Saturday, August 12, 2006

Mental Prayer for August 13-Our Lord Walks on the Water

Mental Prayer Meditation Helps

Presence of God.

Grace I Ask: A strong, realizing faith in God as my loving and interested Father.

Mental Picture (cf. Matt. 14 :22-33) : In their small fishing boat, the Apostles are making their way across the Sea of Galilee during the early morning hours. Suddenly across the waters a shape appears to be moving toward the boat. "Take courage. It is I. Do not be afraid."
Impetuous Peter: "Lord, if it is really you, let me come to you over the waters."
And Jesus: "Come."
Climbing out of the boat, Peter starts to walk on the water toward Jesus...until he begins to doubt and fear for himself; then his fears pull him under.

Personal Application: A habit of strong, unhesi­tating confidence is what will put me firmly on the road to my eternal goal. A strong, unwavering faith will always show its life in deeds. The way a young man or girl lives out his Catholic life is a direct reflection of the type and depth of his faith.

I Speak to Christ: Let me be convinced, dear Lord, that the degree of my faith in you sets the tone for my life of the spirit. When my religion starts to become mere routine, just going through the motions, then deepen my faith in the mysteries of the divine life. Give me the grace constantly to keep asking for a deeper faith, the grace at least to want to delve deeper into the truths of my religion.

Thought for Today: "All things are possible to him who believes."
Adapted from Mental Prayer, Challenge to the Lay Apostle
by The Queen's Work,(© 1958)

If Jesus were the Bishop of Amarillo, what would He do?

Excerpts from a pastoral letter by Bishop John W. Yanta:

July 16, 2006 - Feast Day of Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, if Jesus were the Bishop of Amarillo, how would he run the Diocese of Amarillo? What would Jesus try to teach us? Would Jesus be evangelizing the people of God? How? Doing what? Saying what?

Would Jesus be trying every means possible to call us to holiness? Would Jesus not only invite us to become his disciples but provide all the means of becoming disciples in every parish throughout the diocese? Would Jesus want every parish to be a school of holiness as Pope John Paul II taught us as a good goal for the new millennium?

Jesus is the Good Shepherd of his Church on earth – its pastor! Given the fact that Jesus arose from the dead and ascended into heaven, He still remains on earth with his Church as its head. Remember, Jesus wants 100% of the sheep to be in his flock and he wants all the sheep to receive 100% of his teachings! But Jesus has chosen to have some men and parents placed over certain sections of his Body, the Church.

The pope is the Vicar of Christ on earth by being a good shepherd of the Church Universal; the bishop as a successor of the apostles should try always to be a good shepherd of all the people of God of his diocese; the priest pastor (co-worker united with his bishop) is delegated to be a good shepherd for his parish which is “a family of families” (Pope John Paul II, San Antonio, TX, Sept. 13, 1987). The pope, bishop, and priests are anointed and sent by Jesus to care for his people.

Parents, living in Jesus with each other in marriage, are the shepherds of their children. The family is the domestic church; the family is the most important part of both the Church and the world. Parents share the awesome responsibility with the pope, their bishop, and their pastor. Each has a flock to feed and tend – under, with, and for the Good Shepherd, Jesus.

Would that every child would be received as the greatest blessing of marriage! Jesus wills it!

Would that every child could say that Mom and Dad are the first teachers of the Faith by what they do and what they say! Jesus wills it!

Would that every child would learn in infancy and childhood that our loving God has a plan for each of us how to live in this life and be happy with Him in the next! Jesus wills it!

Would that every child would learn first and principally from his parents about God’s sacred plan for our sexuality as male and female! Jesus wills it!

Natural Family Planning

As announced in my pastoral letter January 28, 2006: “The Diocese of Amarillo will be a natural family planning diocese: henceforth, all marriages (except for couples past the child bearing age) will be required to attend and complete an approved Natural Family Planning course in conjunction with an approved marriage preparation program. Effective date: July 25, 2006.

“July 25th is the date selected for implementation: July 25th is four (4) months after the Annunciation (March 25th) and five (5) months before the Nativity of Jesus. July 25th is also the feast of St. James, first bishop of Jerusalem.

“July 25th is also the 38th anniversary of Humanae Vitae (on artificial contraception) by Pope Paul VI. Copies of a simplified version by Msgr. Vincent Walsh are available from Key of David Publications, 204 Haverford Road, Wynnewood, PA 19006, 610-896-1970.

“Omnia parata” (All is ready) as Jesus said in the parable of the wedding feast. In all parts of the diocese we have teachers trained to give the Natural Family Planning instruction in both English and Spanish.

“I ask Almighty God to forgive me for waiting so long to implement Natural Family Planning as normative and as a requirement for a marriage to be witnessed by our priests and deacons in the Diocese of Amarillo.

“Every married couple has the right from the Church to continue on the road to sainthood begun in baptism by living as one joined to Christ: Natural Family Planning is God’s way to live responsible parenthood. Marriage and family are the pillars of the Church and society”.

Our Catholic Schools

Just a few days ago, Pope Benedict XVI at the Fifth World Gathering of Families in Spain called the family “a unique institution in God’s plan.” He further proclaimed: “I wish to set forth the central role, for the Church and for society, proper to the family based on marriage.”

As school opens again soon, I ask you, what is Jesus’ plan for our children’s education? A relatively new phenomenon has emerged in our midst: home schools. They are a fulfillment of Jesus’ plan that the father and mother are the first teachers of the ways of faith for their children.

However, if parents choose not to home school, Jesus would want them to attend a Catholic school. Catholic schools exist to help parents in their duty to form their children in the fullness of Christianity – our Catholic Faith. It is a given that our Catholic schools provide an education equal to the local school or superior to it, as the facts and data bear out.

Jesus wants us to recognize our Catholic schools as a great gift, an awesome ministry, and a stewardship we all support.

Our Catholic schools are supported by the tuition paid by students’ parents and extended family, the fundraisers sponsored by parents and alumni, their parish and nearby parishes, the diocese, and foundations, e.g. Bill and Louise Dee, Kenedy in Corpus Christi, and Scanlan in Houston.

Partial scholarships are available. I, as bishop, have a policy that no child will be denied a Catholic School education because of financial need. The Lord will provide, is our trust. Would Jesus be calling you to adopt a needy student? You will be helping the child Jesus in disguise; that’s our Faith.

Eucharistic Families

Let’s begin with the well known adage: “The Family that Prays Together – Stays Together.” The Eucharist is the highest form of prayer.

As your bishop, in the name of Jesus, I invite all you families to participate fully in the Second Diocesan Eucharistic Congress, August 25 and 26 in the Amarillo Civic Center.

Instruction on the Eucharist states: “145. The pastoral value of Eucharistic Congresses should be highly esteemed, and they ‘should be a genuine sign of faith and charity.’”

Pope John Paul II said: “The Christian family’s sanctifying role is grounded in baptism and has its highest expression in the Eucharist, to which Christian marriage is intimately connected.

To understand better and live more intensely the graces and responsibilities of Christian marriage and family life, it is altogether necessary to rediscover and strengthen this relationship.

“The Eucharist is the very source of Christian marriage. The Eucharistic Sacrifice, in fact, represents Christ’s Covenant of love with the Church, sealed with his blood on the Cross” (The Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortations of John Paul II, #57).

Eucharistic marriages produce Eucharistic families.

May the Holy Family of Mary, Joseph, and Jesus be your strength and inspiration!

Sincerely in Christ,
Most Rev. John W. Yanta
Bishop of Amarillo

Actually, it is complete - no excerpts...there was nothing which seemed 'snippable' - and - I'm not certain how long it will be available on the diocese website since I was unable to find an archive.

For those who may not remember, Bishop Yanta invited Fr Frank Pavone to his diocese in order to establish the National Headquarters of Priests for Life. Father Pavone has started a seminary there, as well.

The link is here.

Gospel for Saturday, 18th Week in Ordinary Time

From: Matthew 17:14-20

The Curing of an Epileptic Boy

[14] And when they came to the crowd, a man came up to him and kneeling before him said, [15] "Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and he suffers terribly; for often he falls into the fire, and often into the water. [16] And I brought him to your disciples, and they could not heal him." [17] And Jesus answered, "O faithless and perverse generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him here to me." [18] And Jesus rebuked him, and the demon came out of him, and the boy was cured instantly. [19] Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, "Why could we not cast it out?" [20] He said to them, "Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move hence to yonder place,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you."


14-21. This episode of the curing of the boy shows both Christ's omnipotence and the power of prayer full of faith. Because of his deep union with Christ, a Christian shares, through faith, in God's own omnipotence, to such an extent that Jesus actually says on another occasion, "he who believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I go to the Father" (Jn 14:12).

