Fellow Catholic Patheosi Kathy Schiffer who writes at Seasons of Grace found this video.
I’m posting it here for all you Yankees.
Note: This link was disabled. You can go here to watch the video.
Fellow Catholic Patheosi Kathy Schiffer who writes at Seasons of Grace found this video.
I’m posting it here for all you Yankees.
Note: This link was disabled. You can go here to watch the video.
I urge, then first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people — for kings and all those in authority.
1 Timothy 2:1-2
I’m looking at three cards that were left on my desk on the House floor by people who visited this chamber when we were out of session.
Each of these cards promises me that the person who placed it here will pray for me while the legislature is in session.
To the people who left these cards, I say thank you.
We all like to take pot shots at our elected officials, especially our president. There’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, it’s the American way.
But it’s also good to pause from time to time and pray for these individuals. Whether you agree with them or not — whether your like them or not — I can tell you that those who hold elective office carry a heavy burden. It is sobering to know that your mistakes can cost people their lives, their livelihoods, or that they can give people a hope and a future.
I want to ask Public Catholic readers to take a moment on this President’s Day to pray for one specific elected official. Let’s offer prayer for President Obama.
People who read this blog may have realized that I have serious areas of disagreement with the President’s policies. But he needs my prayers … and yours.
Billy Graham Evangelistic Association has good information about how to pray for elected officials. Go to the link below and check it out.
We’re glad that God has given you a heart to pray for our President, members of Congress, the Senate and other elected officials. This is a fundamental privilege and calling we have as Christians. The Apostle Paul linked these prayers to the peace of a nation: “that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness” (v. 2).
But there’s something more. Paul followed this with an insight into God’s underlying work throughout all history: “This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth” (vv. 3–4).
At the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, our mission is to share this Good News of Jesus Christ around the world, so that all people may hear of God’s saving power and come to know His truth. By completing the form at the right to get your free download, you’ll also be signed up to receive updates about the lifesaving work of the Gospel across the globe.
Thank you for joining with us in prayer. May God bless you.
Archbishop John J Myers, the New Jersey bishop who allowed a convicted child-molesting priest to return to ministry with children, is retiring.
According to NJ.com, Archbishop Myers is planning to retire to an $800,000 mansion, which he is refurbishing with diocesan dollars to the tune of another $500,000.
Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, the “Bishop of Bling.”
That doesn’t compare with the 40-million euros the Bishop of Bling spent, but it’s far beyond what seems needed and necessary for the comfortable retirement of one elderly priest, even in New Jersey’s inflated real estate dollars.
He is adding a 3,000 square foot addition to the already large house. The addition will have an indoor exercise pool, three fireplaces and an elevator. To top it off, the half million to build this thing does not include fees for the architects, cost of furnishings (furnishing this much real estate won’t be cheap) or landscaping.
I think we should also add the inevitable cost of upkeep, cleaning, etc. I rather doubt that Arichbishop Myers plans to do his own vacuuming and dusting.
My own Archbishop lives in a modest ranch-style home. The retired Archbishop of Oklahoma City, who I think of as my spiritual father, also lives modestly.
It is possible that this building will not be used solely as a residence for Archbishop Myers. Maybe it will be a retirement home for a number of priests, and not just the Archbishop. Frankly, I’m having a hard time believing that he would do something this stupid and destructive in these times.
Nothing in the news story indicates that the residence is intended to be anything more than Archbishop Myers’ private home. But if it turns out that there is another side to this story, I will be happy to write about it here.
In these times of imploding culture, when the Church and the faithful are under attack from so many quarters, we are desperately in need of inspiration and leadership from behind the altar. What Archbishop Myers appears to be doing with his retirement home isn’t it.
Update: My friend and colleague Kathy Schiffer has a different take on this here.
The 4,500-square-foot home sits on 8.2 wooded acres in the hills of Hunterdon County. With five bedrooms, three full bathrooms, a three-car garage and a big outdoor pool, it’s valued at nearly $800,000, records show.
But it’s not quite roomy enough for Newark Archbishop John J. Myers.
Myers, who has used the Franklin Township house as a weekend residence since the archdiocese purchased it in 2002, is building a three-story, 3,000-square-foot addition in anticipation of his retirement in two years, The Star-Ledger found. He will then move in full-time, a spokesman for the archbishop said.
The new wing, now just a wood frame, will include an indoor exercise pool, a hot tub, three fireplaces, a library and an elevator, among other amenities, according to blueprints and permits filed with the Franklin Township building department.
The price tag, the records show, will be a minimum of a half million dollars, a figure that does not include architectural costs, furnishings and landscaping.
Construction is progressing as Myers asks the 1.3 million Roman Catholics of the archdiocese to open their wallets for the “archbishop’s annual appeal,” a fundraising effort that supports an array of initiatives, including religious education, the training of future priests and feeding the poor.
More significantly, it comes at a time when Pope Francis has made profligate church spending a target of his early tenure.
Francis, who eschewed the papal palace for a modest guest apartment and who gave up a Mercedes in favor of a Ford, has criticized bishops for living “like princes” and has called for a “poor church for the poor.”
In a move that signaled his impatience on the matter, the pope suspended the bishop of Limburg, Germany, in October for spending $42 million to renovate his residence and other church buildings. The German press dubbed the free-spending cleric the “Bishop of Bling.”
It slipped past quietly, while we were ordering roses for Valentine’s Day and chattering about the latest political gaffe story.
Even those who watch these things were distracted by the stench of death rising from Belgium in the wake of their parliament’s vote to allow doctors to euthanize children and people with dementia.
It got lost, mostly, in the many federal court rulings hacking down votes of the people concerning marriage in the various states. These decisions keep coming with the click-click-click of falling dominoes as unelected judges flatten the will of the people.
We didn’t notice that one of these federal judges reached up and switched off the light.
If his ruling stands, Judge John G Heyburn II will go down in history as the man who killed marriage.
Last week was the week that marriage died, along with the notion that the evil of euthanasia is at least contained inside the platitudinous promises we’ve heard for so many years that it is about “helping” people die who are terminally ill and suffering unendurable, untreatable pain, and who ask for and consent to it to exercise their “right.”
Now we kill children and those with dementia who can not, by definition, either understand or consent to such a thing. We kill those whose minds are muddled by dementia, but who may not be suffering either physical or emotional pain at all. They may, in fact, be quite happy. The only reason for granting them the “right” to be medically murdered is that they are a burden to someone with the wits to “consent” to their death for them.
The Belgian Parliament’s crime against humanity was quite enough for most of us. It slipped right past most people that this ruling by this federal judge was a lot more than another member of our imperial judiciary, doing his part to destroy our culture by one falling domino at a time.
This ruing is different. It is, as they say, the whole ball of wax. Federal Judge John G Heyburn II ruled that Kentucky must recognize gay marriages that are enacted in other states.
Judge Heyburn did not issue this ruling based on a vagary of the Kentucky law. He extended last summer’s Supreme Court decision in the Windsor case that overturned DOMA to the states. What I mean by that is that he did not overturn the Kentucky law, he created a new law.
Judge Heyburn extended the DOMA ruling to the states. That federalizes marriage and legalizes gay marriage by fiat in all 50 states. Even though his ruling did not require the state of Kentucky to allow the performance of gay marriages within its borders, there was considerable verbiage in support of that move within what I can only describe as the patronizing preaching of the ruling.
What Judge Heyburn did was require the state to extend the full legal protections and privileges of marriage to homosexual marriages that are performed elsewhere.
At the same time, he clearly and specifically placed homosexuality under the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. He defined sexual preference as a class of people rather than a trait found in many classes of people.
If this ruling is upheld, it will have the effect of forcing every state in the union to recognize gay marriage. It also has implications that go far beyond the question of marriage.
It’s no longer click-click-click. It is now, zip-zap-game-over. Marriage is federalized and the states have nothing to say about it. In less than a year, last summer’s hydra-headed DOMA decision will have done its do.
That is why I say that last week was the week when Western civilization became a dead man walking. These two actions — the legalized killing of innocents and the destruction of marriage — taken together, are the end of who we have been and the beginning anew of what we spent a very long time in our ancient history overcoming.
Congratulations Judge Heyburn and members of the Belgian parliament. Your footnote in history is reserved.
This is the story of the real Monuments Men on whose work the movie is based.
Americans should be proud that we did this. It is a powerful demonstration of who we were.
To what extent is it who we still are?
The video below is a newscast describing the vote to euthanize children in Belgium. It does not mention it in this video, but the same law also allows doctors to euthanize people with dementia.
Dementia is a vague diagnosis that is not necessarily life threatening. It can range from mild forgetfulness to a complete loss of mental faculties.
Dementia can be a cause of emotional distress in its early stages, when the person realizes they are forgetting. But once they pass this, it is no longer a problem for them. Dementia is not painful physically and it does not mean the person is unhappy.
My mother, who has dementia, is quite happy and enjoys her life. She tells me over and over again how much fun she is having when we go out for drives or she eats her daily ice cream cone. She always tells me that it’s been months since she’s eaten ice cream, and she enjoys it with the relish of someone who really hasn’t had ice cream for months.
My mother is not useless. She is a totally lovable and rather spoiled elderly child. She is not suffering.
My father, who did not have dementia, went through a period of increasing helplessness and decline before he died. That is nothing terrible that must be shortened to “spare” either the dying or their caregivers. It is a natural phase of life. Rather than a call for us to take up killing people, it is an opportunity for us to show our love in tangible and wonderful ways.
The opportunity to care for the people you love as they take their leave of this life is a gift to you. It is an exhausting experience, sometimes sad, sometimes surprisingly joyous. It is tender and so full of love that it lights up your life, even as you grieve the many losses of their decline.
My father died twenty years ago. No one urged me to dump him in a home or to withdraw food or water to “allow” him to die. But that was then. My time of caring for my failing Mama is in this new now of the post Christian West.
I have had a number of people, including medical personnel, urge me to do things that would either destroy my mother’s happiness and quality of life, or that would result in her premature death. Their reason? Sometimes they say that caring for her is too much “burden” for me. Other times, they don’t even bother with that gloss but demand that I do these things as if it was my responsibility to them to kill my own mother.
Make no mistake about it: Advanced directives and carping medical “advice” that has nothing to do with medicine and everything to do with social values can be and often are used as a not-so-subtle way to bully people into euthanizing their loved ones.
We are not even one step away from the full-blown slaughter of “useless eaters” of our horrific past. We keep inching toward it in a movement fueled by media propaganda and sophisticated lies concerning what we are doing. The glam we put on murder only hides the reality of it from those who want to be deceived.
I have not — ever — expressed the thought that caring for my mother is a “burden,” much less that it is “too much” for me and I should institutionalize her or even hasten her death to save myself from the trouble of taking care of her.
I am appalled and angered by these repeated, intrusive and usually censorious and judgmental demands that I do away with my mother. But that is the world in which we live. It is a bleak, selfish and utterly cold culture of death.
Wendy Davis tried to broaden her appeal with a bit of mushy political-talk about 20 week abortions. But instead of making herself sound nuanced and thoughtful, she ended up looking all flip-floppy on her core issue.
The internet is all a-tweeter over comments she made in an interview with the Dallas Morning News. I had seen the claims that she had come out in favor of a ban for abortions after twenty weeks into pregnancy. Reading them made me kinda wonder who was smoking what.
After a bit of digging, it seemed clear to me that everybody involved had a toke or two.
Here’s what Senator Davis actually said. She is referring to the bill which was the target of her famous filibuster:
I would have and could have voted to allow that to go through, if I felt like we had tightly defined the ability for a woman and a doctor to be making this decision together and not have the Legislature get too deep in the weeds of how we would describe when that was appropriate.
Huh? Or, as we say North of the Red River, Come again?
Did she say she was in favor of banning abortions after 20 weeks, with provisos? Or, did she say was opposed to banning it? Or … maybe … she said she was in favor of abortion anytime, but would vote for a ban that didn’t stop a woman from having an abortion if she (and her doctor, of course) made the decision herself.
Humph. So … what she said was … nothing, all dressed up to look like something?
You betcha, boys and girls. That’s exactly what she said.
This is the woman who engaged in a 13-hour filibuster, complete with pink running shoes and a catheter, in a desperate fight to kill legislation that, among other things, banned all but a few abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Now, she’s saying she could have voted for that bill, if … well, if what?
Read her statement again.
If you think that statement says Senator Wendy Davis supports banning abortions after 20 weeks, I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn we need to talk about.
This is mushy political-talk designed to give the appearance of a softer stand for the upcoming election. She’s not backing off of anything. She just doing what she has to do with an issue like abortion in red-state Texas. She’s trying to look like she’s nuanced and fair-minded and could be persuaded by other nuanced and fair-minded people.
She is, in Okie parlance, trying to pull the wool over our eyes.
President Obama engaged in some famous back-tracking of his own when he ran for president. In fact, he flat-out lied when he said that he had not used his power as an Illinois State Senate committee chairman to kill an infant born alive bill and then in another legislative session, voted against it.
The difference is that the boys who write the stories went along with then Senator Obama and his lies. It would have been as easy as taking a breath for a reporter to come back with, “But Senator, the record/recordings/testimonies show that what you say is untrue.”
But they didn’t. They let him lie, and by doing that, they helped him lie.
Senator Davis may well have been counting on the same kind of help with her electoral twists and turns. But it appears she’s wrong. The same commenters and reporters who shamelessly bearded the American public for Senator Obama are going at Wendy Davis with their full force.
The facts are that Senator Wendy Davis has built what national reputation she has entirely on her absolutist stand for abortion.
When she tries to soften that with obfuscations, she forgets that she’s not playing to the home crowd anymore. The same national notoriety that gave her the idea of running for Governor of Texas is going to plague her every step of the race.
The national press is not going to beard for her the way they do President Obama. When she gets lost on the way to the rodeo, everyone, everywhere, will know about it.
A federal judge in Kentucky killed marriage this week.
A parliamentary vote in Belgium officially raised the Ashteroths and reinstituted the Baals in the name of medical Molochs.
It was the week that Western civilization, already weakened by the blood loss from the decades-long practice of cultural self-cutting, was given its death sentence. What we were and what we would like to think we still are is now a dead man walking, waiting for the final woof! of implosion that pushes us back down to the muck from which we came.
My first thought was to drape this blog in black crepe and declare a day of mourning. We civilized folk of the Western world now kill everyone, everywhere, with a pasted on silly-smile of patently bogus “consent.” The real consent is the one we have given ourselves; the consent to kill people from conception to the tremors and dependance of old age. No one is safe from the scythe.
And yet, the yammering for more continues unabated. Last night, when I googled euthanasia, I came across a forever-to-be-nameless blog that was chortling over the rise in public acceptance of medical murder, which polite folk like to call euthanasia. This blogger, who earns his literary bread by selling atheism, went on to say that this public approval of killing grandma pits Christians even more solidly against the culture of what’s happening now. This is, the writer said, an “opportunity” for him and his to gain converts.
The question arises: Converts to what?
Certainly not a disbelief in God, since that question never arises in this or most similar analyses. This wasn’t an argument against the existence of God. It was a smug rejoicing in the increasingly widespread public rebellion against God.
Rebellion and disbelief are two entirely different things.
But what of those of us who will not rebel against our Maker? We are free, unlike these self-appointed little g gods who have taken the power of life and death onto themselves, to not have to decide.
The burden of when to kill our elderly, murder our children, flush our unborn is removed from us. We know and accept that this is murder, plain and simple, and we will not do it.
By the same token, we do not eschew the pleasures of home and family. We still have our marriages between one man and one woman in lifelong fealty. We’re not burdened with the living death of empty sexual hooking up, polyamory, swinging and endless rounds of coupling and uncoupling. We have said “no” to the insect sexuality of modern day culture and the hollowed-out death of self that it ultimately brings.
We are human, and we know that means we are made in the image and likeness of the Eternal God.
We are free from these animalistic ways of living. Or we try to be. And when we fail, we go to Him to be washed clean so we can begin again.
What of us on this Valentine’s Day that falls on the Friday of the week that Western Civilization finally convicted itself and placed its life on death row?
We chose — of our own convictions — to withhold our support for this mass suicide of a whole world. We chose — through the enabling power of the merciful grace of a God Who loves us so much that He died for us — to go another way.
My husband of 30 years and I talked about the killing field that is Belgium over dinner last night. “Next, they will kill the disabled, the mentally ill, the mentally challenged,” he said. “That has already begun,” I told him, speaking of the two men who were euthanized because they were going blind, the many who have died because they were depressed, the untold numbers of the unborn who have been slaughtered for being disabled.
Who’s next for this “right” to be killed?
Marriage died in America the day before Belguim enlarged the killing fields of medical murder to include all of humanity. The symmetry is unmistakable. We destroy the home, the family, and the lives of our young and old, all in one week.
And yet, there are those of us who do not bend our knee to the Baals. If we are to be the remnant, a 21st century version of the 7,000 that God revealed to Elijah; if we are those whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and whose mouths have not kissed him, then that is our honor and our privilege.
A husband of 30 years that I can share these thoughts with is a considerable reward for living the life Christ asks of me. Sons who are fine young men with values and kind hearts is another great reward.
But nothing, not even these wonderful things, can compare with the pearl of great price that is knowing and loving and walking with Jesus Christ.
He has saved me from the pit in which that other blogger I spoke of earlier, lies wallowing. He has lifted the deadly choice of killing grandma off my shoulders and left me free to love and, yes, to sacrifice for, my elderly parent.
He has given me the gift of love in my life and His own love, pouring down on me every day. He has spared me from the bloodguilt of killing my family members.
All of this in exchange for simply accepting that He — and not me — is God.
It’s Valentine’s Day. And on this day, those of us who follow Him have the many gifts of living good in this life, with eternal life ahead of us. In addition, He has also given us one another.
If we are today’s 7,000 who will not bend our knee to the Baals, then let’s rejoice and be glad for our salvation. Let us resolve to be the light that shines in this new darkness.
We, out of all this black morass of killing and license, are the ones who have chosen, by our free acceptance of the gift of God and His grace, to be blessed.
St Thomas said, “my Lord and my God.” My Lord, which means the One who decides. You decide, not me. You judge. I am the judged. You are the Lord of my life, which means I give fealty to you in all areas of my existence; in my work, play, home, and down to the secret corners of me that only You and I know exist. You are my Lord, my God. I do not confuse myself by thinking that I am the Lord. I know always, that the Lord of my life is you.
Jesus, born of a human mother, raised as the son of a carpenter, died at the hands of rapacious human power. You are human and I am human. You understand hunger, thirst, grief and temptation. You know what it is to be tortured, mocked, humiliated, shamed and murdered. You understand absolutely what it is to be helpless prey in the hands of human monsters in whom there is no pity, no remorse, not a shred of kindness. You are Jesus, my brother, who understands me with the tenderness of having been there with me in the depths of my experience.
Fulfiller of prophecy, God made human, the Great I Am; you are the Christ, the only Way to eternal life. Your death and resurrection are the unending testament to the Christ, the Savior of the World that you are.
Begotten, not made, You, who are the son of Mary, are also the great I Am. You declared “Before Abraham was, I Am,” and by saying that, you identified yourself forever with the One who has no beginning and will have no end.
OF THE LIVING GOD
God, Who lives and reigns over all creation. God, Who made everything, everywhere. God Who is outside time, outside the rules that govern existence, but Who, through the miracle of His greatness calls to every human heart. You, Oh Lord, are Son and One with Him.
Only faith in Your love could allow me to approach Your throne and ask for mercy. I do not deserve mercy. My hubris and sin define me too clearly as undeserving and lost. But You came to live among us, You died on the cross, for me and my lostness. You came to seek and find me, to redeem me, to bring me to You, and through Your sacrifice to restore me to what I was intended to be. You, Who have no sin, become sin, my sin, to pay the price and ransom me, to save me from getting what I deserve and from eternal death.
Me. The one and only me that ever was or ever will be. The beautiful, priceless, totally unique and beautiful me that You have created in Your image, and into whom You breathed the breathe of life. I not just a body that processes chemicals and will one day die and rot. I am a living soul, and my soul was made in Your Image. You gave me the power to chose, to decide, to go my own way and live according to whatever light I decide to follow. You made me free, even to reject You. Or, to turn to You to love You and accept Your guidance like the child I am, slipping my hand into the hand of my Father.
I am a child of the Fall, as well as a child of God. The stubborn stain of original sin mars my soul and leads me into the idolatry of self. I, who came to life on the breath of the Living God, am prone to iniquity. I can not stop myself. I can not do otherwise. I will sin. Of myself, there can be no salvation.
Which is why I pray,
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
Click here throughout the Year of Faith, as the Catholic Channel at Patheos.com invites Catholics of every age and stripe to share what they are gleaning and carrying away from this gift of timely focus.