Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Judge to Permit Questioning of Notre Dame Officials in Obama Protest Case

The Thomas More Society reports that the judge in the ND 88 case is permitting depositions of Notre Dame officials.  This will be done in order to determine who were the key decision makers in the arrest of those protesting the honoring of President Obama at last year's graduation.

Tom Brejcha, the head of the Society, calls this decision very important, because Notre Dame purportedly has shown different treatment for other protesters on campus.  He states:
“A Notre Dame alumni group, Sycamore Trust, recently reported that homosexual rights and anti-ROTC protesters received, at worst, mere slaps on the wrist for leading unauthorized protests on campus. We believe that through discovery we may well uncover evidence that the Notre Dame police engaged in ‘viewpoint discrimination:’ that the university singled out the ND88 for especially harsh treatment.”

This is going to be interesting.  According to the society, some the information defense counsel is seeking to obtain:
  • Who gave authority to the Notre Dame Police Department to arrest the ND88
  • Who decided that the listed Defendants were not allowed on campus during the month of May, 2009, and when those decisions were made
  • Notre Dame’s policies and practices regarding demonstrations on campus
  • All communications between Notre Dame and any outside policing entities regarding the treatment and arrest of these Defendants and which communications occurred prior to the arrests

St. Thomas More ora pro nobis

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Long Island Nurses Disciplined for Refusal to Assist in Abortion

The Long Island Catholic had an article last week concerning eight nurses who had disciplinary actions leveled against them by the Nassau University Medical Center for refusing to participate in an abortion.  This occurred even though years earlier the nurses had signed papers stipulating that they would not be required to assist in an abortion. The nurses union (CSEA) is filing a grievance.

Thanks to those who assisted in the passage of the Obama health care act without getting conscience protections,  we will be facing these types of situations more and more frequently.   The law was passed without so much of a nod to conscience,  in spite of the fact that the bishops received assurances from Ted Kennedy and from Mr. Obama himself, that such protections would be included.

According to the New York State Department of Health statistics, the Medical Center is the site of several hundred abortions per year.  Isn't it strange that if a hospital had a rate of 60 healthy patients dying after coming to their facility, the place would be shut down.  But abortion is always the exception to any rational rule.

Equal protection for all, except those who disagree with the prevailing culture.

Update:    The Long Island Catholic reports today (April 28, 2010) that the hospital has rescinded its penalties against the nurses and apologized to them.  The president of the Nassau University Medical Center stated, "Do I wish that management had investigated the situation more thoroughly before acting?  Absolutely."

Saturday, April 24, 2010

"Old Mass" to be Celebrated Today

The Latin Mass is to be celebrated in the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception this afternoon for the first time in 40 years.  The Basilica, in Washington, D.C., is the largest church in the United States.  Father Zuhlsdorf of "What Does the Prayer Really Say" fame, has up to the minute commentary on this event over at his blog.  Father Z's motto is "Save the liturgy, save the world."  (In addition to his "Say the black, do the red" slogan - which refers to avoiding too much experimentation in liturgy).

It's interesting to see the Latin Mass returning to Catholic worship in the United States.   Certainly there has been a lot of confusion in liturgy over the past 40 plus years.  With all of the scandals and attacks that are mounting, a return to a strong Catholic identity may be just the antidote needed.

Iraqi Christians Erect Statue of Christ

Iraqi Christians recently erected a smaller copy of the famous statue of Christ in Rio de Janeiro. 
From Yahoo News:
The sculpture is only a tenth of the size of the 40-metre (130-foot) iconic statue that towers over the Brazilian city, but it has become a popular site for visitors in Hamdaniya, the north's largest Christian town.
"The idea of the statue is not to say Christians were here in case we leave," said Bashar Jarjees Habash, the city's coordinator of Christian affairs.
"But the idea of building the statue of Jesus opening his arms is to send a message of peace to everyone to say that we want to live in peace with all," said the 48-year-old.
"The people of this area have always tried to live in peace with everyone, even those who fight and threaten them."

