27 June 2010

Be Courageous Prophets! Restore the Family as the Foundation of Society



“A society built on a family scale is the best guarantee against drifting off course into individualism or collectivism, because within the family the person is always at the center of attention as an end and never as a means... Without families that are strong in their communion and stable in their commitment peoples grow weak... The priority of the family over society and over the State must be affirmed.”  (paragraph 213, 214, Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church)

Perhaps you saw these stories this week:  A school board in Provincetown, MA approved a condom distribution policy where any student in the district can ask for condoms from the nurse, and be given an educational demonstration on how to use them properly.  There is no minimum age requirement or age limit.  1st graders are welcome to ask for condoms and be taught how to use them.  The policy also states that “the school district will not honor requests from parents that students not be allowed to receive condoms.”  That's right.  Parents cannot object or exercise their rightful authority over their own minor children – even 1st graders.

In Iowa, the high school kids in Shenandoah got instruction on graphic sexual acts from a Planned Parenthood representative during their state-mandated sex-ed class.  Students were shown how to do female exams, and with the aid of a 3-D, anatomically correct male sex organ, shown how to use a condom.

The teens were also treated to a demonstration of the sex act in various different positions using stuffed animals, as well as photographs that some parents called “pornographic.”    When many parents – who, of course, had not been informed of the content of this sex-ed class – complained, the principal was reportedly “mortified” and apologized.  The superintendent said, “It's a political hot potato.  It's a religious hot potato.  It's a parental hot potato.  It's all these things that cause a crack in the system between society, parents, and schools, and we're still required to do it.”

In Texas, a 14 year-old girl has been arrested after giving birth in a friend's apartment and then smothering her infant son with the amniotic sac.  She then put the child in a plastic bag and asked a neighbor to help get rid of the body, and the neighbor told police he put the baby in a large trash bin at the apartment complex.  They also threw away the linens, clothing and the bed.  The 14 year-old's younger sister was the only one who knew of the pregnancy.  She also witnessed the birth – and death –  and told a school counselor what happened.  The police officer said, “Everybody's parents work, they were unaware of what was going on.”

The baby – that little person who was suffocated and then treated as garbage – is lost now to all but God, for by the time police learned of the death, the trash had been collected and taken to a landfill that they said was too big to search.

