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Thursday, October 31, 2013

UK: Coptic icon for Christmas stamp

Royal Mail commissions Coptic icon for Christmas stamp

From a favorite blog of mine, On Coptic Nationalism, a post on the new stamp from Fadi Mikhail ofUK Coptic Icons.

The Christmas stamps in GB this year carry the Madonna and Child imagery. The Royal Mail commissioned Robert Maude and Sarah Davies to design four of the stamps using art from previous centuries and a fifth stamp (£1.88 stamp) has been designed by the young British Coptic artist, Fadi Mikhail using the beautiful Neo-Coptic art of iconography. The Royal Mail has decided this year that one of the designs would be reflective of ethnic diversity in the UK...

St. Martin de Porres, Pray for Us!


Our Lord & Lady with St. Dominic :)

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Society / Church : over 3,000 leave consecrated life each year

Society / Church : over 3,000 religious leave consecrated life each year

CWN - October 30, 2013

The secretary of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life said in an October 29 address that over 3,000 men and women religious leave the consecrated life each year.

In the address – a portion of which was reprinted in L'Osservatore Romano – Archbishop José Rodríguez Carballo said that statistics from his Congregation, as well as the Congregation for the Clergy, indicate that over the past five years, 2,624 religious have left the religious life annually. When one takes into account additional cases handled by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the number tops 3,000.

The prelate, who led the Order of Friars Minor from 2003 until his April 2013 curial appointment, said that the majority of cases occur at a "relatively young age." The causes, he said, include "absence of spiritual life," "loss of a sense of community," and a "loss of sense of belonging to the Church" – a loss manifest in dissent from Catholic teaching on "women priests and sexual morality."

Other causes include "affective problems," including heterosexual relationships that continue into marriage and homosexual relationships, which are "most obvious in men, but also present, more often than you think, between women."

The world, the prelate continued, is undergoing profound changes from modernity to postmodernity – from fixed reference points to uncertainty, doubt, and insecurity. In a market-oriented world, "everything is measured and evaluated according to the utility and profitability, even people." It is "a world where everything is soft," where "there is no place for sacrifice, nor for renunciation."

In a culture of neo-individualism and subjectivism, he added, "the individual is the measure of everything," and people feel "unique in excellence." "Modern man talks a lot" but "cannot communicate in depth."

The solution, he said, is a renewed attention to the centrality the Triune God in religious life, which in turn "brings with it the gift of oneself to others." There must be a clear emphasis on the "radical nature of the Gospel," rather than the "number of members or the maintenance of works."

Additional sources for this story
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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

SIRACH 2:1-9 ~ If you seek to serve the Lord, prepare yourself for an ordeal

1 My child, if you aspire to serve the Lord, prepare yourself for an ordeal.
2 Be sincere of heart, be steadfast, and do not be alarmed when disaster comes.
3 Cling to him and do not leave him, so that you may be honoured at the end of your days.
4 Whatever happens to you, accept it, and in the uncertainties of your humble state, be patient,
5 since gold is tested in the fire, and the chosen in the furnace of humiliation.
6 Trust him and he will uphold you, follow a straight path and hope in him.
7 You who fear the Lord, wait for his mercy; do not turn aside, for fear you fall.
8 You who fear the Lord, trust him, and you will not be robbed of your reward.
9 You who fear the Lord, hope for those good gifts of his, everlasting joy and mercy.

Jesus and the pope

Martyrs of Japan: FRARE CRUCIFICAT

File:Frare crucificat.jpg

Drawing by Miquel Parets in his chronicle for remembering the martyrdom of 26 Catholic monks (23 Franciscans and 3 Jesuits) crucified in Nagasaki (Japan) on 5th February 1597 during the reign of Hideyoshi Toiotomi. Between 5th and 7th February 1628 Barcelona ​​commemorated the martyrdom of the 26 religious: Parets described the sentence that was applied as it was explained to the people: "And all they together were crucified with hands, feet and necks tied with rings, and were stuck with two spears each one, as indicated in this drawing. And during the martyrdom three columns of fire appeared in the air.Parets, Miquel; Margalef, M. Rosa; Amelang, James S.; Simon, Antoni; Torres, Xavier (2011), Crònica. Llibre I/1, Barcelona: Editorial Barcino, p. 219-221, ISBN 978-84-7226-769-5.

St. Teresa of Avila: Holy Card :)

"There is a Sun
in the interior
of the soul
from which
a brilliant light

St. Teresa of Avila
from The Interior Castle
 p. 124


I became a child

I became a child
to attract you to Me.

St. Joseph of Mt. Carmel :)

Virgen Maria Lactans

Cardinal Pell defends Pope against SSPX

Cardinal Pell defends Pope against SSPX, foresees continued push for Curial reform

CWN - October 28, 2013

A traditionalist prelate's complaint that Pope Francis is a "modernist" is "absolute rubbish," says Cardinal George Pell of Sydney, Australia.

Responding to the charge by Bishop Bernard Fellay, the head of the Society of St. Pius X, the Australian cardinal told a reporter: "To put it politely, I think that's absolute rubbish!" He said that Pope Francis is "a loyal son of the Church, and his record shows it."

Cardinal Pell—who is a member of the Council of Cardinals advising Pope Francis-- said that it was a "reasonable expectation" that the Pontiff would continue giving high priority to his effort to reform the Roman Curia. He said that he expected the Council of Cardinals to meet regularly, every two months, "at least until the middle of next year." When asked whether a reform of the Curia would be completed by that time, however, he replied simply: "Who knows?"

Monday, October 28, 2013

Our Lady of La Salette

Our Lady of La Salette in Catholic France

Our Lady of La Salette – 1896 French postcard image

Since the period of the French Revolution, there has been a series of Marian Apparitions, eight of which – as is commonly known – have been approved by the Church. This is to say that among untold hundreds of alleged apparitions, the Vatican after prolonged and exhaustive investigation accepted these as authentic appearances of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Many details naturally vary between these apparitions, but clearly they possess common features. One of the most noted of these is the tendency ofOur Lady to appear to children, often poor and poorly-educated.

She appeared thus most famously to the child Bernadette at Lourdes and also to the shepherd children of Fatima. But in another of the eight approved apparitions, she appeared in 1846 to the young Mélanie Calvat and Maximin Giraud as they tended flocks near La Salette-Fallavaux in the French Alps.

La Salette! I have been writing at this site about my journeys with Kim through Catholic France. And La Salette made a very, very profound impression on me.

For La Salette contrasted powerfully with the other sites graced by the Mother of God which I visited, for example the Rue du Bac in Paris where Our Lady brought instructions for the Miraculous Medal and Lourdes where Our Lady brought forth miraculous healing water.

If Lourdes then is a site evoking joy, La Salette is very, very different.

For there Our Lady appeared weeping and on the site high in the mountains where the Blessed Virgin appeared to the shepherd children, there are statues.

There is a statue of Mary Mother of God as she appeared, head bent, back bowed down in grief.

And at the base of the statue, I witnessed something I will never forget. I saw crowds of people come and go, not in the happy chatter one might see at Lourdes. But silent and solemn.

This was not within the quiet interior of a church. The statue of Our Lady is outside and there was beautiful sunshine. But the people clustered round Her statue seemed unusually sober. I could not help but feel that many of us who gathered there felt quietly called to look solemnly at our own sin and failing.

This kind of solemness it seems to me is a gift of true Christianity. Catholicism is sometimes associated in the popular mind with a kind of morbid guilt – so opposed to the Freudian pleasure principle!

The truth is, I think, that there is morbid guilt rooted in an egocentric pride, where one bitterly berates oneself, because one does not live up to a false goal of perfection.

Such a goal can only lead to morose guilt and the true Saints knew that in this world they were fallen, hopelessly fallen … However hard they drove themselves, they did not drown in egotistical self-hatred for an unattainable perfection reserved amongst creatures for Our Lady alone.

No, what I saw at La Salette was not I fancy the much-hyped "Catholic guilt", but a sober confrontation with the fact that we all sin every day of our lives … through what we have done and what we have failed to do. Mea Culpa. Mea Culpa. Mea Maxima Culpa.

Such sin must be taken seriously, but not turned into hatred. The experience of knowing that through the Sacraments we are not only cleansed but also LOVED is at the very core of an authentic Catholic spirituality.

Still sin is serious. And there at La Salette was a powerful ambiance bringing me at least an unforgettable reminder of that fact. At Lourdes Our Lady brought joy; here she brought tears. Both are important.

And for what was Our Lady weeping? It is evident in fact, that she was weeping for the Lost Piety of Catholic France.

For the Lady appeared to the children bowed down with tears and with these words:

"Come near, my children, be not afraid; I am here to tell you great news.

If my people will not submit, I shall be forced to let fall the arm of my Son. It is so strong, so heavy, that I can no longer withhold it.

For how long a time do I suffer for you! If I would not have my Son abandon you, I am compelled to pray to him without ceasing; and as to you, you take not heed of it.

However much you pray, however much you do, you will never recompense the pains I have taken for you.

Six days I have given you to labor, the seventh I had kept for myself; and they will not give it to me. It is this which makes the arm of my Son so heavy.

Those who drive the carts cannot swear without introducing the name of my Son. These are the two things which makes the arm of my Son so heavy."

To the modern utilitarian mind which measures tragedy only in quantifiable terms – how much food or poverty there is or is not for example – Our Lady´s distress can appear baffling.

Now I believe Our Blessed Mother is weeping for all the poor, all the exploited, the starving, the cold and freezing. Of this I have no doubt.

But at La Salette she appeared explicitly weeping for lost piety … To remind us what tragedy there is in this.

And she appeared with another message baffling for the modern mind: that this loss of piety could not continue without serious consequence – for whether the idea pleases or not, we reap what we sow. There is theequilibrium of divine justice.

The materialistic mind reels at all this and more that Our Lady said to the children of La Salette in 1846. But at the site of her appearance in those French mountains, still drawing floods of the faithful in a palpable presence of contemplation and even healing sorrow, I am glad to say that my own all-too-modern mind was untroubled by any doubt at all as to the tears of Our Lady …

And how in the years since, I am grateful to say that I too begin to feel with a heart ever more pierced this sense of lost reverence. It goes without saying of course, that there is no comparison between the piercing that the stony recesses of my heart only begin to feel and the unfathomable piercing Her Immaculate Heart must feel.


Richard Rolle of Hampole, UK

Holy Mystics: A Hermit...

Generous God, we give you thanks for the lives and work of Richard Rolle,
Walter Hilton, and Margery Kempe, hermits and mystics, who, passing through
the cloud of unknowing, beheld your glory. Help us, after their examples,
to see you more clearly and love you more dearly, in the Name of Jesus Christ
our Savior. Amen.

Richard Rolle (c. 1300-1349) is the earliest of the great 14th century English mystics. Though the facts about his life are uncertain, it seems that he was born in Yorkshire and studied at Oxford, though he seems not to have earned a degree there. Nevertheless, he was widely read and at home with Scholastic theology. He became recognized as an accomplished poet. His writing was geared, not just to the cloistered or the learned elite, but to anyone who was interested in what he had to say. 

At about the age of 19 he became and dressed as a hermit, finally settling at Hampole, near a Cistercian nunnery. To some of his contemporaries, Rolle seemed somewhat unusual, even a bit mad. According to his biographer, one day, as he was " a church, rapt in meditation,...he felt in his breasta strange and pleasant heat, as of a real sensible fire, so that he kept feeling of his breast to see if the heat was caused by some exterior cause. He often heard heavenly music..." Heat, song and sweetness characterized his mystical experiences, of which he wrote, for example, in one of his best known works,  Incendium Amoris (The Fire of Love).

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Friday, October 25, 2013

EINSIEDELN: Our Lady of Hermits :)

It is what you scatter (SO TRUE)


I was at the corner grocery store buying some early potatoes... I noticed a small boy, delicate of bone and feature, ragged but clean, hungrily appraising a basket of freshly picked green peas.

I paid for my potatoes but was also drawn to the display of fresh green peas. I am a pushover for creamed peas and new potatoes.

Pondering the peas, I couldn't help overhearing the conversation between Mr. Miller (the store owner) and the ragged boy next to me.

'Hello Barry, how are you today?'

'H'lo, Mr. Miller. Fine, thank ya. Jus' admirin' them peas. They sure look good'

'They are good, Barry. How's your Ma?'
'Fine. Gittin' stronger alla' time.' 'Good. Anything I can help you with?' 'No, Sir. Jus' admirin' them peas.' 'Would you like to take some home?' asked Mr. Miller.

'No, Sir. Got nuthin' to pay for 'em with.'

'Well, what have you to trade me for some of those peas?'

'All I got's my prize marble here.'

'Is that right? Let me see it', said Miller..

'Here 'tis. She's a dandy.'

'I can see that. Hmm mmm, only thing is this one is blue and I sort of go for red. Do you have a red one like this at home?' the store owner asked.

'Not zackley but almost.'

'Tell you what... Take this sack of peas home with you and next trip this way let me look at that red marble'. Mr. Miller told the boy.

'Sure will. Thanks Mr. Miller.'

Mrs. Miller, who had been standing nearby, came over to help me.

With a smile she said, 'There are two other boys like him in our community, all three are in very poor circumstances. Jim just loves to bargain with them for peas, apples, tomatoes, or whatever.

When they come back with their red marbles, and they always do, he decides he doesn't like red after all and he sends them home with a bag of produce for a green marble or an orange one, when they come on their next trip to the store.'

I left the store smiling to myself, impressed with this man. A short time later I moved to Colorado , but I never forgot the story of this man, the boys, and their bartering for marbles.

Several years went by, each more rapid than the previous one. Just recently I had occasion to visit some old friends in that Idaho community and while I was there learned that Mr. Miller had died. They were having his visitation that evening and knowing my friends wanted to go, I agreed to accompany them. Upon arrival at the mortuary we fell into line to meet the relatives of the deceased and to offer whatever words of comfort we could.

Ahead of us in line were three young men. One was in an army uniform and the other two wore nice haircuts, dark suits and white shirts...all very professional looking... They approached Mrs. Miller, standing composed and smiling by her husband's casket.

Each of the young men hugged her, kissed her on the cheek, spoke briefly with her and moved on to the casket. Her misty light blue eyes followed them as, one by one; each young man stopped briefly and placed his own warm hand over the cold pale hand in the casket. Each left the mortuary awkwardly, wiping his eyes.

Our turn came to meet Mrs. Miller. I told her who I was and reminded her of the story from those many years ago and what she had told me about her husband's bartering for marbles. With her eyes glistening, she took my hand and led me to the casket.

'Those three young men who just left were the boys I told you about.

They just told me how they appreciated the things Jim 'traded' them. Now, at last, when Jim could not change his mind about color or size......they came to pay their debt.'

'We've never had a great deal of the wealth of this world,' she confided, 'but right now, Jim would consider himself the richest man in Idaho...'

With loving gentleness she lifted the lifeless fingers of her deceased husband. Resting underneath were three exquisitely shined red marbles.

The Moral:
We will not be remembered by our words, but by our kind deeds. Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath.

Today I wish you a day of ordinary miracles ~ A fresh pot of coffee you didn't make yourself....

An unexpected phone call from an old friend.... Green stoplights on your way to work....

The fastest line at the grocery store....

A good sing-along song on the radio..

Your keys found right where you left them.

Send this to the people you'll never forget. I just did...

If you don't send it to anyone, it means you are in way too much of a hurry to even notice the ordinary miracles when they occur.


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Gay or SSA ? : Dear 'Gay affirming' church-goers

Because sin in a fallen world results in human brokenness, and our personal brokenness and sin are impossible to overcome by ourselves, many today declare that the Church and the Bible can no longer speak authoritatively regarding human sexuality. Yet...

... Only in the mystery of Christ's Redemption do we discover the "concrete" possibilities of man."It would be a very serious error to conclude... that the Church's teaching is essentially only an "ideal" which must then be adapted, proportioned, graduated to the so-called concrete possibilities of man, according to a "balancing of the goods in question". But what are the "concrete possibilities of man" ? And of which man are we speaking? Of man dominated by lust or of man redeemed by Christ?This is what is at stake: the reality of Christ's redemption. Christ has redeemed us! This means that he has given us the possibility of realizing the entire truth of our being; he has set our freedom free from the domination of concupiscence. And if redeemed man still sins, this is not due to an imperfection of Christ's redemptive act, but to man's will not to avail himself of the grace which flows from that act. God's command is of course proportioned to man's capabilities; but to the capabilities of the man to whom the Holy Spirit has been given; of the man who, though he has fallen into sin, can always obtain pardon and enjoy the presence of the Holy Spirit".164
104. In this context, appropriate allowance is made both for God's mercy towards the sinner who converts and for the understanding of human weakness. Such understanding never means compromising and falsifying the standard of good and evil in order to adapt it to particular circumstances. It is quite human for the sinner to acknowledge his weakness and to ask mercy for his failings; what is unacceptable is the attitude of one who makes his own weakness the criterion of the truth about the good, so that he can feel self-justified, without even the need to have recourse to God and his mercy. An attitude of this sort corrupts the morality of society as a whole, since it encourages doubt about the objectivity of the moral law in general and a rejection of the absoluteness of moral prohibitions regarding specific human acts, and it ends up by confusing all judgments about values.
Instead, we should take to heart the message of the Gospel parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector (cf. Lk 18:9-14). The tax collector might possibly have had some justification for the sins he committed, such as to diminish his responsibility. But his prayer does not dwell on such justifications, but rather on his own unworthiness before God's infinite holiness: "God, be merciful to me a sinner! " (Lk 18:13). The Pharisee, on the other hand, is self-justified, finding some excuse for each of his failings. Here we encounter two different attitudes of the moral conscience of man in every age. The tax collector represents a "repentant" conscience, fully aware of the frailty of its own nature and seeing in its own failings, whatever their subjective justifications, a confirmation of its need for redemption. The Pharisee represents a "self-satisfied" conscience, under the illusion that it is able to observe the law without the help of grace and convinced that it does not need mercy.

Church, like Mary, must focus on Christ - Pope

Church, like Mary, must focus on Christ, Pope tells audience

CWN - October 23, 2013

"If the Church did not bring Jesus, she would be a lifeless church," Pope Francis told his weekly audience on October 23.

Continuing his series of talks on the nature of the Catholic Church, the Pope devoted his Wednesday audience—which drew nearly 100,000 people to St. Peter's Square-- to the Virgin Mary as a model for the Church.

Mary is a model of faith, the Pope said, because she was a devout Jew, awaiting redemption, when God's plan was revealed to her. "From that moment Mary's faith receives a new light," the Pope said. "It is focused on Jesus."

For years Mary lived out her live of faith "in the simplicity of the thousand daily tasks and worries of every mother," the Pope continued. Her role changed, however, at the time of the Crucifixion, when she again accepted God's will. "There, her maternity broadened to embrace every one of us, to lead us to her Son."

Mary is thus a model of charity as well, the Pontiff said. He reminded his audience that immediately after the Annunciation she hurries to provide help for her cousin Elizabeth. However the Pope called attention to the joy that Elizabeth experienced when she realized that Mary had brought the Savior into her house. This is the Virgin's role, Pope Francis said: to bring Christ to us.

"Thus is the Church," the Pope said. "She is not a humanitarian organization; she is not an NGO, but rather she is sent to bring Christ and his Gospel to all."

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Counting the Corpses: A Look Inside the World of Abortion Pathology

Counting the Corpses: A Look Inside the World of Abortion Pathology

by Jonathon Van Maren

Editor's Note: I've retained the original spelling and grammar of the posts for accuracy, so all mistakes belong to the original posters.

File 2296

One of the most convenient things about abortion is that it takes care of the perceived "problem" in a permanent way—people walk into the abortion clinic with a child growing inside them, and leave after the child's forcible eviction. The pro-life movement tries to prevent people from entering the abortion clinic in the first place, and urges people to seek healing if they decide to go through with the abortion after all.

So what happens to the babies after they are killed?

Some, we know, are cremated. Others are tossed in the trash, and discovered by pro-lifers like Dr. Monica Miller, who dutifully record their fate and give them the funeral and respect their humanity demands. But what about the other babies—the ones shipped off in containers and sealed buckets to pathology labs? When searching for the answer to that question, I found a series of horrifying testimonies on a Student Doctor Network Forum hosted by St. George's University. On the discussion board, those who worked with the bodies of aborted babies shared their horror at what they saw.

"Anyone get tripped on these?" one wrote (spelling and grammar errors his), "I'm talking especially the big ones, where you can actually make out facial expressions like they knew they were being hacked the hell up (im serious). I almost went bonkers once over one, that is some scary crap. Am I the only pathologist who freaks when a 0.5 cm eye ball comes rolling out of bag and stares right at you…I know we are thinking this, just no one in pathology is talking about it."

Another pathologist, identifying himself as "Andy Milonakis," responded by saying,"Totally trippy man. We get a fair number of fragmented fetuses from abortion procedures and they come in a container with formalin. The fact that they're all hacked up is disturbing to begin with. Of course, there is the whole eyeball issue which freaks me out as well. Echoing in my mind is the sound effects from the movie PsychoReee Reee Reee Reee Reee Reee Reee!"

The original poster continued, describing an absolutely nightmarish scene:

"One incident really freaked me, it was a boy fetus, at least 3+ pounds, around 24+ weeks. It sat decomposing because the rest of the staff was AFRAID of it, Im not joking. Then the chief of staff told me to deal with it because I was the FNG (f-kcin new guy) so I went to work. Pulled out 2 well formed arms and then the torso, headless. The head was at the bottom of the container, when I pulled it, he had this expression of such utter horror it flipped me wayyyy out, my PA saw it and ran, literally left work and went on disability (Im serious here). It was like a headless screaming baby, like it had been born at least for a split second to realize it was screwed and let out one agonal yelp. The story of this reverberated around the department, someone actually accused me of doing what should have been a ME case and threatened to call the medical board! Im not joking, I woke up once shortly after that in a cold sweat with piss running down my leg....not pretty."

It is the eyes, it seems, that disturbs those dealing with the corpses of butchered pre-born children the most. Another pathologist wrote:

"Most of my abortion-path anecdotes come from my PSF. Here one of the residents grosses most of them in as part of some project he is doing, and we are more than happy to let him.

1) Anencephalic baby, otherwise intact. Those are disturbing to look at. Saw quite a few and they never really get comfortable to look at.

2) When doing one POC that was about 12-15 weeks, somewhere around there, I put through the entire hand into a histology block, so that I could see what a developing hand looked like. The histotech freaked out when she saw it and I wasn't allowed to do that again. So I stuck later to doing things that weren't recognizable, such as the full cross section of the 8 week fetus anencephalic head, and the full larynx, etc.

3) The strangest are when you get the macerated contents, and you are able to recognize a few parts here and there - usually a leg or an arm, sometimes the heart. But it's odd when you can't find a large portion of it.

4) There was a stillborn birth at about 12 weeks or so and it was sent to the morgue for some reason, and never claimed. A couple of months later the family decided they wanted an autopsy. So I had to do an autopsy on a mummified 12 week fetus. They had bothered to put the little bonnet on its head, but otherwise it was shriveled and brown.

5) 16 week or so fetus, the POC is sent down as one specimen, and there is a second specimen labeled "heart." They wanted us to identify if there were any clear cardiac anomalies. It was about the size of a marble. I took it to the dissecting scope and found the PFO but that was about all I could tell.

6) about a 12 week fetus, sent down POC and wanted to know if it was an imperforate anus.

On a related note though, eyeballs are the specimen that freaks me out the most. Cutting into an eye makes me squeal. I remember doing it the first time in anatomy lab and I felt like I was sticking a knife into my own eye."

Some of the anecdotes on the discussion board are even worse, simultaneously morbid and macabre:

"I usually like chow down on White Castle while my trusty lab assistant has to stack all the baby body parts, limb amputations and reduction mastectomies into the incinerator. It has almost a Nazi concentration camp feel it all sometimes, one of my assistants today tried to joke about this leg and aborted fetus we were transporting, I snapped "have some f-ing respect!!" then started laughing too, you cant help it. Its so unbelievably insane. Nothing med school prepares you for.

PS-Anyone else hear the story about the 1200 aborted fetuses that were found during a siemic refit underneath a California hospital?? Turned out the company they were hiring to incinerate them was just stuffing em under the foundation. When the hospital admin found out they got pissed and had the pathology staff yanking molded abortions out for days..."

Others, it seems, got used to what they saw:

"In any case, no, abortions don't freak me out whatsoever. Maybe if a twin IUFD case showed up and one was giving the other a Dirty Sanchez, well, perhaps then I would take pause. Until then, no amount of googly eyeballs or tiny jaws dislocated "mid-scream" does anything to humanize the little sacks of neverweres for me.

There are quite a few things that I find disturbing, but few of them spill directly out of the womb."

But occasionally, the reality of abortion would hit home unexpectedly. Another poster responded:

"Before med school I worked as a autopsy tech/path lackey and one of my jobs was dumping the old surg path specimens to drain off the formalin and then bag the specs for incineration. Sounds unpleasant but I actually enjoyed it cause I could listen to NPR and not be bugged. Anyhow, I would get going fast just dumping specimen after specimen in the sink, until one day I dumped a whole intact fetus, ~ 25 weeks old into the sink. Closest I ever came to fainting. So completely unexpected after seeing gallbladders and colons day after day."

These people work in the dark underbelly of our society, where the corpses of the inconvenient arrive to be disposed of. They see the rotting bodies brought about by the narcissism of our culture's rotting soul. No sacrifice is too great for the right to live how we want, even if it means others cannot live at all.

A culture basing its collective lifestyle on killing is unsustainable. We may not be able to revive the skeletons in our closet. But we can at least open the closet.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

God 'meddles' with our lives and heals -Pope

Pope: God meddles with our lives and heals our wounds

13-10-22 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) Contemplation, proximity and abundance are the three words upon which Pope Francis centered his homily on Tuesday at Mass at the Casa Santa Marta.
Speaking to those present for the morning celebration, the Pope reiterated that one cannot understand God solely with the mind and pointed out that God challenges us by "meddling" in our lives to heal our wounds, just as Jesus did.
Intelligence – the Pope said – is not sufficient to enter into the mystery of God. You need contemplation, proximity and abundance.
Listen to Linda Bordoni's report... 
Drawing his inspiration from the Letter of St. Paul to the Romans, Pope Francis said there is only one way we can understand they the mystery of our salvation, and that is: on our knees, in contemplation.
Intelligence is not enough – he added: " You need contemplation, intelligence, heart, knees praying… all together: this is how we enter into the mystery".
And the Pope went on to speak about closeness – or proximity. "One man created sin, Francis explained, and one man saved us". God is close, he is close to our history. From the very first moment when he chose our father, Abraham, he walked with His people. And Jesus himself – he said - had a craftsman's job:a worker who uses his hands. The image that comes to mind – the Pope continued – is that of a nurse in a hospital who heals our wounds, one at a time. Just like God – he explained – who gets involved, who meddles in our miseries, He gets close to our wounds and heals them with his hands. And to actually have hands – he continued – He became man. So God saves us not only by decree: "He saves us with tenderness and with caresses. He saves us with His life for us."
And then Pope Francis spoke of "abundance". Where sins abound – he said – grace abounds. Each of us knows his miseries and knows how they abound. But God's challenge is to defeat them and heal the wounds as Jesus did with His superabundance of grace and love. And Francis pointed out that although some do not like to admit it: those who are closest to the heart of Jesus are sinners, because He goes to look for them, calls them and heals them, while those who are in good health do not need a doctor: " I have come to heal, to save."
The Pope concluded his homily reflecting on how some saints say that one of the ugliest sins is distrust: distrust in God. "But how can we be wary of a God who is so close, so good, who prefers the sinful heart ?" . This mystery – he said - is not easy to understand with intelligence, but with the help of these three words: "contemplation, proximity and abundance" because God "always wins with the superabundance of his grace, with His tenderness ", with His wealth of mercy."