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Just reminding erryone of my current location #rio #papafrancis #skyline #beautiful

Posted by on 7-22-13

El Jueves salgo para Puerto Rico y estare participando del JMJ en PR. Un Evento unido al JMJ de Brasil. Seran dias de mucha gracia, poder y misericordia. Contamos con sus oraciones! Para mas info porfavor visiten www.jmj2013pr.com #jmj #jmj2013pr #brasil #puertorico #unasolaiglesia #jovenes #catholic #catolico #papafrancis

Posted by on 7-22-13

“Não tenho ouro nem prata.. Vim aqui transmitir o maior presente que recebi nessa vida: Jesus Cristo” – Papa Francisco, no Palácio Guanabara, na sua chegada no Rio de Janeiro

Posted by on 7-22-13

Nada mejor que coger cosas de los hoteles y encontrartelas un tiempo mas tarde #recuerdoson #abril2013 #antequera #campeonatoespañaporescuelas #catalunya #buenequipo #genialrelevo #granada #bocadecaballo #dientesdeleon #mojopicon #bananas #pasajeros #titofrancis #papafrancis #yayofrancis #quierovolver

Posted by on 7-22-13

El papa Francisco acaba de recitar: “Necesitamos santos sin velo, sin sotana. Necesitamos santos de jeans y zapatillas. Necesitamos santos que vayan al cine, escuchen musica y paseen con sus amigos. Necesitamos santos que coloquen a Dios en primer lugar y que sobresalgan en la Universidad. Necesitamos santos que busquen tiempo cada dia para rezar y que sepan enamorar en la pureza y castidad, o que consagren su castidad. Necesitamos santos modernos, santos del siglo XXI con una espiritualidad insertada en nuestro tiempo. Necesitamos santos comprometidos con los pobres y los necesarios cambios sociales. Necesitamos santos que vivan en el mundo, se santifiquen en el mundo y que no tengan miedo de vivir en el mundo. Necesitamos santos que tomen Coca Cola y coman hot-dogs, que sean internautas, que escuchen iPod. Necesitamos santos que amen la Eucaristia y que no tengan vergüenza de tomar una cerveza o comer pizza el fin de semana con los amigos. Necesitamos santos a los que les guste el cine, el teatro, la musica, la danza, el deporte. Necesitamos santos sociables, abiertos, normales, amigos, alegres, compañeros. Necesitamos santos que esten en el mundo y que sepan saborear las cosas puras y buenas del mundo, pero sin ser mundanos”. Amen!!!!!!! (Esta parte la dije yo) :) #santidadenjeans #santidad #PapaFrancis #Iglesia #yes #holiness

Posted by on 7-21-13

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Ask a Franciscan: Is Every Encyclical Infallible?...

Posted on Jul 2, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Q. I know that the pope’s infallibility is not a personal trait but is part of his office as the successor of St. Peter. Even so, is every encyclical infallible?

A. The short answer is no. Vatican I’s decree “Eternal Pastor” taught: “The Roman Pontiff, when he speaks ex cathedra, that is, when discharging the office of pastor and teacher of all Christians, and defines with his supreme apostolic authority a doctrine concerning faith or morals that is to be held by the universal Church, through the divine assistance promised him in St. Peter, exercises that infallibility which the divine Redeemer wishes to endow his Church for defining doctrine concerning faith or morals.”

Infallibility is a guarantee that neither the pope teaching individually as the Church’s supreme pastor nor the pope teaching in communion with the whole college of bishops can mislead the faithful on an issue essential to salvation.

Encylicals remain very important teaching documents. No pope since 1870 has designated an encyclical as an exercise of papal infallibility, which requires three conditions: 1) the subject is a matter of faith or morals, 2) the pope must be teaching as supreme pastor, and 3) the pope must indicate that the teaching is infallible.

Since 1870, the only such teaching is the 1950 definition by Pope Pius XII of Mary’s assumption. Some people have argued that every canonization is an infallible statement, but that opinion is not official Church teaching.

