Saturday, November 15, 2008

Pope John Paul II - On Adoption

John Paul II

“Adopting children, regarding and treating them as one’s own children, means recognizing that the relationship between parents and children is not measured only by genetic standards. Procreative love is first and foremost a gift of self. There is a form of ‘procreation’ which occurs through acceptance, concern and devotion. The resulting relationship is so intimate and enduring that it is in no way inferior to one based on a biological connection. When this is also juridically protected, as it is in adoption, in a family united by the stable bond of marriage, it assures the child that peaceful atmosphere and that paternal and maternal love which he needs for his full human development.”
John Paul II, Letter to Adoptive Families (Sept 5, 2000)

The above quote was posted at the Extraordinary Moms Network Please be sure to visit them to read the rest of the post on National Adoption Month

Counsel of St. Padre Pio

Padre Pio

Joey and I attended a beautiful Marian conference today. More about that in a later post. I did want to post a few things before this day is over. I especially wanted to share with you Padre Pio's maxims because it fit in so well with the message of Our Lady to her children.

I found this over at Sue's always inspirational blog
Do not worry over things that generate preoccupation, derangement and anxiety. One thing only is necessary: to lift up your spirit and love God.
Pray, hope and don’t worry. Anxiety doesn’t help at all. Our Merciful Lord will listen to your prayer.

Why should you worry whether God wants you to reach the heavenly home by way of the desert or by the fields, when by the one as well as by the other, one arrives all at the same at Blessed Eternity? Keep far from excessive preoccupation which arises from the trials which the good God wishes to visit upon you. And if this is not possible put away the thoughts, and in all live resigned to the Divine Will.

Walk in the way of the Lord with simplicity and do not torment your spirit. You must hate your defects, but with a quiet hate, not troublesome and restless.

Always live under the eyes of the Good Shepherd and you will walk unharmed through evil pastures.

Often kiss Jesus with affection and you will recompense Him for the sacrilegious kiss of the unfaithful apostle, Judas.

Thank and sweetly kiss the hand of God that strikes you, because it is always the hand of a Father who strikes you because he loves you.

Be comforted with the divine thought that your spiritual and physical pains are the test of the Divine Will. All lovers of Jesus must conform themselves always more to this divine and eternal model. Jesus went to the limits of abandonment of the spirit. Jesus wanted to experience in his humanity this incomprehensible pain of seeing himself abandoned by his heavenly Father.

The longer the trial to which God subjects you, the greater the goodness in comforting you during the time of trial and in the exaltation after the combat.

Ahead! Courage! In the spiritual life he who does not advance goes backward. It happens as with a boat which always must go ahead. If it stands still, the wind will blow it back.

He who does not meditate acts as one who never looks into a mirror and so does not bother to put himself in order, since he can be dirty without knowing it. The person who meditates and turns his thoughts to God who is the mirror of his soul, seeks to know his defects and tries to correct them, moderates himself in his impulses and puts his conscience in order.

When you do not succeed in meditating well, do not for this reason cease to do your duty. If there are many distractions, do not lose heart. Make a meditation of patience; you will profit all the same.

When you have distractions, don’t distract yourself still more by stopping to consider the why and the wherefore. Just as a traveler who misses his way, returns to the right road as soon as he is aware of it, you should continue to meditate without stopping in the distractions which you had.

If you want to assist at Mass with devotion and with fruit, think of the Sorrowful Mother at the feet of Calvary.

Stop entertaining those vain fears. Remember that it is not feeling that constitutes guilt but the consent to such feelings. Only the free will is capable of good or evil. But when the will sighs under the trial of the tempter and does not will what is presented to it, there is not only no fault, but there is virtue. (if we have temptations, we do not sin, no matter how humiliating the temptation. We despise temptation and sin, but not ourselves, for being tempted)

Despise your temptations and do not dwell on them. Imagine you have Jesus Christ crucified in your arms and on your breast and, kissing his side, say: ”Behold my hope, behold the living source of my happiness. I will hold thee close, o my Jesus, and I will not leave thee until thou shall put me in a place of safety.”

The best means of guarding yourself against temptation are the following: watch your senses to save them from dangerous temptation; avoid vanity; do not let your heart become exalted; convince yourself of the evil of complacency; flee from hate; and pray whenever possible.