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Autism Link to Vaccines Using Cells of Aborted Fetuses? reports on a study performed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency that seems to point to the use of cells derived from aborted fetuses in vaccines as a factor in the increase in autism in children in the United States.  Wow.  Jim Sedlak of the American Life League is joining in a call for fair labeling of these vaccines.  As he puts it:
“For years the evidence has pointed toward the link between vaccines using DNA from aborted babies and the rise of Autism Disorder rates. Parents need and deserve to know the risks associated with vaccinations made from lines derived from the bodies of aborted children.”
 The focus of many studies has been on the mercury content of these vaccines. I wonder what will happen now that there is a strong indication of a link to abortion?  Most likely, there will be a wave of denial.

 When will we ever learn?  Stem cells from aborted fetuses seem to cause all sorts of medical problems despite the glowing predictions of the abortion rights lobby.  Doesn't it stand to reason that God will not permit his  children to be destroyed and used as medical spare parts?   Bizarre... we inject the DNA of babies into other babies so that they won't get sick.  This sounds like a weird science fiction movie.

Jill Stanek also reports on this study and includes the following table which shows the increase in the incidence of autism after the cells of aborted fetuses began to be used in the vaccinations:

Go to Michigan Right to Life's website to see a list of vaccines that use aborted fetal cells.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Ed Koch: Enough Already!

Here is an uncommon article, from the April 8, 2010 online edition of The Jerusalem Post -- in which former Mayor of New York, Edward Koch, who is Jewish, speaks out in defense of the Catholic Church against the media's attacks on the Church, especially Pope Benedict.  Here, for your convenience, is a reproduction of the article. (By the way, thank you Mr. Mayor!)

Koch's Comments:
He that is without sin, let him cast the next stone - enough already
I believe the continuing attacks by the media on the Roman Catholic Church and Pope Benedict XVI have become manifestations of anti-Catholicism. The procession of articles on the same events are, in my opinion, no longer intended to inform, but simply to castigate.

The sexual molestation of children, principally boys, is horrendous. This is agreed to by everyone, Catholics, the Church itself, as well as non-Catholics and the media. The pope has on a number of occasions on behalf of the Church admitted fault and asked for forgiveness. For example, The New York Times reported on April 18, 2008, that the pope "came face to face with a scandal that has left lasting wounds on the American church Thursday, holding a surprise meeting with several victims of sexual abuse by priests in the Boston area.... 'No words of mine could describe the pain and harm inflicted by such abuse,' the Pope said in his homily. 'It is important that those who have suffered be given loving pastoral attention.'"

On March 20, 2010, the Times reported that in his eight page pastoral letter to Irish Catholics, the pope wrote, "You have suffered grievously, and I am truly sorry ... Your trust has been betrayed and your dignity has been violated."The pope also "criticized Ireland's bishops for 'grave errors of judgment and failures of leadership.'"

The primary explanation for the abuse that happened - not to excuse the retention of priests in positions that enabled them to continue to harm children - was the belief that the priests could be cured by psychotherapy, a theory now long discarded by the medical profession. Regrettably, it is also likely that years ago the abuse of children was not taken as seriously as today. Thank God we've progressed on that issue.

Many of those in the media who are pounding on the Church and the pope today clearly do it with delight, and some with malice. The reason, I believe, for the constant assaults is that there are many in the media, and some Catholics as well as many in the public, who object to and are incensed by positions the Church holds, including opposition to all abortions, opposition to gay sex and same-sex marriage, retention of celibacy rules for priests, exclusion of women from the clergy, opposition to birth control measures involving condoms and prescription drugs and opposition to civil divorce. My good friend, John Cardinal O'Connor, once said, "The Church is not a salad bar, from which to pick and choose what pleases you." The Church has the right to demand fulfillment of all of its religious obligations by its parishioners, and indeed a right to espouse its beliefs generally.

I disagree with the Church on all of these positions. Nevertheless, it has a right to hold these views in accordance with its religious beliefs. I disagree with many tenets of Orthodox Judaism - the religion of my birth - and have chosen to follow the tenets of Conservative Judaism, while I attend an Orthodox synagogue. Orthodox Jews, like the Roman Catholic Church, can demand absolute obedience to religious rules. Those declining to adhere are free to leave.

I believe the Roman Catholic Church is a force for good in the world, not evil. Moreover, the existence of one billion, 130 million Catholics worldwide is important to the peace and prosperity of the planet.

Of course, the media should report to the public any new facts bearing upon the issue of child molestation, but its objectivity and credibility are damaged when the New York Times declines to publish an op-ed offered by New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan on the issue of anti-Catholicism and offers instead to publish a letter to the editor, which is much shorter and less prominent than an op-ed.

I am appalled that, according to the Times of April 6, 2010, "Last week, the center-left daily newspaper La Repubblica wrote, without attribution that 'certain Catholic circles' believed the criticism of the Church stemmed from 'a New York Jewish lobby.'" The pope should know that some of his fellow priests can be thoughtless or worse in their efforts to help him. If the "certain Catholic circles" were referring to the Times, the Pope should know that the publisher, Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., is Episcopalian, having taken the religion of his mother, and its executive editor, Bill Keller, is also a Christian.

Enough is enough. Yes, terrible acts were committed by members of the Catholic clergy. The Church has paid billions to victims in the US and will pay millions, perhaps billions, more to other such victims around the world. It is trying desperately to atone for its past by its admissions and changes in procedures for dealing with pedophile priests. I will close with a paraphrase of the words of Jesus as set forth in John 8:7: He [or she] that is without sin among you, let him [or her] cast the next stone.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Eyjafjallajoekull - The Name That Dare Not Be Spoken

Once upon a time I had an Icelandic classmate in a graduate international law program.  I can't remember his name exactly, but it was something like Sven Thorsen (or Thor Svenson).  Back in those days most Icelanders took their father's first name as their last name.  Understandably,  the Icelandic phone book was a nightmare to figure out.  Anyway, this classmate of mine spoke perfect English, as do most Icelanders, most likely because, in spite of the relative simplicity of their family names, Icelanders have one of the most complicated languages ever imagined.  Case in point...Eyjafjallajoekull, the monster volcano.  I have yet to hear any newscaster gin up the courage to say  its proper name during their broadcast.  Isn't this why they get paid the big bucks?  Instead, it has become the "volcano in Iceland" or the "Icelandic volcano that is spewing ash." 

If the name of any natural phenomena deserved respect it is Eyjafjallajoekull.  Have you seen these pictures?

(pictures from

As Rich Lowry said over at National Review Online, "Dude, if I was a Viking living in Iceland a thousand years ago, and I saw some of this stuff, I would be pretty sure that Thor was angry at Loki again, or maybe he was mad at Tanngrisnir and Tanngnj├│str. But I would be pretty sure there was an angry god of some kind in that volcano."

Chinese Earthquake Toll Tops 2,000

Look, I know that it's uncomfortable to be sitting in an airport for a few days waiting for the volcano to settle down so you can be on your way.  But, why isn't the tragedy of the earthquake in China further up in the news cycle?  I  had no idea that the death toll had exceeded 2,000 people.  The devastation is enormous.  Is it a case of distance?  China is so far away that we don't feel connected to the disaster in the same way we did to Haiti?  Or is it selfishness?  The volcano isn't too far from us and we may be affected by the enormous ash clouds?  Or is it just that a volcano erupting is more of a novelty and we're curious?

In any case, the people in the Tibetan area of China are suffering immensely.  In comparison, waiting for a few days in an airport terminal seems almost luxurious.

"Pray for Me That I May Not Flee for Fear of the Wolves"

Amy Welborn recalls these words spoken by Pope Benedict XVI in his homily at his inauguration as pope, five years ago today.

How prophetic these words appear now, especially after the pope's trip to Malta where he wept with the victims of clerical sex abuse.  One can only imagine the toll this crisis is taking on him.   A photograph taken in Malta yesterday during Mass shows Pope Benedict slumping over in apparent exhaustion and Msgr. Marini gently waking him.

Happy Anniversary Holy Father!  May God strengthen and console you as you lead his Church in very difficult times.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Finding Our Risen Lord... In The Eucharist

On Easter morning, Mary Magdalene was in the depths of sadness. The Lord Jesus had become the center of her life and now He was dead. Mary could not have known how mistaken she was by looking for The Master among the dead.

The great truth of the Resurrection had not as yet become part of her faith to dispel her sadness. And so, with her vision still darkened by gloom, she failed to recognize Her Master, Jesus, standing right in front of her. She needed to hear only a word from Him -- her own name, Mary -- and her mind was flooded with the light of faith. And she realized that she was in the presence of the Risen Lord.

What happened to Mary Magdalene can happen to each of us.

The meaning of our lives is to search for and to find the Risen Lord Jesus, because He is the source of all life and happiness.

At times, we make the mistake of looking for happiness among sinful pleasures –- which can only bring death.
Perhaps we make the mistake of thinking that life can come from temporary values, such as financial success or social status.

Jesus, the Risen Lord, alone is the source of lasting life and eternal happiness.

In a special way, He permits us to find Him in the Holy Eucharist.
We hear His words, "This is My Body ... this is My Blood." 
Those words are deliberately intended to flood our minds with the light of faith, so we can believe that – by means of the Holy Eucharist – we literally are in the presence of the Risen Lord.
The Holy Eucharist is at the very center of our Catholic Faith. 

Our Risen Lord Jesus present in the Eucharist does much more than merely stand before us. 
He invites us to take Him into our being, so that He can give us the gift of everlasting life and eternal happiness.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Talk Radio - "We Have a Caller Who Wants to Defend the Pope"

Deep into the night of the Easter vigil, I awoke at 2:30 a.m. from a sound sleep.  This happens from time to time, not sure why, but I usually turn on my radio to fall back to sleep.  I guess this doesn't say much for the midnight shift on talk radio, but the droning on of the voices usually puts me back into a blissful slumber in no time.  However, this night it was different.  When I hit the button on the radio, I heard the host going on and on about the pope and the Church and how the heck were Catholics going to put any money into the basket on Easter knowing it was going to support such a corrupt organization.

In addition to talking about how the pope had ignored pedophilia cases in the U.S. and had permitted priests to be near children after clear cases of molestation, he went on to laud Mother Teresa, but then said she wasn't Catholic, she was Franciscan.  As I lay in bed staring at the ceiling, my blood was beginning to do a bit of a simmer (it wasn't quite boiling, yet).  Then, when it became more than apparent that  this guy had no clue about the Catholic church, no clue about what procedures were taken to remove pedophile priests and no clue about the facts, I felt a prompting to call in and set the record straight.

Not one to waste a good prompting, I dialed the snazzy 1-800 number, which was something like 1-800 "red eye."  (I have a problem with dialing these phone numbers that spell out something clever and, of course, I mis-dialed the first time and got Vinnie's produce market which wished me a "Happy Easter.".  This, of course, made me question my prompting and deep down I was really hoping that it was all a big mistake and God really didn't want me to call a radio show and make a fool of myself and make it worse for His Church when I got all of the facts mixed up.

But the call screener answered and told me that they would put me on the air and to just hang on for a few minutes.  I waited while a man who had been abused as a child called in.  It was heartbreaking to listen to his story of how he was abused by a priest while he was in an orphanage.  The host seemed to want him to say something awful about the Church, but all he said was that he never spoke of the incident until he heard a lawyer on t.v. talk about bringing a lawsuit.  This encouraged the man to acknowledge his abuse publicly for the first time.  He received a settlement, but couldn't play the stereo he bought with some of the money because he kept thinking about where it came from.  Then he said that friends and family had stopped having anything to do with him after he disclosed his abuse.  It was one of the saddest things I've ever heard.

Then, the call screener got on and told me I would be next.  I kept praying to the Holy Spirit and St. Michael asking for the right words and the courage to not hang up.  Of course, I was not next and the call screener apologized and said keep hanging on, I would be on soon.  This gave me another opportunity to think that maybe I didn't need to go on the air.  The caller who was on before me was doing a good job of de-bunking the slander against the pope and was doing it in a nice folksy, friendly manner, and maybe I should just hang up and not ruin it by being too angry or bitter or sarcastic.  But, before I can chicken out, I hear the host say "And now, let's hear from Marilyn in Queens, New York," and it's too late to back down.

Well, the Holy Spirit kicked in and I, hopefully, held my own in giving the host a short education in the canonical process to dismiss a priest from the clerical state and how that differed from removing him from active ministry and keeping him away from kids and how that was pretty much the job of the local bishop, in any event.  And I tried my best to talk about the strides taken by the Church in the U.S. to handle abuse allegations quickly and transparently and how priests have very little due process afforded to them compared to individuals in the civil legal system.  Then, I pointed out that Mother Teresa was in fact a Catholic in good standing, but not a Franciscan, and that the two were not mutually exclusive.

By this time, the host asked me if I was a paid spokesperson for the Church.  (Please God, no, I thought to myself).  He didn't seem to be able to come up with any questions and pretty much proved my initial reaction that he had read only the one Associated Press article, did not do any fact checking on his own and thought he could spend an entire half hour on the radio perpetuating the myth of the big bad Catholic Church.  So, he quickly thanked me for my call, hung up and moved on to the next big topic, the Tiger Woods scandal.

The moral of this story is to encourage all of you to please, please jump in when you hear someone mis-representing the facts about the pope or the Church or the faith.  I know that it's much easier to keep walking or to ignore the conversation.  But, please don't.  If we let the newspapers and the t.v. and radio shows define the Church, it will perpetuate the vile distortions that are being put out there.  If we don't defend the Church, who will?  So, do some research and fact checking.  Be prepared to set the record straight.  And, be ready to defend the truth even if you'd rather shut out the light and go back to sleep.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Have Mercy On Us and On the Whole World

My daughter, tell the whole world about My inconceivable mercy. I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinners. On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the fount of My mercy. The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. On that day all the divine floodgates through which grace flow are opened. Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet. My mercy is so great that no mind, be it of man or of angel, will be able to fathom it throughout all eternity. Everything that exists has come forth from the very depths of My most tender mercy. Every soul in its relation to Me will contemplate My love and mercy throughout eternity. The Feast of Mercy emerged from My very depths of tenderness. It is My desire that it be solemnly celebrated on the First Sunday after Easter. Mankind will not have peace until it turns to the Fount of My Mercy.
                               - Diary of St. Faustina , Entry 699

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Only Forty-Nine Days

Imagine that you are the Lord Jesus Christ. 
Take a look back on your life.
  • For three years, before being murdered, you have been teaching your Apostles and the crowds about peace and forgiveness.  
  • You've been healing the sick.  
  • You've raised the physically dead and the spiritually dead. 
  • You've been bringing the forgotten, outcasts and rejected to God. 
Then, you were illegally arrested.  
  • You were betrayed by one of your apostles, Judas Iscariot;
  • Denied by your most trusted friend, Simon Peter; 
  • Abandoned by the remaining ten apostles;
  • Condemned to death on false charges sworn to by liars;
  • Tortured and humiliated by a bunch of thugs and brutes in Roman army uniforms.
You are left to die in agony, nailed to a cross erected outside the city walls.
And after you die, you are laid to rest in a tomb owned by one of your discreet followers.

