Make the Sign of the Cross and Go In!

Tuesday, December 31, AD 2013

General William S. Rosecrans

My avatar when I blog and when I comment on blogs is Major General William Rosecrans.  As my personal motto for the coming year I will adopt one of his sayings:  Make the Sign of the Cross and Go In!

Outside of his family, General William S. Rosecrans had three great passions in his life:  His religion, Roman Catholicism, to which he had converted as a cadet at West Point, the Army and the Union.  In the Civil War all three passions coincided.  Rising to the rank of Major General and achieving command of the Army of the Cumberland, until he was removed in the aftermath of the Union defeat at Chickamauga, Rosecrans conducted himself in the field as if he were a Crusader knight of old.

Raised a Methodist, Rosecrans’ conversion was a life long turning point for him.  He wrote to his family with such zeal for his new-found faith that his brother Sylvester began to take instruction in the Faith.  Sylvester would convert, become a priest, and eventually be the first bishop of Columbus, Ohio.

His most precious possession was his Rosary and he said the Rosary at least once each day. In battle the Rosary would usually be in his hand as he gave commands.  He had a personal chaplain, Father Patrick Treacy, who said Mass for him each morning and would busy himself the rest of the day saying masses for the troops and helping with the wounded.  In battle he exposed himself to enemy fire ceaselessly as he rode behind the General.   Rosecrans, after military matters were taken care of, delighted in debating theology with his staff officers late into the evening.

As a general Rosecrans was in the forefront of Union commanders until his defeat at Chickamauga.  His removal from command following the battle was controversial at the time and has remained controversial, some historians seeing in it a continuation by Grant, who was placed in charge of Chattanooga following Chickamauga, of his long-standing feud with Rosecrans.  Certainly Rosecrans had already drafted the plan followed by Grant to reopen the lines of supply to the Union forces in Chickamauga.  Go here to read a spirited defense of General Rosecrans which appeared in issue 401 of The Catholic World in 1898.

Rosecrans resigned from the Army in 1867 and had a successful business career.  He served in Congress from 1881-1885.

He narrowly missed being the first Catholic president of the United States.  General James Garfield, an Ohio Republican Congressman and future president, who had served under him, telegraphed Rosecrans during the 1864 Republican Convention to see if the Democrat Rosecrans would serve as Veep on a Union ticket with Lincoln.  Rosecrans gave a cautiously positive reply but Garfield never received the telegram and the nomination went to Andrew Johnson.  Rosecrans suspected that the telegram had been intercepted by Rosecrans’ old nemesis, Secretary of War Stanton.

One hundred and fifty-one  years ago Rosecrans was fighting a huge battle at Stones River in Tennessee that would last from December 31, 1862-January 3, 1863.  He succeeded in defeating Bragg’s Confederate Army of Tennessee and drove him from central Tennessee.  It was an important victory, a needed shot in the arm for the Union after the disaster of Fredericksburg.  Lincoln wrote to Rosecrans:

“You gave us a hard-earned victory, which had there been a defeat instead, the nation could scarcely have lived over.”

During that battle he was a man on fire, constantly charging to points of danger, heedless of risks to himself, rallying his men, inspiring them and beating off Confederate charge after Confederate charge.  Rosecrans was in the maelstrom of particularly vicious fighting when his Chief of Staff,  Lieutenant Colonel Julius Garesche, a fellow Catholic who had been made a Knight of Saint Sylvester by Pope Pius IX,  warned him about risking himself to enemy fire.   “Never mind me, my boy, but make the sign of the cross and go in!” A moment later, a cannon shell careened into the general’s entourage, beheading Garesche and spraying his brains all over Rosecrans’ overcoat.  Rosecrans’ mourned his friend, as he mourned all his brave men who died in that fight, but that didn’t stop him an instant from leading his army to victory.

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31 Responses to Make the Sign of the Cross and Go In!

  • Have just made the Sign of the Cross, under the Southern Cross, which is very bright right now in the south west sky at about 10 o’clock above the horizon. Its just coming up 1.00 am. on January 1st. 2014, and have just returned from a friends place after having a pleasant evening, and welcoming in the new year.

    May God bless all who present and visit on TAC, and may we all live in God’s grace in the coming year.
    Happy New Year everybody.

  • Happy New Year Don for you and yours!

  • A great post filling in a lot of important details from the Archives of American Catholic history!

    “Non nobis Domine! non nobis sed nomini tuo da gloriam.”

  • Another excellent post Don, this is rather fascinating to me because I live in the general area (the Diocese of Columbus) from which the Rosecrans family hails. General Rosecrans converted from the Methodist faith of his youth to Catholicism while teaching at West Point, which is very curious since there were few Catholics amidst many Episcopalians.

    As you indicated his brother was the first Bishop of the newly made Diocese of Columbus. Bishop Rosecrans spent much of his time directing the building of the cathedral which today stands in the heart of Columbus. In 1978 to celebrate the cathedral’s 100 year anniversary, most every 8th grade child who attended Catholic schools in the diocese were taken to Columbus for the celebration. I recall going to the “big city” was quite a big deal for us. One of the tidbits I most remember was hearing the story that Bishop Rosecrans died the very next day after consecrating St. Joseph’s Cathedral.

    Bishop Rosecrans High School is located in Zanesville about 60 miles east of Columbus on the Old National Road (Route 40 which parallels Interstate 70.) The Diocese of Columbus is not a very “Catholic area” compared to that of the Diocese of Cleveland or the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. However, Zanesville and areas south such as Somerset were Dominican outposts, St Joseph’s parish in Somerset being Ohio’s first Catholic parish.

    There is an interesting connection between General Phil Sheridan (who grew up in Somerset which has a population today of around 1,500 and not much different from 100 or even 150 years ago) and General William Tecumseh Sherman. General Sherman grew up in nearby Lancaster and both men supposedly have a connection to the original parish in Somerset, St. Joseph’s. During my time as Principal at Holy Trinity School in Somerset, I tried to get to the bottom of the old legends, but never could put everything together.

  • God’s speed. Make the sign of the cross and go in, Donald. We are all with you.

  • Don

    In July 1863 the union had three big success that settled the fate of the war. Thile Gettysburg and vicksburg were very high casulty affairs General Roscrans Tullahoma Campaign accomplished at least as much but is is seldom herad about because there was no largebattle and the resuting casulties.

    General Rosecrans’ army of the Cumberland was the second largest Union army after the Armyof the Potomic. But it had to operate over far greater distances with biger obsticles.

    More signifcant than his leadership in battle was building the army’s support structure. This not only made his operations possible bu his scessors in the theater could not have achived their succeess’s without it.

  • Outstanding role model.
    I do not doubt for one moment that Rosecrans
    is involved with spiritual help for you and your family.
    I’m also imagining that he is proud that you have chosen him as your avatar.
    Thanks for sharing him with us Don.

  • I wonder what our history would have been like with a Catholic president of presumably Jewish ancestry, particularly if he’d been more a Lincoln than a Johnson.

  • “There is an interesting connection between General Phil Sheridan (who grew up in Somerset which has a population today of around 1,500 and not much different from 100 or even 150 years ago) and General William Tecumseh Sherman. General Sherman grew up in nearby Lancaster and both men supposedly have a connection to the original parish in Somerset, St. Joseph’s. During my time as Principal at Holy Trinity School in Somerset, I tried to get to the bottom of the old legends, but never could put everything together.”

    Fascinating. Both men were friends of Rosecrans, especially Sheridan, who although he became a favorite of Grant, ever remained loyal to his former commander. All three men were Catholic. Sheridan from birth, Rosecrans a convert, and Sherman because he was raised by the Catholic Ewing family after the death of his father. Sherman married Ellen Ewing and all of his kids were raised Catholic. Although a baptized Catholic, Sherman had little use for organized, or disorganized religion, and it broke his heart when his son Tom became a Jesuit priest. Tom and his siblings made certain that Sherman was given the Last Rites on his death bed.

  • “Make the sign of the cross and go in, Donald. We are all with you.”

    Thank you Mary!

  • “General Rosecrans Tullahoma Campaign”

    Indeed Hank! It was a military masterpiece. Rosecrans’ bloodless victorious campaign was immediately, and forever, overshadowed by Vicksburg and Gettysburg. However one observer indicated later that he had noted the high generalship involved.
    “The flanking of Bragg at Shelbyville, Tullahoma and Chattanooga is the most splendid piece of strategy I know of.”, so wrote Abraham Lincoln.

  • “I do not doubt for one moment that Rosecrans
    is involved with spiritual help for you and your family.”

    That had not occurred to me Philip. I certainly hope it is the case, because then my family and I will have a fighter in our corner!

  • “I wonder what our history would have been like with a Catholic president of presumably Jewish ancestry, particularly if he’d been more a Lincoln than a Johnson.”

    Generals who enter the political realm often have a rough time of it, particularly when they are as blunt and outspoken as Rosecrans. I find it hard to believe however that he would not have been more successful than Johnson, although that is a rather low bar.

  • By the way, that photo and pose, “bulldog.” His look is “all in” and it’s as if he would like to tell the photographer what to do with that eye-glass in his hand. Bulldog!

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  • If we would all just “make the sign of the cross and go in” in 2014 this world, this USA, would be a much better place for God’s glory to shine!

  • Naturally enough for a born-and-bred southerner, I have far fewer heroes on the Federal than on the Confederate side of “the War,” though Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain and Winfield Scott Hancock are in that select band. Thanks for introducing me to another one, whom I gladly add to that personal pantheon with hopes for his prayers.

  • What a wonderful surprise to wake up New Year’s morning, and the first thing that pops up on my computer, is this fascinating read about General Rosecrans. My family had lived at Ft. Rosecrans on Point Loma in San Diego for many years and had never learned a thing about this illustrious General. And to think, our Ohio roots are similar too. Being somewhat of a History buff, you have prompted me to dig further and re-visit my old temporary home at Fort Rosecrans, seeing it with new eyes. Thank you so very much!

  • Gen. Rosencrans’ might well have appreciated a poem entitled “God Knows” by Minnie Louise Haskins, an Englishwoman and Congregationalist, which conveys a relinquishing and giving over of one’s self to the providence of Our Lord trusting in Him to guide one on life’s journey.

    God Knows

    And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year: “Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”

    And he replied:

    “Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.”

    So I went forth, and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night. And He led me towards the hills and the breaking of day in the lone East.

    So heart be still:
    What need our little life
    Our human life to know,
    If God hath comprehension?
    In all the dizzy strife
    Of things both high and low,
    God hideth His intention.

    God knows. His will
    Is best. The stretch of years
    Which wind ahead, so dim
    To our imperfect vision,
    Are clear to God. Our fears
    Are premature; In Him,
    All time hath full provision.

    Then rest: until
    God moves to lift the veil
    From our impatient eyes,
    When, as the sweeter features
    Of Life’s stern face we hail,
    Fair beyond all surmise
    God’s thought around His creatures
    Our mind shall fill.

    Minnie Louise Haskins (1908)

  • Great article. As a Civil War buff and now living here in Georgia where many battles took place, I learned something in reading this. Thanks!


  • “Gen. Rosencrans’ might well have appreciated a poem entitled “God Knows” by Minnie Louise Haskins, an Englishwoman and Congregationalist, which conveys a relinquishing and giving over of one’s self to the providence of Our Lord trusting in Him to guide one on life’s journey.”

    Indeed, or as GK Chesterton put it:

    “The men of the East may spell the stars,
    And times and triumphs mark,
    But the men signed of the cross of Christ
    Go gaily in the dark.

    “The men of the East may search the scrolls
    For sure fates and fame,
    But the men that drink the blood of God
    Go singing to their shame.

    “The wise men know what wicked things
    Are written on the sky,
    They trim sad lamps, they touch sad strings,
    Hearing the heavy purple wings,
    Where the forgotten seraph kings
    Still plot how God shall die.

    “The wise men know all evil things
    Under the twisted trees,
    Where the perverse in pleasure pine
    And men are weary of green wine
    And sick of crimson seas.

    “But you and all the kind of Christ
    Are ignorant and brave,
    And you have wars you hardly win
    And souls you hardly save.”

  • “Being somewhat of a History buff, you have prompted me to dig further and re-visit my old temporary home at Fort Rosecrans, seeing it with new eyes. Thank you so very much!”

    Thank you Irene. Ah, History, our endless story in this Vale of Tears!

  • “As a Civil War buff and now living here in Georgia where many battles took place, I learned something in reading this.”

    I envy you living in a state with so many Civil War battlefields Mark. In Illinois, other than a few dust ups with copperheads, there are no battlefields from the War.

  • Thank you for this fine article which I have just discovered on your edifying website. I must mention, writing from England, that the first lines of the poem by Louise Haskins that you quote became famous in Britain during the war. The present Queen’s father, King George VI, quoted them in his Christmas broadcast to the Empire in 1939 and they became very famous. My grandmother, a good Methodist, had an inscribed copy of the words framed on her wall.

    God bless.

  • General Rosecrans, G. K Chesterton, and Minnie Louise Haskins affirm that our God given free will permits us to revel in fear and uncertainty or to place our trust in Our Lord and leap. Hopefully we will all choose to “Make the Sign of the Cross and Go In”. Happy New Year.

  • So beautiful!

  • How astonishing it is that one might wish to revel in despair!

  • Jon, you said….”How astonishing it is that one might wish to revel in despair!”

    I suppose there are some who might agree with you but Hilaire Belloc said it best…

    “Wherever the Catholic sun doth shine,
    There’s always laughter and good red wine.
    At least I’ve always found it so.
    Benedicamus Domino!”
    ― Hilaire Belloc

Keeping Wounded Vets Safe From Christmas Cards

Monday, December 30, AD 2013

Obama Deity



The madness and silliness that is the Obama administration continues apace.  Father Z gives us the details:

From FNC (where there is also video):

Boys and girls at Grace Academy in Prosper, Tex., spent most of last Friday making homemade Christmas cards for bedridden veterans at the VA hospital in Dallas. Fourth-grader Gracie Brown was especially proud of her card, hoping it would “make their day because their family might live far away, and they might not have somebody to celebrate Christmas with.” “I’d like them to know they’ve not been forgotten and somebody wanted to say thank you,” Gracie told Gracie’s card read, “Merry Christmas. Thank you for your service.” It also included an American flag. But the bedridden veterans at the VA hospital will never get to see Gracie’s card. Nor will they see the cards made by 51 other students. [Get this…] That’s because the Christmas cards violated VA policy. “It really didn’t occur to me there would be a problem with distributing Christmas cards,” said Susan Chapman, a math teacher at the academy. [Nor would most normal people think that children’s cards for Christmas were double-plus-ungood in the eyes of the Obama Administration.] She’s married to a veteran and volunteers with the American Legion and other veterans’ organizations. On Monday morning the boys and girls were planning on hand delivering the cards to the wounded veterans. [I’ll be the vets would have liked that.] Chapman called the hospital to make final arrangements and that’s when she learned there was a problem. “I told him my students made cards, we’d like to bring them down for the veterans,” Chapman told the television station. “And he said, ‘That’s great. We’re thrilled to have them, except the only thing is, we can’t accept anything that says ‘Merry Christmas’ or ‘God bless you’ or any scriptural references because of all the red tape.’[VA: GOD NOT ALLOWED.] A VA official quoted the policy which is in the Veterans Health Administration handbook: “In order to be respectful of our veterans’ religious beliefs, all donated holiday cards are reviewed by a multi-disciplinary team of staff led by chaplaincy services and determined if they are appropriate (non-religious) to freely distribute to patients. We regret this process was not fully explained to this group and apologize for any misunderstanding.” Hiram Sasser, director of litigation for Liberty Institute, said it was a new low “even for the Scrooges and Grinches at the VA.” “Targeting the benevolent work of little children for censorship is disgusting,” Sasser told me. “Do the Grinches in the administration of the VA really believe our bravest warriors need protection from the heartfelt well wishes of small children saying Merry Christmas?” [No, its the Obama mandarins who cannot bear that any views smacking of religion be permitted in the public square.  This is all of a piece.] Andrea Brown, Gracie’s mom, was dumbfounded by the news. “This wasn’t the country I grew up in, when you couldn’t say ‘Merry Christmas,’ you couldn’t say ‘God bless you’ or reference any scripture,” she told She told the television station the boys and girls were heartbroken that the military personnel would not be able to receive their cards. “They couldn’t believe the people that these people they wanted to honor weren’t going to get the chance to see what they had done,” she said. The cards will not be thrown away — they are being shipped to Brook Army Medical Center in San Antonio and to a private facility for veterans in Louisiana. Sasser said at some point, “does the VA have no shame?” “Mr. Potter from ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ wouldn’t even ban little children from wishing our veterans Merry Christmas,” Sasser said.  [But this is Mr. Obama’s VA.]

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35 Responses to Keeping Wounded Vets Safe From Christmas Cards

  • How sad for the veterans.
    How difficult would it be to ask the patients if they would like a card? Also the administration should know what religion to which a patient adheres, because it is on forms in the medical record.

