Catholic Carnival #205

Up at Just Another Day of Catholic Pondering.
Sarah has woven it all together around the theme of a Christmas Rosary-Glorious,of course!

Supporting Missionaries

Catholic Company has a project underway that supports the missionariy efforts of the M.O.P.:

"Thank you for the books and the Bibles... We have begun teaching the Catechism to our brothers, who in turn will teach our poor. I will also send copies to our communities in Africa, the Philippines, India and Haiti. I am glad that so many of the faithful are helping and supporting our need to evangelize the poor." "This project is a true blessing. We really pray that The Catholic Company will continue to evangelize the world!" - Father Richard Ho Lung, founder of the Missionaries of the Poor

Teachers and Preachers - "The Fathers"

Reading Pope Benedict's book "The Fathers" was (almost) like being there for his series of talks in person. (Of course, with the book I can re-read them at will!)

There was a lot to think about in this volume of studies on the early church leaders. A consistent theme of courage and forthrightness in the face of dissension and heresy, seems to be just as relevant to today's Catholics. Its encouraging to know that the Church has always been able to ultimately overcome these obstacles to love and conversion.

The Holy Father highlights the main struggles of the earliest Fathers, and their writings (future reading?). He threads their work together with a teacher's voice, and shows us the consistency and solid foundation of Christ's Body that we sometimes are not so aware of.

I highly recommend this well written and illuminating book to any Christian interested in understanding 'where we come from'. Its a good introduction to deeper study of the Church as Christ began it.

This review was written as part of the Catholic book Reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on The Fathers.

Coming Soon To A Gov't Repressing You

Brussels Journal:
Communism seems on the verge of conquering Germany. Individual former Marxist-Leninists already occupy high positions in the Federal Republic of Germany. Now it looks increasingly likely that the Left Party, the successor of the East German Communist Party, might be in government in the foreseeable future.

Dieter Althaus, 50, is the Christian-Democrat prime minister of the German state of Thuringia. Before 1990, when Thuringia was part of Communist East Germany, Herr Althaus was a teacher at a Thuringian high school. Last October the German media published a letter which Herr Althaus sent to the Communist leadership on 9 November 1989, ironically the very day when the Berlin Wall fell, in the evenings. In the letter he advocated that in preparation of their “youth consecration”, a secular coming of age ceremony for 14-year olds in Communist East Germany, the children should be indoctrinated more strictly with Marxist-Leninist ideology. His ardent Marxist-Leninist fervor did not prevent Herr Althaus from becoming the Christian-Democrat leader of his state....(much more)

Anybody wondering why homeschooling is illegal? Read 'Animal Farm' lately? Have any knowledge of recent German history? WAKE UP PEOPLE! (I know, everybody has to suffer first - its human nature to be stupid, and THEN cry.)

..and I'm not just talking to the Europeans. The machinations supporting 'global government' are coming from the same place. The 'post democracy' place, where personal freedom is trumped by 'papa gov't', and its spreading like cholera. (They all drink the same water...)


Noah's Ark (Nearly) Lifesize Replica

Filed under interesting....!

Replica of Noah's Ark built by a Dutch contractor.
It was built approximately to scale, however is 1/2 the length and 1/3 the width of the Biblical dimensions. It was built to show the world how massive the Ark was and how so many animals could have been housed for a long time.

8 Christmas Columns

From eight great writers at LifeSiteNews!

Also, a run-down of the pro-life events surrounding next months 'March For Life' in Washington.

"What Would You Do?"

Lorne Gunter:
Suppose you lived in the Toronto suburb of Don Mills and people from the suburb of Scarborough -- about 10 kilometres away -- were firing as many as 100 rockets a day into your yard, your kids' school, the strip mall down the street and your dentist's office...

(h/t Great Pumpkin)

The Enemy Is Among Us

And financed by gov't 'minority' grants ....

Washington Times

KUHNER - "Papal Denunciation?"

...Yet the real issue is not the pope's supposed homophobia. It is his critics' blatant Christophobia - their rabid hatred and fanatical intolerance of basic Christian teachings. The pope is not opening some new offensive against homosexuality; he is simply restating basic Catholic doctrine based on scripture and the church's vast, accumulated intellectual heritage.

Pope Benedict opposes gay marriage not due to some burning homophobia, but for the same reason the church has for centuries: marriage and the traditional family are the bedrock institutions of any viable, functioning society. Same-sex marriage represents a fundamental assault on the very pillars of social order. The Catholic Church, as the defender and driving force of Western civilization, has a moral and religious duty to protect the sacred nature of the family....

...The debate about same-sex marriage has nothing to do with “gay rights.” Homosexuals are free to do anything they like in the privacy of their bedrooms. The relentless push for gay marriage is not about tolerance, but the legitimization of homosexual behavior - to place it beyond the boundaries of moral disapproval and social ostracism. To accomplish this, the liberal elite seek to marginalize the great traditional religions, especially Christendom's most powerful defender, the Catholic Church.

Pope Benedict understands this, which is why he continues to courageously speak out in defense of human dignity and the sanctity of the family. He is neither politically on the right or the left. He has opposed the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, championed the rights of the unborn and the poor, criticized the inequalities of “jungle capitalism,” and railed against Islamist terror and the degradation of the environment. Above all, however, he has carried the banner of peace and civilized, rational dialogue. He repeatedly - and unequivocally - has said the Christian injunction is to love the sinner but hate the sin.

Now the pope's enemies deliberately twist his words to demonize him. There is not a hateful bone in his body. To caricature him as a homophobe, never mind as calling for a jihad against gays and lesbians, is not only dishonest but pathetic. They cannot defeat him intellectually or morally and so must resort to ad hominem attacks...

An excellent article. Reading the comments was also illuminating. Its good to know who's out there working hard against freedom - it isn't the Pope!

"40 Weeks vs A Lifetime"

David Dominguez makes a good point about what's in the balance, when discussing the 'rubrik of human value' - woman vs child.

I know, I know. I'm a man, not a woman. I don't understand what pregnancy is like, and I never will. I'm not claiming I do, nor minimizing the drama and trauma a woman endures in a normal pregnancy and delivery, let alone a childbirth complicated by medical issues. Pregnancy and delivery involve a lot more than watching 40 weeks pass. Of course, an abortion involves a lot more than a mere removal of tissue, to be sure, although few abortion advocates want to talk about this.

The fact is, a pregnant woman faces mental and physical trauma either way, whether she delivers her baby or has an abortion.

Another fact is that a pregnant woman who does not wish to raise her baby has no obligation to do so, and never has. With countless couples longing to adopt a child, even an unhealthy one, it's amazing to me that any woman sees no option but to abort an unwanted baby.

Isn't it funny how different people are when they have to account for their actions face to face, rather than being able to do what they want without explanation? I have found that the "toughest" person, by this world's standards, often becomes nervous, vague, and shifty when faced with an eyeball to eyeball reckoning for his actions. The tough talk in front of his peers disappears in an instant before even the most unassuming and non-threatening questioner.

How different would the abortion debate be if someone choosing an abortion had to explain the choice to the baby, or more intimidating still, to the adult that baby would eventually grow into? Or, even, to the preschooler that baby would be in just a few years?

How would you explain to someone that, for the sake of 40 weeks out of my adult life, you can't have any life at all? (And, no, the fact that I freely received my own mother's 40 weeks makes no difference...)

Who would make such a claim to someone who could respond?

Who would accept the short end of such a trade-off, in any area of life?

For that matter, how many abortion advocates would accept the short end of that stick? I daresay they would run for relief to the same court that gave them Roe v. Wade.

40 weeks vs. a lifetime.

I just don't get it.