Our Lord tells the Apostles that if they had faith they would be able to work miracles, to move mountains. "Moving mountains" was probably a proverbial saying. God would certainly let a believer move a mountain if that were necessary for his glory and for the edification of one's neighbor; however, Christ's promise is fulfilled everyday in a much more exalted way. Some Fathers of the Church (St. Jerome, St. Augustine) say that "a mountain is moved" every time someone is divinely aided to do something which exceed man's natural powers. This clearly happens in the work of our sanctification, which the Paraclete effects in our souls when we are docile to him and receive with faith and love the grace given us in the sacraments: we benefit from the sacraments to a greater or lesser degree depending on the dispositions with which we receive them. Sanctification is something more sublime than moving mountains, and it is something which is happening every day in so many holy souls, even though most people do not notice it.

The Apostles and many saints down the centuries have in fact worked amazing material miracles; but the greatest and most important miracles were, are and will be the miracles of souls dead through sin and ignorance being reborn and developing in the new life of the children of God.

20. Here and in the parable of Matthew 13:31-32 the main force of the comparison lies in the fact that a very small seed--the mustard seed--produces a large shrub up to three meters (ten feet) high: even a very small act of genuine faith can produce surprising results.
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland. Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Mental Prayer for August 12-Christ Comes to Me Too in Holy Communion

Mental Prayer Meditation Helps

Presence of God.

Grace I Ask: Jesus, help me to realize that you will come to me in Holy Communion any morning I wish.

Mental Picture (cf. Luke 19:1-10): Zaccheus, a sinner, up in a tree. Jesus, looking up, says, "Come down. This day I'll stay in your house." Joy of Zaccheus... his great privilege... his haste in getting his house ready for Jesus... Jesus brings him joy, help, courage. When Jesus leaves his house, Zaccheus is a changed man.

My Personal Application: Like Zaccheus, do I need God's help? Will Jeus give it to me? Where? When? If the President of the U. S. A. told me that he would come to my house today, what would I do? Would I put myself out to have him come? Would I be happy? Proud? Will Jesus come just to my house, or will He come inside me? Will He bring me joy, help, courage too? Can Jesus make me into a better person if I let Him? Would I walk as far as my parish church to see the President? Can I find one good reason why I can't go to Holy Communion every morn­ing? Do I want to? Do I need to? Is it worth the sacrifice it would involve?

I Speak to Christ: Lord, I need you just as Zaccheus did. I have my problems, my tempta­tions, my troubles too. Help me realize that you are ready to aid me if I just invite you inside my soul in Holy Communion. I promise to go to Communion as often as I can, even daily for I need you. I love you.

Thought for Today: "Come to me all you that labor and are troubled and I will refresh you."
Adapted from Mental Prayer, Challenge to the Lay Apostle
by The Queen's Work,(© 1958)

Sept 17 - Credo Dinner with EWTN's Fr Dominic Garner

Credo of the Catholic Laity

is proud to present

Father Dominic Mary Garner

Speaking on the Topic

“Would that Catholics knew their Catechism.”

* * * * * *

Our September Forum speaker is a young priest of the Franciscan Missionaries of the Eternal Word located in Birmingham Alabama. Recently founded by Mother Angelica, this men’s order strives to evangelize the world and call back the stray "sheep", mainly through the apostolate of the Global Catholic Network – EWTN.

Fr. Dominic was ordained to the Holy Priesthood in 2004 after attending Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland. He currently serves as Chaplain for the employees of EWTN and also serves as Assistant Chaplain at the Shrine of the most Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville Alabama, which is also the home of Mother Angelica and her Poor Clare Nuns of Perpetual Adoration.

For those of you who are EWTN fans, Father Dominic often celebrates the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass on television. He minces no words in his homilies as he proclaims the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

He was a recent visitor to our area when he participated in the EWTN 25th Anniversary Celebration at the St. Charles Family Resource Center.

Join us on Sunday, September 17th, at 6:00 p.m. for a delicious dinner at the Crowne Plaza Hotel located at 7750 Carondelet Blvd. in Clayton, MO.

Meals include choice of entree (below), tossed garden salad, vegetables, dinner roll/butter, beverage and dessert. Cost is $20.00 per person.

There is free inside parking at the 7777 Bonhomme Parking Garage. Use the Orange level bridge to the hotel.

Use the coupon below and send it with your check made payable to Credo of the Catholic Laity to:

Howard Brandt
4386 Honeydew Lane
St. Louis MO. 63128

Phone 314-894-0357 e-mail hbrandt (at)

===================cut here===========================






Enclosed is my check for $______ to cover ____persons
for Father Dominic’s talk.

My menu entree selections are:
Roast Beef Bordelaise #___ Sautéed Chicken #___

Indonesia: Stay of execution after papal plea

Aug. 11 ( - The Indonesian government has announced a stay of execution for 3 Christians who were scheduled to face a firing squad on August 12, the AsiaNews service has reported. The reprieve for the condemned men is said to be for at least one week.

Pope Benedict XVI (bio - news) had sent a last-minute appeal to Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, asking for a "an act of clemency" to stop the scheduled execution of three Christian men sentenced in connection with the religious violence that swept the eastern Sulawesi region in 1999-2001.

“How Bishops Discourage Vocations (and the Key to Attracting Them)”

From: Status Ecclesiae
Aug.-Sept. 2005
by John Mallon, Contributing Editor, Inside the Vatican

In the mid 1990s, I attended a clergy meeting in the diocese where I was employed as the newspaper editor. The meeting was to discuss ideas to increase vocations to the priesthood, because the diocese was facing a crisis. Predictably, the discussion was going nowhere until the retired archbishop raised his hand, stood up and said, “Why don’t we study those dioceses which are attracting vocations, like Lincoln, Nebraska, and Arlington, Virginia, and see what they are doing and what we can learn from that.” I smiled to myself, eager to see the response to his suggestion, because I knew that the reason those dioceses were attracting so many vocations would be utterly unacceptable to this group of priests. Predictably, the priests just looked at each other and said nothing. No one responded to the archbishop’s suggestion.

The answer was obvious. I may have even taken the retired archbishop aside and told him, but I suspect he already knew. The plain simple answer was that the bishops of those dioceses, Bishops Fabian Bruskewitz of Lincoln and the late John Keating of Arlington, were both explicitly, vocally and publicly committed to orthodoxy in Catholic teaching and practice. Meanwhile, the dominant priests of this diocese were known for being firmly committed to dissent. [emphasis added]

Many of us have opined from time to time that the only way that vocations are going to increase is to pray and to ensure that the fullness of the Faith is proclaimed and manifested, both by those in positions of ecclesiastical authority and by the faithful.

I've had this discussion with a deacon friend of mine who is associated with the Serra Club. Many times I have suggested that, in addition to the many programs of the Serra Club, it might consider promoting programs aimed at instilling orthodoxy as well as orthopraxis - not only at the parish level but also at the diocesan level.

Anecdotal 'evidence' appears to show that true vocations are born from those parishes in which the fullness of the faith is taught and where holiness is promoted and imparted to the young. Conversely, the vineyard is barren where heterdoxy and/or dissent is embraced.

At times, my conversations with my deacon friend seem to be beyond his grasp. When the majority of the young Catholic families are content with only one or two childen - presumably with the aid of artificial contraception, which is never condemned as intrinsically evil, there are fewer and fewer young men to hear the call of Christ. In addition, many grow up in an atmosphere which is, frankly, poisonous to the faith - for the tacit or, at times, even open denial that there exists gravely sinful matter is rarely if ever taught - except in cases of such things as environmentalism or distorted "social justice" issues.

Anyway, I digress...John Mallon has a great line further in his article:

....years later, perhaps it is beginning to dawn on some mid-level Church authorities that dissenters are not producing any progeny or followers — spiritual children. I call this ecclesiastical contraception. How can you inspire lifelong commitment and sacrifice in others to a Church you are constantly at war with?

Ecclesiastical Contraception - a perfect term for what has occurred in many parts of the country as well as in many parts of the world. Not only did many, many bishops and priests openly reject "Humanae Vitae" - their doing so resulted in a decades old famine which left many of the faithful spiritually sterile and physically non-procreative.

There is no secret to attracting vocations. There are plenty of them out there. A bishop who tolerates dissent and ignores abuses will not attract them. A bishop who boldly stands up for Christ and His Church, and Church teachings, despite all costs and opposition, will attract them.

It seems so simple, yet it is true. We have a profound obligation to help - and for many of us, that help comes in our offering of our prayers and sacrifices for our priests and bishops - so that they may be confirmed in their faith and their courage, that they may do what Christ expects of them - to pick up their crosses and follow Him.