No grave; no dignified resting place; just a mucky, rotting landfill.  And anyway, who really cares?  So what?  It's not like he was a human being.

~~~  ~~~  ~~~

We are in a moral and cultural freefall.  These three infuriating and somber stories are all symptomatic of the collapse of the family unit in our society.  In my own lifetime I have witnessed this collapse accelerate at an alarming rate.  But I don't recall hearing alarm bells while I was growing up.  The adults I encountered were mostly indifferent, unaware, or otherwise enthusiastically indulging in the amoral home-wrecking they were inflicting on us.

Clanging the alarm bell now seems a lot like crying out, “Iceburg!” after the Titanic already plowed into the thing.  We are sinking fast, and looking anywhere other than to God and His Church for rescue is a waste of time and life.  Just rearranging deck chairs...

Allow me to be direct:  Divorce, remarriage, single parenting by design or default, shacking-up, abortion, babies manufactured and destroyed at will, the demand for same-sex “marriage” rights and parenting rights, and a culture that worships sex – all these things combined make for one very deadly potion that America's been guzzling for decades.

Being drunk and sick, we began abdicating our parental responsibilities and allowed public authorities to have more and more influence, more and more control, and now they simply run roughshod right over parents, particularly when it comes to sexual “education” and anti-God, politically-correct indoctrination.

The icing on this disastrous cake has been too many years of far too many wishy-washy, weak-willed, confused, apathetic Catholics who are utterly ignorant of their faith and so put up little to no resistance against the destruction of the most vital component of our society:  the family.

What is the cure for an aggressive public authority that usurps the authority of parents?  A community of strong, cohesive families who meet their moral, spiritual, educational and material obligations to their children.

What is the cure for the life-hating era we live in, where girls barely past the onset of menstruation are having sex, becoming pregnant, and killing their own children?  The answer again, is a strong, cohesive family where mother and father are both present in the home; where human dignity is communicated and demonstrated; where commitments are kept; where virtues are lived and taught; where life is held sacred and God is still God.

The cure is not government programs or entitlements or more mandates or restrictions.  The only cure is to return to an attitude of reverence for the foundation of our society:  the family, “born of the intimate communion of life and love founded on the marriage between one man and one woman.”  (Paragraph 211, CSDC)

As our culture sinks deeper into this moral abyss, the cure is not less Church but more Church.  Those whose faith was badly or never formed, and those who are timid and reluctant need to shape up, learn their faith and step out with courage to witness by their lives to the truth of God's plan for the human person and the family.

What is the remedy for a culture that rejects God, denies the natural law, places the State in authority over the children and celebrates every manner of immorality?  The Christian family; the “domestic Church.”  

 “The Christian family is called therefore to be a sign of unity for the world and in this way to exercise its prophetic role by bearing witness to the Kingdom and the peace of Christ, towards which the whole world is journeying.”  (paragraph 220, CSDC) “Christian families have then, in virtue of the sacrament received, a particular mission that makes them witnesses and proclaimers of the Gospel of life.  This is a commitment which in society takes on the value of true and courageous prophecy.”  (paragraph 231, CSDC)

No – timid, milquetoast Catholicism will not get the job done.  Our time is crying out for heroes of the faith to show themselves in every walk of life, in every nook and cranny of the public square, in every community.  For too long we have bought the lie that our faith must remain at home in private – no longer.  There can be no separation of faith and living!

Be courageous prophets.  Our mission is to rescue and firmly reestablish the family according to God's plan and design.  Start at home, but do not stay there.  Be courageous prophets.

Praise!



"O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!"  Psalm 8:1

Praising God today for:

Guidance and wisdom from a faithful "gardener."  A good shepherd.  A loving father.

My husband and his love for me.  He doesn't seem to see me as I really am, but always better than I am.

The comforts of home, especially in this awful, relentless HEAT.  I really hate summer, but at least I can stay inside and be cool.

For His patience with me.  I am so grateful that He bothers with me.  It means He doesn't walk away, or give up, or stop trying.  He bothers!  He doesn't have to.  He owes me nothing, yet He gives me everything.

I am always thankful for good, dark chocolate!  sigh  And peppermint mochas.  Ahhh....


May you have a wonderful week ahead.  May you find yourself making a long mental list of reasons to Praise God, for big and little things.  Then come back and share it with me!  :)

24 June 2010

Good Word

The answer, plain and simple:

“Hear, O Israel:  The Lord our God, the Lord is one.  Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.  These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.  Impress them on your children.  Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.  Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”  Deuteronomy 6: 4-9

Imagine what would happen if every household would do this?  How well it would go for us...

22 June 2010

Sleepy Girl


Is there anything more precious than picking up your sleeping child off the couch, carrying her snuggly little body to bed and tucking her in while she makes those wonderful sleepy murmurs?  Man, I could never grow tired of those moments.  Heaven on earth.

Courage, Love, and Death

From St. Francis de Sales:


Very often we do not abandon ourselves entirely into the hands of God because it seems to us that God will not take very much notice of us, since we consider ourselves good for nothing. The world like-wise has little use for us. On the contrary, a courageous spirit relies on faith, grows in courage amid difficulties, and knows quite well that God loves, supports and helps those in need when they confide and hope in Him. (Letters 1197; O. XVII, pp. 205-206)


