Archive for December, 2010

Prayer Request

I just received news tonight that my Aunt Vivian, who is also my Godmother, has taken a precipitous turn and is unlikely to live more than one to three days. I’ll be taking some time away over the next few days to attend to family matters.

May I ask that people lift up my aunt in prayer, that she have a peaceful death and a merciful judgement, especially considering how great a woman she is.

Thank you, and a very Happy New Year to all!

Stay safe.

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Want to kill your mother? Here is how one New York HMO tried to do it with my friend’s mom. Names have been changed to protect their privacy. This is malevolence as art.

Clinical Background
Mike’s mom, Betty, is 90 years old. In the past seven years she has had cancer and triple by-pass surgery. The cancer is in remission. She has mild, early stage Alzheimer’s disease that is well managed with medicine. A few months ago, Betty took a tumble getting out of bed at home (Mike and his wife live with her). Betty, it should be noted, is one tough woman who will no doubt outlive me. She’s that type of gritty pioneer woman with a triumphant spirit. However, Betty needed some PT and Rehab that required two months in a nursing home.

Her leg is stiff and needs more strengthening, but that can be accomplished at home with outpatient therapy. The stay in the nursing home has slowed Betty down a bit, but she’s mobile, lucid, and ornery as ever. Glory Be. Otherwise, Betty is in great shape.

It should be noted that Betty is a retired NY City employee with a great pension and full medical benefits.

Mike is a great guy. Engineer, Warrant Officer in the US Army, Gulf War Vet, adjunct History professor, and all-around good egg. Medicine is not his area of strength, as engineering is Greek to me. History is a common passion and we have our weekend breakfast every weekend as we discuss teaching, military history, current events, family, etc.

The Lie
Last week Mike stated in passing that his mother’s physician suggested that she really needs full-time help during the day, and that such help can be arranged by signing her into hospice care.

I almost choked on my food as he said it.

I told Mike that if he did this, they wouldn’t treat Betty’s heart if a stent was needed, do surgery if she fell again, treat the cancer aggressively if it returns, etc. Hospice is about palliative care. They’re marking her for death through withholding of treatment. Hospice is about easing one into the ground. Regina and I were adamant that he call the HMO and grill them with very specific questions.

Mike called the HMO and grilled them. They agreed (reluctantly and after great ducking and weaving) that, yes, they would not stent, bypass, do bone surgery, etc, if Betty were a hospice patient. He also pried out of them that she wouldn’t even be sent for routine follow-up testing for the heart and the cancer. No mention of these consequences was made when the paper was put on the desk before Mike, and he’s grateful that he took some time to think, and that he made such a serendipitous passing comment over breakfast.

So that’s were we are now. Euthanasia being dressed up as long-term home healthcare as an affordable means of caring for mom, so as to avoid a nursing home, with absolutely NO mention of the ramifications.

This is evil, as dirty and dastardly as it gets. If we cannot trust our physicians to be truthful, to be our advocates, then we are in trouble. Big trouble.

The only thing more unthinkable than a world without Betty in it, is a world in which Betty was murdered through treachery, because some medical economist has determined that she is no longer worth the money spent to keep her alive. But New York made a deal with Betty. New York agreed that it would see to her financial and medical needs if she helped build our city through her life’s work.

Betty kept faith, and now societal forces are breaking faith with the Betty’s of our nation. That’s because those who held out the promise were honorable people who have been supplanted by my generation. The Greatest Generation spawned the Narcissistic Baby Boomers.

Betty will be fine. We’ll see to that. The Boomers, who begin retiring this year, are about to find out that they are too slow to outrun the scorched earth campaign they’ve waged for 45 years on the American landscape.

We will be the ones to catch the full fury of euthanasia.

The fire is gaining on us, and we have no one to blame but ourselves.

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Coming Home’s Top Ten Posts of 2010

I’m borrowing a practice from my friend Jill Stanek, who ends the year at her blog by looking at the Top Ten most read posts. (Imitation is the highest form of flattery, Jill). It’s a great idea to see what was of most interest to readers here at Coming Home during 2010. So here they are, counting down to number one.

10. Pope Benedict XVI: Love & Truth

9. Girl Scouts’ Leaders In Bed With Planned Parenthood

8. Margaret Sanger-In Her Own Words

7. Autism, Genetic Testing, Abortion and Prevention (Part I)

6. National Cancer Institute Researcher Admits Abortion Breast Cancer Link

5. The War Against Mother Teresa of Calcutta

4. The Bishop, The Nun, The Mother and Child

3. Planned Parenthood In New Initiative Targets 10 Year-Old Children With Condoms That Don’t Work

2. Conceived in Rape: God is My Father

1. Susan G. Komen Gives Million$ to Planned Parenthood

It’s been an interesting year, to say the least. Blessings to all for a healthy and prosperous New Year!

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Father Steven E. Clark

The repeal of DADT will have far-reaching repercussions for the military chaplaincy, and makes the only acceptable expressions of morality those which are consistent with the provisions within Uniform Code of Military Justice. Father Steven Clark has an excellent letter in today’s Journal News. He speaks with a unique voice of authority.

As a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and now a member of the clergy, in my opinion the striking down of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy for the Armed Forces will have negative consequences on the free exercise of religion for many members of the military and, more specifically, on the chaplain corps of all services. Our senators, representatives and president in one bill have struck at the very heart of the constitutional guarantee of the free exercise of religion.

What will happen to Christian, Jewish and Muslim chaplains who adhere to traditional moral teaching based on their holy scriptures and teach that homosexual activity is immoral? What will happen to chaplains who are no longer allowed to deliver sermons, homilies and teachings counter to accepted military policy when dealing with homosexual activity of service members? Will they be disciplined, prosecuted or discharged? Will their respective religious authorities call them home in order to protect them from either compromising their beliefs or prosecution by military authorities? Who will then serve the troops in their respective faith groups? This is a potential constitutional disaster the magnitude of which the members of Congress and our president seem to have not considered — or did they and just don’t care?

This does not bode well for our constitutional guarantee of the free exercise of religion and specifically for a chaplain corps whose active duty numbers have shrunk to a point that present-day billets go unfilled.

The Rev. Steven Clark

Mount Kisco

The writer is pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Church in Mount Kisco.

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My article in today’s LifeNews.com

Bishop Thomas Olmsted, of the Phoenix, Arizona Diocese took the extraordinary step last week of removing Saint Joseph Hospital’s Catholic status.

The measure comes after last May’s confrontation between Sister Margaret McBride, the hospital’s administrator who gave permission for an 11-week pregnant woman with a severe case of pulmonary hypertension to have an abortion, and Bishop Olmsted who notified her in private that her actions were formal cooperation in the child’s death, and therefore incurred a laetae sententiae (automatic) excommunication.

Much confusion swirls around this case, and needs to be cleared in the interest of defending the good name of a good bishop.

First, a recap of the initial controversy last May. Pulmonary hypertension is a gravely serious condition that is exacerbated by pregnancy. Testing done at Saint Joseph’s indicated a fairly advanced stage of the disease, and it was deemed that the 27 year-old mother of four would in all likelihood not make it to term with her pregnancy. Termination of the pregnancy was advocated as the means of saving the life of the mother. Thus, the ethical crossroads.

The moral guide for hospitals and healthcare institutions is spelled out in Ethical and Religious Directives of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (ERD’s). Directives #45 and #47 both spell out the rules for dealing with a case such as this, and Bishop Olmsted, a Doctor of Canon Law, has made it clear that this case did not fall within the parameters of these directives and what is known as the Principle of Double Effect.

In essence the principle states that a lifesaving procedure that cannot be delayed, such as the removal of a cancerous uterus before the baby can be taken in a Cesarean section at viability (~25 weeks gestation), is permissible so long as the death of the baby is the indirect and unintended effect. The life-saving treatment and resolution of a disease with immediate lethal consequence if no treatment is rendered is the good effect. The unintended death of the baby is the bad, or second (double) effect.

Such circumstances are extremely rare, given how early a baby can be delivered before full term at 40 weeks. The mother’s life must be in immediate danger and the treatment of her disease, which would also result in the death of the baby, cannot be forestalled. The case at Saint Joseph’s did not rise to the level of Double-Effect, as the baby was the sole target of intervention.

While the assessment on the part of physicians was dire, no treatment of the disease was even attempted. There are several medications that can be employed to attempt a reduction in the severity of the disease, none of which appear to have been dispensed in this case. From that point on, the actions of the hospital and Sister McBride pointed toward more than an isolated and extreme case where the decision to abort could have been simply dismissed as one bad judgment call.

There are several hospitals within a three-mile radius of Saint Joseph’s, some mere blocks away, where this woman’s husband could have taken her for the recommended abortion. They were no more than ten minutes from any number of facilities that would have performed the abortion, if that was what the couple wanted. All reports of the incident indicate that at no point was the couple told that Saint Joseph’s does not target babies for death as a means of treating a disease. Again, no evidence has surfaced that the physicians attempted to treat her medically.

This is a critical distinction that separates Catholic healthcare from its secular counterparts. Many physicians resort to abortion as a defensive strategy to avoid potential litigation. Others have signed on to the eugenics agenda and aggressively promote abortion for Down Syndrome and other babies with trisomic disorders, spinal tube defects such as spina bifida and anencephaly, and a host of other imperfections.

Patients who seek Catholic healthcare do so because of the assurance that the facility and its clinicians adhere to the ERD’s. They do so because they seek the assurance that they will be told the truth and treated in accord with Catholic moral norms, and not railroaded down the disastrous path American medicine has decided to follow. The Phoenix case is an excellent example of what happens when rebels take charge and deceive their patients and the bishop.

At the time, I remarked to peers in medicine and to groups I was invited to address that there had to be much more to this story than meets the eye. No Catholic hospital faithful to the ERD’s and the Magisterium, within a stone’s throw of several other hospitals, makes such a decision, especially without consulting the local bishop. I opined, and was pilloried for it, that Sister McBride was presiding over a shadow healthcare system that was active in promoting an agenda that ran counter to the mission of the Church. Nobody commits first-degree murder as a first crime. No Catholic hospital administrator, especially a professed religious, signs off on such an abortion for the first time in the manner in which Sister McBride conducted herself.

There was an arrogance, an independent and defiant air about it that pointed to something deeper and darker, something that would eventually come to light.

This past week, Bishop Olmsted shared with the world the extent to which there has been a shadow system operating for over a quarter of a century, performing abortions, sterilizations, and dispensing all manner of contraception. Sister McBride, as it has now been revealed, is hardly the compassionate administrator who made a good-faith, though horrific decision.

In Part II, how Bishop Olmsted was lied to, lied about, what happens next in his courageous pushback against the rebellion within his healthcare system, and its implications nationally for Catholic healthcare.

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Urbi et Orbi: Christmas, 2010

From his Christmas Address Urbi et Orbi (To the City and the World), Pope Benedict XVI:

“The Incarnation is the culmination of creation. When Jesus, the Son of God incarnate, was formed in the womb of Mary by the will of the Father and the working of the Holy Spirit, creation reached its high point. The ordering principle of the universe, the Logos, began to exist in the world, in a certain time and space.”

What beauty. Creation reaches its culmination when Jesus was formed in the womb, not at birth. Pope Benedict understands that creation of the human person is complete at fertilization, when in the zygotic stage a whole and complete human, in form and function, exists at the single-celled stage.

Creation is complete.

From that point on, the human person is engaged in its development, a process that exists on a continuum until death, and beyond.

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Gentle Night

Midnight. Burning the advent wreath down with the Christ Candle lit in the center. Listening to boys air choirs sing the psalms as we wrap presents and get the children ready for bed. They’re too excited to sleep, though that’s coming fast.

It’s the best part of Christmas for me. Looking at the Nativity set, and contemplating the Holy Family. How did sleep come to them that night? What did they make of the great Theophany, when Heaven opened onto earth and the angels sang? The great comfort, the fulfillment of the promise, but how? The Messiah born in a barn?

As I contemplate the Nativity, I contemplate the figures not there; those who refused a very pregnant Mary about to give birth. Why? What hardness of heart existed in that time, in that place, that a woman about to deliver was not welcomed in from the cold to a safe place, if only for the night? Where was compassion, empathy?

It wasn’t that there was no room in the inn. There was no room in people’s hearts. So the couple were shown the barn, and amidst the filth and odor, the indignity of all indignities, God came into the world as an untouchable. And as I contemplate the hardness of hearts then and now, I also see how far we have come.

I think of my son, and how in my own childhood, autistic children like him were sent away to institutions. Untouchables.

I think of the boys in his Boy Scout Troop who embrace him as is, and others like him. They’re growing up with special needs children in their classes, on their sports teams, in their neighborhoods, in their families. This has been made possible because the community of parents with autistic children have been militant. Because those who came before Joseph have demanded innovations in therapies, and plenty of services, the fields of speech therapy, occupational therapy, and special education have grown by leaps and bounds.

So has Joseph.

It’s not a miracle. We as a society just decided to do it.

We say “yes”, and God provides.

Just like a young couple so very long ago. They said “yes”, and were gifted with gold, frankincense, and myrrh for their long journey to Egypt.

My son has taught me more than I ever imagined about Divine Providence. All that God requires is a “yes.”

He makes the rest happen.

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From today’s Liturgy of the Hours, Office of Readings


A Sermon of Pope Saint Leo the Great

Christian, remember your dignity

Dearly beloved, today our Saviour is born; let us rejoice. Sadness should have no place on the birthday of life. The fear of death has been swallowed up; life brings us joy with the promise of eternal happiness.

No one is shut out from this joy; all share the same reason for rejoicing. Our Lord, victor over sin and death, finding no man free from sin, came to free us all. Let the saint rejoice as he sees the palm of victory at hand. Let the sinner be glad as he receives the offer of forgiveness. Let the pagan take courage as he is summoned to life.

In the fullness of time, chosen in the unfathomable depths of God’s wisdom, the Son of God took for himself our common humanity in order to reconcile it with its creator. He came to overthrow the devil, the origin of death, in that very nature by which he had overthrown mankind.

And so at the birth of our Lord the angels sing in joy: Glory to God in the highest, and they proclaim peace to men of good will as they see the heavenly Jerusalem being built from all the nations of the world. When the angels on high are so exultant at this marvellous work of God’s goodness, what joy should it not bring to the lowly hearts of men?

Beloved, let us give thanks to God the Father, through his Son, in the Holy Spirit, because in his great love for us he took pity on us, and when we were dead in our sins he brought us to life with Christ, so that in him we might be a new creation. Let us throw off our old nature and all its ways and, as we have come to birth in Christ, let us renounce the works of the flesh.

Christian, remember your dignity, and now that you share in God’s own nature, do not return by sin to your former base condition. Bear in mind who is your head and of whose body you are a member. Do not forget that you have been rescued from the power of darkness and brought into the light of God’s kingdom.

Through the sacrament of baptism you have become a temple of the Holy Spirit. Do not drive away so great a guest by evil conduct and become again a slave to the devil, for your liberty was bought by the blood of Christ.

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“And when we give each other Christmas gifts in His name, let us remember that He has given us the sun and the moon and the stars, and the earth with its forests and mountains and oceans–and all that lives and move upon them. He has given us all green things and everything that blossoms and bears fruit and all that we quarrel about and all that we have misused–and to save us from our foolishness, from all our sins, He came down to earth and gave us Himself.”

~Sigrid Undset

Merry Christmas to all here at Coming Home. May your lives be filled with Peace, and your homes with Love. Thank you all for dropping in, for reading, commenting, and for the care you show for one another. I hope Santa is good to all! Last year my stocking was filled with charcoal for committing repeated heresy by teasing the children with the claim that I am the one true Santa.

I’m on track for more of the same this year!

God Bless,


The Hex Sign

Double Trinity Tulips

The stylized tulip with its three petals is a dominate feature in Pennsylvania Dutch folk art. It is referred to as the Trinity Tulip and it symbolizes the Trinity as well as faith, hope and charity. The heart in this sign (as well as other Pennsylvania German folk art) is not the heart of sentimental “Victorian” valentines. Rather, it is religious in its representation of the heart of God, the source of all love and hope for a future life. The colors in this heart are used to give them additional meaning. Red symbolizes strong emotion and blue is used to indicate strength, especially spiritual strength. The white background symbolizes purity and the solid black circle represents unity in Christ.

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I was a little boy who listened to this broadcast live, and have never failed to be moved by it.

Merry Christmas!

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Many will recall the battles earlier this year on this blog when I defended Bishop Olmsted for declaring that Sister Margaret McBride, R.S.M. excommunicated herself by approving an abortion at Saint Joseph’s. I wrote several posts on this issue:






SIXTH (How Catholic Bioethics is guided)

SEVENTH (An article on Double-effect)


Many came out in defense of this monstrous nun. But nobody ever starts with an abortion like this. Now the explosive truth has been revealed, and it’s eye-popping!!

Now that the truth has come to the Bishop’s attention about what a vipers pit that “Nun” has been running, Bishop Olmsted let fly. Here is the Bishop’s own official statement, released through his Office of Communications.

Merry Christmas from Coming Home to one of the few Eagles among our Bishops! God bless you, Bishop Olmsted.

St. Joseph’s Hospital no longer Catholic
Statement of Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted
December 21, 2010

Jesus says (Cf. Mt 25:40), “Whatever you did for the least of my brothers and sisters, you did for me.”

Caring for the sick is an essential part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Throughout our history, the Church has provided great care and love to those in need. With the advent of Catholic hospitals, the faithful could also be confident that they were able to receive quality health care according to the teachings of the Church.

Authentic Catholic care in the institutions of Catholic Healthcare West (CHW) in the Diocese of Phoenix has been a topic of discussion between CHW and me from the time of our initial meeting nearly seven years ago.

At that first meeting, I learned that CHW already did not comply with the ethical teachings of the Church at Chandler Regional Hospital. The moral guide for Hospitals and Healthcare Institutions is spelled out in what are called the Ethical and Religious Directives of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. I objected strongly to CHW’s lack of compliance with these directives, and told CHW leaders that this constituted cooperation in evil that must be corrected; because if a healthcare entity wishes to call itself Catholic (as in “Catholic” Healthcare West), it needs to adhere to the teachings of the Church in all of its institutions. In all my seven years as Bishop of Phoenix, I have continued to insist that this scandalous situation needed to change; sadly, over the course of these years, CHW has chosen not to comply.

Then, earlier this year, it was brought to my attention that an abortion had taken place at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix. When I met with officials of the hospital to learn more of the details of what had occurred, it became clear that, in the decision to abort, the equal dignity of mother and her baby were not both upheld; but that the baby was directly killed, which is a clear violation of ERD #45. It also was clear that the exceptional cases, mentioned in ERD #47, were not met, that is, that there was not a cancerous uterus or other grave malady that might justify an indirect and unintended termination of the life of the baby to treat the grave illness. In this case, the baby was healthy and there were no problems with the pregnancy; rather, the mother had a disease that needed to be treated. But instead of treating the disease, St. Joseph’s medical staff and ethics committee decided that the healthy, 11-week-old baby should be directly killed. This is contrary to the teaching of the Church (Cf. Evangelium Vitae, #62).

It was thus my duty to declare to the person responsible for this tragic decision that allowed an abortion at St. Joseph’s, Sister Margaret McBride, R.S.M., that she had incurred an excommunication by her formal consent to the direct taking of the life of this baby. I did this in a confidential manner, hoping to spare her public embarrassment.

Unfortunately, subsequent communications with leadership at St. Joseph’s Hospital and CHW have only eroded my confidence about their commitment to the Church’s Ethical and Religious Directives for Healthcare. They have not addressed in an adequate manner the scandal caused by the abortion. Moreover, I have recently learned that many other violations of the ERDs have been taking place at CHW facilities in Arizona throughout my seven years as Bishop of Phoenix and far longer.

Let me explain.

CHW and St. Joseph’s Hospital, as part of what is called “Mercy Care Plan”, have been formally cooperating with a number of medical procedures that are contrary to the ERDs, for many years. I was never made aware of this fact until the last few weeks. Here are some of the things which CHW has been formally responsible for throughout these years:

• Contraceptive counseling, medications, supplies and associated medical and laboratory examinations, including, but not limited to, oral and injectable contraceptives, intrauterine devices, diaphragms, condoms, foams and suppositories;

• Voluntary sterilization (male and female); and

• Abortions due to the mental or physical health of the mother or when the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest.

This information was given to me in a meeting which included an administrator of St. Joseph’s Hospital who admitted that St. Joseph’s and CHW are aware that this plan consists in formal cooperation in evil actions which are contrary to Church teaching. The Mercy Care Plan has been in existence for 26 years, includes some 368,000 members, and its 2010 revenues will reach nearly $2 billion. CHW and St. Joseph’s Hospital have made more than a hundred million dollars every year from this partnership with the government.

In light of all these failures to comply with the Ethical and Religious Directives of the Church, it is my duty to decree that, in the Diocese of Phoenix, at St. Joseph’s Hospital, CHW is not committed to following the teaching of the Catholic Church and therefore this hospital cannot be considered Catholic. The Catholic faithful are free to seek care or to offer care at St. Joseph’s Hospital but I cannot guarantee that the care provided will be in full accord with the teachings of the Church. In addition, other measures will be taken to avoid the impression that the hospital is authentically Catholic, such as the prohibition of celebrating Mass at the hospital and the prohibition of reserving the Blessed Sacrament in the Chapel.

For seven years now, I have tried to work with CHW and St. Joseph’s, and I have hoped and prayed that this day would not come, that this decree would not be needed; however, the faithful of the Diocese have a right to know whether institutions of this importance are indeed Catholic in identity and practice.

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From today’s Liturgy of the Hours, Office of Readings

St Ambrose’s commentary on St Luke’s Gospel

The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The angel Gabriel had announced the news of something that was as yet hidden and so, to buttress the Virgin Mary’s faith by means of a real example, he told her also that an old and sterile woman had conceived, showing that everything that God willed was possible to God.

When Mary heard this she did not disbelieve the prophecy, she was not uncertain of the message, she did not doubt the example: but happy because of the promise that had been given, eager to fulfil her duty as a cousin, hurried by her joy, she went up into the hill country.

Where could she hurry to except to the hills, filled with God as she was? The grace of the Holy Spirit does not admit of delays. And Mary’s arrival and the presence of her Son quickly show their effects: As soon as Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting her child leapt in her womb and she was filled with the Holy Spirit.

See the careful distinction in the choice of words. Elizabeth was the first to hear the voice but her son John was the first to feel the effects of grace. She heard as one hears in the natural course of things; he leapt because of the mystery that was there. She sensed the coming of Mary, he the coming of the Lord — the woman knew the woman, the child knew the child. The women speak of grace while inside them grace works on their babies. And by a double miracle the women prophesy under the inspiration of their unborn children.

The infant leapt and the mother was filled with the Spirit. The mother was not filled before her son: her son was filled with the Holy Spirit and in turn filled his mother. John leapt and so did Mary’s spirit. John leapt and filled Elizabeth with the Spirit; but we know that Mary was not filled but her spirit rejoiced. For the Incomprehensible was working incomprehensibly within his mother. Elizabeth had been filled with the Spirit after she conceived, but Mary before, at the moment the angel had come. “Blessed are you,” said Elizabeth, “who believed”.

You too, my people, are blessed, you who have heard and who believe. Every soul that believes — that soul both conceives and gives birth to the Word of God and recognises his works.

Let the soul of Mary be in each one of you, to proclaim the greatness of the Lord. Let the spirit of Mary be in each one of you, to rejoice in God. According to the flesh only one woman can be the mother of Christ but in the world of faith Christ is the fruit of all of us. For every soul can receive the Word of God if only it is pure and preserves itself in chastity and modesty.

The soul that has been able to reach this state proclaims the greatness of the Lord just as Mary did and rejoices in God its saviour just like her.

The Lord’s greatness is proclaimed, as you have read elsewhere, where it says Join me in magnifying the Lord. This does not mean that anything can be added to the Lord’s greatness by human words, but that he is magnified in us. Christ is the image of God and so any good or religious act that a soul performs magnifies that image of God in that soul, the God in whose likeness the soul itself was made. And thus the soul itself has some share in his greatness and is ennobled.

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When Dr. George Tiller was murdered, there was a hastily gathered, yet spontaneous outpouring of grief in New York City’s Union Square. Many women carried the poster, pictured with its grief-stricken bearer to the left. How odd that this abortionist should have been grieved as no other.

But George Tiller was no mere abortionist. He was the best at taking post-viable infants and killing them in such a way as to minimize the risks to the mother.

His murder was as barbaric as his means of putting bread on his family’s table. Scott Roeder is where he belongs.

At the Rally: NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn

At the rally were the two key players in New York’s current war on Pregnancy Resource Centers, Christine Quinn (pictured right) and Councilwoman Jessica Lappin, who left the note pictured below. Talk about a world gone mad.

George Tiller was a false Messiah in every sense of the term. He didn’t bring hope, or healing into women’s lives. He pandered to their fears of motherhood while soothing their apprehensions surrounding the monstrous evil about to unfold. He murdered half the patients who came to him, and the futures of the half who survived.

And when a well-meaning, but equally murderous individual took Tiller’s life, those who champion the slaughter of innocents exploded in grief. That includes Council Members Quinn and Lappin.

When people claim that pro-life candidates don’t matter at the local and state level, look at the legislation being driven through the NYC Council. It does matter. It matters a great deal. Here we have two disciples of a martyred butcher who have set out to drive women from the very PRC doors that hold out hope.

Join us in our National Petition to defeat Lappin and Quinn’s efforts to establish legislation regulating PRC’s, legislation NARAL and Planned Parenthood intend to take all over the country. Join us in this national movement to push back against Tiller’s disciples. Click Here to visit our site and sign the petition.

God Bless

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O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

When we light the Advent Wreath, we do so in a darkened house. It is the one time of year when I claim the privilege of saying the prayer as the children light the candles. As the weeks pass, as we approach the coming of The Light of the World, the table is bathed in increasing light, and we discuss Who that Light is.

Tonight’s lesson: Why Jesus is Called the Light of the World.

In the darkened house, I asked what would happen if the children were to get up and run around in the dark.

“We’d trip and fall.” “We’d get hurt,” were the responses from the 7, 10, and 11 year old prophets.

Then we lit the candles. Four candles make a beautiful dining room and living room dinner experience.

I explained that the light drove away the darkness and illuminated the hazards of which they spoke when immersed in pitch black. I also asked what else the light revealed.

“How to get around safely.” “Where the food is.” “Where the medicine is.” “Where the bathroom is,” chimed in the little one. (Critical as they all just had stomach viruses).

I praised their responses. The Holy Spirit Spoke through them and made the lesson a breeze. The light reveals to them safe passage, life-giving sustenance, healing herbs and medicines, and yes, the path to relief.

So it is with Jesus. God come down to earth to illuminate our path, to give us Himself as our sustenance, our healer. He taught us how we are to use this life and all He has given us here to learn Love. He expects us to be generous with all we have, to empty ourselves.

Then we discussed their acts of charity, of compassion over the past year, how they have repeatedly emptied their banks of their own accord in response to tragedy and suffering in our community and on the news. I told them that their example is like a light burning brightly, like the blazing wreath before them. They are following the example of Jesus, and are illuminating the path for others in life, sustaining others with their selflessness, and that their example is a healing balm in a weary world.

The girls get it better than Joseph, but he follows their lead and while he doesn’t always grasp the suffering of others, it strikes him powerfully when it makes it past the autism.

By dinner’s end, they all understood the metaphor of Light. Better than that is how they are light.

These little ones are holy, truly holy. So is their mother, my bride. They are God’s greatest gift to me. In them I see that Emmanuel has come, and ransomed captive Israel.

His light shines in their lives, and through their gentle presence touches all who know them.

When I pray the chant O Come, O Come, Emmanuel… it is with the daily realization that He has: That He has fulfilled His every promise, that He has poured out His Holy Spirit in my life, that He has ransomed me from the captivity of my own failings and constantly has made all things new.

And for all of that, the best is yet to come.

O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan’s tyranny
From depths of Hell Thy people save
And give them victory o’er the grave
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, O come, Thou Lord of might,
Who to Thy tribes, on Sinai’s height,
In ancient times did’st give the Law,
In cloud, and majesty and awe.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

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Mary, Did you Know…?

Bouguereau, Song of the Angels

Mary was put through quite a bit. The apparition of an angel who tells her that she is to be mother of the Messiah.

Her elderly cousin Elizabeth becomes pregnant, and her declaration that the babe of Mary’s womb is the Messiah.

Elizabeth’s husband, a priest, struck mute by an angel in the Temple.

The virgin birth, and Joseph wanting to divorce her quietly, until he had his apparition.

The great Theophany when Heaven opened and the angels sang.

The visits from the shepherds, sent by angels.

The visit from the Magi.

The declaration by Simeon in the Temple.

The murderous rage of Herod.

The flight into Egypt.

The Gospels tell us that Mary pondered all of these things in her heart…


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