  • Christmas is a National Holiday (paid holiday for federal workers) so it should not be illegal to wish someone a Merry National Holiday. I hope these VA workers realize that they just made lifelong Republicans or Liberatians out of these school kids.

  • This is awful. But I don’t know if I’d blame Obama for this. Not sure how much influence he had over this stupid policy.

  • You make perfect sense Cam.

  • Double whammy.
    The BO administration announced last week a major cut in retirement benefis for Vets. And the hits just keep on coming.

  • The hatred that this administration has for Christianity can never be underestimated. I can certainly understand that.

    I think it’s more cloddishness and cold contempt. And it is less ‘this Administration’ than the permanent government and the social nexus out of which the personnel of Democratic administrations are drawn.

  • The Republicans may be hypocrites, but the Democrats are as evil today as they were when they supported slavery in the 19th century.

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  • It’s amazing that the country could change so drastically in a person’s lifetime!

  • Jon.
    I agree.
    The MSM acts as a united propaganda mechanism which sold the bill of goods to a hungry “bail me out too” populace.
    This firestorm reminds me of what the Brits called the “Blitz.”
    Interestingly Obama chose a site in Germany that Hitler had used to “enlighten the masses.”
    I will verify the statement when I get a moment. On my way home at this time. (going from memory here.)

  • The brainwashing paid off. This is where the country is at if we are to believe the polls on social issues. It is no longer a matter of an elitist agenda being enforced. With the last generation we now represent those very ideas as a country.

  • Actually Obama has the lowest popularity, according to the latest polls, at the end of his fifth year than any President since Nixon, a majority of the people favor criminalizing abortion after the first trimester and in most polls a majority still oppose gay marriage. The country has not changed as much as the left hopes and conservatives fear. The ObamaCare debacle gives conservatives an excellent shot of winning strongly in 2014. On the state level conservatives have never been stronger.

  • The pollsters and manipulator a are doing their best to make us feel we are the minority and the battle is over. Looks like a vast army arrayed against us. But we are just the kind of people who love those underdog, little train that could, Lepanto stories.
    I know there are competing poll results and perhaps I am cushioned from harsh reality because of where I live but I am hopeful.
    It is scary though because I hear what grand kids are coming home from school with, being made worse by common core. Kids are becoming true believers of the secular narrative

  • How many branches of the United States government are there? Three–Judicial, Legislative and Executive. This government is not solely run by President Barack Obama. There is a website that explains the blending of religion and the military. Religion and military… opposite is that? There are over 140 different religions represented in the US military. That probably doesn’t include atheists and free thinkers. The appropriate person at the school should have consulted with the VA prior to preparing the cards. What’s more important…being able to write “Merry Christmas” or write “Thank You for Your Service”? I opt for the latter!

  • All soldiers and officers take their oath MGL “so help me God”. The national motto is “In God We Trust”. The Declaration of Independence tells us that our rights that the military exists to protect come from God. Lincoln hoped that this nation, under God, would have a new birth of freedom. The Pledge of Allegiance states that we are one nation under God. Obama and his squalid band of atheists are seeking to deny our heritage and our history, and this silliness demonstrates the lengths to which they will go denying wounded vets something as simple as a Christmas card from a kid if it mentions, shock!, God. May God forgive Obama and his fellow blind fools and their attempt to erase God from the public square in this nation.

  • I guess it’s hard to gauge the country’s opinions and beliefs. It does seem like the majority supports things like aboriton and “gay marriage,” but admittedly it can be a skewed picture. I do know the last generation is significantly more impressed by liberal social notions than generations before it.

  • From Father Z’s combox:

    MAJ Tony says:

    30 December 2013 at 7:50 am

    Apparently, this isn’t the first time this issue has come up. In fact, it appears to have already been made a “Federal case.” Here’s the current American Legion Commander, Dan Dellinger being quoted on the subject.

    “First of all, VA’s decision to prohibit the delivery of Christmas cards that mention Christmas is ludicrous,” Dellinger said today after Texas teacher Susan Chapman was told Monday that her students’ cards would not be delivered to veterans. “Second of all, VA has been down this road before, and recently. VA has been warned through a federal court decree to stop denying freedom of religious expression at its facilities. It’s pretty obvious the Dallas VA did not get that memo.”

  • I daresay these hospitalized heroes have a lot more class than the VA administration. They probably would love to receive cards from the kids. If the card really made them feel uncomfortable, they would pass the card to someone else after the kids left. I doubt seriously that many cards would be passed off.

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  • “Religion and military… opposite

    There has always been a strong connection between the military and religion if not fighting the “good fight” the military would just be thuggery.

  • Obama didn’t have direct authority over this policy or tha application of this policy in this local VA but there are so many people who admire him, who want to identify with his ideas, making themselves apparatchiks. He set the tone for the IRS, dept of education, dept of agriculture, justice dept. and on and on. He sets the tone as the military is winnowed.

  • “Religion and military… opposite is that?” Self defense. St. Thomas Aquinas’ Just War Theory. St. Michael the Archangel, St. Joan of Arc…

  • “How sad for the veterans. How difficult would it be to ask the patients if they would like a card?’
    The policy violates the free will of every one involved, the teacher, the children and the vets, but mostly the taxpayers who support the vets.

  • ““First of all, VA’s decision to prohibit the delivery of Christmas cards that mention Christmas is ludicrous,””
    “…or prohibit the free exercise thereof.” our First Constitutional Amendment about Freedom of Religion. These vets being deprived of the mail and cards ought to sue for First Amendment infringement. No peaceable assembly here.

  • Whether or not Obumbler authorized this action is irrelevant. Somebody who thinks like Obumbler did make this decision.

    Obumbler need not worry much about opinion polls. He has his White House bedroom, Air Force One and free vacations whenever he chooses for another three years. Those who support him enthusiastically will never abandon him, if only because they hate the Republican Party with a white hot fury.

    This nation elected him twice and we as a nation deserve every bit of misery we have for electing him.

  • “This nation elected him twice and we as a nation deserve every bit of misery we have for electing him.”
    The worst is yet to come through death panels, rationing of healthcare and the subverting of First Amendment civil rights. America is the only nation on the face of the earth with a constitution that requires the acknowledgement of free will of the individual substance of a rational nature, the human being, from the beginning of life through natural death, suicide being the same violation of the right to life as homicide. The soul of man cannot be denied.

  • Alternatively, the policy may be anti-religious in effect but not intent. Might it be a better example of “zero tolerance?” More often these days we see policies that shield managers and administrators from having to make decisions. This tendency plays itself out most frequently in school policy but is becoming common in the employment context too. Perhaps we are seeing the stupidity of shielding the VA from having to determine appropriateness by instituting a blanket policy.

  • Everybody blames President Obama for these kinds of incidents and while it is true that he, ultimately, is responsible for what happens on his watch, I can’t help wondering about his many advisors. One would think that SOMEONE in his administration would take him aside and say, “Mr. President, do you really think it is wise to prohibit school children who are planning to visit a VA facility from distributing Christmas cards to the veterans living there?” Apparently there is no one and equally apparent is the fact that we have the most anti religious presidency in the history of our country and supported by a judiciary that has repeatedly trampled on the Constitution! I truly fear for our country.

  • “In order to be respectful of our Veterans religious beliefs, all donated holiday cards are reviewed by a multi-disciplinary team of staff led by Chaplaincy services and determined if they are appropriate (non-religious) to freely distribute to patients. After the review is complete, the holiday cards that reference religious and/or secular tones are then distributed by Chaplaincy Service on a one-on-one basis if the patient agrees to the religious reference in the holiday card donation. The holiday cards that do not contain religious and/or secular tones are distributed freely to patients across the Health Care System. We regret this process was not fully explained to this group and apologize for any misunderstanding.”
    Fox News sheeple get overly excited about the dumbest things. You want this to be true so you can hate President Obama even more. Such great christians.

  • “Fox News sheeple get overly excited about the dumbest things. You want this to be true so you can hate President Obama even more. Such great christians.”

    Oh, unsound mind and body, the Obama administration is so frightened of Christianity that wounded vets must not be exposed to it, even by kids handing them Christmas cards. You also do not read very carefully, otherwise you would have come across the comment that the VA is already under a consent decree to stop doing this type of unconstitutional discrimination against religious speech:

    Stop mindlessly parroting leftist talking points and start using the brains God gave you.

  • Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’ve done my share of reading about the past two world wars and I’ve yet to come across even one card falling in this catagory featuring any reference to Kaiser, Fuhrer, Duce or Empeoror. And I’m sure nobody working within the Obama Admin would tolerate this abuse. I’m not going to deny the existence of some pro-Obama clique demonstrating its over-exuberance thinking they were doing their hero some favors. Besides, whoever is really behind this nonsense, has a horrible notion of anything artistic and did his hero no justice either. Let them deal with their own embarrassment so we can focus on applying practical measures to boost our wounded servicemen and women’s morale and chances of starting new lives.

  • “And I’m sure nobody working within the Obama Admin would tolerate this abuse.” The Obama Admin. prohibited the Catholic Mass on military bases during the government shutdown.

  • Bears repeating:
    “And I’m sure nobody working within the Obama Admin would tolerate this abuse.” The Obama Admin. prohibited the Catholic Mass on military bases during the government shutdown.

  • Anzlyne.


  • I’m surprised and not a bit disappointed that no has commented on the Obama graphic at the head of this article. I find it clever, ugly and blasphemous. Probably the President would be delighted to have it framed in his office.
    As for the story – I’m not surprised, it fits the mo(u)ld of this administration!

Predictions 2014

Monday, December 30, AD 2013

Crystal Ball Gazing

Well, it is time for me to go intrepidly where angels fear to tread.  My predictions for 2014.

1.   Elections 2014-The Republicans will gain 10-15 seats in the House and the GOP will take the Senate with at least a two seat advantage.

2.   Our fowl President-Obama’s lame duck status will be confirmed time and time again next year, with even Democrats in Congress considering him to be a spent force.

3.   ObamaCare Code Blue-ObamaCare will become an ever increasing debacle.  Legislation will be passed by June to largely gut ObamaCare which the President will veto.  The Republicans will be able to win an override vote in the House, but fail to do so in the Senate.

4.   Asia War-A high possibility of a naval or air clash between Japan and China.  I doubt if it would spiral out of control, but the old power relationships that maintained the peace since World War II are weakening around the globe, especially in Asia.

5.  Pope Francis and the Left-The bloom will be off the rose on the love affair that the left has with the Pontiff next year.  It will increasingly dawn on them that the Pope has no power over economies and that on social issues the teaching of the Church will not change.

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35 Responses to Predictions 2014

  • I hope especially that you are right about #5 and wrong about #7.

    Volgograd was hit for the 3rd time in a week this morning. That could be a sign that the terrorists know that striking at the Olympics will prove too difficult, so they are hitting at ‘soft’ targets in advance hoping to project the appearance of strength without actually possessing real strength. The Olympics start early February, so we will not need to wait long to find out if you are right.

    #5 is interesting. Of course, we want the Left, the Right, the Center and everyone else to respect and admire the pope. I know what you are talking about with the Left, though. They don’t respect him or Catholic theology, but are hopeful that he aligns well with their social agenda, and I hope they will be disappointed.

  • #1 – House yes, Senate no.

    #3 – Within the next few months we’ll be treated to a series of think pieces & round-table discussions about how the press unfairly piled on in their criticism of Obamacare.

    #4 – Make it “between Japan, China, N and/or S Korea” and I’d give you an 80% chance of being right.

    #5 – I’ve said it before, Pope Francis will lose his popularity in the press a week after Benedict passes away. Until then, Francis provides the press with a means to take indirect shots at his most immediate predecessor.

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  • I hope you’re right about all of them except #4 and #7. And #9 would be exceptionally sweet if it were Bill Maher.

  • Nah, i can’t agree with #10 Don.
    You’ve had so much practice by now 😉

  • Wrong Again Don! -McClarey will be wrong in some of his predictions!
    –D. McClarey

    #9 – predicting a Christopher Hitchens apparition is a really bold move!

  • Well, we know #6 won’t come true – I hope that’s the only one you got wrong.

    I was surprised to see that Matt Drudge said that in 2013, he discovered the power of prayer, something he hadn’t even known he needed. No, that’s not a conversion that is shaking the atheist world, but it was nice to read anyway.

  • 3. may be partially false, if, and it’s a big “if”, we can all but sweep the Congressional elections.

  • Oh, wait – I said I hoped #6 was the only one Don got wrong. Let me rephrase that – that’s the only one I know he got wrong. Believe me, I’m not hoping for terrorist attacks and a war in Asia.

    My Obamacare prediction: many people will suffer and some will die because of it. The media will try to hide the extent of the suffering from us because they still believe in his leftist blueprint for the country.

    Here’s another prediction: a gay couple will declare it to be their “right” to be married in a Catholic ceremony and will sue the Church. If it doesn’t happen in 2014, it’ll happen in 2015.

  • “Elections 2014-The Republicans will gain 10-15 seats in the House and the GOP will take the Senate with at least a two seat advantage.”

    you are underestimating the ability of Tea Party candidates to pointlessly destroy Republican opponents with whom they have no practical ideological difference. Though, maybe the dread establishment has a better handle on that this time.

  • “[N]o practical ideological difference?” We Tea (backronym:Taxed Enough Already) Partiers are the center of the Right, while the Establishment is center-right,at best,and out-and-out leftist at worst-look at Speaker Boehner and Senate Republican Leader McConnell!

  • the same Mitch McConnell who’s had his party bloc vote against every Obama initiative? This whole notion that McConnell and Bohener are RINOs, except maybe on immigration, is bizarre. They’re not exactly inspiring figures but they vote conservative down the line.

    this is not to mention that where certain Tea Party politicians do noticeably differ with other Republicans (Rand Paul, Ted Cruz,) it’s in a negative way.

  • Prove your statements, J.J., and a generic “look at what they said”, or “their records” isn’t enough. Prove Paul and Cruz are negative in their records, as well. Remember. I want representative votes.

  • you are underestimating the ability of Tea Party candidates to pointlessly destroy Republican opponents with whom they have no practical ideological difference.

    There have been 36 federal midterm elections since Reconstruction and in them the President’s party has gained seats in the House of Representatives precisely twice. The economic circumstances attending the first of these will not obtain in 2014 and those attending the 2d will obtain only if the most optimistic projections come to pass.

    I am not sure how you come to the conclusion that there is ‘no practical ideological difference’ between the Tea Party and the K-street nexus. Given time you will get better at this.

  • Vinny,

    You are unfair. It’s high bad form to ask a liberal to provide evidence to support calumnies.

    Re: the obama (borrow a $trillion each year; print $3 trillion fiat money; remit to corporate elitists/bankers/Soros/Buffett, political cronies and lobbyists; regulate; tax; repeat) recovery. This just in:

    Government dependence is sky-rocketing in the so-called “economic recovery.” It’s a clear signal that the middle class is dying.

    There are 4 million Americans who have been out of work for 27 weeks or more, the highest long-term unemployment rate since World War II. Close to 50 million Americans live in poverty and more than 100 million people get money from the federal government each month. The middle class is disintegrating as poverty ises to unprecedented levels. Extended unemployment benefits just ended for 1.3 million, and altogether 5 million unemployed Americans will lose benefits by the end of 2014. In addition, 47 million Americans had their food stamp benefits reduced. Approximately 6 million Americans ages 16 to 24-years are not in school and not working.

    And, they will vote for more of the same.

    Here’s what Roger Simon sees after they elect Hillary Clinton prez in 2016.

    “ . . .some version of Western Europe or, yet more frighteningly, China, a permanently stratified state capitalism governed by quasi-totalitarian bureaucrats. (We can call this system Soros Marxism, meaning a ruling clique of increasingly rich corporate czars employing a propagandistic veneer of socialist equality to keep the power and wealth for themselves.)”

    Good night, America.

  • Please Hurry Back, Jesus! I am waiting for YOU.

  • Cruz is extremely ideological and way too self-assured, the first one isn’t necessarily a bad thing but he insists on doing certain things that backfire on the party as a whole. Paul I just disagree with his general philosophy/libertarianism in general, although he’s a little more interesting.

    Art Deco is like the encyclopedia of useless political knowledge. I didn’t say anything about the House flipping

  • “but he insists on doing certain things that backfire on the party as a whole.”
    Nope, he insists on doing principled things you disagree with. Parties must stand for things if they are going to succeed, and Cruz understands that one of things that the Republican party must stand for is fiscal sanity, something that the Democrats, and far too many Republican RINOs, long ago bid farewell to.

    “Art Deco is like the encyclopedia of useless political knowledge.”

    No, Art brings a depth of knowledge to all his comments that is greatly appreciated by me, even when I, rarely, disagree with him. In this case he clearly understands the deck stacked against the Democrats historically in the second mid term of a two term President of their party, especially a President whose popularity currently only surpasses that of Nixon in post war second terms.

  • J.I., I humbly suggest that you quit reading mainstream news pieces about the Tea Party. McConnell and Boehner are typical inside the beltway RINOS – afraid to directly confront the Commucrat Party about any spending or the growth of government.

    A few of my own predictions:
    Several old celebrities (actors, has been rock stars) will die in 2014.
    NFL officiating will continue to stink.
    The Cleveland Browns will continue in their quest to be the NFL’s version of the Chicago Cubs.
    The lame-stream media will ignore the March for Life.
    Obumbler and his wife, the “nutritionist” with hips as wide as Nebraska, will take expensive vacations.
    The weather will be unusually cold in some places and unusually warm in others, prompting more warnings of “climate change”.
    MSNBC will continue to smear Sarah Palin. Palin will continue to ignore them.
    No budget will be passed by Congress.
    Saturation advertising in 2014:
    1. Weight loss
    2. Valentine’s Day diamonds and chocolates.
    2a. Super Bowl ads…..since the Pittsburgh Steelers will not be playing, I will ignore the Super Bowl and all of its expensive ads.
    3. President’s Day car sales.
    4. Primary political ads.
    5. Back to school ads starting before July 4, reaching saturation point in August. These ads will include power tools, cars, tires, and other things having nothing to do with school.
    6. Halloween displays beginning immediately after Labor Day.
    7. Black Friday advertising drowning out Thanksgiving and ushering in the start of American Holiday Shopping Season. This was once known as Advent.
    8. Saturation car advertising with snow, ribbons, bows and fake “holiday” music at the end of the year.

    Happy New year, everyone. May it be better than the old one….though I suspect real improvement will not begin until my son’s ninth birthday on January 20, 2017.

  • I didn’t say anything about the House flipping

    If you were not referring to that, your comment in reply to his predictions re the composition of Congress doesn’t have much point.

    Cruz is extremely ideological and way too self-assured, the first one isn’t necessarily a bad thing but he insists on doing certain things that backfire on the party as a whole

    ?. Personally, I would stay away from gaming the effects of parliamentary squabbling. They’re ephemeral, their effects are unpredictable when they are not ephemeral, and they are not very interesting to discuss.

    That aside, what’s your alternative? The most charitable explanation for some of Boehner’s recent behavior (re immigration ‘reform’) is that it’s some sort of p.r. bank shot. The uncharitable explanation is that he’s angling for a slot at Haley Barbour’s lobbying firm when he retires from Congress. The depressing business is that nothing about the background of the various other Republican caucus sachems – Cantor, McCarthy, Rodgers, McConnell, Thune, or Reince Priebus while we are at it – would lead you to wager they would be less inclined to truckle to crony capitalism than Boehner (and while we are at it, can you explain how career public official McConnell came by an eight-digit net worth?).

  • Home Depot’s Ken Langone’s vinegary veiled threat to the Church (re: possible major loss of rich donors) will only leave him settling for eating crow and having to eat his salad doused with his own vinegar by the time the fuller picture of his economic views gets circulated around parishes. I admire what Langone has done with Home Depot, and it’s not at all likely he’ll face a “boycott” threat packing any credibility. Even liberal Catholics know that. Some of them are building contractors, carpenters, artists, etc. and they’re not going to put their hand in one moving table saw to make any “statement.” Except a very stupid one. On the other hand, these same contractors and individual crafting artists who look at HD’s “nearest competitor” and yet remain loyal, can’t help feeling some disgust at this one-percenter’s contemptuous remarks thrown at Francis who deserves his well earned popularity for sticking up for the vast number of people who earn their living, unlike the hedge funders who manipulate the market for themselves and an even smaller crowd of economic elites. Heck, let those guys can go buy lawn hedgers and try working for a living. Pope Francis W, Ken Langone, L.

  • 1. Kathleen Sebelius will “take one for the team” over Obamacare.
    2. Pope Francis (or the CDF) will be forced to excommunicate a bishop.
    3. Accusations will surface that the Obama administration has been rooting through NSA data for dirt on their political opponents. The Justice Department will refuse to investigate.
    4. Violence in Egypt will continue to increase and become the dominant threat to Mideast stability by late summer.
    5. An act of terrorism in the Mideast will provoke an American retaliation less than a month before the November elections.
    6. Evangelicals will be shocked when a prominent pastor jumps ship and promotes “gay marriage”.

  • I limit my 2014 prediction to one of mere cleromancy. There may be a toss of the dice possibility that the “Middle Class” will awaken to the realization that they are being predictively destroyed by the inexorable machinations of a Marxist machine.
    Karl Marx predicted that the petite bourgeoisie were to lose in the course of economic development. Who is hated more by the hard left than those of us holding to middle class values such as God, Family and Country? These stand in the way of the statist ambition to enshrine government in place of God who puts before us life and death and allows us to choose.

  • “The Cleveland Browns will continue in their quest to be the NFL’s version of the Chicago Cubs.” The Detroit Lions will contest them in that role.

    The Cowboys will be over-hyped in the pre-season, but only go 8-8 and miss the playoffs. Jerry Jones will continue to live in denial as to the cause.

    Lance Armstrong will be named ambassador to France.

  • Penguins Fan, I don’t believe “mainstream news sources” about the Tea Party, I just know that the Republican Party leadership is conservative on almost everything, as you would expect from people representing a conservative party. The notion that they’re RINOs/Rockefeller types only works if your definition of conservatism depends on the amount of firebreathing rhetoric used, or drastically cutting spending in unrealistic amounts.

    this means nothing about how inspiring they are as leaders of course, or how many of their positions are held out of sincere ideology as opposed to bland partisan politics, but that doesn’t necessarily matter.

  • Penguins Fan, I don’t believe “mainstream news sources” about the Tea Party, I just know that the Republican Party leadership is conservative on almost everything, as you would expect from people representing a conservative party. The notion that they’re RINOs/Rockefeller types only works if your definition of conservatism depends on the amount of firebreathing rhetoric used, or drastically cutting spending in unrealistic amounts.

    Much of the RINO discourse is stupid and there have been no Rockefeller Republicans in Congress since 1992. However, that’s not the distinction your interlocutors are making reference to here in slicing up the Republican caucus leadership.

    The signature of the Democratic Party is constructing patron-client relationships and promoting rent-seeking which provides a function for pols as brokers. It has been so pervasive since 1932 that academic political science back in the day defined politics as “the authoritative allocation of values”. Dr. Zummo may wish to elaborate on this. The scale and mode of construction changed after 1932, but the basic pattern was established decades earlier. The Republican Party swims in this dirty pond as well, but this is an aspect of Republican governance, not the whole enchilada. One question that the Tea party has raised (in its haphazard and slipping-clutch way) is whether the Republican Party in Washington just swaps out one set of clients for another set or whether it actually breaks out the sandblaster and the power wash and gets to work. Another question is whether it articulates its program with verve and self-confidence, or whether it lets the Democratic Party press agents (employed on congressional staffs and in newsrooms and in the Sorosphere) to set the terms of discourse.


    The problem with the Tea party is not that they are ‘extreme’, but that they only work at one level of discourse. They are an expression of the starboard culture of complaint. It is difficult to get Tea partisans to focus on desirable policy adjustments (or they come up with crankish complaints about whatever anyone offers as an improvement). What you need now is some sort of auxilliary to the Tea party which can produce a programme of government. The efforts of policy shops like Heritage are too fragmented.

  • the GOP is probably not so self-confident about their agenda because they’ve failed to push back against continual liberal allegations that their non-economic views are held out of various forms of bigotry. Democrats are decent at framing different components of their agenda as “equal rights” while Republicans fail to articulate their vision in a meaningful way.

  • “Democrats are decent at framing different components of their agenda as “equal rights” while Republicans fail to articulate their vision in a meaningful way.”

    Considering that nationally the Republican party is stronger now than at any time since the presidency of Calvin Coolidge, I will assume, charitably, that you simply have not been paying attention.

  • Considering that nationally the Republican party is stronger now than at any time since the presidency of Calvin Coolidge, I will assume, charitably, that you simply have not been paying attention.

    Partisan Democrats such as this chap

    fancy that demographic factors are on the verge of destroying the Republican Party electorally.

  • Still, conservatives can get better at framing and articulating!

  • Ah yes Art, the ever emerging Democrat Majority. Leftists have predicting the inevitable collapse of the GOP due to demographic factors for about 20 years now. While their arguments are not without merit, they overrate the value of the notion of demographic destiny.

  • Still, conservatives can get better at framing and articulating!


  • “What you need now is some sort of auxilliary to the Tea party which can produce a programme of government. The efforts of policy shops like Heritage are too fragmented.”
    The first Tea Party produced a program of government which contains all peoples’ human rights. Our founding principles inscribed in our Declaration of independence, our Constitution for the United States of America and its Bill of Rights are the finest definition of man’s unalienable sovereign rights on the face of the earth. Our founding principles are based on Judeo-Christian principles found in the Holy Bible (correct translation). Secular humanism and atheism excoriates any person who dares to speak the truth to power. Atheism decimates the will to freedom and denies the sovereignty of the human being by denying the rational, immortal human soul and the Creator who creates the human soul and the God who endows unalienable human civil rights.

  • USA – from Puritans to Impure-itans

    Any connection between beautiful New England and predicted disasters?
    Take same-sex marriage. I would have guessed that a “sin” city (San Francisco? Las Vegas?) would have been the first to legalize it.
    Oddly it’s been America’s birthplace that’s wanted to be the first place to end America and its values! It’s been a Nor’easter of Perversion (helping to fulfill Luke 17’s “days of Lot”) that began in (you guessed it) Boston in 2004!
    New England has gone from the Mayflower Compact to the Gay Power Impact, from Providence to decadence, from Bible thumpers to God dumpers, from university to diversity to perversity, and from the land of the Great Awakening to God’s Future Shakening that’ll make the Boston bombings look like Walden Pond ripples by comparison!
    The same Nor’easter has been spreading south and as far west as Washington State where, after swelling up with pride, Mt. Rainier may wish to celebrate shame-sex marriage by having a blast that Seaddlepated folks can share in lava-land!
    The same Luke 17 prediction is tied to the Book of Revelation which speaks of the cities that God will flatten because of same-sexism – including American cities – a scenario I’ll have to accept since I can’t create my own universe and decree rules for it.
    I’ve just been analyzing the world’s terminal “religion” that has its “god,” its accessories, its “rites,” and even a flag. It’s an obsession that the infected converts are willing to live for, fight for – and even die for!
    Some claim that Jesus never mentioned homosexuality. Well, when gays have birthdays they don’t say what they don’t want but say positively what they do want.
    Likewise Jesus didn’t get negative and mention every sexual variation that He knew mankind would invent, but stated positively that marriage involves only a man and a woman!
    Want more facts? Google “God to Same-Sexers: Hurry Up,” “Government-Approved Illegals,” “FOR GAYS ONLY: Jesus predicted,” “Filthy Still Club (Rev. 22:11),” and “The Background Obama Can’t Cover Up.”

  • “Kathleen Sebelius will “take one for the team” over Obamacare.” Kathleen Sebelius earned every mark down she gets and then some. She is no hero. What bothers me is that no one on the Obama team seems to know who We, the people, their constituents, are. They are like blind moles digging a grave for our country.

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State of the Union 1863

Sunday, December 29, AD 2013

Abraham Lincoln

On December 8, 1863 Lincoln sent his annual message to Congress in which he reviewed the state of the country during the year that was coming to an end.  The message to Congress would have been read by a clerk.  We would call this today a state of the union address.  Washington had delivered his annual messages to Congress personally to joint sessions.  This custom was ended by Thomas Jefferson, who thought the President delivering a speech to Congress smacked of monarchy, too closely resembling the speech from the throne delivered by English monarchs at the opening of Parliament.  Thereafter president’s sent their annual messages to Congress in written form, until Wilson revived the custom of delivering the speech in person.

One aspect of Lincoln’s speech that surprised me when I first read it is the amount of it devoted to foreign affairs, almost half, if the portion dealing with foreign nationals in the United States is included.  Lincoln devotes less than a quarter of the speech to the War which is unsurprising.  The War news was a constant feature of life in the United States during the Civil War, and Lincoln probably looked upon the annual message as an opportunity to remind Congress and the people that the War was not the only thing occurring in the United States.  Lincoln ends his message with a general overview of his policy regarding Reconstruction.  Lincoln could hope now that ultimate victory might be on the horizon, and he realized that a substantial portion of the Republican members of Congress opposed any leniency to the South.  Lincoln was beginning his tight rope walk to both satisfy the demands of the Radical Republicans for civil rights for freedmen, and to deny them their desire to punish the South.  He would continue to walk that tightrope until the bullet of Booth brought his life to an end with consequences the nation is still living with.  Here is the annual address of President Abraham Lincoln for 1863:

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3 Responses to State of the Union 1863

  • Lincoln’s longstanding decision to treat the Confederate states as American states (in rebellion) effectively undercut Richmond’s and all the rebellious state capitols as criminals, i.e. traitors; thus denying them any “moral high ground” especially after he signed the Emancipation Proclamation. However, had Gettysburg turned out like Chancellorsville, who’s to say what France might’ve done, but I have no doubt the Brits would’ve been chomping at the bit to make good for their losses at Yorktown and New Orleans.

  • “Without the advantage of public works, the resources of the nation have been developed and its power displayed in the construction of a Navy of such magnitude…”

    Tell me how that happened?

  • Adult-like cooperation. Whodathunkit possible in this land of “rugged individualism.”

Saint Thomas Becket, Sin and Contrition

Sunday, December 29, AD 2013

(I originally posted this on December 29th last year.  I think it is worth a repost on December 29th this year.)

Today is the feast day of my confirmation saint, Saint Thomas Becket, the holy, blessed martyr.  His story tells us how foreign to our time the Middle Ages are.  Becket was a worldly cleric who had risen to be chancellor of England for Henry II.  Henry seized the opportunity to place his man, Becket, on the throne of Canterbury as Primate of England.  Becket had a sudden and complete religious conversion and fought Henry for the liberty of the Church for which Becket suffered exile and, ultimately, murder.  In penance for Becket’s murder Henry had himself beaten by the monks at Canterbury before the tomb of his former friend who, two years after his death, was canonized by the Pope.  For over three centuries his tomb became one of the major pilgrimage sites in Europe and inspired the immortal Canterbury Tales.

The Middle Ages were fully as immersed in sin as our own time, although with different mixtures of evil, but the sins of the Middle Ages were often followed by great penances and acts of contrition that brightened and inspired countless lives down through the centuries.  This we have lost and this we must regain.  G.K. Chesterton put what we lack in high relief when he wrote about Saint Thomas:

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12 Responses to Saint Thomas Becket, Sin and Contrition

  • It is amazing how moderns often treat death. It is no longer feared. It is seen as the end of our lives, but nothing is believed to follow, neither good nor bad. So it worries no one. To be extinguished, I guess, is no worry for the average unbeliever. Perhaps telling oneself that we’re all headed that way makes it seem OK.

  • “It is no longer feared.”

    Completely disagree Jon. I believe that atheists and agnostics fear death most of all. There is a great deal of truth to the old adage that there are no atheists in foxholes. What we do have among many non-religious people is a denial of death.

  • Thank you for this, Donald. As it happens, Thomas is my confirmation saint, too. He and I have a long history, stretching way back into my Anglican days, and I credit him with a large role in praying me into the Catholic Church.

  • In our prayer, our act of Contrition, we promise to do penance. .. Maybe I’d be better about the “amend my life part” if I did a little more serious penance!

  • Thank you Donald for this wonderful article. Thomas Becket is one of my favorite saints (his is one of the medals I wear along with my scapular). You made several good points. I would like to add that some accounts have, that after Henry II performed his penance at Canterbury, his forces won a major victory against a rebellion to his rule, with the capture of the rebel leader.

    This is part of a letter from Thomas Becket as todays second Office Reading (if today was not Sunday and therefore higher priority):

    “Yet the Roman Church remains the head of all the churches and the source of Catholic teaching. Of this there can be no doubt. Everyone knows that the keys of the kingdom of heaven were given to Peter. Upon his faith and teaching the whole fabric of the Church will continue to be built until we all reach full maturity in Christ and attain to unity in faith and knowledge of the Son of God…Nevertheless, no matter who plants or waters, God gives no harvest unless what he plants is the faith of Peter, and unless he himself assents to Peter’s teaching. All important questions that arise among God’s people are referred to the judgment of Peter in the person of the Roman Pontiff. Under him the ministers of Mother Church exercise the powers committed to them, each in his own sphere of responsibility.”

    You hit the nail right on the head about Henry VIII. Becket’s stand against Henry II made it necessary for Henry VIII to destroy Becket’s his image, for if an archbishop could stand against a king, then how could the king rule the church. Part of destroying that image was destroying Becket’s tomb, a source of pilgrimage from all over Christendom. It was also rumored to be wealthy and therefore a prime target for a cash hungry Henry (having already dissolved the religious houses) who, despite all the wealth he seem to acquire, it was never enough to keep up with his ambition.

    I would also like to add that the movie Becket, which you have posted a clip from above, is excellent (even if it takes some historical liberties) and would recommend to all catholics interested in Saint Thomas Becket. I think it is Richard Burton’s finest role.

    Samuel Edwards, welcome home. It is good to know that St. Thomas was helpful in your return. It brings me great joy (and I’m sure many other catholics as well) to hear of our Anglican brethren being re-united with us.

  • If we weren’t afraid of death, why would we hide it away in such a cold, sterile place as a hospital?

    If one were curious to know, read the first chapter of George Duby’s William Marshall, to see what a good death in the High Middle Ages looked like.

  • Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes, the distinguished Boston physician and father of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., Justice of the United States Supreme Court wrote:
    “So far as I have observed persons nearing the end of life, the Roman Catholics understand the business of dying better than Protestants. They have an expert by them, armed with spiritual specifics, in which they both, patient and priestly ministrant, place implicit trust. Confession, the Eucharist, Extreme Unction, these all inspire a confidence, which, without this symbolism, is too apt to be wanting in over sensitive natures… I have seen a good many Roman Catholics on their dying beds; and it has always appeared to me that they accept the inevitable with a composure which showed that their belief, whether or not the best to live by, was a better one to die by” (Over the Teacups [1891]).
    We will go to Christ, the Giver of Life, and ask Him for the life that never ends, life everlasting. Pray for a happy death; pray for those who have already died. We will accept death from God wherever, whenever, and however He decides. That is one of the best prayers and penances we can offer to the Almighty.
    Above all we will occasionally bring home to ourselves the vital, sobering, balancing thought that we must die, but that we will rise again, with Christ whom we have tried to love and serve. Let the dance of death go on. We, the followers of Christ are ready.

  • That is wonderful Victor! I learn so much participating on The Amereican Catholic. Thanks Domald, Tito and everyone.

  • “Confession, the Eucharist, Extreme Unction, these all inspire a confidence, which, without this symbolism, is too apt to be wanting in over sensitive natures”
    and “without this symbolism” The Person of Jesus Christ in the Sacrament of The Holy Eucharist is a real Person; Jesus Christ is a Real Presence, and not a symbol. How empty must be the soul without Holy Viaticum.
    Flannery O’Connor said that if the Eucharist is a symbol, it can go to hell.

  • Donald, perhaps it is a denial of death. Or perhaps people push it so far into the distant future that it seems unreal. When people are confronted with its prospect, fear may very well surface. And it’s a problem today that death is all too easily hidden from our sight.

  • Thomas a` Becket is my birthday saint and that of my identically named sister-in-law. Becket and A Man For All Seasons need to be viewed by the younger generations. I wish that we had a Becket or a More in the present. Would we have Obamacare and other onslaughts against freedom of religion if the US bishops and cardinals had chained themselves in protest to the White House fence?

  • A bit off topic but on the 29th I viewed the website of St. Thomas a Becket Church on 5th Ave. in Manhattan. I had slipped in the church once for a quick prayer before the BVM shrine, and only when I looked at the bulletin did I realize it was not R. Catholic but Episcopal/Anglican. Re the website: High church or now Anglican they have their version of the 7 sacraments. Very interesting their instructions on the proper way to receive the Holy Eucharist in both species (Our parishes’ websites should have a paragraph on the proper reception. Rarely is there a reminder on it from the pulpit.) There also appears to be an altar rail, which has been removed in most Roman Catholic churches.

Please Cook the Crow Very, Very Well Done

Sunday, December 29, AD 2013

Well the end of the year brings two annual events at TAC.  I make predictions about the coming year and I eat crow over my predictions made the prior year.  Here beginneth the crow eating post:

1.  No new gun control legislation-Whenever either party wins a presidential victory for a second term, they begin feeling their oats and tend to overestimate both their popularity and their power.  The Democrats are in that condition now, and I predict that the beginning of the path to what I anticipate will be a bad election year for Democrats in 2014 will be a bitter, and failed, attempt to pass new gun control legislation.

Absolutely 100 percent correct!  I love starting with a correct prediction!

2.  Recession-The Economy will slip back into a recession with the unemployment rate rising above nine percent by the end of the year.

Nope.  The economy is marginally better than a year ago, although still sluggish.  The official unemployment rate is 7% which, considering the drop of labor participation due to discouraged workers giving up on finding employment, is rather deceptive.

3.  Kerry seat-John Kerry will be confirmed as Secretary of State, God help us, and Scott Brown, the pinch hitter of the Senate, will win the special election for his seat in icy blue Massachusetts.

Nope.  Brown decided not to run and the Dems retained the seat.

4.  Virginia and New Jersey-The Republicans will retain the governorships in both New Jersey and Virginia.

Half right.  I suspect that if the Virginia election had been held a week later as the dimensions of the ObamaCare debacle became clearer, the prediction would have been entirely correct.

5.  Contraceptive Mandate-The contraceptive mandate will be ruled to be unconstituional on First Amendment religious freedom grounds.  Go here to the Becket Fund, which has been waging the court fights across the country in regard to the mandate, for the decision of the DC Circuit Court of Appeals which begins  setting the ground for ultimate Supreme Court review in 2014.

Hasn’t reached the Supreme Court yet, although numerous federal courts have declared it unconstitutional and a few have upheld it.

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5 Responses to Please Cook the Crow Very, Very Well Done

  • I am disappointed that, as we don’t have crows in our fair land – not even dead ones – I won’t be able to test the hypothesis of the learned judges of Masterchef. I would accordingly appreciate your in depth and no doubt wise assumation of the delights of consuming the aforementiond deceased avian scavenging predator.
    There is, of course, the remote possibility that there has been a spelling mistake, and you meant to say “dead cow” – in which case, enjoy your steak. 🙂

  • No crows in New Zealand? Thank you Don. I like to learn at least one new fact each day and you supplied it for today!

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  • There was one time (several years ago) when our hometown of Dwight, IL became (in)famous in regional media for putting the local police to work shooting all the crows in town (who were apparently overabundant back then). No reports of anyone cooking or eating the dead crows, though. 😉

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Review of the Hobbit Trilogy

Saturday, December 28, AD 2013

(Language advisory for the video;   apparently the first film made the reviewer extra grumpy.)

The above video shall serve as a review for the entire Hobbit trilogy.  I saw part II last week and I was certain, perhaps in what felt like the fiftieth hour, that time had ceased and eternity begun.  You know a movie based on The Hobbit is bad, when by the end you are rooting for Smaug to be unleashed on Peter Jackson and his merry band of let’s-see-how-much-money-we-can-flog-out-of-this-dead- Hobbit!  Ah, well, we will always have The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

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7 Responses to Review of the Hobbit Trilogy

  • Have to agree with the sentiment – it got boring watching more of the same in Lord of the Rings.
    But I have a nephew who is a real purist and he has been to see this second release three time already.
    But its not a bad thing sitting and watching the unrolling panorama of some of the spectacular scenery of Godzone 🙂 Just makes you wanna get here, don’t it? Even then, I suppose, the continued repetition of the same beauty can become boring – after all, its not REAL heaven, y’know – just looks like it. 🙂

  • Ah, well, we will always have The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

    As long as you’re aware that by putting Eomer’s words in Theoden’s mouth, Jackson et. al. completely subverted Tolkien’s intention for the Rohirrim at Pelennor, I guess.

    I’ll admit I get a thrill, nevertheless, every time I watch that particular scene.

    Maybe now we have a sense of how the Battle of the Hornburg would have played out had fear of the fans not given pause. Too bad Jackson lost it.

  • A slight correction Don. Central Illinois is God’s Country, Satan, of course, having staked a claim to Cook County. 🙂

  • The first of the “”Hobbit”” (double “s used deliberately) was so chock-full of emendations, edits, changes, shifts, additions, subtractions and tomfoolery that they should very much emphasize the “Based” on Tolkien’s novel, and add the term “Loosely” in front. I have been debating whether to see the second.

  • Husband’s review: nice movie, shame there’s no book for it.

    We do now know why they wanted Aragorn to be there, though– so he could fall for the Mary Sue.

    When you tell a movie maker to have a kid look at the movie, it’s supposed to be to find plotholes, not to help insert “romance” or write dialog.

  • Making There And Back Again, The Hobbit, just another version and theme of the Trilogy Lord of the Rings was a huge disappointment and unfortunately almost guarantees that a good version will never be made. Alas poor Bilbo, I knew him well.

  • There’s one place on the American map where being an Orc-at-heart is a “survival skill.” Driving on Massachusetts’ busiest and highways east of Worcester County is where you’ll find more Orcish creatures this side of New Zealand.

Hark the Herald Angels Sing

Saturday, December 28, AD 2013

Something for a Christmas weekend.   Hark the Herald Angels Sing.  Written by Charles Wesley in 1739, the hymn we enjoy today developed and changed over a century with input from many hands.  No hymn I think better exemplifies the sheer joy that the coming of Christ should awake in the hearts of all Christians.

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The Gay Thought Police Lose One

Friday, December 27, AD 2013


A&E has caved and Phil Robertson will remain on Duck Dynasty:


As a global media content company, A+E Networks’ core values are centered around creativity, inclusion and mutual respect. We believe it is a privilege for our brands to be invited into people’s home and we operate with a strong sense of integrity and deep commitment to these principals.

That is why we reacted so quickly and strongly to a recent interview with Phil Robertson. While Phil’s comments made in the interview reflect his personal views based on his own beliefs, and his own personal journey, he and his family have publicly stated they regret the “coarse language” he used and the mis-interpretation of his core beliefs based only on the article. He also made it clear he would “never incite or encourage hate.” We at A+E Networks expressed our disappointment with his statements in the article, and reiterate that they are not views we hold.

But Duck Dynasty is not a show about one man’s views. It resonates with a large audience because it is a show about family… a family that America has come to love. As you might have seen in many episodes, they come together to reflect and pray for unity, tolerance and forgiveness. These are three values that we at A+E Networks also feel strongly about.

So after discussions with the Robertson family, as well as consulting with numerous advocacy groups, A&E has decided to resume filming Duck Dynasty later this spring with the entire Robertson family.

We will also use this moment to launch a national public service campaign (PSA) promoting unity, tolerance and acceptance among all people, a message that supports our core values as a company, and the values found in Duck Dynasty. These PSAs will air across our entire portfolio.

Go here to read the rest.  If I may translate the above from the corporatese into English:

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52 Responses to The Gay Thought Police Lose One

  • On a scale of 1 to 10 of insincere press statements, that registered about a 20.

  • “On a scale of 1 to 10 of insincere press statements, that registered about a 20.”

    Oh, to have been a fly on the wall of the A & E boardroom where those execs have been meeting for the past week and a half. Actually, I think Donald’s summation is probably quite accurate. When the Robertsons didn’t fold – oh, imagine the panicked conference calls and frenzied emails that ensued.

    I wonder if other prominent conservatives will begin to demonstrate they have a backbone. I always enjoyed Bob Newhart and was sorry to see him cave in to pressure from the gay Mafia. Yes, I know it’s easy to talk when it’s not your career on the line, but Newhart is 82 now. What exactly can GLAAD do to his career?

  • Michael Richards, shut down by the Racial Thought Police

    OK so it’s not the best analogy but you’re not exactly refuting anyone here, just doing childish name-calling. Plenty of democratic societies have certain things you _can_ say but are generally thought of as unacceptable. If you don’t think this is one of those, you have to explain why instead of whining about the “thought police.” Unless there’s absolutely zero comments someone could make that would justify a company firing them.

  • So with A&E. its all about “SHOW ME THE MONEY”

  • “OK so it’s not the best analogy but you’re not exactly refuting anyone here, just doing childish name-calling.”

    No, Gay Thought Police is quite an accurate title, because that is precisely what almost all the gay activists aim for. They wish to uproot the Christian condemnation of homosexual conduct as sinful by attacking anyone who dares to uphold that teaching in the public square, traditional concepts of freedom of speech be damned. I never have a problem with those I oppose having a perfect freedom to express themselves because I am confident that I can refute them in argument. Would that the gay activists had a similar confidence. Of course, the left in general seems to have a problem with robust debate currently. Reddit on its hilariously named “science” forums banning global warming critics is a recent manifestation of the leftist compulsion to “win” debates by screaming “Shut up!”

  • What Don said, but Don was being charitable.

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  • We will also use this moment to launch a national public service campaign (PSA) promoting unity, tolerance and acceptance among all people…
    –A&E press release

    Any chance A&E is ready to promote tolerance of Christians?

    Yeah, sure. (A&E has lost this viewer permanently.)

  • This comment is from JI. For some reason unknown to me it did not show up in the combox to this thread:

    “Well that’s very open-minded of you but all this is is a disagreement about what counts as beyond the pale or not. If global warming denial has been banned maybe it’s because the people representing that viewpoint have done a bad job of bringing up legit evidence for it.”

  • My reply to JI’s comment:

    Actually I suspect that Global Warming critics were making rather too effective arguments for the comfort of the ideologues who obviously run the “science” forums at Reddit.

    In a free society no ideas, as opposed to actions, are ever “beyond the pale”.

  • “So after discussions with the Robertson family, as well as consulting with numerous advocacy groups”…..

    The “advocacy groups” see that they’re losing this battle, and no doubt seek a tactical retreat. Let’s hope this is the beginning of standing up to the bullies who shout people down with language of hate, phobias and bigots. The bully now wants this “stand” to just go away, for all to go back to fear or apathy, and will seek to destroy this family. Pray, be watchful, simple and shrewd… heck Phil knows that perfectly! (And he doesn’t even have what we have -the Magisterium and the Eucharist.) God Bless him.

  • In 1989 the lone Tiananmen Square man takes a stand….remember the scene?
    Tanks stopping in their tracks.

    My hope is that Christians are energized to kindly and without shame speak Gods truth in the face of an Gay Agenda Army marching through main street.
    Wake up oh quiet silent majority.

  • As regards the global warming debate, the irrepressible Michel Foucault once observed, “The objective features of a phenomenon so little constrain the ways it is classified and theorized that these features can be disregarded in trying to understand why a particular classification system or scientific theory has been adopted.”

    When a paradigm shift occurs, one side seldom or never convinces the other; the rising young people tend to support the new model and its opponents, eventually die out.

    This tendency is not confined to the field of science.

  • “In 1989 the lone Tienanmen Square man takes a stand….remember the scene? Tanks stopping in their tracks.”

    Tankman as he is now known, like the boy’s finger in the dyke, stopped the army but only because the world was watching. The tyrants thought that no one would learn of this monstrosity, but thanks to the internet, eight minutes after it began, the world saw and knew, and the world rejected such evil. Divine Providence may be in the form of the internet. I know that Divine Providence is in the First Amendment and especially with the freedom of speech. Only truth has freedom of speech.Thank God. Only the goodness that reverberates from what is, saves us from what ought not to be.

    “My hope is that Christians are energized to kindly and without shame speak Gods truth in the face of an Gay Agenda Army marching through main street.”

    Atheism removes from the atheist belief in the human soul, with its rationality, immortality, unalienable rights and the testimony the human soul and its creation, who bears witness to the existence of and the ongoing creation of man by God, “their Creator” The free will and the conscience of man, alone, must be acknowledged and recognized by rational people as the magnificence of mankind as opposed to animals and beasts of burden.
    The homosexual’s homosexual behavior is not endowed by God but a free will choice of the person who then demands that civil society sanction his behavior “because God created him that way” HUH? Nonsense, and perjury in a court of law. Who ever heard of a male wife? being recognized as legitimate and the whole truth of a so-called gay marriage? Justice demands virtue and innocence, so lying about a male wife is not innocent.
    To lie about a male wife and the practice of sodomy require the rejection of the rational soul. Loving a same sex person requires admitting of his immortal soul and caring for his eternity with God or in hell, whichever the homosexual chooses, but to deny the human soul and impose this opinion on the rest of society is injustice.

  • Mary De Voe.

    You have it. The beauty of your explanation, truth, is also known as poetry. Thanks for your poem.
    May I share it with others?

  • So many of us can identify with the feeling of being cornered, back to the wall and expected to give an immediate and at the same time a well-thought out reaction/personal statement of belief. If we are caught a bit off balance and don’t make the response that is politically correct with the right nor politically correct with the left we are incorrect with both opposing sides and demonized either way Like the Catholic school allowing gay man to teach until he made public provocation and “married” partner. The school administration decried by both sides
    It becomes damned if you do and damned if you don’t. I am sick of it. Tolerance – hold your nose and tolerate something that stinks. This goofy unhinged culture stinks. The four cardinal virtues are the hinges on which morality pends and we can’t agree on what those words even mean (justice prudence fortitude Maybe we can agree on temperance
    Maybe not

  • “When a paradigm shift occurs, one side seldom or never convinces the other; the rising young people tend to support the new model and its opponents, eventually die out. This tendency is not confined to the field of science.”
    God renews the face of the earth through our constitutional posterity, the young people rising through innocence and virginity see the old sinners’ faults. Our constitutional posterity’s human soul with his will to live is our states’ right to life. Freedom is endowed at the beginning of life and the soul’s will to live. Abortionists want to believe that the human soul does not know that it is being scraped from the womb, in the same way that homosexual practitioners force all people to believe that the innocence and virginity of their soul does not know that it is being violated.
    More Eucharistic processions on Main Street, please.

  • “You have it. The beauty of your explanation, truth, is also known as poetry. Thanks for your poem.
    May I share it with others?”
    And now you have it, Philip, and I am glad.
    Let us rejoice and be glad for unto us a Savior, Jesus Christ is born.
    One Hail Mary.

  • Phil Robertson’s comments and A & E’s reaction to them and him, and the timing of it so close to Christmas were gifts to the nation. I was on the road a lot before Christmas and when I drive I listen to talk radio. Not only were the calls from listeners supportive of Phil Robertson speaking about his beliefs, the show hosts began to speak of their own Christian beliefs and tying it to the Nativity – their wonder at the love for all humanity that God showed us when His only Son was born to the Virgin Mary; Christ’s sacrifice for us by dying on the Cross and His Resurrection for mankind’s salvation. I found it amazing that these men would be so open on national secular shows. The Holy Spirit at work perhaps?

  • Yes to Main Street and to Wall Street
    The neat thing about Eucharistic processions ( and rosaries in front of planned parenthood and the Supreme Court) is that those are peaceful and kind reminiscent of God’s love not calling names, not impugning motives. Not fai g to speak up but doing so without being acrid
    The warfare is spiritgal

  • “Any chance A&E is ready to promote tolerance of Christians?
    Yeah, sure. (A&E has lost this viewer permanently.)”
    Bumper sticker: I am Catholic and I vote.

  • “More Eucharistic processions on main street please.”

    He Is THE answer. Your last remark is HUGE. In agreement completely!
    Jesus in public processions is not a form of wishful thinking but a tried and true point of humility. In troubled times this final acknowledgment of our failure to get a toe hold “on our own,” was paramount to the complete awareness that Christ is the Victor.
    He Changes Hearts!
    This comment for more processions should not be taken lightly.

  • “The Holy Spirit at work perhaps?”
    To disenfranchise a person of his citizenship because of his Catholicism is unconstitutional. The HHS Mandate, abortion, gay entitlements, by taking our tax money and disregarding our conscience, is disenfranchisement of our citizenship and unconstitutional. The dismemberment and disenfranchisement of our innocent constitutional posterity is a crime against humanity.

  • Philip: What a joyful heart you have. May God bless.

  • Anzlyne: The Rosary, always the rosary.

  • What the homosexual activists want is not tolerance, but acceptance of their behaviors by the masses and that will never happen despite what TV and government mouthpieces pronounce.
    Standby for those promised PSAs from A & E….bet they will be double speak. I do not watch A & E, but if I did they will probably remind me of taking the SAT in the last century, wherein I was directed to write an essay on “Being so open minded that your brains fall out”.

  • Indeed the rosary and the prayer to St. Michael, the Archangel with public and private recitations. Powerful weapons in spiritual warfare.

  • “Being so open minded that your brains fall out”. Reminds me of being so ecumenical that your doctrines fall out.

  • One more…..
    While in processions each adorer shall have numerous cards to hand to anyone that asks or remarks as to the “weekly” procession.
    The card; Body of Christ, make me Holy. Fill my weak soul with an overflowing of Grace so you and I are one. You have created me for yourself. What an act of ingratitude to keep any part of me for myself. My weakness and pride make me forget You but your humble Presence in the Eucharist stirs my soul to repentance. Let us be hidden together in love and union.

    This prayer is from a little holy Nun who remained faithful to her calling. She and her sisters made fishing lures to seed what has become known as EWTN.
    Mother Angelica would be honored if we used her prayer in this fashion.

  • Does EWTN have cards like that for sale?

  • Anzylne-
    On the front of the card is a photo of Mother A. On the reverse is the prayer with a small monstrance as the header.
    I do not see a id # on the card.
    Hope this helps. 🙂

  • I know I said… more, forgive me;
    If we could gain our KofC Legion of Mary, Third order of Carmel, Knights of the Immaculata, third order of Franciscans and other faithful lay Catholics with Bishops endorsing this weekly Eucharistic processions appeal the possibility of conversions and increase of vocations to the religious life could be phenomenal.
    Ideas anyone?

  • Oh You have all brought back such beautiful memories of my youth and these beautiful processions! I still participate in them in the small towns of Southern Colorado every chance I get. In August in the little town of LaJara Co for their Church’s Fiesta Celebration the parishoners march in procession with a statue of Our Lady and the Sacred Heart and pray the rosary all through the town and pass out beautiful prayer cards. They also do this in San Luis Co for their fiesta in July. I remember how shocked I was to see a real honest to gosh float with a life size statue of the Blessed Mother, with little children surrounded by Mariachi singers and musicians as part of THE MAIN focus of their town’s parade! Oh should we get back to that it would be wonderful. Out here in the country we always had the procession for “rogation” days with a beautiful acknowledgement of thanksgiving for the crops and the rain. But then again, we don’t really need redneck, agrarian types and people who wear their heart’s and faith on their sleeves. I believe the term now is “progressive”. Wonderful truthful banter back and forth on here. I love it!

  • Jeanne Rohl.

    Correct me if I’m wrong.
    Wasn’t it the progressives who said “enough of the old statues in the chapel and do away with public adoration / processions.” The communion rails were pulled up and out. The pews started to go half circle and the focus was more “man” & less God.
    Seems the outcome of the progressives is 55million “in the RED” so to speak.
    Our poor innocents.

  • I don’t think A&E had any intention to not hire him back. This is just some big PR stunt by A&E to rake it more money.

  • There still remains the custom of the “Feste” in various Italian and Spanish quarters of certain cities. Generational assimilation with the current culture takes its toll. What a wonderful idea it would be to propagate something on that order in a broader context. Perhaps beyond defending the faith, we need to go on the attack. Dear Pope Francis, I’ve been thinking……………………………………….:-)

  • A&E’s campaign will actually be yet another attempt to shove homosexuality down the majority of people’s throats. The biggest lie is that if you don’t agree and accept other people’s lifestyle/values than you must hate them. What a load of rubbish! I’ve worked for years with many people whose beliefs/lifestyle I don’t agree with and yet we have always found a way to work respectfully and with humor. America, don’t believe the lie. Stay true and stand firm.

  • A great victory! WE all need to stick to our guns and let the gaystapo know that they are wrong!

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  • Here in the West of Scotland, processions tend to be confined to the Protestant community. They are well-supported, as witness the ABOD march in Glasgow last December.

    and the Orange Walk last July

    At any time, it is not uncommon to hear drunken revellers in the streets, bawling out songs like “No Pope of Rome” (to the tune of “Home on the Range”) with its refrain:

    “No, no Pope of Rome
    No chapels to sadden my eyes
    No nuns and no priests
    No Rosary beads
    Every day is the 12th of July.”

    Other favourites are “We are the Billy Boys” (“We’re up to our knees in fenian blood) and, of course, “The Sash” (“For those brave men who crossed the Boyne have not fought or died in vain/ Our Unity, Religion, Laws, and Freedom to maintain.”)

    One of the last serious riots in the City was in 1981, when Catholics tried to stage a Rosary Walk for Bobby Sands and the Maze Hunger Strikers.

  • “the left in general seems to have a problem with robust debate currently”

    Yep. I attempted to ask the author on “FreeThinker” blog why he didn’t ask Stacey Trasancos permission to post a picture of her pregnant on his article when blogging about her book. He replied that anyone is welcome to repost ridiculous images of him from his Facebook page. Whilst another of his commenters told me to “f@&$ off”.

    I thought to myself, “eye roll”, “sigh”….aint no “thinking” happening on “FreeThinker”.

    I loved your translation of the “apology” Donald. Gave me a good chuckle.

  • Michael Paterson-Seymour: Here in America we have a First Amendment civil right to peaceably assemble for processions, for prayer meetings, for birthday parties for Jesus Christ, because Jesus, the Son of Man and His Father in heaven are Persons. The public square is owned in joint and common tenancy by each and every citizen, people of all faiths and beliefs. Of course every public place without a Nativity scene at Christmas is a tribute to atheism, since the Supreme Court gave atheism into the realm of religion by attribution to penumbras, even though atheism still remains a belief, such as the world is flat, and not a Faith, even as Faith is a gift from God. If Atheism is a gift from God, the house of God would be divided against itself, as Jesus said. As man is only one species: homo sapiens, angels and fallen angels are each a species unto themselves. The devils are a legion of species. Atheism has no God and therefore cannot be judged “religion” because religion is man’s response to God, and man’s relationship with God. Atheism is a denial of man’s response and relationship with God; the annihilation and obliteration of God and the annihilation and obliteration of man. God is a trinity of Persons and therefore, God has civil rights in the public square. The Person of God is a citizen of the world and the universe created by God, and may not be denied civil rights. All civil rights are for Persons. A person is an individual substance of a rational nature. Man is a created person. God is infinite Persons.

  • “I loved your translation of the “apology” Donald. Gave me a good chuckle.” Your translation of the “apology”, Donald, brought some light to bear on reality for all concerned.

  • Yes Mary De Voe- I hope when I said it gave me a chuckle, it was understood, that Donald striped the “apology” or excuse, rather, that A&E gave, of all of its BS. And of course, with it came the clarity of exactly what A&E were trying to say, getting themselves tangled like a pretzel trying to say it.

    PR companies are such a waste of money.

  • Beautiful article!

  • Mary de Voe

    The right to hold processions is one thing; the good or bad effects of doing so is another.

    Pascal was very perceptive, when he said, “People despise religion; they hate it, because it might be true.” [Les hommes ont mépris pour la religion; ils en ont haine, et pour qu’elle soit vraie]

    Nor should this surprise us, for, as Pascal reminds us, Scripture says that God is a hidden God [“Verily, thou art a God that hidest thyself” Is 45:15], and that, since the corruption of nature, He has left men in a blindness [un aveuglement] from which they can escape only through Jesus Christ, without whom all communion with God is cut off. [“Neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him” Matt 11:27]

  • MP-Seymour.

    Jesus wishes to reveal himself for the glory of His Father and the increase of souls saved. Our Holy Church has a rich history of Eucharistic Miracles, some like that of St. Tarcissus ended in what some would say was disastrous. Yet the fruit of the martyrdom of this one holy soul cannot be undervalued. I dare say neither public processions of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. What risk is taken for the conversions of sinners always seems to be well worth it, even at the martyrdom of the faithful.

  • Yes we are to spread the good news . Eucharistic Processions are for the glory to God and they are efficacious, taking Christ to the streets or to the fields. The drum banging Protestant parades of a more triumphalistic nature( maybe a warning we can read in our popes comments about divisive issues).
    Our Eucharistic processions are humble and hopeful, weapons of spiritual war nor because they are “in the face” of opponents but because they bring the transforming power of God to bear.

  • Jesus Christ is the revelation of God.

  • Mary de Voe wrote, “Jesus Christ is the revelation of God.”

    This is what led Pascal to say, “Not only do we know God by Jesus Christ alone, but we know ourselves only by Jesus Christ. We know life and death only through Jesus Christ. Apart from Jesus Christ, we do not know what is our life, nor our death, nor God, nor ourselves. Thus, without Scripture, which has only Jesus Christ for its object, we know nothing and see only obscurity and confusion in God’s nature and ours.”

  • If global warming denial has been banned maybe it’s because the people representing that viewpoint have done a bad job of bringing up legit evidence for it.”

    You write like someone in the market for penny stocks. I would refer you to the writings of Richard Lindzen, Willie Soon, Steve McIntyre (“Climate Audit”), and Anthony Watts. There’s a reason the crew associated with the University of East Anglia and those one step removed thereof were conspiring to rig the peer review process and hiding their raw data.

  • Pascal was a brilliant and highly original thinker, who capitalized on our central predicament: we are created in the image of God, yet fallen. This paradox holds the key to our nature. In Christ, we see the face of God. He is the fullest revelation of God to us. God reveals himself to us through his Word and in his interaction with us, but there is more to God than that. Beyond that lies mystery. In order to know God, we must turn to Jesus Christ in whom God is revealed. Karl Barth correctly held that theology must begin with Christology. If we are to understand anything at all about ourselves and God, we must turn to Jesus Christ, the center around which God’s revelation revolves.

18 Responses to The Best Pro-Life Video Ever!

  • Thank you!

    The last 10 seconds are quite touching.

    The other major brand is out there on the life issue, has been for years.

    This is the reason I buy Coke.

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  • PEPSICO is a Planned Parenthood contributor. Boycott these products: Pepsi, 7up, Lipton tea, Mountian Dew, Mug root beer, Slice, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Baked Lays, Cheetos, Doritos, Fritos, Funyuns, Rold Gold, Ruffles, Sun chips, Tostitos, Hostess, and let them know why!!!

  • Victor makes a great point. It is amazing that a company will support the killing of their future customers. Contraception and abortion will take many years to work it’s way into the economy, it is beginning to be felt a bit. China is experiencing the failure of the one child rule. Who will be there to take care of the elders. Who will be there to pay for all of the atheistic progressive programs.
    Something we could learn from Holy Scripture is that God’s plan of creation will not be stopped. His love endures forever.

  • VERY cool!! Wasn’t there some issue about Pepsico using embryonic kidney tissue in their research ?

  • “In a statement to LifeNews, Mr. Dahncke also denied speculation that sweeteners developed by Senomyx had been used in the recipe for Pepsi NEXT, a low-calorie cola with 60 percent less sugar than a standard Pepsi. The drink is being launched this week.
    Ms. Vinnedge called the PepsiCo denial “pure deception.”
    She said she found HEK-293, a “human embryo kidney” cell line produced from an aborted fetus in the 1970s, in more than 70 Senomyx patents, all related to flavor enhancers.
    “What Pepsi is doing is saying that they’re not taking the cells directly from a fetus. Well, that’s true, they’re taking them from a lab,” Ms. Vinnedge said. “They’re doing this with semantics to get around what they’re really doing.””

  • Thanks, Mary De Voe.

  • I’d say it’s a pro-child rearing or a ‘joy of family’ message. The abortion issue is really about what women do when they have an unwanted pregnancy: 1) “fix the problem” by killing (not a solution anyone endorses except with the unborn), 2) keep the baby and adapt your plans for the future to motherhood, 3) have the baby and give it to a couple who want to raise it in a loving home.

    The video is very nice, but as to being pro-life or ‘pro-choice,’ it’s not on topic because it doesn’t portray an unwanted pregnancy.

  • I disagree…this is pro life…I can see the father is unhappy about the second pregnancy…but he makes a decision to love…a decision for life for the new baby, and then for his whole family. I can see the change come over his face gradually. I wish this would be shown in th USA.

  • Beautiful video!!! And thank you Victor and Anthony! There are other anti-life companies out there that need to be boycotted and TOLD WHY! General Mills, the HUGE food producer, gives AT LEAST ONE MILLION DOLLARS per year to the Planned Parenthood supporter and donor, Susan G. Komen Foundation, while enticing our Catholic schools to put profits in their coffers through the Box Tops For Education program. Walgreens is another $12M + Komen supporter, and several other corporations. A complete list can be obtained at A list of corporations and other “charities” who give directly to PP can be found at

  • This beautiful video is a statement on life, love, families and willingly accepting the results of our actions. Love isn’t love without sacrifice!

  • Coca-Cola’s pro-life commercial is absolutely WONDERFUL! It is so jubilant, so celebrative of the family, so touching, so entirely moving and so filled with love I almost wept with joy.

  • Thank you Coca Cola. It’s beautiful. We need more defense of life messages.

  • Loved it!! Please bring this ad to the U.S.

  • It is ironic that Coca Cola made this commercial, as Cocoa Cola IS owned by Bershire Hathaway, Warren Buffet’s company. Warren Buffet is a HUGE supporter (and indirect) contributer to Planned Parenthood as well as a BIG friend to Bill and Melinda Gates, also BIG population control advocates…Wonder how this ad “slipped by” the company…

  • This is so much like us, how I wish I could give everyone this joy.

The Feast Day of Saint John the Apostle

Friday, December 27, AD 2013

 Saint John the Apostle



[1] In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. [2] The same was in the beginning with God. [3] All things were made by him: and without him was made nothing that was made. [4] In him was life, and the life was the light of men. [5] And the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

John 1: 1-5

Saint John, the Apostle whom Christ loved, was the youngest of the Apostles.  Born perhaps around 6-15 AD he and his brother James, sons of Zebedee and Salome, were fishermen on the Sea of Galilee.  Called by Christ to follow Him, they were nicknamed by Him Boanerges, sons of thunder, perhaps because of their asking Christ to call down lightning on those who did not follow Him, or perhaps a playful jab at the disposition of old Zebedee.

The two brothers were ambitious, asking Christ to allow them to sit by His side.  He promised them only that they would drink from the cup He drank and be baptized in His Baptism.  John’s brother James became the first of the Apostles to die a martyr’s death.

John far outlived all the other apostles, dying in exile on Patmos circa 100 AD.  He witnessed the small defeated movement of the followers of Jesus after the Crucifixion swell into a mighty Church sweeping into every corner of the Roman Empire and beyond.  He was the last living link to Christ and he set down what he remembered in that theological masterpiece, the Gospel of John.  The other three Gospels give us Christ in unforgettable prose, the Gospel of John gives us Christ in lambent almost poetry, that has illuminated the humanity and the divinity of Christ  for countless Christians down through the long ages.  Through disciples like Saint Ignatius and Saint Polycarp he passed on to Christians who had never heard Christ the pure teaching of Christ that he had heard, and the love of Christ that burned within him.

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40 Responses to The Feast Day of Saint John the Apostle

  • The darkness (all around us) still, today, does not comprehend it.

    Still, today, the light shines in the darkness and the darkness has (will) never put it out.

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  • If only some in the darkness who serve to suffocate the Gospel(s) because these are in the Bible, could fast forward to other revelations for consideration.

    The scientific verifications of the impressions in the cloth from the grave and from the tilma worn by Juan Diego, the tree that some in Tepeyac (sp?) found intact after being on fire holding within a statue of our Lady of Guadeloupe, the living matter found in miracles of the Eucharist, the sun ‘dancing’ in Fatima for thousands to see, and the inexplicable symmetry and beauty of nature and masterpieces of art, all serving to illuminate the Gospel(s), could be among those considerations.

  • I consider Chapter 6 of John’s gospel one of the most powerful of all the writings of the evangelists. His dissertation on the Eucharist is a stumbling block for all those who do not acclaim the Real Presence, yet still claim to follow the Bible.

    Here in NZ, we claim our apostolic succession from St. John. In 1836 (?) Bishop Pompallier, a French bishop from Lyons brought the Faith to NZ. St. Irenaus was the first bishop of Lyon, who was given the Faith by St. Polycarp, who was a student of St. John, and Pompallier is in that apostolic succession.

  • Don: It is true John was in that link–he was in a pivotal position to pass some things along. As far as Jesus’ words go, I think he was speaking figuratively. The stumblingblock for his audience was that Jesus was the Christ, not that they thought they would have to consume his literal flesh and blood. Jesus said of the passover bread/wine that it was his body/blood, even though he was still in their midst. I find the more literal thesis too problematic for acceptance. We know, in fact, that for early followers, the ritual was within the context of a meal.

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  • Jon.
    With respect, I find it problematic that many protestants take the whole bible literally – except for Ch. 6 of John’s gospel. I am compelled to ask , why? I believe that it comes out of the reformation where Luther denied that the Mass was a sacrifice – and this developed by Calvin et al.

    Jesus told them the first time, ” I am the bread which has come down from heaven.”
    The Jews argued, but this is the carpenter’s son.
    Again, Jesus says, ” Anyone who eats this bread will live forever, and the bread that I shall give is my flesh for the life of the world.”
    Again the Jews started argueing and said, “How can this man give his flesh to eat?”

    Jesus then restates and reinforces his previous statements,”If you do not eat the flesh of the son of man and drink his blood, you will not have life in you;…….for my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink…………..”
    The Jews then started walking away – “This is a hard teaching – this is intolerable language, how can anyone accept it?”
    Jesus did not back off – in Ch6:v66 ( The 666) many disciples turned away and did not walk anymore with him.
    He then turns to his apostles,” Will you too, walk away?” and then Peter’s Spirit filled response. “To whom will we go? You have the words of eternal life.”
    If Jesus did not mean what he said to be literally understood, He would have modified and explained further. He did not.

    AS proof of this, there are very many Eucharistic miracles – from the Miracle of Lanciano in the 8th century, right through to this day. How anyone does not believe in the real and substantial Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist I find bemusing and astonishing.

  • The Eucharist IS THE SOURCE AND SUMMIT OF OUR CATHOLIC FAITH,how such THE Greatest Gift the Lord left us to Receive Him .Body,Blood ,Soul and Divinity, everyday as long as we are in a of grace. As Bishop Fulton Sheen stated on occasion ,” There are probably less people than what one can count on his or her hands.if they would take the time to read the history and tradition of the Catholic Faith, would not convert to the church that dates firmly and exclusively to Jesus Christ “

  • Don the Kiwi

    St Irenaeus was the second bishop of Lyon, the first being St Pothinus (87-177 AD). Indeed, St Irenaeus, then a priest was sent with a letter from St Pothinus, who was awaiting martyrdom with 47 companions, to Pope Elutherius

    The cathedral has a complete list of its bishops and archbishops, just inside the South porch.

  • Body and Blood, soul and divinity, True God and True Man is the Holy Eucharist.

  • Don, Luther worked out a doctrine of the Eucharist that wasn’t very different from the Roman Catholic one. He explained it within a similar scholastic framework. To this day, traditional Lutherans approach the Eucharist in a way that is similar to Roman Catholics. The real difference I see came with Calvin’s interpretation. Calvin believed that the Lord’s Supper was a means of grace—sacramental, in other words, but not in terms of body and blood. He spoke more in terms of a spiritual presence. He argued that since Christ was bodily assumed into heaven, the Holy Spirit is the presence of God on earth. Therefore, when Christians gather together, they are the temple of the Holy Spirit and St. Paul of course referred to us as the ‘body of Christ.’
    Once again, it is difficult for me to believe that the issue people had with Jesus words relates to the Eucharist. I would consider this enormously anachronistic. Before the Passover meal Jesus had with his disciples, he led a ministry. He was talkin to these people, communicating something that was very much a stumblignblock: that he was indeed the Christ, the Messiah of GOd, sent into the world to redeem sinners. They could not swallow that. He’s redirecting them from physical things to spiritual things, tellinmg them they must turn to him. To whom shall we go? We know the answer, obviously. They did not.

  • Once again, it is difficult for me to believe that the issue people had with Jesus words relates to the Eucharist. I would consider this enormously anachronistic.

    Hard for it to be anachronistic when the Gospel of John is late first century, isn’t it? And the repetition for emphasis:

    “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.” (v 34)
    “I am the bread of life.” (v 48)

    “I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever;and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.” (v 51)

    “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him.” (vv 53-56)
    Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds[!] on me will have life because of me. (v 57)

    That’s an awful lot of cannibalism for the problem to be simply the rejection of Jesus’s Christhood, don’t you think?

    It seems to me that Saint John pretty clearly understood the Master to be teaching both the Real Presence and the centrality of the Eucharist.

    And not that this will count for much, but it’s taken me nearly twenty years to get to the point of accepting the truth.

  • Justin Martyr in his First Apology, c. 155-157 AD, describes the Eucharist in terms that are completely Catholic:

    “And this food is called among us Εὐχαριστία [the Eucharist], of which no one is allowed to partake but the man who believes that the things which we teach are true, and who has been washed with the washing that is for the remission of sins, and unto regeneration, and who is so living as Christ has enjoined. For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Saviour, having been made flesh by the Word of God, had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh. For the apostles, in the memoirs composed by them, which are called Gospels, have thus delivered unto us what was enjoined upon them; that Jesus took bread, and when He had given thanks, said, “This do in remembrance of Me, (Luke 22:19) this is My body;” and that, after the same manner, having taken the cup and given thanks, He said, “This is My blood;” and gave it to them alone. Which the wicked devils have imitated in the mysteries of Mithras, commanding the same thing to be done. For, that bread and a cup of water are placed with certain incantations in the mystic rites of one who is being initiated, you either know or can learn.”

  • One might add the common pagan charge of “Thyestean banquets,” (cannibalism) which occur at the end of the first century.

  • “One might add the common pagan charge of “Thyestean banquets,” (cannibalism) which occur at the end of the first century.”
    In the Eucharist, Jesus gives us His Body and Blood as food and drink. In cannibalism the victim is murdered and consumed that his virtues may be taken against his will.
    Jesus said: “I lay down my life and I take it up again. No one takes my life from me.”

  • Mary de Voe

    Of course, but the charge would not have been made, had the pagans not heard some rumours of the Christian belief in the Real Presence and the Eucharistic Banquet – It was not cut from whole cloth.

    It does call to mind a remark of Miss Anscombe’s:-

    “We Christians are so much accustomed to the idea of holy communion that we tend not to notice how mysterious an idea it is. There is the now old dispute between Catholics and Protestants whether we eat what only symbolizes, or really is, the flesh of the saviour when we eat the bread consecrated in the Eucharist; drink his blood only symbolically or really. Because of this dispute, it appeared as if only the Catholic belief were extravagant – the Protestants having the perfectly reasonable procedure of symbolically eating Christ’s flesh and drinking his blood! The staggering strangeness of doing such a thing even only symbolically slipped out of notice in the disputes about transubstantiation”

  • Thanks MPS like most of you I’ve been ’round this mulberry bush many times, but I had never heard this quote nor thought of this absurdity “the Protestants having the perfectly reasonable procedure of symbolically eating Christ’s flesh and drinking his blood! The staggering strangeness of doing such a thing even only symbolically…”

  • Michael Paterson-Seymour and Anzlyne” I am privileged to answer both of your comments. “This is my body which is given for you”. Christ does not lie. So there it is: the Real Presence. This truth is rejected by the Protestants along with more of Jesus Christ’s truths: the Apostolic Succession, the Virgin birth, the Immaculate Conception. If St. Joseph was not a virgin, St Joseph would not have heard the voice of God in the angelic message. Innocence and virginity are the norm of heaven. That is why Jesus gave us the Sacrament of Penance.
    The Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist is the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ here and now and in eternity. The Real Presence brought down onto the altar in transubstantiation is indivisible. When Jesus Christ’s body and blood died on the cross, Jesus Christ’s soul and divinity descended into the lower regions, where in acknowledgment of the devil’s free will to reject God, Jesus came, but was not allowed to be in hell. Literally rejected. Christ’s soul and divinity, infinite soul and divinity, resurrected Christ’s dead body and blood.
    When a human being receives Jesus Christ in the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist, the man receives the body, blood, soul and divinity of Christ, making us one with Jesus; Jesus living within us as St Paul said: “Not I, but Christ lives in me”
    Were the Holy Eucharist only a symbol, there would be no “In persona Christi”, no “alter Christi”. Man would only be a symbol of a man and a symbol of Jesus Christ. Being only what he imagines himself to be and not real, rather than being who he really is: a human being composed of body and soul, made in the image of God, (not ever made in the image of man), brothers of Christ and sons and daughters of God, through the sacrifice of Jesus, through the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus, in the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, the Real Presence.
    Now apply this reasoning to secular humanism and atheism making man over into the state because there is no Soul of Christ in them, only the symbol for reality, a counterfeit sovereignty of person, citizen, nation, made in the image of man and know the tragedy of despair and hopelessness. The government is trying to remedy despair and hopelessness with tax dollars and promises and its failure without Divine Providence is obvious. Let us go back to our founding principles. Give us God.

  • I think maybe I was misunderstood
    I just left noon mass having received the totality of Christ for Whom I am grateful

  • The problem iwth the idea of literal body and blood, as Calvin pointed out, is that Christ is in heaven and the Holy Spirit on earth, now, in His ministry. So theologically speaking, the gathering itself is the body of Christ, as St. Paul correctly taught.

  • In rejecting the Real Presence of Jesus Christ, Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist, and choosing to believe in Jesus as a “symbol” for the Supreme Sovereign Being, some join those in hell who have rejected the Truth and God.
    Jon: “the gathering itself is the body of Christ,”
    Only if the gathering accepts and believes Jesus Christ to be the Real Presence, in the Holy Eucharist and after reception of Holy Communion in their own body. We offer up our body with the Body of Christ at the Offertory of the Mass (our body is real, too, because of the reality of Christ’s Body).
    Anzlyne: The mystery of the Holy Eucharist is indeed our greatest blessing and love.

  • Jon: When Henry VIII, Calvin, Luther et al. chose to separate themselves from the Catholic Church in Rome in the Protestant revolt, they self-excommunicated themselves, latae sententiae, and all their followers. They exiled themselves and renounced the Sacraments. Without the sacrament of the Holy Orders, they have no priests and bishops to confect the Real Presence. Without the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, they have only a symbol of what their hearts and souls really want and need, the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ.
    I cannot change their free will act. I can only pray for them and you.
    In addition, it would be useless to blame the Catholic Church, for only they, who have self- excommunicated themselves, can change their minds and enter back into the church of their own free will.
    No Person can be a symbol, a that, or a which, or a thing. A person can only be a WHO. And Jon, you are correct in saying that in the Blessed Sacrament on the altar, all three Persons in the Triune God are Present. It is called circumcession. Where is one Person, there are all three persons of God. May almighty God bless you and keep you.

  • “He gives us his body,” so Augustine wrote, “to make us into his body.” This brings out how the sacrament symbolizes and effects the unity of the people who join together to celebrate the Eucharist and to receive communion

    St. John Damascene says the same: “Because we partake of a single bread, we all become a single body of Christ, a single blood, and members one of another, being made of one body with Christ.”

  • Michael Paterson-Seymour: “the people who join together to celebrate the Eucharist and to receive communion.” are the Catholic Church, with real Sacrament and the Real Presence.
    ““Because we partake of a single bread, we all become a single body of Christ, a single blood, and members one of another, being made of one body with Christ.”” unless we choose to opt out of the Real Presence, the Real Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ WHO is the true bread from heaven. Jesus Christ cannot abide in a symbol, not in any symbol. Jesus Christ said: “This is my Body.” In persona Christi, through the priest who acts in persona Christi through the Sacrament of Holy Orders in the Catholic Church.

  • How can Christ be said to be literally present in the Lord’s Supper when he has ascended to the Father’s right hand? The Holy Spirit, the Comforter, has been sent. The people of GOd are the temple of the Holy Spirit, and when we gather together the Holy Spirit is of course present. When we eat the bread and drink the cup, we proclaim the Lord’s death until he returns. This is a memorial supper, then. It is something we do to commemorate Jesus Christ’s death, burial and resurrection, and his promise to return.
    I see no reason to accept the Roman Catholic narrative that equates Rome with the true church. I believe that the invisible church represents all those who believe on God in faith at all times and everywhere. The visible church and the invisible church overlap, but they do not equate wtih one another. Once the apostles died, the apostolic gift ended. No more apostles existed. So anyone coming after is obliged to continue in the apostles’ teaching. But there is no ‘apostolic succession’ in the strict sense in whcih it is udnerstood by Rome.
    It is true that we offer up ourselves, our souls and bodies, as sacrifices to God which is our reasonable service. We do not, however, offer up Christ who was once offered for all time. It is an unrepeatable event.
    There is no excommunication in the sense in which you speak. Excommunication results when someone has committed heresy or lived so horribly as to require discipline. They are put out of the church. This is hopefully temporary adn with a vivew to restoration. You speak of sacramens and taht of holy orders. That is part of the Roman church’s apparatus. That is the system they developed. All this constitutes very baroque and quite unnecessary development.
    I can only think that by returning to Scripture we can find our way back to the simplicity of the gospel and the traditions of those apostles whom we seek to follow.

  • Mary, I can see you are convinced of apostolic succession, the corporeal presence, sacramentalism, and the broader Roman framework of Scripture and Tradition. Of course from that perspective you would feel that I’ve gone astray. You see me as spiritually derailed, or something to that effect.
    I’m working from a totally differnt perspective. FOr me, Scripture is the final authority so that everything is filtered through it. The history of the church is important, but I believe we must sift through all of it since Scripture is our rule of faith. Without that we leave the door open to whatever developments arise. The Eastern Orthodox Church has their own narrative and they, too, claim apostolic succession and Tradition. In addition, thousands of denominations, sects, and organizations exist with their own narratives of continuity, though they don’t usually call it apostolic succession. My point is that we need an ultimate test, and the dogmas of Rome cannot suffice. Thank you, though, for your conciliatory attitude. As I’ve said before, I’m always willing to learn and expand, and to make adjustments when I am missing something.

  • Jesus said: “My kingdom is not of this world.” A symbol is of this world. Transubstantiation brings the living Christ from heaven onto the altar.

  • Hmmn…not sure I see the connection you’re posing. Why not posit a spiritual presence? Why say that it’s literal? Why continue to frame it in scholastic terms?

  • “WHO is like unto God” Who has the infinite power of God to proscribe our Infinite God’s love through a finite symbol.
    “WHO is like unto God” Only sins against the Holy Spirit are unforgivable, as sins against the Holy Spirit destroy the soul and scandalize. The soul must be restored through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The scandal must be removed from the scandalized for the rest of one’s life.

