Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!

"Unity must subsist in Truth!" - Fr. John Corapi

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Is Your Tithe Supporting Abortion?

Reforming the Catholic Campaign for Human Development

Every year on the Sunday before Thanksgiving , many Catholic parishes take up a second collection for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD).

Recognize that organization? If you don’t, you should. Here’s why:

Until 2008, CCHD had been funding ACORN for several years, giving over $7 million to the corrupt organization. The same organization that is being investigated for voter fraud, embezzlement, and other wrongdoing was recently caught in undercover videos in recent months helping a pimp and prostitute set up a business and traffic underage girls for prostitution.

It doesn’t end there. CCHD has funded groups that openly oppose the Church’s teachings. To learn more and download your coupon, please visit:

Reform Catholic Campaign for Human Development Now Social Justice

Sorry for not posting... HUGE changes are coming. Stay tuned.


Friday, October 9, 2009

My Dear People,

Scandal From The Grave
Do "Catholic" Politicians Deserve a Catholic Funeral?

There is an accountability for every one of our sins; even sins confessed and absolved. Impossible for us to achieve, Jesus is the only one who can save us from our sins. Mark's Gospel reminds us that giving scandal is a very serious sin, especially public scandal. Politicians who are Catholic, and support abortion, cloning, and so called "mercy killing" of the elderly, commit grave public sin and grave public scandal. Archbishop Burke recently reminded all bishops that politicians who have given such scandal, without the benefit of "public conversion and penance" should not receive a Catholic burial; so serious is the sin.

Condoning this sin through such a public display, gives the faithful grave scandal on the part of the clergy. Sin is sin. God's forgiveness is real and needed, but we should never condone public sin directly or indirectly. It is God's Law, not man's. Pray for all of our politicians who daily give scandal to the Catholic Church by their direct support and funding of abortion, cloning and mercy killing of the elderly. We live in very dark times. This does not excuse us from being accountable to one another, no matter what our place and status is in this world.

Entrusting you to the care of Our Lady,
Fr. Mark

Remembering that we will be judged by what we do for the least among us. May we give generously and joyfully to support all those in need.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

You Are Called To Serve

My Dear People,

"Who among you is the greatest?" This was the topic of discussion among the Holy
Apostles. There was jealousy among the Twelve as to who was the most important. Jesus pulls them aside, and explains that the Apostles must be humble and simple. "Unless you become like a little child, you will not enter into God's Kingdom." We are to be servants of Our Lord. Jesus stresses the need for service at the Last Supper, when He washes the feet of all of the Apostles. Jealousy, strife, and gossip cannot be part of the Body of Christ.

Jesus was teaching the Apostles to show charity and compassion towards one another. In giving this witness to the other disciples, the Apostles were setting the stage for all Christian communities rooted in Our Lord. We must take seriously the call of Jesus in our lives to become His servants. Like the Twelve, we must put aside all selfishness and strife, and strive to become unselfish. Only through Christ, can this conversion take place in our lives. Every thought, word, action and deed are recorded in the Book of Life. How will your final judgment be before the Christ?

Entrusting you to the care of Our Lady,
Fr. Mark

Through our service and our sacrifice may we grow closer to Jesus and help others to know the love and care of Our Lord.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A St. Robert Bellarmine Miracle

The following is a story of our beloved Saint Robert
Bellarmine, through the Mercy of God, curing a man with a running ulcer.

"There was in the College of Louvain, while Robert was residing there, one of the Society" (no very independent witness in the cause) "who had had, for many years, a running ulcer in his leg. Physicians and surgeons had tried all the succors of their art, but had not cured the wound.

The patient, therefore, anxious in mind, and seeing that human care was mastered by the pertinacity of the disease, began to consider within himself whether there was any man made after God's heart, by whose prayer a way to recovery might be opened to him. While he was thus meditating within himself, Bellarmine appeared to be an effectual and grateful offerer of prayer to God; and a hope sprang up within him that he might at once recover, if, after sacred confession, he could also be refreshed by him in the communion. His faith was not vain. The Rector consented.

He deposited the secret of
his conscience in the ears of Robert, from his hand received the most holy Eucharist, and, behold, his leg was restored to soundness. The surgeon was astonished, when in two or three days he saw the wound covered with living and native skin, and the slightest trace of so long-disease did not remain upon the part."

Want More Little Known Secrets and Controversies
About St. Robert Bellarmine? Click HERE!

"Saint Robert Bellarmine Secret To His Pursuit of Holiness..."

The following is a direct quote from Cardinal Robert Bellarmine responding to a question on why he was such a good Archbishop in Capua.

This quote reveals one of Cardinal Bellarmine's "secrets" to his pursuit of holiness.

In reply to a friend who asked him, some
years afterwards, by what means he made him
self so good an Archbishop during his residence
of three years in Capua, he gives this account :
"As when one looks into a mirror, I set my
mind to consider intently the life and conduct of
the most admired Bishops that had been in the
Church before me; endeavouring, by God's help,
to throw off all that was imperfect in myself,
and assume a new exterior, resembling theirs as
nearly as possible, that so I might adapt my
actions thereunto. Therefore read constantly
the histories of those Bishops, perusing in order
the volumes of Surius; and I read, especially,
the lives of the holy Popes Ambrose, Martin,
Augustine, Germanus, Anselm of Canterbury,
Antonine of Florence, Lawrence and others. But
I derived the greatest advantage from the narratives
of those most holy Prelates who went before me in
Capua, Ansbertus and Andoenus ; for both of them
perfectly sustained the name and office of Pastor,
nourishing the souls of their subjects with the
constant preaching of the word of God, their
bodies with liberal charities, and themselves with
the wholesome food of prayer."

Here is the exact scripture quote where
St. Robert Bellarmine based this practice of
imitating the lives of the saints.

1Cor.11 Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.

St. Robert Bellarmine Patron Saint of Catechumens

This comes from a fellow blogger phatcatholic. He did an entire thesis on the history of the catechism. As you may know Cardinal Roberto Francesco Romolo Bellarmino was the king of the catechism. If you did not know, then keep reading to find out why St. Robert Bellarmine is the patron Saint of Catechumens.

In his encyclical Etsi minime, Pope Benedict XIV addressed this problem by proposing the catechism of Robert Bellarmine as the standard for teaching Christian doctrine (Kevane xxxi). Benedict says of it, “There is nothing more effective or opportune for guarding in advance against the errors which can creep into the situation of such a variety of Catechisms for children” (qtd. in Kevane xxxii). He also stated that if a local catechism must be used, care should be taken that nothing be added to it that contradicts Catholic truth, and that these truths are presented in a clear and comprehensive yet concise manner (xxxii).

In 1869, with the convening of the First Vatican Council, the Church again took up the problem articulated by Pope Benedict XIV. Besides the publication of two Dogmatic Constitutions (Dei Filius and Pastor aeternus), which themselves did much to solidify the Church’s teaching on Divine Revelation and the Infallibility of the Pope, steps were taken to compose a uniform catechism for use throughout the entire Church (xxxiv-xxxv). That the Church, after so many years, would still be concerned with a uniform presentation of the faith is a testament to her constant zeal and concern for the Deposit entrusted to her. She is always desirous to pass it on with the utmost fidelity and to nurture within the hearts of men a true and lasting increase in understanding and conversion to Christ.

