Been a long time since I’ve posted here. Yes, I’m still alive. Yes, the blog is still alive. In my mind, anyway, even if I haven’t posted in a while. A death in the family and tending to family matters left me with not much time or energy for writing here or anywhere else. But things are getting better and I hope to be back to at least semi-regular writing and blogging soon.

The Battle of Lepanto

In the meantime tomorrow is a very special day for me: the feast day of Our Lady of the Rosary. If you aren’t familiar with the story of the Battle of Lepanto and the role of the rosary and the Blessed Virgin Mary in that battle, you can read more here and here.

Thank you for reading. I hope you’ll enjoy your visit. God bless you! :)

[The following is a report from my participation in 40 Days for Life, Days 17 and 18.] Friday was abortion day at Planned Parenthood in Birmingham. On Friday afternoon the truck came to pick up what is (euphemistically, I suppose) called “waste material”. On the side of the truck it says “Protecting People. Reducing Risk.”

Protecting folks and reducing risks. Uh huh.

Ironic, isn’t it? And just a bit sickening. The most defenseless ones of all were certainly not protected and the risk they were in was neither reduced nor even acknowledged. So much for the “compassionate choice.” I’m sure you’ve heard that argument. “It’s compassionate to save a child from possible suffering.” By killing him before he even has a chance to take his first breath outside his mother’s womb? Don’t make me vomit.

Today was a quiet day on the sidewalk. The only person who stopped to talk to me today was someone who seemed familiar at the time, but I couldn’t quite place her. Until later when I remembered the first time we met. She did exactly the same thing to me today that she did that time, during the first 40 Days for Life campaign in which I ever participated back in 2009. She stopped her car in the middle of the street, rolled down her window and said, “I want to ask you a question.” Now this was simply a deception on her part because what she really wanted to do is what she proceeded to do. “Why are you encouraging women to have babies they can’t take care of? There are (blah blah blah, fill in the blank, insert your favorite non-reason here).” And it went downhill from there. She listed the same lame excuses you’ve heard over and over and no matter how many times those excuses are repeated, the repetition of them will not ever make it right to kill a baby. Not ever.

This one got me, though. “Why do you want a baby to come into this world without a daddy? There are so many people in prison now who didn’t have daddies.”

Oh, yeah, I love this one. I replied, “I didn’t have a daddy, or a mommy either. At one time, anyway. I’m adopted and I’m very glad that I’m standing here today to say this to you because someone gave me a chance. And I’m not in prison. I’ve had a wonderful life, thank you very much.”

She went on with her litany, unable to hear or think about what I’d said because she did not want to hear or think. She did not want to ask me a question or hear my answer. She wanted to feel better about some choice she made at some point in her life and she wanted to make me feel useless or worse, even terrible. But it didn’t work. I knew whose voice I was hearing. I knew that the attack was not against me. I’ve learned to recognize the voice that says these things. I’ve learned to recognize his way of acting and thinking. I’m learning what to do when I find myself suddenly face to face with him, and that is to remember that this kind can only be driven out by prayer and fasting (Mark 9:29).

For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places.

So I did not argue with her. I did not continue the conversation with her. I told her to have a nice day and then I turned away and picked up where I had left off praying my rosary. Only I  said a special prayer for her and mentioned her (and others like her) at the beginning of the meditation on each Mystery. I don’t want to get into an argument or a yelling match with someone who is under the ancient enemy’s power. I don’t want to give him the satisfaction. And I don’t want to give him an opening into my own heart and mind.

But there is one thing I wish I’d thought to tell her before she drove away this time. I wish I had told her that I’m glad she was not my mother. Maybe it’s a good thing that I didn’t think of it until later. But maybe I’ll remember it if I ever see her again.

Peace be with you and keep praying. We are making a difference and our ancient enemy is profoundly disturbed. Thanks be to God!

The Bishop of Cleveland has issued a decree about Holy Love Ministries - Stay away from it!In March of 2010 I wrote a post about Holy Love Ministries in Ohio because a friend of mine gave me a “Rosary of the Unborn” from HLM and some printed material that concerned me enough to do a web search to learn more about it. What I found was that the bishop of Cleveland, Bishop Lennon, shared my concerns…and more. Here’s the link to the bishop’s decree concerning Holy Love Ministries and Maureen Sweeney Kyle on the website of the Diocese of Cleveland.

I’ve been trying to decide what to do with the rosary beads. I discussed this with a friend and she suggested that I use the beads and pray for Ms. Kyle. I’d like to pass along her request that all of us pray for the alleged visionary, that she may be reconciled with the bishop, that she may be faithful, that she may be humble, that she may be patient and accept the will of God, even if that will is not what she would like. These would be signs of the validity and veracity of her alleged apparitions or locutions. But those are not the signs that she has exhibited. In any case, I accept the bishop’s word and am not promoting Holy Love Ministries or anything associated with it unless and until the Church approves it.

To promote this organization, the alleged revelations, or anything associated with it, including the rosary beads they market, is to be disobedient to the bishop. I find it profoundly disturbing to see ads for this organization prominently displayed on pro-life websites run by people who should know better. I have tried to contact various ones about it but have never received a reply, which I find as disturbing as the ad placement itself.

Read more:

For an interesting article on Holy Love Ministries, Maureen Sweeney Kyle, the various activities of her organization, and the Bishop of Cleveland, along with some telling comments from HLM supporters, see this post on the Pro-Life Action League website.

An unusual rosary

(Update, Mar 2 2012: Here’s the link to the bishop’s decree concerning Holy Love Ministries on the website of the Diocese of Cleveland. The diocesan site was down when I originally wrote this article and I had forgotten to go back later and link directly to their page. I wrote a new post about HLM tonight, too.

After discussing this with a new friend, I’d like to pass along her request that all of us pray for the alleged visionary, that she may be reconciled with the bishop, that she may be faithful, that she may be humble, that she may be patient and accept the will of God, even if that will is not what she would like. These would be signs of the validity and veracity of her alleged visions, or locutions, whichever type of revelations they are alleged to be. But those are not the signs that she has exhibited. In any case, I accept the bishop’s word and am not promoting Holy Love Ministries or anything associated with it unless and until the Church approves it. And that means when the bishop of the diocese where HLM is, in Cleveland, approves it.)

(Update, Dec 1 2011: The title of my post now seems misleading to me. I do not want to imply that determining the validity of “Holy Love Ministries” — or of the private revelations associated with it — is the responsibility of the Catholic laity. As you will see further on in the post, their bishop spoke out about this a long time ago and gave his ruling on it. Which was No, it is not authentic and the faithful are to have nothing to do with it. Period. The people at “Holy Love Ministries” refuse to obey. That certain other people insist on spreading the “messages” and the rosary is itself disobedient and I am disgusted to see advertisements for this group prominently displayed on the right hand side of each and every page of a well-known pro-life site. I have written to them about it and have mentioned it to them several times but have never received a reply or even an acknowledgement of my concerns.)

A friend gave me a rosary a few months ago. It’s an unusual rosary: the “Hail, Mary” beads are the shape of tears and inside each one is a tiny figure of an unborn baby. The booklet that accompanies the beads contains special pro-life meditations and prayers. I’ve enjoyed using the beads while praying the rosary, but I haven’t ever used the actual book. And I’ll tell you why. Because the text is based upon “messages” that were allegedly received by someone in Ohio who claims that the Virgin Mary has appeared to her for more than 25 years. Continue reading

Today I didn’t get to go to Mass up at EWTN. Well, I could have, but I stayed up much too late blogging so I slept too late. But I can’t let that happen tonight because tomorrow is the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, a day that has often been an important one in my spiritual journey. On at least two separate occasions I’ve had major experiences/events happen on the day of the Feast; I didn’t even notice the date until later. I take this as a sign that our Blessed Mother has heard and answered my request that she take my hand and show me the way to her Son. There are so many ways she’s helped me over the years. These days I am asking her specifically to help me as I pray on the sidewalk outside the abortion clinics in town during the 40 Days for Life prayer vigil. Continue reading