Friday, December 16, 2011

Friday - Ember Friday and Day of Penance

Today is Friday, and as every Friday in the Catholic church is, it is a day of penance.  It is the day Our Lord and Saviour was crucified so that we may live, and the Catholic Church has always marked this day as such.  This is what the current Cannon law says:
Can. 1250: The penitential days and times in the universal Church are every Friday of the whole year and the season of Lent.
 Can. 1251: Abstinence from meat, or from some other food as determined by the Episcopal Conference, is to be observed on all Fridays, unless a solemnity should fall on a Friday. Abstinence and fasting are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. 
Can. 1252: The law of abstinence binds those who have completed their fourteenth year. The law of fasting binds those who have attained their majority, until the beginning of their sixtieth year. Pastors of souls and parents are to ensure that even those who by reason of their age are not bound by the law of fasting and abstinence, are taught the true meaning of penance.
For the United States, the Bishops have ruled as follows:

  • Every person 14 years of age or older must abstain from meat (and items made with meat) on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, and all the Fridays of Lent. 
  • Every person between the age of 18 and 60 must fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. 
  • Every person 14 years of age or older must abstain from meat (and items made with meat) on all other Fridays of the year, unless he or she substitutes some other form of penance for abstinence.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Faux Conservatives Smear Ron Paul Ahead Of Iowa Run In

Rush Limbaugh is highly intelligent and very skilled at what he does.  I listened to him for many years, and accepted most of what he said as being sincere and from the heart.  I was a true "ditto head" (does ditto head mean replacing your brain with that of someone else?).  I no longer believe that.  As stated in this article, Limbaugh has admitted he has carried water for the Republicans.  He praises people like Dick Cheney, a card-carrying member of the Council on Foreign Relations.  From WikipediaCarroll Quigley, Professor of History at Georgetown University, stated, "The Council of Foreign Relations is the American Branch of a society which originated in England and believes national boundaries should be obliterated and one-world rule established." 

One person for whom Limbaugh has no use whatsoever is Ron Paul, a true conservative, a medical doctor who has delivered thousands of babies and is 100% pro life, the most important issue to me.  He is also truly anti-war, the one candidate who would have agreed with Pope John Paul II that it was wrong to go to war with Iraq.  Limbaugh has supported almost every major policy of the establishment Republicans, despite his statements to the contrary.  The establishment Republicans hate Ron Paul because he, unlike the other candidates, marches to a different drummer.  It's called the Constitution. Paul is the only candidate to speak about about the National Defense Authorization Act and the fact that it is taking away all of our constitutional rights.  (Limbaugh has never mentioned this bill on his program)  Paul is the only one to question the motives of the US Government in going to war around the world.  He is the only one to question the legitimacy of the Federal Reserve, which is not federal at all but private banks which make all of our monetary decisions for us, loan us money and then charge interest on that money. 

Notice in the video below Limbaugh's statement, "there is no perfect candidate."  That is going to be the mantra you will be hearing from the Republican side.  Very much like the Democrats in 2008:  "Anyone but Bush."  It's called "propaganda."

The following is from Infowars.com. 

Steve Watson
Infowars.com
December 15, 2011

With the latest polls showing Ron Paul within touching distance of the lead in Iowa with less than three weeks to go to the caucus, the phony conservative big guns have set about a desperate campaign to smear the Congressman, for fear that he could actually win.

Appearing on on Fox News Channel’s “On the Record with Greta van Sustren” on Wednesday night, radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh lambasted Paul, claiming that “right now anybody other than Ron Paul could beat Obama if the election were tomorrow — easily.”

Limbaugh also suggested that Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and Texas Gov. Rick Perry were the most conservative candidates.

Watch the video.


Octave Day of the Immaculate Conception

Today is the Octave Day of the Immaculate Conception in the traditional calendar.  Holy Mother Church put great emphasis on this dogma prior to Vatican II, and I think it has been a great loss to all of us that this emphasis has been so greatly lessened.  Here is a beautiful reading from the traditional Breviary which eloquently praises our Blessed Mother and shows why she is so important in our salvation.  As St. Damascene said:  "Devotion to you, O Blessed Virgin, is a means of salvation which God gives to those whom he wishes to save." 

