ultrasound bill,

Cowards and Heroes!

When bishops disagree

hil Lawler
In the Code of Canon Law, #916 obligates the faithful to determine for themselves whether they are prepared to receive Communion (that is, in a state of grace), and act accordingly. Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington has cited Canon 916 to explain why he will not deny the Eucharist to a pro-abortion politician. The recipient himself is responsible, he argues.
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Why Be Catholic?

r. Jeff Mirus
The oldest and most painful riddle of human existence is the riddle of suffering. In every time and place, man has sought an answer. Yet apart from Judeo-Christian Revelation, man has had very little to say. Stoic fortitude, Epicurean pleasure-seeking, Buddhist negation, the Utilitarian calculus of pleasure and pain: It seems nobody has very much useful to say about the riddle of suffering, except God.
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Shaking the Foundations

r. Jeff Mirus
When the President of Notre Dame decided to invite President Obama to give this year's commencement speech and to receive an honorary degree, a number of student organizations banded together to make their moral opposition clear. Perhaps their most telling objection was stated thus:
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New Dan Brown Film

Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
The Vatican says it “cannot approve” of the new Dan Brown movie, Angels and Demons, scheduled to open on May 15, and has refused to allow filmakers to use the Holy See or any Catholic church in Rome for filming.
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Clinton Visits Tilma

usan Brinkmann, OCDS
Only hours before receiving an award from Planned Parenthood, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited the tilma inside the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City and asked the rector, “who painted it?”
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Sebelius Signs Pro-Life Bill

usan Brinkmann, OCDS
Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius has signed a bill ensuring that women and girls seeking abortions can see ultrasound images before the procedure.

The legislation, known as S.B. 238, modifies the Woman’s Right-to-Know Act by requiring abortion clinics to provide mothers with a chance to see an ultrasound image and hear the heartbeat of the baby. It also provides additional protection from coercion and requires the state to develop a medically accurate video and print materials regarding fetal development.
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It's all our fault

Cardinal DiNardo slams Notre Dame

Quotes on Mary

cripture meditation: Mary, you have found grace with God. Behold you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. Luke 1:31

Reflection: O Mary, when Jesus was conceived in you, He found you a Virgin. After being born of you, He left you a Virgin. He gives you fertility, but He does not violate your integrity.

St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430AD)
Mini-Bio: North African; bishop, theologian, Doctor of the Church

Prayer: O Mary, you were a Virgin in conceiving, in bearing your Child, and in dying. Teach me that with God nothing is impossible, and let me face life confidently with the aid of His grace.

t is impossible that He Who holds perfect excellence should not also possess perfect patience.

Lactantius (240-323AD) on Divine Mercy

It is good that faith should precede reason, lest we seem to demand reasons from our Lord God in the same way that we might demand them of a man. How unworthy it would be to believe the human testimonies of another, and not believe the utterances of God Himself!

St. Ambrose of Milan (340-397AD) on Faith

There is a higher wisdom: a wisdom that reveals the true meaning of our human weakness and our pain. That wisdom is revealed in Christ. He knows what it is to suffer; He experienced it on the road to Calvary.

Pope John Paul II (1920 - 2005AD)

Scriptures Verse-Sacrament of Eucharist

ome verses used to support Protestant arguments.

Genesis 9:4 - "Only flesh with its lifeblood still in it you shall not eat."
Deuteronomy 12:18 - "You shall not partake of the blood, but must pour it out"
Acts 15:29 - "Abstain from ... meats of strangled animals"

The resolution:

What Our Lord was calling the Jewish people to do is to die to the Old Adam and Old Testament laws and rituals and enter the new covenant of his body and blood. Also in:
Psalms 27:2; Isaiah 49:26; Micah 3:3; 2 Samuel 23:15-17; Revelation 17:6, 16 - to symbolically eat and drink ones body and blood back in Jesus' times means to assault. This would make our Lord promise life everlasting to the culprit for slandering and hating Him, which would reduce the whole passage to utter nonsense. Christ would be saying "He that reviles me has eternal life". (Page 241 "Catholicism and Fundamentalism by Keating")

An example of Jesus talking symbolically about food

John 4:31-34; Matthew 16:5-12 - Jesus talking symbolically about food

Eucharist is promised.

John 6:35-71 - Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist
1 Corinthians 2:14 to 3:4 - St. Paul explains what Jesus means by "the flesh"

Foretold and prefigured.

Exodus 12:8, 46 - Paschal lamb had to be eaten
Exodus 16:15 - "This is the bread which the LORD has given you to eat" (manna)
Malachi 1:11 - "everywhere they bring sacrifice to my name, and a pure offering"
John 6:32-60 - (The Bread of Life discourse - Jesus refers back to the manna of the Old Testament.)
See also: - Psalms 78:24ff, Proverbs 9:2ff, Wisdom 16:20

Instituted by Christ.

Matthew 26:26-29, Mark 14:22-25, Luke 22:17-20 - Eucharist is instituted by Jesus
1 Corinthians 5:7 - Jesus is called the paschal lamb who has been sacrificed
1 Corinthians 11:23-25 - (St. Paul pens the earliest written account of the institution of the Eucharist)
John 1:29 - Jesus is called "the lamb of God"

Celebrated by the Apostles.

Acts 2:42 - "devoted themselves to the ... breaking of the bread and to the prayers."
Acts 20:7 - "first day of the week when we gathered to break bread"
1 Corinthians 10:16-22 - Eucharist is our participation in Christ's Body and Blood

Christ is truly present in the Eucharist.

