Saturday, February 26, 2011

Archbishop Nienstedt – Defender of Marriage and the Holy Eucharist

Support Archbishop Nienstedt
 
Archbishop John Nienstedt refused to allow the Holy Mass turn into a political protest. A group of 25 activists who are opposed to the Catholic Church’s teaching on marriage wore rainbow sashes at a Mass celebrated by the Archbishop.

Archbishop John NienstedtNot only did these protesters attend Mass wearing these sashes, but they tried to receive Communion despite publicly denouncing Church teaching. The protest organizer told the media: “We were making a statement during the Eucharist.”
The Archbishop of Saint Paul-Minneapolis would not allow the protestors to “make a statement” while receiving the Holy Eucharist. Archbishop Nienstedt refused to offer Communion to these activists who had already publicly announced their dis-unity.

These protesters told the media that their protest was spurred because Archbishop Nienstedt sent out DVDs which explained the Church’s position on marriage to 400,000 Catholics in Minnesota.

The Archbishop has been under attack for defending the Church’s position on marriage since the DVDs were mailed out (at no expense to the Church) in late September.
Show your support and thank Archbishop John Nienstedt for refusing to allow the Holy Eucharist be used in a political protest.  Thank this courageous bishop for standing strong for marriage as a union of a man and a woman.

“I support Archbishop Nienstedt!”

SIGN THE PETITION AT:
http://www.catholicvote.org/index.php?/site/actions_details/support_archbishop_nienstedt_for_defending_the_eucharist/

From Catholic Vote
 

Jesus Makes All Things New!

When We Frequent The Confessional
My Dear People,

Get revenge and “show no mercy” is the signature of our culture. Terrorism defines our age. Matthew’s gospel tells us no one can serve two Masters; either he will love one and hate the other; or serve one and not the other. Who is the master of your heart? Does Jesus the Divine Mercy reign over your soul, or does the evil one of unforgiveness and hate? Both cannot co-exist. Either you will live God’s Divine Mercy or the devil’s unforgiveness. When we allow hate and unforgiveness to fester in our hearts, it drains it of our Lord’s Mercy.

St. Faustina reminds us that we always have access to the ocean of Jesus’ Divine Mercy. Only sin and hate suffocate this great grace. Frequent confession causes us to leave our offertory gift at the altar, until we are reconciled with God and neighbor. We may not be able to fix all relationships making them new again, but we can pray and implore God’s Mercy upon them. This is why we must frequent the confessional. It is here that Jesus makes all things new again. Please remember, if you go weekly to Holy Communion you should frequently to to confession. Otherwise, you will waste the Divine graces given at Communion and end up bringing condemnation upon your soul. Pray now to be reconcile with all through Christ.

Entrusting you to the care of Our Lady,
Fr. Mark Bozada

May we always be ready to meet Jesus in the confessional, so we may benefit from all the graces of Holy Communion.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Jihadist Muslims Want Pope Benedict PUNISHED


Italy arrests Moroccans for inciting hatred of Pope
Six Moroccan men have been arrested in northern Italy on suspicion of seeking to incite hatred of Pope Benedict among Muslims.
Pope Benedict blesses Magdi Allam (left) after his baptism, 22 March 2008
Magdi Allam was baptized in 2008
Police in the city of Brescia said the suspects had allegedly banded together to stir up religious hatred.
A note was found calling for the Pope to be punished for converting a Muslim journalist to Roman Catholicism.
According to another source, the suspects are not suspected of planning attacks.
Five of the men, who are all Brescia residents, were placed under house arrest while the sixth was taken into custody.
The note found by police urges Muslim immigrants not to integrate into Italian society, Italian media report.

BBC mapPolice said the six were accused of "setting up a group that aimed to incite discrimination, racial and religious hatred, violence and jihad against Christians and Jews".

The Pope was condemned for converting Egyptian-born Magdi Allam, a former columnist for Italian daily Corriere della Sera.
Mr Allam, an outspoken critic of Muslim militancy and strong supporter of Israel, was baptized by the Pope in March 2008.

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I can't help but shudder when I read this recalling the Holy Father's words when he was elected: "Pray for me that I may not flee for fear of the wolves." 
We must pray daily for all our priests, religious and clergy, but pray to pray for the Holy Father's safety and strength as well!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

SAID MUSA RELEASED ... PRAISE GOD!

 WHO SAYS PRAYERS DON'T WORK!?! THANKS TO ALL WHO HELD SAID UP!

A Red Cross employee has captured international attention after being imprisoned and sentenced to death in Afghanistan for converting to Christianity.
Said Musa, who lost his leg to a land mine while serving in the Afghan army, worked with fellow amputees for the International Committee of the Red Cross for 15 years. Eight years ago, he converted to Christianity.
International Christian Concern (ICC) reports that Musa was released from prison last week. "The call came on February 21 from an official from the U.S. Embassy in Kabul confirming that Said Musa was released and safely out of the country," ICC reports. Compass Direct has confirmed Musa's release.
"According to Afghanistan's constitution, if there is no clear verdict as to whether an act is criminal or not in the penal code of the Afghan Constitution, then it would be referred to sharia law where the judge has an open hand in reaching a verdict," Qamaruddin Shenwari, director of the Kabul courts' north zone, told CNN.
Converting from Islam to Christianity is a capital offense under Shari'ah law. Over the past several weeks, Musa's story has gained attention in Europe and the United States, with articles appearing in London's Sunday Times and The Wall Street Journal, along with a high-profile Twitter campaign by prominent evangelical pastors, including Bethlehem Baptist Church's John Piper and Saddleback pastor Rick Warren.
Musa, who was sexually and physically abused in prison, was quietly transferred to a different prison last fall after he wrote a letter to the international church and President Barack Obama detailing his abuse and pleading for help. His wife and six children have fled to Pakistan.
The attention paid to Musa's case leaves some wondering why this case has been scrutinized in the Western media while many other Christians face similar persecution.
"It's a sympathetic case," said Paul Marshall, senior fellow in the Center for Religious Freedom. "Here he is, himself an amputee who lost a leg, working with amputees for Red Cross Red Crescent. He has six children. One is handicapped."
Musa's handwritten letter from prison also has an attractive quality, Marshall said. It's a strong affirmation of his faith but his English is imperfect, he said.
"He's an appealing figure," Marshall said. "He hasn't done things which secular media might not like, like trying to convert people." That makes this one of the clearest and most uncluttered religious freedom cases with a sympathetic figure, he said.
It's a good story, and the media were ready for the story, he said. Last October gunmen attacked a Catholic church in Baghdad during Mass, taking more than 100 hostages and killing 58. Two months later, a bomb during a New Year's Eve service killed 21 people at a Coptic church in Egypt.
"Those are two unusually large attacks and largely close in time, so that got attention," Marshall said. "That sort of deliberate bombing is unusual. The antennae are up."
Musa's location is also part of the equation, said Carl Moeller, president of Open Doors USA. The case should be a wake-up call to Americans that this is happening in Afghanistan—a country where we have invested American lives and billions of dollars, he said.
"We would have imagined that to be the case under the Taliban," Moeller said. "We would have assumed someone professing Jesus Christ as their Savior would be killed. But here is the government, in a nation we fought in and our boys and girls died for, [doing the same thing]. That's crazy to me that this is going on."
Musa's testimony has not been marred by any political angles, Moeller said. "In many ways he is a pure model of what Christian suffering looks like when it's at the hands of people who have no regard for the rights of people to convert," he said. "It's just wrong at every level."
While Musa's case has garnered lots of recent media attention, there are many more Christians who are suffering for their faith all over the world, Moeller said, pointing to Asia Bibi, who has received a death sentence in Pakistan for alleged blasphemy against Islam. In China, others are facing years in prison for their faith, he said. "They may never get the press Musa is receiving but it doesn't mean their stories are any less meaningful to God," he said.
Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect Musa's release.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Going to the Movies, or Learning your Faith?

