Monday, July 29, 2013

"After-birth abortion: why should the baby live?I'

The publication: Journal of Medical Ethics
The date published online: 23 February 2012
The authors: Alberto Giubilini and rancesca Minevra

The abstract:
"Abortion is largely accepted even for reasons that do not have anything to do with the fetus' health. By showing that (1) both fetuses and newborns do not have the same moral status as actual persons, (2) the fact that both are potential persons is morally irrelevant and (3) adoption is not always in the best interest of actual people, the authors argue that what we call `after-birth abortion' (killing a newborn) should be permissible in all cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled."
Okay, you might hate me for this but here's the thing. The authors are entirely correct given the abortion-logic of these times.

I've seen comments on this article expressing horror. I'm horrified, too…except that I'm pro-life and am horrified by abortion. Period. The horror of "pro-choice" people does not impress me, God forgive me. Sin is ugly and I'm not impressed by ugliness nor am I by sin.

These two people are merely taking the abortion-logic one tiny—and I mean baby-steps tiny—further.

They are merely following the logic of those who would willingly kill an unborn baby for reasons of convenience, gender, health—you name it, they'll find a way to justify the killing.

You say you're shocked? If you're "pro-choice," this astounds me.

May God continue to bless you.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

"Don't Bother Me! I'm PRAYING!" (and other non sequiturs)

I heard an interesting homily by Father Peter Gojuk, OMV, at Saint Francis Chapel in Boston a couple of weeks ago. It was about prayer.

Seems the founder of another Marian-centered order, The Oblates of Mary Immaculate, was in a chapel with a young seminarian, the latter reading his Office. A poor man entered the chapel begging for alms. The seminarian informed the man that he was busy at prayer.

The founder—Saint Eugene De Mazenod—promptly arose from his pew, snatched his breviary from the seminarian, and threw it across the chapel. "He," the saint thundered at the hapless seminarian, pointing at the beggar, "is WHY you pray THIS!" he cried, pointing at the flying prayer book.

There's a lesson to be learned here for all of us…for me, anyway.

At Saint Francis Chapel, there's evidently a rule against pan-handling in the church. Actually, given the location of the place, this makes sense to me. It's in the middle of a shopping mall, and nobody from the Chapel would report anybody asking for dough outside the Chapel doors.

Today, though, a man came into the Chapel, about a quarter to Benediction.

We were all either openly adoring the exposed Sacrament, or had our noses into our devotions. And suddenly the man said something rather loudly:


A few people—including yours truly—looked at him, waiting for him to go on. And go on he did. Saying pretty much what we're all supposed to know, or at least be reminded of. Yes, perhaps he was preaching to the choir…but still, I was interested in what he had to say.

A lady in the pew across from me waved at me frantically, whispering loudly: "Kelly! Go tell the priest to call security!"

I thought this was a silly idea. What should I tell the priest? "Please call security…someone's telling us to love God!"?

Okay, so maybe the guy wasn't the return of John the Baptist, and quite possibly, one of his screws were loose.

Or maybe he was a friend of God.

In any case, a nice man in another pew rose quietly, spoke a few words to him, and led him out of the Chapel gently, where he seemed to have a quiet conversation with him.

Later…after Benediction, Mass, and the Rosary…

The frantically waving lady came over to me and loudly whispered: "WE have a policy here. Whenever Something Like That happens, WE call Security!"

Alas. I told her to buzz off. I shouldn't have done that. I should've said "please buzz off."

But it got me to thinking. (Okay, everybody, I DO think occasionally, so cut the giggles, okay?)

My husband and I run a business together out of our home. [Yes, I linked it, but you can wait and go there when you finish reading this.] How many times have I stopped in front of my computer to, say, pray the Angelus…or read a commentary on the day's Mass readings…only to have my husband ask me for, oh, maybe my opinion on a design or a client's demands or on his shirt…and only to respond something like "Do. You. MIND???? I. Am. PRAYING!!!!"

Too many times, I'm afraid. What a horrid example of "prayer!" What on earth would Saint Eugene De Mazenod say?

