Keep your eyes open!...


October 31, 2008  


(Psa 139:13-16) For thou didst form my inward parts, thou didst knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise thee, for thou art fearful and wonderful. Wonderful are thy works! Thou knowest me right well; my frame was not hidden from thee, when I was being made in secret, intricately wrought in the depths of the earth. Thy eyes beheld my unformed substance; in thy book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.


Fifty bishops say US election is about abortion
Vote 2008: The Shepherds Speak
Faithful Citizenship — Respect for Life
Same-Sex Unions and Child Sacrifice
Bishop Malooly: Catholic Church has made no exception regarding abortion since ancient times

EDITORIAL: Time for a Gut Check, America

OPINION: Pulpits Are Thundering for Life As Election Day Nears


QUESTION ONE: Isn't Obama's position on abortion reasonable and balanced?

: Obama ALWAYS votes against ALL measures restricting abortion — in ALL 9 months, including support of partial birth abortion. He voted four times to allow babies born alive in botched abortions to die.
DRAMATIC PROOF: (parental advisory)

QUESTION TWO: How much difference would McCain really make on abortion?

ANSWER TWO: Dramatic difference. He has promised to appoint Supreme Court justices like John Roberts and Samuel Alito, who have already issued strong rulings restricting abortion.
DRAMATIC PROOF (parental advisory)

QUESTION THREE: How much difference would Obama really make on abortion?

: Dramatic effect. Obama promised that, "The first thing I'd do as president is sign the Freedom of Choice Act," immediately eliminating over 500 abortion restrictions passed by the 50 states
DRAMATIC PROOF (parental advisory)

QUESTION FOUR: Where do they both stand on abortion and when a baby is entitled to human rights?

ANSWER FOUR: McCain — "at conception." Obama — "That's above my pay grade."
DRAMATIC PROOF (parental advisory)

QUESTION FIVE: Is there anything about our economy, healthcare, education, or national security that is more important than deciding who gets to live?

ANSWER FIVE: No. There are many important issues to weigh but there are some that are simply more important and have more dire consequences to society and our nation.
DRAMATIC PROOF (parental advisory)

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 10- "On slander or calumny"

2. Slander is an offspring of hatred, a subtle yet coarse disease, a leech lurking unfelt, wasting and draining the blood of love. It is a simulation of love, the patron of a heavy and unclean heart, the ruin of chastity.

October 30, 2008  

(2Ti 1:13-14) Hold the form of sound words which thou hast heard of me: in faith and in the love which is in Christ Jesus. Keep the good thing committed to thy trust by the Holy Ghost who dwelleth in us.

DISCUSSION: All Hallows' Eve By Victor R. Claveau, MJ

NCREGISTER: All Saints Day Reminds Us What's at Stake — and Within Reach

VIA BLOG: Church is not Wal-Mart 

[NB. Permission to repost/copy with proper attribution is given.]

I had a much longer piece, but I scrapped it for something a lot shorter and more to the point.

1). The Roman Catholic Church isn't WalMart or Burger King; it's the Body of Christ.

2). Catholic priests, nuns, sisters/brothers and laity aren't employees; we are members of the Body of Christ.

3). The doctrine and dogma of the Catholic Church are not consumer products that the Church's employees sell to those who want them; Catholic doctrine and dogma express the unchanging truth of the faith.

4). Life in a Catholic parish is not a trip to Disney Land or Target or McDonald's where your consumer needs and whims are catered to by the whimpering clergy and lay staff; parish life is the life of Christ for the local Catholic family.

5). You do not come into the Catholic Church b/c you like the building better than you like the Methodist chapel; or because the priest at the Catholic parish is cuter than the Baptist preacher; or because you heard that the homilies are shorter at St. Bubba's by the Lake than they are at the Unitarian Church. You come into the Catholic Church because you believe that the Catholic faith is the truth of the gospel taught by Christ himself and given to his apostles.

6). Leaving the Catholic Church because a priest was mean to you, or because sister whacked you with a ruler, or because the church secretary looked at you funny is as stupid as giving up on the truths of math because you hate your high school algebra teacher. Why would anyone let a crazy priest or a cranky nun or anyone else for the matter drive you out of the faith you believe is true? My only conclusion: you never thought it was true to begin with; or, you have a favorite sin the Church teaches against and crazy priests and cranky nuns is as good an excuse as any to leave and pursue your sin all the while feeling justified b/c Father and/or Sister are such jerks.

7). Anyone who comes in the Catholic Church thinking that they will find clouds of angels at Mass dressed as parishioners; hordes of perfect saints kneeling for communion; seminaries packed with angelic young men burning to be priests; a parish hall stacked to the ceiling with morally pure people eager to serve; and a priest without flaw or blemish, well, you're cracked and you probably need to go back and try again. Telling Catholics that they aren't perfect makes as much sense as telling fish they're wet. We know already. Move on.

8). Of the hundreds of priests and religious I know, I know two who could count as saints right now. The rest of us are deeply flawed, impure, struggling creatures who know all too well that we fail utterly to meet the basic standards of holiness. For that matter: so do you. Get in line.

9). The Catholic Church owes no one a revision of her doctrine or dogma. She didn't change to save most of Europe from becoming Protestant, why would you imagine that she would change just to get you in one of her parishes?

10). If you want to become Catholic, do it. But do it because you think the Church teaches the true faith. If a cranky priest on a blogsite is enough to keep you from embracing the truth of the faith, then two things are painfully clear: 1) you do not believe the Church teaches the faith; 2) and you care more about expresssing your hurt consumer feelings than you do for your immortal soul.

Fr. Philip, OP

UPDATE: Yes, I am a priest, and a huge part of my ministry is to console, to be present, to advise, and to try my best to shine out the light of Christ. As a Dominican friar, I do all of that first and best by telling the truth! The best pastoral approach is always to tell the truth, so please, forget the notion that "to be pastoral" is somehow opposed to "telling the truth" or "teaching the faith."

The Truth is Always Pastoral.

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 10- "On slander or calumny"

1. No sensible person, I think, will dispute that slander is born of hatred and remembrance of wrongs. Therefore it comes next in order after its forebears.

October 29, 2008  

(Rom 1:26-28) For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. Their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in their own persons the due penalty for their error. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a base mind and to improper conduct.


Massachusetts Pro-family Activist Warns What Allowing Same-Sex "Marriage" Brings to Society
Gay Marriage Target Date In CT Is Nov. 10
Protect Marriage - Yes on Prop 8 Campaign

PREVIEW: Abortion, gay marriage, animal rights on US ballot bids

VIDEO: Same-sex marriage will impact all families and children

Reflection by Father Ted – October 27, 2008

My dearest Lord Jesus, when the scholar of the law in yesterday’s gospel asked You the question: "Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?" You told him that the greatest and therefore the most important commandment is - to love the Lord, our God, with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind.

Then You added that the next most important commandment is – to love our neighbor as ourselves.

On the night before You offered Yourself on the Cross to the Father, You clarified this second commandment to – love one another as You love us.

You love us so much that You suffered and died for us – so that we could love like You and live like You forever.

You want us to love as You love.

You are God. So is Your Father. So is Your Holy Spirit.

Therefore You want us to love as Your Father, our Father loves. You want us to love as Your Holy Spirit loves.