Mount Calvary is the mount of lovers. All love that does not take its origin from the Savior's passion is foolish and perilous. Unhappy is death without the Savior's love; unhappy is love without the Savior's death. Love and death are so mingled in the Savior's passion that we cannot have the one in our heart without the other. Upon Mount Calvary we cannot have life without love, or love without the Redeemer's death. (T.L.G. Book 12, Ch. 13; O. V, p. 346)

20 June 2010

Praise!


"For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba,Father." The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children." Romans 8:15-16

Today the Praises are all about Fathers!

Happy Father's Day!

I Praise my Heavenly Father for:

Loving me as a daughter; patiently, tenderly, mercifully.

For my most amazing husband, who is the most amazing father to our children.  I'm sure I don't have to tell the moms out there how much security it brings my heart to know that my children have a loving, caring and faithful father.  There just is no more important decision in the world than the man you choose to make a family with!

For my own wonderful Daddy; Happy Father's Day, Dad!  I have always been a very blessed daughter.  I was always affectionately loved and cared for, protected and wanted by my father.  Very important for a girl.  He taught me how a man should treat a woman and not to accept anything less.

For all the good fathers in the world who are doing their very best to care for their families and be a man in this world that constantly mocks manhood.  May God bless them, strengthen them, encourage them, and sustain them in all their trials, and fill them with great joy and contentment today.

For all the fathers in the world who are struggling, but want to do the right thing; I pray that they will find motivation and courage to step up and fulfill their obligations.  Today, may they come across the right man to inspire them and help them be a man.

For all the men who are about to be fathers, may they know God's grace and power and joy and welcome new life with open arms and open hearts.  May they recognize the significance of their role as fathers and not abandon the children they've helped create.  May they find strength, courage, humility and love enough to serve their growing family faithfully.

For young boys who are looking for a role model, may they find men in their lives to show them how to be an honorable man.  May they look up and find their Heavenly Father and come to know His deep love for them.

Have a joyful Father's Day everyone!  God's blessings be upon you this week.


19 June 2010

The War on the Womb Must Be Defunded: Title X Blood Money



From the Houston Chronicle on June 15 came a report that 31 Republican lawmakers, led by Pete Olson of TX, had requested the Government Accountability Office provide a detailed accounting of federal tax dollars given to groups that advocate and/or commit abortions.  The whopping total amount was $1 billion dollars (and that may be a very low estimate) between 2002 and 2009.  That amount does not include state or local funding.

Who got the biggest chunk of this money?  Planned Parenthood, of course.  They receive at least $94 million dollars every year from the federal government, according to this GAO audit.  However, Planned Parenthood's own financial report from 2007-08 puts the figure at $349 million in government grants and contracts.

Planned Parenthood officials, as well as government officials, are ever quick to insist that not one dollar of this tax money is spent directly on paying for abortions, since that would be a clear violation of federal law.  Uh-huh.  Sure.  I don't think they're as dimwitted as they sound, nor as dimwitted as they clearly think we are.

Let's assume for the sake of argument that PP really is uber-diligent in keeping that tax money separate from all their other sources of income, and they tuck it away in an envelope marked “utility bills” or “remodeling expenses” or “office supplies” or whatever.  It doesn't make a whit of difference.  Whether that money is used to pay the staff, the abortionist, or the electric company, it achieves the same end result – dead babies.  I'm certain that vacuum aspiration machine doesn't run on batteries.  Somebody has to be sitting at the front desk in order to convince the 14 year-old girl that it's okay if her boyfriend is 30, she can have a secret abortion and no one has to know.  Somehow I doubt the abortionist would work all day in the dark or without air conditioning.

All money given to Planned Parenthood, no matter how it's purported to be assigned and spent, is blood money because it allows Planned Parenthood to keep their doors open and stay in business, and their business is killing babies, wounding women and enabling the violation of young girls.

It is time for voters to demand the defunding of Planned Parenthood.  Why has this government-funding of abortion gone on for so long without a revolt?  Do you not object to your tax dollars being spent in this way?  I sure do!

I can already hear the wind-up of those who equate this funding of abortion with funding the Iraq war, unable to draw any distinction.  “How can you say you're pro-life when you're a military spouse?” and on and on.  Spare me.

Military spending is not by any stretch of the imagination equal to abortion funding.  We can discuss all day long whether the war was necessary or whether it's just, but the fact is, we have very determined enemies in the world who want to see us all dead.  We in the United States also have some exceptional people who are willing to do everything they can to stop those insane lunatics.  They voluntarily put on a uniform, take an oath to protect and defend, and they fight real enemies with dangerous weapons.  They don't get rich doing it. Many of them give their lives in sacrifice.  Their intent is to protect – not to kill or harm the innocent.  Between them and the abortionist, there is no comparison.

The abortionist puts on his shirt, maybe a lab coat, perhaps some latex gloves and makes a cushy living by dismembering, burning, suctioning and stabbing tiny babies who can't put up a fight.  I've never seen a child in the womb point a gun at her mother or threaten anyone with a bomb.  The abortionist's intent is to kill the innocent and powerless.  The abortionist destroys life for a hefty fee.  His goal is to empty the womb by deadly force.

Like everyone else, I want nothing more than for the war to end and the destruction to stop.  But the reality is, our government has been funding the War on the Womb for decades – far longer than the war in Iraq.  Under Title X, taxpayer dollars have been given to Planned Parenthood and other organizations under the guise of “family planning” for more than thirty years.  Hundreds of millions of dollars a year is poured into entities whose mission is to expand and increase abortion “services.”

