Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Catholic Carnival goes to the Fair

The Catholic Carnival is up and titled "Fair Daze" at Snoring Scholar.

Saint Ignatius of Loyola

I was reading on Jimmy Akin's site and a post caught my attention.
Today (July 31) is the feast day of Saint Ignatius of Loyola. I only know just a few things about him. He was a soldier. Hoo-ah! He was wounded in battle against the enemies of Spain (the French I think). While laid up from this wound he experienced a profound conversion. He founded the Society of Jesus (Jesuits).
Ignatian spirituality is solid, hardcore stuff, Catholicism at its best. Unfortunately, Jesuits more often than not have a reputation for being just the opposite. I'm sure that's not (entirely) deserved.
Even orders like the Benedictines, who have a good rep, have members with off the wall theology and ideas. For instance, I once prayed the Liturgy of the Hours with a community of Benedictine women. They started the Lord's Prayer: "Our Mother/Our Father who art in heaven..." NO FOOLIN'!
Back to Jimmy's Post...
The post was about today being Saint Ignatius's feast day and the Jesuits have a site where they are gonna have an Internet video series about Ignatian spirituality. The site is www.companionofjesus.com
I look forward to seeing the videos.
Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam

Monday, July 30, 2007

Captain Catholic, Episode 3

After a short hiatus Captain Catholic has returned for another episode. This time the subject is Catholic teaching on sweatshops. The full length video is here or you can watch the 3 youtube pieces one at a time.
This time Tony even threw in the destruction of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man from the original Ghostbusters.
And apparently the Captain Catholic team is working on a feature length film for Captain Catholic before they make Episode 4.


I almost didn't go to Church today. For some inexplicable reason I just didn't want to go and I almost stayed at home. At the last minute however, I remember the story of Saint Expeditus. I told myself that I needed Mass and I needed it today. I told myself there was no putting it off. I kept repeating "Hodie" to myself as I drove to Sacred Heart Cathedral. I was there for Mass, every glorious minute of it.
If the Hodie part doesn't make sense then, scroll down to or search for my post on Saint Expeditus.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Ranger Rosary

Hat tip to Adoro Te Devote

Adoro left a comment yesterday on my post, "A Soldier's Best Weapon":
The other day I read an article about a particular rosary, made of knots and a particular type of material, specifically for soldiers.

How great is the need for these rosaries? Do you all need a lot of them? I think the type mentioned were specific for those in Iraq, but of course the need would not be limited to location.

Your thoughts?

And another one:
I actually found the link on my lunch break at work, so if I find it again, I'll send it.

At home, I save the links of interest. I HATE when I find the good stuff and don't email it to myself!

I wanna say it came from SpiritDaily, but I could be wrong.

The picture showed a green knotted rosarym made with parachute cord(?) or the like. It could be hidden, would make no noise, etc.

I will be sure to offer my rosaries for those of you in the service...and if you have any specific requests, please let me know. I have a devotion to OLPH and I write all intentions down and place them on her icons in my house, the better to entrust them to my (your) prayers.

If you don't know OLPH, get to know her quick...she does amazing things.

Little tangent, but not by much....

So I looked it up on google and the first page I came across was the Ranger Rosary project. These Rosaries are made especially for those in the military and made to meet the special needs of our Servicemen and women. From the Ranger Rosary mission statement:
For safety, the rosaries are made from parachute cord, dark beads, and black plastic crucifixes that do not rattle or reflect light. Included with the rosaries are "How to Pray the Rosary" pamphlets, scapulars with pamphlets, Divine Mercy Booklets, and St. Michael the Archangel medals with prayer cards. However, scapulars are only sent to the hospitals and the same with St Michaels medals and prayer cards. It is too expensive to send them with the rosaries. The Chaplains in the hospitals have requested them.
This is a great idea. I had never heard of this before, but I am glad that there are people out there who do this sort of thing. May God bless them.
Directions on how to make these Ranger Rosaries is here and where to get the materials.
O my Jesus, forgive us our sins. Save us from the fires of Hell and lead all souls to Heaven, especially those most in need of Thine Mercy.
Behold thou art fair, O my love, behold thou art fair, thy eyes are as those of doves.
Song of Songs 1:14 (Douay Rheims)

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Saint Expeditus

St Expeditus was a Roman Soldier in Armenia. The Devil came in the form of a crow to convince him to convert and be baptized tomorrow (in Latin tomorrow is "cras"). He stomped the crow and said today ("hodie" in Latin). He was martyred.
Because of the story he is naturally the patron saint against procrastination. I will seek his prayers. He was a soldier and I procrastinate, so he seems to fit perfectly.

