Archive for March, 2016

#MoralStory: Wise Compassionate Doctor

This just may be the best pro-life message yet.

A worried woman went to her gynaecologist and said, “’Doctor, I have a serious problem and desperately need your help! My baby is not even 1 year old and I’m pregnant again. I don’t want kids so close together.’

So the doctor said, ‘Ok and what do you want me to do?’

She said, ‘I want you to end my pregnancy, and I’m counting on your help with this.’

The doctor thought for a little, and after some silence he said to the lady, ‘I think I have a better solution for your problem. It’s less dangerous for you too.’

She smiled, thinking that the doctor was going to accept her request.

Then he continued, ‘You see, in order for you having not to take care of 2 babies at the same time, let’s kill your present one-year-old. This way, you could rest a little before the other one is born. If we’re going to kill one of them, it doesn’t matter which one it is. There would be no risk for your body if you chose to kill the one in your arms.’

The lady was horrified and said, ‘No doctor! How terrible!  It’s a crime to kill a child!’

‘I agree’, the doctor replied. ‘But you seemed to be OK on killing your unborn child, so I thought maybe that you’d agree to kill the other one.  I believe that what I propose, given your situation, is the best solution.’

The doctor smiled, realizing that he had made his point. He convinced the mother that there is no difference in killing a child that’s already been born and one that’s still in the womb.

The crime is the same! If you agree, please forward this to all your family and friends.  Together we can help save many precious lives!

Love says: “I sacrifice myself for the good of the other person.”
Abortion says: “I sacrifice the other person for the good of myself.”

Now The Green Blade Rises

empty_tomb

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Now the green blade rises from the buried grain,
Wheat that in the dark earth many years has lain;
Love lives again, that with the dead has been:
Love is come again, like wheat that springs up green.

In the grave they laid Him, Love Whom we had slain,
Thinking that He’d never wake to life again,
Laid in the earth like grain that sleeps unseen:
Love is come again, like wheat that springs up green.

Up He sprang at Easter, like the risen grain,
He that for three days in the grave had lain;
Up from the dead my risen Lord is seen:
Love is come again, like wheat that springs up green.

When our hearts are saddened, grieving or in pain,
By Your touch You call us back to life again;
Fields of our hearts that dead and bare have been:
Love is come again, like wheat that springs up green.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-5Bi2jM40E

#ShortNews: Thousands to enter Church in US at Easter

About 40% of the dioceses in the United States have reported the numbers of catechumens and candidates who are expected to enter the Church at Easter.

The highest figures were supplied by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles (1,638 catechumens and candidates), the Archdiocese of New York (1,613), the Diocese of Orange (1,537), the Archdiocese of Washington (1,375), the Diocese of Fort Worth (1,213), and the Archdiocese of Newark (1,090).

44,544 catechumens were baptized in the United States in 2014, and an additional 70,117 candidates were received into full communion with the Church—up from 39,654 catechumens and 66,831 candidates in 2013.

http://www.usccb.org/news/16-032.cfm

#ShortNews: Pope Francis at Holy Thursday Chrism Mass: respond to God’s ‘excess of mercy’ with gratitude

Following the celebration of Terce from the Liturgy of the Hours, Pope Francis presided at the Chrism Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica on Holy Thursday morning.

“I would like to speak of two areas in which the Lord shows excess in mercy,” Pope Francis preached. “Based on his example, we also should not hesitate in showing excess. The first area I am referring to is encounter; the second is God’s forgiveness, which shames us while also giving us dignity.”

In response to encountering God’s excessive mercy, Christians should respond with effusive gratitude. The Pope said:

It would be good for us to ask ourselves: after going to confession, do I rejoice? Or do I move on immediately to the next thing, as we would after going to the doctor, when we hear that the test results are not so bad and put them back in their envelope? And when I give alms, do I give time to the person who receives them to express their gratitude, do I celebrate the smile and the blessings that the poor offer, or do I continue on in haste with my own affairs after tossing in a coin?

God’s mercy “enables us to move directly from the most shameful disgrace to the highest dignity without any intermediary stages,” the Pope continued. “Our response to God’s superabundant forgiveness should be always to preserve that healthy tension between a dignified shame and a shamed dignity. It is the attitude of one who seeks a humble and lowly place, but who can also allow the Lord to raise him up for the good of the mission, without complacency.”

The Pope also cautioned priests against

an excessive “bubbly” spirituality, a “light” spirituality. We feel ourselves also trapped, not so much by insurmountable stone walls or steel enclosures that affect many peoples, but rather by a digital, virtual worldliness that is opened and closed by a simple click. We are oppressed, not by threats and pressures, like so many poor people, but by the allure of a thousand commercial advertisements which we cannot shrug off to walk ahead, freely, along paths that lead us to love of our brothers and sisters, to the Lord’s flock, to the sheep who wait for the voice of their shepherds.

http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2016/03/24/pope_francis_at_chrism_mass_full_text_of_homily/1217718

#ShortNews: Pope Francis: Easter Vigil homily (full text)

“Peter ran to the tomb” (Lk. 24:12). What thoughts crossed Peter’s mind and stirred his heart as he ran to the tomb?

The Gospel tells us that the eleven, including Peter, had not believed the testimony of the women, their Easter proclamation. Quite the contrary, “these words seemed to them an idle tale” (v. 11). Thus there was doubt in Peter’s heart, together with many other worries: sadness at the death of the beloved Master and disillusionment for having denied him three times during his Passion.

