Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Response to the New York Times' accusation against the Holy Father

A Response to the New York Times - Father Raymond J. de Souza - The Corner on National Review Online

The New York Times on March 25 accused Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, of intervening to prevent a priest, Father Lawrence Murphy, from facing penalties for cases of sexual abuse of minors.

The story is false. It is unsupported by its own documentation. Indeed, it gives every indication of being part of a coordinated campaign against Pope Benedict, rather than responsible journalism.

Before addressing the false substance of the story, the following circumstances are worthy of note:

• The New York Times story had two sources. First, lawyers who currently have a civil suit pending against the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. One of the lawyers, Jeffrey Anderson, also has cases in the United States Supreme Court pending against the Holy See. He has a direct financial interest in the matter being reported.

• The second source was Archbishop Rembert Weakland, retired archbishop of Milwaukee. He is the most discredited and disgraced bishop in the United States, widely known for mishandling sexual-abuse cases during his tenure, and guilty of using $450,000 of archdiocesan funds to pay hush money to a former homosexual lover who was blackmailing him. Archbishop Weakland had responsibility for the Father Murphy case between 1977 and 1998, when Father Murphy died.

Read more by following the link. The New York Times: all the news that's fit to debunk.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Annunciation: a note to the Holy Father

25 March 2010

His Holiness, Benedict XVI
Vatican City, 00817 Rome, Italy

Most Holy Father!

A blessed Annunciation to you! Which is why I'm writing, actually.

As you know, Lebanon has declared the Feast of the Annunciation a national holiday. That got me to thinking. (Yes, I know you've warned me against doing too much of that, but bear with me here.)

I was wondering...given the situation in the States, would you consider making this Feast a Holy Day of Obligation?

I've got some other ideas, too.

Maybe we—or rather you, Holiness—rename the Feast. Yes, I understand that "The Annunciation" is a great name, and I'm a terrific fan of the Angel Gabriel, but, Holiness, in the States I'm wondering if the name is a bit too subtle for us.

To put it bluntly, I don't think Catholics (and I don't want to mention any names but certain Catholic politicians come to mind) quite get the fact about this blessed day. I mean, they probably know about Gabriel and the Virgin Mary—I think—but I'm not sure they get the fact that God was conceived in the womb that day. Which, as you know, is why we celebrate it!

So, would you consider calling March 25 something like "The Conception of God" or "The Conception of Jesus" or even "Jesus Becomes an Unborn Baby?" (I'm kinda partial to the latter, but you're the boss.)

And another thing?

You might consider a chat with whomever is president of the U.S. when you get this and suggest that March 25 become a national holiday! I mean, think of it: people of all faiths can (A) get the day off, and more importantly (B) understand what and Whom we're celebrating. You know, a kind of "let's celebrate the conception of the Unborn Jesus" sort of thing. A Baby is conceived and that Baby just happens to be God! In the womb! I mean, imagine, Holiness, how many hearts might change if folks realize—I mean, really get the picture of Jesus in the womb like they do Jesus in the's so worth a try, I think. In all humility, of course.

(And I haven't even begun to address things like "Jesus Becomes an Unborn Baby" greeting cards, artwork, computer games...the possibilities are, as the Unborn Jesus Himself? Infinite.)

I guess you've figured out that the reason for this letter is that I'm trying like crazy to live in a country where, in my lifetime, over 50 million babies have been slaughtered in the womb, and that my country's leaders—many of them, anyway, and many of them Catholics—seem to be taking their cue from the Book of Herod rather than the Gospel of Life.

And so, Holy Father o' mine, I'm asking you to consider this. And to thank you for keeping us in your prayers.

Take good care of yourself, Holiness, and pray for me. I pray for you and your intentions all the time and not just for the indulgences. :-)

May the Author of Life continue to bless you!

In the Unborn Jesus,


Friday, March 19, 2010

Turning the tables on sin and its source

To anyone who knows me, the fact that I'm a sinner should come as no surprise. Through the grace of God, I believe I'm at least discovering a way to turn the tables on sin...and to grasp God's mercy with gratitude and ambition.

Last Wednesday I went to confession.

And proceeded to commit sin maybe a couple of hours later! Sheesh. It was silly, really. I was with a group of people, conversing—or so I thought—of spiritual matters, when I decided I was insulted by a group member. And so? I left.

And on my way home, found myself fighting—unsuccessfully—against anger.

At least three times I either behaved rudely to passers-by, thought irritatedly against short, I was a mess. And frustrated. Where were these thoughts, this behavior, coming from?

Then I remembered some things I'd learned from a book called Discernment of the Spirits by Father Tim Gallagher, OMV. And later that evening, while drinking a glass of water, the words of Saint Peter's canticle (which we chant at Sunday Vespers during Lent) blasted into my mind:

"Christ died for you and left you an example, that you might follow in His footsteps.

"He did no wrong, no deceit was found in his mouth, when He was insulted, He returned no insult."

I was overcome with joy. Odd reaction for a sinner, but there you are. Because I realized that my subsequent behavior upon a relatively minor insult was not only not from was un-Christ like.

"When He was insulted, He returned no insult."

Aware. Understanding. Action.

Father Gallagher's book, which is subtitled "an Ignatian Guide for Everyday Living," talks about the need to be aware of thoughts, understanding where they come from, and the need to take action about them.

In this case, God gave me a break.

Yes, I was aware of the thoughts. I understood, if feebly, that these thoughts did not come from God. But I was at sea about what action to take...until the inspired words of Saint Peter came to mind while I was absently sipping a glass of water.
Bulleted List
Christ's example:
"When He was insulted, He returned no insult."
I know now that the mild "insult" I supposedly "suffered" was nothing! What I should have done was accept it, immediately forgive—and forget!—and continue to converse with my friends about holy things. What an opportunity I missed—what a gift I received from God for realizing it!

By His wounds, we were healed.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Saint Patrick's Breastplate

I bind unto myself today The strong Name of the Trinity, By invocation of the same, The Three in One and One in Three. I bind this day to me for ever. By power of faith, Christ's incarnation; His baptism in the Jordan river; His death on Cross for my salvation; His bursting from the spicèd tomb; His riding up the heavenly way; His coming at the day of doom;* I bind unto myself today. I bind unto myself the power Of the great love of the cherubim; The sweet 'well done' in judgment hour, The service of the seraphim, Confessors' faith, Apostles' word, The Patriarchs' prayers, the Prophets' scrolls, All good deeds done unto the Lord, And purity of virgin souls. I bind unto myself today The virtues of the starlit heaven, The glorious sun's life-giving ray, The whiteness of the moon at even, The flashing of the lightning free, The whirling wind's tempestuous shocks, The stable earth, the deep salt sea, Around the old eternal rocks. I bind unto myself today The power of God to hold and lead, His eye to watch, His might to stay, His ear to hearken to my need. The wisdom of my God to teach, His hand to guide, His shield to ward, The word of God to give me speech, His heavenly host to be my guard. Against the demon snares of sin, The vice that gives temptation force, The natural lusts that war within, The hostile men that mar my course; Or few or many, far or nigh, In every place and in all hours, Against their fierce hostility, I bind to me these holy powers. Against all Satan's spells and wiles, Against false words of heresy, Against the knowledge that defiles, Against the heart's idolatry, Against the wizard's evil craft, Against the death wound and the burning, The choking wave and the poisoned shaft, Protect me, Christ, till Thy returning.

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me, Christ beside me, Christ to win me, Christ to comfort and restore me. Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ in quiet, Christ in danger, Christ in hearts of all that love me, Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

I bind unto myself the Name, The strong Name of the Trinity; By invocation of the same. The Three in One, and One in Three, Of Whom all nature hath creation, Eternal Father, Spirit, Word: Praise to the Lord of my salvation, Salvation is of Christ the Lord. Amen.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Behold the donkey of Jesus!

Praying to be mindful of this incredible honor, I have humbly and joyfully accepted the privilege of bringing our most Adorable Jesus to those thirsting for His Most Precious Person.

I am not a "eucharistic minister," nor a "minister" of any sort.

I am merely a donkey for Christ.

When my Lord and Savior wishes to be with the sick, He, Who loves us so much that He made it possible for us to receive Him into our souls this side of Heaven, allows Himself to be placed into a mean container, having transformed Himself into the appearance of ordinary bread, and docilely and sweetly allows me to bring Him to them.

Blessed be Jesus, in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar!

And may His donkeys strive, with the help of His most precious grace, to emulate more and more His humility and indescribable love.


Saturday, March 13, 2010

Reset your clocks!!!

Stop whatever you're doing and set your clocks one hour!

(A public service message from The Lady in the Pew.)

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

The Seven Sorrows of Our Lady -- a great Lenten meditation

My husband gave me an incredible, 3-dimensional Crucifix hand sculptured in the Holy Land last Epiphany. I love it. But toward the beginning of Lent, I found I simply could not gaze upon it without losing control. A priest from Saint Francis Chapel suggested I try to meditate on the Seven Sorrows of The Blessed Virgin Mary.

I still am moved to tears whenever I look closely at the Crucifix...but my Blessed Mother helps me find joy in them.

The Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary

1. Simeon's prophecy

2. The flight into Egypt

3. The loss of the Child Jesus

4. Mary meets her Son on the road to Calvary

5. Mary sees her Son die on the Cross

6. Mary cradles her dead Son in her arms

7. Mary sees her Son laid in the tomb