Monday, February 15, 2010

The Litany of Humility

Simply because I don't pray it often enough, and I presume other folks could also benefit spiritually from reciting it, especially with Lent upon us.

O Jesus! meek and humble of heart, Hear me.

From the desire of being esteemed, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being loved, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being extolled, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being honored, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being praised, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being preferred to others, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being consulted, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being approved, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being humiliated, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being despised, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of suffering rebukes, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being calumniated, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being forgotten, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being ridiculed, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being wronged, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being suspected, Deliver me, Jesus.
That others may be loved more than I, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be esteemed more than I, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That, in the opinion of the world, others may increase and I may decrease, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be chosen and I set aside, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be praised and I unnoticed, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be preferred to me in everything, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may become holier than I, provided that I may become as holy as I should, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Happy Birthday

Has anybody seen this?  Despite the past 2 posts, I don't like rap.  But I like this one.  Flipsyde-Happy Birthday.  A pro-life rap written like a birthday letter from a father to his aborted child. 

Watch it on Youtube Here, or find the lyrics here.

I thought it was pretty hauntingly real. Alas, we pray unceasingly for an end to this horror.

Monday, February 1, 2010

My new favorite Catholic "Rapper!"

We've all heard, presumably, of Fr. Stan Fortuna and Righteous B, but now it's time to introduce ZHULIO!

I highly recommend listening to Fr. Z.'s HILARIOUS rap about liturgy, and if anyone has the wherewithal to reproduce  the lyrics, it'd be greatly appreciated.  In any case, take a listen and laugh till you cry!

Free Needles to drug addicts in Albany Diocese

 As reported over at Catholic Culture, H. E. Bp. Hubbard has approved a proposal to give out free syringes to drug addicts, to stop the spread of AIDS.

“I understand there will be questions, but this is common sense,” said Sister Maureen Joyce, CEO of Catholic Charities. “I strongly believe in this. It will save lives.” “From a theological standpoint, we're not being faithful to our mission if we don't reach out to people addicted to drugs, too,” Sister Joyce added.

This is an interesting letter penned by a recovering drug addict to Bishop Hubbard, who is strongly against this idea. 

Personally, I think this is an absolutely terrible idea.  I think that even IF this saves some lives, it might cost more lives by encouraging and enabling drug addiction, and at the very least, save LESS lives than using these funds in other ways to reach out to our addicted brethren. 

Thoughts?  I'm not a fan, but I say that with no authority.  Regardless, this is a group that should always be in our prayers.

O Divine Physician, for all of the addicts in the world who are suffering, whether or not they know they are addicted, or realize they are suffering, we pray that you may grant them the grace to depend on You alone, and break their dependence on evil vices.  For those recovering, we pray that You may grant them the strength to sustain their freedom from enslavement to these vices, and for those who spend their days helping to break addiction and aid recovery, that they may do so with charity and love, and always with Your divine assistance.

On divorce, annulment, and absent fathers.

As reported by CNS,  Pope Benedict XVI has stated that the simple desire for sacraments is not sufficient reason for annulment.  Some quotes:

"One must shun pseudo-pastoral claims" that look only at this desire to receive sacraments in the quest to determine annulments. 

He also notes that Charity without justice is "only a forgery because charity requires the objectivity that is typical of justice and which must not be confused with inhumane coldness." 

"Both justice and charity require love for the truth and essentially lead to a search for the truth."

I think our Holy Father is quite clear on this matter, and I am so glad of this.  Too often, it seems that Catholics think that if they are divorced, an annulment is just a fancy way of saying the same thing.  THIS IS NOT THE CASE! 

The Roman Catholic Church considers a marriage valid when:
  • It is celebrated in a ceremony according to Church law;
  • Both parties are free to marry each other;
  • Each partner intends, from the beginning of the marriage, to accept God's plan for married life as taught by the Church;
  • Each partner has the physical and psychological ability to live out the consent and commitment initially given to the marriage.
 If any of these requirements are lacking from the beginning of the marriage, then the Tribunal, acting as the bishop's representative, can declare that marriage invalid.

