Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Visitation: the quintessential pro-life feast

Today is the Feast of the Visitation.

In the second Joyful Mystery of the Rosary, we often meditate on Mary visiting her cousin Elizabeth, and so we should.

But today's "Unborn Word of the Day" offers another — and wonderfully joyful — aspect of this event: God visits his people.


Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Saint Joan of Arc: May 30

Some of us knew it all along, Sainte Jeanne.

Some of us knew you weren't an idiot but rather a woman with guts.

Some of us still know — and are grateful for — your courage.

You didn't need a theology degree — or a political agenda — to be a saint. You didn't need to have a whole bunch of people "like" you. Or think you were "sane."

You only need to trust in God...and by the way take seriously the prayer "Our Lady, Seat of Wisdom."

We need your prayers, Saint Joan. Pray for our clergymen, our bishops, our soldiers..and, forgive me, our cowards.

Pray that we may emulate you, Saint Joan, through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Amnesty International: "the ultimate oxymoron"

The "human rights" organization exposed itself for the fraud that it is by calling for the "decriminalization of abortion."

For years the organization had many hoodwinked...including me. (I supported the organization from the mid 1980's until a bit over a year ago.)

In the words of Rep. Chris Smith: claiming to be advocating human rights by supporting legalized abortion is "the ultimate oxymoron."

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Memorial Day

Remembering what it's really about... (click here)

New blog!

Michele Peate of the Unborn Word Alliance announces a related blog:

"Unborn Word of the Day"

The blog is subtitled: "Honoring the Unborn Christ Child, promoting the Gospel of Life, one day at a time."

Michele plans to post a pro-life quote each day, loosely following the Church calendar, starting today. Thanks, Michele, and may God continue to bless your apostolate.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Veni Sacte Spiritus

Veni, Sancte Spiritus,
Et emitte coelitus
Lucis tuae radium.

A blessed and holy Pentecost to you!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Father Pio Bruno Lanteri, pray for us. (And you guys, too!)

It was a privilege for me to attend a sung Latin Mass in honor of the Venerable Pio Bruno Lanteri's 225th anniversary of his ordination this evening. The Mass was celebrated at Saint Francis Chapel, run by the Oblates of the Virgin Mary — the order Father Lanteri founded, although he insists on crediting the founder of the order to Our Lady. Located in an upscale shopping-office-convention complex, the Chapel has often been described as an "oasis" — not just for practicing Catholics but for the relapsed, lukewarm, and separated Christians. It is impossible to say how many lapsed Catholics, for example, have been, while on a a business trip or a shopping expedition, led back to the Church through the good work of the Oblates. I ask for your prayers for this "oasis." Word has it that the Prudential Center — landlord of Saint Francis Chapel — has, or is, raising the monthly rent to an astronomical $20,000 per month. With that kind of price tag, it is difficult to imagine this amazing place to continue its apostolate for much longer. Will you join me in asking Father Lanteri to intercede on behalf of Saint Francis Chapel? Thanks!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Confession: what God taught me today

I really wanted, for reasons of my own, to go to confession today. Before Mass. And so, I left early giving myself what I thought was plenty of time.

The line wasn't long at all, understand. One penitent was in the confessional and another was ahead of me. At least a half and hour, maybe more, was left before the confessional closed. I'd examined my conscience and was enjoying being in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. No sweat, right?


The person in the confessional would not leave. I kept glancing at my watch. Time was, incredibly it seemed to me, running out! For a brief, unworthy moment, I considered bribing my fellow waiting penitent but thankfully the temptation passed and instead I found myself praying that the priest had hooked "a big fish."

With 8 minutes to go before the deadline, the confessional opened and the lady in front of me sped in, not before giving me a brief, pitying look. Oh boy. Looked like no confession before Mass for me today.

Five minutes later, she came out and headed straight for a pew. Was there time for me? I poked my nose in. "Father, will you hear my confession?"

He said yes, said the introductory prayers and looked at me.

For maybe the first time in my life, I confessed my sins—the no frills way.

Essentially, I had five sins to confess. Now, normally, this is how I'd confess the sin of, let's say, gossip.

"Well, Father, see, here I was standing around with some friends and somebody said something about somebody else who wasn't there, and really, I didn't want to hear it, but on the other hand I didn't start it, and before I knew what happened, I laughed at the information I heard and...well, before I knew it I added something of my own, and...etc., etc."

Today was different.

"I hurt another by gossiping about her two times."