This might be a good article to send to priests and bishops and to others involved in priestly vocations.

New UN Human Rights Treaty Threatens to Include Abortion

From the Friday Fax,

The UN will meet for two weeks starting on Monday on what may be the final negotiating session for an international treaty on disabilities. As per usual, "reproductive health" is a major sticking point in the final draft.

C-FAM personnel, along with allies from around the world, will be present and working to affect the draft document.

Spread the word.

Yours sincerely,
Austin Ruse
New UN Human Rights Treaty Threatens to Include Abortion
By Susan Yoshihara PhD

(NEW YORK - C-FAM) United Nations delegates will assemble in New York on Monday to finalize a new human rights treaty. The International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities will be “hard” international law, joining other human rights instruments which are binding on the countries that ratify them. Most documents negotiated at the UN are non-binding. Treaties, such as this one, require governments to change their domestic laws based on the treaty.

Conservative legal experts have complained that the draft text contains ambiguous and undefined language – such as “reproductive health,” the right to “experience sexuality,” and the right to “have sexual and other intimate relationships” -- that has never before appeared in a treaty-level document. They note that the current text provides virtually no protection for the disabled from euthanasia due to a perceived diminishment in their quality of life. These experts caution that if delegates do not challenge the current text, there will be no safeguards against the worst outcomes – including the creation of new and enforceable rights such as the right to death and an unrestricted right to abortion.

More at the Friday Fax here.

Missouri Cloning Amendment Could Nullify Laws Regulating Abortion

That’s according to Jim Cole, volunteer legal counsel with Missouri Right to Life, who has written a series of papers detailing the flaws of the Missouri Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative.

The initiative, said Cole, "is sold to the public as a way to save lives, but the proposal guarantees that human lives can be created by fertilization and then killed for stem cells." He said the effort would nullify Missouri abortion laws that currently protect against that kind of action.

Missouri has several laws dealing with the use of tissue, including stem cells, from aborted human embryos...

...Those abortion laws would be affected "because of the provisions that say you can’t have any government action to prohibit or discourage or provide a disincentive for stem cell research and stem cell therapies."

There is a section of the ballot initiative which states:

"No state or local law, regulation, rule, charter, ordinance or other governmental action shall (i) prevent, restrict, obstruct or discourage any stem cell research or stem cell therapies and cures that are permitted by this section to be conducted or provided, or (ii) create disincentives for any person to engage in or otherwise associate with such research or therapies and cures."

"This would be in the Missouri constitution, so it would override any statutes to the contrary," said Cole.

And this is just another of the the multitude of problems associated with engaging in intrinsically evil acts.

There is much more, including the fact that:
the definition of a blastocyst in the text of the initiative differs from section 188.015.6 of Missouri law, which states that an unborn child is considered "the offspring of human beings from the moment of conception until birth and at every stage of its biological development, including the human conceptus, zygote, morula, blastocyst, embryo and fetus."

The initiative’s text, however, lays out that a blastocyst is "a small mass of cells that results from cell division, caused either by fertilization or by somatic cell nuclear transfer, that has not been implanted in a uterus."

And not only this, but for Missourians, the term "cloning" will also be redefined...

Jennifer Brinker, a St Louis Review Staff Writer, has a great article this week on the upcoming attempt to deceive Missouri voters in November.

Archdiocese Offers Speakers Bureau on Cloning

The archdiocesan Office of the Permanent Diaconate is offering a bureau of deacons who are able to speak about stem-cell research and human cloning.

The office already has identified about 25 deacons who are willing to speak at parishes about the issue. The topic has been at the center of the Missouri Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative — Constitutional Amendment No. 2 on the Nov. 7 ballot — which would amend the state constitution to protect embroyonic stem-cell research. The Church condemns such research as human cloning while fully supporting research using adult stem cells.

The request for deacons came from the archdiocesan Respect Life Apostolate, said Father C. Eugene Morris, episcopal vicar for the Diaconate Office.

For more information,
The St Louis Respect Life Apostolate at 314-792-7555
The Diaconate Office at 314-633-2530

Peace, peace and there is no peace

Some worthwhile reading and action items from today's American TFP email:

Peace, peace and there is no peace, so says a passage adapted from Jeremias. Indeed what we see are wars and rumors of wars in the headlines. Politically, we know something about these conflicts. However, the religious and theological aspects are totally ignored. Peace is the fruit of order – and we live in a world of disorder and sin. And so I invite you to read Luis Solimeo’s article, “Peace, Peace and There is no Peace” by clicking here.

We are not stopping our efforts to protest blasphemy. Those who ridicule the Faith are relentless in their depictions. The Comedy Central show, “South Park” is one such offender. Click here to send your protest against a recent episode which depicts a “miraculous” statute of the Virgin Mary spraying blood into the face of a Pope Benedict XVI.

Finally, I invite you to read a review by Michael Whitcraft of the book, The Crucifixion of Jesus: A Forensic Inquiry. This is a rather technical analysis of the crucifixion by a leading doctor and forensics expert. Take a look at the review by clicking here.

Spread the Word - Vote NO on Constitutional Amendment 2

From Missourians Against Human Cloning:

It's official, we have a number. We are voting NO on Constitutional Amendment 2 on November 7th. Please continue to share the truth with everyone you know. You are making a difference.

Thank you to everyone who handed out information at the polls during the primary election. With your help we were able to blanket the state with the truth about the proposed amendment. We will need each and every one of you to help on November 7th when we make our final push at the polls to spread the truth to those who have been confused, deceived or are undecied.

The campaign is hitting a fever pitch. If you have not yet had a presentation for your church, civic group, or neighborhood please contact our office (636) 536-9877 and we will help you schedule a presentation. We have a professional speakers bureau of doctors, medical professionals, and researchers available throughout the state ready to present the truth to your group.

If you have not visited our website recently please check it out. We have added a number of downloads that help explain the amendment as well as upcoming events.

And let us not forget that Archbishop Burke initiated a Rosary Crusade to safeguard embryonic human life and prevent human cloning..
.The power of praying the Rosary through the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe is long-recognized in the history of the Church. “Like the Christians before the Battle of Lepanto, we must call upon God’s help by praying the Rosary, calling especially upon the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mother of America and Star of the New Evangelization,” said Archbishop Burke when he announced the Crusade.

With prayer and the truth, this Constitutional Amendment, which assaults the dignity of human life, can be defeated and the purveyors of death will be hampered in their efforts.

Creation or Evolution?

...Here Is the View of the Church of Rome

Creationists versus Darwinists, “intelligent design” versus random selection, the controversy is as heated as ever. The pope is studying the issue with a team of experts. Keep reading to find the truth he wants to reassert. And the confusion he wants to clear up.

by Sandro Magister

Dr Edward Peters on "Compounding their crimes"

The pseudo-ordinations that a number of women around the world, and lately in the United States, have attempted are, to borrow Leo XIII's phrase, "absolutely null and utterly void". (See specifically John Paul II, Ordinatio sacerdotalis, n. 4). Last summer (scroll to 6 July 2005) I explained how such affronts to divine and canon law can and will result in excommunication, although, as I argued, not by the automatic process (1983 CIC 1314) that many simply assumed would apply to such cases. Here I need to make a different point.

Gospel for August 11, Memorial: St. Claire, Virgin

From: Matthew 16:24-28

Jesus Foretells His Passion and Resurrection (Continuation)

[24] Then Jesus told His disciples, "If any man would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. [25] For whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. [26] For what will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life? Or what shall a man give in return for his life? [27] For the Son of Man is to come with His angels in the glory of His Father, and then He will repay every man for what he has done. [28] Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in His Kingdom."


24. "Divine love, `poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit who has been given to us' (Romans 5:5), enables lay people to express concretely in their lives the spirit of the Beatitudes. Following Jesus in His poverty, they feel no depression in want, no pride in plenty; imitating the humble Christ, they are not greedy for vain show (cf. Galatians 5:26). They strive to please God rather than men, always ready to abandon everything for Christ (cf. Luke 14:26) and even to endure persecution in the cause of right (cf. Matthew 5:10), having in mind the Lord's saying? `If any man wants to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me'" (Matthew 16:24) ("Apostolicam Actuositatem", 4).

25. A Christian cannot ignore these words of Jesus. He has to risk, to gamble, this present life in order to attain eternal life: "How little a life is to offer to God!" ([St] J. Escriva, "The Way", 420).

Our Lord's requirement means that we must renounce our own will in order to identify with the will of God and so to ensure that, as St. John of the Cross comments, we do not follow the way of those many people who "would have God will that which they themselves will, and are fretful at having to will that which He wills, and find it repugnant to accommodate their will to that of God. Hence it happens to them that oftentimes they think that that wherein they find not their own will and pleasure is not the will of God; and that, on the other hand, when they themselves find satisfaction, God is satisfied. Thus they measure God by themselves and not themselves by God" ("Dark Night of the Soul", Book 1, Chapter 7, 3).