You also told us in the early portion of the gospel of Saint John that God, the Father, so loved us that He gave to us You, His Son so that whoever believes in You might have eternal life.

You want us to possess eternal life.

Yet You also tell us that You are life.

You, therefore, want us to possess You for all eternity.

You have created us, through the union of a man and a woman who have been called to be united with one another through that holy relationship that You and the Father and Your Holy Spirit gave to us which we call marriage – which relationship is to last until the death of one of the partners.

That relationship is meant to be a holy one.

Then why are we today challenging this?

Why are we calling into question that such a relationship can only exist between a man and a woman?

Jesus, help us to know the truth. Help us to accept the truth. Help us to promote the truth.

Help us to love one another as You love us. Help us to love one another in the way that You have shown us. Help us to love.

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 9- "On remembrance of wrongs"

9. Have remembrance of wrongs and spitefulness against the demons, and be at constant enmity with your body. The flesh is an ungrateful and treacherous friend. The more you care for it, the more it injures you.

October 28, 2008  

(Rev 6:5-6) And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature saying: Come and see. And behold a black horse. And he that sat on him had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard, as it were a voice in the midst of the four living creatures, saying: Two pounds of wheat for a penny, and thrice two pounds of barley for a penny: and see thou hurt not the wine and the oil.

REVIEW: Recession Fears Hit Home as World Markets Plummet and U.S. Economy Contracts

Fear of a global recession is quickly becoming reality as world markets have lost $10 trillion in value in the month of October and the U.S. economy almost certainly contracted in the third quarter.

"The growing reality is that this is not just a slowdown, but a true recession," Joel Naroff, president and chief economist of Naroff Economic Advisors told Money Morning Friday. "Europe and Asia can no longer deny U.S. problems are also hitting there."

Friday was the 79th anniversary of 1929's "Black Thursday," when U.S. stocks were decimated at the start of the Great Depression. And while U.S. markets weren't quite as hard hit on that date in 2008 as they were in 1929, the overall global effect was chilling.

This October is on track to be the worst since the crash of 1987.

The MSCI World Index has been decimated as each of the 48 developed nations tracked by MSCI Inc. (MXB) have marked a decline so far this year, with 22 of those nations down more than 50%, Bloomberg News reported.

Emerging markets, the global superstars of growth in 2007, are also slowing. Of the "BRIC" nations of Brazil, Russia, India and China, Russia has been hit the hardest. Russia's Micex Index is down more than 73% year-to-date. China's stock market is down more than 60% from its peak.

All three major U.S. indices have racked up steep losses for the month of October and are deep in bear market territory for the year.

* The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average Index is down 22.8% for the month and 36.8% year-to-date.
* The tech-laden Nasdaq Composite Index is down 25.8% for the month and 41.5% for the year.
* And the broader Standard & Poor's 500 Index has dropped 24.7% in October and is down 40.3% so far this year.

MARK MALLETT COMMENTARY: The Collapse of Bablyon


Nouriel Roubini: I fear the worst is yet to come
Do our rulers know enough to avoid a 1930s replay?
Global systemic crisis Alert
Europe on the brink of currency crisis meltdown

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 9- "On remembrance of wrongs"

8. Remembrance of wrongs is far removed from strong natural love, but fornication easily comes near it, just as a hidden louse can sometimes be seen in a dove.

October 24, 2008


(Pro 24:11-12) Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, "Behold, we did not know this," does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will he not requite man according to his work?

RIGHT TO LIFE AND ELECTION 2008: Pastoral Letter from Bishop of Honolulu Larry Silva

RONALD SMITH REPORT: Some Requirements For Catholic Voting

FATHER CORAPI: A Call for a Rosary Novena  

Among the most important titles we have in the Catholic Church for the Blessed Virgin Mary are Our Lady of Victory and Our Lady of the Rosary. These titles can be traced back to one of the most decisive times in the history of the world and Christendom. The Battle of Lepanto took place on October 7 (date of feast of Our Lady of Rosary), 1571. This proved to be the most crucial battle for the Christian forces against the radical Muslim navy of Turkey . Pope Pius V led a procession around St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City praying the Rosary. He showed true pastoral leadership in recognizing the danger posed to Christendom by the radical Muslim forces, and in using the means necessary to defeat it. Spiritual battles require spiritual weapons, and this more than anything was a battle that had its origins in the spiritual order--a true battle between good and evil.

Today we have a similar spiritual battle in progress--a battle between the forces of good and evil, light and darkness, truth and lies, life and death. If we do not soon stop the genocide of abortion in the United States, we shall run the course of all those that prove by their actions that they are enemies of God--total collapse, economic, social, and national. The moral demise of a nation results in the ultimate demise of a nation. God is not a disinterested spectator to the affairs of man. Life begins at conception. This is an unalterable formal teaching of the Catholic Church. If you do not accept this you are a heretic in plain English. A single abortion is homicide. The more than 48,000,000 abortions since Roe v. Wade in the United States constitute genocide by definition. The group singled out for death--unwanted, unborn children.

No other issue, not all other issues taken together, can constitute a proportionate reason for voting for candidates that intend to preserve and defend this holocaust of innocent human life that is abortion.

I strongly urge every one of you to make a Novena and pray the Rosary to Our Lady of Victory between October 27th and Election Day, November 4th. Pray that God’s will be done and the most innocent and utterly vulnerable of our brothers and sisters will be protected from this barbaric and grossly sinful blight on society that is abortion. No woman, and no man, has the right to choose to murder an innocent human being.

May God grant us the wisdom, knowledge, understanding, and counsel to form our conscience in accordance with authentic Catholic teaching, and then vote that well-formed Catholic conscience.



Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 9- "On remembrance of wrongs"

7. I have seen hatred break the bond of long-standing fornication, and afterwards remembrance of wrongs, in an amazing way, did not allow the severed union to be renewed. Wonderful sight- a demon curing a demon! But perhaps this is the work not of demons but of Divine providence.

October 23, 2008

(Eze 3:17-19) Son of man, I have made thee a watchman to the house of Israel: and thou shalt hear the word out of my mouth, and shalt tell it them from me. If, when I say to the wicked, Thou shalt surely die: thou declare it not to him, nor speak to him, that he may be converted from his wicked way, and live: the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but I will require his blood at thy hand. But if thou give warning to the wicked, and he be not converted from his wickedness, and from his evil way: he indeed shall die in his iniquity, but thou hast delivered thy soul.

Reflection by Father Ted – October 21, 2008 

Forgive us, Lord Jesus, for having failed to teach Your children about their purpose in life – to know You, to love You, to serve You during this life and to be with You and the Father and Your Holy Spirit forever in heaven.

Forgive us, Lord Jesus, for having failed to teach Your children the Ten Commandments and the Six Precepts of Your Church.

Forgive us, Lord Jesus, for having failed to teach Your children the need and importance of worshipping the Father with You on Sundays and Holy Days.

Forgive us, Lord Jesus, for having failed to teach Your children the need and the importance of confession.

Forgive us, Lord Jesus, for having failed to teach Your children the reality of sin and how to resist our inclinations to sin.

Forgive us, Lord Jesus, for having failed to teach Your children the importance of daily prayer – especially the praying of the Rosary.

Forgive us, Lord Jesus, for having failed to teach Your children the reality of our guardian angels and their roles in our lives.

