Category Archives: True God

Blog News-Tuesday 01.08.08

…In the way of righteousness is life, and in the pathway thereof there is no death. (Prov. 12:28)…

THINGS HAVE CHANGED SINCE NOVEMBER OF ’07’

In November of last year the National Right to Life Committee endorsed Fred Thompson. At the time, Executive Director of NRLC David O’Steen  said that after pouring over voting records, checking the pro life positions of the candidates and considering electability they chose Thompson and felt that Thompson would benefit from the endorsement. He hasn’t.

As of today, Tuesday, January 8, 2008 Fred Thompson is posed to finish dead last behindfred_closeup.jpg Ron Paul by 9 points in the New Hampshire Primary today. And polls show him consistently far behind in all the upcoming primary states. Combining poor communication skills within debates and public perceptions of a lackadaisical approach towards his own candidacy, Fred Thompson is done.

A MATTER OF LIFE

In the most recent controversy over what does or does not constitute a true blue conservative and his or her right ordering of issues during this election, there remains for pro life/family forces the underlying principle which supercedes all issues–the human right to life… We are concerned with ending the worst holocaust in the history of humanity–the ongoing deaths of millions of innocent children in the womb–and we are committed to its defeat in our lifetime, period.

IT’S ABOUT JUDGE’S, STUPID…

Up to now, we haven’t heard much about it, but, this election for us is still about judges. As was true in the 2000 election, (and prior), we are in need of strict Originalist Judges who will interpret the Constitution properly, and thus, we are in need of a viable presidential candidate–capable of winning–who will nominate such Judge’s.

Among the remaining Republican candidate’s, Mike Huckabee has surprised us all by coming out of nowhere and appears to be gaining great support within the pro life community. Along with his refreshing populist bent that some economic conservatives fear and perhaps loathe, (with a view only towards the pocketbook), Mike Huckabee seems to be resonating among those 43% of voters who say social values will help determine their vote.

He has mine.

Look Here to study the remaining viable candidates positions on life.

As righteousness tendeth to life…(Prov. 11:19).

  Oregon Roe v. Wade Memorial Rallys

Reaching Oregon with the message of life!

Sunday, January 20, 2006

Oregon State Capitol

Salem, Oregon

2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Sponsored by Oregon Right to Life

On January 22, 1973, the United States Supreme Court handed down the Roe v. Wade decision which has resulted in the deaths of over 45 million unborn children.  

Speakers include:

Archbishop John Vlazny

Frank Rosenbloom, M.D., ORTL President

Pastor Doug Bailey, Salem First Free Methodist Church

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Events in other communities:

Coos County: Sunday, January 20 from 2 to 3 p.m. at the Chamber of Commerce Information Block at Hwy. 101 and Broadway in downtown Coos Bay between Anderson and Commercial Avenues. For information, call 541-347-9280.

Curry County: Sunday, January 20.   Meet at 4 p.m. for a candlelight vigil in front of   the Curry County Courthouse in Gold Beach.   For information, call 541-247-2218.

Douglas County: Sunday, January 20.   Meet at 2 p.m. at the Mercy Medical Center statue in Roseburg.   Walk to 3 p.m. rally at First Conservative Baptist Church.   For information, call 541-673-4566.

Eugene:

Harney County: Monday, January 21. Prayer meeting at 8:30 a.m. at Holy Family Catholic Church. For information, call 541-573-2990.

Jackson County: Sunday, January 2o. Rally at 1:30 p.m. at the Jackson County Justice Building in Medford. For information, call 541-830-0679.

Josephine County: Sunday, January 20.   Rally from (meet at 12:30) 1 to 2:30 p.m. in front of Josephine County Courthouse at 6th and B streets in Grants Pass. For information, call 541-474-2091.

Klamath County: Monday, January 21. Meet at 8:30 a.m. at the County Government Center in Klamath Falls. For information, call 541-850-2198.

Malheur County: Sunday, January 20. Memorial service at 7 p.m. at the Nazarene Church in Vale.   For information, call 541-473-3080.

Salem/Stayton: Monday, January 21. “Pray for one hour to end abortion” candlelight vigil from 6 to 7 p.m. at Planned Parenthood on Lancaster and Wolverine Streets in Salem. For information, call 503-769-5294.

