Today

Reading 1 EST C:12, 14-16, 23-25

Queen Esther, seized with mortal anguish,
had recourse to the LORD.
She lay prostrate upon the ground, together with her handmaids,
from morning until evening, and said:
“God of Abraham, God of Isaac, and God of Jacob, blessed are you.
Help me, who am alone and have no help but you,
for I am taking my life in my hand.
As a child I used to hear from the books of my forefathers
that you, O LORD, always free those who are pleasing to you.
Now help me, who am alone and have no one but you,
O LORD, my God.

“And now, come to help me, an orphan.
Put in my mouth persuasive words in the presence of the lion
and turn his heart to hatred for our enemy,
so that he and those who are in league with him may perish.
Save us from the hand of our enemies;
turn our mourning into gladness
and our sorrows into wholeness.”

Responsorial Psalm PS 138:1-2AB, 2CDE-3, 7C-8

R. (3a) Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.
I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with all my heart,
for you have heard the words of my mouth;
in the presence of the angels I will sing your praise;
I will worship at your holy temple
and give thanks to your name.
R. Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.
Because of your kindness and your truth;
for you have made great above all things
your name and your promise.
When I called, you answered me;
you built up strength within me.
R. Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.
Your right hand saves me.
The LORD will complete what he has done for me;
your kindness, O LORD, endures forever;
forsake not the work of your hands.
R. Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.

Verse Before The Gospel PS 51:12A, 14A

A clean heart create for me, God;
give me back the joy of your salvation.

Gospel MT 7:7-12

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Ask and it will be given to you;
seek and you will find;
knock and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds;
and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
Which one of you would hand his son a stone
when he asked for a loaf of bread,
or a snake when he asked for a fish?
If you then, who are wicked,
know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will your heavenly Father give good things
to those who ask him.

“Do to others whatever you would have them do to you.
This is the law and the prophets.”

Via USCCB

 

Telling the Truth About Islam – Crisis Magazine

Regis Martin is Professor of Theology and Faculty Associate with the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at the Franciscan University of Steubenville. He earned a licentiate and a doctorate in sacred theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome. Martin is the author of a number of books, including Still Point: Loss, Longing, and Our Search for God (2012) and, most recently, The Beggar’s Banquet (Emmaus Road). He resides in Steubenville, Ohio, with his wife and ten children.

“Why has it become so maddeningly difficult to make judgments about other people? About the actions especially of people who want to kill us? Indeed, whose stated aim is to bring the Great Satan (i.e., America) to its knees, and then to cut off its collective head? Is it too much of a stretch to …

Koran, Nidal Hasan, Pope John Paull II, Radical Islam, Regensburg Lecture, USCCBSource: Telling the Truth About Islam – Crisis Magazine

Koran, Nidal Hasan, Pope John Paull II, Radical Islam, Regensburg Lecture, USCCB

Graphic Witness – “What I witnessed during my abortion still hits me like a sledgehammer”

How the Nine Days of Prayers Comforted Me While I Fought Demons……

January 19, 2013 By 

… With the upcoming March For Life, the topic of abortion seems to be every where at the moment. Because of this it’s been on my mind daily. Perhaps these daily reminders is what triggered the event that happened this morning.

My first waking thought hit me like a sledge hammer and I was instantly transported back ten years. I was standing alone in a sterile room wearing a hospital gown. In my hand was the sheet that I had pulled back off the portable suction machine that sat in the corner. Memories I thought I had drown bubbled up despite mentally wrestling with myself for years to un-see them.

What I am about to write next is horrifically graphic. I’d been debating with myself all day whether or not I should share this memory or just stuff it back down in the murky recesses of my addled brain but then I was reminded of something Elizabeth Scalia wrote.

And somehow, I can’t imagine that any of our elite female voices — the ones who, in every election year, can be counted on to take up the fake “war on women” mantras and tape PSA’s about “keeping abortion legal” because it “empowers women” — have any sense of the realities of these under-inspected, under-reported hell-holes, where the only ones being empowered are the profiteers.

And a hell hole it was. There is no way to advocate what I am about to describe. None. There is no reason, no exception, no situation in which what I saw could possibly be rationalized away as a “reproductive right” or an acceptable choice.