A Homily by St. Epiphanius the Bishop

St. Anne after the Conception of
the Blessed Virgin
I am at a loss what words or terms I ought to employ in speaking of this illustrious and holy Virgin. She is raised above all things except God ; she was made much higher than the Cherubim and Seraphim, and the whole host of heaven ; neither the voices of heaven nor of earth are full enough to set forth her majesty, no, not the voices of Angels. O blessed Virgin! O pure dove and Bride of heaven! O Mary! At once the heaven, the temple, and the throne of God! Mother of the Sun that shineth both on heaven and on earth, even Christ! Bright cloud, through which the Son of Man hath come as the lightning, that lighteneth from the East even unto the West! Hail, gate of heaven, full of grace, of whom the Prophet in the Song of Songs openly speaketh in the course of his prayer, saying, A garden enclosed is my sister, my Spouse, a garden enclosed, a fountain sealed.

The Virgin is that stainless lily whence hath sprung the Rose that fadeth not, even Christ. O Holy Mother of God! Ewe without spot, thou hast borne the Lamb that took flesh of thee, even Christ! O Maiden whose holiness hath dazzled the heavenly armies! There hath appeared a great sign in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, and with the Light in her arms ; a great sign in heaven, the Virgin's womb the chamber of the Son of God ; a great sign in heaven, the Lord of angels made the Virgin's child. The angels accused Eve, but now they praise Mary, who hath raised Eve fallen, and restored to heaven Adam banished from Paradise. For Mary is the bridge between heaven and earth, the ambassadress who hath reconciled them in her womb.

We cannot measure the grace bestowed upon this holy Virgin. Hence the salutation addressed to her by Gabriel, Hail, thou glorious heaven, full of grace. Hail, Virgin adorned with many graces, yea, full of grace. Hail, thou vessel of gold that holdest the manna that came down from heaven, full of grace. Hail, thou unfailing fountain, that satisfiest the thirsty soul with sweet waters, full of grace. Hail, holy, sinless Mother of him that was before thee, even Christ. Hail, thou Queenly purple, mantle of the King of heaven and earth. Hail, thou Book that no man can understand, and yet which the Eternal Word, the Son of the Father, hath opened for earth to read.


Military given go-ahead to detain US terrorist suspects without trial

This bill is finally starting to hit the mainstream media.  The article below is from The Guardian in Britain.  US media are claiming that the bill does not include Americans, but at least we are getting the truth from other countries.  Read it and weep.


Barack Obama has abandoned a commitment to veto a new security law that allows the military to indefinitely detain without trial American terrorism suspects arrested on US soil who could then be shipped to Guantánamo Bay.

Human rights groups accused the president of deserting his principles [what principles were those?]  and disregarding the long-established principle that the military is not used in domestic policing. The legislation has also been strongly criticised by libertarians on the right angered at the stripping of individual rights for the duration of "a war that appears to have no end".  [The War on Terrorism (or is that War of Terrorism) was never meant to have an end.  We don't even have a defined enemy, making all of us potential enemies]

The law, contained in the defence authorisation bill that funds the US military, effectively extends the battlefield in the "war on terror" to the US and applies the established principle that combatants in any war are subject to military detention [The United States has now become the battle ground, and we are all potential enemy combatants]

The legislation's supporters in Congress say it simply codifies existing practice, such as the indefinite detention of alleged terrorists at Guantánamo Bay. But the law's critics describe it as a draconian piece of legislation that extends the reach of detention without trial to include US citizens arrested in their own country.



Palm-sized baby, 2nd smallest in US, is growing


A few days ago, on the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, I posted about my experience at the abortion mill with a young man whose girlfriend was 21 weeks pregnant and was determined to abort their baby.  He was quite distraught and it was absolutely heartbreaking to be there and be so helpless to stop the murder of his baby.  Below is a story of a baby born at 24 weeks which the doctors have desperately tried to save and appear to have done so.  We live in a schizophrenic society which will work desperately to save one baby, while discarding other babies as so much trash, as seen in the picture at left.  Contrast the picture of the aborted babies with that of Baby Melinda, pictured below.  As we have heard before, it's not a choice, it's a baby. 

 LOS ANGELES, Thu Dec 15, 08:59 AM


This undated photo provided by
Melinda Guido’s family shows Melinda,
with her mother's fingers in the scene,
in the neonatal intensive care unit

At birth, Melinda Star Guido was so tiny she could fit into the palm of her doctor's hand. Weighing just 9 1/2 ounces - less than a can of soda - she is among the smallest babies ever born in the world. Most infants her size don't survive, but doctors are preparing to send her home by New Year's.

Melinda was born premature at 24 weeks over the summer and spent the early months cocooned in an incubator in the neonatal intensive care unit in Southern California. Almost every day, her 22-year-old mother sits at her bedside and stays overnight whenever she can.

The day before her Thursday due date, Haydee Ibarra visited Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center where her daughter has been since her birth in late August. Melinda is believed to be the second-smallest baby to survive in the U.S. and third smallest in the world.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

DO NOT TRUST ANYONE IN THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA

In my younger days, so many decades ago, I was what is called a very liberal thinker, and sided with the Democrats for the most part.  I hated Ronald Reagan who, of course, is worshipped by conservatives.  Rush Limbaugh calls him "Ronaldus Magnus." 

But then I hit my 30's, got what I thought was a "clearer" vision of the world, and decided the Democrats were completely wrong on almost every issue, and I became a Conservative Republican.  My heros were people like Ronald Reagan, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, etc.  For the past several years I have gotten most of my news from Fox News - "fair and balanced", you know.  I listened daily to the conservative talk shows hosts like Limbaugh, Hannity, Mark Levin, Hugh Hewitt, etc.  I believed everything they said.  After all, they denounced those abortion loving, homosexual supporting, God-hating Democrats.  How could conservatives be wrong?

Ember Days - It's Good For Your Soul

Today is Ember Wednesday.  What's an Ember Wednesday, you say?  You've never heard of such a thing?  Well, that's because this is another Church tradition that was dumped in 1969.  Why did the Church dispense with these days?  You tell me.  These days involve fasting and abstinence.  In that sense, they are just not fun!  So why do we need them?

Below is one of the best descriptions of Ember Days that I have found:

Ember Days by Rev. Bernard Strasser, O.S.B.

This illustration shows, to a certain extent, how the ember days resemble our own lives. In the springtime we receive supernatural life through Baptism (represented by the baptismal candle); throughout the summer and autumn of our lives our souls are nourished by the Body (the host has been made from the kernels of wheat) and the Blood (the chalice) of our Lord. In the winter we reap the harvest of our good works as we begin our journey into eternity, fortified by Holy Viaticum and the sacrament of Extreme Unction (oil).
Ember Days
While man’s prayer is often entirely a petition, liturgical prayer is primarily praise, thanksgiving, and adoration. A typical example of this is the Gloria of the Mass in which we note the gradual rise of praise of God until it reaches a wonderful climax: “Laudamus te. Benedicimus te. Adoramus te. Gratias agimus tibi propter magnam gloriam tuam.” (We praise Thee. We bless Thee. We adore Thee. We give Thee thanks for Thy great glory.) In her official liturgical prayers the Church constantly exhorts us to praise, adore, glorify, and thank God. Moreover, she has set aside special seasons to offer prayers of gratitude for the gifts of God. This happens four times a year on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday of the ember weeks which fall at the beginning of the four seasons of the year.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

St. Lucy - Virgin and Martyr



The Martyrdom of St. Lucy about the year 304
 
Today, December 13, is the Feast Day of St. Lucy, who lived from 283 to 304, making her just 21 years old when she was martyred.   She is one of several female saints who are mentioned in the Canon of the Tridentine Mass.  The Novus Ordo Mass does not mention any saints, male or female.  I assume this is because we don't want to offend the Protestants, since they don't believe in praying to the saints. 

I'm attaching the reading from the Traditional Roman Breviary about St. Lucy.  As you will see, the Traditional Breviary has no qualms about graphically describing the martyrdom of St. Lucy. 


Monday, December 12, 2011

The Importance of Our Blessed Mother In The Plan Of Salvation

Unlike the Novus Ordo calendar, the Traditional Calendar celebrates the Feast of the Immaculate Conception for 8 days.  That means the readings continue to center around our Blessed Mother.  I found today's readings to be very inspiring and illuminating as to her role in the plan of salvation.

A Homily by St. Tarasius the Bishop

O Mary, where shall I find words to praise thee? Maiden undefiled, virgin unstained, exaltation of women, glory of daughters! Holy Maiden Mother, blessed art thou among women, thy glory is in thy guilelessness, and thy name is a name of purity. [St. Tarasius now shows how Mary is pictured throughout the Old Testament]  In thee the curse of Adam is done away, and the debt of Eve paid. Thou art the clean offering of Abel, chosen out of the firstlings of the flock, a pure sacrifice. Thou art the hope of Enoch, that firm hope that he had in God, and was not ashamed. Thou art the grace that was in Enoch in this life, and his transit to a better. Thou art the Ark of Noah, and the bond of reconciliation with God in a new regeneration. Thou art the the exceeding glory of the kingdom and Priesthood of Melchisedech. Thou art the unshaken trust of Abraham, and his faith in the promise of children that were to be.

National Defense Authorization Act - War of Terror Against the Citizens of the United States By the US Government

If you get your news mainly from the Mainstream Media, you probably did not hear one word about the National Defense Authorization Act, which was passed by the United States Senate on December 7, 2011 by a vote of 93-7.  The only senators who did not vote for this bill were Harkin, Thomas [D] of Iowa, Paul, Rand [R] of Kentucky, Coburn, Thomas [R] of Oklahoma, Merkley, Jeff [D] and Wyden, Ron [D], both of Oregon (maybe we should all move there), Lee, Mike [R] of Utah and Sanders, Bernard [I] of Vermont.  All of the other 93 senators have betrayed every one of their constituents. 

What is this bill about, you ask?  From The Hill's Congress Blog:

Last week, the Senate voted to pass a bill that would codify indefinite detention without trial in the United States, mandate military detention for terrorist suspects, and stop the transfer of even innocent detainees out of the Guantanamo Bay and Bagram military prisons.


If that sounds bad enough, just wait:  As we head into the holidays, the bill could get even worse. This week, the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, goes to conference, where the House and the Senate will try to reconcile a bad bill with a worse one.  Expect an even harsher, broader-reaching and more nonsensical bill in time for Christmas.

Our Lady of Guadalupe and The Pro Life Cause

I have attached a wonderful article by Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life about the connection between Our Lady of Guadalupe, which is celebrated today, December 12, and the fight against abortion and the entire culture of death throughout our world.  There can be no more important issue than this, and nothing more evil than the destruction of innocent life, totally unable to defend itself.  This past Saturday I was praying at an abortion clinic when a young man of 19 years came there with his girl friend, who was 21 weeks pregnant.  She was determined to abort their baby, which the young father was opposed to.  She had been at the clinic the day before to have sticks inserted, causing her to dilate so the baby could be delivered and then killed (probably all but the head delivered so that it would still be a "legal"abortion).  While the mother was upstairs preparing to have her baby aborted, the young father was on the street with us looking at pictures of a 21 week old fetus.  My heart was breaking for him.  Please pray to Our Lady of Guadalupe that this horrendous, evil practice can be stopped.

 

Picture of a Surgeon Holding Hands With a 21-week Old Fetus

Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Pro-life Movement

Fr. Frank Pavone, Founding Director, Priests for Life

A Surprising Image

If you are involved in the pro-life movement for any length of time, you will encounter the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. There are many connections between this particular image of Our Lady and the pro-life cause.

What The World Needs Now

Below is the story of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  As you read this story, do not look down on the Aztecs as barbarians.  They have nothing on the evil in our world today.  The Aztecs sacrificed as many as 20,000 people a day, a horrendous number, but in our world today, we average 126,000 abortions every day, with 35,000 forced abortions every day in China alone. 


