Category Archives: Indulgences

On celebrity deaths and the Spiritual Works of Mercy

Generally speaking, my view of how the media, and society in general, handle celebrity deaths (or any deaths) can be understood by Fr. George Rutler’s “Speaking Well of the Dead” from the November 1997 Crisis, which addresses the problem of insta-canonizations and eulogies, particularly of people who do not seem deserving of it. Or, as Crisis co-founder Ralph McInerny once quipped in his own column, “We cannot be certain of the fates of anyone but the Saints and our mothers.”

Plus, I have never been comfortable with getting emotional over celebrities, whether living or dead. I pray for them, either way, and leave it at that. Somehow, even before I knew the details, however, the death of Robin Williams kind of hit me, and when the details came out, it hit even closer to home. The subsequent media frenzy has touched on a number of issues that I have been wanting to write about, anyway.

Some people have been condemned, rightly or wrongly, for calling for caution in how the issue is being handled, especially given the circumstances, and I’d like to address those two main areas of concern *in general*.

Again, there is generally a reaction in these situations to the true neo-Pelagianism of “he was a ‘good man.'” As the cartoon that accompanies Fr. Rutler’s piece reminds us, Our Lord, and Bl. Teresa of Calcutta (whose death was one of the events that inspired it) have both cautioned “No one is good but God.” “Judge not” works both ways. Salvation is not a game of mathematics, where good deeds win points and bad deeds take them away. Nor is it a magic formula of sacramental grace or saying, “I accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior” being a “Get out of Hell free card.” Salvation is about relationship, and again I’ll address that later, perhaps.

Right now, I wanted to focus on what I think is the problem when dealing with death from a pastoral theology standpoint, and the major worry regarding suicide.

While they may or may not have phrased it badly, and often the harshest critics have been those who’ve faced this temptation itself, one of the biggest problems some people are having is language like the now-infamous, “Genie, you’re free” meme, or saying things like, “He’s in a better place.” These words may seem consoling, but they can, as Rush Limbaugh, Matt Walsh, Todd Bridges and others have attempted to warn, be severely tempting to someone in the grip of despair. If such language is problematic with a natural death, it’s dangerous in this case.

When I was seven years old, and first became aware of how different I was from other children, I first thought about jumping out a window because I’d heard about reincarnation on TV and thought I could come back with a better body. “I didn’t break any mirrors. Why have I had seven years of bad luck?” I cried on my birthday. What saved me then was my parents telling me there was no such thing, and that if I did that, I would go to Hell.
Just last year, when I was on a respirator and feeding tube, and sedated, and hearing the ICU nurses debating questions of Obamacare regulations, organ donation, and “why don’t they just pull the plug,” and for a time (time at that point was irrelevant, but that’s another story), I became convinced that everything I believed as a Catholic was wrong, and that it would be better to pull the plug. Thankfully, they didn’t take the new “living will” I attempted to draft seriously. They *did* take it seriously in assigning my a psychiatrist, but again that’s another story. I just bring it up here to say that, attempts to console one person might bring another to despair.

That brings me to my other main thought. These “insta-canonizations,” as they’re referred to, whether of celebrities or the fellow down the road, are often well-meaning attempts to practice two of the corporal and spiritual works of mercy at the expense of others. It is a corporate work of mercy to bury the dead. It is a spiritual work to comfort the sorrowful. However, in comforting the sorrowful, we must be cautious not to use language that discourages praying for the dead.

Purgatory is temporary, and the holy souls in Purgatory know they’re going to see Jesus, but that no one imperfect can stand in the presence of God. They can intercede for us, but not for themselves. However, they still suffer, and our prayers and sacrifices on their behalf can alleviate their suffering if not free them, so well meaning attempts to say that someone “is in a better place” and presume that he or she went straight to Heaven is failing in one of the spiritual works and discouraging others from practicing it.

The traditional Requiem prayers are all about the awesome judgement of God, and in addition to praying for the deceased, reminding those in mourning that we, too, are mortal. That’s where admonishing sinners, instructing the ignorant, and counseling the doubtful come into play.

We’ve covered 5 of the 7 spiritual works of mercy, and the other two provide the last guidepost in these situations: bearing wrongs patiently and forgiving willingly.

Whatever wrongs a deceased person has done must be forgiven by us if we are to show mercy. We must always forgive as we would be forgiven, so even if the person hasn’t asked God’s forgiveness that we know of, and while we must not commit the sin of presumption ourselves, we may and should offer forgiveness to the dead–though, again, forgiveness requires acknowledging something to forgive. We can talk about a person’s good qualities and the signs of hope while acknowledging the things that need forgiveness.

Thus, when we look at the various arguments surrounding the Williams suicide, there have sadly been many offenses against Mercy, but we should forgive each other.

“We deserve our punishment”

I know a lot of people  who suffer from chronic pain.  Most of my Marfan friends are non-Catholics, and I observe how very differently they approach the question.  Often, “Offer it up” has become such a cliche that it loses meaning.  Even Jesus cried out from the cross, and sometimes that’s what we have to do, but we must always remember to keep focused on the goal.  I constantly have to remind myself of these things:

1.  “Though He was in the form of God, Jesus did not deem equality with God something to be grasped at, . . .”

2.  “We deserve our punishment, but this Man has done no wrong.”

3.  “In my own body, I fill up what is still lacking in the sufferings of Christ.”

4.  Mother Angelica once asked, “Why me, Lord?”  She got a response: “Why Me?”  She never asked again.

5.  A single mortal sin merits eternal suffering.  The worst we can bear here is nothing compared to that.  Imagine enduring *anything* forever.  My mom’s all-time favorite homily was, “You think it’s hot here?!”

C. S. Lewis once responded to someone who said, “It’s hot as Hell,” with “How would you know?”  When I was in CVICU last year, thinking I was dead and in Gell, everything seemed unendurable because ?I thought it was forever.  I was hot (high grade fever and screwed up post op metabolism).  I was thirsty (living off a feeding tube and npo).  I was in pain.  Most of all, I was *bored.*  I couldn’t move or speak.  I was strapped in a bed with tubes all over my body.

The only way to survive such a situation without despair is the Lord’s grace.  The Voice kept telling me to stop waive ring and make a choice.  It kept telling me it was over: I was in Hell or destined for it, that Jesus would never forgive me.  Yet, I thought of Faust, and I prayed, and I used the seemingly endless monotony to pray.  In particular, I thought about “70 times 7 times,” though I confused it as “70×70” and couldn’t remember if I was supposed to ask or grant it, so I kept naming people in my prayers and asking their forgiveness while offering mine.  I prayed the Pater repeatedly, the Publican’s Prayer and St Dismas’s prayer, over and over, 24/7, for at least 2 or 3 days.  My recovery began.

Te Deum: Plenary Indulgence When Recited on New Year’s Eve

God the Father Window Shrine of the Blessed Sacrament
You are God: we praise you;
You are the Lord: we acclaim you;
You are the eternal Father:
All creation worships you.
To you all angels, all the powers of heaven,
Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise:
Holy, holy, holy, Lord, God of
power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
The glorious company of apostles praise you.
The noble fellowship of prophets praise you.
The white-robed army of martyrs praise you.
Throughout the world the holy Church
acclaims you:
Father, of majesty unbounded,
your true and only Son, worthy of all worship,
and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.
You, Christ, are the king of glory,
the eternal Son of the Father.
When you became man to set us free
you did not spurn the Virgin’s womb.
You overcame the sting of death,
and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers.
You are seated at God’s right hand in glory.
We believe that you will come, and be our judge.
Come then, Lord, and help your people,
bought with the price of your own blood,
and bring us with your saints to glory everlasting.
Save your people, Lord, and bless your inheritance.
Govern and uphold them now and always.
Day by day we bless you.
We praise your name for ever.
Keep us today, Lord, from all sin.
Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy.
Lord, show us your love and mercy;
for we put our trust in you.
In you, Lord, is our hope:
and we shall never hope in vain.

Veni Creator Spiritus: Plenary Indulgence When Recited on New Year’s Day

Holy Spirit Window Blessed Sacrament Shrine

Come, Holy Spirit, Creator come,
From Thy bright heavenly throne!
Come, take possession of our souls,
And make them all Thine own!

Thou who art called the Paraclete,
Best Gift of God above,
The Living Spring, the Living Fire,
Sweet Unction, and True Love!