The schema presented to the Council Fathers on January 14, 1870 expressed the intent of the Council:
All the members of the Church of Christ diffused throughout the whole world should be of one heart and one soul; hence they must likewise be unified in their lips and their language. It must be recognized, however, that a variety in approach and method of teaching the rudiments of the faith to the faithful is no slight obstacle to this unity. Hence, with the approval of this Council, We shall take care to produce a Small Catechism by Our authority, which all are to use. Thus, the variety of small Catechisms will be removed for the future. (qtd. in Kevane xxxv)
Again, the catechism of St. Robert Bellarmine was held as the standard to be emulated, and after some weeks of discussion, the project for a Small Catechism was brought to a formal vote and overwhelmingly approved by the bishops. Unfortunately, the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War forced the Council to suspend its work before the disciplinary decree for the Small Catechism could be officially promulgated (xxxvi). “Thus the pastors and the faithful continued after Vatican I with the Roman Catechism together with the several national and regional Catechisms for children as the ongoing teaching aids for handing on the elements and rudiments of the deposit of faith” (xxxvii).

Learn more about the great Cardinal Roberto Francesco Romolo Bellarmino

St. Robert Bellarmine Feastday Litany

A Litany to Saint Robert Bellarmine;
An Efficacious Catholic Prayer

John Michael

Lord, have mercy Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy Lord, have mercy.

God the Father of heaven Have mercy on us
God the Son, Redeemer of the world Have mercy on us
God the Holy Spirit Have mercy on us
Holy Trinity, one God Have mercy on us

Holy Mary Pray for us.
Holy Mother of God Pray for us.
Mother and Queen of the Society of Jesus Pray for us.
Our Lady of the Way Pray for us.

St. Joseph Pray for us.
St. John the Baptist Pray for us.
Sts. Peter and Paul Pray for us.
St. Ignatius Loyola Pray for us.
St. Aloysius Gonzaga Pray for us.
St. Francis Xavier Pray for us.
St. Edmund Campion Pray for us.
St. Francis Borgia Pray for us.
St. Claude de la Colombiere Pray for us.

St. Robert Bellarmine, Doctor of the Church Pray for us.
Spiritual Father of St. Aloysius Gonzaga Pray for us.
Spiritual Son of St. Ignatius Loyola Pray for us.
Spiritual Son of St. Francis of Assisi Pray for us.

St. Bellarmine, Defender of Holy Mother Church Pray for us.
Defender of the Holy Pontiff Pray for us.
Defender of the Teachings of the Church Pray for us.
Defender of the Society of Jesus Pray for us.
Defender of Catholic Education Pray for us.
Defender of the poor and sick Pray for us.

St. Bellarmine, Soldier against heretics Pray for us.
Soldier against heretical Kings Pray for us.
Soldier against spreading false doctrine Pray for us.
Soldier against wayward professors Pray for us.
Soldier against impure acts Pray for us.

Soldier for Holy Mother Church Pray for us.
Soldier for the Bishops & Cardinals Pray for us.
Soldier for the Society of Jesus Pray for us.
Soldier for Children of God Pray for us.
Soldier for the poor and sick Pray for us.

St. Bellarmine, Teacher of Martyrs & Saints Pray for us.
Teacher of Priest & Religious Pray for us.
Teacher of the Society of Jesus Pray for us.
Teacher of the Laity Pray for us.
Teacher of the Children of God Pray for us.

St. Bellarmine, Model for the Society of Jesus Pray for us.
Model for Cardinals & Bishops
Pray for us.
Model for Priest & Religious Pray for us.
Model for Professors Pray for us.
Model for Apologetics Pray for us.
Model for Public Speakers Pray for us.
Model for Theologians Pray for us.
Model for Writers Pray for us.
Model for Spiritual Directors Pray for us.
Model for the Children of God Pray for us.

St. Bellarmine, Lover of the Triune God Pray for us.
Lover of Mother Mary Pray for us.
Lover of Holy Mother Church Pray for us.
Lover of the Teachings of the Church Pray for us.
Lover of Obedience Pray for us.
Lover of Charity Pray for us.
Lover of Purity Pray for us.
Lover of Prayer Pray for us.
Lover of Poverty Pray for us.
Lover of Meekness Pray for us.
Lover of Chasity Pray for us.
Lover of Patience Pray for us.
Lover of Humility Pray for us.

Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, Have mercy on us.

Let us pray,

O God, who, for the greater glory of your most Holy Mother Church, has raised to the altar a great defender and soldier for the Church. Grant that through the intercession of thy great servant Saint Robert Bellarmine that we may imitate his virtues in order to be happily crowned with him in heaven. Through our Lord, Jesus Christ.


A Litany to Saint Robert Bellarmine;

An Efficacious Catholic Prayer

John Michael

Please feel free to copy with credits intact.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Confession the Key to a Eucharistic Healing

My Dear People,

Throughout the Gospels, we find the healing power of Jesus making whole all that were sick. Mark tells us in His Gospel, that Jesus healed the deaf and mute man. First, He placed His finger in the man's ears. Then He prayed "Ephaphatha"... be opened. Immediately, the man was healed. His speech impediment was also cured. All healing, large and small, comes from Our Lord. We are privileged to receive healing from Jesus in the Most Holy Eucharist. When our souls are free from serious sin, we receive healing from our reception of Jesus in Holy Communion.

Just as Jesus healed in His day, so too does He heal today. But we must be open to accept this great gift. Spending time before Our Eucharistic Lord, and frequent confession combine to keep us healthy in our body, mind, and spirit. Go to confession often. Make visits to the Blessed Sacrament often. And enjoy the beautiful healing that flows from Jesus' Most Sacred Heart. Come share in the healing power of the Eucharist.

Entrusting you to the care of Our Lady, 14k Gold Miraculous Medal
Fr. Mark

May we grow rich in our faith, realizing that God does not measure us by what we possess, but rather by the mercy we show to another. eternity rings, personal chef catering Just posting these links as a favor, please ignore.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Mother Theresa's of Calcutta Feast Day

This past Saturday, the Church celebrated the feast day of Mother Teresa, a universal symbol of God's merciful and preferential love for the poor and forgotten.

Mother Teresa was born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu on August 26, 1910, in Skopje, Macedonia, the youngest of three children. She attended a youth group called Sodality, run by a Jesuit priest at her parish, and her involvement opened her to the call of service as a missionary nun.

She joined the Sisters of Loretto at age 17 and was sent to Calcutta where she taught at a high school. She contracted Tuberculosis and was sent to rest in Darjeeling. It was on the train to Darjeeling that she received her calling - what she called "an order" from God to leave the convent and work and live among the poor. At this point she did not know that she was to found an order of nuns, or even exactly where she was to serve. "I knew where I belonged, but I did not know how to get there," she said once, recalling the moment on the train.