There was no time for frills, no time for confessing anybody else's sins except my own. And no time for excuses! Just the facts, ma'am.

By stating my sins without frills, I think I recognized them far more clearly for the evil they were. Incredibly, there was enough time for the priest to give me some good advice, a pertinent penance, and of course the joy of absolution.

I hope and pray I remember this the next time I go. No matter how much time I have, it's not a therapy visit or a gripe session. It's confession of my sins (nobody else's) and a sincere request for forgiveness.

Thank you, Jesus.

(For a great post on making a good confession, check out Father Zuhlsdorf's post here.)

Monday, May 21, 2007

Life at conception: it's not a "religious" thing, got that?

Dean Barnett's op-ed, "I'm Pro-Life, but not Religious" in today's Boston Globe is good reading. Barnett, a self described proud Jew "but not religous" challenges his readers to the all-too-familiar "what if?" question, i.e. "what if life really does begin at conception"... and cautions erroring on the side of caution.

What if it begins at conception? If that's the case, then the implications are beyond horrifying. It means that our country has taken 45 million innocent lives through abortion since Roe v. Wade, all with the explicit sanction of the law and therefore the implicit sanction of the rest of society.

Because we don't know where life begins, the only logical thing to do is to err on the side of caution -- the side of life. In other words, because an abortion might take an innocent life, it should be avoided. It should also be illegal in most cases.

I'd say "bravo, Dan," except for one thing.

We do know when life begins...and have for some time.

The study of embryology -- I looked it up and so can you, right here -- the branch of biology that studies the formation and early development of living organisms -- has many definitions but one statement is consistent:

1.) The branch of biology that deals with the formation, early growth, and development of living organisms.

An embryo is not an "idea."

I may "conceive" the notion of knitting a sock. (Not likely, but there you are.) Now, I may actually begin to knit said sock. But in the process, I can change my mind and end up knitting an argyle scarf.

This is not what happens human fertilization occurs.

There's no "changing of the mind" here. What we have is a living being. In the case of humans, it's a living human being.

We know this. This is not an "article of faith." This is an article of science, and, not incidentally, common sense.

I applaud Dean Barnett's thinking. I only suggest he take it a step further and acknowledge that life does begin -- as John Kerry noted! -- at conception.

Because once you look the truth in the eye -- no matter how ugly -- you can cut the bleep and rectify the errors.

Know and understand and contemplate this:

Since 1975, this country has taken -- either knowingly or not -- the lives of over 45 million living babies.

But even worse? Since the recognition that human life begins at conception -- and my take is that that recognition hasn't come that much later than 1975 -- we've done it on purpose.

Let's get serious folks. We know we're killing babies. Heck, we know we're killing adults when it comes, for example, to "euthanasia." Or inconvenient humans.

So let's cut the crap and look in the mirror, okay? And toss the "what if?" stuff in the trash where it belongs.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Another Rome Run!

Dr. Robert Koons expects to come into full comunion with the Roman Catholic Church on May 16.

Baptized in the Missouri Synod Lutheran church, Koons writes on his blog, Right Reason, to his Protestant brethren:

Please bear in mind also the distinction between the reality of justification and our theological theories about that reality. As a Roman Catholic, I will trust no less in Jesus as my Savior, nor more in my own works, than I have as a Lutheran. I’m certainly fallible and thus capable of trading in a better theory of justification for a worse one, but I urge my Protestant brethren to remember, before making any judgments about the state of my soul, that sinners are justified by trusting in Jesus and not by believing a theory of justification.

Amen and alleluia!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Not just evil, but stupid: Pro baby death folks on the march

Folks who disapprove of child murder have had, for many years, to work within a "buffer zone" surrounding abortion mills, designed to prevent women contemplating abortion from understanding, or even knowing about, alternatives.

Looks like things are going to get worse for these say nothing of their babies.

The current "buffer zone" is 18 feet. A proposed bill would make it 35 feet and prohibit anybody (other than helpless babies and their "escorts") from entering it.

The current law doesn't work on accounta nobody's been prosecuted for breaking it.

So whines Captain Willian Evans, who came up with an incredible quote for today's Boston Globe:

"The police are like basketball referees out there, watching foot and hand movements to see if there is a violation," he said. "It was such a vague law, we've probably made only five arrests since the legislation went into effect."

Uh...Captain? Maybe nobody broke the bleepin' law!!!

I believe -- I really do -- that somebody's lying.

Evans presented pictures yesterday that he said were of protesters dressed in Boston police uniform. These protesters, he said, peppered the patients with questions and intimidated them.

