Monthly Archives: December 2012

Veneration of the Mysteries of the Divine Infancy

Our Lady of Mt. CarmelO God, come to my assistance!
O Lord, make haste to help me!
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit;
As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

Our Father . . .

I.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You came down from the bosom of the Father for our salvation and were conceived by the Holy Spirit. You did not abhor the Virgin’s womb, and, being the Word made flesh, took upon Yourself the form of a servant. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

II.
Jesus, sweetest Child, by means of Your Virgin Mother You visited Saint Elizabeth. You filled Your forerunner, John the Baptist, with Your Holy Spirit and sanctified him in his mother’s womb. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

III.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You were enclosed for nine months in Your Mother’s womb. During this time You were looked for with eager expectation by the Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph, and offered by God the Father for the salvation of the world. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

IV.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You were born in Bethlehem of the Virgin Mary, wrapped in swaddling clothes, and laid in a manger. You were announced by Angels and visited by shepherds. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

All honor, laud and glory be,
O Jesus, Virgin-born, to Thee;
All glory as is ever meet,
To Father and to Paraclete. Amen.
Christ is near to us.
O Come, let us adore Him.
Our Father . . .

V.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You were wounded after eight days in Your circumcision and called by the glorious Name of Jesus. Thus, by Your Name and by Your blood You were foreshown as the Savior of the world. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

VI.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You were manifested by the leading of a star to the three Wise Men. You were worshipped in the arms of Your Mother and presented with the mystic gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

VII.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You were presented in the Temple by Your Virgin Mother, taken up in Simeon’s arms, and revealed to Israel by Anna, a prophetess. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

VIII.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You were sought by wicked Herod to be slain, and You were carried with Your Mother into Egypt by Saint Joseph. You were rescued from the cruel slaughter and You were glorified by the praises of the martyred Innocents. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

All honor, laud and glory be,
O Jesus, Virgin-born, to Thee;
All glory as is ever meet,
To Father and to Paraclete. Amen.
Christ is near to us.
O Come, let us worship.
Our Father . . .

IX.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You dwelt in Egypt with most holy Mary and the Patriarch, Saint Joseph, until the death of Herod. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

X.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You returned form Egypt to the land of Israel with Your parents, suffering many hardships on the way. You entered into the city of Nazareth. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

XI.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You dwelt most holily in the holy house at Nazareth, in subjection to Your parents. You were wearied by poverty and toil, and You increased in wisdom, age, and grace. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

XII.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You were brought to Jerusalem at twelve years of age. You were sought by Your parents sorrowing and found with joy after three days in the midst of the Doctors. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

All honor, laud and glory be,
O Jesus, Virgin-born, to Thee;
All glory as is ever meet,
To Father and to Paraclete. Amen.

The Word as made flesh, alleluia.
And dwelt among us, alleluia.

Let us pray. Almighty and everlasting God, Lord of heaven and earth, You revealed Yourself to little ones. Grant, we beg You, that we may venerate with due honor the sacred mysteries of Your Son, the Child Jesus, and copy them with due imitation. May we thus be enabled to enter the kingdom of heaven which You have promised to little children. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Word was made flesh.
And dwelt among us.

It would be nice

If Catholics who loved to speak of compassion and mercy and kindness would show them to unborn babies.

Veneration of the Mysteries of the Divine Infancy

Eucharist Card dear to St. Therese
O God, come to my assistance!
O Lord, make haste to help me!
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit;
As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

Our Father . . .

I.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You came down from the bosom of the Father for our salvation and were conceived by the Holy Spirit. You did not abhor the Virgin’s womb, and, being the Word made flesh, took upon Yourself the form of a servant. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

II.
Jesus, sweetest Child, by means of Your Virgin Mother You visited Saint Elizabeth. You filled Your forerunner, John the Baptist, with Your Holy Spirit and sanctified him in his mother’s womb. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

III.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You were enclosed for nine months in Your Mother’s womb. During this time You were looked for with eager expectation by the Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph, and offered by God the Father for the salvation of the world. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

IV.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You were born in Bethlehem of the Virgin Mary, wrapped in swaddling clothes, and laid in a manger. You were announced by Angels and visited by shepherds. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

All honor, laud and glory be,
O Jesus, Virgin-born, to Thee;
All glory as is ever meet,
To Father and to Paraclete. Amen.
Christ is near to us.
O Come, let us adore Him.
Our Father . . .

V.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You were wounded after eight days in Your circumcision and called by the glorious Name of Jesus. Thus, by Your Name and by Your blood You were foreshown as the Savior of the world. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

VI.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You were manifested by the leading of a star to the three Wise Men. You were worshipped in the arms of Your Mother and presented with the mystic gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

VII.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You were presented in the Temple by Your Virgin Mother, taken up in Simeon’s arms, and revealed to Israel by Anna, a prophetess. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

VIII.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You were sought by wicked Herod to be slain, and You were carried with Your Mother into Egypt by Saint Joseph. You were rescued from the cruel slaughter and You were glorified by the praises of the martyred Innocents. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

All honor, laud and glory be,
O Jesus, Virgin-born, to Thee;
All glory as is ever meet,
To Father and to Paraclete. Amen.
Christ is near to us.
O Come, let us worship.
Our Father . . .

IX.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You dwelt in Egypt with most holy Mary and the Patriarch, Saint Joseph, until the death of Herod. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

X.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You returned form Egypt to the land of Israel with Your parents, suffering many hardships on the way. You entered into the city of Nazareth. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

XI.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You dwelt most holily in the holy house at Nazareth, in subjection to Your parents. You were wearied by poverty and toil, and You increased in wisdom, age, and grace. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

XII.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You were brought to Jerusalem at twelve years of age. You were sought by Your parents sorrowing and found with joy after three days in the midst of the Doctors. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

All honor, laud and glory be,
O Jesus, Virgin-born, to Thee;
All glory as is ever meet,
To Father and to Paraclete. Amen.

The Word as made flesh, alleluia.
And dwelt among us, alleluia.

Let us pray. Almighty and everlasting God, Lord of heaven and earth, You revealed Yourself to little ones. Grant, we beg You, that we may venerate with due honor the sacred mysteries of Your Son, the Child Jesus, and copy them with due imitation. May we thus be enabled to enter the kingdom of heaven which You have promised to little children. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Word was made flesh.
And dwelt among us.

Veneration of the Mysteries of the Sacred Infancy

Flight Into EgyptO God, come to my assistance!
O Lord, make haste to help me!
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit;
As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

Our Father . . .

I.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You came down from the bosom of the Father for our salvation and were conceived by the Holy Spirit. You did not abhor the Virgin’s womb, and, being the Word made flesh, took upon Yourself the form of a servant. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

II.
Jesus, sweetest Child, by means of Your Virgin Mother You visited Saint Elizabeth. You filled Your forerunner, John the Baptist, with Your Holy Spirit and sanctified him in his mother’s womb. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

III.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You were enclosed for nine months in Your Mother’s womb. During this time You were looked for with eager expectation by the Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph, and offered by God the Father for the salvation of the world. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

IV.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You were born in Bethlehem of the Virgin Mary, wrapped in swaddling clothes, and laid in a manger. You were announced by Angels and visited by shepherds. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

All honor, laud and glory be,
O Jesus, Virgin-born, to Thee;
All glory as is ever meet,
To Father and to Paraclete. Amen.
Christ is near to us.
O Come, let us adore Him.
Our Father . . .