Recent encylicals have been addressed to the whole Church, but the 2013 edition of Our Sunday Visitor’s Catholic Almanac lists 288 encyclicals since 1740, most of them written to bishops of a single country. Many of them were drawn up for the anniversary of a saint, a Holy Year, or another Church event.

Pope Leo XIII wrote the most encyclicals: 86 between 1878 and 1902. Blessed John XXIII broke new ground when he addressed Peace on Earth (1962) to the usual audience and added “all people of good will.”

*****
Photo: TTstudio/Shutterstock

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Living a Good Christian Life...

Posted on Jul 1, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

We talk a lot about being committed to living a Christian life, but what does it really mean? Going to Mass on Sundays, receiving the sacraments and actively praying are all good ways of being a witness to the Gospel and living a good Christian life. But how do we really connect with people, especially young people who are seeking answers to the meaning of life in this increasingly secularized, individualized and materialistic society?

Let’s take for example the message of chastity. Where and how do you think a young person today is going to hear the message from Church that sex is beautiful but should be saved for marriage? Well, they’re probably not going to hear it in Church. They’re going to have to hear it from other people. The Church can teach us lots of wonderful things but if people don’t see it being lived out, chances are they’re not going to pay attention.

I know that actions always speak louder than words. When I start feeling down about some scandal or imperfection in our Church’s history, I look to people like Mother Teresa or even our new Pope Francis and know they love the Church, so there must be something to this Catholic faith worth looking into.

And to boost my understanding even more I like to look into the lives of the saints. They may seem like historical figures, but when you really learn about their lives, you find out that they were just like you and me—struggling with their faith. If we can follow their example and emulate their qualities, then we, too, can become role models for others, especially our children.

Catholic saints are ordinary people who lived extraordinary lives. I recommend you try the “Saint of the Day” app which has made it much easier for me to find out more about them in an easy and convenient way. It’s available for both iOS and Android devices.  

*****

Photo by Nancy Bauer / Shutterstock.com

 

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Observations about important CDF document on “Le...

Posted on Jun 29, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

A priest friend sent me some notes in response to my posting HERE of the CDF’s 2003 document: Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons.

His points are worth sharing.  I’ll edit a bit:

1. Saint Charles Lwanga and his Companions, Martyrs.

The document was published on June 3, 2003, Memorial of Saint Charles Lwanga and his Companions, Martyrs.

I do not think this was a coincidence!

Saint Charles Lwanga and his Companions were killed by the homosexual King Mwanga of Buganda (yes his country was really called that!). The first martyrs were killed because they tried to protect the young page boys from the king’s unnatural sexual desires. The later martyrs included many of the page boys themselves.

The martyrs included both Catholics and Protestants – but of course Paul VI canonised only the Catholic martyrs. At Namugongo (half way between Kampala and Jinja) there are separate shrines to the Catholic & Protestant martyrs – although they were executed side by side.

Nowadays not all our political rulers may wish to indulge in deviant sexual practises themselves – but they do seem to wish to corrupt young people and to persuade them that there is no such thing as objective moral values.

2. Pope Francis is to visit Uganda in November

The reason for the visit is to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the canonisation of the Uganda Martyrs.

This is just after the Synod on the Family.

I do not think this is a coincidence either!

Jesuits are supposed to be pretty smart (although I do realise that this is not always the case) and they are also reputed to be also rather …..er…..well…er….Jesuitical.

Now can you imagine the reaction Pope Francis would get if he turned up in Kampala in November and announced that the Uganda Martyrs had been mistaken – and that same-sex “love” is just as valid as the love between a husband and a wife?

But imagine the reception he will get if he upholds Christian marriage – and marital fidelity.

President Museveni of Uganda helped to lead an anti-AIDS campaign that did not rely on peddling condoms – but promoted abstinence before marriage and fidelity throughout marriage.

And Uganda succeeded in reducing the number of AIDS sufferers. Other counties (which did peddle condoms) did not.

“The use of condoms is not the ultimate solution in the fight against HIV/AIDS”, said President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni at an AIDS conference in Thailand. He caused much controversy when he said the best ways to stop the spread of AIDS are abstinence and faithfulness in marriage.”

