Saturday, August 29, 2009
Obviously we don't know the state of Senator Edward Kennedy's soul upon death. We don't pretend to. We are told by the family that he had the opportunity to confess his sins before a priest, and his priest has said publicly he was "at peace" when he died. For that we are grateful. But it is one thing to confess one's sins and for these matters to be kept, rightfully, private. It is another thing entirely for one who so consistently and publicly advocated for the destruction of unborn human beings to depart the stage without a public repudiation of these views, a public confession, as it were.
It is up to God to judge Senator Kennedy's soul. We, as rational persons, must judge his actions, and his actions were not at all in line with one who values and carefully applies Church teaching on weighty matters. Ted Kennedy's positions on a variety of issues have been a grave scandal for decades, and to honor this "catholic" champion of the culture of death with a Catholic funeral is unjust to those who have actually paid the price of fidelity. We now find out that President Obama will eulogize the Senator at his funeral, an indignity which, following on the heels of the Notre Dame fiasco, leaves faithful Catholics feeling sullied, desecrated and dehumanized by men who seem to look for opportunities to slap the Church in the face and do so with impunity simply because they have positions of power.
It is not enough for Kennedy to have been a "great guy behind the scenes" as we have seen him referred to even by his political opponents. It is also not praiseworthy to put a Catholic rhetorical veneer on his leftist politics that did nothing to advance true justice as the Church sees it or to advance the peace of Christ in this world. Every indication of Senator Kennedy's career, every public appearance, every sound bite showed an acerbic, divisive and partisan political hack for whom party politics were much more infallible than Church doctrines. Whatever one's political affiliation, if one is only "Catholic" to the extent that his faith rhymes with his party line, then his Catholicism is a fraud.
As the Scriptures remind us, there is a time for everything under the sun. This, now, is the time for honesty about our Faith and about those who are called to express it in the public forum. If we do not remind ourselves of the necessity of public confession for public sins such as Senator Kennedy was guilty of, then we are negligent in our embrace of the Faith and we are part of the problem. As Pope Benedict has reminded us recently, charity without truth can easily become mere sentimentality, and we must not fall into that error. A Catholic show of charity for the family must not eclipse the truth that is required of all with eyes to see and ears to hear.
Senator Kennedy needs to be sent to the afterlife with a private, family-only funeral and the prayers of the Church for the salvation of his immortal soul. He will not be missed by the unborn who he betrayed time and time again, nor by the rest of us who are laboring to undo the scandalous example of Catholicism that he gave to three generations of Americans."
Rev. Thomas J. Euteneuer,
President, Human Life International
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Birth Announcement for Baby: "We're expecting a Baby! We're registered at Pottery Barn for Kids, Toys R Us, Kids R Us (or just send a check). Baby shower will be _______. We will play silly games and guess the gender FOR HOURS. If this is not fun enough, we will eat a great deal of food & punch containing carbs and sugar so that you will not be able to function for the rest of your day. "
Birth Announcement for Teen: "We're expecting that our child may grow up but we are not sure when or into what. We are registering with many colleges in hopes that he will make it into one of them. It cost $50 a pop so if you can send money, that would be great. We're having a graduation party on ________ where we will sit around and play games and guess what he will do for the rest of his life FOR HOURS. If this is not fun enough, we will eat a great deal of food and punch (which we hope Junior won't spike), so that you might be able to function the next day."
PREPARING THE HOME ENVIRONMENT
Nesting Habit for Baby: Happy parents transform spare room into a welcome place for new baby replete with teddybears, sailboats and soft colors named after food items like "melon", "lime" and "butter". Gentle fabric puffy creatures adorn walls and mobiles with chimey sounds hint a simple lullaby. I proudly hang a pastel crucifix over the crib for special blessings on baby. The environment smells of fresh powder.
Nesting Habit for Teen: Catatonic parents shudder to learn that bedroom has been turned into a den of bats featuring actual guano-like substance stuck on desk (don't ask). There might actually be melon, lime or butter under his dresser. I think the color of paint is 'scuffmark' beige. Che Guavara, Vladimir Lenin and the Flaming Lips posters adorn the walls making it look like a fool's holiday. There is a challenging feng shui notion going on as there is fire in one corner and water in another. I hang a St. Benedict Cross under his bed and sprinkle the room with holy water. It smells....bad.
LEARNING THE BIRTH TECHNIQUE
Lamasz Class: Expectant parents bring pillows and nervously tell each other to calm down and BREATHE.
Substance Abuse Class for Teen who just got caught: Angry parents bring notebooks to class and nervously tell each other to calm down and BREATHE. This technique also applies to Driver's Education and/or Rock Band Recitals.
THE NEW ARRIVAL
First Trimester Mom of Baby: "I am sooooo sick"
First Trimester Mom of Teen: "I am soooo sick of this kid"
Second Trimester Mom of Baby: "Was that a kick?"
Second Trimester Mom of Teen: "Would you like a swift kick in the rear end?"
Third Timester Mom of Baby final Push: "Get it out."
Third Trimester Mom of Teen final Expulsion: "Get out."
There is screaming, then there is silence.
THE FAMILY AFTERWARDS
The baby comes out all fat, wrinkly and slimy.
The parents end up all fat, wrinkly and sweaty.
But our story does not end here. Oh no. Let us fast forward several years from now to a special place in the future. Remember that powdery fresh room? It now has been decorated by my son and his wife. I now understand God's punchline: a parent's greatest revenge is the arrival of his or her grandchild. Through a wry smile I quote scripture to my reconverted son: "Vengence is mine, I will repay".
