Saturday, February 10, 2007

Mental Prayer for February 10, Act III: God's Gift to Me

Mental Prayer Meditation Helps

Presence of God

Grace I Ask: To look upon Holy Communion as God's acceptance of my gift to Him.

Mental Picture: See the priest remove the ciborium full of small white hosts from the tabernacle. He genuflects and takes the ciborium in his hands. He turns around, and holding up a host he says, "Behold the Lamb of God."

My Personal Application: At the Offertory I offered myself with Christ to God the Father. At the Consecration the Father accepted the bread and wine now changed into His Son's Body and Blood, and He accepted me along with Christ. Now God is giving Himself to me.

Suppose I had won a a million dollars on a game show. The master of ceremonies counts out the money for me. Instead of taking it, I turn around and walk away. If I did this, wouldn't everybody say, "There's something wrong with him; he's not in his right mind!"

The priest at Mass turns to me and offers me Christ. Do I turn my back on Him and refuse this tremendous gift? This Communion is God's gift to me. It shows how much my gift has won His favor.

I Speak to God: My God, help me to understand what St. Augustine said a long time ago : "God in His infinite wisdom knows of no greater gift ; God in His infinite power can give no greater gift." Not even you can give a greater gift than yourself. And what is it that keeps me from you? Too lazy to get out of bed? Can't go hungry for a few minutes? Afraid to go to confession and receive your grace again if I have lost it?

Thought for Today: "If thou didst know the gift of God."
Adapted from Mental Prayer, Challenge to the Lay Apostle
by The Queen's Work,(© 1958)

Gospel for Saturday, 5th Week in Ordinary Time

From: Mark 8:1-10

Second Miracle of the Loaves

[1] In those days, when again a great crowd had gathered, and they had nothing to eat, He (Jesus) called His disciples to Him, and said to them, [2] "I have compassion on the crowd, because they have been with Me now three days, and have nothing to eat; [3] and if I send them away hungry to their homes, they will faint on the way; and some of them have come a long way." [4] And His disciples answered Him, "How can one feed these men with bread here in the desert?" [5] And He asked them, "How many loaves have you?" They said, "Seven." [6] And He commanded the crowd to sit down on the ground; and He took the seven loaves, and having given thanks He broke them and gave them to His disciples to set before the people; and they set them before the crowd. [7] And they had a few small fish; and having blessed them, He commanded that these also should be set before them. [8] And they ate, and were satisfied; and took up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full. [9] And there were about four thousand people. [10] And He sent them away; and immediately He got into the boat with His disciples, and went to the district of Dalmanutha.


1-9. Jesus repeats the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and the fish: the first time (Mark 6:33-44) He acted because He saw a huge crowd like "sheep without a shepherd"; now He takes pity on them because they have been with Him for three days and have nothing to eat.

This miracle shows how Christ rewards people who persevere in following Him: the crowd had been hanging on His words, forgetful of everything else. We should be like them, attentive and ready to do what He commands, without any vain concern about the future, for that would amount to distrusting Divine Providence.

10. "Dalmanutha": this must have been somewhere near the Lake of Gennesaret, but it is difficult to localize it more exactly. This is the only time it is mentioned in Sacred Scripture. In the parallel passage in St. Matthew (15:39) Magadan (sometime Magdala) is mentioned.
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, February 09, 2007

Mental Prayer for February 9, Act III: God's Gift to Me

Mental Prayer Meditation Helps

Presence of God

Grace I Ask: Lord, give me the strength to carry out my offering.

Mental Picture: A large upper room with the Apostles gathered around our Lord... a silent hush falls over the group as they finish the Last Supper. There is sadness in the air as when friends must say goodbye. Christ has already said over the bread, "This is my Body" ; and over the wine, "This is my Blood." Now He looks lovingly at all His disciples and spreads out His arms as if He would gather them all to His Sacred Heart, and says, "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for without me you can do nothing" (John 15:5).

My Personal Application: I have done a wonderful thing in offering myself to God with Christ, and He has accepted the offering of myself - my work, my study, my health or sickness, my successes or failures. It is my day today that I have offered to Him. And now comes the living of it. Is this going to be just pious sentiments?... beautiful words that I say in the morning during Mass and never think about again the rest of the day?

If I'm going to live out my Mass, I can't do it alone. I need help. And Christ knows this far better than I. That is why He comes to me in Holy Communion so that together the two of us can carry out my sacrifice through the day. He doesn't leave me alone, for He knows that by myself I am nothing and I can do nothing. But with Him all things are possible.

I Speak to Christ: O Jesus, help me. Help me to live my Mass. Together, let's go through this day, doing and suffering everything for you, and with you, and in you. I cannot do it alone. I need your grace that you give me in Holy Communion.

Thought for Today: "Without me you can do nothing."
Adapted from Mental Prayer, Challenge to the Lay Apostle
by The Queen's Work,(© 1958)

Gospel for Friday, 5th Week in Ordinary Time

From: Mark 7:31-37

The Curing of a Deaf Man

[31] Then He (Jesus) returned from the region of Tyre, and went through Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, through the region of the Decapolis. [32]And they brought Him a man who was deaf and had an impediment in his speech; and they besought Him to lay His hand upon him. [33] And taking him aside from the multitude privately, He put His fingers into his ears, and He spat and touched his tongue; [34] and looking up to Heaven, He sighed and said to him, "Ephphatha," that is, "Be opened." [35] And his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly. [36] And He charged them to tell no one; but the more He charged them, the more zealously they proclaimed it. [37] And they were astonished beyond measure, saying, "He has done all things well; He even makes the deaf hear and the dumb speak."