The devil is like a rabid dog tied to a chain; beyond the length of the chain he cannot seize anyone. And you, keep at a distance. If you approach too near, you let yourself be caught. Remember that the devil has only one door by which to enter the soul: the will. There are no secret or hidden doors.

Temptations, discouragement and unrest are the wares offered by the enemy. Remember this: if the devil makes noise, it is a sign that he is still outside and not yet within. That which must terrify us is his peace and concord with the human soul.

That which comes from Satan begins with calmness and ends in storm, indifference and apathy.

That which proceeds from God begins with a salutary fear and finishes with peace of mind.

The mercy of God, my son, is infinitely greater than your malice.

To doubt is the greatest insult to the Divinity.

We must know how to confide. There is the fear of God and the fear of a Judas. Too much fear makes one labor without love, and too much confidence prevents us from considering the danger which we must overcome. The one must go hand in hand with the other and proceed as sisters.

In order to console a soul in its sufferings, point out to it all the good it can still do.

Humility and purity of conduct are the wings which raise us up to God and in a manner deify us. Remember this: the sinner who is ashamed to do evil is closer to God than the upright man who is ashamed to do good.

Obey promptly! Do not consider the age or merit of the person. And in order to succeed, imagine you are obeying the Lord.

Duty before everything else, even something holy. (for example–a Mother’s duty in the home, should be met first, before time spent in Church, beyond the basic requirements of our Faith)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration Forum


I recently joined a new forum called PEACE - Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration Coordinators Exchange

It looks like this forum has lots of potential to meet other folks who love Eucharistic Adoration and/or are adorers on a regular basis.

Hope you take a look and maybe consider joining. It looks like a good place to chat with one another.

Fine Art Friday - Hieronymous Bosch

Likely a Self-Portrait

St. Christopher Carrying the Christ Child
St. Christopher Carrying the Christ Child

Adoration of the Magi
Adoration of the Magi

St. John the Baptist
St. John the Baptist

Ecce Homo
Ecce Homo

Christ Carrying the Cross
Christ Carrying the Cross

St. John the Evangelist
St. John the Evangelist Writing the Book of Revelation

Temptation of St. Anthony
The Temptations of St. Anthony

Death of the Reprobate
Death of the Reprobate

7 Deadly Sins Lust
Detail of the Seven Deadly Sins - Lust

Bosch Garden of Earthly Delights

The Garden of Earthly Delights

Detail of the Garden of Earthly Delights - Hell

Detail - Paradise

God is being offended in so many ways, by so many people, I therefore chose an artist whose best known piece of art is known for its raw depiction of man's sinful nature and the consequences that comes from giving in to temptation. The artist is none other than Hieronymus Bosch.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

40 Days for Life Needs Your Help - Survey

Survey can be found here
As we reflect on last week’s election results, we all recognize the urgency of building on the momentum of this fall’s 40 Days for Life campaign — to save more lives at the local level where together we can make the greatest possible impact.

Even the national media recognizes the fundamental shift that is happening before our eyes.

Yesterday, the Associated Press ran a major story in newspapers across the U.S. stating, “Despite election setbacks on many fronts, anti-abortion leaders sound more defiant than deflated as they brace for a future with fewer friends in high places.”

The article reported that the pro-life movement is now re-focusing on, “street protests, grass-roots activism and state legislation,” and quoted a prediction that, “activists would stage more mass demonstrations and abortion-clinic vigils.”

A political scientist who studies the pro-life movement told the reporter she’d be “shocked” if we didn’t continue in our local efforts because, “that’s been the area where they’ve had success in closing some abortion clinics.” She then added, “If you compromise, you lose the core of the movement.”

For once, the secular media is right.

Now that it’s settling in that we’re facing the most pro-abortion administration in our nation’s history, we must commit to move aggressively forward and work tirelessly to save lives RIGHT WHERE WE LIVE.

With that in mind, I need your advice.

This is the SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT request I have sent to you throughout this fall 40 Days for Life campaign cycle, and your response is crucial.

The unprecedented growth and widespread impact of 40 Days for Life is a direct result of the input received from many people over the last year.

Now it’s your turn!

Regardless of your level of involvement in this campaign, please fill out a short survey to let us know your thoughts about 40 Days for Life — AND MORE IMPORTANTLY — to help shape the future of this collective effort!

It’s a simple survey with just a handful of questions that should take you about 5 minutes to complete.

I would really appreciate if you could make the time to complete this survey today — or by the end of this week, if at all possible.

