Sunday, December 15, 2013

Third Sunday of Advent

Joy

 Today we feel the joy of Christ's first coming.  Gaudete Sunday marks the half way point of Advent.  The joy we feel at this time of year is the joy of salvation, the joy of life, and the joy of our friendship with God.  Today the priest wears rose, just as we light the rose candle today, to represent that joy.  I know my children can't wait until Christmas.

However, Advent is a time for remembering (and waiting for) Christ's second coming.  Today we celebrate the joy of being with Him in Heaven or being here when He comes again.  Either way we get to be with our Savior and our Lord forever.

Today's first reading is from Isaiah 35:1-6a, 10:

The desert and the parched land will exult; the steppe will rejoice and bloom.
They will bloom with abundant flowers, and rejoice with joyful song.
The glory of Lebanon will be given to them, the splendor of Carmel and Sharon;
they will see the glory of the LORD, the splendor of our God.
Strengthen the hands that are feeble, make firm the knees that are weak,
say to those whose hearts are frightened: Be strong, fear not!
Here is your God, he comes with vindication;
with divine recompense he comes to save you.
Then will the eyes of the blind be opened, the ears of the deaf be cleared;
then will the lame leap like a stag, then the tongue of the mute will sing.

Those whom the LORD has ransomed will return and enter Zion singing,
crowned with everlasting joy; they will meet with joy and gladness,
sorrow and mourning will flee.



Next we sing Psalm 146: 6-10:

R. (cf. Is 35:4) Lord, come and save us.
or:
R. Alleluia.
The LORD God keeps faith forever,
secures justice for the oppressed,
gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets captives free.
R. Lord, come and save us.
or:
R. Alleluia.
The LORD gives sight to the blind;
the LORD raises up those who were bowed down.
The LORD loves the just;
the LORD protects strangers.
R. Lord, come and save us.
or:
R. Alleluia.
The fatherless and the widow he sustains,
but the way of the wicked he thwarts.
The LORD shall reign forever;
your God, O Zion, through all generations.
R. Lord, come and save us.
or:
R. Alleluia.


Fra. Angelica's Christ the Judge
The Second Reading is from the Letter of St. James 5:7-10:

Be patient, brothers and sisters, until the coming of the Lord.
See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth,
being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains.
You too must be patient.
Make your hearts firm, because the coming of the Lord is at hand.
Do not complain, brothers and sisters, about one another,
that you may not be judged.
Behold, the Judge is standing before the gates.
Take as an example of hardship and patience, brothers and sisters,
the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.



The Gospel today is from St. Matthew 11:2-11:

Navarrette-St. John the Baptist in Prison
When John the Baptist heard in prison of the works of the Christ,
he sent his disciples to Jesus with this question,
“Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?”
Jesus said to them in reply,
“Go and tell John what you hear and see:
the blind regain their sight, the lame walk,
lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised,
and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them.
And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me.”


As they were going off,
Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John,
“What did you go out to the desert to see?
A reed swayed by the wind?
Then what did you go out to see?
Someone dressed in fine clothing?
Those who wear fine clothing are in royal palaces.
Then why did you go out? To see a prophet?
Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.
This is the one about whom it is written:

Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you;
he will prepare your way before you.
Amen, I say to you,
among those born of women
there has been none greater than John the Baptist;
yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.”


Scripture from:  http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/121513.cfm

So, feel the joy of the coming of the Christ!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Second Sunday of Advent 2013

LOVE
Sunday, December 8, is the second Sunday of Advent.  I can't believe it is Advent already, let alone a week gone.  The kids did not get Advent calendars (the kind with the little chocolates in them) this year because I waited for the next pay day to have money for them but they were gone.  Also, we live in Oklahoma were less than 10% of the population is Catholic, so no one else carries Advent calendars.  (Advent candles are hard to come by also, unless you go to one of the few Catholic books stores in the City.)  My almost 10-year old Advent wreath is in shambles.  I meant to get a new one or make one but that didn't happen either.  Now, we have snow on the ground and the local craft store is closed, so I can't get supplies to spruce it up.  I hope I can do so next week.  We praise God and sing, "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" at dinner time.

The readings for the Second Sunday are wonderfully anticipatory:

Fra Angelica's Christ the Judge
On that day, a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse,
and from his roots a bud shall blossom.
The spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him:
a spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
a spirit of counsel and of strength,
a spirit of knowledge and of fear of the LORD,
and his delight shall be the fear of the LORD.
Not by appearance shall he judge,
nor by hearsay shall he decide,
but he shall judge the poor with justice,
and decide aright for the land’s afflicted.
He shall strike the ruthless with the rod of his mouth,
and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked.
Justice shall be the band around his waist,
and faithfulness a belt upon his hips.
Then the wolf shall be a guest of the lamb,
and the leopard shall lie down with the kid;
the calf and the young lion shall browse together,
with a little child to guide them.
The cow and the bear shall be neighbors,
together their young shall rest;
the lion shall eat hay like the ox.
The baby shall play by the cobra’s den,
and the child lay his hand on the adder’s lair.
There shall be no harm or ruin on all my holy mountain;
for the earth shall be filled with knowledge of the LORD,
as water covers the sea.
On that day, the root of Jesse,
set up as a signal for the nations,
the Gentiles shall seek out,
for his dwelling shall be glorious.
[Isa. 11:1-10]

Of course, today was the first time I've been a lector at Sunday Mass in quite awhile, and it had to be this passage from Isaiah.  It is however, one of my favorite's from the prophet.  Imagining all the animals living in harmony like that--a kind of second Garden of Eden complete with its second Adam.


