Thursday 23rd October 2014

Miss World: ‘I’m pro-life’ and ‘Sex is for marriage’

October 14, 2013 Frontpage, World News Comments Off

By BEN JOHNSON

October 14, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Viewers all over the globe appreciate the beauty of Miss World, Megan Lynn Young, but the reigning Miss Philippines recently told an interviewer that she appreciates the beauty of the unborn.

Miss World Megan Lynne Young

Miss World Megan Lynne Young

In August, Young told a Philippines-based broadcaster that she opposes abortion-on-demand, believes in abstinence before marriage, and sees marriage as a lifelong and unbreakable union.

“I’m against abortion,” Young told her interviewer flatly.

She expounded further when the interviewer asked about the nation’s controversial Reproductive Health (RH) Law, which would require medical professionals to provide taxpayer-funded contraceptives and abortifacients to patients regardless of conscience … Continue Reading

“The Environmentalist Roots Of The Population Control Movement”

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By BRIAN CLOWES

Concern for our environment is the most altruistic of the several primary motivations which drive the activities of the population control movement. Unfortunately, the leaders of many population control groups think that the best way to preserve our natural surroundings is to decrease the number of people in the world by whatever means are available.

We have witnessed forced abortion and sterilization programs in China, Vietnam, Peru, and many other countries, partly in support of programs to preserve the environment. There have been vast numbers of women sterilized or fitted with IUDs without their knowledge or consent for the same reason. Animal rights activists and environmentalists have caused tens of millions of dollars of damage with arson and sabotage, and have tried to murder researchers and loggers with nail bombs and tree spikes. They have also published many “how-to” guides with titles like Ecodefense: A Field Guide to Monkeywrenching; Setting Fires With Electrical Timers; How to Sink Whalers, Driftnetters, and Other Environmentally Destructive Ships; and even Killing People to Save the Animals and the Environment.
Rachel Carson’s 1962 book Silent Spring is widely credited with launching the modern environmentalist movement. The book focused on documenting the detrimental effects of pesticides on the environment, with a particular emphasis on birds.
One of the deadliest impacts of this book was the banning of DDT, which was effectively used to hold down mosquito populations all over the world. This led to a dramatic increase in the incidence of malaria, typhus, and dysentery, resulting in tens of millions of additional deaths and unspeakable suffering, mostly among Africans. Despite this terrible tragedy and scant evidence that DDT causes harm to birds, most radical environmentalists today continue to lobby for the continued ban on the pesticide, essentially meaning that they hold bird eggs in higher esteem than the lives of poor Africans.
Six years later, in 1968, Zero Population Growth founder Paul Ehrlich kicked off the modern population control movement with his atrociously researched book The Population Bomb. He predicted that more than 90 percent of the population of the United States would die of starvation and radiation sickness by 1999 in an event he called the “Great Die-Off.” Every one of the other major predictions he made in his book did not even come close to being fulfilled.
Despite the glaring failings of Carson’s and Ehrlich’s books, population controllers found “cover” for their activities by claiming that they were acting in the best interests of the environment, and therefore humanity at large.
Many influential people began to advocate measures that completely disregarded the most basic of human rights. In 1969, Bernard Berelson, president of the Population Council, recommended punishment for large families and a widespread program of “involuntary fertility controls.” In the same year, Frederick S. Jaffe, vice president of Planned Parenthood-World Population, recommended that the United States government “Encourage increased homosexuality”; place “Fertility control agents in water suppl[ies]”; and “Require women to work and provide few child-care facilities.” He also suggested “Compulsory abortion of out-of-wedlock pregnancies”; “Compulsory sterilization of all who have two children,” and “Stock certificate-type permits for children.”
In his 1971 book The Case for Compulsory Birth Control, Professor Edgar Chasteen proposed a stringently enforced two-child law for the United States, with every child being immunized against fertility at the age of ten. Even the United States Postal Service jumped on the bandwagon, releasing an eight-cent stamp in 1972 showing a perfectly groomed white “gender-balanced” family joyously embarking on the wide and smooth road to the Brave New   World. The USPS proudly declared: “The new stamp will serve as a reminder for all members of our society of the current world environmental situation and the need for planning to have a better America and a better world.”
It did not take long for these views to insinuate themselves into government agencies and documents. The 1972 Report of the Commission on Population Growth and the American Future (“The Rockefeller Report”) is larded with scores of statements and recommendations for holding down the population of the United States for the sake of the environment. The foundational document of the United States international population control program, the 1974 National Security Study Memorandum 200, echoes much of what the commission said.
Many influential people still hold these views. John P. Holdren, Obama’s “Science Czar,” has never formally repudiated the views he expressed in his book Ecoscience: Population, Resources, Environment, which he coauthored with Paul and Anne Ehrlich in 1977. He called for seizure of all illegitimate children from their mothers, forced abortions and sterilizations for unmarried women, mandatory implantation of a reversible infertility drug in all adolescent children, a national two-child policy, and the addition of sterilizing agents to the water supplies of our nation (so long as they did not affect livestock or pets). Most appalling of all, Holdren and the Ehrlichs recommended a United Nations-run “Planetary Regime” that would control population by whatever means necessary.
Others recommended even more extreme measures. In 2006, Professor Eric R. Pianka of the University of Texas said that we should manufacture and then release the Ebola virus, thereby killing 90 percent of the world’s population in order to preserve the environment. (Later, when controversy ensued, Pianka claimed his comments were taken out of context.)
Pianka does not seem to care that Ebola sufferers die an agonizing death over several days as their internal organs slowly liquefy. He said: “We’ve got airborne 90 percent mortality in humans. Killing humans. Think about that….We’re no better than bacteria!…And the fossil fuels are running out, so I think we may have to cut back to two billion, which would be about one-third as many people….You know, the bird flu’s good, too. We need to sterilize everybody on the Earth.”
As always, we cannot eliminate a class of people until we dehumanize them. Hitler called the Jews “vermin,” racists called blacks “animals,” and pro-abortionists call preborn children “blobs.”
In order to eliminate large numbers of people in general, we now have to dehumanize — ourselves.
In 1966, the United States Department of State declared: “Mankind is the cancer of the planet.”
Since that time, hundreds of influential leaders have repeated this view until it has become a virtual mantra of the environmentalist movement. Some have suggested that we excise this “cancer” by whatever means are available. For example, Jacques Cousteau said that “our society…is a vicious circle that I compare to cancer….In order to stabilize world population we must eliminate 350,000 people a day.”
We must not make the mistake of dismissing these people as mere cranks. The first step toward implementing any idea, no matter how ridiculous it may seem at the time, is to talk about it. And talk about it. And talk about it. This leads first to outrage among the people, then irritation, and finally indifference as they become desensitized to the message. Twenty years ago, people laughed when radicals talked about homosexual “marriage,” but now it is being rammed down our throats while its opponents are being silenced, punished, and persecuted.
You can find bumper stickers online that say “Humans Are a Pestilence,” or which show the outlines of two people and say “Worst Species Ever.” This depressing worldview is in total opposition to the Christian view of Man, who is made in the image and likeness of God.
St. Paul wrote: “What is man that you are mindful of him, or the son of man, that you care for him? You did make him for a little while lower than the angels, you have crowned him with glory and honor, putting everything in subjection under his feet” (Heb. 2:6-8).
We must care for our natural surroundings without violating the rights of humanity. Evangelium Vitae says: “As one called to till and look after the garden of the world, man has a specific responsibility towards the environment in which he lives, towards the creation which God has put at the service of his personal dignity, of his life, not only for the present but also for future generations” (n. 42).
Losing sight of this balance means the inevitable proliferation of horrible human rights abuses all over the world.

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Next article: “Is the Earth Heating Up or Cooling Down?”

 

(Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of chapter 18 of The Facts of Life, “The International Abortion Situation,” e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.)

 

The Humility Of The Tax Collector

October 14, 2013 Our Catholic Faith, Sunday Sermons Comments Off

 

Thirtieth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR C)

Readings: Sirach 35:12-14, 16-18
2 Tim. 4:6-8, 16-18
Luke 18:9-14

In the Gospel reading today the Pharisee prays, thanking the Lord that he is not like the rest of humanity. He goes on to list some of the ways of humanity that are not like himself: greedy, dishonest, and adulterous.
What he failed to recognize is that he was like the vast majority of humanity in that he was weighed down with pride.
Acknowledging his positive qualities this man assumed that he was, therefore, justified before God. Blind to his negative qualities, he placed himself above others and thought himself to be quite justified. In his comparisons he goes so far as to not only size himself up against the rest of humanity in general, but against the tax collector who was in the Temple at the same time.
This is important because tax collectors were considered to be among the lowest of all humanity. This is critical to the story because the tax collector went home justified while the Pharisee did not. Even though the Pharisee prayed and fasted, his arrogance was enough to bring him down. The humility of the tax collector, on the other hand, was enough to cover his sins and make him acceptable in the eyes of God.
One might object saying that in the first reading we are told that those who serve God willingly are heard when they pray. It is clear from the Gospel that the Pharisee served God willingly, so he should be rewarded. The problem the Pharisee had is that he was serving himself, but using his religious observance as the means to either convince himself of his goodness or to try to impress others.
Either way, what he is doing is for a self-serving purpose and our Lord tells us that if we do something for that reason we already have our reward. If he were truly serving God, he would have a disposition more like that which we see in St. Paul in the second reading. He had served the Lord faithfully and did not seek anything for himself. His focus was not on being justified in his own mind; rather, his focus was on God and being able to go to Heaven.
We all know from the Scriptures that God took everything from St. Paul so that the great saint would find everything in God. He served the Lord in easy times as well as in very difficult times. He did not abandon the Lord even in the times when it may have felt like the Lord had abandoned him. He proved that his effort was not about himself, but it was about God and souls. As he says of himself, he was poured out like a libation.
This is a lesson we all have to learn. Most people learn it by raising a family and learning how to pour themselves out for the sake of the others. Beyond that, there are many things in family life that help us with our humility and force us to turn to God. There may be times, especially early in a marriage, where it is hard to die to self and many things that are done are self-serving. We find ourselves like the rest of humanity with regard to both the sins we commit and with the pride that underlies those sins. With time, we learn to serve out of love.
If we learn to put ourselves last, not out of a false sense of humility, but truly seeking to place others before us and serving them, then our prayer will be heard, as we are told in the first reading. In the meantime, we have to pray and ask the Lord for the grace to become humble, to become a servant, to have our hearts transformed to love.
This is a slow and often painful process (just ask St. Paul). It requires a willingness to change, to be rejected, to be used. We cannot set out trying for these things, because that would be pride. We need to accept them peacefully and joyfully when they do arrive.
We look to the example of our Lord as Someone who poured Himself out for others, who loved and who served. People took advantage of Him then and they still try to do so today. They rejected Him and ultimately killed Him. We do not have to be put to death; we just need to die to self. But that most often requires a heavy dose of difficulties to teach us not to focus only on our own self.
Pray for humility and do not think that you can make yourself acceptable to God. Ask Him to do it for you and He will shape you into the likeness of His Son. Then you will go home (to Heaven) justified.

Population Scares: The Opposite Threat Approaches

October 14, 2013 Frontpage, Uncategorized Comments Off

By WILLIAM SNAER

In 1968, Stanford University professor Paul Ehrlich wrote The Population Bomb. He warned: “In the 1970s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now. At this late date nothing can prevent a substantial increase in the world death rate.” Ehrlich did not invent this neo-Malthusian anxiety, but he popularized it.
Although Ehrlich was wrong, his viewpoint has lived on, morphed into a broader eco-environmental concern. Writing in the Guardian, Lisa Hymas sums up this philosophy in her article about deciding to be childless: “Population isn’t just about counting heads. The impact of humanity on the environment is not determined … Continue Reading

Notre Dame And The Hookup Culture

October 14, 2013 Featured Today Comments Off

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK

There has been an ongoing disagreement among Catholic parents with traditional values over whether it makes sense any longer to choose a Catholic college for their children. Those who say no point to the predominance of secular leftists in the theology and philosophy departments at modern Catholic colleges, arguing, as did Archbishop Sheen decades ago, that it is better to have our children’s faith ignored at secular and state colleges, than attacked openly and systematically by professors hostile to the Church and the Magisterium.
Those who disagree take the position that the best-known Catholic colleges remain “culturally Catholic,” in spite of their left-wing faculties; that they are likely to have a nucleus of professors loyal to the Church and a student body drawn from practicing Catholic families. The proposition is that these students will set a tone on campus reflective of Catholic moral values that will not be found at private or state universities. Those who make that case owe it to themselves to read the latest bulletin from the Sycamore Trust. It might not change their minds, but it offers information that should be factored into their decision.
The Sycamore Trust is an organization of alumni of the University of Notre Dame concerned about the loss of Notre Dame’s Catholic identity in recent decades. The university’s sponsorship of the play The Vagina Monologues and its decision to honor President Obama with an honorary doctor of laws degree at the school’s commencement ceremony in 2009 were the final straws for those who organized the Sycamore Trust. (More information about the trust can be found at the organization’s web site, sycamoretrust.org.)
The trust’s September bulletin states flatly that “Notre Dame is no exception” to the “alcohol, sex, and the hookup culture” that have become “deeply troublesome features of campus environments across the country. Alumni often tell us they like to hear student views. So do we. We bring you now what Bob Burkett (’13), last year’s editor-in-chief of The Irish Rover [Notre Dame’s student newspaper] and recipient of the Sycamore student award, had to say at our June annual breakfast.”
Burkett relates his impression of student life upon entering the school as a freshman. “I wondered what my first weekend as a college student would be like here, surrounded by people with the same interests, background, and of course Catholic faith as me. . . . I was appalled when I saw the immorality of the activities going on around me. It seemed that Our Lady’s University was really no different on the weekends than any other college I had ever heard about. . . . I felt like I had been tricked.”
Burkett judged the “religion” of a “great many students” at Notre Dame to be a reflection of what “the distinguished Notre Dame sociologist Christian Smith calls ‘Moralistic Therapeutic Deism.’ Students are interested in religion insofar as it makes them feel happy and good.” They believe that we should “be free to do whatever we would like insofar as no one else is harmed, with ‘harm’ largely limited to physical violence.”
What does this mean in specific terms for life on Notre Dame’s campus? According to Burkett, it “allows ‘perfectly moral teenagers’ to engage in alcohol, drugs, and sexual promiscuity. My biggest fear is that this mentality of cafeteria Catholicism . . . has run amok at Notre Dame.”
The editors of the Sycamore Trust bulletin agree that the behavior of the Notre Dame student body is a reflection of “the debased morality of today’s dominant secular culture”; and that “Notre Dame has to work with what it gets.” Fair enough. But if you accept that proposition, the central question should be whether “four years at Notre Dame would change them.” What the trust found was that those four years did “but not in the way one would hope and expect. Certainly many students enter Notre Dame firm in their faith and become ever more committed to Church ethical teachings. We have come to know many of them. They are crucially important to the Catholic character of the university.
“But this is not true of the student population as a whole. A four-year study by the respected Higher Education Research Institute of a Notre Dame class disclosed that, as a group, the class was less attached to Church teachings on sexuality and abortion when it left than when it entered.” And “the proportion of the class who saw nothing wrong with premarital sex if the parties ‘really like each other’ rose from 21 percent to 36 percent — an increase of 71 percent!”
On another topic. H.L. of Idaho Falls writes to take issue with the arguments made in defense of the Common Core requirements by Edward L. Glaeser, cited in the July 18 edition of First Teachers. Glaeser, a Harvard economist, serves on the Gates Foundation’s domestic program and is a prominent supporter of Common Core. Glaeser believes that critics of Common Core “misunderstand what Common Core does”; that it will not radically change our schools and that the fear of a “nationwide curriculum” is a “terrifying but phantom bogeyman. No one is seriously proposing it.”
H.L. doesn’t buy it. He argues that government programs inevitably grow in size and scope, becoming far more expensive and intrusive in our lives that originally stated by their proponents. He points to the Social Security system, “designed by Roosevelt to help the aged in their waning years. A tax was assessed on all workers and employers to cover this. But soon the funds were not separated but dumped into the general fund, from which they were spent.
“There is also the Medicare system, for which taxes on wages of workers and employers were also set aside. We are now at the point where half or more of the doctors in the country don’t take Medicare patients. Now it is threatened by Obamacare. Then there is the tax system, in which retirement income was not taxed. At present, 85 percent of it is subject to taxes. Tax rates float all over the place, depending on the politicians in office.”
H.L. concludes with the observation that a better solution for our failing schools and declining educational standards would be to “eliminate the Department of Education. Then divide the dollars saved among the states, without preconditions. In addition, eliminate unions for publicly funded entities paid for by tax money.”

