Thursday, January 26, 2012

Silence Is Golden

Pope Benedict XVI, one of the most profound thinkers of our time,  gave a fantastic talk on Wednesday, January 24 on the importance of silence.  More specifically, the Holy Father talked about the importance of silence in communicating with other people, how important it is to even understand ourselves, and how vital it is in our relationship with our Creator.  I can only think of the political talk shows I see when people with opposing points of view don't converse.  They just argue at each other and try to get their points across, never considering for a moment what the other person is saying and the value of what the other person thinks.  They have already made up their minds and no one and nothing is going to change it, and they don't pause for a moment to reflect.  Too many of us live our lives that way.

Here is the text of that speech with a few of my comments.  So many problems in the world could be solved by applying this message, from family relations to global conflicts. 

MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS
POPE BENEDICT XVI
FOR THE 46th WORLD COMMUNICATIONS DAY

Silence and Word: Path of Evangelization
[Sunday, 20 May 2012]

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
As we draw near to World Communications Day 2012, I would like to share with you some reflections concerning an aspect of the human process of communication which, despite its importance, is often overlooked and which, at the present time, it would seem especially necessary to recall. It concerns the relationship between silence and word: two aspects of communication which need to be kept in balance, to alternate and to be integrated with one another if authentic dialogue and deep closeness between people are to be achieved. When word and silence become mutually exclusive, communication breaks down, either because it gives rise to confusion or because, on the contrary, it creates an atmosphere of coldness [as I mentioned, we see this all the time on TV, where people argue without listening to each other, only looking to make their own points and never bringing clarification to each other or those of us who are watching.  I've heard such "discussions" called shoot outs, which seems an appropriate term, because there is certainly no communication]; when they complement, however [meaning when silence and words are used together, never one without the other], communication acquires value and meaning.



Tuesday, January 24, 2012

We Must Be Willing To Forsake All

Today in the Traditional Calendar is the Feast Day of St. Timothy, disciple of St. Paul, and to whom two books in the New Testament were written.  The Gospel for the traditional calendar is Luke 14:26-33.  I've heard and read this passage many times in my life, but for some reason it really hit me today when I read it.  It is a very deep passage, which asks that we give our entire lives to Jesus Christ:

26If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
27And whosoever doth not carry his cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
28For which of you having a mind to build a tower, doth not first sit down, and reckon the charges that are necessary, whether he have wherewithal to finish it:
29Lest, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able ti finish it, all that see it begin to mock him,
30Saying: This man began to build, and was not able to finish.
31Or what king, about to go to make war against another king, doth not first sit down, and think whether he be able, with ten thousand, to meet him that, with twenty thousand, cometh against him?
32Or else, whilst the other is yet afar off, sending an embassy, he desireth conditions of peace.
33So likewise every one of you that doth not renounce all that he possesseth, cannot be my disciple.

Whew!  This passage would never make it in a Madison Avenue advertising agency.  Christ tells us that if we want to follow him, we must be willing to give up everything and everyone we love, including our very own lives, and to take up our cross - be ready to suffer, be ready to completely deny ourselves to the point of death.  Who in their right mind is going to accept this offer?  Deny yourself, accepting suffering, give up everything.  In our world, and most specifically in the western world, we don't do anything unless it makes us feel good in some way.  Why would anyone willingly take on suffering?

And yet, what are we really being asked?  Why are we so intent on clinging to this life, which is temporary and fleeting at best?  No matter how happy we may think we are, no matter how much we gain in riches and fame and whatever other material goal we may set, it is all going to fade away.  Everything that we can see, taste, touch, hear and smell is going to one day be gone.  And if that is where our heart is, we will be gone with it.  We can never be free in this life from death and the fear of death.  It is always there, and we know that one day death will be the victor and will rob us of everything. 

Christ is telling us that if we want true life, eternal life, then we must let go of this material world. Christ is asking us, when everything is boiled down to its essence, to give up death, because everything in this world will eventually lead us to death.  And in return, he will give us life.