Most voters are probably not aware of all this.  I admit I wasn't not that long ago.  Our ignorance is costly.   Time to shine some sunlight on this little-known fact and demand that this national War on the Womb be stripped of its funding immediately.  It means we need to pay more attention to who we're electing and if a candidate will not defend the child in the womb, then that candidate does not get our vote.  Period.

Wouldn't you rather see $349 million in adoption grants, or $349 million spent on community homes where pregnant women could go for help and even a place to live if they needed it?  Why is it we're only helping women when we pay for them to have an abortion?

This evil misuse of our treasure betrays the true attitude of our heart as a nation.  We choose to spend money on killing our own children, rather than doing everything in our power to protect life and promote dignity.   We look God in the eye and spit in His face and say, “No thanks.  Take Your @#!*# gift of life and shove it.”

I realize that abortion is not a new phenomenon to the 21st century.  There have always been sexual gluttons who abuse the gift of sex and so there have always been those who have no compunction whatsoever about killing the unborn.  Abortion always has been and always will be about unrestricted, consequence-free sex and satisfying the appetite for pleasure.  Abortion is hedonism's indispensable assistant.

But in our age, abortion is no longer merely an immoral, individual choice.  It's become a nationally-sanctioned and praiseworthy pursuit.  Abortionists are hailed as heroes in the halls of Congress and the media.  We have put our official seal of approval on the despicable act of murdering the child in the womb.  We pay for it with mandated tax money.  That much is unique to our times.  For those reasons, our offense is unspeakably, terrifyingly grave.

We have no right to expect the favor and blessing of God any longer on our land if we continue to be a nation that kills its own children in the womb.  God will allow us to have all that we have insisted we are entitled to.  He will not prevent us from reaping the harvest we have sown.  He will not shield us from the consequences of our choices, and what a bitter comeuppance it could be.  We have sown death; what do we think we shall reap?

The funding of Planned Parenthood or any group who advocates and commits abortion must end.  Rep. Mike Pence of IN has drafted legislation that would prohibit abortion providers from receiving Title X funds, called “The Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act.”  It currently has 93 co-sponsors.  Keep your eye on this one, and exercise your civic power.  Find out where your Representative stands on this legislation and make it clear:  Not one more cent to abortion providers!

18 June 2010

Just Divine

Would you like to pray the Liturgy of the Hours but don't have the book, or find it just too confusing?

Then you're gonna love this website:  divineoffice.org

All the prayers are there, right on the screen, and there's an audio button so you can listen and follow along -- it's like praying with others while still having solitude and privacy.

I've become very fond of Night Prayers in particular.  Great way to end the day.  I don't have to worry about whether I'm on the right page, I can just close my eyes and listen, pray, and check the screen when I need to.  It's peaceful.  It's prayer.

My other favorite site is www.comepraytherosary.org
Check it out -- one of the folks praying with you just might be me!

17 June 2010

The Heart of Mary

I have come to realize (with John of the Cross and others) there there is an emptiness in my heart that I constantly seek to fill -- either with little "needs" or with activity.  This passion to fill betrays the fact that I do not want to face and accept my radical emptiness as a creature -- as one who is nothing but capacity for the infinite.  The passion to keep filling more and more is simply a testimony that "You have made our hearts for you, and they are restless until they rest in you."

The psalmist said it long before Augustine:  "In God alone is my soul at rest."  (Ps 62:1)  And Jesus said that in him we would find rest for our souls.  Often, when I begin to pray -- that is, when I enter that space of God which is supposed to be empty of other "filler" -- I find my heart and mind rushing immediately to some "filler" -- a need unmet or an activity undone.  This simply shows how much my ego fears to be empty.  But empty it must be if you, Lord, are to fill it -- for that is what you want to do.

May I have the heart of Mary, empty of all and filled with the All which is you.

~George T. Montague

16 June 2010

Virtual Snow

Having more fun with Blogger's new design tools.  This is how I figure things out, by fiddling with it.  I'm tech-challenged.


Love this background, though.  It really is representative of my heart.  I loathe summer and hot weather and I LOVE winter.  I would be perfectly happy with a year-long winter.  I know, I know... I need to move to Alaska.  So says everyone.  Since I doubt that's going to happen, I'll have to settle for virtual snow on my blog. 

It goes nicely with the new header photo, I think.  Yummy... I want some chocolate.

15 June 2010

The Tree

Did I ever tell you that I love trees? I love, big, tall trees with the kind of branches you can climb or build a treehouse in (not that I've ever done either). As a native of Michigan forced to grow up in a desert, I loved them even more because there were none around. I came to loathe cactus with a very special loathing.

About 16 years ago I wrote a story of sorts about a tree and a storm. I don't remember now what was going on in my life at the time, but I thought of it tonight as I was playing around with Blogger's new template design tool, and changing my background. Like it? I couldn't find a picture of chocolate, but I found this tree and it struck a chord in my heart. I love trees. They give me a feeling of safety, peace, history and future all at the same time.


I hadn't thought of that story in ages, and I didn't even know if I still had a copy of it.  As I thought, the Lord told me exactly where it was, and sure enough, I found it.  The only copy I have.  It's always a bit strange to read something very personal that you wrote so long ago, and this was definitely like peering into the privacy of a former self.  Who was that girl?  What made her put these words on paper?  I don't really know anymore, but the theme is nothing original.  I bet other people could read this and substitute their own beloved thing or person for my tree and it wouldn't change a thing.

I make no claims about the quality of the writing, but if you promise not to laugh too hard, here it is:

~~~ ~~~ ~~~

I climbed higher and higher until I reached my familiar resting place in my favorite tree
I closed my eyes and let my thoughts fade quietly in rhythm with the sunset
The trials and strain of the day drifted sweetly away on the wind
My hiding place soothed me once again

It crept up on me in my peaceful oblivion
The wind was much colder
A storm was moving quickly across the blackened sky
Burnt clouds of fierce rain announced by bellowing thunder
Reluctantly I left my haven and made my way to the ground

The angry wind pushed the storm toward me, closer and closer
My heart pounded with fright as I rushed inside and bolted the door
In an instant the storm descended
Predator attacking prey, all rage and hate
The wind and rain whirled around the tree
Whipping through the limbs, ripping the leaves
Screaming its threat to destroy

I stared helplessly through the glass and wept for my tree
Surely it would never survive this wicked storm, this brutal wind and pounding rain
The thunder roared and shook the ground, arrogantly proclaiming the doom of my beloved tree

It went on and on until I could no longer bear to watch
Where did this evil storm come from and why was it so viciously attacking what I cherished most?
My precious tree had brought me so much comfort and joy, and now I grieved the loss
Time seemed to stop... my tears covered me like black mourning cloth

Then came stillness... deafening silence
The wind and rain were calm, the thunder quiet
As quickly as it had come the storm disappeared
Hesitantly I moved toward the window, dreading what I would find
I wished silently for at least a small fragment of wood or one torn leaf

My sadness became utter amazement
For there stood my beautiful tree, as strong and proud as ever
The morning sun radiantly spilling through its branches
I ran outside and wrapped my arms around its sturdy wood, half afraid it wasn't real
How sweet it felt in my hands!
My heart rejoiced at the miraculous victory over the storm!

But I could not understand how my tree had survived the violent wind and rain
Then I heard a quiet voice say to me,

"The storm was powerful, but your tree withstood its fury.  The wind tore at its branches and the rain pounded, but the tree did not die, because the roots grow deep and reach far.  Your beloved tree survived because it finds its strength deep within the steady ground.  It does not depend on the uncertain world outside, but draws life from within, from where you cannot see with your eyes.  You can be sure the storm will come again someday, but do not fear.  I promise you, if the roots grow deep, the wind may blow and the rain may fall, but the tree will stand strong.  As long as its life comes from within, your tree will live."

