Monday, September 7, 2020

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Sunday, April 12, 2020

When & Why Did John Paul II Call us an “Easter People”?

We are an Easter people and Alleluia is our song!” 

It’s one of Pope John Paul II’s most famous quotes. But when did he say these words and why?

While we can never know fully what was in his mind, there are a few things we can piece together in regard to this lovely exhortation made by the world leader who shepherded the Catholic Church for over three decades from 1978 – 2005.*  

First, let’s take a look at the quote and where it sits in the center of a midday Angelus reflection. The pope delivered this message on a visit to Australia on Sunday, November 30, 1986. It was during the middle of the Cold War, five years after an assassin’s bullet almost took his life and a few weeks after his participation in the famous prayer summit of Assisi: 
We do not pretend that life is all beauty. 

We are aware of darkness and sin, of poverty and pain. But we know Jesus has conquered sin and passed through his own pain to the glory of the Resurrection. And we live in the light of his Paschal Mystery – the mystery of his Death and Resurrection.
“We are an Easter People and Alleluia is our song!”  
We are not looking for a shallow joy but rather a joy that comes from faith, that grows through unselfish love, that respects the “fundamental duty of love of neighbor, without which it would be unbecoming to speak of Joy.” We realize that joy is demanding; it demands unselfishness; it demands a readiness to say with Mary: “Be it done unto me according to thy word.”
What a fitting message for our present times!  The short reflection speaks for itself, is profoundly compelling, and — so many of us have some extra reading time on our hands lately. The second part of the above passage has been my own personal “take away” – the part about loving one’s neighbor as a necessary means to finding joy.
The thing is – loving one’s neighbor is quite complicated right now. But from the way things look, it’s a duty and a privilege more important than ever as so many are suffering from the devastating effects of the pandemic – from isolation, loss of health, and economic insecurity.
On one hand, loving my neighbor means staying apart in order to not spread the coronavirus. But on the other hand, I don’t want to fall into a trap of viewing those around me as potential virus carriers, rather than human beings made in the image of God. No, I want to stop and wave and chat at a safe distance.  I want to see the face of Jesus in everyone I meet (even if that face if covered with a surgical mask).
The Holy Father insists that “joy [is] demanding.” He says “[joy] demands unselfishness; [emphasis added] it demands a readiness to say with Mary: ‘Be it done unto me according to thy word.’”
So how can I demand unselfish love toward my neighbor in these times when I’m not supposed to leave my house? How about making Alleluia my song via speaker phone to Grandma, or bellowing it from my open windows like the Italians. Sure, we need to get creative.
But I’m pretty certain the answer to this hard question of how to show neighborly love even during a pandemic will be found in our outlooks and attitudes – outlooks and attitudes that need to be formed, above all, by our Catholic Faith (rather than fear). It’s a Faith that echoes the profound trust found in the Angelus, ”Be it done unto me according to thy word,” a cherished prayer but also a timeless reflection where we’re reminded of our identity as Easter People. 


Pope John Paul II is the second longest pontificate in history; third if you count St. Peter
Pope John Paul II is credited with helping to eliminate communism in Europe and open doors to interfaith dialogue;. He died on April 2, 2005.

Hallelujah, He is Risen!

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Limbo - by Sister Mary Ada



The ancient greyness shifted
Suddenly and thinned
Like mist upon the moors
Before the wind.

An old, old prophet lifted
A shining face and said:
“He will be coming soon.
The Son of God is dead;
He died this afternoon.”


A murmurous excitement stirred
All souls.
They wondered if they dreamed –
Save one old man who seemed
Not even to have heard.


And Moses, standing,
Hushed them all to ask
If any had a welcome song prepared.
If not, would David take the task?


And if they cared
Could not the three young children sing
The Benedicite, the canticle of praise
They made when God kept them from perishing
In the fiery blaze?


A breath of spring surprised them,
Stilling Moses’ words.
No one could speak, remembering
The first fresh flowers,
The little singing birds.


Still others thought of fields new ploughed
Or apple trees
All blossom-boughed.
Or some, the way a dried bed fills


With water
Laughing down green hills.
The fisherfolk dreamed of the foam
On bright blue seas,
The one old man who had not stirred
Remembered home.


And there He was
Splendid as the morning sun and fair
As only God is fair.
And they, confused with joy,
Knelt to adore
Seeing that He wore
Five crimson stars
He never had before.


No canticle at all was sung
None toned a psalm, or raised a greeting song.
A silent man alone
Of all that throng found tongue –
Not any other
Close to His heart.


When the embrace was done,
Old Joseph said, “How is Your Mother,
How is Your Mother, Son?”