Forgive us, Lord Jesus, for having failed to teach Your children the reality of devils and how they entice us to sin and to reject God’s love and His way to holiness.

Forgive us, Lord Jesus, for having failed to teach Your children how to deal with their weaknesses – psychological and emotional - through our spiritual gifts and tools.

Forgive us, Lord Jesus, for having failed to teach Your children the importance and benefits of Eucharistic Adoration.

Forgive us, Lord Jesus, for having failed to teach Your children how to love others through serving them.

Forgive us, Lord Jesus, for having failed to teach Your children their role in evangelizing our brothers and sisters of other religious beliefs.

Lord Jesus, help us, not only to repent of our failures to teach Your children, but also to begin to teach them through the power of Your Holy Spirit and through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of the saints - our brothers and sisters – in heaven.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us, sinners, now and at the hour of our death.

Saint Joseph, pray for us. Saint Veronica, pray for us, Saint Dominic Savio and Saint Maria Goretti, pray for us. Blessed Francisco and Blessed Jacinta of Fatima, pray for us. Saint Francis of Assisi and Saint Patrick, pray for us.

Pray for us, now and at the hour of our death.

O Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, have mercy on us, Your priestly children.

VIA The Workers of Our Lady of Mount Carmel:  Remember the Message!

October 18, 1961—We must make many sacrifices, perform much penance, and visit the Blessed Sacrament frequently. But first, we must lead good lives. If we do not, a chastisement will befall us. The cup is already filling up, and if we do not change, a very great chastisement will come upon us.

June 18, 1965—As my message of October 18 has not been complied with and has not been made known to the world, I am advising you that this is the last one. Before, the cup was filling up. Now it is flowing over. Many cardinals, many bishops and many priests are on the road to perdition and are taking many souls with them. Less and less importance is being given to the Eucharist. You should turn the wrath of God away from yourselves by your efforts. If you ask His forgiveness with sincere hearts, He will pardon you. I, your mother, through the intercession of Saint Michael the Archangel, ask you to amend your lives. You are now receiving the last warnings. I love you very much and do not want your condemnation. Pray to us with sincerity and we will grant your requests. You should make more sacrifices. Think about the passion of Jesus.

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 9- "On remembrance of wrongs"

6. A banquet of love dispels hatred, and sincere gifts soothe a soul. But a heedless banquet is the mother of familiarity; and through the window of love gluttony leaps in.

October 22, 2008

(Luke 12:42-43) And the Lord said: Who thinkest thou is the faithful and wise steward, whom his lord setteth over his family, to give them their measure of wheat in due season? Blessed is that servant whom, when his lord shall come, he shall find so doing.

REVIEW: Stakes are extremely high for Catholics in this Election

EDITORIAL EXCERPT: Pro-Life Catholics And Obama by George Weigel

Many U.S. bishops, in other words, seem exasperated with Catholic politicians who present themselves as ardent Catholics and yet consistently oppose the Church on what the bishops consider the premier civil-rights issue of the day. It seems unlikely that the bishops, having found their voices after discovering the limits of their patience, will back off in an Obama administration—which could raise some interesting questions for, and about, a Vice President Joe Biden, whose fitness to receive holy communion may well be discussed in executive session at the bishops' annual meeting in mid-November.

Biden is not the only Catholic who will be seriously challenged by an Obama administration bent on reversing what its pro-choice allies regard as eight years of defeat; pro-life Catholics will face different, if equally grave, dilemmas. The bishops already find themselves defending the Catholic integrity of Catholic hospitals under pressures from state governments; those pressures, as well as pressures on doctors and other Catholic health-care professionals, will increase in an Obama administration, especially if FOCA succeeds in knocking down state conscience-clause protections for Catholic health-care providers and institutions. And should an Obama administration reintroduce large-scale federal funding of abortion, the bishops will have to confront a grave moral question they have managed to avoid for decades, thanks to the Hyde amendment: does the payment of federal taxes that go to support abortion constitute a form of moral complicity in an "intrinsic evil"? And if so, what should the conscientious Catholic citizen do?


Bishop reminds Catholics to remember Judgment Day in the voting booth
Catholic voters urged to weigh abortion issue
Bishop Robert Hermann on Voting to 'Save Our Children'

NEWSLINK: Prominent Black Leaders Support McCain

In a powerful video with personal testimonials, key black conservative leaders, including Dr. Alveda C. King, the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., talk about how their faith influences the policies and politics they support. These black Americans state eloquently why they support Sen. John McCain and cannot, in good conscience, support Sen. Barack Obama. A primary reason cited by these black American leaders is Obama's radical position on abortion, including the fact that Obama voted four times in the Illinois Senate against the bill that would provide health care to babies born alive after a botched abortion.

Why is the issue of abortion so important to black American leaders? Black communities are being devastated by abortion which is tantamount to black genocide. 35% of abortions in the United States are performed on African-American women, while they represent only 12% of our nation's female population. According to the 2000 Census, 14 million (17 million as of 2007) African-American children have been killed through abortion. This means that more African-American babies have been killed by abortion during the past 30 years than the total number of African-American deaths from all other causes combined, including AIDS, heart disease, cancer, violent crimes and accidents. This is a crisis in black America that Obama does not care about.

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 9- "On remembrance of wrongs"

5. He who has obtained love has banished revenge; but he who nurses enmities stores up for himself untimely labours.

October 21, 2008

CARDINAL JOSEPH RATZINGER: All people desire to leave a lasting mark. But what endures? Money does not. Even buildings do not, nor books. After a certain time, longer or shorter, all these things disappear. The only thing that lasts forever is the human soul, the human person created by God for eternity.

The Smell of Rain

A cold March wind danced around the dead of night in Dallas as the doctor walked into the small hospital room of Diana Blessing. She was still groggy from surgery. Her husband, David, held her hand as they braced themselves for the latest news. That afternoon of March 10, 1991, complications had forced Diana, only 24-weeks pregnant, to undergo an emergency Cesarean to deliver the couple's new daughter, Dana Lu Blessing.

At 12 inches long and weighing only one pound nine ounces, they already knew she was perilously premature. Still, the doctor's soft words dropped like bombs.

"I don't think she's going to make it," he said, as kindly as he could. "There's only a 10-percent chance she will live through the night, and even then, if by some slim chance she does make it, her future could be very cruel one"

Numb with disbelief, David and Diana listened as the doctor described the devastating problems Dana would likely face if she survived. She would never walk, she would never talk, she would probably be blind, and she would certainly be prone to other catastrophic conditons from cerebral palsy to complete mental retardation, and on and on.

"No! No!" was all Diana could say. She and David, with their 5-year-old son Dustin, had long dreamed of the day they would have a daughter to become a family of four. Now, within a matter of hours, that dream was slipping away

But as those first days passed, a new agony set in for David and Diana. Because Dana's underdeveloped nervous system was essentially 'raw', the lightest kiss or caress only intensified her discomfort, so they couldn't even cradle their tiny baby girl against their chests to offer the strength of their love.

All they could do, as Dana struggled alone beneath the ultraviolet light in the tangle of tubes and wires, was to pray that God would stay close to their precious little girl. There was never a moment when Dana suddenly grew stronger.