I climbed higher and higher 'til I reached my familiar resting place in my beloved tree
I closed my eyes and let peace wash over me
Peace in spite of a storm... for the roots grow deep

~~~ ~~~ ~~~

Trees, faith, strength, trust, Almighty God and Father, life through the Son, peace in the storms... I still pray and long for roots that grow deep and reach far and faith that will hold me steady.  I guess I haven't changed all that much in 16 years.  But hopefully I have grown... hopefully my roots have gone deeper.  Only the storm can tell.


14 June 2010

Mobilize the Catholic Vote!

Mid-term elections will be here soon, and this vote is critical in so many ways, folks!  Put your vote where your mouth is, where your faith is, where your heart is!

Great ad:

13 June 2010

Praise!



"I tell you her many sins have been forgiven -- for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little." Luke 7:47

I am Praising God today for:
His forgiveness.  I have so much to learn on the subject.

Abby Sunderland's safe rescue.  Thank you, Jesus and Mary and all the angels who guarded her in the water!

The miracle of air conditioning on a sweltering hot day, like the ones we've been having here.  UGH.  The summer of my discontent...  Every summer is the summer of my discontent!

Things to look forward to, and things to look back on with gratitude.

Good changes... though they still bring upheaval, it's for the best.

The kiddos upstairs in my tub who at this moment are yelling for me.  Seems somebody splashed somebody else too hard and it was not appreciated.

All of you who visit and share yourselves and your Praises to God!

May His peace be with you this week!

Update:  If you're wondering about Mr. Linky, I couldn't get it to work today when I posted Praise!  I still want this to be a weekly meme for all who will join me, it just didn't happen that way today.  Blame it on Linky for some reason.  I'll try again next week!

12 June 2010

A Mother Who Feeds Us the Bread of Heaven



A dear priest friend of mine likes to tell a story of how he envisions what happens when we arrive in heaven.  He says the first person we see, of course, is Jesus.  We embrace Him and feel the warmth of His touch and marvel at, well, everything about Him!  Assuming we ever let go of Him, the next face we’ll see is Mary’s.  She’ll be right there waiting to welcome and hug us, and according to Fr. John, she’ll have a table set and a big pot of something delicious to eat ready for us.  Because that’s what good Jewish mothers do – they feed you!

He always gets smiles and chuckles from people when he tells this story (he tells it far better than I can write it – sorry), but I’m sold.  I hope he’s absolutely right.  Pardon the informal title, but I can’t wait to meet my Momma face to face.  And I have no trouble at all imagining that she’ll hurry us into a chair at the table and start feeding us, because that’s what she does now.

Not unlike the mother who stands at the door, perhaps ringing a dinner bell, calling the children in from outside, Mary continually summons us to come inside, eat and be filled.  She knows intimately well the nourishment we need, for it has always been the center of her Immaculate Heart; the heart that has always beat in perfect unison with her Son’s; the heart that first nurtured Him and kept Him alive in her womb. 

It is remarkable to contemplate…Omnipotent became helpless; All-Sufficient became dependent; Creator became like His creatures, relying on her most pure heart for survival.  With her body she sheltered and nourished Him; from her heart He received His own first food.

Now she sets before us a feast through her humility and obedience.  She teaches us how to surrender without conditions.  She augments our timid faith with the simplicity and perfection of her instruction – “Do whatever He tells you.”  No other heart has trusted so completely or loved so deeply, even through hellish suffering.

Above all, she leads us by the hand to the source of our eternal Food.  She calls us to the table now to take and eat the Bread of Life.  She continues to be a good and loving mother, ever concerned with whether her children are eating well!  She knows we have need of nothing beyond Jesus, and so to run to Mary is to be hurried on our way home to Supper.

When we truly consider Mary’s Immaculate heart and ponder her life, faith, sorrows and devotion, we are made to crave the source of her purity and love, which is her Divine Son.  That, in a manner of speaking, is how she feeds us.  As she once gave her womb to Him, feeding Him with her own body as He grew, now in her heart we find all that we hunger for – the Living Bread of Heaven.  He rules her heart forever as both her King and her Son, and as her children, we who seek the care of our Mother’s heart are fed by the Lamb we find there.

She fed Him for most of His life – that’s what good mothers do.  It’s not surprising at all that so often when I find my soul feeling hungry, it is from Mary I hear, “Sit down, child, and eat something.  Let me give you some Bread.”  Thanks, Mom.  You always know just what I need.




10 June 2010

Pray for Abby Sunderland!

Updated 6/11:   Radio Contact!  Praise the Lord!  Thank you, most Blessed Mother!  Thank you, St. Michael!  Continue to protect her until they reach her!


6/10:  I have been keeping up with the journey of 16 year-old Abby Sunderland as she attempted to circumnavigate the world solo in her sailboat Wild Eyes.  Quite the amazing young woman!


I just read this update on her and I am heartsick.  Please pray for her safety and rescue!

Lord Jesus, send your holy angels this moment to guard and protect Abby Sunderland and lead her back to safety.  Calm the waves around her and keep her from harm.  Guide those searching for her and let her be reunited with her family soon.  Amen.

09 June 2010

Twenty Years Ago

I did something today I haven't done in years. Years.