Limbo - by Sister Mary Ada
Art: The Harrowing of Hell - Fra Angelico

Monday, March 9, 2020

Our Bodies Determine Our Sex

“Congratulations, it’s a boy!” Or, “Congratulations, it’s a girl!”
As a pediatrician for nearly 20 years, that’s how many of my patient relationships began. Our bodies declare our sex.

Biological sex is not assigned. Sex is determined at conception by our DNA and is stamped into every cell of our bodies. Human sexuality is binary. You either have a normal Y chromosome, and develop into a male, or you don’t, and you will develop into a female. There are at least 6,500 genetic differences between men and women. Hormones and surgery cannot change this.
An identity is not biological, it is psychological. It has to do with thinking and feeling. Thoughts and feelings are not biologically hardwired. Our thinking and feeling may be factually right or factually wrong.
If I walk into my doctor’s office today and say, “Hi, I’m Margaret Thatcher,” my physician will say I am delusional and give me an anti-psychotic. Yet, if instead, I walked in and said, “I’m a man,” he would say, “Congratulations, you’re transgender.”
If I were to say, “Doc, I am suicidal because I’m an amputee trapped in a normal body, please cut off my leg,” I will be diagnosed with body identity integrity disorder. But if I walk into that doctor’s office and say, “I am a man, sign me up for a double mastectomy,” my physician will. See, if you want to cut off a leg or an arm you’re mentally ill, but if you want to cut off healthy breasts or a penis, you’re transgender.
No one is born transgender. If gender identity were hardwired in the brain before birth, identical twins would have the same gender identity 100 percent of the time. But they don’t.
I had one patient we’ll call Andy. Between the ages of 3 and 5, he increasingly played with girls and “girl toys” and said he was a girl. I referred the parents and Andy to a therapist. Sometimes mental illness of a parent or abuse of the child are factors, but more commonly, the child has misperceived family dynamics and internalized a false belief.
In the middle of one session, Andy put down the toy truck, held onto a Barbie, and said, “Mommy and Daddy, you don’t love me when I’m a boy.” When Andy was 3, his sister with special needs was born, and required significantly more of his parents’ attention. Andy misperceived this as “Mommy and Daddy love girls. If I want them to love me, I have to be a girl.” With family therapy Andy got better.
Today, Andy’s parents would be told, “This is who Andy really is. You must ensure that everyone treats him as a girl, or else he will commit suicide.”
As Andy approaches puberty, the experts would put him on puberty blockers so he can continue to impersonate a girl.
It doesn’t matter that we’ve never tested puberty blockers in biologically normal children. It doesn’t matter that when blockers are used to treat prostate cancer in men, and gynecological problems in women, they cause problems with memory. We don’t need testing. We need to arrest his physical development now, or he will kill himself.
But this is not true. Instead, when supported in their biological sex through natural puberty, the vast majority of gender-confused children get better. Yet, we chemically castrate gender-confused children with puberty blockers. Then we permanently sterilize many of them by adding cross-sex hormones, which also put them at risk for heart disease, strokes, diabetes, cancers, and even the very emotional problems that the gender experts claim to be treating.
P.S. If a girl who insists she is male has been on testosterone daily for one year, she is cleared to get a bilateral mastectomy at age 16. Mind you, the American Academy of Pediatrics recently came out with a report that urges pediatricians to caution teenagers about getting tattoos because they are essentially permanent and can cause scarring. But this same AAP is 110 percent in support of 16-year-old girls getting a double mastectomy, even without parental consent, so long as the girl insists that she is a man, and has been taking testosterone daily for one year.
To indoctrinate all children from preschool forward with the lie that they could be trapped in the wrong body disrupts the very foundation of a child’s reality testing. If they can’t trust the reality of their physical bodies, who or what can they trust? Transgender ideology in schools is psychological abuse that often leads to chemical castration, sterilization, and surgical mutilation.
Author:
Michelle Cretella, M.D., who is executive director of the American College of Pediatricians, a national organization of pediatricians and other health care professionals dedicated to the health and well-being of children.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Septuagesima Sunday

          The first Sunday of the pre-Lent season is Septuagesima. This marks seventy days before the celebration of Easter, and as the first day of the season it offers certain insights common to the other days and weeks. 
          First, we notice that the church and her ministers are dressed in violet. This external sign reminds us that, in a certain sense, the Church has begun to “breath in,” in preparation for the great exultation of Easter. 
          That great shout of praise at the resurrection of the Lord, and his victory over sin and death—the litany of alleluias that mark the Paschal season—is thus cut short when, from after Evening Prayer on the eve of Septuagesima Sunday, the Church abstains from “Alleluia” and the Gloria in excelsis, replacing the chant before the Gospel with a Tract.


Read the full article here: https://thineownservice.com/

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Matt Fradd Interviews Peter Kreeft

A wonderful interview!
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