, but that he offers the solution to them, Jesus. "Jesus Christ died and rose for all; he is our hope -- true hope for every human being." "In his glorious wounds we recognize the indestructible signs of the infinite mercy of the God of whom the prophet says: it is he who heals the wounds of broken hearts, who defends the weak and proclaims the freedom of slaves, who consoles all the afflicted and bestows upon them the oil of gladness instead of a mourning robe, a song of praise instead of a sorrowful heart (cf. Is 61:1,2,3). If with humble trust we draw near to him, we encounter in his gaze the response to the deepest longings of our heart: to know God and to establish with him a living relationship in an authentic communion of love, which can fill our lives, our interpersonal and social relations with that same love. For this reason, humanity needs Christ: in him, our hope, "we have been saved" (cf. Rom 8:24)." (Emphasis mine)
I don't think that USA Today realizes how much it exactly hit things on the nail, not about the average Catholic who truly practices his or her faith, but about the liberal MSM, the Press in general & all those cafeteria Catholics who aren't really Catholic. On their website USA Today has an article with this title: Benedict still a mystery after 3 years as pope. Yes, to a lot of people he is a mystery. Many prejudged him based on the unfounded attacks by the Main Stream & liberal Catholic Media over the past 2-1/2 decades. & they are seeing that he isn't using the tactics they expected. They don't see that he does have (to quote Fr. Z) a "Marshall Plan" & that he is quitly implimenting it 1 step at a time in a way that is usually sneaking under the radar of those who don't want the changes he is bringing about.
Papa Benedetto is, as I have said so many times before, doing what he should, living out his call as Chief Shepherd of the flock. He is teaching by word & dead. & he is leading the Church to where Christ wants it to be. He can't just snap his fingers & change everything instantly. & he knows there will always be problems to deal with. But, that won't stop him from doing all he can to see to it that he steers the Ship of St. Peter, as he should, where it should be going. (See St. John Bosco's Dream of the 2 Pillars for more on this.)

Sunday, March 23, 2008

"Conversi ad Dominum" *

*Or How to do an Easter Vigil Liturgy Rite (pun intended)

I have to start out by saying that the Church where I attended the Easter Vigil Liturgy did it right. But nothing can beat the beauty of seeing a Papal Liturgy in St. Peter's. & this year's Easter Vigil Liturgy was no exception. This year's liturgy had a couple of items of special interest.
The 1st item involves 1 of the people that Papa Benedetto baptised & confirmed. & this is esp true in light of some recent comments by Usama ben Laden claiming that the Pope has a "large and lengthy role" in a "new Crusade" against Islam. Magdi Allam, an Egyptian born, non-practicing Muslim was among those newly welcome into the Catholic Church. Mr. Allam has had previous death threats against him for comments he has made that were seen as attacks on Islam. In the past conversion to Christianity has often resulted in the convert being put to death. & Iran's Parliament has been begun debating a new law that will do the same.
Papa Benedetto is definitely aware of this danger to his life from certain groups of radical Islamists. & he knows that this won't win him any friends in that group. Yet, just like when he went to Turkey, the Pope isn't letting danger to his life stop him from being faithful to his call as Chief Shepherd of the flock. (& I am sure among the left winged, alledged Catholics this hasn't won him any fans either.)
I have 1 other small comment on the administration of Confirmation during the liturgy. It would have been nice to see the Pope restore the tap on the cheek as a reminder that as a Christian we need to be ready to face persecution & death if need be in living out & defending the faith.
The 2nd item has to do with the Pope's distribution of the Eucharist during the Communion Rite. It has been said by many a person that Papa Benedetto is teaching how to do liturgy right by example as well as word. & the fact that he gave communion under both forms via Intinction says volumes. It says he sees the post-Vatican II restoration of everyone being able to receive Communion under both forms in the Latin Rite as a valid development. & he gives an excellent example of how this can be done reverently.
Speaking of words, the homily given during the liturgy by the Pope is a strong call for us to live out our Baptismal promises daily. It is a strong call to die to self & turn to Jesus daily.
Here then, is Papa Benedetto's homily from the Easter Vigil Liturgy:

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
In his farewell discourse, Jesus announced his imminent death and resurrection to his disciples with these mysterious words: "I go away, and I will come to you", he said (Jn 14:28). Dying is a "going away". Even if the body of the deceased remains behind, he himself has gone away into the unknown, and we cannot follow him (cf. Jn 13:36). Yet in Jesus’s case, there is something utterly new, which changes the world. In the case of our own death, the "going away" is definitive, there is no return. Jesus, on the other hand, says of his death: "I go away, and I will come to you." It is by going away that he comes. His going ushers in a completely new and greater way of being present. By dying he enters into the love of the Father. His dying is an act of love. Love, however, is immortal. Therefore, his going away is transformed into a new coming, into a form of presence which reaches deeper and does not come to an end. During his earthly life, Jesus, like all of us, was tied to the external conditions of bodily existence: to a determined place and a determined time. Bodiliness places limits on our existence. We cannot be simultaneously in two different places. Our time is destined to come to an end. And between the "I" and the "you" there is a wall of otherness. To be sure, through love we can somehow enter the other’s existence. Nevertheless, the insurmountable barrier of being different remains in place. Yet Jesus, who is now totally transformed through the act of love, is free from such barriers and limits. He is able not only to pass through closed doors in the outside world, as the Gospels recount (cf. Jn 20:19). He can pass through the interior door separating the "I" from the "you", the closed door between yesterday and today, between the past and the future. On the day of his solemn entry into Jerusalem, when some Greeks asked to see him, Jesus replied with the parable of the grain of wheat which has to pass through death in order to bear much fruit. In this way he foretold his own destiny: these words were not addressed simply to one or two Greeks in the space of a few minutes. Through his Cross, through his going away, through his dying like the grain of wheat, he would truly arrive among the Greeks, in such a way that they could see him and touch him through faith. His going away is transformed into a coming, in the Risen Lord’s universal manner of presence, in which he is there yesterday, today and for ever, in which he embraces all times and all places. Now he can even surmount the wall of otherness that separates the "I" from the "you". This happened with Paul, who describes the process of his conversion and his Baptism in these words: "it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me" (Gal 2:20). Through the coming of the Risen One, Paul obtained a new identity. His closed "I" was opened. Now he lives in communion with Jesus Christ, in the great "I" of believers who have become – as he puts it – "one in Christ" (Gal 3:28).
So, dear friends, it is clear that, through Baptism, the mysterious words spoken by Jesus at the Last Supper become present for you once more. In Baptism, the Lord enters your life through the door of your heart. We no longer stand alongside or in opposition to one another. He passes through all these doors. This is the reality of Baptism: he, the Risen One, comes; he comes to you and joins his life with yours, drawing you into the open fire of his love. You become one, one with him, and thus one among yourselves. At first this can sound rather abstract and unrealistic. But the more you live the life of the baptized, the more you can experience the truth of these words. Believers – the baptized – are never truly cut off from one another. Continents, cultures, social structures or even historical distances may separate us. But when we meet, we know one another on the basis of the same Lord, the same faith, the same hope, the same love, which form us. Then we experience that the foundation of our lives is the same. We experience that in our inmost depths we are anchored in the same identity, on the basis of which all our outward differences, however great they may be, become secondary. Believers are never totally cut off from one another. We are in communion because of our deepest identity: Christ within us. Thus faith is a force for peace and reconciliation in the world: distances between people are overcome, in the Lord we have become close (cf. Eph 2:13).
The Church expresses the inner reality of Baptism as the gift of a new identity through the tangible elements used in the administration of the sacrament. The fundamental element in Baptism is water; next, in second place, is light, which is used to great effect in the Liturgy of the Easter Vigil. Let us take a brief look at these two elements. In the final chapter of the Letter to the Hebrews, there is a statement about Christ which does not speak directly of water, but the Old Testament allusions nevertheless point clearly to the mystery of water and its symbolic meaning. Here we read: "The God of peace … brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant" (13:20). In this sentence, there is an echo of the prophecy of Isaiah, in which Moses is described as the shepherd whom the Lord brought up from the water, from the sea (cf. 63:11). Jesus appears as the new, definitive Shepherd who brings to fulfilment what