Hippie Car Shredded

Check out Hippie Elimination Plan Delta 59 at Orthometer. Even if you like hippie flower cars and stuff its still fun to see a video of a car getting shredded.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Forced to Sell Abortion Pills

Washington is forcing all pharmacists regardless of their religious or moral convictions to sell the "Plan B" pill.

Seattle, Jul 27, 2007 / 08:47 am (CNA).- Pharmacists have sued Washington state over a new regulation that requires them to sell emergency contraception, also known as the "morning-after pill,” because it contains no exception for those who object on the basis of belief or conscience.
In a lawsuit filed in federal court Wednesday, pharmacists Rhonda Mesler and Margo Thelen, and Stormans Inc., said the rule that took effect Thursday violates their civil rights by forcing them into choosing between "their livelihoods and their deeply held religious and moral beliefs."
"The stakes really couldn't be much higher," plaintiffs' attorney Kristen Waggoner said.
Earlier this year, the state ruled that druggists who believe emergency contraceptives are tantamount to abortion cannot stand in the way of a patient's “right” to the drugs.

These patient's can go somewhere else to practice their "right" to kill off their own children. There's nothing to stop them from taking that "right" to another pharmacy.
It is ridiculous that the state of Washington would so blatantly infringe on the pharmacists' freedom of religion. That freedom of religion is explicitly guaranteed by the 1st Amendment and applied to the states through the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, as opposed to a supposed "right" given by an activist court writing its own de facto legislation. It is about time that someone finally challenged state laws forcing pharmacists to sell abortive medication.

Church in the Now

When I was in the seminary a friend of mine joked about Protestant congregations in general as the Church of the Here and Now. He was makeing a joke about the often elastic beliefs of many Protestant groups.
I was just remembering today that when I was in Georgia I saw a sign for a church called the "Church in the Now" and it made me chuckle. I don't know what separates them from other Protestant groups, but I would guess protest to someone's doctrine or that they are non-denominational (which is also a protest and ironically another denomination).
A wise man builds his house on a rock (Petros)...
The Catholic Church is the only church that is all the things that every Christian professes, in the Nicean Creed, that Christ's Church should be. It is ONE, HOLY, CATHOLIC, and APOSTOLIC. I'm not saying that we're the only holy church out there, but we are in a very limited group of apostolic churches and we alone can lay claim to oneness. The word catholic (with a little "c") means universal and sadly not all churches meet even that criteria.
Just as Rome is the Eternal City, the Catholic Church is the Eternal Church. The doctrines of Holy Mother Church, just like her Holy Spouse Jesus, are the same yesterday, today, and forever. There is no need or even desire to be in the here and now.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Pope and Chinese Visit

Would or could the pope ever visit China? According to high authority in the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, not until the Vatican breaks ties with Taiwan. So don't count on a papal visit anytime soon.
From the Catholic News Agency:
Beijing, Jul 26, 2007 / 09:41 am (CNA).- The second in command of the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, Mr. Liu Bainian, has said that a visit by the Pope to China requires certain conditions be met first.
Mr. Bainian’s comments came in lieu of an interview that he gave to the Italian daily La Repubblica earlier this week. In that interview he said, “I hope with all my strength to be able to see the pope one day here in Beijing, celebrating Mass for us Chinese." However, he claims that this quote was taken out of context.
Mr. Bainian clarified his remarks by telling the China Daily that before a papal visit can occur, “The Vatican must sever diplomatic relations with Taiwan and stop interfering in China's internal affairs if it wants to normalize ties with Beijing.”
"What I meant was I hoped the Pope could visit China and celebrate Mass but only after normalization of diplomatic ties.”
"If the two issues can be resolved properly, the two sides will have favorable conditions to improve ties."

Congratulations Mr. Bainan, you are officially a tool of the atheistic government of Communist China. It seems that you have been compromised, to say the least, as a clergyman.
Personally, I would like to see the Pope visit Taiwan and South Korea. Maybe in some way his visits could expedite the fall of Communism in East Asia. Pope John Paul II the Great was instrumental in bringing down European Communism. Maybe, Pope Benedict the XVI will play a similar role in Asia.
In the words of Nikita Kruschev: "We will bury you!"

Our Lady of La Vang pray for an end to Communism.
St Andrew Kim pray for an end to Communism.
Fr. Emil Kapaun, Servant of God, pray for an end to Communism.