26-27. Christ's words are crystal-clear: every person has to bear in mind the Last Judgment. Salvation, in other words, is something radically personal: "He will repay every man for what he has done" (verse 27).

Man's goal does not consist in accumulating worldly goods; these are only means to an end; man's last end, his ultimate goal, is God Himself; he possesses God in advance, as it were, here on earth by means of grace, and possesses him fully and forever in Heaven. Jesus shows the route to take to reach this destination--denying oneself (that is, saying no to ease, comfort, selfishness and attachment to temporal goods) and taking up the cross. For no earthly--impermanent--good can compare with the soul's eternal salvation. As St. Thomas expresses it with theological precision, "the least good of grace is superior to the natural good of the entire universe" ("Summa Theologiae", I-II, q. 113, a. 9).

28. Here Jesus is referring not to His Last Coming (which He speaks about in the preceding verse) but to other events which will occur prior to that and which will be a sign of His glorification after death. The Coming He speaks of here may refer firstly to His Resurrection and His appearance thereafter; it could also refer to His Transfiguration, which is itself a manifestation of His glory. This coming of Christ in His Kingdom might also be seen in the destruction of Jerusalem--a sign of the end of the ancient people of Israel as a form of the Kingdom of God and its substitution by the Church, the new Kingdom.
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland. Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Mental Prayer for August 11-Zaccheus, the Publican

Mental Prayer Meditation Helps

Presence of God.

Grace I Ask: I want to feel the urgency and kind­ness of our Lord's mercy toward the sinner and to experience this mercy myself.

Mental Picture (cf. Luke 19:1-10) : Zaccheus, a crook operating within the law, exacting money from people with "taxation" as a pretext. He's curious about Jesus. What does He look like? A crowd surrounds Jesus; Zaccheus is short. He runs ahead, climbs a tree. Jesus sees him, calls him down, says He must stay in his house. People are shocked at this. Zaccheus promptly promises to return his unjust gains. Jesus brings him forgiveness.

My Personal Application: I realize that God may use any means, even insignificant ones, to lead a sinner to sorrow for his sins. Am I aware that my good example or my encouragement may be the means of someone's conversion? Do I have contempt for the wayward man or woman whom Christ wants to save? Or have I prayed for sin­ners sincerely? Do I approach confession with confidence, trusting Jesus to forgive and forget my sins? Am I confident that His mercy watches over my future?

I Speak to Christ : My Jesus, I marvel at your great kindness toward Zaccheus; for you invite yourself into this sinner's house, not caring what people think about it! Certainly you love the sinner; you want to save him. Let me help you do this by my good example and prayers. May I come to you trustfully when I have sinned and rest peacefully in the pardon you have given.

Thought for Today: "The Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost."
Adapted from Mental Prayer, Challenge to the Lay Apostle
by The Queen's Work,(© 1958)

If you were born after 1973, about 30% of your friends, neighbors, and relatives are missing

Culture of life goes Prime Time
By Susan Brinkmann
CS&T Correspondent

It’s time for a commercial break on MTV and a bright yellow school bus suddenly flashes across the screen. A group of youngsters hurtle off the bus while a voice in the background says: “If you were born after 1973, about 30 percent of your friends, neighbors, and relatives are missing.”

The figures of two of the children start to fade, then slowly disappear.

The next scene shows a group of high school athletes taking off down a running track. “Since the Supreme Court approved legal abortions 30 years ago,” the voice continues, “nearly one of every three babies were aborted.” Two of the athletes vanish from the screen.

“That means 43 million U.S. children, teens, and young adults are missing,” the voice continues.

A young groom stands on the altar while the figure of his beautiful bride turns pale and ghostly, then disappears.

The message is plain but powerful, and is just one example of the kind of savvy, pro-life advertising that may soon be seen by Philadelphia teens — thanks to one of their own.

More here...from the Catholic Standard and Times

Here is a link to the ad, "Vanished"... Have a look - powerful!

Those promoting the culture of death won't like these spots...

'Packed House' Welcomes Latin Mass

From the Catholic Herald:

The choir loft at St. John the Baptist Church in Front Royal offered the best view of the delicate black and white head coverings, the newly installed Communion rail and the tall candles on the ornately adorned altar. Each served as a telling sign that the parish’s first Latin Mass was no ordinary eucharistic celebration.

A large group of altar boys assisted Father Ed Hathaway, pastor, in celebrating the Mass last Sunday. Attending in choir were Fathers Paul deLadurantaye, director of the Office of Sacred Liturgy; Chris Pollard, parochial vicar; and Jerome Fasano, pastor of St. Andrew the Apostle Church in Clifton. Eager parishioners and curious visitors filled the pews and flooded out the back of the church into the vestibule.

“It was a packed house,” said Father Hathaway, who said the Latin Mass is “an expression of our tradition that fills in a piece of our heritage.”

Letters To The Editor: Embryonic stem cells not answer

Clarion Journal,Enterprise Journal


I have a few clarifications to add to Nancy Spier-Lee's July 26, 2006 opinion column on embryonic stem cell research ("Hey Religious Right...").

First of all, in vitro fertilization works because when the human sperm and human ova (egg) come together a new life is created. The new human being at this stage is called an embryo. The embryo is not potential life; the embryo is a living human being. We all were embryos at one point early in our lives.

Most frozen embryo are not "left over" nor are they destined to die. Most parents will choose to have their embryos implanted in hes/her mother's womb. Other embryos will be given up for adoption and implanted in his/her adoptive mother's womb (There is a program for embryo adoption called Snowflakes adoption).

Perhaps, sadly, some will be purposefully destroyed. However, I see no reason to experiment on them first.

Ask yourself, where have we heard this before: "They are going to die anyway, so let's experiment on them first"?

Furthermore, many people have been cured using adult stem cells that pose no moral dilemmas. No one has ever been cured of anything using embryonic stem cells.

I would not recommend using embryonic stem cells for fear of tumors and immune system problems. It will be years, if ever, before a cure is found using embryonic stem cells.

Laura Gidley-Feltz
Another cogent and rational letter - however, because it is rational, it will be misunderstood by a certain element of the population.


Another Letter: Throwing away embryos

Letters to the editor
Oakville-Mehlville Journal,South City Journal,South County Journal,South Side Journal,Southwest City Journal,Southwest County Journal

To the editor:

The Missouri Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative that will likely appear on the November ballot is very confusing and that is exactly what those wanting it passed are hoping for.

They claim early stem cell research does not involve abortions, rather left-over fertilized clinic embryos that would very likely be thrown away. These embryos are four to five days old. They are very small and would fit on the head of a pin. Not more than a mere speck of dust.

However, after these embryos are five days old, they will turn six days old, then seven, eight, etc. This process will continue for nine months until a child is born. Before you know it, we will celebrate the child's first birthday. We were all four- and five-day- old embryos. We have continued to grow older until this moment when you are reading this letter. Nobody threw us away or killed us so they could do research on us.

We realized killing Jews was wrong. We then went after unborn babies because no one could "prove" it was a child. Now we can. Therefore, we go after four- and five-day-old embryos. These are four- and five-day-old people. Throwing away these embryos is not the answer. If we threw our four- and five-year-old children away, we would be jailed and rightly so. We as a society need not be involved in the creation of people. We are not the extremists. Changing the Missouri Constitution is extreme.

Marilyn Angeli
St. Louis

What are we sacrificing for embryonic research?

Again from:
Letters to the editor
Oakville-Mehlville Journal,South City Journal,South County Journal,South Side Journal,Southwest City Journal,Southwest County Journal

To the editor:

It was with keen interest that I read the guest editorial by the Gudermuths in your July 26 edition.

Their perspective on the current debate about the Missouri Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative was especially poignant due to their personal health issues. Their own personal experiences, mirrored in the lives of many others, lends a persuasive depth to their view.

I agree with the Gudermuths that much "sound and fury" has been exhibited in the present debate. I also agree that the history of science and medicine is replete with examples of uniformed...misguided...attacks" against those who sought to further knowledge.

However, I must disagree with what seems to be an implicit, underlying assumption in the editorial. That assumption is the embryos that would be sacrificed in order to harvest their stem cells are not human and thus have little or no moral/ethical standing in light of potential cures.

I am certain that no reasonable person would condone the harvesting of stem cells, no matter how significant the gain to be had, if that harvest meant the death of a healthy infant child.

What, then, is the embryo in relation to that same child, if not the infant in its "head of a pin" stage of natural development? Even if an embryo "would not be used to start a pregnancy," does that then mean that he/she has no moral rights?

