Keep your eyes open!...


February 21, 2012 

(1Pe 3:3-4) Your adornment should not be an external one: braiding the hair, wearing gold jewelry, or dressing in fine clothes, but rather the hidden character of the heart, expressed in the imperishable beauty of a gentle and calm disposition, which is precious in the sight of God.

WEBSITE: The Church speaks about Modesty

POPE PIUS XII: "The good of our soul is more important than that of our body; and we have to prefer the spiritual welfare of our neighbor to our bodily comforts. If a certain kind of dress constitutes a grave and proximate occasion of sin, and endangers the salvation of your soul and others, it is your duty to give it up.  O Christian mothers, if you knew what a future of anxieties and perils, of ill-guarded shame you prepare for your sons and daughters, imprudently getting them accustomed to live scantily dressed and making them lose the sense of modesty, you would be ashamed of yourselves and you would dread the harm you are making of yourselves, the harm which you are causing these children, whom Heaven has entrusted to you to be brought up as Christians."

: Some Directives of the Magisterium on Christian Modesty

NEWS LINK: Churches see fashion no-no's, especially in summer

: Modesty is Unremarkable

My daughters told me recently that modest clothing is unremarkable in itself, but remarkable in its potential effects.  Ironically, the benefit of modest clothing is its transparency, so to speak.  Modest clothing attracts attention neither to itself nor to the superficial qualities of the person wearing it.  In fact, by not being a distraction or an end in itself, modest clothing allows the character of the person to become more evident.

Indecent fashions tend to reduce the human person to the superficiality of their exposed or accentuated body parts ...  saying, in effect, "Look at me, I'm an object.  Look at me as an object." On the other hand, prudish clothing, although rare, tends to provoke an opposite but equally superficial criticism that the prude is socially inept, awkward, and out of touch.  Both styles miss the truth about the dignity of the human person.

In our cynical culture obsessed with shallow sensationalism, modesty is like truth in advertising: rare but powerful.  It's the real deal—and that's what makes it so special.


Modesty at Mass Is a Must
The Death Of Pretty
God Cares about Modesty, Not Fashion

BLOG: Ten Reasons Women Should Dress Modestly

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: The Practice of Virtue

5. This strong insistence of grace that you feel amidst so many relapses is, to my mind, a very good sign, because it shows the ardent desire that God has to save your soul; this, nevertheless, He will not do without your cooperation.

February 20, 2012

(Psa 127:3-5) Behold the inheritance of the Lord are children: the reward, the fruit of the womb. As arrows in the hand of the mighty, so the children of them that have been shaken. Blessed is the man that hath filled the desire with them; he shall not be confounded when he shall speak to his enemies in the gate.


Note from Ron: To receive my Catholic Q&A reports please contact me with your correct email address.

by Father Ted - February 19, 2012

Dearest Jesus, on this 7th Sunday in Ordinary Time You remind us of an important task that You desire us to fulfill at this time.

You have told us that You desire to forgive the sins of all of us because of Your incredible love for us.  You want all of us to experience the Divine Mercy of our Father.

Yet many of us have a serious difficulty with this desire of Yours - for we do not admit that we are sinners and that we have a real need for forgiveness.

We believe that we are ok.

Although You gave to us a conscience, we have not formed it, or we have stifled it, or we have ignored it.

Today so many of us do not even accept the need to worship the Father with You on Sundays.  Much less believe that it is a sin to miss Mass.

Today many of us do not accept that Your gift of our sexuality is meant for the procreation of children and for the deep expression of true love between a man and a women who are married to each other.

We have been taught that the purpose of sex is for our pleasure primarily.  We have been taught that it is ok to prevent the possibility of conception - through the use of the condom and/or the pill or some other technique.

We have accepted as if it were true that the misuse of this marvelous power is not sinful.

We have forgotten why You created us and how You have shown us how to live so as to achieve our purpose in life which is union with You.