There are enormous opportunities for us all to build on the momentum of this campaign, and your input will be vital in shaping the direction of these collective efforts in the future.

The next few months promise to be exciting, and I truly believe the best days of the pro-life movement are just ahead of us!

In Christ,

David Bereit
National Campaign Director
40 Days for Life

P.S.- Thank you in advance for your willingness to complete this survey, and we promise to read each and every response.

Is There Sex in Heaven?

Fr. Daren found a very interesting lecture by Peter Kreeft.

Is There Sex in Heaven

This thought has not previously entered my mind. I guess it's because in Heaven spouses will no longer be married to each other. "'till death do us Part" after all.

Thanks Fr. Daren. This is indeed very interesting.

Catholic "Pro-Life" Obama Endorsing Professor Draws Protest

Catholic Professor Draws Protestors

Kmiec objected to characterizations of Obama as a supporter of abortion rights, preferring the label of pro-choice.

He objected to that! Isn't that what he is? I've been reading some actually referring to Obama as a "baby-killer".
More than 50 protesters with anti-abortion signs recited the rosary outside St. John's Seminary because inside a politically conservative Catholic was explaining why he voted for Barack Obama.

The Democratic president-elect supports abortion rights. And though Douglas Kmiec, former constitutional law counsel for presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, is adamantly opposed to abortion, he not only voted for Obama but campaigned for him and wrote a book about his reasons.
H/T A Catholic View

"They Killed Sister Dorothy"

Sister Dorothy Stang
Thanks to an invitation by the Hawaii Film Festival folks, a few weeks ago my friend and I attended the viewing of the documentary They Killed Sister Dorothy

For those of you who aren't familiar with this story, a few years ago a Notre Dame sister who was also an activist, living in Brazil, was shot in the back and killed. There seemed to be more powerful people behind this killing than the men actually arrested for the crime.

The documentary was a compilation of interviews with the sisters in Sister Dorothy's order, her brother, her friends, the accused murderers, their lawyers and the actual trial in order to tell the story.

At the end of this dark tale of corruption, we find out that one of the accused ranchers who was finally found guilty of murder, appeals the case to another town and there he is found not-guilty.

Well, today I found a news article updating this case:

Brazilian rancher claims Stang land

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

November is National Adoption Month

Prolife Activist Joey

I don't think of our son Joey as being adopted. He is just "our son". For those of you who didn't know our story, my husband and I adopted our dear son 12 years ago from Japan. Joey was then "Ma-chan" and only 5 years old. He was also the cutest little kodomo (child in Japanese)we had ever met!

We were open about him being adopted from the very start. I guess that was inevitable since he was an older child.

I sometimes regret not being able to adopt more children, either internationally or domestically. But it was God's will for us.

I really hope and pray more and more families consider adoption or being foster parents. My heart breaks especially when I think of teenagers who are in our foster care systems. Some of them become adults without ever having a loving home or parents to call their own.

It is therefore with lots of dismay that I learn from Heidi in her post over at Extraordinary Moms Network of the growing danger of anti-adoption advocacy. She has written an article for Catholic Exchange and you can read it here

Please take the time to read it.

Remember, "adoption is the loving option".

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

To Those Who Have Asked "Why Weren't Our Prayers Answered?"

Please read Catholic Culture's Discouragement and Faith

Personally speaking, if I hadn't prayed the Novena, the Rosary Novena, prayed the Rosary, gone to Daily Mass, did a Holy Hour, fasted, etc., I would have felt a lot worse.

I don't know why our prayers and sacrifices weren't answered. But one thing I do know, God permitted the elections to go the way it did and He has a reason for it. We just don't know what it is right now.

Jesus, I trust in You!

Online Homeschool Conference

Homeschool Conference

From Maureen Wittmann

There is still time to register for tomorrow's session featuring Dr. Mary Kay Clark of Seton Home Study.

Homeschool Connections

Fighting Blasphemy in Peru

From America Needs Fatima Anti-Blasphemy Protest Works Again

The blasphemous exhibit showed the patron saints of Peru, Saint Martin de Porres and Saint Rose of Lima in undergarments.

Peru Needs Fatima launched an intense nationwide campaign of reparation and protest which moved 1,400 Catholics to write letters of complaint to the museum hosting the blasphemous exhibit. They also got important personalities in Lima to sign on to an open letter of rejection of the blasphemy.

