Friday, April 29, 2011

Sculpture of Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Unveiled at Ave Maria University

From NaplesNews 

Two Ave Maria students sing during the unveiling of the Annunciation sculpture on the face of the Oratory. After three years of planning and hundreds of hours of sculpting by artist Marton Varo, Ave Maria University's Oratory revealed it's new facade to hundreds of people on March 25, 2011. The project from inception to fruition took nearly 3 years and more than 3 million dollars to achieve. It is the first project to be undertaken by the Ave Maria Foundation for the arts completely funded by private donations. The relief depicts the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in 120 tons of Carrara marble hand selected from Cava Michelangelo, the same quarry Michelangelo used to acquire his marble for his most important works. Once the project began Marton made several trips back and forth from Italy to Ave Maria carving portions of the relief in both places. The smaller five pieces were carved in Italy while the larger stones measuring 210 cm x 230 cm were carved at Ave Maria, making the largest blocks almost 7 1/2 feet tall. Manuel Martinez/Staff

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Prohibition un-Catholic?

Jeffrey Tucker has written an article called Prohibition is un-Catholic which is a good read with regards to the "war on drugs" and prohibition in both past and present.  This was so well written that it has persuaded me to change my position on the "war on drugs" at least to some extent.  I think I may be becoming more libertarian.  It is self-evident that the "war on drugs" is failing and quite pathetically.  It is my opinion that one of the keys to its failure is the porous border which under the constitution should be a requirement to be secured.  I believe that the prohibition against drugs is doing more harm than good.  But, I do have mixed feelings regarding the prohibition of the hard core drugs.

Tucker uses some writings of Rev. James M. Gillis to show how prohibition on alcohol during from 1920 -1933 really hurt the temperance movement and to show how prohibition is un-Catholic.

"It is my own conviction that the prohibition law was the greatest blow ever given to the temperance movement. Before prohibition, the people at large were becoming more and more sober. Total abstinence had become the practice, not of a few, but of millions. There was an enormous increase in temperance in America, in the period of fifty years preceding the passing of the Eighteenth Amendment to the National Constitution. Then the attitude of multitudes changed. Under the Volstead Law, drinking became a popular sport. The passage of the law was a psychological blunder, and a moral calamity. It is for this reason, first of all, that I regret the prohibition law.

"We must come back to the original and only true plan for improving the world -- education, exhortation, moral suasion. "Slow methods!" say the impetuous "drys." Yes, but every moral agency must work slowly. It does, perhaps, seem ridiculous to attempt the moral and spiritual regeneration of mankind by the infinitely tedious method of addressing the individual, converting him, and keep him right. But that was the method of Christ. "Preach to every creature," was His commission to the Apostles. Only when the individual is convinced, can you be sure of his conversion.

"The process of conversion is long and slow. Anyone who attempts labor-saving devices in dealing with the volatile spirit of man, will fail. There are no "short cuts" in the moral world. Impatient and impetuous persons cannot, not will not, see that self-evident fact. Consequently such persons have always produced disaster in place of reform. The only way to make the country sober is to persuade individual citizens , one by one, to be sober. . . . Prohibitionists do not even see the enormous and unescapable fact that prohibition is a failure. "None are so blind as those who will not see." " 

You can read the entire article here

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Pope Prays Barefoot at St. Peter's Basilica

