AMENDING OUR LIVES

The Imitation of Christ
Thomas à Kempis

From Book I – Twenty-Fifth Chapter

ZEAL IN AMENDING OUR LIVES

“One day when a certain man who wavered often and anxiously between hope and fear was struck with sadness, he knelt in humble prayer before the altar of a church. While meditating on these things, he said: “Oh if I but knew whether I should persevere to the end!” Instantly he heard within the divine answer: “If you knew this, what would you do? Do now what you would do then and you will be quite secure.” Immediately consoled and comforted, he resigned himself to the divine will and the anxious uncertainty ceased. His curiosity no longer sought to know what the future held for him, and he tried instead to find the perfect, the acceptable will of God in the beginning and end of every good work.

“Trust thou in the Lord and do good,” says the Prophet; “dwell in the land and thou shalt feed on its riches.” ”

……………When a man reaches a point where he seeks no solace from any creature, then he begins to relish God perfectly. Then also he will be content no matter what may happen to him. He will neither rejoice over great things nor grieve over small ones, but will place himself entirely and confidently in the hands of God, Who for him is all in all, to Whom nothing ever perishes or dies, for Whom all things live, and Whom they serve as He desires.

Always remember your end and do not forget that lost time never returns. Without care and diligence you will never acquire virtue. When you begin to grow lukewarm, you are falling into the beginning of evil; but if you give yourself to fervor, you will find peace and will experience less hardship because of God’s grace and the love of virtue.

Cyber Liberary – Imitation of Christ

Judge Speaks on Murphy Case – Shame on NY Times

Thank you Anchoress: Murphy Case – NY Times Never Talked to Judge

Thank You Fr. THOMAS BRUNDAGE, JL

Setting the record straight in the case of abusive Milwaukee priest Father Lawrence Murphy

Then-presiding judge for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee gives first-person account of church trial

By Fr. THOMAS BRUNDAGE, JLC

For CatholicAnchor.org

To provide context to this article, I was the Judicial Vicar for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee from 1995-2003. During those years, I presided over four canonical criminal cases, one of which involved Father Lawrence Murphy. Two of the four men died during the process. God alone will judge these men.

To put some parameters on the following remarks, I am writing this article with the express knowledge and consent of Archbishop Roger Schwietz, OMI, the Archbishop of Anchorage, where I currently serve. Archbishop Schwietz is also the publisher of the Catholic Anchor newspaper.

I will limit my comments, because of judicial oaths I have taken as a canon lawyer and as an ecclesiastical judge. However, since my name and comments in the matter of the Father Murphy case have been liberally and often inaccurately quoted in the New York Times and in more than 100 other newspapers and on-line periodicals, I feel a freedom to tell part of the story of Father Murphy’s trial from ground zero. Continue reading

Notre Dame- “Intellectual Vanity”- Archbishop Chaput

Archbishop Chaput on Notre Dame – “Notre Dame’s leadership has done a real disservice to the Church.”


“I have found that even among those who did not go to Notre Dame, even among those who do not share the Catholic faith, there is a special expectation, a special hope, for what Notre Dame can accomplish in the world.”
~ Reverend John Jenkins, C.S.C., May 17, 2009

Most graduation speeches are a mix of piety and optimism designed to ease students smoothly into real life. The best have humor. Some genuinely inspire. But only a rare few manage to be pious, optimistic, evasive, sad and damaging all at the same time. Father John Jenkins, C.S.C., Notre Dame’s president, is a man of substantial intellect and ability. This makes his introductory comments to President Obama’s Notre Dame commencement speech on May 17 all the more embarrassing.

Let’s remember that the debate over President Obama’s appearance at Notre Dame was never about whether he is a good or bad man. The president is clearly a sincere and able man. By his own words, religion has had a major influence in his life. We owe him the respect Scripture calls us to show all public officials. We have a duty to pray for his wisdom and for the success of his service to the common good — insofar as it is guided by right moral reasoning.

We also have the duty to oppose him when he’s wrong on foundational issues like abortion, embryonic stem cell research and similar matters. And we also have the duty to avoid prostituting our Catholic identity by appeals to phony dialogue that mask an abdication of our moral witness. Notre Dame did not merely invite the president to speak at its commencement. It also conferred an unnecessary and unearned honorary law degree on a man committed to upholding one of the worst Supreme Court decisions in our nation’s history: Roe v. Wade.

In doing so, Notre Dame ignored the U.S. bishops’ guidance in their 2004 statement, Catholics in Political Life. It ignored the concerns of Ambassador Mary Ann Glendon, Notre Dame’s 2009 Laetare Medal honoree – who, unlike the president, certainly did deserve her award, but finally declined it in frustration with the university’s action. It ignored appeals from the university’s local bishop, the president of the U.S. Catholic bishops’ conference, more than 70 other bishops, many thousands of Notre Dame alumni and hundreds of thousands of other American Catholics. Even here in Colorado, I’ve heard from too many to count.

There was no excuse – none, except intellectual vanity – for the university to persist in its course. And Father Jenkins compounded a bad original decision with evasive and disingenuous explanations to subsequently justify it.

These are hard words, but they’re deserved precisely because of Father Jenkins’ own remarks on May 17: Until now, American Catholics have indeed had “a special expectation, a special hope for what Notre Dame can accomplish in the world.” For many faithful Catholics – and not just a “small but vocal group” described with such inexcusable disdain and ignorance in journals like Time magazine — that changed Sunday.

The May 17 events do have some fitting irony, though. Almost exactly 25 years ago, Notre Dame provided the forum for Gov. Mario Cuomo to outline the “Catholic” case for “pro-choice” public service. At the time, Cuomo’s speech was hailed in the media as a masterpiece of American Catholic legal and moral reasoning. In retrospect, it’s clearly adroit. It’s also, just as clearly, an illogical and intellectually shabby exercise in the manufacture of excuses. Father Jenkins’ explanations, and President Obama’s honorary degree, are a fitting national bookend to a quarter century of softening Catholic witness in Catholic higher education. Together, they’ve given the next generation of Catholic leadership all the excuses they need to baptize their personal conveniences and ignore what it really demands to be “Catholic” in the public square.

Chicago’s Cardinal Francis George has suggested that Notre Dame “didn’t understand” what it means to be Catholic before these events began. He’s correct, and Notre Dame is hardly alone in its institutional confusion. That’s the heart of the matter. Notre Dame’s leadership has done a real disservice to the Church, and now seeks to ride out the criticism by treating it as an expression of fringe anger. But the damage remains, and Notre Dame’s critics are right. The most vital thing faithful Catholics can do now is to insist – by their words, actions and financial support – that institutions claiming to be “Catholic” actually live the faith with courage and consistency. If that happens, Notre Dame’s failure may yet do some unintended good.

Read Catholic Online for Deacon Keith Fournier’s  take on Archbishop Chaput: ‘Notre Dame, the Issues that Remain’

Link – Around – Pelosi

Ashes, ashes…the truth will out Pelosi!

The Torture Debate-Continued – Charles Krauthammer

“So what happened? The reason Pelosi raised no objection to waterboarding at the time, the reason the American people (who by 2004 knew what was going on) strongly reelected the man who ordered these interrogations, is not because she and the rest of the American people suffered a years-long moral psychosis from which they have just now awoken. It is because at that time they were aware of the existing conditions — our blindness to al-Qaeda’s plans, the urgency of the threat, the magnitude of the suffering that might be caused by a second 9/11, the likelihood that the interrogation would extract intelligence that President Obama’s own director of national intelligence now tells us was indeed “high-value information” — and concluded that on balance it was a reasonable response to a terrible threat.

And they were right.”

The Wall St Journal Time-line-intelligence trail:

What Pelosi said she knew

  • August 2002: Justice Department authorizes waterboarding and other ‘enhanced interrogation’ techniques (EITs). The CIA uses the technique.
  • September 2002: Nancy Pelosi, ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee, is briefed on the techniques.
  • February 2003: A Pelosi aide attends a briefing with the new ranking member on the committee, Jane Harman. Pelosi later says that she learns after this meeting that the techniques have already been used, and that she ‘concurred’ with Harman’s letter to the CIA protesting the decision to use them.
  • December 2007: A news report quotes two officials who say Pelosi was briefed on waterboarding and raised no objections. Pelosi issues a statement confirming she was briefed on one occasion in the fall of 2002 ‘on interrogation techniques the administration was considering using in the future.’
  • April 23, 2009: After the Obama administration releases four memos approving the use of waterboarding, Pelosi says that in September 2002, ‘We were not …told that waterboarding or any of these other enhanced interrogation techniques were used.’
  • May 5, 2009: Intelligence officials send lawmakers a list of 40 congressional briefings on EITs, saying lawmakers ‘will have to determine whether this information is an accurate summary of what actually happened.’ The list says Pelosi was told that some EITs had been employed, but doesn’t specify waterboarding.
  • May 8, 2009: Pelosi repeats that she was briefed on techniques that would be used in the future
  • May 14, 2009: Pelosi says she wasn’t told in September 2002 that waterboarding was being used, and says ‘the CIA was misleading Congress.’

In case you missed it and hadn’t already guessed: “Pelosi: Utterly Contemptible” – here’s Charles Krauthammer, impeccable on the subject, if reason still matters?

Nancy Pelosi Explains What She Knew About Waterboarding

In her own words, you decide!

HotAir on Ed’s Post and More : Pelosi goes nuclear on CIA over torture as Cheney’s memo request is denied:

Meanwhile, as this soap opera’s playing out, Dick Cheney’s request to declassify the two CIA memos which he claims prove that torture works has been denied. Surprise. Exit quotation: “President Obama has the legal authority to declassify the documents ‘with the wave of his hand,’ according to one expert.”

Update: I want to highlight this bit from Ed’s post because it really is the million-dollar question:

And if the CIA really had lied to her in the briefings, why didn’t Pelosi start out with that explanation? In fact, why didn’t she mention that in 2005 when both the EITs and the briefings were made public? Coming four years later, this explanation lacks any kind of credibility.

The killer quote from today’s presser is “they mislead us all the time,” a reference to the CIA’s bad intel on Iraq’s WMD. If there really is a pattern of deception going on, why would she wait until there’s a Democrat in the White House to complain when she could have pinned the whole thing on Bush by screaming about it earlier?

New Majority: Former CIA Sources Respond to Pelosi: Congress Knew Everything