The New Age Movement Is Incompatibile with Sound Christian Doctrine and Practice
Despite the secularism of our age – or perhaps, because of it – many people are rediscovering an interest in spirituality. One can go to almost any commercial bookstore and discover whole sections devoted to the theme.
Archbishop Thomas Wenski
Unfortunately, most of what sells as “spiritual reading,” usually classified under the heading of “New Age,” does not demand any more faith or belief than going to the movies. Not all that is marketed under the rubric “spirituality” is “chicken soup” for the Christian soul. Indeed, much of it, if consumed indiscriminately or unwarily, could prove poisonous to the life of faith. While New Age writings may seductively appeal to the legitimate longing of human nature, they are fundamentally opposed to Christian revelation.

Spirituality in our Catholic tradition is more than just narcissistic navel gazing. It is not a self-absorbed seeking after self-fulfillment found through esoteric teachings or practices. Christianity’s invitation is to look outwardly and beyond – to a “New Advent” of the God who calls us to a dialogue of love, a dialogue which invites us to conversion and submission to his will.
Authentic spirituality for the Christian is not so much about our search for God but God’s search for us. Spiritual life is a relationship with the Triune God entered into through our participation in Christ’s passion, death and resurrection through baptism and the living of a life of discipleship. This personal relationship with God grows through his free gift of grace and sheds light on our relationship to our fellow men and women and indeed on our relationship to the world.

New Age spirituality – born as a reaction to contemporary culture but nevertheless its child – certainly represents a new challenge to the Church today. Yet, there is very little that is “new” in New Age teachings. A joint statement issued a few years ago by the Pontifical Council for Culture and well as the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue quotes the Holy Father, who warns with regard to the “return of ancient Gnostic ideas under the guise of the so-called New Age: We cannot delude ourselves that this will lead toward a renewal of religion. It is only a new way of practicing Gnosticism – that attitude of the spirit that, in the name of a profound knowledge of God, results in distorting His Word and replacing it with purely human words.”

That statement entitled “Jesus Christ, the Bearer of the Water of Life,” offers an insightful analysis of the New Age movement and its incompatibility with sound Christian doctrine and practice. It specifically cautions against using the Enneagram, which in recent years has enjoyed some popularity among Christian groups and has even been promoted by some Catholic religious communities. The Enneagram, a pseudo-psychological exercise supposedly based on Eastern mysticism, introduces ambiguity into the doctrine and life of the Christian faith and therefore cannot be happily used to promote growth in an authentic Christian spirituality.
In Novo Milenio Ineunte, John Paul II urged parishes to become “authentic schools of prayer.” As he says: “we who have received the grace of believing in Christ, the revealer of the Father and the Savior of the world, have a duty to show to what depths the relationship with Christ can lead.” (n. 33)

As “Jesus Christ, the Bearer of the Water of Life” says: “To those shopping around in the world’s fair of religious proposals, the appeal of Christianity will be felt first of all in the witness of the members of the Church, in their trust, calm, patience and cheerfulness, and in their concrete love of neighbors, all the fruit of their faith nourished in authentic personal prayer.”

Genesis of Shi'a Islam

In order to understand the clerical rulers of Iran, we need to learn about the genesis of their religious faith, Shi’a Islam, and the pivotal place of the Mahdi. Examination of the vast Islamic literature shows that the present sect of Shi’a Islam has evolved from a mix of cultural, political, economic and religious influences. I shall outline, in a summary form, how the belief in the Mahdi, the revered Imam whose advent is expected by the Shi’a faithful, crystallized over time. The Mahdi is expected to appear and save the world when it has reached the depth of degradation and despair. Below is a brief chronological account of how Shiism and the belief in the Mahdi as its pivotal figure were formed.
  • Muhammad ruled with an iron fist while alive and no one contested his authority. He designated no heir, and left no will, oral or written, and had no male issue from any of his wives and slave women to inherit the office. Some believers, however, felt that the prophet wished for Ali, his cousin and son-in-law, to assume the Ummah’s leadership while a vast majority opted for the Arab’s traditional patriarchal seniority-based practice by choosing Abu-Bakr as the Caliph.
  • Abu Bakr, Muhammad’s oldest high disciple and the father of Muhammad’s nine-year-old child-bride Ayesha, assumed the position of the first Caliph and died shortly thereafter. He was followed by Umar ibn al-Khattaab. Then, Uthman ibn Affan became the third Caliph, and finally by Ali ibn Abu Talib.
  • Ali was considered by his admirers to be the greatest Muslim warrior and by his detractors as a vicious killer. Two of Ali’s sons, Hassan and Hussein were viewed similarly. Ali was murdered, according to one version, by one of his own followers who resented Ali’s capitulation to the Caliphate hierarchy. That is, the assassin and his like-minded Muslims felt that Ali betrayed Muhammad by not fighting to be his immediate successor and by consenting to be the fourth Caliph. Another version of his death is that a Persian warrior by the name of Brahman Jazyyeh killed Ali, avenging the death of numberless Persians that Ali and his people had slaughtered.
  • Ali reportedly killed untold numbers of Islam’s enemies, including Persians, with his much-feared sword that had its own name: Zulfiqar. He was addressed by his followers as Amir-ul-Momeneen (Commander of the Faithful).
  • The death of Ali transformed the feuding among the various Muslim factions into open warfare. Some decided to follow Ali’s son Hassan who was soon killed by contenders, then the faction adopted another son of Ali Hussein as their Imam. Hence, to these people, Ali was the first Imam; an appointee of Allah, without a firm basis for this belief. Ali was considered sinless and pure (taher) and immune from error. Over time, eleven males from Ali’s line were taken in succession as Pure Imams.
    Thus, the 12-Imamate Shi’a originated with Ali as the first, Hassan as the second, and his brother Hussein as the third Imam.
  • Hussein was killed in a fierce lopsided battle with Muslim opponents of the Imamate (those who opposed the system of Imamate leadership which is based on the hereditary succession of leaders from the line of Ali.) The two major divisions in Islam diverged with Sunnis opting for the elective Caliphate and Shiites for the hereditary Imamate.
  • After Hussein’s death, some of his followers claimed that he had not died and that he would return. Others took to his brother Muhammad, and then later many took to Hussein’s son Zayn al-Abidin, as their Imam; and when he died, many followed his son, Muhammad Al-Baqir.
  • Starting with the death of Ali, a strong belief began to form among his grieving followers that he had not died and that he would return to assume his rule. This belief in the return continued and eventually metamorphosed into the notion of Mahdi, or the Sahib-ul- Zaman (the Lord of the Age.)
  • When al-Baqir died, there were once again elements from among the Shi’a who denied his death and claimed that he would return one day, while others settled on his son Ja'far al-Sadiq as their Imam.
  • When Ja'far al-Sadiq died, there was mass splintering among the Shi’a. Each of his sons Isma'il, Abdullah, Muhammad, Zakariyya, Ishaq and Musa Al Kazem was claimed by various groups to be their Imam. Also a faction believed that Jaa'far did not die, he had simply disappeared from view, and that he would return one day.
  • The same splintering and confusion happened after the death of Moosa. Some denied his death, believing that he will return, some following his son Ahmad as their Imam, while others chose his other son Ali al-Rida .
  • After al-Rida, many took his son Muhammad al-Jawwad , also known as al-Taqi, and after him his son Ali al-Hadi -, or an-Naqi. At the death of Ali al-Hadi, they adopted his son Hassan al-Askari  as their new- and 11th- Imam.
The above is a very brief synopsis of a tumultuous genesis of the Shi’a adoption of the Imamate belief which climaxed at year 254 AH: the time when a major section of the Shi'a accepted as their Imam the 22-year old Hassan, son of Ali al-Hadi, and 10th lineal descendant of Ali and his wife Fatima (Muhammad’s daughter). Six years later, Hassan al-Askari is lying on his deathbed, but unlike any of his forefathers he leaves no offspring, no one to whom the Shi’a might turn to as their new Imam.
The Shiites, who had been regarding Hassan al-Askari as their Imam, were thrown into mass disarray. Does this mean the end of the Imamate? The end of the Imamate, they felt would mean the end of Shiism. They were not prepared for that.
The confusion that reigned among the Shi'a after the death of Hassan al-Askari is recorded by his contemporary Shi'a writer, Hassan ibn Moosa an-Nawbakhti, who reports the emergence of at least 14 sects among the followers of Hassan al-Askari, each one with a different view of the future of the Imamate and the identity of the next Imam. Another contemporary Shi’a writer, Sa'd ibn Abdullah al-Qummi, records 15 sects, and a century later the historian al-Mas'udi lists 20 separate sects.
At least four major divisions of belief emerged to deal with the crisis of not having a legitimate male from the line of Muhammad to turn to as Imam. One group accepted the death of Hassan al-Askari and the fact that he left no offspring. To them Imamate had ended in like manner that Nubuwat (mission of Muhammad himself) had ended with his death. Yet, some in this group retained hope for the advent of a new Imam.
Another group refused to accept the death of Hassan al- Askari, and claimed that he would return in the future to establish justice upon earth. The refusal to accept the death of an Imam and retain the belief in his future return goes back to the very early days of the Imamate line.
Yet another group bestowed the mantle of Imamate to Hassan’s brother Jaa'far.
The final major group headed by Uthman ibn Sa'id al-'Amri claimed that Hassan al-Askari did in fact have a son, Muhammad, who had gone into hiding at the age of four for reasons of safety and no one but himself could have any contact with him.  Uthman ibn Sa'id al-'Amri further claimed that as Wakeel (representative) of the Imam he was the one to collect money in the name of the Imams of the Ahl al-Bayt (descendents of Muhammad).
Hassan al-Askari's own family denied the existence of any child of his, and divided his estate between his brother Jaa'far and his mother. Yet Uthman ibn Sa'id and his gang won the allegiance of the masses of the believers by denouncing Jaa'far as al-Kadhdhab (the Liar).
This school of thought ultimately became the dominant view in Shiism with a new Wakeel following the death of a previous one.
With the passage of time, in-fighting among the various claimants for being the Wakeel exposed the scheme for nothing more than a way of extracting money from the gullible faithful. Yet, the belief in the Hidden Imam and his return remains a fundamental belief of Shiites.
To this day, the ever-supplicated cry of the Shi’a faithful is Ya Saheb-ul-Zaman (Lord of the Age Mahdi) hasten your return. Who is the much prayed for Mahdi? The four-year old who never was? The four-year old who went into hiding in a well, as some Shiites believe to this day—the well in Iran’s Jamkaran where president Ahmadinejad frequently visits, submits his written requests, and receives his marching orders from the Hidden Imam to whom he claims he is accountable?
Debunking the belief in the Hidden Imam and his return is pivotal to the falsifying of Shiism and helping the long-deluded Muslims in abandoning a fiction that has ruled and ruined their lives for far too long.
FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor Amil Imani is an Iranian-born American citizen and a pro-democracy activist residing in the United States of America. Imani is a columnist, literary translator, novelist and essayist who has been writing and speaking out for the struggling people of his native land, Iran. He maintains a website at www.amilimani.com. Amil Imani is the author of the smashing book Obama Meets Ahmadinejad.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Prayers ANSWERED .. One Soul at a time!



