New Insights on the Gospels

March for Life 2012

Evil triumphs when good men do nothing - Edmund Burke

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Allah's terrorist are at it again in Malaysia

Arsonists in Malaysia struck a fourth church on Saturday as the government tried to soothe tensions arising from a row over the use of the word "Allah" to refer to the Muslim God.
The unprecedented attacks risk dividing the mainly Muslim nation of 28 million people, which has significant religious minorities, and complicating Prime Minister Najib Razak's plan to win back support from the non-Muslims before the next elections by 2013.
The row, over a court ruling that allowed a Catholic newspaper to use Allah in its Malay-language editions, prompted Muslims to protest at mosques on Friday and sparked arson attacks on three churches that saw one Pentecostalist church gutted.
While Najib visited the badly damaged Pentecostalist church and offered a government grant of half a million ringgit ($148,100) to maintain "a harmonious society," church leaders said they wanted more concrete assurances of safety.
"We ask the government to make a strong statement to these wrongdoers so we can worship in peace on Sunday," Reverend Hermen Shastri, secretary-general to the Council of Churches Malaysia, told Reuters.
Malaysia is mainly Muslim and Malay but there are substantial ethnic Chinese and Indian minorities who mainly practice Christianity, Buddhism and Hinduism.
These minorities handed the government its biggest losses in 2008 state and national elections in part due to feelings of religious marginalization and growing disillusionment with corruption.
In the latest attack on early Saturday, unidentified attackers flung a home-made petrol bomb at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in a suburb in Selangor state. The two-storey bungalow sustained minor damage, church officials said.
Police said they have stepped up security at all places of worship but faced a manpower shortage. Inspector General of Police Musa Hasan told churches across the country to hire more security guards.

Christians account for nine percent of the 28 million population, with a sizable number of non-English speaking Christians in Malaysia's Borneo island states of Sabah and Sarawak who have used the word "Allah" for decades.
Najib's handling of the issue will determine whether he can keep the support of the Malays and win back ethnic Chinese and Indian voters to solidify his grip on power after taking control of the government last year.
"Till today we are protecting the interests of other races besides championing those of the Malays," Najib was earlier quoted as saying by state news agency Bernama.
"Don't point fingers and say UMNO is racist...when churches are burned," he said referring to his party, the United Malays National Organization (UMNO) that is the linchpin of the National Front that has ruled the country for 52 years.
But Malay-Muslims, including those in UMNO, fear the word could be used by Christians to proselytize to Muslims, which is already illegal in the Southeast Asian country.
More than 169,000 Malaysians have joined a group page on social networking site Facebook called "Protesting the use of the name Allah by non-Muslims," a fourfold increase from the start of this week that signals growing Islamic anger.
($1=3.375 Malaysian Ringgit)

Miserere mei, Deus

Wow, when I heard this is froze. I think it sounds really awesome when sung by an all boys school choir as opposed to professional crossover artists

Friday, January 8, 2010

Portugal almost ready to approve gay marriage

The Portuguese parliament on Friday (8th January 2010) passed the Socialist government's bill to legalise same-sex marriages, which Prime Minister Jose Socrates said was an historic step in the country's fight against discrimination.

Socrates' minority government pushed the bill through the house with support from left wing parties, while alternative proposals by the centre-right opposition for civil partnerships and a referendum on the issue were rejected.

"It is a small change in the law, but a very important and symbolic step to fully realise values that are pillars of open, tolerant and democratic societies; freedom, equality and non-discrimination," Socrates told parliament ahead of the vote.

The bill gives gay marriages the same rights as heterosexual marriages, including those on taxes, inheritance and housing, but does not offer them the right to adopt children.

CHURCH WARNING

It marks another modernising step for this predominantly Catholic country, especially after abortion was legalised in 2007. But the Catholic Church warned against the move.

"Millenary culture deems marriage as a contract between a man and a woman. Changing this understanding of what is a family can have extremely grave consequences in the future," said Bishop Dom Jose Policarpo, Lisbon patriarch.