And especially when…

3. Pope Francis has just approved the canonisation of St Thérèse’s parents

“Louis and Zélie Martin will be the first couple to be canonised together as husband and wife. Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect for the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints, said the canonisation would testify to their “extraordinary witness of conjugal and familial spirituality”. HERE

Louis Martin (1823–1894) and Zélie Guerin (1831–1877) had nine children.  The five who survived infancy all entered religious life. The most well-known is St Thérèse, co-patroness of France.”

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Observations about important CDF document on “Le...

Posted on Jun 29, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

A priest friend sent me some notes in response to my posting HERE of the CDF’s 2003 document: Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons.

His points are worth sharing.  I’ll edit a bit:

1. Saint Charles Lwanga and his Companions, Martyrs.

The document was published on June 3, 2003, Memorial of Saint Charles Lwanga and his Companions, Martyrs.

I do not think this was a coincidence!

Saint Charles Lwanga and his Companions were killed by the homosexual King Mwanga of Buganda (yes his country was really called that!). The first martyrs were killed because they tried to protect the young page boys from the king’s unnatural sexual desires. The later martyrs included many of the page boys themselves.

The martyrs included both Catholics and Protestants – but of course Paul VI canonised only the Catholic martyrs. At Namugongo (half way between Kampala and Jinja) there are separate shrines to the Catholic & Protestant martyrs – although they were executed side by side.

Nowadays not all our political rulers may wish to indulge in deviant sexual practises themselves – but they do seem to wish to corrupt young people and to persuade them that there is no such thing as objective moral values.

2. Pope Francis is to visit Uganda in November

The reason for the visit is to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the canonisation of the Uganda Martyrs.

This is just after the Synod on the Family.

I do not think this is a coincidence either!

Jesuits are supposed to be pretty smart (although I do realise that this is not always the case) and they are also reputed to be also rather …..er…..well…er….Jesuitical.

Now can you imagine the reaction Pope Francis would get if he turned up in Kampala in November and announced that the Uganda Martyrs had been mistaken – and that same-sex “love” is just as valid as the love between a husband and a wife?

But imagine the reception he will get if he upholds Christian marriage – and marital fidelity.

President Museveni of Uganda helped to lead an anti-AIDS campaign that did not rely on peddling condoms – but promoted abstinence before marriage and fidelity throughout marriage.

And Uganda succeeded in reducing the number of AIDS sufferers. Other counties (which did peddle condoms) did not.

“The use of condoms is not the ultimate solution in the fight against HIV/AIDS”, said President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni at an AIDS conference in Thailand. He caused much controversy when he said the best ways to stop the spread of AIDS are abstinence and faithfulness in marriage.”

And especially when…

3. Pope Francis has just approved the canonisation of St Thérèse’s parents

“Louis and Zélie Martin will be the first couple to be canonised together as husband and wife. Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect for the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints, said the canonisation would testify to their “extraordinary witness of conjugal and familial spirituality”. HERE

Louis Martin (1823–1894) and Zélie Guerin (1831–1877) had nine children.  The five who survived infancy all entered religious life. The most well-known is St Thérèse, co-patroness of France.”

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The problem is the inversion of “God is love” ...

Posted on Jun 28, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

I direct the readership to something I wrote before Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato si’ was released.  HERE  The Pope quotes St. Francis’ song here and there.  But let us not forget how the song ends.

My friend Fr. Rutler in NYC makes some additional points in his pastor’s page this week.  Should should check it each week.  HERE

Thus, Rutler:

On September 13, 1224, on the mount of Verna, Saint Francis received the stigmata, the marks of Christ’s five wounds in his flesh. Several months later, he composed the “The Canticle of the Creatures,” now more commonly called “The Canticle of the Sun.” It is beautiful in its Umbrian dialect and enchants in any language. The seventh verse, which begins “Laudato si, mi Signore, per sora nostra matre terra . . .” is the incipit of the recent encyclical on the dignity and duties of life in the created order.