V.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You were wounded after eight days in Your circumcision and called by the glorious Name of Jesus. Thus, by Your Name and by Your blood You were foreshown as the Savior of the world. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

VI.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You were manifested by the leading of a star to the three Wise Men. You were worshipped in the arms of Your Mother and presented with the mystic gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

VII.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You were presented in the Temple by Your Virgin Mother, taken up in Simeon’s arms, and revealed to Israel by Anna, a prophetess. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

VIII.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You were sought by wicked Herod to be slain, and You were carried with Your Mother into Egypt by Saint Joseph. You were rescued from the cruel slaughter and You were glorified by the praises of the martyred Innocents. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

All honor, laud and glory be,
O Jesus, Virgin-born, to Thee;
All glory as is ever meet,
To Father and to Paraclete. Amen.
Christ is near to us.
O Come, let us worship.
Our Father . . .

IX.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You dwelt in Egypt with most holy Mary and the Patriarch, Saint Joseph, until the death of Herod. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

X.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You returned form Egypt to the land of Israel with Your parents, suffering many hardships on the way. You entered into the city of Nazareth. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

XI.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You dwelt most holily in the holy house at Nazareth, in subjection to Your parents. You were wearied by poverty and toil, and You increased in wisdom, age, and grace. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

XII.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You were brought to Jerusalem at twelve years of age. You were sought by Your parents sorrowing and found with joy after three days in the midst of the Doctors. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

All honor, laud and glory be,
O Jesus, Virgin-born, to Thee;
All glory as is ever meet,
To Father and to Paraclete. Amen.

The Word as made flesh, alleluia.
And dwelt among us, alleluia.

Let us pray. Almighty and everlasting God, Lord of heaven and earth, You revealed Yourself to little ones. Grant, we beg You, that we may venerate with due honor the sacred mysteries of Your Son, the Child Jesus, and copy them with due imitation. May we thus be enabled to enter the kingdom of heaven which You have promised to little children. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Word was made flesh.
And dwelt among us.

Remote Material Cooperation Explained in a Nutshell

Once again, this year, a majority of US “Catholics” went out to vote and cast their vote for a man who:
a) is a more radical pro-abortionist than NARAL or Hillary Clinton (i.e., he supports outright infanticide by starving born babies to death and says that is necessary for preserving the right to an abortion)
b) is forcing Catholics to pay for other people’s contraceptives and abortifacients
c) is forcing Catholic health care workers to violate their consciences
d) is bringing this country closer and closer to recognizing same sex “marriages”
e) has involved us with several more unjust wars and increased rather than pulled back his predecessor’s policies regarding bombing of civilians, unjust treatment of prisoners, etc.
f) has taken away, with Congress, US citizens’ constitutional right of habeas corpus
g) criticizes people who “cling to their Bibles”
h) says Jesus is just a great moral teacher and not necessarily God incarnate or the only savior
i) is supported by a party that “booed” God at its convention
i) whom Pope Benedict XVI indirectly called an enemy of the Church (he called present administration an enemy of the Church, and commenter on this blog once asserted I was lying because he did not directly name Obama).

I could, of course, go on way past “z” if I wanted to.

These Catholics say this doesn’t matter because (supposedly) those aren’t the reasons they support him (though some at least have the courage to admit they do), but because supposedly their greed for more money (in other words, their worship of Mammon) supersedes those issues in importance. They don’t care that our country is headed for complete bankruptcy, that the government is not going to be able to help those who truly need it if they keep driving it into insolvency with huge debts to pay for pork (such as the pay increase that the Executive and Legislative branches just gave themselves).

These “Catholics” say voting for this puppet of the Freemasons is OK because he “cares for the poor” (hogwash: he was supported and paid for by the richest men in the world, and his policies are only designed to help the rich). When confronted with the Church’s teachings on material cooperation, they say that they’re OK because it’s “remote.” It’s the same justification they use for benefitting from medical procedures developed with embryonic or fetal tissue research.

The problem is that the whole point is “remote” material cooperation is still material cooperation. There are obviously mitigating factors for someone engaging in remote material cooperation, but it’s still cooperation. The remote control doesn’t control the TV any less than the buttons on the TV itself: it just does it from far away.

The classic example of remote material cooperation is the mob: if the only restaurant in town is owned by the Mafia, and you know it, you don’t have much choice but to use that restaurant if you’re in a situation where going to a restaurant is necessary. However, if the only restaurant in town is owned by the Mafia, and you don’t really need to go there, you’re consenting to funding the Mafia’s actions. If there are two restaurants in town, and the Mafia owns one but doesn’t own the other, you’re morally obliged to go with the one that’s not owned by the Mafia.

I always say that people’s attitudes towards remote material cooperation with abortion just show how they really do not believe abortion is the taking of a human life (and thus, under _Evangelium Vitae_, they are heretics). The Nazi soldiers tried at Nuremberg and elsewhere used the infamous defense of “I was only following orders”: they claimed that even though they committed the atrocities themselves, Hitler was to blame, not them (obviously, they had a choice). I don’t know if anyone ever tried those who *voted* for Hitler, but I think most of us would say that those who voted for Hitler are morally culpable for their participation in what he did. Indeed, it has become a popular way for secular liberals to discredit Pope Benedict XVI in that the young Josef Ratzinger was enlisted unwillingly in the “Hitler Youth.”

Most of us would agree that a person who is a supporter of the KKK, even if that person isn’t an active participant, is in some way guilty of encouraging the violence done by the KKK and other hate groups.

Indeed, the very Catholics who insist they can detach their support for Obama from his support for slaughtering babies will say that you’re a schismatic if you show any sympathy for views of the SSPX, so they show their own double standard.

Veneration of the Mysteries of the Sacred Infancy

holy-innocents-04

O God, come to my assistance!
O Lord, make haste to help me!
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit;
As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

Our Father . . .

I.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You came down from the bosom of the Father for our salvation and were conceived by the Holy Spirit. You did not abhor the Virgin’s womb, and, being the Word made flesh, took upon Yourself the form of a servant. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

II.
Jesus, sweetest Child, by means of Your Virgin Mother You visited Saint Elizabeth. You filled Your forerunner, John the Baptist, with Your Holy Spirit and sanctified him in his mother’s womb. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

III.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You were enclosed for nine months in Your Mother’s womb. During this time You were looked for with eager expectation by the Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph, and offered by God the Father for the salvation of the world. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

IV.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You were born in Bethlehem of the Virgin Mary, wrapped in swaddling clothes, and laid in a manger. You were announced by Angels and visited by shepherds. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

All honor, laud and glory be,
O Jesus, Virgin-born, to Thee;
All glory as is ever meet,
To Father and to Paraclete. Amen.
Christ is near to us.
O Come, let us adore Him.
Our Father . . .

V.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You were wounded after eight days in Your circumcision and called by the glorious Name of Jesus. Thus, by Your Name and by Your blood You were foreshown as the Savior of the world. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

VI.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You were manifested by the leading of a star to the three Wise Men. You were worshipped in the arms of Your Mother and presented with the mystic gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

VII.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You were presented in the Temple by Your Virgin Mother, taken up in Simeon’s arms, and revealed to Israel by Anna, a prophetess. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

VIII.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You were sought by wicked Herod to be slain, and You were carried with Your Mother into Egypt by Saint Joseph. You were rescued from the cruel slaughter and You were glorified by the praises of the martyred Innocents. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

All honor, laud and glory be,
O Jesus, Virgin-born, to Thee;
All glory as is ever meet,
To Father and to Paraclete. Amen.
Christ is near to us.
O Come, let us worship.
Our Father . . .