Confirmation of the calling came when the Vatican granted her permission to leave the Sisters of Loretto and fulfill her calling under the Archbshop of Calcutta. She started working in the slums, teaching poor children, and treating the sick in their homes. She was joined a year later by some of her former students and together they took in men, women, and children who were dying in the gutters along the streets and cared for them.

In 1950 the Missionaries of Charity were born as a congregation of the Diocese of Calcutta and in 1952 the government granted them a house from which to continue their service among Calcutta's forgotten.

The congregation very quickly grew from a single house for the dying and unwanted to nearly 500 around the world. Mother Teresa set up homes for AIDS sufferers, for prostitutes, for battered women, and orphanages for poor children.

She often said that the poorest of the poor were those who had no one to care for them and no one who knew them. And she often remarked with sadness and desolation of milliions of souls in the developed world whose spiritual poverty and loneliness was such an immense cause of suffering.

She was a fierce defender of the unborn saying: "If you hear of some woman who does not want to keep her child and wants to have an abortion, try to persuade her to bring him to me. I will love that child, seeing in him the sign of God's love."

Mother Teresa died on September 5, 1997 and was beatified only six years later, on October 19, 2003.

Mother Teresa once said, "A sacrifice to be real must cost, must hurt, must empty ourselves. The fruit of silence is prayer, the fruit of prayer is faith, the fruit of faith is love, the fruit of love is service, the fruit of service is peace." She also said, "give yourself fully to God. He will use you to accomplish great things on the condition that you believe much more in His love than in your own weakness."

See and hear more on Mother Teresa here.

From CNA

Hat Tip - Da Mihi Animas

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The 10 Worst Catholic Book Titles

So, I found a book haven at a nearby town, with a HUGE lot of books. All used, all in good condition and the most professional setting for a used book store. I had a big smile when he said he had over 2 thousand Catholic books. Now this guy is a book lover! Can you believe I found a book written by St. Bellarmine? Many, many good books. And yet there were some gut wrenching ugly ones. So bad, I had to creat a list for your enjoyment.

The 10 Worst Catholic Book Titles

(yes, these are real books and the year published says it all)

  1. A Catechism of the Liberal Catholic Church no date, I hope it's not a real catechism.

  2. A Disturbed Peace: Selected Writings of an Irish Catholic Homosexual 1982

  3. A Feast in Honor of Yahweh 1965

  4. A Key to the New Liturgical Constitution; An Alphabetical Analysis 1964

  5. A Modern Priest Looks at His Outdated Church 1967

  6. A New Look at Christian Morality 1968

  7. A New Look st the Sacraments 1977

  8. A Plain Man's Guide to Christianity; Essays In Liberal Catholicism 1936 but I really think it s/b 1963

  9. A Time of Change: Guidelines for the Perplexed Catholic 1968

  10. Absolutes in Moral Theology? 1968 And yes the question mark is part of the title

Do you have any titles to share? Stay tuned I have 2 more list to share with you in the near future.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

What is a Catholic Without Heart?

My Dear People,

What does it mean to give God "lip service"? Mark's Gospel has Jesus warning His Disciples not be superficial in our love for the Lord. In conjunction with the Torah (Jewish Law), there was a book of Jewish practices flowing from it. Many Jews of Jesus' day, knew the practice, but didn't know or understand the reason for the act. They had lost "heart". Have you ever been asked why, as a practicing Catholic, you "do" certain acts: fasting, liturgical rituals, novenas, holy days, etc? Ever at a loss to explain just why you do these things? Perhaps we too, could be accused of losing heart.

Continuing adult faith education is a very good thing. Over the past six years there have been numerous opportunity to learn more about the Catholic faith through adult ed classes here in our own parish. Have you taken advantage of these classes? When is the last time you have studied or read a book about your Catholic Faith. We cannot share with others, what we do not know or understand. Next time you have the chance to take a class or read a book on faith; don't let it slip past you. Ask Our Lord to put a hunger for the Catholic Faith in your heart. I promise you, He will hear and answer that prayer for you.

Entrusting you to the care of Our Lady,

Fr. Mark

May we not only hear God's word, but also learn to live it everyday of our lives

Monday, August 31, 2009

Priest Lashes Out On Kennedy Debacle

Blogger Note: Father Harrison request this message be sent
out. Please read and forward to your friends. All bold and headlines
are inserted by blogger.
Dear Everyone,

As a Roman Catholic priest, I feel a duty in conscience today to register, to the couple of hundred people to whom I have ready access, my emphatic dissent from a message that was projected around the nation and the globe this morning to millions of viewers and listeners by certain other members of the Roman Catholic clergy.

Kennedy's Funeral Mass is a Scandal

I refer to this morning's televised funeral Mass, celebrated in Boston's Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, for the recently deceased Senator Edward Moore Kennedy. It was a Mass I regard as a scandal comparable to, if not worse than, the scandal given several months ago when the nation's most prestigious 'Catholic' university bestowed an honorary doctorate upon Barack Hussein Obama, the most pro-abortion and 'pro-gay' president in U.S. history.

Why, you ask, should a Catholic priest raise such objections to a Catholic funeral for a Catholic legislator? Well, I am afraid this funeral was no ordinary Catholic funeral. For to those innumerable viewers and listeners of many religions (or none) who were aware of Sen. Kennedy's public, straightforward, radical, long-standing, and (as far as we know) unrepented defiance of his own Church's firm teaching about the duty of legislators to protect unborn human life and resist the militant homosexual agenda, this morning's Mass, concelebrated by several priests, presided over Cardinal Sean O'Malley, Archbishop of Boston, and adorned by a eulogy from the aforesaid U.S. President, effectively communicated a tacit but very clear message: the Church does not really take too seriously her own 'official' doctrines on these matters! I feel impelled, therefore, to make known to anyone willing to read these lines that there are many other representatives of the Catholic Church, such as the undersigned, who take those doctrines very seriously indeed.

How would our Church leaders act if they really did take seriously an official Church position from which a prominent deceased Catholic had publicly dissented? To answer that question, we need only imagine a situation in which some well-known Catholic legislator had for years supported the Church's social teaching 'across the board', in regard to human life, marriage, compassion toward the poor and underprivileged, etc., but had then, in old age, lapsed into supporting some ideological position that was strongly opposed not only by the Church, but also by the dominant Western elites in government, law, education, commerce and the media.
Suppose, for instance, that he had come to endorse white supremacism or holocaust denial. Now, when the moment for this Catholic legislator's funeral came, could we imagine for one moment that our cardinals, bishops and other leading clergy, mindful of this man's sterling and thoroughly orthodox contributions to the common good over so many years in Congress, would 'compassionately' overlook his latter-day lapse into racism or antisemitism? Would they agree to give him a free pass in regard to this defect? Would they speak and act as if it were non-existent? Would they grant him a televised funeral Mass in a large basilica, presided over by a cardinal, in which he would be publicly eulogized by both family and public figures?

