Monday, August 30, 2010

CIA -- Weapons of MASS Destruction Part 2

This program is from

Mother Teresa's Description of Jesus

Jesus is the Word made Flesh.

Jesus is the Bread of Life.
Jesus is the Victim offered for our sins on the Cross.
Jesus is the Sacrifice offered at the Holy Mass
For the sins of the world and mine.
Jesus is the Word – to be spoken.
Jesus is the Truth – to be told.
Jesus is the Way – to be walked.
Jesus is the Light – to be lit.
Jesus is the Life – to be lived.
Jesus is the Love – to be loved.
Jesus is the Joy – to be shared.
Jesus is the Sacrifice – to be offered.
Jesus is the Peace – to be given.
Jesus is the Bread of Life – to be eaten.
Jesus is the Hungry – to be fed.
Jesus is the Thirsty – to be satiated.
Jesus is the Naked – to be clothed.
Jesus is the Homeless – to be taken in.
Jesus is the Sick – to be healed.
Jesus is the Lonely – to be loved.
Jesus is the Unwanted – to be wanted.
Jesus is the Leper – to wash his wounds.
Jesus is the Beggar – to give him a smile.
Jesus is the Drunkard – to listen to him.
Jesus is the Retarded – to protect him.
Jesus is the Little One – to embrace him.
Jesus is the Blind – to lead him.
Jesus is the Dumb – to speak for him.
Jesus is the Crippled – to walk with him.
Jesus is the Drug addict – to befriend him.
Jesus is the Prostitute – to remove from danger and befriend.
Jesus is the Prisoner – to be visited.
Jesus is the Old – to be served.

To me –
Jesus is my God.
Jesus is my Spouse.
Jesus is my Life.
Jesus is my only Love.
Jesus is my All in All.
Jesus is my Everything.

Jesus, I love with my whole heart, with my whole being. I have given Him all, even my sings, and he has espoused me to Himself in tenderness and love. Now and for life I am the spouse of my Crucified Spouse. Amen.

Prayer taken from "Jesus Is My All in All: Praying with the 'Saint of Calcutta'"


Sunday, August 29, 2010

Fr. Rodriguez Defends Catholic Teaching on Homosexuality

St. Augustine of Hippo

A Must Read for Everyone: Religious Liberty in the New Order of the World

This is an outstanding article written by ARCHBISHOP CHAPUT:
 Living within the truth: Religious liberty and Catholic mission in the new order of the world. 

Tertullian once famously said that the blood of martyrs is the seed of the Church. History has proven that to be true. And Slovakia is the perfect place for us to revisit his words today. Here, and throughout central and eastern Europe, Catholics suffered through 50 years of Nazi and Soviet murder regimes. So they know the real cost of Christian witness from bitter experience -- and also, unfortunately, the cost of cowardice, collaboration and self-delusion in the face of evil.

I want to begin by suggesting that many Catholics in the United States and Western Europe today simply don’t understand those costs. Nor do they seem to care. As a result, many are indifferent to the process in our countries that social scientists like to call “secularization” – but which, in practice, involves repudiating the Christian roots and soul of our civilization.

American Catholics have no experience of the systematic repression so familiar to your Churches. It’s true that anti-Catholic prejudice has always played a role in American life. This bigotry came first from my country’s dominant Protestant culture, and now from its “post-Christian” leadership classes. But this is quite different from deliberate persecution. In general, Catholics have thrived in the United States. The reason is simple. America has always had a broadly Christian and religion-friendly moral foundation, and our public institutions were established as non-sectarian, not anti-religious.

At the heart of the American experience is an instinctive “biblical realism.” From our Protestant inheritance we have always – at least until now -- understood that sin is real, and men and women can be corrupted by power and prosperity. Americans have often been tempted to see our nation as uniquely destined, or specially anointed by God. But in the habits of daily life, we have always known that the “city of God” is something very distinct from the “city of man.” And we are wary of confusing the two.

Alexis de Tocqueville, in his Democracy in America, wrote: “Despotism can do without faith, but liberty cannot . . .” Therefore, “What is to be done with a people that is its own master, if it is not obedient to God?”1

America’s founders were a diverse group of practicing Christians and Enlightenment deists. But nearly all were friendly to religious faith. They believed a free people cannot remain free without religious faith and the virtues that it fosters. They sought to keep Church and state separate and autonomous. But their motives were very different from the revolutionary agenda in Europe. The American founders did not confuse the state with civil society. They had no desire for a radically secularized public life. They had no intent to lock religion away from public affairs. On the contrary, they wanted to guarantee citizens the freedom to live their faith publicly and vigorously, and to bring their religious convictions to bear on the building of a just society.

Obviously, we need to remember that other big differences do exist between the American and European experiences. Europe has suffered some of the worst wars and violent regimes in human history. The United States has not seen a war on its soil in 150 years. Americans have no experience of bombed-out cities or social collapse, and little experience of poverty, ideological politics or hunger. As a result, the past has left many Europeans with a worldliness and a pessimism that seem very different from the optimism that marks American society. But these and other differences don’t change the fact that our paths into the future are now converging. Today, in an era of global interconnection, the challenges that confront Catholics in America are much the same as in Europe: We face an aggressively secular political vision and a consumerist economic model that result – in practice, if not in explicit intent -- in a new kind of state-encouraged atheism.

To put it another way: The Enlightenment-derived worldview that gave rise to the great murder ideologies of the last century remains very much alive. Its language is softer, its intentions seem kinder, and its face is friendlier. But its underlying impulse hasn’t changed -- i.e., the dream of building a society apart from God; a world where men and women might live wholly sufficient unto themselves, satisfying their needs and desires through their own ingenuity.

This vision presumes a frankly “post-Christian” world ruled by rationality, technology and good social engineering. Religion has a place in this worldview, but only as an individual lifestyle accessory. People are free to worship and believe whatever they want, so long as they keep their beliefs to themselves and do not presume to intrude their religious idiosyncrasies on the workings of government, the economy, or culture.

Now, at first hearing, this might sound like a reasonable way to organize a modern society that includes a wide range of ethnic, religious and cultural traditions, different philosophies of life and approaches to living.

But we’re immediately struck by two unpleasant details.

First, “freedom of worship” is not at all the same thing as “freedom of religion.” Religious freedom includes the right to preach, teach, assemble, organize, and to engage society and its issues publicly, both as individuals and joined together as communities of faith. This is the classic understanding of a citizen’s right to the “free exercise” of his or her religion in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It’s also clearly implied in Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In contrast, freedom of worship is a much smaller and more restrictive idea.

Second, how does the rhetoric of enlightened, secular tolerance square with the actual experience of faithful Catholics in Europe and North America in recent years?

In the United States, a nation that is still 80 percent Christian with a high degree of religious practice, government agencies now increasingly seek to dictate how Church ministries should operate, and to force them into practices that would destroy their Catholic identity. Efforts have been made to discourage or criminalize the expression of certain Catholic beliefs as “hate speech.” Our courts and legislatures now routinely take actions that undermine marriage and family life, and seek to scrub our public life of Christian symbolism and signs of influence.