There is a great reading in the Traditional Breviary from St. Gregory the Pope which explains this much better than I can:
Dearly beloved brethren, if we consider what and how great things are promised unto us in heaven, all things which are upon earth grow poor to our mind. For when this world's goods are reckoned against the gladness above, they are found to be a hindrance rather than an help. This present life being compared to life eternal, ought rather to be called death than life. For what is the daily failing of our corruptible body but, as it were, a creeping death? And what tongue can tell, or what mind comprehend, how great is the rejoicing in the city above? For there they have part with the choirs of Angels, and stand with those most blessed spirits before the glory of the Creator, and see the face of God present, and gaze upon Light Incomprehensible, and have no fear of death, but rejoice in the gift of an incorruption which is eternal.

When we hear these things our hearts burn within us. And we long to be already there, where we hope to rejoice eternally. But we cannot attain unto great rewards save through great labour. Therefore saith the mighty preacher Paul : No man is crowned except he strive lawfully. If the greatness of the reward delighteth the mind, then the pressure of the struggle cannot make the heart grow faint. Therefore the Truth saith unto all who would come to him : If any man come to me, and hate not his father and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.

But it may be asked, how we are commanded in one place to hate our parents, and all our kith and kin, and in another place to love even our enemies. And verily, the Truth hath said, concerning wives : What God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. And Paul saith : Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the Church. Behold the disciples commandeth a man to love his wife, and the Master saith : If any man hate not his wife, he cannot be my disciple. Doth the Judge, then, make one proclamation, and the crier make another? Can we both love and hate at the same time? But if we consider well the force of the commandment, we shall be able by discretion to do both.  Let us love wife, and kindred, and neighbour, in so far as the duties of the flesh are concerned, but in so far as they hinder on us the way to God, let us not know them, but hate them and flee from them.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Obama Doublespeak

All right, we have now officially crossed over into the Twilight Zone, where up is down, down is up, right is wrong, wrong is right, and death is life.  The President of the United States has stated that killing an unborn baby ensures that "our daughters have the same rights, freedoms, and opportunities as our sons to fulfill their dreams."  Huh???  How does killing her unborn baby ensure that a woman has the same rights as a man?  And what about the rights of the baby?  Why don't we just legalize murder completely?  If anyone gets in our way and threatens to take away our rights, encroaches on our freedom to do what we want, we can just off them, the same way we do with our unborn children.  And we can do it by tearing their limbs apart or poisioning them, or any number of ways in which it is legal to kill unborn babies.  Obama tries to mitigate his total support of abortion by stating:  "no matter what our views, we must stay united in our determination to prevent unintended pregnancies, support pregnant woman and mothers, reduce the need for abortion, encourage healthy relationships, and promote adoption."  I think I must have missed it when Obama was doing this.  All I have ever heard him do is promote abortion every chance he gets, such as on this blackest of anniversaries. 

This statement by our president is just plain evil, there is no other way of putting it. 

From TheHill.com:

Obama defends Roe v. Wade on anniversary of Supreme Court ruling

By Jeremy Herb - 01/22/12 01:00 PM ET



President Obama marked the 39th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade court decision Sunday by saying that he remains committed “to protecting a woman’s right to choose and this fundamental constitutional right.”

“We must remember that this Supreme Court decision not only protects a woman’s health and reproductive freedom, but also affirms a broader principle: that government should not intrude on private family matters,” Obama said in a statement Sunday.

Abortion and the Roe v. Wade decision, which said laws banning abortion were unconstitutional, has been a rallying cry for social conservative voters as well as pro-abortion rights advocates for decades, a trend that continued in 2011.

The Republican-led House passed bills in 2011 that would restrict federal subsidies for abortion, and the issue nearly sparked a government shutdown in April after a last minute dust-up. States enacted 67 measures restricting abortion in 2011, according to a report released last week by abortion rights group NARAL Pro-Choice America.

Obama said Sunday that reducing the number of abortions was something that everyone could agree to [No, reducing abortions is not enough.  One baby killed in the womb is too many.  We must stop abortions completely], whether they supported or opposed abortion rights.

“While this is a sensitive and often divisive issue — no matter what our views, we must stay united in our determination to prevent unintended pregnancies, support pregnant woman and mothers, reduce the need for abortion, encourage healthy relationships, and promote adoption,” Obama said.

“And as we remember this historic anniversary, we must also continue our efforts to ensure that our daughters have the same rights, freedoms, and opportunities as our sons to fulfill their dreams.”