Moses had done: he leads us out of the deadly waters of the sea, out of the waters of death. In this context we may recall that Moses’ mother placed him in a basket in the Nile. Then, through God’s providence, he was taken out of the water, carried from death to life, and thus – having himself been saved from the waters of death – he was able to lead others through the sea of death. Jesus descended for us into the dark waters of death. But through his blood, so the Letter to the Hebrews tells us, he was brought back from death: his love united itself to the Father’s love, and thus from the abyss of death he was able to rise to life. Now he raises us from death to true life. This is exactly what happens in Baptism: he draws us towards himself, he draws us into true life. He leads us through the often murky sea of history, where we are frequently in danger of sinking amid all the confusion and perils. In Baptism he takes us, as it were, by the hand, he leads us along the path that passes through the Red Sea of this life and introduces us to everlasting life, the true and upright life. Let us grasp his hand firmly! Whatever may happen, whatever may befall us, let us not lose hold of his hand! Let us walk along the path that leads to life.
In the second place, there is the symbol of light and fire. Gregory of Tours recounts a practice that in some places was preserved for a long time, of lighting the new fire for the celebration of the Easter Vigil directly from the sun, using a crystal. Light and fire, so to speak, were received anew from heaven, so that all the lights and fires of the year could be kindled from them. This is a symbol of what we are celebrating in the Easter Vigil. Through his radical love for us, in which the heart of God and the heart of man touched, Jesus Christ truly took light from heaven and brought it to the earth – the light of truth and the fire of love that transform man’s being. He brought the light, and now we know who God is and what God is like. Thus we also know what our own situation is: what we are, and for what purpose we exist. When we are baptized, the fire of this light is brought down deep within ourselves. Thus, in the early Church, Baptism was also called the Sacrament of Illumination: God’s light enters into us; thus we ourselves become children of light. We must not allow this light of truth, that shows us the path, to be extinguished. We must protect it from all the forces that seek to eliminate it so as to cast us back into darkness regarding God and ourselves. Darkness, at times, can seem comfortable. I can hide, and spend my life asleep. Yet we are not called to darkness, but to light. In our baptismal promises, we rekindle this light, so to speak, year by year. Yes, I believe that the world and my life are not the product of chance, but of eternal Reason and eternal Love, they are created by Almighty God. Yes, I believe that in Jesus Christ, in his incarnation, in his Cross and resurrection, the face of God has been revealed; that in him, God is present in our midst, he unites us and leads us towards our goal, towards eternal Love. Yes, I believe that the Holy Spirit gives us the word of truth and enlightens our hearts; I believe that in the communion of the Church we all become one Body with the Lord, and thus we encounter his resurrection and eternal life. The Lord has granted us the light of truth. This light is also fire, a powerful force coming from God, a force that does not destroy, but seeks to transform our hearts, so that we truly become men of God, and so that his peace can become active in this world.
In the early Church there was a custom whereby the Bishop or the priest, after the homily, would cry out to the faithful: "Conversi ad Dominum" – turn now towards the Lord. This meant in the first place that they would turn towards the East, towards the rising sun, the sign of Christ returning, whom we go to meet when we celebrate the Eucharist. Where this was not possible, for some reason, they would at least turn towards the image of Christ in the apse, or towards the Cross, so as to orient themselves inwardly towards the Lord. Fundamentally, this involved an interior event; conversion, the turning of our soul towards Jesus Christ and thus towards the living God, towards the true light. Linked with this, then, was the other exclamation that still today, before the Eucharistic Prayer, is addressed to the community of the faithful: "Sursum corda" – "Lift up your hearts", high above the tangled web of our concerns, desires, anxieties and thoughtlessness – "Lift up your hearts, your inner selves!" In both exclamations we are summoned, as it were, to a renewal of our Baptism: Conversi ad Dominum – we must distance ourselves ever anew from taking false paths, onto which we stray so often in our thoughts and actions. We must turn ever anew towards him who is the Way, the Truth and the Life. We must be converted ever anew, turning with our whole life towards the Lord. And ever anew we must allow our hearts to be withdrawn from the force of gravity, which pulls them down, and inwardly we must raise them high: in truth and love. At this hour, let us thank the Lord, because through the power of his word and of the holy Sacraments, he points us in the right direction and draws our heart upwards. Let us pray to him in these words: Yes, Lord, make us Easter people, men and women of light, filled with the fire of your love.