The bill now needs to be ratified by conservative President Anibal Cavaco Silva. If he approves it, Portugal will join Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, South Africa and Canada in allowing gay marriages, all of which allow gay married couples to adopt children as well.

Gay and lesbian hopes had been dented by the rejection of the Left Bloc party's gay marriage bill and by a Constitutional Court upholding a ban last year.

Ontario may get an openly Gay Mayor

(Gay George and his wife/husband/sin partner)

Ontario Premier McGuinty has accepted the resignation of George Smitherman, who is noticeable for being a public gay, from office to compete for mayor of Toronto, the Office of the Premier said Monday.

The openly gay Smitherman is regarded as a political attack dogand raised his municipal profile by leading a cleanup of city streets during the city workers' strike this summer.

George Smitherman and his wife/husband/sin partner Christopher Peloso were "married" on the 5th August 2007.

I wonder when Canada will have a homosexual Prime Minister. It cant be far away. I dont know if I want to live in such a place.

Democracy is classically defined as a government of, for and by the people. The people have a set of values based on which they elect representatives who form the government.The government passes laws based on the values of the people as the government shares the same values as the people.

Democracies have achieved greatness because they were based on the values of the people which they represented. However the edifice of democracy breaks down when the value system of the people changes.

Western democracy was based on Judeo-Christian values. These values laid the foundation of society and laws were based around these values. However as the people moved away from these values their elected representatives also passed laws which reflected these new values.

For example, society frowned upon adultery and laws were passed against adultery. However as people accepted adultery government had to pass laws which not only allowed divorces, but also recognized common law spouses and common law spousal benefits. Now a negative value - adultery - gets rewarded with the same benefits as monogamy and the value of monogamy is diminished.

Progressing on the same example, as adultery becomes more and more acceptable in society and loses all its stigma, fornication also becomes acceptable and soon all forms of sexuality becomes acceptable. Soon homosexuality is common and the government which is elected by people whose values now include support for a perverse sexuality passes law in support of such perversion. Homosexual unions are given the status of marriage and education systems are forced to teach sexual perversion as part of curriculum.

As the values of the people move further away from the Judeo-Christian value system each of the 10 commandments is broken and anti-values come to the fore, rights of choice (abortion and euthanasia) triumph of right to life. Government passes laws supporting abortion and euthanasia, the right to chose is taught in schools and any from of dissent is punished legally via human right tribunals.

As relativism grows a democracy fails and is replaced by a tyrannical government which makes laws to allow anti-values and punish real values. This is already seen in Canada and many parts of western Europe.

Churches Attacked in Malaysian ‘Allah’ Dispute

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Three Christian churches were attacked with firebombs Friday as tensions rose in a dispute over whether Christians could use the word “Allah” in this largely Muslim nation.

Later in the day, small crowds rallied outside two major mosques in the capital, in a growing protest over a court ruling that overturned a government ban on the use of “Allah” by Roman Catholics as a translation for God.

The government has appealed that ruling, insisting that the ban should remain in force, and made no move to bar the unsanctioned rallies, as it commonly does.

But a police helicopter hovered low over the front of the city’s central mosque, drowning out the words of the speakers on its balcony.

“Allah is only for us,” said Faedzah Fuad, 28, who participated in the rally. “The Christians can use any word, we don’t care, but please don’t use the word Allah.”

Despite escalating political rhetoric and the early-morning violence, the rallies of 200 to 300 people were far smaller than the thousands predicted by organizers.

Hand-lettered signs reading “Please respect the name of Allah” remained in a stack on the ground where Ms. Faedzah had prepared them.

Though Malaysia is 60 percent Malay and Muslim, sizable minorities of Chinese and Indians practice Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism in this country of 28 million.

Ethnic and religious politics have grown more intense since the government suffered severe losses in a general election last March. Much of the reverse came at the hands of minority voters who were disturbed by the government’s increasingly conservative Islamic tone.

The government has appealed and has been granted a stay of the High Court ruling on Dec. 31 that allowed a Catholic newspaper to use the word “Allah” in its Malay-language editions.

The word has been widely used as a translation for the word “God” in Malay-language texts and services, particularly among Christian indigenous tribes in the remote states of Sabah and Sarawak.