R. (cf. 7) Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
O God, with your judgment endow the king,
and with your justice, the king’s son;
he shall govern your people with justice
and your afflicted ones with judgment.
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
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. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
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. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
May his name be blessed forever;
as long as the sun his name shall remain.
In him shall all the tribes of the earth be blessed;
all the nations shall proclaim his happiness.
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
[Psalm 72:1,2,7,8, 12, 13, 17]

Notice how the theme of the Psalm and that of the Prophet Isaiah fit so well together.  That is the point of the lectionary. 

Brothers and sisters:
Whatever was written previously was written for our instruction,
that by endurance and by the encouragement of the Scriptures
we might have hope.
May the God of endurance and encouragement
grant you to think in harmony with one another,
in keeping with Christ Jesus,
that with one accord you may with one voice
glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Welcome one another, then, as Christ welcomed you,
for the glory of God.
For I say that Christ became a minister of the circumcised
to show God’s truthfulness,
to confirm the promises to the patriarchs,
but so that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy.
As it is written:
Therefore, I will praise you among the Gentiles
and sing praises to  your name.

[Romans 15:4-9]

Here Paul's theme is about the Gentiles, and how they, too, are included in God's plan of salvation.  Isaiah touched on it too..."On that day, the root of Jesse, set up as a signal for the nations, the Gentiles shall seek out, for his dwelling shall be glorious."

The Gospel for today:
John the Baptist appeared, preaching in the desert of Judea
and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”
It was of him that the prophet Isaiah had spoken when he said:
A voice of one crying out in the desert,
Prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight his paths.

John wore clothing made of camel’s hair
and had a leather belt around his waist.
His food was locusts and wild honey.
At that time Jerusalem, all Judea,
and the whole region around the Jordan
were going out to him
and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River
as they acknowledged their sins.


When he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees
coming to his baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers!
Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?
Produce good fruit as evidence of your repentance.
And do not presume to say to yourselves,
‘We have Abraham as our father.’
For I tell you,
God can raise up children to Abraham from these stones.
Even now the ax lies at the root of the trees.
Therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit
will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
I am baptizing you with water, for repentance,
but the one who is coming after me is mightier than I.
I am not worthy to carry his sandals.
He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
His winnowing fan is in his hand.
He will clear his threshing floor
and gather his wheat into his barn,
but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”
[Matthew 3:1-12]

The anticipatory pronouncements of John are especially appropriate at Advent.  He is both looking forward to and announcing the immediate coming of the Messiah--who happens to be his cousin, Jesus.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

First Sunday of Advent 2013 (2014 in the Church Calendar)



 


HOPE

Today begins the whirlwind that is the holiday season.  No, I don't participate in the "Black Friday" madness nor do I have angst over Thanksgiving.  I do, however, feel as if I hit the ground running, while far behind the curveball when the first Sunday of Advent is hear.  I look forward to Christmas and the coming of our Savior's birth[day], but it is also a time to remember that He will be coming again.

The readings at this time of the year reflect the dual meaning of the Advent Season, and today was no exception.  The first reading was from Isaiah, looking toward the first Coming of the Messiah.


This is what Isaiah, son of Amoz, saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
In days to come, the mountain of the LORD’s house shall be established as the highest mountain and raised above the hills.  All nations shall stream toward it; many peoples shall come and say:

“Come, let us climb the LORD’s mountain, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may instruct us in his ways, and we may walk in his paths.”  For from Zion shall go forth instruction, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.  He shall judge between the nations, and impose terms on many peoples.  They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks;  one nation shall not raise the sword against another, nor shall they train for war again.  O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the Lord!  [Isaiah 2:1-5]

This is an obvious reference to the coming of the Messiah, but it can be seen as looking toward His Second Coming also.

The responsorial Psalm today reflects the joy that we feel at the coming of the Lord--the joy of the Season.

 

 R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
I rejoiced because they said to me,
“We will go up to the house of the LORD.”
And now we have set foot
within your gates, O Jerusalem.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
Jerusalem, built as a city
with compact unity.
To it the tribes go up,
the tribes of the LORD.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
According to the decree for Israel,
to give thanks to the name of the LORD.
In it are set up judgment seats,
seats for the house of David.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!
May those who love you prosper!
May peace be within your walls,
prosperity in your buildings.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
Because of my brothers and friends
I will say, “Peace be within you!”
Because of the house of the LORD, our God,
I will pray for your good.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
[Psalm 122:1-9]

The second reading is from St. Paul's letter to the Romans telling them how we should live while we await Christ's return.