I don't get it either. Sacrifice, no matter how definitively limited, is not taught as a 'good' in today's society. It is taught as something to be avoided at all costs...including the cost of a life altering and traumatic 'procedure' such as an abortion. There's a lack of reason involved.

Is this the same 'lack' that denies the existence of God?


Culture Wars

To put it mildly!


Both Iran and its Hamas proxy in Gaza have been busy this Christmas week showing Christendom just what they think of it. But no one seemed to have noticed. On Tuesday Hamas legislators marked the Christmas season by passing a Sharia criminal code for the Palestinian Authority. Among other things, the code legalizes crucifixion.
Hamas's endorsement of nailing enemies of Islam to crosses came at the same time as it renewed its jihad. Here too, Hamas wanted to make sure that Christians didn't neglected as its fighters launched missiles at Jewish day care centers and schools. So on Wednesday Hamas lobbed a mortar at Erez crossing point into Israel just as a group of Gazan Christians were standing on line waiting to travel to Bethlehem for Christmas.

While Hamas joyously renewed its jihad against Jews and Christians, its overlords in Iran also basked in jihadist triumphalism. The source of Iran's sense of ascendancy this week was Britain's state-owned Channel 4 network's decision to request that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad give a special Christmas Day address to the British people. Ahmadinejad's speech was supposed to be a response to Queen Elizabeth II's traditional Christmas Day address to her subjects. That is, Channel 4 presented his message as a reasonable counterpoint to the Christmas greetings of the head of the Church of England.

Channel 4 justified its move by proclaiming that it was providing a public service. As a Channel 4 spokesman told the Jerusalem Post, "We're offering [Ahmadinejad] the chance to speak for himself, which people in the West don't often get the chance to see.....

But they didn't think the Sharia legalization of CRUCIFIXION was noteworty? No comments on how this is going to play out in Lebanon, for example? WHAT THE HELL!!!

Carnival of Recipes

Just in time for New Year's!

Cranberry Punch
Black-Eyed Peas
Velveeta Cheese Dip
Chicken and Corn Casserole
Feasting Dieting Can Go Together
Barbecued Spicy Turkey Burgers
Crockpot Corny Ham & Potato Scallop
Pumpkin Fudge
New York Times Recipes
Fresh Tomato Soup Recipe

.....and many, many more! Happy Cooking!!

Man of the Year ...Isn't

David Warren:
For my last Sunday column of anno MMVIII, I will announce my selection for “Man of the Year.” It was, as most, a year of thin choices in the public and political realm. Once again, Al Gore did not make my list of finalists.

I didn’t like any of the newly-elected presidents, either: not Asif Ali Zardari, “Mr. Ten Percent” of Pakistan; nor Dmitry Medvedev, the Russian place-holder; nor Ma Ying-jeou, the smooth compromiser of independent Taiwan; nor Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana (if he has indeed won); nor even Morgan Tsvangirai of Zimbabwe (who won the election, but did not become president); or Barack Obama of the United States (who won but is not yet installed).

I have invested no hope in any of them, and thus must hope to be surprised.

Among Time magazine’s rival list of candidates, I was immediately able to eliminate Steve Jobs, Bruce Springsteen, George Clooney, Rem Koolhaas, “Brad and Angelina,” Oprah Winfrey, and even Laura Bush’s library-science nominee, the Afghan novelist Khaled Hosseini—along with several dozen others among the world’s current, media-recognized, “leaders and revolutionaries, heroes and pioneers, scientists and thinkers, artists and entertainers, builders and titans,” to say nothing of their chefs. (I noticed that nobody nominated Bernie Madoff.)

I also consulted the “100 most beautiful people” of People magazine...

Read the rest....I'm not divulging!

Remember The Children...

(h/t pro-life NZ)

Holy Innocents

(Rankin Sisters- Cape Breton, Nova Scotia)

Lully, Lullay, thou little tiny child.
Bye, bye, lully, lullay.
Lullay thou little tiny child
Bye, bye, lully, lullay

O sisters, too, how may we do,
For to preserve this day;
This poor Youngling for whom we sing
Bye, bye lully, lullay

Herod the King, in his raging,
Charged he hath this day;
His men of might, in his own sight,
All young children to slay.

Then woe is me, poor child, for thee,
And ever mourn and say;
For thy parting neither say nor sing,
Bye, bye lully, lullay.

This beautiful English lullaby carol originated in the Coventry Corpus Christi Mystery Plays performed in the 15th century. In a play called The Pageant of the Shearmen and Tailors, the women of Bethlehem sing this song just before Herod's soldiers come to slaughter their children. It tells the story of the murder of the Holy Innocents, and is sung on December 28, the feast of those tiny martyrs.


"The Twelve Ways Of Christmas"

Christmas is a yearly reality check. The lessons of Christmas are so counterintuitive that even after we have celebrated Christmas in society for centuries, and in our homes our whole lives, when each Christmas comes it’s like we are learning its lessons for the first time.

Here are 12 Christmas virtues our culture tends to forget. Call them the 12 ways of Christmas.

1. God loves a good story. Far from being opposed or alien to human nature, God shares our love of a good story. He could have become a man any way he wanted. He chose to be born in a stable, to a couple far from their home, surrounded by animals, shepherds and Magi, pursued by a wicked king.

2. God loses battles but wins wars. In his day, Herod was Christmas’s formidable enemy. He lied to the Magi and ordered a massacre of innocents, becoming an angel of death in Bethlehem as he killed all newborn boys to try to eliminate Jesus. In our day Christmas is still under attack, though in America the attacks aren’t violent, thank God. Christmas will win in the end, because God wins even through apparent defeats.......

National Catholic Register reviews the 12 Ways on their blog.

"A Visit From The Christ Child"

Twas the morning of Christmas, when all through the house
All the family was frantic, including my spouse;
For each one of them had one thing only in mind,
To examine the presents St. Nick left behind.

The boxes and wrapping and ribbons and toys
Were strewn on the floor, and the volume of noise
Increased as our children began a big fight
Over who got the video games, who got the bike.

I looked at my watch and I said, slightly nervous,
"Let's get ready for church, so we won't miss the service."
The children protested, "We don't want to pray:
We've just got our presents, and we want to play!"

It dawned on me then that we had gone astray,
In confusing the purpose of this special day;
Our presents were many and very high-priced
But something was missing -- that something was Christ!
I said, "Put the gifts down and let's gather together,
And I'll tell you a tale of the greatest gift ever.

"A savior was promised when Adam first sinned,
And the hopes of the world upon Jesus were pinned.
Abraham begat Isaac, who Jacob begat,
And through David the line went to Joseph, whereat
This carpenter married a maiden with child,
Who yet was a virgin, in no way defiled.

"Saying 'Hail, full of Grace,' an archangel appeared
To Mary the Blessed, among women revered:
The Lord willed she would bear -- through the Spirit -- a son.
Said Mary to Gabriel, 'God's will be done.'

"Now Caesar commanded a tax would be paid,
And all would go home while the census was made;
Thus Joseph and Mary did leave Galilee
For the city of David to pay this new fee.

"Mary's time had arrived, but the inn had no room,
So she laid in a manger the fruit of her womb;
And both Joseph and Mary admired as He napped
The Light of the World in his swaddling clothes wrapped.

"Three wise men from the East had come looking for news
Of the birth of the Savior, the King of the Jews;
They carried great gifts as they followed a star --
Gold, frankincense, myrrh, which they'd brought from afar.

"As the shepherds watched over their flocks on that night,
The glory of God shone upon them quite bright,
And an angel explained the intent of the birth,
Saying, 'Glory to God and His peace to the earth.'