These questions really answer themselves. Of course none of that would occur! The local bishop might go as far as allow our hypothetical Catholic racist or antisemite a Church funeral, if it was known that (like Senator Kennedy) he had confessed sacramentally to a priest before death. However, the bishop would allow the use of church property for this funeral on the strict condition that only close personal family and friends would be admitted. All media transmission or even presence during the service itself would surely be forbidden. (It would, of course, be unnecessary for the bishop to ask his fellow bishops and other high Church dignitaries not to
attend the service; for all of them, like the bishop himself, would already prefer to be anywhere else on earth than at the funeral of one who had lapsed so unspeakably from society's ruling canons of acceptable behavior.) Yes, society's canons. There, I am afraid, lies the difference between our two scenarios. Is it that official Catholic doctrine is incomparably more opposed to racism and antisemitism than it is to abortion and sodomy? Not at all. The big difference is simply that most members of the Catholic hierarchy in Western society today - and there are of course a number of honorable exceptions - are lacking in prophetic courage. They are ready and eager to take vigorous and resolute public disciplinary action only against those deviations from Church teaching which also happen to be excoriated by the cultural and media elites. But if it is our prelates themselves who will be excoriated by those elites - as would certainly have occurred had they required for Ted Kennedy's funeral the kind of severe restraint we envisaged
above for that of our hypothetical bigot - then all eagerness for just discipline will evaporate as fast as dew in the morning sun. "Pastoral Compassion", "forgiveness", "tolerant respect" and "Christian charity" will now be instantly invoked as reasons for cloaking in total silence the public enormities committed decade after decade by an ecclesially heterodox but socially orthodox legislator.

So, It's St. Kennedy Now?

So it was, in this morning's funeral Mass, that the homilist, Fr. Mark Hession (pastor of Kennedy's Cape Cod parish), made his sermon a eulogy about what a wonderful Catholic Christian Ted was, assuring us that we could be "confident" that he is already with Jesus in glory. So it was that the principal celebrant, Fr. Donald Monan, S.J., Chancellor of Boston College, not only repeatedly told those present - and the whole watching world - that Sen. Kennedy was a man of "faith and prayer", with a deep devotion to the Eucharist, but also assured us that this "faith and prayer" in private was precisely what inspired and motivated his public policies, so that there was (surprise, surprise) a real integration and unity between his private and public life!
Well, a lot of us didn't quite manage to see any private-public unity based on Roman Catholic principles. On the contrary, Kennedy's huge political influence, based on both the family's prestige and the personal dynamism of this "Lion of the Senate", if anything made his U-turn on
abortion (yes, he was pro-life in his younger days) an even more scandalous counter-witness: a sign of conflict, not union, with that Church to which he professed loyalty.

Here are two comments I have just lifted off a Catholic blog:
1. "There's this big, 'What if?'" said Catholic author Michael Sean Winters. "If Ted Kennedy had stuck to his pro-life position, would both the (Democratic) party and the country have embraced the abortion on demand policies that we have now? I don't think so."
2. "Russell Shaw, former spokesman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said that when Kennedy defied the church on issues such as abortion and later, gay marriage, he reinforced a corrosive belief among Catholics that they can simply ignore teachings they don't agree with."

Public Scandal Is Grave Matter

I myself remember several years ago a conversation with a young woman who had been brought up Catholic but had recently been 'born again' as an Evangelical Protestant. One of the arguments she threw at me was, "Even your Church leaders don't really believe what Catholics are supposed to believe. Why don't they excommunicate Ted Kennedy? He's blatantly, 100% pro-choice! Yet they do nothing!"

What could I say to her? And what can I say now, after today's public scandal? That young lady's complaint was simply that this man remained a Catholic in good standing. I find I must now complain to you of something worse. Before the whole world this morning, my fellow Catholic clerics in Boston did not just accord him the "good standing" of a normal, flawed Catholic whose soul we can hope is in Purgatory. Rather, clad in triumphant white vestments instead of penitential violet (never mind the traditional black!), they have placed him on a pedestal, granting him an unofficial 'instant canonization'!

Scripture Warns Us

The Church's teaching is already abundantly clear that all this is very wrong. So perhaps we can legitimately discern the hand of God's Providence, which rules all things, in a 'coincidence' that suggests a manifestation of God's grave displeasure at this kind of mockery - injustice masquerading as "pastoral charity". In our liturgy, Sunday has begun as I write at the hour of Vespers on Saturday. But the earlier part of this day, August 29, including the time of the Kennedy funeral, was observed by Catholics round the world as the Feast of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist. In normal Masses celebrated today, the biblical account of his martyrdom was read (Mark 6: 17-29.) The parallels are striking: (a) We see two powerful civil authorities; (b) both of them flip-flop in a morally bad direction (Herod originally respected and defended John, and Kennedy originally respected and defended the unborn; (c) both of them abuse their
power by authorizing the shedding of innocent blood.

As if that were not enough, the longest Scripture reading in today's liturgy also grabs our attention. It is prescribed not for the Feast of John the Baptist, but independently, for the Saturday of Week 21, in the 'Office of Readings', This is a part of the daily 'Liturgy of the Hours' which is required spiritual reading for us Roman Rite clerics. And today's reading just happens to be Jeremiah 7: 1-20, in which the prophet vigorously denounces - guess what? - the hypocrisy of Israel's religious leaders who proudly identify with the temple and the rites they celebrate within it, while at the same time they are living unrighteously (including "shedding innocent blood", v. 6) and even "pouring out libations to strange gods" (v. 18). God therefore warns, "my anger and my wrath will pour out upon this
place" (v. 20). Orthodox Catholics will surely ask whether God can be any less angered now by those clerics who today carried out temple rites giving undeserved honor to a legislator who for decade after decade poured out the 'libations' of his eloquence, influence and Senate votes in the service the 'false gods' of Planned Parenthood and NARAL -which regularly rewarded him
with 100% ratings for his 'pro-choice' record.

Enough. If, in your charity, you pray for God to be merciful to the soul of Edward Moore Kennedy, please pray for all of us Catholic priests as well - and be cognizant of the fact that some of us are profoundly indignant at what we saw our brethren doing today.

Father Brian Harrison, O.S.
Oblates of Wisdom Study Center,
St. Louis, Missouri

What are your thoughts?

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Sen. Kennedy; God Have Mercy!

Human Life International's Statement on the Passing of Senator Edward Kennedy

We must, as a matter of precept, pray for the salvation of heretical Catholics like Senator Edward Kennedy, but we do not have to praise him let alone extol him with the full honors of a public Catholic funeral and all the adulation that attends such an event. There was very little about Ted Kennedy's life that deserves admiration from a spiritual or moral point of view. He was probably the worst example of a Catholic statesman that one can think of. When all is said and done, he has distorted the concept of what it means to be a Catholic in public life more than anyone else in leadership today.

Obviously we don't know the state of Senator Edward Kennedy's soul upon death. We don't pretend to. We are told by the family that he had the opportunity to confess his sins before a priest, and his priest has said publicly he was "at peace" when he died. For that we are grateful. But it is one thing to confess one's sins and for these matters to be kept, rightfully, private. It is another thing entirely for one who so consistently and publicly advocated for the destruction of unborn human beings to depart the stage without a public repudiation of these views, a public confession, as it were.

It is up to God to judge Senator Kennedy's soul. We, as rational persons, must judge his actions, and his actions were not at all in line with one who values and carefully applies Church teaching on weighty matters. Ted Kennedy's positions on a variety of issues have been a grave scandal for decades, and to honor this "catholic" champion of the culture of death with a Catholic funeral is unjust to those who have actually paid the price of fidelity. We now find out that President Obama will eulogize the Senator at his funeral, an indignity which, following on the heels of the Notre Dame fiasco, leaves faithful Catholics feeling sullied, desecrated and dehumanized by men who seem to look for opportunities to slap the Church in the face and do so with impunity simply because they have positions of power.

It is not enough for Kennedy to have been a "great guy behind the scenes" as we have seen him referred to even by his political opponents. It is also not praiseworthy to put a Catholic rhetorical veneer on his leftist politics that did nothing to advance true justice as the Church sees it or to advance the peace of Christ in this world. Every indication of Senator Kennedy's career, every public appearance, every sound bite showed an acerbic, divisive and partisan political hack for whom party politics were much more infallible than Church doctrines. Whatever one's political affiliation, if one is only "Catholic" to the extent that his faith rhymes with his party line, then his Catholicism is a fraud.

As the Scriptures remind us, there is a time for everything under the sun. This, now, is the time for honesty about our Faith and about those who are called to express it in the public forum. If we do not remind ourselves of the necessity of public confession for public sins such as Senator Kennedy was guilty of, then we are negligent in our embrace of the Faith and we are part of the problem. As Pope Benedict has reminded us recently, charity without truth can easily become mere sentimentality, and we must not fall into that error. A Catholic show of charity for the family must not eclipse the truth that is required of all with eyes to see and ears to hear.

Senator Kennedy needs to be sent to the afterlife with a private, family-only funeral and the prayers of the Church for the salvation of his immortal soul. He will not be missed by the unborn who he betrayed time and time again, nor by the rest of us who are laboring to undo the scandalous example of Catholicism that he gave to three generations of Americans.


Rev. Thomas J. Euteneuer,
President, Human Life International

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Bishop Darcy Says Notre Dame Must Repent

Wow! Bishop Darcy is not backing down. Read this for a long awaited example of what it means to be Catholic.

The real question posed by the situation is whether or not a Catholic university has a responsibility to give a public witness to the faith, D'Arcy states. "If not, what is the meaning of a life of faith? And how can a Catholic institution expect its students to live by faith in the difficult decisions that will confront them in a culture often opposed to the Gospel?" he wonders.

"In its decision to give its highest honor to a president who has repeatedly opposed even the smallest legal protection of the child in the womb, did Notre Dame surrender the responsibility that Pope Benedict believes Catholic universities have to give public witness to the truths revealed by God and taught by the church?" the bishop also asks.

Bishop D’Arcy then takes Notre Dame to task for its multi-year sponsorship of the play "The Vagina Monologues."

"Although he spoke eloquently about the importance of dialogue with the
president of the United States, the president of Notre Dame chose not to
dialogue with his bishop on these two matters, both pastoral and both with
serious ramifications for the care of souls, which is the core responsibility of
the local bishop," he says.

"Both decisions," Bishop D’Arcy reveals, "were shared with me after
they were made and, in the case of the honorary degree, after President Obama
had accepted."

Bishop Darcy says Notre Dame must answer for honoring Obama

Shared via AddThis

Monday, August 24, 2009

Submission As A Pathway To Sanctification?

My Dear People,

August 22nd is the traditional feast of the Queenship of Mary. We remember that Our Lady is head of all the Holy Angels and Saints in Heaven. From the moment of Her Conception within St. Anne's womb, Mary was never separated from the Divine Will of the Father. Mary always subordinated herself in obedience to Our Lord. This is why Mary is such a shining example for all of us. Every time we extinguish our pride, and humbly come before Jesus seeking His Authority over us, we imitate our Mother in Heaven.

St. Paul reminds us today, that "all of us" are responsible for being submissive to Christ. In that holy submission, we come to know more deeply our vocation in Christ. This also gives us the freedom to serve our Lord, benefiting from His many graces. Submission to Christ, sets us on the holy pathway to sanctification. Consecrate yourself and your families to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Come to know her peace and mercy in your homes.

Entrusting you to the care of Our Lady,

Fr. Mark

May we find joy in serving the Lord with our time, our talent and our treasure.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Few Recognize Him

My Dear People,

One Can't Receive Our Lord in Serious Sin..

Before the Holy Spirit was given to the Church on Pentecost Sunday, He was to be found reflected in the writings of the Old Testament. In our first reading of today, we find the Wisdom of the Third Person of the Holy Trinity in Proverbs chapter nine. In it, Wisdom has built a house. Seven columns adorn it. A feast has been prepared at the table, bountiful and plenty. The Eucharistic Banquet in the Sacred Heart of Jesus was exposed to the Jews in His day. Most rejected the Feast. It was too hard to accept that Jesus was giving His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity to His Disciples.

Wisdom and Understanding lead us to this Holy Altar of Jesus' Heart. But all too few recognize it. It is at this heavenly banquet that we find LIFE in abundance, without cost. We only have to come properly disposed and free from serious sin. When you receive Jesus in the Most Holy Eucharist, are you properly disposed and ready to receive Him? Allow the Holy Spirit to lead and prepare you for this great Heavenly Treasure...the Holy Eucharist.

Entrusting you to the care of Our Lady,

Fr. Mark

May we make wise choices in how we live as God's stewards and may have the courage to turn away from foolish, trivial or selfish wants..

Monday, August 10, 2009

"Spiritual Energy"

My Dear People,

Prayer and Service are the Keys

Ever feel like the Lord seldom hears your prayers? Elijah, the prophet, felt that way. In our first reading today, we find the prophet exhausted from prayer and service of the Lord. He falls asleep under a desert tree. While resting, an Angel of the Lord awakens him. God's messenger brings a hearth cake and a jug of water for nourishment. Elijah was too exhausted to eat. He fell asleep again. The Angels stirs Elijah after his rest. Elijah then walked for forty days and forty nights.

Then, he prayed. Strengthen by the Lord, Elijah served the Lord with all his heart. Like Elijah, we too need to be strengthened by the Lord. Prayer and service keeps us on track. When we fail to pray, we run out of "spiritual energy". Only Our Lord, can refuel the souls. Take the time to relax, pray, and refuel with the Lord. If you have not yet visited our Adoration Chapel, make time to spend time praying and praising the Lord each week.

Entrusting you to the care of Our Lady,

Fr. Mark

By sharing in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, may we find the strength and courage to make our own sacrifices to build up our church, and provide faith for the future.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Eucharist, Faith and the Poor Blind

On the Traditional Calendar, today is the feast of St. John Vianney. Here is some food he has given us for thought.

