New Books by Sr. LaDonna M. Pinkelman OSF – Franciscan Flowers and Franciscan Flowers ll

Franciscan_Flowers_Cover_for_Kindle Franciscan_Flowers_I_Cover_for_Kindle(2)

Kindle editions:

Franciscan Flowers

Franciscan Flowers ll

Christmas would be a lovely time to present a gift of poetry, prayer and praise.:

Prayers, prose and poetry of Sr. LaDonna M. Pinkelman OSF, gleaned over a period of many years of journaling. Franciscan Flowers ll continues where she left off in her previous work, Franciscan Flowers, to offer her gifts of prayer, poetry and prose, in the hope of inspiring love, and trust for the Lord, and further act upon her desire to participate in the new evangelization called for at the beginning of the Third Millennium by Pope John Paul ll, and echoed by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and Pope Francis. Being even the smallest part of this brings her great joy.

20 Ways Media Completely Misread Congress’ Weak-Sauce Benghazi Report

Satan at His Most Subtle: A Reflection on the Temptations and Traps of the Pious « Archdiocese of Washington

H/T Patrick Madrid

“What is temptation? Temptation is the work of Satan to drag you to Hell. And Satan can read you like a book and play you like piano. Do not exaggerate his power, but do not underestimate it either.

Some of his subtlest work is done in the area of religious observance. There, he can cloak himself quite easily in the lamb’s clothing of piety, but, wolf that he really is, distort it, either through excess or defect, thereby destroying you with what is good. Beware what some spiritual writers call the “traps of the pious.” Consider some examples:

He can discourage you with prayer by saying, “If only you would pray a little longer, God will give you what you seek.” But the deception is that if we can pray a little longer, then we can never have prayed enough. Thus though we pray, we only feel guilty and inadequate. And since we can never have prayed “enough,” prayer increasingly turns into a burdensome task; God becomes a cruel taskmaster demanding longer and more precise prayers. Or prayer becomes a superstitious endeavor whose outcome we somehow control by the length and type of our prayers. Jesus counsels us that the Father knows what we need and that we should not think that merely multiple words and pious actions are necessary. We may need to persevere in prayer over time, but God is not a cruel tyrant demanding endless incantations.

Satan can take the beautiful practice of praying the rosary, or attending daily Mass, or other devotions and slowly incite in us a feeling of smug superiority, elitism, or pride. Gradually, others are thought to be less devout, even in error, because they do not do or observe what is optional or encouraged but not required. What is beautiful and holy is thus employed to incite ever-growing pride and cynicism. A most extreme form of this comes from those who take the beautiful and powerful devotion to our Lady of Fatima and allow Satan to set them against even the Pope and all the world’s bishops by claiming that they failed, either ineptly or willfully, to properly consecrate Russia. And thus one of our most beautiful and informative apparitions can engender in some people distrust of the Church and disunity from her, from multiple popes, and even from Sister Lucia herself. It is an astonishingly crafty work of the evil one to take what is good and religious and corrupt it in the minds of some.

Satan can also take what IS required and turn it into a kind of religious minimalism, a way of keeping God at a distance. And thus he tempts some souls with the notion that Sunday Mass, a little something in the collection plate, and a few rushed prayers are the end of religion rather than the beginning of it. Such observances become a way of “checking off the God-box” and being done with God for the week, rather than a foundation on which to build a beautiful and ever-deepening relationship of love with God. Such minimal practices become a form of “God-control” for those tempted in this way; it is as if to say, “I’ve done what I am supposed to do, now God and the Church have to leave me alone. God also needs to take care me now since I’ve done what I’m required to do.” And thus the Church’s beautiful laws and the requirements describing the basic duties or foundation for a deepening relationship with God, become a kind of “separation agreement,” insisting on very strict visiting hours and specifying who gets what.