"For this was the Messiah whom prophets foretold,
A good shepherd to bring his sheep back to the fold;
He was God become man, He would die on the cross,
He would rise from the dead to restore Adam's loss.

"Santa Claus, Christmas presents, a brightly lit pine,
Candy canes and spiked eggnog are all very fine;
Let's have fun celebrating, but leave not a doubt
That Christ is what Christmas is really about!"

The children right then put an end to the noise,
They dressed quickly for church, put away all their toys;
For they knew Jesus loved them and said they were glad
That He'd died for their sins, and to save their dear Dad.

©1986 F.R. Duplantier


Christmas Prayer For the Troops and Their Families

Free Republic

Lord God, there is no other God but You. You alone are Savior. You alone are Redeemer. When we trust in You, when we fear You alone, there You are, by our sides, protecting, providing in Your ever-perfect Way….especially when we do not understand.

Lord God, You came on that first Christmas as the Prince of Peace – not the Prince of peace as the world defines it but the peace which You bring to tortured souls, the peace which surpasses understanding and the peace between Jew and Gentile that anyone, yes, anyone who proclaims belief in You as Savior and bows to You as Lord may enter into the supreme goodness of eternity with You.

Lord God, You are God, therefore Your ways are not our own. Yours are higher, better. They must be or You are not God. Lord God, the world wants peace, but the peace it seeks is not to be found so long as we are on this earth. When Adam and Eve chose to obey their own wills instead of Yours, they set themselves under the dominion of the evil one, who is greater than we and less, less, less than You!!! This adversary roams the world, looking to destroy, looking to conquer.

Lord God, so long as we are on earth, though we do not want war, times will come and come again where we must stand and fight. Lord God, every generation has paid this high price for freedom in some way and now it is our turn. Lord God, bless each and every military member and family who so valiantly serve this nation and the world, drawing the line and saying no more to those who would exact terror on the rest of us and force us to submit to their way of life or be killed.

Lord God, draw each and every troop and their families closer to You this Christmas. Give them greater understanding of who You are and the mission they serve – for our battle is not against flesh and blood but against the principalities and powers in the heavenly places. Lord God, show Yourself to them, help them understand how You protect, how You provide and how they can trust in You.

Lord God, be with the families. Send Your angels not only to those on the battlefields, but every family at home this Christmas who has someone they love deployed and especially be with our Gold Star families.. Stand by them and be their comfort this Christmas as they journey through the loneliness of grief. Lord God only You can reach deep inside where the hurt is and slowly, slowly bring the healing. Give each of them a purpose from You which helps them keep going, though often it is the hardest thing they have ever had to do.

And Lord God, be with each of our wounded warriors. Heal them spiritually, emotionally, as well as physically. Give their doctors great wisdom and give them comrades beside them so they m ay encourage one another. Bless also each of our veterans and let them feel Your love around them this Christmas.

Lord God, provide now the way for victory in this war. The adversary may be more clever than we are, but You are Sovereign and You are Supreme. Therefore we bow to You and ask You to give our Generals, Admirals and Leaders Your strategy to make progress to victory. Lord God, we can’t do this without You. By Your Holy Spirit speak to them. Guide and direct them and bring them all home safely. We are so grateful for their service. In Jesus’ precious and mighty name, Amen


Joyeux Noel ! Our King Is Born!

The Nativity Icon Explained

Christmas Spirit (Canada)

(xxxx to be Canadian):
Liberal mainstream media front page of the day award (no I won’t create a graphic for that) goes to National Post, for breaking all the rules in the Liberal Media Handbook, pissing off most of their “journalists” and staff, and much of their reader base in the process, and going with a religious-friendly theme—CHRISTIAN!—on their entire front page today, in honor of—get this—Christmas. Wow. Amazing. And beautiful.

Honorable mention goes to these others .......:

Re-Branding Conservatives...Canadian Style

David Warren:
Mr. Harper, we have learned, can be a rather nasty operator in close-order political fighting. So what is he doing, appointing all these nice, not to say vapid people, to whom no one can object, except “on principle”? He is stacking the Senate with reliable Tory votes, to be sure—that is his urgent necessity, and he’s still 20 votes short—but what is the message in his particular choice of Christmas presents?

My reader didn’t think he was going to reward people who had shown great courage in public life, did you? Who had made reckless sacrifices for the Tory party; who had taken innumerable hits for the team, and risen consistently above craven personal interest? No: only a bigger man would take that kind of risk.

To my view, Mr. Harper wants nice ineffectual people, who can be bought without knowing they were ever for sale; and whom everybody likes. He wants people who won’t get in his way, while he is manoeuvring; who don’t have ambitions of their own.

I think this is part of the “re-branding” of conservatism, that Mr. Harper is doing up here; what many urbane Republicans now call for, down south of the border. The idea is to take the “meanness” out of conservatism itself, to strip off the Christian or pro-life or “social-conservative” edge. The focus groups want “nice,” we have heard. Down south, Bush Elder tried to deliver this with “kinder and gentler,” his son with the word “compassionate.” But electoral success may now demand more concessions!

The conservative view is founded in personal (as opposed to collective) responsibility; in actual independence and freedom, against a background of fixed moral principles (not relativism). That is the steel in it: why it works. Take away this steel, and replace it with fluff and padding, and presto, you have a much more saleable, “people-friendly” product. Add a few entitlements the competition hasn’t thought of yet, and you are back on the road.

The product becomes interchangeable with every other off the shelf, to the clients of the Nanny State, but at least it is in the supermarket. It is useless in emergencies (as Bush Junior quickly found), but hey, it gets you through the happy times.

As ever, I argue we should move backwards: return to the old brand. Go out and sell personal responsibility; sell the manly virtues. This is rapidly becoming a survival issue, not a “positioning” thing. And part of the sales pitch is, don’t flinch—just as you wouldn’t flinch in saying, “Merry Christmas!”


"I Saw Three Ships"

Aled Jones with the Royal College Of Music Chamber Choir

Merry Christmas

There have been 97,928 babies aborted in Canada so far this year.

(Our abortion counter was formulated using annual Stats Canada figures.)

Apparently it is now the official national Canadian position to celebrate abortion; and we are now duty-bound in this country to officially celebrate abortionists.

Please think and behave correctly.

(xxxx to Be Canadian)


Good News

49 Legionairies of Christ ordained to the priesthood Dec. 20.


"Stille Nacht"

The original version of the world famous "Silent Night" by Franz Xaver Gruber as sung by the Innsbrucker Capellknaben

The Inside Scoop

A view of the European Leaders as they truly are - tyrannical.

Well, if it was said behind closed doors it doesn't count, right? And shouldn't those newcomers regard the EU flag as superior to their own? Shouldn't they?

Hang in there Ireland.

See also:
Czechs Stand Up

EU Rhymes With Screw You

(h/t SDA)

A Quiet Mission

For much of the past seven years, President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney have waged a clandestine operation inside the White House. It has involved thousands of military personnel, private presidential letters and meetings that were kept off their public calendars or sometimes left the news media in the dark.

Their mission: to comfort the families of soldiers who died fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and to lift the spirits of those wounded in the service of their country...

I can't help it. I like that man.(Bush)


"Hopey Changemas"

...Steynism of the day!

Mark Steyn :
....General Motors now has a market valuation about a third of Bed, Bath & Beyond, and no one says your Swash 700 Elongated Biscuit Toilet Seat Bidet is too big to fail. GM has a market capitalization of about $2.4 billion. For purposes of comparison, Toyota's market cap is $100 billion and change (the change being bigger than the whole of GM). General Motors, like the other two geezers of the Old Three, is a vast retirement home with a small money-losing auto subsidiary. The UAW is AARP in an Edsel: It has three times as many retirees and widows as "workers" (I use the term loosely). GM has 96,000 employees but provides health benefits to a million people.

