Daily Archives: October 22, 2010

Democrats Kill Babies; Vote Pro-Life on Nov. 2

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Hour of Mercy: Thirty Days’ Prayer to Mary

Ever glorious and Blessed Mary,
Queen of Virgins, Mother of mercy,
hope and comfort of dejected and desolate souls,
through that sword of sorrow
which pierced thy Heart whilst thine only Son,
Jesus Christ, our Lord,
suffered death and ignominy on the Cross;
through that filial tenderness
and pure love through that filial tenderness
and pure love He had for thee, grieving in thy grief,
while from His Cross He recommended thee
to the care and protection of His beloved Disciple,
St. John, take pity, I beseech thee,
on my poverty and necessities;
have compassion on my anxieties and cares;
assist and comfort me in all my infirmities and miseries.

Thou art the Mother of mercy,
the sweet consolatrix and refuge
of the needy and the orphan,
of the desolate and the afflicted.

Look, therefore, with pity on a miserable,
forlorn child of Eve,
and hear my prayer;
for since, in just punishment of my sins,
I am encompassed with evils
and oppressed with anguish of spirit,
whither can I flee for more secure shelter,

O amiable Mother of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,
than to thy maternal protection?
Attend, therefore, I beseech thee,
with pity and compassion to my humble and earnest
request.

I ask it through the infinite mercy of thy dear Son,
– through that love and condescension wherewith
He embraced our nature, when,
in compliance with the divine Will,
thou gavest thy consent, and Whom,
after the expiration of nine months,
thou didst bring forth
from the chaste enclosure of thy womb,
to visit this world
and bless it with his presence.

I ask it through the sores of His virginal Flesh,
caused by the cords and whips
wherewith He was bound and scourged
when stripped of His seamless garment,
for which His executioners afterwards cast lots.

I ask it through the scoffs and ignominies
by which He was insulted,
the false accusations and unjust sentence
by which He was condemned to death,
and which He bore with heavenly patience.

I ask it through His bitter tears and bloody sweat;
His silence and resignation;
His sadness and grief of heart.

I ask it through the Blood
which trickled from His royal and sacred Head,
when struck with His sceptre of a reed,
and pierced with the crown of thorns.

I ask it through the excruciating torments He suffered,
when His hands and feet were fastened
with huge nails to the tree of the cross.

I ask it through His vehement thirst,
and bitter potion of vinegar and gall.

I ask it through His dereliction on the cross,
when He exclaimed:
“My God! my God! why hast Thou forsaken me?”

I ask it through His mercy extended to the good thief,
and through His recommending His precious Soul and Spirit
into the hands of His Eternal Father before He expired.

I ask it through the Blood mixed with water,
which issued from His sacred Side,
when pierced with a lance,
and whence a flood of grace and mercy has flowed to us.

I ask it through His immaculate life,
bitter Passion,
and ignominious death on the cross,
at which nature itself was thrown into convulsions,
by the bursting of rocks,
rending of the veil of the temple,
the earthquake,
and the darkness of the sun and the moon.

I ask it through His descent into hell,
where He comforted the Saints of the Old Law with His
presence,
and led captivity captive.

I ask it through His glorious victory over death,
when He arose again to life on the third day,
and through the joy
which His appearance for forty days after gave thee,
His blessed Mother,
His Apostles,
and His Disciples,
when, in thine and their presence,
He miraculously ascended into heaven.

I ask it through the grace of the Holy Ghost,
infused into the hearts of the Disciples,
when He descended upon them in the form of fiery tongues,
and which they were inspired with zeal
for the conversion of the world
when they went forth to preach the Gospel.

I ask it through the awful appearance of thy Son,
at the last dreadful day,
when He shall come to judge the living and the dead,
and the world by fire.

I ask it through the compassion He bore thee in this life,
and the ineffable joy thou didst feel
at Thine Assumption into heaven,
where thou art eternally absorbed
in the sweet contemplation of His divine perfections.

O glorious and ever-blessed Virgin,
comfort the heart of thy suppliant,
by obtaining for me the graces and the favours
which I now most earnestly solicit.

(Here mention your requests)

And as I am persuaded my Divine Saviour honour Thee
as His beloved Mother, to whom He can refuse nothing,
so let me speedily experience
the efficacy of thy powerful intercession,
according to the tenderness of thy maternal affection,
and His filial,
loving Heart,
who mercifully grants the requests and complies
with the desires of those that love and fear Him.

Wherefore, O Most Blessed Virgin,
beside the object of my present petition,
and whatever else I may stand in need of,
obtain for me also of thy dear Son,
our Lord and our God,
a lively faith,
firm hope,
perfect charity,
the contrition of heart,
unfeigned tears of compunction,
sincere confession,
just satisfaction,
abstinence from sin,
love of God and of my neighbour,
contempt of the world,
patience to suffer affronts and ignominies,
nay, even, if necessary,
an opprobrious death itself,
for the love of thy Son,
our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Obtain likewise for me,

O Holy Mother of God,
perseverance in good works,
performance of good resolutions,
mortification of self-will,
a pious conversation through life,
and at my last moment,
strong and sincere repentance
accompanied by such a lively
and attentive presence of mind,
as may enable me to receive
the last Sacraments of the Church worthily,
and to die in thy friendship and favour.

Lastly, obtain, I beseech Thee,
for the souls of my parents,
brethren, relatives,
and benefactors both living and dead,
life everlasting.

Amen.

Is Bill Donohue a Haagen-Haas Liberal? _The Simpsons_ versus _Sister Act_.

There is a popular notion that Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, is a conservative. This comes from his outspokenness against abortion and for certain positions regarding public religious displays that come in line with views generally considered “conservative” or “Republican.” Yet Donohue, at least early in his career, tried to make clear that he was actually more of a “Reagan Democrat,” and, a Sociologist, he of course was working for a Civil Rights organization.

Now, I’ve criticized him in the past for how he has shifted away the focus of the Catholic League from being a civil rights organization to being just another right wing Catholic sounding board. I don’t disagree with a lot of what he says, but I disagree in his using his position to say it, when he is supposed to be helping Catholics fight discrimination. Back in the 1990s, the Catholic League would issue press releases about nurses fired from nursing homes for wearing ashes on Ash Wednesday. If you sent them a request for help, you’d get *some* kind of response, if only that your report did not really constitute anti-Catholicism, or they’d give some advice.

The last several times I’ve written to the Catholic League about anti-Catholicism I’ve encountered, I’ve garnered *no* response.

Also, about 10 years ago, I responded to a survey in writing, saying that they needed to praise *positive* treatments of Catholicism and religion in popular culture, as well as condemn. I got a nice personal reply to my message, and, shortly after that, Donohue wrote a stunning review of the recently released _Prince of Egypt_.

On the other hand, a recent trend in the Vatican Newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano has been to try and point out what’s right in popular culture, sometimes leading to gaffes almost as bad as what comes out of the USCCB on a regular basis. A recent article by a Jesuit priest in L’Osservatore claims that “The Simpsons” are Catholic. The claim is, prima facie, true, depending upon one’s view of the series’ narrative canon. Five years ago now, there was an episode called “The Father, the Son and the Holy Guest Star,” in which Bart and Homer convert to Catholicism because they want the Sacrament of Reconciliation. It’s one of the only times Ned Flanders is a bad guy, and Marge has a hilarious vision of how “Catholic Heaven” is more fun than “Protestant Heaven” (and that Jesus is in Catholic Heaven, partying with the Spanish, Italians and Irish, while the WASPS in Protestant Heaven are boring).

So, this article, which mainly discusses that one episode, comes out, and the blogosphere naturally erupts. A minority of us are agreeing with the article’s assessment. A lot of people who by their own admission have never watched the show or only parts of it, are pulling Dan Quayles by condemning all the things about it they think it contains (half of which are wrong). Secularists and, now, the Producers themselves are criticizing the article insisting that “the Simpsons” are liberal Protestants, not Catholics. This is true, except that Bart and Homer do convert in the aforementioned episode, and it is hypocritical of the producers to make Lisa’s conversion to Buddhism “stick” but not Bart and Homer’s conversion to Catholicism.

So, of course, Bill Donohue has shot off a press release, proclaiming, “So is Homer Catholic? If so, we missed his conversion.”
Well, Bill, see the aforementioned episode.

But it got me to thinking about *why* Bill Donohue finds _The Simpsons_ offensive. When Donohue charged that _Dogma_, a film made by “Old Catholic Church” member Kevin Smith, was “anti-Catholic,” some responded that, technically, it was not “anti-Catholic” but “liberal Catholic.” Same can be argued for _Nothing Sacred_. Both cases featured a “positive” portrayal of “liberal Catholic” ideas. If your view is that the Catholic Church is a collection of people, well, the unlamented TV series _Nothing Sacred_ could be seen as an accurate portrayal of Catholicism, since it accurately portrays how some Catholics think and behave. Indeed, if you *are* one of those Catholics, or one of the members of the wider Left who agree with them, _Nothing Sacred_ or _Dogma_ would be a “positive” portrayal of Catholicism. If, however, you see Catholicism as essentially a set of beliefs, then _Nothing Sacred_ and _Dogma_ mock those beliefs and are “anti-Catholic.”