"Ah, if we had the eyes of angels with which to see our Lord Jesus Christ Who is here present on this altar and Who is looking at us, how we should love Him! We should never more wish to part from Him, we should wish to remain always at His feet. It would be a foretaste of Heaven. All else would become insipid to us. But see, it is faith we lack. We are poor blind people; we have amist over our eyes. Faith alone can dispel this mist."

Let us pray, may God grant us a great faith to remove our blindness so we can have a greater love of our Eucharistic Lord.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

St. John Vianney on Sin


Sin is a thought, a word, an action, contrary to the law of God.

By sin, my children, we rebel against the good God, we despise His justice, we tread under foot His blessings.

From being children of God, we become the executioner and assassin of our soul, the offspring of hell, the horror of heaven, the murderer of Jesus Christ, the capital enemy of the good God. . . .

0 my children! if we thought of this, if we reflected on the injury which sin offers to the good God, we should hold it in abhorrence, we should be unable to commit it; but we never think of it, we like to live at our ease, we slumber in sin.

If the good God sends us remorse, we quickly stifle it, by thinking that we have done no harm to any body, that God is good, and that He did not place us on the earth to make us suffer.

Indeed, my children, the good God did not place us on the earth to suffer and endure, but to work out our salvation. See; He wills that we should work to-day and to-morrow ; and after that, an eternity of joy, of happiness, awaits us in heaven. . . .

O my children! how ungrateful we are! The good God calls us to Himself; He wishes to make us happy for ever, and we are deaf to His word, we will not share His happiness; He enjoins us to love Him, and we give our heart to the devil. . . .

The good God commands all nature as its Master; He makes the winds and the storms obey Him; the angels tremble at His adorable will; man alone dares to resist Him.

See; God forbids us that action, that criminal pleasure, that revenge, that injustice; no matter, we are bent upon satisfying ourselves; we had rather renounce the happiness of heayen, than deprive ourselves of a moment's pleasure, or give up a sinful habit, or change our life. What are we, then, that we dare thus to resist God? Dust and ashes, which He could annihilate with a single look. . . .

By sin, my children, we despise the good God. . . . We renew His Death and Passion; we do as much evil as all the Jews together did, in fastening Him to the Cross. Therefore, my children, if we were to ask those who work without necessity on Sunday: " What are you doing there?" and they were to answer truly, they would say, " We are crucifying the good God."

Monday, July 27, 2009

Politics! You Reap What You Sow.

My Dear People,

When the Jewish nation in the Old Testament insisted that they have a king reign over them instead of a judge, God allowed them their hearts desire. And so came along many corrupt and evil kings who brought down sorrow and condemnation upon them. When we ignore the law of God in our own country, and elect corrupt and evil leaders in Washington, we can expect the same result.

We have not even begun to see the bad fruit of our evil choices as a nation. Unfortunately, the "good" will suffer and well as the bad. Jeremiah reminded us in the first reading last Sunday. "Woe to the shepherds who mislead and scatter the flock." This applies not only to the Church, but also to government and civil leaders as well. God will allow the consequences of our immoral and evil choice to overcome us. Maybe then as a nation, we might finally repent before it is too late. Pray for the corruption and evil to come to an end in our changing government. We might just wake up one day and ask ourselves, just where and when did this all change? Pray, pray, pray for the conversion of our nation to return to God and His Divine Law!

May we gladly give our gifts over to the Lord, knowing that just as He did with the loaves and fishes. He can multiply our humble offerings for the benefit of many.

Entrusting you to the care of Our Lady,

Fr. Mark

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Bible Tactics To Control Lust

To control lust one must know the steps that lead to it. Agree? Read the following and look for Satan's process and see how lust starts small and keeps growing.

Discover these Bible Secrets to Conquer Lust

Daniel 13:7-11
When the people left at noon, Susanna used to enter her husband's garden for a walk.
When the old men saw her enter every day for her walk,
they began to lust for her.
They suppressed their consciences;
they would not allow their eyes to look to heaven,
and did not keep in mind just judgments.
Though both were enamored of her, they did not tell each other their trouble,
for they were ashamed to reveal their lustful desire to have her.
Here are the steps Satan uses and how we can combat them at each level.
  1. saw her enter every day - Idleness is the devil's play ground.
  2. suppressed their consciences - The lustful thought is not a sin, but entertaining it is.
  3. would not allow their eyes to look to heaven - Jesus gave us this example in John 17:1 "When Jesus had said this, he raised his eyes to heaven." We must turn to God for help desiring purity and holiness.
  4. did not keep in mind just judgments - 2 Chronicles 19:7 "Now then, let the fear of the LORD be upon you; take heed what you do, for there is no perversion of justice with the LORD our God, or partiality, or taking bribes." A proper fear of the Lord produces righteousness, because we do not want God in His Mercy to give us our due justice. The remedy here is to reflect on the pains of hell and purgatory.
  5. did not tell each other their trouble - Go to confession and if possible a trusted friend.
  6. ashamed to reveal their lustful desire - 1 Kings 2:1-2 "Take courage and be a man.
    Keep the mandate of the LORD, your God, following his ways and observing his statutes, commands, ordinances, and decrees as they are written..." God uses fear to draw us to a hatred of sin. Notice that Satan also uses fear to keep us from going to God. Take courage and bring this evil to the light, then God can take over from there.
These old men did not heed these steps. They fell into mortal sin by trying to get Susanna to sleep with them. For them and for us the punishment is death, when we choose to follow these steps.

Key To Control Lust

Lust is a serious issue. By identifying the problem early in the process one can fight the snares of the devil with God's grace and have a much greater chance of success.

May God bless you and grant us all a pure heart.

Go ahead and email this to friend. They will thank you for it.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

"That's What Jesus Says." Family Funny

Quote from Anne Marie just moments ago, "Mom it's easier for a needle to go through a camel, than a rich man to enter heaven. That's what Jesus says."

This one is a family funny from a friend.

Ethan asked me once"mommy if God made us from mud, how did he make our eye balls?" Then he said "maybe God forgot to give the blind man eyes & that's why Jesus put mud on them." I was speechless....

Yet from another friend.

Whenever my Beau says "I love you mommy" he then says "but i love God the most, you're supposed to love God the most".
What's your family funny?

Monday, July 20, 2009

Family Funny

So, my wife reminds me three times to call my Godchild to wish him happy birthday.

"All right, I'll do it."

So, three hours later, I remembered something and called my twin brother, my Godson's father. We had a great manly conversation. We talked about religion, careers, home improvement projects, sports etc.. Everything but the wishing my Godchild happy birthday.

Now, we are getting ready for bed.

"Did you remember to wish your Godchild a happy birthday?"
Realizing my mistake, I said "Did you feel how hot it was today?"
Getting out of bed, I called my brother to apologized and wished the boy a happy first birthday.

Fast forward . . .

The next day my wife answers my brother's phone call.
"Is John Michael the worst Godfather ever for forgetting your son's first birthday?"

"No, I forget Anne Marie's all the time."

"Um, Rose is your Goddaughter, not Anne Marie."

At least my wife learned forgetting runs in the family.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Adoration - Eternal Benefits

My Dear People,

Is Jesus Pulling You Aside?

So eager were the crowds to see Jesus, that He could barely find a quiet place to be alone. As soon as word got out that He was coming to that region, people would begin to swell in in large numbers. In today's Gospel, Mark tells us that Jesus pulled aside the Twelve Apostles, in order that He might pray with them. But because of the vast crowd, it was difficult to find peace and quiet. Do you have an Eucharistic Adoration Chapel or times the Church is unlocked?

Like the Apostles, we have to make time for peace and quiet. If you have lax in coming to visit our Eucharistic Lord, make up your mind to begin again. For those of you who have never even made a visit to be with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, please pray about beginning as well. It sad to know how much blessings we miss by not sacrificing time to go to Adoration. This is holy prayer that will last into eternity. Please pray about making a Holy Hour with Jesus each and every week!

May we find comfort in the love of Jesus present in the Blessed Sacrament. Trusting that He gives us all that we need.

Entrusting you to the care of Our Lady,

Fr. Mark

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Notre Dame Bishop Causing A Stir

Bishop D’Arcy, first made headlines with the Notre Dame scandal, now he goes deeper calling his flock to put Jesus in the center of the Church. Literally, he is mandating all tabernacles to be placed in the center of the Church.

Read below for full details.

To Priests, Deacons, Religious, and to All the Faithful,
The presence of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament is at the center of our faith and of the devotional life of our Catholic people.

In recent years, the place of the tabernacle in our churches has become a source of controversy. This should not be. The Eucharist, whether we are referring to its celebration or to the place of reservation, should always be a means of unity and communion, and never of division.

The place of the tabernacle in our church should reflect our faith in the real presence of Christ, and should always be guided by church documents.

My experience is that our people, with their instinct of faith, have always desired that the tabernacle be central and visible. They find it confusing when the tabernacle in their churches is not visible, and if possible, central.

Because of my responsibility to foster the devotional life of our people, and to keep it sound, I have asked our Office of Worship to prepare norms for the placement and design of the tabernacle in this diocese. These norms were brought before the Presbyteral Council, the Liturgical Commission and the Environment and Arts Committee. Suitable refinements and improvements were prepared.

I urge all priests to follow these norms carefully and completely, and most importantly — to foster devotion to the Blessed Sacrament.

Sincerely yours in our Lord,

Most Reverend John M. D’Arcy

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Correct Teaching Leads To ?

My Dear People,

Proper Living In The Faith!

When we look at the thirty three years Jesus lived upon the Earth, in only three do we receive any detail of in the Holy Scriptures. Of the four Gospels, we find Our Lord teaching, preaching and healing. Pope John Paul ll declared before He died, that we were living in a New Era of Evangelization. The Pontiff stated that the Good News of the teaching, preaching and healing of Jesus needed to be shared with all mankind in a new way.

In today's Gospel, we find Jesus giving a new commission to His Disciples, to go out to all the world, and share the Good News. "Take a walking stick - but no food, no sack, no money in their belts." The Disciples were to rely completely upon God's Holy Providence. So they went out preaching, healing, and casting many kinds of demons. The sick upon whom they laid hands, were cured. When are hearts and minds are one again with God, so follows the body. The Holy Balance we seek comes only from the Lord. And it begins with correct teaching. Proper instructions in the faith yields to proper living in the faith. Pray for the Lord to raise up new and powerful teachers of the Holy Catholic Faith.

May we learn from the Holy Apostles, in giving up our strong attachment to material goods.

Entrusting you to the care of Our Lady,
Fr. Mark

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

U2 Praises The Virgin

U2 Honors Blessed Virgin Mary with a Song.

Be sure to hit play.

Blogger Note: Bono does not have best belief system from the last I checked, but Our Lady works wonders for those who honor her. Mommy Mary do your thing.

Posted by Tim Drake at the National Catholic Register

In a recent Rolling Stone magazine interview with Brian Hiatt, U2’s Bono says that the song “Magnificent” is inspired by the Blessed Virgin Mary.

“All music for me is worship of one kind or another,” says Bono.

The song appears on the band’s new album, “No Line on the Horizon.”

“Magnificent was inspired by the Magnificat, a passage from the Gospel of Luke in the voice of the Virgin Mary that was previously set to music by Bach,” says Bono. “There’s this theme running through the album of surrender and devotion and all the things I find really difficult.”

The lyrics include: “Magnificent, Magnificent, I was born, I was born to be with you in this space and time. I was born, I was born to sing for you. I didn’t have a choice but to lift you up and sing whatever song you wanted me to. I give you back my voice. From the womb my first cry, it was a joyful noise ... Only love, only love can leave such a mark, but only love, only love can heal such a scar.”

Recorded in the Gospel of Luke (Luke 1: 41-45), the Magnificat (Latin for “magnifies”), also known as the Canticle of Mary, is the Blessed Virgin Mary’s joyful prayer in response to her cousin Elizabeth’s greeting.

HT to The Catholic Key Blog

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Secrets Revealed, Little Known Purgatory Fact!

Shockingly Most Catholics Don't Realize
The Holy Souls Obtain Graces For Us.

Cardinal Bellarmine observes that we may well believe that the souls in Purgatory pray and obtain graces for us, since the rich man in hell prayed for his brothers, although he suffered much more than they suffer in Purgatory. And Francisco Suarez, S.J., who praises this opinion as pious and probable, confirms it by these words:
"The souls in Purgatory can pray for those who earnestly implore their deliverance of God, and who endeavour to obtain it by good works. For their prayers can but be useful to those persons whom they do not know, but whom God knows. Nothing then prevents them from begging God to assist these persons in necessity, to forgive their offenses, to preserve them from temptations, etc."

This is therefore another reason for believing that our good works applied to the dead have more power to draw down on us great gifts from heaven. For although the dead may not know in particular who we are, nor of what we stand in need, they can always recommend their benefactors to God, and implore Him to give them what they desire for His glory and for their salvation. " It is, in fact," says Suarez " a duty of charity and gratitude; why then should they refuse to acquit themselves of it? We have then," concludes the same Doctor, " a holy and real reason for doing good to the souls in Purgatory, so that we may have a greater share in their prayers."

Taken from The Twelve Months Sancified by Prayer: November, by Fr. Antoine Ricard D.S.G.

Originally posted by Joseph, Good Jesuit; Bad Jesuit

Monday, July 6, 2009

Fr. Z Stirring the Pot

Here is Father Z with his best post of the year.

Caution: This is sure to charge your emotions! His blog has over 111 comments in 8 hours. Go ahead and take the time to read this.