How do you make that math add up? Not by selling cars: Honda and Nissan make a pretax operating profit per vehicle of around $1,600; Ford, Chrysler and GM make a loss of $500 to $1,500. That's to say, they lose money on every vehicle they sell. Like Henry Ford said, you can get it in any color as long as it's red....

(h/t rightgirl)

"Grown-Up Christmas List"

(via FB 'Priests For Life')

Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life

One of the Christmas songs you'll hear on the radio during these days is called "Grown-up Christmas List." It speaks of the fact that age does not stop us from dreaming, and that as life goes on, our wishes at Christmas are not for ourselves, "but for a world in need." The list begins, "No more lives torn apart, that wars would never start…that right would always win."

Do we dare to hope for these things, just because the calendar says December 25 is approaching?

Indeed, the question for a Christian is, "How we can dare not to hope for these things?" Christmas lists, after all, spring from Christmas hope, and Christmas hope is based on an historical fact: God has already given us everything in His Son. St. Paul asks, "He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?" (Rom. 8:32).

We look for good things in life, and good things are all around us. Yet the best of good things does not satisfy us completely. The best relationships leave something to be desired, and the best vacations always end and leave us looking forward to the next one. This is because every good thing is just a reflection of goodness itself.

In the birth of Christ, we find that total, infinite goodness. "For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form" (Col. 2:9). "The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being" (Heb. 1:3). In the birth of Jesus Christ, almighty God has given to the human family His last, best offer of hope.

The wonder of Christmas, in fact, is that the promised coming of the Messiah of the Lord was fulfilled in a surprising way that surpassed the hopes and dreams of the people of old. On the first Christmas night, angels announced Christ's birth to the shepherds. But instead of saying that Jesus was the Messiah of the Lord, they said that He is "Messiah and Lord" (Lk. 2:11). God, in other words, did not simply send someone to represent Him. He came Himself!

Christmas is not about the birth of a child who became a great man. It is about a God who created the human family, and then decided to become a member of that family. Christmas is not when Jesus began; it is when Jesus began existing as one of us, and thereby joined all of us to Himself. He joins to His Divinity all who share human nature: the weak and strong, the small and big, the born and unborn. Christmas is universal, and is about the exaltation of the human person.

That's why our "grown-up Christmas list" can say "no more lives torn apart" -- whether by abortion or anything else. Christmas lists spring from Christmas hope, and Christmas is all about the victory of life!

Cdn Physicians For Life

The Fall/Winter edition of 'Vital Signs' (here), features an article on how well the Gov't has served the Canadian public by not bothering to create an abortion policy, and the negative impact this lack of policy has had on the health of women. Also featured is an article by Andrea Mrozec (ProWomanProLife) reporting on the 'Morgentaler Symposium' celebrating this same 20 years of lawlessness (ironically co-hosted by the Univ.Toronto Law Faculty).

Canadian Heroes

.... at Canadian Heroes we aim to memorialize those who have fallen in Afghanistan and to offer respect and sympathy to their families. After all, it is their loved ones who must continue to bear the burden for the rest of their days ... so in a very real way, they sacrifice for this country as well.

We see how willing our soldiers are to go into harm's way ... how dependable they are, how courageous. We marvel at their dedication not only to their peers and country, but to the mission they've been sent to perform....

"Why Canada Needs An Abortion Policy"

In this timely essay, Joseph C. Ben-Ami shows how out of step Canada is with the international community on the subject of abortion and explains how, moral and ethical issues aside, the lack of a coherent policy in Canada is seriously undermining practical efforts to control a re-emerging eugenics industry and end discriminatory practices such as gender-selection abortion.


Byzantine Hymn of the Nativity

A voice from the unheard voices of the Christians of the Middle East who have been witnessing to faith in the Saviour since His incarnation in their midst.

"Stop The Abortion Bailout!"

Susan B. Anthony :
Abortion groups have submitted their 50 page proposal to the Obama-Biden transition team. At the top of the list? More taxpayer dollars for abortion organizations like Planned Parenthood. How much more? Over 1.5 billion dollars more!

The Abortion Bailout Package:

$1 BILLION dollars in taxpayer funding for International Abortion Groups
$700 million in taxpayer funding for “Title X” Health Clinics (aka your local Planned Parenthood affiliate)
$65 million for the UNFPA, an international aid organization connected to coercive abortion as part of China’s coercive one-child policy
Repeal the Hyde Amendment – Vastly expanding federal taxpayer funding for abortions
Include Abortion coverage in any taxpayer-subsidized national health care program
Expand taxpayer-funded abortions on military bases
Expand taxpayer-funded abortions through the Peace Corps program
Expand taxpayer-funded abortions for federal prisoners

Send a letter to your Senators today demanding that they keep your tax dollars out of the pockets of abortion providers.

(easy action )


Thanks Again Mr. Charest

Well, Quebeckers like to keep things interesting, non?

A new religion course taught in schools across Quebec was intended to improve inter-cultural understanding, but so far it is generating deep division as hundreds of parents pull their children out of class....

....Stéphanie Tremblay, a spokeswoman for Quebec's Education Department, said school boards across the province have received and rejected more than 1,400 requests from public-school parents seeking to have their children exempted from taking the course. The dissenters represent a small minority of the one million children enrolled in public schools.....

"The course was designed with an eye to respecting the freedom of conscience and religion of all students," she said. "It is not a religious instruction course. It is religious culture. We introduce young people to religious culture like we introduce them to musical culture. The goal is to better know and understand others."....


The new course is also mandatory in private schools, and Montreal's Loyola High School has initiated its own court challenge. Parents of more than 600 of the Jesuit school's students asked to have their children exempted from the course, and all were refused by the province.

Paul Donovan, the school's principal, said much of the curriculum is already taught at Loyola, but not in the "relativistic" way favoured by the Education Department.

He said the course does not ask children to distinguish between right and wrong. "What it essentially says is that religion is just, ‘You like tomato soup and I like pea soup, so don't be all offended because someone likes tomato soup. It's really just a matter of preference,' " he said. "Religion could be Wiccan or Raelian or any of the new movements or atheism or agnosticism."

So far Loyola has refused to teach the Ethics and Religious Culture class. "I can't tell my teachers to teach that course in conscience. I can't," Mr. Donovan said.

I don't think Ms. Stephanie really understands the concepts of 'parental perogative' and 'freedom of religion' - or for that matter, 'culture'!

How many more self immolating 'reforms' will Quebec endure under the rule of Monsieur Charest?

(see also)

ProLife Leader Paul Weyrich Leaves Legacy of Good Works

LifeSiteNews:Washington, D.C., December 18, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com):
Paul M. Weyrich, chairman and CEO of the Free Congress Foundation and first president of The Heritage Foundation, died this morning around 1 a.m. He was 66 years old.

Family Research Council (FRC) President Tony Perkins made the following comments in his daily radio commentary Washington Watch Daily:

"My good friend Paul Weyrich is gone. He was just sixty-six years old. Many people will be surprised at that. That's because we've watched Paul for decades as he battled diabetes, as he suffered amputations, but never, never any loss of his fighting spirit. Paul Weyrich has been a fixture in Washington, D.C. for more than thirty years. He fathered the religious conservative movement in American politics. He didn't over-intellectualize about Christians ‘jumping into the fray.’ He recognized early that the fray had jumped onto us. Liberal bureaucrats were coming after us-in our churches, in our schools, and in our families. Wherever a Planned Parenthood worker is breaking parents' hearts by leading their children into sin, we have a grievance against our government. Paul Weyrich was the first to show us how we could effectively petition our government for redress of our grievances. May our Lord keep His servant, Paul. And I pray our Lord will also comfort the loving Weyrich family."