32-33. Sacred Scripture quite often shows the laying on of hands as a gesture indicating the transfer of power or blessing (cf. Genesis 48:14ff; 2 Kings 5:11; Luke 13:13). Everyone knows that saliva can help heal minor cuts. In the language of Revelation fingers symbolized powerful Divine action (cf. Exodus 8:19; Psalm 8:4; Luke 11:20). So Jesus uses signs which suit in some way the effect He wants to achieve, though we can see from the text that the effect--the instantaneous cure of the deaf and dumb man--far exceeds the sign used.

In the miracle of the deaf and dumb man we can see a symbol of the way God acts on souls: for us to believe, God must first open our heart so we can listen to His word. Then, like the Apostles, we too can proclaim the "magnalia Dei", the mighty works of God (cf. Acts 2:11). In the Church's liturgy (cf. the hymn "Veni Creator") the Holy Spirit is compared to the finger of the right hand of God the Father ("Digitus paternae dexterae"). The Consoler produces in our souls, in the supernatural order, effects comparable to those which Christ produces in the body of the deaf and dumb man.
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, February 08, 2007

San Fran Archbishop Niederauer "very happy"?

What's wrong with this man? I understand that he's in San Francisco, but heaven help us!
San Francisco, Aug 11, 2006 / 12:00 am (CNA).- Catholics in San Francisco and throughout the United States continue to be confused by the decision of San Francisco Catholic Charities to persist in facilitating adoptions to homosexual couples, an action which the Church has spoken out against.

In announcement made two weeks ago, San Francisco Catholic Charities decided that while it will close its own adoption services, it will continue to outsource personnel to an agency that facilitates adoptions in the area, including adoptions to homosexual couples.
How can one be happy with this?


Mental Prayer for February 8, Act II: Offering Myself With Christ

Mental Prayer Meditation Helps

Presence of God

Grace I Ask : To understand and fulfill my part in the Consecration.

The Idea: In the words of consecration the priest says, "This is my Body" and "This is the chalice of my Blood." What is His Body? The Mass is not just a gift falling from heaven; there must be something to be transformed. What is changed into His body? What is transformed? Our gifts, the bread and the wine. They stand for ourselves. Through them we offer ourselves to God. At the Consecration Christ substitutes Himself for our gifts. He unites them to His own offering of Himself on the cross. Now we go to God with Him. This is the heart of the Mass. On the altar the victim of Calvary is offered but under the appearances of our gifts. This is our moment of greatest power.

My Personal Application: What should I do at these solemn moments? I should offer the God-man slain on Calvary to the eternal Father, recalling the offering I made at the Offertory which Christ has joined to His. I should be united in mind and heart with the priest at the altar, with deep faith, with all the love and gratitude I can command. I offer Christ to God with the priest; I offer myself, my life with Christ to God. I can remember the needs of the whole world, realizing how powerful I am when offering and asking with Christ at the Consecration.

I Speak to Christ: Help me understand just a little that your sacrifice on Calvary is mine. Help me accept the unbelievable fact that I can place your suffering between the Father's justice and my sins; I can offer your great love to gain any favor I ask the Father. Don't let me waste the Mass.

Thought for Today: "Through Christ our Lord."
Adapted from Mental Prayer, Challenge to the Lay Apostle
by The Queen's Work,(© 1958)

Gospel for Thursday, 5th Week in Ordinary Time

From: Mark 7:24-30

The Curing of the Syrophoenician Woman

[24] And from there he (Jesus) arose and went away to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And he entered a house, and would not have any one know it; yet he could not be hid. [25] But immediately a woman, whose little daughter was possessed by an unclean spirit, heard of him, and came and fell down at his feet. [26] Now the woman was a Greek, a Syrophoenician by birth. And she begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter. [27] And he said to her, "Let the children first be fed, for it is not right to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs." [28] But she answered him, "Yes, Lord; yet even the dogs under the table eat the children's crumbs." [29] And he said to her, "For this saying you may go your way; the demon has left your daughter." [30] And she went home, and found the child lying in bed, and the demon gone.


24. The region of Tyre and Sidon is nowadays the southern part of Lebanon--Phoenicia in ancient times. The distance from the lake of Gennesaret to the frontier of Tyre and Sidon is not more than 50 kms (30 miles). Jesus withdrew from Palestine to avoid persecution by the Jewish authorities and to give the Apostles more intensive training.

27. Our Lord actually uses the diminutive--"little dogs" to refer to the Gentiles--thereby softening a scornful _expression which Jews used. On the episode of the Canaanite woman cf. notes on parallel passages, Mt 15:21-28.

[The notes on Mt 15:21-28 states:
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.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Priest is disciplined for Confrontation with SNAP

Confrontation leads to discipline for priest

The St. Louis Archdiocese will discipline a visiting priest at St. Ambrose Church in connection with his confrontation Jan. 28 with a member of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, an Archdiocese spokesperson said Monday.