IX.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You dwelt in Egypt with most holy Mary and the Patriarch, Saint Joseph, until the death of Herod. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

X.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You returned form Egypt to the land of Israel with Your parents, suffering many hardships on the way. You entered into the city of Nazareth. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

XI.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You dwelt most holily in the holy house at Nazareth, in subjection to Your parents. You were wearied by poverty and toil, and You increased in wisdom, age, and grace. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

XII.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You were brought to Jerusalem at twelve years of age. You were sought by Your parents sorrowing and found with joy after three days in the midst of the Doctors. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

All honor, laud and glory be,
O Jesus, Virgin-born, to Thee;
All glory as is ever meet,
To Father and to Paraclete. Amen.

The Word as made flesh, alleluia.
And dwelt among us, alleluia.

Let us pray. Almighty and everlasting God, Lord of heaven and earth, You revealed Yourself to little ones. Grant, we beg You, that we may venerate with due honor the sacred mysteries of Your Son, the Child Jesus, and copy them with due imitation. May we thus be enabled to enter the kingdom of heaven which You have promised to little children. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Word was made flesh.
And dwelt among us.

Veneration of the Mysteries of the Sacred Infancy

Veneration of the Magi
O God, come to my assistance!
O Lord, make haste to help me!
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit;
As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

Our Father . . .

I.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You came down from the bosom of the Father for our salvation and were conceived by the Holy Spirit. You did not abhor the Virgin’s womb, and, being the Word made flesh, took upon Yourself the form of a servant. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

II.
Jesus, sweetest Child, by means of Your Virgin Mother You visited Saint Elizabeth. You filled Your forerunner, John the Baptist, with Your Holy Spirit and sanctified him in his mother’s womb. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

III.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You were enclosed for nine months in Your Mother’s womb. During this time You were looked for with eager expectation by the Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph, and offered by God the Father for the salvation of the world. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

IV.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You were born in Bethlehem of the Virgin Mary, wrapped in swaddling clothes, and laid in a manger. You were announced by Angels and visited by shepherds. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

All honor, laud and glory be,
O Jesus, Virgin-born, to Thee;
All glory as is ever meet,
To Father and to Paraclete. Amen.
Christ is near to us.
O Come, let us adore Him.
Our Father . . .

V.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You were wounded after eight days in Your circumcision and called by the glorious Name of Jesus. Thus, by Your Name and by Your blood You were foreshown as the Savior of the world. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

VI.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You were manifested by the leading of a star to the three Wise Men. You were worshipped in the arms of Your Mother and presented with the mystic gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

VII.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You were presented in the Temple by Your Virgin Mother, taken up in Simeon’s arms, and revealed to Israel by Anna, a prophetess. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

VIII.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You were sought by wicked Herod to be slain, and You were carried with Your Mother into Egypt by Saint Joseph. You were rescued from the cruel slaughter and You were glorified by the praises of the martyred Innocents. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

All honor, laud and glory be,
O Jesus, Virgin-born, to Thee;
All glory as is ever meet,
To Father and to Paraclete. Amen.
Christ is near to us.
O Come, let us worship.
Our Father . . .

IX.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You dwelt in Egypt with most holy Mary and the Patriarch, Saint Joseph, until the death of Herod. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

X.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You returned form Egypt to the land of Israel with Your parents, suffering many hardships on the way. You entered into the city of Nazareth. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

XI.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You dwelt most holily in the holy house at Nazareth, in subjection to Your parents. You were wearied by poverty and toil, and You increased in wisdom, age, and grace. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

XII.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You were brought to Jerusalem at twelve years of age. You were sought by Your parents sorrowing and found with joy after three days in the midst of the Doctors. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

All honor, laud and glory be,
O Jesus, Virgin-born, to Thee;
All glory as is ever meet,
To Father and to Paraclete. Amen.

The Word as made flesh, alleluia.
And dwelt among us, alleluia.

Let us pray. Almighty and everlasting God, Lord of heaven and earth, You revealed Yourself to little ones. Grant, we beg You, that we may venerate with due honor the sacred mysteries of Your Son, the Child Jesus, and copy them with due imitation. May we thus be enabled to enter the kingdom of heaven which You have promised to little children. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Word was made flesh.
And dwelt among us.

“At The End of the Day,” this is the best movie I’ve ever seen. Or, as Sr. Rose Pacatte, FSP, put it, “This is the Gospel.”

29 years ago, give or take, I heard Barry Manilow sing “Memory,” and it changed my life. 21 years ago, I heard Barry Manilow sing another song from a musical, and it also changed my life. That song was “Bring Him Home,” and it inspired me to go out and get a _Les Miserables_ soundtrack. When I was 6 years old, but already quite worn and worldly from 6 years of pain, “Memory” spoke to me. Given similarity of style and popularity, _Les Miserables_, by Claude-Michel Schönberg, Alain Boublil, Jean-Marc Natel, Herbert Kretzmer, and Trevor Nunn (who also wrote the lyrics to “Memory”), is often grouped with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s shows. After all, Cameron Mackintosh produced all the great Broadway/West End “hits” of the 80s: _Phantom_, _Cats_ and _Les Mis_. Trevor Nunn directed both _Cats_ and _Les Miserables_ and contributed to incidental lyrics of both (as well as winning the competition to write “Memory,” beating out Tim Rice and Richard Stilgoe).

Where “Memory” embodies my deep loneliness and hope for a better life in Heaven, “Bring Him Home” has always symbolized my constant shadow of mortality. For my parents, it represented their fear of my passing and hopes for me to experience a fuller life in this world–Mom used to always say, somewhat facetiously, “I hate this song.” For me, I would think of my little nephews (now grown up), and how I didn’t expect to make it past my teens. Today, it represents my hopes for my own children’s future as I face my mortality in a more impending way than ever.

So, today, I sat in a theater with my two oldest girls, who have watched the two concert videos with me several times, and I tried to hold the tears in. They burst out when we heard Hugh Jackman singing “Bring Him Home,” and I grabbed Allie’s hand.

Back in 2004, I said _Phantom of the Opera_ and _Passion of the Christ_ were the two best movies I’ve ever seen. THIS is, hands down, the best movie I’ve ever seen, and combines the best qualities of both those films, plus some. As Sr. Rose Pacatte put it, “this is the Gospel.” I kept crossing myself, saying Kyrie’s, saying Reqiuem aeternams, etc., while I was watching it.

For a movie that ought not to have much room for spoilers, there are a couple big ones. Here’s a hint: my dad’s favorite line from the novel is Cosette saying, “Should we call a priest?” and Jean Valjean, looking at the candle sticks, says, “No need. I already have one.”

There’s an addition of a symbolic flagpole that comes to represent the Cross. It is arguably the most Catholic movie I’ve ever seen. They amp up, rather than downplay, the religious themes of the book and the stage musical. The candlesticks have a wonderful symbolic role. Javert’s suicide is exactly how it’s described in the book, save for the quotation from Victor Hugo’s narration I love: “How to turn one’s resignation in to God?” It’s right at this whirlpool in front of Notre Dame.

I stand by my original assessment from the previews and the album that Russell Crowe’s Javert reminds me of Glenn Close’s Norma Desmond: he’s not *bad*, and acting wise he’s quite good, but his singing is weak, and they obviously changed many of his parts to suit his voice. Hugh Jackman is AMAZING.

As I expected, lots of people applauded, live-theater style, both when the credits began to role and as the names flashed on the screen. There was a roar when Colm Wilkinson’s name popped up, even though it was at the end of the credits.

