+JMJ+Early this morning I saw on YouTube that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has died. He was 95. I’ve been expecting it for a while now but I still can’t believe it’s happened. It is the end of an era.Continue reading “Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has died”
I miss you already, Mother. RIP, Mother Angelica.
RIP, our beloved Mother Mary Angelica. You were loved by so many and that love will only grow, I know. Please pray for us, those you leave behind. And say hello for us to the ones who left us, the ones you are with now. God bless you, Mother A, God bless you, and may you rest in His peace. Amen
Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon her. May her soul and the souls of all the faithful departed,
through the mercy of God,
rest in peace.
The more I learn about him the more I love Pope Francis (updated July 3 2020)
Update, July 3, 2020, for anyone stumbling upon this, lest you think that this post still represents my thoughts and feelings: I’ve considered updating this post for quite a while now. It didn’t age well. My impression of him has changed, more than once. For now let’s leave it at this: I am 100% with him when he stands up for what the Church teaches and has always taught. Anything else, I have a problem. For now I am continuing to study the perennial teachings of the Holy Catholic Church and doing my best to spread those teachings as best I can. I may write more about this later. And I may not. We’ll see.
As so many of my compatriots, I speak only English so I’m still in the process of locating, collecting and reading what I can find in translation by and about our new Holy Father, Pope Francis. (And that is Pope Francis, not Pope Francis I, even though he is the first Pope named Francis. No need to distinguish him from any other Popes named Francis since there aren’t any.)
I grew up Methodist and knew absolutely nothing about Catholicism. I didn’t notice popes as they came and went. I didn’t pay attention when Pope John Paul II was elected, though he certainly caught my attention later. I paid some attention when Pope Benedict was elected but mostly I was still grieving the loss of his predecessor for whom I had developed a deep and abiding affection. And when Pope Benedict announced that he had renounced the Chair of Peter, I was truly astonished. When I watched him fly via helicopter away from the Vatican, I actually cried.
Grief morphed into hope as the time of the Conclave approached and I couldn’t stop watching and listening to the coverage provided by EWTN (and secular media when there was nothing else). After I watched the doors of the Sistine Chapel close, signaling the beginning of deliberations in earnest, my excitement began to build. By the time the white smoke was announced, I was ready to jump up and down and grab the nearest person to me for a hug. Which probably explains why the coffee shop I was sitting in, watching coverage on my iPad and listening on my phone–the coffee shop which was full when I got there–was strangely empty shortly after I heard the words, “Habemus Papam!”
I’d like to offer something profound in honor of our new Holy Father but my mind is nothing but a happy, excited mess right now. I can say that watching that humble, gentle man and listening to his soft, tender words, I began to feel a real affection for him. And something deeper than affection. When I realized that he was praying the Lord’s Prayer (even though he was praying in Italian; I’m still learning to say these prayers in Latin but thought I recognized the difference), I felt my heart expand in my chest and more tears came to my eyes. Our new Chief Shepherd was already leading his flock in prayer. (And that prayer was for his predecessor, Benedict XVI. When I heard that, more tears came.) Then before he gave us his blessing, he asked us to pray to the Lord for him.
I’m sure I will love this man more as time goes on. But right now it’s hard to see how this will be possible. I love him very much already. Habemus Papam! Viva il Papa!
We had forgotten about spiritual warfare but we have now been reminded
Note: This post, originally written in 2012, is no less relevant now than it was then. If we put our hope in the fallen world and our fallen brothers and sisters in it, we are bound to be disappointed and worse. Politicians cannot save us.
“Put not your trust in princes: In the children of men, in whom there is no salvation.” –Ps 146:2-3
“The world’s thy ship and not thy home.” –attributed to St. Thérèse of Lisieux
+JMJ+ Was I surprised by what happened on Election Day? Nope. Am I depressed or in deep despair over the results? No way. I saw it coming in 2008 and I saw it coming in 2012. Do I think we have a huge and serious problem? Oh, yeah, I do. But I think our problem stems more from the fact that we live in a fallen world and the fact that we are a stiff-necked people, much like the ancient Hebrews of the Bible, than the failing of one political party or another. No, the failure was ours. We the people. More particularly, we the Catholic people.Continue reading “We had forgotten about spiritual warfare but we have now been reminded”
Doing things backward: Study was designed to support the HHS Mandate
OSV has published an article that exposes the flawed reasoning behind a study that was designed, not to evaluate the situation and see what steps were needed to deal with it, but to support the HHS Mandate. The “study” is a flagrant display of bias and pseudo-science.
Authors of the study said they devised it to mimic what they believed would happen if the Department of Health and Human Service’s contraceptive mandate were in place and women would have free access to all forms of contraception, including IUDs and hormone implants, which have upfront costs of more than $500.
The goal of the study was to increase the number of women using IUDs and implants because they “are more than 20 times more effective at preventing pregnancy” than other methods. [Emphasis mine.]
Excuse me, but the goal of the study was to influence behavior and not to study actual behavior, not seek to find and understand patterns? Not to see if a remedy suggested itself but to have a “remedy” in mind at the outset and mold the study to produce the desired result? How is this science? Lunacy! I’m happy to post the link to the article here to help expose the idiocy that masquerades as knowledge and science in our day.
Read Critics: Study designed to support the HHS mandate flawed.
One decision down, get ready, the real battle is only just beginning
Yes, I heard the news. No, I’m not surprised. Neither am I throwing up my hands in despair. The battle over religious freedom (and freedom in general) is on and it has only just begun. I’d like to quote a newsletter I received today from Eric Scheidler. I think it will help to clear up some of the misinformation which is already flooding the airwaves now that this decision has been handed down. We have a long way to go, folks. Get educated. Do it now.
THE SUPREME COURT DID NOT UPHOLD THE HHS MANDATE TODAY.
Our opponents will try to claim we’ve lost our fight against the HHS Mandate because of today’s ruling. That is simply FALSE.
The Supreme court did not address the HHS Mandate issue in their ruling today. Nor did they declare the whole 2700-page Obamacare law to be constitutional.
Today’s ruling only addresses the constitutionality of a few pages of that law, on completely different issues from the HHS Mandate.
Provisions of Obamacare like the HHS Mandate could still be struck down in the future. In fact, I’m sure it will be when the scores of lawsuits against the HHS Mandate reach the high court.
But I’m not willing to wait that long — not when religious freedom is on the line. …
As I said, I’ll be nailing down specific plans for future action against the HHS Mandate soon. Meanwhile, visit the Stand Up website to see what you can do RIGHT NOW to fight the HHS Mandate:
So don’t lose heart.
Yes, today’s Supreme Court ruling is a disappointment. But in the end it will only INCREASE the urgency of our protests and inspire MORE people to join us out onto the streets!
The fight to stop the HHS Mandate will go forward with zeal — in the courts, in Congress, on the streets and on election day!
Yours for Life,
This is truly spiritual warfare. Join the battle! Stand Up For Religious Freedom today! Read another interesting take on the decision and its implications.
In memoriam, Charles Colson, 1931-2012
I am saddened to learn that Charles Colson passed away today. I’m sorry that I never had the opportunity to meet him. Some of his books are on my to-read list. He was very active in the Catholic-Protestant dialogue which is so near and dear to my heart and mind. Farewell, Charles, until we’re all together in our true homeland where there will be no more farewells ever again.
Eternat rest, grant him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen.
Update on Charles Colson’s Condition
Charles Colson seemed to be doing better, but the latest word now is that his condition has taken a turn for the worse. Read more at the Manhattan Declaration, of which is a co-architect. Please keep him and his family in your thoughts and prayers.
Stand Up For Religious Freedom, Birmingham, Photos and Thoughts, Part 1
[Note: This page has several photos on it, so I’m not posting the whole thing on the front page of the blog. See the post page for all the photos. Thanks!] I’ve been sitting in a cafe downloading and editing photos from the Stand Up For Religious Freedom Rally in Birmingham, AL, that took place from noon until around 1 p.m. today.
Didn’t realize that today is Fr. Coyle’s birthday. Who’s Fr. Coyle? He was a Catholic priest at St. Paul’s in downtown Birmingham, back before St. Paul’s was made the cathedral. He worked very hard to bring people together, used to pray the Divine Office on the steps outside the St. Paul’s so he could be close to those passing by. He was threatened many times for the audacity of true hope, for taking Christ’s prayer that we all be one seriously and doing something about it.
Continue reading “Stand Up For Religious Freedom, Birmingham, Photos and Thoughts, Part 1”
Stand Up, Speak Out, Ready to Rally for Religious Freedom This Friday
I’ve marched for life in Birmingham, AL, and in Washington, D.C. I’ve prayed in the rain and lightning, in the cold and in the mosquito-miserable heat outside abortion mills. But this Friday will be the first rally for religious freedom I’ve ever attended. Because never before in this country has there ever been such a clear and present danger aimed at religious freedom — by our own government! Yes, the United States government has done things with which I have not agreed. But this is the first all-out in-your-face attack of which I am aware and the only way to not see it is to be blind. Completely and totally absolutely positively no eyes in your head cannot see your hand in front of your face blind!
Sadly, there are those who are just that blind and do not understand what is happening. I pray for them. Some are unaware as of yet. Some are unaware because they prefer to be unaware, prefer not to be bothered. My own father thinks, “Eh, so what?” (But he also does not even know what the HHS Mandate is, even though he watches the news every day almost all day. The man is nearly 88 and, God love him, if you ask him what year it is, he can answer correctly “2012!” only because he’s been saying that since 2010 and he’s finally right. Like a clock that’s right two times a day. Oy.)
If you haven’t found a rally near you, there’s still time. Find a rally! The last I heard (and this update was from the folks organizing the event, no, they didn’t telephone me, I heard it on the radio) there were over 130 cities participating, though not every person reporting on it has the updated number. I’m hoping that there are more cities than that already and that more will be added even up to the last minute.
The important thing is for folks to wake up, stand up, speak up and tell our lousy leftist thug government to back off and start doing the job they were ELECTED to do. We don’t work for them, they work for us. And it’s high time they started remembering it. Since they don’t seem inclined to remember it on their own, come Friday, we’re gonna give ’em a little friendly reminder. Come November, we’re gonna hand ’em their pink slips right before we t’row da bums out! ‘Nuff said!
Well, a little more needs to be said:
- Rally website.
- Rally locations.
- Women Speak for Themselves! Note the links to the right under the banner: Home, Sign the Letter, Rallies, Webcast. Oh, and ladies, please do sign the letter. And don’t expect your name to show up in the list right away. They’re getting a lot of response on this. Thanks be to God! :)
- Stop the HHS Mandate.
- US Conference of Catholic Bishops on Conscience Protection.
Abortuary Escort Shares Some Water With Prolife Prayer Group
For First Saturday I did something a little different this time. I was going to go to a 9:00 am Mass but instead I went to EWTN for the 7:00am Mass, prayed the Franciscan Crown Rosary, then had breakfast with the friars and some friends, then went to Southside to pray outside one of two abortion mills still left in Birmingham. The escort at the abortuary doesn’t like us very much and she lets us know this by calling us bullies, yelling at senior members of the prayer group to move their cars (off of the public street and down the block, which, thank goodness, they don’t have to do — they can hardly walk as it is!), and turning the sprinkler on us. (See video below or at YouTube.) She claims she is only watering the grass. Which grass is that, huh? The grass that grows outside their property? In the street? Under our feet?
[FYI: Just noticed (May 29 2019, 1:30am) that the video is not available, well, that figures. Anyway, I’ve removed the link.]
Funny thing is, she knows she’s wrong to do what she does. One of us called the police when the escort started in on the elderly couple for parking on the street (how dare they?) and she backed off of that, and, when the policeman arrived, sauntered over to the sprinkler and turned that off, too. He stayed a while talking to us, but when he left, she turned the sprinkler back on. Guess the grass only needed watering when there were no police around to witness it. But he came back a few minutes later and she casually strolled over and turned it off again. Good grief. But we never stopped praying. We had umbrellas and raincoats. Because she does this every time. And because we know that we can’t let a little water in our faces stop us from doing what is right: Praying to end abortion and the culture of death in our world. Amen!
And the real irony of this? One of these workers has a blog called “Prolifers are bullies”, I kid you not. Who’s the bully here, I ask you? Oy ve.
Treat Yourself to an Ignatian Retreat During Lent via Podcast
I’ve been wanting to make a retreat for some time now with the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, but have not been able to be away from home for as long as a month or even a week. And I just missed a weekend Ignatian retreat in a nearby town, didn’t find out until it was over. Plus there’s that little matter of not being able to afford to give even a small stipend to the retreat center for the great gift of the Exercises. But I really want to do this. I’ve never made a retreat of any kind and I know I need to do it.
Gary Zimak to the rescue! Gary, of Following the Truth, has decided (and was prompted by the Holy Spirit) to offer the Spiritual Exercises through his podcast via iTunes or BlogTalkRadio during Lent, starting Monday, Feb. 27, through Good Friday. (See promotional YouTube video below.)
Problem solved! And no excuse either. I don’t need to go anywhere, I can just download the podcast and listen on my iPod or computer, any time and as many times as I want to. For free. And I can keep these podcasts and make a retreat a month from now or next year or five years from now.
This is a God-send. A real God-send! Thank you, Gary! I’m looking forward to this. God is so good!