Monday, June 29, 2009

Solemnity of Saint Peter and Saint Paul

Almighty God, whose blessed apostles Peter and Paul glorified you by their martyrdom; Grant that your Church, instructed by their teaching and example, and knit together in unity by your Spirit, may ever stand firm upon the one foundation, which is Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.

(Source: 1979 Book of Common Prayer).

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist

Almighty God, by whose providence thy servant John the Baptist was wonderfully born, and sent to prepare the way of thy Son our Savior by preaching repentance: Make us so to follow his doctrine and holy life, that we may truly repent according to his preaching; and after his example constantly speak the truth, boldly rebuke vice, and patiently suffer for truth's sake; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

(Source: Book of Common Prayer).

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


The New Liturgical News website reports that 10 out of 12 nuns of All Saints Convent in Catonsville, Maryland, who are members of the All Saints Sisters of the Poor, an Anglican order which is part of the Episcopal Church, will be recieved into full communion with the Roman Catholic Church on September 3, 2009. Only two sisters have elected to remain Episcopalians.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Solemnity of Corpus Christi

U.S. Navy Chaplain conducts mass during the battle for the island of Saipan
during World War II.

Although the Solemnity of Corpus Christi was technically last Thursday, my diocese officially celebrates it today, Sunday, June 14, 2009.

From The Liturgy of the Hours:

O precious and wonderful banquet, that brings us salvation and contains all sweetness! Could anything be of more intrinsic value? Under the old law it was the flesh of calves and goats that was offered, but here Christ himself, the true God, is set before us as our food. What could be more wonderful than this? No other sacrament has greater healing power; through it sins are purged away, virtues are increased, and the soul is enriched with an abundance of every spiritual gift. It is offered in the Church for the living and the dead, so that what was instituted for the salvation of all may be for the benefit of all. Yet, in the end, no one can fully express the sweetness of this sacrament, in which spiritual delight is tasted at its very source, and in which we renew the memory of that surpassing love for us which Christ revealed in his passion.

Saint Thomas Aquinas


Thursday, June 11, 2009

CANDIAN GOVERNMENT MANDATES THAT CATHOLIC SCHOOL CHILDREN MUST NOT THINK LIKE CATHOLICS reports that the Quebec Ministry of Education has mandated that Catholic schools must teach an "ethics course" which denies the existence of God and teaches "recognition of the dignity of the other," which we can probably read as acceptance of homosexuality, abortion, and other sinful behavior.

630 of 731 parents of Loyola High School in Montreal have asked that their children not be taught the course, which, of course, the government refuses. You know, it takes a village to raise a child, as Ms. Clinton said, which means that the government should teach current politically correct values to your children and not let you teach them some ignorant superstition like Christianity. Of course, militant Islam is OK since they are an oppressed third world minority.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Thomas Merton on Walker Percy

A racy, psychedelic 1960's - '70s paperback cover of Walker Percy's second novel The Last Gentleman and the most famous Trappist monk in the world, Thomas Merton, a.k.a. Father Louis.

Volume 21 of The Merton Annual from the INTERNATIONAL THOMAS MERTON SOCIETY arrived in the mail on Saturday. There were apparently three papers presented at this year's society meeting on the intersection of the thought of Thomas Merton and the novels of Walker Percy.

Here is an excerpt from a letter dated May 22, 1966 from Thomas Merton to his editor Bob Giroux regarding Merton's thoughts on Percy's second novel, The Last Gentleman:

Walker Percy is one of the few novelists whose books I am able to finish. This is in fact a haunting, disturbing, funny and fantastic anti-novel structered like a long dream and relentlessly insisting that most of reality is unconscious. It ends up being one of the most intelligent and sophisticated statements about the South and about America, but one which too many people will probably find so baffling that they will not know what to make of it. Even then, if they persist in reading it, they cannot help being affected by this profoundly wacky wisdom of the book. Precisely because of the wackiness I would call it one of the sanest books I have read in a long time.

True American Values

Let's not lose sight of what's really important.

Saturday, June 6, 2009


I have always been fascinated by JACK CHICK tracts. You know, those little ultra fundamentalist gospel tract comic books. I became really interested after a local country buffet
which is run by some ultra fundamentalist evangelicals put a rack full of CHICK TRACTS in their restaurant. Now every time I go there, I get a CHICK TRACT to read to find out why I'm going to hell while I eat my fried chicken and collard greens.

Soon I began collecting CHICK TRACTS. If you want CHICK TRACTS, all you have to do is let BROTHER JACK CHICK know that you want them and they'll send them to you. So I have gotten myself on BROTHER JACK's mailing list. Now BROTHER JACK is against a lot of stuff and tends to lump groups together on his enemies list, these enemies include Homosexuals, Wiccans, Atheists, Roman Catholics, Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, Muslims, and Liberal Protestants of all stripes.

Now usually, when BROTHER JACK's newsletter arrives in the mail with a new tract, I get a good laugh from the ranting and raving. But this month for over half the letter, I wasn't laughing and actually found myself agreeing with BROTHER JACK. It was a frightening experience.

BROTHER JACK CHICK WRITES: There is a dangerous change going on in our nation right now. Muslim terrorists no longer conduct 'terrorism.' Now it is called 'man-caused disaster.' And the terrorists are now only 'insurgents.' So who are the 'terrorists' now? Would you believe - us?

Recently an official document was leaked from the Department of Homeland Security to prepare law enforcement for the newest form of 'potential terrorists.' This includes ex-military (oops - I was in WWII for three years!), those who oppose illegal immigration or gun control, people who stand against abortion - in short, anyone who opposes our government and its agenda! Already the movement to criminalize Christians is farther along than anyone dreams.

Get the picture?

Our job as believers is to pray for 'all that are in authority' (1 Timothy 2:1-2), that God will guide and direct them, whether they want Him or not.

But '. . . judgment must begin at the house of God . . .' (1 Peter 4:17). And it's coming Beloved. If the Lord Jesus tarries, I believe we'll see an Inquisition rise in our future. But what about the unsaved? Does our nation deserve God's judgment? Oh yes, there's lots of blood on our hands, with millions of babies slaughtered. Do you think God will ignore this? I think not!

Frighteningly, I found myself nodding my head agreeing with BROTHER JACK! It was not until over 2/3 of the way through the letter that I thought that BROTHER JACK got crazy:

The precious old King James 1611 Authorized Version Bible, which has caused sweeping revivals for over 300 years, is now held in reproach. And it has been replaced by Roman Catholic Bibles . . .

(Whaaaa? What's Brother Jack talking about, or does Brother Jack know what he's talking about? Well, anyway . . .)

Why do I say that I don't think that BROTHER JACK'S talk about orthodox Christianity being made illegal and those who maintain traditional faith being persecuted is paranoid and delusional. Because one look in the newspaper shows that BROTHER JACK might not be so crazy on this. Take these examples:

1. In Great Britain, Catholic adoption agencies in England and Wales will be forced to close because authorities there have ruled that Catholic adoption agencies cannot restrict adoption to heterosexual couples on religious grounds. The government ruled that the Catholic charities must either violate their religious principles or be stripped of charitable status (which practically speaking means that they will be forced to close).

2. The National Catholic Register reports that conscience is in jeopardy in the United States for Catholic Health Care Workers and Catholic Hospitals who may soon be forced by law to provide birth control and abortion. Doctors and pharmacists may soon be forced by licensing requirements in many states to provide abortion and birth control services as a condition of keeping their licenses. If they refuse, they could lose their licenses or, in some states, be criminally prosecuted.

3. In Great Britain, British churches may soon be forced by law to accept practicing homosexuals and transsexuals in positions as youth workers under "Equality Legislation" which may soon be passed by Parliament. Clauses in the law which would protect churches and religious groups from being forced to hire persons whose lifestyles are considered sinful were rejected.

4. An article in Christianity Today expresses concerns that Churches could be forced by anti-discrimination laws to perform same sex marriages in States which have legalized the practice. Jim Campbell, litigation counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund is quoted by the article as saying: "The reality is that churches, organizations, and people who do not recognize same-sex marriages hold beliefs that are now contrary to and viewed as discriminatory under the governing law. In a very real sense, churches will be organizations that hold officially discriminatory views. The ramifications of this will ripple throughout countless facets of the law. "

5. Christianity Today also reports that because of a new British law meant to keep radical Muslims who might be potential terrorists out of the country, that Christian recording artist DON FRANCISCO was detained by British immigration authorities at London's Heathrow Airport and deported from the country. Why was DON FRANCISCO considered to be an enemy of Great Britain? Because he listed his occupation as "Gospel Singer" and failed to obtain a special visa needed of "religious workers" which he had never needed before. MR. FRANCISO's planned Easter concert at Poole, England had to be cancelled when the star of the show was denied entry into the country because of being a potential terrorist.
Although a lot of what I have related above happened in England and not in the United States, how far behind Western Europe can we be in official government disapproval of people of faith? Maybe BROTHER JACK CHICK isn't totally crazy after all . . . Or maybe he is . . .