Sunday, November 30, 2008
Invite Sting to the Ball and the Mall.
Who Should Be Invited To Sing at the Innagural? Comment here......
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
At a recent Federalist Society event televised on C-Span Scalia indicated that he indeed believes the Constitution to be a living breathing evolving instrument. He stated that
with regard to the Death Penalty, it was deemed Constitutional but next year, who knows--
the conclusion could be revisited such that it becomes Unconstitutional. The "Cruel and Unusual" aspect of the State being in the business of Murder (not in War) for the sins of its citizens is
something that other civilized countries have long considered an anwered question. I highly recommend getting the DVD "La Veuve De Saint Pierre." Saint Pierre is one of those French owned islands off Nova Scotia- Get it for "Black Friday." (Juliette Binoche is a fabulous french actress featured here with Daniel Auteiul) http://www.imdb.com/video/screenplay/vi2784755993/
20% OFF EVERYTHING AT THE CIC! [Catholic Information Center-books, CDs, DVDs, Ikons, Paintings, etc.)
FRIDAY & SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 28 & 29 EVERYTHING IN THE CIC BOOKSTORE IS 20% OFF!
This is the perfect time to get Advent Wreaths and Candles, Christmas Cards, the Advent/Christmas Volumes of In Conversation with God and the Liturgy of the Hours, Advent Calendars, and Magnificat for the upcoming months (the Advent Companion, December, and January issues are now in stock). Take advantage of the discount to get copies of Mother Angelica's Private and Pithy Lessons from the Scriptures in time forRaymond Arroyo's upcoming booksigning at the CIC (Saturday, December 13 @ 1:30). Not able to make it to the store? The discount applies to all phone orders as well, so give us a call toll free at 1-888-574-3339 or locally at 202-783-2062.
EXTENDED ADVENT HOURS!From Monday, December 1 through Tuesday, December 23, the CIC will be open 10:00 - 7:30 Monday through Friday& 10:00 - 5:00 Saturdays
Information number: (202) 783-2062Toll-free book order number: (888) 574-3339
To learn more about the Catholic Information Center and its online bookstore, visit http://www.cicdc.org/. You may also want to browse our Facebook page.Catholic Information Center
1501 K St. NW #175 Washington, DC 20005-1401.
Bob Ross, a missionary pastor who conducted over 20 trips guided by a Jewish new testament scholar Yuhuda Hecht will guid a pilgrimmage through the Holy Sites.
10 Full, Fun Filled, Study Days in Israel
Outstanding Hotels, Deluxe Coach and Incredible Food
• Your black and white Bible will change into Living Color.
• A new understanding of Middle East politics and Biblical end times.
• A deeper love for the Lord, His Word, His Land, and His People.
• The finest Jewish Guide in Israel, Yehuda Hecht. This is our 28th tour, we should know.
• Yehuda will share the Historical, Geographical, and Archaeological information.
• Bob will share The Jewishness of Jesus, Inspiration, and Bible Interpretation and Color.
• Bob and our guide combine 90 years of study, research and experiences in Israel
For a Tourist…Israel is probably the safest place on earth.
• No nation has better security. No nation is better prepared for terrorism.
• Never has a person on an organized tour been attacked, or injured by a terrorist.
• Israel averages 1.5 to 2 million tourists per year. That is quite a record!
Why Choose Our Tour?
This is Not…a typical “canned tour” with a few short touring days in Israel.
This is Not… A traditional “Pilgrimage to the Holy Land” (visiting mostly churches).
Our emphasis is…God’s Word, His Land, the Jewish Jesus,
And, God’s Miracle of Restoring His People Israel.
WARNING! This Tour will Change Your Life! Space is limited…Register now!
Bob C. Ross Ministries, 2824 Kyle Drive, Plano, TX. 75075
Please make the following RESERVATION/S for me/us…
Tour Date: Mar. 4-16, ’09. My DEPARTURE CITY is ___________________________.
NAME/S as on Passport __________________________Age_____ ______________________________Age_____
Email_______________________________ PHONES: Home _____-______-_________ Cell ____-______-_________
( ) Enclosed is $500 deposit per person to hold my/our space. I understand that $250 is non-refundable if I cancel.
Note: The final payment is due six weeks before the tour. You will be billed on the final payment.
Call or Email Bob or Barbara for further information 972-596-8748, email@example.com
Thursday, November 27, 2008
MAKING IT RIGHT
In New Orleans.
Do your hippest Black Friday on line shopping here at Brad's Merchandise store and help a brother out:
[Constitutional Establishment Clause Challenge Defeated]
If you kill it, it's a capitol offense in Texas.
The Defense here was unable to overturn the Texas Penal statute defining a "person" from conception at any point in gestation on constitutional grounds. It is significant and may go to the S.Ct.- stay tuned.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
"I think they should. That's an example of taking responsibility. I think that if you are already worth tens of millions of dollars, and you are having to lay off workers, the least you can do is say, 'I'm willing to make some sacrifice as well, because I recognize that there are people who are a lot less well off, who are going through some pretty tough times.’"
- President-elect Barack Obama, when asked in an interview with ABC News' Barbara Walters if U.S. banking executives should forgo large bonuses. (Source: ABC News)
Thank You to Monsignor Rossi and the Wonderful Folks at the National Shrine for cheering me up with this Thanksgiving Message
And so together we pray, “Father all powerful, your gifts of love are countless and your goodness infinite. On Thanksgiving Day we come before you with gratitude for your kindness: open our hearts to concern for our fellow men and women, so that we may share your gifts in loving service. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.”
May God bless you richly, and may Our Lady, the Immaculate Conception, be your guide in the days ahead.