Former Planned Parenthood director, now pro-life, to become Catholic

SAN FRANCISCO (CNS) -- A woman who walked away from her job as a Planned Parenthood clinic director in 2009, after helping with an ultrasound-guided abortion is preparing to enter the Catholic Church.

Abby Johnson, 30, who has been speaking at pro-life events around the country, will become a Catholic, along with her husband, Doug, in her native Texas within the next few months. The couple has a 4-year-old daughter. "When we went to the Catholic Church for the first time, we knew that was where we were supposed to be and we have been there ever since," said Johnson, who said she particularly loves the church's reverence for Mary as the mother of God.

"The more we started learning about the beliefs of the church and the Eucharist and everything, it seemed like this was what had been missing our whole lives." After eight years as a Planned Parenthood volunteer and employee, Johnson walked away from her job as director of a Planned Parenthood clinic in Bryan/College Station, Texas, Oct. 6, 2009, during a prayer vigil by 40 Days for Life. Johnson, who had one abortion at age 20 and another at 23, first began working as a clinic escort while a student at Texas A&M University. Assisting with an ultrasound during an abortion in September 2009 turned her into a pro-life advocate.

She describes the experience in her book "Unplanned: The Dramatic True Story of the Planned Parenthood Leader Who Crossed the Life Line to Fight for Women in Crisis," written with Cindy Lambert (Ignatius Press, 2011).
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
Last night I cracked open Unplanned, the Abby Johnson story, by Thomas Peters


Abby made headlines in 2009 when, as a former Planned Parenthood abortion director, she left the company after experiencing a pro-life conversion during her participation in an ultrasound-assisted abortion. I blogged about it here.
I wasn’t expecting Unplanned to be as good as it is so far. Abby worked with an assisting author to make sure her story and experiences are told in a compelling fashion.
If reading the first chapter doesn’t convince you to buy the book, nothing I say will. But the first chapter convinced me to read on (chapter after chapter, later into the night than I had planned). This is the kind of book that changes hearts, and changes how we talk to the other side, because Abby is from the other side. Her description of the attitudes within Planned Parenthood and those in the abortion industry is as direct as accessing her recent memories.
Unplanned is already available for purchase (yes, on Kindle too) and is about to break into the top 10 bestselling books on Amazon. Let’s push it over the top and in the process, learn how one heart was changed, so we can better reach out to other hearts we want to change. That’s one of the ways we will rebuild a culture of life in this country.
UPDATE: You can purchase the Catholic Edition of the book here.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The REAL Cost of Abortion! Your Senator HAS A COPY!

A generous donor saw to it that every US Senator received a copy of this most important video. It's an hour long and they get a lot of mail. PLEASE take a moment to email, write or phone them to urge them to take that hour, which will be WELL SPENT, and review the material that Michael and his staff have painstakingly put together to provide this wealth of REAL INFORMATION and bottom line on what "CHOICE" REALLY produces in this country and in our souls. Watch it yourself .. it is here for your convenience, in its entirety.

And for a list of Senators contact information, just click right HERE.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Is Our Culture Worse Than Sodom And Gomorrah?

We look around and we see things in our own society getting worse and worse and worse –not only our society, but throughout the world. We ask ourselves, “What is it going to take? What does God have to do to get people turned around?” We might say, “If He did some sort of miracle, people would surely believe.” How many miracles does He need to do? They are happening all the time, yet people refuse to believe. The amazing thing is that very often it is even the people for whom the miracles were done who refuse to believe these days. God does something extraordinary right in someone’s life and they just shrug it off! They continue to act the way that they were before. We are in such a situation that we have to understand that our society is worse than Sodom and Gomorrah. Now that is quite a statement, yet it is true. Sodom and Gomorrah would have converted if the works that the Lord continues to do even in our own day would have been done in them.

We have heard in the Gospel reading about towns where Our Lord did the vast majority of His work, and He condemns them because they did not believe. It is quite amazing to hear what He has to say about these other towns, about Tyre and Sidon, about Sodom and Gomorrah, that Sodom would still have been around to that particular day if the works done in Capernaum had been done in Sodom. We all know what happened in Sodom, the horrible sins that were going on there, the gross homosexuality and all the problems that they had. And we know that when the angels came to Sodom, they wanted to sodomize the angels. Yet Our Lord is telling us that if those works that He did had been done in Sodom, Sodom would still be standing because the people would have converted.