Good Friday -- For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son

John 3:16 --  For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Here is scripture from Matthew 27:33-56,The Crucifixion of Jesus:
And they came to the place that is called Golgotha, which is the place of Calvary.  And they gave him wine to drink mingled with gall. And when he had tasted, he would not drink.  And after they had crucified him, they divided his garments, casting lots; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: They divided my garments among them; and upon my vesture they cast lots.
 And they sat and watched him.  And they put over his head his cause written: THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.  Then were crucified with him two thieves: one on the right hand, and one on the left.  And they that passed by, blasphemed him, wagging their heads,  And saying: Vah, thou that destroyest the temple of God, and in three days dost rebuild it: save thy own self: if thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.
In like manner also the chief priests, with the scribes and ancients, mocking, said:  He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the king of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him.  He trusted in God; let him now deliver him if he will have him; for he said: I am the Son of God.  And the selfsame thing the thieves also, that were crucified with him, reproached him with.  Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over the whole earth, until the ninth hour.
 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying: Eli, Eli, lamma sabacthani? that is, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?  And some that stood there and heard, said: This man calleth Elias.  And immediately one of them running took a sponge, and filled it with vinegar; and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink.  And the others said: Let be, let us see whether Elias will come to deliver him.  And Jesus again crying with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.
 And behold the veil of the temple was rent in two from the top even to the bottom, and the earth quaked, and the rocks were rent.  And the graves were opened: and many bodies of the saints that had slept arose,  And coming out of the tombs after his resurrection, came into the holy city, and appeared to many.  Now the centurion and they that were with him watching Jesus, having seen the earthquake, and the things that were done, were sore afraid, saying: Indeed this was the Son of God. 

Pope Benedict explains the Easter Triduum: 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Catholic View: On Women's Vocations

This program is on women's vocations, and more specifically Catholic women's vocations. Do you think that it is harder to be a woman who espouses Christian values in our society today than those who give in to secularism?  Is it even harder to be a Catholic woman today following traditional Catholic beliefs?  The media portrays the Church as being anti-woman but women in fact hold many important roles within the Church today.  It is important for us to be positive role models to others - Christ-like examples - especially to other women in our society today.  Hopefully, by our example we can encourage others to follow Christ, and convert to Catholicism.

Here is The Catholic View for Women's website 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Dr. O. Carter Snead Speaks on "Nature of Equality" and "Perversion of Equality"

These are excerpts from a talk on "Equality as a Foundational Good in American Public Bioethics." The talk took place at Franciscan University of Steubenville, and was sponsored by the Institute of Bioethics. 

Now that you have seen excerpts from Dr. Snead's talk and I have given you an idea of what the whole talk is on are you interested in hearing the entire talk?  If so, I will post the entire talk tomorrow.

Follow Jesus Who Is The Way, The Truth, and The Life, Twitter Style

This is a pretty cool video. Enjoy!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Christians Celebrate Palm Sunday; Say Yes To God

As Christians we need to say yes to God. We need to say yes to God all the time, everywhere,  and not just on Sundays. We need to give our whole mind, whole body, and whole spirit to serving God and following His will.  God needs to be the central part of our lives.  We need to do our best to be an example for others to follow.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Catholic Culture Clash Links 4-16-11

The Pope turns 84 today. Happy Birthday Pope Benedict!!

The "pro-immigration" a.k.a. pro-illegal immigration (pro-amnesty) crowd is up in arms over the fact that a meeting on immigration was moved from the Catholic Church to another location since the representative speaking there who purports to be Catholic is pro-abortion.  Oh cry me a river....   Bishop Joe Vasquez did the right thing by having the public meeting moved since Rep. Louis Gutierrez has voted in favor of abortion rights legislation, which is in direct contradiction of Catholic teaching and policies. You do not check either your conscience or your religious beliefs at the door when you serve in Congress.  These Catholyc pro-abort politicians need to either get with the program and follow the precepts of the Catholic faith, including all social social teachings, or find another church which endorses the murder of innocents, which would be more in line with their beliefs. article here 

What do you think of the last minute deal that averted a government shutdown?  Do you think that Rep. Boehner and the leaders in the GOP caved?  I think that they should have stood their ground with regards to stopping funding of Planned Parenthood.  The GOP got some things they asked for but it seems like the Democrats got the better end of the deal.  The GOP needs to take back both the Senate and the White House in the 2012 election.