CLC leader Jim Hughes was upset at the news. Speaking of Weyrich, a friend, Hughes said "he was one of the foremost conservative thinkers in the US and it's a tremendous loss to the life and family community."

Wifely Obedience

Quite an interesting article at Red Cardigan
:...Perhaps it's a spending issue--we want to buy something for the home, but our husbands think that the current item is perfectly good and doesn't need replacing. Perhaps it's a division of labor issue--we might believe that some particular task ought to be his responsibility, but he expects us to take care of it. Perhaps it's an educational issue--we want to switch to a different math textbook, but our husbands believe that the program already in use is superior and that we just need to work harder to make it appeal to the child. Or perhaps it has to do with dozens of other things, such as housework, family relationships, leisure time, involvement in parish groups or ministries, involvement in clubs or organizations, even the way we pray as a family; all of those are areas where a wife and husband may disagree, and a wife may eventually be called to obedience....

...How do we know when to obey our husbands, when to humor them out of love, and when to make a stand? Again, we look to the good of the family: if what they are asking is an important thing that is ordered toward the family's good, we ought to do it; if it's a less important thing or if it isn't really ordered toward the good of the family we may need to humor them, depending on the situation. But if what our husbands want is something disordered, or ordered against the good of the family, we must insist that this not be done, and not only owe no obedience, but could even be more in danger of sinning if we give it....
(h/t Creative Minority)

I agree in principle. In practice I sometimes lack the humility to put the good of my husband and my family before my emotional reaction to the situation at hand,(I believe the 'code' for that is LOVE!) but I keep improving. By the time we reach our 50th, I'll be a very good wife!

The Advent Antiphons

...From (Dec.17) until the day before Christmas Eve, at the Magnificat during vespers in the Roman rite, seven antiphons are sung, one per day, all of them beginning with an invocation to Jesus, although he is never called by name.

The antiphons are very old, going back to the time of Pope Gregory the Great, around the year 600. They are in Latin, and are inspired by the texts of the Old Testament proclaiming the Messiah.

At the beginning of each antiphon, in order, Jesus is invoked as Wisdom, Lord, Root, Key, Star, King, Emmanuel. In Latin: Sapientia, Adonai, Radix, Clavis, Oriens, Rex, Emmanuel.

Read starting from the last, the Latin initials of these words form an acrostic: "Ero cras," meaning: "I will be [there] tomorrow." It is the proclamation of the Lord who comes. The last antiphon, which completes the acrostic, is sung on December 23, and the following day, with first vespers, the feast of the Nativity begins...

(h/t First Things)

Christmas Concert Lebanon (Dec./07)

The Lebanese National Higher Conservatory of Music
Choir: the Antonine University Choir, the NDU Choir and the Lebanese National Higher Conservatory Choir
Choir Direction: F. Khalil Rahme
Under the Direction of Dr. Walid Gholmieh
National Lebanese Orchestra

....and from Canada

SoCon posts on the real reasons behind the 'dismissal' of Dr.Larry Reynolds from the Univ. of Manitoba...you guessed it, he didn't 'fit in':

....the University of Manitoba has shown its intolerance and bigotry against a renowned and experienced professor and doctor because he did not tow the politically correct pro-abortion and pro-establishment line regarding family medicine..... the University of Manitoba - or any other government supported institution for that matter - should not be engaging in some kind of veiled political witchhunt against one its distinguished professors for having the audacity to hold contrary opinions to the University’s “Academic Authority”.

The Univ. of Manitoba has been known to FAIL, as in deny a degree, to medical students who refuse to perform or refer abortions. Dr. Larry Reynolds says this about refusing to refer for abortions :
“Some have argued that this means that we are imposing our beliefs on vulnerable women. Of course, this is not the case. We are maintaining our own moral conscience in refusing to become a mere instrument of someone else’s moral decisions. If we do anything less than this, we allow ourselves to become mere objects. That same argument also promotes the idea that women are helpless victims dependent on physicians to rescue them. Women are strong independent moral beings and deserve to be treated as such, as do physicians.”

Winnipeg also was recently the centre of a controversey when the the 'Grace' hospital tried to establish itself as the arbiter of 'human value', bullying a dying man's family in an attempt to speed his demise.

Any guesses where Dr. Reynolds stands on the issue of euthanizing elderly patients?

"Campus Abuse of Personal Freedoms"

(island school)

We’re talking about the right to free-speech and freedom of religion. Basic rights.

Washington Times has an article reminding us how much today’s universities are controlled by the ‘PC’ agenda :

…Young America’s Foundation once again compiled the “best of the worst” academic abuses for 2008. These stories are usually not reported in the “drive-by” media, no doubt to shield school officials from explaining their radical curricula. The Yuba incident tops the list, although it had plenty of competition, as you’ll see.

Transgendered Activists In, Pro-life Speakers Out:

Administrators at the University of St. Thomas, a Catholic institution in Minnesota, inexplicably censored the appearance of prominent pro-life speaker Star Parker.

In April, Ms. Parker, the best-selling author of numerous books, was slated to speak on campus about the devastating impact abortion has on minority communities. Yet St. Thomas bureaucrats, under the helm of the Vice President of Student Affairs Jane Canney, forbade the lecture, claiming they felt “uncomfortable” and “disturbed” by previous conservative speakers at the University.

Speakers that passed Ms. Canney’s litmus test in 2008? Al Franken, the liberal U.S. Senate candidate in Minnesota, and Debra Davis, a transgendered activist who believes that God is a black lesbian….

When helping our young homeschoolers choose a university, we should keep in mind whether the school of choice will maintain the same standards of freedom and integrity we’ve been struggling to personally instill in our children. There still are some private colleges that understand what the ‘liberal’ in ‘liberal education’ means, but not that many!

(see also)

And being named 'in honour' of a saint, apparantly means NOTHING!

"The Angel Gabriel"

(Celtic Christmas)

"And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS." --Luke 1:31


Best New Blog! (Canadian Blog Awards)

Not ME! ProWoman ProLife! (see bios of blog team)

Significant, because at the very least, SOMEONE is reading pro-life blogs.

Follow The Money

Research shows that 'Catholic' politicians are not adverse to accepting campaign monies from abortion advocates.

Deal Hudson:
Lisa Correnti is a San Diego mother of seven children. But like many other Catholic mothers, she has engaged in politics in order to defend the basic values of her faith. For several years she has quietly built her Web site, www.onenationundergod.org, into a goldmine of up-to-date information on the performance of Catholic politicians.

In the midst of compiling information on political donations, Correnti noticed large amounts of money being regularly accepted by Catholic politicians from the pro-abortion lobby. She decided to uncover the total amount of campaign donations given to Catholic members of Congress by organizations such as Planned Parenthood, Emily's List, NOW, and NARAL Pro-Choice America.

In the end, Correnti found that a number of the 162 Catholics currently in Congress have taken money from pro-abortion groups -- to the tune of more than $9 million....

Can anyone spell 'h-y-p-o-c-r-i-t-e-s' ?

If you support abortion YOU ARE NOT CATHOLIC!!!


Catholic Carnival#203

"Waiting In Joyful Hope" is being hosted by Catholic Fire. A great variety of posts this week to help us prepare for the Big Event!

Gloucester Cathedral Choir - 'In A Bleak Mid-Winter'

Christmas On My Mind

Four days of homeschooling left before Christmas. No.5 son turns 12 today. No. 2 son arrives home on Wednesday night. Housework not done. Baking not done. Shopping - hahahaha. (Fortunately DH does most of that!) Thank goodness we live 2 blocks from the Church, because with three altar servers we have a busy schedule all month.