But as the weeks went by, she did slowly gain an ounce of weight here and an ounce of strength there. At last, when Dana turned two months old. her parents were able to hold her in their arms for the very first time.

And two months later, though doctors continued to gently but grimly warn that her chances of surviving, much less living any kind of normal life, were next to zero, Dana went home from the hospital, just as her mother had predicted.

Five years later, when Dana was a petite but feisty young girl with glittering gray eyes and an unquenchable zest for life. She showed no signs whatsoever of any mental or physical impairment. Simply, she was everything a little girl can be and more. But that happy ending is far from the end of her story.

One blistering afternoon in the summer of 1996 near her home in Irving, Texas, Dana was sitting in her mother's lap in the bleachers of a local ball park where her brother Dustin's baseball team was practicing. As always, Dana was chattering nonstop with her mother and several other adults sitting nearby when she suddenly fell silent. Hugging her arms across her chest, little Dana asked, "Do you smell that?" Smelling the air and detecting the approach of a thunderstorm, Diana replied, "Yes, it smells like rain."

Dana closed her eyes and again asked, "Do you smell that?"

Once again, her mother replied, "Yes, I think we're about to get wet. It smells like rain."

Still caught in the moment, Dana shook her head, patted her thin shoulders with her small hands and loudly announced, "No, it smells like Him. It smells like God when you lay your head on His chest."

Tears blurred Diana's eyes as Dana happily hopped down to play with the other children. Before the rains came, her daughter's words confirmed what Diana and all the members of the extended Blessing family had known, at least in their hearts, all along.

During those long days and nights of her first two months of her life, when her nerves were too sensitive for them to touch her, God was holding Dana on His chest and it is His loving scent that she remembers so well.


Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 9- "On remembrance of wrongs"

4. He who has put a stop to anger has also destroyed remembrance of wrongs; because childbirth continues only while the father is alive.

October 16, 2008  


(Isa 5:20-21) Woe to you that call evil good, and good evil: that put darkness for light, and light for darkness: that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter. Woe to you that are wise in your own eyes, and prudent in your own conceits.

BREAKING: Little Murders by Charles J. Chaput

HEADLINEKnights of Columbus Nationwide Poll Provides Beneath-the-Surface Look at Catholic Voters

But in other areas, Catholic voters differ from the electorate as a whole. They are less likely to vote for a candidate who favors the death penalty, and more likely to favor a candidate who is committed to success in the war in Iraq.

Some of the most dramatic differences are found within the community of Catholic voters. 59% of practicing Catholics are pro-life, while 65% of non-practicing Catholics are pro-choice. Non-practicing Catholics are far more likely to be pro-choice than the population at large (65% vs. 50%). Only 30% of US residents favor same-sex marriage, while 46% of non-practicing Catholics do. 75% of practicing Catholics oppose same-sex marriage.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Despite the way the poll is presented the results are shocking if looked at in another light.  41% of practicing Catholics are pro-choice and 25% of practicing Catholics do not oppose same-sex marriage.  Which begs the question: what sort of Catholicism are they practicing?!

COMMENTARY EXCERPT: What It Means to Be "Catholic"?

One word that has entered into American (and Western) vocabulary recently is "cafeteria Catholic." This term is a huge contradiction, much like someone saying he is a "democratic dictator." The very nature of Catholicism excludes any sort of "pick and choose" system of belief. As the Catholic Catechism notes: "the word catholic means 'universal,' in the sense of 'according to the totality' or 'in keeping with the whole'". Theoretically, a person can be a Christian, simply a follower of Christ, and not believe everything related to the Christian faith, but the very definition of the word "Catholic" excludes a buffet approach to theology and morals. The final arbiter for Catholics is the Magisterium, which represents the infallible Church's voice on moral and theological matters. Being Catholic involves deferring to the infallible voice of the Church.

Another term that has become popular in recent times is "practicing Catholic" or the obverse, "non-practicing Catholic." Practicing Catholic is redundant, like saying a fire-fighting firefighter. "Non-practicing Catholic" is, like "cafeteria Catholicism," a total contradiction of terms. Being Catholic is more than just mentally assenting to all that the Church teaches, but also living and participating in that teaching. The Catholic Faith is a way of life, or better, a way of orienting one's life to the glory of God and the building up of his holy Church. We are not expected to perfectly practice all the Church teaches all the time, but we are at least obliged to believe it and struggle to live it.

EDITORIAL: Are Some Catholics Misusing 'Faithful Citizenship'?


Fresno priest speaks against ban on gay marriage
First Graders Taken on Field Trip to San Francisco City Hall For Homosexual "Wedding"
Connecticut's Bishops Denounce Supreme Court Decision on Same-Sex 'Marriage,' Urge Support of Referendum
Hundreds of thousands flock to Rio de Janeiro's gay parade

FROM THE MAILBAG VIA Tom Smikoski: Woe unto thee

I often wonder what Old Testament Prophets would write if they were alive today in the United States. Perhaps it would read something like this:

Woe. Woe unto thee oh great and powerful nation of the West. I blessed you with founding fathers full of Faith and Morals, and you twist and distort their words so that in their name you can sin freely.

Woe. Woe unto thee oh great and powerful nation of the West. I blessed you and made you prosper and you have turned your eyes away from me and onto the riches I gave you, making these riches your god.

Woe. Woe unto thee oh great and powerful nation of the West. I blessed you with brilliant minds so you could educate your children, and you removed my word and my very name from your schools.

Woe. Woe unto thee oh great and powerful nation of the West. I blessed you with men of science and you turned from my word and made science your creator.

Woe. Woe unto thee oh great and powerful nation of the West. I blessed you with brilliant men of medicine. Yet some believe that they, not me, have the right to determine when and where a person should die.

Woe. Woe unto thee oh great and powerful nation of the West. I blessed you with great freedom and you have used this freedom to yank my unborn children from the very wombs of their mothers.

Woe. Woe unto thee oh great and powerful nation of the West. I blessed you and created you both male and female so that united you may bare fruit according to my will. Yet against my will have your people bonded as male with male and female with female.

Woe. Woe unto thee oh great and powerful nation of the West. I blessed you, protected you, and guarded your shores from your enemies, yet you have turned against me. You no longer know me, nor my word.

Repent. Repent Oh great and powerful nation of the West. Your sins are far more grievous than those of Sodom and Gomorrah. My patience is wearing thin.

Repent. Repent Oh great and powerful nation of the West. Your sins are far more grievous than those that ravaged the Earth at the time of Noah. My patience is wearing thin.

Repent. Repent Oh great and powerful nation of the West. For My sword is mightier than the weapons you create.

Pray. Pray Oh great and powerful nation of the West. Pray that my word may once again pour forth from the mouths of men.

Pray. Pray Oh great and powerful nation of the West. Pray that my word may once again blossom in the hearts of your people.

Pray. Pray Oh great and powerful nation of the West. Pray that the blood shed by my dearly beloved Son was not shed in vain.

Pray. Pray Oh great and powerful nation of the West. That by the blood of my Son, your people shall be saved and returned to me.

My Blessings Oh great and powerful nation of the West are many. They are yours for the asking. Repent and pray, Oh great and powerful nation of the West, so that I may be merciful and pour forth these blessings upon you.

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 9- "On remembrance of wrongs"

3. This dark and hateful passion, I mean remembrance of wrongs, is one of those that are produced but have no offspring. That is why we do not intend to say much about it.