Our Culture Is Worse Than Sodom And Gomorrah
The Vast Majority Refuse To Repent and Believe In The Gospel
But we have been untouched as a society by the works of the Lord. How many Masses are said everyday. How many graces are brought down to this earth through the Mass being offered, through generous souls who are willing to suffer, through the prayers of good and holy people. Yet things continue just to degenerate. At the time of Our Lord, they did not understand the value of suffering. They did not have the Mass. They had Jesus going into these towns and working mighty deeds, but He told us that we would do even greater things than what He had done. So we have all of the saints. We have our Blessed Lady. We have Our Lord. We have the Mass. We have an understanding of the value of prayer and suffering and sacrifice and all these things. We have many, many generous people who are offering themselves to the Lord as victim souls and who are offering their daily sufferings to the Lord. Still, the vast majority refuses to hear and to change.

We Have To Continue To Pray And Do Penance For Our Lost Brothers And Sisters
We need desperately to continue to pray and to continue to offer our sufferings and sacrifices to the Lord. It is the only way. The devil right now has such a hold on the people of this world that our only hope for being able to snatch them from the hands of Satan is going to be through prayer and sacrifice. There are many who are willing to do so, yet when we look at the whole world, it is hardly a handful by comparison. God needs generous souls and He needs them desperately. We can be guaranteed if we are willing to offer up those sacrifices to the Lord that we will see extraordinary things happening, that we will know there are graces being brought to this world and there are souls who are being touched and converted. Even if things continue to go the wrong way on the large scale, we can be guaranteed that God’s grace is working in the lives of individuals to save their souls. That may be at the last moment of their life as they are dying, to get turned around, it may be in some other circumstance, and it may well be people that we do not even know. It does not matter. All that matters is that we have the faith, the confidence, and the trust that the Lord is going to accept what we offer Him and that He will apply it where it is most needed. So we need to do our part.

Beg The Lord For The Grace Of Conversion For Our Loved Ones And The World
If the works that have been done in our day had been done in a place like Sodom, it would have converted. America and the rest of the world have not. We have rejected the grace of God, and we have chosen sin that is far worse than what Sodom ever knew. We need to pray and we need to do penance. We need to beg the Lord to open the way so that people will be able to receive the grace so they will be converted and saved.
Father Robert Altier-DesertVoice.com

Won’t you pray for mercy while there is still time for mercy?? 
Join me in praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy for the world daily at 3pm along with the USA Chaplet and the holy Rosary ... this will be a good start!

Friday, February 18, 2011

How Do We Fix This?

Something's broken ... has been for a long time now. It needs to be fixed, but where to begin? Does anyone even know what it really IS? Well it's many things really and it all began (as I've said for decades now) back in the 60's when they decided it would be ok to remove prayer from schools and begin to banish God from the public place. There's a lot of broken hearts out there. Mostly because they've become so hardened over the years by lack of nurturing (hearing the Word of God) and proper diet (frequent Holy Communion). I've also noticed many many stiff necks that along with blindness and deafness keep them from seeing, hearing and acknowledging the REAL TRUTH because they've been led to believe that truth is relative and goes according to one's conscience. The tiny flaw in that is that in order for your conscience to actually be worth anything and produce proper guidance, it must be correctly formed according to REAL TRUTH in the FIRST PLACE or it is totally worthless and will lead quickly down the road to perdition. So .. here we are. How to fix it? Well for starters:
PRAYER
PENANCE
CONFESSION
HOLY COMMUNION
And a lot of it.



A note from Fr. Bozada: Can a Catholic Not Know Jesus?

My Dear People,

Many Christians are confused about the difference between religion and faith. The term religion is a reference to the organized aspect of the denomination. One might belong to a congregation, and fulfill all of their requirements, but Jesus could be totally absent from the picture. This is why Our Lord was so frustrated with the Pharisees. They were very religious. They knew Jewish Law, but God was absent from the picture. So it is possible to be Catholic in name and practice, but not to know who Jesus is.

That is where “faith” enters in. You have faith in a person, not a religion. It is possible to be a Catholic your whole life, and not grow in your faith in Jesus Christ. It is why in Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus calls us to be the salt of the Earth, a light to the world. We must be ready to share the person of Jesus Christ with one another. He is our Light… That is the recipe for growth in our faith!

Entrusting you to the care of Our Lady,

Fr. Mark Bozada

Monday, February 14, 2011

PLEASE PRAY FOR SAID MUSA & DO what you Can to help ... "I AM IN AWE OF SUCH FAITH"

I'm asking all Christians to bring Said Musa's name (and all other of todays martyrs) to all churches, prayer groups, friends, relatives, groups, etc. for prayer. He has endured unspeakable humiliations and tortures for EIGHT MONTHS rather than denounce our Lord Jesus! This is HEROIC VIRTUE and saints are made of this stuff! We think we have it bad? THINK AGAIN! Everyone needs to pray for this man and tell all they know so that he may continue giving God glory and honor till they either release him or God takes him home. Truly a modern day saint of which we could learn MUCH! May our glorious Triune God grant Said the graces needed to sustain him, give him strength, peace, protection. This man's love is very great! And with great love for God comes GREAT JOY even in adversity. Praise God!

An Afghanistan Christian and father of six, is imprisoned and scheduled to die. His crime? He believes Christ is his Savior. And he is scheduled to die because of it. No defense lawyer will take his case for fear of retribution. And he has been told that if he renounces Christ things would go easier. But he doesn’t. He won’t.
Said Musa, who lost his leg from a landmine in the 1990’s and has worked since then as a medical worker for the Red Cross fitting children with prosthetics, has been in jail for eight months. According to a public letter written by him and addressed to our President and the world community, he has been brutally tortured and abused in every way possible, both by guards and inmates.
As of yet the media and the world seem to have taken little notice of Said Musa. There are currently less than 100 mentions of Musa in the news and most of them are not considered part of the mainstream media, other than the Wall Street Journal.
Musa wrote a public letter which I will excerpt here, courtesy of The Barnabus Fund. The English is rough but I think you’ll understand what he’s saying:
“To the international church of world and to the President Brother Barak Obama President of the United States and to the head of ISAF [International Security Assistance Force] in Afghanistan!
“My name is Said Musa 45 years old. I have been working since 15 years as a Physiotherapist in I-C-R-C [International Committee of the Red Cross] orthopaedic centre in Kabul, Afghanistan. About four and a half months before by security force of Afghanistan I [was] captured, due to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, Saviour of the world.
...Since that time I am in jail. The authority and prisoners in jail did many bad behaviour with me about my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. For example, they did sexual things with me, beat me by wood, by hands, by legs, put some things on my head, mocked me ‘He’s Jesus Christ’, spat on me, nobody let me for sleep night and day. Every person spat on me and beat me. Also the prosecutor wrote something wrong against me. He told from himself something wrong against me on my file.
“He is stimulating every day the prisoners against me, ‘He is also in jail due to spy for Iran country’, to reveal the church in Kabul. I’m in a very and very bad condition in the jail.
“I agree with long imprisonment about my faith even for long life. Because I’m the sinnest person in the world. Because sometimes they treated for died I refuse my faith due to died. Sometimes I tolerate the persecution but immediately I acknowledge my sin before Lord Jesus Christ: ‘Don’t refuse me before your holy angels and before your Father.’ Because I am very very weak and sinful man…
I am alone between 400 handlers of terrible values in the jail like a sheep. Please, please, for the sake of Lord Jesus Christ help me. Please send a person who should supervise my document and my file, what I said in it. My prosecutor has told something wrong to the judge because he asked [for] money but I refused his request. Please, please you should transfer me from this jail to a jail that supervises the believers. I also agree with died on cross of my pride. I also agree with the sacrifice [of] my life in public, I will tell the faith in Lord Jesus Christ son of God and other believers will take courage and be strong in their faith. Hundred percent I am stable to my word. I have family of seven - one wife, three daughters and three sons. My big son [is] about eight years old. One of my daughters can’t speak, she has some mental problems.
“This is a request from me to all over the world, people please help me. I could not have any person to help. For [the] sake [of] Lord Jesus Christ please pray and immediately help me and rescue me from this jail. Otherwise, they will kill me, because I know they’re very very very cruel and hard hearted!
“Your destitute brother in the world.
“Please my English writing is not enough good. If I did some mistake please forgive me! From Kabul Provincial jail.”
I have to wonder how this can be going on when American troops are in Afghanistan.
The Wall Street Journal reported that U.S. embassy officials have said they’ve called for his release as and have expressed their “strong concern.”
But Afghani officials have insisted that “the sentence for a convert is death and there is no exception.”
The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has urged the Canadian government to stand up for Said. Writing on the bishops’ behalf, Archbishop Brendan O’Brien of Kingston, chairman of the CCCB Human Rights Committee, wrote:
We urge the Government of Canada to express its condemnation of this religious persecution, and to intervene with the Government of Afghanistan for mercy and clemency for Mr. Sayed.
Pope Benedict XVI recently decried the persecution of Christians throughout the world as well, bringing attention to the issue.