Matthew 26:26 - "Take and eat, this is my body."
Mark 14:22, 24 - "This is my body ... This is my blood of the covenant."
Luke 22:19-20 - "This is my body, which will be given for you ... new covenant in my blood"

John 6:50-69 says: {This is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world." The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, "How can this man give us (his) flesh to eat?" Jesus said to them, "Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever." These things he said while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum. Then many of his disciples who were listening said, "This saying is hard; who can accept it?" Since Jesus knew that his disciples were murmuring about this, he said to them, "Does this shock you? What if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? It is the spirit that gives life, while the flesh is of no avail. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life." {See note} But there are some of you who do not believe." Jesus knew from the beginning the ones who would not believe and the one who would betray him. And he said, "For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by my Father." As a result of this, many (of) his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him. Jesus then said to the Twelve, "Do you also want to leave?" Simon Peter answered him, "Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God."}

Note 1: - Verse 62-63 states "Does this shock you? What if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? It is the spirit that gives life, while the flesh is of no avail. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life."
What Our Lord says here is not intended a Maldonatus thought, to increase the scandal, but to rectify what was simply a cannibalistic interpretation of what he has just said. The ascension will perhaps surprise the recalcitrants more, but it will eliminate the chief difficulty about eating the flesh of One who in celestial glory takes his place where he was from eternity.
Note 2: - Notice that the close followers of Our Lord, the "disciples" LEFT HIM because this was a hard saying. Then Our Lord asks Peter if he will leave him too. Peter representing the 12 apostles says: "Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. WE HAVE COME TO BELIEVE (John 6:69)". My personal note to my separated brethren: Come join us and BELIEVE!

1 Corinthians 10:16 - (In the Eucharist, we participate in the Body and Blood of Christ)
1 Corinthians 11:24 - "This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me."
St. Ignatius (107AD) - [heretics] abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they do not confess that the Eucharist is the Flesh of Our Savior Jesus Christ... (Letter to the Smyrnaeans 6, 2)
St. Justin Martyr (150AD) - not as common bread, nor common drink do we receive these; but ... as we have been taught, the food which has been made into the Eucharist by the Eucharistic prayer set down by him, and by the change of which our blood and flesh are nourished, is both the flesh and blood of that Incarnated Jesus."(First Apology 66, 20)
St. Irenaeus of Lyons (195AD) - He [ Jesus ] has declared the cup, a part of his creation, to be His own Blood from which causes our blood to flow; and the bread, a part of his creation, He has established as His own Body from which He gives increase to our bodies. (Against Heresies 5, 2, 2)
St. Cyril of Jerusalem (350AD) - "He himself, therefore, having declared and said of the Bread, 'This is My Body', who will dare any longer to doubt? And when he himself has affirmed and said, 'This is My Blood' who can ever hesitate and say it is not His Blood." (Catechetical Lectues: Mystagogic 4, 22, 1)
St. Cyril of Jerusalem (350AD) - "Do not regard the bread and wine as simply that, for they are, according to the Master's declaration, the Body and Blood of Christ. Even though the sense suggest to you other, let faith make you firm. Do not judge in this manner by taste, but be fully assured by faith, not doubting that you have been deemed worthy of the Body and Blood of Christ." (Catechetical Lectues: Mystagogic 4,22,6)

The Eucharist must be worthily received.
(if the Eucharist were just a symbol there would be no need to partake of it worthily)

1 Corinthians 10:21 - "cannot partake of the table of the Lord and of the table of demons"
1 Corinthians 11:23-29 - "whoever eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself" (receiving the Eucharist unworthily makes us guilty of his Body and Blood)
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Catholic Note:

hile most Protestants believe the Last Supper was significant and often agree that communion is important, they don't believe that Jesus literally meant He wanted us to eat His flesh and drink His blood. The argue that Jesus used many symbolisms about Himself -- He called Himself a door, a vine, etc. And since eating human flesh is cannibalism, they argue that Jesus could not have been speaking literally in John 6. The Eucharist, however, is a unique and miraculous reality in which we consume the entirety of the living Christ -- although his natural condition is veiled by the sacrament. The Church has consistently understood Christ's words to be literally referring to His true flesh and blood, as is evident in the writings of the early Church saints like St. Ignatius of Antioch (50-107), St. Justin Martyr (100-165), St. Irenaeus of Lyons (125-203), St. Ambrose (340-397) and St. Cyril of Jerusalem (315-386). Although all the faithful in the Church has always believed in the concept of transubstantiation, in 1215, the Fourth Lateran Council dogmatically defined the concept: that while the outward appearances of bread and wine remain {the taste, touch, smell and looks}, their inward realities or substance has become the living Christ. Because Jesus is truly present - body, blood, soul and divinity - we adore the Eucharist with profound reverence.

The Church is the extension of Christ's incarnation, and that extension takes place through the sacraments" (Scott Hahn , Swear to God, Page 22)

In what way are angels present in the life of the Church?

The Church joins with the angels in adoring God, invokes their assistance and commemorates some in her liturgy.
“Beside each believer stands an angel as a protector and shepherd leading him to life.” (Saint Basil the Great)

CCC #334 - 336 and CCC #352

Pope Pius XII

aurizio Fontana
History can sometimes arrive on stage and exit from it completely distorted. This happened on 20 February 1963 when Rolf Hochhuth's play Der Stellvertreter [the Vicar] was performed at the Freie Volksb├╝hne in Berlin.
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Stations of the Cross

ery Rev. John J. Burke, C.S.P., Paul Claudel

Although one or two translations of the Way of the Cross of Paul Claudel, French Ambassador to the United States, have been made, this new translation by the Rev. John J. Burke, C.S.P., is now published on account of the high commendation which it received from the distinguished author, who finds it "remarkable in its sobriety and terseness".
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Quotes on Mary

cripture meditation: The father of a just man greatly rejoices. … Let your father and mother be joyful; let her who bore you rejoice. Proverbs 23:24-25

Reflection: There is no doubt whatever that all the praises we address to the Mother are also addressed to the Son and vice versa.

St. Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153AD)
Mini-Bio: French; abbot, mystical writer, theologian, reformer of the Cistercian Order, Doctor of the Church

Prayer: O Mary, you are forever connected with Jesus as His Mother and as His closest disciple. Let me never hesitate to honor you for in doing so I am honoring your Divine Son.

Holy Quotes

Whoever does not trust the Lord in small matters is quite clearly an unbeliever in things of greater importance.

St. Basil the Great (329-379AD) on Faith

The Christian life is the true Jacob's ladder on which the angels ascend and descend. Meanwhile, the Lord stands above, holding out His hand to those who slip, sustaining by His vision the weary steps of those who ascend.

St. Jerome (342-420AD) on Divine Mercy
Mary is the clearest and surest sign that God always comes to us with His love. She sings with all her being that whatever we receive from God is grace. The Virgin is our true teacher in the journey of faith.

Pope John Paul II (1920 - 2005AD)

Apostolic Succession

2 Chronicles 19:11 - high priest is over you in everything of the Lord's
Malachi 2:7 - seek instruction from a priest, he is God's messenger
Acts 1:25-26 - Matthias takes Judas' apostolic ministry
Acts 1:20-22 - Let someone else take over his office. Out of the men who have been with us the whole time that the Lord Jesus was living with us, from the time when John was baptizing until the day when he was taken up from us, one must be appointed to serve with us as a witness to his resurrection.
Acts 14:23 - they appointed presbyters in each church
1 Corinthians 12:28-29 - God designated in the Church, apostles, prophets, teachers
Ephesians 2:20 - Church is built on the foundation of apostles and prophets
Ephesians 4:11 - God gave some as apostles, some as prophets ...
1 Timothy 3:1, 8; 1 Timothy 5:17 - qualifications for bishops, priests and deacons
1 Timothy 4:14 - gift conferred with the laying on of hands
1 Timothy 5:22 - do not lay hands too readily on anyone
2 Timothy 2:2 - what you heard from me, entrust to faithful teachers
Titus 1:5 - appoint presbyters in each town, as I directed

Who are the angels?

he angels are purely spiritual creatures, incorporeal, invisible, immortal, and personal beings endowed with intelligence and will. They ceaselessly contemplate God face-to-face and they glorify him. They serve him and are his messengers in the accomplishment of his saving mission to all.

CCC #328 - 333 and CCC #350 - 351

Praise for Notre Dame

ay God bless the Notre Dame Student Groups who have organized to protest Fr. Jenkin's decision to invite President Obama to be this year's commencement speaker. I am encouraged that these young people who are obviously committed to the truth that all life is sacred have decided to protest Fr. Jenkin's absurd position on this matter.
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N.Y. Times Flunks Ecclesiology

The quaint notion that the New York Times is the nation's paper-of-record took another hit on Feb. 23, when the Grey Lady ran a commentary on Milwaukee archbishop Timothy Dolan's appointment as the new archbishop of New York.

Written by Michael Powell and headlined, "A Genial Enforcer of Rome's Doctrine," the article displayed a confusion about what the Catholic Church is, and how the Catholic Church operates, that would embarrass a reasonably well-catechized eighth-grader. (And yes, Virginia, there are "reasonably well-catechized eight-graders." But I digress.)
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Pro-Life Anti-Abortion

Bishop Olmstead criticizes Notre Dame

Quotes on Mary

cripture meditation: Christ … suffered for you, leaving you an example that you may follow in his steps. "He committed no sin, and no deceit was uttered by his mouth." 1 Peter 2:21-22

Reflection: The Blessed Virgin never committed any actual sin -- not even a venial one. Otherwise, she would not have been a Mother, worthy of Jesus. The Son would have shared the ignominy of the Mother, for He would have had a sinner for His Mother.

St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274AD)
Mini-Bio: Italian; Dominican philosopher, theologian, mystic, hymnist, Doctor of the Church

Prayer: O Mary, through the grace of Jesus you remained forever free from all sin. Obtain forgiveness of my past sins from your Divine Son and help me to avoid sin in the future.

Holy Quotes

God does not ask for our blood, but for our faith.

St. Cyprian of Carthage (200-258AD) on Faith

In Christ we find hope, because He is the symbol of hope, friendship, unending love, and the Father's indescribable affection for every individual. We know that all the promises and hopes find their complete fulfillment in Christ, because in Christ, God's very word has found its "Yes."

Pope John Paul II (1920 - 2005AD)

Those who know that His voice is gentle and pleasing are those who have welcomed the grace of the Gospel.

St. Gregory of Nyssa (330-395AD) on Divine Mercy
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The Primacy of Peter

Isaiah 22:15-25 - Prophecy of the Catholic Papacy foretold in the Old Testament
Matthew 16:18 - Upon this rock (Peter) I will build my Church. And the gates of Hell can never overpower it
Note: Many scholars believe Our Lord most probably spoke Aramaic because it was the native tongue for Jesus' immediate disciples. In Aramaic there is only one word for "rock": Kepha. So he would have said: "Blessed are you Simon bar Jonah, for flesh and blood have not revealed this to you but my Heavenly Father. So I say to you thou are "Kepha" and upon this "Kepha" I will build my Church and the gates of Hell will not prevail against it." Conversations about Petros and Petra therefore are probably irrelevant. St. Jerome, who translated the text to Greek would never give a female ending to a masculine person, Peter.
Matthew 16:19 - I will give you the keys of the kingdom of Heaven: whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven
Luke 22:32 - Peter's faith will strengthen his brethren. (Note: The word "you" {I have prayed for "you"} in Greek is in the personal tense, not the plural "you" like 'all you apostles' tense.)
John 21:17 - Given Christ's flock as chief shepherd
Mark 6:7 - angel sent to announce the Resurrection to Peter
Luke 24:34 - Risen Jesus first appeared to Peter
Acts 1:13-26 - Peter headed meeting which elected Matthias to replace Judas
Acts 2:14 - Peter lead Apostles in preaching on Pentecost
Acts 2:41 - Peter received the first converts
Acts 3:6-7 - Peter performed the first miracle after Pentecost
Acts 5:1-11 - Peter inflicted the first punishment: Ananias and Saphira
Acts 8:21 - Peter excommunicated the first heretic, Simon Magnus
Acts 10:44-46 - Peter received a revelation to admit the Gentiles into the Church
Acts 15 - Peter lead the first Catholic council in Jerusalem
Acts 15:7-12 - Peter spoke saying: "My brothers, he said, .... But we believe that we are saved in the same way as they are: through the grace of the Lord Jesus." The entire assembly fell silent, and they listened to Barnabas and Paul describing all the signs and wonders God had worked through them among the gentiles." (pronounces the first dogmatic decision)
Galatians 1:8 - after his conversion, Paul visits the chief Apostle
Matthew 10:1-4, Mark 3:16-19, Luke 6:14-16, Acts 1:13 - Peter's name always heads the list of Apostles
Luke 9:32, Luke 8:46, Mark 16:7 - Peter and his companions
Matthew 18:21, Mark 8:29, Luke 12:41, John 6:69 - Peter spoke for the Apostles

