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Archive for November, 2010

Golden Coconut Award

I’ve decided to have a little fun and create an award for the coconut pro-abortion apologists who spout the most anti-scientific nonsense in the headlong pursuit of butchering babies. Welcome the Golden Coconut to Coming Home. This is a serious monthly award. Please email your candidates for the end-of -the-month award to be given on the last day of each month. It’s a neat little way of doing pro-life apologetics.

While on the net today I came across this little diatribe from a commenter named Anne over at ProWomanProLife:

Making abortion illegal causes astronomical increase in crime, so says silly things like data and facts. Glad you want more crime. Glad you want more kids living the shitty lives unwanted kids live. Glad you care more about your “scruples” than how much pain your scruples cause your society. That’s awesome…or pathological narcissism.

A quick search on Google revealed (not surprisingly), that Anne has it backward. Using Anne’s hypothesis, one would expect a higher crime rate for property and violent crimes in the years leading to Roe v. Wade, and then a gradual descent over time.

The data from the Bureau of Justice speak differently.

US Violent Crime Rate


US Property Crime Rate

In 1960, the crime rate was at its lowest. As the sexual revolution took off (narcissism), and demand for abortion increased (murderous narcissism), so did the crime rate. So it increased for 13 years prior to Roe and went higher as the abortion rates soared. An examination of these graphs indicates that as abortion rates dropped, beginning in the early 90′s, so did the crime rates.

Oops! Sorry Anne, but your argument fails the test of both causality and correlation. The data show a definite correlation in the opposite direction. You get an F on this piece of rhetoric and composition. But it does merit you a Golden Coconut!

2 R.K. Jones et al., "Abortion in the United States: Incidence and Access to Services, 2005," Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 40 (2008):6-16 (http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/journals/4000608.pdf; visited March 19, 2009).

So, for her exemplary work in demonstrating the pro-abort tactic of inverting the data in advancing their murderous agenda, Anne is the inaugural recipient of the Coming Home Golden Coconut Award!!

Congratulations Anne, and get well soon.

Don’t forget to send in your nominees!!!

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Philip Johnson’s Novena: Night Two

Philip Johnson

Tonight is night two of the Novena for Philip Gerard Johnson. Please Join us in prayer.

May I respectfully and humbly ask that we all join in prayer for this special seminarian, a graduate of the United States Naval Academy.

From the Diocese of Raleigh:

The Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge, Bishop of Raleigh, has requested in a letter that all the Priests, Religious and lay faithful in the Diocese of Raleigh participate in a novena to the Immaculate Conception, patroness of the Diocese, on behalf of Philip Johnson, one of our Diocesan seminarians. The novena will begin on Monday, November 29, and culminate on Wednesday, December 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.

Mr. Johnson, who is currently pursuing his vocation to the Priesthood at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia, has been receiving chemotherapy treatments for a brain tumor, which has continued to progress despite these treatments. He expressed “deep gratitude to the priests, religious, and laity of our Diocese for their prayerful support during this difficult time in my life.

“While my treatments can often be physically and emotionally draining,” he said, “it brings me great strength to know that so many prayers are being offered to Almighty God on my behalf. Please be assured of my prayers for our entire Diocese, especially for those who currently suffer in any way, that we may all unite our sufferings to those of Our Lord on the Cross.

Links to both the Bishop’s letter and the Novena Prayer in English and Spanish are provided below so that you may forward this request to others who you may wish to invite to pray for a needed cure for Philip. A link to an earlier story on Mr. Johnson provides additional information. Click here.

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November 27, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – On Saturday evening Pope Benedict XVI held an unprecedented “vigil for all nascent human life” at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. The vigil was held in union with thousands of similar events in parishes and dioceses across the world.

At the request of the Holy Father, a letter had been sent to all the episcopal conferences of the Catholic Church this past June, asking them to organize the pro-life prayer vigils on the eve of the beginning of the liturgical season of Advent in all local churches.

The following is a complete transcript of the pope’s remarks during the vigil, courtesy of Vatican Radio:

Dear brothers and sisters,

With this evening’s celebration, the Lord gives us the grace and joy of opening the new liturgical year beginning with its first stage: Advent, the period that commemorates the coming of God among us. Every beginning brings a special grace, because it is blessed by the Lord. In this Advent period we will once again experience the closeness of the One who created the world, who guides history and cared for us to the point of becoming a man. This great and fascinating mystery of God with us, moreover of God who becomes one of us, is what we celebrate in the coming weeks journeying towards holy Christmas. During the season of Advent we feel the Church that takes us by the hand and – in the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary – expresses her motherhood allowing us to experience the joyful expectation of the coming of the Lord, who embraces us all in his love that saves and consoles.