Thou who art seven-fold in Thy grace,
Finger of God’s right Hand,
His promise, teaching little ones
To speak and understand!

O guide our minds with Thy blest light,
With love our hearts inflame,
And with Thy strength which ne’er decays
Confirm our mortal frame.

Far from us drive our hellish foe,
True peace unto us bring,
And through all perils guide us safe
Beneath Thy sacred wing.

Through Thee may we the Father know,
Through Thee the Eternal Son,
And Thee the Spirit of them Both
Thrice-blessed Three in One.

All glory to the Father be,
And to the risen Son;
The same to Thee, O Paraclete,
While endless ages run.

Amen.

Hour of Mercy: Jesus, I trust in You!

Hour of Mercy: Litany of the Saints

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZWt5y301BSY]

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
 
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of heaven,
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
God the Holy Spirit,
Holy Trinity, one God,
 
have mercy on us.
have mercy on us.
have mercy on us.
have mercy on us.
Holy Mary,
Holy Mother of God,
Holy Virgin of virgins,
St. Michael,
St. Gabriel,
St. Raphael,
All you Holy Angels and Archangels,
St. John the Baptist,
St. Joseph,
All you Holy Patriarchs and Prophets,
 
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
St. Peter,
St. Paul,
St. Andrew,
St. James,
St. John,
St. Thomas,
St. James,
St. Philip,
St. Bartholomew,
St. Matthew,
St. Simon,
St. Jude,
St. Matthias,
St. Barnabas,
St. Luke,
St. Mark,
All you holy Apostles and Evangelists,
All you holy Disciples of the Lord,
All you holy Innocents,
 
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
St. Stephen,
St. Lawrence,
St. Vincent,
Sts. Fabian and Sebastian,
Sts. John and Paul,
Sts. Cosmos and Damian,
All you holy Martyrs,
 
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
St. Sylvester,
St. Gregory,
St. Ambrose,
St. Augustine,
St. Jerome,
St. Martin,
St. Nicholas,
All you holy Bishops and Confessors,
All you holy Doctors,
 
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
St. Anthony,
St. Benedict,
St. Bernard,
St. Dominic,  
St. Francis,
All you holy Priests and Levites,
All you holy Monks and Hermits,
 
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
St. Mary Magdalene,
St. Agatha,
St. Lucy,
St. Agnes,
St. Cecilia,
St. Anastasia,
St. Catherine,
St. Clare,
All you holy Virgins and Widows,
All you holy Saints of God,
 
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
Lord, be merciful,
From all evil,
From all sin,
From your wrath,
From a sudden and unprovided death,
From the snares of the devil,
From anger, hatred, and all ill-will,
From the spirit of uncleanness,
From lightning and tempest,
From the scourge of earthquake,
From plague, famine, and war,
From everlasting death, 
Lord, save your people.
Lord, save your people.
Lord, save your people.
Lord, save your people.
Lord, save your people.
Lord, save your people.
Lord, save your people.
Lord, save your people.
Lord, save your people.
Lord, save your people.
Lord, save your people.
Lord, save your people.
By the mystery of your holy Incarnation,
By your Coming,
By your Birth,
By your Baptism and holy fasting,
By your Cross and Passion,
By your Death and Burial,
By your holy Resurrection,
By your wonderful Ascension,
By the coming of the Holy Spirit,
On the day of judgment,
 
Lord, save your people.
Lord, save your people.
Lord, save your people.
Lord, save your people.
Lord, save your people.
Lord, save your people.
Lord, save your people.
Lord, save your people.
Lord, save your people.
Lord, save your people.
Be merciful to us sinners, Lord, hear our prayer.
That you will spare us,
That you will pardon us,
That it may please you to bring us to true penance,
Guide and protect your holy Church,
Preserve in holy religion the Pope, and all those in holy Orders,
Humble the enemies of holy Church,
Give peace and unity to the whole Christian people,  
Bring back to the unity of the Church all those who are straying, and bring all unbelievers to the light of the Gospel,
Strengthen and preserve us in your holy service,
Raise our minds to desire the things of heaven,
Reward all our benefactors with eternal blessings,
Deliver our souls from eternal damnation, and the souls of our brethren, relatives, and benefactors,
Give and preserve the fruits of the earth,
Grant eternal rest to all the faithful departed,
That it may please You to hear and heed us, Jesus,
Son of the Living God,
Lord, hear our prayer.
Lord, hear our prayer.
Lord, hear our prayer.
Lord, hear our prayer.
Lord, hear our prayer.

Lord, hear our prayer.
Lord, hear our prayer.
Lord, hear our prayer. 

 
Lord, hear our prayer.
Lord, hear our prayer.
Lord, hear our prayer.
Lord, hear our prayer.

 

Lord, hear our prayer.
Lord, hear our prayer.
Lord, hear our prayer. 

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world,
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world,
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world,

 

Spare us, O Lord!
Graciously hear us, O Lord! Have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us,
Lord Jesus, hear our prayer.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us. 

Christ, graciously hear us.
Lord Jesus, hear our prayer.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us. 

 
 

Hour of Mercy for All Souls Day: The Dies Irae

SEQUENCE: DIES IRAE
Day of wrath, day that will dissolve
the world into burning coals, as
David bore witness with the Sibyll.
How great a tremor is to be,
when the judge is to come
briskly shattering every (grave).
A trumpet sounding an astonishing
sound through the tombs of the
region drives all people before the
throne.
Death will be stunned and (so) will
Nature, when arises the creature
responding to the One judging.
The written book will be brought
forth, in which the whole (record of
evidence) is contained
whence the world is to be judged.
Therefore when the Judge shall sit,
whatever lay hidden will appear;
nothing unavenged will remain.
What am I the wretch then to say?
what patron I to beseech?
when scarecly the just person be
secure.
King of tremendous Majesty,
who saves those-to-be-saved free,
save me, Fount of piety.
Remember, faithful Jesus,
because I am the cause of your
journey: do not lose me on that day.
Thou has sat down as one wearied
seeking me, Thou has redeemed
(me) having suffered the Cross:
so much labor let it not be lost.
Just judge of the avengingpunishment,
work the gift of the
remission (of sins) before the Day of
the Reckoning.
I groan, as the accused:
my face grows red from (my) fault:
spare (this) supplicant, O God.
Thou who forgave Mary [the sinful
woman], and favorably heard the
(good) thief, hast also given me
hope.
My prayers are not worthy,
but do Thou, God, deal kindly lest I
burn in perennial fire.
Among the sheep offer (me) a place
and from the goats sequester me,
placing (me) at (Thy) right hand.
After the accursed have been
silenced, given up to the bitter
flames, call me with the blest.
Kneeling and bowed down I pray,
My heart contrite as ashes:
Do Thou {, my End,} care for my end.
That sorrowful day,
on which will rise from the burning coals
Man accused to be judged:
Therefore, O God, do Thou spare [them]
Faithful Lord Jesus,
grant them rest.
Amen.

Hour of Mercy: Passion according to St. Mark

Douay Rheims, Mark 15:

[1] And straightway in the morning, the chief priests holding a consultation with the ancients and the scribes and the whole council, binding Jesus, led him away, and delivered him to Pilate. [2] And Pilate asked him: Art thou the king of the Jews? But he answering, saith to him: Thou sayest it. [3] And the chief priests accused him in many things. [4] And Pilate again asked him, saying: Answerest thou nothing? behold in how many things they accuse thee. [5] But Jesus still answered nothing; so that Pilate wondered.

[6] Now on the festival day he was wont to release unto them one of the prisoners, whomsoever they demanded. [7] And there was one called Barabbas, who was put in prison with some seditious men, who in the sedition had committed murder. [8] And when the multitude was come up, they began to desire that he would do, as he had ever done unto them. [9] And Pilate answered them, and said: Will you that I release to you the king of the Jews? [10] For he knew that the chief priests had delivered him up out of envy.

[11] But the chief priests moved the people, that he should rather release Barabbas to them. [12] And Pilate again answering, saith to them: What will you then that I do to the king of the Jews? [13] But they again cried out: Crucify him. [14] And Pilate saith to them: Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more: Crucify him. [15] And so Pilate being willing to satisfy the people, released to them Barabbas, and delivered up Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified.

[16] And the soldiers led him away into the court of the palace, and they called together the whole band: [17] And they clothe him with purple, and platting a crown of thorns, they put it upon him. [18] And they began to salute him: Hail, king of the Jews. [19] And they struck his head with a reed: and they did spit on him. And bowing their knees, they adored him. [20] And after they had mocked him, they took off the purple from him, and put his own garments on him, and they led him out to crucify him.