Peter is mentioned 191 times in the New Testament. All the other apostles names combined are mentioned only 130 times. And the most commonly referenced apostle apart from Peter is John, whose name appears 48 times.

What did God create?

acred Scripture says, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). The Church in her profession of faith proclaims that God is the Creator of everything, visible and invisible, of all spiritual and corporeal beings, that is, of angels and of the visible world and, in a special way, of man.

CCC #325 - 327

Quotes on Mary

cripture meditation: Then he said to the disciple, "Behold your mother." And from that moment the disciple took her into his home. John 19:27

Reflection: The Blessed Virgin directs to us all the acts that every mother lavishes on her children. She loves us, watches over us, protects us, and intercedes for us.

Blessed Pope John XXIII (1881-1963AD)
Mini-Bio: pope: (1958-1963) Italian; He advanced cooperation with other faiths and traditions including Protestant and Greek Orthodox. Doubled the number of cardinals, making the college the largest in history and convened Vatican II, on 11 October 1962.

Prayer: O Mary, you love me and take care of me like a true Mother. Let me have constant recourse to you in all my problems and benefit from your maternal assistance.

Scriptures Verse-Finder

The Church is Perpetual; Eternal/Un-ending

Isaiah 9:6-7 - of Christ's government there will be no end
Daniel 2:44 - God's kingdom shall not be destroyed
Daniel 7:14 - his kingdom shall not be destroyed
Luke 1:32, 33 - no end to Christ kingdom
Matthew 7:24 - Jesus is like a wise man who built his house on a rock
Matthew 13:24-30 - let wheat and weeds grow together until harvest
Matthew 16:18 - the gates of Hell will never prevail against Christ's Church
John 14:16 - Holy Spirit will be with you always
Matthew 28:19-20 - I am with you all days

Why does God permit evil?

aith gives us the certainty that God would not permit evil if he did not cause a good to come from that very evil. This was realized in a wondrous way by God in the death and resurrection of Christ. In fact, from the greatest of all moral evils (the murder of his Son) he has brought forth the greatest of all goods (the glorification of Christ and our redemption).

CCC #311 - 314, CCC #324
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The Crucifixion

Unless we have a true love of Christ, we are not His true disciples; and we cannot love Him unless we have heartfelt gratitude to Him; and we cannot duly feel gratitude, unless we feel keenly what He suffered for us.

"He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He opened not His mouth." Isaiah liii. 7.

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Decision to Invite Obama

usan Brinkmann, OCDS
A large coalition of Notre Dame University-sponsored student groups has issued a stinging repudiation of University President Rev. John J. Jenkins, CSC, for inviting President Barack Obama to speak at the upcoming commencement ceremonies and receive an honorary law degree.
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Abortion Clinic Owner

usan Brinkmann, OCDS
The March 22 crash of a private plane in a Catholic Cemetery in Montana claimed the lives of nine members of the family of “Bud” Feldkamp III, owner of the largest for-profit abortion chain in the country.
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Abortion TV Ads

proposal by the Advertising Standards Authority to consider allowing the abortion industry to advertise on TV and the radio is "deeply damaging," according to the bishop of Lancaster.

Bishop Patrick O'Donoghue explained in a statement released today that the proposal originated from the Independent Advisory Group on Sexual Health and HIV, and "therefore comes from the heart of the abortion industry -- threatening yet another hammer-blow to the sanctity of human life in this country."
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Make Your Voice Heard!

Archbishop Raymond Burke

Pro-abortion Group

usan Brinkmann, OCDS
Staff Writer
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), one of the organizations providing overseas abortions that is now receiving U.S. taxpayer money, appears to be circulating false information about its involvement in China’s brutal one-child policy enforcement.
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Homosexual ‘Marriage’

ishop Salvatore Cordileone
Shortly after the passage of pro-traditional marriage Proposition 8 in California in November 2008, Crusade’s associate editor Michael Drake interviewed Bishop Salvatore Cordileone. Serving as auxiliary bishop of his native San Diego, Calif., Bishop Cordileone is also a member of the episcopal advisory board for the Institute for Religious Life.
Bishop Cordilone has just been named bishop of Oakland, California.
Crusade: If homosexual “marriage” were implemented, how will it affect the Church, Church-affiliated organizations and other non-profit organizations?
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speaking of dogma

hil Lawler
Two weeks ago the world's opinion-makers were smug and secure in their belief that the best way to fight AIDS is by distributing condoms. It was as established tenet of secular belief: a matter of dogma.
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Immoral Notre Dame

Quotes on Mary

cripture meditation: Whoever hears you hears me. Whoever rejects you, rejects me. And whoever rejects me rejects him who sent me. Luke 10:16

Reflection: Do not be afraid of loving the Blessed Virgin too much. You can never love her enough. And Jesus will be very happy, because the Blessed Virgin is His Mother.