**** If you’re post-abortive what you are about to read might be too graphic and upsetting.****

I encourage you only to proceed with great caution. Please know I don’t write this to cause you any pain. I write this post so that people who advocate abortion can read what it is exactly they are advocating.

The vacuum.  Read the rest here

Today marks the beginning of the 9 Days of Prayer, Penance and Pilgrimage sponsored by USCCB.

USCCB Responds To Inaccurate Statement Of Fact On HHS Mandate Made During Vice Presidential Debate

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued the following statement, October 12. Full text follows:

Last night, the following statement was made during the Vice Presidential debate regarding the decision of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to force virtually all employers to include sterilization and contraception, including drugs that may cause abortion, in the health insurance coverage they provide their employees:

"With regard to the assault on the Catholic Church, let me make it absolutely clear. No religious institution—Catholic or otherwise, including Catholic social services, Georgetown hospital, Mercy hospital, any hospital—none has to either refer contraception, none has to pay for contraception, none has to be a vehicle to get contraception in any insurance policy they provide. That is a fact. That is a fact."

This is not a fact. The HHS mandate contains a narrow, four-part exemption for certain "religious employers." That exemption was made final in February and does not extend to "Catholic social services, Georgetown hospital, Mercy hospital, any hospital," or any other religious charity that offers its services to all, regardless of the faith of those served. Read More

Fortnight For Freedom

A call to prayer for our great nation by our bishops has gone forth.  Now it is for the people to pray.

H/T  USCCB

 

The fourteen days from June 21—the vigil of the Feasts of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More—to July 4, Independence Day, are dedicated to this “fortnight for freedom”—a great hymn of prayer for our country. Our liturgical calendar celebrates a series of great martyrs who remained faithful in the face of persecution by political power—St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More, St. John the Baptist, SS. Peter and Paul, and the First Martyrs of the Church of Rome.  Culminating on Independence Day, this special period of prayer, study, catechesis, and public action will emphasize both our Christian and American heritage of liberty. Dioceses and parishes around the country have scheduled special events that support a great national campaign of teaching and witness for religious liberty.

O Happy Day! Dropping a Bombshell on Notre Dame

Thank You, Jesus!  I could kiss her, Mary Ann Glendon that is!  This morning she dropped some hot coals on the head of Notre Dame’s President, Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.

(Mary Ann Glendon is Learned Hand Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. A member of the editorial and advisory board of First Things, she served as the U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican from 2007 to 2009.)

Rod Dreher, Crunchy Con and First Things , and Father Raymond J. de Souza report and Happy Catholic says “Putting her money where her mouth is”:

First, as a longtime consultant to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, I could not help but be dismayed by the news that Notre Dame also planned to award the president an honorary degree. This, as you must know, was in disregard of the U.S. bishops’ express request of 2004 that Catholic institutions “should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles” and that such persons “should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.” That request, which in no way seeks to control or interfere with an institution’s freedom to invite and engage in serious debate with whomever it wishes, seems to me so reasonable that I am at a loss to understand why a Catholic university should disrespect it.

Then I learned that “talking points” issued by Notre Dame in response to widespread criticism of its decision included two statements implying that my acceptance speech would somehow balance the event:

• “President Obama won’t be doing all the talking. Mary Ann Glendon, the former U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, will be speaking as the recipient of the Laetare Medal.”

• “We think having the president come to Notre Dame, see our graduates, meet our leaders, and hear a talk from Mary Ann Glendon is a good thing for the president and for the causes we care about.”

A commencement, however, is supposed to be a joyous day for the graduates and their families. It is not the right place, nor is a brief acceptance speech the right vehicle, for engagement with the very serious problems raised by Notre Dame’s decision–in disregard of the settled position of the U.S. bishops–to honor a prominent and uncompromising opponent of the Church’s position on issues involving fundamental principles of justice.

Finally, with recent news reports that other Catholic schools are similarly choosing to disregard the bishops’ guidelines, I am concerned that Notre Dame’s example could have an unfortunate ripple effect.

It is with great sadness, therefore, that I have concluded that I cannot accept the Laetare Medal or participate in the May 17 graduation ceremony.

In order to avoid the inevitable speculation about the reasons for my decision, I will release this letter to the press, but I do not plan to make any further comment on the matter at this time.

Ed Morrissey notes Notre Dame has lost their “token pro-lifer”. He also has a nice photo of the lady after my own heart.