Brothers and sisters:
You know the time; it is the hour now for you to awake from sleep.
For our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed;
the night is advanced, the day is at hand.
Let us then throw off the works of darkness
and put on the armor of light;
let us conduct ourselves properly as in the day,
not in orgies and drunkenness, not in promiscuity and lust,
not in rivalry and jealousy.
But put on the Lord Jesus Christ,
and make no provision for the desires of the flesh.

[Romans 13:11-14]



And then there is the Gospel, the Word of God proclaimed in the Mass, with Jesus telling His followers of His coming again.

Jesus said to his disciples:
“As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.
In those days before the flood, they were eating and drinking,
marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day that Noah entered the ark.
They did not know until the flood came and carried them all away.
So will it be also at the coming of the Son of Man.
Two men will be out in the field; one will be taken, and one will be left.
Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken, and one will be left.
Therefore, stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come.
Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour of night when the thief was coming,
he would have stayed awake and not let his house be broken into.
So too, you also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”
[Matthew 24:37-44]

So, always be ready, He could show up at any moment.  Happy Advent Season!  

Scripture readings from the USCCB website.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Cancer and all that Goes With It



St. Agatha prayer card
Recently I was diagnosed with DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ) [added Dec. 1, 2013: I also had LCIS, that is lobular carcinoma in situ].  Basically that is cancer cells encapsulated in the milk ducts of the breast.  But the surgeons don't want to call it 'breast cancer'.  He kept saying 'you have DCIS,' 'your condition,' or 'this is good news'.  While it is considered stage zero cancer, the urgency with which I had to make a decision about surgery told me that it was life threatening.

As I agonized over whether to have a lumpectomy or mastectomy, many, many people felt they must chime in about what they would do.  I had originally decided to have a lumpectomy, but so many, many women said they would "take the whole thing" out.  And, the more I looked at it, and the fact that I would have to have radiation therapy with a lumpectomy, I finally decided to have a mastectomy.  Then when I finally made my decision, more women were telling me they wouldn't do that.  Really?

Martyrdom of St. Agatha
Oh, and then there's the death stories...Whenever people hear the 'c' word, they must go there, apparently.  Everybody I know seems to have a sister, an aunt, a cousin, a grandmother who died of breast cancer.  Or, they have a brother, sister, father, uncle, the little girl down the street who died of some kind of awful brain or other cancer that they must tell me about, in detail.  Um, why?  Is there some sort of need to share bad news or bad stories with people?  Even if it is true that people need to talk about these tragic stories, does it have to be someone who was just diagnosed with it?  You know, it is not very encouraging, and you need a good attitude to do well with treatment.

The best part of the diagnosis though was that a friend of mine was prompted to have a mammogram done.  She had been neglecting to go, like I had been.  She, like me, had a biopsy done.  She, unlike me however, had a tumor--full blown cancer.  Hers actually was life-threatening.  She needed surgery right away.  She chose to have a lumpectomy, but she will have radiation and [Tamoxifen].  Her surgery was two days after mine and her prognosis is very good.  They got the whole tumor.

17(?)th c. image of St. Agatha, Patroness of Breast Cancer
I got my surgery done.  It was not fun, but it was necessary.  Despite all the encouraging words from my doctors, nurses, and families, I was still a little worried.  My doctor said it was a good thing we did the mastectomy because the DCIS was more wide spread than indicated in my mammogram or biopsy.  So, that was a good decision.  Also, my lab reports a week later indicated that all the cancerous cells had been removed.  There were no cancer cells in the surrounding tissue or the lymph nodes, so that is good news.  But...then come the inevitable death stories.   They never end.  I can't even be happy about my prognosis for a few days.  I still have people that feel they must tell me about how so and so had good news after their surgery but it came back and killed them just a few years later.

Why?

Our Lady of Hope
I know the majority of them are well meaning, but can't I just breath and enjoy hope for a little while?  I know my prognosis is not 0%.  I understand that.  But right now I want to enjoy the "clear" labs and normality of life--as normal as it can be right now.  I am still very sore, I still want to nap a couple of times a day, and I still can't motivate my self to get back to my pre-surgery hectic life (which has adversely affected my 12 year old's sense of self-motivation).  But, I am enjoying my kids more, if that's possible, and enjoying the few people who do fawn over me a little.   I can never thank my mother enough for being here when I needed her, for being so encouraging, and for helping me stay positive through the whole experience.

Please, if you have a friend to whom this happens, give her encouraging words, words of hope, words of support.  Bite your tongue, and don't tell the death stories, not now, maybe later.  She needs to have a positive attitude and plenty of positive words and actions to stay focused on getting well and staying well.