Pope Benedict XVI’s State of the World Address – Full Text

Monday, 7 January 2008jj2.jpg

Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

1. I extend cordial greetings to your Dean, Ambassador Giovanni Galassi, and I thank him for the kind words that he has addressed to me in the name of the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See. To each of you I offer respectful greetings, particularly to those who are present at this meeting for the first time. Through you, I express my fervent prayers for the peoples and governments that you represent with such dignity and competence. Your community suffered a bereavement some weeks ago: the Ambassador of France, Monsieur Bernard Kessedjian, ended his earthly pilgrimage; may the Lord welcome him into his peace! My thoughts today go especially to the nations that have yet to establish diplomatic relations with the Holy See: they too have a place in the Pope’s heart. The Church is profoundly convinced that humanity is a family, as I wanted to emphasize in this year’s World Day of Peace Message.

2. It was in a family spirit that diplomatic relations were established last year with the United Arab Emirates. In the same spirit, I was also able to visit certain countries that I hold dear. The enthusiastic welcome that I received from the Brazilians continues to warm my heart! In that country, I had the joy of meeting the representatives of the great family of the Church in Latin America and the Caribbean, gathered at Aparecida for the Fifth General Conference of CELAM. In the economic and social sphere, I was able to note eloquent signs of hope for that continent, as well as certain reasons for concern. We all look forward to seeing increasing cooperation among the peoples of Latin America, and, within each of the countries that make up that continent, the resolution of internal conflicts, leading to a consensus on the great values inspired by the Gospel. I wish to mention Cuba, which is preparing to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the visit of my venerable Predecessor. Pope John Paul II was received with affection by the authorities and by the people, and he encouraged all Cubans to work together for a better future. I should like to reiterate this message of hope, which has lost none of its relevance.

3. My thoughts and prayers are directed especially towards the peoples affected by appalling natural disasters. I am thinking of the hurricanes and floods which have devastated certain regions of Mexico and Central America, as well as countries in Africa and Asia, especially Bangladesh, and parts of Oceania; mention must also be made of the great fires. The Cardinal Secretary of State, who went to Peru at the end of August, brought me a first-hand account of the destruction and havoc caused by the terrible earthquake, but he spoke also of the courage and faith of the peoples affected. In the face of tragic events of this kind, a strong joint effort is needed. As I wrote in my Encyclical on hope, “the true measure of humanity is essentially determined in relationship to suffering and to the sufferer. This holds true both for the individual and for society” (Encyclical Letter Spe Salvi, 38).

4. The international community continues to be deeply concerned about the Middle East. I am glad that the Annapolis Conference pointed towards the abandonment of partisan or unilateral solutions, in favour of a global approach respectful of the rights and legitimate interests of all the peoples of the region. I appeal once more to the Israelis and the Palestinians to concentrate their energies on the implementation of commitments made on that occasion, and to expedite the process that has happily been restarted. Moreover, I invite the international community to give strong support to these two peoples and to understand their respective sufferings and fears. Who can remain unmoved by the plight of Lebanon, amid its trials and all the violence that continues to shake that beloved country? It is my earnest wish that the Lebanese people will be able to decide freely on their future and I ask the Lord to enlighten them, beginning with the leaders of public life, so that, putting aside particular interests, they will be ready to pledge themselves to the path of dialogue and reconciliation. Only in this way will the country be able to progress in stability and to become once more an example of the peaceful coexistence of different communities. In Iraq too, reconciliation is urgently needed! At present, terrorist attacks, threats and violence continue, especially against the Christian community, and the news which arrived yesterday confirms our concern; it is clear that certain difficult political issues remain unresolved. In this context, an appropriate constitutional reform will need to safeguard the rights of minorities. Important humanitarian aid is necessary for the peoples affected by the war; I am thinking especially of displaced persons within the country and refugees who have fled abroad, among whom there are many Christians. I invite the international community to be generous towards them and towards their host countries, whose capacities to absorb them have been sorely tested. I should also like to express my support for continued and uninterrupted pursuit of the path of diplomacy in order to resolve the issue of Iran’s nuclear programme, by negotiating in good faith, adopting measures designed to increase transparency and mutual trust, and always taking account of the authentic needs of peoples and the common good of the human family.

5. Turning our gaze now towards the whole of Asia, I should like to draw your attention to some other crisis situations, first of all to Pakistan, which has suffered from serious violence in recent months. I hope that all political and social forces will commit themselves to building a peaceful society, respectful of the rights of all. In Afghanistan, in addition to violence, there are other serious social problems, such as the production of drugs; greater support should be given to efforts for development, and even more intensive work is required in order to build a serene future. In Sri Lanka it is no longer possible to postpone further the decisive efforts needed to remedy the immense sufferings caused by the continuing conflict. And I ask the Lord to grant that in Myanmar, with the support of the international community, a season of dialogue between the Government and the opposition will begin, ensuring true respect for all human rights and fundamental freedoms.

6. Turning now to Africa, I should like first of all to reiterate my deep anguish, on observing that hope seems almost vanquished by the menacing sequence of hunger and death that is unfolding in Darfur. With all my heart I pray that the joint operation of the United Nations and the African Union, whose mission has just begun, will bring aid and comfort to the suffering populations. The peace process in the Democratic Republic of Congo is encountering strong resistance in the vicinity of the Great Lakes, especially in the Eastern regions, while Somalia, particularly Mogadishu, continues to be afflicted by violence and poverty. I appeal to the parties in conflict to cease their military operations, to facilitate the movement of humanitarian aid and to respect civilians. In recent days Kenya has experienced an abrupt outbreak of violence. I join the Bishops in their appeal made on 2 January, inviting all the inhabitants, especially political leaders, to seek a peaceful solution through dialogue, based on justice and fraternity. The Catholic Church is not indifferent to the cries of pain that rise up from these regions. She makes her own the pleas for help made by refugees and displaced persons, and she pledges herself to foster reconciliation, justice and peace. This year, Ethiopia is marking the start of the third Christian millennium, and I am sure that the celebrations organized for this occasion will also help to recall the immense social and apostolic work carried out by Christians in Africa.

7. And finally, focussing upon Europe, I rejoice at the progress that has been made in various countries of the Balkan region, and I express once again the hope that the definitive status of Kosovo will take account of the legitimate claims of the parties involved and will guarantee security and respect for the rights of all the inhabitants of this land, so that the spectre of violence will be definitively removed and European stability strengthened. I should like also to mention Cyprus, recalling with joy the visit of His Beatitude Archbishop Chrysostomos II last June. It is my earnest wish that, in the context of the European Union, no effort will be spared in the search for a solution to a crisis that has already lasted too long. Last September, I made a visit to Austria, partly in order to underline the essential contribution that the Catholic Church is able and willing to give to European unification. On the subject of Europe, I would like to assure you that I am following attentively the new phase which began with the signing of the Treaty of Lisbon. This step gives a boost to the process of building the “European home”, which “will be a good place to live for everyone only if it is built on a solid cultural and moral foundation of common values drawn from our history and our traditions” (Meeting with the Authorities and the Diplomatic Corps, Vienna, 7 September 2007) and if it does not deny its Christian roots.

8. From this rapid overview it appears clearly that the security and stability of the world are still fragile. The factors of concern are varied, yet they all bear witness to the fact that human freedom is not absolute, but is a good that is shared, one for which all must assume responsibility. It follows that law and order are guarantees of freedom. Yet law can be an effective force for peace only if its foundations remain solidly anchored in natural law, given by the Creator. This is another reason why God can never be excluded from the horizon of man or of history. God’s name is a name of justice, it represents an urgent appeal for peace.

9. This realization could help, among other things, to give direction to initiatives for intercultural and inter-religious dialogue. These ever increasing initiatives can foster cooperation on matters of mutual interest, such as the dignity of the human person, the search for the common good, peace-building and development. In this regard, the Holy See attaches particular importance to its participation in high-level dialogue on understanding among religions and cultures and cooperation for peace, within the framework of the 62nd General Assembly of the United Nations (4-5 October 2007). In order to be true, this dialogue must be clear, avoiding relativism and syncretism, while at the same time it must be marked by sincere respect for others and by a spirit of reconciliation and fraternity. The Catholic Church is deeply committed to this goal. It is a pleasure for me to recall once again the letter that was addressed to me, on 13 October last, by 138 Muslim Religious Leaders, and to renew my gratitude for the noble sentiments which were expressed in it.

10. Our society has rightly enshrined the greatness and dignity of the human person in various declarations of rights, formulated in the wake of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was adopted exactly sixty years ago. That solemn act, in the words of Pope Paul VI, was one of the greatest achievements of the United Nations. In every continent the Catholic Church strives to ensure that human rights are not only proclaimed but put into practice. It is to be hoped that agencies created for the defence and promotion of human rights will devote all their energies to this task and, in particular, that the Human Rights Council will be able to meet the expectations generated by its creation.

11. The Holy See for its part never tires of reaffirming these principles and rights, founded on what is essential and permanent in the human person. The Church willingly undertakes this service to the true dignity of human persons, created in the image of God. And on the basis of these considerations, I cannot but deplore once again the continual attacks perpetrated on every continent against human life. I would like to recall, together with many men and women dedicated to research and science, that the new frontiers reached in bioethics do not require us to choose between science and morality: rather, they oblige us to a moral use of science. On the other hand, recalling the appeal made by Pope John Paul II on the occasion of the Jubilee Year 2000, I rejoice that on 18 December last the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a resolution calling upon States to institute a moratorium on the use of the death penalty, and I earnestly hope that this initiative will lead to public debate on the sacred character of human life. I regret, once again, the disturbing threats to the integrity of the family, founded on the marriage of a man and a woman. Political leaders, of whatever kind, should defend this fundamental institution, the basic cell of society. What more should be said? Even religious freedom, “an essential requirement of the dignity of every person [and] a cornerstone of the structure of human rights” (Message for the 1988 World Day of Peace, Preamble) is often undermined. There are many places where this right cannot be fully exercised. The Holy See defends it, demands that it be universally respected, and views with concern discrimination against Christians and against the followers of other religions.

12. Peace cannot be a mere word or a vain aspiration. Peace is a commitment and a manner of life which demands that the legitimate aspirations of all should be satisfied, such as access to food, water and energy, to medicine and technology, or indeed the monitoring of climate change. Only in this way can we build the future of humanity; only in this way can we facilitate an integral development valid for today and tomorrow. With a particularly felicitous expression, Pope Paul VI stressed forty years ago in his Encyclical Letter Populorum Progressio, that “development is the new name for peace”. Hence, in order to consolidate peace, the positive macroeconomic results achieved by many developing countries during 2007 must be supported by effective social policies and by the implementation of aid commitments by rich countries.

13. Finally, I wish to urge the international community to make a global commitment on security. A joint effort on the part of States to implement all the obligations undertaken and to prevent terrorists from gaining access to weapons of mass destruction would undoubtedly strengthen the nuclear non-proliferation regime and make it more effective. I welcome the agreement reached on the dismantling of North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme, and I encourage the adoption of suitable measures for the reduction of conventional weapons and for dealing with the humanitarian problems caused by cluster munitions.

Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

14. Diplomacy is, in a certain sense, the art of hope. It lives from hope and seeks to discern even its most tenuous signs. Diplomacy must give hope. The celebration of Christmas reminds us each year that, when God became a little child, Hope came to live in our world, in the heart of the human family. Today this certainty becomes a prayer: May God open the hearts of those who govern the family of peoples to the Hope that never disappoints! With these sentiments, I offer to each one of you my very best wishes, so that you, your staff, and the peoples you represent may be enlightened by the Grace and Peace which come to us from the Child of Bethlehem.

© Copyright 2008 – Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Scottish nuns send desperate plea for help from Kenyan mission

Timesonline January 8th, 2008 Melanie Reid 

A group of Franciscan nuns from Glasgow are trapped in desperate circumstances in their missionary compound in Kenya.

The sisters, who are sheltering 1,500 vulnerable people in the convent, faxed an emergency plea to the leader of Scotland’s Roman Catholics for help. Sister Kelly, the head of the order in Kericho, in the southwest of the country, said that she was protecting men, women and children from marauding gangs, but was running out of food and water.

The Sunday Herald reported that in a desperate communication to Cardinal Keith O’Brien in Glasgow, Sister Kelly said: “There are currently 1,500 people burnt out of their homes and many with HIV seeking refuge in the grounds of our convent, with no food and no sanitation.

“The Red Cross can’t get through because roads are blocked and a bridge on the main road blown up. The sisters are doing their best to persuade shop owners to open and allow them to buy enough food, but they are fearful of another Rwanda situation.

She added: “Police are shooting indiscriminately. Kiltegan Fathers in nearby Londiani are going out to collect the dead bodies of their parishioners, including men, women and children, from the streets. The situation is bad.”

Sister Placida, who comes from Greenock, also contacted the Fransciscan order’s headquarters in Glasgow, using her mobile phone. She told them of the fear and uncertainty the nuns faced as they tried to help sufering refugees.

“We seem to be safe for the meantime, but everyone is so scared. We all know about the mob in Eldoret when a mob set fire to a church where men, women and chidlren were sheltering.

“Yesterday four babies were born here in our mission while in another bed a woman is dying in agony from face cancer. Outside hundreds of tea plantation workers have been sacked from their jobs. We don’t know how long we can last in these conditions. With the roads being blocked little can get through to us.”

Another Scottish missionary, Father Tommy Docherty, from Glasgow, is said to be trapped in his home in Eldoret. He has told friends that he has been advised to remain indoors to avoid gangs on the streets.

The Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund has sent money for supplies to the missionaries, but banks and shops are closed.

Cardinal O’Brien, who left for Spain at the weekend to attend a meeting of bishops, has appealed to Scottish politicians for help. He told the paper: “I hope the leaders can be persuadeds to ask their people with some conviciton to stop the fighting and return Kenya to the peaceful happy land we know it to be.

“I visited Rwanda in January 2004 and saw for myself the horrors genocide can bring. My heart goes out to these poor people frightened for their lives in the torubled townships of Kenya.”

The Cardinal said he would to fly to Kenya himself as soon as possible to visit the missionaries.

Pope Benedict XVI’ Warns of Weapons of Mass Destruction in the Hands of Terrorists

VATICAN CITY – Pope Benedict urged the world Monday to prevent terrorists from getting their hands on weapons of mass destruction.

In an annual speech to Vatican-based diplomats outlining the Holy See’s foreign policy priorities, Benedict also called for continued diplomatic efforts over Iran’s nuclear program.

“I wish to urge the international community to make a global commitment on security,” he said.

“A joint effort on the part of states to implement all the obligations undertaken and to prevent terrorists from gaining access to weapons of mass destruction would undoubtedly strengthen the nuclear non-proliferation regime and make it more effective.” The Pope backed continuing negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program, which the U.S. and it allies fear is aimed at building atomic weapons. Tehran insists its nuclear program is peaceful.

“I should also like to express my support for continued and uninterrupted pursuit of the path of diplomacy in order to resolve the issue of Iran’s nuclear program, by negotiating in good faith, adopting measures designed to increase transparency and mutual trust,” he said.

There has been speculation that the United States or Israel might launch a military strike against Iran.

Benedict also told the foreign ambassadors that measures must be taken to reduce conventional weapons and to deal with the humanitarian problems caused by cluster weapons.

Cluster bombs open in flight and scatter dozens of bomblets, some of which fail to explode and pose a risk to civilians even after a conflict has ended.

In his speech, the Pope also condemned the frequent attacks suffered by Iraq’s Christian community, saying the country needs to undertake a constitutional reform that will safeguard the rights of minorities.

Benedict touched on many of the world’s crises, appealing for peace and dialogue in hotspots including the Middle East, Kenya, Sudan’s Darfur region and Myanmar.

Francis Rooney, the U.S. ambassador to the Holy See, said the Pope’s message showed that the Vatican and the United States have the same foreign policy goals.

“We both place great importance on stopping the spread of terrorism and violence, aiding Christians who are under threat in many parts of the world today, and seeing an end to poverty and hunger which plague so much of Africa,” Rooney said in a statement.

Benedict noted that this month marks the 10th anniversary of Pope John Paul II’s historic pilgrimage to Cuba, and recalled how his predecessor “encouraged all Cubans to work together for a better future.”

“I should like to reiterate this message of hope, which has lost none of its relevance,” Benedict said in his speech, which was delivered in French.

The Pope also reached out to countries that do not have diplomatic relations with the Vatican and urged them to establish ties. He did not name the countries but the mention is seen by diplomats as referring especially to China, with which Benedict is attempting to restore diplomatic relations severed after the 1949 communist revolution.

Pope Benedict XVI’s Epiphany Homily: January 6, 2008

Dear Brothers and Sisters, The light that shone in the night at Christmas illuminating the Bethlehem Grotto, where Mary, Joseph and the shepherds remained in silent adoration, shines out today and is manifested to all. The Epiphany is a mystery of light, symbolically suggested by the star that guided the Magi on their journey. The true source of light, however, the “sun that rises from on high” (cf. Lk 1: 78), is Christ.

In the mystery of Christmas, Christ’s light shines on the earth, spreading, as it were, in concentric circles. First of all, it shines on the Holy Family of Nazareth:  the Virgin Mary and Joseph are illuminated by the divine presence of the Infant Jesus. The light of the Redeemer is then manifested to the shepherds of Bethlehem, who, informed by an Angel, hasten immediately to the grotto and find there the “sign” that had been foretold to them:  the Child, wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger (cf. Lk 2: 12).

The shepherds, together with Mary and Joseph, represent that “remnant of Israel”, the poor, the anawim, to whom the Good News was proclaimed.

Finally, Christ’s brightness shines out, reaching the Magi who are the first-fruits of the pagan peoples.

The palaces of the rulers of Jerusalem, to which, paradoxically, the Magi actually take the news of the Messiah’s birth, are left in the shade. Moreover, this news does not give rise to joy but to fear and hostile reactions. The divine plan was mysterious:  “The light came into the world, but men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were wicked” (Jn 3: 19).

But what is this light? Is it merely an evocative metaphor or does this image correspond to reality? The Apostle John writes in his First Letter:  “God is light; in him there is no darkness” (I Jn 1: 5); and further on he adds:  “God is love”. These two affirmations, taken together, help us to understand better:  the light that shone forth at Christmas, which is manifested to the peoples today, is God’s love revealed in the Person of the Incarnate Word. Attracted by this light, the Magi arrived from the East.

In the mystery of the Epiphany, therefore, alongside an expanding outward movement, a movement of attraction toward the centre is expressed which brings to completion the movement already written in the Old Covenant. The source of this dynamism is God, One in Three Persons, who draws all things and all people to himself. The Incarnate Person of the Word is presented in this way as the beginning of universal reconciliation and recapitulation (cf. Eph 1: 9-10).

He is the ultimate destination of history, the point of arrival of an “exodus”, of a providential journey of redemption that culminates in his death and Resurrection. Therefore, on the Solemnity of the Epiphany, the liturgy foresees the so-called “Announcement of Easter”:  indeed, the liturgical year sums up the entire parable of the history of salvation, whose centre is “the Triduum of the Crucified Lord, buried and risen”.

In the liturgy of the Christmas season this verse of Psalm 98[97] frequently recurs as a refrain:  “The Lord has made his salvation known:  in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice” (v. 2).

These are words that the Church uses to emphasize the “epiphanic” dimension of the Incarnation:  the Son of God becoming human, his entry into history, is the crowning point of God’s revelation of himself to Israel and to all the peoples. In the Child of Bethlehem, God revealed himself in the humility of the “human form”, in the “form of a slave”, indeed, of one who died on a cross (cf. Phil 2: 6-8). This is the Christian paradox.

Indeed, this very concealment constitutes the most eloquent “manifestation” of God. The humility, poverty, even the ignominy of the Passion enable us to know what God is truly like. The Face of the Son faithfully reveals that of the Father. This is why the mystery of Christmas is, so to speak, an entire “epiphany”. The manifestation to the Magi does not add something foreign to God’s design but unveils a perennial and constitutive dimension of it, namely, that “in Christ Jesus the Gentiles are now coheirs… members of the same body and sharers of the promise through… the Gospel” (Eph 3: 6).

At a superficial glance, God’s faithfulness to Israel and his manifestation to the peoples could seem divergent aspects; they are actually two sides of the same coin. In fact, according to the Scriptures, it is precisely by remaining faithful to his Covenant of love with the people of Israel that God also reveals his glory to other peoples. Grace and fidelity (cf. Ps 89[88]: 2), “mercy and truth” (cf. Ps 85[84]: 11), are the content of God’s glory, they are his “name”, destined to be known and sanctified by people of every language and nation.

However, this “content” is inseparable from the “method” that God chose to reveal himself, that is, absolute fidelity to the Covenant that reaches its culmination in Christ. The Lord Jesus, at the same time and inseparably, is “a light revealing to the Gentiles the glory of your people Israel” (Lk 2: 32), as the elderly Simeon was to exclaim, inspired by God, taking the Child in his arms when his parents presented him at the temple. The light that enlightens the peoples – the light of the Epiphany – shines out from the glory of Israel – the glory of the Messiah born, in accordance with the Scriptures, in Bethlehem, “the city of David” (cf. Lk 2: 4).

The Magi worshipped a simple Child in the arms of his Mother Mary, because in him they recognized the source of the twofold light that had guided them:  the light of the star and the light of the Scriptures. In him they recognized the King of the Jews, the glory of Israel, but also the King of all the peoples.

The mystery of the Church and her missionary dimension are also revealed in the liturgical context of the Epiphany. She is called to make Christ’s light shine in the world, reflecting it in herself as the moon reflects the light of the sun.

The ancient prophecies concerning the holy city of Jerusalem, such as the marvellous one in Isaiah that we have just heard:  “Rise up in splendour! Your light has come…. Nations shall walk by your light, and kings by your shining radiance” (Is 60: 1-3), have found fulfilment in the Church.

This is what disciples of Christ must do:  trained by him to live in the way of the Beatitudes, they must attract all people to God through a witness of love:  “In the same way, your light must shine before men so that they may see goodness in your deeds and give praise to your heavenly Father” (Mt 5: 16). By listening to Jesus’ words, we members of the Church cannot but become aware of the total inadequacy of our human condition, marked by sin.

The Church is holy, but made up of men and women with their limitations and errors. It is Christ, Christ alone, who in giving us the Holy Spirit is able to transform our misery and constantly renew us. He is the light of the peoples, the lumen gentium, who has chosen to illumine the world through his Church (cf. Lumen Gentium, n. 1).

“How can this come about?”, we also ask ourselves with the words that the Virgin addresses to the Archangel Gabriel. And she herself, the Mother of Christ and of the Church, gives us the answer:  with her example of total availability to God’s will – “fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum” (Lk 1: 38) – she teaches us to be a “manifestation” of the Lord, opening our hearts to the power of grace and faithfully abiding by the words of her Son, light of the world and the ultimate end of history.
So be it!

The Origin of Man, or, The Ancient Seeds of Sacred Music Found Within the Life Teen Mass?

Forgive me, I couldn’t help the title for this post after viewing the video! What’s worse, is I almost entitled it the ‘Catholic Homecoming Anthem’ in hopes of drawing back all those children of the Church who lost their faith during this bizarre era. God does works in mysterious ways!!! However, being a people of justice, and thankful for the talents each of us receives, I believe there is absolutely no reason why the Monkees should not be included in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame! (Hey, at least ‘they’ kept the organ!).  You can find out more and help put The Monkees in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by signing the petition here. As for me, ‘I’m a believer’ in avoiding Life Teen Masses… enjoy. [Note: some kind person just now sent me a article on the Teen Mass over at the Curt Jester–go figure!]

Solemnity of the Lord’s Epiphany: Sunday, January 6, 2008

Solemnity of the Lord’s Epiphany

Many traditions and genuine manifestations of popular piety have been developed in relation to the Solemnity of the Lord’s Epiphany, which is of ancient origin and rich in spiritual content. Among such forms of popular piety, mention may be made of :

  • the solemn proclamation of Easter and the principal dominical feasts; its revival in many places would be opportune since it served to make the connection between the Epiphany and Easter, and orientate all feasts towards the greatest Christian solemnity;

  • the exchange of “Epiphany gifts”, which derives from the gifts offered to Jesus by the three kings (cf. Mt 2,11) and more radically from the gift made to mankind by God in the birth of Emmanuel amongst us (cf. Is 7, 14; 9, 16; Mt 1, 23). It is important, however, to ensure that the exchange of gifts on the solemnity of the Epiphany retain a Christian character, indicating that its meaning is evangelical: hence the gifts offered should be a genuine expression of popular piety and free from extravagance, luxury, and waste, all of which are extraneous to the Christian origins of this practice;

  • the blessing of homes, on whose lentils are inscribed the Cross of salvation, together with the indication of the year and the initials of the three wise men (C+M+B), which can also be interpreted to mean Christus mansionem benedicat, written in blessed chalk; this custom, often accompanied by processions of children accompanied by their parents, expresses the blessing of Christ through the intercession of the three wise men and is an occasion for gathering offerings for charitable and missionary purposes;

  • initiatives in solidarity with those who come from afar; whether Christian or not, popular piety has encouraged a sense of solidarity and openness;

  • assistance to the work of evangelisation; the strong missionary character of the Epiphany has been well understood by popular piety and many initiatives in support of the missions flourish on 6 January, especially the “Missionary work of the Holy Child”, promoted by the Apostolic See;

  • the assignation of Patrons; in many religious communities and confraternities, patron saints are assigned to the members for the coming year.

Readings of the Holy Mass, Sunday, January 6, 2008 

Reading 1

Is 60:1-6

Rise up in splendor, Jerusalem! Your light has come,the glory of the Lord shines upon you.See, darkness covers the earth,and thick clouds cover the peoples;but upon you the LORD shines,and over you appears his glory.Nations shall walk by your light,and kings by your shining radiance.Raise your eyes and look about;they all gather and come to you:your sons come from afar,and your daughters in the arms of their nurses.Then you shall be radiant at what you see,your heart shall throb and overflow,for the riches of the sea shall be emptied out before you,the wealth of nations shall be brought to you.Caravans of camels shall fill you,dromedaries from Midian and Ephah;all from Sheba shall comebearing gold and frankincense,and proclaiming the praises of the LORD.

Responsorial PsalmPs 72:1-2, 7-8, 10-11, 12-13

R (cf. 11) Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.O God, with your judgment endow the king,and with your justice, the king’s son;He shall govern your people with justiceand your afflicted ones with judgment.

R Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.Justice shall flower in his days,and profound peace, till the moon be no more.May he rule from sea to sea,and from the River to the ends of the earth.

R Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.The kings of Tarshish and the Isles shall offer gifts;the kings of Arabia and Seba shall bring tribute.All kings shall pay him homage,all nations shall serve him.

R Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.For he shall rescue the poor when he cries out,and the afflicted when he has no one to help him.He shall have pity for the lowly and the poor;the lives of the poor he shall save.

R Lord, every nation on earth will adore you. 

Reading II

Eph 3:2-3a, 5-6

Brothers and sisters:You have heard of the stewardship of God’s gracethat was given to me for your benefit,namely, that the mystery was made known to me by revelation.It was not made known to people in other generationsas it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit:that the Gentiles are coheirs, members of the same body,and copartners in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel. 

Gospel

Mt 2:1-12

When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea,in the days of King Herod,behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying,“Where is the newborn king of the Jews?We saw his star at its risingand have come to do him homage.”When King Herod heard this,he was greatly troubled,and all Jerusalem with him.Assembling all the chief priests and the scribes of the people,He inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.They said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea,for thus it has been written through the prophet:And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah,are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;since from you shall come a ruler,who is to shepherd my people Israel.”Then Herod called the magi secretlyand ascertained from them the time of the star’s appearance.He sent them to Bethlehem and said,“Go and search diligently for the child.When you have found him, bring me word,that I too may go and do him homage.”After their audience with the king they set out.And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them,until it came and stopped over the place where the child was.They were overjoyed at seeing the star,and on entering the housethey saw the child with Mary his mother.They prostrated themselves and did him homage.Then they opened their treasuresand offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod,they departed for their country by another way. 

Taken from Popular piety and divine worship