Fatima and Islam

Father Joe has a great post about Mary and Islam. He copied and pasted an essay from the late, great Bishop Fulton J Sheen.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Litany of the Vietnamese Martyrs

Dominican Idaho just posted a Litany of Vietnamese Martyrs along with a scanned copy of a letter from Bishop Michael Driscoll approving it for use in liturgy.
I thought it was neat that someone went to the trouble of putting together a litany for the growing Vietnamese population in Boise.
Holy Vietnamese Martyrs pray for the end of Communism in Vietnam and around the world.
Pardon me, Lord. Pardon me for my lack of delicacy towards You and for my exceedingly great pride, which manifests itself even in the most sacredt things.
Covered with shame and confusion, I undertake O my Jesus! to sin no more. At Your Feet in the Sacrament of Penance, I, a penitent sinner, will humbly implore your infinite mercy.
--Concepcion Cabrera De Armida, lovingly known as Conchita

King of Poland

Apparently there are Polish lawmakers trying to have Jesus declared King of Poland.

A group of Polish members of parliament have submitted a bill seeking to proclaim Jesus Christ king of their overwhelmingly Catholic country.

Forty-six deputies - 10% of the lower house - signed the bill, which was tabled earlier this week, reports say.

Some Polish clerics however have criticised the move as unnecessary.

If the bill becomes law, Jesus will follow the path of the Virgin Mary, who was declared honorary queen of Poland by King John Casimir 350 years ago.

It may be unnecessary since He is already King of Poland and all the rest of Creation but it would still be great if Poland publicly acknowledged Him as King.

Stolen Collection Receipts

The Pittsburgh Post Gazette has a story about someone breaking into Mt Lebanon Parish in Pittsburgh and making off with the collection money from Sunday.

Collection receipts stolen from Mt. Lebanon church

Thursday, July 12, 2007
By Laura Pace, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Sometime between 12:30 p.m. Sunday and 8:30 a.m. Monday, someone stole the weekend collection receipts from St. Bernard Roman Catholic Church in Mt. Lebanon.

Mt. Lebanon Police do not have an amount taken. Lt. Ken Truver said there was no sign of forced entry and police have no suspects. The investigation is continuing.

And from the Pittsburgh Tribune:

Collection bag pilfered from Mt. Lebanon church
By Craig Smith
Friday, July 13, 2007

Sometime between 12:30 p.m. Sunday and 8:30 a.m. Monday, someone stole the weekend collection receipts from St. Bernard Roman Catholic Church in Mt. Lebanon.

Mt. Lebanon Police do not have an amount taken. Lt. Ken Truver said there was no sign of forced entry and police have no suspects. The investigation is continuing.
These kinds of thefts are not common, church officials and police said.

"They are rare in the diocese," said the Rev. Ron Lengwin, spokesman for the Pittsburgh diocese.

Driesch, the church's pastor, could not be reached for comment. A man who would not give his name, but identified himself as the church office manager, said Driesch was out of town until today.

About 3,000 people attend the six Masses held each Sunday in the church that was founded in 1919, church officials said.

Truver would not say how much money was missing or if video surveillance cameras were in use.

In February, St. Mary's in Cecil was burglarized, Lengwin said.

Nothing was taken, and no one was apprehended, said Mary Ann Bills, parish secretary. Collection monies at St. Mary's are deposited immediately following the Mass.

St. Bernard Parish was founded to serve the communities of Dormont and Mt. Lebanon and includes 10,000 members, its Web site said.

Anyone with information about the theft can call Mt. Lebanon police investigators at 412-343-4095.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Vatican Site

H/T to American Papist
The Vatican now has a website for the government of Vatican City. From Catholic News Agency:

Vatican City, Jul 19, 2007 / 09:00 am (CNA).- The Vatican City State has ventured forth into the digital world today by launching a sharply designed Internet portal. The new site (www.vaticanstate.va) comes as a response to the ever increasing number of requests by pilgrims and tourists for information about the world’s smallest city state.

Now if we could just get the Pope to start a blog...