God has blessed me with dear friends and wonderful family.  One friend had his whole rosary group (over 150) praying for me.  My mother's church prayer group was praying for me.  Everybody that knew me at my parish was praying for me.  Their prayers and their support are what got me through this.  I am not done yet.  I have at least one more surgery to go through, but I am positive they'll be there for that, too.  Praise the Lord!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Naming Angels

18th Cent. "Angel de la Guarda"
I had an interesting discussion on the way to a retreat with some older ladies from my church.  The discussion was about naming guardian angels.  They talked about how a group one of them knew of suggested naming your guardian angel to make him more personal to you.  I did not feel comfortable with this conversation and it did not feel right to participate.  At the time, I had no good argument against it but I did have a gut feeling about it being wrong.  However, one of my theology professors stated outright that it is wrong.  This came up in another discussion so I thought I'd share a few thoughts on it.

217. Popular devotion to the Holy Angels, which is legitimate and good, can, however, also give rise to possible deviations:
  • when, as sometimes can happen, the faithful are taken by the idea that the world is subject to demiurgical struggles, or an incessant battle between good and evil spirits, or Angels and daemons, in which man is left at the mercy of superior forces and over which he is helpless; such cosmologies bear little relation to the true Gospel vision of the struggle to overcome the Devil, which requires moral commitment, a fundamental option for the Gospel, humility and prayer;

  • when the daily events of life, which have nothing or little to do with our progressive maturing on the journey towards Christ are read schematically or simplistically, indeed childishly, so as to ascribe all setbacks to the Devil and all success to the Guardian Angels. The practice of assigning names to the Holy Angels should be discouraged, except in the cases of Gabriel, Raphael and Michael whose names are contained in Holy Scripture.
    From: Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy  (published by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Vatican City, Dec. 2001)

Popular 1900 postcard image
A popular devotion to guardian angels has been around for a very, very long time.  The angels already have names, as indicated by Scripture.  Naming yours would be like naming your dog or cat.  But, your guardian angel is not a pet and is not your possession.  He is a companion, a guide, a teacher, and a protector.  He is not here for your amusement; he has a special assignment from God--to watch over you.  God loves you that much.


Some of the things floating around out there, especially on the internet, border on or cross over into the realm of superstition (I've seen a webpage on how to find out your guardian angels name and cards to "read" his thoughts)--which is strictly forbidden by the Church.
2111 Superstition is the deviation of religious feeling and of the practices this feeling imposes. It can even affect the worship we offer the true God, e.g., when one attributes an importance in some way magical to certain practices otherwise lawful or necessary. To attribute the efficacy of prayers or of sacramental signs to their mere external performance, apart from the interior dispositions that they demand, is to fall into superstition.  (CCC)
17th c. Van der Weyden angels with Cross
Once you get into "feelings", sometimes practices of the faith become something else--not always healthy.  We have to keep in mind that angels are creatures and servants of God.  They are powerful and they are compassionate, but they are not our servants or our possessions.  Also, they are not their Master and we should not treat our guardian angel as a thing of worship, either.

There is a proper way of venerating angels and of devoting some time in thanking God for them and all that they do for us.

We thank them for protecting the Church:
215. The Church, which at its outset was saved and protected by the ministry of Angels, and which constantly experiences their "mysterious and powerful assistance"(281), venerates these heavenly spirts and has recourse to their prompt intercession.
During the liturgical year, the Church celebrates the role played by the Holy Angels, in the events of salvation(282) and commemorates them on specific days: 29 September (feast of the Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael), 2 October (the Guardian Angels).
(281) [CCC], 336.
(282) The same is true, for example in the solemnity of Easter and in the solemnities of the Annunciation (25 march), Christmas (25 December), Ascension, the Immaculate Conception (8 December), St. Joseph (19 March), Sts. Peter and Paul (29 June), Assumption (15 August) and All Saints (1 November).
Pietro da Cortona, 1656
The Church asks them for our protection:

The Church implores God to send his Angels at the end of the day to protect the faithful as they sleep(289), prays that the celestial spirits come to the assistance of the faithful in their last agony(290), and in the rite of obsequies, invokes God to send his Angels to accompany the souls of just into paradise(291) and to watch over their graves.
289) Cf. ibid., Ad Completorium post II Vesperas Dominicae et Sollemnitatum, Oratio "Visita quaesumus".
(290) Cf. RITUALE ROMANUM, Ordo unctionis informorum eorumque patoralis curae, cit., 147.
(291) Cf. RITUALE ROMANUM, Ordo exsequiarum , Editio Typica, Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis 1969, 50.

And we've asked them to protect us in many ways:
216. Down through the centuries, the faithful have translated into various devotional exercises the teaching of the faith in relation to the ministry of Angels: the Holy Angels have been adopted as patrons of cities and corporations; great shrines in their honour have developed such as Mont-Saint-Michel in Normandy, San Michele della Chiusa in Piemonte and San Michele Gargano in Apulia, each appointed with specific feast days; hymns and devotions to the Holy Angels have also been composed.
The angels are a reality.  They are awesome and powerful servants of God.  We should neither neglect them, nor worship them.  We should honor them properly and not become superstitious about them.  We need to keep them in proper perspective and not get childish or out of hand about them.  While some saints and mystics seemed to have known the names of their guardian angels, we generally don't.  They already have names and don't need us to name them.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Novena to St. Jude for My Son


St. Florian
St. Brendan
My son is having a crisis of faith.  It is something that is not as uncommon as one might think.  I remember having a similar experience at about his age; he is nineteen.  He is being exposed to all kinds at college.  Even though it is a Catholic college, there are many students there that are not Catholics, and I wonder sometimes if some are even Christian.  He has "friends" at school who are clever and witty with the comebacks on this moral issue or that; they treat him as if he is stupid for being a Christian, a Catholic, a conservative, anti-Choice, and on and on.  My son is intelligent and brave and on some subjects outspoken.  I am very proud of him.  (My son's two patrons in the pictures here)

So, for this crisis, my husband thought we should say a novena to St. Jude for him.

Novena to St. Jude, revised for my son:

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

Intercede with God for B------ that He bring visible and speedy help where help is almost despaired of.  Come to his assistance in this great need that he may receive the consolation and help of heaven in all his necessities, tribulations, and sufferings, particularly his present crisis of faith and that he may praise God with you and all the saints forever. 

I promise, O Blessed St. Jude, to be ever mindful of this great favor granted me for my son by God and to always honor you as his special and powerful patron, and to gratefully encourage devotion to you.

Amen.

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

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

St. Jude pray for my son and hear our prayers.  Amen.

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

Our Father who art in Heaven hallowed by Thy name
Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as
we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.
Amen.

Hail Mary, Full of Grace
the Lord is with thee, 
Blessed art thou amongst women
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us, sinners, now and at the hour of our death.
Amen.
   
Modified from http://www.ewtn.com/devotionals/novena/jude.htm
See you in 8 more days.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Gardisil -- The Poisoning of our girls

I am not one of those stereo typed homeschoolers who doesn't believe in immunizing my children.  Yes, we need to be careful of the source of the vaccine.  Yes, we have to look at the research and side effects.  And yes, that is why I will NOT let them inject my daughter with gardisil.  From what I've read, the vaccine was not tested on anyone under 18, not tested on what it does to the woman/girl's body in the long term, and it was not safety tested concerning women's reproductive organs.

A recent article on LifeSiteNews.com about a British Medical Journal report backs up my suspicions about this vaccine.

"The manufacturer of Gardasil, has no supporting information on the effects of the vaccine on ovaries, suggesting that Merck had either done no safety testing on Gardasil in relation to its effects on women's reproductive systems, or had suppressed the information."
The vaccine was found to be the cause in premature menopause in a 16-year old, Australian girl.

"Gardasil has been controversial from the beginning," noted Steven Mosher of the Population Research Institute.
But, we've been told that we WILL vaccinate our girls as young as 10 years old.  I have been vigilant in not allowing my 12 year old to receive this vaccine, but I am sure some overzealous shot clinic person may try to get it past me.  I had an experience when I was pregnant with my second child.  They gave the live chicken pox virus to my first child.  When I found out, I was livid.  I was pregnant! and obviously so.  Not only did I not know there even was a chicken pox virus vaccination (we just got the chicken pox, and liked it) but they endangered my unborn son without my knowledge, until it was too late.  Their answer was that it was on the shot record they gave me--forgive me if I didn't know what varicella means.  Now I know.  I have been much, much more vigilant ever since.  I will never allow my daughter to be given that shot.  If she chooses to have it after she is 18, that is up to her, but I am not going to destroy her life as a government guinea pig.

"In the case of the Australian girl the effect is irreversible. She has lost an integral part of her womanhood, while still but a child,” he said. “Women deserve better."
It is a shame on our society, that in the name of sexual "freedom" we are killing our future generations.  This is one known case.  How many more are there out there?  I bet we won't hear about it anytime soon--not until there are hundreds or thousands of young women who are either sterile or otherwise adversely affected, permanently.  There should be outrage.  There should be protests.  But, as long as we follow the politically correct (though majorly erroneous) course of supposedly keeping a small percentage of them from getting rare (in young women) cervical cancer, it's okay if some of them become infertile--they're only girls, what does it matter?

Just more proof that "women's lib" continues to destroy women's lives. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Oral Deception

Legatus Magazine published an article on the detrimental health risks associated with taking birth control pills.  The article, "Oral Deception," by Sabrina Arena Ferrisi  tells how the occurrence of breast cancer is on the rise because of oral contraception.  While women in droves stopped taking hormone replacement therapy in the wake of studies which showed a link to much higher risk of breast cancer, the media and doctors ignored the fact that birth control pills have the same hormones in even higher concentrations.  Breast cancer incidents in women over 50 have begun to drop (11% according to Ferrisi), but breast cancer in women under 50 is alarmingly on the rise because of the long term use of oral contraceptives.  These women have no idea that they are doing this to their bodies and the media refuses to make it an issue because it isn't politically correct. 