Five other verses are quoted in paragraph 87 of the encyclical. They praise the Lord for the sun, moon, stars, wind, air, water and fire. I am inclined to think that St. Francis, who was a deacon, had in mind the Benedicite, which is part of the Liturgy of the Hours, conflating Daniel 3:57-88 and Psalm 148. St. Francis was a walking Bible, and his life was a canticle incarnate, [nice] so his inspiration was the same as Daniel’s and David’s. His canticle distinguishes the creature from the Creator who is the object of creation’s praise.

I found some verses in a Unitarian hymnal:

Nature shouts from earth and sky,
In the spring our spirits fly,
Join the resurrection cry,
Love is God and fears must die, Alleluia!

Such poésie may suit people who are vague about the Resurrection, and it really only works north of the equator. The problem is its inversion of “God is love” and “Love is God.” If Love is God, then it is a quick step to thinking of the sun and moon and stars and earth as divine, with earthly pastures as a pantheon. [I am reminded of the lunatic sloganing of some groups after the Obergefell v. Hodges decision.  And we must have the discussion about what “love” is.  The word is being thrown about a great deal right now.]

This is why it is important that the “Canticle of the Sun” be invoked in its entirety. The first and last three verses do not appear in the encyclical. An uninformed reader might get the impression that the saint of Assisi did not sing his song in a transport of joy to God whose glory is ineffable. “Most High, all powerful, all good Lord! All praise is Yours, all glory, all honor, and all blessing. To You alone, Most High, do they belong. No mortal lips are worthy to pronounce Your name” (verse 1). The last three verses praise the Lord for the strength he gives to forgive and to endure sickness and trial, for the mystery of death and fear of dying in mortal sin, and for serving him “with great humility.”

A satirist once described a trendy clergyman who “collects butterflies and considers the word ‘not’ to have been interpolated in several of the Commandments.” While Christ bid us to “consider the lilies of the field,” he did so not as a botanist but as the Lord who “is before all things, and in him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:17). To redact the “Canticle of the Sun” risks being left with the Sun, but without the Son.

How does St. Francis’ hymn end?

Woe to those who die in mortal sin!

May God have mercy on those who have caused such vast scandal.

May God have mercy on those who will fall to their baser appetites.

Everyone… pray for the deeply confused and clean your own house!

GO TO CONFESSION.

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Learning to be Human...

Posted on Jun 26, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Our guest blogger today is Jeremy Harrington, OFM, coauthor of A Friar’s E-spirations.

In dedicating himself to those with special needs, Jean Vanier is a great inspiration to me. His message has wider meaning for the whole human family.

That was the judgment of the Templeton Foundation, who gave Jean Vanier, now in his 80s, the 2015 Templeton Prize for “his innovative discovery of the central role of vulnerable people in the creation of a more just and humane society.” Previous recipients include Desmond Tutu, the Dalai Lama, and Blessed Mother Teresa. The recipient receives roughly 1.7 million US dollars. Vanier is giving his to charity.

It all started for Vanier over 50 years ago. After serving as an officer in the Royal Canadian Navy, he decided to give his life to God. Finding how took several years of searching with the guidance of Père Thomas Philippe, a French priest. Vanier earned a doctorate in philosophy, taught at the university level, and explored different lay and religious communities.

In visiting institutions for the mentally ill in France, he found that often they received little respect or care. At the suggestion of Père Thomas, he invited two patients, Raphael and Philippe, into his home. They had no family. Years in mental institutions left them feeling rejected and hopeless. Vanier soon discovered that what they wanted most was to be accepted as brothers. He was learning from them.

It was the beginning of the L’Arche movement, now a federation of 147 communities in 35 countries in which the intellectually disabled and volunteers (called assistants) share together a life rich in mutual relationships. Later, Vanier—with Marie Helen Vathier—cofounded Faith and Light, now a network of 500 communities in 82 countries.

The goal of each L’Arche community is an equal number of those with special needs and assistants. As equals, they live and work together. The assistants are often idealistic young people, but they can be of any age or faith. Father Henri Nouwen was an assistant at Daybreak, the L’Arche home in Montreal. Professionals in psychiatry, medicine, and nursing assist but do not live in the homes. Some assistants find the community living too difficult and leave. Others say they come to recognize the gifts of their housemates and often see their own brokenness and find new life.