St. Louis police issued a court summons accusing the Rev. Andrew Pinsent of peace disturbance for allegedly placing his hands on the shoulders of SNAP's Barb Dorris and taking fliers she had. Dorris had been distributing fliers in front of St. Ambrose to parishioners arriving for Mass, informing them of SNAP's concern about two priests who had served briefly there.

Pinsent is from England and is working on a doctorate degree at St. Louis University. He will be disciplined by the Rev. Richard Hanneke, the Archdiocese's Vicar of Priests, according to the spokesperson.

Maybe he should have showered the disrupters with holy water? But then, that would have been a waste of good holy water...SNAP is the group that unjustly "hounded" a priest who was never charged with any crimes.

Source, St Louis Post Dispatch

Saving those Damned Catholics

American Life League Prez Judie Brown on her new book 'Saving those Damned Catholics'
By John-Henry Westen

WASHINGTON, DC, February 7, 2007 ( - "Saving Those Damned Catholics exposes the warts on the underbelly of the Catholic leadership in America today, and it is not a pretty picture. Too many among them are caught up in a twisted vision of what it takes to effectively lead Catholics. There is too much moral relativism and too little desire to say what is right, especially when doing so will bring down the wrath of the media and maybe even a few politicians."

So reads a teaser on the website which markets 'Saving those Damned Catholics' the new book by American Life League President Judie Brown. spoke with Mrs. Brown about her new book while in Washington for the March for Life.

An interesting interview - especially considering that souls are being lost each and every day - and for all eternity!

Who are some of the more heroic bishops in your opinion?

Brown: Bishop Bruskewitz, Bishop Olmsted, Archbishop Burke, Archbishop Chaput to name just a few. The recently retired Archbishop Donahue - there are some tremendous bishops. Bishop Vasa in Oregon would be another one. What we have to do is hold them up with prayer and encouragement and let the rest of these bishops know that we want them to do their job - that is not a disrespectful thing to ask them to do.
None of us could agree more - and these men and others who are faithful to the Church and to the Holy Father need our prayers more than ever!

Read more here.

Gumbleton to Receive VOTF's "Priest of Integrity" Award?

If anyone deserves to be awarded by such a group as "Voice of the UnFaithful", it should be one who has helped lead many away from the Church.

Matt Abbott's article is here...

HT to Patte for the link.

Saturday is the true "Lord's Day"...

...So states these billboards by the scriptually ignorant aided by CBS Outdoors:


CBS Outdoor, a division of the CBS Corporation, recently posted anti-Catholic billboards paid for by the Eternal Gospel Church, a breakaway sect of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, along Interstate 65 in Jeffersonville, Indiana; the town is located on the Indiana-Kentucky border across the river from Louisville. Here is what they say:

SATURDAY the TRUE Lord’s Day
Sunday will be enforced as
Anti-Christ Revealed – Free Book 1-866-POPE-MMM

SATURDAY the True Lord’s Day
Changed by Antichrist Dan. 7:25
Free Book 1-866-POPE-MMM

[Note: MMM is 666 on the telephone, a.k.a “The Mark of the Beast.” Click here for pictures.]

Catholic League president Bill Donohue explained his response today:

“Yesterday, Catholic League director of communications Kiera McCaffrey spoke to Jake Logsdon, a representative at CBS Outdoor’s Louisville office, about placing a billboard along I-65 in Jeffersonville, Indiana. He said he would take some pictures of the available billboards and send them to her to make a selection. The cost was $4,000 for one month, or $6,000 for two months. He said a graphic designer would work the ad up for us. Kiera said we wanted the billboard to say: ‘CBS Sponsors Anti-Catholicism.’ He questioned why, and when told about the Eternal Gospel Church’s ad, said he’d get back to us. Today we were denied. He said he talked to a higher up and was told that CBS cannot approve of anything that is defamatory of CBS.

“CBS has previously denied some PETA signs they found objectionable, and it won’t allow us to tell the truth about CBS. But it has no problem promoting anti-Catholicism.”


HT to Patte G for the link.

Mental Prayer for February 7, Act II:Offering Christ

Mental Prayer Meditation Helps

Presence of God

Grace I Ask: To participate in the awesome drama of the Mass by offering Christ to the Father with deep, heartfelt love.

Mental Picture: Christ's battered, bleeding body nailed to the cross on Calvary, sacrificed for our sins.

My Personal Application: Do I rea1ize that the Consecration is the high point, the dramatic climax of the Mass? Bread and wine are changed into the Body and Blood of the Savior.

Before, on the altar, there was something; now there is Somebody! The Offertory by itself is a magnif­icent action, but our gifts alone are not our full sacrifice, for Jesus wishes to give us His own sacrifice to offer; He now gives Himself that we may present Him to our Father.

The more com­pletely I give myself to God, the more perfectly I can join with Christ in this sacrifice. Do I ever think of this during my daily tasks? Do I try to bring the self-sacrifice of the Mass into my daily life and the self-sacrifice of my daily life into the Mass?

I should live in the spirit of the Mass. I should live the Mass. In this way my sacrifices become united with Christ's and become more valuable.