I may have a seasonally addled mind and molasses slow body but I am not panicking. My family has low expectations. I thank God for our Adoration Chapel and my regular hours of quiet time with Jesus. Nothing , not even my extreme unfitness for the tasks He has given me, can rattle me enough to shake my confidence in His love.
I love being Catholic!


Liberal Hopes In A Nutshell

David Warren
has an analysis of Ignatieff's 'depth':

....I do not doubt that Mr. Ignatieff is in earnest, in his pursuit of the office of prime minister. But he was a fluffy “public intellectual”—as opposed to a hard thinker—and if he can achieve success as a politician, his books will look much heavier in retrospect.

Many years ago, as editor of something called the Idler magazine, I commissioned a review of Ignatieff’s career-enhancing book, The Needs of Strangers (1984). Our noteworthy Canadian was making a mark among the “young fogeys” in London, and from its title the book promised to be interesting. We had every reason to cheer him on. But, on closer examination, there was no “there” there. The book was pretending to a depth and insight it could not deliver. It gathered what strength it had only from its topic.

I have had the same impression wherever I have dipped into his later non-fiction books—journalism with some mildly academic conceits, pretending to be deep. Into the novels I never bothered to dip: I find his “sensitive man” style rather false and grating. I was not surprised when he took to television. I was a little surprised when he did not flourish in that medium.

Mild left, and aloof from “ideology”—or rather, from any burning desire to carry observation towards conclusion, or build a consistent “worldview”—I am describing the least harmful sort of modern “liberal.“ Little feints towards conviction, to tease the reader along. Mr. Ignatieff’s one daring public policy stance was to support the invasion of Iraq. He crossed this Rubicon in a boat slightly behind such harder leftists as Christopher Hitchens and Salman Rushdie....

So if you are a political liberal, rather than an ideological liberal, you'll be happy with Ignatieff. He'll have a chance in Canadian politics... apparantly by virtue of his non-commitment to strongly held ideals and beliefs - even liberal ones.

Oh Canada!

Christianity, Islam and Mary

I just read an interesting article about the historical relationship between Islam and Christianity, by Barbara Kralis . She included an article by the late Archbishop Sheen on the Moslem devotion to Mary:
....Today (1950), the hatred of the Moslem countries against the West is becoming hatred against Christianity itself. Although the statesmen have not yet taken it into account, there is still grave danger that the temporal power of Islam may return and, with it, the menace that it may shake off a West which has ceased to be Christian, and affirm itself as a great anti-Christian world Power.

It is our firm belief that the fears some entertain concerning the Moslems are not to be realized, but that Moslemism, instead, will eventually be converted to Christianity — and in a way that even some of our missionaries never suspect.

It is our belief that this will happen not through the direct teaching of Christianity, but through a summoning of the Moslems to a veneration of the Mother of God.....

During a visit to Lebanon as a Christian pilgrim in Feb. 2006, we visited (their)Cana. From the hillside we could see the shepherds and their flocks in the valley, and in the far distance, an unobstructed view of Israel. The site we visited is believed by those living there to have been the site of Jesus' first miracle, and was maintained as a little park with a path to a shrine of Mary - a cave with a statue of Our Lady of Fatima. As I recall , there were also some carvings in rock that were meant to depict the Apostles. While we were there, several cars bearing Moslem pilgrims arrived to pray at the shrine. It was quite remarkable.

I wonder whether Archbishop Sheen's hope that the Moslems may be converted through their veneration of Mary will be fulfilled before or after Christians are reconciled amongst themselves . In rejecting as insignificant Jesus' Mother, whom he offered to us from the cross, some Christians have separated themselves from Christ himself in a particular way that the Moslems have not. Whom shall Christ bring home first - those who implore the help of his beloved Mother, or those who do not?


UN Petition Presented

December 10th, two Members of the European Parliament, Anna Záborská and Carlo Casini held a press conference in the European Parliament to announce that 5.4 million families had sent a petition to the UN, calling for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) to be interpreted as protecting the unborn child and the family.

The Familiokratos coalition, established one year ago on the 10 December 2007, gathers leaders from pro-family and pro-life movements (See: http://familiokratosen.blogspot.com/). It has presented the petition to the Gabon ambassador, to the Holy See, Firmin Mboutsou, as well as to other UN ambassadors in order to be distributed among UN delegates.

The group was formed in order to remind the world of the Universal Declaration and to uphold the Declaration in all international instruments. Currently the 60th anniversary of the Declaration is being celebrated, and Familiokratos said that the recognition of the family should be recognized as the bedrock of the UDHR.

"The family is a cultural anchor universal to all cultures," Said Záborská. "The family is where we learn that the authentic role of the state is to serve its people; and not to reinvent humanity along the lines of some artificial ideology: the first and last sign of the approach of totalitarianism is the collapse of the family. Finally, we promote the family because it is the primary repository of love in our society."

The Falimiliokratos petition in favour of the dignity of life and the human family asserts that the rights presented in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are inherent to every human being. Governmental representatives, politicians, and all other decision-makers must interpret the UDHR so as to reaffirm the right to life to all members of the human family, including the unborn child. The petition also calls on governments to: protect the family "as the fundamental group unit of society," give special assistance to motherhood and childhood and promote the rights of parents. (UDHR articles 3, 16, 25 and 26).

Today,(appropriately on the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe) we have the Vatican's release of their new instruction on bioethics - 'Dignitatis Personae'.

BigBlueWave has some good highlights and commentary.

Avery Cardinal Dulles Dies

Avery Cardinal Dulles died today at the age of ninety. He's the first American Jesuit Cardinal, a prolific and well-respected theologian, and a straight speaking faithful priest.

Fr. James Martin reports on the Jesuit "America" website:
"This is to inform you that Avery Cardinal Dulles died this morning at about 6:30 at Murray-Weigel Hall. Funeral arrangements will be announced shortly. May he rest in peace." [Murray-Weigel Hall is the Jesuit infirmary, located at Fordham University, in Bronx, New York.]

Cardinal Dulles, the first American Jesuit ever to be named a cardinal, was widely considered to be the dean of American Catholic theologians. An archive of articles by, and an interview with Cardinal Dulles, a longtime and beloved contributor to America magazine, for the past 40 years is here.

We mourn the loss of a great man, a learned scholar, a compassionate priest, a model Jesuit, and a dear friend of the editors here.

James Martin, SJ

National Catholic Register will be publishing articles on his life and work.

Online Archive

Articles By Cardinal Dulles in "First Things"

The Westin family will be including Cardinal Dulles in our prayers, and also Fr. Richard John Neuhaus (First Things), who has cancer.
(h/t Jeff Miller)

"Our Lady Of Guadalupe"

Last year our parish, St. Ignatius (Cayman Islands), received from Mexico a life-sized replica of the Tilma. It was blessed in Mexico City and hangs on the wall of our church near the front, where it is visible from almost every pew. After each Mass he attends, my seven-yr. old goes over to the picture (by himself) and 'visits' with Our Lady, thanking her for her wonderful 'Yes!'.

Every time I look at this image, I am reminded that we are not alone in our struggles to 'save the unborn'.

EWTN has some great information on the history of Juan Diego, the Tilma, and the Feast of Our Lady of Gualdalupe - December 12.
...let us call upon MARY with confidence. She is an "incomparable model of how life should be welcomed and cared for... Showing us her Son, she assures us that in Him the forces of death have already been defeated" (John Paul II)


Global Warming Turning Sour

More UN scientists refute the hype of the Global Warming religionists, than originally signed on:US Senate Report informs that over 650 scientists (up from last year's 450) are refuting the questionable science that has been pushed (and eagerly taught in public schools) around the world:

A hint of what the upcoming Senate report contains:

“I am a skeptic…Global warming has become a new religion.” - Nobel Prize Winner for Physics, Ivar Giaever.