“When those ingrained in a culture of winning and of individual success really meet them, and enter into friendship with them, something amazing and wonderful happens. They, too, are opened up to love and even to God. They are changed at a very deep level. They are transformed and become more fundamentally human.”

Carry the Wisdom of Jean Vanier with You!

Love of God and love of others are the two great commandments: Jean Vanier shows that these are the same thing. We express our love for God through compassionate care for one another, and we encounter the love of God through those closest to us. In his new book The Gospel of John, the Gospel of Relationship (Franciscan Media), a chapter-by-chapter exploration of John’s Gospel, Vanier explains how Jesus taught this lesson at every step of his ministry. He includes stories from his work with L’Arche that express the great privilege we have of developing our relationships with one another and with God.

Also coming in the fall of 2015 is Life’s Great Questions (Franciscan Media), which encourages readers to delve more deeply into their own faith and spirituality and find answers to life’s biggest questions.

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Learning to be Human...

Posted on Jun 26, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Our guest blogger today is Jeremy Harrington, OFM, coauthor of A Friar’s E-spirations.

In dedicating himself to those with special needs, Jean Vanier is a great inspiration to me. His message has wider meaning for the whole human family.

That was the judgment of the Templeton Foundation, who gave Jean Vanier, now in his 80s, the 2015 Templeton Prize for “his innovative discovery of the central role of vulnerable people in the creation of a more just and humane society.” Previous recipients include Desmond Tutu, the Dalai Lama, and Blessed Mother Teresa. The recipient receives roughly 1.7 million US dollars. Vanier is giving his to charity.

It all started for Vanier over 50 years ago. After serving as an officer in the Royal Canadian Navy, he decided to give his life to God. Finding how took several years of searching with the guidance of Père Thomas Philippe, a French priest. Vanier earned a doctorate in philosophy, taught at the university level, and explored different lay and religious communities.

In visiting institutions for the mentally ill in France, he found that often they received little respect or care. At the suggestion of Père Thomas, he invited two patients, Raphael and Philippe, into his home. They had no family. Years in mental institutions left them feeling rejected and hopeless. Vanier soon discovered that what they wanted most was to be accepted as brothers. He was learning from them.

It was the beginning of the L’Arche movement, now a federation of 147 communities in 35 countries in which the intellectually disabled and volunteers (called assistants) share together a life rich in mutual relationships. Later, Vanier—with Marie Helen Vathier—cofounded Faith and Light, now a network of 500 communities in 82 countries.

The goal of each L’Arche community is an equal number of those with special needs and assistants. As equals, they live and work together. The assistants are often idealistic young people, but they can be of any age or faith. Father Henri Nouwen was an assistant at Daybreak, the L’Arche home in Montreal. Professionals in psychiatry, medicine, and nursing assist but do not live in the homes. Some assistants find the community living too difficult and leave. Others say they come to recognize the gifts of their housemates and often see their own brokenness and find new life.

“When those ingrained in a culture of winning and of individual success really meet them, and enter into friendship with them, something amazing and wonderful happens. They, too, are opened up to love and even to God. They are changed at a very deep level. They are transformed and become more fundamentally human.”

Carry the Wisdom of Jean Vanier with You!

Love of God and love of others are the two great commandments: Jean Vanier shows that these are the same thing. We express our love for God through compassionate care for one another, and we encounter the love of God through those closest to us. In his new book The Gospel of John, the Gospel of Relationship (Franciscan Media), a chapter-by-chapter exploration of John’s Gospel, Vanier explains how Jesus taught this lesson at every step of his ministry. He includes stories from his work with L’Arche that express the great privilege we have of developing our relationships with one another and with God.

Also coming in the fall of 2015 is Life’s Great Questions (Franciscan Media), which encourages readers to delve more deeply into their own faith and spirituality and find answers to life’s biggest questions.

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Ask a Franciscan: How Did Evil Begin?...

Posted on Jun 25, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Q. What is the absolute root cause of evil? How can an absolute evil (the devil) come from an absolute good (God)? Didn’t Satan choose something that already existed? If paradise is real, how could evil enter into it? When people speak of “free will,” it sounds as though they mean “without God.” If so, isn’t free will a bad thing?

A. According to Genesis 1:27, men and women are made in God’s image and likeness. That image and likeness are not based on gender, race, age or similar factors. Did God have to create anything? No. For that reason, freedom of some sort reflects our being made in God’s image.

Our freedom exists within physical limits. Neither you nor I can flap our arms and fly. We cannot choose to live now or in the time of Joan of Arc. But we are still free in important ways.

God’s revelation often uses terms such as repent, forgive, hatred or compassion. Each of these is a choice. Although people frequently do not use their freedom well, they have a significant amount of it.

“The worst comes from the corruption of the best,” wrote some medieval thinker, who was certainly correct. Before Adam and Eve had free will, Lucifer did. “I will not serve,” said Satan in John Milton’sParadise Lost. Being a creature wasn’t good enough for Lucifer, and his empty promises managed to deceive Adam and Eve.

Why do you accept the existence of evil as a stronger argument against God than the existence of compassion and goodness? Human beings call on the same ability (freedom) to do evil or to do good. Why should their ability to do evil completely overshadow the compassionate deeds of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Dr. Albert Schweitzer, Mahatma Gandhi, your family members and other people you know?

You would clearly like to believe, but do you feel that doing so would be intellectually dishonest? Once you account for why anyone does anything good, I think you will have your answer about the origin of evil. Evil is not absolute; only God is. The Church affirms this constantly.

*****
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3 Hard Words: ‘I forgive you’...

Posted on Jun 24, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

We’ve all been dismayed by stories of callous shootings and escapes of murderers from prisons in recent weeks. It’s enough to knock the wind out of anti-death-penalty arguments, one might think.

Then we hear the actions and prayers of the family members, person after person, of those nine prayerful people massacred after welcoming a stranger into their Bible-study class in Charleston, South Carolina, June 17, 2015. Said New York Times writers, “It was as if the Bible study had never ended, as one after another, victims’ family members offered lessons in forgiveness, testaments to a faith that is not compromised by violence or grief.”

Said the daughter of one of the murdered, to the murder, “I will never talk to her again. I will never be able to hold her again. But I forgive you. And have mercy on your soul.”

This is more than talking the talk; it’s walking the walk of Christianity. I am inspired by this witness. I am encouraged. I am emboldened.

I’ve been inspired over the years, also, by Sister Helen Prejean, CSJ, who wrote the book Dead Man Walking, her true story and reflection on being a Death Row adviser in the 1980s, and who has been an anti-death penalty advocate ever since. I most recently interviewed her for a 2014 St. Anthony Messenger article.

The death penalty is absolutely against our Christian belief, says Sister Helen. These victims’ families from the June massacre painfully proclaim the same Gospel message. Killing as retribution is never the answer. Love, mercy, forgiveness–they all are of God. Love, in fact, is God, right?

That’s the sentiment of these bold South Carolinian Christians. Of her murdered mother, said another of the victims’ daughters, “She taught me that we are the family that love built. We have no room for hating.”

(You can read about the Charleston families in the New York Times story.)

 

Photo by Catholic News Service. Used with permission.

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3 Hard Words: ‘I forgive you’...

Posted on Jun 24, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

We’ve all been dismayed by stories of callous shootings and escapes of murderers from prisons in recent weeks. It’s enough to knock the wind out of anti-death-penalty arguments, one might think.

Then we hear the actions and prayers of the family members, person after person, of those nine prayerful people massacred after welcoming a stranger into their Bible-study class in Charleston, South Carolina, June 17, 2015. Said New York Times writers, “It was as if the Bible study had never ended, as one after another, victims’ family members offered lessons in forgiveness, testaments to a faith that is not compromised by violence or grief.”

Said the daughter of one of the murdered, to the murder, “I will never talk to her again. I will never be able to hold her again. But I forgive you. And have mercy on your soul.”