I Speak to Mary: Dear Mother, help me to offer Christ to the Father with the same spirit of self-­sacrifice with which you offered Him when you two were on Calvary.

Thought for Today: "Live the Mass."
Adapted from Mental Prayer, Challenge to the Lay Apostle
by The Queen's Work,(© 1958)

Gospel for Wednesday, 5th Week in Ordinary Time

From: Mark 7:14-23

What Defiles a Man

[14] And He (Jesus) called the people to meet Him, and said to them, "Hear Me, all of you, and understand: [15] there is nothing outside a man which by going into him can defile him; but the things that come out of a man are what defile him." [17] And when He had entered the house, and left the people, His disciples asked Him about the parable. [18] And He said to them, "Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a man from outside cannot defile him, [19] since it enters, not his heart but his stomach, and so passes on?" (Thus He declared all foods clean.) [20] And He said, "What comes out of a man is what defiles a man. [21] For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, fornication, theft, murder, adultery, [22] coveting, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. [23] All these evil things come from within, and they defile a man.


15. Some important codexes add here: "If any man has ears to hear, let him hear," which would form verse 16.

18-19. We know from Tradition that St. Mark was the interpreter of St. Peter and that, in writing his Gospel under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, he gathered up the Roman catechesis of the head of the Apostles.

The vision which St. Peter had in Joppa (Acts 10:10-16) showed him the full depth of what Jesus teaches here about food. When he returns to Jerusalem, St. Peter himself tells us this in his report on the conversion of Cornelius: "I remembered the word of the Lord" (Acts 11:16). The now non-obligatory character of such prescriptions laid down by God in the Old Testament (cf. Leviticus 11) would have been something St. Peter included in his preaching. For interpretation of this text cf. also note on Matthew 15:10-20.

[Note on Matthew 15:10-20 states:
10-20. Our Lord proclaims the true meaning of moral precepts and makes it clear that man has to answer to God for his actions. The scribes' mistake consisted in concentrating on externals and not giving pride of place to interior purity of heart. For example they saw prayer in terms of exact recital of fixed forms of words rather than as a raising of the soul to God (cf. Matthew 6:5-6). The same thing happened in the case of dietary regulations.

Jesus avails Himself of the particular cases dealt with in this passage to teach us where to find the true center of moral action: it lies in man's personal decision, good or evil, a decision which is shaped in his heart and which then is expressed in the form of action. For example, the sins which our Lord lists are sins committed in the human heart prior to being acted out. In the Sermon on the Mount He already said this: "Every one who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart" (Matthew 5:28).]

20-23. "In order to help us understand divine things, Scripture uses the _expression `heart' in its full meaning, as the summary and source, _expression and ultimate basis, of one's thoughts, words and actions" ([St] J. Escriva, "Christ Is Passing By", 164).

The goodness or malice, the moral quality, of our actions does not depend on their spontaneous, instinctive character. The Lord Himself tells us that sinful actions can come from the human heart.

We can understand how this can happen if we realize that, after original sin, man "was changed for the worse" in both body and soul and was, therefore, prone to evil (cf. Council of Trent, "De Peccato Originali"). Our Lord here restores morality in all its purity and intensity.
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, February 06, 2007

An Urgent Appeal From C-Fam

Dear Fighter for the Unborn,

I write from Arlington, Virginia, right outside of Washington DC. At this moment, across the Potomac River in Washington DC, deep in the night, pro-abortion radicals are plotting to foist a dangerous UN treaty on the United States. Almost alone in the world, the US has not ratified this pro-abortion treaty and therefore remains a beacon of hope to all those who fight for the unborn and against this dangerous treaty. That is about to change unless you act right now.

CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women) is touted by supporters as the International Women's Rights Treaty. The treaty itself is full of nice sounding language about women's equality, something we are all for. But the implementing committee of the treaty, a body that governments must appear before every few years, is as radical as you can get. Here are a few examples of their work.

• The treaty condemns prostitution but the committee has directed governments to legalize prostitution.

• The CEDAW committee has directed 37 pro-life governments to change their laws on abortion, even though the treaty is SILENT on abortion.

• The CEDAW committee has criticized Ireland for allowing the Church to have too strong a voice on public policy.

• The committee has directed Lybia to reinterpret the Koran to fall within committee guidelines (how long before they try that on Christian countries).
The outrages of this out of control committee go on and on and on. Just this past week we watched them berate pro-life Poland on the question of abortion (I repeat, even though the treaty is SILENT on abortion).

Dozens of countries have ratified CEDAW but so far the US has resisted. The US must continue to resist because as long as it does, it remains a beacon of hope for all those who are resisting this dangerous treaty. The US must not ratify CEDAW. So I turn to you.

I ask you to go to HERE and sign our petition to the US Senate not to ratify CEDAW. All Americans with a conscience should sign this petition, but all people of goodwill around the globe should also. The US is ever more sensitive these days about what people around the world think. The radicals will be telling the Senate that there is overwhelming support for CEDAW around the world. We must let them know that this is not true.

I urge you to ... sign the petition against US ratification of CEDAW. We will deliver this petition with thousands of signatures directly to the US Senate... And then send this message to all of your friends. We must get thousands and thousands from all over the world to sign this petition.


Yours sincerely,
Austin Ruse
President, C-FAM
Visit here for more information.

Legislative Effort to Truly Ban Human Cloning Is Well Under Way

This just in from Jaci Winship at Missourians Against Human Cloning:
HJR 11, to truly ban human cloning and return the control over public monies to our elected representatives, has been assigned to the Health Care Policy Committee. The committee will hear testimony regarding the bill on Tuesday, February 6, 2007 at noon. We have posted a list of the committee members on our web site. Please take a few minutes this week and contact these representatives. Let them know you support HJR11.

The HJR sponsored by Rep. Jim Lembke has 47 co-sponsors including Speaker Pro-Tem Carl Bearden. The Senate version, SJR20, sponsored by Sen. Matt Bartle has eight co-sponsors. The media has attempted to characterize Sen. Bartle and Rep. Lembke as extremists trying to "undo the will of the people". Nothing could be further from the truth. The majority of Missourians oppose human cloning research and they strongly oppose funding this research with their tax dollars. We need to continue to spread the truth about amendment 2 by writing letters to the newspapers, hosting presentations and word of mouth. All of us working together are more effective than all the advertising the pro-cloners can buy.

Note: SJR20 has been assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee but no hearing date has been set.

The much publicized debate on the sale of MOHELA assets clearly indicates what a debacle Amendment 2 is. The tricky lawyers who wrote this legal nightmare knew exactly what the convoluted language of paragraphs 5 and 7 would do to the legislative process. We need to use the MOHELA debate to spotlight the legal nightmare created by amendment 2 and to focus attention on the importance of constitutionally reestablishing the financial authority of the legislature.

This may seem like a quiet time but there is still much to do! I cannot stress enough how important it is to contact your elected representative and senator to express clearly, respectfully and thoughtfully your convictions regarding embryonic stem cell research and human cloning. Which leads me again encourage you to attend the Anti-cloning Rally and Lobby Day on March 7th.

Bus information is available on our web site. A flyer and bulletin inserts that may be downloaded and printed will be available soon. Please contact our office by email or phone at 636-536-9877.

What's Next
We are often asked about starting an initiative petition signature drive. Be assured that if the legislative effort to place an anti-cloning amendment on the ballot fails, we will be ready to implement the initiative petition effort. We will keep you posted!

Note: A contact list for all the current legislators is available at the Missouri Legislator Lookup.


Gumbleton Must Receive Permission from Local Bishop

Bishop Thomas Gumbleton of Detroit must seek permission from local bishops anywhere he wishes to speak, by order of the papal nuncio, the Vatican's ambassador to the United States, according to local leaders of Call to Action. The group has taken a variety of positions at odds with church policy.
. . .
Bishops Thomas J. Olmsted of Phoenix and Gerald Kicanas of Tucson refused to grant the permission.
. . .
Phoenix Diocese spokesman James Dwyer said the problem was not with Gumbleton, who has taken positions at odds with a majority of his fellow bishops, but with Call to Action.
Call to Action - an heretical group if there ever was one. All members of this group and any other group like it, should receive treatment for the deadly disease which afflicts them. And the proper medicine would be excommunication.

And what about those who claim that they'll show a video of Gumbleton? Is Gumbleton permitting this? It's obvious that using a video as means of communication to circumvent the permission requirement is a violation of the order of the nuncio - if not in letter, at least in spirit.

These folks need prayers. They need conversion. They need enlightenment. They need to learn to conform their wills to God's will.

Gospel for Feb 6, Memorial: St Paul Miki and Companions, Martyrs

From: Mark 7:1-13

The Tradition of the Elders

[1] Now when the Pharisees gathered together to Him (Jesus), with some of the scribes, who had come from Jerusalem, [2] they saw that some of His disciples ate with hands defiled, that is, unwashed. [3] (For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, do not eat unless they wash their hands, observing the tradition of the elders; [4] and when they come from the market place, they do not eat unless they purify themselves; and there are many other traditions which they observe, the washing of cups and pots and vessels of bronze.) [5] And the Pharisees and the scribes asked Him, "Why do Your disciples not live according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with hands defiled?" [6] And He said to them, "Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, `This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me; [7] in vain do they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.' [8] You leave the commandment of God, and hold fast the tradition of men. [9] And He said to them, "You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God, in order to keep your tradition! [10] For Moses said, "Honor your father and your mother'; and `He who speaks evil of father or mother, let him surely die'; [11] but you say, `If a man tells his father or his mother, What you would have gained from me is Corban' (that is, given to God)--[12] then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother, [13] thus making void the word of God through your tradition which you hand on. And many such things you do."


1-2. Hands were washed not for reasons of hygiene or good manners but because the custom had religious significance: it was a rite of purification. In Exodus 30:17ff the Law of God laid down how priests should wash before offering sacrifice. Jewish tradition had extended this to all Jews before every meal, in an effort to give meals a religious significance, which was reflected in the blessings which marked the start of meals. Ritual purification was a symbol of the moral purity a person should have when approaching God (Psalm 24:3ff; 51:4 and 9); but the Pharisees had focused on the mere external rite. Therefore Jesus restores the genuine meaning of these precepts of the Law, whose purpose is to teach the right way to render homage to God (cf. John 4:24).