[21] And they forced one Simon a Cyrenian who passed by, coming out of the country, the father of Alexander and of Rufus, to take up his cross. [22] And they bring him into the place called Golgotha, which being interpreted is, The place of Calvary. [23] And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh; but he took it not. [24] And crucifying him, they divided his garments, casting lots upon them, what every man should take. [25] And it was the third hour, and they crucified him.

[25] “The third hour”… The ancient account divided the day into four parts, which were named from the hour from which they began; the first, third, sixth, and ninth hour. Our Lord was crucified a little before noon; before the third hour had quite expired; but when the sixth hour was near at hand.

[26] And the inscription of his cause was written over: THE KING OF THE JEWS. [27] And with him they crucify two thieves; the one on his right hand, and the other on his left. [28] And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith: And with the wicked he was reputed. [29] And they that passed by blasphemed him, wagging their heads, and saying: Vah, thou that destroyest the temple of God, and in three days buildest it up again; [30] Save thyself, coming down from the cross.

[31] In like manner also the chief priests mocking, said with the scribes one to another: He saved others; himself he cannot save. [32] Let Christ the king of Israel come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe. And they that were crucified with him reviled him. [33] And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole earth until the ninth hour. [34] And at the ninth hour, Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying: Eloi, Eloi, lamma sabacthani? Which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? [35] And some of the standers by hearing, said: Behold he calleth Elias.

[36] And one running and filling a sponge with vinegar, and putting it upon a reed, gave him to drink, saying: Stay, let us see if Elias come to take him down. [37] And Jesus having cried out with a loud voice, gave up the ghost. [38] And the veil of the temple was rent in two, from the top to the bottom. [39] And the centurion who stood over against him, seeing that crying out in this manner he had given up the ghost, said: Indeed this man was the son of God. [40] And there were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalen, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joseph, and Salome:

[41] Who also when he was in Galilee followed him, and ministered to him, and many other women that came up with him to Jerusalem. [42] And when evening was now come, (because it was the Parasceve, that is, the day before the sabbath,) [43] Joseph of Arimathea, a noble counsellor, who was also himself looking for the kingdom of God, came and went in boldly to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. [44] But Pilate wondered that he should be already dead. And sending for the centurion, he asked him if he were already dead. [45] And when he had understood it by the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph.

[46] And Joseph buying fine linen, and taking him down, wrapped him up in the fine linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewed out of a rock. And he rolled a stone to the door of the sepulchre. [47] And Mary Magdalen, and Mary the mother of Joseph, beheld where he was laid.

It’s First Thursday

In this Year of Priests, the Holy Father has offered a Plenary Indulgence, under usual conditions, to those who, while in church, commit all priests to the protection of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

It’s First Thursday–No Fooling!

In this Year of Priests, the Holy Father has offered a Plenary Indulgence, under usual conditions, to those who, while in church, commit all priests to the protection of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

St. Dismas was a Terrorist

“With him they crucified two revolutionaries, one on his right and one on his left.” (Mk 15:27).

I do not know how anyone who has meditated dutifully on the passion of our Dear Lord, and certainly anyone who has been blessed with the gift of holy tears (which St. Teresa of Avila says is one of the most important spiritual gifts we can receive), can ever approve of torturing another person in the same manner as our Lord.

“But they’re terrorists,” people reply.

Our Lord allowed Himself to be crucified in place of one terrorist, Barabbas (of whose later conversions there are pious stories), and was crucified in between two terrorists.

And it was one of these two terrorists, the man known to tradition as St. Dismas, who gave us one of the most basic prayers of Christian tradition: “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” (Lk 23:42).

To which simple act of faith, after a lifetime of sin, Our Lord replied, “Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” (Lk 23:43).

If the United States were truly the Christian nation that Republicans claim it is, then we would not be treating anyone this way. And our approach to Islamist terrorists would not be to torture them but to reach out to them with the Gospel. I say, lock them in a room and make them watch EWTN 24/7, and send exorcists in to deal with them.