We have also neglected to teach our brothers and sisters how the evil one strives to deceive us and as a result we have accepted his lies regarding our relationship with You and we each other.

Since so many of us have begun to deny sin, and therefore the need to repent, You have begun once again to call upon certain of Your children to intercede for their brothers and sisters who are in denial of their sinfulness.

You have exhorted them to help these spiritually blind members of our human family so that they can begin to see the truth of their condition and respond to Your call to seek forgiveness of their sins and be receptive of You Divine Mercy.

Jesus, encourage us to pray for these brothers and sisters of ours who still are denying that they are sinners in need of forgiveness.

Teach us how to motivate them.  Teach us how to help them.

Jesus, may they come to know the truth.  May they confess their sins.  May they accept Your Mercy.  And may they become filled with the fire of Your Divine Love.

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: The Practice of Virtue

4. What punishment will not that servant bring upon himself who knows the will of his Master and does not do it?

February 17, 2012

(Luk 23:46) And Jesus crying with a loud voice, said: Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit. And saying this, he gave up the ghost.

POPE BENEDICT XVI: "At the same time Jesus, at the extreme moment of death, entrusted Himself entirely into the hands of God the Father, communicating to us the certainty that, however difficult our trials ... or burdensome our suffering, we will never fall out of God’s hands, the hands which created us, and which support and accompany us on life’s journey".

PETER KREEFT: God's Answer to Suffering

: Why did God allow it?

It is heart-wrenching to see on TV the rescuers racing against time to save helpless people pinned under collapsed walls, hit by debris, or buried by landslides caused by a powerful 6.9-magnitude earthquake in the Negros Island.

What was dramatically heartbreaking was a girl in La Libertad, Negros Oriental, who phoned for help seconds before tons of soil flattened their houses.  Hoping against hope, rescue workers frantically dug the location and unearthed the poor girl but sadly, she died – still clutching her cell phone.

The death of the girl along with more than 50 casualties and thousands of devastated properties bring us to the question: Why does a good God allow this to happen?  Is He some kind of a sadist, seeing with some kind of twisted pleasure people die or suffer?

Our groping theological answer is, these “tantrums” of Nature or “acts of God” are part of our imperfect world broken by Original Sin.

Still this does not satisfy human reason, considering the death of numerous INNOCENT people against the image of a merciful and loving God.

It would be more understandable if it was the evil and corrupt people that perished.  We would say they got their just desserts!

UNJUST SUFFERING.  This highlights the mystery of unjust and undeserved suffering.  It is a problem that cannot be solved but a mystery to be lived.

Think of the unjust sufferings of the righteous Job in the Old Testament.  After he lost his cattle, properties, and finally children to earthquakes and other calamities, he could still say, “God gives.  God takes away.”

This unjust suffering is also shown graphically in the passion and death of the Lord Jesus Christ.  But it was through His suffering that He saved us. 

Jesus is as though saying, “If I don’t take away all your sufferings, it is not because I can not do it, or because I do not love you enough.  But buried deep within the human nature is the reality that fulfillment comes from the PASSAGE to life through suffering and death.  All I can do is to tell you this...  then ask you to follow me and have faith in Me.”

David Hughes: Prayer Before the Image of Divine Mercy

Merciful Jesus, King of Mercy,
pour new graces into my soul
from the unfathomable ocean of Divine Mercy —
as you promised you would into souls who continued
to seek your mercy through this image

Let the merits of the blood and water
which gushed from your heart
as a fountain of mercy
purify me from every sin and stain of sin
and increase your divine life within my soul

Protect me always under the shelter of these rays,
and grant me your abundant gifts and blessings
for you are kind and merciful —
you love mankind
and I trust in you with all my heart!

Oh blood and water which gushed forth from the heart of Jesus as a fountain of mercy for us — I trust in you!

Jesus, I trust in you!