Moreover, last week, Peru Needs Fatima held a magnificent public act of reparation in Lima at the Church of Our Lady of Pilar. Our Lady is honored and glorified by this victory against blasphemy!
El Perú necesita de Fátima

Please continue to pray for Catholic countries in Latin America, like Perú.

Food for Thought - The Window

Church Window

A young couple moves into a new neighborhood. The next morning while they are eating breakfast, the young woman sees her neighbor hanging the wash outside.

'That laundry is not very clean', she said. 'She doesn't know how to wash correctly.

Perhaps she needs better laundry soap'

Her husband looked on, but remained silent.

Every time her neighbor would hang her wash to dry, the young woman would make the same comments.

About one month later, the woman was surprised to see a nice clean wash on the line and said to her husband:

'Look, she has learned how to wash correctly. I wonder who taught her this?'

The husband said, 'I got up early this morning and cleaned our windows.'

And so it is with life. What we see when watching others depends on the purity of the window through which we look.
Thanks to Layla.

Happy Veterans Day

Happy Veterans Day

Monday, November 10, 2008

Parental Rights - The Reality of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

The Reality of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
Imagine an Air Force mom, serving her country on a month-long deployment, who learns that her daughter has been secretly removed by local authorities, claiming the child has been “abandoned.” Children begin mandatory sex-education at the age of four, regardless of their family’s opinions, beliefs, or convictions, and parents are imprisoned if their children fail to receive any of their mandatory vaccinations. Parents live in a state of constant supervision and suspicion.

Imagine if your national government had the audacity to appoint a “guardian” to monitor your child from birth, charged with the legal responsibility to evaluate your decisions as a parent and armed with the legal authority to “intervene, prevent or rectify” any violations of your child’s rights. Public and private schools alike are policed by the national government, and classes begin with singing about the principles of peace, tolerance, and the United Nations. Your child’s confidential medical records, stored in a nation-wide electronic register from birth until age twenty, can be accessed at any time, without your knowledge, by any physician, teacher, or government social worker in the nation.

Now stop imagining, because for parents in the 193 countries that have ratified the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child, each of these scenarios is true...

Prayer Request -For Attacks on Opponents of Same Sex Marriage in California

Hallowed Ground's post - Anti-Democratic Homosexualist Riots

Steve Ray's post - Bigotry Against Gay Marriage Opponents in California

Insight Scoop's post - Gov. Schwarzenegger confesses his love for judicial oligarchy

LifeSiteNews' article Video Shows Prop 8 Protesters Terrorizing Cross-Carrying Elderly Woman and Reporter

Video can be seen here

Novena for the President Elect

SFO Mom Barb posted on this novena for the conversion of Barack Obama. Thanks to Chris who is asking that children say a Hail Mary and adults join in with the novena.
We are asking that all children pray a simple "Hail Mary" every single day for the President's conversion and that all adults pray the following daily prayer Novena:

Our Lady Of The Holy Rosary Prayer

My dearest mother Mary, behold me, your child, in prayer at your feet. Accept this Holy Rosary, which I offer you in accordance with your request at Fatima, as a proof of my tender love for you, for the intentions of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in atonement for the offenses committed against your Immaculate Heart, and for the conversion of Barack Obama to become a staunch Pro-Life advocate.

I beg you to present my petition to your Divine Son. If you will pray for me, I cannot be refused. I know, dearest Mother, that you want me to seek God's holy Will concerning my request. If what I ask for should not be granted, pray that I may receive that which will be of greater benefit to my soul.

I offer you this spiritual "Bouquet of Roses" because I love you. I put all my confidence in you, since your prayers before God are most powerful. For the greater glory of God and for the sake of Jesus, your loving Son, hear and grant my prayer. Sweet heart of Mary, be my salvation.

Catholic Voters

Inside Catholic has broken them into the following categories:
1) Pro-life voters who would vote pro-life even if their bishop/priest and the USCCB supported the pro-choice candidate.

2) Pro-life voters who understand the bishops to be saying they cannot vote for a pro-choice candidate, and who therefore don't.

3) Pro-life voters who understand the bishops to be saying they need to balance abortion with other issues, and end up voting pro-life.

4) Pro-life voters who understand the bishops to be saying they need to balance abortion with other issues, and end up voting pro-choice.

5) Pro-life voters who honestly believe Obama will be the more pro-life candidate.

6) Pro-choice voters who really don't care what the bishops say and who vote pro-choice.