An evangelical pastor, John Piper, compared the burning of the Koran to crucifying Christ.  This is absurd!!  A book is merely a book.  The Koran can be reprinted.  Christ died for all of our sins. Christ was a person who was killed and not merely a book.  He said this in light of people being killed in the Middle East because the pastor in Florida burned the Koran.  Those who murdered people in the Middle East are murderers and his ludicrous comparison  is in effect justifying the Islamic extremists murderous reaction to the Koran burning.  The Florida pastor, whether you agree with him or not, was expressing his first amendment rights according to the Constitution. article here 

Have you heard of the latest controversy to do with Michael Voris of RealCatholicTV?  His recent Vortex video called "Pagan Easter" called for people to leave their church if the priest mentions Earth Day on Easter Sunday.  I agree with Michael Voris about 99.9% of the time but I disagree with him here.  I agree with most of that video but should he really be encouraging people to leave their churches?  Maybe, if there are other Catholic Churches around one can do some church shopping to find a parish that is in line with their traditional beliefs but what if there is no other parish in the area?  IMO Voris should have used a qualifier in his video.  Maybe, he even should have encouraged those to stay in their parishes to try and change their parish from the inside, so it follows the Magisterium and more laity know the true faith?  This is the same sort of thing he has encouraged us to do in some of his other videos. What do you think of this whole situation? 

Friday, April 15, 2011

A Faith Filled Tag: Why Do I Love Jesus?

Happy to accommodate Gina. Thank you for the tag. 

Here are the guidelines: 
*Share five things you love about Jesus/or why you love Jesus.
*Tag five other bloggers.
*Those tagged will provide a link in the comments section here so others can read them.

1. Jesus Christ founded the Church in which he is mystically present and available to us sacramentally. His Church will be here until the end of the world, guiding us through life, and battling the devil -- "And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it." (Matthew 16:18) 
2. Jesus is God and God is love -- "God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him." (1 John 4:16) 
3. Jesus saved me, gave me eternal life by his dying on the cross -- "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16)
4.  I feel Jesus' presence all the time and have also experienced his healing touch. Jesus is the great healer. "Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness." (Matthew 9:35)
5.  Jesus is God the Creator. He created me. He created you. He created all living creatures. He created the whole world -- "IN the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." (John 1:1,14) 

I tag Marco, Patrick, Sofia, Ancient Soul, and Christopher. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Stabat Mater Dolorosa

Stabat Mater (At the Cross Her Station Keeping)

From Catholic 

This 13th-century hymn is variously attributed to Gregory I, Bernard of Clairvaux, Pope Innocent III, St. Bonaventura, Jacopone da Todi, Pope John XXII, and Pope Gregory XI, and others; translated from Latin to English by Edward Caswall (1814-1878). It was the liturgical sequence for the Seven Sorrows of the Virgin (Sept. 15 and the Friday before Palm Sunday). It is no longer used on the Friday before Palm Sunday and is optional on September 15, but it continues to be sung at the Stations of the Cross during Lenten services. It was not admitted as a liturgical sequence until 1727, and musical settings are more numerous after that date.
Stabat Mater Dolorosa is considered one of the seven greatest Latin hymns of all time. It is based upon the prophecy of Simeon that a sword was to pierce the heart of Our Lord's mother, Mary (Lk2:35).