In Europe, we see similar trends, although marked by a more open contempt for Christianity. Church leaders have been reviled in the media and even in the courts for simply expressing Catholic teaching. Some years ago, as many of you may recall, one of the leading Catholic politicians of our generation, Rocco Buttiglione, was denied a leadership post in the European Union because of his Catholic beliefs.

Earlier this summer we witnessed the kind of vindictive thuggery not seen on this continent since the days of Nazi and Soviet police methods: the Archbishop’s palace in Brussels raided by agents; bishops detained and interrogated for nine hours without due process; their private computers, cell phones, and files seized. Even the graves of the Church’s dead were violated in the raid. For most Americans, this sort of calculated, public humiliation of religious leaders would be an outrage and an abuse of state power. And this is not because of the virtues or the sins of any specific religious leaders involved, since we all have a duty to obey just laws. Rather, it’s an outrage because the civil authority, by its harshness, shows contempt for the beliefs and the believers whom the leaders represent.

My point is this: These are not the actions of governments that see the Catholic Church as a valued partner in their plans for the 21st century. Quite the opposite. These events suggest an emerging, systematic discrimination against the Church that now seems inevitable.

Today’s secularizers have learned from the past. They are more adroit in their bigotry; more elegant in their public relations; more intelligent in their work to exclude the Church and individual believers from influencing the moral life of society. Over the next several decades, Christianity will become a faith that can speak in the public square less and less freely. A society where faith is prevented from vigorous public expression is a society that has fashioned the state into an idol. And when the state becomes an idol, men and women become the sacrificial offering.

Cardinal Henri de Lubac once wrote that “It is not true … that man cannot organize the world without God. What is true, is that without God, [man] can ultimately only organize it against man. Exclusive humanism is inhuman humanism.”2

The West is now steadily moving in the direction of that new “inhuman humanism.” And if the Church is to respond faithfully, we need to draw upon the lessons that your Churches learned under totalitarianism.

A Catholicism of resistance must be based on trust in Christ’s words: “The truth will make you free.”3 This trust gave you insight into the nature of totalitarian regimes. It helped you articulate new ways of discipleship. Rereading the words of the Czech leader Václav Havel to prepare for this talk, I was struck by the profound Christian humanism of his idea of “living within the truth.”4 Catholics today need to see their discipleship and mission as precisely that: “living within the truth.”

Living within the truth means living according to Jesus Christ and God’s Word in Sacred Scripture. It means proclaiming the truth of the Christian Gospel, not only by our words but by our example. It means living every day and every moment from the unshakeable conviction that God lives, and that his love is the motive force of human history and the engine of every authentic human life. It means believing that the truths of the Creed are worth suffering and dying for.

Living within the truth also means telling the truth and calling things by their right names. And that means exposing the lies by which some men try to force others to live.

Two of the biggest lies in the world today are these: first, that Christianity was of relatively minor importance in the development of the West; and second, that Western values and institutions can be sustained without a grounding in Christian moral principles.

Before I talk about these two falsehoods, we should pause a moment to think about the meaning of history.

History is not simply about learning facts. History is a form of memory, and memory is a foundation stone of self-identity. Facts are useless without a context of meaning. The unique genius and meaning of Western civilization cannot be understood without the 20 centuries of Christian context in which they developed. A people who do not know their history, do not know themselves. They are a people doomed to repeat the mistakes of their past because they cannot see what the present – which always flowers out of the past -- requires of them.

People who forget who they are can be much more easily manipulated. This was dramatized famously in Orwell’s image of the “memory hole” in his novel 1984. Today, the history of the Church and the legacy of Western Christianity are being pushed down the memory hole. This is the first lie that we need to face.

Downplaying the West’s Christian past is sometimes done with the best intentions, from a desire to promote peaceful co-existence in a pluralistic society. But more frequently it’s done to marginalize Christians and to neutralize the Church’s public witness.

The Church needs to name and fight this lie. To be a European or an American is to be heir to a profound Christian synthesis of Greek philosophy and art, Roman law, and biblical truth. This synthesis gave rise to the Christian humanism that undergirds all of Western civilization.

On this point, we might remember the German Lutheran scholar and pastor, Dietrich Bonhoeffer. He wrote these words in the months leading up to his arrest by the Gestapo in 1943: “The unity of the West is not an idea but a historical reality, of which the sole foundation is Christ.”5

Our societies in the West are Christian by birth, and their survival depends on the endurance of Christian values. Our core principles and political institutions are based, in large measure, on the morality of the Gospel and the Christian vision of man and government. We are talking here not only about Christian theology or religious ideas. We are talking about the moorings of our societies -- representative government and the separation of powers; freedom of religion and conscience; and most importantly, the dignity of the human person.

This truth about the essential unity of the West has a corollary, as Bonhoeffer also observed: Take away Christ and you remove the only reliable foundation for our values, institutions and way of life.

That means we cannot dispense with our history out of some superficial concern over offending our non-Christian neighbors. Notwithstanding the chatter of the “new atheists,” there is no risk that Christianity will ever be forced upon people anywhere in the West. The only “confessional states” in the world today are those ruled by Islamist or atheist dictatorships -- regimes that have rejected the Christian West’s belief in individual rights and the balance of powers.

I would argue that the defense of Western ideals is the only protection that we and our neighbors have against a descent into new forms of repression -- whether it might be at the hands of extremist Islam or secularist technocrats.

But indifference to our Christian past contributes to indifference about defending our values and institutions in the present. And this brings me to the second big lie by which we live today -- the lie that there is no unchanging truth.

Relativism is now the civil religion and public philosophy of the West. Again, the arguments made for this viewpoint can seem persuasive. Given the pluralism of the modern world, it might seem to make sense that society should want to affirm that no one individual or group has a monopoly on truth; that what one person considers to be good and desirable another may not; and that all cultures and religions should be respected as equally valid.

In practice, however, we see that without a belief in fixed moral principles and transcendent truths, our political institutions and language become instruments in the service of a new barbarism. In the name of tolerance we come to tolerate the cruelest intolerance; respect for other cultures comes to dictate disparagement of our own; the teaching of “live and let live” justifies the strong living at the expense of the weak.

This diagnosis helps us understand one of the foundational injustices in the West today -- the crime of abortion.

I realize that the abortion license is a matter of current law in almost every nation in the West. In some cases, this license reflects the will of the majority and is enforced through legal and democratic means. And I’m aware that many people, even in the Church, find it strange that we Catholics in America still make the sanctity of unborn life so central to our public witness.

Let me tell you why I believe abortion is the crucial issue of our age.

First, because abortion, too, is about living within the truth. The right to life is the foundation of every other human right. If that right is not inviolate, then no right can be guaranteed.

Or to put it more bluntly: Homicide is homicide, no matter how small the victim.

Here’s another truth that many persons in the Church have not yet fully reckoned: The defense of newborn and preborn life has been a central element of Catholic identity since the Apostolic Age.