Bull twanky. I believe Captain Evans, along with his cohorts, are simply p.o.'d that they haven't gotten a single convinction on the current "buffer zone" law, and are frothing at the mouth to imprison some pro-life butt.

Plus there's another problem which I believe irks the bleep out of Evans, the governor, the attorney general, et al.

Women have been known to change their minds and spare the babies.

The pro-baby killing crowd loves to use the word "protesters" and in some ways, they're correct. Some people -- many people -- protest the slaughter of children.

But more than that, these people are out to try and rescue both the babies and their moms. Some do it by trying to get information -- truthful information -- into the hands of those heading toward the slaughter houses. Others do it through prayer, particularly the praying of the Rosary. Still others do it by silent witness.

And sometimes, thanks be to God, it works.

I know many people who, Saturday after Saturday, cooperate with God in defense of life outside these "clinics." And I know that they sometimes succeed.

And that's one real reason behind this proposed legislation.

Here's another:

A handful of protesters demonstrate each day outside the Planned Parenthood clinic on Commonwealth Avenue, say both police and officials of the organization. On the second Saturday of each month, they say, a larger protest takes place. The demonstrators all oppose abortion, Planned Parenthood officials said. [No kidding.] In years past, abortion-rights advocates tried to counter the protests with demonstrations of their own, but that practice has stopped.

Pro-aborts have given up trying to justify, on their own, their peculiar opinion of "rights."

After's a heck of a lot easier to sleep in on Saturdays and let the government do their dirty work for them.

Source: The Boston Globe, May 17 2007

Thursday, May 17, 2007

He ascended into Heaven!

Psalm 47

For the leader. A psalm of the Korahites.

All you peoples, clap your hands; shout to God with joyful cries.
For the LORD, the Most High, inspires awe, the great king overall the earth,

Who made people subject to us, brought nations under our feet,

Who chose a land for our heritage, the glory of Jacob, the beloved. Selah

God mounts the throne amid shouts of joy; the LORD, amid trumpet blasts.

Sing praise to God, sing praise; sing praise to our king, sing praise.

God is king over all the earth; sing hymns of praise.

God rules over the nations; God sits upon his holy throne.

The princes of the peoples assemble with the people of the God of Abraham. For the rulers of the earth belong to God, who is enthroned on high.
He did it! Jesus ascended into Heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and His Kingdom will have no end!

Meantime, while we await His coming, let's not wait. It's time now to let everyone know the good news...that Jesus Christ is God, has mounted His throne, and will come again, alleluia!

(I love the Feast of the Ascension.)

Book 'em meme-O

Ebeth, the Catholic Mum Climbing the Pillars, tagged me with a book meme.

How many books do I own?

I didn't count, but eyeballing the shelves around the house, I'd say a couple of hundred. There were more but after my last move I said "enough, already" and gave a bunch to
Goodwill. (I mean, how long was I planning on keeping my college textbooks???)

Book(s) I am reading now:

Let Me Call You Sweetheart -- a murder mystery by Mary Higgins Clark. And Ben Hur: A Tale of the Christ by Lew Wallace.

Books I've read recently:

A Murder is Announced, After the Funeral, Curtain (all by Agatha Christie) and a variety of other books by Christie, Clark, and Sue Grafton. (You can probably figure out where my literary tastes lie.)

Five Books that Mean a Lot to Me:

Genesis...I love it, especially the Joseph story.

Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

The Lamb's Supper by Scott Hahn

Swanson on Swanson by Gloria Swanson

Theology and Sanity by Frank Sheed

Meme's open to whoever wants it!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Why would a priest omit the washing of hands?

Okay, I'm stumped on this one.

(Shocking, I know...Kelly actually stumped.)

Although I've heard of it happening in the past, I paid it no mind, since I've never seen the omission before.

But lately, a priest at a chapel I occasionally frequent during the week refuses to wash his hands, even while intoning (loudly) the words "Lord wash away my iniquities, cleanse me of my sins."

Now, I can sorta figure out why priests mess around with the Ordo, even if it irks me. My peanut brain can understand, while not condoning, say, the mucking around with the Missal when, let's say, a particular agenda ("inclusive language" comes to mind) is the driving force.

But what's the point of omitting the hand washing? I simply can't understand it. Do you?

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Jerry Falwell, 1933 - 2007

Requiescat in pace.

(photo copyright

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Thank you, Mother!

I received this image years fact a large one is in my room. From what I understand, it was created by an artist inspired by Pope John Paul's conviction that Our Lady of Fatima spared his life after the attempt on his life on May 13, 1981. On the back of the holy card is this prayer:
To Jesus Through Mary

To you, Mother of the
human family,
we confidently entrust
all of humanity
with its hopes and fears.

Give us the light
of true wisdom.
Guide our steps
in the ways of peace.

Enable all to meet Christ
the Way, the Truth,
and the Life.

A blessed Mother's Day to you. You either are a mom...or have one.

(The image is copyrighted "J.B. CO." and to them I am truly grateful. If anyone knows the origin of this image, please let me know.)

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Welcome Home, Francis Beckwith!

(And thank you, God, too, for your servant, Joseph Ratzinger!)

Francis J. Beckwith, former President of the Evangelical Theological Society, has returned to the Catholic Church.

(He's is good company, in more ways than one. Former Evangelical Protestants include Scott Hahn and Father Richard John Neuhaus.)

According to the Washington Post article, some of Beckwith's colleagues are a tad upset with his decision.

"This is a sad day for all true sons and daughters of the Protestant Reformation, for all who lived and died for its truths," Douglas Groothuis, a professor at the evangelical Denver Seminary, said in a posting on Beckwith's own blog, adding sternly: " . . . you are embracing serious theological error."

Personally, I think this is Beckwith's money quote:

"At the end of the day, the reason for the Reformation was the debate over justification. If that is no longer an issue, I have to be Catholic," Beckwith said. "It seems to me that if there is not a very strong reason to be Protestant, then the default position should be to belong to the historic church."

Makes sense, doesn't it?

Friday, May 11, 2007

Hey, pro-life activists aren't racketeers!

After 21 years, Joe Scheidler has been judged "not guilty" of racketeering.

What is a racketeer?

A racketeer is a person who commits crimes such as extortion, loansharking, bribery, and obstruction of justice in furtherance of illegal business activities.

What did Joe Scheidler do to warrant such a charge?

Not a thing.

He, and others such as Operation Rescue folks (also sued on RICO charges; also vindicated) had an odd notion back in 1986...and, for many, even now. That notion? That babies shouldn't be killed, and if they were going to be killed it was, and remains, a moral obligation to protest the killing.

Which ticked the "National Organization for Women" off big time.

What is the "National Organization for Women?"

They used to be an organization...a long time ago. They're not known so much now because they tend to fail at pretty much everthing they try to do.

The "Equal Rights Amendment" comes to the crossword world, a popular clue for ERA was once -- and still may be -- "NOW's failure."

(They still have a website, though.)

Hey...thanks, Joe.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Cardinal George feels heat...and responds

Regarding Senator Hillary Clinton's show to benefit a Chicago charity, Dom received an email from somebody who protested. Looks like, third hand anyway, Cardinal George is showing "the grace and contrition needed."

My Baptism Anniversary Day!

Today is the anniversary of my Baptism...thank you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit!

The Mass intention at Saint Francis Chapel, Boston, was "thanksgiving for the Baptism of Patricia Kelly Clark."

What a joy to renew these vows:

I, Patricia Kelly Clark, who through the tender mercy of the Eternal Father was privileged to be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus, and thus to share in the dignity of His divine Sonship, wish now in the presence of this same loving Father and of His only-begotten Son to renew in all sincerity the promises I solemnly made at the time of my holy Baptism.

I, therefore, now do once again renounce Satan; I renounce all his works; I renounce all his allurements.

I believe in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was born into this world and who suffered and died for my sins and rose again. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting.

Having been buried with Christ unto death and raised up with him unto a new life, I promise to live no longer for myself or for that world which is the enemy of God but for Him who died for me and rose again, serving God, my heavenly Father, faithfully and unto death in the holy Catholic Church.

Taught by our Savior's command and formed by the word of God, I now dare to say:

Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

"Dear Eliot"

Please watch this.

(Thank you to Dennis Kojak of "In God's Image on Long Island.")

Monday, May 07, 2007

Another reason I voted for George W. Bush

"I believe it is the most basic duty of Government to guard the innocent. With that in mind, I will veto any legislation that weakens current Federal policies and laws on abortion, or that encourages the destruction of human life at any stage."

From a letter, dated May 3, 2007, from President George W. Bush to the Honorable Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives.

See Yuval Levin's article on why elections matter in the National Review online.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

How dark without Mary life's journey would be!

Did you crown a statue of Mary this month? What's your favorite Marian hymn or prayer? I remember this one from childhood and still love it:

Bring flowers of the fairest, bring flowers of the rarest,
From garden and woodland and hillside and dale,
Our full hearts are swelling, our glad voices telling
The praise of the loveliest Rose of the vale!

O Mary, we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the angels, Queen of the May!
O Mary, we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the angels, Queen of the May!

Our voices ascending in harmony blending,
Oh thus may our hearts turn dear Mother to thee.
Oh thus shall we prove thee, how truly we love thee,
How dark without Mary life's journey would be!

One of my best memories of my Catholic school days was the May crowning of Mary while singing this song. I wonder if kids still do this?

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Episcopal Church: "the middle way?"

While reading a brief article on former governor Jim McGreevey's decision to (a) leave the Roman Catholic Church, (b) join the Episcopal sect and (c) enter the latter's seminary I saw an ad for an Episcopal parish called "Parish of the Messiah" in Newton, Massachusetts.

Following the ad, I learned that:

"Walking the middle way between Roman Catholicism and Protestant traditions, Episcopal churches are sacramental and worship-oriented communities that promote thoughtful conversation about what God is calling us to do and be."

This saddens me, on many levels, but I guess most of all the "middle way" route. I mean, why follow the "middle way" when the "narrow way" is "The Way to go?"

And while I heartily agree that talking with each other about what God is calling is to do and be, I'm not sure that we need have "thoughtful discussions" about it. To me, this sorta smacks of "dialogue" in: "does God mean that we should do X, or does God (one mustn't say "He") really mean we should do Y or, when you come right down to it, does it really matter if we do X, Y, or Z?"

It saddens me. But on the other hand it makes me so grateful for the Magisterium of the Catholic Church.

Please pray for our separated brothers in Christ.


Friday, May 04, 2007

Don't blame Hillary...she's not Catholic

"The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honour those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honours or platforms which would suggest support for their actions."

Source: "Catholics in Political Life," US Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2004.

Could somebody fax a copy of this to Cardinal George of Chicago?

Mercy Home spokesman Mark Schmeltzer told that Fr. Donohue was approached by Chicago Cardinal Francis George about the upcoming Clinton fundraiser. "The Cardinal had some very understandable misgivings but he just wanted to be assured this was not a political stop," Schmeltzer told

Nah, it's not a "political stop."

Just ask the Illinois Democratic Network.


Thursday, May 03, 2007

Will he be a Red Sox star...or the first American Pope?

No need to rush to a decision...he's still in first grade. Enjoy.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Archbishop Burke shows mettle...nun shows none

Once again -- and appropriately enough, during Good Shepherd week -- the folks in Saint Louis have experienced the work of a good shepherd.

Sen. Claire McCaskill was uninvited from speaking at her daughter’s Catholic high school commencement because her positions on abortion and embryonic stem cell research are at odds with those of the church.

Here are some of Senator McCaskill's positions on "the issues:"
  • Supports the Missouri Ballot initiative that will guarantee stem cell research in Missouri. “Stem cell research holds the promise of saving lives and alleviating the pain and suffering endured by so many of our people. This initiative enables Missouri doctors and researches to be at the forefront of lifesaving research and it has my support.”
  • A Pro-Choice Democrat who is endorsed by EMILY’s List.
[emphasis theirs, not mine!]

The above comes the DSCC website which I think stands for "Democrats Senate Commitment Committee"...or something like that. Maybe you can figure it out.

Anyway, the school's president, Sister Michaela Zahner, isn't happy about it.

She [Sister Michaela] was told of an archdiocesan policy that forbids providing a public forum for speakers who do not hold to truths as they are presented by the Catholic Church. Zahner said the policy clearly reflects Burke’s position.

Uh...Sister? I believe the policy clearly reflect's the Church's position. Not that it's enforced all that much, but there you are. You know it...or you should.

She said McCaskill was not asked to give a political speech, but was chosen to address the class because she is a woman who has served Missouri “well and faithfully for over 30 years.”

Sister, in the name of all that is holy, the Senator is an accomplice to killing children. How well and faithfully has she protected the unborn for over 30 years?

“It was a very hard decision,” Zahner said. She personally believed having McCaskill speak was going to be a good choice for the girls. “My personal belief could not affect the good of the institution,” she said.

No it most certainly could not, Sister. It is my opinion that your position can not affect the good of the institution. Your resignation, on the other hand, might do just that. Or, heck, maybe just a few hours a week spent with the Catechism of the Catholic Church would be helpful.