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Various Subjects

24. As often as you can, make the following aspiration: I adore Thee and love Thee, O divine Heart of Jesus, living in the heart of Mary; I beseech Thee to live and reign in all hearts and to perfect them in Thy pure love.

February 15, 2012

(Joh 16:33) These things I have spoken to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you shall have distress. But have confidence. I have overcome the world.


"It is with great concern that I am following the dramatic and increasing violence in Syria", said the Pope this morning after praying the Angelus. "In recent days there have been many victims, some of them children. I recall them all in my prayers, just as I do the wounded and those who are suffering the consequences of an increasingly worrying conflict. I also renew my urgent appeal to put an end to the violence and bloodshed and, finally, invite everyone - particularly the Syrian authorities - to favour the paths of dialogue, reconciliation and commitment to peace. It is vital to respond to the legitimate aspirations of the various components of the nation, and to the hopes of the international community, which is concerned for the common good of society as a whole, and of the region".

ASIANEWS.IT: Without dialogue Syria will become a new Iraq, Aleppo bishop says

“The international community must favour dialogue among the various groups rather than fuel the spirit of vengeance. Backing one faction against the other will turn Syria into a new Iraq. Otherwise, Christians will pay a heavy price,” said Mgr Antoine Audo, Chaldean bishop of Aleppo after last Saturday’s attack against two Syrian security forces bases that killed 28. Mgr Audo spoke to AsiaNews a day after Benedict XVI issued an appeal to the Syrian government, opposition forces and the international community.

Mgr Audo noted that despite the climate of violence and vengeance of the past few months, residents have remained united, not only in Aleppo but also in other cities.

“Two Christians were killed in the attack,” the prelate explained. “They had gone to the mosque near the blast site to express their solidarity with Muslims. Yesterday, hundreds of people from both communities took part in their funeral.” According to the bishop, all Syrians irrespective of confessions are suffering from the violence and the deep economic crisis that has crippled the country.

Sanctions and the climate of fear have interrupted almost all economic activities, including the sale of food and drugs. Poor families are the ones that suffer the most from the situation.

“The Catholic Church,” he said, “is helping the exhausted population of Aleppo, Damascus and Homs. I am, as president of Caritas Syria, personally working with other local humanitarian groups to provide food and health treatment to families.”

CNS: Nuncio to Syria says priests in Homs choose to remain despite violence

REVIEW: State of Fear: Syria's Christians Face the Specter of Civil War and Sectarian Violence

EXCERPT NEW AMERICAN: Syrian Christians Fear Genocide if al-Assad Falls to Muslim Extremists

Catholic bishops are warning that if the Bashar al-Assad (left) regime in Syria falls to Islamists, there may well be a mass genocide of Christians, such as seen in Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein. Though Christians cannot support the brutality of the Assad dictatorship, few believe that rule by Muslim extremists will be any better.

Syria — home to Damascus, one of the most important cities of the ancient world and of special religious significance to Christians — has long had a tolerant attitude toward religious minorities. Syria's Christians — estimated to be about 10 percent of the population, or 2.5 million — cherish this tradition of non-religious government. The Ba'athist Party of Syria had a counterpart in the Ba'athist Party of Iraq, whose last leader was Saddam Hussein. The party was actually founded by Michael Aflaq, a Syrian Christian, and although there are many objectionable features to its politics (it is, for example, overtly socialist), people of all faiths were able to live in relative safety even in a Syria in which the overwhelming majority of the inhabitants are Muslims.

EDITORIAL VIA PATRICK J. BUCHANAN: On to Tehran -- or Is It Damascus?

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Various Subjects

23. He will reign in spite of His enemies, and will make Himself master of the hearts which He desires to possess; for the principal end of devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is to convert souls to His love.

February 14, 2012

(John 15:12-14) This is my commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends, if you do the things that I command you.

PRIESTS FOR LIFE UPDATE: No Compromise: The Mandate Has to Go, Period.

