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Healing is the buzzword today. We are being told that the nation is terribly divided and much in need of healing. Certainly the constituencies behind yesterday’s historic presidential election are many and varied, running the gamut from economic to moral and social issues. Each constituency had in Hillary Clinton’s camp a polar opposite constituency. So, the order of the day is to bring both sides together.

The question of the day is, “How?”

The nation is divided along lines that are, in many cases, simply irreconcilable. The Obama/Clinton camp has had a wild and heady eight-year ride on abortion, gay marriage, transgender social engineering, redefining freedom of speech and religion, just to name a few. Indeed, Christian bakers, florists and wedding photographers have had their lives and livelihoods destroyed because they refused to participate in gay weddings. Our daughters have had all restrictions on access to their bathrooms, locker rooms and showers in school lifted under the rubric of transgender rights, and have seen their own rights vitiated. The same for our women and girls in public restrooms.

Yes, it has been a heady time for the left. When in power, they have utilized the levers of power to advance their agenda. When blocked by legislatures, they have used executive orders. When blocked at the polls, they have used the courts.

Now the center of gravity and power has been shifted, and count on the left to now use shaming and the subtle threat of unrest to arm-twist us into capitulation.

Heads they win. Tails we lose.

This isn’t civility or the comity that begets a just and lasting peace. When freedoms specifically articulated in the Constitution are abrogated in favor of freedoms invented out of nothingness, neither the political system established by that constitution, nor the domestic peace and tranquility it was designed to promote have a chance of survival. In the give and take of politics, a black man was given an historic opportunity to lead, to put behind him, and the rest of the nation, the dark legacy of oppression. He did little more than substitute one oppression with another, all in the name of eradicating oppression, while gutting the First Amendment.

We will now be told that the only path to peace is to remain on the path to civil unrest. We will be called intolerant, and we should embrace the moniker as wholeheartedly and whimsically as many embraced being “Deplorables,” for “Tolerance” is a false virtue. The nation was not founded upon the principle of a larger demographic putting up with the presence of another. We were founded on the principles of freedom and respect.

But freedom is not license to do as one wishes, but rather it is having the ability to do what one ought to do.

These past eight years have seen all manner of rights trampled in the name of openness, tolerance, respect, inclusivity, etc. Justice demands that those rights be restored. That will mean that certain intrusions will not be tolerated:

Artisans may choose the venues in which they will participate, and in which they will not.

Women and girls will need the right to privacy restored.

The unborn will need the right to life protected.

People will need the right to actually live their faith in the public square, and not have the First Amendment watered down to the right of belief without the right to live those beliefs.

This means that the intolerance of the left will no longer be tolerated. They have for too long dictated rights and how the rest of us live our lives, all in contravention of constitutional provisions to the contrary.

If there is to be any peace going forward, these ill-gotten gains need to be walked back, and for the first time in a long time, the left will have to bend.

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On this last night of the novena, we gather with grateful hearts for the intercession of St. Jude.

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Most holy Apostle, St. Jude, faithful servant and friend of Jesus,  the Church honors and invokes you universally, as the patron of difficult  cases, of things almost despaired of, Pray for me, I am so helpless and alone.
Intercede with God for me that He bring visible and speedy help where help is  almost despaired of. Come to my assistance in this great need that I may receive  the consolation and help of heaven in all my necessities, tribulations, and  sufferings, particularly those of Thomas, God’s faithful son and servant, that he may gain restoration of function– and that I may praise  God with you and all the saints forever. I promise, O Blessed St. Jude, to be  ever mindful of this great favor granted me by God and to always honor you as  my special and powerful patron, and to gratefully encourage devotion to you.Amen

PRAYER

May the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus be adored, and loved in all the  tabernacles until the end of time. Amen.

May the most Sacred Heart of Jesus be praised and glorified now and forever. Amen

St. Jude pray for us and hear our prayers. Amen.

Blessed be the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Blessed be the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Blessed be St. Jude Thaddeus, in all the world and for all Eternity.

(say this prayer, followed by the Our Father and theHail Mary

Most holy St. Jude – apostle, martyr and friend of Jesus, today I ask that you pray for me and my intentions!

Most of all, we ask that God make His Perfect Will known for Thomas and Natalie, and that they receive the gift of discernment of that will.

You are the patron of the impossible. Pray for me and my intentions! O St. Jude, pray that God’s grace and mercy will cover my intentions. Pray for the impossible if it is God’s will.

Pray that I may have the grace to accept God’s holy will even if it is painful and difficult for me.

St. Jude, pray for me that I will not lose faith.

O St. Jude, pray for me that I may grow in faith, hope and love and in the grace of Jesus Christ. Pray for these intentions, but most of all pray that I may join you in heaven with God for all eternity.

Amen.

Find the Original Here: http://www.praymorenovenas.com/st-jude-novena/#ixzz4OKv0H3gQ

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Tonight we pray for Thomas and Natalie as husband and wife. We lift them up and ask God to bless and increase their love and devotion for one another beyond the heights they have already achieved.

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Most holy Apostle, St. Jude, faithful servant and friend of Jesus,  the Church honors and invokes you universally, as the patron of difficult  cases, of things almost despaired of, Pray for me, I am so helpless and alone.
Intercede with God for me that He bring visible and speedy help where help is  almost despaired of. Come to my assistance in this great need that I may receive  the consolation and help of heaven in all my necessities, tribulations, and  sufferings, particularly those of Thomas, God’s faithful son and servant, that he may gain restoration of function– and that I may praise  God with you and all the saints forever. I promise, O Blessed St. Jude, to be  ever mindful of this great favor granted me by God and to always honor you as  my special and powerful patron, and to gratefully encourage devotion to you.Amen

PRAYER

May the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus be adored, and loved in all the  tabernacles until the end of time. Amen.

May the most Sacred Heart of Jesus be praised and glorified now and forever. Amen

St. Jude pray for us and hear our prayers. Amen.

Blessed be the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Blessed be the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Blessed be St. Jude Thaddeus, in all the world and for all Eternity.

(say this prayer, followed by the Our Father and theHail Mary)

Most holy St. Jude – apostle, martyr and friend of Jesus, today I ask that you pray for me and my intentions!

We ask your intercession for Thomas and Natalie, that God continue to bless and increase their love and devotion to one another, that in this and in all things they be the visible sign to one another of His love.

You are the patron of the impossible. Pray for me and my intentions! O St. Jude, pray that God’s grace and mercy will cover my intentions. Pray for the impossible if it is God’s will.

Pray that I may have the grace to accept God’s holy will even if it is painful and difficult for me.

St. Jude, pray for me that I will not lose hope.

O St. Jude, pray for me that I may grow in faith, hope and love and in the grace of Jesus Christ. Pray for these intentions, but most of all pray that I may join you in heaven with God for all eternity.

Amen.

Find the Original Here: http://www.praymorenovenas.com/st-jude-novena/#ixzz4OF4ea68w

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Tonight we pray simply that Thomas’spinal cord heals, that either by divine intervention, or through enhanced understanding and therapy, that his neurons regenerate fully and completely, and that neither Thomas, his family, nor any so affected through injury will ever cease to live in hope, sustained by love, and animated by faith.

 

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Most holy Apostle, St. Jude, faithful servant and friend of Jesus,  the Church honors and invokes you universally, as the patron of difficult  cases, of things almost despaired of, Pray for me, I am so helpless and alone.
Intercede with God for me that He bring visible and speedy help where help is  almost despaired of. Come to my assistance in this great need that I may receive  the consolation and help of heaven in all my necessities, tribulations, and  sufferings, particularly those of Thomas, God’s faithful son and servant, that he may gain restoration of function– and that I may praise  God with you and all the saints forever. I promise, O Blessed St. Jude, to be  ever mindful of this great favor granted me by God and to always honor you as  my special and powerful patron, and to gratefully encourage devotion to you.Amen

PRAYER

May the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus be adored, and loved in all the  tabernacles until the end of time. Amen.

May the most Sacred Heart of Jesus be praised and glorified now and forever. Amen

St. Jude pray for us and hear our prayers. Amen.

Blessed be the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Blessed be the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Blessed be St. Jude Thaddeus, in all the world and for all Eternity.

(say this prayer, followed by the Our Father and theHail Mary)

 

Most holy St. Jude – apostle, martyr and friend of Jesus, today I ask that you pray for me and my intentions!

Through your intercession, may Thomas come to know full restoration of function, and may those in his life never cease to sustain him by their love, and thereby help to animate his faith and live in hope.

You are the patron of the impossible. Pray for me and my intentions! O St. Jude, pray that God’s grace and mercy will cover my intentions. Pray for the impossible if it is God’s will.

Pray that I may have the grace to accept God’s holy will even if it is painful and difficult for me.

St. Jude, pray that I may put my trust in God that He knows my needs even better than I do and that He provides.

O St. Jude, pray for me that I may grow in faith, hope and love and in the grace of Jesus Christ. Pray for these intentions, but most of all pray that I may join you in heaven with God for all eternity.

Amen.

Find the Original Here: http://www.praymorenovenas.com/st-jude-novena/#ixzz4O9QYtZun

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Today we lift up Thomas in our prayers and pray for his deepest intentions.

Most holy Apostle, St. Jude, faithful servant and friend of Jesus,  the Church honors and invokes you universally, as the patron of difficult  cases, of things almost despaired of, Pray for me, I am so helpless and alone.

Intercede with God for me that He bring visible and speedy help where help is  almost despaired of. Come to my assistance in this great need that I may receive  the consolation and help of heaven in all my necessities, tribulations, and  sufferings, particularly those of Thomas, God’s faithful son and servant, that he may gain restoration of function– and that I may praise  God with you and all the saints forever. I promise, O Blessed St. Jude, to be  ever mindful of this great favor granted me by God and to always honor you as  my special and powerful patron, and to gratefully encourage devotion to you.Amen

Most holy St. Jude – apostle, martyr and friend of Jesus, today I ask that you pray for me and my intentions!

We ask you to intercede for Thomas, that the Father will answer and grant his deepest intentions.

You are the patron of the impossible. Pray for me and my intentions! O St. Jude, pray that God’s grace and mercy will cover my intentions. Pray for the impossible if it is God’s will.

Pray that I may have the grace to accept God’s holy will even if it is painful and difficult for me.

St. Jude, pray that I may know God’s will in my life.

O St. Jude, pray for me that I may grow in faith, hope and love and in the grace of Jesus Christ. Pray for these intentions, but most of all pray that I may join you in heaven with God for all eternity.

Amen.

Find the Original Here: http://www.praymorenovenas.com/st-jude-novena/#ixzz4O3hj3sDn

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Healing is a process that involves the love of family and friends, those who lend their strength, their prayers, their complete fidelity. Today we remember the parents, aunts, uncles, siblings and cousins who have strengthened Thomas and Natalie along this journey, whose constancy and encouragement have been life-giving.

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Most holy Apostle, St. Jude, faithful servant and friend of Jesus,  the Church honors and invokes you universally, as the patron of difficult  cases, of things almost despaired of, Pray for me, I am so helpless and alone.
Intercede with God for me that He bring visible and speedy help where help is  almost despaired of. Come to my assistance in this great need that I may receive  the consolation and help of heaven in all my necessities, tribulations, and  sufferings, particularly those of Thomas, God’s faithful son and servant, that he may gain restoration of function– and that I may praise  God with you and all the saints forever. I promise, O Blessed St. Jude, to be  ever mindful of this great favor granted me by God and to always honor you as  my special and powerful patron, and to gratefully encourage devotion to you.Amen

PRAYER

May the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus be adored, and loved in all the  tabernacles until the end of time. Amen.

May the most Sacred Heart of Jesus be praised and glorified now and forever. Amen

St. Jude pray for us and hear our prayers. Amen.

Blessed be the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Blessed be the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Blessed be St. Jude Thaddeus, in all the world and for all Eternity.

(say this prayer, followed by the Our Father and theHail Mary)

Most holy St. Jude – apostle, martyr and friend of Jesus, today I ask that you pray for me and my intentions!

We ask your blessings on all of Thomas and Natalie’s family who have been a constant source of encouragement and strength, that through your intercession they may receive their own healing and strength, and so be an even greater conduit of God’s love and healing in Thomas and Natalie’s lives.

You are the patron of the impossible. Pray for me and my intentions! O St. Jude, pray that God’s grace and mercy will cover my intentions. Pray for the impossible if it is God’s will.

Pray that I may have the grace to accept God’s holy will even if it is painful and difficult for me.

St. Jude, you sacrificed for the Kingdom of God, pray that I may sacrifice like you.

O St. Jude, pray for me that I may grow in faith, hope and love and in the grace of Jesus Christ. Pray for these intentions, but most of all pray that I may join you in heaven with God for all eternity.

Amen.

Find the Original Here: http://www.praymorenovenas.com/st-jude-novena/#ixzz4NxWfRZYM

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On this fourth day of the Novena for Thomas and Natalie Peters, we Recall the admonition in Sirach 38, that before we pray we are to consult the physician and the pharmacist. So it is today that we pray prayers of gratitude for those who have lavished their healing arts on Thomas

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Most holy Apostle, St. Jude, faithful servant and friend of Jesus,  the Church honors and invokes you universally, as the patron of difficult  cases, of things almost despaired of, Pray for me, I am so helpless and alone.
Intercede with God for me that He bring visible and speedy help where help is  almost despaired of. Come to my assistance in this great need that I may receive  the consolation and help of heaven in all my necessities, tribulations, and  sufferings, particularly those of Thomas, God’s faithful son and servant, that he may gain restoration of function– and that I may praise  God with you and all the saints forever. I promise, O Blessed St. Jude, to be  ever mindful of this great favor granted me by God and to always honor you as  my special and powerful patron, and to gratefully encourage devotion to you.Amen

PRAYER

May the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus be adored, and loved in all the  tabernacles until the end of time. Amen.

May the most Sacred Heart of Jesus be praised and glorified now and forever. Amen

St. Jude pray for us and hear our prayers. Amen.

Blessed be the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Blessed be the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Blessed be St. Jude Thaddeus, in all the world and for all Eternity.

(say this prayer, followed by the Our Father and theHail Mary)

Most holy St. Jude – apostle, martyr and friend of Jesus, today I ask that you pray for me and my intentions!

…With praise and thanksgiving we offer our gratitude for all of the healing arts that Thomas has benefited from, and we ask your intercession for inspiration in the scientists and clinicians, that they may be inspired to advance the healing and therapies for those with spinal injuries.

You are the patron of the impossible. Pray for me and my intentions! O St. Jude, pray that God’s grace and mercy will cover my intentions. Pray for the impossible if it is God’s will.

Pray that I may have the grace to accept God’s holy will even if it is painful and difficult for me.

St. Jude, you labored for years, pray that I may have patience in my struggles.

O St. Jude, pray for me that I may grow in faith, hope and love and in the grace of Jesus Christ. Pray for these intentions, but most of all pray that I may join you in heaven with God for all eternity.

Amen.

Find the Original Here: http://www.praymorenovenas.com/st-jude-novena/#ixzz4NlgXMF9Y

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On this third day of the Novena for Thomas and Natalie Peters, we take a day to lift up Natalie in a special way as she has given great witness to being a faithful and loving wife in the midst of her husband’s road to healing.

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Most holy Apostle, St. Jude, faithful servant and friend of Jesus,  the Church honors and invokes you universally, as the patron of difficult  cases, of things almost despaired of, Pray for me, I am so helpless and alone.
Intercede with God for me that He bring visible and speedy help where help is  almost despaired of. Come to my assistance in this great need that I may receive  the consolation and help of heaven in all my necessities, tribulations, and  sufferings, particularly those of Thomas, God’s faithful son and servant, that he may gain restoration of function– and that I may praise  God with you and all the saints forever. I promise, O Blessed St. Jude, to be  ever mindful of this great favor granted me by God and to always honor you as  my special and powerful patron, and to gratefully encourage devotion to you.Amen

PRAYER

May the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus be adored, and loved in all the  tabernacles until the end of time. Amen.

May the most Sacred Heart of Jesus be praised and glorified now and forever. Amen

St. Jude pray for us and hear our prayers. Amen.

Blessed be the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Blessed be the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Blessed be St. Jude Thaddeus, in all the world and for all Eternity.

(say this prayer, followed by the Our Father and theHail Mary)

Most holy St. Jude – apostle, martyr and friend of Jesus, today I ask that you pray for me and my intentions!

…That you intercede for Natalie and all of her deepest intentions, that God will continue to bless her with strength, with wisdom, with grace, with the gift of encouragement for her husband as they continue to live their exemplary lives in the Church. We ask for your intercession that she be showered with every grace from Heaven.

You are the patron of the impossible. Pray for me and my intentions! O St. Jude, pray that God’s grace and mercy will cover my intentions. Pray for the impossible if it is God’s will.

Pray that I may have the grace to accept God’s holy will even if it is painful and difficult for me.

St. Jude, you labored for years, pray that I may have patience in my struggles.

O St. Jude, pray for me that I may grow in faith, hope and love and in the grace of Jesus Christ. Pray for these intentions, but most of all pray that I may join you in heaven with God for all eternity.

Amen.

Find the Original Here: http://www.praymorenovenas.com/st-jude-novena/#ixzz4NlgXMF9Y

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Most holy Apostle, St. Jude, faithful servant and friend of Jesus,  the Church honors and invokes you universally, as the patron of difficult  cases, of things almost despaired of, Pray for me, I am so helpless and alone.
Intercede with God for me that He bring visible and speedy help where help is  almost despaired of. Come to my assistance in this great need that I may receive  the consolation and help of heaven in all my necessities, tribulations, and  sufferings, particularly those of Thomas, God’s faithful son and servant, that he may gain restoration of function– and that I may praise  God with you and all the saints forever. I promise, O Blessed St. Jude, to be  ever mindful of this great favor granted me by God and to always honor you as  my special and powerful patron, and to gratefully encourage devotion to you.Amen

PRAYER

May the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus be adored, and loved in all the  tabernacles until the end of time. Amen.

May the most Sacred Heart of Jesus be praised and glorified now and forever. Amen

St. Jude pray for us and hear our prayers. Amen.

Blessed be the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Blessed be the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Blessed be St. Jude Thaddeus, in all the world and for all Eternity.

(say this prayer, followed by the Our Father and theHail Mary)

Most holy St. Jude – apostle, martyr and friend of Jesus, today I ask that you pray for me and my intentions!

Most especially, we pray for healing and health in Thomas’ body, for strength and repair in his spine.

You are the patron of the impossible. Pray for me and my intentions! O St. Jude, pray that God’s grace and mercy will cover my intentions. Pray for the impossible if it is God’s will.

Pray that I may have the grace to accept God’s holy will even if it is painful and difficult for me.

St. Jude, pray that I may have your zeal to preach the Gospel.

O St. Jude, pray for me that I may grow in faith, hope and love and in the grace of Jesus Christ. Pray for these intentions, but most of all pray that I may join you in heaven with God for all eternity.

Amen.

Find the Original Here: http://www.praymorenovenas.com/st-jude-novena/#ixzz4Ndxr7W00

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Today we begin the Novena to Saint Jude for Thomas Peters and his wife, Natalie. Thomas was left with a devastating spinal cord injury a few years back, just after he was married. His wife has been everything a husband could ask for. We pray this novena for a wonderful couple, from a wonderful family of Catholics who have done much for the Church.

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Most holy Apostle, St. Jude, faithful servant and friend of Jesus,  the Church honors and invokes you universally, as the patron of difficult  cases, of things almost despaired of, Pray for me, I am so helpless and alone.
Intercede with God for me that He bring visible and speedy help where help is  almost despaired of. Come to my assistance in this great need that I may receive  the consolation and help of heaven in all my necessities, tribulations, and  sufferings, particularly those of Thomas, your faithful son and servant, that he may gain restoration of function- and that I may praise  God with you and all the saints forever. I promise, O Blessed St. Jude, to be  ever mindful of this great favor granted me by God and to always honor you as  my special and powerful patron, and to gratefully encourage devotion to you.Amen

PRAYER

May the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus be adored, and loved in all the  tabernacles until the end of time. Amen.

May the most Sacred Heart of Jesus be praised and glorified now and forever. Amen

St. Jude pray for us and hear our prayers. Amen.

Blessed be the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Blessed be the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Blessed be St. Jude Thaddeus, in all the world and for all Eternity.

(say this prayer, followed by the Our Father and theHail Mary)

St. Jude Novena – DAY ONE

O blessed apostle St. Jude, who labored zealously among the Gentiles in many lands, and performed numerous miracles in needy and despairing cases, I ask you to take interest in my needs. I know that you understand me. Please hear my prayers and my petitions. Please beg God for me and my deepest needs.

That Thomas may gain restoration of function in his spine; that he and his wife, Natalie, may continue to grow together in holiness and love, in patience and fortitude, and that they may be blessed with every blessing from heaven for their love and witness to all that is holy in marriage; that their love will continue to bear abundant fruit both in their lives, and in the lives of all who know them.

I pray that I will be patient in learning God’s holy will for me and then courageously carry it out in my life.

Amen.

St. Jude, pray for me!

Lord Jesus, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner!

Amen.

Find the Original Here: http://www.praymorenovenas.com/st-jude-novena/#ixzz4NZV4RVOR

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Four years ago today, 7 October 2012, the world lost the greatest man I ever knew. Father Luke William McCann was my campus minister in college, became my undergrad seminary residence director, life’s mentor, and a second father to me. His dinner table was my university. Luke held multiple graduate degrees in Theology, in English and Philosophy, and a Ph.D. in English Literature from Columbia University. He was a man of great culture, having sung in the Metropolitan Opera chorus in New York City as a child, and was a devotee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and every other art museum in New York.

Even greater than his erudition and civility, or great good humor and laugh that came up from the bottom of his feet, was his incredible faithful witness to the truth of the Church’s moral magisterium back in the 80’s and 90’s when Humanae Vitae was the butt of every joke on campus. As a member of the faculty at St. John’s University, and then at Marist College, Luke gave faithful and forceful witness to the truth at a time when the clergy were collectively losing their minds.

Not only did Luke give me the vision to become a Ph.D. in the biomedical sciences (at a time when I laughed at my chances of doing so), but he insisted that I do my pre-med work at Columbia University. All that I am, and all that I have I owe this blessed saint. Most of all, through the example of his fearless witness and absolute trust in God, Luke gave me the gift of his courage to confront the culture of death.

In his early 70’s Luke was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, and just when I was through with my scientific training and early years teaching, the years I had thought we would have together with my family were spent in a long letting go and goodbye. It will forever be a mystery to me how for the last eight years of his life, the Church was deprived of one of its most faithful priests and finest minds.

I have no doubt that he is in Paradise tonight, but ask that in your charity you offer a prayer for the repose of his soul. He brought many back to the faith, and in the confessional he took people of great self-loathing and instilled in them a renewed self-love and love of God. His great admonishment to us every week:

“We become what we think we are.”

On that he built the identity of sons and daughters of God who are loved unconditionally, and who learned to carry themselves accordingly. How blessed we were to have had him in our lives, and how grateful I am to God for his fatherhood and friendship.

Eternal Rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let Perpetual Light shine upon him.

May he rest in Peace. Amen +++

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As a young college seminarian, I was out to dinner one night in the mid 1980’s with New York Auxiliary Bishop, Patrick Ahern. I questioned whether NY Governor Mario Cuomo was in a no-win position regarding abortion and his fight with Cardinal O’Connor. This wonderful old bishop walked me down the road of truth with grace and patience. His words about Cuomo apply equally to Kaine. So, Tim Kaine, here is a rebuke from beyond the grave of a true saint.

You are a hypocrite, and your every action in politics betrays your hypocrisy regarding abortion. All American citizens are free to work within our constitutional system to effect changes based upon their private beliefs. It matters not whether those beliefs arise from a religiously informed view, or the Natural Law embraced by our Founding Fathers.

As a governor, you have enjoyed a position most Americans could only dream of. You have been uniquely positioned to work from within the political establishment to effect change regarding abortion. What have you done?

Have you used the bully pulpit of the Governor to decry abortion?

Have you called for a Constitutional Amendment abolishing this barbarism that has claimed 60 million American lives, 20 million of whom were black?

How is it that you can be personally opposed to a procedure that tears a baby apart while alive, or scorches them with saline solution, and not seek to effect a change in our laws?

How can you be so personally opposed to abortion and remain so silent?

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Worse, how can you be so personally opposed and accept being the running mate for the most rabidly pro-abortion candidate in US history, save the current occupant of the White House?

In truth, you have done nothing to redeem your party, or yourself, to assuage the nation of the blood that flows like a river.

When you meet your God at the last, He will remind you of the words of St. James in chapter 2 of his New Testament letter:

What does it profit, my brethren, if a man says he has faith but has not works? Can his faith save him? If a brother or sister is ill-clad and in lack of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what does it profit? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead… You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.

 

And so it is with the faith of all such politicians who pay lip-service to their faith, while actively promoting the machinery of government that funds abortionists, funds abortion through Medicaid, forces churches to pay for abortion through health insurance, and worst of all…

Decries the other party for condemning abortion, accusing them of waging war on women. Where have you been, Governor?

In Matthew 25, Jesus tells us that the last words the damned will hear from Him are:

“For whenever you neglected to do this for the least of these, my brothers, you neglected to do it for me.”

If you will not hear it from your bishops, Governor Kaine, you had better heed the words of Jesus and James. No real Catholic can get away with such a vacuous argument on abortion.

A saintly bishop defeated that one thirty years ago.

 

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Elena Kagan, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor

FILE -In this Oct. 1, 2010 file photo provided by the Supreme Court shows, from left, Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Justice Elena Kagan in the Justices’ Conference Room prior to Justice Kagan’s Investiture Ceremony at the court in Washington. (AP Photo/Steve Petteway, Supreme Court, File)

 

If ever there were a law that so embodied the original argument in favor of abortion, it was the Texas law struck down today by the U.S. Supreme Court. If ever there were a mockery of all that the early proponents of abortion held dear, it was made by the united votes of the three women on the highest court in the land. Abortions, if made legal, were supposed to have been brought out of the back alley. Women would have practitioners who were physicians in good standing. They would have clean, sanitary clinics that abided by the public health standards required in all other surgical procedures.

That never happened.

Most Ob/Gyn’s regarded abortion practitioners as the lowest form of membership in their honorable profession, and hospitals by-and-large prohibited the practice, keeping the slaughter of babies beyond the purview of their services. A majority of abortionists have been washouts from other branches of medicine, whose operations came nowhere near the minimal standards required of  ambulatory surgical centers established in other fields of medicine. Not only are the minimal public health standards not required, but the minimal standards for STD testing and treatment have not been part of standard operating procedure.

Surgical procedures such as abortion, or even the insertion of an IUD can take a bacterium like Chlamydia and spread it to the inside of the uterus and fallopian tubes, setting up pelvic inflammatory disease, sterility, and chronic pelvic pain. Though some clinics now claim to do testing with the new rapid diagnostic tests, many do not, and almost none ever have before rapid testing was developed. That flies in the face of standards of care in other gynecologic surgery performed in hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers. With abortion, a woman can walk in off the street and be on her way in hours.

All too often, cases like Kermit Gosnell’s house of horrors are only a matter of degree, but not of kind. A “clinic” that does not test for Chlamydia, HPV, HIV and other STD’s, with treatment prior to surgery isn’t much of a clinic at all. It is even less so when the physician is neither an Ob/Gyn in good standing, or even an Ob/Gyn at all; let alone one with admitting privileges at a local hospital. Add to that recent laws in states like California that allow nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants to perform surgical abortions and one wonders, whatever became of the drive to imbue abortion with all of the medical standards and safeguards women deserve?

The answer to that question, and the key to today’s decision reside in the arguments between the justices over the effects of the Texas law. Since the passage of the law, half of Texas’ 41 abortion clinics closed, unable to meet the demands of maintaining a safe facility including having physicians with admitting privileges at local hospitals.

“Undue Burden” is the catch-phrase of the day.

If permitted to stand, the fear was that the law would force the closure of ten more clinics, leaving an area of Texas the size of California without abortion services. Allow that to sink in for a moment.

If abortion clinics in Texas were required to have physicians competent enough to have admitting privileges, and run surgical clinics held to the same standards as all other ambulatory surgical centers, a land mass the size of California would have no abortion providers. If that doesn’t define “back-alley,” then what does?

Today, all three women on the court said, in effect, that the back alley is better than nothing at all.

Today, all three women on the court passed the opportunity to fight for the vision of “reproductive freedom” espoused in 1973.

Today, all three women on the court demonstrated that the lust for killing babies outweighs the safety of the women driven to such acts of desperation.

Today, not one of the three women on the court said that we can do better, that women deserve better.

It was another blow against women today, an act of betrayal by the women on the highest court in the land, who more than anyone else ought to be using their perch to demand real justice, real care, and authentic dignity for women.

As chemical abortions take deeper root, and as hospitals increasingly absorb the lucrative business from the closing of local clinics, the issue of the Texas law will shrink in importance; but the abandonment of women by all three women on the highest court in the land will live and grow in infamy. It will be seen by future generations for what it truly is.

The real War on Women.

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ape_mirror

 

Two radically different strains of Americans emerged over the weekend in response to the Cincinnati Zoo killing a gorilla in order to save the life of a four year-old boy who tumbled into his enclosure. After viewing videos of the gorilla dragging the boy haplessly through the water at great speed, and climbing with the child, some people cannot imagine why a decision to kill the animal was made. Others cannot fathom where the first group comes from.

It all depends on one’s definition of endangered animal.

There were two in that enclosure.

Enter the debate over which endangered animal gets priority. If one goes strictly according to the numbers, then the life of the child was expendable. Many outraged animal rights activists commented on the seven billion people on the planet and the disappearing gorilla population. In their perspective, zoological justice needed to be balanced on the back of a toddler. To the rest of the world, such a perspective is utterly unfathomable. In truth, both sides find the other’s repellent. But the Cincinnati Zoo episode is merely a looking glass into the broader anthropological meltdown that has been underway for the better part of a century.

Enter Jesus.

The Catholic Church has a 2,000 year history of refining an authentic anthropology based upon God’s revelation to us regarding who and what we are in the created order. St. Paul tells us in the first chapter of his letter to the Colossians:

13He has delivered us from the dominion of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 
14in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. 
15He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation; 
16for in him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities–all things were created through him and for him. 
17He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 
18He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the first-born from the dead, that in everything he might be pre-eminent.
19For in him all the fulness of God was pleased to dwell, 
20and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. 
21And you, who once were estranged and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 
22he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and irreproachable before him, 
23 provided that you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which has been preached to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.

They key to understanding here is the observation by Paul that, “In Him, all things hold together.”

Every stunning departure from the moral norms that have governed decent human behavior can be traced to errors in Christian anthropology, and to a rejection of Christ’s sovereignty over our lives. When we collectively look in the mirror, what is it that we see? What is it that we are not seeing, and why?

Consider the breathtaking devaluation of human dignity through the eugenics movement, two world wars, communism/socialism, unrestrained capitalism, segregation, global abortions since 1960 passing the 2 BILLION mark, contraception, sterilization, surrogate motherhood, IVF, cloning of human/animal chimeras, euthanasia and physicians committing outright murder, the LGBT agenda that now is pressing for no distinctions between men and women, and on and on…

There is nothing sudden about the radical anthropological disintegration all about us. It has been a century in the making. St. Paul was right. In Him all things hold together, but the opposite is also necessarily true.

Apart from Him, all things disintegrate.

Our dignity comes from God Himself, which is why it isn’t enough to merely be, “spiritual,” as is the fashion. One must be religious and faithful to a body of moral teaching because our human dignity needs to be safeguarded, and those safeguards make behavioral demands on us, often in the realm of personal sacrifice. It was this mess that Pope John Paul II saw clearly and set out to address in what would become one of the most incredible canons ever contributed by a single individual in the Church. In his first Encyclical, Redemptor Hominis, John Paul addresses humanity’s self-perception issue, and offers the remedy to the distorted self-understanding in one paragraph:

Man cannot live without love. He remains a being that is incomprehensible for himself, his life is senseless, if love is not revealed to him, if he does not encounter love, if he does not experience it and make it his own, if he does not participate intimately in it. This, as has already been said, is why Christ the Redeemer “fully reveals man to himself”. If we may use the expression, this is the human dimension of the mystery of the Redemption. In this dimension man finds again the greatness, dignity and value that belong to his humanity. In the mystery of the Redemption man becomes newly “expressed” and, in a way, is newly created. He is newly created! “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus”64. The man who wishes to understand himself thoroughly-and not just in accordance with immediate, partial, often superficial, and even illusory standards and measures of his being-he must with his unrest, uncertainty and even his weakness and sinfulness, with his life and death, draw near to Christ. He must, so to speak, enter into him with all his own self, he must “appropriate” and assimilate the whole of the reality of the Incarnation and Redemption in order to find himself. If this profound process takes place within him, he then bears fruit not only of adoration of God but also of deep wonder at himself. How precious must man be in the eyes of the Creator, if he “gained so great a Redeemer”65, and if God “gave his only Son “in order that man “should not perish but have eternal life”66.

 

So there is the remedy for a broken world. Christ the Redeemer fully reveals man to himself.

So many among us look in the mirror each day and see a visage of something far less human, or wondrous, or noble, or lovable than what actually stands before the mirror. This weekend the dignity of a human child was judged to be less than that of an adult gorilla, and by so many people that it became a national debate on the very weekend meant to honor the sacrifices made by humans for other humans.

It’s what happens when Christian faith, and its attendant anthropology, is chased from the public square. The civilization that held together in Christ disintegrates. It is past time for the Christian churches of this nation to reassert our primacy of place in the public square, and to bring the good news to those who look in the mirror with shame.

Civilization hangs in the balance.

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gospel-of-judas

When Jesus asked his Apostles, “Who do men say that I am?” He got some interesting replies. When He asked who the Apostles thought He was, only Peter nailed the right answer. I have often thought about Judas in that moment. What was Judas thinking?

When Peter nailed the correct answer, Jesus made it clear that the Father was the one who slipped him the correct response. From that moment on, the Apostles all knew who Jesus said that He was.

The Christ. The Son of the Living God.

Judas was there for it all: The raising of people from the dead, the healing of the sick, walking on water, the loaves and fishes. He saw it all. He even went out on the missionary mission and preached and worked wonders in the name of Jesus. How, then, could he have betrayed Jesus? What was he thinking?

Did he think that Jesus didn’t know what he was up to? Did he think that Jesus would escape certain death as He had in the past when the people of His home town wanted to throw Him from a cliff? Was Judas trying to scam a few pieces of silver? Or did Judas have the blackest heart in the history of the world?

When Jesus begged from the cross for the Father to forgive His executioners, for they knew not what they were doing, did that cover Judas, who saw it all, who walked with Jesus, who was chosen?

It is ominous that Jesus said at the Last Supper, “…but woe to that man by whom the Son of man shall be betrayed. It were better for him, if that man had not been born.”

But that did not stop Saint Teresa of Avila from praying that Judas might be saved. Perhaps Teresa was on to something.

It seems from the Gospel narratives that the Apostles didn’t grasp the crucifixion right away, nor the resurrection. Peter stood somewhat befuddled in the empty tomb. Then there was the bewilderment by the two on the Road to Emmaus, and Jesus’ gentle admonishment at how slow they were to understand all that the prophets had foretold. Even then, they only recognized Him in the Eucharist, in the breaking of the bread.

So, what exactly is Judas’ villainy in all of this? What did he know, and did he really grasp what it was that he was doing?

I ask because I reflect on my own sins, the ones that have been every bit as responsible for putting Jesus on that cross as Judas was: The sins that were committed with sufficient reflection and full consent of the will. The mortal sins. Are these not a betrayal too, of the baptismal vows, of the past firm purposes of amendment, of graces received and squandered?

When we stood during Sunday’s Gospel and chanted the part of the crowd, “Crucify Him,” it was more than a parish play. It is in fact what all of our sins have screamed aloud.

I think Teresa saw this when she looked at her own past sinfulness. That’s why she could pray for the salvation of Judas. In truth, I have never been entirely comfortable with Judas as the villain of the story in Holy Week. I see a weak and tragic man. But then I see 10 other Apostles as weak and tragic as they headed for the tall grass as Jesus was executed. Only John remained. And I see my own weaknesses, my own sins that nailed Jesus to the cross.

To despise Judas for what he did is to make a distinction that is at once invidious and dangerous. Only Mary can make that distinction without it being invidious, because Mary is the only human (apart from her son who was both human and divine) who didn’t sin. It is dangerous to despise Judas, because such judgement takes one’s eye off of one’s own sinfulness and the need for Jesus’ sacrificial death to redeem those sins.

Perhaps we really don’t fully know what it is we do, even with sufficient reflection and full consent of the will. Perhaps Judas didn’t fully know either. Perhaps when he hanged himself from the torment and shame, when his body fell and split open, perhaps such an ignominious ending for an Apostle was punishment enough. Certainly Caiaphas and Pilate showed no such remorse.

Whatever Judas’ fate, it is enough this week to ask Jesus’ mercy and forgiveness for my own betrayals, and to follow Teresa’s example and offer up a prayer for the salvation of Judas. It is the Fatima prayer, is it not?

“O, my Jesus! Forgive us our sins. Save us from the fires of Hell. Lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need of Thy Mercy!”

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