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Archive for September, 2009

O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fire of hell.  Lead all souls to heaven, especially those most in need of Your mercy.

My goodness, I just read an article on Inside Catholic and the comments section was just full of hatred and vileness.  :-(     The article was about Newt Gingrich‘s conversion to the Catholic faith.  Those commenters who defended Mr. Gingrich, or chastised the meanness, or in general showed a willingness to see God’s grace in the conversion story were also treated to sarcasm, attacks, and accusations.  (See for example, Ryan Haber’s comment #34 and the response #39)  Without commenting on Mr. Gingrich’s politics, his history or the ‘validity’ of his conversion, I will say that one must always rejoice in any lost sheep being found, mustn’t one?  I had previously read an article on some Catholic site about Tony Blair and the same type of vitriol was in the comments section.  I especially find it appalling that so many ‘in-the-fold’ Catholics proceed to pick apart the past histories, the sins, the public statements of these new converts.  My word, I would be devastated to have my community picking apart the blatant stupidity of my youth, my many, many failures, my willful disagreements with Church teachings, my obstinate run headlong into a state of grievous sin where I remained for distressingly too long.  Converts, re-converts, lost sheep, prodigals of all stripes–whether famous or not– deserve prayers–our prayers– and our edifying support; not backseat driving, judgments, scrutiny, malicious suggestions and its ilk.

I understand that politics make people agitated, emotional and passionate, but what happens to reason?  How can one who is reading a Catholic website, of all things, give in to such debaseness?  The very point of reading Catholic material, Catholic websites, Catholic weblogs *ought* to be bringing ourselves into a more perfect understanding of God, of His Will, of His Plan, of His Word–through His bride, the holy catholic Church.  It should be lifting us up. 

I also understand the difficulty in expressing passion in the written form, that writing may take on an unintended tone.  I understand the momentary loss of temper or rationality.  Still, I’m shaking my head in true confusion and sadness.  I’ll share with you what I left in the comments of the Inside Catholic article:

September 30th, 2009 | 11:32pm

I was interested to read this article but like so many commenters above, I turned to the comments and was disheartened by the level of meanness found there.

My Catholic brethren, where is our Christian charity?

I can do no more than offer up my prayers for Mr. Gingrich’s video to be a tool in God’s plan for the salvation of many souls, evangelizing to bring them to belief. In God’s plan, even an imperfect tool can reap a great harvest.

My prayers also for the continual, ongoing conversion of Mr. Gingrich, myself and indeed all Christ’s body: we, the Church.

May He lead all souls to Heaven, especially those most in need of His mercy.

 Written by luce
My friends, remember Scripture:  woe to you, you hypocrites, you Pharisees who live by the letter of the law but have not love in your hearts.  This can be directed at anyone of us, at any moment of any day.  Let us pray for strength and charity to overcome this trap.
 
Prayer:  We all fall short of the mark, Lord, and You know how many times I have denied You, I have deserted You, and I disobeyed You.  Yet, in my time of need, You always come running for me, like the father in the parable.   I do not deserve Your mercy but I welcome it and I need it.  Help me to find my gratitude, help me to show my gratitude by in some little way emulating You with my own mercy and forgiveness toward others.
Let us pray:
 
I confess to almighty God
and to you, my brothers and sisters,
that I have sinned greatly
in my thoughts and in my words,
in what I have done and in what I have failed to do,
through my fault, through my fault,
through my most grievous fault.
Therefore I ask Blessed Mary ever-Virgin,
all the Angels and Saints,
and you my brothers and sisters,
to pray for me to the Lord our God.
Amen.

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St. Michael is one of my saints, one to whom I have a lifelong devotion.  Today, we celebrated the three named Archangels from Scripture:  Michael, who cast out Satan from Heaven, Gabriel, who is seen in Daniel and of course again in the Gospels to announce the Immaculate Conception to the Handmaiden and Raphael, the angel who accompanies Tobit.

Deacon Jim of Servant of the Word from nearby Ann Arbor gives readings for the day with commentary at his blog.  Here is his reflection on today’s liturgy:

Reflection:

Today, as we celebrate the great feast of the Archangels we give thanks to the Lord’s consolation. The word “consolation” comes from the Latin word con-solatio. It suggests being with the other in their solitude[4] – In other words not only did the Son leave us the Holy Spirit as advocate and guide, God also sends us heavenly messengers insuring that those who believe in him know that we are never alone, never without a heavenly presence to stand with us as we travel this life on earth.      (more…)

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I work at a local high school pool center.  We have a large and well-kept facility at which the public can work out in the fitness center, our full-size competitive lap pool or our warm fitness pool.  Now that school is back in, so are our classes from the local schools.  Principally, we see special needs classes.