The unpacking took an unexpected detour when I came across my high school yearbook. I sat down on the floor, and dared to crack open the pages.  I was surprised at what greeted me.  Not simply memories and faces I haven't thought of ages, but the feelings...

(And the hair!  Let's just say there was big hair, big bangs and lots of hair spray!)

It was very bittersweet.  I was not a popular kid in high school, and even the friends I had knew that I was "different" than them.  I was "religious."  They weren't.  I was a goody-two-shoes.  They tolerated me, but never really understood.  I simply wanted friends.  I wanted some company on the bumpy road of adolescence.  I had a few good friends, and one "first love" whom I still remember fondly.  Other than that, high school was rough.

I wouldn't have done it any other way, but I have to be honest about how hard it was to be a "good" girl and remain true to my faith and the virtues my parents instilled in me.  There were many, many times I cried my heart out, and yelled at God, thinking He was ruining my fun, making me a dork and an outcast.  Loneliness was a heavy load in my backpack at times.  Belonging is so important at that age, and I just wanted to know what it felt like to belong, if only for a few minutes.

Of course, maturity and perspective have taught me how blessed I was back then, and all that I was spared precisely because of my faith and my decision not to abandon God.  Now, sitting on my floor with my own children down the hall, those teenage trials seem like another lifetime of a different person.  It is clear the grace of God was with me, protecting me, and keeping me despite my resistance at times!  Thank you, Jesus, for strengthening me to choose You over "belonging."  I can see now that the belonging I sought was an illusion because the ones I wanted to belong to had nothing to offer me but heartache, empty promises and fickle loyalty.

Yet, as I flipped through those old pages, that loneliness pricked my heart again, and I thought how glad I am that high school is over and I'd never go through that again for all the money in the world.

It is easier now as an adult to go against the crowd, yet I know there are still moments when it seems like it might be fun to do what everyone else is doing in order not to feel so different and set apart.  Thankfully, those moments are fleeting and I can now recognize it for what it is, just run-of-the-mill human nature and weakness.  Even more thankfully, I also feel the call to be set apart for holiness and I find that call more compelling now than the lure of belonging to the crowd.  How sweet it is to be more drawn to Him than to the world.

The things is, I'm not sure I would know that now if I hadn't suffered through the loneliness.  That's how it works.

I hope I am wiser than I was twenty years ago, and now the real challenge is to help my daughters navigate their own growing-up years and make it safely to adulthood.  Now that scares the bejeebers out of me!!  It's a different world than where I came from!  (And I feel old!)

Yet He is the same yesterday, today and forever.  The yearning to belong never changes and we all feel it.  We must simply know to whom we belong and rest our longing hearts in Him.
 Oh Jesus, may my sweet girls always know that they belong to You -  body, mind and soul.  When they feel the loneliness of being set apart, draw them closer to You and increase their hunger for only You.  You are the one true Friend to us all.

07 June 2010

Pelosi Says Her Favorite Word is The Word: The Truth She Denies


“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”   John 1:1


“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.”  John 1:14

On May 6, 2010, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi addressed the Catholic Community Conference on Capitol Hill with these words:

“They ask me all the time, ‘What is your favorite this? What is your favorite that? What is your favorite that?’ And one time, ‘What is your favorite word?’ And I said, ‘My favorite word? That is really easy. My favorite word is the Word, is the Word. And that is everything. It says it all for us. And you know the biblical reference; you know the Gospel reference of the Word.”

“And that Word,” Pelosi said, “is, we have to give voice to what that means in terms of public policy that would be in keeping with the values of the Word. The Word. Isn’t it a beautiful word when you think of it? It just covers everything. The Word.

“Fill it in with anything you want. But, of course, we know it means: ‘The Word was made flesh and dwelt amongst us.’ And that’s the great mystery of our faith. He will come again. He will come again. So, we have to make sure we’re prepared to answer in this life, or otherwise, as to how we have measured up.”

Like many people, I watched the video of this speech with amazement.  (You can see it for yourself here.)  It smacked of concocted sweet-talk to me.  I could be wrong, but it sounded so utterly hypocritical and empty because her actions have contradicted every syllable.

What really struck me was that she never dared say the name of Jesus.  She looked visibly uncomfortable as she was talking about The Word that was supposedly her favorite word.  Her eyes were cast down, and she stammered around trying to find a way to talk about The Word without mentioning Him.  She tried to imply that we could define The Word in any way we wanted, because it’s such a “beautiful word,” and “it just covers everything.”

Well, yes Nancy, it is indeed a beautiful word and it does indeed cover everything, because He is everything.  His name is Jesus; that is the Word you’re afraid to say.  There is no other word.  You can’t “fill it in with anything you want.”   Only the name of Jesus is The Word; The Word that is God; The Word who humbled Himself to take on our dying flesh in order to give us new and everlasting life in Him.  Say it, Nancy:  Jesus.