Monday, August 24, 2009
From Catholic Online:
Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein)Virgin and Martyr Edith Stein, born in 1891 in Breslau, Poland, was the youngest child of a large Jewish family. She was an outstanding student and was well versed in philosophy with a particular interest in phenomenology. Eventually she became interested in the Catholic Faith, and in 1922, she was baptized at the Cathedral Church in Cologne, Germany. Eleven years later Edith entered the Cologne Carmel. Because of the ramifications of politics in Germany, Edith, whose name in religion was Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, was sent to the Carmel at Echt, Holland. When the Nazis conquered Holland, Teresa was arrested, and, with her sister Rose, was sent to the concentration camp at Auschwitz. Teresa died in the gas chambers of Auschwitz in 1942 at the age of fifty-one. In 1987, she was beatified in the Cologne cathedral by Pope John Paul II. Out of the unspeakable human suffering caused by the Nazis in western Europe in the 1930's and 1940's, there blossomed the beautiful life of dedication, consecration, prayer, fasting, and penance of Saint Teresa. Even though her life was snuffed out by the satanic evil of genocide, her memory stands as a light undimmed in the midst of evil, darkness, and suffering. She was canonized on October 11, 1998.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Gordon Brown in new storm over freed Lockerbie bomber
Friday, August 21, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
This article says it all and says it well. Thank you Arlene Oost-Zinner and Jeffrey Tucker of Inside Catholic.
Boredom during the liturgy is something all Catholics have felt from time to time, and it's never justifiable. No matter how mundane the architecture, how dull the homily, or how bad the music, what's taking place on the altar is a miraculous sacrifice that gives us the grace for salvation. That reality should be enough to keep our attention.
And yet boredom is a reality that good liturgy can help fight. Many parishes try to do so by inventing every manner of new enticement: brighter and larger banners, forced attempts to create an upbeat environment of friendliness and community, big bowls of incense carried by special ministers, and Donahue-style homiletics.
The attempt to jazz up the liturgy usually takes the form of musical enhancements and nearly always means more instruments and rhythms drawn from popular music. The rationale isn't complicated. Liturgists are frustrated that people don't get as excited about religion as they do about the pop divas and music videos, and they conclude that they need ever more musical pyrotechnics to make the difference.
But these approaches often backfire since the argument for them is flawed at its root. Community feeling and fun are fine, but if the liturgy doesn't offer a setting conducive to prayer and the contemplation of eternal mysteries, it has failed its first aesthetic aim.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
If the proposed hybrid prison -- a courtroom-within-a-prison complex -- heads to Standish, it could create a boon for a state struggling with a 15.2 percent unemployment rate, the highest in the United States, and an area heavily dependent on corrections for its economy.
Sooo, here's your invitation for politicians and terrorists alike:
"If you are seeking an amenable (pleasant) peninsula, look around you."
Monday, August 10, 2009
60 years ago, the quest to break the sound barrier was a big deal. Several brave test pilots died in the attempt. As planes approached the speed of sound, Mach 1, their control surfaces became useless. The planes shook uncontrollably. Some of them literally disintegrated in midair. Finally, on a cloudless October day in the skies above the California desert, Yeager penetrated the magic barrier — 700 miles an hour at 43,000 feet — and made aviation history.
Play around with that thought for a moment. You're 43,000 feet above where you ate your breakfast and for the next few tense seconds as the cockpit is lurching and pinging, you are not certain if you will draw your next breath. KABOOM!....and then.....silence. Serenity. Peace. God's language.
Metaphorically speaking, aren't the trials and temptations of life sort of like this? When 'life happens' we tend to want to stomp it to death. We wrestle with it, spit on it, control it, yell at it and obsess over it. It rattles us, shakes us, wakes us from sleep and gets up in our face. Our "control surfaces" are useless and our lives are shaking out of control, ready to disintegrate. KABOOM!...and then....silence.
When a jet travels at Mach 1 speeds nowadays, the reverberations are unnoticeable by the occupants of the aircraft. Technology has made it so undramatic that the next paradigm shift will probably be when we breach the light barrier. Ultraviolet Travel? Superluminal Flight? Just guessing. What would happen if someone designed a better "mental aircraft" or supersonic jumpsuit that would allow us to be able to eliminate the shake/rattle & roll of turbulent problem barriers. What if I were to tell you that there is a mental defense against rattling oneself to pieces. It can be found in the divinely directed detour of prayer & pause: the two ingredients most useful for turning things over to God. The simple toil and enlightened freedom of letting go is an adventure worth taking. Just ask anyone who is a student of the many 12-step recovery programs. As the platitudes reveal:
Let go and let God
Came to Believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity
Let go or be dragged (one of my personal favorites)
I can't, God can, I think I'll let Him
Let go of the outcome
If you can't turn it over, at least lay it down
I plan, God laughs
THY will be done
There is something blissfully peaceful about that letting go, isn't there? In my estimation, slow is real and boring is very good. Make your own history. Defy your personal physics. There is a deafening, thrilling liberty of silence that can be found at the speed of sound.
(Just a sampling of an exceptional post by Diane M. Korzeniewski over at Te Deum Laudamus. She's a secular carmelite with a real gift for writing; I especially loved what she said about church silence.)
Here is the link to the rest of the story...http://te-deum.blogspot.com/2009/08/weighing-medjugorje-even-more-lessons.html