I’ll say that again: From the earliest days of the Church, to be Catholic has meant refusing in any way to participate in the crime of abortion -- either by seeking an abortion, performing one, or making this crime possible through actions or inactions in the political or judicial realm. More than that, being Catholic has meant crying out against all that offends the sanctity and dignity of life as it has been revealed by Jesus Christ.

The evidence can be found in the earliest documents of Church history. In our day -- when the sanctity of life is threatened not only by abortion, infanticide and euthanasia, but also by embryonic research and eugenic temptations to eliminate the weak, the disabled and the infirm elderly -- this aspect of Catholic identity becomes even more vital to our discipleship.

My point in mentioning abortion is this: Its widespread acceptance in the West shows us that without a grounding in God or a higher truth, our democratic institutions can very easily become weapons against our own human dignity.

Our most cherished values cannot be defended by reason alone, or simply for their own sake. They have no self-sustaining or “internal” justification.

There is no inherently logical or utilitarian reason why society should respect the rights of the human person. There is even less reason for recognizing the rights of those whose lives impose burdens on others, as is the case with the child in the womb, the terminally ill, or the physically or mentally disabled.

If human rights do not come from God, then they devolve to the arbitrary conventions of men and women. The state exists to defend the rights of man and to promote his flourishing. The state can never be the source of those rights. When the state arrogates to itself that power, even a democracy can become totalitarian.

What is legalized abortion but a form of intimate violence that clothes itself in democracy? The will to power of the strong is given the force of law to kill the weak.

That is where we are heading in the West today. And we’ve been there before. Slovaks and many other central and eastern Europeans have lived through it.

I suggested earlier that the Church’s religious liberty is under assault today in ways not seen since the Nazi and Communist eras. I believe we are now in the position to better understand why.

Writing in the 1960s, Richard Weaver, an American scholar and social philosopher, said: “I am absolutely convinced that relativism must eventually lead to a regime of force.”

He was right. There is a kind of “inner logic” that leads relativism to repression.

This explains the paradox of how Western societies can preach tolerance and diversity while aggressively undermining and penalizing Catholic life. The dogma of tolerance cannot tolerate the Church’s belief that some ideas and behaviors should not be tolerated because they dehumanize us. The dogma that all truths are relative cannot allow the thought that some truths might not be.

The Catholic beliefs that most deeply irritate the orthodoxies of the West are those concerning abortion, sexuality and the marriage of man and woman. This is no accident. These Christian beliefs express the truth about human fertility, meaning and destiny.

These truths are subversive in a world that would have us believe that God is not necessary and that human life has no inherent nature or purpose. Thus the Church must be punished because, despite all the sins and weaknesses of her people, she is still the bride of Jesus Christ; still a source of beauty, meaning and hope that refuses to die -- and still the most compelling and dangerous heretic of the world’s new order.

Let me sum up what I’ve been saying.

My first point is this: Ideas have consequences. And bad ideas have bad consequences. Today we are living in a world that is under the sway of some very destructive ideas, the worst being that men and women can live as if God does not matter and as if the Son of God never walked this earth. As a result of these bad ideas, the Church’s freedom to exercise her mission is under attack. We need to understand why that is, and we need to do something about it.

My second point is simply this: We can no longer afford to treat the debate over secularization -- which really means cauterizing Christianity out of our cultural memory -- as if it’s a problem for Church professionals. The emergence of a “new Europe” and a “next America” rooted in something other than the real facts of our Christian-shaped history will have damaging consequences for every serious believer.

We need not and should not abandon the hard work of honest dialogue. Far from it. The Church always needs to seek friendships, areas of agreement, and ways to make positive, reasoned arguments in the public square. But it’s foolish to expect gratitude or even respect from our governing and cultural leadership classes today. Naïve imprudence is not an evangelical virtue.

The temptation in every age of the Church is to try to get along with Caesar. And it’s very true: Scripture tells us to respect and pray for our leaders. We need to have a healthy love for the countries we call home. But we can never render unto Caesar what belongs to God. We need to obey God first; the obligations of political authority always come second. We cannot collaborate with evil without gradually becoming evil ourselves. This is one of the most vividly harsh lessons of the 20th century. And it’s a lesson that I hope we have learned.

That brings me to my third and final point today: We live in a time when the Church is called to be a believing community of resistance. We need to call things by their true names. We need to fight the evils we see. And most importantly, we must not delude ourselves into thinking that by going along with the voices of secularism and de-Christianization we can somehow mitigate or change things. Only the Truth can set men free. We need to be apostles of Jesus Christ and the Truth he incarnates.

So what does this mean for us as individual disciples? Let me offer a few suggestions by way of a conclusion.

My first suggestion comes again from the great witness against the paganism of the Third Reich, Dietrich Bonhoeffer: “The renewal of the Western world lies solely in the divine renewal of the Church, which leads her to the fellowship of the risen and living Jesus Christ.”7

The world urgently needs a re-awakening of the Church in our actions and in our public and private witness. The world needs each of us to come to a deeper experience of our Risen Lord in the company of our fellow believers. The renewal of the West depends overwhelmingly on our faithfulness to Jesus Christ and his Church.

We need to really believe what we say we believe. Then we need to prove it by the witness of our lives. We need to be so convinced of the truths of the Creed that we are on fire to live by these truths, to love by these truths, and to defend these truths, even to the point of our own discomfort and suffering.

We are ambassadors of the living God to a world that is on the verge of forgetting him. Our work is to make God real; to be the face of his love; to propose once more to the men and women of our day, the dialogue of salvation.

The lesson of the 20th century is that there is no cheap grace. This God whom we believe in, this God who loved the world so much that he sent his only Son to suffer and die for it, demands that we live the same bold, sacrificial pattern of life shown to us by Jesus Christ.

The form of the Church, and the form of every Christian life, is the form of the cross. Our lives must become a liturgy, a self-offering that embodies the love of God and the renewal of the world.

The great Slovak martyrs of the past knew this. And they kept this truth alive when the bitter weight of hatred and totalitarianism pressed upon your people. I’m thinking especially right now of your heroic bishops, Blessed Vasil Hopko and Pavel Gojdic, and the heroic sister, Blessed Zdenka Schelingová.

We need to keep this beautiful mandate of Sister Zdenka close to our hearts:

“My sacrifice, my holy Mass, begins in daily life. From the altar of the Lord I go to the altar of my work. I must be able to continue the sacrifice of the altar in every situation. … It is Christ whom we must proclaim through our lives, to him we offer the sacrifice of our own will.”8

Let us preach Jesus Christ with all the energy of our lives. And let us support each other -- whatever the cost -- so that when we make our accounting to the Lord, we will be numbered among the faithful and courageous, and not the cowardly or the evasive, or those who compromised until there was nothing left of their convictions; or those who were silent when they should have spoken the right word at the right time. Thank you. And God bless all of you.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Is Obama a Muslim?

Here is the transcript of Obama's interview with Cathleen Falsani discussing his faith:


Have you always been a Christian?


I was raised more by my mother and my mother was Christian.


Any particular flavor?