RELATED: Catholic Bishops Oppose Compromise on Birth-Control Insurance

LIFENEWS.COM: Archbishop Chaput: Obama HHS Mandate “Insulting, Dangerous”



LINK: The Legend of St. Valentine

The story of Valentine's Day begins in the third century with an oppressive Roman emperor and a humble Christian martyr. The emperor was Claudius II. The Christian was Valentinus.

Claudius had ordered all Romans to worship twelve gods, and he had made it a crime punishable by death to associate with Christians. But Valentinus was dedicated to the ideals of Christ, and not even the threat of death could keep him from practicing his beliefs. He was arrested and imprisoned.

During the last weeks of Valentinus' life a remarkable thing happened. Seeing that he was a man of learning, the jailer asked whether his daughter, Julia, might be brought to Valentinus for lessons. She had been blind since birth.

Julia was a pretty young girl with a quick mind. Valentinus read stories of Rome's history to her. He described the world of nature to her. He taught her arithmetic and told her about God. She saw the world through his eyes, trusted in his wisdom, and found comfort in his quiet strength.

"Valentinus, does God really hear our prayers?" Julia asked one day. "Yes, my child, He hears each one," he replied.

"Do you know what I pray for every morning and every night? I pray that I might see. I want so much to see everything you've told me about!"

"God does what is best for us if we will only believe in Him," Valentinus said.

"Oh, Valentinus, I do believe," Julia said intensely. "I do."

She knelt and grasped his hand. Then they prayed together.

Suddenly there was a brilliant light in the prison cell. Radiant, Julia cried, "Valentinus, I can see! I can see!"

"Praise be to God!" Valentinus exclaimed.

On the eve of his death, Valentinus wrote a last note to Julia, urging her to stay close to God, and he signed it "From your Valentine."

His sentence was carried out the next day, February 14, 270 A.D., near a gate that was later named Porta Valentini in his memory. He was buried at what is now the Church of Praxedes in Rome.

It is said that Julia herself planted a pink-blossomed almond tree near his grave. Today, the almond tree remains a symbol of abiding love and friendship. On each February 14, St. Valentine's Day, messages of affection, love, and devotion are exchanged around the world.


Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Various Subjects

22. In spite of all opposition, this divine Heart will eventually triumph. Satan with all his adherents will be confounded. Happy will they be who have been the means of establishing His empire.

February 11, 2012

(Jas 5:16) Confess therefore your sins one to another: and pray one for another, that you may be saved. For the continual prayer of a just man availeth much.

POPE BENEDICT XVI: Absence of God Man's Worst Sickness

GEORGIA BULLETIN: A Reluctant Pilgrim At Lourdes

VIA MANILA: Proof that God, Mary Care

There's a saying, “God cures; the doctor collects the fee.” That surely applies to those free miraculous healings. This Saturday, February 11, is the feast of our Lady of Lourdes designated as “World Day of Prayer of the Sick” by Pope John Paul II in 1992.

It was to Bernadette Soubirous, a poor, unlettered 14-year-old asthmatic girl that the Blessed Mother appeared.  The first of 18 apparitions took place on February 11, 1858, at a cave in Massabielle, France, while the girl was saying the rosary and gathering firewood.

On Feb.  24, the Lady asked her to scrape the ground and muddy water trickled out.  That became the eternal fountain from which miraculous healings of the sick and incurable are taking place.  Since then, thousands have been cured.  However, to date only about 2,000 are authenticated with the Medical Bureau of Lourdes, certified by a distinguished team of physicians, who include atheists.

DOCTOR OF MIRACLES- Interview with Dr. Patrick Theillier, head of the Medical Bureau of Our Lady of Lourdes.

EXCERPT: What is then the spiritual meaning of miracle?