Sincerely Yours in Christ,
The Rector, Clergy, and Staff of the Basilica
For more information about mass schedules and events at the Shrine or for more gifts -
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
"GOD IS FIRE" [just ask the Bush]
Longing, Desire, and the Face of God
At the center of our experience lies an incurable dis-ease, a disquiet, a restlessness, a loneliness, a longing, a yearning, a desire, an ache for something we can never quite name. For what are we longing? What would satisfy our restless energy?Anne Frank, in her famous diary, asks exactly this question: Today the sun is shining, the sky is a deep blue, there is a lovely breeze and I am longing - so longing - for everything. To talk, for freedom, for friends, to be alone. And I do so long ... to cry! I feel as if I am going to burst, and I know it would get better with crying; but I can't. I'm restless, I go from room to room, breathe through the crack of a closed window, feel my heart beating, as if it was saying, 'can't you satisfy my longing at last?' I believe that it is spring within me; I feel that spring is awakening. I feel it in my whole body and soul. It is an effort to behave normally, I feel utterly confused. I don't know what to read, what to write, what to do, I only know that I am longing.That same question is asked everywhere. What would satisfy us? Why this relentless restlessness? In her Children of Violence series of novels, Nobel-prize winning novelist, Doris Lessing, has her heroine, Martha Quest, pose that question as life's central question: Towards what is all of our energy directed? Devoid of a religious perspective, Martha can only understand human desire as blind, erotic energy, a kind of voltage, ten thousand volts of energy inside us. For what? For whatever we choose - creativity, love, sex, hate, martyrdom, boredom.What are we longing for ultimately? What would satisfy our restless hearts?Classically, Christian spirituality has answered the question with a single image, all of our restlessness and disquiet is ultimately a longing to see the face of God. Most famously, Augustine put it this way: You have made us for yourself, Lord, and our hearts are restless until the rest in you! In writing that, Augustine drew upon personal experience, but also upon a motif that had long expressed itself within religious men and women.The idea begins early in the Jewish scriptures: Already at the time of Moses, people are asking the question: Who can see the face of God? We see this in Moses himself when he goes up the mountain to meet God. He asks to see God's face. God replies: No one can see the face of God and live! (Exodus 33,20) However, when Moses asks this question his desire is still quite literal, his desire is to physically see God.But as their faith matures, the people of the Israel begin to understand this motif differently. Longing to see the face of God eventually is understood not so much as the physical curiosity to see what God looks like, but rather as an image, a symbol, an end-point for all human desire. To see the face of God is to have all desire quenched, all restlessness stilled, all aching quieted. To see the face of God is to attain complete peace. This is what the Psalmist means by the words: As a deer yearns for flowing streams, so I yearn to see the face of God. I thirst for the living God; when shall I see the face of God? (Psalm 42,1-2)By the time of Jesus, the idea is everywhere present in Jewish spirituality that the only answer to human longing is to see the face of God. To see God' face is to come to peace. But we are still left with the question: Who can see the face of God? How is this to be achieved?Jesus gives an answer: Who can see the face of God? He answers simply: Blessed are the pure of heart, they shall see the face of God. (Matthew 5, 8) That simple phrase then became a one-line mandate to encompass the entire spiritual quest. The Desert Fathers, the classical mystics, and subsequent Christian spirituality in general have focused on one thing in their praxis - attaining purity of heart so as to see the face of God. To work at attaining purity of heart is the ultimate spiritual task.It is also life's ultimate task. We long for many things and like Doris Lessing's heroine, Martha, are both buoyed up and fatigued by our own insatiable energies. These energies push us in every direction, towards creativity, love, sex, hate, martyrdom, boredom. Sometimes we know what we want, a particular relationship, achievement, acceptance, status, job, or home, and we believe that we will find peace by attaining it, but experience has taught us that full peace of heart will not be found, even there. Where will it be found? In purity of heart, in removing those things inside of us that block our connection to the author of all the persons, places, beauty, love, color, and energies for which we ache.
San Antonio, TexasNovember 24, 2008.
Website: http://www.ronrolheiser.com/ <http://www.ronrolheiser.com/>
He runs a business where he bottles pure Israeli mountain water-the same that fed into Jacob's Well.
Embracing the Mind of Jesus!
Homer OwenNov 25, 2008
EMBRACING THE MIND OF JESUS!
Thanks for having patience with me as I endeavor to get down on paper what I feel the Lord is telling us. Paul tells us that we are all looking through a glass darkly and only seeing in part. The Lord spoke to me years ago that He did not want me teaching principles on how to live or do anything. With this in mind I want to share some of my own personal experiences which the scripture calls our testimony.
What happens many times with us if we are not careful is that we will literally walk by revelation in an area of living and then turn around and teach principles on what we learned. We can go to just about any bookstore and purchase books on how to do many things. We as believers have been called to walk in the Spirit and allow Him to lead us into all Truth. God’s truth is brought forth in the Man – Jesus. Yes, he is the Truth and as we grow in the knowledge of the Truth we are growing in the knowledge of Jesus.
So we find Truth coming forth in the person of Jesus and we are told in Philippians that we are to have the same mind as Jesus. Since the fall of man in the garden we have had a big mess here on the earth. Kings and Kingdoms have come forth over the centuries and one of the most interesting times for us naturally is now. But, in reality it has been the same since the beginning. The King of Kings came forth 2,000 years ago to live in a real mess both politically and religiously.
“Your attitude should be the same that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not demand and cling to his rights as God. He made himself nothing; he took the humble position of a slave and appeared in human form.” Philippians 2:5-7
The KJV tells us that he became of no reputation. Wow! Is this the attitude we are to have? Just think about this for a moment. Here we find God in the flesh in His own nation that He had brought forth and yet we do not find him acting like it was His place to take control or demand that those who were in control to change to fit his pattern. It will take special grace for all of us to have this attitude about where are living and how we think our government should be run.