Just a Reminder of What EASTER Is Not

FaithMouse by Dan Lacey

That doesn't mean you can't enjoy a bit of candy, or hunting for eggs. Just remember what those eggs originally symbolized in the Christian celebration of Easter, the Resurrection & New Life In Christ.

Ukranian писанка (pysanka)

Saturday, March 22, 2008

This Has Got To Be 1 of the Most Bizzaro Videos I've Seen In A While

It's Raining McCain? (I think this IS a serious spoof fan video.) Here are the McCain Girls cheering on their favorite Presidential candidate:

Anyhow for those of you that don't get the spoof, here is the original video/song that it is based on:
It's Raining Men
The Weather Girls

& if that wasn't enough:

It's Raining Men - The Sequel
Martha Wash
w/ RuPaul

This is what we have come to in campaigning for the President? What ever happenned to serious political debate? Actually, given "Tippecanoe & Tyler Too!" & all the different mottos & promo gifts over the years put out by campaigns, this is just the same hype/different media.


Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa,
preacher of the Pontifical Household,
Good Friday liturgy
St. Peter's Basilica.

"When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and divided them into four shares, a share for each soldier. They also took his tunic, but the tunic was without seam, woven in one piece from the top down. So they said to one another, 'Let's not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it will be,' in order that the passage of Scripture might be fulfilled that says: 'They divided my garments among them, and for my vesture they cast lots'" (John 19:23-24).
It has always been asked what the evangelist John wanted to say with the importance that he gives to this particular detail of the Passion. One relatively recent explanation is that the tunic alludes to the vestment of the high priest and that with this, John wanted to affirm that Jesus died not only as king but also as priest.
It is not said in the Bible, however, that the tunic of the high priest had to be seamless (cf. Exodus 28: 4; Leviticus 16:4). For this reason the most authoritative of the exegetes prefer to stick to the traditional explanation, according to which the seamless tunic symbolized the unity of the disciples.[1] It is the interpretation that St. Cyprian already gave: "The unity of the Church," he writes, "is expressed in the Gospel when it is said that the tunic of Christ was not divided or cut."[2]
Whatever be the explanation that one gives to the text, one thing is certain: The unity of the disciples is, for John, the purpose for which Christ dies. "Jesus had to die for the nation, and not only for the nation, but also to gather into one the dispersed children of God" (John 11:51-52). At the Last Supper he himself said: "I pray not only for them, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me" (John 17:20-21).
The glad tidings to proclaim on Good Friday are that unity, before it is a goal to be sought, is a gift to be received. That the tunic is woven "from the top down," St. Cyprian continues, means that "the unity brought by Christ comes from above, from the heavenly Father, and because of this it cannot be broken apart by those who receive it, but must be received in its integrity."
The soldiers divided "the clothes," or the "the cloak," ("ta imatia") into four pieces, that is, Jesus' outer garments, not the tunic, the "chiton," which was the inner garment, which was in direct contact with his body. This is also a symbol. We men can divide the human and visible element of the Church, but not its deeper unity, which is identified with the Holy Spirit. Christ's tunic was not and can never be divided. It too is of a single piece. "Can Christ be divided?" Paul cried out (cf. 1 Corinthians 1:13). It is the faith we profess in the Creed: "I believe in the Church, one, holy, catholic and apostolic."
* * *
But if unity must serve as a sign "so that the world believe," it must also be a visible, communitarian unity. This is the unity that has been lost and must be rediscovered. It is much more than maintaining neighborly relations; it is the mystical interior unity itself -- "one body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God Father of all" (Ephesians 4:4-6) -- insofar as this objective unity is in fact received, lived and manifested by believers. A unity that is not endangered by diversity, but enriched by it.
After Easter the apostles asked Jesus: "Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?" Today we often address the same question to God: Is this the time in which you will restore the visible unity of the Church? God's answer is also the same as the one Jesus gave to the disciples: "It is not for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has established by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses" (Acts 1:6-8).
The Holy Father recalled this in a homily he gave on Jan. 25 in the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls at the end of Christian Unity Week: "Unity with God and our brothers and sisters," he wrote, "is a gift that comes from on high, which flows from the communion of love between Father, Son and Holy Spirit in which it is increased and perfected. It is not in our power to decide when or how this unity will be fully achieved. Only God can do it! Like St Paul, let us also place our hope and trust 'in the grace of God which is with us.'"
Today as well, the Holy Spirit will be the one to lead us into unity, if we let him guide us. How was it that the Holy Spirit brought about the first fundamental unity of the Church, that between Jews and pagans? The Holy Spirit descends upon Cornelius and his whole household in the same way in which he descended upon the apostles at Pentecost. So, Peter only needed to draw the conclusion: "If then God gave them the same gift he gave to us when we came to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to be able to hinder God?" (Acts 11:17).
For a century now, we have seen the same thing repeat itself before our eyes on a global scale. God has poured out the Holy Spirit in a new and unusual way upon millions of believers from every Christian denomination and, so that there would be no doubts about his intentions, he poured out the Spirit with the same manifestations. Is this not a sign that the Spirit moves us to recognize each other as disciples of Christ and work toward unity?
It is true that this spiritual and charismatic unity is not enough by itself. We see this already at the beginning of the Church. The newly formed unity between Jews and Gentiles was immediately threatened by schism. In the so-called Council of Jerusalem there was a "long discussion" and at the end an agreement was reached and announced to the Church with the formula: "It is the decision of the Holy Spirit and of us..." (Acts 15:28). The Holy Spirit works, therefore, also through another way, which is that of patient exchange, dialogue and even compromise between the different sides, when the essentials of the faith are not in play. He works through human "structures" and the "offices" put in action by Jesus, above all the apostolic and petrine office. It is that which today we call doctrinal and institutional ecumenism.
* * *
However, experience is convincing us that even this doctrinal ecumenism is not sufficient and does not advance matters if it is not also accompanied by a foundational spiritual ecumenism. This is repeated with ever greater insistence by the major promoters of institutional ecumenism. In this centenary of the institution of the week of prayer for Christian unity (1908-2008), at the foot of the cross we would like to meditate on this spiritual ecumenism, on what this spiritual ecumenism is and how we can make progress in it.
Spiritual ecumenism is born through repentance and forgiveness and is nourished by prayer. In 1977, I participated in a charismatic ecumenical congress in the U.S., in Kansas City, Missouri. There were 40,000 participants, half of them Catholic -- Cardinal Suenens among them -- and half from other Christian denominations. One evening, one of the leaders of the meeting began speaking at the microphone in a way that, to me, at that time, was strange: "You priests and pastors, weep and mourn, because the body of my Son is broken. ... You laypeople, men and women, weep and mourn, because the body of my Son is broken."