The Problem With Toning Down the Rhetoric – And Why We Probably Won’t Do It

Some of my Catholic friends have been urging me and others on the Catholic right to tone down the rhetoric when it comes to discussing issues related to the Notre Dame scandal, or Notre Shame as time is showing it to have been. They want us to tone down our "harsh rhetoric" on issues such as abortion, President Obama and other Catholics who support him. These friends insist that they respect my right to my point of view, and they assure me that they, too, oppose abortion. However, they argue that many tactics of the Catholic pro-life movement are “negative” (e.g. showing pictures of aborted fetuses) and therefore counter-productive. They argue further that these tactics – which include protesting Notre Dame’s bestowing an honorary doctorate of law on President Obama – actually exacerbate tensions and divisions within the Catholic Church and within society at large. Finally, they charge that such tactics are spiteful and otherwise uncharitable. We on the right would say “sinful,” but these friends of mine don’t use that language.

I am not impervious to these criticisms. I don’t like being thought of in these terms, though I confess I sometimes accept their judgment with a touch of mischievous relish. I don’t know anyone on the Catholic or Christian right who wants to be thought of as using language that is counter-productive, divisive and spiteful.

Okay, maybe Ann Coulter, bless her.

But when it comes to their suggestion to tone down the rhetoric, I think we shouldn’t, and I doubt we will.

First of all, there’s history. No matter how earnestly these Catholic friends of mine insist that they oppose abortion, when I think about what they want us not to do, I am forced to conclude that they just don’t see the symmetry between the abortion issue and other moral tragedies in recent history, such as the Holocaust and racial segregation. Would my Catholic friends today not applaud those German, Austrian and Italian Catholics who risked their lives to speak out in the strongest terms against the racial policies of Hitler and Mussolini, even though in doing so they used language that their friends thought was counter-productive, divisive and spiteful?

And why can’t these friends of mine cast themselves in the role of American whites who, during the civil rights struggles of the 1960’s, urged those few outspoken Catholic priests, sisters, and laypeople who rode freedom buses and were arrested during sit-ins to tone down the rhetoric, because it was counter-productive and divisive?

Is it me, or is the outrage of these Catholic friends of mine over the recent murder of the abortionist George Tiller, and the blame they hurl at the “extreme rhetoric” of pro-lifers for his death, not analogous to the anger of those white Catholics in the 60’s who blamed civil rights activists for instigating the Watts and Detroit riots?

My second reason for not toning down the rhetoric on abortion follows from the first. When and why did the abortion issue cease to be a “justice and peace” issue? Answer: when it became a women’s issue.

Have you noticed that there’s something about opposition to abortion that gives the creeps to “progressive” Catholics?

By the way, they hate to be called “liberals” or “left-wing” Catholics; they think of themselves as just plain, ordinary Catholics. We aren’t to label them, but they freely label us. This is what "liberal" now means. For liberals, pro-lifers are “single-issue Catholics” or “single-issue voters”, a label intended to accuse us of ignoring all the other life issues in the “seamless garment” that makes up their precious “consistent life ethic.”

QUAERUNTUR: When was the last time you saw a “consistent life ethics” Catholic instead of simply assuring you that, yes, they too oppose abortion, actually speak out loudly against abortion? Do you know any “consistent life ethic” Catholics who seriously weigh a candidate’s position on abortion when deciding how to vote in an election?

No. For progressive Catholics it’s okay, even respectable, not to get upset about abortion to the point of voting against legislators who support it. Abortion is the issue that gets left off of “peace and justice” agendas. Progressivist Catholics associate abortion with sexual ethics, not with human life ethics. They complain that pro-lifers do not care about the other “life issues” such as capital punishment, war, poverty and health care. Never mind that no one really knows what pro-life Catholics think about these issues! But “peace and justice” Catholics only mention abortion when they are clucking their tongues at the pro-life movement.

I suspect that behind this “peace and justice” Catholic vs. pro-life Catholic tension is the divide between Democrat and Republican Catholics. I’m not saying that all pro-life Catholics vote for Republicans. I know a few who don’t. But let’s be honest, it’s hard to find pro-life Democrats holding public office. Progressivist Catholics know this too. Their loyalty to the aims and leadership of the Democrat party accounts for part of their opposition to the rhetoric of pro-life Catholics.

My third reason for not wanting us to tone down the rhetoric is a sense I have, a feeling not easy to pin down.

I am sensing a kind of Zeitgeist in the air which censures the use of “harsh rhetoric.”

I’ve been told by my progressivist Catholic friends that people today are turned off by the kind of angry, abrasive, “us v. them” rhetoric that reached a fever pitch during the Notre Dame controversy. Just think! American bishops were publicly critical of Notre Dame’s president. Pro-life protesters disrupted the graduation ceremony while President Obama was present, and some of them – “outsiders” as they were called – were arrested for trespassing on Notre Shame’s property.

Can you hear on the wind, on the waves, that whiny “why can’t we all just get along” mantra, scolding us for disrupting the feeling of harmony and comity we’re all supposed to be feeling in this Obama, post-political era?

These friends of mine praise Pres. Obama for his search for a “common ground” and his insistence on “dialogue,” even as they accuse pro-life Catholics of engaging in juvenile, discourteous rhetoric and of pursuing short-sighted, unrealistic and divisive political goals. What’s worse, in their eyes we are dragging this political conflict over abortion into the Church itself, where everybody should feel welcome, regardless of their views on abortion. Priests who preach about abortion are accused of alienating people in the pews. The new sin is making someone, anyone, feel uncomfortable because of his or her views or "lifestyle".

But the net effect of this unrelenting censorship from the left is that the pro-life (yes, read: anti-abortion) message is ground down, silenced under the rubric of “it’s all right that we agree to disagree about this issue.”

Homosexual activists have a saying, "silence equals death." What they know, what the Catholic left doesn’t, is that all rhetoric aimed at effecting social and political change must, above all, be heard.

In the meantime, how many progressivist Catholic media shills will complain next week that this week’s G8 summit in L’Aquila, Italy, was disrupted by protesters advocating on behalf of the global poor or the environment?

You see, it’s not all acerbic rhetoric that merits labeling as counter-productive, divisive and uncharitable. It’s just pro-life rhetoric.

And that, in the end, is why we probably won’t tone it down.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Devil Doesn't Take Vacations

My Dear People,

Pray, Pray, Pray!

These are the lazy, hazy, days of summer. Picnics, family vacations, and rest highlight our time. But it is not an excuse to become "lazy and hazy" in our prayer. The devil looks for any excuse to convince us that daily prayer, Sunday Mass and the Rosary, can take a vacation with us. Don't listen. We live in current times, when daily prayer and discernment are essential.

In today's Gospel, we see the contemporaries of Jesus trying to figure out just "who He really IS". Is He and ordinary man, a great prophet, an important political figure??? Oddly enough, even some Christians today are still asking the same question. Confusion and doubt are the work of the devil. We can never take a vacation from protecting ourselves from the devil's lying ways. So pray, pray and pray! Do not let your guard down. Walk and talk with Jesus all summer long...

In the spirit of service and sacrifice, may we generously use our time, talent and treasure to do the work which God has placed us here on earth to do.

Entrusting you to the care of Our Lady,
Fr. Mark