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Book Reviews and a Catholic Carnival

The latest and greatest Catholic Carnival is posted at Book Reviews and More. I'll have to look through some and I'll post on the submissions that stand out to me.
Catholicandgop posted my 5 Reasons meme. I am just honored that someone reads my ramblings! Thanks catholicandgop!
btw I also really like the Die Hard movies.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Good Samaritan

It was explained to me at one point that the story of the Good Samaritan is also a story about mankind and God. Jesus is the Samaritan and that symbolizes our self-imposed alienation from Him. He pours oil and wine on the wounds of the man laying in the road, just as oil and wine are used to heal our spiritual wounds in the sacraments. The inn is the Church where we rest and the innkeeper is Peter and his successors. I realized how well this part fits when I stopped and thought about how the Samaritan charged the innkeeper to care for the beaten man, just as Jesus charged Peter to care for His "lambs" at the end of St John's Gospel.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Five Reasons Meme

The Ironic Catholic tagged "the rest of God's frozen people" for the Five Reasons you love Jesus meme. Fairbanks definitely qualifies. I've got more than 5, but these are the top reasons.
  1. He died for our sins. I'm sure this is cliche and everyone else's number 1, but it deserves to be no other place. It's HUGE that God should submit Himself to death as a common criminal, and all for the forgiveness of our sins when we don't deserve it at all.
  2. God is love. Its hard NOT to love a person who is Love itself.
  3. He gave us His body, blood, soul and divinity in the Holy Eucharist. He told us that He would be with us until the end of time and He has been true to His word. As the song "Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence" says, "He wil give to all the faithful His own Self for Heavenly Food".
  4. He condescended to Human form. Its not enough that He understands Humanity because He created us, He became one of us and shared in everything Human except sin (although he shared in temptation).
  5. He brings peace into my life. At different times I have tried to be at peace by different means, such as alcohol, food, people, ideas, or things. Nothing brings peace and joy into my life the way that Jesus does.
I peeked at some of the other responses. Mine is less emotional and more intellectual. If you know me that's no surprise. I would like to mention #5 from Vito at "Long Road to Priesthood": Because sometimes you have to yell and flip some tables to get your point across.

I tag anyone who reads this and feels moved to respond.
Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Another Martyr Joins the Church Triumphant

An underground Christian in North Korea is set to be executed for his Christian belief. From the Catholic News Agency

For more than a year, Son Jong Nam, a former army officer turned underground evangelist, has been beaten, tortured and held in a bleak, North Korean death row basement jail in the capital city. He has been sentenced to public execution as an example to the North Korean people.

But executing him will hardly put an end to Christianity in North Korea, which actually had the larger Christian population of the Koreas before Communist forces took over. Now, despite the Communists's intentions Son Jong Nam will enter into Heaven and his eternal prayers before the Lord of Hosts will serve to hasten the end of Communism in North Korea and elsewhere around the world.
St Andrew Kim and all other Korean martyrs, pray for an end to communism.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

A Soldier's Best Weapon

The Army has lots of weapons: rifles, howitzers, rockets, tanks, attack helicopters to name a few. The Soldier's best weapon though is the Holy Rosary. A few more thoughts from the saints and a pope:

"The Rosary is my weapon" --St Padre Pio
"The rosary is the most powerful weapon to touch the Heart of Jesus, Our Redeemer, who so loves His Mother." --St Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort
"The Rosary is a powerful weapon to put the demons to flight and to keep oneself from sin…If you desire peace in your hearts, in your homes, and in your country, assemble each evening to recite the Rosary. Let not even one day pass without saying it, no matter how burdened you may be with many cares and labors." --Pope Pius XI
For those who use their intelligence and their study as a weapon, the Rosary is most effective. Because that apparently monotonous way of beseeching Our Lady as children do their Mother, can destroy every seed of vainglory and pride. -- St. Josemaria Escriva
"Today as in other times, the rosary must be a powerful weapon, to enable us to win in our interior struggle, and to help all souls." --St. Josemaria Escriva
"As it was in other times —such as Lepanto—, the Rosary must be today a powerful weapon, to conquer the enemies of the Holy Roman Church and of your Country." --St. Josemaria Escriva

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Missionaries of the Holy Spirit Cross

Yesterday when I went on my rant about the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit I mentioned the cross they have behind their house and that Fr. Celso explained the meaning. I realized that I hadn't said what it meant and I couldn't remember much of it myself so I looked it up. Above is a picture I took from their website. I found the explanation and picture here.
An excerpt from the site quotes from Conchita's vision:

"I saw a great fire, like white rays of light which were very vivid and brilliant. It was stronger than electrical light. In the center of that light I saw a white dove with its wings spread out. I saw under the dove, in the depths of that great light, a huge cross with a heart in the center of it. This heart had very sharp thorns that surrounded it. It was painful to see the thorns so tightly wrapped around the heart that they were piercing it. This heart had a lance piercing its side, and out of this wound came blood that flowed on the cross. The heart had life. It was beating like a human heart, but it was a glorified heart. It was surrounded by a fire that seemed to glow and sparkle like the fire of a hearth. From the top of the heart came a different type of fire. It was of greater intensity. The flames came out with violence as if coming out of a volcano. As the fire flickered and the flames moved back and forth, a small cross--which seemed to come out of the heart--could be seen. "

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Catholic blog meme

I have been hesistant to get into it, but I am gonna try my hand at a meme. I want to start my own though. I tag everyone on this list and anyone who reads this to name their favorite Catholic blogs.
In no particular order here are my favorite Catholic blogs:

Do you ever feel drawn to something and you haven't a clue why? Do you ever feel irresistably drawn to something even though for one reason or another you can not get any closer to it than where you already are?

On my first day at the seminary (Gosh! That day was only about 2 years ago, but it feels like a lifetime has passed.) I saw guys running around with a black habit like the Benedictines, but the scapular had the design on the left stitched on.
From the first moment I saw men from the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit I have felt a strange pull towards them and everything about their order. I had considered joining at one point, but then I left the seminary and the next thing I knew I was dating, engaged and married. I am happily married, but still I feel the attraction. I bought just about every book on Conchita (the mystic who inspired Fr Rougier to found the order).
I remember during the orientation week when I convinced a friend to walk down the hill with me during a break to see their house. In the back they have a BIG cross, similar to the one on the right (no clouds and no dove). One of their priest explained it to us and invited us in to show us around and tell us that we were always welcome to visit. The image is hung in at least one place that I can remember in Anselm Hall.
I checked out Conchita's books from the MA library and devoured them. She has a way of speaking to my soul. But backing to the pull, I still haven't a clue why or what I should do about it. In the meanwhile I just felt like ranting on my blog.

Friday, July 06, 2007

eternal love

Every time I read Conchita's writing I am struck by a new pearl of wisdom or insight. Today it was this:
"On Earth friendships grow cold, human beings change, attachments become weakened, love itself vanishes and dies; but Your affection, Your tenderness and Your love do not change, do not pass away but remain forever!
That is why I place all my happiness in possessing You..."

Thursday, July 05, 2007

As Christ loves the Church

St Paul wrote that men should love their wives as Jesus Christ loves the Church. Until, the last few months I knew about that passage, I had read it and I thought I knew and understood what he meant.
Then I got married...
And of course St Paul's teaching took on a much deeper, clearer and intense meaning. I had previously understood that yes, there needs to be an intense and unifying love between a husband and wife as there is between Christ and the Church. However, I had not really picked up on the sacrificial part.
I may never need to sacrifice my life for her as Christ did for the Church, but certainly I have had to sacrifice my selfishness and time among other things (money is actually the least of the sacrifices). I am having to die to myself in order to grow more united to her and to love her more Christ-like.
Like in any marriage we do things that annoy or offend the other. Often it is a struggle to continue actively showing my love, but Christ never fails in His love for the Church despite the failings of Her many members. It is indeed a struggle at times, but I know the only way is to continue in love.
All this sounds difficult, and any married person can tell you that it is hard, but surprisingly I have found that the advice of St Paul is not antiquated, irrelevant advice from "some dead white guy", it is precious time-tested wisdom. The more I sacrifice and die to myself, the closer the two of us become. And of course the closer we are the more wonderful it is. It is in this closeness that I discover more and more the beautiful, wonderful woman that she is.
Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam
I haven't posted for a while on Conchita. She's still my favorite mystic, its just slipped my mind to post about her.

"Yes, I hear my beloved one. Suffer and fear not. Open your wings and fly to the sacrifice of yourself, and love me as I love you, as I have always loved you. For you must love me with the same love."
--Conchita, Mexican mystic and foundress of the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit

Couer DAlene, II

I skipped last week, but I continue again this week.

Idaho is a large state with a quickly growing population. Both the size of land and the size of the population suggest its time for another diocese for the benefit of Idaho Catholics. Many places that are similar size or smaller have two or more dioceses, for instance Oregon has two and so does Montana. Montana is actually bigger but has fewer people.
If the Diocese of Baker, Oregon can be maintained, then it stands to reason that a Couer D'Alene Diocese can stand too. After all, it has very few people and surely with North Idaho's growth it will exceed the amount of Catholics in Baker.