I began to see people around me fall to their knees, one after another, and to weep with repentance for the divisions in the body of Christ. And all of this went on while a sign reading "Jesus is Lord" went up from one part of the stadium to the other. I was there as an observer who was still rather critical and detached, but I remember thinking to myself: If one day all believers shall be reunited in one single body, it will happen like this, when we all are on our knees with a contrite and humiliated heart, under the great lordship of Christ.
If the unity of the disciples must be a reflection of the unity between Father and Son, it must above all be a unity of love, because such is the unity that reigns in the Trinity. Scripture exhorts us to "do the truth in love" -- "veritatem facientes in caritate" (Ephesians 4:15). And Augustine affirms that "one does not enter into the truth if not through charity" -- "non intratur in veritatem nisi per caritatem."[3]
The extraordinary thing about this way to unity based on love is that it is already now wide open before us. We cannot be hasty in regard to doctrine because differences exist and must be resolved with patience in the appropriate contexts. We can instead "be hasty" in charity and already be united in that sense now. The true, certain sign of the coming of the Spirit, St. Augustine writes, is not speaking in tongues, but it is the love of unity: "Know that you have the Holy Spirit when you allow your heart to adhere to unity through sincere charity."[4]
Let us reflect on St. Paul's hymn to charity. Each verse acquires a contemporary and new meaning if it is applied to the love of members of different Christian denominations in ecumenical relations:
"Love is patient…
Love is not jealous…
It does not seek its own interests…
It does not brood over injury… (if necessary, of the injury done to others!)
It does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth (it doesn't rejoice over the difficulties of other Churches, but delights in their successes)
It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things" (1Corinthians 13:4ff.).
This week we have accompanied a woman to her eternal rest -- Chiara Lubich, the founder of the Focolare Movement -- who was a pioneer and model of the spiritual ecumenism of love. She showed that the pursuit of unity among Christians does not lead to a closing to the rest of the world; it is rather the first step and the condition for a broader dialogue with believers of other religions and with all men and women who are concerned about the fate of humanity and about peace.
* * *
"Loving," it has been said, "does not mean looking at each other but looking together in the same direction." Even among Christians loving means looking in the same direction, which is Christ. "He is our peace" (Ephesians 2:14). It is like the spokes of a wheel. Consider what happens to the spokes of a wheel when they move from the center outward: As they distance themselves from the center they also become more distant from each other. On the contrary when they move from the periphery toward the center, as they come closer to the center, they also come nearer to each other, until they form a single point. To the extent that we move together toward Christ, we draw nearer to each other, until we are truly, as Jesus desired, "one with him and with the Father."
That which will reunite divided Christianity will only be a new wave of love for Christ that spreads among Christians. This is what is happening through the work of the Holy Spirit and it fills us with wonder and hope. "The love of Christ moves us, because we are convinced that one has died for all" (2 Corinthians 5:14). The brother who belongs to another Church -- indeed every human being -- is "a person for whom Christ died" (Romans 14:16), as he has died for me.
* * *
One thing must move us forward on this journey. What is in play at the beginning of the third millennium, is not the same as what was in play at the beginning of the second millennium, when there was the separation of East and West; nor is it the same as what was in play in the middle of the same millennium when there was the separation of Catholics and Protestants. Can we say that the way the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father or how justification of the sinner comes about are the problems that impassion the men of today and with which the Christian faith stands or falls? The world has moved beyond us and we remain fixed by problems and formulas that the world does not even know the meaning of.
In battles in the Middle Ages there was a moment in which, after the infantry, archers and cavalry had been overwhelmed, the melee began to circle around the king. There the final outcome of the fight was decided. Today the battle for us also takes place around the king. There are buildings and structures made of metal in such a way that if a certain neuralgic point is touched or a certain stone is removed, everything falls apart. In the edifice of the Christian faith this cornerstone is the divinity of Christ. If this is removed, everything falls apart and faith in the Trinity is the first to go.
From this we see that today there are two possible ecumenisms: an ecumenism of faith and an ecumenism of incredulity; one that unites all those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God, that God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and that Christ died to save all humankind, and an ecumenism that unites all those who, in deference to the Nicene Creed, continue to proclaim these formulas but empty them of their content. It is an ecumenism in which, in its extreme form, everyone believes the same things because no one any longer believes anything, in the sense that "believing" has in the New Testament.
"Who is it that overcomes the world," John writes in his first letter, "if not those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God?" (1John 5:5). Sticking with this criterion, the fundamental distinction among Christians is not between Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants, but between those who believe that Christ is the Son of God and those who do not believe this.
* * *
"On the first day of the sixth month in the second year of King Darius, the word of the LORD came through the prophet Haggai to the governor of Judah, Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel, and to the high priest Joshua, son of Jehozadak…: 'Is it time for you to dwell in your own paneled houses, while this house lies in ruins?'" (Haggai 1:1-4).
This word of the prophet Haggai is addressed to us today. Is this the time to concern ourselves with that which only regards our religious order, our movement, or our Church? Is this not precisely the reason why we too "sow much but harvest little" (Haggai 1:6)? We preach and we are active in many ways, but we convert few people and the world moves away from Christ instead of drawing near to him.
The people of Israel heard the prophet's reproof; everyone stopped embellishing his own house and began to work together on God's temple. God then sent his prophet again with a message of consolation and encouragement, which is also addressed to us: "But now take courage, Zerubbabel, says the Lord, and take courage, Joshua, high priest, son of Jehozadak, And take courage, all you people of the land, says the Lord, and work! For I am with you, says the Lord of hosts" (Haggai 2:4). Take courage, all of you who have at heart the cause of the unity of Christians, and go to work, because I am with you, says the Lord!
--- --- ---
[1] Cf. R. E. Brown, "The Death of the Messiah," vol. 2, Doubleday, New York 1994, pp. 955-958.
[2] St. Cyprian, De unitate Ecclesiae, 7 (CSEL 3, p. 215).
[3] St. Augustine, Contra Faustum, 32,18 (CCL 321, p. 779).
[4] St. Augustine, Sermons, 269,3-4 (PL38, 1236 s