Back in the early 60’s I spent most of my waking hours trying to change our leaders both in the political and religious arena. I stayed mad and upset most of the time. When the Lord intervened in my life in 1968 and began to show me how His Kingdom operates both in heaven and on the earth I was utterly amazed at how blind and stupid I had been for years.
I had spent a great deal of time exposing Lyndon Johnson. It was apparent that he had stolen his first election to enter into politics and naturally I was convinced that he had not changed but had in fact gotten worse over the years. I can remember the first time that I literally got on my knees and began to intercede for this man. My heart became like the heart of God as I interceded for him. One day the Lord showed me that my prayers had been heard and that I did not need to intercede for his salvation any longer.
A couple of years passed and one night I was in a meeting when a man came into the room and asked to share for a moment. He told the group that he was driving down I-35 on his way home to Kansas when the Lord spoke to him to come and share at our meeting. He shared that President Johnson was his uncle and that afternoon he had giving his heart to Jesus at his ranch. The man shared with us that the Lord told him to come and share this story to let some person know that they were used mightily in intercession for the soul of Lyndon Johnson. God is so good.
If the Church will grasp the moment that we are living in we can take our seat with Christ in heaven and take on his present day ministry that is described in Hebrews.
“Jesus remains a priest forever; his priesthood will never end. Therefore he is able, once and forever, to save everyone who come to God through him. He lives forever to plead with God on their behalf.” Hebrews 7:24-25
Lord, we lift up all of our leaders today to you. Both in the political and religious arenas. We thank you for our great nation and we speak peace and prosperity to all peoples. Grant us your heart and give us your compassion for mankind. Jesus, we praise you for so great a name and it is in that name we pray. Amen and Amen.
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The Samaritan Foundation
Monday, November 24, 2008
So full of yourself in the darkest of night.
So much more of you
so fewer of Him.
So large of yourself that displaces His Kin
So full of yourself, no Room at the Inn
So wise in your own eyes
No space to let Love in.
das Es, das Ich, and das Über-Ich
Don't bother to know me
I only want to show you my moral superiority
das Es, das Ich, and das Über-Ich
How long must I play this game to be rich.
das Es, das Ich, and das Über-Ich
It's all about me so don't call me lonely,
I am my favorite company-
said he to himself as he dismissed her imperiously.
Reading 1Rv 14:1-3, 4b-5
I, John, looked and there was the Lamb standing on Mount Zion,and with him a hundred and forty-four thousand
who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads.
I heard a sound from heaven
like the sound of rushing water or a loud peal of thunder.The sound I heard was like that of harpists playing their harps.They were singing what seemed to be a new hymn before the throne,
before the four living creatures and the elders.No one could learn this hymn except the hundred and forty-four thousand who had been ransomed from the earth.
These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever he goes.
They have been ransomed as the first fruits
of the human race for God and the Lamb.
On their lips no deceit has been found; they are unblemished.
Yesterday was another special day in the catholic church because it ended the "ordinary time" with a celebration of Christ the Resurrected Redeemer and starts the Advent Christmas season. Get ready for pointsettas and dangling holly berries. The White House Christmas Tree is already up and I can't wait to get to Rock Center.
Being so special I decided as I often do to go to two church services to taste and see the difference in homiletics in various venues and the contrast couldn't have been more marked.
The gospel reading was read in both places. This was a great Matthew 25 launching pad for how Jesus will judge the living and the dead; by the good deeds that they do to feed the hungry, comfort the sick, visit those in prison, etc.
The Priest in the evening; a Bishop in a Cathedral got it. He really got it. In his gentle quiet peaceful manner he gave us a sense of the magnitude of the suffering of humanity, especially in this financial market, and how if it is going to be it is up to me, each one of us, to change lives with the compassion of Christ. He discussed the modern "leper" the individual outcasted from society because of Aids and the magnitude of that problem globally, which we tend to not want to think about in sugar coated christmases of dangling ornaments, retail sales and spiked egg nog festivities.
He discussed "homelessness" as not merely a financially deprived condition but one of lack of love- or caused by "rejection" because being without a home means a failure of people on an individual level to love each other sufficiently to want to make home with each other as well as a broader failure of society to tend to the financially despirate. The good Bishop reminded us that Jesus was simply kind. He wasn't a mean man. He was a gentle kind soul who won people with his wisdom, gentleness, kindness and warm respect- even people not shown respect by the official spiritual hierarchy- because Jesus simply loves absolutely everyone. He loves absolutely everyone so much, he died to prove it- and his Love resurrected him.
The Priest in the morning was another story. Respect for the profession will preclude my divulging names, but he needs to go back to school. His homily rambled about a greek philosopher's discussion about someone who refused to get married so he could serve the higher good of Christ's calling-conveying that all he thinks he has to do to be Godly is preserve his celibate priestly status --and in the process managed to insult everyone who believes it the deepest call of Jesus in their heart to have children and be married. It's amazing anyone threw five cents in the bucket after that one. It actually was against the message of the gospel reading.
Luke 25-et seq. makes clear that one's position, even one's ecclesiastical position does not guarantee a place in God's favor or grace alone. This is the text of the good Samaritan. Someone is robbed, and left for dead by the side of the road. The first thing that happens is a Priest walks right past him across the street. Why was that? It is possible this Priest thought that the guy was dead, and thus it would have been ritually unclean for the jewish priest according to his law to touch him. That would be the kindest interpretation. History has been less kind to him; history has condemned this priest as just too full of himself, uncaring about humanity and more concerned with hanging on to his priestly profile and demeanor and not dirtying himself with someone despirately in need.