I was upset that, just as they amplified the religious themes, they amplified the political themes. It would be nice if they acknowledged that the July 1832 uprising didn’t get any support because the vast majority (upwards of 75%) of the French population realized they were better off under monarchy, and they didn’t want to see a repeat of the Reign of Terror.

They work in a lot of the stuff the stage musical leaves out: Marius’s grandfather (he even has a couple singing parts!), young Eponine being spoiled, and most importantly Valjean and Cosette hiding out in the convent. I don’t remember where Hugo identifies the convent as being, but the nuns are clearly Daughters of Charity, which would make it Rue de Bac, St. Catherine Laboure’s convent.

In the book, Valjean picks up Cosette on St. Nicholas Day, which is made obvious in the movie obviously to make it a “Christmas movie,” but unfortunately not as positive a view of St. Nicholas Day as the book uses. In the book, Eponine and Azelma (who is still absent–in the book, Azelma is the only Thenardier kid who survives, and she and her father go off to America and strike it rich as slave traders) get a coin and piece of fruit in their shoe every year, and Cosette gets a lump of coal. He also describes the toy store across the street. In the book, he stays overnight at the inn, and in the morning of St. Nick’s Day, Cosette gets a very expensive coin and some gifts, and Eponine and Azemla have coal! And then when Valjean picks her up, he takes her on a shopping spree at the toy store.

Also, one theme neither the musical nor the movie express is how Valjean in in the book is always sincere in his promises to Javert. At first, he takes Fantine’s word that the Thenardiers are caring for Cosette, and he plans to give them all his money, then turn himself in. When he finds out Cosette’s being abused, he decides he must care for her, and that’s why he breaks his promise to turn himself in. So he keeps hoping to get to where he can be sure Cosette’s safe, and plans to turn himself in. When they move in the convent, he poses as her father and as the groundskeeper’s brother, and pays for her tuition at the school. He hopes she’ll grow up to become a nun, and plans to turn himself in when she enters the convent. Instead, when she turns sixteen, she says she wants to see the city, so he buys a house and they start the life we see in the second half of the musical. Thus, in the book, he’s not jealous of Marius as the musical depicts but happy that Marius represents a chance to fulfill his promise to Fantine so he can then fulfill his promise to Javert. He’s quite sincere when he tells Javert where to find him, but Javert at that point is moved by compassion, confronts his conscience over realizing God values mercy more than justice, and obviously offs himself.

They use my favorite instrumental (“Bring Him Home,” when the stage version shows all the bodies) and use it for an original scene about Javert that is deeply moving.

There *was* some graphic content that made me wince, but thankfully the girls didn’t understand it. The sewer scene was a little too graphic, and I was not the only person who audibly gagged, but horribly symbolic, as well.

While I hope to see it again with Mary Hathaway tomorrow, it was special seeing it with Allie and Gi. I started crying during “Bring Him Home” and hardly stopped. I started clinging to Allie’s hands.

I had forgotten that Valjean’s alias is “Monsieur Madeleine,” since it’s never used in the stage musical. When I *did* know that, I didn’t know that “Madeleine” is French for “Magdalene.”

Two scenes struck me as cinematic allusions to _Passion of the Christ_: Valjean carrying the flagpole at the opening (which was a clear Christ-reference in general but struck me in its grittiness), and the women scrubbing the blood off the street in “Turning,” which reminds me of the BVM & holy women scrubbing the Precious Blood off the torture room floor in _The Passion_.

I kept thinking of John of the Cross and the whole seeing from God’s eyes/Crucifix from up above thing. Every time Valjean or Javert was praying, most of the shots were either from above or deep close ups or whatever so you were looking on him from God’s perspective.

Veneration of the Mysteries of the Sacred Infancy

Infant Jesus King and Priest000O God, come to my assistance!
O Lord, make haste to help me!
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit;
As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

Our Father . . .

I.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You came down from the bosom of the Father for our salvation and were conceived by the Holy Spirit. You did not abhor the Virgin’s womb, and, being the Word made flesh, took upon Yourself the form of a servant. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

II.
Jesus, sweetest Child, by means of Your Virgin Mother You visited Saint Elizabeth. You filled Your forerunner, John the Baptist, with Your Holy Spirit and sanctified him in his mother’s womb. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

III.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You were enclosed for nine months in Your Mother’s womb. During this time You were looked for with eager expectation by the Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph, and offered by God the Father for the salvation of the world. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

IV.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You were born in Bethlehem of the Virgin Mary, wrapped in swaddling clothes, and laid in a manger. You were announced by Angels and visited by shepherds. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

All honor, laud and glory be,
O Jesus, Virgin-born, to Thee;
All glory as is ever meet,
To Father and to Paraclete. Amen.
Christ is near to us.
O Come, let us adore Him.
Our Father . . .

V.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You were wounded after eight days in Your circumcision and called by the glorious Name of Jesus. Thus, by Your Name and by Your blood You were foreshown as the Savior of the world. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

VI.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You were manifested by the leading of a star to the three Wise Men. You were worshipped in the arms of Your Mother and presented with the mystic gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

VII.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You were presented in the Temple by Your Virgin Mother, taken up in Simeon’s arms, and revealed to Israel by Anna, a prophetess. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

VIII.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You were sought by wicked Herod to be slain, and You were carried with Your Mother into Egypt by Saint Joseph. You were rescued from the cruel slaughter and You were glorified by the praises of the martyred Innocents. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

All honor, laud and glory be,
O Jesus, Virgin-born, to Thee;
All glory as is ever meet,
To Father and to Paraclete. Amen.
Christ is near to us.
O Come, let us worship.
Our Father . . .

IX.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You dwelt in Egypt with most holy Mary and the Patriarch, Saint Joseph, until the death of Herod. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

X.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You returned form Egypt to the land of Israel with Your parents, suffering many hardships on the way. You entered into the city of Nazareth. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

XI.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You dwelt most holily in the holy house at Nazareth, in subjection to Your parents. You were wearied by poverty and toil, and You increased in wisdom, age, and grace. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

XII.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You were brought to Jerusalem at twelve years of age. You were sought by Your parents sorrowing and found with joy after three days in the midst of the Doctors. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

All honor, laud and glory be,
O Jesus, Virgin-born, to Thee;
All glory as is ever meet,
To Father and to Paraclete. Amen.

The Word as made flesh, alleluia.
And dwelt among us, alleluia.

Let us pray. Almighty and everlasting God, Lord of heaven and earth, You revealed Yourself to little ones. Grant, we beg You, that we may venerate with due honor the sacred mysteries of Your Son, the Child Jesus, and copy them with due imitation. May we thus be enabled to enter the kingdom of heaven which You have promised to little children. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Word was made flesh.
And dwelt among us.

Veneration of the Mysteries of the Sacred Infancy

nativity-scene

Veneration of the Mysteries of the Holy Infancy

O God, come to my assistance!
O Lord, make haste to help me!
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit;
As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

Our Father . . .

I.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You came down from the bosom of the Father for our salvation and were conceived by the Holy Spirit. You did not abhor the Virgin’s womb, and, being the Word made flesh, took upon Yourself the form of a servant. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

II.
Jesus, sweetest Child, by means of Your Virgin Mother You visited Saint Elizabeth. You filled Your forerunner, John the Baptist, with Your Holy Spirit and sanctified him in his mother’s womb. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

III.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You were enclosed for nine months in Your Mother’s womb. During this time You were looked for with eager expectation by the Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph, and offered by God the Father for the salvation of the world. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

IV.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You were born in Bethlehem of the Virgin Mary, wrapped in swaddling clothes, and laid in a manger. You were announced by Angels and visited by shepherds. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

All honor, laud and glory be,
O Jesus, Virgin-born, to Thee;
All glory as is ever meet,
To Father and to Paraclete. Amen.
Christ is near to us.
O Come, let us adore Him.
Our Father . . .