At the cross her station keeping,
Stood the mournful Mother weeping,
Close to Jesus to the last.
Through her heart, His sorrow sharing,
All His bitter anguish bearing,
Now at length the sword had pass'd.
Oh, how sad and sore distress'd
Was that Mother highly blest
Of the sole-begotten One!
Christ above in torment hangs;
She beneath beholds the pangs
Of her dying glorious Son.
Is there one who would not weep,
Whelm'd in miseries so deep
Christ's dear Mother to behold?
Can the human heart refrain
From partaking in her pain,
In that Mother's pain untold?
Bruis'd, derided, curs'd, defil'd,
She beheld her tender child
All with bloody scourges rent.
For the sins of His own nation,
Saw Him hang in desolation,
Till His spirit forth He sent.
O thou Mother! fount of love!
Touch my spirit from above;
Make my heart with thine accord.
Make me feel as thou hast felt;
Make my soul to glow and melt
With the love of Christ our Lord.
Holy Mother! pierce me through;
In my heart each wound renew
Of my Saviour crucified.
Let me share with thee His pain,
Who for all my sins was slain,
Who for me in torments died.
Let me mingle tears with thee,
Mourning Him who mourn'd for me,
All the days that I may live.
By the cross with thee to stay,
There with thee to weep and pray,
Is all I ask of thee to give.
Virgin of all virgins best,
Listen to my fond request
Let me share thy grief divine.
Let me, to my latest breath,
In my body bear the death
Of that dying Son of thine.
Wounded with His every wound,
Steep my soul till it hath swoon'd
In His very blood away.
Be to me, O Virgin, nigh,
Lest in flames I burn and die,
In His awful Judgment day.
Christ, when Thou shalt call me hence,
Be Thy Mother my defence,
Be Thy cross my victory.
While my body here decays,
May my soul Thy goodness praise,
Safe in Paradise with Thee.
Stabat Mater dolorosa
Juxta Crucem lacrimosa,
Dum pendebat Filius.
Cujus animam gementem,
Contristatam et dolentem,
Pertransivit gladius.
O quam tristis et afflicta
Fuit illa benedicta
Mater Unigeniti!
Quem maerebat, et dolebat,
Pia Mater, dum videbat
Nati paenas inclyti.
Quis est homo, qui non fleret,
Matrem Christi si videret
In tanto supplicio?
Quis non posset contristari,
Christi Matrem contemplari
Dolentem cum Filio?
Pro peccatis suae gentis
Vidit Jesum in tormentis,
Et flagellis subditum.
Vidit suum dulcem natum
Moriendo desolatum,
Dum emisit spiritum.
Eia Mater, fons amoris,
Me sentire vim doloris
Fac, ut tecum lugeam.
Fac, ut ardeat cor meum
In amando Christum Deum,
Ut sibi complaceam.
Sancta Mater, istud agas,
Crucifixi fige plagas
Cordi meo valide.
Tui nati vulnerati,
Tam dignati pro me pati,
Paenas rnecum divide.
Fac me tecum pie flere,
Crucifixo condolere,
Donec ego vixero.
Juxta Crucem tecum stare,
Et me tibi sociare
In planctu desidero.
Virgo virginum praeclara,
Mihi jam non sis amara:
Fac me tecum plangere.
Fac, ut portem Christi mortem
Passionis fac consortum,
Et plagas recolere.
Fac me plagis vulnerari
Fac me cruce inebriari,
Et cruore Filii.
Flammis ne urar succensus
Per te, Virgo, sim defensus
In die judicii.
Christe, cum sit hinc exire,
Da per Matrem me venire,
Ad palmam victoriae.
Quando corpus morietur,
Fac, ut animae donetur
Paradisi gloria.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Dr. Miravalle Speaks on Our Lady of All Nations: Calling Christians To Unite

Brother of Assassinated Pakistani Minister Continues Brother's Legacy of Religious Freedom

Preacher Calls For Selfless Love

From the National Catholic Register

In a Lenten meditation Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa explained that Christian charity should be characterized by “a love that is both sincere and active; a love from the heart and a love, so to speak, of the hands.” 

Father Cantalamessa warned that those who perform charitable acts without a heartfelt desire to help others may be merely hiding less virtuous motivations, such as “selfishness, the use of others for their own purposes, or simply a guilty conscience.”
He cited St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans, in which he calls on Christians to act with charity without hypocrisy. The call for “a love that is true, authentic and not fake” was the cornerstone of St. Paul’s message, Father Cantalamessa said. Below is the passage he was referring to. 

1 Corinthians 13: 1-5, 13 
If I speak with the tongues of men, and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And if I should have prophecy and should know all mysteries, and all knowledge, and if I should have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.  And if I should distribute all my goods to feed the poor, and if I should deliver my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.  Charity is patient, is kind: charity envieth not, dealeth not perversely; is not puffed up; Is not ambitious, seeketh not her own, is not provoked to anger, thinketh no evil;
And now there remain faith, hope, and charity, these three: but the greatest of these is charity.