- The reality of miracle depends first of all on our understanding of God's action in the universe. As we know there are people who question the existence of God (atheists) or people who do not ask the question if God exists (agnostics). One can believe that God exists and at the same time one can be convinced that God is completely outside our world. In our cultural sphere people often treat God as a great clockmaker who set the mechanism of the world once and switched himself off. But Christianity claims something different. Man is loved by God who will do anything to show us his love, especially through signs. For example, miracles are such signs.

We often do not notice them because we believe - especially in our materially developed civilisation - that everything depends on what we have at our disposal: our strength, financial resources, material means. Thus we have lost the sense of sacrum which for instance the people of Africa have. When I meet them at various conferences they tell me there are many miracles among them. They say that they do not even mention them since they continuously have them. 'We have not got medicines that the West has so we pray over the sick and they are cured'.


Place your petition at the Grotto of Lourdes
Prayer to Our Lady of Lourdes
The Message of Lourdes

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Various Subjects

21. I think our Lord is like a king who does not give rewards whilst he is engaged in fighting battles and overcoming his enemies, but when he reigns victorious on his throne.

February 8, 2012

(Heb 10:24) And let us consider one another, to provoke unto charity and to good works:


(1) Let us be concerned for each other: responsibility towards our brothers and sisters.

"This first aspect is an invitation to be 'concerned'. ... The verb which introduces our exhortation tells us to look at others, first of all at Jesus, to be concerned for one another, and not to remain isolated and indifferent to the fate of our brothers and sisters. All too often, however, our attitude is just the opposite: an indifference and disinterest born of selfishness and masked as a respect for 'privacy'. ... Even today God asks us to be 'guardians' of our brothers and sisters, to establish relationships based on mutual consideration and attentiveness to the well-being, the integral well-being of others. The great commandment of love for one another demands that we acknowledge our responsibility towards those who, like ourselves, are creatures and children of God. Being brothers and sisters in humanity and, in many cases, also in the faith, should help us to recognise in others a true alter ego, infinitely loved by the Lord. If we cultivate this way of seeing others as our brothers and sisters, solidarity, justice, mercy and compassion will naturally well up in our hearts".

"Concern for others entails desiring what is good for them from every point of view: physical, moral and spiritual. Contemporary culture seems to have lost the sense of good and evil, yet there is a real need to reaffirm that good does exist and will prevail, because God is 'generous and acts generously'. The good is whatever gives, protects and promotes life, brotherhood and communion. Responsibility towards others thus means desiring and working for the good of others, in the hope that they too will become receptive to goodness and its demands. Concern for others means being aware of their needs. Sacred Scripture warns us of the danger that our hearts can become hardened by a sort of 'spiritual anaesthesia' which numbs us to the suffering of others. The Evangelist Luke relates two of Jesus' parables by way of example": the parable of the Good Samaritan and the parable of Dives and Lazarus. Both "show examples of the opposite of 'being concerned', of looking upon others with love and compassion. What hinders this humane and loving gaze towards our brothers and sisters? Often it is the possession of material riches and a sense of sufficiency, but it can also be the tendency to put our own interests and problems above all else. We should never be incapable of 'showing mercy' towards those who suffer. Our hearts should never be so wrapped up in our affairs and problems that they fail to hear the cry of the poor. ... Reaching out to others and opening our hearts to their needs can become an opportunity for salvation and blessedness.

"'Being concerned for each other' also entails being concerned for their spiritual well-being. Here I would like to mention an aspect of the Christian life, which I believe has been quite forgotten: fraternal correction in view of eternal salvation. Today, in general, we are very sensitive to the idea of charity and caring about the physical and material well-being of others, but almost completely silent about our spiritual responsibility towards our brothers and sisters. This was not the case in the early Church. ... Christ Himself commands us to admonish a brother who is committing a sin. ... The Church's tradition has included 'admonishing sinners' among the spiritual works of mercy. It is important to recover this dimension of Christian charity. We must not remain silent before evil. I am thinking of all those Christians who, out of human regard or purely personal convenience, adapt to the prevailing mentality, rather than warning their brothers and sisters against ways of thinking and acting that are contrary to the truth and that do not follow the path of goodness. Christian admonishment, for its part, is never motivated by a spirit of accusation or recrimination. It is always moved by love and mercy, and springs from genuine concern for the good of the other. ... In a world pervaded by individualism, it is essential to rediscover the importance of fraternal correction, so that together we may journey towards holiness. ... It is a great service, then, to help others and allow them to help us, so that we can be open to the whole truth about ourselves, improve our lives and walk more uprightly in the Lord's ways".