But when I read the defenses of waterboarding and other forms of torture online, I hear the cackle of the crowds who abused Our Lord. I hear the taunts of every schoolyard bully. When faced with any kind of challenge to their views, the neocons and Warhawks immediately turn bullies. Rather than offering any kind of intellectual defense of their indefensible positions, they merely attack, calling for gang violence against those who disagree with them, engaging in name-calling. In a recent discussion, where I quoted the Sermon on the Mount, the reaction was not to even try to explain how they could be Christian and support such actions but merely to attack me for quoting Scripture!

It scares me. I used to hold as a standard that conservatives, even on areas I disagreed with them, did not resort to the kind of Satanic malice one finds among liberals. Go to Huffington Post or RH Reality Check or Democratic Underground, and cussing and violence and ad hominem attacks are course of the day. Go to most conservative sites–until the past couple years–and you would see mostly reasoned discourse.

Now, when a new coalition is all so important, when faithful Christians should realize that the Republican Party has failed us, we are divided by the very issue which, after Abortion, ought to unite us.

“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
Jesus forgave us from the Cross for committing the worst atrocity of history against Him, yet we think that an atrocity against our country–an atrocity our government knew about in advance and failed to prevent–justifies hatred and malice towards our “enemies.”

“Lord, I thank you that I am not like this terrorist,” said the Pharissee. . . .

“Lord Jesus Christ, son of the living God, have mercy on me, a sinner. Master, remember me when You come into Your kingdom!”

Look down upon me, Good and Gentle Jesus,
while I place my heart before You
and ask You to fill it
with a deep and lively
faith, hope, charity
And true penance for all my sins.
Help me never to sin again.
I contemplate Your Five Most Precious Wounds
Having before my eyes
that which the Holy Prophet David
Spoke long ago concerning Yourself:
“They have pierced my hands and my feet;
They have numbered all my bones.”

Oh, My Jesus, release all my affections and draw them upwards.
Let my crucified heart sink forever into itself into the mysterious wound left by the entrance of the lance.

I kiss the wounds in your sacred Head,
with sorrow deep and true;
May every thought of mine this day
Be an act of love for You.

I kiss the wounds in Your sacred Hands,
With sorrow deep and true;
May every touch of my hands this day
Be an act of love for You.

I kiss the wounds in Your sacred Feet,
With sorrow deep and true;
May every step I take this day,
Be an act of love for You.

I kiss the wound in Your sacred Side,
With sorrow deep and true;
May every beat of my heart this day,
Be an act of love for You.

Amen.

It’s First Thursday!

In this Year of Priests, the Holy Father has offered a Plenary Indulgence, under usual conditions, to those who, while in church, commit all priests to the protection of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

It’s First Thursday

In this Year of Priests, the Holy Father has offered a Plenary Indulgence, under usual conditions, to those who, while in church, commit all priests to the protection of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

A Sudden, Unprovided Death

Pray that God will save you from a sudden, unprovided death.

And do your best to ensure you don’t put yourself in that situation!

Despite what freemasons ordained as priests may have told you, Hell is real, and it is eternal.

It only took one thought against God for the fallen angels to be sent to Hell for all eternity, yet God gives us chance after chance after chance.

Jesus even told St. Faustina that He calls out to every soul three times in the split moment between life and death–but most say no.

Our Lady of Fatima told the children that the vast majority of people end up in Hell, and mostly because of sexual sins. She showed them Hell, and they saw people they knew personally who had died recently! Other saints have had similar visions.

Don’t take the chance. Go to Confession monthly; every two weeks as possible, and as soon as possible when you are conscious of mortal sin.

Pray, pray, pray to stay in a state of grace. Don’t listen to the “Spirit of Vatican II” types: the Church still grants indulgences, and strongly encourages them.

If you go to confession every two weeks, stay free from attachment to sin, receive communion daily, and each day practice one of the devotions to which a plenary indulgence is attached (e.g., read the Bible for a half an hour or spend a half an hour in front of the Blessed Sacrament), the you can potentially get a plenary indulgence every day (apply some of them to the souls in Purgatory, particularly your relatives, and get even more graces!)

God is Merciful, but we must avoid the sin of presumption!!

Rape and Abortion.

I’ve been engaging in a rather long and heated, yet interesting, discussion on InsideCatholic with an alleged Catholic who supports abortion in the case of rape, but who echoes the kinds of comments made by “Operation CounterStrike.”