This is one of my favorite passages on charity: 

But this I say, He which sows sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which sows bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposes in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loves a cheerful giver. – 2 Corinthians 9:6-7

 Father Cantalamessa went on to say

“Hypocritical love,” the papal preacher said, “is that which does good works without feeling, that shows off to the outside something that is not actually felt in the heart.”
With this in mind, however, it would be a “fatal error” to “hide within one’s inner charity, using it as a sort of alibi to avoid charitable actions,” he said.
With charity that comes from the inside but is also expressed on the outside, he said, “we love others with the same love God has for us.”
Father Cantalamessa said another way to promote a real spirit of love of one’s neighbor includes avoiding gossip, “which seems like something innocent, and, instead, it is one of the things that most makes living together difficult.”
Referring to Jesus’ exhortation to “Judge not, and you shall not be judged,” Father Cantalamessa warned against making negative judgments about others.
While acknowledging that it is nearly impossible to go through life without taking a measure of people and events, the quick jump to harsh judgment is contrary to the message of Christ and of St. Paul, he said.
“It is not that we need to rid our hearts of judgment,” he said. Christians should rather not succumb to “the poison, hostility and condemnation of our judgments,” he said.
Men and women are not the only ones in need of the selfless love for one another, Father Cantalamessa said. The Church, too, “has urgent need of a wave of charity that will heal its fractures,” he said, without mentioning any specific problems.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

A Baseball Player's Tattoo and His Faith

Ever since I was a kid I have been a big fan of baseball so I thought that I would pass on this article which combines both faith and baseball.  This article focuses on Andres Galarraga's tattoo on his arm of the Blessed Virgin Mary and his devotion to his faith.

From Brian Caulfield at Headline Bistro:

Like many professional sports stars, he has a tattoo on his arm. But the image Andres Galarraga has imprinted on his left bicep is of the Blessed Mother. The baseball slugger credits God with healing him from lymphoma more than 10 years ago, and he is not shy about sharing his Catholic faith with fellow ballplayers.
I spoke with him last month during a trip to the Florida spring training camps that was arranged by Catholic Athletes for Christ, which schedules Mass to be offered in stadium clubhouses, making it easier for players to practice their Catholic faith amid hectic game and travel schedules.
In our meeting, Galarraga talked about his devotion to the Mass, his love of Mary and his battle with cancer that almost ended his career. He is one of a number of players and coaches who are practicing Catholics and who offer hope to parents looking for sports figures for their children to emulate. They prove that it is possible to excel at the highest levels of sport and still maintain a strong faith. CONTINUED 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

What Catholic Health Care Truly Means

Dr. Patrick Lee, a professor at FUS, has written a great article on the importance of Catholic health care.  Jesus performed a number of miracles such as in John 5:1 when he healed an infirmed man at Bethesda and in Luke 8: 43-48 Jesus healed the woman who was hemorrhaging.  Catholic health care follows in Jesus' example, caring for both the patient's soul and body.  Our Catholic hospitals must continue to follow the Way of Jesus today along with refusing to give in to the temptation of evil in which societal "norms" call for today.

From Legatus:

While there are no Catholic restaurants or Catholic grocery stores, there are specifically Catholic hospitals, clinics, hospices and nursing homes. Why? Catholic health stems from how Jesus conducted his public ministry. He not only preached and forgave sins, but he cured, restoring sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, and speech to the mute.
Jesus cured lepers, the lame, and even raised the dead. Moreover, Jesus commanded his disciples to “heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers” (Mt 10:8) and promised them divine assistance in this work (Jn 14:12). So, in serving the sick and caring for the dying, Christians are fulfilling an apostolate, not just a job. The Church is the Body of Christ, the extension of Christ in space and time; and so healing physical sickness, injuries, and caring for the dying constitute part of the Church’s specific mission. Continued  

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Fr. Barron on Our Lady of Lourdes

From the Fallible Blogma:

Below is the latest exclusive preview from Fr. Barron’s CATHOLICISM project coming out this Fall (2011). This clip is from episode #4 and tells the story of one such Marian apparition that occurred in Lourdes, France in 1858. Enjoy!

Monday, April 4, 2011

My Divine Providence Story

Almost two weeks ago I entered a writing contest at where I was to tell of some profound experience in my life where divine providence played a role in my life. It is such awesomeness that I won third in the writing contest. Hope you enjoy my true story.

When writing a personal story about Divine Providence, one shoud make sure not to omit the information that would answer certain simple, straightforward questions in the mind of the reader, such as the following: What did God do for you? Why did you need that? How bad off were you before God intervened? What would have happened if He had not stepped in? What good came of what God did?