Three days after,through the power of God, you find yourself alive and conscious!
But you are not merely resuscitated: you are glorified!
Your physical body is now a divinely transformed body!
And you emerge -- no longer held in the confines of the tomb;
And no longer held by the confines of time or space or matter! 
You can be everywhere at every time, simultaneously; 
You can choose to be visible or invisible; 
Your divine life, and ability, and wisdom shine from you like the sun.
Cool, huh?

Imagine that YOU are the gloriously Risen Lord Jesus Christ.
If YOU were the Risen Christ, to whom would you go to first?
Now, if I were the Risen Jesus, I would find it difficult to resist going back:
  • Back to Pontius Pilate and his thugs, 
  • Back to the Sanhedrin council of cowardly elders who falsely condemned me, 
  • Back to to the crowds who ridiculed me.
I would use the fullness of my resurrected glory to show them the incredibly evil things they did.  
I would find it difficult to resist going back to rub it in.  
I would find it difficult to resist going back  to terrify them a bit, to shake them up. 

What would YOU do if you were the Risen Lord Jesus?

Now, please think about THIS: 
On the REAL Easter morning (NOT the imaginary one you and I might conceive),
On that most wondrous, real-life Easter morning,
Our Risen Lord Jesus did NOT do anything like what I would do in my imaginary scenario above. 
He did NOT go back!
He went FORWARD, toward the future!

The Risen Christ's first appearance is to Mary Magdalene, who had the courage to come to the tomb that morning, to provide a last shred of dignity to the Master, by completing the burial rites that had to be suspended two days before.
Then the Risen Christ appears to his friends, Peter and the other ten Apostles. 
Remember, that these are the friends who abandoned Him and, in the end, even denied knowing Him. 
Now, the Risen Christ appears to them, and greets them -- NOT with words of anger or disappointment — 
but with this greeting: “Peace be with you.”
WHY “peace be with you”?  
WHY NOT angry, condemning, vengeful words? 
Because ... what happened three days ago is done ... completed ... finished!
The Risen Lord Jesus said so Himself in his last breath on the cross: “It is finished.”
Now it is on to new things. 
NEW things.

Today you and I celebrate the anniversary of Christ’s Resurrection from the dead: Easter Sunday. 
This Feast Day is filled with the promise of NEW things.  
New things which can be accomplished ONLY through forgiveness, reconciliation, justice, peacefulness, compassion and love.

Today’s Easter Anniversary of Our Lord’s Resurrection OBLIGATES us to bury forever, 
the hatred, shame and selfish­ness of Good Friday -- of all of the Good Fridays in our life's history. 
Because ...  Good Friday’s crucifixion is done. Completed.  It is finished!
Today’s Easter Feast of the Resurrection obligates us to MOVE ON ... 
And to make NEW things happen,
Through our becoming as SELFLESS and as FORGIVING as Our Risen Lord Jesus is.

After today, we only have 49 days remaining in Easter Season. 
We’ve got to make it 49 days for new things in our lives — 
For bringing the joy of Christ’s Resur­rection into our homes and community,
and to our friends, and more so to our enemies.

This Easter Feast Day is filled with the promise of NEW things.
NEW things that can be brought into existence:
  • ONLY through FORGIVENESS of others;
  • ONLY through RECONCILIATION with others;
  • ONLY through ONLY through JUSTICE toward others;
  • ONLY through PEACEFULNESS toward others;
  • ONLY through COMPASSION toward others;
  • And ONLY through LOVE for others.
Think about that. 
The Risen Lord Jesus is SHARING -- with you and me --
His divine power to re-create:
To re-create ourselves, and our relationships with others, and with our world!
Cool, huh? 

So ...
And, this Easter reflection?
It is finished.  
Now... on to NEW THINGS!
What NEW THINGS do  YOU need to do during the remaining 49 days of this Easter Season?
What will YOU do first after Mass this morning? 
To whom will YOU go first?

