MotherAngelicaRIP, 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.
Amen.

Pope FrancisAs 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!”

Ahem.

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!

First Pope from Latin America, First Jesuit Pope, First Pope Named Francis

[A post for the Year of Faith.] 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.

“Praise the Lord, O my soul, in my life I will praise the Lord: I will sing to my God as long as I shall be. Put not your trust in princes: in the children of men, in whom there is no salvation” (Ps 146: 2-3, Douay-Rheims Bible).

We have forgotten who we are. We have forgotten Whom we serve. We have forgotten that we are here, not to be comfortable and in control, but to suffer, sacrifice and serve.

May God forgive us for forgetting what we are about. May we take this reproval to heart. May we repent and change our ways and be truly converted, truly turn back to our One Only Lord and Savior. May we get down on our knees this time before we are brought any lower next time…and then by force. May we remember that Yours are the heavens and the earth, O Lord, and all that exists does so by Your command.

Two ways He set before us and as for me, I still choose to serve the Lord.

Peace be with you. And, please, do not despair and do not be afraid. Put on the full armor of God and get ready, warriors. We lost one skirmish but the battle has only just barely begun!

For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and power, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places.“Finally, brethren, be strengthened in the Lord, and in the might of his power. Put you on the armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the deceits of the devil. For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and power, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places. Therefore take unto you the armour of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and to stand in all things perfect. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of justice, And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace: In all things taking the shield of faith, wherewith you may be able to extinguish all the fiery darts of the most wicked one. And take unto you the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit (which is the word of God)” (Eph 6:10-17, Douay-Rheims Bible).

Methinks the study leans a little to the left!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.

Where's the freedom? Protesting the HHS Mandate outside the Supreme CourtYes, 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:

http://StandUpRally.com/action/

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,

— Eric

This is truly spiritual warfare. Join the battle! Stand Up For Religious Freedom today! Read another interesting take on the decision and its implications.