Jesus' point about that Priest was that even if it was against the "rules" and thus would have been ritually unclean for the Priest to touch him, the notion of what was ritually clean or not was completely twisted on its head. A guy could be saved, and should be saved. It was the Priest who refused to do it- hanging on to and justifying his wrong actions by a misplaced perverted law. Jesus' point was that the elevated misplaced perverted law(s) and rule(s) were and are operating against life itself. Whenever that happens, it operates an unholy self-justifying idolotry that defies Jesus himself who was and is and ever shall be "the Life." This priest was proved by his deeds thus a False Priest. Can't you hear what went through the Priest's head- what if someone sees me around this icky looking creepy almost dead guy-he probably deserved what he got!
That Priest had an opportunity to create life in someone left for dead and instead chose a law that operated against life. When have you done that? God had to bring someone else along to do it and bring back to life what was left for dead because the Priest was too full of himself. He missed the "day of his visitation" and failed the test.
Then the Levite walks right by the guy. The levite was someone who held high status, honor, position and prestigue by virtue of his lineage. Perhaps a blue-blooded Republican Lobbyist.
Then there is a Samaritan. A half-breed, someone whose deeds made him more righteous than even the Priest. This Samaritan went above and beyond anything that the priest did (because the Priest did exactly nothing.) He
cleaned up the guy, gave him a ride, took him to a hotel and paid for it. Can you imagine? The Samaritan saved the guy who was injured and helpless, lying in a humiliated state and left for dead. The Samaritan, the nobody, the person without title like a Levite, without office like a Priest, without pedigree, status or even a lot of money--he took what he had to help a stranger.
This Samaritan has been likened to Jesus himself because Jesus's lineage has a few less than regal characters in it and even a Moabite named Ruth. Jesus himself was a bit of a "mutt" as Obama likes to call himself. Jesus is the savior of anyone reaching out to him and trusting he can help. He doesn't stand on formalities. He isn't concerned more with his status. He took every hit ever thrown at him -even unto death-in order to save humanity. He didn't hang on to his high position as Rabbi lecturer on the hillside when he said "your will be done" in Gethsemane.
James tells us that Faith without Works is exactly dead. It's not active faith, not alive faith, it gives birth to nothing, it is merely dead. It is full of itself. It is self-righteous naval-gazing. It is self-preservatory rather than self-expending.
Faith requires works. Faith requires a response or Love is so much hot air. Talk is Cheap.
Faith without works is an assumed Cheap Grace that doesn't carry any healing water.
It's a good reminder that if it is going to be this Christmas Season, it is up to me- and you.
And time to get off the high horse and start riding the white one.
So this Thanksgiving, I am encouraged by the good Bishop to care less what I look like to others and more what I do for them. I am also encouraged to not be impressed by people who care more about what they look like to others than what they do for them. How 'bout you.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Turns out Saint Paul wasn't such a misogynist. He viewed women more equally than some might have you think. He viewed men who didn't view women more equally as a bit ignorant (and Paul is clearly an anti-chauvinist.)
A lot of what appears in letters to the Corinthians regarding women is a redux of what was originally in the form of a question/answer letter writing in classic "responsa" fashion to questions asked by the Corinthians--who did tend to view women more inequally, and objectified them sexually more in their licentious greek culture (Judaism had a history of female prophets, Judges, Queens and even spies and respected their wisdom and intelligence; the Jewish lineage was maternal and conveyed through the mother, Queen Esther saved her people, Debborah was a fabulous Judge and there are many women prophets throughout scripture-Judaism respected women greater than the Greek culture).
This "responsa" method followed a sort of Socratian dialogue in Greek tradition (much similar to what we do in law schools these days) in which a "hypothetical" is queried, and responded to by the one most learned; in this case Paul. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Responsa
It was followed by Paul's mentor in his legal education Gamliel in his ethical writings. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamliel_I
Paul was trained in this manner of ethical teaching.
Gamliel is the one quoted in Acts 5:39 in defending the Apostles: "But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God."
Our current English text translation mashes together at times what the question was with the response so what appears misleadingly, and what has been taught through the ages misleadingly -if not heretically (for lack of understanding through faulty translation) is both the question and answer appearing sequentially as doctrine as though Paul said the whole thing together rather contradictorily and confusingly.
More about this later, but if you read carefully Paul's letters to the Corinthians you will find references to such things as -now about those things concerning.....or about those matters of which you wrote-clearly indicating that Paul is responding to questions raised by the Corinthians in correspondence first presented to him.
If you view the texts in that fashion, it completely turns on its head the common wisdom about Paul's women bashing.....
Now go back and re-read Corinthians 1 and 2 and sort out which verses are the questions and which verses are really the answers to the preceeding questions. You will amaze yourself.
Blessed is the Fruit of your Womb.
Your body is the "Temple" of the Holiest Spirit.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
I just read on my own blog on one of the RSS feeds (I never know what articles are going to pop up on the right hand column) that a Jewish Rabbinical group is boycotting the Catholic-Jewish dialogue in Italy on January 17, 2009 (3 days before the inaugural here) .
Some Jewish rabbinical groups I am told still boycott the buying of anything German like Mercedes' so I am not surprised that they boycott this German Pope. But I am sad.
The title of this was almost "What is God's Anti-dote to the Flood?" Answer: Jesus.
Why do I say that?
Look at what is happening in California- those fires. Heaven help us. Clearly if an insane arsonist in California can wipe out hundreds of houses and entire communities, God can wipe out a planet. Clearly if Bush can wipe out Saddam Hussein and a good portion of all his armies and followers in a few months, wiping out the planet is child's play for God.
REMEMBER THE FLOOD? God promised he wouldn't do it again-remember. Remember his sign of a Rainbow- the Rainbow is the sign of his covenant to never let it happen again. Remember.
But while God keeps his promises, men still screw up. Men are still men; the fallen progeny of Adam.
How schmucky were we?
Really off the tracks bad. Completely missing the mark bad.
So God, remembering his promise to never wipe mankind off the planet again, so loved the World that he did something unbelievable- which is why a lot of the world still can't believe it.
God so loved the world that he Gave his one and only Son, so that whosoever believes in him, wouldn't die- but could live eternally - with Him.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
I'm not kidding.
When Jesus came to earth, growing up in a Jewish community as a Jewish child, in a Jewish nation under oppression of a foreign force, he found that the leadership under oppression was
self-justifying themselves under a reign of law and rules that quashed the essential Spirit of God which is at it's very heart and core, LOVE.
All the highest and mightiest spiritual leaders of the day, scribes (legal scholars) and pharisees, all ran him through a set of tests and verbal twists to see if he was authentic and had any authority. He astounded a lot of them- a lot of them just got jealous of his wisdom (without holding any official position in the spiritual hierarchy.)
Eventually he threatened them so much that they petitioned the Romans to have him killed- in the most demeaning humiliating way.
He of course knew that this would take place, sweated blood over it, and eventually laid down his life which served for all time as the final Atonement, final Sacrificial lamb that saved all who believe on his name from the Angel of Death- who will pass over the souls of all who believe in Jesus--so they will live forever.
It took Jesus to do this, and only Jesus could do this because of his divinity.
God gave himself rather than break his promise to humanity- even though his Justice compelled that there be a penalty which needed an atonement for man's arrogant rebellion against Him.
Isn't this all really anti-Semetic crazy stuff? No it's Pro-Semetic Salvation Sanity.
Because Jesus is a Jew who first came to save Jews, God's chosen, and because he is the Jewish Messiah.
Are gentiles more righteous now than Jews? Absolutely not. Gentiles are only righteous because of a Jew named Jesus.
So all you Rabbinical guys boycotting the Germans, please go to the Catholic -Jewish dialogue- at least lets talk. We love you. You gave us our Messiah. Salvation came from the Jews.
And our spiritual mother is the best Jewish Mother in heaven.
p.s. I wasn't kidding about the wanting to be Ambassador to the Vatican thing.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Justification Through, In and With the DNA of God's only Son. It's the Only Way.
Love; It's programmed in his DNA. Because God IS Love. Only LOVE will transcend the chasm, through, with and In Him who is Love.
From Benedict's (Benoit's) Wednesday audience in English today:
In our continuing catechesis on Saint Paul, we now consider his teaching on our justification. Paul’s experience of the Risen Lord on the road to Damascus led him to see that it is only by faith in Christ, and not by any merit of our own, that we are made righteous before God. Our justification in Christ is thus God’s gracious gift, revealed in the mystery of the Cross. Christ died in order to become our wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption (cf. 1 Cor 1:30), and we in turn, justified by faith, have become in him the very righteousness of God (cf. 2 Cor 5:21). In the light of the Cross and its gifts of reconciliation and new life in the Spirit, Paul rejected a righteousness based on the Law and its works. For the Apostle, the Mosaic Law, as an irrevocable gift of God to Israel, is not abrogated but relativized, since it is only by faith in God’s promises to Abraham, now fulfilled in Christ, that we receive the grace of justification and new life. The Law finds its end in Christ (cf. Rom 10:4) and its fulfilment in the new commandment of love. With Paul, then, let us make the Cross of Christ our only boast (cf. Gal 6:14), and give thanks for the grace which has made us members of Christ’s Body, which is the Church.
St. Michael the Archangel
(Hebrew "Who is like God?").
St. Michael is one of the principal angels; his name was the war-cry of the good angels in the battle fought in heaven against the enemy and his followers. Four times his name is recorded in Scripture:
(1) Daniel 10:13 sqq., Gabriel says to Daniel, when he asks God to permit the Jews to return to Jerusalem: "The Angel [D.V. prince] of the kingdom of the Persians resisted me . . . and, behold Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me . . . and none is my helper in all these things, but Michael your prince."
(2) Daniel 12, the Angel speaking of the end of the world and the Antichrist says: "At that time shall Michael rise up, the great prince, who standeth for the children of thy people."
(3) In the Catholic Epistle of St. Jude: "When Michael the Archangel, disputing with the devil, contended about the body of Moses", etc. St. Jude alludes to an ancient Jewish tradition of a dispute between Michael and Satan over the body of Moses, an account of which is also found in the apocryphal book on the assumption of Moses (Origen, De Principiis III.2.2). St. Michael concealed the tomb of Moses; Satan, however, by disclosing it, tried to seduce the Jewish people to the sin of hero-worship. St. Michael also guards the body of Eve, according to the "Revelation of Moses" ("Apocryphal Gospels", etc., ed. A. Walker, Edinburgh, p. 647).
(4) Apocalypse 12:7, "And there was a great battle in heaven, Michael and his angels fought with the dragon." St. John speaks of the great conflict at the end of time, which reflects also the battle in heaven at the beginning of time. According to the Fathers there is often question of St. Michael in Scripture where his name is not mentioned. They say he was the cherub who stood at the gate of paradise, "to keep the way of the tree of life" (Genesis 3:24), the angel through whom God published the Decalogue to his chosen people, the angel who stood in the way against Balaam (Numbers 22:22 sqq.), the angel who routed the army of Sennacherib (2 Kings 19:35).