Granted, reasonable persons may disagree on how to answer these questions and the legal and political sequelae. However, at the risk of sounding reactionary, I hope that persons carefully reflect on what we might truly be sacrificing here in the matter of embryonic research.

Secondly, I am puzzled. On the one hand, the editorial stated "The issue has never been whether or not stem cell research will happen. It is happening every day in other countries..." On the other hand, the editorial also stated "The purpose of the amendment is to protect the right of Missourians to reap the benefits of stem cell research."

If "stem cell research will happen" elsewhere, ethical questions aside, has any "overzealous politician" moved to ban any cures derived from such research from being applied to the suffering of Missourians?

I think that attempts to ban such therapies from Missourians, whatever the source and however morally questionable the means used to discover such cures, would fail.

I might not condone how such knowledge and therapies were discovered, but once discovered, how could I ethically stand in the way of their use to cure the sick? Thus, again, the need for reflection and reasoned debate! Thank you for this opportunity to voice my opinion.

Ed Hart
South St. Louis

Priestesses Being Reported To Vatican

(KDKA) PITTSBURGH The Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh plans to send a report to the Vatican about a ceremony in which a dozen women claimed to be ordained as priests and deacons last month.

Monsignor Lawrence DiNardo, a canon law expert with the diocese, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that someone can excommunicate themselves by their actions, but that the Vatican can then formally decree that an excommunication has occurred.

Missouri Cloning and Embryonic Stem Cell Initiative Certified for November Ballot

Missouri's secretary of state certified a stem cell research initiative... to appear on the November ballot...

The nationally watched stem cell initiative will ask Missouri voters whether to amend the state constitution to guarantee that all federally allowed stem cell research and treatment can occur in the state. Included in that would be embryonic stem cell research and a type of cloning procedure that opponents [and biological science] contend results in the destruction of human life at its earliest stages.

Source: St Louis Post Dispatch

Amber Alert Suggested for Lost Egyptian 'Students'

"Amber Alert Recommended - Help These Remaining Students Over Their Cultural Confusion - Help them find Montana"


Gospel for August 10, Feast: St. Lawrence, Deacon & Martyr

From: John 12:24-26

Jesus Foretells His Glorification (Continuation)

(Jesus said to his disciples,) [24] "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. [25] He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. [26] If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there shall my servant be also; if any one serves me, the Father will honor him."


24-25. There is an apparent paradox here between Christ's humiliation and his glorification. Thus, "it was appropriate that the loftiness of his glorification should be preceded by the lowliness of his passion" (St Augustine, "In Ioann. Evang.", 51, 8).

This is the same idea we find in St Paul, when he says that Christ humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross, and that therefore God the Father exalted him above all created things (cf. Phil 2:8-9). This is a lesson and an encouragement to the Christian, who should see every type of suffering and contradiction as a sharing in Christ's cross, which redeems us and exalts us. To be supernaturally effective, a person has to die to himself, forgetting his comfort and shedding his selfishness. "If the grain of wheat does not die, it remains unfruitful. Don't you want to be a grain of wheat, to die through mortification, and to yield a rich harvest? May Jesus bless your wheatfield!" ([St] J. Escriva, "The Way", 199).

26. Our Lord has spoken about his sacrifice being a condition of his entering into glory. And what holds good for the Master also applies to his disciples (cf. Mt 10:24; Lk 6:40). Jesus wants each of us to be of service to him. It is a mystery of God's plan that he--who is all, who has all and who needs nothing and nobody--should choose to need our help to ensure that his teaching and the salvation wrought by him reaches all men.

"To follow Christ: that is the secret. We must accompany him so closely that we come to live with him, like the first Twelve did; so closely, that we become identified with him. Soon we will be able to say, provided we have not put obstacles in the way of grace, that we have put on, have clothed ourselves with our Lord Jesus Christ (cf. Rom 13:14). [...]

"I have distinguished as it were four stages in our effort to identify ourselves with Christ--seeking him, finding him, getting to know him, loving him. It may seem clear to you that you are only at the first stage. Seek him then, hungrily; seek him within yourselves with all your strength. If you act with determination, I am ready to guarantee that you have already found him, and have begun to get to know him and to love him, and to hold your conversation in heaven (cf. Phil 3:20)" ([St] J. Escriva, "Friends of God", 299-300).

Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland. Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Mental Prayer for August 10-Because You Have Believed

Mental Prayer Meditation Helps

Presence of God.

Grace I Ask: Lord, give me an unquestioning faith!

Mental Picture (cf. Matt. 8:5-13): As Jesus entered Capharnaum, a centurion came to Him asking for his aid; "Lord," he said, "I have a servant lying sick at my house, cruelly tormented with the palsy." Jesus said to him, "I will come and heal him." But the centurion answered, "Lord, I am not worthy to receive thee under my roof; my servant will be healed if thou wilt only speak a word of command. I too know what it is to obey authority; I have soldiers under me, and I say, 'Go,' to one man, and he goes, or 'Come,' to another, and he comes, or, 'Do this,' to my servant, and he does it." When he heard that, Jesus said to his followers in amazement, "Believe me, I have not found faith like this even in Israel."

My Personal Application: The centurion believed that Christ was all-powerful, that He could con­trol disease just as easily as the centurion could control his servants. Is my faith in Christ as strong as the centurion's? The sure test of it is the way I act. Do my actions mirror my belief in Christ's power?

I Speak to Christ: I want to gladden your heart, as the centurion did, with my absolute faith! Help me to know you more intimately, to under­stand my relationship to you, to live my faith in my every thought, word, and action.

Thought for Today: "Because you have believed in me..."
Adapted from Mental Prayer, Challenge to the Lay Apostle
by The Queen's Work,(© 1958)

Speaking of Plan B....

Pro-abort Governor Rod Blagojevich says he will go ahead with Plan B even without the FDA's approval. Aren't the people of Illinois so lucky to have a leader like him?

If the Food and Drug Administration doesn't act quickly to make the morning-after pill available without a doctor's prescription, Illinois will.

That's the message being sent to the FDA today in a letter from Gov. Blagojevich, who urged the agency to end more than three years of "stalling" and approve over-the-counter sales of the emergency contraceptive Plan B.

"The evidence is clear and overwhelming that making Plan B available over-the-counter is the right thing to do," the two-page letter reads. "If the FDA fails to act, as governor, I will move forward to enact legislation on our own."

Can anyone in Illinois spell "R-E-C-A-L-L"?

Plan B Available Within Weeks?

WASHINGTON, D.C., August 9, 2006 ( – After three years of wrangling between the Food and Drug Administration and Barr Pharmaceuticals Inc. it appears that the drug company is suddenly on the brink of finally getting what it wants—over-the-counter access to the abortifacient Plan B or “morning after” pill.

The most recent development in the three-year-long battle indicates that Plan B could very well be available over-the-counter within a matter of mere weeks.

Will this be more government sanctioning of feticide? How many more of the innocent will be killed before we as a nation suffer the consequences of such immoral and reprehensible policies and actions? What kind of future do we have to look forward to if we refuse to stop and beg God's forgiveness?

Then yesterday there was a chilling article by Hilary White which told of "poor women...being paid up to $200 dollars to have their unborn children killed between 8 and 12 weeks gestation when the foetuses are “harvested” for their stem cells, which are then sold to exclusive cosmetic clinics."

Dr. Janice Shaw Crouse, Senior Fellow of CWA’s Beverly LaHaye Institute, said “It is hard to believe that such atrocities are going on today. These exclusive and exorbitant treatments are available in such varied locales as Barbados, Moscow, Dominican Republic and in Rotterdam. . . This savage and repulsive ‘brave new world’ of human sacrifices in the quest for eternal youth is a prime example of the end results when all moral boundaries are destroyed.”

More on this evil here.

Family Sues USCCB...

Family members of a Hudson, Wis., man killed by a priest are fed up with what they see as inaction by the Catholic Church and angry that their requests for reform have been ignored. So they're taking the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops to court.
The family filed the unprecedented lawsuit, which asks for the names and locations of some 5,000 clergy accused of molesting children, so they can publicize the list. They say the list is known only to the church.

The litigation is unique because of its scope and because others may join to make it a national class-action lawsuit against the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops, said Jeff Anderson, the attorney for Dan O'Connell's family,

"The bishops and the USCCB have established a policy of harboring and protecting suspected child molesting agents, thereby endangering numerous children throughout the United States," the complaint said.

Who does Dick Durbin represent?

This little gem comes the Illinois Federation of Right to Life:
On July 25th the U.S. Senate voted to pass the Child Protection Custody Act (S. 403). The key point of this bill was to prohibit transporting minors across state lines for abortions in violation of parents' rights and to circumvent local Parental Notification laws which are currently active in 29 states.