“Since I am no longer affiliated with any organization nor receiving any funding, I can speak quite frankly….As a scientist I remain skeptical.” - Atmospheric Scientist Dr. Joanne Simpson, the first woman in the world to receive a PhD in meteorology and formerly of NASA who has authored more than 190 studies and has been called “among the most preeminent scientists of the last 100 years.”

Warming fears are the “worst scientific scandal in the history…When people come to know what the truth is, they will feel deceived by science and scientists.” - UN IPCC Japanese Scientist Dr. Kiminori Itoh, an award-winning PhD environmental physical chemist.

“The IPCC has actually become a closed circuit; it doesn’t listen to others. It doesn’t have open minds… I am really amazed that the Nobel Peace Prize has been given on scientifically incorrect conclusions by people who are not geologists,” - Indian geologist Dr. Arun D. Ahluwalia at Punjab University and a board member of the UN-supported International Year of the Planet.

“The models and forecasts of the UN IPCC "are incorrect because they only are based on mathematical models and presented results at scenarios that do not include, for example, solar activity.” - Victor Manuel Velasco Herrera, a researcher at the Institute of Geophysics of the National Autonomous University of Mexico

“It is a blatant lie put forth in the media that makes it seem there is only a fringe of scientists who don’t buy into anthropogenic global warming.” - U.S Government Atmospheric Scientist Stanley B. Goldenberg of the Hurricane Research Division of NOAA.

“Even doubling or tripling the amount of carbon dioxide will virtually have little impact, as water vapour and water condensed on particles as clouds dominate the worldwide scene and always will.” – . Geoffrey G. Duffy, a professor in the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering of the University of Auckland, NZ.

“After reading [UN IPCC chairman] Pachauri's asinine comment [comparing skeptics to] Flat Earthers, it's hard to remain quiet.” - Climate statistician Dr. William M. Briggs, who specializes in the statistics of forecast evaluation, serves on the American Meteorological Society's Probability and Statistics Committee and is an Associate Editor of Monthly Weather Review.

“For how many years must the planet cool before we begin to understand that the planet is not warming? For how many years must cooling go on?" - Geologist Dr. David Gee the chairman of the science committee of the 2008 International Geological Congress who has authored 130 plus peer reviewed papers, and is currently at Uppsala University in Sweden.

“Gore prompted me to start delving into the science again and I quickly found myself solidly in the skeptic camp…Climate models can at best be useful for explaining climate changes after the fact.” - Meteorologist Hajo Smit of Holland, who reversed his belief in man-made warming to become a skeptic, is a former member of the Dutch UN IPCC committee.
(h/t SDA)

I just want to add that I am constantly being annoyed by 'scientific' articles in our local paper, and gov't 'politically correct' decisions being made, based on this ****. Does Cayman always have to be two steps behind the rest of the world? By the time we catch up to the de-bunking of global warming, how much will we have given away? Responsible custody of our earth - YES! Fanatical caving to every passing popular myth - emphatically NO!

"It's Called Christmas!"

PTBC has its naughty and nice (and marginal) list up with commentary:
....Christmas is in fact a legal federal holiday. It’s not just another day. It’s not just “the season” or another “holiday”. It’s Christmas. I’m sorry for those Canadians who dislike Canada and its heritage and history and traditions so much that they seek to change Canada to be to their liking. Sadly, they’re making a lot of headway. But sorry as I am, I’m going to push back and fight them back. It’s a war they’ve launched. A culture war of sorts. And they attacked first. So let’s deploy the citizens—the sane, rational defenses of the citizenry. “Yes we can!“

Do we want to mock and ridicule them, here? Why yes. Yes we do. Of course we do. They are mock-worthy and ridiculous. And they don’t deserve our business and hard-earned dollars.

Do we want to give a little free advertising to businesses and organizations that openly celebrate CHRISTMAS? Yes.

We call it Christmas proudly and happily and like normal folks do. Let them schlep away in their quagmire of ugly left-wing politics and ideology in their own dark ugly and probably undecorated homes...

Catholic Carnival #202

Hosted this week by newbie James Hahn atReal Life Rosary. Plenty of Advent/Christmas resources and meditations, pro-life gifts for Jesus, and the winner from last week's contest! Wow!


ACTION And Results...

40 Days For Life, Fall 2008, held a teleconference today, and published a summary of their results . Looks to me like they didn't waste their time!

(...middle picture of the cover has my MOM! snuggled between two other vigil keepers in Halifax)

'search blog' (at top) to find '40 Days For Life' posts (59!)

"Only Men Aloud"

I've been getting e-mails about these guys, so here they are singing "Benedictus", by composer Karl Jenkins.

(sounds 'spiritual' to me..)

Their webpage has all the info you'll ever need about them.

There Is Intelligent Life...

Saul Anuzis, contender for GOP chair, tells it like it is:
"First of all, you are never going to legislate the issue of abortion and morality. Basically, what you have to do is establish a social norm and educate the people as to why it’s right or wrong," .....

..."This is not something that is going to happen tomorrow. This is not something that’s going to happen quickly. This is a long-term process. This has been a long-term battle, and I think it will continue to be a battle years down the line," Anuzis explained. "I think you have to educate people year by year, election by election."
(h/t Suzanne)

The main bit of education needed is that an abortion is not a 'procedure', it is the killing of a child. And not just for 'religious' folks.



"Top Ten Fascinating Catholics 2008"

Lisa Hendey of Faith and Family has published her list:

1. Pope Benedict XVI - He moved hearts and captivated our imaginations with his visit to the United States in 2008. His writings, his homilies and his general presence inspire me to try to be a better, more loving and giving Catholic.

2. Sister Helena Burns - Otherwise known as the “Media Nun”, Sister Helena runs a blog called “Hell Burns” (catchy title, huh?) and is one of the most forward thinking media minds I know. This Daughter of St. Paul is constantly on the lookout for new uses of media to evangelize. Next time you’re in Chicago, look her up at the Pauline Book and Media Center on Michigan Avenue. You’ll be inspired!

3. Fr. Frank Pavone - National Director, Priests for Life and Missionaries of the Gospel of Life; President, National Pro-life Religious Council; and Pastoral Director, Rachel’s Vineyard, Fr. Pavone is a tireless advocate for the right to life of every person. I admire Fr. Pavone’s endless conviction and courage....

...and so far I've found Jeff Miller's:

#6 Doug Kmiec. Yeah right.

#7 Archbishop Charles Chaput, OFM. The bishop is a favorite of mine for years and this year was no exception. He spoke out multiple times this year and not just about the election. Whether he is speaking out to defend life, sex abuse, immigration, etc - he has been willing to engage the media instead of complaining about how unfair it is. This year he wrote the book "Render onto Caesar."

#8 Bishop Martino. There were many bishops who spoke out this year and who responded to the silly comments from Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden. But I especially give the tip of the Jester's hat to Bishop Morlino for saying "The USCCB doesn't speak for me." It is certainly the bishop who is the primary teacher in his diocese and his excellency takes this seriously. Too many bishops allow the USCCB provide cover so they don't have to be as strong as they could be, not so in this bishops case....

They've made this into a 'meme', so keep looking...there will be plenty more interesting and informative lists out there !

To Whom, For Freedom?

I agree with Scott Gilbreath. This quote from Albert Einstein is relevant to today. Eerily so.