V.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You were wounded after eight days in Your circumcision and called by the glorious Name of Jesus. Thus, by Your Name and by Your blood You were foreshown as the Savior of the world. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

VI.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You were manifested by the leading of a star to the three Wise Men. You were worshipped in the arms of Your Mother and presented with the mystic gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

VII.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You were presented in the Temple by Your Virgin Mother, taken up in Simeon’s arms, and revealed to Israel by Anna, a prophetess. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

VIII.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You were sought by wicked Herod to be slain, and You were carried with Your Mother into Egypt by Saint Joseph. You were rescued from the cruel slaughter and You were glorified by the praises of the martyred Innocents. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

All honor, laud and glory be,
O Jesus, Virgin-born, to Thee;
All glory as is ever meet,
To Father and to Paraclete. Amen.
Christ is near to us.
O Come, let us worship.
Our Father . . .

IX.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You dwelt in Egypt with most holy Mary and the Patriarch, Saint Joseph, until the death of Herod. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

X.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You returned form Egypt to the land of Israel with Your parents, suffering many hardships on the way. You entered into the city of Nazareth. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

XI.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You dwelt most holily in the holy house at Nazareth, in subjection to Your parents. You were wearied by poverty and toil, and You increased in wisdom, age, and grace. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

XII.
Jesus, sweetest Child, You were brought to Jerusalem at twelve years of age. You were sought by Your parents sorrowing and found with joy after three days in the midst of the Doctors. Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary . . .

All honor, laud and glory be,
O Jesus, Virgin-born, to Thee;
All glory as is ever meet,
To Father and to Paraclete. Amen.

The Word as made flesh, alleluia.
And dwelt among us, alleluia.

Let us pray. Almighty and everlasting God, Lord of heaven and earth, You revealed Yourself to little ones. Grant, we beg You, that we may venerate with due honor the sacred mysteries of Your Son, the Child Jesus, and copy them with due imitation. May we thus be enabled to enter the kingdom of heaven which You have promised to little children. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Word was made flesh.
And dwelt among us.

Infant of Prague Novena, Day 9

Mary with Infant of Prague at OLA Birmingham 08052000

O Miraculous Infant Jesus, prostrate before Your sacred Image, we beseech You to cast a merciful look on our troubled hearts. Let Your tender heart so inclined to pity be softened by our prayers, and grant us that grace which we so ardently implore.
Take from us all affliction and despair, all trials and misfortunes with which we are laden. For Your sacred Infancy’s sake hear our prayers and send us consolation and aid, that we may praise You with the Father and the Holy Spirit forever and ever. Amen.

Worship in the Name of the Divine Infant, in order to win deliverance from purgatory.

Aspiration
I look upon You as a small helpless child, forgetting Your Divinity. You are the true God, the same as the Father; the Blessed Virgin is Your true Mother, being so rightfully called the Mother of God. You are pleased when we honor Your Mother because You love her. Grant us the privilege of worshiping Your own Divine Heart. In the name of this, Your Immaculate and Most Beloved Heart, be merciful unto me.

Prayer
I am afraid that I will have to stay for a long time in purgatory, because I am lukewarm in my repentance and much too slow in gaining all graces. Once there, I will not be able to do anything on my behalf and will have to depend on the prayers of others. The dead are quickly forgotten.
Therefore, I beg of You today, my dearest Jesus, and in the name of Your purest Childhood, deliver me son from the pain and loneliness of purgatory. Amen.

Infant of Prague Novena, Day 8

Infant
O Miraculous Infant Jesus, prostrate before Your sacred Image, we beseech You to cast a merciful look on our troubled hearts. Let Your tender heart so inclined to pity be softened by our prayers, and grant us that grace which we so ardently implore.
Take from us all affliction and despair, all trials and misfortunes with which we are laden. For Your sacred Infancy’s sake hear our prayers and send us consolation and aid, that we may praise You with the Father and the Holy Spirit forever and ever. Amen.

Adore devoutly the feet of the Infant Jesus, that you may receive merciful judgement.

Aspiration
Hail, O blessed feet of my Infant Jesus! During the lonesome long years You remained unharmed, You were forgotten. But now You are honored and praised to the great fear of Your enemies. Your holy feet walked many thousand steps to find the lost sheep and to bring them back. How many a hard and difficult step did You take for me during the thirty-three years of Your earthly life? I am grateful for every one of them now and forever. Grant that they were not walked in vain.

Prayer
O Jesus, the Heavenly Father gave You the power and the judgment. Oh, that You could be my merciful, instead of severe, judge. Grant me the mercy to be reminded of the last judgment many times so that I may serve You truly and avoid YOur condemnation. In the name of YOur Holy Infancy, I pray: Do not be my judge; be my Savior.

Infant of Prague, Day 7

Infant Jesus Hands
O Miraculous Infant Jesus, prostrate before Your sacred Image, we beseech You to cast a merciful look on our troubled hearts. Let Your tender heart so inclined to pity be softened by our prayers, and grant us that grace which we so ardently implore.
Take from us all affliction and despair, all trials and misfortunes with which we are laden. For Your sacred Infancy’s sake hear our prayers and send us consolation and aid, that we may praise You with the Father and the Holy Spirit forever and ever. Amen.

SEVENTH DAY

Honor the breast of the Infant Jesus and you shall receive a blessed hour of death.

Aspiration
As the heretic soldiers ventured to throw Your Miraculous Image in dust and dirt hatefully and furiously, it was Your omnipotence, O most wondrous Infant Jesus, by which the breast of the image remained unharmed, although made of wax. Who can believe that a statue made from wax, so fragile and tender, could remain undamaged? But this is the way it was.

What other meaning could this have but Your future exaltation? “The Lord upholds all that falls and raises up all those that are bowed down.” This is the case with Your Image and with You Yourself.

Prayer
O merciful Infant Jesus! I come to You to pray for a happy and blessed hour of death. When my last hour approaches, please come to me. Also let Your Holy Mother and Saint Joseph bstay with me. Lessen my pain and my fear, let me conquer all temptations successfully, and be merciful unto me that I may gladly give my earthly life in hopes for eternal life and reward, and absolve my sins.

It’s about responsibility.

We hear it over and over when a catastrophe like Sandy Hook occurs: “Ban guns!” “Ban video games!” and so forth.
What about personal responsibility? What about teaching morality?

The problem with Liberalism–and in this case I mean *all* liberalism, or humanism, the philosophy of the Enlightenment (i.e., “conservatism” used to mean resisting Modernism)–is that it’s a philosophy that denies personal responsibility. Because the Enlightenment teaches that people are fundamentally good–denying the dogma of Original Sin–Enlightenment thinkers are constantly looking for someone to “blame” for the behaviors we call “evil.” This is even more with the modern day “Left,” but it’s also true of the “Right,” and both sides have their pet “causes” they try to blame for acts of catastrophic evil.

Despite those atheists who try to say religion is the cause of evil (a perfectly acceptable Enlightenment argument–and, btw, as much as I love _Les Miserables_, it’s good to remember the novel was once on the Index, and for good reason), when one looks at the history of the world *before* Christ, and the changes Christianity has made in the world and in people, one has to say, “Where would be without Christ’s grace?”