I have always supported America’s mission in Afghanistan but if we do nothing while the country we’re fighting for puts a Christian to death simply for being a Christian, I can’t think of how we can continue to support the mission. This is not a fringe element imprisoning Musa. This is the government of Afghanistan which we are propping up with our military presence. Our young men and women are dying for this mission while the Afghani government may be set to kill a man for the crime of being Christian?
I pray to God that our President, his administration, and world leaders are working behind the scenes to ensure that Said Musa is not put to death for his Christianity. I pray that he is not forgotten. I pray for strength for Said Musa. I pray that I too would have the faith he has shown by recently saying, “My body is theirs to do what they want with. Only God can decide if my spirit goes to hell.”

I am in awe of such faith. And all I can do is pray for him and ask others to pray that President Obama and other world leaders will do all they can possibly do to cease the killing of Said Musa and persecuted Christians all around the world.

from: National Catholic Register 









Christians pray during a mass at a church in Kabul.
Said Musa is facing execution unless he converts back to Islam

Afghan Red Cross worker Said Musa to be hanged for converting to Christianity

An Afghan physiotherapist will be executed within three days for converting to Christianity.
Said Musa, 45, has been held for eight months in a Kabul prison were he claims he has been tortured and sexually abused by inmates and guards.

Mr Musa, who lost his left leg in a landmine explosion in the 1990s, has worked for the Red Cross for 15 years and helps to treat fellow amputees.
He was arrested in May last year as he attempted to seek asylum at the German embassy following a crackdown on Christians within Afghanistan.

He claims he was visited by a judge who told him he would be hanged within days unless he converted back to Islam.

But he remains defiant and said he would be willing to die for his faith.
He told the Sunday Times: 'My body is theirs to do what they want with.

'Only God can decide if my spirit goes to hell.'

Defence lawyers have refused to represent him, while others have dropped the case after receiving death threats.

Mr Musa was arrested after a TV station showed western men baptising Afghans during secret ceremonies.

SOURCE: Daily Mail

Catholics – Have An Absolute Moral Obligation to Oppose Same-Sex Unions

Fr. Michael Rodríguez - ”My friends, Don’t Be Deceived by the Mellifluous Catchwords of Tolerance and Equality.”
Fr. Rodríguez first made headlines with an editorial in the El Pazo Times, which caught the attention of his bishop with a public reprimand.  Now, Father Rodríguez is doing it again.  Read the post below.
    Father Michael Rodríguez: Any Catholic Who 
    Supports Homosexual Acts Is Committing A Mortal Sin
    Bishop Rebukes Priest
    On Jan. 18, City Council decided to reword its proposed “non-discrimination” amendment to the Charter of the City of El Paso.
    Let City Council be forewarned. A majority of El Paso’s voters already rejected an agenda that seeks to equate same-sex unions with the venerable institution of marriage.
    It is morally incumbent upon City Council to cease efforts to manipulate and define the term “non-discrimination” in such a way as to suit a misguided, if not pernicious, agenda.
    If City Council is obstinate in pursuing its course of action and dragging the city through another election, this will be a glaring display of arrogance, fiscal irresponsibility and disrespect toward the Nov. 2 vote of the majority of El Paso’s citizens.
    Even more importantly, it will be morally wrong. Why?
    It’s morally reprehensible to misconstrue “non-discrimination” in such ways as to give public sanction to “lifestyles” that are gravely sinful and harmful to the common good of our city.
    My friends, don’t be deceived by the mellifluous catchwords of “tolerance” and “equality.” In truth, we’re facing a deliberate attempt on the part of our local government to initiate the legalization of same-sex unions.

    Can We Tolerate Same-Sex Union Legalization?
    This is completely immoral. No Catholic nor person of goodwill can accept this assault on the institution of marriage.
    As Roman Catholics, there’s no question that it’s our sacred duty before Almighty God to vote against any amendment to the City Charter that undermines marriage. Every single Catholic has an absolute moral obligation to oppose sexual immorality and defend the Sacrament of Matrimony, instituted by Jesus Christ Himself.
    Moreover, there is now a group calling itself “El Pasoans for Equality” whose homosexual agenda is in direct conflict with the truth and the teachings of Jesus Christ and His Holy Church. No Catholic may participate in or support this group. Doing so would mean placing oneself outside of communion with the Catholic Church.

    What Does The Homosexual Agenda Violate
    In summary, the maleficent agenda which lurks behind the actions of City Council and has given rise to the group “El Pasoans for Equality” is an affront to God, our Catholic religion, human reason, marriage and the family.
    This homosexual agenda is in direct violation of: (1) the Sixth and Ninth Commandments, (2) the infallible moral teachings of the Catholic Church (Catechism #2357), (3) natural law and the most rudimentary moral code, (4) recent pronouncements by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (Dec. 29, 1975; Oct. 1, 1986; July 23, 1992; June 3, 2003), and (5) the 2009 pastoral letter on marriage by our nation’s Catholic bishops.
    Jesus Christ’s greatest gift to the world is Himself, inseparably united to His Holy Catholic Church. His infinite love becomes incarnate in the sacramental life of the Church.

    Love The Sinner
    Holy Mother Church has a great, wondrous and tender love for all her children, regardless of “sexual orientation.” She is committed to treating all persons with love, dignity, and respect. However, the Church is also categorically opposed to sinful actions.

    What Is True Charity?
    Jesus Christ’s truth radiates forth in the teachings of His Church. If any person is engaging in sinful sexual activity, we Catholics are called to practice love and compassion, above all, by leading the person to the truth, and helping the sinner to renounce sinful behavior.
    Remember, the supreme law of the Church is the salvation of souls!
    In His love for poor sinners, Jesus always called them to turn away from sin and embrace God’s law. “Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love.” (John 15:10)
    Father Michael Rodríguez is the parish priest at San Juan Bautista Catholic Church.

    Saturday, February 12, 2011

    Father James Farfaglia: Marriage Is Forever!

    “You have heard that it was said,You shall not commit adultery. But I say to you, everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5: 27-28).
    These words spoken by our Lord provide an excellent opportunity for us to reflect upon the Sacrament of Marriage.

    The Sacrament of Marriage represents a lifelong commitment on the part of the spouses.  For better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do you part; marriage is forever.

    Increasingly the dominant American culture has intensified the barrage against marriage. Every day millions of living rooms are inundated with the lustful images depicted in soap operas, situation comedies, movies, talk shows and music videos. Magazines extol immoral lifestyles. Weekly tabloids play up the scandalous sexual proclivities of film, sports and television celebrities.

    This onslaught against marriage has been relentless, seemingly working toward discrediting the notion of Christian marriage as an institution and cornerstone of society.
    It is very easy for married couples to become discouraged and overwhelmed.  For this reason I wrote a book for men which has helped thousands of men around the world to see the beauty of the Sacrament of Marriage and it has given them the practical tools to live a faithful, successful and joyful marriage.
    Since there is so much confusion about marriage even among Catholics, it is important that we remember some basics facts about marriage as a sacrament.

    What Circumstances Can Make A Marriage Invalid?
    1) A man and a woman living together under the same roof, unmarried and engaging in sexual intimacy are committing fornication, a mortal sin.
    2) Parents who tolerate this promiscuity in their homes also commit a mortal sin.
    3) A civil marriage between two Catholics or between a Catholic and a Protestant is not a marriage.  This may be a sin of fornication or adultery depending on the circumstances.
    4) A divorced Catholic spouse who enters into a new marriage civilly before receiving an annulment commits adultery.  He or she needs to wait for the annulment before entering into a new marriage.
    5) When a divorced Catholic spouse seeking an annulment does not wait for the annulment process to be completed and enters into a new marriage in any Protestant church, this too is adultery.  The divorced spouse is still married.
    6) A Catholic who marries in a Protestant church without the proper dispensation from the bishop of the diocese enters into an invalid marriage.
    7) A marriage between homosexual partners is not a marriage.


    A Guide To Handling The Above Cases
    In all of the cases stated above, those living in any of these irregular situations cannot receive Holy Communion until they reconcile their lives with God.   Reconciliation can take place in the following manner:
    Case #1 – The couple will first need to split up, confess their sin and receive absolution; and then marry in the Church. If they really love one another, they will be more concerned about the salvation of their souls.
    Case #2 – The parents who have been tolerating this situation of sexual intimacy before marriage need to become more demanding and urge the couple to split up and marry in the Church.  The parents need to go to Confession.
    Case #3 – If no previous marriage exists, couples in these circumstances must go to Confession and then contract a valid marriage in the Catholic Church.
    Cases # 4 and #5 – Before these individuals can go to Confession and receive Communion, they will need to obtain an annulment.  If there are no dependent children living in the household, they should split up until they have obtained the annulment.  If there are dependent children in the home, the couple should avoid sexual intimacy by separating or by living in separate rooms until they have obtained the annulment.  By living in a state of celibacy, they can then approach the Sacraments of Confession and Eucharist.
    Case #6 – Those having attempted marriage in this manner need to have the marriage validated and blessed by a Catholic priest.
    Case #7 –Ceremonies of this sort can never be marriages. Catholics must never attend these ceremonies because they give rise to scandal.

    Moral Relativism And Hedonism Has Contributed To Great Confusion Among Catholics
    Aside from all of the confusion caused by moral relativism and hedonism, more Catholics in recent decades have become confused by the alarming number of annulments being granted to Catholics on what many regard as slender or insufficient grounds.
    An annulment is not a Catholic divorce, as some mistakenly believe. A valid marriage signifies the full and free consent of a man and woman to live together in Holy Matrimony for the rest of their lives.  An annulment means that an impediment exists which has hindered the full and free consent of those contracting marriage.
    Many Catholic priests agree with my experience, that in the majority of cases, the large number of failed marriages has resulted from the couples having  been insufficiently prepared for the Sacrament of Marriage in the first place. True, many couples do marry for the wrong reasons; however, parishes in many parts of the country have been negligent in providing thorough and caring marriage preparation for engaged couples.

    Chastity Is The Best Preparation For Marriage
    Still, the best preparation for marriage is Christian chastity.  It is this virtue of chastity that helps a married couple to remain faithful to one another. But, if young people are not being sufficiently challenged to cultivate this virtue, we may be marrying many who have developed profound sexual addictions through a promiscuous life style; and these addictions in and of themselves will not allow for the necessary full and free consent to take place.
    Whether clergy or concerned lay people, we need to take the time to help young people live chastely in a very difficult world.  Encouraging them to develop a rich Eucharistic life, to use the Sacrament of Confession frequently, to practice devotion to Mary and to avail themselves of on-going spiritual direction, all these are the proven ways by which we can help strengthen young people to live out their relationship with Jesus and each other.
    The Church must not capitulate to the clamors of the secular world.  By the holiness of their lives, both the clergy and married couples can be a wonderful help to those who are called to the Sacrament of Marriage.

    Fidelity Is The Path In Which One Finds Personal Joy and Peace
    For those who are already married, mutual fidelity is the path that provides personal joy and peace.  However, subject as we are to the effects of Original Sin, we are all fallen creatures of flesh and blood, and it is normal that fidelity can prove a struggle. For married couples a daily renewal of their personal commitment to their spouses, a well disciplined spiritual life and a realistic acceptance of their own personal limitations will provide the lasting strength to remain faithful until death.
    As a priest, I have always delighted in the exuberant joy of young couples as they marry and then bring their first child to the parish to be baptized.  I have always admired those elderly couples, who after the many years of happiness and patience, still faithfully wear their wedding rings by now embedded in the worn and wrinkled fingers that have been tried by the adversities of life.


    The Church Always Welcomes Those Who Suffer In Difficult Marital Situations
    Finally, although the Catholic Church upholds the indissolubility of marriage, the Church always welcomes her children who are divorced and separated.  Those who suffer from difficult marital situations are always welcomed as living members of Christ’s Church.  Even in those situations where individuals may not be able to participate fully in the Eucharist, the doors of the Catholic Church remain open to all, welcoming all to be living members of the family of God.
    No matter how difficult a personal history or situation may be, there is always a solution for those who are open to doing God’s will. And all those who are entrusted with the pastoral care of souls must be kind, patient, compassionate, understanding and willing to spend a lot of time ministering to all those who seek their loving care.
    This weekend many will be celebrating Saint Valentine’s Day.  The annual celebration of this beautiful day provides married couples to renew their love for each other.  This feast day also provides young people who preparing for the Sacrament of Marriage to live a profoundly chaste love.  Again, as I explained in my book, chastity is the antidote to lust.

    Lust is a distortion of love.  Chastity is true love.

    Wednesday, February 9, 2011

    Request from Irish Catholics to keep Abortion out of Ireland

    Please keep this most important petition in your daily prayers! THANK YOU!

    Here in Ireland, we are getting ready to face a General Election and possibly a new government. Please read the letter and if you are in Ireland please help to keep abortion out of Ireland. If you are living outside Ireland, continue to pray with us.

    Our Lady of Knock, pray for us and for the unborn.

    Re: General Election 2011

    The General Election has been called and we have just received new postcards from the printers today, directed at the leaders of Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and Labour. As you are aware, following the European Court of Human Rights' decision against Ireland, the Labour party promised to legislate for abortion if in Government - quite wide-ranging abortion. Also, there is still the problem of getting legislation to protect human embryos outside the body of the mother. We are seeking commitments from party leaders and also from candidates, not to legislate for abortion and to protect human embryos.

    There is no need to legislate for abortion to comply with the European Court's ruling. It can be dealt with in acceptable ways but as Labour has had a pro-abortion policy over many years, they are determined to push for legislation. The danger is that, if one were to believe the polls, Labour could end up as the largest party in the Dáil or alternatively part of a coalition government.

    Please send the postcards to the party leaders. We'll also have election flyers in the next few days for distribution locally, calling on voters to seek public commitments from candidates and parties on the pro-life issue. To order leaflets or postcards, please ring 01-6629275 or email prolife@indigo.ie. The next few weeks will be an absolutely critical time for the right-to-life. This is, therefore, an urgent plea to you to commit to helping our campaign in whatever practical ways you see fit.

    With best wishes and regards,
    Yours sincerely
    John O'Reilly
    Secretary, Pro Life Campaign, 104 Lower Baggot Street, Dublin 2

    PS: If you visit our website at http://www.facebook.com/l/5dad9uBWsePDRqooCWUrSBzAwoQ;www.prolifecampaign.ie there are virtual postcards which you can send, not only to the party leaders, but to other candidates as well.

    Coming Home

    This needs no introduction .. praise God when even *one* returns! "That all be saved and none be lost, every soul is worth the cost!"