Sunday, January 22, 2012

State Rankings For Pro Life Legislation

A very interesting article from lifesitenews.com:


 ‘Life List’ 2011 shows huge legislative gains for life in the 50 states


WASHINGTON, January 20, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) –Americans United for Life on Thursday released its seventh annual “Life List” http://www.aul.org/auls-life-list – a ranking of all 50 states based on a comprehensive list of life issues, from abortion to euthanasia. For the second time in three years, Louisiana tops the list, followed closely by Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Nebraska, and Arkansas.

Washington, California, Hawaii, Vermont, and Montana come in as the least life-affirming states, while Arizona, Indiana, Kansas, North Carolina, and Utah rate as the “most improved.” (Click here for the entire list.)

AUL CEO and President Dr. Charmaine Yoest said that the remarkable gains for Life at the state level reveal that many state legislators are creating a blueprint for legislative changes when Roe v. Wade is ultimately overturned.

AUL called 2011 “a watershed year in the defense of life,” with 47 states considering more than 460 abortion-related measures, ultimately enacting more than 70 of them. And that, they said, is just the beginning.

Yoest also pointed out AUL’s involvement, with at least 86 bills introduced in 32 states that were based in whole or in part on AUL’s model language or on which AUL consulted and advised.

“As the legal arm of the pro-life movement, the AUL legal team has created the legal architecture for reversing Roe v. Wade,” said Dr. Yoest. “The states are preparing for the day after Roe. And as the Life List documents, we’re seeing tremendous gains in defending life in law.”

The AUL release also noted that state legislators looking for model legislation will soon see a new AUL guidebook with 43 pieces of model legislation, including legislation restricting insurance coverage of abortions within state Exchanges created pursuant to the Affordable Care Act, President Obama’s healthcare plan. This model has already been used by five states to opt out of Obama’s healthcare law.

While I certainly applaud the efforts to pass pro-life legislation, and I will pray that it continue, this is not the answer to stop abortion.  Msgr. Philip Reilly has pointed out that the only way to stop legal abortion in our land is to change the minds and hearts of the American people.  This land must come to a mass repentance and turn to God and beg for his forgiveness.  Only then will we stop this horrendous evil.

Baby Melinda Goes Home

Baby Melinda leaving the hospital with her parents
Back on December 15, 2011, I posted a story about a premature baby born at 24 weeks and weighing just 9-1/2 ounces.  Please keep in mind that it is completely legal in our land to abort a baby at this stage.  However, Baby Melinda's parents wanted to desperately to save their baby's life, and it seems they have succeeded.   They took their precious baby home with them on Friday, January 20, five months after her birth.   I find it especially ironic that this story appears at the time of the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, which legalized the murder of pre-born babies in the United States. 

Here is the story from usatoday.com:

 Tiny baby gets Hollywood treatment as she leaves LA hospital

 LOS ANGELES (AP)–One of the world's smallest surviving babies was discharged Friday from the hospital where she spent nearly five months in an incubator — but not before getting the Hollywood treatment.

Wearing a pink knit hat and wrapped in a pink princess blanket, Melinda Star Guido was greeted by a mob of television cameras and news photographers outside the Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center.

"I'm just happy that she's doing well," said her 22-year-old mother Haydee Ibarra. "I'm happy that I'm finally going to take her home … I'm just grateful."

Melinda was born on August 30 weighing just 9.5 ounces, less than a can of soda. She was so tiny that she fit into her doctor's hand. Melinda is believed to be the world's third-smallest surviving baby and second smallest in the U.S.

Now weighing 4.5 pounds and breathing through an oxygen tube as a precaution, doctors said Melinda has made enough progress to go home. It's too early to know how she will do developmentally and physically, but doctors planned to monitor her for the next six years.

Most babies as small don't survive even with advanced medical care. About 7,500 babies are born each year in the U.S. weighing less than 1 pound, and about 10% survive.

Melinda has come a long way since being delivered by cesarean section at 24 weeks after her mother developed high blood pressure during pregnancy, which can be dangerous for mother and fetus.

She was whisked to the neonatal intensive care unit where she breathed with the help of a machine and received nutrition through a feeding tube. Infants born before 37 weeks are considered premature.

Even after discharge, such extremely premature babies require constant care at home. Their lungs are not fully developed and they may need oxygen at home. Parents also need to watch out for risk of infections that could send infants back to the hospital. Even basic activities like feeding can be challenging.

"They may need extra help and patience while they learn to eat," Dr. Edward Bell, a pediatrician of the University of Iowa who runs an online database of the world's smallest surviving babies born weighing less than a pound.

The list features 130 babies dating back to 1936 and does not represent all survivors since submission is voluntary. Melinda was not eligible to be included until she was discharged.

Two years ago, Bell published a study in the journal Pediatrics that found many survivors have ongoing health and learning concerns. Most also remain short and underweight for their age.

There are some rare success stories. The smallest surviving baby born weighing 9.2 ounces is now a healthy 7-year-old and another who weighed 9.9 ounces at birth is an honors college student studying psychology, according to doctors at Loyola University Medical Center in Illinois where the girls were born.

Soon after birth, Melinda was treated for an eye disorder that's common in premature babies and underwent surgery to close an artery. Ibarra held Melinda for the first time after the operation in November.

Despite the hurdles, doctors said Melinda was fortunate she did not suffer serious complications such as bleeding in the brain.
I feel very confident that Baby Melinda  will do just fine.  There is a 2-year old child in my apartment building who was born at about 26 weeks and weighed less than 2 pounds.  This baby was conceived despite her mother's IUD, which should have aborted the fertilized egg, so she is actually an abortion survivor.  She had a rough go of it the first several months of her life as well.  But she is as healthy as any 2 year old you will ever see.  Baby Melinda is yet another answer from God to abortion.  It's not a choice, it's a baby. 

January 22, 1973 - The Blackest Day in American History

I will always remember reading the headline in the paper on January 22, 1973.  It said that abortion had been legalized by the US Supreme Court.  I was completely stunned.  I was only 17 years old, but even I knew that this meant we would now be killing our babies.  It just didn't seem possible that such a thing could happen. 

It is now 39 years later, and the reality is that over 50 million babies have been surgically aborted in America, and that does not count the babies aborted due to artificial contraception, as most contraceptives are abortifacients.  They do not prevent pregnancy.  They abort the fertilized egg before it can attach to the womb.  For 39 years we have been poisioning and burning babies alive, pulling them apart limb by limb and vacuuming them out of their mothers' wombs like so much garbage.   I live in New York City, the abortion capital of the United States, in which there are approximately 89,000 abortions every year.  Forty percent of all pregnancies end in abortion in this city.  In the Black community, there are 3 abortions for every 2 live births.

Below is a map from cpforlife.org that helps to visualize the tremendous scope of abortion and how many people have died.  I am always amazed at discussions about the financial crisis in our country.  No one ever mentions that over 50 million potential tax payers and job creators have been murdered, people who could be paying into and contributing to the system.  How many have lost a wife, husband, doctor, lawyer, best friend in the holocaust we call abortion?  And holocaust is the correct name for what has happened to our land.  Holocaust means "whole burnt offering." To whom are these tiny sacrifices being offered?  See below. 

The map above has 18 states blacked out. The population of these states is equal to the 50,000,000+ reported "legal" surgical abortions since 1973. Perhaps this visual perspective helps one to grasp the number of people that are gone, dead-robbed of their God given, constitutional rights to life and liberty. How does the “most religious” nation on the planet allow such unspeakable horror?

Abortion is the perfect sacrifice to the devil. Below is an article written by Father John Hardon, S.J. explaining just how demonic abortion is, and the best way to defeat it.

Abortion as Pagan Sacrifice

by Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.


We know what the word “sacrifice” means. It means the surrender of something precious to the god in whom a person believes. Sacrifices have been part of world religions since the dawn of recorded history. Without exception, the deities of all the religions of the ancient world demanded sacrifices in their honor. The Egyptians and Babylonians, the Greeks and Romans, the deities of pre-Christian India and of the continent of Africa required that their adherents offer what we call sacrifices in their name.

