Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Pray for our Persecuted Brethren in Iraq and Syria

Nun: The Sign of Genocide

In solidarity with our Persecuted Brethren in Iraq and Syria

Nun (ن), the 14th letter of the Arabic alphabet (the equivalent of letter N in our Roman alphabet), is the first letter of the word Nasara (نصارى : Nazarenes), the way Muslims have called Christians since the beginning of their invasion of the Christian world in the 7th century -- Christians under Muslim rule never called themselves thus, since the intent of Muslims was to portray Christians as a contemptible and disobedient sect.

It is the same name of the equivalent letter (נ) in the Hebrew alphabet (also a Semitic language), and it reminds us of the words of Jeremiah, also crying for an exile of his people sent to Mesopotamia:

Nun. The yoke of my iniquities hath watched: they are folded together in his hand, and put upon my neck: my strength is weakened: the Lord hath delivered me into a hand out of which I am not able to rise. (Lamentations, 1)

In their genocidal physical elimination of Christians from the Mesopotamian city of Mosul, Muslim terrorists marked each Christian-owned institution and building with this letter, for the extermination of holdouts and expropriation of their belongings:

They mean it as a mark of shame, we must then wear it as a mark of hope: Yes, we are in the army of the Resurrected Nazarene, the Master and Lord of the Universe, the Man who is God Almighty, the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity. You may kill our brethren and expel them, but we Christians will never go away. 

St. Anne's Chapel - Pilgrimage and Mass

The Ice Bucket Challenge and Lou Gehrig's Disease Research

 The Catholic Stance Regarding The Ice Bucket Challenge

After considering the matter at length, the National Catholic Bioethics Center is happy to announce their official stance regarding the now viral Ice Bucket Challenge used to promote awareness about ALS. The Center had not yet taken a public official position on the Challenge. We hope you will find our commentary helpful in clarifying many elements of and relating to this popular event.

Please take a few moments and read the NCBC's full commentary on the Ice Bucket challenge, below:

August 22, 2014

The Ice Bucket Challenge aims to raise awareness for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease. According to the website of the ALS Association (ALSA), here is how it works:

       The challenge involves people getting doused with buckets of ice water on video,
        posting that video to social media, then nominating others to do the same, all in
         an effort to raise ALS awareness. People can either accept the challenge or make a
          donation to an ALS Charity of their choice, or do both.

Posed in this manner, there is nothing morally problematic about the nature of the challenge. Accepting the challenge does not require any donations, but helps promote the primary goal of raising ALS awareness. Those declining the challenge are encouraged to “make a donation to an ALS charity of their choice,” but there is no legal or moral obligation to do so, nor is there any requirement that a donation go to ALSA. Naturally, those who accept the challenge are also free to make a donation to an ALS charity. Some, such as the schools of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, are choosing to accept the challenge while also making donations to other organizations that promote awareness and support for persons with ALS.

Since the challenge started trending in late July 2014, it has successfully raised awareness about the disease on a dramatic scale, accomplishing its main purpose with great creativity and fun. It has also generated more than 40 million dollars in donations to promote research into causes of ALS and the development of new treatments.

Given its size and the significant amount of research, awareness, and support work with which it is involved, ALSA has been the primary recipient of many if not most donations resulting from the challenge. ALSA has also helped to promote the challenge on its website and through social media in accordance with its good aims as a charitable organization.

The public attention and funds being directed toward ALSA as a result of the Ice Bucket Challenge raise an important, but not widely know moral concern: ALSA also advocates for human embryonic stem cell research, including through funding for specific research projects. As indicated in the Advocacy Archive section of their website, they were active in encouraging expanded funding for embryonic stem cell research as soon as President Obama took office: “Earlier this month, the Coalition for the Advancement of Medical Research, of which The ALS Association is an active member, sent a letter to President Obama urging him to quickly to lift the restrictions on embryonic stem cell research.” Another advocacy group for patients with ALS, called Project ALS, is similarly on record encouraging human embryonic stem cell research.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Anyone can sign here to STOP the "Black Mass"

Satanists announce plan to desecrate stolen Host at "Black Mass" in Oklahoma City. I know you care enough to help stop this outrage, so please read on...

But first -- let me thank you so much for signing the petition to stop the satanic "Black Mass" in Oklahoma.
Your voice helped us reach 50,000 protest petitions...
And you'll like this update:
Archbishop Coakley of Oklahoma City and Bishop Slattery of Tulsa are now urging public officials to cancel the "Black Mass," calling on all Catholics to pray and fast to halt this abomination.
The Governor of Oklahoma, the Hon. Mary Fallin, also issued a strong statement condemning it.
You see, reports confirm that satanist Adam Daniels has obtained a stolen Consecrated Host to desecrate and attack in the most vile and unspeakable manner imaginable.
(Aleteia.org -- August 6, 2014)
However, the Civic Center hosting this attack against Our Lord claims they can't lift a finger -- nothing at all -- to stop the public desecration of the Blessed Sacrament.
That's why you and I must continue to "storm Heaven" with prayer and keep the peaceful protest growing even more.
Not just a little more. But MUCH more. With more public outrage.
So the new goal is 100,000 protest petitions by Sept. 21. And I'm counting on you to invite your friends to sign it today.
I'm also pleased to report that a large team of young TFP Student Action volunteers are preparing to drive to Oklahoma (2,620 miles there and back) and stage a prayerful act of reparation right in front of the Civic Center where the sacrilege is planned.
TFP friends from Kansas decided to charter a bus to join them. Many others will be there too.
Because silence is not an option.
You're invited to join us on Sept. 21. I really hope you can come.
If you can't make it to the act of reparation in person, then please consider putting some gas in our van for that important trip.
That would help a lot.
Also, your phone calls (polite & firm) could make a huge difference to stop the "Black Mass" today:
We must continue to fight so that America will truly be one nation under God.
You see, when government officials treat evil as good and good as evil, they put the common good of society and culture on a direct path to self-destruction. There is no moral equivalency between a Mozart concert and a "Black Mass."
Satan has no rights. Period.
Again, thank you so much for defending the honor of Our Lord Jesus Christ and for raising your voice to oppose this grave evil.
Let's continue fighting the good fight with renewed certainty that the gates of hell will never prevail.
John Ritchie
John Ritchie
Tradition Family Property, Student Action
P.S. -- Again, if you would like to sponsor some gas for our trip to the prayerful act of reparation in Oklahoma City, please chip in here.
May God reward you for your generosity.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Casualness in the church

Sunday, June 29th (at the Novus Ordo Mass).
Saint Peter and Saint Paul, apostles - Solemnity. 2014 - Year A

Today we celebrate the Feast of Saint Paul and Saint Peter.

As you know, both of them died as martyrs for preaching the truth to the people.

Martyrdom of St. Peter

Unfortunately, many people get upset when they are told the truth, and very often their pride even makes them close their eyes to the truth. That’s why they rejected what St. Peter and St. Paul would tell them. But St. Peter and St. Paul knew that they couldn’t be quiet, that God wanted them to preach the truth to the people no matter what. And so they did, and for this, they were killed. Both had great faith, and they showed with their lives, and with their deaths, that they had great faith, and that they had a great love for Our Lord Jesus Christ.

The question now is do we show also that we have great faith, that we truly love Our Lord Jesus Christ? Do we show Him our love with our behavior?

Some people will say: Well, I go to church. Isn’t that proof enough of my faith and my love for God? Isn’t that enough to be saved?  

And to that I would say: Well, let’s see what Jesus says in the Gospel. Once, someone asked him, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?” He said to them, “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’ “But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’ “Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ “But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!’  (St. Luke, 13)

This is Jesus Christ speaking. And He is very clear. So no one can say: my being here in church is proof enough of my faith and of my love to God. That would be like saying: we ate and drank with you… you taught us many things… we were there with you…

All this is useless unless we have a true love for Him and a great Faith in Him, and this love and this Faith, when they are true, they show in our behavior, not just in our going to Mass every week, but in everything that we do.

If our love is true and our faith is true, then we will show this in our lives as St. Peter and St. Paul showed it in their lives.

And today I want to speak to you about one way in which very often we show not our love and not our faith in Jesus Christ, but just the opposite; a way in which many people sometimes show that they don’t care about Him, that they don’t really respect Him as much as He deserves, that they don’t really consider Him as important as He is. The way in which sometimes we show Him all this, which is so wrong, is by our casualness when it comes to the most sacred time, the most sacred event we witness during the whole week, which is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, in the most holy of places, which is right here in church in the Presence of Jesus Christ, who is present in the Blessed Sacrament.

People’s casualness shows many things: it shows a lack of respect, a lack of reverence, a poor understanding of what we are doing here at the Mass, which is taking part in the Most Holy Sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross… our casualness shows a lack of love, and it also shows a lack of faith…

The way people dress for Mass has been getting worse and worse over the years, more and more casual, and now it seems that it has reached catastrophic proportions, and this is so sad and so wrong.