BUT this tells us something.  This tells us that our priests are not properly catechizing regarding marriage, and our congregants are not properly catechized on marriage!  Annulments should be RARE (Ideally, they should never happen, and at worst they should be rare.) 

On a related note, here are some statistics about those who grow up with no father figure.

It is simply alarming.  

85% of all youths sitting in prisons grew up in a fatherless homes
85% of all children that exhibit behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes
90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes
71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes 
75% of all adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers come from fatherless homes 
63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes
80% of rapists motivated with displaced anger come from fatherless homes
70% of juveniles in state-operated institutions come from fatherless homes 

These statistics translate to mean that children from a fatherless home are:
  • 5 times more likely to commit suicide.
  • 32 times more likely to run away.
  • 20 times more likely to have behavioral disorders.
  • 14 times more likely to commit rape
  • 9 times more likely to drop out of high school.
  • 10 times more likely to abuse chemical substances.
  • 9 times more likely to end up in a state-operated institution.
  • 20 times more likely to end up in prison.
WOW!  In case anybody was doubting the effect of absent fathers, broken homes, divorce, etc., this should provide some insight. 

Why talk about this now?  Prior to the March for Life, as I was praying in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel, the delegation from Rhode Island (H.E. Bp. Tobin's Diocese of Providence) came in and had a wonderful priest say Mass.  He discussed the issue of abortion, through the lens of the importance of family, marriage, and teaching our children the proper order of things.  He discussed how few couples who came to him seeking marriage had actually followed the church's regulations on marriage.  (which, incidentally, includes 'you shouldn't marry a non-catholic'!)

It's also true that daughters of single parents are:

53% more likely to marry as teenagers,
164% more likely to have a premarital birth,
92% more likely to dissolve their own marriages
2.1 times more likely to have children during their teenage years than are daughters from intact families

FINALLY, 71% of teenage pregnancies are to children of single parents.

Guess what, folks:  it's all interconnected. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

March for Life, the Mainstream media, and hateful pro-aborts

As we all know, the March for Life is already the annual protest march on DC. Or maybe you don't know that.  Maybe you also don't know that the crowd there was mostly young people, under 30.  Maybe you don't know that young women were everywhere, supporting the right to life.  Perhaps you also didn't know that it's been growing every year, and the past two years have been the two largest marches to date.

But I'll tell you something, all of that is true.  Furthermore, the NMM (National Mainstream Media) IGNORES this at best, and LIES about it at worst.  I saw (count 'em) ZERO counterprotesters this year.  I'm told there were roughly 100. 

300,000 to 100.  300-1.  That's the ratio.  AND THE MEDIA DOES NOT SEE FIT TO REPORT THIS?

I will give the WaPo credit for this article, which told at least part of the story.

I will note a few of the ignorant comments on the story here.  I apologize in advance for the crudeness and hateful language the commenters take. 

"blah blah blah ... To me, these animals lost the right to the "pro-life" title when they decided that killing abortion doctors is OK (This was IMMEDIATELY denounced by every reputable pro-life activist.  In fact, the topic was HUGE on Catholic radio stations throughout the country, noting precisely that the killing of George Tiller was NOT what we stood for.) They are nothing but "anti-choice", falling in line with such American concepts as communism and nazism. (Might I note that he is backwards here?  Communist China forces abortion on women. Please, please, please tell anyone who survived a concentration camp, or lost loved ones in the Holocaust whether this is a reasonable argument.  It's not.)  If you don't like abortions, don't get one. (also, if you don't like slavery, don't get a slave.  See how stupid this argument is?  I know 50,000,000 pro-life Americans who couldn't be in Washington.  They were all aborted in the past 37 years) I have to wonder how many of these teenage anti-choice folks have had secret abortions so their parents wouldn't find out what sluts they really are." (Clearly, this commenter is just chock-full of hate.  Why don't we classify things like this as hate speech, Mr. President?  He touches on a point, though.  This happens.  It's reprehensible.  I doubt those folks march on Washington--I suppose some do.  SILENT NO MORE is a WONDERFUL organization

"How dare you equate this march by the Right to Life Mob as anything related to the issues which MLK stood for, or slavery for that matter. (I'm actually going to go a bit further.  This one's worse.  Separate but equal still meant "alive."  So did slavery.  Yes, they were terrible human rights offenses, but at least the enslaved and those discriminated against were alive.)Ignorance is just that ignorance. (you're a genius) At least MLK had a realistic agenda and was an informed member of our society. He had a truly legitimate cause, to bring legitimacy to the issues of race which palgued our nation when he was alive, and even now. " (and...incidentally, MLK's niece Alveda has linked abortion to slavery, and is a pro-life activist.  She also believes that her uncle felt the same way.  Just saying!)