Prayer of Protection
Prayer against evil
An older generation of Catholics may remember a prayer that used to be said after every Mass -this is an era when the priest faced the altar and the Mass was said in Latin. But few even of them, perhaps know what inspired that prayer, composed by Leo XIII who died in l903.The pope, meeting with several cardinals, sank to the floor as if in a faint. Some of the cardinals thought he was dead. After some time, he “came to,” as it were, and told those around him of a terrible ‘vision’ he had been shown: “what the coming times would bring, misleading powers and raving devils in all countries fighting against the Church.” As the Most Rev. William L. Adrian, Bishop of Nashville, narrated the scene to an audience on Sept. 22, l966, the pope then saw St. Michael appear - “in the nick of time” - to cast Satan and his legions back into hell.Following that frightening vision, Pope Leo composed the prayer that for decades was recited in every Catholic Church in the world. A reader suggested we would do well to publish it anew:St. Michael, the Archangel, defend us in the day of battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil, may God rebuke him, we most humbly pray. And do thou, O prince of heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all other evil spirits that prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls. AmenIn his l966 address, Bishop Adrian told his audience he hoped Catholics were still saying the prayer privately. “Some recent popes and saints have warned us,” he added, “that the anti-Christ will appear around the year 2,000 he is already born. Watch!”
Prayer Against Satan & The Rebellious Angels
Published by order of H.H. Pope Leo XIII
The Holy Father exhorts priests to say this prayer as often as possible, as a simple exorcism to curb the power of the devil and prevent him from doing harm. The faithful also may say it in their own name, for the same purpose, as any approved prayer. Its use is recommended whenever action of the devil is suspected, causing malice in men, violent temptations and even storms and various calamities. It could be used as a solemn exorcism (an official and public ceremony, in Latin), to expel the devil.
It would then be said by a priest, in the name of the Church and only with the Bishop’s permission.
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen
Most glorious Prince of the Heavenly Armies, Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in “our battle against principalities and powers, against the rulers of this world of darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places” (Ephes., VI, l2). Come to the assistance of men who God has created to His likeness and whom He has redeemed at a great price from the tyranny of the devil. Holy Church venerates thee as her guardian and protector; to thee, the Lord has entrusted the souls of the redeemed to be led into heaven. Pray therefore the God of Peace to crush Satan beneath our feet, that he may no longer retain men captive and do injury to the Church. Offer our prayers to the Most High, that without delay they may draw His mercy down upon us; take hold of “the dragon, the old serpent, which is the devil and Satan”, bind him and cast him into the bottomless pit “so that he may
no longer seduce the nations” (Apoc. XX, 2).Exorcism In the Name of Jesus Christ, our God and Lord, strengthened by the intercession of the Immaculate Virgin Mary, Mother of God, of Blessed Michael the Archangel, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul and all the Saints. (and powerful in the holy authority of our ministry), we confidently undertake to repulse the attacks and deceits of the devil.
PSALM 68 God arises; His enemies are scattered and those who hate Him flee before Him. As smoke is driven away, so are they driven; as wax melts before the fire, so the wicked perish at the presence of God.V.
Behold the Cross of the Lord, flee bands of enemies.R. He has conquered, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the offspring of David.V. May thy mercy, Lord, descend upon us.R. As great as our hope in Thee.(The crosses indicate a blessing to be given if a priest recites the Exorcism; if a lay person recites it, they indicate the Sign of the Cross to be made silently by that person.)
We drive you from us, whoever you may be, unclean spirits, all satanic powers, all infernal invaders, all wicked legions, assemblies and sects; in the Name and by the power of Our Lord Jesus Christ, + may you be snatched away and driven from the Church of God and from the souls made to the image and likeness of God and redeemed by the Precious Blood of the Divine Lamb. + Most cunning serpent, you shall no more dare to deceive the human race, persecute the Church, torment God’s elect and sift them as wheat. + The Most High God commands you. + He with whom in great insolence, you still claim to be equal; “He who wants all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim., 11, 4). God the Father commands you. +God the Son commands you. +God the Holy Ghost commands you. +Christ, God’s Word made flesh, commands you; + He who to save our race outdone through you envy, “humbled Himself, becoming obedient even unto death” (Phil., 11,8); He who had built His Church on the firm rock and declared that the gates of hell shall not prevail against Her, because He will dwell with Her “all days even to the end of the world” (St. Mat., XXVIII, 20). The sacred Sign of the Cross commands you, + as does the power of the mysteries of the Christian Faith. + The glorious Mother of God; the Virgin Mary, commands you; + She who by her humility and from the first moment of her Immaculate Conception, crushed your proud head. The faith of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul and of the other Apostles commands you. + The blood of the Martyrs and the pious intercession of all the Saints commands you. + Thus, cursed dragon, and you, diabolical legions, we adjure you by the living God, + by the true God, + by the holy God, + by the God “who so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that every soul believing in Him might not perish but have life everlasting” (St. John, III); stop deceiving human creatures and pouring out to them the poison of eternal damnation; stop harming the Church and hindering her liberty. Be gone, Satan, inventor and master of all deceit, enemy of man’s salvation. Give place to Christ in whom you have found none of your works; give place to the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church acquired by Christ at the price of His Blood. Stoop beneath the all-powerful Hand of God; tremble and flee when we invoke the Holy and terrible Name of Jesus, this Name which causes hell to tremble, this Name to which the Virtues, Powers and Dominations of heaven are humbly submissive, this Name which the Cherubim and Seraphim praise unceasingly repeating: Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord, the God of Armies. V. O Lord, hear my prayer. R. And let my cry come unto Thee. V. May the Lord be with thee. R. And with thy spirit.Let us pray. God of heaven God of earth, God of Angels, God of Archangels, God of Patriarchs, God of Prophets, God of Apostles, God of Martyrs, God of Confessors, God of Virgins, God who has power to give life after death and rest after work, because there is no other God than Thee and there can be no other, for Thou art the Creator of all things, visible and invisible, of whose reign there shall be no end, we humbly prostrate ourselves before Thy glorious Majesty and we beseech Thee to deliver us by Thy power from all the tyranny of the infernal spirits, from their snares, their lies and their furious wickedness; deign, O Lord, to grant us Thy powerful protection and to keep us safe and sound. We beseech Thee through Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.From the snares of the devil, deliver us, O Lord. That Thy Church may serve Thee in peace and liberty, we beseech Thee to hear us. That Thou may crush down all enemies of Thy Church, we beseech Thee to hear us. (Holy water is sprinkled in the place where we may be.)Imprimatur: +Henri, O.M.I. Vicar Apostolic of James Bay - Aug. 15, l967
SAINT MICHAEL, the Archangel, defend us in battle; be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil, May God rebuke him, we humbly pray; and do thou, O prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God thrust into Hell Satan and the other evil spirits who prowl about the world for the ruin of souls. Amen.Imprimatur: Francis Cardinal Spellman Archbishop of New York,
I know of no other prayer like this one that puts the authority over evil back into Christian hands. It is a profession of faith and should be said daily aloud in your homes and at the office.