I've written about the detrimental health effects in debate on more than one occasion in debate.  The effects of the pill are why I do not support Susan G. Komen.  That cancer research organization teams up with the deceptive, conniving Planned Parenthood.  Planned Parenthood is the leader in distributing the pill and providing abortions, both of which are directly linked to higher incidents of cancer (even in women that don't smoke), strokes, heart attack, blood clots, serious infections such as HIV and HPV, etc.  Sometimes one cannot help but give them (SGK) money tangentially because so many products now "give" to SGK and that is bad enough.  To have an organization that is supposedly trying to find a cure for breast cancer in partnership with an organization that actively engages in actions that cause cancer risks to rise, is illogical to say the least.

Women need to be told the truth about the long term risks of these behaviors.  Perhaps this "liberation" mentality can be see for the destructive behavior that it is and be turned around.  I pray for the day that women stop being objects and are respected and taken care of like they should.  We need to make everyone aware of this widespread tragedy in the making.

Included as addendum to Ferrisi's article:

Effects of the pill

Source: thepillkills.com
  • The Pill makes your blood clot. For women who have never smoked, do not have diabetes or hypertension, the Pill still doubles the risk of heart attack. Those who smoke have 12 times the risk of heart attack. NEJM 2001; 345:1787-93
  • Women on the Pill have over twice the risk for stroke. JAMA July 5, 2000; 284: 72-78.
  • The risk of lung blood clots is two- to three-times higher for women on the Pill. BMJ 2011;343:d6423
  • Women on the Pill are more likely to develop lethal infections such as HIV and HPV. Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome 1999; May 1 21 (1):51-58
  • There is a 320% higher risk of triple-negative breast cancer in women on the Pill, which is the most deadly form of breast cancer to treat. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2009;18(4):1157-65
  • Women who use the Pill for five to nine years have twice the risk of cervical cancer. Lancet 2002;Mar 30;359(9312):1085-92
  • The Pill increases the risk of liver cancer in women by 50%. IARC 2007 Mo

Organic alternatives to the pill

Marquette Method
nfp.marquette.edu
Sympto-Thermal Method
ccli.org
Creighton Method
creightonmodel.com
nograph 91.

[added by me:]
The Billings Ovulation Method
http://www.thebillingsovulationmethod.org/

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

What Catholics Believe, an Introduction

I have been contemplating how to defend our Faith--the Faith passed down from Jesus Christ through the Apostles down to us today.  I contemplate how fellow Christians, those who belong to traditions that have departed from the Church founded by Christ, or who belong to no tradition at all, can and do believe that Catholics are not Christians.  Contemplating how my journey of faith brought me from an early faith in a Baptist tradition to my passionate love for my Lord as a member of His Body--the Catholic Church, I do not understand the hostility or anti-Catholic bigotry.  Since, I became a Catholic 15 years ago, I have met more "Christian" bigots than in all my 30+ years as a Baptist.  I'm still a Christian.  I still love the Gospel--in fact, I love it even more passionately.  So, I thought I'd begin a series on Christ's Church.  Unlike Protestant Apologists, I don't intend to reinvent the wheel I will be using the Catechism of the Catholic Church and other Church documents along with the Scriptures in my articles.

So, to begin.

The Nicene-Constantinoplian Creed

I believe in one God, the Father almighty,
    maker of heaven and earth,
    of all things visible and invisible.
I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ,
        the Only Begotten Son of God,
        born of the Father before all ages.
    God from God, Light from Light,
        true God from true God,
    begotten, not made, consubstantial
       with the Father;
        Through him all things were made.
    For us men and for our salvation
        he came down from heaven,
        and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate
        of the Virgin Mary,
        and became man.

    For our sake he was crucified
      under Pontius Pilate,
        he suffered death and was buried,
        and rose again on the third day
        in accordance with the Scriptures.
    He ascended into heaven
        and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
    He will come again in glory
        to judge the living and the dead
        and his kingdom will have no end.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
        the Lord, the giver of life,
    who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
    who with the Father and the Son
        is adored and glorified,
        who has spoken through the prophets.
I believe in one, holy, catholic,
     and apostolic Church.
    I confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins
        and I look forward to the resurrection
        of the dead and the life of the world to come.
Amen.

This is what we believe--Catholics.  It is virtually the same as the Orthodox version of the Creed (yes, I do know the difference), and similar to the Creeds used by the Lutherans and many other Protestant faiths.

"In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son."26 Christ, the Son of God made man, is the Father's one, perfect and unsurpassable Word. In him he has said everything; there will be no other word than this one. St. John of the Cross, among others, commented strikingly on Hebrews 1:1-2:
In giving us his Son, his only Word (for he possesses no other), he spoke everything to us at once in this sole Word - and he has no more to say. . . because what he spoke before to the prophets in parts, he has now spoken all at once by giving us the All Who is His Son. Any person questioning God or desiring some vision or revelation would be guilty not only of foolish behavior but also of offending him, by not fixing his eyes entirely upon Christ and by living with the desire for some other novelty.27
26 Heb 1:1-2.
27 St. John of the Cross, The Ascent of Mount Carmel 2,22,3-5 in The Collected Works of St. John of the Cross, tr. K. Kavanaugh, OCD, and O. Rodriguez, OCD (Washington DC:Institute of Carmelite Studies, 1979),179-180:LH, OR Advent, week 2, Mon.