3-5. We can see clearly from this text that very many of those to whom St. Mark's Gospel was first addressed were Christians who had been pagans and were unfamiliar with Jewish customs. The Evangelist explains these customs in some detail, to help them realize the significance of the events and teachings reported in the Gospel story.

Similarly, Sacred Scripture needs to be preached and taught in a way which puts it within reach of its hearers. This is why Vatican II teaches that "it is for the bishops suitable to instruct the faithful [...] by giving them translations of the sacred texts which are equipped with necessary and really adequate explanations. Thus the children of the Church can familiarize themselves safely and profitably with the Sacred Scriptures, and become steeped in their spirit" ("Dei Verbum", 25).

11-13. For an explanation of this text cf. note on Mt. 15:5-6. Jesus Christ, who is the authentic interpreter of the Law, because as God He is its author, explains the scope of the fourth commandment and points out the mistakes made by the Jewish casuistry. There were many other occasions when He corrected mistaken interpretations offered by the Jewish teachers: for example, when He recalls that phrase of the Old Testament, "Go and learn what this means, I desire mercy, and not sacrifice" (Hosea 6:6, 1 Samuel 15:22; Sirach 35:4) in Matthew 9:13.

[The note on Matthew 15:5-6 states:
5-6. Over the years teachers of the Law (scribes) and priests of the temple had distorted the true meaning of the fourth commandment. In Jesus' time, they were saying that people who contributed to the temple in cash or in kind were absolved from supporting their parents: it would be sacrilegious for parents to lay claim to this "corban" (offerings for the altar). People educated in this kind of thinking felt that they were keeping the fourth commandment--in fact, fulfilling it in the best way possible--and they were praised for their piety by the religious leaders of the nation. But what in fact it meant was that, under the cloak of piety, they were leaving elderly parents to fend for themselves. Jesus, who is Messiah and God, is the one who can correctly interpret the Law. Here He explains the proper scope of the fourth commandment, exposing the error of Jewish practice at the time.

For Christians, therefore, the fourth commandment includes affectionate help of parents if they are old or needy, even if one has other family, social or religious obligations to attend to. Children should check regularly on whether they are looking after their parents properly.]
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.

Mental Prayer for February 6, Act I:I Don't Give Alone

Mental Prayer Meditation Helps

Presence of God

Grace I Ask: To see the teamwork in the Mass.

The Idea: Orate fratres - "Pray, brethren, that my sacrifice and yours may be acceptable to God, the Father almighty."

The priest prays this way at the end of the Offertory of the Mass. But to whom does he refer when he speaks of "your sacrifice"? Obviously he's speaking primarily to the congregation; it is the people's sacrifice. But it has an even broader meaning, for it extends to all Catholics, to all the members of Christ's Mystical Body.

But how can the sacrifice of the divine Victim be also our sacrifice? The answer is that, in the words of Pius XII, Christ offers to His heavenly Father not only Himself "but in Himself His mystical members as well." At Mass we never pray alone; we pray with the Church and in union with Christ.

My Personal Application: Do I think of the Mass as merely a private and personal prayer of my own or as a matter of teamwork with the rest of the congregation - and even with the rest of the Church on earth? Do I take an active part in the dialogue Mass when I have the opportunity?

I Speak to Christ: Divine Redeemer, help me to realize the meaning of the Mass as the sacrifice of your Church here on earth. Help me to do my part both at Mass and during the day in union with the Mass throughout the world as part of the teamwork of the Catholic world - to adore, to thank, to make reparation for sin, and to beg your blessings in union with my brothers and sisters in Christ.

Thought for Today: "Though many, we are one body in Christ."
Adapted from Mental Prayer, Challenge to the Lay Apostle
by The Queen's Work,(© 1958)

Monday, February 05, 2007

More on the Gardasil HPV Vaccine

Trouble for Texas Catholics: Governor Violates Parental Authority - Cowtows to Merck

Children of God for Life - For Immediate Release, February 5, 2007

(Murfreesboro, TN) Children of God for Life is urging Texas Governor, Rick Perry to reverse his decision mandating Merck's new Gardasil HPV vaccine for school children in Texas. In an unprecedented move, Perry showed his gratitude to the bankrolling efforts of Merck by issuing an Executive Order requiring the shots for girls as young as 9-11 years old.

“It is an outrage that Governor Perry is forcing this vaccine on families”, stated Children of God for Life Executive Director, Debi Vinnedge. “His actions clearly contradict the advice of every major medical, ethical and pro-family organization in the country.”
More on this with Links, here.

HT to Darla for the updates!

Dr Ed Peters: Austrian "excommunication" reports are a-muddle

News reports that Salzburg (Austria) auxiliary bishop Andreas Laun has excommunicated one Richard Lugner for allowing an abortion clinic to open in one of his shopping malls, are a mess. No wonder Vienna's Christoph Cdl. Schoenborn is keeping his distance.
More here.

Chiesa: Two New Documents in the Works: On Bioethics, and on Natural Law

They are being prepared by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. It is the continuation of the "Ratzinger style," explains the secretary of the Vatican dicastery, Archbishop Angelo Amato.
by Sandro Magister
More here...