My grandparents who were from small towns in Kansas. My grandmother was Methodist. My grandfather was Baptist. This was at a time when I think the Methodists felt slightly superior to the Baptists. And by the time I was born, they were, I think, my grandparents had joined a Universalist church.

So, my mother, who I think had as much influence on my values as anybody, was not someone who wore her religion on her sleeve. We'd go to church for Easter. She wasn't a church lady.

As I said, we moved to Indonesia. She remarried an Indonesian who wasn't particularly, he wasn't a practicing Muslim. I went to a Catholic school in a Muslim country. So I was studying the Bible and catechisms by day, and at night you'd hear the prayer call.

So I don't think as a child we were, or I had a structured religious education. But my mother was deeply spiritual person, and would spend a lot of time talking about values and give me books about the world's religions, and talk to me about them. And I think always, her view always was that underlying these religions were a common set of beliefs about how you treat other people and how you aspire to act, not just for yourself but also for the greater good.

And, so that, I think, was what I carried with me through college. I probably didn't get started getting active in church activities until I moved to Chicago.

The way I came to Chicago in 1985 was that I was interested in community organizing and I was inspired by the Civil Rights movement. And the idea that ordinary people could do extraordinary things. And there was a group of churches out on the South Side of Chicago that had come together to form an organization to try to deal with the devastation of steel plants that had closed. And didn't have much money, but felt that if they formed an organization and hired somebody to organize them to work on issues that affected their community, that it would strengthen the church and also strengthen the community.

So they hired me, for $13,000 a year. The princely sum. And I drove out here and I didn't know anybody and started working with both the ministers and the lay people in these churches on issues like creating job training programs, or afterschool programs for youth, or making sure that city services were fairly allocated to underserved communites.

This would be in Roseland, West Pullman, Altgeld Gardens, far South Side working class and lower income communities.

And it was in those places where I think what had been more of an intellectual view of religion deepened because I'd be spending an enormous amount of time with church ladies, sort of surrogate mothers and fathers and everybody I was working with was 50 or 55 or 60, and here I was a 23-year-old kid running around.

I became much more familiar with the ongoing tradition of the historic black church and it's importance in the community.

And the power of that culture to give people strength in very difficult circumstances, and the power of that church to give people courage against great odds. And it moved me deeply.

So that, one of the churches I met, or one of the churches that I became involved in was Trinity United Church of Christ. And the pastor there, Jeremiah Wright, became a good friend. So I joined that church and committed myself to Christ in that church CONTINUED

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Catholic Culture Clash 8-26-10

I just happened to be talking about civility when debating politics, sociology, and theology on blogs when I came across this article on civility in public discourse (or lack thereof) at our educational institutions.

Patrick Lee and Robert P. George set the record straight as to when fertilization begins for those who are confused as to when fertilization actually begins.

Here are 15 reasons to use Natural family Planning.

It is pointed out here that some on the Left have even ceded that Obamacare won't reduce health care costs.

Bishop Ochoa seems to rebuke an Orthodox priest who espoused Church teaching on homosexuality, homosexual acts. This Orthodox priest basically told his community of El Paso like it is with regards to Church teaching on homosexuality, in a straightforward manner and didn't pull any punches.

When Obama rebuked and called out the Supreme Court Justices at the State of the Union Address and I was appalled at how publicly he did this. Nothing of this kind has been done during prior SOTU addresses in our past.  It was highly inappropriate and low-class of him to do so like he did.  Was Obama saying that all types of groups have no right to freely speak on political matters and/or contribute to political campaigns?  Aren't groups madeup essentially of many individuals gathering for a sole or primary purpose?  So, what's the beef with individuals coming together to support and donate money to a politician or a political group?  If Obama really is against ALL GROUPS funding political campaigns why isn't he calling out the unions?  Is he only against those groups who fund political campaigns on the Right or for Republicans? 
Here is an article revealing how the unions are outspending corporations 3 to 1.

The Vatican has earmarked more euros in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

Elderly Woman funds abortions for others-murders of innocents. How sickening. This is appalling.  She said its 'all about the child'.  It is so immoral, unethical, against God and backwards thinking for this woman to think that murdering an unborn child is 'all about the child, helping the child, and calls abortion 'a blessing'. This is just so wrong on so many levels.

Celebrating Blessed Mother Teresa at 100

In The Economic Times, Magnum photographer Raghu Rai describes his experience meeting Mother Teresa and following her great work helping those impoverished for close to three deades.

'Magnum photographer Raghu Rai met Mother Teresa in the early 1970s and was immediately captivated by a woman who, from the age of 12, was fully aware of her “mission”.

Threading his way through the impoverished streets of Calcutta for more than three decades, he captured her spiritual commitment and daily fight against poverty. “It was a beatific radiance,” says Raghu Rai.

“Meeting Mother was like having a darshan; the aura was something that always stayed with you. And after 3-4 weeks of work, I would go back again. I use the word sewa to illustrate her dedication,” he says.

“Her daily act and sewa were so intense and powerful; her eyes held compassion, concern and love. If you look at any image in the show, there is so much strength in her very being. I always felt: here was a person who was absolutely 100% human... Here was a person who did only two things — being in prayer and looking after the sick... The last time I met her, we were sitting and waiting outside the ICU. They had put her in a wheelchair. What I saw when she came out is something I can never forget. I looked at her and saw a rare glow on her face, the magic of her eyes. It was like a chamatkar ... just watching her was enough. Here was a lady who never fluctuated. She was the same all the time.

There was so much to learn from Mother Teresa’s wonderful example.”'

Navin Chawla has written a great piece on Mother Teresa's life, which was dedicated to serving the Lord:

Today, August 26, 2010, the birth centenary of Mother Teresa will be marked with celebration and thanksgiving in many parts of the world. This simple nun with her unique brand of faith and compassion was able to alleviate loneliness, hunger and destitution by reaching out through a worldwide mission to millions of abandoned, homeless and dying destitutes, irrespective of their religion, caste, faith or denomination. In the process she became, indisputably, the conscience-keeper of her century.

As one who was associated with her for 23 years and became one of her biographers, it is not easy to encapsulate her remarkable journey. Born in Skopje, a city in the folds of the Balkans, then as now a crucible of many religions and races, she was the youngest of three children of deeply Catholic Albanian parents. Her father died when she was seven; her mother struggled to feed her family and turned increasingly to the local church for spiritual sustenance. Young Agnes (as she was then known) encountered uncertainty and adversity early in life. The lessons of diligence, discipline, frugality and kindness were imbibed in these early years.

Today, when teenagers often have difficulty making up their minds as to which course to study and where, Agnes had decided, at the age of 14, to serve as a missionary, not in her local church, but in faraway India, then a world apart, of which decision the only certainty was that she would never return home.

A new life opened in Calcutta in 1929. She had joined the Loreto Order as a novice aged 19. Here she would take her religious vows and teach for almost 20 years. In 1948, in an even more cataclysmic turn of events, again entirely of her own making, she left the convent doors behind her for a vision of the street. She had realised that this was where her true vocation lay, and she pursued this goal with diligence, even obstinacy. This she did till the Vatican made her its first exception in several hundred years, permitting her to step out of the Loreto Order, but with her vows intact. She would remain a nun but without belonging to an established Order of the Church. These were early signs of spirit and will power, together with prayerfulness and faith, laced with not inconsiderable charm, which would provide the propulsion for the quite incredible journey that lay ahead.