It is also the common word used to describe the Christian God in Arabic-speaking countries like Egypt and Syria and in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation, whose language is a variant of the Malay language.

During the current dispute, many Muslims here have argued that the use of the word by other religions could confuse believers and tempt them to convert from Islam.

Prime Minister Najib Razak condemned the attacks on the churches Friday and defended the government against accusations that it had at least tacitly sanctioned the violence. “We have always been very responsible,” he said at a news conference.

In the first attack, shortly after midnight, the police said that a firebomb had destroyed the ground-level office of the Metro Tabernacle Church. They said that worship areas on the two upper floors were undamaged and that no one had been injured.

Two other churches were attacked by arsonists before dawn, with only one of them sustaining minor damage, according to the police.
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Allah's terrorists are at it again.

Blessed Angela of Foligno - 8th January 2010

Blessed Angela of Foligno is another "real" saint who is more a person we can identify with than simply an other-worldly saint. Angela lived during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries in Umbria, Italy. She was married at a young age to a wealthy man and she became a mother, but Angela loved the world and its delights and neglected her duties to her family. It is said that her life for thirty years was "scandalous" and one of "adultery" although it is difficult to know exactly what her life entailed...she simply referred to it as "mortally sinful." Apparently she was so embarrassed about her sins that she made a "bad confession" and took Communion anyway...a serious sacrilege. She felt tormented by this and prayed to St. Francis of Assisi who appeared to her in a vision and called her to honesty. The following day she was able to make a true confession and then began a life of penance and prayer, much to the annoyance of her husband.

Angela's husband, mother, and children all died eventually and Angela was left alone. She then became a member of the Franciscan Third Order and began living as a poor beggar and penitent while serving others. However, she suffered much ridicule for her piety and spirituality her whole life.

As Angela's spiritual life progressed, she became a person of deep prayer and eventually her spiritual director began recording the mystical visions she received during prayer. She also began to attain followers and together they formed a community dedicated to serving the poor. She is reported to have borne the stigmata of Christ.

She has become known as the "Mistress of Theologians" for her many recorded writings and visions. Many miracles were worked at her grave site in the Church of St. Francis at Foligno. Her Feast Day is January 8 and she is the patron for those ridiculed for their piety, those who struggle with sexual temptation and temptation in general, widows, and those who have lost children. Her writings are contained in two books called, "The Book of Divine Consolations of the Blessed Angela of Foligno" and "The Book of Visions and Instructions."

Thursday, January 7, 2010

St. Raymond of Penyafort - 7th January 2010

St. Raymond of Penyafort was born in Barcelona, Spain, in 1175 A.D, and died in 1275 at age 99. A relative of the King of Aragon, St. Raymond taught law at the Universities of Barcelona and Bologna until deciding to become a Dominican monk at the age of 47. His reason for leaving his highly respected position within academia was because he felt increasingly uncomfortable with his self-pride at his accomplishments. Upon entering the Dominican order, he respectfully requested a position and responsibilities that would help him tame his pride. Upon discovering Raymond's intelligence and knowledge of law, the Dominicans gave Raymond the responsibility of collecting and organizing all of the Church's laws relating to sins of men and women. At the order of Pope Gregory IX, St. Raymond later produced a collection of canon law. The "Summa casuum", which treats the correct and fruitful administration of the sacrament of penance, is his best known work. St. Raymond is the Patron Saint of canonists and lawyers.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Oratory of Saint Joseph - Montreal





In the city of Montreal, Province of Quebec, Canada, on a rise of earth known as Mount Royal, there stands a religious edifice of staggering proportions. It is three hundred and sixty-one feet high, taller than either Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in New York or the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris. Its girth is so massive that it could hold within itself any one of most of the world’s great shrines, including Saint Anne de Beaupré and Saint Paul of London. The cross atop its domed roof can be seen for miles around, guiding the millions of pilgrims who come there each year. It is the Oratory of Saint Joseph, a worthy tribute to him who is the head of the Holy Family and the Patron of the Universal Church.