Reflection by Papa Benedetto XVI
at the end of the Way of the Cross
Roman Colosseum

Dear brothers and sisters,
This year too we have walked along the way of the cross, the Via Crucis, evoking again with faith the stages of the passion of Christ. Our eyes have turned to contemplate the sufferings and the anguish that our Redeemer had to bear in the hour of great sorrow, which entailed the highpoint of his earthly mission. Jesus dies on the cross and lies in the tomb. The day of Good Friday, so permeated by human sadness and religious silence, closes in the silence of meditation and prayer. In returning home, we too, like those who were present at the sacrifice of Jesus, beat our breasts, recalling what happened. Is it possible to remain indifferent before the death of the Lord, of the Son of God? For us, for our salvation he became man, so as to be able to suffer and die.
Brothers and sisters: Let us direct today our gaze toward Christ, a gaze frequently distracted by scattered and passing earthly interests. Let us pause to contemplate his cross. The cross, fount of life and school of justice and peace, is the universal patrimony of pardon and mercy. It is permanent proof of a self-emptying and infinite love that brought God to become man, vulnerable like us, unto dying crucified.
Through the sorrowful way of the cross, the men of all ages, reconciled and redeemed by the blood of Christ, have become friends of God, sons of the heavenly Father. "Friend," is what Jesus calls Judas and he offers him the last and dramatic call to conversion. "Friend," he calls each of us, because he is the authentic friend of everyone. Unfortunately, we do not always manage to perceive the depth of this limitless love that God has for us. For him, there is no distinction of race or culture. Jesus Christ died to liberate the humanity of old of their ignorance of God, of the circle of hate and violence, of the slavery to sin. The cross makes us brothers and sisters.
But let us ask ourselves, in this moment, what have we done with this gift, what have we done with the revelation of the face of God in Christ, with the revelation of the love of God that conquers hate. Many, in our age as well, do not know God and cannot encounter him in Christ crucified. Many are in search of a love or a liberty that excludes God. Many believe they have no need of God.
Dear friends: After having lived together the passion of Jesus, let us this night allow his sacrifice on the cross to question us. Let us permit him to challenge our human certainties. Let us open our hearts. Jesus is the truth that makes us free to love. Let us not be afraid: upon dying, the Lord destroyed sin and saved sinners, that is, all of us. The Apostle Peter writes: "He himself bore our sins in his body upon the cross, so that, free from sin, we might live for righteousness" (1 Peter 2:24). This is the truth of Good Friday: On the cross, the Redeemer has made us adoptive sons of God who he created in his image and likeness. Let us remain, then, in adoration before the cross.Christ, give us the peace we seek, the happiness we desire, the love the fills our heart thirsty for the infinite. This is our prayer for this night, Jesus, Son of God, who died for us on the cross and was resurrected on the third day.
© Copyright 2008 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Friday, March 21, 2008

You Shall Speak The Truth*

* & the Truth Shall Bring You Death Threats

Death Threats and Thousands of Hate Emails from Homosexual Activists Hit Oklahoma Politician
Rep. Kerns calls comments exercise of free speech, not hate speech

By Michael Baggot
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK, March 17, 2008 ( - Oklahoma House Representative Sally Kern has received thousands of emails in light of a recorded speech posted on in which she called homosexual practices more dangerous to the United States than terrorism. The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation is examining the 17 thousand emails Kerns has received for legally threatening content.
"It [the homosexual lifestyle] has deadly consequences for those people involved in it.... [they] have more suicides… there's more illness, their life spans are shorter… studies show that no society that has totally embraced homosexuality has lasted more than, you know, a few decades," said Kern in her speech.
"This stuff-it's deadly and it's spreading, and it will destroy our young people. It will destroy this nation. Not everybody's lifestyle is equal, just like not all religions are equal," added Kern.
Kern's speech was accessed more than 500 thousand times the week after the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund posted it on
"While this speech is remarkable in its statements, it is not unique. For every bit of hateful rhetoric we hear, scores of other anti-gay statements go unchallenged," stated the Victory Fund of Kern's speech.
"Her comments are so inappropriate and beyond the pale that she's demonstrated that she's not fit for service in public office," said Patrick Sammon, president of the gay and lesbian advocacy group Log Cabin Republicans.
Openly gay House Representative Al McAffrey has called for a public apology from Kern.
Kern rejected accusations that her comments were hate speech. "I am totally against hate speech. The account given on YouTube took my words out of context and omitted other parts stringing certain words together to make it appear I was engaging in hate speech. I was not and would never do such a thing," wrote Kern in an email to, a gay and lesbian political advocacy blog.
"The homosexual agenda is real, the movement is aggressive, and it is a very real threat to the sacred institution of marriage and the traditional family unit. They are actively seeking to remove conservatives from the political arena. My talk was to a Republican group and I was speaking about the homosexual agenda to defeat conservative Republicans," Kern told PamsHouseBlend.
"They want to silence anyone who does not approve their lifestyle. They want their freedom but don't want those who disagree to have their freedom," continued Kern.
"I have said and will continue to say that they have every right to choose that lifestyle and I will defend their right to do so. But I do not have to agree with it and speaking against it is not hate speech," added Kern.
"There are indisputable facts that show it's a deadly lifestyle.... What is wrong with me as an
American exercising my free speech rights on a topic that is a very big issue today?" Kern told
Learn more about Rep. Sally Kerns:

GOOD FRIDAY - 21 March 2008

Some Reflections by Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen to meditate on about the meaning of the events of this day.

The Cross (1)
Many a cross we bear is of our own manufacture; we made it by our sins. But the cross which the Savior carried was not His, but ours. One beam in contradiction to another beam was the symbol of our will in contradiction to His own. To the women who met Him on the roadway, He said: "Weep not for Me." To shed tears for the dying Savior is to lament the remedy; it were wiser to lament the sin that caused it. If Innocence itself took a Cross, then how shall we, who are guilty, complain against it?
The Spirit and sin (2)
The night of the Last Supper of our Blessed Lord told of three effects of the Holy Spirit. One of them was: "He will convict you of sin, because you did not believe in Me." How do we know we are sinners. By the Holy Spirit. Not because we break a law. There isn't a driver who hasn't broken the law against speeding. Did you ever lean over your steering wheel and say an act of contrition? Nobody is really sorry for breaking a law, unless he gets caught. The law is for the imperfect. Our Blessed Lord relates sin to unbelief--"Because you did not believe in Me." If we did not believe in Him, we crucified Him. So what is sin? Sin is hurting someone you love. This is sin. That is why the crucifix reminds us of our sin. The life of each and every one of us has been written. The crucifix is my autobiography. The blood is the ink. The nails the pen. The skin the parchment. On every line of that body I can trace my life. In the crown of thorns I can read my pride. In the hands that are dug with nails, I can read avarice and greed. In flesh hanging from Him like purple rags, I can read my lust. In feet that are fettered, I can find the times I ran away and would not let Him follow. Any sin you can think of is written there. This is what the Spirit does for us.
1. Quote is taken from The World's First Love & is used for the Holy Thursday Meditation in Lent and Easter Wisdom from FULTON J. SHEEN. (Ligouri Publications)
2. March 19th Reflection from Through the Year with FULTON SHEEN. (Ignatius Press)


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Arthur C. Clarke 1917 - 2008

Growing up & reading Sci-Fi there were 2 writers I held in higher esteem than any others. 1 was Isaac Asimov. The other, Arthur C. Clarke. Sir Arthur Clarke passed away today at the age of 90.
I 1st discovered his work when 2001: A Space Odyssey was about to come out in 1968. That movie was a milestone in Sci-Fi, coming just before the landing on the moon in 1969. & while he was right about the fact that we would have a space station, he was wrong about the timing. But that was thru no fault of his own. He had 1 fact right that the USA & other countries have, til recently ignored. That fact: Without letting free market capitalism operate in the development of space exploration, the cost will remain prohibitive & be slower than it need be.. Go back & look at the movie, if you doubt me. The space shuttle was Pan-Am, the communications AT&T, the hotel on the spcae station was a Hilton. & entry through customs was by voiceprint.
Since I discovered him back then, then I have read a huge number of his books. Among my favorites is Childhood's End.
Like Asimov his work often ended up predicting where science would go. His inteligence could take what often seemed impossible & make it seem probable. In fact, he was the 1st to envision a global system of orbital communications satellites. He was even nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for coming up with the concept. (How the mighty Peace Prize has fallen, honoring Al Gore for false science & ignoring him for getting it right.) It will be interesting to see if his space elevator ever becomes a reality.
Sadly, he also denied the existance of God. & I have to say that for all his acomplishments he now knows that in the 1 area he should have known better, he was wrong.
He continued his working to the end. According to news reports he had just finished reviewing the manuscript of his latest novel entitled (ironicly enough) The Last Theorem.
Mille Grazie, Sir Arthur, for all the enjoyable hours of reading you provided.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