October 15, 2008  

(BLESSED) MOTHER TERESA: "America needs no words from me to see how your decision in Roe v. Wade has deformed a great nation. The so-called right to abortion has pitted mothers against their children and women against men. It has sown violence and discord at the heart of the most intimate human relationships. It has aggravated the derogation of the father's role in an increasingly fatherless society. It has portrayed the greatest of gifts -- a child -- as a competitor, an intrusion, and an inconvenience. It has nominally accorded mothers unfettered dominion over the independent lives of their physically dependent sons and daughters. And, in granting this unconscionable power, it has exposed many women to unjust and selfish demands from their husbands or other sexual partners. Human rights are not a privilege conferred by government. They are every human being's entitlement by virtue of his humanity. The right to life does not depend, and must not be declared to be contingent, on the pleasure of anyone else, not even a parent or a sovereign."

LINK: St. Padre Pio, Humanae Vitae, and Mandatory Abortion

NEWS HEADLINEDFW Bishops- Voting for Pro-choice Candidates is “Morally Impermissible”


ALAN AMES: Appropriateness of receiving the Eucharist by Catholics who support abortion

PROLIFE BLOG: THE LIFE ISSUES – Abortion, infanticide and euthanasia.

McCain is Pro-life. He opposes abortion on demand. He knows that a human being's life begins at conception. He will appoint judges who will respect the right to life as stated in the Declaration of Independence. He will appoint judges who will respect the rights of the people.

Obama is pro-abortion. He supports abortion on demand through the entire nine months of pregnancy.  He opposes any laws that would restrict abortion in any way. He supports a federal law to wipe out all of the state restrictions and parental consent laws passed throughout the U.S. He will appoint judges who will enshrine abortion into the constitution. He wants universal heath care including abortion paid for by taxpayer dollars.


McCain supports the traditional definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. He voted for the Defense of Marriage Act and supports states enacting protection for marriage. He opposes redefining marriage to include homosexual unions.

Obama voted against the Defense of Marriage Act. He wants to repeal it. He supports same sex marriage and opposes the right of the people to define marriage as being between a man and a woman.


McCain believes in parental rights to control and direct the education of one's children without the interference of the state. McCain believes in school choice, in vouchers, in charter schools, and in those innovative ways to allow parents the freedom and opportunity to obtain for their children the best education possible. He wants to change the status quo and allow especially poor and working class families grater accessibility to good school.

Obama opposes school choice. He wants government schools to have the control. He opposes any efforts by parents to direct and control their children's education. The teacher's union and the government arte in charge. He was a part of a radical effort to indoctrinate children in the public schools with his buddy Bill Ayers. He opposes tax credits, tuition vouchers or anything that would expand opportunities.

So on the values issues, there is only one candidate who truly cares about the family, marriage, children.  His name is John McCain.

"Now is not the time to be faint of heart. We must encourage others to get out the vote for the one man who will stand up and defend life". – John McCain.


FR. WEST'S CATHOLIC BLOG: More Than 100 Reasons to Vote Against Barack Obama

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 9- "On remembrance of wrongs"

2. Remembrance of wrongs is the consummation of anger, the keeper of sins, hatred of righteousness, ruin of virtues, poison of the soul, worm of the mind, shame of prayer, cessation of supplication, estrangement of love, a nail stuck in the soul, pleasureless feeling cherished in the sweetness of bitterness, continuous sin, unsleeping transgression, hourly malice.

October 14, 2008  

Reflection by Father Ted – October 13, 2008 

Ninety one years ago today, dearest Lord Jesus, You came with Your Mother to the three children of Fatima.

Ninety one years ago today, You provided to those present in the fields of Cova da Iria, the sign that they needed to accept the truth of the coming of Your Mother to the three children of Fatima since May of 1917.

For You wanted Your children of the world at that time to experience Your peace.

Through Your Mother You indicated to these children the way to peace in the world.

Today, we need that peace. We do not have it.

Why? Because we have not followed the directions that You provided through Mary to the children.

If only we would do what You have asked of us – if only we would do what the Fatima children did, we would experience that peace. And our world today would begin to experience that peace.

When Your Mother first appeared to the children, she exhorted them to pray the Rosary daily.

They did.

The year before Your Mother appeared to them, You had sent Your Archangel Michael to them to prepare them for their mission.

He taught them certain prayers. He taught them the importance of fasting and making sacrifices. He taught them the value and importance of the Holy Eucharist.

They practiced what he taught them.

Your Mother emphasized the value and importance of praying the Rosary. And Your Mother emphasized the value of moderation in their sacrifices.

They listened to Your Mother.

Because of their obedience, the First World War did end.

We have not listened to You nor to Your Mother in her more recent apparitions.

Because we have not – we are experiencing the problems of this time.

The solution to our problems is to do what You and She have requested.

Jesus, may we begin to do what You want.

May we take seriously our obligation to worship the Father each Sunday at Mass – and even more often. May we take seriously our need to adore You in the Most Blessed Sacrament. May we take seriously our need individually and as families to pray daily the Rosary. May we take seriously our need to read daily Your Word in the Holy Bible. May we take seriously our need to respect the life of the unborn and the elderly. May we take seriously our need to recognize the sacredness of marriage as the covenant bond between a man and a woman.

Lord Jesus, like the children of Fatima, may we do Your Will on earth as it is done in heaven.

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 9- "On remembrance of wrongs"

1. The holy virtues are like Jacob's ladder, and the unholy vices are like the chains that fell from the chief Apostle Peter. For the virtues, leading from one to another, bear him who chooses them up to Heaven; but the vices by their nature beget and stifle one another. And as we have just heard senseless anger calling remembrance of wrongs its own offspring, it is appropriate that we should now say something about this.

October 13, 2008  


Fatima is a call from the Mother of God for a renewed fidelity to penance and prayer, which basically is the message of the Gospel. Too, it brings out the desire of Our Lord that His Mother be better known, loved and venerated through devotion to her Immaculate Heart.

IN THE NEWS: Christians take part in national prayer rally

More than 1,000 Christians participated in a prayer rally at the Capitol Saturday. The rally was one of 3,000 other public square rosary rallies taking place throughout the nation.

It focuses on bringing the message of Our Lady of Fatima – peace and hope – in a world of conflict and to openly honor God.

"Without deep prayer and devotion to our maker, I believe we will accelerate our demise as a great power and leader of this world," prayer participant David Coch said.

It is the 91st anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima's appearance to three shepherd children in Portugal.

ANNIVERSARY: Sixth Apparition at Fatima of the Virgin Mary, October 13, 1917

By October the news of Fatima spread more, and the people learned that a miracle was to happen. The children began to speak of the miracle which was to happen.

Seventy to one hundred thousand pilgrims came to the Cova da Iria.

It was pouring down rain and everything was very muddy. My family was very uncertain and feared that if the miracle did not take place; the people would want to kill the three children.

Once there, moved by an interior impulse, I asked the people to shut their umbrellas and pray a Rosary. Soon after that there was a flash of light, and Our Lady appeared above the oak tree. Lucia asked: "What do you want of me?"

I want to tell you that a chapel is to be built here in my honor. I am the Lady of the Rosary. Continue always to pray the Rosary every day. The war is going to end, and the soldiers will soon return to their homes."