St. Theresa of Lisieux (1873-1897AD)
Mini-Bio: French; Carmelite mystic, Doctor of the Church

Prayer: O Mary, when Christians show love and honor to you, they show love and honor to your Son. Let my love for you grow every day and redound to the glory of Jesus and to my salvation.
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The Church is the Body of Christ

Romans 12:4-5 - though many, we are one body in Christ
1 Corinthians 6:15 - don't you know that your bodies are members of Christ
1 Corinthians 12:20-27 - you are Christ's body, individually parts of it
Ephesians 5:30 - we are members of his body
Colossians 1:18 - He is the head of the Body, the Church
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Why was the world created?

he world was created for the glory of God who wished to show forth and communicate his goodness, truth and beauty. The ultimate end of creation is that God, in Christ, might be “all in all” (1 Corinthians 15:28) for his glory and for our happiness.

“The glory of God is man fully alive; moreover man’s life is the vision of God.” (Saint Irenaeus)

CCC #293 - 294 and CCC #319
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Quotes on Mary

cripture meditation: A woman has sorrow when about to give birth. … ; but when the child has been brought forth … , she no longer remembers the pain because of her joy that a child is born into the world. John 16:21

Reflection: Mary paid the debt of gratitude that was due from womankind because of Eve. Not of man, but immaculately of her own self, she conceived of the Holy Spirit by the power of God.

St. Cyril of Jerusalem (315-386AD)
Mini-Bio: Palestinian; bishop, scholar, Doctor of the Church

Prayer: O Mary, by your conception of Jesus you furthered the Divine Plan of Salvation and laid the basis for a theology of woman. Let me learn from you how sublime is the role of women in the world.
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The Church must be one.

John 10:16 - there shall be one fold and one shepherd
John 17:17-23 - I pray that they may be one, as we are one
John 17:23 - that they may be brought to perfection as one
Romans 12:5 - we, though many, are one body in Christ
Romans 15:5 - God grant you to think in harmony with one another
Romans 16:17 - avoid those who create dissensions
1 Corinthians 1:10 - I urge you that there be no divisions among you
1 Corinthians 12:13 - in one spirit we were baptized into one body
Ephesians 4:4-6 -There is one Body, one Spirit, just as one hope is the goal of your calling by God. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father of all, over all, through all and within all.
Philippians 2:2 - be of same mind, united in heart, thinking one thing
Colossians 3:15 - the peace into which you were called in one body
St. Cyprian (c. 250AD) - "God is one and Christ in one, and one is His Church, and the faith is one, and His people welded together by the glue of concord into a solid unity of body. Unity cannot be rent asunder, nor can the one body of the Church, through the division of its structure, be divided into separate pieces." (On the Unity of the Church, 23)
Tertullian (c. 197AD) - "We are a society with a single religious feeling, a single unity of discipline, a single bond of hope," (Apology 39, 1)
St. Hilary (c. 4th century) - "In the Scriptures our people are shown to be made one, so that just as many grains collected into one and ground and mingled together, make one loaf, so in Christ, who is the heavenly bread, we know there is one holy, in which our whole company is joined and united" (Treatise 62, 13)
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How did God create the universe?

od created the universe freely with wisdom and love. The world is not the result of any necessity, nor of blind fate, nor of chance. God created “out of nothing” (ex nihilo) (2 Maccabees 7:28) a world which is ordered and good and which he infinitely transcends. God preserves his creation in being and sustains it, giving it the capacity to act and leading it toward its fulfillment through his Son and the Holy Spirit.

CCC #295 - 301 and CCC #317 - 320
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Quotes on Mary

Scripture meditation: Joseph … did as the angel .. had commanded him and took Mary as his wife. He did not know her until she brought forth a son, and he called him Jesus. Matthew 1:24-25

Reflection: The Church is indebted to Mary because it is Mary who gave the Church her King, Jesus Christ. After the Blessed Virgin, it is to St. Joseph that the Church owes the most gratitude and veneration.

St. Bernardine of Siena (1380-1444AD)
Mini-Bio: Italian; priest, Franciscan vicar general, preacher, reformer

Prayer: O Mary, you loved Joseph and depended on him as the head of the Holy Family at Nazareth. Help me to have a great devotion to him and to call upon him in times of doubt and fear.
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The Church is Apostolic

Matthew 16:13-20 - Jesus built his Church on Peter, the rock (foretold in the OT: Isaiah 22:15-25)
Luke 22:29-30 - I confer a kingdom on you, just as my Father conferred one on me: you will eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and you will sit on thrones to judge the twelve tribes of Israel.
Luke 22:32 - Peter appointed to be the chief shepherd (that Peter's faith may not fail)
John 10:16 - One shepherd to shepherd Christ's sheep
John 15:16 - Jesus chose special men to be his Apostles
John 21:17-19 - Peter appointed to be the chief shepherd
John 20:21 - Jesus gave the Apostles his own mission
Ephesians 4:11 - Church leaders are hierarchical
1 Timothy 3:1,8; 1 Timothy 5:17 - identifies roles of bishops, priests and deacons
Titus 1:5 - Commission for bishops to ordain priests
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What is divine providence?

ivine Providence consists in the dispositions with which God leads his creatures toward their ultimate end. God is the sovereign Master of his own plan. To carry it out, however, he also makes use of the cooperation of his creatures. For God grants his creatures the dignity of acting on their own and of being causes for each other.

Quotes on Mary

cripture meditation: Her I loved and from my youth sought her out. … She manifests here noble birth by union of life with God, for the Lord of all has loved her. Wisdom 8:2-3

Reflection: My hope for you is that with every passing day and every passing moment you will get closer to Mary Immaculate. May you come to know her ever better and love her ever more.

