Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Good Words to End The Year by Ronald Reagan

Here we are, December 31st, 2013. Almost 2014. That number really sounds crazy to me. 

Here are some good words, from our "good" President  - Ronald Reagan - good words for us to end the year. Let us pray that next year will be better, much better.

You can call it mysticism if you want to, but I have always believed that there was some divine plan that placed this great continent between two oceans to be sought out by those who were possessed of an abiding love of freedom and a special kind of courage. This was true of those who pioneered the great wilderness in the beginning of this country, as it is also true of those later immigrants who were willing to leave the land of their birth and come to a land where even the language was unknown to them.

Standing on the tiny deck of the Arabella in 1630 off the Massachusetts coast, John Winthrop said, 'We will be as a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us...."

 We cannot escape our destiny, nor should we try to do so. The leadership of the free world was thrust upon us two centuries ago in that little hall of Philadelphia. In the days following World War II, when the economic strength and power of America was all that stood between the world and the return to the dark ages, Pope Pius XII said, "The American people have a great genius for splendid and unselfish actions. Into the hands of America God has placed the destinies of an afflicted mankind."

We are indeed, and we are today, the last best hope of man on earth.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Feast of the Holy Family

Bartolome Esteban Murillo c.1650
This beautiful painting is named "The Holy Family with a Little Bird." It reveals the tenderness of a mother, winding a skein of thread, watching her baby, who is the Christ, leaning on his father while playing with a little bird and dog. The painting exalts home life, family and work. It expresses the love between the members of a family.

Yesterday, on the Feast of the Holy Innocents,  I proclaimed the Gospel at the Missionary of Charity soup kitchen. The Gospel has some of the same verses as today, concerning Joseph and Mary taking the Christ-Child to Egypt, to escape Herod's death sentence. I explained to the men and women who were there waiting to eat - the importance of family - how it is the domestic Church - how marriage is a sacrament of peace - how loving families that stay together not only serve each other but all those around them. The family is an instrument of God's peace.

During Christmas week, in Irvington, NJ, three men were fatally shot and two were wounded outside of a night club. On the same day in Newark, a 13-year old girl and a 14-year old boy were shot dead. Newark has had at least 100 killings this year. Why? There are many reasons. The most important reason - the break down of the family unit - of family life - of family values - of family prayer. Today, let us pray for families - that they may mirror The Holy Family - thus bringing peace into our world.

O dear Jesus,We humbly implore You to grant Your special graces to all families.
May their homes be a shrine of peace, purity, love, labor and faith. Amen.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Lo How a Rose

Passers-by stopped for a moment to pause and listen in the busy streets of Washington, D.C., as Dominican brothers, sisters and friars gathered in joyful song to wish people a Merry Christmas.
One observer, John Cherry of Washington, D.C., described the scene as “very soothing to my spirit.”

He told CNA that religious brothers and sisters represent the “call of the future” of the Christian Church.

“The purpose of Jesus is to come and let the light shine in the darkness,” he continued, saying that the Dominicans’ singing offered a reminder of this in an often busy and sometimes difficult city.  

Student brothers and friars from the Dominican House of Studies, along with Dominican sisters from the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecelia and the Dominican Sisters of Mary, took a short ride from their Washington, D.C. priory and convent to sing Advent and Christmas carols to people walking the downtown streets on Dec. 16.

Some of the friars, brothers and sisters also stopped to talk to the people walking by, praying with them, answering their questions about Catholicism and the meaning of Christmas, and handing out crucifixes blessed by Pope Francis.

Asdrubal Mencia, a D.C. resident and member of the Knights of Columbus at his local parish, said that while he had heard there were religious brothers and sisters in the city, this was his first time seeing them.

They have a “great tone,” he observed, but added that there was also a quality to their singing that he could not quite describe.

“It’s something joyful,” he said, a type of warmth. “I like it! It’s excellent.”

Bridget Boland and Branan Durbin – childhood friends who both attended a Dominican-run high school in Baltimore – explained that they had come specifically “to hang out with the Dominicans” during winter break at their colleges.  