"In the 21st Century it is imperative that children growing up in our world today aren't taught that the discussion of sex is a SIN.(It's not.  Sex is great.  It's just that it goes hand-in-hand with marriage.  The Church teaches that sexual intercourse is a blessing.  It just needs to be done correctly within the marital covenant.) Also, issues such as palying (sic) with oneself will neither put hair on one's palms or cause one to go blind. (uh...way to go, Einstone) Way too many Americnas (sic) still haven't come to terms with the reality that their children are growing at a much faster rate knowledge-wise than in the mid-20th Century. (Let me rephrase that, folks: Way too many Americnas (as it were) still haven't come to terms with the reality that their children NEED PARENTING MORE THAN EVER!) It is the parents of these children, myself included who must be conscientious of this reality, and not punish our children by threatening with going to Hell should they do something wrong realted (sic) to sex. (This reminds me of hide-and-seek when I was a toddler.  I'd close my eyes and insist that "I can't see you, so you can't see me." In a similar fashion, I'm fairly certain that pretending Hell doesn't exist doesn't make Hell cease to exist.) There's nothing wrong with teaching one's children how to live responsible lives. It's another parents ignore the fact that teenagers still haven't developed the capacity to make all the responsible judgment calls for living." (so, here's your teachable moment, folks:  When you screw up, there's a way to get out of it without consequences.)

"Abortion is wrong, and shouldn't be used in place of contraception. ("Life begins a conception, and abortion begins at contraception")But, too(sic) bring children into our world who are being put up for adoption or who are simply abandoned, because their single parent can't afford to take care of them is just as wrong."(actually, adoption is a wonderful thing.  And I think we all agree that the abandonment of children is reprehensible and illegal  So, no, giving a child up for adoption is not "just as wrong" as killing him.)

"The marchers themselves are the strongest arguement(sic) FOR abortion. Their arrogance trying to force their prejudiced bias (unlike the women seeking abortions who...force their "prejudiced bias" on their children to the point that...they...die?  I say, ask the kid.  Hey, kid, how'd you like to be aborted?  No, that doesn't sound appealing?  Huh, because your mother really seems to like the idea) onto a human being so far has only been exceeded by the Roman catholics insisting the Sun went around the Earth, the Earth was the center of every celestial object, and that Gallileo was wrong. (alright, honestly?  We're pulling the Galileo card?  This was the dominant worldview at the time of Galileo.  It's not like the church came up with it and was obsessed therewith.  But fine, in 2000 years, the church has wronged one dude.  Give me another example and i'll listen to you)The combination of ignorance, prejudice, arrogance, and political power is a precurser to another Dark Age. Margaret Sanger had it right. The child-raping Priests do not have a clue, about anything at all.(riiight.  can I just leave this one alone?  See how hateful these folks are?)"

Well, folks, there's just a couple of the more obscene comments.  Don't be an idiot

Soul Food Retreat

As publicized in the Peace of Christ bulletin this week, there will be a young adult retreat (ages 18-35ish) occurring at Camp Stella Maris on the weekend of February 19-21, beginning Friday at 6:30 PM and ending Sunday at 1:30 PM. 

Now in its fifth year, Soul Food will offer an opportunity to begin your Lent on retreat.  Confessions will be heard by Fr. Brian Carpenter and perhaps a couple of other priests, and Sunday Mass will be said by Fr. Mickey McGrath.  Eucharistic Adoration will also be available.

Registration form and more information can be found here.  This is a great opportunity for faith, fellowship, and prayer.  Hope to see you there!