    Sunday, February 6, 2011

    Muslims to protect Christians as they hold Mass in Cairo


    Cairo, Egypt (CNN) -- Anti-government protesters took to the streets for the 13th day Sunday as Egypt's regime showed signs of change and ripples of normalcy slowly swept across Egypt.
    Christians planned a Mass in Cairo's Tahrir Square on Sunday afternoon, anti-government protesters in the square said.
    Muslim protesters said they would form a ring around the Christians to protect them during the service. The Mass will pay tribute to those killed during clashes.
    Meanwhile, the Muslim Brotherhood said it was meeting with Vice President Omar Suleiman on Sunday. Days earlier, the group had said it would not negotiate until President Hosni Mubarak leaves office.
    "We did not change our stance. We decided to take the people's demands to the negotiation table," said Essam el-Erian, a spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood.
    Suleiman wrapped up a session with opposition members Sunday and started meeting with six young people representing protesters in Tahrir Square, according to state television.
    The Muslim Brotherhood is an opposition Islamist umbrella group that is officially banned but tolerated in Egypt.
    The group's meeting with the government was the latest development in national political talks after state television reported that key members of the ruling National Democratic Party resigned from leadership positions Saturday. The resignation was the strongest gesture yet to placate angry Egyptians who have been protesting for almost two weeks.
    Meanwhile, some banks opened for the first time since January 27 -- two days after protests began. About 50 people lined up outside a bank in Cairo, while other banks were less crowded or remained closed.
    The nation's central bank imposed restrictions on withdrawals by individuals, but not by companies, said Ahmed Ismail, manager of the Abu Dhabi National Bank.
    Anti-government protesters have said they will continue demonstrating until Mubarak steps down. But the embattled Mubarak, however, remained in his position as head of the party's higher council and as head of state despite popular demands that he relinquish power immediately.
    Mubarak's son, Gamal, was among those who resigned from party posts, meaning that he is no longer eligible to take over after his father.
    Mubarak has already announced he will not seek re-election in a September vote. Gamal Mubarak's resignation effectively puts to rest a widespread belief that the embattled president was preparing for a dynastic handover.
    The United States has been mounting pressure on Mubarak to step aside. On Saturday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, speaking at a security conference in Germany, said it is "important to follow the transition process announced by the Egyptian government, actually headed by Vice President Omar Suleiman."
    U.S. President Barack Obama, in phone calls with foreign leaders Saturday, emphasized the importance of an "orderly, peaceful transition" to a government that is "responsive to the aspirations of the Egyptian people."
    The diplomatic official who delivered a message from the Obama administration to Egypt's leadership this week, however, said Mubarak "remains utterly critical in the days ahead as we sort our way toward the future" and must stay in office.
    Changes are needed in Egypt to pave the way for a smooth transition, and "the president must stay in office in order to steer those changes through," said Frank Wisner, a former ambassador to Egypt. "It's his opportunity to write his own legacy."
    U.S. officials emphasized that Wisner was speaking for himself, as an expert on the region, and not for the Obama administration.
    Some demonstrators said the resignations within the ruling party were a "sedative" move by Mubarak to appease the people.
    "This is just one silly attempt to calm down the street, but the regime is still there," said Sameh Bakri in the city of Suez. "They don't want to get straight to the point and resolve the real problem."
    But Barak Barfi, a research fellow with New America Foundation, said an immediate departure by Mubarak could cause more harm than good.
    "The problem that we have now is if Mubarak leaves, there could be complete chaos. The country could fall apart," Barfi said Sunday from Cairo. "It would be more beneficial for the democratic process if Mubarak could see through his term 'til September. Amendments to the constitution (could) be made, and a democratic process (could) be started."

    The shakeup was announced almost two weeks into Egypt's tumult as thousands of demonstrators held their ground. Last week, deadly clashes broke out in Cairo between pro-Mubarak and anti-Mubarak demonstrators as Molotov cocktails and chunks of concrete flew through the air.
    The justice minister announced that courts would reopen Sunday and the government eased its daily curfew, making the hours 7 p.m. to 6 a.m.
    "We're in better shape," Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq said on state television. "And we can sense that day by day."
    Interior Ministry spokesman Ismail Othman said the army would remain neutral, working only to prevent clashes and chaos between opposing groups.
    Some opposition leaders said they had teamed up and called for Mubarak's immediate resignation and the right for peaceful demonstration.
    Mohamed ElBaradei's National Association for Change and the Tagammu party's leader announced Saturday a newly formed opposition group of 10 people, including ElBaradei, Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Beltagy, and liberal Ghad party leader Ayman Nour.
    "We have been in agreement right now that we'd probably have a presidential council of three members including somebody from the army," ElBaradei told CNN. "We have a caretaker government ... who would then run the country for a year, prepare the grounds for the necessary changes in the electoral process to ensure that we will have all what we need for a free and fair election."

    Saturday, February 5, 2011

    Death Wish: The Impending Suicide Of A Once Great Nation.

    A large number of endangered, unwanted, and unborn children held a town hall meeting on the 4th of July – alarmed at the brutal and untimely killing of millions of their brothers and sisters in recent years. That the murderous war waged on them had the full force and respectability of the law made their plight all the more terrifying.

    Their complaint was humble and it was simple. They were not distressed by rising gas prices, or the deteriorating economy in general. They were not even frightened by the exponential increase of natural disasters. The threat of global warming or global terrorism did not greatly disturb them.

    They had become an endangered species, and little had been done to answer their terrified and silent screams from the womb. They decided that the barbaric treatment that they and their fellow unwanted unborn human beings have had to endure for perilous decades was unconscionable and unbearable. They cried out to their Creator for inspiration and protection, and then unanimously they put forth a declaration.

    It began as follows:
    “When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of nature and the Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. WE HOLD THESE TRUTHS TO BE SELF-EVIDENT, THAT ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL, THAT THEY ARE ENDOWED BY THEIR CREATOR WITH CERTAIN UNALIENABLE RIGHTS, THAT AMONG THESE ARE LIFE, LIBERTY AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS…
    THAT AMONG THESE IS LIFE; THAT AMONG THESE IS LIFE; THAT AMONG THESE IS LIFE!”
    The first and pre-eminent right is the right to life. This truth the Founding Fathers were sure of, and anyone with any common sense at all is equally sure of it. 232 years after the Declaration of Independence was signed the amount of common sense that seems to be operative in many spheres of influence – most notably the courts and the political arena – can easily be poured into a very small thimble. The United States of America seems to have a death wish, and we have traveled far down the road to having that wish realized. When law divorces itself from common sense and spawns the illegitimate offspring of distortions of law, resulting in illegal laws – based neither on the natural law nor divine law – this undermines law itself, generating disdain for the law. Erosion of trust in the courts, or the system in general, is inevitable.

    The genesis of the death wish is rooted in the fall of man that we see in the Book of Genesis. The substance of the fall is wrapped up in Lucifer’s pride, transferred to Adam and Eve – You can be like gods, knowing good and evil.” The unholy, yet inevitable, consequence of that price is disobedience – eating the forbidden fruit. The ultimate end is death, as God said it would be. That’s the way it was in the beginning. That’s the way it is now. That’s the way it will be until time breathes forth it’s last moment.
    The prototypical sin is pride, the pride that seeks to exalt the creature above the Creator:
    “I can be like God.” Then, subjectively and arbitrarily, man tries to assert himself, imagining that he knows what’s good and evil for himself without reference to God and God’s law. This was the fall of the angels and the fall of man. The attempt by creatures to usurp what is only the province of God. Only God knows what is good for His creation.
    In recent years it took the form of a self-inflicted heart wound when some dissident Catholics rejected the teaching of the Church, a teaching that clearly held that artificial contraception is intrinsically evil. Then, as Pope Paul VI had warned, it metastasized into abortion. From abortion it degenerated even further into partial-birth abortion. It was then a short and easy step to infanticide.