What would Jesus say? Yikes/

I learned something about prayer today. From a man who desperately wanted me to love God…and from my God, Who desperately wants me to love my neighbor.

May He continue to bless you…and to teach me.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Role of Prayer in Evangelization

Jean Heimann's debut post on the New Evangelizers blog. Great stuff, Jean!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

To Patrick Gallegher about his fatal flaw in his BC logic about "divestment."

In an otherwise well written "perspective" article in the Boston Globe Magazine last Sunday, freelance writer Patrick Gallagher 's fatal flaw occurs when he refers to this alma mater—that would be Boston College—and the institution's reluctance to "divest itself" from fossil-fuel companies.

Many university administrations, however, have rejected divestment as a viable option. At BC, spokesman Jack Dunn says the endowment’s purpose is to generate returns that help pay for running the campus. “Placing restrictions on investments is rare and requires a clear and compelling case that a company is engaged in practices opposed to the moral and ethical principles guiding Boston College,” he explains in an e-mail. “It is difficult to make this case in this instance.” 
But it’s precisely BC’s Jesuit identity that should compel it to divest. More than a decade ago, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops recognized climate change as a moral issue and called on people of faith to address a problem that is “about the future of God’s creation.” Then, in 2011, the Vatican offered a similar appeal, calling on people to recognize climate change as something that is “serious and potentially irreversible.” As a recent graduate — and someone who signed the Fossil Free petition — I feel that the administration must divest to properly respond to this obligation.
Here's the flaw in your logic, Mr. Gallagher. Why on earth would you expect your alma mater to pay diddley squat to what the Church, as presented by Her leaders, the Vatican and the United States Bishops, for example, says is a good idea?

May I remind you that, for example, the termination of human life, particularly the innocent unborn (that would be called "abortion,") is far more condemned by the Roman Catholic hierarchy, which includes the Holy Father and the bishops—yes, even the United States bishops!

And yet, your very same alma mater—to whom you plead to take heed of the Church's tenets—honored—yes, honored!—a prime minister dead set on making abortion the law of the land in his country. And ya know, Pat? This isn't exactly the first time good ol' BC has ignored the teachings of the Church. If you don't know that, I'm crying over your naiveté. If you do? 'Fess up, okay, and use another tack for your argument.

May God continue to bless you.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Yes, Virginia! There IS a Purgatory! Rejoice!

My dear Virginia,

[Not her real name…her real name is Bessie. But gee, others have started essays like this and I couldn't resist.]

First, know that God loves you very much. Second? So do I!

It has troubled me for the past few days that you questioned the existence of that mysterious place Catholics call "Purgatory." You yourself are a Catholic, and for this reason, and because I hold you so dearly, I feel called to assuage your doubts. Too, the holy souls in Purgatory are a priority of mine in my prayer intentions, and so I beg you to bear with me here.

I told you the other day about the passage in 2 Maccabees, Chapter 12, where Judas (not that one, a different one) found amulets—good luck charms, basically, and strictly forbidden then as now—and did what he could to make an "expiatory sacrifice." In other words, he prayed for them…even though they were dead.

"In doing this he acted in a very excellent and noble way, inasmuch as he had the resurrection in mind; for if he were not expecting the fallen to rise again, it would have been superfluous and foolish to pray for the dead. But if he did this with a view to the splendid reward that awaits those who had gone to  rest in godliness, it was a holy and pious thought. Thus he made atonement for the dead that they might be absolved from their sin."—2 Maccabees 12:43-46.

Okay, so let's presume with good ol' Martin Luther (who was wrong, but pray for his soul, anyway, okay?) that Maccabees isn't a book inspired by the Holy Spirit. (Even though it is.)

Let's cut to the chase: what does JESUS have to say?

Plenty. But first? Let's talk about Heaven and Hell…safe subjects, right?

If you're in Heaven, like Our Lady, and all the saints are, you don't need any purification. You're in solid.

If you're in Hell, yuck. You're screwed. Eternally. Nobody can help you. Nobody in Heaven wants to help you. (I keep saying "you" but don't take it personally…I could easily say "I.")

Anyway, the point is, Heaven and Hell are absolutes. There's no changing them. You (or I) can't, say, go on a vacation and, if we're in Heaven, slum it for awhile in Hell, or, if we're in Hell, go on a vacation to Heaven. Can't be done. Got that? Good.

"Come to terms with your opponent or you will be handed over to the judge and thrown into prison. You will not get out until you have paid the last penny." (Matthew 5:26, 18:34; Luke 12:58-59).

Get out? Get out of where? Can't be Hell. You can't get out of Hell…no "get outta Hell free card" here. Must be some other place.

"And anyone who says a word against the Son of man will be forgiven; but no one who speaks against the Holy Spirit will be forgiven either in this world or in  the next." Matthew 12:32

Huh? Wait, you mean some people will be forgiven in the next world? Where's that? Can't be Heaven…forgiveness isn't necessary. Can't be Hell…remember, we're screwed there. Ergo? Purgatory! (And we'll leave that "speaks [or sins] against the Holy Spirit" thing alone for now, okay? Good.*)

"That servant who knew his master's will but did not make preparations nor act in accord with his will shall be beaten severely; and the servant who was ignorant of his master's will but acted in a way deserving of a severe beating shall be beaten only lightly." Luke 12:47-48.

Where? In Heaven? No beatings in Heaven! Hell? Nah…the Master (that would be Jesus) doesn't hang out there. Here we have a wonderful parable that explains, not just Purgatory in general, but the relatively severe purifications ("beatings," heavy, light) one will undergo.

Now you, my friend, brought up the parable of The Rich Man and That Guy Lazarus. Okay. So what mortal sin did Richie commit? Actually, none, in my view. I mean, he ignored the poor. We all do that. Yes, he feasted "sumptuously." A mortal sin? I sure hope not…not after the meal I had the other day! But he did ignore Lazarus. And that was a sin. So, when Richie died, he ended up…where? In the "bosom of Abraham?" Nope. In. Some. Other. Place. Our current translation calls it "the Netherworld" but is that Hell? I don't think so, and here's why.

Richie calls Abraham "Father Abraham." Abraham calls him "my son" (or "my child.") Clearly there's love going on here. Richie asks that Lazarus be sent to relieve him somewhat. Request denied, but note how lovingly it is denied? Then—gasp!—Richie asks that Lazarus be sent to his brothers, to warn them. Love? In Hell? No bleeping way! (And remember, Bessie, this is a parable…it didn't really happen but is a way Jesus uses to teach us stuff. I'm not saying Purgatory is a pleasant place—far from it! But I do say that there's hope for those who are there…Luke 16:19-31)

The Good Thief (Luke 23:39-43)

What??? Is this the ace in the hole against Purgatory? Give me a bleeping break!

To recap, one guy, crucified with Jesus, "reviled" Him saying: "Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!" The other one (not incidentally, now known as Saint Dismas by the Catholic Church) replied: "Have you no fear of God, for you are subject to the same condemnation? And indeed, we have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes, but this man has done nothing criminal." And then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." He [Jesus] replied: "Amen I say to you today you will be with me in Paradise."

The easy, almost embarrassingly easy answer to this is to focus on the word "today." Did Jesus mean "today, this day, within this day, you'll be with me in Paradise" (and, Bessie? Paradise = Heaven.) Or did He say, "today I'm telling you, at some point you'll be with me in Paradise"? It all depends, stupidly yet incredibly enough, as to where you put the comma. This stupid thesis is all about a comma!

But forget all that…or at least, put it aside for a second.

Jesus, yesterday, today, and tomorrow, was, is, and always shall be, GOD! God INVENTED time! If God said Dismas would be with Him in Heaven—whether Dismas had to wait for purification or whether Dismas had a non-stop ticket—that was up to GOD to decide. Not a bunch of "theologians" trying their darndest to prove a point. Sheesh, I still can't believe this is the Big Deal Against Purgatory. Laughable. (Except it's not. Pray for those who promulgated this…idea.)

And to quote Rocket J. Squirrel: "And now here's something you'll really like!"

Bessie, C.S. Lewis, while here on earth (please pray for his soul) wrote terrific stuff. The Chronicles of Narnia, Mere Christianity, The Screwtape Letters…some favorites. But he also wrote (which was published posthumously in 1964) a book called Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer which is a series of letters to his make-believe friend, "Malcolm," about prayer as an intimate talk between us and God.

In one letter, he wrote: (and I thank my good friend Melanie Bettinelli for reminding me of this):

"Our souls demand Purgatory, don't they? Would it not break the heart if God said to us, `It is true, my son, that your breath smells and your rags drip with mud and slime, but we are charitable here and no one will upbraid you with these things, nor draw away from you. Enter with joy!'?

"Should we not reply, 

"`With submission, sir, and if there is not objection, I'd rather be cleaned first.'

"`It may hurt, you know.'

"`Even so, sir.'"

Sweet Bessie! Do you see now that Purgatory is a gift from our loving God? A chance to spiff up, to clean up, to rid ourselves of that awful smell even venial sin slathers on us…to enter, cleaner than a whistle, into the Heavenly Banquet that awaits us!

I don't want to feel the need to do my boot camp in Purgatory when I die, nor do I wish you to feel so.

But Bessie? I'm really grateful for the opportunity to do so if it is needed.

May God continue to bless you,


- - - -

See especially: The Catechism of the Catholic Church: Section Two, Article 12: "I believe in life everlasting." In brief: 1051–1058

*Okay, okay. "Anyone who deliberately refuses to accept His [God's] mercy by repenting, rejects the forgiveness of his sins and the salvation offered by the Holy Spirit…such hardness of heart can lead to final impenitence and eternal loss." (John Paul II) In other words, don't despair, don't presume on God's mercy (actually this is relevant to this post!), don't attack the Truth, don't envy the spiritual good of another, to persist (be obstinate) in sin, and don't, for Heaven's sake, fail to be contrite!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Texas pro abortion protesters and the ugliness of sin

God is good. His creation is good. We know this because He called it "good."

Sin is not good. It's not only not good, it's ugly.

In Austin, Texas, yesterday, the Texas Department of Public Safety discovered "stuff" that some folks—again, God's creation—"planned to use" to disrupt legislative proceedings at the Capitol.

They found a jar of urine, 18 jars of feces, paint, feminine hygiene products…why?

Why. Because Texas legislators want to save unborn babies from pain and some folks don't seem to like that idea.

Why not. I don't know. I wish I did but I don't.

All I can see now is the ugliness of sin.

If there is some good in this, it is to remind me that when I sin, I show my own, uniquely designed, ugly face to God.

God is good. God didn't create sin.

We did.

And it's ugly.


The Texas Department of Public Safety (via KETNBC)

The Blaze

And others, which I'm too saddened to read. I'm a blogger, not a journalist. And not a masochist.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Watch what you wear when you sin

I wear this Crucifix every day. It's as much a part of my everyday wear as is my underwear and my outer clothing.

Today I realized it's not a "holy" thing to do but rather a responsibility.

A small thing, to most. I was in a hurry, and, while dashing through my favorite shortcut, I encountered a couple—no doubt tourists in Boston—try to get through a revolving door.

First, they pushed it the wrong way. That mistake discovered, they did that thing that drives me nuts…they both tried to get into the same revolving door cubicle. And, of course, got stuck.

Hey, I started out good!

Gently, I squeezed into the door and just as gently, separated them, nicely instructing them on the niceties of revolving door etiquette.

Everything would've been okay, if only….

If only I hadn't opened my big mouth, is what's only.

Yep. 'Couldn't just let it go. Had to comment to my laughing audience about the "idiocy of tourists." Nice, Kel, really nice.

It wouldn't have been so bad except….

One member of my audience noticed my Crucifix. Admired it. Went on her way.

Leaving me feeling lousy.

Here's the thing. If you or I are going to sin…leave the Lord out of it. That goes, not just (but most of all) for me, but I'd imagine this piece of advice might come in handy for those who wear habits, cowls, and Roman collars.

Sinning is bad enough…it not only hurts me, it hurts the entire body of Christ.

Sinning while wearing one's belief in this same body? Not well played. Not well played at all.

Kyrie eleison.

May God continue to bless you.