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraph 65 (CCC 65).

Next, a look at the Creed step by step.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

"Morally Straight?"

I am so disappointed in the Boy Scouts of America right now.  I can't even imagine who the delegates were who supposedly voted 61% for the resolution.  According to a Scout leader I know, approximately 40% of Boy Scouts are Mormons.  Then next two largest groups are Baptists and Catholics.  Who voted yes on this resolution???  Apparently, the California and New York delegations and their liberal cohorts outnumber the majority of conservative voting delegates.

Will they have to change the Scout Oath?
On my honor I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country
and to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong,
mentally awake, and morally straight.
Like the movement to ban the "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance, will there be a movement to drop "to God" and "morally straight" from the Scout Oath?  Or will relative morality come into play?

It is only a matter of time, then, before they'll have gay men leaders.  I will not expose my sons to such immorality, nor put them in harms' way.  I intend to wait until the 'chips fall' and the USCCB makes a statement.  But, if the vote stands and the scouts change their policy to allow boys who are openly gay, we'll be looking elsewhere for activities for the boys.  Thankfully, my oldest earned his Eagle Scout and is now an adult.  Now we have to decide what to do with our 16- and 14-year old Boy Scouts and our 7 year old Cub Scout.  We can't in all good conscience accept this resolution or the slippery slope the Boy Scouts are now on.  

I certainly will not do any more recruiting for the Scouts.  General Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scouts, and Ernst Seton and William Boyce, co-founders in America, are turning in their graves right now.  Any suggestions?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Happy St. Brendan's Day!

One of my favorite saints and my eldest son's namesake.  Happy St. Brendan's Day! 
[Image from facebook]

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Ascension Thursday

Today marks the day Jesus Christ ascended back to the Father in Heaven.  He ascended under His own power, as God the Son.  In many dioceses, the celebration of the Ascension is moved to Sunday.  Then, the next Sunday is Pentecost, the day the Holy Spirit, sent by God the Son, came upon and gave life to His Church in the Apostles and Mary.


50 Then he led them [out] as far as Bethany, raised his hands, and blessed them. 51 As He blessed them He parted from them and was taken up to Heaven.  52 They did Him homage and then returned to Jerusalem with great joy. 53and they were continually in the temple praising God. (Luke 24)






 19 So then the Lord Jesus, after He spoke to them, was taken up into Heaven and took His seat at the right hand of God. 20 But they went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the word through accompanying signs.] (Mark 16)




6 When they had gathered together they asked Him, "Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He answered them, “It is not for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has established by his own authority.  8 But you will receive power when the holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” 9 When He had said this, as they were looking on, He was lifted up, and a cloud took Him from their sight.  10 While they were looking intently at the sky as He was going, suddenly two men dressed in white garments stood beside them.  11 They said, "Men of Galilee, why are you standing there looking at the sky?  This Jesus who has been taken up from you into Heaven will return in the same way as you have seen Him going into Heaven."  12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day’s journey away.
(Act 1)

Monday, April 22, 2013

Appreciation

Today, as I was getting my son ready for school.  I had the tv on to "The Breakup".  Now, while I'm not necessarily a big Jennifer Aniston fan, I watched the beginning of the movie.  If you are not familiar with it, the plot is basically that Jennifer's character and Vince Vaugh's character meet, fall in love, and move into a condo they purchase together.  However, soon they have a huge fight after Jennifer's character spends several hours cleaning and preparing dinner for their family members and he did not pick up the lemons she wanted for a center piece, wouldn't set the table, open the door for their guests, or help her wash the dishes afterward.


All Jennifer's character wanted was for her "boy friend" to appreciate her.  She decorated the condo, kept it immaculate, cooked for him, planned outings for them, even stopped going to the ballet because he hated it.  She gave up all that she was and loved to do for a man who not only didn't appreciate her but didn't marry her. 

I see that a lot in our society today, as Judge Judy calls it, "playing house."  She feels it is not her job to sort out the details when a couple plays house (buys a house and furniture, gets a dog, mixes their finances together) and then tries to sue one another when it "doesn't work out."  That is not what courts are for.  What happened to pre-marital classes/counseling, oh yeah, we don't get married any more--we "try it out," maybe have a baby first, see how that works out.  Not only are women not appreciated in these relationships but they never will be.  When women feel all they deserve is to work full time at a career AND work full time on a home that she either doesn't own or owns half of, makes all the effort to make her man happy, she will never be appreciated, valued, or happy.  A man is not going to marry her.  He is waiting for a better deal to come along.  As long as a woman is willing to do all the work, why wouldn't he "let her" do it all.  He can leave whenever he feels like it, even if there is a child(ren) involved, and he often does.