The Christ of Benedict XVI

The Pope is about to publish a book about Jesus. In so doing, he will share his deepest convictions about Jesus Christ
- by Dr. Robert Moynihan

The greatest drama of this pontificate -- greater than the drama of relations with secular humanism or Islam, greater even than the drama of the scandals in the Church -- is the drama occurring within Pope Benedict himself.

It is the drama of a man whose entire formation as a thinker and theologian led him to regard free theological inquiry as the highest intellectual activity of the believing Christian, but whose destiny was to become the Successor of Peter, and as such, the possessor of the Church's binding teaching authority, the Magisterium (the authority to "bind and to loose," to approve and to condemn doctrine and heresies, to teach, ex cathedra, infallibly). And that is why Benedict's decision to publish a book about Jesus later this spring, but not to give the teaching in the book any magisterial authority whatsoever, is so dramatic.

It is dramatic because it is the decision to withhold magisterial authority from the book that is itself magisterial.

And this decision has profound consequences, both for the exercise of the papal office within the Roman Catholic Church, and for relations with non-Catholics, particularly the Orthodox. For this reason, it is one of the most important decisions of the pontificate thus far, and perhaps a defining one. . .

More here from Inside the Vatican

McAuliffe Rejected...

There is an update to a previously posted story about Terry McAuliffe attempting to join the Knights of Malta...And the Order has rejected his application!

Knights of Malta in Rome Reject Pro-Abortion Terry McAuliffe

Mental Prayer for February 5, Act I:Our Gift to God

Mental Prayer Meditation Helps

Presence of God

Grace I Ask: To see my offering is part of the Mass.

The Idea: Bread and wine are brought to the altar and offered to almighty God with the prayer that He may bless them and make them holy. They are our gifts. They are the gifts we offer to God. My share in them is a sign of my faith and love, my gratitude and submission, my sorrow for sin. The offering of the bread and wine repre­sents the offering of myself. As the priest pours the wine into the chalice, I mentally put into the same chalice all my intentions - all my difficulties, all my happiness - myself.

My Personal Application: This is my big part in the Mass. I offer the bread and wine as signs of offering myself with the priest. Unless I unite myself with the priest and offer myself as he offers the bread and wine, there is very little of me in the Mass. If I do offer myself, then all of me is in the Mass.

I Speak to God: Most Holy Trinity, in the Mass I offer myself to you in union with Jesus Christ our Lord. Help me to realize now the meaning of my offering. Help me to understand my part in the Mass. Help me to realize that the bread and wine that the priest offers really stand for my gift - really stand for me. I want to take a real live part in the Mass. Help me to put my whole self into my offering.

Thought for Today: May my sacrifice be made acceptable to you, O God.
Adapted from Mental Prayer, Challenge to the Lay Apostle
by The Queen's Work,(© 1958)

Gospel for Feb 5, Memorial: St Agatha, virgin and martyr

From: Mark 6:53-56

Cures at Gennesaret

[53] And when they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret, and moored to the shore. [54] And when they got out of the boat, immediately the people recognized Him (Jesus), [55] and ran about the whole neighborhood and began to bring sick people on their pallets to any place where they heard He was. [56] And wherever He came in, in villages, cities, or country, they laid the sick in the market places, and besought Him that they might touch even the fringe of His garment; and as many as touched it were made well.
There is no commentary in the Navarre Bible for this part of the Gospel.

I have included the noted from A Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture, published by Thomas Nelson & Sons, 1953:

53. The plain at the north-west of the Lake was called Gennesar. It was renown for its fertility.

55-56. Once more we see the unbounded enthusiasm of the crowd as they bring their sick to be healed by Christ.
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.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Mental Prayer for February 4, The Mass: a Real-Life Drama

Mental Prayer Meditation Helps

Presence of God

Grace I Ask: To develop and nurture a real and proper under­standing of the tremendous fact of the Mass.

The Idea: The Mass is a real-life drama... the greatest drama on earth... a drama in which I have a big part to play: to offer Christ to God and myself with Christ. The drama of the Mass has three acts :

First Act: We want to go to God, our Maker and Father, so we bring gifts for a sacrifice. They stand for ourselves; they show Him our own self-­offering; they carry our repentance, love, and gratitude, our worship and submission - our Heart. The Offertory.

Second Act. The Consecration: Our gifts are changed into Christ slain for us on Calvary. So what we really end up offering is His great sacrifice of infinite value. Calvary is put in our hands; and our self-offering is carried up to God by Christ, in union with His sacrifice of Himself.

Third Act. The Communion: Finally, we receive Christ. He now comes to share His life with us. He has carried our offering to God and now brings God's friendship to us.

My Personal Application: How often I have looked around for something to give to God when He has given me a special favor! What could I have to give Him? By myself alone I have no gift worthy of Him. But here in the Mass, Christ takes my gift of myself, unites it to Himself, and offers to God the Father the perfect gift.

I Speak to God: Holy Spirit, help me to under­stand this great mystery. Help me to see my part in the great drama. I won't be able to get very far without your help. I want to understand, to deeply realize what the Mass means to me.