Satan can take religious zeal and corrupt it into harsh and uncharitable zealotry. He can take a love for the beauty of the Liturgy, ancient or new, and turn it into a persnickety insistence on exactly the right ingredients, at the expense of charity and at the cost of ridicule, false superiority, and disunity. And thus, charity thrust aside, we say, “Just make sure you celebrate the liturgy the way I like it. Anyone who doesn’t like what I like is antiquarian, a knave, or an uncouth troglodyte and must obviously hate the Church that I love so beautifully …”

via Satan at His Most Subtle: A Reflection on the Temptations and Traps of the Pious « Archdiocese of Washington.

#Ferguson Grand jury reaches decision in case of Ferguson officer – The Washington Post

PRAYER IN TIME OF DISTRESS

A grand jury has reached a decision on whether to indict Darren Wilson, the white Ferguson, Mo., police officer whose fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager sparked days of turbulent protests, sources close to the process said.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) and the county prosecutor’s office are expected to hold news conferences later Monday, and prosecutors have notified the family of Michael Brown — the teen who Wilson killed — that the grand jury’s decision will be announced Monday night, family attorney Benjamin Crump said.

Crump and other sources gave no indication of whether Wilson, 28, will face state charges in the August shooting death of Brown, 18, which triggered a frank conversation about race and police interaction with African Americans.

A grand jury has reached a decision on whether to indict Darren Wilson, the white Ferguson, Mo., police officer whose fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager sparked days of turbulent protests, sources close to the process said.Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) and the county prosecutor’s office are expected to hold news conferences later Monday, and prosecutors have notified the family of Michael Brown — the teen who Wilson killed — that the grand jury’s decision will be announced Monday night, family attorney Benjamin Crump said.Crump and other sources gave no indication of whether Wilson, 28, will face state charges in the August shooting death of Brown, 18, which triggered a frank conversation about race and police interaction with African Americans.

[Timeline of events after the death of Michael Brown.]

The grand jury’s decision is the latest turn in a case marked in the national consciousness by the stunning images of clashes between protesters and police wearing riot gear and deploying tear gas in the days after Brown’s death. Details of the grand jury’s deliberations have leaked out in recent weeks, angering the Brown family and protesters who saw it as a signal that no charges would be filed.

As Ferguson, Mo., prepares for a grand jury to announce whether Officer Darren Wilson will be charged in the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, here is a look back at the events leading up to that decision. (Gillian Brockell and Sarah Parnass/The Washington Post)

Although a parallel federal civil rights investigation of the shooting is continuing, federal investigators have all but concluded that they do not have a case against Wilson, law enforcement officials have said. Federal investigators are also conducting a broader probe” of the Ferguson Police Department.

via Grand jury reaches decision in case of Ferguson officer – The Washington Post.

PRAYER IN TIME OF DISTRESS

Fr. Kapaun–Light in the Darkness of War & Prision Camp

“When the story of human history comes to a close, death and violence don’t get the final word. The love of God does. That love, burning bright in the heart of Fr. Emil Kapaun in the darkness of a POW camp in the Korean war, made him a hero.”  _Christopher Stefanick

Fr. Kapaun pray for us!

How Do You Spell Scapegoat? H-A-G-E-L | The Weekly Standard

I don’t think Chuck Hagel had much of a chance of getting it right as secretary of defense. He was under orders from a man (Obama) who wanted “weak leadership and little independence.”

How Do You Spell Scapegoat? H-A-G-E-L | The Weekly Standard.

So Chuck Hagel has been fired as defense secretary. We were critical of his appointment, and opposed his confirmation by the Senate. But let’s be clear: Hagel has done what he was asked and what was expected of him at the Pentagon. To the degree he has deviated from the Obama White House line, he’s been more right than wrong (e.g., on the threat the Islamic State poses).

So why has he been fired? Because the Obama White House needs a scapegoat. President George W, Bush fired Don Rumsfeld in connection with a change in strategy (the surge) and to bring in someone of independent stature. That’s not the case today. President Obama continues to want a Pentagon with weak leadership and little independence. There’s therefore no reason to expect the next two years of Obama foreign and defense policy to be any better than the past two.

 

%d bloggers like this: