Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Memorial Mass Update

Here is a further list of memorial Masses for Fr. Santan Pinto-



December 27 – St. Mel’s Catholic Church, Fair Oaks, CA, 7pm
                                - St. Joseph’s Catholic Church , Newton, NJ , 8am
December 28 – St. Alphonsus Church, Seattle, WA, 10am
December 29 – Sacred Heart Church, Guelph, Canada, 7pm
December 30 – St.s Francis and Anne Church, Kolin, LA 5:30pm (rosary),  6pm Mass
December 31 – Our Lady of Belen Catholic Church, New Mexico, 10am
January 3 – Our Lady of Guadalupe, Helotes, TX, 8am
January 7 – Our Lady of Guadalupe,  Helotes, TX, 8am
January 17  -Our Lady of Guadalupe, Helotes, TX, 8pm
January 28 – St. Benedict’s Church, Mohnton, PA ,  9:30(rosary) ,10am Mass

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Walking Christmas Tree...

I LOVE this guy's ingenuity in getting a Christmas tree into New York City's public transit stations. Because of a lame Christmas decoration ban, he decided to take matters into his own hands.

I'm also a big fan of when the news station interviews him...as a tree....great stuff.

Echo....

Perhaps we have all felt like this at times....

Holy Father's Midnight Mass Homily

This homily that was given last night by our Holy Father is AMAZING. wow, I am so glad he is our Papa.


Dear Brothers and Sisters!

The reading from Saint Paul’s Letter to Titus that we have just heard begins solemnly with the word “apparuit”, which then comes back again in the reading at the Dawn Mass: apparuit – “there has appeared”.  This is a programmatic word, by which the Church seeks to express synthetically the essence of Christmas.  Formerly, people had spoken of God and formed human images of him in all sorts of different ways.  God himself had spoken in many and various ways to mankind (cf. Heb 1:1 – Mass during the Day).  But now something new has happened: he has appeared.  He has revealed himself.  He has emerged from the inaccessible light in which he dwells.  He himself has come into our midst.  This was the great joy of Christmas for the early Church: God has appeared.  No longer is he merely an idea, no longer do we have to form a picture of him on the basis of mere words.  He has “appeared”.  But now we ask: how has he appeared?  Who is he in reality?  The reading at the Dawn Mass goes on to say: “the kindness and love of God our Saviour for mankind were revealed” (Tit 3:4).  

For the people of pre-Christian times, whose response to the terrors and contradictions of the world was to fear that God himself might not be good either, that he too might well be cruel and arbitrary, this was a real “epiphany”, the great light that has appeared to us: God is pure goodness.  Today too, people who are no longer able to recognize God through faith are asking whether the ultimate power that underpins and sustains the world is truly good, or whether evil is just as powerful and primordial as the good and the beautiful which we encounter in radiant moments in our world.  “The kindness and love of God our Saviour for mankind were revealed”: this is the new, consoling certainty that is granted to us at Christmas.


In all three Christmas Masses, the liturgy quotes a passage from the Prophet Isaiah, which describes the epiphany that took place at Christmas in greater detail: “A child is born for us, a son given to us and dominion is laid on his shoulders; and this is the name they give him: Wonder-Counsellor, Mighty-God, Eternal-Father, Prince-of-Peace.  Wide is his dominion in a peace that has no end” (Is 9:5f.).  Whether the prophet had a particular child in mind, born during his own period of history, we do not know.  But it seems impossible.  This is the only text in the Old Testament in which it is said of a child, of a human being: his name will be Mighty-God, Eternal-Father.  We are presented with a vision that extends far beyond the historical moment into the mysterious, into the future.  A child, in all its weakness, is Mighty God.  A child, in all its neediness and dependence, is Eternal Father.  And his peace “has no end”.  The prophet had previously described the child as “a great light” and had said of the peace he would usher in that the rod of the oppressor, the footgear of battle, every cloak rolled in blood would be burned (Is 9:1, 3-4).


God has appeared – as a child.  It is in this guise that he pits himself against all violence and brings a message that is peace.  At this hour, when the world is continually threatened by violence in so many places and in so many different ways, when over and over again there are oppressors’ rods and bloodstained cloaks, we cry out to the Lord: O mighty God, you have appeared as a child and you have revealed yourself to us as the One who loves us, the One through whom love will triumph.  And you have shown us that we must be peacemakers with you.  We love your childish estate, your powerlessness, but we suffer from the continuing presence of violence in the world, and so we also ask you: manifest your power, O God.  In this time of ours, in this world of ours, cause the oppressors’ rods, the cloaks rolled in blood and the footgear of battle to be burned, so that your peace may triumph in this world of ours.


Christmas is an epiphany – the appearing of God and of his great light in a child that is born for us.  Born in a stable in Bethlehem, not in the palaces of kings.  In 1223, when Saint Francis of Assisi celebrated Christmas in Greccio with an ox and an ass and a manger full of hay, a new dimension of the mystery of Christmas came to light.  Saint Francis of Assisi called Christmas “the feast of feasts” – above all other feasts – and he celebrated it with “unutterable devotion” (2 Celano 199; Fonti Francescane, 787).  He kissed images of the Christ-child with great devotion and he stammered tender words such as children say, so Thomas of Celano tells us  (ibid.).  

For the early Church, the feast of feasts was Easter: in the Resurrection Christ had flung open the doors of death and in so doing had radically changed the world: he had made a place for man in God himself.  Now, Francis neither changed nor intended to change this objective order of precedence among the feasts, the inner structure of the faith centred on the Paschal Mystery.  And yet through him and the character of his faith, something new took place: Francis discovered Jesus’ humanity in an entirely new depth.  This human existence of God became most visible to him at the moment when God’s Son, born of the Virgin Mary, was wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger.  The Resurrection presupposes the Incarnation.  For God’s Son to take the form of a child, a truly human child, made a profound impression on the heart of the Saint of Assisi, transforming faith into love.  “The kindness and love of God our Saviour for mankind were revealed” – this phrase of Saint Paul now acquired an entirely new depth.  In the child born in the stable at Bethlehem, we can as it were touch and caress God.  And so the liturgical year acquired a second focus in a feast that is above all a feast of the heart.

This has nothing to do with sentimentality.  It is right here, in this new experience of the reality of Jesus’ humanity that the great mystery of faith is revealed.  Francis loved the child Jesus, because for him it was in this childish estate that God’s humility shone forth.  God became poor.  His Son was born in the poverty of the stable.  In the child Jesus, God made himself dependent, in need of human love, he put himself in the position of asking for human love – our love.  Today Christmas has become a commercial celebration, whose bright lights hide the mystery of God’s humility, which in turn calls us to humility and simplicity.  Let us ask the Lord to help us see through the superficial glitter of this season, and to discover behind it the child in the stable in Bethlehem, so as to find true joy and true light.


Francis arranged for Mass to be celebrated on the manger that stood between the ox and the ass (cf. 1 Celano 85; Fonti 469).  Later, an altar was built over this manger, so that where animals had once fed on hay, men could now receive the flesh of the spotless lamb Jesus Christ, for the salvation of soul and body, as Thomas of Celano tells us (cf. 1 Celano 87; Fonti 471).  Francis himself, as a deacon, had sung the Christmas Gospel on the holy night in Greccio with resounding voice.  Through the friars’ radiant Christmas singing, the whole celebration seemed to be a great outburst of joy (1 Celano 85.86; Fonti 469, 470).  It was the encounter with God’s humility that caused this joy – his goodness creates the true feast.


Today, anyone wishing to enter the Church of Jesus’ Nativity in Bethlehem will find that the doorway five and a half metres high, through which emperors and caliphs used to enter the building, is now largely walled up.  Only a low opening of one and a half metres has remained.  The intention was probably to provide the church with better protection from attack, but above all to prevent people from entering God’s house on horseback.  Anyone wishing to enter the place of Jesus’ birth has to bend down.  It seems to me that a deeper truth is revealed here, which should touch our hearts on this holy night: if we want to find the God who appeared as a child, then we must dismount from the high horse of our “enlightened” reason.  We must set aside our false certainties, our intellectual pride, which prevents us from recognizing God’s closeness.  We must follow the interior path of Saint Francis – the path leading to that ultimate outward and inward simplicity which enables the heart to see.  We must bend down, spiritually we must as it were go on foot, in order to pass through the portal of faith and encounter the God who is so different from our prejudices and opinions – the God who conceals himself in the humility of  a newborn baby.  

In this spirit let us celebrate the liturgy of the holy night, let us strip away our fixation on what is material, on what can be measured and grasped.  Let us allow ourselves to be made simple by the God who reveals himself to the simple of heart.  And let us also pray especially at this hour for all who have to celebrate Christmas in poverty, in suffering, as migrants, that a ray of God’s kindness may shine upon them, that they – and we – may be touched by the kindness that God chose to bring into the world through the birth of his Son in a stable.  Amen.

 
www.vatican.va

Holy Father Pleads For World Peace

From this morning at the Vatican-

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Holy Father Reflects On The Fruits of World Youth Days...

Here are some great quotes from the Holy Father as he reflected on the power of World Youth Days and also the Church in Africa...


Another sign of hope is seen in the World Youth Days where "again and again ... a new, more youthful form of Christianity can be seen", one possessing five main characteristics. "Firstly, there is a new experience of catholicity, of the Church's universality. This is what struck the young people and all the participants quite directly: we come from every continent, but although we have never met one another, we know one another" because "the same inner encounter with Jesus Christ has stamped us deep within with the same structure of intellect, will, and heart. ... In this setting, to say that all humanity are brothers and sisters is not merely an idea: it becomes a real shared experience, generating joy".


Secondly, "from this derives a new way of living our humanity, our Christianity. For me, one of the most important experiences of those days was the meeting with the World Youth Day volunteers: about 20,000 young people, all of whom devoted weeks or months of their lives" to the preparations. "At the end of the day, these young people were visibly and tangibly filled with a great sense of happiness: the time that they had given up had meaning; in giving of their time and labour, they had found time, they had found life. ... These young people did good, even at a cost, even if it demanded sacrifice, simply because it is a wonderful thing to do good, to be there for others. All it needs is the courage to make the leap. Prior to all of this is the encounter with Jesus Christ, inflaming us with love for God and for others, and freeing us from seeking our own ego"


At this Christmastime, may we all continue or reinvest ourselves to being of service for the Gospel and praying to Jesus for the courage and openness to encounter Him anew- that He would free us from seeking our own ego.

Update Letter From the Bishop of Belgaum

Peace of Christ !

May I wish you all the graces of the Christmas season as also the blessings of God has in store for you in the New Year. I know it will be celebrated by you in a very sombre atmosphere after the sad demise of Fr. Santan Pinto. We are just getting over the shock. I am sorry I couldn’t write to you after the funeral because of pressing engagements these days as also the Christmas correspondence.

To add a little more on the details of the funeral, Fr.Santan was buried in the Belgaum Catholic Cemetery after the solemn Eucharist in the Fatima Cathedral on 16th Dec.2011. His body was disfigured and so we couldn’t keep it for public view. As the condition was bad, we kept the coffin closed throughout. About 35 Priests concelebrated with me and the Cathedral was full and overflowing with mourners from all over Belgaum. His sister, Patsy and many of the other relatives had come from Goa, Pune and Bombay.

Of the two others in the vehicle with Fr. Santan, they are in better condition now. The driver, Mr.Freddy was a close friend of Fr. Santan and he had only minor injuries and the other passenger was his nephew, Mr. Ashwin.He had head injuries at the time of the accident but seems to be not so serious as he is improving but still in hospital because of hip fracture. The cause for the accident is reported as tire burst and it happened just 25 kilometers on the way to Belgaum. I had to personally intervene with the Police and transport authorities in order to hasten the post-mortem arrangements which normally take long time in India.

Please convey my condolences to all the members of the community I know how difficult it is to accept this tragic loss. You have benefited from his services and closeness to you especially in the formation of your community. He was a good Priest who motivated you to reach to others in need. He put us in contact with you and we are grateful for the help we have received from you, especially for our seminarians. Please continue to keep us in your prayers as Fr. Santan will surely pray for us from the Heavenly Kingdom.

Wishing you all the joys of Christmas and Happy New Year!

Yours sincerely in Christ,


(+Peter Machado)
Bishop of Belgaum

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Goan Newspaper Article About Father Pinto

Memorial Masses For Fr. Pinto-- UPDATED

The SOLT Community will be holding three large memorial masses for those who would like to remember Fr. Pinto in a special way.

Thursday December 22nd at 10am at Our Lady of Corpus Christi Chapel, Corpus Christi, TX

Wednesday December 28th at 10am at St. Alphonsus Parish, Seattle, WA

Saturday December 31st at 10am at Our Lady of Belen, Belen, NM

Letter from the Bishop of Belgaum about Fr. Pinto's accident

 From the website http://www.sharingthetreasures.org/index.php

16th December 2011
 

PEACE OF CHRIST !
God’s will have been done in the case of Rev. Fr. Santan Pinto. 


I am sorry to report to you the death of Rev. Fr. Santan Pinto. It was really shocking for us. 

He returned from the States last night and he was travelling from Bombay to Belgaum by car, which was driven by afriend of his in Belgaum. They presumably left Bombay around 10 p.m. and the accident took place at5.00 a.m. in the morning about 30 kms from Belgaum. I visited the spot and saw the body this morning. It looks that the driver may have been sleepy and so banged a pole just before the tollgate. The accident must have been terrible because there are injuries all over the body. The family is still deciding regarding the funeral. I thought of giving you this first information.
 

We have known Rev. Fr. Santan as a good Priest and a close friend of our Diocese. He encouraged you and the others to contribute for our needs, especially for the training of our Seminarians. May his soul restin peace. Kindly pass on this message to the members of the SOLT ministries.
 

Yours sincerely in Christ,
(+ Peter Machado)
Bishop of Belgaum

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Fr. Pinto's Last Youtube Video On The Topic Of Intercession

How apropos that Fr. Pinto would post his last video on the topic of Intercession. He is now interceding for us!

check out all of his videos on his youtube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/user/frsantanpinto

SOLT Founder, Fr. James Flanagan, Reflects On The Life Of Fr. Santan Pinto

In the wake of our grief and disbelief of the sudden departure of our beloved father, Fr. Pinto, (even as I am writing this, I cannot believe I am writing it, you know?) someone shared with me the words of our Founder, Fr. Flanagan, who briefly commented on the life of Fr. Pinto.

Fr. Flanagan reflected, "Fr. Pinto, was a giant of a man, who witnessed the goodness of our father in the Gospels as a priest. He was a son of our Lady always praying the Rosary. He loved the sisters and formed many of them, and also the priests for their calling and vocations in the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity, in the church, as well as forming the D.J.M. disciples in the Society of Our Lady's spirituality."

These words are very true and fitting. Fr. Pinto was and is a giant of a man in many ways. He loved Our Blessed Mother and the priests and sisters in our community. It was out of deep love that he spent countless hours forming the laity and giving reflections and retreats.

His love changed us all.

Rest in peace, dear Father. God called you all the way home to take you Home.

We look forward to seeing you again one day....

Friday, December 16, 2011

Fr. Santan Pinto, SOLT 1948-2011

It is with a heavy and incredulous heart that I post the news that our beloved Father, Fr. Santan Pinto, died suddenly in a car accident after just arriving for a home visit in India. Apparently, Fr. Pinto was the passenger in a car that was struck and he died instantly. A Bishop in India, the Bishop of Belgaum, has contacted our community and confirmed this sorrowful news. Fr. Pinto's funeral will be tomorrow in India.

It's interesting, you know, after just posting Father's Christmas message yesterday and then posting the clip by Fr. Barron about the true nature of Advent, we never know when God will take us home.

The media and secular society loves to mock celibacy and the priesthood but it's easy to see that Fr. Pinto has more spiritual children than those people ever will. God will not be mocked. Father was a priest who was faithful to the end, who loved God more than anything and made countless sacrifices for his many spiritual children.

To say that he will be missed here in earth is a huge understatement but we know now that Father is Home, where he has been longing to go for many years. He is reunited with his mother and father and now his real work begins. We can count on his prayers in a very powerful way.

Perhaps we can ask ourselves, what will our lives say about us at the end? I just read that atheist and author of God Is Not Great, Christopher Hitchens, died yesterday as well after a battle with cancer. Perhaps he found out that God is indeed great and the Lover of our souls.

What a contrast of the lives of these two men. One spent his days telling others about the love of God and the other spent his days telling people that God did not exist. What will our daily actions say about us? Are we ready to go home? Are we still playing games?

"The patience of the Lord is directed toward salvation" 2 Peter 3:15

"I have fought the good fight and I have finished the race." St. Paul's letter to Timothy (2: Tim 4:7) (and now Fr. Pinto)

Father Pinto, we love you more than words can say. We will miss you here on earth and we weep at this time. But we are happy for you. We will pray for your soul, please pray for us.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Revolutionary Advent

Check out this rockin' clip by Fr. Barron on the revolutionary nature of Advent, great warrior stuff!

Hateful? Abortion Blogger Urges Donations To Abortion Groups For Every Tebow Touchdown

In a world where nothing much surprises me anymore, this pro-abortion blogger's post who is encouraging her readers, "For every touchdown Tebow throws next week … donate $5 or $10 to your local pro-choice organization,” is in particularly bad taste.

'Sophia' (apparently not her real name and the irony is heavy because the name Sophia means 'wisdom') went on to write about Tebow, "This is the same man that used the Super Bowl to a) build his reputation and brand as the saintliest saint of an athlete that ever lived, and b) raise money for an anti-choice organization that would deny the right to abortion to millions of women that need it. Yuck,” she adds. “If you’re a sports fan that also thinks women should be able to do what they want, when they want, and how they want it with their uteri, you can join in this too.”

History has proven that people doing whatever they want, whenever they want and however they want without any ethics, logic or morality has never brought about good results. It's been atrocious.  And it also gets me that people who advocate for abortion rarely identify themselves with this horrible crime. They use "feel-good" euphemisms like "pro-choice" and "anti-choice." If they are going to advocate for the killing of innocent children, why not be honest and identify the crime for what it is?

Poor Tim Tebow, he is just minding his own business and playing football, why don't people just leave him alone? If a person of another faith tradition was thanking their God frequently, I doubt people would say anything because they would have "freedom of religion." But Christians? not so much.

God bless you Tim Tebow. Thank God your mom said yes to your life.

A Message From Fr. Pinto

Below is a beautiful Christmas message from SOLT Priest, Fr. Santan Pinto:


"Dear Disciples of Jesus and Mary, Missionaries of Mercy and Friends:

The Lord chooses to hide His greatest blessings. These are seen or noticed by those who seek them.  The wise men sought the Lord and were directed by means of a star. Simeon and the prophetess Anna sought the Lord and the Holy Spirit directed them to come to the temple at the very hour that Joseph and Mary were bringing Jesus to the temple. Zaccheus sought to see Jesus and Jesus went and stayed with Him.
In the Resurrection the women were seeking Jesus. They were told, "Why are you the living among the dead. He is risen as He said." even today we will never find Him in the world with all it's glamour, power and greatness. He will always be found by the little ones in a place that is hidden, poor and simple.

What is important for us this Christmas is to find within our hearts a spark that we should keep working at. Each of us can desire to seek the Lord in our own little ways. Let us try to be creative. Try to spend much time with Mary and Joseph asking them to form your heart so it may grow in this desire to seek the Lord.

Remind yourself that everyone who desired to see Jesus found Him. Learn this Christmas to keep this little candle of devotion burning in your heart!

The patriarchs, the prophets and His leaders were all little and simple men. God chose that His Son be born as a man - in humility and poverty and silence.

Let us use this Christmas season to grow in these three virtues and graces, so that Jesus will reveal His presence to us. We will know this year that Jesus was truly born in our lives by the joy and peace that will accompany us constantly. It is His light of grace that dispels the darkness of sin in us. It is His grace that enables us like Mother Mary to wonder and praise God, and ponder all these words in our hearts.

Even today He hides Himself in the Most Holy Eucharist. It should be our constant desire to come to seek His glory and majesty in these sacramental signs.

In our hearts let us bring all our family members, friends, co-workers, enemies and those we dislike to the Living Manger as we receive Jesus and honor Him in the Blessed Eucharist. Let us ask the Lord that they too share this great desire that fills our hearts to see the Lord and worship Him in the tabernacles of our hearts!

Please share this Christmas letter with your family and friends? Thanks.

Blessings to you, your family and friends for this great and grace-filled season of Christmas! And may the blessings of Christmas continue to guide and protect you throughout the coming year."

With my priestly blessings,
Fr. Santan Pinto SOLT



Thursday, December 08, 2011

Nuns On The Birth Control Pill? Outrageous..

This has got to be one of THE most propaganda-filled articles on the birth control pill that I have ever read.

A "study" is suggesting that if we nuns take the birth control pill, it may keep us healthier longer.

I am actually laughing over the stupidity of this idea as I write this.

Putting chemicals into my body that may include (and these are JUST the physical ones) side effects of (from drugwatch.com) :
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Weight gain
  • Breakthrough bleeding between menstrual periods
  • Breast tenderness, breast pain
  • High blood pressure
  • Breast cancer
  • Stroke
  • Liver cancer, liver tumors, severe liver bleeding
  • Heart Attack
  • Blood clots in the legs or lungs
  • Vaginal itching
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Breast tenderness, breast pain
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Change in appetite
  • Increased hair growth or loss of hair on the head
  • Darkening of facial skin
  • Rash
  • Upper respiratory infection
  • Sinusitis
  • Bronchitis
  • Itchy skin
  • Headache
  • Abdominal pain
  • Acne
  • Depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Back pain
  • Infection
  • Dizziness
  • Migraine
  • Nervousness
  • Fluid retention
  • Dark spots on the skin, specifically on the face (melasma)
  • Inflammation of the pharynx in the throat (Pharyngitis)
  • Inflammation of the bladder (Cystitis)
  • Allergic reaction
  • Inflammation and irritation of the stomach and intestines (Gastroenteritis)
  • Physical weakness
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Flu syndrome (flu-like symptoms of fever, shivering, dry cough, nausea, etc.)
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Uncontrolled or unusual emotions
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Yeast infection

How insidious and what a mockery to suggest that giving the Brides of Christ the birth control pill would be acceptable under Humanae Vitae for "therapeutic reasons."

I am not interested in that kind of "therapy"

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Why Women Weep....

At first, I was just going to publish one article that I saw this morning, but in looking at the one article, there were several linked to it that all had to do with the same thing- how we as women are destroying ourselves.

Many times we blame men for our problems, and yes, there is a deep woundedness between men and women because of original sin. Even John Paul II mentioned that women suffer in a more particularly acute way, the imbalance between men and women.

However, we as women often lead the way in the destruction of ourselves and our fellow women. I would like to point out three articles that appeared just this morning-

#1) an article about MTV that states that on most of the shows that feature violence against women, women are the ones perpetuating the violence against each other. Obviously MTV is near the bottom of the barrel when it comes to morals, but some of their shows garner a huge audience in the area of "reality" (which is anything but) TV. How is it that we as women have sunk to the level of acting like wild animals for the sake of "fame" and TV ratings? It's indeed heart breaking and cringe worthy.

#2) The clothing store H&M has been busted for using fake computer generated bodies in their lingerie and swimsuit ads. The editors simply put a different model's head on the fake body and change the skin tone of the fake body to match the model's head. It's the exact same body used in every picture, just with a different head attached.

I feel like I am writing a science fiction article, but it's not. See the story and pics here (please note that the story features women in lingerie and so if that is a source of struggle for you, don't go there, I will describe the horror here).
Here is what I find particularly disturbing about this practice:

First, that the body is totally fake and does not exist in reality.

Second, the body looks like that of a 15 year old girl, it's not a grown woman's body-- grown women do not look like that.

Third- it treats women and these models, as interchangable parts and not as real people.

And last, but certainly not least, is the quote from the representative of H&M who said, "This illustrates very well the sky-high aesthetic demands placed on the female body,” the rep said. “The demands are so great that H&M, among the poor photo models, cannot find someone with both body and face that can sell their bikinis.

God help us all.

#3) Actress Katherine Heigl speaks about the reality of women and one-night stands. I am certainly not promoting Ms. Heigl's movies or anything like that, but I think she speaks the truth in this magazine article when she says, "“I don’t like them (one-night stands), I’ve never met a single woman who has ever walked away from a one-night stand and been like ‘That was awesome! Oh, my god! Best ever!’”

The beautiful Ms. Heigl (at right, who is looking fabulously photoshopped on the cover) also talks about the potential of forgiveness of infidelity, learning to accept her body as it is in skinny Hollywood and about being a mother. It was interesting. I am glad she, as popular actor, spoke the words so many women know in their hearts but are not allowed to say.

Because of shows like "Sex and the City" and "Desperate Housewives" and a false feminism, women are encouraged to behave like animals and then pretend that it doesn't hurt or they don't feel empty because they are "liberated." We deserve better.

Women, how will we stem this tide? by giving in to the demands and false illusions of the world? or by running in the other direction and rejecting our femininity and becoming doormats? Neither option is the answer, for those options are just opposite sides of the drastic pendulum swim.

The answer lies in integration and holiness. The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines the meaning of chastity as "the successful integration of sexuality within the person and thus the inner unity of man in his bodily and spiritual being." (#2337)

No, it doesn't mean being "barefoot and pregnant" as some "feminists" would claim that the Church teaches. Nor does it mean embracing hedonism and nihilism. It doesn't mean becoming like men or turning to sterilization and abortion, treating fertility and womanhood as a curse.

It means allowing Jesus to come and reveal us to ourselves. It means embracing the strong rock of Life and standing firm. It means learning and growing ever more deeply into what it really means to be a woman. It means casting aside the lies that are in our hearts and living in the truth. It means transformation and discipleship. Ultimately, chastity is the journey of true and authentic love. Learning who we really are so we can make a complete and full gift of ourselves.

We as women must unite and learn and grow. Start a women's bible study or women's group in your area. Read the letters of John Paul II to women, read and study Theology of the Body. There are so many women out there, women like Kimberly Hahn and Johnette Benkovic who have beautiful women's study groups available in book form and DVD.

If you have something like this in your area, maybe you could write and leave a comment here and give other women hope and encouragement.

And tomorrow, on the beautiful solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, may our Mother, The Woman, bless us, her daughters, and bring us healing, peace and courage.

As a woman and a Bride of Christ, I am praying for you all.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Rush Limbaugh on Tim Tebow

A few weeks ago, I posted an article about Denver Bronco's quarterback Tim Tebow written by Catholic author George Weigel.

Here is Rush Limbaugh's take on the persecution and naysaying of Mr. Tebow.

I think Rush, like George Weigel, makes a lot of great points that are true and valid.

A Guy's Note To His Wife About Christmas Lights

Someone sent this funny joke to me this morning and it made me laugh. Hope you enjoy it as well!


Hi, Sweetheart:

I am sorry about getting into an argument about putting up the Christmas lights.
 
I guess that sometimes I feel like you are pushing me too hard when you want something.
 
I realize that I was wrong, and I am apologizing for being such a hard-headed guy.
 
All I want is for you to be happy--and be able to enjoy the holiday season.
 
Nothing brightens the Christmas spirit like Christmas lights!
 
I took the time to hang the lights for you today--and now I will  be off to the golf course.
 
Again, I am very sorry for the way I acted yesterday.
 
I'll be home later.
 
Love you…… 

Sunday, December 04, 2011

The Mass Is Not Like Angry Birds...

With all the talk and some disagreement from people about the new translation of the Mass, it reminds me once again that the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is not like Angry Birds.

The Mass is not a superficially entertaining game. We do not come to Mass to be entertained. I hear people often say (and I used to think the same thing myself) "Mass is so boring, I dont get anything out of it and no one ever talks to me after Mass is over."

The truth of this statement depends upon our interior disposition. If we are coming to Mass unprepared and expecting to be entertained and have things be "about us" then, yes, we will be bored. If we dont know much about our faith or the meaning of the prayers, then reciting them will seem monotonous and needless. If we don't realize that we are coming to receive and be received BY the King of Kings and our hearts are full of sin, then we will leave untouched and frigid.

Rather than being a game like Angry Birds, the Holy Mass is an eternal invitation, much like fine art. Not art that says its art, but exquisite art in its true form. True art is an invitation to ponder and enter into eternal beauty. This kind of art stands firm and true, no matter whether the shallow walk by without a second glance or "new interpretations and standards" of art deem it old-fashioned and irrelevant. Truth is truth.

There is a quote by someone (sorry, I cannot recall the author) who said, "the truth is the truth if no one believes it and a lie is a lie even if everyone believes it."

When we see an amazing piece of fine art and we stop and ponder it, we enter into it very deeply. The more we know about the artist, the symbolism within the painting and the time in which it was painted, the more we are absorbed into its beauty. It's not "entertaining" but richly life-giving. This is the Mass on every level.

In the Mass, we engage all of our senses to receive and be received. We encounter Jesus as the Word of Life and we encounter Him as the Bread of Life and the Lamb of God. We profess our faith. We pray and sing together as a community. And the more we study about our faith and the more we come to know Jesus, as He is, personally, the more we are absorbed into His beauty and life. It's incredible.

In the end, we are responsible for our own holiness or lack thereof. The priests at our respective parishes lead us and guide us, and hopefully they feed us, but in the end, they are not responsible for our personal holiness. All of us have equal access to Jesus and the Sacraments, so we must journey on this path responsibly.

There is a time for games like Angry Birds, sure. There is nothing wrong with being entertained at times. But there is a time for all things.

Above and beyond all, the Holy Mass is the time we enter into and are transformed by Eternal Beauty Himself.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

"Larry King" and "Sarah Palin" Debate the New Translation of the Mass

This video is hilarious and so true!!! thanks to Rick for sending it along.

This is exactly what I was referring to in one of my other posts, "everyone KNOWS what's in Vatican II" when many people dont!

Friday, December 02, 2011

Michele Bachmann explains Same Sex Marriage and Prayer In School

This women seems full of common sense and grace. God bless her for speaking the truth...

Stephen Colbert's World....

Someone sent me a link last night to a bit that Stephen Colbert did on his show The Colbert Report which is featured on Comedy Central.

I don't watch Stephen Colbert nor much of Comedy Central but I am familiar with him and his show. His show is a satirical take on politics and current events. It seems he spends a fair amount of time making of fun more conservative talk show hosts like Bill O'Reilly and Glenn Beck.

In the clip that was sent to me by a reader, (thanks for sending that, anonymous person) Mr. Colbert was commenting on the new Mass translation and its effect on the people. Mr. Colbert referred to himself as a Catholic and poked fun at the translation, the inability to follow along during Mass and play games on one's iphone at the same time, and how it was a scandal that the Church "not known for changing it's stance on things" changed the translation.

If I am not mistaken, Mr. Colbert has a team of writers that write his monologues so whether he is saying what he really thinks or just things to make people laugh or offend people is unknown.

However, I do know this- learning about the Catholic Church from mainstream media is scary and precarious. Quite honestly, I am not offended by Mr. Colbert's "opinion" because it holds no weight for me. It would be a sad day indeed if I were to look to him for spiritual guidance, no matter how "Catholic" he claims to be. I do not know what resides in his heart or how he lives his private life or his true relationship with God, but I do know that I wouldn't turn to his show for spiritual or even political guidance. It's a comedy show, not a real source of information.

Last night I was listening to a homily by Fr. Robert Barron from his Word on Fire website. This particular homily was on the parable of the wise and foolish virgins. Fr. Barron explains the context of the parable and then talks about how we put oil in our lamps. He talked about the need for the ongoing study of our faith. He asked, "how many of us have a theology book next to our bed that we really study?" and i think it's so true. It seems like so often we want people to TELL us what to think and HOW to think so we don't have to do the homework ourselves.

Sometimes I hear people (still) denouncing or mistranslating the Second Vatican Council. Yet, I highly doubt they have ever read the documents from the Council to know what they even say. It's easier for us to hear someone "important" say something and then repeat that ourselves without ever doing our own homework.

If we want our faith to grow and the Light of Jesus to shine from within us, we must do our own work. We must study, learn and grow.

I did agree with Stephen Colbert on one point though. He said, "these new translations make me have to actually pay attention to the words I am saying, rather than mindlessly recite prayers I have memorized."

Amen, brother. Amen.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Some Scientists Call For 'Health Warnings' To Be Placed On Photoshopped Images

This is an AMAZING study by scientists who have found an mathematical formula to determine whether an image has been photoshopped. They are suggesting that photoshopped images carry a 'health warning' so that people know they aren't real. (do we live in the Twilight Zone or what?)

Read the excerpt from www.foxnews.com here:
Scientists have come up with a way to detect if photographs of celebrities or models have been airbrushed or not -- and they hope it will be used to provide a universal “health warning” on magazine images.

Professor of computer science Hany Farid and doctoral student Eric Kee from Dartmouth College analyzed 468 sets of unedited and retouched photographs of models. They then created a computer program to highlight the differences between a natural and retouched picture, using a mathematical description of augmentations. Each altered photograph was then judged on a scale of 1 to 5 -- with 5 signifying heavy retouching. 

Prof Farid and Mr Kee then asked 50 people randomly to compare the photographs against their own ratings and found the scores matched closely.

"Now what we have is a mathematical measure of photo retouching," Prof Farid wrote in a study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. "We can predict what an average observer would say."

Farid said he undertook the research to provide consumers with more information on Photoshopped images.

“Impossibly thin, tall, and wrinkle -- and blemish-free models are routinely splashed onto billboards, advertisements, and magazine covers,” Farid wrote.

He said these highly idealized images have been linked to eating disorders and body image dissatisfaction in men, women, and children.

Farid and Kee said they are seeking a way for advertisers to truthfully and accurately characterize the extent to which an image has been altered, allowing the public to make informed judgments.They propose a rating system that takes into account common practices such as cropping and color adjustment while providing assessment of other kinds of modifications.

“Such a rating may provide incentive for publishers and models to reduce some of the more extreme forms of digital retouching that are common today,” they wrote.


Fr. Barron Speaks On New Mass Translation...

Former Actress Speaks Out On Hollywood's Obsession With Being Thin

Tracey Gold gave this interview regarding the immense pressure on women to be thin in Hollywood and how that affects regular young women. Very thought provoking....

I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day...

Powerful rendition of this song by Casting Crowns....about hope in the midst of suffering.

Lady Gaga Speaks Her Sorrow...

Lady Gaga is arguably the most influential and popular woman in pop culture today. She calls her fans her "little monsters" and always seems to be doing ever more sensational things, everything from wearing a dress made out of raw meat to wearing a latex nun's habit onstage and featuring "Jesus" and "Judas" in a controversial music video.

Her music hints at her delving into bi-sexuality and she is a well-known proponent of gay rights. She often appears scantily clad in public or dressed up in eccentric fashions. Needless to say, she gets noticed.
 A lot.

But for all her "shocking" behavior choices, I wonder what is behind this mask. She seems to me to be one of the most closed and covered individuals of heart. We see a lot of her body and "life-style choices" but something about it seems hollow and empty. I'm not buying it.

Her wikipedia entry says this:  From the age of 11, Gaga – who was raised Roman Catholic attended the Convent of the Sacred Heart, a private all-girls Roman Catholic school on Manhattan's Upper East Side. She described her academic life in high school as "very dedicated, very studious, very disciplined" but also "a bit insecure" as she told in an interview, "I used to get made fun of for being either too provocative or too eccentric, so I started to tone it down. I didn't fit in, and I felt like a freak." Acquaintances dispute that she did not fit in at school. "She had a core group of friends; she was a good student. She liked boys a lot, but singing was No. 1," recalled a former classmate.


As I pondered her peculiar public behavior and overtly sexual music, it seemed to me that she must have a hangup somewhere, like we all do. When I read her newest interview with Vanity Fair magazine, her words were very revealing.

She says, "I have never felt truly cherished by a lover. I have an inability to know what happiness feels like with a man...I have this effect on people where it starts out good. Then, when I’m in these relationships with people who are also creative, or creative in their own way, what happens is the attraction is initially there and it’s all unicorns and rainbows. And then they hate me.

So we see in the heart of Lady Gaga, the same deep yearning all of us have- to be loved for who we are, unconditionally and totally. When we don't get that kind of love- be it from our family of origin, our own wounds or choosing toxic people to unite with, it's easy to seek more disordered ways of "love" to try to get what we crave the most, but it never works.

Our capacity to love and be loved is a bottomless ocean. It is eternal and endless because we were created in endless and eternal love for endless and eternal love.

Lady Gaga seeks love and she seeks to "be seen" like we all do. This is not bad, it's part of our humanity. Our struggle is allowing Jesus to come and reorder our brokenness and thereby turning away from sin. Sin makes us unhappy and dark.

We pray for all those in the public eye who have influence over others. May they use their influence for good and not for evil.