Thought for Today: I offer thee my whole life in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass through­out the world.
Adapted from Mental Prayer, Challenge to the Lay Apostle
by The Queen's Work,(© 1958)

Gospel for the Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

From: Luke 5:1-11

The Miraculous Catch of Fish and the Calling of the First Disciples

[1] While the people pressed upon Him (Jesus) to hear the word of God, He was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret. [2] And He saw two boats by the lake, but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. [3] Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon's, He asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the people from the boat. [4] And when He had ceased speaking, He said to Simon, "Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch." [5] And Simon answered, "Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets." [6] And when they had done this, they enclosed a great shoal of fish; and as their nets were breaking, [7] they beckoned to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. [8] But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord." [9] For he was astonished, and all that were with Him, at the catch of fish which they had taken; [10] And so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, "Do not be afraid; henceforth you will be catching men." [11] And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed Him.


1. "Just as they do today! Can't you see? They want to hear God's message, even though outwardly they may not show it. Some perhaps haveforgotten Christ's teachings. Others, through no fault of their own, have never known them and they think that religion is something odd. But of this we can be sure, that in every man's life there comes a time sooner or later when his soul draws the line. He has had enough of the usual explanations. The lies of the false prophets no longer satisfy. Even though they may not admit it at the time, such people are longing to quench their thirst with the teachings of our Lord" ([St] J. Escriva, "Friends of God", 260).

3. The Fathers saw in Simon's boat a symbol of the pilgrim Church on earth. "This is the boat which according to St. Matthew was in danger of sinking and according to St. Luke was filled with fish. Here we can see the difficult beginnings of the Church and its later fruitfulness" (St. Ambrose, "Expositio Evangelii sec. Lucam, in loc."). Christ gets into the boat in order to teach the crowds--and from the barque of Peter, the Church, He continues to teach the whole world.

Each of us can also see himself as this boat Christ uses for preaching. Externally no change is evident: "What has changed? There is a change inside our soul, now that Christ has come aboard, as He went aboard Peter's boat. Its horizon has been expanded. It feels a greater ambition to serve and an irrepressible desire to tell all creation about the "magnalia Dei" (Acts 2:11), the marvellous doings of our Lord, if only we let Him work" ([St] J. Escriva, "Friends of God", 265).

4. "When He had finished His catechizing, He told Simon: `Put out into the deep, and lower your nets for a catch.' Christ is the master of this boat. He it is who prepares the fishing. It is for this that He has come into the world, to do all He can so that His brothers may find the way to glory and to the love of the Father" ("Friends of God", 260). To carry this task out, our Lord charges all of them to cast their nets, but it is only Peter He tells to put out into the deep.

This whole passage refers in some way to the life of the Church. In the Church the bishop of Rome, Peter's successor, "is the vicar of Jesus Christ because he represents Him on earth and acts for Him in the government of the Church" ("St. Pius X Catechism", 195). Christ is also addressing each one of us, urging us to be daring in apostolate: `"Duc in altum. Put out into deep water!' Throw aside the pessimism that makes a coward of you. `Et laxate retia vestra in capturam. And pay out you nets for a catch.' Don't you see that you, like Peter, can say: `In nomine tuo, laxabo rete': Jesus, if You say so, I will search for souls?" ([St] J. Escriva, "The Way", 792).

"If you were to fall into the temptation of wondering, `Who's telling me to embark on this?', we would have reply, `Christ Himself is telling you, is begging you.' `The harvest is plentiful enough, but the laborers are few. You must ask the Lord to whom the harvest belongs to send laborers out for the harvesting' (Matthew 9:37-38). Don't take the easy way out. Don't say, `I'm no good at this sort of thing; there are others who can do it; it isn't my line.' No, for this sort of thing, there is no one else: if you could get away with that argument, so could everyone else. Christ's plea is addressed to each and every Christian. No one can consider himself exempt, for whatever reason--age, health or occupation. There are no excuses whatsoever.
Either we carry out a fruitful apostolate, or our faith will prove barren" ("Friends of God", 272).

5. When Christ gives him these instructions, Peter states the difficulties involved. "A reasonable enough reply. The night hours were the normal time for fishing, and this time the catch had yielded nothing. What was the point of fishing by day? But Peter has faith: `But at Your word I will let down the nets.' He decides to act on Christ's suggestion. He undertakes the work relying entirely on the word of our Lord" ("Friends of God", 261).

8. Peter does not want Christ to leave him; aware of his sins, he declares his unworthiness to be near Christ. This reminds us of the attitude of the centurion who confesses his unworthiness to receive Jesus into his house (Matthew 8:8). The Church requires her children to repeat these exact words of the centurion before receiving the Blessed Eucharist. She also teaches us to show due external reverence to the Blessed Sacrament when going to Communion: by falling down on his knees Peter also shows that internal adoration of God should be also be expressed externally.

11. Perfection is not simply a matter of leaving all things but of doing so in order to follow Christ--which is what the Apostles did: they gave up everything in order to be available to do what God's calling involved.

We should develop this attitude of availability, for "Jesus isn't satisfied `going halves': He wants the lot" ([St] J. Escriva, "The Way", 155).

If we don't give ourselves generously we will find it very difficult to follow Jesus: "Detach yourself from people and things until you are stripped of them. For, says Pope St. Gregory, the devil has nothing of his own in this world, and naked he comes to battle. If you go clothed to fight him, you will soon be pulled to the ground: for he will have something to catch you by" ("The Way", 149).

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.