Just saw this on EWTN Live: the bishops of the USCCB have called for a simple novena, “Nine Days of Prayer, Penance and Pilgrimage” toward a culture of life. The novena will be from January 19-27, 2013. You can sign up for e-mail or text updates and get more information at the USCCB website. I think it’s a great idea. The battle we are in must be waged at the spiritual level and we need to pray together to defeat our common ancient enemy.

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St. Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray,
and do thou,
O Prince of the heavenly hosts,
by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan,
and all the evil spirits,
who prowl about the world
seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

God bless you.

The election grows nearer but I still hear some Catholics say that they have not yet decided who to vote for. So I put together a short page of resources to help you vote your Catholic conscience. Sadly, many have not yet formed their consciences, and many Catholics do not even know what that means. The Vote page will help you begin. First, start learning your faith (this is the Year of Faith, after all)! Then live it. Everywhere. Yes, in the voting booth, too. If we don’t do everything as Catholic Christians, then our faith is so much wind, as in, hot air.

Resources to Help You Form and Vote Your Catholic Conscience so you can LIVE your faith.

[Brief list of voting guides at the end of this post and on the new Vote page.] People have told me here at the blog, in emails, on forums, in conversations, that being Catholic has nothing to do with politics, has nothing to do with choosing a candidate, has nothing to do with any part of life except one hour on Sunday. Most of these people are not Catholic or they would realize many of us don’t go to Mass just that one hour on Sunday; many of us go during the week, too, and some go every day of their lives and always have. Even so, being Catholic is not just about what we do at Mass, no matter how many times a week we attend.

And voting as a Catholic is not merely a matter of prayer and reflection, but prayer and reflection on the teachings of the Church, listening to the priests and bishops giving guidance concerning the teachings of the Church, and doing our best to live as faithful Catholics abiding by the teachings of the Church. Yes, we have to follow our consciences. But first —FIRST–we have to FORM our consciences! And how do we form our consciences? By listening to our priests and bishops, the Chief Bishop, and studying the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the marvelous teaching documents written by the Popes (including but not limited to the last two Popes, the late Pope John Paul II and the current Pope Benedict XVI).

There is absolutely no excuse for any Catholic old enough to vote not to know his or her faith. You can read the Catechism of the Catholic Church (here or here or here) and/or study the Catechism and the documents written by the Popes and the documents of Vatican II, and much more, all on the web and all for free. The bishops of the USCCB have been trying to teach people for some time now and the “faithful” blithely ignore them and say they can follow their own consciences. Without forming them!

Yes, some bishops are less than stellar examples. So don’t follow their examples! But do as they say, the same way Jesus told the disciples to do what the Pharisees said do. But He told them not to do as the Pharisees did! And besides, a good many bishops are wonderful shepherds and I pray for them every day. They do not have an easy job. Shepherding Catholics is like herding cats. Everybody wants to be his own Pope! Well, there’s only one Pope and he’s in Rome!

So form your Catholic conscience and THEN follow it! Read Evangelium Vitae (the Gospel of Life) and Humanae Vitae (Of Human Life). Study them (study guides to  Evangelium Vitae and Humanae Vitae). I’ve been told that the Church has yet to rule on abortion being a sin. Newsflash: The Church has taught that abortion is a grave sin since the time of the early Church, in the Didache (in chapter two, really the second paragraph)! And we know that taking it upon ourselves to take an innocent life is prohibited by the Ten Commandments.

So right there, before we go any further, we can see that if a candidate wants to do everything in his power to promote and support abortion and cram it down the throats of the people and refuses to do anything that would limit abortion, which is an intrinsic evil, which means it is always and everywhere a serious and grave sin, then, guess what? A Catholic may not vote for that candidate and say that he is following his Catholic conscience. Because he would be demonstrating that he does not, in fact, have a Catholic conscience!

We can vote for someone who does not share our idea of the intrinsic evil of abortion IF–IF IF IF–we have reason to believe that that person would act in such a way as to limit abortion more than another candidate would. And we do have just this case in our political landscape as I write these words. We must vote in such a way as to limit evil. If you vote for the candidate who has put into positions of authority numerous people formerly connected with the largest abortion provider in this country, then you are not voting to limit evil, you are voting in support of evil. You are voting against a Catholic conscience, which you would demonstrate by your action, by your vote.

This is a grave scandal and for the life of me I cannot understand anyone not understanding this issue or thinking that any issue at all could ever take precedence over LIFE! If you don’t have life, I ask you, then what, pray tell, do you have? Nothing! The economy doesn’t matter if we are happy to ignore the slaughter of millions to get that economy. And the economy certainly doesn’t matter to those who we slaughter! So stop saying that pro-life people are “one issue voters” and then proceeding to say that you are voting on the issue of the economy. Hello! Isn’t that being a “one issue voter”? Isn’t that what you just said we shouldn’t do, reduce our vote to a vote on just one issue? Well, at least, if I “reduce” my vote to “just one issue”, I “reduced” it to the ONE FOUNDATIONAL issue–LIFE ITSELF!

Yes, other matters matter. But Life is the one matter that matters most. Without it, the rest of the issues are empty talk and chatter.

Voting as a Catholic: Live Your Faith, Vote Your Faith!

These links are also on the new Vote page added tonight. I’ll add more as I find them.

To Help You Form Your Catholic Conscience:

Abortion never saves a lifeHow many times have you heard the lie that we must keep abortion legal to save women’s lives? I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard this monstrous lie. And that is just what it is. A monstrous lie. A fabrication. An absurd and false claim that is nothing but a ridiculous attempt by some people to rationalize the destruction of those who they consider to be unwanted or inconvenient. It’s a lie often told by those who pretend to be rational, upright, responsible and–this is my favorite–compassionate.

Well, I never believed it. And doctors in Ireland don’t believe it either. (See video below or on YouTube.) They have testified in a court of law that abortion is never medically necessary to save a pregnant woman’s life and that life-saving healthcare is never denied to a pregnant woman in Ireland either. In fact, despite the ban on abortion in Ireland, it’s one of the safest places in the world for women to have children according to the United Nations. (Well, perhaps it’s because abortion is banned; it’s pro-life!) So next time you hear someone lying about how abortion is necessary, speak up. And tell that person to admit that he or she is pro-choice, that choice being the death of an innocent child in the womb.

From the story at LifeSiteNews:

“Abortion is not needed to treat cancer. In fact, it’s not needed to treat any medical condition arising in pregnancy.” Those are the opening lines of a powerful and important new video message from the Life Institute, which brings good news for mothers and babies.

That good news has been confirmed by medical experts, and is borne out by Ireland’s experience in maternal healthcare. The demonstrable, verifiable, and certain truth is that abortion is not needed to save a mother’s life. The only purpose of abortion is to kill a baby.

View video on YouTube. View video on The Life Institute website.

EWTN has opened a website devoted to keeping the faithful and people of goodwill informed on the current issues concerning religious liberty, which liberty is under serious attack here in the U.S.A. I just found out about it and have only spent a few minutes looking over the contents of the site. A number of similar sites have opened up lately and I need to do a page of links devoted to this issue pretty soon.

 

[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.

CEC For Life Director, Fr. Terry Gensemer
CEC For Life Director, Fr. Terry Gensemer

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.

Hey, check it out! News cameras! Local news coverage! Maybe...
Hey, check it out! News cameras! Local news coverage! Maybe...

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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!

Stand Up For Religious Freedom Rally on Friday from 12-1pm Local Time across the US

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: