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Archive for October, 2012

Hurricane Sandy

UPDATE 11/3/12: I’ve set up a mechanism for donations to a parish food pantry near the affected areas on Staten Island, where EVERY PENNY donated (Tax-deductable!) will be used by Sr. Margaret Mary to purchase food for the victims. Click here to get the details.

We live just two blocks from New York City’s Evacuation Zone A, 1/4 mile from the ocean’s edge, and atop a steep hill. For Regina, the children and me, there was no fear of flood waters, but there was for several friends who live in the evacuation zone around the Knights of Columbus Council where I first entered the order, Manresa Council.

It’s all gone now. The Council, which faced the beach, filled to within six inches from the ceiling with water from the 14-foot tidal surge. As the floodwaters receded, the outer wall of the building burst open, the heavy steel gate over the front door twisted like tin foil.

The homes of those in the neighborhood were simply battered to rubble.

A mother seeking to escape the rising waters put her two babies in the car and drove off, only to be checked in her escape by the rapidly rising waters. She tragically opened the car and stepped out to survey an escape route when a swell swept her away. She was rescued. Her babies, swept away, have yet to be found. It’s beyond heartbreaking.

So many who died had so very much advance warning. As Paul Simon wrote over twenty years ago, “This is the age of miracles and wonders, this is the long distance call…” With satellites, radio, TV, cable, the internet…

Simon was quite right. Thanks to the miracles and wonder of technology, we all saw this coming. Most heeded the warnings. Then, tragically, there were those who did not.

As we sat with the winds blowing and prayed the rosary as a family, we prayed for those in harm’s way. In my heart, I prayed for those who didn’t heed the call to leave; who through obstinance, or hubris, or the denial that comes with overwhelming fear, would die that night.

I suppose it’s all a modern day parable; like the foolish virgins who knew the master was returning, but did not get oil for their lamps. I also suppose that those of us in the pro-life cause feel much like those political leaders, police and firefighters who begged people to see the reports for themselves and save themselves while they could.

How maddeningly frustrating it is to have outright denial hurled back by those who face certain peril.

How heartbreaking to see our words go unheeded and the resultant loss of life, men and women maimed through disease or abortion.

Are there behavioral parallels from those who would not flee Sandy, parallels from which we might glean useful knowledge?

It’s academic for now. We have thousands whose homes were totaled, just in my community. Many are brother knights, brothers in the Holy Name Society. They need immediate help as well as assistance for the long term. Many couldn’t get flood insurance, and have been completely wiped out. It’s fundraising season now. The holidays are bearing down on us as so very, very many have been left with nothing but the clothes on their backs.

Please pray for them. Please pray for all who have been ravaged by this storm, and please give whatever support you can. This is as pro-life as it gets.

Praise God for all the lives that were spared, for those brave men and women who stand in harm’s way to save life! And we commend to him those who perished.

God Bless.

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Note: There seems to be two different protocols that have been reported on this, as Melissa points out in the combox below. I’ll track down the correct one and adjust accordingly.

News today from AP that a research team at Oregon Health and Sciences University has replicated work done a few years ago in Britain, constructing a human embryo by using the eggs of two mothers and a father’s sperm.

Read it at FoxNews

The goal here is to prevent diseases that arise from genetic defects within the energy-producing organelle of the cell known as the mitochondrion. These so-called mitochondrial diseases are very real and quite varied. As the article states:

About 1 in every 5,000 children inherits a disease caused by defective mitochondrial genes. The defects can cause many rare diseases with a host of symptoms, including strokes, epilepsy, dementia, blindness, deafness, kidney failure and heart disease.

So the diseases and the frequencies are significant. The ethics are a forgone conclusion. We’ll debate the ethics of taking the healthy nucleus from Jane’s egg and putting it into the egg of Lisa (which has had its nucleus removed), and then fertilizing that hybrid with Jane’s husband’s sperm. In this way, they will have children with 99% DNA from Jane and hubby, and only 1% DNA residing in the mitochondrion.

What effect will this have on the offspring, and will there be complications? We won’t know until we manufacture these babies and await the results not only over the course of the manufactured baby’s life, but in the lives of the descendants.

It won’t stop there.

The next step will be the genetic engineering of nuclear DNA by either replacing entire chromosomes, or at the least, defective nuclear genes. The guiding ethical principle?

Suffering is bad, and the noble end of preventing suffering justifies the means.

Emanating from this nobility comes the evil of intolerance of those who suffer, and who afflict us with their suffering. Consider the following from U.S. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. in his infamous majority opinion in the 1927 Buck v. Bell case which upheld the forced sterilization of the developmentally delayed:

Carrie Buck is a feeble minded white woman who was committed to the State Colony above mentioned in due form. She is the daughter of a feeble minded mother in the same institution, and the mother of an illegitimate feeble minded child…

An Act of Virginia, approved March 20, 1924, recites that the health of the patient and the welfare of society may be promoted in certain cases by the sterilization of mental defectives, under careful safeguard, &c.; that the sterilization may be effected in males by vasectomy and in females by salpingectomy, without serious pain or substantial danger to life; that the Commonwealth is supporting in various institutions many defective persons who, if now discharged, would become [p206] a menace, but, if incapable of procreating, might be discharged with safety and become self-supporting with benefit to themselves and to society…

We have seen more than once that the public welfare may call upon the best citizens for their lives. It would be strange if it could not call upon those who already sap the strength of the State for these lesser sacrifices, often not felt to be such by those concerned, in order to prevent our being swamped with incompetence. It is better for all the world if, instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind. The principle that sustains compulsory vaccination is broad enough to cover cutting the Fallopian tubes. Three generations of imbeciles are enough.

There’s nothing new in our age.

When suffering is to be avoided at all costs, the question becomes, “WHOSE suffering?”

The answer to that question then determines the lengths to which we will go to prevent that suffering.

The next step will be designer babies, and on what grounds could parents possibly be stopped? That it’s unethical to manufacture human beings in a lab? Are they humans in that Petri dish? If yes, why do we discard so many during normal IVF? Is that not murder? If the answer is no, then what harm is there? Isn’t genetic engineering for traits just a cleaner and more precise version of picking up a blonde-haired, blue-eyed stud in a bar, or picking out an Ivy-League sperm donor?

What is being lost in the process that now gives people pause?

That’s the only question whose answer matters.

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Obama, Life, Exhaustion

A rare rant here at Coming Home.

Shoveling against the tide. That’s been the pro-life reality under President Barak Hussein Obama. It’s difficult to advance a Culture of Life behind the iron curtain of the Culture of Death.

It’s draining. Exhausting.

The corruption of the scientific and medical communities by abortion and its allies has hampered the advancement of the healing arts by dimensions that are staggeringly incalculable. The waste of precious dollars on abortion, and cleaning up its mess, on cleaning up the mess left behind by the sexual promiscuity promoted by Planned Parenthood (STD’s, AIDS) is similarly staggering. The direct costs are easily well above $1 Trillion. Consider the cost of:

55 Million abortions since Roe v. Wade
Treating hundreds of millions of STD’s since the late 1960’s
The research costs around AIDS (largely an STD)
The hospitalization costs and medication costs of AIDS {$36.4 Billion per year}

Then there was the solid economic impact study conducted by Dennis M. Howard, founder of Movement for a Better America

“We found that the 50.5 million surgical abortions since 1970 have cost the U.S. an astonishing $35 trillion dollars,” in lost Gross Domestic Product, he told LifeNews.com. “However, if you include all the babies lost to IUDs, RU-486, sterilization, and abortifacients, the number climbs to $70 trillion.”

$70 Trillion

Drink that in. We’re in a panic over Obama’s staggering debt load of $16 Tillion, yet the lifestyle advocated by BO and his fellow travelers, in both parties, has cost us $70 Trillion and counting.

The lost opportunities for curing diseases and treating disorders. The lost lives who might well have prevented wars or invented new technologies.

Read the rest at Howard’s site.

So what have we been reduced to by all of this?

We have Obama’s healthcare replete with death panels, with a rationing czar who came here for 2 1/2 years to set up a rationing program for healthcare because the same government that has sponsored this civilizational suicide has now established itself as the arbiters of who among the survivors will die first in order to assure a better quality of life for the remainder.

It’s filthy and grubby, but to be honest, it’s who and what we have become as a people. We voted them in. We tolerated the evil, even participated in it. We let it happen.

The lost money, the lost time and talent of all who work at shoveling against this tide of sewage, the lost opportunities to work for healing surgeries and therapies that would ameliorate the coldest of eugenic hearts…

What have we done to ourselves?

There is one more good chance to elect a president who will overturn Obamacare. Just one more.

But to be certain, the change of hearts will continue to consume the time and creative energies of some of the best and brightest among us for decades to come. More lost opportunities for advancing what was once the greatest civilization in the history of the world; but what else can we do?

Still, there is the hope that people have begun to see what we have collectively wrought-and now wish to change.

Maybe.

Hopefully.

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Tonight we conclude our Divine Mercy Novena for Theodore Shulman and those affected by his actions. We do so on the Feast of Saint Gerard Majella, my patron saint, who is the Patron Saint of Expectant Mothers. It was through Gerard’s powerful intercession that I was born, and for him that I was named. We invoke Gerard’s mighty intercession tonight, on this last day of the Divine Mercy Novena, for Theodore’s conversion

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all who have participated in this spiritual exercise of compassion and mercy. God Bless you all.

The link to the Divine Mercy Chaplet follows the prayer.

We Pray.

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Day 9
Today bring to Me SOULS WHO HAVE BECOME LUKEWARM,* and immerse them in the abyss of My mercy. These souls wound My Heart most painfully. My soul suffered the most dreadful loathing in the Garden of Olives because of lukewarm souls. They were the reason I cried out: ‘Father, take this cup away from Me, if it be Your will.’ For them, the last hope of salvation is to run to My mercy.

On this final day of the Novena for Theodore Shulman, let us pray for him and those who have failed him in charity. Let us pray for those in the pro-life movement who may be indifferent to his suffering. Finally, let us pray for all of those lukewarm souls who know neither the fire of love for God, nor the icy cold of rebellion, but who are merely lukewarm and indifferent.

Most compassionate Jesus, You are Compassion Itself. I bring lukewarm souls into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart. In this fire of Your pure love, let these tepid souls, who, like corpses, filled You with such deep loathing, be once again set aflame. O Most Compassionate Jesus, exercise the omnipotence of Your mercy and draw them into the very ardor of Your love, and bestow upon them the gift of holy love, for nothing is beyond Your power.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon lukewarm souls who are nonetheless enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. Father of Mercy, I beg You by the bitter Passion of Your Son and by His three-hour agony on the Cross: Let them, too, glorify the abyss of Your mercy. Amen.

Chaplet of Divine Mercy

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We continue our Divine Mercy Novena today.

We Pray

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Day 7
Today bring to Me THE SOULS WHO ESPECIALLY VENERATE AND GLORIFY MY MERCY,* and immerse them in My mercy. These souls sorrowed most over my Passion and entered most deeply into My spirit. They are living images of My Compassionate Heart. These souls will shine with a special brightness in the next life. Not one of them will go into the fire of hell. I shall particularly defend each one of them at the hour of death.

Let us pray for the penitent soul that through the mercy of God and through the Blood of the Lamb, has been reconciled to God. That by this gift of reconciliation may be an example of how merciful our loving God is and lead others to seek that same mercy. We pray too for Theodore and his mother, that they may come to know in an ever more personal way the love and mercy of God.

Most Merciful Jesus, whose Heart is Love Itself, receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of those who particularly extol and venerate the greatness of Your mercy. These souls are mighty with the very power of God Himself. In the midst of all afflictions and adversities they go forward, confident of Your mercy; and united to You, O Jesus, they carry all mankind on their shoulders. These souls will not be judged severely, but Your mercy will embrace them as they depart from this life.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls who glorify and venerate Your greatest attribute, that of Your fathomless mercy, and who are enclosed in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. These souls are a living Gospel; their hands are full of deeds of mercy, and their hearts, overflowing with joy, sing a canticle of mercy to You, O Most High! I beg You O God:

Show them Your mercy according to the hope and trust they have placed in You. Let there be accomplished in them the promise of Jesus, who said to them that during their life, but especially at the hour of death, the souls who will venerate this fathomless mercy of His, He, Himself, will defend as His glory. Amen.

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We continue our Divine Mercy Novena today.

We Pray

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Day 6

Today bring to Me THE MEEK AND HUMBLE SOULS AND THE SOULS OF LITTLE CHILDREN, and immerse them in My mercy. These souls most closely resemble My Heart. They strengthened Me during My bitter agony. I saw them as earthly Angels, who will keep vigil at My altars. I pour out upon them whole torrents of grace. Only the humble soul is capable of receiving My grace. I favor humble souls with My confidence.

Let us pray for the gift of humility to pray for the poor sinner as they seek refuge in Christ’s Ocean of Mercy. In their humility may they find reconciliation and a renewed sense of mission to spread hope through Christ’s bountiful mercy.

Most Merciful Jesus, You yourself have said, “Learn from Me for I am meek and humble of heart.” Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart all meek and humble souls and the souls of little children. These souls send all heaven into ecstasy and they are the heavenly Father’s favorites. They are a sweet-smelling bouquet before the throne of God; God Himself takes delight in their fragrance. These souls have a permanent abode in Your Most Compassionate Heart, O Jesus, and they unceasingly sing out a hymn of love and mercy.

Chaplet of Divine Mercy

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Today the Coming Home pro-life family continues to lift up in love and prayer Theodore Shulman, his family, and the pro-life community. Our prayer is for healing whatever bitterness that resides in the hearts of people on either side of this issue. Mr. Shulman is a truly gifted scientist whose skills are desperately needed in research to cure human affliction. In the next nine days, we’ll pray for his inner-healing and for his heart and mind to be guided by love of humanity.

Some Notes: First, for our non-Catholic brothers and sisters, novenas are nine days of intercessory prayer. We welcome you to join us in the novena prayers, or to pray along with us each night at 8 PM EST in any manner of prayer that you prefer. I have also linked to the chaplet at the end of the prayers.

We Pray

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Day 5

Today bring to Me THE SOULS OF THOSE WHO HAVE SEPARATED THEMSELVES FROM MY CHURCH,* and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. During My bitter Passion they tore at My Body and Heart, that is, My Church. As they return to unity with the Church, My wounds heal and in this way they alleviate My Passion.

Lord Jesus, we lift up to you Theodore, his mother, and all who have separated themselves from your body, the larger church of faithful believers from Judaism and other faiths who place their belief in the God of Abraham. Send your irresistible Holy Spirit into their lives and light in them the fire of your love. We pray too for those who claim to be pro-life whose hearts are similarly far from you.

Most Merciful Jesus, Goodness Itself, You do not refuse light to those who seek it of You. Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of those who have separated themselves from Your Church. Draw them by Your light into the unity of the Church, and do not let them escape from the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart; but bring it about that they, too, come to glorify the generosity of Your mercy.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls of those who have separated themselves from Your Son’s Church, who have squandered Your blessings and misused Your graces by obstinately persisting in their errors. Do not look upon their errors, but upon the love of Your own Son and upon His bitter Passion, which He underwent for their sake, since they, too, are enclosed in His Most Compassionate Heart. Bring it about that they also may glorify Your great mercy for endless ages. Amen.

Chaplet of Divine Mercy

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