For me, the answers to those questions are ultimately as simple as the questions themselves. God saved my life and my soul, literally. When our Lord acted to save me, I was at the lowest point in my life and seriously considering suicide. If God had not stepped in, I would have lost both my life and my salvation.

As I said above, at the lowest point in my life a ticket came into my hands by what some would call chance but what I know was divine providence. The ticket was to attend a Catholic Conference celebrating the Millennium. It was well after the cut off date so I couldn’t have gotten it on my own efforts. I know in my heart that God was calling me to that conference.

I am a cradle Catholic. Having been raised in the faith I had knowledge of it, but that knowledge was superficial, just memorized facts. I believed what I was told because that was how I was raised but I had no understanding of the fullness of the Catholic faith in my heart. In my late teens I started attending a Catholic university which was faithful to the Magisterium. It was at this place that I began to experience and know the fullness of the Catholic faith.

Due to health issues I had to live off campus and attend the university part-time. Over the next couple of years I began to feel lonely. I wasn’t able to see my friends nearly as much as I was previously able to, and I felt detached from my friends who were living on campus. I ended up renting a room from a lady professor, which led to my becoming acquainted with her handyman. My main focus at this time was my studies but I have to admit it was a nice feeling knowing a man was paying attention to me. After conversing with this guy for a couple of months he asked me out to lunch. We went out and I enjoyed myself. Then one afternoon He asked me to hang out with him and some of his friends at night. At the time I didn’t see any harm in going out with him.

I went out that night and let’s just say that events didn’t go as planned. Unfortunately, some of the options I was given to choose from that night were not good ones. I was so scared and I didn’t know how to get out of the situation I was in. Because of my being scared I made some bad choices in trying to avert something worse from happening to me. By the end of the night, the handyman I went out with sexually assaulted me. At the first available time I told the professor that her handyman had sexually assaulted me. Well, one would think one would respond with understanding but what came out of the professor’s mouth next shocked me. She said “I thought he didn’t have the greatest outside life but I didn’t warn you because I didn’t want to be your mother.” After having heard her response I was both shocked and upset.

At the college I started seeing a counselor to help me deal with the fact that I was sexually assaulted. At the beginning she seemed like a good counselor. I had a very frustrating experience with the police department being less than helpful to say the least. Unfortumately, I didn’t know my perpetrators last name. In addition, the police refused to ask the professor for his last name. As the semester continued tensions mounted. A couple months later this professor forced me to leave her residence. This happened right before my last exam was to take place. This caused me great stress but thankfully I found a couple of friends who were willing to put me up for a couple of nights.

During the next semester I continued with counseling. I finally heard from the police in mid-march. I picked out my assaulter’s picture out of a photo lineup. Fast forward a bit…. During the summer I the police informed me that the guy who assaulted me moved to the state where I attended college. This wasn’t good news. I was scared. After I returned to college I continued with counseling.

The previous year I had filed a complaint against the professor for her awful treatment of me after she found out that I had been sexually assaulted and for being unwilling to give up my perpetrator’s last name. During the previous year my counselor asked me to write a feelings letter and to write a journal of my feelings over a short period of time, so I did. When a person is violated, having that person write a feelings letter or journal is a therapeutic tool to help that person vent their feelings about the incident.

During the summer our previous president had retired from his post. At the beginning of the fall semester our new president was introduced to the students. I felt the need for justice to be done, to get this criminal off the streets before any other girl or woman was hurt. It had been almost a year since my sexual assault had occurred but I had hit some road blocks along the way, with regards to both the police and the university. One day I happened to see the new President, a priest, walking around campus and I asked whether I could talk with him. He said Yes. I informed him about both my situation and the complaint I had made against the professor. I asked him to look into this and he agreed to check it out. I made it clear to him that I didn’t want my complaint to be swept under the rug. Over the following week a series of events unfolded that was unexpected to say the least. Before I knew it the staff at the university had falsely accused me of the unthinkable, and had decided to suspend me for something I didn’t do. They used my feelings letter against me and accused me of threatening this professor. I didn’t do this. I never thought of doing anything of the sort. All I ever really wanted was for this man who assaulted me to be taken to court in order to prevent him from harming anyone else. I didn’t want any other woman to have to experience the horror that I experienced. In addition, I thought that the university should at least talk to the professor since she had treated me so badly.

