Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Psalm 100 Invitation to Praise God

Acclaim Yahweh, all the earth,
serve Yahweh gladly,
come into his presence with songs of joy!

Know that he, Yahweh, is God,
he made us and we belong to him,
we are his people, the flock that he pastures.

Walk through his porticos giving thanks,
enter his courts praising him,
give thanks to him, bless his name!

Yes, Yahweh is good,
his love is everlasting,
his faithfulness endures from age to age.

Hey! Check it out! I’m actually posting early instead of posting late! I was reading over the Psalter (Book of Psalms) for Religion last week and I found this one which was short and sweet and had “use me for a Thanksgiving post” all over it. Thus, there it is and Hope you all have a good one!

Our plans are as follows; hopefully we’ll get to Church but then we’ll be going to my Uncle’s house (Dad’s brother) who dosen’t live too far away but far away enough that we don’t see them much. Anyway, it should be fun. Might post pictures…if I have time…and if there are any good ones of me ;-) Highly doubt it ;-)

So, I just finished baking Turkey Shaped sugar cookies and CRANBERRY SAUCE. Great fun! I flipped on the “secular” radio station and listened to some Christmas music -and ok and a little country. I don’t know what it is but I love baking with music on. So, I listened, sang and baked (dare I say danced?) all at once and my family can’t stand it! Patty came in to help, which she did really nicely, but kept trying to sing religious songs over me. The nerve. :-)

Well, have a blessed Thanksgiving, everyone! God Bless America – and those who defend our great nation – Thank YOU!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Dear Congressman Kennedy,

“The fact that I disagree with the hierarchy on some issues does not make me any less of a Catholic.” (Congressman Patrick Kennedy)

Since our recent correspondence has been rather public, I hope you don’t mind if I share a few reflections about your practice of the faith in this public forum. I usually wouldn’t do that – that is speak about someone’s faith in a public setting – but in our well-documented exchange of letters about health care and abortion, it has emerged as an issue. I also share these words publicly with the thought that they might be instructive to other Catholics, including those in prominent positions of leadership.

For the moment I’d like to set aside the discussion of health care reform, as important and relevant as it is, and focus on one statement contained in your letter of October 29, 2009, in which you write, “The fact that I disagree with the hierarchy on some issues does not make me any less of a Catholic.” That sentence certainly caught my attention and deserves a public response, lest it go unchallenged and lead others to believe it’s true. And it raises an important question: What does it mean to be a Catholic?

“The fact that I disagree with the hierarchy on some issues does not make me any less of a Catholic.” Well, in fact, Congressman, in a way it does. Although I wouldn’t choose those particular words, when someone rejects the teachings of the Church, especially on a grave matter, a life-and-death issue like abortion, it certainly does diminish their ecclesial communion, their unity with the Church. This principle is based on the Sacred Scripture and Tradition of the Church and is made more explicit in recent documents.

For example, the “Code of Canon Law” says, “Lay persons are bound by an obligation and possess the right to acquire a knowledge of Christian doctrine adapted to their capacity and condition so that they can live in accord with that doctrine.” (Canon 229, #1)

The “Catechism of the Catholic Church” says this: “Mindful of Christ’s words to his apostles, ‘He who hears you, hears me,’ the faithful receive with docility the teaching and directives that their pastors give them in different forms.” (#87)

Or consider this statement of the Church: “It would be a mistake to confuse the proper autonomy exercised by Catholics in political life with the claim of a principle that prescinds from the moral and social teaching of the Church.” (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 2002)

There’s lots of canonical and theological verbiage there, Congressman, but what it means is that if you don’t accept the teachings of the Church your communion with the Church is flawed, or in your own words, makes you “less of a Catholic.”

But let’s get down to a more practical question; let’s approach it this way: What does it mean, really, to be a Catholic? After all, being a Catholic has to mean something, right?

Well, in simple terms – and here I refer only to those more visible, structural elements of Church membership – being a Catholic means that you’re part of a faith community that possesses a clearly defined authority and doctrine, obligations and expectations. It means that you believe and accept the teachings of the Church, especially on essential matters of faith and morals; that you belong to a local Catholic community, a parish; that you attend Mass on Sundays and receive the sacraments regularly; that you support the Church, personally, publicly, spiritually and financially.

Congressman, I’m not sure whether or not you fulfill the basic requirements of being a Catholic, so let me ask: Do you accept the teachings of the Church on essential matters of faith and morals, including our stance on abortion? Do you belong to a local Catholic community, a parish? Do you attend Mass on Sundays and receive the sacraments regularly? Do you support the Church, personally, publicly, spiritually and financially?

In your letter you say that you “embrace your faith.” Terrific. But if you don’t fulfill the basic requirements of membership, what is it exactly that makes you a Catholic? Your baptism as an infant? Your family ties? Your cultural heritage?

Your letter also says that your faith “acknowledges the existence of an imperfect humanity.” Absolutely true. But in confronting your rejection of the Church’s teaching, we’re not dealing just with “an imperfect humanity” – as we do when we wrestle with sins such as anger, pride, greed, impurity or dishonesty. We all struggle with those things, and often fail.

Your rejection of the Church’s teaching on abortion falls into a different category – it’s a deliberate and obstinate act of the will; a conscious decision that you’ve re-affirmed on many occasions. Sorry, you can’t chalk it up to an “imperfect humanity.” Your position is unacceptable to the Church and scandalous to many of our members. It absolutely diminishes your communion with the Church.

Congressman Kennedy, I write these words not to embarrass you or to judge the state of your conscience or soul. That’s ultimately between you and God. But your description of your relationship with the Church is now a matter of public record, and it needs to be challenged. I invite you, as your bishop and brother in Christ, to enter into a sincere process of discernment, conversion and repentance. It’s not too late for you to repair your relationship with the Church, redeem your public image, and emerge as an authentic “profile in courage,” especially by defending the sanctity of human life for all people, including unborn children. And if I can ever be of assistance as you travel the road of faith, I would be honored and happy to do so.

Sincerely yours,

Thomas J. Tobin

Bishop of Providence


Bravo, Your Excellency!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

40 Days for Life

Last week we participated in the 40 Days for Life campaign in Chicago...

About 15 pro-abort college aged students were there when we arrived but left a little bit before us.

Our friend took this video and I put some clips together too in the second video:

Sunday, November 1, 2009

All Saints Day!

"What does it take to become a saint?............

-St. John Vianney - giving clues to the other children regarding who he is dressed as-

-St. Joan of Arc helping St. Denis give clues (St. Denis won the contest - winning a rosary blessed by the Holy Father)

(St. Denis was an early Archbishop, beheaded in Paris in 258AD. After the beheading he picked up his head and walked 2 miles preaching a sermon. The place where he stopped and laid is head is now a Cathedral.)

...Will it." - St. Thomas Aquinas

Blessed Feast Day, everyone!