Most references to Catholicism on _The Simpsons_ are no worse than a lot of television shows these days, and often the same kind of wisecracks Catholics ourselves make, and often can be seen as mocking non-Catholics as much as Catholics.
But here, in Bill Donohue’s own words, is the “controversial” scene he attacked in the January 31, 1999, Super Bowl episode (the scene in question is a fake Super Bowl ad depicted on the show):

there was a segment in which a nerdy-looking man drives up to a gas station and is greeted by three buxom, scantily-clad women. One of them is wearing black and she is the most scantily-clad of all. She’s also shaking her body more than the others to the rock music which is playing in the background. As she bends forward, the camera zooms in on her to reveal a large cross, and then says, “The Catholic Church, we’ve made a few changes.”

And this is offensive to Catholicism why? The scene suggests that Catholicism seems to be going out of its way to be cool, hip and more “user friendly”, and that the trend to do such things is ridiculous and needs to be mocked. How is *that* anti-Catholic? The scene depicts scantily clad women serving as Extraordinary Ministers of Communion. And, yes, there are lots of scantily-clad women distributing Communion in Catholic Churches, and yes, that should be roundly mocked. The scene depicts rock music played at Mass. Again, both happens and needs to be mocked. If mocking liturgical change for the sake of popularity, scantily clad women distributing communion or rock music at mass constitutes “anti-Catholicism,” then why have we not seen a press release from Bill Donohue condemning The Catholic Cartoon Blog?

Here’s a possibility: Bill Donohue is a liberal. He may not agree with Kevin Smith on theology and morality and politics, but he agrees with Kevin Smith on liturgy (or, perhaps not, Old Catholics are notorious for having “traditional” liturgical practices–since their schism is based upon Vatican I–but being liberal on theological and moral issues).

I’ve seen several occasions when Bill Donohue has pointed to _Sister Act_ (which I find horribly offensive) as an example of inoffensive humor directed at Catholicism. For documentation sake, here’s one.

So, on the one hand, we have a movie that says that Catholicism, even with the many liberalizations of Vatican II, is boring and outdated, and that it needs a Las Vegas lounge singer to come in and liven things up to get people filling the pews. Bill Donohue says this is great.

On the other hand, we have a TV show mocking “spirit of Vatican II” liturgical changes.

So, which is it, Bill Donohue? Are you the real anti-Catholic, opposing the liturgy of the ages? Is Bill Donohue telling us he supports scantily clad women (or women of any kind of attire) distributing Communion? Is Bill Donohue telling us he supports rock music at Mass? Is Bill Donohue telling us he supports changes to the liturgy?

G. K. Chesterton on the Transience of Worldly Happiness

[T]here enters the second great principle of the fairy philosophy.

Any one can see it who will simply read “Grimm’s Fairy Tales” . . . For the pleasure of pedantry I will call it the Doctrine of Conditional Joy. Touchstone talked of much virtue in an “if”; according to elfin ethics all virtue is in an “if.” The note of the fairy utterance always is, “You may live in a palace of gold and sapphire, if you do not say the word `cow”‘; or “You may live happily with the King’s daughter, if you do not show her an onion.” The vision always hangs upon a veto. All the dizzy and colossal things conceded depend upon one small thing withheld. . . . Fairy godmothers seem at least as strict as other godmothers. Cinderella received a coach out of Wonderland and a coachman out of nowhere, but she received a command — which might have come out of Brixton — that she should be back by twelve. Also, she had a glass slipper; and it cannot be a coincidence that glass is so common a substance in folk-lore. This princess lives in a glass castle, that princess on a glass hill; this one sees all things in a mirror; they may all live in glass houses if they will not throw stones. For this thin glitter of glass everywhere is the expression of the fact that the happiness is bright but brittle, like the substance most easily smashed by a housemaid or a cat. And this fairy-tale sentiment also sank into me and became my sentiment towards the whole world. I felt and feel that life itself is as bright as the diamond, but as brittle as the window-pane; and when the heavens were compared to the terrible crystal I can remember a shudder. I was afraid that God would drop the cosmos with a crash.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton, Orthodoxy, Ch. 4.