You Can Dress ‘Em Up. But You Can’t Take ‘Em Out.

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Ron Cogswell Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Ron Cogswell Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by

It seems that the leadership of the United States Congress is concerned that their members will make fools of themselves when the pope comes to call.

Pope Francis is scheduled to address a joint session of Congress, and those who know them best are worried that members of the House and Senate will grab the pope, try to take selfies and engage in partisan grandstanding.

Now, why would anyone thing our elected officials would behave that way????

I wrote about it for The National Catholic Register. Here’s part of what I said:

You can dress ‘em up.

But you can’t take ‘em out.

Who? Why the honorable members of the United States Congress. That’s who.

Pope Francis is coming to town, and America’s elected officials are as agog as the rest of us.

For the first time in a long time, I get where Congress is coming from. I don’t know if I could survive the excitement of being in the same room as the Pope. I might cry. I might shake and shout. I might keel over in a dead faint. But could anyone trust me to not reach out and touch him?

Yes. Yes, they could. Reach out and touch the Pope? Uh-huh. Not me. I’m a full-fledged member of the Pope Francis Old Women’s Groupie Society. But I’m not the traditional kind of groupie who crashes through barricades to throw myself in his arms. I’m more the stand there and cry like a baby type.

It appears that several members of Congress are also members of the Pope Francis Groupie Society; so much so that Congressional leadership is going full-court press to make them behave during the Pope’s address to the joint session and afterwards. Not only are members of the leadership working surveillance of their colleagues to make sure that none of them reach out and grab the Holy Father like a teen-aged girl grasping for a rock star, they also plan to lock the members in the chamber for a while so that they can’t get out and track the Pope down afterwards.

Members have been cautioned that partisan applause for something Pope Francis might say that they feel agrees with their politics is also not allowed.

Did you get that? Members of Congress are being forbidden from engaging in aggressive applauding at their colleagues on the other side of the aisle during a joint session!

You do know that all that applauding when a speaker says something they like is aimed at each other, don’t you?

Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/blog/rhamilton/you-can-dress-em-up-but-you-cant-take-em-out/#ixzz3maTuq5XV

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Pope Frances: Innocent Victims of Abortion, Gospel of the Family are Essentials of Church’s Mission

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons. http://www.presidencia.gov.ar/

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons. http://www.presidencia.gov.ar/

Pope Francis delivered a stirring homily to the American bishops this morning.

I bolded the paragraphs in which he talks about abortion and marriage because I know they are a great concern for all of us at this point in our country’s history. You are read the entire homily at the National Catholic Register. 

In the meantime, here are a few highlights:

… The heart of the Pope expands to include everyone. To testify to the immensity of God’s love is the heart of the mission entrusted to the Successor of Peter, the Vicar of the One who on the cross embraced the whole of mankind. May no member of Christ’s body and the American people feel excluded from the Pope’s embrace. Wherever the name of Jesus is spoken, may the Pope’s voice also be heard to affirm that: “He is the Savior”!

… I do not feel a stranger in your midst. I am a native of a land which is also vast, with great open ranges, a land which, like your own, received the faith from itinerant missionaries. I, too, know how hard it is to sow the Gospel among people from different worlds, with hearts often hardened by the trials of a lengthy journey. Nor am I unaware of the efforts made over the years to build up the Church amid the prairies, mountains, cities and suburbs of a frequently inhospitable land, where frontiers are always provisional and easy answers do not always work.

… We are bishops of the Church, shepherds appointed by God to feed his flock. Our greatest joy is to be shepherds, and only shepherds, pastors with undivided hearts and selfless devotion. We need to preserve this joy and never let ourselves be robbed of it. The evil one roars like a lion, anxious to devour it, wearing us down in our resolve to be all that we are called to be, not for ourselves, but in gift and service to the “Shepherd of our souls” (1 Peter 2:25).

The heart of our identity is to be sought in constant prayer, in preaching (Acts 6:4) and in shepherding the flock entrusted to our care (John 21:15-17; Acts 20:28-31).