Why do people dress up for weddings, funerals and even for their daily jobs sometimes? They dress up to honor those whom they love or those whom they serve.

True love doesn't make honor and respect unnecessary, it fosters it. Most married couples know that when familiarity and comfort in a marriage replace honor and respect, only trouble follows. We all know that too much familiarity breeds contempt.

In the liturgy, here in church, here at Mass, casualness breeds contempt too.

Many of you know that many years ago, before the cultural revolutions of the 1960s, people would always wear what they called their ‘Sunday best’ for church. They would wear the best clothes they had for Mass, and they would always go to Mass, because they truly believed that it was necessary and important to go to Mass and that it is our obligation, every week.

They would also acknowledge the sacredness of the Sacrament of the Eucharist, they would acknowledge the sacredness of the Blessed Sacrament by kneeling at the time of receiving Communion. There was respect, and reverence, and this really caused an impression on people, especially children, and they would learn the importance and the sacredness of the Mass, of going to church, of the Eucharist…. their faith in the Real Presence of God, the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist was greatly strengthened…

But then, as so many people turned their backs to God and the world became more casual about everything, including morality, casualness crept into the church too. And this casualness brought contempt. People forgot about wearing their Sunday best because the Mass wasn’t that important anymore.

In the 1970s people started receiving Communion in the hand while standing, and the Faith in the Real Presence of Jesus Christ was greatly diminished and lost… Even the way of receiving Communion became as casual as it can be… the kneeling was lost and together with it the reverence and the respect were lost in most cases… people just forgot that at Communion they were receiving God and receiving Communion just became something else, something very casual, just like receiving a cookie from the priest…

Casualness crept into the church,  and many people just left the church. Many millions of people left the church and quit going to Mass. That’s why nowadays so many churches are closed down every year. And that’s why I hear all the time people complaining because their children don’t go to Mass anymore. Of course not… they were raised in all this casualness that takes away all the reverence from the Mass and doesn’t let people experience the sacredness of the Mass.

When we treat something with casualness and contempt, it is just simply impossible for us to hold this something as worthy of our time, as worthy of our devotion and our love.

If we try to worship God with casualness, very soon we will think that this God doesn’t really deserve all that much attention. This is why most young people just don’t want to go to Mass… what for? What is there that they cannot find somewhere else? The sacred was expelled from the church and it was replaced by casualness, and the fruit of this was that people didn’t see the need of going to church anymore, because casualness can be found everywhere.

Some people say that it is OK to be casual and dress in a casual way for Mass, and they say ‘comfort is a good thing and we like to be comfortable.’

And to that I would say: Yes, that is true but not at the expense of love and reverence.

Comfort is for the self, love is for the other. We must make a choice.

If we dress up, it is because we want to please God. If it is a sacrifice to dress up, then so be it, that makes it even better because we are supposed to make sacrifices out of love for Jesus Christ, just like He sacrificed Himself on the Cross for us.

Unfortunately, for many people it is more important to please themselves. We live in a narcissistic culture.  

Some people say God cares more about the internals and not the externals. But that is not true. He cares about both. That is why we build beautiful Churches, that is why the priests are supposed to wear beautiful vestments and that is why sometimes we listen to beautiful sacred music. Those are externals, and they are important.

They are all ways of showing God we acknowledge his greatness and at the same time we remind ourselves of the same. Does it make sense to spend millions building magnificent churches and then wear something inappropriate for the Mass?

When someone dresses in such a casual way, doesn’t his or her body language say to God and to others, Well, the Mass is not so glorious, and neither is God?

The Catechism of the Catholic Church says that our gestures and clothing "ought to convey the respect, solemnity, and joy of the moment when Christ becomes our guest" in Holy Communion. Our clothing has to convey respect and solemnity during the Mass.

We have to do something about all this. For the sake of the younger generations, we have to do something about it. There is more than enough proof that the experiment of bringing casualness into the church in order to bring more people has clearly been a total failure. And you know very well because you know many people that just don’t go to the Mass anymore, and many of you know how it used to be in the past and how different it is now.

If we want our young ones to really love Jesus Christ and the Holy Mass and to really value the Mass and to really believe that there isn’t anything more sacred than the sacrifice of Christ in the Mass and that there isn’t anything more important in this world than the sacrifice of the Mass, and that God Himself present in the Blessed Sacrament, then we really need to start showing them that we believe this, and we have to show them with our own example, with our reverence, with our respect, that show our faith and our love. Otherwise God will hold us responsible for the bad example that we give them.

Let us ask Saint Peter and Saint Paul today to help us love God as much as they did, and to teach us to show Him our love with our behavior.