IMAGE: ©LWA-Dann Tardif/CORBIS

While our hearts reach out towards the annual celebration of the birth of Christ, the Church’s liturgy directs our gaze to the final goal: our encounter with the Lord in the splendour of glory. This is why we, in every Eucharist, “announce his death, proclaim his resurrection until he comes again” we hold vigil in prayer. The liturgy does not cease to encourage and support us, putting on our lips, in the days of Advent, the cry with which the whole Bible concludes, the last page of the Revelation of Saint John: “Come, Lord Jesus “(22:20).

Dear brothers and sisters, our coming together this evening to begin the Advent journey is enriched by another important reason: with the entire Church, we want to solemnly celebrate a prayer vigil for unborn life. I wish to express my thanks to all who have taken up this invitation and those who are specifically dedicated to welcoming and safeguarding human life in different situations of fragility, especially in its early days and in its early stages. The beginning of the liturgical year helps us to relive the expectation of God made flesh in the womb of the Virgin Mary, God who makes himself small, He becomes a child, it speaks to us of the coming of a God who is near, who wanted to experience the life of man, from the very beginning, to save it completely, fully. And so the mystery of the Incarnation of the Lord and the beginning of human life are intimately connected and in harmony with each other within the one saving plan of God, the Lord of life of each and every one of us. The Incarnation reveals to us, with intense light and in an amazing way, that every human life has an incomparable, a most elevated dignity.

Man has an unmistakable originality compared to all other living beings that inhabit the earth. He presents himself as a unique and singular entity, endowed with intelligence and free will, as well as being composed of a material reality. He lives simultaneously and inseparably in the spiritual dimension and the corporal dimension. This is also suggested in the text of the First letter to the Thessalonians which was just proclaimed: “May the God of peace himself – St. Paul writes – make you perfectly holy and may you entirely, spirit, soul, and body, be preserved blameless for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ “(5:23). Therefore, we are spirit, soul and body. We are part of this world, tied to the possibilities and limits of our material condition, at the same time we are open to an infinite horizon, able to converse with God and to welcome Him in us. We operate in earthly realities and through them we can perceive the presence of God and seek Him, truth, goodness and absolute beauty. We savour fragments of life and happiness and we long for total fulfilment.

God loves us so deeply, totally, without distinction, He calls us to friendship with him, He makes us part of a reality beyond all imagination, thought and word; His own divine life. With emotion and gratitude we acknowledge the value of the incomparable dignity of every human person and the great responsibility we have toward all. ” Christ, the final Adam, – says the Second Vatican Council – by the revelation of the mystery of the Father and His love, fully reveals man to man himself and makes his supreme calling clear…. by His incarnation the Son of God has united Himself in some fashion with every man. “(Gaudium et Spes, 22).

IMAGE: © Vladimir Godnik/beyond/Corbis

Believing in Jesus Christ also means having a new outlook on man, a look of trust and hope. Moreover, experience itself and reason show that the human being is a subject capable of discernment, self-conscious and free, unique and irreplaceable, the summit of all earthly things, that must be recognized in his innate value and always accepted with respect and love. He has the right not to be treated as an object of possession or something to manipulate at will, not to be reduced to a mere instrument for the benefit of others and their interests. The human person is a good in and of himself and his integral development should always be sought. Love for all, if it is sincere, naturally tends to become a preferential attention to the weakest and poorest. In this vein we find the Church’s concern for the unborn, the most fragile, the most threatened by the selfishness of adults and the darkening of consciences. The Church continually reiterates what was declared by the Second Vatican Council against abortion and all violations of unborn life: “from the moment of its conception life must be guarded with the greatest care ” (ibid., n. 51).

There are cultural tendencies that seek to anesthetize consciences with misleading motivations. With regard to the embryo in the womb, science itself highlights its autonomy capable of interaction with the mother, the coordination of biological processes, the continuity of development, the growing complexity of the organism. This is not an accumulation of biological material, but a new living being, dynamic and wonderfully ordered, a new unique human being. So was Jesus in Mary’s womb, so it was for all of us in our mother’s womb. With the ancient Christian writer Tertullian we can say: ” he who will be a man is already one” (Apologeticum IX, 8), there is no reason not to consider him a person from conception.

Unfortunately, even after birth, the lives of children continue to be exposed to abandonment, hunger, poverty, disease, abuse, violence or exploitation. The many violations of their rights that are committed in the world sorely hurt the conscience of every man of good will. Before the sad landscape of the injustices committed against human life, before and after birth, I make mine Pope John Paul II’s passionate appeal to the responsibility of each and every individual: ” respect, protect, love and serve life, every human life! Only in this direction will you find justice, development, true freedom, peace and happiness!”(Encyclical Evangelium vitae, 5). I urge the protagonists of politics, economic and social communications to do everything in their power to promote a culture which respects human life, to provide favorable conditions and support networks for the reception and development of life.

To the Virgin Mary, who welcomed the Son of God made man with faith, with her maternal womb, with loving care, with nurturing support and vibrant with love, we entrust our commitment and prayer in favour of unborn life . We do in the liturgy – which is the place where we live the truth and where truth lives with us – worshiping the divine Eucharist, we contemplate Christ’s body, that body who took flesh from Mary by the Holy Spirit, and from her was born in Bethlehem for our salvation. Ave, verum Corpus, natum de Maria Virgine!

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Deacon Greg Kandra is ordained and ministers in the Diocese of Brooklyn. He writes a fantastic blog, The Deacon’s Bench, at Beliefnet. His Homily for today, the First Sunday of Advent, is a stunner. It is reprinted here with Deacon Kandra’s permission.
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Homily for November 28, 2010: 1st Sunday of Advent

Anyone looking for interesting holiday recipes may have stumbled on a new word that has entered the American lexicon: “Cherpumple.” It’s a desert, created last year by Los Angeles writer Charles Phoenix – a diet-destroying, gut-busting feat of cooking that seems guaranteed to induce sugar shock.

It’s three different pies, stacked one on top of the other, and baked into one gargantuan “monster pie” with three layers – cherry, pumpkin, and apple, hence the name “cherpumple.” The recipe has swept the internet and has become a sensation on YouTube.

I showed a picture of a “cherpumple” to my wife and she agreed with me: it’s absolutely disgusting.

Some things just aren’t meant to be mashed together like that.

Deacon Greg Kandra

But I have to wonder if we haven’t done something similar with Advent and Christmas. For all intents and purposes, we have managed to create one massive season – “Chradvent” – that conflates two distinct seasons into one. And it’s starting earlier and earlier.

Hundreds of radio stations started playing Christmas music the day after Halloween – many of them all Christmas, all the time, 24/7. The week before Thanksgiving, I was amazed to walk by an apartment on 108th Street and see the lobby fully decorated, complete with a fully lit Christmas tree and wrapped gifts. Last Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, I went down to Sergei’s Barber Shop on Ascan Street for a haircut and saw workers unloading Christmas trees to sell. How anyone could expect a Christmas tree to live a month or more is a mystery to me. But people do it. I saw cars going down Queens Boulevard with trees strapped to the roof. Even before Thanksgiving, it seems, we’ve started to celebrate “Chradvent.”

Before everyone hops on that “Chradvent” bandwagon, I’d just like to take a moment to celebrate this season that so many have forgotten about – the season of Advent. We need to remember the reason for this season, and to hold on to Advent just a little while before surrendering to the craziness of “Chradvent.”

The readings today alert us to something great about to begin. The language is emphatic. Night is ending. Dawn is at hand. “Stay awake.” Put on “the armor of light.” And “let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.” There is a sense of anticipation – the kind we celebrate at every Eucharist, when we pray that we “wait in joyful hope for the coming of our savior, Jesus Christ.” Advent is that waiting, that moment of joyful hope, lived out across four weeks.

Cherpumple

We symbolize that, and ritualize it, with the Advent wreath. But we don’t light all four candles at once. We go one at a time, so the light gathers and grows. If you have an Advent calendar, you don’t fold open every window at once, but you go one small window at a time. Later in the season, we will sing the haunting refrain, “O come, O come, Emanuel, and ransom captive Israel…” We are captives awaiting freedom, prisoners held in dungeons of despair. But light is coming. Freedom is coming.

Jesus is coming.

But until he comes, we wait, and watch, and wonder, and pray.

We shouldn’t rush it. Advent is the time for taking stock, and making plans – a season of great expectations. Dorothy Day, in fact, compared it to a woman expecting a child. “She lives in such a garment of silence,” Day wrote, “as though she were listening to hear the stir of life within her.”

That brings me to question all of us should ask during these coming weeks:

Are we listening?

Are we paying attention?

Are we looking to what will be – or are we already there?

If we jump right into the holiday season, we forget to wait, and watch, and wonder, and pray. We neglect the “joyful hope” that is so much a part of this beautiful season. When Christmas arrives, it will seem almost anti-climactic: one more day in a long litany of jingling bells and canned carols.

This year resist the urge. Wait a while to get the tree and hang the wreath. Turn down the Christmas music. It’s okay: it will be there in the middle of December, just as it was in the middle of November.

Instead, use these weeks to pull back, to retreat from the ho-ho-ho and fa-la-la-la-la. Find time to look within — to pray more deeply, and converse more intimately with the One who is coming. Ask Him: How can I prepare for you? What can I do to welcome you into my life?

If all of us do that, we may be surprised at the answer.

And we’ll actually be able to HEAR the answer if we give ourselves over to the “garment of silence” that Dorothy Day wrote about.

“Cherpumple” is over the top, and unhealthy. And so, I think, is “Chradvent.” So pull the two seasons apart, and live each of them as fully as possible.