PDF File of the Prayer of Protection
The Attitude of Gratitude is foundational to happiness - says both my Mum and Pastor Larry Madden, S.J.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
St. Francis was born at Assisi in 1182. He died in 1226, aged 44 (so far I beat him by 4 years). He traveled to make peace with a Sultan. He transformed society by noticing the least of those, His brethren.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
(proceeds go toward the Washington, DC Archdiocese Legal Services and Medical Services to the Indigent Poor at a time when it was never needed more. See, http://www.johncarrollsociety.org/)
There is a reason we say "Give us this day our daily bread" and not "Give us a windfall of a month of sundays of Goodies!" El Shaddai means- God, Enough. The God who is Enough.
God, the provider, the giver of all we need, the God of the Good, the God of enough mercy, enough strength, enough grace and enough sustenance for each day. Remember that the guys in the desert got only enough Manna for the day or it rotted. It couldn't be hoarded- it prevented greed that way. No day traders in the daily manna because it self-destructed at midnight like Cinderella's carriage turned pumpkin.
That way the people knew that they were dependent on God- every day.
Jesus, when at the last supper, said (paraphrased) As often as you do this, as often as you eat this bread and drink this wine, do this in rememberance of me.-
And how often did people eat bread and drink wine then? Every day. Every day. Just like the daily Manna in the desert- Every day we thus remember Jesus, and the saving power, the sustaining power of God- the God who is Enough. Enough for Each and Every Day. Praise Be To God.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
-....the little children...let them come to me....For to Such Belong The Kingdom of Heaven.
Tonight Marian Wright Edelman at the Old Historic I Street Synagogue in DC movingly read a letter she wrote recently to Martin Luther King, Jr. on the occassion of the 40 years since his death.
She reminded those of us from generation next that the traces of progress for humanity in society that we take for granted today didn't happen by accident; they happened with determined committed hard diligent efforts of people committed to the truth and rightness of the things they fought so hard for -- and these people are still as committed and they are not done.
There are things that we take for granted now rendering the past something of an HBO special or foggy film blow backs for MLK day celebrations. We take for granted now that it is possible we are in a "post-racial" emerging culture, that it is normal that the person sitting in the seat next to you in school is just as likely as not to not be your same race-and who cares what anyone's race is. We take for granted that there are programs that fight poverty like an ability to get food "stamps" or debit cards in social programs when one is without any income support (and pregnant) and hungry, or that there is assistance for things like nutritional school lunches for poor kids. We take for granted benefits for women with children who have no income, and the fact that we have social security disability options, Medicare and Medicaid. There was a time in America not long ago when we had none of this. Can you imagine?
None of this came by accident. It came because people fought for it. It came because people came together and decided there were situations that were just intolerably cruel in civilized caring societies.
After these programs were put into place, somehow the rich still got richer and the country still prospered. The economy grew and everyone benefited from the social cost savings of taking care of everyone. We became partially a country where we were our brother's keeper--and it didn't hold anyone back by being more generous. The rising tide rose all boats, so long as the government didn't tether them to the dock. And the playing field was tilted a bit more even Stephen- but it still isn't completely level.
In this country the Have More's and Have Nada's divide is greater than it has been in decades.
That naturally is going to translate into more despirate abortions- hello Bishop's Conference.
There are nine million children without health insurance and nine million of them don't never get sick. That is a budgetary strain on a family that factors into people's decisions to have more kids or not. Hello Bishop's Conference.
There are NINE MILLION CHILDREN without health insurance. There are 1.1 Million abortions a year. You do the math. A good portion of those 1.1 Million children had brothers and sisters who were part of the Nine Million who had no health insurance. Do you think we can make having and raising children less of a bankruptcy threatening enterprise?
Health care is not a trip to Chuckie Cheese. Health Care can be bankruptingly expensive for many people- many people of child bearing age. Hello Bishop's Conference.
Marian Wright Edelman reminds us that the job is not done.
There is no rational or defensible justification any longer that any child in America should not have health insurance- it is a social responsibility as a nation we have to shoulder. We cannot make the burden of excessive costs of health care on any family reason why anyone would not want more children--especially if they find themselves already pregnant.
Jobs, Education, Health Care- these are all as a matter of basic common sense within the economies of families factors that need addressing in a rational responsible anti-abortion policy platform. Hello Bishop's Conference.
It is as unethical to deny a woman the real ability to choose right as it is to choose wrongly.