    It’s hard to believe that we have degenerated to the point that we’ll murder a helpless baby should it escape the violence of an abortion and be born alive. Can a Catholic vote for such persons? [who support abortion] We are told, “yes” for a “proportionate reason.” What, I might ask, is the proportionate reason so weighty as to excuse supporting those responsible for what is tantamount to genocide?
    The judges and politicians that support such barbaric practices are truly guilty of genocide: genocide – the deliberate and systematic destruction of an ethnic, racial, religious, national, or social group. “What is the group so target?”, you might ask. The group is unwanted, unborn children – tens of millions of them. The Supreme Court justices that gave us Roe v. Wade will have to plead temporary insanity in the court of history. There will be no defense in the highest Court that is the judgment seat of almighty God if they do not repent of the incalculable evil they have wrought.
    Yet, despite the life and death importance of this travesty of authentic law, there will be no serious discussion among political candidates, or anyone else. It is as if society has been bewitched, blind to the splendor of truth, deaf to the cries of the most innocent, most vulnerable, and most utterly helpless.

    From artificial contraception to abortion to partial-birth abortion, then on to infanticide we march toward the abyss of oblivion, a society markedor death… 

    by Father Corapi through Courageous Priest

    The Road To ....... ?

    We all have our own ideas about things ... life, afterlife, heaven and hell. Our ideas are formed by what we've learned at the side of our parents, taught by our teachers, witnessed in our lives as we grow into the people we are at this very moment. But actual TRUTH and what we justify as truth as two different things. TRUTH is NOT relative. Truth is immutable .. it cannot change, anything else is a lie. What good would it be to have a court of law if everyone had their OWN interpretation of *truth*? It would be a hysterical travesty of monumental proportions. There can be only ONE TRUTH, His Name is Jesus and He's given us the Catholic (which means UNIVERSAL/ONE) Church to teach us HIS WAY & TRUTH so we can have TRUE LIFE.
    Environment and experiences have formed us and continues to form us as we voluntarily place ourselves in various company and situations. Perhaps this is one of the main reasons why it is SO very important to AVOID the near occasions of sin.
    When we subject our selves to a certain situation or place or anything over and over, we condition ourselves to accept it a bit easier each time we 'visit'. This is ESPECIALLY true of THOUGHTS! And yes, thoughts ARE sins WHEN ENTERTAINED and not repelled when realized we're day dreaming. And sins are thoughts transformed into actions. How can we commit a sin without first thinking of it and entertaining it in our minds eye, often times, complete with EXCUSES if we're caught as a means of escape and 'justification'.
    Today, living in the world as it is, busy as we are with our lives and jobs and having FUN, we need to be VERY careful that we're not sucked into the lie. I should actually say LIES. There are so many of them today that the world (satan) would have us believe. Everything from there's no hell to no matter what you do, God will understand as long as you believe in Him. Well satan BELIEVES IN GOD and where does *he* live?
    God is Love. Yes He most surely IS LOVE, however, that LOVE demands justice and how easy would it be for you to 'love' someone that kept avoiding you or speaking ill of you or perhaps worse yet ... ignoring you altogether?
    Rather than go into all the whys and hows, suffice it to say that you must be certain you are formed correctly in the Faith and not just making up your OWN RULES as you go along or embracing the rules of the world that SEEM warm, soft and cozy. There IS hell, there IS the devil and you WILL put YOURSELF there if you don't repent of your sins and beg forgiveness. We need to stop living like this is all there is and treating eternity as if it's a fantasy.
    Better yet, beg God that every breath you take and every beat of your heart, brings you to know Him better, love Him more and trust and serve Him always.  
    THAT *WILL* get you on the right path!

    Thursday, February 3, 2011

    Why No Communion For Pro-Abortion Catholic Politians

    Bishop Robert Vasa


    Bishop Robert Vasa on pro-abortion Catholics, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, and what authentic renewal of the Church will look like

    Bishop Robert Vasa has served as bishop of Baker, Oregon since 2000. On January 24, the Vatican announced that he will serve as coadjutor bishop for the Diocese of Santa Rosa, California. Bishop Vasa will assist the current head of the diocese, Bishop Daniel Walsh, and then succeed him as bishop once Walsh reaches the mandatory retirement age of 75 in 2012.
    Bishop Vasa, age 59, has been outspoken in his defense of Catholic doctrine and moral teachings, particularly related to the life issues. He made news recently when he declared that a bishop’s authority in his own diocese supersedes that of the national bishops’ conference, stating, “It is easy to forget that the conference is the vehicle to assist bishops in cooperating with each other and not a separate regulatory commission.” He added, “there may also be an unfortunate tendency on the part of bishops to abdicate to the conference a portion of their episcopal role and duty.”

    You have said that you would not give Holy Communion to a Catholic politician who supports legal abortion. Other bishops do not hold this view. Why do you believe as you do?
    Bishop Vasa: It has to do with communion with the Lord. As someone I know said quite well recently, is this what the Lord wants you to do as a Catholic politician? If it isn’t, then you need to be honest and consistent about that and say you cannot claim a unity with the Church—a communion with the Church, a communion with Christ—when your beliefs, behaviors, and actions, particularly in terms of your pro-abortion stand, speak in absolute contradiction to that communion.
    Denying Communion to such a politician is not something I would just casually do, though. I would first meet with that individual, offer them a warning, and tell them that their soul was in danger.

    What concerns do you have about the work of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development?
    Bishop Vasa: While I trust the bishops on the committee itself, I have many concerns nationally about how we as the Catholic Church interact with elements of our society that do not share our values. It is one thing to interact with those who do not share our values, but it is quite another to financially support agencies, individuals, or agendas which are absolutely, diametrically opposed to our principles and values.
    Unfortunately, there are multi-layered corporations seeking funding that might have 90 percent of their activities perfectly in accord with the teaching of the Church, and they’re working in many areas and on issues for which the Church has a passion. Unfortunately, those same corporations may have a spin-off group that they fund which supports, say, population control, artificial contraception, and abortion. This would, in my mind, disqualify them from any support.
    The question is how much of a link must exist between organizations seeking Campaign for Human Development funding and activities that as Catholics we find objectionable before we as a Church say, “No, I’m sorry, you are linked with immoral practices and we will not fund you.”
    At some point, we must decide that their complicity with evil is too great, and we will not support them. Some people’s consciences may find some minor complicity acceptable, but for me, I believe that there are better places where our money can go.

    How can we bring back a renewal of Catholic life in the United States?
    Bishop Vasa: The renewal is already happening, but slowly. Young families and young adults in particular have sensed and experienced the emptiness of the promises of the world. They sense almost instinctively that there has to be something more.
    Society looks at the human person, and it operates in regard to the human person with a philosophical base and foundation that is hollow and shallow. It treats us as a biochemical entity which is merely capable of pleasure and enjoyment.
    But human beings are capable of so much more. We are spiritual beings. We are made in the image and likeness of God. We have a deeper component, a spiritual and supernatural component that is unsettled. As St. Augustine would say, our hearts are restless until they rest in God. Even though there has been a great attempt in society to alleviate that restlessness, it has been unsuccessful. And, that restlessness is rising up. People are asking, is that all there is?
    The Church is the place where we say, “No, that is not all there is.” You are much more. You are created in the image and likeness of God. In baptism, you become a child of God. You are beloved of God, and you have been saved by the passion, death, and resurrection of the Lord. He lives with you today. He calls you to recognize your dignity and to live that dignity to the fullest. That’s a message that the world cannot offer and for which the world is hungry.
    I always encourage Catholics to look forward and upward. I tell them not to be frustrated by a seeming lack of success, whether it be in the pro-life area, or in a desire for a stronger manifestation of Catholicism in political life, the health care world or other elements of our society. Such frustration is a sign that we want the success for ourselves.

    What we are called to do, as Mother Teresa said, is be faithful. If we are faithful, then we are successful. That’s really the bottom line.

    Interview by Jim Graves, Catholic World Report