We get high school age kids, post-secondary young adults and their aides.  Some have Down Syndrome, others severe autism, others mental retardation.  They come in, change in the locker rooms and rush to the pool.  There, they play with the water toys, splash, throw balls, climb on floats and take turns pushing each other off.  They laugh alot.  They interact alot.  Most are very nice to each other, almost maternalistic in their care for each other.  

I have been pondering these classes for some time now.  “Ponder” in the same sense that we see Mary ponder in the Gospels over the incidents of Jesus’ life– a combination of wonder, marvel, pride,  knowledge and an awareness of grace.   In other words, when I get to see these special needs kids come in and enjoy the pool, I am flooded with a knowledge of God’s grace in and around these young adults, and humbled that I am allowed to witness it and witness to it.

On the first day of our returning students’ visit to the pool, one of my fellow workers, a college student, said that she felt “sorry for these kids, because they are missing out on so much.”   We were watching the kids and I couldn’t help correcting her.  I said, “Do you think they know that they are ‘missing out’ on anything?  Don’t they look really, really happy, in fact happier than most kids we see in the pool on most days?”  She had to agree that yes, in fact, they seemed particularly happy and excited to be there, be together and be enjoying the pool facilities.   She then asked, ‘why do you think that is?’  and I replied, “Well, I don’t know for sure, but they seem to know how to live in the present and not worry, which is a side effect of their disability but also–what a great gift from God, to just live in the moment!”  And then I quoted Scripture that said that birds and lilies don’t toil but our Heavenly Father takes care of their needs.  I said, “I think God will take care of them as indeed He already is.”   She thought about this a moment and then asked me, “Doesn’t it ever make you sad?”  “No,” I said bluntly, “when I see these kids, all I can think is that each of their mothers chose Life.  In a post-Roe, post-amniocentesis world, their moms gave them Life.  All I see are some really happy kids who received life and while they may not understand it, I think they are all really happy just to be alive….and I am happy that they are.  So no, no…they make me happy, not sad.”

I bring this up because today is Day 6 of Forty Days for Life and because… well because today, that young lifeguard told me that ‘Special Needs Class day’ was now her favorite day of the week. 

That is something that I will ponder in my heart and treasure always.

A beautiful piece:  http://www.heartlink.org/pdf/whenlovewins.pdf

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This article is nothing short of horrific.  I’m not sure I can comment on it, I simply find it too upsetting.

Abortion Addict Admits to Multiple Abortions, Suicide Attempts – ABC News

Shared via AddThis

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This video of a teenager confronting a discussion panel on the topic of adultery is really heartbreaking.  What a powerful message and messenger!  You can see that the crowd intuitively agrees with her, and that the panelists are immediately defensive and cornered.  It’s hard to tell exactly what the panel was saying earlier, but it seems as if, in the defensive exchange at the end, the panelists had been suggesting that Americans should not be so uptight about adultery, and should not break up the marriage over it.  I think the message ought to be don’t commit adultery.  

Oh and the 50% statistic?  that impresses me not.  Blessedly, it doesn’t seem to impress the audience either.  We don’t decide our morals on the prevailing whimsy or fashion, and it is good to witness that when confronted with it, the majority of the audience sees the truth.

Bless this girl for her courage and for her heartache.  My prayers go out to her and all victims of adultery.

 

Nightline:  Born to Cheat?

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 I love the litany form.  It allows for dynamic, insistent praying even while being unchanging and meditative.   Like so much of our historical church, litanies have a rhythm which naturally invoke a feeling within my heart that my prayers are being lifted up to Heaven on the wings of angels.  *sigh*  I wish I could do more community litany praying.  Perhaps I should arrange that….

Anyway, this one, which is a private litany, might be the official Cooperating with Grace prayer.   I’m willing to surrender to God’s Plan for me because–as you know–my plan sucked.   If only I could ascertain God’s Plan….my discerning skills are progressing so slowly.

NoteI found this at several sources on the internet and I updated the language from the “Thy”s and “Thou”s.  I also substituted “ordain” for “wiliest” because that seemed to be a typo. 

Litany of Resignation to the Will of God

  (more…)

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I saw a very uplifting video on Fr. Najim’s excellent new blog, Live Holiness.   

 

Note: I checked Nick’s website and it seems he will be in the Michigan area a few times in this school year:

Auburn Hills, Michigan

Crossroads Pregnancy Centers     
Auburn Hill, MI   

info:  (248) 293-0070

 Come hear Nick give his inspirational testimony!

 March 4, 2010 in Monroe, Michigan

 March 5, 2010 in Rochester, Michigan

 March 6, 2010 in Livonia, Michigan

Lansing, MI – Acquire the Fire

Lansing, MI

 Come hear Nick give his inspirational testimony…and see The David Crowder Band, Everyday Sunday and Lecrae!

 May 1, 2010 

Jack Breslin Student Event Center
1 Birch Road
East Lansing, MI  48824

 Registration is required through www.teenmania.com

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