"I have many things to ask you: the cure of some sick persons, the conversion of sinners, and other things . . . "

"Some yes, but not others. They must amend their lives and ask forgiveness for their sins." Looking very sad, Our Lady said: "Do not offend the Lord our God any more, because He is already so much offended."

Then, opening her hands, she made them reflect onto the sun, and as she ascended, the reflection of her own light continued to be projected on the sun itself.

Here, Your Excellency, is the reason why I cried out to the people to look at the sun. My aim was not to call their attention to the sun, because I was not even aware of their presence. I was moved to do so under the guidance of an interior impulse.

After Our Lady had disappeared into the immense distance of the firmament, we beheld St. Joseph with the Child Jesus and Our Lady robed in white with a blue mantle, beside the sun. St. Joseph and the Child Jesus appeared to bless the world, for they traced the Sign of the Cross with their hands. When, a little later, this apparition disappeared, I saw Our Lord and Our Lady; it seemed to me that it was Our Lady of Dolor's. Our Lord appeared to bless the world in the same manner as St. Joseph had done. This apparition also vanished, and I saw Our Lady once more, this time resembling Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, holding the child Jesus in one hand and the brown scapular in the other hand. (Questions & Answers about the Brown Scapular,  Story about the Scapular Medal)

At the predetermined hour, the rain stopped, and the thick mass of clouds broke. The sun looked like a disc of dull silver, and began dancing wildly. The people shouted out: "MIRACLE!" It seems that the majority of the people saw the sun trembling and dancing, whirling around like a catherine wheel; it descended almost low enough to burn the earth with its rays. Many thought the end of the world had come, as the sun seemed to fall upon them. People reported color changes in objects on earth, caused by the rays of the sun. Some expressed sorrow for their sins aloud. Some who had come to ridicule now believed.

After the great miracle of the Sun which Our Lady had performed "so that all may believe," the events of Fatima became the subject of national attention in Portugal.

It took the Church over thirteen years to make an official declaration, and many clarifications were still necessary.

The first publication of the subject of Fatima came from Fr. Formigao in 1921. He too was a nonbeliever of the Fatima events and was converted by Our Lady of Fatima at the September 13, 1917, apparition.

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 8- "On Freedom from Anger and on Meekness"

19. It is bad to disturb the eye of the heart by anger, according to him who said: 'Through wrath is mine eye become troubled' (Ps. 6:8). But it is still worse to show in words the turmoil of the soul. And to come to blows is utterly inimical and alien to the monastic, angelic and divine life.

October 10, 2008  


(Jer 1:4-5) And the word of the Lord came to me, saying: Before I formed thee in the bowels of thy mother, I knew thee: and before thou camest forth out of the womb, I sanctified thee, and made thee a prophet unto the nations.

HEADLINE: Abortion Key Issue For Catholic Man Backing McCain

Don Wheatley is standing outside an abortion clinic in Hartford, his rosary beads trailing through his 73-year-old fingers, talking about why he supports John McCain for president.

Part of the reason, he says, is the presence of pro-life candidate Sarah Palin on the ticket. Wheatley is Catholic, and avidly pro-life; he comes out here to pray for an end to abortion every week, he says.

But it's more complicated than that, of course. There's also his late wife, Lana Sue.

Wheatley begins to talk about Lana Sue, and his focus seems to drift away slowly, until his voice falters, and then stops.

Lana Sue died two years ago of cancer, Wheatley says, in their 37th year of marriage. During their first year of marriage — when he was only 34 — Lana Sue got pregnant.

"We married in September. She was pregnant in November. She never looked so good. She was beautiful the whole time she was pregnant, like a spring flower," he says.

The baby was due in August, and Lana Sue went to St. Francis to deliver. Don was in the waiting room when the doctor came out, covered in blood, to tell him their son was dead, an umbilical cord wrapped around his neck. And because Lana Sue's uterus had ruptured, the doctor had performed an emergency hysterectomy.

"She named him David Jonathan. I asked her, and she said she looked up the names and together they meant 'beloved gift of God,'" Wheatley says.

The years passed, and Don became more and more active in his Manchester church and the pro-life movement, with Lana Sue's encouragement.

Today, he contemplates the candidates and, in the midst of an economic crisis, war and a host of other serious problems, the choice is abundantly clear.

"All of the issues that are before us in the election are important, but they are not all of equal value," Wheatley says. "The right to life is the most fundamental right a person has. All other rights are nullified if that right is taken away from them. I don't like anything about Obama. His stand on life issues is awful."

CAL THOMAS: Catholics and abortion (again)

EDITORIAL: Catholic abortion policy remains unchangeable

FR.  PAVONE: The Bible's Teaching Against Abortion

Young Adult Catholic Organization:
Sacrifice and Prayer for Election of Pro-Life Candidates

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 8- "On Freedom from Anger and on Meekness"

14. If the Holy Spirit is peace of soul, as He is said to be an as He is in reality, and if anger is disturbance of heart, as it actually is and as it is said to be, then nothing so prevents His presence in us as anger.

October 9, 2008  

(Mat 18:1-4) At that hour the disciples came to Jesus, saying: Who, thinkest thou, is the greater in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus, calling unto him a little child, set him in the midst of them. And said: amen I say to you, unless you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, he is the greater in the kingdom of heaven.

Philip:  A "Catholic," Irish prayer for you...

Reflection by Father Ted – – October 2, 2008

My dearest Lord Jesus, as we begin this holy month of October You remind us of four basic truths:

1 – You love us;
2 – You gave to us Your Mother to be our mother;
3 – You gave to us guardian angels to assist us in living as Your children;
4 – You will assist us to become saints.

On the first day of this holy month You offered to us a young role model in Saint Therese of the Child Jesus of the Holy Face who taught us by the simple way she lived – listening to You and to her superiors to show her the simple way to become a saint – to love as You love us.

On this second day of this holy month You remind us that You gave us at the very beginning of our lives angels to assist us. In a very simple prayer that I was taught as a little boy, You remind us that these angels are here to help us. They teach us; they correct us; the protect us; they help us. They are always present to us – and at the same time, as You reminded us in the gospel this morning, they always see the Face of our heavenly Father.

Most of the time we are not aware of their presence. But they are with us – watching over us – guarding us.

As we grow up You constantly remind us, as You did yesterday and today in the gospel that we are to be child-like – but not childish.

We are to be like little children who are totally aware of the love that their parents have for them. And because of that awareness we are to trust You totally.

Yet to be so aware we need to make time to know You and Your love.

That is why You, as well as Your Mother, emphasize the importance of daily prayer.

For it is in prayer that we become most aware of Your presence and Your love.

It is in prayer that we are enabled to listen to You, and know what it is that You desire us to do.

It is in prayer that we are enabled to recognize what is true.

That is one reason why the evil one does not want us to be boys, girls, men, women of prayer.

He strives to keep us so busy, that we do not find the time to pray.

And when we minimize our prayer, or neglect it, we frequently give into our temptations and sin – though like so many today we may deny that what we are doing is sin.

Help us Jesus, especially through the intercession of Mary and our guardian angels to be close to You through our life of prayer. Help us, like You did the Little Flower, to become saints.