Henry Nouwen tells the story about someone attacking him for allegedly “unChristian” behavior (I love how some people are quick to “judge” others on this vague notion of “unChristian behavior” but say “judge not” when it comes to clearly defined moral principles), and he says, “imagine what I’d be like if I weren’t a man of faith.” One of the things I keep thinking of since Sandy Hook is the Crusades. Here were men with Sacramental Grace, Catholics who were supposedly catechized, and they engaged in horrific acts which, whatever the justification of the wars originally, clearly violated “Just War” principles and were condemned by the Popes. The question should not be “why do people do evil,” but “why don’t people commit atrocities like this more often?”

Of course, we do. 2000-4000 children a day are murdered in the US, and nobody cares. You don’t even see “pro-life” presidents crying on TV and demanding change. You don’t see people raising a hue and cry over how abortion needs to end now.

My kids were asking questions about ratings for games and movies. “What does ‘M’ mean?” “What does ‘R’ mean?” I said, in soapbox mode, “In theory, they mean only adults are supposed to see them. In practice, they mean absolutely nothing.”

I explained that movie ratings are based upon a weird number system: so many occurrences of one swear word mean “R” and less than that is “PG-13,” but another swear word can be said a bunch of times and just be a PG, etc. Sometimes, a movie like _The Passion of the Christ_ gets an “R” and a movie gets a “G” or “PG” that anyone with an ounce of a moral compass would insist should have a PG-13 or R.

On the other hand, the ratings don’t even have any “power,” because parents and other adults DON’T PAY ANY ATTENTION. We had a great party the other night with members of our homeschooling group. A lot of the conversation revolved around _The Hobbit_ and _Les Miserables_ and, by extension, ratings and how to deal with children and media. We all had slightly different views on parenting and popular culture, but what we all agreed on was our responsibility to protect and form our children (obviously, or we wouldn’t be homeschooling).

One mom said how her nephew watches anything he pleases, and it’s problematic when her son goes to visit at her brother’s house. One time, her brother said, in astonishment, “He actually said, ‘I’m not allowed to watch that.’ I can’t believe he said that!” He was surprised because he just expected his son to always sneak around and do what he wants.

A few years ago, I happened to read an article about how some activist group, using the “buy stock” boycotting strategy, got a Catholic priest on the board of Best Buy, and he got it established as policy that clerks must ask for ID and only sell “R” rated movies and “M” rated games to adults. Just a few days after reading this, I happened to be in Best Buy and saw it in practice.

A little boy was in line in front of me. There was a woman behind him, and while they were of different races, I assumed she was the adult in charge of him, since the notion of a child apparently around 10 years old shopping by himself is already strange to me. The kid had a copy of one of the Wayans _Scary Movie_ films. The cashier told him he could not buy the DVD because he was under 18, and he had to get an adult. So he said he’d be right back, and she held up the line for him. As the rest of us waited, he returned with a young woman whom I believe was his sister, not his mother.

She grumbled about being inconvenienced, and instead of seriously questioning why the child wanted to buy the movie, or doing the responsible thing and telling him he shouldn’t, she instead complained to the cashier for inconveniencing her. The cashier explained apologetically that it was policy, with a tone of agreement that she thought the policy was stupid, and the woman complained some more. She at one point nominally turned to the boy and said something like, “Why do you want to buy a movie called _Scary Movie_, anyway?”
“It’s not REALLY scary. It’s funny, and I already saw it at a friend’s house.”
“OK.”

That was it.
1) How would one see the humor in a parody movie *unless* one had already seen at least some of the movies it was parodying?
2) If I had to choose one or the other, I’d rather my children see a ‘scary’ movie than a Wayans style comedy.
3) The ever-present danger of the “friend’s house,” and the problem that arises from placing one’s children in the care of irresponsible adults.
4) Why didn’t this “responsible adult,” whoever she was, have the slightest interest in protecting the kid’s soul?

Indeed, when adults *do* censor kids’ viewing, it often has little to do with moral formation and simply has to do with avoiding nightmares, or some such nonsense.

That’s what’s wrong with America, right there. That’s why we have events like Sandy Hook. And it’s something you’re not going to legislate easily in this country. If there’s an amendment we need to change to prevent mass murders, it’s not the Second: it’s the First.

Unless our government starts talking about Morality, which means Natural Law, which means the Catholic Church (see Benedict XVI’s Caritas et Veritate), this will continue to happen.

Unless families start taking real care for the moral upbringing of their children–their #1 duty and obligation as families-things like Sandy Hook will continue to happen. And that means various things. It means parents must be vigilant. It means parents must be very careful about who their kids’ friends are and who their own friends are. When kids see their parents engaging in or tolerating the very behavior they criticize in their children, it creates a double standard. It means questioning whether it’s safe to send their kids to public school or even parochial school, not because of the physical danger posed by the 1 in 1,000,000 chance a mass shooting will happen, but the very real and ever present spiritual danger posed by 8 year olds who read _Twilight_ (or worse) and play “vampires versus werewolves” on the playground.

I have a good friend who won’t let his children go to public restrooms unescorted, not just because of concern over perverts, but because he worries they’ll read the graffiti on the walls. We were dining together in November, and his daughters kept asking to use the bathroom. He was suspicious, and finally got his daughter to admit there was a TV in the restroom that they were watching.

All parents can and should be that vigilant. What’s more important: your children having a “college fund” or their immortal souls? Not to mention the damage a lot of material goods can do to our souls. Oh, wait. It’s impossible to risk someone’s soul, because people think Jesus is just gonna forgive absolutely everything they do and let them come straight into Heaven, and all that stuff about Sacraments and Penances and Purgatory is just a bunch of made-up Catholic nonsense. Jesus is a nice guy hippie dude who just wants everyone to have a good time, and He’ll understand because we’re doing it out of love. St. Augustine *did* say, “Love and do as you will,” right? (No, he didn’t: he said “love your duty and then do what comes of that”).

I have, of course, addressed this topic frequently, as I did in this post, where I quoted the actual version of an often misquoted story about St. Pio of Pietrelcina. A couple who were sad that their sons were all in jail asked him for a blessing. “I absolutely refuse to bless you! You didn’t pull in the reins when your children were growing up, so don’t come along now when they are in jail and ask for my blessing.” Bl. Louis Martin would not let his daughter’s read the newspaper (of course, in an example of how such absolute bans can backfire, his daughter St. Therese snuck around to read the newspaper to follow the case of the murderer Pranzine, whom she helped get into Heaven). Holy Mother Teresa of Avila was bothered by some lifelong sin habit that she never specifically discloses. Some insist that it was scruples, but whatever it was, she implies in her _Life_ it was a sin against chastity–and she said that despite her temptations, she never crossed certain lines because she did not want to bring scandle to her family–she once got up the nerve to tell her father, and he practically disowned her.

Why can’t we have that style of parenting today? Why have parents become so permissive, so afraid of actually rearing their children? You can ban whatever you like, but until *that* changes, our society will just see worse and worse violence. After all, children who are not taught a modicum of self-control are not going to care about what the government bans, either. They’re just going to want it all the more because it’s banned.