This is more than talking the talk; it’s walking the walk of Christianity. I am inspired by this witness. I am encouraged. I am emboldened.

I’ve been inspired over the years, also, by Sister Helen Prejean, CSJ, who wrote the book Dead Man Walking, her true story and reflection on being a Death Row adviser in the 1980s, and who has been an anti-death penalty advocate ever since. I most recently interviewed her for a 2014 St. Anthony Messenger article.

The death penalty is absolutely against our Christian belief, says Sister Helen. These victims’ families from the June massacre painfully proclaim the same Gospel message. Killing as retribution is never the answer. Love, mercy, forgiveness–they all are of God. Love, in fact, is God, right?

That’s the sentiment of these bold South Carolinian Christians. Of her murdered mother, said another of the victims’ daughters, “She taught me that we are the family that love built. We have no room for hating.”

(You can read about the Charleston families in the New York Times story.)

 

Photo by Catholic News Service. Used with permission.

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The encyclical ‘Laudato si” and “integral ec...

Posted on Jun 23, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Yesterday His Excellency Most Reverend Robert C. Morlino, the Extraordinary Ordinary of Madison, was on with a popular radio show host, Vicki McKenna – who really ought to have a national show! – to talk about Laudato si’.

Also, since Rush’s critical remarks about the encyclical were played in the program, you might want to check his first two hours yesterday.  He also took on Card. Wuerl, who had attacked Rush on Fox News Sunday.  HERE

Bp. Morlino had a great hour.  One of this things he mentioned was a troubling phrase in the encyclical, “integral ecology”.  You can listen to the hour for free HERE.

In some spheres, “integral ecology” is troubling.

I found the phrase 9 times in the encyclical.  Chapter 4 is: “Integral Ecology”

I’ll bet some of you know more about this than I do.

Question might be, if the phrase “integral ecology” has some less than acceptable connotations, why use it in an encyclical?

Of course we have to figure out what it means in this encyclical, not merely in some other source.

Possibility: We cannot separate human ecology and environmental ecology, and human ecology has logical precedence.

Discuss.

 

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The Lord Is My Shepherd...

Posted on Jun 23, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

A Meditation

For most people who like to pray the psalms, Psalm 23 is clearly a favorite. In this blog, my prayer is that, with the gracious help of the Holy Spirit, we may each come to a fuller understanding of this psalm.

May we be drawn, like a humble lamb, to trust the good shepherd, who watches over us with total love. May this popular psalm become for us a prayer of simple trust!

__________

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.”

The first line suggests that the Lord will fulfill all of our needs and desires. As the psalm goes on for verse after verse, we sense that the shepherd’s goodness toward us is growing more and more generous—to the point of overflowing.

__________

“In green pastures he gives me repose;
beside restful waters he leads me; he refreshes my soul.
He guides me in right paths for his namesake.”

The good shepherd wants us to experience a profound sense of inner peace and refreshment because he is watching out for us.

__________

“Even though I walk in the dark valley
I fear no evil; for you are at my side
with your rod and your staff that give me courage.”

All of a sudden, we leave behind the “he” language: “he leads,” “he refreshes” and “he guides.” And we begin to use “you” language: “you” are at my side,” “your rod” and “your staff” give me courage. It’s no longer “he” and “me,” but now “you” and “me.” The shepherd has become most intimate with the sheep—an intimacy that grows ever stronger.

__________

“You spread the table before me in the sight of my foes;
you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.”

The good shepherd becomes the greatest of hosts, showing us two wonderful signs of hospitality: He spreads a rich table—a banquet—before me. Then he anoints my head with oil, and my cup overflows. The Lord’s generous hospitality grows ever more abundant. As Christians, we see in the richly spread table a foreshadowing of the Eucharist and of the heavenly banquet.

__________

“Only goodness and kindness follow me all the days of my life; And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord for years to come.”

We move from the experience of our present lives into what we call the heavenly Kingdom, “the end times” or “eschatological times”—the era of peace or salvation that we all seek.

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10:11).

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Stronsay Pier View...

Posted on Jun 21, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Today marks the longest day in the year.  Here as I write, it is wet and foggy, but if the skys were clear one could watch the sun make its slow decent  through the evening, and finally hide itself below the horizon at about 10:26pm.
Midsummer’s night sunset 2012 on Papa Stronsay (more photos here)
By the time midnight came around, one could still read a book outside without too much difficulty.
Midsummer’s night midnight 2012 on Papa Stronsay (more photos here)
The winter brings with it the excitement of storms and rough seas!  If you missed it we took some great footage of a winter storm back in 2013:
But wouldn’t it be interesting and exciting to be able to view these events yourselves, live as they happen, wherever you are in the world?

Today we have begun to stream Stronsay Pier View over the internet.  It works much like the many other live stream cameras which can be found online, allowing you to view the Stronsay pier in almost-real-time.

This idea was first conceived as a tool for the inhabitants of Stronsay.  It allows us to easily see what the weather and sea condition is at the harbour or whether-or-not the ferry is on time.

I have just started the stream, which can be viewed on this post, on the sidebar of our blog, and eventually on our website too.  We are currently using Ustream.tv to stream the video, so you can also view it directly on our Ustream channel here.

The Stronsay Pier View stream.
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Laudato si’ – It is not health “to cancel ou...

Posted on Jun 20, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

The other day Stream.org posted a piece about 11 good things in the Pope’s new encyclical, Laudato si’, which you will not see covered by the MSM.  I’m going through some of them.

The following is a paragraph that I knew about well-before the encyclical was released.   I had mentioned it in a couple posts, saying, pay attention to this one when the document comes out (no pun intended).

(2) Human ecology means recognizing and valuing the difference between masculinity and femininity:

(155) Human ecology also implies another profound reality: the relationship between human life and the moral law, which is inscribed in our nature and is necessary for the creation of a more dignified environment. Pope Benedict XVI spoke of an “ecology of man,”[We can also speak of “natural law” as “human ecology”… if using “natural law” in your discussions puts off your interlocutors (because they don’t know what it is or they have been conditioned by liberals to reject it because it sounds oppressive, speak of “human ecology”.] based on the fact that “man too has a nature that he must respect and that he cannot manipulate at will.” It is enough to recognize that our body itself establishes us in a direct relationship with the environment and with other living beings. The acceptance of our bodies as God’s gift is vital for welcoming and accepting the entire world as a gift from the Father and our common home, whereas thinking that we enjoy absolute power over our own bodies turns, often subtly, into thinking that we enjoy absolute power over creation. Learning to accept our body, to care for it and to respect its fullest meaning, is an essential element of any genuine human ecology. [This is where the Pope will lose a bunch of our brothers and sisters out there…] Also, valuing one’s own body in its femininity or masculinity is necessary if I am going to be able to recognize myself in an encounter with someone who is different. In this way we can joyfully accept the specific gifts of another man or woman, the work of God the Creator, and find mutual enrichment.  because it no longer knows how to confront it.”  [Trying to blur differences between male and female, is not healthy.]

Another good moment in the encyclical!

This paragraph puts a pin into the balloon of “gender theory”.

Also, remember, “gender” is a linguistic concept.  “Sex” is biological.

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POLL: My plans for Pope Francis’ new encyclical ...

Posted on Jun 19, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

A reader sent some questions for a poll.   Let’s see what the reaction is.

Yes, I know there are other possible answers, but choose the best here and then use the combox to explain.

Registered, approved users my post comments.

What I will do, for a few hours at least, is just let the comments pile up in the queue, so that you can post your thoughts without other people jumping in (or on you).

Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post’s poll.

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"And now let us begin this journey, the Bishop and people, this journey of the Church of Rome, which presides in charity over all the Churches, a journey of brotherhood in love, of mutual trust. Let us always pray for one another. Let us pray for the whole world that there might be a great sense of brotherhood.

I will now give my blessing to you and to the whole world, to all men and women of good will."

-Papa Francis quote

He does not know you, yet he prays for you.
He will most likely never meet you, yet he loves you.

This is your chance to show your love, for as the Bible teaches, "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven."