Friday, February 28, 2014

Patricia Heaton - Hollywood's Pro-Life Actress

We all remember Patricia Heaton, who played Ray Romano's wife in the hit TV show "Everybody Loves Raymond." She is Catholic and Pro-Life in Hollywood. Patricia is a rare commodity indeed. There is a very good article in by Lauren Enrique. Patricia let's her voice be heard on the social media - a very brave thing to do, especially in Patricia's line of work.

Here is some of the article..
 Hollywood is known for its liberal ideology and agenda, and few actors stand out as outspokenly pro-life. Celebrities who publicly oppose abortion are diamonds in the rough, and one of these — who has been an audacious pro-lifer for years — is Everybody Loves Raymond’s Patricia Heaton.

 Once in a while, Heaton takes to Twitter to voice her pro-life convictions, like when she tweeted multiple times during the Gosnell trial in April about the horrors of his practice. She even called out network television for its silence on the matter (undeterred by the fact that she is employed by one such network — ABC —  where she currently stars on its primetime comedy, The Middle).

 Last week, Heaton hit social media once again, when she linked to a National Review article about the staggering reality that, in New York City (where laws ensure that abortion statistic data are well-documented), more black babies are aborted than born. The article says:
In 2012, black women in New York City aborted over 6,500 more children than they gave birth to. Data from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene shows that, among non-hispanic black women, there were 31,328 “induced terminations” to 24,758 live births, according to a CNS News report.
Heaton added the tagline, “Margaret Sanger gets her wish,” referring to the founder of Planned Parenthood’s eugenic belief in ethnic cleansing. Live Action has documented Planned Parenthood’s ongoing racism over the years, as it silently carries on the eugenic goals of its founder.

You can read the rest HERE


Monday, February 24, 2014

At Sunday Angelus, Pope Francis Speaks of the Importance of Service

In his Sunday Angelus message, Pope Francis spoke of the importance of "service." As a Catholic deacon, I am called, not only to service at the altar, but most especially to the ministry of charity. Serving my family, my brothers and sisters, the "poorest of the poor." This "diaconal" ministry is a vocation for all the faithful. All are called to serve, to be the face of Christ in a troubled world.

“Through baptism, we all have the same dignity: all of us, in Jesus Christ, we are sons of God,” the Pope stressed on Feb. 23 to the huge crowds filling St. Peter’s Square and spilling out onto the road.

“Those who have received a ministry of leadership, preaching, administering the sacraments, should not be considered owners of special powers, but offer service to the community, helping them to walk the path of holiness with joy.”

“St. Paul explains that this way of thinking is wrong, because the community does not belong to the apostles, but it is they who belong to the community, but the community, as a whole, belongs to Christ!” he exclaimed.

The dynamics of a Christian community must be marked by efforts to “build unity, because unity is more important than division.”

To this end, the various members of the Church must pray for one another, insisted the pontiff. “I also invite you to support these pastors and to assist them with prayer, so that they always guide people with the zeal that has been entrusted to them, showing all the tenderness and love of the Lord.”

Such unity and prayer should result in leading lives that witness to the truth, he explained.

“All together, bishops, priests, consecrated persons and lay faithful must offer the testimony of a Church faithful to Christ, animated by the desire to serve our brothers and ready to go with prophetic courage to meet the expectations and spiritual needs of the men and women of our time.”

Sunday, February 16, 2014

6th Sunday of Ordinary Time A 2014

 Have you noticed recently the great interest in all things Amish? I wonder why? There is a cable series about the Amish mafia, two PBS specials – one about Amish life, another about escaping Amish teenagers -and so many books. When I was a young boy, my Aunt brought me to Lancaster. This young boy living next to a city parking lot was “mesmerized.” Seeing people riding horse and buggies, hex signs on the barns – wondering “what is shoo-fly pie.” The Amish were mysterious – living mysterious lives. They are a private people - who believe that God has called them to a simple life of faith, discipline, and dedication, a life of rejecting pride, arrogance, self-importance – and placing high value on the virtue of humility. Mother Teresa said “humility is the mother of all virtues.” They believe that religion should be practiced, not displayed, translated into daily living - rather than focused on symbols or religious rituals. There are numerous differences between our Catholic faith and the protestant theology of the Amish – still, we find common ground – and we can learn much from them – most especially their “radical” display of love forgiveness. 

Seven years ago, in Lancaster, Pa., Terri Roberts life changed forever.  On that day, Terri’s troubled 32-year-old son Charlie walked into an Amish school and shot 10 young girls, five of them dying before Charlie took his own life.  Outside her home – Terri heard the sound of sirens - and saw helicopters in the air. Then the phone rang. It was her husband Chuck who told her the terrible truth – about what their son had done. Her pain was such as Mary, standing at the foot of the cross. Terri Roberts said she and her husband would never be able to face their Amish neighbors again. But on that day, their Amish neighbor Henry came to their home - stood behind Terri's husband, and embraced him, rubbing his shoulders in consolation. The whole Amish Community responded by offering immediate forgiveness to Charlie — attending his funeral — and embracing his family. The Amish community's breadth of forgiveness – IS the “radical” love that Jesus calls all of us to today – for this is the way God loves. Jesus said “Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.”  Jesus wants us to go down deep, into our hearts, our souls, to the root of things. When Jesus said, “I came not to abolish the law and the prophets, but to fulfill them”, his disciples were shocked? During this time, most of the Jews thought Jesus came to abolish the Mosaic laws, the laws handed down by Moses – the Ten Commandments, The Torah, laws of ceremonies, rituals, and symbols, reminding the people of their duties and responsibilities. Jesus’ actions spoke to this change. Jesus and his disciples did not fast, they did not always wash their hands before eating, their actions were considered revolutionary in the eyes of the Jewish people.

But Jesus explains that he came to FULFILL the law – He has authority “over” the Law - for HE is the New-Moses. The old law is now raised up.  Holiness must now surpass that of the scribes and the Pharisees – who practiced what Blessed John Paul II called a “hollow ritualism.” hollow to the degree rituals are performed - without affection and understanding. Ceremony was confused with substance – the Jewish religious hierarchy lost the spirit of love in their hearts. Now there must be a new “attitude”, a Christian attitude – to strive for God’s perfection – wanting to be a saint.

Jesus reassures the disciples “Whoever breaks the least of these commandments will be called the least in the Kingdom of heaven.” “The law” still stands. It is not abrogated – it IS being intensified

Jesus enlightens his disciples by opening up the Fifth Commandment. “You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, “You shall not kill, and whoever kills will be liable to judgment, but I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment.” Jesus points out here that yes, the act of killing is terrible and sinful – but it is rooted in dysfunction and disorder – a corrupt attitude – an underlying hatred. To NOT KILL isn’t enough - we have to go deeper – to the root of the problem.

Again, Jesus enlightens the disciples by opening up the Sixth Commandment. “You have heard that it was said “you shall not commit adultery”, but I say to you, everyone that looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. So, just looking at a woman or a man as a means to an end is “sin.” Adultery is terrible and sinful, but it is grounded in a dysfunctional attitude – the remedy is to go deeper, to get to the “root” of the problem.  

What is required is an “interior” conversion – a conversion of the heart. Moved by grace, we turn toward God, away from sin, from a life characterized by self-determination to joyful surrender to God’s will. This conversion will manifest itself in all areas of our lives – for it is the heart that moves our decisions, actions, sentiments and dispositions.  Mother Adela, the foundress of the Pierced Hearts of Jesus and Mary said “The heart is the interior throne of the human person.”

So how do we enter into this “conversion”? First – we pray the prayer of St. Alphonsus Liguori – “O my God and my All - make me a saint.” Then, we “discern.” The Psalmist says today “Give me discernment, that I may observe your law - and keep it with all my heart.” Seek keen insight - and good judgment. Go for it – find the knowledge to know what God wills for us in our lives – seek good “Catholic” Spiritual direction – every Catholic should have a spiritual director – helping us to develop a new attitude of loving kindness. Become an active participant in the sacramental life of the Church. Understand that “The Church” draws her life from the Eucharist.” You and me, we are the Church. At this Mass today, as we receive Our Lord’s Body and Blood, meditate – understand that there is no greater power than the Eucharist - to change and renew our hearts.

Terri Roberts still lives in Lancaster County, Pa. Although it has taken some time to overcome her demon of shame - she has found peace now, at the bedside of her son's most damaged, living victim -- a paralyzed schoolgirl, now 11. During their weekly visit, Terri bathes her - talks to her, brushes her hair and sings hymns to her. Terri had to dig deep, to go to the “root of things.” 

Lord Jesus, we pray for the grace of interior conversion and a more intense acceptance of your Gospel message. Please allow our lives to be changed through a willingness to cooperate with Your grace. Lead us to a sincere intention to be faithful to You in all our actions. Help us to come to deepen our relationship with You. Amen

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

John Smeaton Receives Legatus' Cardinal John J. O'Connor Award

John Smeaton says "It’s time for all responsible Catholics to challenge church officials at the highest level to appoint bishops will carry out the duty spelled out for them in Pope John Paul II’s Evangelium Vitae (82): “Faced with so many opposing points of view, and a widespread rejection of sound doctrine concerning human life, we can feel that Paul's entreaty to Timothy is also addressed to us: "Preach the word, be urgent in season and out of season, convince, rebuke, and exhort, be unfailing in patience and in teaching" (2 Tim 4:2). This exhortation should resound with special force in the hearts of those members of the Church who directly share, in different ways, in her mission as "teacher" of the truth. May it resound above all for us who are Bishops: we are the first ones called to be untiring preachers of the Gospel of life”

Interesting news out of John Henry Westen...

The annual Legatus Summit held this year at the Ritz-Carleton in Orlando, Florida, had an all-star cast of pro-life leaders, four of whom were selected as recipients of the prestigious Cardinal John J. O’Connor Award.  The only non-American recipient was John Smeaton, head of the UK’s Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), which is the oldest pro-life group in the world, founded in 1966. 

Over 400 of the most influential and faithful Catholic business leaders in the United States were awed by inspiring speakers all weekend, and yet the crowd nevertheless rose to their feet in ovation at Smeaton’s rousing address – the final one of the summit.

"In the spirit of friendly dialogue, I implore all Catholic bishops throughout the world to speak out clearly and categorically that politicians who vote for and publicly support abortion legislation such as that just passed by the Irish Parliament, must publicly retract and refute the position they have adopted before receiving the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ in Holy Communion in Whose image every unborn child targeted by wicked abortion legislation is made,” he said.

Read the complete article HERE

Read John Smeaton's complete presentation HERE

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

#Sochi - What Socialism Can Do For A Country..

 "Water restored, sorta. On the bright side, I now know what very dangerous face water looks like."

View image on Twitter

"Watch your step -- I've noticed on walkway and on sidewalks that not all man holes are always covered."

" For those of you asking, when there's no lobby in your hotel, you go to the owner's bedroom to check in."

For more, click HERE

Monday, February 3, 2014

Winter Compline

Here in New Jersey, two winter storms already, a week of nearly sub-zero weather, and today? yep - another snow storm. Darkness will come quick today. On a cold winter night it is good to be quiet - and enjoy the darkness, for the darkness helps us to pray.

Here you can join the Trappist monks at the Abbey of Gethsemani as they pray their  "winter compline."

Compline (pronounced COM-plin, short "o," short "i") is the final office of the day, sung just before the monks go to bed. The lights are never turned on for compline. This means that, during the winter months at Gethsemani, it is sung in the dark. Since the same psalms and canticles are sung every evening, the monks know this office by heart. The darkness is not a hindrance, therefore, but an aid to prayer.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

The Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord

Presentation of Jesus at the Temple by Giovanni Bellini c. 146

In honour of the divine mystery that we celebrate today, let us all hasten to meet Christ. Everyone should be eager to join the procession and to carry a light.
  Our lighted candles are a sign of the divine splendour of the one who comes to expel the dark shadows of evil and to make the whole universe radiant with the brilliance of his eternal light. Our candles also show how bright our souls should be when we go to meet Christ.
  The Mother of God, the most pure Virgin, carried the true light in her arms and brought him to those who lay in darkness. We too should carry a light for all to see and reflect the radiance of the true light as we hasten to meet him.
  The light has come and has shone upon a world enveloped in shadows; the Dayspring from on high has visited us and given light to those who lived in darkness. This, then, is our feast, and we join in procession with lighted candles to reveal the light that has shone upon us and the glory that is yet to come to us through him. So let us hasten all together to meet our God. 
  The true light has come, the light that enlightens every man who is born into this world. Let all of us, my brethren, be enlightened and made radiant by this light. Let all of us share in its splendour, and be so filled with it that no one remains in the darkness. Let us be shining ourselves as we go together to meet and to receive with the aged Simeon the light whose brilliance is eternal. Rejoicing with Simeon, let us sing a hymn of thanksgiving to God, the Father of the light, who sent the true light to dispel the darkness and to give us all a share in his splendour.
  Through Simeon’s eyes we too have seen the salvation of God which he prepared for all the nations and revealed as the glory of the new Israel, which is ourselves. As Simeon was released from the bonds of this life when he had seen Christ, so we too were at once freed from our old state of sinfulness.
  By faith we too embraced Christ, the salvation of God the Father, as he came to us from Bethlehem. Gentiles before, we have now become the people of God. Our eyes have seen God incarnate, and because we have seen him present among us and have mentally received him into our arms, we are called the new Israel. Never shall we forget this presence; every year we keep a feast in his honour.