Let’s look forward to a merry Christmas.

But let’s also use this opportunity, as well, to enjoy a blessed and holy Advent.

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Pro-abortion, feminist psychologist Florence Thomas has recently created a stir with the publication of her own experience with abortion. Among other noteworthy quotes, Thomas describes the child of the womb as a “tumor”, and that it is the love of the mother which “humanizes” the baby. Read the rest here.

“I remember the nights of warmth and love. Love every night, love at midday, and the euphoria of having the world in our hands, and yes, we took risks. The love merited it. Love always merits it.”

And…

Thomas “knew that I would not ever again have an abortion in my life. I went through that once in my life, and I would not do it twice. Today I continue to wonder how a woman can have an abortion two or three times and even more.”

There is so much pathology, so much despair in those few lines. A lifetime of distortion.

I too remember that with Regina we had “nights of warmth and love. Love every night, love at midday, and the euphoria of having the world in our hands.” It’s a glorious time in a new marriage, and it serves the purpose of binding up that nascent oneness in ineffable bonds that transcend earthly realities.

Regina and I can also agree that, “we took risks. The love merited it. Love always merits it.” That, too, is true.

Our love was open to the transmission of life, a life born of the expression of our love for one another. The “risk” involved was that of growing beyond ourselves, of putting out into the deep and accepting the awesome responsibility of molding a new human being; mind, body, and soul. We “risked” making the transition from young love to the deeper dimensions of sacrificial love that come with parenthood, beginning with the loss of “Love every night, love at midday,” that accompanies pregnancy and post-partum reality.

Of course, the love Thomas describes is purely sexual. But we learned a different expression of “Love every night” when the children were born. Regina nursed, and the babies were up every two hours looking to be fed. I would get up, change the diaper, bring the baby to Regina, catnap while the baby was fed, burp and change the baby, and put the baby back to bed. This was a forty minute procedure. Then, it was back up for the next round in an hour and twenty minutes. That’s shared responsibility for the product of one’s loving union.

That’s where Thomas went horribly wrong. She viewed the child as a tumor, a disordered growth within herself. The “risk” she feared was the sublimation of love, through the loss of unbridled sex. The child came to be an externalized symbolic representation of her sexuality: a disordered entity, uncontrollable and metastatic in nature. Her sexuality was an entity that would consume her from within.

However, narcissism seeks an external locus of blame. The self is never to blame. So, it wasn’t the “risk” of staying mired in a young adult developmental stage past its useful function. That’s where she wanted, and needed to be. Thus, the baby was identified as the radically disordered, metastatic entity which threatened to consume her.

A “love” whose expression seeks to kill the new life it produces is not love at all. It is a murderous form of psychopathology, extreme narcissism. The sexual behavior Thomas describes is nothing more than hedonism, the pursuit of orgasm with another for whom one has deep feelings.

Such narcissism gives rise to the statement that it is the love of the mother that “humanizes” the baby. In one sense, Thomas is correct. Love permits us to see the humanity of another. The other “becomes” human in our eyes when we look beyond ourselves and consider the frailty of life in general, and the particular circumstances of the other. It’s called empathy.

In the absence of true love there is only the bleak and sterile isolationism that requires one to seek the fruits, the sensations of love, in order to stave off the irrevocable descent into total madness. Like the woman behind the foggy glass window, Thomas can see and appreciate the freedom, the lightness of being in the butterfly flitting about within her grasp.

The tragedy of her life is that she is too afraid to open the window.

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Philip Johnson

May I respectfully and humbly ask that we all join in prayer for this special seminarian, a graduate of the United States Naval Academy.

From the Diocese of Raleigh:

The Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge, Bishop of Raleigh, has requested in a letter that all the Priests, Religious and lay faithful in the Diocese of Raleigh participate in a novena to the Immaculate Conception, patroness of the Diocese, on behalf of Philip Johnson, one of our Diocesan seminarians. The novena will begin on Monday, November 29, and culminate on Wednesday, December 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.

Mr. Johnson, who is currently pursuing his vocation to the Priesthood at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia, has been receiving chemotherapy treatments for a brain tumor, which has continued to progress despite these treatments. He expressed “deep gratitude to the priests, religious, and laity of our Diocese for their prayerful support during this difficult time in my life.

“While my treatments can often be physically and emotionally draining,” he said, “it brings me great strength to know that so many prayers are being offered to Almighty God on my behalf. Please be assured of my prayers for our entire Diocese, especially for those who currently suffer in any way, that we may all unite our sufferings to those of Our Lord on the Cross.

Links to both the Bishop’s letter and the Novena Prayer in English and Spanish are provided below so that you may forward this request to others who you may wish to invite to pray for a needed cure for Philip. A link to an earlier story on Mr. Johnson provides additional information. Click here.

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