  • Why confine it to “spiritual” when is is obviously both spirit and matter – true Food indeed. Manna, bread of the angels. was both physical and spiritual sustenance. It’s a Mystery!

  • This whole idea that the bread and wine used int he Lord’s Supper is the actual body and blood of Christ doesn’t jibe with the way St. paul spoke. He said that whoever eats and drinks it in an unworthy manner eats and drinks damnation to themselves because they do not discern the ‘body.’ In Paul’s theology, the body of Christ is his church. These people were pushing and shoving and being unminful of others as some rushed ahead to commit gluttony, leaving others without anything to eat. It was a practical problem Pual dealt with here. The ritual was within the context of a meal that was practiced wrongly. Today we do it in a very orderly way which precludes that possibility. Scripture uses a lot of figurative language to get things across. So we can’t apply a strictly literal hermeneutic to teh text.

  • This whole idea that the bread and wine used int he Lord’s Supper is the actual body and blood of Christ doesn’t jibe with the way St. paul spoke.”
    but it does “jibe” with Christ’s words: “This is my Body”
    “He (St. Paul) said that whoever eats and drinks it in an unworthy manner eats and drinks damnation to themselves because they do not discern the ‘body.’ ”
    The Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ in the Real Presence is indivisible. Those who eat and drink the Real Presence have life and those who do not, do not have life in them.

  • Mary, you assume this ‘body’ that Paul speaks of is the physical presence of Christ in the Lord’s Supper. I earlier explained it makes more sense tio understand ‘body’ as the church or of Christ’s followers who gather. It is inaccurate toa ssume otherwise, I think. So to ‘eat and drink’ in a worthy manner would, in this context, mean taking into account the group and sharing in an orderly and peaceful fashion. I think the text is getting at this.

  • “So to ‘eat and drink’ in a worthy manner would, in this context, mean taking into account the group and sharing in an orderly and peaceful fashion. I think the text is getting at this.”
    “…the group” is in the Sacred Heart of Jesus on the altar at Consecration.

  • Don’t know what you mean by that. Could you explain?

  • Jon: You will not know what I mean until you will to know what I mean. Saint Thomas Aquinas said to his sister: “All you have to do to get to heaven is to will it.”

  • Enigmatically interesting. I still have no idea what you’re saying, and you have not provided support for your literal hermeneutic/exegesis.

  • Jon: Your isogesis is not supported by your literal hermeneutic/exegesis. Why do not the Protestants have saints, saints who are not canonized by the Catholic Church?

  • Mary, i do not interpret it literally, but figuratively. The New Testament letters address themselves to the saints at various locations. Saints here are synonymous with Christians: people who are set apart unto God and holy.

Clowns Teaching at Catholic Colleges

Thursday, December 26, AD 2013



Attention is often directed at the number of professors who teach at Catholic colleges and universities who have nothing but scorn for Church teaching.  However, too little attention is paid to the fact that many of the same individuals are politicized idiots.  Case in point Michael Eric Dyson who teaches sociology at Georgetown.  Dyson is a Baptist and on wife number three. The judgment of the man is demonstrated by his calling the scandal dogged Attorney General Eric Holder “the Moses of our time”.

In an outing this week on MSNBC, Dyson, in attacking Phil Robertson’s comments against homosexual conduct,  said that heterosexual Christian men might be viewed by some as  having an erotic attraction to Jesus Christ.  Ed Morrissey at Hot Air gives us the gory details of this blasphemy;


The Phil Robertson/A&E flap has produced some silly commentary, but perhaps none quite so silly as this exchange on MSNBC earlier this week. Joy Reid filled in for Ed Schultz on his show last Monday and invited Michael Eric Dyson to discuss the contretemps over Robertson’s comments on homosexuality and religion.  Dyson argues at the end of this clip that Robertson attempted to “us[e] Jesus in making Jesus co-sign all of this bigotry here,” and then almost in the same breath accused Christian men who profess love of Jesus as being, er … you know (via The Right Scoop and Truth Revolt):


MICHAEL ERIC DYSON: Ann Coulter and Sean Hannity and the rest of those folks ought to be ashamed of themselves. And gay, lesbian, transgender, and bisexual people ought to speak up and link their own fate to African-American people because ultimately we’re in the thing together.

JOY REID, SUBSTITUTE HOST: But what do you think of this attempt to recruit essentially Rosa Parks?

DYSON: Oh my God.

REID: Because this is something that has been done before on the Right.

DYSON: Right. Right.

REID: Like in anytime that something they say is taking as offensive by African-Americans or taken as offensive by the LGBT community…

DYSON: Right.

REID: …you get, “Well, Martin Luther King, Jr. would’ve been on our side…

DYSON: Right.

REID: . …or Rosa Parks or, you know, Phil Robertson is the next Rosa Parks.” What do you think of that as a tactic?

DYSON: I mean it’s — well, first of all, it’s scurrilous, but it’s the same as using Jesus in making Jesus co-sign all of this bigotry here. Jesus was a Jew who, around whom a religion was made. So the anti-Semitism of many of the Christians is ironic to begin with. And then secondly, the gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual stuff – look through the Bible. There’s a lot of interesting things. The same men who will stand up in the church of all men. “I put my God, Jesus, over all women. I love him more than I love her.”

Hmmm. Do you really? That sounds interestingly homoerotic to people who are outside your religious traditions. I’m not suggesting it is but I’m suggesting that there are some very interesting, subtle, narrative tensions within the Bible itself and within Christianity beyond that.

I tried to get offended by this argument, and ended up laughing every time I tried. I mean, it takes a lot of effort to take this kind of trolling seriously, doesn’t it? According to Dyson’s CV, he’s a professor of sociology at Georgetown University, a Catholic university, but he must be the first professor at Georgetown to have never studied the difference between agape, philos, and eros.  Not all love is sexual, as even most people “outside your religious traditions” understand. Most normal people would scoff at the idea that a son’s love for his father would “sound interestingly homoerotic,” let alone that of sons for The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

This is the kind of commentary that only occurs in profoundly unserious circles, with MSNBC among the leading examples. I doubt that Dyson buys this schtick, which is just intended to tweak Christians who believe that Corinthians is scripture by using the “you guys are so gay!” insult, but it’s more an insult to his own audience. It’s the kind of ivory-tower sneering at those hoi polloi in the sticks that reveals more ignorance of the speaker than of anyone else. Exactly who does Dyson think would believe that professing a love of Jesus Christ equates to a homoerotic experience? Christians laugh at this, but perhaps it’s people “outside [our] religious tradition” who should be more insulted at Dyson’s assessment of their intelligence and common sense.

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19 Responses to Clowns Teaching at Catholic Colleges

  • It’s awful that we live in such a politicized climate. One can’t say or do anything without it taking on politically partisan overtones. Everything is taken captive to some party idea. In “The Four Loves,” C. S. Lewis finely differentiates between eros, agape, philia, and storge, citing interesting examples of each. Political ideology is eroding objective thought.

  • Why does Georgetown persist in hiring smacked asses who want to thumb their nosed at Rome. Yet again Cardinal Wuerl is standing around in creeping cowardice, twiddling his thumbs. An incredibly uncaring Prelate, he hasn’t condemned the comments or called on Georgetown to amend their ways. Here’s hoping and praying that Beatty’s Canonical lawsuit prevails!!!! My dog is more Catholic than Georgetown!!!!!!.

  • Has Pope Francis suppressed the Jesuits yet? If not, why not?

    (Sorry, Fr. Pacwa and Fr. Fessio, but you’re outnumbered.)

  • Who’ll be the first Jesuit on Georgetown University’s board to stand up and publicly claim that Michael Eric Dyson is the best person they could get to teach sociology?

    And if there isn’t one who won’t defend that hire, then why hasn’t Michael Eric Dyson been fired along with all the members of the administration and faculty committee that signed off on hiring that clown?

    It’s all sooooo shameful.

  • I watched the video of Dyson and feel dumber for having done so. Listening to the man in class for an entire semester would probably result in the loss of at least 10 IQ points.

    I am happy my own college days are well behind me. Not all of my profs were great teachers, but at least I wasn’t paying close to $50K a year to become even more poorly informed than I was before.

  • And why drag anti-Semitism into the argument? Robertson didn’t say anything about the Jews.

  • There are over 240 colleges and universities here in the United States
    claiming to be Catholic. The Cardinal Newman Society, using what I think
    are very reasonable, basic parameters to quantify schools’ “Catholic identity”,
    publishes an annual list of those it feels it can recommend. This year, the
    list contains only 28 institutions. 90% of our Catholic colleges could not
    even meet the Society’s very basic criteria to make the list. It’s pitiful.


    The idiocy of Dyson’s statements shocked me a bit, but I wasn’t shocked to
    find out that he teaches at a university that is claiming to be Catholic.
    Decadence in Catholic higher education is the norm now. It just makes me
    so very sad to think how much better off we’d all be if those 220-odd colleges
    that claim-to-be-Catholic-but-aren’t had been doing their job for the last few
    decades, instead of churning out pagans or worse.

  • So-called academic economists have a thingie they call “behavioral economics.” It is supposed to be a study about people taking economic decisions based on irrational motives. I suppose it’s part of their simpering attacks on free markets.

    I think such venal crap, like this post covers, is “behavioral academics/scholarship” – credentialed cretins deriving conclusions based on ideology and not facts or logic. It relies on anecdotes and stereotypes incorporated in emotional filters to misrepresent and misunderstand data, events, and facts.

    I think the post-modern academy is purely venal. Its purpose is to advance the nightmare narrative and provide continual propaganda for the Obamas of the world and the progressive program. Behavioral academics/scholarship seamlessly imbeds fabrications into facts. In it all reading is arbitrary and personal. A theory cannot be proved only disproven. Behavioral academics invent facts, deny/ignore errors, display arrogance and execrate anybody providing opposing evidence.

    For these poseurs, truth, facts, realities, and history do not exist. They are putty in their hands. And, whatever they need to twist, fabricate or omit is justified by their purity of intentions: false but justified.

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  • If you want to know how we got into this sorrowful state of Catholic higher education, look no further than the shameful legacy of Fr. Theodore Hesburgh at Notre Dame:

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  • This summarizes the past 100 years of liberal lies, in general, and the past five years, in particular.

    Instapundit quotes “The Daily Caller” on Ethan Krupp, Obama’s pajama boy: “’A Liberal F*** is not a Democrat, but rather someone who combines political data and theory, extreme leftist views and sarcasm to win any argument while make [sic] the opponents feel terrible about themselves. I won every argument but one.’ Yeah, the one where you showed your face. He also hates ‘conservative gay pricks.’ In other words, he’s pretty much exactly what you figured when you saw his picture. Most self-revelatory remark: ‘I’m afraid it would be the ultimate surrender if I knew the truth.’ Or maybe this one: ‘We have no morals, and we will attack you.’ So he’s ready for his MSNBC co-anchor slot.”

  • This outrageous professor is probably linked to the movement at Georgetown dedicated to undermine, distort and destroy Catholic moral teaching, especially with regards to homosexual sin. A recent video expose of “Coming Out Day” celebrations at Georgetown reveal how far this once-respectable institution has fallen. In other words, America’s oldest Catholic university pays professors to destroy the Faith. Can it get any worse?
    Here’s the video:

  • Wow! This should speed up the demise of Georgetown. Only 50 years ago, a man like this would not have been considered a scholar.

  • I believe stoney has it correct on Father Hesburg and the Notre Dame crew. The leaders at Notre Dame cooperated with the Rockefellers to introduce corruption in the catholic church in America. It is a fact. These people represent Judas in today’s world.

  • Almost 25 years ago when my son was a student at St Joseph Prep in Philly,he came home and asked “why are my religion teachers such nut jobs?”the best I could do was to say the Jesuits know that young people are rebellious and they are hoping you will embrace traditional catholic belief as a form of rebellion.He s been a Capuchin Friar fort he last ten years.

  • Harry Tucci, you are right about Donald Cardinal Wuerl. Wuerl showed backbone in getting rid of abusive priests, but he will do NOTHING that requires Catholic orthodoxy. I am convinced Wuerl is a Democrat who harbors delusions about changing the Democrat Party’s pro-death platform.

    To think I was sad to see him go to DC. I am glad David Zubik is Pittsburgh’s bishop.

  • Twain’s observation re. the newspapers of his day could easliy apply to MSNBC and professors like Dyson, that is ‘ If you don’t listen to them you’ll be considered to be uninformed, but if you do, you’ll end up being misinformed.’

More on the Common Core: The nation’s Catholic bishops had better be very careful…

Thursday, December 26, AD 2013


The Common Core?

“No problem!” many allegedly very savvy educators opine. “Only conservative, right-wing, nut jobs have problems with it.”

In this instance, it may very well be the case that the naysayers are absolutely correct in stating “Hold on before you enter into something you will end up regretting.”

The nation’s bishops ought to be extremely wary. Why? The Common Core Catholic Identity Initiative (CCCII)—led by the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) which has received more than $100k from the Gates Foundation to provide training for educators in the nation’s Catholic schools to implement the Common Core—is discovering that the Common Core’s curriculum is laden with problems…after the fact of promoting the Common Core for implementation in the nation’s Catholic schools. CCCII’s website states:

Catholic educators will never forget that our schools exist to bring our students to Christ. By adapting standards from the CCSS that are challenging, they are working to fulfill the promise of quality Catholic education that educates the whole child, mind and soul.

Really? That’s all well and good. But, let’s first consider some facts.

Over at Crisis magazine, Mary Jo Anderson has chronicled some problems, including ninth graders having to read Toni Morrison’s Bluest Eye, which has been banned from several school districts for its explicit depiction of rape, incest, sexual violence and pedophilia.  The pedophile, named “Soaphead Church,” claims God as his inspiration, “I work only through the Lord. He sometimes uses me to help people.”

The Cardinal Newman Society (CNS) has gone one step further, taking a critical look at the Common Core curriculum and finding much that should cause the nation’s bishops to be wary.

According to CNS, its findings have forced the CCCII to remove three books from the first grade English Language Arts curriculum. The books celebrate family “diversity” which includes single parents, homosexual parents, mixed-race couples, grandparents and divorced parents.

Forget whether first graders in the nation’s Catholic schools should be reading books which have no preconceptions about what makes a family, a family. Doesn’t the Catholic Church already have a preconception about family and family life that it should boldly proclaim? And shouldn’t educators in its schools do the same?

How was it possible for CCCII to publish the following instructions for teachers first grade teachers in the nation’s Catholic schools? (the * indicates a book CCCII eventually removed)

Family -The teacher can choose any of the books below that relate to the theme:
The books listed are First Grade level unless otherwise noted.
The suggested books for the teacher to read aloud are noted.
Horton Hatches a Who (Seuss) – Grade level 2
*Who’s In a Family (Skutch)
*All Kinds of Families (Simon)
Blueberries for Sal (McCloskey) – Read aloud
*The Family Book (Parr)
The Story about Ping (Flack)
The Kissing Hand (Penn)
PurpleUmpkin (McCann)
Sam and the Firefly (Eastman)
Grandfather’s Journey (Say) – Read aloud

Did CCCII’s people even read the books before approving them?

What are CCCII and the NCEA up to? Had the folks at CNS not pushed the issue, CCCII’s approved curriculum was ready to be implemented in the nation’s Catholic elementary schools. And what about all of those other books Mary Jo Anderson has challenged? Is it the same for the nation’s Catholic secondary schools?

Previously, The Motley Monk labeled the Common Core a “train wreck coming for Catholic schools…” and a “threat to the nation’s Catholic elementary and secondary schools.”

Even a broken clock is correct twice a day.



To read about the efforts on the part of CNS to question the Common Core, click on the following link:

To read Mary Jo Anderson’s article in Crisis magazine, click on the following link:

To view the CCCII’s original approved curriculum, click on the following link:

To read The Motley Monk’s previous post about the Common Core at The American Catholic, click on the following link:

To read The Motley Monk’s previous post in Omnibus concerning the Common Core and the threat it presents to the nation’s Catholic schools, click on the following link:

To read The Motley Monk’s daily blog, Omnibus, click on the following link:

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14 Responses to More on the Common Core: The nation’s Catholic bishops had better be very careful…

  • I certainly hope that family diversity in the form of mixed-race couples and grandparents is still considered okay.

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  • It’s not about education. It’s about indoctrination. The state, not parents or the Church, will mold children . . . into dutiful drones and serfs.

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  • I have to say that only a deluded leftist would put Bluest Eyes on a list of “exemplar texts”.

    But this leads back again to the point I have been making over and over. Common Core has no mandated list of “exemplar texts”. Catholic educators are free to tell the Toni Morrison admirers to take a hike and to make up their own lists, provided that the texts conform to the Common Core standards. Please see the article and links at for these standards. Reading this is a slog, but I fail to see how any of it prohibits the use of orthodox Christian writings.

    The focus on these Common Core standards is complexity, and Catholic writing is beautifully complex. Why not make them work together? Is the problem just that it is “work”?

  • Hey Tom D.,
    Correct me if I’m wrong, but the Common Core Standards reading material have to be informational and factual texts. Something I have come to understand in research I have done, it appears these standards treat Catholic books as being based on fiction and there is no truth behind the Bible or other religious text. That being said our books are not regognized by any means. If I locate the articles I’ve read regarding this issue ill post it. I have 4 children in Catholic school and I’m beginning to wonder why ……… Unfortunately lately I feel my only belief is in Jesus Christ and his return to rid the world of this evil that is taking over on so many plains. I want my classic Catholic Education back. Please if you have anything positive to share I would love to read it. This world causes me to fear for my children and the future of humanity I can’t pray enough!!!!

    Be well and God Bless

    Concerned Mom

  • Hi Tom
    This is one artical I’ve found please let me know your thoughts on it.

    Thank you.

    Concerned Mom

  • Hi Liz,

    Thanks for the link to Catholic Exchange. I think it is an accurate assessment of Common Core, as far as it goes. If any educators takes a Common Core text and apply it without additional exemplary materials, then they are doing a disservice to their students. Common Core requires exemplary texts to go beyond the core needed for the workforce, and those exemplary texts are not mandated. Yes, the Catholic Exchange article cites some of these example texts, but remember that they are only one educator’s (or educrat’s) opinion. You and I could come up with a list of others.

    BTW, I don’t see that Common Core can regulate Catholic texts, assuming that we are talking about religious studies texts. That would be a First Amendment violation. Now math, literature, and science texts are a different story. I myself am a proud product of Catholic schools, and I can recall that in my time these texts were virtually the same as those used in the public schools. And remember, with Common Core being widely adopted it will be harder to find non-Common Core texts for Catholic schools. So, it is probably inevitable that Common Core texts will be adopted by Catholic schools; the alternative will be to have Catholic schools develop their own texts, which will raise the costs of Catholic education even further.

    Now for the “factual” criteria. That cannot be applied to literature classes, or else all novels and other works of fiction would be disallowed from schools. I have to conclude that is not the objective. Rather, I take it to mean that in, say sociology, a text that uses statistics would be favored over one that was mainly philosophical opinions. This is good and bad. Karl Marx would not make the grade, but I could see where papal encyclicals would not either. Besides, we all know that statistics are manipulated by “progressives” to get what they want from us. My thought is that a Catholic high school should be teaching its students how to deal with progressive B.S., and so the encyclicals in a religion class could very well be used to counter any crap that might be slipped into a text in a sociology class. My great concern with Catholic education today is that we are not equipping our young adults to resist the culture of death, and they will not be able to resist it’s arguments if it appears nowhere in their education. They will graduate as innocent as lambs, but not as wise as serpents.

    Personally, I would love to develop an exemplary literary text list for a Catholic high school. I’d love to put Fr. Robert Hugh Benson’s Lord of the World and Michael O’Brien’s Fr. Elijah on the list.

  • Anything from Bill Gates – EVERYTHING from Bill Gates – should be viewed as suspect. Bill Gates’ company sells Microsoft Word to the world. Word functions as if it were designed by Satan. Bill Gates can take his common core and his Planned Parenthood funding and take a hike.

    The History Channel did a series this past year, The Men Who Built America. I hold Vanderbilt, Carnegie (pronounced car-NAY-gie – I’m from Pittsburgh), Rockefeller, Morgan and Ford, as well as Tesla and Westinghouse, in much higher regard than Gates. Those men did build America’s economy. Microsoft has produced substandard software and it has made Gates a billionaire.

  • The $100k is not the only Gates’ money to find its way into Catholic education. A quick search of the Gates’ Foundation site for “Cristo Rey” and you’ll find millions of dollars have been given over a decade or so.

  • Agenda, agenda, agenda …. sound familiar? Parishes, dioceses and towns and states are all affected by the same similar “reminder” realtors will use, “location, location, location.” to justify why some people get shafted more than others. Also, if you get the chance, go to your nearest college or university’s education library and poke through the periodical lit, especially the stuff pertaining to “social justice.”

    Alas, you may also need a lot of Gates’ money to have your eyes reshaped back to where they were before you pored through the racks.

    Do I remember well my days spent stocking the shelves of a college library (whose name I will NOT reveal out of respect to my former employer… it’s only fair since it wasn’t the only library stocking some of the books, etc. listed above.) Wow, I never would’ve guessed that the old blueberry pickers’ book would’ve lasted this long. LOL. I’m betraying my own “age-ist” or geezer’d ideas when the idea of a “core education” would mean the mandatory inclusion of so many books mandating all sorts of inclusions. In the meantime, I’ll bet, it’s like, y’know, the good ol’ reliable “Dick and Jane” books must’ve been placed on the mandatory non-inclusive lists eons ago. It sure shows, y’know.

  • The books celebrate family “diversity” which includes single parents, homosexual parents, mixed-race couples, grandparents and divorced parents. – Does Catholicism object to mixed-race couples or grandparents raising kids?

  • Got any more red herrings you wish to attempt to drag into the discussion Gary?

  • It wasn’t the Cardinal Newman Society that pushed and got them to remove those books (and there are still others on it – see last link here). It was a small group of Catholic moms – who spoke up. It is a testament to what our voices can do. And it took a very long time to get the Catholic media to notice. And thankfully they are stepping up and covering it and putting even more pressure on and taking up this cause.

    See each of these links for some background.

Good King Wenceslaus, Saint Stephen and Martyrdom

Thursday, December 26, AD 2013

But his deeds I think you know better than I could tell you; for, as is read in his Passion, no one doubts that, rising every night from his noble bed, with bare feet and only one chamberlain, he went around to God’s churches and gave alms generously to widows, orphans, those in prison and afflicted by every difficulty, so much so that he was considered, not a prince, but the father of all the wretched.

              Cosmas of Prague, writing in 1119 about Saint King Wenceslaus

It has always seemed appropriate to me that the hymn Good King Wenceslaus, written in 1853, ties together Saint Stephen and Saint King Wenceslaus.  Saint Stephen is the original martyr of Christ, the first of that glorious line of Christians who have testified to their Faith in the God who died for them by surrendering their own lives for Him.  The Apostles had cut poor figures indeed on the night when Christ was betrayed, and Saint Stephen heroically and unforgettably demonstrated a better example, that would be followed by the Apostles themselves who later died as martyrs.  Bravery in the face of a martyr’s death takes a great deal of courage and faith, and we Catholics have ever honored our martyrs.

Wenceslaus was born in 907 into a turbulent time and place.  The eldest son of Duke Vratislaus I of Bohemia, Bohemia was a country that was only beginning to convert to Christianity and was riven by conflicts between pagans and Christians, Germans and Czechs.  His mother Drahomira was the daughter of a pagan tribal leader and had only converted at the time of her marriage.  His father’s father was a Christian convert.   

At the death of his father, in battle, in 921, his paternal grandmother, Ludmilla, briefly held the regency.  His mother, Drahomira, who was a real piece of work, remained a pagan at heart, and had Ludmilla strangled. (Ludmilla, who had always been noted for her charity and her strong Christian faith, was canonized shortly after her death.)  Wenceslaus was now under the control of his murderous mother.  In 924 or 925 Wenceslaus began to rule and exiled his mother, understandably enough. 

During his reign he was noted for his charity and the strong impetus he gave to the evangelization of Bohemia.  He placed great reliance on Catholic missionary priests from Germany and this stirred resentment not only among his pagan subjects, but among some Czechs.  Taking advantage of this opposition, his brother Boleslav had Wenceslaus murdered as he was walking to mass in 935.  From the instant of his death, Wenceslaus was hailed as a martyr and swiftly became the patron saint of Bohemia.  Holy Roman Emperor Otto I, bestowed the title of king upon him, posthumously.  His brother, who would reign for almost four decades, was remorseful for what he had done, helped spread Christianity throughout his kingdom during his reign and venerated the man he had murdered as a saint.  His feast day on September 28 is celebrated as a national holiday in the Czech Republic.

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Larry’s First Christmas in Heaven

Wednesday, December 25, AD 2013

Larry McClarey

But, as it is written: That eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man, what things God hath prepared for them that love him.

1 Corinthians 2:9

I am choking back tears as I post this.  Some very kind anonymous person left a package on our porch that had a framed copy of a poem in it:

I see the countless Christmas trees around the world below

With tiny lights like Heaven’s stars reflecting the snow.

The sight is so spectacular- please wipe away the tear

For I’m spending Christmas with Jesus this year.

I hear the many Christmas songs that people hold so dear

But the sound of music can’t compare with the Christmas choir up here

I have no words to tell you the joys their voices bring

For it’s beyond description to hear the angels sing

I know how much you miss me, I see the pain inside your heart

But I am not so far away, we really aren’t apart.

So be happy for me dear ones you know I hold you dear

And be glad I’m spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.

I sent you each a special gift for my heavenly home above,

I sent you each a memory of my undying love.

After all love is a gift more precious than pure gold. I

t was always most important in the stories Jesus told.

Please love and keep each other as my Father said to do.

For I can’t count the blessing of love he has for each of you.

So have a merry Christmas and wipe away that tear.

Remember I am spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.

 The poem was written by Wanda Bencke.  Her 13 year old  daughter Lysandra Kay Bencke had cerebral palsy.  She had a seizure and went into a coma on Christmas Day, 1997, and died five days later.  During those awful five days her mother wrote the poem.

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37 Responses to Larry’s First Christmas in Heaven

  • You are right.
    They are where we wish them to be.
    What a first Christmas for them.
    What Joy.
    Please know their Joy is what they want for you.
    Not sorrow Donald, but complete JOY.
    My Dad and your cherished son know more than we could ever know in 160 years of formal education and experience…they know the embrace…and they want us to know it too.
    Bless you dear soul.
    Peace and Merry Christmas.

  • Thank you.
    The ability to glimpse into the most profound insights and commentary from an educated and illuminated source is a humbling and fascinating experience for me.
    I know I try the patience of your loyal contributors but it is not in contempt. The TAC is a chance for me to ponder the depth of experience and knowledge that I would otherwise never gain insight to.
    So pleasr accept my thanks and forgive me of my poor grammar.
    I do hope that my perspectives can add in some small way to the betterment of the whole. Hope, not assuming that it is.

  • It is good to be reminded that the church, militant and triumphant, are one in Christ Jesus our Lord. We have before us a ‘great cloud of witnesses.’ Merry Christmas, Donald!

  • Bless you dear soul. Peace and Merry Christmas…Philip

  • Mary…thanks. Your one of many that I mentioned in my earlier post…one that swims in the deep end. 🙂

  • Epistula ad Romanos 8:38-39

    Certus sum enim quia neque mors neque vita neque angeli neque principatus neque instantia neque futura neque virtutes neque altitudo neque profundum neque alia quaelibet creatura poterit nos separare a caritate Dei, quae est in Christo Iesu Domino nostro.

    For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.


    It is the hope of salvation, Donald, that one day you will be enjoying that Beatific Vision with your son.

  • “It is the hope of salvation, Donald, that one day you will be enjoying that Beatific Vision with your son.”

    That is my chief remaining desire Paul.

  • Donald, in your love for your own beloved son, Larry, we now have a “hint” of the Father’s love for His only-begotten, Beloved Son, and through that love, His love for each of us.

    You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers

  • Thank you Botolph. That is greatly appreciated.

  • Donald,
    Don’t choke back the tears, they are the safety valve to the heart.
    You and those dear to you are remembered in prayer by many.

    Pingback ~

  • Donald, I share your sadness and your joy. Peace be with you. ~Bill

  • “Don’t choke back the tears, they are the safety valve to the heart.
    You and those dear to you are remembered in prayer by many.”

    Sound advice Maureen. I thank you for that and for your prayers.

  • “Donald, I share your sadness and your joy. Peace be with you. ~Bill”

    Thank you Bill.

  • Thank you for posting this poem. God bless you and your family.

  • Thank you DJ. God bless you and your family.

  • Do not stand at my grave and weep, I am not there; I do not sleep. I am a thousand winds that blow, I am the diamond glints on snow, I am the sunlight on ripened grain, I am the gentle autumn rain. When you awaken in the morning’s hush I am the swift uplifting rush Of quiet birds in circled flight. I am the soft stars that shine at night. Do not stand at my grave and cry, I am not here; I did not die. (Mary Elizabeth Frye, 1932)

    My prayers have been offered for you and your family.

  • Good Heavens, Donald. I have been absent from this blog for quite a while and did not know about Larry’s passing. My deepest condolences.

    I shall say a prayer for Larry and your family tonight.

  • “I shall say a prayer for Larry and your family tonight.”
    Bless you Donna!

  • Thanks for sharing this beautiful poem. Larry and your family remain in my prayers. A blessed Christmas to you all — because Christmas isn’t over yet.

  • Quite right Elaine, and thank you.

  • Thank you for posting the beautiful poem and the comments. Very uplifting and needed as we remember deceased loved ones also at this Season.
    At our Christmas Dinner table we had two guests who each had lost a child, one as a teen and the other as a young adult. The mother who lost her teenage daughter had earlier confided in me that her goal in life was to be reunited with her daughter in heaven. She was concerned because a priest’s description of heaven said that it would not be like that. As a lay person I had no answer for her: however, I will print out Wanda’s Bencke’s poem for my friends.
    “Don’t choke back the tears, they are the safety valve to the heart.” – I think many a cardiologist would agree.
    To the McClarey family and all the readers of this blog, my prayers for joy and peace for the Christmas Octave.

  • “She was concerned because a priest’s description of heaven said that it would not be like that.”
    The priest is an idiot. The idea that we would not be reunited with our loved ones in Heaven strikes me as a very peculiar notion of Heaven indeed. Our God who became part of a human family would not create such a joyless Heaven.

    Thank you for your very kind prayers CAM. I pray that you and your family, and your guests who lost kids, may have a joyous year in 2014.

  • CAM.
    #1821 in the C.C.C. ; We can therefore hope in the glory of heaven promised by God to those who love him and do his will.

    The Church Triumphant is made up of “family.”

    On this feast of the Holy Family…take heart brother Cam and proclaim with confidence…The banquet table will be surrounded with cherished holy souls that loved and served the Lord.

    Peace be to you and yours.

  • Did not Jesus himself say to the good thief; Amen I say to you, this day you shall be with me in Paradise.(?)

  • “Not be like that”?????? Buy that priest a copy of the Catholic Encyclopedia. To wit:
    “The communion of saints is the spiritual solidarity which binds together the faithful on earth, the souls in purgatory, and the saints in heaven in the organic unity of the same mystical body under Christ its head, and in a constant interchange of supernatural offices. The participants in that solidarity are called saints by reason of their destination and of their partaking of the fruits of the Redemption
    (1 Corinthians 1:2”
    For me, there is no question but that we shall share Heaven with our loved ones and all the saints. The only real question is whether there will be at least beer in Purgatory. 😉

  • Many a holy monk was “inspired” to make a tasty concoction.
    Beer in purgatory???
    Great Wine in heaven…yes…that we can be sure of. Is.25 6-10 I believe. Choice wines on his Holy Mtn.

  • “The only real question is whether there will be at least beer in Purgatory.”

    Will Walsh.
    I share your sentiment, being a beer conoisseur from way back. The problem is, that when it gets poured into the glass, the glass will have no bottom, so it will never fill – and even if it does, it will taste like horse urine.

    Sorry buddy, you’ll have to wait to get to heaven to enjoy the perfect nectar of the hop. 🙂

  • “The banquet table will be surrounded with cherished holy souls who loved and served the Lord.” When Jesus becomes present on the altar during every Mass, there too, will be your son, Larry, in the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

  • I feel Larry’s presence occasionally at Mass. He would always sit, kneel and stand by me at Mass in life, and I suspect he is often still doing so in death.

  • “I feel Larry’s presence occasionally at Mass. He would always sit, kneel and stand by me at Mass in life, and I suspect he is often still doing so in death.”
    Larry loves you.

  • To Philip, William Walsh, Don and others: Thank you for the references and comments. Though my friend speaks fluent “American”, her first language is a European one. Seeing the words in print will giver her peace of mind.

  • CAM.
    Your welcome 🙂

  • Cam,
    Pleased are we to be instruments of His peace, unawares. 🙂

One Solitary Life

Wednesday, December 25, AD 2013

All the armies that have ever marched

All the navies that have ever sailed

All the parliaments that have ever sat

All the kings that ever reigned put together

  Have not affected the life of mankind on earth

As powerfully as that one solitary life

From One Solitary Life

I am an historian, I am not a believer, but I must confess as a historian that this penniless preacher from Nazareth is irrevocably the very center of history. Jesus Christ is easily the most dominant figure in all history.

H. G. Wells

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