To sum up, the person in question has stated the following positions:
1. That we should not “force” women to have pregnancies they don’t want
2. That a baby conceived from rape is the “progeny of a rapist,” and therefore deserves to die
3. That enduring a pregnancy resulting from rape is like reliving the rape.
4. That abortion in the case of rape is self-defense.

I have made repeated attempts to get this person to explain why she thinks this, but she refuses to give the points remises that underlie these opinions or the syllogisms that connect them.

I, and several others, have asked her what guilt the “progeny of a rapist” bears that requires the death penalty, why she thinks abortion in this case qualifies as “self-defense,” and why she thinks pregnancy is so traumatic, but she refuses to explain. Instead, using typical pro-abortionist rhetoric, she accuses us of being idiots, lunatics, fanatics and liars (I’ve been accused of all four). She accuses us of lying about who we are.

She talks disparaingingly of “minor traditions” like relics and indulgences. When I pointed out that those are not optional–you can’t have a valid church without relics, and if you say, “I don’t participate indulgences,” that means you never pray, read the Bible, go on pilgrimage, etc.

Anyway, the conversation is well worn out, but it once again shows how pro-abortionists really can provide no philosophical foundations for their positions, other than vague emotional appeals. The baby deserves to die, in their view, because the poor, wimpy women can’t separate the baby from the cause of the baby.

It dawned on me last night to point out one of my usual arguments on this issue: the rape is one thing. For a conception to result, God has to step in, so obviously God intends for the baby to exist. If you believe life begins at conception (as this person claims to believe), then God created that soul at the moment of conception (and of course, the conception could occur as much as five days after the rape).

I really *would* like to know why these people think this way. It doesn’t change the fact that they’re wrong, but it would make it a lot easier to refute them. I tried to suggest some of the reasons I’d heard before, but she accused me of misquoting her.

In any case, the “forcing” thing is a stupid argument. There’s a big difference between “forcing” someone to do something and taking away the option.

It is quite interesting, in fact, that pro-lifers oppose the UN’s International Criminal Court for its provisions on “forced pregnancy”. We’re assured that this does not refer to outlawing abortion, but rather to situations like women taken captive in war and forced into sex slavery.

Yet the pro-aborrtionists have adopted the rhetoric of “forced pregnancy” in the context of making abortion illegal.

“You wouldn’t force a woman to have a baby that would traumatize her?” they ask.

So I proposed, “What if the woman was abused and had a baby that looked like her abusive husband or parent or relative; wouldn’t that traumatize her?”
I was assured that this was an irrelevant analogy. I’m still not sure why.

What about, “You wouldn’t *force* a man who’s psychologiclaly compelled to rape to resist his urges, would you?”
“You wouldn’t *force* a person who’s psychologically compelled to murder to endure the trauma of not murdering, would you?”
“You wouldn’t *force* a person who’s desperately in need to *not* rob a bank, would you??”

It’s the most meaningless argument a person can make, and somehow they have no idea how meaningless it is. It’s baffling to me. And women say men are sexist when we accuse them of being emotional rather than logical.

Of course, another fall back in the discussion is always, “Well, abortion is legal, so deal with it.” Duh. That’s why we’re debating about whether to make it illegal.

Then there’s the Rousseauian classic, “Well, the Catholic Church is responsible for a lot of the social posroblems that cause abortion,” and “The Catholic Church facilitates rapists.”

OK, what a good, faithful Catholic you are.

Socio-economic circumstances don’t cause sin; original sin does.

It’s First Thursday!

In this Year of Priests, the Holy Father has offered a Plenary Indulgence, under usual conditions, to those who, while in church, commit all priests to the protection of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

It’s First Thursday!

In this Year of Priests, the Holy Father has offered a Plenary Indulgence, under usual conditions, to those who, while in church, commit all priests to the protection of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

It’s First Thursday–Remember to Dedicate Priests to the Sacred Heart

In this Year of Priests, the Holy Father has offered a Plenary Indulgence, under usual conditions, to those who, while in church, commit all priests to the protection of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

It’s First Thursday

In this Year of Priests, the Holy Father has offered a Plenary Indulgence, under usual conditions, to those who, while in church, commit all priests to the protection of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.