Appreciation starts with you.  You need to have an appreciation not only for your physical looks and abilities, but for your intelligence, your inner beauty, and your power as a woman.  Woman do do all the work in the home, because they see it.  Men simply don't see it.  They step over, step on, or step around anything and everything.  Sometimes it seems they are incapable of bending at the waist.  Their peripheral vision is much much wider than women's.  Waiting for them to pick up after themselves, or to thank you for picking up, cleaning up, or keeping anything clean is pointless.  You must have an appreciation for your own work and be proud of yourself first.  If your "man" ever expresses appreciation don't faint, just thank God that he got it at least once.  Don't devalue yourself by moving in with a man--he wants sex and a maid, not a life partner.  Do yourself a favor and wait for love and wait for a real marriage.  Don't sell yourself short.


As for the movie, Vince's character finally does learn what it is to show appreciation to someone else.  He works with two of his brothers in a tour company and finally says thank you to his older brother by putting his own books straight and giving him a big hug.  It is too late for his relationship, though.  At the end of the movie, the couple meet on the street one day and share an awkward moment of hellos. Then they walk away from each other.  Sad.  I hate sad endings. 

Now, off to do some thankless jobs around the house.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Just in Time for Holy Week!

Magnificat has posted their Holy Week missal online. Anyone can access it for FREE! So "favorite" it now for use during Holy Week.

Rogier van der Weyden "Angels Carrying the Instruments of Passion"
from the altarpiece "The Last Judgement" (1449)


This is the image used on the cover (this is not the cover image). Go here to access the Holy Week Magnificat free.

Remember we start Holy Week on Palm/Passion Sunday on March 24th.

Friday, March 15, 2013

God Bless Pope Francis!!!



I posted on the other blog I participate on, but did not post anything here.  Here is a picture of our new pope--Pope Francis.  A pope of firsts:  First non-European in about 1300 years (he is the 11th non-European--first since Gregory III in the 8th century), First pope from the Americas, First pope to take the name Francis (from Francis of Assisi, not Xavier as had been speculated). 

Friday Abstinence



One of the reasons for Friday abstinence is as an act of charity; we remember those who cannot afford meat. We thank God for what we have and obey His Church in all that is good for our souls.

Canons of the Catholic Church on Abstinence and Penance:
Can. 1250 The penitential days and times in the universal Church are every Friday of the whole year and the season of Lent.

Can. 1251 Abstinence from meat, or from some other food as determined by the Episcopal Conference, is to be observed on all Fridays, unless a solemnity should fall on a Friday. Abstinence and fasting are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.

Can. 1252 The law of abstinence binds those who have completed their fourteenth year. The law of fasting binds those who have attained their majority, until the beginning of their sixtieth year. Pastors of souls and parents are to ensure that even those who by reason of their age are not bound by the law of fasting and abstinence, are taught the true meaning of penance.

Can. 1253 The conference of bishops can determine more precisely the observance of fast and abstinence as well as substitute other forms of penance, especially works of charity and exercises of piety, in whole or in part, for abstinence and fast.

“We live in the most unequal part of the world, which has grown the most yet reduced misery the least. The unjust distribution of goods persists, creating a situation of social sin that cries out to Heaven and limits the possibilities of a fuller life for so many of our brothers.”
--Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio (now Pope Francis).

Friday, February 22, 2013

Monday, February 18, 2013

Anger

Wow, did I get attacked today. 

I am feeling soooo unappreciated.  I have 6 Cub Scouts, 27 First Sacraments students, 3 homeschooled children, one son in college, one son in public high school, one husband working on his Master's degree, and I am working on completing a Bachelor's degree in theology.  No pressure on me whatsoever.

So, when a parent questions what is going on in our Cub Scout den, I answered his question and then suggested he be the leader of the den. I said I would be happy to relinquish my leadership role.  What does he do?  Goes on a rant about how an angry person shouldn't be a scout leader and quits the pack.  A simple, "Oh, wow, you guys have been doing a lot in the den."  Then, either tell me I'm doing okay as a leader or step up and do it himself.  I don't understand when someone is so demanding, then so sensitive when you answer their questions.  Yes, the suggestion that he take over as leader could be perceived as anger--but I meant it sincerely; he'd be a terrific Scout leader and it would be a lot less pressure on me.

I am so sick of being "responsible", not only for my own children but other people's, and not being appreciated or encouraged.  Not only do many of the parents not appreciate what others do for their children, whether it is a school teacher, an RE teacher, a scout leader, whatever, but get angry when you don't do it their way.  Well, parents, if your way is better, why don't you do it; you be responsible as a teacher's aid, an RE teacher, or a scout leader yourself.  If I hadn't stepped up, my son would not have had the opportunity to be a Tiger Scout last year--and there is no Tiger Den in our pack this year--no one stepped up.  Instead of critizing or getting your nose out of joint because the teacher/leader is not doing the job they way you think they should--help, volunteer, encourage!

This Lent, thank a teacher, thank a Catechist, thank a scout Leader, thank the volunteers in your parish for what they do.  Don't rag on them, thank them.

Rant over.