… Bishops need to be lucidly aware of the battle between light and darkness being fought in this world. Woe to us, however, if we make of the cross a banner of worldly struggles and fail to realize that the price of lasting victory is allowing ourselves to be wounded and consumed (Philippians 2:1-11).

We all know the anguish felt by the first Eleven, huddled together, assailed and overwhelmed by the fear of sheep scattered because the shepherd had been struck. But we also know that we have been given a spirit of courage and not of timidity. So we cannot let ourselves be paralyzed by fear.
I know that you face many challenges, that the field in which you sow is unyielding and that there is always the temptation to give in to fear, to lick one’s wounds, to think back on bygone times and to devise harsh responses to fierce opposition.
And yet we are promoters of the culture of encounter. We are living sacraments of the embrace between God’s riches and our poverty. We are witnesses of the abasement and the condescension of God who anticipates in love our every response.

… The innocent victim of abortion, children who die of hunger or from bombings, immigrants who drown in the search for a better tomorrow, the elderly or the sick who are considered a burden, the victims of terrorism, wars, violence and drug trafficking, the environment devastated by man’s predatory relationship with nature: At stake in all of this is the gift of God, of which we are noble stewards but not masters.

 
It is wrong, then, to look the other way or to remain silent.
 
No less important is the gospel of the family, which in the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia I will emphatically proclaim together with you and the entire Church.
 
These essential aspects of the Church’s mission belong to the core of what we have received from the Lord. It is our duty to preserve and communicate them, even when the tenor of the times becomes resistent and even hostile to that message (Evangelii Gaudium, 34-39).

 

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MSNBC is Actually Doing Great Coverage of the Pope

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Republic of Korea https://www.flickr.com/photos/koreanet/

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Republic of Korea https://www.flickr.com/photos/koreanet/

I flipped away from EWTN because EWTN’s coverage got too bogged down in politics. I’m now watching — get ready for this — MSNBC.

I’m surprised that this is true, but MSNBC’s coverage — at least what I’ve seen of it — is respectful and non-political. Their commenters repeated several times that Pope Francis has not and will not change Church doctrine. They sounded appropriately giddy when he did his popemobile thing (which I thought was too short.) You might give them a look.

Interesting, how these things work.

 

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Pope Francis and Caring for the Least of These

pope-francis.jpgPope Francis preached an extraordinary extemporaneous sermon in answer to a question in Cuba. It was on the consecrated life and holy orders and how these people are called by God to make a gift of themselves to others, to be the mercy of God to the least of these.

I think that what the Holy Father said speaks also of those whom God has given the gift of caregiving and child-rearing. Both of these are thankless and disrespected work in our society. And yet, they are the very essence of the Beatitudes.

No one can be closer to God than a young mother, sitting up all night next to the shower holding a croupy baby. There is no work more Godly than changing the diapers of an elderly parent. The opportunity to care for others is God’s personal invitation to do His work in this life.

 

Pope Francis really hits the ball out of the park with this sermon. Fortunately, Aleteia has provided us with a copy.

Here’s is a brief sample:

How many women and men religious consume — and I repeat the verb, consume — their lives caressing ‘rubbish,’ caressing those that the world throws away, that the world despises, that the world wishes didn’t exist, those who the world today — with methods and new analyses that we have, when it’s foreseen that one can come with a degenerative illness, it’s proposed to “send them back” before they’re born. The smallest.

And a young woman full of dreams begins her consecrated life giving life to the tenderness of God, to his mercy. Sometimes they don’t understand, they don’t realize, but, how wonderful it is for God, and how much good it does to a person, for example the smile of someone with muscle spasms who doesn’t know how to do it. Or when they want to kiss you and they slobber on your face. This is the tenderness of God. This is the mercy of God. Or when they are mad and they strike you. Consume my life like this? With this “rubbish” in the eyes of the world. This speaks to us only of one person. It speaks to us of Jesus, who because of the pure mercy of the Father made himself nothing. He emptied himself, says Philippians, chapter 2. He made himself nothing. And these people to whom you dedicate your life imitate Jesus, not because they wanted to, but because the world brought them here like this. They are nothing. And they hide them and they don’t show them or they don’t visit them. And if they can and there’s still time, they “send them back.”

Thank you for what you do and in you, thank you to all the women and all the women consecrated to the service of the useless, because with them you can’t start a business, you can’t make money, absolutely nothing constructive is brought forward, so to speak, with these brothers and sisters of ours, with these least ones, with the smallest. There Jesus shines forth and there my decision for Jesus shines forth. Thank you and thank you to all men and women consecrated who do this.

Father, I’m not a nun. I don’t take care of sick people. I’m a priest. And I have a parish, or I help the pastor of a parish. Which one is my Jesus of predilection? Which one is the least one? Which one most shows me the mercy of the Father? Where do I have to find him?

Obviously I continue following the protocol of Matthew 25, there you have all of them: the hungry, the imprisoned, the sick, there you will find them. But there is a privileged place for the priest where this last one, this least one, this smallest one is found — and it is the confessional. And there, when this man or this woman shows you his misery — careful because it’s the same misery that you have and from which God saved you, eh? from getting to that point. When he or she shows you his misery, please, don’t scold him. Don’t scold him, don’t punish him. If you don’t have sin, throw the first stone. But only under that condition. If not, think of your sins and think that you could be that person and think that you could potentially fall even lower, and think that you in this moment have in your hands a treasure, which is the mercy of the Father. Please, priests, don’t get tired of forgiving. Be forgivers. Don’t get tired of forgiving, like Jesus did. Don’t hide in fears or in rigidities. Just like this nun and all of those who are in the same ministry as she is, they don’t get furious when they find a sick person who is dirty, but instead serve him, clean him, take care of him. Just like this, you, when a penitent comes, don’t react badly, don’t get neurotic, don’t cast him out of the confessional, don’t scold him. Jesus embraced them. Jesus loved them.

Read the rest here.

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Pope Francis Speaks English, Emphasizes Immigrants, Religious Freedom, Environment in Opening Remarks

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons. http://www.presidencia.gov.ar/

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons. http://www.presidencia.gov.ar/

President Obama has greeted Pope Francis and the two leaders have each made their opening statements. Our president was handsome, the first lady was strikingly lovely. Pope Francis, in contrast, simply radiated the love of Christ.

Pope Francis struggled through his remarks in English, even though the language is obviously difficult for him. I think this is a gracious touch, a way of reaching out to the American people.

Pope Francis opened his remarks — which were not a full-blown speech — by reminding us that he himself was an immigrant to Argentina. His also touched on the issues of religious freedom and went on dwell for a bit longer on the environment.

The president and the pope then retired for a private discussion.

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The National Anthem for the Holy See. Meh.

I don’t want to go negative here, but are you watching the Pope at the White House?

Who wrote that soppy-sounding national anthem for the Holy See?

 

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How Did Your Senator Vote on the 20-Week Abortion Ban?

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Bridget Coila https://www.flickr.com/photos/bibbit/

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Bridget Coila https://www.flickr.com/photos/bibbit/

The United States Senate voted yesterday on the whether or not to limit debate on the 20-week abortion ban.

This was not a vote on the bill, per se. It was a vote on cloture. Cloture would end the possibility of a filibuster. Without cloture the bill cannot pass. It takes 60 votes to get cloture.

The vote on cloture failed, 54 by 42, with 4 senators not voting. Democrats Casey (PA), Donnelly (IN) and Manchin (WV) voted for cloture and for passage of the 20-week abortion ban. Republican Collins (ME) voted against cloture and against the 20-week abortion ban. Those who did not vote were Boxer (CA), Murkowski (AK), Murray (WA), and Warner (VA).

If you want to see how your senator voted, go here.

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Pope Francis is Here!

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons by Agência Brasil, a public Brazilian news agency. Their website states: "Todo o conteúdo deste site está publicado sob a Licença Creative Commons Atribuição 3.0 Brasil exceto quando especificado em contrário e nos conteúdos replicados de outras fontes." (English translation: All content on this website is published under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Brazil License unless specified otherwise and content replicated from other sources.)

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons by Agência Brasil, a public Brazilian news agency.
Their website states: “Todo o conteúdo deste site está publicado sob a Licença Creative Commons Atribuição 3.0 Brasil exceto quando especificado em contrário e nos conteúdos replicados de outras fontes.” (English translation: All content on this website is published under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Brazil License unless specified otherwise and content replicated from other sources.)

I’m watching Pope Francis greet the children outside the nomenclature in Washington, DC.

He looks well-rested, and to my eyes, beautiful. He’s posing for selfies with a number of the kids and taking his time while he goes down the line. Pitter patter goes my heart.

I love me some Pope Francis

I’m watching EWTN. I flipped through the cable channels and all the political carping about the pope was too disgusting. Thank goodness for EWTN.

If you want a brief round-up of the pope’s schedule, go here.

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If We Don’t Fight for Life, This Hunger for Annihilation Will Devour Us All

 

Copyright: Rebecca Hamilton. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright: Rebecca Hamilton. All Rights Reserved.

My near death experience with Mama pushed me to considering a nursing home.

I wrote about it, and about the ghastly business of passing laws legalizing medical murder, for the National Catholic Register. 

Here’s part of what I said:

I decided then that we had to put her in a nursing home. I despaired of our ability to keep her safe at home. I called the local Catholic nursing home, which I know is a really good place. But they are full-up. The waiting list stretches months ahead.

So, I found myself driving around this not-so-good nursing home and crying. I looked at other, nicer places, but the cost is out of sight. Three and four thousand dollars a month. And it goes up from there.

I made a list of ways we could make the not-so-good place work. I would, of course, be there every day. So would my kids and my husband. Hospice would be there on a regular basis, giving her baths, praying with her, checking her health. My parish would send people to visit. We could have folks checking on her several times a day.

Finally, yesterday afternoon, I asked the hospice social worker to make arrangements for me. I couldn’t face doing it myself.

Then, I got sick. I mean, I got physically ill. I thought I was going to throw up. I couldn’t think. Couldn’t cry. Couldn’t even pray. I played scales on the piano for hours, then played Tetris on my phone.

About 9 last night, I thought, “I can’t do this.”

Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/blog/rhamilton/if-we-dont-fight-for-life-this-hunger-for-annihilation-will-devour-us-all/#ixzz3mThBRCWm

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Left Wing Media Tries to Hijack Pope Francis for Its Secular Agenda

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Edgar Jimenez https://www.flickr.com/photos/chilangoco/

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Edgar Jimenez https://www.flickr.com/photos/chilangoco/

Redefining Francis to fit their political agenda is the new game of the left. It is an attempt to deify what are in fact callous and money-driven political positions.

If their ideas had to stand on their own merits, neither political party would do so well. In fact, if they were shorn of the god-gloss that counterfeit clergy obligingly spray all over them, We the People would have an easier time seeing through their charades and demanding better of them.

Pope Francis, as he is deliberately misinterpreted by left-wing media, bears no resemblance to Pope Francis the Vicar of Christ that he is. However, facts, reality and truth will not stop the msm in its quest to make him into an apologist for their secular values.

The Washington Post published an article today which is an example of these brazen attempts to hijack the pope for left wing politics.

I wrote about it for CatholicVote. 

Here’s part of what I said:

Back in the dark days of AIDs, when a diagnosis of HIV positive was a death sentence, someone I loved dearly got the bad word that this killer virus was crawling through his immune system.

He cried. I cried. We both believed his doctor who said that in three years he would be terribly ill, and within five years, he would be dead. We struggled to fit our understanding around this reality.

My friend called me one day during this coming-to-terms time. He had heard some flat-liner preacher on the radio saying that AIDS was God’s punishment to the gays, and that they were getting what they deserved. I still remember the anguish in his voice.

My friend was not religious, yet this diatribe from a radio preacher cut him to the bone. It is a terrible thing to tell people that God hates them. It is also, always, untrue. This preacher who said that AIDS was God’s punishment on the gays and that they deserved what they got was misrepresenting God.

“That’s why I’m a Christian,” I told my friend. “So that I don’t get what I deserve.”

Read the rest here.

 

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