Despite the 65-34 vote in the U.S. Senate, to pass the bill, Senator Dick Durbin acted to kill the bill.

Fourteen Democratic senators voted to pass the bill, but Senator Dick Durbin immediately moved to rally the Democratic Caucus to kill the bill.

Senator Dick Durbin's allegiance to the abortion industry continues to undermine the fundamental right of a parent to be involved in the health care choices of their minor daughters.

Parental notification and parental consent laws are supported by overwhelming majorities of the American public, Dick Durbin in plainly out of touch with his constituents.

Who does Dick Durbin represent, the citizens of Illinois, or the pro-abortion lobby?

Many individuals know that Durbin represents, not the citizens of the state, and not only those who advocate the murder and dismemberment of the unborn, but also nearly every radical fringe group around...

But, in addition to the question of "WHO" Durbin represents, is it not fair, indeed, is it not necessary to ask, "WHAT" Durbin represents? That answer should also be obvious. As a professed Catholic, perhaps Durbin should re-evaluate and re-examine his life, his positions, and his Faith.

Source (PDF)...

Gospel for Wednesday, 18th Week in Ordinary Time

From: Matthew 15:21-28

The Canaanite Woman

[21] And Jesus went away from there and withdrew to the district of Tyre and Sidon. [22] And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and cried, "Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely possessed by a demon." [23] But He did not answer her a word. And His disciples came and begged Him, saying, "Send her away, for she is crying after us." [24] He answered, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." [25] But she came and knelt before Him, saying, "Lord, help me." [26] And He answered, "It is not fair to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs." [27] She said, "Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master's table." [28] Then Jesus answered her, "O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire." And her daughter was healed instantly.


21-22. Tyre and Sidon were Phoenician cities on the Mediterranean coast, in present-day Lebanon. They were never part of Galilee but they were near its northeastern border. In Jesus' time they were outside the territory of Herod Antipas. Jesus withdrew to this area to escape persecution from Herod and from the Jewish authorities and to concentrate on training His Apostles.

Most of the inhabitants of the district of Tyre and Sidon were pagans. St. Matthew calls this woman a "Canaanite"; according to Genesis (10:15), this district was one of the first to be settled by the Canaanites; St. Mark describes the woman as a "Syrophoenician" (Mark 7:26). Both Gospels point out that she is a pagan, which means that her faith in our Lord is more remarkable; the same applies in the case of the centurion (Matthew 8:5-13).

The Canaanite woman's prayer is quite perfect: she recognizes Jesus as the Messiah (the Son of David)--which contrasts with the unbelief of the Jews; she expresses her need in clear, simple words; she persists, undismayed by obstacles; and she expresses her request in all humility: "Have mercy on me." Our prayer should have the same qualities of faith, trust, perseverance and humility.

24. What Jesus says here does not take from the universal reference of His teaching (cf. Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-16). Our Lord came to bring His Gospel to the whole world, but He Himself addressed only the Jews; later on He will charge His Apostles to preach the Gospel to pagans. St. Paul, in his missionary journeys, also adopted the policy of preaching in the first instance to the Jews (Acts 13:46).

25-28. This dialogue between Jesus and the woman is especially beautiful. By appearing to be harsh He so strengthens the woman's faith that she deserves exceptional praise: "Great is your faith!" Our own conversation with Christ should be like that: "Persevere in prayer. Persevere, even when your efforts seem barren. Prayer is always fruitful" ([St] J. Escriva, "The Way", 101).
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland. Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Mental Prayer for August 9-Christ and the Pharisees

Mental Prayer Meditation Helps

Presence of God.

Grace I Ask: To understand how hypocritical it is to judge the consciences of others.

Mental Picture (cf. John 8:3-11): See the Scribes and Pharisees plotting to "catch" Christ. They bring a "case" for Him to try. "This woman," they say, "has been caught committing adultery. Moses says we are to stone her to death. What do you say?" If He lets her go, they will say, "See, he does not keep the law." If He says, "Stone her," they will say, "Where is this mercy you've been talking about? You say you've come to save sinners-ha!" A difficult spot for our Lord to be in, but what does He answer?

"Whichever of you is free from sin shall cast the first stone!" They crawl away.

My Personal Application: What's the point? A very simple one. Let God do the judging and condemning; I have more than enough to do about my own sins without busying myself about others. Simple? Is it? We all tend to be Scribes, writing down the sins of others, hoping ours won't seem so bad. We all tend to be Pharisees, setting ourselves up as little gods to judge other men. Christ says to me, "If you are without sin, cast the first stone." What can I do but crawl away in shame and confusion?

I Speak to Christ: My Savior, I know I can't know the consciences of others, yet sometimes I do judge them rather than their actions. Help me to learn that I cannot see into the hearts of men. Help me to pay more attention to my own words and deeds. Help me to learn to leave other men to you and to your mercy.

Thought for Today: "Judge not, and you shall not be judged."
Adapted from Mental Prayer, Challenge to the Lay Apostle
by The Queen's Work,(© 1958)

August 28 - Rally Against Human Cloning in St Louis

From the mail bag:
You are cordially invited to attend a Rally titled "Christians Against Human Cloning" which will take place Monday, August 28, 7:00 PM at Life Christian Church, 13001 Gravois Rd., St. Louis, Missouri.

My friends, Dr. Alan Keyes and Dr. Rick Scarborough, will present urgent information about Human Cloning and the proposed amendment to the Missouri Constitution known as "Research and Cures Initiative."

There will be entertainment by Kim Noblett and a nursery will be provided. There is no admission charge for the event.

There will be a complimentary dinner at 5:00 PM for all area pastors and their wives. Please R.S.V.P. by calling 1-866-522-5582. Please share this information with your pastor.

You may call 1-866-522-5582 should need more details about this important event.

Please forward this important alert to all of your friends and family members in the St. Louis area.

If I recall correctly (and I could be mistaken), I believe Archbishop Burke will attend this as well.

From Lebanon to Central Asia, the rise of Shia Muslims

From Chiesa Online:
Iran becomes a regional power and exports its revolution. Two experts in the geopolitics of Islam, Vali Nasr and Khaled Fouad Allam, analyze the shift and its consequences for the Middle East, Washington, and the Vatican
by Sandro Magister

NEWSFLASH - Woman faces excommunication...

Newsflash...News to those who participated in the river boat dinner theater...

Waukesha resident Kathy Sullivan Vandenberg faces excommunication for seeking the priesthood in an unsanctioned ordination ceremony, Milwaukee Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan said in a statement handed out at weekend Masses at Vandenberg's home parish.

Dolan wrote to parishioners at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Waukesha that it was his duty to notify the Vatican of Vandenberg's action. Dolan said her excommunication could come soon. The Roman Catholic Church prohibits women from becoming priests.
It is my understanding that the women who attempted this "ordination" have already separated themselves from the Church...The only thing missing is the publi declaration from the Church. And if I am not mistaken, lifting of the excommunications is reserved to the Holy See.

Vandenberg, 64, said Monday that she was "startled" by the letter and surprised that Dolan had "spent so much time and energy" on it when "other important things" might demand his attention.

Of official efforts to sever her ties to the church. Vandenberg said: "Excommunication is simply a punishment. That doesn't mean I'm excluded from the church. Only I can exclude myself."
"Only I can exclude myself." What a revelation of arrogance - and, that's exactly what she has done even if she refuses to accept that fact. Her refusal to believe does not make it go away.

It's not dificult to understand, though. Such things happen when ones chooses to live a life of 'make-believe', pretending, much as a young child often does.

"I want to always be respectful of the church and the bishop," she said, "but there are times when you have to be obedient to God and not the bishop."

"I have to be obedient to God, not the bishop."....This is the standard response from all who separate themselves from the Church - stemming from pride, each chooses his (or her) own will rather than God's will...Each chooses to follow the prideful example of the fallen angels rather than the humble, obedient example of our Lord.

HT to Darla for the link...

Gospel for August 8, Memorial, St Dominic

From: Matthew 14:22-36

Jesus Walks on the Water

[22] Then He (Jesus) made the disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He dismissed the crowds. [23] And after He had dismissed the crowds He went up into the hills by Himself to pray. When evening came, He was there alone, [24] but the boat by this time was many furlongs distant from the land, beaten by the waves; for the wind was against them. [25] And in the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea. [26] But when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, "It is a ghost!" And they cried out for fear. [27] But immediately He spoke to them, saying, "Take heart, it is I; have no fear."

