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March for Life 2012

Evil triumphs when good men do nothing - Edmund Burke

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Gathered ‘Round the Manger - Christmas 2010

(The following article is by Dr. Plinio. The blog author wishes all my reader a Grace filled Christmas. I pray that the Our Lord finds a home in your hearts)


Lord, once again Christmas approaches. Christianity hastens anew to adore Thee in the manger at Bethlehem, where Thou can be seen by the light of the twinkling star of Bethlehem or under the brighter and more splendorous light of Mary’s maternal and sweet gaze. Saint Joseph stands nearby, so captivated by Thee that he seems to take notice neither of the animals that surround Thee nor of the angels who have opened the heavens and can be heard and seen singing in the highest. In a short while, the Magi will arrive with their entourage, laden with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Through the centuries, others will also come to venerate Thy crib: from India, Ancient Nubia, Macedonia, Rome, Carthage, and Spain; Gauls, Franks, Germans, Angles, Saxons, and Normans.

Both pilgrims and crusaders will come from the West to kiss the ground of the cave where Thou were born. Thy manger will be venerated all over the earth. In the great Gothic or Romanesque cathedrals, multitudes will gather around Thee, offering Thee presents of gold, silver, incense, and above all the piety and sincerity of their hearts.

Then will come the period of the Western discoveries in which the benefits of Thy Redemption will reach new lands. Incas, Aztecs, natives of various tribes, blacks from African shores or further inland, bronze-skinned Indians, slender and pensive Chinese, short and agile Japanese all will gather around Thy crib and adore Thee. The star of Bethlehem now shines over the whole world. All peoples have heard the angelic promise, and all across the earth hearts of goodwill have found the inestimable treasure of Thy peace. Overcoming all obstacles, the Gospel has finally spread to people all over the world. In the midst of contemporary desolation, this great gathering of people from all nations and races around Thee is our only consolation and our only hope. Kneeling before Thee, we count ourselves among them. Look kindly on us, Lord, and have pity on us. There is something we would like to say.

Who are we? We are those who will not kneel before the modern Baal. We carry Thy law engraved upon the bronze of our hearts and do not allow the errors of our times to become engraved upon this bronze sanctified by Thy Redemption. We love the immaculate purity of orthodoxy above all else and reject any pact whatsoever with heresy, its wiles and infiltrations. We are merciful to the repentant sinner since, owing to our unworthiness and infidelity, we count ourselves among that number and we implore Thy mercy. We spare no criticism, either, of insolent and conceited impiety or of strutting vice that scorns virtue. We pity all men, particularly the blessed who suffer persecution for love of the Church, who are oppressed everywhere because they hunger and thirst for virtue; who are abandoned, ridiculed, betrayed, and disdained because they remain faithful to Thy Commandments.

Many are those whose suffering is not celebrated in contemporary literature: the Christian mother who will pray alone before Thy crib because her children no longer practice the Faith; the strong yet austere husband who is misunderstood or even loathed by his own because of his fidelity to Thy teachings; the faithful wife who bears the solitude of heart and soul because her husband’s frivolous habits have led to adultery, he who should be her support, her “other half ”; the pious son or daughter who, while Christian homes are celebrating, sense how in their own home and family life, religion has been stifled by egotism, hedonism and secularism; the student who is shunned and mocked by his classmates because of his fidelity to Thee; the professor who is eschewed by colleagues because he will not condone their errors; the parish priest or bishop around whom a menacing wall of misunderstanding or indifference has been raised because he refuses to compromise the integrity of the doctrine entrusted to his care; the honest man made penniless for refusing to swindle.

All of these isolated people, scattered across the globe, ignorant of each other, now gather around Thee to offer Thee a gift and a prayer. Their gift exceeds the sun and the stars, the oceans with all its riches, and the earth in all its splendor: they give themselves entirely and faithfully. By preferring complete orthodoxy over approval, purity over popularity among the impure, honesty over gold; by remaining faithful to Thy law even when this entails sacrificing career and fame, they attain perfection in their spiritual life by practicing love of God above all things, which is a sincere and lasting love. Such love differs greatly from love as it is understood nowadays, which predominantly consists of gushy and illogical feelings, senseless and blurry affections, obscure self-condescension and trite justifications to appease one’s conscience.

