11.28.2009

There Was a Time: An Advent Poem


There was a time when there was no time,
When darkness reigned as king,
When a formless void was all that there was
in the nothingness of eternity,
When it was night.
But over the void and over the night Love watched.
There was a time when time began.
It began when Love spoke.

Time began for light and life, for splendor and grandeur.
Time began for seas and mountains, for flowers and birds.
Time began for the valleys to ring with the songs of life,
and for the wilderness to echo with the wailing of wind
and howling of animals.
And over the earth, Love watched.

There was a time when time began to be recorded.
A time when Love breathed and a new creature came to life.
A new creature so special that it was in the image and likeness of Love
Of Love who is God.
And so man was born and the dawn of a new day shone on the world.
And over man, Love watched.

But there came a time when the new day faded.
A time when man who was like God tried to be God.
A time when the creature challenged the creator.
A time when man preferred death to life and darkness to light.
And so the new day settled into twilight.
And over the darkness, Love watched.

There was a time of waiting in the darkness.
A time when man waited in the shadows,
And all creation groaned in sadness.
There was waiting for Love to speak again--for Love to breathe again.
And kings and nations and empires rose and faded in the shadows.
And Love waited and watched.

Finally, there came a time when Love spoke again.
A Word from eternity--a Word
Spoken to a girl who belonged to a people not known by the world
Spoken to a girl who belonged to a family not known by her people
To a girl named Mary.
And all creation waited in hushed silence for the girl's answer.
And Mary spoke her yes.
And Love watched over Mary.

And so there came a time when Love breathed again
When Love breathed new life into Mary's yes.
And a new day dawned for the World
A day when light returned to darkness, when life returned to dispel death
And so a day came when Love became man--a mother bore a child.
And Love watched over Love--a Father watched His Son.

And, lastly, there came a time when you and I became a part of time.
Now is the time that you and I wait.
Now we wait to celebrate what the world waited for.
And as we wait to celebrate what was at one time, we become a part of that time
A time when a new dawn and a new dream and a new creation began for man.
And as a part of time, Love waits and Love watches over us.


Fr. Joseph Breighner

11.26.2009

Lincoln's Thanksgiving Proclamation


Washington, D.C.
October 3, 1863


By the President of the United States of America.
A Proclamation.

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God.

In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.

Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln
William H. Seward,Secretary of State

11.23.2009

Catholic Campaign For Human Development?




Thank you Bishop Barres for being only one of four bishops in the US to not take up this collection this year. May we pray that other bishops will follow suit.

Where Have All The Crosses Gone?


The leader of the Greek Orthodox Church is ready to convoke an extraordinary synod to strategize how to combat a European Court of Human Rights decision that ruled crucifixes in schools are a violation of rights.

"Majorities also have rights," Ieronymos II said in a statement that L'Osservatore Romano reported.

His statement responds to the Nov. 3 ruling from the rights court, which decided in favor of a mother who protested the crucifix in her children's school. The court found that the presence of crucifixes in schools "restricted the right of parents to educate their children in conformity with their convictions."

11.19.2009


A Pensacola, Florida abortion clinic closed Oct. 30, just as the 40 Days for Life prayer vigils being held at the site were drawing to an end. The clinic was facing a state fine for an expired license. The facility had been the site for three "40 Days."

“There had been an abortion clinic in that location for 25 years,” said David Bereit, national director of 40 Days for Life. “People have prayed there that abortions would cease, and it was during the fall 40 Days for Life campaign -- the peaceful, prayerful presence of faithful Christians -- that it was finally announced that this facility, where untold numbers of unborn children perished, was closing.

"That is not just a coincidence. God works in mysterious ways, and this is indeed an answer to prayer!”

11.14.2009

Harrisburg Bids Farewell To Bishop Rhoads


The announcement came as a shock to the faithful of Harrisburg that their beloved Bishop has been chosen to lead the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend. The Bishop has been out-spoken on various topics pertinent to Catholic teaching. Most recently, the Notre Dame honoring President Obama at this past summer's commencement ceremony. Rhoads now shepherds the diocese that is home to ND. Could this be the Holy Father's hand being played on the topic? Our prayers are with Bishop Rhoads, and the dioceses of Harrisburg & Fort-Wayne-South Bend.

11.11.2009

In Definition Of Marriage


The U.S. bishops are praising Maine's voters for speaking out in favor of the truth of marriage and repealing a state law that would have allowed same-sex "marriage." Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, the chairman of the U.S. bishops' Ad Hoc Committee for the Defense of Marriage, said this in a statement released on behalf of the U.S. episcopal conference.

Maine is the 31st state to oppose gay "marriage" at the polls. Five states now allow the unions.
"The people of Maine voted to uphold the true nature of marriage as the union of one man and one woman,..."Marriage is an institution which precedes all others, whether political or religious. It deserves the state’s reinforcement and protection," said Kurtz.

While the archbishop acknowledged that the Church's opposition to gay "marriage" is hard for some to accept, he urged "all to respect it...the Church "stands for the basic rights of all people," he continued, and noted that it speaks out against discrimination or unjust treatment of any group of people. But the issue of marriage, "has nothing to do with denying basic rights to anyone, though it is often framed in such terms."

"In fact, protecting marriage is safeguarding the rights of our most dependent and vulnerable among us -- our children, who deserve to be welcomed as a gift of spousal love and not to be intentionally deprived of a mother and a father," Archbishop Kurtz said.

"Sadly, the attempts to redefine marriage today ignore or reject the unique identity and gifts of man and woman," said Archbishop Kurtz. "Such a dismissal only fosters confusion about what it means to be human. "Protecting marriage between one man and one woman is a matter of justice. It is a matter of truth. Law should be at the service of truth and justice. Laws based on untruths are unjust."

Archbishop Kurtz invited all to work toward making marriages stronger, and to not attempt to redefine it: "Marriage must be protected and promoted today for what it is and what it is meant to be: the lifelong, exclusive union between husband and wife." "There are many ways to uphold the basic human rights of all people," he added, "but sacrificing marriage can never be one of them."

Check out TIME this week.

11.08.2009

Pray For The Poor Souls In Purgatory


O Almighty and Eternal Father, as by your will we pray for the souls in purgatory. I dedicate to you through the most pure hands of Mary, all the masses that are offered today, for your glory and for the release of the souls in Purgatory. I humbly beg you to forgive them their sins, through the grace of your beloved Son and to have mercy on them.

In reparation for the failures of these souls to show you praise, love, honor and gratitude, and for the merits which they failed to gain, I offer to you all the praise, love, honor, gratitude, and suffering with which your Son praised you while He was on Earth.

In reparation for all the negligence and indifference showed by these souls, I offer you the ardent eagerness with which Your Son accomplished all his deeds on Earth, deeds which endure and glorify you in all the Holy Masses.

In reparation for all the mistakes and faults of these souls, I offer you all the virtues of your Son, which continue to glorify you in all the Holy Masses.

In expiation of the sins of these souls, I offer you the divine Blood which your Son spilled while on earth, and which He still offers to you for us in all the holy Masses.

As recompense for all the punishments and tortures which these souls suffer, I offer you the terrible suffering and death of your beloved Son, which are renewed by him in all the holy Masses.

For the liberation of these souls from the darkness of sin, I offer you the merits which your Son had on earth, and which he still offers in all the holy Masses.

Finally to appease your strict justice, I offer you all the virtues of the most Holy Mother of God and all your saints, who suffered greatly to make up for what the souls in purgatory failed to fulfill. May the merits which they obtained, united with the suffering and death of your beloved Son, attain for the souls in purgatory everlasting freedom and peace. Amen.

11.06.2009

Saint Bernard's Joy


Only Jesus is "joy to the heart," says Benedict XVI, citing words from St. Bernard of Clairvaux. The Pope offered a reflection on the 12th-century saint, highlighting the abbot's personal relationship with Christ. "Only Jesus -- insists Bernard in face of the complex dialectical reasoning of his time -- only Jesus is 'honey to the mouth, song to the ear, joy to the heart,'" the Holy Father said. He recalled another line from the abbot: "'When you discuss or speak, nothing has flavor for me, if I have not heard resound the name of Jesus.'"