Bl. Andre Bessette - 6th January 2010


Brother André was born Alfred Bessette in 1845 in a small town near Montreal. He was the sixth of ten children of a carpenter and woodcutter. At his birth, Alfred was so frail that the midwife baptized him immediately. Throughout life, his health remained poor. No one would have predicted that he would live to the ripe old age of ninety-one. Orphaned at the age of 12, he tried his hand at various trades but was not successful in any of them. He could barely read and write and was sickly most of his life. At the age of 15 he became a Brother of Holy Cross but was rejected at the end of the novitiate. At the insistence of the bishop of Montreal, however, Brother Andre was allowed to make religious profession. For forty years he worked as porter at the College of Notre Dame, until he was needed full time at the shrine of St. Joseph. People from all over Canada came to him for cures or for spiritual direction. The Oratory that he built in honor of St. Joseph was solemnly dedicated in 1955 and raised to the rank of a minor basilica.

Message And Relevance

The Opening Prayer of the Mass describes two characteristics of the spirituality of Brother Andre: his deep devotion to St. Joseph and his "commitment to the poor and afflicted. " For many years he gathered funds to replace the primitive chapel with a suitable church, even cutting the hair of the students at five cents each. His concern for those who needed spiritual healing and support led him to spend 8 to 10 hours a day receiving clients. He became so well known that secretaries had to be assigned to answer the 80,000 letters he received annually.

If one were to seek the outstanding virtue of Brother Andre one would have to say that it was his humility. He once said: "I am ignorant. If there were anyone more ignorant, the good God would choose him in my place. " And when the power of healing was attributed to him, he responded: "It is St. Joseph who cures. I am only his little dog."

The significance of the life and works of Brother Andre for today's Christian is the fact that this humble Brother, who could scarcely read or write, was chosen by God as an instrument for good. As we read in the Preface for Martyrs, God reveals his power shining through our human weakness.

Opening Prayer Lord our God, friend of the lowly, you gave your servant, Brother Andre, a great devotion to St. Joseph and a special commitment to the poor and afflicted. Through his intercession help us to follow his example of prayer and love and so come to share with him in your glory.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

St. John Neumann - 5th January 2010

St. John Neumann was known as "The Little Bishop" because he stood only five feet, two inches tall. Despite his diminutive stature, the Little Bishop's contributions were enormous.

When he arrived in New York City in 1896 from Bohemia, John Neumann was just another immigrant with no money and no contacts. However, he possessed a vocation to be a missionary to his fellow German Catholics that was so strong that he had left his homeland after theological studies without waiting to be ordained. Fortunately, the Bishop of New York was in short supply of German- speaking priests. He promptly ordained John Neumann and sent him to western New York to serve immigrant parishes. John Neumann worked for several years as a missionary in rural New York, and eventually joined the Redemptorist Order. He served as a parish priest for the Redemptorists in Pittsburgh and Baltimore. In Baltimore, John Neumann met Bishop Kenrick, who recommended to Pope Leo X, over John Neumann's objections, that this Redemptorist succeed him as Bishop of Philadelphia.

John Neumann served as the fourth Bishop of Philadelphia from 1852 to 1860. During his tenure, John Neumann organized the first Diocesan school system, which serves as the model for Catholic education in America to this day. The new schools used to the Baltimore Catechism which John Neumann had written and which became a standard text. He also initiated the tremendous expansion of the Philadelphia Diocese at a time when anti-Catholic prejudice was prevalent. During his eight years as Bishop, eighty parishes were founded and thirty four plus schools built, sometimes opening at the rate of one per month. John Neumann also initiated the weekly practice of Forty Hours Devotion.

John Neumann died at the age of 48, suffering a fatal stroke while walking down Vine Street in Philadelphia. His body is entombed at St. Peter's Church at 5th and Girard Avenue, a Redemptorist parish where St. John attended weekly confession as Bishop. In 1963, Pope Paul VI beatified John Neumann after two miraculous cures were attributed to his intervention. Beatification permitted the public worship of John Neumann. Michael Flanigan was six years old when doctors discovered he had bone cancer. The late Dr. William MacNamee, a former parishioner and Lector at Mass, was Michael's orthopedic surgeon. The cancer was Metastatic Ewings Sarcoma, a disease with no known cure, and which was always fatal. Dr. MacNamee recommended surgery to attempt to save his life. However, the boy's mother resisted, so the doctors gave the boy a less radical treatment. At the same time, Mrs. Flanigan began saying novenas to John Neumann. Within two years, the disease disappeared. According to Dr. MacNamee, this "cure" outcome was unexplainable by normal means.

The Sacred Congregation certified the cure as the miracle attributable to Bishop John Neumann, and recommended that he be enrolled as a Saint of the Roman Catholic Church. On November 13, 1976, Pope Paul VI decreed the appointment of Bishop John Neumann as the first American male Saint. On June 19, 1977, Philadelphia's "Little Bishop" was canonized Saint John Neumann.

Monday, January 4, 2010

New Blog by a Heralds of the Gospel Seminarian

Dear Reader,

I would like to bring to your attention a new blog by a Herald of the Gospel seminarian.

http://thabor.blog.arautos.org/

The blog bears the bane Thabor which is the name of the Major Seminary of the Heralds of the Gospel as well as where their main church is Our Lady of the Rosary.

Please click on the link to see this lovely monastery. I have been there on two occasions and to me it is the closest I will ever get to heaven on earth. Just looking at the pictures makes me joyful.

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton - 4th January 2010



Mother Seton is one of the keystones of the American Catholic Church. She founded the first American religious community for women, the Sisters of Charity. She opened the first American parish school and established the first American Catholic orphanage. All this she did in the span of 46 years while raising her five children.

Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton is a true daughter of the American Revolution, born August 28, 1774, just two years before the Declaration of Independence. By birth and marriage, she was linked to the first families of New York and enjoyed the fruits of high society. Reared a staunch Episcopalian by her mother and stepmother, she learned the value of prayer, Scripture and a nightly examination of conscience. Her father, Dr. Richard Bayley, did not have much use for churches but was a great humanitarian, teaching his daughter to love and serve others.

The early deaths of her mother in 1777 and her baby sister in 1778 gave Elizabeth a feel for eternity and the temporariness of the pilgrim life on earth. Far from being brooding and sullen, she faced each new “holocaust,” as she put it, with hopeful cheerfulness.

At 19, Elizabeth was the belle of New York and married a handsome, wealthy businessman, William Magee Seton. They had five children before his business failed and he died of tuberculosis. At 30, Elizabeth was widowed, penniless, with five small children to support.

While in Italy with her dying husband, Elizabeth witnessed Catholicity in action through family friends. Three basic points led her to become a Catholic: belief in the Real Presence, devotion to the Blessed Mother and conviction that the Catholic Church led back to the apostles and to Christ. Many of her family and friends rejected her when she became a Catholic in March 1805.

To support her children, she opened a school in Baltimore. From the beginning, her group followed the lines of a religious community, which was officially founded in 1809.

The thousand or more letters of Mother Seton reveal the development of her spiritual life from ordinary goodness to heroic sanctity. She suffered great trials of sickness, misunderstanding, the death of loved ones (her husband and two young daughters) and the heartache of a wayward son. She died January 4, 1821, and became the first American-born citizen to be beatified (1963) and then canonized (1975). She is buried in Emmitsburg, Maryland.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Epiphany - 3rd January 2010



Let us read what Dr. Plinio has to teach us about the Feast of the Epiphany

The feast of the Epiphany, the adoration of Our Lord in Bethlehem by the “Magi from the East” (Matthew 7), shows us the value of representation and symbolism in the plans of Divine Providence.

It is generally said that the Three Magi came to adore Our Lord as representatives of the Gentile peoples. It is also common to say that they were magi because they represented the ancient wisdom of the East paying homage to Our Lord Jesus Christ. Magus, a word derived from the Greek, means a man of a great wisdom. The Three Magi came from different parts of the world to adore Our Lord as a sign that all nations were called to the light of the Faith.

Many progressivists and Protestants have expressed misgivings that they were kings. I do not see any reason for such doubt since Scripture foretold that Kings from different parts of the world would come to adore the Messiah (Psalm 2:10-12; 71:10-11; Is 60:11; 62:2).

At any rate, they were men from different races representing the old world and ancient wisdom who came to adore Our Lord and pay Him homage with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. They traveled to Bethlehem moved by a very noble cause. According to their wise previsions and an interior call they received from God, they knew that the Messiah had been born.

This interior call shows us that God Himself chose them as representatives of the Gentile peoples. They fulfilled the vocation for which they were called, and on the Epiphany they paid homage to Our Lord. Each King who was present at the Manger kneeling before the Divine Infant represented his own personal fidelity, of course, but he also represented the fidelity of all the past kings as well as all the kings to come in History. They were only three, but they fulfilled that representation.

We find something similar in the Passion and at the foot of the Cross. Our Lady, St. John, and the Holy Women represented everyone who had been, was, or would be faithful through the ages. For example, every faithful soul in History is represented by the act of Veronica wiping the Holy Face of Our Lord. The select group that was faithful on that solemn occasion represented the whole genre of faithful people.

We can ask if we can apply this rule to ourselves. Today the Catholic Church is humiliated by her own authorities, persecuted by Progressivism within her walls, immersed in the worst confusion that has ever fallen over her in History. We are just a few who want to remain faithful to the Church as she always was and to restore her to her past glory. In a certain way, we represent fidelity, purity, orthodoxy, courage, and the spirit of initiative and battle at the very moment when everything pressures everyone to give up, to step back, to flee.

Whom are we representing? In this new crucifixion of Our Lord, which is the crucifixion of the Church, we represent the faithful of the past who rest in the peace of the Lord and loved the Church. If St. Gregory VII, St. Louis of France, St. Ferdinand of Castile, St. Louis Grignon de Montfort, or Blessed Nuno Alvares could have seen in their times the crisis through which the Church is passing now and the few souls who would remain faithful, they would have blessed us from that distance. They would have considered themselves our cohorts and felt a relief that at least there were some small number doing what they would like to do.
We also are representing those unknown faithful souls spread throughout the world today who are smashed by Progressivism inside the Church and do not know what to do or where to go to be faithful. They would like to do what we are doing.

Finally, we are representing those who will come after us and who will be enthused when they look back and see what we are doing now. They will wish that they could have been with us now to assist us.

In History some of these representations are quite impressive. For example, when St. Remigius was teaching King Clovis and his men the Catholic Faith to prepare them for Baptism and they heard about the Passion of Our Lord, Clovis cried out loudly and drove his lance in the ground saying: “Would that I were there with my Franks to prevent such an injustice!”

As he spoke, his Frankish warriors pounded their lances on the ground to signal their acquiescence. They did not realize it, but in a certain sense they were present at the Passion. For during it, Our Lord foresaw that action of Clovis and his Franks and it gave Him consolation.

There is, therefore, a kind of reversibility of action beyond time, where all the past and future fidelities converge in a single, grandiose scene that represents them all.

Today, Our Lady is like a prisoner who is insulted and ill-treated by men, and especially by the progressivist religious authorities. She came to warn mankind at La Salette and Fatima about this general apostasy in the Church. Her words were not heard. She also wept in various places – Syracuse, Rocca Corneta, New Orleans, Granada. Her tears beseech the few who remain faithful to save her from the horrible suffering of this passion of the Holy Church. It is an honor to be called to act at this extraordinary hour. If we correspond to this call, we will be wiping the holy face of Our Lady, as Veronica did for Our Lord, and we will be representing every faithful soul throughout History.

This doctrine of how a few persons can represent a whole genre, which we see in the adoration of the Three Magi, should encourage us. Let us ask them, who certainly are in Heaven with Our Lord, to give us the courage that we need:
* the courage to stand alone, as they did in the pagan world;
* the courage to wait for the appearance of a star, the signal that the hour of God has arrived for us to carry out His will;
* and the courage to do so promptly and with complete fidelity, as they did.