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Holy Saturday - "He Descended Into Hell"

 "Something strange is happening -- there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness.  The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep.  The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began.  God has died in the flesh and hell trembles with fear.
He has gone to search for our first parent, as for a lost sheep.  Greatly desiring to visit those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, he has gone to free from sorrow the captives Adam and Eve, he who is both God and the son of Eve.  The Lord approached them bearing the cross, the weapon that had won him the victory.  At the sight of him Adam, the first man he had created, struck his breast in terror and cried out to everyone, 'My Lord be with you all.'  Christ answered him: 'And with your spirit.'  He took him by the hand and raised him up, saying: 'Awake, O sleeper, and rise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.'"
-From an ancient homily on Holy Saturday

Friday, April 2, 2010

The Height of the Mountain of Crucifixion

Satan's heights are the heights of doing things on one's own authority, of uninhibitedly determining oneself in possessing all things and being permitted all things..The height of the mountain of crucifixion consists in Jesus' having relinquished all possessions and privileges all the way down to the pure nothingness of complete nakedness, which then does not even have a place on the ground any more.  He has put these things aside in his 'thy will be done,' which is spoken to the Father.  He has put them aside in the complete unity of his will with the Father.  In so doing he has attained the real 'all'; he is at the highest peak of being -- he is one with the true God, who is not a despot or pleasure-lover, but eternal truth and eternal love.  The true image of God and of humans is thus restored in contrast to the caricature of God and humans which lay behind the satanic offer of 'being like God.'  In his earthly nothingness but in unity with the will of God, Jesus also stood firm against the power of force and its being able to do all things.  He is one with God and therefore one with the real power that encompasses heaven and earth, time and eternity.  He is one with God, so that God's power has become his power.  The power he now proclaims from the mountain of exaltation is power coming from the roots of the cross, and is thus radically opposed to the unrestrained power of possessing all things, being allowed all things and being able to do all things."
            -Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, A New Song for the Lord, 1996.

Pray for Us from the Father's House

Can it have been five years already?  Requiescat in pace.

We All Have Our Own Cross To Carry: A Good Friday Meditation

The Cross of Our Lord Jesus is NOT a reminder of PAIN.
The Cross of Our Lord Jesus is NOT a reminder of SUFFERING.
The Cross of Our Lord Jesus is NOT a reminder of FEAR. It is NOT a reminder of DEATH.

The Cross of Our Lord Jesus IS a reminder of LOVE.
Our Lord Jesus' crucifixion IS a revelation about love. 
A revelation that does not focus on the suffering of Our Lord Jesus, 
but focuses on THE LOVE that LED Our Lord Jesus to suffer.

A love that led Him to DIE on the Cross: FOR YOU, for me, for ALL people!

The Cross of Our Lord Jesus also reminds us of something else. Something we tend to forget.
Our Lord Jesus commanded us: 
"Love one another as I have loved you." [John 13:34]
This command from can never be separated from ANOTHER of His commands: 
"Whoever wishes to come after me must DENY himself, take up his Cross, and follow me." [Luke 9:23]
The Cross of Our Lord Jesus reminds us to LOVE ONE ANOTHER as Our Lord Jesus loves us --
"even to death, death on a Cross." [Philippians 2:8]

All of us HAVE and WILL experience loss, pain, betrayals and injustices.
We all experience events which are various disguises that sin and death masquerade in.
We Catholics usually refer to this with the expression, “We all have our own cross to carry.”