Infant of Prague Novena, Day 6

Seal Given Therese

O Miraculous Infant Jesus, prostrate before Your sacred Image, we beseech You to cast a merciful look on our troubled hearts. Let Your tender heart so inclined to pity be softened by our prayers, and grant us that grace which we so ardently implore.
Take from us all affliction and despair, all trials and misfortunes with which we are laden. For Your sacred Infancy’s sake hear our prayers and send us consolation and aid, that we may praise You with the Father and the Holy Spirit forever and ever. Amen.

SIXTH DAY
For sincere humility, one worships the Divine Heart.

Aspiration
Oh, how filled is this Divine Heart of the Holy Child of Prague with love for the poor children of men. It is aflame day and night and radiates rays of love by means of uncountable mercies that are bestowed on all men, even the worst sinners on this earth. This Divine Heart performs most gracious and loving acts, and most generous ones too, where It is worshipped as the Heart of the Infant Jesus of Prague.

Prayer
O great and most wonderful God in the shape of an Infant, how deeply ashamed am I. You are the Supreme Highness, holy and perfect throughout, and yet You are humble of heart; I, misery personified, a profound sinner, am arrogant and haughty. This is why I am without peace of mind. You could turn Your face away from me and justly so, because I am lacking virtues.

Infant of Prague Novena, Day 5

Infant Jesus HandsO Miraculous Infant Jesus, prostrate before Your sacred Image, we beseech You to cast a merciful look on our troubled hearts. Let Your tender heart so inclined to pity be softened by our prayers, and grant us that grace which we so ardently implore.
Take from us all affliction and despair, all trials and misfortunes with which we are laden. For Your sacred Infancy’s sake hear our prayers and send us consolation and aid, that we may praise You with the Father and the Holy Spirit forever and ever. Amen.

Adore the hands of the Divine Infant to receive strength and patience in persecution, cross and suffering.

Aspiration
I adore Your holy hands; You were deprived of them for seven years. How cruel and full of mockery were those brutal soldiers who, as heretics, severed Your little hands from the Image. Is this the gratitude of Your creatures to whom You give so much of YOur love? You Yourself asked, full of sadness and miraculously, to have Your broken hands replaced.

Prayer
Perhaps these broken hands of Your Image of Prague are a symbol of all Your sufferings that You endured when still a Child. Your Circumcision and Your Flight to Egypt, and all the other ones in the mysteries of the Holy Childhood. , although a sinner, do not want to suffer. Whenever there is offense or humiliation, pain or sickness, I like to complain and carry on and show my sadness. This must change: give me patience and joy to endure, because You love a joyful giver.

Infant of Prague, Day 4

Infant Jesus Mouth
O Miraculous Infant Jesus, prostrate before Your sacred Image, we beseech You to cast a merciful look on our troubled hearts. Let Your tender heart so inclined to pity be softened by our prayers, and grant us that grace which we so ardently implore.
Take from us all affliction and despair, all trials and misfortunes with which we are laden. For Your sacred Infancy’s sake hear our prayers and send us consolation and aid, that we may praise You with the Father and the Holy Spirit forever and ever. Amen.

One adores the mouth of the Divine Infant in order to gain the love of one’s neighbor, including the love of an adversary.

Aspiration
What do I hear? What a miracle! You, a small Child, speak, speak through an image and ask men for compassion. YOu spoke clearly: “Have pity upon Me, and I will have mercy upon you.” As You once called to Your faithful servant Father Cyril, so are You still calling to us, sinners.

Prayer
How strongly You urge love of one’s neighbor and one’s enemies. You taught this by a marvelous example when You were on the cross.
Place a lock on my lips and a door before my mouth to keep me from offending my neighbor or sadden him by my tongue. Help me to live fully in accordance with the most important law of Christians: neighborly love.

Infant of Prague Novena, Day 3

Infant Jesus Eyes

O Miraculous Infant Jesus, prostrate before Your sacred Image, we beseech You to cast a merciful look on our troubled hearts. Let Your tender heart so inclined to pity be softened by our prayers, and grant us that grace which we so ardently implore.
Take from us all affliction and despair, all trials and misfortunes with which we are laden. For Your sacred Infancy’s sake hear our prayers and send us consolation and aid, that we may praise You with the Father and the Holy Spirit forever and ever. Amen.

THIRD DAY

Venerate the eyes of the Divine Infant to gain complete victory over temptations.

Aspiration
Oh, You shine like the stars of heaven, most beautiful eyes of my most beloved Infant Jesus. I cannot look at You without feeling delight and happiness and ecstasy. How fortunate I am to have Your kind look! What pleasure to look at You. Your eyes reveal the sight not only of visible men alone, but mainly that of the invisible Deity. Your eyes bring delight and fear, love and respect to mankind.

Prayer
Truly, I resolved never to insult You again, my dearest Jesus. Yet, I am fully aware of my changeable mind and afraid that I could break my promise under duress of temptations. My evil desires, Satan and the world do not cease trying to make me fall. For they are my sworn enemies. Where shall I look for help and find it? Where else than with You, my Infant of Prague?

What do I think of Guns and Gun Control?

1) I HATE THE ISSUE. It is such a non-issue, on both sides. It’s absurd. Yes, the Demonocrats want gun control so they can establish a grand Communist tyranny. Yes, Republicans oppose gun control because they want a grand Libertarian anarchy. It’s a complex issue, with various complex moral layers, and each side tries to drastically oversimplify it, stating the problems in the other side’s position without seeing the problems in its own.

2) As far as the Second Amendment goes:
a) It says “well-regulated Militia” Much has been made of how people in Switzerland have lots of guns and very low violent crime in recent weeks, but it was pointed out to me the other day by a FB friend who lives in France, the people in Switzerland have to undergo yearly tests to retain their gun ownership rights.
b) It can be amended.
c) If we are to take the Founding Fathers’ word that it is to protect the people *against* the government, we must also remember that they were Masons, with an attitude of opposition to traditional forms of government.

3) Catholics like to quote Catechism 2265:

Legitimate defense can be not only a right but a grave duty for someone responsible for another’s life. Preserving the common good requires rendering the unjust aggressor unable to inflict harm. To this end, those holding legitimate authority have the right to repel by armed force aggressors against the civil community entrusted to their charge.[66]

Without including its qualification in 2264:

Love toward oneself remains a fundamental principle of morality. Therefore it is legitimate to insist on respect for one’s own right to life. Someone who defends his life is not guilty of murder even if he is forced to deal his aggressor a lethal blow:
“If a man in self-defense uses more than necessary violence, it will be unlawful: whereas if he repels force with moderation, his defense will be lawful…. Nor is it necessary for salvation that a man omit the act of moderate self-defense to avoid killing the other man, since one is bound to take more care of one’s own life than of another’s.[65]” (emphasis added)

So when someone says, “I wish they’d have shot that guy dead before he even got into the school, they are not following Church teaching regarding legitimate self-defense. The Mississippi shooter who has been discussed as a parallel case–who killed his own mother before coming to a school but was stopped in progress and later said he did it as part of a Satanic cult–was stopped by an assistant principal using a private handgun. And that assistant principal never fired a bullet. Indeed, in many of these mass shootings, the shooters stopped when confronted by either a private citizen, security guard or police officer with a gun–and either surrendered or killed themselves.

It may not even be necessary to fire a gun to stop an assailant. More on this later.