Once again, poor Ms. Pelosi has tried to portray herself as a faithful Catholic who bravely applies the principles of her faith to her political endeavors and policies.  My take from watching her give that speech was that even she’s not buying what she’s selling.  She knows there is an undeniable incongruity between her words and her deeds; she knows it has become a charade.  I think that’s why she looked so antsy.

Or perhaps she is consumed by the struggle to create the illusion; she is desperately trying to contort the Catholic faith to fit her desires and her politics and hoping to convince us all, including herself that it works.
 
It doesn’t.  Nancy Pelosi is deceived, plain and simple.  No one can claim to honor The Word made flesh and then spend her life working to ensure the destruction of human life in the womb.  She cannot say The Word is her favorite word and then ignore what that Word means, what the awesome miracle of the Incarnation says to us about the blessedness of our human existence.

The Word came and inhabited the womb, just as each of us has.  He became one of us, beginning His human life as a blastocyst, an embryo, a fetus…a child.  At every moment, a beloved person, just as we all are in the Father’s eyes.  The Word proclaimed the dignity, the inestimable worth, the uniqueness of every person created and the sanctity of each human life.  Our perfect God clothed Himself in our imperfect skin out of ferocious and tender love, in order that we might understand how intimately He wants us to know Him.
 
No one can say they believe The Word and also work to establish laws that say only some people are worthy to live.  No one can say they are concerned about being prepared to answer for what we’ve done in this life while consistently using their power to secure the selfishly invented “right” to kill a child.  Truly, how exactly could we explain to The Word made flesh that what He declared holy and worthy we have declared disposable, unwanted, and void of humanity?

That the Speaker is so deeply deceived is sad for her, but more than that, it is dangerous for our nation because of the position she holds.  She says one thing, however unconvincingly, with her mouth and does quite another with her actions.  Her persistent votes in favor of legislation denying protection to human life in the womb betray her public profession of faith and her supposed affection for The Word.  Both cannot be true.

But let’s not merely single out Nancy Pelosi!  The bitter fact is that there are many professed Catholics in this country who favor abortion “rights” and vote accordingly.  There are many who do not affirm the truth of their faith by their actions or their lives.  There are too many in America who follow Pelosi’s false version of the Catholic faith, rather than the genuine article.  There are too many who do not really believe The Word.

I have said before that is the great shame of the Catholic Church in America that Nancy Pelosi, and worst of all, President Barack Obama were ever elected in the first place, because it could not have happened without the votes of Catholics.  Based on who we have elected, there seems to be no discernable difference between Catholics and everyone else.  We don’t stand apart at all.  That is our terrible, inexcusable shame.

We cannot claim affection for Jesus Christ, The Word made flesh, and live as though we belong to this world.  We cannot claim an identity as Catholics if we are unwilling to accept what the Church teaches and defend the truth of Her teachings against the lies of our times.

We should stick out like sore thumbs, but we don’t.  It should be so easy to spot a Catholic in a crowd that a legally blind person could do it.  But it ain’t so, and as a result we have elected officials like Pelosi and Obama and so many others who work to systematically dismantle the moral foundations we’re supposed to stand for.

We heap destruction on ourselves by our stupidity and willful disobedience.  What’s true for Nancy Pelosi is true for each of us:  We cannot be both Catholic and in favor of abortion “rights.”  We cannot be both Catholic and in favor of gay “marriage.”  We cannot be both Catholic and users of birth control, or participants in extra-marital sex, or “shacking up” or any other behavior that denies the holiness of the human person, the holiness of our sexuality, and the dignity of human life from conception to natural death.

This is what it means to be Catholic in a world that is hostile toward The Incarnate Word.  

Pelosi was right about one thing:  He will come again, and we will have to answer for all we’ve done.  And for those who knew the truth but did not defend it, an answer will be very hard to come by.





Breathtaking Little Life

Amazing picture I just had to share...




This baby was aborted at 10 weeks of pregnancy.

This picture takes my breath away and breaks my heart.

Beautiful little life...

06 June 2010

Praise!


"I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life within you."

It is so good to be back!  If you're wondering why MCH has been rather quiet lately, it's because I was moving -- in real life.  Boxes, boxes, boxes, paper, paper, moving vans, dust, cleaning, and now, unpacking.  Ugh.

But we're here, and now I can get settled and get back to what I love, including MCH.  Thanks to all who have waited!

I am Praising God this wonderful feast day for:

His Body and Blood that feeds us and shelters us and makes us new and whole again!

A successful move with few "casualties."  Only one thing broken, actually!  A miracle!
A beautiful new home in which to care for my family and live our lives.  Thank you, dear Lord.

All the creature comforts I take for granted.

Sleeping in... after all the hard days of moving and being on our feet for 18 hours a day, sleeping in is good medicine.

I hope you've all had a great week behind, and I pray we all have a blessed week ahead.  Give God the Praise!

Blessings,
Jennifer

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