7) Voters who are "personally-pro-life," but who don't want to "legislate morality," and therefore lean strongly pro-choice in the voting booth.

8) Voters for whom abortion just isn't an issue in either direction.
They seem to have covered all the bases. If not, please leave a comment on their blog.

"Strengthening the Family"

Holy Family

The following is from Priests for Life

There are four evils that are endangering the family. Do you know what they are?

They are abortion, contraception, euthanasia and divorce.

Fr. Pavone has some suggestions on how to strength our families:
Practical Suggestions to Strengthen Your Family Life

1. Have a family night each week, on which nobody has any commitments to anything but each other. Do things together. If this is "impossible", maybe we are committed to too many things!

2. Mom and Dad need time just with each other, to do things they enjoy and to foster their love for each other. Don't let the marriage run on "automatic pilot". Nourish it.

3. Pray together as a family. Maybe a quick "Our Father" together in the morning before everyone leaves, and a table grace before meals at dinner. It only takes a few seconds, but makes a world of difference!

4. Don't wait only for special occasions like Christmas, birthdays, or anniversaries to give cards and gifts to family members. Surprise them at other times! "What's the occasion?" they might ask. Answer, "The occasion is that I love you!"

5. Welcome one another home. At the end of the work or school day, have a few minutes to greet each other, talk a little about the day, smile and encourage each other, before going on to the next activity.

6. Bring out the photo albums and family videos more often! Look at your wedding pictures, or films of the children's baptism, etc. Pictures and videos bring back good memories, stir good conversation, make us laugh, and help family members to know and appreciate one another better.

7. Seek and listen to the advice and experience of the oldest members in the family. The elderly have a lot to offer us. Society has changed but human nature has not, and their insights into human life can save us from a lot of mistakes!

Read the entire article here

I am happy to say I grew up in a family that did this and my family also does it.

Shared by Melissa.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

A List-Loving Priest's 4 Top Ten Lists

The following is also from Fr. Philip Powell, O.P.:

The following is my favorite list:
My Top Ten Liturgical Acts That Should Be Punished by Public Beating:

1). holding hands during the Our Father (not a real liturgical gesture)

2). improvised Eucharistic prayers ("Say the black, do the red, Father!")

3). omitting the Gloria on Sundays and other solemnities (pure laziness)

4). pronoun shuffle to avoid using male pronouns (forced participation in a political experiment)

5). editing the Creed to make it politically correct, theologically dodgy (ditto)

6). using the homily to ask for money (throw hymnals at pastors who do this)

7). saying "Good morning, everyone!" after the "Lord be with you" (doesn't trust the liturgy)

8). making imperatives into statements: "The Lord IS with you" (pretentious theology)

9). universalizing prayers, e.g. as in "Blessed are WE who are called to THIS supper"

10). funky priestly gestures, e.g. waving the host around at the consecration (stop that!)
As for #1. Even, if I clasp my hands together, close my eyes, there will always be someone who will nudge me to hold hands ;-)

Also for #1, when everyone has their arms raised up except the priest!

Fr. Philip's - 12 Reasons Why Faithful Citizenship Failed to Persuade

12 Reasons Why Faithful Citizenship Failed to Persuade

If you want to know what may have caused a large majority of Catholics to vote for the president-elect, read Father's post.

Two New Pro-Life Blogs Being Added to Side Bar

No to Abortion

Pro-Life Kids

Filipino Youth 4 Life

Why this Black, Immigrant, Catholic Man Did Not Vote for Obama

He did not vote for Obama because he knows life is sacred.

H/T to Catholic Fire

Blessed Mother Marianne Cope

Procession 7
Procession 6
Procession 5
Procession 4
Procession 3
Procession 2
Procession 1
The Diocese of Honolulu celebrated the 125th anniversary of the arrival of Blessed Mother Marianne Cope to the Hawaiian islands. There was a procession reenacting Mother Marianne Cope and the sisters arriving at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace in Honolulu. They were greeted at the Cathedral, the same Cathedral where soon-to-be saint Damien of Molokai was ordained by Bishop Larry Silva.

Joey and I were there for Confession. We could not stay for the celebration itself but were able to get a few photos on our way home.

Easter of Mostly Prayers attended the Mass with her family. Please visit her blog for more pictures and post on this beautiful celebration.

Related story Kakaako Could be the New Home of Mother Marianne Cope Memorial.