The following abortion numbers are derived from the pro-abortion Alan Guttmacher Institute.
WORLDWIDE ABORTION FACTS
Number of abortions per year: Approximately 46 Million
Number of abortions per day:
Approximately 126,000
Where abortions occur:78% of all abortions are obtained in developing countries and 22% occur in developed countries.
Legality of abortion:About 26 million women obtain legal abortions each year, while an additional 20 million abortions are obtained in countries where it is restricted or prohibited by law.
Abortion averages:Worldwide, the lifetime average is about 1 abortion per woman.

Our world is filled with sex trafficking, drugs and even child sacrifice.  There are innumerable wars in our world.  Our western world is populated by those living empty, hedonistic lives, going from one physical pleasure to another. 

Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us. 

The Story
"And the land was polluted with blood," by idolaters who sacrificed their sons and daughters to devils. (Ps. 105:38) Such was Mexico when Hernando Cortes arrived there in 1519. Some ten million native Nahuatl Indians formed a vast confederation of tribes at this time. These tribes were dominated by the powerful Aztecs who, for all their intelligence, industry, and valor, were equally barbaric, enslaved by an extravagant system of idolatry which placated its numerous gods with gruesome orgies of human sacrifice and cannibalism. For centuries torrents of blood literally flowed from the temple pyramids, with as many as 20,000 humans being sacrificed in one day.
 
Cortes came and liberated the Nahuatls from their slavery to Satan, but because of the corruption of the Spanish rulers and because of the Aztec's attachment to polygamy and other pagan practices, very few converted to Catholicism in the first decade of Spanish rule. The saintly Juan de Zumarraga, Mexico's first bishop, could do little to convert the Aztecs, but he remained confident in the unfailing help of the Queen of Heaven, to whom he entrusted the future of New Spain.
 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Is Newt Really Pro Life?

From Redstate.com

Is Newt Pro-life?

Newt Gingrich caused a stir this week by departing from the orthodox pro-life reservation. In an interview with Jake Tapper, Gingrich said that he believed that life does not begin at conception:
TAPPER: Abortion is a big issue here in Iowa among conservative Republican voters and Rick Santorum has said you are inconsistent. The big argument here is that you have supported in the past embryonic stem cell research and you made a comment about how these fertilized eggs, these embryos are not yet “pre-human” because they have not been implanted. This has upset conservatives in this state who worry you don’t see these fertilized eggs as human life. When do you think human life begins?
GINGRICH: Well, I think the question of being implanted is a very big question. My friends who have ideological positions that sound good don’t then follow through the logic of: ‘So how many additional potential lives are they talking about? What are they going to do as a practical matter to make this real?’ I think that if you take a position when a woman has fertilized egg and that’s been successfully implanted that now you’re dealing with life. because otherwise you’re going to open up an extraordinary range of very difficult questions
TAPPER: So implantation is the moment for you.
GINGRICH: Implantation and successful implantation. In addition I would say that I’ve never been for embryonic stem cell research per se. I have been for, there are a lot of different ways to get embryonic stem cells. I think if you can get embryonic stem cells for example from placental blood if you can get it in ways that do not involve the loss of a life that’s a perfectly legitimate avenue of approach [emphasis added].

Another Take on Gingrich

Trouble: Gingrich Talk of Life Begins at Implantation With Tapper

By Jill Stanek | December 05, 2011 | 13:36

I’m sorry to say the good people at CatholicVote.org are apparently starstruck. Blogged Josh Mercer yesterday: "The Gingrich campaign contacted me directly last night about the comments that he made to ABC News. The campaign sent me the following statement from Newt Gingrich. (Which is also on their website). I am very glad that the Gingrich campaign was quick to respond to the fallout from the ABC News interview and that they came out with a strong pro-life statement which reaffirms the scientific fact that life begins at conception."
Really? A personal note is all it takes to move past Newt Gingrich’s unequivocal statement to ABC’s Jake Tapper on December 2, that “when a woman has [a] fertilized egg and that’s been successfully implanted that now you’re dealing with life”?

Gingrich actually went further than that. When Tapper asked for clarification, “So implantation is the moment for you,” Gingrich more than reiterated, “Implantation and successful implantation.”
So Gingrich added he believes an embryo that does not successfully implant is not a human life either. This can only mean that Gingrich believes an embryo that may initially implant but later miscarries is not a life. What other explanation can there possibly be?

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