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Readers are invited to submit comments and questions about this and other educational issues. The e-mail address for First Teachers is fitzpatrijames@sbcglobal.net, and the mailing address is P.O. Box 15, Wallingford, CT 06492.

Government Looking For Witches Will Find Them

October 14, 2013 Featured Today Comments Off

By ANDREW P. NAPOLITANO

While the nation’s political class has been fixated on a potential government shutdown in Washington this past week, the NSA has continued to spy on all Americans and by its ambiguity and shrewd silence seems to be acknowledging slowly that the scope of its spying is truly breathtaking.
The Obama administration is of the view that the NSA can spy on anyone anywhere. The president believes that federal statutes enable the secret FISA court to authorize the NSA to capture any information it desires about any persons without identifying the persons and without a showing of probable cause of criminal behavior on the part of the persons to be spied upon.
This is the same mindset that the British government had with respect to the colonists. It, too, believed that British law permitted a judge in secret in Britain to issue general warrants to be executed in the colonies at the whim of British agents.
General warrants do not state the name of the place to be searched or the person or thing to be seized, and they do not have the necessity of individualized probable cause as their linchpin. They simply authorize the bearer to search wherever he wishes for whatever he wants. General warrants were universally condemned by colonial leaders across the ideological spectrum — from those as radical as Sam Adams to those as establishment as George Washington, and from those as individualistic as Thomas Jefferson to those as big government as Alexander Hamilton.
e know from the literature of the times that the whole purpose of the Fourth Amendment — with its requirements of individualized probable cause and specifically identifying the target — is to prohibit general warrants.
And yet, the FISA court has been issuing general warrants and the NSA executing them since at least 2004.
The past week we learned in a curious colloquy between members of the Senate Select Intelligence Committee and Gen. Keith Alexander and Deputy Attorney General James Cole that it is more likely than not that the FISA court has permitted the NSA to seize not only telephone, Internet, and texting records, but also utility bills, credit-card bills, banking records, social media records, and digital images of mail, and that there is no upper limit on the number of Americans’ records seized or the nature of those records.
The judges of the FISA court are sworn to secrecy. They can’t even possess the records of what they have done. There is no case or controversy before them. There is no one before them to oppose what the NSA seeks. They don’t listen to challenged testimony. All of this violates the Constitution because it requires a real case or controversy before the jurisdiction of federal courts may be invoked.
So when a FISA court judge issues an opinion declaring that NSA agents may spy to their hearts’ content, such an opinion is meaningless because it did not emanate out of a case or controversy. It is merely self-serving rhetoric, unchallenged and untested by the adversarial process.
Think about it: Without an adversary, who will challenge the NSA when it exceeds the “permission” given by the FISA court or when it spies in defiance of “permission” denied? Who will know?
For this reason, the FISA court is unconstitutional at best and not even a court at worst. It consists of federal judges administratively approving in secret the wishes of the government. By not adjudicating a dispute, which is all that federal judges can do under the Constitution, these judges are not performing a judicial function. Rather, they are performing a clerical or an executive one, neither of which is contemplated by the Constitution.
And yet, the president and his secret agents and the politicians who support them would have you believe that the NSA’s spying has been approved by bona fide federal courts. It has not. Does the Constitution permit the federal government to put us all under a microscope? It does not. The government is supposed to work for us and derive its powers from the consent of the governed. Do you know anyone who consented to all this? I do not.
The traditional bar that the government must meet in order to begin gathering data on any of us is individualized articulable suspicion about criminal behavior. The purpose of that requirement is to prevent witch-hunts and inquisitions and knocks on doors in the night. Without that bar, there are no limits as to whom the feds can pursue.
What will become of us if the feds can watch our every move and hear our every conversation and learn our every expenditure and read our every e-mail and find out what we eat and whom we love and how we live? There are well over 4,500 federal crimes. The feds can find something wrong that anyone has done. Stalin’s chief of secret police, the monster Lavrenti Beria, once famously proclaimed: “Show me the man and I will find you the crime.”
History teaches that a government on a witch-hunt, unconstrained by law or Constitution, will not stop until it can brand someone as a witch. And an unbridled inquisition will not stop until it finds a heretic. The Constitution simply never entrusted the people who run the government with this awesome power. Rather, in the Fourth Amendment, it prohibited it.
If the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness — which are the stated reasons for forming the United States of America in the first place — mean anything, they mean that we all possess the inalienable right to be different and the inalienable right to be left alone. Neither of these rights can be honored when the government knows all. And when the government knows all, and doesn’t like what it knows, we will have an authoritarian state far more odious than any history has ever known.
On the face of an all-knowing secret government are large and awful eyes — and no smile.

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(Andrew P. Napolitano, a former judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey, is the senior judicial analyst at Fox News Channel. Judge Napolitano has written seven books on the U.S. Constitution. The most recent is Theodore and Woodrow: How Two American Presidents Destroyed Constitutional Freedom. For more information, please visit www.creators.com.)

St. Teresa Of Avila

October 14, 2013 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN

Many parents have bemoaned a strong-willed child. Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ, said, however: “Be thankful. Only strong-willed children become saints.” St. Teresa of Avila was a strong-willed child. In fact, one biographer called her a troublemaker. Born of Alonso Sanchez de Cepeda and his second wife, Beatriz Davila y Ahumada, she loved her parents. She was born on March 28, 1515 of a large family and admits that they were all virtuous except her.
Teresa’s early years were occupied with reading about the saints with her brother Rodrigo. They thrilled at the victories of martyrs. Hoping to win the same eternal rewards, she and Rodrigo left to go to the Moors and to beg God to allow them to lay down their lives for Him.
An uncle found them, however, and brought them back home where Rodrigo was quick to blame the whole escapade on Teresa. At home, these partners set about building hermitages in the garden, but were unable to complete a solid structure.
St. Teresa lost her mother at the age of 14. She recognized the enormity of her loss, and so turned to the Blessed Virgin Mary, imploring her to become her mother. Unfortunately, without the guidance of her mother, she slipped into worldly ways as she and Rodrigo took up the reading of romances.
This focus led to pursuits of beauty and vanity. Her secular ways caused her father so much worry that he put her in a convent. Eighteen months into her stay, she fell ill and returned home, seriously considering a vocation to the religious life. Oddly enough, she found inspiration in the fiery letters of St. Jerome.
Determined to overcome her father’s objection, she sneaked off to join the Carmelite convent in Avila. Her heart yearned so for the religious life that her father finally capitulated. Shortly before her profession, she fell ill once again.
As her condition grew worse, her father brought her home once again. She began the practice of mental prayer, but without a spiritual director she made little progress.
Three years later Teresa recovered and returned to the convent where her charm and wit won her many friends and admirers. As a result of the excessive socialization in the Carmelite convent, she lost her spirit of piety and began rationalizing her behavior by claiming frailty. “This reason of bodily weakness was not a sufficient cause to make me give up so good a thing which requires not corporal strength but only love and custom.”
After her father’s death, she once again took up the practice of mental prayer, though quite imperfectly. She described her challenge to remain recollected. Taking courage from St. Augustine and St. Mary Magdalen, she resolved to better her efforts. From this point on, she grew continuously in her spiritual journey, withdrawing from socialization.
Blessed with the prayer of quiet and union, she tried to reject the spiritual visions, but in vain. Fr. Baltasar Alvarez, a Jesuit spiritual director, assisted her in developing a deep and intimate communication with God.
Nevertheless, when she revealed her visions to him, she suffered many persecutions for three years along with great aridity and desolations. Her spiritual encounters were ridiculed by the Carmelites, who persuaded Fr. Alvarez to side with them.
In 1557, St. Peter of Alcantara came to Avila and visited the “troublemaker.” He possessed the wisdom to recognize the events as coming from God and explained to her that she would suffer more persecutions. These would serve to keep her humble and strengthen her virtue, he informed her.
During this period she received a deep wound in her heart. This wound was part of the mystical marriage. (After her death a long scar was discovered in her heart.) Overwhelmed with such love of God, her prayer became: “Lord, either to die or to suffer.” She longed to be with Christ in Heaven, while at the same time she wanted to suffer for His love.
For an in-depth account of her spiritual life, refer to Saint Teresa of Avila, Collected Works, translated by Kavanaugh and Rodriguez. These writings, which describe the seven interior castles, earned her the title of doctor of the Church, the first woman to earn this exalted distinction. For an uneducated woman to describe the deepest mysteries of the prayer life was nothing short of miraculous.
While St. Teresa wrote volumes on the revelations — under obedience — she also worked to establish new convents. In fact, two of her writings were for the Carmelites: The Way of Perfection and Interior Castle.
After 25 years as a nun residing with some 140 nuns accustomed to a relaxed and social life, St. Teresa decided to found a much smaller reformed community following the Carmelite rule more closely. Although she received proper canonical approval and funding, there was such an uproar that the approval was withdrawn.
In 1561 several citizens continued with Teresa’s plan by building a “house” which really was to be become a convent. When the son of a benefactor was grievously injured at the site, he was completely restored to health by St. Teresa.
The convent opened in 1562, much to the dismay of the prioress of the Incarnation. She sent for Teresa and became determined to have the convent demolished. This was avoided by a settlement reached by the intercession of Fr. Domingo Banez. She and four other nuns formed the first house founded on the reformed rule.
The Carmelites strictly adhered to the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity, and obedience. In 1567, the prior general of the Carmelites gave her permission to open more convents upon the same plan. He also gave her permission to open two houses of reformed friars in Castile.
Beginning in August 1567, she founded convents in Medina del Campo, Malagon, Madrid, Valladolid, and Toledo. She was approached by two men to open a home for men and did so in 1568. One of the men was St. John of the Cross.
Soon Pius V sponsored an inquiry into orders that relaxed their rules. Their findings led to St. Teresa being appointed as prioress to her original convent, the Incarnation, much to her distaste. She met much resistance, but her charm, wit, and humility soon won over the recalcitrant nuns to improve their cloistered spirit.
When she was sent to Seville, she was denounced to the Inquisition. The Italian Carmelites feared her reforms and thus persuaded the superiors to severely restrict St. Teresa’s Carmelites. Providentially, King Philip II of Spain intervened, obtaining an agreement for the separation of the order into the Calced and Discalced Carmelites in 1580.
Teresa was then 65 years old and in broken health. Before she died two years later, she founded two more houses of Discalced Carmelites. She died on October 4, 1582, was canonized in 1622, and declared a doctor of the Church in 1970. Her feast day is October 15.

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(Carole Breslin home-schooled her four daughters and served as treasurer of the Michigan Catholic Home Educators for eight years. For over ten years, she was national coordinator for the Marian Catechists, founded by Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ. She is celebrating her 20th anniversary with the organization.)

Pope Francis: Let anti-Semitism be banished from every heart

October 12, 2013 World News Comments Off

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Friday met with members of Rome’s Jewish community to mark the 70th anniversary of the deportation of the city’s Jewish population during the Nazi occupation. Among those present was the Chief Rabbi of Rome, Dr. Riccardo Di Segni, the President of the Jewish Community of Rome , Dr. Riccardo Pacifici, and the President of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities , Dr. Renzo Gattegna. Pope Francis began by expressing his closeness to Rome’s Jewish community, which is the oldest in Western Europe, having a continued presence in the city of over two thousand years. “For many centuries…the Jewish community and the Church of Rome have lived in our city , with a history – as we well know – which was often transversed by misunderstandings and even true grievances,” Pope Francis said.  “However, it is a story , that with the help of God , has for many decades experienced the development of friendly and fraternal relations.” The Pope then turned to the occasion of the visit.  The deportation of over one thousand Roman Jews on October 16, 1943, during the Nazi occupation of Rome. They were sent to Auschwitz, and only 16 ever returned to the homes. “We will remember in a few days the 70th anniversary of the deportation of the Jews of Rome. We will remember and pray for the many innocent victims of human barbarity , for their families,” said Pope Francis. “It will also be an opportunity to keep vigilant so that, under any pretext, any forms of intolerance and anti-Semitism in Rome and the rest of the world not come back to life,” the Holy Father said. “I’ve said it other times and I would like to repeat it now: It’s a contradiction that a Christian is anti-Semitic: His roots are Jewish,” said the Pope. “A Christian cannot be anti-Semitic ! Let Anti-Semitism be banished from the heart and life of every man and every woman!” Pope Francis also said the anniversary offers a chance to remember how the Christian community responded during this “hour of darkness” to the needs of his brother in difficulty. “We know how many religious institutions, monasteries and Papal Basilicas, interpreting the will of the Pope, opened their doors in a brotherly welcome , and how many ordinary Christians offered what help they could give, however big or small,” he said. “The vast majority were not aware of the need to update the Christian understanding of Judaism, and perhaps knew very little about the life of the Jewish community,” Pope Francis continued. “But they had the courage to do what at that time was the right thing : to protect their brother, who was in danger. I would like to emphasize this aspect , because if it is true that it is important, on both sides, to study, in depth, theological reflections through dialogue, it is also true that there is a dialogue of life, that of everyday experience , which is no less important . Indeed, without this , without a real and concrete culture of encounter , which leads to authentic relationships , which exist without prejudice and suspicion, the engagement in the intellectual field would serve little purpose. Here also, as I often like to underline , the People of God has its own intuition and realizes the path God asks them to travel. In this case, the path of friendship, closeness and fraternity,” the Pope said. Pope Francis concluded by mentioning his friendship with the Jewish community of Buenos Aires, and recalling that Christians and Jews have the Decalogue in common, to be used as a solid foundation and source of life for society, “so disoriented by an extreme diversity of choices and positions, and marked by a relativism which does not have many firm or safe points of reference.”

Pope Francis: Be On Guard Against the Deceit of Evil

October 12, 2013 World News Comments Off

We must always be on guard against the seduction of evil. This was central point of Pope Francis’ homily today in the chapel of Casa Santa Marta this morning. The Holy Father reflected on today’s Gospel, which spoke of Jesus’ response to those who doubted his power in casting out demons.

“Jesus casts out demons and them someone offers explanations to diminish the power of the Lord,” the Pope said. This attitude of reducing the role of Christ as just a mere healer, he noted, “has reached our present day.”

”There are some priests who, when they read this Gospel passage, this and others, say: But, Jesus healed a person with a mental illness. They do not read this, no?,” the Pope said.

“It is true that at that time, they could confuse epilepsy with demonic possession; but it is also true that there was the devil! And we do not have the right to simplify the matter, as if to say: All of these (people) were not possessed; they were mentally ill. No! The presence of the devil is on the first page of the Bible, and the Bible ends as well with the presence of the devil, with the victory of God over the devil.”

There are several ways that Christ has given us to discern the presence of evil, the Pope went on to say, one of which is “not to follow the victory of Jesus only halfway.”

“Either you are with me, says the Lord, or you are against me,” the Pope said.

“Jesus came to destroy the devil, to give us the freedom from the enslavement the devil has over us. And this is not exaggerating. On this point, there are no nuances. There is a battle and a battle where salvation is at play, eternal salvation; eternal salvation of us all.”

“There is criteria for watchfulness. We must always be on guard, on guard against deceit, against the seduction of evil.”

Pope Francis called on the faithful to reflect on whether they guard their hearts, feelings, graces and presence of the Holy Spirit or “do I let go, feeling secure, believing that all is going well.”

“But if you do not guard yourself, he who is stronger than you will come. But if someone stronger comes and overcomes, he takes away the weapons in which one trusted, and he shall divide the spoil. Vigilance!,” the Pope exclaimed.

“Three criteria! Do not confuse the truth. Jesus fights the devil: first criterion. Second criterion: he who is not with Jesus is against Jesus. There are no attitudes in the middle. Third criterion: vigilance over our hearts because the devil is astute. He is never cast out forever. It will only be so on the last day.”

Drawing an example from another Gospel, the Holy Father stressed the importance of vigilance, especially in times when an impure spirit returns to where he came from with seven spirits worse than he.

“St. Peter would say: It is like a fierce lion that circles us. It is like that. ’But, Father, you’re a little ancient. You are frightening us with these things.’ No, not me! It is the Gospel! And these are not lies: it is the Word of the Lord!,” the Pope said.

Concluding his homily, Pope Francis prayed for the grace “to take these things seriously.”

“He came to fight for our salvation. He won against the devil! Please, let us not do business with the devil! He seeks to return home, to take possession of us. Do not relativize; be vigilant! And always with Jesus!,” the Pope exclaimed.

(October 11, 2013) © Innovative Media Inc.

ObamaCare enrolls unborn babies, then pays to abort them

October 12, 2013 World News Comments Off

 

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 11, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Obama administration is hoping to offset the cost of ObamaCare’s massive expansion of insurance coverage by enrolling enough healthy people in their mid-20s – but it’s willing to sign up people who are much younger.

At least two health care exchanges specifically ask those attempting to sign up for health insurance coverage if they have any “unborn children.”

Access Health CT, Connecticut’s official health insurance exchange website, asks visitors if anyone in the home is pregnant. “Unborn children are counted as members of her household, so this information helps determine if she is eligible for help with health care costs,” the website says. “Medicaid also has rules to help pregnant women.”

Neighboring Massachusetts’ Health Connector similarly asks, “How many people are in your family? (Include unborn child(ren) if someone is pregnant.)”

Yet in a dark twist of irony, the insurance plans in question will pay for the baby’s health – or his death.

Staffers for Congressman Chris Smith, R-NJ, found that Connecticut is one of a number of states that “do not have a single plan that excludes elective abortion.” All the taxpayer-subsidized health care plans covered by Massachusetts’ Commonwealth Care program also cover abortion-on-demand.

“Pro-lifers have always said that abortion is an American injustice on the level of slavery, and now ObamaCare and Access Health CT have proved our point,” Peter Wolfgang, executive director of the Connecticut Family Institute, told LifeSiteNews.com. “Just as African-Americans were once treated as ‘three-fifths’ of a person, Access Health CT treats the unborn as human beings when it is convenient but pays to kill them when they become inconvenient.”

The Charlotte Lozier Institute found that under the healthcare law the total number of taxpayer-funded abortions could increase by as much as 111,500 in one year. In all, under ObamaCare could force taxpayers to fund 10 percent of abortions each year.

“This evil hypocrisy must be exposed and full legal protection for our most vulnerable citizens restored,” Wolfgang told LifeSiteNews.

Click “like” if you want to end abortion!

Unless the House passes Congressman Smith’s “Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act” (H.R. 3279), many pro-life Americans may unwittingly sign up for health insurance plans that include abortion coverage and that charge them a $1 surcharge to pay for abortion.

Section 1303(b)(2) of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), conventionally known as ObamaCare, specifically states that agents “shall provide information only with respect to the total amount of the combined payments” – and not tell consumers about its policy on abortion.

The congressman’s bill would force companies to disclose this in their advertising.

It currently has 71 co-sponsors.

Relax. God’s Still In Charge.

It’s an enormous challenge to maintain pristine doctrinal purity while at the same time respond to the experiential, personal, and difficult needs of married couples and families. Behind every arcane discussion of gradualism and natural law there are parents and…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke: The “Relatio Synodi” Is “A Significant Improvement Over The Text Of The ‘Relatio Post Disceptationem'”

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Synod Final Document Reaffirms Church Teaching

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Catholic Synod: Gay Rights Groups ‘Disappointed’

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Cardinal Burke Confirms: Yes, Pope Has Demoted Me.

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Cardinal Burke’s Major Interview to Il Foglio on the Synod

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Pope Paul VI to be beatified Oct. 19, 2014

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Pope Francis will officially declare Pope Paul VI Blessed on Sunday, Oct. 19, during the closing ‎Mass of the 3rd Extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family.  Pope Paul VI was cleared for ‎beatification when Pope Francis on May 9…Continue Reading

Church Militant . . . Synod On The Family

Houston, we have a problem

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Cardinal Burke: Synod’s mid-term report “lacks a solid foundation in the Sacred Scriptures and the Magisterium”

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Having Patience for the Sausage-Making Synod

The midterm report on the deliberations of the Synod on the Family has appeared and there is a fair amount of hysteria all around. John Thavis, a veteran Vatican reporter who should know better, has declared this statement “an earthquake,…Continue Reading

Advice for the Pope in Light of the Synod

The Holy Father has been very good in lecturing priests and telling us what to do. We are to go out into the world and “make a mess.” We are to “smell like the sheep.” We are to welcome all…Continue Reading

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  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

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'From our friends at The Foundry'


Today . . .

Pope At Audience: The Church, The Body Of Christ

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Pope To Consistory: We Are Witnessing A Phenomenon Of Terrorism

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Pope Francis: Middle East Without Christians Unthinkable

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At Closing Mass For The Synod Pope Francis Beatifies Paul VI

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(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Sunday celebrated the Closing Mass for the Extraordinary Synod on the Family. During the Mass in Saint Peter’s Square, the Holy Father beatified his predecessor, Pope Paul VI, whom he described as a “great Pope,” a “courageous Christian” and a “tireless apostle.” Below, please find the complete English text of Pope Francis’s homily for the…Continue Reading

Musings And Concerns On The Synod

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Neither Left Nor Right, But Catholic . . . Is The Church In The U.S. Unwittingly Helping To Promote The Secularist-Leftist Agenda?

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Our Judicial Dictatorship

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The Government And Freedom

By ANDREW P. NAPOLITANO This past week, FBI Director James Comey gave an interview to 60 Minutes during which he revealed a flawed understanding of personal freedom. He rightly distinguished what FBI agents do in their investigations of federal crimes from what the NSA does in its intelligence gathering, when the two federal agencies are…Continue Reading

Religious Freedom In Belarus . . . Strict Controls, “An Invisible Ghetto,” Continue

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Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Pope’s Message To Bishop Of Avila . . . St. Teresa Tells Everyone: “Do Not Cease To Be Joyful!”

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A Leaven In The World . . . Being Exposed To Synod’s Deliberations Is Not For The Fainthearted

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Debunking The Myth… Sola Scriptura Is Unscriptural

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Divine Revelation: Gradual And Progressive

By DON FIER We left off last week reflecting on God’s motive for revealing Himself to us in a supernatural manner. In a word, His sole motive was that of boundless love for mankind. God gratuitously and unconditionally chose to “communicate His own divine life to the men He freely created, in order to adopt them as His sons in…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

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Cast A Gauntlet – Sola Scriptura: Part 1

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Anthony Mary Claret

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Catholic Heroes . . . St. Ignatius Of Antioch

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What to Do If Your Boyfriend Wants You to Get an Abortion?

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It’s Time to Build Schools, from the Ground Up

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Why I am Pro-Life

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Fathers . . . The Essential Role of the Father

Posted on February 10, 2014 by The Catholic Gentleman 13 Comments   Divorce rates skyrocketing; adultery rampant; non-married cohabitating couples; children abandoned by their fathers or mothers; “same-sex unions” adopting children and calling this the “modern family”; pornography invading homes, leading to powerful addictions and total alienation from other members of the family: all of this is a bird’s eye view…Continue Reading

How Much is One Billion Dollars?

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Planned Parenthood

This article appeared in The Wanderer, April 3, 1941.  (WOW, Look what we have 70 years later.) A group which calls itself the National Committee for Planned Parenthood has begun a nationwide campaign to have the promotion of birth control included in State and national health programs. The committee—which, according to propaganda sheets reaching our desk has a branch in…Continue Reading

Questions of Non-Catholics . . . Answered by Father Richard Felix, O.S.B.

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