Sep 2, 2015

Forgiveness

Notwithstanding the spin that news agencies like to put on all things of God, His Holiness *did* grant all priests ability or permission to forgive the sin of abortion.

All priests have the ability to forgive all sins in confession, but excommunication required an extra layer of restoration. That extra layer, which many if not all priests in the US have already had, has been granted to all priests.

Church teaching on the sanctity of human life has not changed.

Aug 31, 2015

The Burse Club

Archbishop Thomas Rodi sent us a letter last weekend, encouraging us to give generously to the Burse Club, as it helps educate our future priests. I always give generously, of course, because God has called me to do so. Just how generous, you ask?

I'm glad you asked. Read this blurb from the Archdiocese website about the Burse Club:
"The Burse Club, founded in 1953 by Archbishop Toolen, was formed to provide scholarships to assist men in pursuing a seminary education in our archdiocese. Archbishop Emeritus Oscar H. Lipscomb was its first recipient while a seminarian in Rome and since that time monies collected over the past 60 years have been a vital source of funding and support for the many men who have followed in his footsteps to the priesthood. Many, who otherwise might not had been able to pursue their vocation, benefit from the burse."
Get that?

1. Bishop Toolen started it in 1953. 

2. The dues were set at $12 and have never been raised.

I don't know anything that costs the same or less now than it did in 1953, with the possible exception of eggs.

So I plugged $12 into the Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Price Index, Inflation Calculator and found out that $12 in 1953 is equivalent to... (drum roll, please....)

$107.25.

That's right. So be generous. 

God will not be mad at you if you cut a check for $107.25.

Trust me on this.

Aug 30, 2015

To God, Everything Is Now (Even My Family Tree)

God is not restricted to time as we are. I pray backwards and forwards, because I know it's no problem for a big God.

I like this prayer by Rev. John H. Hampsch:

Catholic Prayers: Prayer for Healing the Family Tree 
Heavenly Father, I come before You as Your child, in great need of Your help. I have physical health needs, emotional needs, spiritual needs, and interpersonal needs. Many of my problems have been caused by my own failures, neglect and sinfulness, for which I humbly beg Your forgiveness, Lord.

But I also ask You to forgive the sins of my ancestors whose failures have left their effects on me in the form of unwanted tendencies, behavior patterns and defects in body, mind and spirit. Heal me, Lord, of all these disorders. With Your help I sincerely forgive everyone, especially living or dead members of my family tree, who have directly offended me or my loved ones in any way, or those whose sins have resulted in our present sufferings and disorders. 

In the name of Your divine Son Jesus, and in the power of His Holy Spirit, I ask You, Father, to deliver me and my entire family tree from the influence of the evil one. Free all living and dead members of my family tree, including those in adoptive relationships, and those in extended family relationships, from every contaminating form of bondage. By Your loving concern for us, heavenly Father, and by the shed blood of your Precious Son Jesus, I beg You to extend Your blessing to me and all my living and deceased relatives. Heal every negative effect transmitted through all past generations, and prevent such negative effects in future generations of my family tree. 

I symbolically place the Cross of Jesus over the head of each person in my family tree, and between each generation; I ask You to let the cleansing blood of Jesus purify the blood lines in my family lineage. Set Your protective angels to encamp around us, and permit Archangel Raphael, the patron of healing, to administer Your divine healing power to all of us, even in areas of genetic disability. Give special power to our family members' guardian angels to heal, protect, guide and encourage each of us in all our needs. Let Your healing power be released at this very moment and let it continue as long as Your sovereignty permits. 

In our family tree, Lord, replace all bondage with a holy bonding in family love. And let there be an ever deeper bonding with You, Lord, by the Holy Spirit, to Your Son Jesus. Let the family of the Holy Trinity pervade our family with its tender, warm, loving presence, so that our family may recognize and manifest that love in all our relationships. 

All of our unknown needs we include with this petition that we pray in Jesus precious Name. Amen. [ Rev. John H. Hampsch, C.M.F. ] 

Aug 29, 2015

#ThingsJesusNeverSaid

Apparently, Jesus was not worried about being popular.

Pontius Pilate was.

'Nuff said.

Aug 28, 2015

It's Your Money...

JG Wentworth has a completely adorable tv commercial, with a memorable phone number: 877-CASH-NOW,

However, what we now know about the buyers of structured settlements is disturbing, at best.

Many people who are mentally impaired from lead exposure, and receiving a settlement to pay for their ongoing medical needs, do not have the capacity to form a contract, but annuity buyers seem to be targeting them for as low as nine cents on the dollar!

Is no one advocating for these people? Where is their family?

Friends, we must take care of our families. We cannot let predators steal from those we love. If we do not defend the defenseless, we may find ourselves, one day, with no one to speak for us. Teach your children how to respect the elderly and infirm, by modeling the behavior yourself.

The kids are watching. You're teaching them how to treat you when you are elderly, whether you mean to or not.


Aug 26, 2015

Know What You Believe

There are, unfortunately, a lot of Catholics who were not properly catechized in the faith. If they knew what the Church teaches, and believed that truth, they would be on fire for the faith, instead of using social media to condemn and try to change, that which they claim to believe!

I read this article today, about a Catholic girls' school that rescinded an employment offer after being told that a woman they were going to hire, would be marrying her girlfriend in the fall. They had to uphold Church teaching, after all.

I get that. And I applaud the school admins and Portland Archbishop Alexander K. Sample for hanging tough. (I've also heard that Oregon is very "unchurched." I believe it.) What was sad, though, were the comments after the article. Comments were made by outraged women who used to attend the school, professing "Catholics" who think it's ok for a school to hire teachers whose lifestyle and values are totally opposite of the faith of the Church. (An unrepentant lesbian teaches at an all-girls' school. What can possibly go wrong?)

There were comments calling the school "inhumane," (really? Look it up) and how it was awful to condemn "who God made her..." etc., which tells me the author of that comment doesn't understand Church teaching. I've written about this before: it is not a sin to be gay. Same sex attraction is a temptation just like any temptation. 

There is a difference, however, between (A) being tempted and praying for God's grace to overcome, and (B) living an unrepentant lifestyle, all the while espousing the belief that you have a RIGHT to do so, and publicly shaming anyone who doesn't share your politically correct views.

We're all sinners. We are each called to the sacrament of Holy Matrimony, or celibacy. Choose. I don't parade my sins around and demand special rights be legislated around them. I respect the dignity of every person, and pray for their - and my - conversion from sin. The teachers who teach my children each have temptations of their own. As a parent, I can't have them telling my child a lie - that they have a "right" to live an unrepentant, sinful lifestyle. 

Hang tough, your Excellency. Eternity depends on it!

Aug 25, 2015

Notice Me!

This man was once someone's precious infant:

What makes someone mark up their body? Wear outrageous clothes? Say outrageous things? Knock books off a desk just for attention?

What kind of home does a child come from, where everything about him/her screams "Notice me!"

God bless them. They don't know who they are in the Body of Christ. They don't know the worth and value they have as a precious child of the Most High God.

Father, help me to withhold judgment, because you know their heart. You know their circumstances. You know what motivates them to act the way they do. Bless them, Father, and if there is a message you wish for me to share with them, help me to be bold and courageous. And persistent. Help me to speak your word in love.

Amen.