(2) Being concerned for each other: the gift of reciprocity.

"This 'custody' of others is in contrast to a mentality that, by reducing life exclusively to its earthly dimension, fails to see it in an eschatological perspective and accepts any moral choice in the name of personal freedom. A society like ours can become blind to physical sufferings and to the spiritual and moral demands of life. This must not be the case in the Christian community!"

"The Lord's disciples, united with Him through the Eucharist, live in a fellowship that binds them one to another as members of a single body. This means that the other is part of me, and that his or her life, his or her salvation, concern my own life and salvation. Here we touch upon a profound aspect of communion: our existence is related to that of others, for better or for worse. Both our sins and our acts of love have a social dimension. This reciprocity is seen in the Church, the mystical body of Christ: the community constantly does penance and asks for the forgiveness of the sins of its members, but also unfailingly rejoices in the examples of virtue and charity present in her midst. ... Christians can also express their membership in the one body which is the Church through concrete concern for the poorest of the poor. Concern for one another likewise means acknowledging the good that the Lord is doing in others".

(3) To stir a response in love and good works: walking together in holiness.

"These words of the Letter to the Hebrews urge us to reflect on the universal call to holiness. ... The time granted us in this life is precious for discerning and performing good works in the love of God. In this way the Church herself continuously grows towards the full maturity of Christ. Our exhortation to encourage one another to attain the fullness of love and good works is situated in this dynamic prospect of growth.

"Sadly, there is always the temptation to become lukewarm, to quench the Spirit, to refuse to invest the talents we have received, for our own good and for the good of others. All of us have received spiritual or material riches meant to be used for the fulfilment of God's plan, for the good of the Church and for our personal salvation. The spiritual masters remind us that in the life of faith those who do not advance inevitably regress".

"In a world which demands of Christians a renewed witness of love and fidelity to the Lord, may all of us feel the urgent need to anticipate one another in charity, service and good works. This appeal is particularly pressing in this holy season of preparation for Easter".

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Various Subjects

17. You can hardly realize what pleasure you give me by your zeal for the glory of the Sacred Heart. It is, I think, one of the quickest means of sanctifying oneself.

February 7, 2012

(Mat 24:6-8) And you shall hear of wars and rumours of wars. See that ye be not troubled. For these things must come to pass: but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: And there shall be pestilences and famines and earthquakes in places. Now all these are the beginnings of sorrows.

HEADLINE: Iran warns against attacks on its nuclear bases

Iran has warned it will attack any country used to launch airstrikes against its nuclear bases, as increasingly aggressive rhetoric emanating from the Islamic Republic and Israel has increased apprehension that military confrontation is looming.

"Any spot used by the enemy for hostile operations against Iran will be subjected to retaliatory aggression by our armed forces," Hossein Salami, the deputy head of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards, told the semi-official Fars news agency.

The warning followed a threat by Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, on Friday to attack Israel in retaliation for western sanctions and a pledge to support any nation or group that wanted to fight Israel.

In a two-hour televised speech, Khamenei said: "From now on, in any place, if any nation or any group confronts the Zionist regime, we will endorse and we will help. We have no fear expressing this." He referred to Israel as a "cancerous tumour that should be cut and will be cut".