As believers, people with faith in the Crucified Christ,
we are fully aware of the fact that LIFE includes moments in the sunshine and in the shadows.
That LIFE is precarious; it is threat­ened by accident, disease, pain and aging. 
LIFE is upset by events beyond our control. 
Even the rich and the powerful cannot buy a carefree existence. 
Trials and misunderstandings, sickness and death, 
do not stop at the walls of the country club or the condominium. 
“We all have our own cross to carry.” 
We Catholics say that a lot. 
Sometimes, we make it sound like a cliche, like a platitude used too often to be taken seriously. 
Just what are we talking about when we speak of “THE CROSS” in our lives? 
Is “THE CROSS” a girl’s disa­ppointment in not being invited to the prom?
Is it a boy's disappointment at not making the team ?
Is “THE CROSS” a person's regret at passing up what turned out to be the winning lottery ticket?
    “THE CROSS” is much more than this.
    The symbol of the Cross is not mere disappointment.
    The Cross as a symbol stands for burdens so great that we need help to bear them.
    The symbol of the Cross is not merely for having a bad day.
    The symbol of the Cross is not merely drooping spirits, but for the weight that crushes the spirit — or tries to.
      The symbol of the Cross is A dark night of the soul,
      A betrayal that destroys the security we felt we had,
      A pain that forces us to cry out and wonder why we were born or how we will endure.
        The symbol of the Cross reminds us that JESUS CHRIST HELPS US to bear whatever our burden is.

        And so, the question is:
        IF we TRULY believe that Our Lord Jesus is with us to help us, 
        can we look at what IS or MAY BE THE CROSS in our lives and: 
        Accept it? Embrace it? Turn it from defeat to victory?

        Our Lord Jesus Himself accepted death, His own death, at a young age. 
        His greatest gift to us — during His crucifixion — was to continue to trust God His Father. 
        Our Lord Jesus bestowed that gift of faith to US!

        The upsets of life are not attractive. 
        But they are life! Or part of it! 
        And they compel us to trust in something or 
        Someone MORE than our skills, 
        Something MORE than our sciences, 
        Someone MORE than our selves.

        What we all want to discover is that we are loved. 
        That means we are wanted, that we are too important ever to be thrown away. 
        And this is God's word to us all through our lives. 
        We just have trouble believing it! 
        We are told that we are made in his image, pieces of gold. 
        We are told that he has loved us with an everlasting love, even more than a mother loves her child.

        Words are not enough, but God helps us believe them through the gift of faith. 
        And something more: 
        God loves us right now through each other. 
        The message comes through the witness of human life.

        There are TWO tremendously important consequences here:

        THE first is that 
        THE second is that 
        The Word of God is still taking flesh – IN OUR FLESH – 
        to speak to this human situation, that trial, this moment of joy, that pain, this ecstasy.

          Today as we reflect on Our Lord Jesus being "lifted up" on the cross for the redemption of the world, 
          let us lift up to Him OUR crosses, the crosses WE take up on our journeys to Calvary,
          the sufferings which transform the crucifixions around us into triumphs of the Easter promise.

          To accept and deal with the pain and disappointment we experience in life
          to carry our Cross — 
          does not mean that we should sink into self-pity, 
          or deny our anger, 
          or to passively surrender and accept the role of victim.

          To carry our Cross means to accept the reality of our suffering and pain AND 
          — through trusting faith in Christ — 
          transform the suffering and pain into growth in holiness, 
          into growth in greater wisdom, in generous compassion, 
          in selflessly consoling others: wiping their faces, 
          helping them carry the Crosses they struggle with.

          Carrying our own Cross in this way 
          — the way Our Lord Jesus did — 
          brings a peace of mind and a joy — 
          that pain and loss can never take away from us.

          Every person has their crosses to carry in their life. 
          We know Our Lord Jesus was obedient, accepting even death, even the death of the cross! 
          And because of this, He was exalted.

          Our Lord Jesus commanded us "Love one another as I have loved you."

          This command from can never be separated from ANOTHER of His commands:
          "Whoever wishes to come after Me must DENY himself, take up his Cross, and follow me."

          Thursday, April 1, 2010

          Servant of the Servants of God

          Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him.  If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.  (John 13:16)

          I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the worldI do not pray that you should take them out of the world, but that you should keep them from the evil one.  They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.  Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.  As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.  and for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be consecrated in truth....I made known to them your name, and I will make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them. (John 17:14,-18, 25)

          Men of The Catholic Jedi Academy are also Men Of Saint Joseph!

          Men of The Catholic Jedi Academy are also Men Of Saint Joseph!
          Take a moment and visit the MOSJ website.