St. Maximilian Kolbe (1894-1941AD)
Mini-Bio: Polish; Franciscan priest, founder of Knights of Mary Immaculate, martyr

Prayer: O Mary, you are the Immaculate Mother of God. Let me come to know you better and love you more each day. And let me cooperate with all the graces you dispense to me at every moment.

The Church is Authoritative

Matthew 18:18 - Jesus gives to the Apostles the power to legislate
Matthew 18:17 - Jesus gives to the Apostles the power to discipline
Matthew 28:18-20 - Jesus delegates all power to Apostles
Luke 10:16 - Jesus gives to the Apostles the power to speak with Christ's voice
John 20:23 - Jesus gives to the Apostles the power to forgive sins
1 Corinthians 11:24 - Jesus gives to the Apostles the power to offer sacrifice (the Eucharist)
St. Irenaeus (200AD) "... the Church, having received this preaching and this faith, although she is disseminated throughout the whole world, yet guarded it, as if she occupied but one house. She likewise believes these things just as if she one soul and one and the same heart; and harmoniously she proclaims them and teaches them and hands them down, as if she possessed but one mouth." (Against Heresies 1, 10, 2)
Eusibius of Caesarea (4th Century) "But the brightness of the Catholic Church proceeded to increase in greatness, for it ever held to the same points in the same way, and radiated forth to all the race of Greeks and barbarians the reverent, sincere, and free nature and the sobriety and purity of the divine teaching as to conduct and thought." (Ecclesiastical History 4, 7,13)
St. Augustine of Hippo (392AD) "The Catholic Church is the work of Divine Providence, achieved through the prophecies of the prophets, through the Incarnation and the teaching of Christ, through the journeys of the Apostles, through the suffering, the crosses, the blood and death of the martyrs, through the admirable lives of the saints... When, then, we see so much help on God's part, so much progress and so much fruit, shall we hesitate to bury ourselves in the bosom of that Church? For starting from the apostolic chair down through successions of bishops, even unto the open confession of all mankind, it has possessed the crown of teaching authority." (The Advantage of Believing 35)

How do we collaborate with divine Providence?

hile respecting our freedom, God asks us to cooperate with him and gives us the ability to do so through actions, prayers and sufferings, thus awakening in us the desire “to will and to work for his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13).

CCC #307 - 308 and CCC #323

Quotes on Mary

cripture meditation: You will sing as on a night when a festival is celebrated, and have joy of heart, as when people go with flutes to the mountain of God. Isaiah 30:29

Reflection: Rejoice and be glad, for you have the Blessed Virgin for your Mother. Serve her with great joy, for she is very deserving of it. Have recourse to her in all difficulties, and you will always be helped.

St. Joachima Vedruna de Mas (1783-1854AD)
Mini-Bio: Spanish; mother of eight children, widow, founded the Institute of the Carmelites of Charity

Prayer: O Mary, I thank God for giving you to us as our Mother and I rejoice in your saving help. May I stay close to you in good times and in bad, for you are keenly interested in all that concerns me.

The Church is Infallible

Matthew 28:20 - Jesus tells them: I am with you always
Luke 10:16 - speaks with Christs own voice
John 14:26 - Holy Spirit is to teach and remind them of everything
John 16:13 - guided by the Holy Spirit into all Truth
Acts 15:28 - Apostles speak with the voice of the Holy Spirit
1 Timothy 3:15 - Church is called the "pillar and foundation of truth"
1 John 2:27 - anointing of the Holy Spirit remains in you
St. Irenaeus (200AD) "For where the Church is, there is the Spirit of God; and where the Spirit of God is, there the Church and every grace is. The Spirit, however, is Truth." (Against Heresies 3, 24, 1)

why then does evil exist?

o this question, as painful and mysterious as it is, only the whole of Christian faith can constitute a response. God is not in any way - directly or indirectly - the cause of evil. He illuminates the mystery of evil in his Son Jesus Christ who died and rose in order to vanquish that great moral evil, human sin, which is at the root of all other evils.

CCC #309 - 310, CCC #324 and 400
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Catholic Faith

Frederick A. Costello
To enjoy the beauty of Catholicism, you need not abandon your true ideas about God. The Catholic faith, however, will enhance your knowledge and love of God.
The Catholic faith seeks the truth about all matters. It is open to ideas from every quarter that seeks the truth, including science, psychology, literature, sociology, theology and philosophy. This openness results in a view of mankind that has an unsurpassed intellectual depth, thoroughness, consistency, and integrity that appeals to all who are intellectually inclined toward truth. But enjoying the beauty of the faith is not limited to intellectuals.
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Faith Is in Danger

Today, Friday, March 13, we send you the text of a very unusual letter -- unprecedented really -- by Pope Benedict XVI, which he signed on March 10 and which the Vatican released yesterday, March 12

The letter is remarkable. Entitled Letter of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI to the Bishops of the Catholic Church Concerning the Remission of the Excommunication of the Four Bishops Consecrated by Archbishop Lefebvre, it is extraordinary for two reasons:

(1) It is an "insider" letter.

(2) It is very personal.
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The Annunciation

Make Your Voice Heard!

Quotes on Mary

Scripture meditation: I consider all as loss … so as to know him and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings, becoming like him in death, and hoping somehow to attain the resurrection from the dead. Philippians 3:8-11

Reflection: The Blessed Virgin advanced in her pilgrimage of faith and loyally persevered in her union with her Son unto the Cross. … There she united herself with a maternal heart to His sufferings.

Vatican II: Lumen Gentium/The Church, 59 (1962-1965AD)
Mini-Bio: 21st Ecumenical council: Convened by John XXIII 1958-1963; Closed by Paul VI 1963-1978: Descisions: Issued pastoral documents on the renewal and reform of the Church, intending to make the Church more effective in dealing with the contemporary world.

Prayer: O Mary, you suffered with Jesus as you stood beneath the Cross and you offered your suffering with His. Help me to accept my daily crosses without complaint and offer them for the good of the world.

Who created the world?

The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are the one and indivisible principle of creation even though the work of creating the world is particularly attributed to God the Father.

CCC #290 - 292 and CCC #316

Beatification of Pope John Paul II

Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
A Polish newspaper is reporting that the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints has made the decision to beatify Pope John Paul II on April 2, 2010.

According to a report by the Catholic News Agency, the Polish newspaper Dziennik is reporting that the beatification of John Paul II could take place on the fifth anniversary of his death.
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Sounds of War

Hope and Comfort

Upon arriving for his first papal trip to Africa, the Holy Father said on the tarmac. "I come among you as a pastor, to confirm my brothers and sisters in the faith. This was the role that Christ entrusted to Peter at the Last Supper, and it is the role of Peter’s successors."
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Flight to Africa

Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
As he embarked on the first leg of his historic trip to Africa, Pope Benedict XVI took the time to speak with reporters about a variety of issues ranging from his private life to the Church’s approach to the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

During the flight to Cameroon, the first-stop on the Pope’s trip to Africa, reporters asked him about his rumoured solitude. “Do you really feel alone?” they asked.
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Pope In Africa

Saint Joseph

Brazil Abortion

The Pontifical Academy for Life president is lamenting the recently aborted Brazilian twins of a nine-year-old girl, and is calling the consequent excommunication of those who cooperated in it "precipitous."
In an article published Sunday in L'Osservatore Romano, Archishop Rino Fisichella spoke about the case of a young Brazilian girl who was repeatedly raped by her stepfather, and was expecting twins. In early March, an abortion was performed on the girl, who is just over 52 inches tall and weighs 79 pounds.
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Solemnity of St. Joseph

St. Joseph, the spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the foster-father of Jesus, was probably born in Bethlehem and probably died in Nazareth. His important mission in God's plan of salvation was "to legally insert Jesus Christ into the line of David from whom, according to the prophets, the Messiah would be born, and to act as his father and guardian (Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy)." Most of our information about St. Joseph comes from the opening two chapters of St. Matthew's Gospel. No words of his are recorded in the Gospels; he was the "silent" man.
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Why Be Catholic?

Dr. Jeff
Among the great issues addressed by Christianity, two generally strike each of us as more than merely academic. These are the issues of suffering and freedom, which touch us so very personally. Many would give the issue of suffering the first place. After all, suffering is a profound riddle and, by definition, it is the most painful riddle of human life. But I prefer to examine the issue of freedom first.
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Pro-Life Bill

Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Politics may soon force the hand of pro-abortion Gov. Kathleen Sebelius to sign a bill that will require abortion clinics to provide patients with an ultrasound image and enable them to hear the heart beat of their fetus before undergoing an abortion. Supporters say the tactic convinces 90 percent of women to forego abortion.
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Controversial UN Declaration

Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
The Obama Administration has signed on to a United Nations (UN) declaration calling for global “decriminalization of homosexuality,” a measure opposed by the Vatican as well as former President George W. Bush because it is a step toward outlawing religious opposition to the homosexual agenda.
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Pro-life leaders

Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
A meeting between the White House Faith-Based Office and representatives of leading pro-life organizations will meet on March 31 to discuss abortion.

According to a report by LifeNews.com, the meeting was arranged a week after the Obama Administration refused to allow pro-life groups to participate in discussions on the future of health care policy.
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Human Embryos

Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
President Barack Obama may have lifted the ban on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research, but the U.S. appropriations bill he signed two days later contained an amendment that prohibits “research in which a human embryo or embryos are destroyed, discarded, or knowingly subjected to risk of injury or death greater than that allowed for research on fetuses.”
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Saint Patrick

champion of science

The scientists were jubilant, as men are when dividing the spoils.
On Monday, President Barack Obama signed an executive order making available federal funding for stem cell research that destroys human embryos. It was widely described, erroneously -- even on the front page of the Post -- as a reversal of George W. Bush's "ban" on embryonic stem cell research (ESCR). Bush never banned ESCR; it has always been legal in the United States to create and destroy human embryos in order to harvest their stem cells. Bush only prevented federal funding from being used for embryo-destructive research.
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Mary's Mysterious Presence

Piero Viotto
The Church is Marian not for the "mystery of the Incarnation" alone, because in Nazareth Mary is the Mother of Christ, the Word of God, but also for the "mystery of compassion", because Mary, who participated in the Redemption at the foot of the Cross, was entrusted with the Apostle John and with all of us. Thus, the Church is born of the wounded heart of Jesus and of Mary. It can be said that Mariology is part of ecclesiology.
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Lincoln v. Obama

Noticeably absent from recent discussions about Obama Obama and the honouring of Abraham Lincoln has been any discussion of Lincoln’s relationship with American Catholics, their church, and issues that affected their lives.
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Gays Gone Wild!

Sebelius Nomination

Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Archbishop Raymond L. Burke, Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, called the nomination of pro-abortion Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius as Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) “offensive” and a “source of greatest embarrassment” to the Catholic Church.
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Prop 8 supporters

Rick DelVecchio
California voters had the right to amend the state Constitution to restore the traditional definition of marriage, and a court override would mark "an unprecedented revolution" in the judiciary's role, former U.S. Solicitor General Kenneth Starr told the state Supreme Court Thursday in an hour-long defense of Proposition 8.
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Quotes on Mary

Scripture meditation: Give and it shall be given to you; a good measure … shall they pour into your lap. For with the same measure that you use, it shall be measured out for you.. Luke 6:38

Reflection: Blessed are they, says the Divine Mother, who pay attention to my charity and, in imitation of me, practice it toward others. Our charity toward our neighbor will be the measure of that which God and Mary will show us.