[28] And Peter answered Him, "Lord, if it is you, bid me come to You on the water." [29] He said, "Come." So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus; [30] but when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, "Lord, save me." [31] Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, "O man of little faith, why did you doubt?" [32] And when they got into boat, the wind ceased. [33] And those in the boat worshipped Him, saying, "Truly You are the son of God."

[34] And when they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret. [35] And when the men of that place recognized Him, they sent round to all the region and brought to Him all that were sick, [36] and besought Him that they might only touch the fringe of His garment; and as many as touched it were made well.


22-23. It has been a very full day, like so many others. First, Jesus works many cures (14:14) and then performs the remarkable miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and the fish, a symbol of the future Eucharist. The crowd who have been following Him were avid for food, teaching and consolation. Jesus "had compassion on them" (14:14), curing their sick and giving them the comfort of His teaching and the nourishment of food. He continues to do the same, down the centuries, tending to our needs and comforting us with His word and with the nourishment of His own body. Jesus must have been very moved, realizing the vivifying effect the Blessed Sacrament would have on the lives of Christians--a sacrament which is a mystery of life and faith and love. It is understandable that He should feel the need to spend some hours in private to speak to His Father. Jesus' private prayer, in an interlude between one demanding activity and another, teaches us that every Christian needs to take time out for recollection, to speak to His Father, God. On Jesus' frequent personal prayer see, for example, Mark 1:35; 6:47; Luke 5:16; 16:12. See the notes on Matthew 6:5-6 and Matthew 7:7-11.

24-33: This remarkable episode of Jesus walking on the sea must have made a deep impression on the Apostles. It was one of their outstanding memories of the life hey shared with the Master. It is reported not only by St. Matthew, but also by St. Mark (6:45-52), who would have heard about it from St. Peter, and by St. John (6:14-21).

Storms are very frequent on Lake Gennesaret; they cause huge waves and are very dangerous to fishing boats. During His prayer on the hill, Jesus is still mindful of His disciples; He sees them trying to cope with the wind and the waves and comes to their rescue once He has finished praying.

This episode has applications to Christian life. The Church, like the Apostles' boat, also gets into difficulties, and Jesus who watches over His Church comes to its rescue also, after allowing it to wrestle with obstacles and be strengthened in the process. He gives us encouragement: "Take heart, it is I; have no fear" (14:27); and we show our faith and fidelity by striving to keep an even keel, and by calling on His aid when we feel ourselves weakening: "Lord, save me" (14:30), words of St. Peter which every soul uses when he has recourse to Jesus, his Savior. Then our Lord does save us, and we urgently confess our faith: "Truly you are the Son of God" (14:33).

29-31. St. John Chrysostom ("Hom. on St. Matthew", 50) comments that in this episode Jesus taught Peter to realize, from his own experience, that all his strength comes from our Lord and that he could not rely on his own resources, on his own weaknesses and wretchedness. Chrysostom goes as far as to say that "if we fail to play our part, God ceases to help us." Hence the reproach, 'O man of little faith" (14:31).

When Peter began to be afraid and to doubt, he started to sink, until again, full of faith, he called out, "Lord, save me." If at any time we, like Peter, should begin to weaken, we too should try to bring our faith into play and call on Jesus to save us.

34-36. Learning from the faith of these people on the shore of Lake Gennesaret, every Christian should approach the adorable humanity of the Savior. Christ--God and Man--is accessible to us in the sacrament of the Eucharist.

"When you approach the Tabernacle remember that He has been awaiting you for twenty centuries" ([St] J. Escriva, "The Way", 537).
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland. Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Brainwwashing of Captive Children?

New School Program Will Exploit School Kids For Private Financial Gain

The Washington Post has announced that a new company, BusRadio, plans to install radio equipment in school buses as a way to target corporate advertising using school children as a captive audience. The company's first pilot project is in Massachusetts, and is scheduled to begin in September, targeting children as young as five. Click Here to read the Washington Post article.

After Massachusetts, BusRadio plans to go nationwide with their program. Children riding school buses will be forced to listen to the music and commercial ads while on the bus.

The primary purpose of the BusRadio is to make money for their company. And the way they plan to do that is to sell their captive audience to advertisers.

School children should not be used as a vehicle to sell commercial advertising. This program needs to be stopped before it is started.

A new study just released by Rand Corporation shows a definite link between the lyrics in music aimed at youth and an increase in sexual activity. Click Here to read the study.

Something is really wrong here...

Mental Prayer for August 8-Publican and Pharisee

Mental Prayer Meditation Helps

Presence of God.

Grace I Ask: Lord, that I may know you; that I may know myself.

The Idea (cf. Luke 18:10-14) : I know well the parable of the publican and the Pharisee. Out­wardly the Pharisee wanted to appear holy. A model of skin-deep perfection, he performed exact­ly the 613 rules of his way of life. But inwardly he was not seeking God; he was seeking only himself. Even if he did not commit the common sins of men, his good works were ruined by vainglory. He really didn't work for other people because he despised "the rest of men." When he gave one-tenth of his income to the synagogue, he had no real use for the poor as individuals. The Pharisee is actually ridiculous. How could a person "stand upright" and brag in the face of God? The Pharisee didn't talk to God. He was only talking to himself.

My Personal Application: Have I deceived myself about my motives? The test of sincerity is personal sacrifices, kindness to the ungrateful, unpleasant tasks without reward or recognition. Do I draw my inner strength from humble prayer, like the publican's? Is my prayer a talking to God, or a talking to myself?

I Speak to God: God, be merciful to me. I am a sinner. You see me for what I am. Don't let me deceive myself about my motives. A lot of crazy ideas run through my mind; temptations to pride, selfishness. You know I'm not all that I try to appear on the surface. Fill my mind with solid motives, with your grace, with your presence. Help me to humble myself now so that I shall be exalted with you in heaven.

Thought for Today: God, be merciful to me; I am a sinner.
Adapted from Mental Prayer, Challenge to the Lay Apostle
by The Queen's Work,(© 1958)

Sisters of the Most Precious Blood Look to the Future

The Sisters of the Most Precious Blood was established in O'Fallon [Missouri] in 1875, when the city was no more than a hitching post with a population of 400.

More than 130 years after its beginnings in O'Fallon, the Sisters of the Most Precious Blood is still a prominent part of the community and plans to play a large role in the city's changing streetscape.

The order was established in 1845 in Switzerland and has a long and storied past. After being forced to move across Europe, the order found a home in the United States and eventually Missouri.

Today, more than half of the 208 sisters in the Sisters of the Most Precious Blood order live at the sprawling 42-acre campus in O'Fallon.

The median age for the sisters is 75....

Because 30 out of 42 acres remain untouched and many parts of the buildings are unused, the sisters felt it was time to reassess their needs as well as help the community.
. . .
They are currently in the process of soliciting requests for proposals from developers.
. . .
After that, the sisters plan to partner with a developer, who will conduct a comprehensive assessment of the acreage and its buildings and examine alternatives that best meet the needs of the Order and economic goals of the city of O'Fallon.

Female "Catholic" Priestess Pretends to Have First "Mass"

Simulating the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, Eileen DiFranco, one of the eight recently "ordained" faux priestess, led a group of heretics, apostates, and schismatics at the First United Methodist Church of Germantown.

"Nothing is impossible with our God," she told [the] congregation..."Not even a woman priest."

Actually, some tihngs are impossible with God - God cannot choose evil, God cannot lie...

"I feel I have been called out by my community to do this," DiFranco said in an interview. "It has been a nudging along the way by God and by people who know me."

. . .DiFranco said people were looking for more from the church. "The big issues that might have brought some of you here today remain unaddressed, untackled, unmentionable," she said.

Rejoice! Our liberation cometh!

...DiFranco has been an active member of the Church of the Beatitudes, a congregation of about 20 people in the Old Catholic community. The group rents space from Garden United Methodist Church in Lansdowne.

Why, she wasn't a Roman Catholic at all but a member of a schismatic group...

...DiFranco celebrated her first Mass at the church, speaking of peace, tolerance and God's love.

"We want to support Eileen and this movement" toward the ordination of women, said Carl Yusavitz, 61, a Mount Airy resident who attends St. Vincent's Catholic Church in Germantown.

"I consider Eileen a Catholic and a priest," he said. "Her validity is based on 'By their fruits, you will know them.' Eileen has wonderful fruits."

Wonderful fruits? OK...

Toward the end of her homily, DiFranco told the congregation that "in Jesus, there was never a disconnect... . The words excommunication and intrinsically disordered would not have been part of Jesus' vocabulary."

He used the terms: vipers and whited sepulchers - He told the Apostles to shake the dust their sandles when leaving those towns who would not listen to them - he threw the money changers from the temple. He gave the Apostles the power to bind and loose in His name...

The congregation applauded and later greeted her and her husband, Larry, at the entrance to the church. "It was wonderful," DiFranco said of the Mass. "I felt so lifted up."

Notice how it always ends with "ME"?

Missouri Cloning Plan Would Promote Exploitation of Women

Brochures mailed in recent weeks to more than 90,000 Missouri homes argue that research protected by the ballot measure would exploit women, luring them into the potentially dangerous practice of egg donation.

The Missouri cloning and human embryo experimentation plan will need eggs to further its research.

The fight over egg donation and its relation to stem cell research centers on a process called somatic cell nuclear transfer, or SCNT.

During the process, the nucleus of a human egg is removed and replaced with the nucleus of another cell. The cell undergoes an electric shock, causing it to divide. The resulting mass of cells, or blastocyst, is used to produce stem cells, a key to fighting disease.

The key to fighting disease? This editorial assertion by the Post is yet unproven using embryonic stem cells. But why let facts get in the way of journalistic integrity?

Opponents of the Missouri ballot measure say they recognize that many voters won't share their views on the definition of when human life begins. As a response, they are pushing the issue of egg donation, arguing that women face medical risks in providing the cells needed for research.

One's view on when life begins is not determined by one's personal views but on solid biological science. With respect to the harvesting of eggs from women, I wonder if I am alone in my revulsion and horror of such a thought. It's ghoulish and scary.

The risks of egg extraction are tied to the use of drugs, which first shut down a woman's ovaries, then stimulate them to produce multiple eggs for harvesting. The drugs have multiple side effects, including blood clots and seizures. Though rare, the complications have resulted in death.

When we see those who have little or no regard for the life of the most innocent among us, there should be no surprise when we also witness that they have little or no regard for the life of others. When human life is cheapened and degraded, when it becomes a marketable commodity, unsuspecting women can be exploited in order to further the desire to obtain lucrative patents.

Bev Ehlen, of the group Missourians Against Human Cloning, has distributed hundreds of the brochures at events across the state. She said voters have been swayed by the concerns over women's health. "It rates up there almost as high as human cloning when we explain it to women," she said.

Even so, Ehlen said she still believes the ballot measure will pass or fail based on voters' opinions about cloning and embryos, rather than fears over egg extraction.

We can only hope that people see through the hype of the slick TV ads promoting the "promise" of some yet-to-be-discovered "cure", obtain by the killing of human embryos. One would hope and pray that many voters will know when they are being sold a bill of goods...

NEW YORK: Ex-archdiocese consultant admits embezzling funds

[Joseph DeRusso,] a former consultant to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York has pleaded guilty to fraud, tax and obstruction of justice charges stemming from a $2 million kickback and embezzlement scheme.

What a guy...More here.

COURAGE Protest Pictures

"Catholic" Action Network (CAN) hosted a vigil July 27th in opposition to the Courage Conference with over 100 participants.

Over 100 "participants"??? None of the pictures which I have seen would support such an estimate...Nor does any previous report seem to suggest that figure.

Courage is a Roman Catholic group that encourages the development of chastity, so that "one can move beyond the confines of the homosexual identity..." This understanding of homosexuality directly contradicts statements by all major mental health and medical associations.

It's not unusual to look for support from others, while rejecting the Church.

CAN also encourages others to write letters to the Post Dispatch, Bill McClellan and Syvester if the truth would be determined by these people.

This is the self-described "Catholic" group which, in reality, is not Catholic.

While "Love" is essential for the authentic families, deviant homosexual acts can never produce offspring, thereby generating a "family"...Such acts are contrary to nature and the natural law and are intrinsically evil.

Another 'true' statement - "Love" is not a disorder...but as we know, the homosexual inclination is objectively disordered:

The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. (CCC 2358)

Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered." They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved. (CCC 2357)

Homosexual persons are called to chastity. (CCC 2359)

All of us are called to chastity...What a waste of time and effort was spent protesting the Courage Conference when people should have availed themselves of the assistance of those who could help them to achieve authentic freedom for the bonds of sin and slavery.

We must remember that we are called to pray for those who suffer such inclinations. May our Lord bless them and continue to shower them with grace to overcome temptation and embrace a life a chastity.

Sunday, August 06, 2006


"Unless your justice exceeds that of the Scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven." St. Matthew, 5:20.

An old Irishman had met with an accident, a not too serious one. He was taken to the hospital, where his parish priest calIed to see him. Pat explained his accident, and then turned the conversation to the top topic of the day, the Ku Klux Klan.

"Father," said Pat, " the other day a fellow came to our house while I was at work, and he said to my wife: 'Are you a Catholic?'
'Faith, and I am,' she answered.

'Well,' says this fellow, 'we Klansmen are going to sweep you Catholics off the face of the earth.'

"She said no more, but grunted and slammed the door in his face. I wish I had been there. I would have told that guy a thing or two."

"I suppose there would have been a fight," said the priest with a smile.

"No, Father," answered Pat, "as much as I would like to punch his nose. I would have told him what the Lord said, something about building His Church upon a rock so that even the gates of hell would not shake it. And then I would have said to that Klansman: 'I guess you fellows can't be any worse than hell.'"

Sometimes it seems that the enemies of Christ's Church do come directly from hell, their hatred and persecution of the Church are so devilish. Jesus Himself told us:

"No servant is greater than his master. If they have persecuted me, they will persecute you also; if they have kept my word, they will keep yours also." St. John, 15:20.

Christ made it a mark of His followers that they would be persecuted, and yet He has given us consolation and assurance in the Sermon on the Mount, especially in the Eighth Beatitude:
"Blessed are they who suffer persecution for justice' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." St. Matthew, 5 :10.

1. Persecution takes a number of forms: murder, physical suffering, exile, social and economic injustice, ridicule, prejudice, and bigotry.

In gen­eral, persecution here means trials and afflictions borne for the sake of God and religion. Its opposite is the false liberty and license of the world, which will bear nothing for the sake of God.

2. "For justice sake" means that the trial or affliction is borne for the sake of the faith, for some moral reason or issue, for truth or justice, or lib­erty or human welfare.

3. There are many ways of such suffering:

A. There are those who defend at any risk their Catholic faith. Recall the millions of martyrs of all ages and classes and professions and races, who gave their lives for what they believed. A simple denial of what they believed would have saved them from being burned, beheaded, thrown to the lions, sawed in two, hanged and even worse; yet, they died rather than give up their faith.

B. There are those who remain virtuous at any cost. There is, for example, the working girl who could sell herself to boss or co-work­ers. But she prizes her virtues more than furs and jewelry. She suf­fers the persecution of need and poverty, "for justice sake." Hers is the kingdom of heaven.

C. There are those who cling to God and His law despite opposition from their family, from fellow-workers, from superiors, even from their friends.

D. There are those who suffer hatred for their faith. Upon Catholic heads rains the hatred of such bigoted groups as the Klan, the Wit­nesses of Jehovah, secular humanists, and other dealers in hate. To bear that hatred for the sake of your faith, is to merit the kingdom of heaven.

E. Others are imprisoned for their faith. We are horrified at the news that a cardinals, bishops, priests and laity of the Church are arrested, especially when they stand up for common rights against godless dictators.

In a Communist prison years ago languished Archbishop Stepinac, condemned to years of hard labor for insisting upon the rights of Christ's followers. But the cardinal and the archbishop and all others who bear prison for their faith, will obtain the kingdom of God.

F. Many of us bear reviling, slander and calumny for our religion; secret, slimy, slippery attacks on what we believe. We meet this on the street, in the work-shop, in the college classroom, and even from some non-Catholic pulpits.

4. To bear such attacks is to be blessed:

A. Persecution helps us grow in virtue.

B. It helps the triumph of faith and grace.

C. It leads us to trust in God and distrust the world.

D. It makes us resemble Christ more closely.

E. It keeps alive the spirit and zeal for the faith.

F. It brings about our salvation. Yes, it assures us of the kingdom of heaven.

G. It merits for the persecuted the special protection of God. Read the lives of the martyrs for proof.

5. The kingdom of heaven will bring joy and glory for the insults and sor­rows of earthly persecution.

Those so-called religious people, the Scribes and Pharisees, were not truly just. Jesus tells us that our justice must be greater, deeper, and truer than theirs. Our justice is that which seeks the will of God and the spread of God's faith.

As the old Irishman so firmly and positively knew: the gates and powers of hell would never overcome the Church of Christ. In your own personal suffering of persecution, in the persecutions that come to the Church in any community or nation, always remember the promise of our Lord, that they who suffer persecution for the sake of their religion, will inherit the kingdom of heaven. Amen.
Adapted from Prayers, Precepts and Virtues
by Fr. Arthur Tonne, OFM (©1949)