Archive for July 2012

Influencing the culture

July 28, 2012

Don’t miss this tremendous talk given by Philadelphia’s Abp Charles Chaput this past Thursday (26-July-2012).

When he said

But we can change that. Nothing about life is predetermined except the victory of Jesus Christ.  We create the future. We do it not just by our actions, but by what we really believe — because what we believe shapes the kind of people we are. In a way, “growing a culture of religious freedom” is the better title for this talk. A culture is more than what we make or do or build. A culture grows organically out of the spirit of a people — how we live, what we cherish, what we’re willing to die for.

it reminded me of some wisdom shared by Fr Cantalamessa several years ago:

The first Christians changed the laws of the state with their customs; we cannot expect today to change the customs with the laws of the state.

Abp Chaput’s conclusion

If we want a culture of religious freedom, we need to begin it here, today, now. We live it by giving ourselves wholeheartedly to God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ — by loving God with passion and joy, confidence and courage. And by holding nothing back. God will take care of the rest. Scripture says, “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain” (Psalm 127:1). In the end, God is the builder. We’re the living stones. The firmer our faith, the deeper our love, the purer our zeal for God’s will — then the stronger the house of freedom will be that rises in our own lives and in the life of our nation.

was reminiscent of the challenge of JP2 23 years ago in Christifideles Laici:

To all people of today I once again repeat the impassioned cry with which I began my pastoral ministry: “Do not be afraid! Open, in deed, open wide the doors to Christ!

Open to his saving power the confines of states, and systems political and economic, as well as the vast fields of culture, civilization, and development. Do not be afraid! Christ knows ‘what is inside a person’. Only he knows! Today too often people do not know what they carry inside, in the deepest recesses of their soul, in their heart. Too often people are uncertain about a sense of life on earth. Invaded by doubts they are led into despair. Therefore-with humility and trust I beg and implore you-allow Christ to speak to the person in you. Only he has the words of life, yes, eternal life”(124).

Opening wide the doors to Christ, accepting him into humanity itself poses absolutely no threat to persons, indeed it is the only road to take to arrive at the total truth and the exalted value of the human individual.

This vital synthesis will be achieved when the lay faithful know how to put the gospel and their daily duties of life into a most shining and convincing testimony, where, not fear but the loving pursuit of Christ and adherence to him will be the factors determining how a person is to live and grow, and these will lead to new ways of living more in conformity with human dignity.

Humanity is loved by God! This very simple yet profound proclamation is owed to humanity by the Church. Each Christian’s words and life must make this proclamation resound: God loves you, Christ came for you, Christ is for you “the Way, the Truth and the Life!” (Jn 14:6).

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Novena to St Ignatius Loyola….

July 23, 2012

….would start today.
St Ignatius has a fascinating conversion story, and certainly a fruitful post-conversion life for the Lord.  You can read a somewhat brief summary here.

As the youngest of 13 children, he makes a great patron saint if you’re the youngest son in a large family.  His zeal for the Lord, and his willingness to accept the sufferings that accompany a life of poverty and penance, remind me a lot of St Paul.

For the novena, you can use this short one as a guide.  Or follow this somewhat more in-depth one day by day.  You might add a Litany of St Ignatius, or some of the prayers that he authored.

If you’re unfamiliar with the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius, this talk presents a nice overview in the first 45-minutes.

If you’d like to see the territory in which St Ignatius traveled during the time immediately following his conversion, this video covers it well.

Continued bias?

July 21, 2012

I posted about it here last year.
Let’s see if anything has changed.
Here’s the complete statement issued by POTUS BHO regarding the beginning of the holy season of Lent this year, 2012:

Today, Michelle and I honor Ash Wednesday with Christians around the country and across the world. This is at once a solemn and joyous occasion, an opportunity to remember both the depths of sacrifice and the height of redemption.  We join millions in entering the Lenten Season with truly thankful hearts, mindful of our faith and our obligations to one another.

Here’s the statement issued yesterday by POTUS BHO regarding the beginning of the season of Ramadan 2012:

On behalf of the American people, Michelle and I extend our warmest wishes to Muslim Americans and Muslims around the world at the start of Ramadan. For Muslims, Ramadan is a time of fasting, prayer, and reflection; a time of joy and celebration. It’s a time to cherish family, friends, and neighbors, and to help those in need.

This year, Ramadan holds special meaning for those citizens in the Middle East and North Africa who are courageously achieving democracy and self-determination and for those who are still struggling to achieve their universal rights. The United States continues to stand with those who seek the chance to decide their own destiny, to live free from fear and violence, and to practice their faith freely. Here in the United States, Ramadan reminds us that Islam is part of the fabric of our Nation, and that—from public service to business, from healthcare and science to the arts—Muslim Americans help strengthen our country and enrich our lives.

Even as Ramadan holds profound meaning for the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims, it is also a reminder to people of all faiths of our common humanity and the commitment to justice, equality, and compassion shared by all great faiths. In that spirit, I wish Muslims across America and around the world a blessed month, and I look forward to again hosting an iftar dinner here at the White House. Ramadan Kareem.

You be the judge.
About which season does he seem more enthusiastic?
About which religion does he seem more enthusiastic?

Pro-life milestone?

July 3, 2012

Is this story getting much play on the pro-life sites? (I really don’t follow them)

When I saw this, it seemed to me that this could mark a real turning point in pro-life efforts in the USA.  We should keep in our prayers Gov Bryant and all the Mississippi lawmakers supporting this legislation.  We should also pray for the conversion of all those involved in opposing this law, and especially those involved in murdering the babies.