“Being a lover of freedom, when the revolution came in Germany, I looked to the universities to defend it, knowing that they had always boasted of their devotion to the cause of truth; but, no, the universities immediately were silenced. Then I looked to the great editors of the newspapers whose flaming editorials in days gone by had proclaimed their love of freedom; but they, like the universities, were silenced in a few short weeks. …

“Only the Church stood squarely across the path of Hitler’s campaign for suppressing truth. I never had any special interest in the Church before, but now I feel a great affection and admiration because the Church alone has had the courage and persistence to stand for intellectual truth and moral freedom. I am forced thus to confess that what I once despised I now praise unreservedly."

We've come a ways down the same road, and yet alarms are being ignored by the vast majority. What is it about human nature that allows a civilization to ignore its own decline?

Selfishness. The main thrust of secular humanism.


Relying On God

Author and artist Michael O'Brien addressed a planning and strategy meeting of LifeSiteNews supporters and staff in Toronto:
Using the images of Don Quixote and the Biblical David, O’Brien observed that those who embark on an heroic mission - such as the mission of the pro-life movement - under their own powers only will inevitably end up like Don Quixote at the end of Cervantes’ novel – broken-hearted and disillusioned.

Rather than Don Quixote, said O’Brien, pro-life activists should fight with the spirit of David, a mere boy who was able to defeat the giant Goliath. The author emphasized that the reason for David’s victory was that he put everything in God’s hands, saying of the result of his fight with Goliath, “The battle belongs to the Lord.” This, he said, should be the constant refrain of the pro-life movement.

Rather than fighting the culture of death with mere ingenuity or intelligence, which inevitably fail and leave us disappointed, said the author, pro-life activists should engage in the battle for life in what he termed a “prophetic spirit” that is unafraid to embrace the cross and to serve as a “sign of contradiction” to the world.

This seems to be a recurring theme. Should pro-lifers include religion in their strategy, or not? Shouldn't we be smarter, more tech-savvy, less 'oogedy- boogedy'? Why hasn't the pro-life movement been able to convince the public of the direness of society's degradation and decline, due in large part to a disregard for the value of life? Are 'religious' people scaring away those who would be otherwise open to Life arguments?

ProWomanProLife keeps returning to this discussion . In a recent thread it was debated whether there was a category of secular (social) conservatives, or whether the so-cons were basically all religious folks. At the same time as PWPL is establishing themselves as a reasonable pro-life voice in the blogosphere and beyond, they have a diversity among themselves. Some of the writers are religious, some have 'left' religion. (There is a problem with consistent definitions of religious/non-religious here that would help the discussion.)

I myself have had discussions with self-proclaimed atheists who express sympathy for pro-life advocacy, and strain to establish a 'morality' without a God. They say 'I am a good person, because I have decided that these things are good.' The problem that I see, is that without a higher purpose to that belief, how do they convince others? How is their 'belief' useful to the pro-life movement?

Michael O'Brien is right. If we try to organize ourselves into success, and be politically correct by eliminating outward signs that we believe God will act for us, we CANNOT succeed. The pro-life movement absolutely depends on the Rosary brigade, the Masses offered, the sacrifices of faithful people, to deluge Heaven with prayers. We have to keep begging for mercy. Only through the mercy of God, will the tide of cruel indifference to life be stemmed.

It serves no purpose to be embarrassed by our more prayerful activists. We rely on them to make up our own deficit.

As for the place of secular non-religious in the pro-life movement, I believe each person is individually part of God's plan to redeem the world. We aren't all on the same 'schedule', but I consider myself to be on the road to His purpose, and anyone who works to save Life is surely on that road too.

God will work out those details.

'Christus Vincit Anywhere'

An Audio pod-cast hosted by Brian Michael Page

Here they review another 80 or so hymns/songs/muzak as found in the 2009 Music Issue. They also talk about Advent, preparing for Christmas, ad Orientem, share a child's perception of the Bible and salute a church for excellence in music.

Direct Listen
Complete Show Notes

Grab yourself a coffee brandy to warm up, then enjoy the show!

News From Home

Halifax is in the middle of a turf war between rival gangs, inspiring my vote for 'quote of the week':

None of these guys are terribly successful. Police routinely bring them in and convict them on drug offences. They're the more menacing version of the Trailer Park Boys.
(Donald Clairmont, director of the Atlantic Institute of Criminology at Dalhousie University in Halifax.)

I have finally had my curiosity piqued enough to actually look up the 'Trailer Park Boys', as they seem to have become somewhat of a cultural icon. (You'll have to look them up for yourself. I have language standards.) The 'Halifax Regional Municipality', which used to be known as Halifax/Dartmouth (and Sackville, and Bedford) has surely gone downhill since I left. Coiincidence?


Nervous Nellies

(or ruthless, power-hungry opportunists?)

Ignoring the fact that their own party members rejected them such a short time ago, and that the Canadian public rejected their own party IN OCTOBER, Michael Ignatieff and Bob Rae are chomping at the bit. (Alberticon for anxious to get going - if Kathleen Parker can make up words...)

Liberal leadership candidates Michael Ignatieff and Bob Rae stepped up the pressure on Stephane Dion Sunday to step aside before Parliament resumes next month.

Canadians Brave Freezing Weather To Rally

(psuedo-canadians rally indoors)

photos and videos at bigbluewave >

PELALUSA has a growing collection of pictures and videos.

My personal favourite signs are the 'JACK' signs. ('Hit the Road Jack', 'Silly Jack, Tricks Are For Kids') Unfortunate name.
Oh yes, and the 'L'. (for Liberal Loser!)

Shouldn't we just ignore Gilles? He doesn't have much to do with Canada, does he?


The Blue Movement

from Facebook (with over 3500 attending!?)

My youth group leader was giving a talk one night and he said, "There are over a billion Catholics in the world. If Catholics decided to wear the color blue tomorrow, everyone would be like...Blue is a cool color." And that made me have this crazy idea.... What if all of us Catholics actually did that? So I decided in honor of our mother Mary, on December 8th, which is The Feast of The Immaculate Conception, we will all wear the color light blue. Please help me accomplish this goal! Invite all your Catholic friends! Even if you are not Catholic and you want to honor Mary...that's cool too. Join us in this movement and be a witness to the world!

"If you are what you should be, you will set the whole world on fire. Let the truth be your delight...proclaim it...but with a certain congeniality."
-- Saint Catherine of Siena

The Feast of the Immaculate Conception is December 8.

Here's what the Compendium has to say about the Immaculate Conception:

96. What does the “Immaculate Conception” mean?

God freely chose Mary from all eternity to be the Mother of his Son. In order to carry out her mission she herself was conceived immaculate. This means that, thanks to the grace of God and in anticipation of the merits of Jesus Christ, Mary was preserved from original sin from the first instant of her conception.

And here's what the Catechism has to say:

491 Through the centuries the Church has become ever more aware that Mary, "full of grace" through God, was redeemed from the moment of her conception. That is what the dogma of the Immaculate Conception confesses, as Pope Pius IX proclaimed in 1854:

The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Saviour of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin.

492 The "splendour of an entirely unique holiness" by which Mary is "enriched from the first instant of her conception" comes wholly from Christ: she is "redeemed, in a more exalted fashion, by reason of the merits of her Son". The Father blessed Mary more than any other created person "in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places" and chose her "in Christ before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless before him in love".

493 The Fathers of the Eastern tradition call the Mother of God "the All-Holy" (Panagia), and celebrate her as "free from any stain of sin, as though fashioned by the Holy Spirit and formed as a new creature". By the grace of God Mary remained free of every personal sin her whole life long.
(thanks to Jimmy Akin)