I had formed a number of friendships at this university. This university helped me to experience the fullness of my faith. I loved and enjoyed attending this college. Its beliefs were in line with my beliefs. After I was suspended I felt like my heart was ripped right out of me. I began to ask, why did this happen to me? How could God let this happen to me? How could this university which I loved and adored treat me so horribly? I became severely depressed. I thought this college would handle my problem the correct way but they didn’t. The staff at the college stabbed me in the back, scapegoated me. It was the year 2000, and our diocese was getting ready to celebrate the mellennium with a huge conference located about a half hour drive away. But, unfortunately there weren’t any tickets left. I knew in my heart of hearts that I was meant to attend this conference. I was friends with my parish youth minister at the time so I talked with her about getting a ticket to the conference. She said that she would keep her eyes open for a ticket. Then a couple days later she gave me a call, and told me that her father became ill so I could have his ticket. This was divine providence. Now I was able to go to the conference. The millenium celebration conference took place a week after I was suspended. But, during that week I became very depressed. I was in so much pain that I thought life wasn’t worth living. I was seriously contemplating committing suicide.

I attended the Sunrise 2000 Conference. I was able to see some friends of mine from the diocese who I hadn’t seen in a long while. Seeing them was good. I really enjoyed the praise and worship in the different workshops. There was also some people from my parish who gave me support and cared so much for me during this conference it was so touching. While at the conference I felt this very strange awesome, soothing feeling come upon me. The presence of the Holy Spirit calmed me, soothed me and gave me this feeling that I was loved. God showed that he loved me. I do believe that it was divine providence that I was given a ticket when there was none left, and that it was divine providence that I attended the conference. I knew I was exactly where God wanted me.

Crossposted at both AlwaysCatholic and Teresamerica 

Dion's Spiritual Journey; Enjoy Some Music by Dion Too

One of my very esteemed Facebook friends who is a professor at Franciscan University posted on Dion's spiritual journey so I thought I would pass it along to you. Here is Dion's inspirational faith journey.

I was about as cold as I’d ever been. The Midwest was in the midst of a bitter winter in February, 1959. The wind was punishing, trees were freezing up and snapping, and the little yellow school bus I was riding in with Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper had been breaking down. After our "Winter Dance Party Tour" appearance in Duluth, Minnesota, our bus broke down again. Buddy had had enough. He talked the club manager into chartering a plane to fly the headliners to our next show in Fargo, North Dakota, and tried to recruit us to get on board. The more people on the plane, he told us, the lower the cost per person. The Big Bopper agreed, as did Ritchie, who had a bad case of the flu. When Buddy came to me, I thought about the $36.00 price. My parents paid $36.00 a month for rent back in the Bronx. I just couldn’t bring myself to spend the same amount on a 45 minute plane ride, so I told him no.
The next day, I stood in the lobby of the hotel in Moorhead, Minnesota. There was a television on the wall, announcing that the plane carrying Buddy, Ritchie and the Big Bopper had gone down in the storm. There were no survivors.
From that moment on, I knew God had a plan for me.
I was born and raised in Bronx, New York City. Mount Carmel Catholic Church, which was the hub of our neighborhood, is where I was baptized and confirmed. Though my parents have many wonderful qualities, I came from a highly dysfunctional family that wasn’t too interested in religion and found the Church unnecessary.
Frances, my mom, has never had a day in her life when she isn’t worrying about something, looking out for someone or taking charge somewhere. She was born to bear responsibility, and the heavier it got, the more long-suffering she got. In most important ways, she held the family together, sewing hats and making ends meet at home.  CONTINUED 

Here is some music by Dion. 

Friday, April 1, 2011

"A Reason To Live and a Reason To Die"

This is a powerful example of God's grace and a man's witness to Christ under harsh, cruel, and unimaginable conditions.  Jesus is truly with us in both good times and bad times. 

From CBN:

Crossposted at Teresamerica