Attack on Iran "would be disaster," must talk: Turkey
Iran raid likely to drag in U.S. and hurt global economy
War of nerves: Iran’s warships arrive in Saudi Arabia

STRATFOR ANALYSIS: Iran, the U.S. and the Strait of Hormuz Crisis

COMMENTARY: A Nuclear Iran in Biblical Prophecy

OPINION: We say no, again

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Various Subjects

16. Endeavor to take all your delight in this divine Heart, and beg the most Holy Trinity to make It known and loved by all hearts that are capable of so doing.

February 2, 2012 

(Act 5:27-29) And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest asked them, Saying: Commanding, we commanded you that you should not teach in this name. And behold, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine: and you have a mind to bring the blood of this man upon us. But Peter and the apostles answering, said: We ought to obey God rather than men.

EXCERPT COMMENTARY: The Jesus mandate vs. Obama’s mandate by William E. Lori, Bishop of Bridgeport, Conn

Recently the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a mandate: Virtually all employers, including Catholic schools, hospitals and social service agencies, must buy coverage for sterilization and contraceptives, including drugs that can induce an abortion, for their employees. Catholics and other people of faith are required to comply although in doing so they must violate their teaching and their conscience. If they do not comply, they face stiff financial penalties that will gravely impact their ability to fulfill the mission of service entrusted to them.

Yes, there is an exception to the HHS mandate. But for religious institutions to claim this exception, they must serve primarily members of their own church, synagogue or mosque, and so choose not to feed or clothe, heal or educate practically anyone of another faith or creed.   

A long time ago, the Catholic Church received a mandate from a higher authority: “Go out to all the world and spread the Good News.”  It is the mandate of Jesus Christ: “This is my command: Love one another.”

When people in need walk into a Catholic institution we serve them.  We serve our neighbor based on need, not creed. The HHS mandate would reverse that, telling us we must serve based on creed not need for the government to consider us an organization deserving religious liberty. Here the HHS mandate steps on, indeed tramples, the mandate of Jesus Christ.

The effect the HHS mandate will have on our neighbors and on society is alarming. In short, the administration is dictating that Catholic institutions and individual employers violate what America has always considered inviolable—their religious liberty and freedom of conscience.


Diocese of Lincoln:

Diocese of Harrisburg:

COMMENTARY BY ARCHBISHOP DOLAN: Obama Administration ‘Treats Pregnancy As Disease’

NATIONAL REVIEW ONLINE: Free Birth Control vs. Freedom of Religion

BIBLICAL STUDYAct 5:29 But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.

The first thing that we should notice is that God Demands First Place.  The apostles were going to be obedient to God instead of to man when there was a conflict between the laws of God and the laws of man.  God demands that man love him with all his heart, soul, mind and strength.  When Jesus was asked which is the greatest commandment in the law, he replied that man is to love God with his whole being (Luke 10:27).  This kind of love will lead man to obey God even though the law of the land demands contrary action.  This was a lesson that the apostles were learning well.  They refused to yield to the pressures from the society they lived in to compromise the Word of God.

The second thing we need to see is that God Deserves First Place.  It is not an unreasonable thing that God should demand first place in our hearts and lives because he deserves that place.  He deserves that place because he gave us life, and breath, and all things (Acts 17:25).  He preserves our lives “in Him we live and move and exist” (Acts 17:28).  He gave his Son to die for us to save us from hell (John 3:16-18).  Since He has given us all, He deserves first place in everything.

But there is another concept that we should see here.  God deserves our first love and obedience because he is over all governments.  No government has a right to demand the first love and loyalty of a citizen, what that government is itself in subject to God (Romans 13:1-6).  Even governments are subject to God (Daniel 4:28-37).  If a government demands our first loyalty it denies it subjection to God and sets itself in the place of God.

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Various Subjects

15. What are the joys of life where nothing is lasting? They pass like a dream, and I cannot understand how a heart which loves God and which seeks Him can take any pleasure save in Him alone.
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