There is, however, something which signals a change in him: after listening to the women and refusing to believe them, “Peter rose” (v. 12). . . .

[click below for link to full text]

http://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/it/bollettino/pubblico/2016/03/26/0217/00466.html

Please Help Those in Need This Easter

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Easter 2016

Dear Friend,

The good Lord has always been on our side. He has seen us through thick and thin. Our faith has been purified through persecution,” says Father Gideon Obasogie of the Diocese of Maiduguri in northeast Nigeria, where his faithful are undergoing unrelenting and unspeakable horrors at the hands of the terrorist group Boko Haram.

More than 5,000 Catholic men, women and children in northeast Nigeria have been killed. At least 100,000 have been displaced. The Church is struggling to help 7,000 widows and 10,000 orphans.

In Father Gideon’s diocese alone, 350 churches have been badly attacked. Most dioceses and half of the parish centers are under Boko Haram control. Pope Francis tells us, “Around us there is the presence of evil….But I would like to say in a loud voice:  God is stronger!”

ACN-20150410-22873This Easter, will you help Father Gideon and other religious respond to the needs of families who are fleeing Boko Haram? Will you reach out, and as the Holy Father has said, show them that God is, indeed, stronger?

Bishop Doeme of Maiduguri, too, is concerned about his people.  “A life lived with much fear is terrible…The threat we face presents a very bleak future for the Church. Many of our members are scattered and others have been killed. In some areas there are no Christians anymore.”  “The extremists point a gun or a knife at the faithful saying that if you do not convert you will be killed.”

The situation is a desperate one.  Thanks to our donors, we are supplying emergency aid to people from Maiduguri seeking sanctuary outside the diocese, supporting displaced persons with food, shelter and medicine, and providing Mass stipends to Maiduguri priests seeking refuge in nearby dioceses.

We need you in order to continue this vital aid.  This Easter, a time of joy in His Resurrection, please help us to show that despite the presence of evil, God is stronger.

Please keep our suffering faithful in your prayers, as well as Bishop Doeme and Father Gideon, two courageous men who are standing strong for their Church and their people.

May you enjoy a blessed Easter with your loved ones.

Father Hugh and EFC signatures2

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Standing Under the Cross

Standing erect, holding our heads high, is the attitude of spiritually mature people in face of the calamities of our world.   The facts of everyday life are a rich source for doomsday thinking and feeling.   But it is possible for us to resist this temptation and to stand with self-confidence in this world, never losing our spiritual ground, always aware that “sky and earth will pass away” but the words of Jesus will never pass away (see Luke 21:33).

When Mary stood on Calvary with Saint John and the other holy women, specifically Saint Mary Magdalen, at the foot of Her Son’s rugged Cross, and waited with Him through three long hours of bitterest agony, while He slowly died of a broken heart over the many souls who would reject Him, and reject salvation was the cruellest thing that ever happened to Mary’s Immaculate Heart. His physical agony was very real. His death was very real, but the pain both He and His Mother bore was was a very spiritual pain as well, for both knew that they must never waver in their absolute obedience to God’s Will.

Jesus gave us His Mother while He hung in bitterest agony on the Cross. He knew that we, weak and fallible, need a Mother’s tender care to help us through the terrible sufferings of our exile here on earth. Mary is ever ready to help us to bear our crosses for love of Her Divine Son. She is our intercessor before Christ Who cannot refuse His Own Mother. That is why she is affectionately known as the “Catholic Shortcut.” While she is the Intercessor, Christ is the Mediator between man and the Almighty Father.

With John, Mary stands at the foot of the Cross. “A sword shall pierce thy soul,” Simeon told her. Truly her heart is pierced with sorrow. Her beloved Son is dying and she shares in His suffering. She does not ask God to take away this agony. She is His Mother, so close to Him that His pain is hers, too. And now He speaks from the Cross: “Woman, behold thy son.” Jesus give His Mother to John, and to us. For all eternity she is our Mother.

As the Mother of God stood weeping at the foot of Her Son’s Cross, and watched as He breathed forth His last agonizing breath, and gave up His soul to His Almighty Father. She watched as the soldier thrust a lance through His side, piercing His Most Sacred and Merciful Heart. She winced in physical pain for Her Son could no longer feel pain. He was dead. Thus the full physical pain mystically transferred to her who bore the brunt for the sake of souls around her and those to come in all future generations. She watched as the nails were pulled and yanked from His gnarled hands and brittle wrists, now smaller than her own, and His bloody, blackened and mud-caked feet. It must have seemed like an eternity as the lifeless body was lowered to the ground where Mary sat, waiting to cradle the dead body of her Divine Son. Can we possibly imagine the pain? Can we possibly imagine how she felt at that moment? Michelangelo Buonorotti captured it best in his stunning, world-renowned inspired sculpture of The Pieta residing today behind glass to the right of the entrance into St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Even more, can we understand that throughout everything Mary bore all her sufferings bravely, many times in silence or alone, never wavering in her total obedience and fiat she had promised God at the Annunciation.

Let us be like Mary, the mother of Jesus, who stood under the cross, trusting in God’s faithfulness notwithstanding the death of his beloved Child.

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Jesus on cross

Mother Mary under the cross