“It’s so cool to see them interact with everyone,” said Durbin, explaining that she loves to “see them talking to the little kids” and “out in the community.”

Read the rest HERE

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A Blessed Christmas to All

 Photo by Brian J. Murphy

                                 Carol - Thomas Merton 1946

Flocks feed by darkness with a noise of whispers,
In the dry grass of pastures,
And lull the solemn night with their weak bells.
The little towns upon the rocky hills
Look down as meek as children:
Because they have seen come this holy time.
God's glory, now, is kindled gentler than low candlelight
Under the rafters of a barn:
Eternal Peace is sleeping in the hay,
And Wisdom's born in secret in a straw-roofed stable.
And O! Make holy music in the stars, you happy angels.
You shepherds, gather on the hill.
Look up, you timid flocks, where the three kings
Are coming through the wintry trees;
While we unnumbered children of the wicked centuries
Come after with our penances and prayers,
And lay them down in the sweet-smelling hay
Beside the wise men's golden jars.

Monday, December 23, 2013

A Gift of Wonder

"Each year, God asks us to shed one more coat of awareness, one more dream state and come alive to the vision of God’s plan for each of us and the world-at-large.

   "The older we get, the harder this is to do. As children we had a sense of wonder. Our eyes were wide open and drinking in the fascinating gifts we beheld…Our thirsty souls could not have enough of the wonders of creation.

   "Then, somehow, we grew too old to dream. We tired of the abundance of the world, or at least grew weary of keeping up with the feast of life, and stepped away from the banquet of life.

   "The natural gift of wonder God gave us as children was meant to be kept alive.…Instead we let wonder go to sleep. We entered the typical dream state of most humans.

   "Why else does Jesus tell us today, ‘Stay awake!’…Advent says, ‘Wake up and realize the gifts of love you have received.’

Rev. Alfred McBride, O. Praem.,The Priest, Oct. ‘87

Saturday, December 14, 2013

St. John of the Cross

"Souls will be unable to reach perfection who do not strive to be content with having nothing, in such fashion that their natural and spiritual desire is satisfied with emptiness; for this is necessary in order to reach the highest tranquility and peace of spirit. Hence the love of God in the pure and simple soul is almost continually in act" St. John of the Cross

Today is the Memorial of St. John of the Cross. St. John of the Cross (along with St. Teresa of Avila) is one of the founders of the Discalced Carmelites. St. John is one of the acknowledged masters of mystical theology. Indeed, perhaps no other writer has had greater influence on Catholic spirituality.

Two years ago, in the midst of a winter storm in my local park, I shot this above image of a pine tree, engulfed in wind blown snow. It was quiet, I was alone. St. John says that our "natural and spiritual desire" is satisfied with emptiness. I find that when I am in quiet places, even places close to home - I can free myself from life's burdens for a time, and open myself up to hearing the voice of God. Yes, we should all seek a quiet place now and then.

Thomas Merton, Trappist Monk, February 13, 1949 – "It seems to me that what I am made for is not speculation but silence and emptiness, to wait in darkness and receive the Word of God entirely in His Oneness and not broken up into all His shadows."

Sunday, October 13, 2013

View from Fenit


I shot this image of the Fenit Lighthouse in County Kerry.

Absolutely lovely...

Sunday, October 6, 2013

I Heard the Voice Of Jesus Say - A Reflection

Last year on retreat at St. Joseph's Abbey in Spencer, Mass, on my birthday, the monks sang this hymn, I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say, at Holy Mass. It was beautiful. So, yesterday I presented a reflection on this hymn at our Communion Breakfast. The video above is the hymn performed by Anthony Way. I think it is about the finest performance I've seen and heard. Below are some notes from my presentation - of course some words are missing as I always "ad lib."

“Come unto Me and rest; Lay down, thou weary one, lay down, thy head upon my breast.”

 “Come and rest.” One of the basic necessities of life and a preoccupation of the world is to look for rest. We try to set aside at least one day every week to rest – all though that doesn’t always work.  At the end of our work day we are so tired, we want to fall on the couch - and be rested. Some are lucky enough to enjoy a vacation once a year, some cannot.  Every person needs to rest - we have been created that way. At the creation, even God rested on the seventh day.  But the question is - does the rest we take really quiet our entire being – soul, mind and our body? Are we still restless after a night’s sleep?

The poetry of Psalm 131 describes the state of the heart that one has when in the presence of God, "But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a child quieted at its mother's breast; like a child that is quieted is my soul." (Psalm 131:2) - The pure satisfaction of a child - weaned and resting in his mother’s arms.  God’s rest surpasses all – even this beautiful passage the Psalmist offers. Jesus says to us “leave behind those things that trouble you, leave behind your sin. I wish to have a “relationship” with you. Encounter “Me.” Only in Me will you find rest.

In the Missionary of Charity convent chapel in Newark there hangs on the wall a life size crucifix – it is an important reminder of why we are there to serve. To the right of the crucifix are the words “I Thirst.” These are the words Jesus spoke before giving up his life - for us - on the cross. Did Jesus thirst for water? I am sure – a man nailed, hanging and dying on a cross is craving for water - but remember, Jesus, is not only all man, he is all God – So, in His - divinity - he spoke of something more profound – His thirst for souls. He had poured out His living water on the earth. Now He thirsts – a thirst that is radical - beyond human.  He wishes to draw all to Himself. His Thirst is His call. And the call goes out from the cross – and it demands a response.

 Do you hear the call?  There are many examples of how Jesus entered into the life of the people. Jesus sees Matthew at the custom post and says, follow me, and Matthew follows. While on a train, on the way to the north of India for a cool weather retreat, Mother Teresa heard the voice of Jesus say “Come, be my light.” Dorothy Day, with Peter Maurin, founded the Catholic Worker Movement. She spoke of her own conversion – how many small realizations brought her closer and closer to Jesus and His Church. We could go on and on with these examples of conversion, for there are many ways of hearing the Lord – but there is only one way and the first way that is common to us all – it is “Desire”– placed by God into our hearts from the beginning - the call or invitation of God is heard first in that land called “desire.” It is tangible.

I am sure you have heard the words of St. Augustine “our heart is restless until it rests in you”? God is the only ONE who can satisfy our desire. Isn’t this so true? Are not all of our earthly desires unfulfilled?

The writer and Christian apologist, C.S. Lewis said:  All the things that have ever deeply possessed your soul - have been but hints of heaven—tantalizing glimpses, promises never quite fulfilled, echoes that died away just as they caught your ear…If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world…Probably earthly pleasures were never meant to satisfy it, but only to arouse it, to suggest the real thing.”  (The Problem of Pain, p. 134; Mere Christianity, p.120)

Desire – it is God’s voice calling to us - Pope Francis says "Desire moves us forward, toward the horizon, and for us Christians that horizon is an encounter with Jesus, who is our life, our joy, our happiness."

John Paul II said "An encounter is to have one’s life touched by Christ -that means “to see one’s own life and plans upset. Like the fisherman of Galilee who heard the call of Jesus, and brought their boats to the shore, they left everything to follow Jesus.” (Lk 5:11) So, when your heart is longing – for whatever you may think your heart is longing for - know that it is the Lord calling you, thirsting for you. 

 “Behold, I freely give, the living water; thirsty one, stoop down and drink and live.”

We all should go on retreat – at least once a year if possible. As they say, to get away from it all – to revitalize your spirit and rejuvenate your soul – and to read those books that you just never get to reading.  I make my yearly retreat at St. Joseph’s Abbey, a Trappist monastery in the foothills of the Berkshires in Massachusetts - twenty three hundred acres of hills, forests and streams. Beyond the “enclosure fences” you notice hooded monks walking and praying on paths – When you trek over the abbey grounds – there is quiet - you hear whispers moving through the forest as air through a reed. The wind sings. Distant chimes ring out from the bell tower calling the monks to prayer. In the woods you hear streams – the rippling sound of moving water. When I come to a stream - I stop, “stoop down”, and place my hand in the cool running water – and I see it is full of life – I taste it.

Jesus spoke to the Samaritan woman of the “living water” –a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” That “Living Water” that Grace, can be found – it is free for all of us to drink – but there is a natural condition to drinking the water from the well – one must “stoop down.” There must be movement involved – this movement towards the “Living Water” is “Discipleship.” 

And what is Christian Discipleship?

1.            To understand that there is no higher concern than Jesus and His Kingdom – all things – family, friends, and all activities we enjoy – all revolve around this fact. St. Augustine says “love God for His own sake, everything else for the sake of God.” Saint Augustine, The Four Books of St. Augustine on Christian Doctrine

2.            Discipleship is “stooping down” to the “Living Water”, towards Christ -toward the Cross. Jesus always walks towards the cross. Christian Disciples follow Him on this road of love, forgiveness, mercy, healing, and non-violence, acceptance of suffering – always towards the cross. And in the world we live in today, the Christian, especially the Catholic Christian, will surly meet resistance, opposition and conflict. Are we ready to preach the Good News by our acts of love? To meet head-on the issues of our day? To “not be afraid” to preach the dignity and rights of the human person? To defend marriage as the union of one man and one woman? To defend conscience rights protection? 

A wonderful example of discipleship is the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. – who walked the path of non-violence – facing constant opposition – knowing that his was a movement towards to the cross – towards his own martyrdom. 

Dietrich Bohnoeffer, the Lutheran Minister who was hung in a concentration camp for taking part in an assassination attempt on the life of Adolf Hitler, said it plainly ““When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.”

Are we ready to follow the Lord – to place Him in the central place of our lives? Are we ready to be called “Disciples?”

 “I am this dark world’s Light; Look unto Me, thy morn shall rise, and all thy day be bright.

Juana Fernández y Solar was canonized by Blessed John Paul in 1993. Juana’s religious name is “Teresa of the Andes.” She was born in Santiago Chile, the year 1900, into a wealthy family. Early in her life she read the book “The Story of a Soul”, the well-known biography by “The Little Flower” St. Thérèse of Lisieux. This book had a profound effect on her life – wanting to give her life to God, and over-come her self-centered personality. A story very much like Therese herself. Receiving her First Communion was transforming. At the young age of 19 she entered the Discalced Carmelite order in Los Andes Chile. Her apostolate became letter-writing, sharing thoughts on the spiritual life. Within a few months of her admission, she contracted typhus – dying three months short of her twentieth birthday. Because Typhus was certainly fatal, Teresa was given permission to profess vows in “periculo mortis” (danger of death). She died as a professed nun of the Order on April 12, 1920.

John Paul II, in his canonization homily, called Teresa a “child of light”, a light of Christ for not only for the whole Chilean Church, but for the Universal Church as well. In her love for Christ she found the essence of the Christian message, to love, suffer, pray; serve – to love God above all things. 

Each one of us is called to be a child of light. We responded to that call at our baptism – and our parents were called to guide us in that vocation. Now we are responsible – to be that flame of God’s love in our world. The world can be a very dark place. Souls need “Light” to see. 

How can we be “Christ’s Light”? It sounds very difficult for a poor soul like me. But with God, nothing is impossible. Children of the Light take hate, injustice and return it with love.  Children of the Light show by example a better way to live.  

We must bring Christ’s Light into dark places – nursing homes, hospitals – where so many people are lonely. Blessed Teresa said the greatest poverty in the west is not hunger; there is plenty of food – the greatest poverty is being “unloved.” We must love our neighbor – Pope Francis says – we cannot just stay in in the parish – we have to go out into the streets and meet the darkness where it lies – go into the cities where so many souls are sleeping on the streets, in the parks – those who feel they have lost all dignity. Children of the Light preach the Good News – No - you are made in the image of God. You have dignity. Those who have fallen away from the Church – we must “love” them back home. 

In one of her letters, St. Teresa of the Andes wrote about the sisters being “Co-redeemers of the world.”(Letter of September 1919).

As members of the rosary society, when you hear this title – co-redeemer, the first person who comes to mind is our Mother Mary – and rightfully so. Mary, by the power of the Holy Spirit, brought Christ into the world, raising Him from infancy, and offering Him up to the Father at the foot of the cross, so Mary participates uniquely in Christ’s salvation of the world, on account of which John Paul II titled her ‘Co-Redemptrix.’

My favorite Mass is the Easter Vigil, we are given candles – the altar server comes to us and lights our candle, then we turn and with our candle, light our neighbor’s candle. Children of the Light become Co-Redeemers when they spread the flame – lighting their neighbors candle by being the very face of Christ to others – we follow Jesus, becoming this Dark World’s Light.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Pope says Doctors should spread The Gospel of Life

In recent days we have all experienced the media frenzy concerning the interview conducted by Antonio Spadaro, SJ. and published in America Magazine. I would recommend to all, before reading about the interview in the media publications, on and off line, read the article in its entirety HERE

We can all rest assured that the Holy Father is not changing Church teachings. He wishes us to "not only" speak of the attacks on the dignity of the person, but also for us to make known the great mercy of God - by acts of love and compassion, and forgiveness. Maybe we all have fallen short on these important aspects of Church teaching.

As for attacks upon the dignity of the human person, the Holy Father had these words to say while speaking to a group of gynecologists at the Vatican.

Every unborn child, although unjustly condemned to be aborted, has the face of Jesus Christ, the Lord’s face,” Pope Francis said, adding that like Christ, these aborted children experience the rejection of the world."

 “In the fragile human being each of us is invited to recognize the face of the Lord, who in his human flesh experienced the indifference and loneliness that often condemn the poorest” members of society."

Monday, September 2, 2013

Diana Nyad "Your never too old"

"Never, ever give up,'' Nyad, 64, said after becoming the first person to swim from Havana to the southernmost point in the continental United States without the assistance of a protective shark cage.

"You're never too old to chase your dreams,'' she added.

We have to agree, it is quite an accomplishment.   Remember, we can accomplish many things - if we have faith, and build up that faith with prayer. We can even move mountains.

Monday, August 26, 2013

The Disciple.....

The disciple simply burns his boats and goes ahead. He is called out... The old life is left behind, and completely surrendered. The disciple is dragged out of his relative security into a life of absolute insecurity... out of the realm of the finite...into the realm of infinite possibilities.
- Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Monday, July 22, 2013

Cassini's Picture of Our Home - from 900 Million Miles Away!

A photo by the Cassini spacecraft shows the rings of Saturn, with Earth a faint blue dot in the distance. (NASA/JPL/Cassini/Guillermo Abramson

“Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there -- on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot.

From Carl Sagan's "Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space."

Homily for the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time

I hope everyone was able to survive the terrible heat wave this week. I am sure most of you have passed by the small white clapboard Watchung Presbyterian Church on Watching Ave. The minister there has a knack for posting witty short announcements on the bulletin board in front of the Church. I really enjoyed this weeks post “if you think it’s hot now”. Makes you think, doesn’t it?

In my homilies I usually make mention of saints, those holy people who have gone before us.  Maximilian Kolbe, Mother Teresa, Therese the Little Flower.  Their life example helps us to become saints. Recently I came upon the name of a living saint. His name is Dr. Tom Catena. Dr. Tom hails from Amsterdam, New York. As a young man, he joined the US Navy, where he served as a medic. When his military service ended, he attended medical school and became a surgeon. As a devout Catholic, he wished to serve the Lord as a missionary. He was, and is, very much influenced by Francis of Assisi, whose idea was to radically live the gospel. Since 2008, Dr. Tom has volunteered with the Catholic Medical Mission at the Mother of Mercy hospital in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan, a land of horrors, where families cower in caves to avoid aerial bombings by the Sudanese government.  There is no one better qualified to describe what the leaders of Sudan do to their own citizens. He is the only surgeon at Mother of Mercy H. that is capable of dealing with severe war injuries, mostly amputations. He also treats conditions like malaria and pneumonia, leprosy, stroke, meningitis, and shell-shocked women who walk days and hours with their babies, alive and deceased, to the clinic for help. Dr. Tom says “The most rewarding part of the job is seeing sick people get better.”  “We have a good number of patients with serious but treatable conditions. To be able to offer a good service to care for a wide variety of diseases is a real joy.” Dr. Tom, as the saints I mentioned before, has much to teach us about discipleship. He says “Our FAITH is what motivates us to keep pushing on with the work - despite the isolation and daily frustrations of working in a remote, undeveloped region with little support.” “Christ’s call to serve the ‘least of these’ is a tonic to encourage us in the work. Our faith helps us in that we know we are not the masters of life and death and that God is in charge of all things. We know that our lives here are temporary, and that there are promises of greater things to come.” This by the way is exactly what Pope Benedict wrote about in his encyclical “In Hope we are saved.”

Dr. Tom lives inside a small compound with a few religious sisters and a few priests. At 5:30AM he wakes up to the alarm of roosters crowing, donkeys braying, and cows mooing. With the sisters and priests, he moves from the living compound, across a dry riverbed, to a small chapel where he attends daily Mass. The Eucharist is his strength – the strength to go on in the midst of chaos – the cries of children dying and mothers wailing. Sometimes he feels he cannot continue. But he does.

Dr. Tom always wanted to serve. “The idea is to serve,” he says. “You use Christ as your guide, your mentor. This is what Jesus did. He came to serve, not be served, and I try to follow that. “I just wanted to be in a position where I could be of service to others.” “I had always wanted to do some type of mission work where I could put my FAITH IN ACTION.

I bring up this story of Dr. Tom today because it has a direct correlation with today’s Gospel, the story of Martha and Mary – a story of faith, then action.

Jesus visits with his dear friends Martha and Mary. Martha greets Jesus at the door. She is a good friend, cleaning house, preparing the food - but while Martha is doing all the work, all good work, what is her sister Mary doing? - sitting at the feet of Jesus.  Martha is not happy – maybe for two reasons. One: Martha is working, Mary is resting. Martha’s irritation is obvious. Two – Martha sees Mary as being arrogant. When Mary sits at the feet of Jesus, she is taking the position of a disciple learning from the teacher. In this particular instance, the teacher / disciple relationship is quite unusual, for Mary is a woman. Mary assumed the stance of a man – in a man’s space. In the first century, a woman would not be accepted by a teacher as a disciple. So there is a significant teaching here, that ALL are invited to sit at the feet of Jesus – to enjoy full participation in Christ’s call to discipleship.

So Jesus puts it to Martha straight. You - Martha - are anxious and worried. Mary is doing something more important here. She has taken the “better part.” Now Jesus is not saying what Martha is doing is unimportant. Her actions are indeed important and beautiful– as they are acts of love. Maybe Martha, like you and me, needs to spend more time in prayer. 

Mary has chosen, in Latin, the “Unum necessarium” the one thing necessary. Mary is sitting at the feet of Christ - and she is “listening.” What does it mean to sit at the feet of Jesus and listen? Our soon to be canonized Holy Father – Blessed John Paul II - said that “Listening to the Word of God is the most important thing in our lives. Christ is always in our midst and desires to speak to our hearts. We can listen to him by meditating with faith on Sacred Scripture, by recollection in private and communal prayer, by silent meditation before the Tabernacle, from which he speaks to us of his love. Christians, especially on Sundays, are called to meet and listen to the Lord. This happens most completely through participation in Holy Mass, during which Christ prepares the banquet of the Word and of the Bread of Life for the faithful. 

And now the most important line;

“Through the action of the Holy Spirit, God takes up his dwelling in the heart of the believer; it becomes easier for him/her to serve the brethren.

So first let we let Jesus enter into our hearts, then we can serve the brethren.

Dr. Tom’s “listening” is his daily reception of the Eucharist. This is his strength to do the impossible. First he “listens”, and then he “acts”.

Brothers and sisters, we are living in hard times, religious freedom is under attack. We must not let anyone or anything deprive us of “the better part”, for we are all called to discipleship – to do great acts of love in Jesus’ name. And this will not be taken from us.

God bless you.

Deacon Brian J. Murphy

* Thanks to Fr. Robert Barron for the inspiration

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A LIFE Message from Pope Francis

A LIFE Message from Pope Francis to Catholics in Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales - and really, to all the world !

“Calling to mind the teaching of Saint Irenaeus that the glory of God is seen in a living human being, the Holy Father encourages all of you to let the light of that glory shine so brightly that everyone may come to recognise the inestimable value of all human life. Even the weakest and most vulnerable, the sick, the old, the unborn and the poor, are masterpieces of God’s creation, made in his own image, destined to live for ever, and deserving of the utmost reverence and respect. His Holiness prays that the Day for Life will help to ensure that human life always receives the protection that is its due, so that “everything that breathes may praise the Lord” (Psalm 150:6).”

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Good News out of Texas, Late Term Abortions BANNED!

Some good news out of LifeNews.com.   Of course, not the best news...

After a day filled with pro-abortion threats, pro-life people hiding in secure areas of the capitol fearing for their safety, jars of feces and urine and protestors disrupting the Senate proceedings, democracy finally prevailed.

Members of the state Senate approved the bill to ban late-term abortions on a 19-11 margin on second reading. The chamber then approved the bill in third reading by the same 19-11 vote.

The bill would ban abortions after 20 weeks and hold abortion clinics accountable by making them meet basic health and safety standards that have closed facilities in other states that are unable to comply. The bill also requires all abortion clinics to meet the same health and safety regulations as an ambulatory surgical center, requires a doctor providing abortions to secure admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, and lastly, requires a doctor to personally administer the abortion-inducing drugs to the patient.

Before the vote, Texas police issued a statement confirming they confiscated numerous jars of feces and urine that abortion activists planned to throw at pro-life legislators today who are debating the late-term abortion ban.

As LifeNews reported, abortion activists also planned to throw tampons and feminine pads at lawmakers, but the Texas Department of Public Safety statement below confirms the planned assaults on legislators were much worse than that.

The last attempt to pass the bill was halted in the state Senate with a pro-abortion filibuster but state Sen. Wendy Davis said she would not filibuster the bill a second time. This week saw a death threat issued to the Texas Lt. Governor and abortion activists screaming “F— the Church.”

Texas Governor Rick Perry issued a call for a special session of the Texas legislature to pass the bill that a pro-abortion mob prevented the legislature from passing last week.“I am calling the Legislature back into session because too much important work remains undone for the people of Texas. Through their duly elected representatives, the citizens of our state have made crystal clear their priorities for our great state,” Perry said.

“Texans value life and want to protect women and the unborn. Texans want a transportation system that keeps them moving. Texans want a court system that is fair and just. We will not allow the breakdown of decorum and decency to prevent us from doing what the people of this state hired us to do.”
A recent national poll by The Polling Company found that, after being informed that there is scientific evidence that unborn children are capable of feeling pain at least by 20 weeks, 64% would support a law banning abortion after 20 weeks, unless the mother’s life was in danger.   Only 30% said they would oppose such a law. Polling from Texas also shows support for the legislation.

Even a Huffington Post poll found a majority of Americans support banning late abortions — on a 2-1 margin.

The bill relies on the science of fetal pain to establish a Constitutional reason for Congress to ban abortions late in pregnancy.

The science behind the concept of fetal pain is fully established and Dr. Steven Zielinski, an internal medicine physician from Oregon, is one of the leading researchers into it. He first published reports in the 1980s to validate research showing evidence for it. He has testified before Congress that an unborn child could feel pain at “eight-and-a-half weeks and possibly earlier” and that a baby before birth “under the right circumstances, is capable of crying.”

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