The early milestones lay in recognition within her adopted country – first by the legendary Chief Minister of West Bengal Dr. B.C. Roy, to be followed by national recognition when Jawaharlal Nehru was instrumental in India awarding her the Padma Shri in 1962. Later, another redoubtable Chief Minister of West Bengal, Jyoti Basu, was to provide her his unstinted support.

By 1965, she had set up a vast network of service across India. The time had come for her to move her mission overseas. She saw need everywhere; there were plenty of the poor and hungry in divisive societies in each continent, in desperately poor and prosperous societies alike. And so she set up feeding centres and leprosy stations in Africa, AIDS hospices in North America, community programmers in the Australian outback, and a host of services that helped lift the most marginalised, hungry and lonely from a desolate life in streets and slums of Africa, Asia and the West.

“God loves a cheerful giver” was a refrain I would often hear as I walked with the smiling Sisters of her Order among sullen faces under London's Waterloo Bridge, serving them their only hot meal on a wintry night; in the process I saw where they spent their nights: coffin-sized cardboard boxes, their only homes. In San Francisco and Los Angeles, I talked to young AIDS sufferers in her hospices, knowing that I would never see them again. In Madrid, I met the aged and the destitute, wracked by a disease called loneliness, which Mother Teresa called the “leprosy of the West”. And then the final triumph, a centre carved in the heart of Catholicism itself, in the shadow of St. Peter's in the Vatican, handed over by a Polish Pope to an obedient but persistent nun. She appeared a frail figure against the rigid hierarchy of the Church, some of whose members frowned in private that the Vatican had hardly any space let alone for a soup kitchen. Yet, in my eyes, Mother Teresa and John Paul II had, at one stroke, demystified a thousand years of sometimes rigid Papal tradition, in an understanding of the deepest Christian ethic that they shared. CONTINUED

Here is another wonderful piece on Mother Teresa with some great pictures of her. She is truly an inspiration, a model for all to follow. She devoted her life to serving both God and the destitute.  

26 August 2010: It was exactly hundred years ago that one of the great servants of humanity, Blessed Mother Teresa was born in a foreign land and later joining a religious order came to India and eventually became an Indian citizen. Witnessing the miserable condition of the poor, sick, destitute and neglected and lonely, Mother Teresa found her second calling in helping and caring for these unfortunate people. Mother Teresa, by her unconditional service to the destitute and dying earned the epithet as the ‘Saint of the Gutters’ and following her death in September 1997, was beatified by Pope John Paul II as ‘Blessed Mother Teresa’ in 2003. On the occasion of the centenary of her birth, it would be appropriate to review briefly her life and work that has inspired a large number of people all over the world.

Mother Teresa was born to Nikollë and Drana Bojaxhiu of Albanian ethnicity on 26 August 1910 in Skopje in Serbia as their youngest of three children and was named Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu. Her father, who was involved in Albanian politics died in 1919 when his daughter Agnes was just eight years old. After her father’s death, her mother raised her as a Roman Catholic. According to a biography, in her early years Agnes was fascinated by stories of the lives of missionaries and their service, and when she was twelve years old, Agnes was convinced that she should commit herself to a religious life. With the passage of time she strongly felt the Divine call and at the age of eighteen Agnes left her parental home in Skopje and joined the Sisters of Loreto, an Irish community of nuns with missions in India. Agnes was sent to Dublin in Ireland for training in English language and after few months she was sent to India.

Arriving in India in 1929, Agnes began her novitiate in Darjeeling and took her first religious vows as a nun on 24 May 1931. At that time she chose the name ‘Teresa’ after Theresa of Lisieux, the patron saint of missionaries. Later, she took her final vows on 14 May 1937, while serving as a teacher at the Loreto Convent School in eastern Kolkata.

From 1931 to 1948, Mother Teresa taught geography and catechism in St. Mary’s High School in Kolkata. Although Mother Teresa enjoyed teaching at the school, she was increasingly disturbed by the poverty surrounding her in Kolkata. The Bengal Famine of 1943 brought misery and death to the city; and the outbreak of Hindu-Muslim riots in August 1946, plunged the city into despair and horror. During this period Mother Teresa became thoroughly acquainted with the sufferings of the poor and the marginalized section of the people of Kolkata. The sight of misery and sufferings of the deprived and downtrodden outside the walls of her convent pinched her conscience and she felt an urge to do something for these unfortunate people to the extent of moving out of the four walls of the convent and living with and serving the poor.

Mother Teresa felt strongly that she had a second Divine call to reach out to the poor and destitute. This was what she later described as "the call within the call" while traveling to the Loreto convent in Darjeeling from Kolkata for her annual retreat during which she made up her mind to devote herself to work among the poorest of the poor in the slums of Kolkata. When approached to her convent superiors with a request to be allowed to leave the convent to carry on her new mission, her superiors gave her permission to follow her ‘second calling’.  CONTINUED

God Bless and Happy Birth Centenary
Blessed Mother Teresa!!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Never Forget 9/11; Can Archbishop Dolan Ease Tensions?

I never thought that anyone could possibly forget about a horrific tragedy such as 9/11, and yet somehow it seems that those folks who are for a mosque being built a stone's throw away from Ground Zero have forgotten about 9/11.  We don't have a site honoring the Japanese at Pearl Harbor, so why should we have a mosque built so, so, so close to where 3000 innocents were killed by Muslim extremists on 9/11?

Here is a video to help reawaken those who may have forgotten about that tragic day 9 years ago:

H/T LCResistance

Here is Fr. Jonathan Morris and Megyn Kelly on Archbishop Dolan mediating the mosque debate. I agree with Fr. Jonathan Morris.  Do you think that there are limits to religious liberty?  Both the cultural center idea or moving the mosque to a much less sensitive place sound like good and respectful solutions to me.

God Bless Religious Vocations

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Principle of Subsidiarity Over Welfarism

One of the key principles of Catholic social doctrine is subsidiarity but for some reason many Bishops in the USCCB dissent from this main tenet of Catholic social teaching and promote the welfare state all for the "common good" or in the name of social justice.  David A. Bosnich points out that Pope John Paul II took the "social assistance state" to task in his encyclical, Centesimus Annus and that in Monsignor George Higgins defense of the Welfare States leads him to make serious distortions of the principle of subsidiarity, as well as in his mischaracterization and treatment of Alexis de Toqueville. 

Here is the what the Catechism of the Catholic Church states on subsidiarity:

 "Socialization also prevents dangers. Excessive intervention by the state can threaten personal freedom and initiative. The teaching of the Church has elaborated the principle of subsidiarity, according to which 'a community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of a community of a lower order, depriving the latter of its functions, but rather should support it in case of need and help to coordinate its activity with the rest of society, always with a view to the common good.'

"God . . . entrusts to every creature the functions it is capable of performing, according to the capacities of its own nature. This mode of government ought to be followed in social life.

". . . Subsidiarity is opposed to all forms of collectivism. It sets limits for state intervention" (nn. 1883-1885).

Social justice subverters like to minimize the gravity of the abortion issue and pretty much keep it out of sight and out of mind or ignore it in order so they may promote any type of assistance that helps the poor even if it endangers and costs unborn childrens' lives.  This needs to change.  We must not sacrifice our pro-life principles when helping the poor. 

Here are quotes from Pope John XXIII and Pope Leo XIII on subsidiarity and the welfare state. The welfare state as promoted by many in the Democratic Party goes against the social teachings of the Catholic Church.  The Democratic Party both subscribes to and advocates Keynesian economics which is opposed to the principle of subsidiarity.  When one advocates and votes for welfarism, one also votes for the extermination of our unborn children via supporting pro-abortion politicians.  Both abortion and the welfare state goes against Catholic Church's teachings and if a person votes for a politician that supports either one or both of these policies then that person is dissenting from Church teaching.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

St. Thomas Aquinas Quote on Faith

St. Thomas Aquinas -- "Unbelievers are in ignorance of things that are of faith, for neither do they see or know them in themselves, nor do they know them to be credible. The faithful, on the other hand, know them, not as by demonstration, but by the light of faith which makes them see that they ought to believe them, as stated above"

Faith relies on trust. And, when one let's go and trusts in God then one has faith. These two go hand-in hand.

Fr. Barron on "Inception"

My husband and I actually had the opportunity to see "inception" a couple of weeks ago and enjoyed it immensely.  I do have to agree with Fr. Barron though, that this movie is secular and it missed a wonderful opportunity to delve into the spiritual, and God. But, much of Hollywood is anti-Christian and anti-God so this isn't very surprising to me either. The special effects are magnificent. Overall, this is an excellent movie and if you have a chance to view it I recommend that you see this movie.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Cleveland Catholics Defy Bishop and Risk Excommunication

Bishop Richard Lennon of the Cleveland Catholic Diocese wants to meet with the priest and lay leaders of a breakaway congregation to try to bring them back into the fold, a spokesman for the diocese said Monday.
The diocese was reacting to an unauthorized Mass celebrated Sunday by the Rev. Robert Marrone and about 350 communicants in leased commercial space they set up as a church, independent of the diocese.

 Diocese spokesman Robert Tayek said Lennon "has an obligation, as shepherd of the diocese, to try and reach out to these folks in the hopes of keeping them in communion with the church."

Leaders of the new Community of St. Peter, facing possible excommunication for disobeying the bishop, have stressed that they still consider themselves practicing Roman Catholics, but disagree with the diocese over the closing of their church, St. Peter, in downtown Cleveland.

When Lennon, carrying out a diocese-wide downsizing plan, announced in March 2009 that he was mothballing the 151-year-old building on the corner of Superior Avenue and East 17th Street, members of the congregation began considering other options to stay together.  CONTINUED

This is bizarre. Is ensuring that parish members are able to stay and worship together by starting a new parish without the permission of the Cleveland Diocese and the Bishop worth risking being excommunicated from the Church?  Do they deserve to be excommunicated? Should the Rev. Robert Marrone be held more responsible for spreading scandal than the parishoners? These parishoners seem misguided IMO.  The priest and the parishoners are causing scandal and it must be stopped.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Top Ten Reasons To Reject Socialism

I originally found this excellent list from The Warrior, and in the effort of spreading information on socialism and all of its evils, I am reposting this list of The Top Ten Reasons to Reject Socialism:

1. Socialism and communism are the same ideology

Communism is but an extreme form of socialism. From the ideological standpoint, there is no substantial difference between the two. In fact, the communist Soviet Union called itself the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (1922-1991) and communist China, Cuba and Vietnam define themselves as socialist nations.

2. Socialism violates personal freedom

Socialism seeks to eliminate “injustice” by transferring rights and responsibilities from individuals and families to the State. In the process, socialism actually creates injustice. It destroys true liberty: the freedom to decide all matters that lie within our own competence and to follow the course shown by our reason, within the laws of morality, including the dictates of justice and charity.

3. Socialism violates human nature

Socialism is anti-natural. It destroys personal initiative – a fruit of our intellect and free will – and replaces it with State control. It tends to totalitarianism, with its government and police repression, wherever it is implemented.

4. Socialism violates private property

Socialism calls for “redistributing the wealth” by taking from the “rich” to give to the poor. It imposes taxes that punish those who have been able to take greater advantage of their productive talents, capacity to work or thrift. It uses taxation to promote economic and social egalitarianism, a goal that will be fully achieved, according to The Communist Manifesto, with the “abolition of private property."

5. Socialism opposes traditional marriage

Socialism sees no moral reason for people to restrict sex to marriage, that is, to an indissoluble union between a man and a woman. Furthermore, socialism undermines private property, which Friedrich Engels, founder of modern socialism and communism along with Karl Marx, saw as the foundation of traditional marriage.

6. Socialism opposes parental rights in education

Socialism has the State, and not parents, control the education of children. Almost from birth, children are to be handed over to public institutions, where they will be taught what the State wants, regardless of parental views. Evolution must be taught. School prayer must be forbidden.

7. Socialism promotes radical equality

A supposed absolute equality among men is the fundamental assumption of socialism. Therefore, it sees any inequality as unjust in itself. Private employers are quickly portrayed as “exploiters” whose profits really belong to their employees. As a consequence, they rule out the system of wage earning.

8. Socialism promotes atheism

Belief in God, who unlike us is infinite, omnipotent and omniscient, clashes head-on with the principle of absolute equality. Socialism therefore rejects the spiritual, claiming that only matter exists. God, the soul, and the next life are illusions according to socialism.

9. Socialism promotes relativism

For socialism there are no absolute truths or revealed morals that establish standards of conduct that apply to everyone, everywhere, and always. Everything evolves, including right and wrong, good and evil. There is no place for the Ten Commandments, neither in the private mind nor in the public square.

10. Socialism mocks religion

According to Karl Marx, religion is "the opium of the people." Lenin, founder of the Soviet Union, agreed: "Religion is opium for the people. Religion is a sort of spiritual booze in which the slaves of capital drown their human image, their demand for a life more or less worthy of man."

Monday, August 16, 2010

Interview With an Exorcist

Here is an interview with an exorcist named Fr. Thomas Euteneuer:

Q: As I read your book, my impression was that exorcism is essentially a form of prayer. Is that right?


Q: Some people hear about exorcisms and ask: Why is a priest and all the ritual necessary? Why can't a person just have his friends pray for him, or pray to cast out the demons himself?

It is correct that people can pray spontaneously against the power of evil. What the Church reserves to itself are the worst cases; in these worst cases you need a liturgical form of public prayer and a consecrated professional whose work is spiritual warfare. When you're dealing with a very bad guy (a strong demon), you don't just politely invite him to leave. That's not going to work. The liturgical form of prayer has great power because it is a common prayer, the prayer of the Church -- not just an individual or group prayer. In it, the Church commands the demon to leave. It is backed up by the apostolic authority of the bishop, delegated to the Church from Christ himself.

Q: In another interview you made the comment that "the power of the ritual is based on the faith you bring to it." Could you elaborate on that statement?

The ritual itself, because it is the Church's ritual, has the Church's faith behind it. Even if the exorcist didn't believe in its power, it somehow would be effective because of the faith of the Church. Having said that, if a person brings his own faith to the ritual and believes in the authority of Christ, it adds an incredible amount of power for expelling a demon.

Q: One thing that is clear from your book is the power of the name of Jesus and how much it torments demons. Is this a word that they can say (e.g. in a disrespectful way), or is in unpronouncable to them? Does the name torment them in and of itself, or only when said respectfully by believers?

The sacred and holy Name of Jesus is "the Name to which every knee must bend in the heavens, on the earth and under the earth" (Phil 2:10-11). It is feared by demons always. They normally would not say It or want to hear It but they must submit to any command that is issued in His Name. The only exception is if they are given a command to say His Name as their sign of departure indicating that their power has been totally vanquished. I have ordered demons to say, "Jesus is Lord" as they depart from a person and go to the Foot of the Cross. It is also odious to them when believers speak the sacred Name respectfully or in a word of Scripture or some liturgical prayer. Above all, the Name of Jesus represents the authority of God over the power of evil, and they must obey the unworthy minister who wields it to cast them out.

Q: I've heard crazy stories about the types of things that happen in exorcisms: objects flying off of shelves, the possessed person levitating, etc. How often do you encounter things like that?

Not often. Most of the dramatic stuff you see is Hollywood's presentation of exorcism, and of course Hollywood has a vested interest in dramatizing the encounters. The movie versions of exorcism all wildly exaggerate the power of the devil and the drama that takes place in an actual exorcism. I don't deny that some of the exorcisms can be dramatic, but the vast majority of them are pretty banal.


Saturday, August 14, 2010

Archbishop Fulton J Sheen Speaks on Peter, Vicar of Christ

Are Girl Altar Servers Having a Bad Effect on the Priesthood Or is Contraception Hurting the Priesthood?

As a someone who used to be a girl altar server and who is proud of participating or helping in the Mass, I must say that women altar servers could be hurting the priesthood. But one must take into account several factors when trying to answer this question. Has there been a decline in births among Catholics over the years? Has there been a decline in the number of Catholics who follow the Magisterium? Has there been a population decline in the Church as a result of Catholics leaving the Church, either for another church or because of those who are fallen away and don‘t attend church period? What are the reasons behind this?

In 2006 there was a survey of Catholic women asking whether they took birth control or not. The poll revealed a stunning and quite horrifying reality - that 9 out of 10 Catholic women have used birth control. If this poll merely asked “Have you used contraceptives?‘ this needed to be deconstructed a little further since contraceptives do have alternative therapeutic uses. People, like myself, may have resorted to use contraceptives at one time or another to treat such female diseases such as endometriosis, so saying “using contraceptives is always immoral or is always intrinsically evil” seems to be an overstatement since the qualifier “always” wouldn’t allow for the therapeutic (and non-contraceptive) use of a substance often prescribed as a means of birth control. But then if a substance isn’t being used to contracept, but for some other legitimate benefit (e.g., treating a disease), then in that case the substance isn’t a contraceptive. Thus, while contraception may be intrinsically evil, a certain medication might not be intrinsically contraceptive, but only contraceptive in relation to those using it in that conventional way. One might say that if a woman uses “contraceptives” to contracept and to purposely avoid procreating or creating life, then that is always intrinsically evil. But, regardless this astounding result is way, way too high among Catholics, and is a serious problem that must be addressed through better education in the Catholic sphere. On this distinction between legitimate and sinful uses of substances that are conventionally used as birth control, I have no statistics, but my intuition is that there could not be nearly that many women with conditions that would call for the medicinal use of such medications.

From the National Catholic Reporter, there are two items that are noteworthy:

‘First, for the first time this year, the female altar servers in attendance outnumbered the males. According to organizers, the balance was roughly 60-40 in favor of females. The official Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, pointed to the turnout as a symbol of “the massive entry in recent decades of girls and young women into a role once reserved exclusively to males.”’

“Second, Vatican sources seemed eager to bill the gathering of tens of thousands of devoted young Catholics with Pope Benedict XVI as a kind of counter-point to the sexual abuse scandals of recent months.”

It seems like there are simply less Catholics, at least in part due to contraception, and therefore less boys, less altar boys, which ultimately has led to a decline of priests. Maybe, more of those who are faithful Catholics are simply having more girls than boys? Could a backlash against girl altar servers inevitably produce more dissent among those girls later in life, as they become mature women? Shouldn’t we encourage participation among women also instead of stifling it? I believe as long as it is made crystal clear that altar girls can NEVER become priests then it is okay for girls to be altar servers and assist the priest in the Mass.

It is my conclusion that the allowing girls to serve at the altar is not the primary cause for the decline of men entering the priesthood. I also believe that even if the presence of altar girls are having a negative effect that is discouraging young men from becoming priests (which I doubt since most traditional Catholics encourage young men to consider the priesthood as a vocation and one would think that a girl altar server‘s family would most likely be traditional and adhering to the Magisterium), the effect is minimal and miniscule in comparison to the negative effect that contraceptives have had in the past and are having on the decline in vocations to the priesthood.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Athanasius Moment?

I posted this on my other blog earlier this year, but since my husband was impressed at my philosophical idea or ponderings I thought that I would share it here.

Cafeteria Catholics (Liberals!) dissent on basic Church teachings such as those on abortion, contraception, euthanasia, the all-male priesthood, and even the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Liberalism is so rampant in the Church today that it threatens to overwhelm its traditions, much as the Arian heresy threatened the Church in the 4th century. Does the Church need another Athanasius moment?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Umbert The Unborn -- Womb Service for the Hungry

H/T UmberttheUnborn

Barbara Boxer Sanctions Infanticide

Barbara Boxer is up in arms over the fact that she is being held accountable for her own words - George Will was holding her to her own words. She claims that her words were used out of context, but as you will see below, her words were used in context.

In the 1999 colloquy, Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) said: Suppose during this procedure the baby slips entirely from the mother’s birth canal. “You agree, once a child is born, is separated from the mother, that that child is protected by the Constitution and cannot be killed? Do you agree with that?” Boxer: “I think when you bring your baby home, when your baby is born … the baby belongs to your family and has all the rights.” Santorum persisted: “Obviously, you don’t mean they have to take the baby out of the hospital for it to be protected by the Constitution. Once the baby is separated from the mother, you would agree—completely separated from the mother—you would agree that the baby is entitled to constitutional protection?” She would not say “yes.” Instead, she said, understandably: “I don’t want to engage in this.”

This is horrifying and abominable!!!  This is so immoral. Life begins at conception. Every innocent human unborn child deserves the right to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Every human life is precious and deserves to be treated with dignity.  Abortion is murder.  We must continue to work to overturn Roe v. Wade.  I really hope that Boxer is booted out of office in November.

H/T NewsRealBlog

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Illegal Immigrant Kills Nun

An illegal immigrant named Carlos Montano was drunk driving in Virginia when he killed a nun. There are two more nuns in critical/serious condition.  This illegal immigrant is a repeat offender - and not only once but twice!- and he hadn't been deported yet. This is outrageous!  He had been released from ICE and was awaiting deportation at the time. He now faces involuntary manslaughter and drunken driving charges. This tragedy could have been avoided if ICE had simply done their job instead of them implementing selective amnesty.

"The latest ICE statistics show that the agency has stepped up deportations of criminals, but has slowed deportation of other illegal immigrants. The agency also is holding fewer illegal immigrants at any one time than it did last year, according to the statistics."

Somehow, these facts are not surprising. This tragedy could have been avoided if our government actually enforced our immigration laws. The nuns are in my thoughts and prayers. 

Friday, August 6, 2010

Pope Paul VI -- 32nd Anniversary of His Death

Edmund Burke Quote On Wealth

"If we command our wealth, we shall be rich and free; if our wealth commands us, we are poor indeed."

By: Edmund Burke

Wealth can be a very good thing, but please don't let your wealth rule your life... And, do not become materialistic or please don't follow the philosophy of materialism.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Bishop Malcolm McMahon To Defend Church's Teaching on Celibacy

Two days prior to the Pope’s visit to the UK Bishop Malcolm McMahon will defend the Church’s teaching on celibacy in a major debate.

“The bishop will be joined by Jack Valero, spokesman for the Cause of Cardinal Newman and the co-ordinator of Catholic Voices, and Fr Stephen Wang, dean of studies at Allen Hall seminary.”

‘The motion of the debate will be: “Celibacy should no longer be a compulsory requirement for the Roman Catholic priesthood.”’ The three of them wanted to explain the Church’s views on the issues. Jack Valero called the movie Conspiracy of Silence “emotional blackmail” and all three of them will show that any person who chooses to marry may do so, and that no one is forced into the priesthood.

Do you think that celibacy should be a compulsory requirement for the Roman Catholic priesthood ?

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Exploring Nicomachean Ethics Part 2

We had perhaps better consider the universal good and discuss
thoroughly what is meant by it, although such an inquiry is made an
uphill one by the fact that the Forms have been introduced by
friends of our own. Yet it would perhaps be thought to be better,
indeed to be our duty, for the sake of maintaining the truth even to
destroy what touches us closely, especially as we are philosophers
or lovers of wisdom; for, while both are dear, piety requires us to
honour truth above our friends.

The men who introduced this doctrine did not posit Ideas of
classes within which they recognized priority and posteriority
(which is the reason why they did not maintain the existence of an
Idea embracing all numbers); but the term 'good' is used both in the
category of substance and in that of quality and in that of
relation, and that which is per se, i.e. substance, is prior in nature
to the relative (for the latter is like an off shoot and accident of
being); so that there could not be a common Idea set over all these
goods. Further, since 'good' has as many senses as 'being' (for it
is predicated both in the category of substance, as of God and of
reason, and in quality, i.e. of the virtues, and in quantity, i.e.
of that which is moderate, and in relation, i.e. of the useful, and in
time, i.e. of the right opportunity, and in place, i.e. of the right
locality and the like), clearly it cannot be something universally
present in all cases and single; for then it could not have been
predicated in all the categories but in one only. Further, since of
the things answering to one Idea there is one science, there would
have been one science of all the goods; but as it is there are many
sciences even of the things that fall under one category, e.g. of
opportunity, for opportunity in war is studied by strategics and in
disease by medicine, and the moderate in food is studied by medicine
and in exercise by the science of gymnastics. And one might ask the
question, what in the world they mean by 'a thing itself', is (as is
the case) in 'man himself' and in a particular man the account of
man is one and the same. For in so far as they are man, they will in
no respect differ; and if this is so, neither will 'good itself' and
particular goods, in so far as they are good. But again it will not be
good any the more for being eternal, since that which lasts long is no
whiter than that which perishes in a day. The Pythagoreans seem to
give a more plausible account of the good, when they place the one
in the column of goods; and it is they that Speusippus seems to have

But let us discuss these matters elsewhere; an objection to what
we have said, however, may be discerned in the fact that the
Platonists have not been speaking about all goods, and that the
goods that are pursued and loved for themselves are called good by
reference to a single Form, while those which tend to produce or to
preserve these somehow or to prevent their contraries are called so by
reference to these, and in a secondary sense. Clearly, then, goods
must be spoken of in two ways, and some must be good in themselves,
the others by reason of these. Let us separate, then, things good in
themselves from things useful, and consider whether the former are
called good by reference to a single Idea. What sort of goods would
one call good in themselves? Is it those that are pursued even when
isolated from others, such as intelligence, sight, and certain
pleasures and honours? Certainly, if we pursue these also for the sake
of something else, yet one would place them among things good in
themselves. Or is nothing other than the Idea of good good in
itself? In that case the Form will be empty. But if the things we have
named are also things good in themselves, the account of the good will
have to appear as something identical in them all, as that of
whiteness is identical in snow and in white lead. But of honour,
wisdom, and pleasure, just in respect of their goodness, the
accounts are distinct and diverse. The good, therefore, is not some
common element answering to one Idea.

But what then do we mean by the good? It is surely not like the
things that only chance to have the same name. Are goods one, then, by
being derived from one good or by all contributing to one good, or are
they rather one by analogy? Certainly as sight is in the body, so is
reason in the soul, and so on in other cases. But perhaps these
subjects had better be dismissed for the present; for perfect
precision about them would be more appropriate to another branch of
philosophy. And similarly with regard to the Idea; even if there is
some one good which is universally predicable of goods or is capable
of separate and independent existence, clearly it could not be
achieved or attained by man; but we are now seeking something
attainable. Perhaps, however, some one might think it worth while to
recognize this with a view to the goods that are attainable and
achievable; for having this as a sort of pattern we shall know
better the goods that are good for us, and if we know them shall
attain them. This argument has some plausibility, but seems to clash
with the procedure of the sciences; for all of these, though they
aim at some good and seek to supply the deficiency of it, leave on one
side the knowledge of the good. Yet that all the exponents of the arts
should be ignorant of, and should not even seek, so great an aid is
not probable. It is hard, too, to see how a weaver or a carpenter will
be benefited in regard to his own craft by knowing this 'good itself',
or how the man who has viewed the Idea itself will be a better
doctor or general thereby. For a doctor seems not even to study health
in this way, but the health of man, or perhaps rather the health of
a particular man; it is individuals that he is healing. But enough
of these topics.

I found it very interesting that those who originally introduced the doctrine of the universal good (now it is known as the common good) did not consider the issue of class and/or different classes. Maybe, in today's times we shouldn't let class or politics determine the meaning of the common good and how it is to be achieved but rather we should look to God to determine the meaning of the common good and how it is going to be implemented so that it is achieved?