What is less well known, however, is that these religions also required the sacrifice of children as an oblation and even as a condition, for obtaining blessings from the gods. We read in the Office of Readings for today’s Divine Office that the Lord spoke through the prophet Jeremiah, charging the Jews of imitating the pagans in their practice of child homicide. Said the Lord, “They have built high places for Baal to immolate their sons in fire as holocausts to Baal: such a thing as I neither commanded nor spoke of, nor did it ever enter my mind.”

As we read statements like foregoing, we ask ourselves: how could human beings be so deluded as to seriously believe that their gods required human sacrifice as a condition for receiving divine favors? The key word is “deluded.” Thirty years of teaching comparative religion has taught me that there is no limit to the irrational, indeed insane, practices that religious mythology will not put into practice as a mandate from the deities in whom they believed.

Thus we read in the history of the Aztecs in South America before Columbus that they would kill up to ten thousand children on a major feastday in honor of one of their gods. Although seldom mentioned, infanticide as a religious ritual was practiced in India before its colonization by Great Britain.

We return to the theses that should be explored far beyond the time we can give it in this conference. Abortion as the widespread practice that it has become today is incredibly a religious practice. It is inspired by the evil spirits who, in Christian terms, were and are the malignant deities of paganism. These deities, often goddesses, demanded the sacrifice of children to be propitiated. Unless children were killed and offered to these gods, they would avenge their anger against the people in the most devastating ways.

As believing Catholics, we know that behind the murder of unborn children is the superhuman mind and malevolent will of Satan and his minions. To know this is to also know that only divine power is a match for the demonic power behind abortion. This divine power is the power of the God who became man in order, as He told us, to conquer the devil as master of the world.

How did Christ provide for the conquest of Satan and his agents? He did so by dying on the cross. The one who died on Calvary was man, but this man was the living God. On these premises, Calvary is the divine sacrifice because it was God who assumed a human body and a human soul which could separate in a human death on Good Friday. Except for this divine sacrifice of Jesus Christ there would be no hope for the human race.

However, let us be clear. Christ did die for our salvation. He shed His blood on Calvary. In that sense, He completed the mission given to Him by His Father. But really that was only the beginning. By His sacrifice on Calvary, He won for us the title to the graces we need to reach our eternal destiny. But this same Jesus Christ made sure that these graces would be communicated to mankind until the end of time. The principal channel of these graces is the Sacrifice of the Mass.

The graces which Christ pours out on a sinful world through the daily offering of Mass are the graces which a homicidal world needs to return to its worship of the one true God, and cease committing the crimes of abortion which are really acts of worship of the evil deities who we know are the evil spirits.

The Sacrifice of the Mass, therefore, provides us with the light and strength we need to live sacrificial lives. But we must use these graces and really live lives of sacrifice. If we do, and in the measure that we do, we shall obtain for the agents of death the miraculous graces they need to abandon their idolatry and return to the worship of the one true God.

Our faith tells us that the Sacrifice of the Mass is at once the sacrifice of Christ and our sacrifice, too. Christ has done all that He could by dying on the cross. We must do all that we can to follow in His footsteps and die to ourselves out of love for Him.


When you see an abortion clinic, realize that you are looking at a temple of Satan, and that human sacrifices are being given to him. As Msr. Philip Reilly has said, when you go to an abortion clinic, you are going to Calvary, because it is the death of innocence. It is Satan laughing at God as he destroys human beings. It is the greatest evil this world has ever seen. And it all goes on behind closed doors with society ignoring it and at the same time, silently assenting to this demonic sacrifice. We are all paying a price for this, and America and the rest of the world will have to answer for the innoncent blood it has shed. Mother Teresa said that abortion leads to nuclear war. Truer words were never spoken. 

Below is a video about the reality of abortion. It starts with the story that I heard directly from the pro-life person involved. It involves a woman who was determined to abort her baby, but had come to a pregnancy clinic first. She was given an ultrasound of her baby, but this left her undeterred in her decision to abort the baby. The pro life person prayed to the Holy Spirit for inspiration. She then told the mother to place her hand on her stomach and tell the baby to hold her hand. The mother put her hand on her stomach and as she did, the baby, who had been squirming and moving constantly, suddenly stopped and pressed his hand against his mother's, which could be clearly seen on the ultrasound. Everyone in the room was stunned into silence. The mother burst into tears and made the decision right then to keep her baby.

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