Here are some other passages from the Catechism that gun fanatics ought to consider. First, the passage from _EvangeliumVitae_ which led to the _Catechism_ being almost immediately revised:

2267 The traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude, presupposing full ascertainment of the identity and responsibility of the offender, recourse to the death penalty, when this is the only practicable way to defend the lives of human beings effectively against the aggressor.
“If, instead, bloodless means are sufficient to defend against the aggressor and to protect the safety of persons, public authority should limit itself to such means, because they better correspond to the concrete conditions of the common good and are more in conformity to the dignity of the human person.
“Today, in fact, given the means at the State’s disposal to effectively repress crime by rendering inoffensive the one who has committed it, without depriving him definitively of the possibility of redeeming himself, cases of absolute necessity for suppression of the offender ‘today … are very rare, if not practically non-existent.’ [68]

While 2265 is taken by some as saying there’s a moral obligation to use violence, 2306 offers a different perspective:

Those who renounce violence and bloodshed and, in order to safeguard human rights, make use of those means of defense available to the weakest, bear witness to evangelical charity, provided they do so without harming the rights and obligations of other men and societies. They bear legitimate witness to the gravity of the physical and moral risks of recourse to violence, with all its destruction and death.[103]

Again, when “pro-gun” people speak with glee about the notion of killing a would be assailant, they’d do well to remember these passages:

2302 By recalling the commandment, “You shall not kill,”[93] our Lord asked for peace of heart and denounced murderous anger and hatred as immoral.
Anger is a desire for revenge. “To desire vengeance in order to do evil to someone who should be punished is illicit,” but it is praiseworthy to impose restitution “to correct vices and maintain justice.”[94] If anger reaches the point of a deliberate desire to kill or seriously wound a neighbor, it is gravely against charity; it is a mortal sin. The Lord says, “Everyone who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment.”[95]

2303 Deliberate hatred is contrary to charity. Hatred of the neighbor is a sin when one deliberately wishes him evil. Hatred of the neighbor is a grave sin when one deliberately desires him grave harm. “But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven.”

And the following passages, while specifically applying to war, should be taken into consideration by those who “stockpile” weapons, especially in “preparation” for a hypothetical societal collapse or government oppression:

2315 The accumulation of arms strikes many as a paradoxically suitable way of deterring potential adversaries from war. They see it as the most effective means of ensuring peace among nations. This method of deterrence gives rise to strong moral reservations. The arms race does not ensure peace. Far from eliminating the causes of war, it risks aggravating them. Spending enormous sums to produce ever new types of weapons impedes efforts to aid needy populations;[110] it thwarts the development of peoples. Over-armament multiplies reasons for conflict and increases the danger of escalation.

2316 The production and the sale of arms affect the common good of nations and of the international community. Hence public authorities have the right and duty to regulate them. The short-term pursuit of private or collective interests cannot legitimate undertakings that promote violence and conflict among nations and compromise the international juridical order.

4) I never understand what a gun can do that a knife, a sword, an arrow, a spear or a throwing star cannot. Indeed, in terms of the Church’s teaching on disabling rather than killing an opponent whenever possible, these weapons would be far more effective.

5) I also do not understand why Christians are not more eager for the opportunity to try and convert a would-be assailant, to confront someone obviously in the grip of the Devil with holy water, prayer and preaching, and the power of Sacramentals, and not with violence.

6) The situations in my life where I’ve been most afraid for my life, having a gun in the house wouldn’t have helped, and may have actually allowed the individuals the opportunity to kill someone.

7) I know a lady who has lived for many decades in an older neighborhood where because of trees, sidewalks, etc., there are a lot of prowlers. On several occasions, she has protected her house merely by the threat of having a gun (yelling, “I have a gun, and I’m going to shoot you” at prowlers whom she could see but could not see her). This on the one hand shows how actually having a gun is not necessary and, again, killing the criminal is not necessary. It also shows how having the *ability* to own guns protects people.

8) Criminals by definition don’t follow laws: if they want guns or any other weapons, they’ll get them.

9) There are several websites that discuss the Texas “concealed carry” law and how many crimes have been committed by people with concealed carry permits, how many crimes have been committed by people *without* concealed carry permits, and how many crimes have been prevented by people with concealed carry permits:

http://www.ncpa.org/pub/ba324
http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/rsd/chl/index.htm

Note, however, that by definition “concealed carry” is a form of “gun control”: requiring licenses to own weapons is a form of gun control, and is the form of gun control I support.

10) I think gun control has been a contributing factor to the mass murders of the past 20+ years, because gun control advocates have convinced families to keep guns away from their children. So children in households *with* guns, who used to be raised to hunt and to know how to use a gun and how to respect it, have been taught that their parents’ guns are a mysterious taboo waiting to be explored. On the other hand, they watch violent movies, and mommy says, when the person dies on the screen, “You know that’s just pretend, right? And he’s coming back. He’s not really dead.” They play video games and get to “kill” people and monsters, and have them “come back,” and if they get “killed” in the video games, they get to “start over,” and for certain kinds of personality types, this can be very damaging.

11) Just as with guns as such, blanket suppression/condemnation and blanket permissiveness of TV/movies/video games are equally to blame. Instead of parents telling their kids “this is OK to watch/play, but this isn’t,” and explaining *why* the “not OK” is “not OK,” parents either ban everything or permit everything. A while back, a nice lady on Facebook was concerned that her kids were invited over to a friend’s house to play _Super Smash Bros_. “It sounds horrible” she said. I explained that, while I’ve never seen or played it directly, the game is really no more harmful than _Wii Boxing_: it’s just basically a boxing game featuring a mix-up of classic video game characters, particularly from the Mario franchises. Parents ought to have such basic, minimal knowledge about TV, movies and video games, especially when it’s as simple as looking something up online. If they really don’t know this stuff, then they’re not participating in their kids’ lives. And THAT is the thing to be concerned about in terms of societal causes.

12) People who want to do evil will do evil. As several Facebook memes are pointing out, Timothy McVeigh did it with fertilizer. The guy in China stabbed a classroom full of kids with a knife. The 9/11 terrorists used plastic knives. As my wife pointed out this evening, in the past few days, while she was driving the kids to school, two different idiots tried to kill her and them with automobiles. What ultimately infuriates me about the gun control “debate” is that it’s about epiphenomena.

You can ban and round up every legally owned assault rifle, and criminals who want assault rifles will get them (and apparently with the help of the Obama Administration). You can put TSA agents at every public venue, and strip search everyone, and those with wicked designs will find ways to get around it.

Unless you directly take on evil, all the rest of it is useless. More on that later.

Infant of Prague Novena, Day 2

Infant

O Miraculous Infant Jesus, prostrate before Your sacred Image, we beseech You to cast a merciful look on our troubled hearts. Let Your tender heart so inclined to pity be softened by our prayers, and grant us that grace which we so ardently implore.
Take from us all affliction and despair, all trials and misfortunes with which we are laden. For Your sacred Infancy’s sake hear our prayers and send us consolation and aid, that we may praise You with the Father and the Holy Spirit forever and ever. Amen.

One worships the royal appearance of the Divine Infant in order to gain mercy for all sins.

Aspiration
Holy Child of Prague, I humbly kneel before You and look with awe at Your Royal Majesty. You like to change Your appearance according to the condition of soul of those who pray to You. Sometimes You look severe and scornful but soon You look sweet and friendly. When there are sinners before You, Your sweet face seems to be saddened. They may know You better after they have repented their sins truly. Do You wish perhaps to point to our instability in performing good deeds and to our fickleness?

Prayer
O dearest Infant Jesus! Remember that Your most gracious Image lay seven years in dust, forgotten in a dark room, and yet it did not lose its beauty. Cleanse the room of my soul from the dust and dirt of sin and bring back to it the original beauty that belonged to it at the time of Holy Baptism. Amen.