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 8- "On Freedom from Anger and on Meekness"

13. It is a mark of extreme meekness, even in the presence of one's offender, to be peacefully and lovingly disposed towards him in one's heart, then it is certainly a mark of hot temper when a person continues to quarrel and rage against his offender, both by words and gestures, even when by himself.

October 8, 2008  

(Luke 12:19-20) And I will say to my soul: Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years. Take thy rest: eat, drink, make good cheer. But God said to him: Thou fool, this night do they require thy soul of thee. And whose shall those things be which thou hast provided?

POPE BENEDICT XVI: ''He who builds only on visible and tangible things like success, career and money builds the house of his life on sand''. He added: ''We are now seeing, in the collapse of major banks, that money vanishes, it is nothing. All these things that appear to be real are in fact secondary. Only God's words are a solid reality''.


Stock market: 'Fear indicators are spiking'
Urgent Alert: Global Markets Crashing!
European Crisis Deepens; Officials Vow to Save Banks

EDITORIAL: Nations that flout God earn their woes

In the Old Testament, God sent the great flood as a punishment for the sins of man. Only Noah and his family survived. Because the people of Sodom and Gomorrah sinned, God destroyed them with fire and brimstone. Only Lot and his daughters survived. Jonah was sent to Nineveh to warn the kingdom to do penance or God would destroy it. Nineveh did penance, and therefore, God did not destroy it.

In the New Testament, Jesus wept over Jerusalem and prophesied that it would be destroyed because it rejected him. Around A.D. 70, the Roman general Titus and his army leveled the city, and most of its inhabitants were killed. In the 17th century, Louis XIV was warned to consecrate France to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Because he did not, France suffered the catastrophe of the Revolution in the late 18th century.

Many of the events of our time were predicted at Fatima in Portugal in 1917. One of the children who saw the blessed Virgin Mary said she told them we are living in parts of the Book of the Apocalypse.

These are scary warnings, but like past events, they are contingent on the responses of the people. If enough are found to pray (especially the rosary) and do their daily duties, then God will revoke his sentence (Exodus 32: 11-14, etc.) Since these warnings came from heaven, and since Jesus is king of heaven and earth, his laws must govern heaven and earth. On earth, his laws not only pertain to the church that he founded, the Catholic Church, but to all human society.

But all countries do not obey the laws of Jesus. And here is where various prophecies will be applied. We can see in Europe, for example, former Catholic countries that have become "modern" and have cast off the laws of Jesus and his church. Hopefully they will return to their former states before it is too late.

As for those countries that were never Catholic, it is possible that the Lord will be more lenient. For example, in the United States, we say we want "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." This "liberty" can be taken in many ways. We can say that we have liberty to worship God as we want. We could argue and discuss these meanings of the term "liberty," but it must be used not to disobey the laws of Jesus but to obey and to beg for God's mercy.

What are the laws of Jesus that countries should obey and make their own? These laws are the Ten Commandments given to Moses, and the greatest and first commandment: the love of God and the love of neighbor.

If these laws were in force in the United States, for example, there would be no abortion; there would be no divorce (there would be proper preparation for marriage); no pornography; no "rights" for sodomy; companies would have to pay their workers a living wage; the United States would have to protect its own workers; the elderly, the young and the disabled would be cared for; we would provide for defense of our country but could not engage in unjust wars; the money supply would be protected from inflation; and we would have fair trade.

But I don't think this will ever be achieved in the U.S. because it is too liberal – it loves this "liberty," this freedom from the rights of God, too much.

In Red China, atheistic communism (materialism – the non-recognition of the supernatural) dominates. In the U.S. and other countries, capitalism (economics without rules) reigns. The only difference is that in the U.S. and Europe, people are free to worship, but the cultures produce a spiritual tepidity that is essentially agnostic.

God used a flood to cleanse the earth in Noah's time. He used fire and brimstone against Sodom. He used the Roman army against Jerusalem. There is nothing to stop him from using the Russian or Chinese military to chastise us for our indifference to his kingship, except our prayers and penances.

St. Padre Pio, the stigmatist priest, said Russia would convert to God and better the U.S. in this regard. Let us hope our country is not too proud to kneel and pray.

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 8- "On Freedom from Anger and on Meekness"

12. Nothing is so inappropriate to those repenting as a spirit agitated by anger, because conversion requires great humility, and anger is a sign of every kind of presumption.

October 7, 2008  


The Rosary Batters the Gates of Hell
Mysteries Unlocked- The Scriptural Rosary Adds Depth to the Decades


Faithful Citizenship: A Message from the Bishop Joseph A. Galante

EDITORIAL EXCERPT: Archbishop Burke Calls Out the Democrats on Life Issues

Archbishop Burke is right that other bishops are slowly coming around. A sample of prelate's statements on the significance of abortion in this presidential election has been cited often. After House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the doctors of the Church have not been able to make that definition [as to when life begins]" a host of bishops issued rebuttals including New York Cardinal Edward Egan, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput and Auxiliary Bishop James D. Conley of Denver as well as Cardinal Justin Rigali and Bishop William Lori, chairman of the U. S. bishops' pro-life and doctrine committees. Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas has spelled out the reasons why the so-called "Catholic" Democratic Governor of Kansas, Kathleen Sebelius (the daughter of pro-abort John Gilligan who was governor of Ohio) should not be entitled to receive Communion.

The Burkean view and the actions of other bishops against his favorite liberal Democrats will be viewed with disfavor by Fr. Andrew Greeley weekly columnist for "The Chicago Sun-Times." Greeley who trades on his photo where he is wearing a clerical collar has been long a faithful lip-synch mouthpiece for the Democratic party, touting the candidacy of Barack Obama who four-times as a state senator killed the Illinois version of "Born Alive," which would guarantee medical care for infants born from a botched abortion. Thus Obama is the first presidential nominee to have not only espoused but to have legislative blood on his hands by killing a bill that would relieve dying infants born outside the womb from pain—opposing the measure because…as a Harvard lawyer (along with his wife another Harvard lawyer) if you please…he fancies it would threaten "Roe v. Wade"—a point on which he has been in disagreement with the great majority of pro-aborts in the U.S. Senate who passed an identical bill prior to Obama's joining that body. Fr. Greeley says decorously his role as a priest forbids him to endorse anybody for office but has called Obama in his column "my guy." The self-same Greeley wore a golden saxophone proudly on his black clerical jacket emblematic that he had maxed out to Bill Clinton.

To the biblical injunction that one cannot serve both God and mammon, Fr. Greeley now finds himself roughly in the same position as Jack Benny did in a skit on his late popular radio show. Self-publicizing himself as a skinflint, Benny was characterized walking down a dark street one night when he was approached by a robber who stuck a gun in his ribs and rasped: "Your money or your life!" There followed a long, painful silence. The robber repeated: "I said, buddy, YOUR MONEY OR YOUR LIFE!" To which Benny shouted—"I'M THINKING! I'M THINKING!" At his current age, over 80, Fr. Greeley has thus far avoided making the choice between God and mammon—mammon benefiting as he evades the argument. But in the immortal imagery of Francis Thompson's poetic masterpiece "The Hound of Heaven," Greeley may hear galloping footsteps coming near to him as he coasts into agedness. As one who is Greeley's identical age, I advise him to cup a hand to his ear and listen closely.