There is little moral difference between an economically coerced abortion depriving one of the meaningful ability to make a good choice and dragging a girl to the butcher.
Anti-Abortion policy cannot be just another unfunded mandate with a threat factor.
It has to enable the goal.
Health Insurance for NINE MILLION CHILDREN is a start- and a very necessary one.
NO RNC MEMBER, NO REPUBLICAN CONGRESSPERSON, NO REPUBLICAN SENATOR AND NO AMERICAN WORTH HIS VOTE SHOULD STOP HEALTH CARE FOR NINE MILLION AMERICAN CHILDREN.
And if the Democrats don't forward the bill- some Anti-Abortion Republican should write and pass it now.
Talk is Cheap.
Health Care is Not.
It is family prohibitive in some cases- maybe even 1.1 Million cases.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
The Majesty of America's Capital: Congratulations to the Berlin Airlift Diamond Jubilee committee on the occassion of the 60th year anniversary of the Berlin Air Lift. http://berlinairlift-diamondjubilee.org/
Did you know that after WWII we determined not to decimate Germany as took place after the end of WWI setting the stage for its vengeful comeback. Instead we sought to protect and build it up in Alliance after routing out the Nazis. We did this in concert with our Allies. Berlin, the capital city was divided with Great Britain, the US and France protecting the East and Russia protecting the West. Russia, however under Stalin had other expansionist imperialist designs on Germany and blockaded Berlin immediately after the war. They blockaded land and water to prevent the other Allies from making incursion into the city which was lodged in Russia protected Western territory.
So what did we do? The Allies Allied- in a combined show of force that set the stage for the incarnation of NATO. In an 11 month effort starting June 24, 1948 we used our Sortis and Air Lifted with Great Britian essential supplies and everything a war ravaged bombed out people needed to live. The "Berlin Air Lift" resulted in 500-700 tons of raw materials, food, fuel industrial good and essential supplies to be delivered a day via our combined Allied Air Forces dropped in June of 1948 to 12,940 tons by April, 1949. And at midnight May 12, 1949 the Soviets caved and reopened land and water routes into Berlin ending the 322 day blockage. The Airlift missions ended in September 1949. We kept over 2 Million Germans alive. They are now one of our strongest allies economically and committed partners in strengthening democracies.
We lost 31 American soldiers and 39 British and Commonwealth troops defending Berlin against Soviet aggression. The World would be a very different place had Berlin fallen.
2009 marks the 20th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall. It also marks the end of the 60th year of the Berlin Air Lift.
There are octogenarian gentle souls still alive who flew these missions. They were seated today for Veterans Day tributes in Saint Matthews Cathedral in Washington, DC. You could shake their hands and thank them right here in Washington, DC. today.
They hope to make one last trip to Germany in 2009 to celebrate with the German people their mission. A foundation formed with the assistance and sponsorship of Daimler (previously Daimler Benz) called "Friends Always" They came to remember their fallen and especially the German children suffering for the sins of an evil leadership who reached out to grab Hershey bars falling from the sky floating from hand made hankerchiefs one soldier put together from old donated white hankies falling like fresh snow over the blitzed rubble.
You can help these American heros go back for the last horrah to Germany. Some of these aging Veterans are partially disabled, some on fixed incomes, some tolled by age. They all need to go back in style- every last live one of them who wants to visit Berlin in 2009.
Perhaps OBAMA will take a delegation and make a historic speech congratulating the American Spirit that still lives and thank Germany for its friendship on the occassion of the 20th year since the fall of the Berlin Wall.
The ceremony this evening featured a gentleman who is the North American Executive Director for External Affairs and Public Policy- the public face of Daimler. He is an African American named Jake Jones. He stated that were it not for the sacrifices of people like these Berlin Air Lift Air Force vets fighting for freedom against the Nazi Aryan idolotry and saving the German people with kindness after the war people like him might not be the public relations face of a prominent German founded company called Daimler. He promised a Benz to the President of the Berlin Air Lift Veterans Association.
A dark skinned grey haired staff General Radhi Dahham Al-Assal, Military Advisor to the Minister of Defense of the Republic of Iraq, a country he noted of a plurality of religions and ethnicities, proclaimed loudly: "From this House of God, Let it Be Heard That We Stand With You."
Music from an orchestra so brilliant yet so humble it didn't have a name in the program and no member or even the conductor was named gave beatiful rendition and tribute to pieces from Mendelssohn, a German (born Jewish), Samuel Barber, an American ( Protestant) ,and Gustav Holst, a German British citizen among other rousing numbers. This nameless orchestra, it was revealed was comprised entirely of gifted talented men and women in our military. Such is the selflessness of the people serving you and me trying to bring Freedom to the world under the banner of our flag.
You can find out more information on the German-American friendship at http://www.germany.info/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you to the speakers at this event, particularly The Honorable karsten D.Voight, Coordinator of German-American Cooperation, German Federal Foreign Office, and Brigadeer General Margaret H. Woodward, US AF, Commander ,89th Airlift Wing, Vice Commander-designate, 18th United Air Force for her brilliant historic survey of our actions in post-WWII Germany.
Today also marks to the day the 60th anniversary that Kate Smith belted on a radio show what is now her signature classic that the Cathedral closed with. It goes like this-I think you know it:
While the storm clouds gather
far across the sea
Let us swear allegiance to a land that's free
Let us all be greateful for a land so fair
As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer:
God Bless America,
Land that I love,
Stand beside her, and guide her
Through the night with a light from above
From the mountain, to the prairies
To the Oceans, white with foam,
GOD BLESS AMERICA
My Home Sweet Home.
GOD BLESS AMERICA
My Home Sweet Home.
AMEN, AMEIN, AMEN.