St. Alphonusus Liguori (1696-1787AD)
Mini-Bio: Italian; bishop, Doctor of the Church, founder and first superior of the Redemptorists

Prayer: O Mary, you always showed true charity toward others. Enable me to overcome my human prejudices and be charitable to all people, for they are my brothers and sisters in Christ.

Quotes on Mary

Scripture meditation: It is good for me to be close to God, to trust always in the Lord God, I will proclaim all your deeds. Psalms 78:28

Reflection: Hope takes its rise in faith. God enlightens us by faith to know His goodness and the promises He has made and so rise by hope to the desire of possessing Him.

St. Alphonusus Liguori (1696-1787AD)
Mini-Bio: Italian; bishop, Doctor of the Church, founder and first superior of the Redemptorists

Prayer: O Mary, you are the Mother of Hope. Help me never to despair. In every difficulty, lead me to rely on God's promises and place my hope in Him completely.

Anti-Catholic Bill

John Ritchie
Chanting “Leave the Church alone! Leave the Church alone!” 4,200 faithful Catholics gathered outside the State Capitol Building in Hartford, Connecticut, on Wednesday to oppose Senate Bill 1098. The proposed bill directly attacks the hierarchical nature of the Catholic Church and attempts to usurp the rightful authority of bishops and pastors in Connecticut.
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Catholic Note

Jesus revealed that Moses allowed divorce in Deuteronomy 24:1-4 as a temporary provision because of the "hardness of their hearts" (Matthew 19:7-9).But Jesus restored God's original plan of indissoluble marriage (Matthew 19:3-9); therefore, the Catholic Church continues to teach that a valid marriage between a baptized man and baptized woman cannot be dissolved for any reason except death. It can't be ended by a civil divorce (or even by an annulment, which is not a "Catholic divorce" but rather the determination a marriage was not valid in the first place.) Some Protestants claim that Matthew 5:32 and Matthew 19:9 allow exceptions to Jesus' teaching on indissolubility: "whoever divorces his wife, except for un chastity [porneia], and marries another commits adultery." Here porneia is used in a technical sense to forbid incestuous marriage among close relatives (as in Acts 15:20 and 1 Corinthians 5:1). These illicit unions are not valid marriages in the first place. Note that not a single Greek-speaking Church Father ever saw in Matthew 5 and 19 exceptions to Christ's law of indissolubility. Until Martin Luther declared that marriage was only a civil union in 1520, all Christians unanimously held that marriage is indissoluble and the divorce from a legitimate marriage cannot be followed by remarriage.

The Wisdom of Lent

Allison Ricciardi
Well, lent is upon us once again, my favorite time of year. Odd considering it is a season of penance and agony_in_garden_stained_glass.jpgfasting, but I always look forward to it. Part of the reason is that it heralds the coming of spring and new life. Time to clean out the flower beds, put away the snow shovels and look forward.

From a psychological point of view, lent can be such a fruitful time if observed well. The spiritual disciplines of lent of fasting, prayer and almsgiving help us to overcome our sinful tendencies and build spiritual muscle to help us throughout the year. To so many, these things seem to be an archaic throwback to medieval times that appear irrelevant in our modern age. But our modern age is one of indulgence of every desire and instant gratification. These are actually deadly for the soul…and I may add deadly for relationships, especially marriage.
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Eucharistic Adoration

Benedict XVI is calling for a renewal of Eucharistic adoration, which he said helps to bring about a "fundamental transformation."

The Pope said this today upon receiving in audience participants in the plenary assembly of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, who have been meeting to consider the question of Eucharistic adoration.

The Pontiff said he hoped the meeting would help to clarify "the liturgical and pastoral means by which the Church of our time can promote faith in the real presence of the Lord in the Blessed Eucharist, and to ensure that the celebration of Mass fully incorporates the aspect of adoration."
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Sacred Heart Time

Feminists storm Mas

Should Science Trump

Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted
On Monday, March 9, President Obama signed an executive order that provides federal funding of embryonic stem cell research. This means that American taxpayers will now be paying for the killing of human beings at a very early stage in their lives (as embryos), so that scientific research can make use of them for experiments that may or may not yield positive results.
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Senate Approves Pro-Porn Lawyer

Susan Brinkmann, OCDS

Despite an enormous public outcry, the U.S. Senate confirmed the nomination of David Ogden as second in command at the Department of Justice, a man who devoted his career to defending pornography and fighting pro-life laws.

Ogden has represented both Playboy and Penthouse and has advocated for the ‘right’ of individuals including pedophiles to purchase and possess child pornography. He also fought against internet filters in public libraries. On the abortion issue, he is equally extreme, having fought (unsuccessfully) to defeat parental notification for minor’s abortions.
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Connecticut bill is killed

Go Again With The Gay!

Catholic Note

All human titles are only shadows of God's authority from which they derive, Ephesians 3:15. RE: "call no one on earth Abi father". "Father" is a term sometimes used of the great Rabbis. Note our Lord is not a grammarian regulating the use of terms: he is a doctor of the spirit. He forbids any acknowledgement of fatherhood that obscures the fatherhood of God, nothing more. If we make no allowance for the concreteness and brevity of his phrases we reduce either them to absurdity or him to inconsistency. He would not forbid a human son to use the word father nor would he forbid the term if addressed to one who is God's representative; in this second case, indeed, it serves to remind its user of the fatherhood of God. Nor must the Christian disciple pose as an independent spiritual guide. He himself is subject to one Teacher and one Guide - to the Lord Himself.

Picture This!

Biased View of Islam

Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Staff Writer

A new investigation by Fox News is uncovering major problems in U.S. textbooks that are presenting a biased view of Islam and sugarcoating the facts about Islamic terrorism.

For example, in numerous history textbooks, “key subjects like jihad, Islamic law, the status of women are whitewashed,” said Gilbert T. Sewall, director of the American Textbook Council, an independent group that reviews history books and other education materials.
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Doctor needs an Exam