My favorite Eucharistic Hymn is Pange Linqua (Sing My Tongue). It has a lot of meaning for me. 1st of all, it reminds me of when I made my 1st Holy Comunion when I was in 1st grade. Back then, at my hometown parish, those of us attending the Catholic School made our 1st Holy Communion at the Mass on Holy Thursday. (Everyone was given a Rosary that night. I still have mine & want to be buried with it.) That was the 1st time I saw the procession moving the Eucharist to the Altar of Reposition. The hymn used was Pange Lingua.
The last 2 verses also bring back memories of 1 of my favorite Lenten devotions. On Sunday afternoons my parish had The Way of the Cross using a version put out by Liturgical Press. (& yes, I do have a copy of that version I still use. It has since been updated with a more modern English, but my copy is the original language. The newer is dull & flat.) At the end was Eucharistic Exposition & Benediction. & the last 2 verses (aka Tantum Ergo) were sung as a part of it.
Besides all the memories the tune (chant) & the lyrics are both deeply moving in their beauty as well as their devotion to the reality of the Sacrament. The song was composed circa 1264 by St. Thomas Aquinas for the new Corpus Christi liturgy. In it he captures the heart of the Catholic belief about the Eucharist. The term used for the belief is transubstantiation. Basically, it boils down to the fact that the Catholic Church takes seriously & literally what Jesus said about eating His Body & drinking His Blood. When Jesus said "This is My Body!" & "This is My Blood!" at the Last Supper, the bread & wine literally became the Body & Blood of Christ. (Only the outward accidentals, ie color, taste etc, remain the same. The substance has changed & does at every Mass.)
In 2 days the Church will again celebrate God's ultimate sign of His Love & Mercy, the institution of the Eucharist. A good way to prepare to celebrate that gift that is "the source and summit of the Christian life" would be to read the section of the Catechism on THE SACRAMENT OF THE EUCHARIST.
Here are the lyrics for you to meditate on as a part of the preperation for Thursday night. I'm not sure who the Cardinal is that is in the video.


Pange, lingua, gloriosi
Corporis mysterium,
Sanguinisque pretiosi,
quem in mundi pretium
fructus ventris generosi
Rex effudit Gentium.

Nobis datus, nobis natus
ex intacta Virgine,
et in mundo conversatus,
sparso verbi semine,
sui moras incolatus
miro clausit ordine.

In supremae nocte coenae
recumbens cum fratribus
observata lege plene
cibis in legalibus,
cibum turbae duodenae
se dat suis manibus.

Verbum caro, panem verum
verbo carnem efficit:
fitque sanguis Christi merum,
et si sensus deficit,
ad firmandum cor sincerum
sola fides sufficit.

Tantum ergo Sacramentum
veneremur cernui:
et antiquum documentum
novo cedat ritui:
praestet fides supplementum
sensuum defectui.

Genitori, Genitoque
laus et jubilatio,
salus, honor, virtus quoque
sit et benedictio:
procedenti ab utroque
compar sit laudatio.

English Translation

Sing, my tongue, the Savior's glory,
of His flesh the mystery sing;
of the Blood, all price exceeding,
shed by our immortal King,
destined, for the world's redemption,
from a noble womb to spring.

Of a pure and spotless Virgin
born for us on earth below,
He, as Man, with man conversing,
stayed, the seeds of truth to sow;
then He closed in solemn order
wondrously His life of woe.

On the night of that Last Supper,
seated with His chosen band,
He the Pascal victim eating,
first fulfills the Law's command;
then as Food to His Apostles
gives Himself with His own hand.

Word-made-Flesh, the bread of nature
by His word to Flesh He turns;
wine into His Blood He changes;
what though sense no change discerns?
Only be the heart in earnest,
faith her lesson quickly learns.

Down in adoration falling,
Lo! the sacred Host we hail;
Lo! o'er ancient forms departing,
newer rites of grace prevail;
faith for all defects supplying,
where the feeble senses fail.

To the everlasting Father,
and the Son who reigns on high,
with the Holy Ghost proceeding
forth from Each eternally,
be salvation, honor, blessing,
might and endless majesty.
Amen. Headlines

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