To-wit: When the time comes to meet the Just Judge, Greeley will likely surround himself with all the accoutrements of the Church's traditions he has so scornfully dissed including incense burners as he strives to get things his way. The man who once wrote during the last papal conclave that the Holy Spirit has proved Itself fallible by having fingered so many sinful popes…neglecting to point out what we learned from the Baltimore Catechism that infallibility is the preventative to teach error in faith and morals only… will have to surpass all the skills he has shown as an earthly communicator to justify these words and the long-long record of partisanship in behalf of pro-abortion Democratic politics.

(Gal 1:8-10) But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema. As we said before, so now I say again: If any one preach to you a gospel, besides that which you have received, let him be anathema. For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? If I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 8- "On Freedom from Anger and on Meekness"

11. An angy person is a willing epileptic, who due to an involuntary tendency keeps convulsing and falling down.

October 3, 2008  


(Psalm 139:13-16) "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that fully well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be".

REVIEW: Election Year Respect Life and Rosary Feasts

HEADLINE: Scranton Diocese priests read abortion position letter to parishioners

A letter from Bishop Joseph F. Martino to be read aloud by priests at all Roman Catholic Masses in the Diocese of Scranton this weekend calls on the faithful to understand and remember the church's position on abortion come Election Day.

"Jesus Christ ... does not ask us to take up his Cross only to have us leave it at the voting booth door," Bishop Martino says in the two-page pastoral letter, which will also be circulated with all parish bulletins on Saturday and Sunday. In it, he criticizes the laws that protect abortion rights and takes particular aim at political candidates who express support for those rights.

In the letter, Bishop Martino refers to abortion as "homicide" and writes, "It is a tragic irony that 'pro-choice' candidates have come to support homicide — the gravest injustice a society can tolerate — in the name of 'social justice.'"

William Genello, the diocesan spokesman, said he would not characterize the letter as directly political.

Bishop Martino issued the letter to be read on "Respect Life Sunday," an occasion initiated by American Catholic bishops in 1972 and for which he issues a pastoral letter every year.

In a statement, Mr. Genello wrote that Bishop Martino is directing pastors to read the letter aloud and circulate it in bulletins this year "because of the confusion and public misrepresentations about Catholic teaching on the life issues, particularly abortion, that have surfaced in the last few months" — an apparent reference to comments made by Catholic Democrats about the history of the church's position on abortion.

The letter comes after Bishop Martino made a prominent intervention earlier in the election season by announcing his determination not to allow public officials who support abortion rights to receive communion.

He assures Catholics of his "vigilance" on that issue again in his pastoral letter. "Public officials who are Catholic and who persist in public support for abortion and other intrinsic evils should not partake in or be admitted to the sacrament of Holy Communion," he writes.

Bishop Martino's letter also confronts the argument that abortion is not the only "life" issue that should concern Catholic voters. The bishop notes such reasoning is sound "only if other issues carry the same moral weight as abortion does," for example, euthanasia and "destruction of embryos for research purposes." Other issues, including health care, education, economic security, immigration and taxes do not carry the same weight, he writes.

He also argues that abortion is a "deeper" and "more corrupting" moral failure than "mistakenly believ(ing) that an unjust war is just."

In an appeal to Catholics' civic beliefs, as well as their religious ones, Bishop Martino asserts that the church's teaching that life begins at conception is "also a profoundly American principle."

"Whenever a society asks its citizens to violate its own foundational principles — as well as their moral consciences — citizens have a right, indeed an obligation, to refuse," he writes.

COMMENTARY: A Prayer For Parents On Respect Life Sunday

CARDINAL JUSTIN RIGALI: "Let us rededicate ourselves to defending the basic rights of those who are weakest and most marginalized: the poor, the homeless, the innocent unborn, and the frail and elderly who need our respect and our assistance."

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 8- "On Freedom from Anger and on Meekness"

10. As a hard stone with sharp corners has ll its sharpness and hard formation dulled by knocking and rubbing against other stones, and is made round, so in the same way, a sharp and curt soul, by living in community and mixing with hard, hot-tempered men, undergoes one of two things: either it cures its wound by its patience, or by retiring it will certainly discover its weakness, its cowardly flight making this clear to it as in a mirror.

October 2, 2008  

(2Th 2:15) Therefore, brethren, stand fast: and hold the traditions, which you have learned, whether by word or by our epistle.

FOR PRAYERFUL CONSIDERATION: Rediscovering Traditionalism


Latin Mass supported, one year after papal ruling
Latin Masses are making a comeback
Extraordinary form of Mass alive and well

RECENT UPDATE: Mixed reviews: Implementation of Tridentine ruling frustrates some

Collect: God our Father, in your loving providence you send your holy angels to watch over us. Hear our prayers, defend us always by their protection and let us share your life with them for ever. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 8- "On Freedom from Anger and on Meekness"

13. It is a mark of extreme meekness, even in the presence of one's offender, to be peacefully and lovingly disposed towards him in one's heart, then it is certainly a mark of hot temper when a person continues to quarrel and rage against his offender, both by words and gestures, even when by himself.

October 1, 2008

(Mat 6:31-33) Be not solicitous therefore, saying: What shall we eat: or what shall we drink, or wherewith shall we be clothed? For after all these things do the heathens seek. For your Father knoweth that you have need of all these things. Seek ye therefore first the kingdom of God, and his justice, and all these things shall be added unto you.

VATICAN: Financial crisis shows need for religion in politics

The financial crisis sweeping the world economy proves the need for religion in politics, Vatican Secretary of State Tarcisio Berto ne said on Tuesday.

"Politics needs religion," Cardinal Bertone said in a speech published by the Vatican mouthpiece L'Osservatore Romano. "When instead God is ignored, the ability to respect rights and recognise the common good begins to disappear."

Bertone, the Vatican's top diplomat and Pope Benedict XVI's right-hand man, told a conference sponsored by the US-based Aspen Institute: "Where people look solely for short-term profit, identifying it with good, they end up erasing the benefit itself."

The prelate said the "current financial crisis" and the "tragic outcomes of all political ideologies" were symptomatic of this lack.

He added: "To manage globalisation, politics not only needs an ethic inspired by religion, but also it needs for this religion to be rational. For that too, politics needs Christianity."

During a trip to France earlier this month, the pope spoke about his view of Christianity as a religion founded on the marriage between faith and reason.

Everyone today "solemnly proclaim the unalienable rights of the person, (but) these noble proclamations are often negated by the facts," Bertone said, pointing to "growing poverty, the persistent dominance of certain cultural and economic models (and) intolerance."

BISHOP WILLIAM F. MURPHYDon't forget human aspect of Wall Street bailout

QUOTE: St. Vincent de Paul: Strive to live content in the midst of those things that cause your discontent. Free your mind from all that troubles you, God will take care of things. You will be unable to make haste in this without, so to speak, grieving the heart of God, because he sees that you do not honor him sufficiently with holy trust.

Trust in him, I beg you, and you will have the fulfillment of what your heart desires.


The Great Bank Robbery of 2008
Bankruptcy, not bailout, is the right answer
John A. Allison, Chairman of Branch Banking and Trust, Open Letter to Congress

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 8- "On Freedom from Anger and on Meekness"

12. Nothing is so inappropriate to those repenting as a spirit agitated by anger, because conversion requires great humility, and anger is a sign of every kind of presumption.
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