Instead theirs is true love, enlightened by Faith, justified by reason, seriousness, chastity and perseverance. In a word, theirs is love of God. They also offer a prayer for Thy holy and immaculate Church whom they love above all else in this world: for the pastors and the flock; foremost, for the pastor of pastors of the flock, that is for Peter, whom today we call Benedict.
May the Church, which now moans as a captive in the dungeons of this anti-Christian “civilization,” finally triumph over this era of sin and implant a new civilization for Thy greater glory. May the saintly become ever holier, may the good be sanctified, may sinners become good, and may the impious convert. May the impenitent who have rejected grace and are jeopardizing souls be dispersed, humbled, and their efforts frustrated. May the souls in Purgatory rise to Heaven straight away. They also pray for themselves: may their orthodoxy be ever purer, their purity ever more rigorous. May they be more faithful amidst adversity, stand ever taller amidst humiliations, be more energetic in their struggles. May they be more terrible to the impious, yet more compassionate toward those who, ashamed of their sins, strive seriously to overcome them and acclaim virtue publicly.

Finally, they pray for Thy Grace, without which no will can durably persevere in good, and no soul can be saved; may it be more abundant in proportion to the number of their miseries and infidelities.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Blessed Mother teaches St. Faustina how to prepare for Christmas ---

The Blessed Mother teaches St. Faustina how to prepare for Christmas ---
from her diary -# 785

- The Mother of God has taught me how to prepare for the Feast of Christmas. I saw Her today, without the Infant Jesus. She said to me: My daughter, strive after silence and humility, so that Jesus, who dwells in your heart continuously, may ...be able to rest. Adore Him in your heart; do not go out from your inmost being. My daughter, I shall obtain for you the grace of an interior life which will be such that, without ever leaving that interior life, you will be able to carry out all your external duties with even greater care. Dwell with Him continuously in your own heart. He will be your strength. Communicate with creatures only in so far as is necessary and is required by your duties. You are a dwelling place pleasing to the living God, in you He dwells continuously with love and delight. And the living presence of God, which you experience in a more vivid and distinct way, will confirm you, my daughter, in the things I have told you. Try to act in this way until Christmas Day, and then He himself will make known to you in what way you will be communing and uniting yourself with Him.

(Thanks to Jackie at LeadkindlyLight)

No Christmas trees in India

You do know that we don't have conifers in India so we are a little creative when it comes to Christmas trees...Behold a decorated banana tree


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Note from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

Given below is the English-language text of a Note published yesterday afternoon by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, entitled: "On the trivialisation of sexuality. Regarding certain interpretations of 'Light of the World'".

"Following the publication of the interview-book 'Light of the World' by Benedict XVI, a number of erroneous interpretations have emerged which have caused confusion concerning the position of the Catholic Church regarding certain questions of sexual morality. The thought of the Pope has been repeatedly manipulated for ends and interests which are entirely foreign to the meaning of his words - a meaning which is evident to anyone who reads the entire chapters in which human sexuality is treated. The intention of the Holy Father is clear: to rediscover the beauty of the divine gift of human sexuality and, in this way, to avoid the cheapening of sexuality which is common today.

"Some interpretations have presented the words of the Pope as a contradiction of the traditional moral teaching of the Church. This hypothesis has been welcomed by some as a positive change and lamented by others as a cause of concern - as if his statements represented a break with the doctrine concerning contraception and with the Church's stance in the fight against AIDS. In reality, the words of the Pope - which specifically concern a gravely disordered type of human behaviour, namely prostitution (cf. Light of the World, pp. 117-119) - do not signify a change in Catholic moral teaching or in the pastoral practice of the Church.

"As is clear from an attentive reading of the pages in question, the Holy Father was talking neither about conjugal morality nor about the moral norm concerning contraception. This norm belongs to the tradition of the Church and was summarised succinctly by Pope Paul VI in paragraph 14 of his Encyclical Letter 'Humanae vitae', when he wrote that 'also to be excluded is any action which either before, at the moment of, or after sexual intercourse, is specifically intended to prevent procreation - whether as an end or as a means'. The idea that anyone could deduce from the words of Benedict XVI that it is somehow legitimate, in certain situations, to use condoms to avoid an unwanted pregnancy is completely arbitrary and is in no way justified either by his words or in his thought. On this issue the Pope proposes instead - and also calls the pastors of the Church to propose more often and more effectively (cf. Light of the World, p. 147) - humanly and ethically acceptable ways of behaving which respect the inseparable connection between the unitive and procreative meaning of every conjugal act, through the possible use of natural family planning in view of responsible procreation.

"On the pages in question, the Holy Father refers to the completely different case of prostitution, a type of behaviour which Christian morality has always considered gravely immoral (cf. Vatican II, Pastoral Constitution 'Gaudium et spes', n. 27; Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 2355). The response of the entire Christian tradition - and indeed not only of the Christian tradition - to the practice of prostitution can be summed up in the words of St. Paul: 'Flee from fornication' (1 Cor 6:18). The practice of prostitution should be shunned, and it is the duty of the agencies of the Church, of civil society and of the State to do all they can to liberate those involved from this practice.

"In this regard, it must be noted that the situation created by the spread of AIDS in many areas of the world has made the problem of prostitution even more serious. Those who know themselves to be infected with HIV and who therefore run the risk of infecting others, apart from committing a sin against the sixth commandment are also committing a sin against the fifth commandment - because they are consciously putting the lives of others at risk through behaviour which has repercussions on public health. In this situation, the Holy Father clearly affirms that the provision of condoms does not constitute 'the real or moral solution' to the problem of AIDS and also that 'the sheer fixation on the condom implies a banalisation of sexuality' in that it refuses to address the mistaken human behaviour which is the root cause of the spread of the virus. In this context, however, it cannot be denied that anyone who uses a condom in order to diminish the risk posed to another person is intending to reduce the evil connected with his or her immoral activity. In this sense the Holy Father points out that the use of a condom 'with the intention of reducing the risk of infection, can be a first step in a movement towards a different way, a more human way, of living sexuality'. This affirmation is clearly compatible with the Holy Father's previous statement that this is 'not really the way to deal with the evil of HIV infection'.

"Some commentators have interpreted the words of Benedict XVI according to the so-called theory of the 'lesser evil'. This theory is, however, susceptible to proportionalistic misinterpretation (cf. John Paul II, Encyclical Letter 'Veritatis splendor', n. 75-77). An action which is objectively evil, even if a lesser evil, can never be licitly willed. The Holy Father did not say - as some people have claimed - that prostitution with the use of a condom can be chosen as a lesser evil. The Church teaches that prostitution is immoral and should be shunned. However, those involved in prostitution who are HIV positive and who seek to diminish the risk of contagion by the use of a condom may be taking the first step in respecting the life of another - even if the evil of prostitution remains in all its gravity. This understanding is in full conformity with the moral theological tradition of the Church.

"In conclusion, in the battle against AIDS, the Catholic faithful and the agencies of the Catholic Church should be close to those affected, should care for the sick and should encourage all people to live abstinence before and fidelity within marriage. In this regard it is also important to condemn any behaviour which cheapens sexuality because, as the Pope says, such behaviour is the reason why so many people no longer see in sexuality an expression of their love: 'This is why the fight against the banalisation of sexuality is also part of the struggle to ensure that sexuality is treated as a positive value and to enable it to have a positive effect on the whole of man's being' (Light of the World, p. 119).

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Expectation of Our Lady - Dr. Plinio

Expectation of Our Lady

December 19 begins the last week of Advent, which the Church calls the Week of Expectation. We are only one week away from the Birth of Our Lord, and the Church imagines the jubilation and hope of Our Lady in expectation of her parturition: she was waiting to admire the Blessed Face of the Son she was generating in her womb.

Our Lady had begged God to hasten the coming of the Messiah, God heard her omnipotent prayer, and Incarnation in fact was anticipated. She was invited to be the Mother of the Word. She accepted, and conceived the Incarnate Word in her womb. In this last week of her gestation, she awaits with expectation seeing the Face of her Son, so that she might have a more profound knowledge of His soul and His full personality.

She also awaits the salvation of the world that approaches. She sees the hour coming when the glory of God will cease to be offended by the legacy of original sin. The Devil’s reign that dominated for more than 4,000 years is drawing to its end. She senses that the Reign of Our Lord Jesus Christ is near. Only one week is lacking for the birth of the Word that marks the beginning of the end of the reign of the Devil. It was definitely destroyed when Our Lord was immolated on the Cross and the Redemption was consummated.

These considerations filled the heart of Our Lady with hope. That is why during this period of waiting she is called Our Lady of the Expectation, Our Lady of the Hope or Our Lady of the O!, since on each of the seven days before Christmas there is an antiphon in the liturgy that the Church attributes to her. All of these antiphons begin with the exclamation – O! – and continue with adapted words of the Old Testament that refer to the birth of Our Lord and His Redemption.

These antiphons, called the "Greater Antiphons" or the "O Antiphons," are the following:

Antiphon 1: O Wisdom! Thou came forth from the mouth of the Most High and, reaching from beginning to end, Thou ordered all things mightily and sweetly. Come, and teach us the way of prudence.

Antiphon 2: O Adonai, Ruler of the House of Israel! Thou appeared to Moses in the fire of the burning bush and on Mount Sinai gave him Thy law. Come to redeem us with the strength of Thy arm.

Antiphon 3: O Root of Jesse! Thou stand as a sign for all peoples; before Thee kings shall keep silence and to Thee all nations shall have recourse. Come, save us, and do not delay.

Antiphon 4: O Key of David, Scepter of the House of Israel! Thou doth open and no man closes; Thou doth close and no man opens. Come, and deliver from the chains of prison those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.

Antiphon 5: O Rising Dawn, Radiance of the Light eternal and Sun of Justice! Come and enlighten those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.

Antiphon 6: O King of the Gentile, the Awaited One of all! Thou are the cornerstone that binds two into one. Come, and save man whom Thou fashioned out of clay.

Antiphon 7: O Emmanuel, our King and Lawgiver, the Hope and Salvation of the nations! Come and save us, O Lord our God.

The O Antiphons suggest to us some thoughts.

When the encyclical Divini Redemptoris of Pius XI against Communism was published in 1937, the Pontiff noted in it that the world was in such a bad state that it was in danger of falling to a state lower than it was before the Redemption. And indeed, we can say that it fell. From 1937 to this date, the catastrophe has happened. The many evils described by Pius XI have only increased since his time. The world redeemed by Jesus Christ is now at a lower state than before His coming.

In this situation we long for a restoration so radical that is similar to a redemption. We hope for a renewal of the fruits of Redemption applied to the needs of our times. We have need of the punishment of those who despise Our Lord and have infiltrated into the deepest recesses of His Church. If they could, they would destroy her. We also call for those who can convert to be regenerated and reconciled with Our Lord. We need the Reign of Mary to be implanted.

So, for us, in the days that precede Christmas, these antiphons should express an appeal and a plea to the Infant Jesus to hasten a stronger and more triumphant and invincible action to re-implant His Kingdom on earth - with Mary, in Mary and through Mary.

We should ask Our Lady to obtain this from her Son. We also should ask her to increase our hope that this will happen. In this way, we will pass this week in expectation of these graces as Our Lady was waiting for the graces of the Our Lord’s coming before the feast of Christmas.