Daily Archives: March 30, 2011

Hour of Mercy: Psalm 102 RSV-CE

102 1 <A prayer of one afflicted, when he is faint and pours out his complaint> the LORD.> Hear my
prayer, O LORD; let my cry come to thee!
2 Do not hide thy face from me in the day of my distress! Incline thy ear to me; answer me speedily in the
day when I call!
3 For my days pass away like smoke, and my bones burn like a furnace.
4 My heart is smitten like grass, and withered; I forget to eat my bread.
5 Because of my loud groaning my bones cleave to my flesh.
6 I am like a vulture of the wilderness, like an owl of the waste places;
7 I lie awake, I am like a lonely bird on the housetop.
8 All the day my enemies taunt me, those who deride me use my name for a curse.
9 For I eat ashes like bread, and mingle tears with my drink,
10 because of thy indignation and anger; for thou hast taken me up and thrown me away.
11 My days are like an evening shadow; I wither away like grass.
12 But thou, O LORD, art enthroned for ever; thy name endures to all generations.
13 Thou wilt arise and have pity on Zion; it is the time to favor her; the appointed time has come.
14 For thy servants hold her stones dear, and have pity on her dust.
15 The nations will fear the name of the LORD, and all the kings of the earth thy glory.
16 For the LORD will build up Zion, he will appear in his glory;
17 he will regard the prayer of the destitute, and will not despise their supplication.
18 Let this be recorded for a generation to come, so that a people yet unborn may praise the LORD:
19 that he looked down from his holy height, from heaven the LORD looked at the earth,
20 to hear the groans of the prisoners, to set free those who were doomed to die;
21 that men may declare in Zion the name of the LORD, and in Jerusalem his praise,
22 when peoples gather together, and kingdoms, to worship the LORD.
23 He has broken my strength in mid-course; he has shortened my days.
24 “O my God,” I say, “take me not hence in the midst of my days, thou whose years endure throughout all
25 Of old thou didst lay the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of thy hands.
26 They will perish, but thou dost endure; they will all wear out like a garment. Thou changest them like
raiment, and they pass away;
27 but thou art the same, and thy years have no end.
28 The children of thy servants shall dwell secure; their posterity shall be established before thee.

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

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
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.


The USCCB on Iraq and Libya: WHAT???

The USCCB Website has a whole directory of statements that the USCCB or its officers made regarding the Iraq War.  Most just state the moral considerations without issuing judgment, one way or the other.  In a February 2004 summary statement, “the bishops” state the following (quoting another document, but I clicked through the documents in the archive and couldn’t find this exact passage anywhere else):

Our bishops’ conference continues to question the moral legitimacy of any preemptive, unilateral use of military force to overthrow the government of Iraq. To permit preemptive or preventive uses of military force to overthrow threatening or hostile regimes would create deeply troubling moral and legal precedents. Based on the facts that are known, it is difficult to justify resort to war against Iraq, lacking clear and adequate evidence of an imminent attack of a grave nature or Iraq’s involvement in the terrorist attacks of September 11. With the Holy See and many religious leaders throughout the world, we believe that resort to war would not meet the strict conditions in Catholic teaching for the use of military force. These statements, along with educational and prayer resources, were disseminated widely and received considerable media attention. In addition, the leadership of the USCCB met with National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice on Iraq in May and September 2002, and March 2003. The USCCB also assisted with special papal envoy Cardinal Pio Laghi’s visit to Washington to meet with President Bush on March 5, 2003.

So, the most they would say on Iraq is that they questioned the moral legitimacy of the conflict, and they note throughout these statements the criteria that need to be met. They echoed with John Paul II the call for Saddam Hussein to disarm and cooperate with the international community. They recognized the threat he posed. They insisted that a US invasion of Iraq needed to have significant international support. Fine and dandy.
I’m mostly anti-war; there’s no secret of that. I battled my conscience over Iraq for years and decided that, even while there was some warrant, the case made for the war was the wrong one, the Vatican was clearly displeased with the war, and many of the methods employed in the war have been unjust.
The USCCB is notoriously anti-war, so in some respects it’s surprising they reserved judgment and did not make an overt statement against the war in Iraq–at least not at that point (2004).
So, cut to 2011, when Barack Obama decides Kennedy/Vietnam-style that he can just send troops into another country’s civil war without congressional approval. Cut to 2011, when Barack Obama, the president of Peace, Hope and Change, goes to war with absolutely no deliberation (Bush very clearly deliberated) and with not clear threat to US security. And, while everyone insisted a war in Iraq would be “for oil,” there is no clear link between Iraq and US oil (most of the oil we import actually comes from Venezuela), but there is a link with Libya (most European oil comes from Libya).

Now, noting that it is not an absolute judgment, the current head of the USCCB’s office for “justice and Peace” says that the invasion of Libya “appears to meet” the standards for Just War!!!

He says that the attack of a dictator on his own civilians is the same as an invasion–a principle many of us can agree with–yet why was no similar statement made about Iraq???

A friend’s Proposal to fix abortion, Social Security and Immigration in one step

Now, I consider illegal immigration a complicated issue.  I tend to be a Buchananite on most issues, including this one, although I understand certain reasons on the other side, particularly regarding the US’s unjust policy regarding refugee status.  I also understand the arguments about not breaking up families.  I believe that the worst thing about illegal immigration is how it hurts the efforts of those who have tried so hard to get into this country the right way, and, as John Paul II pointed out, illegal immigrants often come through the very channels through which drugs and guns are smuggled into the country as well.  I’ve said many times that I think so-called “amnesty” is like giving known plagiarists the right to graduate.

That said, my friend Ted Seeber, following up on Rick Santorum’s recent comments, has made an interesting proposal to fix Social Security, since the main problem with Social Security is that we’ve killed off our work force, and the system assumes population growth.

  • Theodore M. Seeber Step 1. Make FICA a flat tax on all earnings, with no cap. 

    9 hours ago ·

    Theodore M. Seeber Step 2. Raise retirement age for non-disability payments to 88. 

    9 hours ago ·

    Theodore M. Seeber Step 3. Make abortion illegal. 

    9 hours ago ·

    Theodore M. Seeber Step 4. Issue 12 million green cards for illegal aliens already living here, and 42 million green cards for new immigrants, to replace our working age population murdered by abortion. 

    9 hours ago ·

Justice basically involves doing evil to correct a worse evil.   It is normally evil to imprison another person, but not if the person is a criminal.  It is normally evil to take money from another person, but social justice involves taxing the rich to give money to the poor because the economic system is inherently flawed.

It has never occurred to me to link abortion to the immigration debate in the sense of filling the gaps left in our society by abortion kind of makes sense.  Forgiving the debt of illegal immigrants against society would, of course, be an act of mercy, and it would both replenish our population and work force as well as make some spiritual amends.  Of course, Ted’s not even talking about citizenship, just green cards.

I’m not so sure about the raising the retirement age to 88 part.  That would only work if they widened the standards for disability, and that will create a whole other mess.  However, people forget that, at the time Social Security was established, 65 was basically the average life expectancy.  It was never intended to be something a person lived on for years and years, but emergency coverage for a person who lived an extremely long life and had no other support.